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43rd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 008

CONTENTS

Monday, January 27, 2020




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 149
NUMBER 008
1st SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer


  (1105)  

[English]

Ways and Means

Notice of Motion 

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

SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

[The Address]

[English]

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply

    The House resumed from December 13, 2019, consideration of the motion for an address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to her speech at the opening of the session.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to split my time with the member for Kenora today.
    It would have been difficult to predict, over 150 years ago, that the shared vision of Canada's founding fathers who gathered to create a dominion from sea to sea would have led to a 29-year-old woman delivering the first speech of the new year and the new decade in our House of Commons.
    As a first-time elected representative, it was a special moment for me to hear Canada's Governor General deliver the Speech from the Throne. Amid all the pomp and circumstance, I could not help but think back to my humble roots and how far I have come. I was born to four generations of Canadian farmers in a small town in eastern Manitoba. My family were prairie pioneers, and their lives were built on sacrifice, on struggle and on principles of personal responsibility and resilience.
     At the time, Canada was a young country without the robust social safety net we see today. Faith, family and community were all they could rely on to get them through the tough times of financial hardship. They had no choice but to persevere and do the best they could to provide for the next generation.
    My call to public service came when I was about nine years old. It was a hot summer day at my grandparents' farm. The adults in my family were sitting around the kitchen table passionately expressing their views of yet another damaging policy the Liberals in Ottawa had put on farmers. Even at that young age, I could feel the injustice of the harmful government intrusion in our lives. There was a disconnect between my humble hard-working family and the decision-makers here in Ottawa.
    I decided in that moment that when I grew up, I would go to Ottawa to fight for my family. It has been a long journey from small-town country roots to being the first in my family to attend university and the first to enter federal politics. As a woman in her 20s, I stand before you today, Mr. Speaker, as part of a demographic that has rarely been represented in this House.
    I attribute much of my success to the resilience I inherited from my pioneer ancestors and that burning motivation to fight for everyday Canadians against government agendas that are so often out of touch with the struggles facing everyday people. That is why I am truly honoured to represent my constituents of Kildonan—St. Paul.
    My riding has a rich heritage and holds a place of significance in our national history. That history is tied to the mighty Red River, which cuts straight through the middle of Kildonan—St. Paul. The river has been the lifeblood of the community for thousands of years, beginning with Treaty 1 first nations and later the Red River Métis and the Selkirk Settlers, and later the Polish, Ukrainian, German and Mennonite homesteaders of the early 20th century.
    More recently our community has welcomed many newcomers from India and the Philippines. Today Kildonan—St. Paul is a diverse constituency made strong by the contributions of young families, new Canadians, seniors, small business owners, tradesmen and women, and dozens of cultural and faith groups.
    However, what troubles me is how the throne speech and the priorities of the Liberal government therein are not reflective of the priorities of the Winnipeggers and the Manitobans I represent. What I heard at the doorstep over the better part of the last two years was a desire for a representative who would fight for everyday hard-working Canadians in my community, an MP who would make clear to the Liberal government that higher taxes, mountains of debt and endless deficits do not create economic prosperity but in fact put our country's social programs and the future financial security of Canadians at risk.
    Residents also expressed concerns for their environment, and top of mind is the North End Water Pollution Control Centre, which is at the very centre of my riding and processes 70% of Winnipeg sewage. It needs over $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades and is currently incapable of removing phosphorus to an acceptable degree from the treated sewage before it flows back into the Red River. As a result, there are impacts on the health of Lake Winnipeg, which, as all Manitobans know, has been choked with large algae blooms in the most recent years. Lake Winnipeg, the Red River and the Assiniboine River have shaped the history of Manitoba for thousands of years, and all three levels of government must come together to support this critical project.
    Also top of mind was the extension of Chief Peguis Trail from Main Street to Route 90, which would substantially increase the livability of northwest Winnipeg by reducing traffic on residential streets to accommodate walking, cycling and public transit, and increase traffic mobility by supporting the completion of the strategic inner ring road of Winnipeg. Unfortunately, despite running billions in deficits and collecting millions more in additional tax revenue, the Prime Minister and the government have largely ignored critical infrastructure projects in Manitoba.
    Winnipeggers are also looking at the federal government to take meaningful action to combat the meth crisis, which has wreaked havoc on Winnipeg in recent years, contributed to the dramatic increase in violent crime and contributed to its 44 murders in 2019, more than doubling from the year prior.

  (1110)  

    Our first responders and front-line community organizations are under tremendous stress as they deal with the heartbreaking and traumatic consequences of this crisis. I saw the dire need for action in our community first-hand when I went to an evening patrol with the Bear Clan, an indigenous-led grassroots community group that supports vulnerable people across our inner-city neighbourhoods in Winnipeg. That evening, a large bag of needles was found buried in a snowbank. Volunteers carefully collected them for safe disposal in bone-chilling -30°C weather, but the most shocking of all was when I looked up from our collection activities to see three young children peering down from a nearby second-storey window. I could not help but think how inviting this fluffy snowbank may have looked to these children as they walked to school or played outside.
    Last year, the Bear Clan picked up more than 145,000 used needles in Winnipeg's North End. The Liberal government committed to long-term, predictable funding to support the Bear Clan's efforts, and I very much hope the Minister of Indigenous Services will deliver on this commitment made by his predecessor.
    In addition to serving my constituents, I have also been given by my leader the responsibility of serving Canadians as the shadow minister for the new Department of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth. I am honoured to have earned this opportunity and I am committed to using this platform to advocate the inclusion of ethnically and racially diverse Canadians, freedom and equality of LGBTQ Canadians and a free, prosperous and healthy future for Canada's youth.
    The youth in Canada are facing challenges. Affordability was the number one concern I heard on the doorstep, and it is impacting young people in many alarming ways. My generation has the largest student loan debt in the history of Canada. We are well into our thirties when buying our first homes, if we do so at all, and we are working without reliable retirement plans in the gig economy. Our wages are largely frozen while the cost of living has increased dramatically, so it is no surprise that we are drowning in household debt and having fewer children, if any.
    Meanwhile, the baby boomers are aging into their retirement pensions and beginning to rely heavily on our health care and social services, which are already under tremendous strain. However, we have heard very little acknowledgement of these critical financial issues in the Liberal government's throne speech. Its multi-year, multi-billion-dollar deficit investments completely lack a strategic plan to secure my generation's financial future in the event of soaring interest rates or an economic downturn. The government is leaving us ill-equipped to deal with an uncertain and changing world, and every person in my generation will live with the consequences if we do not get it right.
    I will embrace my critic role by holding the government to account on behalf of my generation and young Conservatives across this country, and as my party and our country navigate the issues of the 2020s, I will fight for everyday Canadians. I will fight for freedom; for safety; for security; for health, peace and prosperity; and for a government that respects the rich fabric of beliefs of our country. I will as well fight for the priorities of my constituents in Kildonan—St. Paul. I will ensure their voices and priorities are heard loud and clear in this chamber.
    To conclude, I would like to acknowledge the people who helped get me here: my team. I thank all of the first-time and long-time volunteers who put in hundreds of hours on the campaign trail; my family, my parents and my two sisters, who have supported me in my dreams for decades; and most sincerely, I thank my fiancé Scott, who is in the gallery today. He was by my side back when being a member of Parliament was only a pipe dream.
    Family really is the most important thing, and in that regard I have been very blessed. I am working tirelessly to make them proud as I come to Ottawa to do what I came here to do, which is to fight for everyday Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, the member referred to fighting for Canadians. I am sure she would join with me and the Liberal caucus as we continue to deliver for Canadians from every region of this country.
    For example, this government has delivered tax breaks to Canada's middle class. This is a government that has lifted literally hundreds of thousands of both seniors and children out of poverty by enhancing the Canada child benefit and increasing the guaranteed income supplement. Many progressive measures have been incorporated in the past few years to advance Canada's middle class, making it healthier and stronger. Are these the types of policies that we can anticipate she will support?
    Further to that, today a motion was tabled to introduce the trade agreement for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Would she not agree that this is a positive step and something we should get behind?

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, I ask the member to consider the state of the Canadian economy under his government. About 71,000 Canadians lost their jobs in November, which I am sure he will remember. October 2019 had the highest number of personal bankruptcies in a decade, the most since the global financial crisis. Businesses like Encana are leaving Canada because of the government's tax hikes and harmful regulations. Investment in plants and equipment by Canadian businesses has fallen by 20% over the past five years, the worst performance in more than five decades. Foreign direct investment in Canada has fallen by 56% since this government came to power.
    In my speech I spoke a lot about the future of this country and the stakes that young people are facing. I encourage the member opposite to reconsider his remarks and think about the consequences of his government's reckless financial actions.
    Madam Speaker, I welcome the member for Kildonan—St. Paul to the House. I am very impressed with her first speech in this place.
    Last week, the NDP leader, the member for Burnaby South, put forward a proposal for a bill that would establish a national pharmacare plan, laying out a framework that operates much in the same way that the Canada Health Act does.
    In ridings right across this country, a lot people are struggling with the day-to-day costs of medication, and indeed many families are making the hard choice between paying the rent and utilities and paying for prescriptions.
    A letter was sent to the Conservative Party, inviting its members to join with us to establish this national framework. I would like to hear the member's thoughts on that proposal, as well as on how pharmacare costs impact her constituents.
    Madam Speaker, there are many seniors in my riding, and I have spoken to thousands of them over the last two years. I can say quite confidently that I agree seniors are facing serious financial consequences right now that are not being helped by the Liberal government's carbon tax, which, as we know, puts an increase on everything. Everything is transported into Winnipeg by fuelled trucks, which means the cost of groceries, gas, heating and any kind of transportation increases for seniors. Seniors are on incredibly fixed incomes. The CPP is not keeping up with inflation, and they are facing serious consequences. The Liberal government has done nothing for seniors but make life more expensive with things like the carbon tax.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on her speech. She made a lot of sense about a lot of things, including her local- and provincial-level concerns about infrastructure, social issues and youth. Those values are shared by most Canadians and most of the MPs here. However, most of these issues are not just regional but, about 90% of the time, local, and they fall under provincial jurisdiction, especially when it comes to infrastructure and health.
    With the federal government allocating some two-thirds of its budget to transfers, would my colleague agree that more money should be transferred to the provinces to fund those programs?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would support any measure that further supports Manitobans and the citizens in my riding. As I outlined in my speech, they are facing troubling economic times, particularly the youth. We are looking for a government that makes investments in the future of Canada that actually make reasonable impacts, lower taxes and keep the size of government small while we invest in critical infrastructure.
    All of the priorities I mentioned are for trilateral infrastructure funding from all three levels of government. It is important that all members in the House come together with the other two levels of government to fund critical infrastructure to build our nation for the next generation.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the chamber and address a number of concerns that I have.
    Here we are at the beginning of a new decade and I am feeling very optimistic, because over the last number of years we have seen a government in Canada that has had a very progressive attitude and has been able to deliver for Canadians in all regions of our country. Let there be no doubt that the priority of this government has been Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. That has been the case since day one, and even prior.
    I can recall that when the Prime Minister was elected leader of the Liberal Party, when we were the third party in the far corner of the House of Commons, he made it very clear in his leadership bid that his personal priority was the well-being of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, believing that by building Canada's middle class and giving it strength, we would have a healthier economy. We have seen that.
    The member opposite made reference to the fact that in the month of November, 70,000 people became unemployed. We need to look at what we have accomplished in the last four years. There are well over one million net new jobs in Canada's economy. That is far more than Stephen Harper ever achieved in his eight or nine years. We have accomplished a great deal.
    I will be splitting my time with the member for Hull—Aylmer.
     I was very proud to be sitting beside the Deputy Prime Minister just 20 minutes ago when she tabled a ways and means notice of motion dealing with the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement.
    Having said that, trade is important to Canada. This is one thing that adds value to our economy. In the last four years, the government has accomplished the signing of a significant number of trade agreements. We are talking about well over 25 or 30, with numerous countries. We have had a very aggressive and progressive movement toward trade agreements around the world because we know that Canada is very much dependent on world trade. That is one of the ways we can assist our middle class and grow our economy. We have seen that first-hand.
    I often make reference to the pork industry in the province of Manitoba and how that industry as a whole continues to grow and provide thousands of jobs there, whether in Brandon, Neepawa, the city of Winnipeg or throughout rural communities. This is the type of thing that has a real impact, and that is just one industry. These jobs, in good part, are there because of trade. Trade is critically important. That is why it was so encouraging to see the government put trade as a high priority.
    We look to the opposition members and particularly the Conservative Party, which has been a very strong advocate in past years for trade. We anticipate that the Conservatives will have the opportunity to go through the agreement and will continue to support trade with the United States. It is the same with the Bloc and the New Democrats. We understand and appreciate just how important this agreement is to Canada.
    We have talked about the issues brought forward in the last few years, and I made reference to a number of them in the question I put to the member for Kildonan—St. Paul. We dealt with them through positive, progressive social policies, and we have seen a continuation.

  (1120)  

    I could talk about the first bill that we brought in back in 2015, the tax break for Canada's middle class. At the same time, we increased taxes for Canada's wealthiest 1%. Four years later, we are seeing a decrease in taxes for Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars being put into the pockets of Canadians, adding to the disposable income of people across this country.
    In terms of the other benefits we have enhanced, the Canada child benefit is something members of the Liberal caucus will quite often talk about. As I have made reference to in the past, over $9 million a month goes into the riding of Winnipeg North alone to support children.
    We can talk about the increases to the guaranteed income supplement. We made a commitment to support some of our poorest seniors, those aged 75 and over, who are having a more difficult time, by looking into how we could further enhance their pensionable incomes. Over the next period of time, I look forward to seeing that realized. We understand how important it is to support young people and seniors in our communities.
    These sorts of investments and putting the money back in through tax breaks allow the disposable income in our communities to go up. When we do these things, disposable income is being spent in our communities. That helps to fuel the demand for jobs.
    That is why I believe, as I know my colleagues also believe, that having a healthy, strong middle class and building that middle class will add value to our economy and will make it stronger and healthier.
    Over the years, we have seen an ongoing commitment to capital investments such as our housing strategy, with billions of dollars being invested in the first-ever national housing strategy, a very tangible action that will have a profoundly positive impact on thousands of Canadians in every region of our country by recognizing the importance of housing.
    We can talk about infrastructure, whether it is roads or other types of community public facilities. Hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars have thus far been invested in our communities from coast to coast to coast.
    For the first time, we have a government that is prepared to negotiate with the provinces to achieve tangible results. We have seen that in the Canada pension program. Individuals who are working today will have more money when it comes time to retire because of an initiative we took a couple of years back.
    As a government, I truly believe we have recognized how important it is to invest in our social programs. If we were to canvass Canadians and ask them what makes them feel good about being a Canadian, more often than not I believe they would say, at least in Winnipeg North, that it is our health care system. People love our health care system. They believe in our health care system. The Canada Health Act provides the type of framework that Canadians are behind. The government is sending record amounts of health care dollars throughout our federation. Not only are we doing that, but we are now talking about how to come up with a pharmacare program.

  (1125)  

     I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years. For a vast majority of those years, we never heard about a national pharmacare program. It is only in the last four years it has been on the public agenda on virtually a weekly basis. If it were up to me, we would be having debate and discussion on a national pharmacare program every day, because it is something in which I genuinely believe. I suspect we will continue to receive the type of support we have seen from the New Democrats on pharmacare.
    Discussing how we might be able to expand it is something I am open to. I remember a few years ago, my daughter, who happens to be the MLA in an area I represent in Winnipeg North, and I made a commitment to continue to push the pharmacare issue. She has tabled petitions in the Manitoba legislature and I have tabled numerous petitions in the House of Commons on this issue. The reason is that I know how important it is for all Canadians that we continue to push this issue forward. I believe we have a united caucus within the government caucus to ensure we see a realization of a pharmacare program.
    I see my time has expired, so I will leave it at that.

  (1130)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague said that the middle class was a priority for the government. Back in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the middle class depends on the aluminum industry, supply management and forestry, three sectors that have taken a hit in every single trade agreement signed by previous governments.
    I have a simple question for my colleague: Will he support our party's initiative to revise the status of aluminum in the agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, what is encouraging to see is that within the free trade agreement, from what I understand and on which we are going to get a lot more information over the next couple of days, there are significant achievements that were not in the previous trade agreement. One of the biggest beneficiaries of those changes will be the aluminum industry as a whole.
     I often make reference to my historical roots going back to the province of Quebec. I am passionate about the province of Quebec, the jobs that are there and wanting to be able to protect them. I look forward to my colleague across the way participating and getting engaged in the debate on the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. I suspect he will find this agreement is actually better for the industry than the previous agreement. That is really what we should, at least in good part, be measuring it against. The constituents he represents will be better off as a direct result of this agreement.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member for some of the details of that agreement because, on this side of the House, we are struggling to find out what those details are. Maybe he can speak of the benefits to the aluminum, forestry and automotive sectors and at least give us some information on it.
    Madam Speaker, I am encouraged to hear the question. I know in the next couple of days we will see a lot more information coming out. Hopefully, this will provide the type of details that will give the member opposite and me a much better understanding of it. I do not know many of the details at this point in time.
    What I do know is that there are certain areas the opposition has raised with respect to the trade agreement. I had the opportunity to look into those areas and I found, from the research I did, that the agreement today is a better deal than what we had previously. That is something we consistently argued for. We wanted to get a good deal for Canadians.
    I am very optimistic and hopeful that, once we have all the details on the table, the Conservatives will work diligently to get a good comprehensive understanding of the agreement. I do believe, given their past, they will be inclined to support the agreement, as both the Liberals and Conservatives have worked relatively well together on trade agreements.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, the idea of national pharmacare goes back to the origins of our medicare system in the 1960s. For the member to suggest this has only been four years in the making in the House of Commons also proves a point. I would like to ask the member whether he felt that the members of the Liberal Party who have been proposing this since 1997 were actually making it up and not doing the proper thing in bringing in pharmacare. Were they just making it up? Was it a lie back then? Did the members not have good intentions? Did they finally wake up today and realize that this has been going on in our country for decades?
    Madam Speaker, as I indicated, I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years combined at the provincial and national levels. It is only in the last four or five years that the issue has come front and centre and has been extensively debated. I used to be the health care critic in the province of Manitoba and rarely during that period of time did it ever come up. Only in the last four years has it come up to the degree which it has and it is because of a lot of fine work by members on all sides of the House, not just one side. One side should not take credit.
    This is all about providing a good service to Canadians. It is all about Canada and serving Canadians on an issue that is important to them.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging all my colleagues in the House of Commons and wishing them a happy new year.
    This is my first chance to speak in this 43rd Parliament of Canada. I am very pleased to rise and speak to everyone, including all Canadians who are watching at home today.
    Before I begin my comments on the Speech from the Throne, I want to say that I think it is a remarkable document. It encourages parliamentarians to work together, just as Canadians called for in the last election. They want us to work together for the well-being of all Canadians.
    I want to thank my constituents in Hull—Aylmer. The riding of Hull—Aylmer is located just across the river from the House of Commons, in the Outaouais region of Quebec, where the Ottawa and the Gatineau Rivers meet. It is a special place. My constituents are proud of their historic city. They are well aware that, without Hull—Aylmer, there would be no Ottawa.
    In the early 19th century, Philemon Wright arrived from the United States and settled in this region to develop the lumber industry. This contributed to the creation of what has become the national capital region and the location of our Parliament.
    In fact, our region has been home to indigenous peoples for 8,000 years, well before the arrival of people from Europe or Africa. This is where indigenous peoples came to conduct trade, share stories and build a future together. This is why I think this is the right place for the Canadian Parliament. In our own way, we can work together to help Canadians.
    I am very proud to speak in support of the throne speech, which addresses some very important topics and political perspectives vital to Canada's well-being, now and in the future. Front and centre is climate action. There is nothing more important. We must focus on climate action to ensure that we leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a better world. I am very proud that we have committed Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050. Major national initiatives are required.
    As member of Parliament for Hull—Aylmer, I will be hosting a new public forum, similar to the 24 I hosted during the previous Parliament. This time around, climate action will be the overarching theme of these public forums.
    We are working with provincial and municipal representatives, key stakeholders like the Conseil régional sur l'environnement et le développement durable de l'Outaouais, and other individuals who work in this area. How can we better coordinate the efforts of individuals, businesses, key stakeholders and all levels of government? I hope that our region and my riding will achieve net-zero emissions well before 2050. This is very important and I will act accordingly.

  (1140)  

    I know that our government wants to work with all members and all parties to seriously tackle this issue. No action is too small, and we clearly have a duty to think of some big actions we can take to deal with this issue effectively. We are willing to collaborate with all members of the House to achieve this goal.
    The throne speech covers not only broad existential issues like climate change, but also the issue of Canada itself. How do we strengthen the middle class and help those working so hard to join it? My colleague from Winnipeg North stressed the importance of the Canada child benefit. He has been involved in federal and provincial politics for 30 years, and I know his memory on this is excellent.
    Back in 1988, I was a parliamentary page. I remember that, shortly after my year as a page, Parliament made a solemn pledge to end child poverty in Canada. That was in 1990, and the pledge was to do this within 10 years, by the year 2000. That was an initiative. It has been 30 years. For 25 of those 30 years, the poverty rate in Canada did not change. In 2015, however, our government launched an initiative for Canadians, the Canada child benefit. It was extraordinary. In just four short years, we reduced child poverty in Canada by a third and the overall poverty rate by a third as well. Now, over 300,000 young Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. If that is not one of an MP's most fundamental duties, I do not know what is. This is extraordinary.
    I was a little disappointed that some people voted against this, but I hope all members of the House will continue to support this program. If we were able to accomplish that much in four years, I hope we will be able to keep up this work. That is the commitment we made.
    Ensuring that we have a strong and durable economy is another thing that is very important in strengthening the middle class and those working hard to join it. We did that with the new NAFTA that we just signed and that the minister just tabled this morning. Once again, that is very important. Canada is not a huge country with a huge population, but we work hard. We are well aware that our prosperity depends fundamentally on building ties and international trade. That is what we just did with the new NAFTA, which will strengthen the jobs of millions of Canadians.
    We did not stop there. In the last Parliament, with the help of many members of the House, we also signed a free trade agreement with Europe, a market of 500 million people. Once again, that is extraordinary. I could talk about reconciliation with indigenous peoples, which is very important to my riding. A large percentage of people in my riding are members of the Algonquin nation. I could also talk about the health and safety of Canadians.
    In closing, I would simply like to tell all my colleagues that I think that this document is something that everyone can get behind. I hope I can count on the support of all my parliamentary colleagues to improve the lives of Canadians.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his speech.
    I have a great deal of respect for my colleague. However, we have a lot of problems to address.

[English]

    The government tabled a ways and means motion this morning on the USMCA deal, but it has very few details that parliamentarians can understand. I agree with my colleague that the Conservatives have always been supportive of free trade deals, but at a minimum we need to know what impact the USMCA is going to have on certain sectors of our economy like aluminum, the forestry sector or the automotive sector. Those details are scarce to this point.
    On behalf of Canadians and those that the parliamentary secretary says are going to benefit from this deal, I think we need to understand this a little better. I would like some more details from him on how it is going to benefit Canadians and the sectors that I spoke about.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly think the question the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil raises regarding CUSMA is an important one. The aluminum sector, for example, is a great example of how Canadians have come together.
    With this new deal, according to the reports that I have read in the papers, and we will see the details as they come out as we all examine the enabling legislation, we saw that the aluminum and steel sectors now have a rules of origin component, which guarantees that 70% of steel and aluminum will now be sourced in North America. We are not just slapping a sticker on an import from somewhere else in the world. I am speaking about products produced in Canada. This has never happened before. The aluminum sector has never had this kind of guarantee. This is a clear win. This is why we see aluminum producers very strongly supporting this deal.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to reassure our colleagues in the government that members of the Bloc Québécois are basically in favour of any free trade agreement that benefits Quebec's economy.
    However, the Bloc Québécois also takes a good look at the details of any agreement being negotiated to see what impact it might have. When we talk about steel and aluminum, which were again mentioned just now, steel is protected from the moment it is melted and poured, but not aluminum. Those are the kind of details I am talking about. It is important to look at the long-term consequences. Let's not forget that supply management was sacrificed.
    I am having more and more meetings with stakeholders from the dairy industry. I was dismayed to realize that Canada even agreed to limit what we export to countries other than the United States. It is unheard of. They want to try to pass a bill, an agreement, without discussing it. As a function of democracy, is it essential to go over each clause in committee to consider the consequences to the economy.

  (1150)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Berthier—Maskinongé for his question, and I would also like to welcome him to the House of Commons.
    First, I would like to set the record straight. People in the steel and aluminum sector have clearly stated that they support the bill. Unlike the former agreement, this one guarantees for the first time that steel and aluminum will be produced here in North America. They have never had that guarantee. In fact, 70% of steel and aluminum to be used must originate in Canada, the United States or Mexico. The U.S. and Mexico do not really have an aluminum sector, but Canada does. Quebec's Liberal MPs worked very hard to ensure the protection and promotion of our aluminum industry.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
    It is a great honour to be back in the House, having been re-elected to this 43rd Parliament by the great people of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. Since this is my first speech in this Parliament, I want to take this opportunity to thank them for the trust that they have again placed on my shoulders and the huge responsibility that comes with it.
    I am very lucky to be representing such a beautiful riding, which is a 4,700 square kilometre part of Vancouver Island filled with such amazing communities, such as Chemainus, down through Duncan, extending south to the city of Langford, extending out west through Lake Cowichan and including the community of Port Renfrew. It is home to the only Mediterranean-style climate in all of Canada. We are blessed to be able to grow a variety of crops and, indeed, we have a very storied and rich agricultural history in my region. It is also home to many first nations, including Cowichan tribes, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt, Malahat in the south and the western communities. These are communities that, of course, existed in this place for thousands of years with the first peoples. I have learned much over the last four years serving as their member of Parliament. I will continue to lean on them for guidance and their teachings as we chart a path forward with true reconciliation.
    I would also like to take this time to welcome the class of 2019 to this place. I remember my own experience as a new member of Parliament four years ago, and it can seem quite overwhelming. However, new members should never forget that the people of their ridings sent them here. They placed their trust on their shoulders and every single seat in this place represents a distinct and unique geographic part of Canada. I think all members of Parliament, even though we may have our disagreements, have to respect that first and foremost. The electors are never wrong.
    When I look at the election results in my riding and take the aggregate of the vote for all of the parties, I see that there was a clear desire for the people of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford to see action on climate change, housing and health care, because the three parties that came out with a huge margin all spoke in their platforms about commitments to those three things. Some platforms had placed varying degrees of importance but, nonetheless, people saw those three items in the parties' platforms, and that is what they responded to.
    I would like to start with the issue of climate change. There is absolutely no doubt that this is the top issue of the 21st century. I do not need to repeat everything that has been said in the House in the previous Parliament and the one before that. We are now at a point where, last year, we had a letter from over 11,000 scientists from around the world, in over 150 countries, warning policy-makers that this has to be the top issue and that we have to measure our success with scientifically verifiable targets. Unfortunately, the debates in this place have so often centred simply on the carbon tax, which all experts in this area will acknowledge is just a very tiny part of what our overall response to climate change has to be.
    When we start talking about the cost of climate change, what is conveniently left out of the conversation is the economic cost of unmitigated climate change. We have heard experts peg the figure at around 10% of the world's GDP. When we start talking about that figure, we are not talking about billions of dollars but trillions of dollars. Therefore, I would ask people who are fighting against the carbon tax: How much of our nation's tax revenues are they prepared to spend when we are fighting wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta? How much future tax revenues are we prepared to spend to save Vancouver International Airport from rising tides, sea levels and floods coming down the Fraser River?
    Canada is a coastal nation. We have the longest coastline in the world, and many of our people live and work in coastal communities. Therefore, we have to find ways as a nation to start meeting those targets and acknowledge our responsibility for the way we have lived for the last several decades, but to also be a leader and show that there is a way. Simply talking about climate change is not enough, because the other big threat facing Canada is growing inequality.

  (1155)  

    The other thing I clearly learned over my last four years as a member of Parliament, but also on the doorsteps of my riding, is that environmental justice will never happen unless we also have economic justice and social justice.
    We can go to the doorsteps of people who are struggling to pay the bills, who are wondering whether they are going to have a job next month and whether they are going to be able to make that hard choice between rent and utilities and putting good quality food on the table. Unless we have a comprehensive climate change plan that includes a place for the most disadvantaged members of our society, it will not work.
    We have to have a just transition plan. We have to have this all wrapped up. We need to have, in a sense, what people are referring to as a green new deal, one that tackles all these in a comprehensive plan. Simply leaving it to private citizens and the goodwill of corporations, while important, is not going to be enough. We know we are now at a stage where we have to start treating this seriously.
    I would like to move on to health care because that was the other big thing. The NDP, through the last election, committed to a national pharmacare plan. We want to stand by our promise, unlike the Liberals who first made the promise back in 1997. I would like to just correct the record there.
    However, another big thing is a dental care plan. I think a national dental care plan will make a huge difference for people. I listened to members of my caucus speaking to their constituents. We have all met people who are embarrassed by the state of their teeth. They even have to hold their hands over their mouths because they are embarrassed by the state of their teeth.
    We know that good oral health is very important to good overall health. It is actually a class thing, because people who are well off have healthy teeth but people who are living in poverty have really bad teeth. The best way we can make an impact on people's lives is to make sure that we are covering things like dental care and pharmacare, while not putting people in the unfortunate position of having to make tough choices.
    It is all well and good to talk about tax breaks but if those tax breaks are only benefiting people who need them the least, while not identifying the true costs to people who are living in the margins and on the bottom rungs of our society, we are not going to make it forward as a nation.
    I have to talk about the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis continues to ravage my community. Every day in the city of Duncan people can go to one part of the city and see it there in front of them. It is a constant reminder to residents of the failure so far of federal policy.
    Unless we, as a nation, are prepared to have these difficult conversations about whether we engage in policies that establish a safe drug supply and commit ourselves to decriminalization for small amounts, we are not going to move forward. The agencies that are trying to provide help are still operating under the shackles of current federal policy.
    We are at a breaking point, from the business owners who have to deal with it every day, to the RCMP that have made over 300 calls in a calendar year, to the people who are trying to revive people suffering from an overdose. They are suffering from compassion fatigue. They are suffering from burnout. Unless we have the federal resources necessary to properly deal with this problem, we are still going to be talking about it.
     We are dealing with an epidemic and it requires us to call a national health emergency. It requires Ottawa to step up to the plate to provide the funding necessary for the provinces and communities like mine to effectively deal with this problem.
    I will end by acknowledging that I am very proud to once again serve as my party's agriculture critic. I look forward to working with all parties in the House to advance policies that will benefit our farmers.
    I also would like to acknowledge that we are in a minority Parliament and how different and wonderful it is from the previous Parliament. Unlike having the government dictate to us in the opposition which way we are going to proceed, it is now going to require a lot of goodwill and good-faith negotiations to sometimes put aside our differences to make sure that we are serving the interests of this nation.

  (1200)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his characteristically impassioned speech.
    He said two or three times that the environment is a priority. The throne speech also sets out that the environment is an absolute priority and includes several measures, which my colleague mentioned.
    My question is simple: Does he agree with our government that not only must we work together to come up with good environmental measures, but we must also consider the economy in order to intelligently advance the environmental file and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I very much agree with the words that are being uttered in this place with regard to the environment, but I also have to stand here and judge the government on its actions.
    I appreciate the commitments that were made in the throne speech toward addressing climate change, but it has to be noted in this place that in the previous Parliament the government authorized the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. That project is directly affecting coastal British Columbia and is going to triple our exports of diluted bitumen.
    Here we are in the year 2020, and we are continuously investing in fossil fuel infrastructure and expansion when all around us climate scientists are telling us we have to put the brakes on these kinds of investments. We have to find a way, more importantly, for the oil and gas workers to engage and adjust transition strategy.
    I would encourage that member's government to listen to organizations like Iron and Earth, which is made up of oil workers who understand that their industry will not be around forever. They want the government to engage in a transition plan here and now, so we can take this problem by the horns and start dealing with it with the urgency it deserves.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly sympathize. In December 2018, we had an emergency debate in this place on the opioid crisis. Since that time, one of my communities, Princeton, has had Canada's highest number of deaths per capita from opioid overdoses. The member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country stated that this is an urgent issue in her community, and my community as well because I do represent part of Kelowna.
    I want to ask the hon. member whether he has seen the so-called funding flow through in a way that tangibly affects his riding, and whether he thinks the government has done a good job on this front.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, the short answer is no. I believe in budget 2017 there was a funding commitment made of about $100 million over five years. That is just a drop in the bucket compared with the status of the crisis that we are facing.
    As I said in my speech, we are at a state now where RCMP, first responders to the situation, are suffering compassion fatigue and total burnout. The problem is there in my community as a constant daily reminder of the failure of federal policy.
    I implore the Liberal government to start treating this like the crisis it is. Declare a national health emergency, free up the federal resources and allow us to properly tackle this crisis. Give the people the help they so deserve.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to respond to the Liberal government's Speech from the Throne.
    I would like to begin by quoting Edmond Rostand, who would have this to say about it: That's too brief, young man! The throne speech is silent on quite a few subjects, especially subjects of interest to Quebeckers. In fact, the word “Quebec” does not appear even once. That is a singular omission on the part of a minority government that would have done well to pay more attention to Quebec's needs and interests in the throne speech. Unfortunately, it did not. The speech is long on rhetoric, hot air, good intentions and lip service but short on details, clarity and firm commitments in several areas, except where it suits the Liberals.
    For years, the Liberals have been promising money for the national housing strategy and the fight against homelessness. Unfortunately, people on the ground know that the federal government provides precious few resources and refuses to make the kind of concrete commitments that allow projects to move forward and housing co-ops and affordable and low-income housing to get built. The housing issue is of vital importance to many Canadians and Quebeckers because it is many families' biggest expense. Right now, people are struggling to find adequate housing. The Liberals have said a lot of nice things about housing over the past few years but, sadly, have done very little.
    In Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, one-third of households spend more than 30% of their income on housing. In my riding, one in three families is literally at or below the poverty line. We all know that, as a rule, people should expect to spend 30% of their income on housing.
    There is currently just one social housing project, unfortunately, and this project will soon come to an end. There is no plan for what comes next. How is that possible? The government has been going on for four years about how housing is a priority and how we need to build affordable and social housing. Nothing ever happens, because the federal government bickers with the Quebec government over which government should put its flag and logo on the project.
    The NDP thinks that real action is needed to ensure access to affordable housing. The Liberals need to stop bickering with the Quebec government and transfer the funds. The Quebec government would then be able to implement the AccèsLogis program, through which projects could actually help people. I am sick of the bickering between Ottawa and Quebec at the expense of the poorest families, individuals and workers in my riding and across Quebec. The budget will soon be tabled, so now is the time to free up the money. This is urgent. We need this.
    Also, I am not sure where the member for Winnipeg North has been for the past 25 years. He said we have been talking about pharmacare for the past four years, but I would remind him that it was in the Liberal platform of 1997. It was also part of the discussion when medicare was first introduced in this country in the 1960s. That was just a little refresher for my colleague from Winnipeg North. The Liberals are still talking about pharmacare, but we need to see whether there will ever be more than just consultations and reports. Are they ever going to actually implement anything?
    Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal public health care system without a universal public pharmacare system to go with it. This is an anomaly. This means that Canadians and Quebeckers pay some of the highest prices for prescription drugs. This is slightly less problematic in Quebec, since we have a hybrid regime that is administered by the Quebec government. However, it also poses significant problems for many people who sometimes have to make really tough choices, like paying for their medication or paying for their groceries. When people do not take all their medication as prescribed, it can cause illnesses to progress more rapidly and force people back to work too soon. It can lead to other health problems and additional costs for the health care system.
    The NDP believes it is high time that the Canada Health Act included a principle emphasizing the importance of a complete, free and universal pharmacare program and indicating that this is one of our society's values because we want to take care of people. That is not the case right now and people are suffering because of it. This issue is a priority for the NDP.

  (1210)  

    Many large groups in Quebec are calling for such a program because they understand the difference it could make in people's lives. Quebec's three major unions, the FTQ, the CSN and the CSQ, are calling for this program, as are many civil society groups, such as the Union des consommateurs du Québec. They are saying that it would make a difference in people's lives if we had a universal public pharmacare program managed by the provinces and the Government of Quebec, obviously.
    Last year, I met with people who are directly affected by the lack of such a principle or federal program, for example, retail workers and unionized workers at Métro, Provigo and Loblaws. They work part time for a modest wage and have to contribute to their employer's drug plan. In Quebec, this supplemental health care coverage is not optional; it is mandatory. People cannot choose to opt for the public plan. They are required to contribute to the private plan. Those contributions cost many workers up to 25% of their income.
    I met a young worker, about 25, who told me that for every month he works, his first week's salary goes entirely toward the drug plan offered by his employer. Public universal pharmacare would considerably change the life of someone like that. It would simplify collective bargaining for many groups. For that individual, it would mean a 25% increase in pay. That is not nothing. Not only would that worker's drug costs be covered, but his take-home pay would also get him much further ahead.
    For all these reasons, we are telling the Liberal government that it is time to take action. According to the Hoskins report released a few months ago, this is a good thing that has been studied at length, and our society needs it. We at the NDP are saying that it is time to move forward and take this seriously, and we will be here to support the government if it comes up with something public and universal.
    The other thing we wanted to see in the Speech from the Throne is dental care coverage. That would be another tangible way to help people in their lives.
    We have a medicare system—thanks to the NDP, by the way—that is highly appreciated but that is not comprehensive because some parts of the body are not covered. That is rather bizarre. It is as though we collectively decided that our heart and arms would be insured, but that our eyes and teeth would not. There is no logic to it. Having to pay a dentist to provide care and ensure good dental hygiene also represents a considerable cost for many people.
    Dental coverage would make a big difference in people's lives at a cost almost equivalent to the amount of the tax cut that the Liberal government has announced—a tax cut that will again benefit the wealthiest in our society.
    They could have used that money, which amounts to a little less than one billion, or about $800 or $850 million, to provide dental care to all Quebeckers and Canadians. We, the New Democrats, would not make the same choices the Liberal government did.
    We hope the government will be able to implement public pharmacare and dental care. We also hope the government will increase the federal contribution for early childhood care. Quebec needs 42,000 more ECE spots, in publicly funded day cares. We hope the federal government will be willing to give Quebec's ECE system a boost, so that families can get their children into affordable day care.
    I only have a minute left, which is not enough time to talk about the climate emergency and the fact that this government is once again saying one thing and doing the opposite. We in the NDP condemn the decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This decision completely flies in the face of the federal government's pledges to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
    We are eager to see how the government reacts to the new Frontier oil sands project. If the government is serious about setting more ambitious targets for 2030, I hope that it will take measures that are consistent and logical with that goal, which is something the entire population is calling for, especially our youth.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the passion the member has with respect to the pharmacare program. This program has been hotly discussed and has come to the forefront in the last four to five years. The New Democrats are very much in support of the program. The government caucus in the last number of years has been very supportive of the program. As a government, we have taken initiatives. We have allocated significant amounts of money, hundreds of millions, to further advance the idea. A standing committee dealt with the issue and came up with recommendations. An advisory council looked at this. We are moving forward.
    I am often told that at times some New Democrats are like Liberals in a hurry. At the end of the day, it is possible. Would the member not agree that a majority of the members in the House in fact support a national pharmacare program of some form? Would he not agree with that statement?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to see some action. I would like folks to get some concrete help. I urge the Liberal government to tax web giants, raise taxes on banks and go after tax havens. That will give it the money to take care of Canadians.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member raised a lot of questions about pharmacare with respect to the Liberal plan. My question is simple. Does he have any confidence at all that the Liberals will be able to implement a pharmacare plan?

[Translation]

     Madam Speaker, the question is simple, but the answer may be complex.
    We are in a minority government situation. In the past, we have been disappointed by the Liberals, who broke their promises over and over. We know this story well. We have already seen it play out many times, as everyone knows. This time, with everyone acting in good faith, I hope we will actually be able to move forward.
    Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
    I am wondering about the consistency of the NDP position on climate change, specifically regarding the situation facing the Wet'suwet'en people, hydraulic fracturing activities in British Columbia and its liquefied natural gas program. As I see it, the NDP government in British Columbia is really supporting a project that is bad for the environment and goes against the interests of indigenous peoples.
    I am wondering what the federal NDP's position is.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her very pertinent question.
    In the previous Parliament, the NDP introduced Bill C-262, which was passed by this House, to ensure that all federal laws are aligned with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This federal NDP initiative is therefore completely consistent with that objective.
    The leader of the NDP has often said that the future of economic development does not lie in hydraulic fracturing. We believe that each project should be assessed individually to see whether it fits in with a real plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this specific case, the B.C. government found that it was feasible.
    All the reports from Environment and Climate Change Canada have confirmed that the federal government is going to miss the 2030 targets set by the Conservative government. In this context, it would be impossible to consider new projects at the federal level, since we cannot even meet the Conservatives' targets.

  (1220)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, one of the aspects of universal pharmacare is that it can also be a good addition to our economy. With the time the member has, I would like him to touch on how supporting workers and employment in the pharmacare program could increase investments in Canada. Instead of employers getting large subsidies that go to their shareholders, would it not be better for them to go to the employees, because the employees are Canadians and Quebeckers?

[Translation]

     Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Windsor for his very good question.
    That would indeed help workers. They would have more income and would spend more, which would help the local economy. It could also attract investments. As we saw in the past with medicare, the cost of local drug coverage can be a very heavy burden for businesses to bear. This type of program could also attract investors to the country.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to acknowledge that we are meeting today on the traditional territory of the Algonquin nation. I will use my time in maiden speech to speak, on behalf of our government, to the Speech from the Throne.
    It is an honour to stand in the House today as the member of Parliament for the great riding or Orléans.

[Translation]

    I would like to wish a happy new year to all my colleagues, the people of Orléans and Ontario and all Canadians.

[English]

    Orleans represents the best of Canada and what it means to be a Canadian. It is a community where people stand by one another, where francophones, anglophones, francophiles and allophones work toward a common goal: to make their community, their province and their country the best place to live, to work, to raise a family and to build a better tomorrow.
    It has been my home for 20 years, and I am honoured to represent Orléans in the House.

[Translation]

    It is truly a great honour to be a member of this House.

[English]

    Canada has made incredible progress since 2015, and the Speech from the Throne detailed a pact to build on that progress. I look forward to working with all members in a co-operative and collaborative fashion to make it happen.
    Before I speak to that, I want to take a moment to thank my family.

[Translation]

    I would not be here if not for the unconditional support of my family.

[English]

    My husband Alvaro and I met when we were both 18 years old, more than 30 years ago. He is still the love of my life. He has supported my ideas, my aspirations and the dreams we have along the way. His support and his love are only matched by his tireless work, and he deserves more recognition and thanks than I can put into words.
     We are blessed with a daughter, Monica. I am thankful for her love, her patience and her understanding. My daughter is a fierce competitor. I realized this when I managed her hockey team. She was the best goalie in the league and she gave everything she had in every single game. She has approached almost everything with the same dedication and that has been an inspiration to me.

[Translation]

    I want to thank Monica for her understanding and support. I could not be more proud of her than I am today, especially when I see the woman she has become.

[English]

    I also want to mention my parents, Monique and Royal.

[Translation]

    I would be remiss if I failed to mention the love and support they have given me from the beginning of this extraordinary adventure.

[English]

    I thank them for their unwavering support.

[Translation]

    I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank my brother, Jean-François, and his family, and my many aunts, uncles and cousins, who have helped me over the past few years.

  (1225)  

[English]

    Election campaigns are a team sport and my loyal, dedicated volunteers are the best team anyone could ask for, if I say so myself. They gave me their time, their hard work and their confidence, and I want to thank them for believing in me.
    I know the sacrifices the members of my core team, and they know who they are, made and I am eternally grateful.

[Translation]

    I once again want to thank the people of Orléans from the bottom of my heart for the trust they placed in me by allowing me to become their voice here in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Last, but certainly not least, I want to recognize the people of Orléans who voted for me and those who did not. I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me. I will be a voice for everyone in our community and I will do my very best to earn their trust every day.

[Translation]

    I would therefore like to take this opportunity that has been given to me today in the House to talk a little bit about myself and my community, which I have the honour of representing here—and before this at Queen's Park, since June 2014.

[English]

    I would like to take this opportunity to tell the House a bit about myself and especially my community.
    As a businesswoman with a background in social work, I know the importance of investing in the public services upon which Canadians rely. I began my career as a social worker with the Children's Aid Society before moving on to work at CHEO, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, because I was looking for an opportunity to help people. I love my work with young people, but when I moved to the Ottawa Hospital, I started helping seniors transition into long-term care and retirement residences, and I discovered my true passion.
    I saw that there was a huge gap in services for seniors. There was no long-term care in the area and I had to send seniors away from their families and communities to receive the services they needed. At that time it became very clear to me that government can be a force for good, actually must be a force for good, and help people when and where they need it most.
    Having found my true calling in the retirement sector, I took a big leap and built and ran a retirement residence in Orléans called Portobello Manor, le Manoir Portobello. It was hard work but it was worth it. It operates to this day serving the seniors in Orléans.
    Most of my career has been about those among us who are most vulnerable: the young and the aging. I know the impact government can have on their lives. I decided to get involved in politics to help ensure the impact of government is a positive one. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I am here to represent our community, most importantly to listen.

[Translation]

    I am here today to humbly say that I am ready to listen and to act in the best interests of the people of Orléans.

[English]

    Orléans has seen enormous change in recent years. It used to be mostly rural. It is now a vibrant urban area as more families join me in choosing Orléans as their place to call home.
    My community has a strong, vibrant and growing francophone community, the largest in Ottawa. The riding has one of the highest populations of francophones in Ontario, with more than 36% speaking French as their first language.

[Translation]

    I am extremely proud of my Franco-Ontarian roots. I was born at the Montfort Hospital, and I am deeply humbled to once again represent this community as a federal MP.

  (1230)  

[English]

    In addition to being bilingual, we are lucky to have a rich multicultural community in Orleans. Canadians know the value of diversity. To quote our Prime Minister, “Our country strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.”
    Orléans has so much to offer and it is such a great place to live, in many ways thanks to the record of the past Liberal government. Over the last four years alone, the government has stood up for Franco-Ontarians in supporting francophone communities with the historic investment of $2.7 billion in education, infrastructure, kindergarten and other key sectors.
    Just last Wednesday I was thrilled to stand beside my friend the hon. Minister of Official Languages as she announced funding for Ontario's first French-language university that will give thousands of students the chance to pursue their education in the official language of their choice, en français.

[Translation]

    Together with its partners, the government has also begun crucial work to improve the Phoenix pay system so public servants receive the proper pay for their important work. The backlog has been reduced to about 200,000 transactions since the beginning of 2018. We have also distributed $1.5 billion in retroactive pay to employees.
    Orleans has a lot of public servants. The pay pod model has very successfully reduced the backlog. All 46 organizations served by the pay centre now operate under this model.

[English]

    Our government has also worked to ensure that parks, pathways, buildings and bridges are maintained here in Ottawa by investing over $55 million in the National Capital Commission, all the while contributing $1.15 billion toward the second stage of the Ottawa light rail transit project, which will soon provide service all the way to Trim Road in our community. This investment stands to better connect the people in our city, taking cars off the road and keeping the air we breathe cleaner.

[Translation]

    I am proud of that record, but I also know there is still a lot of work to do.

[English]

    This is a record of which I am proud, but I know there is much more work to be done. The people in my community expect us to work together and find solutions to our common challenges.
     I spoke to thousands of my constituents on their doorsteps during the election. I am sure many of my colleagues did the same. I heard from young, hard-working families who are still finding it difficult to make ends meet. I told them that our government has a plan to make it a little easier to raise their kids by boosting the Canada child benefit by 15%.
    I also heard from many business owners that finding skilled workers has been a challenge. I was proud to tell them of our plan to get more young women and men into the skilled trades and apprenticeships.
    As the member of Parliament for Orléans, I will fight for my community, its goals and aspirations. For example, the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans, MIFO, is seeking funding for a new facility. MIFO is more than just a community centre. It is a music school, a day camp, a preschool and an art gallery. It offers children and youth services and is an active living centre for people 50-plus, all the while employing more than 350 people. It has grown by 182% in the last 10 years and has outgrown its current building and facilities. Therefore, securing federal funding to expand this vital institution is among my top priorities.
    My previous work has given me a unique understanding of the need for a strengthened pension plan. I have seen the reality of the financial hardships our seniors face. We have an aging population and those people who have built this society for us deserve to retire and live with dignity. Residents in my community told me at the door that they are worried about their retirement. I was happy to tell them that our government plans to introduce legislation to increase old age benefits by 10% and raise CPP survivor benefits by 25%.
    Another big aspect of the campaign was climate change and our environment. Our community has one of the largest memberships of Ecology Ottawa.

  (1235)  

[Translation]

    My being here to acknowledge the impact of climate change is vitally important. Orleans has been through tornadoes and floods, which have affected our community's economy, Ottawa's economy and our country's economy.

[English]

    I was happy to talk about our plan for the environment and climate change. Whether it is building 5,000 new charging stations or planting two billion new trees in the next 10 years, these are some of the things Orléans residents expect me to bring forward in this House.
    In the short time that I have been here, I have been inspired by the commitment, compassion and talent of my colleagues on both sides of this House. We must hold each other to a higher standard, act with dignity and work to improve the lives of all Canadians everywhere.
    Let us put evidence before ideology and partnership before partisanship. There is a common ground to be found. We can help create new jobs and a better climate for business. We can protect the environment, and we can help build a better future for all Canadians.

[Translation]

     As I reflect on my last five years, and most recently with my election at the federal level, I know that people in my community expect me to be a vocal representative and address their local and international concerns.

[English]

    I am proud to support this Speech from the Throne, and I believe the vote on it will happen some time today. I am proud to support a government and a Prime Minister with a plan to keep building Canada up.

[Translation]

    I want to conclude my speech today by saying that I am very proud to have the good sense to support not only this throne speech, but also a government and a Prime Minister who are proposing a positive plan to keep building a strong and prosperous Canada.
    I will focus on improving infrastructure in Orleans through targeted projects. I would also like to explore possible solutions and continue developing a meaningful climate action plan that focuses on the environment. We know that businesses and employers face some challenges. As a former businesswoman, I can relate to the employers in my community.
     We owe it to our children, grandchildren and grandparents to work together and keep building a prosperous Canada.

[English]

    I thank everyone for listening to me for 20 minutes on my first time standing in this House. It has been an honour.

[Translation]

    It appears that I still have some time remaining. I will continue, since I do not think a politician has ever turned down an extra two minutes to speak.
    I would like to talk about specific challenges. We sometimes forget what we all have in common here.

[English]

    Each and every one of us has been elected to represent our community, and we are proud to come here and share our thoughts. When I reflect on the Speech from the Throne, I would like to believe that most of us in this House can say there is one thing that we feel confident our communities are looking for. In this Parliament, we collectively, although in a minority, the people of Canada have given us a strong mandate to move forward on issues that matter to them.

  (1240)  

[Translation]

    There will be debates, of course, but I hope that we will always remain respectful of each other.
    I think it is important to focus on what brings us together.

[English]

    I like to believe that with the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP, the Green Party and the independent member, with the great family of our Liberal friends, we can show Canadians that we can advance things that matter to them.
    Madam Speaker, oftentimes in the last Parliament, Liberals spoke about evidence-based decision-making. However, evidence-based decision-making is what they agree with only when it agrees with their ideology.
    The people of Barrie—Innisfil sent me to Parliament because they were quite concerned. I know that the hon. member for Orléans came from the provincial government in Ontario. She spent five years under Kathleen Wynne, where we saw wasteful spending, reckless debt and endless deficits. In fact, in Ontario, we are facing $350 billion in debt. That is $40 million a day more than we were spending and billions of dollars in deficits.
    Can the member honestly say, coming from that scenario in Ontario, that she is proud of the $800 billion in debt that we are at now, and the $27 billion in deficits that are ongoing and that are going to continue to grow under the Liberal government? How is that sustainable?
    Madam Speaker, I like to look at the evidence. I know the member for Barrie—Innisfil mentioned this, but I always say the one thing that cannot lie is numbers. In the past four years, the Liberal government has created more than a million jobs.
    Let us now focus on our economy. We had the lowest unemployment rate in the past 40 years. When I went to the doors of my constituents, at every door I was told we need to continue to invest. For me, it is about investing. I come from a business background, and sometimes money needs to be spent to better the lives of people. That is what we are doing.
    I look at the record of the Ontario Liberals on cap and trade. I am sorry to say that this measure was cancelled by the Ford government, and $1.9 billion of revenue was forgone. If we want to talk about good business, I am proud to stand in this House as a federal Liberal member to continue our good progress.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from across the way for her fine speech.
    She asks us who we were elected for. Every morning when I get up, I see a little note on my nightstand that says, “Who do you work for?” True story. I work for the people of Lac-Saint-Jean, an area where the aluminum industry is very important. Every time the aluminum file has come up in the House since the 43rd Parliament began, it has been plain to me that the Liberals do not understand the agreement they signed. It does not protect aluminum from North America, but rather parts made from aluminum. That means Mexico will get to import the world's dirtiest aluminum from China and manufacture parts that will flood the U.S. market.
    Now that I have explained it, does my colleague understand the aluminum file any better?

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean.
     I visited his riding years ago. I am always very grateful to the people of Lac-Saint-Jean. I am proud to see that you are representing them here.
    Yes, without a doubt, aluminum—
    I must remind the hon. member to address her remarks to the Chair, not to the member directly.
    The hon. member for Orléans.
    I apologize, Madam Speaker.
    I would like to point out to my hon. colleague that in the negotiations of these past few years, the government took a strong stand in that we wanted to include something that we did not have before in the new NAFTA. With respect to aluminum, there was previously no minimum percentage, but now this agreement sets out a minimum of 70%. That is a good thing for the aluminum industry.
    I know that this is still a concern, but I believe that if my colleague were to speak to those responsible in the sector, he would see that this is a major decision for the people of Quebec and of Lac-Saint-Jean.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Orléans for her speech, the tone of her remarks and her openness.
    However, the NDP wants to see firm commitments and concrete action. There is a climate emergency and young people are asking us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We are not going to meet our targets for 2030. The Liberal government has agreed to the Trans Mountain expansion and is considering new projects like the Frontier project proposed by Teck Resources Ltd.
    Will she undertake to eliminate subsidies for oil companies and not consider any new oil and gas projects until we are on track to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. I am very proud that we put a price on carbon. It was an important measure for the net zero emissions target we committed to reach by 2050. Our action plan is designed to achieve that target. What is more—I hope my colleague will mention this—in our election campaign we promised to plant two billion trees. That will help us meet our ambitious targets.
    As I said in my speech, I understand full well the importance of climate change, because that is something that came up at the doors. My role here is to continue what we started and to improve on it.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her very interesting speech. I learned a lot about her region, which I was not very familiar with. She impressed me a great deal with her knowledge about some of the topics we discussed here today.
    I would like the hon. member to say a few words about our government's investments. We have made major investments in infrastructure across the country, from east to west. These numerous investments have helped create jobs. The hon. member pointed out that more than one million jobs have been created. She also noted that we have the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. These are very interesting, very important things that the Conservatives often forget to mention.
    Can the hon. member explain how investments in infrastructure helped Ontario, and her riding in particular?
    Dear colleague, I thank you very much for that question. It gives me the opportunity to talk—
    Members must address their remarks to the Chair and not directly to other members.
    The hon. member for Orléans.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak on this subject, which is very important.
    When we talk about what Canadians need, every community mentions the infrastructure deficit. Looking at our platform and what has been done in recent years, I was proud to see $182 billion invested in infrastructure over 12 years. My community and the Ottawa area have benefited from that. I can talk about Orléans. For instance, there is phase 2 of the light rail system, which now goes to Trim Road. It was the Liberal government that provided 50% of the funding for the light rail extension from Place d'Orléans to Trim Road.
    We can talk about roads too. I am proud to say that we have doubled the tax funding for municipalities. Unfortunately, that is something that Ontario has not supported. I do not know about all the provinces yet. I can talk specifically about Ontario, and perhaps Quebec, and I am proud. I am really proud that our government is supporting the provinces, if they want to be at the table, the municipalities and the people of Canada with this much-needed investment. We are talking about schools and help for young children. We are making a lot of investments and I am certainly proud of that.

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
    I am pleased to be taking part in the debate on the Speech from the Throne at the start of the 43rd Parliament.
    I would first like to thank the people of Lévis—Lotbinière for putting their trust in me. I am representing them in the House of Commons for the fifth time. It is a great privilege to serve a community that is as dynamic and visionary as the one we are all proudly part of in Lévis—Lotbinière.
    My team and I are passionately committed to working tirelessly in our riding throughout the 43rd Parliament to provide personal and attentive service to every constituent who needs our assistance and to take concrete action that meets their needs. I would like to thank my wife, Chantal, my family and all the volunteers who proudly participated, directly or indirectly, in the democratic exercise of the federal election.
    Today, I am debating the Speech from the Throne. It is no surprise that this is a speech reflecting the Liberal values of a minority government that is walking on eggshells and needs to be very carefully watched at all times. You will have guessed that I am referring to the SNC-Lavalin scandal. As I was telling the House on Friday, December 6, the Liberal government, true to form, is standing in the way of the RCMP investigators.
    We all know this government is sort of reaching out to the right but that it tends to lean much more to the left, though without any firm conviction. The worst part is this Liberal government's deplorable lack of vision for sustaining and stimulating the Canadian economy.
    Judging from the throne speech, Canada's energy sector may as well not even exist. There was just one tiny mention of it, a poor reflection of how important this key sector is to the Canadian economy. We need to acknowledge that it underpins our wealth as a nation.
    In late November, the CN strike highlighted how precarious the supply of energy sources such as propane is, especially in Quebec. Farmers in my region came to the sudden realization that their propane supply would be interrupted during the CN strike because of rationing for essential services. The entire agricultural sector was left with no way to keep animals warm and to dry grain during the harvest.
    Delays in harvesting and drying grain can lead to irreparable losses for farmers, with very little compensation. In light of these events, the question Canadians are asking themselves is this: Are we adequately protected against disruptions in the shipping of our energy resources and the impact this has on the lives of Canadians and on the entire energy sector? The recent event involving propane deliveries shows us just how vulnerable we are considering the quasi-monopoly that exists in shipping. We are not immune to the disastrous consequences of any future potential shortages.
    As parliamentarians, we have a duty to pay close attention to Canada's energy security. It is imperative that we work with industry experts in order to avoid energy shortages and reassure Canadians with respect to a steady supply of the energy resources used in this country. Canada is a country rich in natural resources, including crude oil and natural gas in western Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, hydroelectricity in Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, and nuclear energy in Ontario and New Brunswick, not to mention the shale oil and gas, coal, solar energy, wind energy and biomass used in various provinces and territories.
    We are so lucky to live in a country that has such an abundance of resources. Dozens of countries around the world would love to have Canada's resources, as it would help lift them out of poverty. This prompts us to ask other important questions. How are all these energy resources transported within Canada, to serve all the provinces and territories, and how are they exported out of Canada, to the U.S. and other countries?

  (1255)  

    Do we have adequate infrastructure? Are these methods of transportation safe and reliable enough to ensure an uninterrupted supply or, as was the case in the recent propane crisis in Quebec, are we relying on a single transporter? Would an energy corridor like the one proposed by the Conservative Party be the solution to the problem we have transporting all these forms of energy?
    In the Speech from the Throne there is no mention of the word “oil”, as though we as Canadians are ashamed that Canada is an oil-producing country.
    Another word that was missing from the throne speech is the word “pipeline”. The speech did, however, talk about shipping our Canadian natural resources to new markets. Everyone knows that a pipeline is the safest way to transport oil, gas or other chemical products. Have the Liberal MPs from Quebec forgotten about the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic? On July 6, 2013, 47 people were killed when a train made up of 72 tank cars carrying 7.7 million litres of crude oil derailed. If there had been a pipeline in that part of Quebec, we all know that those people would still be alive today.
    I simply cannot understand what seems to be an obsession against pipelines as a secure and safe method of transportation. According to a Nanos poll published the first week of December 2019, most Canadians, or 60%, support the construction of a new pipeline. Only 30% of the population is opposed, despite all of the false information that is being spread about pipelines, particularly in my own province of Quebec.
    The following week, a Léger poll indicated that 65% of Quebeckers prefer western Canadian oil. The same poll indicated that most Canadians believe that pipelines are the safest method of transportation.
    Let us now talk about the Liberals' infamous carbon tax, which has already begun to wreak havoc. In early December, The Globe and Mail gave a good example of how this tax is affecting farmers in Saskatchewan, and the Currah family in particular, who are struggling under the Liberal government's tax.
    Heavy autumn rains had a major impact on the Currahs and many other canola, oat, barley and wheat farmers across Canada. They had to harvest their grain crops while they were wet, meaning the grain had to be dried using natural gas dryers before it could be sold. As a result, for the past few months, farmers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have had to pay the Liberal carbon tax on the natural gas they need to run their grain dryers.
    Since January 1, 2020, Alberta has joined the list of victims of the carbon tax. The Currah family in Saskatchewan has had to spend $1,200 on the carbon tax and expects the final tally to reach $10,000 once all the grain is dry. That $10,000 bill for drying grain comes on top of all the other production costs.
     This tax is hurting our SMEs and our farms, but the worst is yet to come. In 2022, in order to comply with the greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, the tax will be increased to $102 per tonne, which means that $10,000 bill will rise to $50,000 a year for the Currah family of farmers in Saskatchewan.
    In closing, I believe all energy sector stakeholders should work together as part of a large-scale national consultation sponsored by the federal government. We need to have the courage to talk about the energy sector, instead of glossing over it the way this Liberal government did by not mentioning it in the throne speech. Sadly, this subject is a divisive issue in Canada right now, when it should be a unifying force that brings all of us together, from coast to coast to coast.
     I urge all parliamentarians, from all parties, to start this conversation with all energy sector stakeholders in order to develop a serious strategy for Canada's energy future, which will have an impact on the economic prospects of future generations.

  (1300)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member talked about the energy sector becoming a topic of discord. I listened closely to his remarks. I have a lot of friends in Alberta as I worked there for years and I still talk to them. The story I get from them is not what the Conservative opposition is saying, but that they are concerned about vacant office buildings in Calgary. Yes, there is a very strong concern in Alberta that I think is creating disunity and division in Canada. I hate to see that because, as I said, I have a lot of friends there.
    One of the reasons for the discord is the misinformation the Conservative Party is propagandizing and that the member who just spoke is still doing by saying Liberals are opposed to pipelines. Why does the member not be honest in this place and with Canadians across the country? The Liberal government purchased a pipeline to get oil to market and Liberals are going to see it through. Let us have some honesty over there.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    A discussion about energy should never create discord in Canada. We should all be proud to live in a country that has many energy sources.
    As parliamentarians, we have a duty to promote all energies for the sake of our country's economic future. We all have a duty to implement a national strategy on energy security, because the economic prosperity of future generations clearly hinges on the decisions that will be made in the 43rd Parliament. We have a duty to talk about energy, to promote energy and to find the fairest way for all of Canada's energy sources to coexist.
    We are very proud that our country is an exporter and producer. This is an excellent opportunity to allow all of these energy sources to coexist in our country.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Lévis—Lotbinière for his speech.
    I would simply like to point out to the hon. member that the Bloc Québécois campaigned heavily on environmental issues. We got 32 members elected in Quebec by talking about significantly reducing greenhouse gases and stopping pipelines from being built in Quebec.
    Quebec is facing a housing shortage. There are 250,000 households that spend more than 50% of their income on housing. What does my colleague think about the housing shortage? Will he support our requests that the Liberal government finally sign the agreement with Quebec to build 15,000 social housing units as quickly as possible?

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I would like to remind him that 65% of Quebeckers agree with transporting oil by pipeline and that 65% of Quebeckers are happy to use oil from Alberta. We want 100% of Quebec's oil to come from Alberta.
    I would also like to remind my colleague that year after year, in Quebec, we are consuming more and more oil because there are more and more vehicles. Quebec has one of the highest rates of vehicles per household in North America.
    Quebeckers are also proud of their hydroelectric power. Quebeckers would like to be able to sell hydroelectric power in Ontario, Manitoba and western Canada. If we bought oil from western Canada, it would make sense for us to sell them our hydroelectric power. It would be so easy for Quebec to cross the Ottawa River to serve a third of Ontario with affordable power.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to stand here and give my first speech in the House today as the member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
    I first need to thank the voters in my constituency for sending me here with a very clear mandate. They know what they want, and it is humbling to have received their overwhelming support.
     I also need to thank my wife of 12 years, Kyla, for her unwavering support and for being willing to take this big step with me into parliamentary life. We have three of the most amazing kids, Jacoby, Jada and Kenzie, and if I did not have their full support as well, I would not have dragged them along on this journey.
    To my campaign team and volunteers, I am thankful for their hard work and dedication in making sure that my first campaign was a successful one. I live in a riding that is 77,000 square kilometres, and it was a joy to meet and campaign with people from so many communities and backgrounds.
    Today, I will be speaking in reply to the throne speech delivered by the Governor General, which set out the government's priorities and agenda.
    After the election on October 21, when western Canadians overwhelmingly voted out every Liberal between Winnipeg and Vancouver, the Prime Minister went on national TV and told western Canadians, “I've heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you.” Naturally, the throne speech would have been a golden opportunity to show western Canadians that he had in fact heard our frustrations. However, this throne speech is just further evidence that the Prime Minister is not listening to western Canadians. In fact, the Liberals are continuing to ignore what western Canada is trying to communicate to them.
    I come from a rural riding. Part of what makes it so great to live in a small town in a rural area is that one has to have a certain level of entrepreneurship and resolve to make one's farm, ranch or business succeed. Agriculture, energy, tourism and the natural resource sectors have always provided opportunities for people to start up a new business, to innovate, and then to develop their product and their business model. However, when there has been a multi-year downturn in the resource sector coupled with the lows that the agriculture sector has encountered, it puts the very businesses and people who keep small towns and small businesses viable in danger of losing everything.
    With all that in mind, I will focus on a line that was used in both this year's throne speech and the 2015 throne speech, which is that every Canadian should have a “real and fair chance” to succeed. However, the government needs to understand it is the government's policies that are getting in the way and making it harder for Canadians to succeed.
    The first policy we heard in the speech was that the government is doubling down on its carbon tax. So far, this has been the main method it is using to try to eliminate Canada's carbon emissions. However, it has not only proven to be a harmful policy for farmers, energy workers, seniors and everybody else, but it is also an ineffective policy. We are only seeing the cost of living go up, which is hurting the most vulnerable people, such as our seniors and low-income families. It has been nothing but an added burden for a lot of people.
    In April, the cost of the carbon tax will increase from $20 to $30 per tonne, which means that life is about to get even harder. If that was not bad enough, we found out a few weeks ago that in a few provinces the government is lowering the carbon tax rebate that families could receive. Those provinces happen to be the ones that have not gone along with putting their own carbon tax in place. My home province of Saskatchewan is getting the largest cutback. When it was first introduced, the Liberals said that the tax would be revenue neutral and that Canadians could expect support for their extra expenses through a tax rebate. This is a perfect demonstration of what we can expect from the carbon tax in actual practice. As the cost and tax rate increase, the support for taxpayers and struggling families will decrease.
    The carbon tax is also adding another layer of stress in agriculture. In western Canada, farmers had a year unlike any other in recent memory, from starting out the year with drought-like conditions to having way too much moisture in the fall when it came time to get the crops off. In fact, we have millions of acres of crops still out in the fields buried in snow. For the crops that are now in the bins, the next problem is to dry the grain, and natural gas is the main source of heat generation to accomplish this. It is a necessary part of grain farming, but the price for that fuel has gone up by hundreds of dollars because of the carbon tax, and then the GST is applied on top of that and so we now have a tax on top of a tax. After a difficult year in 2019, this is the last thing those farmers need. They have been calling attention to their desperate situation. I was happy to read in the National Post that the Green Party's agriculture critic agrees that we need to exempt farmers from the carbon tax, but nobody in the government seems to be listening.
    Beyond the carbon tax, the Liberals' anti-energy, anti-business policies are killing jobs in resource development all over Canada. We heard a lot about how the anti-pipeline Bill C-69 would shut down energy projects, but there have also been concerns raised in mining and other industries.

  (1310)  

    In 2016, the Prime Minister said:
     I have said many times that there isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it.
    But it isn’t enough to just use that resource for our short-term interest.
    Our challenge is to use today’s wealth to create tomorrow’s opportunity. Ultimately, this is about leaving a better country for our kids than the one we inherited from our parents.
    He was right to say that we should be making the most of Canadian energy while there is a market for it. However, after four years, the Liberals have left a lot of oil in the ground and that has left a lot of people out of work. Over the last four years, the government's regulatory changes have chased over $100 billion in investment, or four and a half per cent of GDP, out of Canada. I fail to see how we can create tomorrow's opportunities with results like that.
    I could say a lot more about how the government's current policies do not make sense for either the environment or the economy, but I would much rather talk about what does make sense and what could work.
    Just before Christmas, SaskPower, the power utility in Saskatchewan, held the grand opening of the Chinook power station northwest of Swift Current in my riding. It is a good example of how we have made clean, efficient use of natural gas in combined cycle power generation. This facility has the capacity to provide more power for around 300,000 homes. It runs 50% more efficiently than a coal-fired plant. The reason this power station is so important, along with others like it in the province, is that we now have strong enough baseload power generation so that we can invest further into renewables like wind and solar.
    The Province of Saskatchewan, while under the guidance of former premier Brad Wall, created an ambitious plan to reduce our emissions. This plan is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, as well as to have 50% renewable energy by then. This is a far more achievable plan than the one the Liberals have used. By creating a strong enough baseload power capacity that is reliable while utilizing technologies like combined-cycle power generation, the province can now focus its efforts further on growth in renewables. We already have a strong presence in the wind and solar industries, and further investment into these areas will continue to be encouraged.
    Therefore, I find it crazy that the government has chosen to ignore the province's plan, which actually reduces emissions and shifts to renewable energy, while the Liberals' carbon tax only drives valuable investment dollars out of Canada that are needed for funding new technology.
    I also need to highlight the innovative farming practices, such as zero-till farming, that have taken off in Saskatchewan. These methods remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by keeping more of it in the soil. Our province continues to be a world leader in this regard. When it comes to the promise of this approach, I saw an article in National Geographic that noted the following:
...about a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions come from land use and agriculture combined—but farmers are uniquely situated to be part of the solution.
    We are seeing something like this in Saskatchewan. Due to the zero-till farming efforts, just as an example, we sequester 9.46 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, that is the equivalent of removing two million cars from the highway each and every year. That is a real result. This is the type of success that comes from properly respecting farmers and their livelihood. It is a way of life that already deeply understands the close relationship between the economy and being a good steward of the land and the environment. Canadians working in the agriculture and energy sectors do not need to be lectured about it. They need to be supported in the balanced approach that they are already pursuing.
    I am so proud to live in a riding that is part of a comprehensive, serious and practical plan for the environment like the one being implemented in Saskatchewan. However, the sad fact is that my province and my riding are not getting the credit they deserve from the current government. Instead, they have been blamed, neglected and ignored.
    The Prime Minister said to western Canadians, “I hear you.” If this is true, then he should scrap the carbon tax and stop punishing the energy sector. If all Canadians are supposed to have a real and fair chance to succeed, then the government needs to listen to the provinces and the industry leaders who are suffering as a result of failed Liberal policies. It just sounds like more of the same from the Liberals, but I want Canadians to know that we hear them on this side of the House and we are ready to help them succeed.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, as a western Canadian member of Parliament, I can tell the member that there are many initiatives within the throne speech, and within the budget in the last number of years, that western Canadians would be very proud of and would recognize as progressive measures that have had a real impact on their lives. We need to be sensitive to the fact that some regions of the country, in particular the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, have gone through some very difficult times as governments at all levels have tried to assist where they can.
     We respect that. We have a government that understands the importance of the environment, and the price of pollution has a role to play in that. I believe most western Canadians recognize that. I believe that we need to recognize that a balancing needs to take place between the economy and the environment, and this is a government that has recognized that.
    I wonder if the member would not concur and recognize that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. Would he not agree that this is an important principle to adhere to?
    Madam Speaker, the one thing that I want to highlight while talking about the environment and the economy is that we cannot use the environment as a means to tax people into submission. That is what the carbon tax does. As we have seen, it is driving investment dollars out of Canada.
    That is not how to build an economy or how to support an economy. It is how to cripple the economy.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad to see so much reference to western Canada in the House today. From my perspective on Vancouver Island, most of the people in this House are eastern Canadians, but I will leave that aside.
    I would caution the member against speaking so forcefully on behalf of western Canadians. Fully one-third of the people in Alberta and Saskatchewan did not vote Conservative, and they were not rewarded with the seats proportional to those results because we have an unfair first-past-the-post system. In fact, most people in British Columbia and in Manitoba did not vote Conservative, so I would express some caution on that.
    My question for the member is on the subject of agriculture. I would like to hear his comments on our developing some policies in this Parliament that recognize the hard work that farmers do, especially with regenerative agricultural practices that sequester more carbon in the soil, and whether we have an opportunity to give farmers a place to become one of the greatest weapons we have against climate change with their use of good soil practices.
    Madam Speaker, part of what we need to do with any policy that we can develop going forward is to respect the hard work that has already been accomplished by our farmers, our ranchers and the people who are actively working in the agricultural sector. They have already been innovative in their approach.
    In fact, the province of Saskatchewan, going back to the early 1900s, has been responsible for hundreds and thousands of different patents with regard to agricultural development. We are very innovative in the province. Farmers are very good and have a great sense of entrepreneurship and resolve. The more we can work to get policies to support that would be great.
    Madam Speaker, would the hon. member be able to highlight some of the challenges that regular middle-class, rural Canadians have with regard to the carbon tax?
    Madam Speaker, the biggest challenge that we have now, as I highlighted in my speech, is the great distance to travel. My riding is 77,000 square kilometres, but the population base within that is only 67,000, with around a third of the population located in the city of Swift Current. It can be a long way for people in our small towns to travel, as some towns do not have a grocery store. For people to be able to go and get their groceries, their necessities for life, they sometimes have to travel great distances. The carbon tax continues to put them at a disadvantage.
    When we are talking about supporting small towns, small businesses and regular hard-working, middle-class Canadians, this is why the carbon tax is a very ineffective policy.

  (1320)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today for the first time this year and at the start of a new decade.
    I would like to share my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. I am very happy that all the members of the Green Party will have an opportunity to speak to the 2019 throne speech, as this is the last day of debate. I would like to thank the people who manage time within the Liberal Party, since my colleague, the member for Fredericton, will share her time with a Liberal member.
    I want to start by saying, and this is not a formality, that we are on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

[English]

    I want to acknowledge that we are here on traditional unceded Algonquin territory, and to them we say, meegwetch.
    It is an honour to speak to the Speech from the Throne today. There is much in it that can carry one away with inspirational promises, with rhetoric with which we can only agree. For instance, I turn to this bit, which I particularly like: “From forest fires and floods, to ocean pollution and coastal erosion, Canadians are living the impact of climate change every day.”
    The science is clear and it has been for decades. A clear majority of Canadians voted for ambitious climate action now. That stirs me to think I will vote for this, but I will not. I will not because the gap between the inspirational rhetoric coming from the Liberal administration and the reality of Liberal actions is so wide it induces vertigo. It is so deep that it is dizzying.
    As an example of why I now feel this way, I turn to the 2015 Speech from the Throne, which I did vote for. I loved this promise and will remind people of it. Some of us who also served in the 42nd Parliament will remember the government's promise to “not resort to devices like...omnibus bills to avoid scrutiny.”
    I think we all recall that it was an omnibus budget bill in which the deferred prosecution agreement designed specifically for SNC-Lavalin was hidden. Now I read everything, as my colleagues know, so I actually saw the deferred prosecution agreement hidden in an omnibus budget bill. I wondered why it was not stand-alone criminal legislation to go through the Department of Justice, but I was persuaded by the notes and looking into it that nothing nefarious lay there. However, it was in an omnibus bill and I do regret that the deferred prosecution agreement amendment to the Criminal Code never went to the Department of Justice and to the committee studying justice bills, as it should have.
    Another fun promise to remember from the 2015 Speech from the Throne was “the government will undertake to renew, nation-to-nation, the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples, one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”
    It was with some shock that I saw within months the Liberal government's approval of Site C, ignoring the court cases and concerns of indigenous peoples, as well as the environmental impacts.
    Approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline ignored the fact that, even during the 2015 election campaign, the then leader of the Liberal Party, now Prime Minister, said that no project could be approved based on the inadequate and flawed process that had taken place while there were court cases, and strong and clear objection, from the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Squamish and WSANEC First Nations, whose territory I am honoured to live on. Muskrat Falls ignored the concerns of the Innu.
    Quoting from the 2015 Speech from the Throne, many people will remember the following without being reminded, the promise “that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” One can see where concern arises. How much can we believe in the 2019 Speech from the Throne? I would like to believe it, but then we come to the reality of what is being pledged. We are seeing a commitment in this new Speech from the Throne.

  (1325)  

[Translation]

    In the throne speech the government said, and I quote, “The Government will set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”
    In reality, our target is the same as the one chosen by the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper. The target has not changed by a single tonne.

[English]

    Here we are with a government that says we can get to net-zero by 2050, and there are some questions. As many will know, we do not whip votes in the Green Party. I am so honoured to be joined by the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith and the member for Fredericton. We cannot vote confidence in a government that does not have a climate target that allies with the science.
    We know that the government has said that it is important to face the climate situation as a climate emergency. In fact, it was a Liberal motion passed by this House on June 17, 2019, in which the House agreed that we are in a climate emergency. The motion stated:
...the House declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires...that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with...pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    However, here we are with a Speech from the Throne that never once uses the term “climate emergency”.

[Translation]

    We are in a climate emergency, but there is not a single mention of “climate emergency” in the throne speech.

[English]

    The Speech from the Throne says that we have to address climate change. While the government says that we must achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, only a few paragraphs later we are also told that the government must take strong action to fight climate change and also work just as hard to get Canadian resources to new markets.
    In other words, with the same vigour which the government wants to address the climate emergency, it will also use public funds in the neighbourhood of $10 billion to $13 billion to drive forward the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is a direct threat to climate action, as it also contemplates approving the Teck Frontier mine project. It also is ignoring its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the climate emergency by subsidizing and supporting the LNG projects where the gas pipeline is. At this very moment, the RCMP are in Wet'suwet'en Territory prepared to enforce an injunction that should never be enforced because it violates hereditary rights and traditional rights of Wet'suwet'en people.
    Here is the reality, and it is a tough one. I have worked on this issue since 1986. I have seen government after government, well-meaning Liberals, well-meaning provincial New Democrats, well-meaning Progressive Conservatives, make climate commitments and then find it is too hard. Something political needs to be fixed before we can do the right thing to ensure our kids have a livable world.
    Here is the tough choice, and it is not one that we can find wiggle room or some medium space to do a bit of this and a bit of that, with a pipeline here and an oil sands mine there, and still live up to climate commitments. The stark choice is this. Before the next election, we assembled in this Parliament must have Canada's targets align with the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That means we must at least double our targets until 2030.

  (1330)  

     We must now as humanity, as the world assembled through the multilateral process, change our economies in a transformational sense that gets rid of fossil fuels to ensure that our children, that human civilization can survive in a hospitable biosphere or we defend the fossil fuel industry. We cannot do both. We have to choose. I choose climate action and the Speech from the Throne and the government had better deliver.
    Madam Speaker, I recall when the former leader of the Green Party supported the throne speech. I am a little disappointed that she is considering not supporting it this time around. There are many good environmental initiatives. One of the biggest and boldest is the whole idea of the price on pollution as we continue to move forward. I would be interested in her thoughts on the progress on that file.
    I am curious with respect to the LNG. The LNG in British Columbia was an agreement, the largest private sector government sponsored agreement with billions of dollars of investment, with the NDP provincially and with us at the national level. To what degree would the Green Party support something of that nature? When the member makes reference to transition, maybe there is some merit for projects of that nature. Would the member not agree?
    Madam Speaker, the reality is that in the early 1990s, people talked of natural gas as a potential transition fuel in getting rid of coal and oil. The problem in 2020 is that it is not a transition fuel. It is not natural gas. It is primarily from fracking. Now the international scientific community is recognizing that a big pulse in greenhouse gases is coming from fracking from fugitive methane emissions. The reality is that fracked natural gas from B.C. has the same carbon footprint as coal. It is one of the great lies of our time, that shipping LNG from B.C. to China will somehow have a net benefit in fighting global warming. It will in fact do the opposite. It is a carbon bomb, and we need to stop fracking.
    Madam Speaker, it is good to see my friend from the Green Party back in the House. We obviously disagree on many things.
    I had some great round tables in my riding over the break, specifically on the issue of environment and climate change. We always have a vast array of different views represented in those conversations, from those who are skeptical about the science in general to hard-core Green Party supporters and everybody in between.
    One of the areas in which there seems to be general agreement is people proposing that there may be some promise to nuclear power. I wonder if the member could share her perspective on the role nuclear power could play. Does she agree with what seemed to be consensus in those round tables, that it could be a key part of the solution, or is she more skeptical?
    Madam Speaker, my friend for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is a dear friend in this place, and I am glad to see him back. I am so glad to see we continue to disagree on just about everything.
    The best thing ever said about nuclear power was said some time ago by a critic named Fred Knelman, who said that nuclear was “a future technology whose time has passed”.
    We in the Green Party have broken down what it will take to get to 60% reductions in carbon dioxide by 2030 in this country. We do not propose shutting down existing reactors, to be clear, but a single new one makes no sense at all. They are very capital intensive. They cost a great deal, produce very few jobs and reduce very little carbon. On the other hand, solar, wind, district energy, geothermal, all of the other options are cheaper and more readily accessible.
    I have one last thought for my friends on the Conservative benches. The sweetheart deal of all time, after all the subsidies to AECL, is that the nuclear facilities in the country are now owned and run by SNC-Lavalin. I am very dubious about going that route.

  (1335)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, since this is my first time rising in the House, I would like to take this opportunity to greet my colleagues and wish them all a good session.
    I really enjoyed the speech given by my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    A little earlier, in their speeches, the government members spoke about how they firmly intended to stay the course on the greenhouse gas reduction targets. I would like to ask my colleague opposite whether she supports the idea of enshrining the terms of the Paris agreement in a law that would require the current government and future governments to keep to those commitments and meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets. Otherwise, it is rather difficult to take seriously a government that buys pipelines and gets involved in oil sands development.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank and congratulate my new colleague. I want to work collaboratively with members who truly understand the climate emergency.
    I look forward to the time when the Minister of Environment and Climate Change says that the Government of Canada understands that the current targets are barely 50% of what is needed if we want to avert disaster. It is not possible to—
    I must interrupt the hon. member because her time is up. I gave her a little more time so she could finish her answer, but I must now intervene. I am sorry about that.
    The hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to rise today to respond to the Speech from the Throne. I would like to thank the voters in Nanaimo—Ladysmith for giving me their support to stand here today. I would also like to thank my family, volunteers and team that supported me as well.
    My electoral district of Nanaimo—Ladysmith faces many serious challenges that are not unique to our area, but are very acute and much more challenging than in other parts of the country.
    I am very pleased to see a number of key initiatives and promises in the Speech from the Throne and the mandate letters to ministers that will help address some of the challenges my constituents face. I am committed to working across party lines in a positive and collaborative way for legislation that will benefit all Canadians, and where I see a need for improvement, I will speak up about it.
    Nanaimo—Ladysmith has one of the largest homeless populations per capita in Canada. I am glad to see the government step up with the creation of a national housing strategy. However, I do not think the targets outlined will be enough to deal with the crisis that communities face. We have vulnerable and marginalized people who are struggling with affordable housing and homelessness. They need safe and affordable places to live.
    It is encouraging to see the inclusion of national standards for mental health support. Mental health care should be part of our universal health care system, so the cost of treatment is not a barrier to people seeking support, especially when they are in a crisis. Many of the people who are homeless in Nanaimo—Ladysmith are struggling with serious mental health issues. The mayor of Nanaimo has gone so far as to call for new institutions for people who are clearly suffering and unable to cope with their mental illness.
    Like many other regions of the country, Nanaimo—Ladysmith is deeply affected by the opioid crisis. We have young men, with good jobs and families, who have become addicted to opioids after work-related injuries. They are dying because the stigma of drug addiction has made them fearful to seek help. The war on drugs is a failure. Let us study what other countries have done to deal with this health and social issue and create a made-in-Canada solution.
    Alleviating homelessness and improving access to mental health care and addiction treatment services will reduce the criminality associated with these social issues and allow our justice system to focus on violent and repeat offenders.
    I am also very pleased to see that the government is committed to strengthening medicare and renewing its health agreement with the provinces and that mandate letters call for a universal national pharmacare program. We need to add a national dental care program to that as well.
    Nanaimo—Ladysmith has a serious shortage of doctors in a rapidly growing population. Vancouver Island is a retirement destination for many Canadians.
     The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, which was built in the 1960s, serves the oldest per capita population in Canada. This hospital is overdue for an upgrade to create a tertiary hospital that will provide cancer care, cardiac care and expanded psychiatric services.
     HealthCareCAN is calling on the government to green our health care infrastructure and ensure that it is energy efficient as part of the efforts to combat climate change. I hope the government will heed that call and provide major funding to help the provinces upgrade aging health care infrastructure.
    It is very important for my community to see an increase in the funding for home care and palliative care, but we also need to see major changes in how senior care residences are operated. The Investment Canada Act needs to be changed to exclude seniors homes from foreign ownership. Seniors homes should be viewed as part of our health care system.
    The recent experience with the purchase of Retirement Concepts by Anbang Insurance in China, which is now a state-owned corporation, must not be repeated. The Vancouver Island Health authority recently had to take over administration of three Retirement Concepts facilities due to unsafe conditions. Foreign corporations have no connection to our community and should not be profiting from providing poor-quality seniors care. The non-profit model of community-centred care is a far better way of ensuring that our seniors get the quality care they deserve.

  (1340)  

    Small and medium-sized businesses are major economic drivers and employ the vast majority of Canadians. I am glad to see in the mandate letters that there will be improved support for start-ups, but what I have heard from the small and medium-sized enterprises in my community is that there is a need for additional support for businesses that want to take the next step in their growth, whether that is innovation for a new product line, creating efficiencies that reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint, or expanding their markets.
    Canada has been a great incubator for new businesses, but often these businesses are lured away to other jurisdictions by incentives, tax breaks and programs that help them grow to the next level. We need to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises stay in Canada and continue to provide well-paying jobs for Canadian workers.
    I know the language of tax cuts has been a popular mantra, but tax cuts inevitably lead to austerity and either cuts to services or to the addition of user fees for the services that middle- and lower-income Canadians rely on. I support having services that our taxes provide, such as universal health care, and infrastructure such as public transit, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and recreation facilities.
    What we need is fairness. We need to ensure that wealthy Canadians are paying their fair share. Large corporations benefit from the social services provided to their employees and the infrastructure they use as part of their businesses. The government needs to close tax loopholes, crack down on tax evasions and shut down tax avoidance schemes and the offshoring of wealth by corporations and individuals.
    There are four first nations in the Nanaimo—Ladysmith riding, and the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian legislation is very important to them and to creating economic certainty in our region. Building a new relationship with indigenous people in Canada requires more than just words; it requires a commitment to respect the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions. In too many cases, especially when large extraction projects are at stake, the intent of UNDRIP is not being followed.
    In addition to the climate crisis, we are facing a crash in biodiversity. The commitments to protect 25% of the land base and 25% of the marine base in conservation by 2025 is very important. The riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith has very little conservation land put aside because the whole southeast portion of Vancouver Island was privatized as part of the deal for B.C. to enter Confederation. The Nanaimo River watershed is 750 square kilometres in area, but only 10 square kilometres are in a conservation area and less than two square kilometres are designated as parkland. The Nanaimo River is very important ecologically and needs greater conservation, and 25% would be a welcomed inclusion.
    Like my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands, I see a great Speech from the Throne, but it is hard to be optimistic. The previous Speech from the Throne from the Liberal government promised that 2015 would be the last first-past-the-post election. It was not.
    There are a couple of other things my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands has highlighted that were promises that were not kept. Canadians were also promised concrete action to combat climate change, but the targets for reducing emissions have not changed from the ones put in place by the previous Conservative government before the Paris accord. We are not even on target to meet those commitments. Instead, the government has approved environmentally destructive projects, has bought a pipeline that guarantees an increase in emissions and has continued to provide subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. It is for those reasons that I will vote against the Speech from the Throne. I am ready to work with the government to establish new targets, because until we commit to do our part and follow through on our commitments, all of the other issues I have mentioned will not matter. Climate change will impact every area of our lives, overwhelm our health care system and destroy our economy.
    I was elected on a promise to continue pressing the government for real and substantive action on climate change, and that is a promise I intend to keep.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, with reference to the environment, there are different ways we have approached it as a government. We could talk about the incentives to get people to purchase hybrid or electric cars. I personally like a couple of them that are quite significant. The price on pollution is one, which I think overall has been fairly well received in the different regions of the country. Also, in the last election we talked about the planting of two billion trees over the next decade. That is significant and really tangible. People can see that, understand it and relate to it.
     I wonder if my colleague could talk about the different ways in which a government can appeal to Canadians to think more about the environment.
    As I said, I like the planting of two billion trees over the next decade. I think that is a very strong, tangible action by government. We see the price on pollution, something that is taking place around the world. Only the Conservative Party seems to be offside with that. We see tax incentive programs, such as the one to encourage people to buy electric cars, which complements the Province of Quebec's program and is really making a difference. Could the member provide his thoughts on progressive measures such as those?
    Madam Speaker, in the previous election I listened to the environment minister tell us from Canadian Tire how, as consumers, we can change our light bulbs and do that sort of thing. I have already done that. I have done two home energy retrofits and I have taken care of my own carbon footprint. What we need to do is regulate industry.
    We have the Copenhagen agreement, which has its targets due this year. Ten of the provinces and territories, representing 85% of the population, have met their targets, but Alberta and Saskatchewan have not. That is mainly because of oil and gas extraction and because of fracking and the expansion of the oil sands.
    We talk about Teck Resources wiping out a whole area of the boreal forest and turning it into a tailings pond when we should be talking about planting trees. Why not leave those trees in place? Why not look at renewable energy and real solutions to climate change, rather than the expansion of fossil fuels. That includes fracking and the LNG projects. We need to stop subsidizing fossil fuel industries in this country.
    Madam Speaker, a Yiddish proverb says, “All that glitters is not gold.”
     The member talked about fleecing the rich, about taxing the rich some more. Looking at the tax numbers in 2017, we see that 54.1% of all taxes paid were paid by the top 10% of income earners. If 54.1% is not enough, how much more taxes would that member like to see being paid by those income earners?
    Madam Speaker, I would like us to follow the northern European model of taxation. There is much more equity in that system. There they do not have the kind of poverty that we have here in a wealthy country. The wealth is shared, and the wealthy are doing just fine. They are paying their fair share. They are using the social services provided by those taxes, and their workers are benefiting from them as well.
    We should have an extreme wealth tax on people who make more than $1 million a year. What do they need all that wealth for?

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, I have a quick question with regard to federal policy.
    We have been trying to protect an area in my riding called Ojibway Shores, which has 100 endangered species at risk on it. The federal government wants local taxpayers to spend millions of dollars to pay for their own property. I am wondering what the member thinks about that situation. We have asked the federal government to transfer that so that local taxpayers will not have to pay for property they already own since it is federal land and has hundreds of endangered species on it.
    Madam Speaker, the federal government has a large role to play in making sure that conservation areas are conserved. This is really important to my area, where most of the land is private land, so putting conservation measures in Nanaimo—Ladysmith would mean that we would need to deal with private land. It is going to need both federal and provincial funding.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Fredericton.
    I will begin by saying it is such an honour to address the House today on the Speech from the Throne. I want to once again thank the constituents of Davenport and all the friends, family and volunteers who were so generous with their time and energy in ensuring my success in the 2019 campaign.
    Davenport is an amazing, vibrant riding in the downtown west end of Toronto, and I cannot put into words what a privilege it is to be re-elected as the member of Parliament for Davenport. My highest responsibility is to serve Canadians, and I hope to always do my constituents and our country proud. In fact, it is a privilege and responsibility for all of us who work in this great chamber to address key issues facing Canadians today and to do all we can to create an even better Canada, ensuring Canadians are ready and have the tools to address the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow.
    The throne speech mentioned the long history and the many differences in Canada, and the enduring stability and progress of our Parliament despite those differences. Canada, as we know, has three founding nations. Our country originated on the talents and values of our first nations and aboriginal peoples, as well as the settlers from Britain and France. At times in our history, relationships among the three groups have been contentious, to say the least, but as we evolved, our governments always found ways to compromise, collaborate and move forward toward a fairer and more just society.
    Generations of immigrants to Canada from all over the world have only made our society richer and stronger. My riding of Davenport has Canada's largest Portuguese population, many of whom arrived over the same few years decades ago, but there are also people of Italian, Hispanic, Brazilian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Ukrainian descent, just to name a handful, all living together in the same wonderful community. I am the daughter of immigrant parents from Ukraine and Mexico, and I know as well as anyone the disagreement and beauty that come when cultures meet. We have had some of those arguments in my house, but at the end of the day, we are all family.
    I want to turn my attention to the key priorities mentioned in the Speech from the Throne that are so important to Davenport residents.
    I heard so much at the doors during the election campaign in October 2019. The first priority I want to touch on is environment and climate change. I would say this is the top preoccupation for most residents in Davenport. They were absolutely delighted to hear that we are already spending around $63 billion and have over 50 climate actions under way right now. They were also happy to hear that we have made a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and that we will be studying legally binding five-year milestones based on the advice of experts and consultants. They know that in order for us to move to net zero by 2050, we will have to exceed our current 2030 targets. They were really happy to hear about the just transition act, because we want to make sure we give those working in high-emissions industries access to the training, support and new opportunities they need to succeed in a clean economy. A number of groups in the Davenport community have already met with me to say that this continues to be the key priority for them and Davenport.
    I want to mention the promises about energy-efficient homes and lower energy bills that we made in our platform. I mention this point because many Canadians want to feel that they are taking their own steps to combat climate change in order to move us into a low-carbon economy.
    What we promised in our platform and mandate letters is that we are going to give homeowners and landlords free energy audits. This, to me, is a game-changer. This would allow homeowners and apartment dwellers to take their own steps in order to reduce their energy bills, increase their energy efficiency and lower their individual emissions. We have also made a commitment to retrofit 1.5 million homes to help Canadians make their homes more efficient. This is wonderful.
    I will mention a couple more things on the environment, because the environment is important for Davenport residents. We promised to protect 25% of Canada's land and oceans by 2025. We have the longest coastline in the world, one-fifth of the world's fresh water, and vast and wild forests. Our ecosystem depends on all of this for its survival, and our quality of life will depend on it moving forward.

  (1355)  

    My riding is also delighted with the ban on single-use plastics that will begin in 2021, but we know we have some more things to do. Davenport residents are very much looking for a full plan on how our government is going to ensure that we reach our Paris accord targets. They are also looking for the systemic changes that we need to make, such as perhaps putting all of our spending through an environmental lens, and various other systemic changes that we should be looking at moving forward.
    I will turn to the second top issue that is preoccupying Davenport residents. That is housing.
    Many people have owned homes in my riding for 20, 30 or 40 years, and they are starting to wonder how they are going to continue to be able to live in Davenport. They are older. They want to sell their homes. They want to, as seniors, continue to live in downtown west Toronto. They want their kids to live close to them. They are really happy with a number of the measures we are taking in order to ensure affordable housing moving forward.
    We have already made a huge commitment to the national housing strategy, putting $11.2 billion over 11 years to build, renew and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing. We have also taken some steps for those who are new buyers. In our platform and the throne speech we said that we are going to improve our first-time home buyer incentive, which will give people up to 10% off the purchase price of their first home. We have also increased the qualifying value of a home to $800,000. In places like downtown Toronto, unfortunately houses are that expensive, so we need to provide some additional support.
    I have a lot of confidence that with these measures I have mentioned and other measures we will be introducing or have introduced, we will continue to ensure that people who want to live in our cities will be able to do so affordably.
    I will move on to seniors, because I have so many of them in my riding. They are so wonderful and engaged, and they want to continue to be active citizens. We, as a federal government, want to help them to live affordably and to have a good standard of living. They were really happy with three key things in our platform that we had promised.
    The first is that they do not have to pay taxes on the first $15,000 of whatever income they earn. They were pleased to hear about our commitment to increase OAS by 10% for those who are 75 years of age and over. They were also really happy with our promise to increase the survivor benefit by 25%. That is going to help 1.2 million more Canadian seniors to live more affordably in Canada.
    In my remaining time I will talk about arts and culture. We have such a rich group of artists, creators and those working in the cultural industry in Davenport. I told them that our national government cares about them, and what we want to do is make sure there is more support and more funding to create and support Canadian content in Canada. We have made a strong commitment to impose a tax on foreign-based Internet platform providers to fund the creation of cultural content in this country.
    I think everybody knows the importance of arts and culture to us as a nation, to getting a better understanding of each other and who we are in all of our complexities. It is a way for us to be able to share our joy, our pain and our way of understanding the world around us, not through words, but through pictures, dance and every way possible.
    There are other commitments to health care, immigration and community safety in the Speech from the Throne that are really important to Davenport residents and that we are really happy about. We are in a minority government, and I still believe that we, as a minority government, can do great things. What we have to do is continue to listen to Canadians. We have to be willing to compromise and we have to never forget that we are here to serve Canadians.
    I will end with a quote from our Prime Minister, “Canadians are counting on us, and this plan is a path forward for everyone. We have common ground and shared purpose. Together, we can and we will overcome the challenges of today to build a brighter tomorrow.”

  (1400)  

    The hon. member will have five minutes of questions and comments after question period.
    I want to remind members that there are items that are being dealt with in the House, and if members want to have side conversations, they should take them outside, because it is hard to hear members who have the floor.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Frank Monteiro

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize a distinguished member of my community. Sadly, we lost Cambridge city councillor Frank Monteiro to his second battle with cancer.
    Frank came to Canada as an immigrant from Portugal in his teenage years. He dedicated his life to service and was a proud member of our Portuguese community. He was the first Portuguese police officer in Ontario and the first Portuguese city councillor for Cambridge. Frank always stood up for the residents of Ward 7 and the city of Cambridge. He championed initiatives for more outdoor recreational sites, the development of our downtown cores and improved community safety.
    He will be remembered fondly as a police officer, a city councillor, a mentor and a friend. We miss Frank. On behalf of Cambridge, on behalf of Canada, we thank him. I say obrigado to Frank.

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, as we embark on this new year and in this new Parliament, I am honoured to rise today on behalf of the wonderful citizens of Red Deer—Mountain View.
    As a farmer, I always have weather top of mind, and this crop year has seen challenges that Albertans have not faced since the 1960s. Beyond the cold and unpredictable moisture that we always face, we are also dealing with other issues that governments can control. Our diminished competitiveness in world markets due to disjointed trade strategies, a carbon tax for agricultural producers where the cost cannot be passed on to consumers, and a non-existent strategy to ensure that our environmentally conscious farmers have the tools necessary to feed humanity lie at the feet of the government.
    Our agricultural producers need resolutions to non-tariff trade barriers, an energy exemption for drying grain, and acknowledgement of and respect for their environmental stewardship to the rest of the world.

Newfoundland and Labrador Snowstorm

    Mr. Speaker, the storm of the century hit Newfoundland just over a week ago. While Newfoundlanders back home are still cleaning up the remains of Snowmageddon 2020, I want to take this time to thank those whose dedication and hard work cannot go unrecognized.
    To the medical and hospital staff, paramedics, heavy equipment operators, hydro workers, RNC, RCMP and of course members of the Canadian Armed Forces, we extend our thanks for everything they have done to help keep our communities and our people safe. To every person who helped dig out a senior or a person with mobility issues, to anyone who checked on neighbours, family members and friends, to those who took someone in who had lost power, to those who offered food to people or volunteered their time to help those less fortunate, we extend our thanks.
    There is not enough time to thank every person who deserves it, but they know who they are. I thank them for showing this country and indeed the world what true Newfoundland generosity and spirit look like.
    I invite my colleagues to join me in thanking the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

Snowmobile Accident in Lac-Saint-Jean

    On January 21, what should have been a snowmobile trip like any other in our region turned into a horrific tragedy that has brought France and Lac-Saint-Jean together in the face of adversity.
    Each winter, we proudly invite the world to discover our majestic landscape. Hospitality is our watchword, and we reserve a special welcome for our brothers and sisters from France. That is why this tragedy has hit us so hard. This accident should never have happened, not in our region, and not to our guests, our friends.
    As the member for Lac-Saint-Jean and on behalf of the people of Lac-Saint-Jean, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the five missing snowmobilers. Today my thoughts go out to the rescuers, who are still searching as we speak and are sparing no effort to make sure every family can mourn with dignity.
    Lastly, I want to commend their courageous guide, Benoît L'Espérance, who died trying to save them. He acted valiantly, knowing the risks. In Lac-Saint-Jean, we never leave anyone behind.

[English]

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Mr. Speaker, last week Governor General Julie Payette was in Jerusalem with a delegation of members from all parties in the House of Commons. At Yad Vashem, world leaders came together in the state of Israel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, the Governor General and the delegation are at Auschwitz for another commemoration.

[Translation]

    In a world grappling with a rise in anti-Semitism and hate, our leaders gathered to honour the memory of the approximately six million Jews and millions of others who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

[English]

    In Canada, I am pleased we have adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, but we know there is much more we need to do to confront one of the world's oldest evils. I ask all members of the House to join me in commemorating those killed in the Holocaust, honouring the survivors and loudly and clearly saying, “Never again.”

Baseball Hall of Famer

    Mr. Speaker, I join the people of Maple Ridge in congratulating our hometown hero, Larry Walker. There are over 19,000 former major league baseball players. Larry is only the second Canadian to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
    Larry's family has a long history with baseball in Maple Ridge. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, Larry's father and grandfather played for local teams in what is now Larry Walker Field. Larry was a bat boy for his dad's team, but was more interested in hockey at the time.

[Translation]

    He took up baseball again in the mid-80s and signed his first contract with the Expos in 1989.

[English]

    Larry won three batting titles, seven Gold Gloves and was an all-star five times. He was a fan of the number “3”. He wore the number 33, was married at 3:33 p.m. and is the 333rd member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
    I ask members to please join me in congratulating Larry Walker.

Firefighting in Australia

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the people of Pontiac for putting their trust in me and allowing me to serve as their voice in this House of Commons for a second mandate.

[Translation]

    Five years ago, I promised my constituents I would fight for their needs and interests, and I intend to keep that promise. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
    Today I rise to thank Maniwaki-based SOPFEU firefighters who went on a 31-day mission to Australia to support other firefighters already battling the disastrous blazes there. These firefighters are doing everything they can to protect Australian people, wildlife and land, and they all deserve our deepest respect.
    I would like to thank Simon Bordeleau, Alain St-Onge, Michel Bédard and Jonathan Bernard-Bisson and their managers, Garry Pearson, Marc Larche and Mélanie Morin, for their courage and dedication.

[English]

    I am so incredibly proud of Canada's firefighters who have travelled across the globe to be a part of these relief efforts for fires that remind us of the immediate and urgent crisis that is climate change.

Lunar New Year

    Mr. Speaker, chuc mung nam moi. Saehae bok manui badeuseyo. Gong hey fat choy. San nihn faai lok.
    This past Saturday marked the beginning of lunar new year for Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean communities. It is a time in Canada and across the world to celebrate the Year of the Rat, which is sure to be a year filled with wealth and abundance.
     According to legend, the rat used its quick wit to ride in the ear of the ox in a race to the heavenly gate. It leapt across the finish line to earn its place as the first of the zodiac animals. The rat's arrival ushers in brand new beginnings.
    In Scarborough—Agincourt, friends and families will be enjoying festivities filled with beautiful red decorations, delicious meals and gifts of lucky red pockets.
    May all Canadians have a year filled with joy, prosperity and good health.

  (1410)  

Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge a very important organization in my riding of Edmonton Centre, SACE, the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton.
    SACE is a not-for-profit charitable organization composed of 40 staff and 80 dedicated volunteers who do admirable work helping those whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence. They see clients of all ages, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations. Given the diversity of their clientele, it is clear that sexual violence is a societal issue that impacts everyone.
    The work is not easy, but it is essential. As a husband, father and grandfather, I hope to see the day when sexual violence will be eliminated from our societies and our vocabularies, and organizations like SACE will be a thing of the past.
    I thank the executive director, Mary Jane James, and her dedicated team at SACE for all they do. We see them and we appreciate them.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address this House concerning an event that has dominated the hearts and minds of Canadians since the early hours of January 8. I refer to the downing of flight PS752 and the loss of 176 lives, including 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents.
    Just saying these numbers brings to mind the pictures of all who died on that fateful day, and the many family members and loved ones who have been left behind. Their loss is a loss shared by our whole country. I want the families and loved ones who have lost so much to know that their grief is our grief, and we will be there to support them today, tomorrow and for as long as they need us.
    On behalf of the Iranian Canadian community, I want to extend to the Prime Minister our heartfelt and sincere thanks for his strong leadership on this file and for the commitment of time he made to reach out and support the families.
    In closing, I call on this House to join me in holding Iran fully responsible for this tragedy. I call for full transparency, accountability, compensation and justice for the families of the victims.

Canada-Taiwan Relations

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this month the people of Taiwan went to the polls, and with a record 75% voter turnout, President Tsai was re-elected with nearly 60% of the popular vote. The election was a victory for all Taiwanese and demonstrates the robustness of Taiwan's democracy.
     It is also a reminder of the strong links between Canada and Taiwan. With more than $7.9 billion in annual bilateral trade, Taiwan is Canada's 13th-largest trading partner. As Taiwan is one of the most dynamic economies in Asia, freer access to Taiwanese markets means new opportunities for Canadian businesses.
    Now is the time to take the next step toward free trade with Taiwan. Now is the time to commence negotiations toward a foreign investment, promotion and protection agreement between Canada and Taiwan.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died tragically in a helicopter crash. Kobe Bryant was one of the best to ever play the game, and his record speaks for itself: five championships, MVP, finals MVP, 15-time all-star and Olympic gold medallist. It was not just these impressive achievements that made him basketball royalty to millions; it was the way he played the game. His grit, unmatched talent, determination and focus earned him the nickname the Black Mamba, derived from what is widely considered the deadliest snake on the planet.
    Kobe changed the way people view basketball. His work ethic and mamba mentality inspired countless people to work harder to achieve their dreams and goals, not just in basketball but in their everyday lives. Kobe Bryant has forever left his mark on the hearts of basketball fans and in the souls of millions around the world. While he is no longer with us, his spirit lives on.
    I thank Kobe for everything. May he and Gianna both rest in peace. I send Kobe and Gianna's family and friends my deepest condolences.

  (1415)  

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Mr. Speaker, today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the death camps. We join with survivors all around the world to remember the atrocities that were committed against them, their families and their communities.
    It is important to remember those who were murdered and the survivors of these unimaginable crimes, but we must also commit to standing up against intolerance and hateful speech wherever we find them. We are seeing a rise in divisive rhetoric and attacks on synagogues and religious freedoms. It is more important than ever to say “never again” and put meaning to those words.
    We must stand together for the rights and dignity of all people. Together we must act to call out prejudice and hate wherever we see it. It is the only way we can truly make “never again” a reality.

[Translation]

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Mr. Speaker, 75 years ago, the world discovered a whole new dimension to the horrors of war. Seventy-five years ago to the day, we discovered Auschwitz. Within its walls, over one million men, women and children were murdered because of their religion. They were killed because they were Jewish.
    Today, it is our duty to take a moment to reflect on the memory of these victims of genocide. It is also our duty to pay tribute to the memory of the survivors. Some of them are still among us, their lives changed forever. It is our duty to remember the emaciated faces of those subjected to forced labour, violence, terror and grief. People who experienced Auschwitz will never forget it, nor must we. It is also our duty to take a stand against anti-Semitism wherever it appears and to ensure that this black mark on our history remains in the past.

[English]

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Mr. Speaker, as members on all sides will know, today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember one of the darkest chapters in human history and honour the remaining survivors.
    It was on this fateful day 75 years ago that Allied forces liberated the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Unspeakable evil took place there and elsewhere. As the president of the Knesset said, “The gates of hell were opened” wide for all to see. By the end of the war six million Jewish people had been murdered.
    With the recent increase in violence against Jewish people in North America and around the world, today is a stark reminder that we must always combat anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry in all of its forms. We here in this chamber and all Canadians must stand up to those who spread hate.
    Also, we cannot ignore the risk posed by indifference. Evil wins when good people do nothing. Together we must stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism and bigotry in any form, in any place around the world.
    Today, we renew our solemn pledge that never again will this be allowed to happen. Never again.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

    Mr. Speaker, on this first day of Parliament, I rise to recognize the tragic event that occurred on January 8: the downing of Ukraine Airlines flight 752 over Tehran. My riding of Willowdale joins many other ridings across our great country that have been grieving the loss of innocent lives. This event has struck at the heart and soul of our nation, because in every passenger we saw ourselves, our parents, our grandparents, a friend or maybe a neighbour. We have mourned deeply as a country because they were us, and we are lesser as a country without them enriching every facet of Canadian life.
    The outpouring of support from friends and strangers alike, of all faiths and communities, has been overwhelming. It reminds us why Canada is the best country in the world. Indeed, we have experienced Canada and Canadians at their very compassionate best.
    All those who have lost loved ones should know that their country shares their grief.

  (1420)  

    Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand that there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. I invite hon. members to rise.
    [A moment of silence observed]

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

    Mr. Speaker, on January 8, 57 Canadians lost their lives when Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 was shot down by Iranian missiles. I want to thank the Prime Minister for keeping me and the official opposition and all Canadians informed throughout the process, but there are still, of course, many unanswered questions.
    Could the Prime Minister update the House as to whether there has been progress made on returning Canadian remains home and what steps are being considered to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice?
    Mr. Speaker, the downing of flight PS752 was truly a national tragedy, and I thank the member opposite and indeed all members in the House for supporting their communities as we all grieve through a very difficult time.
    We are committed to supporting the families and loved ones, with our priorities continuing to be transparency, accountability and justice. I told President Rouhani directly that Canadians expect and demand full co-operation from Iranian authorities. That means respecting the wishes of the families in regard to burial. I can confirm that the families that have wanted burial in Canada are receiving it so far, and we continue to expect full transparency and a full investigation from Iran.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for that update.
    Here at home, the government has overseen more than $100 billion in cancelled energy projects. Across the country, wages have stagnated and have not kept up with increases in the price of consumer goods. Food bank usage by people with jobs is up 27%.
    The Prime Minister has an opportunity to show that Canada's energy sector is open for business. Will he do the right thing, stand with energy workers and approve the Teck Resources frontier mine, or will he stand with the activists and celebrities who are trying to shut it down?
    Mr. Speaker, from the very beginning, we demonstrated to Canadians that we understand we cannot make a choice between protecting the environment and growing the economy. We need to do them both absolutely together, and that is how we have moved forward on historic protections for our environment and for our natural beauty while at the same time we have created jobs. We have seen the economy grow.
    We will continue to do just that. We will continue to go through rigorous assessment processes and make choices that are the right ones for Canada for now and into the future.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made the choice to destroy Canada's energy sector, cancelling billions of dollars' worth of projects and chasing billions of dollars of private sector investments out of the country. It is starting to have an impact.
    The IMF has found that Canada's economy is growing at a much slower rate than our international competitors'. The Prime Minister's recipe is to borrow more, rack up debt and chase away private sector investment, all to fund a massive increase in government spending.
    Does the Prime Minister realize that this has been a recipe for disaster in literally every country where it has been tried?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, over the past five years we have made a very different choice from those of Conservative governments in the past. We chose instead to invest in Canadians rather than looking to balance the books on the backs of service cuts to Canadians. We have invested in the services that Canadians need to help them through times of anxiety. We have increased the Canada child benefit to families that need it, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of people, including young people, out of poverty.
    We will continue to invest in the growth and the services that Canadians need.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, in cities across this country, gang crime committed with firearms is a serious concern, yet the Prime Minister's only approach is the lazy approach of asking people who are already following all the rules to follow a few more rules. It is much harder to track down illegal guns, it is much harder to stop the flow of smuggled firearms and it is much more difficult to infiltrate gangs and hold them accountable. However, that is the difficult work that Conservatives are prepared to do.
    Will the Prime Minister admit that asking honest, law-abiding people to follow more laws will do nothing to stop crime?
    Mr. Speaker, far too many families in this country, far too many communities in this country suffer the devastation of gun violence. We have taken many initiatives to counter that, whether it is enhanced background checks or requiring sellers to check licences of anyone who wants to buy a gun.
    We have invested over $327 million to address gun and gang violence. We will continue to strengthen our gun laws by banning dangerous assault weapons and working with provinces, territories and mayors to keep communities safe.
    The bottom line is we will strengthen gun control. Conservatives want to weaken it.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, nothing he just said will actually have an impact on people who are already criminals.

[Translation]

    Thanks to the Prime Minister, Canada has fallen three spots on the Transparency International index. That comes as no surprise considering the Prime Minister interfered in a criminal case and his cabinet racked up several ethics violations.
    Does the Prime Minister realize that his actions are hurting Canada's reputation abroad?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to show the international community how important it is to invest in communities and families and to engage in positive efforts globally, whether by fighting climate change or promoting the importance of international trade and the rule of law in international affairs. We will continue to work to show that Canada has a strong presence on the world stage while helping Canadians here at home.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Rose Eva is a programmer from Saint-Jérôme who will be deported this evening if the Minister of Immigration does not step in.
    Rose Eva is from Cameroon and made a name for herself as a student in Quebec. She was literally showered with job offers. That type of success story needs to be encouraged. The Government of Quebec wants to keep her in our province. The community of Saint-Jérôme is rallying to keep her there.
    Will the minister use his discretionary power to grant this woman a temporary resident permit until her situation is resolved?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand the profound impact that immigration-related decisions can have on the lives of individuals. We are committed to ensuring that every case is evaluated on merit, in a fair manner and according to Canadian law. Each case is unique, but every applicant can expect professional and impartial treatment and clear rulings.
    We are aware of this particular case, but privacy laws prevent us from commenting on it.
    Mr. Speaker, Rose Eva's case perfectly illustrates why Quebec should have the right to veto immigrant deportations. Quebec needs Rose Eva. We cannot afford to lose a woman who has studied here, is qualified, received her training in French and wants to work in the regions in an area of expertise that specifically meets our needs. Employers have been fighting over her, yet if no action is taken, Rose Eva will leave the country at eight o'clock tonight.
    Will the immigration minister follow Quebec's lead and use its discretionary power to let Rose Eva stay?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, we will always be committed to a fair and impartial assessment of each case. This goes to show how important it is to have an immigration system that works to bring people from all over the world and build a better society every day for everyone. We know that immigrants bring economic opportunities for all Canadians. We will continue to defend the importance of immigration, pluralism, multiculturalism and the respect we have for all those who want to come live, build their lives, and work in Canada.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, four years ago first nations kids won a historic victory in the Human Rights Tribunal. The tribunal found that the government discriminated against first nations kids and denied basic health care services. The Liberals are continuing to take these kids to court.

[Translation]

    The Prime Minister had four years to remedy the situation. While the kids continue to suffer, the Liberals are spending millions of dollars in legal fees.
    Will the Liberals stop taking kids to court and start providing equitable services?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we know that reconciliation is something of importance not just to this government but to all Canadians, and that is why we have taken so many historic steps to move forward the relationship with indigenous peoples in this country.
    We have ensured that we are respecting Jordan's principle. Under the last years of the previous government, zero cases were approved under Jordan's principle, and since then, hundreds of thousands of approvals under Jordan's principle have made a real difference in the lives of indigenous children across this country. We recognize there is much more to do. That is why we are continuing to work hard every day to create better opportunities for indigenous families.

Pharmacare

    Mr. Speaker, taking first nations kids to court is not respecting reconciliation.

[Translation]

    For 22 years, the Liberals have promised to introduce a universal pharmacare program, but there is still nothing in place.

[English]

    There are millions of Canadians who cannot afford the medications they desperately need, but the Liberals are telling them to just wait. Well, we are not going to wait. We have announced that the first bill we are introducing in this House would implement pharmacare for all based on the Canada Health Act principles.
    Will the Liberals continue to tell Canadians to wait, or are they ready to work with us to bring in pharmacare for all?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, no Canadian should be forced to make an impossible choice between medication and food.
    That is why, in one generation, we have done more than any other government to reduce the price of medications. We have taken action and will continue to take action. We are in discussions with the provinces and territories with a view to implementing pharmacare based on the principles found in the Hoskins report.
    We are working to reduce expenses for families with a strategy for drugs to treat rare diseases.
    We are setting up the Canadian drug agency. We will continue to reduce the cost of medications for all Canadians.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, we now have two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada. There is still justifiable reason to be concerned about the current measures in place. Health officials stated that there is a likelihood of other cases in Canada.
    Respectfully, I ask the minister this: What is the plan, knowing that more cases are likely, and how can Canadians be assured that this spread is being properly contained?
    Mr. Speaker, I will say that the risk to Canadians remains low. Our systems continue to work extremely closely together and to collaborate, which allows us to quickly identify people who have the virus and treat them appropriately. We will continue to monitor the situation and add resources as necessary.
    Mr. Speaker, the national emergency antiviral stockpile was created to ensure that antivirals could be accessed quickly in response to an influenza pandemic. Canadians need to be sure that the government is maintaining enough antiviral drugs to treat people and keep more people from getting sick.
    Can the health minister confirm that there are enough antiviral drugs in the national emergency stockpile to address a possible broader outbreak?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, in fact, there is no particular antiviral developed for this coronavirus, as it is relatively new, but I can tell you that Canada's research community is working closely with our international partners. The fact that we have a copy of the live virus allows us to continue that research, and our labs are well prepared to be part of the international solution to finding immunization.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned a few moments ago, we learned this morning that there is now a second case of coronavirus in Canada. People are increasingly worried, and the government must act swiftly.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us what his plan is to protect Canadians from this new virus?
    Mr. Speaker, Ontario says that it has identified a second case of coronavirus in Toronto. The second person is related to the one who was diagnosed in the first case. The two individuals are in isolation and receiving care. Canada is well prepared to fight this virus, and the risk of an outbreak remains low.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health said herself that other cases could arise in Canada.
    Given that this file obviously involves federal and provincial jurisdictions alike, can the Prime Minister tell us what steps he has taken with all the provinces, including Quebec, to prepare for and deal with the coronavirus?
    Mr. Speaker, I repeat, the risk remains low, and we are working closely with our partners.

[English]

    I am working very closely with our international and provincial and territorial partners to make sure that we track the spread of the disease and that we identify individuals who are at risk of contracting the disease and are positive for the disease. We will continue to make those efforts diligently to make sure that we contain the spread within Canada and that we take appropriate measures internationally with our partners.
    Mr. Speaker, every day thousands of passengers from China and elsewhere in Asia arrive at our ports of entry of Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Oftentimes, they board domestic flights and connect throughout Canada and elsewhere in North America.
    Calling the coronavirus a grave situation, China has quarantined whole cities and millions of people. The WHO has now listed the global threat as high. The safety of Canadians is currently dependent upon screening in China and self-reporting by infected passengers.
    When will the government institute a real plan that includes an enhanced screening process?
    Mr. Speaker, in fact, our government has been well ahead of the World Health Organization's strategies in terms of screening at ports of entry. We have multiple measures to alert travellers from the affected regions about what to do if they suspect that they have the illness. We have trained our CBSA officers to ensure that they have the tools they need to support people who may be ill. We have worked with partner airlines to ensure there is information on flights.
    We will continue to monitor the situation and add additional measures as necessary.

Consular Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, on December 31, China alerted the World Health Organization to several cases of pneumonia. Then on January 7, the WHO announced that it had identified a new virus, the coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China.
    Days later, China announced its first death from the virus. As of yesterday, the death toll had risen to 81, with almost 2,800 cases confirmed. Beijing has quarantined more than 50 million people.
    Of the 50 million people in quarantine, how many are Canadian, and what is the Prime Minister doing to bring them home?
    Mr. Speaker, this is an opportune time to remind Canadians to register with the Global Affairs Canada website to let people know when they are leaving the country.
    I am working very closely with my ministerial counterparts and our international counterparts to make sure that Canadians who are abroad in the affected areas have the resources they need to get the support from our country to return. We will have more information as the situation evolves. I commit to all Canadians complete transparency.

[Translation]

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois stands firmly behind aluminum workers, not multinational aluminum companies. This government has not been able to offer aluminum workers the same protections provided to steelworkers. Instead it is creating ideal conditions for those companies to move jobs and investments out of Canada and to flood our markets with products made of Chinese aluminum. China now produces 15 times more aluminum than Quebec.
    Is the Prime Minister trying to take advantage of the Conservative Party's temporary weakness to ram through an agreement that would otherwise not pass in the House?

  (1440)  

     Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to defending the aluminum sector and its workers. We fought to have the U.S. tariffs on aluminum fully lifted. When the new NAFTA is ratified, we will have a guarantee that 70% of the aluminum in cars manufactured in the area covered by NAFTA will be sourced in North America. Currently, 0% of the aluminum in cars manufactured under NAFTA must be sourced in North America, so 70% is definitely better than 0%.
    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are well aware that the aluminum that is subject to dumping in the Mexican market will be considered North American. That is the catch.
    We have read and heard in several places that the Bloc jumped the gun when it refused to lend its support. Today, however, it is the Prime Minister and the government who seem to want to jump the gun by skipping over as many steps as possible in the legislative review process involving this agreement.
    I have a clear and simple question for the Prime Minister. If solutions are put forward to resolve the Quebec aluminum issue, will he be open to them?
    Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Legault, with whom I spoke this morning. He knows how important this agreement is to Canadians. In December, he said, "I believe the Bloc Québécois has to defend the interests of Quebeckers, and it is in the interest of Quebeckers for this agreement to be ratified and adopted."
    It is a good deal for Quebec workers and businesses. I agree with Premier Legault.
    Mr. Speaker, 70% of manufactured parts are protected, not aluminum itself. Five expansion projects and a modernization of Quebec aluminum plants had been planned before the CUSMA was signed, but now they are in limbo.
    Is the Prime Minister aware that by failing to give aluminum the same protections as steel, he is compromising the production of carbon-neutral Canadian aluminum and putting Canadian jobs in jeopardy? He is also encouraging the production of the dirtiest aluminum in the world and promoting jobs in China.
    Does the Prime Minister fully understand the implications of the agreement he signed?
    Mr. Speaker, we do indeed understand the implications of this agreement, which is a good agreement for Quebec and for Canada.
    The new NAFTA is excellent for jobs in Canada and Quebec and for providing economic certainty. Jean Simard, president of the Aluminium Association of Canada, even said that the new NAFTA is the right way to go.

[English]

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals carelessly rushed through changes to Canada's criminal justice system in Bill C-75. Conservatives raised concerns over the impacts of the bill and how it would impact and harm victims of crime. Legal experts warned the Prime Minister that his poorly drafted legislation would result in guilty verdicts being nullified. Now in Ontario we see that is indeed the case.
    What is the Prime Minister planning to do now that criminals are being set free and victims will have to go through painful retrials due to the government's incompetence?
    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to welcome back the hon. member for Beauséjour. I will go so far as to say that I missed his sense of humour.
    We introduced a number of important changes in Bill C-75 to make our criminal justice system more efficient, more fair and more just. Among these were the ways in which juries were selected, to increase transparency and to address long-standing concerns of Canadians as regards this process.
    We are aware of the Ontario Court of Appeal's ruling and we will continue to monitor the situation.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough.
    The Liberal government's poorly drafted Bill C-75 means criminals are now facing retrial and victims of crime will have to relive the horrific situations yet again in court. This is a significant failure of the Liberal government to protect victims. We already know that the sloppy implementation of the bill will lead to retrials in Ontario.
    When will the Prime Minister act before more criminals go free?
    Mr. Speaker, it was the federal government's view that the Interpretation Act and the case law provide that amendments to the jury selection process should have been applied as of the date Bill C-75 came into force. Federal prosecutors adopted this approach, and we are happy that the Ontario Court of Appeal has agreed.
    Given that there is litigation in issue, I have tasked my department and legislative drafters to ensure that temporal provisions are always considered as we move forward.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, in 2004, the man who murdered Marylène Levesque was convicted of killing his partner with a hammer and knives.
    Twelve years later, he was granted parole with some very questionable conditions. The government, as represented by the Parole Board of Canada, gave him permission to obtain sexual services, even though it knew full well that this murderer had a problem with women.
    Could the minister tell the family why the board gave that permission to a man who was known to be violent?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I join the member opposite in expressing our deepest condolences to the Levesque family in this tragedy.
    Public safety is and must be the main consideration in all parole decisions. The Parole Board of Canada makes these decisions independently, based on long-standing criteria established to promote safe and effective reintegration of offenders into society. In this case, the commissioner of Correctional Services and the chair of the Parole Board have agreed to jointly conduct a full investigation into all of the circumstances that led to this tragic case to ensure that all established protocols are followed and that lessons are learned.

[Translation]

Ethics

     In recent years, Volkswagen has been caught lying about its vehicles' polluting emissions.
    We know this because the company pleaded guilty in the United States in 2017. Canada waited three years before laying charges. Three years. The Liberals did not report anything to the RCMP. The company was offered a backroom deal to avoid trial.
    Does this complacency have to do with the fact that Volkswagen lobbyists were invited into the offices of the environment, transport, global affairs and innovation ministers, as well as that of the Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, this investigation, the resulting legal action and the judge's approval of the penalty imposed on Volkswagen are independent of the minister's office.
    As a result of the investigation, the company had to pay a record-setting fine in Canada. That fine is 26 times higher than any environmental fine ever imposed at the federal level, and the money will go toward environmental protection projects.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal tax changes give the most benefit to those who need it the least. Our plan caps the tax changes and saves enough to pay for dental care for Canadians making $90,000 or less a year.
    The Liberals delayed the vote on their scheme. Does that mean they will work with us to deliver dental care to millions of Canadians who need it, or will they just keep focusing on the wealthy and well connected?
    Mr. Speaker, we are prepared to work to make sure that our tax system ensures that people pay the appropriate amount of taxes.
    We have reduced taxes on middle-class Canadians. Our most recent approach is to make sure that not only middle-class Canadians but also those at the lowest end of the income scale have the opportunity to have reduced taxes. Through our tax changes, nine million Canadians will see reduced taxes. We believe this is important in helping them to be able to afford the things they want for themselves and their families.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, being the first-ever Mi'kmaq member of Parliament and also a member of the Eskasoni First Nation, I want to acknowledge the significant role indigenous people have played in Canada's history. Our government is committed to working together to advocate for indigenous languages and for the well-being of indigenous peoples across Canada.
    Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage update the House on what this government is doing to protect and promote indigenous languages?

  (1450)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sydney—Victoria for his excellent question.

[English]

    This government is committed to reconciliation with indigenous peoples. That is why our government is investing to strengthen and revitalize indigenous languages.

[Translation]

    Our government created the first Indigenous Languages Act in the history of Canada. That is one more step toward reconciliation.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, when British Columbians read about the scourge of money laundering, the stories of women being prostituted and billions being whitewashed through casinos and real estate, they expect a country dedicated to the rule of law to not sit idly by. However, that is exactly what the Liberal government has done. Last year it promised only $10 million to help provinces prosecute money launderers, but that money has not been spent. How can the Liberals find $12 million for Loblaws but cannot find any money to prosecute money launderers?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear the member opposite's new interest in dealing with money laundering, keeping in mind that the previous Conservative government closed all of the integrated proceeds of crime units.
    In fact, we have budgeted $172 million for the RCMP, FINTRAC and CRA to establish new enforcement teams. We have been working very closely with the provinces to rebuild the capacity that law enforcement needs to deal with this scourge.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, 40,000 veterans are trapped in a benefits backlog boondoggle of the current government's own making. Unable to access the medical benefits they have earned, many of these veterans have been waiting over two years for a decision. There was no backlog in 2015 and 2016.
    I have a simple question. How many veterans are currently waiting longer than 16 weeks, which is the standard, for a decision on their benefits?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's concern, but I wish he would have had the same amount of concern when he and his government fired a thousand Veterans Affairs workers. That is what happened.
    The fact is that the application process has practically doubled. About twice as many people have applied for veterans benefits. We have hired 700 people. I can assure my hon. colleague that this situation will be rectified by hiring people and taking care of veterans.
    We really started off well and it was going well. I just want to remind everybody that I was really proud for the first three quarters. Let us not ruin the last quarter. I am talking to both sides. I am not pointing out one side or another. I just want to remind everyone that when someone is asking a question, we have to listen, and when someone is answering a question, we owe that person the same courtesy.
    The hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.

Public Services and Procurement Canada

    Mr. Speaker, if one asks any small business owner, they will say that dealing with government contracting is a disaster. Only a government lawyer could dream up these contracts.
    In its 2019-20 departmental plan, Public Services and Procurement Canada promised to advance the contract simplification initiative and produce a highly simplified contract model. If PSPC is successful, it would make life easier for the hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses that contract with the government.
    Will this contract model be ready in the new fiscal year?
    Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I am rising in the House, I would like to thank the residents of Oakville, Ontario, for electing me to be their member of Parliament.
    We are looking at our regime relating to procurement and government contracting. I have taken over from my colleague and I am examining our processes in this area. We will move forward with a regime with integrity.

  (1455)  

[Translation]

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Liberals were elected because they promised to run small deficits in order to invest in infrastructure.
    It is now 2020. The deficits are enormous. Promises to invest $180 billion in infrastructure have not been kept. Those are not my words. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that overall growth in public infrastructure spending has not changed. The government announced that it would spend billions of taxpayer dollars on infrastructure, but that money has gone missing.
    Can Canada's biggest-spending Prime Minister ever tell us how he lost track of those billions of dollars?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have committed to historic investments and infrastructure across the country. This includes building affordable housing, community centres, libraries, bridges, retrofitting municipal buildings and so much more, including a commitment to high-speed Internet across the country.
    In fact, more than 4,800 projects are in progress or planned, which is more than four times what the previous government did. In budget 2019, we have $2.2 billion in the gas tax fund. We are creating work for workers, and as a result, families and communities are doing better. We are building a Canada of the 21st century: green, resilient and modern.

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, I am sure that like all Canadians, everyone here is concerned about the coronavirus in China.
    We all need to make sure this disease will not become a pandemic and spread in Quebec and Canada, so the minister can count on the Bloc Québécois' full support in that regard. All I want from her today is an update on her emergency plan and the main steps being taken to contain the coronavirus and halt its spread.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Montcalm for his question.

[English]

    I would like to let Canadians know that the risk is low to Canadians and that we are working collaboratively with all provinces and territories, including the Province of Quebec, to make sure that we are prepared, that our health systems are prepared and that everything is functioning as it should. We will continue to work with the international community, including the World Health Organization, and we will continue to adjust our processes as necessary. I have confidence in our public health system.
    I thank the professionals who are working so hard to ensure that Canadians are protected.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, have decided to cut ties with the royal family and live freely. The lovebirds are leaving the monarchic nest and moving to Canada. Good for them. Frankly, it is none of our concern. The thing that concerns us is the matter of whether taxpayers will be footing the bill for the couple's security costs.
    Can the minister assure us that Quebeckers will not be paying for the royal couple's security costs?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I know this is an issue of discussion for many Canadians.
    The Government of Canada is certainly aware of the recently confirmed plan of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step down from their duties and to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis. This is an unprecedented situation. Discussions are taking place between our security officials and the RCMP and security officials in the United Kingdom in relation to security obligations and how to most appropriately cover these security costs.
    There have been no decisions made at this time. The ongoing security assessments and threat assessments are taking place.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, recently a UN committee called on our country to immediately shut down three major resource projects: the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Site C dam. These projects have gone through years of endless environmental reviews and they have the support of the first nations and the communities along the lines that look to directly benefit from these projects.
    I ask the Prime Minister today if he is willing to stand in the House and let this unelected, unaccountable committee of the UN know that he rejects this recommendation and that he sends a clear message that it is full steam ahead for these projects?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I can give assurances to the House that it is of the utmost importance that every natural resource project under way in the country takes input, that it is done in the right and proper way and that it follows the processes that we have worked so hard on, with an understanding that the most important thing we can offer here as well to the investment community is certainty of process, a certainty that the process goes well.
     We will continue in that vein to ensure that other projects are heeded and see construction in the same way that TMX has in these days.

Telecommunications

    Mr. Speaker, when we talk about inequality in Canada, we have to talk about reliable access to fast, affordable Internet.
     Big telecom has a stranglehold on the market, with government regulation preventing any meaningful competition or protection for consumers. Every one of us in this place, regardless of stripes, should be working to move beyond this archaic current state. The Prime Minister is getting lobbied hard to overturn a ruling that would allow for more competition.
    More needs to be done, but at a minimum, will the Prime Minister uphold this ruling?
    Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to hear that every single member of the House is going to work together to ensure that Canadians, regardless of where they live, have access to high-speed Internet. It is certainly a commitment by our government, backed by significant funding. Over 400,000 households have been connected since we formed office.
     I can assure my hon. colleague that we are going to work very hard to make sure that every Canadian is able to benefit from the social and economic opportunities that come with connectivity.

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, the Canada Revenue Agency revealed in the “Serving Canadians Better” report that 83% of respondents had a service experience that did not meet their needs. Now public accounts show the Minister of National Revenue wrote off over $4 billion.
    While everyday Canadians continue to receive very poor service from her agency, could the minister confirm which corporations and billionaires are getting the minister's sweetheart deal?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for its work.
    The CRA will take the federation's comments into account to improve services at the call centres. The CRA is also committed to working with the CFIB to better serve businesses across the country. We have taken measures to better serve Canadians. Improvement in connecting to an agent was highlighted in the CFIB's analysis. Thanks to our investments in procuring new technology and new tools to improve services, our government is convinced that Canadians will continue to see improvements that will help us meet their expectations.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, this weekend we saw Canada's first presumed cases of coronavirus. While this was not unexpected, many people in my community of Don Valley North are wondering what this means for them and their families. Toronto's border service officers, public health officials and hospital staff have been working very hard to protect our citizens.
    Could the Minister of Health please update the House on the current situation and what steps are being taken to address the public health impact of this virus?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. Protecting Canadians is our priority.

[English]

    We have learned a lot from the SARS outbreak in 2003 and we are well prepared to deal with this in Canada. We are all working collaboratively at all levels of government and we are sure that our system is prepared.
     We continue to work with the international community and the World Health Organization to ensure our measures and responses are effective.
    Mr. Speaker, the crisis created by coronavirus underlines the importance of effective co-operation among all peoples and governments on health matters.
    Will the Government of Canada finally join us in supporting full membership in the World Health Organization for Taiwan?
    Mr. Speaker, we take the safety and security of all Canadians abroad very seriously.
     Canadian officials in Ottawa and in China are working closely together with their Chinese counterparts to address this situation that we are currently facing. I spoke with the Canadian ambassador to China today. Our mission in Beijing is working to help Canadians in China.
     We will continue to offer consular services to all Canadians who may be affected in China.

  (1505)  

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, as a result of the Liberal government's performance in the previous Parliament, marred by ethical breaches and cover-ups, the Prime Minister has mandated that his ministers hold themselves to the highest ethical standards. However, now we know that they are in the process of awarding a sole-source contract to former Liberal MP Allan Rock.
    Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell the House if he believes that this blatant example of Liberal cronyism meets the highest ethical standard?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we are always going to uphold the highest standard of ethical behaviour. We are committed to a transparent government. We are going to welcome any voices who can contribute to our foreign policy.
     If the member has any recommendations or any policies he would like us to consider, we will gladly listen to his as well.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this government is awarding a former Liberal minister a lucrative contract for consulting services with no call for public tenders. The Liberal culture of giving gifts to their cronies is far from over, even though it is 2020.
    Canadians are tired of seeing this trading of favours, especially when it involves the public purse.
    Why does the Prime Minister continue to waste our money for the benefit of his Liberal cronies?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, on this side of the House, we will always uphold the highest standards of ethical behaviour. We are happy to be able to count on many Canadians who want to help develop—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order.

[English]

    I am trying to hear the answer. However, when members near the Speaker shout, I really have a hard time hearing the answer. Therefore, I just want them to temper their voices. They can whisper stuff, but I want to remind them that when they shout, the Speaker cannot hear the answer. That makes it really difficult for the Speaker to keep a handle on things.
    The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we are willing to listen to Canadians when it comes to our foreign policy. If the member opposite has any ideas he would like to share, we will gladly listen to his as well.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Centre for Greening Government was established in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the whole of government by 40% by 2030.
    Could the President of the Treasury Board update the House on the progress made by the Centre for Greening Government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating the member for Orléans on her election and her hard work.
    Setting an example is the Government of Canada's duty, which it has done by establishing an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.
    Producing results is what the Government of Canada has demonstrated today, since it has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 33% in 2020.
    Providing hope is showing that we can grow the economy while protecting the environment.

[English]

Public Service of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised that they would stop the former Conservative government's practice of outsourcing public sector jobs and wasting money on private corporate contracts. However, a new report from the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada shows that contracting out has doubled over the past decade.
     This is $12 billion to private corporations for work that the public service can and should be doing.
     How does the minister explain handing over $12 billion to the Liberals' corporate friends?
    Mr. Speaker, growing the economy by growing the middle class is exactly what this government's agenda is doing. For this, we have the privilege of having a public service of incredible quality. In some circumstances, to improve the quality of services, we need external support. That is exactly what this government has the responsibility to do from time to time.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.
     We are in, unquestionably, a situation of climate emergency globally. Canada participated at COP25 in Madrid, and we all know that this year every country within the Paris Agreement has to improve our target. We know we are not yet on a track to hit the weak Harper target that we still have.
    Could the Prime Minister assure the House that his cabinet will not accept new greenhouse gases in the millions and millions of tonnes through the giant Teck Frontier mine, which must be turned down?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected us to protect the environment, grow the economy, advance reconciliation and create good jobs. They also expect their government to oversee a fair and thorough environmental assessment process.
     The Teck Frontier project is a major project that is under active consideration by our government. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the decision on this project must be made by February 2020. We will consider a whole range of factors, including environmental impacts, very much including greenhouse gases. We will consider advancing reconciliation and growing the economy in making our determination.

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez, Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752

    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I hope you will find unanimous consent of the House to adopt the following motion:
     That this House:
(a) stand alongside the families and relatives of the victims who lost their lives during the tragedy of flight PS752 on January 8, 2020;
(b) request that a full and transparent international investigation be carried out so that families obtain the answers to their questions and justice;
(c) demand cooperation from Iran which must remain fully transparent about the investigation;
(d) demand that Iran offer fair compensation to the families of the victims;
(e) demand that Iran fully respect the will of families of victims;
(f) demand that Iran hold those responsible for this tragedy to account by conducting an independent criminal investigation followed by transparent and impartial judicial proceedings which meet international standards; and
(g) request that Canada continue to support the families of the victims, hold Iran accountable for its actions and work with the international community to that end.
    Does the hon. minister have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    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?
    Hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Parliamentary Budget Officer

    Pursuant to section 79.2(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled “Economic and Fiscal Update 2019: Issues for Parliamentarians”.

  (1515)  

[Translation]

    Pursuant to subsection 79.2(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled “Evaluation of Election Proposal Costing 2019”.

[English]

    Pursuant to section 79.22 of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer entitled “Cost Estimate of Increasing the Basic Personal Amount Tax Credit”.

[Translation]

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

    I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual reports to Parliament on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the year 2018-19.

[English]

    These reports are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to five petitions, and these returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to 176 people who were taken from this world too soon, to remember who they were and to stand in solidarity with the people they loved.
    On January 8, 167 passengers and nine crew members took their seats aboard Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 and waited for takeoff. For 138 of them, Canada would be their final destination. Among these passengers there were newlyweds, a mother and her teenage daughter, a father on his way home to his young son, families of three, families of four, a grade 12 student who wanted to become a doctor, a talented dentist focused on starting a practice here in Canada and an ambitious 10-year-old boy who was confident that one day he would sit in the very seat from which I rise, confident that one day his voice would be heard in this House.

[Translation]

    It is tragic that this boy will never get a chance to sit in the House, but his story, and the stories of all the victims of Flight 752, will resonate not only in this House but across our great nation. They are stories of hope, ambition and courage. They are unique, inspiring stories of resilience, determination and joy, because these 176 people are much more than mere victims.

[English]

    Over the past weeks I have sat down with many grieving families. They told me about their loved ones, about who they were, about what they liked to do and about their plans for the future. They lived lives far too rich to be defined by this tragedy. Before any of this happened, they were not just shaping their own lives: They were building our country, building a future we all share that is now diminished by their loss.
    We cannot change the terrible events that took them away from us, but we can choose how we remember them. Today we choose to remember their strength, their kindness, their passion for life. In a way, we all knew these passengers: the friend one could always count on, the child one watched grow up, the inspiring teacher, the superhero mom or dad.
    These people, they shape our lives. They make us who we are, and losing them like this, so unexpectedly, is devastating. This is in part why so many Canadians across the country came together in support of the families and loved ones of the victims because, while we can only imagine the magnitude of their loss, we refuse to see them go through this tragedy alone.

  (1520)  

[Translation]

    In the darkest hours, Canadians came together to support the families and loved ones of these people who left us too soon. Canadians across the country attended memorial ceremonies. They lit candles, placed flowers and offered their condolences. Some even started community organizations like Canada Strong to help the grieving families. Faced with tragedy, faced with injustice, neighbours, friends, acquaintances and strangers responded with compassion, support and generosity. These are the values and spirit that led many of the passengers to choose not just Canada, but Canadians.

[English]

    I wish I were not delivering this speech today. I wish all 176 people aboard Flight 752 were still with us. This tragedy should never have occurred, and these families deserve to know how and why it did. That is why our government is working closely with our international partners to ensure that a thorough, credible investigation is conducted. We will not rest until we get accountability and justice for the victims' families.
    We have been in close contact with the families to ensure they have all the support they need, from facilitating travel and fast-tracking visas to providing legal and financial assistance. We are also matching up to $1.5 million in donations to the Canada Strong fund for those affected by this tragedy.
    I want to end this tribute by addressing the families and loved ones of the victims on behalf of all Canadians.
    [Prime Minister spoke in Farsi]
     [English]
     Know that we stand with you. We will not let you weather this storm alone and we will never forget the people you loved.
    Mr. Speaker, like the Prime Minister, I too wish this was a speech that none of us had to deliver today.
    On January 8, 176 passengers and 57 Canadians boarded Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in Tehran. They were flying to Kyiv, where 138 of them were set to transfer and fly to Canada. They never made it to Kyiv. Mere minutes after takeoff, the plane was gunned down by the Iranian regime with two surface-to-air missiles 30 seconds apart.

[Translation]

    Those 176 innocent passengers and 57 Canadians lost their lives. They were mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, friends, students, colleagues. Their lives were cut short far too soon by an act of cruelty.

[English]

    Let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, it was heartwarming here at home to watch our country come together during this trying time. Countless Canadians braved the winter cold to attend vigils across the country and pay their respects. On display was a range of emotions: anger, sadness, fear and despair. We stood together and were there for each other. That is who we are as Canadians.
    However, the work of Canadians cannot end and we cannot forget what happened on January 8. Here in the House of Commons and across this great country, we must continue to fight for justice for the families and the loved ones of those who lost their lives. We must continue to demand accountability from those responsible within the Iranian regime.

[Translation]

     It was the Iranian regime, and the Iranian regime alone, that was responsible for this horrific crime.

[English]

    We in the Conservative caucus have called on the government to take a few reasonable and measured actions in response to this atrocity.
    First, the government must explain why it has not yet adopted a parliamentary motion to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or the IRGC, as a terrorist organization. The IRGC's fingerprints have been all over some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Middle East over the past few decades.
    Second, the government should be prepared to impose Magnitsky sanctions on Iran if it does not fully and immediately co-operate with international investigations. There have already been several worrying signals that the Iranian regime may not fully be co-operating.
    Finally, the government must deliver compensation from the Iranian regime to the families of victims and do its best to repatriate all Canadian remains.
    I would be remiss if I did not briefly address the outpouring of support Canadians have received from the Iranian people. Immediately following media reports of the plane being shot down, the people of Iran flooded the streets to fight for accountability, justice, democracy, freedom and human rights.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

     The regime in Tehran is murderous and corrupt, so participating in those demonstrations put those people's lives at risk, but the protesters stood with us.

[English]

    We as Canadians must stand with them as they fight for real and lasting change and the same freedoms and rights we as Canadians hold dear.

[Translation]

     One hundred and seventy-six people and 57 Canadians lost their lives. They left this world far too soon. Their friends and families woke up to the realization that they would never see their loved ones again. All of us, myself included, look forward to working with our colleagues as we continue to fight for the justice and closure these 57 families deserve.
    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, its elected officials, members and friends, as well as all those we represent, I want to extend my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims from Quebec, Canada, Iran and elsewhere in the world. This terrible tragedy cast a permanent shadow over the end of 2019.
    We must not just point the finger at who is to blame; rather, we also need to take stock and to understand that this tragedy is the result of military tensions and that it could have been prevented through lasting peace. I cannot and do not want to overlook that fact. However, Quebeckers, Canadians and people from every nation affected are entitled to the whole, unvarnished, hard truth, with all the possibilities that today's technology has to offer.
    Accordingly, we will, of course, support the efforts of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is only fitting that the families of victims be offered some compensation to help mitigate the serious daily and lasting impact of this tragedy. However, let us not delude ourselves. These mothers, brothers, daughters and spouses are not coming back, and no amount of money will change that.
    There is diplomacy. Diplomatic relations with any country are no more than common courtesy between friendly countries. They are the preferred channel of communication between states that recognize the other's relative weight for the purposes of prevention and redress. The notion of justice is also crucial, and we will also support any measures that will make it possible to obtain the all-too-insufficient relief that will come with the application of credible, neutral and, if necessary, tough institutional justice. However, we are of the opinion that there are only two solutions, if any, to this tragedy, though they may be imperfect and late in coming; I am talking about compassion and, above all, lasting peace.

  (1530)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to rise and speak to honour the victims of the flight 752 tragedy.
    This has been an unspeakable tragedy for the Iranian Canadian community and a disaster for Canada. It is the kind of tragedy and disaster that will be forever etched in our minds and in the history of this country.

[English]

    The horrible irony of loss is that it reminds us of the value of life. We were all captured by the stories told by the survivors, by the loved ones and families of those who have been lost.
    We all remember when Ryan Pourjam spoke about his dad, Mansour Pourjam. In eloquent tone and eloquent words, this young boy talked about a father who was so optimistic, giving and kind and he was lost and gone forever.
    In Richmond, I attended an event where a father spoke about the indescribable rage and sadness at losing both his daughter and his granddaughter. In Coquitlam, I spoke to members of the community who spoke about their family members, their cousins and their friends who were lost. In this tragedy, it was a loss to the Iranian community and it was a horrible loss to Canada as well.
    We look at the people who were lost in this flight, the students, Ph.D. students, health care workers, educators, entrepreneurs, future doctors and folks who work in real estate and finance sectors. These were people who did not only have great potential for their own lives, but had tremendous potential to give back to all of us, to enrich our country and it was a loss to all of us.
    I remember a story recounted by a member of the Iranian community when we attended an event in Richmond. The story was told from the perspective of U.S. visitors who were in an airport in transit in Canada when the news broke. As the news broke on TV, the U.S. travellers noted that everyone was silent. It was a pin-drop silence in hearing the news and it could be seen visibly that people were shaken and broken, with tears streaming down their faces. He asked people there if they knew any of the people, as he was concerned that maybe they were relatives. No one in the room knew anyone on the flight personally, but they said they were one of us, Canadians. The traveller was struck by the fact that Canadians stood together.
    As other speakers have mentioned, Canadians did come together in a powerful way. That is who we are. We come together in times of need. I was struck by the power, grace and beauty of so many Canadians acknowledging this as a loss to Canada.
    My parents taught me a traditional teaching, that the weight of sadness cannot be borne alone. It is too much. The loss and the pain is too much for one person to bear and that is why we attend events of sadness to share in that pain, to share that burden together. As Canadians, that is what we have done and will continue to do for our brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones.
    The community has called for continual steps to achieve justice. The pursuit of justice in this matter is important, and New Democrats are committed to seeking that justice.
    I want to acknowledge the Prime Minister, who reached out after these horrible events. We had a good conversation. I want to acknowledge that gesture and the steps to support loved ones of those who have been lost.
    In the memory of those who have lost, I call on all of us to acknowledge their loss by working for peace. The loss that we witnessed is an example of the horrible cost of war, the horrible cost of escalation of tension and violence. Violence begets more violence. It is incredibly important for all of us to commit to peace and stability in the region, in the memory of those who have been lost.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

    I want the victims' loved ones to know that at this difficult time, they can count on all of us, the NDP and all parliamentarians, to do everything we can to support them.
    In the weeks and months to come, we must also do everything in our power to ensure that this kind of senseless tragedy never happens again.

[English]

    To the Iranian community, I want to end by saying on behalf of all New Democrats, you have our condolences. We stand with you. We want to shoulder the burden with you.
    [Member spoke in Farsi and provided the following translation:]
    Friend, I give you my condolences.
    [English]
    Mr. Speaker, this is a grief that particularly falls on the Iranian Canadian community, but it is a shared grief. We grieve as one country. As the other party leaders in this place have already said, this cut right to our hearts.
    I do not think there is a single member of the Iranian Canadian community who has not been touched by this. However, as other members have said, the ways in which the Iranian Canadian community has so integrated and made a difference means that in tearing into the web of life as those ground-to-air missiles did, they have torn a large hole that will extend well beyond the individuals whose lives were so tragically taken.
    Everybody has a connection to a connection. It hit me hard when a friend of mine who is a professor at the University of Guelph, Dr. Faisal Moola, spoke of his brilliant graduate student. He spoke of her as a force of nature. Ghanimat Azhdari was doing her own research on the nomadic indigenous peoples of Iran. Who knows where that work would have taken her? Who knows what a difference that would have made in the lives of indigenous people in Iran, as we look at the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?
    In case after case and story after story, some which have been very eloquently shared here, it is made very clear that we all mourn every single life lost, all innocents, all 167 passengers and nine crew members whose lives were so tragically taken.
    I want to add a few words of thanks to the cabinet of this country, to the minister of defence and the minister of international affairs, for making full briefings available very early to members of Parliament in opposition parties.
    Like the hon. member for Burnaby South, I want to thank the Prime Minister for a personal phone call to emphasize that we must not, as I am afraid some members have tried to do already, make this political. We have to approach this in a non-partisan way and make sure our focus is on justice for the families who were affected, but more than that, to stand in solidarity and show our deepest sense of condolence, sympathy and love, and to extend to them all the supports we possibly can.
    I also want to thank the Prime Minister for avoiding letting this issue become simplistic. I think the Prime Minister was right in saying that if there had not been an assassination by drone, these people would have made their own way home safely. The situation was created by more than one event, by more than one country. On another occasion, we need to find out exactly what took place and if the initial event that led to the rising of tensions was in any way legal under international law. However, this is not that time.

  (1540)  

[Translation]

    This is a time to tell all the families and loved ones affected by this tragedy that we stand with them.

[English]

    We are with those families and will not allow them to stand alone as the time of grieving continues. As we say in Farsi, deepest condolences.
    [Member spoke in Farsi]
    [English]
    I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statements, Government Orders will be extended by 24 minutes.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
    That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the members to serve on the Standing Committee on Health be appointed by the whip of each recognized party depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party's members of the committee no later than the ordinary hour of daily adjournment today;
(b) the Clerk of the House shall convene a meeting of the said committee no later than Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.;
(c) following the election of the Chair and the Vice Chairs, the committee shall proceed to a briefing from officials on the Canadian response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move 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.
    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

     (Motion agreed to)

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe and hope that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
     That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House: (a) the members to serve on both the Standing Committee on International Trade and the Standing Committee on Finance be appointed by the whip of each recognized party depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party's members of the said committees no later than the ordinary hour of adjournment today; (b) the Clerk of the House shall convene a meeting of both said committees no later than Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move 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.
    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

     (Motion agreed to)

Petitions

Religious Freedom  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be presenting a petition signed by many members of Canada's vibrant Muslim community, highlighting an important issue of civil rights and religious freedom in Canada.

[Translation]

    I wish to present a petition regarding Quebec's Bill 21. The petition acknowledges that the bill opposes Canadians' basic human rights and calls on the House of Commons to condemn this piece of legislation.

[English]

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am tabling a petition that calls on the government to collaborate with the provinces on the immediate development and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to reduce waste in Canada, including the development of mandatory extended producer responsibility programs and deposit return programs, which will both reduce environmental impacts and save Canadians money.

Pacific Herring Fishery  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to table a petition on behalf of residents of coastal British Columbia.
    The petitioners draw attention to the fact that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced that the Pacific herring population dropped by nearly a third from 2016 to 2019, and it looks as though it will drop by more than 50% by 2020. The unexpected drop in the herring population has led to overfishing of the existing stock. Pacific herring is the basis of the food web that supports wild Pacific salmon, killer and humpback whales, cod, halibut, sea birds and other interdependent species on the Pacific coast.
    The petitioners want recognition of first nations' constitutional protective rights to herring, which are an important food source and an integral part of first nations culture.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to suspend the 2020 Salish Sea herring fishery until a whole-of-ecosystem plan is developed, to fairly compensate local fishers for the economic losses they might incur and to ensure that decisions are made with the full participation of first nations and local communities.

  (1545)  

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to present this petition.
    The petitioners are calling on Canada to return to the United Nations convention on drought and desertification. We had withdrawn from the convention in 2012 under the former Conservative government and were the only party to do so.
     In the time it takes to present petitions, I am happy to inform the House that the government has rejoined the convention on drought and desertification, and I am happy to so inform the petitioners.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 2, 5, 14, 18 to 20, 24, 31, 32, 35, 40, 46, 58, 61, 63, 65 to 67, 70, 77, 80, 87 to 91, 103, 106, 107, 114, 119, 120, 125, 127 to 129, 130, 132, 133, 135, 138 to 140, 143, 146, 149 to 151, 157 to 160, 163, 173, 175, 178, 179, 183, 194, 200, 204, 206, 208, 212, 216, 225, 231 and 238.

[Text]

Question No. 2--
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the practice known as “March Madness” where expenditures are made in order to avoid having unspent funds at the end of each fiscal year: what are the specific policies, programs or incentives that are currently in place, if any, in order to discourage March Madness spending, broken down by (i) department, (ii) agency, (iii) Crown corporation, and (iv) other government entity?
Mr. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board’s financial policy instruments apply to departments as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act, or FAA. Organizations in the Government of Canada, for example Crown corporations, that are not defined in section 2 of the FAA are encouraged to adopt these policy instruments to the extent possible.
    Under Treasury Board’s policy on financial management, the deputy head, as accounting officer for the department, is responsible for ensuring that departments have effective systems of internal control to mitigate risks in the following broad categories: public resources are used prudently and in an economical manner; financial management processes are effective and efficient; and relevant legislation, regulations and financial management policy instruments are being complied with.
    Deputy heads are also responsible for effective multi-year expenditure plans, or multi-year financial planning, to ensure funds are spent on departmental priorities. Departments must maintain effective due diligence and ongoing monitoring of spending to ensure alignment to their mandates.
    Additionally, most departments are able to carry forward a portion of unspent funds from one year to the next. This flexibility acts as a disincentive for the “March madness” spending.
Question No. 5--
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the SNC-Lavalin affair: (a) how many individuals has the Privy Council Office determined are to be bound by cabinet confidence and are thus unable to speak with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); and (b) will the Prime Minister allow the RCMP to conduct a full investigation and waive cabinet confidence for all individuals the RCMP wishes to interview, and, if not, why not?
Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Public Service Renewal) and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, anyone having access to confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, i.e., cabinet confidences, is required to maintain the confidentiality of that information. This includes ministers of the Crown, ministerial exempt staff and departmental officials. Before taking office as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council, every minister swears to keep matters discussed in council, including cabinet, secret. Public servants and ministerial staff are required, as a condition of employment, to keep confidential any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties pursuant to the terms and conditions of employment.
    The government fully co-operated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
    In the course of an investigation, the RCMP is independent of the control of the government. Whether the RCMP conducts an investigation is a decision of the RCMP alone. Therefore, only the RCMP would be aware if any minister of the Crown, ministerial exempt staff or departmental official invoked their confidentiality obligations in this matter.
    The RCMP was given the same access to cabinet confidences and privileged information as was provided to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 2019-0105. The decision to provide access to the RCMP was made by the Clerk of the Privy Council as custodian of cabinet confidences.
    Any questions concerning activities of the RCMP should be forwarded to them directly.
Question No. 14--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
    With regard to projects funded under the Canada 150 Signature Project Program: (a) what are the details of each project, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) original project cost, (v) final project cost, (vi) original funding commitment, (vii) final funding amount provided to the project, (viii) project completion date; and (b) for each project that went over budget or required additional government funding, what was the reason for the cost overrun?
Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, information on grants and contributions awarded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, including pan-Canadian signature projects of Canada 150, is available on the Government of Canada proactive disclosure website: https://search.open.canada.ca/en/gc/?sort=score_desc&page=1&search_text=&gc-search-orgs=Canadian%20Heritage.
    Of note, the location of a beneficiary is not representative of the scope of a project. For instance, signature activities were of a national scale and, therefore, were delivered in many communities across Canada.
Question No. 18--
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the late delivery of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) by Irving Shipbuilding, which was originally scheduled for 2018 and is now scheduled for 2020: (a) what is the new anticipated delivery date; (b) why was the delivery date delayed; and (c) will the government receive a discount or will Irving Shipbuilding be required to pay a late delivery fee as a result of the delay and, if so, how much?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a) of the question, the new anticipated delivery date for the first Arctic and offshore patrol ship by Irving Shipbuilding is early 2020.
    With regard to part (b), shipbuilding is complex, especially for a first-of-class vessel, and schedules can be challenging to predict. In the case of the first Arctic and offshore patrol ship, the originally anticipated delivery date of summer 2018 has been adjusted to early 2020. The adjustments to the schedule result from challenges associated with new production processes within a new facility on a first-of-class vessel. Irving Shipbuilding has learned lessons from the build of the first ship that are being applied to the construction of the subsequent ships. Resulting efficiencies will help the planning and achievement of anticipated dates for the delivery of the other ships in the class and the program as a whole.
    With regard to part (c), although there are no late delivery fees or discounts, the shipyard is financially incentivized to deliver on schedule and on budget. The level of profit varies depending on the final cost of each ship, which is a factor of time and level of effort. Further, the contract calls for the supplier to report regularly to Canada on schedule and cost performance, for individual ships as well as for the program as a whole, which is designed to provide the government with the information required to manage the program and to update planned delivery dates as is reasonable and appropriate.
Question No. 19--
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the diplomatic letter received by the government from United States officials that criticizes the level of defence spending: (a) what are the details of the letter including, (i) date on which it was received, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) summary; and (b) how many similar letters critical of the level of defence spending have been received by the government since November 4, 2015, and what are the details of all such letters, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) summary?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, positions Canada to remain strong at home, secure in North America and engaged in the world. Through this policy, Canada is making significant investments to the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The United States remains Canada’s most important ally and defence partner. The Canada-U.S. bilateral defence partnership covers the full range of defence activities, from joint training exercises to personnel exchanges, strategic policy discussions and operational co-operation both at home and abroad. Canada is committed to remaining secure in North America, through our partnership with the U.S., including through the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. Canada and the U.S. are both founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, and Canada remains committed to working with the U.S. and NATO allies and partners to contribute to a more stable, peaceful world.
    With regard to parts (a) and (b), in processing parliamentary returns, the Government of Canada applies the principles of the Access to Information Act and certain information is withheld on the grounds that disclosing such information would be injurious to national security, defence and/or international affairs.
Question No. 20--
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the new search and rescue planes, which were supposed to be delivered by Airbus on December 1, 2019: (a) why was the delivery date delayed; and (b) what is the new delivery date?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, this government is making investments to ensure that our search and rescue crews have the necessary aircraft to support life-saving services to Canadians in need. As such, we are procuring 16 new planes that are capable of providing improved search and rescue capabilities over long ranges, in difficult weather conditions and at night.
    Canada accepted the first aircraft in Spain on December 18, 2019. As outlined in the defence capabilities blueprint, National Defence anticipates receiving all aircraft by 2022-23. For more information, please visit: http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/project-details.asp?id=1721
    With regard to part (a), the acceptance of the first aircraft was delayed to ensure final inspections of the aircraft could be completed and to assess the readiness of the aircraft operating manuals.
    With regard to part (b), as noted above, Canada accepted the first aircraft on December 18, 2019.
Question No. 24--
Mr. John Barlow:
    With regard to page 25 of the Liberal Party of Canada election platform which stated that “we will merge existing financial and advisory services currently scattered between several agencies into Farm Credit Canada”: (a) which specific entities and services will be merged into Farm Credit Canada (FCC); (b) how many jobs at each of the entities in (a) will be (i) eliminated, (ii) transferred to FCC; (c) what is the breakdown of jobs in (b) by location; and (d) what is the projected timeline for this merger?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government is currently analyzing the platform commitment referenced by the member of Parliament for Foothills in Question No. 24 on December 5, 2019, with respect to Farm Credit Canada. An approach to implement this commitment is being developed in alignment with the mandate letter for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, which tasks the minister to support farmers as they succeed and grow, and to lead the consolidation of existing federal financial and advisory services currently scattered among several agencies. The new entity, farm and food development Canada, will serve as a single point of service, delivering products from across government, with an expanded and enhanced mandate and additional capital lending capability.
    Therefore, at this time, the following information is available with respect to the specific questions.
    With respect to part (a), the scope of specific entities and services to be merged is still under analysis.
    With regard to part (b), potential impacts on jobs cannot be defined at this time.
    Regarding part (c), given that the potential on jobs cannot be defined at this time, a regional breakdown cannot be provided.
    Finally, with respect to part (d), the projected timeline for the implementation of this commitment will depend on the results of the analysis and the implementation approach taken.
Question No. 31--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Natural Resources Canada since January 1, 2018, what are the details of each including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, grants and contributions, including those under $25,000, provided by Natural Resources Canada since January 1, 2018, are proactively disclosed and can be found at https://search.open.canada.ca/en/gc/?sort=scoredesc&page=1&search_text=&gc-search-orgs=Natural%20Resources%20Canada.
Question No. 32--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to Bill C-69 of the First Session of the 42nd Parliament: what specific measures passed in Bill C-69, if any, will the government remove in order to improve the economy in western Canada?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, a strong economy depends on a healthy environment. The Impact Assessment Act protects the environment and respects indigenous rights, while strengthening the economy and encouraging investment.
    The Impact Assessment Act sets out a federal process for impact assessment of major projects that considers both positive and negative environmental, economic, social and health impacts of potential projects.
    To support Canada’s competitiveness and attract investment, the impact assessment system provides clear expectations and shorter legislated timelines, and aims to avoid duplication with other jurisdictions wherever possible, with the goal of one project, one review.
    While our intention is not to reopen the legislation for amendments, we are open to constructive suggestions and discussions moving forward as we look to implement the law.
Question No. 35--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to the fleet of Challenger aircraft: (a) does the government have plans to purchase new aircraft to replace the fleet; (b) which aircraft is the government considering as a replacement; and (c) what is the projected cost of replacements?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, this government is providing the Royal Canadian Air Force the equipment it needs to succeed on operations, at home and abroad.
    The Challenger fleet fulfills critical roles for the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Government of Canada, including rapidly deployable medical and military transport to theatres of operation and secure and reliable transport for Canadian representatives, including the Governor General and the Prime Minister. For example, the disaster assistance response team utilized a Challenger as part of Canada’s initial response to the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines.
    With respect to part (a), as outlined in the defence capabilities blueprint, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will assess options for the continued provision of administrative and utility flight services.
    With respect to part (b), following the development of operational requirements for the fleet, the Canadian Armed Forces will better understand which specific aircraft meets the parameters.
    With regard to part (c), as the costs will depend on the option selected, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are unable provide detailed projected costs at this time.
Question No. 40--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
    With regard to training flights for the government’s fleet of Challenger aircraft, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are all instances where the Prime Minister, ministers, or other government officials have had their “guests” fly on a training flight; and (b) for each instance in (a), what are the details of the leg of each such flight, including (i) names of guests on manifest, (ii) names of guests on each flight, if different than (i), (iii) date of flight, (iv) origin, (v) destination?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Air Force provides flight services for official travel by the Governor General, the Prime Minister, ministers or other government officials, and their guests.
    Since January 1, 2016, the Royal Canadian Air Force has not conducted any Challenger training flights with guests of the Prime Minister, ministers or government officials aboard.
Question No. 46--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
    With regard to government statistics on veterans’ homelessness: what is the current number, or estimated number, of homeless veterans, and what is the breakdown by (i) municipality, and (ii) province?
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as per the ESDC national shelter study, 2005 to 2016, 1.8% of shelter users, an estimated 2,400 people, reported having served in the military in 2016. This is a decrease from nearly 3,000 people, or 2.2%, in 2014.
    Veterans who have used emergency shelters were more likely to be male, at 84.4%. Male shelter users tended to be older, 48 years old on average, than female shelter users, who were 38 years old on average. Nearly half, or 42.7%, of females having served in the military were under age 30, compared with 13.8% of males.
    The national shelter study provides a national estimate of veteran emergency shelter use. However, reliable provincial community estimates of veteran shelter use are not available, as some provinces are under-represented in the data, and there are communities for which we do not receive data for the entirety of the shelter system.
Question No. 58--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
    With regard to the government’s response to the need for a new sewage treatment plant in Inverness, Nova Scotia: (a) how much money has the government committed for a new sewage treatment plant; and (b) when will construction on the new plant (i) begin, (ii) be completed?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s response to the need for a new sewage treatment plant in Inverness, Nova Scotia, the federal government has not received an application for a new sewage treatment plant. Under the investing in Canada infrastructure program, projects must first be prioritized by the province before they are submitted to Infrastructure Canada for consideration.
Question No. 61--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
    With regard to Destination Canada, excluding general tourism promotion: what measures, if any, is the agency taking to specifically promote Canada as a hunting, angling, and outfitting destination?
Hon. Mélanie Joly (Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Official Languages, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Destination Canada is not currently engaged in any marketing efforts related to hunting and outfitting. For angling, three provincial marketing organizations are currently developing a potential strategy. Upon completion of the strategy, Destination Canada will determine if it will support the provincial marketing efforts.
Question No. 63--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
    With regard to the Phoenix pay system: (a) how many individuals currently owe the government money as a result of an overpayment; (b) how many individuals are currently owed money by the government as a result of being underpaid; (c) what are the median amounts for the individuals in (a) and (b); and (d) what are the highest amounts for the individuals in (a) and (b)?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), as of December 5, 2019, it is estimated that 98,249 individuals potentially owe the government money as a result of an overpayment.
    As the Phoenix pay system cannot segregate true overpayments from administrative overpayments, it is not possible to accurately provide specific figures for true overpayment, which represent money owed to the government.
    True overpayments are created in situations where employees receive pay to which they were not entitled. For example, this occurs when employees’ termination or leave without pay, e.g. parental leave, is entered after the pay period of their departure date, resulting in extra paycheques.
    Administrative overpayments are a result of the system’s design. They have no impact on employees, given that refunds are automatically generated and netted out in the next pay period. Administrative overpayments are created to ensure employees receive the pay to which they are entitled.
    For example, an acting situation is when an employee is temporarily moved from a regular position into a position at a higher classification, and therefore a higher salary rate. When the acting is entered late in Phoenix, the system pays the higher salary rate from the start of the acting period and reverses the payments that were made at the regular salary rate. The system records the inflow and outflow as an administrative overpayment. A new payment is then automatically generated, at the correct acting salary rate.
    In recognition of extraordinary challenges due to the backlog, recovery of most overpayment balances will not begin until all of the employee’s outstanding pay transactions have been processed, the employee has received three consecutive accurate pays, and the employee has indicated the preferred repayment option.
    In response to (b), unpaid amounts owed to employees can be related to several factors. For example, they can result from regular pay transactions such as overtime and acting pay that are not yet processed or due to errors. It is not possible to report on these figures accurately until all pay-related transactions in the backlog are processed by compensation advisers. While accurate figures are impossible to obtain regarding total underpayments, estimates can be made by departments based on methods such as amounts self-reported by employees, or amounts paid to employees through priority payments due to missing pay.
    Employees who have been underpaid can request emergency salary advances or priority payments from their departments.
    In response to (c), the median value of total overpayment balances is $1,383.
    The government is not in a position to provide the answer regarding underpayments as the system cannot automatically calculate such transactions.
    In response to (d), to protect the privacy of the affected government employee, the highest overpayment value will not be reported.
    It is important to note that when PSPC reports a balance of overpayments, the figure includes true overpayments as well as administrative overpayments. True overpayments represent employees receiving pay that they are not entitled to, whereas administrative overpayments are part of the system’s design and have no impact on employees. As the Phoenix pay system cannot segregate true overpayments from administrative overpayments, it is not possible to accurately provide specific figures for true overpayment, which represent money owed to the government.
    The government is not in a position to provide the answer regarding underpayments as the system cannot automatically calculate such transactions.
Question No. 65--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
    With regard to government statistics on medical malpractice in Canada: what are the government’s statistics related to how many deaths occurred as a result of medical malpractice in each of the past 10 years, broken down by year?
Mr. Darren Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, oversight of the medical profession is a matter of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. However, the Canadian Institute for Health Information tracks occurrences of unintended harm during hospital stays that could have been potentially prevented by implementing known best practices, which can serve as an overall picture of safety in Canadian hospitals (data from Quebec is excluded for methodological issues).
Question No. 66--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to the March 2019 leak of information related to the Supreme Court nomination process: (a) did the government investigate the leak, and, if not, why not; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, who investigated the leak; (c) was the leak referred to the RCMP and, if not, why not; and (d) is the government aware who leaked the information and, if so, who was responsible?
Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Public Service Renewal) and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, any and all unauthorized disclosure of confidential and private information is taken seriously. We have been informed that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is investigating the matter. ?At this time, the Privy Council Office has no further comment?.
    As stated on March 27, 2019, “We [the Prime Minister’s Office] take the integrity of our institutions seriously. The PMO would never leak who would be considered for a judicial appointment.”
Question No. 67--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the Huawei’s participation in Canada’s 5G Networks: when will the government make a decision regarding Huawei’s participation?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government acknowledges the importance of securing 5G telecommunications systems. Cybersecurity is complex and multi-faceted, particularly when we are considering the infrastructure of the network itself. 5G technology is expected to affect not just our telecommunications sector, but also many other sectors, as it will enable innovations such as automated transportation, smart cities and remote medicine.
    The government’s technical, economic, foreign policy, and security experts are working together diligently to examine the security challenges and potential threats involved in 5G technology, while recognizing the importance this technology holds in the continued development of a dynamic and digital economy. This examination will help determine the best way to maximize the benefits of this extraordinary technology for Canadians, and to minimize the associated security and privacy risks.
    Canada will make appropriate decisions in due course.
Question No. 70--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to Public Services and Procurement Canada notifying companies about media requests received by the department, since November 4, 2015: what are the details of all instances where the department has notified a company about a media request, including (i) date, (ii) name of company, (iii) title of the individual who notified the company, (iv) title of the individual at the company who was provided with information related to the media request, (v) reason for notifying the company, (vi) summary or description of the media request, (vii) name of the media outlet the request was received from?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the department’s standard media process does not include contacting nor sharing media requests with companies. That said, Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSPC, is committed to providing Canadians, including media, with timely, factual information about our work, and in doing so, PSPC may, from time to time, verify information with companies when working on inquiries involving work contracted to them. When doing so, PSPC is careful to protect the privacy of journalists.
    PSPC does not systematically track these exchanges; thus, the department is unable to answer within the allotted time.
Question No. 77--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
    With regard to the Clean Fuel Standard and related regulations: (a) how was the estimated emissions reduction of 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases determined; and (b) what is the margin of error of the estimated emissions reduction?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Environment and Climate Change Canada modeled a scenario for the clean fuel standard, CFS, in the late summer/early fall of 2016 in support of the pan-Canadian framework on climate change.
    The energy, emissions and economy model for Canada, E3MC, was used, which integrates the simulation of the supply, demand and price of all sources of energy and emissions and has a macroeconomic model that examines consumption, investment, production and trade decisions.
    The 10% reduction in life-cycle carbon intensity of the CFS was modelled through assumed changes in combustion intensity as follows: 10% renewable content by 2030 for diesel and gasoline, including light and heavy fuel oil, in transportation, buildings and industry, including off-road transportation; 5% renewable content by 2030 for natural gas in buildings, industry and electricity generation; 90% of petroleum coke and heavy fuel oil switch to natural gas in industry, excluding Newfoundland and Labrador.
    A full cost-benefit analysis with updated greenhouse gas or GHG emissions reductions projections will be published as part of the regulatory impact analysis statement that will accompany the publication of the CFS regulations. This will include an estimate of emissions reductions in 2030.
    In response to (b), the E3MC is not a probabilistic model and has no built-in representation of uncertainty. In turn, no margin of error for the 30 million tonnes was estimated.
    In general, a variety of factors could affect the projected emissions reductions from a policy such as the CFS, including other policies that are targeting the same sources of emissions, such as carbon pricing; changes to assumptions on economic growth and world energy prices; and future developments in technologies, demographics and resources that cannot be predicted.
    A full cost-benefit analysis with updated GHG emissions reductions projections will be published as part of the regulatory impact analysis statement that will accompany the publication of the CFS regulations. This will include a detailed discussion of the uncertainty associated with the modelled impact of the CFS.
Question No. 80--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
    With regard to carbon taxation: (a) what are the current projected annual emissions reductions resulting from carbon taxation by 2030, excluding output-based pricing system (OBPS), broken down by province; (b) what are the current projected annual emissions reductions resulting from OBPS, broken down by province; and (c) if these estimates differ from any estimate that has been published by the government since November 2015, what is the reason for the differences for all such cases?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, it is widely recognized that economy-wide carbon pollution pricing is the most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act provided the legal framework and enabling authorities for the federal backstop carbon pollution pricing system. This system is composed of two parts: a regulatory charge on fossil fuels, which is the fuel charge, and the output-based pricing system, OBPS, for industrial facilities. The OBPS creates a strong financial incentive for the least efficient facilities to reduce their emissions per unit of output and for strong performers to continue to improve.
    The federal backstop system applies in any province or territory that does not have a carbon pollution pricing system that meets the federal benchmark, or in those that request it. Currently, the federal fuel charge applies in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon and Nunavut. Currently, the federal OBPS applies in Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and Nunavut, and partially in Saskatchewan.
    Carbon pollution pricing will make a significant contribution toward meeting Canada’s GHG reduction target. Carbon pollution pricing across Canada is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 50 to 60 million tonnes in 2022. As noted in the June 2019 OBPS regulatory impact analysis statement, the federal OBPS is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 3.6 megatonnes in 2022.
    While pricing carbon pollution is key, it is not the only thing we are doing to fight climate change. Canada’s clean growth and climate plan includes more than 50 concrete measures to reduce carbon pollution, help us adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, foster clean technology solutions, and create good jobs that contribute to a stronger economy.
Question No. 87--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the federal carbon tax: what will the carbon tax rate be for each of the next 10 years, broken down by year?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which received royal assent on June 21, 2018 as part of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1, establishes the framework to implement the federal carbon pollution pricing system in provinces and territories that request it and in provinces and territories that do not have a system that meets the federal stringency requirements. The federal system has two components: a regulatory charge on fossil fuels, which is the “fuel charge”, and a trading system for large industry, which is the “output-based pricing system” or OBPS.
    The federal fuel charge applies, as of April 1, 2019, in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; as of July 1, 2019, in Yukon and Nunavut; and, as of January 1, 2020, in Alberta. The government has announced its intention to no longer apply the fuel charge in New Brunswick, as of April 1, 2020, as the province proposed to implement a provincial carbon levy, as of that date, that meets the federal stringency requirements for the sources that it covers.
    The federal fuel charge rates reflect a carbon pollution price of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, CO2e, as of April 1, 2019, which will rise by $10 per tonne annually until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.
    The OBPS started applying in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and partially in Saskatchewan on January 1, 2019, and in Yukon and Nunavut on July 1, 2019. Rather than paying the fuel charge, covered facilities provide compensation for the portion of their greenhouse gas or GHG emissions that exceeds their applicable emissions limit, based on an activity-specific output-based standard. If a covered facility’s GHG emissions exceed the prescribed emissions limit in a year, it may compensate for its excess emissions in three ways. It may submit surplus credits it earned in the past, or that it has acquired from other facilities; submit other prescribed credits that it acquired; or pay an excess emissions charge. The excess emissions charge rates reflect a carbon price of $20 per tonne of CO2e in 2019, and an increase of $10 per tonne annually until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.
    First ministers have committed to reviewing carbon pollution pricing across Canada in 2022. This will inform the path forward and help ensure that carbon pollution pricing is fair and effective across Canada.
Question No. 88--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the increased number of tax files shared between the government and the Internal Revenue Service in the United States: (a) how many files were shared in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018, (iii) 2019; and (b) what is the reason for the dramatic increase in the number of files being shared in 2019?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is one of 113 jurisdictions that have signed a model 1 intergovernmental agreement, IGA, with the United States of America, U.S., with respect to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, FATCA.
    Under the IGA, the CRA acts as a conduit to facilitate the transmission of financial account information of “U.S. persons” from Canadian financial institutions, FIs, to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, IRS. Information regarding “U.S. persons” can be found under article 1(ee) of the IGA: https://www.fin.gc.ca/treaties-conventions/pdf/FATCA-eng.pdf.
    In response to part (a), the approximate numbers of records sent to the IRS under the IGA for the years in question are as follows: 600,000 in 2017, for 2016 tax year; 700,000 in 2018, for 2017 tax year; 900,000 in 2019, for 2018 tax year.
    In response to part (b), with respect to the increase in records over time, the following factors are of particular relevance.
    In addition to the IGA, the common reporting standard, CRS, was implemented in July 2017. As a result of this development and FIs’ desire to align their compliance requirements for these two regimes, more U.S. reportable accounts were identified. Also, when the CRS came into force, legislation was amended to require self-certification on all new accounts for both the IGA and CRS, which also resulted in an increase in records.
    Furthermore, as the exchanges under the IGA operate by records and not by account holder, more than one record can exist for any person or entity. As time goes on, new accounts are opened and there are changes to account information, such as updates to an address or to produce a tax identification number, which creates additional records, even though they relate to a single account and taxpayer.
Question No. 89--
Mr. Pat Kelly:
    With regard to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity: broken down by riding, what is the number and percentage of individuals whom the minister considers to belong to the middle class?
Hon. Mona Fortier (Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government’s focus on middle-class prosperity reflects its priority on policies that grow the economy and benefit a very broad group of Canadians.
    The income required to attain a middle-class lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations: e.g., what their family situation is, whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive. Canada has no official statistical measure of what constitutes the middle class.
Question No. 90--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to government statistics on foreign oil imports: what was the amount of oil imported into Canada, broken down by country of origin in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada’s energy sector is a key driver of the economy; provides good, well-paying jobs to hard-working Canadians; and is an overall net exporter of fuels. The government understands the importance of providing Canadians with reliable and transparent information. To that end, the Canada energy regulator or CER website provides information on oil imports, broken down by country of origin and year: https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/nrg/ntgrtd/mrkt/snpsht/2019/03-03mprtscrdl-eng.html. As noted by the CER, imports of oil from other countries into Canada decreased by 12% in 2018. Data for 2019 is not yet available; however, figures are expected to be similar to those from 2018.
Question No. 91--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project: (a) what specific sections of the project have been completed to date; (b) which specific sections of the project are expected to be completed in 2020; and (c) what is the current expected completion date for the project?
Mr. Sean Fraser (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a) and (b),
    in August 2019, Trans Mountain Corporation, TMC, resumed construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. TMC intends to construct the project in seven segments and five terminals, each of which could be referred to as a “section”. As of December 6, 2019, the date of the question, TMC has not completed construction at any individual segment or terminal. As of that date, construction at Westridge terminal is the most advanced.
    In response to part (c), TMC will be providing updates on construction progress, including the completion of construction at individual segments and terminals, on a regular basis.
Question No. 103--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the transition from the National Energy Board (NEB) to the Canada Energy Regulator: (a) how many individuals or full-time equivalents (FTE) were previously employed by the NEB; (b) how many FTEs are employed by the Canada Energy Regulator; (c) what are the total costs associated with the transition; and (d) what is the itemized breakdown of the transition costs?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, on August 28, 2019, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act came into force, replacing the National Energy Board Act, and the National Energy Board became the Canada Energy Regulator. The Canada Energy Regulator is a new, modern and world-class federal energy regulator with the required independence and the proper accountability to oversee a strong, safe and sustainable Canadian energy sector in the 21st century.
    With regard to (a), on July 2, 2019, there were 494.7 FTEs employed by the National Energy Board.
    With regard to (b), on November 29, 2019, there were 511.6 FTEs employed by the Canada Energy Regulator.
    Note that information regarding parts (a) and (b) was pulled from material prepared for other internal reporting purposes on the date specified.
    With regard to (c) and (d), funding for the National Energy Board to support its transition to the Canada Energy Regulator was outlined in budget 2019. Information regarding the transition costs from the National Energy Board to the Canada Energy Regulator is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. The regulator concluded that producing and validating the information for this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
Question No. 106--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the promise on page 20 of the Liberal election platform, where it says the government will be “giving $250 to every new business looking to expand their online services”: (a) what is the government’s threshold or definition of a “new” business; (b) will this be a one-time payment or an annual subsidy; and (c) how many businesses does the government project to be eligible for this payment?
Hon. Mary Ng (Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and Minister of International Trade, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to helping small businesses in digital adaptation, which is essential for small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and compete in an interconnected global economy. Please refer to the ministerial mandate letters for further information: https://pm.gc.ca/en/mandate-letters
Question No. 107--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
    With regard to the establishment of a minister of state for Diversity, Inclusion and Youth to assist the Minister of Canadian Heritage: how many public service employees have been transferred from the Privy Council Office (PCO) to the Department of Canadian Heritage as a result of this change, broken down by secretariat or section of the PCO?
Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Public Service Renewal) and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the establishment of a Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Youth, six employees from the LGBTQ2 Secretariat and nine from the Youth Secretariat have been transferred from the Privy Council Office to the Department of Canadian Heritage as a result of this change.
Question No. 114--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to the document "Clean Fuel Standard: Proposed regulatory approach", released in June 2019: (a) what is the estimated economic impact; (b) when was the estimated economic impact first received by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and (c) when will the estimated economic impact be shared publicly?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), in February 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a cost-benefit analysis framework outlining the approach for undertaking the cost-benefit analysis that will estimate the cost impacts and benefits attributable to the proposed clean fuel standard regulations. Feedback on this framework is being considered as we continue to conduct economic analysis.
    With regard to (b), as the design of the clean fuel standard has not been finalized, there has been no final economic impact assessment shared with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.
    With regard to (c), a full cost-benefit analysis will be published as part of the regulatory impact analysis statement that will accompany the publication of the draft regulations for liquid fuels.
Question No. 119--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to the government’s plan for dealing with the mercury poisoning issues at the Grassy Narrows First Nation: (a) what are the government’s specific plans for the Grassy Narrows First Nation; (b) when will the promised medical treatment facility in Grassy Narrows be completed; and (c) what specific amount has been allocated for the medical treatment facility in (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022, (iv) 2023?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Canada has committed to fund the design, construction and operation of a mercury treatment facility in Grassy Narrows First Nation in response to mercury poisoning that contaminated the English-Wabigoon River system and to expand the current health facility in Grassy Narrows First Nation to provide expanded services for all its residents.
    With respect to the existing health facility, Canada is providing $9 million in funding to enhance the current facility and to expand the services the current facility delivers. This expansion will include increasing primary health care delivery, including clinical spaces, medical equipment, and support for remote practice and telepractice, pharmacy and public health services and community-based programs such as mental health and wellness. The health facility and accommodations update is estimated to be 1,230.88 square metres when completed, compared to the current facility space of 347 square metres, which was built in 1989. The building design will include the ability for future expansion of other health services, i.e., a paramedic room, X-ray, additional residence units. Ongoing dialogue continues between Canada and Grassy Narrows First Nation, and it is anticipated that construction will begin in the summer of 2020 to renovate the current health facility.
    Regarding the construction and operation of a mercury treatment facility, a feasibility study was completed by the community and discussions are ongoing about the design, construction and scope of health services to be delivered in conjunction with the Province of Ontario.
    The proposed 22-bed centre provides space for clients impacted by mercury poisoning and includes space for additional accommodations for allied health professionals. On December 4, 2019, Minister Miller met with Chief Turtle of Grassy Narrows to discuss next steps to advance work being undertaken to support the specific health and assisted-living needs of Grassy Narrows First Nation. Canada remains committed to working in close partnership with the community to reach an agreement that will adequately meet their needs now and in the long term.
    With regard to (b), the timelines for completion of the mercury treatment facility will be based on the outcomes of ongoing discussions with Grassy Narrows First Nation to ensure that the facility’s design adequately supports and complements the health services required by the community.
    The Government of Canada is strongly committed to ensuring the health and well-being of first nations communities and that addressing the health needs of communities must be achieved through collaborative relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
    With regard to (c), discussions between Grassy Narrows First Nation and Canada are ongoing, and funding from 2020-23 will be allocated based on the successful conclusion of these discussions.
Question No. 120--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to the Canadian Small Modular Reactor Roadmap and the note on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's website that “The Government of Canada is reviewing its recommendations and plans to develop an action plan in the near future“: will the government be releasing the plan by the end of 2020, and, if not, what is the timeline for releasing the plan?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in November 2018, the Government of Canada welcomed the release of “A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors”. The report was the culmination of a 10-month pan-Canadian, stakeholder-led engagement initiative convened by Natural Resources Canada. It brought together provincial and territorial governments, utilities, industry, civil society, indigenous communities, and interested stakeholders to explore opportunities in Canada for this emerging technology.
    The report found that SMRs could carry significant opportunities for Canada. It also made clear, however, that the Government of Canada cannot act alone, and included over 50 recommendations for 14 different partners and stakeholder groups.
    The Government of Canada has already acted on a number of opportunities outlined in the report, including finding efficiencies and streamlining the regulatory system to mitigate barriers to innovation while always ensuring safety; working to connect nuclear industry partners with new potential end-users, including resource sectors; and collaborating with international partners to ensure that proper enabling frameworks are in place.
    Partners across Canada have also been taking action on recommendations from the report, including Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, AECL; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CNSC; provinces; utilities; industry; and civil society organizations.
    The Government of Canada will continue to engage stakeholders, as well as local and Indigenous communities, moving forward.
Question No. 125--
Mr. Mel Arnold:
    With regard to page 36 of the Liberal election platform, which stated that “we will work with [British Columbia] to develop a responsible plan to transition from open net pen salmon farming in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025”: (a) what analysis has been conducted by the government with respect to (i) the current commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada, (ii) the likely change in commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada between now and 2025, (iii) the environmental risks and benefits associated with closed containment systems, (iv) the comparability of closed containment systems to alternative technologies that are designed to reduce potential impacts to wild salmon stocks, (v) the timeline that would be required for commercial salmon farmers to convert to closed containment, and (vi) the likely economic and social impact of requiring operators to convert to closed containment systems by 2025; (b) when were these analyses conducted; and (c) what were the results of these analyses?
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, as part of its commitment to an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies, in 2008, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, assessed the technical feasibility of closed containment methods for salmon aquaculture, sourcing input and information from 60 international experts. This peer review of six working papers was led by DFO through the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, CSAS, which is the department's primary scientific, peer review process. In this review, land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, i.e., land-based closed containment, showed biological and technological potential; however, at that time none were producing exclusively adult Atlantic salmon, and numerous attempts to do so had resulted in failure for various reasons. Further research on the effects of high-density culture on fish welfare and disease management was recommended. The floating closed containment systems evaluated, especially rigid walled systems, presented engineering challenges that might limit use in more exposed areas; however, the potential for these to be addressed with engineering solutions was identified. The results of the 2008 report “Potential Technologies for Closed Containment Saltwater Salmon Aquaculture” are available at the following link: https://waves-vagues.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/332156.pdf.
    In follow-up to the CSAS study, in 2010, the department conducted an economic analysis of a model commercial-scale closed containment facility. The study concluded that while closed containment production of adult Atlantic salmon has the potential for financial feasibility, it is very susceptible to a range of commercial variables that could quickly make it uneconomical. The results of the report, the “Feasibility Study of Closed Containment Options for the British Columbia Aquaculture Industry”, are available at the following link: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/programs-programmes/BC-aquaculture-CB-eng.htm.
    As announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in December of 2018, DFO, in partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada, SDTC, and the Province of British Columbia, B.C., commissioned and funded a study on the state of salmon aquaculture technologies to examine the risks and opportunities of the most promising emerging technologies for salmon farming in B.C. The study explored the financial, environmental and social elements of emerging aquaculture technologies and highlighted some of the ways to incent the adoption of these new technologies, including how other countries have incented adoption. The study explored four technology options: land-based closed containment, floating closed containment, offshore technologies, and hybrid systems, which combine both land- and marine-based systems. We expect that the state of salmon aquaculture technologies study will be released soon.
    The state of salmon aquaculture technology study indicated that all four production technologies have the opportunity to reduce interactions between farmed and wild salmon compared to conventional open-net pen aquaculture production, but the assessment against other environmental, economic and social elements varied. While full grow-out to market-size fish in land-based closed containment inherently has the most strengths in environmental performance with respect to reducing interactions with the marine environment and wild fish, the study also indicated that a high amount of energy is used in closed containment system construction and operation, but noted that this, as well as the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, could be offset by locating systems closer to consumer markets and feed sources and by using low-carbon energy alternatives where possible.
    The study concluded that overall, land-based closed containment and hybrid systems are the most technologically developed for application in B.C., while floating closed containment and offshore technologies still require about five to 10 years of further development and evaluation. The study indicated that land-based closed containment, though less financially proven, is the most socially acceptable technology by opponents of open-net pen aquaculture, as long as it is developed and operated in B.C. On the other hand, the study also indicated that the hybrid system is likely more profitable and the preferred choice for the majority of industry, contingent on its also operating in the B.C. coastal region, responding to some of the key economic and environmental performance criteria.
    The government has not studied the commercial viability of closed containment systems in Canada between now and 2025, nor the economic and social impact of requiring operators to convert to closed containment systems by 2025.
Question No. 127--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
    With regard to the government’s plan to provide almost $600 million in subsidies to select media outlets: (a) what (i) objective criteria, (ii) subjective criteria will be used to determine which outlets receive funding; and (b) what weight or level of importance will be given to each of the criteria in (a)?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada introduced three tax measures in budget 2019 to strengthen Canadian journalism. These include the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, a 25% refundable tax credit on salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019; the digital news subscription tax credit, a 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit for digital news subscription costs paid by an individual to a qualified Canadian journalism organization, which applies to qualifying amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025; and a new type of qualified donee called a “registered journalism organization” for not-for-profit journalism organizations, which is in effect as of January 1, 2020.
    The “gateway” for eligibility for all the income tax measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization”, QCJO. While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in determining if any of the three income tax measures could apply.
    With regard to (a) and (b), note that the terms “objective criteria” and “subjective criteria” do not appear in the relevant definitions of the Income Tax Act. The relevant criteria that must be met for the tax measures listed above are set out in the act as follows: qualified Canadian journalism organization, 248(1); Canadian journalism tax credit, subsection 125.6(1); digital news subscription tax credit, subsection 118.02; and registered journalism organization, subsection 149.1(1).
    Budget 2019 also announced that an independent panel of experts would be established for the purpose of providing recommendations and guidance on the administration of the legislative provisions that were introduced to support journalism. The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts delivered its report containing recommendations on certain aspects of the legislation in July 2019.
Question No. 128--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
    With regard to the Aid to Publishers component of the Canada Periodical Fund: what are the details of all grants awarded by the fund since January 1, 2019, including (i) name of the recipient, (ii) date on which the funding was received, (iii) amount received?
Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, please note that the requested information is available on the Government of Canada’s website at: https://open.canada.ca/en/search/grants
    Instructions: open the link; enter in the search field, “Canada periodical fund, aid to publishers”; and select a year.
Question No. 129--
Mr. Steven Blaney:
    With regard to the $600 million media bailout fund: (a) how much money has been distributed to date; (b) who were the recipients of the money; and (c) how much did each recipient in (b) receive?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government introduced three tax measures in budget 2019 to support Canadian journalism. These include the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, a 25% refundable tax credit on salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019; the digital news subscription tax credit, a 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit for digital news subscription costs paid by an individual to a qualified Canadian journalism organization, which applies to qualifying amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025; a new type of qualified donee called a “registered journalism organization” for not-for-profit journalism organizations, which is in effect as of January 1, 2020.
    The “gateway” for eligibility for all the income tax measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization”, QCJO. While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in determining if any of the three income tax measures could apply.
    With regard to (a), (b) and (c), the CRA does not have any data of the nature requested, as the tax measures to support journalism and the QCJO designation process have not yet commenced. As of December 6, 2019, that is, the date of this question, one of the three tax measures to support journalism has come into force and the CRA has not publicly released its application form and guidance, which are necessary for organizations to be able to apply for and be designated for QCJO status.
Question No. 132--
Mr. Scott Reid:
    With regard to the current ongoing construction taking place on the lawn of Parliament Hill between Centre Block and the Centennial Flame: (a) what is the specific purpose of the construction; (b) when will the construction be completed and the entire lawn be open to the public again; (c) what is the estimated cost associated with the construction; and (d) what are the details of all contracts signed in relation to the construction, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date and duration of contract, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the current ongoing construction taking place on the lawn of Parliament Hill between Centre Block and the Centennial Flame is related to the Centre Block rehabilitation program, which includes excavating the northern portion of the lawn in order to construct phase II of the Visitor Welcome Centre. The project is being completed as part of the long term vision and plan, a multi-year strategy for restoring and modernizing Canada’s historic parliamentary precinct.
    With regard to (b), the front lawn will be reinstated following the restoration of the Centre Block. The timelines for construction are in development and will be available in 2020 once a detailed building condition assessment program and schematic design are complete.
    PSPC, in concert with its government and parliamentary partners, is committed to maintaining a positive experience on Parliament Hill while construction is taking place.
    With regard to (c), critical information on the state of the Centre Block and its future functional requirements is still under assessment. The scope, schedule and budget will be available in 2020 once the detailed condition assessment is complete and schematic design is sufficiently advanced.
    With regard to (d), the Centre Block rehabilitation program is utilizing a construction management contracting model to deliver the construction component of the project. Under this model, the construction manager competitively tenders and oversees all aspects of the construction execution. Contracting opportunities are posted by the construction manager on MERX. This construction management contract was competitively tendered and awarded to a joint venture comprised of PCL/Ellis Don in the spring of 2017.
    The link to the construction management contract can be found on the Government of Canada buyandsell.gc.ca website: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-FP-001-68514?order=title&sort=asc#title
    With regard to (d)(i), the vendor is PCL/EllisDon in joint venture. With regard to (d)(ii), the amount is $598,000,000. With regard to (d)(iii), the contract was awarded in April 2017 and is valid until March 2029. With regard to (d)(iv), the goods and services consist of construction management services. With regard to (d)(v), the buy and sell reference number is PW-$FP-001-68514, and the buy and sell solicitation number is EP748-151886/D
Question No. 133--
Mr. Erin O'Toole:
    With regard to the government's treatment of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman: what are the total expenditures incurred to date for the investigation and prosecution of Vice-Admiral Norman, broken down by type of expenditures?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal cost related to this case. Based upon the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $1,425,389.68, as of December 9, 2019.
Question No. 135--
Mr. Erin O'Toole:
    With regard to international summits, meetings, and events held in Canada since January 1, 2016: (a) how often were RCMP members seconded from local detachments to perform duties related to an international summit, meeting or event; (b) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were members seconded from RCMP detachments with 10 or fewer members; (c) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were more than 50% of the members in a detachment seconded; and (d) of the cases referred to in (a), how often were more than 25% of the members in a detachment seconded?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the RCMP’s protective policing program is mandated to ensure the safety and security of government-led events, as prescribed by Canadian legislation, directives and international conventions. This includes, for example, the 2016 North American leaders summit in Ottawa, Ontario, and the recent 2018 G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.
    To execute this mandate and ensure the proper functioning of a government-led event, the RCMP deploys resources and implements security measures commensurate to the RCMP’s assessment of the threat and risk environment for that particular unique event.
    RCMP protective policing personnel, which are located in multiple divisions across the country, will be deployed in support of a government-led event to ensure the appropriate security posture. In some cases, divisional resources and personnel from within other areas of the RCMP, i.e., federal policing or vontract, will also be deployed, if required.
    For operational reasons, the RCMP cannot disclose detailed information that may expose security postures adopted to ensure the security of government-led events, including the number of resources deployed from divisions.
Question No. 138--
Mr. John Williamson:
    With regard to the government’s response to the concern of small communities that they will be unable to meet the government’s wastewater regulations by 2020: (a) will the government fine small communities who are unable to meet the regulations; (b) will the government provide urgent funding to the communities in order to meet these new regulations; and (c) what remedies will be available to small communities that do not have the means to upgrade their facilities in order to meet the regulations?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Government of Canada has an obligation to enforce environmental laws and regulations and takes its responsibilities seriously. Environment and Climate Change Canada, ECCC, is responsible for administering and enforcing the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish, and the wastewater systems effluent regulations, WSER, made pursuant to the Fisheries Act, FA.
    ECCC aims to enforce the WSER in a manner that is fair, consistent and predictable.
    If ECCC enforcement officers become aware of an alleged violation they may take appropriate action in accordance with the compliance and enforcement policy for the habitat protection and pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act. This ECCC policy states that if there is evidence of a contravention, officers can take a number of different enforcement measures considering factors set out in this policy, including issuing warnings or directions. Warnings are administrative documents, which brings an alleged violation to the attention of an alleged violator in order to promote any necessary action to come back into compliance with the WSER. Directions are legal documents in which the enforcement officer orders the alleged offender to come back into compliance with the WSER. Warnings and directions are enforcement options used before prosecution, and do not involve monetary fines.
    Further, according to the Fisheries Act, FA, no one can be convicted if the person establishes that they exercised due diligence or reasonably and honestly believed in the existence of facts that, if true, would render the person’s conduct innocent.
    With more serious alleged offences, officers can conduct investigations to collect evidence for the purposes of prosecuting in court. The evidence collected is sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. A decision to prosecute an alleged offender is the sole discretion of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Once the person has been charged, an option that does not involve court proceedings is “alternative measures”. Alternative measures are agreements negotiated with the accused by the Attorney General of Canada, in consultation with the Minister of the Environment. It will contain measures that the accused must take in order to restore compliance.
    Where there are no alternative measures, a person who is found guilty of contravening the WSER following court proceedings is liable to a fine the amount of which will differ greatly depending on whether the offender is an individual, a small revenue corporation or another person and whether it is their first offence.
    These regulations do not fall under ECCC legislation, which allows for ticketing or administrative monetary penalties, the contraventions regulations and the administrative monetary penalties regulations, for violation to certain other ECCC acts or regulations.
    In response to (b), Environment and Climate Change Canada will not provide any funding related to Q-138.
    In response to (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada does not have any remedies related to Q-138.
Question No. 139--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to the government funding transfers to the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIB): (a) what is the total amount of money transferred to date; (b) what are the details of each transfer, including (i) date, (ii) amount; (c) how many Canadian infrastructure projects have been funded as a result of the money transferred in (a), and what are the details of all such projects, including the amount received from the AIB; and (d) how many jobs in Canada have been directly created as a result of the funding in (a)?
Mr. Sean Fraser (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), Canada became a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, through the purchase of shares valued at $199.1 million U.S. To date, $79.64 million U.S. has been transferred.
    In response to parts (b)(i) and (ii), the dates and amounts are March 8, 2018, $39.82 million U.S., and March 11, 2019, $39.82 million U.S.
    In response to part (c), multilateral development banks, MDBs, such as the World Bank and AIIB are organizations that provide development resources in the form of financing, grants and technical assistance to low- and middle-income countries, for the purposes of social and economic development. Canada does not borrow from MDBs, and no Canadian infrastructure project has been funded by the AIIB.
    In response to part (d), the MDBs provide financing and other types of assistance to projects in developing countries. As such, no funding has been provided to Canada. However, Canadian companies can engage in AIIB projects and core functions, e.g., Hatch and TD Securities.
Question No. 140--
Ms. Rachael Harder:
    With regard to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity: broken down by riding, what is the number and percentage of individuals whom the minister considers to be middle class?
Hon. Mona Fortier (Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government’s focus on middle-class prosperity reflects its priority on policies that grow the economy and benefit a very broad group of Canadians.
    The income required to attain a middle-class lifestyle can vary greatly based on Canadians’ specific situations, e.g., what their family situation is, whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive. Canada has no official statistical measure of what constitutes the middle class.
Question No. 143--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
    With regard to the over $56,000 owed by the RCMP to the managers of the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas: (a) what is the exact amount owed; (b) why did the government not sign a contract for the expenditures prior to incurring them; (c) what is the itemized breakdown of the expenditures owed to the managers of the island; (d) when will this outstanding amount be paid; and (e) as this vacation was found by the Conflict of lnterest and Ethics Commissioner to be a violation of the law, will the government require the Prime Minister to pay this outstanding amount from personal funds?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), there is no outstanding amount owed.
    In response to (b), the RCMP is working to improve operational planning practices with the goal of ensuring adherence to Government of Canada policies.
    In response to (c), for operational reasons, the RCMP cannot disclose detailed information that may expose security postures adopted to ensure the safety and security of any given principal and/or event.
    In response to (d) and (e), the amount has been paid.
Question No. 146--
Mr. John Williamson:
    With regard to government support for the workers in New Brunswick impacted by the closing of the Glencore Smelter in Belledune: what specific measures, if any, is the government taking to support the affected workers?
Mr. Irek Kusmierczyk (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, since the November 13, 2019 announcement, Service Canada has been working closely with the New Brunswick, NB, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, PETL, to coordinate efforts and provide support to the workers impacted by the closing of the Glencore smelter in Belledune. The area director for NB has contacted the MP’s office to inform them that Service Canada is supporting employees and that the employer can contact them if they have any questions.
    Service Canada attended information fairs for unionized and non-unionized employees on December 2, 2019, in Belledune, New Brunswick, and December 3, 2019, in Beresford, New Brunswick. This event was a collaboration between the provincial department of PETL and the employer, Glencore. Employees in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions and Service Canada took note of them in order to better address their concerns about employment insurance, EI.
    Service Canada and NB PETL held joint information sessions on December 11 and 12, 2019. Eight sessions were held for unionized employees and 82 people attended. The sessions provided general information on EI and other Government of Canada services and programs. A session for non-unionized employees was scheduled for December 13, 2019, but had to be cancelled because these employees are still working. It has been rescheduled to January 2020.
Question No. 149--
Mr. Peter Kent:
    With regard to Canada’s vote of “yes” on the United Nations General Assembly Agenda Item 69 “Right of peoples to self-determination”: what is the government’s rationale for Canada to change its previous vote of “no” on this annual agenda item?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    Canada is strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Canada’s vote today is a reflection of this long-standing commitment.
    Canada voted in support of this resolution as it addresses the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Canada strongly supports the international consensus on a two-state solution, so that both sides can have a secure and prosperous future.
    Canada would also like to strongly reiterate our stated position and concern that there are too many resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a situation which unfairly singles out Israel for criticism. Canada would prefer to see the international community channel its efforts towards helping both sides to resume direct negotiations and work towards achieving a lasting peace for both peoples.
Question No. 150--
Mr. Peter Kent:
    With regard to the government voting in favour of the anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations on November 19, 2019: (a) why did the government vote in favour of the Palestinian resolution, which was sponsored by North Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe; (b) when did the government decide that it was going to vote in that manner; and (c) did the government notify any organization of its intention to vote in that manner prior to November 19, 2019, and, if so, which organizations?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    In response to parts (a) to (c), Canada is strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Canada’s vote today is a reflection of this long-standing commitment.
    Canada voted in support of this resolution as it addresses the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Canada strongly supports the international consensus on a two-state solution, so that both sides can have a secure and prosperous future.
    Canada would also like to strongly reiterate our stated position and concern that there are too many resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a situation which unfairly singles out Israel for criticism. Canada would prefer to see the international community channel its efforts towards helping both sides to resume direct negotiations and work towards achieving a lasting peace for both peoples.
Question No. 151--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to the SNC-Lavalin affair: (a) what are the details of all correspondence or other communication received by the government from the RCMP on this matter, including (i) dates, (ii) senders, (iii) recipients, (iv) titles or subject matters, (v) summary of content, (vi) forms (email, telephone call, etc.); and (b) broken down by each instance in (a), what were the details of the government’s responses, including (i) who responded, (ii) dates of response, (iii) summary of responses, (iv) forms?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, no records were found of correspondence or other communication from the RCMP to the government on the SNC-Lavalin affair.
Question No. 157--
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the government’s election platform commitment to support the Newfoundland-Labrador fixed transportation link: (a) does the government have any specific timeline for this project, and, if so, what is the timeline; and (b) has the government allocated or budgeted any money for this project, and, if so, how much?
Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the government’s election platform commitment to support the NewfoundlandLabrador fixed transportation link, the Government of Canada will work in collaboration with the provincial government towards the development of a proposal.
    Further discussions are required before (a) a timeline and (b) budget and allocation of funds can be specified.
Question No. 158--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
    With regard to the finding of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) in the February 2019 report that some veterans would be “greatly disadvantaged” by the new regime: (a) what specific action, if any, has the Minister of Veterans Affairs taken since the report was released to address the concerns of the PBO; and (b) if no specific action has been taken by the minister, (i) when will action be taken, (ii) why not?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Pension for Life is a combination of benefits that provides recognition, income support and stability to Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who experience a service-related illness or injury. As of April 1, 2019, over 80,000 veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members were efficiently transitioned to the new suite of benefits.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report concluded that most veterans will receive lifetime payments that are between 6% and 24% higher under Pension for Life than they would have received under the previous regime, despite the significant increases in financial supports made to the new Veterans Charter through budget 2016.
    As directed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Canada is thoroughly reviewing the implementation of Pension for Life and may recommend changes, where needed, to improve the outcomes and experiences of veterans and their families.
Question No. 159--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
    With regard to the backlog of veterans waiting for their disability benefits: (a) what is the current status of the backlog; (b) how many veterans are still waiting for their compensation; (c) how many veterans receive less compensation under the new pension program as opposed to the previous program; and (d) what is the government doing to increase compensation for veterans who are now receiving less compensation under the new pension program?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), Veterans Affairs Canada defines “backlog” as applications that have not been completed within the service standard of 16 weeks.
    As of December 9, 2019, there are 19,663 backlogged disability benefit applications, consisting of 16,192 distinct clients in the backlog. A client could have more than one disability application. For example, a client could have a first application for hearing loss and then a reassessment application for cervical disc disease. A distinct client count represents the number of unique clients counted in the pending and backlog groups, regardless of how many applications they have. There has been a 90% increase in first applications since 2015.
    With regard to the total number of veterans with pending disability benefit applications, including those that have not exceeded the service standard, there are 33,618 distinct clients who have a pending disability benefit application and are in the process of receiving a decision regarding compensation.
    Veterans Affairs Canada continues to work to improve service delivery and ensure every Canadian veteran receives the benefits they deserve in a timely manner.
    With regard to (c) and (d), Pension for Life is a combination of benefits that provides recognition, income support and stability to Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans who experience a service-related illness or injury. As of April 1, 2019, over 80,000 veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members were efficiently transitioned to the new suite of benefits.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report concluded that most veterans will receive lifetime payments that are between 6% and 24% higher under Pension for Life than they would have received under the previous regime, despite the significant increases in financial supports made to the new Veterans Charter through budget 2016.
    As directed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Canada is thoroughly reviewing the implementation of Pension for Life and may recommend changes, where needed, to improve the outcomes and experiences of veterans and their families.
Question No. 160--
Mr. Phil McColeman:
    With regard to government expenditures related to Bruyea v Canada (Veteran Affairs): (a) what is the total of all expenditures incurred to date in relation to the case; and (b) what is the itemized breakdown of the expenditures, including estimated staff time?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information that has been requested in part (b) is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal cost of all government expenditures related to Bruyea v Canada (Veterans Affairs). Based upon the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $183,551.04 as of December 9, 2019.
Question No. 163--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the First Nations Child and Family Services Program: (a) how much money has been spent in total on legal proceedings pursuant or related to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal since 2007; (b) how much money has been spent in total on legal proceedings pursuant or related to the decision of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal concerning the program (2016 CHRT 2), including but not limited to appeals, motions to stay, hearings regarding compliance orders or preparatory work for the same, since January 26, 2016; (c) in reference to the total costs in (b), what are the total costs broken down by (i) the CHRT, (ii) the Federal Court?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, to the extent that the information requested in parts (b) and (c) is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total cost of legal proceedings pursuant to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the CHRT, for the period starting in 2007 and up to December 9, 2019. Based upon the hours recorded, the total legal costs incurred amount to approximately $5,261,009.14 as of December 9, 2019.
Question No. 173--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
    With regard to the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS): (a) where is the information on NSS contract awards being published; (b) what is the updated schedule for the Canadian Surface Combatant project; (c) what is the value of the contracts awarded to Irving Shipbuilding for the Canadian Surface Combatant to date; (d) what is the value of the contracts awarded to Irving Shipbuilding’s subcontractors for the Canadian Surface Combatant to date; and (e) have any licence fees been paid out under the Canadian Surface Combatant project, and, if so, what are the details, including (i) dates, (ii) amounts, (iii) vendor, (iv) description or summary of licence fee agreement?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), government contracts are posted on the Buy and Sell website at https://buyandsell.gc.ca/. This includes contracts under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the NSS, with the exception of those subject to the provisions of the national security exemption, which are not posted publicly.
    With regard to part (b), construction of the Canadian surface combatant is currently scheduled to begin in the early 2020s. Additional information on the NSS and its specific projects is available on the following Government of Canada web pages: https://www.canada.ca/en/ public-services-procurement/news/2019/02/ government-of-canada-selects-design- for-canadian-surface-combatants.html , https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/amd-dp /mer-sea/sncn-nss/navcom-surfcom-eng.html and https://www.canada.ca/en/ department-national-defence/ services/procurement/canadian-surface-combatant.html .
    With regard to part (c), the current total value of the contracts issued to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., or ISI, for the Canadian surface combatant, CSC, project, including ancillary contracts and the definition contract, is $521.8 million including taxes.
    With regard to part (d), the value of subcontracts issued by ISI for work on the CSC project is included in the total value of the contracts in part (c) above and is confidential commercial information that is not released separately.
    With regard to part (e), the competitive CSC request for proposals for the selection of the starting point design and the design team included the provision for bidders to include a cost for the license for the starting point design. The cost of the license for the starting point design is part of the cost of the CSC definition subcontract issued by ISI for work on the CSC definition contract. It is included in the total value of the CSC definition contract and is confidential commercial information that is not released separately.
Question No. 175--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the Havana syndrome, where Canadian diplomatic employees in Cuba suffered various health symptoms in 2017 and 2018: (a) has the government determined the cause of the health issues, and, if so, what are they; (b) what specific efforts were made by the government to determine the cause of the health issues; and (c) what specific new measures, if any, has the government taken to ensure the health and safety of diplomatic employees and other individuals at the Embassy of Canada in Cuba?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers. With regard to parts (a) to (c), the health, safety and security of our diplomats serving abroad and their families is a top priority for the Canadian government.
    Global Affairs Canada continues to investigate the potential causes of the unusual health symptoms; a conclusive cause has not been identified. The Government of Canada has sent RCMP investigators and technical experts, Health Canada occupational health professionals, and representatives from Global Affairs Canada to address health concerns and to further the investigation.
    Cuba has co-operated with Canada since the beginning of our investigation, including by working jointly with the RCMP investigators.
    For privacy, security and legal reasons, Global Affairs Canada cannot comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigations or individual cases, nor on specific security measures.
Question No. 178--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to page 30 of the Liberal election platform which promised to plant two billion trees over 10 years as part of a broader initiative to conserve and restore forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands and coastal areas: (a) what proportion of the estimated 30 Mt reduction in carbon emissions can be attributable to the tree planting component of the program; (b) what proportion of the estimated $3 billion cost of this program will go to the tree planting component of the program; (c) will the two billion trees be incremental to the reforestation activities that already take place in Canada; (d) what proportion of these trees are expected to be planted in urban and suburban areas; and (e) for those trees planted outside of urban and suburban areas, will the government convert any areas to a forested condition where the current or climax condition is unforested?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), natural climate solutions like planting trees can help get Canada significantly closer to reaching its emissions reduction targets while creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. The government is committed to working with experts to design a suite of natural climate solutions that will reduce emissions by an estimated 30 megatonnes by 2030. Canada’s managed forests and forest products sequestered 26 megatonnes of CO2 in 2017, not including emissions from natural disturbances. The amount of additional sequestration, or reductions in carbon emissions, realized specifically by the proposed tree planting component of the commitment will be determined based on the tree species, region of planting, current land use and site conditions, and the number of trees planted per year.
    The government is committed to working with key partners, including provinces, territories and indigenous communities, as this initiative moves forward.
    With regard to (b), the tree planting initiative is part of a broader commitment to fund natural climate solutions. The proportion of the estimated budget to be allocated to tree planting is currently being explored.
    With regard to (c), the two billion trees will be incremental to the reforestation activities that already take place in Canada.
    With regard to (d), the proportion of trees expected to be planted in urban and suburban areas is still being considered, but planting will take place in these areas. The government is committed to working with key partners, including provinces, territories and indigenous communities, as this initiative moves forward. In addition to operationalizing the plan to plant two billion trees, the mandate letter for the Minister of Natural Resources specifically mentions support for cities to expand and diversify their urban forests, including support for research and funding.
    (e) Natural Resources Canada and other federal departments are considering both reforestation and afforestation as critical elements of the tree planting initiative. Afforestation efforts in areas outside of urban and suburban areas will be determined through stakeholder engagement and discussions. Typically, afforestation would occur in areas that could normally hold forest, but currently do not.
Question No. 179--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
    With regard to Governor in Council appointments: (a) were each of the following appointments made in a manner consistent with the caretaker convention, (i) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1331 (October 15, 2019), (ii) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1332 (October 15, 2019), (iii) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1333 (October 15, 2019), (iv) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1335 (October 21, 2019), (v) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1336 (October 21, 2019), (vi) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1337 (November 1, 2019), (vii) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1338 (November 12, 2019), (viii) Order in Council P.C. 2019-1339 (November 19, 2019); and (b) for each appointment referred to in (a) made in a manner consistent with the caretaker convention, why was its making consistent with the convention; (c) for each appointment referred to in (a) not made in a manner consistent with the caretaker convention, why was the appointment made?
Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Public Service Renewal) and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, all these appointments were of public servants to heads of mission positions, a routine part of the normal operations of government. Given the routine and non-controversial nature of these appointments, moving forward with them during the caretaker period was entirely consistent with the “Guidelines on the conduct of Ministers, Ministers of State, exempt staff and public servants during an election”, available at https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/ services/publications/guidelines-conduct- ministers-state-exempt-staff-public-servants-election.html .
Question No. 183--
Mr. John Barlow:
    With regard to the federal carbon tax: (a) what is the (i) number of farmer, (ii) percentage of farmers who have received the Fuel Charge Exemption Certificate for Farmers, broken down by province; (b) what is the total amount of federal advertising expenditures aimed at ensuring farmers know about the requirement to fill out the forms required to get the certificate; and (c) what specific remedies are available to Alberta farmers who have not received their Exemption Certificates by January 1, 2020?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, including the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, does not have information concerning the administration of the federal carbon tax.
Question No. 194--
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the prison needle exchange in facilities run by Correctional Service Canada (CSC): (a) how many needles were distributed to inmates in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, boken down by correctional institution; (b) of the needles distributed, how many went missing or were not returned to CSC, broken down by correctional institution; (c) what specific procedures are in place to ensure the safety of correctional officers; and (d) how many incidents have taken place to date where (i) officers or staff, (ii) other inmates were “stuck” or injured by a needle from the program?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a)(i) and (a)(ii), since the start of the prison needle exchange program, the PNEP, in June 2018, 715 needles have been distributed. This number represents the number of needles distributed from the start of the PNEP program to the time of analysis, not the number of inmates who have received a PNEP kit. In 2018, 35 needles were distributed, 33 in the Atlantic Institution and two in the Grand Valley Institution for women. In 2019, 680 needles were distributed, 620 in the Atlantic Institution, three in Edmonton Institution for Women, and 57 in the Grand Valley Institution for women.
    With regard to (b), all PNEP needles distributed were returned for a 100% return rate. In two instances at Atlantic Institution, a PNEP needle was not stored in the approved location; CSC staff seized the needles in question, and the participants were temporarily suspended from the program in order to be reassessed.
    With regard to (c), specific procedures to ensure the safety of correctional officers and other offenders areas follows. First is threat risk assessment, or TRA. The application process includes a TRA, conducted by operations, in order to review pertinent security information to determine the potential risks from supporting the applicant’s participation in the program. The TRA model is similar to the one currently in place for offenders who use other needles and syringes, such as EpiPens and those for diabetic insulin use. This model has proven to be safe and effective. Second is kit monitoring. Needles are provided in kits in a clear plastic storage container. Procedures are in place to ensure the kit and its contents are secure and accounted for through regular monitoring, generally two times per day, during routine “stand to” counts. The third procedure is for needle exchanges: When participants wish to exchange their needles, they must return the original CSC-issued needle/syringe unit with the safety glide cap properly in place to Health Services. A nurse ensures the needle is in place before it is discarded into a biohazard sharps waste container by the participant. Next are procedures for cell searching. Procedures have been established for the routine searching of a participant’s cell whereby the kit is secured before an officer or dog proceeds with a search. Finally, there are procedures on violation of terms. Participants sign a contract, and in the event the participant does not follow the institutional procedures and the agreed-upon terms and conditions of the contract for participation in the PNEP, the inmate may be suspended temporarily or removed from the program, and a new TRA may be required.
    With regard to (d)(i) and (d)(ii), no incidents have been reported of officers or other staff being “stuck” or injured by a needle from the PNEP. No incidents have been reported of other inmates being “stuck” or injured by a needle from the PNEP.
Question No. 200--
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
    With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Canadian Heritage since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) dates of funding, (ii) recipients, (iii) locations, (iv) project descriptions?
Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, information on grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Canadian Heritage, PCH, from January 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019, is available on the Government of Canada proactive disclosure website at https://rechercher.ouvert.canada.ca/fr/gc/?sort=score%20desc&page=1&search_text=&gc-search-orgs=Patrimoine%20canadien&gc-search-year=2018|2019&gc-search-agreement-range=(b)%20moins%20de%2010%20000%20%24|(c)%20de%2010%20000%20%24%20%C3%A0%2025%20000%20%24 .
    Information on grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Canadian Heritage, PCH, from October 1, 2019, to December 1, 2019, will be released via proactive disclosure by January 31, 2020.
Question No. 204--
Mr. Doug Shipley:
    With regard to individuals working full-time, part-time, on contract, or on a casual basis at Global Affairs Canada’s offices abroad, including local and third-country cooperants and advisors, as of December 1, 2019: (a) how many such individuals were required to have (i) a secret security clearance or above, (ii) a confidential security clearance, (iii) no security clearance; and (b) how many individuals were working at Global Affairs Canada’s offices abroad, as of December 1, 2019, either without the required security clearance or pending the issuance of a security clearance?
Hon. Karina Gould (Minister of International Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    With regard to part (a), all Canadian-based staff, CBS, and there are approximately 1,304 at our missions abroad, have a top secret clearance. All locally engaged staff, LES, and there are approximately 3,986, have a reliability status.
    Global Affairs Canada does not grant confidential security clearances.
    All staff requiring clearances are compliant with Global Affairs Canada security requirements. Persons without security status require escort.
    With regard to part (b), all CBS and LES have the clearances necessary to perform their duties. Top secret clearance is the minimum for CBS, while LES are cleared at the reliability status level. Some LES may qualify for and be granted a secret clearance, but only under exceptional circumstances.
Question No. 206--
Mrs. Alice Wong:
    With regard to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity: (a) what percentage of seniors does the minister consider to be middle class; (b) what percentage of seniors does the minister consider to be (i) of an income or means lower than middle class, (ii) of an income or means higher than middle class; and (c) how does the percentage in (a) compare to the percentage of Canadians as a whole, whom the minister considers to be middle class?
Hon. Mona Fortier (Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government’s focus on middle-class prosperity reflects its priority on policies that grow the economy and benefit a very broad group of Canadians.
    The income required to attain a middle-class lifestyle can vary greatly, depending on Canadians’ specific situations such as their family situation, whether they face child care expenses or whether they live in large cities where housing tends to be more expensive. Canada has no official statistical measure of what constitutes the middle class.
Question No. 208--
Mr. David Sweet:
    With regard to the government’s list of terrorist organizations: (a) why has the government not yet listed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran as a terrorist organization; and (b) does the government consider the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be a terrorist organization?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), keeping Canadians safe is of paramount importance to this government. We are working with like-minded countries to ensure that Iran is held to account for its support of terrorism.
    As we have long said, Canada has already taken a number of actions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC.
    We continue to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force as a terrorist entity, and we also continue to impose sanctions on Iran and the IRGC, targeting its branches as well as senior-level members of its leadership.
    The listing of entities is an ongoing process, and government officials continue to assess all groups and monitor new developments. Last year we added three additional Iran-backed groups to the Criminal Code list as terrorist entities.
    We remain unwavering in our commitment to keep Canadians safe, including by taking all appropriate action to counter terrorist threats in Canada and around the world
Question No. 212--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to rail safety: (a) how many railway incidents have occurred as a result of sleep-related fatigue issues since November 4, 2015; (b) what are the details of all such incidents, including (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) summary of incident, (iv) damage caused, if applicable; (c) what specific measures has the government implemented since November 4, 2015, aimed at preventing railway incidents resulting from employee fatigue; and (d) what is the current minimum turnaround time between shifts for (i) conductors, (ii) railway yard workers, (iii) other railway workers?
Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, TSB, is the independent agency that collects and analyzes data related to railway incidents in Canada and investigates the cause and factors contributing to their occurrence. As such, they are the appropriate authority to respond to this question.
    With regard to part (b), as the authority responsible for collecting data on railway incidents in Canada, the TSB, is the appropriate party to respond to this question.
    With regard to part (c), a number of specific measures have been implemented since November 4, 2015, which are aimed at preventing railway incidents resulting from employee fatigue. One is safety management system regulations. New regulations prescribing the implementation of a safety management system were published in 2015. They included specific requirements for railways to follow in terms of scheduling shifts based on the principles of fatigue science.
    Another is a notice of intent, or NOI. In November 2017, Transport Canada, TC, published an NOI that described a fatigue strategy. The strategy included a review of fatigue risk management systems, FRMS, and research into key positions in the rail industry and their sensitivity to fatigue. The NOI also stated TC’s intention to initiate amendments to the Work/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees, or WRR, and the Railway Safety Management System Regulations, 2015, and, if necessary, to pursue the development of new regulations to address fatigue in the rail industry.
    Another measure was a Fatigue in Transportation forum. A Fatigue in Transportation symposium was held in Montreal in the summer of 2018. The forum, which brought together over 200 participants, included speakers from academia, government and the transportation industry to build knowledge and promote increased awareness of fatigue in the transportation sector.
    Another measure was updated work/rest rules. The Minister of Transport issued a ministerial order in December 2018 that required industry to update the existing work/rest rules to reflect the latest principles in fatigue science. This includes revisions to maximum duty lengths, minimum rest periods, advance notice of schedules, maximum cumulative duty times and the development of fatigue management plans. Transport Canada received a revised proposed working draft of these rules on December 16, 2019, and the industry must conduct a consultation with its unions. Submission by industry of a new proposal is expected for consideration and approval in early 2020.
    With regard to part (d), conductors and locomotive engineers who operate in freight service/yard service are subject to the provisions of the current work/rest rules. These rules do not contain a minimum turnaround time or mandated time off duty between shifts unless the employee has worked more than 10 hours. If the employee has worked in excess of 10 hours and is away from the home terminal, the employee must have six hours off duty. If they are at the home terminal, they must have eight hours off duty. Usually employees who are on regularly scheduled assignments, yard service, do not receive calls for work.
    Railway yard workers are also subject to these provisions but are often assigned a regular schedule, obviating the need for a minimum turnaround time.
    Other railway workers, which is interpreted to mean non-operating employees, are subject to part III of the Canada Labour Code, and their collective agreements where applicable. Under section.169.2 (1) of part III of the Canada Labour Code, employees are eligible for a minimum rest period of at least eight consecutive hours between work periods or shifts.
Question No. 216--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the Statutes of Canada 2019, Chapter 14 (An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence), over the development, drafting and legislative process for this legislation: (a) was any consideration given by the government as to how this legislation would affect the International Joint Commission’s Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Plan 2014; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, were any briefing notes written detailing these considerations, broken down by (i) title, (ii) subject, (iii) author, (iv) date written, (v) department internal tracking number; (c) was any consideration given by the government as to how this legislation would affect water levels and shoreline properties in Canada; and (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, were any briefing notes written detailing these considerations, broken down by (i) title, (ii) subject, (iii) author, (iv) date written, (v) department internal tracking number?
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), in developing Bill C-68 to modernize the Fisheries Act, including restoring lost protections to fish and fish habitat, extensive consultations were undertaken with indigenous peoples, other levels of government, industry and non-government organizations, and the public at large. While there was no direct consideration of the International Joint Commission’s plan, the modernized act draws on views and perspectives of many partners and stakeholders to provide a wide range of tools to support the proper management of fisheries and the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat.
    In response to (b), for DFO, this is notot applicable, given the reply to (a).
    In response to (c), the purpose set out in Bill C-68 was to provide a framework for the proper management and control of fisheries, and the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat, including preventing pollution. The powers, authorities and tools contained in the modernized act in and of themselves do not impact water levels and shoreline properties in Canada. Therefore, these impacts were not considered in developing Bill C-68.
    The rationale is that prior to the amendments in Bill C-68 being adopted, the Fisheries Act included long-standing provisions for the management of water flow in relation to existing obstructions, such as dams or other barriers in a water course. These are for the purpose of the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat, such as to provide for fish passage around such barriers by means of fish ladders, or to provide for the flows downstream of a barrier sufficient to protect fish and their habitat. These authorities were previously found in section 20 of the Fisheries Act as it read immediately prior to royal assent of Bill C-68, and with the coming into force of all the amendments provided for in Bill C-68, they are now found in section 34.3.
    As the result of Bill C-68, section 34.3 was amended to establish subsection 34.3(7), that provides for the minister to make regulations respecting the flow of water that is to be maintained to ensure the free passage of fish or the protection of fish or fish habitat in relation to existing obstructions. Subsection 34.3(7) is enabling only and has no force or effect until such time as regulations may be made. Any future regulations would necessarily include broad consultation with affected partners and stakeholders.
    In response to (d), for DFO this is not applicable, given the reply to (c).
Question No. 225--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
    With regard to the 16 CC-295 fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft purchased by the government: (a) what are the operational limitations of the aircraft; and (b) what specific limitations were discovered during operational testing in 2019?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, this government is making investments to ensure that our search and rescue crews have the necessary aircraft to support life-saving services to Canadians in need. As such, we are procuring 16 new planes that are capable of providing improved search and rescue capabilities over long ranges, in difficult weather conditions and at night.
    Canada accepted the first aircraft in Spain on December 18, 2019. As outlined in the defence capabilities blueprint, National Defence anticipates receiving all aircraft by 2022-23.
    Details can be found at http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/project-details.asp?id=1721
    With regard to operational limitations, the Royal Canadian Air Force has not yet commenced the initial testing and evaluation of the aircraft. The initial operational testing period for the CC-295 fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft is expected to be conducted in the first half of 2020.
Question No. 231--
Ms. Lianne Rood:
    With regard to the government’s profit policy as related to shipbuilding: (a) what risk assessment or mitigation does the government conduct related to guaranteed contracts for the Arctic off-shore patrol ships (AOPS), Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC), and Halifax Class Frigates; (b) what is the profit range offered to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI) for its work on the AOPS, CSC and Halifax Class Frigates; (c) what is the total profit offered for guaranteed work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, whereby there are cost plus contracts; (d) what are the details, including findings, of any third party review of Canada’s profit policy related to the AOPS and CSC, and (e) what are the details of all briefing materials related to the profit rate negotiated with ISI for the CSC and AOPS, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the Government of Canada has developed a formal risk management plan for the national shipbuilding strategy, NSS. The plan is informed by international best practices and helps to predict, identify and manage the key risks facing the NSS. Key risks include: timely analysis and decision-making, mitigated through a senior-level governance structure; human resources capacity, mitigated through hiring more procurement officers, training government analysts on estimating cost, and supporting for training and apprenticeship programs; and public communications, mitigated through annual reports, announcements, technical briefings, and other opportunities to provide Canadians with timely information on the NSS.
    Contracts for AOPS, CSC and Halifax class frigate work periods are subject to procurement risk assessments conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board framework for the management of risk, the PSPC integrated risk management policy and the PSPC acquisitions program risk assessment framework. information on risk assessments in contracts is available online on the Buy and Sell website
    https://buyandsell.gc.ca/policy-and-guidelines/supply-manual/section/3/1/5 and https://buyandsell.gc.ca/policy-and-guidelines/supply-manual/section/6/5/15/1
    Procurement risk factors are assessed on a continuous basis and steps are taken to support the effective administration of the contracts.
    In response to (b), contracts issued to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., ISI, are negotiated to arrive at a fair and reasonable cost for the work, including the profit paid for performing the work. Profit ranges under the multi-ship contract, for work on the Halifax class frigates from 2008-21, the AOPS contracts and the CSC contracts are within the overall range of the policy on cost and profit as per the PSPC supply manual. Information on the profit policy is available online on the Buy and Sell website:
    https://buyandsell.gc.ca/policy-and-guidelines/supply-manual/section/10
    The details of the profit level negotiated and approved for these contracts cannot be disclosed as it is confidential commercial information which could prejudice the competitive position of ISI.
    In response to (c), profits under the NSS are negotiated through individual contracts and are guided by the policy on cost and profit. As such, there is no total profit offered for work under the NSS per se.
    In response to (d), no third party reviews of Canada’s profit policy related to the AOPS or CSC projects have been conducted. Contracts issued to ISI were negotiated to arrive at a fair and reasonable cost for the work, including the profit paid for performing the work. The negotiated profit is within the framework of the PSPC policy on cost and profit.
    However, third party reviews have been conducted for both projects in support of contract negotiations, to undertake risk assessments prior to contract awards and amendments, and to evaluate the level of effort required for ISI to complete tasks. Details of these reviews cannot be disclosed as they contain confidential commercial information of ISI.
    In response to (e), details of briefing material for the AOPS and CSC projects on negotiated profit rates cannot be disclosed as they contain confidential commercial information of ISI.
Question No. 238--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to the Office of the Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise: (a) when will a system for fielding complaints be operational; (b) what will be the process for assessing complaints when they arrive; (c) how many official complaints has the office received to date; and (d) if the answer to (c) is none, what steps has the ombudsperson and her staff undertaken since her appointment on April 8, 2019?
Hon. Mary Ng (Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and Minister of International Trade, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    In response to (a), the Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise, CORE, system for filing complaints is currently in development. It plans to implement phase one by launching a web portal for filing complaints in early May 2020. An electronic client management system, CRM, is under development and will be implemented as part of phase two of the complaint system, which will improve its accessibility.
    In response to (b), CORE’s standard operating procedures have been drafted and will be made available for consultation with stakeholders in early January 2020. When the CORE website is launched, there will be an opportunity for broader public consultation.
    In response to (c), CORE has not received any official complaints to date.
    In response to (d), since the appointment of Sheri Meyerhoffer as ombudsperson in April 2019, numerous activities have been undertaken, including: establishing the office, i.e., staff, space, systems, procedures, meetings with more than 150 stakeholders as of November 30, 2019, speaking engagements, participation in numerous national and international events and conferences and the negotiation of memoranda of understanding with Global Affairs Canada and other government bodies.

  (1550)  

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to the following questions could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Questions Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6 to 13, 15 to 17, 21 to 23, 25 to 30, 33, 34, 36 to 39, 41 to 45, 47 to 57, 59, 60, 62, 64, 68, 69, 71 to 76, 78, 79, 81 to 86, 92 to 102, 104, 105, 108 to 113, 115 to 118, 121 to 124, 126, 130, 131, 134, 136, 137, 141, 142, 144, 145, 147, 148, 152 to 156, 161, 162, 164 to 172, 174, 176, 177, 180 to 182, 184 to 193, 195 to 199, 201 to 203, 205, 207, 209 to 211, 213 to 215, 217 to 224, 226 to 230, 232 to 237, 239, 240.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the barge Nana Provider and its grounding off of Quadra Island in the Salish Sea on November 9, 2019, while being towed by the Polar King: (a) was the government notified by domestic or international authorities if the Nana Provider was carrying any dangerous goods as defined in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, and, if so, which authorities reported the dangerous goods and when; (b) were the barge and tug following a proper route as prescribed in the Canadian Coast Guards’ Radio Aids to Navigation 2019 in the time leading up to the Nana Provider’s grounding; (c) what are the requirements for a vessel to use the Inside Passage instead of travelling along the West Coast of Vancouver Island and did the Nana Provider meet those requirements; (d) was there any communication from the Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services prior to the grounding that would have prevented it; (e) what has the government determined was the reason for the barge running aground; (f) if the reason has not yet been determined, (i) when is the expected date of completion of the investigation; (ii) will the results of the investigation be publicly available; (iii) how does the government intend to inform local, Indigenous, provincial and federal representatives of the result of the investigation; (g) to which authority or authorities was the occurrence reported and when; (h) how were affected Indigenous communities consulted and involved in the reporting, management of the stationary barge, and salvage processes; (i) what was the capacity of each of the federal vessels that responded to the occurrence to mitigate damage to the environment and people nearby; and (j) how long did it take each of the federal response vessels to arrive from the time of reporting?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 3--
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to government usage of cargo planes, excluding for military purposes, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all instances where government aircraft was used for cargo flights including (i) date, (ii) origin and destination for each leg, (iii) type of aircraft, (iv) description of cargo, (v) related government event cargo was used for, if applicable; and (b) what are the details of all instances where the government chartered cargo aircraft including (i) date, (ii) origin and destination for each leg, (iii) type of aircraft, (iv) description of cargo, (v) related government event cargo was intended for, if applicable, (vi) vendor, (vii) amount paid to vendor?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 4--
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to government expenditures with the Internet media company BuzzFeed, since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) description of expenditure or ad campaign, (iv) title for each “quiz” or “story” purchased?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 6--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to communication between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the government: (a) with the exception of media inquiries, did anyone in the government receive any communication from the CBC, during the 2019 writ period and if so, what are the details of the such communication including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) subject matter, (v) summary of contents; and (b) what are the details of any correspondence or briefing materials which have been provided to the Privy Council Office, the Office of the Prime Minister or the Department of Canadian Heritage regarding the CBC since September 11, 2019, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) file number, (vi) summary of contents?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 7--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to the government’s policy on the political neutrality of Crown corporations: what is the government’s policy regarding Crown corporations commencing legal action or suing political parties during a writ period?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 8--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to taxpayer-funded legal representation, since November 4, 2015: has any cabinet minister, including the Prime Minister, retained taxpayer-funded independent legal counsel and, if so, (i) what was the matter related to, (ii) what was the rationale provided to the Department of Justice to authorize the independent legal counsel, (iii) what was the name of the independent legal counsel, (iv) what was the total cost of the independent legal counsel, (v) what was the hourly rate authorized by the government to pay for the independent legal counsel, (vi) why were government lawyers not used instead of independent legal counsel?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 9--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to government loans and grants to businesses since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the names of the companies that received grants and loans, including, (i) the program under which the loan was granted, (ii) the amount of the loan, (iii) the amount that has been paid back to date, (iv) the amount that is currently outstanding, (v) the amount that was originally announced, (vi) the reason for any write-down or write-off, (vii) the number of jobs that were supposed to be created by the loan, (viii) the number of jobs that were actually created after the loan was issued, (ix) the number of jobs that were committed to be maintained because of the loan, (x) the number of jobs that were actually maintained; and (b) for companies that failed to meet their job numbers, what action has the government taken to address the missed target?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 10--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to spending on stock photographs or images by the government since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, and other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent; and (b) what are the details of each contract or expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) details and duration of contract, (iv) date, (v) number of photos or images purchased, (vi) where the photos or images were used (Internet, billboards, etc.), (vii) description of advertising campaign, (viii) file number of contract?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 11--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to government advertising, since June 1, 2018: (a) how much has been spent on billboards; and (b) for each expenditure in (a), what was the (i) start and end date, (ii) cost, (iii) topic, (iv) number of billboards, (v) locations of billboards, (vi) vendor, (vii) type of billboards, such as electronic or traditional?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 12--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to government expenditures on membership fees, broken down by department, agency and Crown corporation, since June 1, 2018: (a) how much money has been spent; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure including the name of the organization or vendor, date of purchase, and amount spent?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 13--
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to the government’s international development funding, since April 1, 2019: what are the details of all funding provided to civil society organizations, including the (i) name of the organization, (ii) amount received, (iii) amount requested, (iv) purpose of the funding and the description of related projects, (v) date of the funding announcement, (vi) start and end dates of the project receiving funding?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 15--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what is the total yearly operations budget of the bank; and (b) what is the breakdown of the yearly operations budget by line item?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 16--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
    With regard to the Building Canada Fund: (a) what is the list of all projects currently being funded by the fund; (b) for each project in (a) what are the details including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) current status of the project, (v) projected completion date, (vi) whether or not federal payment for project has actually been delivered to date, and if so, what is the amount?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 17--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
    With regard to government-funded infrastructure projects: (a) what is the complete list of projects the government expects to be completed in the 2020 calendar year; and (b) what are the details of all projects in (a), including (i) expected dates of completion, (ii) locations, (iii) federal ridings, (iv) projects’ title or summary, (v) total federal contributions, (vi) dates when projects began?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 21--
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to Canada’s military presence in the Middle East and its participation in Operation ARTEMIS, Canada’s mission to help stop terrorism and make Middle Eastern waters more secure: (a) how many Canadian Armed Forces members are currently deployed as part of Operation ARTEMIS; (b) does the Royal Canadian Navy currently have any naval assets deployed as part of Operation ARTEMIS; (c) what contributions is Canada making to regional maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea; and (d) does the government consider the Islamic Republic of Iran to be in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and, if so, what action has the government taken to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for these violations?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 22--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what is the complete list of infrastructure projects financed by the bank since June 1, 2018; and (b) for each project in (a), what are the details including (i) amount of federal financing, (ii) location of project, (iii) scheduled completion date of project, (iv) project description?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 23--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
    With regard to the September 2019 Globe and Mail story entitled “Minister intervened in decision regarding performance pay for Canada Infrastructure Bank CEO”: (a) on what date or dates did the Minister of Infrastructure intervene regarding bonuses or performance pay for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canada Infrastructure Bank; (b) what was the eligibility range of bonuses or performance pay; (c) what was the range of bonuses or performance pay (i) prior to and (ii) after each ministerial intervention, broken down by date of intervention; and (d) what is the current range for the CEO’s (i) salary, (ii) bonus and performance pay, (iii) other compensation, (iv) total compensation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 25--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to government spending announcements made between June 1, 2019, and September 11, 2019: (a) broken down by each announcement, which ones were (i) announcements of new money, (ii) re-announcements of funding already committed, (iii) announcements of a renewal of existing ongoing funding; and (b) of the announcements in (a) has any of the announcement funding actually been delivered and, if so, and broken down by announcement, (i) which announcements have had the funding actually delivered, (ii) how much was actually delivered, (iii) on what date was the funding actually transferred from the government to the recipient?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 26--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017, to the Bluesky Strategy Group: (a) who authorized the contract; (b) what are the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 27--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to appointments to federal boards, agencies, and associations since January 1, 2019, broken down by appointment: what are the details of each appointee, including (i) name, (ii) province, (iii) position, (iv) start and end date of term, (v) was the appointment a reappointment or a new appointment?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 28--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to the additional goods and services tax (GST), or harmonized sales tax where applicable, revenue received as a result of the GST being charged on the carbon tax: how much revenue did the government receive from the GST being charged on the carbon tax in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 29--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to government spending for photographers or photography service contracts since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: (a) how much was spent; (b) what were the dates and duration of each contract; (c) what was the initial and final value of each contract; (d) what were the details of all events or occasions for each contract including (i) date, (ii) event description; and (e) what were the locations where the services were performed for each contract?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 30--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to materials prepared for ministers from January 1, 2019, to present: for every briefing document prepared, what is the (i) date on the document, (ii) title or subject matter of the document, (iii) departmental internal tracking number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 33--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to expenditures on social media influencers, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign, since June 1, 2018: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of contract, (v) name or handle of influencer; and (b) for each campaign that paid an influencer, was there a requirement to make public as part of a disclaimer the fact that the influencer was being paid by the government and, if not, why not?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 34--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to management consulting contracts signed by the government since January 1, 2019, broken down by department, agency, and Crown corporation: (a) what was the total amount of money spent; (b) for each contract, what was the (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) file number; (c) each time a management consultant was brought in, what was the desired outcome or goals; (d) how does the government measure whether or not the goals in (c) were met; (e) does the government have any recourse if the goals in (c) were not met; (f) for which contracts were the goals met; and (g) for which contracts were the goals not met?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 36--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to the number of RCMP officers, broken down by province: (a) what is the total number of active Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present; (b) what are the names and locations of each RCMP detachment open as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present; and (c) how many RCMP officers were assigned to each detachment referred to in (b) as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 37--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to warrants issued pursuant to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act: (a) from 2010 to 2019, broken down by year, how many warrants have been issued: and (b) from 2010 to 2019, broken down by year, what is the average time from request to implementation of a warrant?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 38--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to inmates in facilities operated by Correctional Service Canada who have escaped custody or have been unlawfully at large: (a) how many individuals escaped or were unlawfully at large in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019 to date; (b) how many individuals are currently at large, as of the date of this question; and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) by correctional facility and by security classification?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 39--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to correctional institutions, sorted by institution and by year since 2015: (a) how many offenders died while in custody; and (b) what was the cause of death?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 41--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
    With regard to government expenditures related to the Canada 2020 sponsored speech of Barack Obama on May 31, 2019, including tickets, sponsorship and other expenses, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what are the details of all expenses, including the (i) amount, (ii) description of goods or services; and (b) for all tickets or conference fees purchased, (i) who attended the event, (ii) what was the number of tickets, (iii) what was the amount per ticket?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 42--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to the government’s CC-150 (Airbus), since January 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 43--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to government procurement and contracts for the provision of research or speech writing services to ministers, since April 1, 2019: (a) what are the details of contracts, including (i) the start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work, (v) value of contract; and (b) in the case of a contract for speech writing, what is the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be delivered, (iv) number of speeches to be written, (v) cost charged per speech?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 44--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to the Prime Minister’s claim that the government will not be legalizing or decriminalizing hard drugs: (a) does that include heroin; and (b) will the government exclude heroin from any so-called “safe supply” programs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 45--
Mr. Colin Carrie:
    With regard to the merger of the Hamilton Port Authority and the Oshawa Port Authority: (a) what is the proposed timeline for the merger; (b) how many jobs are projected to be transferred as a result of the merger, and where will those jobs be transferred to; (c) how many jobs are projected to be redundant or eliminated as a result of the merger; and (d) did the government do an economic impact assessment on the merger and if so, what were the results for (i) Oshawa, (ii) Hamilton?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 47--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
    With regard to Section 2.33 of the Fall 2017 Report of the Auditor General of Canada which states in reference to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that “They gave us wrong information almost 30 per cent of the time”: (a) what specific action has CRA taken since the publication of the report to stop the dissemination or wrong information; and (b) what are the latest available statistics regarding how often CRA disseminates wrong information?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 48--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund: (a) what are the details of all funding recipients from the Fund since January 1, 2019, including (i) name of recipient, (ii) amount of federal contribution, (iii) date, (iv) description of project, (v) location; (b) what specific standards, for (i) accessibility, (ii) energy efficiency, are required of the recipients in (a); (c) did any of the recipients in (a) fail to meet the accessibility or energy efficiency standards and, if so, what are the details, including (i) name of recipient, (ii) which standards they failed to meet, (iii) what specific measures, if any, are in place to ensure that recipients meet the standards, (iv) whether a waiver issued to the recipient and, if so, by whom?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 49--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to expenditures made by the government since January 1, 2019, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not Elsewhere Classified), or a similar code if department uses another system: what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 50--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017, to the Pembina Institute: (a) who authorized the contract; (b) what are the contracts' references and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 51--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) dates of funding, (ii) recipients, (iii) locations, (iv) project descriptions?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 52--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity since January 1, 2017, to Feschuk-Reid: (a) who authorized the contracts; (b) what are the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 53--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
    With regard to usage of the government's fleet of Challenger aircraft, since May 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 54--
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ scandal and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s comment that “Reform is urgently needed to maintain public trust in political parties and our democratic system”: what specific reforms will the government commit to in response to the Privacy Commissioner’s concerns?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 55--
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the Office of the Prime Minister and ministers' offices, from January 1, 2019, to present: (a) how much was spent on contracts for (i) consultants, (ii) advisors, (iii) other temporary personnel; (b) what are the names of the individuals and companies that correspond to these amounts; and (c) for each person and company in (b), what were their billing periods and what type of work did they provide?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 56--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
    With regard to projects funded since December 1, 2018, under the Atlantic Fisheries Fund: what are the details of all such projects, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) recipient, (v) amount of federal contribution, (vi) date of announcement?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 57--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
    With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 59--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
    With regard to government funding for the proposed central Inverness County airport to service golf courses in Cabot, Nova Scotia: will the government be providing funding to the airport and, if so, what are the details of any such funding including amount?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 60--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
    With regard to the funding announced in budget 2018 in relation to the opioid crisis: (a) how much of the funding announced in budget 2018 has been delivered to date; and (b) what are the details of the funding delivered to date, including (i) recipient (ii) date funding was received, (iii) amount, (iv) purpose of funding, (v) duration and intended location of funding?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 62--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
    With regard to government spending on online advertising since January 1, 2018: what is the total amount spent in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, broken down by outlet or online platform?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 64--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
    With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS), broken down by fiscal year for 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19: (a) what was the budget for the FTCS; (b) how much of that budget was spent within the fiscal year; (c) how much was spent on each component of the FTCS, specifically, (i) mass media, (ii) policy and regulatory development, (iii) research, (iv) surveillance, (v) enforcement, (vi) grants and contributions, (vii) programs for Indigenous Canadians; (d) were any other activities not listed in (c) funded by the FTCS and, if so, how much was spent on each of these activities; and (e) was part of the budget reallocated for purposes other than tobacco control and, if so, how much was reallocated?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 68--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the government’s decision not to fully cooperate with the RCMP in relation to the SNC-Lavalin affair, including the decision not to grant the RCMP access to all relevant documents: was the decision not to cooperate made by (i) the cabinet, (ii) the Prime Minister, (iii) the Clerk of the Privy Council without approval by the cabinet?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 69--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard the one-for-one rule with respect to regulations and red tape: for each new regulation which was put in place since January 1, 2019, what regulation was removed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 71--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s policy in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran: (a) when will the government comply with the will of the House as expressed in Vote No. 754 on June 12, 2018; (b) what is the cause of the delay in listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada; (c) has the government compiled a list of Iran’s human rights offenders in preparation of imposing sanctions in accordance with the Justice for the Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law); and (d) if the answer in (c) is yes, what individuals are on this list?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 72--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the ongoing internment and persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China: (a) what specific actions has the government taken to protect and promote the basic human rights of Uyghur Muslims in China; (b) has the government conducted any investigations or examinations into whether the People’s Republic of China is committing ethnic cleansing or genocide of Uyghur Muslims; (c) has the Office of Freedom, Human Rights, and Inclusion undertaken any projects or activities to address the internment and persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China; and (d) if the answ