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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 100

CONTENTS

Wednesday, May 12, 2021




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 100
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[Translation]

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

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence continues to be under recognized within the criminal justice system and has increased significantly during the pandemic. May is a month for us to bring awareness to the realities of sexual violence within our communities and to recognize that certain communities are disproportionately impacted by sexual violence, in particular indigenous women.
     I would like to thank SAVIS of Halton for educating our community on the realities of sexual violence while providing direct support and resources to survivors in Halton.
    Last week, I was pleased to see Bill C-3 receive royal assent, which will ensure education is provided for judges on sexual assault and social context. I would like to give special thanks to Conor Lewis from my office, who worked on this bill since 2017.
    Today and everyday, I send my support to all survivors, as we continue to advocate for the end of sexual violence in all forms.

COVID-19 Support Group

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize the community work of Rosy Borkowski in my riding of Edmonton West. At the start of COVID, with the help of local volunteers she calls her angels, Rosy formed the Hamptons and surrounding areas COVID-19 support group.
    Rosy and her angels support isolated and quarantined seniors and families in need with care packages of food, cleaning supplies, pet care and more. The angels have since expanded to the entire Edmonton region. Health and home care providers can even refer their clients to the angels for assistance.
    To date, Rosy and her angels have helped over a thousand families and individuals with Christmas hampers, senior care bags, Easter meals, Mother's Day dinners and more. With the help of angels and local donors, such as COBS Bread West Granville, all care packages are provided 100% from donations.
    To Rosy and her angels, I send my thanks.

[Translation]

National Mining Week

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize National Mining Week.
     In 2019, the mining industry created 719,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country, including 16,000 jobs for indigenous people. It also contributed nearly $71 billion to Canada's GDP.
    The industry is also a world leader in environmental practices, innovation and clean technologies that will secure our low-carbon future.

[English]

    We are committed to the mining industry. That is why we invested $365 million to extend the mineral exploration tax credit, $36.8 million to advance our battery mineral processing and refining expertise, and $9.6 million to create a critical battery minerals centre of excellence.
    I ask all hon. members to join me in celebrating National Mining Week and recognize the importance of Canada’s mineral industry.

[Translation]

International Nurses Day

    Mr. Speaker, today, May 12, is International Nurses Day.
    This year, I think it is rather obvious why we owe them such a debt of gratitude.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to say thank you to all nurses, most of whom are women, who have put their health at risk every day of the pandemic to care for the sick.
    Thank you for working unimaginably long hours on the front lines, week after week, to battle COVID-19. Thank you for saving thousands of lives. Thank you for being there, with compassion and dignity, for those who had to leave this world without the comfort of being surrounded by loved ones.
    Quebec has a duty to remember the commitment, courage and compassion of nurses throughout this historic health crisis.
    We owe them our respect and gratitude.

National Nursing Week

    Mr. Speaker, this is National Nursing Week, and today being International Nurses Day, I would like to thank nurses in Orleans and across Canada for their hard work and sacrifices not only this week, but every day of the year.
    Thank you for continuing to play an essential role in the fight against COVID-19. Thank you for always stepping up when our communities need you to protect our health and well-being.
    I invite all members of the House to join me in recognizing their excellent work, especially over this past year.
    My message to our nurses today is simple: They are our heroes.

[English]

Income Tax Act

    Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon we will have the final vote on my private member's bill, Bill C-208. The purpose of this bill is straightforward. It will level the playing field by giving families the exact same tax treatment when they transfer their businesses or operations to their children as when they transfer it to a stranger. It would result in more locally owned and operated businesses, the type of businesses that are deeply involved in their communities and provide steady employment for countless individuals.
    Bill C-208 sends a message of hope to young farmers who want to carry on what their families started. No longer will parents be given the false choice of having to choose between a larger retirement package after selling to a stranger, or a massive tax bill after selling to a family member, their own child or grandchild.
    I urge all members to vote in favour of Bill C-208 and bring tax fairness to the Income Tax Act for all qualifying small businesses.

  (1410)  

Women Entrepreneurship

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to wish every mother across Canada a happy belated Mother’s Day. We know women, specifically caregivers and mothers, have been hard hit by this pandemic. We must make sure that Canada’s economic recovery pulls women up.
    Canada’s competitive edge depends on women being able to participate fully and equally in the economy. That is why budget 2021 prioritizes investing an additional $146 million to expand the women entrepreneurship strategy, a commitment to strengthen gender and racial diversity in corporate governance. It also prioritizes announcing a historic investment in child care. Our plan will reduce the cost of child care to $10 a day by 2026, providing every child the best start in life, and every parent an opportunity to excel in the workforce and realize their full potential.
    I know investments like these will make a real and lasting difference in the lives of women in Brampton North.

Public Service and Members' Staff

    Mr. Speaker, I have always understood, respected and held a great appreciation for those who work behind the scenes at every level of government. They put in an endless effort to ensure government and our country function day in and day out. We recognize that with the contributions of our constituency office staff, our staff in Ottawa, as well as the many talented individuals available to us from the different departments throughout government, this great nation continues to thrive based on the values established by past generations.
    I proudly take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to all those who work tirelessly with all of us to ensure the residents, businesses, organizations and municipalities within our country’s borders are well taken care of. Their efforts do not go unnoticed and neither has their commitment to the well-being of our country during this time of exceptional challenges. Their efforts have strengthened the future health and prosperity of Canada. They should be forever proud of what they have accomplished during these historic times.
    I thank my team, Dan, Ashley, Seema, Gail, Anna, Sarah, Douglas, Julie and Greg. They continue to make a difference in the lives of many.

Enbridge Line 5

    Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day for Canada. Through the government's willful ignorance, we are facing yet another crisis in the western Canadian oil and gas sector with the shutdown of Line 5.
    Tens of thousands of men and women are concerned about their ability to provide for their families. The government knew back in 2018 that action needed to be taken when Governor Whitmer campaigned and was elected on the promise to shut down Line 5 once and for all. She then sought a legal order to halt the flow of oil and gas through the pipeline by today, May 12, calling it an unreasonable risk for the Great Lakes.
    Once again the Prime Minister shows his refusal to act on any western Canadian issue that is critical until it reaches the crisis point, if he acts at all. I cannot help but think maybe a negative outcome is what the Liberals truly want when they reimagined Canada. They are hoping that Governor Whitmer will be re-elected in 2022 and will see her promise fulfilled. This would help the Prime Minister fulfill his promise to phase out the western Canadian oil and gas sector.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, working alongside Canadians, from day one our government has been there to support real people and businesses throughout this pandemic, and we will continue to be there until the coronavirus is behind us.
    We created programs such as the Canada emergency response program, which financially supported approximately nine million people, and the wage subsidy for small businesses, which kept millions of people working, not to mention the businesses that would have closed permanently or gone bankrupt.
    We provided support in the form of direct payments to seniors and people with disabilities. We increased support for youth. The government supported non-profit organizations that, in turn, supported Canadians. As a national government we supported other levels government, whether indigenous, provincial, municipal. We supported our school boards.
    As of today, we have received over 20 million doses of vaccine. We are getting closer to the new normal because, as Canadians, we came together to battle the coronavirus.

[Translation]

Enbridge Line 5

    Mr. Speaker, time is up for Enbridge's Line 5, and the government waited until the eleventh hour to take action for Canadians.
    Why is this Prime Minister so slow to act? He was slow to close the borders, slow to provide rapid tests, slow to provide Canadians with vaccines and slow to protect jobs in Quebec. This Prime Minister's trademark is being slow to react when Canadians need him to act.
    The Liberals waited until the last possible second to do something about Enbridge's Line 5. This Prime Minister's sluggish pace could end up costing Quebeckers dearly, especially the thousands of workers at the Suncor refinery in Montreal and the Valero refinery in Lévis.
    Line 5, which is in danger of being shut down today by the Governor of Michigan, supplies about two-thirds of the crude oil refined and consumed in Quebec. Hundreds of engineers, technicians and day labourers are in danger of losing their jobs. The airports in Montreal and Quebec City could run out of fuel. Gas prices across Quebec could skyrocket.
    Time is up, and the Liberal government is still incapable of guaranteeing that Enbridge's Line 5 will not be shut down. The 600 Suncor workers and the 460 Valero workers—

  (1415)  

    Order. The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

[English]

Enbridge Line 5

    Mr. Speaker, today is the day Governor Whitmer has ordered Enbridge Line 5 to be shut down. Yesterday, chambers of commerce in Canada and the U.S., our government, trade unions and affected states filed briefs of support in the court case to show support for keeping the line open.
    Independent studies show that at least 33,000 jobs will be impacted in both countries if Line 5 is shut down, 23,000 of those in my riding of Sarnia—Lambton, and $21 billion in economic damage would result.
    For all the Liberal government's many words to insist it will do everything diplomatically, legally and politically to keep Line 5 open, I am concerned it waited until the last possible moment to file a brief of support.
    I call on the Prime Minister to elevate the importance of Line 5 in his discussions with President Biden. Hopefully, a mediated solution will be accepted to support the project that will put the pipeline below the bedrock encased in a tunnel so we can protect the many people across the states and provinces who are worried about their jobs.

Unite Here

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say they want a she-covery, yet they were silent when Pacific Gateway became a federal quarantine hotel and 140 long-term workers were terminated, nearly two-thirds of them immigrant women. Hilton Metrotown has locked out its workers and terminated 97 workers, the majority of them racialized women.
    A feminist government would not tolerate the firing of women to replace them for less, yet this is happening across the country, from Metro Vancouver to Ottawa. Management wants to roll back these long-term workers’ wages to minimum wage, cut their health and pension benefits and eliminate severance.
    Unite Here has launched the Unequal Women campaign to bring attention to this disgraceful practice. These women are not disposable. We should not tolerate any hotel firing women to replace them for less. They should not be allowed to receive government support if they treat their workers in this despicable way.
    I am calling on the government to intervene to ensure hotel employers—
    Order. The hon. member for La Prairie has the floor.

[Translation]

The Member for Beloeil—Chambly

    Mr. Speaker, on May 24, Quebec will celebrate National Patriots Day.
    This year, we pay special tribute to a great patriot and natural statesman, an intuitive and disciplined politician that no one really saw coming. He is a man whom people called completely crazy for leaving a successful career in the media to lead a political party.
    He quickly distinguished himself by sharing with all of Quebec his vision of a proud, French-speaking country, one whose clean energy brings prosperity and where wealth is created in each of its regions. He is a man who defends Quebec every time he stands in the House, always with great pride. I am, of course, speaking of my leader, the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly.
    On May 24, he will be honoured by the Rassemblement pour un pays souverain with the Louis-Joseph-Papineau Prize. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois and the entire sovereignist movement, I would like to commend his tireless efforts toward the development of the Quebec nation and his unwavering commitment to Quebec's sovereignty.

[English]

Former Member for Haldimand—Norfolk

     Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute, with gratitude, to a highly respected parliamentarian, a loyal Conservative and a dear friend, the remarkable Diane Finley.
    For the past 17 years, Diane has served the constituents of Haldimand—Norfolk, her party and her country in this place with honour. Diane was former prime minister Stephen Harper's go-to person on tough files. Whether negotiating with tobacco farmers, reforming EI, military procurement or G7 and G20 lead during the great recession, Diane got the job done. She served as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Minister of Public Works and Government Services, not because it was 2015, but because she is among the best of the best.
    Diane is more than an incredibly competent woman. She is kind, thoughtful and wise, and she has mentored many of us, especially Conservative women, over the years. What people might not know about Diane is she is also a very talented interior decorator and amazing cook, and although a proud Scotswoman, she loves her Greek food. I know one thing Diane will miss about Ottawa is her favourite Greek restaurant, Mystiko. I hope she will also miss many of her colleagues, because we are sure going to miss her. We know she will continue to be there for our Conservative movement and our country for many years to come.
    I know Doug is smiling on Diane right now. We all wish her the very best and Godspeed in the next chapter of life. “We love you, Diane.”

  (1420)  

Asian Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time for all Canadians to come together to recognize the contributions of Asian Canadians in building our great country.
    From the early pioneer generation who helped connect Canada from coast to coast by rail, to those on the front lines fighting COVID-19 today, the Asian Canadian community has contributed enormously to the development and prosperity of Canada. In my riding of Don Valley North, I am grateful for the amazing work being done by Asian Canadian organizations dedicated to serve all Canadians, such as Hong Fook, Yee Hong, SEAS Centre, Formosa Evergreen Senior Citizens Centre, Love Toronto Korean-Canadian Community Services and of course our frontline heroes putting their lives on the line every day to keep our loved ones safe.
    This Asian Heritage Month, I call on Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all forms because, like the Prime Minister put it many times in the past, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has moved more goalposts than a minor hockey referee when it comes to Canada's vaccine plan. His “one-dose summer, two-dose fall” started with a zero-dose winter and that is why we are in a disastrous third wave. How much longer will the pandemic be in Canada because of the current government's continued vaccine failures?
    Mr. Speaker, from November of last year onward we talked about six million doses in time for the end of March, when we actually got 9.5 million doses. By the end of June we will have 50 million doses and by September we will have enough doses to vaccinate everyone who wants to across this country completely.
     We are moving forward, but we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and drive down cases in their communities so we can have a one-dose summer and a two-dose fall.
    Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister neglected to say is he wanted the first dose to actually come from China and his original plan was with CanSino. That fell apart.
    Now Canadians are waiting on the longest second-dose period in the world and the disastrous communications from the minister, the Prime Minister, NACI, from all of them, is leading to more vaccine hesitancy. Now the Prime Minister's comments are suggesting we have lockdowns until fall and Thanksgiving.
    Enough. How much longer will this pandemic be in Canada because of the Prime Minister's failure to secure vaccines earlier?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, from the very beginning of this pandemic we worked with partners around the world to secure a large portfolio of potential vaccines coming to Canada. That is bearing fruit with four different approved and safe vaccines in this country and millions of doses arriving every single week.
    We know the path toward a better summer is to get that first dose and drive down cases. We are going to have a better summer and we are going to have an even better fall because I see Canadians stepping up every single day to do the right thing for themselves and their families and get vaccinated.
    Mr. Speaker, that is the first time the Prime Minister has acknowledged his attempts to partner with Communist China on a vaccine. We lost months because of his partnering on this portfolio. That is why they were so late.
    Let us see how we partnered with the developed world, because the only way the Prime Minister made his so-called targets was by stealing from COVAX, by stealing from the developing world that Canada usually helps, so I will ask him this.
    Since he admitted it today, why possibly, when China is holding our citizens hostage and stealing our intellectual property, did the Prime Minister choose a CanSino partnership for his doses for Canadians?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. We signed seven vaccine contracts with vaccine makers from around the world and not one of them was from China.
    We moved forward on delivering vaccine doses as of December. We were among the first countries to start receiving doses, and we are now in the top three of the G7 countries with respect to doses for our citizens.
    We will continue to deliver for Canadians. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to make sure Canadians are kept safe and we get through this in the right way.
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask that again because the Prime Minister knows Canadians are in a tough third wave. The provinces are in lockdown with restrictions because we do not have vaccines like the U.S. and the U.K. do.
    There is a new answer just delivered to the Prime Minister, so maybe it contains the details on why he decided, in the midst of a global pandemic that originated in Wuhan, to partner with a state-owned Chinese enterprise to get us vaccines. That initial decision is why we have the third wave.
    Mr. Speaker, the level of misinformation and disinformation coming from the Conservatives should really concern all Canadians.
    We reached out as of last spring to look for any and all sources of vaccines for Canadians. We suspended any engagement with the Chinese CanSino when we saw it was not going to deliver. That is why we have secured deals with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and others to deliver vaccines for Canadians.
    This is what we have moved forward with every single day. We have delivered to keep Canadians safe.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister stated that, “A one-dose summer sets us up for a two-dose fall”. This is yet another slogan without any action, especially considering the partnership with a Chinese company.
    How long will the pandemic drag on here in Canada because of this government's mismanagement?
    Mr. Speaker, 50 million doses will arrive in Canada by the end of June, which means that everyone in Canada will be able to get at least one dose. If we can get the number of cases down and get COVID-19 under control across the country, we will be able to have barbecues with friends and go out a little more this summer.
    We will still have to be careful, and people will need to get the second dose of the vaccine in the hope that things will feel a little more normal in the fall. We will do this together. I have faith in Canadians. Our government will continue to be there for them.

Elections Canada

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday when we asked the Prime Minister if he wanted to call an election during a pandemic, he clearly said no.
    However, I have read just about every commentary by just about every analyst and nobody but nobody believes him. This may be an opportunity for the Prime Minister to try to achieve a consensus.
    I propose that he organize a private meeting with whoever he wants. It could be the leaders of the all the parties here. We could meet in a room, reach a consensus and apply it without closure.
    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this pandemic, we have shown that we are here to work with the opposition parties and to meet the expectations of Canadians and that is exactly what we are doing. Our priority is to continue to deliver vaccines and provide support to families, workers and small businesses.
    We will continue to operate in the House if the opposition parties are here to work. Unfortunately, the Bloc Québécois voted twice in favour of an election a few weeks ago by voting non-confidence in the House. It is the Bloc that is interested in having an election. We are not interested.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should have the wisdom to recognize and consider opportunities for consensus.
    I encourage him to call a meeting to discuss with whoever he likes, but it could be with the party leaders if everyone is on board with that. We could study the content of the legislation, reach a consensus and apply it thereafter, following a parliamentary process and avoiding an awful closure motion in order to come to a democratic agreement.

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have been trying for months on end to enact a bill to make elections safer during a pandemic. We are very pleased that the bill will be studied in committee so that all parties can examine it.
    No one wants an election during the pandemic. However, if an election was triggered by the opposition voting against the government, it must be held safely. In recent months, opposition parties have voted in favour of an election 14 times.
    As for us, we are doing what we are doing to meet Canadians' expectations.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the military report into the long-term care home crisis in Ontario and Quebec has revealed additional shocking details. Many of the people who died in long-term care did not die because of COVID-19. They died because of neglect. They were dehydrated and malnourished. Despite knowing this, the Prime Minister has yet to take action on bringing in national standards or a commitment to removing profit from long-term care.
    What will it take for the Prime Minister to take concrete action to save lives in long-term care?
    Mr. Speaker, only the NDP would consider that $3 billion in budget 2021 towards long-term care would not be enough or would not be action.
    People living in long-term care deserve safe, quality care and to be treated with dignity. This pandemic has shown us that there are systemic issues affecting long-term care homes across Canada. That is why we invested that $3 billion to create standards for long-term care and make permanent changes.
    We will continue working with our partners to protect our loved ones in long-term care right across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, only the Liberals and the Prime Minister would think that their actions were sufficient. People are still dying in long-term care, it is still clear that neglect is ongoing and it is still clear that there are no national standards in place to protect seniors and residents of long-term care.
    Certainly, the government has failed to do something as basic as make a commitment to remove profit from long-term care, starting with Revera. Again, I ask when will the Prime Minister take concrete action to save lives in long-term care?
    Mr. Speaker, the situation facing residents in long-term care across the country is absolutely deplorable. We have seen far too many lives lost because of unacceptable situations. That is why as a federal government, we have stepped up and worked with the provinces and territories, whose jurisdiction it is, to send them supports and create standards so that every senior right across the country can be properly protected. They can retire and live in safety and dignity. That is something that we know, but it is also something that we understand is led by the provinces.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, to instill confidence during a pandemic, the Prime Minister must absolutely tell Canadians the truth. It was surprising to say the least to hear him talking yesterday about a one-dose summer.
    What does that mean? We all know that two doses are required. I am sorry, but one dose is not enough, it is a failure and it confirms that the government is unable to deal with the situation properly. What will the Prime Minister do to ensure that Canadians have access to both doses this summer?
    Mr. Speaker, from the outset of the pandemic, on this side of the House, the government has listened to the science and the recommendations of scientists and doctors. They have clearly stated that when 75% of the population has had a first dose and the number of new COVID-19 cases is under control across the country, we can do new things, like have barbecues with friends. Restrictions will be partly lifted this summer if, and only if, people get vaccinated and the number of cases is under control.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, giving people one dose of a vaccine is not a success; it is a failure. The Prime Minister has said that it takes two doses, but he is not able to get them distributed for this summer.
    A year ago, when we were looking for vaccines, the Prime Minister's first move was to sign an agreement with China, which then changed its mind and left us with nothing at all. We went 10 days without receiving a single vaccine back in January or February.
    We are now in the midst of a third wave and we are short on vaccines because the Prime Minister has been dragging his feet these past few months. How is the Prime Minister going to ensure that people will get the second dose this summer?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been saying all along that everyone will be fully vaccinated, with both doses, by September. We will be getting 50 million vaccines by the end of June and, given we have a population of 37 million to 38 million people, this means that a huge number of people will be getting not only their first dose, but also a second.
    People will be able to get their second dose in the summer so that, in September, we can reopen with a two-dose fall. This is the path we will take together.
    Mr. Speaker, I take him at his word: reopen in September with two doses. However, he had said that the second doses would be given by September.
    As we speak, Europe is reopening. As we speak, our American neighbours can go to events and gatherings. In contrast, Canadians are still dealing with lockdowns.
    Canadians want access to vaccines. The Prime Minister promised that everyone would be vaccinated by September, but he cannot deliver the goods. What will he do in the coming weeks and months to make sure Canadians have access to both doses of the vaccine this summer?
    Mr. Speaker, for months and months now, we have been saying very clearly that every Canadian who wants to be will be fully vaccinated by the end of September.
    When we look at the numbers, we can even achieve this earlier, before September. We know that we must all work together, and it is sad to see the Conservatives once again misleading Canadians.
    We will have everyone fully vaccinated by September. We will give everyone the opportunity to receive one dose by the end of June. We will overcome the pandemic together if people get vaccinated.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the question on many Canadians' minds is when they will become fully vaccinated.
    By what date will enough vaccine doses arrive to Canada so that every Canadian who wants one will become fully vaccinated?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been saying since last year that everyone in Canada who wants to be, will be fully vaccinated by the month of September. It is very possible that we will be able to do that even ahead of that date because we are doing so well on vaccine deliveries. We will continue ensuring that people can get vaccinated as quickly as possible, because for a one-dose summer and a two-dose fall everyone needs to roll up their sleeves and get their shot.
    Mr. Speaker, the federal government has presided over the delivery of unclear and changing advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine. There have been supply problems with the company that the federal government has not addressed, and now some provinces have stopped using this vaccine altogether.
     What happens now for Canadians who have received one dose of AstraZeneca? Should they be getting a second dose of AstraZeneca, or will they be able to? Should they be getting two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or will there be some sort of mix or combination of vaccines? It has been really unclear from the Liberal government what the steps forward are for AstraZeneca, so I would ask for clarity on this from the Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, for absolute clarity, every vaccine approved by Health Canada is safe and effective. Canadians who got any dose of any vaccine have been doing their part to reduce cases. It is a good thing, moving forward.
    Scientists and health officials are leaning in carefully on what the next steps are and what the best recommendations are, going forward. We will ensure that they work closely with provincial health officers on delivering the doses that are needed for Canadians in the coming months.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know if the Prime Minister is refuting the announcements by the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario on AstraZeneca, but it is really not clear. I am going to ask him again for clarity concerning a provincial response, what he said and what his advisers have told Canadians.
    Again, will folks who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca, as he has, be able to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, or will they be receiving two doses of Pfizer or Moderna? Are they going to be getting some combination? It has been very unclear from the get-go on this vaccine, so I am just asking the Prime Minister for some clarity on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that politicians should be delivering health advice, but the best advice that I have heard from my doctor and others is that people who have received one dose of AstraZeneca can very well, and should very well, get a second dose of AstraZeneca. As recommendations change and as people look at different courses and options around the world, we will have more data and continue to update people on the recommended path. I can assure everyone that those who got the AstraZeneca vaccine, as I did and as did the Leader of the Opposition and other party leaders, did the right thing and will continue to be well cared for in the way forward.

[Translation]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, allegations of sexual misconduct against General Vance have been circulating since 2018. The Minister of National Defence was aware of the existence and the nature of those allegations since 2018.
    However, General Vance was not subject to an investigation and suffered no consequences. Not only did he remain in his position with no questions asked for three years, but he was also even given a pay raise.
    Will the Prime Minister confirm that the Minister of National Defence never saw fit to inform him of the existence of allegations against the highest-ranking officer in the military?
    Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on National Defence heard multiple witnesses over three months, including non-partisan public servants, say that the details of the allegation were unknown. The record is clear.
    During her testimony, the deputy secretary to the cabinet said, “I did not have information about the nature of the complaint or specifics that would have enabled further action.”
    The former mediator testified at committee that he could not provide any details, saying that he took the investigation as far as he could with the complainant's permission.
    This highlights why we need to create a system in which people feel supported to come forward.
    Mr. Speaker, in 2015, 2019 and 2021, the Prime Minister asked the Minister of National Defence to work with the senior leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces to establish a workplace free from harassment. He asked three times.
    Not only did the minister not do that, but he hid information from the Prime Minister regarding allegations of sexual misconduct involving Canada's top soldier. Not only did the minister not fulfill his mandate, he acted directly against it.
    How can the Prime Minister still have confidence in his Minister of National Defence?
     Mr. Speaker, in budget 2021, we announced over $236 million to eliminate sexual misconduct and gender-based violence in the Canadian Armed Forces, including enhancing internal support services to survivors and implementing new external oversight mechanisms.
    This builds on the work we were already doing, including creating a strategy for long-term culture change to eliminate sexual misconduct and implementing the declaration of victims rights.
    We also recently appointed Louise Arbour to conduct an independent review into the handling of sexual misconduct, as well as Lieutenant-General Carignan to serve in the new role of chief of professional conduct and culture.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to carry on with the line of questions my colleague just asked.
    As the Prime Minister has received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, will he be getting a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Pfizer or Moderna in the future? Which one will it be?
    Mr. Speaker, I will assure the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill that I talked to my doctor just last week, and he recommended that I get a second dose of AstraZeneca in the coming weeks or months when it becomes available and when my turn comes up in the province of Ontario. That is what I am focused on doing.
     I know questions are being asked around the world about the data that involves mixing and matching doses. There are no recommendations around that yet, but I know scientists are leaning in carefully to see if it may be the right option for many people.
    Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister and the government recommending that people who received the first dose of AstraZeneca get a second dose of AstraZeneca, with that comment he just made, or is he advising them to contact their doctor?
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government do not make health recommendations. That is not my job. I shared what the member asked for, which was what advice I personally got from my doctor. I certainly encourage all Canadians to talk to their doctors, who will then be informed by experts and doctors in their jurisdictions, in their provinces and territories, and by the national guidance from NACI and from Health Canada. That is the best way to move forward.
     People should not take recommendations from politicians, particularly not Conservatives. They should take recommendations from their doctors and the experts.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the experts are the regulators at Health Canada and NACI, which both report into the government or the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister just stood in the House and said that he would be getting a second dose of AstraZeneca based on his doctor's advice.
    Based on the experts at Health Canada and NACI who report into him, would he stand by that advice?
    Mr. Speaker, I highlighted that I spoke with my doctor and he said that he expected that in the coming weeks, whenever that comes up, I would get a second dose of AstraZeneca. We will, he will and others will of course be following the updated guidance that I am sure will continue to evolve from recommendations by experts on what the right path forward is. However, Canadians need to be reassured that every step of the way their health and safety is at the forefront of all recommendations. Every vaccine distributed in Canada is approved by Health Canada, because it is safe and effective.
    Mr. Speaker, again, Health Canada and NACI report into the government and the Prime Minister. He would have access to their advice. He has access to a family physician's advice, which many Canadians do not.
     Therefore, I am wonder if he can tell Canadians who, like him, received the first dose of AstraZeneca two things: if they should be waiting for supply to get a second dose of AstraZeneca based on what Health Canada and NACI said; and whether AstraZeneca ever plans to deliver a dose of vaccine to Canada, but particularly whether they should be waiting to get their first dose of AstraZeneca, as his family physician advised.
    Mr. Speaker, vaccines are rolling out across the country right now. We will have received 50 million doses of vaccine by the end of June. We will continue to make recommendations. We will continue to see Health Canada, NACI and provincial deciders making recommendations about how and when all Canadians can get vaccinated.
    However, I will take this moment to thank everyone who has stepped up and gotten a first dose of vaccine, congratulate the many who have already received their two doses of vaccine and encourage everyone else to get vaccinated as soon as possible, so we can have a much better summer.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the housing crisis in Montreal was already a big problem, and the pandemic made it even worse.
    Does the Prime Minister have any idea how much rent and house prices have gone up in the past year?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that housing is no longer affordable for lots of Canadians. For many years now, we have been making significant investments in the national housing strategy, and we have added to those investments in our latest budget. Initially, the budget for the national housing strategy was $40 billion. It is now $70 billion.
    We are making progress in our fight against homelessness and with the rapid housing initiative in partnership with municipalities and provinces. We know that the housing crisis is real for many families.
    Mr. Speaker, the answer to my question is that rent has gone up more in the past year than it has in any other year since 2003. House prices have increased by up to 23%. This is a very difficult situation.
    Why is the Prime Minister not taxing excessive profits and investing that money in building affordable housing now?
    Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing.
    We have invested billions of dollars all across the country to build housing now. We have agreements with municipalities, community organizations and the provinces to address the housing situation, and that is what we will continue to do.
    As for taxing the wealthy, the first thing we did was raise taxes for the wealthiest Canadians and lower them for the middle class. Unfortunately, the NDP voted against that initiative.

  (1450)  

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, this week is National Nursing Week. Nurses across Canada have made tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe and protected from COVID-19, and we thank them for their dedication, commitment and compassion.
    As a proud registered nurse myself, I have seen those sacrifices first-hand, while working alongside incredible nurses in long-term care hard hit in the first wave in Brampton, and now on the other side by vaccinating as many Canadians as possible.
    Will the Prime Minister join me and all Canadians in recognizing the fundamental role of nurses during this pandemic and beyond?
    Mr. Speaker, allow me to begin by thanking the member for Brampton West for her unwavering dedication to her community as both an MP and a nurse.
    Nurses are the backbone of Canada's health care system. They have helped us through every aspect of this pandemic, from the emergency room to the ICU, from vaccination clinics to public health units, from long-term care to mental health services.
    This year has been incredibly challenging for health care workers, and we owe nurses deep gratitude for their heroic efforts fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. For all nurses in Canada, I thank them. We are grateful for their service.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage posted a tweet suggesting that public opinion is being manipulated by a misinformation campaign and that anyone questioning Bill C-10 and the Liberals' attack on freedom of expression—
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member.
    I would ask him to start his question over again because there is a discussion under way in the House and I am having a hard time hearing his question. I would also like to hear the response.
    The hon. member for Richmond-Arthabaska.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage posted a tweet suggesting that public opinion is being manipulated by a misinformation campaign and that anyone questioning Bill C-10 and the Liberals' attack on freedom of expression is, at best, a conspiracy theorist.
    I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister: Does he endorse what the Minister of Canadian Heritage said?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect us to be there to support our artists, our creators and our cultural industry. We know how worrisome it is to see the power and prominence of web giants that do not support Canada's cultural industry.
    That is why I was very pleased to see a unanimous resolution at the National Assembly of Quebec to support Bill C-10. We know that it is not an attack on freedom of expression. On the contrary, it is a way to help and support our artists. That is truly what we want on this side of the House.
    Mr. Speaker, all of us, all MPs from all parties, agree that we must help the cultural sector. I asked the Prime Minister a very simple question.
    Are the people who defend freedom of expression in this country considered to be troublemakers, conspiracy theorists and people who spread misinformation? Does he really believe that the concerns of Canadians, analysts, experts, professors and all those who oppose the Liberal government's Bill C-10 are part of a huge conspiracy as his Minister of Canadian Heritage is implying? Does he agree with his heritage minister, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand that the member for Richmond—Arthabaska is in a rather difficult position, because Quebeckers and Canadians remember only too well the Conservative government's attacks on culture and artists in Quebec and the rest of Canada a few years ago.
    Seeing them again take a stand against artists and our content producers and aligning themselves with the web giants must be disappointing for this Conservative member from Quebec. We will always defend freedom of expression and the freedom of our artists.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is unable to answer questions, so I will give him a concrete example.
    There are two artists in my riding who have more than 500,000 subscribers on YouTube and who share their creations with people around the world. This is how they earn a living.
    Under the amended Bill C-10, the CRTC will have the power to legislate the content on their YouTube channel because the minister said that they could be considered broadcasters. Does the Prime Minister agree with his heritage minister's vision, yes or no?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member and the Canadian content creators in his riding that an individual using social media platforms will never be considered a broadcaster under this bill.
    The obligations that apply to the web giants will not apply to Canadian users. The proposed amendments to Bill C-10 significantly limit the regulator's powers on social media platforms and explicitly exclude individuals from any form of regulation.
    I have a question for the member: When will the Conservatives support the cultural sector?
    Mr. Speaker, the problem is the Prime Minister has not read the bill. That is not what the bill says, and that is certainly not what the heritage minister has been saying in all the interviews he has been giving. All across Canada, there are thousands of artists just like the ones in my riding. They do not belong to any organization. They are full-fledged Canadians and Quebeckers.
    By making these amendments to Bill C-10, the heritage minister has given himself the power to regulate influencers, artists, politicians and any user who shares content on social media. Can the Prime Minister tell us if he is really in agreement with what the heritage minister is doing right now with his Bill C-10?
    Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. Freedom of expression is explicitly protected by this law and by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is not negotiable for our government or for anyone else. We will continue to respect it.
    The Conservatives are deliberately misleading Canadians, they are filibustering the study of this important bill, and they are siding with web giants over Canadian creators. It is truly disappointing.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, nearly one-third of travellers are being deemed exempt from the hotel quarantine requirement. Obviously, exceptions should be made for certain people, such as essential workers, but one-third of travellers seems like a lot of exceptions.
    The problem is that Health Canada is unable to explain which travellers are exempt and why. Given that the number of exempt travellers is compromising the effectiveness of the whole hotel quarantine program, what is the Prime Minister going to do to address this lack of transparency?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been more than a year now since we closed our borders to almost all travellers arriving in Canada. We restricted travel significantly, and that has worked. Travel is down to less than 5% of what it was a year ago because our measures are working.
    We will continue to ensure that tests are being conducted prior to boarding, upon arrival and on day eight, that mandatory quarantines are being imposed and that checks are being done. We will always follow up to keep Canadians safe.
    Mr. Speaker, the tests that quarantined travellers are required to take are poorly managed as well.
    The Prime Minister contracted a private company called Switch Health to manage travellers' screening tests. It is the only company authorized by the Prime Minister to do these tests, but it is not capable of providing services in French or serving remote regions.
    As a result, people are stuck in quarantine for up to a month waiting to hear back from the company. Switch Health is not working for Quebec. When will the Prime Minister replace it?
    Mr. Speaker, we acknowledged that a service provider was experiencing some challenges. We are working with this company and are also looking for alternatives.
    Everyone should be served well, and in both official languages. This is essential for us, and we will continue working on this matter.

[English]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, online content that a Canadian creates in Canada is Canadian content, period. For the Liberal government to dictate which posts are visible and which ones are hidden based on some absurd rating of “Canadianness” is ridiculous. If a TikTok dance is an eight out of 10 in Canadianness, bump it up. If a Facebook post is a four out of 10, bump it down. A tweet that promotes Liberal values is 10 out of 10, front page.
    If the Prime Minister genuinely wants to promote Canadian culture, why will he not let Canadians determine what that is?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-10 aims to level the playing field between creators and web giants. It requires big foreign streamers to provide information on the revenues in Canada, financially contribute to Canadian stories and music, and make it easier for individuals to discover our culture. The bill explicitly says that obligations apply to web giants only, not Canadian users.
    Web giants have gone unregulated for far too long. Our government has chosen to act.
    Mr. Speaker, experts are saying otherwise.
    Canadian culture should be determined by the Canadian people, not the government. To censor online content based on a narrow definition of “Canadianness” is an attack on the artists whom the Prime Minister claims he supports. However, members should not take my word for it. Sherley Joseph is an advocate for Black content creators. She says the definition of “Canadian content” discriminates against Black creators, and Bill C-10 will actually prevent them from being able to leverage their voice. Interesting. It does not sound like an attack on web giants.
    Will the Prime Minister finally give up on this unwanted Internet czar campaign and back off?
    Mr. Speaker, protecting Canadian content and supporting Canadian artists is a long-standing way that we do things in Canada, and have done things extraordinarily successfully. The requirement of broadcasters, whether it is television stations or radio stations, to promote Canadian artists is one of the things that have made the Canadian music scene, the Canadian teleproduction scene extremely successful in a world of increased encroachment by Hollywood.
    This is something that we need to extend to the web as things go increasingly digital, and these measures, which apply to web giants and not Canadians, are the right way.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, 88,000 travellers managed to skip out on the government's border measures. That is like a city the size of Peterborough. The government does not know if they quarantined at home or if they all received ministerial exemptions. Every variant of concern spreading in this community, the dangerous ones, all of them, originated from outside of Canada.
    How much longer will this pandemic be in Canada because of the government's continued failure to manage our border?
    Mr. Speaker, we have all heard the exact same concerns from the Conservative Premier of Ontario, whom the Leader of the Opposition is continuing to support and enhance in his messages.
     The reality is that I offered the Premier of Ontario last week to tell me which passengers, which travellers he wanted to limit into Ontario. Is it international students? Is it temporary foreign workers? Is it essential workers? Is it compassionate categories? These are all categories we established with the Government of Ontario. It just needs to get back to us to tell us which categories it wants to shut down. We are still waiting.

[Translation]

Airline Industry

    Mr. Speaker, throughout the past year, we have heard that the airline industry has been hit hard.
    Workers, regional routes and the viability of airports across the country have been affected by this pandemic.
    Can the Prime Minister update the House on what our government is doing to support airports, like the one in Halifax, so that they are ready when the airline industry recovers?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Halifax West for his important question and for his work.
    We know that workers in the aviation sector have done critical work during this pandemic. We are proud to announce two new funding programs. Nearly $490 million will be invested in the airport critical infrastructure program, and nearly $65 million will go to the airport relief fund. These programs will help airports complete infrastructure projects, preserve jobs and maintain operations.

[English]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, millions of hours of Canadian content is uploaded onto the Internet by Canadians every single month.
    Now the Prime Minister wants to pass a bill that would allow his Canadiana czar to determine what is Canadian enough. That czar would be able to manipulate algorithms to decide what people see when they open up their various online platforms. This czar is going to have so much power.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us who, in fact, this czar will be?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, Conservatives demonstrate that they have no understanding and no appreciation of the Canadian cultural industry.
    The thousands upon thousands of jobs created by Canadian productions, the work done by Canadian YouTubers, and the work done by Canadian musical artists and producers, these are the things that we are supporting in determining and enforcing web giants to recognize and support Canadian content.
     Once again, Conservatives do not line themselves up with content creators or Canadians. They pick fights and look for conspiracy theories.

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I guess the Prime Minister will have to censor this debate out of the record, if he says it is misinformation.
    It comes down to who decides. Who decides what Canadian content will be promoted? Even the Toronto Star ran this headline today: “Canadian content creators feel left in the dark as Ottawa hits pause on proposed new internet law”. They are worried that the regulation the government is bringing in will disadvantage entrepreneurial artists who are uploading their content online.
    Will the Prime Minister tell them who this information czar will be?
    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-10 aims to level the playing field between creators and web giants. It requires big foreign streamers to provide information on their revenues in Canada, financially contribute to Canadian stories and music, and make it easier for individuals to discover our culture.
    The bill explicitly says that obligations apply to web giants only, not Canadian users. Web giants have gone unregulated for far too long, and our government has chosen to act.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister got off message and got back onto his script. I congratulate him for that.
    Now he wants all Canadians to get on his script by giving an information czar over at the CRTC the power to decide what Canadians see and what they do not see. The problem here is who decides. We believe Canadians, as consumers and producers of content, should be allowed to decide for themselves. The Prime Minister believes that a government czar should decide for them. Even his minister let the cat out of the bag on that on television over the weekend.
    Will the Prime Minister give us the name of this information czar?
    Mr. Speaker, for decades, Canadian content has been protected and promoted by rules that the CRTC enforces around radio stations playing more Canadian music so as to support the Canadian music industry, and around television stations needing to put forward Canadian content to create opportunities for Canadian actors, screenwriters, directors and crew to develop Canadian content.
    With the move towards a digital world, we need to make sure that streamers, such as Netflix and YouTube, are subject to the same requirements to support Canadian content creation. That is exactly what we are moving forward with.

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, public transit is at the heart of a clean, inclusive recovery that starts our economy and creates good jobs. From construction workers to transit drivers, workers on assembly lines and the small business owners supporting these projects, tens of thousands of jobs are created when we invest in public transit. Investing in public transit supports Canadians through the pandemic, positions Canada for a strong recovery, and transforms our society for a cleaner and better future.
    Could the Prime Minister please update us on our government's historic commitment to public transit in the GTA?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an important question. People want to live and work near good public transit. It takes cars off the road, helps drive Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050, and allows commuters to spend more time with their loved ones.
    Yesterday we announced a historic investment for four shovel-ready public transit projects in the GTA, with the federal government contributing up to $10.4 billion. Our government knows that expanding public transit is essential to the future of the GTA. We are stepping up to the plate.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, violence in East Jerusalem is deeply disturbing. Demolitions, forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes and blocking access to important gathering spots are all violations of human rights and international laws.
    Instead of taking action to stop or deal with the long-standing illegal occupation, the Prime Minister is effectively supporting the status quo and going as far as to sell weapons to Israel. Arming one side of the conflict is undermining the peace process and supporting illegal occupation.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to stopping the sale of arms to Israel while it is violating international human rights?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are following the situation with grave concern. We call on all parties to end the violence, de-escalate tensions, protect civilians and uphold international law.
     Rocket attacks against Israel are completely unacceptable, and Canada supports Israel's right to ensure its own security. Violence at Al-Aqsa is also unacceptable. Places of worship are for people to gather peacefully and should never be sites of violence. We are also gravely concerned by continued expansion of settlements and evictions.
    Canada supports the two-state solution, and we urge all parties to renew their commitment to peace and security.

[Translation]

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, during question period, in response to the fourth question asked by the member for Richmond—Arthabaska, the Prime Minister said, “The Conservatives are deliberately misleading Canadians”.
    Obviously, I do not agree with that remark. I am sure the Prime Minister recognizes that he cannot say such things in the House, and I invite him to do the right thing, which is to stand up and withdraw that remark.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it will be up to you to decide whether there is an actual breach of the rules. If that is what the member is suggesting, he should actually suggest it, but he is not. Other than that, this is not a point of order; it is item of debate.
    Mr. Speaker, I just quoted the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives deliberately misinformed Canadians. He said:

[Translation]

    The exact words that the Prime Minister used were, “The Conservatives are deliberately misleading Canadians”.
    However, here in the House, we are not allowed to deliberately mislead the House or claim that colleagues are deliberately misleading the House. It is written in black and white in the Standing Orders.
    We call on the Prime Minister to do the right thing, which is to stand up and withdraw his remarks, as the Minister of Canadian Heritage did just a few days ago.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is extremely rich to hear the Conservatives accusing this side of the House of lying and misleading. I have been sitting here every day since January and, I hear it every day during debate and every day during question period. This is clearly not a point of order.
    I see the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent is getting up again. I will cut it right here. I will go back and take a look at the transcripts and come back to the House with the ruling. This is turning into a debate and that is not the whole idea of this. A point of order is looking at the rules and ensuring they were followed.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Income Tax Act

    The House resumed from May 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-208, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (transfer of small business or family farm or fishing corporation), be read the third time and passed.
    It being 3:12 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-208 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1540)  

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

(Division No. 112)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bessette
Bezan
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Chabot
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cormier
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Diotte
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Finnigan
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Gallant
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Gray
Green
Hallan
Harder
Harris
Hoback
Hughes
Jansen
Jeneroux
Johns
Julian
Kelloway
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McDonald
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Nater
Normandin
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qaqqaq
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rogers
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sangha
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sloan
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williamson
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 199


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Arya
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blois
Bratina
Brière
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Dong
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gould
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hardie
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Khalid
Khera
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendicino
Miller
Monsef
Murray
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Qualtrough
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tassi
Trudeau
Turnbull
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zuberi

Total: -- 128


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

  (1545)  

[Translation]

Canada Labour Code

    The House resumed from May 6 consideration of the motion that Bill C-220, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (bereavement leave), be read the third time and passed.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-220 under Private Members' Business.

  (1555)  

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

(Division No. 113)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bessette
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Blois
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Bratina
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Champagne
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chen
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cormier
Cumming
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dong
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Harder
Hardie
Harris
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jansen
Jeneroux
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nater
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qaqqaq
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Regan
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Seeback
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sloan
Sorbara
Soroka
Spengemann
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tassi
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Virani
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zann
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 332


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

     I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

[English]

Canada Revenue Agency Act

     The House resumed from May 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-210, an act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act (organ and tissue donors), be read the third time and passed.
     Pursuant to an order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-210 under Private Members' Business.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 114)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bessette
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Blois
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Bratina
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Champagne
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chen
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cormier
Cumming
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Doherty
Dong
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Harder
Hardie
Harris
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jansen
Jeneroux
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nater
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qaqqaq
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Regan
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Seeback
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sloan
Sorbara
Soroka
Spengemann
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tassi
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Virani
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zann
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 331


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)


Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1610)  

[English]

Committees of the House

Industry, Science and Technology  

    The House resumed from May 10 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

  (1620)  

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

(Division No. 115)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Chabot
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Diotte
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duvall
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Gray
Green
Hallan
Harder
Harris
Hoback
Hughes
Jansen
Jeneroux
Johns
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McPherson
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Nater
Normandin
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Qaqqaq
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sangha
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Simard
Singh
Sloan
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 179


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bessette
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blois
Bratina
Brière
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Cormier
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gould
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hardie
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Miller
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tabbara
Tassi
Trudeau
Turnbull
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zann
Zuberi

Total: -- 152


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

    The House resumed from May 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-253, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (pension plans and group insurance plans), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-253 under Private Members' Business.

  (1635)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 116)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Bagnell
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Block
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Bratina
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Carrie
Chabot
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Diotte
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Fortin
Gallant
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Gray
Green
Hallan
Harder
Harris
Hoback
Hughes
Jansen
Jeneroux
Johns
Jones
Julian
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Larouche
Lawrence
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McPherson
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Nater
Normandin
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Qaqqaq
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sangha
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Simard
Singh
Sloan
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yurdiga

Total: -- 189


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bessette
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blois
Brière
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Cormier
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Gould
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hardie
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
Mendès
Mendicino
Miller
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tassi
Trudeau
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zuberi

Total: -- 139


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

[English]

    Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)


Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to Bill C-206, an act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act with regard to qualifying farming fuel. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

[English]

Petitions

Volunteer Service Medal  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of tabling a petition signed by many Canadians, who draw the attention of parliamentarians to the fact that at one time the Government of Canada used to issue a Canadian volunteer service medal to recognize Canadians who served voluntarily for a minimum of 18 months of uninterrupted service in the Canadian Forces.
    Since the cessation of that medal in 1947, which was quite a while ago, there has not been any formal medal to recognize certain Canada's veterans who have served honourably since the end of World War II, including Cold War veterans and those who provided volunteer service periods of not less than 18 months, and in some cases, are even serving honourably today.
    The creation of a Canadian Forces service medal would restore the dignity, inclusivity and recognition of all our veterans and troops that have honourably served in the Canadian Forces since the end of World War II.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to recognize the service by Canadians in the regular forces, reserve military forces and others who have taken the oath and sworn to defend our nation and who have completed 18 months of uninterrupted, honourable duty in the service of their country since September 2, 1945 to the present day and in perpetuity, by creating, designating and issuing a new Canadian military service medal.

Solitary Confinement  

    Madam Speaker, I rise virtually today to table e-petition 3023, though this is something I would rather not have to be doing.
    Petition e-3023 has been signed by citizens across the country who are concerned about the federal government's failure to stop the cruel practice of long-term solitary confinement, a practice that is not only harmful to those subjected to it but also undermines the rule of law and violates the charter.
    The signatories are calling on the Government of Canada to take several actions, including, among other things, putting an immediate end to the use of prolonged solitary confinement; establishing a commission of inquiry to examine solitary confinement to ensure prisoners' rights are safeguarded; promote transformational change in the culture of Correctional Service Canada regarding its use; and funding legal aid for federal prisoners to ensure access to legal counsel.
    Just this week, we heard further evidence that federal inmates who were placed in so-called structured intervention units were still being subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, which is defined as torture by the United Nations.
    I look forward to a timely and fulsome government response to this important petition.

Forestry Industry  

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to table this petition initiated by constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
    The petitioners are deeply concerned about the B.C. government failing to follow through on an expert report and an election promise to protect British Columbia's endangered old-growth forests from logging.
     The petitioners call upon the government to work with the province and first nations to immediately halt logging of endangered old-growth ecosystems; fund the long-term protection of old-growth ecosystems as a priority for Canada's climate action plan and reconciliation with indigenous people; support value-added forestry initiatives in partnership with first nations to ensure Canada's forestry industry is sustainable and based on the harvesting of second and third-growth forests; ban the export of raw logs and maximize resource use for local jobs; and ban the use of whole trees for wood pellet biofuel production.

  (1640)  

Falun Dafa  

    Madam Speaker, I have four petitions to present today.
    The first petition is in anticipation of the 29th Falun Dafa day tomorrow.
    The petitioners highlight the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners and they call for a stronger response from the Government of Canada, including the use of targeted sanctions, Magnitsky sanctions, against those responsible for the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.
     I note that Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State in the United States, just announced the sanctioning of a senior official involved in the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.
    While we sombrely seek justice and accountability for people involved in this persecution, I do want to wish everyone who is celebrating tomorrow a happy Falun Dafa day.

Conversion Therapy  

    Madam Speaker, of the remaining three petitions, the first one is with respect to Bill C-6, the government's legislation on conversion therapy.
    While the petitioners support efforts to ban conversion therapy, they ask the government to fix the definition and to revise the language in the bill to ensure that we are actually banning conversion therapy and not creating unintended consequences that are really unrelated to the stated purpose of the bill.
    The petitioners want the government to support reasonable amendments along those lines that ban conversion therapy and do not criminalize private conversations that are unrelated.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the third petition I am tabling is with respect to Bill S-204, a bill that would make is a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without consent.
    The petitioners want the government to support the passage of Bill S-204 as quickly as possible. The bill has already passed the Senate and is currently before the House. It is identical in form to Bill S-240, which passed in the House unanimously in the last Parliament.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, the fourth and final petition is on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
    The petitioners call on the Canadian government to engage to a greater extent in response to those events, to support investigations into atrocities and crimes, to support humanitarian access and to be engaged in a sustained way with the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments as well as other stakeholders that are involved.
     This is an issue I know members are hearing about in growing numbers, as concern grows about the situation in Tigray and other parts of Ethiopia.
    I commend all these petitions the House's consideration.

Conversion Therapy  

    Madam Speaker, today I am presenting a petition signed by Canadians who are concerned about the definition of conversion therapy in Bill C-6.
    The concern is that the broad definition misapplies the label of conversion therapy to a range of practices that include receiving counsel from parents or other trusted authority figures. The petitioners want a clear call to ban coercive degrading practices that are designed to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. They also want to ensure that no laws discriminate against Canadians by limiting the services they can receive based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
    The petitioners therefore call on the House of Commons to allow free and open conversations about sexuality and sexual behaviour. They call on legislators to avoid criminalizing professional and religious counselling voluntarily requested and consented to by Canadians.
    These issues can and should be addressed. I encourage members to work together to fix the definition of conversion therapy in Bill C-6.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

    Order. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, Taxation; the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona, Government Programs; the hon. member for Calgary Midnapore, Airline Industry.

  (1645)  

[English]

    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 66 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as reported (with amendments) from the committee.
    There being no motions at report stage, the House will now proceed, without debate, to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.
     moved that the bill be concurred in.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find that the motion carries on division.
    Some hon members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): I declare the motion is carried on division.

    (Motion agreed to)

[Translation]

    moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
    He said: Madam Speaker, I was not planning to speak. Naturally, I support this bill. I could talk about it for days if necessary.

[English]

    There was a technical issue with the screen. I apologize to the minister. I understand he was not first up to speak.
    Resuming debate, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order, I am a bit confused about the process. The minister did rise. He did speak during debate, and I have questions for him. Was he not recognized? It seemed that he rose, was recognized, spoke and then concluded his remarks, albeit briefly.
    There was confusion due to a error in the text showing on the screen. The hon. minister was actually there to propose the motion. Due to a technical problem at this end, I recognized the wrong member of Parliament. It was the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations who had the right to speak, but there was some confusion because of the technical issue on the screen.
    I trust that the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is satisfied with that response.

  (1650)  

     Madam Speaker, on that same point of order, I will not press the point if the minister does not wish to speak. That is fine. However, I do think it is important to note in the process of your ruling that the right to speak is not invested in the screen or the list. The right to speak is dependent on an individual rising, seeking the acknowledgement of the Chair and receiving the acknowledgement of the Chair.
    Whatever was or was not on the screen, it is a question of whether ministers seek recognition, wish to speak and whether they are recognized. It seems the minister did not intend to speak, and I do not want to press this point in this particular case, but I hope it is continues to be the practice that it is not the screen by which members come to be recognized, but by the Chair, regardless of what lists have been provided.
    Yes, and I said there was a technical issue on the screen itself. I personally will also take responsibility for that because the hon. minister did not have his hand up. I just saw that he was on the screen.
     The hon. minister did indicate that he was not actually planning to speak on this. Unfortunately, I recognized him, so that was an error on my part. The hon. parliamentary secretary did step in to indicate that he was the one who was supposed to speak and who had his hand up. I trust that satisfies the hon. member.
    Would the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands like to add to that point of order if the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is satisfied with the clarification I have provided him?
    Madam Speaker, I would just like to add that to stand in the House is the equivalent of raising one's hand on Zoom, which the minister did not do, and you indicated that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we all recognize that it was human error caused by a technical issue, and that is fine.
    Even if we disagree on Bill C-15, we recognize how important it is to first nations, and we will proceed with the debate.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that Canada's Parliament is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin people. I am speaking to members currently from my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park, the traditional lands of many indigenous nations, most recently of the Mississaugas of the Credit.
    I would like to acknowledge the work of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations in getting us to this point. I note that the Minister of Justice has spoken on Bill C-15 extensively over the last several months in Parliament, in committee and the Senate, so I do want to acknowledge—
    I have to interrupt. There seems to be someone who has their microphone on. I just want to remind members that, if they do not want their private conversations being heard when they are not meant to be, they should have their microphones off.
    It really impacts the House of Commons and the speakers when those microphones are left on. Again, out of respect for members in the House of Commons, I ask those who are joining virtually to please have your microphones off if you are not up to speak.
    We will continue with the hon. parliamentary secretary. I do apologize for that interruption.
    Madam Speaker, it has been more than 13 years since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It is five years this week since the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations attended the United Nations to announce that Canada was a full supporter, without qualification, of the declaration. She also affirmed Canada's commitment to adopt and implement this international human rights document in accordance with the Canadian Constitution.
    The introduction of Bill C-15 last December fulfilled our government's commitment to introduce legislation by the end of 2020 to implement the declaration, and it established the former private member's bill, Bill C-262, as the floor, rather than the ceiling.
    I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the leadership of a former member of Parliament, my dear friend Romeo Saganash. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his work in Parliament and across the country with indigenous peoples and communities to advance his private member's bill, Bill C-262, to implement the declaration here in Canada. It was very disappointing that Bill C-262 died on the Order Paper, unable to make it through the Senate process before the last federal election. I therefore urge all parliamentarians today to ensure that this does not happen to Bill C-15.
    The declaration is a result of decades of tireless efforts, negotiations and sustained advocacy at the United Nations by inspiring indigenous leaders from around the world, including many from Canada. From Dr. Willie Littlechild to former NDP MP Romeo Saganash to Sákéj Henderson and so many others, Canadian indigenous leaders played an instrumental role in the development of this historic international human rights document.
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated that the declaration charts a path for reconciliation to flourish in 21st century Canada, and the TRC call to action 43 calls on all levels of government to fully adopt and implement this declaration. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called on governments to immediately implement and fully comply with the declaration.
    The declaration is of critical importance to indigenous peoples across Canada, and its implementation is essential to a shared journey toward reconciliation. It is long past time for the Parliament of Canada to pass legislation to implement the principles set out in the declaration. Once passed, Bill C-15 would affirm the declaration as a universal international human rights instrument with application in Canadian law. It would also provide a framework for the Government of Canada's implementation of the declaration.
    This framework would establish new accountability for the Government of Canada to work with first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to find new ways to protect, promote and uphold the human rights of indigenous peoples across Canada. This legislative framework would further demonstrate Canada's continued commitment to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples now and in the future. It would also bring further clarity to the path forward for indigenous peoples, communities, industry and all Canadians.
    Once passed by Parliament, the legislation would create new requirements for the Government of Canada, in consultation and co-operation with indigenous peoples, to take all necessary measures to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the declaration and prepare, and to implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the declaration.
    Moving forward, the laws of Canada would be required to reflect the standards set out in the declaration, while also respecting aboriginal and treaty rights recognized and affirmed in the Constitution. The legislation would require the Government of Canada to report annually to Parliament on progress made to align the laws of Canada with the declaration and on the development and implementation of the action plan. This approach is consistent with the declaration itself, which in article 38 calls on states to collaborate with indigenous peoples on appropriate measures, including legislative measures to achieve the goals set out in the declaration.
    We acknowledge that some have expressed concern with the length of time for consultation on Bill C-15. It is important to recognize that private member's bill, Bill C-262, the foundation of this legislation, was also the subject of extensive parliamentary debate and study in the previous Parliament. Despite an accelerated engagement process for Bill C-15, even during the pandemic, the bill's additions to the foundation of Bill C-262 reflect the content requested by a wide cross-section of first nation, Inuit and Métis partners from coast to coast to coast.

  (1655)  

    In total, over 70 virtual sessions took place, which allowed us to hear the views of over 462 participants about potential enhancements to a consultation draft of legislative text, based on former private member's bill, Bill C-262. Before June and November 2020, the government held 33 bilateral sessions with the AFN, ITK and MNC, involving extensive technical discussions on the content of Bill C-15.
    Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national indigenous representative organization for Inuit in Canada, spoke at the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples last Friday. I am quoting from the blues, but while there he said, “We have worked positively and constructively with the federal government on the development of Bill C-15 within a relatively short timeframe. I want to thank the Department of Justice and the Minister of Justice for ensuring the co-development happened within this particular piece of legislation and also the government's willingness to be flexible and consider amendments throughout the process.”
    Last fall, through a series of virtual sessions, the government also undertook an extensive six-week session of broader engagement with a wide cross-section of indigenous partners on the development of the draft legislation. This engagement included modern treaty and self-governing first nations, Inuit regions, other rights holders, national and regional women's organizations, youth, LGBTQ representatives, as well as some non-indigenous stakeholders.
    More specifically, 28 engagement sessions were held with rights holders, modern treaty partners and other national and regional organizations, including women's organizations. Four industry-specific round tables were held with the key sectors of minerals and metals, clean energy, forestry, and petroleum sectors. These also including indigenous participation.
    Five sessions were held with provinces and territories, including two ministerial meetings, and some of these meetings also included indigenous experts and leaders. There was also a round table with indigenous youth from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Métis National Council and Canadian Roots Exchange, and with university law students.
    In addition, we received over 50 written submissions that provided feedback and proposed text changes, including views and recommendations on the development of an action plan. An extensive “What We Learned” report is available on the Department of Justice website, which outlines the extensive framework feedback the government received throughout the engagement process.
    The extensive engagement with indigenous partners and others led to key enhancements from former private member's bill, Bill C-262, to be included in Bill C-15. Bill C-15 has new language in the preamble, including the highlighting the positive contributions the declaration can make to reconciliation, and healing and peace, as well as harmonious and co-operative relations in Canada.
    It recognizes the inherent rights of indigenous peoples. It reflects on the importance of respecting treaties and agreements. It highlights the connection between the declaration and sustainable development. Finally, it emphasizes the need to take diversity of indigenous peoples into account in implementing the legislation.
    A purpose clause has been included to address the application of the declaration in Canadian law, and to affirm the legislation as a framework for new federal implementation of the declaration.
    Bill C-15 has clear and more robust provisions on the process of developing and tabling the action plan and annual reports. It has a provision to allow the Governor in Council to designate a minister to carry out elements of the bill. These changes and additions enhance and build upon the elements set out in Bill C-262.
    Engagement also did not stop when the bill was introduced. Since the introduction of the bill in December, extensive meetings have been held with indigenous partners and other stakeholders. These ongoing discussions, along with an extensive study at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, have informed a number of further amendments to Bill C-15, which passed at the House committee. I want to take a moment to thank the members of the standing committee for their hard work and co-operation in getting this bill through.
    The amended bill now includes the specific rejection of the racist and colonial doctrines of discovery and terra nullius in the preamble. The preamble now also clarifies that Canadian courts have stated that aboriginal and treaty rights, recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, are not frozen and are capable of evolution and growth. Bill C-15 also now expressly includes the term “racism” in both the preamble and the body of the legislation.

  (1700)  

    Based on consensus advice from indigenous partners, the government also agreed to amend the timeline to co-develop the action plan from three years to two, a timeline we are confident is sufficient for a meaningful process and co-development of an effective action plan.
    Our government is committed to the meaningful co-development of Bill C-15's action plan with indigenous partners and experts to ensure that the implementation of the legislation is effective and accountable. The bill itself sets out that the action plan must include measures to address injustices, combat prejudice and eliminate all forms of violence, racism and discrimination, including systemic racism and discrimination against indigenous peoples: elders, youth, children, women, men, persons with disabilities, and gender diverse and two-spirit persons. It must promote mutual respect and understanding, as well as good relations, including through human rights education.
    The action plan must also include measures related to monitoring, oversight, recourse or remedy, or other accountability measures with respect to the implementation of the declaration. We have already begun preliminary discussions with indigenous partners on the design of the future process. Budget 2021 provides $31.5 million over two years to support the action plan's co-development.
    My Conservative colleagues have framed the concept of free, prior and informed consent, FPIC, as an undefined statement and have suggested it could be interpreted as a de facto veto for individual indigenous communities or groups over resource development. I note the term “veto” is nowhere to be found in the draft of the text. They have tried to raise concerns that this would jeopardize the economy and bring uncertainty to the resource sector. In fact, FPIC focuses on the inclusion of voices, concerns and opinions of all indigenous peoples who would be affected by a proposed activity or project, ensuring these concerns are addressed and that there are mitigation plans in place.
    I think Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond addressed this best when she spoke to the House committee on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations on April 13:
...there is an element of what I would call “fearmongering” about the concept of free, prior and informed consent, that somehow that will cause economic damage and so forth. In fact, free, prior and informed consent, and operationalizing that by having industry, government and first nations work together appropriately early, in the context of recognizing the rights, provides more economic stability, certainty and security
    In conclusion, just last week, National Chief Perry Bellegarde, representing the Assembly of First Nations, spoke in favour of passing Bill C-15 at the Senate committee on aboriginal peoples, where he stated:
     I urge you all to seize this historic opportunity and to play a key role in upholding and advancing the human rights of Indigenous peoples.
    At the same Senate committee meeting, Natan Obed, the president of ITK, said, “We see this piece of federal legislation as a positive contribution to the approach of human rights being applied equally to all Canadian citizens. ”
    David Chartrand, speaking for the Métis National Council, told the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on April 15:
    We believe that passing this bill into law is critical to a future that respects our rights as a nation. We urge members to expedite the process to ensure that Bill C-15 is passed in this session of Parliament.
    While no piece of legislation will get unanimous support from all indigenous peoples in Canada, Bill C-15 has broad support from first nations, Inuit and Métis from coast to coast to coast. Bill C-15 is about shredding our colonial past and writing the next chapter together as partners with indigenous peoples.
    I therefore urge all members of the House to support this fundamental piece of legislation and to support Bill C-15.

  (1705)  

    Madam Speaker, I have two questions for the parliamentary secretary.
    First, if FPIC is not a veto, then could he concretely tell the House what will be different regarding what is required in consultations? Once that principle is passed through this law, what will be different from the status quo? If nothing is changing, then what is the point? If it is not changing into a veto, then what precisely is different?
    My second question is this. It seems to me the government uses indigenous consultation when it wants to kill development projects, but it rarely consults indigenous communities when those communities want to support projects. In fact, we have heard from many indigenous communities, especially in the Arctic, about how the government's unilateral ending of offshore drilling, with a mere 45-minute phone call ahead of time to indigenous leaders and an announcement made with a foreign leader, really violated their expectations around consultation. Is the government prepared to reconsider its approach when it comes to blocking resource development projects that indigenous communities want to see moved forward?
    Madam Speaker, on the first question of veto, the bill would ensure certainty. What is different going forward is that there is a bill, there is a framework and legislation that would ensure that consultation takes place. It is already in Canadian law in many court decisions over the years. The bill would give certainty to those principles.
    Second, in the sense of resource development with indigenous communities, this would also allow for greater certainty. There is a need to ensure that consultation takes place. The notion of self-determination of the future of indigenous peoples and their resources are inbuilt here and therefore, there are many important elements that would ensure certainty going forward. That is why Bill C-15 is so important to the future relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples.

  (1710)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge our former colleague, Romeo Saganash, who worked very hard for this cause to be heard and whose main political commitment was ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples. I salute him and I am thinking of him.
    The Bloc Québécois has supported the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for a long time. Even before it was signed, the Bloc Québécois helped develop it. I am referring to the meeting of the working group on the draft United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples that was held in Geneva in September 2004.
    Could the parliamentary secretary tell me what he believes is the normative scope of free, prior and informed consent?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to share in the member's praise of the former member of Parliament, Romeo Saganash. I know this is a lifetime of work for him and certainly in Parliament this was his primary body of work that all of us across all parties recognize and respect.
    With respect to the issue of FPIC, what is important to recognize is that in order for development to take place, there is a clearly defined process in Canada for consultation. The bill would enhance that. This does not mean that every single community will have a veto over every single development. What it means is that government and companies have an obligation to consult extensively with all those who are impacted and to come to some consensus. This would essentially ensure that there is an effort by all parties to build consensus toward projects that can go forward.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my friend and colleague across the way for his tireless work in the previous Parliament to see this almost realized.
     I was really pleased to see Bill C-15 amended to include paragraph 18, to include the constitutional principle of the living tree doctrine, which confirms that aboriginal and treaty rights evolve and grow over time. As I mentioned at committee, I would have preferred that this amendment be included in the operative articles of the bill as proposed by, for example, the Assembly of First Nations and the original drafter of Bill C-262.
    Would my hon. friend have preferred the same, that this amendment be included in the operative articles of Bill C-15?
    Madam Speaker, it has been a pleasure working with my friend from Winnipeg Centre on Bill C-15 and to get it to this point. What I am looking for and I think what the government is looking for and what I think all of us are looking for is passage of Bill C-15 in this Parliament.
     It is imperative that we move forward on reconciliation as indicated by the call to action 43 of the TRC. In many references, the need to ensure that Canada adopts UNDRIP is essential. Therefore, we could always reflect and say we could have done better here and here, but what is important is that we get the bill done, as the bill would ensure the principles that my friend opposite mentioned are incorporated. I believe that would be a very significant move in passing the bill. What is important for us now as Parliament, is to pass Bill C-15, as amended by the House, which has taken a great deal of effort by all members of the committee—

  (1715)  

    I would like to go to another question.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Madam Speaker, perhaps the parliamentary secretary can conclude his thoughts in answering my question.
    This is something that the United Nations adopted many years ago. We are finally getting to this point. There have been attempts in the past. This really means something for not just indigenous people but for all Canadians.
    Can the parliamentary secretary comment on what he sees as the potential impact of passing this piece of legislation, and why it is so important to do this as quickly as possible?
    Madam Speaker, that is a very important question, because this is a call to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. This is one of the key elements that is in there in call to action 43, which says that Canada has to implement UNDRIP.
     It is important for indigenous people, but it is also vitally important for all Canadians because it is a statement to the world that Canada respects and adheres to indigenous rights. It is a very important international human rights document that we are reaffirming today through Bill C-15. It is very important for all people in Canada to be able to move forward from our colonial past, where many indigenous peoples have been significantly affected, to a future that is positive and based on trust and a positive relationship.
    Madam Speaker, my question for the parliamentary secretary is quite simple. Dale Swampy from the National Coalition of Chiefs, whose mandate it is to reduce on-reserve poverty, said:
    I think UNDRIP is important and significant in many ways, and I obviously support indigenous rights. However, I am skeptical about Bill C-15 itself. I think it needs to be written much more carefully, because as it is drafted today, it is obvious to me that it will deter investment in Canadian resource development, and that hurts the indigenous communities that rely on resources.
    The Indigenous Resource Network, the Indian Resource Council, and First Nations LNG Alliance all expressed similar concerns.
     Would you accuse these people of fearmongering when they expressed reasonable concerns?
    I want to remind the member that he is to address all questions and comments to the Chair.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my friend, who is also a member of the committee, for his work and contribution to Bill C-15.
     All I can say is that what is important is that there were extensive consultations in developing Bill C-15. Regarding all the organizations that are mentioned, input was taken, whether at the committee stage or prior to that, and their input reflects what we have. It is a consensus document that the three national indigenous organizations have supported and many other indigenous partners and nations have endorsed. Therefore, we are very comfortable in saying that this is a consensus document that does have wide support of indigenous peoples.
    Madam Chair, I am happy to add my voice to this debate around Bill C-15.
    I recognize that it has been a long and arduous battle to get the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples passed through the UN, and I also recognize the work of Romeo Saganash, with whom I had the privilege of sitting on committee in the past. I developed a friendship with him, and it was a pleasure working with him on committee.
    Bill C-15 is an interesting bill. It is a severe case, in my opinion, of a lack of doing what one says and saying what one is doing. This seems to be typical of the Liberals. They say they are doing something when in fact they are not, or they are doing something when they say they are not doing something. Again, Bill C-15 is one of those and, in my opinion, does just that. Conservatives typically say what they mean and mean what they say, and if we do not mean it, we do not say it.
    One thing that is frustrating for me about this particular bill is that this is new, uncharted territory in terms of clause 4 of the bill. I think the crux of the bill is in clause 4, which says:
    The purpose of this Act is to
(a) affirm the Declaration as a universal international human rights instrument with application in Canadian law; and
(b) provide a framework for the Government of Canada’s implementation of the Declaration.
    What is frustrating about it is that I think that the declaration is a universal international human rights instrument, and I also think that it has application in Canadian law, with or without the bill stating it.
    I use the Palermo Protocol extensively, which is a UN protocol used to identify victims of human trafficking. The Canadian government, being part of the UN, can use these protocols or declarations to validate whether or not our laws fall inside these frameworks. We use them as an instrument to assess Canadian law, which would be no different for UNDRIP.
    The same goes for the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Again, we use that declaration to assess Canadian law. We take the Canadian laws on the rights of children and the protection of children and we stack them up against the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child to see if we are abiding by and meeting the thresholds that are laid out in the declaration. If we are not, then we attempt to bring Canadian law into alignment.
    I have been working on that around the Palermo Protocol here in Canada, putting forward bills and trying to get Canada's laws to totally align with the Palermo Protocol. We are in significant alignment, but we are not 100% there, and that is also the case with UNDRIP. It is an instrument against which we can assess Canadian law to see if we are living up to the expectations that are laid out in UNDRIP. Are we living up to the ideals that reconciliation would bring? Nobody has a problem with that.
    What Bill C-15 proposes is unique, because no other UN declaration has a legislative declaration with application in Canadian law. When I asked the Department of Justice officials about this at committee, they said that I was correct, that it is a unique thing. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child does not have a legislative declaration that we are recognizing as an instrument in Canadian law. However, when arguing a case in court, one can bring a UN document, a UN declaration, to the court and say, “Hey, the UN says this and therefore this is a piece of evidence for my particular case.” What I am frustrated about with Bill C-15 is that it would not change the application of UNDRIP in Canada.

  (1720)  

    Some witnesses came to committee and said this was like a bill of rights for indigenous people. We were assured again by the justice department this was not the case. This is not granting a bill of rights for indigenous people. This is a framework to develop a plan, and that is what this bill is all about.
    If that universal human rights instrument, UNDRIP, had application in Canadian law, would it be actionable? One of the things I asked repeatedly was whether one could take the government to court if it failed to meet one of the objects of the declaration, and I was once again assured that this was not the case. Therefore, what changes with this bill? If this is such a monumental change to the way Canadian law is happening, as the Liberals would like us to think, then what would actually change? That is extremely frustrating.
    The Liberals continue to say we are fearmongering, which is also untrue. We just want to know if the things the Liberals are saying are in fact true. If this is going to change the way Canadian law operates, then what are those changes? The bill does not explicitly say that, to me. It says that we are going to develop a framework.
    The big crux of a lot of the issues we deal with is around FPIC, or free, prior and informed consent, and what it means. One of the things we continually asked was about the Canadian government, the years and years of jurisprudence, the court cases that have been fought and won in this country around consultation, and the term “duty to consult”, how all this is laid out and how it would fit into UNDRIP.
    I would say we are well on our way to developing systems in Canada that fit in with UNDRIP and come into free, prior and informed consent. As our laws develop, with requirements to consult, we see companies going out and consulting. I would say we are well on our way. When I hold up the instrument of UNDRIP against our free, prior and informed consent laws and court rulings, those are all things we can consider.
    All this bill would do is create uncertainty. It would bring in a new element. It says that perhaps these articles of UNDRIP are now Canadian law, so does duty to consult equal free, prior and informed consent, or does it not? We could have that debate and argument, but at this point we just do not know. There is a lack of clarity around that. That is what is being introduced with this bill. What is free, prior and informed consent, and how does it relate to duty to consult?
    We have seen in this country that this has caused uncertainty in the marketplace. The Government of British Columbia has adopted UNDRIP in a similar fashion, again without clearly defining the terms, and there is now a 1% premium placed on investment in B.C. There is a risk premium to doing business in B.C. because of that, and the markets have deemed it to be about 1%, a lack of 1% return on it, which is a challenge. If one is going to the marketplace to raise capital for a project, one will have to pay 1% more to bring capital into British Columbia compared to the rest of the country. When people say there is no risk to this, no uncertainty, there obviously is, and that is the frustration about this.
    I go back to the point that one should mean what one says and say what one means. Where does FPIC come up in this bill? It does not really come up in this bill. It comes up in the document and this declaration having a universal application in Canadian law, but again, what does that mean? We know that all it is doing is driving uncertainty. It is not allowing us to hold up UNDRIP as a document for criteria by which we should judge Canadian law. That is continually frustrating as we go forward.

  (1725)  

    We heard extensively from Canadians from across the country around this bill at committee, and it is also interesting that the Liberals seem to have a distinct side that they come on when it comes to consultation. We would hear them today talk about how they had extensive consultation even in the development of this bill, but I would say that initially, when we first started reaching out to folks around this, they had not been consulted on this bill. It was not until the bill had been introduced that they began doing the consultations, so by the time it reached committee, yes, some consultations had been done and folks were giving their nod toward the bill, but up until that point there had not been extensive consultation in the development of the particular bill.
    That was seen in that every organization that came before us had an amendment for the bill, and that was increasingly obvious. All of them came forward and had amendments, despite the fact that they all acknowledged that UNDRIP is a useful tool and that UNDRIP is something that they hope Canadian law aspires to. I am not convinced this was something they were all expecting when we had the implementation of UNDRIP in Canada. A plan for a plan is not the implementation, so it is going to be more and more interesting to watch how this unfolds.
    We have also seen at committee that the government amended its own legislation. That also seems to me to be a point where the consultations were not done appropriately on the front end. If the government had indeed consulted broadly, as it said it had, we would have seen that this bill would not have had amendments by every organization that came before us, and also that the government would not have had to amend the bill itself. It seems to me that there was a complete lack of consultation.
    The other thing that I would like to point out around the government and its consultation record is that it only seems to consult in the direction in which it wants the answer. We see this over and over again with first nations communities in northern Alberta. Many of them had a stake in the northern gateway pipeline. We have seen how their communities were thriving off the construction and the capital stake that many of them had in the construction of that pipeline, and yet we saw that pipeline cancelled after the shipping ban off the west coast in Bill C-48, and there seems to have been no consultation with them whatsoever as to the impacts of that decision on their communities. We see that today unemployment in northern Alberta is among the highest in Canada. Why is that? Is it because the government failed to consult with first nations and did not adequately recognize the impacts on these communities?
    Again, this is an area where the government says one thing and seems to do another. The idea of consultation is only important in a particular direction, or when trying to stall a pipeline project rather than get one built. That was and continues to be extremely frustrating for first nations communities across northern Alberta.
    There are still many questions left unanswered as we go forward. As the government continues to pursue its implementation of the declaration, we will continue to have a discussion on what FPIC means, because there is no clarity. Nobody has said that our duty to consult and FPIC are equal. We are even lacking a bit as to who the final arbiter of this decision-making is. I would say that the Government of Canada is the final arbiter when it comes to major projects. It is the final arbiter when it comes to many of these things that get brought forward, and that is important.

  (1730)  

    We do not necessarily have clarity from the government. We would like to see that for sure. When pipelines get built, when the federal laws of Canada are designed and when Parliament makes decisions, those decisions are supreme in Canada. We would like to see FPIC clarified as we go forward. Those are some of the things folks brought to committee and said they were concerned about.
    The other interesting thing is how this applies between federal and provincial jurisdictions. The bill sometimes says “Canadian law”. Does that mean provincial law as well as federal law, or does it just mean federal law? We need to ensure that is clarified as we go forward, and I hope the government is able to answer some of these questions.
    As we hear from more folks on this, it is interesting that there is not even unanimity within first nations communities. The O'Chiese First Nation in Alberta, Treaty No. 6, rejects Bill C-15 outright. It said it would undermine its position in Canada and is opposed to it entirely. The government did not seem to acknowledge that individual first nation communities were not in favour of Bill C-15.
    The government consults with the three major national indigenous organizations, but does not necessarily consult with individual first nations across the country. Something I hear over and over from individual first nations is that the government needs to listen to individual first nations across the country in addition to the national organizations, because national organizations do not always speak for individual bands. That is another major concern we heard as well.
    We are looking for clarity on a number of things, and this bill would not do anything to clarify any of these issues. This bill would put us on a path forward to align Canadian law with UNDRIP, which I am in favour of, but it would not necessarily do what the government is saying it will. It does not say this will be the next step in bringing us in line with that. The bill just says it is going to develop a plan to do it, and that is frustrating.
    I was hoping the government was going to move in the direction of aligning Canadian law with UNDRIP and that it would give us some clarification, such as indicating where Canadian law aligns with UNDRIP on point 43, for example, or giving its opinion on the duty to consult on FPIC, whether it is an adequate or less-than-adequate measure. It might give indications of some of the improvements it is going to make on duty to consult to bring it in line with FPIC. FPIC means something. If the government is insistent that it does not mean a veto, what does it mean? What does that consultation piece look like? Does the jurisprudence on duty to consult still stand?
    Those are some of the things I would have expected to see in a bill that would have ushered in UNDRIP. Nonetheless, we do not see these in this bill. There are some less-than-clarifying statements in this bill.

  (1735)  

    Madam Speaker, UNDRIP was adopted by the UN General Assembly 13 years ago. Shortly after the Liberals formed government in 2015, we endorsed it and agreed to implement it.
    At what point will the Conservative Party formally say it will adopt UNDRIP, whether by legislation or by other means? At what point will the member's party and leader adopt and accept the terms of UNDRIP?
    Madam Speaker, in 2010 the Conservative Government of Canada signed on to UNDRIP. It recognized UNDRIP as a universal declaration of human rights that was useful in Canada. We called it an aspirational document, much in the same way that many UN instruments and declarations are used here in Canada. Earlier, I referenced the Palermo protocol and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    We have been at the forefront of reconciliation in this country with an apology for the treatment of first nations by residential schools, with bringing in marital benefits for indigenous women when it came to property rights and many other things. We are working hard to ensure that first nations have full participation in the Canadian economy. I am very proud of the work that we have done and I will look forward to continuing to bring reconciliation to this country.

  (1740)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank Romeo Saganash for introducing Bill C-262, which unfortunately died on the Order Paper, but is being resurrected as Bill C-15 in spite of what the member said in his speech.
    Experience shows that lack of consent to project development is often the cause of indigenous crises. That is what happened with the Oka crisis and again this winter with the Wet'suwet'en.
    Can the member tell us what is problematic about ensuring that natural resource development projects are carried out properly and in accordance with the principle of free, prior and informed consent?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, that is interesting. The member brings up the Wet’suwet’en people. That is an extremely interesting discussion, as the elected chiefs were entirely in favour of that particular project and the hereditary chiefs were not, yet the government chose to consult not with the elected chiefs but with the hereditary chiefs.
     This is exactly what we are dealing with. Who is to be consulted, and in what capacity are they to be consulted? Who is the representative of first nations people and Inuit and Métis people? Who gets the right to decide? Many of those questions have been answered through the courts, over time, with the duty-to-consult apparatus that we have in this country. It is not necessarily perfect, but it is a start and we are working on it.
    The way that the government handled the Wet’suwet’en situation has been terrible for investment in this country and also for the rights of the democratically elected chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en.
    Madam Speaker, I find it peculiar that this member holds indigenous people to higher standards for democracy, with every indigenous person having to agree to pass anything. If we were held to the same standards, we would never have another government in Canada.
    My question relates to international trade law. As the member is aware, international trade law obligations require us to divulge any risks to investment. The member spoke a lot about investments. When Canada fails to divulge, for example, that vast tracts of indigenous lands are still under dispute, are we not negotiating free trade agreements on a lie? When we do not divulge this information are we not, in fact, breaking the law?
    Madam Chair, the Canadian Constitution applies clear across the country. I do not think the member is disputing that. Whatever she is talking about in terms of our trade disputes, I do not think that Bill C-15 would clarify any of that. If anything, we would end up in an area of less clarity than before.

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, at the INAN committee we heard a number of witnesses talk about what the benefit might be of having the action plan prepared and presented before we introduced the legislation, and that there might have been some benefit to that because it would have reduced some of the uncertainty and given clarity.
    Through you, Madam Speaker, to the member, does he have some comments around that?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for all the work he does at committee as well. The really frustrating piece around this bill for me is that the Liberals are taking a victory lap, because they say they are fulfilling one of the truth and reconciliation requirements by implementing UNDRIP. In reality they are not implementing UNDRIP: They are putting into legislation a plan to make a plan to attempt to bring in UNDRIP. That is extremely frustrating to me.
    Again, to go back to the beginning of all of this, it is the “say what you mean and mean what you say” principle. Bill C-15 does not implement UNDRIP. It provides a plan to develop a plan to start implementing UNDRIP. It is not bringing any clarity to the situation. It is not enabling us to move forward. It just leaves us in the limbo we were in prior to Bill C-15.
    Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's speech and did not find it very compelling. I feel like there is a kind of persistent confusion here. On one hand, he said that it is a bill to make a plan to implement a plan, which is silly, and why do they not just go ahead and do it. On the other hand, he said that this is all very complex and not that easy. What is clear to me at least is that the job is not done. We have seen that through the many controversies around projects on indigenous land, and through the frustration and dire need of indigenous people to get access to resources and the things that they need to live well. We are not going to get started unless we start taking those steps.
    I am always on board with criticizing the Liberals for not getting done what they say they want done quickly enough, but we are not here, on our side at least, belabouring the complexities of it and having a record of sometimes not supporting moving forward toward a solution.
    Which is it? Is this just a plan to make a plan for a complex set of issues? The gist of the member's position is really not clear to me after having spent some time listening.
    Madam Speaker, the main point is that this bill does not bring any clarity to what it means to bring Canada's law into alignment with UNDRIP. We could have seen a bill that would have explained how we could improve duty to consult and bring it in line with FPIC. We could have seen mechanisms around land disputes. Do current land-dispute resolution mechanisms align with UNDRIP? We could have had a bill that would have tried to tweak some of those things. We could have had a bill that would have outlined each and every one of the UNDRIP protocols and said, “This is how we are aligning with it.” We do not have that bill.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak again on Bill C-15, which seeks to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    At this point, we are cautiously confident that it will finally pass. I say “finally” because we have been waiting for this bill for a very long time. We hope it will pass quickly, although it is still not a done deal.
    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted on September 13, 2007. It is now May 2021, almost 15 years later, and it still has not been enshrined in Canadian law. It has been 15 years. Fifteen years is a long time. Fifteen years is the length of four Parliaments. Fifteen years is also slightly less than the difference in life expectancy between Inuit people and the rest of the Canadian population. Among men, the gap was 15 years in 2017. Fifteen years is half a generation, one-sixth of a century. That is a long time within a human lifetime.
    Time passes, the world changes, but not for indigenous rights. Nothing moves, nothing changes, because Canada is the land of stalling. It is time for things to change. Despite a few flaws, we believe, as does the Assembly of First Nations, that we must move forward and pass Bill C-15 as quickly as possible, even if that means amending it later.
    Today I would like to first talk about the history of our party as it relates to the Declaration and then dispel some persistent myths that are often associated with this bill.
    Today I would like to reiterate that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of this bill even though the amendments we wanted to make to clarify the scope of the bill were not incorporated. We have long been convinced that implementing the UNDRIP is essential for reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and we still believe that.
    The Bloc was there well before the declaration was signed. When the working group on the draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples met in Geneva in September 2004, the Bloc was there to advocate for their right to self-determination. The Bloc was there again in 2006 during the final sprint to adoption, when we had to redouble our efforts alongside indigenous peoples and the international community. The Bloc was there in 2007, condemning Canada for voting against the declaration at the United Nations general assembly. The Bloc was there in the years that followed to put pressure on Harper's Conservative government to sign the declaration.
    The Bloc was there, the Bloc is there, and the Bloc will always be there to promote the declaration. Parliament's ratification will not only recognize the inherent rights, emphasis on “inherent”, of indigenous peoples, but also clarify them for everyone because, let me remind the House, indigenous peoples' rights are not a privilege. Indigenous rights are legitimate and, as I said, inherent.
    The Bloc Québécois believes that implementing the UN declaration will not only improve social and economic conditions for indigenous communities, but also guarantee greater predictability for companies operating in the primary sector, while ensuring sustainable and responsible resource development.

  (1750)  

    In that sense, if only in that sense, it will be a win for everyone, including the economy and first nations.
    I stated earlier that time is standing absolutely still for indigenous rights. I am therefore appealing to my colleagues from the other parties and those in the upper chamber. It is now up to them to get the clock going again.
    I have to admit that I have never understood the Conservative Party's visceral opposition to the declaration. Last August, in an interview with Perry Bellegarde, the Leader of the Opposition justified his objections to the declaration by saying that, in his view, case law already creates a duty to consult, so there is no value added in the declaration. If it changes nothing, why be afraid of adopting it?
    At the same time, the Conservatives are trying to scare us. We saw this during the debates and in the last few minutes. They say that adopting the declaration will block projects because it creates new duties to consult.
     They cannot, on the one hand, say that it will not change anything and, on the other, fear that it might change something. The Leader of the Opposition should clarify his thoughts. Is he against the change because it will change something, or is he against it because it will not change anything? He will have to explain this to us because his argument is self-contradictory and sounds to me more like an excuse.
    Now is the time to dispel myths like this one. I cannot remain silent about the notion of free, prior and informed consent, or FPIC, which is much more controversial than it should be. It has been at the centre of these debates, and it haunts the nightmares of my colleagues in the official opposition.
    Opponents to the declaration have said over and over that free, prior and informed consent is tantamount to a veto. Nothing could be further from the truth. This time, the legislator's intention is evident, as it was in Bill C-262 introduced by my predecessor Roméo Saganash, to whom we owe a lot in this fight and whom I salute with respect and friendship. The legislator in no way sees FPIC as a veto. The Minister of Justice has said so many times. The courts cannot ignore that fact.
    The declaration is absolutely clear on this issue. It states, and I quote:
    States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent....
    That is a requirement to consult in good faith. There is no mention at all of a veto in the declaration. It cannot be repeated often enough, or perhaps it bears repeating until it is understood, that this argument falls in on itself.
    For me, the legislator's intent also seems very clear with regard to the scope of the bill. It applies only to areas under this Parliament's jurisdiction. Even though that is something that stands to reason and that just seems to make sense, the sponsor of the bill still went to the effort of reiterating that Bill C-15 will not impose any obligations on any other levels of government. That could not be more clear. In fact, it is crystal clear. We need to keep in mind that, if the members of the Bloc Québécois support this bill, as I am sure the government members do, it is because they understand and believe that the incorporation of the declaration into our laws should be done in partnership with the provinces and with complete respect for their areas of jurisdiction.

  (1755)  

     I must insist on this point.
    In an article in the most recent issue of Recherches amérindiennes au Québec, lawyer Camille Fréchette wrote, “In light of the sharing of jurisdictions within the Canadian federal government system, the implementation of the right to [free, prior and informed consent] directly concerns the provinces, which have exclusive jurisdiction over public lands and natural resource development”.
    We believe that the different levels of government must work together if the act is to be properly implemented. The provinces will have to be consulted and participate in the implementation process to ensure consistency. In our humble opinion, this bill will only help with reconciliation, provided that everyone acts in good faith and strives to maintain a dialogue.
    On that note, I want to make a little aside to clarify something, because we must be thorough and there is a lot of disinformation about Bill C-15. Some people have tried to claim that the Bloc Québécois was jeopardizing Quebec's sovereignty. That is an absurd idea, but I can refute that claim with the example of territory.
    The Constitution Act, 1867, makes it clear that the provinces own and are the guardians of their territory. To paraphrase constitutional expert André Binette, if that were not the case, then Hydro-Québec would not exist. Quebec's inalienable sovereignty over its territory just reinforces the need for a collaborative approach to ensure that the declaration is implemented consistently and seamlessly.
    In 1985, led by René Lévesque's government, the Quebec National Assembly recognized 10 and later 11 indigenous nations on Quebec territory. In 2006, the House of Commons recognized Quebec as a nation. The Bloc Québécois has said and will say again that nation-to-nation dialogue is the only way to achieve peace and harmony, among other things.
    That said, at this point, I think we have debated the implementation of the declaration long enough and should move on to the next step. Let me point out that indigenous nations have been waiting almost 15 years — 163 months or 4,990 days, to be exact — for us as legislators to take decisive action. Indigenous peoples have waited long enough. I would venture to say that they have waited too long. Their eyes are fixed on us, and the clock is ticking. It is up to us to take action now, because their inherent rights are at stake.
    Tshi nashkumitin. Thank you.

  (1800)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in British Columbia, where I live, the B.C. government has passed the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which is based on this declaration. In Quebec, the National Assembly had a unanimous motion to recognize its principles.
    Does the member think that it is time for every province, including Quebec, to bring in legislation to enshrine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in provincial law, in addition to the federal law?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.
    I mentioned that first nations have been waiting too long for their rights to be enshrined in federal legislation.
    As a member of the House of Commons, I will leave it up to Quebec's National Assembly to decide. Quebec has always led the way on this, as evidenced by treaties signed with the Cree and Naskapi nations. The relationship is one of such deep respect that it is exemplary.
    I am certainly in favour of Bill C-15, so of course I want these inherent rights to be enshrined in federal legislation, but I will leave it up to the National Assembly of Quebec to work out its own legislation. After all, everyone knows the Bloc Québécois does not appreciate anyone interfering in anyone else's jurisdiction.
    Madam Speaker, I just returned from the traditional territory of the Kyuquot First Nation and Coast Salish First Nation.
    I really enjoyed my colleague's speech.
    She touched on the issue of future rights. Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples deals specifically with the right of indigenous peoples to transmit their language and oral traditions to future generations. Two-thirds of indigenous languages in Canada are currently threatened. In other words, dozens of languages are at risk.
    How much support will the federal government be giving these resources and languages so that these oral traditions and languages can be passed on to future generations?

  (1805)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
    As a member of the Bloc Québécois, I am very sensitive to the issue of culture and language. For me, culture and language form the very foundation of identity, of who we are as individuals, who we are as a distinct nation and what we want to bring to the world.
    First nations must be able to preserve their language, which is what drives their culture. In the case of my Innu friends, Innu-aimun is the language and Innu-aitun is the culture. This is important to preserving the rich identity that inhabits the Quebec territory and the North Shore. I see this as essential.
    Madam Speaker, in her speech my colleague referred to the fact that much time has passed. It has been 15 years.
    I may have an explanation for this. Canada is allergic to the recognition of national minorities. Indigenous peoples are a national minority and I have always felt that the Liberal and Conservative governments have been reticent to establish a precedent because they would have been obligated to recognize another national minority, Quebeckers. What does my colleague think of this?
    Could that explain in part why so much time passed before we were able to debate this bill?
    Madam Speaker, as the member for Manicouagan, this is my own personal read of the situation, but I think it may be an after-effect of colonialism. Indeed, that is my personal view. In my opinion, that may be a holdover from our colonialist past, although, colonialism still exists.
    I will come back to the issue of minorities.
    Whether it is first nations or francophones, we see that they are treated differently. When a nation is prevented from speaking its language and practising its culture through the use of institutions, legislation and budget standards, that is the result of a colonial past that is very difficult to move on from.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I listened very carefully to my colleague's speech, and I want to ask her a question about free, prior and informed consent. Some people have characterized FPIC, as it is known, as an absolute veto. Others have said no, it is not a veto. This is of course of concern, as we have to know what free, prior and informed consent really means.
    The courts have spent decades defining the duty to consult, which informs Canadians, who want to develop and build our country, about our duty to consult with first nations. Now we have introduced the new concept called free, prior and informed consent. Is the member not afraid that when the courts start to interpret this new standard and judicial creep sets in, FPIC is going to become a veto right that would dramatically undermine Canada's ability to get things done, develop our economy, etc.? I would like her comments on that.

  (1810)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    I will go over two different things. First, in the speech I just gave, I repeated, and I actually pointed out that I was repeating myself, that this veto does not exist. It is not a veto.
    In my opinion, one of the first things to do is to stop pushing the idea that FPIC is a veto. The legislator was clear about this, and it is in the legislation. It is not the legislator's intent.
    That being said, it is like being scared there is a monster under the bed. Just look under the bed, and then the fear will go away. My colleague should do the same thing with the issue of veto versus FPIC. It does not exist.
    Second, I also talked about Quebec and Hydro-Québec as examples of development. On the North Shore, back home, there are mines, fisheries and forestry. There are nine Innu and Naskapi nations collaborating on these projects, and they want to collaborate more.
    I do not think that consulting the first nations, working with them and talking with them to ensure that they are involved in the process will undermine the economy. On the contrary, I think mutual respect would make things much easier.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will reinforce something. From my perspective and the government's perspective, at the core this is a human rights issue. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets a minimum standard for the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous people of the world, which includes protecting their rights to self-determination, self-governance, equality and non-discrimination.
    Would the member agree that there was an opportunity to incorporate this in previous sessions, but because of delays, which are not necessarily attributable to members of the House of Commons, it did not pass previously?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I hope I understood what he was asking. If I am not mistaken, he is asking me whether this could have been done sooner. I definitely do think it could have been done sooner.
    I would also like to comment on something my colleague said. Yes, we need to get this done sooner and more quickly, but when I hear members of the official opposition saying that this does not add anything or take anything away, I get the impression that they are not seeing the big picture.
    The bill—
    I must unfortunately interrupt the member.
    Resuming debate.

[English]

    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-15, an act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I cannot reiterate strongly enough that this bill is long overdue.
    Canada was built on the violent dispossession of the lands and resources of indigenous peoples. It is the kind of violence and genocide that we see perpetrated against indigenous women and girls, 2SLGBTQQIA individuals and sacred life-givers, including our mother earth and waters. We see a continuation of environmental destruction, supported by governments that violate human rights and continue to marginalize and oppress indigenous peoples on our own lands.
    While big oil, big corporations and Canada benefit from resources, we continue to not even have our minimum human rights respected. The most minimum human right that anyone, indigenous or not, needs to have is joy. Our rights are constantly up for debate while corporations benefit.
    I will be honest here today: There is no political party in this country that has not participated, or that does not continue to participate, in the violation of indigenous rights. Indigenous peoples on our very own lands are consistently and constantly a second thought, and our rights are often totally disregarded. This normalization of violating the rights of indigenous peoples needs to end. It is time that our very own Constitution is upheld, which includes aboriginal rights and title, along with the international legal obligations that Canada has signed onto.
    We need to change this. We need to change the foundation of our relationship, which was built on human rights violations of indigenous peoples that were legislated through the Indian Act, and create a legal foundation that is grounded in a respect for human rights of all peoples, including indigenous peoples. We need the minimum human rights that are articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
     Although imperfect, I, along with our NDP team, believe that Bill C-15 is a step forward in upholding and protecting the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples in Canada. As I mentioned, it is long overdue.
    I will remind the House of what the General Assembly highlighted last December. It indicated that the declaration has “positively influenced the drafting of several constitutions and statutes at the national and local levels and contributed to the progressive development of international and national legal frameworks and policies.” In addition, it is also important to remember that the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the 10th time since its adoption by consensus. This means there is no country in the world that formally opposes the declaration.
    After the second reading of Bill C-15, we undertook a study at committee, and we are reporting the bill today with amendments. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of these amendments.

  (1815)  

    First, as a legislator it is my legal obligation to be clear about the purpose or purposes of any legislation. As such, our party supported an amendment at committee to clarify that Bill C-15 had two purposes, which include to affirm the declaration as having application in Canadian law; and, second, to provide a framework for the implementation of the declaration.
     This bill would not “Canadianize” the declaration, but confirms that United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has application in Canadian law as affirmed in preambular paragraph 18, which reads, “Whereas the Declaration is affirmed as a source for the interpretation of Canadian law”, in addition to other legal frameworks which include indigenous law, the Constitution, international law and treaties with indigenous peoples.
     This legal reality has been confirmed by the Supreme Court as early as 1987. Even the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has heavily relied on provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in their rulings about the racial discrimination that first nations children face living on reserve.
     The declaration, in fact, has provided a source for legal interpretation for courts and tribunals, and protection of children, families and communities. Our children need this legislative protection to ensure that they are able to thrive, not just survive, to ensure that children and families are afforded the legal protection to ensure they can live with dignity and human rights, especially with the current government who willfully violates their rights.
    As former Chief Justice Dickson confirmed in 1987, “The various sources of international human rights law—declarations, covenants, conventions, judicial and quasi-judicial decisions of international tribunals, customary norms—must, in my opinion, be relevant and persuasive sources for interpretation of the Charter’s provisions.”
     Another significant amendment to Bill C-15 I would like to highlight is the inclusion of the living tree doctrine in preambular paragraph 19. This is a critical amendment. The living tree doctrine recognizes that rights are not frozen in time and that rights and treaties need to evolve overtime as our nations evolve and circumstances change.
     The living tree doctrine is an important constitutional principle, which has also been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada. An example I would like to highlight is that in the 2004 Same-sex Marriage Reference Case, the court emphasized that the Constitution was a “living tree” subject to “progressive interpretation”.
    The Supreme Court in this case ruled as follows, “The 'frozen concepts' reasoning runs contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation: that our Constitution is a living tree which, by way of progressive interpretation, accommodates and addresses the realities of modern life.”
    In the Hunter v. Southam Inc. case of 1984, the Supreme Court described the doctrine in the following way, “A constitution....is drafted with an eye to the future....It must, therefore, be capable of growth and development over time to meet new social, political and historical realities often unimagined by its framers.”
     For example, the $5 given to treaty people during treaty days every year should have gone up with inflation. I would argue that it is not a symbolic act but an act of bad faith. Let us not forget Canada was built on the violent and ongoing genocide of indigenous peoples. This is why this amendment is so critical. We need legal tools to hold the government to account when it acts in bad faith.

  (1820)  

    Five dollars fails to take into consideration inflation or compensation owed for destroying lands, impairing our ability to participate in traditional forms of sustenance, perpetuating violence in our communities and leaving many unsheltered on our very own lands, while the masses and corporations continue to privilege off the human rights violations of indigenous peoples. This is gross privilege.
    Since the time of invasion, our nations have gone through change, whether by choice or as a result of aggressive assimilation policies. This transformed our families and nations. However, although our colonizers set out to eradicate us, we are still here standing strong in the protection of our rights, the very rights that our ancestors put their lives on the line to protect.
    We are still in this battle, whether it is in the courtroom or at the end of an RCMP sniper gun, as witnessed in Wet'suwet'en territory or at the military siege of Kanehsatake. We continue to stand strong. Now we see the very little land that has not been exploited is still under threat, and it makes us stand even stronger.
    We will never concede our rights, and our rights evolve and change over time. These are indigenous lands, yet we still have to fight for crumbs against the disregard of our treaties and a lack of good faith by governments to respectfully interpret the meaning, intent, and letter of them. I have not forgotten, we have not forgotten and we will never ever forget.
    This is also an important constitutional principle. It is why the new preambular paragraph 19 is so important. It states:
    Whereas the protection of Aboriginal and treaty rights—recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982—is an underlying principle and value of the Constitution of Canada, and Canadian courts have stated that such rights are not frozen and are capable of evolution and growth
    I would suggest, in this particular instance, that UNDRIP is a new political, historical and certainly legal reality that Bill C-15 is acknowledging. I must admit, however, that I would have preferred this addition to be in the operative articles of the bill. In fact, I believe that it belongs in the operative articles, as some have proposed. However, I also recognize that the preambular paragraphs have legal effect, as confirmed in article 13 of the federal Interpretation Act.
    The last amendment I wish to speak to is the addition of systemic racism as one of the measures to combat injustice and human rights violations against indigenous peoples.
    We have serious issues with systemic racism in this country, and we have witnessed examples that have cost lives. The many indigenous lives that have been lost at the hands of the police include Eishia Hudson, Jason Collins and Colten Boushie. There is also the late Joyce Echaquan, who lost her life trying to get assistance in a health care system that intimidated her, mocked her, disrespected her life and let her die under its care, as though her life was of no value, leaving her children without a mother and her partner widowed. In addition, there is a continued lack of action to address the ongoing genocide against indigenous women and girls, and we see a rapidly rising movement of white nationalism and a growing number of white supremacists around the world and right here in Canada. This is a critical amendment to Bill C-15.

  (1825)  

    We need to move forward in a manner that ensures that all indigenous people can live with dignity and human rights in Canada. We need to begin living up to our identity as a country that values and respects human rights. We need to model behaviours and decisions that actually reflect that. That is still not happening in Canada, as we are witnessing with the continued violation of indigenous rights because, although the rhetoric that we are all equal in Canada continues, there is still a very clear division between the oppressed and the oppressor. The Canadian government continues to perpetuate a relationship of violent settler neo-colonialism in real time.
    There is still no action plan to address the ongoing violence against indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA individuals, and it is two years late. There are 10 non-compliance orders to immediately end racial discrimination against first nations children on reserve. People have unequal access to health care and education. There is continued inaction and a mould crisis. There has been a failure to end all boil-water advisories on reserve, in spite of the Liberal promise to end this by 2021.
     The number of children in care is more than at the height of the residential school system. We have the highest level of unsheltered individuals in this country as a result of the violent dispossession of lands that left many of us homeless on our own lands.
     There continues to be violation of land rights, privileging corporations over upholding the human rights of indigenous peoples. These include, but are not limited to, Kanesatake, Site C, TMX, Keystone XL, Muskrat Falls, Wet'suwet'en territory, Baffinland Mary River Mine and 1492 Land Back Lane. There is a continuation of the violation of the Supreme Court ruling in the Mi’kmaq fishing dispute, more than two decades after that decision was made. We continue to see a violation of our constitutional and international legal obligations in this House, and we are obliged to uphold these as members of Parliament. The list goes on.
    The violation of indigenous rights by the current Liberal government is not even limited to Canada, but is perpetuated globally. In fact, Toronto-based Justice and Corporate Accountability Project, a legal advocacy group, noted, “28 Canadian mining companies and their subsidiaries were linked to 44 deaths, 403 injuries, and 709 cases of criminalization, including arrests, detentions, and charges in Latin America between 2000 and 2015.”
    A working group states, “The financial and political backing that the government of Canada has provided to its mining companies has been strengthened by the de facto conversion of its cooperation agencies into mining investment promotion bodies.”
    This working group reported human rights violations by Canada against indigenous peoples related to mining in, but not limited to, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala.
    We are watching on the news and social media events unfolding right now in Sheikh Jarrah, and Canada is turning a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing. It is failing to uphold international legal obligations, and children and loved ones continue to die. That is another gross example of Canada and the privileged picking and choosing when to uphold human rights, which is when it suits economic interests and does not threaten power and privilege. This must change.
    I share this because, although we are working toward passing a bill to affirm the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian law, in addition to other legal frameworks including indigenous law, international law, our Constitution and treaties, we consistently fail to uphold rights.
    We must move forward in a manner that upholds these human rights in Canada and around the world. Lives depend on this. We have moved beyond a time when rhetoric cuts it, and we know what the violation of rights looks like in real time. It is denying individuals of their right to live in dignity, sometimes resulting in death.

  (1830)  

    We need to change this. Lives are on the line. Although Bill C-15 is not perfect, it is a start, and it must be followed with action. It is only then that we will achieve justice. There is no reconciliation without justice.
    Madam Speaker, I listened attentively to my friend's comments. I know she has been working diligently over the last several years, not only on Bill C-262, but also on Bill C-15.
    Much discussion has taken place with respect to FPIC. I would like to get a sense from my friend opposite of her views on it, and whether it constitutes a veto, or whether that is a strategy being used to deflect the real aspects of Bill C-15. I would ask her to comment with respect to her experience in engaging with other indigenous leaders and communities on the perspective of FPIC.

  (1835)  

    Madam Speaker, it is almost like a hamster wheel. I hear this debate go on and on. This bill does not in any way imply that there is a veto. A veto is an absolute concept in law, whereas free, prior and informed consent requires one to consider all the facts and the law in any given circumstance and situation.
    I would agree with the testimony we heard at committee from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond when she said that hysteria has been created around FPIC that is not based on legal fact, has no legal merit and certainly does not form any part of Bill C-15. I hope, moving forward, we can accept this.
    It being 6:36 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Émilie Sansfaçon Act

    The House resumed from April 19 consideration of the motion that Bill C-265, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (illness, injury or quarantine), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to address Bill C-265. I would like to draw a comparison. There is no doubt that there are members on all sides of the House who are very concerned about workers and want to do what we can in order to support them, whether they are currently in the workforce or they find themselves in a situation where they are disabled temporarily or even long term.
    Bill C-265 is an attempt to address an issue. Having said that, there are a couple of concerns. One would be in regard to the scope of the legislation. Is it going beyond the scope of what was intended? Bill C-265 recognizes the scope of the EI programs in terms of their objectives, which are quite simple. It is there to help keep workers connected to the labour force.
    Members will find that a majority of the workers who end up taking leave beyond 26 weeks do not return to work. In many ways, we need to look at other programs. The government recognizes the need to support Canadian workers who find themselves out of the labour market, either long term or permanently due to disability, and does this through the program that Canadians will be very familiar with, the Canada pension plan disability benefits. The EI program really is not meant to provide that avenue of coverage.
    There are concerns regarding the bill we have before us. I would ask members to take a look at what is being proposed by the government, particularly through Bill C-30. The minister has done an excellent job in understanding the importance of making changes to benefit workers in Canada. We have seen that through some temporary measures that have taken place because of the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, we made sickness benefits a priority.
    We introduced a number of temporary changes to the EI program in order to support Canadians during this difficult time over the last number of months. Some of those temporary measures were to facilitate access and increase the generosity of EI benefits, including EI sickness benefits, just to cite a few of them. This allowed Canadians to qualify for EI with only 120 insurable hours. I think that was a very well-received initiative by the government.
    There was a need, and the government responded by implementing a minimum benefit rate of $500 a week. This particular change had a very positive impact, much like we had through the CERB program with that minimum amount of money. We saw how Canadians benefited in all regions of the country. I thought it was very encouraging when we heard there would be a minimum benefit rate, which was established at $500 per week.
    There were also temporary measures to provide access to up to 50 weeks of regular benefits and the freezing of the EI premium rate at the 2020 rate for two years. I see those as very strong, positive actions that were necessary. The minister and the civil servants responded quite quickly in terms of making sure that injured and disabled workers were being seriously looked at and supported during the pandemic.

  (1840)  

    Bill C-30 has some things within it that I would recommend the House seriously look at. There are many reasons to support Bill C-30: After all, it is our budget bill and a wide variety of things affect so many Canadians. I would encourage members to support this legislation.
    There are some specifics about workers. For example, budget 2021 contains commitments to modernize the EI program for the 21st century. It announces consultations on future long-term reforms to EI. Many times, we have seen private members' bills, resolutions and a wide spectrum of other types of debates hit the floor of the House of Commons that talk about EI and how important the program is, and how important it is that we look at ways in which we can make modifications to it that benefit workers.
    For years in opposition, I wanted to see some changes to it. With the 2015 election results and the change in government, I was very happy that, for the first time, I had some sense that the government was going to be acting on worker-related legislation that would be more favourable to workers. Many of my Liberal colleagues have wanted to see changes to EI. The announcement of extending or allowing for consultations on future long-term reforms will do us and the people of Canada quite well into the future because of the spectrum of issues we face today. They were not necessarily prioritized in previous years. Extending EI sickness benefits to 26 weeks is a component of that reform.
    Budget 2021 is a more balanced approach than the private member's bill that we have before us today. I would encourage members to look at it. In particular, we are seeing the extension of EI sickness benefits. They are a very important component of any reform.
    I highlighted some other areas. When we think of sickness benefits, what are they and what do they currently provide? Sickness benefits provide short-term income support and help maintain workers' labour market attachment while they are temporarily unable to work due to a short-term illness, injury or quarantine, which is most appropriate at this time.
    The EI sickness benefit would provide up to 15 weeks of temporary income support at an amount equal to 55% of an individual's average weekly insurable earnings, up to a maximum weekly amount. The commitment to increase EI sickness benefits in budget 2021 would also increase the maximum number of sickness benefit weeks available, from 15 to 26. If passed, the bill would provide $3 billion over five years starting in 2021-22 and an ongoing $967 million per year to do just that.

  (1845)  

    This extension would take effect in the summer of 2022. I would encourage members to look at the benefits to the workers in the budget that the Minister of Finance has brought forward and support it.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is my turn to talk about this important bill. I just need a minute to recover from what I heard the parliamentary secretary say a moment ago about extending EI sickness benefits to 26 weeks starting in July 2022. He seemed pretty proud of that, but I do not think this is a very pleasant way for people who are sick now or who are going to get sick in the coming weeks to find out that they will not be entitled to additional protection.
    As I said, Bill C-265 focuses on a topic that is especially relevant now considering the circumstances: employment insurance sickness benefits. The bill would extend those benefits to provide essential financial support to people who cannot work because of illness, injury or quarantine.
    We are all facing unimaginable difficulties because of the pandemic, but some people are in absolutely dire straits because they are sick. Canadians should be able to concentrate on recovering without having to worry about making ends meet.
    Although the EI sickness benefits program is essential, it is troubling to see all the problems with it. The current maximum of 15 weeks of benefits was established in 1971 and has not been updated since.
    It is important to remember that this bill also bears the name of Émilie Sansfaçon, a courageous young woman who fought on two fronts. She fought a battle against a fatal form of cancer and she fought for an increase in the number of weeks of EI sickness benefits in order to help others like her.
    I would like to remind members that Émilie was a young mother and stepmother to two children. She was diagnosed with cancer twice in the same year. Because the maximum of 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits was not enough to meet her needs, she was forced to remortgage her house, max out her lines of credit and seek financial help from her family to make ends meet.
    Less than a week after finishing chemotherapy, she went back to work in order to bring in some much-needed income. She had to go back to work instead of taking the three months she needed to recover both mentally and physically. Five months later, the cancer came back and this time it was more aggressive. It spread to Émilie's lungs and became inoperable. After going on sick leave a second time, Émilie once again found that she was entitled to only 15 weeks of benefits. For someone in her situation, 15 weeks is just not enough, since it usually takes months to recover.
    I would like to honour the memory of Émilie, who passed away in November 2020 after fighting tooth and nail to have the EI sickness benefit period extended for all Canadians.
    According to a report from the organization BC Cancer, the average treatment and recovery time for those diagnosed with breast cancer ranges from 26 to 36 weeks. For those with colon cancer, the average treatment and recovery time is 37 weeks. Those are two of the most common cancers in Canada. For less common cancers such as rectal cancer, the average treatment and recovery time is even higher, averaging a little over 47 weeks. Clearly, the current 15 weeks of benefits is not enough.
    In its recent budget, the Liberal government partially responded to the request. Unfortunately, this policy announcement was disappointing on several fronts. The Liberals capped EI sickness benefits at 26 weeks, despite a motion adopted by a majority of members here in the House that called for a longer period. On top of that, the Liberals have only committed to doing so starting in the summer of 2022. There was absolutely no reason to delay this important change for sick Canadians until next year. People better hope they do not get sick until then.
    It is not enough. It is too little, too late. I am not the only member here who is inundated with letters and calls from constituents who can no longer pay their bills and have to go back to work while fighting for their lives.

  (1850)  

    Allow me to share some examples. Annick wrote to me and I was able to speak to her this evening.
    Here is what she emailed me: I am writing to you about employment insurance sickness benefits. I learned in January that I would have to battle an aggressive form of breast cancer. I started chemotherapy, which will continue until June. I will then have a total mastectomy, before having radiation. For this part of my treatment, I will have to travel to Lévis every day, which will cost a lot money. The Employment Insurance Act gives me 15 weeks of benefits. How am I supposed to focus on my recovery knowing that I will have no income after 15 weeks? I will not even finish chemotherapy until after those 15 weeks run out. My doctors expect my recovery to take around a year. I have been working since I was 15 years old. I am now 45 and I have always paid my taxes. I do not know how I will heal, survive, pay for medications, pay my heating bill, buy groceries, buy clothes or meet all of my basic needs. I hope that my email will inspire you and that you will challenge the Prime Minister to review EI sickness benefits. The Prime Minister has been telling us for the past year that Canadians' health comes first, and now is the time to prove it to those of us battling cancer. Thank you for your time. Annick, from Thetford Mines.
    I also heard from Diane from Princeville, who received her 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits but cannot go back to work yet. Her only option was to apply for welfare.
    Here is what another mother wrote: I would like to know what to do once the 15 weeks of sickness benefits run out. The Prime Minister was supposed to do something about this, but this promise, like many others, was broken. My daughter had a stroke in November. She just finished university in April and was supply teaching in schools, which meant she did not have any disability insurance. She is now in rehab for at least three months, earning no income.

    Another example is Nathalie Beaudoin from Plessisville, who had cancer. Her benefits ran out, and her family was getting by on her partner's income. She died today.
    Then there is Martine, who has a rare disease. Treatment to fix her immune system is not working and is causing undesirable side effects. She had to go back to work in November because she ran out of money. She is now on her second employer, and it is not easy because she has to miss work to go for treatment. She has been working for a month. Her employer already seems to be finding her absences troublesome because there is nobody to replace her.
    We see cases like these every day. In February 2020, the House adopted a motion, backed by the Conservatives, to extend EI benefits from 15 weeks to 50 weeks in the next budget. At our last convention, we adopted a policy presented by the riding association of my colleague from Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup to extend benefits to 52 weeks. I repeat: Canadians who are already grappling with serious and often fatal diseases on a daily basis should not have to worry about their financial situation. They should be focusing on their recovery.
    Louis Sansfaçon, the father of Émilie, the bill's namesake, had this to say about the Liberals' broken promises: “Émilie fell asleep for the last time in a bed at Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Quebec City on November 5...with no answer, no commitment, disappointed.”
    In advocating for a proper extension of EI sickness benefits, Émilie Sansfaçon was fighting not only for herself, but for other seriously ill Canadians, like Annick and Diane.
    We all hope that the Liberals will not forget that when it comes time to vote on Bill C-265.

  (1855)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in support of this bill. It actually looks a lot like my own private member's bill, Bill C-212, which effectively seeks to do the same thing.
     It is in the spirit of an amendment that I tried to move to one of the government's most recent bills modifying the Employment Insurance Act for the purposes of the pandemic, where I sought to have the EI sickness benefit extended to 50 weeks. It is in the spirit of a motion that has already passed, not once but twice, in the House of Commons during this Parliament that calls for an extension of the EI sickness benefit to 50 weeks. Frankly, it is high time that this got done.
    I have to say I have not found the government's response to this proposal compelling in the least. The previous intervention by the member for Winnipeg North, just two speakers ago, illustrated the inadequacy of the government's response. He talked about EI as a program meant to maintain an attachment to the workforce. That is true, but there already other EI benefits that can extend up to 50 weeks.
     It makes no sense at all to say that, because somebody is sick, they should not be able to maintain an attachment to their job and go back to work after an adequate recovery period, and continue to receive some benefit during that whole period. I do not see how sickness is a good way to choose people who would not get the length of benefit that they might otherwise receive under a normal EI stream.
    The member then talked about some other general features of EI that have been changed throughout the course of the pandemic, but did not really speak again to the issue of sickness benefits.
    The question that the bill really puts to the fore, and rightly so, is for people who are sick, how are we going to do right by them. Even prior to the pandemic, there had been a campaign towards 50 weeks going on for far too long already, with governments that refuse to act and to implement a 50-week EI sickness benefit.
    We knew, already, that in terms of typical recovery periods for diseases like cancer, 15 weeks is simply not enough. However, the pandemic has put this question into even sharper relief. COVID-19 has led to the development of a condition that some people are calling long COVID, post-COVID syndrome or COVID long-haulers. These are people who are seriously falling through the cracks.
    They are falling through the cracks for a number of reasons. In some cases, it is that they contracted COVID before the robust testing regime was in place, so they do not have a formal diagnosis of COVID. In some cases, their workplace insurance plan for things like short-term disability does not recognize long COVID as a condition, so they cannot get coverage.
    One of the programs that has been there for these folks in their time of need and as we learn more about this new condition that is afflicting them is the EI sickness benefit, but that is only for 15 weeks. We heard from people some time ago who were already at the expiration of their EI sick benefits and unable to access any other kind of insurance program.
    Without naming names, out of concern for folks' privacy, I do want to read some excerpts of the stories that have been sent to me by people who are struggling with long COVID, who I think really make the case for why it is so important that we make our EI sickness benefit a much longer benefit.
    One woman who wrote to me said:
     My symptoms started on April 2, 2020. In the weeks and months that followed, I have suffered and continue to suffer with multiple symptoms that affect my ability to function on a daily basis. I used my short-term sick credits available through my employer until October 2020. At that point my long-term disability through a third party insurance company should have started, but my claim was denied. I am currently going through the appeal process, which could take many months. I am receiving EI sick benefits, but when those end I will have no income.

  (1900)  

    Another woman from Quebec says, “Please help. I got COVID in March 2020. I've been sick since. I'm coughing uncontrollably and because of the cough, I can't resume my job working on the phone or any other job. Even going to the store I get stared at. I just exhausted my EI sickness benefits and I have nothing else available to me. I'll be sick and homeless. Fifteen weeks is just not enough to recover. I want to work but my doctor said that I'll end up being fired because of this cough.”
    Another woman writes, “I am emailing on behalf of my 25-year-old child. They contracted COVID-19 at work at the end of May 2020 and have not been able to work since. They were eligible for CERB and received it until the end of September. They have been receiving the EI benefit since then, but are becoming concerned about what will happen if they continue to be unable to work when their benefits run out.”
    A woman from Ontario wrote, “My husband and I are both COVID long-haulers and are about to lose our home because of lack of government financial support. As a result of my insurance company denying my long-term disability claim, I've had to rely on employment insurance sickness benefits, but the 15 weeks of benefits to which I'm eligible are almost up and I'll soon find myself without any income whatsoever. Though I filed a lawsuit against my insurer, it could take up to two years for my case to be resolved.”
    There are more, I am sorry to say. We have heard from so many people who really had no other resort in the pandemic than the EI sickness benefit. Despite the fact that there have been many changes made to the EI program on a very quick basis throughout the pandemic, as yet no changes have been made.
    I know the government committed to extending the benefit to 26 weeks in the campaign, but those have not surfaced in any of the legislative changes over the past year. They finally appear in Bill C-30, but what I cannot understand is why the government would choose to go with only 26 weeks, when we have an excellent bill like the one before us today. We have clearly demonstrated the will of the House of Commons to support a 50-week benefit.
    When I tried to amend a previous government bill, Bill C-24, to include a 50-week benefit, one of the arguments, which I did not find compelling, made by folks on the government side was that making changes to the software that undergirds the EI system was very difficult and it was not just a matter of putting in a number of weeks in the system. It is very complicated, according to them.
    If this is supposed to be a once-in-a-generation change to the EI sickness benefit, it would be a tragedy if it ended up only being for 26 weeks. Future governments are going to make that same argument that we cannot expand the number of weeks because the software does not support it. If this is the moment to make that change, and the government is clearly signalling a willingness to make that change, even though it was not willing a couple of months ago on Bill C-24, then let us get it right the first time.
    There is an expression on job sites that there is never enough time to do the job right the first time, but there is always enough time to redo it three times after. The problem with this is that we are not slapping up a storefront here. People are sick now and their EI sickness benefits have already expired. People with that benefit, on the cusp of expiring, are going to suffer while the government struggles to get this right. The way is clear. The House of Commons has already said categorically that it should be a 50-week benefit. We have had opportunities with amendments that I have moved previously. We have another opportunity with this bill today.
    This has already taken too long. Let us get this right the first time and do right by all those people who are out there suffering, either with new conditions like long COVID, or with long-standing conditions who have struggled to get their health needs met during the pandemic because our hospitals have rightly been focused on helping all those whose lives have been jeopardized by COVID-19. Let us ensure that sick Canadians have the financial support they need to get through these challenging times.

  (1905)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will try not to get too worked up, even though there is clearly good reason to do so. What we are talking about this evening is extremely important for our constituents, for those who put their trust in us to represent them.
    If we polled people on the street about whether a certain bill should be passed, it would be very rare for 10 out of 10 people to agree. However, that would be the case with Bill C-265. This is more than just a number on a bill. It is a battle that has been going on for the past four Parliaments. The member for Salaberry—Suroît is currently waging that battle with passion and strength, and five or six other MPs have waged it before her.
    With all due respect for the opposite view, I think that the House needs to face up to its 80-year-old responsibility to improve employment insurance coverage for all Quebeckers and Canadians who lose their jobs. We need to do that not because people are asking us to, but because they need us to.
    It might seem ironic for me to explain to the Liberals that we, as parliamentarians, are privileged. Relatively speaking, those of us in this Parliament are the elected officials earning the best living in Canada, and many of us came from a privileged background before we even had the privilege of sitting in this hallowed chamber.
    When we lose our jobs, we have support from many people, we get severance packages that can often be considerable and, when we are sick, we do not end up on unemployment. No one feels sorry for us.
    I say this because this is not the case for everyone. The workers who pay our salaries and make it possible for us to be here to represent them do not have one-tenth of the security we have. For the vast majority of people, becoming ill sets off a chain of misfortunes and difficult decisions, often because they have no choice. For some people with cancer or other serious illnesses, it can even mean death.
    I bring this up a lot, but I want us to remember who we work for. It is always very important to remember, and I will name one of the people we work for. Actually, it is a person we worked for. This individual was let down by a number of governments, but there are thousands of others, including her two children and her spouse.
    That person was Émilie Sansfaçon, a woman from Quebec who fought both her illness and the system that allowed her wretched disease to control her life. Nobody here believes that money saves people's lives directly. It does not. However, one thing money can do, especially money that replaces income, is give people a fair fight against disease. Nobody needs a crystal ball to see that health problems are at least as stressful as the possibility of losing everything.
     The Bloc Québécois understands that. We have always fought to improve the program. We fought for an independent fund, we fought to eliminate the spring gap, we fought to improve access to regular benefits, we fought to end the classification of unemployed workers, and we fought to improve all types of benefits.
    I think the debate on Bill C-265 is less about improving benefits and more about correcting injustice. Talk to anyone battling serious illness, such as cancer, and it will quickly become clear that employment insurance is flawed.
    Refusing, as the Liberals do, to see that 15 or 26 weeks are not enough is a serious error in judgment. The Parliamentary Budget Officer outlined the problem very clearly. More than four out of five people who use up the entire special benefit end up taking unpaid leave for another 16 weeks on average. It is absolutely disgusting. Worse yet, not even a quarter of claimants are able to return to work after exhausting the benefit. In developing an important public policy, it is absurd to draw a line based on the least unfortunate quartile of the sick.
    In any case, and I want to stress this because it makes me angry, behind all this foot-dragging there seems to be some acknowledgement that this does not look good, but there is also concern that the people who manage to recover will still get the benefit. These are people who are sick and their priority is to return to work, because that would mean they are in good health.

  (1910)  

    I cannot understand how parliamentarians here can be opposed to the idea of increasing the number of weeks. I recommend they do a little soul-searching.
    For someone who is sick, their illness means living with a constant financial threat over their head. For a person who is sick, their illness means losing their job and their employment relationships while they are fighting the disease.
    Since special sickness benefits were established in 1971, not only have federal sickness benefits not improved, but the labour market has changed dramatically. Needs are becoming increasingly urgent, especially with regard to achieving work-life balance. Someone who loses their job is entitled to receive regular EI benefits. Someone who has a baby is entitled to maternity leave or parental leave. However, someone who has cancer or a chronic disease and who needs to take frequent or multiple days off work gets only what someone who breaks their arm riding a bike would get. That is not right.
    It is unfortunate, but no one wants to fall ill. I think it is high time Parliament made an effort to restore some balance.
    For the last six years, it has been 2015 for the Liberals, except for employment insurance. When it comes to EI, they are still stuck in 1971. Must we bring back a DeLorean for the Prime Minister, like in the movie Back to the Future, so he can finally realize this? It would probably be useful for him to go back in time to see one particular thing.
    In 2012, he voted for Bill C-291, introduced by the former member for Bourassa. That bill called for the exact same thing we are calling for today. It is a rare thing for me to quote the former member for Bourassa, but I will do it, nevertheless. Before his bill was defeated by the Conservatives, here is what he had to say:
    In a non-partisan way, I am asking all my colleagues to make that gesture of solidarity and support my bill.
    That is exactly what I am asking my colleagues today with an additional argument. The House has already agreed to extend EI benefits from 15 to 50 weeks in the event of a serious illness. That was not so long ago, on February 18, 2020. Furthermore, there are many reasons for supporting our bill. The lesser known reason is that employment insurance is a so-called stabilizing program. I am not the one who said that; it was Stephen Poloz, former governor of the Bank of Canada.
    There is no doubt that because of the current crisis many people understand the importance of a good EI program. I really do not understand the government's foot-dragging. It claimed to be the champion of the less fortunate, but perhaps that was nothing but a publicity stunt. I hope not.
    How will Liberal members explain it if they do not support the bill introduced by the member for Salaberry—Suroît? Is there something they fail to understand? The bill is not that complicated. It only amends the Employment Insurance Act by increasing the maximum duration of sickness benefits from 15 to 50 weeks. It is as simple as that.
    I reiterate that this is nothing new, nor has it come out of the blue. We should all agree that this is just common sense. However, we need the government's support. On April 15, 2020, the Speaker of the House rightly reminded us that in order to pass third reading and head to the Senate, Bill C-265 would need royal recommendation. That means the fate of the will of the House, as expressed through a majority motion in 2020, rests entirely with this government.
    If the Liberals do not support the bill, they will have to live with the consequences of their refusal, because vulnerable Quebeckers and Canadians will suffer as a result.
    In closing, I want to thank the member for Salaberry—Suroît for her determination in championing this bill. I also want to thank the 162 members of the House who had the courage to set partisanship aside in February 2020 and vote in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion. I hope they will once again show their support for the struggle of survivors and those still fighting to make our society a little fairer and more supportive by voting in favour of Bill C-265 in memory of Émilie Sansfaçon.

  (1915)  

    Madam Speaker, my speech will wrap up the debate on the Émilie Sansfaçon bill.
    I remind the House that the purpose of Bill C-265 is to extend EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 50 weeks. It is a short bill that could really benefit all the most vulnerable workers, who are left with no income while sick, often while fighting for their lives. It is a bill that would allow workers to recover with dignity.
    Canada is a rich country, but all it has to offer to sick workers is instability, stress and financial insecurity. That is embarrassing and unacceptable. Workers get 15 weeks to fight an illness, recover and return to work. However, all the studies show that people need an average of 41 weeks to fully recover.
    In the last budget, we were disappointed to see that the Liberals were taking action, but only to extend the benefit period to 26 weeks. We know the Liberals' intentions. The fact remains that this half measure is hard to justify.
    During the first hour of debate, I ended my speech in the House by stating this about the benefits: “If the government increases these benefits to 26 weeks, then it is simply providing false comfort hiding the terrible reality that the Liberals are letting down approximately 68% of workers who need those benefits.”
    I share the disappointment of the 68% of sick workers. These thousands of workers paid premiums every payday but have been abandoned because they are sick. These thousands of Quebec and Canadian workers would be entitled to a much more ambitious and responsive social safety net if they worked in France, Germany, Sweden, Norway or even California.
    A briefing note on the budget helps us better understand the Liberal government's arguments justifying this 26-week period. It states:
     The data suggest that a worker is not likely to return to work, could be away from work much longer [and] could leave the labour force altogether after taking more than 26 weeks of leave. Although some stakeholders support extending the duration of sickness benefits to 50 weeks, this would not be in keeping with the main objective of employment insurance sickness benefits, which is to provide income support to workers on short-term sick leave.
    That argument is unacceptable.
    Honestly, that analysis made me mad. It essentially says that being sick for too long has various consequences, including financial insecurity and increased vulnerability, since the government is severing our employment relationship. It means that the insurance we paid into with every paycheque does not cover us. It means that we are on are own. All these consequences are discriminatory and neglectful.
    As we speak, there are workers who are sick. There are workers who are getting better. There are workers who just want to recover and go back to work. There are workers whose 15 weeks will soon be up, which is making them anxious, because they do not know how they are going to pay their bills or even pay for medical transportation.
    These workers, who receive little compassion, are being offered a maximum of 26 weeks. To add insult to injury, no one knows exactly when in 2022 this improvement will be made by order. However, we have the means right now to offer 50 weeks. Cabinet knows that, I am sure of it.
    When I was drafting my bill, I had some terrific meetings that left a big impression on me. In particular, I met Émilie Sansfaçon's father, Louis Sansfaçon, who took up the political fight of his daughter, a young mother we lost much too soon. There is nothing purer than a father's love for his daughter, for his child. This was evident in all the meetings I had with Mr. Sansfaçon.
    If any of my Liberal colleagues are still not convinced that 50 weeks are necessary, I invite them to have a short meeting with Louis Sansfaçon and Marie-Hélène Dubé, who is also a fighter for this cause. It is impossible to remain indifferent to their life stories, and it is insensitive to offer them a half measure in response.
    Now is our chance to vote to make the point once again that workers need 50 weeks, not 26 weeks, and that the Liberals are making a mistake by insisting on abandoning vulnerable workers. I encourage them to move in the right direction and do the right thing by voting in favour of my bill.

  (1920)  

    The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request either a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate so to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.
    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.
    Pursuant to an order made on Monday, January 25, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, May 26, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

ADJOURNMENT PROCEEDINGS

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

[English]

Taxation  

    Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to follow up on my questions regarding the extension of the tax deadline. I realize the tax deadline has come and gone this year, but my frustration and the frustration of tax preparers and many Canadians in all parts of the country have not gone away.
    We are going to hear tonight in the government's response, as we have several times, that the government is there for Canadians every step of the way. If we ask somebody who has been trying to get a hold of CRA these days, I certainly think that is not as applicable.
    I know that not only our side of the House but members from every party in this House have been hearing the same thing. Our constituency office has been inundated with calls from people who cannot get through to CRA, who are on hold for three or four hours and are being hung up on.
    I want to give credit to my constituency staff of Nicole, Sue, Annette, Adrian and the volunteers in our income tax program for trying to work through the best of a bad situation. Even we cannot get regular service through our problem resolution desk.
    There is chaos happening at CRA, and I believe the fact that we were not able to and the government did not extend the tax deadline has actually made the situation worse.
    I was speaking with Josée Sauvé from Sauve Tax Services in Cornwall. She alone, on top of all the challenges going on right now, is dealing with 50 cases of fraud of her clients.
    We are being told by Service Canada that amended T4Es are only being sent out to people on May 28. People are told to file their taxes; they are getting reassessments and there is confusion. There are more backlogs and delays happening from this.
    I go back to my comments and my numerous questions. A lot of this backlog, a lot of this stress that many Canadians are feeling could have been alleviated. The workers at CRA are overwhelmed with call volumes and cases, which could have been decreased with a simple extension of the tax deadline to June 30.
    The government says not to worry as there is interest and penalty relief available. That speaks to the irony of what I have been trying to advocate for. What does that mean? It means more paperwork, more forms, more calls to CRA and more backlog. I always say here, in a non-partisan way, that I believe we all mean well in this House, but I believe the CRA minister and the government are making the situation worse by adding to the backlog, to the paperwork, to the calls people have to make and the forms they have to send in. I use a line in municipal politics, and I will say the same thing here in Ottawa: We need to work smarter, not harder.
    Last year, we had a pandemic and we were told to stay at home. The government listened to suggestions. I remember standing in the House speaking to members of the government. It was the Deputy Prime Minister who answered my questions and said that we needed to extend the tax deadline. The government did that, to September. The government also extended the transition of benefits that would normally be renewed in July and moved it to September. That made a bad situation bearable last year.
    This year, if we think about it, we are in a pandemic. We are still being told to stay home in many parts of this country, and there was no extension of the tax deadline.
    We want a detailed answer, not of all the extra paperwork and that there is an extra form to apply for relief and that this can be corrected. Why did the government not just extend the tax deadline to June 30 to take the pressure valve off filers and CRA workers? Why does it take two years for the government to do a budget but it cannot give Canadians an extra two months to get their taxes done?

  (1925)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to take the time to thank my colleague for requesting further information about the CRA's decision to not extend the filing deadline for the 2021 tax year.

[Translation]

    Times have been tough for all Canadians this past year. I applaud the Government of Canada, which provided financial support to millions of Canadians who have urgently needed it since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, thus helping them to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads during the crisis. What is more, our government is very aware of the fact that Canadians are still feeling the financial impact of this pandemic.

[English]

    It is important to point out that our government has taken important steps to support Canadians during the 2020 tax-filing period. In particular, we have strongly encouraged all Canadians to file their income tax return on time so that payments of the benefits and credits to which they are entitled are not delayed. I am referring to the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit and provincial and territorial benefits and credits depending on where they live. Extending tax-filing deadlines this year was not possible, as it would have disrupted these essential credit and benefit payments for millions of Canadians.
    To serve Canadians well this 2020 tax year, I should also mention that the agency increased the number of agents available in its call centres, extended its hours of operation and enlisted the assistance of a third party service provider to answer general questions about emergency benefits related to COVID-19, in addition to implementing a new automated callback service.

[Translation]

    In short, a series of support measures and services have been made available to Canadians to help people file their income tax returns on time and to help ease their financial burden during the challenging times of COVID-19.

[English]

    I can tell the member that the agency's employees have been hard at work to help all Canadians. CRA has a dedicated and highly skilled workforce committed to serving Canadians according to its people-first philosophy, which places the needs and expectations of Canadians at the centre of everything it does.
    Lastly, it should be noted that the statistics have been very positive for the 2021 filing year. Nearly as many Canadians filed on time this year as they did in 2019, our last normal tax-filing year. Despite the assertions of my colleague across the way, Canadians proved that they were, by and large, able to work within the normal filing period.
     I invite my colleague opposite to join me in celebrating the CRA's hard work and the hard work accomplished by the millions of Canadians who filed on time during difficult circumstances.

  (1930)  

    Madam Speaker, in my one minute left, I would encourage the member to come and visit my constituency office and see the hundreds of appointments we had to cancel through our volunteer income tax program. People could not come, because we were in a lockdown. We shut down our office, rightfully so, as we were told to do. However, there are many Canadians who do not go out, who do not have access to the Internet or the ability to do their taxes themselves. My staff and I have seen Canadians who have had these challenges.
    I will quickly address the comment about benefit extensions, and that the tax deadline could not be extended because it would disrupt the July renewal.
    To go back to what happened last year, the CRA and the government were able to extend the tax deadline and move the renewal benefit from July to September. That type of leadership is missing this year, and it was the government's decision. If it could do it last year, it could have done this year but chose not to.
    We are going to see a lot of frustration and chaos continue in the coming months. I applaud and thank the people who are working at CRA, but we need to do—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Government of Canada encouraged all Canadians to file their taxes on time so that they would not experience any delays in receiving the benefits or credits to which they are entitled. The services offered to Canadians do not end there.

[English]

    For example, if a person is unable to fully pay an existing debt, there are payment options available to them. If a person is unable to meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control, they can request the cancellation of penalties and interest charged to their account. In addition, the Government of Canada has introduced targeted relief measures for Canadians who have received financial assistance and benefits related to COVID-19.
    The Canadian government has continued to support Canadians by amending its payment expectations in order to give Canadians more time and latitude to pay their tax debt in accordance with their ability to pay.

Government Programs  

    Madam Speaker, the Canada emergency wage subsidy was intended to help both employers and workers, allowing businesses to retain workers on their payroll when they lost revenue due to COVID-19 and allowing workers to maintain employment during the public health crisis. As members know, my colleagues and I from the NDP were, and continue to be, ardent supporters of the wage subsidy. We advocated for the 75% wage subsidy early on in the pandemic and continued to push for it until the emergency wage subsidy program was announced.
    That does not mean the program is perfect. In fact, I have discovered a flaw in this program and have asked the government repeatedly to fix it. At least one business in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona has used the emergency wage subsidy as a weapon against its workers, using the funds provided by the federal government to hire scabs in order to break its workers.
    When the 75% wage subsidy came into effect last spring, CESSCO Fabrication and Engineering Ltd., a steel fabrication company that manufactures pressure vessels for the oil and gas industry, was at the bargaining table. It was negotiating a new contract with its workers and members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. The labour dispute between the union and CESSCO was focused on the company's latest offer, which included wage cuts and pension reductions of 50%.
    By June 2020, the offer had been rejected by the workers. Rather than continue to negotiate in good faith, CESSCO saw an opportunity. That opportunity was the Canadian emergency wage subsidy program. CESSCO was able to use federal COVID-19 emergency funds, Canadian taxpayer dollars, to subsidize scab labour.
    The timing here is quite shocking. In June 2020, CESSCO applied for funding under the Canada emergency wage subsidy program. The company would likely have been notified of its approval for the wage subsidy by late June. On June 28, CESSCO locked out its workers and began to pay scab workers in their place. Those boilermakers are still locked out. CESSCO is still receiving the emergency wage subsidy funds from the government and is still paying those scabs with those dollars.
    I have stood on that picket line with the CESSCO workers, men who have given their entire lives to this company. They have been out there every day walking that line since June 28. They have been there day in and day out through thunderstorms and ice storms, and on days when it was -40°C out, picketing for their rights as workers and for the rights of all Canadians. I ask members to imagine how those workers felt when they found out their federal government was providing their wages to CESSCO, so it could hire scabs to replace them. I know how they felt because I asked them. They felt betrayed. Who could blame them?
     In Alberta, the rights of workers are under attack. Within days of CESSCO locking out their workers, Jason Kenney's United Conservative government passed Bill 32, which restricts the power of unions, undermined collective bargaining and removed protections for vulnerable workers. We have seen more layoffs in Alberta under the current government than anywhere else in the world. Workers in Alberta have placed their hopes, especially now during a global pandemic, on the federal government—

  (1935)  

    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue.
    Madam Speaker, the Canada emergency wage subsidy is helping employers of all sizes and in all industries affected by the pandemic. It is protecting jobs, encouraging employers to rehire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and helping position Canadian businesses for a strong recovery when the virus is under control.
    Well over five million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the wage subsidy, with well over $76 billion paid out in wage subsidies as of April 25. At the outset, the government was clear that the intention of this program was to support employees, whether they worked for a small or large employer, as long as employers could demonstrate that they had been affected by the pandemic. It is important to bear in mind that the wage subsidy is paid retroactively on the amount of wages actually paid by employers during a given period, ensuring that employees are retained and supported.
    Our goal at the outset of the crisis was to encourage employers impacted by the pandemic to retain and rehire employees by delivering assistance as quickly as practical, recognizing the urgency of the situation created by the pandemic and the limited life of the program. To achieve this, our government initially kept conditions to a minimum, but notably required a decrease in revenue to ensure that the subsidy would be targeted to those in need.
    With budget 2021, we have taken action to ensure that the wage subsidy supports workers as intended. It is proposed that any publicly listed corporation receiving the wage subsidy and found to be paying its top executives more in 2021 than in 2019 will need to repay the equivalent wage subsidy amounts received for any qualifying period starting after June 5, and until the end of the wage subsidy program.
    When COVID-19 struck, our government needed to step up quickly and decisively to prevent Canadian families and Canadian businesses from falling off an economic cliff. Along with programs like the CERB, the wage subsidy is a prime example of how we prevented this from happening. It is also a prime example of how our government will continue to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to help Canadians through this bleak time.
    To bridge Canadians through the third wave of this crisis and into the recovery and to give workers and employers certainty and stability over the coming months, budget 2021 proposes to extend the wage subsidy until September 25.
    Until we are through this, we will continue to do what we must do to prevent permanent economic damage to Canadians and our economy, and to invest in ways that will allow us to come back strong after COVID-19. I am thankful for the opportunity to make this clear.
    Madam Speaker, that response was absolutely outrageous. How am I supposed to go back to the guys on the picket line at CESSCO and tell them that this was the response when I said that there was a problem with the program, and I have raised it time and time again. I guess the government is not going to fix this issue.
     CESSCO is not the only company that is taking money from the Canadian emergency wage subsidy and using these funds to avoid collective bargaining. According to its own financial statements, Foremost Income Fund, an industrial manufacturing company, took $8.9 million in the federal COVID fund and another million so far in 2021. It is not using those funds to pay the workers; it is demanding that the workers take a 10% pay cut. Things must be rough for the company. No, they are not. In fact, at the same time it took that, it paid $7.1 million in dividends to shareholders and increased executive pay—

  (1940)  

    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, our government needed to step up quickly and decisively to prevent Canadians, families and Canadian businesses from falling off an economic cliff when COVID-19 struck. We needed to encourage employers impacted by the pandemic to retain and rehire employees by delivering assistance as quickly as practical and as possible.
    To achieve this and ensure that the wage subsidy would be targeted to those in need, we required that employers experience a decrease in revenue to qualify, but otherwise kept conditions to a minimum. As a result, well over five million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the wage subsidy, with well over $76 billion paid out in wage subsidies as of April 25.

Airline Industry 

    Madam Speaker, for months I have been begging the government for a plan for the airline sector on behalf of the tens of thousands of workers who have found themselves without employment during this critical time of the pandemic. Unfortunately, my pleas have fallen upon deaf ears, as we see a piecemeal approach from the government, with little bits at a time and nothing sector-specific. There are bits and pieces here and there and, very insulting to the entire sector, reannouncements, one after the other.
    The third wave has been heavy on Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and the thought of a one-dose summer does not instill jubilation in the citizens of this nation. Unfortunately, it is the government of the day that has put Canadians in this place, with a lack of rapid testing and the lack of use of therapeutics. Worst of all is the government's procurement strategy, which has been shown to be horrible time and time again.
    The Conservatives pushed, in our March 18 opposition day motion, for a restart plan and for us to use public health tools, such as rapid tests, shared data on how COVID-19 spreads and vaccines. However, we have not been positioned with permanent solutions to replace the COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the federal government, including in areas of federal competency such as air travel and border restrictions.
    The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have both released public plans for economic reopening, while Canadian officials have not yet given clarity on their public plans for economic reopening. It is unfortunate that this has not happened in Canada, but the world can see the light at the end of the tunnel and is opening up again.
    Other governments, such as the Government of Saskatchewan, have laid out clear restart plans, but for the airline sector this has not happened. However, we have seen this in the U.S. Forbes announced that the U.S. has seen an incredible increase in air travel as a result of government stimulus. Also well known is the May 10 announcement of the United Kingdom that starting on May 17, U.K. citizens will once again have access to the world. This leaves Canada behind.
    Perrin Beatty and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have spoken about this. With regard to travel, the chamber said:
    The federal government should publish clear health metrics...that will be the milestones for rolling back border restrictions under a risk-based framework rather than sweeping measures. The government should allow arriving higher-risk inbound international travelers to quarantine for a shorter period if two negative COVID test results can be confirmed.
     Restart is on the horizon for many other nations, but not for Canada. The federal government should therefore use positive incentives, such as the elimination or reduction of quarantine and/or a test-release approach, as a means to encourage vaccine uptake.
    The rest of the world is opening up and has a restart plan for the aviation sector. Canada does not and, as such, lags behind.

  (1945)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her question regarding the Canadian air sector, a very important economic sector.
    As is well known by now, our historic announcement regarding financial assistance for Air Canada is only one part of the support measures we have pursued for the Canadian air sector. The air sector has also been able to benefit from broad economic support measures, including $2.1 billion in wage subsidy payments.
    In addition, on May 11, the government announced the details of two new funding programs for airports. These are the airport critical infrastructure program and the airport relief fund, which were originally introduced in the fall economic statement last November. The government also announced increased funding to the existing airport capital assistance program. Together we are providing over $740 million in new funding to Canadian airports.
    As noted during our Air Canada announcement, we also remain engaged with other carriers, such as WestJet, regarding financial assistance that would be subject to similar conditions as those imposed on Air Canada. In fact, on April 29, the government announced it would provide loan financing to Transat in the amount of $700 million. This agreement includes a commitment to refund vouchers and also retain existing employees and their benefits.
    Through our efforts, we are securing important benefits for Canadians that include protecting jobs, providing refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19, restoring original routes and maintaining Canadian aerospace businesses. In addition, budget 2021 included important investments to support safe air travel that will help limit transmission of COVID-19 and protect travellers, thereby building confidence as Canadians prepare to safely travel again.
    These measures will position the air sector for recovery and growth, which will be good for employment and have a positive impact on other sectors of the economy. Although challenges remain, recent weeks have seen good news for the air sector. We will remain engaged to support rebuilding the sector to provide good jobs and serve all Canadian travellers.
    Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary talks about supports that were needed a year ago. They are a year too late. Canada has moved on. The rest of the world has moved on. The airline sector wants to move on to a restart plan.
    I will close with a quote from Mike McNaney, the president and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada, regarding the airports announcement this week:
    Today’s announcement provides further details on programs that were announced last year...
    It is a reannouncement, as I mentioned.
...and provides support that is required as the sector continues to reel from the impact of the pandemic. Further action will be required. Following the example of other countries such as the United Kingdom, and as vaccination rates increase rapidly in Canada, the most effective step the government must now take is to work with the sector to develop and launch a clear recovery plan for aviation and travel.
    A restart plan is what is needed now. The financial plan is too late.
    Madam Speaker, on top of broad economic support measures that have benefited air transport, our government has undertaken a series of measures to specifically support the air sector and facilitate its recovery and growth.
    The launch of our new air program, combined with our existing deals with Air Canada and Transat, is part of a series of actions undertaken over the past year that demonstrate our continued commitment to Canada's air sector.
    We remain engaged with other carriers regarding financial assistance, and I believe the benchmark agreement with Air Canada will be an important watershed moment for reinvigorating our air sector, and will help operators begin to overcome challenges and get back to employing and serving Canadians.

  (1950)  

[Translation]

     The motion that the House do now adjourn is deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:50 p.m.)
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