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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 103

CONTENTS

Tuesday, May 25, 2021




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 103
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Information Commissioner

    It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 40(1) of the Access to Information Act, a report from the Information Commissioner entitled “Access at Issue: Challenging the Status Quo”.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

[English]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-China Legislative Association and the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting their participation at the 28th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Australia from January 13 to 16, 2020, as well as the report of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the co-chairs' annual visit to Japan, in Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan from February 11 to 15, 2020.

Committees of the House

Natural Resources 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, entitled “Economic Recovery in Canada's Forestry Sector: Green and Inclusive”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today of presenting to this House the dissenting report from the Conservative Party, the official opposition, on the forestry study that was undertaken by the natural resources committee.
    I am proud to point out the importance of making sure we have a forestry strategy going forward that does take advantage of Canada's position in the world to actually mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and put forward an actual plan for planting two billion trees, which has been long on talk and short on action or planning at this point in time.
    We also want to make sure that this report takes notice of all the communities and other parties that benefit from the forestry sector and puts an emphasis on their needs, including the need for the government to negotiate a softwood lumber agreement with our largest trading partner, the United States, which has not happened at this point in time. We need to put more focus on that in order for this industry to prosper.

Public Accounts  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 17th report, entitled “Canada Emergency Response Benefit”, and the 18th report, entitled “Pandemic Preparedness, Surveillance, and Border Control Measures”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.

Environment and Sustainable Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, regarding the main estimates 2021-22.
    The committee has considered the estimates referred by the House and reports the same back without amendment.

Business of the House

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
    That, during the debates on Wednesday, May 26 and Monday, May 31, 2021, on the business of supply pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair and, within each 15-minute period, each party may allocate time to one or more of its members for speeches or for questions and answers, provided that, in the case of questions and answers, the minister's answer approximately reflect the time taken by the question, and provided that, in the case of speeches, members of the party to which the period is allocated may speak one after the other.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Hearing none, it is agreed.

[Translation]

    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed will please say nay.
    Hearing no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)

  (1010)  

[English]

    Presenting petitions, the hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.

Petitions

Opioids  

    Mr. Speaker, illicit drug production, distribution and use is occurring within the village of Cache Creek. The COVID-19 pandemic has been overshadowed by the opioid crisis in British Columbia, with more than 1,500 overdose deaths reported in 2020. Residents' calls, messages and pleas to municipal authorities and local law enforcement are regularly met with indifference or incapacity due to jurisdictional issues.
    Residents are fearful of retaliation from criminal organizations. They are fearful that they or their children could be exposed to drugs or other noxious substances. They are fearful for the future cohesion of their communities. Residents want to feel safe and secure in their own homes.
    Therefore, the citizens of Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon who signed this petition call upon the Government of Canada to collaborate constructively, measurably and tangibly with municipalities, local law enforcement agencies and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to root out and shut down illegal drug production in Cache Creek.

Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present today, in both official languages, a petition to sanction corrupt Chinese officials from using Canada as a safe haven.
    This petition I present to the House today has been signed by constituents of Calgary Midnapore who are calling for the government to implement the Magnitsky Law against individuals in China's Communist Party who have orchestrated the torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners.

Conversion Therapy  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions to the House today.
    The first petition is with respect to Bill C-6. The petitioners note that conversion therapy has historically referred to the degrading action of changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. They say these practices are wrong and should be banned.
    The petitioners note further that Bill C-6 defines “conversion therapy” as:
...a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, to change a person’s gender identity or gender expression to cisgender or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour or non-cisgender gender expression.
    The petitioners note that this definition is very broad and would apply the label “conversion therapy” to a broad range of practices, including counselling or advice from parents, teachers and counsellors that seeks to encourage an individual to reduce sexual behaviour in a particular context.
    Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the government to amend Bill C-6 to address concerns about the definition and ensure that the bill bans conversion therapy and does not ban conversations that have nothing to do with conversion therapy.

Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am presenting is similar to the one just presented by my colleague from Calgary Midnapore.
    The petition highlights the human rights abuses taking place in China, particularly targeting Falun Gong practitioners. It calls on the Government of Canada to respond more forcefully to these and other human rights abuses taking place in China, including using the Magnitsky act and holding individual human rights abusers accountable with Magnitsky sanctions that freeze assets and would bar entry into Canada.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, the third and final petition I am presenting this morning is in support of Bill S-204, a bill that has been unanimously adopted by the Senate and is now before this House. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without consent. It would also create a mechanism by which people could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.
    Bill S-204 is the same bill, in an identical form, as Bill S-240, which passed in this House unanimously in the last Parliament. Bill S-204 has unanimously passed in the Senate twice. It has unanimously passed in the House. It has passed in both chambers in identical form.
    The only remaining step is for this House, in this Parliament, to again pass the bill in the same form it was passed in the last Parliament so we can finally take this vitally necessary step for Canada to fight back against the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

Questions on the Order Paper

[Translation]

Points of Order

Expression used during Oral Questions—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
     I would like to make a statement concerning an expression used recently during Oral Questions, which has become the subject of multiple points of order.
    As members know, points of order cannot be raised during Oral Questions, but are instead brought up at the end of question period. While it can be challenging for the Chair to make on-the-spot decisions regarding language during the quick exchanges, the Speaker can intervene when appropriate, particularly in cases of disorder or when unparliamentary language is used.
    After the point of order raised on May 12 by the opposition House leader, I undertook to review the transcripts and return to the House.

  (1015)  

[English]

    The opposition House leader argued that it was unparliamentary for the Prime Minister to use the phrase “deliberately misleading Canadians” in describing the position of the official opposition caucus. He noted that the use of words such as these has been found unparliamentary in the past. Indeed, similar language has given rise to objections before.

[Translation]

    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states at page 624, and I quote:
    In dealing with unparliamentary language, the Speaker takes into account the tone, manner and intention of the Member speaking, the person to whom the words at issue were directed, the degree of provocation, and most important, whether or not the remarks created disorder in the Chamber.... Although an expression may be found to be acceptable, the Speaker has cautioned that any language which leads to disorder in the House should not be used.
    Of particular importance in this case, it also states, on the same page, and I quote:
    Expressions which are considered unparliamentary when applied to an individual Member have not always been considered so when applied “in a generic sense” or to a party.

[English]

    That being said, the comments made on May 12 were not directed at a particular individual. However, it is not helpful for members to make accusations using inflammatory language. It only invites a response in kind, leading to an overall lowering of the tone of our proceedings. The Chair has often reminded members of the need to be respectful in their exchanges and to maintain a certain degree of civility. It is possible to disagree, even forcefully, on matters of public policy without resorting to accusations of dishonesty or insults.
    As we get closer to the summer adjournment, I would strongly encourage all members to find more judicious ways of expressing their disagreements and not resort to rhetoric.
    I thank the hon. members for their co-operation in this regard.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I do appreciate your ruling. I do note, however, that in cases where things like this are raised, often members will choose to stand and apologize for what they have done to avoid the Speaker having to make a ruling like this.
    The Prime Minister obviously chose not to do that. Are you going to require or request that the Prime Minister make such an apology to the House prior to being able to participate again in the proceedings of this House?
    Not at this time.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, you seem to have already ruled on that.
    Again, I want to remind hon. members that in debate, emotions do run wild sometimes and words come out. This is a very fine line, naming a group or a person. Even then, and I think I have brought this up before, in the chamber, when members throw something out, they can expect something back. It is not always easy in the chamber to hold back, and sometimes things slip out. I implore all members to please be careful with what they are saying.

  (1020)  

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I want to thank you for keeping everything calm. This has been a very tense session. I think you have done an excellent job so far. I am sure you will give me some leeway in the future if I stray off the beaten track that I try to stay on every day.
    The Chair occupants do use their judicious judgment on checking out what is going on. I have full confidence in their abilities and I hope the hon. members have faith in mine.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

    The House resumed from May 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-30, which implements certain provisions of budget 2021.
    As everyone knows, it is a mammoth and extremely dense bill that contains a wide range of measures. We unreservedly support some of these measures, which we would like to see implemented even if we vote against the budget.
    This part of the bill seeks to extend COVID-19 assistance programs, which although not perfect are nevertheless essential, until September. These include the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the Canada emergency rent subsidy. Many businesses that have suffered badly over the past year rely on those programs. Considering how important predictability is in business, of course we are pleased that entrepreneurs will have a clear idea of the programs available to them over the coming months. However, the amounts allocated will decrease gradually throughout the extension period.
    However, there is one little thing worth noting. The bill gives the Minister of Finance the power to extend the programs until November 30, 2021, through regulation, without having to go through the legislative process. I believe I am right in thinking and safe in saying that this measure is an insurance policy in case the House is dissolved for a fall election, which would prevent it from enacting a law that would extend the wage subsidy beyond September 27, 2021. I will let my colleagues read between the lines to determine when the government expects the House to resume.
    We are particularly pleased that, instead of paying taxes in the year that they received a government assistance cheque and getting a credit in the year that they reimburse the amount, as is currently the case, under Bill C-30, taxpayers will not have to pay taxes on any government assistance that they reimbursed. Those who have just completed their 2020 income tax return could end up paying taxes on the amounts they received through the Canada emergency response benefit. However, even if the government asked them to pay back those amounts, under Bill C-30, any reimbursements made this year make the cheques received last year tax-free.
    Another piece of good news is the creation of a hiring subsidy program, which will be in effect from June 6 to November 20, 2021. That program is offered to businesses restarting their activities and hiring or rehiring employees. I am also pleased that taxes will finally be imposed on Internet products and services and Airbnb rentals, which will put an end to the unfair competition that we have strongly criticized.
    I would also note the new Canada-wide child care program, even though it is part of a general trend of interference and federal centralization. Fortunately, there is mention of a possible asymmetrical agreement with Quebec and the federal budget statement repeatedly touts the child care system. However, there needs to be assurances that this agreement will translate into full compensation with no strings attached for Quebec for its share of the total cost of the program. Since this federal government likes to interfere in matters that are not under its jurisdiction, I would like to note that family policy and related programs are exclusively under Quebec's jurisdiction.
    Bill C-30 provides for a one-time payment of just over $130 million to the Government of Quebec to harmonize the Quebec parental insurance plan with the Employment Insurance Act. Since the eligibility criteria and benefit period for EI have been temporarily modified and increased, Quebec has the right to opt out with financial compensation with respect to the maternity and parental benefits program.
    However, Bill C-30 also lays the foundation for a Canadian securities regulation regime, which the Bloc Québécois and Quebec strongly oppose. This bill provides for a significant increase to the budget of the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office, so it is not a stretch to conclude that Ottawa wants to strip Quebec of its financial sector. I remind members that the office was created in 2009, and its purpose is to create a single pan-Canadian securities regulator in Toronto. Bill C-30 authorizes the government to make payments to the transition office in an aggregate amount not exceeding $119.5 million, or any greater amount that may be specified in an appropriation act.

  (1025)  

     Although the Supreme Court ruled on a number of occasions that securities were not under federal jurisdiction, Ottawa finally got the green light in 2018 to interfere in this jurisdiction provided that it co-operate with the provinces and not act unilaterally. History has taught us to be cautious in such situations.
    This plan to create a national securities regulator in Toronto is bound to result in regulatory activities transitioning out of Quebec. I will note that the unanimity we have seen in opposition to this bill in Quebec is rather remarkable. All political parties in the Quebec National Assembly, business communities, the financial sector and labour-sponsored funds are against this bill. The list of those who have vehemently expressed their opposition to this initiative includes the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Finance Montréal, the International Financial Center, the Desjardins Group and Fonds de solidarité FTQ, as well as most Quebec businesses such as Air Transat, Transcontinental, Québecor, Metro, La Capitale and Molson.
     This plan is just bad and must never see the light of day. Contrary to what members opposite are saying, this is more than just a dispute over jurisdictions or a new conflict between the federal government and the provinces. This is quite simply a battle between Bay Street and Quebec. It is an attack on our efforts to keep head offices in the province and preserve our businesses.
    Keeping the sector's regulator in Quebec ensures that decision-makers are nearby, which in turn enables access to capital markets for businesses. A strong Quebec securities regulator is essential for the development and vitality of the financial sector. In Quebec, the financial sector accounts for 150,000 jobs and contributes $20 billion to the GDP. That is equivalent to 6.3%. Montreal is the 13th largest financial centre in the world.
    A strong financial hub is vital to the functioning of our head offices and the preservation of our businesses. It is a well-known fact that businesses concentrate their strategic activities, in particular research and development, where their head offices are located. This new attack on Quebec's jurisdictions risks having us go the route of the branch plant economy, to the detriment of Ontario.
    This potential exodus of head offices could have serious consequences on every level of our economy, since Quebec companies tend to favour Quebec suppliers, while foreign companies in Quebec rely more on globalized supply chains. Just imagine the impact that can have on our network of SMEs, particularly in the regions. As we have seen during the pandemic, globalized supply chains are fragile and make us very dependent on other countries. We will not stop fighting against this plan to centralize the financial sector in Toronto.
    We will also keep calling out the government for ignoring the demands of the Quebec National Assembly and the provinces and refusing to increase health transfers from 22% to 35%. As we know, the government is ignoring the will of the House of Commons, since a Bloc Québécois motion calling on the government to substantially and permanently increase federal transfers to the provinces was adopted in December 2020.
    The government could well have taken advantage of the fact that the deficit announced in budget 2021 was lower than expected, by $28 billion, which is exactly how much Quebec and the provinces are asking for. With massive spending on the horizon, it is clear that by refusing to increase transfers, the government is making a political choice, not a budgetary choice, to the detriment of everyone's health.
     It was a long time coming, but Bill C-30 finally includes the increase to old age security that this government promised during the 2019 election campaign. However, the increase will amount to only $766 per year, or $63.80 per month, and will apply only to seniors aged 75 and over. The increase will not begin until 2022 and is insufficient for seniors and for the Bloc Québécois.
    In closing, we will vote in favour of the bill, because we do not want to deprive seniors aged 75 and over of this cheque. We do not want to deprive businesses and workers of the assistance programs they are counting on, but we will continue to fight to ensure that all sectors of Quebec society receive their fair share in a fairer budget in the future.

  (1030)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Consumer Price Index for last month was 3.4%, which is outside the historical targets of 0% to 2% and, in fact, outside the 3% transitory target.
     In my hon. colleague's opinion, does the budget contribute to further inflation or will it decrease inflation, and are further higher inflation numbers, which I believe will happen, good for his constituents?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I must admit I did not detect a specific question. Generally, he asked me if the current spending will contribute to inflation or encourage consumption, in other words, if this is a stimulus budget. I gather that is the gist of his question.
    Public spending is generally key to a sound economic recovery. Of course, we must not invest indiscriminately, but historically, in times of crisis and turmoil, we have relied on an ambitious public spending agenda. We do not like all the public expenditures laid out in the budget, but we are not opposed in principle to public spending.
    We also know that most of these support programs will disappear in the near future as the crisis subsides, so we will not have to rack our brains about where to make cuts, because many of the programs will automatically come to an end.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, with the budget implementation bill, the government has recognized the true value of investing in Canadians throughout very difficult times. Ultimately, what we would like to see is a road to a stronger and healthier economy by having invested in Canadians from coast to coast to coast over the last number of months during the pandemic.
    I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts on how important it was for the Government of Canada to work with other levels of government to ensure we could maximize the return of the economy in a better fashion.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I certainly cannot be against the idea of the federal government working with other levels of government, far from it.
    The problem is that we are talking about a plethora of centralizing programs that are structural in nature. The government is laying the groundwork to majorly encroach on provincial jurisdictions, but its refusal to increase health transfers will soon make things quite frankly unworkable for Quebec and other provinces.
    I do not call that working with other levels of government.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.
    I want to ask a more general question about Quebec's jurisdiction. Quebec is ahead of the rest of Canada. Thirteen years ago, we had the opportunity to pass a law to ban the use of carcinogenic pesticides across Canada.
    The Bloc Québécois blocked this bill in a minority Parliament, saying that it intruded on provincial responsibilities. There are a number of issues like that where jurisdictions are shared.
    I therefore want to ask my colleague this: Would it not be better to have bills that seek to improve people's health and protect the environment?

  (1035)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, which she kind of answered herself.
    I was not here 13 years ago, but as she pointed out, an intrusion is an intrusion, and any intrusion must be rejected unequivocally.
    In many, many ways, Quebec's laws are extremely advanced, much more so than those in the rest of Canada. Quebec is a leader on environmental matters, although there is always room for improvement.
    That is why all new programs and legislation must include the right to opt out. Since Quebec is already ahead on most of these issues, it must be able to get its fair share so it can use that money to make even more progress on other fronts instead of paying for something that is not as good as what it already has.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the debate on Bill C-30, budget implementation act, 2021, no. 1. The budget reflects the unprecedented times we are living in.
    My constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges, all Canadians and billions of people around the world have had their lives turned upside down for more than a year by COVID-19. Many people have lost loved ones. Schools, day cares and businesses have had to close. Families have been affected by temporary and long-term layoffs.
    The magnitude of this situation cannot be underestimated. This is the worst health and economic crisis that Canada and all of humanity have experienced in generations. Our Liberal government had to present a budget that reflected this reality, and budget 2021 does just that.
    This is an important budget focused on three key goals: finishing the fight against COVID-19 and continuing to support families and businesses during the pandemic; investing in the economic recovery and in economic growth in the short and long terms; and, lastly, looking ahead by investing in building a cleaner, safer, stronger and more prosperous Canada for our children and grandchildren.
    With respect to our investments to finish the fight against COVID-19, I will start by speaking about investments in vaccines, more specifically our domestic vaccine production capacity in the future.
    COVID-19 highlighted the importance of rebuilding Canada's vaccine production capacity, which was lost over the past 40 years. Budget 2021 provides a total of $2.2 billion over seven years to re-establish a vibrant domestic life sciences sector. This amount includes a previously announced investment of $170 million for the expansion of a vaccine production facility in Montreal. These and upcoming investments will equip Canada to produce COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines that Canadians may need to combat future biological threats.

[English]

    As we continue to navigate through the highs and lows of this pandemic, many sectors of our economy are still closed or operating at reduced capacity due to provincial health measures. As a result, many of my constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges are either out of work or are facing a reduction in income.
     To ensure that they continue to put food on the table and support themselves and their families, budget 2021 extends the COVID-19 economic response support measures for individuals by another 12 weeks to September 2021. This includes the Canada recovery benefit, which will reduce gradually over time; the Canada recovery caregiving benefit; the Canada recovery sickness benefit; and it allows for more flexible access to EI benefits for another year, into the fall of 2022. This ensures that those in my riding of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, who are still heavily impacted by this pandemic, including our artists, restaurant owners, tourism operators, those working in the aviation sector and many more, will have the support they need to see it through.

  (1040)  

[Translation]

    We have also extended benefits for small business owners. Budget 2021 ensures that the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which has helped more than 5.3 million Canadians, will be extended until September 25, 2021.
    The Canada emergency rent subsidy, which has already helped more than 154,000 organizations, will be extended from June to September 25, 2021.
    Canada emergency business account loans, which have helped more than 850,000 Canadian small businesses, are still repayable by December 31, 2022, but the application deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021.
    To help businesses reopen, budget 2021 includes several new programs, such as the Canada recovery hiring program, which offsets a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen.
    The objective is to help employers that continue to experience declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. The program will be available for employees from June 6 to November 20, 2021.

[English]

    Budget 2021 also includes an expansion of a worker support program that I know will have positive impacts on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians in the years ahead who may find themselves diagnosed with an illness that will require them to take time off work, and that is the extension of employment insurance sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks. During my personal battle with cancer, I know how important it is during and after chemotherapy to focus on one's well-being, on one's mental health and on healing.
     Budget 2021 proposes funding of $3 billion over five years to deliver on our promise in 2019 to extend these benefits by almost three months. This extension would provide approximately 169,000 Canadians every year with additional time and flexibility to recover and return to work.

[Translation]

    The extension of the support programs for families, workers and business owners to September 2021 is vital to the health and safety of many families and businesses in Vaudreuil—Soulanges.
    We promised all Canadians that we would be there for them during the pandemic, and that is what we are doing with budget 2021.
    We also promised seniors that we would be there to help them. Since 2016, our government has worked hard to do just that. We have already increased support for 900,000 of the most vulnerable seniors across Canada, made historic investments in affordable housing, and invested billions of dollars in mental health care.
    In budget 2021, we are continuing on that track by offering a one-time payment of $500 for seniors aged 75 and over in August 2021, as well as a 10% increase in old age security payments starting in July 2022 for seniors aged 75 and over.
    We also invested over $3 billion to improve long-term care and $3.8 billion to build an additional 35,000 affordable housing units for Canadian seniors.

[English]

    For young Canadians who are anxious about their future job prospects in the coming months and years, budget 2021 provides the support they need to build skills, get on-the-job training and start their careers. This includes $721 million to connect Canadian youth with employers that will provide them with over 100,000 new quality job opportunities and a historic $4 billion in a digital adoption program to help 160,000 businesses make the shift to e-commerce, which will create 28,000 new jobs for young Canadians.
    It provides $708 million over five years to ensure that we have 85,000 work-integrated learning placements and $470 million to establish a new apprentice service that would help over 55,000 first-year apprentices in construction and manufacturing Red Seal trades.
     Finally, it provides an additional $371 million in new funding for the Canada summer jobs program in 2022 and 2023 to support approximately 75,000 new placements in the summer of 2022 alone.
     Further, to respond to the mental health impacts of this pandemic, as part of an overall investment of $1 billion in the mental health of Canadians, budget 2021 proposes to provide $100 million over three years to support innovative mental health programs for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, indigenous Canadians and racialized Black Canadians.
    Finally, budget 2021 includes unprecedented investments in the protection and preservation of nature and action against climate change. To enable Canada to reach the ambitious goal of protecting 25% of our nature by 2025, budget 2021 invests $4 billion for small and large-scale conservation projects and $3.16 billion to plant two billion trees across Canada by 2030. To help Canada not only meet but exceed our Paris agreement targets, budget 2021 invests $8 billion in the net-zero accelerator supporting green technology and renewable energy and creating well-paying jobs in the process.
    It also invests $1.5 billion to purchase 5,000 electric public transit and school buses, helping to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, provide cleaner air and reduce noise pollution in our communities. In addition, to help communities like mine in Vaudreuil—Soulanges that have already begun to experience the impacts of climate change with two record floods in just the last four years, budget 2021 will strengthen climate resiliency by allocating $640 million to the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund for small-scale projects between $1 million and $20 million in eligible infrastructure costs. For communities like mine, with smaller municipalities, this change is going to make all the difference.

  (1045)  

[Translation]

    With that, I strongly encourage every member of the House to support the measures proposed in budget 2021 and in Bill C-30. These measures will allow us to—
    The hon. member's time has expired.

[English]

    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Cloverdale—Langley City.
    Madam Speaker, this past week, Restaurants Canada came to the Standing Committee on Finance and stated that half of restaurants face risk of closure if subsidies are scaled back too soon.
    The vast majority of food services businesses have been operating at a loss or barely breaking even throughout the entire pandemic, with nearly half consistently losing money for more than a year. They have been counting on the rent and wage subsidies to be the bridge they need to stay alive until dining restrictions are lifted and they can truly start to recover without the help of emergency support. Why has this Liberal budget still not designed a targeted program for the vital restaurant sector?
    Madam Speaker, in fact, all of the restaurant owners I have spoken to have been incredibly grateful for the wage subsidy and the rent subsidy that were put forward. They told me that without those support measures, they would no longer be around.
    I am very glad to see in budget 2021 these programs are going to continue throughout the summer. This provides the opportunity for the Minister of Finance to re-evaluate in September whether they need to be extended for a longer period of time, until November. It delivers for restaurant owners and other small businesses in my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges and all across the country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for his speech.
    I had to chuckle when he spoke about the two billion trees that his government promised to plant by 2030. Two years have gone by and, as far as I know, the government has yet to plant a single one of those trees.
    First, I would like to ask my colleague if there are any studies on the species of trees his government intends to plant, because if it is going to plant two billion of them, it needs to plan ahead a little.
    Second, I would like to know if my colleague agrees with promoting the forestry industry, which was the subject of an extremely detailed and interesting report tabled by the members for Jonquière and Lac-Saint-Jean. It might be more cost-effective and even better for the environment to read that report, rather than planting two billion trees over the next eight years.
    Essentially, I would like my colleague to comment on his government's nebulous plan.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
    I completely agree that we need a multi-faceted plan to fight climate change. That is what we are implementing.
    Our historic $3.16-billion plan includes planting two billion trees, which will help us meet and also exceed our Paris Agreement targets, while ensuring that we leave a healthier Canada for our children and a positive legacy for future generations.

  (1050)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, budget 2021 does nothing for dental care. It does nothing in terms of going after offshore tax havens. The member talks about the climate emergency, but the budget does nothing to end fossil fuel subsidies. This is concerning, because who is going to pay for it? It is certainly not big oil or big corporations. It is people.
    Why is the burden of this debt going to be placed on people rather than big corporations and big oil?
    Madam Speaker, there are a couple of points I would like to clarify. Firstly, we are still dedicated to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and we have already been able to remove eight fossil fuel subsidies. This budget delivers in so many ways with regard to climate change. In fact, it is the largest investment ever made by any government in history in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    The plan that was released by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in December shows very clearly how, through these investments and by working with provinces and territories, we are not only going to meet but exceed our Paris agreement targets. It is something that makes me very proud for my children, my children's children and all future generations of Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, over the course of the debate on Bill C-30, there have been many points of view shared. Many of my colleagues on this side of the House have justifiably raised concerns about the deficits and levels of debt the current government is accumulating, and the impact this debt will have on Canadians for generations to come. They have skilfully illustrated that, despite the Minister of Finance's description of her budget as a plan for jobs, growth and resilience, it falls dreadfully short of a real plan for economic growth that will create jobs for Canadians.
    One of my colleagues has sounded the alarm about the impact of the government's inflation-inducing borrowing and spending plan and the real impacts this has on the daily lives of Canadians, whether they are trying to buy a home or pay for groceries. Of course, we cannot ignore the vast body of evidence confirming that the current government has proven itself very skilled at convincing Canadians of their grand promises of action on priorities like rural Internet, infrastructure spending and housing. The lack of meaningful results is, at worst, a betrayal of the Canadians who trusted this Prime Minister; or, at best, the vacuous panderings of an individual whose life experiences prepared him only for being famous.
    While all of these issues are important and have yet to be addressed by the government, I intend to focus my comments particularly on what would appear to be the centrepiece of this budget for the Minister of Finance: a national child care program. There can be no doubt that access to affordable child care and early childhood education is a wise investment in our economy and can help ensure all Canadians are able to realize their full potential in the workforce. Personally, I believe a system designed to respect the choices of parents in the best child care options for them makes more sense than a massive government program, which, by the way, would cost $30 billion over the next five years, then roughly $9 billion annually thereafter. This proposal highlights yet another example of the federal government making a commitment in an area of provincial jurisdiction without the corresponding commitment of dollars needed to fund a program that most provinces simply cannot afford.
    Here is a brief history, that I am sure all of us know. One of the primary reasons for Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick federating to form the Dominion of Canada in 1867 was the desire to fund the transcontinental rail link and to build a common market that would spur economic opportunities for the provinces and lessen the impact of any adverse economic policies of the United States. The new federal government was also designed to stabilize public credit. That was one of the first items of business in 1867 when the new Dominion of Canada assumed $72.1 million of the $88.6 million of existing provincial debt.
    The British North America Act assigned the big expenses of settling, building and defending this new country to the federal government, and the provincial governments were responsible for, at the time, the less expensive services like education, hospitals and municipal institutions. Despite this original design, immediately after Confederation, the provinces had spending commitments higher than their revenue. This led to the creation of the dominion subsidy from the federal government, which was calculated at 80¢ per capita and, including other transfers in support of specific legislation, cost the federal treasury about $2.8 million or over 16% of total federal spending. This country was born into debt and the national government was established, in part, to manage that debt.
    Now, fast-forward through those early nation-building years of World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, all eras where the federal government borrowed heavily to grow the economy, win a war, save the economy and win another war. Following the end of World War II, the economy expanded exponentially as did the level of government intervention in the daily lives of Canadians. New programs were introduced by the federal government, including unemployment insurance in 1940, the family allowance in 1945, old age security in 1952, the Canada pension plan in 1965 and the guaranteed income supplement in 1967. During this period, the dominion subsidy program evolved into the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act in 1957, which was due in part to the federal government's desire to promise nationwide health and social programs, all made possible because of a 50% cost-sharing commitment from the federal government.
     By the 1970s, the federal government had established an outrageously complex cost-sharing system with the provinces to partner in the costs for expanded health services, education and income security programs. All of this and a program of equalization payments to poorer provinces was funded by debt, which was funded by an exponentially growing economy. Then, 1973 hit and an already-slowing economy and increasing inflation were compounded by a quadrupling of oil prices. Government debt grew faster than ever, without the corresponding economic growth to pay for it.

  (1055)  

    Interest rates skyrocketed, unemployment soared and Canada was in trouble. While tax reform in the eighties, the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement and significant deregulation of key sectors of the economy certainly helped spur economic growth, by the 1990s Canada was in a fiscal crisis with growing debt-servicing costs and an economy not growing fast enough to pay for it. Between 1995 and 1997, the Chrétien government was forced to cut spending to save Canada's finances. In that time period, the government cut direct program spending by almost 10%, but it cut provincial transfers by 22%.
    While the fiscal imbalance in our Confederation existed from the very beginning, federal expansion and intervention in provincial jurisdictions exacerbated that imbalance. While the federal government failed to ever really fully meet those original commitments made to provinces, the debt crisis culminated in the 1990s with the federal government solving its debt problems by abandoning the provinces and also the municipalities. By 2007, with federal finances back under control, a new formula for provincial transfers was established that increased transfers, but not nearly enough to meet the demands on provincial services that the federal government helped create and agreed to pay half the cost of.
    In the Parliamentary Budget Officer's most recent fiscal sustainability report, he noted, “subnational governments will face ever-increasing health care costs”. He also continued to say, “For the subnational government sector as a whole, current fiscal policy is not sustainable over the long term. We estimate that permanent tax increases or spending reductions amounting to 0.8 per cent of GDP...would be required to stabilize the consolidated subnational...net debt-to-GDP ratio at its current level of 25.7 per cent of GDP”.
    In his report on budget 2021, the Parliamentary Budget Officer cautioned that the government's $100-billion stimulus spending could be miscalibrated, meaning that based on the current recovery it is not likely necessary, while he cautioned that the government's plan to continue borrowing could exhaust its fiscal flexibility in the medium to long term.
    We have provincial governments, many of which are drowning in debt and a federal government borrowing and spending wastefully, all while advocating its responsibility to fully fund its share of provincial programs like health care, and now the federal government offers to add a new child care program to the provincial balance sheets with a promise to cover half the costs.
    How could the premiers ever trust the government to live up to this latest promise, when the broken promises of the past are threatening the financial future of almost every province in the country? Clearly, German philosopher Georg Hegel was correct when he wrote, “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”
    This budget is a buffet of spending, paid for with massive debts and designed to perpetuate the government's promises of being all things to all people. The government is not only ignoring the financial struggles of the provinces, struggles created in part by federal interference; budget 2021 seeks to push the provinces even further into debt.
    We need a real plan that manages public debt and invests strategically to stimulate real economic growth that will create jobs. We need a plan that will restore fiscal balance to our Confederation. Restoring that balance will better prepare the federal treasury to manage the impending fiscal problems, grow our economy and build a stronger and more prosperous Canada.

  (1100)  

    Madam Speaker, I find it fascinating that the Conservatives are willing to hedge their bets on inflation, when, although it is indeed something we have to be concerned about and pay attention to, it is also something that economists seem to be split on. Indeed, the most recent Harper appointee to the Bank of Canada has indicated that the moves that have been made by this government are important and should be able to be done in a responsible way. If only Conservatives gave that kind of attention to and believed 97% of scientists when they talk about climate change, but I digress.
    I wonder if the member could comment as to how he is so certain that inflation is going to be a massive issue, given that the economists right now seem to be split on the issue, and that there is some evidence to suggest that we might have a temporary blip, but it will not necessarily last that long.
    Madam Speaker, it seems as though the member for Kingston and the Islands is constantly digressing.
    I would note that inflation is already rising. It is a threat that we have been warned about, and the government needs to think about it cautiously. Instead, we have people like the member for Kingston and the Islands standing and saying, “Just don't worry. Everybody be happy.” I do not think that is really a wise or strategic plan at all.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order. The member said that I said, “Don't worry. Be happy.” I never said that.
    That is a point of debate at this point. The hon. member can raise it under questions and comments, if he wishes.

[Translation]

    Questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
    Madam Speaker, the rhetoric from our Conservative friends tends to focus on deficits. Nevertheless, it is a bit disturbing to note that many important and serious issues related to the crisis are not addressed in this budget.
    For instance, during the break last week, I spoke with a number of seniors who are quite angry because the government has turned its back on seniors under 75.
    There is also a housing crisis in Quebec right now. The budget does allocate a bit of money here and there, but the Federation of Canadian Municipalities was asking for a $7-billion reinvestment in a housing program.
    On top of that, we are in the midst of a health crisis, and yet there have been no health transfers. The Quebec National Assembly and all the provincial premiers have unanimously called for a massive investment in health care, but it is not in the budget.
    How would my colleague deal with this crisis?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member raises very good points. I agree with him completely that the federal government has been absent on solving health care transfers, particularly. They have been an issue since the creation of universal health care.
    The best way to deal with the situation is to elect a Conservative government that would clean up the mess the Liberals are perpetuating.

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, 58% of young people have felt the negative impacts of the pandemic. That is why the NDP has called for the elimination of federal student debt: up to $20,000 per student.
    Could the member tell us if he supports reducing federal student debt, or would he rather the federal government make a profit on the backs of young people?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for the loaded question.
    It is another classic example, frankly, of where the federal government has made commitments to provinces for post-secondary education and never truly lived up to them. An investment in young people is wise but, again, the federal government interfering and not living up to its commitments to the provinces is where the real problem lies.
     The best way to fix this, and it may not be all that flashy and it may not buy votes, is to fix the fiscal and structural imbalances that exist in our Confederation. That is the way to solve that problem and all the others.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to join all of my colleagues in the House, albeit virtually from my riding in Edmonton Strathcona.
    Today, we are talking about Bill C-30 and the budget that the Liberal government has brought forward. I will begin by talking about the things that I support and was happy to see within the budget.
    I was delighted to see that child care was included in the budget. The NDP has been calling for a national child care strategy for decades. It was wonderful to see that the Liberals have finally listened to us. They did not just listen to us: People within the Royal Bank, chambers of commerce across the country, child care advocates and representatives from provincial governments have called for a national child care plan. They recognized that if we did not have child care put in place, and if we did not deal with child care in a meaningful way there would be no recovery for so many working families across the country, and there would be a very stunted recovery, particularly impacting women, leading to what has been dubbed the “she-cession”. We were happy to see child care included.
     Of course, I have concerns that this may be a promise and may not be something that is actually done. We have seen the government make promises before and not follow through with actions, so my colleagues within the NDP and I will be keeping a close eye on this to make sure that it is not just a campaign promise for the Liberal government but actually something it will implement.
    I am also a little worried that the government has not done the work that needs to be done in terms of making sure that the provincial governments are going to take the need for child care seriously and implement it. As members know, I come from Alberta. In Alberta right now, Jason Kenney has already said that he has concerns about implementing a child care program. I know that women and working families in my province desperately need that support. This is something I will certainly be keeping my eye on as we go forward.
    Obviously, we were also very happy to see the establishment of a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour. We heard, in 2015, Justin Trudeau openly criticize a proposal that the NDP had put forward, so it is good to see that this is a part of the budget, and we were very happy about that.
    However, I will also talk a little about some of the shortcomings of Bill C-30 and the budget. I will focus my comments today on the impacts that Bill C-30 and the federal 2021 budget have had on my riding of Edmonton Strathcona.
    As members may know, Edmonton Strathcona is an incredible riding. It is the heart of Edmonton. Downtown may be the brain of our city, but Edmonton Strathcona is the heart. It is the heart of the arts community, and is where so many of the small businesses and restaurants in Edmonton operate. It is home to all of the best festivals: the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Fringe Festival, Heritage Day and a number of other wonderful events. It is also where many of the post-secondary institutions in Alberta are located. The University of Alberta's Campus Saint-Jean, King's University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Souch Campus are all located in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona.
    When I look at this budget, I am looking at what some of it looks like for my constituents, and I will start with post-secondary education.
    As I mentioned, Edmonton Strathcona is home to many post-secondary institutions, and many students, professors and parents live in the riding. They are very concerned that post-secondary education is becoming inaccessible. It is too expensive and becoming something that only the elite and wealthy can access.
     I spoke with students from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, Mia and Suzanne, who are deeply worried about post-secondary education in Alberta. They are worried about whether students will be able to afford to attend university and what it means when only the wealthy can attend. They are deeply concerned that students will graduate with mountains of debt that will impact their ability to buy a home, start a family or begin their career.

  (1110)  

    In November 2020, I brought forward a motion calling on the government to immediately implement a moratorium on student loan repayments. The House voted unanimously in support of that motion, yet nothing happened. There was no moratorium put in place. Students were still expected to pay back their student loans in the middle of the pandemic and in the middle of what we know has been a devastating time for young students and recent graduates.
    We know that 58% of young people have felt the negative impacts of the pandemic on their fiscal situations. Instead of letting students fall into debt, we have called on the government to help by reducing their debt. We have called on the government to eliminate up to $20,000 per student. The Don't Forget Students group and the Canadian Federation of Students called on the government to do more for students. The fact that this budget has not done enough for post-secondary students and for recent post-secondary graduates is a big problem for me. It is a big problem for my constituency and for students across the country.
    There is another thing that we really wanted to see within this bill and I am very disappointed that we do not see it, particularly as we are in the middle of a global pandemic. This bill does nothing to give us any of the supports that we need during a global pandemic. There is nothing here for pharmacare, dental care or additional support for mental health care.
    Canadians have been waiting for pharmacare for over 60 years. It would make sure that the medications they need would be included in our health care system. Twenty-three years ago, the Liberals first promised Canadians a national pharmacare program. They have repeated that promise over and over again, yet we still have not seen it. In fact, recently the Liberal Party voted against the NDP's proposal for a pharmacare bill and, of course, there is nothing in this budget that makes us feel like it is coming.
    We have had five public commissions on pharmacare. We have had study after study, including the Liberals' own Hoskins report in 2019, say that Canadians needed pharmacare, that pharmacare would save money and that we have that obligation, particularly during a global pandemic. Unfortunately, that is not part of what we saw in this bill.
    While we were happy to see that there was a small increase in the amount of OAS for seniors over 75, it was deeply concerning that it would not help all seniors. It is a pittance, and not enough for seniors to get out of poverty and survive this pandemic. We saw massive amounts of money go to support for-profit long-term care centres. Instead of giving the money to our seniors to help them, we have seen the money go to the wealthy.
    I said that I would be speaking about what the impacts have been on my riding of Edmonton Strathcona, but I want to very quickly talk about international development, humanitarian assistance and where this budget falls on that front.
    A report prepared by Cooperation Canada, which is a leader in civil society work on international development, stated:
    COVID-19 is not a fleeting crisis. It calls for political leadership and strategic investments to make up for the 25 years of human development progress lost in the first 25 weeks of the global pandemic.
    It also says this budget missed that opportunity. Groups that provide humanitarian aid around the world asked for 1% within this budget, and they did not get that support.
    Members may say that pharmacare, child care, support for seniors, artistic communities and our international communities all cost money, and wonder where is it going to come from. That is the biggest problem with this bill in my mind. We did not take the opportunity to make sure that the wealthy paid their fair share. We did not take the opportunity with this budget to make sure that the ultrarich would be contributing to our communities and our Canadian priorities. We have seen CEOs use the wage subsidy program to lock out their workers in my riding of Edmonton Strathcona. We have seen the ultrarich make $78 billion over the course of this pandemic, yet there is no wealth tax. There is nothing that will make the wealthy pay their share and help us as we go forward.
    While I am happy to see that the Liberal government is finally taking some steps on a national child care program, and while I am happy to see minimum wage raised to $15 I am disappointed, once again, that the wealthy are given a free ticket while regular Canadians are expected to pick up the tab.

  (1115)  

    Before I go to questions and comments, I would like to remind the member that, earlier in her intervention, she mentioned the Prime Minister by name. I would ask her, when referring to the Prime Minister or other members of the House, that she refer to them by either their riding name or their ministerial name.
    For questions and comments, we will go to the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, a couple of members have made reference to the issue of age 75 and what the government committed to. In the 2019 federal election, the leader of the Liberal Party, now Canada's Prime Minister, made a commitment to increase the benefit by 10% for all those who are age 75 and older. We are now fulfilling that commitment. We are fulfilling a promise that was made in the last federal election.
    Am I now to assume that the NDP not only supports our commitment, but would also like to see that commitment of a 10% increase made to everyone who is over age 65, or possibly even younger than that? In Manitoba, for many years, seniors were recognized as 65-plus. What is the actual position of the NDP? If the member could provide a percentage, that would be helpful.
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I have to apologize to you. I do seem to struggle to remember that the Prime Minister shall not be referred to by name.
    The question that the member brought up today is problematic for me because it talks a lot about the commitments that the government has made. What about the commitments the government has not made? What about the commitments to supporting all seniors aged 65 years and older? What about students? What about the commitments that the government made for electoral reform? What about the commitments the government made to plant two billion trees, none of which have been seen?
    To set a low bar and then jump over it does not seem all that ambitious. It does not seem all that motivated, to be perfectly honest.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberals' national $10-a-day daycare is not income tested, which ensures we would be delivering huge benefits to high-income parents, as opposed to targeting those who need it most. Is the member disappointed that we are not looking to the needs of low-income working moms?
    Madam Speaker, the best strategy for a national plan is that it be universally accessible. We saw our previous premier Rachel Notley put a plan in place in Alberta for $25-a-day daycare. It was a massive success, and it contributed to cutting child poverty in half in the province. When we make child care universal, and when we make child care available to all working families, it becomes something that lifts all. All boats rise.
    It is important that we have a universal plan. I do not think we should only be targeting certain populations. We should be making sure that this is a national plan, and that children, whether they are in Quebec, Alberta or British Columbia, all have access to good, strong, quality child care.

  (1120)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech given by my colleague, who bragged about the merits of a very significant financial commitment the federal government has made for child care. However, I am quite surprised that she was not speaking out instead against this federal interference in an area of provincial jurisdiction.
    We have had this type of program in Quebec for a long time, and if the federal government wants to copy our model, so much the better, but why does this program have to come from Ottawa and not the provinces?
    I would like to hear what you have to say about the issue of workers, which you may not have had time to talk about. The government did not commit to permanently reforming the employment insurance system. It is just implementing temporary measures.
    What do you think about that?
    I would like to remind the hon. member to address her remarks to the Chair and not directly to members.

[English]

    We have time for a brief answer from the member for Edmonton Strathcona.
    Madam Speaker, if I had had two or three hours, I certainly would have been able to address more within the budget. Time constraints limited me. I can tell members that I have many more notes I would have liked to have spoken to in terms of things we would have liked to have seen with EI and sick leave. There are a number of different things.
     In terms of the member's first question on child care and provincial jurisdiction, she may know that, in my province of Alberta, our premier has not done a very good job during this pandemic. He has not done a strong job in ensuring we are well poised for recovery.
    I feel the federal government needs to take a step and assist provinces when they are not being very positive in implementing things such as child care, when they have cut child care programs that we had in the past and when they are not implementing or putting in place new programs to help new families.
     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-30, the budget implementation act.
    The problem with budget 2021 is that it is focused more on the political fortunes of the Liberal Party than on rebuilding the economy post-pandemic. That is not just me, the Conservative member for Langley—Aldergrove, speaking. The former clerk of the Privy Council Kevin Lynch is quoted as saying that budget 2021 is an “intergenerational transfer of debt and risk [that] is unprecedented.”
    Mr. Lynch continues:
    As a political statement, it should yield electoral dividends. As an economic statement, it favours short-term consumption over private-sector investment, sprinkles...[dividends] initiatives far and wide, adds heavily to the federal debt, and misses an urgent opportunity to rebuild our longer-term growth post-pandemic.
    He is not happy with it, but look who is smiling. The left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is smiling. Its senior economist, David Macdonald, advised the Minister of Finance to ignore “ongoing and needless concern about federal interest payments.”
    Those pesky debt servicing costs take all the fun out of the party. Let us all just agree the budget will balance itself. That it is modern monetary theory at work, and we should not be surprised this is coming from the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
    Modern monetary theory says the following: Debt and the deficit do not matter. Why do we even keep track of them because they do not matter? The only thing that matters is inflation, and as long as we keep inflation under control, everything is going to be good and fine. The proponents of modern monetary theory will tell us that inflation is under control, that it is more or less within the Bank of Canada's target range of 2%. Just recently it has gone up a bit, and I am happy to hear the member opposite acknowledging that at least there is a difference of opinion on whether inflation is just a blip or it is long-term and deeply embedded.
    Let us hear what ordinary Canadians say about inflation. Talking to many small businesses in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove, I am hearing that they are having to compete to get good workers to come back to work. They are competing with each other, which of course is a good thing, but they feel they are also competing with the federal government. They are being told that maybe they need to pay their employees more if they want them to come back to work. That to them sounds like wage inflation.
    I have talked to young families, and there are many of them in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove, who are struggling to buy a house. There is a housing affordability crisis going on. That is not unique to my riding of Langley—Aldergrove, although British Columbia's Lower Mainland seems to be ground zero for this housing affordability crisis.
    I ask members to consider a hypothetical family that 15 months ago, at the start of the pandemic, decided it would take one more year to save up for a down payment to buy a first home. Today, that family is somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000 further behind. The goalposts have just been moved further. No matter how hard families kick the ball, and no matter how well they play the game, they are not keeping up. They are losing ground. If we tell them there is no inflation, they are not going to believe us.
    I have talked to contractors who are working in construction in the housing industry. If we tell them there is no inflation, they will tell us about increased prices for lumber, plywood, steel, concrete and any products related to construction. The prices are going up. If we tell them there is no inflation, they are not going to believe us.
    I believe there is one thing we can agree on with the Liberals, and with the other people in this House, and that is that the solution to fight inflation is to grow the economy and to make sure the economy is producing goods and services in sufficient quantities to meet the demand of the buying public. That is the solution. Unfortunately, this budget does not do that. It misses the mark.

  (1125)  

    The Parliamentary Budget Officer has noted that a significant amount of the Liberal spending in this budget will not stimulate jobs. Nor will it create economic growth. This is a budget that focuses on redistribution of wealth, borrowing money and quantitative easing, but does not encourage private investment.
    We have heard on numerous occasions from members opposite that even during the Harper years, Conservative governments engaged in deficit spending. Of course, in a time of crisis, that is exactly what a central government needs to do. It has tools available to it. Debt financing, quantitative easing, tax incentives to encourage further investment and even printing money are all tools available to and must be employed by a central government during a time of economic crisis to ensure there is liquidity in the marketplace. We all agree on that. Where we disagree is when the central government needs to step on the gas and when to ease up, when to pump liquidity into the marketplace and when to step aside to let private enterprise take over.
    Do not forget that the Liberal government, even during good times, the first four years of its mandate, did not balance the budget. There was full employment, good government revenues and economic growth, yet there was one deficit budget after the other. I do not think Canadians have confidence in the government to see us through this crisis. The Conservatives, on the other hand, have a great track record of managing Canada's economy during a time of economic crisis, the most recent being the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 when Canada came out stronger than any other G7 country.
    Today's Conservatives stand ready, willing and able to take the lead again to do the hard work to get our economy back on track. The Liberals focus on Ottawa-centric policies; we focus on private investment.
    Talking about government-centred programs, I will focus briefly on the latest iteration of the $10-a-day universal child care proposal that has been put forward in the budget once again, as it has been put forward many times over many years. I will quote from a recent study report by Cardus, a think tank. This is what it says about the national child care proposal, “The norms of modern work, particularly that of modern working mothers, will be poorly addressed by a nation-wide system, rooted as it is in proposals that were first advanced in the 1970s.”
    If there is one thing we learned about Canada and Canadians during this COVID crisis, it is that they are resilient, creative, inventive and engage in entrepreneurial problem-solving. A lot of Canadian families have taken the opportunity during this COVID crisis to move out of urban centres into more suburban centres to get a bigger house for the kids, a bigger home office, maybe two home offices, one for mom, one for dad and maybe even a third one for the kids if they do their school work from home. We should ask these families what they think about a centralized Ottawa-knows-best national child care policy. We should ask them what they want.
    I have a few suggestions, three good ideas, that I hope the Liberals will accept. First, they should take the billions of dollars that they are planning to spend on national child care and give it directly to families and allow them to do what they feel is best. Second, let us create more housing by encouraging provincial governments and municipalities to increase supply. Rather than tinker with demand, let us increase supply. Finally, they should do something about rural broadband so we can all work efficiently from home.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, I could have had my screen off and still would have known that the individual speaking was a Conservative from his thought process.
    I have to wonder what the Conservatives would have done for the thousands and thousands of people who would have ended up unemployed, or are unemployed, as a result of this pandemic. As for child care and women, we have a huge labour shortage in Canada and thousands of women would love to go to work, but do not have adequate child care.
    What would my colleague propose if the Conservatives were in charge during this pandemic?
    Madam Speaker, I pointed out in my earlier talking points that the Conservative Party agrees that a federal government needs to step in during a time of crisis with deficit spending, quantitative easing and pumping liquidity into the marketplace to keep the economy going and to support families, workers and businesses. We voted in favour of those programs when they were presented by the Liberal government. We worked on improving them. They are better because of the work we have done.
    Madam Speaker, the pandemic has exposed the flaws in our health care system, whether it is in vaccine supply or quantity or the quality of our long-term care facilities. Health care workers and seniors particularly have suffered direct consequences of years of underfunding to health care services under consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments, yet the budget announces no increased health care transfers.
    Could the member tell us about the impact of health care underfunding on worsening the current pandemic?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, the Conservative Party agrees that the federal government has a very important role to play in helping Canadian citizens who are most in need, such as seniors and people who are not benefiting from the wealth of the nation. We recognize and appreciate that. I would stand with her in criticizing the current government for not having done a sufficient job in that during this pandemic.
    Madam Speaker, last week, representatives of Restaurants Canada came to the Standing Committee on Finance. They mentioned that half of restaurants faced the risk of closure if subsidies were scaled back too soon. They are calling on the government to immediately introduce a sector-specific restaurant survival support package, with one of the things being an exemption from the scheduled scale back of the rent and wage subsidies for the food sector.
     Could you tell me your thoughts are on this?
    I remind the member to address all questions and comments through the Chair and not to the individual member.
    The hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove has just a little under a minute to respond.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague that what we should be looking at now at this stage of the economic recovery post-pandemic is sector-specific aid.
    I talked about small businesses in my riding that were having trouble finding employees. These are generally construction companies, landscaping companies and agricultural businesses where it is safe to go back to work. They are having trouble getting workers. I recognize as well that restaurants in my colleague's riding are struggling. They continue to need help and I support that.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise in the House today. It is always an honour to speak in the House, especially in a time where we remain virtual. It is much better to be in the House to speak.
    I would like to thank my colleagues, the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka and the member for Langley—Aldergrove, for their presentations today about what we believe is important when talking about the budget implementation bill.
    Governments have historically had three sources of revenue: tax, borrow or print money. This process has been around for governments for a long time. The Egyptians, 3,000 years ago, had an extensive twice-yearly collection of grains that they could then distribute in less productive times, for government workers or lesser classes. The Incas has a similar system in the Americas.
    Over time, forms of governments that have been ruling have taxed those they are in control of with some form of payment, be it commodity, currency or even servitude. The ruling authority would decide on the use of the collected tax. In my family history, going back to Scotland in 1207, there was a tax collector. He is part of my family history. The collection of taxes has been going on for thousands of years.
     When it comes to taxes, people can pay, resist or be non-compliant. Penalties for non-compliance varied over time. Many of us remember the Boston Tea Party and how the American colonies resisted paying taxes.
     Since 1867, in Canada, taxes have been based on trade. It was a trade-based type of tax. In 1916, there was a corporate tax. There was a world activity going on called World War I. In 1917, there was a temporary Income Tax War Act, combining corporate and a new individual tax to be reviewed after the war, after World War I.
    After World War II, in 1948, the temporary act was replaced by the Income Tax Act, the basis for what we have today, which should be totally thrown out and redone, as it has only been tinkered with for the last 60 or 70 years.
    Different levels of government in Canada have taxation. The federal and provincial governments can rack up debt, but municipalities cannot. We have huge debt in both federal and provincial governments, but the municipalities have figured out how to do it without creating that long-term debt.
    Over two calendar years, we have had an economic snapshot, a fall economic update, but no budget. Finally, Canadians will be able to understand, maybe, for themselves what their tax dollars will pay for.
    When phone books were still being printed some years ago, there were times they were used as substitute booster seats for children to reach the top of the table at dinnertime. Phone books are not printed too often these days, but at 724 pages, this budget could be a fitting substitute. There are 724 pages jammed with Liberal promises, promises that will add to the federal debt of more than $1.2 trillion. It is a great tactic to make certain Canadians never read it; it is so long and complicated.
    In fact, we heard before that the current Prime Minister added more debt than all the other prime ministers before him combined. That is quite an infamous accomplishment. I have listened to Liberals extolling accomplishments, and it almost sounds like they are making acceptance speeches for an Oscar. It may not be the award that many of my constituents would like to give them for this budget, one with $100 billion, not million, unaccounted for. However, what is a few billion between friends.
    This is taxpayer money. I often hear the Prime Minister say, “We will take this debt on our shoulders.” It is the taxpayer money and taxpayer debt, and it is their children and their grandchildren's debt. Is it printed money by the billions on a weekly basis on which the government has depended? This modern monetary theory is interesting: print all the money it wants and do not worry about the debt. That does not work at the municipal government level or at the personal level, so how can it work at the federal level.
    This is not a new idea. Government spending based on a backed commodity, like the holding of gold, is many centuries old. However, it was disrupted a few times in those days, too, when there was an oversupply of gold at certain times.

  (1140)  

    Paper began to appear as a writ of value for governments to replace rare metals currency, but it was backed by rare metals—not now. When governments produce volumes of paper currency with no backing or faith in the currency, what happens?
    Many of us have heard the stories of Germany in the 1920s. There was hyperinflation, spending rapidly as the value dropped. A wheelbarrow full of money could buy a loaf of bread one day, but not the next day. The Great Depression brought stock market paper with no value. More recently, there was the 2008 bank depression. Greece, Venezuela and other countries just printed bigger numbers on their bills and there was still no value.
    What is the Liberal government doing with this budget? If the government continues this trajectory, by 2026 Canada will have spent $39 billion on debt interest payments alone. That is more than child care at $8.3 billion, more than EI benefits at $25.6 billion and more than the Canada child benefit at $27 billion, all of which are programs in this budget.
    We must look introspectively and ask ourselves where this money is coming from. It is being generated as numbers on a screen and then printed on expensive paper, or plastic bills these days, which is another resource sector product. The government will be printing more money than it earns from Canadian taxpayers. Is this a recipe for disaster? I know what my constituents think, and it is not a pretty picture.
    What is the government promising for Canadians? I have heard about many government programs, but what drives the economy despite this incredible spending on government programs and increase of government employees? Does the private sector not build the economy by producing services and products of value? It employs people to do this. The companies and the employees then pay taxes that support the needs of society.
    Do government programs build the economy based on printed money? This has not worked in other countries or historically. Each person in Canada now owes an average of $33,000 in federal debt. Does the Liberal government want people to depend on it instead of gainful employment? I would hope not, but does this budget do that?
    Canadians and future generations will be saddled with the burden of the government doubling the national debt, and for what? I cannot wait for members to ask me about government programs. What about the $100-billion recovery line in the budget? Is that more government jobs?
    I speak with my constituents in mind. They are hard-working, no-nonsense, results-driven people. Do they want a budget with handouts? No, they do not. We have incredibly intelligent, innovative, hard-working people in my constituency and across this great country who are willing to invest in businesses and hire productive people to produce services or products that are valued. Is the government interested in doing that with this budget? My constituents question that. If the government was as focused on getting Canadians back to work as it is on marketing and slogans, my constituents would be better off.
    In this House, parliamentarians must follow certain standards of House procedure and conduct. It would be impossible for me to accurately convey the feelings my constituents have, using the words they have spoken to me. I would be subject to reprimand and would certainly be compelled to retract my comments.
    All parties agreed to temporary measures to address the difficulties in conducting House business going forward, but since then, even though we have adapted new methods of representing Canadians in this House, we have been more dysfunctional than ever. Though this new online method has been streamlined, it took many months of tedious technical tinkering. Nothing will be a viable substitute for the ability to look a colleague in the eye and have a conversation about our constituents.
    The spending promises are at an all-time high and there is no plan to balance the budget in the future. Generations of Canadians will be paying for the Liberal government's promises. The snowball effect of this pandemic on every sector of the economy, on every moment of our lives going forward will not be easily forgotten. I remember the 20% interest rates on my mortgage, and that was a response to inflation in the 1970s. Can members imagine what that would do to my constituents' mortgages today?
    Canada's future does not rest in a slogan, a campaign or even a single political party, but in the determination of our people to work, to innovate and to flourish.

  (1145)  

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. At one point, I noticed that, contrary to the standing order that allows members to wear flowers or small pins to recognize special days in our country, my colleague was wearing a button with a slogan on it.
    I would like to know whether the Standing Orders of the House of Commons have changed because I, too, have some buttons that I could wear from time to time.
    I thank the member for his point of order.

[English]

    The hon. member for Bow River is well aware, and it has been raised on a number of occasions, that buttons are not to be worn in the House of Commons. I would ask him to remove the button, so that we can proceed to questions and comments.
    The hon. member wants to speak to the point of order.
    Madam Speaker, if there is a question, I would respond to the question.
    There was a point of order raised regarding the hon. member's button that he is wearing, which has a message on it. I am respectfully asking that member to remove the button, because, as he is well aware, that is against the protocols in the House. I would ask the hon. member to remove his button, and we will go to questions and comments.
    Madam Speaker, in response, would that apply to anything people might wear in the House that is not their—
    As the hon. member knows, there are exceptions for things that mark specific days in the House or specific events, such as the MS Society of Canada sending us flowers and everyone wearing those, but the hon. member's button does have a particular message to it that sends a very clear message that not everyone is supportive of.
    Therefore, I would ask the hon. member, as he is very well aware that this is a matter that has been raised in the past, to remove the button, so that we can go to questions and comments.
    Madam Speaker, it is a button that states what I personally—

  (1150)  

    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, at this point, the member is using this opportunity, where we are addressing a procedural matter, to further advocate for the political position that is represented on that button he is wearing.
    Either he is going to have to adhere to the rules that are set in this House and being enforced by you right now, or he is going to have to leave the chamber. I would encourage you not to allow him to continue to advocate on behalf of the position that he is trying to advocate for with that button.
    I do want to remind other members not to weigh in into the conversation, unless they wish to rise to do so. This is a matter that has been raised several times with other members as well, and with the hon. member himself, so I would just ask the member to please remove the button, so that we can continue on.
    Madam Speaker, do you mean the other one that I am wearing as well?
    No, just the one that has the very clear message regarding the positioning of the party.
    I thank the member.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Madam Speaker, I heard the member talk a lot about inflation. I heard the previous Conservative member talk about Conservatives only running a deficit when it is necessary, because of the stimulus that is required from the government at the time. I find that very fascinating, given that between Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney, 14 out of 16 of their budgets ran deficits. That would only lead me to conclude that times were extremely tough and we were running constant recessions and economic hardship during the times of both Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney.
    Would the member like to comment on why times were so tough just during the years of those two prime ministers?
    Madam Speaker, in response to my hon. colleague, whom I have worked with for many years on a committee in this particular House, on the environment committee, one of the challenges we have, and he refers to it, is that if we are here in person we are capable of doing a lot more things. In the opportunity that I had of working with him in committee, when we are there in person, we are able to do a lot more things and work on a lot more issues, so when he makes suggestions like that, we could have dealt with a lot more things if we had been here in person. This virtual set-up does not allow us to have a lot of good discussions, like those I have had with the member before.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, yesterday I had a conversation with an extremely bright young girl, my 10-year-old daughter Lily Rose. She asked me why some countries are poor and others are rich. She told me she thought that we here in Quebec and Canada are very lucky to have machines that print money when we do not have enough. I found that very sweet, but obviously, that was from a 10-year-old child. Sometimes I get the impression that the Liberal government is operating as though we actually had amazing money-printing machines, but we are adults, and we know that is unfortunately not the case.
    Here is my question for my colleague from Bow River. At this point, we need to look to the future, invest wisely for the future, and make sure that my daughter, whom I just mentioned, does not have to bear the burden of the debt and deficit we are racking up because of the crisis.
    Would my colleague agree that it is time we did as the Bloc Québécois suggests by investing in the sustainable, renewable energy sources of the future and engaging in a transition toward renewable energy rather than a spontaneous movement?
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in this budget, that is one of the things we look for. We look for things for the future, things for our environment, things for our workforce, things for energy and what we can do. In the province of Alberta, I have seen some of the most phenomenal innovative projects to do with different forms of energy. There are fantastic ideas that are coming out of Alberta, coming out of the resource sector, for how they can develop and work with new technologies and do this, but I do not see that in the Liberal budget.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to compliment my colleague on his very attractive tie.
    I appreciate that his speech had a lot to do with fiscal responsibility, making sure that those dollars that are being spent are being spent wisely, and I agree with him on that.
    One of the concerns I have is that some of the programs we have spent money for have had huge gaps in them. In my riding, we have an example where an employer is actually using the wage subsidy to pay for scab labour instead of negotiating in good faith with Boilermakers Lodge 146.
    Could the member talk about whether he feels that it is reasonable for the wage subsidy to be used for employers who are not negotiating in good faith with their workers?
    Madam Speaker, of course, we have to have accountability, and one of the things we have lacked through the spending programs, through these programs that have been running out, is accountability. We need accountability for those tax dollars spent, and that has been lacking.
     In the Liberal budget, going forward, when they talk about $100 billion unaccounted for and what they might spend it on, that is the lack of accountability we have with the current government.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to be here in the House.
    Of course, when I speak from home, in my riding, it is important, but when I am here, I find that my words have even more importance.

[English]

    I would just like to take a moment and thank my constituent, Paddy Bossert, for the beautiful pin she gave me. She and Dale Bossert have been big supporters of Calgary Midnapore for some time. The pin is a quill and ink, and she says it is because I have such lovely handwriting. I believe my staff would beg to differ with her, but nonetheless, I thank Mrs. Bossert very much for this beautiful pin I am wearing in the House today.
    I appeared on Alberta Primetime with the previous speaker, the member for Edmonton Strathcona, where I quoted two articles regarding the budget that I am going to mention here again today. The first one was an Andrew Coyne article. Andrew is of course seen as somewhat Conservative but also seen as, I believe, a very reasonable individual. His comment in his opinion piece was that this was “a budget about everything, except how [we are going] to pay for it”. Those words really resonated with me.
    The other article I referred to was a Rosenberg article in The Globe and Mail. This article indicated something I thought was very interesting, which is that the budget used to be an economic document. It used to be a document about the economic future of Canada. In fact, this is how I was raised, which is that one's family brings in so much money a month, spends a certain amount and then a certain amount is left for savings. It was really an education for me to arrive in the public policy world and find that it is about spending priorities for the fiscal year, whatever they are. Rosenberg's other point was that this budget was not even an economic document, it was a social engineering document designed to vote-grab, which really puts a sad commentary on the government and this budget.
    What makes me the most sad is that I really believe every Speech from the Throne and every budget is an opportunity to face the future with confidence and with possibility, especially at this time of coming out of a pandemic. Right now it is hard for Canadians to see the future and have hope. This document did not do that.
    We have seen the terrible vaccine procurement and distribution throughout Canada resulting in the delay of a return to life as we once knew it. What we need to do is restart Canada. Our economy is crumbling. Never mind the debt and the deficit my colleagues talked about previously, as well as inflation and money supply. In the last question, it was said that someone's daughter actually thought Canada could print money.
    There is just so much supply as a result of the government and a lack of goods. Trade is also failing under this economy. There is a container crisis affecting shippers, distributers and businesses. I actually had someone in my riding tell me that they paid $2,000 to ship a container from China prior to this pandemic and that the price has now gone up to $8,500 a container. This is a cost they are going to have to pass on to consumers.
    Interest will start to go up. We will see it start with variable rates and it will increase and increase. With household debt, people are paying down their credit cards but now we are seeing them take on this debt with housing prices. As well, small and medium enterprises are struggling.
    Mental health during this pandemic has been horrible. I was very proud to host a session with a psychologist in my riding last week on parenting teens in a pandemic, in an effort to help the next generation of Canadians who are looking for some hope in this pandemic, a way out of this pandemic, which this budget did not provide. I received so many sad notes from seniors, who told me they are completely depressed and even contemplating suicide. We need to restart Canada.

  (1200)  

     I have advocated tirelessly for the aviation sector within the House. The National Airlines Council of Canada put out a statement, which said that:
    As vaccination rates continue to climb globally countries are announcing plans for the safe restart of their travel and tourism sectors, drawing on analysis provided by the European Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the US Centres for Disease Control...“Yesterday the National Airlines Council joined with over 60 other industry organizations in writing to the Prime Minister on the urgent need for Canada to move forward with a restart plan for the overall economy and for the travel sector. Countries that successfully plan will not only safely restart aviation and their overall economy, they will take jobs and investment from countries that do not. We must get moving now on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians in every region of the country whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism”....
    It is not just here, but other jurisdictions are restarting. They have a restart plan. I will point out some examples brought forward to me by the Business Council of Canada, which said that:
    Other jurisdictions have paved the route for us to follow. In February, the United Kingdom unveiled a four-stage “roadmap out of lockdown”, with clear guidelines to mark the journey back to a more normal life. For example, in “Step 3”, most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors are allowed to reopen while adhering to public health guidelines.
    We need to restart Canada.
    The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance for those who are fully vaccinated and outlines which activities are now considered safe, including domestic travel without the need for testing or quarantine. Right here within Canada, here at home, Saskatchewan recently unveiled a three-step reopening road map that clearly links the lifting of restrictions to vaccination milestones. For example, once 70% of those 30 and older have received one dose, 150 people will be permitted to gather in public, indoor settings provided they adhere to physical distancing and mask guidelines. We need to restart Canada.
    Further along that reopening plan for Saskatchewan, in phase 1, May 4 to June 1, we see reopening previously restricted medical services; phase 2, reopening retail and select personal service facilities; phase 3, reopening places of worship, increasing indoor, public and private gatherings of 15 people and outdoor gatherings to 30 people; and phase 4, reopening child and youth day camps, outdoor pools and spray parks as well as libraries, museums, galleries and it goes on and on. Canadians are waiting for this. We need to restart Canada.
    However, we need to be smart about this restart. We need not only the government but Canadians to think about the restart. I want every Canadian to think about, when the pandemic is over and when their benefits run out, whether they will they have a job, and if not, why? Did their restaurant close? Did their retail store close? Why? If a person owns a business, is their business safe?
    The next question I want Canadians to ask themselves is: What did they not get to do this winter or spring because of no vaccines as a result of this government with no vision and no restart plan? Did someone around them pass away? Was there a surgery that was denied? Did someone have to quit their job in an effort to home-school? Did they have to quit their beer league? Was it like my son who had to go without his hockey league, which gives him so much exercise and happiness?
    More importantly, I want Canadians to ask themselves what they want their future to look like. Do they want to own a home? It is not going to happen under this government in the direction that we are going. Do they want to have a family? They might not be able to provide food for them because of inflation and the price of groceries and gas, which is at 127.9 cents a litre in my hometown of Calgary. Do they want to have a car? Why does it have to be an electric car? Why can it not be a car run on diesel? By the time this government makes any effort to get the infrastructure up for electric cars, we will have moved on to hydrogen.
     We need to do this restart plan intelligently. However, Canadians' lives do not have to be how the government designed them. They have an opportunity for change. They have an opportunity for choice. This government had an opportunity and it failed. We need to restart Canada.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her very passionate speech.
    I find it quite ironic that the member talked about restarting Canada and referenced various provincial plans. Those provinces are the ones that shut down their economic activity and the various elements within their province as they saw necessary, and those are the same provinces that are now reopening it all. Ontario just did the same thing and released a three-stage plan, which shows certain milestones, just as the member indicated in her speech that it should be done.
    These plans have been set up by the provinces. The provinces are reopening their economies and getting things moving as we hit certain milestones. How is it confusing to her that the provinces that shut things down are also now reopening them?
    Madam Speaker, the provinces have consistently had to react and respond to the shortcomings of the federal government since the very beginning of this pandemic. Since we saw the virus coming over the Pacific Ocean, we have been asking the government to respond. Its vaccine procurement and distribution has been the worst part.
    The provincial governments have reacted and responded. The federal government can and should follow their lead in having a national restart plan.
    Madam Speaker, we all share my colleague's desire to see a reopening soon. Of course, here in British Columbia, we are looking forward to news later this afternoon on what our province's plans will be.
    A lot of workers have seen many of their benefits eliminated, either because they have seen their workplace hours reduced or they have lost their jobs altogether. Some of the biggest hits, of course, have been to workplace pharmacare plans. The cost of pharmacare could be a huge burden to the monthly budget of families. What is the member's position on establishing a national pharmacare plan, so that we can really relieve working families of those unexpected costs going forward, on something that is based on the existing Canada Health Act?
    Madam Speaker, I just want to commend my leader for doing incredible work with workers and unions since he was installed as the leader of this party. As Conservatives, we know that Canadians always make the best choices, whether it is about child care, dental care or preferred health care when they get the opportunity to choose for themselves. This is what we want. This is what the government has denied Canadians: the opportunity to have more choice.
    I certainly stand in solidarity with my colleague from the NDP when it comes to supporting workers, unions and Canadian families, but as Conservatives we want to offer Canadians choice as well as the autonomy to make the choices that are best for them.
    Madam Speaker, I spoke to a number of constituents over the weekend. One talked about how she is simply feeling hopeless during these times and even contemplated suicide because of the circumstances she finds herself in. Another constituent I spoke to had been denied funding, falling through the cracks because of the programs that the Liberal government has brought forward. Another constituent felt like she was not sure she could move on.
    Certainly, Conservatives, I think, are realistic in asking for a plan to provide Canadians some hope. My colleague articulated that very well. Specifically, when it comes to the travel industry, I have spoken to some travel agents who said they have fallen through the cracks of the government's plan.
     I wonder if my colleague could speak further to how there are sectors, including the travel industry, which have fallen through the cracks because of the Liberal government's mismanagement of the pandemic.

  (1210)  

    Madam Speaker, to my colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot, the sad reality is that the government will only ever act when it feels it can gain some votes and make some gains in the upcoming election, which it is planning for during this pandemic. Unfortunately, the aviation sector; travel and workers throughout—
    The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland.
     Madam Speaker, today I am speaking to something very historic, which is the budget implementation act for the largest and most anticipated Liberal deficit budget in Canadian history. Usually when history is being made, there are those who will be remembered well and those who will not be.
    Judging by this budget, it is clear that the current government will not be well thought of by future generations. These generations will be the ones tasked with the consequences of this massive Liberal deficit budget, one that will mean higher taxes than what we pay today, fewer services, higher inflation and bigger debt servicing costs. All of these factors will vary based on the policy choices made in the years to come, but as a whole, they represent a much higher likelihood that future generations will not be as well off as folks are today.
    I know how hard my great-grandparents and grandparents worked to make this country as strong and prosperous as it is today. They sacrificed through two world wars and a depression, building their families while keeping our country's finances under control. I think of my parents' more recent generation, which sacrificed so much in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the last Liberal government drastically cut spending and services for Canadians while leaving their tax burden the highest in Canadian history to date. All of these sacrifices are at threat of being made in vain because of the lack of fiscal accountability and responsibility shown by the Liberal government over the past five and a half years, particularly in its new plan for future years.
    We are facing unique challenges, and the Liberals have proven in this budget that they are not up to dealing with them. The fact is that we cannot count on the factors that previous generations counted on to make and keep our country prosperous. There is no postwar baby boom around the corner, and the steady flow of skilled immigrants to this country is likely to tail off in the near future, as the rest of the world wakes up to the demographic aging crisis and the implications of mass population decline. Fewer and fewer productive taxpayers will be around to service the ever-increasing annual deficits and debts.
    Many of the commodities and goods that have made Canada an economic powerhouse are at risk of being phased out by the policies of the World Economic Forum and our own Liberal government. Goods such as oil, automobiles and minerals are at risk of facing drastic reductions in production because of demand destructive policies implemented by woke governments.
    Even with the growth in electric vehicles, the scarcity of necessary raw materials such as copper, cobalt and lithium, among others, will make these transportation solutions less accessible for working families. With Liberal legislation like Bill C-69 in the previous Parliament, it is unlikely we will even get new mines permitted in time to benefit from any green commodity booms, making us beholden to foreign global competitors such as China, which will set prices for our consumers and control market supply.
    The confluence of factors that made our country prosperous, such as a young population, high immigration, fiscal responsibility and increasing consumption of resources, has been inverted. Now we have an aging population, out-of-control debt, and soon-to-be-more-limited immigration prospects, and the resources that have made our country prosperous in the past are being phased out. Nowhere in this Liberal budget did I see a direct plan to address these challenges. It is a failure.
    On the environment, which makes up a significant part of this Liberal budget, I see other key failures. The natural resources committee is studying low-carbon and renewable fuels. I agree with the consensus that we need to do more in this area in order to be competitive economically and lower carbon emissions. I was interested to learn that the Liberals have launched a new tax credit to promote carbon capture utilization and storage. There is a big catch, however. On page 168 of the budget, the Liberals make clear, “It is not intended that the investment tax credit be available for Enhanced Oil Recovery projects.”
    This is a slap in the face to my constituency. It basically means that Alberta and Saskatchewan should not bother applying. It will significantly undermine investment in carbon capture, which is already effectively being used in my riding at the Sturgeon Refinery, which has sequestered over one megatonne of carbon dioxide in under a year. We could create tens of thousands of jobs and produce the lowest diesel emissions in the world, but the Liberals have essentially barred them from accessing this tax credit.
    It is out of line with our trading competitors in the U.S., where under the 45Q policy, a more limited tax credit is available for enhanced oil recovery producers. Why are the Liberals turning their backs yet again on the energy industry of this country, especially when they are taking the important step of decarbonizing their operations with expensive investments in carbon capture?
    Is the real reason that the Liberals cannot stand to see a successful, sustainable hydrocarbon industry in this country? That is the only reason I can see, and it is shameful. It is shameful because it exposes that the Liberals are not really interested in finding the most cost-effective solutions for carbon emissions. They are only interested in looking for solutions that come from groups that are not interested in working with our oil and gas sector.

  (1215)  

    The government claims it is not picking winners and losers in this industry, but its actions speak differently. I am proud that, under a Conservative government, we would support carbon capture across all industries, regardless of whether they are engaged in enhanced recovery or not. Under the Conservatives, our emissions would be significantly lower, while growing jobs in our oil and gas sector.
    I am over halfway through my speech and I have not even mentioned the government's failure during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all recognize that Canada is going through a tough time. We have been in and out of lockdowns for over a year now, and it is taking a huge toll on families and small businesses. That is exactly why, over the past year, the Conservatives have supported the government by allowing it to pass massive income support measures on an expedited basis.
    We trusted that the Liberals would take that goodwill and do the job right, or at least that, if they did the job wrong the first time, they would make it right as soon as possible. Unfortunately, they did the opposite. They have used this pandemic and the political logjam in this Parliament to govern as if they had a majority, threatening a snap election in a health crisis rather than working with opposition parties to do what is best for Canada.
    We see it in question period on a daily basis. Our basic questions are met with disgust. Ministers do not even bother to listen to the questions and choose to throw around unparliamentary language accusing the opposition of lying or misleading Canadians. They have no interest in hearing constructive criticism or implementing our proposals for positive change.
    For example, let us look at the Canada emergency wage subsidy. In theory, it is a great program aimed at protecting jobs and our economy, yet as I read through the company quarterly reports, I am shocked by how many profitable businesses have been using taxpayer dollars, delivered on a silver platter by the Liberals, to pad their bottom lines. Many of these companies took these benefits while laying off hundreds of workers, yet the Liberals put no strings attached. There is no accountability for these businesses.
    I read in the budget that the Liberals have a big solution for this. They will claw back the wage subsidy for companies that raise executive pay. I thought it was a joke. These companies are spending billions on share buybacks and dividends, and the Liberals are saying that, if they raise executive compensation, they will claw it back. It is laughable. It is a feast for big business and government relations executives put on by the Prime Minister, and the taxpayer is footing the bill.
    We need to chart a new course to maximizing growth in the years to come while returning to fiscal responsibility by setting a clear plan to get our country back to a balanced budget and address the rising debt load and face the challenges of tomorrow. We have faced them before, as in the 2008 financial crisis. Under Conservative leadership, this country came out stronger than ever, and we are ready to do the hard work to get our country back on track to secure our future.
    In my short time to speak today, I have raised serious problems with the Liberals' economic mismanagement, whether it be their poorly designed programs, or their programs designed to outright exclude important industries and regions in this country. I have highlighted some deeply concerning trends, such as the threat of a reduced population, lower immigration and an aging population. These are challenges that would be difficult for governments to face even at the best of times.
    What we have seen from the Liberal government is that it has a willingness to spend whatever it takes to get re-elected rather than spending to face the challenges of the future today. It is clear that only a Conservative government can get our country back on track and secure our future.

  (1220)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I was listening to my hon. colleague's speech, and he seemed to be telling us what the Conservative government would do if it were in power.
    We are currently in a health crisis, but we are heading toward a social crisis.
    Last week, I met with organizations that help the homeless in Montreal and in my riding, Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. People are very worried. They are talking about the fallout from the crisis, including when it comes to housing, over the next five to 10 years.
    Given that the Liberal government is doing nothing to address the serious housing crisis now, if a Conservative government came to power, which is not impossible, would it commit to dealing with this crisis?
    Vacancy rates are very low. We are seeing homeless camps across Canada, not just in Quebec, but in Toronto and Vancouver too. There were some in Montreal recently, and this will just keep happening.
    Can the Conservative government commit to dealing with this serious social crisis that we are facing?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member is absolutely right. The pandemic may end, and the health crisis may end in the next few months, and I certainly hope it does, but the mental health crisis and the other consequences of this nearly 18-month pandemic will be felt for years, if not generations, to come.
    When we look at the federal deficit picture, we have to take into account that, just because we get out of this pandemic, it does not mean that the economy is going to recover overnight. It is going to take strong leadership that will target economic support where it needs to be, and a lot of that economic support is going to be on important social initiatives, such as addressing homelessness.
     I am very proud of our team, as Conservatives, talking about implementing a three-digit number to address mental health challenges. We passed a motion in this House months ago. What have the Liberals done? They have done absolutely nothing. Conservatives will get the job done.
    Madam Speaker, that is fascinating because the member went on talking about how we were spending too much money and about the debt and deficits that have been piling on. Then, in response to the first question, his default answer was that we need to spend more money. Other Conservatives keep coming out here saying that we need more for a Canada emergency wage subsidy and that we need more for this or that. He even said himself, in response to the last question, that we need to spend money on social programs.
    Rather than talking about where we do need to spend money, could the member please suggest, from this budget, where we need to remove money? That might be an easier way for the Conservatives to look at it. Where should we take money out of this budget?
    Madam Speaker, I will answer that with pleasure. For example, how about not giving billions of dollars in wage subsidies to profitable companies engaged in share buybacks and dividend increases? We could have saved a few billion dollars for Canadians there. How about the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been sole-sourced to Liberal insiders during this pandemic? We could have saved a few hundred million dollars there. There are lots of examples. I could do this all day.
    Madam Speaker, earlier this morning, I challenged a Bloc colleague on his concern about inflation that is being fuelled by this budget implementation measure. What are my hon. colleague's concerns regarding inflation? I know members across the way accuse us Conservatives of being concerned. I am guilty of that.

  (1225)  

    Madam Speaker, I too am worried. I am worried about inflation. If the spectre of inflation were not bad enough, what worries me more is the fact that the Liberal government does not seem to be concerned about inflation. The Liberals bring out a mixed bag of economists, and they say inflation is not a big deal.
    I am 30 years old, and I have never really lived in an economy where we had inflation, but I can talk to my grandparents and my parents. It is the idea that the value of that money in a savings account in our bank is going down every day as the government continues to print money and overheat the economy. For example, there are seniors on fixed a income. The threat to our country is real. When is the government going to take concrete action?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be speaking this morning about Bill C-30, budget implementation act, 2021, no. 1.
    My colleagues will recall that the Bloc Québécois voted against the budget because some of our important conditions were not included. However, we will be voting in favour of the budget implementation bill, which contains plenty of promising measures.
    All the same, that does not mean that we will be giving up the fight, in particular with respect to health transfers. In my opinion, it is inconceivable that a government that is running a deficit of more than $350 billion this year still refuses to help the levels of government that have the responsibilities stipulated in the original agreement.
    The federal government used to pay 50% of the costs, not 22%. At this rate, it will only be paying 20% five years from now. What the provinces and Quebec are unanimously asking for is 35%. That corresponds to $28 billion, which by purest coincidence is equal to the leeway that the government decided to subtract from its deficit. I certainly think the Liberals could afford this.
    Our other major condition was a decent increase in old age pensions. I am not talking about the increase of about $1.75 given to those who received the largest increase. That will just about buy them one extra coffee a year. I am talking about a decent increase of $110 a month, which is not asking much.
    It feels like we keep repeating the same things. Sometimes repetition is the only way to get a point across. At a time when the government wants to launch a recovery plan involving more than $100 billion in spending, how can it justify not giving seniors some breathing room by providing $110 a month?
    It is a small amount. These people will not be putting it in the bank for later, they will be spending it. That is exactly what we need for our economy this year. We need a recovery, some breathing room, help for these people who were hit so hard by the pandemic.
    Another concern we have about Bill C-30 is that it lays the foundation for a Canadian securities regulation regime. Historically, the Bloc Québécois has always been opposed to this, and we are not alone. The Quebec government and Quebec's business community are unanimous in rejecting the idea. The Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Finance Montréal, the International Financial Center, Mouvement Desjardins, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and most companies, including Air Transat, Transcontinental, Canam, Québecor, Metro, La Capitale, Cogeco and Molson, all agree.
    Why are all of these economic stakeholders in Quebec saying that Quebec should not be losing more control to Ontario?
    It is because this amounts to an attempt to move a strong financial centre to Toronto. I know that I am in the House, that I must remain calm and watch my language, but it is pretty darn hard to stay calm when faced with this constant financial expropriation. What the government wants to do is to make Quebeckers dependent, so that they think they need the rest of Canada and that they want to remain a part of it. That is the bottom line.
    Why fix something that is not broken?
    Quebec's securities commission is extremely effective, and it is important to have a strong economic centre. This is the institution that insisted on keeping the Montreal Stock Exchange in Montreal even after it was sold to the Toronto Stock Exchange. I will be so bold as to say that, if it had been up to Toronto, there would not be a stock exchange in Montreal anymore.
    There are many jobs involved. The financial sector accounts for 150,000 jobs and contributes $20 billion to the GDP. Montreal is the 13th-largest financial centre in the world. The 578 head offices in Quebec account for 50,000 jobs. Since these are head offices, these jobs are not just ordinary jobs. They are 50,000 well-paying jobs that create more jobs. When a company's head office is located in Quebec, because that is where the financial centres are and where decisions are made, the company tends to hire within Quebec and to adapt its strategy accordingly.

  (1230)  

    That is what the federal government wants to eliminate. Well, I have news for the government: We will not allow it. We will work on it and propose amendments. I hope that the people in the government will see reason and defend Quebec's interests. I would remind them that there are elected officials from Quebec in their party.
    Of course, Bill C-30 is massive and does not cover everything. We do applaud the extension of the special assistance programs, such as the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the Canada emergency commercial rent assistance program, until September 25.
    However, I think that the rates are dropping rapidly. Companies are not quite back on their feet yet; we need to make sure that we do not take this assistance away too soon, since companies need predictability. Last week, I received more calls from companies that have held on so far, but they are telling me that they may not be able to hold on for much longer. This is not the time to cut them off.
    The creation of a hiring program is a good idea. Disallowing bonuses for senior executives of companies that received the wage subsidy is an excellent idea. I hope the rule will be applied to the letter.
    Speaking of wage subsidies, I cannot help but make a brief interjection. It is a shame that I cannot refer to the presence of members in the House, because I would have definitely named someone. My Conservative colleague who spoke previously referred to the wage subsidy several times, bemoaning the fact that the government gave wage subsidies to companies that give bonuses, and yet the Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP all received the wage subsidy. They have the gall to make accusations and feign outrage. It is crazy.
    Sometimes I think I am dreaming. I hear a member say something and I wonder whether he really dared repeat it. Members ought to have a little decency. I am launching an appeal to the three political parties that misappropriated public funds. That is the polite way of saying what I think. I am asking them to give the money back, because it is Quebec and Canadian taxpayer money. They should not use public funds for campaign purposes, especially if they refuse to amend the laws governing the public financing of political parties. It is doubly sickening.
    They announced measures in the budget to tackle tax avoidance. That is fine, but they seem pretty minor to me. More needs to be done. I know that they are sick and tired of hearing us talk about this because it is a really sore spot for them, but when are they going to do something about tax havens? If they had the courage to take action in this matter, we would have a budget surplus rather than a deficit. Let us get moving on this.
    The argument that government members cannot vote in favour of Bill C-208, which aims to facilitate the transfer of SMEs, including farms, because this constitutes tax avoidance really raises my hackles. It is mind-boggling.
    There are a few small positive measures on zero-emission vehicles. It is also an excellent idea to extend the tax deferral on patronage dividends for cooperatives. The industry has been asking for this for ages. However, I wonder why they have not made this measure permanent rather than extending it for another five years.
    Would members like to know the real reason? The government wants to keep these people dependent and in line. In three and a half years, or four years, they will have to start begging their generous government to extend the measures again. People are more compliant in those situations. The government wants to keep us dependent, and so do the Canadian securities regulators.
    The Bloc Québécois will be there to fight this.

  (1235)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it was very interesting to listen my colleague from the Bloc. When I read through the budget document and the BIA we are debating today, it seems there is a continuation of a trend, this Ottawa-knows-best mentality of the federal government trying to interfere with provincial jurisdiction by laying out specific frameworks that may or may not represent the best interests of different regions of the country.
    Could my colleague from the Bloc comment further on whether he agrees with the government's Ottawa-knows-best strategy and the further stretch of Ottawa regulations into provincial jurisdiction?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will begin my answer by warmly thanking my colleague for his easy question. It is true, the Bloc criticizes this every day. The federal government should not meddle in all sorts of areas the way it does, on the pretext that it controls the budget.
    The problem with this Confederation is that half of Quebeckers’ taxes end up in Ottawa, but Ottawa does not take on half of the responsibilities. That creates dependency and forces people to toe the line, which I was saying earlier in my speech. The federal government is therefore forcing people to remain dependent. The government wants to impose standards for long-term care facilities.
    I am not sure whether my colleague noticed that Quebec is held up as an example in the budget when it comes to its day care system. If Quebec is an example, so much the better. However, it is important to respect what it is doing and not impose other Canadian standards or conditions on funding. The government is launching a program and that is a good thing. However, it must give Quebec the money that it would have been paid under the program with no strings attached.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I listened with interest to the hon. member. I know he understands that young people have been affected by this pandemic, particularly students with ongoing student debt.
    Does the member support our proposal to eliminate up to $20,000 of student debt and stop interest on student debt, or does he think it is a good idea for Canada to continue to collect interest and make money on the tuition and debt obligations of students?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for St. John's East for his question. We are not against the initiative in principle. I myself spent many years paying back my student loans, so I would love to give this gift to young people.
    I agree with the idea, but we cannot forget that this issue falls under Quebec's jurisdiction. As I always say, the government can do it, but it must transfer the equivalent amounts to Quebec in the name of tax fairness. I remind members that 50% of the money from Quebeckers goes to Ottawa.
    Madam Speaker, I would like my colleague from Berthier-Maskinongé to comment on the issue of seniors. The Bloc is calling for the government to increase old age security by $110 a month. I would like to know why my colleague thinks that the government wants to give an increase only to seniors 75 and up.

  (1240)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.
    I do not understand that. It makes absolutely no sense. Considering the $500 one-time payment promised to people 75 and over, and the fact that the government is creating two classes of seniors by offering a pension increase only to seniors in that age group and only starting in 2022, the only explanation that comes to mind is that an election must be near. As long as we are speculating, does the government by any chance want to hang on to that as an election promise? I cannot think of any other explanation, because it is insensitive, senseless and irresponsible not to increase the standard of living for all seniors.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is always an incredible honour to rise and speak on behalf of the people of Timmins—James Bay.
    I think if anybody had said in the House last March that we would still be in COVID now, dealing with lockdowns and the crisis of this terrible pandemic, it would have been impossible for any of us to even imagine finding a way through.
     We are getting through this pandemic, but it is really important to point out that there are still serious gaps and problems, and I think many lessons that should have been learned have not been learned.
    I was reading an article this morning that talked about the political malpractice that has occurred in Canada at the provincial and federal levels, with leaders refusing to look at the crisis of the pandemic and recognize what we are dealing with. We remember Premier Kenney dismissed COVID as less harmful than influenza, yet we see the ICUs in Alberta being overrun and 25,000-plus deaths in this country. Premier Doug Ford promised to use an “iron ring” to protect seniors in long-term care. The only thing he did was put an iron ring around the investors to keep them from being charged for the horrific negligence that caused the deaths of our loved ones, parents, cousins and grandparents in long-term care facilities. There needs to be a day of reckoning over these issues.
    I raise this because people in my region are very tired. They are dreaming of being able to sit on a patio and have a beer with their friends. They are counting the days. The people of Canada have carried their weight. They have done an incredible job of following the rules, being responsible, doing what was necessary and taking on incredible emotional, psychological and economic burdens. The longer we go without a way of saying we can truly put this behind us, the harder it is going to be, and I am very concerned that many businesses will not be coming back.
    This past weekend there were 128 new cases of COVID in the region of Timmins. We have cases at the Monteith jail. We have cases now at the OPG centre in Cochrane. We have multiple cases at the Detour Lake mine site where contractors are going in and out. We have 17 new cases in the Fort Albany First Nation, and I understand there are now cases in Attawapiskat. This is deeply concerning, given that we have many communities on the James Bay coast where sometimes 15 or 18 people live in a house and there is no place to do proper self-isolation. When I see 17 new cases over the weekend in Fort Albany, big alarm bells go off. The City of Timmins is now under a state of emergency because of COVID. The community of Moosonee has 38 cases with a very small hospital. It is under a state of emergency.
    I am asking the federal government to commit the resources necessary to help our communities get through this. We need the surge capacity that was promised to be on the ground now. We need to be able to put the supports in place for the health units, hospitals, doctors and front-line workers who are dealing with people in very marginalized situations and do not have proper places to stay. I think of the staff at Living Space in Timmins who work with the homeless. They are on the front lines of the medical catastrophe that is unfolding in our communities and we need to have supports for them. I am asking this of the federal government, and will be following up with the Minister of Health, because we need that support there now to keep people alive. All of us who have come through the three lockdowns and the 15-something months of this crisis with hope on the horizon agree that we cannot lose any more people to this.
    I see the government pat itself on the back again and again on the vaccine rollout, but let us be realistic. Right now only about 2% of our population has had the second dose. Until a person has had the second dose they are not free of COVID, so this idea of a one-dose summer is ridiculous. We need to have enough people with two doses to ensure that we can safely go back to living the lives we have all been missing for so long and see the loved ones we have been unable to see.

  (1245)  

     It raises questions about the decisions that were made. I know those in government do not like to be accused of making a wrong decision in a time of crisis, but we have to look at the fundamental problems that happened with this pandemic. We were fundamentally unable, as rich a nation as we are, to make our own PPE. The government and our Prime Minister, who I believe is the last of the Davos defenders, believed the free market and big pharma would look after us.
    We saw the United States and the U.K. invest heavily in their domestic vaccine production. We have some really wonderful vaccine companies trying to get off the ground now. The lesson we need to learn from this is that never again can we be in a situation where we are dependent on big pharma and other countries to try to meet this nation's needs.
    With Connaught Labs, we had a world-class vaccine facility that served us for 100 years. Brian Mulroney got rid of that. I never hear the Conservatives talking about what a brilliant idea it was to sell off such a national treasure to their friends in private business. If we had Connaught Labs right now, I bet many more people would have their second dose. There are lessons to be learned from these issues.
    In terms of Timmins—James Bay, some very positive steps have been taken, which are really important to recognize.

[Translation]

    I want to say congratulations to the Franco-Ontarian community in Timmins on the construction of its new cultural centre, the Centre culturel La Ronde.
    That organization plays a key role in developing the Franco-Ontarian community. I am very proud that the federal government has invested $2.5 million in the construction of this new building for the Centre culturel La Ronde.
    In addition, the federal and provincial governments have invested $2 million to support the Fire Keeper Patrol in its efforts to combat the opioid crisis in our region, particularly in downtown Timmins.

[English]

    There are many, many good things we have seen with investments. On FedNor, the Liberal government has finally agreed with the position the New Democrats have taken for years: We need FedNor as a stand-alone agency. FedNor is the only economic development agency that has been the poor cousin. It has been a project of the industry department. What we needed all along was a stand-alone agency, because the economy of northern Ontario is as different from the economy of southern Ontario as the economy of Alberta is from Toronto's. We are resource-based and need to have investments coming back.
    I applaud this in the budget. People think I am just going to get up here and beat on the Liberal government. On any given day, that makes me get up in the morning, but we have to recognize that when we make good investments we should be talking about good investments. The investment in FedNor is really important. It has been a lifeline to many of our businesses. It has kept our communities going through this time.
    I pushed and worked with the federal government on the fire keepers proposal. We are being hit by a massive opioid crisis, not just in Timmins but across the country. A great program came forward in the Fire Keeper Patrol, where indigenous people work on the streets 24/7 to deal with the homeless and the opioid crisis. That funding is essential right now. Marginal populations, such as those who are homeless, are a vector for COVID, so the fire keepers are on the ground doing this.
    I would like to point out we received a record $2 million in funding for Canada summer jobs. That will hire over 526 students this year in communities from Attawapiskat in the far north to the farm belt down in Earlton. This is all important.
    The Liberals always ask me why I was so angry about the Canada student service grant they signed off on with the WE brothers. We worked with the federal government. Every MP in the House worked with the federal government to put in place a plan to get students hired. We could have had those students hired last summer. Instead, the program went to the WE brothers, fell off the tracks and has been a disaster ever since.
    I am glad to see these investments to hire our young people. I am glad to see the work going on with FedNor and the fight against the opioid crisis, but I am begging the government for help. We need help right now to deal with the crisis of COVID hitting our communities, working people, young people and indigenous people.

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, I definitely expect to hear Conservatives trumpet the line of one dose versus two doses. The recommendation to get as many single doses into arms as quickly as humanly possible came from medical experts. The chief medical officer of health in my own riding, Dr. Kieran Moore, has overseen one of the best implementations of dealing with this pandemic, in my humble yet biased opinion, and he also agrees this is the procedure we must take. We must get doses into arms as quickly as possible. That is for the betterment of society, if we are looking to take care of society as a whole and if we want to go through this all together as a whole.
    Would the hon. member agree that listening to the experts, with respect to getting as many single doses into arms as possible, is the best approach?
    Madam Speaker, I obviously support listening to our experts, but I feel like my hon. colleague is listening through Liberal ears and not to what they are actually saying. I did not hear the experts say that one dose was good enough. They have not said that. They said that we need two doses. The fact is the government does not have two doses. The experts are saying the next best thing is to get one dose into every arm until we get two doses. Yes, totally: Let us get one dose in. Until we have two doses, we do not get to reopen. We do not get to be safe.
    Look at the United States. I have talked to people across the border who are going to events now because they have had two doses. They have had two doses for some months.
    Again, it is due to the negligence of the government not delivering those two doses when they were needed that we are still having lockdowns and are still being held back.
    Madam Speaker, I have pointed out quite a number of concerns around accountability. There are some issues in terms of the budget itself. As I read through this bill for the budget implementation act, I have further concerns about transparency, accountability and contracts, and a few related issues in that regard.
    The member mentioned the issue of the WE scandal and getting dollars to students. I wonder if he would have further comments on some of the challenges the Liberal government seems to have in terms of leveraging a global crisis for its own political advantage, which saw the Liberals' friends and associated businesses benefit.
    Madam Speaker, I think what was so frustrating with the WE brothers scandal was that the government had asked every member of Parliament to work with it, in terms of getting jobs for students on the ground last spring. We had all done that work. It would have worked great, but instead we had over half a billion dollars diverted to the Kielburger brothers, who were not signed up to lobby. They could walk right into the then finance minister's office. We can see from the Ethics Commissioner's report that they would talk to staff in the then finance minister's office, calling and saying, “Hey, girl.” What kind of group gets that kind of insider access and then gets $500 million without a due diligence report? There was no proof that those guys could actually pull that scheme off.
    We have gone through 5,000 pages of documents. We have not seen any due diligence reports. This damaged the Prime Minister dramatically. This program hurt students. There needs to be some accountability for how this thing went off the rails so badly.

  (1255)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to pick up on some comments that my hon. colleague made, in terms of provincial and federal mismanagement. I have mentioned before years of consecutive Liberal and Conservative cuts to health care. In Manitoba, we are in a crisis. In fact, our ICUs are so full that patients are now being sent to Ontario: five to Thunder Bay, two to Ottawa, two to Sault Ste. Marie, two to North Bay, two to Windsor and one to London. The number keeps growing.
    A CBC article came out today. The headline states, “Patients suffering, dying while waiting for care as Manitoba hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19, doctors say”. This is because of mismanagement by Premier Brian Pallister.
    How has that failure resulted in the current level of the crisis, from failure to have a good vaccine rollout to failure to provide proper funding and management of health care?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is entirely correct. We should not have people getting sick and dying this far into the pandemic. This is the result of the negligence of premiers such as Pallister, Jason Kenney and Doug Ford, who have completely ignored their obligations. They were not working without a road map. We knew what the problem was. We needed to fix it. Instead, they have left people at risk, particularly in far north indigenous communities.
    Madam Speaker, we have before us the government's budget implementation act, a disastrous piece of legislation that runs counter to the Canadian spirit and threatens our way of life now and in the future.
    Canada, as I see it, is a great frontier nation, a nation characterized also by a great frontier spirit. To be Canadian is to set out into the unknown in pursuit of a better life.
     Indigenous peoples who survived in these vast and beautiful but harsh lands since time immemorial were living and surviving on a frontier. The first European settlers who came here for resources, space and greater freedom pursued opportunity on a new frontier where the outcomes were highly uncertain. Loyalists who left their communities came north because of a commitment to ideals that had been betrayed by the American revolution. Former slaves also came north, risking brutal reprisals to find freedom in the land they had never seen. Pioneers risked starvation by moving west for more land. Successive generations of immigrants still today come to this new frontier to discover new things and new opportunities, leaving the familiar behind.
     This is the Canadian story, one of sacrifice and boldly setting out for adventure, opportunity, security and justice.
    Today, when the comforts of indoors are available to most of us, many still pride themselves on keeping this frontier spirit alive by encountering nature in all its elements at all times of the year: skiing, hiking up mountains, sleeping in tents when we do not have to, going for long walks in the middle of the woods through rough terrain even when no one is chasing us and ignoring the stove and microwave to cook food outside. We have braved the elements to get here and survive here, and now we venture out into the cold, the rain and bear country purely for the fun of it. Consciously or not, this is because we are proud of an identity and heritage that connects us with the grubby struggle of the outdoors. We are still a frontier people.
    In the first instance, when people chose to leave the ease and comfort of a country or region of origin and when they chose to set out into a place that seemed inhospitable, they were clearly not just acting for themselves. For so many, the sacrifices of the present are consciously made to give something better to the next generation. Those who first venture onto a frontier are laying the groundwork for their children and grandchildren who will grow up on the frontier with the benefit of a new wealth in land and resources, and with the benefit of the security created by the hard work of their forebears.
    This, too, is essential to the Canadian story. These national virtues are of hard work, courage and sacrifice in service of the next generation in the hope we can always say to our children that they will have joys, comforts and opportunities that we did not see.
     Part of living on a frontier and living a frontier spirit is recognizing that we have to work for everything we have and we will be able to keep the things we built. With a bounty of natural resources in front of us, we can combine our labour with those things and so establish a future for ourselves and our families through dogged and relentless effort. The character of indigenous peoples and of those who immigrated here as well as the circumstances of the country itself made this possible and created communities of relative equality where opportunity was available to all.
    This was very different from many old-world countries where resources were often more scarce and where domestic or foreign aristocracies often lived in idleness, benefiting through exploitation. These kinds of societies, where opportunities were not available to most people, have been understandably ripe for political doctrines emphasizing violent redistribution. It is an interesting feature of the history of European colonialism in general that less naturally hospitable areas like Canada ultimately have done better economically than many parts of the world where it is easier to survive.
    History shows that early colonizers of warmer regions were more likely to be privileged people seeking wealth through the exploitation of indigenous peoples and slaves and the expropriation of existing wealth. Our country, on the other hand, was colonized by a greater proportion of less privileged European migrants who were prepared to work hard to survive instead of import slave labour. The circumstances of harsher environments such as Canada's also compelled a greater degree of initial co-operation between newcomers and indigenous peoples.
     The history of European colonization is therefore one of richer regions becoming poorer and poorer regions becoming richer. This contrast shows the uniqueness of our national experience and the particular impact of the frontier spirit that relatively poorer newcomers to Canada brought with them.
    Of course, inequality and exploitation have been and are in certain respects present in Canada today, and they are present any time governments seek to impose unmanageable burdens on workers and on families. However, those who fight back against exploitation do so from a commitment to cultivating and maintaining our national frontier spirit, where anyone can build and where those who choose to build new things can benefit from them. To maintain abundant opportunity and the benefits of this frontier spirit, we must continue to be willing to use our natural resources and to make them available to those who work on and develop them.

  (1300)  

    The opportunities of the new frontier are not gone. Still today, the option has always been available to go west or north and earn a living through hard work. This is why socialism has never taken root here, because for most of our history, we have been able to provide opportunity and access to resources for those who are willing to move to the frontier and pursue them.
     In addition to providing opportunity for all who seek it, our frontiers have supplied the rest of the nation with wealth and resources unimaginable in other countries. We do not have to live on a frontier to benefit from living in a frontier nation.
    However, sadly, there are those in our politics who do not believe in this frontier spirit, who have been suspicious of our resource development sectors past and present, who have preferred the comfortable status quo to the challenge of growth and who have tempted us to put the comforts of the present ahead of the opportunities of the future. The extent to which the government represents such an attack on the frontier spirit of our nation has been an unfolding reality.
    The government initially promised small deficits for the short term and a balanced approach to spending in resource development. However, now it has bet big on something more radical. This budget unveils a plan to run massive, historic deficits in perpetuity, financed by borrowing and outstripping the borrowing of any previous national crisis. This is a budget that seeks a decisive break with our history. While there are claims about growth coming from undefined jobs in the future and dreams of greater workforce participation facilitated by state-run day care, the only actual articulated policy in this budget is more spending financed by the printing of money and the continuing, unprecedented assault on those resource and manufacturing sectors of our economy that have driven our frontier spirit and have been the mainstay of our prosperity.
     Simultaneously, the government is proposing less production and more spending. The national resource sector is being undermined at every turn, including even projects with net-zero equipment built in, even projects that will demonstrably lead to reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by displacing dirtier foreign sources. It should be obvious that increasing the availability of child care is only going to increase workforce participation if there are actually jobs available to work in.
    Any student of history can figure out where this is all leading. This is the path of hyperinflation and a national debt crisis. This, in turn, will create radical inequality between everyday people and well-connected insiders. This is how we undermine trust in public institutions and exacerbate social divisions. This is how we impoverish a once great nation.
    There are those who say that this cannot happen in Canada, that our nation is immune to these things, that our national success has been the product of particular characteristics, choices and circumstances. In particular, it has been our frontier spirit, the fact that we are the kind of people who look at a naturally occurring pile of asphalt and say, “How can I squeeze the oil out of that?” We are the kind of people who understand that prosperity comes from hard work, not from printing money. This is Canada. However, if our leaders continue to seek a different course, then there is no reason to believe that our historic success will continue.
    Canada's current government is the most left wing of any government in this nation's history. Other governments have sought to develop our resources and redistribute the surplus, but the current government is blocking growth and development at every turn, while actively seeking to redistribute that which has not been created. It will tell us “Don't worry, your efforts are not required because we are going to take care of things. We are going to take care of you whatever it takes.” However, whatever it takes it not going to work if we are not putting anything in the tank. We can only run on empty for so long.
    The government will say that its spending will create growth, but its approach to growth emphasizes central planning and the alleged wisdom of bureaucratic predictions about industries of the future. Central planning of economic development has never worked in the past and has always increased inequality and social resentment. Nations that have relied on government planning instead of on the spontaneous genuis of people have never prospered except temporarily and by imitation and expropriation.
    It is time that Canada's leaders turn their attention to the need to secure our future. Securing our future requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to the economy, one that leverages the hard work, ingenuity and sacrifice of all people from all backgrounds, in all sectors and in all regions of our national economy. Securing the future means innovating in the way that we deliver public services instead of re-promising the unkept promises of the 1960s. Securing our future means restoring our commitment to paying for the things we buy today rather than passing the bill on to the next generation.
     The source of our prosperity is not the printing of currency, central planning or the distribution of government largesse. It is the ingenuity and courage of the Canadian people. Securing our future is about celebrating our frontier spirit as survivors, as immigrants, as builders and as innovators. I am proud to be opposing this budget.

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, my friend and colleague's speech certainly touches on some of the real, existential challenges Canada is facing, many of which were brought on by the Liberal government and its failed response to COVID-19.
    I specifically want to give the member an opportunity to respond to some of the concerns I have heard from people in my constituency about this Ottawa-knows-best approach to child care and a national child care strategy that has been outlined within the Liberals' most recent budget, contrary to the minister's mandate letter. I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts on this Ottawa-knows-best approach to child care.
    Madam Speaker, we already have seen child care providers speak out against the government's plan. The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is speaking out against it, saying that it does not provide it with clarity or certainty, and it raises big concerns about how co-operatives, not-for-profit child care centres and others would be pushed out by a centralized government-controlled plan that lacks the flexibility for which parents are looking.
    The nature of work is changing. People are looking for greater flexibility. They are working different hours. They are more likely to work from home. They are looking for flexible child care arrangements that accord with the particulars of their circumstances.
    We do not need the re-promising of a promise from 50 years ago that was not kept and that has not kept up with the emerging reality. What child care providers as well as parents are looking for is more support to be offered to parents to allow them to make child care choices to reflect the needs of their families. There is a broad range of other measures that could be considered as well, such as partnering with employers, looking at resources for not-for-profits, but we need to maintain—
    Madam Speaker, I noticed how the default reaction to that last question was to talk about the child care providers, not the parents who are looking for child care.
    Nonetheless, we do not have to look too far to see the success of child care at a very reasonable cost. We do not even have to look outside the country. We can look to Quebec and the success it has had and what it has meant for its economy, how it has been able to get more women into the workforce as a result of having an aggressive and progressive child care plan, one that looks toward ensuring everybody can see his or her fullest economic potential.
    Knowing that Quebec can do it, is the member against child care that costs $10 a day? Is that what he is saying?
    Madam Speaker, since the member did not listen to my last response, I am pessimistic about whether he will listen to this response.
    Parents strongly oppose the government's direction on child care as do child care providers, and I have spoken about it extensively in the House and just now. People who work in this area as well as parents are saying that the government's inflexible approach is simply not working.
    As a parent, parents in our country are looking for flexibility. His party's plan does nothing for the single mom who works an overnight shift. Is the member telling me that these government-run child care centres are going to be available 24 hrs a day? I doubt it. The flexibility that we need—

  (1310)  

    The hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona.
    Madam Speaker, I have met with many people who have asked for child care, whether it be parents, child care providers, advocates for child care or the business community. I find some of the member's comments a bit curious.
    The question I have today is on the extreme wealth some of Canada's billionaires have accrued during this pandemic. When we talk about being fiscally responsible and when we talk about what needs to be done to balance the books, does the member not agree that a wealth tax would be a very smart way to make the wealthiest, those who have profited greatly during this pandemic, contribute to things like child care, pharmacare, dental care and mental care for people in Edmonton and in Alberta?
    Madam Speaker, on child care, I support engagement with child care but not a government-controlled, government-knows-best approach. Policies that provide direct support to parents who are looking for that are a much better alternative.
    On the issue of a wealth tax—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Edmonton West.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak today to the budget implementation act. It is a budget I would name after the Rick Moranis film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but I am going to call it “Honey, I Sunk the Kids”. I would have used a different word for “sunk”, but that would have been unparliamentary language.
    Why would I call it that? It is because of the massive intergenerational debt that we are passing on with very little thought or oversight of what it is going to do to our children and our grandchildren. How bad is it? It is $500 billion added in just two years and $700 billion of debt added over the next five years.
    By the time I am done my 10-minute speech and five-minute question and answer period, $7.3 million will be added to the debt that Canadians will owe. People my age will remember Lee Majors as Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man. That would be just about 13 minutes of today's time with the government's spending to rebuild him better.
    In the budget, one of the big problems I have, as someone from Edmonton, Alberta, is that there is almost nothing for Albertans. There are well over 700 pages in the budget, yet next to nothing for the province. It has been described in our province as a slap in the face for Albertans.
    Going through the budget, I saw it mentions pipelines several times. Hurray, but it mentions a talent pipeline; a vaccine pipeline, and we see how the government has failed on that; a genomics talent pipeline; an innovation pipeline; and a pipeline of PPE. We are going to see tomorrow in the Auditor General's report on PPE how the government has funnelled taxpayer money to people connected with the Liberal Party and other insiders, but it mentions a pipeline of PPE in the budget. What about a pipeline of oil and gas? Guess what, there is no mention of that.
    We have seen what is going on in Michigan right now with Line 5. If Michigan shuts down Line 5, it will cost tens of thousands of jobs in Sarnia, Ontario, and other places, and it will probably double the price of gas, yet there is nothing in the budget to address that issue.
    There is also no mention of the fact that Alberta's oil and gas industry is the largest employer for indigenous workers. At the operations committee we did a study on government procurement for the indigenous and every single witness from the indigenous community stated that the only one doing its job was the oil and gas industry. It was not the federal government. It was failing, but the oil and gas industry was providing wealth and prosperity for the indigenous communities. In this budget, we have nothing.
    We have heard repeatedly in my riding that small businesses that opened just before or during the pandemic were left out of all the support, including the wage support and the rent support, through no fault of their own. I used to be in the hotel business, and it takes a year, two years, or even longer now with all the regulations, to build a hotel. If people had the misfortune of deciding to invest before COVID started, they were cut out from the support of the government.
    We have asked repeatedly, in the House and at committee, for the government to address that. Each time, Liberals stand, hand over heart, and say small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but they are not going to do anything. There is nothing in the budget to address that.
    A friend of mine in the riding, Rick Bronson, has a comedy club in West Edmonton Mall called The Comic Strip. He employs almost 100 people. He opened a new one in British Columbia just before COVID happened. It is no fault of his own, but he is shut out from the government program. Again, we have asked repeatedly to help small businesses, but there is nothing for them.
    In Alberta, we had two main asks in the budget, one was money for carbon capture research. The premier shot for the moon asking for billions, so I was expecting maybe a billion less. No, we ended up with a plan with carbon capture tax incentives, but only if it is not used for enhanced oil recovery. We have spoken to all the big players and the junior players in oil and gas and they have all said the same thing. There is no economic way forward for carbon capture without it being available for enhanced oil recovery.
    On the one hand, the Liberals put out a carrot, and on the next hand, they hit people with a stick. In the budget there is some money for carbon capture research, with $20 million next year to $220 million over the next five years.

  (1315)  

    Let us think about it. Oil and gas, even at reduced prices, is still our number one export. It absolutely dwarfs the automobile industry, and it dwarfs aerospace, yet we get a pittance toward tech research for it. To put it in perspective, the government has given wealthy Tesla owners $100 million in subsidies to buy Tesla cars, half as much as it has given to the entire oil and gas industry for carbon capture. It shows very clearly the current government does not care about Alberta and that it really does not care, when push comes to shove, for the environment.
    The Liberals also did not fix the unfair cap on the fiscal stabilization program that punishes Alberta because resources are included in that. They changed it to benefit Quebec and Ontario, but they continue to discriminate against Alberta by adding a ceiling if oil and gas resource revenue is put in there. Since 2014, Albertans have been net contributors of over $110 billion to the federal purse. What we get back is a slap in the face.
    Going back to carbon capture, there is $20 million next year for carbon capture research. Also in this budget is $22 million for a recognition program for atomic workers from the 1950s, during the Korean War era. It is wonderful that we are recognizing the work of people done 70 years ago, but there is as much money for a recognition program for the 1950s as there is for vital carbon capture research. It again shows the priorities of the current government are not working people and certainly not those in Alberta.
    Of the 739 pages total in this budget, pipelines are only mentioned five times. The word “supports” shows up 1,000 times, and the word “benefits” shows up 1,300 times. “Productivity”, though, only appears 39 times and “competitiveness” appears just 13 times.
    What do we get for $700 billion of added debt over the next five years? The government predicts in its own budget that the growth rate will slow every single year starting in 2022, all the way down to 1.7% growth in 2025. Let us think about that. There is $700 billion in added debt and all we get is a mediocre 1.7% growth.
     Robert Asselin, the former policy and budget director to Bill Morneau and a policy adviser to the Prime Minister, stated about this budget, “it is hard to find a coherent growth plan...spending close to $1 trillion, [and] not moving the needle on...growth would be the worst possible legacy of this budget.”
     Dave Dodge, former Bank of Canada governor, stated that it does not focus on growth and that it is not a reasonably prudent plan.
    The budget's title, though, states it is a recovery plan for growth, but we know what is growing. It is not the economy. Taxes are growing. In this budget, taxes received by the current government are projected to grow 28% from 2019-2020 to the end of 2025.
    Also scheduled for growth is the interest that we are paying to Bay Street and Wall Street bankers for this debt the Liberals are piling up. Forty billion dollars of interest is what we are going to be paying per year in five years. Let us think of what we could do with that $40 billion. We could buy off, 40 times, the amount for the WE scandal and keep the Prime Minister's friends in business for a while. More important, think of the health care that we could invest in with that $40 billion. Every single premier asked for an increase in the health care transfers. They got nothing, but we have $40 billion for wealthy bankers.
    We could be investing in the aging population and in the military. There is $51 million in this budget for NATO participation. There is the rise of China with its aggression and there is Russia, and we put in $51 million, which is barely double what we are putting into a recognition program for atomic workers from 70 years ago.
    It is clear that this budget is not meant for growth of the economy. It is not meant for the people of Edmonton West, and it is certainly not meant for Albertans. It is not meant for our future generations. This budget is a failure, and it is a disgrace. That is why I will not be supporting it.

  (1320)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and for evoking some childhood memories of mine by talking about Steve Austin from The Six Million Dollar Man. To my generation Steve Austin is the Six Million Dollar Man, but to another generation Steve Austin is the real name of the professional wrestler Stone Cold. I have to admit that it was the Six Million Dollar Man's female counterpart who occupied the evenings of my youth. Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, was quite captivating.
    To come back to the subject at hand, my question is on what my colleague said at the end of his speech. Every provincial premier and Quebec have been calling for health transfers, but they are once again absent from the government's intentions. I also want to come back to improving life for our seniors and the lack of consideration for those 65 to 74.
    These days we keep hearing the Conservatives say that they will win the next election and will do all sorts of things. Could my colleague tell me whether a future Conservative government would increase health transfers and ensure that seniors are treated fairly and that their pension is increased at age 65?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments about Jaime Sommers. I had forgotten about her, so I thank him.
    The member brought up some good points about priorities. The government seems to be prioritizing wage subsidies for hedge fund billionaires and companies that are growing exponentially. They do not need the money. At the same time, it is ignoring the provinces. I agree 100% with my colleague that the focus needs to be on health care, not paying off the connected friends of the Liberal Party.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to stay with the $6-million theme in my questioning. Am I understanding correctly that only 43 minutes of the next year in this budget has been dedicated to our carbon capture storage? If $6 million is spent in 13 minutes, that means about $20 million is spent in 43 minutes.
    Madam Speaker, I have not got my calculator in front of me, so I will trust my colleague's numbers.
    Yes, it shows a hypocrisy. The government talks so much about the environment. The number one job creator in Canada, which led us out of the 2008-09 recession and which will lead us to grow out of this difficult time, is the energy industry. Alberta and the energy industry have done an amazing job reducing carbon already, but another way for us to further help the environment is through carbon capture research. However, the government is more focused on giving millions and millions of dollars to wealthy owners of Tesla cars, rather than the industry and the environment. It is clear that the government has its priorities wrong. We hope it will change that and focus on what is better for Canadians.

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, one of the big challenges I have is comparing this BIA and the budget with the Liberals' dismal record on accountability. We have pointed out the $100-billion, so-called green slush fund. We only need to look back on the pandemic to see some of the challenges associated with WE Charity and other scandals with the contracts given to Liberal insiders.
     Does my colleague have more comments on the lack of accountability that exists within this budgetary framework?
    Madam Speaker, that is a great comment from my colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot. We talked about accountability. It has been in the papers a lot concerning the Canadian emergency wage subsidy. It is the largest support program of the COVID crisis and totals $100 billion. We have heard money has gone to wealthy hedge fund managers and to multinational corporations. We even heard we were giving taxpayers' money to a Chinese state-owned company.
    When we asked the president of the Treasury Board what oversight he provided for the $100 billion and if it went through the Treasury Board process as required, his comment was that he did not know. His job is to oversee the spending and he did not even know whether it went through the process. It did not, and the results are showing.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to budget 2021, the first budget from the government in two years.
    Canadians have been patient. While they were asked for two weeks to flatten the curve, they have given 14 months. What they have been waiting for is a plan, a plan to safely reopen our economy and get Canadians back to work, a plan to provide future generations with the hope and confidence they so desperately need right now that they do, indeed have a future. However, this budget is a massive letdown.
    Unemployed Canadians hoping to see a plan to create new jobs and economic opportunities for their families are going to feel let down. Workers who have had their wages cut and hours slashed hoping to see a plan to reopen the economy are going to feel let down. Families that cannot afford more taxes and are struggling to save money for their children's education or to buy a home are going to feel let down. Saskatchewanians looking for a plan to support important sectors in our province are going to feel let down.
    A government focused on economic recovery would support all sectors of the economy, especially sectors that have been reliable sources of economic stability for Canadians in the past. In this budget, the Liberals have decided to throw caution to the wind and ignore these sectors. For instance, the oil and gas industry in Canada has long been a sector that has fostered economic growth and prosperity for thousands of hard-working Canadians, with revenues supporting social programs and infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Yet as we look to return to normalcy, this important sector has been left behind once again. Workers in this sector have been hit hard during this pandemic through lost wages and jobs, yet there are no supports for them.
    Another sector left behind is the agricultural sector, specifically farmers, ranchers and producers. They have worked continuously to support Canada throughout this pandemic, yet these two immensely important sectors, which have consistently offered economic growth and stability, have been shunned in this budget, with workers who are so crucial to getting Canada through the pandemic being ignored by the government, all in favour of partisan spending. This is unacceptable.
    What is included in this budget is an expensive Ottawa-knows-best proposal for a national child care system. This Ottawa-centric approach should come as no surprise to Canadians familiar with the Liberals' disregard for provincial jurisdiction. In a Liberal politician's mind, a one-size-fits-all policy makes sense, but this does not work in the real world. For example, the circumstances and needs of parents in urban versus rural Canadians are very different. While parents do need support, they should ultimately be the ones to make the decision on how to care for their children, not bureaucrats in Ottawa. While Conservatives supported and put forward changes to the wage subsidy and the rent relief programs, extensions to these programs would more than likely not be necessary if the federal government had done a better job in managing the pandemic and procuring vaccines for Canadians.
    As it is now, we are in the middle of a third wave sweeping across our country, causing provincial governments to impose more restrictions and lockdowns of their respective economies. Conservatives have been supportive of measures that support Canadians and Canadian businesses. We are supportive of spending that will make real change for struggling Canadians who have been heavily affected by the pandemic, but what we are seeing in this budget is an avalanche of spending that increases the size and role of government in the Canadian economy. We are emerging from a pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals need financial support to recover from the devastation this pandemic has wrought.
    When so many are in dire need of assistance, it is unacceptable that the Liberals would set aside $100 billion for what amounts to electioneering expenditures. Unfortunately, unbridled spending on pet projects is par for the course with the government. It has always run deficits, not once trying to control the national debt or rein in spending. Prudent financial planning would have had the federal government running surpluses prior to the pandemic, saving in the good years so that there is a buffer against the bad.

  (1330)  

    Instead, the failures of the government before the pandemic, and now during it, have caused Canada's debt to shoot to over $1 trillion for the first time in our history. This debt will be paid back by future generations.
    This budget does not set up Canadians for future prosperity; instead, it has set up Canada for long-term post-pandemic failure.
    The Liberals have made numerous missteps in their spending during the pandemic, like the spectacular over-expenditure on ventilators. Even more egregious was the secretive awarding of billions of dollars of contracts to Chinese firms for PPE supplies without much, if any, regard for our domestic ability to ramp up production here in Canada.
    Finally, I want to talk about the infrastructure file, on which the government has completely fallen far short.
    The Prime Minister's Canada Infrastructure Bank has woefully underperformed. In the past four years it has spent billions of dollars and completed zero projects. A new report from the PBO revealed that it is losing money and will miss the government's set targets by over 50%. Instead of stimulating the economy, it has been a complete waste of taxpayer money.
    The spring 2021 edition of We Build, Saskatchewan's construction magazine, notes:
    Almost $900 million in federal spending has been earmarked to be spent in Saskatchewan, and yet 64 per cent of this amount...remains unallocated. Of the 36 per cent that has been “allocated”, more than half of this is still “under review” — meaning that of the $887.26 million in federal money targeted for Saskatchewan, only $152.01 million has actually been invested. This is a travesty, and it is almost entirely because of federal bureaucratic inefficiencies.
    Further, the infrastructure gap between indigenous communities and the rest of Canada will not be addressed by the money pledged in this budget. Many first nations communities have already stated that they need more assistance in closing the infrastructure gap, yet the current government continues to fail them both in this budget and through the Canada Infrastructure Bank. There are still many communities without clean water. Now it is even clearer how badly the government has failed them. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, which had a specific mandate that included improving infrastructure for indigenous communities, has fallen far short of the mark, just as the government has continuously fallen far short of the mark.
    Canadians need thoughtful, focused and effective spending by the government, even more so in times of a crisis. The spending in this budget should have focused on recovering and creating jobs for Canadians, not partisan priorities.
    In conclusion, this budget has been a massive letdown. It is a budget that has truly missed the mark. It is a budget that is adding nearly half a trillion dollars in new debt that will only be paid back by raising taxes on hard-working Canadian families, all while placing a massive burden of debt on future generations.
     In this budget we find a complete lack of thought regarding the priorities of Canadians, a failure to address their needs and an ignoring of vital sectors in need of stimulus. The government needs to rethink its priorities as we move toward reopening the economy. Canadians need a real plan for the future. They need a budget that puts Canadians first.

  (1335)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, yesterday was National Patriots Day in Quebec. I salute all Quebeckers who took the time to commemorate these proud freedom fighters.
    The rest of Canada celebrated Queen Victoria. It is interesting to note that one of Queen Victoria's first orders when she assumed the throne was the order to execute these freedom fighters, the patriotes of Lower Canada. While in Quebec we paid tribute to the people who were hanged, the rest of Canada celebrated the hangman. That is another sign of our distinct society.
    Now to my question. Two of the groups hardest hit by the crisis are seniors and young people. We have been talking a lot about mental health issues. I have a 17-year-old daughter in CEGEP. I heard about what was going on with university students, and mental health is really a crucial issue. University students are one of the groups hardest hit by the crisis, along with seniors. The two sectors we should be investing in are health and seniors, but there is nothing for them in this budget.
    If the Conservatives come to power, and considering the mental health problems we see, can we hope that health transfers will be increased and that seniors under the age of 75 will receive help?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would start off by saying the member should actually direct questions about the level of health transfers that are included in this budget to members of the governing party.
    The Liberals' failure to deliver a plan to reopen the economy and their massive deficit spending jeopardize the long-term viability of important social programs, like education and health care. Their unsustainable debt will lead to higher taxes, penalizing those who can afford it the least. Provincial governments only have to look back to the 1990s to remember what the previous Liberal government had to do to deal with its debt and deficits.
    Conservatives are committed to improving the well-being and financial security of Canada's seniors. We have also committed to addressing the mental health of Canadians should we form government.
    Madam Speaker, one in five people in Canada do not take the medication they have been prescribed, because they cannot afford it. However, the Conservatives voted to continue protecting the profits of big pharma.
    The Liberals have been promising a pharmacare program for 23 years. Can the member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek explain why this bill continues to put pharmaceutical profits ahead of the needs of Canadian families, and why her party continues to vote against a pharmacare program?
    Madam Speaker, the member is correct, this budget does not address the topic that the member has raised.
    I believe we need to be focusing on ways to help Canadians who do not have or cannot afford drug coverage, rather than upending a system that works for the vast majority of Canadians. No one should have to go without the medications they need. During the pandemic, we have seen many Canadians endure prescription drug shortages.
    Conservatives believe that it is key for the federal government to work with the provinces to help strengthen our domestic pharmaceutical drug supply.

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the speech given by my colleague from just across the border in Saskatchewan.
    One of the challenges we have seen throughout the last six years of Liberal governments is emphasized in the budget, the growing divide between urban and rural Canadians. Certainly a lot of the promises made in this budget seem to just outright ignore rural and remote Canada, whether that be rural areas like those that the hon. member and I represent or more remote areas like in Canada's north.
    I am wondering if the member would comment on some of the ways that this budget fails to address the challenges faced by rural and remote Canada.
    Madam Speaker, quite simply, I would say to my hon. colleague that over the past six years what we have seen is a government that practises policies of division, whether it is pitting the east against the west or pitting rural Canadians—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.
    Madam Speaker, after waiting two long years for the Liberals to table a budget, they have instead presented a massive new debt burden for Canadians rather than a hopeful plan for a path forward post-pandemic—in a word, failure.
    Unemployed Canadians wanted to see a plan to create new jobs. Workers who had their wages cut and their hours slashed had hoped to see a plan to reopen the economy. Families that simply cannot afford more taxes were looking for relief. Instead, this costly plan will add over $100 billion in new spending and will increase Canada's debt to a whopping $1.2 trillion. Yes, that is trillion with a “t", for the very first time in Canadian history.
    It is a staggering amount that most Canadians cannot even begin to comprehend: $1.2 trillion. It is equivalent to every single Canadian being responsible for $33,000 of federal debt. Canadians and their children, their children's children and their children's children's children and on and on will be forced to pay off this massive debt of the government.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer recently released a report saying that this budget even underestimates the size of the federal deficits by about $5.6 billion per year. To quote the PBO, it “puts Ottawa on a long-term path of higher debt”.
    What about fiscal anchors? No, there are none of those in there. There is only a vague mention on page 53, which says, “The government is committed to unwinding COVID-related deficits and reducing the federal debt as a share of the economy over the medium-term.” That sure sounds reassuring, does it not?
    Canadians are right to be concerned about this Liberal spending. They will be footing the bill of $40 billion in taxes every year to pay the interest expenses on that debt alone. This is all predicated on a very risky assumption that interest rates and inflation will continue to remain low.
    With all this spending and fiscal risk, one would expect some actual substance, but many Canadians are being simply left behind or ignored in this budget. How about a plan to unleash the prosperity-producing, economy-boosting Alberta energy? No, that one is definitely not in the budget. The government has been abundantly clear on its plan to landlock Canadian oil with Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 in the previous Parliament and the Prime Minister's comment that the oil sands need to be phased out.
    The Liberal government already stood by idly while the U.S. administration cancelled Keystone XL, and of course it itself caused the cancellation of things like northern gateway and energy east. With Enbridge's Line 5, of course we know about the jeopardy it is in, and it is responsible for supplying half of the oil needs of Ontario and Quebec. The closure of that pipeline would literally create an energy crisis here in Canada, and then of course we would see more of Alberta's oil stranded, when Alberta's economy is already suffering. Instead, that biases it toward oil from places with far less environmentally friendly records elsewhere in the world.
    All of that is due to the Liberals strangling Alberta oil in favour of that less environmentally friendly oil from other countries, which certainly do not share our commitment to environmental protection or to human rights. Again, the budget is completely silent on Alberta energy.
    Despite this deafening silence by the Liberals, Conservatives will always continue to advocate for pipelines and projects that end our dependence on foreign oil and that will unleash our energy sector. Energy- and job-killing legislation from the Liberals has only decreased Canada's ability to produce and trade environmentally sustainable energy resources and to create more jobs.
    Alberta's energy sector could be the key to economic growth and to success post-pandemic in Canada, but the Liberals have chosen instead to denigrate and ignore it. Its absence is glaringly obvious and Albertans will not forget it. Instead, this budget proposes a reimagined Canadian economy that dabbles in risky economic ideas that will leave the Canadian economy in a very precarious position.

  (1345)  

    However, so much more is also missed in the budget. For start-up businesses that are in desperate positions and do not meet the government's narrow rules of assistance programs, there is nothing either. For small businesses, there are major gaps and issues with federal programming that the Liberals continue to ignore. The CFIB said of the budget that “the government did not deliver on many of the major program gaps affecting thousands of small businesses facing restrictions, closures and huge amounts of COVID-related debt.”
    Many of those small businesses are tourism businesses, and tourism businesses are desperate to have the government table a safe plan with metrics and targets to be able to open their businesses for the key summer season. I am sorry; there is nothing for them in the budget, either.
    In my beautiful riding of Banff—Airdrie, tourism is a key economic driver that has been devastated by the pandemic. Lockdowns and border restrictions have stifled businesses. Many have been forced to lay off employees and in some cases, unfortunately, have closed down altogether.
    This is happening everywhere, right across Canada. Tourism and travel-related businesses lost approximately $19.4 billion in revenue last year from the absence of international visitors. However, the government just extended, once again, the U.S.-Canada border closure well into the key summer tourist season without any kind of plan or any metrics on how or when it might be willing to safely reopen that border. Now, tourism businesses are looking at losing another key summer, and the budget is completely silent on a safe plan for reopening and for a safe way forward.
    The government has unfortunately chosen winners and losers in this budget and unfortunately left many people out to dry. The Liberal government loves to tout the saying “We are all in this together,” but recently I heard another metaphor about the pandemic, which I thought was very apt to the chosen winners and losers in this debt-heavy Canadian Liberal budget. It is this: We are all in the same storm, but some are in yachts and others are in leaky rowboats. The Liberal government should not be waving to Canadians struggling in the pandemic storm in leaky rowboats while the Liberals are drinking champagne from the deck of their taxpayer debt-paid yacht. Spending without a proper plan is failure.
    To the government, I say this: Fix this budget and give Canadians a hopeful path forward for economic recovery post-pandemic, not a lifetime of taxes and debt. That is what we see with this budget. We see a lot of money being spent, but a lot of people still being left behind, and what we then see is people being burdened. Canadians, their children, their grandchildren and their great-great-great-grandchildren will be seeing that burden of debt to pay for all of this spending.
    That is the thing I think the Prime Minister and the Liberal government fail to understand. Money does not grow on trees. The government does not just manufacture the ability to spend money. That money comes from hard-working Canadian taxpayers who have earned that money, and it takes away from their ability to meet the needs of their families, to meet their own needs, to keep their businesses running and to keep their employees with jobs. That is not just now, but it is well into the future, to pay for the kind of debt burden that we have seen put on by the government.
    It is just staggering to imagine the amount of money being spent and how there are still so many people being left behind. I talked about our oil and gas industry in Alberta. I talked about our important tourism industry across this country, about the small business owners, about the many people who have started new businesses and are left out of many of the government programs. The Liberals have been able to spend a lot of money, but they have not been able to help so many of the people who actually need it, and those are the same people who are going to have to pay for the burden being left by the government and all of its massive spending.
    I say to the government that it has to try to do things to make sure it is not leaving people behind and that it is creating a hopeful and optimistic future, instead of burdening people with massive amounts of debt that will do the exact opposite.

  (1350)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we are talking about debt and debt-related concerns. However, beyond debt and the economy, I am also concerned about something else, namely social issues.
    I am thinking about future generations, workers, the environment and investment. What does my colleague think about investing in a better environment and in a transition to forms of energy other than oil, as well as enabling workers to succeed and be part of that transition?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would say that we have a multitude of different energy means to serve the energy needs of this country and the world. We are fortunate in Canada to have the opportunity to provide for that in a variety of ways. Frankly, we have a very strong environmental plan that does include moving forward with things like new types of energy, but it also has to include our very environmentally friendly oil and gas in this country, which takes away the ability from other countries to fill that need in a way that is far less environmentally friendly, far less human rights-conscious and far less good for our Canadian economy. Our oil and gas need to be a big part of that picture going forward, because it is good for the environment and for the future of our country economically.
    That is how I would respond to the member. We can have new forms of energy, but oil and gas are a key part of that going forward and will be for many years to come yet.
    Madam Speaker, I will follow up on the previous question that was asked of my colleague.
    Last week, we saw the news that Ford has introduced the F-150 Lightning, which is very significant, because the F-150 is hands-down the best-selling pickup truck for the last number of decades. Ford sells 900,000 F-150s every single year, so that is a game-changer of an announcement.
    When Ford is making such a huge leap into electric vehicles and when, indeed, the rest of the world and corporations around the world are making an active attempt to reduce their use of fossil fuels, how can my colleague say that an increased investment in more pipelines is a smart way to go, when the rest of the world is actively trying to head in the opposite direction?
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I think that the idea of seeing other forms of energy being used is a wonderful thing. It is great, but I have to make it very clear that oil and gas are going to be a big part of the future for many years to come. If we are going to have oil and gas be a part of that future, why does the member think that it should come from places like Saudi Arabia or other countries with far less environmentally friendly records and human rights records? I would much rather see that oil and gas come from Canada, where we can create Canadian jobs, ensure that we have the highest environmental standards of just about anywhere in the entire world, and ensure that human rights abuses are not occurring.
    The oil and gas here in Canada stand up to anything else in the world in terms of our environmental record. The member should encourage that the oil and gas being used here is from Canada rather than places with far less environmentally—

  (1355)  

    The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock.
    Madam Speaker, a question to my hon. colleague. You mentioned interest rates in your speech, and we are hearing a lot of talk—
    I would remind the member to speak to her colleague through the Speaker. When the member was asking her question, she was saying “you”. I did not mention anything about those things, but the hon. member did.
    Madam Speaker, I actually addressed you and then I said “a question to my hon. colleague”. I am sorry if you did not like my phrasing. I will try again.
    My colleague mentioned the interest rates, and we are hearing a lot of talk now about potential raises in interest rates, which makes debt servicing a real problem. I am interested in what the hon. member might have to say about how an increase in debt servicing will affect services generally for Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, even if interest rates were not to rise, by 2025, we would be looking at about a $40-billion per year cost to the taxpayer just to cover the interest on all this new debt. Imagine what would happen if those interest rates—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Kenora will have about three minutes to start his speech.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to be back physically in the chamber. It is great to be back after participating virtually for quite some time. I think all my colleagues would agree that we hope this becomes to norm once again in the not too distant future.
    With the limited time I have before question period, I would like to emphasize, as many of my colleagues have raised already today, that I cannot support the implementation of this budget for a number of reasons. Personally, the greatest reason is that there is no plan back to balance. There is simply a plan from the government to spend into oblivion. We know that will hurt future generations in a number of ways and have many negative fiscal and social consequences going into the future. I will touch on that in much more detail when I resume after the votes later today.
    I wanted to make note of something interesting in the budget. It pertains to food security across the north. If I am not mistaken, the government has allocated $163 million over three years to expand the nutrition north Canada funding. In the face of this, there are no concerns with that. Having increased funding to support northerners who are struggling with food insecurity is a positive.
    However, I will note that the Liberal government has raised funding for nutrition north Canada each year, however, the rates of food insecurity across the north have also increased year after year. The government is continuing to spend more money and is getting a worse result for northerners.
    The government likes to pat itself on the back. It likes to talk about all the money it is spending and the great job it is doing. However, on this side of the House, we measure success not based on dollars spent, but on results for northerners. It is very clear that the government's approach to addressing food insecurity in the north is not getting the job done.
    I look forward to resuming my speech after question period.

  (1400)  

    The hon. member will have seven and a half minutes left after Oral Questions.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Human Rights

    Madam Speaker, over the past weeks, the world has witnessed the violence in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Canadians have written to my office and expressed their horror at seeing the Israeli army brutalizing Palestinians as they worshipped at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the forcible removal of Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah.
    These Canadians are also concerned about the report from Human Rights Watch, calling the violation of international human rights and forcible removal by Israel as apartheid. Canadians have always fought against apartheid. They want Canada to take a leadership role during this ceasefire to ensure that the 680,000 displaced Palestinians are given back their homes and land.
    Canada values human rights and we must fight for human rights for all, not a select few.

[Translation]

Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka

    Madam Speaker, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, marked the 12th anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide and the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
    Over 70,000 innocent Tamil civilians were killed, three million were detained and a countless number went missing.

[English]

    My thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of the victims of the Tamil genocide and survivors who experienced unimaginable trauma.

[Translation]

    I appreciate the strength and perseverance of the Tamil Canadian communities in my riding of Laval—Les Îles and across Canada. I wish all Tamils a peaceful and prosperous future, a future where peace prevails, always.

[English]

    Canada was and will always be an advocate for peace and human rights and will pioneer all efforts to ensure that these atrocities will never happen again.

Community Leader

    Madam Speaker, today, I want to congratulate and thank my friend and community hero, Will Gault. Will has faced challenges and adversity in his life, but he has never gave up. He now owns a successful small business in our community, Willy Dogs, and grills up the best hot dogs in Winnipeg.
    Last week, I was pleased to stop by Willy Dogs to grab lunch and support his campaign to thank front-line hospital workers for their amazing dedication throughout the pandemic.
     Will is selling specially priced vouchers that anyone can purchase to buy lunch for front-line hospital workers as a thanks for their tireless work. Whether it be through this campaign to support health care workers or fundraising for the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre to support those on the path to recovery from addiction, Will is always looking for ways to help support our community.
    I thank Will for all that he does.

Tourism Week

    Madam Speaker, from Rose Blanche to L’Anse aux Meadows, Hampden to Cox’s Cove, Burgeo to Port aux Choix and so many places in between, my riding of the Long Range Mountains in Newfoundland and Labrador is an incredible tourism destination.
    It is Tourism Week in Canada. It is a chance to celebrate our amazing tourism operators. However, like so many other places in Canada, our tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
     However, there is hope and there are bright lights shining through. For example, right now in Norris Point in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, the Trails Tales Tunes Festival is hosting its 15th annual festival, and thanks to the incredible work by its team, it is able to do it safely and in person following provincial regulations.
    As we build back better all across the country, I hope everyone in the House will join me in pledging that when it is safe to do so, we will travel, explore and be a tourist within Canada and within our own provinces, taking in all the wonders that make us love our country so much.
    Happy Tourism Week everyone.

[Translation]

Racism

    Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, George Floyd was killed by a police officer. We will not forget the images of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of this Black man, even as he pleaded for his life.
    He kept saying, “I can't breathe.” We will not forget that, despite this plea for help, the police officer pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds without letting up.
    We will not forget that George Floyd was killed after being confronted over a matter involving $20. That is racism at its worst.
    We will not forget the unprecedented Black Lives Matter movement, which called for justice to be rendered. A year later, the police officer was convicted.
    Let us keep the memory of George Floyd alive so that it serves to help all those who are the victims of profiling, police violence and even murder because of the colour of their skin.

  (1405)  

Chilean Election

     Mr. Speaker, today I rise as a Quebecker who is proud of my Chilean roots. A historic election was held on May 15 and 16 for the 155 members of the constitutional convention. Chileans elected 79 men and 77 women, including 17 representatives of indigenous people, to make up the gender-balanced body tasked with drafting the new constitution.
    The Chilean people want an institutional mechanism that will enable them to do away with Pinochet's constitution. The new constitution will be written by professors, journalists, social workers, scientists, homemakers, nurses and youth, many of them ordinary people, some from traditional parties, but most of them independent and members of indigenous groups.
    I want to highlight the extraordinary participation of Chilean women. Many female governors, mayors and councillors also won seats during this election. They are part of a movement that began with the unforgettable Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.
    I applaud the people of Chile and the country's indigenous people for this democratic initiative, which promises greater justice and solidarity going forward.

[English]

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, seniors across northern Ontario and across the country are struggling. I have heard from many in my riding who have shared their difficulties living on a fixed income and dealing with the health and mobility challenges that come with age, while they are not getting the supports they need and deserve.
    On top of that, seniors have had to cope with the pandemic during which they have been at a heightened health risk and in this past year, many seniors have been unable to see their loved ones and have struggled to access the services on which they rely.
    That is why the Conservatives have consistently called for a clear plan to help seniors navigate this crisis. We called for increased financial supports for all low-income seniors and timely action to address the serious challenges in long-term care. Seniors built our country and they deserve better.
    I rise in this place today to thank all seniors across our riding for their contributions to the communities and to renew my commitment to fighting for them.

Asian Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, I rise virtually in the House today to share that my beautiful riding of Richmond Hill is home to vibrant members of the Asian community. As we all know, May is Asian Heritage Month.
     The York Region Liberal MPs are hosting a local appreciation event to celebrate the lives of Asian descent in our community. Diversity is our greatest strength. We all need to recognize the contributions and accomplishments made by Asian Canadians and highlight their rich and vivid culture.
    This is also a challenging time for our Asian community as misinformation and anti-Asian hate have been at an all-time high since the pandemic started. Hate, prejudice and discrimination have no place in Canada and is unacceptable. We must continue to stand together and stand up for our Asian community.
    Happy Asian Heritage Month everyone.

[Translation]

Mullivaikkal Massacre

    Mr. Speaker, last week, on May 18, I joined the Tamil community in my riding of Vimy and across Canada in commemorating Mullivaikkal remembrance day. Every year, we remember the thousands of people who were killed in the Mullivaikkal massacre during the Sri Lankan civil war, an event that is still deeply troubling to this day.

[English]

    When we look around our towns and cities, we see members of the Tamil community who lived through the darkest moments of the civil war. Many are family and friends of the survivors and the victims. Others are survivors themselves.
    As we reflect on the destruction and pain inflicted during the war, we are reminded of the strength and resilience of the Tamil community in Canada and around the world. Today and every day, let us remember the lives lost and recommit ourselves to standing against injustice in all forms.

Austin Caron

     Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the life of Austin Caron, a Calgary political activist who passed away suddenly last week in his sleep at the much too early age of 23.
     A former staffer here on the Hill, Austin was a true politico who could be found at the doors campaigning during any municipal, provincial or federal election. Remembered for his larger-than-life personality and dedication to the Conservative movement, Austin touched the lives of many people and packed a lot of campaigning in his 23 years.
     Austin will be dearly missed by many of his friends and fellow University of Calgary Tories who named a leadership award after him in memoriam.
    On behalf of the Conservative parliamentary caucus, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences, prayers and appreciation for Austin’s contributions to the Conservative movement, to his family and especially to his grieving parents Darryl and Tammy.
    May he rest in peace

  (1410)  

[Translation]

Canada Child Benefit

    Mr. Speaker, families across Canada, and especially in Alfred—Pellan, have been hit hard by the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought about unforeseen expenses, increasing the financial burden on families in Laval.
    Our government has been committed to supporting Canadian families since 2015, and this pandemic has been no exception. This is why we are implementing the Canada child benefit young child supplement. Families will receive up to $1,200 per child under the age of six, and the first payment will be issued starting this week. Parents will have more money to put food on the table, buy clothes or sign their kids up for summer activities.
    Our federal government will continue to be there for the Canadian families who—
    The hon. member for Perth—Wellington.

[English]

Tourism Week

    Mr. Speaker, it is Tourism Week in Canada and while normally we would see a flurry of activity, this year optimism is guarded.
     Few places can boast the variety of tourist attractions Perth—Wellington does. Not only do the arts enrich our communities, they also help to diversify our economy. Drayton Entertainment, Stratford Summer Music and the SpringWorks and Stratford festivals all contribute millions to our local economy while also supporting the hospitality and accommodation sectors.
    Our local museums, including the Stratford Perth Museum, St. Marys Museum, the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum, the Wellington County Museum and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, all work to preserve our rich and enduring history.
    Others have sought a more unique way to preserve history, like Broken Rail Brewing, which might be one of the few craft breweries in Canada that is also located within a national historic site.
    Too often we may not see the historic and tourist treasures that exist in our own backyards, so this summer, when safe, I hope all of us will be tourists in our own communities.

Tourism Week

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Tourism Week across Canada. Tourism is a major economic driver in my beautiful riding of Niagara Falls. Before COVID-19, about 40,000 workers from across Niagara had jobs in our local tourism sector, which generated over $2.4 billion worth of receipts a year.
    Nationally, Canada's travel and tourism industry is the country's fifth largest sector, responsible for $105 billion in GDP and employing, prior to COVID, one in 10 Canadians.
    Normally, we would be celebrating the beginning of our summer tourism season this week. Instead, the tourism sector continues to struggle because of the current federal government's mismanagement of Canada's pandemic response. Had the Liberals secured vaccines more quickly, implemented widespread rapid testing and had a data-driven plan to reopen our economy safely and responsibly, we could be there by now.
    As we acknowledge the celebration of Tourism Week, Canada's Conservatives renew our commitment to advocate for those hardest hit in our travel and tourism industry, so we can get life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, we are all heartened to see that the ceasefire in Gaza is holding, but the humanitarian crisis in the region is dire and urgent. Over 100,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes, thousands have had their homes destroyed and hundreds of families are mourning the loss of a loved one. UNICEF and other organizations are on the ground providing humanitarian relief, distributing food, fuel, medicine and supplies for clean drinking water. At this critical juncture, Canada must help ensure these teams have unfettered access to Gaza.
     Canada must also address the causes of the conflict and push for reconciliation. This means calling for an end to the illegal occupation settlements and evictions, recognizing statehood for Palestine, ending arms sales to Israel and urging Israel to allow Palestinians in East Jerusalem to participate in the Palestinian elections.
    There is only one side Canada should be taking in this conflict, the side of peace and justice.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Situation in the Middle East

    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. We reiterate our support to finding a lasting peace, which must imperatively be based on a two-state solution and which requires Israel to stop colonizing Palestinian territories once and for all.
    In the spirit of seeking a lasting peace, the Bloc Québécois supports dialogue and discussion, which necessarily involves the free expression of conflicting viewpoints by both sides, calmly and peacefully.
    We condemn the anti-Semitic remarks and violence of the last few days, in particular in Montreal on May 16. These outbursts against people of the Jewish faith must stop. They inherently undermine the Palestinian cause. The Bloc Québécois fully supports the creation of a Palestinian state, but we will never condone hate and intolerance.
    We therefore call for a return to peace so that everyone can respectfully have their voice heard. It is a prerequisite to dialogue and, ultimately, to peace.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, under the Liberal government we have seen our country's debts skyrocket and now the annual inflation rate is at 3.4%. Inflation is eroding the purchasing power of everyday Canadians and making it harder for families to get by. We supported the various specific measures to protect Canadians in the pandemic because it was the right thing to do. Now this latest budget contains billions of dollars that go far beyond COVID support programs and it is all paid for with borrowed money. We need a recovery plan, but with the Liberals we are witnessing a risky, out-of-control debt plan without any real stimulus.
     Our Conservative team is offering another path, one of security and certainty that will safely secure our future and deliver us to a Canada where those who have struggled the most through this pandemic can get back to work. We want a Canada where manufacturing at home is bolstered, where wages go up and where the dreams of so many Canadian families can be realized. Canada's Conservatives got Canada through the last recession and with Canada's recovery plan, Conservatives will get Canadians through this one too.

Olympic Boxer

    Mr. Speaker, Mandy Bujold is one of the best boxers in the world: 11 Canadian national championships, three continental championships, a gold medal at the first Pan American Games and a bronze medal at the first Commonwealth Games that included women’s boxing.
    Mandy is a Canadian flyweight champion. She is also a mother and because she made the choice to have a child, she is being excluded from the Tokyo Olympics. No woman should have to choose between her career and motherhood. Mandy would be the first female boxer to represent Canada at consecutive Olympic games, but due to the pandemic and her motherhood, Mandy is being denied this opportunity. Champs like Lennox Lewis and Billie Jean King have spoken out in support. The minister of heritage has written a letter of support.
    I add my voice to those who say that Mandy deserves the opportunity to fight and represent her country in the Olympics.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, everything is getting more expensive under the current Liberal government, and now we have the proof. Last month, inflation powered through the government's target to a 10-year high. Lumber is more expensive, houses are more expensive, food is more expensive, life is more expensive. How much more is the government's economic failure going to cost Canadian families?
    Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of this pandemic, we made a simple promise to Canadians that we would have their backs, however long it took, whatever it took. That is exactly what we did, by supporting Canadians right away who lost their jobs because of this pandemic with the Canada emergency response benefit and by supporting small businesses across the country with things like the wage subsidy and the Canada emergency business account. We have been there to support Canadians through this difficult time and we have seen our economy bounce back quicker than other economies around the world because we have been there to support them. We will continue to be.
    Mr. Speaker, the current government is the first one in Canadian history to make it impossible for Canadians to aspire to home ownership. Inflation is making construction more expensive. Only the wealthiest first-time buyers will now qualify for a mortgage and the government has been studying capital gains taxes on principal residences for years. Why is the government making it harder for Canadian families to get ahead?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is, in fact, not true. One of the very first things we did when we took office was raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could lower them for the middle class, and the Conservatives voted against it. Then we brought in the Canada child benefit, and it puts more money in Canadians' pocket every single month to help with the cost of raising their kids. By not sending cheques to millionaire families, like the Conservatives did, we have continued to invest in affordable housing and to work toward a Canada-wide early learning and child care system to lower the price of child care to $10 a day in the coming years. We have continued to make life more affordable.

Forestry Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the economic news for Canadians went from bad to worse last week. The United States announced it wants to double tariffs on softwood lumber. That will impact mills in British Columbia, northern Ontario and the Saguenay. Canadian resource workers are once again being threatened by the United States. When are Canadians going to finally see this Prime Minister stand up for working Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the Leader of the Opposition was these past five years, but Canadians across the country watched this government consistently stand up for Canadian steelworkers, Canadian aluminum workers, Canadian dairy farmers and Canadian forestry workers. We have continued to stand up for Canadians faced with a difficult American administration, under the last administration and under this administration. We will continue to stand up for Canadian jobs and for Canadian interests and make sure we are protecting Canadian jobs every step of the way.

[Translation]

The Economy

     Mr. Speaker, everything is getting more expensive under the current Liberal government. Inflation powered through the government's target to a 10-year high. We now have proof: Lumber, houses and even food are increasingly expensive. Life is more expensive. That is a fact.
    How much is the government's poor management going to cost Canadians?
     Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of this pandemic, we promised Canadians that we would have their backs, however long the pandemic lasted. That is exactly what we did with the Canada emergency response benefit, support for businesses, the Canada emergency business account, and support for seniors and youth.
    We have been there to support Canadians, as we have been doing for six years. The reality is that the Conservatives continue to vote against our measures to help Canadians, whether it is the tax cut for the middle class and the tax increase for the wealthy that we implemented when we first came to power, or the work we continue to do to present an ambitious budget for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the news about the Canadian economy is getting worse every day. The United States announced last week that it wants to double tariffs on softwood lumber. That will have real consequences for mills in British Columbia, northern Ontario and the Saguenay region. Workers and their resources are being threatened by the United States.
    When will this Prime Minister get serious about the economy in order to help all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. For five years now, the Leader of the Opposition has watched as we delivered on our commitments to protect jobs in the regions, especially against Donald Trump's protectionist administration.
    We will continue to stand up for jobs, supply management and our workers in the softwood lumber, steel and aluminum industries across the country. We have always been there to defend Canadians against U.S. protectionist policies, and we will continue to do so.

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has exercised its prerogative to amend the Canadian Constitution to say that Quebec is a nation, that this nation's only official language is French and that French is this nation's common language.
    The Prime Minister has acknowledged this choice that will be put to the Quebec National Assembly. However, a formal response is warranted in this situation. Will the Prime Minister confirm in the House that he recognizes the will of the Quebec nation?
    Mr. Speaker, I have been saying for a long time that we are working with the Government of Quebec to protect the French language in Quebec and across Canada, while protecting the anglophone minority in Quebec and francophones outside Quebec.
    We will continue to work with all of the partners and governments that share this goal. I look forward to being able to continue working on this matter with the Government of Quebec.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the answer is yes.
    However, it seems that the will of the Quebec government, and the Prime Minister's decision to acknowledge it, may have been ill-received or perhaps just misunderstood by the provinces. To avoid unfortunate misunderstandings among the public or the media, did the Prime Minister make the effort to explain his acceptance of Quebec's will to provincial premiers?
    Mr. Speaker, from the start of this pandemic, I have been meeting with the premiers of all provinces two or three times a week. Our next meeting is two days from now.
    Naturally, I look forward to speaking to them about the pandemic, the upcoming summer and measures we are working on together to ensure that Canadians are safe. I look forward to continuing to discuss files that are important in all parts of the country, including the protection of French and the protection of linguistic minorities across the country.

Financial Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the pandemic has been hard on people, but not on banks. Banks have made billions of dollars in profits. Despite that they have increased their service fees. Worse yet, the Liberal government has the power to stop them, but it continues to allow them to increase their service fees. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to stop the banks from gouging people?
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP likes to talk about the wealthy, but I would like to remind this House that in 2015, we raised taxes on the 1% of wealthiest Canadians and lowered taxes for the middle class. The NDP voted against that measure.
    In budget 2021, we made sure that digital service providers will pay their fair share of taxes, we instituted a tax on yachts and luxury vehicles, we are tackling aggressive tax planning schemes and we are building the government's capacity to crack down on tax fraud and tax evasion.
    We will always stand up for the middle class and make sure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister ignored my question about banks increasing their banking fees, just like the Prime Minister ignored the Deschamps report.
    However, his national defence deputy minister has clearly stated what we have known for a long time: “I think that as little was done as possible to make it look like the report had been responded to without any real change. No structural change, no legislative change, no outside the department, outside the Canadian Armed Forces reporting.”
    Why does the Prime Minister refuse to put in place the Deschamps report and why does it continue to fail women in the Canadian Armed Forces?
    Mr. Speaker, we agree that our institutions are not living up to the needs of those who have experienced misconduct, and that includes the military justice system.
    We have taken concrete actions to address this. We have named Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan as the Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture. We have named Morris Fish to conduct the third independent review of the entire military justice system. We also recently appointed Louise Arbour to conduct an independent review of the treatment of sexual misconduct.
    These are just the first steps. We know that every woman or man who serves in the Canadian Armed Forces deserves to be properly supported, and we will ensure that.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, after some flip-flopping, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Official Languages, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and even the Minister of Canadian Heritage have all mentioned at one time or another that they support net neutrality.
    By definition, net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.
    Can the heritage minister explain how regulating social media fits in with that concept?
    Mr. Speaker, I believe there is some confusion about the nature of the definition of net neutrality, since it has to do with the infrastructure, that is, how people can access the Internet. Bill C-10 will not affect the issue of telecommunications and infrastructure in any way.
    All Bill C-10 seeks to do is ensure that the web giants pay their fair share and that our Canadian artists become more and more accessible on these platforms.

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would invite the Minister of Canadian Heritage to check the dictionary, because that is where I got that definition. The minister would have us believe that he is in favour of net neutrality or he is trying to make sure that people do not understand what is happening with Bill C-10.
    However, an internal memo that his deputy minister gave him clearly indicates that the new Broadcasting Act could apply to training apps, gaming apps and even audio books. The reality is that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is preparing to give the CRTC even more power to regulate Internet applications.
    Why?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to once again confirm that what we are going to do with Bill C-10 is ensure that web giants pay their fair share. Bill C-10 will not apply to health apps, for example, or to videos produced by individuals. We have been very clear on that.
    My colleague was there when a Department of Justice statement presented to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage indicated that there is no issue with Bill C-10—
    The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.
    Mr. Speaker, briefs from senior officials, experts, academics, artists and Canadians express opposition to what the Minister of Canadian Heritage is saying and are fighting against his attack on freedom of expression.
    Canadians want the truth about the government's true intentions. It is trying to give more power to the CRTC to regulate what happens on the Internet.
    What is the minister waiting for to do what is right and announce that social media, Internet applications and audio books will be excluded from Bill C-10, clearly and unequivocally?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that a petition initiated by Quebec's Union des artistes has been signed by people like Yvon Deschamps, Ariane Moffatt and Claude Legault, who all support Bill C-10, as well as by artists from English Canada. I am thinking in particular of Loreena McKennitt, of the CRTC's former executive director, Janet Yale, and of University of Montreal law professor Pierre Trudel.
    As far as individual activities are concerned, whether it be podcasts, workout videos or personal videos, the bill will not contain any requirements concerning this type of content.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, net neutrality is the principle that Internet users should have equal access to all sites, all content and all applications without being blocked or having preference given to certain sites over others. In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would defend net neutrality. The previous heritage minister made net neutrality a foundational part of Canadian cultural policy.
    Why is the current heritage minister going against this principle by legislating that some content gets to be showcased and other content has to be downgraded in order to show favouritism to some artists over others?
    Before going to the answer, I just want to remind the hon. members that when asking a question or speaking in the chamber, in referring to another member, we refer to them by their riding or their title, not by their proper name. With questions, when we have a chance to write them ahead, we get a chance to think about it. I just want to remind everyone of that rule that exists in the chamber.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe there is some misconception about the concept of net neutrality because it refers to hardware: to Canadians being able to access the Internet and having these conditions be the same for all Internet users.
    Bill C-10 is not about telecommunications or hardware. It is about ensuring that web giants pay their fair share and that Canadians have easy access to the content developed by Canadian creators.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister reads his speaking notes very well, but what he is saying is actually really misleading to the Canadian public and actually quite insulting to their intelligence.
    Net neutrality ensures that all Internet users are treated fairly. The Liberals once believed this principle. Now, as stated, they will say Bill C-10 has to do with web giants, but that is actually not the case.
    We are talking about a bill that targets everyday Canadians in their everyday Internet use. We are talking about regulating the Internet: everything from YouTube to Facebook to TikTok, etc. It is unfair, it is undemocratic and it is incredibly regressive.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, this is a profound misconception by the hon. member opposite. We are not regulating the Internet. We are regulating some activities on the Internet. There is a huge difference.
    Bill C-10 does not affect how Internet service providers manage Internet traffic and does not modify the relevant provision in the Telecommunications Act, therefore maintaining net neutrality.
    Mr. Speaker, basically what the minister is saying is, “Don't worry, folks, discrimination is okay, as long as it's approved by the government. I'll do it right.”
    No. The government cannot and should not be trusted to regulate what we access online. I am talking about successful YouTubers like Simply Nailogical, or Justin Bieber, who came up through YouTube, or Lilly Singh, a famous YouTuber right now. I am talking about individuals who are innovative, creative and inspiring. They use these platforms to gain an audience and influence culture.
    Why are the Liberals so intent on picking winners and losers instead of letting Canadian artists continue—
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, again, this is a profound misconception about what we are trying to do. In fact, the Department of Justice has stated that there is no problem with free speech in Bill C-10, and the member opposite was at the committee. She got to ask the Minister of Justice questions regarding this.
    Frankly, what I cannot understand is why the Conservative Party of Canada continues to oppose the fact that we are asking some of the wealthiest companies in the world to pay their fair share when it comes to Canadian artists and Canadian musicians. I just do not understand.

[Translation]

Official Languages

     Mr. Speaker, the purpose of Bill 96, an act to protect French, the official and common language of Quebec, is to ensure compliance with Bill 101.
     Clause 65 clearly states that any enterprise or employer carrying on its activities in Quebec is subject to the act, and that includes federally regulated enterprises.
    We know that the Minister of Official Languages is working on her own language reform. Will she clearly state that she has no intention of interfering in any way whatsoever with Quebec's intention to apply the Charter of the French Language to federally regulated enterprises?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for her question, which gives me an opportunity to remind the House about the government's position on official languages and specifically the protection of the French fact in Quebec and Canada.
    I want to remind my colleague that we will of course protect the right to work in French and the right to be served in French, as well as francophones' right not to experience discrimination in federally regulated enterprises in Quebec and in regions with a strong francophone presence across the country.
    I would be happy to work with her to achieve that vision.
    Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that we need to better protect French as the language of work in Quebec.
    That is precisely what I want to ask the minister about. In all of the discussions on Bill 96, no one in Quebec has indicated that the federal government should be exempt from applying Bill 101. Everyone wants the federal government to abide by that bill, which it has spent over 40 years circumventing.
    Will the minister clearly commit to ensuring that her reform of the Official Languages Act will not in any way undermine the application of Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, I have the pleasure of confirming to my colleague our common objective of ensuring that francophones are able to work in French in federally regulated businesses, not only in Quebec but also in regions with a strong francophone presence. I am sure my colleague will agree with me that we need to protect French both in Quebec and across Canada. That is important.
    I would also like to confirm that Quebeckers and francophones across the country will be able to receive services in French in federally regulated businesses, and I hope to be able to introduce a bill on that issue in 2021.

  (1440)  

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, two Canadian government scientists, Dr. Qiu and Dr. Cheng, were fired this January from the government's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. We know that CSIS urged the revocation of their security clearances because of their work related to China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    When will the government come clean and tell Canadians and the House what actually happened?
    Mr. Speaker, as I informed the member of Parliament and the House last week, those two researchers are no longer employees of the Public Health Agency of Canada. I cannot comment further.
    Mr. Speaker, The Globe and Mail reports that seven government scientists at the Winnipeg lab collaborated with Chinese military scientists and conducted experiments with deadly viruses. One of those Chinese military scientists was actually given access to the government's lab in Winnipeg.
    How on earth did a Chinese military scientist get access to the government's lab in Winnipeg, a level 4 facility equipped to handle the world's most deadly viruses, and why are Canadian government scientists collaborating with China's military scientists on deadly viruses?
    Mr. Speaker, this question gives me an opportunity to thank the incredible hard-working researchers and scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory who have been there for Canadians from the beginning of the emergence of COVID-19 and before. These scientists, researchers and doctors were some of the first in the world to be able to create a gold-standard PCR test that led to the ability for provinces and territories to test for COVID-19.
     We are happy and proud we have a lab of this stature in Canada able to serve Canadians across the country from coast to coast.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, two Chinese researchers, Dr. Qiu and Dr. Cheng, will not be returning to work at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. This long-awaited decision comes two years after the pair were escorted from Canada's highest-security lab for policy violations.
    The two doctors coordinated shipments of Ebola and other deadly virus samples from the Public Health Agency of Canada to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Can the Prime Minister explain to Canadians why samples of deadly viruses were sent to the Chinese regime?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, these two scientists and researchers are no longer employed with the Public Health Agency of Canada. I cannot comment further.
    I will quote Dr. Poliquin, who is the head of the National Microbiology Laboratory. He said that there was no connection to the situation with COVID-19. I would encourage the members opposite to stay focused on making sure that we can get through COVID together and that, indeed, provinces and territories have what they need to support Canadians during this time.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the minister that I did not suggest a connection to COVID-19. What is clear is that there are reports of these scientists collaborating with the Chinese People's Liberation Army to experiment on deadly pathogens. That is a really bad idea.
    Moreover, the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada and this government are refusing to answer questions. None of our allies collaborate with the Chinese regime, but Canada is all in. Can the Prime Minister tell us why samples of deadly viruses were sent to China and how these two scientists managed to get secret security clearances?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, scientists and researchers routinely collaborate around the world. In fact, that is what they have done through COVID-19 to develop tests, to develop vaccines and to develop therapeutics. I think the member opposite is confused if he says that no other ally collaborates with other countries across the world. In fact, this is a standard of scientific research.
     As the member opposite knows, these particular researchers are no longer with the Public Health Agency of Canada. I cannot comment further.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, the Liberals have been sitting on the Deschamps report, failing to implement any of its recommendations. Instead, they announced yet another report on the sexualized culture in the armed forces. Even the deputy minister of National Defence admitted that the government failed women in the armed forces, saying as little was done as possible to make it look like the report had been responded to without any real change.
    Why should women in the armed forces have any faith in the government when a high-ranking member of the Department of National Defence agrees that the Liberals only make symbolic gestures rather than real change?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, we know that the measures we have implemented have not gone far enough and that we have much more work to do. More needs to be done to fully enact the structural, legislative and cultural changes outlined in Justice Deschamps' recommendations. This is one of the reasons why the sexual misconduct response centre reports to the deputy minister and not to the military.
     More work needs to be done and this is why we have appointed Justice Arbour, who will build on the work of Justice Deschamps to examine defence culture and provide recommendations on how to effect that culture change.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the leading experts in the International Energy Agency released a report calling for an end to the development of new oil and gas projects if the world was to meet the target of net-zero emissions by 2050. However, the federal government subsidized the oil and gas sector to the tune of $18 billion in 2020 compared to a 10-year budget of $15 billion to fight climate change.
    How can the Liberals tell Canadians that they are serious about climate change when they will not stop propping up the fossil fuel sector?
    Mr. Speaker, we certainly know that around the world countries, industry and businesses are moving toward a cleaner, innovative, low-carbon future. As this report identifies, to reach a net-zero future, we need cleaner solutions and targeted policies, and that is precisely what we have been doing. We have made historic investments in nature and clean technology, put a price on pollution, tabled climate accountability measures and just brought forward a new emissions reduction target, all measures that will help us to deliver on a cleaner future for our kids and grandkids while building a clean economy.

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, over the past year, Canadians have stayed at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, but for some people, home is not a safe place.
    Many victims of family violence have become even more vulnerable during the pandemic. All Canadians deserve to feel safe at home.
    Could the Minister of Health tell us how the government is working to support victims of family violence?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle for her very important question.
    The federal government is investing $50 million in Public Health Agency of Canada programs to promote healthy relationships and prevent family violence.
    Our government will continue to do everything in its power to prevent intimate partner violence, child maltreatment and elder abuse, and to support survivors.

[English]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has ended cross-border co-operation to vaccinate more Canadians, like the Montana Blackfeet first nation that has provided vaccines to my constituents. The reason given to media is that vaccines are widely available in Canada.
     If vaccines were so widely available here, then there would not be wait lists, there would not be delays and there would not be a four-month gap between shots. The Liberal vaccine failures are the reason Americans are helping deliver vaccines to Canadians.
     If the government were actually working to end the lockdowns by any means necessary, why obstruct these cross-border vaccine clinics?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes, let us just say, broad use of the word “failure”. I do not think that 25 million doses distributed to provinces and territories is a failure. Nor is 61% of adults receiving one dose a failure. Nor is being in the top three of the G20 for doses administered a failure. On the contrary, our vaccine rollout is continuing apace, and we will not rest until all Canadians have access to vaccines.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, “Patients suffering, dying while waiting for care as Manitoba hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19” means failure. In Detroit, many unused doses of Pfizer vaccines may go in the garbage. Inexplicably, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has been blocked by the Liberals in virtually every innovative attempt he has made to deliver these essential medical tools to Canadians. This is just crazy.
    Will the Minister of Health commit to phoning Mayor Dilkens by the end of the day today to deliver a firm solution to get Detroit doses into the arms of Canadians by the end of the week?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, let me just reiterate what my colleague has pointed out. In fact, 61% of Canadians have received their first dose of a vaccine in the country. In fact, in terms of Manitoba, it received 111,310 vaccine doses last week. In Ontario, by the way, 2.193 million doses were received last week.
    We have seen immunizers step up in innovative ways in every community across the country to get those doses in arms. I want to congratulate the many creative ways that communities are vaccinating their members.
    As the member opposite notes, the United States has said that crossing the border to receive a vaccine is not an appropriate reason—
    The hon. member for Lakeland.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the Ontario Superior Court ruled the January 2020 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' attack on flight 752 was an intentional act of terrorism. All 176 on board were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.
     In 2019, the U.S. White House declared that the “IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”
    When will the Liberals stand up for Canadians and list the IRGC as a terrorist organization?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been standing up for Canadians and particularly the families of those who were tragically lost in PS752 on January 8, 2020. We are reviewing the Ontario court decision at the moment.
     However, we have said right from the beginning in all the communications with Iran that it has failed to be transparent, open and accountable for the actions that it committed against flight PS752. We will not cease to pursue it on that matter until it has provided all the necessary answers with respect to that tragedy.
    Mr. Speaker, in 2018, the House voted to condemn Iran for its ongoing sponsorship of terrorism and called on the government to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity. It has been three long years and the government still refuses to respect the will of the House even after this latest ruling confirming that the downing of flight 752 was an intentional act of terrorism.
     When will the Minister of Public Safety finally declare the IRGC, which is responsible for the deaths of 85 Canadians, as a terrorist entity?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working with all like-minded countries to ensure that Iran is held to account for its support of terrorism. As part of this, we continue to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force as a terrorist entity.
     In 2019, we added three additional Iran-backed groups to the Criminal Code list as terrorist entities. We continue to impose sanctions on Iran and the IRGC targeting all four of its branches as well as members of its senior leadership.

[Translation]

Elections Canada

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers and Canadians do not want an election during the pandemic, not when there are still over 50,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
    Members will vote this afternoon on a Bloc Québécois motion calling on the House to declare it irresponsible to hold an election during a pandemic and on the government to make every possible effort to avoid it.
    If the House votes in favour of the motion, will the Prime Minister respect this request, which is in line with the will of the people, and commit to not calling an election during the pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois's lack of consistency should never come as a surprise.
    Last summer, the leader of the Bloc Québécois desperately wanted an election to be called. The Bloc Québécois stands up in the House and continually votes against the government on confidence votes, which means it wants an immediate election.
    Our priority has always been, and will always be, to ensure the well-being of Canadians and to find ways to protect them throughout this pandemic. We will continue to focus on that.
    Mr. Speaker, can we put this posturing aside and get serious?
    I am asking the Prime Minister to commit to not calling an election during the pandemic because he often ignores the votes in the House. We voted to increase employment insurance benefits to 50 weeks for people who are seriously ill, but the Prime Minister ignored that vote and went with just 26 weeks. We voted to increase health transfers, but the Prime Minister ignored that vote and budgeted no increase over five years.
    If the House asks him not to call an election until the pandemic is over, will he commit to respect that vote or will he ignore it yet again?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague in the Bloc Québécois should talk to his leader. In the fall, the Bloc Québécois tried to trigger an election by voting against the throne speech. It really wanted an election.
    The Bloc Québécois leader even said, and I quote:
    If this Parliament has any courage, the days of the current government are numbered. If some of us had courage, the hours of this government would be numbered.
    He even went as far as to say that anyone who did not want an election was afraid. Who is telling the truth here, today's Bloc Québécois or yesterday's Bloc Québécois?

Families, Children and Social Development

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister repeatedly promised not to leave anyone behind. I repeat: not leave anyone behind.
    As we speak, young mothers who gave birth between the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic are still not eligible for the Canada recovery caregiving benefit because of the rules this government brought in, requiring claimants to already have their child registered for child care. The Liberals are leaving them behind. What will they do to fix this for once and for all?
    Mr. Speaker, the government is determined to support parents dealing with the unique challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we brought in the CERB, which has supported more than eight million Canadians, and introduced three recovery benefits to help workers. With budget 2021, we are also investing nearly $30 billion to create a Canada-wide child care system that will allow more women to participate in the workforce.

[English]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, The Hamilton Spectator reported that Hamilton is less affordable than New York City. I will let that sink in. It is easier to buy a home in the Big Apple than it is in Hamilton.
     What is happening to our country? The Liberals' first-time home buyers' plan is a proven failure. A generation of Canadians are being left behind, and they are losing hope. What is the government's plan to secure our housing future?
    Mr. Speaker, our government absolutely believes that affordable housing is a priority for Canadians. It is a priority for our government. That is why we are acting.
    I will list some of the things we have been doing. Over $70 billion has been invested in the national housing strategy, which will support the construction of up to 125,000 affordable homes. There is also the rapid housing initiative, which is addressing urgent housing needs for vulnerable Canadians. It is a $1-billion program and is set to be expanded by an additional $1.5 billion in the recent federal budget. On January 1—
    The hon. member for Provencher.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, with Bill C-10, the Liberals are opening up the door to massive abuses of Canadians' freedom of expression. The heritage minister has denied this, yet an internal memo from his own department indicates that things such as podcasts and news sites could be regulated as well. Canadians recognize a threat to freedom of expression when they see one.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to Canadians that he will not regulate their social media, or will he just repeat his same old tired talking points?
    Mr. Speaker, I profoundly disagree with the basis of the hon. member's question, as does the Department of Justice Canada. Its analysts confirmed that Bill C-10 remains consistent with the charter's guarantee of freedom of speech.
    Bill C-10 is about levelling the playing field between creators and web giants. It will require big, powerful foreign streamers to provide information on their revenues in Canada and make financial contributions to Canadian stories and music. I wonder why the Conservative Party continues to oppose this.

[Translation]

Indigenous Affairs

     Mr. Speaker, honouring Canada's legal obligations to first nations and working collaboratively to renew relationships are key to righting historical wrongs and advancing reconciliation with first nations in Canada.
    Our government and the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation recently concluded a negotiated settlement that resolves the first nation's specific claim. I believe that this land claim settlement with the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation is the largest land claim settlement in the Maritimes. Can the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations inform the House of the progress that has been made in resolving that claim?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and his good work. This $145-million settlement was achieved through the unwavering dedication, determination and hard work of Chief Bernard and the first nation. As Chief Bernard said:
    Every member of our band will be helped by this settlement, leading to great economic opportunity — not only on an individual scale for each of our members, but also for the First Nation's community as a whole and the Madawaska region.

[English]

Tourism Industry

    Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that the government has implemented a cruise ship ban until February 2022, but the U.S. has gotten smart and has passed legislation that allows ships to go from the U.S. to Alaska without stopping in Canada. This will absolutely devastate the cruise ship industry.
    Will the Minister of Transport work with the United States and implement technical calls?
    Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the recent developments in the United States regarding cruise ships. We have had discussions with our American partners, and I have had discussions with my counterpart in British Columbia. We will continue to engage all stakeholders on this issue.
    I would like to ask my hon. colleague if Conservatives want tough border restrictions or not. We are sensitive to the needs of our communities, but we will continue to follow public health advice and be guided by our experts.
    Mr. Speaker, $1 million is how much money gets pumped into the Victoria or Vancouver economies every time a cruise ship stops by on its way up to Alaska, but the government's outright ban is going to kill all of that. Our American neighbours got tired of waiting for our reopening plan, so they made their own plan, which is to just avoid Canadian ports altogether. The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act has passed both houses of Congress, and the president has signed it into law.
    Will the minister acknowledge that he totally missed the boat on this one?
    Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of the pandemic, we have told Canadians that we will do whatever it takes to protect their health and safety. We have stood by Canadians and businesses. The tourism industry has been hit really hard, and that is why we have rolled out many programs to support it.
    I want to assure my hon. colleague that we are working with our U.S. counterparts. We are working with the industry to make sure that when we restart our travel and cruise ship industry, we will do it in a safe manner that follows public health advice.
    Mr. Speaker, last month I raised the issue of Alaskan cruise ships bypassing British Columbia. The minister was stunningly apathetic about the crisis. He dismissed safe technical stops, during which passengers stay on board. These would have kept our industry afloat.
    Recently, I met with U.S. senators. They were disturbed by the Liberal government’s unwillingness to show any bilateral accommodation. Well, the bill has passed, and it has been signed by President Biden. Those ships will no longer be stopping in B.C., sinking a $2.6-billion industry and thousands of jobs.
    Will the minister apologize for being asleep at the helm?
    Mr. Speaker, let me assure all Canadians that we are focused on protecting the health and safety of Canadians. I want to ask my colleague to join us in doing so. I have spoken with U.S. Senator Sullivan. I have also spoken with my counterpart in British Columbia, and I have spoken with public health experts. We are in constant discussions with our friends in the U.S. We are aware of the challenges that communities are facing. That is why we will continue offering support to those communities.
    We will restart our travel industry when it is safe. We will continue to follow the public health advice of the experts.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, we know that Canada's long-standing trade relationship with the United States and Mexico under NAFTA, and now the new modernized NAFTA, has been a model to the world. In 2019, Canada exported more than $440 billion of merchandise to the United States and more than $7 billion to Mexico.
    Given the CUSMA free trade commission meeting last week, could the minister kindly update Canadians on how the new NAFTA is creating good-paying jobs and strengthening the middle class in Canada?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, last week I met with my U.S. and Mexican counterparts to discuss the effective implementation of the new NAFTA and our shared priorities for economic recovery, which include the environment, labour and inclusive trade. The new NAFTA is a good deal for Canadian businesses and workers, with total trilateral merchandise trade reaching nearly $1.3 billion in 2020.
    As we recover from this pandemic, it is more important than ever to work together to increase North American competitiveness and emerge stronger, creating good middle-class jobs.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, last Monday was International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Many Canadians were hoping for action from the current government to mark the day. Making progress toward inclusion means the government should have already brought an end to the gay blood ban and gotten the bill to ban conversion therapy over the finish line.
    After repeated promises to act, can the Minister of Justice explain why, instead of simply getting the job done on ending the blood ban, the government is fighting my community at the Federal Court this week, trying to stop an investigation by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal into the stigma and discrimination caused by its ongoing blood ban?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we agree that the blood ban is discriminatory, and that is why we have taken such strong steps to eliminate it. In fact, we brought it down from five years to six months and then to three months.
    We know that the job is not done. That is why we fund Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec to conduct the rest of their research. I have met with both organizations, and I can reassure the member that I have urged them to submit their applications to Health Canada for a review, so we can get the job done.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, I am hearing from constituents who lost their jobs, very briefly collected EI, then found ways to earn income through self-employment. Now, they have once against lost their income due to COVID-19. They are being told that they cannot restart EI because they were self-employed and they cannot access CRB due to an open EI claim.
    For trying to be self-sufficient, they are being abandoned with zero income, zero support and bills piling up. Can the minister explain what the government is doing to address this issue?
    Mr. Speaker, when workers find themselves without a job, the EI program and the Canada recovery benefit are there to support them. As we continue to fight COVID-19, EI and recovery benefits are important tools to help keep Canadians safe and financially stable.
    In order to receive EI benefits, applicants need to demonstrate they are ready, willing and capable of working each day. We know that Canadians want to work and that the vast majority take jobs when they are available. Many Canadians continue to face challenges during this time, and we will continue to be there to support them.

[Translation]

Lac-Mégantic Bypass

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
     That, whereas,
(i) the town of Lac-Mégantic has requested by resolution of its council the commitment of all political parties to have the Lac-Mégantic bypass built as soon as possible,
(ii) the town of Lac-Mégantic suffered the worst rail tragedy in Canada on July 6, 2013, when 47 people lost their lives,
(iii) the Prime Minister and member of Parliament for Papineau, accompanied by the Premier of Quebec, announced on May 11, 2018, the construction of the rail bypass,
(iv) Transport Canada is the prime contractor for this project,
(v) the work has not yet begun and many concerns have been raised regarding the timeline to deliver the bypass by year 2023,
(vi) the Minister of Transport has reiterated his commitment to deliver the bypass road to the citizens of the Granit regional county municipality by the year 2023,
(vii) the Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific Railway believes that this timeline is unrealistic without significant legislative changes to expedite the regulatory process;
the House:
(a) call on the government to put in place all the necessary elements, to respect the timeline announced by the Prime Minister on May 11, 2018, and to provide the House with a detailed plan of the construction phases of the Lac-Mégantic bypass by May 28, 2021; and
(b) remind the government of the willingness of all parliamentarians of each political party and independents to collaborate in order to facilitate the rapid adoption of the legislative changes necessary to make the project a reality by 2023.

  (1510)  

    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
    Hearing no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

     (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for the House's consent to table a document. This document contains data that has been compiled by Our World in Data, which has been the leading organization in compiling data from throughout the world with regard to COVID-19, which shows that Canada is now only second to the United Kingdom as it relates to first doses that have been administered throughout the G20.
    I would ask for unanimous consent to table this document so that all members could have an opportunity to review the data.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay. I hear none.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
     Hearing no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried. The hon. member can table his report.

     (Motion agreed to)

Points of Order

Statements by Members  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, during my S. O. 31 today, when I was honouring a member of my community, somebody, and I am sure it was inadvertent, coughed, interrupted the feed and appeared on the screen.
    I would like to request the opportunity to redo it.
    We will have to ask for unanimous consent.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay. I hear none.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
     Hearing no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.
    Mr. Speaker, today I want to celebrate and thank my friend and community hero, Will Gault.
     Will has faced challenges and adversity in his life, but he never gave up. He now owns a successful small business in our community, Willy Dogs, and grills up the best hot dogs in Winnipeg.
     Last week, I was pleased to stop by Willy Dogs to grab lunch and support his campaign to thank frontline hospital workers for their amazing dedication throughout the pandemic. Will is selling specially priced vouchers that anyone can purchase to buy lunch for frontline hospital workers as thanks for their tireless work. Whether it be through this campaign to support health care workers or fundraising for the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre to support those on the path to recovery from addiction, Will is always looking for ways to support our community.
    We thank Will for all that he does.
    Before going to the next point of order, I just want to remind all members, especially those joining us remotely, that when someone is giving their S. O. 31, it is normally something that is very precious to them and very precious to their riding, and it is very important for us to hear that. Please make sure that your microphones are off so that it does not interfere with the message coming across. It will be so much more pleasant for everyone.
    We have another point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like unanimous consent to table the CBC article entitled “Patients suffering, dying while waiting for care as Manitoba hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19, doctors say”. I referenced this in question period today and I believe it speaks to the fact that Canada is nowhere near having vaccinated enough people.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Mr. Speaker, I think you have noticed that we welcome each and every member who would like to table a document. This is quite important. I have done that many times and unfortunately the government refuses to do so when I try.

[Translation]

    What is important is that the documents be in both official languages.
    Unfortunately, the member tabled a document in English only. I invite him to fix this.

[English]

    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, the situation is being rectified and the information will be given to the table very shortly.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1515)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Elections During a Pandemic  

    The House resumed from May 13 consideration of the motion.
    It being 3:15 p.m., pursuant to the order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the House Leader of the Bloc Québécois relating to the business of supply.
    Call in the members.

  (1530)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 118)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
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)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
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
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
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
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
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)
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
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
Zahid
Zann
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 327


NAYS

Members

Sloan

Total: -- 1


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed from May 14 consideration of the motion that Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 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-15.

  (1540)  

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

(Division No. 119)

YEAS

Members

Alghabra
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Bachrach
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bergeron
Bérubé
Bessette
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blois
Boudrias
Boulerice
Bratina
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Champagne
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chen
Cormier
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Duvall
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hardie
Harris
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lemire
Lightbound
Long
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Manly
Marcil
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qaqqaq
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sorbara
Spengemann
Ste-Marie
Tabbara
Tassi
Thériault
Therrien
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vignola
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zann
Zuberi

Total: -- 210


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Albas
Alleslev
Allison
Arnold
Atwin
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Calkins
Carrie
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
d'Entremont
Diotte
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Findlay
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Harder
Hoback
Jansen
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Nater
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Saroya
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sloan
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tochor
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williamson
Wong
Zimmer

Total: -- 118


PAIRED

Nil

     I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

Points of Order

Committee Study of Bill C-216—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
     I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on May 11, 2021, by the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot concerning the consideration of Bill C-216, an act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (supply management), by the Standing Committee on International Trade.
    In his remarks, the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot explained that the bill had been referred to the committee last March 10 and that its clause-by-clause study would not be until June 7. Until then, the committee had decided to concentrate its efforts on studies carried out under its general mandate.

[English]

    According to the member, bills referred to a committee must take precedence over its work since they are the subject of a specific order from the House. He cited several extracts from the third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which say that committees do not enjoy absolute freedom and that they are constrained by orders of reference and instructions from the House.
    He added that since committees are creatures of the House, the consideration of bills should take priority and he asked the Chair to order the committee to proceed with the study of Bill C-216 without delay.

  (1545)  

[Translation]

    The Chair would like to take this opportunity to remind members of the rules governing the consideration of bills in committee, and of private members’ bills in particular.
    The member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot is right to say that committees are entities created by the House. They must take account of the orders of reference that the House sends them from time to time, particularly in the case of specific instructions. The House has also given them the power to undertake their own studies under Standing Order 108. A committee may, therefore, decide to study questions related to the mandate, organization, administration or operation of the department or departments within its purview.

[English]

    As for private members’ bills referred to committee, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, reminds us at page 1,158 in footnote 21:
     Until 1997, there was no time limit on committee consideration of a private Member’s bill. [...] In April 1997, and again in November 1998, the Standing Orders were amended to require committees considering a private Member’s public bill to report back to the House within a time limit.

[Translation]

     Since then, there has been an established framework for the study of these bills and committees must comply with the deadlines prescribed by Standing Order 97.1. They must consider private members' bills within 60 sitting days following the date of reference. If it is not possible to proceed by the established deadline, a committee can request a 30-sitting-day extension, failing which the committee is deemed to have reported without amendment. The rules in place thus prevent a private members' bill from remaining in committee indefinitely without being studied.

[English]

     Practice is explicit regarding the moment when a committee proceeds with the consideration of bills. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, specifies at page 1,004 and 1,005 that:
    The committee decides when and how it will consider each bill that is referred to it. It also decides when the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill will begin.... The period of time devoted to the consideration of the bill is determined by the committee, but it can be circumscribed or restricted by various factors, such as the obligation to report the bill within a prescribed time pursuant to a special order of the House or to a time allocation motion, or due to limits the committee has placed upon itself by adopting motions to that effect.

[Translation]

    Each committee therefore remains the master of its proceedings and decides how it will organize its work, within the limits, of course, of the mandate and powers conferred by the House.
    Thus, pursuant to Standing Order 97.1, barring any indication to the contrary from the House, the Committee has 60 sitting days to deal with this bill and must report it to the House by September 27, 2021.
    I thank the hon. members for their attention.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 28 minutes.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Kenora has seven minutes and 30 seconds remaining in his time.
    The hon. member for Kenora.

  (1550)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is great to resume my remarks.
    Before question period, I was talking about some of the ways the government has been spending a lot more money and getting worse results for Canadians. I used the incidence of food insecurity in the north and the government's approach with nutrition north as a good example of that. I will go into more detail about some of the concerns I have with the budget, but I am in a good mood today, and I want to mention something in the budget that I am cautiously optimistic about, something that I was happy to see in the budget.
    I was happy to see sector-specific support for tourism. I believe it is $500 million under the tourism relief fund. I know many colleagues on my side of the House are happy to see this funding. We have been calling for this funding for quite some time, because we know that tourist outfitters and industries have been hit very hard as a result of the pandemic. We know that all too well in northwestern Ontario. Many camps have not been able to open and have been losing revenue for the past year. A number of outfitters have told me that if they lose this summer or most of this summer, they likely will not be able to operate and will have to close their doors for good.
    I say I am “cautiously optimistic” about this funding, because we know the government has brought forward a number of measures that were supposed to support small businesses last year and, with rigid criteria for accessing the programs, many operations, particularly the seasonal operations, were not able to access that, and many of those that were able to access the supports found they was not strong enough to cover what they needed for the year. I will be watching to see where those funds end up. I am, as I say, optimistic, but cautious, and hopeful those funds will get where they need to get to.
    Again, as I alluded to, the government has been spending a lot of money. This is a big spending budget, and the Liberals like to pat themselves on the back for that, I am concerned about this budget for a couple of reasons. One of them is that there is a clear lack of direction in the budget. The stimulus programs we need to get our economy going again should be focused and time-limited. They should be focused on creating jobs in all sectors and in all regions, and that includes supporting natural resources, forestry and mining that create so many good, well-paying union jobs across northern Ontario and are major drivers of our economy as well.
    Of course, as I mentioned before question period, my most pressing concern with the budget is that there is no plan to get back to balance, and I am concerned about that for a number of reasons. Before I get into that, I will maybe get ahead of some of the members across the way here, and I will note that Conservatives have supported many of the necessary stimulus programs every step of the way. We believe in supporting Canadians and getting them through this crisis. There is no question about it. Regardless of what members on the other side will say, the voting records show that we have stood with Canadians and in many ways. We were able to pass things unanimously. We were able to bring forward a number of suggestions to fix some of these programs and make them better for Canadians. In some cases the government took our advice, and that was great.
    However, we know that we cannot continue to spend into oblivion, as the Liberals have set us up to do. We believe the stimulus must be targeted, but it must be phased out responsibly, so that we can preserve public services for future generations. These are critical public services that future generations are going to be relying on, and we know that every dollar we spend on