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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 104

CONTENTS

Wednesday, May 26, 2021




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 104
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

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

Auditor General of Canada

    It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 8(2) of the Auditor General Act, two reports from the Auditor General of Canada.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), these reports are deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Jim St. Clair

    Mr. Speaker, I am speaking today in honour of Cape Breton historian and storyteller extraordinaire, Jim St. Clair, who passed away earlier this month.
     For 30 years, we heard Jim's compelling stories of Cape Breton folklore and history across CBC Radio's Information Morning in Cape Breton.
    Like many across my community, I loved listening to Jim on CBC, where his talent for storytelling taught us so much about our rich history in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and the entire Atlantic region.
    On behalf of Cape Breton—Canso constituents and members of the House, I offer my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. I have no doubt that Jim's legacy will be a strong one in Cape Breton. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him and, of course, his listeners.
     It is my hope that we can carry forward Jim's passion for storytelling and use it as a tool to learn from the past to better help today.

Cloverdale Wildfire

    Mr. Speaker, last week, a Cloverdale wildfire devastated over 5,000 hectares, or less than 14,000 acres, of my riding and it took three days to contain.
     Without the swift response of our fire departments and the bravery of our firefighters in the face of very dry and windy conditions, the damage could have been much worse. Their excellent work undoubtedly saved lives and homes.
    On behalf of the people in the riding of Prince Albert, I would like to thank all the first responders to the Cloverdale fire, the volunteers and supporting agencies, which all worked together to support our community during this uncertain and frightening time.

Heart of Orléans BIA

    Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of joining small business owners from the Heart of Orléans BIA to host a town hall and discuss the crucial measures our federal government was bringing in to spur growth.
    During an engaging evening discussion, these local leaders shared their thoughts and enthusiasm for the future of Canada's small businesses as we look ahead to the end of the pandemic.
    I was happy to discuss what the budget meant for Canada's main streets, how it would help them keep their employees on or hire new ones, and what digital adoption could do to help their businesses and Orléans continue to grow and thrive.
    I would like to thank the Heart of Orléans BIA for its outstanding work as well as all the attending business owners for sharing their continuing strength as we approach the end of this crisis.

[Translation]

François Gendron

    Mr. Speaker, the 45th edition of the Salon du livre de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue kicked off yesterday. This year's event is 100% virtual.
     For anyone wondering if the great François Gendron will be doing an interview next Saturday on the Salon du livre de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue's Facebook page, the answer is yes.
    Mr. Gendron will be talking about his book, 42 ans de passion pour le Québec et ses régions, written in collaboration with Samuel Larochelle, a prolific young writer from my region.
    Members may recall that François Gendron was elected in 1976 and re-elected 10 times. He sat as a sovereignist MNA for 42 years, headed 11 ministries and held the prestigious titles of Deputy Premier of Quebec and Speaker of the National Assembly.
    I would like to take advantage of my forum abroad to thank my mentor, François Gendron, for always speaking true, for being a straight talker and for being so passionate about this place and its people, known to this day as the “Gendronie”.
    Thank you, François, for continuing to play such an active role in society.

Émilie Gagné

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Ms. Émilie Gagné.
    During the pandemic, the Sainte-Colette school, in the riding of Bourassa, called on Ms. Gagné. Some of the five- and six-year-old children were showing certain signs: They squinted and held their paper up close to their eyes. These children had vision problems.
    The school teaches students whose parents are asylum seekers who have not yet received their health cards. Ms. Gagné, who is a trained optician and whose two children go to Sainte-Colette school, gathered together professionals, volunteers and sponsors, and gave the children eye exams.
    Over 20% of the students needed glasses. Ms. Gagné offered free glasses to 21 students to help them learn and succeed at school.
    On behalf of the parents, the school, and on my own behalf, I congratulate Ms. Émilie Gagné for her extraordinary initiative.

  (1410)  

[English]

Petronella Peach

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the life of one of the most upbeat advocates I have ever known.
     Petronella Peach, or Nel, as most knew her, immigrated from Holland. Nel was born during World War II and often spoke of her love of Canada and our role in liberating the Netherlands in 1945. Throughout her lifetime, Nel took on many challenges with a positive attitude and a strong voice for all those facing similar challenges.
     Nel was a breast cancer survivor and, as she put it, a person living with diabetes. For almost 40 years, Nel met diabetes head on and became one of Canada's strongest advocates for diabetics. Whether talking to people on the streets or participating in international Team Diabetes marathons, Nel continuously worked to raise the awareness of diabetes. Nel was a volunteer extraordinaire and will be remembered for how much she cared for people and for her community.
    Our thoughts go out to Nel's husband, Gordon, and to her family and friends. Nel will be missed.

Metro Dry Cleaners

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to congratulate my constituent and a true community builder, Mrs. Lamia Dib, on the 50th anniversary of her outstanding local business, Metro Dry Cleaners.
     In 1958, Lamia came from Lebanon to join her siblings in Canada. In 1962, she married Maurice Dib and, together, they saved every penny to purchase a dry cleaning machine. They worked very hard to establish themselves as leaders in the industry in Ottawa. Since Maurice's passing in 2001, Lamia and her family continue to provide exceptional service to a multitude of clients.
     Metro Dry Cleaners has served three prime ministers, MPs, MPPs, our mayor and countless local residents looking for consistent high-quality work and always a friendly smile at the counter.
    I congratulate Lamia and her family on 50 years of excellence.

Dave Sopha

    Mr. Speaker, this month, Cambridge has lost a great Canadian, Dave Sopha.
     Dave was an incredible artist who memorialized the 158 Canadian Forces personnel who lost their lives in Afghanistan, through his iconic painting Portraits of Honour.
    Dave was a community builder, teacher and a dedicated volunteer. He wanted to share his art and spread a message of love in commemoration for our troops, and he succeeded. His artwork took him all across Canada.
     Dave was recently honoured with a Governor General Meritorious Service Medal. He received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Kinsmen's Hal Rogers Fellow, the Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow and the Kiwanis Walter Zeller Fellow.
     Dave has left a lasting impact on our community and Canadians across the country.
     As chair of veterans affairs and as a friend, I thank Dave. We will miss him.

Johnson Su-sing Chow

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a well-respected, world-renowned Chinese Canadian artist, Professor Johnson Su-sing Chow, who contributed significantly to the cultural fabric of Canada. He just passed away at the age of 98.
    I have known Professor Chow for many years. In fact, his calligraphy of a Chinese classical piece on governance is still hanging in my office as a constant reminder of his kindness, talents and humbleness.
    As the founder of the Chinese Canadian Artists Federation and a dedicated educator at UBC and overseas, he donated generously his artwork to many charities.
     Professor Chow's passion in the classics, calligraphy and landscape won him many awards.
     He once said, “Since I moved to Canada [in 1980]...I refuse to do anything else such as making a fortune. My aspiration for life is to promote the traditional Chinese art and culture to the world.”
    Our condolences to Frank, Jackie and the Chow family. Professor Chow will be greatly missed.

[Translation]

Moisson Estrie

    Mr. Speaker, this past long weekend was a very busy one for Sherbrooke and for Moisson Estrie, an organization that redistributes food and helps people experiencing financial vulnerability.
    Once again this year, Dr. Sébastien Roulier ran as part of the “Avançons tous en cœur” fundraising campaign for Moisson Estrie. The course, in the shape of a four-hearted cloverleaf, had him running 420 kilometres over four days across the length and breadth of the Eastern Townships. I was there to see him off Friday morning, and he was on fire.
    I want to congratulate the organization on the success of its non-perishable food drive. My team and I took part and distributed 100 bags that will be filled by generous donors.

  (1415)  

Tourism Week

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Tourism Week.
    It is a time to celebrate one of Canada's leading industries, tourism.

[English]

    Unfortunately, it is not to celebrate significant milestones like in the past, such as record-breaking visitor numbers or another new award. Instead, we celebrate the spirit this great industry has to survive and persist, despite the great challenges that the pandemic and the lackluster government response have placed upon it. Tourism was one of the first hit by the pandemic and will likely be the last to recover, but when it does, I know it will be better than ever, showcasing Canada's breathtaking sights and great attractions. Prior to the pandemic, it was one of the fastest-growing industries, making up 2% of Canada's GDP and one of every 11 jobs, and I know that post-recovery those numbers will only continue to grow.
    As we mark Tourism Week, we all need to show our tangible support for the employees and small business owners who make up this important sector.

[Translation]

    I wish everyone a happy Tourism Week.

[English]

Anti-Semitism

    Mr. Speaker, throughout history, Jews have experienced ongoing anti-Semitism with waves of pogroms, expulsions and genocide around the world. There are intergenerational sensibilities that this history carries. Canada, too, once added to their plight, when on the eve of World War II, 907 Jewish refugees aboard the MS St. Louis were refused entry into Canada. Later, 254 would face death and the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps.
    Lately, our country has seen a spike of hate and intimidation against Jewish communities. There is no place in Canada for vandalism of synagogues, violence or threats against people just because of their race or religion. No one should have to live in fear because of their cultural identity. “Never again” means standing against anti-Semitism whenever it rears its ugly head, starting in our own backyard, right here in Canada.

Women Veterans

    Mr. Speaker, in Canada, women veterans who are unhoused are invisible. A report from Canada in 2015 noted that veteran women experience much higher rates of homelessness. Women who served our country deserve much better than this. One of the biggest gaps is the lack of investment in Canadian-specific research. The voices of these veterans must be heard, and the support should better reflect their needs. One woman veteran said she never thought she would be living in a van.
    We look at what is happening to the women in our military today. We look at the fact that this government still supports the gold-digger clause, sexist legislation from the early 1900s that was created to protect old male veterans from predatory young women who were marrying them for their pensions. Now, this results in spouses, largely women, who have married veterans over 60, living with them well over 20 years, not receiving a penny when their loved one passes.
    Women who serve deserve better in Canada. Today, I acknowledge the silenced voices of our women veterans. The government must do better.

[Translation]

Centennial of the Town of Deux-Montagnes

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to mark the centennial of Deux-Montagnes, a town in my riding. Formerly known as Saint-Eustache-sur-le-Lac, Deux-Montagnes was founded in August 1921.
    The town gets its name from the two mountains that the coureurs des bois, the voyageurs and the first nations would see from the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue portage. One of them is the Calvaire d'Oka hill and the other, its twin, is the Saint-Joseph-du-Lac hill.
    Back in the day, I was the principal at the Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes and for 30 years I soaked in the dynamic and beautiful community spirit of that town.
    Today, economic and residential development in Deux-Montagnes is exploding. Well located, welcoming and full of green space, this commuter town is ideal for families.
    Happy centennial.

[English]

John Gomery

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today and pay tribute to the late and lamented Justice John Gomery.
    Known for his patience, Justice Gomery had served as a lawyer and judge for 50 years when his name rose to national prominence after his appointment as commissioner for the inquiry into the sponsorship scandal. The months-long inquiry looked into allegations of fraud related to Liberal-friendly advertising firms being paid millions of dollars for little to no work. In the face of constant attacks from the Liberal government and its supporters, Justice Gomery stood unwavering and resolved to seek the truth in the name of the public interest. His findings of clear political involvement, secrecy, subversion and insufficient oversight demonstrated that the government had betrayed Canadians' trust. Because of his commitment to truth and justice, Canadians now expect the bar of accountability and ethics in government to be held to a high standard.
    On behalf of Conservatives, I wish to express my condolences to the family and to thank Justice Gomery for his unquestionable legacy and protecting the public's confidence in their democratic institutions.

  (1420)  

Gaelic Nova Scotia Month

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to call Nova Scotia home.
    [Member spoke in Gaelic]
    [English]
    The month of May is Mìos nan Gàidheal, and to recognize it, I wanted to ensure that this historic chamber can hear the language once again, even if for only one minute.
     Alba Nuadh is the only region outside of Scotland where Gaelic language and traditions are passed down within families and communities. Hard-working community members, dedicated volunteers, local institutions and our tradition-bearers continue to ensure that the language and the Gaels as a unique ethnic, cultural group continue to contribute to the life of our province.
    At the time of Confederation, Gaelic was the largest non-official language spoken in the country, and there have been several MPs who have spoken fluent Gaelic in the House, including a relative of mine, MP Samuel McDonnell, whose father was raised in Kings—Hants.
    To all those who are working hard to ensure that Gaels, their language and culture continue to contribute to Canadian society, I would like to say this:
    [Member spoke in Gaelic]

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, in order to work at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, one needs a security clearance. In order to work with human pathogens like Ebola in that lab, one needs a higher level of security clearance.
    Can the Prime Minister tell this House how a person with deep connections to the Chinese military obtained a high-level Canadian security clearance?
    Mr. Speaker, the two scientists in question are no longer employed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We cannot disclose additional information or comment further for privacy reasons and confidentiality, but the National Microbiology Laboratory continues to play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister cannot comment on his failure to keep our country safe. For years, Canada's security services have been warning the government and universities about the risks of research co-operation with communist China. The government needed to escort two scientists it had approved to work at our most senior lab in the country.
    Will the Prime Minister today rise in this House and commit to ending all partnerships with China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences?
    Mr. Speaker, we are committed to supporting open, collaborative research, while also protecting our research, our national security and our economic interests. In March, we announced that we would be taking further steps to better integrate national security considerations into the evaluation of federally funded research projects, which builds on the work of our research security working group. This will protect Canadian knowledge and intellectual property and ensure that international research partnerships are always beneficial to Canada and Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's research security working group is not working. International experts have warned about China's developing capacity in bioweapons. They have also warned that any academic working in China is available to the state for military and defence purposes. This would include the scientists that his government approved to work at our high-security lab in Winnipeg.
    Will the Prime Minister commit today to increasing security at the National Microbiology Lab, yes or no?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, espionage and foreign interference pose real threats to Canadian research security, intellectual property and business interests. This is a threat that our government has always taken seriously. In March, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry requested the development of specific rules that integrate national security considerations into research partnerships. Public Safety and CSIS are leading outreach to universities to help them keep research safe. Canadian universities and research organizations must remain vigilant to protect their IP, and we have not hesitated to support them.
    Mr. Speaker, this is an “always takes our security seriously” from a Prime Minister who was caught in cash-for-access fundraisers with Chinese leaders in his first year as Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who reversed a decision to block a sale to O-Net Communications of a firm that had contracts with the Pentagon and our closest allies; a Prime Minister who refuses to take a stand on Huawei, the only Five Eyes country that has not acted, and how many days have the two Michaels been in prison?
    I will ask the Prime Minister again. After this serious breach of our security at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, will he commit to ending all partnerships with the Chinese national military medical institute?
    Mr. Speaker, we have always taken this threat seriously. Public safety officials have met with more than 34 universities to help them keep their research safe. In 2020, CSIS engaged more than 225 different organizations, including universities, to ensure they were aware of foreign threats. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in March, requested the development of specific guidelines that incorporate national security into the evaluation of any research partnerships.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, Canada's security services have been warning the government and universities about the risks of cooperating with communist China for years. This government only took the threat seriously when it had to escort two scientists out of our high-security lab.
    Will the Prime Minister end the partnership with China's Academy of Military Medical Science, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, espionage and foreign interference pose real threats to the security of research. Our government has always taken this threat seriously.
    In March, the minister requested the development of specific rules that integrate national security considerations into research partnerships. Public safety and CSIS are leading outreach to universities to help them protect their research. Canadian universities and research organizations must remain vigilant, and we will always be there to support them.

Intergovernmental Relations

     Mr. Speaker, I am sure that this morning, Quebeckers and the Prime Minister saw the motion that the Bloc Québécois will be presenting shortly. The Prime Minister has surely seen that we have attempted to get a consensus and not present anything that was not legally and constitutionally sound or that could be controversial.
    When the Bloc Québécois's motion is presented, can we expect a positive response from the Liberal Party to the affirmation of the French-speaking Quebec nation?
    Mr. Speaker, we look forward to seeing this motion in the House in an hour, but I remind the member for Beloeil—Chambly that the House declared in 2006: “That this House recognize that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada.”
    That remains our position.
    Mr. Speaker, I deliberately made the motion public this morning, but I acknowledge the Liberal Prime Minister's references and the Conservative Party's actions.
    As the Prime Minister has seen, the Bloc Québécois was very open and careful about the wording of its motion. It includes the words that were chosen and submitted to the Quebec National Assembly. It repeats the wording used in the Constitution of 1982 because there is a very broad consensus in Quebec, across party lines, with regard to the strong and legitimate affirmation of the Quebec nation, whose only official language is French and whose only common language is French.
    Can Quebec really count on the voice of the Prime Minister?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers and all French-speaking Canadians can count on this government to protect their rights, their culture, the Quebec identity and the Canadian identity. We will always be there.
    We will recognize the Quebec nation within a united Canada, as we have done before. We will always work to protect French across the country, including in Quebec, while ensuring respect for linguistic minorities, particularly Quebec's anglophone linguistic minority.

[English]

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Many sectors are still shut down, and there are many workers who cannot go back to work. There are nearly two million Canadians who are relying on the CRB to put food on the table and to pay their bills. Despite this, the Prime Minister is cutting the help these families need by $800 a month in July and August.
    Will the Prime Minister commit today to reversing this decision to cut the help for families who are still in need of support?
    Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of this pandemic, we have made a straightforward promise to Canadians to have their backs, whatever it took, for as long as it took, and that will absolutely continue.
    Our income supports have helped buffer the worst economic impacts and helped Canadians put food on the table. To get Canadians through the pandemic, budget 2021 proposes to extend the Canada recovery benefit up to 50 weeks and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit up to 42 weeks.
    At the same time, we are helping Canadians get back into the labour market through the Canada recovery hiring program and by creating almost 500,000 new job and training opportunities. We will have Canadians' backs as we recover this economy.
    Mr. Speaker, cutting the help that people need by $800 a month is not having their backs.
    While we know that this pandemic has been difficult for people, it has not been hard on banks. Banks took public money from the government and then turned around and made billions of dollars in profits. Now, on top of that, they are increasing their service fees, in a pandemic. That is outrageous.
    Even worse, the Prime Minister is letting the banks do that. The Prime Minister and the federal government have the power to limit the fees banks charge. They have the power to stop them. Why is the Prime Minister allowing banks to gouge Canadians in a pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, while financial institutions make decisions on bank fees independently from the government, we have been clear in our discussions with these institutions that Canadians are going through a difficult time and that we must all have their backs.
    Our government's top priority is supporting Canadians during this pandemic. That is why we put in place new income support programs, including the CERB and the recovery benefits, and expanded EI. We are focused on making life more affordable for Canadians and making sure that the wealthiest pay their fair share.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, everything this government does is shrouded in secrecy. The Prime Minister refuses to inform Canadians about allegations of sexual abuse in the military, about contracts signed with Liberal friends and, now, about a threat to national security.
    The Prime Minister has given the Chinese military access to research information that includes deadly virus samples. The Prime Minister has created a very dangerous situation for Canada's national security. Can he tell us how many scientists with ties to the Chinese government are working in our Canadian laboratories?
    Mr. Speaker, for reasons of confidentiality and privacy, we cannot provide any further information or comments.
    The National Microbiology Laboratory continues to play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of Canadians. We remain committed to supporting open and collaborative research, while protecting our research, national security and economic interests.
    In March, we announced that we would be taking further steps to better integrate national security considerations into the evaluation of federally funded research projects.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised an open and transparent government, but here is yet another example of how he never intended to keep that promise. Canadians need answers about this national security threat.
    Two scientists with ties to the Chinese Communist regime shared top secret research information from the lab in Winnipeg with the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The two scientists were then fired. If the Prime Minister agrees with their dismissal, can he also admit that such sharing of information with the Chinese Communist regime is unacceptable?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have always and will always take this threat seriously.
     Public safety officials have met with more than 34 universities to help them keep their research safe. In 2020, CSIS engaged more than 225 different organizations, including universities, to ensure that they were aware of foreign threats.
    I also want to mention that we are seeing a disturbing rise in anti-Asian racism. I hope that my Conservative Party colleagues are not raising fears about Asian Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, for the Liberals, the easiest defence is to label us as racist. However, we are talking about the Chinese Communist regime, which has nothing to do with the people of China.
    We know that CSIS advised the National Microbiology Laboratory that something had to be done. However, we want to know whether there are still Chinese scientists working on behalf of the Chinese Communist regime in Canadian laboratories.
    Mr. Speaker, the international scientific community collaborates extensively with researchers from various countries and backgrounds. We have long known that diversity is our strength as a country, especially in scientific research.
    We will always strive to do more to protect the integrity of our research institutions and their data. However, we will never play into the hands of intolerance towards people from other countries, simply because they look different. We will always stand up for diversity.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he takes these threats seriously, but he is not giving serious answers. He should be able to say that scientists who are sponsored by the Chinese military and the Chinese government will not be allowed in these facilities.
     Will the Prime Minister ditch the script and the woke talking points and answer yes or no? Will he bar scientists who are sent here from the Chinese government and the Chinese military from accessing sensitive Canadian research facilities?
    Mr. Speaker, over the past number of years we have taken significant steps to strengthen security around our sensitive institutions, particularly our universities and research facilities. We will continue to ensure the work that is done there is protecting Canada's interests and Canadians in general.
    We will always ensure we are working with our security agencies to keep Canadians safe, and we will not give in to pandering to anti-Asian racism. We have seen enough of a rise in intolerance across the country these past months. We need to continue to stand strong in supporting diversity.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says he is working with our security agencies, but it was CSIS that called for the security clearances of these scientists to be revoked. This is not anything other than the government's failure to do its due diligence to protect Canadians from the real threat of viruses that could wipe out an entire population.
    Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians why these scientists, who represent the highest risk to our national security, were given clearance to work in these labs? What is he covering up? Why is he protecting them now?
    Mr. Speaker, the two scientists in question are no longer employed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and of course, we cannot disclose additional information nor comment further for privacy reasons and confidentiality.
    We will continue to ensure that we are welcoming of the international scientific community in advancing the knowledge that will help us to understand not just this pandemic but also how to build a better future for everyone in Canada and around the world. At the same time, we are working with CSIS and our security agencies to keep Canadians safe, all while standing strongly against intolerance.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told us the Liberals were partnering with the universities. These are the same universities that are partnering with Huawei. The same Huawei all the other Five Eyes nations have banned, unlike the Prime Minister.
    What is with the Prime Minister's admiration for the Chinese Communist Party, for its basic dictatorship, and for its interest in our intellectual property? What is the Prime Minister trying to hide? Is it his connections with the Chinese Communist Party that have him protecting these individuals again?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, we will continue to ensure that our institutions and our networks are kept safe and secure. An examination of 5G technologies and a review of the security and economic considerations are ongoing. We will carefully weigh these matters with our allies and partners.
    We will make the best decisions for Canadians. We will move forward, and at the same time, stand against anti-Asian racism, stand up for diversity and stand against intolerance.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, the cultural community and the media have been waiting for decades for Ottawa to reform the CRTC and compel web giants to co-operate. Quebec culture has waited long enough. Bill C-10 must be passed before the end of the session, here and in the Senate.
    The leader of the Bloc Québécois offered the government its highest possible level of co-operation. The House leader of the Bloc Québécois offered the same kind of co-operation to his counterpart. The Bloc has held out its hand. Will the Prime Minister finally take that hand so we can pass Bill C-10?
    Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased with the co-operation we have received from several parties to improve protection for our artists and cultural communities. We must, of course, hold debates in the House and we must also act to protect Canadian content and content creators in a world that is increasingly digital.
    We gladly welcome and are grateful for the goodwill of the members of the House who want to work together to protect our artists and continue to ensure a strong cultural sector for our economy.
    Mr. Speaker, those fine intentions are music to our ears. However, it seems that the Liberals do not understand the important role they have to play in advancing this work. They are the ones who decide which bills to prioritize on the calendar. They are also the ones who delayed the appearance of two ministers in committee.
    In the meantime, the future of francophone arts and culture is at stake. The Bloc Québécois reached out to resolve the problem quickly. The cultural sector is watching us and wants an answer. When will the Prime Minister accept the Bloc Québécois's offer to help pass Bill C-10?
    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-10 seeks to level the playing field between Canadian creators and web giants. It forces powerful foreign broadcasters to provide information on their revenues, make financial contributions to Canadian stories and music and enable different audiences to discover our culture.
    We will continue to work diligently and enthusiastically to protect the Canadian and Quebec cultural sector as we have done all along since coming to power in 2015.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in 2018, the current Liberal Minister of Justice said, “Our government supports an open Internet where Canadians have the power to communicate freely and have access to the legal content of their choice.” That seems like a good idea.
    Sadly, Bill C-10 does the exact opposite. It actually takes choice away from Canadians by dictating the content they should and should not view online. It is sneaky. It is controlling, and it is wrong. Why is the Prime Minister insisting on regulating the Internet?
    Mr. Speaker, just as Canada's analysis confirms that Bill C-10 remains consistent with the charter's guarantee of freedom of expression, Bill C-10 aims to level the playing field between creators and web giants.
    It requires big, powerful foreign streamers to provide information on their revenues in Canada, to financially contribute to Canadian stories and music, and to make it easier for individuals to discover our culture.
    The bill explicitly says that obligations apply to web giants only: not to Canadian users. Web giants have gone unregulated for far too long. Our government has chosen action over reaction.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister insists on misleading the House and thereby the Canadian public.
    In 2017, however, the Prime Minister was committed to defending the concept of net neutrality, which is the principle that Internet users should have equal access to all sites, all content and all applications without blocking or giving preference.
    Now, he wants to put an Internet czar in place in order to promote some creators and demote others. It is wrong.
    With Bill C-10, the Prime Minister is turning Canada into the most digitally regressive democracy in the world. Why?
    Mr. Speaker, in 2017, the Conservatives demonstrated they did not understand net neutrality, and they certainly do not understand it now.
    Bill C-10 seeks to promote Canadian music, storytelling and creative works. It does not affect the work and activities of Internet service providers in Canada. It has no impact on Canada's commitment to net neutrality.

  (1445)  

    Wow, Mr. Speaker, I thought the Prime Minister was going to mansplain net neutrality there for a moment, but it looks like he does not even understand the definition because he could not define it.
    The Prime Minister tries to mislead Canadians by saying that Bill C-10 is against web giants and it is about promoting Canadian artists and content. Let us have some fun and do a little quiz.
    There is a movie called Ultimate Gretzky. It is about none other than Canada-born Wayne Gretzky, who is often described as the greatest hockey player ever. It was also filmed largely in Canada.
    Could the Prime Minister tell us if this movie is Canadian enough to pass as Canadian content?
    Mr. Speaker, for many years, Canada has put in place measures to support and promote Canadian content and to create the kind of film and production industry that led to the creation of much of the great content the hon. member is talking about.
    The fact is we made choices to highlight and privilege Canadian content over foreign content. That is exactly what we are going to continue to do, and give the CRTC the tools to do, in an increasingly digital world to make sure we continue to find, tell and share stories of great Canadians like Wayne Gretzky.
    Mr. Speaker, that was embarrassing. There was a lot of um's and ah's and a few stumbles, yet the Prime Minister is not able to define Canadian content. He likes to talk about it a lot, though.
    Let us talk a little more about Canadian creators, shall we? Brian Wyllie from Calgary is an expert gamer who has over a million followers on Twitch. Montrealer Kiana Gomes created a whole business using TikTok. Sadly, these self-made creators just are not Canadian enough to be considered artists by the Liberals. Bill C-10 would punish them, demote them and prevent them from being further successful.
    Why is the Prime Minister hell-bent on punishing these ingenious creators?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, what we have demonstrated from the very beginning of our time in office in 2015 is that we are there to support Canadian content and Canadian creators right across the country, particularly after a Conservative government did nothing but attack culture and content creators, and limit the cultural industries in this country.
    We will continue to stand up for producers and creators of great Canadian content right across the country. Bill C-10 is about giving the CRTC the tools to do just that in a world where people do not only get their Canadian content from CBC or CTV or on the radio.
    We need to make sure we continue to support Canadian content. That is exactly what we are going to do. It is no surprise the Conservatives do not get it.

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, we are still in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19, and things are pretty scary.
    A surge in COVID-19 cases in Manitoba has overwhelmed the hospitals, and they are now sending patients to Ontario. We have learned that many of the cases come from workplace transmission, which is not a surprise: We have long known that workplace transmission is a concern. That is why New Democrats fought to bring in paid sick leave. The problem is that it is not working.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to fixing the federal paid sick leave program so we can save lives in Manitoba and across the country?
    Mr. Speaker, we made a commitment at the beginning of the pandemic to have Canadians' backs, whatever it took, for as long as it took, and part of that was moving forward on sick leave. We brought in a federal sick leave program that people could apply to, particularly those who are gig workers, who are self-employed and who do not have access to sick leave through their employers as many jurisdictions do. We recognize that the best way to deliver sick leave is through employers: workers could call and say they could not go in because they might be coming down with COVID, and employers would be able to continue to give them their paycheques and support, but that has to happen through the provinces.
    We did our part from the federal side. We need to make sure the provinces do their part as well.

[Translation]

Post-secondary Education

    Mr. Speaker, the president of Laurentian University had several meetings with the Liberal government to discuss the university's difficult financial position. Although this situation was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberal government refused to help the university. Why did the Prime Minister refuse to save Laurentian University?
    Mr. Speaker, we will always be there to defend Canadians, especially linguistic minorities, and that is what we will continue to do.
    It is crucial that we have quality post-secondary institutions for francophones in Ontario. These institutions are vital to official language minority communities. We are carefully following developments in this matter, and we are ready to collaborate to ensure that francophones in northern Ontario have access to a quality post-secondary institution.
    We recognize that this is a provincial jurisdiction. We will work in partnership with the Province of Ontario to ensure that francophones have quality services.

  (1450)  

[English]

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, over a year ago, Canada was hit with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians faced daunting challenges, our government supported us and we banded together. Sadly, some chose to sow fear for partisan gains. Contrary to claims by the Conservative health critic, we received our first COVID-19 vaccines in 2020, not 2030, and all will have access to vaccines by September 2021. Canadians need to remain positive and [Technical difficulties—Editor].
    Can the Prime Minister list the rollout dates to dispel this fearmongering?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. doctor colleague for Vancouver Centre is absolutely right. Our plan is working.
    I would like to share some important dates to remember: on December 13, 2020, the first vaccines touched down at Pearson airport; on December 14, 2020, the first shot was administered; and, as of this weekend, May 22, more than 50% of Canadians had received their first doses. That number is going to keep going up fast because millions more doses are coming. It is clear that working together as one big team Canada is paying off.
    I want to remind hon. members that under the COVID conditions where we have people joining us virtually, we do not have the numbers to absorb the sound in the chamber, so when members shout to speak, it is like they are talking directly to a person. If they are going to heckle, maybe they could do it respectfully with a lower tone.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, we were shocked yesterday to hear the Minister of Canadian Heritage say that Bill C-10 would not limit net neutrality in any way.
    However, in Bill C-10, the Liberal government gives the CRTC more powers to regulate social networks, blogs, online gaming sites, apps and even audiobooks.
    I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. Does he believe that regulating these platforms is in keeping with the principle of net neutrality, yes or no?
     Mr. Speaker, some time ago, the Conservatives demonstrated that they did not understand net neutrality, and they certainly do not understand it now.
     Bill C-10 seeks to promote Canadian music, storytelling and creative works. It does not affect the work and activities of Internet service providers in Canada. It has no impact on Canada's commitment to net neutrality.
    Mr. Speaker, I invite the Prime Minister to open the dictionary and look up the definition of net neutrality. I think he will get a good idea of what it is.
    His Minister of Justice stated on May 22, 2018, that the Liberal government supports net neutrality to ensure that all Canadians have the power to express themselves freely and access the legal content of their choice.
    The government cannot say it supports net neutrality while introducing measures in a bill that restricts it. Is the Prime Minister on the side of his Minister of Justice, who is in favour of net neutrality, or on the side of his Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is undermining freedom of expression on the Internet?
    Mr. Speaker, it is a shame to see Conservatives attacking the Canadian cultural industry once again.
    Justice Canada's analysis confirms that Bill C-10 remains consistent with the charter right to freedom of expression.
    Bill C-10 aims to level the playing field between Canadian creators and web giants. It requires powerful foreign broadcasters to provide information on their revenues, to contribute financially to Canadian stories and music, and to enable different audiences to experience our culture. This is what we will always strive to do.
    Mr. Speaker, an internal memo given to the Minister of Canadian Heritage by senior officials clearly states that applications such as YouTube, TikTok, Amazon Prime, NHL.TV, MLB.TV, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now, Google Play, Cineplex, PlayStation and many others would be subject to CRTC rules.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us if he really thinks it is a good idea to regulate all these applications, yes or no?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, despite the Conservatives' attacks on Quebec and Canadian creators, we want to emphasize that an individual who posts on social media platforms will never be considered a broadcaster under Bill C-10.
    The obligations that apply to the web giants will not apply to Canadian users. This protection is clearly set out in clause 2.1 of the bill.
    Why do the Conservatives continue to hammer on this? It is simply because they do not support Canada's cultural industry.
    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the Prime Minister, unfortunately, he did not read Bill C-10 and did not follow the committee's work. If he had, he would have seen that, by removing clause 4.1, the government was clearly attacking freedom of expression by legislating the Internet.
    I read out a whole list of apps that did not come from Conservative offices but from an internal memo from senior officials that was personally given to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    The Prime Minister needs to do his homework, look at the document, stop attacking the Internet and the freedom of expression of all Canadians, and stop leading people to believe that there are members in the House who are against culture.
    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers and all Canadians have seen what is happening in the House for a long time.
    The fact that the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP can rally today to support content creators in Canada says a lot about the position of the Conservatives, who are once again attacking Quebec culture, Canadian culture and the cultural industry, which sustains us, inspires us and creates so many jobs across the country.
    We will continue to be there to support our cultural industry and our artists, despite the Conservatives, who never miss an opportunity to attack culture here in Canada.

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, people are still angry about the Prime Minister's decision to increase old age pensions for seniors 75 and over.
    Today, FADOQ, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons and the National Association of Federal Retirees have all three condemned the creation of two classes of seniors. FADOQ president Gisèle Tassé-Goodman said, “Financial insecurity does not discriminate based on age”.
    All seniors deserve a pension increase starting at 65. Will the Prime Minister fix this now that it is clear people will not stand for the creation of two classes of seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, we have always been there for seniors, and we will always be there for them.
    We increased the guaranteed income supplement by 10% for the most vulnerable seniors. That was one of the first things we did when we took office in 2015.
    Ever since, we have continued to be there to help the most vulnerable seniors and acknowledge the challenges they face.
    We realize that those who are older have many more expenses, so we are going to increase by 10% the old age pension for seniors 75 and up.
    Mr. Speaker, some people have been overlooked.
    Everyone agrees that pensions need to be increased for all seniors aged 65 and above.
     FADOQ, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons and the National Association of Federal Retirees are asking for this today. All the parties in the House are demanding it.
    Everyone agrees, except the Liberal Party. The Prime Minister is alone. He alone is insisting on creating two classes of seniors. The people who built Quebec and Canada deserve proper support.
    When will the Prime Minister finally listen to reason, come around to everyone's way of thinking and increase pension payments for all seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been there for seniors and we will continue to be there for them.
    We understand that there are many seniors who are worried they may outlive their pension and their savings. People are living longer and longer, which is a good thing.
    We recognize that starting at age 75, certain costs increase, and that is why increasing old age security for seniors aged 75 and over is a good thing.
    We will also continue to invest to help seniors with housing and pharmacare, and we will offer supports and projects to provide for them throughout their golden years.

  (1500)  

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, we have a problem in this country when operatives who are part of the Communist China regime are allowed into our very sensitive labs here in Canada, specifically in Winnipeg. We have an even greater problem when our Prime Minister does not realize how dangerous that is.
    Again, will the Prime Minister commit today to ending research co-operation with Chinese Communist military?
    Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the two scientists in question are no longer employed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We cannot disclose additional information nor comment further for privacy reasons and confidentiality. We are committed to supporting open, collaborative research while also protecting our research, national security and economic interests.
    In March, we announced that we would take further steps to better integrate national security considerations into the evaluation of federally funded research projects. We will continue to work with all of our intelligence agencies to keep Canadians safe.
    Mr. Speaker, well, the problem is, and the Prime Minister maybe does not realize this, that Communist China cannot be trusted. I know that he admires their basic dictatorship, I know he liked to do fundraisers with them over the years, I know he thought they were the first go-to for vaccines, but at this point, we would hope that he would learn a lesson and put the safety, security and protection of Canadians above this fascination he has with the Communist regime.
    Again, will the Prime Minister commit to ending this research and this co-operation with the regime that not only does not have our interests in mind, but actually wants to hurt Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, from the beginning of my career onwards, I have worked with many Chinese Canadians and indeed had fundraisers with them. The rise in anti-Asian racism we have been seeing over the past number of months should be of concern to everyone. I would recommend that the members of the Conservative Party, in their zeal to make personal attacks, not start to push too far into intolerance towards Canadians of diverse origins.
    We will continue to stand up to defend Canadian interests and Canadian security. We will continue to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep Canadians safe while participating in the global research community, and stand up for tolerance and diversity.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I want to remind hon. members that if they are going to have discussions to please do it through the Chair and not directly across, which seems to be a basic rule in this chamber, although these days I kind of wonder myself whether the rules are being followed.
    I am not sure who it was, they did not pop up and I am not sure how they did it, but there were some voices coming out over the speakers from outside, and that really does cause quite a few problems. I would remind all members who are joining us virtually to please not talk while someone is either asking a question or answering a question. It really does make it difficult for everyone, not only here in the chamber but at home, and there are a lot of people who are interested in hearing the questions and the answers.
    The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.
    Mr. Speaker, a point of order.
    There are no points of order unless it is a technical issue.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, only because it is not the first time, but Mr. Genuis has in fact interrupted and it does—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member for Winnipeg North, as that is something he can bring up after question period.
    We will start the clock over again. The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.
    Mr. Speaker, I am not surprised that the Prime Minister just hurls insults of racism; it is his usual tactic.
    I am not talking about Chinese Canadians. I am talking about a Communist regime that nobody in the world trusts except, it would appear, the Prime Minister of Canada. I again will ask him about the Communist regime and the military that supports that regime. Will he stop research co-operation with that military, seeing the danger it poses not only to Canada but to the world, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, espionage and foreign interference pose real threats to Canadian research security, intellectual property and business interests. This is a threat our government takes seriously.
     In March, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry requested the development of specific rules that integrate national security considerations into research partnerships. Public Safety and CSIS are leading outreach to universities to help them keep research safe. Canadian universities and research organizations must remain vigilant to protect their intellectual property and we have not hesitated to support them. We will continue to.

  (1505)  

[Translation]

Tourism Industry

    Mr. Speaker, this week is Tourism Week. Tourism is a sector of our economy that supports nearly two million jobs from coast to coast to coast.
    Back home in Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, tourism supports countless fun activities typical of summer in the Maritimes. Magnetic Hill is a prime example.
    However, over the past year, people had to stay home because of the pandemic, and the tourism industry was one of those hardest hit.
    Could the Prime Minister tell the House how our government is supporting our tourism sector during the pandemic and beyond?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe for highlighting the importance of the tourism sector in Canada.
    Tourism businesses shown tremendous resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been there for them with more than $15 billion in support. In budget 2021, we announced that we are investing an additional $1 billion to help businesses get ready to welcome tourists as soon as it is safe to do so.
    I thank the tourism businesses for doing everything in their power to keep Canadians safe.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, Major-General Dany Fortin, the general in charge of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, is under investigation and has been removed from his position. The Prime Minister and his defence minister say they knew about these serious allegations weeks before he was suspended.
    Major-General Fortin served closely in Afghanistan alongside General Vance and the Minister of Defence. Did the Prime Minister leave Major-General Fortin in his position for weeks because he is another Afghanistan war buddy of the defence minister just like General Vance?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are committed to building a true culture of inclusion in our Canadian Armed Forces. We became aware of an ongoing CFNIS investigation involving Major-General Fortin. As it is an ongoing investigation, I am not able to comment further, but we remain focused on the vaccine rollout with millions more vaccines arriving every week.
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. General Vance served alongside the defence minister in Afghanistan and the Prime Minister left him as chief of the defence staff for three years after the government was told of allegations of sexual misconduct. Major-General Fortin also worked closely with General Vance and the defence minister in Afghanistan and was left in charge of our vaccine rollout for weeks after the Prime Minister learned of the investigation into his misconduct.
    However, Admiral Art McDonald who never served with the defence minister was shown the door within hours. Why is the Prime Minister helping the defence minister cover up sexual misconduct for his war buddies?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that our institutions are not living up to the needs of those who have experienced misconduct. That includes the military justice system. That is why we have taken concrete actions to address this. We named Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan as the chief of professional conduct and culture. We 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 there is much more to do and we will do it to ensure that every woman and man who serves in the Armed Forces is properly supported.
    Mr. Speaker, the claim by the Prime Minister that they take sexual misconduct in the forces seriously is a myth and that was destroyed by his deputy minister of national defence. Jody Thomas said that Justice Deschamps' report was treated as a mere checklist. The Prime Minister wrote in the defence minister's mandate letter to establish a workplace free from harassment, but we now know the Liberal government conspired to do nothing to implement Justice Deschamps' report.
    Will the Prime Minister admit that he and the defence minister failed to protect the women and men in our Canadian Armed Forces from sexual misconduct?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that going back decades there has been a real challenge at the Canadian Armed Forces in terms of supporting people who come forward with allegations of misconduct, with unacceptable experiences and that is why we need to change the culture.
     We have taken significant steps since we arrived in 2015 to improve the culture at the Canadian Armed Forces, but we recognize there is much more to do. We are committed to doing that. We are not going to point fingers or attack others for choices that they have made. We are going to make sure that the support is there for women and men who actually serve in the Armed Forces.

  (1510)  

Post-Secondary Education

    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, our government has been a champion for students and young Canadians. When the pandemic struck, we were there to make sure they had the supports they needed.
    As we move toward a strong economic recovery from this pandemic, it is important we make sure young Canadians and students have the supports they need to continue going to school and starting their careers.
    Despite the fact that the Conservatives find this funny, I would ask the Prime Minister to please inform the House about our government’s efforts to support students and young Canadians through budget 2021.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Kingston and the Islands for his hard work here in this House.
    Young Canadians are Canada’s future and they are at the centre of our recovery efforts. To date, we have invested more than $7.4 billion in pandemic supports to young Canadians and students. Budget 2021 builds on this investment with an additional $5.7 billion so that young Canadians and students can keep up their studies, pay for tuition and find jobs.
    I am proud that this is one of the largest youth support packages in the world. We will continue to be there for young Canadians.

[Translation]

Public Service of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, we are learning that there are alarming cases of racism in the public service.
    Black public servants are being exposed to harassment and verbal abuse in their workplace. The complaints are ignored, or the employer spends thousands to buy the silence of those involved in these cases of racism. Racism does not have a price. It must be eliminated.
    What will the Prime Minister do to fight systemic racism in the public service?
    Mr. Speaker, we recognized system racism in this country from the outset.
    We worked hand in hand with the Black community and with diverse and marginalized communities. We also worked within the public service to improve hiring and retention practices for racialized Canadians.
    We will always be there to promote diversity within the public service, but we recognize that there is still a lot more work to be done. We will be there to work hand in hand with our public service professionals to include everyone.
    That is all the time we have for oral questions today.
    There is a point of order. I will recognize the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly and then the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That the House agree that section 45 of the Constitution Act, 1982, grants Quebec and the provinces exclusive jurisdiction to amend their respective constitutions; and acknowledge the will of Quebec to enshrine in its constitution that Quebeckers form a nation, that French is the only official language of Quebec and that it is also the common language of the Quebec nation.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Speaker: There is not unanimous consent.

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order rising out of question period. I know we tried to address this issue during question period, but we continue to have members who are participating virtually interjecting into the debate and making comments, which is making it extremely difficult for members who are participating virtually to participate. I know that on at least one occasion it was the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. He has routinely been called out by you or the Chair occupant at the time to discontinue this practice.
     I would encourage you to ensure, by whatever means you have possible, Mr. Speaker, that those who are participating virtually have the ability to do so unimpeded by members who are participating in this manner.

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, if you will indulge me, I will just briefly address the same point, because it is important for members to hear what is at stake in this conversation. Canadians of Asian origin are speaking out about the impact of—
    An hon. member: This is not a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
    Some hon. members: Debate.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Mr. Speaker, I note that I am being heckled—
    Order please. I am going to interrupt. It sounds like it is getting into debate, so I am going to leave it there. However, on that note as well, when someone speaks, the Chair usually determines whether it is debate or a point of order. I appreciate the help, but I would like a few seconds to determine what the member is about to say or is saying so we can determine whether it is debate.
    While I do appreciate the people shouting out and trying to help, it just makes it very disorderly, which leads us to the point of order from the member for Kingston and the Islands, where, if we are here and someone does interject, it does make it difficult for everyone. This is about respect for each other in the chamber, and that is what I am asking.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, I remind the House that the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands is the one who brought up the participation of the member from Alberta who spoke earlier. I apologize, but I cannot remember his riding name.
    If he was called out by the government member, it is perfectly normal and appropriate for him to get a chance to explain himself. That is why I think he should have the floor.
     I want to point out that members on the government side are enthusiastic advocates of virtual participation, so they certainly know what they are talking about.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, over the last number of months, I, as have many of my colleagues, tune in virtually and understand what our obligations are. If we want to get the attention of the Chair, we put our hand up and then we wait until we are recognized.
    On several occasions during question period, members, and in this case it was the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, intentionally undo the mute button to interject. It is one thing to do it by accident, but it is the same member on several occasions, and there needs to be a consequence—
    I am going to have to interrupt, because it sounds like we are getting into debate again. The point of order is not interjecting in the chamber. We will deal with that one a little at a time.
     Again, I want to remind all members that it is on the individual member's honour that we are in here following the rules. I want to encourage everyone to follow those rules so we can run smoothly.
    Mr. Speaker, it seems as though, in raising the point, which has been raised before by the member opposite and by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader, that it is in effect itself an attempt at a commentary or debate or to name and shame particular members, in this case the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
     However, while that member was responding to that point, the member for Milton and the member for Winnipeg North also took their microphones off mute in the same way that the member for Kingston and the Islands said was inappropriate, and the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader and the member for Kingston and the Islands were seeking for the Chair to sanction the member for doing just that.
    I defer always to the judgment of the chair occupant. Perhaps, if there is to be a ruling in the opinion of the Chair, we just ask members to appeal to their honour and the regular traditions and customs of this place and not look to tattletale every time they hear a member engage in what has been a traditional practice in this place for many years.

  (1520)  

    Mr. Speaker, the intent of my rising to indicate this point of order was because of the fact that the particular member has done it repeatedly on a number of occasions. He routinely does this where he interjects. It is not affecting the ability for those in the House to listen to the debate; it is affecting those who are online, because suddenly the entire feed and sound is eliminated and they are unable to hear anything.
     The point is that those who are doing this are doing it repeatedly, and I would encourage you, Mr. Speaker, to somehow enforce some kind of rule that would prevent this from continuing to happen.
    We have two more people rising on points of order, and then we will get on with the business of the day.
    The hon. member for Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, in connection with that same point of order, I would like to note that the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan keeps turning his microphone on and off to interject deliberately and repeatedly.
    Interjecting once and being called to order is not the same as repeatedly failing to listen to the Speaker of the House. On this point of order, I would ask that you watch the videos and see how many times the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has deliberately raised a point of order in the House.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I was, with all due respect, interrupted when I was initially trying to make some comments on this matter. Many members have now intervened with various aspersions about me, and I have been very interested in setting the record straight about some matters of the context. I will be in your hands as to whether I can share that context.
    As I was saying before, Canadians of Asian origin are speaking about the impact on their lives of foreign state-backed interference, and this is part of the racism being faced by Asian Canadians. It is the pressure from foreign governments, in particular the Government of China, to deny them of the freedom—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member there. Normally when we get up on a point of order—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: Can I have the attention of the chamber, please.
    Normally when we get up on a point of order, it is because the process was broken. If we are not staying within those parameters, it becomes debate.
    I will ask the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to go on, but remember that it sounds like he is debating something, and I would like to know the point of order and what was disrespected.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I will try to jump to it, simply in this sense. Fighting racism, which is something I know we all should wish to do, requires us to understand that Canadians are individuals, not extensions of foreign governments, and it is always important to make a distinction.
    That is why what the Prime Minister said in question period today was itself deeply racist, because he was failing to make the necessary distinction—
    With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, this is not a point of order.
    I am sorry, but I am going to have to interrupt. This is becoming a debate; it is not about the process itself. I am going to have to cut the hon. member off.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Émilie Sansfaçon Act

    The House resumed from May 12 consideration of the motion that Bill C-265, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (illness, injury or quarantine), be read the second time and passed.
    It being 3:25 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-265 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 120)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 181


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 150


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, this bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

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

  (1540)  

Support of Oil and Gas Sector

    The House resumed from May 13 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 61 under Private Members' Business in the name of the member for Edmonton Manning.

  (1550)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 121)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Alleslev
Allison
Arnold
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
Doherty
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: -- 119


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
Amos
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
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
Easter
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
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Manly
Marcil
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
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
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: -- 212


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.

Standing Orders of the House

    The House resumed from May 25 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 38.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 122)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
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
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
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McLeod (Northwest Territories)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Michaud
Miller
Monsef
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nater
Ng
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qaqqaq
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Regan
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sangha
Sarai
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Seeback
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Simms
Singh
Sloan
Sorbara
Soroka
Spengemann
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tassi
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Virani
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zann
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 331


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

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

Committees of the House

Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, entitled “Indigenous Housing: The Direction Home”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    As something that I think we should do on a more regular basis, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the support team that the parliamentarians had in the development of this report, particularly the committee clerks, Danielle Widmer and Andrew Wilson, and the analysts from the Library of Parliament who did such excellent work, Brittany Collier and Elizabeth Cahill.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to echo the thanks given by my colleague for Charlottetown.
    The Conservative Party of Canada supports the desire of urban, remote and northern indigenous peoples for autonomy over their housing needs in line with the “for indigenous, by indigenous” principle. The fundamental nature of this principle, however, is that indigenous people decide for themselves how their housing needs are addressed. While this report contains helpful information and shares the realities faced by many, the recommendations at times were overly prescriptive and wordy. That said, it was a good process, and I would like to thank all of my parliamentary colleagues for their participation in this report.

[Translation]

Canada-China Relations  

     Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, pursuant to the motion adopted on Monday, May 10, regarding a recommendation that the House order the production of documents from the Public Health Agency of Canada and any subsidiary organizations respecting the transfer of viruses and two former employees.

  (1610)  

[English]

Status of Women  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, entitled “A Study on the Implementation of the Pay Equity Act”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    As well, the committee is calling on the government to really accelerate the pace at which we are implementing these fixes on pay equity. Since 2015, when I was first elected, we have studied it and we are still waiting, so we urge the government to hasten the implementation.

Fisheries Act

     He said: Madam Speaker, it is an honour to introduce my private member's bill, the selective fisheries bill, which would provide more opportunities for public selective fisheries in my riding of Chilliwack—Hope and across the country.
    Vulnerable salmon stocks need to be protected and conservation is the number one priority, but it is possible to protect certain species of salmon with low numbers and allow public selective fisheries for plentiful species at the same time.
    My bill, through an amendment to the Fisheries Act, gives the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard the power to do just that. The bill also allows the minister to increase the number of hatchery-raised salmon that have their adipose fins clipped, which would allow them to be easily identified and retained as hatchery fish during public fishery openings.
    I am asking all members of Parliament to support my bill and support responsible selective fishing opportunities in Canada.

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

School Food Security

     She said: Madam Speaker, it is my honour to rise in the House to present my private member's bill, an act to develop a national strategy on school food security, seconded by the member for Kingston and the Islands.

[Translation]

     The bill provides for the development of a national strategy on school food security so that all elementary and secondary school students in Canada have access to proper nutrition.

[English]

    As many members in the House and many of my constituents know, I was a high school teacher before entering politics. During that time, I saw far too many students coming to school without a lunch or without lunch money. I have wanted to do something about this for many years.
    This strategy would allow our government to study the impact that nutritional deficiencies have on the health and learning outcomes of elementary and high school students, and to work with provinces to fund food security programs that would result from a national school food security strategy to ensure that they operate at little to no direct cost to students and their families.

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

  (1615)  

Petitions

Conversion Therapy  

    Madam Speaker, I am happy to table four petitions in the House today. Hopefully, I will be able to get through them without being interrupted by heckling from the member for Cambridge or the member for Kingston and the Islands, who have a habit of doing that from time to time.
    The first petition is with respect to Bill C-6. Bill C-6 is the government's conversion therapy legislation that is currently before the House. Petitioners support the objective of the bill, which is to ban conversion therapy. However, they note that the bill poorly defines the practice of conversion therapy. The definition, as written, is so broad that it could apply to many conversations that simply have nothing to do with conversion therapy.
    Petitioners want to see the government support reasonable amendments to Bill C-6 and then work hard to pass a bill that would ban conversion therapy with an effective definition that isolates that particular horrific practice.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition I am tabling is about Bill S-204, a bill that has now passed the Senate and is currently before the House.
    It is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ in a case where there had not been consent. It also creates a mechanism by which a person could be made inadmissible to Canada if they were involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking. This bill has now passed the Senate unanimously twice. It passed in the House once before unanimously, in the same form, in the previous Parliament.
    Petitioners are hoping Bill S-204, which is the same as Bill S-240 from the previous Parliament, will be passed in this Parliament with the support of all members.

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, the third petition highlights the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China. It calls on the Government of Canada to recognize that genocide and take appropriate steps and responses, including reforming supply chain legislation and imposing Magnitsky sanctions on those involved in these horrific actions.

Ethiopia  

     Madam Speaker, the fourth and final petition highlights the human rights situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. I have been hearing from petitioners and many groups who are very concerned about the human rights situation in various parts of Ethiopia, but especially in the Tigray region.
    The petitioners are calling for greater involvement and engagement by the Government of Canada, including pushing for an end to violence, protection of civilians, humanitarian access, effective international independent investigations of war crimes and gross violations of human rights, and election monitoring.
    Petitioners, in particular, note the need for engagement with the Ethiopian, as well as the Eritrean, governments because the Eritrean army has had a presence in Tigray.
    I commend all these petitions to the consideration of members.

The Environment  

     Madam Speaker, it is an honour to table this petition initiated by constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
    The petitioners are deeply concerned about protecting British Columbia's endangered old-growth forests from logging. Recently, threatened screech owls on the species at risk list were discovered in these forests, but it is clear the B.C. NDP government does not give a hoot.
    Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the government to work with the province and first nations to immediately halt logging of endangered old-growth ecosystems, fund the long-term protection of old-growth ecosystems as a priority for Canada's climate action plan and reconciliation with indigenous peoples, support value-added forestry initiatives, in partnership with first nations, to ensure Canada's forestry industry is sustainable and based on the harvesting of second-growth forests, ban the export of raw logs and maximize resource use for local jobs, and ban the use of whole trees for wood pellet biofuel production.
     Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to table this petition, which states old-growth forests provide immeasurable benefits including carbon sequestration, biodiversity, culture, recreation, education, food and more. The last unprotected, intact old-growth valley on southern Vancouver Island, Fairy Creek, is slated for logging, along with the upper Walbran Valley and other remaining packets of old growth.
    The undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon the Government of Canada to work with the provinces and first nations to immediately halt logging of endangered old-growth ecosystems, fund the long-term protection of old-growth ecosystems as a priority for Canada's climate action plan and reconciliation with indigenous peoples, support value-added forestry initiatives, in partnership with first nations, to ensure Canada's forestry industry is sustainable and based on the harvesting of second- and third-growth forests, ban the export of raw logs and maximize resource use for local jobs, and ban the use of whole trees for wood pellet biofuel production.

  (1620)  

COVID-19 Emergency Response  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour of presenting e-petition 3296. As members may know, it was recently revealed that several hate groups, anti-LGBT groups and at least 45 anti-choice groups received Canada emergency wage subsidy funding. Previously, the government has stated that public funds of the government should not be directed to organizations that support discrimination or groups that are anti-choice.
    The petitioners are asking that the Government of Canada change the criteria for future subsidies to exclude anti-choice and hate groups, and revoke previously given funds to those anti-choice groups and hate groups.

Rights of the Unborn  

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by hundreds of Canadians calling on the House of Commons to grant full legal protection to the youngest Canadians: preborn children.
    The petitioners note that Parliament's most basic duty is to protect innocent human life, yet Canada lacks laws to protect the human rights of all Canadians, regardless of their stage of development. The petitioners highlight that scientific evidence puts it beyond doubt that each new human life has an identifiable biological beginning. They are asking parliamentarians to recognize this fact and move to grant legal protections to our youngest Canadians.

Questions on the Order Paper

[Text]

Question No. 589--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the survey that examines the income and characteristics of survivors of veterans married after the age of 60, currently being conducted by Veterans Affairs Canada in collaboration with Statistics Canada, as detailed in the government’s response to Q-84 on September 30, 2020: (a) on what date did the survey start; (b) what is the total number of veterans that are expected to be surveyed; (c) how many veterans have been surveyed to date; (d) what are the questions on the survey; (e) who is responsible for providing the list of names of potential survey participants; (f) what method is used to select the veterans who participate in the survey; and (g) what is the expected date when the survey will be finished?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, this is a data integration project based on records retrieved from administrative data. The population of interest for this project is living survivors who married or entered a common-law relationship with a veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The objective of the study is to estimate the size of the population of interest and provide its socio-economic portrait.
    In response to (a), the project was initiated in October 2019.
    In response to (b), the total number of veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces was included in the analysis, approximately 150,000.
    In response to (c), the target reaches all veterans who receive a pension from the Canadian Armed Forces. The records were retrieved from administrative data.
    In response to (d), there are no survey questions as this analysis was based on administrative records, which provide information on both Canadian Armed Forces employment history and veteran pension. The economic outcomes are retrieved for the total of the estimated population.
    In response to (e), the target population of the study was found through administrative records provided by the Department of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement Canada. Data presented in these administrative records will strictly adhere to Statistics Canada privacy and confidentiality guidelines as prescribed under the Statistics Act. Outputs from the study remain subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act. Disclosure control rules will be applied in order to safeguard the privacy of individual Canadians' personal information.
    In response to (f), the method used to estimate the population at study is based on two criteria: whether the married or common-law spouse of the veteran was still living and whether they entered a union with the veteran on or after the veteran’s 60th birthday. The eligibility was determined on administrative record information.
    In response to (g), the initial analysis was provided to Veterans Affairs Canada in January 2021. The results of the study are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022.
Question No. 591--
Mr. Kenny Chiu:
    With regard to the decision of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to ban the flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea: (a) prior to this decision, for how long has the practice of flash freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea been allowed; (b) on what date was this decision made; (c) who in the DFO made the decision; (d) on what date was the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard informed of this decision; (e) what are the details, including findings of any scientific research that led to this decision; (f) did the DFO conduct an economic impact assessment or engage in consultations before making this decision, and, (i) if so, what were the findings, (ii) if not, why not; (g) when will this decision come into effect; (h) what are the specific details regarding the current consultation and advisory period related to this decision, including timelines and targets for industry consultation; and (i) what is the government’s response to concerns that this decision will lead to a higher percentage of British Columbia spot prawns being exported as opposed to consumed domestically, as well as higher expenses for fishermen and higher prices for Canadian consumers?
Hon. Bernadette Jordan (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands how important the Pacific prawn fishery is to British Columbia’s economy and culture. That is why we are making sure that tubbing can continue and harvesters will be able to sell their catch to Canadians to enjoy. This season, we have confirmed our support for an interim protocol that was developed by the industry, which will help prawn harvesters ensure that their catch continues to be sustainable and will be available for sale. We will continue to a take a cautious approach to fisheries management, one that prioritizes the conservation and sustainability of the stocks while also supporting this important industry.
    In response to (a), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, has not banned the flash-freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The practice of flash-freezing prawns whole and individually finger-packed at sea has occurred since the 1990s and remains the predominant product type since the mid-1990s. Tubbing prawn tails at sea in frozen sea water has occurred for a number of years but has not been prevalent, and has grown in recent years. The industry estimates that about 10% of the total prawn catch is tubbed. Prawns are also delivered live.
    In response to (b), the requirement to pack prawns in a way such that the size can readily be determined is not a new or recent decision, nor has DFO recently changed its interpretation of the regulations. Any person who catches a fish while commercial fishing must have it packaged in a way that allows for the species, number, weight, and size to be readily determined. This regulation has been in place since 1993 and is essential for DFO to verify harvesters’ catches and properly manage fisheries, particularly in situations where size restrictions apply.
    DFO has been actively working with the commercial prawn industry on market traceability for packaging and labelling of prawns frozen at sea. Among the objectives of this project is to limit access to markets for illegal products, and for packaging to be done in a manner that will meet all existing federal and provincial regulations. Over the course of this work, DFO identified our concerns about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water, also known as “tubbing”, in late January 2021.
    DFO’s concerns with onboard packaging of prawn tails in tubs of frozen sea water are that this packaging does not enable the determination of the size of prawn tails in the tub, which is a requirement outlined in subsection 36(2) of the fishery general regulations, 1993. Size limits are an important component in managing conservation and the sustainability of the spot prawn. It is important that all packaging at sea allows for size limits to be readily determined by a fishery officer.
    In response to (c), over the course of the market traceability work, DFO Pacific region fisheries management and conservation and protection staff identified DFO’s concerns to industry representatives about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water.
    In response to (d), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The minister and her office were made aware of industry concerns about the prospect that tubbing may not meet regulatory requirements through industry outreach to her office and briefings from DFO officials in early March.
    In response to (e), size limits were first introduced in 1988 based on scientific research published in 1985. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry. A size limit allows prawns to grow, reach sexual maturity, and mate prior to being harvested. It also allows for increased growth prior to harvest. Harvesting prawns at a larger size increases the weight and value, price paid per pound, improving economic return.
    In response to (f), an analysis was conducted in 1985 estimating the increased dollar value and price to harvest prawns at a larger age and size. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry.
    In response to (g), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. As a result of DFO’s collaboration with industry, the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, which represents commercial prawn fishery licence-holders, has developed a protocol that provides guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO supports its use as an interim approach for 2021. The commercial fishery is scheduled to open May 14, 2021 and usually closes by end of June. DFO will continue to engage with industry over the coming year to determine a longer-term solution.
    In response to (h), DFO officials have been meeting with commercial prawn fishery representatives on this issue over the past several months. DFO recently convened a working group with fishing industry representatives to explore options for addressing the tubbing issue for 2021. The protocol is a result of this work. DFO will continue to work with industry to transition to packaging practices or other measures that will allow size limits to be readily determined over the coming year.
    In response to (i), no negative impacts are expected for export or domestic markets. DFO does not anticipate higher expenses for fishermen or higher prices for Canadian consumers. DFO is aware of the importance of tubbing to some harvesters. A protocol has been developed to provide guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO conservation and protection will apply discretion in its enforcement approach for the 2021 fishing season, recognizing the effort industry has made to establish the protocol and the challenges industry faces this year, while the development of different packaging practices or other measures is completed over the coming year.
Question No. 593--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to the granting of essential purpose permits under the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations: (a) for each permit granted, (i) to what entity was the permit granted, (ii) for what product was the permit granted, (iii) on what date was the permit issued, (iv) what is the permit's expiration date, (v) on what grounds did it meet the standard of necessity for the health and safety or the good functioning of society, encompassing its cultural and intellectual aspects, and being without technically or economically feasible alternatives that are acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health; and (b) in cases where the Department of Environment and Climate Change was made aware at any point during or after the permitting process of technically or economically feasible alternatives acceptable from the standpoint of environment and health to any product for which an essential purpose permit was granted, what steps has the department taken to revise or cancel the applicable permit?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part a), please refer to the following weblink for the information requested: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environmental-protection-act-registry/permits/authorizations-ozone-depleting-substances/companies-essential-purpose-permits-foam.html
    With regard to part b), the ozone-depleting substances and halocarbon alternatives regulations implement Canada’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol by controlling the import, export and manufacturing of ozone-depleting substances, ODS, and climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs. The regulations will help reduce Canada’s annual consumption of HFCs by 85% by 2036, making a significant contribution in Canada’s fight against climate change.
    The objective of the essential purpose permit provision is to provide flexibility for a limited period of time in recognition of the challenges that some companies may face in producing or acquiring compliant products by the deadlines established in the regulations. Any person subject to the regulations may apply for an essential purpose permit at any time. In order to get such a permit, the criteria set out in section 66 of the regulations must be met.
    The essential purpose permits provide a temporary exemption to the prohibitions. They can have a maximum duration of 36 months, and they include reporting and other obligations.
    Essential purpose permit applications are evaluated by carefully assessing the sector and the specific circumstances of the applicant against the criteria in section 66 of the regulations. In assessing applications, ECCC expects applicants to demonstrate that efforts are being made to find an alternative, including mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact if possible.
    These essential purpose permits do not affect Canada’s ability to meet its international obligations under the protocol or to achieve its HFC phase-down target. In fact, in both 2019 and 2020, Canada exceeded its HFC reduction obligations. The Montreal Protocol controls the production, import and export of bulk HFCs. The protocol does not cover the manufacture or importation of products that contain HFCs. The essential purpose permits only apply to regulated products that are not included in the Montreal Protocol. As such, these product prohibitions go beyond Canada’s obligations established under the protocol.
Question No. 595--
Mr. Paul Manly:
    With regard to the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights: (a) when is the statutory review of the act by a committee of Parliament expected to begin; (b) why has the said review been delayed beyond the required five years; (c) does the government plan to adopt any of the 15 recommendations of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime’s November 2020 Progress Report on the act, and, if so, which recommendations; and (d) has the Department of Justice assessed the outcomes of the act to date, and, if so, what are its findings?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, section 2.1 of former Bill C-32, an act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain acts, S.C. 2015, c. 13, provides that a committee of Parliament is to be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, CVBR. The launch of this review is, therefore, the independent responsibility of Parliament.
    The Government of Canada appreciates the importance of reviewing and assessing existing legal, policy and programmatic responses to increase access to justice for victims of crime in Canada. In support of these efforts, the government appreciates the contributions of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, including the recommendations included in its November 2020 progress report. These recommendations are currently being reviewed by federal officials, including at the Department of Justice.
    The Department of Justice recognizes that implementing the CVBR takes many forms and involves all levels of government and agencies that have responsibility in the criminal justice system. Since the CVBR came into force, federal, provincial and territorial governments have been advancing legislative, programmatic and policy initiatives to support its full implementation.
    A wide range of activities and investments have been made through the federal victims strategy in support of the CVBR, such as training for criminal justice professionals on victims’ rights, public legal education and awareness raising for victims to inform them about the rights they have in the criminal justice system, increasing access to critical services and supports for victims and survivors and their families, and increasing access to the information they need to help them through the criminal and corrections systems. At the same time, funding for new tools, such as testimonial aids and restitution programs, has been made available to help victims participate meaningfully and safely in the criminal justice system and have their voice heard. A formal evaluation of the federal victims strategy and the impact of those investments is forthcoming.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Madam Speaker, furthermore, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 592, 594 and to Starred Question No. 590 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 590--
Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille:
    With regard to the one-time tax-free payment to seniors as part of the COVID-19 pandemic: how many eligible seniors (i) in Canada, (ii) in Quebec, were unable to access their benefit because their Guaranteed Income Supplement applications were processed by the Canada Revenue Agency after September 11, 2020?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 592--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to correctional facilities under the purview of the Correctional Service of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 1, 2020, broken down by month, institution and the security level of the institution: (a) what was the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 contracted by (i) inmates, (ii) staff; (b) how many (i) inmates, (ii) staff, have died from COVID-19; (c) how many (i) inmates, (ii) staff, have died from suicide; (d) what methods were used to count or determine the number of COVID-19 cases in institution; (e) which department or government agency is responsible for developing measures used to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in correctional facilities; (f) what measures were instated to ensure personal protective equipment distribution to (i) guards, (ii) inmates, (iii) visitors; (g) since the pandemic began, what specific health guidelines have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 by or to (i) guards, (ii) inmates, (iii) visitors, and on what date was each measure put into place; and (h) for each guideline in (g), which advisory body or regional health authority recommended the guideline?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 594--
Ms. Laurel Collins:
    With regard to federal funding in the constituency of Victoria, between October 21, 2019, and March 31, 2021: (a) what applications for funding have been received, including for each (i) the name of the organization, (ii) the department, (iii) the program and sub-program under which applicants have requested funding, (iv) the date of the application, (v) the amount applied for, (vi) whether the funding was approved or not, (vii) the total amount of funding, if the funding was approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued through its various departments and agencies that did not require a direct application from the applicant, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which applicants have received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if the funding was approved; and (c) what projects have been funded by organizations tasked with subgranting government funds (e.g. Community Foundations of Canada), including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which applicants have received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if the funding was approved?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès): I wish to inform the House that, because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 41 minutes.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

    The House resumed from May 25 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.
    The hon. member for Saskatoon—University has three minutes and 45 seconds remaining for questions and comments.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen's Privy Council.
    Madam Speaker, we have before us a very important piece of legislation. It is legislation that continues what the government started over 12 months ago, which is to be there for Canadians in a very real and tangible way during this pandemic and going forward.
    I am wondering if my friend could just provide his thoughts on why it is so important that we continue to provide support to individuals, and businesses in particular, so we can be in a better position to even build back better.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member brings up the supports for business, and there is not a business owner who I have talked to in the last few months who is not concerned about the future. They are concerned about what the government is doing, or not doing, on a growth agenda to actually get the the economy growing again and get people back to work. That is what people are looking for, and that is what those people are most let down by in this budget. It does not have a road map to get Canada growing again.
    It has been a disappointment to the people of Saskatoon—University and the individuals who are looking for hope. After two years of waiting for the budget, I would think there would be something in there to get the economy back on its feet, and there is nothing. That is a disappointment to me and to many of the other residents in Saskatoon—University. They are disappointed with the government.

  (1625)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the fact that the increase to old age security will apply only to seniors aged 75 and over and will not take effect until 2022, when a need is already being felt right now. I would like to know what he thinks about this harmful decision to create two classes of seniors.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, what the Liberals have done is insulting. They drew the line at 75 for no reason. The HUMA committee, which I serve on, talked to the Minister of Seniors, and she had no good answer for why that year was chosen as the cut-off for seniors, who have suffered so much during this pandemic. They are looking for their second doses, and they are just not getting them from the federal government.
    Liberals do not realize how many seniors' lives have been changed because of the lack of doses in our country, especially the lack of second doses. I think of all the seniors who, for the last year and a half, have sacrificed their freedom and their ability to see friends and family. They are being let down by the government, which refuses to get those second doses into our country and into arms.
    Seniors watching the hockey games may have seen some of the highlights in the States, and they have arenas full of people. Then when they watched the Habs and the Leafs last night, there was no one in the stands. It is a stark reminder to Canadians how much the government, with its lack of action on the procurement of vaccines, has let down seniors and individuals across the country.
    We are months away from getting what the states have received so far in vaccines. What will get us through this will be getting the second doses into people's arms, but it is not happening fast enough under the Liberal government.

[Translation]

     It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona, International Trade; the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Ethics; the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Human Rights.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I live in Mississauga and I proudly represent my constituents of Mississauga East—Cooksville. I know how hard they work to provide for their families; protect their health and provide a better education for their kids, which we know are the keys to a better future; and to take care of their aging parents and grandparents. In short, they work to build and to dream. That is what Mississauga East—Cooksville is all about, and in turn, that is what the Canadian dream is from coast to coast to coast.
    That is why, when a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic such as COVID-19 shook the very foundations of our health care, and social and economic systems, our government stepped up and ensured that we would do everything we could to help protect Canadians. As the Prime Minister often says, we have Canadians' backs, meaning we will be there for Canadians every step of the way to support them and to help them weather this storm. The actions we have taken have helped Canadians stay safe and buffer the worst economic impacts.
    This third wave has hit hard, with further public health restrictions and regional lockdowns leading to many Canadians facing unemployment or reduced hours this last couple of months. As we work to finish the fight against COVID-19, we will continue to support Canadians through programs such as the Canada recovery benefit, a more flexible EI program and the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which continue to be lifelines for so many Canadians.
    That is why we announced through budget 2021 that we will be maintaining flexible access to EI benefits for another year until the fall of 2022, fulfilling our campaign promise to extend EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks, extending the Canada recovery benefit by an additional 12 weeks until September 25, and expanding the Canada workers benefit to support low-wage workers.
    These are historic investments that address the most pressing issues exacerbated by COVID-19, which are to put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses back on a track, and ensure a healthier, greener and more prosperous Canada.
    I would like to commend the Minister of Finance because Bill C-30 brings us to the next stage. It is a recovery plan for jobs, growth and resilience, the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that brings all Canadians along. The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women, and racialized Canadians.
    The pandemic has laid bare long-standing inequities in our economy. Budget 2021 is an inclusive plan that takes action to break down barriers to full economic participation for all Canadians. It would establish a $15 federal minimum wage.
    For businesses, it has been a two-speed recession, with some finding ways to prosper and grow, but many businesses, especially small businesses, fighting to survive. Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and toward a robust recovery. It proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and to make investments to create jobs and help businesses across the economy come roaring back. Budget 2021 is a plan that puts the government on track to meet its commitment to create one million jobs by the end of the year.
     Budget 2021 is a historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession by putting people first, creating jobs, growing the middle class, setting businesses on track for that long-term growth, and ensuring that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener and more prosperous.
     The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting Canadians’ health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. Vaccine rollout is under way across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory.
    In my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, over 60% of adults have received their first vaccine, and this past weekend we began to inoculate kids 12 and over. I accompanied my 15-year-old twin boys, Alexander and Sebastien, to get their first shot through Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Hospital mass vaccination site this weekend.

  (1630)  

    I want to thank all the frontline staff, volunteers and emergency services for making the experience a friendly, efficient safe and secure one. We could see how proud, joyful, hopeful and, I have to say, patriotic people felt, that they were doing their part to safeguard themselves, their family members, their community and their country by getting vaccinated and helping shield us from this horrible virus. People are starting to be cautiously hopeful as vaccines roll out and we approach herd immunity. Canadians can dream once again of something approaching normality.
    During last week's constituency week, I had the opportunity to meet with Mississauga and Peel Region's leadership team of elected officials, management and stakeholders to discuss long-term care and the continuum of care with a focus on our seniors and vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has strained our long-term care facilities across the country and in my community of Mississauga East—Cooksville like never before. I want to thank the Minister of Finance for the well-deserved measures to strengthen long-term care and supportive care.
    Many seniors have faced economic challenges as they take on extra costs to stay safe and protect their health. This 2021 budget proposes to provide $90 million to Employment and Social Development Canada, a government department responsible for social programs, to launch the age well at home initiative. This initiative would assist community-based organizations to provide practical support that helps low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors to age in place, such as matching seniors with volunteers who can help them with meal preparation, home maintenance, daily errands, yardwork and transportation. This initiative would also target regional and national projects to help expand services that have already demonstrated results helping seniors stay in their homes. Funding would be provided over a three-year period starting in 2021-22. I am pleased to say that many non-profits and charitable organizations working with seniors across the country stand to benefit from this measure.
    In addition, the 2021 budget proposes to build on work conducted by the Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standards Association in launching a process to develop national standards focused on improving the quality of life of seniors in long-term care homes. This budget would provide $3 billion over five years to Health Canada to support provinces and territories, ensuring standards for long-term care are applied and permanent changes are made; and, $41.3 million over six years and $7.7 million ongoing, starting in 2021-22, for Statistics Canada to improve data infrastructure and data collection on supportive care, primary care and pharmaceuticals.

  (1635)  

    We made a campaign commitment promising to increase old age security, OAS, benefits for seniors aged 75 and older. Many seniors are living longer and they are relying on monthly benefits to afford retirement. These funds would be delivered in two steps. The 2021 budget would support seniors by providing a one-time payment this August of $500 and increase regular OAS payments for pensioners 75 and over by 10% on an ongoing basis as of July next year. This would increase the benefits for approximately 3.3 million seniors, providing additional benefits of $766 for full pensioners in the first year and indexed to inflation going forward. This would give seniors more financial security later in life, particularly at the time when they face increased care expenses. In total, the two measures represent $12 billion over five years for our seniors in additional financial support, beginning in 2021-22; and at least $3 billion per year ongoing, to be delivered by Employment and Social Development Canada.
    Budget 2021 invests in Canada's biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to rebuild domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity. It has a plan to put in place national standards for long-term care and mental health services.
    Budget 2021 makes a generational investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. This is a plan to drive economic growth, increase women's participation in the workforce and offer each child in Canada the best start in life. Budget 2021 would invest almost $30 billion over the next five years and provide permanent ongoing funding, working with provincial and territorial and indigenous partners to support quality not-for-profit child care, ensuring the needs of early childhood educators are at the heart of the system. The goal is to reach $10 per day on average by—

  (1640)  

    The hon. member will have the opportunity to pursue through questions and comments.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the member for his passion and I invite him to use the first 10 seconds of his response to finish his speech.
    Then I would like to ask him about a very serious concern that my constituents are raising with me over and over again, and that is inflation. The cost of groceries is going up. The cost of lumber is going up. The cost of housing is now out of reach for many millions and millions of Canadians. What in the budget will address this significant economic issue that my constituents keep bringing up maybe because I do not see anything?
    Madam Speaker, I cannot thank the hon. member enough for allowing me to conclude. What I want to say to every member in the House of Commons is that this is about helping protect Canadians' health, supporting our workers and businesses and giving assistance to those who have been hardest hit by this pandemic. Supporting this budget and Bill C-30 is what will really help Canada build back better.
    As the member heard, it is very comprehensive. It is about taking care of our most vulnerable, assisting our businesses so they can bridge this pandemic and this difficult time. It is about helping our students and our seniors. This is the time to invest in Canadians. We know Canadians work hard and we are going to continue to invest in Canadians so that we will create those million jobs and build back better.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    He talked about a number of things, including help for seniors. At the moment, groups that support seniors are unanimous on this issue, as are members of Parliament. It was in the news again today.
    How can he justify his party's choice to leave a whole group of seniors out in the cold? These seniors are sounding the alarm. They say they need help too. Caregivers under 75 have needs too.
    How can he justify his party standing alone on an issue as crucial as helping all seniors starting at age 65?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the opportunity to thank our seniors. Our seniors have built our country, so through their hard work, through their sweat and tears they have built this magnificent country we have here in Canada.
    That is why, since we formed government in 2015, we have worked with seniors and supported seniors. We increased the GIS at that time. We have brought more supports to the community for seniors. I am proud of the commitment we made to increasing the OAS for seniors aged 75 and over, when expenses do get higher as people get older be it for medications and other needs; that is the right direction. Our government will always have the backs of our seniors.
    Madam Speaker, I have known the hon. member for a number of years now as he was my seatmate prior to the pandemic. As a result of that, I know that during his time as a member of provincial parliament in Ontario and certainly since 2015 in federal politics, he has been a champion for seniors' issues.
    We heard him speak passionately about provisions in the budget that will assist seniors, but I wonder if he could expand on that specifically on the issue of long-term care and what it means to his constituents in Mississauga.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member and great friend for giving me the opportunity to speak to something that I am very passionate about.
    When it comes to long-term care, we saw through this pandemic the tragedy in our long-term care homes, particularly here in Mississauga, but also in London and right across our province and across our country. We saw seniors not treated to the standards to which we believe Canadians should be treated, to have the dignity and respect. We have come forward with $3 billion to be able to assist and work with our partners, the provinces and the municipalities to be able to provide the level of care that we deem should be a standard and is vitally important. All Canadians feel the same way. It broke our hearts to see how seniors were treated in long-term care homes.

  (1645)  

    Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-30, the Liberal government's budget implementation bill.
    It took almost two years for the Liberals to get around to presenting a budget, the longest period in Canadian history without a budget. For decades there had never been a gap of more than two years between budgets, until the current Liberal government. Despite COVID-19, all other G7 countries produced budgets last year, so too did our provinces and territories, yet for two years, Canadians expecting the Liberal government to lay out its priorities in an open and transparent fashion were left waiting.
    The fact we are here today debating this bill is positive, but presenting a budget is one of the bare minimums expected of any government. Now that we have this budget, it has been something of a letdown. One would think that after two years with time to prepare the Liberals would knock it out of the park, but that is not what happened.
    As I listened to debate on this bill and reviewed the contents in my role on the Standing Committee on Finance, I have been struck more by what is absent from the budget than what is included. I noticed the Liberals are doing the bare minimum of what is expected of them and then expecting accolades in return.
    As Canadians continue to face challenges as a result of COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed upon governments in response to COVID-19, Conservatives have been clear that those struggling need support. When the government forces someone to close down their business or prevents customers from shopping at their store, the government has a duty to support them through that situation. When the government forces people to stay home and prevents them from earning an income, the government has a duty to support them through that situation. Everyone in this House gets that and I think they all support it.
    Measures to that effect included in Bill C-30 are important, but they are the bare minimum the government can do for Canadians during this time. A serious budget would do something more. It would include a road map to help Canadians move beyond this endless cycle of restrictions and lockdowns. It would include a data-driven plan to safely reopen the economy.
    As we have heard time and time again from witnesses at the finance committee, a plan would help many small businesses, many hard-hit industries, looking for some certainty to help them plan for the future. Workers employed in sectors like tourism and hospitality, the aviation industry or our border communities depend on cross-border travel. They deserve to know when their lives will return to normal.
    As Canadian families struggle to recover from a tough year, budget 2021 offers little encouragement. Instead, the Liberals are asking Canadians to accept the bare minimum. Besides a safe plan for reopening, this budget was a missed opportunity to address the need to support Canada's economic recovery and growth. After living with COVID-19 in Canada for more than a year, how can the government still be spinning its tires?
    Upon reviewing this budget, many economists have lamented the troubling reality that this budget is more about short-term benefit than positioning our economy for long-term success. I know the Liberals like to look good, but I would argue that doing good, not just looking good, is what Canadians want and expect from their government.
    For example, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said, “What we're seeing in some other jurisdictions is that the focus is more squarely on the growth.” Another former Bank of Canada governor, David Dodge, noted “a lack of growth-focused initiatives in the budget.”
    Robert Asselin, a former top economic adviser to the Liberal government described the new spending as “unfocused and unimaginative.” He also wrote, “it was clear for some time that the government’s decision to spend more than $100 billion in so-called short-term stimulus was a political solution in search of an economic problem.”
    Former clerk of the Privy Council, Kevin Lynch, said the budget “misses an urgent opportunity to rebuild our longer-term growth post-pandemic.” He also said, “Despite the extraordinary emphasis on stimulus, there is little focus and few measures to rebuild Canada's longer-term growth.”
    These comments, taken together, point to a real problem. If one's house is on fire, one wants and expects the fire department to come to one's aid. When it is the only house on fire, the resources are best directed toward that home. However, if the fire department showed up and sprayed a little water on that home then moved on to spray some water on the neighbour's place then turned around and sprayed the houses across the street, one would seriously question their approach.
    It matters where the flow of water is directed, yet this seems to be the approach taken with this budget. There is no focus, no intentionality in terms of directing resources where they are actually required so Canada can move beyond the economic harms inflicted throughout COVID and thrive once again. Without doing the hard work of determining where federal tax dollars can be most impactful, the Liberals are asking Canadians to accept their bare minimum effort.

  (1650)  

    As Canada continues to grapple with COVID-19, one of the most important tasks of the government was to provide increased sustainable funding to the provinces for the provision of health care. This request was made by the provinces and supported by organizations like the Canadian Medical Association.
     The CMA stated:
    As provinces and territories continue to struggle with the ever-increasing cost of providing care, the federal government must follow through on its own promise to work with premiers on revisiting the Canada Health Transfer. Without this collaboration, our healthcare system, which has been put through the ultimate stress test, will struggle to recover.
    Perhaps now more than ever Canadians recognize the importance of ensuring our health care system is sustainable. Unfortunately the Liberal budget does not. It touches on mental health and long-term care, but does not take the biggest and strongest step in the right direction by responding to the requests made by the province. Again, it does the bare minimum.
    Another big concern is that the Liberals continue an avoidance of implementing a meaningful fiscal anchor to guide levels of public spending. In their budget document, there is only one reference, which states:
    The government is committed to unwinding COVID-related deficits and reducing the federal debt as a share of the economy over the medium-term.
    This is extremely vague. This is not a fiscal anchor; it is aspirational. At best, it is a wish list. There is not a hard stop to be found in the budget and no specific benchmarks that have been clearly established as fiscal anchors. At best, we could call them perhaps a guardrail.
    Economist Jack Mintz wrote:
    This is a pretty weak fiscal anchor. It perpetuates deficit financing forever. It is also easily violated every time the economy slips into a recession, such as our recent one. As debt ratchets up as a share of the economy, the rule permits bigger and bigger federal deficits over time.
    I like the definition of a fiscal anchor offered by the Business Council of Canada. It notes, “notional ceilings or caps to the levels of public spending, deficits, and debt that governments are prepared to reach in their fiscal policy.” Its definition identifies the purpose of a fiscal anchor as well as:
1 Retaining the confidence of lenders and global markets...
2 Establishing a positive investment climate for businesses;
3 Providing a measure of fiscal discipline inside government...and
4 Ensuring that the government has the ability to respond to future economic shocks and unforeseen crises.
    These are the types of fiscal anchors the Liberals should have been striving for, yet, once again, they are offering Canadians the bare minimum in an attempt to be transparent and accountable but without actually committing to a real metric.
    To try and showcase the budget as something more than a bare minimum budget, the Liberals announced big plans for child care. The government could have taken the time to better understand the unique needs of parents and families, but instead of doing the hard work, it is pushing a one-size-fits-all Ottawa-knows-best approach to child care in Canada.
    The Association of Day Care Operators of Ontario has highlighted the consequences of this proposal: uncertainty for families, limited access, job losses at existing day cares and the closure of many women-owned small businesses.
    Andrea Hannen told the finance committee, “We shouldn't have systems that require families to mold themselves to the system. The system should evolve to allow families to be in the driver's seat.”
    The committee also heard from Andrea Mrozek, a mother and child care researcher. When I asked her about the Liberal child care plan, she said, “It's not an equitable way...of helping families who address their child care need in many diverse ways.”
    By pursuing a plan that perhaps is good for press for the Liberal government, it leaves many Canadians behind. The Liberals yet again having shown that this budget is only about doing the bare minimum. Canadian families need more than the bare minimum. They need a budget that helps those struggling through COVID-19 today and sets them up to succeed tomorrow. They need a budget that does not just spend for the sake of spending, but rather makes targeted investments that will generate tangible results for all Canadians. They need a budget that sets real goals for ensuring Canada's long-term fiscal sustainability, a budget that supports families in making best choices for themselves. Sadly, this bare minimum budget does not cut it.

  (1655)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    I would like to know what he thinks of the idea of creating a Canadian securities regulator that would be based in Toronto, as proposed in the bill, especially given that Quebec has had its own securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers, for a long time, and it is working extremely well.
    Does my colleague believe that the existing entities should be respected and maintained and that the federal government, which as usual thinks it has all the answers, should not be allowed to encroach yet again?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, unfortunately I do not have an answer for that specific question, but putting in the proper regulations and oversight for the things he mentioned is a good idea, and they could be done.
    Madam Speaker, I first want to acknowledge what is a statement of fact: We know that Canadian women have suffered greatly during this pandemic, and part of that reason is because of a lack of access to child care.
     I was very concerned to hear the member decry the historic commitment to child care, which is something that we in the NDP have been pushing for, as have many Canadian women.
    How can women get back into the workforce and do the work they need to do to regain their standing without child care?
    Madam Speaker, the member for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski's question is a good one and a valid one.
    We heard from many witnesses at committee. They talked about the $10 day care and early learning education program that has been presented in the budget. The overwhelming response from those folks was that this program would not be accessible to all women across Canada.
     There are many types of day care and child care set ups that women and parents right across Canada are employing through the use of friends, neighbours and licenced day cares. A $10-a-day government-knows-best subsidized day care system will not provide parents the choice they require, including women in the workplace.
    Madam Speaker, a headline in the Winnipeg Free Press today reads, “Manitoba is less than two weeks away from vaccinating 70 per cent of its eligible population against the novel coronavirus in a final push to bend the COVID-19 curve of Canada's hot spot.”
    From day one, the Government of Canada has been there in very tangible ways, through the creation of the CERB program, with over nine million Canadians having direct increases to disposal income; and numerous government supports for small businesses. Now we see some light at the end of the tunnel. Also, Manitobans saw the flash of the Winnipeg Jets sweeping the series 4-0 against Edmonton, which made a lot of us feel good.
    I wonder if my colleague from Manitoba could provide his thoughts on some better things we could be conveying to Manitobans.
    Madam Speaker, I want to compliment the member for Winnipeg North on his recognition of our Winnipeg Jets having ousted the Oilers in four straight games, led by Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. Of course, we are looking forward to continued success. We are looking forward to a Canadian team from the centre of Canada, which is in my riding, holding the Stanley Cup.
    What should we be telling Canadians? When COVID-19 hit, the government needed to act quickly, and it did. As Conservatives, we supported what the government did. In fact, when it came to the Canada employment wage subsidy, initially the government rolled out a 10% wage employment subsidy to employers that were experiencing a decline in sales. We, as Conservatives, proposed to increase that to 75% so the folks who were hurting could really benefit.
     We joined together with the other parties in the House to come to the aid of the folks who wanted it. Unfortunately, this budget falls way short of providing additional support.

  (1700)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I was thinking today about how I should approach the budget implementation bill.
    I have a particular fondness for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. I like it when he says we are trying to pick a fight. I was wondering how to interpret that, and I was reminded of a name my father used to call me when I was a teenager.
    My father was the king of neologisms. He was a guy who could invent concepts and words. When I was young, he would tell me that I was “contrarious”. I do not know if that came from the word “contrary” or “contrarian”, but he told me that “contrarious” means someone who scratches their backside when their head is itchy. That is just his turn of phrase. I do not mean to be offensive. That, according to my father, is what it means to be “contrarious”. I think that someone who is “contrarious” is someone who goes against what makes sense. It is true that in my teenage years, I frequently did things that did not make sense and defied my father out of stubbornness.
     Now when I hear this government telling us that we are trying to pick a fight, I often think that they are using the same contrarian rhetoric. I am not saying that the government has an itchy head and is scratching the wrong spot. That is not what I am saying. I am simply saying that perhaps some of the government's actions are counterproductive.
    In my view, there are four aspects of Bill C-30 that clearly demonstrate that the government's actions are counterproductive.
    The first aspect is old age security. My office has never received as many complaints as it has about the government's proposal to give $500 to people aged 75 and over.
    While my father used to use the analogy that our heads are itchy but we are scratching our backsides, I would say that seniors are fired up, and that is the truth. I have never received so many complaints, both online and by email. This is unfair. It creates two classes of seniors. We have made our position clear, but we did not even need to, since that is how it looks on the ground.
    The seniors receiving the payment are unhappy. Seniors aged 75 and over who have a spouse under 75 who will not be receiving it are unhappy, and they are vocal about it. Some of the emails I received even got quite abusive, blaming me as if it had been my decision. I am getting this type of criticism. It is understandable in the context of the pandemic that there are tensions and people who are unhappy. As we know, seniors were the ones who were overlooked during the pandemic.
    The Bloc Québécois made a proposal, masterfully presented by the member for Shefford, that I think was rational and reasonable. Why not increase old age security by $110 a month and increase the guaranteed income supplement by $70 for a couple and $50 for a single person? To me, this is a desirable and reasonable position.
    I said earlier that the government is acting unreasonably. In my opinion, it is not picking a fight to say that. I am saying that, having listened to the people on the ground, the seniors in my riding, I believe that a desirable and reasonable position would be to increase old age security by $110 and the guaranteed income supplement by $50 or by $70 for a couple.
    Health transfers are another aspect of Bill C-30 that I find unreasonable. To me, this perfectly encapsulates what is not working in federalism. I clearly remember two instances of what we call Canadian-style neo-liberalism that took place in the Canadian federation after the 1995 referendum, in 1996-97 and 1997-98. The government cut transfer payments by $2 billion each fiscal year. It totally dismantled Quebec's health system.
    There was a report, the Séguin report, which was issued not by a sovereignist, but by a federalist. This report demonstrated what we call the fiscal imbalance. No one ever came out and said that it was conjured up and contrived by the interests of people who had a different political opinion from the sovereignists. No one ever came out and said that, but I think it is a proven fact.
    Then there was a slightly better agreement on health transfers with the Conservatives, thanks to a bit of a push from our party, it must be said.

  (1705)  

    Then, under the Harper government, we were back to meagre health care funding. Year after year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that if nothing changed with respect to health transfers, provincial deficits would grow while the federal government ended up swimming in surpluses. That is according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, not me. It is in the 2013 report.
    What is in Bill C-30? Certainly not the 35% the provinces want. The government is signalling that transfers will come with strings attached. That is what we saw for senior care. That seems to be the government's intention. I think this indicates something unreasonable that nobody wants to see.
    Another fairly important aspect of Bill C-30 that made me raise my eyebrows when I read it is the extension of various programs, such as the wage subsidy. My thought was that, if the government were interested in fixing a mistake, it could simply change the wage subsidy to make it off-limits to political parties, but there is nothing about that in Bill C-30.
    It is no secret that we will likely be in campaign mode soon. Some political parties will be campaigning using money from the wage subsidy. We are still waiting for our Conservative friends to pay back this money. They at least admitted that it may not have been ethical and may not have been the right thing to do. The Liberal Party and our colleagues in the NDP, however, seem quite comfortable with their decision to claim the wage subsidy.
    The government could propose a worthwhile amendment to fix that. At the very least, an amendment would send the message that members of the House of Commons do not create programs that benefit them personally. That is all I will say.
    The infamous green recovery is another thing that I think is unreasonable and counterproductive. I will never understand what the government is trying to do with this green recovery. There is virtually no mention of it in Bill C-30.
    The only information have we gotten about the green recovery so far is an announcement about the electrification of transportation.
    Allow me to back up a little. I am sure this figure is shocking, but the government is talking about a $17.6-billion investment in the green recovery.
    Do members know how much the Trans Mountain pipeline cost? It cost $17.1 billion, and that was just one project. Overall, the pipeline costs as much as the green recovery.
    That is an image that really hits home, for anyone who is serious about the environment. When it comes to the green recovery, what we have been hearing about is the electrification of transportation. That bothers me a bit because Ontario is going to make off with most of the money associated with that, yet it is the only province that is no longer offering a rebate for purchasing an electric vehicle. That is ironic, but let us leave that aside.
    The other thing that really bothers me is that the government announced its intention to get into hydrogen production. There are three types of hydrogen. In committee, the government told us that it would prefer to develop the hydrogen market without making a distinction. Anyone who is familiar with the energy sector would tell us that the worst idea out there right now is grey hydrogen. There is no way that making hydrogen out of oil and gas is environmentally friendly. It is anything but.
    Lastly, I want to talk about the forestry industry. There is nothing in Bill C-30 about the much-talked-about $55 million that was announced for the investments in forest industry transformation program, or IFIT. Why is it not in there? I do not know. Fifty-five million dollars is nothing. It is peanuts compared to the support that was announced for the oil and gas industry. There is nothing about that in Bill C-30.
    I do not have much time left, but, in closing, I want to tell my friend, the leader of the government, that I am not trying to pick a fight, but when my head is itchy, I scratch it, and when my backside is itchy, I scratch that. It is important to be consistent.

  (1710)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Jonquière for his speech.
    In his speech, he highlighted the Bloc Québécois's work on two very important files, seniors and health transfers. He also spoke about the green recovery. We both want to represent the interests of Quebec.
    I think that support for the forestry industry is another area that he is very invested in.
    I would like him to tell us more about how this sector could be part of the green recovery.
    Madam Speaker, what a fantastic opportunity. My party commissioned a study on maximizing the potential of the forestry industry in Quebec. We are talking about 16,000 jobs over a 10-year period.
    The forestry industry is probably the sector that is best positioned to fight climate change and rising greenhouse gases. As everyone knows, the forest is a carbon sink. Unfortunately, the federal government hardly ever funds the forestry industry.
    In Quebec alone, this sector represents $20 billion in economic spinoffs per year, yet the federal government only supports this sector to the tune of 0.03%. That is tragic compared to the oil and gas industry.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his wonderful speech.
    Given the dramatic increase in debt, is the member not concerned that the Liberal government will cut transfers to the provinces, as happened in the 1990s under the Chrétien government?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague is quite right to be concerned.
    When we return to the House after the next election campaign, we will probably come back to the idea of a balanced budget. That is what usually happens.
    I do not want to displease my colleague, but governments, whether Liberal or Conservative, sadly have this unfortunate habit of balancing their budgets on the backs of the provinces.
    That is when transfer payments get cut. That is what happened in the 1990s, but the Harper government did the same thing from 2013 onwards when it cut transfer payments. We have to expect this and be very vigilant about it.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, one thing we committed to in the last federal election was to increase OAS by 10% for seniors over 75. That commitment was made during the election, and in this budget we see a fulfillment of it.
    Would the member not agree that in supporting our seniors, the government's response in fulfilling the commitment to seniors over 75 is a positive thing, especially when we factor in the other increases and one-time payments that we have given to all seniors aged 65 and over?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I challenge the parliamentary secretary to say that to the seniors in my riding who saw the $500 for those 75 and up as a direct affront and a vote-grabbing ploy.
    If he is interested and would like an answer, I can forward the emails and Facebook messages I received. I am certain that my colleagues would be very pleased to do the same. He would have enough reading material for probably the next two or three weeks.

  (1715)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, there is a special place for Quebec in this budget, but there are not necessarily the same ramifications for Alberta. I am wondering if the member thinks that all provinces should be treated equally.

[Translation]

    The member for Jonquière has just enough time for a brief answer.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague said there is a special place for Quebec, but not Alberta.
    If you look at the federal funding for the oil and gas industry and the funding for the forestry industry—
    I am going to have to encourage the hon. members to have a discussion somewhere else.

[English]

    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to rise today from the territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and to serve the communities of Nanaimo—Ladysmith in the territories of the Snaw-naw-as, Stz'uminus and Lyackson First Nations.
    The budget is over 700 pages long and the budget implementation act is over 300 pages long, so there is a lot of ground to cover in a short speech. I have picked some of the key positive and negative aspects to highlight.
    A national child care system is a program the Green Party has been calling for for decades. This program is needed more urgently than ever, as we begin to address the heavy impact the pandemic has had on working mothers. The Province of Quebec has been providing low-cost child care for the past two decades, and researchers have studied what has been successful there and what has not. I am encouraged to see the government supporting the not-for-profit model. We must not allow the quality of child care or the quality of—
    I am sorry to cut the member off, but we have issues with sound and interpretation.
     It is now working. Please proceed.
    Madam Speaker, the budget makes some positive steps toward addressing the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in Canada. Unfortunately, it is not enough to make up for decades of neglect by the federal government. Housing is a human right, recognized in international law and affirmed in the national housing strategy. Much more needs to be done to ensure that right is respected. Weak regulations have allowed our housing market to be used by the global ultrawealthy for tax evasion and money laundering. These activities have driven up the cost of housing to unsustainable levels and it continues to climb. Where does this end?
    We should be looking at regulations to protect Canada's residential real estate market. Many countries have regulations that restrict foreign buyers. I have heard both Conservatives and Liberals talk about how much they love foreign direct investment. When people earning median incomes can no longer afford to own or rent a home without spending 50% or more of their income, is foreign direct investment in housing benefiting Canadians? Housing prices in Canada have gone up an average of 30% in the past year. We have barely begun to see the fallout of that.
    The investment in Canada's nature legacy is a very welcome addition, especially the funding directed to indigenous protected and conserved areas, or IPCAs. Reconnecting indigenous people back to their traditional lands is key to reconciliation. A sixth mass extinction is happening right now. Species are disappearing at a rapid rate, and we are losing important and endangered ecosystems around the planet. The endangered big tree old-growth ecosystems on Vancouver Island are a perfect example of where the funding from Canada’s nature legacy should be spent. Indigenous protected and conserved areas would put land under the control and authority of local first nations. This ensures long-term economic development built on harvesting second-growth forests and creating value-added forest products, while preserving old growth for eco-tourism and traditional practices.
    Low-income seniors in my riding have been asking for additional pandemic relief and for a permanent increase in the old age security. The budget promises that old age security will increase in 2022, a year from now, but only for seniors over the age of 75. This is creating two classes of seniors: those 75 and up and those under 75. This is going to force more seniors to continue working in jobs that young people could be filling.
    It is positive that the government is moving toward national standards for long-term care, but bolder action needs to be taken. The pandemic has exposed glaring deficiencies in some provinces that allowed for the warehousing of seniors in for-profit homes. Serious action should be taken against private for-profit long-term care homes that used pandemic relief funding to give executives and shareholders a bonus instead of fixing deficiencies.
    The government has made a good start with additional support for students during the pandemic, with interest relief and an increase in student grants, but it is time to take bold action to bring Canada fully into the knowledge-based economy. It is time to follow the lead of northern European countries and make post-secondary education in this country tuition-free.
    The Green Party has long been calling for improvements to our health care system, with an increase of health transfers and a system that recognizes provincial demographic differences. There is an incremental move toward universal pharmacare, but we need bolder steps to ensure Canadians have access to the medicine they need. We have been calling for universal pharmacare, universal dental care, universal mental health services, wellness care and a patient-centred focus on health and well-being to keep people out of the sickness care system, because we know that all of these things will save money in the long run and keep Canadians healthier.
    Small businesses are going to have a more difficult recovery than large multinational companies that have been able to ride out the storm with big box stores and online sales. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the lifeblood of the economy. They hire the vast majority of private sector workers. Special consideration needs to be given to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across this country are able to recover. The wage subsidy ends in September. Many businesses in my riding need help well beyond September.
    This is Tourism Week. The budget commitments to the tourism industry are not enough. Tourism's contribution to the economy is underestimated. Tourism employs more people than oil and gas in Canada, and $500 million is not adequate to meet the needs of tourism operators across the country, especially for those who will not be in full operation again until at least 2022.

  (1720)  

    I hear from constituents like Shelley and Dave, who own and operate CruisePlus, a company that books tours in Canada and around the world. When the pandemic hit, they and their team worked hard to get Canadians home and cancel bookings. They have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. They have lost well-trained, loyal employees and are concerned about the end of the wage subsidy. They will lose support before they are expecting to be able to restart their business in a serious way.
    The plan to lower the Canada recovery benefit from the current $500 a week to $300 a week by July needs to be re-examined. Workers are still struggling and may not be able to find enough work to compensate for that reduction.
    The pandemic has demonstrated the need to improve our social safety net with a guaranteed livable income. We are going to see additional shocks to our economy with automation, artificial intelligence and climate change. A guaranteed livable income can help ensure that no one falls through the cracks as we navigate these new realities.
    How will we pay for all these things? During the peak of the pandemic, more than 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their jobs or were working half of their normal hours. More than half of Canadians are within $200 of not being able to cover their monthly bills. At the same time, Canada's 48 richest billionaires increased their wealth by $78 billion and now have almost a quarter of a trillion dollars among them. We now know that some large corporations used taxpayer-funded relief programs to pay their shareholders and executives huge bonuses. That is disgusting.
    Canada needs an increase in the progressive tax rate at the higher income brackets. We also need a wealth tax and an inheritance tax for the ultrawealthy. It is time to close tax loopholes that allow them to offshore their wealth and avoid paying taxes. It is time to tax the Internet giants that extract billions from our economy. Big banks and credit card companies have been raking in profits through increased user fees and interest rates they charge to consumers and businesses, and payday lenders are trapping low-income people into predatory loans with terms designed to keep them in endless cycles of debt. This is unacceptable. How have we let income inequality reach this point? All of these things could have been dealt with in this budget.
    Over and over again during this debate, I have heard the Conservatives call on the government to spend less. They caution about deficits and increasing debt. I agree with them in at least one area: We need to end all taxpayer handouts to the fossil fuel industry. Real climate action requires that we cut all funding to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, cut all subsidies to fracking companies and put them on notice that their climate-destroying practice will be banned within the year, and make the costs of industrial cleanup a non-dischargeable debt so we can stop subsidizing the cleanup of abandoned wells. The fossil fuel industry is a sunset industry. It is time to stop propping it up and invest those billions in a just transition to a renewable energy economy.
    While there are a number of things that are positive in this budget, it falls short of dealing with the challenges of our time. We are in a climate emergency and we have growing inequality. Canada can and must do better for people and the planet. I will continue to work toward that goal.

  (1725)  

    Madam Speaker, within the budget there is a historic commitment for the development of a national child care program. Whether it is coming from the Prime Minister, the ministers or just different caucuses, the push in recognizing the true value of expanding child care in Canada will assist the economy and assist many others who would have been disengaged or maybe not had the same opportunity to get engaged into our economy. I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts in regard to the true value of extending child care for more people.
    Madam Speaker, having a universal child care program is well beyond its time. The Liberals have been promising this since their “Red Book” in 1993. I hope that we pull through with this and actually make it happen, because I have heard from constituents that they want this, and Canadians across Canada have been asking for a universal child care program for a long time. We have seen it work in Quebec. We know we can make it work in the rest of the provinces by working with them on this issue.
    Madam Speaker, the private sector has a very important part in bringing us out of this pandemic. It will create jobs and economic opportunities, and corporations will even pay dividends, many to seniors to help them go forward.
    However, the member does not seem to think that the private sector has any role. Does the member believe there is any value in the private sector, as I do?
    Madam Speaker, it would seem that the hon. member has missed a good piece of my speech where I talked about small and medium-sized businesses across this country employing a vast number of Canadians and how important that is to our economy.
    Small and medium-sized businesses are very important to my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith. That is why I was asking for extensions to the wage subsidy, to make sure that we protect our small and medium-sized enterprises. During this pandemic, the big box stores and the multinationals have been able to weather the storm by keeping their big box stores open and by doing online sales.
    We need to protect our small and medium-sized businesses. I am absolutely onside with that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    He raised several very pertinent elements: support for housing; forestry, an area in which we could have invested; seniors who are being left behind; and the knowledge economy. That is all great. He also rightly pointed out that the wage subsidy was sometimes improperly used to pay bonuses. If that is true, I completely agree with him that the situation needs to be rectified.
    I would like his comments on that. In my opinion, the use of the wage subsidy by political parties in the House is a misappropriation of funds. Should these political parties repay this money, which belongs to taxpayers?

  (1730)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the wage subsidy was put in place to ensure that employers were able to keep staff on. Companies and political parties need to be able to justify taking the wage subsidy. We have seen it being abused by large corporations, and that is a problem.
    At the very beginning of the pandemic, we said that we should have specific rules to ensure that there was no pandemic profiteering and misuse of public funds during this pandemic. Those warnings were not heeded. We have seen the misuse of funds, and that is a serious problem.
    Madam Speaker, this week we had the International Energy Agency coming out and saying that we do not need any new oil developments. We have had the Canada Energy Regulator saying that we do not need Keystone XL and that we do not need the Trans Mountain pipeline. Could the hon. member comment on the fact that we are still subsidizing oil companies to the tune of $18 billion and only investing $15 billion into climate action?
    Madam Speaker, we absolutely need to end subsidies for the oil and gas industry, and that includes provincial subsidies for the fracking industry, which has had $6 billion for LNG Canada to export fracked gas from this country. That is going to be a stranded asset. It is going to be wasted taxpayer dollars, the same way that Trans Mountain—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Madam Speaker, I want to begin my speech by addressing some of the things that we heard from the Green Party member just before this. He was talking about stranded assets. The eastern part of Canada could be significantly stranded if Line 5 gets shut down, and that is the reality.
    He was talking about oil and gas being a sunset industry. That may be true, but that sunset is not likely to happen until several hundred years from now. We are still seeing an increase in demand for oil production around the world. Even if one believes all the projections, that increase in demand, not a reduction in demand, will continue for the next 30 years at a minimum.
    What better place to get those hydrocarbons from than Canada? We have some of the most ethically produced oil on the face of the planet, with some of the lowest-carbon-intensity oil, right here in Canada. Never mind the fact that we are importing hydrocarbons from around the world to continue to supply Canada. That alone seems to be ridiculous, in my opinion. We are an energy-rich country. We have endless amounts of natural resources in this country, yet we rely on other countries to supply our energy.
    In the case of Line 5, we are relying on another country to keep the licensing going for that particular pipeline. As far as I know, right now that pipeline is operating illegally. The most recent Line 5 news is that the easement through the State of Michigan has been revoked, but the pipeline continues to operate. We are hanging in limbo as we go forward.
    I am speaking to Bill C-30, which is the budget implementation act. It has been fascinating to listen to all of the discussion around this particular budget. We hear repeatedly from folks about the subsidization of the oil and gas industry. I was just discussing with one of the Bloc members how the government subsidizes oil and gas, but does not subsidize the forestry industry. I have not seen any direct subsidies to the oil and gas industry, with the exception of buying a pipeline.
    The Trans Mountain pipeline was being built by private industry. Due to the actions of the government, the pipeline was no longer to be built. The government subsequently bought that project. If that is what the Bloc member meant by subsidizing oil and gas, I get it. I do not think we need to be publicly funding pipelines either. Pipelines have been built successfully in this country for generations by private industry, and I would assume that would continue.
    The Bloc member was commenting about the forestry industry in Quebec. In Northern Alberta, the forestry industry is a big contributor to jobs and the economy. Oil and gas are a shiny spot in our economy, but Alberta's economy is diversified. Where I come from, we do the three Fs: forestry, farming and fracking. Those are the big job creators in my area, and they are basically what support all of the population in the area. I am always interested in the challenges we see.
    One aspect of this budget implementation act is the removal of interest on the apprenticeship loans that have been given out. I think that is a noble cause. I am the product of one of the apprenticeship programs in Alberta. I was one of the first to go through the rapid apprenticeship program when it was introduced back in 2003. I got my automotive ticket from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
    The apprenticeship programs we have developed in Alberta are world-renowned and recognized. There is also the good work of NAIT, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. I went through there in classes full of apprentices.

  (1735)  

    Many of my friends have been apprentices. I got my journeyman's ticket back in 2007, so I know about the life of an apprentice. The beauty of apprenticeship programs is that people typically get to work while they are getting their training. Believe me, all of the apprentices I know are tradesmen. They are proud of what they do. They work with their hands. They would all very much appreciate having jobs right now, rather than having the interest on their loans waived. While I appreciate that in this particular bill, I do not see a lot in this bill that will get these people back to work.
    I call Line 5 the magic pipeline because it has changed the Liberal rhetoric on pipelines dramatically. The Liberals are now starting to sound like Conservatives: Pipelines are the safest way to move petroleum products. If we did not have this pipeline there would be 8,000 rail cars and 15,000 tanker trucks on the road.
    There is one way to get all of these apprentices back to work, and that is to start building some of the pipeline projects that had been proposed and were ready to be built back in 2015. One, in particular, runs parallel to Line 5 and is called energy east. That pipeline was ready to be built back in 2015 when I was first elected. The Liberals kiboshed that project, but we do not see anything. We do not see a repeal of Bill C-69: the “no more pipelines” bill. That would have been something they could have put in the budget to promote the development of our natural resources, promote jobs and promote private industry spending its own capital to get folks back to work and get us back to the lifestyle we were used to before COVID.
    This seems like a prime opportunity to get us all back to work. It would ensure that we would have apprentices across the country making paycheques and being able to pay the interest on their student loans by going back to work. They could be raising their families, making money and doing all of the things that they do. I do not see a lot of those kinds of initiatives in this particular bill.
    One thing that I saw in the budget was around the home renovation tax credit. I was hopeful we would get some details on it in this bill, but they are not evident. It was an initiative that the Conservatives undertook during the last great recession. We rapidly passed the home renovation tax credit, which allowed people to update their windows, insulation and other kinds of things. It could also be thought of as a green initiative. It was in the budget. We were talking about a particular $5,000 tax credit on a $40,000 loan. We do not see details of that in this particular bill, so I am disappointed about that.
    Lastly, I want to talk a little about equalization. This bill touches on equalization, and on what is called the federal-provincial transfer act. One of the things that Albertans have been requesting for a number of years is the removal of the cap on that financial stabilization program. It is currently capped at $60. The Liberals have moved that cap to $166. That is a movement in the right direction, but there still is no logic as to why there is a cap on the equalization stabilization program.
    Why is there a cap? If a province is suffering under duress and having less revenue than it had in the past, the stabilization program is there to maintain funding for programs while we go through a dip in revenue. Nobody can explain the logic for why there is a cap on that. We see that the government has acknowledged that maybe the cap is too low and it is going to raise the cap to $166, but the Liberals do not provide us with any logic whatsoever as to why there needs to be a cap on that program. If government revenues in a particular province are suffering in a major depression, the stabilization program is supposed to balance that out and ease the pain of that. Why would it have a cap on it? There has been no logic whatsoever provided for that. I am also quite frustrated by that.
    I see that my time is up. I am always grateful to represent the people of Peace River—Westlock.

  (1740)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I believe I heard my colleague say that there have been no investments in the oil sector, or none that he was aware of. I would like to remind him that $27.3 billion will be invested in that sector in 2021, which represents an increase of nearly $3 billion over last year.
    These investments cover a decline in indirect fees such as municipal taxes in Alberta or electricity costs in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Again, $27.3 billion is being invested in 2021 in this energy source that we firmly want to divest from as soon as possible.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned that we all want to shed this. I am not that particular about trying to end the oil patch at this point. It provides jobs for thousands of people in my area, it has brought prosperity to this country and it has contributed over $600 billion to the national coffers over the last decade. Why would we kneecap ourselves? While the rest of the world is looking for hydrocarbons, why would we not be the country to produce them?
    Madam Speaker, there is a bit of a divide within the Conservative caucus, it seems. There are those who believe that the government should be spending a lot more money and then there are those who believe that the government has spent too much money. Those who say we should be spending more talk about health care transfers and spending additional money to support businesses and so forth. Those who want cuts talk about the deficit.
    Which side of the divide is the member on? Does he believe the government needs to continue to support and invest in Canadians or would he like to see cuts by the government?
    Madam Speaker, it is a matter of priorities. I do not think there is the dichotomy that the member is referencing. We can be concerned about the debt and deficit and we can also be supportive of particular programs. There is no dichotomy in that.
    What Conservatives are frustrated with is the government patting itself on the back. If there is a particular problem, it just says it spent this amount of money on that problem. In many cases, we see that the amount of money it has spent on a particular problem has made the problem worse, not better. We are saying if the government is going to spend a lot of money, let us see some results from it. The most striking example of this before COVID, in particular, was when there were border security issues and the government kept saying it was spending a certain amount of money on it, way more than Conservatives ever spent on it. What is interesting is that when Conservatives were in power—

  (1745)  

    I have to allow for more questions.
    The hon. member for Provencher.
    Madam Speaker, the Liberals talk a great game when it comes to building back and building back better, but the budget does not even include a plan to build. The member has very clearly articulated how the Liberals could have focused a little more on the trades and had something in the budget to encourage folks to get educated and trained in the trades. Could the member expand on how that is lacking in this budget?
    Madam Speaker, the crux of my speech was waiving interest on apprenticeship loans due to COVID. For those paying interest on apprenticeship loans, the interest would be waived for a certain period of time. While I commend that, if people are not working, having the interest deferred while not getting jobs means they are still in the same trouble. I do not see anything in the budget or the budget implementation act, Bill C-30, which we are discussing today, that would get Canada building things again or get our natural resource development kick-started.
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to the Liberal budget and raise concerns on several fronts. When I was elected in 2019, and in the years prior during the first mandate of the Liberal government, we saw deficit after deficit with no clear plan for balancing the budget. The grand plan for the budget to balance itself was failing. Now here we are a year and a half since the last election, and the $20-billion deficits we were concerned about then seem like a drop in the bucket compared with the enormous budget we are debating today. For years, the Conservatives warned the government about spending the cupboards bare when times were good, and now we are facing the repercussions of that.
    The pandemic was unavoidable. No matter which party was in power, there would have been large costs associated with COVID. However, this brings to mind the famous saying that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to the challenges thrown our way.
    I will take some of my time today to reflect on the failures of the Liberal government and the ways it was too slow to act, which cost Canadians dearly.
    First, it was early January 2020 when the Conservatives raised concerns about COVID-19 and called upon the government to take action at our borders. It was not until late March, when numerous COVID cases had already entered Canada, that the government took action. This delay in action would cost us big time. As opposed to a proactive response to the pandemic, what we had was a reactive one.
    Second, the government failed to implement and utilize widespread rapid testing. Widespread rapid testing would have allowed more businesses to stay open, as there could have been better testing and tracing. Instead, for the past year, businesses have been teetering on the edge between not being allowed to stay open at all or being allowed to open under strict rules.
    Canadians are now 15 months into this climate of uncertainty, with the Liberals only making things worse by not providing them with a clear plan to reopen our economy. I was deeply disappointed when the government voted against our opposition day motion to provide Canadians with certainty and establish a clear plan to reopen our economy.
    I believe $354 billion is a staggering number. That is how much debt the government has added to Canada's debt load for 2020-21 alone, bringing the total amount of debt added by the Liberals since 2015 greater than that of all other governments combined. Let us break that number down. The largest purchase that most Canadians will make in their lives is the purchase of a home. Currently, with rapid inflation in the housing market, the average Canadian home is worth $716,000. This means the homes Canadians spend the better part of their lives paying for could be purchased nearly 500,000 times over in this year's federal budget.
    When I think about the deficits we are accumulating, what concerns me most is the fiscal mess we are leaving behind for future generations to deal with. The interest on our debt is forecast to be $30 billion per year by 2026, and that is with low interest rates. To put that in perspective, this budget commits $30 billion to child care over the next five years. In the same time frame, we could spend that amount five times over simply just servicing our debt. Therefore, it is extremely important that we return to a balanced budget as soon as possible, so that we are not further increasing what we are paying in interest payments and can instead put money toward helping Canadians get ahead.
    A few months ago, I stood in the House and spoke to Bill C-14 and to my concerns with raising our debt ceiling to $1.8 trillion, an increase of $663 billion. My colleague, the member for Abbotsford, compared this to asking for a line of credit from taxpayers but not saying where that money will be spent. Now, in this budget, we finally have some answers as to where this money will be spent and where it will not be.

  (1750)  

    Alberta's oil and gas industry has once again been forgotten by the Liberals. In the 725 pages of this budget, the words “oil and gas” are mentioned only once in relation to the wage subsidy. While the wage subsidy has helped the sector through COVID, it is not what this sector needs to prosper, and the temporary wage subsidy does not address the root issue of red tape and government roadblocks. When our oil and gas industry does well, Canada does well, and as the most ethical oil producer in the world, we should be creating more economic opportunities for oil and gas by getting pipelines built and supporting our world-class technology and our emerging industry in carbon sequestration. This budget leaves behind the oil and gas industry and all the economic prosperity that comes along with it.
    The Conservatives know that spending is required to recover our economy. We had a strong recovery plan after the 2008 financial crisis. We made targeted investments, got Canada's finances back on track and returned to a balanced budget by 2015. However, make no mistake: This budget is not the same thing. It does nothing to secure long-term prosperity for Canadians. Instead, it presents a plan for a reimagined Canadian economy, as the Prime Minister put it. It is a plan that dabbles in risky economic ideas such as abandoning our oil and gas and natural resource industries, leaving our economy in a precarious position. This is not stimulus spending focused on creating jobs, but spending on the Liberals' partisan priorities.
    When I talk about targeted support being needed, an area that comes to mind where this budget has a shortfall is tourism. COVID-19 has decimated the tourism industry in Canada, with many businesses on the brink, permanently closing or coming out of the pandemic with large debts. There is no doubt that the programs currently in place are helpful. However, I worry the $500 million allocated to tourism recovery is not enough, especially when the Liberals continuously fail to provide us with a plan to reopen our economy.
    Canada's tourism industry has a similar GDP to that of the oil and gas industry, and while at least tourism, unlike oil and gas, is getting some money through this budget, $500 million is not adequate when I look at all the tourism businesses from coast to coast that need support. It is extremely important that we fully recover the tourism industry, especially in communities that rely on the industry as a significant part of their economy, such as the municipality of Jasper in my riding. Approximately 48% of the municipality's GDP was related to the tourism industry.
    Another area of the budget that stuck out to me was the unfair and unjustified old age security increase for seniors over 75, as there was nothing for seniors aged 65 to 75, who have also been struggling throughout the pandemic. Statistics Canada recently reported that inflation has surpassed the Bank of Canada's 2% target and is now reaching 3.4%. Policies like the Liberal carbon tax and money printing have driven this inflation, and old age security payments must reflect that. Perhaps when we get to questions after my speech, a Liberal member can explain why they believe 65- to 75-year-olds are immune to inflation. It is far too often that seniors are emailing my office and saying they feel let down by the government's failures to support programs.
    To conclude my remarks today, I would like to reiterate that I cannot support this budget because of the staggering deficit and the fact that the new spending in this budget is ideologically driven and completely abandons our oil and gas industry. This long-anticipated budget is a major letdown for western Canadians.
    I look forward to questions from my colleagues.

  (1755)  

    Madam Speaker, I have heard the Conservatives talk a lot about the amount of debt that has been taken on during the pandemic, but I would argue that it has been a requirement to take care of Canadians throughout this very difficult time.
    What I find perplexing about this is the fact that the Conservatives voted for those pandemic measures and all of the spending worth hundreds of billions of dollars, quite often through unanimous consent motions. It would have taken just one of them to say no and it would not have passed. It would have triggered a whole series of events to have these bills go through the committee stage and be properly vetted. During that time, the member could have pointed out his concerns, but he did not. He voted in favour of them.
    Can the member explain to the House why he voted in favour of those unanimous consent motions to spend the money if he is going to be critical of it now?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that if the member had actually been paying attention to my speech, he would have noticed that I said it did not matter which political party was in power at the time; there would have been huge amounts of spending. Obviously he must have missed that section. The money had to be spent at that time.
    My concerns are about the late response by the Liberals toward COVID. They did not address the issues quickly enough by closing our borders. That was one of the issues I brought forward.
    To conclude, I feel the Conservatives supported Canadians throughout this COVID situation, and if the Liberal member did not quite understand that in my speech, I apologize for his—
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I liked my colleague's intervention on old age pensions.
    In 1975, the old age security pension represented 20% of the average industrial wage. Today, it only covers about 13%. By the time young people turn 65, it is said that their pension will be worth 8%.
    What does the member think of our proposal to increase the pension for all seniors starting at age 65?
    What does he think of increasing it to $110 over three years so that they can regain some of the purchasing power they have lost?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. As my colleague will recall, when a motion was put forward in the House, the majority of MPs voted in favour of the increase, as he said, for our seniors, who built this country. We need to support them in their time of need, and without increasing their pensions, I do not see how they are going to survive as we proceed forward. I definitely agree with him. I voted in favour of that, as did the majority of the House, but the Liberals did not. That is one thing I do support.

  (1800)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge that in his former life, my colleague was the mayor in one of his communities. As the mayor, he would have been seized with the concept that every annual budget should at least have a plan in it. Of course, the Liberal budget no longer appears to be annual; it seems more like a biennial event.
    Is there any semblance of a plan in this budget that my colleague can detect?
    Mr. Speaker, when I was mayor, as the member for Provencher mentioned, I knew that we could not run deficits as a municipality. We had to have a proper plan in place on what we were going to address and how we were going to see our future grow.
    That is one thing that was missed in this budget. I was hoping with much anticipation, like many other MPs, that it was going to be a great budget that would show how we were going to progress into the future, how we were going to open up our economy and how we were going to create jobs. I keep saying the word “how”. It is a shame that we do not see how this is all going to be done. That is the challenge with this budget, and one of the many issues I have with it.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021.
    As always, I rise to represent the good citizens of the North Okanagan—Shuswap. They have been doing their part during this pandemic, but have seen this government let them down.
    In previous budget debates and examining the Liberal deficits in the range of $18 billion to $20 billion, I had stated how these deficits created a public debt amounting to about $500 for every living Canadian. That is $500 for every person in Canada, whether they have the means to repay it or not. For the fewer than 50% of Canadians who are in the workforce and able to repay debt, their share was exponentially more than $500 per person on average.
    Throughout this pandemic crisis, I have supported emergency spending, which was necessary to help individuals and small businesses get through the layoffs and business shutdowns caused by the restrictions required to prevent the spread of the virus. Members from all parties, and indeed all Canadians, have invested varying levels of trust in this government to spend where necessary to protect Canadians, to end the pandemic and to help Canadians and employers who required assistance along the way. In more than one way, Canadians had no choice but to trust this government to spend money and deliver a pandemic response.
    How has this government treated the trust of those who depend on it? Well, scandals have emerged and proven the self-evident truths that this government has reportedly failed to focus and deliver the investments required to secure the future of all Canadians. Crisis spending was and is clearly still required, but without a plan, spending without controls never delivers the outcomes that are needed.
    One outcome of the government's spending that we can all bank on is the additional $343 billion in national debt that the government has already added, which works out to $9,270 for every Canadian, whether they are able to repay it or not. That means, once again, that those in the workforce who are potentially able to pay down debt have been handed another tax bill of $20,000 each by this government. What is worse is that the government still has no clear plan for getting Canadians back to work to start paying down the debt of the 2016 to 2020 deficits, and now this new added debt.
    I have reviewed the budget and searched for the priorities identified to me by the good people of North Okanagan—Shuswap; the priorities that I have consistently relayed to this government on behalf of my constituents. Unfortunately, in budget 2021, this government has failed to recognize some vitally important needs.
    Affordability is something weighing on the minds of many Canadians and, once again, this government has failed to recognize the reality in this budget. Seniors on fixed incomes see the cost of groceries and everyday living growing faster than their pensions. With no way of increasing their incomes, seniors are already worried that the future increases in taxes to pay for this government's spending will leave them with fewer dollars for daily living.
     Young families see the cost of their first home growing faster than their income, and they need a plan to make home ownership more affordable. As the inflation rate has hit 3.4%, the highest level in a decade, these young families can only fault this Liberal government, with its policies of flippantly printing and spending money, for their inability to keep up with rising costs.

  (1805)  

    On infrastructure, over the years I have advocated on behalf of municipalities and first nations in need of infrastructure programs to help grow their communities and secure the future of their residents and members. The one-time investment of $2.2 billion to address infrastructure priorities in municipalities and first nations communities through the federal gas tax fund is not the long-term commitment the communities are looking for. When major infrastructure projects often take years to implement, a one-time injection is somewhat like the Prime Minister's promise of a one-shot summer. There is no plan to follow through.
    On investments in aquatic invasive species, AIS, I have heard from numerous conservation organizations, municipalities, first nations and regional districts that are all justly concerned about the persistent threat of aquatic invasive species to wildlife, ecologies and economies in the North Okanagan—Shuswap.
    In 2019, the Prime Minister directed the fisheries minister to make new investments in the fight against invasive species. Nearly a year and a half later, British Columbians are still waiting for the government to finally provide some new resources to protect our waters from invasive species.
    Having served with the fisheries minister for years on the fisheries committee, the minister knows that the introduction of Zebra and Quagga mussels to B.C. waters would devastate our ecosystem and local economies, yet she persists in withholding the new investment the Prime Minister mandated her to make.
    More needs to be done and Canadians deserve better. Throughout the pandemic, I have heard from hundreds of constituents doing their best to contend with the challenges they face. One common thread that I see in the input and requests I have received is that Canadians need a plan to help them secure their future, a long-term national recovery plan. Canadians want a plan that will secure their jobs. Businesses have been contacting me saying they are unable to fill shifts because of disincentives for people to go back to work.
    That is why the Conservatives put forward a back-to-work bonus plan to help Canadians transition back to work, while gradually reducing the need for government benefits. Canadians want a plan that will secure accountability. Constituents have contacted me tired of the breaches of ethics by the Prime Minister, his cabinet and caucus. That is why Conservatives adopted the policy put forward by one of my constituents to strengthen legislation around accountability and transparency.
    Constituents want a plan that will secure mental health. We all know someone who has been impacted by mental illness and been unable to access the support they need. Canadians need a plan that recognizes mental health is health.
    Canadians also want a plan that will secure the country. Early in the pandemic, we learned that Canada was not prepared and that stockpiles of PPE had been shipped to China by the government. Canadians need a plan that ensures we are prepared for the next threat to our security, whatever threat that may be.
    Canadians want a plan that will secure our economy, rather than borrowing and printing more money and driving up inflation. Canadians need a plan that provides stimulus measures that are targeted and time limited to avoid creating a structural deficit.
    These are the differences between the Liberal government's budget and the implementation act, and our Conservative plan to secure our future.
    When I hear of seniors' drop-in organizations that have been forced to close because they spent their last dollars paying utility bills and got no help from the government to remain solvent so they could be there when restrictions are lifted again, I see a government that has failed its citizens. When I hear from businesses that could be growing except they cannot find workers to fill shifts, I see a government that has failed. When I hear from first nations, municipalities and community organizations that the government is not providing the protective measures mandated by the minister, I see a government that has failed.
    Canadians deserve better and I look forward to working with the good people of the North Okanagan—Shuswap in our pursuit of the plans and resources needed to secure the future and the future of all Canadians.

  (1810)  

    The hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap will have five minutes for questions and comments when the House next returns to debate on the motion.
    It being 6:11 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

National Framework for Diabetes Act

    The House resumed from May 3 consideration of the motion that Bill C-237, An Act to establish a national framework for diabetes, be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, we are here this evening to discuss Bill C-237, otherwise known as an act to establish a national framework for diabetes.
    The purpose of this legislation is to promote and improve access to diabetes prevention and treatment. It is sponsored by my colleague from Brampton South and is going into the third stage, in other words, third reading.
     To summarize Bill C-237, it seeks to explain what diabetes and prediabetes are; identify the training, education and guidance needs of health care and other professionals related to the prevention and treatment of diabetes; promote research and improve data collection in order to enhance the knowledge and information sharing required to conduct research; and ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency is administering the disability tax credit fairly so that it can help as many persons with diabetes as possible.
    The legislation gives the government one year to develop the policy framework, and within five years the government must evaluate its effectiveness and revise it, of course, if necessary.
    It should be noted that since 2016 Health Canada's Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control has been managing the diabetes strategy. This plan is very general and contains more policy statements than meaningful measures.
    Key aspects are essentially the same as the previous plan. That is why countless organizations are calling for a national plan or framework.
    The Bloc Québécois is in favour of developing a national framework for diabetes. To oppose it in light of the medical catastrophe that this chronic disease represents would be just wrong.
    However, it is imperative that this framework be developed with the demands of Quebec and the provinces in mind and, again, that the division of powers be respected.
    In a way, health is a competitive jurisdiction since it involves some overlap between the provincial and federal governments. In the area of health, Quebec must have maximum authority and control. That is what we want and that is what we will have.
    The federal government does have a role to play in prevention, and that includes working to stop the rampant obesity rates in this country. Obesity significantly increases a person's chance of becoming diabetic. Although Quebec is doing well compared to the other Canadian provinces and many major countries in the world, one in four Quebeckers is obese and will be obese in the coming years.
    Diabetes Canada, the most influential diabetes organization in Canada, does not operate in Quebec. Instead, Quebec is fortunate to have Diabetes Québec, which provides information and support to its members and contributes to research. In 1994, the organization even founded Entraide diabétique du Québec, a separate organization that collects donations to help people with diabetes.
    There are three main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. In all three types, the disease is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, which means that the person's glucose levels are too high.
    Insulin abnormalities mean that sugar does not enter the body's cells to provide energy, but remains in the bloodstream anyway. This condition, which is lethal if left untreated, has a strong impact on susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, blindness and kidney failure, among others. Obviously, this type of disease can lead to limb amputations due to the factors listed previously.

  (1815)  

    With 442 million adults affected worldwide, diabetes truly is a global scourge, and Quebec is not spared. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, one in 10 Quebeckers has diabetes or pre-diabetes. The financial burden of diabetes is naturally staggering. According to Quebec's public health department, we are talking about $3 billion a year.
    The good news is that almost 90% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or even cured by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. This is why it is imperative to take preventive action by educating people about healthy lifestyle habits, including good nutrition and exercise.
    However, we would be deluding ourselves if we thought that the ball is entirely in our court. The sugar lobbies are obviously working hard to slow down, dilute or nip in the bud any form of legislation that might seek to reduce refined sugars.
    Legislating for a tax on products containing refined sugar, honest labelling or a restriction on the advertising of these products would prove to be a difficult but necessary task.
    Conversely, we must also point out that the diabetes epidemic is a boon for pharmaceutical companies. In 2016, global profits from sales of insulin reached almost $50 billion. It is extremely difficult to conduct an effective prevention campaign when going up against powerful pharmaceutical companies, which boast that they can help people with diabetes live a normal life, even though that may be stretching the truth.
    While waiting to win this battle, it is vital that we continue and even redouble our efforts to provide adequate services. Medical research is making great strides, but it is not enough. We also know which communities are the most vulnerable to diabetes. In Quebec and Canada, it is first nations. The rate of diabetes in these communities is five times greater than that in Quebec and Canada.
    To address this problem, Health Canada has invested approximately $50 million per year since 1989, mainly through the aboriginal diabetes initiative. Organizations are tasked with working with indigenous peoples to reduce health inequalities. At this time, much more still has to be done, and the federal government will have to invest far more than $50 million a year to reverse the current trend. That, however, is a debate for another day.
    It was exactly 100 years ago in Ontario, in the magnificent country of Canada, that insulin was discovered by a team of medical researchers. For their work, Frederick Banting and John Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine two years later, in 1923.
    As a pioneer in diabetes research and its treatment, Canada must have a clear and ambitious national framework. Nevertheless, the Bloc Québécois's support is contingent on the federal government respecting input from the provinces and Quebec and on the division of powers, which is what the Bloc Québécois wants. We will vote in favour of the bill as is because it does meet all the necessary criteria so far. Bill C-237 does not promise to eradicate the scourge of diabetes within the next few years, but it is a very acceptable solution even so.
    Before I wrap up, I want to highlight the work of an organization in my riding, the Association du diabète Laval, Laurentides, which has been working tirelessly since 1984 to educate people about diabetes and share knowledge through presentations and workshops.

  (1820)  

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank hospitals and clinics in my riding and the rest of Quebec for the work they do every day to fight diabetes.
    I applaud the medical professionals responsible for diagnosing and supporting patients with diabetes and improving their quality of life.
    Lastly, I want to thank the researchers—
    Order.
    Unfortunately, the member's time is up.
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise to speak to this bill to establish a national framework for diabetes.
    Currently, more than six million Canadians are living with diabetes and the health and financial costs associated with it. Today, many Canadians living with diabetes are unable to afford the medications, devices and supplies they need. We also know there are even larger costs related to non-adherence that can lead to avoidable complications and sometimes even worse.
    This is especially true for too many families that I represent in London—Fanshawe. I have heard from folks who struggle with being able to put food on the table and to keep up with the rising costs of housing and with the large and rising costs of medication. They are often faced with an impossible choice.
     One person I spoke to talked about paying their bills every month, and called it creative financing: the bills they skip this month they pay the next month; what medications can they choose to stretch or which prescriptions must they leave unfilled. Sadly, these choices can lead to poor health outcomes and hardship. They also have to live with the choices that federal and provincial governments make that too often overlook them and cause them a lifetime of greater suffering.
    I cannot imagine a family in Canada that has not been impacted by diabetes. Mine certainly has. My grandfather lived with diabetes, but he was fortunate to have a unionized job. He was a steelworker and his union ensured that he had benefits and drug coverage. However, for far too many Canadians, a well-paying job with benefits is not a reality.
     We have also seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic how the massive downturn in the economy has come with the shutdown of workplaces, and this can lead to many people losing those benefits and often at a time when they need them the most.
    The New Democrats believe the federal government must support the development and implementation of a new national diabetes strategy based on the Diabetes 360º framework that was developed in 2018 by Diabetes Canada and dozens of other stakeholder groups. The government should also facilitate the creation of type 1 diabetes and indigenous-specific strategic approaches, the latter to be led and owned by indigenous communities.
    The Government of Canada must support indigenous-led programs. Indigenous communities are asking for services and research, the prioritization of food sovereignty, access to culturally appropriate care and treatment options, traditional healers and medicines. They are also asking for any assistance to raise awareness about gestational diabetes and the increase in diabetes among young indigenous women.
    In addition, the New Democrats believe that there is an urgent need for a universal public pharmacare plan that would ensure all Canadians living with diabetes would have access to the medications they need, when they need them. This must include coverage for diabetes devices and supplies such as test strips, syringes, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. There have been incredible technological advancements that help people living with diabetes monitor their insulin levels through apps on their cellphones, but these are expensive and out of reach for too many Canadians.
    Canada has no formal national strategy to address diabetes, one of the most significant health care crises of our time according to Diabetes Canada. Although the World Health Organization recommends every country have a national diabetes strategy, Canada's previous strategy fizzled away in 2013, followed by a scathing report on its underperformance by the auditor general.
    Depending on where people live in Canada, what other private insurance they have and what their treatment protocol is for their diabetes, it can cost a patient out of pocket up to $15,000 a year to live with diabetes, and that is unacceptable. However, other provincial governments are providing leadership on this front.
     For example, the current B.C. NDP government expanded its pharmacare coverage for diabetics aged 25 and older to use insulin pumps instead of relying on daily injections to stabilize their condition. Under the former Nova Scotia NDP government, the province extended coverage for the cost of insulin pumps and supplies for eligible youth aged to 18, and supplies for people 19 to 25 with type 1 diabetes who used an insulin pump. Under the former NDP government in Manitoba, the province brought in a program to cover the cost of pumps for youth. These were all positive steps made by current and former NDP governments across Canada.
    I wish I could say that we are seeing similar positive steps in my home province of Ontario. Earlier this month, the Ontario Conservative government voted down NDP MPP Taras Natyshak's Bill 272 that called on the government to add continuous glucose monitoring and flash monitoring devices to Ontario's assistive devices program for Ontarians diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This bill would have made life easier and more affordable, removing financial barriers to technology that would make it easier to manage diabetes and would remove the need for the frequent finger pricks. It is said that the provincial Conservative government could not have seen the merits in passing it.

  (1825)  

    There is an estimated one in three Ontarians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, approximately 4.3 million people. People in Ontario and across Canada need to see a government that will support them and, of course, the principles outlined in the Canada Health Act, which are clear about universal health coverage. It is clear that we need a national framework to bring expanded coverage for Canadians, no matter the government, no matter the province and no matter the postal code.
    Any national framework needs to be backed up with a national universal pharmacare plan. A recent report from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions found that 57% of Canadians with diabetes reported failing to adhere to their prescribed therapies due to affordability issues related to medications, devices and supplies.
    The Liberals say the right things when it comes to pharmacare, but when it comes time to act, they put the profits of big pharmaceutical and insurance companies ahead of what Canadian families need. The Liberals have been promising pharmacare for 23 years, but Canadians are still facing sky-high prescription costs that make it hard to make ends meet. Right now, millions of families cannot afford to take the medications they need because they have no drug coverage. The number of uninsured people forced to skip their medications is growing, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people work on contract or are self-employed or have jobs that do not come with health benefits or have no job at all. As well, too many seniors are putting their health at risk because they do not have that drug coverage and they cannot afford to pay out of pocket for their medications.
    Bulk buying of pharmaceuticals undercuts inflated prescription costs set by private companies and would let us lower costs dramatically by negotiating prices as an entire country. We could save $4.2 billion and use that money to give better health coverage to all Canadians. A national framework for diabetes combined with a national universal pharmacare plan would have a direct impact on families across Canada and families in my riding of London—Fanshawe.
    The lack of dedicated support or action to tackle the diabetes epidemic means that every 24 hours more than 20 Canadians die of diabetes-related complications, 14 have a lower limb amputated, 480 more are diagnosed with the disease, and the health care system spends $75 million treating patients with the disease. It does not have to be this way, but we need a government that has the political will and courage to get it done.
    It would be a missed opportunity on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Canada if we fail to ensure that every Canadian living with diabetes can afford access to insulin. Of course, as a proud Londoner, it would be a failed opportunity if I did not mention this anniversary as well. In 1921, Dr. Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip and their supervisor, John Macleod discovered insulin. This discovery revolutionized the treatment of diabetes worldwide and remains among the most celebrated medical discoveries in Canadian history.
    Yet today, many Canadians living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are unable to afford the medications, devices and supplies they need. I cannot imagine this is the outcome that Banting, Best and Collip wanted or imagined when they were awarded the American patents for insulin, which they sold to the University of Toronto for $1 each.
    Located in London, Ontario is the house of Sir Frederick Banting.
    Under the stewardship of Diabetes Canada, Banting House National Historic Site of Canada creates public awareness and understanding of the national historic significance of Sir Frederick Banting and preserves the commemorative integrity of Banting House, the birthplace of insulin, for the benefit of the people of Canada.
    Many Canadians still fight for the dream that we do not profit off each other's illness, that we grow as people and as a society, that we take care of each other. It can be disheartening to see a government continue to be heavily lobbied by large pharmaceutical companies and, even more so, that it seems to listen. That is why New Democrats support the creation of a national framework for diabetes, and we will not stop fighting for a national universal pharmacare plan.
    Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare, did not intend to limit it to hospitals and doctors alone. The coverage of drugs and other services, like dental care, ear and eye care, and long-term care, was to follow. That is why I will conclude my speech tonight with a quote from Tommy Douglas: “Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.”

  (1830)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to this private member's bill, which has been brought forward by the member for Brampton South. I want to congratulate her on taking her private member's opportunity to bring forward a bill or motion and put it to such a meaningful and important cause.
    I used to sit very close to the member for Brampton South in the House, and I know her passion for health care and making sure that the most vulnerable in our communities, especially as related to health, are taken care of. In the last session of Parliament, on a number of occasions while sitting next to each other, she talked to me about the need for something to be done nationally on diabetes. In this Parliament's lottery, she was very lucky to have her spot near the top of the list and had an opportunity to do something. To see this bill brought forward by the member for Brampton South is truly rewarding, because I now that she is doing something that she is extremely passionate about. Indeed, she has been a leader in bringing members from different parties in this House together to talk about diabetes and the strategy that the federal government should take.
    When we talk about a disease that affects over three million Canadians, I must admit that I was kind of surprised to learn that we did not already have a strategy of some form in place as it relates to making sure that we have a coordinated effort across the country in fighting diabetes. As indicated by a number of people in this House in the previous hour of debate on this bill, it is something that affects so many Canadians and their quality of life.
     In many instances, diabetes is a preventable disease. Of the roughly 200,000 Canadians newly diagnosed with diabetes, approximately 90% is the preventable type 2. When we think of the growth in the aging Canadian population, the number of Canadians expected to live with diabetes obviously grows as well. Putting in measures to make sure that we have a national strategy as it relates to educating health care professionals on how to prevent and treat diabetes is critical, probably more important than at any time previously in fighting this particular disease, with the exception, of course, as mentioned by the previous speaker from the NDP, of the invention of insulin.
    I am so glad to see so much support throughout the House from various parties, and it appears as if the bill might pass unanimously. It is telling of how this Parliament can come together and work together here in this place, but also show the desire to work with our counterparts at the provincial, territorial and municipal levels to make sure that all Canadians throughout Canada can have a meaningful framework in place so they are taken care of in the event they get diabetes and, in fact, to help prevent that from being the case.
    It is very rewarding and I am very proud to be part of a government that has brought forward many initiatives on health care throughout the various budgets that have been presented since 2015. I would note that, in budget 2021, there is $25 million over a five-year period, starting in 2021, specifically for Health Canada for additional investments in research on diabetes, specifically juvenile diabetes, surveillance and prevention, and to work towards developing a national framework on diabetes.
    This private member's bill dovetails nicely with what this government is already in the course of doing in terms of making sure that we continue to advance the research, prevention and education around diabetes. Indeed, Bill C-237 will be developed in consultation with provinces and territories, indigenous groups and other stakeholders to help support improved access to prevention and treatment and better health outcomes for all Canadians.

  (1835)  

    One of the various elements that have been brought forward is the $25 million over five years, which I mentioned, but in budget 2021 there is also a proposal for $10 million over five years for the Public Health Agency of Canada for a new diabetes challenge prize. Specifically, this initiative would help surface novel approaches to diabetes prevention and promote the development and testing of new interventions to reduce the risks associated with type 2 diabetes.
    As has been illustrated by both the government approach and members of this House, including the member who brought forward this bill and members from other parties who have been speaking in favour of it, this is something this Parliament really does see as an opportunity to seize on this issue and to advance the objectives of Parliament and those health objectives for the benefit of all Canadians. I am very proud to be supporting this. Knowing we can have such a great impact on the lives of so many Canadians is something deeply meaningful to all members of this House.
    I will conclude with where I started, which is that I am very encouraged to see this member use her opportunity through this private member's bill to bring forward something that will have a meaningful, large impact on a number of Canadians throughout this country. Indeed, if the national strategy is developed in the right way and brought forward in a way that really helps prevent people from getting diabetes, the value of her impact will be immeasurable, because down the road many people may end up not getting type 2 diabetes in particular because of the prevention measures that would be put in place here.
    This member knows a lot about this topic. As I indicated before, she was very passionate about it and spoke very passionately about it. I know that before coming into Parliament she was in the health profession specifically. I always like to see examples of people who come to this House with previous knowledge outside of government and its workings, people who have a specific passion, perhaps from a former profession, and bring it here and apply it to policy. What could be more rewarding than working in a profession and then bringing it to the seat of democracy for our nation and putting that knowledge into actual, practical use and turning it into legislation, as it appears this member will be doing through this bill, given the fact that all parties have indicated they are going to be supporting it?
    I will not use up any more time, but I am very much looking forward to adopting this and having a vote on it at the end of this hour of debate, and moving on with this strategy so we can see the national framework be developed for all Canadians.

  (1840)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all of the speakers tonight because I think they have brought so much warmth to this discussion. The fact is that diabetes, as all speakers have said, is something that is preventable in 90% of cases. I think this is a great time to all join together and talk about this.
    I am so glad it is you in the chair, Mr. Speaker, because I can share with you the types of phrases that are used in my house, or my mom and dad's house, every day. Any time I walk into my parents' house I hear, “Karen, your father's sugar is high. Ask your dad how many cookies he ate today. Your father's sugar was at 15 and he is miserable." This is all I hear: “Your father's sugar is high” and “Karen, are you watching your sugar?” These are my parents. They love me.
    I am from a family where many of my elderly relatives have been challenged with diabetes. That is why I am so happy to speak on this bill today, Bill C-237, a national framework for diabetes act, which is focused on prevention and treatment. According to Diabetes Canada, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. These are really important things, so we have to understand the three different types of diabetes there are and what we can do as well.
    I am going to start off with the least simple one, which is type 1 diabetes, and then I will talk about what many of us have discussed, which is type 2 diabetes.
    Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The damage is permanent. If we look at who is going to have these issues, we recognize that type 1 diabetes mostly impacts people before the age of 35, though it can develop later on in life as well.
    It is one of those things that people are born with, or there is something determining that they will end up with type 1 diabetes, whether genetics or whatever it may be. There is no solution to what is causing these issues. These are things I think many families are very concerned with because having a child who has diabetes is life altering. This is something I look at as a mom.
    The research being done through our juvenile diabetes associations and all of those groups is really important because of the impact type 1 diabetes has, especially on our youth. I am sure everybody in this House has probably seen a young person on a field playing soccer, baseball, or whatever it may be, with a pump on their side.
    The first time I saw that was probably about 15 years ago. A young girl came to my house to visit with the kids and she had her own insulin pump. It is incredible to think of this very active child and of her parents knowing she is on the soccer field and there is a chance of her passing out or having issues at any time. This national strategy is important because it would help all families.
    We understand this form of diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body is not able to create insulin, so we have to ensure we have the technology and the advancements to make sure that person has a whole life. I am talking about these young children. Earlier in my career, I had some people come in from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the JDRF.
    It was great when they came in because they were talking about some of these little pieces they were wearing on their hips that showed how many carbohydrates they had in their diet, what proteins and all of these things. Having a framework and funding is so important because this is a disease we can do more about.
    Type 2 diabetes is something that we talk about most often, and 90% of diabetes cases are type 2. This has more to do with insulin resistance, where the insulin hormone is not used efficiently. That takes me back to first year university biology, when we talked about the impacts on the kidneys if the pancreas is not working, which can have a very negative effect on a person's life.
    We will talk more about that because I think, when talking about type 2 diabetes, we can really pinpoint what we can do. There truly is a path to limit and reduce the number of people who are living with diabetes. There is prevention, and that is why I think this is a really important strategy as well.
    Gestational diabetes is an issue that pregnant women have when insulin-blocking hormones occur, and we see many women going through their last weeks of pregnancy with diabetes. In many cases, it goes away quickly and they will be fine, but there are some cases we have to be concerned with.

  (1845)  

    Diabetes, as I indicated, has been an important part of my life. I think of my family members who have lived with it. I remember back in the mid-1970s when my grandmother came to live with us because she had to have her leg amputated due to diabetes. Of the common issues there are with diabetes, amputation seems to be very common, especially when we are talking about 45 years ago. It is incredible to see how things have changed in the last 45 years. We are not seeing as many amputations. We are seeing that proper care and maintenance that needs to be done.
    With someone who has type 2 diabetes, we have to be worried about heart and stroke issues, nerve damage, and the eyes and retinopathy. There are many factors that we use to control and manage these things. That is why I think that with type 2 diabetes, we really need to look at a national strategy.
    This plan would be very useful in seeing how can we have a national strategy that really takes some of the best practices from our provinces and territories. We can work together, ensure that the research is being done and see how we can assist by funding. We can assist the provinces and territories in recognizing that we are a partner here. We are not the main game holder, but we can enhance people's lives.
    In some of the key factors of managing and controlling, we need to look at nutrition and fitness, including meal planning, healthy eating, exercise and activity, and weight management. To drill down into this more specifically, I pulled out a report from 2012 done by the Government of Ontario focusing on some of the key recommendations. Many of the diabetes factors and many of the things we can move forward on are truly common sense things.
    For instance, we can reduce obesity. We know that being overweight is a key factor to diabetes. What can we do? How can we ensure that somebody is going to increasing their physical fitness and activity? We know that with insulin, when someone is exercising, it is more controlled. Over those two or three hours of exercising, one's glucose tolerance actually starts to change with those activities. People should be aware of this.
    We know that overall the physical exercise someone does will give them better health, including for their heart. We need to make sure that we are maintaining healthy weights. That is something I will be very honest about. I am not sure what I would be at a healthy weight. We know that, especially women. We can look at stress as another factor that can lead to this. Right now people are sitting at home due to stress, due to COVID and doing different routines.
    We know a lot of people have packed on what some people call the “COVID 15”, or the “frosh 15”, if one went to university back in the nineties. A lot of people have gained a lot of extra weight. What are some things that we can do to ensure people are going to be healthy again? We know that maintaining a healthy meal plan and making sure we are eating proper foods are other ways of doing so, by having a healthy diet. Another thing is not to smoke. We know that with diabetes, smoking is something that can cause great complications.
    I heard my colleague from the Bloc indicate this also, and I am very proud, being from Elgin—Middlesex—London, that we have a statue honouring Sir Frederick Banting who, in 1923, along with John James Rickard Macleod, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. They codiscovered insulin. This is the type of great work that we need to do. This was over a century ago. This is what we need to do. This is what makes our country better.
    I really like the direction we are going in. I recognize that members from the government have talked about all the funding they have given and what they are doing for this. I just hope they stay on target, stay focused and get it done right. We know a lot of times that sometimes we may put money into it, but we are not sure if it is being spent properly. Are we focusing on what the provinces and territories need? How can we do that? I hope we do get it right.
    To the member who put this forward, I do have great respect for her. I know she was one of the persons putting a motion forward so that we studied this in HESA. It is really important that we are doing that as well. I hope that we get this right.
    This is something that we can do together. This is something that we should be proud of, if we come up with a strategy that works. I wish everyone the best on this going forward to make sure it gets to committee and we can look at it as thoroughly as possible.

  (1850)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I, too, am pleased to speak to Bill C-237 on a national framework for diabetes, which was introduced by the member for Brampton South.
    I think it is worth pointing out that we are talking about a bill and not a national strategy, even though we have had a lot of discussions about this in the past. The advantage of a bill is that the legal framework makes it possible to ensure better enforcement and better follow-up.
    The bill states that the government has one year to establish the strategic framework and that it must assess the effectiveness of this national strategy five years after the report is tabled. That means that the bill already sets out a schedule and includes it in a legal framework, which is a positive step forward.
    I am saying that because I am referring to the work that the Standing Committee on Health did after second reading and because my colleague from Montcalm asked the sponsor of Bill C-237, the member for Brampton South, some questions about the difference between what is happening now with the legal framework and the discussions that took place in the past with regard to national strategies. There have been discussions since 2005, and there have been debates about Diabetes 360° since 2018, so we wanted to know why we now need a legislative framework for all of this.
    We were told that having a legislative framework is ultimately a good thing. It ensures that these intentions are not just wishful thinking and that there is follow-through.
    Ms. Hanson of Diabetes Canada was asked about Diabetes 360°, the strategy that was recommended three times in a row and is also included in budget 2021. She was asked if the government had backed the strategy with funding. She answered that it had not yet done so.
    After conducting a study on a national strategy, the Standing Committee on Health issued its recommendations. We tried to determine if these recommendations had been implemented by the government. It was not clear.
    Thanks to the work of members, we now have a legislative framework and we can expect, or at least hope for, further outcomes and concrete action to fight diabetes.
    I want to talk about Bill C-237 sponsored by the member for Brampton South by quoting from subclause 2(2) and speaking about the concerns that the bill addresses. Paragraph 2(2)(a) states that the national framework must include measures to “explain what diabetes and prediabetes are”. It is important to know this and, as MPs, the bill informs us.
    I would like to provide some statistics. Diabetes affects 11 million Canadians. Diabetes Quebec estimates that in Quebec alone, roughly 880,000 people have diabetes, and a quarter of a million do not even realize it. They are living with diabetes without knowing it.
    Every day, about 20 Canadians die of complications from diabetes. Diabetes is responsible for roughly 25% of heart operations, 40% of kidney failure, and 50% of non-traumatic limb amputations, even today.
    For Canadians with diabetes, the risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 is twice as high, and the risk of dying is three times higher than normal. It is often harder to treat people with diabetes for viral infections because of the blood sugar fluctuations this can cause.
    This is also about the people affected by diabetes. One in five adolescents with type 1 diabetes also suffers from depression, which is twice as high as the average. This affects people differently than the illness itself. Diabetes is also the primary cause of blindness in adults under 65. Diabetes has a major impact.
    Paragraph 2(2)(b) of the bill states that there must be measures to “identify the training, education and guidance needs of health care and other professionals related to the prevention and treatment of diabetes, including clinical practice guidelines”.
    The Bloc Québécois position on this is that Bill C-237 must not have an impact on Quebec's jurisdictions. However, we are not against virtue, and I will refer to the principle of the bill, which states that everything must be done in collaboration with the other levels of government, but also with the different stakeholders on the ground.
    We hope that this means there will be a better distribution of tasks related not only to diabetes prevention and research, but also to caring for individuals with diabetes.

  (1855)  

    Paragraph 2(2)(c) of Bill C-237 states that the bill aims to “promote research and improve data collection on diabetes prevention and treatment”. Just today, we adopted Motion No. 38, which calls for the creation of a standing committee on science and research. We expect that this issue will be of interest to the committee and that it can look into diabetes.
    Data collection can be done through the Public Health Agency of Canada, which is a federal entity. It is important to do it because Ms. Hanso of Diabetes Canada mentioned in committee that currently, in Canada, it is difficult to say how many of the people who have been diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 and how many have type 2. Apparently that is not yet clear.
    Prevention is especially important, because over 50% of cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable. The importance of prevention in this context is vital.
    Paragraph 2(2)(d) of Bill C-237 requires measures to “promote information and knowledge sharing in relation to diabetes prevention and treatment”. In terms of prevention, some things fall specifically under federal jurisdiction, like the labelling of less healthy, sugary products. That is part of disease prevention, and it falls under federal jurisdiction.
    As I mentioned earlier, regarding the importance of coordination, that has to be done with the provincial governments or health officials, indigenous groups and other stakeholders, to be sure to avoid any duplication in the services offered and in terms of responsibilities. We have to make sure no one falls through the proverbial cracks.
    Paragraph 2(2)(e) of Bill C-237 requires measures to “take into consideration any existing diabetes prevention and treatment frameworks, strategies and best practices, including those that focus on addressing health inequalities”. It is worth taking a moment to discuss the situation of indigenous people. For various reasons, in some communities, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is four to five times higher than in the general population.
    Investments have been made in the past to try to correct this situation, but we can expect a national framework to be more effective, particularly in three areas. In terms of prevention, we must ensure that awareness campaigns on healthy living are conducted in the communities. We also need better screening to ensure that residents of indigenous communities who have diabetes without realizing it can receive treatment quickly and avoid complications. It is also important to ensure that the treatments adhere to the guidelines and that a consistent approach is taken in order to reduce mortality and comorbidity, since this is a matter that may fall under federal jurisdiction.
    Paragraph 2(2)(f) of Bill C-237 reads as follows:
    
ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency is administering the disability tax credit fairly and that the credit, in order to achieve its purposes, is designed to help as many persons with diabetes as possible.
    As we know, the expenses associated with diabetes are very high. It can cost people with diabetes more than $1,500 per year. It has been reported that 30% of Canadians with diabetes cannot follow prescribed treatments because of the cost. These aspects speak to the relevance of Bill C-237.
    Bills like this remind us that it is important for members to work together. It is nice to see something other than what happens during question period, to remind us that we can achieve a great deal when we work together. It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about one another. For instance, I learned that the member for Brampton South is a trained cardiology technologist and worked in health care for 18 years. I saw how much she cares about this issue.
    In closing, I want to emphasize the wonderful collaboration we have seen on this issue with a quotation from my colleague from Repentigny, who is a member of the all-party diabetes caucus. She often says this in another context, but I think it really applies here: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together”.
    I hope that we will be able to go a lot further to tackle diabetes, for we will have done it by working together as parliamentarians.

  (1900)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak in support of my bill today. I want to start by thanking my colleague for Beaches—East York who generously gave up his slot so we could complete debate on this bill.
    I also want to thank everyone who supported my private member's bill, Bill C-237, an act to establish a national framework for diabetes in Canada, and all members who contributed to the debate on this bill.
    I would especially like to thank the organizations that have helped to support the bill: Diabetes Canada, JDRF, Diabetes Action Canada, the CNIB and many more organizations. I would like to thank researchers, like Dr. Peter Senior from the University of Alberta and Dr. Ken Cloth from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, not just for supporting the bill but for the hard work they do fighting diabetes that will some day lead to a cure.
    Locally, I would like to thank people like Mayor Brown and the Brampton Council, Mayor Crombie of Mississauga, our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, and the CEO of William Osler Health System, Dr. Naveed Mohammad. They know how important this issue is in our community and across Canada.
    I know that when we pass the bill and send it to the Senate it will have just as much support there. I give thanks for the support of senators Marie-Françoise Mégie, Nancy Hartling, Patricia Bovey and many others. With a national framework for diabetes we can introduce a nation-wide effort to prevent, treat and finally end diabetes. If we pass this framework, it will help millions of Canadians living with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
    A national framework for diabetes must identify the training, education and best practices of health care and other professionals who treat diabetes. It must improve data collection and promote information and knowledge-sharing in relation to diabetes prevention and treatment. It must take into consideration any existing frameworks, especially those that focus on addressing health inequalities. Finally, it must fund and promote research that will one day lead to a cure.
    Last week, I met with Laura from Ottawa west, Nepean. She is a 23-year old who has been living with diabetes type I since she was seven years old. She spoke about how there were early signs. Her teachers and parents did not immediately recognize it for what it was. This is why we need to improve education and awareness so that everyone can recognize the early signs and get treated accordingly.
    I also met with Dr. Cathy Felderhof from Cape Breton Island, who told me about the challenges of providing care for rural indigenous people and how diabetes interacts with mental health and other social factors of health. It is so important that experts like her and doctors who treat a variety of patients in the regions across Canada are brought together to help develop this strategy.
    Indigenous populations face many factors, including socio-economic factors, that contribute to high rates of diabetes and create barriers to accessing proper treatment. In my city of Brampton, one in six community members has diabetes or pre-diabetes. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges faced by people living with diabetes who are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms. Economic insecurity, lack of physical activity and struggles with mental health during this pandemic have all had a negative impact on those living with diabetes.
    Treating diabetes is expected to cost the health care system in Canada almost $40 billion by 2028. This projected cost is concerning and it could be reduced if we pass Bill C-237 into law. A national framework for diabetes would provide guidelines to address diabetes and invest in prevention and education about the disease and in data collection. With this framework, we can see valuable input from stakeholders such as Diabetes Canada, JDRF and programs such as Diabetes 360°. This year, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto by Sir Frederick Banting and his colleagues. Canada gave insulin to the world. It is time for Canada to once again lead the way in the fight against diabetes.

  (1905)  

    Accordingly, the question is on the motion. If any member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division, that the motion be adopted on division or that the motion be carried, I would invite them to rise and indicate so to the Chair.
     Mr. Speaker, I would ask for a recorded division.
    Accordingly, pursuant to order made on January 25, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 2 at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

ADJOURNMENT PROCEEDINGS

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

[English]

International Trade  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my deep concern with the Liberal government's failure to support the request by South Africa and India to temporarily waive intellectual property rights through the TRIPS waiver. By failing to support the TRIPS waiver, and by failing to ensure that all people and all countries can get vaccines to their populations as quickly and efficiently as possible, the government is putting Canada on the wrong side of history. This is not where Canadians want or deserve to be.
    The decision to not support the waiver is ethically bankrupt. It will potentially cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands, or possibly millions, more people. It is indefensible, but more importantly it is also not very smart. We have heard so many times before, and I cannot reiterate with enough emphasis, that none of us is safe until all of us are safe. Until people around the world are vaccinated, until this virus is contained and eradicated and until variants stop evolving, we will not recover from this pandemic. We may believe that it is over, but if we fail to act globally, this virus will evolve and we will find ourselves in a second pandemic in which vaccinated Canadians are not protected. It would be a second pandemic that could have been prevented.
    Why is the government willing to watch more people die? Why is the government willing to see our global economy crumble once again? Is this the price we are being asked to pay to protect big pharmaceutical companies? We should keep in mind that these companies, which use massive amounts of public dollars to develop, test and produce vaccines, are making billions of dollars in profit this year. These companies using public dollars, our money, are profiting off of the pandemic. They are looking for more and the government is obliging. Why choose big pharma over lives? Why choose big pharma over our future? This is not what Canadians want from their government.
    The United States has said that it will support the waiver. Over 100 countries around the world have supported the waiver. There are 280 European parliamentarians who support the waiver. Members of the minister's own party, Liberal members of Parliament, have called upon the government to support the waiver. Even Pope Francis is urging Canada and all countries to support the waiver. Pope Francis recognizes that selfish politics, such as those shown by the Liberal government, are another variant of the COVID-19 virus. He said, “Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or of intellectual property over the...health of humanity.”
    The TRIPS waiver is not the only step we need to take to ensure vaccines are available as quickly and as widely as possible, but it is a vital step. It is a tool in the very limited tool box that humanity has right now to fight this virus, and frankly we need to use every single tool that we have at our disposal. The situation is urgent and the repercussions are catastrophic if we fail to act.
    I am speaking from the heart. I am using every means I have to convince the government that it is not too late to do the right thing. It should stop dithering, stop deflecting and stop avoiding the issue by saying it is studying it and thinking about options. It should stop the ridiculous wait-and-see approach that insults the intelligence of Canadians and fails to recognize the urgency of the pandemic. It should do the right thing, support the TRIPS waiver and help the world combat COVID-19 before it claims even more victims.

  (1910)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that important question. I am also concerned about that issue.
    Our government has been committed to those efforts since the beginning of the pandemic. As a country and as a government, we are a strong supporter of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world. We are working with our international partners right now. As my colleague is well aware, this is not a decision that can be made by Canada alone. We are working with other countries to eliminate all of the potential barriers to vaccine access, including intellectual property, supply chain constraints and the export restrictions we are seeing around the world.
     Through the leadership of our Ottawa Group, we are promoting the trade and health initiative to the WTO to eliminate barriers, and we are determined to find solutions that will expedite the production and equitable distribution of vaccines.

[English]

    I would like to state very clearly for the record that the member opposite is absolutely right that none of us are safe until everyone is safe. However, she is wrong to characterize our government's position in the way that she has.
    Canada has been working since the very beginning with all of the players around the table at the WTO to find a solution to this issue. Canada is not in a position by itself to grant a waiver. We need to find consensus. In fact, the WTO is a consensus-based organization, so coming out one way or another without having all member states in agreement does not serve any purpose.
    What we need to do is look at a text, which is the process we are engaging in now. I am sure the member is following the situation closely and understands that so far the waiver proponents have not proposed anything in writing. We are working toward this and are pushing all of the players around the table to come up with texts so that we can negotiate and move this forward.
    Our government certainly recognizes, just as the member opposite does, that the pandemic is not over anywhere until it is over everywhere. We are committed to finding solutions. We are also committed to finding an agreement that accelerates global vaccine production, but one that does not negatively impact public health here in Canada or anywhere around the world.
    We need to discuss IP protection proposals for a waiver that will allow particular COVID-19 vaccines to be available to developing countries. However, we also need to work with all members on some of the other barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccines. We know what those are, and many of them are related to supply chain constraints.
    Canada is actively engaged in the work of the trade and health initiative at the WTO. It aims to strengthen global supply chains and support the delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies, including vaccines, all over the world. Canada has also encouraged the director general of the WTO to enhance its efforts to ensure that the WTO plays a role in finding a global solution to this issue and in accelerating the production and distribution of affordable, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
    I will end by saying that Canada remains a strong advocate for equitable access to vaccines. We remain one of the very important players around the table, encouraging us all to find a text that we can agree. We want to make sure that vaccines are available right across the world.
     I will point to our leadership as a country. For example, consider our contributions to the access to COVID-19 tools, or ACT, accelerator, and of course our contributions financially to the COVAX facility. To date—

  (1915)  

    We will have to leave it there for the moment. The hon. parliamentary secretary will have an extra minute at the end, but we will go back to the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona for her rebuttal.
    Mr. Speaker, experts tell us that 30% more people will die if we do not act. Experts tell us that the cost of the extended pandemic could top $4 trillion if we do not act. The government will have to bear the burden of history remembering what its decision was. For the Liberals to say that they have not been able to make a decision, that they cannot make a decision, is irresponsible and incorrect.
    I am going to ask the member one more time. Will Canada add its name to the hundreds of countries that have already supported the TRIPS waiver, yes or no? Will the minister and will the member support the TRIPS waiver? It is really easy; it is yes or no.
     Mr. Speaker, at the risk of complicating something the member opposite feels is very easy, I invite her to consider that we do not decide things unilaterally at the WTO and we need to agree upon a text as a member of the WTO, and as a leader at the WTO, in order to move forward.
    I am not exactly sure what text the member opposite is asking Canada to agree to. I would like to see it, I would like to read it as a lawyer and I would like to understand it before putting our country's name to it.
    I think it is important that we move forward. I absolutely agree with the member opposite that we need to be a constructive player in this discussion. However, I would encourage her not to minimize the importance of the debate and the complexity of the matter that is before the government and all governments at the moment.
    We will absolutely continue to support a robust, multi-faceted and global effort to ensure equitable access to vaccines right across the world, but we will do so responsibly.

[Translation]

Ethics  

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve good governance, an ethical and transparent government that works on building public confidence in government institutions instead of undermining them through scandals and constant ethical violations.
    Scandals have been erupting in Ottawa since the day the Liberals formed government. The Liberals have spent all of their efforts on covering up their corruption instead of working to protect the future of Canadians. During this pandemic, when Canadians were relying on their government to put their needs first, the government shut down Parliament to line the pockets of Liberal elites.
    In order to ensure that Ottawa assumes its responsibilities, the Conservatives will propose new anti-corruption legislation to restore Canadians' trust in their public institutions. The Conservatives will give Canadians the transparent and ethical government they deserve.

  (1920)  

[English]

    What we have seen with the Liberals over the past six years is an absence of accountability and an unwillingness to stop the insider dealings. We have seen the government block accountability measures that the House has called on it to take, including when witnesses were ordered to appear at committee. Instead, ministers told committees that they instructed the witnesses not to appear and that they believe in ministerial accountability. The House gave a provision in its order to the government that it could produce the staff witnesses or the Prime Minister could appear. He could have done so to exercise ministerial accountability, if in fact the government was genuine in its assertion about the reason staff could not appear at committee.
    As we have seen in the last several months, and even since the pandemic began, any time tough questions are asked, committees devolve into filibusters put on by the Liberals. It happened not just at the ethics committee, but at the finance committee, the national defence committee and the procedure and House affairs committee, to name a few. When the House issues an order for witnesses to appear at committee and the government instructs staff members to defy an order of this place, it speaks to the trickle-down lack of accountability and ethics that we have seen with the government. That is why we have, in the Prime Minister, someone who has been twice found guilty of breaking the Conflict of Interest Act and found himself under investigation one additional time, and why multiple ministers have been found guilty of breaking the ethics laws of this place.
    Canadians deserve better, and here is my question for the parliamentary secretary: Why does the government believe that the rules do not apply to it?
    Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. My friend and I have had this discussion on several occasions, and sometimes one has to agree to disagree. Ever since the 2015 federal election, and even before, the Conservative Party has been personally attacking the Prime Minister, and nothing has changed. I think our Prime Minister has done an admirable job in resisting the personal attacks, and he continues to remain focused on Canadians and the pandemic.
    This government, day in and day out, seven days a week, has been there to support Canadians during the pandemic. We have seen that in the establishment of programs. We went from nothing to programs that have directly helped more than nine million Canadians. The member talked about how we prorogued a session. When was the last time the House actually sat during the summertime? The answer is more than 30 years ago.
    For the first time in the House of Commons, opposition members were provided the opportunity to ask thousands of questions over the summer. Many of their questions were about issues of ethics. Accusations were flowing. Every rock had to be turned over. The member said that we have been putting money in the pockets of Liberals, but let me remind my friend that billions of dollars were spent and many pockets of Conservative business owners received that money. I suspect that even some Bloc and New Democratic people who owned businesses received money. Seriously, there is no credibility in trying to make it look as if the government is corrupt, none whatsoever.
    The Conservative Party, a number of months ago, lost its focus. Ever since the new leader has taken over the reins of power within the Conservative Party, along with his leadership team, the Conservatives are more focused on being a disruptive force inside the legislative chamber than they are on serving the best interests of Canadians. We see that when the Conservative Party chooses to amplify the issue of corruption when corruption is not there. A good example of that is the recent announcement from the Ethics Commissioner that the Prime Minister was not in a conflict with regard to the WE Charity.
    As an opposition party, the Conservatives can do whatever they like. However, I will tell Canadians that every member of the Liberal caucus, with the leadership of the Prime Minister, will continue to be focused on Canadians in every region of this country. We are committed to building back better, and the budget we just presented is an excellent illustration of that. I am very proud of the way this government has been accountable—

  (1925)  

    We will have to leave it there. I think the hon. parliamentary secretary was coming to the end of his thoughts anyway.
    Let us go to the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
    Mr. Speaker, we will stop talking about Liberals who break elections laws and break ethics laws when the Liberals stop breaking the law. We do not need to turn over any rocks. We just need to read the reports: the “Morneau II Report”, reports from the Commissioner of Canada Elections, the “Trudeau II Report” or “The Trudeau Report”. Let us hearken back to “clamscam” or any of a number of issues that have happened with ministers and parliamentary secretaries of the government. The opposition can walk and chew gum at the same time. The government can only do one thing, and that is filibuster, prorogue and try to hide from its scandals.
    We have been able to support Canadians during the pandemic. That is why Parliament sat during the summer. However, the government still prorogued it.
    Canadians deserve accountable, ethical governance, and they are not getting it from the Prime Minister. However, it is never too late to do the right thing and turn over a new leaf. Is the parliamentary secretary ready to do the right thing and turn over a new leaf for Canadians today?
    Mr. Speaker, let me give a very personal example. In the last federal election, and I have been a candidate now for 10 elections or more, I made a mistake for the very first time when I boosted a post from Facebook. I was not the only candidate to do this. A number of candidates also did it, but I have to take responsibility.
     Technically we are not supposed to advertise on election day, and when I boosted it, I never thought of it was advertising, but I should have known better, especially having been a candidate in 10 elections. I am very sorry that I made that innocent mistake. We were car waving, I stood up and made a post, and I should not have done that.
    I paid the penalty. I am very sorry it happened and I can guarantee it will not happen in the future.
     Listening to what the member says, I am really not that bad of a person. It was not intentional. I am hoping the member will understand that.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, my question today is about the Uighur genocide.
    Before I get to the specifics of that, I would like to acknowledge the importance of this week as it pertains to concerns about the situation in China. This week has been designated as a week of prayer for the church in China and the peoples of China by Cardinal Bo, who is the Catholic cardinal in Burma and serves as the president to the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.
    Following his call for this week to be a week of prayer for the situation of Christians and other communities in China, churches and others from around the world have taken up this call. Christians from various backgrounds and denominations are using this week as an opportunity to speak, advocate and pray about the escalating persecution of China's Christian community as well as the human rights abuses and other challenges facing all the communities in the People's Republic of China.
    Sadly, criticism of China's human rights record is often portrayed as somehow being anti-China, but this call to prayer for China taken up by so many from around the world demonstrates goodwill toward China and good wishes for its people, and the hope China's leaders will one day be a force for the advancement of justice and human freedom.
    I am pleased to join my voice to that of Cardinal Bo, Pope Francis and many others in Canada and around the world who are marking this important week to express my concern about the persecution of Christians in China and in particular as well to note the cases of Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin, Bishop James Su Zhimin, Bishop Augustine Cui Tai, Father Lu Genjun, Pastor Wang Yi and Pastor John Cao.
    We have seen the horrific persecution of all faith communities in China, and tonight I am following up on a question asked about the genocide of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China. As best I can understand, the government's position on this is that further investigation is required to determine whether these crimes constitute genocide and if the government of China should allow a fact-finding mission on the ground.
    I would put it to the government that there has never been in human history a case where a government, in the act of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, has willingly permitted international monitoring or investigation while those crimes were going on.
    In the case of the Rohingya genocide, the government was willing, eventually, to recognize the reality of that genocide even without an on-the-ground fact-finding mission being permitted. The recognition in that case was made as a result of testimony of survivors and satellite footage, and that is the kind of evidence we also have in this case.
    In fact, the evidence in the case of the Uighur genocide is, if anything, clearer and more conclusive than the evidence that existed in the case of the Rohingya genocide. Of course, the Chinese state is more powerful than the Burmese state, but the government should not choose to invent new higher evidentiary thresholds simply because it is afraid to hold powerful states to account.
    If we are to take at face value the government's claim to not have yet rendered a decision based on the evidence, then we also have to recognize a majority of the government's caucus has disagreed with the Prime Minister and his cabinet in their conclusion that there is not sufficient evidence here. In any event, the government should explain the nature of the investigation it is pursuing with respect to the Uighur genocide and when it expects this investigation to be concluded.
    In the meantime, one concrete thing we can do short of recognizing this genocide is to fix Canada's failing supply chain legislation. Canadians from across the political spectrum want to see meaningful reforms to prevent slave labour from feeding our supply chains. Emancipation is sadly still a distant dream in certain parts of the world, including in Xinjiang, and we need to do our part to bring that dream closer.
    Despite announcing a new policy in this area, no imports have been blocked or apprehended. This new policy therefore is clearly not working. We need to pass legislation modelled on the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act of the U.S., which introduces a presumption that slave labour is involved in products imported from places where high levels of slave labour exist.
    Again, back to the main question, could the government explain the nature of the investigation it is pursuing with respect to the Uighur genocide and when it expects that investigation to be concluded? When will the government finally render a decision on whether it believes events in Xinjiang or East Turkestan constitute genocide and trigger Canada's obligations under the genocide convention?

  (1930)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for bringing up the week of prayer that Cardinal Bo has instituted with respect to China. I think it is very important for Canadians to be aware of that.
     I would also note that in March we had a day of prayer across Canada for Hong Kong, to which parliamentarians were invited. I believe I was alone in that prayer evening. I was really touched by Canadians across the country who raised their prayers for the people of Hong Kong. Other issues were raised as well with respect to human rights in China. These are important human rights cases.
    I want to acknowledge the work of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights on this issue and others as well as the testimonials that have been received from civil society, which have been considered by parliamentarians. I also acknowledge, as the member did, the recent motion carried by hon. members of the House. The government welcomes parliamentarians working together and debating this critical issue.
     We all agree that the actions by Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region cannot be ignored and must be attended to. There is evidence of a sustained and systemic campaign of repression in Xinjiang by the Chinese government. We have testimonials from survivors and we have leaked government documents from credible reports of mass arbitrary detention, repressive surveillance, forced labour, forced sterilization, sexual violence, torture and other mistreatment affecting Uighurs and other ethnic minorities. This is not an exhaustive list of the violations which continue to come to light.
    As we have repeatedly said, we remain deeply disturbed by troubling reports of these human rights violations in Xinjiang. Canada also takes allegation