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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 119

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 16, 2021




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 119
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

    It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Kings—Hants Olympic Athlete

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in this House to congratulate a constituent of mine, Wyatt Sanford, of Kennetcook, on qualifying to represent Canada at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
    Wyatt joins the likes of Tracy Cameron, Silas McLellan and Leigh Miller, all of whom are former Olympians who called Hants County home.
    He is the reigning welterweight national champion and has represented Canada internationally, including at the most recent world boxing championships, where he finished in the top 16. That strong showing was important as the most recent Olympic qualifier in Argentina was cancelled, but Wyatt has been selected to represent Canada on the basis of his international ranking.
    Wyatt has put in countless hours of training and dedication and carries with him what I call famous Hants County grit and determination. He has already made us proud and I know he will stand toe to toe with the world's best in Tokyo.
    I congratulate Wyatt and wish him the best of luck this summer.

Israeli Prime Minister

    Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate incoming Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on successfully forming a national government and to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for 12 years of service, during which he strengthened the many bonds between Canada and Israel.
    I also want to congratulate the Israeli people on electing their new government, the culmination of a robust democratic process, which is the only one in the Middle East.
    The Conservative Party will always support Israel, our ally in the fight against terror, and will work toward a future when all the region's people can vote to have their democratic preferences reflected in governments of their choosing, that is to say, elected by a free and fair democratic process, as in Israel and Canada.

  (1405)  

Oakville Deputy Fire Chief

    Mr. Speaker, Oakville Deputy Fire Chief Monique Belair has been a trailblazer for women in the fire service for 35 years. She joined the Oakville fire service in 2017 and has made a lasting impact here in our community.
    Camp Molly is an initiative Monique developed to encourage young women in Halton to choose the fire service as their career. As she has said, she wanted to show them the fire service is more than just putting wet on hot.
    As she embarks on her new role as fire chief for the community of Belleville, I have mixed emotions. I am thrilled for her to take on her new role as chief, a role that sees too few women in Canada, but I am sad to lose her from our community.
    I thank Monique for her friendship and all she has done for Oakville, and especially the young women who went through Camp Molly.

[Translation]

Tree Planters

    Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago, the scout troops of Saint‑Jérôme, Saint‑Hippolyte, Prévost and Piedmont, led by Prévost resident Loyola Leroux, began a project whose scope can be truly appreciated only through the lens of time.
    In the spring of 1991, they went out and planted 25,000 trees. The next year, they planted 45,000 trees. In 1993, they planted 96,000, and so on and so forth. By 2016, they had planted a total of 2.3 million trees.
    The members of Parliament, the mayors and other dignitaries of these cities never missed an opportunity to get their hands dirty in our fertile soil. Two-time Oscar winner and internationally renowned Quebec artist and director Frédérick Back, or the man who planted trees, was among those who came out every year to cheer on these young tree planters.
    I think it is important to highlight this anniversary by reminding the government that we are still awaiting the hundreds of millions of trees we were promised by the Prime Minister. If he is wondering how to go about it, I would be happy to introduce him to Loyola Leroux.
    I would like to thank these men and women who planted trees.

Orléans Graduates

    Mr. Speaker, next week marks the beginning of graduation ceremonies, and I want to take a moment to congratulate the 1,722 graduates from the 10 high schools in my riding, Orléans.
    This year's graduation ceremonies have to be adapted once again because of the pandemic, but I know that, regardless of how they celebrate, our graduates will find innovative ways to mark this important milestone.
    It is always a tremendous honour for me to sign each graduate's certificate, to congratulate them and wish them every success. After such a momentous achievement, they are now beginning a new chapter in their lives. No matter what path they decide to take, now that they have completed high school, they have the tools and support needed to tackle whatever lies ahead.
    I want to congratulate all graduates in Orléans and across Canada. They are our champions.

[English]

Construction Zone Road Safety

    Mr. Speaker, in just over a week's time, we will all be back in our home ridings. While all of our ridings are diverse and unique, one activity that will be ongoing in many regions across Canada is annual summer road work and maintenance projects.
    I raise this point as a reminder because it is critically important that we remind our constituents to slow down and pay attention when passing through a construction zone. In British Columbia alone, there have been over 13 roadside workers killed over the past decade after being hit by vehicles, and 30 more injured. Let us not forget that a roadside construction site is also a job site, and highway and flagging workers deserve the same respect that we would expect with citizens passing through our job site.
    April 28 is our National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. Let us make every day this summer a day to take care to ensure those who work on our roads can be as safe and as stress-free as possible on the job.

  (1410)  

Saleh Hafejee

    Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to a community leader and mentor we lost too early. Brother Saleh Hafejee, with whom I worked closely in recent years, was a very special person who made a great impact in our community. He did this through helping the generation of youth as a sports coach and mentor; through his 25 years of service to the Scarborough Muslim Association, Jame Abu Bakr Mosque, recently as president; and through his decades of volunteering, helping people of all backgrounds.
    He loved his community, his faith and, most importantly, his family. His passing was sudden and a devastating loss for the Muslim community in Scarborough. I say to his mother, Aisha Hafejee, wife, Fazila Hafejee, his sons, Mohammed and Hafiz Abubak, daughter Mariam Hafejee and his grandkids that we will miss Brother Saleh, or, as his son said yesterday at his funeral, “everyone’s dad”. He leaves behind a legacy we can all be proud of.

Gurdial Kaur Oppal

    Mr. Speaker, British Columbians recently lost pioneer and centenarian, Gurdial Kaur Oppal, at the age of 104. She came to Canada at the height of the Depression and became widowed at the age of 30, but her tenacity and strength to never give up remained with her until the end.
    As a Sikh-Canadian pioneer and devoted member of society, she was also a feminist. She was always speaking out if women were not allowed to participate. She raised two amazing boys, one who became the first Sikh justice and attorney general, the Hon. Wally Oppal, and the other a prominent realtor and boxing fight judge, Harry Oppal. Gurdial Kaur Oppal’s life efforts and accomplishments will not go without acknowledgement. She will always be remembered as an exceptional member of society, as well as a kind-hearted woman fulfilled by serving others.
    I would like to extend my most heartfelt condolences to Wally, Harry, Jasmine, Josh and the entire Oppal family as they grapple with the loss of their beloved matriarch. On behalf of Surrey Centre, our thoughts and compassion are with them during this difficult time.

Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's pledge of a one-shot summer and his recent attendance at the G7 summit simply prove that Liberals have one set of rules for themselves and another for hard-working Canadians who are abiding by health guidelines and who simply want this pandemic to be over.
    Every day I hear from my constituents who have been separated from their families and loved ones by the lengthy and extended border closure with the United States. This border closure has also had a devastating impact on our local and national tourism economy. Niagara is the number one leisure tourism destination in Canada employing some 40,000 tourism workers and generating over $2.4 billion in tourism receipts. Budget 2021 commits only $1 billion in tourism funding, which completely misses the mark when we consider that Canada's tourism industry generated over $105 billion annually before COVID. Severely underfunding indigenous tourism only adds to my disappointment in budget 2021.
    The Liberal government has failed families, border communities and Canada's travel and tourism industry, and it continues to fail the people of Niagara.

Islamophobia

    Mr. Speaker, the Afzaal family were kind-hearted, innocent Canadians who went out for an evening walk. They mattered, they were loved and they were murdered because they were Muslim. Our Etobicoke North community knows the terrible pain we are once again feeling. We are still reeling and still healing from the brutal murder of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, our friend who looked after the congregation at the International Muslim Organization of Toronto.
    This past weekend, we came together to grieve and show solidarity at a vigil at the IMO mosque. Families are afraid, they are angry and they want our mourning to lead to further action because hatred and violence can have no place in our country.
    I say to our Muslim community that they belong, they matter and they are loved. I stand with them during this very difficult time, and I will continue to fight for a better, more inclusive Canada.

[Translation]

Lucie Côté

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to Lucie Côté, a friend who left us far too soon because of COVID‑19. Lucie was a determined woman who was proud of her roots. She was a loving partner to her husband Rémy and a devoted sister to Diane and Sylvie, who cared about her a lot. She was the mother of four children, Jean-François, Jocelyn, Caroline and Isabelle, the beloved grandmother of 12 grandchildren, and a friend to many.
    All her life, she worked for the well-being of others and she was active in her community at both the local and national levels. This caring woman was a source of inspiration and leadership to us all. Before her untimely death, Lucie was getting ready to live out her retirement dreams with her husband Rémy after a busy lifetime of hard work.
    Lucie, we miss you very much and we will always remember your zest for life, good humour and sensitivity.
    Rest in peace, Lucie.

  (1415)  

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, Parliament will rise this summer without receiving a report from the national defence committee into sexual misconduct allegations plaguing our military. Rather than facing tough questions on what transpired within the leadership of the armed forces on the current government’s watch, Liberal members of the defence committee, empowered by their partisan chairperson, have instead filibustered, delayed and repeatedly suspended the committee to prevent a report from coming forward. Our current meeting has been ongoing since mid-May.
    To show how blatant and pathetic the Liberals' obstruction has become, they have lately been filibustering their own amendment to a motion: anything to avoid a vote they know they will lose, instead of giving answers to Canadians. Multiple defence reports are now casualties of the government’s partisan antics. The Liberal members continue to place their party above the people, and especially above victims of misconduct in our military.

Jane Bigelow

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to London's first woman mayor, Jane Bigelow, who passed away on June 1. Jane served from 1972 to 1978, and placed a great deal of importance on making London a better place to live, grow and flourish.
    Jane was an advocate of libraries, museums, art galleries and festivals. She often travelled by bike throughout the city, and worked to establish our parks and walking and cycling trails. After her political career, Jane volunteered to help women in local shelters and centres.
    Jane was described as a trailblazer. My favourite story of Jane was based on an editorial cartoon in our local paper. It showed “Jane of Arc” riding up to the London Club, a men-only club at the time, which had always invited the mayor to meet with its members. There was a quite stir within the club. The club simply did not know which tradition to follow: no women or no mayor.
    It is this leadership that I want to specifically thank Jane for. She is one of the giants upon whose shoulders other women have been able to stand to allow us to fight for people and make London a better place for absolutely everyone.

[Translation]

High School Graduates in Quebec

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to congratulate the graduates of the various high schools across Quebec.
    The very important last years of their journey, when people build bonds and friendships that often last a lifetime, did not go as planned, but humans are resilient. I am sure these students found a way to make the most of the situation. Now they are even better equipped to deal with the struggles of life.
    I was a high school teacher for 25 happy, fulfilling years. I mainly taught grade nine, where I had the privilege of shaping the citizens of tomorrow. This June, the last cohort of students that I taught for a full year are graduating. I want to sincerely congratulate them and wish them all the best.
    Most of all, I want them to always remember that nothing is impossible and that they should not let anyone convince them otherwise.
    Congratulations and all the best.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, last month 68,000 more Canadian families lost their jobs, yet the Liberal government has spent more in deficits than any other G7 country, and in fact more than ever in Canadian history. It is clear the Liberals cannot manage our economy and deliver results, no matter how much they spend.
     It is under the current Liberal government's feminist policy that all economic gains made by women in my lifetime have been completely wiped out, and Canadian families are having to live through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Inflation has hit the highest levels in a decade. The costs of groceries, lumber and housing have all skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. The paycheques of Canadians are buying them less and less, yet the Prime Minister and his cabinet are acting as though everything is fine when it is not.
    Canada's Conservatives are the only party that will make economic recovery the number one priority, ensuring families have secure jobs and can put food on the table, pay their bills and have more opportunities in every industry in every region of this great country.

  (1420)  

Class of 2021

    Mr. Speaker, hundreds of young Islanders in my district are now looking forward to graduation and heading into a new phase of their lives.
    They are proud of their accomplishments, as they very well should be. This past year has been difficult. In many cases, students were required to learn distantly. This disrupted the usual interactions that are so important. The young people I know understood the need to protect families, friends and communities, and every one of them deserves our thanks.
    I would like to join with family and friends who are offering their congratulations to all students. I know this: The life lessons and formal education of the past year will build a strong foundation for the future. We should all be so proud of the sacrifices and dedication of a new generation of scholars.

[Translation]

    I want to congratulate them all.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has confirmed that inflation is at a 10‑year high in Canada because this government's spending is out of control. The cost of everything is on the rise: housing, education, transportation and groceries. Canadians can no longer accept this government's limitless spending.
    When will the Liberals rein in their spending?
    Mr. Speaker, I will say that the Conservatives' partisan games are the biggest threat to Canada's recovery right now. Conservative tactics are preventing us from passing the budget. This irresponsible behaviour threatens the well-being of every Canadian.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, inflation is at a 10-year high. The cost of housing is up nearly 40%. This is quickly turning into an economic crisis for Canada's working poor and families trying to buy their first homes. The working poor and first-time homebuyers cannot afford more of the same economic incompetence.
    Can the government guarantee that housing prices will stabilize and start going down by the end of this summer?
    Mr. Speaker, let me tell you what poses the single greatest threat to Canada's economic recovery today: Conservative partisan games. Canadians need the wage subsidy, the rent subsidy and income support to be extended until the end of September. Our government wants to do that, but the Conservatives' partisan delaying tactics are stopping us from passing the budget and that irresponsible behaviour threatens the well-being of every single Canadian.
    Mr. Speaker, what is irresponsible is that Canada is the only country in the world that had no budget for two years. When it comes to the housing crisis, the government is telling Canadians not to buy a house: They should just rent. That minister and an out-of-touch, ideological Liberal government are telling Canadians to give up on the dream of home ownership.
    Instead of the failed Liberal approach, Canada's Conservatives have a five-point plan to secure our future, including help for first-time homebuyers. First-time homebuyers know they are going to get help only when the Liberal government gets out of the way and the Conservatives come to get the job done.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is utterly hypocritical for the Conservatives to even pretend to be concerned about Canadians and the Canadian economy. The single biggest threat the Canadian economy faces today is Conservative partisanship, which is blocking our budget. Conservatives are blocking the extension of the wage subsidy, rent subsidy and income supports. Canada is ready to come roaring back. We just need Conservatives to get out of the way.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, he falsified his service record, threw Admiral Mark Norman under the bus and misled Canadians. Do we want to hear more? The Liberal caucus seems to forget he bought used fighter jets. He cut benefits to our troops fighting ISIS. He cut health care for military members. He cut defence spending. He all but eliminated Canadian peacekeeping and, of course, for three years he covered up sexual misconduct allegations in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Armed Forces need leadership.
    When will the Prime Minister fire his defence minister?
    Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives when it comes to looking after our women and men in the Canadian Armed Forces. We know that we have a lot more work to do, and we will get it done.
    It was the Conservative government that cut from defence with the strategic review and the defence reduction action plan they had. We, as a party, have increased the defence budget by over 70%, and we have outlined it for 20 years. We know that we have a lot more work to do to look after our Canadian Armed Forces members, and we will get it done.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister will not do the honourable thing and resign after having failed women in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Prime Minister will not fire him. The Liberals are never accountable.
     Therefore, I want to speak directly to the voters in Vancouver South. If they want to end cover-ups on sexual misconduct in our military, and if they want to secure accountability in Ottawa, it is going to be up to them to support the Conservatives in the next election, demand better and replace the most corrupt and incompetent defence minister in Canada's history. It is up to them.
    Mr. Speaker, I will let my actions be judged by the members of Vancouver South. I am proud of my service.
    Let us talk about the hypocrisy of the Leader of the Opposition. He leads a party that fails to protect a woman's right to choose, that amplified Islamophobic rhetoric when it was in government and that voted against a motion to condemn Islamophobia. Let us talk about a record, and we will let the constituents of Vancouver South choose, and all Canadians choose, to see the Conservatives' hypocrisy.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Quebec government is preparing to amend the Charter of the French Language, in tandem with the Quebec National Assembly, obviously. Meanwhile, the federal government is tabling another statement of intent on the Official Languages Act that will never pass, of course.
    The federal bill competes and creates a divide between what Canada wants and what Quebec wants. When this is pointed out to the Minister of Official Languages, she says that she simply does not want to talk about it and wants only to work together. However, she is going to have to talk about it.
    The question is simple: What takes precedence in promoting and protecting French? The federal legislation or the Quebec National Assembly?
    Mr. Speaker, I can assure my colleague that the government did not merely issue a statement of intent; it introduced a bill.
    We want to pass this bill, and we are asking all opposition parties, including the Bloc Québécois, if they intend to support it or not. Do they want better protection for French in Quebec and across the country? Do they want francophones to have access to linguistic security that will ensure the longevity of the French fact in Quebec as well as in Canada going forward?
    No, they want to keep talking separatism and make Quebec a country.
    Mr. Speaker, she certainly understood some things.
    The Bloc Québécois wants a legitimate approach to ensuring better protection for French in Quebec. That means putting Quebec's National Assembly in charge. The minister had better not count on our support for her bill to further entrench official bilingualism.
    Here is my question. Does she really think that her bill, which has not been passed and therefore remains a statement of intent, will do a better job of protecting French than Quebeckers themselves are doing with the Charter of the French Language?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is what the Bloc Québécois is all about, looking for a fight when our goal is still and always to protect French and to ensure that linguistic minorities across the country are protected.
    Indeed, our remarks involve the entire country. Why? Because that is important. That is how we strengthen our federalism and how we are able to ensure that it makes sense across the country, including in Quebec and including francophones. Under the circumstances, our goal will still be to defend the Official Languages Act, to strengthen it and to bring it into the 21st century.

COVID‑19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, the big banks have received billions of dollars in support from this government. They have made huge profits, but are increasing their banking fees. However, this government is doing nothing and giving them free rein.
    For the nearly two million people who need their Canada recovery benefit to pay the rent, the Prime Minister is going to cut support to these families by $800 a month. This is a bad decision. Will the Prime Minister reverse his decision to cut support to families?
    Mr. Speaker, if the opposition refuses to pass the budget bill, key COVID‑19 measures will end. The wage subsidy, the rent subsidy and the Canada recovery benefit will no longer be available.
    If the NDP thinks that Canadians no longer need these supports then it should be honest and just say so.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to put forward a contrast for members. At least 68 companies, large corporations in Canada, received billions of dollars in support from the Liberal government. They then turned around and paid out billions of dollars to their shareholders. The government is doing nothing about that. It is not going after them at all. However, for the nearly two million Canadians who cannot go back to work and need to rely on the CRB to pay their rent, the government is going to cut their help by $800 a month.
    That is my question. Why is the government doing that? Will the Prime Minister reverse his decision to cut help to families in the middle of this pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, I question why the leader of the NDP is stopping our government from extending the CRB. We agreed that Canadian workers need additional support over the summer as the Canadian economy comes roaring back. That is why our budget would extend support to September 25.
    If the New Democrats think that support is no longer necessary, they should be open and say that to Canadians. Otherwise, they should help us pass the budget and extend these necessary supports.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, our Canadian Armed Forces are in chaos. The unravelling of the top brass and the repeat cycle of resignations are beyond disturbing. Who is actually in charge? It is clear the defence minister has lost all respect. He and the Prime Minister are considered a joke because of their terrible leadership. The men and women in our military cannot afford any more of this.
    Can the minister tell us if the Prime Minister ever voiced concerns to him about how he handled sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces?
    Mr. Speaker, our government and I are absolutely committed to making sure we create an inclusive environment for the Canadian Armed Forces. Our resolve was just the same when we came in to form the government in 2015 as it is now, and I hope that the member opposite will support budget 2021, in which we are adding $236 million for eliminating sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Mr. Speaker, I will take that as a no, which means our military can just expect more of the same from this fake feminist government.
    Our military deserves a minister and a Prime Minister who do not just say the right words, but actually do the right thing. The respect and trust for the minister is gone. The damage to him is beyond repair, and when our military does not respect its top commander, we are in a very precarious place. Our armed forces in our country cannot afford this to continue.
    Will the minister do the right thing and finally resign?

  (1435)  

     Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives continue with the political cheap shots, we will stay focused on the Canadian Armed Forces. When they were in government, they cut from the Canadian Armed Forces' budget. We have added to it, and we are increasing the defence budget by 70%.
    We put people first. Chapter number one of our defence policy is about our people and is focused on our people, but we know we have a lot more work to do to eliminate any type of misconduct from the Canadian Armed Forces, and we will double down and get it done.
    Mr. Speaker, he is doubling down on defending himself and his horrible, failed record. The men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces do not respect the minister, and his continuing in this role is damaging our military. The minister has failed the people who defend us. Our troops have sacrificed so much, and it is time the minister did the right thing for these men and women. Conservatives have a five-point plan to secure Canada's future, and that includes bringing accountability, honour and respect back to our military.
    Again, I ask this minister if he will do the right thing. Will he step aside for the sake of our country and for our men and women in uniform?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, we know that we have a lot more work to do. We need to get the work done, and we will, but when it comes to honouring the sacrifice of our Canadian Armed Forces members, it is about supporting them and giving them the proper resources for them to do their work. That is what our government has done.
    In our defence policy, we have increased the budget by over 70% within 10 years and guaranteed it for 20 years. We re-equipped all our services and did not cut from the defence budget, as the previous government did so it could balance its budget.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. It is time to send a message.
    The Minister of National Defence completely abandoned the Canadian Forces during years of incompetence. The Prime Minister himself said that the problem of sexual misconduct in the military had been ignored for far too long, but he acts like that is not the case.
    If he really wants to start changing things, the Prime Minister needs to fire his Minister of National Defence.
    Why is the Prime Minister insisting on keeping the minister in place?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I stated, we know that we have a lot more work to do when it comes to eradicating all forms of misconduct. We started that on day one when we formed government. We know that we have a lot more work to do, and I hope that the member opposite will support budget 2021 because it includes $236 million for eliminating sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is a country with honour. The brave men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve all the support we can give them. Every day that the Minister of National Defence stays in office is a show of disrespect for the service of our armed forces.
    The Minister of National Defence has to stop trying to fix things. It is too late. He needs to step down.
    When will the minister realize that?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, what our government understands is making sure to support our women and men in the Canadian Armed Forces. We need to resource them properly, and we need to put proper policies in place.
     As I stated before, we know we have a lot more work to do given the recent allegations we have seen, and we will get it done. We have appointed Justice Louise Arbour to make sure that we get the right recommendations on how to make sure that we eliminate all forms of sexual misconduct. We will get this done.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's situation has morphed into a cycle of scandals followed by its empty excuses and a false promise to do better. There is never any accountability.
    The situation in the armed forces is a perfect example. It has become toxic and is falling apart before our eyes.
    The Minister of Defence must resign or the Prime Minister must boot him out. Which one of them will do the honourable thing?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government will continue to support the Canadian Armed Forces with what it needs, not like the previous government, which cut from the defence budget just so it could try to balance its budget.
    We have increased the budget by 17%, but most importantly, we put an emphasis on supporting our people. Chapter 1 of the defence policy, if the member read it, focuses on our people.
     We know that we have a lot more work to do when it comes to eliminating sexual misconduct or any form of misconduct from the Canadian Armed Forces, and we are going to get it done.

  (1440)  

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec wants to protect the French language. All that Ottawa could do in its jurisdictions to protect French in Quebec was to let Quebec's Charter of the French Language apply to federally regulated businesses.
    However, the minister is doing the opposite with Bill C‑32. She is setting the stage for increased bilingualism by extending the scope of Canada's Official Languages Act. She is creating a jurisdictional squabble instead of helping stop the decline of French.
    Why is the minister refusing to do something useful by letting Quebec apply Bill 101?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague made reference to a squabble with Quebec. That may be some wishful thinking on her part, but it is certainly not the case.
    The reality is that, once again this morning, I had a conversation with my colleague, Simon Jolin-Barrette, and yesterday with Sonia LeBel, and we will certainly come to an agreement. Why is that?
    It is because 55% of businesses in Quebec have already chosen to be subject to Bill 101. We will, of course, let them choose whether to continue as is or to be subject to the Official Languages Act.
    We are filling a legal void. We want people to have access to services in French in federally regulated businesses and we want people to have the right to work in French at those same businesses.
    Mr. Speaker, there is no legal void and Quebec has no plan to rely on Bill C‑32.
     Quebec's minister responsible for the French language said, “One thing is for sure: The terms and conditions of Quebec's bill will be the ones that apply in Quebec”.
    The federal minister, looking for a fight, responded, “We have jurisdiction over federally regulated businesses.... What do they want to do? Do they want to protect French or do they want to keep arguing?”
    The minister clearly chose to keep arguing, because her bill does not protect the French language. It protects bilingualism. Why does the minister not simply let Quebec protect the French language with Bill 101?
    Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of respect for my colleague, but I wonder if she actually read the bill.
    The bill is clear: It covers the right to work in French, the right to be served in French and, of course, the right not to be discriminated against for being francophone in federally regulated businesses in Quebec and regions with a strong francophone presence.
    This is the first time the federal government has taken this step in the right direction. It was time. That is why, as a government, we are proud to have introduced the official languages bill yesterday. It was a historic event.
    Will the Bloc Québécois be supporting it, yes or no?

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has always had a casual relationship with the truth. He misled Canadians about the protests of Iraqi officials for pulling our CF-18s out of the fight against ISIS. He embellished his service record, saying he was the architect of Operation Medusa. He originally denied he knew about the General Vance allegations in 2018, but was complicit in the cover-up for three years.
    Canadians do not trust the Minister of National Defence. Members of the military do not trust him. When will the Prime Minister fire him?
    Mr. Speaker, I will take no lessons from the member opposite, who was the parliamentary secretary of national defence when the Conservatives were in government, when they slashed the budget of defence at that time. They did not put the troops first. They did not deal with the misconduct.
    When we formed the government, we made it very clear that we wanted to put our people first and eliminate sexual misconduct or any form of misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. We know from the recent allegations that we have a lot more work to do. We are willing to get it done.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister has not learned anything from his own mistakes, so he should actually follow our example.
    The Canadian Armed Forces is losing senior officers at an alarming rate. Two chiefs of defence staff are under investigation, and the seventh vice chief of defence staff since 2015 just resigned. All of this is happening under the failed leadership of the defence minister and is creating a national security crisis for our nation. The Minister of National Defence must be held to account, and no one trusts him to rebuild our armed forces.
    Will the Prime Minister fire his inept defence minister today?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to supporting our Canadian Armed Forces, we need to put our money where our mouth is, and that is exactly what our government did, not like the previous government, especially when the member was the parliamentary secretary to national defence.
    We have invested in the Canadian Armed Forces. All our services will be re-equipped when it comes to that, because we have increased the budget by 20%. We have put an emphasis on dealing with the misconduct, something we wish we could have done immediately, and we wish we could have it done overnight. We know we have a lot more work to do, and we are willing to get it done.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked to learn that the man with control over the sexual misconduct investigation went golfing with the man accused of the sexual misconduct, General Vance. Clearly these men at the top of the Canadian military were not informed of the seriousness of this investigation and were not informed of the need for a culture change in our military.
     The Liberal government and the defence minister have had six years to fix this, yet they resoundingly failed or this golfing scandal would have never happened.
    How can the minister take these questions with a straight face? Has he no honour?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, as stated before, the acting chief of the defence staff is reviewing this matter very closely as it falls within his responsibility within the chain of command, and the acting chief of the defence staff has stated already that the vice chief of the defence staff is currently no longer in his role.
    Our government has a lot more work to do when it comes to dealing with misconduct, and we will get it done.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has built his entire image on being a feminist, yet, after six years, he has allowed this toxic culture to continue under the watch of his defence minister, who sat idly by and allowed the most powerful military men in our country to continue to demean and disrespect our women in uniform. What message does this send to women and to men in our country, to aspiring women leaders in our military, that the Prime Minister thinks this is acceptable behaviour? Canadians are watching.
    Will the Prime Minister be a leader for once and fire his defence minister?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to dealing with misconduct, we know we have a lot more work to do. I hope the member opposite will support budget 2021, in which we have outlined $236 million to eliminate sexual misconduct from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister defied Parliament and went back to court this week to try to quash the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling. His argument is that his government is the party that was wronged, not the thousands of indigenous children whose lives were destroyed in that system from “wilful and reckless” discrimination.
     It is also false to claim that these are historic wrongs. This is happening today. We are losing an indigenous child every three days, yet the Prime Minister would rather fight children in court.
     When he is going to stop his toxic legal war against first nations children?
    Mr. Speaker, it is important for all Canadians and, indeed, this entire House to know that there is not a single indigenous child who has been asked to testify as part of this process and as part of the class actions, and it is our aim to keep it so. Any first nations child who has been discriminated by the broken child welfare system will get fair, just and equitable compensation. We will move forward on that as precipitously as possible as well as effect systemic transformation so this does not occur again.

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have spent over $20 million fighting the Nuu-chah-nulth people in court, denying their fishing rights. Last month, the courts reaffirmed the rights of these nations for the third time. The government has until Friday to appeal the court's decision.
     The last time I asked if the government would respect indigenous fishers' rights and let them get back on the water to support their families, the fisheries minister said that they were working with the Nuu-chah-nulth. Let me be clear that taking them to court is not the same as working with them.
    Will the justice minister respect indigenous rights, call off the government lawyers and confirm that he will not appeal this ruling?
    Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard to ensure that first nations are able to exercise their right to fish as well as sell fish. We are going to continue to work with the Nuu-chah-nulth first nation to ensure these rights are upheld.

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to strengthening seniors' financial security, improving their quality of life. I was happy to see our government fulfill its promise to increase the OAS benefit for Canadians later in life in budget 2021, but we know seniors have other needs.
    Could the minister tell the House and Canadians what we are doing to support some of the most vulnerable low-income seniors from coast to coast to coast?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his advocacy for seniors.
    While no solution can meet everyone's needs, step by step we are making progress. For low-income seniors we increased the GIS by 10% for singles and increased and enhanced the GIS earnings exemption. We lowered the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS to 65 from 67, and for future retirees we enhanced the CPP by almost 50%. For everyone we are increasing the basic personal amount, saving individuals close to $300 every year.
    Our government's work is making a real difference in the lives of seniors.

  (1450)  

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the cost of living is up, way up. Inflation is now at 3.6%, the highest it has been in over 10 years. Prices for everything, gasoline, food, furniture, are up, while millions of Canadians see their dream of home ownership disappear. Canadians need a leader who is focused on governing, not on preening for the cameras at the G7.
    When will the Prime Minister finally take his job seriously and make life more affordable for the people he is supposed to be serving?
    Mr. Speaker, it is utterly hypocritical for the Conservatives to even pretend to be concerned about ordinary Canadians. The single biggest threat the Canadian economy faces today is Conservative partisanship, which is blocking our budget. The Conservatives are blocking the extension of the wage subsidy, the extension of the rent subsidy and the extension of income supports.
    Canada is ready to come roaring back. We just need the Conservatives to get out of the way.
    Mr. Speaker, even the finance minister does not get it. Inflation is way up. It is at its highest point in a decade, proving that the finance minister's trillion-dollar debt and endless deficits are inflicting more and more damage on our country. Meanwhile, the cost of everything is going up, and housing has become unaffordable for millions of families.
    How much more expensive does life have to get before the minister and her Liberal government realize how badly they have failed exhausted Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let me tell the House what else Canadians, who indeed are exhausted and who indeed do need support, are being deprived of because of the immature partisan games of the Conservatives: $5 billion to support provincial and territorial health systems, $4 billion directly to the health care system and $1 billion for the essential vaccination campaign. That is what Canadians need right now and it is what Conservatives are blocking.
    Mr. Speaker, today it is clear that we have an inflationary bubble. The government is just trying to pump even more hot air into that bubble. It has created a trillion-dollar debt, which means too many dollars chasing too few goods and services. Now, in addition to not having paycheques, Canadians who do work are seeing their paycheques nibbled up by this growing level of inflation.
    Will the government reverse its inflationary policy, stop spending what it does not have, restore fiscal responsibility and allow Canadians to afford their cost of living?
    Mr. Speaker, let me tell the House what is truly irresponsible today just as we are poised to finish the fight against COVID. What is irresponsible are Conservative partisan games. Canadians need the wage subsidy, they need the rent subsidy and they need income support to be extended to the end of September, but the Conservatives are stopping us from passing our budget. It is that irresponsible behaviour that threatens the well-being of every single Canadian.
    Mr. Speaker, so she just wants us to help her give more and more inflationary spending into the economy, driving up the cost of living, particularly on the working poor, and devaluing the wages of the Canadian people.
    We have the second-highest unemployment in the G7, higher than the OECD, higher than the U.K., the U.S., Japan and Germany. Now those same unemployed Canadians are facing higher prices for shelter, fuel and food.
    Instead of ramming through another inflationary budget that drives up the cost of living, why will she not actually reverse course and protect the value of the dollars Canadians earn?
    Mr. Speaker, first, the member opposite needs to get his numbers right. Canada's labour force participation rate in April was in fact higher than the labour force participation rates in the U.S., the U.K., France and Italy.
    I do want all members of the House to help me and to help our government support Canadians. I want them to help me extend the business and income supports. I want them to help me give more support to our seniors and to our youth.

  (1455)  

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C‑32 invalidates Quebec’s Bill 96 and its intent to apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses. Bill C-32 does not force the francization of businesses; it simply tolerates that workers speak in French. Bill C-32 does not recognize French as Quebec’s only official language, nor does it do anything to make up for its threatened minority status. Bill C-32 therefore prevents Quebec from taking charge of its language policy.
    Why would Quebec vote for this instead of its own Bill 101?
    Mr. Speaker, let us stop trying to scare people, as my colleague is doing.
    It is not complicated. Bill C-32, an act to amend the Official Languages Act, which we introduced yesterday, requires federally regulated businesses to recognize the right to work in French, the right to be served in French, and the right of francophones not be discriminated against. Basically, these are the same provisions that are in Bill 101 and that have been adapted to a national system that applies to Quebec, as well as to regions with a strong francophone presence.
    For businesses that are already compliant with Bill 101, an agreement will be made with the Government of Quebec. For those that are not compliant with Bill 101, it is not complicated; there is no longer a legal void and they will have to comply—
    The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.
    Mr. Speaker, Quebec wants Bill 101 to apply to federally regulated businesses. Quite simply, this means applying the existing legislation. As a matter of fact, the Bloc Québécois bill does just that.
    There is no need for a federal bill dumped on us six days before the end of the session that will not be debated or voted on. Our bill will be voted on in half an hour; it is as simple as that.
    Will the Minister of Official Languages vote with us to apply Bill 101 in Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, I remember the debates I had with my colleague, where he kept asking me to strengthen the Official Languages Act, to recognize the specificity of French in Quebec, to recognize that federally regulated businesses have an obligation to work in French and to provide rights, as well as to serve consumers in French.
    He should be happy, because this has now been done. The bill has been introduced. Now the question is whether he will support it. Will the Bloc Québécois support the new version of the Official Languages Act?

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, there is no reason the government cannot answer the following question.
    President Biden directed U.S. intelligence to determine whether the pandemic originated from human contact with an animal or from a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    Last weekend, the G7 discussed this issue, and the government pledged co-operation. Given that government scientists at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg worked closely with the Wuhan lab, will these scientists and their documents, including lab notes, be made available to U.S. investigators?
    Mr. Speaker, we support the call by President Biden to get to the bottom of this issue. It is so important, after the world has been turned upside down by the COVID pandemic and over three million people have died, that we try our very best to understand what caused this pandemic.
    For that reason, using the best available science, we should do exactly that, try to figure out where this all started.
    Mr. Speaker, we know from public documents and peer-reviewed academic papers that a Chinese military scientist, Feihu Yan, of the People's Liberation Army worked at the Winnipeg lab, a level 4 facility where the world's most dangerous viruses and pathogens are handled.
    Who approved this individual to work at the government's lab in Winnipeg?
    Mr. Speaker, the National Microbiology Laboratory is a secure facility, and everyone working at it or visiting the lab must undergo security screening and adhere to the strictest protocols, procedures and policies. This is very important, not only to the lab but to Canada and Canadians.
    I want to thank the lab during Public Service Week for its incredible work in helping Canadians through COVID-19.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer my question. I will try another.
    During this pandemic, the health minister has been telling Canadians to follow public health orders, yet the health minister continues to defy a House order to hand over documents about the Winnipeg lab. Does the minister not see how corrosive this is to the rule of law, when she tells Canadians to comply with public health orders while at the same time defying an order of this House?
    Mr. Speaker, that is quite a piece of conflation.
    What I will say is that I have fully shared, through the Public Health Agency of Canada and through its president, Iain Stewart, fully unredacted documents to a committee of parliamentarians for their review. Therefore, in fact, those documents are available for review in a way that does not compromise privacy or national security issues.

[Translation]

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, women entrepreneurs across Canada have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
    Women have had to leave the workforce in order to care for their children because of the pandemic. It has taken them longer to re-enter the workforce. Budget 2021 makes a generational investment in the early learning and child care system so that women can return to work.
    Can the minister tell us about other measures in budget 2021 to support women entrepreneurship?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her very important question.
    We know that the pandemic has exposed serious flaws in our social safety net, including the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. That is why our government has proposed a transformational investment in early learning and child care. Not only will this help these women entrepreneurs get back to work, but it will also help build a stronger, more resilient economy.
    It is also important to mention the proposed investment to strengthen the women’s entrepreneurship strategy, which will provide women entrepreneurs with greater access to financing, mentoring and training.
    As a woman who has owned a small business—
    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, this week, the Minister of Health honoured us with her presence before the Canada-China committee to answer our questions. However, she wasted our time for three hours. She did the same thing she does during question period, which is repeat platitudes. The minister even tried to make us believe that she had not received a briefing about the breach at the Winnipeg lab.
    Can the Prime Minister confirm that the Minister of Health had not been briefed on the matter?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, again I see the member opposite is putting words in my mouth. In fact, I spent three hours at committee; it was approximately my 26th appearance in front of the House committees this season. I will say that I was fully transparent with the committee, and I reminded the committee that the fully unredacted documents are with NSICOP, a committee of parliamentarians that has the appropriate clearance to review those documents.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I urge the minister to go back and look at the committee blues. She clearly said that she did not know anything; she never knew anything.
    The other issue we have is that when we talk about the security breach at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, the Prime Minister always accuses us of being racist and fearmongering.
    However, last week at the G7 meetings, the same Prime Minister supported a motion calling China a threat to public safety with a government seeking to undermine the global system.
    The Prime Minister is trying to act tough on the international stage. Why is he unable to tell us the truth and give us the information in Canada?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I spent three hours at the committee answering questions from parliamentarians and repeatedly referring the parliamentarians to the statement of the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada, who has submitted all the documents, unredacted, to the appropriate committee of parliamentarians that can review those documents.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, here is the truth of the matter. When the Prime Minister says that the protection of public safety is at stake and that that is why he is hiding the truth from Canada, it is because the real problem is that if people knew what went on, it would put him in conflict with China.
    The Prime Minister is still having problems with China. We saw that with the development of the vaccine with CanSino, where we were fooled. As for what happened at the lab in Winnipeg, it is clear that there was a problem, not for China, but for Canada. That is why the Prime Minister does not want us to know.
    Could he at least confirm that there is no longer any co‑operation with China?

  (1505)  

    We had an interruption. I would like to remind everyone participating virtually in the work of the hybrid House to make sure their microphones are muted.
     I would ask the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles to repeat his question so that everyone can hear it.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps saying that public safety is the reason he is hiding the truth about the security breach at the Winnipeg lab from Canadians.
    The truth is that, if that information were made public, it would show how badly he was fooled by the Chinese Communist regime, just as he was fooled by the CanSino company, which is owned by the Chinese Communist regime.
    Can he at least confirm that there is no longer any co‑operation going on between the Winnipeg lab and Communist China?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, yet again we see the Conservative Party playing really dangerous games with national security. We will never do that on this side of the House. We understand that there is an appropriate way to release documents in a way that protects their privacy and their national security aspects, and those documents have been released in a fully unredacted fashion to a committee of parliamentarians who have the appropriate clearance to do those reviews.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, climate change is the existential issue of our time, and Canadians across this country want to see their governments take action to address it. More than ever, the environment and the economy have to go hand in hand to offer our children and grandchildren a healthy environment and one in which they can thrive. Could the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance please update this House on the investments we are making to grow the economy and protect the environment?
    Mr. Speaker, we are taking action to fight climate change and grow our economy. Our investments in budget 2021 are a critical step forward because, on this side of the House, we know that climate change is real. Budget 2021 represents $7.6 billion that would help build a cleaner and more sustainable future, which builds on $50 billion from our strengthened climate plan and also another $15-billion investment in public transit.
     This includes help to restore wetlands and rehabilitate stormwater systems, and also interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for home retrofits. We are—
    The hon. member for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, following the 215 children found buried in Kamloops, first nations are calling for action, but the government is MIA. When the Pimicikamak Cree Nation calls for the International Commission on Missing Persons to come in, the government sends them a form letter. When first nations ask for help to search for mass graves, the government recycles an insulting 2019 funding announcement. Now we have news that SNC-Lavalin is filling in while the government neglects its responsibilities.
    This is genocide. First nations and experts are calling for an independent commission, international experts and concrete action. When will the Prime Minister listen and act?
    Mr. Speaker, all Canadians were heartbroken when we learned of the remains of children at the former Kamloops residential school. We are working with the community and our partners, such as the B.C. First Nations Health Authority, to provide all the resources and supports needed as determined by the community and all communities.
    We are also reaching out to indigenous communities across Canada on how best to support them in finding their lost children and healing, including how they can access the $27 million of funding being made available right now on an urgent basis.

[Translation]

Indigenous Languages

    Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion:
    That the House:
(a) support the unanimous consent motion adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec on June 9, 2021, recognizing primarily that,
(i) the Charter of the French Language explicitly recognizes the right of First Nations and Inuit to maintain and develop their languages and cultures,
    (ii) several Indigenous languages are threatened with extinction,
(iii) the 11 Indigenous nations in Quebec have, like the Quebec nation, the right to live in their languages and to promote and protect them,
(iv) the Government of Quebec has a responsibility to assume in this regard; and
(b) call on the federal government to recognize its responsibilities and to deploy more resources to protect and promote Indigenous languages in Quebec and in Canada.

  (1510)  

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

    (Motion agreed to)


Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Canada Labour Code

    The House resumed from June 10 consideration of the motion that Bill C-254, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Official Languages Act and the Canada Business Corporations Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:10 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-254 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 144)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Alleslev
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
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
Chiu
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Diotte
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duvall
Epp
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
Kent
Kitchen
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Lukiwski
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Manly
Marcil
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
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)
Sangha
Saroya
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Simard
Singh
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Vignola
Vis
Wagantall
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 168


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
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
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gould
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hardie
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Joly
Jones
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
Mendicino
Miller
Monsef
Morrissey
Murray
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Regan
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Sloan
Sorbara
Spengemann
Tassi
Trudeau
Turnbull
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Wilson-Raybould
Yip
Young
Zahid
Zann
Zuberi

Total: -- 151


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

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

[English]

Governor General's Act

    The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-271, An Act to amend the Governor General’s Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-271 under Private Members' Business.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 145)

YEAS

Members

Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bergeron
Bérubé
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Boudrias
Brunelle-Duceppe
Chabot
Champoux
Charbonneau
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Fortin
Gaudreau
Gill
Larouche
Lemire
Marcil
Michaud
Normandin
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Savard-Tremblay
Simard
Ste-Marie
Thériault
Therrien
Trudel
Vignola

Total: -- 32


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Bachrach
Badawey
Bagnell
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bessette
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Blois
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Bratina
Brière
Calkins
Cannings
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chagger
Champagne
Chen
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cormier
Cumming
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
Deltell
d'Entremont
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
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
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gallant
Garneau
Garrison
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
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
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Manly
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McDonald
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
McPherson
Melillo
Mendicino
Miller
Monsef
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Nater
Ng
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Petitpas Taylor
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
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schulte
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simms
Singh
Sloan
Sorbara
Soroka
Spengemann
Stanton
Steinley
Strahl
Stubbs
Sweet
Tabbara
Tassi
Tochor
Trudeau
Turnbull
Uppal
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vaughan
Vecchio
Vidal
Viersen
Virani
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williamson
Wilson-Raybould
Wong
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zann
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 294


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Amendment to Section 45 of the Constitution and Quebec, a French-speaking Nation 

    The House resumed from June 15 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly relating to the business of supply.

  (1550)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 146)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 281


NAYS

Members

Sloan
Wilson-Raybould

Total: -- 2


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Federal Dental Care Plan

    The House resumed from June 15 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. 62 under Private Members' Business in the name of the hon. member for St. John's East.

  (1605)  

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

(Division No. 147)

YEAS

Members

Angus
Ashton
Bachrach
Bagnell
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boulerice
Cannings
Davies
Duvall
Erskine-Smith
Garrison
Gazan
Green
Harris
Hughes
Johns
Jones
Julian
Kelloway
Kwan
Lobb
Long
MacGregor
Manly
Masse
Mathyssen
McDonald
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McPherson
Qaqqaq
Rogers
Sangha
Simms
Singh
Zann

Total: -- 36


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Alghabra
Alleslev
Allison
Anand
Anandasangaree
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bessette
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis)
Block
Blois
Boudrias
Bragdon
Brassard
Bratina
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Champagne
Champoux
Charbonneau
Chen
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cormier
Cumming
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diotte
Dong
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Easter
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Fillmore
Findlay
Finnigan
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Garneau
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Harder
Hardie
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jansen
Jeneroux
Joly
Jordan
Jowhari
Kelly
Kent
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lefebvre
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
Lukiwski
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Marcil
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McColeman
McCrimmon
McGuinty
McKay
McKenna
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Melillo
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
Qualtrough
Ratansi
Rayes
Redekopp
Regan
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Robillard
Rodriguez
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Sahota (Brampton North)
Saini
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Saroya
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Schulte
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shin
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
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
Wong
Yip
Young
Yurdiga
Zahid
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 285


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.
     I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 53 minutes.

[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 Vancouver East, Housing; the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable, Seniors; the hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country, the Forestry Industry.

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 five petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

[Translation]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly respecting its participation at the 18th autumn meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from October 4 to 6, 2019.

[English]

    Also, I present the report of the Canadian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly respecting its participation at the 19th winter meeting held in Vienna, Austria, February 20-21, 2020.

Committees of the House

Foreign Affairs and International Development  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, entitled “Mandate of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, Conservative members on the committee are presenting a supplementary recommendation to the Subcommittee on International Human Rights' report on the Canadian ombudsman for responsible enterprise, CORE.

[English]

     The committee heard expert witnesses that expressed concerns about CORE, in particular its advisory capacity, its potential conflicts of interest and its effectiveness and jurisdiction.

  (1610)  

    Extraterritorial concerns, at a minimum, would require information and collaboration with entities outside of Canada. In addition, greater industry consultation would be necessary if CORE's responsibility was to be expanded to all sectors, which is a desire that has been expressed by the government.
    Conservative members recommend the government conduct, through an independent expert panel, a comprehensive review of CORE every four years to ensure its effectiveness as a tool to uphold human rights.

Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Special Committee on the Economic Relationship between Canada and the United States, entitled “Buy America Procurement Policies: An Interim Report”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Government Operations and Estimates  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Ensuring Robust Security in Federal Purchasing”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I would also like to take a moment to thank the clerk who did such a great job of organizing the meetings that led to the production of this report. I thank the analysts who wrote the report. Their work is impressive, and we appreciate their dedication in producing this outstanding document that will hopefully go a long way when it comes to how the government looks at the integrity of its procurement procedures. I thank the witnesses for their well-thought-out testimony and candour during the meetings that took place on this study. Their contributions are invaluable and are the crux of this report. We really appreciate the time and effort undertaken to provide us with this input.
    I thank the House of Commons staff including our interpreters and technical staff. We know that these hybrid meetings have not always been easy, and we are so thankful for the work that they have done behind the scenes to keep everything up and running.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Conservative Party definitely supports the report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates on the contract awarded to Chinese firm Nuctech.
    However, we consider it urgent to table a supplement to this report because we believe that it is essential to uncover the extent of the systemic flaws in the federal procurement process. This standing offer is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the federal government’s complacency on national security issues associated with these procurements. Urgent and necessary changes to the contracting system are needed to correct these systemic flaws. Another thing that is urgently needed is strong leadership.
    We studied the details of the contract awarded to Nuctech and heard from several industry representatives. Dubbed the “Huawei of airports” and banned from U.S. airports, Nuctech is a China-based company founded by the son of former Chinese leader Hu Jintao. The government awarded it a standing offer despite the national security risks. This standing offer made Nuctech the supplier of X-ray equipment to all Canadian embassies, consulates and high commissions around the world.
    That the Prime Minister considered it a good idea to award such a contract to a company under the control of the Chinese Communist regime shows his disregard for the national security that he claims to be defending. Canadians have good reason to be concerned about his failure to take the threat posed by the Chinese Communist regime seriously. That is why we are tabling this supplement to the report, which contains additional recommendations.

[English]

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, entitled “Emerging from the Crisis: A Study of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Air Transport Sector”.
    I will take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to all the witnesses who gave testimony for this very important study; our clerk, analysts and other members of the House of Commons resources team; as well as members of the committee and their respective teams.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

  (1615)  

Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, three reports of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The ninth report is entitled “Supplementary Estimates (A), 2021-22”. The committee has considered the estimates referred by the House and reports the same.
    The 10th report is entitled “Food Security in Northern and Isolated Communities: Ensuring Equitable Access to Adequate and Healthy Food for All”, and the 11th report is entitled “Collaborative Approaches to Enforcement of Laws in Indigenous Communities".
    The committee worked remarkably well in difficult circumstances. It heard amazing testimony from a tremendous panel of witnesses for each of our studies, and of course, the hard-working staff and analysts are to be congratulated for helping to prepare these very important reports.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the 10th and 11th reports.

[Translation]

Industry, Science and Technology  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, entitled “Wage Fixing in Canada: And Fairness in the Grocery Sector”.

[English]

    I would like to take a moment to thank all members of the INDU committee for their collaboration and give a special shout-out to the clerk, the analysts and the IT team.

[Translation]

    I also want to thank the interpreters for their hard work.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Early Learning and Child Care Act

     She said: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Winnipeg Centre for seconding this bill and for her work on this file.
    There is an affordability crisis in child care across the country. Families are struggling to find child care spaces and get on wait lists before their children are even born. Costs are unaffordable in many cities and parents are forced to make impossible choices between delaying their return to work or paying huge amounts for the child care that they need. Liberals have promised an affordable universal child care program for 28 years without action, and women, taking on much of the care work, have been disproportionately impacted by their delay.
    Budget 2021 has made several promises and is finally moving forward with establishing a child care program. However, there is still a lack of critical details. I am tabling this bill today to establish the core principles of a universal child care program, one that is based on accountability, quality, universality and accessibility, and to establish the standards needed to meet these principles.
    I am calling on the government to work with us in moving child care forward. It is too important not to get right.

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

  (1620)  

Petitions

Freedom of Speech  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise today to present e-petition 3393 on behalf of many Canadians, particularly those from my riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington.
    The petitioners are extremely concerned that Bill C-10 unjustly infringes on citizens’ right to freedom of expression outlined in section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly that the speech Canadians engage in on digital platforms is crucial to their conveying of their basic individual expressions. Bill C-10 would provide the CRTC with the authority to control and regulate user-generated content on digital platforms that Canadians use every day and censor what Canadians post and see on social media and the Internet, providing it with sweeping powers over how Canadians communicate and express themselves online.
    These Canadians want their rights upheld and due process followed. I commend you, Mr. Speaker, for so ruling yesterday.

Forestry Industry  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce two petitions. The first is e-petition 2853, which has been signed by over 500 citizens.
    The petitioners assert that the climate crisis is the foundational issue of our time. It represents an existential threat to all species. Working with indigenous leaders, they ask that we protect our old-growth forests for our planet's health and future generations. To do so, we need to stop logging old-growth trees now. These magnificent species are global treasures that must be preserved and nurtured for the wonder of all humanity.
    I join with the petitioners in their call for the government to create a citizens' assembly on climate and ecological justice to accomplish these goals.

CERB Eligibility  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is e-petition 3282, which has been signed by over 750 citizens.
    The petitioners point out that the CERB requirement of a minimum of $5,000 in earnings was arbitrary and that, perversely, it prevented some of the poorest Canadians from receiving benefits. It has been estimated that 175,000 workers did not get benefits because they earned under $5,000 in income. The petitioners call for the removal of this arbitrary and punishing standard, and to have retroactive compensation.
    Finally, Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted, I would like to wish a happy birthday to my lovely wife, Sheryl, who turns, I will not say how old, today.
    You are not permitted, but I too wish a happy birthday to Sheryl.

Farmers' Protests in India  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in this House, a petition that is signed by many Canadians, calling the government's attention to the farmers' protests that continue to take place in the states of Punjab and Haryana, India.
    The petitioners are calling on the Canadian government to respond to reports of violence against these protestors. They also wish to convey their sincere belief in the right of individuals to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
    I note that those rights to peacefully protest are enshrined in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

[Translation]

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, today I am tabling this petition signed by nearly 100 people, all of whom are concerned about the rise in international trafficking in human organs.
    These petitioners are calling on all parliamentarians to pass Bill S-204, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with regard to trafficking in human organs, which is currently before the House and which seeks to prohibit the trafficking of human organs removed without consent or as a result of a financial transaction.

[English]

Opioids  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from Moms Stop The Harm stating that the opioid crisis is one of the most deadly public health emergencies of our lifetime, with a death taking place on average every two hours and a death toll of almost 15,400 over the past four years alone, and that the overdose crisis continues to rage.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to declare the overdose crisis a national public health emergency; take steps to end the overdose deaths and overdose injuries; immediately collaborate with provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive pan-Canadian overdose action plan; ensure that any plans consider reforms that other countries have used, such as legal regulation of drugs to ensure safe supply, decriminalization for personal use and changes to flawed drug policy and policing; and ensure that this emergency is taken seriously, with adequately funded programs and support.

Conversion Therapy  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition calling on the House to address concerns related to the broad definition applied to conversion therapy in Bill C-6.
    The petitioners' concerns relate not to the intent of Bill C-6, which they strongly support, but rather to the chilling effect the broad definition contained in Bill C-6 may have on counsel from parents and teachers, as well as professionals and religious counselling that is voluntary and with full consent.
    The petition contains four recommendations to the House with respect to clarifying the definition.

  (1625)  

Forestry Industry  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table a petition initiated by constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith. It is the 29th petition of this nature.
    The petitioners are deeply concerned about protecting British Columbia's endangered old-growth forest from clear-cut logging. They know that old-growth forests provide immeasurable benefits, including carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and cultural, recreational and educational value.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to work with the province and first nations to immediately halt the logging of endangered old-growth ecosystems, fund the long-term protection of old-growth ecosystems as a priority of 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 based on the harvesting of second- and third-growth forests, ban the export of raw logs, maximize resource use for local jobs and ban the use of whole trees for wood pellet biofuel production.

Fisheries and Oceans  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of petitioners in my riding of Kings—Hants, specifically in the Windsor-West Hants regional municipality, who are calling on the government, specifically the minister of fisheries and oceans, to act on their concerns around the continued use of ministerial orders with respect to the Avon River.
    Specifically, the petitioners note that there are concerns around environmental impacts to the existing freshwater resource; on Ski Martock, the third-largest employer in the region; and on the ability of firefighters to draw fresh water from the Avon River to fight fires in emergency situations or for persisting dust storms, which are causing health concerns for residents in the area. The petitioners specifically call on the minister to use her discretion under subsection 34.1(1) of the act to reverse the current order to protect the interests and effects highlighted in this petition.

Public Safety  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present the following petition on behalf of constituents in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. The federal government introduced Bill C-21, which includes sections that prohibit the majority of replica firearms, such as airsoft guns. It will also criminalize thousands of law-abiding Canadians for possessing legally obtained firearms and financially devastate thousands of Canadians who are reliant on the sale of firearms. As well, hunting has a long history in Canada for both indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians and needlessly revoking the firearms of citizens erases and discounts our history and traditions. Therefore, the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to stop targeting law-abiding citizens for possessing legally obtained firearms, protect their rights and freedoms by ensuring that firearm legislation is based on evidence and not ideology, and withdraw Bill C-21.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have only five petitions to table today.
    Canada has spent a great deal of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. The first petition I am tabling highlights the situation of the Hazara community in Afghanistan regarding historical violence and the ongoing violence and persecution the community faces. The petition identifies a terrible genocide that took place at the end of the 19th century, and identifies more recent acts of violence, such as a horrific attack on a maternity ward in May 2020 and targeted attacks in Behsud, Jabrayil and Jalalabad in the earlier part of this year.
    Over 150 Canadian men and women have lost their lives in the fight in Afghanistan, so Canada has a close relationship with Afghanistan. Canadians feel a deep desire to advance justice and human rights there.
    Therefore, the petitioners call on the House to formally recognize the ethnic cleansing perpetrated between 1891 to 1893 against the Hazaras as a genocide, to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day and to support Bill C-287, which seeks to ensure that all development assistance contributes to peace and security when it is being disbursed.

  (1630)  

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in support of Bill S-204, a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ in the case where there has not been consent. This bill is currently before the House, and the petitioners would like to see it passed expeditiously. It was passed in the same form unanimously in the House in the previous Parliament, and it has been passed twice unanimously in the Senate.

Conversion Therapy  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition I am presenting deals with Bill C-6, the government's conversion therapy bill.
    The petitioners are very supportive of efforts to ban conversion therapy. However, they are concerned about the definition as written in the bill, believing that it is inaccurate and that it would apply to private conversations in which sexual behaviour is discussed but that have nothing to do with conversion therapy as it has been historically defined.
    The petitioners call on the government to ban coercive, degrading practices that are designed to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity; to ensure there are no laws discriminating against Canadians or limiting their ability to access services on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; and to fix the definition in Bill C-6.

Ethiopia  

    Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition highlights the situation in the Tigray region and more broadly in Ethiopia. The petitioners are concerned about the human rights and humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and want to see greater engagement from the Government of Canada on these issues. That includes promoting greater engagement in elections and in the election monitoring coming up in Ethiopia.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, the fifth and final petition I am tabling today highlights the horrific situation confronting Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China. The petitioners note various aspects of these atrocities in the petition.
     They call on the government to recognize the Uighur genocide. They also call on the government to use the Magnitsky act and to recognize that any proposed co-operation with the Chinese state should be viewed through the lens of the fact that the Government of China and the Chinese military are in the process of committing a genocide as we speak.
    I commend these petitions to the consideration of members.

Questions on the Order Paper

[Text]

Question No. 681--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
    With regard to the government's statistics on graduation rates of First Nations high school students: (a) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school on reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years; and (b) what were the graduation rates of First Nations students who attended high school off reserve, broken down by province and year for each of the past five years?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, ISC does not report on high school graduation rates of first nations students who attended high school on or off reserve, broken down by province and year.
    The department does, however, report in its Departmental Results Report, DRR, on national secondary school graduation rates for first nations students ordinarily resident on reserve who are funded by ISC. Here are the links to the DRRs for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20: 2017-18 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1538147955169/1538148052804; 2018-19 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1562155507149/1562155526338; 2019-20 DRR: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1603722062425/1603722082047.
Question No. 683--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
    With regard to the government’s consultation process on Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: what are the details of all consultations the government conducted with individuals from First Nations, Metis Settlements, or Inuit communities prior to tabling the bill, including, for each consultation, the (i) type of meeting (in person, Zoom conference, etc.), (ii) names and titles of attendees, including who they represented, if applicable, (iii) date, (iv) location?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice, with the support of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, has published a “What We Learned” report that is responsive to Q-683. The report can be found at www.justice.gc.ca/eng/declaration/wwl-cna/index.html. As described in the report, a series of engagement sessions were held with first nations, Inuit and Métis leaders, modern treaty signatories, regional indigenous organizations, indigenous women’s organizations and indigenous youth. These meetings were held virtually over the Zoom conference platform, largely between September 30 and November 6, 2020. The list of indigenous partners and groups that participated is also presented in the report.
Question No. 693--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) program: (a) why was the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) 2.0 proposed project denied funding to the UBF program; (b) which of the government’s objectives did the proposed SWIFT 2.0 fail to meet; and (c) with SWIFT projects being a solution to address competition issues in Southwestern Ontario between Internet Service Providers (ISPs), how can SWIFT be a partner in achieving the government’s goal of having 98 per cent of Canadians access high speed internet?
Ms. Gudie Hutchings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), since 2015, the Government of Canada has made $6.2 billion available for rural and remote Internet infrastructure to help ensure all Canadians have access to fast and reliable Internet, no matter where they live. With the proposed budget 2021, the now $2.75-billion universal broadband fund, UBF, will help the government achieve its goal of connecting 98% of Canadians to broadband by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030.
    The UBF is an application-based program and therefore requires that a project application be submitted in order to receive funding. The Government of Canada cannot provide the level of detail requested on any particular applicant under the universal broadband fund without disclosing proprietary third party information provided in confidence, and treated confidentially by the applicant. The program received a number of applications for southwestern Ontario, and announcements of successful projects under the rapid response stream are already under way. These projects can be found on the universal broadband website: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/00021.html. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is still finalizing its assessment of rapid response stream applications and has begun assessing applications received under the “core” UBF. More announcements are forthcoming.
    In response to (b), the Government of Canada and Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology, SWIFT, share the same objectives of connecting rural and remote Canadians to the broadband Internet they need. Through the building Canada fund’s small communities fund, the federal and provincial governments are each contributing $63.7 million to SWIFT for a $209-million project, to install 3,095 kilometres of fibre, targeting 50,000 households and businesses by 2024. The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that SWIFT and other partners will play in closing the digital divide in Ontario.
    In response to (c), connectivity is a shared responsibility. While the Government of Canada is playing a leadership role by providing funding, it is imperative that all orders of government across Canada, as well as the private sector, Internet service providers and other stakeholders, lend support and resources to close the broadband gap and achieve the targets set out in Canada's connectivity strategy. The Government of Canada recognizes that a flexible and collaborative approach is important in engaging with provinces, territories and other partners to help achieve our goal of universal connectivity. SWIFT has already been an important leader and partner in this effort.
Question No. 695--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the government’s decision to ban all pleasure craft in the Canadian Arctic Waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022: (a) why was the length of the ban not contingent upon vaccination levels of Canadians or related to vaccination requirements for those on-board the vessels; and (b) what role did the low level of Canadians vaccinated in January and February of 2021, due to the government’s inability to secure enough vaccines fast enough, have on the decision to extend the ban for an entire extra year?
Hon. Omar Alghabra (Minister of Transport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, to minimize the introduction and spread of the COVID-19 virus in the marine mode, Transport Canada has chosen interim orders as the instrument of choice. In developing its interim orders, Transport Canada has worked in close collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and consulted broadly with other levels of government, health officials, transportation industry stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments and indigenous and Inuit peoples. Transport Canada developed these interim orders taking into consideration the health situation throughout the country at the time and advice provided by public health experts. One of the primary reasons interim orders were used is that they enable the Minister of Transport to apply appropriate temporary measures while retaining the ability to rescind the prohibitions if it is determined that the pandemic has substantially improved and that the prohibitions are no longer needed. To inform any such decision, Transport Canada will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada and local health authorities to monitor and assess the situation.
Question No. 698--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
    With regard to the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and the $10 per day Child Care Prototype Site Evaluation: (a) when did the Government of British Columbia share the results of this evaluation with the Government of Canada; (b) what were the findings of the evaluation; (c) what were the recommendations; (d) how can the public access the full report, including the website address where the report may be downloaded from; and (e) what were the specific findings of the evaluation regarding the feasibility of $10 per day childcare?
Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian families with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. Budget 2021 has committed up to $30 billion over five years, with $8.3 billion every year, permanently, to build a high-quality, affordable, and accessible early learning and child care system across Canada. This funding will work towards cutting child care fees by 50% on average by the end of 2022, and achieving $10/day child care on average by 2026.
    In response to (a), the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development contracted R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. to conduct an evaluation and analysis of the British Columbia universal child care prototype sites or $10-per-day child care pilot. This evaluation was funded by the provincial government. ESDC was not provided with an official copy of the report prior to its release.
    In response to (b), (c), (d), and (e), the full report is publicly available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.
Question No. 703--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operation HONOUR Tracking and Analysis System (OPHTAS) 2020's annual incident tracking report: (a) when was this report completed; (b) why was this report not published and released on the government’s website in the summer of 2020, in a similar timeline with the previous year’s reports; (c) who made the decision not to publish the document in the summer of 2020; (d) on what date was the Minister of National Defense or his office informed that the document would not be published in the summer of 2020, in line with the schedule of the previous years; (e) if the report has since been published, on what specific website is the document located; and (f) how is the OPHTAS report data fused with other department of National Defence or CAF reports, including the annual CAF Provost Marshall report, the Judge Advocate General Annual report, the Director General Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management annual report, and the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre annual report, in order to provide a consolidated view of sexual misconduct in the CAF?
Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, there is no room in the Canadian Armed Forces or the Department of National Defence for sexism, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, discrimination, harassment, or any other conduct that prevents the institution from being a truly welcoming and inclusive organization.
    National Defence understands that a culture change within the Canadian Armed Forces is required to remove a culture of toxic behaviour and to create an environment where everyone is respected and valued, and can feel safe to contribute to the best of their ability.
    To this end, the Minister of National Defence has appointed the Hon. Louise Arbour to lead an independent external comprehensive review of the culture and practices of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence. This review will provide recommendations aimed at addressing systemic issues and creating lasting culture change within the organization.
    Additionally, the acting chief of the defence staff has appointed Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan to the newly created position of chief of professional conduct and culture, to lead efforts to promote culture change across the defence team, including the enhancement and consolidation of National Defence’s sexual misconduct tracking mechanisms. This will identify areas that require focused attention, and ensure that all reported incidents are addressed appropriately in a timely manner.
    Through these actions, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will move to eliminate harmful attitudes and beliefs that have enabled misconduct and will create an environment where all feel welcome.
    In response to part (a), the report was not finalized.
    In response to part (b), challenges and delays caused by COVID-19 forced National Defence to adjust the development, approach, and timelines to the 2020 report’s data release.
    In response to part (c), the normal release schedule for the annual Operation Honour sexual misconduct incident report is in the fall, using data pulled in the late spring from the Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS. The impact of the COVID-19 restrictions through the spring and fall of 2020 delayed the completion and release of the report.
    Due to the delays in the process, the previous approach of relying on data gathered in the spring was considered no longer sufficient to provide an up-to-date overview of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Given the unexpected challenges and delays, the acting chief of the defence staff made the decision to combine the 2020 and 2021 reports.
    In response to part (d), as there is no legislative requirement to release this report, revised timelines were not communicated formally to the Minister of National Defence.
    In response to part (e), National Defence remains committed to openness and transparency, and will re-establish a regular reporting cycle for sexual misconduct incident data.
    National Defence anticipates the release of the 2021 report in the fall of 2021, which will provide a comprehensive overview using data from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021.
    In response to part (f), several organizations within National Defence, such as the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, the Judge Advocate General, the director general of integrated conflict and complaint management, and the sexual misconduct response centre, have databases that are designed to support their mandates. These databases may capture certain data related to sexual misconduct incidents, such as information on investigations, charges laid, and trials. This information is made available in these organizations’ annual reports.
    The Operation Honour tracking and analysis system, OPHTAS, is the only database dedicated to tracking all sexual misconduct incidents reported through the chain of command. While there may be an intersection of sexual misconduct data in OPTHAS and other departmental databases, these databases are currently not linked, and a direct comparison of the information held within each cannot be made.
    National Defence is working to integrate all databases that record data related to sexual misconduct. This project will help achieve a more consolidated picture of sexual misconduct data, while respecting the legal privacy and confidentiality requirements of the various databases.
Question No. 705--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the processing of parents and grandparents applications in the 2020 intake by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada: (a) how many interest to sponsor forms were received; (b) how many of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates; (c) how many individuals have received invitations to apply; (d) how many applications have been (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, (iv) processed; and (e) what is the current processing time?
Hon. Marco Mendicino (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), 209,174 interest to sponsor forms were received.
    In response to (b), 5,961 of the interest to sponsor forms received were duplicates.
    In response to (c), IRCC can confirm that the department sent out more invitations to apply, ITAs, than the target in order to come close to receiving 10,000 complete applications for the 2020 year.
    In response to (d)(i), IRCC can confirm that enough applications were submitted to reach the annual cap of 10,000 complete applications for 2020.
    IRCC cannot publicly release the number of ITAs that were sent for the 2020 parents and grandparents, PGP, process, as the data figures reveal a technique, which is applicable to paragraph 16(1)(b) under the ATIP act, which could compromise future ITA PGP processes.
    In response to (d)(ii), (d)(iii) and (d)(iv), zero applications have been approved, refused, or processed, as processing from the 2020 cohort has not started. IRCC cannot release the figure for how many applications have been submitted for PGP 2020, as, at this point in time, completeness checks have not been completed.
    In response to (e), the current processing times for permanent residence applications for the parents and grandparents category from April 2020 to March 31, 2021 is 28 months.
Question No. 715--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the implementation of Orders in Council entitled “Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other Than the United States)” and Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation): (a) what specific direction was given to border agents regarding new and modified Order in Council provisions directly from the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or his staff; (b) what procedure was followed ensuring the Orders in Council’s proper enforcement by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents; and (c) what specific direction was given to CBSA agents regarding non-application – requirement to quarantine, specifically for persons who must enter Canada regularly to go to their normal place of employment or to return from their normal place of employment in the United States?
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA, works in close co-operation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, to implement and operationalize the travel restrictions and public health measures at the port of entry. The measures that have been implemented are layered, and together, aim to reduce the risk of the importation and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of concern of the virus related to international travel.
    The regulatory framework that has been developed to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at the border is complex. At time of seeking entry, the CBSA officers are required to consider various facts and make multiple decisions related to a single traveller.
    While the border services officers, BSOs, are focusing on the eligibility to enter under an order, as well as their public health requirements, they are also assessing all relevant obligations under other acts or regulations including their admissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
    The CBSA has issued a number of operational bulletins, shift briefing bullets, annexes and job aids to support officers in the decision-making process. As the orders in council, OICs have evolved over time, so has the guidance issued to frontline officers.
    All guidance is point in time and is updated on an ongoing basis as more clarity is required, or where there are changes to the OICs. The CBSA and PHAC regularly consult on interpretations of restrictions and public health measures and collaborate on adjustments and improvements where issues have been identified.
    With regard to part (b), every day, BSOs make over 35,000 decisions across the country and those decisions are made based on all laws and information made available to the BSO at the time of entry. To facilitate decision-making, the CBSA provides support to frontline BSOs through operational guideline bulletins, 24-7 live support access and regular case reviews. In addition, the CBSA conducts detailed technical briefings prior to the implementation of new or amended OICs to support the accurate implementation of new provisions and ensure clarity for frontline employees. The CBSA has also established a process to monitor decisions made by BSOs as they relate to the application of OICs for essential service providers and will continue to make adjustments or review the CBSA operational guidance to BSOs, as required. If the CBSA discovers that an incorrect assessment has been made at the border, it works with PHAC to rectify the situation.
    With regard to part (c), the operational guidance referenced in the response to part (a) of this Order Paper question includes passages specific to cross-border workers and how specific public health requirements within the OICs may apply in these circumstances.
    More specifically, in those instances, when assessing whether an exemption may apply, BSOs have been instructed to remain mindful of the following points. The traveller must be able to demonstrate that their purpose of crossing was specific to attending their normal place of employment. “Regular” is typically interpreted to mean daily or weekly, but a person able to establish a regular pattern of travel for this purpose could qualify. This exemption applies to persons who must cross the border regularly to go to their normal place of employment on either side of the Canada-U.S. border. There may be some circumstances where travel to another country could qualify, e.g., weekly or biweekly travel required. Those who are looking to establish that they must cross regularly must demonstrate to an officer that they will be crossing on a regular basis going forward when being processed. If the cross-border work involves medical care for persons over age 65, i.e., nurses, home care specialists, pharmacists etc., an individual request outlining the precautionary public health measures intended for interaction with this older age group must be submitted for determination of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
    Officers are trained to reach a decision on the basis of the entirety of the information made available to them over the course of an interaction with a traveller. As such, information and circumstances beyond the items listed above will be considered by BSOs when determining a traveller’s admissibility to Canada, as well as in relation to any applicable exemptions from public health requirements.
    Furthermore, in an effort to assist cross-border workers who by virtue of their employment are required to enter Canada regularly, the CBSA has also published guidelines on its website.
Question No. 720--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the Greener Homes initiative that was announced in the Fall Economic Statement, but is still not available for applications and has had a message on its website to come back in the coming weeks for months: (a) when will the program launch; (b) how will the retroactivity be implemented; (c) what will happen to people who believed they were eligible, but due to the lack of application information were denied; and (d) why was there such a major delay in opening this program?
Mr. Marc Serré (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the Canada greener homes grant initiative, announced in the fall economic statement, launched on May 27, 2021.
    With regard to part (b), to be eligible for retroactive payment, homeowners must document their retrofit journey and are asked to keep copies of all invoices both for the EnerGuide home evaluation and for their retrofit work. The home energy adviser will take before and after photos. Homeowners can access the online portal to register and submit this information for reimbursement, provided the retrofit measures undertaken are on the list of eligible measures.
    With regard to part (c), to be eligible for reimbursement, participants in the Canada greener homes grant initiative must obtain an EnerGuide home evaluation before the retrofit and then a post-retrofit evaluation once retrofit work is completed. Call centre operators and program officers are available to help homeowners navigate the program’s eligibility requirements. Should the homeowner not be eligible for reimbursement under the Canada greener homes grant initiative, program officers can assist in identifying other federal, provincial/territorial, municipal and/or regional programs for which the homeowner may be eligible.
    With regard to part (d), in the fall economic statement, the government committed to launching the Canada greener homes grant initiative during the spring of 2021. Government officials have been working in an expeditious manner since this announcement and the Canada greener homes grant initiative launched during the spring of 2021 as announced.
Question No. 721--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the $2.3 billion over five years announced in Budget 2021 for conservation: (a) when will the ‘thousands of jobs’ be created; (b) where will the 1 million square kilometers of land be located; (c) has all the land been located; (d) have lands under provincial jurisdiction been identified and have provincial governments agreed; (e) what is the cost breakdowns for funds earmarked for partnerships with indigenous peoples; and (f) what is the total cost breakdown for how exactly this money will be spent?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), millions of jobs rely on nature, including those in farming, fishing, forestry and tourism. Investment in conservation, therefore, is also an economic opportunity.
    Over the course of the next five years, the work announced in budget 2021 will generate jobs in nature conservation and management for Canadians. Arising out of partnerships with provincial and territorial jurisdictions and indigenous governments, organizations and/or communities, these jobs will be distributed across all regions of Canada, including in rural and remote areas and indigenous communities.
    With regard to parts (b), (c) and (d), the government is currently working to finalize a concrete and ambitious approach that would achieve protection of 25% of land and oceans by 2025, and set the stage for 30% by 2030. While not all of the specific locations are yet identified, we continue to engage with provinces and territories, indigenous organizations, foundations, the private sector and non-profit conservation organizations to get their views on how it can work together to achieve these ambitious targets. Specific efforts are ongoing and we will continue to work with provinces and territories to find mutually beneficial approaches to conserving land and addressing species at risk and biodiversity loss.
    The government is aware of specific landscapes and waterscapes that have been included in provincial, territorial and municipal land use planning, and other protected areas systems plans including the Natural Areas Systems Plan in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Plan Nord in Quebec, the Peel Watershed Land Use Plan in the Yukon, the Living Legacy protected areas plan in Ontario, and Nova Scotia’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan, among others.
    Parks Canada will continue work to complete negotiations with provincial and indigenous governments for the establishment of two new national park reserves in the South Okanagan-Similkameen, British Columbia, and in the coastal barrier islands of the Sandhills, Hog Island area, Prince Edward Island, and to identify and assess additional national parks with an emphasis on unrepresented regions and natural areas of importance to indigenous communities.
    With regard to part (e), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board, including funds earmarked for the indigenous guardians program and other indigenous partnerships.
    The indigenous guardians program is a good example. Building upon the work initiated in budget 2017, which allocated $25 million over five years for an indigenous guardians program, budget 2021 provides additional resources to continue supporting indigenous peoples in opportunities to exercise responsibility in stewardship of their traditional lands, waters and ice, including preventing priority species at imminent risk of disappearing. The indigenous guardians program supports indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems, developing and maintaining sustainable economies, and continuing the profound connections between Canadian landscape and indigenous culture.
    Once these final allocations are confirmed, ECCC and Parks Canada will work in partnership with indigenous governance bodies to allocate resources and identify particular projects moving forward.
    With regard to part (f), we are not yet in a position to share the cost breakdown for how the money will be spent until such time as program details of the funding are finalized and approved by Treasury Board.
Question No. 723--
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the commitment on page 305 of Budget 2021 to implement a “Tax on Unproductive Use of Canadian Housing by Foreign Non-resident Owners”: (a) how many internal memos, presentations, or other similar type of documents were created by the government or hired consultants on this proposed tax; (b) of the documents in (a), what are their titles and when were they dated; (c) in which internal documents and when was it “estimated that this measure will increase federal revenues by $700 million over four years”; (d) what methodology was used to establish the $700 million figure in (c); (d) on what date will the promised consultation paper for stakeholders be released and to which stakeholders will it be distributed; and (e) how many days is the stakeholder consultation period scheduled to take place and on what date will it (i) begin, (ii) conclude?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to implement a national, annual 1% tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or underused, effective January 1, 2022. The government indicated that it will release a consultation paper in the coming months to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the parameters of the proposed tax. The government also indicated that, moving forward, it intends to work closely with provinces, territories and municipalities.
    With regard to part (a), one internal memo was prepared by the department in relation to the proposal announced in budget 2021.
    With regard to part (b), the title of the memo referred to in part (a) was “Tax on Underused Housing” and was dated in 2021.
    With regard to part (c), the fiscal impact of the proposal was estimated when planning for budget 2021 and was presented in internal budget documents.
    With regard to part (d), the fiscal impact was calculated by applying a 1% tax on the estimated value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate considered to be vacant or underused. The value of the proposed tax base was estimated using Statistics Canada data on foreign-owned properties and residential property values, as well as information on British Columbia’s speculation and vacancy tax.
    With regard to part (e), the date of the release of a backgrounder has not yet been determined. However, budget 2021 indicated that the document would be released in the coming months.
    With regard to part (f), while the length of the consultation period has not been established, it would not be uncommon for consultations on proposals such as these to be open for public comment for 60 days.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 682, 684 to 692, 694, 696, 697, 699 to 702, 704, 706 to 714, 716 to 719, 722 and 724 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 682--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
    With regard to expenditures related to promoting, advertising, or consulting on Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by the government, including any that took place prior to the tabling of the legislation, since October 21, 2019, broken down by month and by department, agency or other government entity: (a) what was the total amount spent on (i) consultants, (ii) advertising, (iii) promotion; and (b) what are the details of all contracts related to promoting, advertising or consulting, including (i) the date the contact was signed, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the amount, (iv) the start and end date, (v) the description of goods or services, (vi) whether the contract was sole-sourced or was competitively bid on?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 684--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to fraud involving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program since the program was launched: (a) what was the number of double payments made under the program; (b) what is the value of the payments in (a); (c) what is the value of double payments made in (b) that have been recouped by the government; (d) what is the number of payments made to applications that were suspected or deemed to be fraudulent; (e) what is the value of the payments in (d); and (f) what is the value recouped by the government related to payments in (e)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 685--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to Corporations Canada and the deregistration of federally incorporated businesses since 2016, broken down by year: (a) how many businesses have deregistered their corporation; and (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by type of business?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 686--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to the government’s requirements for hotels being used as quarantine facilities: (a) what specific obligations do the hotels have with regard to security standards; (b) what specific measures has the government taken to ensure these security standards are being met; (c) how many instances have occurred where government inspectors have found that the security standards of these hotels were not being met; (d) of the instances in (c), how many times did the security failures jeopardize the safety of (i) the individuals staying in the facility, (ii) public health or the general public; (e) are hotels required to verify that someone has received a negative test prior to leaving the facility, and, if so, how is this specifically being done; and (f) how many individuals have left these facilities without receiving a negative test result?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 687--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
    With regard to the government’s requirements for hotels to become a government-authorized hotel for the purpose of quarantining returning international air travellers: (a) what specific obligations do the hotels have with regard to security standards; (b) what specific measures has the government taken to ensure these security standards are being met; (c) how many instances have occurred where government inspectors have found that the security standards of these hotels were not being met; (d) of the instances in (c), how many times did the security failures jeopardize the safety of (i) the individuals staying in the facility, (ii) public health or the general public; (e) how many criminal acts have been reported since the hotel quarantine requirement began at each of the properties designated as a government-authorized hotel; (f) what is the breakdown of (e) by type of offence; (g) are the hotels required to verify that someone has received a negative test prior to leaving the facility, and, if so, how is this specifically being done; (h) how many individuals have left these hotels prior to or without receiving a negative test result; and (i) how does the government track whether or not individuals have left these hotels prior to receiving a negative test result?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 688--
Ms. Nelly Shin:
    With regard to the requirement that entails individuals entering Canada for compassionate reasons to seek an exemption online, the problems with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) online system, and the resulting actions from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): (a) what is the total number of international travellers arriving at Canadian airports who were denied entry, broken down by month since March 18, 2020; (b) how many individuals in (a) were (i) immediately sent back to their country of origin, (ii) permitted to remain in Canada pending an appeal or deportation; (c) what is the number of instances where the PHAC did not make a decision on an application for exemptions on compassionate reasons prior to the traveller’s arrival, or scheduled arrival in Canada; (d) of the instances in (c), where PHAC did not make a decision on time, was the reason due to (i) technical glitches that caused the PHAC to miss the application, (ii) other reasons, broken down by reason; (e) for the instances where the PHAC did not make a decision on time, was the traveller (i) still permitted entry in Canada, (ii) denied entry; and (f) what specific recourse do travellers arriving for compassionate reasons have when they encounter problems with the CBSA or other officials due to the PHAC not making a decision on time?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 689--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to expenditures on social media influencers, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign since January 1, 2021: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of the contract, (v) name or handle of the influencer; and (b) for each campaign that paid an influencer, was there a requirement to make public, as part of a disclaimer, the fact that the influencer was being paid by the government, and, if not, why not?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 690--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
    With regard to all monetary and non-monetary contracts, grants, agreements and arrangements entered into by the government, including any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity, with FLIR Lorex Inc., FLIR Systems, Lorex Technology Inc, March Networks, or Rx Networks Inc., since January 1, 2016: what are the details of such contracts, grants, agreements, or arrangements, including for each (i) the company, (ii) the date, (iii) the amount or value, (iv) the start and end date, (v) the summary of terms, (vi) whether or not the item was made public through proactive disclosure, (vii) the specific details of goods or services provided to the government as a result of the contract, grant, agreement or arrangement, (viii) the related government program, if applicable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 691--
Mr. Randy Hoback:
    With regard to the deal reached between the government and Pfizer Inc. for COVID-19 vaccine doses through 2024: (a) what COVID-19 modelling was used to develop the procurement agreement; and (b) what specific delivery timetables were agreed to?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 692--
Mr. Randy Hoback:
    With regard to the testimony of the CEO of BioPharma Services at the House of Commons' Standing Committee on International Trade on Friday, April 23, 2021, pertaining to potential future waves of COVID-19 and the need for trading blocs: (a) have the Minister of Finance and her department been directed to plan supports for Canadians affected by subsequent waves of the virus through 2026; (b) what is the current status of negotiations or discussions the government has entered into with our allies about the creation of trading blocs for vaccines and personal protective equipment; (c) which specific countries have been involved in discussions about potential trading blocs; and (d) what are the details of all meetings where negotiations or discussions that have occurred about potential trading, including the (i) date, (ii) participants, (iii) countries represented by participants, (iv) meeting agenda and summary?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 694--
Ms. Raquel Dancho:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments being sent to prisoners in federal or provincial or territorial correctional facilities: (a) how many CERB benefit payments were made to incarcerated individuals; (b) what is the value of the payments made to incarcerated individuals; (c) what is the value of the payments in (b) which were later recouped by the government as of April 28, 2021; (d) how many payments were intercepted and or blocked by Correctional Service Canada staff; (e) what is the breakdown of (d) by correctional institution; and (e) how many of the payments in (a) were sent to individuals in (i) federal correctional facilities, (ii) provincial or territorial correctional facilities?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 696--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the negotiations between the government and major Canadian airlines that are related to financial assistance, since November 8, 2020: what are the details of all meetings, including any virtual meetings, held between the government and major airlines, including, for each meeting, the (i) date, (ii) number of government representatives, broken down by department and agency, and, if ministers' offices were represented, how many representatives of each office were present, (iii) number of airline representatives, including a breakdown of which airlines were represented and how many representatives of each airline were present?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 697--
Mrs. Alice Wong:
    With regard to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): (a) broken down by end of fiscal year, between fiscal years 2011-12 to 2020-21, how many trademark examiners were (i) employed, (ii) contracted by the CIPO; (b) what percentage in (a) were employed with a residence within the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau, by the end of fiscal years 2015-16 to 2020-21; (c) broken down by fiscal year, during each fiscal year from 2011-12 to 2020-21, how many trademark examiners were (i) hired, (ii) terminated, broken down by (A) for cause and (B) not for cause; (d) is there a requirement for bilingualism for trademark examiners, and, if so, what level of other-official language fluency is required; (e) is there a requirement that trademark examiners reside within the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau, and, if so, how many trademark examiner candidates have refused offers of employment, and how many trademark examiners have ceased employment, due to such a requirement in the fiscal years from 2011-12 to 2020-21; (f) what was the (i) mean, (ii) median time of a trademark application, for each of the fiscal years between 2011-12 and 2020-21, between filing and a first office action (approval or examiner’s report); (g) for the answer in (f), since June 17, 2019, how many were filed under the (i) direct system, (ii) Madrid System; (h) for the answer in (g), what are the mean and median time, broken down by month for each system since June 17, 2019; (i) does the CIPO prioritize the examination of Madrid system trademark applications designating Canada over direct trademark applications, and, if so, what priority treatment is given; (j) as many applicants and trademark agents have not received correspondence from the CIPO by regular mail and prefer electronic correspondence, does the CIPO have systems in place to allow trademarks examiners and other trademarks staff to send all correspondence by e-mail to applicants and trademark agents of record, and, if not, is the CIPO looking into implementing such system; (k) when is the anticipated date for the execution of such system; (l) what is Canada’s ranking with other countries, as to the speed of trademark examination; and (m) what countries, if any, have a longer period of time between filing and a first office action (approval or examiner’s report) for trademarks compared to Canada?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 699--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to the Fiscal Stabilization Program under the Federal-Provincial Arrangements Act, since January 1, 1987: (a) what is the breakdown of every payment or refund made to provinces, broken down by (i) date, (ii) province, (iii) payment amount, (iv) revenue lost by the province, (v) payment as a proportion of revenue lost, (vi) the value of the payment in amount per capita; (b) how many claims have been submitted to the Minister of Finance by each province since its inception, broken down by province and date; (c) how many claims have been accepted, broken down by province and date; and (d) how many claims have been rejected, broken down by province and date?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 700--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to voluntary compliance undertakings (VCU) and board orders by the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB), since January 1, 2016: (a) what is the total amount of money that has been made payable from pharmaceutical companies to her Majesty in right of Canada through voluntary compliance undertakings and board orders, both sum total, broken down by (i) company, (ii) product, (iii) summary of guideline application, (iv) amount charged, (v) date; (b) how is the money processed by the PMPRB; (c) how much of the intake from VCUs and board orders are counted as revenue for the PMPRB; (d) how much of the intake from VCUs and board orders are considered revenue for Health Canada; (e) as the Public Accounts lists capital inflow from VCUs as revenue, what has the PMPRB done with the inflow; and (f) who decides the distribution of the capital inflow from VCUs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 701--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) and the proposed amendments to the “Patented Medicines Regulations”, also referred to as the PMPRB Guidelines, since January 1, 2017: (a) how many organizations, advocacy groups, and members of industry or stakeholders have been consulted, both sum total and broken down in an itemized list by (i) name, (ii) summary of their feedback, (iii) date; (b) how many stakeholders expressed positive feedback about the proposed guidelines; (c) how many stakeholders expressed negative feedback about the proposed guidelines; (d) what is the threshold of negative feedback needed to delay implementation of the proposed guidelines as has been done previously in mid 2020, and start of 2021; (e) have there been any requests made by PMPRB executives to Health Canada officials to delay the implementation of the proposed regulations; and (f) how many times were these requests rejected by Health Canada officials?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 702--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to reports, studies, assessments, consultations, evaluations and deliverables prepared for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation since January 1, 2016: what are the details of all such deliverables, including the (i) date that the deliverable was finished, (ii) title, (iii) summary of recommendations, (iv) file number, (v) website where the deliverable is available online, if applicable, (vi) value of the contract related to the deliverable?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 704--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to government data relating to the Cannabis Act (2018) Part 14 Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes, broken down by month, year, and province or territory since 2018: (a) how many active personal or designated production registrations were authorized for amounts equal to or above 25 grams per person, per day: (b) how many active personal or designated production registrations are authorized for amounts equal to or above 100 grams per person, per day; (c) how many registrations for the production of cannabis at the same location exist in Canada that allow two, three and four registered persons; (d) of the locations that allow two, three and four registered persons to grow cannabis, how many site locations contain registrations authorized to produce amounts equal to or above 25 grams per person, per day; (e) how many site locations contain registrations authorized to produce amounts equal to or above 100 grams per person, per day; (f) how many Health Canada or other government inspections of these operations were completed each month; (g) how many of those inspections yielded violations, broken down by location; and (h) how many resulted in withdrawal of one or more licences?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 706--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to COVID-19 specimen collection from travellers completed at Canada’s ports of entry and through at home specimen collection kits: (a) what company performs the tests of specimens collected from each port of entry; (b) what company performs the tests of at home specimen collection kits; (c) what city and laboratory are specimens collected from each port of entry, sent to for processing; (d) what city and laboratory are at home specimen collection kits processed; (e) what procurement process did the government undertake in selecting companies to collect and process COVID-19 specimens; (f) what companies submitted bids to collect and process COVID-19 specimens; (g) what are the details of the bids submitted by companies in (f); and (h) what are the details of the contracts entered into between the government and any companies that have been hired to collect and process COVID-19 specimens?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 707--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests submitted to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): (a) what is the current inventory of requests and broken down by the type of request; (b) what is the average processing time of each type of request; (c) what percentage of requests have received extensions in response time and broken down by the type of request; (d) what is the breakdown of the percentage of requests in (c) according to reasons for extensions; (e) what is the average length of extensions for response time overall and for each type of request; (f) what is the average number of extensions for response time overall and for each type of request; (g) what percentage of requests have had exemptions applied; (h) what is the breakdown of the percentage in (g) according to the reasons for exemptions; (i) how many complaints regarding the ATIP process has IRCC received since January 1, 2020, broken down by month; and (j) what is the breakdown of the number of complaints in (i) according to the type of complaint?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 708--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices: (a) what lines of business are processed at each case processing centre (CPC), the centralized intake office (CIO), and the Operations Support Centre (OSC); (b) what lines of business in (a) are not currently being processed at each CPC, the CIO, and the OSC; (c) how many applications have been (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, (iv) processed for each line of business, at each CPC, the CIO, and the OSC since January 1, 2020, broken down by month; (d) what is the current processing times and service standard processing times for each line of business at each CPC, the CIO, the OSC; (e) what is the operating status of each IRCC in-person office in Canada; (f) what services are provided at each IRCC in-person office in Canada; (g) what services in (f) are currently (i) available, (ii) unavailable, (iii) offered at limited capacity, at each IRCC in-person office in Canada; (h) what lines of business are processed at each IRCC visa office located in Canadian embassies, high commissions, and consulates; (i) how many applications have been (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, (iv) processed, for each line of business processed at each IRCC visa office in (h) since January 1, 2020, broken down by month; and (j) what is the current processing times and standard processing times for each line of business processed at each IRCC visa office in (h)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 709--
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to correspondence received by the Minister of Canadian Heritage or the Office of the Prime Minister related to internet censorship or increased regulation of posts on social media sites, since January 1, 2019: (a) how many pieces of correspondence were received; and (b) how many pieces of correspondence asked for more internet censorship or regulation?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 710--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to the planning of the government’s announcement on April 29, 2021, about the launch of an independent external comprehensive review of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces and reports that some of those involved in the announcement, including Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan, did not learn about their new roles until the morning of the announcement: (a) on what date was Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan informed that she would become the Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture, and how was she informed; (b) on what date was Louise Arbour informed that she would be head of the review; (c) was the decision to launch this review made before or after Elder Marques testified at the Standing Committee on National Defence that Katie Telford had knowledge about the accusations against General Vance; and (d) if the decision in (c) was made prior to Mr. Marques’ testimony, what proof does the government have to back-up that claim?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 711--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to free rapid COVID-19 tests distributed by the government directly to companies for the screening of close-contact employees: (a) how many tests were distributed; (b) which companies received the tests; and (c) how many tests did each company in (b) receive?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 712--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to contracts awarded by the government to former public servants since January 1, 2020, broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) how many contracts have been awarded to former public servants; (b) what is the total value of those contracts; and (c) what are the details of each such contract, including the (i) date the contract was signed, (ii) description of the goods or services, including the volume, (iii) final amount, (iv) vendor, (v) start and end date of contract?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 713--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
    With regard to sole-sourced contracts signed by the government since February 1, 2020, broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) how many contracts have been sole-sourced; (b) what is the total value of those contracts; and (c) what are the details of each sole-sourced contract, including the (i) date, (ii) description of the goods or services, including the volume, (iii) final amount, (iv) vendor, (v) country of the vendor?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 714--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the RCMP’s National Security Criminal Investigations Program, broken down by year since 2015: (a) how many RCMP officers or other personnel were assigned to the program; and (b) what was the program’s budget or total expenditures?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 716--
Mr. Marc Dalton:
    With regard to the Interim Protocol for the use of Southern B.C. commercial anchorages: (a) how many (i) days each of the anchorage locations was occupied from January 2019 to March 2021, broken down by month, (ii) complaints received related to vessels occupying these anchorages, between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2021; and (b) why did the public posting of interim reports cease at the end of 2018?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 717--
Mr. Marc Dalton:
    With regard to federal transfer payments to Indigenous communities in British Columbia: (a) what is the total amount of federal transfer payments in fiscal years 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21; and (b) of the amounts provided in (a), what amounts were provided specifically to Metis communities?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 718--
Mrs. Cathay Wagantall:
    With regard to funding provided by the government to the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS): (a) what requirements and stipulations apply for the CAEFS in securing, spending, and reporting financial support received from the government; and (b) what has the government communicated to the CAEFS with respect to the enforcement of Interim Policy Bulletin 584 before and after the coming into force of Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, on June 19, 2017?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 719--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to government funding in the riding of South Okanagan—West Kootenay, for each fiscal year since 2018-19 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 722--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to COVID-19 vaccines and having to throw them away due to spoilage or expiration: (a) how much spoilage and waste has been identified; (b) what is the spoilage and waste breakdowns by province; and (c) what is the cost to taxpayers for the loss of spoiled vaccines?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 724--
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) announced by the government in 2019, from September 1, 2019, to date: (a) how many applicants have applied for a mortgage through the FTHBI, broken down by province or territory and municipality; (b) of the applicants in (a), how many applicants have been approved and accepted mortgages through the FTHBI, broken down by province or territory and municipality; (c) of the applicants in (b), how many approved applicants have been issued the incentive in the form of a shared equity mortgage; (d) what is the total value of incentives (shared equity mortgages) under the program that have been issued, in dollars; (e) for those applicants who have been issued mortgages through the FTHBI, what is that value of each of the mortgage loans; (f) for those applicants who have been issued mortgages through the FTHBI, what is that mean value of the mortgage loan; (g) what is the total aggregate amount of money lent to homebuyers through the FTHBI to date; (h) for mortgages approved through the FTHBI, what is the breakdown of the percentage of loans originated with each lender comprising more than 5 per cent of total loans issued; (i) for mortgages approved through the FTHBI, what is the breakdown of the value of outstanding loans insured by each Canadian mortgage insurance company as a percentage of total loans in force; and (j) what date will the promised FTHBI program updates announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement be implemented?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

Privilege

Government’s Alleged Non-compliance with an Order of the House—Speaker’s Ruling  

[Speaker’s Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on June 7, 2021, by the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent concerning the government’s non-compliance with an order for the production of documents.
    First, the Chair wishes to describe the sequence of events that led to the question of privilege currently under consideration.
    On two occasions, on March 31 and May 10, 2021, the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations adopted an order requiring the Public Health Agency of Canada to produce unredacted documents. In both cases, the documents were to be sent to the law clerk and parliamentary counsel so that he could assess their contents. The order of May 10 also provided that a report should be made to the House if the documents were not produced within 10 days.
    The agency’s refusal led to the presentation of the third report from the committee. It recommended that the House adopt an order for the production of the same documents and that it include the same requirements as the order of March 31.

  (1635)  

[English]

     On June 1, 2021, the House was seized of the matter through an opposition motion, and it adopted an order the next day to have the documents provided to it. The relevant extracts contained the following elements:
(a) these documents shall be deposited with the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel...
(b) the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall promptly thereafter notify the Speaker, who shall forthwith inform the House, whether he is satisfied the documents were produced as ordered...
(d) the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel shall confidentially review the documents with a view to redacting information which, in his opinion, could reasonably be expected to compromise national security or reveal details of an ongoing criminal investigation, other than the existence of an investigation;
(e) the Speaker shall cause the [redacted] documents...to be laid upon the table at the next earliest opportunity and, after being tabled, they shall stand referred to the special committee....
     Also, the committee, after consulting the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel in camera, may decide to make public any redacted material.
    On June 4, 2021, the president of the agency wrote to the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel informing him that the documents sent to him had been redacted because the order of the House did not offer the appropriate guarantees for protecting information related to national security and personal information. He added that the agency was co-operating with the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and had sent that committee an unredacted version of the documents.

[Translation]

    Citing relevant references and numerous precedents, the member for Louis‑Saint‑Laurent stated that the role of the House and its committees in holding the government to account for its actions includes the power to require the production of documents. The member also argued that sending the unredacted documents to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is not an acceptable alternative.
    He concluded that the government had not complied with the order of the House because it had redacted certain information and had not provided a valid reason for doing so.
    There was thus apparently a prima facie case of contempt on which the House must rule, and for which it must determine the appropriate sanctions.
    The members for Jonquière and St. John’s-East added that they shared some of the concerns of the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, while insisting that privacy and national security are not sufficient pretexts for non-compliance with an order of the House. Furthermore, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is not a committee of the House and its membership did not include, at least until very recently, representatives of all parties.

  (1640)  

[English]

    In response to these arguments, the member for Kingston and the Islands suggested that, if the Chair deems there is a prima facie question of privilege, the motion that the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent intends to move is not consistent with our customs and practices. Moreover, it offers no mechanism to preserve the confidential nature of the information contained in the documents, which is why they were sent to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.
    While they are not being challenged, it is still worth recalling that, at the heart of the parliamentary system, and firmly anchored in our Constitution, there are rights and privileges that are indispensable to the performance of members' duties. Thus, one can read the following, at page 137 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition:
     By virtue of the preamble and section 18 of the Constitution Act, 1867, Parliament has the ability to institute its own inquiries, to require the attendance of witnesses and to order the production of documents, rights which are fundamental to its proper functioning. These rights are as old as Parliament itself.

[Translation]

    That being said, the Chair is essentially being asked to rule on two very specific questions, namely whether there are limits to the application of this privilege and whether sending unredacted documents to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is an acceptable alternative.
    As I have already indicated, the member for Kingston and the Islands and the president of the agency are concerned about the lack of regard for national security issues and the provisions for protecting personal information to which the government is normally subject. This is not a new argument. It was the subject of an important ruling from April 27, 2010. While confirming that the House had, at times, agreed to abstain from requiring documents for reasons of national security or international relations among others, Speaker Milliken took care to clarify that it was quite different in an instance where the House expressed its will by adopting an explicit order.

[English]

    In his ruling, Speaker Milliken, at page 2042 of Debates, responded as follows to the government’s objections:
    To accept such a notion would completely undermine the importance of the role of parliamentarians in holding the government to account.
    Before us are issues that question the very foundations upon which our parliamentary system is built. In a system of responsible government, the fundamental right of the House of Commons to hold the government to account for its actions is an indisputable privilege and in fact an obligation.
    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, adds this at page 985:
    No statute or practice diminishes the fullness of that power rooted in House privileges unless there is an explicit legal provision to that effect, or unless the House adopts a specific resolution limiting the power. The House has never set a limit on its power to order the production of papers....
    In accordance with the order of the House of June 2, the Chair tabled a letter received from the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel on June 7, informing him that the documents “were not produced as ordered as they were not unredacted versions.”

  (1645)  

[Translation]

    After concluding that there was a prima facie question of privilege in his ruling of April 27, 2010, Speaker Milliken, still concerned about the issues raised, deemed it wise to ask members to continue their discussions for a limited period of time before allowing the member who had initially raised the question of privilege to move the usual motion for debate. Indeed, the order in question at the time offered no measure to protect the confidential information contained in the required documents, be it, for example, examining the documents in camera, limiting the number of copies distributed or even providing for their destruction once they had been studied. The result of these discussions would in no way affect his decision, the Speaker's intention was simply to offer a final delay to allow time to reach a compromise.
    In the current situation, the order adopted provides that the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel first examine the documents, redact them using specific criteria and discuss them with the members of the Special Committee in camera. The Minister of Health was also called to appear, and did so on Monday, June 14, in an effort to continue some form of dialogue. It is, however, not up to the Chair to judge the extent of the measures taken, but to note that they were considered. There is thus no reason to allow an additional delay.

[English]

    The second question relates to the government arguing that there is now a more appropriate forum to deal with documents having national security implications, namely the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. The committee, which was created by statute in 2017, is composed of members of both Houses with top secret security clearance, who are bound by oaths of confidentiality.
    Paragraph 8(1)(c) of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act allows the committee to consider “any matter relating to national security or intelligence that a minister” refers to it. The Minister of Health indicated that she has formally asked the committee to review the documents at issue. However, as the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent and the member for St. John's East have pointed out, the act also made clear that, despite its composition, this body is not a committee of Parliament. It exists outside of Parliament.
    In these circumstances, the Chair cannot conclude that the documents submitted to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians fulfills an order of this House or of its committees. Nothing in the act affects or limits the privileges of the House to order the production of documents, even those with national security implications. It is for the House and not for the government to decide how such documents are to be reviewed and what safeguards are to put in place, if any.

[Translation]

    As a result, in the opinion of the Chair, the failure to comply with the order of the House of June 2, 2021, constitutes a prima facie question of privilege.
    There is one last point to settle. The Chair has read the wording of the motion suggested by the member for Louis‑Saint‑Laurent in his written notice. It departs considerably from established practice. The scope of this type of motion is limited, as indicated in House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, at page 150, and I quote: “The terms of the motion have generally provided that the matter be referred to committee for study...”

  (1650)  

[English]

    A review of the rare exceptions shows that there was a certain consensus on the procedure to follow and, thus, on the wording of the motion. As Speaker Milliken confirmed in a ruling on March 9, 2011, at page 8842, “The Chair is of course aware of exceptions to this practice, but in most if not all of these cases, circumstances were such that a deviation from the normal practice was deemed acceptable, or there was a unanimous desire on the part of the House to proceed in that fashion.”

[Translation]

    There are also precedents that support censure. In short, given that the parameters for such motions are clear and that the practice is well established, the proposed motion should be a motion of censure or to refer the matter to the appropriate committee for study.
     Under the circumstances, and since discussions are required, the Chair reserves its ruling and will return to the House as soon as the member is ready to move the appropriate motion.
     The table officers and I are available to support and guide the hon. member as he drafts his motion.

[English]

    I want to thank hon. members for their attention.
    The hon. member for Carleton is rising on a question of privilege.

Alleged Breach of Members' Right to Vote on a New Tax  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, you have notice from me of a question of privilege.
    I am rising today because of the government's imposition of a new tax without needed approval of the House of Commons. It has breached the privileges of all members and has done so in contravention of Standing Orders 79(1), 80 and 83.1, as well as principles laid out on pages 827, 828, 829, 831, 833, 835, 841, 893 and 906 through 908 of Bosc and Gagnon's House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, 2017. There are also numerous rulings by the Chair and, most important of all, section 53 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
    In essence, I am rising today to ask that you find a prima facie case of breach of privilege because of the government's imposition of a secretive and insidious tax designed to raise funds for it to spend at the expense of the Canadian people without holding appropriate votes in the House of Commons and possibly in direct contravention of other laws that have been passed by this House.
    The new tax of which I speak is designed to raise more money for the government to spend. In fact, it raised more money for the government to spend in the last fiscal year than all other sources of revenue combined. This tax should be called the inflation tax, which is—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member for Carleton as we have a point of order from the member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to consider what the member is suggesting to be a question of privilege and rule whether it is admissible for him to try to filibuster time in the House of Commons right now, which is clearly what appears to be the objective here. Can the Speaker provide some kind of insight as to whether what we are hearing in the House right now is actually a question of privilege?
    I am going to let the member for Carleton continue. I have not quite grasped exactly where he is going with it, so I will let him keep going.
    The hon. member for Carleton has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I speak of this illegal inflation tax, in which the government is funding its spending with newly created currency that increases consumer prices through the levy of inflation.
    Before I go any further, let me clarify the difference between inflation and the inflation tax. It is not a tax when, independent and separate from government, consumer prices rise due to supply and demand dynamics. However, when they rise because the government and central bank coordinate to expand the money supply, thus raising consumer prices above what they would otherwise be and force consumers to pay what they would otherwise pay, that is a tax.
    I do not raise this question of privilege lightly, but after careful consideration of the nature of the government's actions and their real-world effects on Canadians, both of which I have described. As well, I rely heavily on the jurisprudence from the Chair and the clear legal definitions of a tax.
    To prove this breach, I would have to show three parts. First, that there is a privilege for members of Parliament at stake, and that the privilege is governments cannot tax what the House does not expressly approve through votes by each member in the chamber. Second, I would need to prove the policy in fact imposes a tax. Finally, I would need to provide proof the House did not approve this tax. Together, these points prove the government committed a prima facie case of breach of my parliamentary privilege by denying me the opportunity to vote on this tax increase before it took effect.
    Let me start with the first part. Is there a privilege for each member to vote on any new taxes introduced or imposed on Canadians? The answer is yes. In fact, this privilege on Canadian soil originated with the British North America Act, section 53 of the Constitution, which reads:
    Bills for appropriating any Part of the Public Revenue, or for imposing any Tax or Impost, shall originate in the House of Commons.
    This constitutional principle is further enshrined in Standing Order 80(1), which states:
    All aids and supplies granted to the Sovereign by the Parliament of Canada are the sole gift of the House of Commons, and all bills for granting such aids and supplies ought to begin with the House, as it is the undoubted right of the House to direct, limit, and appoint in all such bills, the ends, purposes, considerations, conditions, limitations and qualifications of such grants, which are not alterable by the Senate.
    The failure of this House to “direct, limit, and appoint” revenue-raising measures is accordingly not only a violation of the Constitution but also of the privileges of members of the House set out in the Standing Orders.
    In the Eurig Estate case, the courts considered the constitutional implications of a tax raised through such improper and indirect means. Justice Jack Major, writing for the majority, wrote that section 53 of the Constitution “...codifies the principle of no taxation without representation, by requiring any bill that imposes a tax to originate with the legislature.”
    Justice Major goes on to say “My interpretation of s. 53...prohibits not only the Senate, but also any other body other than the directly elected legislature, from imposing a tax on its own accord.”
    Any other body—

  (1655)  

    I am going to interrupt the hon. member. I appreciate the multiple examples, but I would ask him to be concise and get to the crux of his point. He can submit what he has on paper to the table and we can look at it.
    I will let him continue, but I would ask him to be as concise as possible.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I appreciate very much your wise counsel. However, I missed the last three paragraphs and I was wondering if he could repeat them because I did not quite get the point he was making. For clarity's sake, it might be good if he clarified it.

  (1700)  

    I will let the hon. member for Carleton continue as he wishes. It is his time.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, Justice Major made clear that it is his interpretation that no body, other than the House of Commons, can initiate a tax increase. I would submit that “no body” includes the Bank of Canada itself, in collaboration with the government.
     When the court said “there should be no taxation without representation”, it got to the heart of my point here today. It stated:
...the Lieutenant Governor in Council cannot impose a new tax ab initio without the authorization of the legislature.... “The Governor in Council has no power, proprio vigore, to impose taxes unless under authority specifically delegated to it by Statute. The power of taxation is exclusively in Parliament.”
    The court went on to say that section 53 “ensures parliamentary control over, and accountability for, taxation” and quoted the distinguished legal scholar Elmer Driedger, as follows:
    Through the centuries, the principle was maintained that taxation required representation and consent. The only body in Canada that meets this test is the Commons. The elected representatives of the people sit in the Commons...and, consistently with history and tradition, they may well insist that they alone have the right to decide to the last cent what money is to be granted and what taxes are to be imposed.
    Elsewhere, the court similarly held in the Westbank First Nation case:
...the Canadian Constitution (through the operation of s. 53 of the Constitution Act, 1867) demands that there should be no taxation without representation. In other words, individuals being taxed in a democracy have the right to have their elected representatives debate whether their money should be appropriated, and determine how it should be spent.
    I will interrupt the hon. member for Carleton.
    We have a point of order by the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I am having a very difficult time understanding the question of privilege. Can the member specifically and concisely indicate what the new tax is that he is referring to. I do not understand the question of privilege at all. He seems to—
    I will point out that I did ask the hon. member to be a little more concise and maybe not so descriptive with all the examples, though we appreciate them.
    I will let the hon. member for Carleton continue.
    Mr. Speaker, just because the member does not understand the fact, that does not erase that it is indeed a fact.
    I thank the member for Timmins—James Bay for his help along the way.
    Peter Hogg, who, until his death last year, was Canada's leading constitutional scholar, underscored the point that I am making now in a 2002 article:
    It must be remembered that the taxing power is the one upon which the rest of governance depends. As the King and Parliament both recognized in the 17th century, nothing important can be done without resources, and it is control of the taxing power that provides the resources. Moreover, no other power has as direct and immediate an effect on citizens as the taxing power, and (for that reason) nothing government does is as unpopular as the imposition and collection of taxes. There is a huge incentive for governments to offload this power to a delegate, who can raise taxes quietly without any irritating fuss in the Parliament or Legislature, and who can shoulder the blame when the media do get wind of the action.
    As Professor Hogg noted, this is not a new problem. In fact, it is one of the oldest and most important matters in the system of parliamentary democracy. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that taxation is the reason we are all here today. The Crown's power to tax and the need to obtain the consent of those paying the taxes is why Parliament exists in the first place. We could look at 800 years of history, going back to the Magna Carta, to find that the principal disagreement between Crown and commoner has been on the subject of taxation.
    It is essential to the privileges of every member of this House that every single levy or tax come before us to be voted on before it is enacted. I think I have clearly proven that it is the privilege of every member to vote on a tax increase before it is imposed.
    What is the tax of which I speak? The answer is, it is the inflation tax. Is excessive inflation, which results from excessive money creation, in fact a tax? We can look to the definition of “tax” found in Oxford Languages, a 150-year-old dictionary, which defines taxes as follows:
    A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.
    I will break down that definition. First, it is state revenue, “levied by the government”. Second, it is “added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.” Third, it is a “compulsory contribution”.
    First, is the inflation tax designed to generate state revenue, levied by the government? I will give the data to prove that in fact it is. In February 2020, the Bank of Canada owned $106 billion of government debt. As of the end of last month, that number had reached $412 billion. That is an increase of almost $300 billion in one year. It is also an increase of 300%. Last year, the amount that the Bank of Canada produced for the government by purchasing government debt was over $300 billion. It was the single biggest source of revenue for the government, bigger than income tax, consumption tax, tariffs and private loans combined.
    Never before has the Bank of Canada been the single biggest provider of funds for the government's operation. It does this through a process whereby the government sells debt onto the market and the bank buys it back at a higher price. This has the effect of flooding government coffers with cheap credit that it could spend liberally, as it did last year and continues to do right now.

  (1705)  

    The result is a massive increase in the money supply. When the Bank of Canada uses its balance sheet to buy government debt, it increases the number of dollars in circulation. In the period since late winter and early spring of 2020, the money supply has increased by over $300 billion. In fact, from February 2020 to February 2021, the money supply grew by $354 billion. The deficit for the last fiscal year was $354 billion. In other words, the same amount the government needed to borrow was the amount that the Bank of Canada created.
    This led to a 20% year-over-year increase in the number of dollars in coins, bills and bank deposits. That is the biggest increase since 1974, which was the last time the government went on a money-printing binge, which led to major inflation crises thereafter. For context, the increase in the money supply is so large that it could fund our Canadian Armed Forces for 10 years. To use another measure, fully one in six dollars in the entire M2 money supply has been created in the last year alone.
    In the fiscal year 2021, the Bank of Canada was the single largest source of funds for the Government of Canada. All revenue from other sources was $294 billion, and net new borrowing was $41 billion, but revenue from the bank was $303 billion. That $303 billion is an extraordinary and unprecedented sum.
    The bank did not do this on its own. Let me now speak about the direct coordination between the government and the bank that led to this massive increase in the money supply.
    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance actually said that there was coordination between the bank and the government. The coincidence that we see in the amount of money printed and the amount of money spent demonstrates this coordination as well. For example—

  (1710)  

    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but I believe we have another point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I have been listening very closely and it seems to me the member is saying there is an inflation tax, so whenever inflation goes up or down it should be brought to the House so that members can say no to inflation by way of a vote. That is the best I can tell. If the member could just move on so that you can make a decision on the issue, because I do not see this—
    I do not believe that is a point of order, but I do ask the hon. member for Carleton to be a bit more concise.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay is also rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I am getting frustrated as well. I am not really sure where the inflationary tax element comes in, but I am very frustrated by the fact that just because the member for Winnipeg North does not understand something the House has to stop and change direction. I would ask him to let the member finish so we could actually understand whether we agree with him or not. I think it is unfair that whenever the member for Winnipeg North is confused he is always interrupting.
    We have another point of order, from the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I am getting a real kick out of the fact that the NDP is now on the floor of the House of Commons supporting these antics by the Conservatives. It looks as though the New Democrats have decided they are interested in doing this. I would suggest that you rule that the previous comment by the member from the NDP is out of order because, quite frankly, it was not a point of order.
    I am going to stop the hon. member. I ask all hon. members, when they raise a point of order, to please refer to the point or the standing order they are referring to, and we can go from there.
     I ask the member for Timmins—James Bay and the member for Kingston and the Islands to respect the hon. member for Carleton and let him continue.
    Again, I want to ask the hon. member for Carleton to be as concise as possible and respect the chamber's time.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out before the interruption, according to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, the government had been coordinating with the central bank to produce these funds and these funds had been used to spend.
    The massive dollar figures involved that I mentioned earlier are not only staggering and unprecedented, but may also be illegal. In fact, I stumbled on a section of the Bank of Canada Act, section 18(j), only hours before I was originally planning to make this question of privilege. Having read that section and looked at the numbers, I came to the conclusion that there very well might be a breach of law involved in what the bank and the government have colluded to do.
    Allow me to read the section in question, section 18, which states that the bank may:
(j) make loans to the Government of Canada or the government of any province, but such loans outstanding at any one time shall not, in the case of the Government of Canada, exceed one-third of the estimated revenue of the Government of Canada for its fiscal year...
    I turn your attention, Mr. Speaker, to table A1.4, “Summary Statement of Transactions”, budget 2021, projected revenues $355.1 billion. To respect section 18(j) of the Bank of Canada Act, which limits the bank's ability to lend money to the government to no more than one-third of projected budgetary revenues, the bank would be effectively capped in its loans to the government at $118 billion, $118 billion being one-third of the $355 billion of projected revenues. In fact, the Bank of Canada balance sheet shows that it now holds $415 billion, almost $300 billion more than the legal cap provided in the act.
    When I discovered this apparent breach, I immediately delayed my introduction of this question of privilege to spend the time to verify and re-verify my calculations. I had never seen a government body quite so flagrantly violate limits that Parliament has placed upon it in statutory law, so I thought there must be some mistake. However, as I crunched the numbers, I realized that no, in fact, the one-third limit was breached.
    I then reached out to the Library of Parliament to conduct a full review of all the legislation passed to approve emergency COVID spending since the spring of 2020 to find out if maybe the section was temporarily suspended or a special exemption to it was created to allow this kind of dollar figure to be lent from the bank to the government. Sure enough, the Library of Parliament said that there was no such exemption or suspension of the section; it is still in place.
    In other words, this research shows, and I ask that you, Mr. Speaker, and your trusted advisers and the officials at the Library of Parliament to verify my claim here, that the Bank of Canada has breached limits that Parliament has imposed on its ability to lend money to the government.
    These limits do not exist without reason. There is a reason Parliament chose deliberately to write a section into the Bank of Canada Act limiting the amount of debt the bank could buy. The reason is this: Parliament foresaw that future governments might try to use the printing presses over at the bank to pay for spending that it could not raise through the more normal process of taxation.
    With the limits Parliament placed on the Bank of Canada's purchase of government debt, Parliament effectively banned the government from raising taxes by inflationary money creation instead of by legal and legitimate taxation. That the government and the bank have circumvented that ban and broken a law of Parliament breaches the privileges of every member of the House to vote on laws that are made and repealed.
    In the process, the government has breached the principle of the independence of the central bank. This breach is not the result of the independent action of the bank.

  (1715)  

    The parliamentary secretary to the finance minister, during the appearance of the Governor of the Bank of Canada before the finance committee on June 16, 2020, said, “There's been an enormous coordination between OSFI, the bank and the federal government.”
    I have given the fiscal and mathematical evidence to show that this coordination has occurred. In fact, not only did it occur last year when the bank bought effectively 85% of the government's deficit, and wherein the bank increased the money supply by exactly the same amount that the government borrowed in the previous fiscal year, but that “enormous coordination” has continued into this fiscal year.
    On April 19, the Minister of Finance introduced a budget in the House projecting a $154 billion deficit, or borrowing effectively $3 billion a week. Two days later, the Governor of the Bank of Canada held a press conference, announcing that his bank would be buying $3 billion a week of government debt. In other words, the government is borrowing $3 billion a week and the central bank is buying $3 billion a week. The government is running roughly a $155 billion deficit and the bank is lending roughly $155 billion throughout the year. In other words, this coordination is not just in words—
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. How much longer are you going to let this go on? When I rise on a point of order or the member for Winnipeg North rises on a point of order, you are very quick to shut us down if we are not addressing the point of order. The member has been going for almost 30 minutes on what is obviously not a question of privilege.

  (1720)  

    I want to point out that we are letting the hon. member get his information out, and it is a question of privilege that has been raised.
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, we shall listen to the member who has raised the question of privilege. It is the basis of the House of Commons to respect the will and thinking of each and every member. We could disagree with what the member is saying, but at least we shall listen to him, especially on a privilege question, which is not easy to address; we recognize that. It is so important for the Canadian taxpayer that we listen to the member.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for Kingston and the Islands can attack me all he wants but he cannot attack the role of the Speaker. He should offer you an apology. You were doing your role, and you were doing it in an impartial, non-partisan manner.
     I would ask the member to withdraw those comments and apologize to you, Mr. Speaker. for trying to interrupt the work of the House.
    I just want to point out that we are getting into argument here, which is a debate. As I asked earlier, if members are getting up on a point of order, let me know what rule is being broken, and then we can go from there.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I do apologize if I by any means challenged your authority. You do an excellent job as Speaker. However, I certainly did not do that, I do not believe. I merely asked a question as to how long you were going to allow this to go on.
    To the point made by the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, let us just be honest about what is going on here. The Conservatives—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member, because it is turning into argument.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: I would ask for order. I will let the hon. member for Carleton continue. I will ask him to be concise, as I did earlier, to get to the crux of the matter and let us know exactly where he wants to go so we can continue.
    A question of privilege is very important in the House, but we do want to ensure we get the point so we can rule on it.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said when I quoted the Oxford dictionary, a tax has three characteristics: that it is a state revenue levied by government, that it adds to the cost of goods and services transactions and that it is a compulsory contribution.
    I have just gone through the first point in which I have demonstrated that this cash creation is state revenue levied by the government—
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Within our Standing Orders, and you alluded to this yourself, it does state that members do need to be concise and virtually to the point in regard to how a member's privilege might have been taken. There is a bit of frustration in the sense that we have witnessed other members from the Conservative Party use privilege as a way to—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member. He is absolutely right that a point of order should be concise, but now we are moving into argument or debate, and I do not want to move into that.
    We will let the hon. member be as concise as possible, and I will let him continue.
    The hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, the second characteristic of a tax is that it adds to the cost of some goods, services and transactions.
     Just today, Statistics Canada released fresh data showing what consumers have known for months; that inflation has rocketed up to 3.6%, well above the Bank of Canada's 2% target. This data was essential to my argument today, thus one of the reasons why I waited for its publication before presenting this.
    As of this morning, three of four measures of the Bank of Canada for inflation show that inflation has breached the 2% target. Several product groups were well above that. Gasoline is up 43.4%; home ownership replacement costs, 11.3%; and durable goods, which includes things like cars, appliances and furniture, is up 5%. That is just to name a few. This is demonstrated proof that people are, in fact, paying the cost of the inflation tax.
     Food prices are also on sharp rise. According to the latest Canada Food Price Report, food costs increased 2.3% last year, with an expected 4.5% to 6.5% increase in meat, 3.5% to 5.5% increase in bakery and 4.5% to 6.5% increase in vegetables this year.
    Housing prices have ballooned 30% from March 2020 to March 2021. This is where the cause and effect is most evident. COVID should have reduced housing prices. The wages with which people buy houses dropped. People lost their jobs, making it harder to place offers on homes. To escape lockdowns, more people moved to the countryside, where prices per square foot are lower. Immigration came to a halt, reducing the number of buyers in the market. All these factors would have driven demand and therefore prices down.
    In fact, the country's top housing regulator, CMHC, predicted prices would drop as much as 14% for those reasons, and they did begin to drop in March and April of last year. Then, suddenly, as the Bank of Canada's increase in the money supply began flooding into the market, prices began to reverse. The government pumped $356 billion of brand new, newly created cash into the system, and that was exactly the size of the deficit and the size of the money supply growth—

  (1725)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member is not being concise and to the point. If the member wants to continue to debate the issue, he can have an opposition day tomorrow. There is a budget debate. That is where he can be making these points. From my perspective, I do not hear, and I leave it to you to make that decision, a matter of privilege, but rather a waste of valuable time.
    The Speaker cannot determine whether it is a waste of time, but he can determine that things are being repeated, so I will ask the hon. member for Carleton to be concise and not repeat some of the arguments and the stats that he mentioned earlier.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I will be very concise. Again, the member for Winnipeg North has interfered multiple times without saying anything. I was hoping we would have this done by now, but with the continual interruptions by the member for Winnipeg North, we are almost going to see the clock out, and that is very unfair.
    Mr. Speaker, on that same point of order, the member for Winnipeg North is using points of order as a tactic to interrupt the member for Carleton. The Chair had made a decision and then gave instruction to the member for Carleton to be concise. The member for Winnipeg North then challenged the Speaker's interpretation of what was and what was not concise.
     We are seeing this tactic where we have members using their privilege in this place to raise germane questions of privilege, and we have members from the government side who enter into debate instead of accepting the decision of the Chair, and that was with respect to whether the member was being concise. It was not a question of repetition.
     I would hope that other members, under your direction, Mr. Speaker, would allow the member to conclude his question of privilege without these interruptions and tactics they are deploying.
    Once again, we are getting into debate, but I will let the hon. member for Carleton continue. I would ask him, once again, to be as concise as possible.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, housing prices were dropping until the bank began printing its money. The increase in the money supply flooded into the mortgage system. From the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, mortgage lending grew by 41% and, as a result, from April 2020 to April 2021, housing prices went up about 42%. In other words, there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the increase in the money supply and the increase in prices.
    This is supported by years of research by academia. For example, Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon”, and John Maynard Keynes—

  (1730)  

    I am going to interrupt the hon. member for Carleton. Private Members' Business starts at 5:30 and depriving members of their Private Members' Business items is really unfair to them. That is something that they wait on. The hon. member for Carleton can continue either tomorrow or later tonight.
    It being 5:30 p.m., the House will proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business, as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Fisheries Act

    The House resumed from May 10 consideration of the motion that Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (prohibition — deposit of raw sewage), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise tonight to speak to Bill C-269, an act to amend the Fisheries Act regarding the prohibition of the deposit of raw sewage. It is a bill from the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, who also has been Speaker. I probably have not agreed with many of the things the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle has said over the years; however, the issue of raw sewage in our water system is a very important thing to be discussing and I am glad we have an opportunity here to do so.
    We know an element of this is under provincial jurisdiction, but people should be able to know we have a top quality environmental system in this country to keep people safe. It should be an issue we are all deeply concerned with. My hon. colleagues can probably speak of many municipalities that have issues with raw sewage being pumped into waters and rivers.
    However, one of the things I am not really seeing in the bill is the effect in areas under direct federal jurisdiction, which are of course first nations reserves. It is really important for Canadians to understand that across Canada there is a two-tiered system of infrastructure, a two-tiered system of health, a two-tiered system of education and a two-tiered system of rights.
    Those are the rights that exist for citizens of this country under provincial or territorial governments, and the rights of those citizens living on the reserves of our nation and who are under the mandate of the Department of Indigenous Services, the old Indian Affairs and the ultimate colonial system. For them, there is chronic underfunding for basic infrastructure.
    When the Liberals ran in 2015 on getting rid of the water crisis and told everyone they would have the mission accomplished by the beginning of 2021, it inspired and galvanized Canadians. Canadians asked themselves how it was possible that in a nation as rich as Canada, in a country with the greatest water resources on the planet, so many people could not turn on their taps and drink safely. Dirty water is also tied to sewage and broken sewage systems.
    When the Prime Minister was elected on that promise, people believed he would follow through. What would be an easier thing for the incoming Liberal government to do than to ensure we have proper water? What the Liberal government did not promise to do was deal with the water systems, which include sewage. Why is it important to understand that distinction? It is because the government decided it was going to do it on the cheap.
    I remember the terrible Kashechewan water crisis, and Kashechewan is in a terrible crisis right now with COVID. The Minister of Indigenous Services sat on his hands and did nothing until the COVID crisis blew up out of proportion. It took me back to when I was first elected in 2005 and there was an E. coli outbreak in Kashechewan. We saw the same lack of action then.
    At that time, the sewage system in Kashechewan was built near the water treatment plant because it was done cheap. When the rain came and the sewage treatment settling ponds overflowed, they flowed into the water system. Kashechewan did not even have a proper backup system so that if something came into the outtake it would actually stop the incoming sewage. The government did not bother to put that in because it was done on the cheap. We need to think about it in that perspective, because the water crisis that caused E. coli in that community and led to the mass evacuation of the entire community was the result of the failed sewage system.
    When the Prime Minister failed on his latest promise on water, people asked how it was possible. The Prime Minister's number one promise was supposed to be that he was going to deliver clean water. If we look at community after community and at the Indigenous Services list of communities with safe water, the Liberals are always focused on the press release and not actually assessing the real problems.

  (1735)  

    They spend a lot of time saying they have gotten rid of this boil water advisory and that boil water advisory. I have been in communities that were told they got rid of six boil water advisories. That is because at the very edge of town there was a building that had a well and now that well was clean, but the rest of the community was not safe. That is not a comprehensive solution.
    I asked the Parliamentary Budget Officer to cost out the Prime Minister's promises, and he was very clear that the government was deliberately underfunding the training that is needed to run a water treatment plant. The government was deliberately underfunding maintenance. Only the Department of Indigenous Services could cut a ribbon at a plant, walk away and think that there was never going to be a need for maintenance. Any municipality would say that things break.
    There are isolated communities like Marten Falls' Ogoki Post, where the sewage lifts are hit by lightning and the boards “kack out”. Residents call and tell the department their sewage lifts are not working anymore and the feds say that it is not their issue. How is a community of 300 going to fix the fried-out sewage lifts? What happens? The sewage gets into the water, the water treatment plant starts to go down and then the feds say they are not going to fix that because it is not in their capital budget, but they will spend upwards of $2 million a year on bottled water. That bottled water money is not new money. It comes from another community where infrastructure was supposed to be built. They are taking money from an infrastructure project in one community that desperately needs it and they are buying bottled water for another community because they refuse to fix the issue.
    When Liberals look at fixing the water situation, they look at what is cheapest, what is easiest and how to get out of it without having any more costs. I will give the example of the community of Attawapiskat. The water supply is a stagnant pool. It does not matter how many chemicals are pumped into that water: It will never be good, clean, safe water. The more chemicals that are pumped into the water, the more caustic it becomes and the more damage it does to children's skin. It is really something to see children living in Canada with open wounds all over their bodies. Anyone can go to any northern first nation and see the effects on these children.
    Every now and then the media will pay attention and the government will say it does not understand the mysterious cause of these illnesses and rashes. It is obvious. It is because a stagnant pool of water gets chlorine dumped into it to make it drinkable and when the children are bathed in it, it damages their skin. Their skin starts to open and that is when the infections get in. This has happened in so many communities. I have had to medevac children out because of these conditions.
    Another example is Neskantaga, which has gone 26 years without water. The Minister of Indigenous Services keeps scratching his head. He cannot figure out why he cannot get clean water to Neskantaga. It is because Liberals are willing to build a plant, but not willing to build all the infrastructure that supports the plant. A municipality needs a proper water plant, a proper source of water and proper pipes. It needs an entire system in order to get water to the community. Someone from Neskantaga said what the Liberals are offering to do is put a new engine in a rotted-out Ford vehicle, thinking we can drive it down the road. It cannot be done without the proper infrastructure. There needs to be proper piping, a proper water source and a plant that is actually built for the needs of the community. This is something the Department of Indigenous Services will never do.
    We also see the same companies getting hired over and over again. In any other municipality, if a company built a water plant and the plant failed, there would be an investigation. Does anyone think that company would get the contract the next time? Not a chance. However, when a water plant fails, the Department of Indigenous Services says, “Oh well, whatever. It is just another day at the office.” The bonuses still go out to the senior bureaucrats and things do not change. These are the fundamental inequities that people are facing. There are communities like Maniwaki, just 100-and-some kilometres up the road from Ottawa. The Kitigan Zibi reserve cannot get clean water, but beside it the municipality of Maniwaki has clean water.

  (1740)  

    Why is that? One is under a provincial system and under that provincial jurisdiction, there are clear standards. There are obligations. There are rules in place. They have to deliver clean water to their community. However, the neighbouring reserve is under the federal government, so there is no obligation or standards. The feds do not want to put the standards in place because they do not want to spend the money.
    That is what systemic discrimination looks like. It is in the water. It is in the sewage. It is in the school systems. It is in the failed health.
    I am very interested in this bill and I am very glad that I had a chance to speak. I will be here all week taking questions.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to rise today to speak to Bill C-269, an act to amend the Fisheries Act (prohibition—deposit of raw sewage), which was tabled by my colleague, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.
    As the Fisheries Act currently stands, there is no definition of raw sewage. Bill C-269 would amend the act by adding raw sewage to denote the following:
raw sewage means sewage that has not yet been processed or treated to separate and remove contaminants, and includes
(a) used water from sanitary appliances that contains human fecal matter or human urine,
(b) used water, other than the type of water described in paragraph (a), from sanitary appliances or from other appliances in a kitchen or laundry, and
(c) surface runoff and stormwater that is mixed with the type of water described in paragraph (a);
     The bill inserts a statement in section 34 of the act that would not allow raw sewage to be eligible for an exemption permit from the minister.
    Bill C-269 amends section 36 of the Fisheries Act by adding, “No person shall deposit or permit the deposit of raw sewage in water frequented by fish.”
    The bill also states non-application for Canadian fisheries waters located in the Northwest Territories, in Nunavut or north of the 54th parallel in Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador.
    The bill also indicates that anyone dumping raw sewage in water frequented by fish is guilty of an offence and liable.
    The act would come into force five years after the day on which it receives royal assent.
    Bill C-269 is simple and straightforward. It calls for accountability and urgency of action. For me, personally, it triggers a vision for improved environmental protection and infrastructure.
    In 2015, when the member for Ottawa Centre was the minister of environment, she allowed the City of Montreal to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Regardless of any justification, that is an unfathomable amount of toxic matter that was dumped into the water. I cannot even imagine what the repercussions of that were.
    According to Environment Canada, from 2013 to 2017, more than one trillion litres of untreated waste water is known to have leaked or been purposely dumped across Canada. The City of Victoria and surrounding municipalities finally became one of the last major communities to stop dumping sewage into water in 2020. According to Mark Mattson, president of non-profit water protection organization Swim Drink Fish, Canada still has ongoing sewage pollution problems.
    Bill C-269 is necessary to protect our waters from contamination and for wildlife species in water to be able to survive and thrive. It is time there was no more ambiguity on this. Being the member of Parliament for Port Moody—Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra, I have the privilege of being an advocate and steward for many environmentally sensitive places within my riding. This privilege brings responsibility. Today, I would like to highlight a very special and globally significant creek, which is Stoney Creek, which some of the rivers in my riding feed into.
    Stoney Creek is the environmental lifeline for countless wildlife, as well as an urban oasis for both my riding and the neighbouring riding, Burnaby North—Seymour, and the greater region. Countless hours and decades of work by stream keepers from the Stoney Creek Environmental Committee, as well as local residents, has resulted in the return of salmon to Stoney Creek.
    Today, Stoney Creek is the most successful Vancouver area urban creek for returning salmon. Stoney Creek is the spawning grounds for chum and coho salmon, as well as steelhead and trout. It is also significant on a global basis as it is home to the endangered Nooksack Dace. Approximately 10,000 Nooksack Dace remain.
    It is very moving to watch the salmon on their spawning journey. I see their long, upstream and painful journey of perseverance ending in sacrifice for the next generation. It is very emotional to watch. I was shocked to learn that after torrential rainfalls, sometimes raw sewage overflows from Coquitlam sewers and makes its way to the celebrated Stoney Creek where the endangered Nooksack Dace have made their home and the coho and chum salmon come to spawn.
    It is troubling for me that sewage overflow coming from my riding in Coquitlam is contaminating the aqua ecosystem in the riding of Burnaby North—Seymour in Stoney Creek. Upon discovery, I officially offered my assistance to the mayors of Coquitlam and Port Moody to seek federal infrastructure funding for their sewer systems when they seek upgrades.
    However, I am perplexed as to why the member for Burnaby North—Seymour, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who has been in office longer than I have, has not taken any action on this troublesome issue or championed funding for sewage infrastructure when the harm is being done to wildlife in his own riding and reports of sewage being dispensed into Stoney Creek have been happening under his watch for years.

  (1745)  

    According to obtained records, since 2014 at least nine documented discharges of sewage have occurred in the Stoney Creek watershed. Raw sewage has spewed from manholes in my riding and flowed into the creek, and some experts believe that raw sewage is also escaping through exfiltrating from the Metro Vancouver Stoney Creek trunk line and flowing into the groundwater and ultimately into Stoney Creek.
    The Metro Vancouver Stoney Creek trunk line was constructed in 1959. Over time, concrete piping and gaskets will tend to deteriorate, increasing the likelihood of both infiltration of groundwater into the pipe and inflow from surface water entering collectively inflow and infiltration, or I and I, as well as exfiltration of sewage into the groundwater and creek.
    Records obtained via freedom of information requests show the following levels of E. coli in Stoney Creek. On September 18, 2020, there were 8,664 colony-forming units per 100 millilitres of water. In August there were 7,701, and in October there were 4,611. Samples exceeded 1,000 colony-forming units per 100 millilitres on six days. Ultimately, to solve the problem, new sewage infrastructure needs to be built. From obtained records, it is apparent that Metro Vancouver trunk line is over capacity, a very common phenomenon.
    Meanwhile, the catchment's population is projected to increase 15,000 to 50,000. Constituents and other nearby residents are concerned that not expanding the sewage infrastructure promptly will result in increased contamination of Stoney Creek as well as situations where new home purchasers will not be able to move into their new homes due to lack of sewage capacity. Something similar recently happened in Campbell River, another B.C. community.
    The topic of sewage is not a glamourous one, but waste elimination is a basic health and safety issue that needs to be dealt with. As we have seen, a microscopic virus like coronavirus has done much damage in our lives and to our establishments. Development of residential homes is a natural part of urban sprawl. Building more affordable housing is necessary to allow young families and first-time homebuyers to break into the housing market and have a home, but development without proper infrastructure is dangerous for the community and surrounding ecosystems.
    Bill C-269 is a good place to start to trigger more accountability and action to upgrade all the infrastructure needed. Development is inevitable, but without the proper infrastructure, we could see a host of problems, of which the impact could be the contamination of our waters and harm to endangered species and salmon. It requires a concerted effort among all tiers of government to solve this problem effectively of aging sewage infrastructure and innovating new systems to meet the demands created by growing development in urban and suburban centres like my riding, and extreme weather events from climate change. If done with efficacy, a simple bill, like Bill C-269, could instigate the unfolding of a larger vision to yield greater protection of vulnerable fish, species and water habitats and improve public health and safety and job creation to help reopen our economy.
    This is a problem across our country, and municipalities are aware of it, but they are stuck. They have so many other pressing matters they have to get to that without the funding, it gets shuffled under the pile. With Bill C-269, accountability would be placed. We can keep talking about the environment with trumpet blasts, but without deadlines and rules and a plan to accomplish these goals, it is still talk and no action. We know, as humans, we all need a deadline and some rules to get anything done. I see this bill as one that has great potential to help us literally clean up our act.
    One thing I did discuss with the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle was the five-year term clause. In discussing it with him, it is something that should be debated and discussed with fulsome conversation so that we are helping the municipalities set themselves up for success and not failure. It should not be punitive. It should be something to help them get things done efficiently.
    In closing, I feel that this is an issue that has been around for a long time and everyone is aware of it, but it is one of those things that nobody wants to tackle because the money is not there. We know that with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the minister promised $35 billion, but how much of that is used for things like this?

  (1750)  

    Moving forward, as we discuss Bill C-269, I hope that we can come to the table, bring our different ideas, and use this as a starting point to break that cycle of all this aging infrastructure not being dealt with, so that we can protect the environment, so that we can move forward with positive, prudent development that does not create other problems, and so that municipalities do not feel like they are alone but that they have the support of other tiers of government.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-269, an act to amend the Fisheries Act (prohibition—deposit of raw sewage), and to reiterate the key issues with this bill.
    The government opposes Bill C-269 for multiple reasons. It would reduce environmental protections. It would negatively impact current federal, provincial and territorial collaboration on waste water. It would impose significant financial and practical challenges on all levels of government. It would be redundant and could weaken existing federal pollution prevention powers.
    As the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle knows, the Fisheries Act is the federal government's most effective tool to prevent and set strong controls for the management of waste-water releases. The tools created through the Fisheries Act combined with our government's historic investments of $2 billion in support of over 1,700 water and waste-water projects across the country have made significant progress in protecting the water quality of our lakes, rivers and oceans.
    The Fisheries Act already prohibits the release of deleterious substances, pollution into water unless the release is specifically managed under federal regulations. The Fisheries Act also contains strong regulatory controls requiring notification of pollution releases and that every effort is taken to prevent a release or to mitigate potential adverse impacts, if one is unavoidable.
    We all want to end releases of raw sewage. That is why our government has invested nearly two and a half times the amount of federal funding for waste-water projects compared to the previous Conservative government over the same period, the same Conservative government that in 2012 gutted the Fisheries Act's most powerful pollution prevention tools and severely underfunded investments in water and waste-water infrastructure.
    I would also point out that, as the former leader of the Conservative Party, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle proposed cuts to billions in public infrastructure funding, the same funding that helps support critical water and waste-water projects in communities across the country.
     Prohibiting raw sewage, as this bill prescribes, would not prevent all untreated waste-water releases from occurring. Due to years of chronic underfunding in public infrastructure under the previous Conservative government, our government has had to step up and invest in critical waste-water treatment to minimize the occurrence of such releases.
    Let me be clear. There is already an effective and responsible approach in place to address this problem. Releases of raw sewage are already managed under the federal regulations for waste water, or they are prohibited under the Fisheries Act. Our government has been clear in its commitment to protect Canadian waters. That is why in 2019, we strengthened protections in the Fisheries Act by restoring lost protections and incorporating comprehensive and modern safeguards.
     If enacted, this bill would mean taking several steps back. The bill does not introduce any new protections, enhanced monitoring or regulatory controls to address waste water beyond the strong measures that already exist within the act. This bill would not increase, but would reduce, environmental protections, and would have significant and harmful impacts on the ability to prevent and manage pollution under the Fisheries Act.
    If enacted, this bill would take raw sewage out of the definition of deleterious substances, thereby removing raw sewage from all other critical protections and requirements that the Fisheries Act currently provides. In addition, by removing raw sewage from the existing prohibition of deleterious substances in the Fisheries Act and excluding northern waters from the proposed bill's scope, this would create a gap where raw sewage could legally be released in the north. This is unacceptable.
    While our government's current national strategy effectively targets the most significant sources of pollution, this bill would impose enormous fiscal and practical challenges to all levels of government for a minimal environmental benefit. Eliminating raw sewage within five years would mean replacing the underground plumbing networks in over 700 cities across Canada at a cost of over $200 billion.
     Aside from the unprecedented cost, it is simply not possible to design, plan and build new or upgraded waste-water treatment facilities in over 700 cities across Canada in under five years. A typical planning and construction cycle for waste-water infrastructure would usually take 10 to 20 years.

  (1755)  

    We need to acknowledge that many communities are already making investments to reduce the environmental impacts associated with waste-water infrastructure. This includes projects to advance waste-water treatment, green infrastructure and converting waste to energy. These projects are a much more cost-effective way to achieve environmental outcomes than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a small percentage of reductions.
    The government cannot support such a poorly thought-out bill. It does not add value to the existing strategy to address waste water in Canada. Instead, it actively threatens it. Furthermore, our government already has a robust national strategy in place that establishes achievable and predictable timelines for communities to complete the necessary treatment system installations and upgrades. While upon first glance this bill would appear to offer environmental benefits, a closer look reveals that its proposed legislative changes would create considerable negative environmental and economic consequences.
    To wrap up, our government is making historic investments in critical waste-water infrastructure to support our comprehensive national waste-water strategy, which combined will keep Canadian waters safe and healthy.

  (1800)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I must say that the Bloc Québécois welcomes the Conservatives' desire to engage in a debate on water quality and the pollution of our rivers.
    At first glance, it might be surprising to see the Conservatives interested in the issue of water pollution. Let us not forget that, during the last campaign, they promised to take action on the dumping of waste water in waterways.
    It must be said that the Conservatives happily rode the wave of Montreal's “flushgate”, when the city was forced, in 2015, to dump eight billion litres of waste water into the St. Lawrence.
    It was probably to fulfill this promise that the former Conservative leader, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, introduced Bill C‑269. Again, we welcome the Conservatives' willingness to look at ways to reduce water pollution.
    It is true that the debate on Bill C‑269 is an opportunity to draw attention to an important environmental issue: the problem of sewage being discharged into our waterways. This is not the first time the Conservatives have focused on this issue.
    I would like to return briefly to the promises around sewage treatment and, in turn, federal inaction on this issue.
    In fact, in July 2012, Stephen Harper's government enacted the wastewater systems effluent regulations. This was the first Canadian standard for sewage treatment.
    At the time, the federal government estimated that 75% of existing waste water facilities met the new standard. For the remaining 25%, the government promised to provide funding to help them comply, and it established three categories of facilities.
    The first category includes the highest risk facilities, which must comply with the new standard by 2020. The second and third categories are those facilities that pose less of a risk and have until 2030, as is the case for Montreal, or 2040 to comply with the new standard.
    The then minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, Denis Lebel, promised that Ottawa would invest for the long term and would work in partnership with the provinces. For its part, the Union des municipalités du Québec estimated that it would take $9 billion to upgrade municipal facilities in order to bring them into compliance with the new federal regulations. That was in 2012.
    According to a recent Réseau Environnement report, it will actually cost at least $17 billion just to upgrade the existing treatment facilities, which are beginning to show their age.
    This amount does not include waste-water treatment plants that do not comply with federal regulations, nor does it include the investments required to build treatment plants in municipalities that do not have any. In March, Le Devoir reported that 80 Quebec municipalities still do not have waste-water treatment plants.
    Ten municipalities in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé region, the region I represent, still do not have treatment plants at the outlet of their sewer systems. It is 2021. That is unbelievable. This is a serious, ongoing problem, but the federal government is slow to get involved financially.
    Sewage spills happen frequently in Quebec, I am sad to say. The Fondation Rivières counted more than 60,000 spills in 2019, which added up to a total of over 470,000 hours of sewage flow into Quebec rivers and streams. The water pollution problems do not stop there.
    The most recent research has brought to light the adverse health effects of endocrine disruptors in water. When these chemicals are present in the environment, they can enter the bodies of animals and humans, interact with their hormones and affect all systems in the body.
    This is often harmful for both animals and humans. Even small quantities of these substances in the environment can have a significant impact. The adverse effects of endocrine disruptors have been observed in fish and mollusks in the St. Lawrence River, as well as in amphibians in rivers in southern Quebec.
    Many scientists agree that endocrine disruptors are a contributing factor in certain cancers and can cause reproductive issues in humans, though few studies have been conducted in this area.
    Research is currently focusing on the endocrine disruptive potential of several chemicals, such as parabens, polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides.
    The presence of microplastics is another problem that demonstrates the importance of addressing waste-water discharge into our rivers and streams.
    Scientists at McGill University published a study in 2020 in the well-respected journal Environmental Pollution that found that microplastic pollution in the St. Lawrence River is of the same order of magnitude as that measured in waterways near densely populated cities in China. The researchers found, on average, 832 particles of plastic per kilogram dry weight of sediment. That is four times higher than the levels found by another team in the Ottawa River a few years ago. This finding places the St. Lawrence among the worst waterways analyzed to date. One of the problems is that microplastics linger in the environment for a long time. Since they remain in the sediment, many organisms are at risk of ingesting them and passing them up the food chain.

  (1805)  

    In short, all of this data about endocrine disruptors and the presence of microplastics shows that there is a significant and disturbing amount of pollution in our waterways as a result of sewage spills, and we must do something about it.
    Let us get back to Bill C‑269. Unfortunately, this bill does not contain a solution to the problem of sewage spills. Why not? Because it is inconsistent. It will still allow certain hazardous materials to be discharged. In short, Bill C‑269 is not as good as it looks.
    It is true that, to reduce water pollution, we need effective regulations to stop sewage from being released into the environment. However, this bill allows the discharge of certain “authorized” substances, including petroleum products such as oil, gasoline, diesel and grease, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, fertilizer runoff and more.
    Consequently, even if it were passed, Bill C‑269 would allow industry to discharge waste water contaminated with petroleum products from their facilities into our rivers, provided that the discharge complies with the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations. This means that waste water contaminated with chemicals like the ones I mentioned earlier would be allowed, but effluent from municipal waste-water systems would not. What will municipalities do then?
    Montreal has been talking about building an ozonation plant to treat waste water for the past 15 years. The project was first announced by the Gérald Tremblay administration with a completion date in 2012, which was later pushed back to 2018. In 2019, Radio-Canada revealed that it should finally be completed in 2023 at a cost of half a billion dollars.
    In February 2020, Valérie Plante's administration published a notice of interest for the construction of the plant. So far, however, there have been no developments. It is safe to say that the 2023 target may once again be postponed, but the City of Montreal has until 2030 to comply with existing federal regulations.
    It is all well and good to draft regulations, but if a municipality is unable to build a water treatment plant because it simply cannot not afford it, what will the federal government do?
    The solution for keeping sewage from polluting our waterways, including the St. Lawrence River, does not lie in arbitrary, unenforceable obligations or prohibitions. It lies in meaningful investments to help municipalities fulfill their waste-water treatment responsibilities.
    The Bloc Québécois believes that, if we want to solve this problem together, we must demand that the federal government invest in waste-water treatment infrastructure through targeted, substantial, multi-year funding. Otherwise, neither municipalities nor Quebec will be able to fix the problem.
    In conclusion, I will reiterate that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of having a debate on water quality and pollution in our rivers. We must admit that the debates on Bill C‑269 are drawing attention to this important environmental issue. However, for all of the reasons I mentioned, the Bloc Québécois will be voting against the bill.
    Again, this bill does not contain a solution to the problem of sewage spills. The health of our waterways requires financial commitments that are not included in Bill C‑269. It requires a solid, long-term commitment on the part of the federal government. The government must invest heavily in municipal waste-water treatment infrastructure by means of appropriate transfers to Quebec and the provinces.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I must admit that during my time in this place, I have always found great value in private members' business. It is our opportunity as members of this place to bring forward legislation that we believe will ultimately better serve this great country. Yes, there is a lottery system in place, but there is also nothing to stop the government of the day from taking a great idea in a private member's bill and incorporating it into government legislation. Indeed, we have witnessed this practice before.
    Another aspect of private members' business is that often members in this place will vote more freely than on government bills. That can add a very interesting dynamic, particularly during a minority government.
    Given my passion for private members' business, I must state in advance that I am speaking in support of the bill before us, as it is important to me.
    The bill proposes to exclude raw sewage from the definition of “deleterious substance” so as to entirely prohibit its deposit in water, which is a critically important environmental protection we can pass in this place. Indeed, I suspect that if we asked Canadians, most would believe that this is already a banned practice in Canada. However, as we know, the minister can sign off and essentially provide an exemption to it, just as a former environment minister of the Liberal government has done previously, and that should concern us all.
    Increasingly, what we see with the Liberal government is that environmental policy is being applied in a discriminatory manner. While I could provide a number of different examples, I would much rather not. Politicizing this issue is ultimately not helpful in this debate. I would like to think that if there is one thing we can all agree on in this place, it is that it is never a good thing to dump raw sewage into fish habitat. I hope that we would all agree on that point. It should be a basic guiding principle of environmental stewardship that we do not contaminate fish habitat.
    While I believe there is much we can agree on in principle with the bill, I also recognize that there are criticisms.
    Critics have raised the cost to municipalities as one of the criticisms. It is a fair point. However, it also acknowledges that some municipalities are currently adding to the problem, and that a lack of revenue to fix the problem is the primary reason.
     On that note, I will point out that the bill proposes that it will not come into force until five years after the day on which it receives royal assent. That is five years to take action, five years to ensure that this becomes a bigger priority for the federal government and five years to work out the details with local governments. Yes, I realize that there are many challenges and many reasons why some can argue this cannot be done in five years. However, to those people I would ask a very simple question: Does anyone want to argue that this should not be done? On that point, I would like to think we can all agree.

  (1810)  

[Translation]

    I am hopeful about it. If we can agree that it should be done, let us ask ourselves how. If we do not start taking steps in that direction, it would be fair to say that this bill is not perfect, but few ever are.
    Having said that, we need to send the message that fish habitat protection is a priority. Critics raise valid points: It might be difficult and it does involve costs. On the issue of costs, it is important to say that we must also consider the cost of inaction.
    In my former riding, the water supply for a small rural community was contaminated with fecal matter, which made the drinking water supply unsafe.
    To secure the drinking water supply, the source of the contamination had to be found. The process is not as simple as it sounds. They changed the source of the water supply. Costly, unpleasant and heavy chlorination in the water treatment system was to blame.

  (1815)  

[English]

    Back-flow valves were installed. All of that cost a lot of money. Finally, a proper sewage treatment plant was installed. That occurred under a former Conservative government, but that is not the point. The point is that today that community water system is no longer contaminated and, more importantly, the groundwater is not contaminated.
    This all matters because the Okanagan River system passes through this unincorporated community, where currently local indigenous communities have been working in partnership, and very successfully I might add, to restore lost salmon habitat. It is an incredible success story. Obviously, it also speaks to the importance of not dumping raw sewage into fish habitat.
    To those who raise the valid concerns of cost to local government, I point out that there are many costs of inaction that can result from the situation. More importantly, critics aside, I come back to one simple point: While some have raised concerns over getting this done, I have yet to hear anyone suggest that it cannot be done or that it should not be done. I have only heard that it could be challenging.
    Current government members, in 2015, told Canadians, hand on their hearts, that better was always possible. I submit that Bill C-269 proposes better protection for our fish habitat than is currently available. This bill is an important next step in moving forward to better protect our environment.
    Before I wrap up, I would like to thank the member who sponsored this bill, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, for his ongoing leadership and commitment to seeing this gap in our governance addressed. This gap, whether it was intentional or not, exists. We cannot let this go by saying there is a cost. We need to count the current costs to the environment. There are challenges here, but it is because of members like the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle that we are debating this important subject, adding a spotlight to an issue that has haunted this country for too long.
    As I said before, I hope we can all agree in this place that dumping raw sewage into fish habitat is wrong and that we need to do our part, in partnership with communities, local government, the provinces and indigenous communities, to make this problem go away so that we all can have clean water and feel proud of the contributions we have made to this issue.
    I thank the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle for helping to elevate this argument and for this debate. I hope that all members will put aside partisanship and say yes to his proposal.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be speaking today to Bill C‑269, an act to amend the Fisheries Act, which I can summarize very quickly as being a good idea only at first glance. My colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia agrees with me completely.
    There have been at least 10 sewage spills in Quebec in recent years. Consider the spill of millions of litres of waste water in the Richelieu River in Saint‑Jean this past March. It was the fourth such spill in three years. The same thing happened in Longueuil in 2018, when 150 million tonnes of polluted water spilled directly into the St. Lawrence River for eight straight days. It is also impossible to forget “flushgate” in Montreal in 2015, when no less than eight billion litres of waste water was dumped into the St. Lawrence.
    These examples are only some of the many similar incidents that have occurred, since sewage spills are unfortunately not a rare occurrence. In Quebec alone, Fondation Rivières counted 60,660 spills in 2019, adding up to a total of 471,300 hours of overflow. That is a lot.
    Considering all of the data and the pollution in our waterways, we might have expected a far more ambitious bill. That is why I called it a good idea only at first glance earlier.
    It is true that Bill C‑269 has given the House the opportunity to talk about the environment and the protection of our waterways. The Bloc Québécois is certainly not going to complain about that. However, Bill C‑269 does not offer any real solutions to the complex problem of sewage spills.
    Unfortunately, it does not cover all waste water or all the harmful substances that could be discharged into the environment. It does not contain any real solutions for municipalities that are forced to release their sewage into our rivers, including the St. Lawrence, because they do not have adequate treatment systems.
    The first fundamental problem with Bill C‑269 is that it contains only half measures. The first clause of Bill C‑269 excludes raw sewage from the definition of “deleterious substance” in the Fisheries Act. That is the problem.
    Bill C‑269 prohibits the deposit of raw sewage, which could prevent another “flushgate” in Montreal. However, it permits the deposit of several other substances that are just as deleterious, meaning the Conservatives' bill opens the door to discharges of all kinds in our waterways. Allow me to list a few substances that the Conservatives forgot: petroleum products, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, industrial effluent, paint, and cleaning products like bleach.
    If we want to truly protect our waterways, we need to go much further. Prohibiting the discharge of waste water is one thing, but allowing the deposit of all sorts of other equally dangerous substances is quite another. If the Conservatives want to prove that they care about protecting our waterways, they should revise their bill to avoid creating two categories of pollutants.
    I would like to mention another problem with Bill C‑269. How do the Conservatives plan to prohibit the discharge of waste water if the municipalities do not have adequate water treatment facilities to stop doing it?
    Let us consider the facts. Le Devoir recently reported that 80 Quebec municipalities do not have waste-water treatment plants. The article also mentioned a report by the Réseau Environnement that estimated we will have to invest at least $17 billion just to upgrade existing treatment facilities, which are beginning to show their age. Even with $17 billion, we will not achieve the miracle solution the Conservatives think they are proposing.
    For the Bloc Québécois, until effective regulations against waste-water discharge are implemented, the problem will never be fully resolved. The real solution is clear, but it does not appear in the bill. It is so simple: The federal government must make substantial, regular investments, with dedicated, multi-year funding, to help the municipalities, which should not have to cut corners when it comes to protecting our waterways.

  (1820)  

    The federal government must invest in order to allow municipalities to build adequate waste-water treatment infrastructure.
    In conclusion, if the Conservatives want to look good and burnish their green credentials by showing concern for the health of our waterways, including the St. Lawrence River, they must be bolder and propose real solutions, none of which appear in Bill C‑269.
    If the Conservatives really want to solve the problem of sewage spills, they must think about including all harmful substances, and the federal government must help municipalities build adequate treatment systems, or the problem will resurface and will never be totally resolved.
    For these reasons, the Bloc Québécois will vote against Bill C‑269.

[English]

    There is just enough time to invite the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle for his right of reply. The hon. member will know he has up to five minutes.
    The hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

  (1825)  

    Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate all the members of Parliament who spoke in favour of this bill. Out of respect for the House's time, I will not repeat the points that I made in my original speech, but I would like to just take a few moments to address some of the misinformation that I heard throughout the debate from members who are opposing this bill.
    First of all, and we hear this argument all the time from them, the Liberals are making the false allegation that Conservatives were not going to make the same commitments to infrastructure spending as they did. This is completely false. In the last campaign, our platform committed the same amount of money to be partnered with the provinces and municipalities in order to rehabilitate our cities, towns and municipalities.
    It is the current Liberal government that has allowed billions of dollars in infrastructure spending to be lapsed, so there is no doubt that cities and towns are feeling the burden, the weight of the lack of action and the extra burden that follows when the federal government does not partner with those dollars. When it allows those dollars to be lapsed, it means that there is further pressure on cities and towns and further pressure on property tax payers.
    Another bogus argument I heard was that somehow this bill would weaken protections. Only to a Liberal would banning something lead to weaker regulations. Right now, the minister is able to grant these types of permits, and as was already referenced this evening, did just that when the government allowed the City of Montreal to dump billions of litres of untreated raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. This is clearly just a case of the Liberals projecting onto another party what they themselves are guilty of.
    The Liberal member for Lac-Saint-Louis asked in debate about why the Conservatives did not include it in their platform if this idea was such a good idea. That is an easy one to address. We did include it. We made a campaign announcement, and it is on page 27 of the previous campaign platform our party ran on. This is a long-standing commitment that our party has been in support of.
    Another member this evening talked about how this bill would permit the dumping of raw sewage in northern communities. They have that completely backwards. This bill would ban the dumping of raw sewage, but it leaves an exemption for northern communities, recognizing the additional burdens that they face in terms of meeting the needs of their infrastructure requirements.
    That means that this bill would not immediately apply to them, but they would be covered under existing regulations. Those existing regulations that are already out there, as was mentioned, would not disappear with the passage of this bill. These are complementary pieces of legislation, and this is no excuse not to support this bill.
    I heard, just a few moments ago, from the Bloc member who was wondering why there were not other types of harmful substances covered in the bill. Again, that is not a reason to vote against this bill. If we can all agree that raw sewage should not be dumped into our rivers, lakes and oceans, then surely we can pass this bill.
    If there are other substances that members would like to see added to the list of things that would be banned from being dumped, Conservatives are all ears for that. However, members would know that, in a private member's bill, there is a need for much greater focus. Focusing on something that is achievable and practical, something that we can certainly all immediately agree to, is necessary in terms of a private member's bill. Private members do not have the same ability or the same tools as government ministers have.
     If the government were saying it was not going to pass this bill because it is coming with a comprehensive list of harmful substances that should not be dumped into rivers, lakes and oceans, then I would be happy to participate and coordinate on that, and I would be happy to support that type of initiative, but it is not. There is nothing on the Order Paper coming down the pipe. Therefore, why would we not take this easy step to ban the dumping of raw sewage?
    I know members have talked about the cost. There is no doubt that this would add a significant cost on municipalities, and here is where Conservatives have the answer. The Liberals are talking about the fact that they do not have the funds available to do that. They have no problem costing our economy billions of dollars, attacking our energy sector or cancelling pipelines, even though there is no evidence that those measures have a positive effect on the environment, as we shut down production here in Canada only to see emissions go up in other countries. However, we have a simple, tangible, practical, achievable proposal, and suddenly the Liberals are pretending they are worried about the cost. That is where we know where we can find the money.

  (1830)  

    The Liberals have put $35 billion into the Infrastructure Bank, an institution that has completed zero projects in four years, so there is plenty of existing funding that Conservatives would make available to municipalities so they can comply with this new law.
    As my colleague from British Columbia mentioned, there is a five-year term clause coming into force, so the government has time, and a future Conservative government has the time, to partner with these municipalities to ensure they have the investments they need to upgrade the systems, so once and for all, we can stop dumping raw sewage into our waterways.
     It is 2021, and Canada is a developed nation. There is no excuse for this practice to continue. That is why I am so pleased to present this bill to the House.
    It being 6:30 p.m., the time provided for debate has expired. Accordingly, the question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request either a recorded division, or that the motion be adopted on division, I invite them to rise and indicate so to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London.
    Mr. Speaker, I would request a recorded vote.

[Translation]

    Accordingly, pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 23, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.
    The hon. member for Louis‑Saint‑Laurent is rising on a question of privilege.

[English]

Privilege

Government's Alleged Non-compliance with an Order of the House  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, tonight I rise on a question of privilege. I move:
    That this House find the Public Health Agency of Canada to be in contempt for its failure to obey the Order of the House, adopted on June 2, 2021, as well as the orders of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, adopted on March 31 and May 10, 2021, and, accordingly, orders its President to attend at the Bar of the House, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions on the second sitting day following the adoption of this Order, for the purposes of (a) receiving, on behalf of the Agency, an admonishment delivered by the Speaker; and (b) delivering up the documents ordered by this House on June 2, 2021, to be produced, so that they may be deposited with the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel under the terms of that Order.
    Hon. members may recall that the Speaker made a statement on this particular matter earlier this day and is satisfied that it meets the notice and admissibility requirements.
    Debate is on the motion. The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to take part in the debate tonight. This is a very important debate that we have to address.
    We are talking about transparency. We are talking confidence of Canadians in their institutions. We are also talking about the role of the House of Commons and the role of each and every member of this Parliament. We are here because we have received a mandate from our constituents. Those are our real bosses.
    It is not the Prime Minister who can dictate what the House can do and how the truth can be provided. This is why this debate tonight is of key importance for the way we see the House functioning and how democracy can work in Canada.

  (1835)  

[Translation]

    In the next few moments, I will reiterate the circumstances surrounding our being gathered here today in the House to speak to an order of the House involving a public agency.
    This is about the surprising ties that may have existed between the National Microbiology Laboratory located in Winnipeg, a national Canadian laboratory, and the Wuhan laboratory linked to the militaristic communist government of China.
    Surprising events have occurred in the past few months in this, Canada's most important and highest-security microbiology laboratory. We have confidence in this institution, but that confidence may fall away if we do not get to the bottom of things. That is why, here in the House, we want to get to the bottom of what happened.
    Four events that occurred in this lab are of particular concern to us. When I say us, I do not mean the official opposition, I do not mean the Conservatives, I mean all Canadians. We have seen recent reports on CBC and Radio-Canada, and in The Globe and Mail, where the story originated, featuring fairly neutral witnesses and observers with no political affiliations who believe that some troubling events took place in Winnipeg. There are four such events.
    First of all, the Winnipeg lab gave a top security clearance to a researcher with ties to the Chinese military. How did this happen? We want to know why, but we are not able to as yet.
    I want to be very clear. When we talk about the Chinese military and about China, this has nothing to do with racism or xenophobia, as the Prime Minister had the audacity, and I would even say the intellectual dishonesty, to say in the House. Nor are we fuelling conspiracy theories, as a parliamentary secretary speaking for the Prime Minister so insultingly said last week. No, we are not playing chicken, as the Minister of Health so shamefully put it last Friday in the House, when I asked her some embarrassing questions. That is too bad, because that is my job, and I will keep doing it.
    The questions we are asking about the relationship between the Winnipeg lab and the Wuhan lab have nothing to do with xenophobia or conspiracy theories. Nor are we engaging in a game of chicken on this, contrary to what Liberal members and the Liberal Prime Minister have said in the House.
    First, a researcher with ties to the Chinese military was given the highest security clearance for the work he could do inside that lab.
    Second, two deadly viruses were sent from the Winnipeg lab to the Wuhan lab. It is possible that everything was done by the book and that there is absolutely nothing to it, but we still need the documents to prove it. However, as long as they refuse to be transparent, we do not have the answer. The second point then is the transfer of deadly viruses.
    Third, two senior researchers, the ones who played central roles in the microbiology research being conducted at this institute, were escorted out of the lab by the RCMP. A few weeks later, they literally lost their jobs. Losing a job can happen to anyone, but when people are escorted out by the RCMP, it seems to me they do not necessarily have a clear conscience.
    According to CBC reports, these two researchers—they are a couple, a man and a woman—were earning a combined salary of about $250,000 Canadian. That is a very respectable amount of money for that level. The problem is that they were living in a $1.5-million house around Winnipeg and Gimli. The banks there seem to be pretty generous: They were willing to lend people making $250,000 enough money to buy a $1.5-million house. That raises some questions.
    Lastly, after these three events, two senior executives at the Public Health Agency of Canada suddenly resigned and retired. Why? That is what we want to know.
    Because this is a public agency, the following four events trouble us as parliamentarians: A foreign researcher obtained the highest security clearance; two deadly viruses were shipped from Winnipeg to Wuhan; two highly placed researchers—the institute's leading researchers—lost their jobs and were expelled and marched out under RCMP escort; and, finally, senior executives at the institute suddenly left their jobs.
    These are legitimate questions, which were actually raised by The Globe and Mail. I want to point that out.

  (1840)  

[English]

    As members of Parliament, we have a job to do. This is why the opposition tabled a motion a few months ago to create a special committee on Canada-Chinese relations. This is quite important in the events of today, and also in the relations we should have with this country.
    This committee worked on those issues, and wants to know what happened in this institution, Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory. Then twice, on two occasions, the committee asked the Public Health Agency of Canada to table documents about those events, on March 31 and on May 10.

[Translation]

    On two occasions, the Special Committee on Canada‑China Relations asked senior officials at the Public Health Agency of Canada, which is responsible for the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, to table documents concerning these four events. At the time, the fourth event, the sudden departure of two executives, had not yet occurred.
    On two occasions, the director refused to properly respond to the committee's request. That is why, on June 2, here in the House, we, the official opposition, put forward a motion to demand that the government, through the Public Health Agency of Canada, table the documents that are key to understanding this matter. This was not a wish or a request, but an order of the House to get to the bottom of these events. Unfortunately, the government did not act on this request, and I will come back later to the circumstances surrounding its unfortunate decision.
    Some may be tempted to say that we should calm down since this is a matter of national security, microbiology and international relations. People may think that it is not true that all these documents can be published easily and that we have to be careful. Of course we have to be careful; we are well aware of that.
    That is why our motion on June 2 was quite clear, as were the two motions adopted at committee. We established a framework that was absolutely relevant. The Clerk of the House of Commons, with the support of experts, can identify, detect and ferret out any items that might be truly sensitive and do not warrant being made public for national security reasons. He can look at the administrative facts that may have led to two researchers being escorted out by the RCMP or another researcher who is associated with the Chinese military being given a very high security clearance. These are perfectly legitimate questions. However, once the documents are made public, they can be sifted through, as is done in many cases, by the experts and specifically by the Clerk of the House of Commons, whom we trust.
    However, the government decided to override the House's order to produce the documents. The Prime Minister raised national security concerns and claimed that the Liberal government had already created a body that had all the necessary latitude to examine and analyze these types of situations. That body is the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, and it was created in 2016 by the Liberal government.
    The Speaker noted that it was not a parliamentary committee, but a committee of parliamentarians.
    The Prime Minister was quite proud last week to say that the government had struck this committee to get to the bottom of this without jeopardizing national security, and he was proud to say that all political parties were represented on the committee. That was a mistake: The second opposition group had not been represented for months. Need I point out that we requested transfers for our representatives in September and he did not respond until last week? What a surprise. For months and months, he had no interest in this and, all of a sudden, he is interested.
    The committee of parliamentarians the Prime Minister created is his instrument. That is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it has its limits. The group can receive documents. Actually, the Prime Minister and his ministers love to talk about how they gave the committee documents and the committee will do the work, but they leave out the rest. The Prime Minister leaves out the part about how he has the right to veto every single document that is analyzed, every single committee resolution and every single committee finding.
    If the Prime Minister personally does not want a document to be released, he is the one who decides that, nobody else. If the committee's recommendation does not suit him, he alone can decide if it is made public or not. If the committee finds that there is a national security issue but the Prime Minister disagrees, he can decide not to talk about it.
    I do not even have the right to ask members what happened in that committee, because its members took an oath to not say anything to anyone. I would never jeopardize the legitimacy, honesty and integrity of my colleagues who sit on a committee and who have sworn an oath to not say anything. However, what is the point of setting up a committee of parliamentarians if those who are part of that committee are unable to talk about what goes on there? The words “Parliament” and “parliamentarian” come from the same root word as “parler”, a French word that means to speak, which only makes sense. This committee is the Prime Minister's personal instrument, because he is the one who has the right of veto over everything.
    In the ruling the Speaker gave about two hours ago, he very clearly indicated that this committee existed but that it was not a parliamentary committee. I am not going to put words in the Speaker's mouth. However, we believe that this committee is completely under the yoke of the Prime Minister because he gave himself the right to veto the committee's decisions.
    We raised a question of privilege because the motion had been adopted, it was about an order of the House, and the government had defied it. We challenged the government's approach by raising this question of privilege and not two hours ago the Speaker of the House of Commons recognized that, on the face of it, we were indeed right.
    We are gathered here this evening to determine whether we want to move forward and continue working on this file. We believe that the director of the Public Health Agency of Canada was wrong in refusing to hand over these documents and that is why we are asking that these documents be tabled here.
    We also want the director of the agency to be admonished for failing to obey an order of the House, as stated in the Speaker's ruling. We are also asking for relevant documents to be delivered to the House and reviewed by the Clerk of the House to ensure that national security is not jeopardized and, above all, that the orders of the House are obeyed. That did not happen under this government and it is disgraceful.

  (1845)  

    Since some members have spoken at length about it, I would like to remind members that there was an incident in 2010 concerning the release of documents that could pose a threat to national security. At the time, Speaker Milliken ruled that the documents had to be made public. It has to be done in a certain way, but documents can be made public.
    Some members will say that at the time the Conservatives did not want to release the documents, but now that we are in opposition that is what we want. Stop right there. These are two completely different situations.
    Members will recall that the 2010 issue pertained to the Afghanistan war. It must be pointed out that we were involved in a military operation, we were in a war zone. Our soldiers, our men and women, were deployed to a war zone and were risking their lives. We had allies, and Afghan interpreters were helping us in the war we were waging against terrorism together with our international allies. We had Afghan nationals who were risking their lives. We had Canadians in uniform who were proudly serving in the military and putting their lives at risk.
    That is not at all the case today. We are talking about questionable administrative decisions that resulted in an agency giving the highest security clearance to a researcher associated with the Chinese military. We are talking about an agency that decided to give two extremely rare and dangerous viruses to a foreign laboratory. We are talking about an agency that gave a very high security clearance to two researchers whose career ultimately ended in a shameful and dishonourable manner. They were expelled and escorted out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We are talking about two civilian executives who left the administration unexpectedly.
    These are questionable administrative decisions that cast a shadow on Canada's great, proud and honourable reputation in the field of research. To my knowledge, that is not at all like what happened in Afghanistan. As far as I know, no one's life was at risk in Winnipeg, at least I hope not. We are not talking about a foreign army like the one we were fighting in Afghanistan. I hope not. We are not talking about allies and friends like our Afghan interpreters putting their lives at risk. These are two completely different things.
    Woe, then, to those who dare to draw a parallel between the events of 2010, President Milliken's decision or our entirely legitimate and pertinent reluctance when we were in power because we were in a war zone, and what is going on today when we are in the opposition and are demanding information that would allow us to get to the bottom of things and shed light on situations that deserve our attention. We believe that this situation compromised our national security.
    Let us take a quick look at the facts. Ten days ago, the House ordered the government of Canada to table documents in the House. It was an order of the House. The government did not obey the order. Rather, it flouted the House of Commons and the will of the majority of members elected by Canadians, eventually doing its own thing and giving the documents to an entity literally created by the Prime Minister. This entity is entirely under the Prime Minister's control; he has veto power over anything that happens in the committee and anything that might come out of it.
    We are asking for the documents to be made public. We are asking for the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada to come back to the House and take the blame, as written and defined in your decision, so that Canadians can learn what happened in these questionable relations deserving of an investigation between a key research and scientific institution, Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and another laboratory located in Wuhan following four events that cast a shadow on Canada's reputation and integrity, especially since our scientists must work under the most secure conditions possible, with the support, assistance and confidence of all Canadians. They deserve nothing less.

  (1850)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I voted against the motion that the Conservatives introduced, because I do believe this is an issue of national security.
    If we listen to what the member has said, we would think these documents have not been provided at all, and nothing could be further from the truth. The documents were provided to a committee, in fact, two committees: one committee where redaction was required and another committee where there were no redactions whatsoever.
    At the end of the day, we need to recognize that there is an issue of national security. The documents in question have been provided in two forms to two different groups, where the membership is made up of members of Parliament from all sides of the House.
    Does the member not recognize that the Conservative Party could be wrong? Maybe there is a sense of national security, and the Conservative Party of Canada is overlooking that issue in favour of political partisanship in the chamber, which is what we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

  (1855)  

    Mr. Speaker, I pay all my respect to my colleague from Winnipeg North. He has served in his provincial legislature and in the House of Commons for the last 30 years. As a member from Winnipeg, I am sure he was very concerned with what happened a few kilometres away in his riding.
    I want to address the two points in the question from my colleague.
    First, the member talked about the committee, but he did not name the committee. We are not talking about a parliamentary committee; we are talking about a committee created by the Prime Minister for which the Prime Minister has all the authority and power to decide whether some information will be made public. This is a huge difference.
    The other point is on whether this is an issue of national security. For sure it is a national security issue, which is why we want to know what happened, but based on the fact that we will correctly address this issue. This is why we follow the rules that have been established for many years. The clerk and some experts will review those documents to be sure no one will lose his or her life over it.
    We are talking about four administrative decisions on security in the highest-ranked laboratory that we have in our country. We shall know what happened there and learn the lessons so as not to repeat the bad decisions that may have been made in that kind of situation.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague's speech.
    The motion we are debating is certainly important. The Speaker has agreed to a debate on the privilege motion, and everyone really needs to take it seriously.
    I know my colleague has a lot of experience, not only in the House of Commons but also in the Quebec National Assembly, and my question is very simple.
    Based on his experience in the Quebec National Assembly and in the House of Commons, is there a precedent for this kind of privilege motion, as well as for all the actions we have seen in recent weeks?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from British Columbia. Again, I am very pleased to commend him on his exceptional French. It is truly impressive and it inspires us all to learn the other official language so that we can speak both official languages.
    My colleague raises a very good question. Personally, no, I have never seen a situation where national security was the key issue in a decision we had to make here as parliamentarians. I did not see that in the Quebec National Assembly.
    My colleague from British Columbia remembers very well what I said a few moments ago in the House, that there is indeed a precedent. It was in 2010, when Speaker Milliken said that, indeed, documents could be made public. We Conservatives were in government at the time, and we had more than a few reservations.
    Need I repeat that these were two completely different situations? One involved a war situation in Afghanistan about ten years ago, and now we are talking about unfortunate administrative decisions involving a Canadian government agency and laboratory.
    These are two completely different situations that require us to get to the bottom of things. That is what we want to do.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and for the interesting debate this evening.
    For all the tea in China, no one will convince me that there is no pattern to the Liberal government's behaviour. It has a tendency to hide certain things and has shown a lack of transparency, and even a lack of ethics, in several matters. The recent WE Charity decision comes to mind, but there have been other instances where the government lacked transparency.
    I would like to hear my colleague's opinion on this.

  (1900)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Shefford. I appreciate the effort she puts into her work here in the House and in her parliamentary duties.
    She used the phrase, “for all the tea in China”. I, for one, am not going to make offensive parallels, as the government did in referring to xenophobia, for example.
    Being transparent is important, especially for a government that got elected in 2015 by saying that Canada was being obfuscated by the government of the day, that it was going to bring in transparency, that it was going to do everything to be accountable to the public, and so on.
    The government just forgot one thing: It no longer remembers what it said in 2015, just as it no longer remembers promising that this was the last time we would have this type of election in our parliamentary system. It also told us that we would run three modest deficits and then achieve a zero deficit. Four years later, the exact opposite is true.
    There is one thing, however, that the government did promise—

[English]

    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Madam Speaker, I was very pleased today to hear the Speaker rule that Parliament does reign supreme. Six years ago, the government said that it would be transparent by default. In fact, as the hon. member was speaking, I was reading the mandate letters of many of the ministers, and every single one of those mandate letters speaks to that. However, what we have seen from the government is a pattern and a history of trying to hide things.
    Could the hon. member speak about this pattern, this history and the impact that has not just on our democracy, but on the transparency and accountability of Parliament.
    Madam Speaker, I want to pay all my respects to my colleague from Barrie—Innisfil. I deeply appreciate his work as a member of Parliament for his constituents and for what he believes in and fights for. I can assure him that he is a very important key player in each and every decision we have to make in caucus.
    This is why we want to address the issue of transparency. Yes, it is important to know what happened in the country, especially when we are talking about laboratories. When the Prime Minister and his party were elected in 2015, we remember them saying they would start a new era in Canada, that Canada was back, that they would be more transparent, be more close with people and they would tell the truth at each and every step of the way.
    However, without a shadow of a doubt, six years later we can see so many broken promises, especially the one about transparency, except for one. The Prime Minister said during his campaign in 2015 that he would create a committee for national security. He just missed one thing in his promise. He did not say that at the end of this committee, the veto would be held by the Prime Minister. This is the key element of that decision.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly learned a lot from the House leader of the opposition's references to the times when Stephen Harper was found in contempt. However, what I find troubling is that he said that it was different back then because lives were on the line and we were in war.
    How does he know lives are not on the line now? In fact, he does not know. When he said that, he followed it up by saying he did not know if lives were on the line. Quite simply, why would he be willing to put lives on the line if the possibility exists?
    Madam Speaker, the answer is in the hands of the clerk. The clerk is the one who will review documents and will realize if there are some lives in danger. However, let me remind members that in 2010, we were talking about a war zone. I do not think Winnipeg is in a war zone, and I hope the army of a foreign country is not there. If it is, for sure we want to go deep into this situation, but I really hope it is not the case.
    Madam Speaker, I would typically start a speech by saying how happy I am to be speaking to a particular bill or motion, but I am not going to start my speech this way because, quite frankly, I am not happy to be speaking to this motion and would like to tell the House why.
    Canada is in the middle of a global pandemic. The Public Health Agency of Canada is at the forefront of this fight against COVID-19 and doing everything in its power to help Canadians stay safe.
     Now, I am getting heckled from members of the other side because they clearly perhaps do not think the Public Health Agency is at the forefront. They are entitled to their opinion, through those heckles, but I would like to take the opportunity to explain to them what the Public Health Agency is doing on the front lines.
    When it comes to vaccine distribution, to date this includes sending over 33.8 million vaccines to provinces and territories, with millions more arriving in the weeks and months to come. It includes $284 million in strengthening provincial vaccine distributions.
    The Public Health Agency is also assisting with respect to hot spots throughout the country. This includes working closely with provinces and territories to support them in the responsibilities to deliver health care. Through the safe restart agreement, $7.5 billion has been invested to help provinces and territories access the PPE they need. We are also investing in contact tracing and testing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and increased hospitalizations.
    Testing assistance is another thing the Public Health Agency is doing. Canadians have been tested for COVID-19 35,830,746 times, and we continue to have a high rate of testing. We are constantly working with provinces and territories to increase laboratory capacity and the number of tests done per day, and the safe restart agreement has supported provinces to increase their testing capacity.
    The Public Health Agency is also supporting direct lab assistance. We have six federal labs that are up and running to support provincial lab capacity by processing an additional 6,000 tests every single day in this country.
    On border protection, the Public Health Agency, since March 2020, has deployed its employees to keep our borders secure. More than 180 public health officers are currently present at points of entry across the country. Travellers' quarantine plans are verified upon entry into Canada. We have made up to 4,600 calls every day to verify travellers' compliance with these mandatory requirements, and when needed, cases are referred to law enforcement.
    Isolation is another thing the Public Health Agency is assisting with. The safe voluntary isolation sites program is helping more than 15 cities, municipalities and health regions provide safe, accessible places for people who receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis to self-isolate to keep them and their households safe and prevent community transmission.
    While the Public Health Agency is at the forefront of the fight to protect Canadians from COVID-19, the Conservatives want to hold the agency in contempt of Parliament. Why do they want to do this? It is because the Public Health Agency of Canada was not prepared to provide documents that could threaten the national security of Canada without appropriate safeguards.
    The Public Health Agency should be spending all of its time and effort right now fighting COVID-19, but instead it has to spend its time fighting self-serving Conservative partisanship. The hypocrisy that comes from the Conservatives is astounding. They claim to be the party of law and order, but they are willing to put the national security of Canada at risk at the first opportunity because they believe it helps their partisan self-interest.
    Conservatives want to distract the Public Health Agency of Canada from fighting the pandemic because it is good for the Conservative Party. This is pathetic. This shows the true colours of the Conservative Party under the leadership of this Leader of the Opposition.

  (1905)  

    We do not deny that the House has the power to order documents. However, just because we can do something, that does not mean we should. It might come across as a cliché, but with that great power that we have here does indeed come great responsibility. Conservatives have chosen power without responsibility, for nothing more than a fishing expedition in search of political gain, all at the expense of those who have been supporting us these past 15 months.
    As I indicated in my intervention in response to the question of privilege from the House leader of the official opposition, the opposition day motion from the Conservatives lacked any meaningful mechanism to ensure the confidential information contained in the papers ordered to be provided to the public.
    The member is now proposing that the Minister of Health table unredacted documents in the House, which means they would become public. Let that sink in for a moment. Conservatives want documents that could threaten the national security of Canada to immediately be made public. How reckless and irresponsible. This is the modern Conservative Party of Canada.
    Now let us talk for a minute about what we as a government propose, so that we could ensure that MPs have access to these sensitive documents, while also ensuring that the national security of Canada is protected.
    Before I do that, I would like to point out that one of the highest priorities of any government should be to protect information that could harm the national security interests of Canada. This should be the priority, quite frankly, of any party that purports to position itself to be the government in waiting.
    While Conservatives like to give themselves fancy titles like “shadow minister” and pretend as if they are ready to govern, they have failed the most basic test of any party that seeks to form government. They are willing to sacrifice the national security of Canada, simply because they can and because they cannot control their innate instincts to overreact and act recklessly when they think it helps their partisan self-interest. I think this tells Canadians all they need to know about the Conservative Party of Canada under the leadership of this leader. They are simply not ready.
    The government took a responsible approach to the documents by referring the matter and providing unredacted documents to the national security committee of parliamentarians, given the expertise of the members of the committee in matters of national security.
    I would note that there are two Conservatives who sit on that committee. Why the Conservative Party does not trust them is beyond me, but perhaps it should look at replacing them with people it does trust. This approach is similar to what the Conservative government did in 2010 with the Afghan detainee documents.
    Providing the unredacted documents to NSICOP respects the balance of interests between the rights of parliamentarians to have access to information and the obligations of the government to protect information related to national security.
    As I have stated in the House previously, NSICOP has a broad mandate to review Canada's “legislative, regulatory, policy, administrative and financial framework for national security and intelligence”. It may also review “any activity carried out by a department that relates to national security or intelligence”.
    Committee members come from both Houses of Parliament. It is a body that was created by an act of Parliament, by parliamentarians from both the House and the other place. All members hold top-secret security clearance and are permanently bound to secrecy under the Security of Information Act. The mandate also states, “Members swear an oath or solemn affirmation indicating that they will obey and uphold the laws of Canada, and not communicate or inappropriately use information obtained in confidence as part of their responsibilities on that committee.”
    NSICOP was created for exactly these types of situations and is the appropriate place for the review of these documents. By proceeding in this way, the government has ensured that information that may be injurious to Canada's national interest, that could compromise national security or the privacy rights of Canadians, or that may be related to an ongoing criminal investigation can be protected.

  (1910)  

    This leads me to my next point: Why? Given that the government chose a responsible approach, similar to the process that the Conservatives used in 2010 for the documents that they released, so that they have access to information while protecting national security, why have Conservatives decided to proceed with this question of privilege? The simple answer is obstruction. They do not want the budget implementation act to move forward, despite the fact that it includes key measures for Canadians.
    First is the extension of the Canada emergency wage subsidy, the Canada emergency rent subsidy and the lockdown support, all these, until September 25, 2021. These are due to expire this month unless Parliament approves the extension. Second is the extension of important income for Canadians, such as the Canada recovery benefit and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit. Third is establishing a new Canada recovery hiring program, which would help businesses with the costs of hiring new workers during the recovery. Fourth is an increase in old age security for those over 75, to provide seniors with better financial security when their savings may run out.
     Enhancing the Canada workers benefit would mean more money for low-income Canadians. It would support about one million Canadians and lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty. The budget would also enhance employment insurance sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks. It would establish a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage. It would extend the waiver of interest on federal student loans and apprentice loans to March 2023. It would provide for emergency top-up of $5 billion for provinces and territories, specifically $4 billion through the Canada health transfers to help—

  (1915)  

    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. While I appreciate the hon. member's intervention, we are dealing with the motion related to the question of privilege, so perhaps the member would like to spend time talking about why his government redacted the document and is not being transparent.