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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 043

CONTENTS

Friday, December 4, 2020




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 043
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Friday, December 4, 2020

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Criminal Code

Hon. Maryam Monsef (for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)  
     moved that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add my voice to the debate on Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code with respect to medical assistance in dying.

[English]

    I want to start by reminding all members that this is important legislation. We as parliamentarians have a court-imposed deadline of December 18 to pass this legislation. This legislation would help prevent the suffering of Canadians. Even there were no court-imposed deadline, we would have a moral obligation to see it passed.
    I am really disappointed, to be frank, to see my colleagues across the aisle delaying the bill, increasing the chances that the government misses the court-imposed deadline and prolongs the suffering of Canadians in denying them the autonomy to choose medical assistance in dying.
    I am very disheartened to see members of the Conservative Party of Canada continue their delay tactics to slow this legislation. I saw it at the justice committee and we are seeing it again now. We know that the majority of Canadians believe that MAID is a basic human right. More than 300,000 people participated in consultations earlier this year.
    The Quebec Superior Court's deadline is now two weeks away as of today. Conservatives are now trying to undermine the urgency of the situation. They are ignoring the very real consequences that their inaction could have on those who are suffering in this country. I think it is also important to remind members where the content of this legislation came from and the process the government went through in January in developing this legislation.
    Bill C-7 was informed by the Truchon decision itself, Canadian and international reports, the experience of existing international regimes, and the government's consultations on MAID held in January and February of this year.
    I had the opportunity to participate in some of these round tables that were hosted across the country including in my home of Toronto, where I am speaking from, and in Winnipeg. In these consultations, our team spoke with 125 stakeholders including regulatory bodies, legal experts, doctors, nurse practitioners, representatives of the disability community, and indigenous persons and their representatives. They shared their experiences and insights into MAID and its implementation in Canada over the last four years.
    In order to get a broader public perspective, the government also hosted an online public survey. It received over 300,000 responses from people across the country. The summary of the consultations was released in March as a “what we heard” report. Our government did its homework in the creation of this legislation.
    I would like to take the time to explain to all hon. colleagues what Bill C-7 proposes to change in our MAID regime so that we all start from the same common understanding of the legislation before us.
    There are four main aspects to the bill. The first aspect concerns eligibility criteria and these changes are fairly straightforward. The eligibility criterion requiring a reasonably foreseeable natural death would be repealed. As I have already described, this change would in effect adopt the outcome of the Truchon decision for the whole of Canada.

[Translation]

    This eligibility criterion makes Canada's current end-of-life regime available only when a practitioner can determine with confidence that a temporal connection to death exists, with some flexibility. In Truchon, the Quebec Superior Court told us that this criterion violated the charter rights of people whose death was not reasonably foreseeable, people like Mr. Truchon and Ms. Gladu.
    To avoid prolonging the suffering of the applicants and other Canadians in similar situations, our government decided to accept the decision and amend the act for all of Canada.

[English]

    The legislation would continue to require a voluntary request and informed consent from a person with decision-making capacity. These cornerstones of autonomy would ensure that MAID could be safely provided to Canadians who deem it to be the solution to their suffering, while guarding against persons being pressured into seeking MAID. We trust that individuals know best for themselves when they can no longer endure suffering, regardless of whether their natural death is reasonably foreseeable. We are committed to respecting this very personal choice of Canadians.
    The second aspect of the bill is the safeguards. The bill would use the criterion of reasonably foreseeable natural death to create a two-track system. Those whose death is reasonably foreseeable would continue to benefit from the current safeguards with two changes. First, the 10-day reflection period would be repealed and a person would only need one independent witness to sign a MAID request instead of two. That independent witness would be someone who is paid to provide health and personal care services to the person requesting MAID. These changes are intended to alleviate barriers to access and to reduce suffering.
    We heard from medical practitioners that these did not serve as safeguards, but only unnecessarily prolonged suffering for individuals who had made up their mind. It also created issues of accessing MAID in rural and remote areas.
    Those people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable would benefit from an enhanced set of safeguards. In addition to those safeguards required where death is reasonably foreseeable, practitioners would have to assess a person's MAID request over a minimum assessment period of 90 days. If neither of those two MAID assessors has expertise in the condition that is causing the person's suffering, they would have to consult a practitioner who does. That is pursuant to the amendment that was helpfully proposed by the NDP member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke at committee. The person requesting MAID must be informed of the means available to relieve their suffering, including mental health and disability support services, and be offered consultations with professionals who provide those services. Both practitioners have to discuss those means of relieving suffering with the person and be of the view that the person has seriously considered those means.
    In terms of the broad approach to the bill, the third aspect of Bill C-7 is that of the limited change around advance consent. This one is unrelated to changes in eligibility criteria, but instead seeks to address an unfair situation that arises when a person is approved for MAID but loses decision-making capacity and cannot consent to the MAID procedure immediately before it would be provided, despite the request having been approved and the procedure already planned. Members probably know the reason for this amendment best through the story of Audrey Parker, the Canadian woman whose case we heard so much about a bit more than a year ago who had to schedule her MAID procedure earlier than she would have wanted, out of fear of losing decision-making capacity before her preferred date to receive MAID.

  (1010)  

[Translation]

    In my view, Bill C-7 takes the right approach by proposing to allow the waiver of final consent only in cases where the person's death is reasonably foreseeable and only when he or she has already been found eligible for medical assistance in dying and is waiting for the procedure to take place, but risks losing the capacity to provide final consent.
    According to practitioners and people like Audrey Parker, this is exactly the kind of situation that forces people to make a cruel choice if they risk losing their capacity to give consent before receiving medical assistance in dying. That is the one, very specific scenario this bill proposes to address, since it presents the least amount of uncertainty in terms of patients' autonomous choices and the least ethical and practical complexity.
    I know this is an important issue for Canadians, and I am committed to working with all parliamentarians to begin the parliamentary review of the medical assistance in dying regime as soon as possible after Bill C-7 has made its way through the parliamentary process. I have no doubt that the issue of advance requests will be an important part of that review.

[English]

    The fourth and final category of amendments that the bill proposes targets the monitoring regime. The changes would allow the collection of information in a wider range of circumstances, including information about preliminary assessments that might be undertaken before a request is put in writing. Consultations will take place before these regulations are amended. An amendment at committee based on an amendment proposed by the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith of the Green Party would require that the Minister of Health consult with the minister responsible for the status of persons with disabilities in carrying out their reporting obligations; again, another helpful amendment that was proposed at the committee stage.
    Medical assistance in dying has always been a very difficult issue that generates a variety of opinions on all sides of the issue. It strikes deeply to all Canadians' personal morals and sensibilities. We understand this. As such, it requires different interests to be considered. I firmly believe that Bill C-7 does exactly that. The law will continue to require informed consent and a voluntary request made by a person with decision-making capacity, while also creating a more robust set of safeguards where the person's natural death is not reasonably foreseeable. These safeguards require significant attention to be paid to all of the alternatives that might help alleviate suffering on the part of a person whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. We believe such a regime can work safely by guarding against overt and subtle pressures to seek MAID, while providing autonomy to a greater number of Canadians to make this important choice for themselves.
    I would like to return for a moment to the topic of safeguards, specifically when it comes to those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. It is very important to remind members of this House what these safeguards are and why we believe that they are adequate.
    This legislation proposes a distinct set of procedural safeguards that are tailored to the risks associated with assistance in dying for persons whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. Ending the lives of those whose suffering is based on their experience of their quality of life is different from offering a peaceful death when the dying process would otherwise be painful or prolonged, or would erode a person's sense of their own dignity. Bill C-7 therefore proposes a more robust set of safeguards where natural death is not reasonably foreseeable. Safeguards for those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable would be built around the existing safeguards, but contain enhancements over the previous Bill C-14, which was passed in the 42nd Parliament. Importantly, the medical assessments of a person's eligibility must span at least 90 days.
    I mentioned this earlier, but I want to emphasize, as there appeared to be some confusion around this at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and elsewhere. This period of 90 days is not a waiting period or a reflection period. This is not a requirement that the person wait 90 days after they are approved. Rather, it is a stipulation that practitioners must, over at least a period of three full months, fully explore the person's medical condition and the nature and causes of their suffering, and work with them to identify reasonable treatment or other support options they must discuss with the person. The person seeking MAID is not required to undergo any treatments. It would be an intrusion into the individual's autonomy to force them into any sort of treatment, but as we embark on this new expansion of the MAID regime, we believe we can collectively move forward safely, if we can be satisfied that available options have been brought to the person's attention and given serious consideration.
    All of these safeguards reflect the irreversible nature of ending someone's life and the very serious nature of medical assistance in dying, which needs to continue to be strictly regulated, especially given the broadening of the regime. As stated by the Canadian Medical Association, which welcomed our government's staged approach, the proposed MAID amendments are “a prudent step forward”. Bill C-7 proposes to further support individual autonomy while also protecting vulnerable persons and ensuring that careful consideration will be given to those challenging issues. For these reasons, among others, I strongly encourage members of this House to support this legislation and to support its passage through this House and Parliament to meet the court deadline of December 18.
    I also want to remind members of the upcoming parliamentary review. Through the course of the consultations, and then through the committee process, we did hear of a number of issues that need to be reviewed and addressed, but need more thorough study than could be done in the time required to meet the court-imposed deadline. Parliament will have ample time to review all of these issues, and I think it is important that we do so, but we need to get this legislation passed as well.
    Bill C-14, from the previous Parliament, called for Parliament to conduct a review and specifically mentions the state of palliative care. We expect this review will also include important issues such as mature minors, mental illness as the sole underlying condition and advance requests. By no means would I expect this to be a closed list, either. This is a broad issue and we would hope to hear from many Canadians on a wide variety of subjects relating to MAID. Having heard from many witnesses and spoken to many Canadians on Bill C-7, I know there are diverse views on this issue. They are all difficult issues, and I look forward to the parliamentary review and hearing from many more Canadians on the subject and seeing what the review has to say.
    As I said at the beginning of my speech, I am very disappointed and concerned by my colleagues across the way and their lack of respect for the court deadline imposed on us by the Superior Court of Quebec to pass this legislation. I believe we have an obligation as parliamentarians to do everything we can to try to meet the deadline of the court. Canadians want this legislation. Quebeckers want this legislation. I am really unclear on why my colleagues across the way are showing disrespect for the will not only of the court, but of all Canadians. They have been slowing and delaying debate unnecessarily, and I am very concerned by what this says about how much they value the rule of law and the will of Canadians.
    I want to thank my colleagues who serve with me on the justice committee for their work on helping us in a smooth and efficient committee process on this legislation. I look forward to this House giving the same consideration to the legislation. Again, I want to emphasize to my colleagues the importance of moving quickly. I look forward to continuing the debate on Bill C-7, but also to its ultimate passage in time for Parliament to meet the court-imposed obligation.

  (1015)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do want to point out that not one of the amendments that were proposed by our Conservative party at committee was adopted. We proposed those amendments in good faith, and we proposed them with the support of the persons with disabilities community. Krista Carr, executive vice-president of Inclusion Canada, a group that represents persons with disabilities, said that Bill C-7 represents the “worst nightmare” for persons with disabilities.
    I want to ask my hon. friend why they did not listen to the persons with disabilities community and why he is talking about delays, when it was his government that prorogued the House and caused Bill C-7 to have to have a complete restart.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his contributions in committee, and I will answer his questions.
    The Conservative Party amendments that were proposed undercut the heart of what the bill is about, which is ensuring that there is a compassionate response to medical assistance in dying and that a person's autonomy is protected.
    With respect to persons with disabilities, we had extensive consultations with persons with disabilities. We heard that there is heterogeneity among that community. We heard from Senator Petitclerc, who indicated the exact same thing. She and former minister Steven Fletcher of the Conservative Party, both themselves persons with disabilities, indicated that it is not for certain groups to speak on behalf of the entirety of persons with disabilities.
    Madame Gladu and Monsieur Truchon were themselves persons with disabilities. The court found, in the Truchon case, that in order to protect their autonomy and their competence, the bill must be revised, which is why it is being revised to ensure that the competence of all people, including persons with disabilities, is respected.

  (1020)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a bit sad to hear this morning's debate. On one hand, some people are saying that the opposition parties are holding up the process, and there is in fact one opposition party that is purposely delaying it, which I think is shameful. On the other hand, other members are saying that the Liberals prorogued Parliament for five weeks for no reason other than to cover up a scandal. Both sides are right. I am letting them know that this morning.
    I think that citizens expect more when we are debating legislation as important and fundamental as this, the law on medical assistance in dying. People who are suffering terribly have had to fight for many years in court. This bill seems reasonable to me, and I think it should be passed quickly.
    Could my Liberal Party colleague reassure the Conservative members about the safeguards included in the bill to ensure that we can trust the professionals who are on the ground and who are able to judge the situations? We need to trust our own people.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question, and I am pleased that the Bloc Québécois is supporting this bill.
    With regard to the judgment of professionals on the ground, whether it be doctors or nurses, we know that they treat people and assess their autonomy and their informed consent. Bill C-7 gives these professionals more leeway to exercise their judgment.
    What I mean by that is that in cases where death is not reasonably foreseeable, there is a waiting period of at least 90 days during which all aspects of the person's situation must be assessed. There has to be an opportunity to treat the person. All tools and options must be provided. As a result—
    We will continue with questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Parkdale—High Park for his speech today and for his diligent work on Bill C-7.
    I want to return to this question of timing that we have been kicking around in the questions here today. I have to say that COVID was partially responsible for the delay, but certainly the Liberal government's prorogation was a bigger cause for the delay in dealing with the bill.
    I would ask the hon. member to return to the question he touched on a moment ago, which is this: What are the consequences for Quebec and for the rest of the country if we do not meet this deadline in Quebec, because Bill C-7 does provide some safeguards to implement the court decision?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question and, again, I thank the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for his contributions at committee and throughout this Parliament.
    The consequences of not meeting the court-imposed deadline of December 18, in effect, would be that rather than a statute being the law of the land in Quebec, we would have the Truchon decision being the law of the land in Quebec, which means that there would be no safeguards whatsoever for those persons who are not at the end of life, whose death is not reasonably foreseeable, from accessing MAID.
    If all parliamentarians agree, all 338 of us, that some safeguards are required, notwithstanding the disputes about safeguards, I would urge Canadians, as represented by these parliamentarians, to work expeditiously to ensure that safeguards are in place for persons who are not at the end of life but seek to avail themselves of medical assistance in dying.

[Translation]

    When it comes to the concept of reasonably foreseeable death, how do we now reconcile the Truchon ruling with the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in Carter?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague the parliamentary secretary for his very good question.
    What we know is that in Truchon, the judge assessed the criteria in Carter and applied them to the situation of these two people who were living with disabilities but whose death was not reasonably foreseeable.
    According to the judge, denying access to medical assistance in dying to persons in that situation was unconstitutional in that it constituted a violation of the rights guaranteed under sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    That is what prompted us to introduce legislation that responds to what we have heard from more than 300,000 people.

  (1025)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member has pointed out that there are different opinions among people with disabilities and that is true in every community, of course. We both know that, for instance, in the Muslim community there are some people who express views about issues that the vast majority of that community find offensive. I think, generally speaking, government should listen to the representative organs of those communities, not cherry-pick one or two individuals it finds who may have a point of view that is not in keeping what the majority is saying. When all of the representative organizations who represent people with disabilities are raising big concerns, I think the government should take that seriously.
    Just on the issue of timing, can the member acknowledge the fact that the Conservatives wanted the House to be able to sit in May and June. In addition to the issue of prorogation, the Liberal government chose not to allow the House to sit and consider legislation in May and June when it could have.
    Mr. Speaker, I would respond to the member in a twofold manner.
    The first point is that I think it is erroneous and misconstruing the positions at stake that we somehow, on this side of the House, are cherry-picking perspectives on any aspect of this bill. The consultations that we heard were vast and extensive from 125 experts and 300,000 individual Canadians. That is the first point. With respect to the views articulated by persons with disabilities, I would reiterate that the litigation that has prompted this legislative response was brought by persons with disabilities. Clearly persons with disabilities are seeking the same level of competence and autonomy that is available to able-bodied Canadians.
    On the last point with respect to the timing, I am referring to what has transpired over the last four to six weeks, in terms of the committee process and now the House parliamentary process. Members are entitled to voice their views. Members are entitled to voice the views of their constituents. That is what a democracy is about. However, prolonging the suffering of Canadians is not in any of our interests and that is exactly what will transpire if the December 18 deadline is missed.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the parliamentary secretary for his speech and complimenting him on the quality of his efforts and his French.
    Now, just because his French is good, it does not mean I agree with what he is saying, especially on the decisions his government has made.
    We all know that this is a very sensitive topic and that there is no room for partisanship. As members of the House, every one of us here has to work diligently on this.
    However, since this issue is literally about life or death, would it not have been better to have the Supreme Court of Canada as the court to rule definitively on this issue, to avoid any legal misunderstanding that might come up with this legislation?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague across the aisle for his question and his work in this Parliament and the previous one.
    This question has been raised a number of times. A government's job is to analyze a well-articulated, well-researched, thorough decision. It is not necessary to appeal a decision all the way to the end.
    There are times when the government must take the lead, evaluate a decision and seize the opportunity to spare Canadians pointless suffering and pain by introducing a legislative response to a decision. This is one of those times. We think this is the best way to go.
    As a government, we made this decision to avoid appealing the case to the Supreme Court, which could have taken another two, three or four years and prolonged people's suffering.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for this time to speak on this incredibly important issue to all Canadians.
    As I was leading into this speech, I reflected back on the debates on Bill C-14. On May 3, 2016, the House was debating the creation of an euthanasia and assisted suicide bill. At the time I spoke in the evening on May 3, I mentioned how this would probably be, in my career as a politician, a member of Parliament, having at that time served eight years and now in my 13th year, perhaps the most important speech that I would ever make.
    When I look back on that speech today, I think I was wrong. I think perhaps this is the more important speech because at that time Parliament was faced with a court deadline as well to put into place legislation for euthanasia and assisted suicide. Like many countries around the world that have these bills, going back to the first legislation in the Netherlands in 2002 until today, I have seen the progression of what has happened in these countries as an example of what will happen on the slippery slope of this legislation.
    I should say as well, as I did in 2016, I come at this with a very biased approach and that is because I am the father of a 34-year-old intellectually disabled son. My son was brain damaged at age two. He suffered irreversible damage that has caused him to lead a life with his parents as his caregivers his entire life. When the people and organizations that represent persons with disabilities speak, and they have spoken loudly, to the particular changes and amendments that the government is bringing forward in Bill C-7, they have said this is the worst possible scenario.
    I interpret that from my lens as a parent in terms of protection for my son. Frankly, it causes me to reflect on what we are currently experiencing: the COVID-19 crisis. Just about every piece of communication that I receive, email, text, telephone call, whatever, usually starts with a sentence where that person says to me or I say to them, “I hope your family is safe”. Generally speaking, the salutation at the end of those communications is, “Stay safe”. I believe all parliamentarians have probably experienced the exact same thing.
    One of the concerns of the disability community is this. What will happen to our children in their latter lives when we are no longer with them, when we can no longer care for and protect them? Therefore, the theme of my speech today is “Stay safe, my son”.
    Let us look at the evolution of these laws across the world. I will read a few recent headlines that I found through my research coming into this today. “'What kind of society do you want to live in?': Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing”. This headline is from the BBC on October 14, “Netherlands backs euthanasia for terminally ill children under-12”.

  (1030)  

    Let me read a couple of excerpts from this article, which are fairly poignant considering today's discussion. The article begins, “The Dutch government has approved plans to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children aged between one and 12." Of the current law, it goes on to mention, “It is also legal for babies up to a year old [to be euthanized] with parental consent.
    I could go on with more headlines, but I choose not to because I think members get the point. The point is this: Where do we stop? With Bill C-14 in its original form, the preamble said it all, which was, and I am sure the committee heard this, that there are many in society who say this bill does not go far enough and does not satisfy those who want wide open death-upon-request euthanasia laws. When we look at this, we must look at it from both sides, because both sides of this issue require our compassion.
    I have spent time with three significant people in my life at the end of their lives. One is my mother, who was in extreme pain for a long period of time. I held held her hand upon her death. I also watched a very good friend deteriorate from age 39 to age 41 before his death. As well, lately, a very good friend, who is choosing to end her life early, and who I had quite a frank conversation with out of total respect. All of them had been, or are in, the final stages of a terminal illness.
    Compassion must go to people who are in situations that are unbearable. Fortunately, there are other alternatives. I happen to live in Brantford, Ontario, and we have one of the finest palliative care units in all of the country. People come to study it and look at it. They come to see it as an alternative. If we were to focus on something going forward that a government could do, but that it would perhaps not see as a priority, it could be to give people the resources to make a choice.
    Let me get back to this discussion of the most vulnerable. They are persons with disabilities, and to name a few, they are autistic children, autistic adults and persons with brain damage, like my son. These are not mental illnesses, by the way. Some of these are genetic, such as Down Syndrome. There are some who have met a person with Down Syndrome who just lights up their life because of their complete innocence and their complete love, not only for others, but also for their own lives. There are many others who the disability community speaks for.
    Bill C-7 undermines their precarious position. It takes and diminishes the few protections that existed in Bill C-14, and of course, this is what is being chosen, as per the votes up to this point, on this issue by the majority of members of Parliament.

  (1035)  

    To my son, I say, “Stay safe.” To the constituents of Charlottetown, I say, “Stay safe.” To the constituents with disabilities in Scarborough—Agincourt, I say, “Stay safe.” To all Canadians, I say, “Stay safe.”
    The trajectory of where we are heading, and it is in that preamble to the legislation, is what is happening around the world. It is happening in society. People in legislatures are making the decisions for the rest of the country as to what the future will look like.
    This is a critical moment. It was a critical moment back in 2016. Again, we are faced with a critical moment. The priority has become a deadline set by a court, instead of the fullness of all voices being heard.
    The parliamentary secretary can articulate the numbers. He can articulate the fact that there were so many submissions and individuals we were able to listen to. At this point in time, the people who represent the vast number of persons with disabilities and their families in this country are dead against this legislation. Let us be clear about that. Let us not try to sugar-coat this. This is where we are today.
    What kind of society do we want? Where this leads to, frankly, is one of those headlines. As we take away the protections for individuals with disabilities, as this law does, we eventually lead society into the normal course of accepting that assisted suicide and euthanasia are natural things. We move toward being a society that starts to look at individuals as either being healthy in society's mind, and living fulfilling lives, or beings one of those who have been brought into this world, or has had something happen to them in this world, that puts them in this very precarious situation.
    Is life easy for persons with disabilities and their caregivers? In most cases, it is not easy. We can attest to that. We have three healthy children, as well as our special needs son with disabilities. Part of the richness of life is the fact that the child who many would see as imperfect is the one who brings the most joy to life. They are the ones we must protect at all costs.
    Why do we not spend the time to get this legislation right and make it airtight so their lives are never at risk? I do not believe this legislation does immediately put them at risk. Some would say this legislation is quite to the contrary, but looking to five, 10, or 20 years from now, when most of us here will no longer be in Parliament, it will be a new group of elected representatives looking to make changes down the road.
    Is there anything in the international experience to tell us that this is not a continual, gradual and incremental deterioration of the protections for those who are the most vulnerable?

  (1040)  

    The other point that needs to be made is that persons with disabilities are a minority in our country. Over the 13 years I have been in Parliament, more time has been spent on legislation, members' statements, just name it, than communications from government about protecting minorities. This is a vulnerable, if not the most vulnerable, minority in society. It is definitely in the top grouping of the most vulnerable.
    Disability knows no boundaries. We are involved with groups of people, and I represent the Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest first nation in Canada. We are helping aboriginal individuals from Six Nations who have children with disabilities. They feel very strongly about the fact that the few protections that exist need to not only be kept in place, but also enhanced and made airtight for their children.
    In those debates in 2016, the member for Calgary Nose Hill said in her opening statement that this is about, “the sanctity of human life” and “defining the morality of our country.” I could not agree more wholeheartedly with those words.
     I will finish my remarks by saying, “Stay safe, my son.”

  (1045)  

[Translation]

    I was one of the original members of the joint committee behind Bill C-14. Allow me to share a little background.
     Bill C-14 was introduced in response to the unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada handed down in February 2014, when the Harper government was in power. The court gave the government 12 months to comply with the ruling. The Harper government, knowing that an election was coming in the spring of 2015, essentially did nothing. The Liberals won the 2015 election. We lost 10 precious months before cabinet was appointed as a result of the Conservative Party's inaction.
    Politicians are often called upon to make decisions, and it is not always easy. The majority of members on our committee who opposed this bill said they were doing so to protect vulnerable people, which is something everyone wants to do.
    Could my esteemed colleague tell us where in Bill C-14 or in Bill C-7, which we are debating today, it says that a minor with a head injury, cerebral palsy or Down's syndrome could request medical assistance in dying? I do not see that anywhere.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I reflect back on a few comments made previously in debate by the parliamentary secretary, and in the question and answer period, which were that this is not a partisan issue. However, the only two people I have heard criticize a particular political party in this debate are the two members from the Liberal government side.
    The member said the protections for persons with disabilities are in this legislation. He is wrong. That is why the disability community has spoken so loudly and broadly across this country, yet the government is not listening.

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Brantford—Brant for his speech today. He is a member for whom I have a great deal of respect.
    One of the things that COVID and the debate on Bill C-7 have done is expose something that has been there for anyone to look at if they chose to. That is the way we treat people with disabilities. We have not organized our society in a way that allows people with disabilities to live to their fullest potential or to live in equality with the rest of Canadians.
    Would the hon. member support a national program of income support for people with disabilities that would lift all people with disabilities out of poverty and take away those stark choices he has been talking about?
    Mr. Speaker, I, too, have a great deal of respect for the member who is asking this question. It is a great question.
    There are supports needed for all families and for support workers, as well as for individuals with disabilities who choose to live on their own. In many of the provinces, believe it or not, they are sufficient.
    I totally agree with the member. We need to set, for society, a moral compass on this issue. The government cannot look at this Parliament as solving this problem. We must set a tone and a future that guarantees, air tight, that persons with disabilities will live fulfilling lives, and that we will treat them as they are: as one of the most vulnerable minorities in our society.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for illuminating, from the heart, what we have been talking about in this debate.
    I know he mentioned that his riding has excellent palliative care, but the reality is that across Canada, 70% of people have no access to palliative care. The government unanimously supported my palliative care bill to put a framework in place to get consistent access. Now it has backed down on all its promises to put money behind it so that people would actually have a choice, as the Carter decision outlined.
    Could the member describe how he sees the government's response on palliative care?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, first of all, for her work on this issue, and for her passion for those I know she has personally worked with as the member of Parliament for Sarnia—Lambton.
    I wish I could bring all of Parliament to the palliative care facility in my community. It is, without question, one of the most brilliant and well-thought-out places in which a person can choose a path to the end of life with dignity, and can have family and the community participate. I have spent many hours at this facility as a member of Parliament, visiting members of my community who are in their last days. It is one of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences of life.
    Death is part of life, and should be celebrated as someone comes toward the end. They may be in great pain—
    We will continue with questions and comments. The hon. member for Fredericton.
    Mr. Speaker, I encourage the member to continue his response here, if he wishes. I appreciate the personal contributions so much. It is so important for us to understand.
    I was not here for the previous discussion around this bill, and here we are in a very difficult position again. I have studied it. I have consulted with my riding. I have consulted with many people who are accessing MAID, and with people in the disability community who have concerns.
    I was very comfortable with where I landed in support of this bill. However, I come from a position of privilege. I want the member to be comfortable as a parent, and I want the member's son to be safe as well.
    Is it the interpretation that the member is worried about: that people will see people with disabilities as experiencing suffering? The bill is focusing on someone who is in pain. I am just wondering, is the interpretation and the application of law for those in the disability community the concern? I just need to understand where the fears are really coming from.

  (1055)  

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that very personal question.
    The fear comes from this. Parents and caregivers, and the community in general around persons with disabilities, know that there will come a time in their lives when that care may deteriorate, and society no longer values persons it interprets as being imperfect. If we look at the trajectory of euthanasia and assisted-suicide legislation around the world, that is indeed the direction it is going.
    It is going in the direction of this. It may not be now, through this piece of legislation. Perhaps there may be good intent, and I hope there is, but eventually, we as legislators must decide there are lines we cannot cross. That is why I say, “Stay safe, my son,” because I will no longer be here to keep him safe, and that is the fear of most parents.
    Mr. Speaker, I come at it from the very same position as my hon. colleague from Brantford—Brant. I am choking up. I know both sides of it. Right next door to me, my father-in-law is in palliative care. We have been looking after him for six months. I also have a 32-year-old daughter who lives with a cognitive disability, and we worry every day. We worry every day that they go outside. We worry every day, when I go to work, that somehow someone is going to take advantage of them, and that we will not be there to protect them.
    I wonder if I could get my hon. colleague to expand a bit on the fear that parents have and the fact that we are not always there. There will come a day when we are not there, so we have to do everything in our power. I said in the last session that Bill C-14 was perhaps the most important piece of legislation in our lifetime and our generation, but as a parent of somebody with a disability this is so important.
    I ask my colleague to expand a bit more on the fear that we have for our children.
    Mr. Speaker, I would elaborate more if I had the time, and I will personally elaborate more with my colleague.
    However, we must come to grips with this. Society is not well equipped for this, frankly. The legislature is not equipped. We, as legislators, are not well equipped to set a course that protects the most vulnerable. I agree with protecting minorities. This applies to the most vulnerable. This bill, Bill C-7, would take away protections. That is why the disability community has spoken out.
    I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your time and indulgence.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Vaughan Food Bank

    Mr. Speaker, the holiday season is upon us and even if our gatherings will be small, or held virtually, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, I would like to wish Vaughan—Woodbridge residents and all Canadians a safe and peaceful Christmas spent with loved ones.

[Translation]

    This time of year also provides an opportunity for giving. We know that recent months have been very difficult for many of us. Across the country, demand for food banks is soaring. Food banks help families, single mothers, seniors, and maybe even our colleagues or neighbours. Food insecurity is on the rise everywhere in Canada.

  (1100)  

[English]

    I invite my colleagues to support their local food banks and encourage our Vaughan community to donate, if possible, to our local Vaughan Food Bank. Each and every support item or dollar that Peter and the team receives assists those who need it most. Together, we can make a difference, as hunger takes no holidays.

Women's Executive Network Award Winner

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Stephanie Thompson, who was recently named by the Women's Executive Network as one of the top 100 award winners in its most powerful women in Canada program.
    Stephanie is an engineer at our local General Motors plant. As part of this award program, Stephanie was recognized within the CP skilled trades category, which highlights outstanding women who contribute immense value and demonstrate excellence in skilled trades, product or service innovation and community involvement. According to our local paper, the Niagara Falls Review, Stephanie is receiving this award for her significant contributions to inspire and empower girls and women by breaking down barriers in the science and technology sectors, and by creating learning opportunities specifically geared toward women.
    I congratulate Stephanie on her incredible achievement. P.S.: She is really going to love living in Niagara Falls. I hope her upcoming move to our city goes well.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the year, I think it is incredibly important to emphasize that Canadians have displayed resilience day in and day out, providing us with profound glimmers of hope for the new year. Albeit exhausted, our health care professionals and front-line workers have proved to be heroes. Small business owners have spared no effort to pivot and meet their challenges head-on.
    Drawing inspiration from Canadians, our government has risen to the occasion, whether through rapid financial support, assisting businesses, small and large, ensuring safety through public health measures or focusing on vaccine procurement. Even when the going got tough, our government strengthened its commitment to Canadians. That is why I have full faith that we will build back better. Make no mistake, we are still on the road to recovery, but it is critical that we get this right.
    In that spirit, I would ask all members to refrain from partisan games around vaccines. We should all listen to the experts.

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate the work of all indigenous and grassroots leaders across these lands, faith groups, human rights advocates and thousands of people who fought for the adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    Bill C-15 is the result of decades of work by people who I walked side by side with. We wrote, gathered, rallied and published, fighting for human rights. These include Anna Collins, Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, Dr. Ted Moses, Steve Heinrichs, Jennifer Preston, Jennifer Henry, Cathy Moore-Thiessen, Charlie Wright, Mary Ellen Turpel- Lafond, Tina Keeper, Denise Savoie, Paul Joffe, Ellen Gabriel, the member of Parliament for Scarborough—Rouge Park, my partner Romeo Saganash, who introduced Bill C-262, and so many others.
    I look forward to this piece of legislation being passed to ensure that all indigenous people in Canada have their fundamental human rights upheld. It is always a good day for human rights.

Award of Distinction

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the dedication and hard work of three nurses from my riding of Miramichi—Grand Lake. RNs Jacqueline Hare and Carolyn Sutherland, and LPN Jessica Marshall were all recognized by Horizon Health Network as recipients of the 2020 Award of Distinction in nursing.
    Awarded posthumously, Ms. Hare was a recipient in the leadership category and was praised for her passion and dedication in client care, where she helped so many in her 30-plus year career.
    Ms. Sutherland, an ER nurse, was honoured for her mentorship and ability to lead and guide staff in the chaotic environment of the emergency department.
    Finally, as a nursing novice, Ms. Marshall was honoured for her sympathy, patience and dedication to her patients.
    Now more than ever, we need to acknowledge and thank the hard-working health care professionals in our communities. I am very proud to have such wonderful nurses selflessly serving the Miramichi area. I congratulate all of them.

  (1105)  

Bravery

    Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to bring a display of bravery of a very high order to the attention of the House.
    On the evening of August 7 of this year, at the Newboro lock station in the Township of Rideau Lakes, lockmaster Dylan Carbino was taking a phone call when he noticed heat, fast-moving black smoke and calls of fire from a moored boat that had burst into flames.
     Dylan immediately sprung into action, grabbed a fire extinguisher and called for the help of summer students Marina Clark and Alex Dow. At great risk to their own lives and wearing only shorts and short-sleeved shirts, the trio of Parks Canada employees fought the growing inferno and saved the lives of the two souls onboard and their dog.
    This selfless act of bravery that these three young people undertook to save the lives of strangers without a moment of hesitation is as Canadian as it gets. That is why I have nominated these three heroes for the Governor General's Medal of Bravery.
    I thank Dylan, Marina and Alex for their bravery. Our community is a better one because of it.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am on Robinson-Huron treaty territory in the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishinabe.
     Access to clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right. Since 2015, this government has worked in partnership with first nations communities to end over 97 long-term drinking water advisories across Canada. We know there are many more to go.
    Sadly, the fact that this government will not be able to meet its March 2021 deadline to end all boiled water advisories speaks more to the immense scale of the task than it does to the government's commitment to it.
     On Wednesday, this government announced more than $1.5 billion in additional investments to accelerate our commitment to ensuring clean drinking water in first nations reserves.
    In my riding, I want to thank Jordan Cheff and his group, “Cold Water for Clean Water”, who plunge every day into the frigid waters of Lake Nepahwin in solidarity with this cause. Their efforts are not going unnoticed.
    We know that a lot of work remains, and the progress we have made shows our commitment to meet this important challenge. From day one, our work has been in partnership with first nations communities. It will remain so to ensure clean water for all.

World Food Programme

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to mention the UN's World Food Programme, which received a Nobel Peace Prize “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in its efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”
    Canada was integral to creating this program, and I want to highlight the work of one of its founders, who grew up in Winnipeg North, Frank Shefrin.
     Frank Shefrin grew up on Selkirk Avenue, graduated from St. John's High School and spent almost 40 years as a federal public servant. He dedicated 16 years to building the World Food Programme, serving as its chair.
     This program has been called the greatest success story in the UN's system. Today we are continuing this proud tradition of supporting those who need it. From leading international aid to delivering an unprecedented $100-million investment to fight hunger at home during the pandemic, the Canadian government and people like Frank Shefrin have always stood up to say “no” to hunger.

[Translation]

Alfred-Pellan

    Mr. Speaker, the pandemic has triggered a wave of solidarity in my community of Alfred-Pellan. Businesses, organizations and individuals have been working together to support those in need.
    With the holidays around the corner, that wave has turned into a tsunami. Bold, creative and ingenious efforts have been made to ensure that everyone can celebrate the holidays with dignity. By organizing food drives, donating clothing and volunteering, the people of Laval have gone to great lengths to keep giving back to the vulnerable members of our community.
    In this unusual holiday season, I want to sincerely thank all the people of Alfred-Pellan for selflessly giving back to those in need. You are showing that distance brings us together. You are showing the quiet strength of our community, and you are showing that we can get through this together.

  (1110)  

André Gagnon

    Mr. Speaker, André Gagnon, known to his friends as Dédé, was born in Saint-Pacôme, in my riding. He started playing piano when he was five. He attended the Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and pursued his musical studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
    André Gagnon maintained close relationships with his family, his friends, and the place he was from. Throughout his career, he accompanied many high-profile artists, including Claude Léveillée, Monique Leyrac, Renée Claude and many more. Mr. Gagnon was a prolific composer of music for TV series, movies, dance and theatre, including the theme songs for La Souris verte and Forges du Saint-Maurice. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
    Songs of his like Neiges, Comme au premier jour, Nelligan and Le Saint-Laurent are touchstones for our memories. Now and forever, our hearts will swell with pride whenever we hear his music reverberating from keyboards around the world. André Gagnon is a jewel in Kamouraska's crown, and he will live on in the concert hall that bears his name in La Pocatière.
    My sincerest condolences to those mourning his loss.
    Farewell, Mr. Gagnon.

[English]

Winston Churchill Parker

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has lost a remarkable man, a veteran, a rancher, a man of faith and a survivor. After living an extraordinary life, Winston Churchill Parker died on November 16 at the age of 102.
    Winston was a proud Albertan, who proudly served his country in the World War II. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was a gunner on a Wellington bomber. On his 13th mission over Europe, he was shot down and spent three years as prisoner of war.
    Winston endured the Long March and then returned home to his beloved ranch near Millarville.
    Winston was always known to ride a good horse, raise great cattle and for his quick wit, but most important, Winston was revered for the countless hours he dedicated to community organizations. I always enjoyed our afternoon chat and I enjoyed his stories, which were immortalized in his biography, fittingly called Saddles and Service.
    Winston was a brave man who lived his life with perseverance, and he left a lasting legacy for all of us. He epitomized what it meant to be a western gentleman. I thank him for everything he has done.

COVID-19 Vaccine

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians who are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine are disappointed with the Liberal government. While the U.K. and the U.S. will start vaccinating people this month, most Canadians will not have access to a vaccine until late next year.
    Questions have been asked of the Prime Minister about where the plan for vaccine distribution is, how many each province and territory are getting, how the logistics will work to keep the vaccines frozen in rural locations and on reserve, who the first in line will be and why the government did not negotiate manufacturing here in Canada. No answers have been provided. Canadians need to see a real plan.
    Every day in Canada 80 people die from COVID-19. A delay of nine months to get the vaccine could mean that more than 20,000 more Canadians will die while we wait.
     The Liberal government has fumbled on vaccines, and that has deadly consequences. When will we see a real plan?

COVID-19 Pandemic

    Mr. Speaker, people are scared. The second wave of COVID-19 is ravaging communities. Nowhere is this more the case than in indigenous communities. Shamattawa in Manitoba has a test positivity rate of 50%. Now is the time for leadership.
    I commend the many first nations, Métis and Inuit leaders. I acknowledge the engagement of the federal ministers, but things are getting worse by the hour. We need a decisive response.
    Cruelly, just as there is hope with a vaccine, we are seeing a shocking abdication of leadership by the Premier of Manitoba. Indigenous people in our country should be among the first to receive the vaccine. He has made divisive statements. He refuses to acknowledge first nations people in Manitoba are Manitobans. He has refused to commit to providing the vaccines they need and deserve.
    My message for the premier is that this is no time for division.
    My message for the Prime Minister is that it is time to act decisively on behalf of first nations to ensure they are not the targets of this divisive agenda. Lives are at stake.

[Translation]

André Gagnon

    Mr. Speaker, the great Quebec pianist André Gagnon passed away yesterday.
    He was a truly monumental figure in the music world and a prolific composer who brought pianos to life all around the world from Montreal to Japan. He was a recipient of 16 ADISQ Félix awards, and his album Neiges spent 24 weeks in the top 10, selling 700,000 copies.
    He was a big fan of Émile Nelligan and would go on to compose the famous opera Nelligan by Michel Tremblay, as well as TV show scores. He collaborated with Ferland, Léveillée, Julien, Dufresne, Plamondon and so many others. His melodies live on in each of us.
    Beyond his profound contribution to our identity, he was a generous, light-hearted man who brought people together. We used to go to the same dentist, and he once gave up his appointment for me so that I could have a crown put in. He told me, “A singer needs her smile. I just need my fingers to make the piano smile.”
    André “Dédé” Gagnon, we will miss those big smiles from your fingers. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I offer my deepest condolences to his loved ones and to all of Quebec.

  (1115)  

[English]

Jude Strickland

    Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday afternoon, Jude Strickland was walking home from school when he was hit by a truck. It is with a heavy heart that I inform the House that young Jude passed away. He was only 11 years old.
    As a father who has also suffered a tragic loss of a child, I cannot express in words the pain, emptiness and anguish of this moment for Jude's parents, Jamie and Vanessa, and Jude's three brothers. I know their extended family, friends and church community have joined in their sorrow and are wrapping them in love.
    In true Hamilton fashion, we have seen an outpouring of support from our residents, including an ongoing GoFundMe campaign to support the Strickland family.
    Let this be a reminder to all of us who drive a car, pickup or SUV to take extra caution on the roads to keep our children safe. No parent should have to endure this kind of tragedy.
    On behalf of the House of Commons, the residents of Flamborough—Glanbrook and the broader city of Hamilton, I offer our deepest condolences to the Strickland family. May Christ watch over them and give them peace and comfort in this painful time.

Newmarket Business Excellence Awards

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce held its 31st annual Business Excellence Awards to recognize the many achievements and the important contributions that small businesses have made to our community. This year, they have shown exceptional resilience by adapting to these new times while continuing to support generously those who are in need.
    Today, I would like to congratulate all of the nominees and of course this year's winners: Nature's Emporium, the Red Thread Brewing Company, the Best Western Voyageur Place Hotel, NewMakeIt, Benson Kearley IFG, CPG Aerospace, Optimum Pharmacy, Abuse Hurts, Eyes on Stonehaven, RC Design and Needham Promotions.
    Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, but to that I will add they are the heart of our communities. Once again, congratulations to all.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, in just a few days, the British people will have direct access to the vaccine. By Christmas, Americans and Germans will be vaccinated, but not Canadians, because this government made some bad decisions.
    Many will recall when the Prime Minister said a few days ago that Canada was not at the top of the list because we do not produce vaccines. Is that so?
    Can the Prime Minister explain why Pfizer is distributing vaccines in England today that were produced in Belgium?
     Mr. Speaker, as scientists around the world do important work on a vaccine for COVID-19, we are ensuring that Canadians will be able to be vaccinated when the time comes.
    We secured different types of vaccines and hundreds of millions of doses to keep Canadians safe and well served. Some clinical trials have published promising results and seem to be progressing quickly.
    We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that Canadians will have access to a vaccine when it becomes available.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to once again thank and commend the minister for answering in French. However, just because she is speaking French does not mean that I agree with her, because the government is talking out of both sides of its mouth.
    Let us remember that, on August 31, a news release issued by the Prime Minister stated that vaccination would begin in November. It is now December 4.
    Also on August 31, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said it would happen starting this fall. I know there are a few days left before winter starts, but it does not look like this will happen by then.
    Will the government be clear and tell Canadians directly when they will be able to get vaccinated?

  (1120)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are working hard to ensure that Canadians can get vaccinated when the time comes.
    Once we have a vaccine in Canada, we will work with the provinces and territories to create a distribution plan so that Canadians can get vaccinated. Our approach has always been based on science and facts, and that will not change.
    We will work in collaboration with experts like the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and other public health experts to ensure that Canadians are protected from COVID-19.
    Mr. Speaker, General Dany Fortin deployed the vaccine preparedness plan yesterday.
    We saw what a real leader looks like. We saw someone leading properly. We saw someone who knows what he is doing. He is a member of the military. He is a real general, not someone playing general, as we have seen all too often in this place.
    Yes, Canadians have confidence in their army, but for an army to be effective, it must have ammunition. In this case, the vaccines are the ammunition.
    When will Canadians be able to get the vaccine?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, a real leader is the Prime Minister, who has been putting together a plan with all of our departments, including the Canadian Armed Forces. I want to thank Major-General Dany Fortin and the military folks who have been working with the Public Health Agency of Canada for several months. They are making sure we have the skills we need embedded in the Public Health Agency of Canada so we can support the provinces and territories to immunize people.
    Let us be clear: The provinces and territories have expertise in immunizing people. They do so every year, with 16 million influenza vaccines this year. This will be no different. We will be there to support them in that job.
    Mr. Speaker, we have nowhere near enough rapid tests to isolate infections and protect our seniors. Now, with no real plan, the government is also failing our seniors on vaccines. Seniors are tired. They want their lives back. They have already missed out on birthdays and family gatherings, and now the Prime Minister wants them to miss Christmas too.
    What next thing does the Prime Minister want our seniors to miss?
    Mr. Speaker, first, let me thank Canadians who are making extraordinary efforts and sacrifices to protect each other. It is Canadians who are working together to get us through this time. It is small business owners adapting and changing the way they do business so they can support their workers. We are there with them, with wage subsidies, subsidies for people who have lost their jobs, supports for seniors, supports for long-term care and supports for the provinces and territories to care for people in long-term care homes.
    We have distributed over 7.2 million rapid tests to the provinces and territories to date, and we are there to help them in implementing their use.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but that answer is not good enough. Our seniors have been isolated and separated from their loved ones for not weeks but months. They need to know that there is a real plan to navigate through this pandemic, but this Liberal government refuses to be up front and honest with them. It refuses to offer these seniors the hope that comes with a plan. They deserve better.
    Will the minister finally offer seniors the clarity they deserve and tell them when they can expect to have access to a vaccine?
    Mr. Speaker, every step of the way we have been there to support seniors, particularly in long-term care homes, where we used the Canadian Armed Forces to help support the provinces and territories that are struggling to care for seniors under their care.
    We are going to be there for seniors in long-term care every step of the way. We have committed, through our fall economic statement, $1 billion to ensure that there are national standards. No matter where one lives, people deserve to age in dignity.
     We have been there for the provinces and territories, and we will continue to be there so they can deliver on their health care responsibilities.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, everyone, including the entire Quebec National Assembly, the House of Commons, all the provincial premiers, and the people of Quebec and of Canada, agrees that a sustainable and, above all, unconditional increase to health transfers is needed to combat the pandemic.
    We are in a health crisis. Our long-term care homes are the battleground, and the care workers are the soldiers. Only the Liberal Party of Canada does not understand this.
    When will they realize that this is a health crisis and that their job is to increase health transfers?

  (1125)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, every step of the way we have been supporting the provinces and territories, not just with equipment, tests and other kinds of guidance, but also with billions of dollars. In fact, $24 billion to date has been spent to support the provinces and territories with their health response to this pandemic. We have purchased personal protective equipment. We have purchased testing. We have helped them every step of the way to deliver on their health care responsibilities. We will continue to be there for the people of Quebec.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there is a health crisis going on. The government must help the health care system by increasing health transfers. Everyone understands this except the Liberal Party of Canada.
    On December 10, there will be a meeting with all the first ministers. All the premiers will be asking for an increase in the transfers. The Liberals will have no allies at this meeting or among the public. Sometimes, when everyone agrees on something except one person, that person should have the humility to ask themselves if they are in the wrong.
    When will they increase the transfers?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in addition to billions of dollars transferred to the provinces and territories, we have been there for Quebec, whether it is through additional supports, people in long-term care homes receiving support from the Canadian military and the Red Cross, which the federal government is paying for, or making sure that people have access to rapid tests, which the federal government is paying for.
    We will continue to be there for Quebec. This is not a time to pick a fight. This is a time to work together.
    Mr. Speaker, only the most tone-deaf government would say it stands with seniors by letting the standards get so bad it had to send the army in.
    Canadians are eagerly awaiting a safe, effective COVID vaccine so that they can see their loved ones and return to their daily lives without worrying about spreading the virus. Yesterday, Pfizer confirmed it will be distributing half the amount of vaccine doses it had originally proposed, citing supply chain issues. We heard from the government that Canadians are getting four million doses of Pfizer vaccine before March. Is that still the plan?
    Will the minister explain what Pfizer's supply problems mean for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been consistent in communicating our delivery window in Q1 of 2021. Given the number of variables and the novelty of the process, we are still communicating a delivery window in Q1 of 2021. We do not anticipate any impact on delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to Canada, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021 as planned.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly worried by the Pfizer news and the government owes them answers. Talking about a diverse portfolio of vaccines will not change the fact that Canada is way behind other countries. The U.K. has already approved a vaccine. In the U.S., the vaccine is being stockpiled on American soil while it awaits approval. Other countries, like Germany, India, China, Brazil, the U.S. and the U.K., are all producing vaccines in their own countries to ensure fast delivery. None of that is happening in Canada.
    Why did the Liberals let Canada fall so behind these other countries?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada, by many accounts, is far ahead of other countries with the most diversified and most promising portfolio of vaccine candidates in the world. In fact, the first four, for which we have received very good and promising news, are all in Canada's portfolio. Of course, there will be more good news to come pending the regulatory processes. When a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, international security experts are raising alarm bells about recent global cyber-attacks against supply cold chains targeting vaccine transportation. This is a direct threat to Canada's vaccine rollout, but the Liberals have their heads in the sand. The Liberal government has already ignored the advice from our Five Eyes partners when it comes to banning Huawei.
    Is the Prime Minister taking this threat seriously or is he ready to gamble with the lives of Canadians and just roll the dice?
    Mr. Speaker, this government has repeatedly risen to the occasion when it comes to procuring PPE for Canadians, when it comes to assembling perhaps the best vaccine candidates in the world, and when it comes to supplying and collaborating with provinces. Every step of the way, we have come up with a response to this unprecedented pandemic.
    What we have not come up with is a response to the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, whom this member sits with in caucus every week. He should tell him to stop this anti-vaxxing nonsense, to stop this anti-science campaign and to get with the program of communicating with Canadians.

  (1130)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is why Canadians do not trust the government, because all they get is political rhetoric.
    It was recently revealed that the Canadian Armed Forces is preparing for potential criminal and cyber-attacks that could attack our vaccine distribution network, but the Liberal government's track record when it comes to cybersecurity is abysmal. It does not have the guts to ban Huawei from our 5G network and it rarely prosecutes cybercrime in this country.
    How can Canadians trust the Liberal government to protect our desperately needed COVID vaccines?
    Mr. Speaker, we have every day and in fact we are briefing Canadians now every week on the process and on the progress of our distribution and logistics effort. There will be more news on that today.
    These conspiracy theories keep coming from the opposition over there. They have always been a little fuzzy on science over there. I am giving an occasion to stand up, once and for all, and express, on behalf of that party, confidence in the Health Canada regulators, the science of vaccines and that the end of this pandemic will be brought about as a result of the efforts of this Liberal government.
    Mr. Speaker, the member should stop blustering angrily and just, actually, answer the questions.
    It is increasingly clear that the Liberals do not take hostile foreign influence seriously, and Canadians are suffering the consequences. They refuse to answer questions on a potentially politically exposed person in their own caucus. They will not make a decision to ban Huawei, going against our own intelligence officials and our allies. Now it seems the Liberals put all hopes for a vaccine in a company whose executives worked in a program investigated by CSIS. It is unreal.
    Was the government briefed on potential security threats about partnering with CanSino?
    Mr. Speaker, we have repeatedly put in place plans for PPE. We have collaborated with provinces. We have risen to the occasion.
     We have put in place plans for the acquisition of vaccines, and have promising candidates and an amazing portfolio of vaccine candidates. We now have plans for logistics and distribution. We are working very closely, of course, with our partners in the provinces and across this country on that.
    What we do not have is the response that the member should provide on behalf of her party. That member should look behind her and talk to the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington and tell him to stop this anti-vaccine nonsense.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. It is getting more difficult to hear the exchange in here. It is Friday after all.
    Mr. Speaker, again, there is a really long answer and lots of blustering and berating, but no actual concrete answers to the question I asked.
    Here is the truth. If the Liberals actually took security officials seriously and actually listened to them, Canada would not be so far behind the rest of our allies. On Global News, a former CSIS official said that the government is ignoring security warnings and lacks a coordinated plan to combat the risks from China. He said, “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and [the National Research Council] has been abused by China before in this way”.
    How could the Liberals just ignore all the security threats when partnering with CanSino?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been negotiating vaccine candidate agreements since last summer. We have a very diversified portfolio and we are very confident in the promising news that comes out.
    What we want to understand and what is very important for this member to do is to stand up on behalf of her party and put an end to these crazy anti-science, anti-vaxxing, anti-end-of-pandemic conspiracy theories that emanate from the dark recesses of the Conservative Party.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, we are now just five sitting days away from the House of Commons rising, yet the government has still not given any indication when it will be bringing legislation to Parliament on the Canada-U.K. trade agreement. The deadline is the end of this month. The international trade minister talks about predictability and stability for businesses, yet business owners have no idea what is in the text of this agreement. They have no idea if there are new processes or paperwork.
    When is the minister going to be releasing the text of this agreement and bring it to Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, we have welcomed to committee many industry representatives. We are protecting, through the transitional trade agreement with the U.K., our agriculture sector, our seafood sector and our auto industry. They know that we are working on mitigation measures in the event that the transitional trade agreement does not come into force on January 1, and our legal teams on both sides of the Atlantic are working very hard in order to get the text to us as quickly as possible.

  (1135)  

    Mr. Speaker, if the government is not going to get this done by its own deadline of December 31, exporters are facing tariffs in industries like lobster, auto, seafood and beef. I have asked the international trade minister numerous times what her plan is if exporters are forced to pay tariffs by the end of the year.
     Can the minister name one part of the plan, just one part, or will she continue to leave exporters and businesses in the dark, just like parliamentarians?
    Mr. Speaker, we have spoken to our hard-working members of our industries, including the seafood industry, the auto industry and our agriculture industry. They know that we have their backs. We worked hard for them in order to get a very good transitional agreement in place, and we are working hard in order to have a parallel mitigation strategy should the trade agreement not come into force on January 1. Our industry representatives know this and they have confidence in this government.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Quebec National Assembly, the Government of Quebec, the mayors of the six largest cities in Quebec and the majority of members of Parliament from all parties in the House are in agreement. This does not happen often, so we should use this opportunity.
    Everyone agrees that the Charter of the French Language should apply to federally regulated businesses in Quebec. The only dissenting voice is the Liberal Party of Canada. It talks about the importance of French in Quebec but is the only one not acting on it.
    Will the Liberals apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses, yes or no?
     The situation of French is unique. There are almost eight million francophones in Canada, in a sea of over 360 million inhabitants who are almost exclusively anglophone. We have a responsibility to protect and promote French, not only outside of Quebec, but also within the belle province. That is why we will continue to invest in protecting the French language, introduce a bill to protect and promote the language, and strengthen the Official Languages Act.
    Mr. Speaker, in addition to all those I already mentioned, there is also the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec, the Union des artistes and at least three other major unions. Everyone in Quebec agrees that the Charter of the French Language should be applied to federally regulated businesses. Everyone agrees except a handful of members of the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberals are alone in this.
    Why can they not put an end to this phony debate since there is actually a consensus? Why are they incapable of saying that Bill 101 will apply to federally regulated businesses?
    Mr. Speaker, for the first time in our county's history, the Government of Canada recognized that we need to protect both the francophone community and the French fact in the beautiful province of Quebec.
    Quebec needs to be able to share its language and culture with all of North America. At the same time, we need to protect our linguistic minorities. We are working hard on that, and we encourage members from all political parties to work with us so that we can reform the act in the best interests of North America's French-speaking community.

[English]

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, when I asked the government yesterday about the nearly 600 USW 5890 members who will be working their last shift just a week before Christmas, the government's response was arrogant, dismissive and, quite frankly, disrespectful. The two ministers bragged about the CERB and CEWS programs like they themselves were Santa Claus bringing the gifts of government programs to these hard-working Canadians. The problem is these hard-working men and women do not want government programs to support their families. They want to go to work and earn a paycheque.
    Why is that concept so hard for these out-of-touch Liberals to understand?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure all Canadians that our government has been there for workers throughout this pandemic and before the pandemic. Let us look at some of the measures that we have put in place. The Canada emergency response benefit has helped almost nine million Canadians, providing immediate benefit money that they needed in order to pay for things like groceries and rent. The wage subsidy has kept the strong relationship between employer and employee. Why? It is so that we can come back with a strong recovery. That relationship is important.
    We have gone beyond federally regulated. We have offered support to provinces and territories: $3 billion for a top-up to help essential workers, $2 billion in PPE and $19 billion in a safe restart. We will always be there for—

  (1140)  

    The hon. member for Flamborough—Glanbrook.
    Mr. Speaker, when hundreds of steelworkers are laid off in Regina, it sends shockwaves all the way across the country and all the way to the Hamilton steel industry. The local union leader in Regina said the Canadian steel industry is struggling because new projects are being built with cheaper offshore alternatives instead of product produced in Canada. It is time for the government to change its anti-energy policy and broken infrastructure plan, otherwise our steel sector will remain in jeopardy.
    What is the government doing to ensure steelworkers across Canada will not be facing further layoffs this Christmas?
    Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the workers at Evraz who are facing this very difficult moment. Our government has approved and supported the construction of major pipeline projects, including Line 3 replacement projects, TMX, KXL and NGTL 2021.
    From the beginning of this crisis, we have taken actions to support workers. We invested $1.7 billion to create thousands of jobs through the remediation of inactive and abandoned wells and have been supporting the sector with a 75% wage subsidy that has kept millions of Canadians working. We will continue to support Canada's energy sector workers. Workers are at the heart of everything that we do.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the United Kingdom has approved a COVID vaccine and will begin distributing to its citizens. Canadians wait. The United Kingdom has reduced its quarantine times because of rapid testing. Canadians wait. The United States has now reduced quarantine times as well, with rapid and home-based testing. Canadians wait. Australia has announced and released its COVID distribution strategy. Canadians wait.
    While the rest of the world rolls out vaccines and rapid testing, why is the health minister forcing Canadians to wait, while mental health deteriorates and suicide rates reach a crisis level?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the party opposite, we follow public health advice and we follow the advice of scientists, researchers and medical officials. That is how we have made every decision, based on science and evidence. We are going to continue to work with our public health officials, scientists, and the provinces and territories to make sure that we do our best to keep Canadians safe.
    In regard to mental health and addictions support, I remind Canadians that wellnesstogether.ca has a number of supports, including access to therapists and counsellors.

Transportation

    Mr. Speaker, five months ago, the two bridge commissions in my riding wrote to the government seeking financial relief. They received no response. In October, I asked the government about this during question period. Again, no response. Two weeks ago, I hand delivered the Minister of Public Safety a letter on this request and there was still no response. On Monday, we learned the federal government is providing financial relief to some international bridge crossings, but not all, despite each playing a vital role in supporting our economy.
    Why does the Liberal government not believe in fairly supporting all international bridge crossings during this pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, contrary to what my colleague just said, we are very much aware of the fact that there has been reduced traffic across our international bridges. We are very much aware of the situation.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, we now have five confirmed cases of COVID in Attawapiskat, which could be a disaster for the north. All across the north, first nations families are being left behind.
     At Gaagagekiizhik School, students have been forced to register legal complaints through Jordan's principle to get the most basic supplies to keep themselves safe. They have been doing their homework in a Tim Hortons parking lot in Kenora because it is the only place to get Internet access.
    The government gave $2 billion to look after suburban kids in the provincial system. Why did the minister abandon the children of Gaagagekiizhik? What is he going to do to keep them safe?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite would probably appreciate an update on Attawapiskat. Our officials are in direct contact with leadership and WAHA to ensure that contact tracing and isolation are under way. People should rest assured that they will have the backing of the Government of Canada throughout this, in particular indigenous communities in remote and isolated locations.
    As to the children with increased demands under Jordan's principle, indeed, our office, in particular, stands ready to help them during this very difficult time.

  (1145)  

Public Service of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this year I was proud to join the Black caucus in a statement calling to make our public administration actually reflect the diversity of the public it serves. However, this week a Federal Court class action claim was brought against the Liberal government seeking relief from the practice of Black employee exclusion throughout the federal public service.
    If the majority of the Liberal cabinet agrees that anti-Black racism exists within the federal government, what specific measures within the federal workplace, if any, has the government taken to actually address it?
    Mr. Speaker, we cannot ignore that racism is a lived reality for Black Canadians, indigenous peoples and people of colour. We have to make sure that our public service is not only representative of the population it serves but that it offers an opportunity for all employees to express their full potential.
    Our government has taken concrete steps to address anti-Black racism, systemic discrimination and injustice across the country. Most recently, the fall economic statement committed $12 million over three years to a dedicated centre on diversity and inclusion. This will accelerate the government's commitment to achieving a representative and inclusive public service.

[Translation]

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, seniors in Marc-Aurèle-Fortin are worried about the pandemic, but they are also worried about mental health and isolation. I know the holidays will be difficult for them. Our government supports seniors with programs like new horizons for seniors.
    Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors please give us an overview of our government's support for seniors during the pandemic?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for his hard work in his community.
    We know this is a difficult time for everyone, especially seniors, and we have taken action to help address mental health issues.
    As my colleague mentioned, this year we funded nearly 2,000 additional projects under the new horizons for seniors program to combat isolation. In addition, we launched Wellness Together Canada, a free online portal that connects Canadians to mental health professionals.
    Together, yes, together, we are all going to get through this.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, our entire economy has been crippled by the war the government has waged on the oil sector in Alberta. Our natural resources sector decline was due to Liberal inaction. At least this is the feeling of my constituents of Edmonton Manning, who are now at their breaking point.
    When will the Prime Minister stop his war on the west and support the recovery and development of Canadian oil, the most environmentally responsible and ethical in the world?
    Mr. Speaker, we approved the Line 3 pipeline, with 7,000 jobs created. For Keystone XL, our support is unwavering, with 1,500 jobs created. We are building LNG Canada, with thousands of jobs. We got TMX approved and it is getting built, with more than 7,000 jobs created so far. We approved NGTL 2021, with thousands of jobs to be created. For orphan and inactive wells, $1.7 billion was spent, with thousands of jobs created. Under the wage subsidy, more than 500,000 workers were kept in their jobs in a pandemic in Alberta alone.
    That is our record.

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, as Canada remains gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rural-urban divide has grown. In my riding, Rosedale, Kelsey, Cadogan and Alliance have postmasters that are retiring, and these villages and hamlets face the pending closure of Canada Post locations. In rural Canada, access to prescriptions, e-commerce and financial services depend on postal service.
    Can the minister commit to hearing the voices of rural Canadians and ensure that there is an equitable level of service provided to them?
    Mr. Speaker, it is this government that scrapped the Harper plan to dismember Canada Post and kept home delivery in place, kept the financial capacity of that corporation going and kept employees working at Canada Post. Heaven knows what we would do during this pandemic without the men and women of Canada Post in rural Canada and urban Canada.
    Right across Canada we are helping Canadians get through this pandemic. My thanks to Canada Post.

  (1150)  

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, communities across Canada like Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge were optimistic when the minister announced infrastructure stimulus spending, and we got the shovels ready. A full construction season has passed and the shovels are ready, but not the money needed to dig.
     The government talks about intersectionality. Well, we have plenty of intersections waiting to be built. We have projects to improve services in Pitt Meadows and give better access to Katzie first nation, and a four-laning project in Maple Ridge.
     When will we see the funding promised, or will it be a Liberal lump of coal again this year?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows very well that when the province puts forward applications, our government takes six weeks to process them.
    He brought an interesting term to the House of Commons and I want to correct the record. “Intersectionality” is not used the way my colleague used it. It is about the various ways that people's identity, like gender, disability, age, geography and indigeneity, affect the way they are impacted by decisions.
    If my colleague wants more information about how intersectionality is woven into our government's response, I am happy to provide him a briefing.

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, having closed, locked doors is a nightmare fear that business people like Roly in Langdon deal with on a monthly basis. The government's fiscal update has few details, no timelines and provides no certainty for small businesses like Roly's. Roly cannot afford to wait months for another flawed Liberal program.
    When will the government support the backbones of our communities, the small businesses? It needs to happen now. They are not waiting for another flawed program.
    Mr. Speaker, the federal government has been here since day one of the pandemic for our small businesses and entrepreneurs. Over 800,000 businesses across the country have already received the emergency business account loan. That is a $40,000 loan that we had put in place at the very beginning. We just increased that loan by another $20,000, including a $10,000 grant. The rent program is now open. I encourage all entrepreneurs to access this subsidy, which can go up to 90%.
    We are continuing to support businesses with our wage subsidy. We are there for our entrepreneurs.

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, people are asking important and necessary questions about the vaccination plan.
    We know that Canada will not be among the first to receive the vaccine. We know that Canada has a portfolio of vaccines. We know that, but when will we get the first doses? Will there be enough for all of the vulnerable people and front-line health care workers? If the government knows, it needs to tell us. If the government does not know, it needs to tell us that too. We need to plan. All we want is the facts.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have one of the best vaccine portfolios in the world, with more doses per capita than any other country in the world, and a plan to deliver those doses to the provinces and territories, which will use their expertise to immunize Canadians. This is good news for Canadians.
    Every step of the way, we have been transparent with Canadians. There will be more information as the plan comes together and as we have more clarity about when we will receive those doses from the manufacturer, and there is good news: Health Canada has four of those promising vaccinations under review right now, and one that a decision will be rendered on very soon.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there is a plan, but not a detailed one. It is not clear.
    People want to know what the vaccination plan is. Those who are counting know that there are now 386 sleeps before Christmas because Christmas this year has been cancelled. That is sad.
    People want to know when we will receive the vaccines because they want an idea of the timeline. Will there be enough for the most vulnerable members of our society and health care workers? When can we hope to see an end to the lockdown? How much longer do we need to hold on? Psychological distress is real.
    By what date does the government think that all vulnerable people and health care workers will be vaccinated?

  (1155)  

    Mr. Speaker, of course, we are all looking forward to the arrival of the vaccines.
    We have four very promising potential vaccines that are currently undergoing scientific review. We will be guided by science, not only in the approval of potential vaccines, but also in their distribution. Health care professionals and scientists will be the ones who guide us in determining in what order people will receive the vaccine.

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question for the government that the government can easily answer. This is not a trap.
    Since the beginning of the week, the official opposition and the Quebec nation have been very clear. Will the Liberal government allow all Quebeckers working in Quebec to speak French at work by making federally regulated businesses subject to Bill 101, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, ours is the first government in the history of this country to recognize that the French fact in Canada, and especially in Quebec, faces difficulties and challenges, especially in the larger North American context.
    I urge my colleagues to work with us so that we can introduce a modern official languages bill that will protect anglophone minorities and the French fact in la belle province.
    Mr. Speaker, did he say before Christmas?
    I think the President of the Treasury Board is losing control of his secretariat. This week in committee, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the Treasury Board had lost control of accountability. Nobody really knows what this government is actually spending.
    The President of the Treasury Board has also lost control of respect for official languages legislation within government. It approved the WE Charity contract without conducting an official languages analysis. This is a very bad situation. Who will call the President of the Treasury Board to order?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to ensure that our programs and services produce results for Canadians.
    In their review of the proposed Canada student service grant, Treasury Board officials explored a number of avenues to ensure due diligence. The secretariat determined that the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth had the necessary authority under the policy on transfer payments to set up the program.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board admitted he violated Treasury Board rules on the $900-million WE deal. He admitted he failed in his obligation to perform the required official languages analysis for the WE deal just so they could line the pockets of Liberal insiders.

[Translation]

    I am an anglophone member from Edmonton, and I am standing up for the French language. Why are francophone members from Quebec not standing up for French?
    Mr. Speaker, promoting official bilingualism and defending the French language have been a top priority for our government since 2015.
    French is here to stay. It is part of our history, our identity and our future. It is our duty to defend and promote it. On this side of the House, we are proud to be francophones and francophiles, and we are proud of the concrete action we have taken to defend French.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, 31 years ago, 14 promising young women lost their lives in a heinous act of violence, misogyny and hatred. What motivated the killer was that these women had the audacity to pursue higher education. We must remember the tragedy of December 6, 1989, not only to continue fighting for the advancement of women in our communities, but also to strengthen gun control.
    Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please inform the House about what measures we are taking so that similar tragedies do not happen again?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Mississauga—Erin Mills for her important question and her tireless work on behalf of the women's caucus for several years now.
    This Sunday, we will solemnly remember the tragedy that occurred at École Polytechnique in Montreal 31 years ago. It is a sad anniversary that serves to remind us that gender-based violence still exists and we must do everything we can to curb it, as well as strengthen gun control.
    Our government passed legislation to enhance background checks for anyone applying for a licence to possess or acquire firearms, in order to screen for a history of domestic violence.
    In May, we also banned the military-style weapon used in the École Polytechnique massacre, but we know there is still a lot of work to do.
    We plan to introduce legislation to implement red flag laws will allow us to further reduce—

  (1200)  

    The hon. member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa.

[English]

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation is among the government's most troubled federal agencies. Issues ranging from poor management to high rates of workplace injury have plagued this agency for decades. In 2019, the government recommended it transition to a harvester-led co-operative or an indigenous economic development corporation.
    This transition is critical for the future of Manitoba's fishers, processors and economic reconciliation. It has been over a year. Why does the minister continue to neglect our freshwater fisheries?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand how important the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation is to ensuring that harvesters and fishers can get their fish to market. We have made sure throughout this COVID crisis that we have had harvesters' backs, ensuring that the harvesters benefit applies to fishers and harvesters right across the country.
    When it comes to the future of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, we will continue to work with indigenous nations and our provincial partners to ensure there is a solid future for fishers of freshwater fish.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, unregistered pesticides, lost tax revenue, dangerous working conditions, undocumented workers and links to organized crime are but a few of the damaging consequences of large-scale grow ops in Essex County.
    Will the minister commit to a meeting with my three Essex colleagues, from three parties, and myself to address the federal role in this crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, we are always interested in meeting with members of the opposition to discuss concerns they have in their own ridings.

[Translation]

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, identity theft is a real problem in our society, especially since the CERB was brought in.
    Lately my team has been getting calls from people who may have been victims of fraud. When they try to notify the Canada Revenue Agency, they end up being put on hold for ages only to have the call dropped. My assistants make attempts on their end, but they get no response, only a message that the CRA is experiencing technical difficulties. Even by email, the wait is very long. This keeps people stressed and worried. The government promised to fight fraud.
    How can it do that if it does not listen to the public?
    Mr. Speaker, we have identified CRA call centres as an essential service. Many call centre agents continue to come to work. However, because of social distancing, the CRA is operating with reduced capacity. As a result, the CRA is not able to answer every call as quickly as we would like.
    We are working on finding solutions as quickly as possible.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday our government tabled important legislation on the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Built upon the former Bill C-262, this bill aims to protect and promote indigenous rights, including the right to self-determination and self-government, equality and non-discrimination.
    Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice update the House on the foundations of Bill C-15 and its ability to serve as a framework to advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples?
    Over 25 years of negotiation took place between indigenous peoples and nation states to develop the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The foundation of this legislation, the former Bill C-262, was carefully examined by both this House and the Senate during the last mandate. It also shares many similarities with the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
    Our government has, through consultation and collaboration with indigenous peoples, built upon this legacy of careful consideration to present this critical legislation. It will serve as the foundation for a renewed relationship with indigenous peoples.

Government Programs

    Mr. Speaker, the Truchon decision has caused a lot of real worry for people living with disabilities in Canada.
    In the wake of that decision and the changes to medical assistance in dying, we have to ensure that all Canadians with disabilities have enough resources to avoid the terrible choice between a life of poverty and suffering or premature death.
    Yesterday we called on the government to establish a bold new income support program that would lift all Canadians living with disabilities out of poverty.
     Will the government work with us to deliver that support to people with the same urgency it gave Bill C-7 instead of repeating the unacceptable delay we saw with the emergency one-time payment earlier this year?

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would emphasize that Bill C-7 strives to ensure we have a regime that protects vulnerable persons with adequate safeguards, and all the time respects individual autonomy and competence.
    With respect to supports for persons with disabilities, this is something that the minister and the entire governmental team has been working on diligently. We will continue to hear those voices and those calls for support, and we will continue to work to deliver that important support.

[Translation]

    That concludes question period for today.
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable on a point of order.

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, during oral questions, the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board replied to my question on the official languages impact analysis.
    If I may, I would like to ask for the House's consent to table this document, which states the following: “Federal institutions must ensure that initiatives submitted to the Treasury Board (TB) for approval are subject to a systematic analysis of their impact on official languages obligations.”
    This is very important to setting the record straight.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    Order.
    This being a hybrid sitting of the House, for the sake of clarity, I will only ask those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement.
    Accordingly, all those opposed to the hon. member's request will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: We do not have unanimous consent.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, during his question, the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge trivialized the very important term “intersectionality”. The Minister for Women clarified that, but I would suggest he use—
    An hon. member: Debate.
    Order, please. I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for raising his point of order. Indeed, I think his point would fall into the category of debate. Perhaps he will have an opportunity during other times of debate in the House to raise points of that nature.
     As the member was trying to express his point of order, there were a series of interruptions made online. My suggestion is this. We have to ensure we do not establish two types of points of order, those presented from the floor of the House and those presented online. All it takes for members online to be interrupted is for someone online to speak. We saw that twice during the presentation of the member's point of order.
     I provide this as a form of advice to the Chair, that maybe you could review what took place and come back with a ruling or action.
    I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, this is quite important. We have to be very clear. This hybrid House is one House. Therefore, if people are in the House, obviously the rules of the House are in place. However, when members join in from their office, at home, or from wherever, it is an extension of the House.

[Translation]

    It is important that all rules apply here, both in the House and outside the House.
    To that effect, Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention that when the chair occupant rises, the microphones are turned off. When I say “the microphones”, I am talking about the microphones in the House as well as the microphones that are not in the House but are rather in an extension of the House, in other words, in this hybrid Parliament.
    I thank the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent for his response and these comments regarding the point of order.

[English]

    I would like to remind hon. members that there is indeed a difference for hon. members to interrupt the proceedings in many ways if they are online. If the Speaker is not on his or her feet, there will be an opportunity to interrupt the person who has the floor in a manner that is different than, for example, a member heckling in person in the House.
     This is something we are certainly trying to adjudicate. I encourage hon. members that when they have a point of order, certainly if they are online, they can interrupt by activating their microphone and pose a point of order in that case. However, they should wait until the member recognized online has finished what he or she has to say.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Louis-Hébert is also rising on a point of order.

  (1210)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I also rise on a point of order. I think it goes along the same lines of what we heard from the hon. opposition House leader. During question period, we heard members heckling online while other members were answering. I am thinking of the member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, who treated another member as a clown.
    The problem is that when one is heckling online, we see the member's face and hear exactly what is said, which is different than in the House. I would suggest members respect what the hon. opposition House leader just said and refrain from heckling online, or in the House for that matter, and that the Speaker intervene when we hear language that is unbecoming of a member of Parliament and is unparliamentary by all accounts.
    I thank hon. members for their additional comments on the matter.
    It occurs to me that another manner a member can raise a point of order is to use the “raise hand” function on the Zoom call. Believe me, we have assistants here in the House who will bring the chair occupant's attention to that.

[Translation]

    I believe there is another point of order.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not want to repeat what has been said, because it was part of my point of order. However, I do want to talk about what is going on in the House.
    Unfortunately, when there is heckling in the House, members who are participating virtually have a very hard time hearing the member who is speaking in the House. There is the problem with members who are participating virtually and who purposely turn on their microphone to interrupt the person talking, but there is also the fact that it is difficult for those of us participating virtually to hear the member who is speaking in the House when there is a lot of heckling. I do not want to insinuate where that heckling is coming from, but I think you must be able to see that it always or often comes from the same side.
    I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his comments. He is absolutely right. The heckling really emphasizes the difference between participating virtually and participating in the chamber. I also remind all other members who want to participate online that they must not turn on their microphones to interrupt the person speaking. This interrupts the debate and prevents the other members from hearing the member who is speaking. I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his comments.

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.

  (1215)  

Petitions

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to be able to present a petition drawing the attention of the House to the horrific human rights situation of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China.
    Recent reports have indicated a situation of Uighur activists who were in Saudi Arabia being detained and potentially sent back, which raises serious questions about the ability of even Uighurs abroad to be able to practise their faith freely, including the obligation to do a pilgrimage.
    Petitioners are calling on the House to take strong action with respect to the human rights situation of Uighurs, including the recognition of what Uighurs are facing as a genocide, and also the imposition of Magnitsky sanctions against government officials who are involved in these abuses of human rights, Magnitsky sanctions which thus far have not been used against any officials in the PRC.
    I commend this important issue to the House for consideration.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to present a petition from young people in my riding of South Okanagan—West Kootenay and my neighbouring riding of Kootenay—Columbia. These young people are very concerned about the accelerating impacts of climate change. They point out that the targets and actions by the current and previous governments are entirely inadequate. These young people want jobs that are sustainable and not for short-term gain at the expense of future generations.
    They ask the government to support their future with a detailed climate strategy with science-based targets. They want the government to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and redirect those funds to renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and job training.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to table a petition on behalf of dozens of Albertans who are asking for the government to enforce some of the actions of those involved in illegal vital organ sales, primarily from Communist China.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to present petitions signed by over 850 Canadians in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, who join their voices to the thousands of Canadians urging the government to support Motion No. 1, the green new deal. These petitioners are concerned by the acute climate emergency that is developing in Canada and around the world. They see an urgency to move to a clean energy economy and to fight growing inequality.
    The petitioners are asking the government to support my motion, Motion No. 1, the green new deal.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a number of petitions today.
    The first petition I am presenting calls on the Government of Canada to recognize the genocide that is being perpetrated against the Uighur people in China, and for the Government of Canada to use the Magnitsky act to bring to bear the Chinese officials who are perpetrating this genocide.

  (1220)  

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am presenting today is from people from across the country. They are calling on the House of Commons to protect the conscience rights of physicians and health care institutions. They recognize that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees these rights, and they are calling for the House of Commons to recognize this.

Palliative Care  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition I have to present is also from Canadians from across the country. They are calling on the Government of Canada to implement a palliative care strategy. They say that ensuring high-quality palliative care until the end of life is essential to ensuring that folks do not have to make choices that are unnecessary.

Firearms  

    Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition I have to present is from Canadians from across the country. They are concerned about the health and safety of Canadian firearms owners. They recognize the importance of owning firearms, but are concerned about the impacts to hearing loss and, as such, are calling for the Government of Canada to open up restrictions around hearing protection and noise reduction in the use of firearms.

Sex Selection  

    The fifth petition I have, Mr. Speaker, is from Canadians from across the country. They are calling for the Government of Canada to bring in restrictions on sex-selective abortion and to eliminate it. They are calling on members of Parliament to condemn the discrimination against girls that occurs through sex-selective abortion.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, the last petition I have to present is around Bill C-350 and Bill S-240 from the last Parliament. The petitioners are calling for the Government of Canada to quickly pass legislation similar to this that would restrict Canadians from going abroad and gaining access to organs that have been illegally harvested from around the world. They are calling for the quick passage of these bills and/or government legislation like it.

Fisheries  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour today to table e-petition 2725, which calls on the fisheries minister to stop ignoring viable and sustainable proposals from British Columbians. The petition calls on the minister of fisheries to amend the chinook management measures to allow marked selective fisheries and to develop and implement a comprehensive recovery strategy for Fraser River stocks of concern as soon as possible.
    I want to thank Mr. Butch Braidwood, who initiated the petition. I also want to thank the thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast who took the time to add their names in support of conserving British Columbia's public fishery and wild Pacific salmon. Through our determination, we will show that when the people lead, the leaders will follow.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act  

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, or CEPA, is Canada's main law designed to prevent pollution and regulate toxic substances in order to protect the environment and human health, but CEPA is out of date and badly in need of reform. This is why I am pleased to be presenting this petition, which garnered over 8,000 signatures.
    In particular, I want to recognize two incredible young advocates, Franny and Rupert, from my riding of Victoria. They started their environmental advocacy at seven and 10 years old and have not stopped pushing for environmental justice. They created this e-petition urging the federal government to update CEPA, including amendments to recognize environmental rights in Canada, in particular the right to a healthy environment.
    In 2017, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development reviewed CEPA and made 87 recommendations, but so far the government has failed to act. Therefore, I want to thank Rupert and Franny, organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation and the thousands of Canadians who have been pushing the government to do the right thing, which is to update the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and enshrine the right to a healthy environment in law.

Questions on the Order Paper

[Text]

Question No. 146--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to Arctic oil and gas and the government’s review in 2021 of its ban on drilling in Northern Canada: (a) what is the timeline for the review; (b) have any stakeholders been consulted to date in relation to the review and, if so, which ones; (c) which stakeholders does the government anticipate hearing from during its review; (d) what form will the consultations take (in-person meetings, Zoom calls, etc); (e) what is the proximity of each Arctic community to the nearest pipeline or oil or gas reserve; and (f) which Arctic communities are still forced to import their oil or gas from a source more than 500 kilometres away?
Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the five-year science-based review is currently under way and is being co-managed by regional science-based review committees in the western Arctic and eastern Arctic offshore areas. The committees will prepare a final report before December 2021.
    With regard to (b), the five-year science-based review will rely substantively on the two regional strategic environmental assessments, RSEA, recently concluded in the Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay and Davis Strait regions. The Beaufort RSEA was a partnership between CIRNAC, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Inuvialuit Game Council. The Baffin Bay and Davis Strait RSEA was led by the Nunavut Impact Review Board, with a working group composed of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Government of Nunavut and CIRNAC.
    Extensive engagement across Inuvialuit and Inuit communities and with regional land claim organizations took place over the course of the RSEAs. Numerous other stakeholders provided input throughout, including territorial governments and various departments of the federal government, fisheries organizations, non-governmental organizations, industry and members of the public.
    Further engagement with regional and local governments, as well as other indigenous communities and partners, will be determined and undertaken by the regional science-based review committees in the western Arctic and eastern Arctic as they begin to draft the final reports, anticipated in early 2021.
    With regard to (c), the review committee in the western Arctic is co-managed by Canada and officials from the governments of Yukon and the Northwest Territories and representatives of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. The review committee in the eastern Arctic is co-managed by Canada and officials from the Government of Nunavut as well as representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, supported by participation from the three regional Inuit associations.
    CIRNAC is relying on the established co-management governance process and from input from our northern committee partners at the community-level to co-develop and implement an appropriate northern engagement plan.
    With regard to (d), community engagement for both strategic environmental assessments was done through public meetings, as well as with community organizations. Input from other stakeholders was provided during in-person meetings or conference calls via the advisory committee, in the case of Beaufort, and working group, in the case of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.
    The regional science-based review committees in the western Arctic and eastern Arctic initially convened meetings in person, but transitioned to virtual meetings following the emergency measures and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committees continue to meet virtually on a regular basis.
    With regard to (e), in the Northwest Territories there are two federally operated pipelines in operation. The first pipeline, the 740-km Enbridge pipeline transports crude oil from the Norman Wells oilfield in the NWT to Zama in Northern Alberta. The pipeline route is near the communities of Norman Wells, Tulita, Wrigley and Fort Simpson. The other pipeline, the 50-km Ikhil pipeline, transports natural gas to the community of Inuvik.
    With regard to (f), Arctic communities rely on a number of sources for energy, including hydro and other renewable energy sources. However, many remote communities continue to rely on diesel fuel and other petroleum products as the primary energy source. The diesel fuel and other petroleum products used by Arctic communities are refined products. There are no refineries in the three territories.
Question No. 152--
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the government's Innovation Superclusters Initiative: (a) what is the total funding provided through the program to date; (b) what are the details of all organizations and projects which have received funding, including (i) the date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) project description, (iv) amount, (v) location of project?
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, a detailed list of Canada’s supercluster projects is available online at the following links: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/093.nsf/eng/home, www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/093.nsf/eng/00018.html and www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/093.nsf/eng/00021.html

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses Questions Nos. 142 to 145, 147 to 151 and 153 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Are there any objections?
    Hearing none, it is agreed and so ordered.

[Text]

Question No. 142--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regard to the cancelled tender entitled “TSPS – Solution – Compensation Model and Program Design Options for a Potential Buyback Program for Recently Prohibited Firearms (202101502)”: (a) for each of the 15 invited bidders, what are the rationales for why each firm was invited to participate in this tender, listed by firm; (b) what communications were made between the department and these firms, including email, phone and in-person meeting, broken down by name of the firm and type of contact; (c) what is the total number of firms that submitted a bid by September 9, 2020; (d) what are the names of all firms that submitted a bid by September 9, 2020; (e) what are the names of all firms that indicated interest in a revised process, should a revised tender be offered in the future; and (f) what information was provided to those invited to participate in order to help prepare their bids, including (i) the list of models of newly prohibited firearms, (ii) the number of firearms that were expected to bought back, (iii) the estimate of the total number of newly prohibited firearms that are lawfully owned in Canada, (iv) the estimated total cost to buy back these newly prohibited firearms, (v) the source of the estimates referred to in (iii) and (iv), (vi) the sources that are considered acceptable for determining the fair market value for the newly prohibited firearms, (vii) the detailed timelines associated with the anticipated work, (viii) the deadline to begin a buyback program in order to provide adequate time for lawful firearms owners to comply with the buyback program before the current amnesty expires, (ix) direction, explanation or context on provincial versus federal jurisdiction, (x) the tracking numbers for all notes, reference and briefing materials that were not included in the tender documents but were made available to the invited firms to assist in preparing a potential bid, (xi) other information?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 143--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regards to the May 1, 2020, Order Declaring an Amnesty Period (2020), what are the details of all documents prepared by any agency or department related to this order, including (i) title, (ii) date, (iii) sender, (iv) recipient, (v) tracking number, (vi) summary of the contents, (vii) form (memos, letters, emails, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 144--
Mrs. Shannon Stubbs:
    With regards to the May 1, 2020, Order in Council 2020-0298 and the annexed Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted: (a) what are the details of all documents prepared by any agency or department related to this order, including (i) title, (ii) date, (iii) sender, (iv) recipient, (v) tracking number, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) form (memos, letters, emails, etc.); (b) what are the details of each time a model of firearm was added to the Firearms Reference Table between May 1, 2020, and October 9, 2020, including (i) the make and model, (ii) the day they were added to the table, (iii) the rationale for adding them to the table (ie. variant, bore size, muzzle velocity, etc), (iv) all actions broken down by date, type of action, form of communication to reach firearms owners affected by the addition of a firearm to the Firearms Reference Table; (c) what are the details of each time a firearm was removed from the Firearms Reference Table, between May 1, 2020, and October 9, 2020, including, (i) the make and model, (ii) the day they were removed from the table, (iii) the rationale for removing them from the table; (d) what is the cost to notify firearms owners and businesses of the changes imposed by the Order in Council and annexed regulations, including (i) the total cost of all notification activities, (ii) the number of hours of work required by government employees to issue these notices, including Crown corporations (ex. Canada Post), (iii) the number of total pieces of mail issued, (iv) the total cost to issue all mail pieces, (v) the number of emails issued, (vi) the total cost to issue all emails, (vii) the total number of telephone calls made, (viii) the total cost to make these telephone calls; and (e) what are the references cited in all policy development and briefing materials that were provided to a minister or to the Privy Council Office related to the Order in Council and the annexed regulations, including research reports (internal and external), media stories, Statistics Canada reports and research, third party individuals and organizations that provided feedback or participated in consultations, or any other source that was footnoted in these materials, broken down by the title of the government document the reference was included in?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 145--
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
    With regard to information held by either Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada: (a) on what date did the government become aware that specific rapid tests for COVID-19 were approved by other governments in the G7, broken down by country and by specific test; (b) of the rapid tests approved by other G7 governments, which ones have been approved for use in Canada, and on what date was each test approved; and (c) for each test in (b) that has not been approved for use in Canada, why has the test not been approved?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 147--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
    With regard to government spending on water infrastructure since January 1, 2016: (a) what is the total amount spent on water infrastructure for First Nations communities; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by (i) year, (ii) First Nations community; (c) what is the total amount spent on water infrastructure in developing countries; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by (i) year, (ii) country?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 148--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government's international development assistance funding since November 4, 2015: (a) how much funding has the government provided to or through the WE Charity, WE Organization, or any WE-affiliated organization; (b) what are the details of any projects funded through the funding in (a), including (i) project description, (ii) amount of government funding, (iii) date the agreement was signed, (iv) project start date, (v) location of the project, (vi) recipient of the funding; (c) for each project in (b), what type of funding was provided (grant, interest-free loan, etc.), and what were the terms of each funding agreement; and (d) for each project in (b), did the government use performance metrics to evaluate the results of each project and, if so, (i) what performance metrics were used, (ii) were those performance metrics met?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 149--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
    With regard to funding provided to the Canada China Business Council (CCBC), including grants, sponsorships, ticket purchases, and any other form of expenditure by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity since December 1, 2015: (a) what are the details of all government expenditures on or funding provided to the CCBC, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) type of expenditure (grant, ticket purchase, etc), (iv) purpose of expenditure, (v) location of associated event, if applicable; (b) how much funding did Destination Canada provide to the CCBC to sponsor the 2020 annual general meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing; (c) how many government representatives were in attendance at the meetings, and what are their titles; and (d) what is the total of all expenditures incurred by the government in relation to the meeting, including any travel-related costs, broken down by type of expense (travel, ticket purchase, signage, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 150--
Mr. Michael Barrett:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance: (a) how much did the government pay (i) MCAP, (ii) First Canadian Title (FCT), to deliver the program; and (b) what specific deliverables did MCAP and FCT provide to the government in relation to the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 151--
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) support, including tax credits, provided to firms based outside of Canada, since 2016: (a) what is the total amount of SR&ED support provided annually to (i) Facebook, (ii) Google, (iii) Amazon, (iv) Apple, (v) Netflix, broken down by year and by type of support; and (b) what is the total amount of SR&ED support provided to firms based outside of Canada, broken down by year and by type of support?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 153--
Mrs. Tamara Jansen:
    With regard to the ongoing transition in the city of Surrey, British Columbia, from a Royal Canadian Mounted Police force to a municipal police force: (a) will the government be providing use of its shared information management and IT services through Shared Services Canada to support the new municipal force, and, if so, has a costing arrangement been completed between the city of Surrey and the government; (b) if not, on what date will Shared Services Canada cease to provide IT support to the police in Surrey; (c) has the city of Surrey been notified of the decision related to IT support, and, if so, on what date was the city notified; (d) how many meetings involving officials at the Assistant Deputy Minister or higher rank have occurred where the transition was discussed, and what are the dates and list of attendees for each meeting; (e) how many times have federal officials attended meetings of the federal Surrey Police Transition Committee, and what were the (i) dates of each meeting, (ii) titles of federal officials in attendance; (f) what is the total value of the inventoried IT assets and systems; (g) what is the total value of the inventoried assets and equipment held at the Surrey detachment, and on what date was the latest inventory conducted; and (h) what is the government's projected timeline on the completion of the transition?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    The Deputy Speaker: Are there any objections?
    Hearing none, it is agreed and so ordered.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, this is the last stage of debate before Bill C-7 is passed.
    I would like to remind members of the first thing I said when we began the clause-by-clause study of the bill. I said that we must not forget that while we are debating, people are suffering and are waiting for the results of our efforts. Today, I would say that they want to know whether we will take care of them and listen to their voices, or whether they will once again have to bear the burden of going before the courts to have their final wishes heard.
    I also said that I was certain, from the start of the debate on Bill C-7, that all parliamentarians in the House were caring and compassionate, but that we are could not be caring and compassionate if we infringed on the autonomy of a person who is dying or suffering and has reached their breaking point.
    I have to say that I am disappointed by the Conservatives' attitude. It is one thing to want to make a point, but it is another to engage in what amounts to filibustering. However, what bothers me even more is that they seem to be claiming that they know better than the person who is dying what is best for them. I cannot make such a claim. I prefer to give the person the choice, and my role as a legislator is to preserve that choice.
    Unfortunately, the Conservatives are practising government-imposed moral paternalism, which is odd because they are economic libertarians. That means they want less government intervention in the economy, yet they also want full government intervention in a matter as intimate as our own death.
    The Conservatives are practising government paternalism, but they are not alone, because we have heard some practitioners say and demonstrate that in 2020, they still apply a medical paternalism that I would describe as appalling. Why on earth are these omniscient practitioners doing that? How are they better equipped than a person who is dying or a suffering patient who has reached their threshold of tolerance to know what is best for them? Only God knows, but they do not mention that.
    Those few medical practitioners continue to frustrate us to this day because they practise in Quebec. Five years after Quebec's Act Respecting End-of-Life Care was passed, they consider palliative care and medical assistance in dying to be mutually exclusive, when they are and should be complementary, since medical assistance in dying is part of the care continuum under Quebec's end-of-life care legislation. However, that is still not enough. They believe that the patient must change their mind if they request medical assistance in dying, and they say they manage to make them change their minds. They have no qualms about saying that they would not want to refer the request for medical assistance in dying to a doctor who can perform the procedure, even though that is enshrined in Quebec law. They say they are obviously doing it for the good of the patient, even though they refuse to listen to the patient and heed their wishes.
    That is the testimony that provides the basis for the Conservatives' filibustering. They claim to know better than the dying patient what is best for them. That is not caring. That is a violation of the principle of self-determination.

  (1225)  

    I will let the 88% of Quebeckers who support the freedom to choose medical assistance in dying judge the Conservative Party's position and attitude. However, what I heard in committee worries me, because five years after Quebec adopted its end-of-life care legislation, some institutions can and do circumvent the law, as was the case before the Morgentaler decision, to hinder someone from receiving medical assistance in dying. I was shocked to hear that.
    If a patient is no longer receiving aggressive treatment and has finally been given the right to die, which is known as palliative care, I hope that this patient will not be subjected to aggressive palliative care.
    Dying with dignity implies respect for human dignity. It is not an intellectual conceit; it is intrinsic. Treating people as ends in themselves and not as mere means involves respecting a person's capacity for self-determination, free will and freedom to choose. A person must never be subjected to an analysis or an ideology, religious or otherwise. A person is the master of their own destiny.
    Furthermore, self-determination is enshrined in law. No one can undermine our intellectual or bodily integrity or our self-determination without our free and informed consent, even in an emergency.
    That means that when a sick patient is at their most vulnerable, when they are suffering and dying and have reached the point where they can bear no more, the person at their bedside must not impose their own ideology on that person, be it religious or otherwise.
    That is why they say in clinical ethics that the patient comes first. The patient's wishes, which are based on how much they are suffering, need to be heard. Palliative care providers should not see medical assistance in dying as a failure. If a palliative care patient, who is irreversibly committed to dying, wakes up one morning completely at peace and ready to let go, then the palliative care provider should not see that patient's request for medical assistance in dying as a failure.
    I have said it before and I will say it again: I hope that, when they are on the threshold of death, all my parliamentary colleagues will be able to feel that peace and let go with a clear conscience. That is the best we can hope for for any human being.
    Bill C-7 responds to the Gladu-Truchon ruling. The courts determined the appropriate response by examining the limits of the government's power to intervene in end-of-life decisions in Carter and Gladu-Truchon. The courts told us that the provisions of the Criminal Code infringed on the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

  (1230)  

    They infringe on the right to life—that says a lot—because they cause people who are suffering to shorten their lives through suicide, which is decriminalized in Canada, rather than waiting for the moment when their threshold of tolerance of tolerance is reached. This is significant.
    During the committee deliberations, I heard people say that 90 days is not long enough. In saying that, they were assuming that someone who has a degenerative disease of any sort might wake up one morning and suddenly decide they want medical assistance in dying, without having ever discussed it with their doctor or health care professionals throughout their care process. It is as though they thought this all came out of a Cracker Jack box one morning and the person was wondering whether they could access medical assistance in dying that very moment or whether 90 days was enough time to be sure of that decision. That is not how it happens in real life.
    The right to life is not something to be cast aside lightly. People want to live as long as possible. People want to live, and when they receive a diagnosis and are in a suicidal state, they can be treated to reverse that state. When someone finds out that they have cancer they are not going to tell their doctor that they want medical assistance in dying. They are going to ask what can be done to help and when their treatment will begin. Sometimes it takes 15 or 20 years, and other times the cancer is more aggressive, but there comes a point when the doctor announces that all treatments have been exhausted and it is time to begin the palliative stage. In any case, this does not happen overnight.
    If someone who receives such a diagnosis tells their doctor they want medical assistance in dying, the doctor will prescribe anti-depressants and tell the patient that they will take care of them. They will tell the patient to get their affairs in order and talk to the family. They are not going to provide medical assistance in dying. That is not how it works. Sometimes in committee I would hear people describe catastrophic scenarios out of some sort of house of horrors, as if that were how things happened.
    Bill C-7 is based on principles the Bloc Québécois believes in. Who can dispute the fact that death is the most intimate moment in a human being's life? Neither the state nor my neighbour will die in my place. The decision can only be made by the person requesting it, not by the family or anyone else.
    The criteria must of course be met. We in the Bloc Québécois have confidence in our health workers. We have confidence in our health professionals. There is something that I find rather perplexing. Just this Tuesday, the Conservatives supported our motion that commended the work, dedication, care and concern of health workers and health professionals. However, when it comes to the most intimate decision a human being can make, to decide one's own death and not to suffer, and when it comes to respecting a person's right to self-determination, the Conservatives no longer have confidence in them. They believe that there are people who may have bad intentions.
    If there are people who are not well-intentioned or caring in the health system, let us show them the door right away. I would also say that if there are any health professionals who claim to know better than the patient who is at the end of the process and who has made the choice that is right for them, it is time they reflected or took a course on respect for human dignity.

  (1235)  

    Throughout this debate, I have gotten the sense that some people are against freedom of choice. When people support freedom of choice, that does not mean they want to get rid of palliative care and go around signing all kinds of people up for MAID. What we are saying is that an individual who wants to die at the end of the process should be able to do so. MAID should apply to people whose suffering is intolerable and cannot be alleviated.
    Yes, Bill C-7 leaves a number of things unresolved. There are two main elements here. One major improvement is that Bill C-7 tossed out the reasonably foreseeable natural death criterion, which is not a medically valid criterion. That is understandable. However, it was retained for use in defining two safeguards. I would have liked to see a more specific definition of “reasonably foreseeable death”.
    For terminally ill people, there is a safeguard of up to 10 days, and a second consent may not be necessary. In cases like Ms. Gladu's, Mr. Truchon's and Ms. Carter's, where death is not reasonably foreseeable, it is supposed to be 90 days. I would have liked some clarification on this criterion because doctors need things to be clear and specific. I do not know why this criterion was brought back. There is always room for improvement.

  (1240)  

    The bill removes the need for second consent to put an end to people's suffering when palliative care no longer eases their pain, when death is irreversible and the process has already begun. That seems like a good thing to me.
    Bill C-7 obviously excludes mental illness as an eligible reason when it is the sole underlying medical condition. It also does not cover all of the issues associated with advance requests, particularly in the case of neurodegenerative diseases, or the issue of mature minors.
    Under Bill C-14, a parliamentary committee was to examine those provisions and the matter of palliative care last summer. Today, the Bloc Québécois is calling for that review to begin as soon as possible, not in in five years or even one year, because there are people who are suffering. What is more, this time, we must not make them bear the burden of having to go to court to be heard. Who is more vulnerable than a person who is enduring unbearable pain, who has reached or is about to reach the limit of what they can endure and who has to decide to go before the courts to make their voice heard?
    It is time for us as legislators to take up the torch, show some leadership and do our job. The courts can issue orders for us to do something, but obviously when they do there is a fixed timeline. Right now, we have a deadline to meet, December 18. I really hope that we can pass this bill and begin the review process so that we can deal with the sensitive issues that are not addressed by Bill C-7.

  (1245)  

    The parliamentary secretary to the government leader on a point of order.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Health 

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion, that the second report to the Standing Committee on Health, presented on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, be concurred in.

[Translation]

    This being a hybrid sitting of the House, for the sake of clarity, I will only ask those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement.
    Accordingly, all those opposed to the hon. parliamentary secretary moving the motion will please say nay.
     No one having objected, and the House having heard the terms of the motion, all those opposed will please say nay.
     There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Business of Supply

    That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, for the consideration of the supply period ending December 10, 2020, Standing Order 81(18)(c) shall be amended by replacing the words “10 p.m.” with the words “8:30 p.m.”.

[Translation]

    Once again, this being a hybrid sitting of the House, for the sake of clarity, I will only ask those who are opposed to the request to express their disagreement.
    Accordingly, all those opposed to the hon. parliamentary secretary moving the motion will please say nay.
    No one having objected, and the House having heard the terms of the motion, all those opposed will please say nay.
     There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the third time and passed.
     Mr. Speaker, I congratulate you on your election.

[English]

    I have a question for the member who spoke, with respect to autonomy. He spoke a great deal about autonomy in his speech.
    I am fairly sure that if I, as an able-bodied young person, were to present at an emergency department in the midst of some personal crisis, experiencing suicidal ideation, I would receive suicide prevention: I would be given messages and told that my life was worth living, that I could get through whatever challenges I was experiencing, and so forth.
    On the other hand, we have heard at committee that people with disabilities report going to the health care system and, without even having brought it up, having MAID or euthanasia suggested to them. It is pushed on them, and they are told they are being selfish if they choose not to go down that road.
    I would put to the member that it is not so much a question of autonomy that people in disability communities are concerned about. It is about a social determination that some people's lives are worth living and some people's lives are not, and that some people are eligible for suicide prevention whereas other people are not.
    I would ask the member to consider that fact: the architecture of choice, the different ways in which choices are being presented to different groups of people, how that constitutes discrimination and how all of the disability rights groups that came to committee raised that specific concern with respect to this bill.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the problem I have with my colleague's question is that he wants to address the issue of discrimination on the basis of disability within a piece of legislation, the Criminal Code, which simply aims to provide access to freedom of choice when it comes to end-of-life care.
    I support fighting discrimination on the basis of disability, especially given that, as he said himself, disability, whether mental or physical, should not lead to social disability. It is society that puts certain people at a disadvantage based on disabilities. I strongly oppose that.
    On the issue of groups feeling more vulnerable, I would remind him that Mr. Arvay, who was Ms. Carter's lawyer, who won in the Supreme Court decision, was in a wheelchair. When he appeared before the Standing Committee on Health, I very clearly recall him asking us if we thought he was losing his autonomy. The autonomy I am talking about here is not physical, social or psychological autonomy, although if you have a cognitive problem, you have less oral autonomy. The autonomy I am talking about here is moral autonomy. A person, whether in a wheelchair or not, is capable of making his or her own decisions, and I am convinced that he or she is capable of being heard.

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am an MP, but I am also a social worker and I belong to a professional association, so I am an active professional.
    Not long ago, I worked in a long-term care facility and in homes, where I supported people who had made that informed choice and were supported. Under Quebec law, social workers play a crucial, key role in supporting people who have chosen MAID.
    I know first-hand that it is a very rigorous and demanding process, and not everyone who applies gets approved. I witnessed a situation in which a woman applied and was unfortunately denied because the professionals in her case found that she was not yet capable of making that decision.
    This issue is so important to my colleague. Can he tell me the underlying reason why so many Conservative MPs are resisting Bill C-7 or rejecting it outright?
    Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. I could have answered in jest that they should ask them the question, but we have heard from them at length already.
    I think it is about attitude. On the one hand, I heard that they did not have confidence in the care process. On the other, they repeatedly refer to certain circumstances where there were alleged abuses. I would just say that it is an abuse to try to convince someone to do something they do not want to do. Whether we are talking about palliative care or medical assistance in dying, it is not up to the health professional to convince the person to take a certain course of action. It is up to them whether to receive palliative care or not, or whether to request medical assistance in dying while they are receiving palliative care. That is what I wish for. I want palliative care to be the minimum support provided to the individual. It is possible that this person will not request medical assistance in dying or that they will change their mind, but it is also possible that they make the request even if they did not do so before, and we must listen to them.
    I believe that there are people here with a different ideology, which may or may not be religious, and who want to apply it to the dying person. That is unacceptable, because we have the fundamental right to self-determination throughout our life. This self-determination is enshrined in law. Why would we then take that away in the most intimate moment of our life, the moment of our death?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking the hon. member for Montcalm for his important contributions to the work on the bill in the justice committee. I also want to thank him for a very thoughtful speech and very thoughtful answers to questions today in the House.
    I want to ask the member about something I was disturbed to hear. It was some members, and I will say bluntly from the Conservative caucus, saying that this is an artificial timeline and that there was no need to pay attention to this deadline set by a court in Quebec, because it was only a court in Quebec and failing to meet the deadline would only affect Quebec. I was, of course, very unhappy to hear this kind of sentiment expressed, in its disdain for Quebec, its disdain for one of our courts and its disdain for the protections that would be provided in Bill C-7 to those on the second track of medical assistance in dying.
    Does the member share those concerns?

  (1255)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his kind words.
    I would like to say to him that I appreciate his important contribution to the debate. I agree with him, unfortunately. I cannot not agree with him. Every time I heard that argument in committee, I had to make a point to stay calm.
    Justice Baudouin's decision is based on the Carter decision. People are suffering and the government decided to turn to us as legislators to respond to the ruling instead of going to the Supreme Court.
    Let's imagine the process: We go to the Supreme Court, where we are faced with the evidence and asked to start our work again from square one because we are infringing on the right to life of people who are suffering at the end of life.
    It was a wise choice to entrust the work of complying with the Baudouin decision to the legislators. I hope we will quickly start the review process of the legislation to deal with other essential issues because Bill C-7 is inadequate.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice to this debate today. In my previous work, I was a social worker. I have medical hospital experience, and I worked with a lot of patients at end of life.
    I wonder if the member would agree that it is appalling that only 30% of Canadians have access to palliative care. Would he agree that, before we even offer MAID, palliative care must be offered as an option?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree that it is appalling that, for 50 years, advocates of palliative care have maintained that it was the solution for dying with dignity, but we have not done anything more to provide access to it.
    However, I am not in favour of offering palliative care to the person who is dying before giving him the free choice. Palliative care is not the only solution and sometimes causes intolerable suffering. I know all about it because a person I loved very much experienced that.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there are few, if any, issues that have come before Parliament that more clearly touch on our fundamental values as Canadians than medical assistance in dying.
    Let me start today by restating what I said at the beginning of my speech in favour of Bill C-7 at second reading. When it comes to medical assistance in dying, the priority for New Democrats has always been, and remains, avoiding unnecessary suffering being inflicted on those who are already afflicted with terminal illnesses, and at the same time also avoiding prolonging suffering for the families who must bear witness to the suffering of their loved ones.
    Here we are in late December, up against the deadline set by the Superior Court of Québec in the Truchon case. It does not really matter whose fault that is. Some of this delay was obviously due to COVID, but a good measure of the delay was due to the Liberals proroguing Parliament.
    To me, it is manifestly unacceptable to hear some members arguing that we do not have to meet the deadline because it would “only affect Quebec.” In any case, the time has come for the House to act on Bill C-7. It is also time to act on another task as well. Not only has our consideration of the bill been delayed, but equally important, the five-year statutory review of the original medical assistance in dying legislation, Bill C-14, is now long overdue.
    Members will know that some of us called on the government to get this review under way much earlier this year, so that it could have helped guide the consideration of Bill C-7. Again, COVID and prorogation intervened.
    When it comes to medical assistance in dying, Parliament had two tasks before us. One was the need to amend the MAID legislation to conform with the charter as required by the Superior Court of Québec ruling. This ruling found the current law too restrictive, and that was in fact the very reason New Democrats voted against Bill C-14 at the original vote.
    Making MAID laws conform to this ruling is, of course, the central purpose of Bill C-7. However, as I said, the second task with regard to medical assistance in dying was to conduct that statutory review of the broader issues, having had four years of experience with it.
    As a result of growing increasingly concerned while waiting for the government to get the review under way, on October 8, I introduced Motion No. 51. My motion called for the creation of a special committee of the House of Commons to conduct this review. Special committees have some advantages when it comes to reviews of this kind. They are granted comparatively unlimited resources by the House and are not bound by the four hour per week schedule specified for standing committees, like the justice committee.
    They are mandated to work on a single task, so they are not subject to the kinds of delays that can occur in standing committees, like the justice committee, where dealing with legislation must always, necessarily, take precedence over studies. Of course, special committees can make recommendations for actions needed beyond the confines of Bill C-7 or beyond the narrow court decisions.
    Indeed, it was a special committee that made the original recommendations to the House that became Bill C-14. To be clear, this broader legislative review of issues arising out of medical assistance in dying was mandated in the original legislation and was supposed to start last June at the latest. It should have taken place, and would have taken place, whether or not there was a court decision in Quebec.
    Bill C-14 required that the review specifically look at the question of advance requests or advance directives, requests from mature minors and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying condition. However, New Democrats have argued from the beginning that the mandate of that statutory review was missing a key element. That is why my motion called for a special committee with an expanded mandate to include the question of whether the safeguards in our medical assistance in dying legislation are adequate to protect the most vulnerable among us.
    I am happy to say that I believe all parties now seem to agree that the mandate should be expanded to include this question. I am still not sure why the government is so adverse to a special committee, but I think it will find that members of the justice committee would reluctantly agree to the justice committee undertaking this review, as long as it had the expanded mandate. Though, of course, I will still worry that time, resources and the agenda of the standing committee may be too limited to do justice to the task.
    Previously I have spoken about the issues of medical assistance in dying on very personal and very practical terms. I have spoken about my mother's fears of being trapped in a hospital bed while suffering and no longer knowing her family. I have spoken of a friend who chose medical assistance in dying much earlier than she might otherwise have done out of fear of losing her capacity to give final consent because of her growing brain tumour.
    Now, in addition to these personal experiences, as a member of the justice committee I have had the privilege of talking to dozens of Canadians over Zoom, of hearing dozens of witnesses in committee and of reading even more briefs on medical assistance in dying.

  (1300)  

    I have been particularly and equally touched by the stories of families whose loved ones chose medical assistance in dying over prolonged suffering and the stories from those medical practitioners who provide that medical assistance in dying. My conversations with these families and with these doctors helped me understand how medical assistance in dying operates in real life. These conversations have made it clear to me that the current legislation has some unintended and cruel consequences. This was evident even before the Quebec court ruling.
    Those who listened carefully to the terminally ill, their families and the practitioners providing medical assistance knew well that our current law often inflicts and prolongs unnecessary suffering. Bill C-7 addresses three of those cases of unnecessary and prolonged suffering. While it was not strictly required to do so by the Truchon decision, I rightly think the bill does take on that task of reducing suffering.
    Most important to me, Bill C-7 will end the spectre of patients like Audrey Parker of Nova Scotia, who felt she had to leave early and choose an earlier date for receiving medical assistance in dying because of her fear of losing the competence required to give consent at the moment the assistance is rendered. Audrey Parker felt she had no choice but to miss one last Christmas with her family. I think we all owe her thanks for making her personal struggle public so that others would not have to face the same awful choice.
    Bill C-7 will fix this by waiving the requirement for final consent for those already assessed and approved for medical assistance in dying. This waiver of final consent takes away that need for any person, and let me stress this again, who has already decided to request medical assistance in dying and has already been assessed and approved for that assistance. It will prevent them from having to go early in order to avoid the loss of competence that would prevent them from receiving the end to their suffering and the end of to their family's suffering that they desire.
    Whether one supports waiving the requirement of consent at the moment assisted dying is provided or does not support that, Bill C-7 does not open the door wide to advance consent or advance directive. It is simply providing that waiver of final consent for those already assessed and approved. The topic of advance requests remains part of the mandate of the special committee I would like to see doing the statutory review.
    This is a question of great concern to many of my constituents. In fact, it is the single thing I have heard the most about from my constituents. They are concerned about maintaining their autonomy and decision-making over how their end of life takes place. They want to make sure that their wishes are respected. I have to say that my discussions with practitioners providing medical assistance in dying have persuaded me that this question is not so simple as it appears on first look. As I have said, this will remain an important question for a statutory review to address, but it is not part of Bill C-7.
    A second cause of unnecessary suffering that Bill C-7 will also eliminate is the mandatory 10-day waiting or, as it is sometimes called, reflection period. The evidence provided in the report of the Association of Medical Assistance in Dying Assessors and Providers shows that nearly half the patients receiving medical assistance in dying chose to do so on or about the 11th day. What does that tell us? It tells us that they their suffering was prolonged simply to meet that statutory waiting period of 10 days.
    I know concerns have been raised by members of Parliament about people changing their minds, but the statistics on people changing their minds about medical assistance in dying show that people do that during the assessment period, before they are actually approved. What the waiting period does is it makes patients hold out for days longer on what has already been assessed as intolerable suffering just to meet the statutory requirements. All patients are made to spend this time suffering and few if any are actually reflecting on the situation, because at this point to relieve the pain they are heavily sedated. If we truly respect the agency of patients who are terminal and suffering, then we ought not to impose a cruel waiting period.
    Let me say as an aside how disappointed I have been to hear some members of Parliament alleging that Bill C-7 somehow creates the possibility of what they call “same-day dying”. It does nothing of the kind.

  (1305)  

    That would only be possible if the medical professionals involved skipped their duties and their professional responsibilities as prescribed in law and in their own professional codes of conduct. That is what it would take to produce such a result. Making this false allegation is insulting to the patients and the medical practitioners who provide this service. It demonstrates how little those who use that term know about the actual process of medical assistance in dying.
    Another misleading “fact” that has often been cited in this debate occurs when members ask how can anyone support Bill C-7 when “doctors oppose it”. What those members are referring to is a petition submitted to the justice committee, a petition signed by more than 700 physicians. What this selective siding ignores is that the Canadian Medical Association, which represents more than 70,000 doctors, has come out squarely in favour of Bill C-7. That is nearly 100 times as many doctors as those who signed the petition.
    Let me point to another positive change in Bill C-7 that reduces suffering, which has been willfully misconstrued: the reduction of the requirement that two independent people witness the signature of the patient requesting medical assistance in dying.
    This change was suggested by practitioners as a result of the experience they have already had will Bill C-14. Clinicians and families often found the process of identifying a second independent witness was difficult, especially in rural and remote areas, because of the requirement of independence. It often also raised privacy concerns, as it involved an extra person in this process.
    We must remember that the purpose of witnesses is only to verify the identity of the person making the request. Two independent medical assessors have already been involved each and every step of the way throughout the process. They have already had to certify the patient's eligibility for MAID. Practitioners have said this second witness provision is unduly restrictive and, again, often only ends up unnecessarily prolonging suffering.
    At this point, I want to turn to some of the specific concerns about Bill C-7 that were raised at the justice committee.
    The first concern is about the removal of the requirement that death be reasonably foreseeable in order for someone to proceed with medical assistance in dying. Of course, this provision was removed by the Quebec court decision, not by Bill C-7.
    Bill C-7 makes sure that medical assistance in dying legislation conforms with the decision of the court. It said limiting medical assistance in dying to cases where death was imminent was a violation of the Charter rights of patients whose death might not be on the immediate horizon but whose condition left them in intolerable suffering.
    Bill C-7 creates a second track for those whose death is not imminent and specifies a second set of requirements and safeguards appropriate for the second track. The decision about whether the reasonable foreseeable provision should be removed is not made by Bill C-7. It is a decision made by the Quebec courts. I believe this is consistent with the Carter decision.
     I want to take a moment to address those who say there is no need to meet the deadline opposed by the Quebec Superior Court. I remind them that without Bill C-7, those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable will come under the existing requirements immediately and will be without any of the conditions specified in Bill C-7 as appropriate for the second track. Regardless of whether people believe the safeguards are adequate, I ask them to understand that if we do not meet the deadline, there are no safeguards in the second track at all.
    I believe most of us accept that there are good reasons to differentiate between the two tracks and to have additional requirements appropriate for those whose death is not imminent. Bill C-7 rightly sets out a more restrictive process and therefore requires more time for assessment and decision-making for the second track.
    In addition, it does not set a reflection period of 90 days. It sets an assessment period of 90 days. That is an important distinction. It is not a maximum of 90 days; it is a minimum of 90 days. I do not think we should get confused on that point.

  (1310)  

     The second concern I want to address is a very important concern of the disability advocates: with the removal of the requirement that death be imminent, there will be pressure on the vulnerable in our society to choose medical assistance in dying.
    Nothing in Bill C-7 changes the very high standards set in the original Bill C-14 for receiving medical assistance in dying. To receive this assistance, patients must have a condition that is incurable, must be in an advanced state of irreversible decline and must face intolerable suffering. This means Bill C-7 does not open the door wide, as some have suggested.
    However, let me be clear here. I do not, in any way, wish to dismiss the concerns of the disability community over their vulnerability. That is why I have been calling for an expanded mandate of the statutory review so that we require it to consider the question of whether safeguards to protect the vulnerable in our medical assistance in dying legislation are adequate. Again, this may require us to look beyond the narrow confines of the medical assistance in dying legislation to other health legislation and other social support legislation.
    That is why my colleague, the member for Elmwood—Transcona, and I have just delivered today a joint letter to the Minister of Disability Inclusion calling for a new national income support program, set at $2,200 per month, for all persons with disabilities. This would be a single, national program to replace the patchwork of provincial programs that rarely come close to the amount that we have all now acknowledged with CERB as the minimum necessary. Providing such a benefit would be an important step toward a guaranteed basic income for all Canadians. More importantly, in the context of the bill, this would provide support at a level that would help avoid placing persons with disabilities in a position where dying looks like a better option than living without the supports they need.
    Failure to provide the necessary resources to ensure that everyone can enjoy full and equal participation in life is a long-standing and ongoing black mark on the federal Parliament and all provincial parliaments. We have only to look at the failure to deliver additional assistance promptly to persons with disabilities during this pandemic to remind ourselves how often we forget about those living with disabilities.
    As we consider how to recover from the pandemic, I hope we can adopt this proposed federal program that would provide all people with disabilities the equivalent of a living wage. This would be an important step toward relieving the fears about having to make a terrible choice eventually with medical assistance in dying.
    Given the speeches from all parties stressing the need to take the situation of people with disabilities seriously, and in light of the Quebec Superior Court decision, I believe we should be able to marshal immediate support for this proposal in a minority Parliament. It would be an important step in mending the gaps in our social safety net that COVID has revealed. COVID has taught us that we can roll out income support programs quickly when we really want to do so.
    As I near the end of my time, let me take a moment to address one last phenomena I observed in our committee discussions and one that I found very disturbing. It was the tendency of some members to mix together issues of suicide and medical assistance in dying. These are two completely different issues, distinct both medically and morally.
    Medical assistance in dying does not provide a way to take one's own life. The testimony from physicians and families involved in medical assistance in dying told us very clearly that no one involved in medical assistance in dying wants anyone to die: not the families, not the physicians and certainly not the patients themselves. Medical assistance in dying is about those who are already dying and are far along that path and in intolerable suffering. It is about them being able to have control about how their life ends and when that suffering for them and their family will come to an end. It is not about choosing to die.
    The New Democrats continue to support Bill C-7, as it contains significant measures that will help bring an end to unnecessary suffering and provide the necessary safeguards in the second track for those whose deaths is not reasonably foreseeable. It will do so in time to meet the deadline hopefully imposed in the Truchon decision.
     We will continue to demand that we get started on the statutory review, which should already have begun. Proceeding with Bill C-7 without proceeding with the review is only getting half the job done on medical assistance in dying. At the same time, it potentially undermines public support for medical assistance in dying, which so far has only continued to grow.

  (1315)  

    In conclusion, I want to say again that I believe as a society we must do a better job of providing for the most vulnerable among us and those who are differently abled. In the case of the tragic deficiencies in end-of-life care and in the lived experiences of people with disabilities, COVID has taught us how much further we have to go toward a fully compassionate and fully equal society. I urge all parliamentarians not to ignore those lessons.
    Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the hon. member has any concerns about the fact that the CMA never consulted with its members about Bill C-7. Is it not disingenuous to suggest they all agree when they were never consulted? It sounds like fake news to me.
    Mr. Speaker, this is one of the questions that I am always ashamed gets asked in Parliament. I am not in the business of undermining professional organizations in how they represent their members, nor am I in the business of spreading fake news. However, given some of the comments from the member in this debate, I can see why fake news is on her mind.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a point of order.
    I understand this is a challenging and passionate issue, but the member's insult to my female colleague went way over the line for any kind of parliamentary discourse and he should be required to apologize for it.

  (1320)  

    I thank the hon. member, but I did not hear anything unparliamentary in the hon. member's response, so I do not think he was crossing a line.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Shefford.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I know he worked with my colleague from Montcalm on this issue.
    For the past few weeks, representatives from a major women's rights organization, AFEAS, has been consulting with me on Bill C-7, since I am the critic for the status of women. They are worried. They are asking me where the process is at and telling me they would be willing to give evidence. After yesterday's vote on Bill C-7, I spoke with Government of Quebec officials who are following this closely and waiting to see what will happen with the infamous December 18 deadline.
    This morning Le Devoir is reporting that the leader of the Conservative Party is not at all concerned about that December 18 deadline, nor is he concerned about the effects this legal vacuum could have in Quebec.
    I would like to hear the hon. member's comments on the effects this legal vacuum will have on the too many people who will continue to suffer if no agreement is reached by December 18.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I share the member's concern. I have not actually seen the comments by the leader of the Conservatives, but I have heard it from other Conservatives. They imply that we do not need to take into account the considerations of people facing these issues in Quebec by meeting the deadline from the court.
    Why are we at this late date to meet the deadline? That lies squarely at the feet of the Liberal government. However, I believe it is important that we provide approval of Bill C-7 in time to meet the deadline imposed by the court so that we do not leave people in Quebec without necessary protections.
    Mr. Speaker, I always learn so much from my colleague, the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke. I appreciate his very thoughtful speech today. The coverage on it was remarkable.
    I want to ask about the idea of providing dignity, whether it is dignity in the choices patients are making, the dignity of the health community or the dignity of people living with disabilities. A letter was sent to the Minister of Health asking to provide additional dignities, and I think the federal government can provide more supports.
    The $2,200 is absolutely a start for a guaranteed basic income, but what more can be done?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her kind words disguised as a question.
    The proposal we made to the government for a federal income support program at the national level would free up lots of money in the provinces. It is my hope that provinces would then use the money they had been providing for income support to provide additional methods of assistance to people, whether it is modifying homes so they can stay in their own homes or care assistance. Whatever those people with disabilities need to reach their full potential in life would be more available if the provinces could shift that money to provide supports.
    It is really important that Parliament seriously consider taking away the fears that many in the disability community have, as the failure to provide them supports makes them make uncomfortable and awful choices down the line.
    Mr. Speaker, I read a report this morning from the Canadian Mental Health Association in collaboration with the University of British Columbia. It has said that during this time of COVID, four times as many Canadians are having suicidal thoughts. There are some very serious mental health issues right now that are leading to people considering suicide and mostly likely committing suicide. I know some are requesting MAID.
    My assistant told me about her friend's 100-year-old grandmother, a very vibrant, social person who liked to get together with people, and in good health for 100 years old. However, because of the safety precautions, the necessary safety precautions, she was isolated, became more and more depressed and she ought MAID and was approved for it even though she was healthy.
     I know the legislation is meant to protect people and not meant for people with mental health challenges or depression, but in this situation, it was approved. The concern is that mental health, mental anguish and depression will lead to MAID.
    The member talked about it being for terminal illnesses—

  (1325)  

    The hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.
    Mr. Speaker, there are so many things I would like to address in that question. First, however, I want to stress again that medical assistance in dying has nothing to do with suicide. These are two completely different issues. I do respect the challenges that COVID has brought with respect to mental health across the country. That is a separate issue for us to address.
    In the example he gave, he is doing something that has been done over and over again, and that is to repeat second-hand anecdotal information, which I have no way of verifying, nor does he. However, on the face of what he said, this person does not and could not qualify for medical assistance in dying. Mental illness, as the sole underlying condition, is not allowed as a condition for medical assistance in dying. If a practitioner had provided it solely on that basis, that person would be in violation of the law and his or her professional ethics.
    In those cases, we have seen a report on medical assistance in dying and the number of complaints that have been filed on professional ethics or criminally for people providing medical assistance in dying to those who are not eligible is zero.
    Mr. Speaker, the member has done an excellent job at taking down many of the points that have been raised in opposition to this bill.
    It was disappointing to hear Trump-like language in an attempt to undermine the Canadian Medical Association. In the entire opposition, there seems to be a lack of trust for medical professionals, that they cannot regulate themselves and they cannot provide the necessary oversight even though they do so for medical procedures all the time. I hope the member could comment on that.
    Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me a chance to thank four practitioners, and I will not name them for reasons of privacy, who provide medical assistance in dying. They shared a lot of their personal time with me to talk about what it meant to them as physicians to provide this service. They feel that medical assistance in dying is a way of fulfilling the highest ideals in their medical oath, that they are assisting people in avoiding unnecessary suffering and they are assisting families in that task.
    Frankly, they have been appalled by some of the wild charges that have been alleged about what they are doing in their professional task in helping people with the end-of-life issues they face.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and I share some geography, my riding being Saanich—Gulf Islands and his being Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke. Anyone observing will know that our ridings are near each other.
     I could not be prouder to have someone from Vancouver Island so strongly explain and so clearly set out the difference between what is in the legislation and some of the quite unfortunate, even deliberate, fearmongering statements that we have heard in the House. I regret very much that Canadians could imagine for one moment there was such a thing as same-day death approval in this act.
    On behalf of the Green Party, I think I can take the leap to say that we totally support and are very pleased with the initiative of the hon. member and the member for Elmwood—Transcona to ensure disability payments, essentially a first step toward guaranteed livable income.
    Could the member quickly explain again the safeguards that would prevent some of the more extreme examples that have been put forward in the House?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to stress this again. Bill C-7 would not change the basic requirements for receiving medical assistance in dying. People must have an incurable medical condition and be in an advanced state of irreversible decline and intolerable suffering. Two independent medical assessors are required to certify that the patients meet those requirements. If and only if those requirements are met, then they proceed to a medical assistance in dying practitioner, doctor or nurse practitioner, who can then render that assistance to people in what are sometimes very difficult moments at end of life.

  (1330)  

[Translation]

    It being 1:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Climate Emergency Action Act

     moved that Bill C-232, An Act respecting a Climate Emergency Action Framework, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
     She said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to share how honoured I am to be here today to share my first private member's bill as a member of Parliament. It is a very exciting day, for sure.
    Close to 50 years ago, in 1972, the first international meeting on the environment took place where member states adopted the Stockholm declaration, which affirmed our responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. It is 2020. We have failed. We have failed in upholding this commitment and we now find ourselves in a climate crisis combined with a human rights crisis in our failure to recognize a clean, healthy and safe environment as a human right, something that has been recognized by 156 out of 193 member states.
     Canada is far behind in the world in taking bold actions against the climate emergency. This climate emergency is threatening everything we know and value. Wildfires, flooding and extreme weather are worsening. The futures of our children's and grandchildren's lives are on the line. All life is now on the line and everything depends now on the actions we take.
    The Canadian Paediatric Society indicates that children are among the most vulnerable to the health impacts of the climate crisis. Young people also report frequent experiences with anxiety related to their fears around the climate emergency. The reality is that this anxiety is based in fact. We are running out of time to turn things around.
     Canada has not met a single climate target it has set. Young people, indigenous peoples and civil society groups want action and accountability from our government. The impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt in Canada, particularly in the Arctic and along the coasts, disproportionately impacting indigenous nations, rural communities and communities composed of people from marginalized and racialized groups.
    The climate emergency has significantly impacted and destroyed the traditional territories of indigenous people, in turn, impacting livelihoods. This was noted by the current UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, as released in a report outlining how the lack of legal right to a healthy environment had a direct impact on indigenous peoples and racialized communities in Canada.
     We are witnessing around the country that individuals, indigenous nations and young people want real action to address the climate crisis. I know our party, the New Democratic Party, shares this concern. This cannot be achieved without the recognition and respect of the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples as affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    Canada's nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous peoples must be respected. There is no reconciliation in the absence of justice and this bill would be a step toward climate justice and upholding human rights, particularly with indigenous people, something the current Prime Minister indicated was the “most important relationship”.

  (1335)  

    People are tired of words. We are faced with the biggest existential threat, and yet we have a government that continues to fail to act, and continues to willfully violate the human rights of indigenous peoples on its own watch. There is no reconciliation in the absence of justice, and that also includes climate justice.
    Moreover, indigenous women are experiencing the most direct impacts of the climate emergency. Their interests must be specifically considered under article 22 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states:
    Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration.
    It also states that:
    States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.
    It is important to note that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that a direct correlation existed between an influx of transient workers, those who arrived mostly in isolated towns and cities from elsewhere to work in mines or industries like oil and gas, and hydro, and higher rates of sexual assault, harassment, STIs and human trafficking. A right to a healthy environment and human rights of women and girls is always interconnected. We are sisters, mothers, aunties and grandmothers. Our bodies and our lives are sacred, like our Mother Earth. The life she provides needs to be honoured, just like our women, girls, sisters, aunties and grandmothers who continue to face unimaginable violence for the purpose of economic gain. We are sacred beings.
    In addition to women, girls and transgender people, indigenous peoples are among the most impacted by the climate emergency, which includes the disruption of traditional ways of life and food security, especially in the north, which is warming up at a much faster rate. This has given rise to higher costs for imported food alternatives, leaving individuals able to afford only unhealthy food options, which contributes to greater food insecurity and negative impacts on health. Indigenous people in Canada are among the lowest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the country, yet research indicates that they are the most impacted by the climate crisis.
    Indigenous peoples have experienced the impacts of the climate crisis for generations and are most often the ones on the front lines fighting to protect our Mother Earth. I have joined them on those front lines. We must respect indigenous science and knowledge that provides a complex understanding about how to address the climate crisis, which is why it informs the development framework of Bill C-232.

  (1340)  

    Yesterday I was really happy to see the government introduce Bill C-15, an act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is why I am especially pleased to rise today to present my private member's Bill C-232, an act respecting a climate emergency action framework, the first test of the government's commitment to upholding the human rights articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    Bill C-15 requires that all new legislation from this House be consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I am very proud to say that Bill C-232 is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a bill that supports the development of a made-in-Canada, green, new deal that ensures that Canada takes all measures necessary to respect its commitments under the convention on climate change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that it does so while fully complying with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    We have international commitments, as well, to fight the climate emergency and uphold human rights, and this includes the UN Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I cannot say that too many times.
    This bill upholds these international agreements and recognizes the right of all Canadians to a safe, clean, healthy environment as a human right. There is widespread consensus that human rights norms apply to environmental issues, including the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In fact, more than 100 countries in the world have recognized this human right in their legislation or Constitution, and it is time for Canada to follow their lead.
    The Parliament of Canada has recognized that we are in a climate emergency, so the fact that the Liberal government fails to appropriately react and continues to put forth plans that will not allow us to meet climate targets needs to end. Bill C-232 calls on the Government of Canada to take all measures necessary to mitigate the impacts of the climate emergency and provides a framework to achieve a made-in-Canada, green, new deal with accountability and transparency measures to hold the government to account.
    This framework would save lives and mitigate the impacts of the climate emergency on public health, the natural environment and on the economy while upholding, lifting up human rights. If the government is serious about Bill C-15, and I do hope it is, supporting this bill would be an act of good faith and a first attempt by the government to demonstrate that it is serious in its commitment to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    It is time we begin divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in a green economy that brings workers along, increases employment in the green energy sector, and increases investment in green infrastructure and housing in respect of human rights. Bill C-232 provides the critical framework for this transformation to achieve the transformative climate action legislation.
    We are running out of time. We must act now. Our ability to survive depends on what we do now.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, when we talk about the importance of climate action as an issue, indigenous people are far too often overlooked.
    The best example I could give is often when I am knocking on doors in Winnipeg North, I will run into individuals who were evacuated because of Lake St. Martin flooding that had taken place back in 2011. For years, they have been away from their homes. It happened that an NDP government intentionally flooded areas, including the Lake St. Martin, which displaced indigenous people. It was very severe, and we are still paying the costs of that.
    Could my colleague provide her thoughts in terms of how it is so important that the federal government work with provinces, and vice versa, so that we could deal with these two critically important issues?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague and the other colleagues with whom he works that human rights should never be a partisan issue. Human rights are human rights. I find it unfortunate, coming from a member whose province has the highest child apprehension rate in the country that he fails to even bring up in the House, which is another human rights violation, that he consistently makes basic human rights a partisan issue. Human rights should never be a partisan issue. I will always hold up human rights.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for opening up the debate here today. She is very passionate. I have sat at committee with her and have benefited from our discussions. I congratulate her on focusing on items that are very important to her and her constituents.
    There are many pieces of legislation, such as Bill C-215, her own piece of legislation we are debating today, as well as Bill C-12, that all relate to climate accountability in some way, shape or form. How would the member say her legislation is superior to that of the Liberals, or that of the Bloc Québécois, which is Bill C-215?
    Mr. Speaker, my bill provides a consultation framework so that any climate emergency action framework would be developed in direct consultation with civil society and indigenous peoples. It would not be directed by the minister, but by people on the ground.
    It also has very clear accountability measures that are consistent with what we heard with respect to Bill C-15 yesterday.
    As well, it meets the new minimum human rights requirements outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that any legislation has to be compliant with.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for introducing this bill and for her work on a climate emergency action framework.
    I noticed that she has focused heavily on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is a good thing. The bill also mentions the Paris Agreement and meeting our 2030 targets under this international agreement. However, I do not see anything particularly binding in this bill. There are no measures or tools to reduce greenhouse gases. There is nothing requiring that the government implement a meaningful action plan to meet our targets.
    Instead of focusing on consultation, does the member not think that legislation to develop a climate emergency action framework should be more binding?

  (1350)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my hon. colleague for all the work she has done with respect to her private member's bill. I have had the pleasure of speaking with her on the phone.
     There are a couple of reasons why I did not put in specific targets. I left it open to be able to shift as science shifts, It is binding. Canada is obliged to adhere to the international agreements it has decided to participate in. It certainly made a commitment in Paris and will not meet the commitments and international legal obligations it has put forth. It has a legally binding context that includes international, domestic and indigenous laws.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-232, an act respecting a climate emergency action framework. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the bill's sponsor, the member for Winnipeg Centre, and thank her for her advocacy on many important policy matters, including UNDRIP. I hope she will pass on my thanks and good wishes to her partner, Romeo Saganash, who of course played an instrumental role in UNDRIP in the last Parliament.
    Her bill today speaks to an issue of urgency and importance that the government and Canadians also support: climate change. Canadians know climate change threatens our health, our way of life and our planet. They want climate action now and that is what the government will continue to deliver.
    Bill C-232, an act respecting a climate emergency action framework, aims to legislate the government's commitments under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, particularly its 2030 GHG emissions reduction target, while also complying with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    It requires the Minister of the Environment to implement a climate emergency action framework in consultation with indigenous peoples and civil society, to table in Parliament a report on the framework within one year and a report on its effectiveness three years later.
    Another private member's bill that we heard about a few moments ago, Bill C-215, an act respecting Canada’s fulfillment of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations, aims to ensure that Canada fulfills its obligations under the Paris Agreement to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The fact that these two private member's bills both relate to climate change and have been brought forward at this time by different MPs demonstrates the importance of this issue for all Canadians.
    Canadians continue to face the impacts of climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic. From forest fires and floods to ocean pollution and coastal erosion, Canadians are experiencing the impacts of climate change each and every day. Canada's climate is warming twice as fast as the average in the rest of the world. In the north, warming is nearly three times as fast. The effects of warming are already evident in many parts of Canada, and are projected to intensify in the near future.
    It is important to note that climate change is a global issue. The science is clear. We cannot wait for the future to stop polluting, or to take steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Climate change action must start now.
    According to the 2018 special report “Global Warming of 1.5 °C”, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human activities have already caused approximately 1 °C of average global warming since the pre-industrial period. This special report also finds that global emissions must reach carbon neutrality around 2050 to limit warming to 1.5 °C. This was an objective that was identified in the Paris Agreement.
    There are clear benefits to limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 °C, rather than 2 °C or higher. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of these findings, and agrees that more action is needed globally and here in Canada. Addressing the climate change issue requires effective policies that will measurably reduce Canada's GHG emissions over the decades to come, while promoting clean growth.
    We are ready. We are ready to take the necessary and decisive action to advance Canada's fight against climate change. This September we made a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to bring forward a plan to exceed Canada's 2030 target and legislate Canada's goal of net zero emissions by 2050. We are committed to reaching net zero in a manner that creates a globally competitive economy. Reaching net zero is a long-term project, and importantly a short-term project as well. It is also a tremendous opportunity for a more prosperous and resilient future. Achieving net zero will require a careful calibration to reflect Canada's unique circumstances including demographics, geography, the importance of our traditional resource economy and shared jurisdiction on the environment.

  (1355)  

    As economies reset, now is the time to set into motion some of these measures. We can take into account the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the context of economic regrowth and the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy. Yes, we can build back better.
    We will seek the advice of experts and Canadians as we chart our path to net-zero emissions in a way that supports sustainable growth, is sensitive to economic needs across the country and makes life more affordable for Canadians. Net zero is not just a plan for our climate. Net zero is a plan for our economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.
    Transforming our economy for the future is not something one government can or should do alone. It will take time. To get this right, we have a lot of work to do with industry leaders, civil society, indigenous communities and all Canadians.
    In the coming year, the government will seek the advice of experts and will consult with Canadians to identify pathways to net zero that integrate its environmental, energy and economic objectives. We will seek input from Canadians on how Canada should innovate and transform our economy to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
    That is why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change introduced, on November 19 in the House of Commons, Bill C-12, an act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, which is also known as the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act.
    This legislation would put in place a clear framework for reaching net zero. It would require the setting of national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at five-year intervals, and it would ensure transparency and accountability through requirements for emission reduction plans, progress reports and assessment reports with respect to each target. Plans would contain important information, such as a description of the key emissions reduction measures the Government of Canada intends to take to achieve the target for a particular milestone year.
    Clearly, many of the themes presented in both Bill C-215 and Bill C-232 echo our government priorities. I want to thank hon. members who I have seen in the House for their contributions. Bill C-12 aims to provide a stronger framework for achieving Canada's climate change plan, as it is not only a plan for our climate, but also a plan for our economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.
    If we want to be competitive in the net-zero emissions economy of tomorrow, we must stay ahead of the pack. It is good news to see that the House is united in finding a legislative framework to get us there. Once again, I thank the member for bringing forward such an important topic. I look forward to further discussions on Canada achieving its climate targets.
    Mr. Speaker, I have always really enjoyed Private Members' Business. To hear the ideas and passions of members is always an important part of how one member of Parliament can make a huge difference to his or her riding and to our country. Ideas can draw attention to an issue not yet contemplated by the government or present an innovative approach to a vaccine public policy problem. While they can be extremely divisive or sometimes bring people together, they are certainly good for our democracy and our way of life.
    Indeed, when the member's of the third party voted with the minority government to shut down this place earlier this year, my first thought was this: Why would they deprive their members of the critically needed time for Private Members' Business? That said, I am not a member of the fourth party and I trust they were happy with that decision.
    Moving to Bill C-232, I must confess to feeling a bit like I am in the movie Groundhog Day, although I will say that with so many Manitoba MPs speaking today, I guess we could call it “Winnipeg Day”. I say that because what Bill C-232 proposes is very similar to what the Liberal government's Bill C-12 proposes. I do realize there are some key differences, though, as I did in the debate on Bill C-12 when I referenced the history of where Canada is at.

  (1400)  

[Translation]

    We know that, in 1993, former Liberal minister Jean Chrétien promised to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1988 levels by 2005.
    We know that Liberal promise was broken. We also know that, in 1997, Prime Minister Chrétien signed the Kyoto protocol, this time promising to reduce our emissions to just 6% below 1990 levels.
    We know that, in 2006, when the Liberals were elected, Canada was 30% above those levels, and we know that Prime Minister Harper had to withdraw Canada from the Kyoto protocol because we would not achieve those binding objectives.
    Of course, I would be remiss if I did not point out that, at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, Prime Minister Harper followed the United States' lead, signing a non-binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
    After the 2015 election, the Prime Minister sent the largest Canadian delegation ever to the Paris climate change conference at a cost of over $1 million. Canada was back, he said.

[English]

    We know while in Paris, despite often criticizing the former Harper government, ultimately the Liberal government adopted those same targets it said would be a minimum. Of course, we all know today the Liberal government has massively failed to reach that so-called minimum. In fact, some reports suggest the Liberal government may be off the target by 123 million tonnes.
    Obviously that is why we are here today debating this bill and why last week it was Bill C-12. Bill C-12 was quite fascinating from a political perspective. It literally kicks the can so far down the road that it will be up to future governments, and ultimately the government of the day in 2050, to deal with it. How do we get there? There is no road map, no solutions and no costs or penalties for failure. There is more of the same, more promises to do better down the road. They promise.
    However, that is enough about Bill C-12.

[Translation]

    Bill C-232 proposes that, at a minimum, Canada meet the 2030 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    Much like Bill C-12, this bill does not say anything at all about how this will actually be done. The underlying promise of every federal government to date has been a return to the targets set by Mr. Chrétien in 1993. It is easy to make promises about targets, but not as easy to meet them.
    To be frank, I do not think that we will need both Bill C-232 and Bill C-12 going forward. One of them will be enough. To end the suspense, I will be clear and say that I already support Bill C-12. I will not support Bill C-232 as it now stands, and I will explain why.

  (1405)  

[English]

    It is not realistic to have two different regimes as we would have if this bill were passed in addition to Bill C-12. In my view, we need to ensure that industry and innovation are part of the solution.
    One of the things that the Liberals' recent fiscal update proposed, and that I agree with, is funding for the home energy efficiency retrofit program. While Liberals have largely been silent on other climate-related measures, we do know that the Minister of Natural Resources has spoken about the future of hydrogen fuel cells. He has also referenced the potential for small modular nuclear reactors. This is important because we have to recognize that more electric vehicles in our future means we will need more low-emission power.
    As I have mentioned previously, I can get excited as the critic for this portfolio when we can use innovation, instead of taxation, to lower our emissions. Why do I say that? It is because taxation, also known as a carbon tax or what Liberals prefer to say, a price on pollution, does not help a senior on a fixed income living in a 70-year-old home in winter temperatures that can drop well below -20°C. No senior should be forced to choose between monthly heating bills or groceries.
    We also must be mindful that many rural communities simply do not have any public transit. B.C. has lost Greyhound as a private carrier. We cannot forget about these Canadians, and they should not disproportionately be faced to share a higher burden of the costs.

[Translation]

    Before I conclude, I will give you another reason why I prefer the deadline set out in Bill C-12 over the one set out in Bill C-232. We cannot do this alone. Canada is just a small part of a global problem. We need to try to work with our biggest trade partner, the United States, in the hopes of achieving some parity when it comes to the policies and regulations that will help us to collectively reduce our emissions.
    I say that because emissions are a global problem and yet climate change has had a devastating impact on many areas of my riding. Forest fires and flooding have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. Changing weather patterns have hit local agriculture very hard.
    I am sure that other members of the House could share their own experiences in that regard.
    Like Bill C-232, Bill C-12 is far from perfect, but we need to start somewhere and we need a realistic timeline.

[English]

    I believe that Bill C-12 better reflects that over Bill C-232. As a result, I will be supporting Bill C-12 at second reading, but will not be supporting Bill C-232. I would like to again thank the member for putting forward an issue of debate close to her heart and to those in her riding, and I would also thank all members for taking the time to hear another point of view on this legislation today.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a great pleasure for me to speak to the environment and climate change, and I think we need to do so as much as possible in this forum.
    I welcome this initiative by my colleague from Winnipeg Centre, who introduced a bill on the climate emergency. She and I have had an opportunity to discuss it, and we certainly agree on how important it is for the government to legislate on its climate action. We cannot say it often enough: We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and the government must go beyond good intentions and rhetoric and come up with a truly binding action plan to force the hand of all stakeholders and industries so they take concrete action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
    This urgency can be felt everywhere. In my region, the last few days have served as quite a reality check. Last Tuesday, we saw the flow of the Nouvelle River in the Gaspé Peninsula in my riding increase from 20 cubic metres per second to 470 cubic metres per second in just a few hours. Many of my constituents' homes flooded, and roads and culverts in the area were damaged by rivers whose banks overflowed due to the thaw and heavy rains.
    These heavy winter rains will become more frequent and intense. A study conducted by researchers at Université Laval shows that damage from flooding caused by ice jams could increase by an average of 30% in the coming years due to climate change. Within the next 50 years, flood damage could increase by about 50% on the Matane river and 75% on the Matapédia river, two rivers in my riding. Passing a bill like Bill C-232 that implements a climate emergency action framework is very important.
    The Bloc Québécois subscribes to the general principles and objectives of this bill, including the transition to a green economy, a fair transition, respect for indigenous rights, as well as taking public health and social justice into consideration in efforts to fight climate change. I have to say that the concept of social justice is paramount, as our colleague from Winnipeg Centre pointed out.
    One important theme, climate justice, keeps coming up more and more. Climate justice goes back to the idea that the current climate crisis is not just tied to a scientific phenomenon, because it has social, economic and political roots and consequences. What we need to keep in mind is that the climate crisis will not affect all of us equally, simply because we do not all have the same financial, technical and material means to cope with it.
    Requiring climate justice means demanding that governments honour their international commitments and take tangible measures to ensure that the burden of this crisis does not rest solely on the least fortunate members of our society. Currently, some 100 million people live in areas that are below sea level. Some are protected by levees, but most have no protection, which is a flagrant example of climate injustice.
    Climate change has the potential to reshape cities, economies, shorelines and entire regions of the world, but we need to be asking ourselves the following question: How effectively will coastal protections be able to preserve our coastlines, and for how much longer? Since 2006, the oceans have been rising about four millimetres a year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, better known as IPCC, has revealed a rather compelling piece of information. The IPCC says that this rate could increase 100-fold if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchanged.
    Inuit villages in northern Quebec are at risk of disappearing, being swallowed up by high tides or mud as the permafrost melts. Heat waves, drought, flooding, tornadoes, exceptionally high tides and shoreline erosion are increasingly common and are affecting vulnerable populations the most. These vulnerable populations have been exposed to 475 million additional heat wave events around the world, translating to increased morbidity and mortality rates.
    According to the most recent report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change, the last 20 years have seen an increase of almost 54% in heat-related mortality in people older than 65, and this high cost in terms of human lives and suffering is associated with effects on economic output, with 302 billion hours of potential labour capacity lost in 2019. That is significant.
    The links between the planet's health and human health are increasingly obvious. According to scientists, by 2030, several parts of Quebec will be partially or completely under water, such as Sainte-Flavie, in my riding, the Magdalen Islands, Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, areas around Lac des Deux Montagnes, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the North Shore, Mauricie and even parts of the national capital.
    It is worrisome when we start to see tangible connections between climate change and its effects on our communities. That is why the federal government must immediately implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and these measures must consider the most vulnerable populations, which are the first to suffer the consequences of climate change.

  (1415)  

    Unfortunately, the most developed countries have reached an impasse in their discussions on climate change, but stricter regulations obviously need to be put in place. We are therefore wondering why these countries do not impose greenhouse gas reduction targets on certain industries. It seems rather ridiculous to me that the government believes that it can gently encourage businesses to behave ethically. A drastic change is needed. It will take governments that have the courage to act.
    As I said at the beginning of my speech, the Bloc Québécois subscribes to the general principles and objectives of Bill C-232. However, unlike the Bloc Québécois's climate change bill, Bill C-215, that I introduced in the House on November 4, Bill C-232 does not require the current or future governments to set greenhouse gas reduction targets. It also does not provide for the setting of interim targets and does not hold the government responsible or accountable for meeting those targets. There are two elements that are key to climate legislation: reduction targets and accountability mechanisms. That is fundamental.
    Canada's international commitments under the Paris Agreement must be enshrined in Canadian legislation to make them mandatory. We must not only raise our targets, but also require the government to announce all the measures it intends to take to reach them. The Minister of the Environment must implement an action plan that satisfies the requirements of genuinely binding climate legislation without delay.
    Without detracting from what is good about Bill C-232, it could be considerably improved by setting out mechanisms and tools to ensure that Canada's climate action and its international climate objectives are aligned.
    The time to act is now. If Bill C-232 is to serve as framework climate legislation, it must include elements that are essential to framework climate legislation. It is as simple as that.
    Just this past Wednesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres deplored humanity's suicidal war with nature. He said that “making peace with nature” must be every person on this planet's absolute priority in the 21st century.
    As we all know, the latest climate news is not good. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2020 is on track to be one of the hottest years ever recorded.
    If we do not take immediate action, it will be much more difficult and costly to adapt to the future impacts of these changes. The government seems much more interested in the financial impact than the climate impact, so it would be well advised to act now to save money in the future.
    The government talks about achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 without knowing how, exactly, it will do so. I suggest that we start with fossil fuels. According to the UN Environment Programme, governments need to act now to decrease fossil fuel production by 6% per year to limit catastrophic global warming.
    It is all well and good to contribute to these efforts on an individual and local basis, but it is clear that the main catalyst for change will be at the government level, through laws and regulations. The government has a responsibility to lead by example.
    Furthermore, we are now experiencing a health crisis at the same time as this climate crisis. The health crisis is forcing governments to invest billions of dollars in the economic recovery. This recovery should not come at the expense of the climate emergency, but instead in conjunction with the emergency, with a focus on transitioning to a green economy.
    Canada must stop its efforts to stimulate the economic recovery by subsidizing the fossil fuel industries. We must prevent the economic recovery from having a rebound effect of an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, we must invest instead in sectors that reduce our impact on the environment and that will have a positive long-term economic effect on our communities.
    I will close by stating that the Bloc Québécois will always be the first to want to pass legislation on the climate emergency. Bill C-232 is a good step. However, to truly respond to the climate emergency, it would be much more responsible to pass framework legislation, like my Bill C-215, which would require the federal government to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets in accordance with its international commitments. That is essential.
    We no longer have the means to postpone the fight against climate change. The emergency is real and the physical and economic health of our population is at stake.

  (1420)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak today in support of the member for Winnipeg Centre and her bill, Bill C-232, which would guarantee all Canadians the right to a clean, safe, healthy environment and would provide for a climate emergency action framework, a tool for accountability for those most impacted by climate change.
    This is a critical framework for all transformative climate action policies, including a green new deal, and it would ensure we uphold our responsibilities toward future generations. The bill explicitly outlines the critical importance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Canada's climate response, and would require the government to consult meaningfully with indigenous peoples and communities and civil society.
     The NDP has a long history of calling for accountability on the climate crisis, leading the way with Jack Layton's climate change accountability act in 2006. Jack's bill passed in the House, but was killed by the unelected Senate.
    We have also been long calling for the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and for upholding the right to free, prior and informed consent for indigenous peoples. In particular, I want to recognize the work of former MP Romeo Saganash in bringing forward legislation on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the House of Commons, as well as the work of my colleague, the member for Winnipeg Centre. It is because of their work and the work of indigenous and grassroots organizers from coast to coast to coast that we saw an important step forward this week with the tabling of a government bill on the declaration.
    New Democrats have also long called for the right to a healthy environment to be enshrined in law, and the bill continues and builds on that critical work to uphold human rights.
    The climate emergency poses a serious threat to our environment, to our economy and to our health and safety, and Canadians are tired of governments committing to targets and then missing them again and again. We are running out of time. We are not on track to meet our international climate obligations. We need an action plan that honours our international climate commitments and obligations. We need an action plan that addresses the urgency of the climate crisis, and we need to ground that plan and that action in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    The Liberals have acknowledged the climate emergency, but their current plan in no way will achieve our international commitments. The Prime Minister claims to be a climate leader, but he keeps handing out billions of dollars to fossil fuel companies. He declared a climate emergency and then, the very next day, approved and bought a pipeline.
    The government recently introduced Bill C-12, the Canadian net-zero accountability act. The Liberals' bill is a step in the right direction, but it would not adequately ensure that we are doing everything we can to address the climate crisis. They promised five-year milestone targets but then left out 2025, so there is no real accountability measure for the next 10 years even though we know the next decade is the most critical. The accountability mechanisms in the Liberals' bill, including the advisory committee, are weak and they rely on the environment commissioner, whose office is already underfunded.
    It is important that any legislation on accountability is paired with significant investments in a just and sustainable recovery plan that will support workers, families and communities with training and good jobs, creating a more affordable life while tackling the climate crisis.
    There is no climate accountability without climate action. Despite some nice words about a green recovery, the Prime Minister has just rehashed his inadequate climate plan from last year's campaign, while many countries like Germany and France are releasing bold plans to kick-start a sustainable economy and a sustainable recovery. Even President-elect Joe Biden announced a $2-trillion economic stimulus plan, heavily focused on climate-related investments.
    Far from being a climate leader, Canada is being left behind. We need a just transition to a low-carbon economy that brings workers along. We need to stop handing out billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies and, instead, invest in a sustainable economy that will create good, family-sustaining jobs across the country.
    There are a ton of gaps in the government's bill, Bill C-12. One critical gap is that it mentions the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but the bill is not actually grounded in a framework of upholding these rights and also in upholding the right to a healthy environment.

  (1425)  

    The impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt in Canada, particularly in the Arctic and along the coast, and are disproportionately impacting indigenous nations, rural communities, marginalized and racialized communities. We know that extreme weather events are continuing to worsen and are creating conditions where the occurrence of intense wildfires, flooding, droughts and heat waves are increasing both in frequency and in intensity. Indigenous and northern communities, farmers and food producers and others have been sounding the alarm about the impacts of climate change on our ecosystems.
    The climate emergency is threatening our food security. It is threatening indigenous peoples across Canada, and they often are the most impacted.
     Indigenous peoples are among the most impacted by the climate emergency, including disrupting traditional ways of life and food security, especially in the north, which we know is warming at a much faster rate. This has driven up the cost for imported food alternatives, leaving individuals with only being able to afford unhealthy food options, which contributes to greater food security and negative impacts on health, which can have a vicious cycle effect. The climate emergency has significantly impacted the traditional territories of indigenous peoples and, in turn, has impacted their livelihoods.
    The national inquiry has also noted an increased rate of violence against indigenous women and girls by workers who are being housed in extractive industry work camps. The severity of this crisis was confirmed in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls with a need to act within the calls for justice.
     Risks to indigenous nations increase with the severity of the global climate emergency and indigenous people have experienced the impacts of the climate crisis for generations and are most often the ones on the front lines, fighting for the protection of lands and resources. Indigenous science and knowledge provides a complex understanding about how to address the climate crisis and it is critical for developing a climate emergency action framework.
    Canada's nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous peoples must be respected under the framework, among others, of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Liberals say that they support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but they have failed to engage meaningfully in consultation with indigenous peoples and accommodate the concerns raised across Canada, including failing to obtain free, prior and informed consent.
    Reconciliation and environmental justice must go hand in hand or, as my colleague said in her speech, there is no reconciliation without justice. There is now a widespread consensus that human rights norms apply to environmental issues, including the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The lack of a legal right to a healthy environment has a direct impact on indigenous and racialized communities in Canada and people from coast to coast to coast. More than 150 countries in the world have recognized that particular human right and it is time for Canada to step up to follow their lead.
     The NDP is calling on the government to live up to our international obligations, including the United Nations convention on climate change, the Paris agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to recognize the right to a healthy environment as a human right.
    The New Democrats want to move forward with a green new deal that supports the human rights of all people, while investing in a just and sustainable recovery that brings workers along. Bill C-232 would provide a clear path forward by calling on the Government of Canada to take all measures necessary to address the climate emergency. For the first time, the right to a clean, healthy and safe environment would be enshrined in law. The government would be accountable for implementing a climate action emergency framework that would respect human rights and this framework would save lives, mitigate the impacts of the climate emergency on public health and the natural environment.
    This would be an important and transformative step to uphold fundamental human rights and protect a healthy environment for future generations.

  (1430)  

    The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

[Translation]

    Before the House adjourns, I would like to make a brief comment.
    Earlier today, I asked my hon. colleague from Joliette to replace me for a few minutes.
    Members will certainly have noted that he has all the required skills to properly carry out this duty. I thank him.

[English]

    It being 2:30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
     (The House adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)
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