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43rd PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 070

CONTENTS

Wednesday, March 10, 2021




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 070
2nd SESSION
43rd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

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

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

Armenian Genocide

    Mr. Speaker, 33 years ago, innocent Armenian men, women and children lost their lives in the tragic events at Sumgait, Azerbaijan.
    Many residents of my riding, Laval—Les Îles, remember these events and the horrific impact they had on Armenians in the region and around the world.

[English]

    The Sumgait pogrom was a response by nationalist forces in Baku to suppress Armenians' rightful demands to live freely in Nagorno-Karabakh.
    Unfortunately, until today, too many issues remain unresolved. Canada must continue to stand up and work with our international partners to support the Armenian people during this most difficult time and with whom we share strong people-to-people ties and values.

Fisheries and Oceans

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the excellent work of the relatively new director general for the DFO for the Central and Arctic Region, Dr. David Nanang, and his team.
     My riding of Chatham-Kent—Leamington is the proud home of the world's largest freshwater commercial fishing harbour. To sustain such a renewable aquaculture resource requires an understanding of science, responsiveness and infrastructure, and I am pleased to say that David exemplifies this understanding of all three.
     Dr. Nanang personally led his team to our area last fall. He even hopped onto a fishing tug to witness the challenge that the entrance to the Wheatley Harbour could be.
    I thank Dr. Nanang and his excellent EA Cindy Scale, with a special shout-out to Thomas Hoggarth, the regional director for ecosystems management, who walked into a room of angry residents and now has them engaged in a resolution process for which they are most appreciative. I thank them all.

Charles Palmer

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House in honour of Sir Charles Palmer, who passed away in February, shortly after his 100th birthday.
    Charlie was an exceptional man. He served in the Second World War and was honoured with many medals, including the highest medal of service awarded by the Republic of France, which gave him the title of Knighthood.
    Charlie will always be remembered for his passion for his community. He was an alderman for 27 years, during which time he served as deputy mayor and the president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. His presence will remain strong in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality council chambers.
    It is my hope that we can carry forward Charlie's passion for helping others, his dedication to making our community the best it can possibly be and, of course, his love for relaxing afternoons on the Mira.
    On behalf of Cape Breton—Canso constituents and the members of the House, I wish to offer my sincere condolences to Sir Charlie's family and his loved ones.

[Translation]

Frances Allen

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the appointment of Lieutenant-General Frances Allen as vice chief of the defence staff. She is the first woman to become second-in-command of the Canadian Forces.
    This is great news, because on Monday we celebrated International Women's Day. It is also great news in a week marked by what appears to be a culture of sexual misconduct in the military running rampant up to the highest echelons.
    The allegations against the former chief of defence staff and his successor reflect, at best, a hostile environment towards women and at worst, a dangerous one.
    The fact that the Minister of National Defence, who is in the military himself, may have ignored these allegations reveals the extent of the culture of silence that needs to be eliminated.
    Ms. Allen's appointment should therefore in no way serve to defuse the crisis. On the contrary, this woman has a colossal job ahead of her and, as the Bloc Québecois critic for the status of women, I would like to offer her my full support and warm congratulations.

Informal Caregivers

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House an excerpt from a letter I received from a mother who is also an informal caregiver:
    I am physically and mentally tired.
    My 35-year-old son lives with me full time.
    I prepare meals, do the laundry, do the dishes and so on.
    He still gets excited at bedtime, which is at 9 p.m. He turns the lights off and on, goes up and down the stairs, and so on.
    My stress level rises, and I seek refuge in the basement.
    I stay there until things calm down. At 11:15 p.m., I come up from the basement...
    I am unhappy, I have no energy.
    I apologize for unburdening myself to you, but I need to get it off my chest.
    I need help.
    In Quebec alone, 965,700 women, including my mother, provide unpaid support to a loved one with a physical or mental disability, illness, injury or loss of autonomy.
    This invisible work places a huge mental, physical, emotional and financial burden on women.
    This invisible work must be made visible.

  (1410)  

[English]

Joseph Shenouda

    Mr. Speaker, it with a heavy heart and sadness that I announce the passing of Mr. Joseph Shenouda, who departed on Monday, March 8.
     Mr. Joseph Shenouda was a beloved member of the Coptic Orthodox community of the GTA. He leaves behind his wife Nadia and children Ramzi, Gihan, George, Rania and Gina as well as his 10 beautiful grandchildren, with whom he so loved spending time.
    Mr. Joseph Shenouda is known for his outstanding work with the Coptic community. He will be truly missed by the entire community.
     On behalf of my colleagues in Parliament, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the entire Shenouda family. As we speak, his funeral is taking place at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Markham. May my friend rest in peace.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, I have good news. Last year, the government signed agreements to ensure that Canada would have six million vaccine doses delivered by the end of March. Well, we will be exceeding our commitment from six million doses to eight million doses, and that is before the end of this month.
     We can see light at the end of the tunnel, but vaccines are not the whole story. Economists recognize that Canada is in a good position to spring into recovery because of all the supports we have put into place to help people. The wage subsidy program alone has protected millions of jobs, while the Canada emergency response benefit helped close to nine million people. Because we have supported real people and businesses, we will be in a better position to build back better.
     In the meantime, we are going to continue focusing on doing whatever it takes to protect the health and general well-being of all people.

[Translation]

Riding of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge the work of a few organizations in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
     First, I wish to highlight the work of Leadership féminin Prescott-Russell, an organization that advocates for an egalitarian society and the promotion of women in leadership positions. Leadership féminin Prescott-Russell plays a vital role in our community, whether in politics, at the boardroom table or on behalf of young women seeking leadership roles. I want to say a huge thank you to Marie-Noëlle Lanthier and the board of directors for their efforts.
    I also wish to highlight the work of the Eastern Ontario's Women in Ag Network, a brand new organization that was founded by Vicki Brisson and has already grown to 400-plus members. The network provides a space for them to discuss issues affecting women in agriculture. Well done.
    Finally, I wish to highlight the work of Anne Jutras, executive director at the Centre Novas, an organization that provides a range of assistance and support services for survivors of sexual assault in an effort to eliminate violence against women. I want to thank Ms. Jutras for her nine years of service.
    You are all an inspiration for women and girls everywhere.

[English]

Enhance Energy

    Mr. Speaker, last week, my colleagues for Red Deer—Mountain View and Battle River—Crowfoot joined me for a visit to Enhance Energy's carbon capture project in my riding of Red Deer—Lacombe. I am very proud to report that, just yesterday, this company celebrated one million tonnes of carbon captured and sequestered near Clive, Alberta.
    Enhance Energy is sequestering CO2 at a rate that is the equivalent to taking over 350,000 cars off the road. It captures the carbon in the industrial heartland of Alberta from a refinery and fertilizer plant. Enhance then compresses and ships it down the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line to Clive, where it is pumped back into the ground. This CO2 then helps produce some of the lowest carbon oil on our planet, and Enhance Energy has only scratched the surface of what is possible. We have the capacity to do much more with carbon capture and sequestration.
    I send my congratulations to Enhance Energy, an Alberta company leading the way.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Kevin Lowe

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to acknowledge something that makes the people of my riding, Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation, very proud. Legendary hockey player Kevin Lowe, originally from Lachute, back home, was named to the Order of Hockey in Canada.
     The Order of Hockey in Canada is a Hockey Canada initiative that was established in 2012 to celebrate individuals for their outstanding contribution to the development and growth of hockey in Canada.
    Kevin Lowe played more than 19 seasons in the National Hockey League, tallying 84 goals and 374 assists for a total of 431 points over 1,254 games. He also won the Stanley Cup six times over the course of his impressive career. He was also involved off the ice, notably as a member of Canada’s management group at four Olympic Winter Games. He won the World Cup of Hockey as Team Canada's assistant executive director in 2004.
    He is a true inspiration to all young hockey players in Canada and Quebec.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the extent the government is willing to go to divide rural Canada from the rest of the country is concerning, and its latest gun legislation is no exception. Law-abiding gun owners are being targeted while criminals charged with illegal gun offences are being let off the hook with new reduced sentencing measures.
    Just yesterday, while the government's back was turned, busy plotting to take legal guns away from law-abiding Canadians, a known criminal smuggled 249 illegal guns into a Quebec town near the U.S. border. Thanks to the government's new legislation, this criminal can now look forward to reduced sentencing. It is shameful the government voted against and defeated Bill C-238, a Conservative bill that would have imposed tough sentences on smuggling guns.
    I have received hundreds of messages from law-abiding citizens of Kootenay—Columbia on this issue and they are frustrated. They are speaking out, but the government is not listening. My constituents are growing tired of waiting for the government to start listening to rural Canadians and legal gun owners.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, I flew home mid-week for an MRI, which I was fortunate to receive given that the pandemic was declared the very next day. Back then health experts, together with governments, asked for two weeks to flatten the curve. Canadians have given it a year. What has been the government's response these past 12 months? It has been mismanagement. From its mismanagement of border closures, government assistance programs, PPE procurement and, most recently, vaccine procurement, Canadians are paying a high price.
    Under the Liberal government, Canada has had record deficits, the highest unemployment in the G7 and the worst economic growth per capita since the Great Depression. A year into the pandemic, the government has failed to put forward an economic plan that will get Canadians back to work.
    While Canada is a strong, resilient country, we need a plan for a safe reopening. Canadians know they can count on Conservatives to secure our future.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell colleagues about my constituent Nancy Gatten. Nancy works at a grocery store in London and, like so many other women, she is a front-line worker in the service sector. Nancy is 63 years old and has diabetes. Her doctor told her to stay at home because she is at high risk for contracting COVID-19.
    Nancy accessed the CERB and was grateful for that support, yet despite the fact that the pandemic is far from over, and in London we are seeing the spread of variants, Nancy is not eligible for the recovery sickness benefit. Nancy must return to a very public workplace with no clear indication of when she will get a vaccine.
     Nancy said she had had high hopes because the Prime Minister had said that the government would protect vulnerable Canadians, help seniors, and that he cared for women working on the front lines, but because of his failure to make supports universal, Nancy and many other Canadians are sadly being left behind.

[Translation]

Purple Day

    Mr. Speaker, March is epilepsy awareness month, and March 26 is Purple Day, which is celebrated to encourage worldwide support for people with this disorder.
    In Canada, one in 100 people have epilepsy and nearly one-third of them are children, including my three-year-old son Ulysse.
    On March 26, I invite my colleagues, along with all Quebeckers and Canadians, to proudly wear purple in support of the individuals and families affected by this disorder.
    The Bloc Québécois, my husband, who is the member for Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, and I hope that raising awareness will lead to more research so that a cure can be found and so that young and old can live without worrying about the consequences of another episode.
    Dear Ulysse, daddy, mommy, Charlotte and Loïc love you.

  (1420)  

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, last week we heard shocking testimony from the former military ombudsman detailing evidence presented to the minister of defence of sexual misconduct, allegedly perpetrated by Canada's top soldier. Instead of receiving the information and acting on it, the minister pushed away from the table and sent the ombudsman to the Prime Minister's department.
     It is clear that the Prime Minister and his defence minister failed to take action. Instead, the government undertook a coordinated campaign to silence a whistle-blower. We ask members of our Canadian Armed Forces to serve Canada with unlimited liability. The very least that we can do is to ensure an environment that is free from sexual misconduct and that any complaints are investigated and free of reprisals.
    The Prime Minister and his defence minister have failed to create an environment that has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct. They have failed to protect the members who brought their stories forward. We owe it to all members of the Canadian Forces to find out exactly how allegations of sexual misconduct were covered up by the Liberal government.

Women in Politics

    Mr. Speaker, this month we honour incredible women, and I would like to recognize former Oakville MP Bonnie Brown, who turned 80 years old on March 2.
    Bonnie served in this House from 1993 to 2008. Prior to being elected federally, she served as a school board trustee and then was elected as a municipal councillor. This year's theme for International Women's Day is “Choose to Challenge”. Bonnie Brown has never been afraid to challenge. She has spoken passionately about climate change, child care, pharmacare and so much more. I know that Bonnie is especially proud of being the first parliamentarian to speak out against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    Bonnie cherishes her family, and her children and grandchildren have made her proud. She was and is a trailblazer and shows no signs of slowing down. I thank Bonnie for her leadership and inspiring women like me to walk in her footsteps.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, “Once again, seriously this time, can the Prime Minister tell us why he did not immediately demand that the Chief of the Defence Staff resign?” That was the Prime Minister's attitude in 2015 in reaction to comments made by General Tom Lawson.
    Once again, seriously this time, can the Prime Minister tell us why he did not immediately demand that the Chief of the Defence Staff resign when he learned of allegations against him in 2018?
    Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have always taken allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. No one should ever feel unsafe at work. It is clear, though, that the many measures we have taken since being in government have not yet gone far enough and they have not moved fast enough.
    As I said yesterday, we need to move faster and we will do more.
    That is taken very seriously, Mr. Speaker.
    Michael Wernick, the former clerk of the Privy Council, has admitted he was aware of the allegations. Elder Marques, the senior adviser to the Prime Minister, was made aware.
    In 2015, the Prime Minister told the House that sexual harassment in our military was unacceptable, so why was it acceptable for him to ignore it in 2018?
    Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. We take all allegations seriously and ensure they are followed up on by the appropriate independent authorities. That is exactly what happened in this situation.
    After the defence ombudsman received a complaint, the minister directed him to independent officials who could investigate. My office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman. Those officials never received further information, so were unable to move forward with an investigation.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister needs to demonstrate leadership. In 2015, inappropriate comments from the Chief of the Defence Staff were enough for this Prime Minister to demand a resignation. In 2018, an allegation of sexual misconduct itself was not even enough for him to demand an investigation.
    Which Prime Minister is it in 2021: the one who demanded accountability in opposition, or the one who is supporting a cover-up as Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, we have always taken allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and referred them to the appropriate authorities. When the ombudsman came forward to the minister to say he had heard allegations, the minister directed him to those independent authorities who could follow up on an investigation. Those are the people who need to do the independent, rigorous investigations. We have always ensured those people are able to do rigorous follow-ups. In this case, there was not enough information to continue with the independent investigation.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is talking about the rigorous follow-ups from 2018. Everyone around the Prime Minister was aware of the sexual harassment allegations in 2018.
    Why, in 2019, did the Prime Minister extend the contract of the Chief of the Defence Staff and give him a promotion?
    Mr. Speaker, in 2018, my office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman, but my office and I learned of the details of the allegation through news reporting over the past months.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canada's chief science advisor, Pfizer and the chief immunologist have all said that the government's plan to leave a four-month interval between the two doses of the vaccine will leave Canada more vulnerable to COVID-19 variants.
    Why is the Liberal government ignoring the advice of scientists?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, unlike the Conservatives, we have listened to scientists and experts every step of the way. Now that we have safe and effective vaccines in Canada, we need to make sure that as many Canadians as possible can get vaccinated. To ensure that as many people as possible are protected from COVID-19, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said that second doses can safely be delayed up to four months.
    We will always continue to work with the provinces, territories and experts to keep communities safe.

Pensions

    Mr. Speaker, in an interview she gave yesterday, the current member for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne explained that the government voted against a call from the majority of Parliament to increase old age security by $110 a month because it would be unfair to low-income seniors. The Liberals had promised an increase during the election campaign, but only for those over 75.
    Is the Prime Minister compromising universal access to old age security in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we have always been there to support our seniors.
    We increased the guaranteed income supplement by 10% as soon as we took office. We supported seniors and expanded and reformed old age security.
    We invested and will continue to invest, as promised, in order to increase old age security for seniors when they turn 75.
    Mr. Speaker, parliamentarians knew all of that when a majority of us voted for an increase. The Prime Minister is not answering the question. Seniors have worked their whole lives and wanted to make sure they would have a basic minimum income. The value of this benefit is shrinking every year, if not every month. Seniors' purchasing power has been reduced even more because of the pandemic, yet the Prime Minister refuses to increase the benefit starting at age 65.
    My question is clear and it is very important. Are the Prime Minister and the government compromising universal access to old age security?
    Mr. Speaker, we are supporting seniors of all ages during the pandemic by providing a total of $3.8 billion in tax-free payments and increased community supports.
    We plan to increase old age security by 10% for seniors when they turn 75. That is on top of the work we are doing to restore the age of eligibility for old age security benefits, increase the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors, and improve the Canada pension plan for future retirees. We will continue to be there for our seniors, as we have always been.

  (1430)  

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, at a committee meeting, the government submitted essential documents in English only. That is unacceptable.
    The government has all the resources needed to ensure that all documents are submitted in both official languages. Why is the Prime Minister treating French like a second-class language?
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, what the Leader of the NDP has said is simply not true.
    We provided the clerk with the thousands of documents requested. The committee then received the documents in both official languages. The process is working properly. We will always protect our two official languages across the country.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, we are coming up on the first anniversary of COVID-19. It has been a very difficult year for so many people, but what is so heartbreaking about this pandemic is how seniors bore the brunt of it, particularly seniors in long-term care. We have learned that seniors in for-profit long-term care experienced the worst conditions and were most likely to lose their lives.
    The New Democrats have long said there is no place for profit in the care of our seniors. Will the Prime Minister commit to removing profit from long-term care?
    Mr. Speaker, we have committed to working with the provinces and territories to ensure that seniors are protected right across the country in long-term care. We know there is a need to improve long-term care standards across the country. We look forward to working with the provinces and territories to share best practices.
    In the case of seniors, we have stepped up as a government with more than $3.8 billion in tax-free payments to seniors, along with enhanced community support. We are committed to increasing old age security by 10% for seniors aged 75 and up. That builds on our work of increasing the GIS, increasing the Canada pension plan for future retirees and supporting seniors every step of the way.

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister loves to brag about what he calls big, fat government programs. Maybe if he had focused on smart, results-oriented programs we would not have the highest unemployment rate and the worst vaccination rate in the G7. Out of 15 countries measured by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, we are ranked 11th on the COVID misery index.
    Why did he spend so much to achieve such miserable results for the health and livelihoods of Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I hate to correct the member on his facts, but Japan is a member of the G7.
    By taking quick and necessary action, we saved millions of jobs, provided support to millions of families and kept more businesses solvent with CERB, flexible EI, recovery benefits, the wage subsidy, rent support and CEBA.
     Of course, we hear the Conservatives say we spent too much, too quickly. When we turn to recovery, we will regain the jobs lost by making targeted investments, including in training and creating jobs. We knew that the best way through this pandemic was to be there for Canadians and that is exactly what we did.
    Mr. Speaker, congratulations to the Prime Minister. He knows that Japan is in the G7. Maybe he should also know that Japan has one-tenth the COVID fatality rate of Canada.
    Let us start judging results. He has delivered the highest unemployment rate in the G7 and the worst vaccination rate. Now we find, from a scientific and statistical study of health and well-being, that he has delivered among the highest levels of misery for the biggest price.
     Why does the Prime Minister judge his success simply by how expensive he can be, not by how many lives he can save?
    Mr. Speaker, we know this has been a hard year for Canadians, and we have all had to look out for each other. We are grateful for Canadians' hard work and resilience, and as we said, we have their backs.
     We know it has not always been easy, and we have ensured easy access to digital tools and resources that provide information and support. Wellness Together Canada has provided hundreds of thousands of Canadians with confidential support during the tough times of the pandemic. If anyone needs support, we will be there for them.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, what was that? Is he really expecting us to believe that? When I ask the Prime Minister about having the worst vaccination rates, the worst jobless rates and among the highest misery rates during COVID, the best he can do is stand up and read some talking points that were written for him by his bureaucrats? Why can he not show a little contrition for his failures?
    The Prime Minister has cost us the most to achieve the worst results, and what he expects us to do now is just continue down this failed path.
    If the Prime Minister wants the confidence of Canadians, will he tell them what he will change to reverse the failures that he has delivered thus far?
    Mr. Speaker, I can understand the frustration of the member opposite, being among the many Canadians who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
    The fact is that we have been there to support Canadians every step of the way, by investing in families, by investing in workers, by knowing that the best way through the pandemic is to be there to support them. That is exactly what we have done and what we will continue to do.
    We have been there for people because we made a simple promise to have their backs as long as it took and as much as it took, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the best way to ensure that our economy comes roaring back after the pandemic. We will continue to be there for Canadians, regardless of what the opposition says.

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, it has been a devastating 12 months for Canadians, and it sounds like we are going to be in this for another seven months, if not longer. Three million Canadians remain out of work and remain on government support programs. We know that women’s workforce participation has been set back 30 years. As long as I have been alive, that is how much loss we have had as women in this country, and 100,000 women remain out of work and are not looking for work at all because there are no jobs.
     What is the Prime Minister’s plan for these three million Canadians and for women in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, we recognize that this recession, the pandemic crisis, is actually a “she-cession”. Vulnerable women at all socio-economic levels have been harder hit by the pandemic than anyone else. Indeed, we know we need to make sure that the losses in the advances of women's equality that we have suffered this year cannot be any more than temporary.
    That is why investments in child care continue to be at the forefront of the intentions of the government. Support for gender equality and women's rights is something this government will never flinch on.
    Mr. Speaker, I did not actually hear a plan for recovery for Canadian women.
    This week the Deputy Prime Minister and the Liberal government praised themselves for establishing a women's task force for recovery, an entire year after 1.5 million women lost their jobs in the onset of the pandemic. I will note that this task force has zero representation for women-dominated industries that were most impacted by the pandemic. We are talking retail, personal services, accommodation services and mom entrepreneurs. There is zero representation for them on the task force.
    It is the Prime Minister's duty to deliver a plan to Canadians for how he is going to bring back jobs and improve things for women. What is that plan?
    Mr. Speaker, the task force we put forward is going to focus on a feminist recovery for our economy, but it is not the only thing we have done. A number of years ago, we set up a close to $5-billion women's entrepreneurship strategy that has let women entrepreneurs succeed right across the country. We know when women entrepreneurs succeed, they create jobs in the community and create solutions in the community.
    We are also committed to moving forward on child care. We see the business community has woken up to the fact that child care is an economic argument, not just a social argument. We certainly hope the Conservatives will understand the extent to which investing in child care is something we need to do.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague highlighted that economic downturns can have effects that last for generations. COVID-19 has seen the greatest exit of women from the workforce in 30 years. All of the progress the Prime Minister just mentioned was wiped out a year ago. He has talked about the “she-cession” many times over this last year, but all the Liberals have done is announced a task force for the future.
    Why does the government still not have a plan to get women back into the workforce in all sectors and in all regions of the country?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. Yes, we have announced a task force to ensure that women are at the heart of the economic recovery moving forward, but throughout the pandemic we have been there to support women, through increasing the Canada child benefit and in supports for shelters and victims of domestic violence. We have continued to invest to be there to support women through the women's entrepreneurship strategy. However, indeed, one of the most pressing recommendations made by everyone on how to support women in the workforce is to move forward on child care. I look forward to seeing support from the Leader of the Opposition when we put forward our ambitious plan on child care.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Prime Minister has a major credibility problem when he says that he will defend the French language in Quebec. His own office violated the Official Languages Act when it submitted thousands of pages of unilingual English documents about the management of the pandemic to the health committee. The act is clear. The government is required to provide bilingual documents so that they can be tabled in both official languages.
    Why is the Prime Minister's Office violating the federal language law?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's claim is completely false. We gave the law clerk thousands of documents that were requested, and the committee then received these documents in both official languages. The system is working as it should. We will always protect our official languages. We will always protect French and, unlike the members of the Bloc, we will protect French across Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Prime Minister's record speaks for itself. Since he said he would defend French in Quebec, he has refused to apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses. He has voted against adequate knowledge of French to obtain citizenship from within Quebec and now he has violated the Official Languages Act by providing thousands of pages of documents to the law clerk in English only.
    What credibility does he have to ask Quebeckers to trust him to protect French?
    Mr. Speaker, once again we see that the Bloc Québécois's goal is to undermine francophones' trust in Canada, but the truth is that, with our reforms, we are ensuring that all Canadians—whether they are francophones living in Quebec, anglophones in the rest of the country, francophones living outside Quebec, Acadians or English-speaking Quebeckers—see themselves reflected in the Official Languages Act. We will not only protect and reinforce the rights of official language minorities, we will also do more for the French language across Canada because of its minority status.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government excels at the art of doing things in half measures. It was late in closing the borders. It was late in ordering vaccines and now it is late in tabling a budget. The fact that the Liberals are late tabling a budget creates even more uncertainty for the provinces. In fact, the provinces have once again reiterated their need for health transfers.
    When will the Liberals meet the expectations of the provinces?
    Mr. Speaker, we are here to meet the expectations of Canadians across the country. That is why we transferred tens of billions of dollars to the provinces and territories for their health systems, testing, vaccines and for the help we gave to businesses.
    On the contrary, $8 out of every $10 spent to help people during this pandemic did not come from the provinces or the territories, but from the federal government.
    We have been there for the provinces and for Canadians and we will continue to be there for as long as it takes.
    Mr. Speaker, our leader has already promised to increase health transfers. The Prime Minister summarily rejected the provinces' recent demands in that area, claiming that he would look into it after the pandemic. The provinces need those health transfers now.
    Could the Prime Minister do something on time for once and commit to increasing health transfers?
    Mr. Speaker, we are still in the midst of an economic and health crisis that is affecting all Canadians across the country.
    From the beginning of this crisis, we have been there for Canadians by providing financial resources. We have been there for the provinces by sending tens of billions of dollars to support their health care systems, to help them provide services and to help Canadians across the country. That is what we will continue to do.
    Once this pandemic is over, we plan to sit down with the provinces and we will increase health transfers. However, this will happen after the pandemic. During the pandemic, we are going to support Canadians by meeting basic needs.

  (1445)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, medical experts have written in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet that incomplete vaccination by delaying administration of a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine could cause vaccine-resistant variants. This is sort of analogous to taking the whole course of an antibiotic prescription to prevent antibiotic resistance. The Liberals have ignored the advice of Pfizer, Canadian medical experts and the World Health Organization in recommending that the Pfizer vaccine doses be given four months apart instead of three weeks apart.
    Is the Prime Minister confident that this will not lead to vaccine-resistant variants developing in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the member opposite, I listen to our experts, and I am confident that our experts know what they are doing. To make sure as many people as possible receive protection from COVID-19, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended second doses can be safely delayed up to four months.
    Vaccines are safe and effective. All vaccines approved in Canada undergo a thorough independent review, and NACI guidance on administering vaccines that are authorized for use in Canada is grounded in science.
    Mr. Speaker, for people who are watching, what the Prime Minister is essentially saying is this: Because he failed to get the Pfizer vaccine into Canada in December, January and February, like many other countries did, at very small amounts, now we are going to have to delay dosing to four months, which is something no other country is doing. When he says he listens to experts, he is actually listening to political advice experts in his office. This could lead to vaccine-resistant variants, as medical experts have said.
    Is the Prime Minister confident that his non-data-driven decision to space the Pfizer vaccine doses four months apart will not lead to vaccine-resistant variants developing in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, this is interesting because we have all seen Conservative politicians casting doubt on science and casting doubt on experts by saying that the pandemic is not real and we should not wear masks. It is really concerning to hear that kind of suspicion around what scientists and experts say from the Conservative health critic. However, knowing what the Conservative Party's approach is on science, we should not be surprised.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Veterans Affairs assistant deputy minister told the veterans affairs committee that VAC conducts a gender-based analysis of all of its policies and programs. That sounded good, but when the veterans ombudsperson asked to see the GBA+ report on mental health treatment benefits for family members, the department did not even bother answering her.
    If VAC officials cannot bother to respond to the ombudsperson, how many pleas from veterans are they also ignoring? What will the feminist Prime Minister of Canada do about it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing up this important concern. I will be following up on it with the minister to make sure that we are delivering on our commitment as a feminist government.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, we now know that the defence minister shut down the military ombudsman when he tried to bring forward allegations of sexual misconduct by General Vance. We now know that the PCO pressured Mr. Walbourne to turn over the name of the complainant and, of course, he refused. We also know that the PCO then ran him out of his job. We have a feminist Prime Minister who has been gaslighting the former military ombudsman, saying that he did not supply enough information.
    Would the Prime Minister just do the right thing and apologize to Mr. Walbourne and the woman who had the decency and the dignity to come forward?
    Mr. Speaker, we take all allegations seriously and ensure they are followed up by the appropriate independent authorities. That is exactly what happened in this situation. After the Defence ombudsman received a complaint, the minister directed him to independent officials who could investigate. My office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman. Those officials never received further information and so they were unable to move forward with an investigation.

  (1450)  

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, this week marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. This past year has been challenging for every Canadian and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one. Governments at all levels have been making hard decisions to slow the spread of the virus, but we have been there every step of the way.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us more about how our government has worked to keep Canadians safe from COVID-19 throughout this year?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brampton North for her hard work on behalf of her community.
    From day one, we have taken action. We supported the provinces and territories, provided billions of dollars to support contact tracing and testing capacity, delivered millions of rapid tests and billions of items of PPE and sent on-the-ground hot spot assistance through the Canadian Red Cross. We will continue to be there for Canadians.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, when first asked about General Vance's sexual misconduct, the Prime Minister said he was not aware of any allegations, but at last Friday's press conference, he pivoted from “any allegations” to “specific allegations”. Is the Prime Minister committed to zero tolerance, or only committed to almost, sort of zero tolerance?
    Women in uniform and all Canadians deserve to know, what did the Prime Minister know about misconduct allegations against General Vance and when did he know it?
    Mr. Speaker, anyone who serves in the Canadian Armed Forces or anywhere in government or across the country deserves to have a safe work environment and to be supported if they come forward with allegations, and that is exactly what we have always done in every situation.
    After the Defence ombudsman received a complaint, the minister directed him to independent officials who could investigate. My office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman, but my office and I learned of the details of the allegations in media reports over the past couple of months.
    Mr. Speaker, to understand what the Prime Minister knew about the cover-up of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Forces, the facts matter. The defence minister knew in March 2018. Janine Sherman, the deputy secretary to cabinet, knew in March 2018. Michael Wernick, then deputy minister to the Prime Minister and Elder Marques, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister, also knew.
    Is it the Prime Minister's position that no one made him aware of the allegations of misconduct against General Vance three years ago?
    Mr. Speaker, my office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman to follow up with appropriate authorities, but my office and I learned of the details of the allegations over the past months only.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister lost all credibility long ago. Now we have even more proof.
    First, he said he was unaware of the specific allegation against General Vance, but now we know that the Clerk of the Privy Council was aware of it and that the former defence ombudsman also informed the minister.
    The Prime Minister promised that his government would be a feminist government, and now it is time to prove it. Would the Prime Minister have us believe that the Clerk of the Privy Council hid the facts from him and that the ombudsman lied?
     Mr. Speaker, we take all allegations seriously and ensure that the appropriate independent authorities follow up. That is exactly what happened in this situation.
    After the defence ombudsman received a complaint, the minister directed him to independent officials who could investigate. My office was aware of the minister's direction to the ombudsman. The officials received no additional information and were therefore unable to move forward with an investigation. My office and I learned the details of the allegations from the media last month.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, nobody is buying what the Prime Minister is trying sell.
    Let us go over what everybody knew three years ago about these serious allegations against General Vance. The Minister of National Defence knew, his chief of staff knew, the Clerk of the Privy Council knew, the deputy secretary to cabinet knew, Elder Marques, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister knew, yet the Prime Minister thinks that we should all believe him that he actually did not know.
    I want to remind the Prime Minister that the deputy secretary to cabinet wrote in a March 16, 2018 briefing note that the ombudsman did not have the power to investigate sexual misconduct. So the question is this. Why did the Prime Minister not tell his defence minister to do his job and order a board of inquiry?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, amidst all of the political posturing by the Conservatives on this, it is important to remember one fundamental thing: it should not be ministers or politicians investigating allegations. We need independent authorities to rigorously investigate and take seriously any allegations that come forward, and that is exactly what the Minister of National Defence did in this case. The ombudsman came forward with allegations, the minister said that he needed to take those to independent authorities able to follow up on this investigation, and that is something my office was aware of.

[Translation]

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois's Bill C-216, which would prevent further breaches in the supply management system, continues to gain support. Today, the National Assembly was unanimous in calling for the federal government to fully protect the supply management model in future international agreements.
    The Conservatives have already said that they will once again vote against the unanimous will of Quebec. I urge them to change course. As for the Prime Minister, in the name of the vitality of the regions and our farms, can farmers count on his support for Bill C-216?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, Canadian sectors under supply management are the pillars of our rural regions.
    Our government publicly stated that it would make no further concessions in future trade agreements. Therefore, our government will support Bill C-216 at this stage in order for Parliament to further study this important matter. As my hon. colleague mentioned, it would be advisable for the Conservatives to also support supply management and the affected sectors across the country.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Prime Minister said that travellers arriving at land borders would not be subject to the mandatory hotel quarantine because there are no big hotels in Lacolle and because there is no way to take action against non-compliant travellers like there is at the airport.
    However, there are customs officers at the Lacolle border crossing, just as there are at every border crossing. They can require people to show proof of a COVID-19 test and a hotel reservation. They can tell people to go to a hotel just as people arriving at our airports are told to do. They can take action against those who ignore the law. That is already part of their job. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to take action?
    Mr. Speaker, since March of last year, we have brought in a quarantine act that includes some of the strictest measures in the world for travellers arriving in Canada. We have continued to add measures as they became necessary. We will continue to ensure every step of the way that we are protecting Canadians from the virus and the new variants that are emerging all over the world.
    We will do whatever it takes to ensure that people follow the quarantine and public health rules. If they do not, severe consequences and fines will be imposed by the police.

[English]

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Toronto Star reported that despite the government putting in measures to stop the import of products made with the forced labour of Uighurs in Xinjiang, not a single shipment has been stopped from entering Canada. At the international trade committee yesterday, Liberals voted down a Conservative motion to conduct a study to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures, which are clearly not working.
    Can the Prime Minister tell the House why the Liberals voted down this important study? What are they trying to hide?
    Mr. Speaker, as we well know, committees are independent, and they will continue their work independently. As a government, we will continue to work in close collaboration with our allies to push forward on investigations through international, independent bodies, so that impartial experts can access the regions to see first hand the situation and report back. We are also adopting a comprehensive approach to defending the rights of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, including measures to address the risk of products made by forced labour entering Canadian and global supply chains from any country, and to protect Canadian businesses from becoming unknowingly complicit.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, last month the House recognized that China is perpetuating a genocide against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. Yesterday a coalition of global experts, including two former Liberal ministers of justice and a former Liberal minister of foreign affairs, concluded that China is perpetuating a genocide. The government must uphold its responsibility under international law and the 1948 genocide convention.
    When will the government uphold the rules-based international order and recognize that a genocide is taking place in Xinjiang province in China?
    Mr. Speaker, we are, of course, aware of this new report and will review it very closely. We remain deeply disturbed by the troubling reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang. We take allegations of genocide very seriously.
    We will continue to work in close collaboration with all of our allies to push for not just investigations but also consequences, and an end to these reprehensible behaviours. We will continue to work as a government to make sure that we are having the maximum impact on the world stage.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, last month, we all recognized the troubling and inhumane treatment of Uighurs in China. It is a genocide, full stop. Since then, we have heard nothing but radio silence.
    What is the next step? Why does the Liberal government say one thing but do another when it comes to China?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we are working with our international allies to develop a coordinated, concerted approach to address these allegations of genocide and the concerns we all share with respect to Uighurs.
    We know very well that the international community has to work together if we are to change China's behaviour and protect ethnic minorities.
    I respect and understand how important it is for Parliament to be able to make a statement on these types of issues, but a government has a responsibility to take action, and any action must be taken with our allies.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives wasted no time criticizing a vaccine procurement strategy that is working. They are simply refusing to accept good news when they hear it.
    We understand it is their job to ask questions about how many doses will be delivered and when, but it is not their job to intentionally muddy the waters and potentially mislead Canadians. That is irresponsible and does a disservice to Canadians.
    Would the Prime Minister please set the record straight and give us the vaccine facts we are entitled to?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Brome—Missisquoi for that important question, and I would like to wish her a happy birthday.
     For nearly a year now, our top priority has been to assemble the most comprehensive and diverse vaccine portfolio possible. The facts speak for themselves, and we have proven our plan is working. In total, eight million doses will be delivered by the end of March, which exceeds our goal by two million doses.
    While the opposition muddies the waters to score political points, we are staying focused on Canadians.

[English]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said he spoke to President Biden about the Line 5 closure and the critical impact it will have on 50,000 jobs on both sides of the border. Could he update this House as to whether the President said he would intervene to keep Line 5 open?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadian energy workers work hard to power homes on both sides of the border. When I met with the President, I underlined how Canada is a reliable source of energy contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness. Ambassador Hillman and our Detroit consul general, alongside many other officials, are strongly advocating Line 5's continued operation.
    Our government supports the continued safe operation of Line 5. We will continue to stand up for Canadian energy interests.
    Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister tell Canadians what he means when his government says that Line 5 is different from Keystone XL? Is it different because the Minister of Natural Resources is paying more attention this time? Is it different because he might actually engage the U.S. administration on this issue? Is it different because it involves Canadian jobs outside of western Canada?
     Keystone XL's cancellation represents the loss of thousands of Canadian jobs and billions of dollars of economic value to our country. So does Line 5. What is different this time?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, as we did for many years, we continued to advocate Keystone XL up until the moment that a final decision was made. We are continuing to advocate the continuation of Line 5 and will continue to, because we know how important it is to Canadian energy and energy workers.
    We also have continued to be there for workers in the oil patch, whether it was by purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in order to ensure that it would get built, whether it is by investing billions of dollars for orphan wells or whether it is by standing up for Canadian energy workers and a brighter future that we are building together. We will continue to be there to demonstrate that we know the future must include oil and gas workers in Alberta and across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has let thousands of Canadian families down twice with Keystone XL. Talks have broken down between the Governor of Michigan and Enbridge on Line 5. Thirty thousand jobs are on the line. It is two months before the deadline, and the Prime Minister just confirmed today that he did not specifically raise the issue of Line 5 with the President.
    The minister and officials told the committee that they are happy that there is now a mediator in place. Can the Prime Minister tell us why his plan is to bet 30,000 Canadian jobs on an American-appointed mediator?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians saw over the past four years that as a government, we were consistently able to stand up for Canadian interests, even against a very challenging American administration. I can assure Canadians that despite the fearmongering going on from the Conservatives, we will continue to stand up for Canadian jobs and Canadian interests throughout our work as government. We will continue to be effective in advocating for Canadians every step of the way, as we successfully did, while the Conservatives play cheap political games.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, today, I am happy to hear that the community of Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation is celebrating the lift of its long-term boil water advisory. This lift means that over 400 community members will have access to clean, safe drinking water.
    Ensuring clean drinking water for first nations on reserve is a deeply important commitment our government has made. Can the Prime Minister please update the House on where our government is at on fulfilling this important commitment?
    Mr. Speaker, today marks a historic milestone in our partnership with first nations communities. We have now lifted 101 long-term drinking water advisories since coming into office.
    In 2015, there were 105 long-term water advisories with no tracking mechanisms. Now, with our investments and these lifts, over 450,000 first nations people will have access to clean drinking water. We remain committed to lifting all remaining advisories and investing in long-term solutions so that no other generation will grow up without clean drinking water.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, I have a document that shows the Chinese Communist Party is at the heart of Canada's visa application centre in China. The subcontractor doing this work is a company owned by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. Under Chinese regulations, the chair of the company is the same person as the party's secretary, and the general manager is the deputy secretary. They must execute the will of the party in performing their duties and swear an oath to never betray the party.
    If the Prime Minister does not think a Chinese state-owned company should supply X-ray machines for embassies, why should we trust the Chinese Communist Party to run and operate Canada's visa application centres in China?
    Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that all third party contractors undergo rigorous screening. Officials regularly carry out inspections and audits to ensure compliance with Canada's privacy standards, most recently in December of last year.
     A number of countries also use the same local provider, including a number of Five Eyes allies. We will, every step of the way, continue to ensure the safety and the integrity of our visa application system.

  (1510)  

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, on Monday on International Women's Day I asked questions about the silencing of women victims of sexual misconduct and the silencing of a whistle-blower in relation to the chief of the defence staff. I used a word to describe the difference between what the Liberals say and what they do when it comes to believing and listening to all women. You reminded me that it was unparliamentary language. With the irony not completely lost on me, I do want to retract that word.
    I thank the hon. member for that retraction. We will strike that and consider it dealt with.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Environmental Restoration Incentive Act

    The House resumed from February 25 consideration of the motion that Bill C-221, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (oil and gas wells), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:30 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-221 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1530)  

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

(Division No. 64)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 124


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 209


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion defeated.

[Translation]

Health of Animals Act

    The House resumed from February 26 consideration of the motion that Bill C-205, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-205, under Private Members' Business.

  (1540)  

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

(Division No. 65)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 178


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 155


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

[English]

    Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

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

[Translation]

National Framework for Diabetes Act

    The House resumed from March 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-237, An Act to establish a national framework for diabetes, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-237, under Private Members' Business.

  (1555)  

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

(Division No. 66)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 333


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Nil

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

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


Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Measures to Support Canadian Workers  

    The House resumed from March 9 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to an order made on Monday, January 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mr. Fast relating to Business of Supply.

  (1610)  

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

(Division No. 67)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 183


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 151


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act

    The House resumed from March 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-216, An Act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (supply management), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-216, under Private Members' Business.

  (1625)  

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

(Division No. 68)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 250


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Alleslev
Allison
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Benzen
Bergen
Bezan
Block
Calkins
Carrie
Chiu
Chong
Cooper
Cumming
Dalton
Dancho
Diotte
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Findlay (South Surrey—White Rock)
Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Genuis
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jansen
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kent
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lewis (Essex)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lukiwski
Maguire
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
Melillo
Morantz
Motz
O'Toole
Patzer
Poilievre
Redekopp
Rempel Garner
Richards
Ruff
Sahota (Calgary Skyview)
Saroya
Scheer
Shields
Shin
Soroka
Stanton
Steinley
Stubbs
Sweet
Tochor
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Wong
Yurdiga
Zimmer

Total: -- 80


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade.

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


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada—United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement Implementation Act

     The House resumed from March 9 consideration of the motion that Bill C-18, An Act to implement the Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, be read the third time and passed.
    Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the third reading stage of Bill C-18.

  (1640)  

    Before the Clerk announced the results of the vote:
    Mr. Speaker, I believe this has happened for a second time. I thought my vote had counted last time, but now I just received notice that my vote did not count. I would have voted yea in the last vote, and I am voting yea in this one. I am not sure if I followed all the instructions.
    We will count the member's vote on this one.
     Mr. Speaker, that is fine. I will have to figure this out.

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 69)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 305


NAYS

Members

Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Blaikie
Blaney (North Island—Powell River)
Boulerice
Cannings
Collins
Duvall
Garrison
Gazan
Green
Harris
Hughes
Johns
Julian
Kwan
MacGregor
Manly
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McPherson
Qaqqaq
Singh

Total: -- 25


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

    Mr. Speaker, I think the member for Barrie was being very honest, clear and humble a couple of minutes ago when he said that he missed the previous vote because he thought his vote had been recorded. He said it in good faith and with good intentions. I feel we could seek the consent of the House to give the member for Barrie the opportunity to record his vote on the previous matter.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's request will please say nay.
    There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

[English]

    If the member for Barrie—Innisfil could tell us how he voted on the previous vote, the members have decided to allow his vote to stand.
     Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the members for that. I voted in favour of the motion.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, Health; the hon. member for Calgary Centre, Natural Resources; the hon. member for Calgary Midnapore, Airline Industry.
    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 82 minutes.

Points of Order

Elections Act  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, during the second reading of Bill C-19, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response) and its debate, I found an error in the text of the bill. At the top of page 12 concerning section 4 of the Elections Act, entitled, “Receipt of special ballot — application made in electoral district” in English, clause 239(2) states that it contains provisions for the receipt of ballots “in the National Capital Region no later than 6:00 p.?m. on the Tuesday”.

[Translation]

    In the French version, clause 239(2) reads: “parvienne au bureau du directeur du scrutin au plus tard à 18 h le mardi qui suit”.

[English]

    The same clause of the bill has two very different meanings. In one language, special ballots are to be received in the National Capital Region, and in the other language they go to the local returning officer. This is a significant discrepancy.
    On pages 726 and 727 of Bosc and Gagnon, it states:
     Bills are drafted simultaneously in both official languages. Once drafted, they must be approved by Cabinet, after which the Government House Leader customarily reviews them and recommends in favour of or against their introduction in Parliament. Generally, the Government House Leader asks Cabinet to delegate the latter responsibility to him or her.
    Page 734 of Bosc and Gagnon talks about the introduction of bills that are in an imperfect shape and that are clearly contrary to the Standing Orders. It goes on to say:
     Although this provision exists mainly in contemplation of errors identified when a bill is introduced, Members have brought such defects or anomalies to the attention of the Chair at various stages in the legislative process. In the past, the Speaker has directed that the order for second reading of certain bills be discharged, when it was discovered that they were not in their final form and were therefore not ready to be introduced.
    The government was clearly not ready to introduce this bill. The discrepancy between English and French versions shows two very separate, distinct and consequential meanings for elections that are held in Canada, or could be held if this bill were to pass.
    I must bring to your attention, Mr. Speaker, that the clause in question was a source of confusion during Monday's House debate, specifically during an exchange between me and the member for Elmwood—Transcona and also with the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
     The discrepancy I have highlighted is not some minor clause. Now I am fearful that the member for Elmwood—Transcona was misinformed, and he and I clearly had a different understanding of the legislation stemming from the incongruity between the French and English texts. He stated in the House that during committee:
    We heard from both Elections Canada and Canada Post that the intention is to have special ballots counted locally within the riding, so I think that is already foreseen.
    He was likely reading from the French version of the text during second reading.
    The parliamentary secretary, the member for Winnipeg North, stated:
    [B]allots would be counted in the riding if sent from the riding. This is a very important point to note.
    Again, the member was reading from a different version of the bill than I, likely the French version. Whether that was the impression given in committee or the intention of government, that is not what the English text of the bill says. It is clear that the wording of the bill misled members of the House and we may well need to restart debate entirely. I will note that practically half of my comments in debate centred on clause 239 and the impact it would have on local elections.
    I raised this immediately with the clerks on Monday and with the member for Kingston and the Islands, but it was not addressed.
    Mr. Speaker, I ask that you review this matter and rule on whether this bill can stand in its current form or if it needs to be discharged from the House of Commons and resubmitted. Again, clause 239 in the bill, if enacted, could impact millions of Canadians voting in an election during a pandemic. This is not a minor clause, and whether we read the French version or the English version would have grave consequences for how an election would be conducted in Canada.

  (1645)  

    I want to thank the hon. member for that intervention. I will take that under advisement and return it to the House should I see fit.
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on the same point of order. In good faith, I will confirm that when I was sitting here the member said that to me from across the way. I do not think it was my responsibility to reply to him, but he did indicate that. I will admit that.
     Mr. Speaker, it is your prerogative when you bring back a ruling on this, but I would ask that you please allow a bit of time for us to review what this member has said, and to review the legislation, to possibly provide further comment to this. We would very much appreciate that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I believe the proposal by the member for Kingston and the Islands makes sense. I think the government will absolutely have to provide information on this. I hope the time it takes to do so will not mean it does not want Parliament to do its job. I hope that things will move forward as they should.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Kingston and the Islands. It was an informal exchange between us, but he was in the House, so I wanted to make note of that.
    The spirit of the debate taking place was very reasonable and I really do think there is a questionable difference in the clauses.
    Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I want to add that there is a very serious difference because, from speaking with multiple returning officers locally across the country, I know they have already been trained on the proposed changes in this legislation and their understanding is that the special ballots will be locally administered, not in the national office, as is in the bill. It is worth your consideration.
    I thank hon. members for their input and I will return to the chamber with a ruling on that.

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

  (1650)  

Committees of the House

Finance  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-224, an act to amend an act to authorize the making of certain fiscal payments to provinces, and to authorize the entry into tax collection agreements with provinces.
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Petitions

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, constituents in my riding have asked me to present a petition on their behalf. They are asking the Government of Canada to use the tools within the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, or the Magnitsky act.
    The petitioners state that over 21 years, the Chinese government has perpetrated violence, including torture and killing, against the practitioners of Falun Gong. The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to deploy all legal sanctions, including the freezing of assets and the barring of entry to Canada. My constituents look forward to receiving a response from the government.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, I am really pleased to stand today to present these petitions on behalf of Canadians. The first one is on behalf of Canadians as a whole, but also the Ethiopian community. Ethiopia has experienced alarming bouts of unrest and violence in the last year. Conflict has engulfed the Tigray region, leading to egregious human rights abuses and a humanitarian crisis.
    Whereas humanitarian actors and independent journalists and researchers have almost no access to the affected region, Ethiopian and the Eritrean federal armed forces, forces affiliated with the Tigray People's Liberation Front and Ethiopian regional and military forces have all taken part in this conflict.
     Credible reports indicate that war crimes, such as the indiscriminate shelling of civilian towns and villages, extrajudicial killings, and at least one large scale massacre, looting and sexual violence, have all occurred. The situation remains dire with rising hunger, limited access to food and the collapse of the health care system.
    As Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of Canada's international assistance, these individuals are petitioning the government to immediately call for an end to the violence and for restraint from all sides and parties involved in the Tigray conflict; immediate humanitarian access to the region for independent monitoring to be allowed; an immediate international investigation into credible reports of war crimes and gross violations of human rights law; direct and consistent engagement with the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments on this conflict; and the promotion of short, medium and long-term elections monitoring in Ethiopia.

Sex Selection  

    Madam Speaker, my second petition will briefer. It is in regard to sex-selective abortion in Canada. There are no laws on this and it is antithetical to our commitment to equality between men and women. The petitioners call on the House of Commons to pass a Criminal Code prohibition of sex-selective abortion.
    There are a lot of parliamentarians who want to table petitions. I would ask members to ensure that their summary is short when presenting their petitions.
    The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition regarding the violent conflict that has engulfed the Tigray region of Ethiopia and led to gross human rights abuses and a humanitarian crisis. The petitioners call for an immediate end to violence and for restraint from all sides and parties involved in the Tigray conflict. The petitioners call for immediate humanitarian access to the region and international investigations into credible reports of war crimes and gross violations of human rights laws.

  (1655)  

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by 88 of my constituents.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to use Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, I am presenting a petition today that seeks to shine a light on the very dark and tragic days being lived by those in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where there are credible reports of gross and egregious human rights abuses. These horrific reports include allegations of widespread sexual violence, extrajudicial executions and indiscriminate gunfire.
    The petition, among other things, is calling on the Liberal government to call for an end to the violence and for investigations into the alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region.

The Environment  

    Madam Speaker, I am presenting yet another petition from young people in my riding of South Okanagan—West Kootenay and from a neighbouring riding of Kootenay—Columbia who are concerned about climate change.
    The petitioners point out that Canada's targets are inadequate and that the actions taken have been weaker than the targets. They want jobs that are sustainable, and not for a short-term gain at the expense of future generations.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to support their future with a detailed climate strategy, with science-based targets, and to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and redirect those funds to renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and job training.

Conversion Therapy  

    Madam Speaker, it is my honour to present two petitions on behalf of Canadians today.
    The first petition I will be presenting is related to Bill C-6, the government's poorly crafted conversion therapy ban. We, here in Parliament, and the overwhelming majority of Canadians want to pass legislation that criminalizes, in an explicit manner, coercive counselling practices. However, in an unfortunate and ironic twist, Bill C-6 conflates harmful methodologies with the goals Canadians choose for themselves.
    The petitioners are concerned that if Bill C-6 passes, heterosexuals will be able to get support to reduce unwanted sexual addictions or porn addictions, whereas LGBTQ Canadians will not.
    With this bill's passing, only in Canada will consenting adults not be able to pay for a professional counsellor. Mature minors would have no choice at all. In fact, this bill says that only the counselling sessions of LGBTQ Canadians will be regulated by criminal law.
    These petitioners recognize that although they support a conversion therapy ban, they do not support this conversion therapy ban, because Bill C-6 bans far more than conversion therapy. The definition used in Bill C-6 would needlessly criminalize normal conversations between children and parents, and other mentors in their lives, about sexuality. It would limit the types of supports that available for LGBTQ Canadians.
    It is not the government's place to determine the outcomes that a person desire for themself when they undergo counselling. Bill C-6 would ban outcomes that patients desire, not just harmful methodologies.
    The petitioners have a specific ask in regards to the definition of conversion therapy. The definition in the bill is not used by any professional body in North America. This petition is a call for a simple fix. The petitioners are calling for the definition to be fixed so that the bill will actually tackle what we all want to do: to ban violent and coercion counselling.
    I would ask the member to keep her petition summary very short, and it should not be her personal view.
    The hon. member for Cloverdale—Langley City.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is with respect to the Tigray conflict that has rocked Ethiopia since November of last year.
    The petitioners recognize that credible reports indicate that war crimes, such as indiscriminate shelling of civilian towns and villages, extrajudicial killings, at least one large-scale massacre, looting and sexual violence, have all occurred in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.
    Humanitarian actors are blocked from helping the desperate victims of the violence. The government has a record of refusing to act or even acknowledging when human rights abuses are clearly taking place, as is evident by cabinet's abstention when Parliament voted to declare the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang a genocide.
    The petitioners implore the government not to ignore the tragic situation in Ethiopia by immediately calling for an end to the violence, for humanitarian access to the region, for international investigation into war crimes and to engage with the government involvement in the conflict to help ensure the integrity of their democratic institutions are protected.

  (1700)  

    Madam Speaker, I stand today to table a petition by my constituents of Edmonton Manning and concerned citizens across Canada pertaining to the ongoing crisis in Tigray.
     Just like many Canadians, I was shocked and heartbroken to read about the systemic killings of hundreds of civilians, including women and children, by the Ethiopian government's forces. I call on the government to do the right thing through the details of this petition and support this motion.

Indigenous Affairs  

     Madam Speaker, I have two petitions that I am tabling today. Both are initiated and signed by constituents in Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
    In the first petition, the petitioners note that almost all community drinking watersheds on the east coast of Vancouver Island are privately owned because of the E&N land grant, which was part of the agreement to bring B.C. into Confederation 150 years ago. They point out that the E&N land grant violated aboriginal rights and title. They also observe there is a high risk of drinking water contamination due to industrial and human activity in these watersheds.
    The petitioners call on the government to work with first nations, all levels of government and private land owners to begin the process of bringing these community drinking watersheds under public ownership and control to maintain a secure source of clean drinking water for future generations.

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition outlines a long series of human rights abuses sanctioned and perpetrated by officials of the Chinese Communist Party.
     The petitioners urge the Government of Canada to deploy all legal sanctions against these perpetrators under the Magnitsky act, including freezing assets and barring entry to Canada.

Natural Resources  

     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of over 10,000 people concerning Governor Gretchen Whitmer of the state of Michigan's order to shut down Enbridge Line 5.
     The petitioners note that the closure would have a devastating effect on the financial well-being of Sarnia—Lambton and tens of thousands of skilled tradespeople and employees of local refineries and supporting industries and businesses. The closure would also have a wide-ranging ripple effect throughout the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, including the disruption of fuel supply to major airports and transportation hubs, such as Toronto's Pearson Airport. Without Line 5, a massive portion of our industry would be wiped out.
    The petitioners call on the government to protect their livelihood and sustain their quality of life by calling on the Prime Minister to appeal to President Joe Biden to intervene and prevent Governor Whitmer from inflicting overwhelming and catastrophic economic effect to communities in Ontario, Quebec, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, I am presenting a petition on behalf of Canadians concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. The situation in the Tigray region is critical. There are reports of war crimes happening in the region, including a large-scale massacre. Human rights organizations are gravely concerned.
     The petitioners call on the Canadian government to push for an immediate end to this horrific situation.

FLARM Technology  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from my constituents Martina and Bradley Leinweber, who lost their son Adam in a tragic gliding accident, a mid-air collision back in 2019.
    The petition calls upon the House of Commons to legislate a mandatory use of aircraft collision avoidance systems in privately owned civilian glider aircraft and tow planes in Canada in an effort to prevent mid-air collisions and the associated unnecessary loss of lives.
    It is possible that Adam's death could have been prevented if Canada required the use of this FLARM technology, this collision avoidance technology, which, by the way, is promoted by the Soaring Association of Canada.
    The Leinwebers have worked tirelessly since Adam's death to ensure that no other family has to go through what they have. They are hoping the Minister of Transport will consider requiring this sensible and life-saving technology.

  (1705)  

Ethiopia  

    Madam Speaker, I have six petitions to present.
    The first petition highlights the situation in Tigray, as my colleagues have discussed.
    The petitioners call for an end to violence, for humanitarian access, for international investigations and for the Government of Canada to be engaged with the government of Ethiopia and government of Eritrea on these issues, including providing election monitoring short, medium and long term.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition raises serious concerns about Bill C-7, including the government's plan to eliminate the 10-day reflection period. The petitioners are also concerned about the government's plan to allow suicide facilitation for those struggling with mental health challenges.

Natural Resources  

    Madam Speaker, the third petition calls on the government to do advanced policies that support growth in Alberta's industrial heartland and growth in energy related manufacturing. It identifies a need to support permanent, accelerated capital cost allowance for energy related manufacturing.

Conversion Therapy  

    Madam Speaker, the fourth petition raises concerns about the definition of conversion therapy used in Bill C-6. The petitioners call on the government to fix the definition and then to ban conversion therapy, using a correct definition.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Madam Speaker, the fifth petition raises concerns about organ harvesting and trafficking. The petitioners call on the government to pass Bill S-204.

Human Rights  

    Madam Speaker, the sixth and final petition highlights the Uighur genocide. The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to recognize that genocide and apply Magnitsky sanctions to those who are responsible.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order following a comment you made in the middle of presenting petitions. I did not want to interrupt at that time, but even after you specifically asked that members not interject their own personal feelings on a petition, there were still presenters who said things like “and therefore I agree” or “therefore we should encourage the government to.”
    Presenting petitions is a time to present petitions on behalf of people, but as the rules dictate, it should not be used as an opportunity to interject one's own feelings on it. Perhaps now is a good time to remind people to ensure they are only doing what the rules allow when they are presenting those petitions.
    I appreciate the member for Kingston and the Islands' interjection. As I indicated, members should only be providing a brief summary of the petition and what the petitioners are asking, and not provide their personal views and if they support it or not. It is not a time for a speech on the subject. This will also allow more people to table their petitions and more parliamentarians to have the voices of their constituents heard.

Questions on the Order Paper

[Text]

Question No. 353--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s response to the opioid crisis: has the government joined legal action against (i) Purdue Pharma, (ii) McKinsey, (iii) any other pharmaceutical companies or consultants who acted for pharmaceutical companies in relation to how their activities may have contributed to the opioid crisis, and if so, what is the status of any such action?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to support community-based projects that aim to address the needs of those who use substances. We have made it easier to access medications like Suboxone and methadone, while also rapidly establishing overdose prevention sites. Our government has also dedicated $66 million to the substance use and addictions program through the fall economic statement.
    The Government of Canada has not joined legal action against Purdue Pharma, McKinsey, or any other pharmaceutical companies or consultants who acted for pharmaceutical companies, in relation to how their activities may have contributed to the opioid crisis, as of January 21, 2021.
Question No. 354--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s decision to appoint Dominic Barton to various positions since November 4, 2015: (a) did Dominic Barton disclose the work that McKinsey had done for Purdue Pharma before receiving government appointments; (b) was the government aware of the work that McKinsey had done for Purdue Pharma prior to appointing Dominic Barton; (c) did Dominic Barton recuse himself or was he asked to recuse himself from any aspect of his work for McKinsey in light of his concurrent work for the federal government, and if so, on what subject matters; and (d) on what date did the government become aware that McKinsey had done work for Purdue Pharma during the time when Dominic Barton was its managing director?
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the response from the Privy Council Office, PCO, is as follows.
    The Conflict of Interest Act, the act, applies to all Governor in Council, GIC, appointees, including Canada’s heads of mission. The act sets out the steps to be taken to avoid real and potential conflicts between the private interests and public responsibilities of GIC appointees.
    As full-time appointees, heads of mission not appointed or employed under the Public Service Employment Act fall under the “reporting public office holder” category for the purposes of the act. Reporting public office holders are subject not only to the act's general conflict of interest and post-employment rules, but also to its reporting and public disclosure provisions, and its restrictions on the types of assets they may hold and the outside activities in which they may engage.
    Compliance with the act is a condition of appointment to a GIC position. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that they are not in a conflict of interest, and for seeking advice and guidance at an early stage from the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in this regard. In addition, within 60 days of their appointment, individuals are required to submit a confidential report to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner describing their assets, liabilities, income and certain activities as prescribed by the act. Appointees are required to disclose certain matters throughout their term of office, and must review the information in their confidential report on an annual basis and comply with any new measures that may be necessary to satisfy their obligations under the act.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Madam Speaker, if a revised response to Question No. 3, originally tabled on November 16, 2020, and the government's response to Questions Nos. 347 to 352 and 355 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 3--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
    With regard to undertakings to prepare government offices for safe reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic since March 1, 2020: (a) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on plexiglass for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; (b) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on cough and sneeze guards for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; (c) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on protection partitions for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department; and (d) what is the total amount of money the government has spent on custom glass (for health protection) for use in government offices or centres, broken down by purchase order and by department?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 347--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
    With regard to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations: (a) how many permits have been given to Canadians to produce (i) fewer than 50 plants, (ii) 50 to 100 plants, (iii) 100 to 200 plants, (iv) 200 to 300 plants, (v) over 300 plants; (b) broken down by year since 2016, how many licenses have been revoked due to criminal activity; (c) what specific actions, if any, did the government take to address the concerns raised in a news release from the York Regional Police on October 29, 2020, that “Investigators believe that organized crime continues to exploit the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation”; (d) did the government introduce any restrictions to prevent the creation of “cannabis farms” resulting from the pooling of grow licenses; and (e) what specific actions, if any, did the government take to address the concerns raised by the York Regional Police on October 29, 2020, that “Organized crime networks have comfortably embedded themselves in this business, capitalizing and exploiting the loopholes in the current legislation”, including which specific loopholes the government closed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 348--
Mr. Mario Beaulieu:
    With regard to the Court Challenges Program, since the announcement on February 7, 2017, that it would be reinstated: (a) what is the total amount offered under the program; and (b) what are the specifics regarding each funding recipient, including the (i) name, (ii) amount promised by the government, (iii) amount received by the person concerned, (iv) court case concerned, (v) date on which the funding decision was made?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 349--
Ms. Christine Normandin:
    With regard to visa requirements for foreign nationals entering Canada, since December 1, 2016: (a) what formal review of the visa exemption has been undertaken by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; (b) what consultations with federal departments and agencies have been undertaken with respect to the visa lift, including, for each consultation (i) the date, (ii) the place, (iii) the agencies and departments consulted, (iv) the country under review; (c) what are the criteria established by Canada in its visa policy framework to assess eligibility for a visa exemption; and (d) what aspects, in detail, are taken into consideration when Canada conducts a review of visa requirements, with respect to (i) socio-economic trends, (ii) migration issues, (iii) the integrity of travel documents, (iv) border management, (v) safety and security issues, (vi) human rights issues, (vii) bilateral and multilateral issues?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 350--
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Project Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative: (a) what was the (i) total number of applications received to date, (ii) total number of proposed projects, (iii) total number of proposed housing units; (b) what is the breakdown of each part of (a) by municipality and province or territory; (c) what was the dollar value of funds requested, broken down by (i) individual application, (ii) province or territory; and (d) what are the details of all applications in (c)(i), including (i) location, (ii) project description, (iii) number of proposed units, (iv) date the application was submitted to CMHC?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 351--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to access to information requests filed since January 1, 2018, broken down by government institutions and by year: a) how many requests included requests for (i) text messages, (ii) audio recording or files, (iii) video recordings or files, including recordings of Zoom calls or similar, (iv) all records, including (i), (ii) and (iii); b) how many requests fulfilled have included records containing (i) text messages, (ii) audio recording or files, (iii) video recordings or files, including recordings of Zoom calls or similar; and (c) what is each government institution’s policy regarding the recordkeeping requirements and release through the ATIP process of (i) text messages, (ii) audio recordings or files, (iii) video recordings or files?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 352--
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the spending the federal government has done since 2016, related to mitigating or addressing climate change, including, but not limited to, infrastructure, tax rebates, subsidies both for businesses and individuals, research and development, loans, grants and contributions, and transfers of any kind: (a) what is the total amount spent; (b) what is the total amount spent per province on an absolute basis; (c) what is the total amount spent per province on a basis relative to population; (d) what is the total amount spent on any entity outside of Canada, including foreign states; (e) what is the breakdown per foreign state for any amount spent outside of Canada; (f) what is the total amount spent on any international or multi-lateral organization; and (g) what is the breakdown of where any organization in (f) spent the funds?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 355--
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to the $4.03 million in funding announced in 2017 by the government to bring high-speed Internet upgrades to Madsen, Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation, Stratton, Minahico, the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, and the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing: (a) what is the current status of each of these upgrade projects, including what specific work has been completed on each project; and (b) what is projected completion date of each project?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Motions for Papers

    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1710)  

[English]

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act

    The House resumed from November 26 consideration of the motion that Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise and speak as the member of Parliament for Vaughan—Woodbridge on behalf of the residents of my riding as their strong voice in Ottawa. I know first-hand how important the issue of climate change is to Vaughan residents.
     Our government has adopted a whole-of-government approach, partnering and consulting with industry and stakeholders to tackle climate change and ensure not only a healthy environment but a strong economy for generations, including for my two young daughters, Eliana and Natalia, and all youth across the country.
    It is great to speak today and continue the debate on Bill C-12, the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act, which would provide for the implementation of national targets and plans for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, with the objective of attaining net-zero emissions by 2050. Fighting climate change is most certainly about reducing or lowering greenhouse gas emissions, but it is also about a stronger Canadian economy and strengthening our middle class while helping those working hard to join it.
    Many of my colleagues know that I am a champion of the private sector. I have increased linkages between countries through trade, investment and, most importantly, wealth creation. Our economic system has brought with it a high standard of living and has lifted literally billions of individuals out of poverty despite the current setback caused by the pandemic.
    On climate change, industry and the private sector are again leading the charge. We see and hear about this every day. There are technological advances on many fronts, including right here in Canada, where electric buses are engineered, manufactured and assembled. There are announcements by automotive companies to produce electric vehicles here in Canada, made by the hard-working individuals at Ford's Oakville plant, Stellantis's Windsor facility and GM's operation in Ingersoll. My Vaughan—Woodbridge riding is home to a Tesla dealership where Canadians are able to purchase and pick up their electric vehicles. It is less than two kilometres from my constituency office.
    The feedback from leading private sector stakeholders on Bill C-12 has been unequivocally positive. Allow me to quote from the Business Council of Canada's statement “Transparency around net-zero emissions targets is essential, business leaders agree”. In it, the council said, “Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets are important, as is the process to assess progress against those targets.... Clear guidelines, a predictable policy framework and a supportive investment environment will help them get there faster.”
    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, or CAPP, represents an industry that is the largest exporting sector of the Canadian economy, with over $100 billion in export proceeds. The energy sector directly and indirectly employs nearly 900,000 Canadians. As CAPP noted:
    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is committed to working with the Canadian government to meet emissions reduction objectives, which includes the ambition to achieve net-zero by 2050.
    By working together, we can further accelerate innovation and develop technology that reduces emissions while delivering responsibly produced energy to meet global energy demand.
    We all welcome the new leadership in the United States, as our neighbour to the south has rejoined the Paris climate accord. The Biden administration will once again join with the Conservative U.K. Prime Minister, the European Union and all 195 countries that have signed it, 190 of which have ratified it. Canadians expect no less than leadership, and that is what we are delivering through Bill C-12.
    I wish to return briefly, in my remaining time, to a company that I mentioned in my first opportunity to speak to Bill C-12. I wish to dive a little deeper into it, as it is indicative of where the private sector is going and leading on climate change.
    Enel is Europe's largest utility and the world's largest renewable energy provider, with nearly 100 million end-users across 33 countries. For years, Enel has been recognized as a leader of sustainable development in its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We know this is a global issue and will require global leadership.
    Speaking at the 2020 Bloomberg Green Summit, Enel CEO Francesco Starace laid out why the company for years has pursued policies in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals. As noted by the CEO, “We’re looking at sustainability, not just green energy—it’s a little larger. As the world evolves more and more into a circular and sustainable economy, it makes sense that financial instruments are tailored to that direction.”
    In fact, in 2020, the United Nations Global Compact galvanized chief financial officers of global companies responsible for over $14 trillion of investments, which compares with the size of the Canadian economy of $2 trillion, by establishing a task force to help close the gap in funding for a sustainable and green future. Enel is the task force's patron sponsor and co-chair. Quite innovatively, the company issued its first sustainable development green SDG-linked bonds, denominated in U.S. dollars and euros, as part of its sustainable future.
    The future is now. Innovation is driving the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Yes, it will take time, but we know that Canada and Canadians are ready and excited for this future.

  (1715)  

    Bill C-12 provides the framework, the certainty and the rigour for Canada to achieve its goal of net zero by 2050. The bill requires the tabling and publication of targets, plans, progress reports and assessment reports. The initial target of 2030 must be set by the Minister of Environment within six months of the coming into force of this act, along with an emissions reduction plan. Notably, a progress report must also be tabled by 2027.
    Bill C-12 is a dynamic document. In addition to having a robust parliamentary accountability mechanism, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, supported by the Office of the Auditor General, must examine and report on the government's implementation of the measures aimed at mitigating climate change within five years of the coming into force of this act and every five years thereafter.
    Madam Speaker, the NDP clearly supports climate accountability. Jack Layton presented a bill 15 years ago that basically called for these measures. We have lost that 15 years. Science tells us that we have to do the lion's share of the work in the next decade to battle climate change, so we need accountability now.
    We need a 2025 target and an audit of that target in 2025. I ask the parliamentary secretary why the government seems so unwilling to do this.
    Madam Speaker, I share the member's passion with respect to the immediacy of acting on climate change, and that is what our government is doing. I believe once the bill comes into force, within six months an emissions reduction plan needs to be tabled, and then a progress report must be done by 2027.
    I know we need to act quickly. Bill C-12 is only one component of our government's fight against climate change. Obviously, putting in place a price on pollution, increasing that price and rebating it to Canadian citizens are also pieces of it.
     I look forward to continuing to work with all colleagues to not only fight climate change, but capture the economic benefits of fighting climate change.
    Madam Speaker, I have a question regarding the comment about the 15-member advisory board. It would be outside of our government, and I am wondering what exactly that entails.
    How long would these individuals sit on it? Has the government already chosen people to serve in this method? What responsibilities are there with regard to the Minister of Environment and the board? Is there accountability there in a reverse fashion?
    I am concerned about the role of Parliament in this circumstance with the advisory board.
    Madam Speaker, obviously, oversight and accountability of Parliament are needed when we introduce laws and programs for all Canadians to benefit from. This ensures transparency and accountability.
    The framework we have announced, to be implemented through Bill C-12, is very robust. I would love to go through all the measures we have introduced, but there are too many to do so. I could take this up offline with my hon. colleague.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I would like to pick up on the previous question.
    The issue was lack of accountability. There is really a lack of accountability and objectivity when the minister writes his own report and does his own evaluation. I am not alone in saying that. Groups I have met with recently, such as Mothers Step In, have pointed it out too. Bill C-12 also lacks objectives and targets.
    I would like my colleague to comment on that.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, one of many accountability provisions within Bill C-12 is the requirement that the Minister of Finance publish annual reports. There are many measures within Bill C-12 that require accountability and transparency as we move to a net-zero society and move forward to capture the economic benefits of a low-carbon economy.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay was absolutely right. The science demands that we have a milestone year in 2025 that is meaningful.
    The act, as written, is dangerous. How does the hon. parliamentary secretary square the real science with this fake bill?

  (1720)  

    Madam Speaker, I look to what the former leader of the New Democratic Party stated when we tabled Bill C-12. He said this was a real plan to fight climate change. A number of organizations and stakeholders commented positively on not only where this takes our government, but where this takes the country in hitting its 2050 target. I can send the hon. member the list.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House virtually.
    Today we are talking about Bill C-12, an act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
    Before I get started, I just want to say that I am always proud to tell the House that Conservatives do not wake up every morning intent on destroying our planet. Quite the contrary, as our record shows. This issue will always be important to us, and we will take concrete action to protect our planet and create a better future for our children and grandchildren. I am always happy to reiterate that.
    Here is what the document introduced in the House on November 19, 2020, says:
     The purpose of this Act is to require the setting of national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions based on the best scientific information available and to promote transparency and accountability in relation to achieving those targets, in support of achieving 15 net-zero emissions in Canada by 2050 and Canada’s international commitments in respect of mitigating climate change.
    At first glance, that seems very promising.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the interpretation does not appear to be working.

[Translation]

    The interpretation is working again.
    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.
    Madam Speaker, I will continue.
    At first glance, what I just read seems very promising. The Liberals have always been good at using buzzwords to suck Canadians in with their promises, especially when it comes to hot topics like environmental protection and climate change mitigation.
    If we do not seem overly enthusiastic or prepared to blindly get on board with this Liberal government's proposal of a net-zero Canada by 2050, it is a reaction based on our experience. For example, the following is an excerpt from the mandate letter for the Minister of the Environment:
    Support the Minister of Natural Resources to operationalize the plan to plant two billion incremental trees over the next 10 years, as part of a broader commitment to nature-based climate solutions that also encompasses wetlands and urban forests.
    Two billion trees is a lot. Not only will Canada be helping to sequester CO2, but it will also be creating jobs. According to a study published in Science magazine in July 2019, there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares of canopy cover on Earth, which is equivalent to 1.2 trillion trees. When added to existing forests, these trees could sequester 205 gigatonnes of CO2, or one-quarter of the carbon present in the atmosphere.
    Let us not forget the 2019 election campaign, when we got used to the Liberals' big talk and grand gestures to impress the public. They promised to plant two billion trees. We all know that wood absorbs CO2, so it is not a bad idea in and of itself, but now the Liberals need to walk the talk. The current Liberal government is merely using smoke and mirrors to impress the public and putting everything off until later.
    Reporter Mélanie Marquis wrote in La Presse that not a single tree has been planted to date. It is 2021, and the Liberals were elected in 2019. I know that they are, once again, going to blame COVID-19, and there may be some truth to that, but what action are they going to take?
    If I recall correctly, in the spring of 2019, before Parliament was shut down for the scheduled election, there was a sense of urgency about taking action. There was bold talk about the importance of taking concrete action for the environment. Nothing was done.
    The government has now introduced Bill C-12, which would implement measures and plans. Do we know when the first plan will be tabled? I will figure it out based on the number of majority elections. It will be tabled in two elections plus one year, that is in nine years, or in 2030.
    Does the Liberal Party of Canada have any credibility to govern our country and make environmental decisions? The answer is that it has no credibility. It kicks the can down the road. This is the same approach it takes to finances: It puts things off, it takes no responsibility and it has no vision.
    According to the calculations in Mélanie Marquis's article, we have lost one year of planting. By eliminating one year from the ten-year plan, we are now talking about 222 million trees a year. That is 608,828 trees a day. Is that realistic? That is the Liberal government's action plan for our planet. I have to admit that the Liberals made a smart promise; now, they cannot keep it. It is a gesture, but that is not all we must do to reach our objectives to protect our planet.
    Yesterday, in Le Journal de Québec, Mothers Step In published an open letter to MPs from the Quebec City area, including me, so this concerns me as well.

  (1725)  

     Mothers Step In are mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers who want to leave a healthy planet for future generations. This pandemic has taught us a few things. We can take concrete action to make a difference, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our carbon footprint.
    In its letter, the Mothers Step In organization writes that “Bill C-12, introduced by the government as its ‘net-zero emissions act’, is not a real climate bill. There is still time to improve it. We call on all our elected officials—especially the women—in Ottawa to act immediately and decisively. This is imperative, if we want to protect our children.”
    To the children of the co-signers of the letter—Ernest, Madeleine, Élodie, Marguerite, Éléonore, Félicie, Stella, Megan, Louka, Mathilde, François-Xavier, Lionel, Annette, Henri, Chanelle, Ismael, Yameli and Hendrik—and to all the children of this beautiful country, I would like to say that the Conservative Party of Canada will take real action for the environment, as our record attests.
    The other opposition parties accuse us of being oblivious and doing nothing to protect our planet. That is totally untrue, and I want to offer all parents, mothers, fathers and children some reassurance as to our record and tell them that the Conservative Party will work to save our planet and improve our environmental footprint.
    The Conservative Party's list of accomplishments is long, and I would like to highlight some of them.
    Between 2006 and 2015, we invested $17.7 billion in concrete action to improve the global environment. We created the clean energy fund to support clean energy research. We enhanced tax relief for green energy production and invested in 1,569 local conservation projects. We created the habitat stewardship program for species at risk. We invested $140 million in creating Canada's first national urban park, Rouge National Urban Park. That was an achievement. That is a fact.
     We added an area nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island to the network of federally protected areas. In 2006, we created the chemicals management plan. In 2012, greenhouse gas emissions were 5.1% lower than they had been in 2005, and the economy grew by 10.6%.
    We took action. That is why I find it absurd that the Liberal Party of Canada is positioning itself as a champion of the environment. Bill C-12—

  (1730)  

    The member's time is up.
    The hon. member for Shefford.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier for his speech on Bill C-12.
    He spoke a lot about Mothers Step In. I also met representatives from this movement at an event where there were some very interesting conversations. Mothers Step In has criticized the 2050 deadline set in Bill C-12, saying that the date is too far off and that the targets in the bill are inadequate.
    How does my colleague reconcile the fact that his party wanted to support Keystone XL, a project that the U.S. has abandoned, with the desire to meet ambitious targets by 2050? Can a self-proclaimed environmentalist want both of these things?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Shefford for her question.
    It is true that we need to do something. Back when acid rain was an issue, who was in power when the problem was resolved? It was a Conservative government. We trusted science and business owners to do research and development. Why must the environment and economic development be pitted against each other? I think it is possible to reconcile the two.
    Let us work together. Let us work on development here. Let us set standards. Let us require the major polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Let us make these companies get involved here so that the technology, research and development they create can be exported. Then we would become a leader on this.
    My answer to the member for Shefford is yes, we can meet our targets. The Liberals are saying 2030, but the Conservative Party will take swift, meaningful action and deliver results and accountability.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be asking my question for my colleague in English. I am sorry; my French is not quite what it should be yet.
    I am asking a question on behalf of a student in my riding. I spoke to the grade 5 students at Grandview Heights School in my riding. Neve, a grade 5 student, asked me if we should be doing more, and if we could be doing more, to make sure that we are getting to net zero. She talked about retrofitting homes and retrofitting our buildings with renewable energies.
    We really have not seen the Liberals actually achieve very much on this front. I am wondering if you could talk about what you would see as an ambitious plan for that going forward.
    I am not going to talk about that, but I will put the question to the member.
     I will remind the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona to address questions through the Speaker and not directly to the member.
    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona.

  (1735)  

[English]

    I hope the next few times I will speak with you in English.

[Translation]

    I will speak French for now, but I too am working very hard to learn our great country's other official language.
    Let me say that you are right. We could be taking meaningful action. Bill C-12, the bill we are debating, does not address the concerns or propose any quick, tangible measures.
    I would like to remind my colleague of the Conservative Party of Canada's record from 2006 to 2015, when our government made major investments through the eco-energy innovation initiative. These are meaningful steps the Conservative Party took at the time, but the problem has not been solved yet, and we are all aware that it is going to take a collective effort.
    When it comes to recycling, everyone is making an effort to achieve results, yet 65% of the recyclable items that Canadians go out of their way to put in blue bins end up in the landfill. There is a structural problem that we need to address.
    That is the type of meaningful action we need to be taking.
    I would like to reassure my colleague that we can take meaningful action to get results for the sake of our environment, both here in Canada and around the globe.
    I know the member corrected himself regarding how to ask and answer questions, and so did the other member.
    I would nevertheless like to remind all hon. members to address their remarks through the Speaker and not directly to other members.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to join the debate on Bill C-12, Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act, which is arguably the most important piece of climate legislation in our country's history.
    This is because Canada should always be striving to act as a world leader in climate change action, but our history has not borne that out. The fact is that Canada remains a top-10 emitter in greenhouse gas emissions on an absolute basis, and that we are firmly entrenched as a top-three contributor of emissions on a per capita basis. For too long, Canada has set emission reduction goals and failed to meet them. Most of the time we have failed to even have a realistic plan to meet them.
    In 2005, we committed ourselves via the Kyoto protocol to reduce emissions to an average of 6% below our 1990 emissions level. The Liberals, Bloc and NDP all voted in favour of meeting the targets. Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin then brought forth project green, which was Canada's first real climate action plan to meet this commitment.
    Unfortunately, the government was brought down and we were subject to a critical decade of being a climate laggard under the Harper government. We missed the Kyoto targets, and nothing was done to meet the Copenhagen 2020 targets. Over these years Canada's efforts were characterized as cowardly and Canada was even seen as a pariah in the context of UN-led climate change negotiations, giving us the dubious winning streak for the fossil of the year award, as well as a lifetime unachievement award.
    This was not only a source of great national shame. By failing to act in the greatest and most urgent challenge of our world, we also eroded our soft power and our country's standing in the world.
    Thankfully those years are over. Canada, led by our former minister of environment and climate change, was a key protagonist in negotiating the Paris climate accord, where the world committed to limiting global warning to 2 degrees Celsius while working towards limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.
    Canada and the biggest emitters around the world are now committing to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. We have also committed to bringing in a strengthened 2030 target in time for the leaders' climate summit on April 22 of this year.
    We know committing to it is not good enough. We need to hold ourselves accountable to meeting it. That is why the legislation we are debating today is so important. Bill C-12 will act as the legal foundation for Canada's strengthened climate action plan by mandating national emissions targets on five-year increments, based on the best scientific information available, as well as by requiring detailed strategies for achieving these targets and transparent reporting in efforts on the way to get there.
    An independent net-zero advisory board will play a key role in informing the government in the setting of targets and the plans to meet them. This body was recently set up with a diverse and exceptional group of 14 experts, including several who have been highly critical of the government's efforts to date. I think that shows leadership.
    I know the advice they will give the minister through annual reports on its activities, which the minister must publicly respond to, will be essential to ensure Canada's actions are informed by the specific challenges and opportunities our country faces.
    Furthermore, the minister must table both progress reports and assessment reports in Parliament with respect to each target. As such, the public will be kept aware of our progress, two to three years prior to every target, and our prospective success or failure will be analyzed and presented to the House following each target date.
    In the event of a failure to achieve a target, the minister must report on the reasons why Canada failed to meet the target, provide a description of actions the Government of Canada is taking or will take to address the failure to achieve the target. This is important both for transparency as well as for an accountability mechanism, because it will provide an ideal evidentiary base for a potential plaintiff to bring forth climate change litigation against the government for inaction.
    The Minister of Finance would also have a duty to publish annual reports explaining how the government is managing its financial risks and opportunities related to climate change. This obligation will require the government to report on all its operations, including crown corporations, such as Export Development Canada, so we can track how public money, even in organizations where the government is not involved in case-by-case investment decisions, and see how it is impacting our climate action.
    This could set the stage for appropriate responses to be made. As such, Bill C-12 will effectively lay government spending bare, and ensure that Canada is putting its money where its mouth is.
    The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, who is an independent officer of Parliament, must, at least once every five years, examine and report on the government's actions to date, providing additional scrutiny and transparency for Canadians.
    The impact of multiple independent reports will have on climate accountability and transparency cannot be emphasized enough. However, the accountability bill itself does not stand, without acknowledging the importance and interdependence of Canada's strengthened climate plan introduced this past December. The strengthened climate plan, which has been deemed as absolutely marvellous by former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, builds upon the 2017 pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change to ensure that we do not only meet but actually exceed our 2030 climate target.

  (1740)  

    It includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in new investments, on top of the $60 billion in investments in our 2017 plan. This strengthened plan includes measures that will support the rollout and retrofits of energy-efficient homes and buildings; support more sustainable transportation, such as electric vehicles; support cleaner electricity to power our country; help build a lower carbon advantage for our industries; and invest in nature-based solutions to climate change, such as planting two billion trees.
    Importantly, we have committed to continually and predictably increasing the price on pollution, up to $170 a tonne by 2030, to provide an incentive and certainty to individuals and businesses alike. This is so they can make and invest in more sustainable choices, while at the same time ensuring that the vast majority of Canadian households will get more money back than they spend on this mechanism.
    The former leader of the B.C. Green Party tweeted, “The tax and dividend approach is the 'gold standard' of pricing policies and Canada should be praised for this innovative approach”.
    While this plan provides a blueprint, we need Bill C-12 to ensure it is followed by the current government, as well as to ensure that future governments are held to account as well. I hope that my colleagues across this House see likewise and will be supporting this bill to get to the committee stage.
    With that said, Bill C-12 is not perfect. There are ways it can be strengthened, and I hope that the following areas will be looked at at the environment committee. I believe that the progress reporting in this bill needs to be sooner. This is so Canadians could judge and be confident that our government is on track and on the appropriate arc to reach both our 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals and setting us on a realistic path to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. I think this can be done three or four years earlier on top of the other reporting obligations that will be taking place in the meantime.
    In addition, I do not think we need to limit ourselves by setting only five-year advance emissions reduction targets. We must ensure that the government, the private sector and Canadians at large have a clear medium-term picture of where we are going, so actions and investments that will help us get there are made now. In this respect, I believe we can set targets for 10 years in advance, at the same time we are making the targets for five years in advance.
    As an example of what this would mean, a 10-year plan would allow for the planning and construction of provincial electricity interties that could connect to B.C. and Alberta electricity grids to support Alberta to transition away from fossil fuel-emitting electricity. This would be stable baseload power from B.C. while Alberta invests in renewable electricity. Alberta has some of the greatest Canada-leading potential in this space.
    Canada's action on climate change alone will not solve our global crisis, but we have a strong moral, scientific and economic reasons to play our parts. We are not a first mover in this space, and we can learn from the efforts of our counterparts in bringing in legislation, while fitting it to the particular context we have here in Canada. This bill and our climate plan will ensure Canada will not be left behind by our international counterparts in the massive $2.6-trillion opportunity of the green economy.
    Achieving our targets is not something that can be accomplished by the Government of Canada alone, as, by virtue of our federal structure, the federal government does not hold all of the levers on emissions actions. We need all orders of government playing a part.
    B.C. has put forth a strong plan with a clean B.C. plan and I am fortunate to have municipalities within my riding taking a leadership role, including the District of Squamish directly intervening in the Supreme Court of Canada case on the constitutionality of the federal backstop price on pollution. We need municipalities on board because half of our emissions come from within municipal boundaries, but we also need to be there in partnership with them, as they often face the biggest costs in adaptation.
    I will conclude today by asking my colleagues to support Bill C-12, arguably our most important piece of climate legislation in a decade, to get to committee. The measures I have identified in my speech are potential amendments, and I know my colleagues have identified others that we can make to make this important legislation even better.
    We let one party's intransigence on climate action derail our country for a decade before. Let us not make that same mistake again. Let us deliver the climate action that the vast majority of Canadians want to see, and let us pass climate accountability legislation.

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, I have four questions on the 15-member outside advisory board: Have those participants already been approached? What is the time frame of serving on that advisory board for organizations and/or individuals? Who is the advisory board accountable to within Parliament? What is the role it is playing in requiring the Minister of Environment to table plans?
    I would appreciate having a far broader perspective on the role of that advisory panel.
    Madam Speaker, I do not know if I will be able to get to all four of my hon. colleague's questions, but I will mention that this net-zero advisory body has already been established. There are 14 members who have been appointed. This advisory body will play a key role in helping engage with the public and inform the types of actions the government can and should take.
    The advisory board could potentially inform some sectoral strategies that it could take, and it needs to submit annual reports to the minister, which the minister must then publicly respond to. Those are annual reports that will be happening each year. I think it is going to play a very critical role in ensuring that we have accountability and are informed by the best science.
    I would be happy to talk to the member opposite some more about how that can take place.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in the throne speech, the Liberals said they wanted to meet the Paris targets by 2030, but there is nothing about those targets in the bill.
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question. I think we are both passionate about the importance of taking strong action on climate change in this country, now and always.

[English]

    With respect to his question, as part of this legislation the government would need to bring forward a plan to meet the 2030 targets within six months of it passing. Recently the government has committed to bringing forth a new 2030 target by the April 22 leaders' climate summit, which is going to be hosted by the U.S.
    This will be an important time to first set that target. Six months hence, the plan to meet that new target will have to be made, as would be required by this piece of legislation.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his sincerity on this issue. I know we are both very interested in and concerned about the climate issue. I also know that he is familiar with the call for not just an interim progress report, but also a 2025 milestone target. This is really important to hold the government accountable. After all, 2025 will be not five but 10 years since the Liberals first took government and started working on climate change.
    I am wondering if he can explain to me, because I still do not understand, the reluctance to put that interim milestone target in place to ensure accountability leading to 2030.

  (1750)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his leadership in this as well, both before his time in Parliament and during. I think what is important to show here is that we are on the right track to get to our 2030 targets, and we are going to be on a clear path to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.
    The target date that the Paris climate accord has is 2030. It is the date countries are using to ensure we are on the right track. I think part of the challenges of establishing a 2025 target is that we would first have to negotiate with the provinces, territories, first nations and many others. We then might be prioritizing short-term actions to reach those 2025 targets, and I think what we really need to be focused on are some of the major systemic changes that will lead to the deep emission reductions we need to make by 2030 to set us on a path to 2050.
    I mentioned in my speech the potential for great interties. There is a huge opportunity there within Canada and across the borders. I think those are the big projects we need to undertake now that might not pay off by 2025—
    I am sorry, but the time is up.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country may have inadvertently just mislead the House by misstating what is in the Paris agreement. It very clearly refers to 2025 as a key year for—
    Unfortunately that is a point of debate. The hon. member may want to raise the issue during questions and comments.
    Resuming debate, we will go to the hon. member for Jonquière.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-12, since I am concerned about environmental issues.
    My party is in favour of the principle in Bill C-12, but unfortunately the bill does not go far enough. We were off to a good start, but sadly, the government shows no ambition with Bill C-12.
    I would like to point out, because it seems essential to me, that all countries that care about the environment are putting forward legislation that will set greenhouse gas, or GHG, reduction targets. Unfortunately, in Bill C-12 these targets are nowhere to be found. Through the member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, my party introduced Bill C-215, which sets greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    If you compare Bill C-12 against Bill C-215, you quickly realize that nothing in Bill C-12 holds the government accountable for meeting its net-zero emission targets. It contains nothing to make future governments accountable for their actions. However, that would be necessary. There are no target requirements.
    I find it rather strange that Bill C-12 sets out intentions. I always have good intentions. I want to lose weight. I intend to do it, but, unfortunately, I do not. We need to set achievable targets. That is a fact, but we need to at least set some targets. Bill C-215 talked about a 30% reduction by 2030.
    I spoke earlier about the lack of a control mechanism—other than the political parties, which is rather problematic—to let the government know, objectively and impartially, whether it is meeting its targets. This bill does not contain any such mechanism, unlike the bill introduced by my party.
    The government was on the right track, but it did not go far enough. When I was thinking about it earlier, I wondered why the government would be so wishy-washy about climate targets. Often, when we talk about the environment, I think the biggest challenge is striking a balance between the environment and the economy.
    For those with an interest in environmental issues, the 1987 Brundtland report introduced the idea of sustainable development and, for the first time, people tried to strike a balance between the environment and the economy. I think the Canadian government has a lot of work to do on that front.
    Balancing the environment and the economy is challenging, but so is figuring out how to overcome national self-interest. That is something that often comes up. Every time we talk about climate change, we hear the same key phrase. It is something I often hear from my Conservative colleagues. They say, “Yes, but China and the U.S. are doing worse”, as though that clears us of all responsibility.
    There are therefore two main questions. How do we overcome national self-interest? How do we strike a balance between the economy and the environment? These two questions lead me to the crux of the environmental issue in Canada. The problem, in a word, is oil.
    The Canadian economy revolves entirely around the oil industry. The Quebec nation often pays the price of a national self-interest centred on the oil industry. If I am not mistaken, other than Norway, the Quebec nation is one of the only nations in the world whose economy is not based on fossil fuels.
    We therefore need to make both the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party aware of the fact that Canada's future does not lie in petroleum resources. The best example is what can be done with the forestry industry. The Standing Committee on Natural Resources held six meetings and was told by the main stakeholders in the forestry industry that it is probably the most promising sector in the fight against GHGs. We must make good use of the forest. It is probably the most promising sector.

  (1755)  

    The forest is a carbon sink. After 70 years, a tree begins to release the carbon it has sequestered all its life through a natural process. It will either be devoured by insects, or rot, or be consumed by fire. Therefore, we must collect this wood, which has sequestered some carbon, and make full use of it, something the federal government has never considered.
    I will give an example that I have repeated ad nauseam for some time. Take the construction sector. If we replace a cubic meter of steel and concrete with wood, we can reduce CO2 emissions by between 1.1 tonnes and 2.1 tonnes. This would represent 18 tonnes of carbon sequestered in 20 cubic metres of wood used for every house that would be built in Quebec.
    I mentioned the construction sector, but there are many other possible applications. Now, with what is known as the bioeconomy, we can replace all petroleum-based products and generate bioplastics and even the medical equipment that was in short supply during the pandemic.
    One company, FPInnovations, managed to make masks out of wood pulp in just under six weeks. We now know that we can use moulds that are also made out of wood pulp to make certain types of masks that can replace the well-known N95 masks that have been in short supply during this crisis.
    If the federal government wants to meet targets it should start by setting some. To meet them, simple measures can be put in place. In its recovery plan, the Bloc Québécois proposes using carbon footprint as a criterion for purchasing power in the federal government's procurement policy. That is entirely feasible and we could leverage that into support for the forestry industry.
    I want to address another essential point. I talked about national self-interest and the fact that we must reconcile the economy and the environment.
    During the period from 2017 to 2020, the federal government invested $24 billion in the oil industry. Out of that $24 billion, $17 billion was used to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline.
    During that same period, the federal government invested $950 million in Canada's entire forestry industry. For Quebec, that means just $71 million a year. Out of that $950 million, 75% are loans. These are not net investments going into the forestry sector.
    This is clearly a double standard. As long as we stick to the narrative of putting oil before technologies that would help us reduce our carbon footprint, we will have the same problem. I do not want to malign anyone, but I think that this situation might explain the federal government's lack of ambition when it comes to setting greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    As I was saying earlier, we have a solution. The forestry industry is where the economy and the environment intersect. Everyone is talking about the huge potential for innovation in the forestry industry, but the Government of Canada has not committed to or invested in this solution.
    Our other solution has to do with transportation electrification. The government has indicated that it plans to make transportation electrification one aspect of its recovery plan. Now, if I were unscrupulous, I would point out that this plan is mainly focused on the economy of Ontario, the only province that no longer provides rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles. I am not unscrupulous, though.
    This may be a step in the right direction for Quebec and its expertise. We already have expertise in batteries and we are quite advanced when it comes to hydroelectricity. The possibility of transportation electrification is—

  (1800)  

    I apologize, but time is up. The hon. member has five minutes for questions and comments.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I noticed that the member said there is not a whole lot to this. It is full of good intentions, but it is just a map with an end goal and no route described.
     He would possibly agree with me on this point: Why would there need to be anything if this is being put in the hands of an outside advisory board that already has been established without any input and before even coming before this House for debate?
     It is not to recommend, but to inform the government of the direction to go and to require the environment minister to respond to the board's annual reports, yet it is the Minister of Environment and Climate Change who is responsible to the House of Commons and to Parliament. There is no accountability here to parliamentarians from the environment minister or from this board. Is that a concern to the member?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I understand my colleague's concerns. Indeed, all too often the problem with fighting global warming is that, perhaps for political gain, some politicians will put economic sectors that are very harmful to the environment ahead of setting targets.
    If we had an independent body that could give us objective, neutral guidance, it would surely make our job as lawmakers easier.
    To that end, I would like to point out all the bad press our Conservative colleagues are giving the carbon tax. It is an essential tool that can help us fight greenhouse gases, but the Conservatives have a really trumped up take on the tax.
    Sometimes politicians need to set aside partisanship, look at what problems we will have to deal with and listen to what science is telling us. Unfortunately, I do not think that is what Bill C-12 will do.

  (1805)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have had the honour to represent the people of Vancouver Kingsway for some 12 years, which means I remember when Stéphane Dion was the environment minister and famously named his dog “Kyoto”. I cannot say how many different iterations of reducing carbon by so much by such a time I have seen; all I can say is that Canada's carbon emissions have gone up every single year that I have been in Parliament.
    It seems to me that we need legislated targets if we are going to meet our Paris Accord commitments. I wonder what my hon. colleague thinks of that. As a means of dealing with the existential threat of climate change, should we set targets that are enforced by law, with annual reports to Parliament so that we can measure how we are progressing toward those targets?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, yes, absolutely. We need to set targets. That is in some way the point of the bill that my party introduced.
    Let us recall the Montreal Protocol, which made it possible to fight the gases that were causing holes in the ozone layer. Political action was taken and the situation was successfully contained.
    However, that takes political courage. We need targets, but we also need political courage, and political courage will come when the Government of Canada is able to turn its back on the oil industry.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to try to present my opinion in French. I completely agree with my colleague from Jonquière, and I thank him.
    Greta Thunberg has said:

[English]

    Carbon neutrality by 2050 is surrender. We have to have a first milestone year in 2025. What are his comments?

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Jonquière for a brief reply.
    Madam Speaker, I could not agree more.
    First of all, I thank my hon. colleague, who is so kind and who always makes an effort to address us in French. It is a nice change, compared to some other members. I totally agree with her. There is an old adage in French about how one can never be too bold. I will not get into where it came from, but I am not seeing any boldness from the federal government at the moment. There is a consensus on this, and it is unfortunate.
    Earlier I mentioned the two big questions: how to reconcile the economy and the environment, and how to put an end to this national self-centredness, with some refusing to act until others do. How do we fix this? For us, the answer is quite simple: We must get out of the Canadian oil economy. Until everyone is willing to take a hard look in the mirror, Alberta's economy will not improve and we will not achieve—
    I must interrupt the hon. member, because his time has expired.
    The hon. member for Davenport.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an absolute honour to rise in this House to speak on behalf of the residents of my riding of Davenport on Bill C-12, Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act.
     Other than my constituents' very legitimate concerns about COVID-19, which has been the top issue for the past year, the main other thing they have written to me about has been climate action and a green recovery. They have really been pushing me to make sure that our federal government will not only meet our Paris accord targets and achieve net-zero by 2050, but that as we come out of COVID-19 and restart our economy, we also continue to commit ourselves to a green recovery and a carbon-neutral future.
    As we look at this bill, it is important to understand its scope and what it actually sets out to do. We also need to consider it in the context of the things that our government is already doing to lower emissions and the many challenges that are still in front of us. As well, it is important to recognize that it is only one part, albeit an extraordinarily key part, of our government's climate action strategy.
    For years many of us have urged our government to present a clear, credible, transparent climate plan to show Canadians exactly how our government intends to meet our Paris accord targets. That has been a very direct ask of many environmentalists and many people in general from the Davenport community.
    I was absolutely delighted when, in mid-December, our Minister of Environment and Climate Change presented a plan in a report called “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy”, which basically outlined a number of policy changes that will get us way past our original 2030 targets. It lays out a number of things in our plan to cut emissions across a number of different sectors, including our homes and transportation systems, industry and natural spaces. It talks a lot about our price on pollution and our plan to increase that price and provide incentives around that, as well as how we are going to help increase the kind of rebates that Canadian families are receiving to cover their costs and to invest in reducing emissions. I could go on, as I am very proud of this report, which presents a plan. I really encourage everybody to read it.
    Bill C-12 will ensure that we meet our targets. What exactly does it do? The bill, as it is written right now, sets out that national targets and plans for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada be put in place with the objective of obtaining net-zero emissions by 2050. The act requires the tabling and publication of targets, plans, progress reports and assessment reports. The bill also stipulates the content of milestone plans and, in the event of a failure to achieve a target, requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to publicly explain the reasons. There are also a number of other accountability mechanisms, including for the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, supported by the Office of the Auditor General.
    I am really pleased that we have laid this all out, which is important for us to do. I am really pleased that it is included in Bill C-12.
     I will also mention that our first target is for 2030, and that there are also subsequent milestone years in 2035, 2040, 2045, with targets being set and emissions reduction plans established at least five years in advance of each of the subsequent milestone years. That is basically it, in a nutshell. I know we have heard a lot about this over the last few speeches.
    I think it is important for us to articulate that since we were elected in late 2015, we have done a lot to protect our environment and to lower our emissions. We have put a price on pollution. We have invested over $60 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Canadians adapt to climate change, primarily through investments in clean technology and infrastructure. We have also started taking some urgent action to ban single-use plastics. I know we are well on our way to protecting 25% of our land and water by 2025.
    My hon. colleague, the member for Beaches—East York, mentioned to the House late last year when he was speaking on this bill that our government's actions between 2016 and 2019 have already put Canada on the path to reducing 2030 emissions by 25%, or 227 million tonnes. That is more than any Canadian government in history has done to date.

  (1810)  

    The net-zero emissions accountability act is an important step forward. I know it has been lauded by a number of groups, including Greenpeace, which has called it an important step toward holding governments accountable for meeting science-based climate targets. I was also pleased to see the Business Council of Canada lauded it, saying that clear guidelines, a predictable policy framework and a supportive investment in the environment will help businesses get to net zero faster.
    While Bill C-12 is an excellent bill, Davenport residents have been calling me for the last little while to indicate that there might be some ways we can improve it. Therefore, I held had a number of meetings with groups such as Just Earth, Fridays for Future, Leadnow and Seniors for Climate Action Now, all of which are really amazing groups that have been talking to me. They have advocated for us to have a stronger emissions target by 2030 of at least 45%, with frequent progress reports over the next 10 years. They want to make sure that the accountability mechanisms are as strong as possible and that support for the offices of the environment commissioner and Auditor General is locked in place. They also indicated that they would love to see the advisory council and its recommendations be fully public and transparent. Those are just some of the very important changes and recommendations they have suggested that could improve Bill C-12. I wanted to make sure I put them on the record.
    The other thing I want to mention, because it is so important to the people of my riding of Davenport, albeit it is not directly relevant to what is in front of us, is the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible. I know this is something that was articulated to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. He held a virtual town hall with residents from my riding, where he very clearly indicated to us that he is working on this. I really am so grateful to him and his unbelievable team for their hard work.
    I also want to mention that in our fall economic statement, we have also reaffirmed quite a few investments to ensure that we do reduce our emissions and get ourselves on track to exceeding our 2030 targets and meeting our net-zero target of 2050. We talked about a historic $14.9 billion investment, federal funding for public transit and a huge investment of almost $3 billion to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. We have talked about planting over two billion trees to fight climate change. I know that our Minister of Natural Resources made an announcement about that. We have committed almost a billion dollars to restore a degraded ecosystem to protect our wildlife and improve land and resource management practices, among many other things.
    Davenport residents have indicated unequivocally to me that this continues to be top of mind for them. I want to read something from Natalie Zed, who wrote: “I understand that decisions are being made in cabinet right now and in the Liberal government about how to invest over $100 billion in a green recovery and/or beyond. I'm writing with everything I have to ask you to do whatever you can for the approval of that investment. COVID is a minor problem compared to what climate change is already bringing, and we have only seen the beginning of it. We're in the midst of a civilization crisis and collapse and it's super important for us to be focused on this.”
    I want to close by saying how proud I am of the healthy environment and economy plan. I am very proud of this bill, which if passed will set out the legally binding five-year milestones and set in stone our emissions reduction plan.
    In the end, climate change is not a Liberal, Conservative, Green Party, Bloc Québécois or NDP issue, but a federal issue, and all parties across all levels of government must do their part to urgently tackle climate change. Our current and future generations are depending on us to take urgent action now. We cannot wait any longer. No more words; it is all about action now.
    I am thankful for the opportunity to discuss this bill. I urge all of my colleagues in the House to move for speedy passage of the bill.

  (1815)  

    Madam Speaker, we all know that part of the Liberal plan to tackle climate change is the clean fuel standard. In the December 19, 2020 edition of the Canada Gazette, in the household and gender-based analysis impact study that was done, it states, “It is expected that increases in transportation fuel and home heating expenses would disproportionately impact lower and middle-income households.” It goes on to say that “single mothers are more likely to live in lower-income households, and may be more vulnerable to energy poverty and adverse impacts from increases to transportation and home heating prices.”
    Through you, Madam Speaker, is the member explaining to single mothers in her riding that by introducing measures like the clean fuels standard, as well as the carbon tax, which would go up to $170 a tonne by 2030 as she indicated, it will drive up costs for them?
    Madam Speaker, the cost of living is top of mind for all Canadians right now. I will mention three things. One is the fact that U.S. President Biden has talked to our Prime Minister and has made a clean fuel standard a priority. It is something both our countries are going to be working very hard on, and that bodes well for us making things affordable in terms of transportation moving forward. Two, I have already mentioned the historic investments in public transit we are making and continue to make. These will continue to make it affordable for all income levels right across the country. The last thing I will mention is that we are increasing our climate change incentive over the years, and that will also be supporting families as we push very aggressively to meet our emissions targets.

  (1820)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her intervention.
    Bill C-12 is obviously a vital bill, and I am not the only one saying so. However, the bill is not ambitious enough and we need to go further. Once again, it is not me who is saying so, it is the mothers, grandmothers and aunts of the Mothers Step In movement who are worried.
    I spoke earlier about the lack of transparency and the fact that the minister does his own evaluation. I also said that the objectives are lacking and the deadlines for these objectives are too far in the future. The bill talks about 2050, but we are talking about 2030, even 2025. The bill requires an evaluation every five years, but this could be done much more frequently, even every year if possible. That would enable us to truly evaluate the progress made and identify much more ambitious objectives for the future of our planet.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I believe this is a very bold plan. I also mentioned the healthy environment plan that came out in mid-December, which did a great job of outlining how we are going to meet our emissions target from a policy perspective and how we are going to be investing.
    I have heard from Davenport residents that they want their targets in 2025 first. My understanding, from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, is that it is very difficult for us to do at this point in time. However, I believe we are considering, or are open to looking at, doing progress reports between now and 2028, which is the first time I think we have specified that we will do progress reports on our emissions targets.
    It is very important for us to continue to try to improve, to be as accountable and transparent as possible and to be as aggressive as possible.
    Madam Speaker, I am certainly hopeful the member for Davenport shows leadership within her own caucus to push the government toward that 2025 target. We know it is so important.
    I met with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which is putting forward its Delivering Community Power plan. It calls for the federal government to transition the Canada Post fleet to 100% renewable energy vehicles, to retrofit all Canada Post buildings to be more energy efficient, and so much more. I am wondering if she could talk about the support for the Delivering Community Power plan.
    Madam Speaker, many people do not know this, but I am the daughter of someone who worked at Canada Post for almost 30 years.
    We all play a role, at every level of government across all our different sectors, in reducing our emissions, and it is important for us all to be making those investments and doing all we can to play a part in meeting our 2050 net-zero targets.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to join you this evening to talk about Bill C-12, an act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada's efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. We are debating it in the House. I am pleased to take the time to discuss it because I have some experience when it comes to environmental issues.
    I always find it fascinating to hear my Bloc Québécois, Green Party or even Liberal colleagues try to demonize the Conservatives by saying that, unlike other Canadians across the country, members of the big Conservative family do not care about environmental issues
    In my opinion, the big difference between our political family and the others is that we are pragmatic. We want to take concrete action. We do not want to simply come up with hare-brained ideas that we will never be able to implement.
    I know what I am talking about because I used to be the mayor of Victoriaville, also known as the cradle of sustainable development. In fact, most environmental initiatives originated in my community, my municipality. Victoriaville was the first town in Quebec to bring in a recycling program and an organic waste collection program. Big city folks often like to lecture us a bit, but the fact is that this started more than 20 years ago in our regions. We just got right to it instead of shooting our mouths off and talking big, like the Liberal Party unfortunately does.
    The Liberals introduced a bill on attaining net-zero emissions by 2050 that has no targets, when they are not even capable of meeting the Paris targets by 2030. There was agreement on the 2030 targets. Those were the targets set by the Conservatives and copied by the Liberals.
    After five years of Liberal government, it is clear that, year by year, Canada is drifting farther and farther away from those agreed-upon targets. The Liberal government would have us believe that everything will be fine in 2050, but it cannot even hit the 2030 targets. It is actually getting farther and farther away from them.
    The Liberals have really changed their tune over time. When they first came to power, they scrapped the public transit tax credit. A few weeks ago, their minister announced supposedly historic investments in developing public transit in Canada. When will those investments be made? Starting in 2026. Those investments will be made not by the next government, but by the one after that.
    The government is once again refusing to step up and bear the burden of making tough decisions for the good of our environment. It announced that it would plant two billion trees over the next 10 years, but none of its budgets have earmarked any money for this, and not a single tree has been planted yet. The Liberals make all the right promises, but they do not follow through in ways that show Canadians we are serious.
    My colleagues in the NDP, the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party can attest to the fact that two weeks ago, the Conservatives tabled a motion calling for Canada to stop exporting its waste abroad. We need to be responsible consumers. We need to take action to improve the situation, recycle and educate the public at the grassroots level, with the goal of reducing consumption.
    Adding value to products is good, but consuming less would already be better for the environment. The only party that voted against this Conservative Party motion was the Liberal Party. The Liberals voted against the motion because it was the Conservative Party that introduced it. In the Liberals' minds, that meant it could not be a good idea. However, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP, the Green Party and the independent members voted in favour of our motion.
    The reality is that the Liberal Party talks a lot but does not deliver. We can see that, because the bill has no targets, no binding measures for the government. What the Liberals are doing is putting it off until later and setting up another committee of so-called experts. However, the reports are there, and we know what needs to be done. We need to invest in innovation and research and find new ways to replace our oil-based products. That is true, but we still need that oil.

  (1825)  

    Attacking our jobs, singling out certain provinces and fighting with one another is certainly not the way to reach the consensus needed to make these changes. We will not solve our problem by banning the development of our own domestic natural resources, which create jobs and generate financial resources to pay for our social programs, balance a budget—which is easy for the Liberals, since they think budgets balance themselves—or simply deliver services, nor by consuming the natural resources of other countries, as we are doing now.
    This debate about our jobs versus the development of our natural resources is a red herring. Instead, we should be trying to achieve net-zero emissions. Even the big oil and auto companies have joined the net-zero movement already. They have officially stated that they want to work with the government. However, the government must be willing to work with those industries, rather than opposing them and always attacking them.
    This means the government needs to stop burying its head in the sand and stop taking people for fools. People know they are still using oil but, in many cases, there is no alternative to this natural resource.
    I believe that we are dealing with a government that has never followed through on its promises and that is all talk and no action. It must walk the talk, an expression that Canadians and Quebeckers are familiar with. The time has come for the Liberals to start taking action so that we can fight climate change together, both here in Canada and around the world. We know that we must do this, and we all want to be successful.
    In any event, Canadians and Quebeckers recognize the importance of protecting our environment and our natural spaces. Our party and our leader agree on this. Our most recent environmental platform is proof positive of that, because it had some of the same planks as the Green Party. I can say that. This shows that we agree on several elements, and that is why we should all work together toward this goal.
    The Conservative Party tackled acid rain. Earlier, I heard my Bloc Québécois colleague say how we managed to do it. It was thanks to Brain Mulroney's government and his global leadership that we put an end to acid rain. We all worked together on legislation that did not attack jobs, but that implemented intelligent measures and rallied everyone around the same cause. These changes were accomplished under a Conservative government, and it was also under a Conservative government that the protection of our national parks was set in motion. We can continue to implement these types of measures. We must work together and move forward.
    As the former mayor of Victoriaville, I have personal experience with this issue. People do not want restrictive measures. To make changes, we never imposed restrictive measures that cost money. We worked on education, awareness and information. We worked with youth, who helped us convince older people to change their habits. We worked in a constructive manner rather than fighting, which is the federal government's approach with provincial premiers.
    I also want to remind the Liberal government and our Prime Minister that we were elected by the same people. In many provinces, these people chose to elect Conservative premiers and governments. These people are also working hard, but they are grappling with concerns about the economy and employment. The government needs to stop treating these things as mutually exclusive.
    I sometimes hear people get upset about oil and gas pipelines, but the fact remains that there are already plenty of them. Pipelines are one of the safest and most effective ways to transport our natural resources across the country. This generates income through jobs and enables us to have good programs. It also enables us to reinvest this money in the transition towards what are known as greener or cleaner energy sources, such as hydroelectricity.
    Quebec is lucky in that respect, but that is not the case—

  (1830)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member made reference, and I thought it was quite an amazing reference, that in essence, actions speak louder than words. He talked about not exporting garbage. In fact, that is the reality of what Stephen Harper did when he was the prime minister. He shipped containers of garbage through a private company to the Philippines. It became a political issue because the Harper regime was not able to deal with it, and we are the ones who cleaned up that mess that the Harper administration put us in. I would like to mention that comparison.
    There has been a lot of confusion in terms of where the Conservatives are going to be on the price on pollution in the next election. We understand their current leader is having some second thoughts. Can he clearly indicate whether the Conservative Party supports a price on pollution?

  (1835)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am always surprised when Liberal members bring up decisions made by previous governments in very specific circumstances. When things go well, the current Liberal government takes all the credit, but when things go wrong, it always blames Mr. Harper and the former Conservative government.
    The will is obviously there now, and the Liberal government had the opportunity two or three weeks ago to vote in favour of a bill introduced by the Conservative Party to stop Canada from exporting any more of our own garbage to other countries. I do not understand why my colleague wants to rake up stuff from six, seven or eight years ago, when we currently—
    Order. The member for Lac-Saint-Jean.
    Madam Speaker, what a great debate we are having today.
    It is funny to hear my colleague say that we should not bring up long-ago governments when he himself talked about Brian Mulroney in 1988. I had to laugh a little when he said we should not talk about former governments.
    Even so, my colleagues will be surprised to hear that I agree with my colleague. That is one for the history books: a Bloc MP agreeing with a Conservative about the environment. It is true, the Liberals have not kept their promises on the environment. We agree on that. Sadly, that is all we agree on.
    During his speech, my colleague said something that resonated with me. He said we absolutely have to rely on research and development to replace petroleum products. I expect he had wood byproducts in mind, for one thing. In the same breath, he said that we cannot give up oil. The Conservatives are speaking out of both sides of their collective mouth. Unfortunately, they cannot get past that. Earlier today, some of them voted against Bill C-216 on supply management, and a minority of other MPs voted for it.
    My question for my colleague is this: From 2006 to 2015, what did they do for the environment?
    Madam Speaker, I apologize to my colleague, but some of what he said was pure demagoguery.
    When I referred to the former prime minister, it was to refute the argument so often used by our opponents that the Conservatives have never done anything for the environment. I am not suggesting that we should not look to the past in order to prepare for the future, but decisions are being made today. Certain decisions must be made, and some governments are not making them.
    Yes, I said we should prepare for the future and invest in research and development, but I did not say that I was in favour nor did I praise oil to the skies. I do not drink oil, but I do drink milk and that makes me happy.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, on the trash issue, it is interesting that the Liberals have still not paid compensation to the Philippines and are negotiating loopholes with the U.S. that would still allow for trash to be sent to third world countries. That should go on the record.
    My colleague talked about Conservatives and their position on the environment. I was in this House when Prime Minister Stephen Harper called climate change a socialist plot. The Conservatives pulled Canada out of the Kyoto accord. The Conservatives have consistently wanted to expand fossil fuel infrastructure, which we all know is one of the leading causes of carbon emissions, and we are going to have to contain it if we want a serious chance of dealing with climate change.
    How does he respond to the Conservatives' terrible record on climate change?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am astounded. I feel like I am listening to a Liberal member dredge up Stephen Harper once again in a discussion we are having in 2021, when we are all trying to work together.
    It was under a Conservative government that greenhouse gases were reduced. The statistics are there. They can be found on the Government of Canada website. Right now emissions are increasing—
    The hon. member for Saskatoon West.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to speak to this issue in the House and I want to start by going back through a bit of history. I want to go back to the eighties, when I was growing up.
    In the eighties, the big issue was the ozone layer. There was talk about the fact that it was thinning, that there were holes in it and that the sun's rays were causing damage. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney got together with some other countries. He brought 24 countries together, and they were able create the Montreal protocol in 1987. That put the wheels in motion to solve this problem. He worked with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and now, if we look at the Government of Canada website, we see that ozone-depleting substances are decreasing and that it says ozone will be back to its normal state by 2050.
    Around the same time, acid rain was another problem. There was literally acid falling from the sky. It was causing health problems and it was also causing problems with vegetation. Again Brian Mulroney was able to work with the U.S. president, and they made an air quality agreement that reduced the pollution that causes acid rain. Today we do not hear anything about acid rain because that problem has been solved.
    During the time from Mulroney through to Prime Minister Harper, there were 10 different national parks created, including the Rouge River park in Toronto, and in 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper set the greenhouse gas reduction target to 30% below the 2005 levels by 2030. The common thread in all of these environmental successes is Conservative leadership. In 2006, in fact, Corporate Knights magazine named Brian Mulroney the greenest prime minister ever.
    Of course, today Mr. Harper's targets have not been achieved by the Liberals. Even though they have been running the country for five years, they have not been able to move toward that. They are still many, many points away from hitting the targets that were set back then, so I will take no lessons from the Liberal government on environmental issues. They can brag about things when they have actually accomplished something for the environment.
    What we need to hear is a made-in-Canada solution. I am a tall person, and that means I am good at certain things and not so good at some other things. For example, when a light bulb needs to be changed in our house, I am good at that. My wife is a shorter person, and when she needs something off the top shelf, I am very good at that. The point is that we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses, and that is true for countries also. Countries have strengths and countries have weaknesses.
    What we always tell our kids is that they cannot become something that they are not. We have to be proud of who we are and use the skills and talents that we have to contribute to the world. For Canada it is a challenge, because we have higher greenhouse gas output per capita than lots of other countries, but there are reasons for that. Canada is a very big country. When a truck needs to move from Saskatoon to Nova Scotia, it is a long distance. There is a lot of energy required to do that. Flying across our country takes a lot of energy.
    Canada is cold. We have to heat our homes. If we do not heat our homes, people will literally die, so it is something that we just have to do. We also produce lots of resources and lots of food, and those are very energy-intensive industries. It requires a lot of energy to produce those things, so we should not feel bad about that. It is who we are, and we should be proud of that. We should find ways—and we do find ways all the time—to utilize the skills that we have to make the world a better place.
    This also translates into strengths. Our resource sector is a huge strength, and we can use those strengths to help the world. We all know that Canada has significant quantities of resources, all the different types of minerals, forestry and agricultural resources. We have lots of quantity that we can help the world with. We also have the best ethical and human rights records and laws in the world. We have the highest labour standards anywhere. We also have very high environmental standards. All of these things make our Canadian resources the best in the world.
    We also used to have a very stable market-based economy, and once the Conservatives come back into power, we will make sure that we get back to that stable market-based economy that Canada is so used to.
    We have a lot of technology to offer the world. We have carbon capture and storage. In my home province, that is a skill we have developed, and we lead the world in it. Canada leads the world in nuclear power. We have all kinds of advances in the agriculture sector. I worked at a company for many years that perfected zero tillage, which is a way of farming that uses less resources and keeps more carbon in the ground, making agriculture more efficient.

  (1840)  

    These are things that we have not only developed in Canada, but we have exported all around the world to help others in deal with that.
    Of course, our oil and gas industry produces significant finances for our country. We are the fourth-largest producer in the world, we employ hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars come back to our economy and to our governments through the oil and gas industry. The challenge is to preserve our environment without sacrificing the jobs and our economy.
    I like the proposed legislation, Bill C-12. The reason I like it is that it is a made-in-Canada solution to greenhouse emissions. It is far better than a carbon tax, in my view. The carbon tax penalizes farmers, business owners and people who are heating their homes. All of these people get penalized through a carbon tax. The carbon tax does not reduce demand unless the amount of the tax goes way up. Of course, we know that the government is planning to increase it to $170 a tonne, but that is not enough to make a significant difference in the consumption.
    The carbon tax is based on a fundamental assumption that there are one of two possible outcomes. The first outcome is that things stay status quo, greenhouse gases continue to rise and that causes trouble in our environment. The other outcome is that we have to make drastic changes to our lifestyle. We have to turn our thermostat temperature down from 21° down to 15°. We have to get rid of anything that uses fuel. We have to make drastic changes in our lifestyle. It looks as though those are the two options we have.
    However, I would suggest there there is a third option. Canadians are very resilient, creative and smart, and I have a couple of examples that I want to share.
    In Saskatchewan, there is a company called Gibson Energy. This company recently expanded its production capacity by 25% with a zero increase in greenhouse gases that go with it. This company found a way to increase production, yet keep greenhouse gases the same.
    Right next door to my province, in Alberta, there is another company called Enhance Energy. It captures carbon from the Sturgeon Refinery and the Nutrien fertilizer facility and transports that carbon and sequesters it underground in old wells. So far, in less than 10 years, it has sequestered carbon equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road. This is a significant improvement and accomplishment.
    What is even better is that we can take this technology and this knowledge that we have and export it around the world. We have our portion of greenhouse gases that we can affect in Canada, but if we can take our technology and leverage it by sending it around the world, we could punch above our weight. We could actually reduce greenhouse gases and help the rest of the world, which would achieve an even better result than just what we could on our own.
    We can have a significant impact in the world and we can punch above our weight, and that is what Canadians do. Canadians are resilient and very smart, Canadian companies are very creative and that is where we can really make a significant difference.
    As I conclude, I want to come back to a question I get a lot, which is, what would the Conservatives do?
    There are two things we would do for sure. First, we would get rid of the inefficient, economic-killing carbon tax. Second, we would instead focus on made-in-Canada solutions like the Gibson Energy and Enhance Energy examples. We would allow Canadians to innovate, to be creative and to make a real, significant difference, not just in Canada but all over the world. As we export these ideas and share them with the world, we will also make the world an overall better place and help everyone reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

  (1845)  

    Madam Speaker, I have heard two Conservative members talk about Brian Mulroney. However, that is not the Conservative Party of Brian Mulroney. It is a conglomerate of the old Reform and Alliance Parties. If that Conservative Party had half the interest in doing something about climate change and global warming that Brian Mulroney did, it would be light years ahead.
    I will read what Brian Mulroney said as recently as 2019 in an article in the National Post. He said.
    As difficult as the process may be to arrest and to mitigate the effects of global warming, the work cannot be left to the next fellow. The stakes are too high, the risks to our planet and the human species too grave.
    I would be hard pressed to get half the members of the Conservative Party to utter the words “global warming” in the context that it actually exists.
    Does the member really believe that the current Conservative Party is the same as the old Progressive Conservative Party of Brian Mulroney and members of Parliament like Flora MacDonald, who came from my riding?

  (1850)  

    Madam Speaker, I find it interesting that the member refers to not leaving things to the future. When I look at the legislation before us, when does it start? When is the first review? When are the first requirements required? Are they even going to be impacted by the member opposite? Is he even going to still be in the House?
    If we look at the legislation, those requirements are way in the future. There probably will be two or three more prime ministers by the time the House has to even deal with the consequences of that. I do not have a whole lot of faith or warm feelings coming from that.
     The Liberal government has done exactly that by punting this far into the future so it will never have to deal with it.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I look forward to the day when we can have debates where members are not perpetually campaigning, or trying to lay blame on others, or point to who did this and who did that. Let us be constructive. Let us talk about the bill.
    In his speech, the member said that we generate a lot of greenhouse gas emissions because we are a big country and we should not feel bad about it. This is not about feeling bad. It is about reducing those emissions. He seems to be saying that every country has strengths and that it is not our fault if we create more pollution than other countries. I hope I misunderstood that part of the debate.
    There has been a lot of talk about oil. However, the world is unanimous. Even investment companies are pulling out of oil.
    Some may not like it, but that is what is happening. This is no longer the time to be in oil.
    Does the member not agree that we should not start any new oil projects and that, rather than insisting on doing so, we should start a new transition?
    Of course, that transition will take place by helping—
    The hon. member for Saskatoon West for a brief response.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to clarify my remarks. In no way am I saying that we should not be trying to reduce greenhouse gases. I am just saying that we have to look at it a little differently. We cannot compare ourselves to Bermuda, or India or wherever. We need to create a made-in-Canada solution that not only reduces greenhouse gases, but is able to help the world.
    It being 6:52 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Irish Heritage Month

    The House resumed from December 1, 2020, consideration of the motion.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to discuss my colleague's motion about Irish heritage and celebrating the contributions of the Irish immigrant community to Quebec and Canada. Doing so is our duty and our pride.
    A few years ago, the papers said that everyone in Quebec is Irish. As many as 40% of Quebeckers say that Irish blood flows in their veins. That speaks to the significant contribution of the Irish to Quebec as well as to Quebeckers' love for Ireland, the Irish, and all those who have been part of the story of Quebec.
    I hear my own name spoken in the House with the correct pronunciation. My name, Gill, is an English name with Gaelic roots. Gill means “stranger”. We are all strangers to each other until such time as we become part of a shared history. My Gaelic roots became English. My ancestors then migrated to what is now the United States and from there to an indigenous Abenaki community near Trois-Rivières. Now I am here in the House. Clearly, Ireland has gotten around. As with many peoples, we are its conduit.
    I am therefore very proud to talk about this today. I said that half, if not all, Quebeckers have Irish blood. There is a real love affair between the Irish and Quebec. It was not always easy at first, particularly because of the language barrier. History tells us that there were already Irish immigrants raising families in Quebec when it was still New France.
    Over the years, with other waves of immigration, Quebeckers felt very close to their Irish brothers, who practised the same religion as they did at the time, Catholicism. They also shared a similar way of life because most Irish people who settled in Quebec were labourers, working-class people, much like many Quebeckers.
    I spoke about that time and reminded members that Irish blood runs in the veins of Quebeckers. There comes a time when we feel as though the other has become a part of us, because we have embraced their culture and way of life. I enjoy literature, and perhaps this is a misrepresentation, but if we study literary, cultural, artistic and architectural history, we see how the Irish contributed to building the Quebec society we know today. We owe a lot to Ireland, and that includes folk music.
    We see it in those expressions of Irishness that have become perfectly natural to us. We no longer say that something is Irish, because it is part of who we are. We no longer make the distinction. It is part of who we are, but we still admire it.
    I mentioned traditions. This admiration is also part of our collective psyche in Quebec. Ireland is an integral part of our culture, in a very down-to-earth way, through its history and all we can learn from it, by its geneology, by what we have taken in, by what is as real as our blood, and by our collective imagination, in other words, that which escapes us.
    It is also all these people we see around us every day. Just think of La Bolduc—I will refrain from singing—born Mary Travers, a great Quebecker of Irish origin. There are others, such as the actress Debbie Lynch-White, who is now in Quebec: two moments in time, two different centuries.

  (1855)  

    Clearly, these are two women who have left their mark on Quebec, who have left their mark on the essence of Quebec, two women who are adored by Quebeckers.
    I have been talking about people, but there is also our way of life. In hockey, for example, the Irish had the Montreal Shamrocks. The way of life is the same. I could drop some other names. One was mentioned earlier in other circumstances, but I could also talk about Mr. Mulroney. I am the member for Manicouagan. We have political figures. The boy from Baie Comeau is from my region. He is also part of the heritage.
    There are many others, of course. I thought perhaps I would stand in this House and quote one of the great Irishmen. He has Irish ancestors, but sometimes people forget that. He is one of our great Quebec poets of the late 19th and early 20th century. He is in our imaginations. People quote him, sometimes without realizing who it is. This shows that we need to be grateful to them, that we must bear witness to their existence, to their contributions.
    Sometimes, fates collide. I am very happy because one of my ancestors, Charles Gill, was also a poet and painter and a friend of Émile Nelligan. Now, I am going way back with this ancestor. I am not friends with this poet, but it is interesting to see how fates can collide.
    Émile Nelligan is one of the great poets of Quebec. I am so happy and honoured to share a poem of his in the House. I think it fits right in with the spirit of this motion and I would also say that it is a declaration and expression of love.

There was a mighty ship, of solid gold 'twas wrought:
Its masts reached to the sky, over oceans unknown;
The goddess Love herself, flesh bare and hair wind-blown,
Stood sculpted at its bow, in sunshine desert hot.
A treach'rous shoal it struck one dark and stormy eve,
Where sailors sirens' songs unwitting sweetly lull,
And then a shipwreck dread did sink its golden hull
Into the murky depths, grave granting no reprieve!
There was a ship of gold, and through its ghostly side
Such riches it revealed, for which fell pirates vied,
Neurosis, Hate, Disgust, among themselves, those three.
Ah, what remains, now that the storm no longer teems?
What has my heart become, thus set adrift at sea?
Alas, that ship has sunk in an abyss of dreams!

    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to say that we will vote in favour of this motion, and I thank all of the Irish Quebeckers of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  (1900)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, first off I would like to thank my friend and colleague from Etobicoke—Lakeshore for tabling this motion to make March Irish heritage month. Secondly, I will admit that I am not Irish, or at least my claims on Irish heritage are weak. My mother's grandmother's family, the McCurdy family, originated on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, but did flee to Ireland in the 1600s. They lived there for about 100 years before they left for Nova Scotia. Other than that, my genealogical heritage is basically English and Scottish.
    I have been to Ireland. I have drunk Guinness in Dublin. I have seen the green hills of Kildare and the beautiful barrens of County Clare. I have not kissed the Blarney stone. When I was in Ireland I had no plans to go into politics, so I did not realize the benefits that Blarney might bring.
    From the early 1600s to the early 1900s, over seven million Irish left their homeland for foreign shores. In the late 1800s alone, immigration cut Ireland's population in half, and many of those people found their way to Canada. The earliest immigrants, starting in the 1500s and 1600s and continuing for two centuries after that, were those who came to Newfoundland for the cod fishery. A considerable number ended up in New France in those early years as well, and many Irish immigrants, especially those who came during the famine of 1847 and the years after that, came to Canada in destitute circumstances, but this was not always the case. Many Irish immigrants, both Catholic and Protestant, did well within a few years after they arrived in Canada.
    One was John Carmichael Haynes, who was born in County Cork in 1831 and emigrated to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1858. After a series of jobs as constable throughout the southern interior of B.C., including postings at Rock Creek, Osoyoos, and the Similkameen Valley, he settled in Osoyoos in 1872. Here he was a justice of the peace and a customs agent. He quickly assembled 20,000 acres of land and 4,200 cattle.
    Thomas Ellis was born in Ireland but emigrated to B.C. at the age of 19 in 1865. He soon moved to South Okanagan and bought a section of land in what is now the City of Penticton. By the 1890s he had 20,000 head of cattle and 31,000 acres of land from the South Okanagan all the way to the U.S. border.
    I will not go into the background of how Tom Ellis and Judge Haynes amassed that land for their cattle operations. Some of it involved shifting land out of first nations reserves, a practice that happened all too quickly when settlers were moving into unceded territory, but the fact remains that these two Irishmen played a large role in shaping the future of the Okanagan Valley. Ellis's ranch was later subdivided to create Penticton, and much of Haynes's lands were eventually subdivided to create orcharding opportunities around Oliver for veterans returning from World War I.
    On the other side of my riding in West Kootenay is the city of Castlegar. It was founded by Edward Mahon, who came to British Columbia with his brothers seeking their fortune in mining and real estate. They owned several claims around Nelson in the Slocan Valley, and in 1891, Mahon bought a ranch at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. In 1897 he had the land surveyed for a new town site. Eventually the town of Castlegar was created, named after the home of Mahon's family in County Galway. It means “short castle” in Gaelic.
    The most Irish part of Canada is clearly the island of Newfoundland. Some have called it the most Irish place outside Ireland. My maternal grandfather's family came from Newfoundland, but those ancestors, the Mundens and the Munns were English and Scottish.
    I lived in Newfoundland in the mid-1970s to get a masters degree in biology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Indeed, I am wearing my MUN tie today for this occasion. It was in those years that I really learned about the Irish heritage of that wonderful rock. For much of one year, I lived at Cape St. Mary's, a lighthouse at the southwestern tip of the Avalon Peninsula.
    Cape St. Mary's is the central namesake of the Cape Shore, and I think it is the most Irish part of Newfoundland. I love the drive down the rocky road south from Placentia past Little Barasway, Great Barasway, Ship Cove, Gooseberry Cove, Patricks Cove, Angels Cove, Cuslett, St. Bride's and on to Branch. These are all communities first settled in the late 1700s and early 1800s by Irish immigrants, mainly from around Wexford and Waterford. Each cove is a patch of fertile ground along a rocky shore, and several of these communities were first settled by farmers. However, quickly those in Cape Shore quickly concentrated on fishing the incredibly rich resource of cod found off that coast.

  (1905)  

    The Cape Shore was thoroughly Irish Catholic, through and through. When I first moved to Cape St. Mary's, I quickly learned that the head lightkeeper and his family were, by their reckoning, the only Protestants on the Cape Shore. They had come from Grand Bank, on the other side of Placentia Bay on the Burin Peninsula. The assistant lightkeeper was from Point Lance, just around the corner, east of the cape. The two lightkeepers often claimed that they could not understand each other at all because one spoke a Burin dialect from the West Country of England while the other spoke Cape Shore, an old Irish dialect. I was often called in, jokingly I am sure, to translate.
    The road through the Cape Shore is now paved and even continues on around St. Mary's Bay to the southern shore and on to St. John's, passing many outports where most of the inhabitants have a strong Irish background. The remoteness of the Cape Shore preserved its Irish heritage and it is rich in stories and music that go back centuries.
    My friend Tony Power grew up in Branch before it had electricity, and the long nights were filled with storytelling, song and dance. I remember walking through the stunted firs with Tony once, talking about bird conservation, and then, with the barest twinkle in his eye and in all seriousness he pointed toward a cavity under an overturned tree and said, “That's where the fairies live.”
    Newfoundland and Labrador celebrates Irish heritage every day, but especially on St. Patrick's Day, which is a public holiday in that province. I remember going over to the Strand pub in the Avalon Mall on the morning of St. Patrick's Day, making sure that we were early enough to get a seat to enjoy the music and merriment all day long. One of my roommates was studying folklore at MUN, and one of his classmates was Denis Ryan, who led a fantastic trio of musicians called Ryan's Fancy. They were always the stars of the Strand in those days, and it was great to hang out with Denis and his bandmates Fergus O'Byrne and Dermot O'Reilly.
    Another critical ingredient in Irish heritage is laughter. Perhaps it is the result of centuries of struggle, but it is clear that comedy is something the Irish do very, very well. Again, when I was living in St. John's, I had the great opportunity to see the team from Codco in person. That was Newfoundland comedy with a definite grounding in Irish heritage.
    While much of the history of the Irish diaspora has been a history of hardship and often tragedy, it has provided Canada with a hard-working community that has played an important role in creating the society we know today. In the face of adversity, it has given us music and laughter. In the face of opportunity, it has given us visionary leadership.
    So I say, go raibh maith agaibh, thank you, to all those with Irish heritage who have enriched our country for centuries. I will happily raise a glass of Guinness to them all: Slàinte.

  (1910)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a real pleasure to speak on behalf of everybody in the House who does have Irish heritage. I cannot claim to have such heritage, but it is a real privilege to discuss this private member's motion, Motion No. 18, to proclaim Irish heritage month in Canada. If passed, this motion will establish March as a month of recognition to commemorate and celebrate the historic legacy and many contributions of the Irish community in Canada.
    Irish settlements in Canada date back to the 1600s, much earlier than commonly believed, due to the great famine of 1847, which drove large numbers of Irish to seek a new future away from their birth homes.
    The Irish newcomers arriving in Canada first settled in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Their heritage is still strong and proud in communities across the Atlantic provinces, and certainly beyond as well. Quebec also received large numbers of Irish immigrants, with passenger ships carrying them as far inland as Quebec City and even Montreal, which was as far down the St. Lawrence that was possible before the construction of the Lachine Canal, an incredible feat of engineering built largely by Irish migrant labourers.
    As time went on, the Irish community would slowly move west. By the early 1850s, roughly a quarter of Toronto was Irish Catholic. In recognition of its Irish heritage, Ireland Park on Toronto's lakeshore features sculptures directly mirroring those across the ocean at Dublin's Famine Memorial.
    Over the years Canadians of Irish descent became more established. Their influence began to be seen and felt across the country. With grit and courage, Irish people seized their opportunities and prospered in their new homes. Through their skills and energy, they and their descendants made a profound and lasting impact on the character and development of Canada.
    In 1851, the Irish in Quebec City founded the Quebec Ship Labourers' Benevolent Society, which functioned as a labour union and is considered by many to be the first labour union in Canada.
    It was Emily Ferguson Murphy, the first woman in the British empire to be appointed a magistrate, who led the legal challenge that led to the Supreme Court's ruling that allowed some women to be recognized as legal persons under the British North America Act. In fact, Canadian politics has had its share of notable Irish figures, including Sir Guy Carleton, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, and former prime ministers Lester Bowles Pearson and Brian Mulroney, to name just a few.
    While Irish people were coming to Canada to seek new opportunities in a new land, they never forgot where they came from. The traces of their origins and their traditional music and dance never left them. They were just ways to bring a small piece of home with them wherever they went.
    St. Patrick's Day is a day when those with Irish heritage wear it proudly on their sleeves, while many others turn into Irish folks on that day. It still holds very strong significance for Canadians. There has been a celebration every year in Montreal since 1824. Toronto's celebration, one of the largest in North America, typically sees about a quarter of a million people line the streets to watch the parade.
    St. Patrick's Day is also of extra special significance to two of my neighbours in Milton, and probably more, but in particular Neil and Mel Teague. That story requires a little bit of a history lesson. Back in 1964, a young police officer named Roy Teague and his wife Kathy decided to leave Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh in their native Ireland. With all the turmoil in northern Ireland at the time, they wanted a safer and more peaceful place to raise their boys. Roy's Uncle Jimmy had already emigrated to Canada, which got good reviews, so the rest of the Teagues followed. Kathy and Roy settled in Omagh between Milton and Oakville and Roy was immediately hired by the Oakville police and served honourably in many capacities with the Halton police services throughout his career. Their boys, Neil and Colin, enjoyed softball, and so he learned enough about the game to become a really good coach. Roy and Kathy live in Burlington now and recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. I will take a moment to congratulate them on that.
    Neil continued with the game of softball, eventually playing for Team Canada, and is a member of the provincial softball hall of fame, as well as our very own Milton sports hall of fame, the class of 2019. Neil has coached their kids, Aaron, Sydney and Aidan, and hundreds of other of Milton's athletes, and can often be found at the M3 baseball academy. That is Neil's baseball and softball training facility here in town.
    Why is St. Patrick's Day so extra special for Neil and Mel? Mel also has Irish heritage on both sides of her family, so it is only appropriate that Neil and Mel got married on St. Patrick's Day. Next week they will be celebrating 16 years together. I want to congratulate them as well for their 16 years, and say hi to Neil and Mel.

  (1915)  

    The history of the Irish community in Canada stretches back centuries, and their influence and contributions are undeniable. Without Canadians of Irish descent like Roy, Kathy, Neil, Colin, Mel and so many others, Canada would not be the country that we know and love today.
    This is why I am so glad to stand in support of the private member's motion, Motion No. 18, to declare March as Irish heritage month so that an opportunity can be provided to all Canadians to celebrate and learn about the rich and proud history of Canadians of Irish descent, as I did in writing this speech today.
    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to speak in support of recognizing the month of March as Irish heritage month, a month in which we are encouraged to go green on St. Patrick's Day.
    I would first like to thank my friend and colleague from across the aisle, the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, with whom I have the pleasure of working on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, for moving this motion to highlight the many contributions Irish Canadians have made to our country and to celebrate Canada's Irish heritage. While I may not always agree with him at the justice committee, I am pleased that we could find some common ground across the Atlantic. As MPs, we share that we have all been said to have kissed the Blarney Stone from time to time.
     I debated beginning my remarks today by singing Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral, a lullaby I often sang to my children, or a verse from when When Irish Eyes are Smiling, but I am told the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, also very proudly of Irish descent, beat me to it, plus I understand that my friend, the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, did enough singing for both of us when he spoke in support of this motion back in December.
    Of course, our former prime minister is not the lone distinguished Irish Canadian. We can thank Ireland for blessing Canada with many acclaimed artists, authors, athletes and business leaders: Stompin' Tom Connors, W.P. Kinsella, Connor McDavid, Michael J. Fox, Eugene O'Keefe and Shania Twain, to name a few.
    I too am one of the more than 4.6 million Canadians whose ancestors hailed from Ireland. In fact, I am named after the beautiful green County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland, which is geographically the closest part of Ireland to Canada. My mother's name was Norah, meaning honour, another well-recognized Irish name. My maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Clynch, and her parents, John Clynch and Mary Moran, proudly stated their race as Irish in the census after moving to England. She came to Canada on a ship with my grandfather in 1910 and settled in St. Marys, Ontario, not too far from where we are today.
    My grandmother lost twin red-haired brothers in World War I, a war Canada fought alongside its allied partners. Her brothers tragically passed within 24 hours of each other during the war and were both laid to rest in Belgium. That Irish red hair continues to show in two of my daughters and many cousins and nieces.
    My grandmother's sister later followed her to Canada, and much of my family continues to live in southern Ontario. Some are on a dairy farm and others work in London, but of course my smartest relatives moved to British Columbia, where I was born and raised. My grandmother had five children, all born here in Canada, and passed away in her mid-sixties in B.C., where she worked dipping chocolates for Purdys, an enduring and celebrated chocolatier and confectionery based in Vancouver.
    Decades later, my eldest daughter, Hannah, was so proud of her Irish heritage that she married a descendant of Joseph Plunkett, a famous Irish nationalist and poet who helped orchestrate the 1916 Easter rising and died as a martyr to his cause. He in turn was a descendant of the 1600s Irish saint, Saint Oliver Plunkett, also martyred, whose head remains on display in a golden shrine at St. Peter's Church in Drogheda, Ireland.
    Yes, these connections can get people a free Guinness in any Irish pub.
    My daughter and her husband John named their children Ronan, meaning “little seal”, and Aidan, meaning “the fiery one”, both traditional Irish names, and yes, they both share red hair and blue eyes with their mom and less than 2% of the world's population. I might add that somehow John thinks Irish rugby is more important than the CFL, and that is where I draw the line.
    My family's story of migration is a familiar one for most Canadians, whether from Ireland or elsewhere. The Irish first began migrating to Canada in the 17th century, long before Confederation. Migration would continue in the 18th century, with mostly small groups settling on the east coast, and a big wave of Irish migrants came to Canada in the 19th century at a time when Ireland faced economic troubles and the Great Famine.
    By the 1870s, the Irish had become the most populous ethnic group in most Canadian cities. Because of the high number of Irish migrants and the shared language and religion they had with the English and French who arrived before them, the Irish, along with the Scots—which is the other side of my family—had a considerable impact on Canadian culture and values at a time when our great nation was beginning to take shape.

  (1920)  

    Irish migrants also played a critical role in both Canada's politics and the economic expansion of the mid-19th century. However, it was not always easy. The Canadian-Irish often faced discrimination and poor working conditions. Despite this unfair treatment, they helped build critical infrastructure, like the Rideau Canal, and impressive architectural feats, like Montreal's Saint Patrick's Basilica.
    One particularly large contribution by an Irish Canadian came from Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a Conservative minister of agriculture, immigration and statistics, and a father of Confederation, who attended the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864 as a Canadian delegate. McGee was a strong advocate for Confederation. He famously said, in 1860, “I see in the not remote distance one great nationality bound like the shield of Achilles, by the blue rim of ocean.... I see within the ground of that shield the peaks of the western mountains and the crests of the eastern waves.”
    As Monday marked the celebration of International Women's Day, a day that I have decided I should celebrate all week, I must mention the tremendous contribution of Irish Canadian Nellie McClung in her role as a member of the Famous Five. This group of intelligent, resilient women fought to have women recognized as qualified persons within the Constitution Act, 1867, or the British North America Act, which allowed women to be appointed to the Senate.
     After initially losing in the Supreme Court of Canada, where justices took an originalist view of the meaning of the phrase “qualified persons”, the Famous Five took the case across the ocean to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, our highest court of appeal at the time. In 1929, the court of last resort held that women did in fact fit within the meaning of “qualified persons”, clearing the way for women like me, and the 100 women who presently serve as members of Parliament, to hold political office.
    The strong bilateral relationship Canada and Ireland enjoy today is based not just on our shared history and strong familial and cultural ties, but also on our bilateral trade. Governed by CETA, trade between our countries has been steadily increasing in past years. Canada exported 672 million dollars' worth of products to Ireland last year and imported products worth nearly $3.2 billion. As for B.C., nearly $20 million of exports were sent to Ireland in 2019, including iron, steel tanks, plywood, lumber and more.
    Tourism is critical to the local economy in the Lower Mainland. It is an industry that I have continuously advocated for and that I hope will rebound from the challenges it continues to face amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
    I am eagerly awaiting the day when it will be safe to travel internationally again and Canadians and the Irish alike can visit each other's beautiful countries, experiencing all the wonderful things our cultures have to offer, and I can finally visit County Kerry, Ireland. I also look forward to when it will be safe to celebrate my Irish roots in person with the wonderful folks at the Irish Club of White Rock, in my riding.
    In the meantime, I hope everyone will join me in celebrating Canada's proud Irish roots and the many contributions made by Irish Canadians, like my grandmother, who sailed across the Atlantic and made Canada my family's home for generations, by voting in support of the motion. I toast all those celebrating St. Patrick's Day next week. There is certainly no shortage of good Irish beer, so put on some U2 and enjoy it responsibly.
    Finally, I want to say that there is someone else of Irish heritage making a mark in our country right now. I am speaking of the member for Durham, the leader of Canada's official opposition and Canada's next prime minister.

  (1925)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Motion No. 18, which seeks to declare the month of March as Irish heritage month. I unfortunately do not have the pleasure of having any Irish ancestry, at least as far as I know. That does not prevent me from knowing how proud Irish descendants are of their heritage.
    Take for example my uncle's partner. I lived with them while I was in school. With Joe, it was impossible to ignore St. Patrick's Day celebrations. On March 17, Irish stew was a must. It was prepared with love the evening before, and you could smell the heavenly aroma all night as it simmered. The chocolate Guinness cake, which was a little less traditional, became a mainstay over the years. In all circumstances, a good whisky or a good stout were always close at hand. If the family was even a little unlucky, I might decide to take out my tin whistle, as I had tried playing it for a few years. If the family is listening today, I want to extend my most sincere apologies.
    As I was saying, I have no immediate family with real Irish ancestry, but over the years and with my uncle Joe, who we adore and became part of the family, it has become somewhat of a tradition to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with lots of people, including the extended family and cousins.
    As the years passed, new traditions were added and honoured, like the baking soda biscuit competition. It was not about who could make the best dough. That was my uncle Joe's specialty. It was about who was best at cutting the dough in the shape of a shamrock. Needless to say, once they were baked they were pretty much all the same and a little misshapen. I won for the least objectionable biscuit on a few occasions.
    As for St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and I mean the big parties that are slightly less family oriented, Quebec—and especially Montreal—really does it up right. The first St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in Montreal in 1759 by Irish soldiers from the Montreal garrison just three years before the first famous parade took place in New York City.
    Montreal's not-to-be-missed St. Patrick's Day parade was first held in 1824. It is recognized as the oldest event of its kind in Canada. Year in and year out—except during COVID-19, of course—between 250,000 and 750,000 people attend each year. It is ranked among the 10 most impressive parades in the world by National Geographic, and that really says something.
    Seeing as so many people in Quebec also celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the question we could ask ourselves as we discuss Motion No. 18 is why tack on a full month, since we already have a lot of festivities on March 17? If it becomes an excuse to eat a little more stew or drink a little more stout or whiskey that month, that in itself would already be a good reason, though I would say no one ever needs an excuse to enjoy a whiskey.
    Creating Irish heritage month has a much broader purpose. While March 17 is more of a day of celebration and festivities, the entire month of March could be much more education-oriented. That is why we already have other designated months, such as Latin American Heritage Month, Jewish Heritage Month, Sikh Heritage Month and Black History Month.
    Designated months like these are a time for festive events and celebrations, but their role is also, and perhaps more importantly, to provide opportunities for the public to learn more about the history and past of many people who contribute to today's society. In fact, last fall, this was the main criterion that emerged from the debate on establishing Orange Shirt Day. All the members stressed the importance of making sure this day is seen not just as a day off, but as a day to raise awareness and teach people about the dark and regrettably too well known chapter of our history involving residential schools.
    If the purpose of the motion to create an Irish heritage month is to recognize the important contributions that Irish-Canadians have made to building Canada, and to Canadian society in general, and mark the importance of educating and reflecting upon Irish heritage and culture for future generations, then the Bloc Québécois is pleased to vote in favour of the motion, as it also allows us to recognize the undeniable role the Irish have played in Quebec society since the existence of New France.

  (1930)  

    The history of the Irish and French Canadians is sometimes more connected than we might think.
    Without getting into generalities and shortcuts, many people agree that the two peoples have shared several similarities that have certainly contributed to the fact that the Irish influence colours Quebec identity. Let us consider the fact that many Irish immigrants who arrived in Quebec were Catholic and from poorer social classes, something French Canadians could often identify with. However, it should be noted that there were a lot of Protestant Irish and many of the Irish were quite successful in business.
    The presence of the Irish here would also have an undeniable impact on our cuisine. Many of the Irish immigrants came from modest backgrounds, which explains the family-style contributions of their cuisine. Beyond the essential potato that many associate with Ireland, barley and oats are also key ingredients in many concoctions, including brotchen foltchep, a rustic soup prepared with leeks and oats.
    The root vegetables and leafy greens that were already widely used in homes in the St. Lawrence Valley in the 17th and18th centuries were also a commonality. Onion, cabbage and turnip were found on both Irish and French Canadian tables to such an extent that, in many cases, it is still difficult to separate the respective influences of the two peoples. To whom do we give the credit for vegetable barley soup? We still do not know. Meanwhile, the boiled salt beef and cabbage that is still quite common in many regions of Quebec was directly inspired by corned beef and cabbage.
    There were also many common influences when it comes to music. Let us not forget that, at birth, the name of true Quebec icon La Bolduc was Mary Travers and that she was the daughter of Lawrence Travers, who was of Irish descent. The rhythm and liveliness of her reels may have something to do with her Irish heritage.
    A little closer to home, I am fortunate to have in my riding the beautiful little municipality of Sainte-Brigide-d'Iberville, which has a population of 1,300. It is most commonly known for its western festival and Quebec national holiday celebrations, but also somewhat less commonly known for its significant Irish heritage.
    The second seigneur or “land lord” in what is now Sainte-Brigide was John Johnson, who immigrated to Canada and acquired the land following American independence. He wanted to populate it with people who spoke the same language as him. The first colonists who arrived, particularly from Europe, were therefore Catholic anglophones, including the Murrays from Scotland and the McGuires from Ireland. That is why, still today, the Sainte-Brigide crest depicts the Scottish thistle and three Irish trefoils to represent the municipality's two founding peoples.
    Actually, the parish of Sainte-Brigide-d'Iberville owes its name to Archbishop Ignace Bourget of Montreal, who issued the decree of canonical erection for the new parish on March 23, 1846. He had decided to name the municipality after St. Brigid, the canonized Irishwoman known to have been the friend of none other than St. Patrick himself.
    In closing, I heard many of my colleagues talk about their history and their past, a past that was sometimes very personal. They also talked about the great feats of noteworthy Irishmen. People say that to know where you are going, you have to know where you came from. My hope is that, through Irish heritage month, we may learn that we are little more Irish than we think.

  (1935)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to address Motion No. 18, sponsored by my good friend from Etobicoke—Lakeshore, which seeks to have the House recognize March of every year as Irish heritage month. Over the course of our history we have seen many waves of Irish immigration to Canada. Historical records show that Irish immigrants came to Canada as early as the 16th century, when Irish fishermen first came to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.
    This shows that, contrary to popular belief, some did leave Ireland prior to the Irish potato famine. This includes my own ancestors, brothers John and William Finnigan, who arrived in Nova Scotia around 1800. Also, I would like to mention the interesting fact that the new U.S. President's mother is Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden. Perhaps our genealogy meets somewhere in the past.
    Intensive immigration from Ireland began around 1819. At this time the majority of the thousands of immigrants who were arriving in Canada each year were from Ireland. Starting in 1845, many Irish immigrated to Canada to escape the potato famine, also known as the great hunger. The catastrophic failure of the potato crop, which the Irish depended on as a main form of sustenance, caused many families to go hungry. The primary food source for millions of people was eliminated for several years, and the crops would not recover until around 1852.
    Those who could left Ireland. During this time, masses of Irish immigrants poured into Canada. They did so at great risk, by travelling on dangerous and overcrowded ships. The unsafe and unsanitary conditions in which people lived while making the journey across the Atlantic to Canada created the uncontrolled spread of disease. Thousands had their journey across the Atlantic cut short by disease, and many ended up in graves on Grosse-Île, Quebec, or Partridge Island off Saint John, New Brunswick, where the immigrants were quarantined upon their arrival.
    During this time, a perhaps lesser known but equally important island also acted as a key quarantine station. This was Middle Island, located in my riding of Miramichi—Grand Lake. In 1847, the shipLoosthauk left Dublin bound for Quebec. Typhus and scarlet fever quickly spread among both crew and passengers. The ship was forced to abandon its destination and found itself on the Miramichi River. Local doctors gave up their practices to focus solely on the sick and dying patients, and local businessmen assured their safe passage to Middle Island.
    In total, some 250 Irish immigrants died and are buried on Middle Island. In 1984, a Celtic cross, unveiled by Ireland's ambassador to Canada, was erected on the Island and dedicated to the immigrants who were laid there to rest. Some who made the journey from Ireland did not make it across the ocean before succumbing to disease. While there are partial records of those who died at sea during the journey to Canada, a complete record will never be known. Some immigrants' graves are marked by the Celtic cross, while others only have the ocean as their headstone.
    It is certain that famine was the cause for many to flee their country, and that the journey from Ireland to Canada was harrowing for many. However, the story of the Irish in Canada is not only one of disaster. It is also one of success, and many of us are a product of this very success.
    Upon their arrival in Canada, many Irish gravitated toward ports, cities and areas that offered high employment opportunities. While these areas were mainly on the east coast and in Ontario and Quebec, some did venture farther out west, as some of my colleagues mentioned earlier.
    According to David A. Wilson, who authoredThe Irish in Canada, the Irish quickly adapted to Canadian life and by 1871, the percentage of Irish who were merchants, manufacturers, professionals, white collar workers and artisans was virtually identical to that of the population at large. While it would be naive to think that there were not struggles during the early decades after their arrival, as for many immigrant communities who came after them, the Irish endured and pushed forward to become an important part of the foundation of Canadian society.

  (1940)  

    I must take this opportunity to highlight the great contributions of the Irish people in my riding of Miramichi—Grand Lake. The city of Miramichi holds the longest running Irish festival. We pride ourselves on being this country's most Irish city and Canada's Irish capital, although I think some of my hon. colleagues may want to challenge us on that. We take great pride in our Irish ancestry and many Irish flags fly proudly in our region. Many people in my riding work actively to keep our Irish roots and heritage known for generations.
    I must highlight my good friend Farrell McCarthy, who founded the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick to do just that. The association fosters awareness of the traditions, history and artistic expression of the Irish people. The Irish-Canadian history and identity is definitely born of struggles, but beyond that it is a fierce history that shows that with perseverance, hard work and faith, people can rise up and build a life for future generations. Again, many of us are proof of just that.
    The establishment of Irish heritage month would provide Canadians of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about, appreciate and celebrate the many contributions that Canadians of Irish heritage have made to Canada.
    I thank hon. members for allowing me to speak on this motion that seeks to mark part of our diverse and multicultural heritage.
    The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore has five minutes for his right of reply.
    Madam Speaker, it is not really a right of rebuttal because I am going to agree with everything we have heard already.
    First, I want to thank somebody from my riding, a man named Jeff who runs Branch 101, a local legion in my riding. He arrived at my doorstep just two days ago and because I had just renewed my membership, he brought me some gifts. One of them was a mask covered in shamrocks. He did not know I was doing this today or that this was happening, so perhaps it was a bit of Irish fate. In fact, perhaps it is a bit of Irish fate we are doing this today in the month of March. It could be luck of the draw or it could be luck of the Irish. Regardless, I am incredibly proud to be here and, frankly, a bit overwhelmed.
    This is a motion to recognize the month of March as Irish heritage month. It has been a long time coming for me. It has been six years in the making. For others, it has been centuries. In fact, the idea was hatched in the Speaker's office. Madam Speaker, I know this is near and dear to your heart because your son-in-law hails from Galway and you have two Irish grandchildren of whom you are very proud. Therefore, I am glad you are in the chair tonight.
    While we would ordinarily be celebrating all things Irish this month, this motion, I want to remind people, is not about green hats and green beer. It is my hope that from this day forward, and every year, the month of March will be known as Irish heritage month.
    This motion is for those people who left Ireland for better opportunity, for those who did not make it to the shores of Canada. This motion is for those who did and devoted their lives to building our country into what it is now. This motion is for those who continue to do that today. This motion is for future generations that are proud of their Irish heritage. I think of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, our Irish founding father, for example.
    Last December, in the first hour of debate, I was struck by how many of my colleagues claimed that their part of the country was the most Irish and had the strongest Irish traditions. In fact, my colleague from Miramichi—Grand Lake, if I am not mistaken, just tried to lay claim to the presidency of the United States, which is a bit of a stretch. In any event, they are all right. Whether people live in Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Montreal or the Ottawa Valley, where my ancestors hail from, this motion is about that. We can all lay claim to having that proud Irish heritage and we can all lay claim to having the greatest Irish community in the country. We are all right.
    If we think of the speeches we heard today and at first reading, they were about pride, they were about history and they were about integrity. We heard stories of hard-working heroes from our past and present who continue to make our country great. We even had some spontaneous singing in the first round of debate. It must have been spontaneous because clearly it was not rehearsed. This motion celebrates Irish spirit.
     I drove through Ireland a couple of years ago with my father-in-law and brothers-in-law. It was at night and we got lost. They were concerned. I told them that there was nothing to worry about because all it meant was that we would end up in another beautiful town, with welcoming, beautiful Irish people, and we would enjoy ourselves. I was right. The same can be said throughout Canada.
    We have talked about our Irish history, our Irish culture and our economic ties. I discussed that at first reading. I do not have time to go into so much today, so I will just say this. The ties between Canada and Ireland are emotional, historical, economical and genetic. It is very powerful.
    I do want to name a few people. Our ambassadors, Ray Bassett, Jim Kelly and Eamonn McKee, come here as ambassadors and they leave as our friends. I want to thank them. I want to thank my friends in the Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group. When we are back together in Ottawa, we are going to have one heck of a bash. It is going to be the third annual and best ever.
    I hope today we can adopt this motion unanimously. During this month of March, when ordinarily we would be celebrating throughout the country, we cannot, and rightfully so. Let us adopt this motion and give Irish Canadians and all Canadians something to celebrate this year, next year and every year thereafter.

  (1945)  

    The question is on the motion.

[Translation]

    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to adopt the motion.

[Translation]

    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House?
    There being no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

    (Motion agreed to)


Adjournment Proceedings

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

[English]

Health  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to start by recognizing the personal and economic sacrifices that Canadians have made during the pandemic. They have stayed home, they have followed public health orders and they have done everything in their power to flatten the curve and beat COVID-19.
    Families across the country are grieving the 21,000 people who have died. Now, a year into the pandemic, Canadians are exhausted and frustrated. The repeated lockdowns and restrictions have taken a heavy toll. Small and medium-sized businesses are struggling to survive. Millions of people are experiencing financial hardship. Mental health challenges, drug overdoses and domestic violence have all increased.
    Despite the sacrifices, COVID-19 is still spreading in our communities, and new variants are a growing concern. Canadians are looking at what is happening in other countries, and it is not lost on them that the strategy in Canada is not working. Inadequate coordination between federal, provincial and territorial responses has failed to stop the spread of the virus.
    In countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea, the spread of COVID-19 has been arrested, case levels are down, the death toll is much lower, economies are up and running, and people are going about their lives. What can Canada learn? Where did we go wrong? How can we move forward in a way that will result in less hardship for Canadians?
    Countries that have eliminated the spread of the disease share these key aspects: they had a national strategy; they closed borders; they required quarantines for citizens returning from international locations; they limited internal travel within the country; they mandated masks for indoor public spaces; they tested and used contact tracing; they continue to use circuit-breaker lockdowns to quickly stop new outbreaks; and the health minister is in charge of vaccine procurement, not the industry minister.
    The key to success was to isolate outbreaks and use multiple tools to limit the spread of the virus. These are actions that Green Party MPs advocated for in the early days of the pandemic. Instead of a well-coordinated national strategy, Canadians have had a patchwork of provincial health orders that were often contradictory and confusing. In some cases, COVID-19-related decisions appeared to be driven by politics instead of science.
    I appreciate the fact that the government organized an intergovernmental coordinating committee with medical health officers from across the country, but we needed more than a committee. We needed more than a patchwork of confusing protocols and mandates that changed from province to province.
    Canada is a federation, and it is true that provinces have jurisdiction over health care. I understand that the federal government is reluctant to use its emergency powers to create and enforce a national strategy. Some provincial governments have at times politicized this pandemic, and such actions have been detrimental to Canadians.
    Australia is also a federation with jurisdictional and political differences between the national and state governments, but they worked together successfully in a coordinated effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The population there is much better off for that co-operation.
    The vaccines are finally rolling out across the country, but with the spread of new variants, it is not certain how effective the vaccines will prove to be. We need to be prepared to stop the spread of variants that may be vaccine-resistant.
    We are not out of the woods yet, and a lack of national coordination can still have dire consequences.

  (1950)  

    Madam Speaker, it is disappointing that the hon. member is glossing over constitutional requirements and authority. Summoning up the Emergencies Act does not help anyone in this situation because it requires provincial consent. I am sure the hon. member has read the legislation. I do not know why he would want a constitutional crisis in the middle of a pandemic.
    That being said, the federal government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and this remains our top priority. I would like to assure Canadians that the Government of Canada has developed and is implementing its plan to respond to the pandemic on all fronts.
    We are working to ensure that we have enough vaccines to vaccinate all Canadians by the end of September. The government has been hard at work negotiating with manufacturers and suppliers to secure a significant vaccine supply for Canadians and planning for a vaccine rollout. In the development of this plan, the federal government has engaged and consulted all levels of government, indigenous leaders, international partners, industry, and medical and scientific experts.
    On December 8, the government published “Canada's COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Saving Lives and Livelihoods”. At the heart of the plan are six core principles: science-driven decision-making, transparency, coherence and adaptability, fairness and equity, public involvement and consistent reporting. These principles are governing and informing our vaccination rollout actions.
    The plan outlines seven steps in the rollout process, which are communicating and engaging with Canadians throughout the campaign, obtaining a sufficient supply of vaccines, obtaining regulatory authorization from Health Canada, allocating and distributing vaccines efficiently and securely, administering vaccines according to a sequence of priority populations identified by experts, and collecting data to monitor vaccine safety, effectiveness and coverage. We are making progress and laying the groundwork for great gains and momentum in the coming months.
    As the hon. member is no doubt aware from the news, we have procured, through advance purchase agreements, more than enough vaccines to vaccinate all eligible Canadians. Without compromising regulatory integrity, we have expedited the regulatory review of promising vaccine candidates. Vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada are currently being administered to priority populations that were recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, an independent committee comprised of health experts. During the first phase of the rollout campaign, our strategy is to vaccinate those deemed most vulnerable to infection, severe illness and death.
    We are deeply grateful to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces working within the operation of the vaccine rollout task force. As logistics experts, they are playing a vital role in the success of our campaign.
    In addition to the Canadian Armed Forces, we have engaged with the private sector to support the logistics of this ambitious undertaking. To assist with the administration of vaccines in the provinces and territories, we are enlisting the help of the Red Cross and other health care professionals. This is truly an unprecedented situation, and it has called for all hands on deck.
    In closing, we must continue to implement the public health measures that have helped us tap down the number of cases and hospitalizations over the past difficult year. We can remain optimistic that our efforts will start to pay off if we remain steadfast.

  (1955)  

    Madam Speaker, the national strategy in Australia did not create a constitutional crisis there and I do not think it would cause a constitutional crisis here. It would have done us a lot of good.
    When the pandemic was declared a year ago, the Green Party caucus made a series of recommendations to the government. We added to those recommendations as time went on and as we saw what other countries were doing successfully to combat the spread of COVID-19.
    Successful countries have all had unified national strategies. There has been a lack of political courage to do what is necessary at the federal level in Canada. On both sides of the House, there is little appetite to do anything that might upset a premier, but a lack of a unified national COVID-19 strategy continues to have poor outcomes and hurts Canadians in a myriad of ways. We need stronger national coordination, and the sooner we start to do that, the better the results—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is comparing apples to oranges. The Constitution of Australia and the Constitution of Canada are completely different. We are working within our constitutional framework, and it is disappointing to see the Green Party suggest that there are magic solutions to real constitutional problems.
    This government has worked steadfastly with premiers and the provincial governments. The vaccines are rolling out at an enormous rate, and all Canadians should have access to vaccines by the end of September.

Natural Resources  

    Madam Speaker, when I chose to run as a candidate for Parliament, a decision that began three years ago, the number one issue facing this country was our growing inability to get infrastructure built, particularly pipelines for our country's valuable resources. Western Canadians were facing a misguided federal government that believed it could continue to speak out of both sides of its mouth on pipelines.
    Shortly after being elected in 2015, the government initiated a northwest coast Canadian oil export ban, causing the closure of a fully licensed pipeline, northern gateway. Energy east was presented with more hurdles to complete connectivity of our Canadian resources to eastern Canadian refineries. Seeing the writing on the wall, the proponent withdrew the proposal.
     Kinder Morgan, a U.S. pipeline company that had operated safely in Canada for over 60 years, saw the same outcome with its TMX expansion. Luckily for the company, it had an international legal agreement backing it, which would have cost the Canadian government billions of dollars in a NAFTA challenge, so the Government of Canada bought the existing pipeline, plus the expansion, from Kinder Morgan.
    What have Canadians received from the sale? They have received an elongated construction timeline and costs being allocated, sometimes opportunistically, to add billions to its cost base. Fortunately, as determined by all financial analyses, including that of the Parliamentary Budget Office, it still makes economic sense on its own, to say nothing of the billions of dollars of value it will bring Canadians in tax revenue and reduced differentials.
    Therefore, when I hear the Minister of Natural Resources claim that his government is responsible for the jobs associated with this pipeline, I roll my eyes and ask myself who is responsible for the minister's false self-congratulations. The government loves its storytellers, even when the stories are complete fiction.
    Now we will fast forward. Keystone XL has been cancelled by the whims of a new U.S. administration, mid-build, without so much as a whimper from the government. Enbridge's Line 5 is being threatened with closure by a U.S. state acting on false motives and in defiance of a pipeline treaty between our two nations that is more than 40 years old. Still, the government has not raised alarms at the highest level signalling that this is unacceptable between two modern, successful trading nations. Once again, the government is feigning support but not acting decisively.
    This is a fundamental piece of Canadian infrastructure and the government needs to fulfill its international relations role and step up right now. There is more danger on the horizon. Activists are lobbying against Enbridge Line 3, our main artery of oil flow. Pipelines leading to the northwest coast to get Canadian natural gas to international markets meet unforeseen hurdles, some of which are partially funded by the government.
    West coast LNG is our future, no doubt about it. It means reduced carbon emissions for countries that are currently burning vast amounts of coal for power. Our responsibility is to provide them a more environmentally friendly option, because we can and because we are good at it. One such facility is under construction. One other is waiting for clarity from the government that it actually believes in environmental solutions beyond virtue signalling. This country, our pipeline industry and our future require clarity. I challenge the government to actually provide that clarity.

  (2000)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to address this very important issue.

[Translation]

    From day one, the government has made it a top priority to open domestic and international markets to our resources. Our goal has been to help create well-paid high-skills jobs in our energy sector. That remains a priority to this day.
    Line 3 is an important part of the infrastructure that will strengthen the integration of Canada-U.S. energy relations and improve environmental performance by increasing the participation of indigenous peoples and generating economic spinoffs on both sides of the border from coast to coast.
    To honour our commitment to reconciliation, Canada is working closely with the Line 3 Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee. This initiative brings together representatives of indigenous groups, the government and the regulatory body to ensure indigenous oversight of the project. We have consistently stated that working with indigenous peoples to find solutions will produce better economic, social and environmental outcomes.
    Enbridge said that 20% of the Canadian workforce working on replacing Line 3 was indigenous. We will keep working with indigenous communities and organizations and with our North American partners to strengthen collaboration on the environmental and energy issues facing our continent.

[English]

    The Line 3 project has generated thousands of full-time jobs during its construction, replacing a 50-year-old pipeline with a new and safer one. This improves the integrity of the pipeline network, reduces the transportation of oil by rail and on public roads, and increases environmental safety.
    The Line 3 project is an excellent example of what our government means when we say that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. Energy security and ensuring that everyone has safe, reliable and affordable access to the fuel they need is of great importance to our government.
    The Line 3 project is a part of this. That is why we continue to do the hard work necessary to secure reliable supply chains, including by building pipeline capacity to get our resources to both domestic and international markets, ensuring that this sector continues to be a source of good middle-class jobs for Canadians.
    Once fully completed in the U.S., Line 3 will transport 760,000 barrels per day, representing more than 370,000 barrels in additional capacity, and further support workers in Canada's petroleum sector.

[Translation]

    Furthermore, our government's climate plan and robust regulatory regime guarantee that the Canadian products transported in this pipeline are manufactured in accordance with some of the strictest environmental standards in the world. We still believe that the Line 3 replacement is a worthwhile project to meet present and future needs. It will help improve environmental performance, maximize indigenous participation and generate economic spinoffs on both sides of the border. We will continue to vigorously defend this project at every opportunity.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I really appreciate the comments of my colleague, the parliamentary secretary.
    He talked about indigenous participation. Let me challenge him on the indigenous participation that was part of Keystone XL and the five native groups in Saskatchewan and Alberta that were participating in that new project to get Canadian oil to markets in the United States, which would have been more environmentally friendly, replacing the type of oil that is consumed in the United States right now.
    The entire pipeline was net zero, as far as emissions go, because of the environmental benefits received. It was powered by alternative energy.
    However, with regard to ESG, the government is following large Canadian industries like pipelines, as far as their standards go. Therefore, industry is showing the Canadian government where this goes, and the government is a fast follower on this.
     We need to integrate with the United States. When we are not integrating well, we need to call it out and say what it is. Our standards are much higher, and let us make sure they get built.
    I will challenge the parliamentary secretary again because he refers to Line 3. Line 3, of course, is already built on the Canadian side. Show the Americans—

  (2005)  

    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his passion on this issue, his comments and his knowledge that he is sharing with us here and at the natural resources committee.
    As the member knows, the Line 3 replacement project is one of North America's largest infrastructure programs and supports North American energy independence. More than that, the new Line 3 will comprise the newest and most advanced pipeline technology.
    Our government has made getting our resources to market safely and responsibly a top priority because of our good, well-paying goods in our energy sector.

[Translation]

    As I have said, we will continue to vigorously defend Line 3 at every opportunity.
     The project will help improve environmental performance, maximize indigenous participation and generate economic spinoffs on both sides of the border.

[English]

    It will provide much-needed capacity to support Canadian crude oil production, and U.S. and Canadian refinery demand. It will generate thousands of full-time jobs during its construction.

Airline Industry 

    Madam Speaker, on February 19, in question period, I asked the Minister of Transport the following:
    Madam Speaker, the minister is correct. He did appear yesterday at committee. Unfortunately, he got his facts wrong again about purchasing tickets to sun destinations. The minister said that it takes multiple tickets for an American carrier to take a Canadian to a sun destination, when in fact it only takes a single ticket. When will the minister get his facts straight, and when will he fix this problem?
    I received the following response:
    Madam Speaker, I will argue that she needs to get her facts straight. I said “multiple trips”.
    —meaning not multiple tickets—
    Let me be very clear to all Canadians. We are asking all Canadians to suspend discretionary and vacation travel.
    I did remember very clearly what the minister said the day before at committee, and I attempted to make a point of order. Unfortunately, I did not have the text in front of me, but I do have it here it today. This is from the record at committee on February 18, when the Minister of Transport appeared.
    My question for the Minister of Transport at committee on February 18 was this:
    My colleague mentioned previously that when the pandemic is over, or finally, we hope, the government is successful in its vaccination efforts or perhaps in utilizing the tools of vaccines and rapid testing, which we have been encouraging the government to do for so long, even then, when the airline sector opens again, there will have been an incredible loss of market share over this time. I've mentioned this in the House. We see it, for example, with the implementation of the travel restrictions, whereby American carriers can still fly Canadians to sun destinations.
    Will this plan include a strategy for dealing with the loss of market share, which will take years for the Canadian airline sector to recover?
    The Minister of Transport responded with the following:
    Let me just correct the record. No American airlines can take Canadians to a sun destination. If they do, then those Canadians are buying multiple tickets to get to the sun destination. There are no direct flights between Canada and sun destinations.
    Having said that, the short answer to her question is yes. We are committed to working with the airline sector and making sure that they are strong and ready for a recovery post-COVID.
    I can confirm, because it is in the record, that the Minister of Transport did say “multiple tickets”. I will back this up with my efforts on February 19 following question period. Before I attempted to make this point of order, I went onto the Expedia website and was able, through an American carrier, to have the option of purchasing with a single ticket a trip from YVR, which of course we know is Vancouver, to Puerto Vallarta, one of my favourite sun destinations, PVR, with only a single 31-minute stop in Seattle.
    I would like to set the record straight with this information. I am expressing my sincere disappointment that there is still no plan for the airline sector after all of this time and, of course, my extreme disappointment that the government did not support our opposition day motion, which included support for airline workers and the airline sector.

  (2010)  

    Madam Speaker, the measures implemented by this government starting on February 22 are helping to curb discretionary and vacation travel during a period when a very significant number of Canadians traditionally travel to sun destinations, as the hon. member herself mentioned, for example in weeks such as March break. The decision to impose these measures was not taken lightly. We understand the impact on Canadian travellers and the Canadian industry.
    However, despite promising news regarding vaccines for COVID-19, it is critical to remember that we remain in the midst of a pandemic, that new variants of the virus are circulating, and that our primary responsibility is to protect the health and safety of Canadians. It would have been irresponsible for us to treat this as a normal winter travel season and hope for the best. I can report that between the first week of January of this year and the first week of March, passengers arriving into Canada were down very significantly, with the most pronounced decrease in arrivals coming from traditional sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, where the decrease stood at around 90%.
    I do not suggest this is cause for celebration, nor do I wish to give the impression that air travel is bad or unsafe. On the contrary: through a multilayered approach, the government and industry have worked hard to put in place a number of measures to ensure that air travel is safe. These include the wearing of masks, health and temperature checks, additional sanitization measures in airports and onboard aircraft for all flights, and the need to show negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of getting on board an international flight to Canada. International air travel to and from Canada can still take place, and we recognize that not all travel is discretionary.
    Furthermore, the measures this government has imposed do not stop Canadians from travelling for discretionary purposes. I recognize that although Canadian airlines have voluntarily suspended service to sun destinations, it is still possible to travel between Canada and those destinations on connecting flights via the United States, for example. I will repeat that the number of passengers choosing to travel to sun destinations is very small, and they will be subject to the testing and quarantine measures that we have imposed on their return.
    In summary, this government is continuing to do what is necessary to protect the health and well-being of Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary mentioned the airlines voluntarily giving up these sun destinations. I wish that the government would voluntarily provide a plan for this sector after one year. We hoped for it in December, when Reuters reported that it was coming. We hoped for it two weeks ago, when it was reported in The Globe and Mail that it was imminent. Today the government had an opportunity, in the absence of a plan, to support the airline sector and workers by simply voting for the opposition day motion. That would show support for the airline sector and the airline workers. However, the government did not choose to do this.
    There has been no plan for a year, but in the small action today of supporting this motion, the governm