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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 107

CONTENTS

Tuesday, October 4, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 107
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

     It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 23(5) of the Auditor General Act, the fall 2022 reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), these reports are permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Chief Electoral Officer

    It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 94(2) of the Access to Information Act and subsection 72(2) of the Privacy Act, the reports of the Chief Electoral Officer on the administration of these acts for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.

[Translation]

     Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), these reports are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Information Commissioner

    It is my duty, pursuant to subsection 94(2) of the Access to Information Act and subsection 72(2) of the Privacy Act, to lay upon the table the reports of the Auditor General of Canada on the administration of these acts for the fiscal year ending March 31.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), these reports are deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Committees of the House

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present today, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, entitled “Facial Recognition Technology and the Growing Power of Artificial Intelligence”.
    I will take a moment to thank the analysts for the work they did on behalf of the committee and all the committee members, who agreed entirely with the 19 recommendations that are contained in this report. I certainly hope the government will quickly respond to the report and work toward expeditiously implementing the recommendations contained in it.

Finance  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-30, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (temporary enhancement to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax credit).
    I do not know, but we may have set a record to pass a bill through committee. To make that achievement possible, I want to thank all members of the finance committee, as well as the clerk, Alexandre Roger; Carine Grand-Jean; legislative clerks Jean-François Pagé and Émilie Thivierge; the analysts; the interpreters; the staff; and all members and parties in this House for their support on Bill C-30.

[Translation]

    Therefore, pursuant to an order made on Monday, October 3, the bill is deemed concurred in at report stage without further amendment.

    (Bill C‑30 concurred in at report stage)

[English]

    When shall the bill be read a third time? Later today?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Criminal Code

     He said: Madam Speaker, it an honour to stand here on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo—
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: And the Conservative Party.
    Madam Speaker, it is interesting that my colleague from Winnipeg is heckling me as I am saying this, because I am speaking about a bill that should be of interest to everybody in the House. Now the member for Kingston and the Islands is getting in on the act.
    Can we have order and let the hon. member introduce his bill?
    Madam Speaker, this is what we are talking about: sexual offences against children and adults.
    When somebody commits a robbery in this country, it is the taking of property by force and they are liable to life imprisonment. When someone's consent and dignity are taken by force when it comes to sexual assault, the maximum sentence is 10 years in jail. We therefore treat the taking of someone's sexual inviolability, innocence, dignity and consent by force less seriously than we treat the taking of property by force.
    If people want to treat this as a joke, that is fine, but for me and for everybody in this House, my exhortation is that we start getting hard on sexual offences, especially sexual offences against children. This bill does just that. It raises the maximum sentence to life imprisonment for most sexual offences to recognize that victims are often put in a psychological prison for life themselves.
    I exhort all members of the House to pass this bill expeditiously given the seriousness that this subject matter deserves.

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

  (1010)  

[Translation]

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

    (Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act

Hon. Mona Fortier (for the Minister of Foreign Affairs)  
    moved for leave to introduce Bill S‑9, An Act to amend the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act.

    (Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

[English]

Petitions

Climate Change  

    Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today.
    The first petition is for the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada. The citizens in the preamble who signed this petition recognize that Canada is facing a climate emergency. Therefore, they are calling on the government to implement just transition legislation that will reduce emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels; create new public institutions and expand public ownership of services and utilities across the economy to implement the transition; create good green jobs and drive inclusive workforce development; expand the social safety net; and pay for this transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations, and financing through a public national bank.

Persons with Disabilities  

    Madam Speaker, in this second petition, the petitioners recognize that disability financial support payments in Canada are currently far below the official poverty line and that 1.5 million disabled Canadians currently suffer every single day in a state of legislated poverty. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon the government to end this practice of legislated poverty and ensure that a federal disability benefit of $2,200 per month is implemented.

Public Transit  

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise in this place to present a petition that deals with public transportation.
    The petitioners note that the government's current 10-year transit plan will end in 2027, yet we still have not seen public transit significantly improved to reduce greenhouse gases, nor to reach areas of Canada that are remote and more rural. As members will know, today actually happens to be the day for recognition of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and that report called for public transit to be available, secure and safe for people across Canada, including outside urban areas.
    The petitioners call on us to establish permanent federal funding for public transit that goes above and beyond the current 10-year transit plan, to work together to provide sustainable, predictable, long-term and adequate funding and to establish accountability to ensure that all orders of government in Canada work together to provide public transit to Canadians.

  (1015)  

Online Pornography  

    Madam Speaker, it is my honour to present a number of petitions today.
    In the first petition, petitioners are concerned about how easy it is for young people to access sexually explicit material online, including violent and degrading explicit material. They note that this is a public health and public safety concern.
    The petitioners note that a significant portion of commercially accessed sexually explicit material have no age verification software. Moreover, that age verification software could ascertain the age of users without breaching their privacy rights. They note many serious harms associated with sexually explicit material, including the development of addiction and the development of attitudes favourable to sexual violence and harassment of women.
    As such, the petitioners call on the House of Commons to quickly pass Bill S-210, the protection of young persons from exposure to pornography act.

Universal Basic Income  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition comes from people across the country concerned about legislation related to universal basic income. I have received countless messages from across the country about this.
    The petitioners note that people who would get paycheques regardless of whether they helped or worked in their communities would cost our economy billions of dollars. They state that universal income would disincentivize people from working and maintaining a job and that taxes would need to be greatly raised to pay for this.
    As such, the petitioners call on parliamentarians to vote against Bill S-233 and Bill C-223. They want an end to a carbon tax, they want an end to inflationary spending and they want to see pipelines and other projects approved to ensure our economy can grow so there are good jobs for everyone.

Forced Labour and Child Labour  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition is from Canadians from across the country who are supporting Bill S-211. They state that modern slavery has deepened in the last two years. They are looking for the Canadian government to pass a bill that would ensure Canadian businesses are not participating in child forced labour.
    Approximately 50 million people around the world are currently stuck in forced labour and approximately 20 billion dollars' worth of goods imported into our country each year are at risk of being produced through modern slavery. They also state that large companies are not required to report these measures to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains.
    The petitioners call on the House of Commons to pass Bill S-211 quickly, which is an act to enact the fighting against forced labour and child labour in supply chains act and to amend the Customs Tariff. If and when this is passed, it would greatly improve our impact in the world.

COVID-19 Mandates  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition is from Canadians across the country who want an end to the ArriveCAN app, vaccine mandates and all COVID-19 mandates. Currently, the government has only suspended some of these mandates. They are looking forward to having all these mandates removed.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to finally and permanently end all federally regulated regulations around the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.

Firearms  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition comes from people across the country who are concerned about the health and safety of Canadian firearms owners. They recognize the importance of owning firearms and are concerned about the impacts of hearing loss caused by damaging noise levels from firearms and the need for noise reduction.
    The petitioners acknowledge Canada is the only G7 country that criminally prohibits sound moderators. Moreover, the majority of G7 countries have recognized the health and safety benefits of sound moderators, allowing them for hunting, sport shooting and noise pollution reduction.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to allow firearms owners the option to purchase and use sound moderators for all legal hunting and sport shooting activities.

Northern Living Allowance  

    Madam Speaker, next I am presenting a petition on behalf of my constituents living in Fox Creek and Swan Hills, two rural and remote communities in northern Alberta. They are calling for the extension of the intermediate prescribed zone for the northern living allowance to be used for their communities.
     Currently there is an arbitrary line that runs across northern Alberta, from which they are 15 kilometres away. It would be great if they could access that tax incentive. Neither Fox Creek nor Swan Hills are in the intermediate prescribed zone, but they are very much remote and rural communities.
    The petitioners therefore call on the government to include Swan Hills and Fox Creek as communities within the intermediate prescribed zone and allow these residents to claim the residency deductions for living in northern Alberta.

Charitable Organizations  

    Madam Speaker, finally, I want to present a petition on behalf of Canadians who are concerned that certain charities would be targeted based on their views.

  (1020)  

    The petitioners call on MPs to ensure that charities that hold views that differ from the government's views are not harassed, or criminalized or have their charitable status removed. They call on the government to not enforce the judgment that it put in place in its 2021 campaign platform to remove charitable status from some organizations.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 1 (Targeted Tax Relief)

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to major legislation that would provide substantial support to Canadians in every region of our country. It is a good day.
    We are ensuring there will be more disposable income for Canadians to assist them in dealing with issues such as inflation by providing additional financial support so they will have a bit more to spend. It is quite encouraging to see the support for passing the legislation.
    Let us think about it. For many years, the government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, with guidance of the cabinet and members of the Liberal caucus, has talked a great deal about Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. We are providing the necessary supports to show we can build a healthier, stronger middle class.
    Appreciating the importance of Canada's middle class gives us a better sense of our economy. A healthy middle class gives us a healthier economy. There is good reason for that to be taking place. We live in a consumer society where the consumption of products improves the quality of life. It increases the demand for local manufactured products and services, and it creates jobs.
     In fact, if we look at the first number of years since we became government, we saw a relatively healthy growing economy. We invested in infrastructure, in tangible ways, for the first time in many years. All of this was in support of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it.
    We invested in individuals who had financial needs that were far greater than other Canadians at the lower end of household income. We did that by enhancing the Canada child care program. We did that by looking at some of the poorest seniors in the country, seniors who were on fixed incomes, and came up with ways we could ensure they would have more money in their pockets, such as substantial increases to GIS. This was for the poorest of our seniors.
    Ensuring we have an economy that works for all Canadians is a priority for the government and the Liberal caucus. We take this very seriously. Seven days a week we are focused on ensuring we are there, in a tangible way, for Canadians no matter where they live in our great nation.
    We saw that during the pandemic. When the pandemic hit the world, Canada responded. Our response was second to no other. We saw that with tangible results. At the beginning, we had a high sense of co-operation from all political entities, and we see that today with Bill C-30. We see universal support from members in the chamber. That is why the bill will pass.
    It is much like what we saw for the first few months of the pandemic, when the government recognized that there would be a cost to the pandemic. We made the decision that it was better for the government to do the borrowing as opposed to seeing the consequences of the government not supporting its citizens and the small businesses.
    That is why we invested billions of dollars in supporting Canadians, like what Bill C-30 would do by putting money in the pockets of Canadians.

  (1025)  

    We invested in programs such as CERB. Over nine million Canadians benefited from that program. With this legislation, we would see over 11 million Canadians and families benefit. We were there to support Canadians.
    We supported small businesses. I ask members to imagine if we had not provided the billions of dollars to support small businesses, whether through loans, rent subsidies, or wage subsidy programs, or the billions for average Canadians. It cost a great deal of money, and it meant that we had to borrow.
    The Conservatives in recent days have been very critical of the government, talking about the deficit and trying to position themselves as if though they had not supported the government's expenditures during the pandemic. They say that we have the highest deficit of any other government in Canadian history, knowing full well that they voted in favour of the billions of dollars we had to borrow in order to support Canadians during a worldwide pandemic.
    Now, postpandemic, even though it is not completely over, they are starting to change their attitude toward the money we had to borrow in order to support small businesses and Canadians during a world pandemic. It speaks to the Conservative policy mentality. We have seen that. We have seen policies from the Conservative Party that I would ultimately argue are to the detriment of Canadians. We see the Conservative Party flip-flopping, which should cause Canadians to be really concerned.
    These are not just words I am putting on the record, but facts. Talking about policy, we can remember today's leader of the Conservative Party, less than a year ago, gave economic advice to anyone who would listen and said that cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was the way to fight inflation. That is what he was telling Canadians less than a year ago, as he was criticizing the Governor of the Bank of Canada.
    The member for Abbotsford knows this full well. After all, he gave that leadership candidate some sound advice, which was well received, not only by the Liberal caucus, but also on Bay Street and, generally speaking, by anyone who understands the importance and significance of the Bank of Canada and its governor.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1030)  

    Could we agree that this is not a conversation? An hon. member is making his speech, so members can make their comments during questions and comments. It is mutual.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I do not mind heckling at all. They can go ahead all they want. At the end of the day, the member for Abbotsford was right, and he knows he was right. Unfortunately there was a cost, but I will leave that for another day. I do respect that, on that particular occasion, he was right.
    However, we have to remember that the Conservative leader was telling people that the governor of the Bank of Canada was bad and that he would fire him. He was advising Canadians to buy cryptocurrency. I wonder if any Conservative members of Parliament bought cryptocurrency. Could all those who bought cryptocurrency please put up a hand? After all, no doubt they would want to impress their leader. I wonder how many of them actually followed the advice of the member for Carleton, today's leader of the Conservative Party.
    An hon. member: The member for Abbotsford did not.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, no, the member for Abbotsford would not have done that. I agree. Having said that, we can imagine those individuals who did. It is somewhat sad, because many people we represent have confidence in what they are hearing. With a leadership candidate going around saying, “Invest in cryptocurrency”, I suspect many Canadians did just that.
    Unfortunately those who followed that advice lost a great deal of money. I think a conservative estimate would be at least 20%, some might even say it is considerably higher than that. My colleague suggests it might be much higher.
    The bottom line is that that is the type of economic advice that was being provided, but it does not stop there. Let us remember that the initial response from the Conservative Party to Bill C-30, the bill we are actually debating today, was to not support it. I like to think that the response received by the Conservative Party over a few days ultimately caused them to change their mind, and I am glad they did because it is good legislation.
     However, initially they were not going to support it. In part, it was because the Conservative Party feels that everything involving a collection of money from Canadians is called a tax, as a member across the way suggests. It is such a sad statement, and I will give two examples of that shortly. I do believe the Conservatives were shamed into supporting Bill C-30. I would like to see them do the same thing for Bill C-31.
     If Conservatives support the children they represent in their constituencies who are under the age of 12 and who do not have dental plans being able to access dental services, they should be supporting Bill C-31, not filibustering. That is how children would receive the dental services they need. Many of those children who do not receive dental services often end up in a hospital situation, getting surgery for things that could have been prevented. That is what Bill C-31 would do, not to mention also supporting renters by giving them payments.
    However, the Conservatives do not want to support that. They say it is about taxes, and I said there is a couple of issues I want to raise on that particular front. A number of years ago, when I was in opposition, I used to be fairly disappointed in Stephen Harper not recognizing the importance of CPP. CPP is an investment, not a tax. The Conservatives would argue today, as they did from their seats, that CPP is a tax.

  (1035)  

    Stephen Harper refused to negotiate with and talk to premiers about increasing CPP contributions. When we took government, we worked with all political parties, and provinces and territories, to get an agreement to increase CPP contributions, what the Conservative Party today calls a “tax”. It really is for individuals who are working today to invest in their retirement, so when they do retire, they will have more disposable income.
    Only the Conservative Party of Canada, not Conservatives at the provincial level, just the national Conservative Party, does not believe in the importance of CPP and the importance of ensuring that people have more disposable income when it comes time for retirement.
     When it comes to taxes, in the Conservative Party we see a party that is in complete disarray. Do members remember when I spoke about flip-flopping? I have referenced the analogy of pulling in a fish and it ending up on the dock, and we see it flip-flop around. That is what I think about when I think about the price on pollution and the Conservative Party of Canada. Again, it really does stand alone.
    Back in 2015 and 2016, governments around the world, with the Paris Accord, came together and said that we need to deal with the environment, and one of the best ways to deal with the environment was to deal with the price on pollution as a policy tool that would have a real impact. At the time when the accord was reached, and the Prime Minister, along with a delegation from different provinces, came back from Paris, there was a great deal of enthusiasm about it. It was only the Conservative Party here in the chamber that was negative toward it.
    The Conservatives had had a change in leadership, if members will recall. Shortly after the second change of leadership, the Conservative Party changed its mind, and it was applauded. I believe the record will show I stood up inside the House and complimented the Conservatives for changing their minds on the issue. They, or at least a good number of them, finally recognized that climate change was in fact real and that having a price on pollution was a good thing.
    Let us pause to stop and think about that. When we think about that, let us reflect back to a year ago when we were all knocking on doors. It was not that long ago that we were knocking on doors. What was the Conservative Party saying as its members were knocking on doors? The Conservatives were saying that they believed in a price on pollution. The leader at the time insisted that candidates and the Conservative platform would dictate a price on pollution. That has changed once again. There is new leadership and new direction. The climate change deniers are prevailing, and we now have the leader of the official opposition saying, “No, we are going to get rid of the price on pollution”, or the carbon tax, as he refers to it.
    Let us remember that the federal carbon tax is only applied Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Is the federal Conservative Party now going to go into the provinces and say to the other provinces that do not have the national program and that they are going to get rid of any price on pollution? I would be interested in seeing the negotiations that would take place about that. Is the Conservative Party saying only some parts of Canada should have a price on pollution?

  (1040)  

    This is the reason I look at Bill C-30 as a positive step. It is an encouraging thing to see Conservatives change their minds and support Bill C-30. I applaud that. I would like them to revisit a number of the issues I have pointed out that continue to support Canadians in a very real and tangible way. One of the things they can do, and I will conclude my remarks on this, is not only support Bill C-30 but also support Bill C-31. They should do it for the individuals who need that rent subsidy and the children under the age of 12 who need the dental insurance.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member spoke about the carbon tax. What he did not acknowledge is that his government has a plan to triple, triple, triple the carbon tax. For Canadians who are already struggling with affordability, tripling down on this failed policy—
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Triple, triple, triple.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Madam Speaker, the member for Kingston and the Islands is saying, “triple”. He is listening for once.
    The Liberals are tripling down on this policy that has not achieved any kind of improvement in terms of the environment. The Liberals have not met any of their targets, and the member spoke about provincial premiers. We are seeing now that in some cases, like in the case of Newfoundland, we have premier who, as I understand it, is supportive of the principle of a carbon tax but very much opposed to the government's plan to increase it next year and to triple it going forward.
    Will the member get up and either repudiate this tripling of the carbon tax policy or explain why his government is planning on tripling the burden on Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, it was interesting yesterday, when the Conservative members would stand up during QP and say, “triple, triple, triple”. The thing that came across my mind was Tim Hortons' double-double.
    I am wondering if someone was going through the drive-through and said, “I have an idea. Why do we not take Tim Hortons' double-double and say triple, triple, triple?” That is the only thing I can figure out. I have no idea where they get this “triple, triple, triple” thing from. Are they trying to hoodwink Canadians again on some stupid thought? It does not make sense.
    The bottom line—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Can I remind members that interpreters have to deal with all the noise in the background? It is very hard for them, so can we allow the hon. parliamentary secretary to finish his answer to the hon. member?
    Madam Speaker, what is very clear is that the climate deniers are prevailing once again in the Conservative Party of Canada. I think those voices that have been silenced need to come back and try to get a bit more common sense applied in the Conservative Party today.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am sure my colleague from Winnipeg North will agree with the Bloc Québécois that fighting inflation and avoiding a recession calls for sustainable solutions and intelligent measures. One-size-fits-all is not the answer. We definitely have to steer clear of measures that, although popular, or even populist, are not real solutions.
    Basically, we have to steer clear of measures designed primarily to win votes.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would concur with the member from the Bloc. Inflation is very real; we know that. Whether it is what has taken place with the war in Europe or the pandemic, we recognize that around the world inflation is happening. Even though Canada is doing exceptionally well. When we compare us to the United States, England and Europe, our inflation rate has been lower, but that does not mean that we ignore it. That is why we have a Prime Minister, members of the Liberal caucus and others who are trying to develop and support ideas that would be targeted to ensure we are helping the people who need the help the most.
    In terms of people who are on fixed incomes, a 10% increase, to those who are 75 and over, on OAS is significant. I am talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Bill C-30 and Bill C-31 would do exactly what it is—

  (1045)  

    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford.
    Madam Speaker, it is nice to see this moment in the House of Commons, where, on this bill, it seems we have the unanimous consent of the House. There is a realization that this is a targeted measure that is going to people who desperately need it.
    Before the Liberals pat themselves too hard on the back, I want to remind them that throughout May and June the NDP leader, the member for Burnaby South, repeatedly called on the government to put this measure into place because families back then needed this measure. Yes, Bill C-30 is welcome, though it is coming a bit late. What changed with the Liberals? Why did they not see this need back in May and June when the New Democrats were first calling for it?
    Madam Speaker, we have to put things into the perspective of time and how government ultimately evolves its policies. I, for one, have always advocated strongly on pharmacare. That is an area the government could expand in. I often talked about dental care also. I am very glad that we have been able to achieve what we have in Bill C-31 and I appreciate the contributions and support that the NDP has offered.
    Canadians elected a minority government and they expect opposition and government members to work together. We have at least two political entities in the House that saw fit to come up with an idea of providing, as a first step, dental services to children under the age of 12. I see that as a positive thing, and I look forward to ongoing discussions on how we can help Canadians during this difficult time.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with the member for Winnipeg North that we need to get help to those who need it the most.
    I have two questions for the parliamentary secretary. First, refundable tax credits like the GST are indexed annually to inflation. It could be indexed on a quarterly basis, as is the case for seniors' benefits already. Why is it not in this bill?
    Second, on the disability benefit, last night on the floor of the House, I asked the parliamentary secretary for a timeline for when Bill C-22 would be brought back to the floor of the House. It has been up for debate once so far. This is about ensuring some trust from the disability community to follow through on the benefit. We are not seeing any demonstration of that yet. Can the parliamentary secretary commit to a date when Bill C-22 will be back for debate on the floor of the House?
    Madam Speaker, on the first question, I suggest the member sit down and talk with the Minister of Finance. I am sure the minister would be more than happy to provide an explanation as to why it might not be able to be done. I do not know the answer.
    With regard to Bill C-22, I can assure the member that the minister responsible for the disability legislation is very eager and wants to see the legislation come back. Unfortunately, with a limited amount of House debate time, there is only so much legislation we can bring in. For example, I would have loved to debate that bill today, but the problem is that we have to get Bill C-30 through and Bill C-31.
    There are a number of pieces of legislation. If we had more opportunities to bring forward government bills, that would probably be the ideal. For example, Bill C-30 is universally supported by all members of the House from what I can tell. Right after I sit down, we could pass it and go right to the disability bill. I would be in favour of that.

  (1050)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the parliamentary secretary and his team on their achievement in delivering over 10% inflation on food to Canadians, which I am sure his constituents are quite pleased with. Most of it is due to the carbon tax. It goes in everywhere on the logistics chain, and it is compounded and then passed on to consumers. However, it has not reduced our emissions in Canada.
    In the U.S., there has been a reduction in emissions without a carbon tax. I wonder if the parliamentary secretary can explain to the House how that could be possible.
    Madam Speaker, I guess the hon. member wants to remain focused on the Conservative spin with respect to what he calls the carbon tax or the price on pollution. I just do not agree with the question at all.
    One could do a comparison when he talks about a 10% increase on groceries. Canada is a vast country. Provinces, municipalities, the federal government: all of us have a contribution in terms of what our inflation rate is. Even the member for Abbotsford, I think, would have an appreciation of that fact. That is why we see variations of inflation rates across the different regions. To try to say that inflation is there only because of the price on pollution is just wrong. The member needs to get a more comprehensive understanding of why it is that we have inflation.
    I would encourage him to recognize two quick points. The first is that inflation is around the world and Canada is doing relatively well. The second is that the government is doing whatever it can to try to make life affordable for all—
    We have to resume debate.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on Bill C-30 today.
    Yesterday, I was intrigued by a poll commissioned by the national accounting firm MNP. It found that half of B.C. residents are having a hard time saving money, and that 46% in the Ipsos poll feel that transportation is getting increasingly unaffordable. According to the poll, 40% of British Columbians also said that housing was a real and significant challenge. It does not take an Ipsos poll or an article in Business in Vancouver, though, to understand and to know what is going on in our province and the major challenges that people are facing right now.
    Before I go on, I want to seek unanimous consent to split my time with the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Madam Speaker, indeed, just the other night I stopped by for gas at the Centex station in Abbotsford. I had to fill up at $2.23 a litre to drive to the airport. I drive a RAV4, but even filling up a RAV4, at $150 for a tank of gas, is expensive.
    Grocery costs at the Superstore in Abbotsford go up and up. I made a dinner for my family on Sunday night, and I noticed the price of the filet of fish, the Pacific cod that my family ate. It was over $30 for a piece of fish to feed my family that night. Fish is up 10.4%. This is a staple food in British Columbia, and it is getting harder and harder to buy. Butter and eggs are up 10% and 16% respectively. Margarine is up 37.5%; pasta, 32.5%; fresh fruit across the board, 13.2%; coffee, 14.2%; potatoes, 10.9%. I could go on, but the reality is that purchasing food is getting harder and harder for families.
    In British Columbia we are also challenged with the highest housing costs in all of Canada and perhaps, in some cases, even many parts of North America. For the average home in British Columbia, the price today is over $918,000. Even for someone making a six-figure income today, the chances of being able to save up for that mortgage to cover the property transfer tax, the legal fees and everything involved in purchasing a house, are really, really slim. For a young father or mother working to support their family, even if they are making 100 grand, saving up for a townhouse or a condo is a challenge right now. Across the board, British Columbians are struggling.
    Linda Paul from MNP noted in a survey that indeed, life is getting more unaffordable and Canadians are allocating more of their paycheques to cover these basic necessities that I just outlined. Further hikes and rising costs, she said, could drive more people into vulnerable positions.
    That brings us to the bill before us today, Bill C-30, which amends the Income Tax Act in order to double the goods and services tax or harmonized sales tax credit for six months, increasing the credit amounts by 50% for the 2022-23 benefit year. Eligibility for the payment is based on one's income reported to CRA in the previous fiscal year. For my constituents and other Canadians who are listening, in July the government may send a letter outlining what credits people are eligible for. If someone's notice indicated that they should receive the GST tax credit, they can assume that the payment they get will be effectively double the amount on the notice. Payments are generally made three or four times a year. The next one is actually coming up tomorrow, on October 5; the second one is on January 5 and the third is on April 5. Assuming this bill passes both houses of Parliament, people can expect that on January 5 and April 5, their GST tax credit will be effectively doubled.
    It is also important to know that the GST credit, generally across the board, if one were to look at the Government of Canada's schedule for payments, applies only to Canadians making below $60,000. The Parliamentary Budget Officer also outlined what, in general, this bill before us today would equate to for the average family. For a single person it would be $369, and for a single parent with a child it would be about $402 extra. Indeed, this measure is needed and welcomed by a lot of people struggling to get by with those basic costs, like groceries and gas, where more of their paycheques are going today.
    I would be remiss if I did not outline that the government, despite putting this bill forward that the Conservatives will, in good faith, support, is not doing anything to address the structural challenges facing the Canadian economy today. The structural challenges are increasing. Businesses across Canada are having a harder and harder time planning for their future.

  (1055)  

    Small business insolvency is on the rise. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business reported that one in six businesses are considering closing their doors, with 62% of small businesses still carrying debt from the pandemic. In other words, the environment that businesses and workers find themselves in today is risky. It is scary. As I did in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, I know MPs went and visited businesses this summer. If businesses in Liberal-held ridings are anything like businesses in the Fraser Canyon and the Fraser Valley, which I represent, Liberal members know that businesses are struggling and do not know what to do next.
    I had the opportunity to visit the Lillooet Brewing Company, which is about to open up. Sam, one of the two owners, is an expert in the procurement of agricultural goods. He said that, first off, starting his business was the hardest thing he has ever done, but procuring the necessary equipment and products to make this business work is increasingly challenging, and he barely made it through. He talked about the ability to purchase an aluminum container in which the beer would be brewed. He talked about how the input costs for products like barley and malt are going through the roof. He does not know how he is going to solve all these problems.
    I heard from the tourism industry in my riding, Fraser Valley RV and other similar businesses that are wondering whether they can plan to build and assemble more RVs with the increased input costs of equipment across the board. In many cases, when they combine the energy and property costs they are incurring, and the additional CPP and payroll taxes they will be paying on behalf of their employees, they are wondering whether they want to do business in Canada any longer. I heard the same thing from people at KMS Tools in Abbotsford, who said they were not going to invest in Canada anymore because they do not think the government has their back. All they want to do is create jobs and build things to help people live better lives, and they do not feel they can do that right now.
    Therefore, my plea to the government today is very simple. It should look at the structural challenges facing the Canadian economy and the major supply chain issues that we need to address. It should look at how Canadian businesses are able to get the products they need to build things in Canada and address that problem. We are not going to get this done overnight, but what Canadian businesses want to hear is that the Government of Canada is going to make a reasonable effort to move in the right direction.
    The second thing I would like to raise with respect to what the government could be doing right now relates to agriculture. I noted at the beginning of my speech that the price of margarine has gone up 37.5%. That is largely due to products like canola oil. Canada has an opportunity, especially given the global disruption in agricultural production, to stand behind Canadian farmers and play a role in addressing the food shortage. Canada wants to be a global player in food production, and the current government can help it get there if it gets out of the way and stops threatening farmers with future agricultural input costs on such things as fertilizer.

  (1100)  

    Madam Speaker, I was listening carefully to the hon. member across the way and his description of what businesses are facing. The businesses in Guelph, across Canada and around the world are facing similar challenges around the supply side. What we have right now is supply-side inflation. The ability to bring product in or to have labour produce product is something all businesses are struggling with right now, which is causing the inflation we are seeing.
    The bill before us today is targeted to help young families support their young children with dental care. It is a very targeted measure that will not add inflationary costs. Could the member reflect on how this targeted program, with the GST and dental credits, is not going to stimulate inflation, which is being caused by the problems he described?
    Madam Speaker, I read Bill C-30 this morning and there is no mention of dental care in the legislation before us today. Bill C-30, as I outlined, is related to the GST credit. The bill before us today will effectively double the GST credit for Canadians who are eligible to receive it. Dental care is in another piece of legislation before this House, and it is not before Parliament today.
    I acknowledge that the member outlined the structural challenges related to labour and supply chains. I would much rather see the government put forward a strategy to get goods moving in Canada and to give businesses the ability to produce things once again. That is not before the House, and those challenges will last much longer than six months, when the GST credit we are talking about today finishes.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon for his brilliant speech. I would like to know if he thinks this measure is fair for everyone or not.
    If my colleague does think it is fair, could he tell me what fairness means to him?
    Madam Speaker, the measure we are discussing in the House today does not affect everyone.

  (1105)  

[English]

    The bill before us today is for people only making under $60,000. The bill will apply only to Canadians who already qualified, as I outlined in my speech, for the GST credit. This bill applies only to Canadians who received a GST credit notice in July, when the government sent those letters out to Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his speech. I know he is a real champion for his riding. I am glad he brought up craft breweries. My riding has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in Canada.
    Can he comment on the craft brewers' proposal to restructure the excise tax on beer, so that it gives a break to these small craft breweries and, at the same time, stops the escalating cost of that tax?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Penticton in the South Okanagan for his excellent question. In fact, beer producers, liquor producers and wine producers in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, like those in his riding, are wondering why, at this time of inflation, the government is putting yet an additional tax on them.
    There are thousands upon thousands of people who work in these sectors in British Columbia. All they want to do is have an honest go, go to work and make a product that people love. The government is making it harder for them to do that. I am glad to see that the NDP stands with the Conservative Party in opposing this tax measure, which is punitive against our producers.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member. I think he accurately portrayed the fear and anxiety that exist among not just businesses, but also residents. I travelled across the country this summer, and I talked to a lot of young people. They are neither fearful nor anxious; they are despondent.
    How are young people in his riding feeling right now?
    We will have a very brief answer from the hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Madam Speaker, on the weekend I had an opportunity to hang out with a number of young men at a sporting event in Abbotsford. I asked one of them whether the property he lived in was owned or rented. He said, “Thank you for even thinking that I would have the opportunity to buy a home. I don't think I ever will.” This was a young, educated man who was recently married, and he does not see an ability in his future to ever own a home. We need to restore, for these despondent young people, the dream of home ownership, the dream that their paycheque is going to get them far—
    We have to resume debate.
     The hon. member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-30, the inflation bill, because I am deeply concerned about the financial state of my constituents in Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame.
    We all know that this piece of legislation will get passed, but in this place it is our job as His Majesty's loyal opposition to debate legislation and perhaps effect positive change to it when it goes to committee. The government has passed some extremely hurtful legislation since first being elected in 2015, when it had a budgetary surplus and inflation was at just 1.13%.
    The carbon tax was implemented as a result of hurtful Liberal legislation. It is set to triple since its inception, and it will keep on going. By 2030, nearly 50¢ per litre of carbon tax will be placed on fuel, and then with HST on top of that, Canadians will pay almost 60¢ more per litre for fuel than they paid when they voted for sunny days and sunny ways.
    When goods arrive at the back door of a grocery store and the invoice is given to the owner, there is a line at the bottom that says “fuel surcharge”, but it is not a one-time charge on our goods. Fuel price increases are passed on at every point in the logistics chain, so by the time goods reach the last link in the chain, the Canadian consumer, all of these inflationary fuel surcharges are reflected in the price of these goods. Therefore, we identify the carbon tax as a major cause of inflation to every single parent, every senior and every struggling family in Canada. By 2030, can members imagine the effect the carbon tax would have on Canadian households?
    What we see here today is just the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, the government voted against our motion to stop increasing the carbon tax. Instead of that, once again, the government ATM machine is ready to add more inflationary fuel to the fire.
    I hear from my constituents on a daily basis that times were tough before, but now, after seven years of the government and its insatiable desire to spend, it is more difficult than ever to make ends meet.
    I heard from Julie, a single mother of two who is now unable to enrol her children in soccer because it will cost too much to drive them to games and practices. Under the Liberal government, according to statistics, transportation costs have risen 10.3%. I heard from Mary, a senior who is one of the 24% of Canadians cutting back on the amount of food they are buying because they cannot keep up with the rising cost of groceries.
    I would like to ask the Prime Minister this: When was the last time he stepped into a grocery store to purchase a week's worth of groceries? I do not actually believe the Prime Minister has ever bought groceries, so let me help to open his eyes. Groceries, some of the basic necessities of life, are up by 10.8%, rising at the fastest pace in 40 years. Fish is up 10.4%. Butter is up 16.9%. Eggs are up by 10.9%. God help us if we break one. Margarine is up by 37.5%. Bread, rolls and buns are 7.6.% more expensive than last year. Dry and fresh pasta is up 32.4%. Fresh fruit is up 13.2%.
    I heard from Kyle. Although he received a slight wage increase, he still cannot keep up. Why? It is because although on average wages have increased by 5.4%, inflation has increased by 7%. It does not take a doctorate in mathematics to know those numbers are not sustainable.
    However, wait. Not all is lost. The Liberals have come up with a plan. They are going to help combat inflation caused by overspending by spending more. Do not misinterpret my criticism of their plan as a lack of desire to help those who need it most, but let us take a look at how we got into this situation to begin with: The government spending money it does not have. How did the government get the money it spent? It borrowed it, and the Prime Minister continues to borrow more and more at higher and higher interest rates, which only causes higher inflation and the cost of everything to go up.

  (1110)  

    Members do not have to take my word for it. Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, when asked about the Liberals' inflationary bill, stated in the Vancouver news:
    While there are times where fiscal largesse is just what the economy needs, these aren’t such times. In a period of high inflation and excess demand, cutting taxes or handing out cheques can add fuel to the inflationary fire, and make the job of a central bank that’s raising rates to cool demand all that more troublesome.
    In a recent news article published in Bloomberg, Mr. Robert Kavcic, senior economist with the Bank of Montreal, cautioned against new government support measures, stating, “We’re not going to deny that there are households seriously in need of help right now in this inflationary environment. But, from a policy perspective, we all know that sending out money as an inflation-support measure is inherently inflationary.”
    While the Prime Minister flies around the world in his private air accommodations, espousing the virtues of a green economy and warming up his vocal cords with a little rhapsody at his hotel lobby debut, hard-working Canadians here at home are tightening their belts and making tough choices. The average family of four is now spending over $1,200 more each year to put food on the table. This is not to mention the rising costs of heat, gasoline and rent.
    However, the Liberals' one-time support benefit is for $467. Who does this help? Individuals without children earning more than $49,200 or a family of four, a couple with two children, earning more than $58,500 would receive no benefits, and it certainly would not help Canadians who are not renting.
    By printing more cash, the government's inflationary spending does nothing to help Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet. Because of the Prime Minister's uncontrolled spending with borrowed cash at higher interest rates, all Canadians will feel the pain of more inflation and higher prices, making it harder for workers, families and seniors to make ends meet. For years, the Conservatives have warned the Prime Minister about the consequences of his actions and how much they hurt Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    The GST rebate will provide welcome relief that the Conservatives support, but it will not address the real problem. Inflationary deficits and taxes are driving up costs at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years.
    To avoid adding costs to government, this side of the House proposes that the government look for savings in other areas to pay for its proposals. I do not stand here simply to criticize; I can also offer suggestions. For example, I fully support eliminating, and completely not allowing back, the ArriveCAN app. That would give us a cost savings of $25 million a year. Here is one the NDP should be able to get onside with: Let us scrap the $35-billion Infrastructure Bank to cancel corporate welfare programs that only help large and powerful companies.
    Families are struggling now more than ever and they need help. Bill from Grand Falls-Windsor is wondering how he will be able to heat his home this winter and keep food on his table.
    Let us ensure we do this right. Borrowing money to give this much-needed one-time help, in the long run, will do more harm and we will be right back here again. It is time to stop the vicious circle the government has created. Borrowing money to give to people who are struggling due to the high cost of living will only increase the cost of everything and drive up inflation. The Canadian economy has been thrown off a cliff, but unlike the Prime Minister when he bungee jumps, it does not have a bungee cord to stop it from crashing.

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, I was trying to follow the hon. member's train of thought around inflation and the causes of inflation. The previous speaker talked about the root cause being supply chain issues and labour issues.
    This bill was put in place to address helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. We know that in Atlantic Canada, many vulnerable people have been affected by Fiona and are looking for help in any way it can come. I was surprised that the hon. member would not want the government to help people on the lowest income scale and the ones who are the most vulnerable in our communities, thinking that would drive inflation. How does that square? I do not understand.
    Madam Speaker, I know my hon. colleague does not agree with the Conservatives' stand on what is causing inflation, but I would like to take my colleague back to 2008, 2009 and 2010 when the world was reeling from a financial crisis. No one said then that it was a global problem. It was a global problem, but Canada sailed through it. Why should we have to be like the rest of Canada?
    If the current government was doing the job the government in 2009 was doing, we would not have this inflation problem. We could be an anomaly. Inflation is driven by the carbon tax.
    Madam Speaker, a critical piece to the rise in the cost of living for Canadians is actually corporate greed. Some 23.6% of Canadians have to cut back on their food. Simultaneously, we are seeing CEOs at Loblaws, for example, bringing in literally billions of dollars, $9 billion. We see some CEOs pay out upwards of $125 million to their shareholders.
    Could the member comment on the role greed is playing in Canada's economy and the cost that Canadians are paying?

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, I agree there is lots of corporate greed. It is now, it has always been and it always will be. However, corporations that manufacture things consume energy. When they consume energy, they pay carbon tax. That carbon tax is tax on goods. Then the goods are shipped out to the grocery store and there is a fuel surcharge. The carbon tax is compounded all the way along. On top of that, HST is thrown on the carbon tax. I know this. I have seen the bills and the invoices. It is not just greed. The number one factor here is the carbon tax.
    Madam Speaker, it is not up to political parties to decide what is causing inflation. In a recent paper from the University of Calgary, economists found that three-quarters of inflation in Canada since the second quarter of 2021 has been driven by supply-side challenges such as food crops and oil production disruptions, for example.
    The GST credit top-up we are discussing from this bill would be received by low- and modest-income households, folks who would be using the additional benefit to purchase the same goods they would have otherwise already consumed. It is the same reason that investing in the Canada disability benefit would not be inflationary spending.
    Is the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame aware of, and has he seen, this research?
    Madam Speaker, yes, I have seen the research, but we have to go back to the base here. We have a carbon tax that goes into every point of the logistics chain, and then HST is placed on that. It keeps pushing the cost of goods higher and higher. It is a failed tax-and-spend program. Actually, it is great. It achieved spending targets and is driving up our inflation. The United States, with no carbon tax, has lower emissions than it had in 2015 and our emissions are higher. This is a failure.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, before I begin my comments on Bill C-30, I would like to say a few words about democracy.
    As members know, I am strongly committed to democracy. Of course, everyone knows that I am a sovereignist, but I am first and foremost a democrat. I am a sovereignist precisely because the democratic ideal is the very foundation of the sovereignty of a people. Yesterday, in Quebec, 125 elections took place. I repeat, 125 elections. This was not “the Quebec election”; we held “elections”. There were 125 elections, and I would like to congratulate all the candidates, from all parties, who ran in my riding. In Montcalm, there are three Quebec ridings—
    The hon. member for Jonquière on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague is indeed a great democrat, and I am sure he would like to share his time.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague. To assuage his existential angst, I would seek unanimous consent to split my time with the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to split his time?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès): It is agreed.
    The hon. member for Montcalm.
    Madam Speaker, behind all these numbers and causes, behind what we call inflation, the risk of recession and the economy, are human beings. I would propose taking a people-centred view or reading of what we experiencing as a result of this pressure, this crisis, this inflationary spike.
    First, the bill proposes—and it is very technical—to amend the Income Tax Act with a temporary enhancement to the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax credit. The bill effectively creates a new refundable and therefore tax-free tax credit of $229.50 for a single person, $459 for a couple, and $114.75 per dependent child. People will then receive a cheque.
    Obviously that is a good thing. I was saying earlier that we need meaningful solutions that are not strictly one-time measures. However, if they are, they need to be targeted in order to help the people who need them most, those who are struggling to make ends meet. To be eligible for the full amount, people have to have earned less than $39,826 in 2021. The cheque is reduced by 15¢ per dollar for people who earned more than that amount. In the end some 11 million people will have access to this measure.
    The Bloc Québécois obviously supports this bill. A rare consensus has emerged in the House to get this small measure passed. It should come as no surprise that the Bloc Québécois agrees with Bill C-30, since we included this measure in the budget expectations we sent to the Minister of Finance back in March. Inflation demands a comprehensive approach to the economy. What we need to avoid above all else is proposing simplistic measures that may look very interesting on the surface and fire up our collective imagination but that, in reality, are not sustainable or strategic for the economy.
    Since the pandemic, the Bloc Québécois has always been in favour of government intervention and support. However, while we did need to support the people who really needed it, the Bloc said very early on that the measures needed to be adjusted to avoid any negative effects.
    That is the same message we are sending the government about inflation. We want the measures to be adjusted so they are properly targeted, well thought out and intelligent. However, the document that was tabled, which proposes $100 billion in spending, is all over the map. It does not have the comprehensive approach and meaningful measures we advised.
    Statistics Canada has identified the factors behind the rapid increase in prices, such as food prices.

  (1125)  

    These include ongoing supply chain disruptions, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, extreme weather and higher input costs. This situation calls not for one-time measures, but for long-term measures that will have a meaningful effect on the economy and provide predictability for people grappling with these ups and downs. Those are the kinds of measures that the Bloc Québécois is proposing to fight inflation. It is not enough to say that gas taxes must be cut.
    I am a consumer and, unfortunately, I still have a gas-powered vehicle. Naturally, I would be happy to stop paying tax on gas. As I am protected by parliamentary privilege, I will say that it seems like the price at the pump is fixed by some kind of cartel. There seems to be some collusion in that regard.
    I have never known oil companies to not turn a profit and not take advantage of all that. I even have the sense that there is enough fossil fuel for the next 50 years, but that they want to make us pay more because they know all this will end soon, given all the transitions that must be made.
    Bernard Landry was one of my mentors, and he told me that he would love to do this, but he was not sure the money would reach consumers.
    The government is getting richer as it collects more taxes on the higher prices. It should take this surplus and redistribute it intelligently, implementing targeted measures for people in need. I am not an economist, but I have learned that the last thing we should do in an inflationary period is unilaterally lower taxes. Not everyone needs that anyway.
    In addition, the government should use its surplus to rebuild the economy and insulate it from a future inflationary crisis or recession. It must invest in the parts of the economic system that will enable us to face the challenges of tomorrow. One of those challenges is the labour shortage. I will come back to that because what is really bothering me at this point is the fact that our seniors are the first to suffer from higher inflation. A society that cannot take care of its frailest, most vulnerable members is a society that is heading for disaster.
    Seniors no longer have an income or a salary that could increase. Their income is capped. They have a small amount of savings that is dwindling, causing them stress. As my mother used to say, people do not die of good health. We must therefore take care of these people, and those who are still able must be allowed to rejoin the workforce because there is a labour shortage. These are skilled workers, and if any of them are willing to go back to work, we should let them. It is going to take meaningful measures to fix this issue, and that is what I meant when I was talking about meaningful solutions. The Bloc Québécois has many to propose.
    I am now ready to take questions.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, I very much liked the speech by my colleague, the member for Montcalm.
    That is a discussion we can have in Quebec since we have already set a price on pollution through the carbon exchange.
    I have a question about that for my colleague. I know that in Quebec we have our own way of doing things. Quebec and other provinces such as British Columbia have shown that it is possible to put a price on pollution and still meet consumer needs.
    Can my colleague elaborate on that?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I was talking about meaningful measures that will have a lasting impact on the economy. The Bloc Québécois believes that we need to put our resources and ramp up all our investments into the green economy and thereby speed up the energy transition.
    In Quebec, we do not have a carbon tax. We have a carbon exchange and I invite the other provinces to take part in it. That may be the best solution for everyone. When we look at the current crisis and the global economies, it is clear that we need to speed up the energy transition.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member for Montcalm talked about seniors, and I was very touched to hear that. I also read an article just yesterday on how inflation was having a huge impact on the lives of retired seniors. The article basically talked about how they would have to come back to the workforce, because they realized their pensions were not enough. Inflation had driven up costs and the high costs of taxes are driving them out of retirement.
    I am interested to hear what the member has to say about those aspects and the reality of the carbon tax, not to mention the GST that is on top of that carbon tax. These huge costs are impacting seniors.
    Could the member expand on how these will have huge impacts not only on seniors in Quebec but across the whole country?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Even before this inflationary crisis, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, seniors in my riding were telling me that it was possible to combat isolation and the undermining of their social independence. However, ageism is currently running rampant in our society.
    Seniors have experience that can be transferred to other types of jobs. They would like to get up in the morning and tell themselves that they will contribute to society, albeit at their own pace. They would like to be sure that when they do go to work, the government is not going to claw it all back, as if they were volunteering and were again putting more money into government coffers.
    By working, seniors are making a little extra money for themselves. People do not save at this age. They put their money back into the economy. They are less isolated, share their abilities and skills with society, can afford a few small luxuries, and are less sick and less stressed. From an economic and human perspective, it is a good solution. It is not for everyone, but we should encourage those who want to do it.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I did appreciate how the member for Montcalm made mention about corporate profits, especially in oil and gas. If we are going to talk about inflationary costs related to fuel and completely ignore the windfall profits that oil and gas companies are making off the backs of working families right now, we are doing a very real disservice.
    Today, a report came out from Canadians for Tax Fairness. It reported that Canadian corporations paid $30 billion less than would be expected under the current corporate tax rates, so there is a very real problem here.
     I wonder if the member for Montcalm can inform the House as to why both the official opposition and the governing Liberals seem to avoid talking about this serious issue in any real and meaningful way.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am not certain that I understood the last part of the interpretation, but I would say to my colleague that all those individuals and businesses that are currently making outrageous profits should be able to pay their fair share.
    He knows our views on tax avoidance and tax evasion. In 2015, the first measure we introduced when we arrived in the House was about tax havens. I believe that it is totally unacceptable and unfair that some people are not paying their fair share.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Committee Travel  

    Madam Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
    That:
    1. Seven members of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology be authorized to travel to Helsinki, Finland, in the fall of 2022, during an adjournment period, to attend the World Summit of Committees of the Future, and that necessary staff accompany the committee.
    2. That, in relation to its study of Threat Analysis Affecting Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces' Operational Readiness to meet those threats, seven members of the Standing Committee on National Defence be authorized to travel to Washington, D.C., United States of America and Colorado Springs, Colorado, United of States of America, in the fall of 2022, during an adjournment period, and that the necessary staff accompany the Committee.
    3. That, in relation to its study of Use and Impact of Facial Recognition Technology, seven members of the Standing Committee on the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics be authorized to travel to Denver, Colorado, United States of America, in the fall of 2022, during an adjournment period, and that the necessary staff accompany the committee.

  (1140)  

[Translation]

    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Agreed. The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 1

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C‑30, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (temporary enhancement to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax credit), be read the third time and passed.
    Madam Speaker, before I begin my speech, I would like to congratulate everyone who participated in Quebec's general election. As everyone knows, yesterday was election day in Quebec. I would like to congratulate the two new MNAs I will be working with in my riding.
    I also want to congratulate all the people who took part in yesterday's great democratic process. Their participation is important to our democracy. As we all know, being in politics is not always easy. It takes a lot of courage, so I have a lot of respect for them. Naturally, I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the general election.
    Today, we are taking part in the debate on Bill C‑30, which would increase the GST-HST credit. That will put money back into the pockets of people who need it. There is nothing random about this; it is a direct response to the worst inflationary crisis of the past 30 years.
    Obviously, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this bill. However, we have a lot of questions.
    Also, I would like to begin with a quick introduction to highlight what happens when there is inflation and to talk about the various misconceptions we have heard.
    Yesterday, I called the representatives of the organizations in Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques and asked them what they thought of the GST credit top-up. Of course, this is a welcome measure. Everyone is hurt by inflation. That said, when there is inflation, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
    When I spoke yesterday with representatives from advocacy groups for people experiencing poverty and unemployment, they told me that poverty was already a growing problem even before the inflationary crisis, before the war in Ukraine. What is interesting, however, is that fewer people are applying for welfare, even though poverty rates are rising. What this actually means is that the people who are living in poverty now are the working poor and seniors. In other words, poverty is changing.
    In order to paint a picture of the reality facing people back home, I would say that the image of poverty is also changing. I represent a riding that is largely rural, and in these areas, we are not used to seeing homeless people on a daily basis, as one does in big urban centres. These days, however, with the rising cost of groceries, prescription drugs and housing, some people do have to live on the street. This was unthinkable a few years ago. Of course I stand in solidarity with them, and I am trying to describe the reality facing people in my region.
    I wanted to emphasize that because, despite what some people are saying, poverty is on the rise. A one-time GST-HST cheque is not going to make a huge difference.
    When we talk about inflation, we have to be responsible. There are many things that we could say or consider doing so we could wave a magic wand and make inflation disappear. We have to be serious. We have to implement solutions that address the problems caused by inflation, and that goes beyond issuing a simple little cheque, contrary to what the government thinks and contrary to the claims of certain members who seem to think that inflation would disappear if only taxes were cut. I do not agree with their magical way of thinking.
    We are in uncharted territory and we have to understand that. I am putting it in perspective.
    We are currently seeing a rise in demand. In order to control inflation, we must try to change supply. Right now, there is a problem on both sides. Demand is growing but the supply is not necessarily keeping up. Inflation can be explained by a myriad of factors. Government is not responsible for all of our woes, although it is responsible for some of them. About 70% of the causes of inflation are related to external factors.

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    Consider the labour shortage, for example. The government does have a role to play in addressing the current labour shortage. However, there are other, external factors, such as the global disruptions in the supply chain and the war in Ukraine. These are complex issues that cannot be resolved by changing our monetary policy or passing a special act.
    I will put forward constructive solutions to help the most vulnerable Canadians and to counter inflation.
    These solutions are nothing new. I did not wake up this morning and decide that I had solutions for fighting inflation. That was already in our budgetary expectations for the 2022 budget tabled in April. There is something I still do not understand, and I hope that the government will clear up the mystery: Why did they not take action sooner?
    In April, inflation was at 6.9%. When the government tabled its budget, the inflationary situation was practically identical. According to the latest data, inflation was at approximately 7% in August. What is the difference?
    I do not understand. It is as if the government always reacts instead of being proactive. Governing involves being proactive. Although there was already an inflationary crisis last April, there was nothing in the last budget. Today’s bill represents $2.5 billion in government investment.
    I will give an example. I like comparing things. This same government invested $2.6 billion to help oil companies develop carbon sequestration technology. For the people in need they wanted to help they decided to invest $2.5 billion, but for the ultrawealthy oil companies, no problem, they gave them $2.6 billion in the last budget. That is the Liberal government’s real priority.
    Let us get back to concrete solutions. First, it is important to understand that the Bloc Québécois is not against financial assistance. We stood with the government when it wanted to provide targeted assistance at the beginning of the pandemic, whether through the emergency benefit or the wage subsidy for businesses. When the economy began to rebound after the pandemic, we even said that we should target certain sectors and help Canadians in need, low-income Canadians, vulnerable Canadians. Unfortunately, there was nothing like that in the last budget.
    The thing to understand is that the Bloc Québécois does not like to waste money. Sending cheques left and right is not the answer. I think that today's measure is a good one, but it is late in coming. We are not a week or a month late, but five months late. The Minister of Finance spoke at the Empire Club last June, when inflation was raging. The theme of her conference was inflation. She only repeated what she had announced some months before, in the previous budget. There was not a single new measure to fight inflation.
    Then, May, June, July, August and September came and went. The government finally woke up. It realized it needed to act. There was inflation. It decided to put meaningful measures in place to help Canadians. The government is now taking measures to support the people who need it, but, unfortunately, once again, it is working backward. We still do not understand why.
    The Bloc Québécois believes in supporting the most vulnerable low-income earners. It is particularly concerned about seniors. They are the ones who are hardest hit. We know that. Their fixed income will not increase. We need to help them. They have told me, with great sadness, that they have to choose between going without medication, postponing their rent payments or taking food out of their grocery cart. It is imperative that we help them.
    To boost supply, we need to address and resolve the labour shortage. To do that, we need to ensure that there are incentives, tax incentives for example, for experienced workers, particularly those aged 60 or 65 and over who want to stay in the workforce.

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    One last thing I would like to mention is Bill C‑295, which I introduced in the last Parliament. It was intended to provide a tax credit to attract new graduates to the regions. The population in the regions is aging, and that obviously plays into the labour shortage.
    It is never too late to do the right thing, and today we want to give credit where credit is due. For the next time, however, let us remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am really enjoying the discussion today.
    The Bank of Canada has a target of 2% inflation that it is trying to bring us back to. As the member mentioned, in June inflation was growing, in July it peaked at 8.1%, and now it is coming back down to 7% because the Bank of Canada has introduced higher interest rates. The higher interest rates are impacting the more vulnerable people in Canada, so there is a combination there of trying to cool the housing market and trying to slow down the inflation caused by the out-of-control housing market. As the member says, the impact on seniors is something that we need to be addressing.
    Could the member talk about how this is a targeted approach with a time limit so that, when inflation comes back toward 2%, we do not have something that is going to fuel inflation going forward?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is good to have a targeted measure for people who are truly in need, low-income Canadians and the most vulnerable.
    My colleague mentioned the central bank. I think that it is also important to point out that we must reaffirm our confidence in our institutions. That is very important.
    We heard many things from a new party leader, in particular that he wanted to abolish Canada’s central bank. It is sensible and perfectly normal to criticize the role of Canada’s central bank. We need to understand that, as an institution, it has succeeded in containing and maintaining inflation at a rate of 1% to 3% since 1991. Right now, however, we are facing the unknown, in terms of both supply and demand. Obviously, there are a number of external factors beyond the Bank of Canada’s control that are driving the rise in inflation. In this respect, we need to implement targeted measures, and the Bloc Québécois agrees.
    I hope that the government will learn how to take action when faced with a particular situation rather than waking up five months later as it is doing now.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I really appreciated the speech from the member today about the uncharted territory. I would ask the member if he could share some thoughts on how he thinks the axing of the affordable housing programs back in the nineties by the Liberal government, and their not being reinstated by successive Conservative governments and Liberal governments, has really impacted affordable housing in the province of Quebec.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her very good question.
    In my riding of Rimouski, the vacancy rate is 0.2%. It is unprecedented. It is historic, and it is serious. We are awaiting federal government programs, and I could name one, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s rapid housing initiative. The federal government announced $4 billion in the last budget, but so far no programs have been implemented.
    I completely agree with my colleague that the federal government started disinvesting in the 1990s and that we are feeling the consequences of that disinvestment today. As I said before, the vacancy rate is 0.2%. It is unbelievable, and it hinders regional development. We need to attract both new workers and students to the region.
    I hope that the government will release the funding and transfer the money to Quebec so that it can build new social housing units.

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[English]

    Madam Speaker, as the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques noted, inflation is not new. Canadians have been living with inflation and a cost of living crisis for the better part of the past year. Only now is the government taking some short-term measures that I would submit constitute nothing more than band-aid solutions. At the same time, while the government is handing out a few hundred dollars here in rent cheques, the government will be taking back with the other hand, from those few Canadians who will benefit, in the form of increased taxes, the tripling of the carbon tax and an increase in payroll taxes in the new year.
    Would the hon. member agree that what we have before us, with both Bill C-30 and Bill C-31, is nothing more than Liberal smoke and mirrors?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I do not completely agree with my colleague. I will explain my point of view in more detail.
    Obviously, it looks good to send a cheque to people in need, but there are different ways of doing things. We can improve the productivity of our businesses; we can improve the competitiveness of our businesses.
    Canada is among the countries with the least competitiveness. Canadians pay the highest cellphone bills. The government could step in to try to rebalance the market, which would help many taxpayers save tens, or even hundreds, of dollars a month.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, before I begin discussing Bill C-30, I must stop to recognize that indigenous women and girls continue to be violated and marginalized at rates much higher than those in the general population.
    Today is the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. New Democrats add their voices to the collective call to bring an end to the injustices suffered by Canada's indigenous women and girls. I raise my hands to the members for Winnipeg Centre and Nunavut, who continue to advocate and bring understanding to this House of the causes of the systemic abuses that indigenous women and girls continue to experience and to hold the Liberal government accountable for its lack of action.
    Bill C-30 is here at a very critical time for Canadians. There are too many struggling with the rising cost of living and the challenge of keeping rents paid and food in the fridge. The fact that there is a need for immediate financial support for millions of Canadians is not an accident. It is a result of bad Liberal and Conservative policies. Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have prioritized tax breaks and subsidies for the wealthiest in this country while intentionally eroding the social safety nets that support the well-being of the majority of Canadians. Poverty and homelessness are growing in this country, and they are a reality in every city and town.
    While fossil fuel companies and big corporate grocery chains are bringing in billions of dollars in profits, people are falling further and further behind. It is far past time the Liberal government needs to close the long-standing tax loopholes for the superwealthy and finally make large corporations and the largest polluters pay their fair share. It is no secret that corporate greed is hurting Canadians, and it has only increased and magnified like so many other things during this pandemic. While the Liberals and Conservatives protect the profits of the wealthiest corporations, persons with disabilities, single moms, seniors and families on fixed and low incomes are not able to afford to purchase fresh fruit, cheese or meats. Some of the moms I have spoken to in Port Moody—Coquitlam are limiting their meals to one a day so that they can afford to feed their kids.
    After too many years of consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments making decisions to put corporations above everyday people, our social safety net is eroded. The social safety net that supports the well-being of Canadians has been eroded to the point that we are here today trying to put patches of immediate support in place.
    New Democrats are here to act on this immediate need. We are using our power to get the government to send financial support out to people with Bill C-30 and Bill C-31. I include Bill C-31 because the two bills are connected. They are both offering immediate investments in the well-being of people, investments that never would have come from the government without the pressure from New Democrats.
    New Democrats will not stop fighting for people even after these immediate benefits kick in. We will continue to force the government to do the right thing and put people first. We will continue to stop fossil fuel subsidies from going to the largest polluters, close tax loopholes for the wealthiest, stop the exploitation of workers and get our health care system back on track. The health care system is broken. We see it in our communities every day. A broken health care system is hurting people. Nurses have worked tirelessly, as well as doctors and hospital staff, to the extent that they are burnt-out and people who are sick are not getting access to the care they need.

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    We have all heard the heartbreaking stories in our communities of those who have gone to the hospital for help and have not been able to make it in time or have decided not to go at all with fatal consequences. The government must invest in care workers immediately and increase the health care transfers the provinces have been calling for.
    One in five people in this country work in the care economy, and those professionals, personal care workers, nurses and doctors have been exploited. That exploitation comes from discrimination. Gender discrimination has kept wages low in nursing. Nurses, teachers and child care workers are all disproportionately women. The government has not invested in their wages or their pensions, yet it expects them to carry the burden of an overloaded and underfunded economy and underfunded system.
    The care economy is underpinned by the exploitation of immigrants as well. More often they are women without secured status. This is unacceptable. Immigrants deserve better. They deserve investment and support. New Democrats will continue to force the government to respect the workers in the care economy by paying them properly, giving immigrant care workers immediate permanent status and giving long-term care workers the protection they deserve with legislation.
    We need workers in this country. Labour shortages are happening in every industry. This is a real problem that the government has not brought any solutions to yet. When we think about the labour force, we know that unaffordable housing is exasperating this problem. Workers cannot afford to live where they work. The Conservatives under the Mulroney government and then the Liberals under Chrétien axed housing programs in this country. In fact, the Liberals outright cancelled the national affordable housing program in 1993. That was almost 30 years ago. That is why we have a housing crisis before us.
    Bill C-31 has a $500 housing subsidy that is coming for renters. This is a small, good gesture. This housing benefit is a one-time $500 payment to Canadians who qualify. Specifically, it will help families who earn a net income of less than $35,000 a year. There are many people in Canada who earn less than $35,000 a year in this environment. That is 1.8 million Canadians. This renters' benefit will make a real difference at this critical time.
    Financialization of housing needs to be addressed immediately. It is contributing to unaffordability. The Conservatives will say that they are there for people on housing, but they do not talk about the need for affordable housing and the right kind of housing. This is not just a supply issue. One in five Canadians are paying more than 30% of their total income for their housing and that is not sustainable. At the same time, for every new unit of affordable rental housing, 15 units are being lost. There are 15 units lost for every new one, and we wonder why we are seeing homelessness on our streets. This is affecting the most marginalized people in the country, pushing them every day to the brink, to a tent pitched in a street.
    As the NDP disability critic, I hear from the disability community of the realities of not being able to make ends meet with skyrocketing housing costs and the threat of displacement every day. Food costs are also becoming unmanageable. As they wait for movement on the Canada disability benefit, they are falling further and further behind. Bill C-22 needs to come back to the House immediately so that the long-term support that persons living with disabilities deserve, and should be legislated, can be passed in the House.

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    Almost one million persons with disabilities are living in poverty. It is a disgrace. It will only take the will of the Liberals and Conservatives, who could have supported the unanimous consent motion from the member for Kitchener Centre last week, to fast-track this benefit. The New Democrats are ready to do so.
    Coming back to the cost of food, in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, a disproportionate number of food bank and food rescue recipients are persons with disabilities, and more children are becoming food insecure. Too many schools are having to feed the children of our communities. We are in a country full of natural resources and with a new bursting aspiration to make batteries for electric vehicles, yet we are not investing in food. If it were not for the not-for-profit sector, even more Canadians would be hungry right now.
    Failed policies to give to the rich while taking away social safety nets, such as affordable housing, are hurting people in this country. A beacon of the Canadian social safety net is our health care plan. Thanks to the New Democrats, that finally includes a historical dental care plan, which is a profound and long-lasting benefit for millions of Canadians and will be transformational for generations to come. We have heard many times while discussing Bill C-31 that the number one surgery for kids in hospitals is for tooth decay. How is it possible in Canada that kids need to go to the hospital to be put to sleep to deal with their dental care?
    With the heavy lifting of the New Democrats, the Liberals have finally taken the first steps to true universal health care by adding long-awaited dental care. It should not have taken this long, and the New Democrats will hold the current government to account for a full rollout to every Canadian who needs it.
    I will take a moment here to speak about persons with disabilities and their dental care. There was a woman in my riding who was on disability benefits and had coverage for dental care. However, the clinic she was going to was charging $20 per visit, and she could not go for her second visit because she did not have the $20. It is not acceptable that this is the situation we are putting too many Canadians in.
    We know that 35% of Canadians lack proper dental insurance, and that number jumps to 50% when we talk about low-income Canadians. There are seven million Canadians who avoid going to the dentist because of costs. It is shameful and something that has to change. Canada's most vulnerable face the highest rates of dental decay and disease and have the worst dental care. The New Democrats are going to change that. We will not give up until all Canadians have access to the dental care they need. This is health care, and we need to start with kids.
    Lastly, when it comes to getting immediate support to Canadians, the New Democrats led the way on Bill C-30, which would double the GST credit. This rebate should have come a lot sooner. In fact, for over six months, the NDP has been calling on the government to double the GST credit. We have relentlessly pushed for this, and now we know that 11 million Canadians who need it the most would get some financial relief, likely before the end of this year. People in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam are asking when they can get it. They are desperately in need of any kind of financial support in these times.
    Because of successive Conservative and Liberal governments, we do not have social safety nets to keep people in homes, keep food in the fridge or keep people healthy in this country. With much pressure on the Liberal government from the NDP, and with no help from the Conservatives, the House is in a position to make lives just a tiny bit better for people by providing these very small income supports immediately. New Democrats will always put people first, but the Liberal government needs to start making real investments in people and their well-being in Canada.

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    Mr. Speaker, the member has not been fair in her comments. Let me give two examples. She talks about the issue of housing and was critical of the Liberals on housing back in 1993. In the 1992 Charlottetown Accord, the federal New Democrats, along with the Liberals and the Conservatives at the time, actually wanted no role for the federal government in housing. The Prime Minister has invested more money in public housing than any other prime minister before him.
    The member made reference to corporate greed. When it comes to corporate greed, the provincial NDP Government of Manitoba cut corporate taxes, not only once, twice or three times, but about five or six times. The Prime Minister and the Liberal government put a special tax on the 1% wealthiest Canadians.
     Would the member not agree that over time there is a need for a change in policy, as illustrated in both of those examples?
    Mr. Speaker, there are people living in tents in this country and not by choice. There are people living in tents in urban centres and rural communities in this country. I do not think it is the time for the Liberals to be taking a victory lap on housing, because the Prime Minister had no choice but to make these very large investments, which, as the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques said, we have not seen hit the ground yet.
    I have been on the front line of housing for eight years, and there is no scenario where the Liberals should be taking any victory lap on getting us to the point where Canadians need to live in tents.
    Mr. Speaker, the NDP, with its partnership and coalition with the Liberals, keeps propping them up for these victory laps.
    My question is a simple one. His Majesty's Loyal Opposition has been proposing, over the last several days, a series of propositions to make life more affordable for Canadians by reducing taxes and reducing, or not implementing, the tripling of the carbon tax, yet this member has voted against every single measure Conservatives have brought forward to improve the affordability and inflationary crises Canadians are facing. I am wondering how the member could justify that to her constituents.

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    Mr. Speaker, this is exactly why we are in the situation that we are in, these one-sided approaches to cutting taxes.
    In B.C., the roads were washed out by floods caused by climate change. We need to have a real discussion about what is happening with climate change, and how impactful and expensive it is. I am not going to just talk about expenses. Right now in my community of Coquitlam, there is a wildfire burning, and people with asthma or any kind of breathing difficulties have to stay inside. This is what is going on.
     The Conservative member asking me this question is such a magnification of why we are here. There is no reasonable way that pollution is not causing hardship to Canadians. We need to have a real discussion about that. If we do not have a discussion about climate change and pollution, we are doing a disservice to every Canadian now and in the future.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam spoke specifically about encampments across the country. My community is an example. We have seen the unsheltered population triple in recent years. As a result, encampments have grown. She named one of the root causes, which is that corporate investors are treating our houses like stocks. Instead, homes should be for people to live in.
    Could the member speak more to specific solutions, for example, taxing real estate investment trusts at the same rate as the corporate income tax rate?
    Mr. Speaker, I did want to share something similar on the encampments.
    In my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, there has basically been a gentrification. I met an EA, a woman in her sixties, on the street a couple of weeks ago. She is afraid that she is going to lose her home because she is being lobbied weekly by these large real estate developers. They want to be sold the land. They want her out of her home, and she does not actually own that home. She rents the basement suite.
    It is the Wild West of real estate right now. I think that it starts with a moratorium on REITs. We are losing co-op housing and affordable rental housing to REITs. We need to start with that moratorium, and then we need to move on to, yes, more taxes.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge my colleague's speech. I appreciate the voice she gave to so many important issues, which are important not only in her community, but also in mine and those right across this country.
    I think here in Canada we actually have a revenue problem. A new report came out today from Canadians for Tax Fairness. It reports that last year, $30 billion less was collected in tax from corporations than would be expected under existing rates. We can look at that revenue problem and look at the fact that oil and gas companies are making well over 100% in profit off of the back of working families right now. I hear Conservatives talk about the carbon tax, but there has not been a word from them on the corporate windfalls in oil and gas, which are affecting their constituents right now. They are not speaking up for them.
    Could the member expand on the theme of the revenue problem we have in this country and the huge deficits in social spending, housing, health care and the ability to put good quality food on the table? Could she expand on the structural problems we have in place, from both the Liberals and the Conservatives, and how they have done a disservice not only to this generation but also to future generations?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for bringing this to light. This is the conversation that we need to be having.
    Why is it that there is a very, very small slice of this country, made up of a few people and a few corporations, that is unloading the burden of the social safety net, the burden of taking care of people, on average Canadian workers and then walking away with unlimited profits to offshore them? This is a serious systemic problem with tax fairness, and the New Democrats are ready to tackle it.
    Mr. Speaker, I really welcomed the speech by my hon. colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam because I think we share many of the same concerns.
    Getting back to housing, I do remember in the 1990s when the federal government pulled out of the housing sector. It was a big shock to many of us who were involved in the co-operative movement at that time. I am very glad to see the federal government is back there.
    Recently, in Châteauguay, we had the opportunity to announce a supportive housing project in the rapid housing initiative. Does my hon. colleague think that this is going in the right direction? By the way, that supportive housing initiative of $6 million is to renovate an abandoned hotel to provide housing for youth in transition from Châteauguay and Kahnawake. It is an excellent example of collaboration between our two communities.

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    Mr. Speaker, I do like hearing about the initiatives that are hitting the ground and actually moving forward. I am very happy to hear that.
    I wanted to speak a little bit about the rapid housing initiative because it is something that municipalities so desperately want and need. Too many of those rapid housing initiatives have been denied. In fact, one of my colleagues here from the NDP had a fully planned partner for a rapid housing initiative that they wanted to proceed with, but there was no ability to, no money.
    I have an Order Paper question on how many of these rapid housing initiatives were denied, but the government is not capturing it. It does not even understand the size of the demand.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great to see my colleagues engaged on a really important topic, which is Bill C-30.
    I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    We are talking about Bill C-30, legislation that would double the GST credit for the next six months. Fortunately, we have been able to move the legislation forward quickly, because Canadians need support, particularly those who are vulnerable. There have been a lot of conversations around affordability and the inflationary pressures being felt around the world and, indeed, right here in Canada.
    I will give credit to His Majesty's loyal opposition for helping to work with the parties in advancing the legislation the government has put forward, because we are on third reading now. The hope is that we can approve it, I believe this week, and get it to the Senate and ultimately out to Canadians.
    This is part of an affordability package that also includes Bill C-31, which would increase the Canadian housing benefit by up to $500 for those who are vulnerable. It would also introduce a dental care program for those children who are under 12 in a household with an income of less than $90,000 and do not already have private coverage.
    I will call it as I see it. I commend the Conservatives for supporting this legislation, but I am a little disappointed that they are not supporting the legislation that is really important for those children who are vulnerable. I have not heard a whole lot of compelling rationale as to why they would not support this.
    There is another issue about which I want to go on record. I have had conversations with my colleagues on this side of the House and have been querying the NDP over the last couple of days as it relates to the dental care piece. The NDP has been calling for this to be a fully federally administered program, and I want to be very clear about my position on that.
    I support the idea of the Government of Canada investing in money to support those who do not have the ability to take care of their dental needs themselves, that there is a program in place for vulnerable Canadians, but I would like to see this administered similar to our child care program. We talked about child care for a long time. It was this government that stepped up and ensured there was a national child care program, by putting federal funds on the table and working with the provinces and territories.
    I have a bit of concern on the NDP position that this should be completely fully administered federally. It is not that there is no federal funding, which is not the part I disagree with; it is about the delivery mechanism. I truly believe that the provinces and territories are in a better place. I want to ensure that my position as a parliamentarian is on the record. It is not that we disagree about the need for it, but I might disagree with the NDP about the delivery mechanism. The provinces are actually better suited to handle that.
    This is all happening in the context of a government that is trying to walk the line between helping vulnerable Canadians who need support, but also not pouring fuel on the fire in an area where we do have inflationary pressures. The Bank of Canada is increasing its interest rates to try to bring down inflation, and it is responsible government to ensure that any type of spending measures coming forward are very targeted. I want to give credit to this government for doing that.
    Our government has been there. This is a targeted measure that will apply to Canadian households under $50,000, so this is not a GST benefit that is going to those who are quite wealthy and well off. It tries to help those who are truly trying to get by. It is a targeted measure. My understanding of the cost estimate is that it will be about $2.5 billion, which is from the Minister of Finance. When we look at the global scale of the inflationary pressures, of the work of the Bank of Canada, it is a reasonable amount that I do not think will upset the apple cart vis-à-vis those conversations between monetary and fiscal policy.
    I want to contrast that to what we are seeing in the United Kingdom. I have a great affinity with this being the mother Parliament, and we take a lot of British tradition in Canada from a Westminster perspective. However, we saw what happened in the United Kingdom, where its government introduced a level of government spending by virtue of tax credits, particularly those on some of the most wealthy, and that has had real consequences. It has driven interest rates even higher for the Bank of Canada. It has shaken financial markets in that country. The United Kingdom just announced yesterday that it actually walked back the tax cut that was proposed for those of the highest income earners.

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    It is not perhaps my job to opine on fiscal policy in the United Kingdom, but it is clear that the consequences of that government's choice has led to a real disruption of the work of monetary policy and has had a big impact on financial markets.
    Compare that to how this government has responded in a reasonable and targeted way, working in lockstep with the Bank of Canada. It should be commended, and it shows reasonable fiscal management.
    As a result, our Minister of Finance has been able to update the House that we are in a current surplus situation. We have had to rein in our spending. There was record spending during the pandemic to ensure we took care of Canadian households and businesses. However, it is also our job to ensure that we do not continue to drive inflationary pressures that have been felt around the world, that we take measures to help support those who are most vulnerable.
    I would like to focus on some other measures that will be important for supporting affordability and economic growth and competitiveness in the days ahead. I think the next 18 to 24 months are going to be difficult for the Canadian economy and for Canadian households. That is in the form of regulatory modernization and approach. I take great pride in trying to be a member of Parliament that raises these issues. They are of great benefit and consequence to our country and for our government.
    I want to go through a few of them for the benefit of my colleagues in the House and talk about elements this government can take on to drive and help benefit all Canadians.
    One is the huge opportunity that we have in Atlantic Canada on offshore wind, particularly with regard to the conversation of hydrogen. Premier Tim Houston, the Premier of Nova Scotia, announced a desire to roll out offshore wind opportunities. I am looking at my colleague, the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador has the same desire, but we have to amend legislation on the offshore petroleum board act, which would actually allow these types of regulatory models to exist. This would give the investor confidence for those projects to move forward.
    There is one example on which the government can move forward, and I know it will. In short order, we need to give that certainty, so we can drive investment on our renewable future.
    I want to talk about Health Canada. As the chair of the agriculture committee, I often talk to farmers. I talk to other stakeholders who talk about Health Canada approvals.
    I will give one example, which is 3-NOP, a feed additive to help support the reduction of methane from livestock. We call them cow burps. This is a product that can help us fight climate change. It has regulatory approval in Europe. It has regulatory approval in the United States. The company is now in the process of applying to Health Canada. It could be another 18 to 24 months by the time it actually works its way through Health Canada's system.
    What if we took trusted jurisdictions around the world, let us say, the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, which have similar values to what we have with respect to public safety and public protection, and changed the model. What if we allowed a company, which had a product, a service or some type of element that would have to go through Health Canada but it already had approvals in those jurisdictions in which we have trust, to start operating in Canada, go through the regulatory process and until such time that Health Canada found a rationale for why it should not operate in our country, it would have a presumptive approval to go ahead?
    Those are some examples where we can move forward. I want to discuss this one further. These are the type of elements that we need to start thinking about. We have to be creative on how we can create wealth, how we can drive innovation and foreign direct investment on elements that do not cost money. It is going to be important.
    Another example would be gene editing, and we have talked about this in the House, with regard to plant proteins. This is something for which the guidance documents were provided by Health Canada. That is driving important investment in the country, because it is giving the regulatory certainty.
    Airports, whether it border modernization, or the Canada Grain Act, or seed modernization or even SMR technologies, the government and we, as parliamentarians can do a lot of work that is non-cost-measures that will help drive innovation.
    I wish I had more time. Perhaps I will find another time in the days ahead to continue to elaborate on those points, but on regulatory reform modernization, we can continue to drive that bus and it will help drive Canada in the days ahead.

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the member talk about regulatory reform and things like that. One of the things that is costing the economy dramatically is the tripling of the carbon tax. I wonder if the hon. member would say that perhaps now is not the time to increase the carbon tax, never mind triple it.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are driving a narrative about tripling the carbon price in Canada. It is actually a tripling between now and 2030, not right now. It is going up by $15 this year. What the Conservatives also do not recognize is that this money is returned back to households and businesses.
     I know the Conservatives take issue with the carbon price. Instead of offering tangible alternatives or amendments to the existing federal backstop, they simply have a slogan “technology over taxes”, but no idea of how to even incentivize the private sector to drive those technologies.
    It is a bit of a false narrative. The money is returned to Canadians. It is seen as the most economic way to reduce emissions. I do not hear any tangible alternative from the opposition bench on what the Conservatives would do to fight climate change or if it is even a priority for them.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for my colleague.
    Inflation was 6.9% in April when the government tabled its budget. The latest data show that it was 7% in August. Today, the government has suddenly woken up and decided to implement measures to counter inflation.
    My question is very simple: Why did the government wait five months after tabling the budget to propose concrete, meaningful measures to deal with inflation? Why did it not do it in April's budget?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member speaks on economic policy. I think he would know that with inflation no one has a perfect handle, exactly. Its root causes are driven by a lot of different factors. Whether they are demographic, supply chain or government spending, there is a whole lot in it.
    When the government tabled its budget in the spring, it would have been looking at the situation and wondering whether that inflationary period was going to continue. It is clear that it is still hanging on right now. Notwithstanding that the work of the Bank of Canada to help bring down demand and inflation, we felt it was necessary at this point to put support measures in place. We do not want to overplay our hand. We do not want to pour fuel on the fire. Notwithstanding that the member would have liked to see even more support at that time, we think it is important to hold back some of that support until such time that it is needed. The government feels that right now is an important time.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are going through one of the greatest cost of living crises for this generation. A recent study, for example, showed that 23.6% of Canadians have had to cut back on their food purchases. These are critical foods, from fresh produce to things like flour, but what I have not heard the member mention is the cost of corporate greed. The reality is that people, everyday Canadians, are paying more at the pump and at grocery stores, while the CEO of Sobeys, for example, raked in 15.5% more in his total compensation budget, coming in at $8.6 million.
    Would the member agree that we have to rein in the massive excess profits of companies like Sobeys that are profiting off the backs of hurting Canadians?

  (1235)  

    Mr. Speaker, there are a couple things. On nutritious food for Canadians, on a policy matter, the government continued to pursue in earnest the national school food program. I believe a billion dollars was allocated in last year's budget to help roll out that program over the next five years. The member mentioned healthy food and support for Canadians. We should be pursuing that in earnest through the school system to help ensure children have support.
    As it relates to CEOs, I have had the opportunity to speak to that in the House. If the New Democrats want to put forward motions or put forward proposals to increase taxes for those who are most wealthy in the country, they can do so. I am concerned a bit about the narrative, particularly from the leader of the NDP who is almost villainizing Canadian corporate leadership in the way that it is robbing Canadians blind.
     There needs to be a bit more evidence of whether that is the case. I know we will be studying this in the agriculture committee. However, there is this class warfare and this villainizing of Canadian corporate leadership and I worry about the consequences of what that means. I would call the same thing on the Conservatives in terms of some of their villainizing of these unknown gatekeepers. At the end of the day, we need to have a tone that is respectful and policy solutions that will move us forward.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker, and good afternoon to all my colleagues here.
     I would be remiss if I did not say that for these last few weeks and for a very long time, my heart, my thoughts and my prayers are with the Iranian Canadian community and with Iranians in Iran. Obviously, we want all countries to abide by the principles of human rights, democracy and freedom. What we are seeing now in Iran is that young people, this young woman and many women there are fighting for their rights. We are in full support of them. I have a very vibrant, growing and generous Persian community in the city of Vaughan and in York Region. I have spoken with many of them, and I want them to know that I fully support them, that I fully stand beside them, and that we are there with them.
    I am pleased to contribute to the debate on this bill. Making life more affordable for Canadians is a key priority for this government, and I would like to highlight some of the measures we are taking to address the cost of living.

[Translation]

    The bills tabled in Parliament on Tuesday represent the latest suite of measures to support Canadians with the rising cost of living without adding fuel to the fire of inflation.
    The government's affordability plan is delivering targeted and fiscally responsible financial support to the Canadians who need it most, with particular emphasis on addressing the needs of low-income Canadians who are most exposed to inflation.

[English]

    It has been a tough couple of years for all of us, with COVID-19, inflation and the war in Ukraine. It seems like we have to overcome one thing after another, but there are always better days ahead. The pandemic has been, we hope, a once-in-a-generation crisis, but like any major crisis, this one has aftershocks, and inflation is chief among them.
     Inflation is not a made-in-Canada challenge. It is actually less severe here than it is among our peers. Nonetheless, we must assist Canadians. Inflation has made the cost of living into a real struggle for many Canadians, including residents in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, and especially for the most vulnerable: our seniors, folks on fixed incomes and working Canadians. We understand that there are people going through hard times, so Bill C-30, the cost of living relief act, would double the goods and services tax credit for six months. Bill C-31, the cost of living relief act, no. 2, would enact two important measures: the Canada dental benefit and a one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit.

  (1240)  

[Translation]

    Doubling the GST credit for six months would provide $2.5 billion in additional targeted support to the roughly 11 million individuals and families who already receive the tax credit, including about half of Canadian families with children and more than half of Canadian seniors.
    Single Canadians without children would receive up to an extra $234, and couples with two children would receive up to an extra $467 this year. Seniors would receive an extra $225 on average.

[English]

    The proposed extra GST credit amounts would be paid to all current recipients through the existing GST credit system as a one-time lump-sum payment before the end of this year, pending the adoption of the legislation. Importantly, recipients would not need to apply for the additional payment, but they need to file their 2021 tax return, if they have not done so already, to be able to receive both the current credit and the additional payment. I am happy to say that it is estimated that 11 million individuals and families would benefit from this additional support, including about nine million single people and almost two million couples. In total, this represents about half of Canadian families with children and more than half of Canadian seniors.

[Translation]

    Let us look at the next measure. The Canada dental benefit would be provided to children under 12 who do not have access to private dental insurance, starting this year. Direct payments totalling up to $1,300 per child over the next two years, or up to $650 per year, would be provided for dental care services.
    This is the first stage of the government's plan to deliver dental coverage for families with an adjusted net income under $90,000 and will allow children under 12 to receive the dental care they need while the government works to develop a comprehensive national dental care program.
    Also, the one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit program would deliver a $500 payment to 1.8 million renters who are struggling with the cost of housing. This more than doubles the government's budget 2022 commitment, reaching twice as many Canadians as initially promised. The federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for individuals, who spend at least 30% of their adjusted net income on rent.

[English]

    In addition to these important pieces of legislation, I would also like to speak about another important measure to help Canadian families, and that is early learning and child care. On child care, the economic argument is clear. The government believes it is an economic malpractice to force women to choose between their families and a career. Early learning and child care is a feminist economic policy in action.

[Translation]

    That is why, despite reasonable doubts about our ability to make it happen, we have already signed early learning and child care agreements with every province and territory.
    We are building a universal early learning and child care system at precisely the time when our economy needs all mothers who want to work, as long as they can be certain their children are receiving good care and a good education. Our plan makes it easier for people to work, and it makes life more affordable for middle-class Canadian families.
    Three years from now, the average cost of child care across the country will be $10 a day.

[English]

    Affordable early learning and child care, with savings that start immediately, promises to be an important part of the solution to affordability challenges for many Canadian families. Labour force shortages are a problem right now for our economy. In actual fact, there are 952,000 vacancies across Canada where employers are looking for employees. I will repeat, there are 952,000, and affordable early learning and child care is going to be such an important part of Canada's solution. It is going to help us build an economy and a country that is stronger and, yes, more prosperous.
    The measures that the government tabled on Tuesday would deliver targeted support to Canadians who need it most, without exacerbating inflation, building on our government's affordability plan and, yes, being fiscally prudent. We are putting more money back in the pockets of the middle class and those working hard to join the middle class.

  (1245)  

[Translation]

    For those Canadians who need it most, Bill C‑30, Bill C‑31 and early learning and child care services are measures that will help make life more affordable.
    We will continue to provide support where it is needed most and in a timely fashion, while maintaining fiscal discipline.

[English]

    Our economy is strong in respect of our labour market. We know Canadian employers need workers, which I am asked about all the time in the area I represent, but we also must deal with the affordability challenges that Canadians face. As a father of three daughters, my wife and I know what the prices are at the grocery stores. I empathize with Canadians who are facing those challenges. Our government, working with all parties, needs to rise up to those challenges and help Canadians expeditiously. It is great to see the opposition parties supporting the doubling of the GST tax credit by the end of the year.
    I encourage all Canadians, as the former parliamentary secretary to the national revenue minister, to please file their taxes. That is how they receive all their credits and benefits, and that is how our government can help them expeditiously, efficiently and before the end of the year with the challenges they and their families may be facing at this critical juncture.
    We know we are building a stronger economy, and we know we are maintaining a strong fiscal footprint and framework for my children and all Canadian children, but we have work to do.
    Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the member that grocery prices are at their highest rate since 1981, that more than 70% of families with children will not receive this support and, in fact, lower-income families will receive no benefits at all.
    Will the member support those who are hardest hit by the cost of living crisis and call for the Prime Minister to cancel the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadian families from coast to coast to coast are dealing with the pressures of inflation when they are buying diapers, food and groceries of any sort. We know what those prices are. I definitely know them.
    What I can say is that our government has undertaken concrete measures, not only today but in the past. These include the Canada child benefit, which means more money flowing tax-free monthly to nine out of every 10 Canadian families; the Canada workers benefit, which gives up to $2,500 to working Canadians at the end of the year; the doubling of the GST credit; and cutting middle-class taxes, not just once, but twice. It will be literally billions of dollars returned.
    We are there and will continue to be there to help Canadian families, especially the most vulnerable. We will continue to make the middle class stronger in Canada and to assist those working hard to join the middle class.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. He made several references to wanting to help families.
    In Bill C‑30, the measure seeking to introduce a non-refundable tax credit to help the people who need it, that is, the most vulnerable and low-income Canadians, will cost the government $2.5 billion.
    In the last budget, the same government subsidized oil companies to the tune of $2.6 billion to deploy new carbon capture technologies.
    What is more important? Is it subsidizing oil companies or helping low-income families that really need it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from la belle province for his question.

[English]

    I will say this: I support Canada's energy workers from coast to coast to coast. I always will. They do a great job in supporting our economy. They are necessary, now more than ever.
    If members read this week's Economist, they will see that investments in LNG and natural gas throughout the world are very critical at this important time. We will also, at the same time, continue to build a very strong economy by helping the Canadians who are most vulnerable, including low-income Canadians. That is what we have done since day one. We are building a stronger middle class and helping those working hard to join the middle class.
    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-30 is a welcome thing. It is nice to see some unanimity and agreement on Bill C-30 at this present time among all the parties. On the GST credit, I believe that families in my riding and across the country could have used this a lot earlier. In May and June, the NDP leader, the member for Burnaby South, was calling on the government repeatedly to do just that, but it was refused each and every time.
    What happened with the Liberals? What changed over the summer? Why did they not seek to do this sooner, so that Canadian families who were struggling in May and June could have had this help a lot faster?

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will say this: We have had the backs of Canadians since day one, when we formed government in 2015. We demonstrated that through the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to demonstrate it now that we have inflationary pressures hitting Canadian families. Whether it is through the Canada child benefit, the raising of old age security by 10% for seniors, or lowering the age for seniors from 67 to 65, we have introduced a number of measures. We have lifted hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty. We will continue to do so with targeted measures and good policy that is good for our economy, good for people, reducing inequality and ensuring inclusive economic growth.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to this bill today but also to follow my friend from Vaughan—Woodbridge. I appreciate the opportunity.
    First, I would ask for members' indulgence to address what many members already have this morning, and that is what we are seeing happening in geopolitical affairs, in particular in Iran. As I walked home last night, we saw the colours of Iran's flag flashed on Parliament Hill, but I could not help but feel just a little embarrassed because that seems to be what the government wants to do, which is to put out more signals or do things that do not cost much money as a way to show our solidarity.
     It would be okay if we were doing many other things, but let us remember that the government said it would put these colours on the Peace Tower on Sunday. That was the first thing it said it would do when 50,000 people gathered at a rally to show their solidarity with what is happening with people in Iran and those who are fighting for their fundamental freedoms. It is almost like it was the same ministers holding up the sign that said, “I stand with Ukraine,” but never following it up with concrete actions.
    I have to commend at least one member from that side of the House while I have the floor, the member for Willowdale, who had the courage to go on TV and say that the government has not done enough. I hope that more members in the House feel empowered to speak on behalf of themselves and the issues they feel strongly about.
    Now let us talk about Bill C-30 while we are here. This is the temporary enhancement to the goods and services tax, the HST tax credit. I want to commend our chair for getting this bill through Parliament very well. It was a very lively committee with the minister. It is always a pleasure to have her there. I cannot say many questions were answered, but it was nice to see some co-operation on all sides of the aisle to get this bill back to the House in short order.
    Inflation is at a 40-year high. The Bank of Canada says inflation crushes the most vulnerable people the hardest. That is why it is important we get inflation under control. I do believe this measure is supported on all sides of the House. It is important that we stand together with our most vulnerable. This tax credit would help those individuals.
    The government needs to be doing more to help Canadians with inflation. This is why I was surprised the Deputy Prime Minister could not answer the question at committee yesterday of whether this initiative would lead to more inflation. I was not asking the question of whether it would lead to more inflation so we would not do this policy. It was so that maybe the government could take other steps elsewhere to reduce its impact on inflation.
    We are paying for this with more debt. We are still in a deficit. Let us remember it was not long ago that people were questioning spending in this House and other people were saying it was irresponsible not to spend because interest rates were so low. Now, interest rates are much higher, so the cost of the debt we are putting on future generations is incredible.
    The PBO says interest costs could potentially double if the trajectory of interest rates continues. That is a lot of money that is not going to be able to be spent on social programs in this country, programs that everyone relies on: health care, helping seniors, making sure that our social security safety nets are there for generations.
    At committee yesterday, we were told that the government has a new-found religion called fiscal restraint. I think the young kids these days would say that fiscal restraint has entered the chat. However, I am not really sure if that is going to happen. Let us let history be our guide. This is a government that is addicted to debt and spending. It is placing an incredible burden on our future generations.
     The solution to every problem that the Liberal government sees is more spending. The government has grown spending by well over 8% every year since coming into office. In fact, its spending is up 25% this year when compared to pre-COVID levels. Now we are to believe that, from this time going forward, the government is going to keep spending growth to 2%. I find that very hard to believe. In fact, some would say it is very unlikely.

  (1255)  

    If we were at a party and saw a teenager going back to the punch bowl and could not tear them away, and all of a sudden that teenager had one last big swig and said, “That's it. I'm done,” would we believe that youngster? I do not think so.
    The dirty secret of the government right now is that it is awash in revenues. It has never made as much money as it is right now. The NDP want to discuss windfall tax profits from those corporations that are having record profits this year, but let us talk about a windfall tax on the government. Why does it not give some of that tax money back to Canadians or maybe cut some taxes to begin with? Every week that goes by it is breaking a record for the amount of money it is bringing in due to inflation.
    I would submit the government does not need more money with additional tax increases. It has to provide relief to Canadians by either cutting taxes or providing additional relief. Germany, the U.K., France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and I could go on, but I think I only have four minutes left and I would exhaust that. These are all countries that have reduced taxes on fuel or paused tax increases. They have provided relief for people with energy bills in their countries. We are approaching a cold season. It is going to be hard for many Canadians across this country to heat their homes, yet they hear the government talk about how important it is that we pay a carbon tax.
    Let us just take a break. We do not have to be all or nothing. If gasoline is at two dollars a litre, maybe the carbon tax could be reduced to zero. If gasoline is $1.25 a litre, perhaps the government could come up with a much lower number to be applied. It should at least give us a break. At two dollars a litre, people cannot afford it. It is not as though people have a choice. Many people have to put a certain amount of gas in their car every week to get to work, to take the kids to soccer practice and activities or to get to the grocery store. Not everybody lives near a subway line. Not everybody lives with public transit right around the corner. They cannot walk anywhere. We do not have horse and buggies everywhere, at least not in many parts of this province. Although some very wonderful people rely on that mode of transportation, it is not realistic for all Canadians.
    Therefore, let us acknowledge that people are hurting right now. Instead of lowering our taxes like our peers, our answer to higher energy prices is to make them higher. The carbon tax is inflationary. The Bank of Canada admits this, but the government does not seem to want to answer that question. What is it that our government knows that all of these other countries somehow do not know? We are the only country in the world that is choosing to make energy more expensive.
    As I conclude, I want to say that, on our side of the House, we were pleased to see this bill move forward quickly because it is going to provide relief, albeit a small relief, to Canadians in need. I appreciate that opportunity.
    I would also like to say that I will be splitting my time with the wonderful member for Northumberland—Peterborough South, whom I very much look forward to hearing on this matter as well.
    I welcome any questions from my hon. colleagues.

  (1300)  

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way for Simcoe North mentioned one half of an equation, which is that Canada's debt level has increased over the last few years, particularly as we were dealing with COVID. In order to keep Canadians alive and well through those difficult times, the government had many programs in place to help.
    The other side of the equation is GDP growth, which I did not hear the member mention. We are second in the G7 with respect to GDP growth. We are leading some of the countries he mentioned with two times the GDP growth. Our fiscal anchor is the debt-to-GDP ratio. Could the member comment on how our strong GDP growth is helping us get through what we are going through right now?
    Mr. Speaker, we have had some strong GDP growth, but we are also coming off of some significant GDP losses. In fact, the economy was quite slow and shrunk over a period of time, so we are actually coming up from a lower base. That is why we have GDP growth.
    Let us talk about what GDP growth allows us to do. It provides a lot of revenues to the government in the form of taxation. Therefore, I do not understand why we need to talk about increasing taxes on Canadians when, as the member opposite has said, GDP is doing okay. By the way, when the Liberals ran in the 2015 election they said that a 1.5% or 1.6% growth in GDP was not enough, which is about where we are right now.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there is one thing the Conservative Party suggested to counter inflation: cryptocurrency. We learned in a recent Privy Council backgrounder that cryptocurrency offers no protection against inflationary shocks.
    This summer, cryptocurrency lost half of its value compared with the beginning of last year. I would like my colleague to explain why it is that his leader, the hon. member for Carleton, claims that cryptocurrency protects against inflation. Specifically, I would like to know whether my colleague really believes that cryptocurrency is protected from surges in inflation.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I follow some of the financial markets, like my fellow colleague. I am not sure that members of the Conservative Party have said that cryptocurrency is going to solve inflation. If we say that Canada should be a destination for fintech revolution, I would welcome that.
    Let us remember what is happening around the world and why some people use cryptocurrency. We can look at countries like Venezuela and Argentina where inflation is incredible. Those people have turned to cryptoassets as a hedge against inflation. Yes, the amount has come down in some cases by 10% or 20% or even 30%, but if we look at what is happening to inflation in those countries we see that those people are losing purchasing power at upward of 50% in some years.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked about how important it is not to put an additional burden on Canadians and not to increase taxation on Canadians. However, what I would like to point out is that it has been over half a century since corporations paid the same rate that Canadians pay, since 1952, in fact. I wonder if the member would be open to the idea of taxing corporations that are making massive profits right now so that they are paying their fair share and we would have that revenue stream in this county.
    Mr. Speaker, before we increase taxes on companies, why do we not just make the companies in Canada pay the taxes they owe? Why do we not start there? There was just a report from the Canadians for Tax Fairness that said there is upward of $30 billion, which I am sure will make my friends in the NDP happy, that the government is not collecting. Before we talk about increasing taxes on other companies and Canadians, why do we not just make the people and the corporations pay the taxes they currently owe?

  (1305)  

    Mr. Speaker, I stand here in the House of Commons today in a very sheltered environment. Outside these walls there are many challenges. With the inflation rate now increasing to over 7%, we have seen in the last couple of months some of the highest inflation in the last 40 years.
    The Conservatives, over the last seven years, have warned the Prime Minister about where the end of the road is and what the consequences are of his tax-and-spend agenda. However, our warnings have gone unheeded. This is perhaps not surprising from a Prime Minister who does not think about monetary policy.
    Think about what that means, actually. The Prime Minister said this right before we headed into one of the biggest monetary disasters we have had in the last 50 years. He literally said that he does not think about monetary policy, which would later make single moms unable to feed their families and workers unable to put gas in their cars. It is unbelievable that he does not think about monetary policy. Perhaps he should think again.
    As we talk about Bill C-30, it is important to put some context around the bill, and we need to start with the relationship between the economy and the government. Oftentimes, I find they unfortunately get confused in this House. We must first, as our bedrock, ensure that the goods and services produced in this economy, the wealth and prosperity of this nation, are primarily the responsibility of our businesses and workers.
    It is through the delivery of those services and the production of goods that our country generates its value. When a company is able to produce more goods and deliver more services, or in other words increase our productivity, the prosperity of the nation increases. The secret of this, which is not often mentioned in this House, is that it is the most vulnerable who often benefit the most when the prosperity of the nation increases, and they suffer the most, as has happened in the last couple of years, when prosperity is under assault, this time by inflation.
    A country can produce a modest, temporary and artificial increase in economic performance through monetary policy and the printing of money. When the government spends and spends on a spending spree funded by the printing of money, there is an initial exuberance that results as Canadians see money coming into their bank accounts. However, this exuberance is quickly replaced by disillusion as they realize the cost of everything has increased and benefits are now replaced by the stubborn and corrosive impact of inflation, which continues. Once it is out of the box, inflation runs and runs, eroding savings, eroding wages and eroding the pensions of seniors.
    The true path to a more prosperous nation is not through the printing of money. It is through the creation of value. Specifically, we need to increase our productivity. When a nation can produce more goods and deliver more services more efficiently and effectively, it drives real value that increases the wages of workers and, dare I say it, increases the profits of businesses. It also creates jobs.
    Unfortunately, the government appears bent on doing everything it can to reduce the productivity of businesses and workers, and we see the result of seven years of Liberal governments. Food inflation is at over 10%. It is 10.8%, to be precise. That is causing real-life struggles. Outside the comfort and shelter of these walls, there are people who will go to bed tonight hungry, and probably many more people than in the last decade or two decades. That is because of the impact of a Prime Minister who does not think about monetary policy.
    Food inflation at 10.8% has caused a 20% increase in the last two years in the use of food banks. Think about that. Some 20% more Canadians are going to food banks now than did two years ago. In addition to that, 20% of Canadians have had to make changes in their diets. About 8% of Canadians out there are skipping meals. This challenge is not just for adults but for children. In fact, people who have children are now three times more likely to go to a food bank than those who do not. This is making life more difficult for all Canadians and the most vulnerable, and children are among them.
    It is not that Bill C-30 is a wrong step. It is just unfortunately too little too late, as it were. I will be supporting this legislation because it is going in the right direction, but let us look at, first, the fact that it is months behind when any type of relief was needed. Second, let us look at the quantum or the amounts of that.

  (1310)  

    Keeping in mind the statistic that food inflation is up over 10%, it is increasing the amount that families spend on food by over $1,300 a year. This GST/HST temporary relief, according to the finance minister, who went before the committee, will create somewhere between $450 and $500 in benefits for the families that are eligible. However, as we have heard throughout this House, many are not. This is nowhere near the amount of relief needed. Ultimately, that relief will come from our workers and businesses, but they need to be empowered, not penalized.
    Thomas Sowell once famously wrote that he never understood why it is greed to want to keep the money we have earned but not greed to want to take money that other people have earned. That is a lesson the government needs to hear loud and clear.
    Some will say, and it was even in the news in the U.K., that tax relief is inflationary. I am here to say that when done correctly, it is not. In fact, it is the exact opposite of what happens when the government spends and is funded by debt or the printing of money. I will give four examples.
    When John F. Kennedy cut taxes in 1963, the inflation rate the year before a massive tax cut in post-world war United States was 1.2%. In the year after his tax cuts, it was 1.28%. When Ronald Reagan introduced in the United States a massive tax cut in 1981, it came into effect in 1982. In 1981, the inflation rate was 6.13%, and the inflation rate in 1984 was 4.3%. That is a decrease of 2% after massive tax cuts. Once again the Reagan administration cut taxes in 1986. In the year before, the inflation rate was 3.9%, and in the year after, it was 3.65%. When Prime Minister Harper reduced the GST, the inflation rate in 2007 was 2.1% and the inflation rate in 2009 was 0.3%.
    Inflation is not fuelled by tax relief. What is fuelled is our economy. We need to give more relief, and a great way to do it is to cancel the planned tax hikes that are coming into place. The government will triple the carbon tax by 2030, and starting this April, it will increase the taxation on nearly everything, which includes heating, gas and groceries. It is increasing the cost of everything. That, by definition, will increase inflation.
    When we see Canadians working hard and trying to save what money they can, and when we have food inflation at 10%, is the government's response to reduce taxation? No, it is not. It is increasing the tax on paycheques starting April 1, and a sizable number of taxes will be increased. This is not the time for this. In my estimation, it is never the time to increase taxes given our current rates, but this is certainly not the time, as it will drive inflation and make our economy less productive.
    When we look at what we need at the end of the day in order to solve this affordability crisis, we need to not drive artificial monetary policy through the printing of money, as we have seen what this can create. We do not need more government spending funded by the printing of money. We need our economy to increase its productivity. How we do that is by supporting our workers, empowering our businesses, supporting all Canadians, getting the government's hands out of their pockets and, instead, giving them a helping hand by reducing their burden in the future.
    Mr. Speaker, what we are witnessing today is universal support for Canadians at a time of need and inflation. Unfortunately, there are people exploiting the situation.
    I will convey a text that I just received. It says, “You can now claim your GST rebate. Reply ‘yes’ to receive your payment.” After conferring with the CRA, it made very clear that it would never send a text like that. Scammers are fast and started sending texts right after the announcement was made about the GST. CRA is aware that there is something circulating and it has increased scam awareness messaging on all channels.
    I am wondering if my friend could provide his thoughts about the types of people who exploit situations such as this. We should be warning constituents that there are scams out there.

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is sad that there are people out there doing this. Those folks should be held to account. That is why I am proud to be part of the law and order party. I do appreciate the member calling that out.
    Being the former shadow minister for national revenue, I unfortunately became familiar with the many scammers out there. The CRA will not ask for anyone's social insurance number or bank information through email. When in doubt, pick up the phone, call the CRA and confirm it before providing any type of information. People can talk to those they trust. They can call their MP's office and we will be happy to help sort it out. I have seen way too many seniors and others taken advantage of this way.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Northumberland—Peterborough South on his speech. I hold him in high regard as a colleague. I had the opportunity to work with him in the previous Parliament on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
    There are things in his speech that I agree with, and others that I do not agree with. I agree that this is too little too late. In the last federal budget, there were no special measures to help seniors, low-income Canadians or more vulnerable Canadians.
    Here is the thing I do not agree with. The Conservative Party talks a lot about inflation and monetary policy. The Bloc Québécois is against populism. We strongly believe that the Bank of Canada, the central bank, should be independent of any political authority. In the last Conservative Party leadership race, we often heard the hon. member for Carleton, now the leader of the Conservative Party, say that he wanted to fire the Governor of the Bank of Canada. He is sending the wrong message. These are dangerous words.
    I would like to know whether my colleague agrees that the central bank should be independent of all political influence, and if not, why not.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we have to acknowledge that the Bank of Canada got it wrong. It said that inflation was transitory and it was not. It said that inflation would not increase and it did. Our leader, who puts people first and thinks about monetary policy, got it right. That should be on the record. He was scoffed at. He was laughed at by the Bloc and other members of the elite saying that there would be no inflation. Well, guess what. We have food inflation at 10% and that should not be acceptable to Canadians or anyone.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear that my friend from Northumberland—Peterborough South supports the relief measure in this bill. He noted that it is months late, and we would agree with him on that. I would ask where he was when we were calling for it back in May.
    This is targeted relief for the people most affected by inflation. There is another measure in another bill that is also targeted relief for the people across our country most affected by inflation. The revenue for each of these measures comes from the same fund. These are very similar measures, yet the Conservative Party is voting for one and not the other.
    I wonder if he could explain to me why he is not voting to support the increase in the Canada housing benefit?
    Mr. Speaker, the government's tax-and-spend policies will create nothing but more inflation. As we are seeing, the initial exuberance of government spending will quickly be eroded by the corrosive impacts of inflation. If we want to make people poor, then let us spend more money and print more money.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to take part in the debate today. I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, and I look forward to his comments.
    The cost of living relief act is what we are talking about and how we help with affordability for Canadians who are facing the inflation we are now seeing as a result of global inflation as well as what has happened as a result of COVID-19.
     When we went into COVID-19, one of the things that, early on, our government was focused on was setting Canada up for success on the other side of COVID, to make sure that Canadians would be able to return to their jobs through things like the wage subsidy program and keeping a relationship between the employer and the employee so that when jobs came back the employee would still be on their files. The CERB was to make sure that people who were really facing a tough time, those whose incomes had dropped and independent business owners, in particular, could get through what we were facing collectively as a society around the world with the global pandemic.
    This bill is looking at what we do, going forward, now that we have protected our economy and have economic growth but have many people who are not participating in the success that other Canadians are taking part in. The once-in-a-generation COVID-19 pandemic has impacted other countries such as China, with its zero COVID policies. On top of that, there is the illegal invasion by Russia in Ukraine.
     Here at home we have had housing prices skyrocketing so that we have had to work with the Bank of Canada, which focuses on monetary policy while we are focused on fiscal policy. The monetary policy that the Bank of Canada, which is an independent organization, has put in place is to increase interest rates, which almost immediately brought down the house price acceleration that we saw last year and even into early this year.
    The inflation that we are seeing overall has come from the supply side. People are having trouble hiring and they are having trouble getting components out of their supply chains. Around the world, it is something that everybody is facing. In Canada, we have been able to temper that through good policy, with the government looking at inflation that peaked in June at 8.1% and has come down to 7%. Other countries are still on the increase. The United States at 8.3%, the United Kingdom at 9.9%, and Germany at 7.9% are all at higher inflation rates than Canada faces.
    However, it does nothing for Canadians to say, “Yes, but the other guys are worse than we are.” This is why we are introducing the affordability plan. It is a targeted suite of programs of $12.1 billion that are being introduced this year, including doubling the GST credit for the next six months.
     As monetary policy hopefully brings inflation back down toward the 2% target that the Bank of Canada has, we have to have something that bridges us through the hump that we are going through right now. This measure is Bill C-30, which would make life more affordable for Canadians. As an illustration, some of the measures that the plan is working on to fight inflation are to help with access to dental care and with the rental costs people are facing. There are parts of the bill that will be coming back to the House, hopefully in the next few days, and passing quickly so that Canadians will have access to other supports. As has been mentioned in the debate today, all of these things are there to help people who are vulnerable and who are being impacted by the inflation we are all going through.
    For more than three decades, the Bank of Canada has had the mandate to tackle inflation here in Canada, and our government reaffirmed this central mandate last December. As the Bank of Canada is working on inflation and bringing it down, we have to work on the impacts on Canadians who are facing higher interest rates, the higher food costs that have been mentioned in the debate this morning and the other higher living costs that we have.

  (1320)  

    As we get down toward the 2%, and it is really the bank's job to help us get there, we have to look at the supply route constraints that are also impacting businesses and the labour shortages. How do we help businesses find the workers they need with the right skills? How do we help the people who are looking for jobs get those skills, so that they align with the needs of the businesses? The better we do this and the faster we do this, the better Canada will be positioned to continue the growth curve we are on.
    The last recession I remember was the 2008 major recession. We just coasted on the other side of it, and we did not have economic growth. The result of that was that we fell behind. We are now in a position to continue our leadership position in growth in the world and provide clean technology jobs and the jobs of tomorrow around climate change solutions, nanotechnologies and emerging technologies, but in order to do that we need labour.
    To rebuild communities that have been ravaged by the impacts of climate change, like the communities in Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec, we need skilled trade workers, so we have to work as a government to help position people for success to get into those projects. In Guelph we have had six projects recently announced, with $45 million to create 263 housing units. Those housing units are being built, but it is a strain on the local labour. In fact, we have one crew that is in Guelph from Prince Edward Island doing steel work, and they are doing it quickly because they want to go home. There is a local benefit to our getting some labour force in Guelph to help us build the housing as well as help the communities in Atlantic Canada that need the help they need on the economic front.
    The plan we have is rooted in fiscal restraint. We are looking at how we can provide supports without fuelling inflation. The suite of measures we are putting forward through the affordability plan, like the GST credit for the next six months, are going to support Canadians with the cost of living without adding fuel to the fire of inflation.
    We look at what other programs we are supporting in addition to the doubling of the GST credit. It is going to provide $2.5 billion in additional targeted support for this year, and that is going to help 11 million individuals and families who already receive their tax credits through their tax filings. The relationship we have with Canadians through the Canada Revenue Agency helps us to deliver these programs.
    We will also be delivering the Canada workers benefit to put up to another $2,400 into families' bank accounts this year. A 10% increase in old age security to help seniors over 75, which began in July, is providing up to $766 more for three million seniors this year. We will deliver a $500 payment this year to 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing through a one-time top-up on the housing benefit. We are cutting child care fees by an average of 50% this year. Dental care for Canadians, hopefully getting passed through the House of Commons, for people earning less than $90,000 would provide hundreds of dollars to Canadian families this year. The indexation of inflation of benefits, including the Canada child benefit, the GST credit, Canada pension plan, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement and the federal minimum wage will carry us through normal economic times, when inflation is back down to the 2% level we are shooting for.
    We are trying to manage the fiscal situation in an inflationary time by providing benefits to the people who really need them when they need them, and they need them now.

  (1325)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member for Guelph raised the Bank of Canada multiple times, as he also raised the ideas of helping struggling Canadians and the need to fight inflation. On March 11 of this year, Tiff Macklem, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, wrote to the finance committee, and I am just going to take an excerpt from that:
    According to the Bank's calculations, if the charge were to be removed from the three main fuel components of the consumer price index (gasoline, natural gas and fuel oil) it would reduce the inflation rate by 0.4 percentage points. In other words, if that policy had come into effect at the start of the year, January's inflation rate would have been 4.7% instead of 5.1%.
    That is the governor saying that the carbon tax is inflationary. The member for Guelph said it is important to support struggling Canadians. Would he say exactly why he supports the government in tripling the carbon tax on gas, groceries and heat? Does he not believe this is a time to take a pause and give Canadians a break?

  (1330)  

    Mr. Speaker, the price on pollution is going from $50 a tonne to $65 a tonne. In my math, that is not tripling.
    When we look at the sustainability of the planet, we cannot separate the sustainability of the planet from economic sustainability and social sustainability. We need to support Canadians in all areas, economic, social and environmental, so that we still have a planet for future generations.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. Inflation did not fall out of the sky like a hot summer rain. It is the result of several factors, including external factors. One of these factors is very important: the supply chain.
    It is important to understand that the war in Ukraine and the global pandemic disrupted the supply chain. Many of our companies rely on the availability of products or consumer goods.
    The Bank of Canada observed that, during the summer, approximately 50% of companies found themselves facing a bottleneck. That means that their supply chain is blocked. They are awaiting parts to be able to resume production.
    There is a way of fixing this and ensuring fewer inflationary shocks. It is by making sure that our supply chain is more flexible, agile and resilient.
    Does my colleague agree that the government should be doing more to make sure that we are less dependent on the products we need to import from foreign countries?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques not only for that question but for the questions he has posed throughout the day. They are always very thoughtful questions.
    One of the lessons of COVID was that we have to have more reliance on Canadian supply chains. When it came to getting PPE and things to help people in medical need in Canada, having that product built in Canada made a lot of sense as supply chains from other countries were cut off. I agree 100% that we have to look at developing business in Canada and developing innovation in Canada so that we can get the economic benefit from it, as well as that security going forward.
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the comments the member just made about the Canadian supply chain. I want the member to know that in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam there was a supplier that retooled their factory instantly to be able to create PPE, but they were unable to get a contract from the Canadian government. I also know of vaccine suppliers in the country who were not identified by the government. In fact, I think there was a lack of coordination on the government side to even know who was producing PPE and vaccines here in Canada. That is what I understand.
    Would the member like to share some thoughts on why Canadian suppliers of PPE and even vaccines were not able to get contracts with the government?
    Mr. Speaker, the Buyandsell.gc.ca network is something I used during COVID, when I had businesses calling me in Guelph asking how they could get into the supply chain and how they could provide solutions for the government. There was one call that was from a known Conservative and we have disagreed on many things, but he was able to get a contract to provide parts for ventilators going into Toronto with another partner from Montreal.
    The Buyandsell.gc.ca network is something that I have recommended to my constituents. I would say to the hon. member across the way that it would be a great source for her constituents as well.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-30, a very important piece of legislation that attempts to relieve some of the pressure being put on individuals right now in our country, in particular those who are struggling the most. The individuals who will receive this GST credit will, no doubt, be people who immediately use this money for very important needs that they have. It is money that will go directly back into our economy. Despite some of the things we have heard about contributing to inflation, the economists have pretty much resoundingly asserted that such a measure is not going to lead to inflation or, at least, is so marginal that it will be unnoticeable.
    I want to focus my comments today on addressing some of what I have heard said in the House. In particular, I want to talk a bit about what I heard the member for Northumberland—Peterborough South talk about a few minutes ago and then go to some comments that I heard from the member for Simcoe North even earlier.
    First of all, I think it is very interesting that all of the conversations or all of the discussion that has been happening today regarding Bill C-30, from the Conservatives anyhow, spent very little time actually talking about the bill. Instead, they want to use the slogans they have recently come up with, such as “triple, triple, triple”. I am still trying to wrap my head around why that is supposed to be so funny. I do not understand how that works, but perhaps that line was given to everybody by the leader's office and it is their responsibility to deliver it repeatedly in this place.
    The member for Northumberland—Peterborough South was not talking about the bill. He went on a long tangent from the discussion about why it is so important that the government not spend money right now, because it is leading to inflation. He was basically saying that when the government spends more, it leads to more inflation, and so on and so forth.
    Just putting aside for a second his argument on that, I would remind him that my understanding, at least, is that Conservatives are voting in favour of this bill. They are voting in favour of this spending. For the member for Northumberland—Peterborough South to stand there for 10 minutes and talk about government spending leading to inflation and how the government should not be spending while on the topic of a bill about spending that he supports is extremely rich and, I think, underscores the hypocrisy that we hear over and over from Conservatives in this House. It is just on constant repeat, the way that they come out and say one thing but do another. I do not know if this is due to the new leadership of the crypto king from Carleton or what it is exactly, but it is certainly—

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, it is one thing to actually refer to people using a derogatory term, which is a violation of Standing Order 18, but using other terms to describe members in here is something that is unconscionable. That individual should apologize and resign.
    Mr. Speaker, if the chair does not find the term “Justinflation” to be offensive but does find the term “crypto king” to be offensive, then I think we really have to go back and look at the rules.
    However, I will leave it up to you, Mr. Speaker.
    How about if we refer to one another by our actual riding names? If we stick to that, we will stay out of trouble.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about crypto, since we are on the topic.
    With regard to the member for Simcoe North, I found it just astounding when, moments ago in the House, the Bloc Québécois member asked him a very good question about his party's position on crypto. I want to thank the member for Simcoe North for doing what I have been asking the Leader of the Opposition to do for a long time, which was to explain the Conservatives' policy on cryptocurrency.
    Instead of completely avoiding the question from the member from the Bloc, the member for Simcoe North tried to address it, which I think was very admirable of him.
    What did he say? He basically said this: First of all, he compared Canada to Venezuela, saying that, well, if we look at countries like Venezuela, people have decided to hedge their bets against their currency by investing in cryptocurrency.
    Can we extrapolate, then, the objective of the Leader of the Opposition? When he made those comments months ago about cryptocurrency, he was basically telling the Canadian people to not trust the Canadian dollar and to put their money into cryptocurrency and bet against the Canadian dollar. That is exactly what the Leader of the Opposition was doing.
    I hand it to the member for Simcoe North for actually standing up and saying what he thinks, because the rest of them would not do it.
    This is what we are seeing, so now we get to start to understand a bit of the picture of what is going on. We have the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, the leader of the official opposition, the individual whom I crown as the king of cryptocurrency, in the House, in public, telling Canadians—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1340)  

    Order.
    Let us just refer to the member for Carleton or to the member for Kingston and the Islands or just His Majesty's official opposition, or something like that.
    I am getting a lot of noise. I want to keep the noise in the House down to a minimum, because we are coming up to question period. I just want to make sure we all take our seats at a reasonable time and keep it down a little.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, you are always going to get a lot of noise from that side when I am speaking, regardless of what I say. I will leave it to you and to chair occupants to rule, because you do a very good job of that. I have a lot of respect for you, but I do not think it is unprecedented that we describe the actions of people in this room based on terms like that. As a matter of fact, probably the one who is the most egregious—
    The member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, now the member for Kingston and the Islands is justifying what he is doing. That is not relevant to the bill at hand. He should be sticking to what is relevant.
    We have relevancy called. We are running out of time. We want to get at least one more person in here.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, nobody is more egregious with regard to calling people names based on actions that they do than the leader of the official opposition during his 22 years or however long he has been in the House.
    Nonetheless, the reality is that what we discovered in the House today, thanks to the member for Simcoe North, is that the Conservatives are actively encouraging Canadians to hedge against the Canadian dollar by investing in cryptocurrency.
    I do not think this is responsible for any member of Parliament to do, let alone the leader of the official opposition in the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kingston and the Islands for his timely comments about the need for this legislation and how it is going to help hard-working Canadians who are suffering as a result of inflation.
    I have also heard from a lot of people who took the advice of the Leader of the Opposition on cryptocurrency because somehow they thought it was a legitimate way of investing their money. They have, unfortunately, lost a lot of money.
    Can the member for Kingston and the Islands tell us why that advice was so dangerous and how it has impacted the lives of so many Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I would note, for starters, that this is the second time in a row that I have given a speech and both this time and the last time I spoke, no Conservative got up to ask me a question. As we know, the first opportunity to ask a question goes to the Conservatives. I just want them to know that I certainly take that as a compliment.
    To the question that the member asked me about those who may have taken the advice, the Leader of the Opposition is seemingly unaware of the fact that his words have consequences. When he says something in the position that he is in or in the position that he was seeking to be in at the time, people will listen.
    Those who did listen to him and chose to invest in cryptocurrency at the time will have seen their life savings absolutely diminish, and he does not recognize that his words can transpire into those actual actions, but it does happen.
    For those who did take his advice and invest, I feel sorry that they were put in that position, and I deeply regret that the Leader of the Opposition, who was at the time the candidate seeking to be the leader, made those comments.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    My colleague made a point about leadership and people listening to leaders. A motion was put forward in this very House yesterday, on which we should all have shown leadership, with respect to declaring an organization as a criminal or terrorist organization. That was shot down and given a nay by the Liberals, so it is a bit rich for them to talk about leading by example when that just happened yesterday.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am so glad the member asked me that question because it gives me an opportunity to once again talk about the games the members on that side of the House play. They brought forward a motion with three parts to it. This is what the Conservatives do. They insert a poison pill into it, knowing that we cannot vote in favour of it. In this case, the second clause was to chastise the government over an issue. They did this just so this member could get up later on and ask the exact question he did.
    The Conservatives know exactly what they are up to. They know the games they play in this House. If the member actually cared, like he says he does, the Conservatives would have brought forward a straightforward motion that did not include a poison pill, and he probably would have seen a lot—
    I believe we have a point of order from the hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    Mr. Speaker, if we are going to be in this place, we must use parliamentary language. Imputing thoughts of not caring on another member is completely unparliamentary.
    Mr. Speaker, the truth certainly hurts. We can see the number of times the Conservatives get up to try to interrupt me when I am speaking. What they do not understand, and it has been going on for three years now, is the more they do it, the more it encourages me, so they really have to reassess their position on this.
    With respect to the member's point, had the Conservatives brought forward a simple motion that addressed exactly what he just said, I am sure it would have gone over much better on this side of the House than the way they introduced it, and he knows that.
    Mr. Speaker, hopefully we can bring the debate back to Bill C-30 and the income support gaps that are hurting people right now in Canada.
    These are short-term emergency income support gap measures that the New Democrats support. We know people need help with rent and food. I want to ask the member specifically about the long-term measures that need to be taken, because more Canadians are falling into poverty and homelessness. I speak specifically about persons with disabilities right now. Is this House going to see Bill C-22 come back this week?
    Mr. Speaker, over the last few decades the disparity between the haves and the have-nots has certainly been growing, and it is incumbent upon us to find ways to try to reduce that. That is why we increased taxes on the richest 1% when we were first elected and reduced taxes for the middle class. That is why we brought in $10-a-day child care. That is why we continue to strengthen the various social programs we have.
    With respect to the member's question, I would like nothing more than to see that bill, which is intended for the disabled communities in Canada, move expeditiously through this House, go to committee and come back here so that we can implement it and bring it into law. I hope and have faith that all members in this House can put partisanship aside for one issue like this.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are laughing right now. This is about helping some of the most vulnerable people in our country and they are laughing, so I guess the partisanship will not be put aside.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Banff—Airdrie.
    It is really hard to talk to people in my community right now because they are really struggling. They are struggling so hard to make ends meet. I was at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, and I watched a woman from my community in the bakery aisle take a loaf of bread, look at it, put it back on the shelf, take it again, look at it and put it back on the shelf again. I knew what she was doing. She was asking herself if she could afford it.
    That is the crisis our country is facing right now, and that is the level of gravity each of us should be treating the country's finances and our economic policy with right now. People in our country are asking themselves if they can afford to put another loaf of bread in their cart. I have to ask myself why, and I really want to direct this to the Liberal backbench. Why are the liberals raising taxes right now? Why would they do this? Why would they do this to that woman who is trying to figure out if she can afford an extra loaf of bread this week?
    There is no reason for the government to raise taxes, yet yesterday that is what the government, the Liberals, voted to do. They voted to raise taxes. Every single member of the Liberal backbench has the ability in their caucus meetings or on their own social media platforms to push back and hold the government to account just as much as I do. We all have that right.
    In January, small business owners and employers should not need to be worried about their payroll taxes increasing. Canadians, including that woman who is thinking about whether she can afford that extra loaf of bread, should not be thinking about whether their take-home pay is going to go down because the government is taking more money off paycheques. It is ludicrous. We are in a generational inflation crisis.
    This is something many Canadians have never had to deal with. Before this crisis even started, the Canadian economy was on the brink. We are seeing a mental health crisis and a housing crisis, and what are the Liberals doing? They want to raise taxes. It is not just the payroll tax the Liberals voted to raise. It is also voting to raise taxes on something that will increase the cost of everything.
    Let us talk about a loaf of bread. The way the Liberals and the Prime Minister have approached dealing with inflation is by saying, “Okay, Canadians, you have a loaf of bread. We are going to take it from you and give you back the crumbs.” This is what we are debating here today, and that is not right, but let us talk about that loaf of bread.
    For a Canadian farmer who is growing the wheat for that bread, the Liberals want to raise taxes on the power that goes into drying that grain. What does that do to the cost of a loaf of bread? It increases it at a time when we cannot afford it and when people are asking if they can put another loaf of bread in their cart.
    What about when that grain is dry? How does that grain magically get to a processing plant? It is transported. If it is transported in a truck, the fuel that goes to getting that grain to a processing plant is going to increase with this tax increase. Who pays for that? It is the person who is eventually going to buy that loaf of bread.
    Once the manufacturing plant that mills the flour, which might be looking to relocate because of payroll taxes and tax increases on their input costs, such as electricity, has somehow managed to mill that flour, then the flour needs to be transported somewhere else. What is going to happen? The tax on that gas will be increased too next year, in the middle of an inflationary crisis, when people are struggling to choose whether to put another loaf of bread in their cart.
    Then how is that loaf of bread going to get to the grocery store? How does that happen? It does not magically happen. It needs to be transported, again using something the Liberals are increasing the cost of. They are again raising taxes on this. Of course that increase in taxes goes through the entire system. It raises the cost of everything.
    The other thing is that the Liberals try to tell people that somehow that bit of grain, that loaf of bread, can magically get from one place to another because they failed to put any sort of substitute good for carbon on the market, in spite of raising these taxes.

  (1350)  

    What have they done instead? They have raised the costs of these goods. They have made it harder for that woman to choose whether or not she is going to put that loaf of bread in her cart. They have done this while making us more dependent on countries such as Iran and Russia for their oil. Greenhouse gas emissions have risen under the government. It has to stop.
     The Liberal backbench members should hold their leader to account. One of them actually said something that made sense. They were quoted in a news article after their caucus meeting, and they said something to the effect that they wished the leadership of their party would stop being so woke and focus on inflation. Now is the time.
    Every single one of their community members is struggling with that question of whether or not to put another loaf of bread in their cart, and they do not want silence. Courage is lacking in that backbench right now. We should not be raising taxes. The Liberals had an opportunity yesterday to prevent the raising of taxes, yet what did they do? They voted to raise taxes. It has to stop. This is not the time to do that.
    Some will say that they are spending money on x, y, and z. Let us talk about what the Liberals have been spending money on. There was a federal election in 2021 that got us a polarized electorate. It did not do anything else for the Liberals. We just found out that the Liberals spent a half a billion dollars making it easier for people in upstate New York to jump the immigration queue in Canada. The other thing the Liberals have done is spend how much money, and on what? It takes two, three, four, five, six months to get a passport, so we are seeing not only the government raise taxes in the middle of an inflationary crisis, but also service delivery being worse. This is it, and that is not good government.
     What we have here is a scandal-plagued government that does not give a rip about the price of bread. The government members do not give a rip. They do not understand what people in my community or any of their communities are going through to try to make ends meet after filling up their tank of gas.
     It is beyond me that the Liberals would raise taxes right now, and we will fight back. This is crazy. They should not be raising taxes in the middle of an inflationary crisis. I would ask them to give their heads a shake. This is not a game. That is what each of the members of the Liberal backbench should be saying. The Liberals have to do something to actually address the inflationary crisis, and taking Canadians' loaves of bread, trying to give them a few crumbs back and saying it is good enough is not good enough. It has to stop.
    Canadians are sharing this message. Even people who voted for the Liberals in the past have said they have had enough, as one of their backbench said, of this woke stuff. They want solutions. They want a solution to the problem.
     We should have energy sovereignty. We should not be waiting for OPEC+ to raise or lower production and raise the cost of energy on us because we do not have energy sovereignty here. The Liberals should be addressing the labour shortage instead of making it easier for people in upstate New York to skip the line into this country. They should be addressing that we have the poorest levels of service in government programs in generations, all while it is impossible for people to make ends meet.
     We should all have had enough with the cabinet and the government's failed approach to economic growth while our country stares down the barrel of a looming recession, and it is the government's problem. It has failed to repatriate manufacturing. It has failed to inspire investment in our country. It is making it harder for women in my community to put loaves of bread in their cart.
    I have had enough. People in this place have had enough, and people across the country have had enough. Tomorrow morning is their caucus meeting, so I challenge every Liberal backbencher here today to stand up and say what that one person said off the record to a reporter: Enough with the woke shit.
    Mr. Speaker, I take that back. I apologize immediately for my unparliamentary language. I am very sorry.
    Enough with the woke stuff and let us get on with the plan. It is right to be passionate with this. We have to do better things to protect Canadians from inflation.

  (1355)  

    I appreciate the retraction.
    We will move on to questions and comments with the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's candour. She certainly speaks with passion, and sometimes I wish I could use language like that in here too, even if just accidentally.
    My question is in relation to the member's private member's bill. This member has a private member's bill on cryptocurrency. We were actually supposed to debate it the first day that the House resumed, and for some reason we did not. It got bumped.
    I understand that the member's private member's bill on cryptocurrency is coming up in the next couple of days. I wonder if she could provide some insight into what her bill is about, to inform the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleague to talk to the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance, who actually holds digital assets, as revealed in his ethics disclosure. I would also invite him to talk to the Minister of Finance, who approved tens of thousands of dollars for a crypto-trading platform in her home riding.
    The government has talked a big game on the digital economy and now, when we are staring down the barrel of a recession, is trying to score cheap political points, when we should be trying to grow jobs through a framework that protects investors and consumers while allowing the economy to grow. However, the government does not get it, and that is a shame.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Iran

     Mr. Speaker, it has been 1,000 days since Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: 167 passengers and nine crew murdered; 57 Canadian citizens murdered; 138 students and academics returning to Canada to attend or teach at our universities murdered.
     One was Dr. Mohammad Amin Jebelli. He was my friend. He was a student of mine at the University of Toronto. Amin was always willing to help out. He was always there to ensure no student was left out. I will never forget him.
    The Iranian regime, the murderers of Zahra Kazemi, Mahsa Amini and all those on PS752, must be made to understand that the passage of time will never erase its crimes nor fade the memories that we hold of its victims.
    The Holy Quran commands “to act against those who oppress people and transgress in the land against all justice.” Canadians demand their government hold that regime accountable and to finally declare the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

Keith Simmonds

     Mr. Speaker, Niagara has lost a giant. Keith Simmonds was a business leader at Great Wolf Lodge, a mentor, a friend, a celebrated community member, a father and a husband. Keith died last weekend on a charity bike ride doing what he loved: raising money for charity with his friends.
    I only met Keith three weeks ago. Along with 36 other riders, we were part of R2//NYC. We rode our bikes to New York City from Toronto, which was 850 kilometres, to raise money for Campfire Circle, a summer camp for kids and families impacted by childhood cancer. The healing powers of fun, friendship and self-confidence were never lost on Keith. He had MS, but it never slowed him down a bit.
    Keith's team, The Wolf Pack, out-fundraised the rest of us two to one, but his energy, enthusiasm and ethic on that ride is what really stood out.
     His celebration of life was on Sunday and over 2,500 people attended. I have never seen anything like it. People packed into the Niagara Falls Convention Centre to laugh, cry and remember Keith Simmonds.
    Keith is survived by his boys Ben and Nick, his wife Toby, his brother Greg, and his mom Ellen Mae, who he called “the goat”. Keith was the greatest of all time, too. We would all do well to live our lives more like him, all in and howling until the end.
     May Keith rest in peace.

Certificate of Excellence

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I was honoured to celebrate true excellence in teaching.
     Red Deer's Glendale Sciences and Technology School educator, Ashton Lutz, was awarded the national certificate of excellence in recognition of her unique leadership in new-learning approaches and her success in harnessing the power of educational activity in an impressive ceremony here in Ottawa.
    As a former math and physics teacher, it gives me great pleasure to know that her students have been blessed with her passionate commitment to all aspects of their educational experience, as she connects them with the digital world by harnessing the power of technology.
    Ashton shared this special moment with her mother Sandy, her husband Bryden, and his parents Fred and Robin Lutz, as she proudly took her place as one of Canada's most exceptional teachers.
    Well done, Ashton. Her students, colleagues, friends and family are so proud of her accomplishments.

Latin American Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, cha-cha-cha,olé, olé, olé.
     October is Latin American Heritage Month, and it is so exciting to know that we have a whole month to celebrate the unbelievable music, literature, food, language and culture of over 20 diverse and beautiful Latin American cultures in Canada.
    It is also a month to acknowledge the many contributions of Latin Americans to our country. This large and growing community enriches our national fabric with its contributions and it plays an important role in Canada's growth and prosperity.
    This evening, I am inviting everyone to join the Hispanic and Latin American community to celebrate an amazing month, at Sir John A. Macdonald building, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Come out for empanadas, pastelitos de carne, vino, mojitos, musica allegra and so much fun.
    I look forward to seeing everyone. Viva los latinos en Canadá. Viva.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

World Sight Day

    Mr. Speaker, the second Thursday in October is World Sight Day, a day to raise awareness of the importance of eye health.
    With one blind grandmother and two blind great-grandmothers, my father feels there is a sword of Damocles hanging over his head. The same goes for my youngest son and several members of my family.
    By developing our knowledge about what affects our vision, we will hopefully be able to prevent many sight-related diseases. By being more aware of the day-to-day challenges facing people born with a visual impairment, we will all be able to understand them better and do more for them, as well as support research aimed at alleviating those challenges.
    Let us all increase our awareness and work together to make life easier and simpler for people living with vision loss.
    I hope everyone has a good World Sight Day.

Moderna Vaccine Manufacturing Plant

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today about the great news that Moderna will set up its first vaccine manufacturing plant outside the United States in my riding of Vimy.
    As we all know, Moderna manufactures one of the two vaccines that have helped ensure Canadians' safety during the COVID‑19 pandemic and saved many lives. It continues to be one of the world's leading biotech companies. The Moderna plant will allow Canada to manufacture its own vaccines. Also, Moderna will undertake research in collaboration with McGill University.
    I am proud that this investment will further improve Laval's flourishing industry, and add over 200 high-tech jobs to the 5,000 jobs that already exist in the science sector. Vimy is home to world-class researchers, doctors and scientists, and the sector will continue to grow. Moderna's investment is an excellent recognition of Vimy's biotech sector, and a source of pride for all Canadians.

[English]

Angus Beef

    Mr. Speaker, it is a tremendous honour to represent the people of Lethbridge and have the opportunity to stand for them today.
    One of the things that we are extremely proud of in my riding is the production of Angus beef. It is our goal to fill more plates with this healthy protein and sheer tastiness.
     The cattle breed is hardy and originates from Scotland. That is a long way away. The meat is known to be tender, juicy and packed with flavour. It is enough to make one sing, actually. Perhaps that is because these cattle tarry on green pastures for long hours in May.
     While an Angus steak is great on the grill, people can also fast fry it in their kitchens, should they choose. However, people should make sure they do not cram the pan; then that is not good.
    Sadly, many Canadians are blocked, unfortunately, from being able to taste this beef because they just cannot afford it. Personally, I think that is rude.
     While the government wants Canadians to start eating small critters for their protein, I believe that more Canadians should have access to beef, but for that to happen, the government needs to put Canadians first and stop “Justinflation”.
    I believe the Deputy Speaker this morning put it best. If both sides play by the rules and follow the rules, we will all be better off.
    The hon. member for Vancouver Granville.

Little Mountain Baseball All-Stars

    Mr. Speaker, I am so proud to rise today and recognize the Little Mountain Baseball All-Stars on their big win at the Canadian Little League Championship earlier this summer. As they represented our Vancouver Granville community as Team BC, we were proud to cheer on these amazing athletes on their path to victory.
    The All-Stars went on to make us proud as team Canada at the Little League World Series earlier this summer, where they played in some thrilling games and showed incredible sportsmanship. Together, they showed what it means to work as a team and to show grit, determination and grace.
    I congratulate the players, coaches and their families on this incredible success and for the hard work they have done to make Canadians proud from coast to coast to coast.

World Sight Day

    Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge October 13 as World Sight Day, reminding my colleagues in the House and every Canadian about the importance of eye health.
     Unfortunately, we all take our eyesight for granted until it is often too late. There are 1.2 million Canadians who are currently blind or partially sighted and over eight million have an eye disease that puts them at risk for vision loss and blindness.
    Losing one’s vision can be extremely physically and psychologically damaging. The impacts include increased risk of financial hardship, a loss of independence and mobility, an inability to live independently, to drive, to read or participate in physical activity, resulting in a loss of social interaction, which can often lead to depression and other mental illnesses. I ask my colleagues to simply close their eyes and ask how they would get out of this room.
    I invite everyone in the House to come and have their eyes tested tonight, starting at 5 p.m., at the World Sight Day Hill reception that I have the honour of hosting at the Wellington Building, room 430. Everyone is welcome.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

Quebec Election

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, October 3, was an important day for Quebeckers as a whole.
    The people have made their choice and returned to power the incumbent Coalition avenir Québec government, with a majority.
    Today, I want to congratulate the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, and his entire team. I want to reiterate my interest in collaborating with both members of the national assembly in my riding: Jonatan Julien, MNA for Charlesbourg, and Sylvain Lévesque, MNA for Chauveau.
    As the political lieutenant for Quebec for the leader of the official opposition, I also offer my support to the Government of Quebec, with whom I wish to continue the work to create a better future for Quebeckers within a stronger Canada.
    Let us be proud to live in a country that offers us the privilege to exercise our fundamental right to choose our representatives. Let us be proud to be Quebeckers. Now that democracy has spoken, let us look to the future and build together.

[English]

Station Gallery

    Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise in the House today to recognize the phenomenal work of Whitby's beloved Station Gallery, as it recently held its 29th annual Drawing for Art fundraiser.
    The Station Gallery is a historic and well known place in Whitby. Many will recognize it for its 119-year-old exterior, as it was formerly Whitby's Grand Trunk Railway station that was saved from demolition nearly 50 years ago thanks to the gallery’s founders, who restored it to be the beautiful creative art hub that generations in Whitby have enjoyed.
    I have had the pleasure of attending this event in past years, as it is an important fundraiser that supports the galley financially, enabling it to continue delivering fun, creative art programs and exhibits that the Whitby community appreciates immensely. This year, the gallery received a record 160 outstanding and unique pieces of art, generously donated by talented local and national artists, and sold out tickets to people who were eager to select and take home a stunning masterpiece.
     I hope everyone will join me in congratulating the many energetic and passionate staff and volunteers who made he Station Gallery's event successful.

Hurricane Fiona

    Mr. Speaker, the people of Cumberland—Colchester continue to be profoundly and disproportionately affected by hurricane Fiona.
    Being out of power is one thing; however being without power and water is in another realm altogether. The uncertainty surrounding when electricity will be restored adds to the tremendous burden of suffering being experienced. Crews are working hard to remove trees and repair damaged lines 24 hours a day, and we commend them for their work. We will continue to ask for more aid until power is fully restored, and we will continue to ask for support as the cleanup progresses and life returns to normal.
    As always, let us be mindful of those in our neighbourhoods who need our support and encouragement. Let us honour our shared history of being tough Maritimers and being willing to always help in a time of great need.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the new Conservative leader will put the people first, their paycheques, their savings, their home and their country. Therefore, we celebrate the historic agreement between Enbridge and 23 first nations and Métis communities. They now own 12%, over a billion dollars' worth, of pipelines in the Athabasca region, with long-term, predictable cash flow to build schools, fix roads, meet basic needs and improve their quality of life.
     Indigenous people have long been partners, contractors, workers, suppliers and producers in oil and gas. They are leaders in Canadian natural resources, but the Liberals’ anti-energy agenda risks dozens of indigenous-led and supported projects from pipelines to mines and LNG.
    All nine communities in Lakeland beat barriers to get this economic development, and are now all owners in the largest deal of its kind in North America.
    Therefore, I congratulate, Buffalo Lake, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake and Kikino Métis Settlements, Frog Lake, Kehewin, Onion Lake, Saddle Lake and Goodfish Lake first nations on this landmark achievement and on all their progress turning hurt into hope.

  (1415)  

Richmond Hill

    Mr. Speaker, recently Richmond Hill has been through many ups and downs.
     We lost our beloved former mayor on September 22 and, today, his memorial is taking place in the city of Richmond Hill. With a heavy heart, I extend my condolences on the passing of our longest-serving mayor and my dear friend, Dave Barrow. May he rest in eternal peace, our community leader, mentor and friend.
    Also this past weekend, we witnessed the rally of over 50,000 people of Iranian Canadian descent in support of the global day of action for Iran’s current uprising and the freedom movement led women and youth at the forefront. In solidarity, I joined the rally. What a historic moment of global magnitude for the community of Richmond Hill.
    Today, also marks the 1,000th day since the shooting down of flight PS752. At this very moment, in front of Parliament, we are joined by family members of the flight PS752 victims.
     We will not rest until those responsible for these heinous crimes are brought to justice.
    Before going on, I just want to remind everyone that Statements by Members are very important to the individuals.

[Translation]

    I want to ensure that everyone can hear what members have to say. I would therefore ask members to whisper or to go into the hallway to carry on their conversations.

[English]

    The hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.

Ironman Canada Penticton

    Mr. Speaker, after a 10-year absence, Penticton once again hosted Ironman Canada this year and re-established itself as one of the premier Ironman venues in the world.
    The history of Ironman in Penticton goes back to 1983 when it was the site of the first Ironman-distance triathlon in North America. Three years later, it was named the official host for Ironman Canada. Word soon spread of the stunning landscapes, warm lakes, challenging hills and the army of enthusiastic and friendly volunteers that make the Penticton Ironman venue so special. It quickly became the favourite destination for triathletes from around the world.
    Sadly, Ironman Canada moved out of Penticton for eight years, starting in 2012. It returned in 2020, only to be cancelled by COVID, but this year the athletes were back. Thousands of fans cheered them on. Long-time announcer Steve King called the race, and all were rewarded with a convincing win by local favourite Jeff Symonds.
     Ironman Canada is back in Penticton.

[Translation]

Julie Bellerose

    Mr. Speaker, when I was appointed the Bloc Québécois's foreign affairs critic, I did not know that included space. However, today I will be talking about space thanks to Julie Bellerose.
    Last week, this engineer from Sainte-Julie led a NASA mission that was straight out of science fiction. Ms. Bellerose had to deflect an asteroid 10 million kilometres from earth by hitting it with a space probe travelling 22,500 kilometres per hour. The objective of this experiment was to assess whether it is possible to change the trajectory of an asteroid headed dangerously towards our planet.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to congratulate Julie Bellerose for this mission accomplished. This is a new highlight in a career that has led her from Sainte-Julie to California via Japan. With this achievement, she is now a member of a select group of Quebeckers showing young people where Quebec engineering can go. The answer: far, far away.

[English]

Iran

    Mr. Speaker, the Iranian regime is a brutal regime. It killed Montrealer Zahra Kazemi, executed Navid Afkari, imprisoned Nasrin Sotoudeh and supports terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
    That is why, in June of 2018, this House adopted a motion calling on the government to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada. The government, including the Prime Minister, voted for that motion, but once it disappeared from the media, the government did nothing.
    Subsequently, in January of 2020, flight 752 was shot down as it took off from Tehran airport, killing over 50 Canadians brutally. Subsequent investigations found that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was responsible for the downing of flight 752 and still the Government of Canada did nothing. Now, Mahsa Amini has been brutally tortured and murdered by this regime.
    When will the government take action and list the IRGC as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada?

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Latin American Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, it is my turn to celebrate Canada's Latin American community, of which I am a proud member.
    The personal journeys that brought the members of our community to Canada are all very different, but we all have one thing in common: We now feel at home here.
    Over the next few weeks, through music, food and art, people will have the opportunity to discover the different Latin American cultures and traditions that surround us throughout the year. Some of my colleagues may have attended a quinceañera or celebrated el día de los muertos, while others may be fans of Frida Kahlo or be familiar with the poems of Pablo Neruda.
    The history of the ancient civilizations that lived on this continent is an intrinsic part of our heritage and story now. Think of the Aztecs, the Mayans and the Incas. This heritage includes the stories of the indigenous peoples who still live here today.
    Let us look back and make amends for our colonial past, but let us also celebrate Latin American Heritage Month today together across the country.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the accounting firm MNP reported this week that almost half of all Canadians are about $200 away from not being able to pay their bills. That means insolvency for nearly half the population. This is the result of seven years of this government's inflationary policies.
    What is the Liberals' solution today? It is to raise taxes, including by tripling the carbon tax on gas, home heating and groceries.
    Will they cancel this plan to triple the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, let me start with some good news today. We have a solution that everyone in the House agrees on: the inflation relief payments. Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Finance voted unanimously for this measure. I hope that the House will have a chance this week to vote for these payments that Canadians so urgently need.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the accounting firm MNP reported this week that almost half of Canadians are $200 from insolvency. That means that they are about to default on a debt or other legal payment. They cannot afford groceries. Four in five families have had to cut their diets to pay their bills. Nine in 10 young people without a home say they will never afford one.
    The Liberal solution to all of this is to raise taxes on paycheques and on energy, including by tripling the carbon tax on gas, heat and groceries. Will they cancel their plan to triple the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, our government knows that many Canadians are struggling today with the cost of living, and we do have a Liberal solution: the GST tax credit that would give up to nearly $500 to Canadian families. Eleven million households would be supported.
    Do members know what else is good news? That is not just a Liberal solution. That is a solution unanimously supported by all members of the House. I am looking forward to that measure passing third reading in the House so that we can get that support to the communities.
    Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the government wants to tax it all away. In fact, it wants to triple the carbon tax on gas, heat and groceries at a time when Vancouver's gas prices hit $2.40 a litre, and we learned today that Ontario will soon have a 10¢ a litre sudden spike in gas prices.
    This is exactly the wrong time for a tax hike. Will the government cancel its plan to triple the tax?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have already spoken today about one part of our government's solution that now enjoys support from all members of the House, and that is the GST tax credit. I would like to take this opportunity to call on all members of the House to support the other two elements of our plan, the $500 one-off payment to help Canadians struggling to pay their rent, surely that makes sense to everyone, and supporting Canadian kids to be able to go to the dentist. Who in in this House thinks a child under 12 should not go to the dentist just because their parents cannot afford it? I hope we will all support these wise measures.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, 1,000 days ago today the IRGC, a terrorist group, murdered 55 Canadian citizens, yet 1,000 days later it is perfectly legal for that same terrorist organization to raise money, coordinate, plan and act right here in Canada. Why?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be unequivocally clear that we condemn the downing of PS752. We stood with those families. We unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, and we stand with her family and with all of the women who are marching for their rights.
    I want to be clear that Canada will never be a safe haven for any IRGC operative, or for anyone who supports terrorists. We have taken tangible, consequential action, and we will continue to deliver consequences so that we can stand up for human rights here and around the world.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is a safe haven for this terrorist group, which killed 55 Canadian citizens by shooting down a civilian aircraft. The government has the legal authority today to list that group as a terrorist entity, banning it from raising money, operating, coordinating or, in other ways, existing here in this country.
    A thousand days after this murder of our citizens, it has not done so. Why?
    Mr. Speaker, I would hope that all members are united in standing with the families of PS752. This is what we did right from the outset by repatriating bodies so that families could grieve with them, what we did by creating pathways so families could be reunited here in Canada and what we are going to continue to do in calling for real, tangible consequences for the perpetrators of the downing of PS752. We have listed the IRGC Quds Force, we have ensured that Iran is listed as a state that supports terrorism and we will deliver more sanctions to stand up for human rights here and around the world.

[Translation]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, we need to talk about employment insurance. The government's decision to scrap the temporary measures is a disaster for seasonal workers. At the very end of their season, Ottawa changed the rules of the game and increased the minimum number of hours from 420 to 700. That means workers who qualified for EI 10 days ago now have nothing: no job, no benefits.
    I know this might seem trivial to the government, but for workers left out in the cold, it is a big deal. It means no income until next summer. That is a very big deal.
    What is the government going to do to help these workers?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that Canada needs an EI system fit for the 21st century. That is why we set up extensive consultations with Canadians so we can build a system that works for everyone, including seasonal workers.
    Although our temporary support measures are ending, regular benefits will continue to be paid out. In budget 2022, we are investing $110 million to extend the seasonal pilot project until 2023.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, she talked about the pilot project, which is fine for workers who qualify. The problem is that seasonal workers no longer qualify because the government changed the rules by removing the temporary measures. The federal government is essentially condemning them to poverty. It is threatening the seasonal industry as a whole, and it is threatening the regions.
    Will the government show some empathy for people who are caught in this trap and restore the temporary measures while we await EI reform?
    That is what needs to happen.

  (1430)  

     Mr. Speaker, our government understands that EI benefits need to be more fair, more responsive and more adaptable to the needs of Canada's ever-evolving workforce. We look forward to announcing our long-term plan to improve the EI system before the end of the year.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, we are missing out on $30 billion in revenue because this government refuses to close tax loopholes. Our health care system is in crisis and needs more investments, but this government prefers to protect the profits of the ultrarich rather than defending the interests of ordinary Canadians.
    When will the government close the tax loopholes being exploited by the ultrarich?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. We have taken action by permanently raising the corporate income tax rate on banks and insurance companies by 1.5%, bringing in a 15% Canada recovery dividend and introducing a luxury tax on certain vehicles, planes and boats.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, none of that changes the fact that our country has lost $30 billion in revenue because the Liberal government refuses to end tax loopholes for the superwealthy. Here is the reality. After seven years of the Liberal government being in power, the effective tax rate for corporations is lower today. That is wrong.
    When will the government stop defending the profits of the superwealthy, stand up for working people and put an end to the tax loopholes for the superwealthy?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, there is an expectation that Canadians and Canadian businesses pay their fair share. To that end, just on tax evasion alone, this government has invested over a billion dollars to counter that.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Speaker, in addition, we have put forward in response to the Panama papers, which I know the member opposite who is yelling is quite interested in, 900 Canadians. They have been identified and are under observation. There are 160 audits under way and over 200 have been completed. That work will continue.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, unlike the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition puts Canadians first.
    Since his resounding victory, the Conservative leader has been the voice of millions of Canadians, calling on the government to end the unjust inflation. Day after day, he asks the costly coalition to show some compassion for workers, fathers and mothers and cancel the planned tax increase, which will make life more expensive for everyone.
    The opposition leader is reaching out. Will the Prime Minister listen to him and scrap his plan to raise taxes?
    Mr. Speaker, let us lay the facts on the table.
    The first thing that our government did in 2015 was lower taxes for the majority of Canadians. What did the Conservatives do? They voted against that tax cut.
    On this side, we will continue to respond to Canadians' expectations. The Conservatives can say what they like, but we will let our actions speak for themselves.
    Mr. Speaker, the only promises Liberals keep are the ones that empty the pockets of all Canadians.
    Yesterday, the Minister of the Environment said that Quebec would be spared from the decision to triple the carbon tax for Canadians next year.
    Can the Prime Minister confirm that Quebeckers will be completely spared the carbon tax hike, that no Quebecker will pay more taxes and that no one will be burdened by an increase in the costs of their purchases? Will the carbon tax be more expensive for Quebeckers, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
    Sadly, he does not understand carbon pricing in Canada and Quebec. Quebec does not have carbon pricing, but rather a cap-and-trade system. It is a little complicated, I know. I will be happy to explain the difference to him. My office could organize a briefing if my hon. colleague so wishes.

  (1435)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, 51% of Canadians are struggling to afford food. That is over half the country. Seven years of the Liberal government and that is its record, yet the Liberals have the audacity to sit there and roll their eyes at us as we ask questions about their lack of action on inflation. Now they are going to raise taxes on Canadians by tripling the carbon tax on groceries, tripling it on home heating and tripling it on gas. It is triple, triple, triple.
    Canadians cannot afford the Liberal government any longer. Will the Liberals show some compassion and cancel their plans to triple the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, in university I took social sciences and did some math, calculus 101. It is actually called 103 in Quebec. Three times three times three equals 27, so I am not sure what the Conservatives are talking about. Imagine if they had to do a budget for the entire country.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am having a hard time hearing the answer. I am going to have to ask the minister to start from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, I took social sciences in university and some math, calculus 101, and three times three times three is 27. The Conservatives cannot even get this right. Imagine if they were trying to do a federal budget for the entire country. The carbon tax would go up by $15. How they get to three times three times three I simply do not understand.
    Mr. Speaker, Jay told me he had to cancel a family trip to see family because of the high cost of gas. Inflation and carbon tax increases are keeping families apart this Thanksgiving, but changing behaviour is exactly what the Liberals want. They have said it. They continue to pretend that failed climate change plans are anything but another tax grab.
    Will the Liberal government cancel its plans to force British Columbia to triple taxes on gas, groceries and home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my hon. colleague that we are having a very cordial and productive conversation with British Columbia about putting a price on pollution. In fact, British Columbia is one of the first jurisdictions in North America to have done this. We will continue working collaboratively with B.C. on carbon pricing.
    Mr. Speaker, because of the Liberal government's failed economic policies, the Canadian dream of owning a home, putting kids in sports and taking a modest family vacation is impossible. At a time when Canadians need some help, what do the Liberals do? They triple the carbon tax.
    Will the Liberals cancel their plans to triple the tax on gas, groceries and home heating and give hard-working Canadian families some hope?
    Mr. Speaker, the good news is that we do have a plan, and all of us, working together this week, are going to be able to give hard-working Canadian families some real hope and some real support. That is because I am very hopeful that this week the House will vote on third reading of Bill C-30. That is the GST rebate that would give nearly $500 to Canadian families. Eleven million households would be helped. That is real hope. That is real support for Canadian families. I am glad the Conservatives are on board with that. I hope now they will support the housing payments and dental care.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, a veteran in my riding noticed that GST was being charged on top of the carbon tax on his power bill. The Liberal government plans to triple the carbon tax. Guess what. This would also triple the GST on a basic necessity.
    Life is getting too expensive for Canadians. When will the government scrap its plans to triple the carbon tax, and axe the tax on the carbon tax?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Listen to the whip. He is wonderful.
    The hon. government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, around the world we are facing very difficult times. The member references a veteran whom I have no doubt is experiencing the global phenomenon that we are all dealing with.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Mark Holland: This is not a sporting event. This is not an opportunity to yell and scream and hoot and holler. It is an opportunity to help people who are in need. I absolutely want to take these questions.
    I missed half of that.
    The government House leader, from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, we are ready to hear real questions. We are ready to give real answers.

[Translation]

Canada-U.S. Relations

    Mr. Speaker, every time we ask about federal action for Roxham Road, the government answers that it is negotiating the modernization of the safe third country agreement with the U.S. Roxham Road has been an issue for five years. The federal government has been negotiating for years. It was even in the Liberals' 2019 election platform.
    At this point, we have every right to ask how the negotiations are going, do we not?
    Can the government provide us with the dates of every meeting held to discuss the safe third country agreement with Washington, and will it provide the minutes of those meetings?
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Closing Roxham Road or suspending the agreement is not a solution. That would not solve the problem.
    As the member opposite knows, Canada shares the longest demilitarized border in the country. Roxham Road gives officials an opportunity to obtain identification documents from these asylum claimants and prevent dangerous crossings.
    We need to modernize the agreement, and that is what we are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, so everything is as it should be at Roxham Road. That is what they just said.
    Does is seem as though negotiations are moving forward? I do not think so.
    The safe third country agreement is a seven-page document, not a free trade agreement. The Liberals have been telling us for five years that they are in negotiations. Meanwhile, what is obvious on the ground is that they are making Roxham Road permanent. We have just been told flat out. They even plan to open new facilities on November 1. Permanent means permanent.
    Can the minister provide us with any concrete evidence of these discussions, or should we rely on the government's actions and therefore conclude that no negotiations are actually taking place?
    Mr. Speaker, discussions and negotiations are indeed taking place.
    I would ask the Bloc Québécois to tone down the rhetoric just a bit and stop playing petty politics on the backs of men, women and children who, more often than not, leave extremely difficult situations to make it there or elsewhere.
    When we talk about immigration, we are talking about men, women and children who are seeking a better life. They have the right to dignity, and I would ask the Bloc Québécois members to be careful about what they say.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, every time we ask the government for the Roxham Road contracts that it refuses to disclose, it responds that to the government, and I quote: transparency is critically important.
    That is a rather Orwellian response. Refusing to disclose contracts out of concern for transparency is not that far removed from being told that war is peace.
    I am blinded by all that transparency. Seriously, hiding public contracts is not transparency, it is secrecy.
    Can the government actually be transparent and simply disclose who it gave taxpayers' money to for Roxham Road? People have the right to know.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    As is practice, disclosing confidential contractual information would violate the agreement we have with the supplier. We will continue to work with the departments and agencies to meet their needs through fair and open contracts.

[English]

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been dealing with a lot of gaslighting from the other side of the chamber when it comes to EI tax hikes. It is refreshing that the finance minister has finally admitted it, when she said, “Doubling the GST...for six months is around $2.5 billion and the proposed EI freeze is around $2.5 billion”.
    Given that she is finally admitting that EI is a tax, will she commit the government today to stopping the planned tax hike on Canadian paycheques?
    Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. EI premiums are lower today than when the official opposition leader oversaw them. In fact, they are the lowest they have been in decades. Come next January, the premium rate will be 25¢ lower than in 2015 under the opposition leader.
    On this side of the House, we believe in supporting Canadian workers and jobs.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, only Liberals would believe those lines. The Canadian families I am hearing from are just hanging on by a thread. Four out of five Canadians have changed their diets because of this Liberal government. Canadians cannot afford any more little tax grabs on Canadian paycheques.
    When will the minister stop printing money, stop with the wasteful government spending that is fuelling inflation and stop the tripling of taxes on Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, here is an idea. We can support dental care for kids with disabilities. Here is another idea. We can pass Bill C-22 and lift hundreds of thousands of persons with disabilities out of poverty. Those are two really big concrete things that we can deliver together for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, Germany, U.K., France, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and more have all cut fuel taxes or duties to help households deal with rising inflation. Instead of lowering taxes like our peers, the government wants to make energy more expensive.
    The Liberal government must know something the rest of the world does not. What it will not admit is that the carbon tax is inflationary because it gets passed through to everything. Will the government cancel its plans to hike taxes and finally give Canadians a break?
    Mr. Speaker, I have a riddle for you. What does the following list of states and countries have in common: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Korea, Norway, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K., provinces like Quebec, B.C. and Alberta and countries like China? They all have a price on carbon. Alberta, in fact, has had a price on carbon since 2004. It is almost 20 years.
    That is what is happening in Canada and around the world. We are fighting climate change and we are helping Canadians.

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, the finance minister downplays a 9% increase in the employment insurance tax. She says it is no big deal, even though the Liberal government collects billions more in EI premiums than it pays out to workers, just when inflation is at a 40-year high and gas is $2.40 a litre in Vancouver. Hard-working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. Do Liberals just not care or are they just incompetent?
    Will the Liberal government cancel its plan to raise taxes on Canadian paycheques?
    Mr. Speaker, what hard-working Canadians need is the security of knowing that when they retire, their pensions will be there. What hard-working Canadians need is the security of knowing that our EI system is going to be there when someone loses their job. That is why our government is standing by the Canada pension plan. We are standing by EI. We know it would be the height of irresponsibility today, at a time of real global economic uncertainty, to slash and starve these essential programs Canadians need.

  (1450)  

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been years since the national inquiry, and progress on ending violence against indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people has been painfully slow. Yesterday, advocates and families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls raised serious concerns about how police have handled their cases. This includes inadequate communication. In fact, 11 of the 231 calls for justice from the inquiry relate to policing, but families keep reporting the same issues.
    When will the government act to implement the calls for justice on policing so families can finally have justice?
    Mr. Speaker, coming off of the weekend where we marked the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I want to assure my colleague and all members in the House that we are united in taking concrete steps toward the path of reconciliation as it relates to public safety. We are accelerating the rollout of our first nations and indigenous policing program, where we have allocated nearly $1 billion. Very recently, we issued a joint statement with Alberta to bring back the Siksika police service. That is a concrete step toward reconciliation.
    There is far more to do when it comes to providing culturally sensitive training. When it comes to empowering indigenous communities to protect the members who live within those communities, this government will walk that path with indigenous peoples.

Health

    Uqaqtittiji, colonial laws and policies remain deep-rooted. Death by suicide in Nunavut is 10 times higher than the rest of Canada. I have asked the government repeatedly to invest in Nunavut and indigenous communities so they can thrive, but the government is still failing to deliver the mental health supports needed. Monday is World Mental Health Day and indigenous communities are watching.
    Will the government deliver by indigenous, for indigenous mental health services?
    Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right that losing one person to suicide is one too many. Our government is committed, through the actions we are taking, to do all things necessary to eradicate the horrible problem. We are working co-operatively with Inuit rights holders, with the Government of Nunavut, with territorial governments and all provinces to eradicate the suicide crisis that is prevalent in the north.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, today marks 1,000 painful days since the Islamic Republic of Iran shot down flight PS752, killing all 176 passengers, including 85 Canadians and permanent residents. Last week, Canada hosted the 41st assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.
    Would the Minister of Transport share with members of the House what Canada is doing to hold Iran to account?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his advocacy on holding Iran accountable for criminally shooting down flight PS752. Our government made a solemn commitment to the families of the victims that we will pursue justice and accountability with vigour. We have been utilizing and we will continue to utilize all legal and international mechanisms to achieve that goal.
    In the process, we are leading the world in advancing reforms to ensure such tragedies never occur again. At ICAO, Canada is advancing action to implement the safer skies initiative and reform the way tragedies are investigated. We owe it to the families that we remain focused on honouring their loved ones.

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, it is not news to my colleagues that the cost of living has now made things so difficult that more and more Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. The Conservatives have made concrete suggestions to give them a bit of relief: Cancel the January 1 tax increase and above all cancel the carbon tax that the government wants to triple.
    What is the government doing? It refuses to listen. Is it too much to ask this government and the Prime Minister of Canada to please listen and be compassionate?
    Mr. Speaker, our government has a plan with very concrete suggestions.
    First, we will double the GST credit. The conservatives now agree, bravo, but there are two other measures. I encourage the Conservatives to support these as well. We will make a $500 payment to help the poor pay their rent. The other very important measure is for children and dental care.
    I believe that Canadians agree that children must—

  (1455)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, with grocery inflation at 40-year highs, half of Canadian households are struggling just to be able to feed themselves. Food bank shelves are nearly bare. Canadians are beyond just struggling. Most of them, many of them, are hanging on by a thread. Canadians are tough, but they have a government that continues to punish them while they are just trying to get by.
    Will the Liberals cancel their plans to triple the taxes on gas, home heating and groceries?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to read an excerpt from the last report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer on carbon pricing in Canada, which states, “we project most households will see a net gain, receiving more in rebates from federal carbon pricing under the [government] than the total amount they pay in federal fuel charges”. He adds, “For the vast majority of households in the backstop provinces, their rebates exceed their carbon costs.”
    Mr. Speaker, the cost of living is rising for all Canadians. There is an energy and a food security crisis in Europe and it is coming to Canada. Germany is firing up its coal plants again so it can survive the winter. By tripling the carbon tax, the Prime Minister is tripling the taxes on home heating, gas and groceries. These tax increases make Canada less competitive, driving investment and good jobs out of our country.
    Will the government end its triple tax plan for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, $7 billion was the cost to Canadians of the forest fire in Fort McMurray. Nine billion dollars was the cost to Canadians of the floods in B.C. last year. The cost of Fiona will likely be above anything we have seen in Canada.
    The cost of climate impacts in this country have gone up 400% in the last decade. Canadians are paying the cost of that. What is the answer from the Conservative Party of Canada? There is nothing. On this side of the House, we will fight climate change and we will support Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a real question and I expect a real answer.
    In a recent poll, over 80% of Canadians said they are cutting back on spending because of the high cost of living. Over half said they cannot keep up with the prices they are paying. Because of the Liberal mismanagement of our economy, people are hanging on by a financial thread. Our seniors are worried they will not be able to survive.
    Will the Liberal government do the right thing and cancel its plan to triple taxes on gas, groceries and home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, we will not take any lessons from the party opposite, whose plan for seniors was to raise the age of retirement to 67.
    We know Canadians are struggling, and that is precisely why we are doubling the GST credit. That means seniors would receive an extra $233 in their pockets. We also increased old age security for seniors. That is $800 more for a full pension. On this side of the House, we will continue to have the backs of Canadians and seniors.

[Translation]

Sport

    Mr. Speaker, the fact that Hockey Canada had a fund to settle sexual assault claims against its players is unacceptable. That it needed a second fund, as we learned yesterday, is disgusting. Everyone agrees on that.
    The management and the board of directors need to step down. It is time to clean house. Today in committee we again saw that they are determined to stay put. Since the beginning of the summer, it has been scandal after scandal. There is a new one every week. Enough is enough. We need to get to the bottom of this for once and for all.
    When will the minister launch an independent investigation into Hockey Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, the stories we hear week after week about Hockey Canada are painful to say the least.
    We get the impression that leadership at Hockey Canada is more interested in protecting its jobs than taking care of the safety of the public, women and its players. That is why I have suspended funding for Hockey Canada. We will reinstate it only when Hockey Canada becomes a member of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, which could investigate the matter.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would remind the members that in June, the House unanimously adopted a motion calling for an independent inquiry into Hockey Canada. More than three months later, the same people are sitting on the board of directors, following the same practices of protecting sexual misconduct. It is the same toxic culture, and there is no indication that it is being challenged.
    Hockey Canada no longer has the trust of the male players, let alone the female players. It does not have the trust of parents. It does not have the trust of the House; that part is unanimous.
    After more than three months, why is the minister still refusing to launch an independent investigation into how Hockey Canada is handling sexual misconduct complaints?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging my parliamentary colleagues who have done an outstanding job with the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and who have asked the right questions of Hockey Canada officials.
    We expect voting members to ensure that there will be a permanent change in leadership at Hockey Canada and to ensure that changes are made to the culture of sport and sexual abuse once and for all.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been 1,000 days since IRGC terrorists killed 55 Canadians in the plane they shot down, 1,000 days for the families who still have not been given the justice they deserve.
    How is banning a group that has murdered Canadians, that brutalizes its own citizens and that oppresses minorities even a question for the Liberal government? How is it okay to allow terrorists associated with this regime to come to Canada, raise money and intimidate Canadians? Will the minister have the guts to ban these terrorists today?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been 1,000 days, 1,000 long days for moms, dads, sisters and brothers to deal with the tragedy, the criminal action that was the downing of flight PS752. The government has been taking action every day in that regard, and we are incredibly seized with constantly making sure we listen to the families, we act within international law and we continue to get justice for the families. We will not stop until justice is done.
    Mr. Speaker, we should have the strongest sanctions, but we do not.
    In 2018, every member of the Liberal cabinet voted to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Yesterday, they would not reaffirm their position. What happened in between? The IRGC has blown up a plane, killing 50 Canadians, and they have killed thousands of innocent people, including Mahsa Amini. The IRGC terrorists have organized, raised money and made Canada home.
    I have one question: When did the government lose its way? When did it happen?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we believe in action, and we have been taking action for 1,000 days.
    Canada will never be a sanctuary for any terrorist from any country, including from Iran. Canada will always have a strong sanctions regime. That is why this week we announced 35 more sanctions on people who have committed crimes in Iran. That adds to the already 200 sanctions that were put on. That is why we have continually stood with the people of Iran as we name Iran as a sponsor of state terrorism. That is what it is, and we will continue to act for the people of Iran to ensure human rights.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians want real action.
    The House voted four years ago to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization, yet the government chose not to do it. Then, in 2020, the IRGC killed 55 Canadians and 30 permanent Canadian residents by shooting down their flight, and still the government has not banned the IRGC from organizing, planning and raising money in Canada.
    When will the Liberals ban the IRGC from operating in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, I share my colleague's sentiments, and I want to assure him and every member of Parliament that we are indeed taking concrete action to ensure that no one who would operate within the IRGC would have the capability of doing so in Canada. We are doing that by listing the IRGC Quds Force; we are doing that by sanctioning the members of the morality police; we are doing that by listing Iran as a state supporter of terrorism.
    We have delivered consequences, and we will continue to explore and exhaust all options to hold those responsible accountable and defend human rights here and around the world.

  (1505)  

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, in August, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change announced the 10 members of the Environment and Climate Change Youth Council. At home, I have already seen that the youth on my youth council have the determination, collaborative spirit and creativity to find bold solutions to today's environmental challenges.
    Can the minister tell us about the importance of youth involvement in climate action?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Chateauguay—Lacolle for her question and her dedication to the issue of climate change and the environment.
    I am pleased to announce that we will be welcoming the first members of this youth council tomorrow and Thursday in Ottawa. This council will provide the Government of Canada with the opportunity to hear from young Canadians who are passionate about urgent climate and environmental issues and to work together to find solutions to climate change in their communities. The skills, experience and ingenuity of these members are an invaluable contribution to Canada's efforts to create a better environment, a better future for all.

Foreign Affairs

    The last time I saw him he was on video, bungee jumping.
    In the meantime, women, men and children are being killed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran. If that were not bad enough, the Prime Minister is allowing this same terrorist organization to continue to organize, make plans and raise money here in Canada.
    When will the Prime Minister show some courage and stop the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from operating in Canada?
    I would remind members that when they are asking questions, or responding to them or speaking in the House, they are not allowed to question the presence of anyone. The work of a member, whether he or she is a minister, the prime minister or an opposition member, can be done anywhere in the country.
     Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: Order.
    We need to show some respect for people who are not here and are working outside the House. Every member has the right to work elsewhere. When they are not here, we do not ask where they are.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am going to rather humbly suggest we pack the rhetoric aside for a moment. One thing I heard very clearly from the families of victims of flight 752 was that we should not make this a partisan issue. That is what they said out there today. That is what they are asking every day. They are asking for us to work constructively and creatively together.
    Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with family members, with the Prime Minister, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the Minister of Transport and with the High Commissioner from London. We will continue to work every day for those families, because we care about them.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing the families have made very clear is that they want to see the IRGC listed as a terrorist organization, so that it can no longer operate here in Canada. This can cease to be a partisan issue as soon as the government comes along with us and does the right thing by listing it.
    The fact is that the families of the victims have been harassed by the IRGC even here on Canadian soil when they have spoken out. No family deserves to see their relatives murdered and receive harassment by foreign governments here on Canadian soil.
    When will the government defend our sovereignty, stand with Canadians of all backgrounds and shut down IRGC operations here in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, this past June I went to Northern Secondary School for their graduation ceremony. I watched about 400 kids graduate from grade 12. One person was not there. Her name was Maya Zibaie, and she was in grade 10 when she was killed by criminal action that downed a plane, flight 752. Let us respect Maya's memory for a moment. Let us for a moment respect her family and all the families who lost their loved ones.
    We will continue to work with them as we take every measure, as we continue to impose sanctions, as we continue to list the appropriate bodies and as we make a real difference to get this work done.

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do not doubt the member's sincerity, but the way to honour the victims is by punishing the perpetrators. It is very simple.
     The member, the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet voted for my motion to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity. In 2012, Conservatives listed the Quds Force and listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, but since taking power the Liberal government has done absolutely nothing. One of its own members acknowledged on CBC yesterday that the IRGC is still operating in Canada. He called the government's actions “too little, too late”.
    When will it end the inaction and shut down the IRGC in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, I am grateful my colleague has set aside partisanship for a moment to honour the memories of Mahsa Amini, and set aside partisanship to honour the memories of the loved ones who were lost in the downing of PS752.
    We need to work together to continue to deliver consequences for those who are responsible for transgressions of human rights and for those who are suppressing the rights of women and other vulnerable groups. We stand with those groups. We know they are marching. We know they are speaking with their voices. This is a moment for us to do the work that is necessary to hold those responsible to account so that we can stand up for human rights here and around the world. We will do that.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, the Philippines is among Canada’s most vital trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region. We share strong people-to-people ties with the Philippines and have roughly one million Canadians from the Filipino diaspora who currently call Canada home.
    Could the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development inform the members of the House about Canada’s recent investments and the success of her recent trip to the Philippines?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Mississauga-Streetsville for her question and, indeed, for her advocacy for the Filipino-Canadian community.
    I had a very productive trip to the Philippines. I have seen the people-to-people ties and the trade and investment opportunities being created in both countries. I had the opportunity to see Canadian infrastructure and construction giant WSP in the middle of a skyway that has been built there. I visited Jollibee, which now has 24 locations here in Canada and plans to expand. I met with terrific women entrepreneurs and, finally, with clean-tech companies that are pitching to climate investors in—
    The hon. member for Vancouver East.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' 1% vacancy tax does not come close to adequately addressing the financialization of housing. It lets corporate landlords off the hook who profit from renovicting tenants and jacking up rent. Financial firms now hold up to 30% of Canada's rental housing stock. They do not care about families. Their goal is to line their own pockets, yet the Liberals continue to finance them, knowing that they are a key driver of the housing affordability crisis.
    Will the Liberals stop financing these corporate landlords that are keeping families from having a roof over their heads?
    Mr. Speaker, in addition to the 1% tax, we have introduced a two-year ban on foreign ownership of Canadian residential real estate, but we are not stopping there. We have also launched a review of the tax treatment with real estate investment trusts. Through budget 2022, we have launched a federal review of housing as an asset class.
     We are committed to making housing more affordable by doing our part in tackling the financialization of the housing sector.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, right now, heroic women and men are risking their lives fighting for their rights and freedoms, demanding justice for Mahsa “Gina” Amini and for the victims of flight PS752. The government must use the Magnitsky act to punish every guilty member of the murderous IRGC. The violence and intimidation in Canada must stop, and Canada must support bids for justice at the ICAO and the ICC.
    It has been a thousand days. We need justice, we need action and we need it now. When will the government stop with the half-symbolic measures and support the Iranian people?
    Mr. Speaker, that is an important question and a sincere one. I share with her the frustration. I share with her the anger and the impatience of victims of flight PS752. I also share the expression of courage and tenacity of the women who are bravely on the streets and in the universities of Iran today.
    We will continue to work with her, her party and anyone else in the House who would like to find the best and the most important and effective ways of sanctioning individuals to show that there should be no impunity for any violation of human rights in Iran or anywhere in the world.

  (1515)  

[Translation]

Human Rights in Iran

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe that you will find unanimous consent for the following motion, which I will read in English.

[English]

    That the House strongly condemn the killing of Jina Mahsa Amini at the hands of the so-called Iranian “morality police”, a direct consequence of the systemic and sustained harassment and repression of women by the Iranian government; that the House reiterates its support for women's rights as human rights; that the House salutes the courage of Iranian women and men protesting in over 100 cities across the country and stands in solidarity with all those demonstrating against the Iranian regime's appalling practices; that the House calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately cease its use of deadly force against peaceful protesters and refrain from committing further acts of violence against its own population; that the House reiterates its support of Canadian sanctions against Iran; and that today, 1,000 days since Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 was shot down by the Iranian regime, the House stand united in solidarity with the families of the victims.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I was just trying to follow the language on mine, and there was one line that may have been missed: and that the House call on the government to immediately list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.
    Did the member mean to read that part of the motion?
    I just want to remind the hon. members that the generosity of the Speaker is there, but not to take advantage of it.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if there would be unanimous consent of the House—
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: —for the following motion: that the House call on the government to immediately list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC, as a terrorist entity under the—
    I believe that with unanimous consent, we try to have consultation before hand. I was pretty clear about that, and so was the Deputy Speaker, on consulting with everyone, so when we get here, we have already spoken about it, we know what is going on and we go from there. That is unanimous consent.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been consultation with all parties and the member was simply moving a motion in search of unanimous consent, as is his right, and I ask that you, Mr. Speaker, honour his right.
    It was clear that he did not have unanimous consent, but I thank the member for bringing that up.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent, which was given earlier, for the following motion that, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, (a) the debate pursuant to Standing Order 66 on motions—
    An hon. member: No.
    I am afraid I am hearing no unanimous consent already. I will leave it there.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe that if you check this side of the House, we were not withholding unanimous consent. We were not saying boo; we were saying boo-urns. Please allow him to continue.

  (1520)  

    I just want to make it clear what the rules are. If one person says no, we do not have unanimous consent, and I was hearing very clearly that we did not.
     Therefore, I am going to take that as a retraction. If the hon. member who disagreed wants to say no, I will let that person say it again. In the meantime, we will let the hon. member for Winnipeg North continue, on the advice of the opposition House leader.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Committees of the House

Health and Public Accounts  

    Mr. Speaker, I am asking for unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
    That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the debate pursuant to Standing Order 66 on Motion No. 8 to concur in the third report of the Standing Committee on Health be resumed today at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment, and at the the conclusion of the time provided for the debate or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division be deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions; and
(b) the remainder of the debate pursuant to Standing Order 66 on Motion No. 11 to concur in the first report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, be deemed to have taken place and the motion be deemed agreed to.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs and International Development  

    The House resumed from October 3 consideration of the motion.
    It being 3.20 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
    Call in the members.

  (1535)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 183)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Allison
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Block
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Bragdon
Brassard
Brière
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Cannings
Caputo
Carrie
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Chambers
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Chong
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cooper
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Doherty
Dong
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Ferreri
Fillmore
Findlay
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Gallant
Garneau
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Jaczek
Jeneroux
Johns
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lake
Lalonde
Lamoureux
Lantsman
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod
McPherson
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Miller
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Muys
Naqvi
Nater
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Seeback
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Sorbara
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
St-Onge
Strahl
Stubbs
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Thompson
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Uppal
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Virani
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williams
Williamson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 323


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Epp
Joly

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

Privilege

Alleged Intimidation of a Committee Witness by a Member of Parliament—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on September 28, 2022, by the member for Perth—Wellington concerning an allegation of intimidation of a committee witness.
    The member for Perth—Wellington informed the Chair of a situation that he finds troubling. Following a witness’s appearance before a Senate committee, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage submitted an inquiry request to the Commissioner of Lobbying regarding the witness’s activities. The witness had also appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in March and May of this year.
    According to the member, the parliamentary secretary’s conduct constitutes an attempt to intimidate the witness, an act which could be considered a contempt of the House.
    While the member acknowledged that this matter relates to the work of the other place, he argued that the House of Commons should be able to take up the issue because the alleged act was committed by a member and only the House can exercise disciplinary authority over its members.

[Translation]

     As the member for Perth—Wellington noted, this question of privilege stems from the deliberations of a Senate committee. My role as Speaker is limited to only protecting the rights and privileges of the House of Commons and its members. As stated in House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, on page 317, and I quote: “It is the responsibility of the Speaker to act as the guardian of the rights and privileges of Members and of the House as an institution.”

[English]

    Therefore, the Chair cannot exercise its authority to protect the rights and privileges of the other house of Parliament. The Chair will not review or rule on that house’s business.

[Translation]

    That said, the Chair has reviewed the facts submitted that are within its purview. It is not immediately apparent that the conduct in question was intended as an attempt to intimidate the witness or an act of reprisal for his appearances before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
    The Chair would also remind members of the importance of choosing their words carefully when discussing the conduct of other members.

  (1540)  

[English]

    In the opinion of the Chair, this matter does not warrant priority consideration over all other House business. I therefore consider the matter closed.
    I thank members for their attention.

[Translation]

    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 13 minutes.

Government Orders