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Friday, October 28, 2022

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 120


Friday, October 28, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Government Orders

[Government Orders]



Judges Act

    The House resumed from October 21 consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Judges Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, it is my sincerest pleasure to be able to speak to Bill C-9, an act to amend the Judges Act.
    As someone who has dedicated my life before politics to upholding Canada's justice system and representing those who have been victimized, I will begin these remarks by expressing the necessity for our justice system to be transparent.
    This bill seeks to improve on the current judicial complaints process. More than six years ago, in 2016, the Liberal government began the consultations on reforming the complaints process for judges. I question the government's priorities at this time, once again, that these reforms are only now coming to the floor after being introduced some six years ago.
    I am glad to see that this legislation has finally come forward. I believe that, with proper amendments at committee, it will make the complaints process inherent in this bill much stronger.
    The credibility of Canadian democracy and its institutions have been shaken over the last few years. This is especially so since the onset of COVID and profound encroachment that the government has had on the lives of its citizens at almost every turn.
    I have been deeply concerned about the declining state of our institutions and of our democracy. I am concerned about the erosion of Canadian institutions, and I am concerned that this happened over the course of the Liberal administration. We have seen Canadians lose confidence and trust in their government, in health care authorities, in law enforcement and in the media.
    Canada's justice system has also been tested greatly. During this time, its independence, its impartiality, its access and its fairness have all been brought into question. I know our system is not perfect. There are many issues that need to be addressed. We must ensure that our legal system maintains the trust of Canadians, and that is part of my job as a legislator.
    We are fortunate that, despite the Liberal government's many blunders, there is still some confidence in our system. Sadly, we see that on one hand, the government is attempting to improve the rigour of the system by strengthening the judicial complaints process. On the other hand, it is undermining victims of crime by removing things like mandatory minimum sentences for the most violent offences.
    It is imperative that we stand on guard and ensure that the pillars of our democracy are upheld. It is imperative that we always look for ways to fix the weaknesses, to find the loopholes and to strengthen the mechanisms that build trust, accountability and transparency in our justice system.
    There are weaknesses in our justice system and some of them have been exacerbated by the Liberal government. This long overdue bill is a step in the right direction. This bill highlights the need to fix the weaknesses in our justice system and to also strengthen the checks and balances around how central players of our justice system, like judges, are held to account when an allegation of misconduct arises.


    What would this bill do? As I mentioned, Bill C-9 proposes changes to the Judges Act to strengthen the judicial complaints process, which was first established 50 years ago. The Judges Act regulates judges in a number of ways. It empowers the Canadian Judicial Council, the CJC, to investigate public complaints. Judges can also be investigated on a referral from an Attorney General of Canada or a provincial attorney general with respect to any conduct of federally appointed judges.
    The Canadian Judicial Council has 41 members, including all chief justices and associate chief justices. Under the new process proposed in this bill, there are four reasons that judges may be removed. These include infirmity, misconduct, failure in the due execution of judicial office or the judge is in a position that a reasonable and fair-minded individual, an informed observer, would consider to be incompatible with the due execution of judicial office.
    The bill specifically states that a federally appointed judge may be removed from office if:
the judge’s continuation in office would undermine public confidence in the impartiality, integrity or independence of the judge or of their office to such an extent that it would render the judge incapable of executing the functions of judicial office:
     I would now like to turn to the topic of fixing the system.
    The Canadian Judicial Council has for years publicly lamented the fact that the current system is often “enormously time-consuming, expensive and taxing on our federal courts.” It has called for legislative reforms that are necessary to “maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice”, which is the crux of the matter. For that, there must be a deep trust and confidence not only in the system, but in the administrators of the system, the judges who are counted on to dispense fair and impartial decisions based on evidence and in accordance with law, and who would administrate and execute those duties with the utmost confidence in the system.
    The only way that public confidence is maintained is by ensuring there is a robust process by which judges are held to account. If people lose confidence in the integrity of the judiciary, then the whole system unravels.
    I can tell members that, as a trial lawyer and someone who has owned my own practice, I had confidence appearing before judges. I knew they were qualified, would make sound decisions and were committed to the rule of law. However, over the past two years I have been approached by many individuals who are concerned about our system. They have asked me things like how a judge who ran for the Liberal Party could sit and preside over a bail hearing of somebody in the convoy who was charged under the Emergencies Act. These questions bring our administration of justice into disrepute and highlight the need to ensure that judges are not in a conflict.
    Our system is not perfect, but it aspires to apply the scales of justice equally to all of us. It is logical to insist that judges be held to a higher standard than the average person precisely because of the office they hold.
    In closing, I will highlight the fact that I am commending the government on getting this legislation to the floor. I believe that if this legislation is put before committee we could really hammer out some of the sections that need to be strengthened.


    Mr. Speaker, we have the Canadian Judicial Council, and I believe they had a semi-annual meeting take place in Alberta. There was a concern as to why the legislation was not passing through. The government has a fairly robust legislative agenda. We have attempted to get Bill C-9 through, ultimately having to go to time allocation to get it through second reading. It still needs to go through the committee stage, not to mention the report and third reading stages.
    Could the member provide her thoughts on the need for the passage of the legislation? Does she believe that the legislation should pass this year, or would the Conservative Party rather see it pass in 2023?
    Mr. Speaker, I take my job as a legislator very seriously. It is imperative that the people who elect us know that we are not just pushing bills through, but that we are passing the best bills.
    For that to happen, it means that, when we have time allocation, we use that time to make sure we improve on the bill and we put the best bill forward. That is what I endeavour to do.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    I want to say that we support this bill. I must also note that the process needs to take less time.
    Look at what happened in Val‑d'Or with Judge Girouard. That took place not far from where I live, so I am very familiar with the story. He had been appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec, and he was able to keep receiving his salary the whole time the case was before the courts. It is unthinkable that a judge could even do such a thing, that is, possibly sell cocaine.
    We must prevent these situations from ever happening again and put an end to the process, which is too long and does not allow people to be judged accordingly.


    Mr. Speaker, it is very true that, when a judge is charged with improprieties, they should not be rewarded by having their salary or their pensions continue, especially such an egregious impropriety as alluded to by the hon. member.
    It is my position that a part of this bill has to be the strengthening of the clauses that would take away this privilege from judges and also take away the fact that they could appeal and use taxpayer dollars to frustrate the system when they have been charged with an offence.
    Mr. Speaker, I think I heard from the member that the Conservatives are interested in moving this forward and sending this to committee.
    Could the member tell us if Conservatives are committed to not slowing down and frustrating this process and to sending the bill to committee?


    Mr. Speaker, I take deep exception to the comments of anybody who would think that I or my colleagues would slow down the process. I take my job very seriously as a legislator.
     As I said before, this is something that is very important to me. I believe the bill is very important to the judicial system. I have been an officer of the court as a lawyer. I think it is very important that we maintain integrity in the system. Therefore, a rigorous application of this bill is necessary, and we would continue to do that to put the best bill forward.
    Mr. Speaker, the member talked about maintaining public confidence in our system.
    Perhaps the member could further elaborate about public confidence in our justice system, after seven years of Liberal policies that have eroded the public's trust.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for that very pertinent question.
    There is a problem with the public trust. As I said, as a lawyer I appeared before judges and I always had the confidence of knowing that these judges were impartial. However, with some of the things that we have seen over the last few years, even with how the Emergencies Act was dispensed, there is a lot of concern among Canadian citizens about the erosion of institutions in our system. When we have violent offenders being released on the streets and frustrating the parole system, it really brings our administration of justice into disrepute.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Haldimand—Norfolk raised some very good points and spoke about why it is very important to address the judicial system and build integrity in the system, and my colleague from Niagara Falls raised the issue of public confidence in our justice system, so I want to pick up on those points and talk about the fact that violent crime is up on our streets, yet the government and its coalition partners have certainly been shown to be soft on crime.
    I want to refer, as we talk about debate on this issue, to three articles that were in The Hamilton Spectator, the daily paper in my community, just this week alone. Let me read the headlines, because I think they speak to the fact that we really have a crime wave that is going on in our streets, and if we are going to talk about the judicial system, what is not in the bill and what we are not talking about is the increase in violent crime and the increase in weapons and those things that were watered down in Bill C-5 with the watered-down mandatory minimums. We need to really address that, because that is certainly what people in my community are asking about.
    This was just on Wednesday: “Two teens charged and one suspect at large after weekend shooting near Hess Village”, which is a popular area for bars in the Hamilton area. This article refers to the fact that there were “32 shootings reported in Hamilton this year”, and three people killed. This is just one example.
    Two days prior, on Monday of this week, there was a “Loaded firearm Hamilton Mountain restaurant”. This is concerning to people in my community. Police arrested some suspects in this crime, but the fact that there were loaded firearms at restaurants in suburban communities and the fact that people are afraid to go out as a result of these things are a concern. That is something that is not really being addressed in changes to the judicial system under the current government.
    There is another one, from Sunday, again this same week, so there are three articles this week: “Police are investigating gunshots following a ‘disturbance’ on Hamilton’s west Mountain...Officers say [this was] in a parking lot of [a] housing complex”. Here we have people who are living in these communities, and they are experiencing all these increases in gun crime and violent crime. That is something that is not being addressed in this bill and is not being addressed by the government.
    I know of another example, though I do not have the article or the headline on it, in my own riding in the town of Binbrook, which is really a small community of about 5,000 people. Recently in Binbrook there have been a number of car thefts and a number of home invasions. Members can imagine someone in a bedroom community who is fearful of home invasions in their community. This is a little further from the city, so police response is slow. These are things that are of real concern to real people in our communities, but they are not being addressed in changes to the justice system under the current government.
    The revolving door of crime we are seeing is something that really needs to be more strongly addressed. I could throw out a number of different stats from the articles I talked about. There are still 348 people who are wanted on outstanding charges, including drugs and weapons charges. Many are repeat offenders, and that is not being addressed in the legislation.
    As well, our system is not perfect, and that is the point that has been made by my colleague from Haldimand—Norfolk, but we do expect a higher standard of judges, and we expect a response to these activities that are going on in our communities that make people fearful to walk the streets. We know that is going on. We know there is this increase in violent crime. How are we addressing the root causes of that and focusing in on that?
    Let me just conclude by echoing the comments made by my colleague. It is not perfect. There are things in the bill that we support. There are some criticisms she has suggested, and obviously they will be studied at committee, but my larger question is this: How are we helping people in our communities who are concerned about the increase of crime and not hearing any answers?


    Mr. Speaker, the principle of this bill is to ensure and continue to support the need for independence in our judicial system. It would enable the process of looking at our judges and their performance to continue to be independent of politics.
    We are a country that is based on the rule of law. There is a great expectation from stakeholders that this legislation will, in fact, pass through the system before the end of the year. Because of time allocation, we are finally going to be able to get it out of second reading so that it goes to committee.
    I posed this question to the previous speaker today: What is the Conservative Party's position? I am asking this so that the people in the back room will be able to inform whoever might be speaking whether the Conservative Party's intention is to ultimately see this bill pass in 2022, or if it would rather see it pass in 2023.
    Mr. Speaker, as was pointed out in the question, there is time allocation on the bill, so we will be proceeding with it today, obviously, and we will get it to committee.
    Aside from the bill, the larger question that the Conservative Party is asking is this: What are we doing about violent crime in our cities? What are we doing about the fact that there is an opioid crisis?
    There are many issues that are not being dealt with, which are the concern of everyday Canadians, like the people I referred to in my communities and like the instances that were referred to in the articles I presented. That is really our question. When are we going to get serious about crime in this country?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech, and he brought up a really great point that I would love to learn more about.
    We just had a municipal election in my riding, and the number one concern was the rise of crime and the statistics that the same small number of people were responsible for the majority of crime, which has to do with bail reform. It is this “rinse and repeat” of people who are committing crimes and then re-released. They are committing the majority of crimes, but they are let out on bail. How important is bail reform versus Bill C-9?


    Mr. Speaker, I would point out that Peterborough—Kawartha is a beautiful area of Ontario and our country, and I would encourage you and all members of the House to visit Peterborough—Kawartha sometime soon.
    It is a good question with regard to bail reform, which is what I referred to with some of the instances I pointed out. There is this revolving door, and at least according to one article, two-thirds of the charges were with regard to repeat offenders. There is that revolving door, and that is really what we think should be addressed: bail reform and some of the other aspects that are contributing to the rising crime and the rising violent crime, in addition to what is being proposed here today.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    This is an important bill, and the Bloc Québécois will support it because it seems that some communities are seeing the rise of a kind of self-policing ecosystem. We must legislate in response.
    A year or two ago, I moved a motion to establish an independent body to handle complaints in sport following complaints by female Swimming Canada team members. There have also been complaints by young athletes in Ontario and allegations of sexual violence.
    Sport is a self-regulating system. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on the importance of creating an independent body to handle complaints in the justice system as proposed in Bill C‑9.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. That is also a beautiful area of the country. I would encourage people to visit it.
    It was interesting that he used an example of swimming in his question. I was a lifeguard many years ago, going through high school and university. Swimming is a great sport, but his question was with regard to a toxic culture in sports. We have certainly seen that in others, the recent example of Hockey Canada being one that is top of mind.
    In terms of an independent inquiry, I would refer to my colleagues who are the respective shadow ministers for that file to comment on that specifically. He made the valid point that there are these issues with crime and justice that need to be addressed and that are not being addressed by the government and its coalition partner. We take that to heart.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise here today to speak to this piece of legislation.
    In my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, the impacts of crime and increasing crime rates are things that I have heard more and more about from my constituents. According to a release from Statistics Canada earlier this year, the Kelowna census metropolitan area, the CMA, now has the highest crime rate in Canada, with 27,147 Criminal Code violations in the region in the 2021 report.
    While the crime severity index, the CSI, is 73.7 across Canada, according to Statistics Canada, in the Kelowna CMA, it is significantly higher, at 122.3 in our region. It is the topic of discussion I hear from constituents in meetings, through emails, at coffee shops and on the streets, and it was one of the most important issues discussed during our municipal election, which just ended a few weeks ago, with different solutions discussed on how to best solve the issue.
    One of the problems that arises from this is the revolving door we see in our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, too often we see individuals go through a catch-and-release system, where they do not serve their time and also do not receive the help they need to help reduce the chances of them reoffending, including addiction or mental health treatment. These are all areas where we need to see improvement in our system, on top of Bill C-9.
    Unfortunately, in the conversations I have had in my community, there needs to be improvement in public confidence in our justice system and there has not been much evidence that the Liberal government has helped to uphold this. This is yet again another example of a bill which could have been in place almost a year ago if it were not for the Liberal government's decision to hold an unnecessary snap election last fall.
    The previous iteration of this bill was Bill S-5 from the 43rd Parliament. It would have been debated, studied and perhaps adopted by now if all members of the House were to have moved it forward. Instead, here we are again, starting debate on this bill from the beginning, over a year since the last version was introduced, because of an unnecessary, costly election. Just as a reminder, ash was falling from the sky in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country when the Prime Minister called the snap election.
    There are many examples of legislation being worked on in the last Parliament, but due to the snap election, everything was cancelled and had to start over again. The committee I sit on is now looking at a Bill C-22, the Canada disability benefit act, which was also first introduced over a year ago and then died on the Order Paper because of the snap election last fall. Here is another example of how we really have to look at what the government's priorities are. A lot of its priorities are political rather than moving forward good legislation that we need in this country.
    Conservatives are always happy to work for reforms in our judiciary. Public faith in our system is what guarantees our society's commitment to due process under law. No one spoke more eloquently on this than former Conservative leader Rona Ambrose when she introduced her final piece of legislation in 2017, the just act. That bill proposed judicial accountability through sexual assault law training.
    As a strong voice for women and sexual assault survivors, Ms. Ambrose recognized that far too often our justice system fails to respect the experiences of victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault survivors need to know that those hearing their cases have the training, background and context to give them a fair trial and better ensure that sexual assault survivors do not hesitate to come forward. We, unfortunately, still need a judicial system that we can trust and that will be fair, a system that really focuses on victims.


    More work needs to be done to ensure judges understand the laws surrounding this consent. More tools need to be provided to judges to provide fair, compassionate sentences that will see offenders rehabilitated.
    My own private member's bill legislation, Bill C-283, would provide such a tool in reforming the sentencing process for offenders suffering from drug addiction and mental health challenges. My legislation would amend the Criminal Code of Canada to support a two-stream sentencing process. While both would have the same sentence time, certain convicted individuals who demonstrate a pattern of problematic substance use and meet certain parameters at the time of sentencing could have the judge offer them the choice to be sentenced to participate in a mental health assessment and addiction treatment inside a federal penitentiary while they serve out their sentence.
    Through this sentencing process, offenders would still receive meaningful consequences for their actions, but they would also receive curative treatment leading to a path of reducing the risk of reoffending. In other words, it would end the revolving door. I have actually called my private member's bill the “end the revolving door act”. My bill has the support of many stakeholders who work in addiction treatment and in the criminal justice system, and it also has support across some party lines in this place. I am thankful to say we had our first debate on it, and it will be coming forth again.
    It is too important of an opportunity to miss out on, just like this bill we have here today. Some victims have said they have lost faith in the judicial system completely. It was not too long ago that victims, especially women, were blamed for sexual assault. Before laws were put into place improving the process, it was common for judges to factor in things such as the length of a woman's skirt or whether she had a past relationship with the perpetrator when determining if something was criminal. There needs to be more accountability in the judiciary. Legislation that involves our judicial system is really important.
    Unfortunately, we know violent crime is up across Canada. It is up 32% since the government took office. One has to wonder how some of these soft-on-crime policies the government has can impact Canadians' faith in their justice system, as well as public safety.
    We also need to remember the position of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime has repeatedly been left vacant by the government for many months at a time. Most recently, it was left vacant for almost a year. These are things that are really important when we are looking at our entire judicial system and how it functions, and we need to focus on these types of issues no only so the public has confidence, but also so the public is best served in all of these different areas. It is also really important that, at the core of everything, we keep victims in mind and that we are always standing up for the victims of crime, which is something the Conservatives absolutely do. It is always something we are considering and focusing on.
    In closing, if the Liberal government really were concerned about the issue we are debating here today, Bill C-9, it would have not called a snap election last year. This would have been already in place. It is something that already would have been enacted.


    Mr. Speaker, I would like to be fair, as I have asked this of the previous speakers this morning. Recognizing the importance of the legislation and respecting the principle of judicial independence and the fact there are stakeholders who are really hoping to see progress with this legislation, so far the progress has only happened as a direct result of the government bringing in time allocation. That only takes it through second reading, and concerns with regard to committee stage, third reading and so forth.
    The member made reference to the Senate. Does the Conservative Party believe this is legislation it could get behind and support passage of this year, or would it rather hold off until 2023?
    Mr. Speaker, the legislative calendar is really up to the government. The government chooses when it tables legislation. It chooses how many days of debate we have. It is really the government's legislative calendar. Our House leader, every Thursday, stands up to ask what is coming up, what is next and what is on the agenda.
    It is really up to the government to set the agenda. We do know that we are at the end of the debate here. We have almost completed this part of the process, and then it will be moving onto the Senate. Of course, it will be up to the Senate to decide its timeline and its processes on its side.
    Mr. Speaker, I was fortunate enough, in my prior life, to be the chair of the police board in my area, the Nottawasaga Police Services Board. I often heard from many of the top brass and those first responders, the ones who were out there on the scene, that there was a huge frustration with what has been spoken about earlier, and that is the issue of repeat offenders. They become frustrated.
    Do we think that this has hurt the morale of a lot of our officers in our areas because they know that, a lot of the times, the soft-on-crime is not working?


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his service.
    Unfortunately, if we look back, in my community alone, it is very often a headline. We have some online news publications. Every day, I open up the website and there it is. There is another story.
    This revolving door is occurring in all of our communities, including mine. I know that, speaking to a number of first responders, whether we are talking about law enforcement or firefighters, because they are often the first ones attending, they are attending issues that are often not even within their normal roles because of addiction and mental health issues which can, ultimately, lead into crime.
    They are overburdened. They are overworked, and it is really frustrating when we hear headlines that someone has been picked up 50, 60, 70 or 100 times, and they are still circulating through the system. We have to address this.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned victims in her speech. I think that is something often overlooked, especially by the Liberal government.
    The victims are the ones dealing with what has happened to them, the trauma and the feeling of being unsafe in their community and their home, etc. That is something that comes through loud and clear. Maybe my colleague can expand on that and the role the government should be playing to help the victims of crime.
    Mr. Speaker, absolutely, victims have to be at the core of what we consider when we are looking at legislation. A good example of that is Bill C-5 and how the government is removing minimum sentences from very serious crimes. That puts these individuals who have committed these crimes right back into their communities and right back into where the victims are.
    That was one of the main reasons why we did not support that piece of legislation. We were looking out for the victims and caring for the victims.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and pleasure to speak in this House on behalf of the citizens of Saskatoon West. Of course, I am rising today to speak to the bill before us, Bill C-9, which makes changes to the way federally appointed judges can be removed for misconduct.
    My approach today will be a bit different. I am not a lawyer, so I am not well versed in how law works and all the details and technicalities of it. The best example of that was from yesterday when I was privileged to attend the justice committee. I was listening to witnesses on the subject of Bill C-28, the extreme intoxication law. It is unbelievable that in this country, a person who gets so drunk that they commit a crime that results in great harm to a person can get off for it and there are no consequences. That is exactly what happened. That is why the government brought in Bill C-28 earlier. It was supposedly to fix this.
    As a layperson at the committee yesterday, I was listening to all my learned colleagues ask very intelligent questions that were going over my head. I was listening to professors explain the legal technicalities of everything. However, one thing that did come out clear was that it is absolutely wrong that if a person commits a crime, they do not face consequences simply because they were too drunk. Clearly, that needs to be fixed.
    The more troubling thing that came across to me was that the government attempted to fix this law in a very hurried way earlier this year. Essentially, it rammed through legislation to supposedly close a loophole. What I heard yesterday was that what the Liberals rammed through in a hurry, without proper consultation and without actually talking to people, has not solved the problem. In fact, it may have made it worse. We need to be very careful in the House when we propose solutions and ram them through the House without proper due diligence, because we can actually make things worse. That was the main thing I took away from yesterday.
    I also want to note another piece of legislation going through the House right now. It is Bill S-4. It amends the process for peace officers to apply for and obtain a warrant using telecommunications rather than appearing in person. It expands the abilities for accused and offenders to appear remotely by audio conference and video conference. It also allows prospective jurors in a jury selection process to appear by video conference.
    This is a bill that came about because of COVID. There were some changes needed in our system to accommodate more remote appearances, as members can see. What I find interesting is that these changes were due to the COVID epidemic we have, which started two years ago. It has taken two years for the Liberal government to get this to second reading in this House.
    I find it odd that on one hand, some legislation gets rammed through almost instantaneously, like Bill C-28, while in the case of Bill S-4, it lollygags along for a while. Maybe COVID will be in the rear-view mirror when it finally gets passed. I find it quite rich when the government talks about those on the Conservative side obstructing things, when we are trying to do the proper due diligence and trying to make sure that we do not get bad laws.
    This brings me to Bill C-9. This bill was originally introduced as a Senate bill, Bill S-5, in 2021. The bill modifies the existing judicial review process by establishing a process for complaints serious enough to warrant removal from office and another for offences that would warrant other sanctions, such as counselling, continuing education and reprimands. Currently, if the misconduct is less serious, one Canadian Judicial Council member who conducts the initial review may negotiate with the judge for an appropriate remedy.
    The bill states that the reasons a judge could be removed from office include:
(a) infirmity;
(b) misconduct;
(c) failure in the due execution of judicial office;
(d) the judge is in a position that a reasonable, fair-minded and informed observer would consider to be incompatible with the due execution of judicial office.
    Also, a screening officer can dismiss complaints rather than referring them to the review panel should they seem frivolous or improper.
    Federal judges are appointed for life, and it is absolutely critical that they are free of political inference. It is important that we have mechanisms in place to deal with them and remove them from office if that extreme point is necessary. Parliament sets laws, though, and judges need to respect the will of Parliament. A good example is the mandatory minimum sentences that the previous Conservative government brought in.


    Any violent criminal, regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation, should be treated as equal. The offender should face a jury of their peers and if convicted should get the appropriate punishment. Prison time will keep that person off the streets so they cannot engage in further criminal activity.
    Mental health issues, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, need to be addressed and monitored by trained personnel. Therapy and 12-step programs that are offered in prisons must be made mandatory for prisoners. Under house arrest, there is no way to ensure that these offenders get the help they need.
    We also need to consider victim safety when we are sentencing offenders. A sad but real truth is that violent crime is often committed within a family. It can be spousal abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, custodial kidnapping or robbery for the purposes of illicit substances. The people in closest proximity are always the most accessible victims. If a judge is required to sentence a spousal abuser to live at home rather than go to prison, what happens to the abused spouse and children? Do they flee to a crisis centre, or will they will get revictimized?
    I want to talk a bit about Saskatoon and my riding of Saskatoon West. It is an awesome and beautiful place to live and work. My wife and I call it home. For years before I became a member of Parliament, I was a home builder. I built new homes for families moving into the riding.
    First as a candidate and now as an MP, I can say that I have knocked on almost every door in Saskatoon West. As I have walked through those neighbourhoods, I have seen some of the areas of highest crime. In the past year, there have been 389 cases of reported sexual violations in Saskatoon, 2,303 reported cases of assault, 65 reported cases of kidnapping and abduction and 759 cases of violation under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
    Saskatoon is well above the national crime severity index of 73.4 in Canada's largest cities and has a crime severity index of 118, and it was ranked fourth behind Lethbridge, Winnipeg and Kelowna in 2020. Much of this crime is in the areas right around my constituency office. My constituency office is on the convergence of these neighbourhoods, and according to the Saskatoon Police Service, it is in the highest crime area of Saskatoon. As a result, we have to be very diligent in our office. We have gotten to know many of the people who live in the neighbourhood. They frequent our office and frequent the area by our office, and we have developed relationships with them.
    My staff have a security door and a buzzer system in place to screen people before they come into the office. Still, my office has been broken into and I have had my House of Commons computer stolen. An employee of mine had the window on his car broken just because somebody wanted a few quarters that were sitting in there. A lot of this is because of addicts. We have a lot of addiction issues that drive many of the crime problems we have.
    This is something that I agree with the government on. The approach on how to fix it, though, is where we differ. I believe in the miracles of alcohol and drug treatment through 12-step programs and abstention. The NDP-Liberals believe in what is called harm reduction.
    What I think needs to happen is that addicts need to be treated with love and compassion, which is offered through 12-step programs. These programs offer alcoholics and addicts a way to get clean and help others get clean at no cost to the individual or taxpayer. Unfortunately, there are two things that the government does not like. First, these are programs of spirituality. They require the addict to “turn their will and lives over to the care of God”. Second, as I explained, this does not require big government intervention. These programs deliver miracles; I know that for a fact. I know people who have been through them and care about them.
    As I wrap up, I just want to say that there are so many areas that we need to be working on in this House to improve our criminal justice system. Bill C-9 is a good step forward. We need to make sure that our judges are independent and that they are worthy of the positions they hold.


    Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting when the Conservatives talk about the whole issue of crime and how tough they want to be on crime. I was an MLA, and back in, let us say, 2005 or 2006, Manitoba had the highest number of car thefts per capita. It was about the same 300 youth stealing literally thousands of cars. I think 15,000 cars was our peak. That was when we had Stephen Harper as prime minister.
    I am wondering if the Conservatives can provide comment on this, as they like to say that we have developed a revolving door. How would they respond to the fact that there were so many cars being stolen in the province of Manitoba? Would they take responsibility for that?
    Mr. Speaker, I am a little disappointed that the parliamentary secretary did not ask me the standard question he has asked all the other people who have talked. I spoke to that a little in my speech, but I want to reiterate it because I want to answer the question that he really wanted to ask me but could not. It is so important in this House, when it comes to legislation, that we do not ram legislation through but give it proper due diligence, and that when hon. colleagues have things to say, they are respected and have their chance to say them.
    More importantly, it is interesting how the government complains at this point that it had to invoke time allocation, when in fact it called an election to stop this legislation before. We could have had this legislation passed had we not had the needless election a year ago that the Prime Minister called.
    That was what I wanted to say in response to the question that I know the parliamentary secretary wanted to ask.



    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech.
    I would like to address a somewhat related issue. There is a problem in this country with the way sexual assault cases are handled. Women are still afraid of the legal system. Women in Quebec who are victims of sexual assault can turn to centres known as CALACS, or Centres d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel. These centres play a very important role. According to statistics kept by CALACS, 5% of sex crimes are reported to the police. Just 5% of all sex crimes are reported. Clearly, women are afraid of the legal system. Based on the same statistics, three out of every 1,000 sexual assault cases that end up in the justice system result in a conviction. That is outrageous.
    How does my colleague see this problem being addressed?


    Mr. Speaker, what the whole situation boils down to is a lack of confidence in the justice system. When a victim is unsure if a perpetrator will be held to account, and particularly unsure if a perpetrator will ever be incarcerated or see any consequences for their actions, it is very difficult for a victim to go through the mental anguish and pain of a court process. That is exactly why we need to do everything we can in this House to solidify and improve our system.
    The current Liberal government has done the exact opposite. It has made it weaker and less responsible, and we are going to see more victims not wanting to come forward. That is why we need a strong Conservative government to fix the mess that has been created in the judicial system by the Liberals.
    Mr. Speaker, I was really shocked to hear my colleague criticize harm reduction approaches for people who are struggling with addictions or who use drugs recreationally. I had five people in my riding die from the toxic drug supply last weekend. It goes against what public health experts are saying about the importance of putting in harm reduction to tackle addictions or to ensure people do not overdose.
    My colleague mentioned the AA program. Certainly that works for many, but suggesting that is the way forward goes against science. I know his party has difficulty following science.
    I am hoping my colleague can respond to me and perhaps evolve in his understanding of harm reduction.
    Mr. Speaker, I am just happy that today I was able to shock the member for Winnipeg Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, I have two minutes. I will be continuing after question period, after a delay of about an hour, which is better than a situation I once had where I started a speech and then was delayed by a two-week break. There is nothing like having two weeks between the first two minutes and the remaining eight minutes of a speech to allow one to refine those remarks. The second half of the speech was considerably better than the first.
    This time I am going to turn it around, and I am going to put all the exciting stuff at the front end. I am going to talk about the legislative history of this bill, a bill that is so urgently important that the government is applying time allocation and limiting debate. It is a matter that is absolutely critical to get dealt with, which is presumably why the government has delayed debate from when it introduced the bill in December 2021. It did not start debate for a further six months, until June 16 of this year, just shy of six months after it was introduced. No, in fact it is exactly six months. Maybe the government is seeking symmetry here, but that is when debate at second reading started. Of course we cannot complete anything that fast. It then disappeared. It is now back in October, and the government is announcing that it is a crisis and we must deal with this immediately, after having delayed it.
     However, the story is actually worse than that because the original bill was introduced in the Senate as Bill S-3, and the government then put its own bill in. Even that misses the point that there was a previous bill, which was essentially identical, introduced before the last election, the mid-COVID pandemic election, which caused everything on the Order Paper to be set aside. It was an election which served, as far as I can tell, literally no purpose. It was the least important election in Canadian history, and simply replicated the previous mandate down almost to the exact seat.
    Now it is a panic. Before we had literally years to deal with it, and I should point out that this is dealing with an issue that is essentially 50 years old. However, I will stop now and I look forward to continuing after question period.


    I thank the member for his intervention. He will have eight minutes when we return.


[Statements by Members]


Cost of Living

    Mister Speaker, I rise today to speak of the reality most Canadians are currently facing with the increased costs of groceries and other basic necessities.
    Our government understands these concerns and has done a lot to provide critical relief to those most affected by global inflation. Last night, Bill C-31 was passed through the House, an act respecting the cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing. This bill would provide up to $1,300 a year for eligible families to access dental services so that children 12 and under can receive regular cleaning and preventative services. As well, those who rent their homes would also get relief with a Canada housing benefit top-up payment of $500, which would see 1.8 million renters get help with the cost of housing.
     I am very proud of the work our government has done to help Canadians, such as the affordable child care benefit and the recent GST top-up. The passing of this bill would continue to help those most in need during these challenging times.

Field Hockey

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a very talented young woman from Calgary, Prabhleen Kaur Grewal.
     She is a grade 12 student who plays with Kings XI Field Hockey Society. She has been selected for Field Hockey Canada’s next-gen program. Prabhleen represented Alberta at the U18 nationals, where her team placed second, and she was given the tournament 11 award at the national championships. As she said, she is the first Punjabi girl to be chosen for both. She will also play with the Canadian senior women in the near future.
    I want to congratulate Prabhleen and her family for her accomplishments. In Calgary, field hockey has played a key role in building community and youth leadership. I want to congratulate the various field hockey clubs, like Kings XI, United Hawks Sports Club and United Field Hockey Club, for running very successful tournaments over the summer and their continued efforts to build a better future for our youth.
    I thank the coaches, organizers, parents and players for doing their part to build a strong community, together.

Jayson Colin

    Mr. Speaker, last Friday, October 21, Emmanuel Christian School in Pierrefonds—Dollard held a walkathon against violence. The gathering honoured Jayson Colin, who at 26 tragically lost his life on August 10, 2022.
    Jayson was an Emmanuel graduate. Jayson was a victim of gun violence. Jayson was deeply involved in his community. Jayson was deeply loved.
    Let us recommit to creating communities that are safe from gun violence. Let us, as a society, address the root causes of violence. I commend Emmanuel Christian School for organizing this walkathon and for raising the voices of our community. Let us all take a stand against violence in all its forms.


     Let us continue to look at and address the causes of violence in our society. We owe it to Jayson.


Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    Mr. Speaker, as October comes to an end, so does Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Canada. This year I have increased hope.
    With the help of cybersecurity and fraud awareness experts across Canada, including John Mecher and Kevin Cosgrove, we have worked to ensure fraud awareness is at the forefront of discussions. Our goal is to safeguard and educate Canadians against the attacks coming at them from their computers, phones and doorsteps. Alongside my colleagues in the industry committee, we just reviewed our report on fraud, which holds the government accountable to make sure it is doing everything to fight fraudsters and to educate and protect Canadians.
    I have hope because, thanks to a historic U.S. settlement, some Canadian fraud victims had the opportunity to recuperate their losses to scammers when they used wire transfers through Western Union. I have hope, because the world is waking up to educating and protecting its citizens before they become victims. I am hopeful that all members in the House will work with me to educate Canadians on fraud and scams, and that the government will work with its global partners to advance protections and protect Canadians at the international level.
    We can do better, and we must do better. I have hope we will unite and fight these scammers and organized criminals.



Oxi Day

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge that October 28 is Oxi Day.
    Oxi Day, or “no” day, commemorates the moment in 1940, at the start of the Second World War, when Greece rejected Mussolini's ultimatum calling for the occupation of Greece by Italy's fascist forces, allies of the Germans and the Japanese.


    Oxi became a rallying call for Greek resistance to fascist aggression. Unified Greek forces defeated and repelled the Italian invasion, and more importantly, drew Nazi Germany into the conflict, which undermined its invasion of Russia and Ukraine, a critical junction in the ultimate Allied victory.
    The day symbolizes the courage to stand up to defend one’s home and freedom, to confront the aggression of a much larger, richer country and military, and to prevail with the help of one’s allies.
    Eighty-two years later, Oxi Day’s message is very relevant:
    [Member spoke in Greek]

Rural Communities in Saskatchewan

    Mr. Speaker, while the government sits back and watches Canadians struggle thanks to their lack of action on the just transition, I would like to highlight a group that is doing outstanding work surrounding the Liberal's phase-out of coal-fired power.
    South Saskatchewan Ready, an economic partnership that represents nine communities, commissioned a feasibility study on the devastating impacts of the transition. Not only did that study recently win the 2022 Constantinus International Award, as the Canadian champion. It was also awarded the Gold Medal at the international level.
     All federal funding to assist with the transition will end in March 2023, and the region stands to lose over $350 million dollars in GDP and a 67% drop in population. Only 3% of the federal funding provided has been for economic development, and combined with the Liberal's out-of-control inflation and cost of living, this will be the death knell for these communities.
    The government needs to stop pretending that its harmful, job-killing policies are actually taking meaningful steps to help the people of southeast Saskatchewan.


Craft Brewers

    Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, the Canadian Craft Brewers Association held its first Canada Beer Cup. This new national competition celebrates independent Canadian craft brewers that showcase quality and innovation in craft beer from coast to coast to coast.
    I have the honour of having one of the big winners of the competition in my riding. Les Brasseurs de Montebello won the gold medal for their Jack Rabbit beer, which is a dark pilsner, as well bronze for Le Grand Feu, their smoked IPA. That one is one of my favourites. Bravo to Riv and his crew.
    Craft brewers are a major economic driver for Canada's rural regions. They create many jobs and promote local history and culture. I am proud to acknowledge their positive impact on our communities. Three cheers for beer!


Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal Recipient

    Mr. Speaker, I want to spotlight a constituent of Orléans and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, Kevin Frost.
     Kevin is a multisport world champion who has competed against able-bodied persons in all disciplines, and he has the gold medals and world records to prove it. Kevin has competed in rowing, track, cycling and golf. As we can all see, Kevin is quite the athlete.
     I would be remiss if I didn’t divulge that Kevin is also blind and deaf. Despite these disabilities, Kevin has shown what can happen when someone appreciates what they have and uses it to move forward in accomplishing extraordinary feats. Do not take my word for it; take his.
    Kevin just announced the release of his book, Deaf Blind Champion: A True Story of Hope, Inspiration, and Excellence in Sport and Life. where he gives readers a front-row seat into how his life changed when he received his diagnosis and what he did to persevere through the depression that engulfed him to become an accomplished sportsman, father, life partner, son, brother, teammate and activist.
    I congratulate Kevin.



    Mr. Speaker, Canadians can no longer afford the costly NDP-Liberal coalition. In Beauce, like everywhere in Canada, the use of food banks is skyrocketing. It is over 20% in my riding. Food inflation is at 11.4%, which is something we have not seen since the Pierre Elliott Trudeau days.
    Farmers across the country are wrapping up their harvests and trying to meet the demand to feed our country and others. The unjustified 35% surtax on fertilizer and the soaring price of fuel, which is needed for planting, harvesting and drying grain, have only made things worse.
    The government has done nothing to curb food inflation. The cost of breakfast cereal is up 16.7%, bread is up 17% and pasta is up 22.5%.
    On the contrary, the government wants to triple the carbon tax, which will also have a direct impact on the cost of home heating for many families this winter. One-time cheques are not going to solve anything. Canadians need a break. They have suffered enough. A Conservative government will put an end to this punitive tax and finally put Canadians first.



Cloverdale—Langley City

    Mr. Speaker, Cloverdale—Langley City is a wonderfully diverse riding. With almost 70 Christian churches, a Muslim musalla, two Sikh gurdwaras, a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple and more, I aim to connect regularly with their faith leaders.
    I recently hosted a religious leaders' round table with the United Churches of Langley. We discussed a wide range of topics. The faith leaders reiterated their respective communities' desire to help the government settle refugees fleeing dangerous situations. They also expressed concerns for our homeless and those affected by the opioid crisis. Our community is fortunate to have such a compassionate group of people.
    I also had the chance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Laurentian Leadership Centre, or LLC. The LLC, formerly called Booth House, is one of 24 designated national historic sites in Ottawa. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ann Penner, the executive director. As it is an affiliated program with Trinity Western University, I also appreciated seeing Dr. Mark Husbands, who is visiting from Langley. My intern, Lucy Chuang, is a Trinity Western University student and a participant in this year's LLC program. I thank Lucy for her hard work during her placement in my office.

Government Spending

    Mr. Speaker, people in Regina—Wascana and Canadians across the country are having trouble making their mortgage payments. This week, the Bank of Canada increased lending rates by 50 basis points. That was the sixth consecutive rate hike this year. With housing becoming less and less affordable, almost all Canadians are starting to worry about paying for the roofs over their heads.
    I say almost all Canadians, because these difficult economic times seem to have gone unnoticed in the Prime Minister's Office. On a trip to London, England last month, the Prime Minister's Office managed to rack up $400,000 in hotel bills and other costs. This included one room in particular that cost $6,000 per night. If the Prime Minister cannot understand that Canadians are struggling, then Canadians need a new prime minister.

Government Contracts

    Mr. Speaker, once in every generation, there is a game-changing invention, something that dramatically changes all of our lives and brings us from the past into the future. For us, today, that invention is the ArriveCAN app.
    For just $54 million, one can enter one's name and birth date, answer some questions and upload some documents. This app actually has a mind of its own. It sometimes tells people to quarantine when they are fully vaccinated, not because it is supposed to but as an act of pure metaphysical voluntarism. Liberals say this app saved tens of thousands of lives. The app was so insulted by these lowball numbers that it made them all stay home for 14 days.
    Someone got very rich off this app. Fifty-four million dollars would allow someone to spend 25 years in that $6,000-a-night hotel. It would get them 85,000 gallons of the orange juice that, in saner times, brought down a cabinet minister.
    Canada has truly entered a brave new world, where computers can make us stay home and decide which civil servants get paid. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. They may be bad, but the humans in charge are even worse.


Vaudreuil‑Soulanges Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    Mr. Speaker, our entrepreneurs and our small businesses are the driving force of our economy. That is why the Vaudreuil-Soulanges chamber of commerce and industry, the CCIVS, is so important.
    Its objective is to support, consolidate and defend the interests of its members and contribute to the success and economic development of our community. I want to thank the CCIVS for all it has done to support our community's businesses since it was created. I also want to welcome all the newly elected members of the executive committee. I congratulate the president, Serge Ouellet, vice-president, Mélanie Bossé, the treasurer, Fanie Bradette, and the secretary, Pedro Lopez. I also congratulate the members of the board of directors: Jean‑François Blanchard, Josiane Farand, Philippe Roy, Luc Isabelle, Mathieu Janelle, Éric Bellegarde and Chloé Rousseau.
    I wish them good luck as they continue to serve our businesses and our entrepreneurs. Together, we are developing a more engaged, active and prosperous community thanks to their efforts.



Vancouver Island Run for Homeless Vets

    Mr. Speaker, not all MPs have motorcycle licences, but I count myself fortunate to be one of them. During the beautiful, sunny and hot day of Saturday, August 6, I joined with a couple of hundred other riders for the first annual Vancouver Island Run for Homeless Vets, riding from Duncan to Langford.
    I will admit, most of the people on the run were not what I would call typical NDP supporters, and I was a little out of place with my dad's Kawasaki KLR650 in the midst of all those Harleys. However, what united us that day, which is something I hold dear that goes beyond politics, was our common concern for the plight of homeless veterans, the men and women who faithfully served our country in uniform and now find themselves on the streets.
    The funds raised that day were divided between Cockrell House, the Legion, and Homes for Heroes. While I appreciate this effort, it underlines how much more the federal government must do. No veteran should be homeless.


World Stroke Day

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois and my own family, I would like to acknowledge World Stroke Day, which is held every year on October 29.
    In Quebec alone, approximately 20,000 people have a stroke, and some 130,000 people who have had a stroke live each day with physical and psychological damage that affects their motor skills, their communication and even their emotions.
    Strokes can affect anyone, young or old, at any time in their lives. My own family lives with the consequences of this medical condition on a daily basis, as my youngest son, Ulysse, had a stroke at the time of his birth.
    I would like to thank all the people and organizations that work to prevent and treat stroke, and who give time, money and love to help us live better, healthier and longer lives.


Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    Mr. Speaker, what we are seeing unfold is a disturbing trend from the Liberal government, particularly the Minister of Emergency Preparedness. Canada's independent police forces are being politicized to promote the Liberals' agenda. It started with evidence from the April 28 call with RCMP Commissioner Lucki, in which the commissioner admitted that she had received a request from the minister's office and that she was working directly with the minister and Prime Minister to release confidential information that could jeopardize an investigation, all to promote the Liberals' gun control legislation, which was soon to be released.
    Now we learn from text messages released to the Public Order Emergency Commission that Commissioner Lucki asked OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique whether the Minister of Emergency Preparedness had reached out to seek a letter of support for the Liberals' use of the Emergencies Act, days after it was invoked. Commissioner Lucki even sought to use a messenger app that would prevent investigators from recovering deleted messages. Clearly, she has something to hide.
    The RCMP commissioner and the Liberal government are hiding the truth from Canadians. When will they finally come clean?

Local Journalism

    Mr. Speaker, the importance of local journalism was on full display this week as we saw the vital role it played in our Ontario municipal elections. Leading up to and on election day, our community turned to our trusted local journalists for information on local candidates, important issues and election results.
    In Kitchener—Conestoga we relied on local news outlets like the Woolwich Observer, the New Hamburg Independent, the Kitchener Citizen, The Record in Waterloo Region and The Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette, all trusted and credible news organizations delivering essential information to us day after day. Our community newspapers are struggling as tech giants benefit from online advertising revenue while displaying local news content for free. This is an issue about fairness. Tech giants must pay for the news content they use.
    I will continue to advocate for supports to local news outlets, including working on legislation that will require tech giants to fairly compensate news publishers and journalists, and I will always support quality, fact-based, independent, local Canadian journalism.


[Oral Questions]




    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told Canadians not to worry about his massive deficits and borrowing and spending, because he said interest rates would stay low for a very long time. Then he turned around and pumped $400 billion into Canada's banking system, causing prices to rise.
    Now, to fight the inflation the Liberals caused, the Bank of Canada has again jacked up interest rates. For the average mortgage in Vancouver, that means families will have to find another $1,900 a month just to stay in their own homes.
    Has the government been briefed on how many Canadians will have to turn their keys over to the bank as they struggle to pay these rising mortgage costs?
    Mr. Speaker, we put a fiscally responsible affordability plan on the table in this House, and it will be my pleasure to answer questions on the economy today.
    The new Conservative leader has not answered a single question from journalists in nearly 50 days. Canadians do not have the luxury of doing some aspects of their job and not others. If the new Conservative leader would like to take home his full paycheque, paid for by the Canadian taxpayer, he needs to answer questions from journalists in the press gallery today.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has not answered a question in this House in seven years.
    We are here answering questions on behalf of Canadians who are struggling to pay their mortgage costs just to stay in their own homes. The typical family in Hamilton who now have to renew their mortgage will have to come up with an extra $1,300 a month, just to stay in the home they are already living in.
    The Prime Minister said he was going to go into debt so Canadians did not have to. Where should families in Hamilton send the bill for their higher mortgage costs?
    Mr. Speaker, in a few days, families in Hamilton and right across the country will receive a doubling of the GST tax credit.
    The day after they voted against providing supports to Canadians in the form of direct payments for Canadians having trouble paying the rent and the day after they voted against subsidizing dental care for Canadian children, this feigned compassion from the Conservatives is fooling no one.
    Mr. Speaker, what we are against is the inflationary deficits that the government is causing. The reason prices are going up today is that the government flooded the banking system with $400 billion of brand new cash, and now Canadians have to pay for it.
    Again, and these are based on modest estimates from the Canadian Real Estate Association, a typical family in Ottawa will have to come up with an extra $1,000 a month when they go to renew their mortgage. Once again, has the government been briefed on how many Canadian families are going to lose their homes because of the Liberal-caused inflation?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives do not seem to understand that while the prices of things continue to rise in Canada, we need to be there to support Canadians.
    Canadians are seeing higher prices at the grocery stores, and that is why we doubled the GST tax credit. That is why Competition Bureau Canada is currently beginning the investigation process into the market, and that is why supermarkets across the country have frozen their prices. While the Conservatives are working on their next gimmicky lines, we are serious about a serious issue in this country, and we are taking real action.


    Mr. Speaker, talking about people who cannot afford to put food on the table at the end of the month and those who will have to pay an additional $800 a month for their mortgage payment is not a gimmick. It is the reality that Canadians are facing right now because the government spent billions of dollars. That created inflation and increased interest rates. Because of that, now all Canadians are struggling.
    How many families will go bankrupt because of this NDP-Liberal coalition's dubious policies?
    Mr. Speaker, less than 12 hours ago, the Conservatives voted against measures to put money directly into Canadians' pockets.
    The Conservatives' economic plan involves raiding our pensions and attacking the country's EI system. The Conservatives do not care about Canadians' interests.


    Mr. Speaker, not once since the start of question period has the parliamentary secretary answered the question asked of her.
    How many families will have to declare bankruptcy at the end of the month because of the NDP-Liberal coalition's inflationary policies? An average Montreal family servicing a $500,000 loan will not be able to pay the mortgage at the end of the month, because that loan will cost an extra $800 per month.
    How many families will have to hand over the keys to their home because of the government's financial incompetence?
    Mr. Speaker, when we brought our proposal before the House to cut taxes for middle-class families, the Conservatives voted against it. When we introduced the Canada child benefit, which puts over $13,000 in the pocket of a single mother in Canada, the Conservatives voted against it. Yesterday evening, the Conservatives voted against additional measures to help Canadian households.
    The Conservatives need to take a good, hard look in the mirror and admit that they do not have Canadians' interests at heart.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, it is another day at the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa, and there is new proof that the police never wanted the act to be invoked. An exchange of text messages between the RCMP commissioner and her OPP counterpart reveals that, on February 5, the police became wary of the federal government's intentions. This is what the RCMP commissioner said about the Emergencies Act: “Not something I want.”
    Why did the government invoke the most extreme of Canadian laws against the wishes of the RCMP?
    Mr. Speaker, we decided to invoke the Emergencies Act because it was needed to ensure the safety and health of Canadians. The testimony given before Justice Rouleau has shown that there were a lot of challenges and disruptions on the streets that were affecting workers, families and vulnerable citizens. That is why we invoked the Emergencies Act and we are now working with the commission.
    Mr. Speaker, the commissioner's text messages also reveal that in the first week of the occupation of Ottawa, on February 5, the federal government was considering invoking the Emergencies Act. February 5 was prior to the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, which began on February 7. When the federal government claims that it resorted to emergency measures because the crisis was national in scope, that is untrue. The Emergencies Act has never been invoked because it is supposed to be the last resort.
    Why did the government use it as a first resort and against the advice of the police?
    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague, the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act was a last resort. Testimony before the commission has shown that the situation, including the events at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, had very serious negative impacts on workers, families and vulnerable citizens. On the advice of law enforcement, we invoked the Emergencies Act because it was an unprecedented situation and it was necessary to do so.



    Mr. Speaker, Conservative premier Danielle Smith is once again attacking public health care in Alberta, stating that she will pull Alberta out of federal programs that she does not like. She is pushing an American-style private health care system, a system that will not help anyone but the wealthy—
    I am wondering about the relevance of the question with regard to public administration.
    I will allow the member to rephrase it as something that has to do with Government Orders.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservative premier Danielle Smith is yet again threatening Alberta's public health care system, stating that she will pull Alberta out of federal programs she does not like, federal programs like the Canada Health Act. To make matters worse, the federal government is doing nothing to stand up for Canadians' fundamental right to health care.
    When is the government going to step up and protect Albertans from Conservative attacks on our universally accessible, publicly delivered health care system?


    Mr. Speaker, I join with the member in believing that our publicly funded, cherished health care system is part of the identity of being Canadian. The Canada Health Act is very clear. There are five provisions that have to be seen in order to have a transfer. I hope that the Alberta premier will listen to us when we meet in two weeks in Vancouver, and her colleagues will let her know how important the Canada Health Act is to all Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, under the Harper government, the cost of buying a home increased by 77%. It doubled under the Liberals. The average rent in Canada is now over $2,000 a month. Families just cannot afford it.
    Both the Conservatives and the Liberals allowed for the financialization of housing to go unchecked, treating housing as a stock market instead of a necessity by allowing corporate landlords to evict people from their homes to turn a profit. Canadians deserve to find a home they can afford.
    Will the Liberals stand with Canadian families and put a stop to the profiteering of housing?


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. There is definitely a speculative element in the real estate market right now. That is why our government decided to implement an annual tax of 1% on the value of residential property owned by non-resident non-Canadians and to prohibit foreign investment for two years. We want to make sure we protect our market here in Canada.



    Mr. Speaker, 1.47 million is the number of Canadians who accessed food banks in one month. It is the highest number in history ever. One in three of those users are children. What is the Liberals' plan for relief? More tax. They want to triple the carbon tax on groceries, triple the carbon tax on home heating and triple the carbon tax on gas.
    Will they commit to ending their triple carbon tax increase or do they want more Canadians using food banks?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for raising a very important issue. This is a matter that should concern every member of this House and all Canadians. As she said, the fact that families are struggling to feed not only their families but also kids is something that is of concern to all of us.
    That is why, back in May, I asked the Competition Bureau to look at the issue we are seeing around competition in the country. More recently I asked it to launch an investigation to make sure there are no unlawful practices. In addition to that, I spoke with a number of CEOs around the country to make sure they do their part in lowering prices for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's attempt to answer the question, but that is not an answer for why we have a trillion-dollar debt. It is not an answer when we have an increasing carbon tax and four million Canadians rely on propane and oil to heat their homes. This is not a luxury; this is a necessity. The average family is going to pay $7,000 to heat their home this winter. They have to choose between heating and eating.
    Again, will the Liberals finally show leadership, fiscal responsibility and compassion and stop the tripling of their carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote from an article that the new director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada wrote. He stated, “But opposition to a policy is not a policy in and of itself.” He added, “Conservatives are refusing to contribute anything to the [climate change] discussion other than throwing temper tantrums and scoring political points.”
    I agree with the new director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP-Liberal coalition has racked up over $500 billion in inflation-causing deficits, turning essentials like heating our homes and eating healthy food into luxuries. Just as Canadians are starting to pay high, skyrocketing prices to fuel their homes, skyrocketing visits to food banks are happening in Canada as well.
    When will this costly coalition stop hurting Canadians and cancel their inflationary spending?


    Mr. Speaker, we would all agree that our colleague is bringing forth an important issue. We are all seized with the fact that the price of food in this country has been increasing. That is why we took action. Earlier this year, I asked the Competition Bureau to look at whether there have been any unlawful practices in this country. More recently, I demanded that it start an investigation to make sure that we monitor what is going on in the market.
    What matters to Canadians is that we took action. I spoke to the CEOs of the large grocery chains in this country to make sure they lower prices for Canadians, because this is a matter in which everyone should do their part to lower prices for families.
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe how tone deaf that answer is. He is talking about cellphone bills when people cannot afford to eat and heat their homes. This coalition would have people believe that more inflation-causing borrowing to give Canadians $500 to help them pay for thousands more dollars in groceries, thousands more dollars for heating their homes and thousands more to pay their mortgages is actually a solution. It is like the left hand does not know what the far-left hand is doing.
    How many Canadians have to lose their homes before the Liberals get it and cancel their inflation-causing borrowing?
    Mr. Speaker, maybe my English is not so good, but one thing I said was that I spoke to the CEOs of the grocery chains in this country. I also spoke to the telcos to make sure that we would reduce prices for Canadians should this merger go forward.
    Beyond that, this is not a political issue. We are concerned. They are concerned. Every Canadian is concerned. What matters to Canadians is that we all do our part. We asked the grocery stores to do their part. We asked the producers to do their part. I have even called on the companies that have increased prices at this time when Canadian families are struggling. We will fight for Canadians every step of the way.



    Mr. Speaker, this government's inflationary spending is forcing Canadians to tighten their belts. Imagine a family in Canada with a $400,000 mortgage. If they renew at 5.5%, they will have to shell out an additional $20,000 a year.
    Will the government give Canadian families some breathing room?
    Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree with my Conservative colleague that Canadian households are struggling right now. That is why we doubled the GST/HST credit for 11 million Canadian households. That is also why we, on this side of the House, voted for measures that will put more money back into the pockets of Canadian families.
    I still do not understand how the Conservatives can stand up in this House and say that Canadians need our help but then turn around and vote against the support measures we are proposing.


    Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not want a partisan response, they want action. The cost of mortgages is going up, the price of gas is going up, the cost of groceries is going up, the cost of heating fuel is going up and everything else is going up.
    Will the Liberal government commit to not raising taxes for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I think that my colleague is getting excited because next week we are going to unveil our economic update, which will be fiscally responsible. We have one of the lowest deficits in the world. Our deficit is 1%.
    We were fiscally responsible with our budget in April, and we always will be. We will be there for Canadians, to help them get through this period of economic instability.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, this week the UN released another devastating report on climate change. It compiled the action plans of all the countries that signed the Paris Agreement and warned that the world is far, very far, from the global warming target of 1.5°C. In fact, the world is on track for at least a 2.5°C increase even if the countries do follow their plans. Canada just announced in Washington that it wants to fast-track projects so it can export oil and gas to Europe.
    Does the minister understand that when the UN asks us to do more, that means it wants us to make more of an effort, not make more oil and gas?


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question, although I find it somewhat perplexing. Radio-Canada recently published an article under the headline “Woodland caribou: [the Bloc leader] draws the ire of biologists”. It said that the Bloc leader had expressed doubts about the science behind the decline of the caribou.
    On this side of the House, we believe in the science of climate change. We believe in environmental science. That is why we are proposing serious measures to fight climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the minister did not understand the question. I was talking about oil. On Sunday, the minister was on the program Les coulisses du pouvoir where he was asked about Canada's plan, announced in Washington, to fast-track oil and gas projects. The minister could have put the toothpaste back in the tube and said that, no, Canada would never do that in the midst of a climate crisis.
    Instead, he explained how he, as environment minister, could advise oil and gas companies to help them get through the assessment process faster. Just how many other oil projects does he intend to approve?
    Mr. Speaker, when the leader of the Bloc Québécois was the Quebec environment minister, he bypassed the environmental assessment for the McInnis Cement project in the Gaspé. He also bypassed the environmental assessment and the public consultations on Enbridge's Line 9B reversal and the environmental assessment, his own law, on drilling in Anticosti.
    I do not think the Bloc Québécois has any lessons to give anyone in the House on environmental assessments.



    Mr. Speaker, I thought the Prime Minister loved vacations, whether visiting the Taj Mahal, flying to private islands, surfing on Truth and Reconciliation Day or spending $6,000 a night on a hotel room in London. At the same time, his over-priced arrive scam app kneecapped Canadian tourism, and now he is forcing Canadians to cancel a visit to grandma or a trip across town by tripling the carbon tax.
    How is it fair for the costly coalition to overtax Canadians and block their travel while continuing to fund the Prime Minister's extravagance?
    Mr. Speaker, throughout the pandemic, the government put in place the measures necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians. We made sure that we introduced CERB, wage subsidies and rent subsidies to keep businesses alive to make sure we could protect workers.
     At the border, we also put in place the measures that were necessary to facilitate travel to keep our economy going, and that included ArriveCAN to protect the health and safety of those travellers who were coming into Canada. We will always use evidence, science and medicine as the bedrock of our decisions while Conservatives fight a war against it every day.
    Mr. Speaker, they also made sure they found a hotel in London that cost $6,000 a night. I am seriously trying to imagine what they could get for $6,000 a night. It must have been an incredible time.
    Did champagne come out of the faucet, or was he busy planning his leadership campaign? Did the bill include the cost of bail for the Minister of Environment? I am sure it was such a wild time that Bill Morneau could have written a whole book about it. Could the House know once and for all, if any sleeping took place, who slept at the $6,000-a-night hotel room?
    Mr. Speaker, the official Canadian delegation to the Queen's funeral included the Governor General and former prime ministers. All members of the official delegation, including two Conservative prime ministers, stayed at the same hotel, a hotel that could accommodate the delegation's size during extremely high demand. As always, our government made every effort to ensure that spending on official trips is responsible and transparent.


    Mr. Speaker, this morning, in a stunning decision, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a Criminal Code requirement that sex offenders be automatically added to the sex offender registry. This should terrify every woman, every victim of sexual assault and every parent in this country. We cannot spare a moment to fix this massive public safety issue. What will the Liberals do to guarantee that every single sex offender is always on the national sex offender registry?
    Mr. Speaker, obviously, we as a government stand in support of survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence. It is important that our criminal justice system treat and punish offenders in the system.
    We had the Supreme Court decision this morning. It is complex. There are a couple of different aspects to it. We are looking at it carefully, and we are looking at options of how to move forward.


    Mr. Speaker, any woman, any victim of a sexual assault and every parent in this country should be very concerned about that lack of a definitive statement on a guarantee that every single sex offender in this country would always automatically listed on the sex offender registry. That should be a given, and that should be an easy statement for the minister to commit to the House to fix this problem immediately.
    I will ask again: What will he and these Liberals do to ensure that every single sex offender, repeat or not, is always on the sex offender registry? This should be a given.
    Mr. Speaker, last spring, when it was a question of the extreme-intoxication defence, I moved immediately to make sure that we had legislation in the House to fix that gap.
    These are complex issues. The decision came down this morning. There are a number of important and different aspects to the decision. We will support victims. We will look at the possible options that we have moving forward, and we will move forward.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, families are being forced to turn to food banks at record rates because they cannot keep up with rising food prices. People are angry that their wages stay the same while rich CEOs are driving up costs to make millions.
     The Liberals have a responsibility to support Canadians. Instead, they have let CEOs hide their massive profits behind inflation. When will the Liberals tackle corporate greed in the grocery sector to help families with their food bills?
    Mr. Speaker, there are a number of measures in our budget that will ensure that everyone pays their fair share in this economy, but I do agree with the member opposite that Canadians are seeing higher prices at the grocery store, which is why our government took action. In addition to doubling the GST tax credit for 11 million households in this country, the Competition Bureau has indicated that it will take action, thanks to the demands of this government.
    As well, thanks to the actions of our government, many supermarkets across this country will be freezing prices at the cash register. In some cases, they have already frozen prices. These are measures that will support Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, it was thanks to the demands of the NDP.
    While Canadians struggle to put food on their tables, grocery giants are picking their pockets to line their own on Bay Street. In the first two quarters of 2022, grocery stores made an average of $1.5 billion while workers' wages stayed the same. That is twice as much as the prepandemic profits.
    This year, food bank use rose to the highest levels in Canadian history, yet rich CEOs keep cashing in. It is despicable. When will the Liberal government curb the appetite of corporate greed so Canadians do not have to continue to go home hungry?
    Mr. Speaker, we share the indignation of my colleague on the other side. Obviously, we all want to do our part to bring prices down for Canadians. The difference is that, on this side of the House, we take action to make that happen.
    The first thing I did was a few months ago. We asked the Competition Bureau to look at unlawful practices in a sector. More recently, which my colleague should remember, I wrote to the Competition Bureau to ask it to start an investigation. In addition to that, I called the CEOs themselves and asked them to do their part for Canadians. Canadian families are hurting, and they need to do their part. The CEOs are doing their part, and we are doing our part. All members need to do their part to bring prices down for Canadians.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, at a time when the rules-based international order and democracy are threatened, relations with our American counterparts are more important than ever. This week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the first official visit to Canada by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs inform the House of the importance of this visit for Canada-U.S. relations?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Whitby for his work. More than ever, Canada and the United States are united as allies, partners and friends. During this important visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary Blinken had the occasion to discuss the crisis in Haiti, the situation in Iran, the Arctic, investing in the Indo-Pacific and our continued collaboration on holding Russia accountable for its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
    We will continue to face the world’s challenges, together, with one of our most important allies.


Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, in August, Germany's leaders came to Canada, begging us to help offset their dependence on Russian gas. Our Prime Minister replied that there is no business case for Canadian LNG. “Au contraire,” refuted Canada's actual business leaders. The opportunity for tens of thousands of Canadian jobs is quite clear.
    With the world demanding Canadian energy, why is the Prime Minister berating Canada's clear opportunity?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed to tackling the concurrent crises of global energy security and climate change, but we will do so in a manner that accounts for and works to minimize domestic emissions. We will also do so in a manner that ensures that any resulting emissions fit within Canada's climate plan. LNG is one of the tools in our tool box, and our government is committed to supporting the development of the LNG sector.
    Mr. Speaker, that is not quite true. Coal exports from Russia have reached peak levels. China has also reached peak levels and gone up 300 million tonnes of coal production this year. Europe is cranking up coal plants.
    Why is this? It is because the LNG that Canada could have supplied has been held up by the government's policies. Canadian LNG has a carbon footprint that is half that of the coal that is ramping up around the world. When will the government get out of the way of providing the planet with the carbon emission fuel we need to decarbonize?
    Mr. Speaker, I find it a bit rich to hear the member opposite talk about foreign oil imports. There were twice as many foreign oil imports under their leadership than there are today. When they say they have the back of energy workers, the question is which energy workers. Is it Saudi Arabian energy workers, Russian energy workers or Canadian energy workers?
    Under our leadership, oil imports have gone down by 50%, and investment in renewable energy and clean technologies have doubled since 2015. I do not think we have any lessons to receive from the member opposite on energy.
    Mr. Speaker, it is disgusting. The NDP-Liberals have not learned their lesson. They continue on this dangerous crusade to shut down Canada's oil and gas sector, something that is not only economically disastrous but is dangerous for our world and bad for the environment. It puts my constituents, as well as oil and gas workers from every province in the country, out of work.
    Will this minister put an end to his activism and let Canada's oil and gas workers deliver the energy this world needs?
    Mr. Speaker, when we are talking about transition, we are not only talking about the future of the industry and sustainable jobs, we are talking about economic opportunities for communities across our country. Those enormous economic opportunities will be enabled through the transition to a low-carbon future. Those opportunities will vary by region, with a presence particularly in Alberta, and they will be based on local economies and geography.
    Mr. Speaker, this ideologically driven minister wants to leave our natural resources in the ground and, instead, mine Canadian workers' paycheques. I can tell members that the last thing Canadian workers need is more inflationary taxation.
    Will these Liberals get out of the way of our hard-working oil and gas workers and do the right thing? Will they supply the world with clean and ethical Canadian energy?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to read an extract from an article that the new director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada said. He said, “Instead of scoring cheap political points on Trudeau's carbon tax, Conservatives need to get serious and offer their own alternative”.
    I agree with the new director of communications for the Conservative Party of Canada.
    I would like to remind members that, even when quoting, we cannot use member's names. It is a rule that has been around for a while.
    The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.



Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, the government is projecting that 40,000 people will enter Canada through Roxham Road this year and that is not about to change, according to the words of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. When questioned yesterday, Mr. Blinken did not talk about fixing the situation at Roxham, but rather lectured Canada about having a greater sense of shared responsibility in receiving asylum seekers.
    Did anyone in the government explain to him that being responsible means making sure people are received at border crossings, not on a path through the woods by the police?
    Mr. Speaker, we have a duty to protect Canadians and Quebeckers, to ensure that our borders are secure. At the same time, asylum seekers must be treated with compassion and be afforded due process. The safe third country agreement is an important bilateral tool for managing claims. We are in constant communication with the U.S. government on issues related to our shared border, including the safe third country agreement.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada's collaboration with the Americans sure is working well.
    For example, the government is once again taking no for an answer from the Americans: no to suspending the safe third country agreement and no to modernizing the agreement. The government has been taking no for an answer since 2017. It might be time to escalate things. Article 10 of the safe third country agreement says the government can suspend it unilaterally.
    Since it is now clear to everyone, except perhaps to the government, that the Americans will do nothing to fix the problem at Roxham Road, when will the government tell them that it is suspending the agreement?
    Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. Closing the road or suspending the agreement will not solve the main problem. As the member opposite knows, Canada shares the longest demilitarized border in the world.
    Roxham Road enables public servants to collect ID from asylum seekers and prevent dangerous crossings.
    What we need to do is modernize the agreement. That is what we are doing.


National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, according to reports in the National Post, the Canadian Armed Forces were warned that the recent inoculation mandate may have been illegal.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to stop playing divisive politics with our troops and ensure that orders given to our military personnel are legal under Canadian law?
    Mr. Speaker, I think we all recognize that the world has just gone through a global pandemic that has threatened so many lives, including the lives of Canadians. We as a government had to take every step necessary to ensure that Canadians were safe and protected. That is why we made sure that we invested in vaccinations and got Canadians vaccinated as quickly as possible. That included our Canadian Armed Forces members, who took that responsibility very seriously and made sure they were inoculated so they could continue to protect our great country.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, text messages released to the Public Order Emergency Commission confirmed that RCMP Commissioner Lucki sought to use a messaging app that would prevent deleted messages from being retrieved by investigators. I guess she learned a lesson from former Liberal operative Dan Brien, who recorded explosive audio evidence that exposed the minister's attempt to interfere in a police investigation.
    The Liberals know they can hide their wrongdoing by using covert apps and deleting evidence, but Canadians are catching on to them. When will the minister and the RCMP commissioner come clean with Canadians and stop the cover-up?
    Mr. Speaker, in this House, speculation, conjecture and innuendoes are not facts. Only facts are fact. That is perhaps why the member opposite has omitted the fact that, for example, when the commissioner asked Commissioner Carrique if I had been in contact with him, he answered no. That is a fact. Here is another one for the benefit of all members: I never did.
    Mr. Speaker, I guess we will never know because they stopped taking recordings of their messages.
    Text messages released to the Public Order Emergency Commission are confirming a disturbing trend. The Minister of Emergency Preparedness repeatedly politicized Canada's independent police forces with the complete co-operation of RCMP Commissioner Lucki. Politicizing the deaths of Nova Scotians was just the beginning. Now we have learned that the Liberals sought to use independent police forces to provide political cover for their invocation of the Emergencies Act after they had already invoked it.
    The minister has crossed the line yet again. When will he resign?


    Mr. Speaker, I think the weakness of the member opposite's argument is solely based on the fact that virtually everything he said is based on conjecture and innuendoes. There are no facts that contradict the statements I have made to this House. I have confirmed this—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Members ask questions and they should listen to the answers as well.
    The hon. Minister of Emergency Preparedness.
    Mr. Speaker, it is quite apparent that the members opposite are afraid of the truth, because it contradicts both their speculation and innuendoes.
    I have been clear in this House that at no time did I ever interfere with the conduct and operations of the RCMP. This has been confirmed by sworn testimony from the RCMP commissioner. The truth is that this interference never took place. It is a principle that we have always respected and always guarded. It is a—
    The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis.


International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to highlight the visit we had this week from Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
    Our trade relationship with Africa is vital, and there are many opportunities on the continent for Canadian companies.
    Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development update the House on the dialogue that took place and how Canada plans to strengthen its ties with Africa?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Lac‑Saint‑Louis for his hard work.
    This is the first time a high-level dialogue has taken place between Canada and the African Union Commission, allowing for numerous discussions. The relationship between Canada and the African Union is based on the shared priorities of peace, democracy, sustainable development, health and economic understanding.
    More than ever, we need to work closely together to ensure economic resiliency and shared prosperity for all of our citizens.


    Mr. Speaker, food bank use keeps going up and is now over 20% in Beauce. One in five people who uses a food bank is a worker who can no longer make ends meet. As a result of inflation, the price of food has increased by 11.4%, not to mention the price of bread, 17%; flour, 23.8%; and pasta, 22.5%.
    When will the government realize that it is suffocating Canadians with its punitive taxes? It is simple: no new taxes. Is that clear?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important question.
    Obviously, we are all dealing with this issue. That is why, earlier this year, I asked the Competition Bureau to ensure that there are no unfair practices in the food industry. Recently I called for an inquiry to truly ensure that this was not happening.
    I have also asked different CEOs from major food chains in the country to do their part for Canadians. The government is doing its part and I would ask the Conservatives to do their part by voting in favour of our bill to lower prices to help Canadian families.


    Mr. Speaker, Gianne, a mother who lives in my riding, is worried about the carbon tax that now comprises over 64% of our energy consumption. With an ongoing cost of living crisis, she is already struggling to make ends meet and soon will have to choose between food and warmth this winter.
    Will the NDP-Liberal government cancel its planned carbon tax increase so that hard-working Canadians like Gianne do not have to choose between eating or heating this winter?
    Mr. Speaker, the cost of climate change for Canadians is in the tens of billions of dollars, and it seems like the Conservative Party of Canada does not understand that we are all paying for this. There is no escaping it.
    We have to address the issue of climate change as we address issues of affordability, which is why two weeks ago, thanks to the climate action incentive payments, a family of four received $186 in Ontario, $208 in Manitoba, $275 in Saskatchewan and $269 in Alberta. They will be receiving this four times a year.


Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, based on an email I received yesterday from his parliamentary secretary, I understand that the Minister of Public Safety will, for the first time since the Liberals took power in 2015, be initiating a discussion with the RCMP on the subject of putting defibrillators in police cruisers. Placing defibrillators in cruisers would save over 300 lives a year. That is 30 a month, so time is of the essence.
    Therefore, when can we expect to learn that a decision has been made, one direction or the other?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for raising this important issue, and I look forward to co-operating with him on it. I have engaged my office to be in touch with the RCMP to ensure that it has all of the tools it needs. In the meantime, we have continued to make historic investments in frontline officers so that we can ensure consistency of policing excellence right across the country.
    Again, I underline my gratitude to the member for raising this question.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, indigenous people deserve a justice system that treats them fairly and takes into account their reality. Recently, our government made an important announcement in Manitoba addressing the overrepresentation and overincarceration of Métis people in our justice system.
    Can the Minister of Justice tell us more about his recent announcement concerning the Red River Métis?
    Mr. Speaker, it is good to see that the traditional strong representation from Malpeque continues.
    Earlier this month, we announced a significant investment of $1.68 million to address several issues related to the overrepresentation of Red River Métis people in the justice system. The Manitoba Métis Federation will use this money for programs that will help prevent and reduce crime through diversion of offenders out of the criminal justice system, with appropriate supports. These investments will also help families through the establishment of Métis mediation services.
    I think everyone in this chamber agrees that we need to fight the overrepresentation of indigenous people in the criminal justice system. This is part of it. Bill C-5 is another.


    Mr. Speaker, the crisis in our health care is getting worse by the day. Emergency rooms across the country are shutting down and are so stretched that families are forced to wait 10 to 20 hours to get emergency care. This cannot continue. The Liberals must act now to protect and expand our health care system.
    When will the government show leadership and invest the necessary funding to ensure that Canadians are getting the care they need when they need it?
    Mr. Speaker, as members know, the health ministers will be meeting shortly, in two weeks, in Vancouver. We look forward to that meeting, as it will be about a lot of the issues the member has raised, particularly how we expand health human resources and how we deal with the kind of health transformation that will get people the most appropriate care in the most appropriate place by the most appropriate provider in the most appropriate time. We are all working together on that, and we look forward to those deliberations.


Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, all of us in our riding offices are hearing from desperate people affected by illness. All parties unanimously agree that we must extend the financial assistance for Canadians suffering from serious illnesses. In its last budget, the government announced that EI sickness benefits would be expanded to 26 weeks.
    This measure was supposed to be implemented in the summer or fall of 2022, but, unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Can the minister tell us when this long-awaited measure will be implemented?


    Mr. Speaker, one of the things the government has been doing is looking at a number of different ways we can enhance things such as EI benefits for Canadians. We are also taking into consideration what the member raised today.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]



Business of the House

    Mr. 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. I move:
    That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, 2022, the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings to permit the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to make a statement followed by a period of up to 10 minutes for questions and comments; after the statement, a Member from each recognized opposition party and a Member from the Green Party, may reply for a period approximately equivalent to the time taken by the Minister's statement and each statement shall be followed by a period of 10 minutes for questions and comments; after each Member has replied, or when no Member rises to speak, whichever comes first, the House shall adjourn to the next sitting day.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)


Climate Change 

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from constituents that relates to the climate crisis.
    The petitioners point out that Canada signed on to the Paris Agreement, which in its text includes a commitment to a just transition for fossil fuel sector workers. This is consistent with Liberal Party platform commitments that have yet to be realized.
    Oil and gas workers and coal sector workers were promised this kind of economic support to get them through the transition away from a dependence on fossil fuels, so the petitioners call on Canada to work with fossil fuel sector workers to create a plan, particularly for oil and gas workers, and to follow the recommendations that have been put forward by the government's task force on just transition for Canadian coal power workers and communities.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition about the just transition.
    The petitioners say that Canada must address the climate emergency, and they request that the government bring in initiatives that reduce emissions by 60% below 2005 levels, that wind down the fossil fuel industry and related infrastructure, that end fossil fuel subsidies, that transition us to a decarbonized economy, that create good green jobs and drive inclusive workforce development, that protect and strengthen human rights and workers' rights, that expand the social safety net through new income supports and that pay for the transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations and financing through a public national bank.

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Judges Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Judges Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I think this is something that may have never happened in the House before, a member beginning a speech on a bill in one seat and continuing it in a separate seat on the very same day. This was made possible, of course, by a standing order change that allows us to sit absolutely anywhere in the House. I was tempted to do it from the Prime Minister's seat, but that would have involved a little too many logistics. I was not sure we would get back to the debate, so I will do it from this seat here.
    We are debating Bill C-9, an act to amend the Judges Act, and we are at second reading. I want to talk about the substance of the bill. It is actually, I think, a very good bill, and I will deal with that in a minute.
    First, I want to talk about the fact the government is once again rushing this debate through and imposing closure. As I consider its actions, the thought that occurs to me is that, out there in the normal world, there is a saying. It is that “your lack of planning does not equal my crisis,” but this is the House of Commons of Canada. As long as they have the support of the New Democrats, the Liberals can be as disorganized as they want and can create crises for themselves and then impose limits on democracy and open debate in order to rush through crises of their own making.
    In the case of the bill, which has now been time allocated, a version of it was introduced as Bill S-5, a government bill in the Senate, in May 2021, but it died on the Order Paper, because the Prime Minister, in his infinite wisdom, decided to call the least necessary election in Canadian history, which resulted in our having exactly the same seat breakdown we had prior to the election. However, it did cause everything on the Order Paper to be wiped off the Order Paper, and when we resumed in the autumn of 2021, a new bill was introduced on the Order Paper, on December 1, 2021, as Bill S-3. Subsequently, that bill was dropped and Bill C-9, the bill we are presently debating, found its way onto the Order Paper on December 16, 2021. It then sat on the Order Paper, undebated, for exactly six months to the day, until June 16, 2022.
     The House rises in time for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, which is on the 24th of June. The bill, therefore, had a couple days of time for debate before the House rose. Then, with a whole summer going by, it did not come back until very recently, when we had been here for a month. This makes the point that the reason there is a rush, if there is a rush at all, is that the government has caused a delay. I should point out as well that the purpose of the bill is to make changes to the Judges Act, which was implemented in 1971, so we are talking about changes to something that has been in place for 50 years.
    Saying this constitutes the kind of crisis that warrants putting limits on debate is, in my view, simply unreasonable and simply a reflection of the fact that it is now reflexive for the current government to put time limits on all debates on everything.
    Now, let me talk about the substance of the bill.
    Bill C-9 deals primarily with judges, but as for the provisions it replaces, this new process would also apply to persons other than judges who are appointed under an act of Parliament to hold office under what is known as “good behaviour”. The question of what constitutes “good behaviour” is a matter that needs to be updated from time to time, particularly in the world of the law and the actions of judges, because if something goes wrong in the court system and if judges or courts act inappropriately, we say that the law is brought into disrepute. Bringing the law into disrepute is the worst thing a judge can do. What constitutes “disrepute” does change over time as we get greater sensitivity, for example, to gender issues, which lie at the heart of the present piece of legislation, or to concerns relating to the ability of people who face various forms of disabilities to communicate with the courts and so on.
    Standards within society do change. I think they usually improve, and it is reasonable to update this from time to time.
    Right now, the way it works is that, should a federally appointed judge be found to be potentially in breach of their responsibilities, the issue is sent to the Canadian Judicial Council for review. The bill would establish a new process for reviewing allegations of misconduct, allegations that are not serious enough to warrant a judge's removal from office, and would make changes to the process by which recommendations regarding removal from office can be made to the Minister of Justice.


    The bill would specifically modify the existing judicial review process by establishing a process for complaints serious enough to warrant removal from office and another for offences that could warrant other sanctions, such as counselling, continuing education and reprimands.
    Currently, if misconduct is less serious, a single member of the Canadian Judicial Council holds the initial review and may negotiate with a judge for remedy. I should mention as well that the Canadian Judicial Council was set up under the existing law. It dates back to 1971 and is mandated to promote efficiency and uniformity and improve the quality of judicial services in all superior courts in Canada.
    The reasons a judge could be removed from office include infirmity, misconduct, failure in the due execution of judicial office, and the judge's being “in a position that a reasonable, fair-minded and informed observer would consider to be incompatible with the due execution of judicial office”.
    Under the new rules, a screening officer could dismiss complaints rather than referring them to the review panel, should they appear frivolous or improper. Certain things, such as a complaint that alleges sexual harassment or discrimination, may not be dismissed. The full screening criteria would be published by the Canadian Judicial Council.
    These amendments address the shortcomings of the current process by imposing mandatory sanctions on a judge when a complaint of misconduct is found to be justified but not to be serious enough to warrant removal from office. Again, such sanctions could include counselling, continuing education and reprimands.
    In the name of transparency, this legislation would require that the Canadian Judicial Council include the number of complaints received and how they were resolved in its public annual report, something that is a very sound idea.
    Since its inception in 1971, the Canadian Judicial Council has completed inquiries into eight complaints considered serious enough that they would warrant removal from the bench. Four of them, in fact, did result in recommendations for removal.
    Under the new process, as laid out in Bill C-9, the Canadian Judicial Council would continue to preside over the judicial complaints process, which would start with a three-person panel. If the complaint is serious enough that it might warrant removal from the bench, it could be referred to a separate, five-person hearing panel.
    As I am out of time, I will just make the observation that, on the whole, this is a good piece of legislation. I am glad it is before us. It could have been before us earlier. I very much welcome the opportunity to vote in favour and send this off to committee, but of course I object to the rush we have been put in to do that.


    Mr. Speaker, I agree. It seems everyone is supporting the passage of the legislation to committee, and the Conservative opposition seems to be saying it is the government that sets the agenda and that if we had called it more often then maybe it would have been passed already. What it is not indicating is that even though we can call the legislation, ultimately it is the opposition that will determine the number of speakers and will cause legislation to get into committee or not get into committee, unless we bring in time allocation.
    Because we brought in time allocation, we are finally going to see this legislation go to committee. Many of the stakeholders out there want to get a sense of when the legislation will ultimately get through the House of Commons, and my question is to that effect. Does the member believe or does the Conservative Party believe it could pass this legislation before the end of this year, or are the Conservatives suggesting it will be 2023 before they agree to see it pass?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I will observe that in terms of there being a rush, I was just saying that the Canadian Judicial Council dealt with eight complaints and dismissed four judges over the course of the past half-century, so I am not exactly sure where the rush is. Clearly, the government does not actually see it as a rush; I mentioned the delays.
    Which of the following is the fault of the opposition? Was it the fact the bill was introduced before the 2021 election and then the Prime Minister called an election? Was that the result of an action of the opposition, or was it the fact that the bill was reintroduced in the Senate, then reintroduced in the House of Commons, and then the government waited for six months and did not bring it forward until a day or two before the House rose for the summer? Was that the opposition's fault? I am just unclear as to which of these things that have led to a year and a half's delay is the fault of the opposition. If the parliamentary secretary gets a chance to get up and speak again, maybe he will be able to address that question.



    Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to talk a bit about that earlier, but I would like to elaborate. A year and a half ago, I rose in the House to move a motion calling on the government to create an independent complaints commission for sports. It took some time, but that commission was created a year ago. I want to commend the government for that.
    That commission may not yet have enough power though, because the various sports organizations have to register voluntarily. The system is not perfect yet, but it addresses the problem of sexual misconduct in sports, or at least the complaints management part of it.
    There is a problem in the military, however. Former Supreme Court Justice Deschamps issued a report in 2015 recommending that this type of commission be set up to address sexual misconduct in the army, but that has not happened yet. It does not make any sense.
    Today, we are talking about a bill about judges. That is good.
    I would like my colleague to tell us about the importance of setting up this kind of independent commission to manage sexual misconduct complaints.
    Mr. Speaker, I think that is more of a comment than a question.
    However, my hon. colleague is right.


    Mr. Speaker, I applauded, with great gusto, when the hon. member completed his first two minutes. What is to be encouraged is that sharing of a moment of a speech given before, where he had a two-week gap before resuming the speech.
    I do not disagree with a single thing that the hon. member said. I like the fact that I am able to thank a Conservative member, because I quite often find myself differing in opinion, if not respect.
    However, I certainly do not see a single reason this bill needed to be time allocated. Everybody understands that it is housekeeping that should have been done a long time ago.
    It is a spectacular act of malfeasance that brings us this bill, that a judge, two weeks before his appointment, was trading in cocaine with one of his criminal defendant clients.
    I ask the hon. member again: What could be the rush?
    Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine what the rush is.
    I appreciate the kind comments of my hon. colleague. We have always had good relations. She has good relations with many people on this side of the House and elsewhere, and that is something to be encouraged. After being here 22 years, I can say that, although there never was a golden age where we all got along, it is much worse now. However, we should all strive to get along with each other. We are colleagues and we should work together. That makes this place a better place.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise again in this place on behalf of my constituents in Regina—Qu'Appelle to speak to this very important piece of legislation.
    Again, I find myself following a comment made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North, and I just cannot help myself, so I will have to address some of the erroneous statements he made to my colleague from Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, which is the idea that somehow it is the opposition's fault that government legislation is not moving through the House. I have been here for several parliaments now, and I have never dealt with a government House team before that has had this idea that the opposition is somehow jointly responsible for moving government legislation through the House.
    The member is surprised that members of Parliament from the Conservative Party want to speak to government bills. Well, we all come from diverse backgrounds. We all come from different parts of the country. We all may have constituents in our ridings who have had different experiences with the criminal justice system, so many of us may want to bring that wisdom, that expertise, that experience that we have to the floor of the House to make sure that all points of view are heard when we are dealing with something as important as the judicial branch of our government.
    Therefore, I do not buy the parliamentary secretary's argument at all that there is justification for bringing in time allocation on the bill. There are 338 members of Parliament, and we do not expect every single MP to speak to every single bill, but it should not surprise the government when it brings forward legislation that members of the opposition party might want to speak to it and might want to highlight areas of the bill that cause concern or pause, or flag things that we would invite our colleagues at committee to address. This is part of the normal process.
    The Liberals do not bring us into the consultation process before they draft the bill. They do not give us a heads-up, send over a working document or have a shared Google document that our shadow minister could see to make suggestions and edits to. They bring forward a bill, and they drop it on the table of the House of Commons. Then we have to go through it and study it. All that takes time, especially when we have our hands full dealing with the waste and corruption this government continues to push through the government system in many different ways.
     We are constantly poring through Public Accounts to find wasteful spending and, lo and behold, we find them all the time. Just a few weeks ago, we discovered that the government spent $54 million of taxpayers' money on an app that could have been designed in a weekend, and most experts say that it could have been designed for a fraction of the cost that the government ended up billing taxpayers for. It is a good thing we did go through those accounts in great detail because we discovered that one of the companies listed as receiving a payment claims that it did not work at all on the app.
    The parliamentary secretary might be frustrated that members of Parliament on this side take some time to review, with great scrutiny and detail, the Liberal legislation, even when there is broad consensus on the need or broad consensus on the objective of the bill. The parliamentary secretary will understand why we take out our microscopes, put our glasses on and really do a deep dive into these types of things, because every single time we do, we find more examples of Liberal waste, corruption and mismanagement.
    The bill, which is a straightforward bill in many respects, is not terribly big, but I find it awfully heavy. It is laden down with irony because the bill would establish a process for judicial office holders who engage in misconduct that does not rise to the level of losing their position but some type of disciplinary process. Does it seem ironic to anybody in the House right now that we have a Prime Minister who is bringing in a mechanism to deal with misconduct and inappropriate behaviour?
    Boy, would I like to see the principle of the bill expanded. Maybe we could expand it so that it does not just apply to the judicial branch but the executive branch of government as well, because I would love to see what a review council might do with a prime minister who committed awfully racists acts.


    Imagine our Prime Minister, a public office holder, dressing up in racist costumes and putting on blackface so many times that he lost track of how often he did it. Imagine what a complaints council or a review tribunal would do with that allegation.
    How about interfering in a criminal prosecution case? How about leaning on a public prosecutor to try to get a special deal for a very well-connected and very powerful corporation in the Prime Minister's own backyard? What would a complaints process do with that kind of improper allegation?
    How about the accusations we have heard about bullying and harassment in the Prime Minister's own caucus, which drove a female person of colour out of the House, forcing her out of politics altogether? She no longer wished to cope with the type of treatment she was subjected to by the Prime Minister. This is a Liberal member of Parliament I am talking about, who experienced that type of offensive behaviour from her own leader. I would love to see what a complaints council or review tribunal would do with that.
    I sure hope that our friends on the committee can build some consensus with other political parties and find a way to expand the scope of this bill. I would signal to my colleagues in other parties that if the idea brought to committee is to expand the scope of this bill to include public officer holders in the executive branch, the cabinet and the Prime Minister, the Conservatives will be there to support those types of amendments at committee. We might even move those amendments.
    I wonder if the hon. member for Winnipeg North would establish the same principle that he is looking to establish around the judicial branch. Would he support efforts to hold all members of cabinet accountable, including the Prime Minister? Maybe he will have an opportunity during questions and comments to inform the House as to whether or not he would be in favour of that. Will he show some consistency when it comes to holding public office holders to the highest level of behaviour and conduct? If the Liberals do not, it will be rather telling, but we will know why. We will know that the member is afraid of how that would affect his own political leader.
    The bill is also significant for what is not in it. The bill addresses the judicial system in Canada, and any time a government looks at our Criminal Code and our criminal justice system, the Conservatives eagerly await measures that will strengthen our justice system to protect innocent Canadians and victims of crime. That is something we are always hopeful will be contained in legislation.
    Unfortunately, the Liberals decided to leave that out of this bill. They would have had lots of opportunities to look at the types of policies they have enacted in the last few years, which have made the situation worse. For example, the government has lowered penalties for some of the most violent types of offenders. They have lowered penalties for people who use firearms in the commission of certain crimes. As a result of the government's policies over the last seven years, there is a crime wave going on in many of our large cities and even in rural communities.
    I represent the riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle, which is about 50% urban and 50% rural, and I hear different concerns about the judicial system. However, they can both relate to the rising crime waves. In the city of Regina, which is obviously a more urban area, there are all kinds of property crimes, thefts and personal assaults, and people are very concerned about the rising rates of them.
    In rural areas, people are concerned about response times and the fact that when they call 911 when they are victims of a crime or when a crime is in progress, it can take 15, 20 or sometimes 40 minutes for a police officer to respond to the call. The government, without any consultation with those municipalities, retroactively made changes to the pay system and has left the bill with them, something I am hearing a lot about from people who live in the rural part of Regina—Qu'Appelle.
    The Conservatives are eager to discuss this at committee. We are very disappointed that the government, because of its lack of planning and its mismanagement of the House calendar, has now had to bring in time allocation. We wish there was more in this bill to apply the same types of standards for behaviour to the Prime Minister. We understand why the Liberals will not do that, as they have to protect their political leader, but it does show the hypocrisy that the government has when it comes to rules for everyone else but not for its own leadership.


    Mr. Speaker, I will save my comments on many statements made by the member for a possible opposition day in the future, as the Conservatives like and thoroughly enjoy the whole concept of character assassination, whether of the Prime Minister or other ministers.
    I will go to the bill itself, which is widely respected. Its passage is being encouraged by a number of stakeholders. I highlight that the courts, our Canadian Judicial Council, would like to see the legislation pass. Let us not fool anyone. If it was not for time allocation, the Conservatives would be playing their games and they would not see this legislation pass.
    Given the member is on the House leadership team, can he give a clear indication of whether the Conservative Party is prepared to see this bill pass through the House of Commons this year, or is it saying to the stakeholders and others that they will have to wait until 2023, unless of course the government brings in time allocation again?
    Mr. Speaker, first, I will respond to the member's erroneous accusation that I was somehow engaged in a character assassination of the Prime Minister. Any damage to the Prime Minister's character has been self-inflicted. Nobody on this side told him to dress up in a racist blackface. That is heinous and offensive to all Canadians. He did that all on his own. He bullied members of his own caucus all on his own and members of his own caucus blew the whistle on that.
    Only a Liberal would think that when the public holds the Prime Minister to account for his own personal failings that it somehow makes him a victim. The real victims are the people he offended with his racist acts, and the people in his caucus, the women in his caucus, whom he bullied and drove out of public life. They are the real victims. The Prime Minister is not a victim of character assassination. He is a victim of self-inflicted damage to his own personal credibility.



    Mr. Speaker, in his speech, my colleague was justifiably critical of the way the government is managing its legislative agenda. Last year, the government prorogued the House, and I still cannot get over that.
    Yesterday, Bill C‑31 was passed on closure. It is an important bill whose purpose is to send people money for housing and dental care, but we had a lot of problems with it. Contrary to what the government thinks, Bill C‑31 does not really solve the problem of the housing crisis in Canada. It is like a band-aid on a gaping wound.
    However, my Conservative friends are not to be outdone when it comes to using time-wasting tactics here. I have been a member of the House for three years, and one of the most egregious things I have seen in that time happened the night the Conservatives made us vote on which of two members of the Conservative Party would get the floor. Later, in the lobby, I heard my Conservative friends laugh about finding this procedural loophole. How clever of them to figure out a way to delay proceedings for everyone. They wasted an hour of the House's time when we were supposed to be working on important issues.
    Does my colleague think it would be a good idea for the Conservatives to come to the table and get to work, too?
    Mr. Speaker, during its opposition day this week, the Bloc Québécois chose to debate the monarchy in Canada. I cannot think of a better way to waste time in the House.
    Quebeckers are quite concerned these days because their money is losing value. The government has destroyed the value of Quebeckers' hard-earned money. Nevertheless, this week, the Bloc chose to debate a very philosophical and esoteric topic. It is something I like to discuss over a glass of wine after a meal, as part of a discussion on the different ways to establish a nation.
    The reality is that this is not something Canadians want us discussing here in the House. Canadians want MPs to talk about things such as the cost of living, wasted spending at the federal level and rising crime rates in our major cities and in our communities. These are the topics the Conservatives are always bringing up in the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill S‑207.
    Of course, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this bill. It is not against this bill. I will not be using all of my speaking time, but I would like—
    I have to interrupt the member. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on a point of order.


    Mr. Speaker, I think the member might be referencing the private member's bill. Maybe we can just vote on this, and then we can get to that.
    Are there any other members who wish to speak to Bill C-9?
    Is the House ready for the question?
    Some hon. members: Question.
    The Deputy Speaker: The question is on the motion.
     If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would ask them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie.


    Mr. Speaker, we would request a recorded division.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the division stands deferred until Monday, October 31, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.
    Mr. Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House, you might find unanimous consent to call it 1:30 p.m. at this time, so that we could begin private members' hour.
    Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]


An Act to Change the Name of the Electoral District of Châteauguay—Lacolle

    The House resumed from June 21 consideration of the motion that Bill S-207, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I will speak to this Senate bill very briefly today.
    The Bloc Québécois will naturally vote in favour of this bill so it can be referred to a committee. I would like to speak about two things very quickly.
    The first is the importance of the names given to federal electoral ridings. It is important in terms of representation, because people must feel understood and represented by the name. It is also important for many other reasons, for example so the constituents know who their representative is and can easily understand that there is a link between the general geographic area and the specific place where they live. That is important, and that is essentially the goal of the bill.
    The second thing I want to talk about is consultation. For the name of a riding to be recognized as being representative of the people, ideally the people must be consulted. There are different ways to do that, but we must ensure that the elected officials of a riding, the main organizations and the stakeholders agree on the name. From what I have heard, no such consultations were held. I will say a little bit more about that and members will understand why, especially in reference to the commission. Therefore, right from the outset, there is a problem with the legitimacy of the bill. Holding prior consultations would have been advantageous for the bill, as for any other bill, to ensure that the work being done is really aligned with what the people are asking for.
    As I was saying earlier, the purpose of the bill was to correct a mistake, namely, the fact that Lacolle is not part of the riding of Chateauguay—Lacolle. A mistake was made when the riding names were last changed. Lacolle is part of the Saint‑Jean riding, so clearly there is a mistake that needs to be corrected. At the same time, correcting a mistake does not mean correcting it by making another mistake.
    Let me explain. Adding “Les Jardins‑de‑Napierville” is causing confusion for the people in the riding. They might even think that it refers to a neighbouring riding because there is an RCM with that name. As members know, people sometimes confuse federal, provincial and municipal ridings, as well as regional county municipalities and even administrative regions. My riding is a good example. It covers an entire administrative region of Quebec. In short, to paraphrase what the people from the Roussillon RCM are saying, what they really want, as an RCM, is for people to have a sense of belonging. That is most likely what people want for a federal riding too.
    The Roussillon RCM submitted a brief that talks about this, saying that this bill, which renames the riding “Chateauguay—Les Jardins‑de‑Napierville”, is causing some confusion. This brief was submitted to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission on October 5, 2022. The RCM's recommendation expressed some concerns about the name change. It states that this decision would be confusing for the citizens of the city of Châteauguay and the towns within Roussillon, an RCM located in that riding—because Roussillon is split. This would undermine Roussillon RCM's strategic positioning and its efforts to create a sense of belonging and build its presence and its profile throughout Quebec.
    Those are some of the RCM's strategic objectives for the coming years. For the residents of this regional municipality, this is detrimental to their desire of showcasing the RCM. It could leave the residents feeling as though they are not part of the Roussillon RCM, but rather the Jardins‑de‑Napierville RCM.


    That is the essence of their brief. It was simply to reiterate the idea that we need to consult our constituents, the people who are affected when we make a change like this.
    I will address my second point a little more quickly, because in referencing the brief I have already touched on it. I want to talk about the relevance of introducing the bill. I know it originated in the Senate, but it is being brought back here and sponsored in the House. It is a question of relevance, in the sense that this very issue is already part of the work being done on the readjustment of federal electoral districts. There is already a proposal on the table for the exact same name. I humbly submit that the work is being done twice. We are working in parallel on the same issue while, once again, there is already an opportunity through the commission to make a change and to make a decision on this side.
    As members of Parliament, we are also called on, invited to and encouraged to make proposals ourselves. That is one thing. This would be an opportunity to use the time in the House for another bill that might be more worthwhile and relevant to the riding itself and to the surrounding ridings.
    To sum up, I think we need to question the legitimacy of the bill with respect to the way the people are represented as well as its very relevance given that we are already working on exactly the same issue at the commission.
    As I was saying earlier, the Bloc Québécois will not oppose to this bill, but I still wanted to make a few comments that may be useful to me and to all of my colleagues for the work we have to do in the House.


    Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise on Bill S-207 today. For my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle, it is a name that has defined her in the House for some time now. However, the concern of this bill is that the name does not correctly identify the riding and the people whom she represents. This is an injustice for any member of Parliament or any representative for there not to be a clear correlation as to who her people are and whom she represents.
    I know it was mentioned by the previous speaker in the House that this bill is unnecessary, but that is in the eye of the beholder. It is up to the constituents of Châteauguay—Lacolle and to the member who is sponsoring this bill as to whether something is necessary. The Senate has looked at the bill and found that there is legitimacy to having this name change, and there absolutely is.
     There is not much to say on this bill. People can merely look at the map and they will see clearly that Lacolle is not situated in this riding. However, Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle is situated in the riding. How insulting is it to constituents when they hear themselves being represented by a particular name? It further emphasizes that “Ottawa knows best” approach.
    The commissioner up here decided in the last redistribution that this was going to be the name. At that time, the NDP member who was the representative of that riding did not contest the name, and I do not know why. There could have been many reasons for that, and maybe we will not really know why that member did not take a keen interest in making sure that their voters were identified properly and knew who their member of Parliament was.
    That brings us to this point, and we have been at this point several times. This bill has unfortunately had to go through this process several times and has not made it to the end. We have heard debate in the House as to why this change is necessary and important, and we have heard debate regarding this name change in the other place as well.
    The previous speaker said that it is futile and unnecessary at this point because, once again, we are at that 10-year mark when redistribution is happening again and there are further name changes happening. I argue that, if it were not for the member who is the sponsor of this bill, that would have never happened. It is because of the work that has been done through this private member's bill that the commission has become alerted to the fact that this is very important and we should take names very seriously.
    I can point to some examples in the redistribution process that are happening today as well for Ontario. The name of my riding of Brampton North is completely being switched and changed to another name, just when the constituents were getting used to the fact that these are our boundaries and this is the name we go by. I would say that the previous redistribution commission did a good job at simplifying the names and making it clearly understandable as to where the voters lived and who represented them.
    However, in this redistribution the names are being completely switched. It is unfair to constantly be confusing voters as to whom they need to be going to in a time of need, and that is what we are there for. Often times, when we are not in the House, we are in our constituencies attending to people's worries and concerns, which are often emergency situations.
    For my riding, there is often lots of confusion. After the last redistribution, there was immense confusion as to where things stood and whom they needed to go to. They recalled whom they voted for last time and felt that they should be coming to me because my predecessor was the one I had defeated, so it just made natural sense. Therefore, having a name that helps constituents imagine what their boundaries may be if they are not in possession of an actual map is important.


    Currently, like I said, my riding is Brampton North. In this redistribution process, Brampton East is being renamed Brampton North. Brampton East no longer exists and Brampton North is now Brampton East. Brampton North is going to be different, Brampton—Chinguacousy, apparently. This is quite confusing. I know I, my other Brampton colleagues and other presenters at the commission have made the argument that, if a new district is being added, a new constituency, there is no need to change around all of the previously existing names. A new name should just be created for the new riding.
    I can really relate to my colleague on the need for the name change. I understand why it is so important for her and her constituents to be granted this change. I think it is their right to be identified properly and for it to be acknowledged that they are important within Canada. It is important that we know who they are and what their concerns are, and that they know who to go to when they need change. This would help clear up a lot of confusion.
    I would ask that the members in the House support the bill, regardless of what their personal feelings may be, and regardless of whether they feel there could be a matter that is more important to them that could have been raised. I know I have heard comments like that made. However, this is really important to the voters of Châteauguay—Lacolle. The new name for the riding is Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville. I believe this is what the constituents want. This is what the voters want. This is what the House should agree to grant them.
    The residents of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, among others, communicated these concerns. They communicated them before the commission last time. They communicated them again this time. It just happens to be that with private member's bills this process can be tedious and can take some time. Members do not get to choose the timing. I know a lot of constituents who may be watching at home do not recognize what system we have in Parliament in order for a member to bring forward a private member's bill, but I think it is important for them to know.
     Oftentimes I have constituents who come up and ask why I do not bring something forward or say that it would be great if I had a bill passed under my name that helped the community in some way or another, or they ask why a member got to do something or why they seemed to be working harder than I was on a matter. It is important for constituents to know that it is really hard to get a private member's bill. We have a lottery system that comes up every Parliament. After every election, there is a new lottery system. There is no preference given to any members as whether it is something they have been trying to do for many Parliaments and have not been able to accomplish or whether it is a new idea. We have had new members who have spent a few weeks in Parliament who have had to get up and figure out what private member's bill to bring forward.
    I would say this colleague of mine has spent a long time, over two Parliaments, trying to get this to the finish line. We respect that. She was able to use her name drawn in the first lottery system for private member's bills. She was also able to use the work she was able to do with the Senate to get the Senate to recognize the bill and bring it to the House. I think we should recognize all the hard work that she has done to almost get this to the finish line.
    All of us in this House should support this piece of the legislation and let the voters have what they would like. Let them be represented by who they feel they are. That is really important. I do not think any of us would like to be called something we are not. I would definitely not want to be the member for Mississauga if I was representing Brampton. We should all understand that feeling.


Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act

Bill S-5—Notice of Time Allocation 

     Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.


    The hon. member for Joliette on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like your guidance on a procedural matter.
    I thought the government was not allowed to move a notice of time allocation during Private Members' Business.
    It can be done. It is perfectly acceptable.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.



An Act to Change the Name of the Electoral District of Châteauguay—Lacolle

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-207, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege and honour to rise in the House.
    Today, we are talking about a private member's bill for renaming the riding of Châteauguay—Lacolle to include Napierville. I want to talk a bit about that community and why I believe it is important that it get recognized. Of course, it is famous for its fruits and vegetables and has a beautiful rural countryside. There are many beautiful things about it, so I am glad to see that like all the great towns and beautiful areas in Quebec that get recognized, it is being recognized as well.
    I also want to talk in general about my riding. It is composed of a number of areas, and one of them is Clarington, where I live, which did not make the cut for the name. I have a beautiful countryside as well, so perhaps it is a little akin to Napierville as it is another beautiful rural area.
    Members of the Bloc made the excellent point that perhaps there are more poignant things we could be talking about in this House. I certainly do not want to be rude in any way, so I will underscore the wonderful countryside and beautiful people of Napierville. As for getting their moment in the sun, my understanding is that after the redistribution, they will, but as I said, it is not the most poignant of PMBs.
    I just want to go through some of the things we can talk about in a private member's bill, if the Speaker will give me that bit of indulgence.
    I have had the opportunity to raise a couple of private member's bill in this House, one of which was to give an exemption on propane and natural gas to farmers, who, of course, are paying thousands of dollars in carbon tax every year. I was glad to see that it made it through the House, but it fell apart when the government unfortunately called a needless, unnecessary and very expensive election. I am glad to see that it is being brought forward by one of our fellow Conservative members, the member for Huron—Bruce, if I have that correct, and that it is now back in front of the agriculture committee. It is Bill C-234, which will provide tremendous relief and save farmers thousands of dollars.
    As we know, in Napierville and elsewhere in Canada farming is among one of the hardest but most important occupations we can have. Of course, without farmers we do not eat, so one of the ideas I would throw out is that perhaps we could have more private member's bills to help farmers.
    We are going through an incredible food crisis and this spring will be very challenging. For most people in Canada, it will be okay. For the people in this House, who are earning good salaries, it will not be fun to go to the grocery store but they will be okay. I am worried about the people who are economically challenged, not just in Canada but across the world. We will see, if the forecasts are correct, some record-breaking starvation.
    We have already seen the pain that Canadians are going through right now because of the lack of food production and because of inflation, with 1.47 million Canadians going to food banks in March 2022. That is a record high; it has never been higher. Twenty per cent of Canadians are now going to food banks on a regular basis and 60% of Canadians are failing to put food on their tables. These are the types of issues we need to be discussing. These are the types of issues we should be helping people with in rural areas across this country from coast to coast to coast.
    By the way, the government was good enough to respond to my private member's bill by putting part of it into the budget, but unfortunately, instead of just giving farmers and the people in Napierville an exemption, it tried to put in a credit system. The challenge with how these debt-credit systems work is that, like the carbon tax, some of the money always seems to get stuck in Ottawa. Can members imagine that? It is so strange. These millions of dollars flow into Ottawa and are all supposed to flow out, but somehow they get stuck here in Ottawa. It is funny because that same money seems to flow pretty easily to Liberal insiders, friends and family, like with the arrive scam app worth $54 million. We still do not know where that money went. My goodness.


    I could just imagine what the NDP or the Liberals would be saying if a private company took $54 million and had no idea from people who did not have even the obligation or the right to pick where that money came from. We need to be looking at this from the viewpoint of helping all Canadians going forward.
    Another private member's bill that I worked on, with Senator Omidvar, was Bill S-216, which would help charities. There was a barrier, a Canadian problem called “direction and control” in charity law, which stopped Canadian charities from giving out money and working with other institutions around the world. Once again, do members know what the response of the Liberal government was? It put it in its budget.
    I think I am singlehandedly driving a lot of the Liberal policy here. Maybe, to the member's credit, perhaps just having me talk about her private member's bill will mean the Liberals will also put that in the budget. There are odder things. I think there was some money to go to land control on the moon in one budget, and there is the arrive scam app, so certainly the Liberals could put this in the budget as well. However, that was another good idea for things we could put into PMBs that would help Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    Finally, with respect to my ideas for private member's bills, we have the international human rights act. The international human rights act contains a number of clauses, one of which will force the Department of Foreign Affairs to publicize the names of individuals who are being held as prisoners of conscience. These are individuals who are held just because of their beliefs, because they are pursuing things like freedom, liberty, democracy, LGBTQ2 rights and indigenous rights around the world. They are being held in prison just because they are pursuing freedom for others.
    It would also force the government to respond when Magnitsky act sanctions are called for by a parliamentary committee. If a parliamentary committee says, “We need Magnitsky act sanctions put on this person,” then the department has 40 days to respond. It does not have to do it, but it has to tell us why it is or why it is not imposing Magnitsky sanctions. It is a very reasonable thing.
    To go back half a step, the Magnitsky act sanctions are sanctions the government can put on individuals who are committing vile human rights crimes. When the legislation was initially passed, there were many instances in Venezuela, Russia and other countries where these sanctions were used. However, these sanctions have stopped being used.
    I see that I am running a little short of time, which is a shame, because I could really talk about the people of Châteauguay—Lacolle for hours and hours. It is an absolutely beautiful part of the world. However, I did think of another name for the riding, which is Roxham Road. This has been a serious issue for Canadians, for Quebeckers, and so while I say that a little in jest, it takes nothing away from this serious issue that I hope the Liberal government will listen and respond to.


    I like all of the people of Napierville.


    I hope they have an absolutely fabulous time and I look forward to their being fully recognized as everyone in Canada should be, regardless of what they believe, who they love or who they are.


    The hon. member for Châteaugay—Lacolle has the floor for her right to reply.
    Mr. Speaker, I greatly appreciate the speeches I have heard today.
    I acknowledge my colleague from Manicouagan, who has such a nice riding name. I wish my colleague from Brampton North good luck with the boundary redistribution. I would also like to acknowledge my colleague from Northumberland—Peterborough South. I am an anglophone too and some names are difficult to pronounce even in English. However, the fact remains that that name represents my hon. colleague's riding, and that is what I want to talk about in my speech today.
     I am very pleased to rise again in the House to support Bill S‑207, which seeks to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle. It is a necessary change to correct a misunderstanding. Although this misunderstanding was not ill-intentioned, it still caused problems for my constituents seven years ago. I still remember well what happened during my 2015 election campaign. It takes a lot of time and effort to make the necessary corrections, but it is worth doing because it is important for my constituents.
    There are other ways to make the necessary corrections. I will talk about them in a moment. Despite that, I am pleased to sponsor Bill S‑207, which originated in the Senate. Thanks to the work we have done since 2015, I am confident that the name of my riding will finally be changed to Châteauguay—Les Jardins‑de‑Napierville.
    I will say it again even though it has been mentioned several times before: The name Châteauguay—Lacolle is inaccurate because the municipality of Lacolle is actually in the riding of my hon. colleague from Saint‑Jean. It is just as important to make this correction for the people of Lacolle, who live in the riding of Saint‑Jean. It is Saint‑Bernard‑de‑Lacolle that is in the boundaries of my riding.
    During the 2015 election, several people expressed concern over this name, saying that it caused confusion and interfered with their sense of belonging and the pride that residents of Saint‑Bernard‑de‑Lacolle had for their community.
    The late mayor of Napierville, Jacques Délisle, was behind this new name. He is the one who suggested the name at the time. It is true that it is the name of an RCM, but it is also an expression that designates our region in general. The words “Les jardins” or “the gardens” evoke a beautiful agricultural region. Municipalities such as Saint‑Cyprien‑de‑Napierville are found in the regional county municipality of Jardins‑de‑Napierville. It is true that the name “Napierville” adds something extra.
    It is important to remember that this proposal does keep the name “Châteauguay”, evoking not only the most populous municipality in my riding, but also the greater Châteauguay Valley area, which includes several municipalities. It truly is an inclusive name.
    Again, I want to thank my colleagues who have spoken out in favour of this bill today. I look forward to announcing to my constituents in Châteauguay—Lacolle that they are now part of the Châteauguay—Les‑Jardins-de-Napierville riding.


    The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Châteauguay—Lacolle.
    Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.


    Pursuant to order made Thursday, June 23, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 2, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.


    It being 1:19, the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 1:19 p.m.)
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