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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 128

CONTENTS

Wednesday, November 16, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 128
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

    The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London will lead us in the singing of the national anthem.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Municipal Elections

    Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, we here in Ontario had our municipal elections. I rise today in order to thank all of the outgoing but also the incoming municipal leaders.
    In my riding, I have 11 municipalities and 11 first nations, so I cannot name them all, but I would like to mention a few people who have decided not to run after years of service to their community, namely Dennis Brown, who served as mayor in Atikokan for 24 years, and also two other mayors, June Caul in Fort Frances and Bill Mauro in Thunder Bay, who decided not to run again, as did Chief Peter Collins of Fort William First Nation.
    I would like to thank them all. Having worked with them for a number of years, I think they were all really excellent. I could call them and it did not matter if it was an evening or if it was on a weekend. They were always there for their communities.
    I am sad not to be working with them any further, but I look forward to working with a whole bunch of new people.
    To them, I say to keep their phones on and in their pockets because I could be calling them at any time.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, large crowds came out to honour our veterans who fought for our freedoms, as well as those now serving in our Canadian Forces and protective services.
    Afterwards I visited our local Royal Canadian Legion. Branch 88 is the largest in Canada. It is a vibrant and happening place.
    I talked with many members. I was asked if it was true that the Prime Minister was in Cambodia rather than in Canada on this important day. They felt disrespected and upset, but they should not be surprised. Our military is simply not a Liberal priority.
    Under them, the Canadian Forces have shrunk by tens of thousands. We do not have troops for peacekeeping, meeting our NATO obligations or defending our country.
    Our equipment is obsolete and ammunition cupboards are bare, so there is little that we can give to help Ukraine.
    I say shame on the Liberals and shame on the Prime Minister.

Oakville Firefighters

    Mr. Speaker, the most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching. However, this may not be the case for all Canadians. For many, the holidays may look different this year.
    Kurt Merriman, chief elf at the Oakville Professional Firefighters Association, is working to bring the magic of Christmas to all with the annual toy drive. The firefighters are collecting gifts for families, particularly older youth, who may need assistance this time of year, while helping to spread holiday cheer.
    This year, they are taking part in four events contributing to the cause, starting this Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Oakville Santa Claus Parade in downtown Oakville and Kerr Village, followed by the Oakville Blades' Teddy Bear Toss Game, the Toronto Rock lacrosse game and a drive-through event on December 9.
    I encourage all who can to contribute and to attend these events so that we can ensure that everyone can enjoy the holiday season.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

Pierre Urquhart

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to highlight the lengthy career of a community builder from Laurentides—Labelle, Pierre Urquhart.
    In 2019, Pierre welcomed me as a new MP and helped me better understand the issues in Pays‑d'en‑Haut and all the valuable key players. Executive director of the Vallée de Saint‑Sauveur—Piedmont chamber of commerce and tourism for 27 years, founder of the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi des Pays‑d'en‑Haut and of the Maison des jeunes de Saint‑Sauveur—Piedmont, Pierre has helped Saint‑Sauveur shine thanks to his talent as an organizer and his involvement in numerous events such as the Christmas parade and the Cuban festival.
    Everyone in my little corner of the world knows Pierre Urquhart. On behalf of his community, I would like to thank him and wish him a wonderful, well-deserved retirement.

Pascal Élie

    Mr. Speaker, Pascal Élie was the cartoonist at Le Devoir. He was my neighbour for 10 years. Our houses shared a wall.
    I watched his two boys grow up. One of his sons played hockey with one of mine, and our families saw each other all the time at the rink. We shared a lot of meals, and we always talked federal, provincial and municipal politics. I really liked his cartoons in Le Devoir because they were amusing and astute without ever being cruel.
    He was a gentle, refined and highly intelligent man who made us laugh. He also worked for the Montreal Gazette. He spoke both languages and understood both cultures. A neurodegenerative disease took his life in October. I watched him waste away over the course of 10 years, gradually losing control of his body but never complaining.
    He was courageous and dignified to the end. My condolences to his wonderful family. May he rest in peace.

[English]

Chilliwack—Hope

    Mr. Speaker, it has been one year this week since many B.C. communities, including my own, were devastated by flooding and mudslides. We mark the anniversary of this event, but more importantly, the selflessness and heroism of the people who took action to help their fellow British Columbians in their time of need.
    We had farmers who put their lives at risk to save the animals on Sumas Prairie. We had volunteers who filled sandbags through the night to save a threatened pump station, farms and family homes. We had people who provided food and shelter to stranded strangers. There were angling guides providing critical search and rescue services. First responders, soldiers and road crews were all doing whatever was needed to keep us safe.
    One year later, some of the land and some of our neighbours still bear the scars of this traumatic event. We will be there to help them heal no matter how long it takes. While we will never forget the devastating impact that the unprecedented rains brought last year, we will also remember the spirit of unity and the sense of community that brought us together like never before.

Human Rights in Iran

    Mr. Speaker, we must not forget the name Mahsa Amini or the cry “women, life, freedom”. Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman arrested for not wearing her hijab properly, died in a hospital in Tehran two months ago today.
    Eyewitnesses and leaked medical reports indicate she was severely beaten. Her death sparked an uprising that has resulted in the killing of at least 326 people, including 43 children and 25 women, and the imprisonment of more than 15,000 protesters by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
    Canada is horrified, and I am horrified, by the regime’s blatant disregard for women’s rights and human rights. Canada has designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as a regime that has engaged in terrorism and in systematic and gross human rights violations.
    The regime and its most senior officials, including the IRGC, which is tens of thousands of people, will be banned from entering Canada. Current and former senior officials present here will be investigated and removed from the country.
    I am proud of the decisive and far-reaching steps our government is continuing to take. Zan, Zendegi, Azadi.

  (1410)  

Louis Riel

    Mr. Speaker, today, in the churchyard of Saint-Boniface Cathedral, citizens of the Red River Métis Nation are gathering at the gravesite of Louis Riel to commemorate his life.
    In his lifetime, Riel was the visionary, political and spiritual leader of his people. Today, he is recognized as a father of Confederation whose actions in life embody the contemporary ideals of bilingualism, multiculturalism, minority rights and social justice.
    On the 137th anniversary of his execution, I would like to leave members with his words. He said, “I am more convinced, everyday that without a single exception, I did right. And I have always believed that, as I have acted honestly, the time will come when the people of Canada will see and acknowledge it.”

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, no government has done more than the Liberals to make life easier for violent criminals and harder for their victims.
    They are letting mass murderers apply for parole and they refuse to stop illegal guns from coming across the border. Now they are trying to repeal laws that Conservatives brought in that required violent criminals to serve their time in jail and not from the comfort of their own home.
    We strengthened these laws to protect innocent Canadians and the Supreme Court of Canada has just reaffirmed that these laws are, in fact, constitutional. With violent crime up by 32% under the government’s watch, violent offenders need more accountability, not less.
    Despite the facts, the Prime Minister wants to reverse these laws with his soft-on-crime bill, Bill C-5. If this bill were to pass, not only would violent offenders become eligible to serve time from the comfort of their homes, but also those charged with violent gun crimes, like drive-by shootings or a robbery with a firearm, will not be required to serve mandatory jail time at all.
    The Prime Minister must finally do the right thing and withdraw his soft-on-crime bill, Bill C-5.

Paulina Corpuz

     Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a pillar of Toronto's Filipino community and a great friend, Paulina Corpuz, who passed away recently.
    A proud Filipina, Paulina fought to bring recognition to her community and its many accomplishments in Canada. She led the push for Toronto to declare June as Filipino Heritage Month. It was the first jurisdiction in Canada to do so. Her efforts inspired my private member's motion to make June Filipino Heritage Month across Canada, which received unanimous approval from the House of Commons.
    I have seen first-hand how much this recognition means to the community and it all started with her. For Paulina, the goal was always to inspire the younger generation to get involved in public life and public service. She was undeniably successful in this goal, and her legacy will live forever.
    My condolences to her family and all those she inspired. Rest in peace, my dear friend Paulina.

[Translation]

Inflation

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are worried. They feel as though they have lost control of their finances, and they are right.
    Today, we learned that the consumer price index was 6.9% higher in October than it was a year ago. Here are some concrete examples. A pound of butter now costs $8.29 and a litre of gasoline costs over $2.50, sometimes even $3 in some regions.
    These increasing prices are having unfortunate consequences. Food bank use has reached record highs. Parents are being forced to skip meals so that they can feed their children.
    What is this government doing? Nothing. The recent economic update does nothing to stop inflation, nothing to address the cost of living crisis and nothing for citizens who are struggling to stay afloat.
    The Conservatives have some very simple and practical suggestions: no tax hikes and no new spending.

  (1415)  

[English]

Domestic Food Production

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is making everything more expensive. Even the basic necessity of food is up 11.4% with inflation. This means that 51% of people are cutting back on buying groceries, and 20% are skipping meals. Unlike the Liberal elites, the average Canadian knows that cutting their $13-a-month Disney+ subscription is not going to feed their family. That is why we need to support our farmers.
    Canadian farmers grow some of the highest-quality produce in the world, while following the strictest regulations, but the cost of producing fresh food in Canada is going up, way up, because of the Liberals' attack on Canadian energy, their nonsensical fertilizer-reduction policies and the tripling of the carbon tax. Increased costs of production mean growers are becoming uncompetitive with imported food. That costs our economy and our jobs.
    Conservatives know that supporting domestic food production will lower costs and keep Canadians fed. The time for Canadian food sovereignty is now.

Dennis Marinos

    Mr. Speaker, darkness stumbled upon our community last week, on November 5, as we lost Mr. Dennis Marinos. Mr. Marinos worked tirelessly for 27 years to help other people as a pioneer in volunteer jobs, as congresses, councils, associations and committees no longer had secrets for him.

[Translation]

    At a time when we take democracy for granted, Mr. Marinos served as a shining example of democratic spirit, and his legacy of dialogue, helping others and caring about his fellow human beings warms the hearts of all who knew him.

[English]

     He acted with virtues close to the heart of our community over and again. Everyone in Laval knew that Mr. Marinos would simply be there to lift them up. He was a force of good against the sometimes unsympathetic currents of life, always offering an outstretched hand, a warm word, a sympathetic smile.

[Translation]

    We lost an inspiration for a community, a province and a country.

[English]

    May my good friend rest in peace, and may his memory be eternal.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, we need to be honest. Canada is a failure when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. Here at home, first nations like Peguis, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, St. Theresa and others who are impacted disproportionately by climate change are already paying the price of Liberal inaction.
    Yesterday, the Auditor General exposed the Liberals’ failures. There is some support for evacuations, but nothing for mitigation, adaptation and, frankly, survival, leaving 112 communities, including some in my riding, without the supports they need to stay safe.
    Then there are Canada’s abject failures on the world stage. Canada is the only country in the G7 that has not lowered its emissions since the signing of the Paris accord. The Liberal government gives over $14 billion a year to its friends in big oil, and even builds them pipelines. For a Prime Minister and a government that is all style and no substance, we would think they would recognize how bringing along their buddies in big oil to COP27 would look.
    The climate crisis is already having a major impact in Canada. First nations and people across our country cannot afford more greenwashing. We need action now. Our future depends on it.

[Translation]

40th Anniversary of Women's Employment Centre

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to recognize the 40th anniversary of Le Pont, a women's employment resource centre in Trois‑Rivières. The organization's mission is to help women integrate, reintegrate and remain in the workforce.
    The organization provides women with the tools and supports they need to ensure their independence. Le Pont offers career counselling, coaching and job search assistance, serving as a link between women and employers.
    Le Pont has been a leader in the field since 1982, with a team that encourages women to recognize their own value and reach their full potential. In a society that is supposed to be egalitarian, I think we can all agree that that is an important mission.
    It was an honour for me to take part in the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary on November 10 at the Gouverneur Hotel in Trois‑Rivières. I would like to personally congratulate Annie Brassard, the executive director, Stéphanie Hamel, the chair of the board of directors, as well as the entire Le Pont team on the exceptional work they do for the women of the Mauricie region.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the finance minister recently scoffed at Canadians when she told the CBC that the carbon tax does not add to the challenges that they face. Talk about being out of touch.
    The minister should get her facts straight. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, once the Liberals triple their carbon tax, the net cost to Alberta families will be more than $2,000. This tone-deaf, downtown-Toronto finance minister should realize that, when $2,000 is added onto the bills of hard-working Albertans, it significantly adds to the challenges they face.
    The minister should come down from her ivory tower, give Canadians a break and axe the tax.

  (1420)  

Telecommunications

    Mr. Speaker, access to safe and secure telecommunications infrastructure is essential to the residents of Cape Breton—Canso, as well as all rural communities from coast to coast to coast. It gives them the ability to go to work, go to school, connect with loved ones and so much more. The recent telecom outages across Cape Breton—Canso following hurricane Fiona were unacceptable, as they prevented people's ability to communicate when it mattered the most.
     This disruption of telecommunications cascaded to a point where wireless networks became overloaded. We heard stories of folks who were left unable to contact loved ones, and in some cases, unable to contact emergency services.
     Recently, I raised these concerns with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and offered my full support for swift action to ensure that these outages do not happen again. As a government, we must hold telecom companies accountable. That is what Canadians expect from us, and I will keep fighting to do just that.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians were wondering why children in other countries were able to access pain medication easily, while there is a major shortage in Canada. Families are suffering, and some parents have to go to the United States to buy these medications.
    Yesterday, we learned the reason for that. The deputy minister of health said that this government knew about the shortage in April, seven months ago. However, it has done nothing since then.
    Why has this government made Canadian children suffer for seven months?
    Mr. Speaker, as a minister and a mother, I know the stress that Canadian families and children are experiencing.
    That is why I am very pleased that my colleague, the Minister of Health, announced on Monday that our government has secured a foreign supply of children's medication.
    Children's health remains our priority.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, if it was a priority, why did they not do anything for seven months? We just found out yesterday from the deputy minister of health that the government knew in April that there was a shortage of children's pain medication.
    As a result of the government doing nothing, we have parents who have had to drive to the States. Sometimes they have to meet in dark parking lots to buy a bottle of Aspirin or Tylenol for $200, and their children are up all night, screaming. On what date did members of the cabinet become aware that this shortage was in place and that our children were suffering?
    Mr. Speaker, not only as a minister, but also as a mother, I am very aware of the stress and anxiety of parents across Canada and of Canadian children. That is why I was glad that, on Monday, my colleague the Minister of Health announced that Health Canada has secured a foreign supply of children's medication, which will be available for sale in the coming weeks. Health Canada has also approved the exceptional importation of infant and children's ibuprofen and acetaminophen. It has been imported and distribution has begun.

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, today we found out that the inflation rate is three times higher than the Bank of Canada's target.
    Canadians are paying up to 30% more for some foods, and the price is only going up. The price of gas is up 10% and the price of food in general is up 11%.

[English]

    The government's solution is to continue with inflationary deficits and taxes, tripling taxes on gas, heat and groceries. Will the Liberals cancel these inflationary taxes and spending so Canadians can afford to eat, heat and house themselves?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the only thing that has tripled under our government is Canada's AAA credit rating.

[Translation]

    The reality is that inflation in Canada went down or remained stable for four consecutive months. That is good news, but we understand that Canadians are having a tough time. That is why we have a responsible and compassionate tax plan to help the most vulnerable Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, she tells Canadians that they have never had it so good. She is out of touch, and Canadians are out of money. One of the reasons is the rising cost of fuel. Home heating bills are up 77% in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are similar increases across the Atlantic, and northern Ontario will get hit hard because of oil heating, yet the government wants to triple the carbon tax to punish people further. This is after the tax has failed to reduce emissions or hit targets to fight climate change.
    Instead of hitting Canadians with more punishing taxes, why do the Liberals not give Canadians relief so they can keep the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, do members know who is broke in Canada today? It is anyone who actually listened to the Conservative leader in the spring, followed his advice and invested in crypto. Canadians who did that would have lost at least 65% of their life savings. Many of them would be completely wiped out. It is time for the Conservative leader to take responsibility, renounce his reckless advice and apologize to the Canadian people.
    Mr. Speaker, that is the minister who advised Canadians that there would be deflation rather than inflation. Her government said inflation and interest rates would stay low for decades, so they should borrow up a storm. Her most recent advice is that Canadians should pay their $6,000 home heating bills by cancelling their $13 Disney+ subscription. That is the advice we are getting from the finance minister. It is no wonder we have 40-year highs in inflation.
    Why will the government not reverse its inflationary taxes so that Canadians can afford to live?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader lives in a 19-room government mansion, rent- and mortgage-free. This mansion comes with a chef and a driveway, where his chauffeur can wait to pick him up. All—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order.
    The hon. Deputy Prime Minister, from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader lives in a 19-room government mansion, rent- and mortgage-free. The mansion comes with a chef and a driveway, where his chauffeur can wait to pick him up. All of these privileges are a recognition of the essential role of the official opposition, but with this privilege comes responsibility, and that responsibility means not giving Canadians reckless advice. It is time for the Conservative Leader to apologize today for this reckless advice.

[Translation]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, our health care system is sick and the money we need to heal it is in Ottawa. The Minister of Finance herself proved it. On page 18 of her economic update, she shows that, in the next 30 years, the federal government will pay off its debt in full. Meanwhile, Quebec and the provinces will quadruple their deficits in the next 20 years because of health care costs. Quebec is drowning while the federal government expects to even make a profit.
    Now that the minister has proven that she is the one with the money to invest in health, when will she give us the $28 billion we need to take care of people?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, this year, the Canada health transfer will provide the provinces and territories with $45.2 billion, an increase of 4.8%. We know that our health care system is facing real challenges. We will continue to work to help and support our health care system. My colleague, the Minister of Health, has been clear: increased funding must translate into—
    The hon. member for La Prairie.
    Mr. Speaker, the federal government brags about how it is going to pay off all its debts while leaving Quebec to grapple with health care costs. In the meantime, suffering people are languishing on endless waiting lists. Some may have cancer and not know it because they do not have access to doctors. Some spend the night on a gurney in the hospital hallway because there are no beds for them.
    Is the minister not also fed up with health underfunding? These are the consequences. Is she not as weary as we are of seeing all this?
    Now that she has proven that she is the one with room to manoeuvre, what is she waiting for?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague that the challenges in health care in Canada and Quebec are real. We must all work together to help Canadians and Quebeckers. I want to point out that this year, Quebec received $10.1 billion for health. That is a 4.8% increase. We must continue to work together.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, people across the country are struggling. Everything costs more. Food is becoming a luxury. While the big grocery stores' profits keep increasing, the Liberals and the Bank of Canada are telling working people that they are the ones who need to tighten their belts. Workers' wages are not going up and Loblaws is making profits at three times the rate of inflation. It makes no sense. The Liberals still refuse to address corporate greed.
    Why are the Liberals putting business owners ahead of families who are struggling?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians pay their fair share. That is why we introduced a 2% tax on share buybacks by public corporations. That is why we introduced a 15% recovery dividend that banks and insurance companies must pay. That is why we introduced a luxury tax.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that when we are seeing Canadians struggling to buy groceries and we see the very same companies from which they are buying their groceries making profits that are growing at three times the rate of inflation, there is something seriously wrong with the economy that requires government intervention.
    We have seen other jurisdictions implement windfall taxes, not just on financial institutions but on big box stores and on oil and gas companies that are seeing record profits, and we want to see the same done here in Canada. When are the Liberals going to stop putting big corporations ahead of the needs of Canadians who are facing dire straits, and implement a windfall tax?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is absolutely committed to ensuring that everyone in Canada pays their fair share. That is why we have introduced a luxury tax on yachts, private jets and luxury cars. That is why we have introduced a 2% tax on share buybacks. That is why we have introduced a 15% COVID recovery dividend on the largest banks and insurance companies.
    Mr. Speaker, 40-year highs in Liberal food inflation are forcing more families into food banks than ever. Yesterday, the PBO said that the savings the Liberals are claiming are not transparent and have the finance minister looking more like Pinocchio. She is out to lunch while Canadians have to skip lunch. Will the finance minister show some compassion and cancel the cruel tripling of taxes on groceries?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, what my hon. colleague said is absolutely false. There is no tripling of taxes that is coming forward.
    When the Conservatives talk about compassion, they should look in the mirror. They have had several opportunities over the past couple of weeks to support families in need, whether it was the Canada dental benefit, which they voted against; whether it was the Canada housing benefit, which they voted against; or whether it was child care, which they voted against. They have had real opportunities to support Canadians, and at each opportunity they have not.

  (1435)  

Government Accountability

    Mr. Speaker, why would anyone take advice from the minister who broke Passport Canada and Service Canada, or an immigration minister who broke immigration, or a housing minister who broke housing, or a transport minister who broke our airports, or a finance minister who broke the banks of Canadians, or a Prime Minister who broke his promises and broke Canada? Why would anyone believe them? They should apologize for breaking Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, the members opposite like to pretend they support Canadians, but over the past seven years we have seen time and again that when there are actual opportunities for them to support hard-working Canadians, they do not.
    Instead of supporting Canadians through the Canada child benefit, which puts thousands of dollars into the pockets of lower-income families, they voted against it. Instead of supporting the Canada dental benefit, which is going to help low-income children access dental care, they voted against it. Instead of helping low-income renters with the Canada housing benefit, they voted against it. I am tired of their crocodile tears.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal carbon tax is punishing Canadians.
    Has the Prime Minister spoken to anyone paying three dollars a litre to fill their truck with diesel, anyone out east who could pay $6,000 to heat their home this winter, or a single one of the 1.5 million Canadians who used the food bank in a single month? Of course not; it is private jets, limousines, $6,000 hotel rooms and $12,000 grocery bills for them.
    When will the Liberals join us in the real world, listen to struggling Canadians and stop their plan to triple the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, if we want to level with Canadians, we just have to point to the heat dome two summers ago in Alberta, or the atmospheric river that fell on British Columbia, or hurricane Fiona, the worst natural disaster in this country's history.
    The best market mechanism to combat the existential threat of climate change is a price on pollution. The Conservatives do not like it. It is the responsible thing to do, and that is why we are doing it, to support Canadians and to support the planet.
    Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough that the government has not hit a single environment target it has ever set. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, who the Prime Minister himself chose, says that Canadians from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario pay more in carbon tax than they get back. He can tell his minister that cutting a Disney+ subscription will buy him a whole five litres of diesel. It might heat his home for a few hours this whole winter.
    I will ask this again. When will the Liberals join everyone in the real world, tell the truth, listen to struggling Canadians and scrap their plan to triple the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, the other day I listened to the MP for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, who spoke so eloquently about his community, especially the community of Lytton, B.C., which we all know burned to the ground. The temperatures reached 50°C in the worst environmental disaster, the worst climate catastrophe in our history, yet the words “climate change” never come out of the hon. member's lips.
    They should stop this triple, triple, triple schtick and do something positive about climate change.
    Before we go to the next question, I just want to remind the hon. members, especially certain members with deep voices that carry wonderfully, that unfortunately, when someone is trying to answer a question, usually it is from the party that is out there. I am sure the individuals who shout out or speak loudly do not want to be named, because that would be embarrassing to them, their families and their ridings.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles.

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, according to a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business, or CFIB, survey, 94% of businesses in Canada and Quebec say that price increases are related to the cost of transportation and fuel. Furthermore, 80% of businesses say that government costs such as fees and permits have driven prices up significantly.
    CFIB members' first recommendation to the Prime Minister is to stop the carbon tax increase. That is what the CFIB says, and we agree.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to not increasing the carbon tax?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. What we have heard from business groups in Canada, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, is that we have to support our small and medium-sized businesses.
    In the fall economic statement, we announced plans to work on the credit card system to support small and medium-sized businesses by lowering credit card transaction fees charged by big institutions and big banks.
    If we cannot negotiate a solution to this situation, we will introduce legislation. That is how we are supporting small and medium-sized businesses here in Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, that is one thing the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is calling for, but there are other things as well. Are members aware that of the 4% of SMEs with an average debt of $150,000, 78% are experiencing persistent stress and 17% are thinking of closing permanently?
     Small and medium-sized businesses are the heart of the Canadian economy, and they are clearly asking the Prime Minister to not increase Canada pension plan premiums and EI premiums, as well as other planned federal tax hikes.
    Will the Prime Minister listen to Quebec entrepreneurs and businesses? Will he listen to them?
    Mr. Speaker, what we are hearing about over and over again from small and medium-sized businesses is the issue of supply chains, which the member opposite mentioned. The Minister of Finance announced how we plan to address that in the fall economic statement. As she said, we will support our small and medium-sized businesses.

[English]

    We will, for example, use an investment tax credit for clean technologies. We will also ensure that there are new sustainable jobs under the union training and innovation program.
    The last part is critical to enterprises. What we are doing, by getting tough on share buybacks, is ensuring that people are supporting their employees and not their board of directors.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, let me remind everyone of Michael Rousseau, the CEO of Air Canada, who was proud to have lived his entire life in Montreal without having to speak French. Bill C‑13 will ensure that he can continue to go on as before.
    Bill C‑13 gives companies like Air Canada a choice. They can abide by the Charter of the French Language or they can continue ignoring it. Big surprise, Air Canada announced that it will not abide by it thanks to Bill C‑13.
    Why do the Liberals and the NDP want to assure all the Michael Rousseaus of this world that they will never have to learn a word of French to work in Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, it is extremely disappointing that the Bloc and the Conservatives continue to spread misinformation about Bill C-13.
    Let us be clear. Bill C‑13 will ensure that companies like Air Canada show leadership on protecting and promoting French so that Canadians can work and be served in French at businesses in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.
    I hope that the Bloc and the Conservatives will listen to stakeholders and begin working with us to protect and promote French across Canada, including in Quebec.
    Mr. Speaker, Quebec has given federally regulated businesses until December 1 to comply with the new Bill 101.
    Unsurprisingly, Air Canada has not complied, and neither have CN, Via Rail and many others. They are waiting for Bill C‑13 to pass so they can be off the hook. That works out well. The Liberals and the NDP want to impose closure on Bill C‑13 to end the debate on December 1. What a coincidence. Michael Rousseau should buy a lottery ticket.
     Seriously, why are the Liberals and the NDP scheming to allow these businesses to keep anglicizing Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, again, it is disappointing that the Conservatives and the Bloc—
    Order. I am sure that the hon. member for La Pointe‑de‑l'Île wants to hear the answer.
    I will ask the parliamentary secretary to start over.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, it is disappointing that the Conservatives and the Bloc are spreading misinformation on Bill C‑13.
    The Conservatives and the Bloc are the ones putting up barriers to the bill at the Standing Committee on Official Languages and preventing it from moving forward in the House of Commons, as they did on May 12. If they are going to take sides they need to stop playing politics.
    We are going to focus on protecting and promoting French throughout Canada, including in Quebec.

[English]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the government is refusing to answer a very simple question: Who are the 11 election candidates who, in the 2019 election, received hundreds of thousands of dollars funnelled by Beijing through its Toronto consulate?
    Yesterday, the Prime Minister talked to President Xi about these 11 candidates, but the government and the Prime Minister have yet to tell the House who these 11 candidates are. What are they hiding?
    Mr. Speaker, any kind of foreign interference is a threat to our democracy. We must stand together. It is a threat to every single member of the House, and I implore the members on the other side to stand together with all members of the House to fight foreign interference, whose only goal is to sow chaos and destroy our democracy. We will never tolerate it.
    Mr. Speaker, we have been asking for years for a plan from the government to combat Beijing's meddling in our democracy, but it has failed to act, and now we have a situation where candidates are receiving illicit funds from Beijing funnelled through its Toronto consulate. Canadians deserve answers. Who are these candidates? Are they members of the House? Are they going to be candidates in the next federal election?
    Again, who are these 11 election candidates?
    Mr. Speaker, again I will suggest that we need to step back and remember what is motivating foreign interference. Foreign interference is designed to sow chaos and destroy every fabric of our democracy. We are taking action—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sure the hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills wants to hear the answer.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary can start from the top so we can hear the whole answer.
    Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the hon. members do not want to hear the answer to that question.
    Foreign interference is an attack on every single member of the House. It is an attack on the very fabric of our democracy. We must stand together. We must stand as one against any kind of foreign interference.
    Our national security agencies continue to monitor and react to threats from foreign bad actors. Canadians expect us to work together on this and to stand united against foreign interference.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am extremely disappointed that the government is refusing to disclose the names of the 11 candidates who allegedly received funding from the communist regime in Beijing. That is the reality. The only way to stop the chaos and to not create chaos is to be open and transparent with Canadians and to tell the truth. The Prime Minister was informed in January of the names of the 11 candidates who allegedly received funding from the communist regime in Beijing. Why does he want to protect the names of those candidates? What is the Prime Minister trying to hide?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.
    I have a great deal of respect for him, but I think that we need to stick to the facts on issues like this one. I think it is dangerous to politicize an issue like this. We are talking about democracy and about foreign interference. I would invite my colleagues opposite not to play politics on these matters, which are very important to all the Canadians who are watching us today.
     Mr. Speaker, transparency is not a game. We have been informed that the communist regime in Beijing funded a clandestine network of candidates in 2019. The government did nothing. In 2021, seeing no obstacles in its way, the communist regime in Beijing went right back to influencing elections. No one was prosecuted, and no one was convicted. A clear message needs to be sent to the communist regime in Beijing: We will never tolerate foreign interference in our elections. This is the foundation of our democracy.
    What do the Liberals have to hide?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, we fully agree that transparency is required on an issue like this. However, I should point out to my colleague that neither side of the House will ever accept foreign interference in our democracy. All parliamentarians here agree on that point. We will act on it. I would urge every member of the House not to politicize an issue as fundamental as democracy in Canada.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, provincial health care systems across the country are collapsing. Pediatric emergency rooms are being overwhelmed and wait times are more than 12 hours. In Hamilton, McMaster Children's Hospital is currently at 140% capacity and there is a shortage of cribs and infusion pumps.
    Children are suffering and parents are terrified, so will the government take immediate action now so that children get the emergency medical care they so desperately need?
    Mr. Speaker, we share the deep concerns of my colleague and parents across this country. These wait times are inexcusable. The shortage of drugs is unacceptable. We must do more, particularly for children in our ridings.
    Right now, we have a really, really bad flu season. Right now, parents are going through this because the cold and flu are rearing their ugly heads. As we see an increase in these types of illnesses, we should all be protecting ourselves and those around us, so I encourage everybody to make sure they are up to date on vaccines and do everything they can. If they do not feel good, stay home.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, people are worried about the climate crisis, especially since Canada just received embarrassingly low marks for climate action at COP27, scoring 58 out of 63 countries. Only Russia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Iran ranked lower.
    While people are losing their jobs, homes and lives during heat waves, flooding and forest fires, the Liberals keep handing out subsidies to big oil, breaking climate target after climate target.
    When will the Liberals own up to their climate failure and stop giving away billions to big oil and gas?
    Mr. Speaker, the report the hon. member mentions did not take into account some of our most recent action, but we agree with the general conclusion that we need to do more. That is why we are investing $9.1 billion in our emissions reduction plan. We have an ambitious plan to get to a 40% to 45% reduction in emissions by 2030. We are cutting methane emissions, we are eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, we are capping emissions on oil and gas and we are investing heavily in the clean economy.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, we know that building more affordable housing must continue to be a priority, especially now as we see so many struggling to find the housing they need. I see how great the need is in my riding of Surrey Centre, and the same is true in so many parts of this country.
    Can the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion please tell the House about the government's plan to build more affordable housing for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his strong advocacy on this really important issue.
    Our government continues to recognize that making sure we have access to safe and affordable housing remains a priority. Just this week, I announced $78 million in an investment in Ottawa to create 271 new rental units. This will prioritize women and children, indigenous people and families so they can access safe and affordable housing. It is being done through surplus federal lands provided through the federal lands initiative. This is the national housing strategy at work.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, this winter is likely to be as cold, punishing and long as the last winter. This is very bad news for Canadian families, because we have heard that gas home heating costs are expected to increase by 100%.
    Six out of 10 Canadian families heat their homes with natural gas. That means there will be hundreds if not thousands of dollars more spent on home heating bills this winter by Canadian families. It is only going to be made worse by the Liberals, who are going to triple the carbon tax.
    Why are they so insistent on punishing Canadians for heating their homes?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to remind my hon. colleague from Winnipeg that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has weighed in on this many times. Eight out of 10 families will be better off.
    The other thing the Parliamentary Budget Officer says is that the tab for climate destruction in this country is $20 billion a year. Members have heard me talk about Lytton and the floods in Manitoba. We cannot afford these climate disasters. The Conservatives are doing absolutely nothing about them.
    I am sure hon. members do not want to be named, especially those on my left. I do not know what it is, but I can hear the voices very strongly. I do not want to have to look over and name the riding they are from and embarrass them, their family, their riding and anyone who knows them.
    The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have spent over $100 billion on climate change, and their carbon tax has increased the cost of food, home heating and gas. Things are getting worse than ever before. Inflation is at a 40-year high.
    Now we are finding out that Canada, with all this spending and all these taxes, is ranked 58 out of 63 countries in the world on the climate change performance index by COP27. We are at the bottom of the barrel on climate change. The Liberals do not have a climate change plan. They have a tax plan.
    When will they axe the carbon tax so that Canadian families can afford to live?
    Mr. Speaker, I find it revealing that in the preamble to the hon. member's question, she seemed to criticize us for making serious investments in climate change.
    It should come as no surprise, though, that the Conservatives oppose our measures, because she knows very well that the policy we have advanced actually puts more money in the pockets of Canadian households. I am not surprised that they are opposing it, because at every instance since 2015, they have opposed measures that actually leave ordinary families better off.
    When we raised taxes on the wealthiest to give a tax break to the middle tax, the Conservatives voted against it. When we stopped sending child care cheques to millionaires to put more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families, they voted against it. Now, when we are charging people for pollution and giving that money directly to families, they oppose that too.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister broke his promise to Canadians. In 2017, he launched his national housing strategy, calling it, among other things, a “life-changing plan” to get Canadians into homes and to keep them there. The minister even recently gave housing bureaucrats $48 million in bonuses for a job well done, but we all know the housing crisis has gotten worse under the government.
    Will the minister please explain to the House and to Canadians why he gave $48 million in bonuses to bureaucrats for a job not done?
    Mr. Speaker, this is yet another example of playing ignorance when they know better. We do not determine the compensation rates for an independent Crown corporation.
    Perhaps the member has the courage to talk to his leader so he stops being the biggest gatekeeper and supports housing for Canadians. When we introduced legislation to delivery much-needed rental supports to Canadians, what did that side do? They opposed it. When we presented plans to invest in rapid housing solutions for the most vulnerable, they opposed it. That is their record and they cannot get away from it.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General laid the facts bare for all Canadians. Never, ever has a government spent so much to deliver so little. Canadians see the results. They see the tent cities growing all across this country.
    Can the minister please explain to the House and to every single Canadian who cannot find a home right now why the government would give $48 million in bonuses to federal housing gatekeepers while more and more Canadians get left out in the cold?
    Mr. Speaker, I wish the hon. member took that same level of advocacy to his leader, who has been the biggest gatekeeper in this House against supports for Canadian first-time homebuyers, against supports for rapid housing initiatives in communities facing homelessness, against supports for 64 different community entities to reduce and prevent homelessness—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. minister can continue, maybe from the top so I can hear the whole thing this time. It is at a distance over here, and I might not have gotten it.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, they are living up to their record, but when someone actually states their true record on this side of the House, they have a problem listening to it, but those are the facts.
     When it is first-time home buyers saving up to $40,000 in a tax-free savings account, they vote against it. When it is providing more supports to communities facing homelessness through the pandemic by preventing 62,000 people from entering homelessness and providing permanent solutions for 32,000 Canadians experiencing homelessness, they vote against. The rapid housing initiative has delivered 10,250 deeply affordable homes; they voted against that.

[Translation]

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, with COP27 in full swing, the big winners have been revealed.
     Unfortunately, I am talking about the winners of the bidding process for oil exploration licences in Newfoundland's offshore. The winners are ExxonMobil, BP, Equinor and the Qatar state-owned company, QPI. Incentivized by the federal government's decision to eliminate environmental assessments, they have promised to invest no less than $238 million to find oil. If they are willing to invest $238 million, needless to say, they expect to find oil.
    How many more Bay du Nord projects does Ottawa plan to authorize?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify that the bidding process does not in itself authorize production activities in the offshore area.
    I would also point out that any proposal for production within the boundaries would first and foremost be subject to the Impact Assessment Act, would have to fit within the framework of our climate plan and would have to offer the best emissions performance, including net-zero emissions by 2050.
    These are merely licence bids for exploration, not the actual licences.
    Mr. Speaker, at the same time, Canada once again extended an invitation to COP15 on biodiversity being held in Montreal.
    The event is three weeks away and not one head of state has confirmed their attendance.
    Obviously, all countries are quite aware that Canada is approving oil exploration drilling in a marine protected area. Canada does not even allow fishing in those areas to protect biodiversity, yet it allows companies to bore through the ocean floor to find oil.
    If not all that many people are interested in attending COP15, it may be because they believe that Canada has no credibility on biodiversity, as is the case with the fight against climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our work on biodiversity and we are proud to be at COP15 in Montreal.
    I will be clear. The Northeast Newfoundland Slope marine refuge will remain a refuge under current conditions, and we will examine all exploration activities in the refuge on a case-by-case basis.
    As I said, the tendering process does not authorize offshore production or development activities. Any proposed production offshore would first be subject to the Impact Assessment Act.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, grocery prices continue to soar, and gas prices are hitting a record high. That means parents cannot afford to pay their bills and feed their kids, and they are terrified where the next paycheque will come from. The Liberals' answer to this is “Just cancel your $13-a-month Disney+ subscription.” That is how out of touch the Prime Minister truly is.
    Will the Prime Minister stop his inflationary spending and stop raising taxes?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that Canadians are going through a tough time. We are all in a global inflationary cycle. We are not going to take any lessons from the member opposite, whose leader advised Canadians to invest in crypto as a hedge against inflation. That was totally irresponsible and totally reckless. It would have ruined people's savings.
    I can tell members that the compassionate approach is to double the GST credit, to permanently eliminate interest on student loans, to make sure that $500 top-ups go to people who need it for housing, to cut child care fees in half and to provide dental care to half a million kids. That is the compassionate and responsible thing to do. It is what we are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, even future Liberal leader Mark Carney has confirmed that inflation is homegrown. Why will the minister not?
    Inflation has reached the highest rate in four decades, and now Bank of Canada governor, Tiff Macklem, has stated that increasingly the inflation we are seeing in Canada reflects what is going on in Canada. Canadians cannot continue to afford this NDP and Liberal coalition.
    Will the Prime Minister stop his inflationary spending and stop raising taxes?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, moms in Riverbend who received the CERB did not cause inflation nor did businesses that received supports during the pandemic cause inflation. If our investments in Canadians had caused inflation, we would be the only country in the world with inflation. Germany, the EU, the U.K., Australia and the United States all have higher inflation.
    What are we doing on this side? We are investing in supporting Canadians who need the support when they need it the most. The Conservatives do not like it and Canadians do. That is why we are doing what we are doing.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals caused the Liberal inflation that is impoverishing Canadians, who have to choose between putting food on the table, keeping a roof over their heads and getting around. This Liberal crisis is hurting everyone. Some people are skipping meals. Workers are using food banks. Students are staying in shelters.
    The Liberals do not care about any of that and are still reaching into Canadians' wallets to pay for their mess.
    Will the Liberals do the only sensible thing and cancel their plans to raise taxes?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, just because the Conservatives repeat something three times does not make it true. Let us focus on the facts. When it comes to supporting Canadians, on this side of the House we have been there, and the Conservatives have voted against supporting Canadians every step of the way.
    When it comes to inflation, Canada is lower than the United States, it is lower than the European Union, and it is lower than many other countries in the world. That does not mean it is an easy time for Canadians right now, but we are there to support them. We are continuing to do that, and we hope the Conservatives would join us if they truly cared about Canadians.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, many Canadians, particularly workers, families and the most vulnerable, are finding it increasingly difficult to find housing in many of Canada's urban centres. Ottawa is no exception.
    Can the President of the Treasury Board tell the House what our government is doing to ensure that Canadians have a roof over their heads?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his hard work and his important question.
    On Monday, in Ottawa—Vanier, in the national capital region, we announced the construction of 271 affordable housing units for families in our area. What great news. 
    We are making investments to help give women, youth and indigenous peoples a safe and affordable place to live in our region.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, this morning the first snowfall arrived in my riding, and the children were out playing, making snowmen and throwing snowballs. However, the snow unfortunately served as a harsh reminder of the difficult winter to come and the challenges parents will face as they decide whether they pay for home heating or they pay for groceries.
    Will the Liberals finally show some compassion and cut their planned tax hikes on gas, groceries and home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, on no less than five occasions the Liberal government reduced taxes on Canadians, and every single time the Conservatives voted against it. What did they vote against? They voted against the Canada child benefit, cutting taxes on the middle class, reducing taxes on small businesses and reducing taxes on workers. They voted against the $15 minimum wage. When they had a chance to support half a million kids to get dental care for the first time in their lives, which they receive on the other side of the House, they voted against it.
    Mr. Speaker, winter is here and Canadians will be paying thousands more dollars to heat their homes because of the inflationary Liberal carbon tax. They will paying more for everything because of the out-of-control spending of this greedy NDP-Liberal costly coalition. Canadians need help now.
    Will the Liberals end their inflationary spending and cancel their plans to triple taxes on gas, groceries and home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, today there are a couple of things that are happening across the world that we have to be very mindful of: the existential crisis of climate change and the reality of inflation. Inflation is something that is making it very difficult for people across the world to pay their bills. Canada is below not only the EU but also the G7, with one of the lowest inflation rates that exist in the world. That is not good enough.
    Mr. Mark Strahl: That is cold comfort to hungry families.
    Hon. Mark Holland: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite says, it is cold comfort.
    What they expect are solutions, not raising anxiety, not raising fears and not pretending those issues do not exist. Climate change is real. Inflation is real. It demands maturity and real answers.

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, Thelma and Everett from Twillingate spent $5,500 on home heating fuel last winter. They wrote to me saying, “we are in our sixties, still working, with no pensions. We can't afford that kind of bill.” Since last winter, the price of home heating fuel has increased by 77.3% in Newfoundland and Labrador. With the addition of the carbon tax on that the grand total is 97.3%.
    Will thePrime Minister have mercy on Thelma and Everett, and many like them, and cancel his plan to triple the carbon tax on gas, groceries—
    The hon. government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the member's constituents, the people he was referring to, are facing a great deal of anxiety. They would want to know, as an example, that the money they are paying for the price on pollution they will actually get back. The member opposite knows that. They would also want to hear that they have a government that cares, if they have grandchildren, about the type of world they will be inheriting.
    The costs that are involved with climate change are in the trillions upon trillions of dollars. Let us talk about the legacy the Conservatives are giving to their grandchildren by ignoring the climate crisis, pretending it is not real, pretending the facts are not facts, lying to them, frankly, about the reality of that circumstance—
    Mr. Brad Vis: It's unparliamentary.
    I do not know if it was parliamentary. I had a hard time hearing it.
    The hon. member for Brampton South.

Child Care

    Mr. Speaker, we know that the Canada-wide early learning and child care system is now up and running across the country. Families in my home province of Ontario are already seeing the benefits of the significant investments that Canada and the province are making.
    Can the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development update the House on the progress that Ontario has reached as this national system continues to build out?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Brampton South, who has been a tireless advocate for universal child care in this country.
    I am really pleased to report to the House that Ontario has had 92% of licensed child care providers sign on. That means families are receiving rebates of up to 25% dating back to April 1, and as of December 31 they will receive a 50% reduction in fees. I spoke to one mother who said she specifically went back to work because she can now afford it because of these child care fees.
    Child care is a home run. It is a win for our children, it is a win for our families and it is a win for our economy.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to be able to trust that the government will not manipulate RCMP investigations into serious crimes, but lately they have not been so sure. People want more accountability from the current government. Yesterday, the RCMP commissioner agreed. That sounds like a clear endorsement of my bill to ensure transparency between the RCMP and the government.
    Will the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety commit to restoring public trust in our institutions by supporting my proposal?
    Mr. Speaker, the independence of our law enforcement is vital to our democracy, and I thank my colleague for his important advocacy and work on this issue and all issues related to public safety. Good government is essential for good policing. We will review his bill, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and all members of the House on the continued independence of the RCMP.

Cannabis

    Mr. Speaker, Izabela and many other parents from my riding are worried about the proliferation of illegal cannabis shops in our community, which specifically target children. They are selling copycat pot edibles that doctors say look like candy, but are poisoning kids.
    I also recently met with the Cannabis Council of Canada. It feels that a lack of enforcement on the many regulatory rules that legitimate businesses must follow allow black market operators to flourish. The millions of dollars gained from illegal cannabis selling is known to be used to buy firearms and fund organized crime.
    What is the government doing to stop these illegal pot shops?

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for raising this important issue. The health and safety of our children is fundamental and the most important thing for this government.
    The Cannabis Act is there to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while serving as a flexible legislative framework that adapts and responds to the ongoing emerging needs of Canadians to help displace that illegal and illicit market. I will have a look at what the member opposite has raised, and I thank him again for his advocacy.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Citizenship Act

    The House resumed from November 4 consideration of the motion that Bill S-245, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (granting citizenship to certain Canadians), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:15 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill S-245 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1525)  

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

(Division No. 216)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 309


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Dreeshen
Drouin
Dzerowicz
Gallant
Godin
Joly
Kramp-Neuman
Mendicino
Ng
O'Connell
Seeback
Shipley

Total: -- 12


    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

    Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

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

  (1530)  

International Human Rights Act

    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C ‑281.

  (1540)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 217)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 313


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Dreeshen
Drouin
Dzerowicz
Gallant
Godin
Joly
Kramp-Neuman
Mendicino
Ng
O'Connell
Seeback
Shipley

Total: -- 12


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

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

    I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 25 minutes.

Points of Order

Amendment to Bill C-228 at Committee Stage 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising to follow up on the point of order that was raised earlier this week by the member for Winnipeg North in respect to Bill C-228.
    The bill, presented by the member for Sarnia—Lambton, has to do with protection of pensions. The member forWinnipeg North highlighted that the finance committee had ruled a particular amendment having to do with the protection of severance and termination pay in the case of bankruptcy as being out of order.
    I would like to call to the Speaker's attention, first of all, the fact that the committee did consider that question—
    I would ask the hon. member to hold on for a second.
    I am going to ask the members in the House to maybe stop talking or at least whisper to each other. I know they have important messages to pass onto each other and they cannot wait.
    I think it has now calmed down.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Mr. Speaker, going back to what I was saying earlier, the committee did consider that question.
     I want to call to your attention that, after some deliberation, the committee decided to overturn the ruling of the chair. That was not done spontaneously or without planning and consideration. We had the bill's sponsor at committee. Not only did the bill's sponsor at committee say that she believed those amendments were appropriate in the context of her own bill, but in fact, at second reading she said in her remarks that she had anticipated these amendments because they were discussed prior to the bill's passage at second reading. They were part of the debate in this House at second reading.
    The bill passed second reading with all members who were paying attention to that debate knowing full well that the sponsor of the bill intended to accept amendments to that effect.
    I think that between the very clear position of the sponsor of the bill in respect to these amendments, the fact that it was made very clear before the second reading vote, and then the fact that the committee overturned the chair's ruling on it being ruled out of order, our considerations should weigh very heavily on your mind, Mr. Speaker, when you consider your ruling on the point of order raised by the member for Winnipeg North, which would have the effect of removing protection for severance and termination pay of Canadian workers in the event that their company experiences a bankruptcy.
    Thank you very much for your consideration of that important point, Mr. Speaker.

  (1545)  

    I will be coming back to the House on that as soon as possible.
    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I want to uphold the comments of the member for Elmwood—Transcona. I do not see that the government of the day should be able to overrule the will of the committee.
    I would ask you to consider that as you consider the matter.
    As I said, I will be coming back to the House on that very soon, because it is a timely matter.

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to seven petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

[Translation]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly respecting its participation at the 29th annual session in Birmingham, United Kingdom, from July 2 to 6, 2022.

[English]

Committees of the House

Citizenship and Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration entitled “Promoting Fairness in Canadian Immigration Decisions”.
    I would like to thank all the members of the committee for their hard work to produce this substantive report on such an important issue, which led to an important series of recommendations for the government that could lead to real improvements to our immigration system.
    I would like to thank our hard-working analysts, Julie Béchard, Madalina Chesoi, Andrea Garland, and especially Martin McCallum, who has now left us to pursue new appointments and opportunities in the public service.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

[Translation]

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities entitled “Improving efficiency and resiliency in Canada’s supply chains”.
     Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

[English]

Petitions

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand in the House and present a petition on an issue of a high degree of concern from residents in Saanich—Gulf Islands. It relates to the destruction of old growth forests and the combined issue that old growth forests are on indigenous lands and protect biodiversity and play an important role in sequestering carbon.
     The petitioners call on the government to work with provinces and first nations to halt logging in endangered old growth ecosystems; to fund long-term protection of such ecosystems; to support value-added forestry, as constituents are consistently concerned that raw logs are exported rather than being sent to local sawmills to create employment; to ban the exports of raw logs; and to stop the use of whole trees in wood pellet production, which is advertised as a solution to climate change even though such a proposal is fraud.

  (1550)  

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of presenting, on behalf of over 8,000 signatories, a petition related to some federal lands that are held in the riding of South Surrey—White Rock that are very important to the residents of Cloverdale—Langley City and Langley—Aldergrove.
     There are 300 acres of land that are deemed to be surplus. They are very important from a food perspective within our region. These lands are really special. They produce some of our first potatoes, carrots and cabbage every year. Seventy per cent of British Columbia's kale production from May through August comes from these 300 acres. Also arising from these lands are 50 million vegetable servings delivered across western Canada.
     The petition calls for the federal government to, among other things, cease in the disposal of these lands and look at retaining them permanently for agricultural purposes.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 836, 837 and 842 to 844.

[Text]

Question No. 836—
Mr. Martin Shields:
    With regard to the federal carbon tax or price on carbon: (a) what is the cumulative amount of carbon tax revenue which has been collected from agricultural producers in the (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21, (iii) 2021-22, fiscal year; (b) what is the projected amount of carbon tax revenue which has been rebated to agricultural producers in the (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21, (iii) 2021-22, fiscal year; (c) what is the cumulative amount of carbon tax revenue projected to be collected from agricultural producers in the (i) 2022-23, (ii) 2023-24, (iii) 2024-25, fiscal year; (d) what is the cumulative amount of carbon tax revenue projected to be rebated to agricultural producers in the (i) 2022-23, (ii) 2023-24, (iii) 2024-25, fiscal year; (e) what are the details of how the amount in (a) was calculated, including a breakdown of how much revenue came from gas, electricity, and other items impacted by the carbon tax; and (f) what is the breakdown of (a) through (d) by province where the federal carbon tax is in effect?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the federal fuel charge is generally not paid directly by consumers of fuel. Rather, the federal fuel charge is generally paid to the Canada Revenue Agency through monthly returns filed by producers or distributors of fuel. These returns only account for aggregate amounts. Typically, once the fuel charge has been paid by a fuel producer or distributor, there is no further reporting of who finally directly bears the cost of the federal fuel charge.
    The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, or GGPPA, provides significant up-front relief for farmers from the fuel charge. Notably, the GGPPA provides farmers with relief from the fuel charge for gasoline and light fuel oil (e.g., diesel) used in tractors and other farm machinery. The relief is provided through the use of exemption certificates when certain conditions are met. As the fuel charge is ultimately not paid by the registered distributor upon delivery when an exemption certificate applies, there is no reported amount of this relief.
    In addition, recognizing that many farmers use natural gas and propane in their operations, the Government of Canada recently implemented a refundable tax credit to return a portion of fuel charge proceeds directly to farming businesses operating in backstop fuel charge provinces, currently Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, starting in the 2021-22 fuel charge year. The credit aims to help farmers transition to lower-pollution ways of farming, while also maintaining the price signal to reduce emissions.
    It is estimated that farmers will receive approximately $100 million in the first year with this amount increasing to approximately $122 million for the 2022-23 fuel charge year. Amounts returned for the 2023-24 fuel charge year and beyond are expected to increase further as the price on pollution continues to rise. Actual amounts returned will depend on the number of farmers claiming the credit and their eligible expenses. As this is the first year of implementation, further information on the actual amount returned through the return of fuel charge to farmers tax credit will not be known until the following fiscal year.
Question No. 837—
Ms. Melissa Lantsman:
    With regard to the decision by the government to only list one of the five branches of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), namely the Quds Force, as a terrorist entity: (a) why does the government refuse to list the entire IRGC as a terrorist entity; and (b) is there any specific criteria or threshold which the government does not consider to have been met which is preventing the entire IRGC from being listed as a terrorist entity, and, if so, what criteria or threshold has not been met?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government has strong measures in place to ensure Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, are held accountable for their support of terrorism, including some of the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions in the world.
    Within the last month an additional 42 individuals and 12 entities were announced to be sanctioned under the special economic measures Iran regulations, or SEMA, in addition to the 202 previously listed Iranian entities and individuals. These measures prohibit dealings related to the listed individuals and entities, some of whom have participated in or enabled gross human rights violations, including against Iranian women, and perpetuated disinformation activities to justify the Iranian regime’s repression and persecution of its citizens. The assets these individuals and entities may hold in Canada will be effectively frozen.
    On October 7, 2022, the Prime Minister announced the intention to list the Iranian regime and its top leaders, more than 10,000 officers and senior members, as perpetually inadmissible to Canada for their engagement in terrorism and systemic and gross human rights violations, by pursuing a designation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, or IRPA. This includes heads of state, high ranking officials of the IRGC, intelligence officials, senior public servants, diplomats and members of the judiciary.
    In addition to these recent actions, Iran continues to be designated as a state supporter of terrorism under the State Immunity Act.
    Moreover, the IRGC’s Quds Force continues to be listed as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code. In addition to the Quds Force, the government lists a number of terrorist entities under this regime that have benefited from its patronage and that have helped advance Iran’s interests and foreign policy. These include Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Taliban Al-Ashtar Brigades, Harakat al-Sabireen and the Fatemiyoun Division. The Criminal Code sets out a terrorist listing regime to help prevent the use of Canada’s financial system to further terrorist activity and to assist in the investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences.
    The assessment process for listing a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code is one of continuous analysis to ensure that the process and tools used are rigorous and based on evidence, intelligence as well as domestic and international law.
    The government pursues all the tools at its disposal and is working with like-minded countries to continue to keep pressure on Iran to cease its unlawful and terrorist behavior. The government is taking action to ensure that nobody who is responsible for Iran’s egregious actions can operate in Canada. Canadians can be confident in the work performed by our security agencies, which are alert to evolving threats and will not hesitate to take necessary action.
Question No. 842—
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
    With regard to the government's response to extraterritorial police forces or similar types of foreign entities operating in Canada: (a) what countries is the government aware of that currently have police forces operating in Canada; (b) what is the government's estimate on the number of individuals currently in the country belonging to each force, broken down by country; and (c) has the government taken any specific action to stop Canadian citizens from being harassed, intimidated or otherwise negatively impacted by members of such forces?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Regarding the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and part (a) of the question, given its mandate and specific operational requirements, CSIS does not generally disclose details related to operational activity. With respect to part (b), given its mandate and specific operational requirements, CSIS does not generally disclose details related to operational activity. With regard to part (c), Canadians should never be subject to harassment or intimidation by foreign actors. As such, CSIS is committed to fulfilling its mandate to investigate threats to the security of Canada and the Canadian population. This includes any foreign influenced activity that is detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive, or involve a threat to any person. However, given its mandate and operational requirements, CSIS does not generally disclose details related to specific operational activity.
    Regarding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and part (a) of the question, in order for an international law enforcement agency to operate in Canada they must notify the INTERPOL national central bureau in Ottawa and seek approval under the foreign criminal investigators in Canada, or FCIC, protocol. This protocol sets out Canada’s notification and approval requirements for regulating the entry and monitoring of foreign criminal investigators pursuing foreign criminal investigations in Canada.
    The FCIC protocol is aimed at safeguarding Canadian security, sovereignty and public interest, while ensuring adherence by foreign law enforcement and prosecution agencies to applicable Canadian policy and legislation, including the Criminal Code of Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Privacy Act. As of October 17, 2022, there are currently no international law enforcement agencies operating in Canada under the FCIC protocol.
    That said, the RCMP is aware of and is investigating allegations of unauthorized police presence in Canada. Since the investigation is ongoing, there will be no further comment on the matter at this time.
    With regard to part (b), as noted in the answer for part (a), there are currently no international law enforcement agencies operating in Canada under the FCIC protocol. The RCMP is aware of and is investigating allegations of unauthorized police presence in Canada. Given the investigation is ongoing, there will be no further comment on the matter at this time.
    With regard to part (c), as part of the RCMP’s international policing liaison officer program, the RCMP organizes regular briefings with foreign partners hosted in country to ensure they remain continuously abreast on Canadian laws and legal requirements.
    In terms of actions taken, the RCMP works closely with domestic and international partners to counter any hostile activities by foreign states.
    Foreign interference, or FI, entails foreign states, targeting Canada’s democratic institutions, economic systems and diaspora communities to advance their political, economic and security interests to the detriment of Canada’s.
    The RCMP is mandated by legislation, under section 2 of the Security Offences Act and ministerial direction, to investigate threats to the security of Canada defined in section 2 of the CSIS Act, breaches of security defined in the Security of Offences Act, or SOA, and Security of Information Act, or SOIA, or any other criminal offence or any other federal statute or Criminal Code offence that may have a national security dimension. Further to this, the RCMP acts against FI threats that are criminal or illegal in nature, including acts involving the harassment, intimidation or coercion of individuals or groups within Canada.
    The RCMP has several teams, units and efforts in place that contribute to disrupting FI. The RCMP also engages with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to help inform police of jurisdiction of FI threats and to establish mechanisms for reporting FI incidents. Federal policing participates in several interdepartmental efforts to combat FI, including the security and intelligence threats to elections, or SITE, task force, an initiative consisting of the RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Communications Security Establishment and Global Affairs Canada, or GAC. FP also participates in the GAC-led rapid response mechanism, a G7 initiative established in 2018 that seeks to strengthen coordination across the G7 in identifying, preventing and responding to threats to G7 democracies.
    It is important for all individuals and groups living in Canada, regardless of their nationality, to know that there are support mechanisms in place to assist them when experiencing harassment and intimidation. Anyone who feels threatened online or in person, should report these incidents to their local police. If someone in the public is in immediate danger, they should call 911 or contact their local police. Individuals may also contact the RCMP national security information network by phone at 1-800-420-5805 or by email at RCMP.NSIN-RISN.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Service is available in Canada’s both official languages.
Question No. 843—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to employees at Health Canada, as of September 29, 2022: (a) what is the total number of employees at the director general level or higher; (b) of the employees in (a), how many (i) are a doctor of medicine (MD), (ii) have a doctorate in a medical field, but are not MDs, (iii) have a doctorate in another field, broken down by field; and (c) what are the details of each employee at the director general level or higher that has such a background, including, for each, their (i) title, (ii) relevant degrees?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to part (a) of the question, the answer is 79. With respect to part (b)(i), the answer is zero employees. Please note that in addition to the 79 executives in part (a), there are six medical doctors at the MD MOF-04 and -05 levels who serve either as senior medical advisers to DG levels or higher; or hold executive positions below the DG level. With respect to part (b)(ii), it is one employee, and for part (b)(iii), it is five employees. With respect to part (c), of the 79 DGs or higher, and the six MD MOF-04s and -05s the breakdown is as follows: six MD-MOFs, one doctorate in a medical field, and five doctorates in other fields. Please note that education is personal information so further details on positions and types of degrees cannot be disclosed.
Question No. 844—
Mr. Colin Carrie:
    With regard to purchases of COVID-19 vaccine doses by the government: has the government purchased any doses before the doses being approved by Health Canada, and, if so, what are the details of all such purchases, including the (i) manufacturer, (ii) name of the vaccine, (iii) date of purchase, (iv) number of doses purchased, (v) date of the approval by Health Canada?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada built its vaccine portfolio through advance purchase agreements, or APAs, securing future access to COVID-19 vaccines in development at a time when it was not yet known which vaccine candidates would receive Health Canada authorization, and if so, when. This was done in order to ensure that Canada was at the forefront of receiving life-saving vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing suppliers the opportunity to accelerate product development and production capacity, and to engage in the regulatory process. Vaccine candidates were selected with guidance from the COVID-19 vaccine task force, experts who helped identify a diverse portfolio of different vaccine types that were most likely to be effective and delivered the fastest.
    The first two agreements, with Moderna and Pfizer, were announced in August 2020, followed by similar agreements with Janssen for Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca/Verity Pharmaceuticals and Serum Institute of India, and Medicago. The agreements included firm commitments to purchase doses as well as access to optional doses should they be required.
    Companies began submitting data to Health Canada for regulatory review as early as September 2020. The ability to review data from early development while later-stage clinical trials are under way expedites the regulatory review process.
    Before filing a submission for a continuing review, sponsors of clinical trials are expected to have gathered a certain level of evidence on the safety, quality and efficacy of their vaccine. Vaccine applications are reviewed through an independent process and products are authorized based on scientific rigour and medical evidence. Products are not made available for use in the Canadian market until they have received regulatory approval.
    Vaccine agreements with suppliers are as follows. For AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer is AstraZeneca Canada Inc. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was May 17, 2020. The number of doses purchased was 20 million, and the date of initial approval by Health Canada was February 26, 2021.
    For Covishield, the manufacturer is Verity Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc./Serum Institute of India, in collaboration with AstraZeneca Canada Inc. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was February 26, 2021. The number of doses purchased was two million, and the date of initial approval by Health Canada was February 26, 2021. The authorization expired September 16, 2021.
    For Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer is Moderna. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was November 16, 2020. The number of doses purchased was 44 million. The initial agreement, after some options exercised, amendment for 2022-24 was up to 25 million in 2022, up to 35 million in 2023 and up to 35 million in 2024. The date of initial approval by Health Canada was December 23, 2020.
    For Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer was BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was July 20, 2020. The number of doses purchased was 51 million. The initial agreement, after some options exercised, amendment for 2022-24 was up to 65 million for 2022, up to 60 million in 2023 and up to 60 million in 2024. The date of initial approval by Health Canada was December 09, 2020.
    For Janssen Jcovden COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer was Janssen Inc., or Johnson & Johnson. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was August 14, 2020. The number of doses purchased was up to 38 million, and the date of initial approval by Health Canada was March 5, 2021.
    For Medicago Covifenz COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer was Medicago Inc. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced was October 23, 2020. The number of doses purchased was up to 76 million, and the date of initial approval by Health Canada was February 24, 2022.
    For Novavax Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine, the manufacturer was Novavax Inc. The date the initial agreement was publicly announced: August 14, 2020. The number of doses purchased was up to 76 million, and the date of initial approval by Health Canada was February 17, 2022.
    For the Sanofi vaccine, the manufacturer was Sanofi. The date initial agreement was publicly announced was July 29, 2020. The number of doses purchased was up to 72 million, and it is still under review by Health Canada.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Further to that, Mr. Speaker, if a revised response to Question No. 597, originally tabled on September 20, 2022 and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 834, 835 and 838 to 841 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 597—
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
    With regard to the ArriveCAN application: (a) how much money did the government spend developing the application; (b) what is the itemized breakdown of all expenditures related to (a); (c) how much has been spent to date maintaining, updating, or promoting the application; (d) how much money did Shared Services Canada spend to initially develop this application; (e) what is the itemized breakdown of all expenditures related to (d); (f) what are the details of all contracts signed by the government related to the application in any way, including, for each (i) the vendor, (ii) the date, (iii) the value, (iv) the start and end dates, if applicable, (v) the description of goods or services provided, (vi) whether the contract was sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bidding process; and (g) what is the total cumulative cost (i) incurred to date, (ii) budgeted related to the application?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 834—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), broken down by province or territory, region and year, from 2012 to present: (a) how many Canadians received the GIS; and (b) of those Canadians receiving the GIS, how many (i) lost the benefit because they filed their income taxes late, (ii) are women who are classified as single, widowed, or divorced?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 835—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to measures targeted to persons with disabilities in Canada and contained in Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (temporary enhancement to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax credit) and in Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing: (a) how many persons with disabilities will receive the one-time housing benefit and the doubling of the GST rebate; (b) how will the government identify persons with disabilities to receive the one-time housing benefit and the GST rebate; and (c) if the Disability Tax Credit is to be used as the only identifier, what steps will the Canada Revenue Agency take to make sure that the one-time housing benefit and the GST rebate are available to as many persons with disabilities as possible?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 838—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to contracts signed or entered into by the government with Russian vendors since January 1, 2022, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: (a) what are the details of each contract signed with vendors based out of Russia or with a mailing address in Russia, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) value, (iii) vendor, (iv) description or goods or services being provided, including quantity, (v) duration of contract, if applicable, (vi) file number; (b) for each contract in (a), was it sole-sourced or awarded through a competitive bid process; (c) have any of the contracts in (a) been amended or cancelled as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, and, if so, which ones and how was the contract changed; and (d) have any other government contracts been amended or cancelled as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, and, if so, what are the details, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) value, (iii) vendor, (iv) description or goods or services being provided, including quantity, (v) duration of contract, if applicable, (vi) file number, (vii) how the contract was changed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 839—
Mr. Mark Strahl:
    With regard to any rules, regulations, or policies put in place by the government since February 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each such rule, regulation, or policy, including the (i) date put into place, (ii) date rescinded, or date the measure is scheduled to be rescinded, (iii) detailed summary of the measure put into place, (iv) location or locations where the measure was or is in effect?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 840—
Mr. Jake Stewart:
    With regard to lump sum signing bonuses paid out to government officials, broken down by fiscal year since 2016-17, and by department or agency: (a) what was the total amount paid out in signing bonuses; (b) how many individuals (i) at or above the executive (EX) level (or equivalent), (ii) below the EX level (or equivalent), received signing bonuses; (c) what was the total amount paid out in signing bonuses to officials (i) at or above the EX level (or equivalent), (ii) below the EX level (or equivalent); (d) what is the breakdown of (a) through (c) by individuals who were new to the public service versus individuals who were already in the public service; and (e) which specific jobs in the public service qualify for lump sum signing bonuses?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 841—
Mr. Jake Stewart:
    With regard to expenditures and other transactions made by the government using the object code 179 (at-risk pay) or any similar code related to risk pay in the 2021-22 fiscal year, broken down by department or agency: (a) what was the total amount paid out in at-risk pay; (b) how many and what percentage of officials (i) at or above the executive (EX) level (or equivalent), (ii) below the EX level (or equivalent), received at-risk pay; (c) what was the total amount paid out in at-risk pay to officials (i) at or above the EX level (or equivalent), (ii) below the EX level (or equivalent); and (d) what is the breakdown of (a) through (c) by pay for work conducted (i) in Canada, (ii) abroad?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers also be allowed to stand at this time, please.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022

    The House resumed from November 15 consideration of the motion that Bill C-32, an act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement tabled in Parliament on November 3, 2022 and certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure and a privilege to rise on behalf of the residents of Vaughan—Woodbridge and the city of Vaughan, who in my view are the most entrepreneurial and generous in the country. I may be biased, but I think it is true.
    I rise today to speak to the government’s fall economic statement and Bill C-32, the fall economic statement implementation act, 2022, at a critical juncture for Canada and, frankly, the world. Broadly speaking, I wish to highlight three themes in the fall economic statement.
    The first theme is that the fall economic statement is a fiscally responsible and balanced document that would ensure that Canada’s strong financial position and fiscal framework anchors are maintained. In economist speak, it means our AAA credit rating is left intact, as noted by Moody’s, which recently affirmed our AAA rating, reflecting high economic strength, a very strong institutional and governance framework and, in addition, fiscal policy effectiveness. That is check mark number one.
    The second theme is that we, as a country and as a government, undertake the necessary investments in our people to help make life more affordable and to assist the Canadians most impacted by inflation, with measures such as doubling the GST rebate, increasing old age security by 10% for three million seniors, which we did in the summertime, and enhancing the Canada workers benefit for low-income workers, which will provide an additional $4 billion in payments over the next six years for people who qualified for the benefit in the previous year, through advance payments.
    The Canada workers benefit is something that we have adjusted, strengthened and improved three times now. It helps millions of Canadians and Canadian families from coast to coast to coast; it is lifting people out of poverty, and it is a really effective tool to help Canadians impacted by inflation. I was very glad to see it in the fall economic statement as an enhanced measure. We are providing $500 lump-sum payments to approximately 1.8 million Canadians. The GST rebate, as I mentioned, will assist over 11 million Canadian households. The first step in the Canada dental benefit is $1,300 for individuals who do not have private insurance coverage for their kids. All Canadian kids should be able to go to the dentist.
    The third theme in the fall economic statement, in my view, is a focus on wealth creation by responding to the environment we, as a nation, find ourselves in. Let me explain. In today’s world, relationships between countries are being and are now reshaped; economies are being repositioned due to the realignment in the global economy; there are associated competitive challenges and even threats and security challenges, and the world’s quest for security and affordability of energy and food have never been more prominent.
    The war in Ukraine, the ongoing ascendancy of China economically and militarily in many parts of the world, the climate change crisis and a renewed and reawakened United States post the Trump presidency require an unequivocal, firm policy response from our government, and the fall economic statement lays a path for that response.
    Specifically, we need to respond to the competitive challenges laid out by the Biden administration. The measures quite deftly passed by the Biden administration, I believe, put the economic leadership of the United States front and centre and, frankly, change the world economic game. The Biden administration’s passing of the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, by some estimates, will put investment at nearly $2 trillion in clean technology and clean energy measures over the next 10 years. The CHIPS and Science Act, which is reshaping science and technology in the United States, specifically on the chip manufacturing front, and a majority of the fiscal policy in the prior administration, which was left intact, required a response by our government.
    The decision we make as legislators today will put in place a direction for our economy and for our country’s future and will have a profound impact on the living standards of Canadian citizens for years to come. Today, more than ever, responsible and focused leadership is demanded. That is what our government is committed to doing, and that is what is contained in the fall economic statement.
    The fall economic statement responded with measures to ensure Canadian businesses and workers have the tools to not only compete but also succeed in the global economy and, yes, to benefit from the ongoing transition to a net-zero economy, which is happening at an accelerating pace not only here in Canada but throughout the world.

  (1555)  

    One of these measures that I would like to touch upon in the remainder of my time is an investment tax credit for clean technologies: a refundable tax credit equal to 30% of the capital cost investments in electricity generation systems, stationary electricity storage systems, low-carbon heat equipment, and industrial zero-emission vehicles and related equipment.
    Another is an investment tax credit for clean hydrogen production, as we know that Canada can be the premium supplier of energy in a net-zero world, and clean hydrogen is a part of the solution.
    A third is accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy with the launch of the Canada growth fund. We know there are literally hundreds of billions of dollars of private capital that will be put to use in the transition to a net-zero economy, not only today but going into the future. These private investment dollars will create the good jobs and the prosperity for Canadian workers here in Canada that a net-zero economy will bring.
     Canada is an open economy. We succeed when we trade, when we attract investment, when we compete and yes, when we win. That is most certainly what we are doing these days. The aim is simple. We need to ensure an environment that harnesses private sector capital, works well with the public sector, creates good middle class jobs and assists those wanting to join the middle class. We want to ensure that economic growth, which we have seen a lot of, is inclusive economic growth, so that all Canadians benefit from strong economic growth in our country. We are uniquely positioned in the world.
    The Canada growth fund would utilize public funding to attract private capital and create jobs with a mandate to reduce emissions and achieve Canada's climate targets; accelerate the deployment of key technologies, such as low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture and utilization; scale up companies that would create jobs and drive productivity in the clean economy; and, most importantly, capitalize on Canada's abundance of natural resources and strengthen its supply chains.
    The growth fund will be launched by the end of 2022 and begin immediately to make the critical investments needed to meet Canada’s climate and economic goals.
    Another pillar of growing Canada’s economy is investing in Canada’s advanced manufacturing competitiveness, with consultations currently taking place and measures to be laid out in budget 2023.
    I also wish to speak to Canada as a place in the world for electric vehicles. I am the chair of the Liberal auto caucus. I meet regularly with the Global Automakers of Canada, or the GAC, and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association. I meet with the parts suppliers and all stakeholders, including the Mining Association of Canada, and infrastructure participants that include charging stations and the key technologies that will transition what I would call the auto caucus and what in the future will be the electric vehicle caucus.
    That is where the world is going. That is where Canada is going. We are uniquely positioned, with our human capital, our people, our know-how, our entrepreneurial spirit and the natural resources the country is blessed to have.
    With that, it was great to see yesterday, in the business meetings that were a prelude to the G20, that in Bloomberg's annual ranking of the battery supply chain, the crucial components going into electric vehicles, Canada had moved up the rankings to number two, in front of the United States, in front of Finland and slightly behind China.
    Our government is making progress. We have collaborated with industry. We have collaborated with stakeholders. We are uniquely positioned. We are using our comparative advantage, and I love the words “comparative advantage” as an economist, to make sure Canadian workers and Canadian industry are positioned for electric vehicles and the production thereof. Quoting Bloomberg:
    “Canada’s recent investment in its upstream clean energy supply and increasing demand in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) region increase the country’s competitiveness,” wrote BNEF in a release accompanying the new report.
    Published at the BNEF Summit Bali, the ranking sees Canada rise to the second spot this year, which reflects its large raw material resources and mining activity, as well as its good positioning in environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) and infrastructure, innovation, and industry.
    Those are all words I love to repeat.
    We have work to do. Another thing I wish to touch upon is our government's work with organized labour through UTIP, the union training and innovation program. Not to be slightly partisan, but we know the members on the opposite side love to attack Canadian workers and love to attack Canadian unions.
     We repealed the anti-union legislation in 2015, and we will continue to stand up for union workers across this country, including those receiving their training in my riding at the Carpenters and Allied Workers Local 27 or LiUNA Local 183 Headquarters in my riding, which is moving its training facility. We will be there. We are investing in the union training and innovation program, and we will continue to do so. We are targeting 20,000 more apprenticeships. The UTIP program is transformational. I have been at the training facilities, where youth are receiving their training to build the communities we all live in.

  (1600)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the importance of the environment and the economy and how they interrelate, so I just want to give an example of a very environmentally friendly farmer in my riding. He uses no-till seeding methods, intensive rotational grazing of ruminant animals and rest land for his bird habitats. He protects the waterways, uses fossil fuels minimally and uses zero-chemical fertilizers and herbicides.
    He normally has 30 to 50 customers in a given year, but this past year alone, he is down to three customers. He asked these folks why they are not buying from him, a local, environmentally friendly farmer. The answer was they cannot afford it. They are not purchasing local beef or lamb because they cannot afford gas, are struggling to pay their bills and have to select between food, utilities and fuel bills.
    What is in the economic statement that is going to help rural Canadians afford to buy local and support this great environmental farmer?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound for mentioning that local farmer. We want to support all our farmers across Canada, whether in northern Ontario or any part of the country.
    In terms of the affordability crisis and inflation crisis that has impacted the entire world, we are assisting Canadians. We have put in place a number of measures, including doubling the GST rebate for over 11 million Canadian families, the $500 payment through the rental supplement and putting in place a dental care program. About 92% of day care centres in Ontario have, from my understanding, signed on to the child care agreement, which is saving families literally thousands and thousands of dollars.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague for his speech. It is always nice to hear speeches with a focus on the economy.
    As an economist myself, I would like to ask him the following question. Is it not true that a healthy competition regime is the cornerstone of a healthy economy? If that is the case, why is it that the 2022 budget talked about reforming the Competition Bureau, yet there was absolutely nothing about it in the economic statement that just came out? The commissioner of competition has been saying for months, as did the previous commissioner, that there are serious problems in the competition regime. These problems are not only affecting current prices, because of inflation, but also the productivity of our businesses.
    Is it not time we reformed the Competition Bureau to improve the quality of life of Canadians and Quebeckers?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Terrebonne for her question.

[English]

    I will say this. I completely agree with requiring more competition in our economy. Corporate concentration and crony capitalism are two things I detest. I dislike them very much.
    In the summertime, changes to the Competition Act were made via the Competition Bureau. I will go back and check my notes to see if I am incorrect on that. I look forward to having a further discussion with the hon. member from la belle province on this exact issue.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing I have heard a lot about, not from this economic statement, unfortunately, but certainly from a lot of my constituents and folks working in the industry, is the escalator tax and the excise tax on alcohol.
    I have a lot of small craft breweries in my riding. I know that many of my colleagues are very interested in this, yet the government has not addressed, in any way, shape or form, how there is going to be quite a huge escalation in taxes because of the rate of inflation.
    Could the hon. member comment on why it was not in the fall economic statement? What is his government doing to ensure that small craft breweries and medium-sized breweries will be able to survive?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very familiar with the issue the hon. member has raised. I continue to advocate that we look at the escalator tax and the inflation index rates that could potentially occur within these sectors.
    I represent a very vibrant wine industry. Magnotta Winery is located in my riding, as is Two Sisters winery. The founders are very good friends of mine. Our wineries, craft brewers and beer companies all draw tourism to the region of Niagara. I will continue to advocate for the wine industry, the beer industry and craft brewers from coast to coast to coast.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour and a true privilege to rise in the House and speak on behalf of the great people of Vancouver Kingsway to reflect their realities in the House and urge policies that I think will be of great impact and assistance to them. I think what they would first want me to point out to the House is that at this point in history, we are facing difficult economic times. People are really struggling, and that is very much the case in Vancouver Kingsway.
    The prices for everyday staples such as food, gas, rent, energy and utilities, and for cars, are up. People cannot find affordable housing. This has been a crisis for many years in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver, but it is particularly acute now. I think the word “crisis” is not a hyperbole to describe a situation where people cannot find a secure, dignified and affordable place for themselves and their families.
    I would point out on housing that, of the many financial issues facing people, some are foundational, and I think housing is one of them. Housing anchors us in our community and it is what connects us to our neighbours. It is that from which we launch our connections to school and work, where we build relationships with neighbours and where we express ourselves as people. When we cannot find affordable housing and when we are constantly having to move because of renovictions and rising prices, that is destabilizing in a manner that is truly profound.
    Wages are not keeping up with price inflation, and I am going to touch on this a bit, because I think understanding the true causes of the current economic situation is vital to getting the policies that will address them correctly. This is particularly difficult for those on fixed incomes. Many of us who are working have access to regular salary increases, but seniors or those who are at the lower income levels, especially if they are not unionized, often have to contend with these dramatically rising prices with fixed incomes. It is important for the House to recognize how difficult that situation is for them.
    Food bank use is up. We are hearing reports that families are even reducing their meals. Can members imagine that in a country as wealthy as Canada, a G7 country, in the year 2022, citizens actually have to reduce their calorie intake because of the economic situation?
    I just want to mention small businesses. In my riding of Vancouver Kingsway, we are really powered by small businesses, and small businesses are having a particularly difficult time as well. Their input costs have gone up, and although they are raising their prices, there are limits to how far they can go. I think it is particularly important for us as a federal Parliament to craft policies that recognize the difficulty that small businesses are facing and that acknowledge the vital importance that small businesses and medium-sized businesses have in our economy. Let us craft policies that are responsive to their needs so that we can empower them and provide the context and opportunities they need to grow.
    The causes of the current situation are varied, and we have heard a sample of them in the House. Some in the House blame government spending. Others say this is the result of government deficits. For us in the New Democratic Party, we believe that if we look at the data and look at the actual evidence before us, it is clear that the current situation is the result of several factors. For one, there are clearly supply chain interruptions that really took off when the COVID pandemic hit in early 2020. They clearly have played an important role in driving up the price of goods. We also have the war in Ukraine. Whenever we have a major global destabilizing event like this, there are inevitably negative economic ripples, and I think it must be acknowledged that this is playing a role.
    However, I think uniquely in the House, the contribution the New Democrats are bringing to this economic discussion is one that, frankly, the Conservatives deny and the Liberals ignore. It is the impact of corporate price increases. In other words, it is the gouging that is going on by the corporate sector in many cases. The greedflation that is being caused has to be acknowledged, I would think, as not only a major cause of the current economic travails that are affecting our country, but the major cause of them.

  (1610)  

    In my view, and in the view of many economists like Jim Stanford, corporations are using the cover of macro-events, such as the global issues around supply chains and the war in Ukraine, as an opportunity to drastically increase their prices and blame that on other factors. I think that is quite clear. If we asked any worker in this country if their wages have gone up by 7% this year, we would find out very quickly that the current economic situation is not caused by a rapid increase in wages. If we go to a store and see the prices on the shelves, we will find out very quickly what is causing the increase in prices.
    Let us look at this with a bit of a sectoral analysis. The oil and gas industry last year racked up $140 billion in profits in one year alone. It was the highest profits in a year on record for the oil and gas sector. We have the FIRE industry, the finance, insurance and real estate industry, where profit margins, which I will talk about in a brief second, have gone up by a factor of threefold. We also have the food monopolies. There are three major food chains in the country, and their profits have increased dramatically, in some cases by an additional $1 million per day. One of those companies, Loblaws, outperformed its best years ever in both Q1 and Q2 of this year.
    While Canadians are suffering and struggling, those corporate sectors are prospering like they have never done before. That is an economic imbalance the New Democrats believe has to be acknowledged and addressed.
    I want to speak just for a moment about profit margins, because some apologists for the corporate sector deny this reality. They say that profits are up because input costs are up and that profits are in line with what is normally expected. That is empirically wrong. If we look at profit margins, which are not about gross profits but the percentage of profits these sectors have made, invariably they are up dramatically in almost every major sector in this country. That speaks to companies that are taking advantage of the current situation for their private interests.
    If we do not get the diagnosis correct, it is very difficult to get a proper treatment. The Bank of Canada is attempting to treat the current situation by offering the solution of increasing interest rates. Unless I have missed it, I have not yet heard a word from the Bank of Canada about how we address or curb excessive corporate profits. Their approach is an outdated one. Basically, they want to use the club of interest rates as a cudgel to pound down inflation.
    When we raise interest rates, as they are doing, there are obvious economic impacts and we see what they are. It increases the cost of housing. It increases mortgage rates for all those hundreds of thousands or millions of Canadians who currently hold a mortgage that is going to come due. They will pay more. Of course, if we increase mortgage rates, there is a derivative effect: We end up impacting and increasing rents, because landlords who own properties and have to pay more on a mortgage need more in rent. Raising rates also increases the cost of loans and credit cards. In other words, what they are trying to do is suppress employment and wages, and I think that is improper.
    Bill C-32 is worthy of support because it has some salutary benefits. It would remove the interest on the federal portion of student loans and apprentice loans, something the New Democrats have long called for. It has the Canada recovery dividend too, which would make banks and life insurance groups pay a temporary, one-time 15% tax on taxable income over $1 billion over five years.
    We want this legislation to pass but we want much more. We want to see the Canada recovery dividend extended to big box stores and oil and gas companies and want a permanent surtax on the profits of the oil and gas industry. We want to see the government finally go after the offshore tax evasion that costs to the tune of $30 billion, and we want to see employment insurance reform. Furthermore, we want policies that help working Canadians, not the big corporate sectors that the Conservatives and the Liberals have been favouring in the House for decades.

  (1615)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on the progressive side of what we have been able to accomplish. We hear about issues such as health care, and I think my friend and I have some commonality on the importance of national health care. There might be some concerns related to financing.
    We have the dental plan for children under the age 12. The member referenced the important issue of student interest rates being taken away, which is again a very strong progressive measure. That is going to be done on a permanent basis.
    I am wondering if my friend could provide his thoughts on how, in a relatively short period of time, we are making significant gains in providing these supports. This is a national government demonstrating strong leadership by supporting Canadians directly.

  (1620)  

    Mr. Speaker, yes, I would agree with my hon. colleague that improving public programs such as dental care has an important economic effect on Canadians, as well as, of course, a profoundly important beneficial impact on their health. That is why the New Democrats put dental care on the national agenda. That is why we campaigned on it, drove it forward and demanded it be part of the confidence of supply agreement. Make no mistake, there would be no dental care progress in the House whatsoever if there were not 25 New Democrat MPs who demanded it to be the case.
    It will have an economic impact because, by the time our plan is put in place, some nine million Canadians who do not have it now will have access to dental insurance. If they had had to pay out of pocket for dental services, that means there would have been expenses that they would not have had to spend later. There is an example where we can not only improve Canadians' health but also relieve pressure on their pocketbooks at the same time. The NDP is going to keep driving that forward until every Canadian gets the dental care they deserve.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just going through some numbers I received from the Library of Parliament on tax revenue to the Government of Canada from the oil and gas sector. Back in 2019, it was as high as $807 million. When we talk about oil and gas companies bringing in record profits, we know the government is also bringing in record taxes from the oil and gas sector.
    The member talked about his dental care bill. If they succeed in killing off the oil and gas sector, where are they going to get the money to pay for their programs? These are programs such as the dental care bill, which has passed through the House of Commons, and which has a much larger bill than the tax revenue from the oil and gas companies.
    Mr. Speaker, a really important question the House needs to start taking into account is the cost of not dealing with the climate crisis. What are the costs of dealing with the massive damage that was done in the Atlantic provinces through the climate crisis, the hurricane that just hit there? What are the economic costs of having a drought in British Columbia, or having wildfires and towns being incinerated, such as what happened in Lytton? The costs are in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
    We better start accounting for that. If we do not deal with the climate crisis, if we continue to allow the untrammelled burning of carbon on this planet, as the Conservatives want, then economic activity is going to be ground to a halt in many cases. What we need in this country is to transition our economy to a sustainable one.
    I, for one, believe that is a way our country could benefit the 21st century. I do not think dealing with the climate crisis is a cost. It is an essential transition that will position our economy to be even more profitable in the 21st century. Ignoring the climate crisis, allowing disasters to occur and having our natural environment degraded to the point where the planet is sending a strong message that we cannot keep burning carbon the way we do, as the Conservatives want us to, is no economic plan that I can get behind.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech, in which he talked about the economic consequences of the climate crisis. I wonder if he could comment on the fact that even today, in 2022, the government continues to give billions of dollars in subsidies to oil and gas companies.
    Does he not think that we will pay for this later in terms of climate change adaptation?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree completely with my hon. colleague. There is not a single case to be made for any government in the world to be subsidizing the oil and gas industry or the production of fossil fuels. Not only is it unnecessary, but it is also counterproductive to what the world needs to be doing, which is reducing our carbon output.
    While I appreciate the long questions and the long answers because the debate is interesting, let us try to keep them a little shorter so we have the opportunity to get as many people in as we possibly can on the debate. Unfortunately, we are out of time for this member and will have to move on to the next one.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a great pleasure to rise in the House to speak on behalf of my constituents in Winnipeg South Centre, especially at this moment.
    We are coming through a pandemic, and its impact on the country's balance sheet was a once-in-a-lifetime stress on the nation's fiscal framework, with unprecedented demand and need, and there was urgency to protect individuals and businesses whose very financial survival depended on a government that was positioned and prepared to help immediately. We responded effectively and urgently, but perfection is elusive. We were not perfect, but I think there is a consensus that, under the circumstances and with the urgency that was felt by government, we did a good job. However, we cycled back to individuals and businesses, took their feedback and rolled that into an iteration that was responsive to what we heard from the people who mattered the most, and those are Canadians.
    The role of government was at the centre stage of determining the appropriate response to this pandemic, and I think that the entire country learned to understand the collective responsibility that lay in front of us during this unprecedented time. To effectively deal with this once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances, we had to respond not only in a way that was sensitive to the needs of today but also with an eye to what comes later. The fall economic statement understands that, because there is inevitably a balance between wealth creation and wealth distribution.
     We are very good in this country at debating whether or not we think we should spend the nation's resources on health care or education, or maybe we should give more money to symphony orchestras. We can have honest debates about that, but those debates would be sterile if nobody was producing the wealth. That is the job of the private sector, and the spirit of entrepreneurship has so well characterized our capacity to grow as a nation in ways that offer opportunity to our citizens.
    There is a difference in the way the three political parties respond to this balance, which we need. The NDP, I think, has historically been pretty good at determining ways in which we can justly distribute the nation's wealth, but I do not hear an awful lot of talk about how we create it, who should create it and the necessary framework within which it can be done effectively. I would like to hear more from my New Democratic friends and colleagues about the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit. I do not hear those words very often. From the Conservatives, I do not very often hear talk about a just and equitable distribution of wealth.
    If the Liberal Party, my party, has been successful, really since the very earliest days of Confederation, we have been successful because we have found the sweet spot in the centre between those two imperative values of creating and distributing wealth. The reason we have been successful, I think, is because that is where Canadians are, and we have been able to tune in to what we believe to be the centre of the Canadian electorate and Canadian thinking, as we have to be.
     The fall economic statement recognizes the importance of that balance, and the finance minister has said so repeatedly. I believe that we, as a party in government, are very well positioned to understand the sensitivity of that balance, and that is evident in the fall economic statement. It is very important to recognize programs in that way and in that context, and I think that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance has done an excellent job.
    She knows from her own experience. Having been raised in Alberta, she understands the importance of the energy sector to the Canadian economy, past, present and future. The prairie economy is very exciting, and having been a prairie dweller my entire life, I see it.

  (1625)  

    My father used to say to me when I was a very small boy, “Jimmy, what is good for the farmer is good for our family.” I have said that many times in this chamber and in the Manitoba legislature, where I also served, because, without understanding the production of food and value-added crops, trade with the world, and the value of the contribution of producers to the Canadian economy, we will not understand the driver of not only economic growth and the creation of wealth, but also of what is essential for the sustenance of a healthy life.
    The prairie economy is so much more than that. It is trading with the world. It is providing value-added services to nations around the world that rely on Canada to be the supplier not only of food, but also of what powers our economy. Let us take canola as an example. Who would have thought, even 10 or 20 years ago, that the power contained in canola would help power the world, in addition to it being such an integral part of the food supply that keeps us healthy and keeps us strong? With respect to the future of the energy sector, we have very important debates about that. There is no question in my mind that the prairie region will also lead that growth, just as we have in the past.
    Therefore, I am very optimistic about the understanding that is apparent in the fall economic statement. The minister and our government understand this question of balance and of timing. So much of what we do is about how we pace reform, and it has to be commensurate with the population's embrace of that pace. That requires sensitivity. We have to have our ears open all the time. We have to take the message to these regions that produce the wealth and be prepared to change course as circumstances change.
    I want to make one more point. It is not only about the substance of these important debates, but it is also the style and the tone with which we deliver our messaging. I was in the House yesterday, and I could not believe what I saw hiding behind a curtain. There were members of this chamber who called for the quorum, while others were conspiring behind the curtain, to see if they could embarrass the government. I could not help but think to myself that it looked like a grade six stunt.
    Why is it that we think that we can get away with that kind of behaviour? We shout at each other, some more than others. I am not a very good shouter. I think one can be very effective whispering, and actually maybe even more effective because, if we are whispering, they have to pay attention. The style in which we engage in these debates in this chamber also characterizes the capacity to move on.
    I am very happy that this fall economic statement understands the importance of balance between taking the nation's wealth and distributing it equitably, and putting a lot of emphasis on the capacity of the private sector to create that wealth.

  (1630)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is wonderful to see my hon. colleague from Manitoba in the chamber doing very well. I appreciated very much his speech. I especially appreciate the very respectful tone he had toward farmers. To be honest, I do not often feel that we are getting the respect that farmers deserve from the government, so I did greatly appreciate the member's remarks.
    My family have been farmers for over four generations. What I am hearing from the farmers I know and who I grew up with is that the carbon tax is deeply impacting them. Our food prices are high. One of the reasons is that the gas we need to produce that food is going up in price, and part of the reason it is going up is because of the carbon tax. I just wonder how the member squares his respect for farmers with his government imposing a very punitive carbon tax, which is increasing the cost of food production.
    Mr. Speaker, we can call it a carbon tax, or we can call it a price on pollution. The emphasis is important. There have to be market mechanisms to impact behaviour. Even small-c conservative economists and Conservative politicians of today, yesterday and, presumably, tomorrow, understand that is a very important component in the basket of initiatives governments ought to be taking to make sure we are maximizing our potential to move to a more sustainable production of energy, as the world is being directed by the decisions made in the marketplace every day.
    I agree with my hon. colleague and friend on how important protecting the producer community is. She and I are from Manitoba. It is part of our lifeblood. It is part of the way we live, and it will be an integral part of our future.

  (1635)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is good to see my colleague from Winnipeg South Centre in the House and so hale and hearty. I know he has had some challenges in the last few months.
     His speech was eloquent, as it always is in the House of Commons. He brings a very effective message, I think.
    I wish the bill, the fall economic statement, was actually as good as his speech. Tragically, it is not. There are major elements missing, including the fact that the government is really not taking any action at all on the massive overseas tax havens we have. Yes, they were started by the Harper Conservatives, but the practice has been continued by the Liberal government, and it is tragic. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that it is over $30 billion in taxpayer money that could go to housing, that could go to supporting seniors, to supporting access to education, to supporting our health care system, or to expanding our health care system. It could provide so many supports for Canadians of all ages and end some of the crises we are seeing in indigenous communities and in housing.
     I want to ask the member how he feels when he sees the government missing that key component of cracking down on massive corporate tax evasion so that Canadians can have their needs met and be supported at this critical time.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by complimenting my hon. friend. I have said this to him privately and I am going to say it publicly. He is a role model for me in his capacity to speak French. I do not know when he began the study of it, but he sure is good at it. I am envious, I must say. For those of us born anglophone, looking for every way in which we can improve our facility in the second official language is something to be admired, and I admire him for it.
    We all want fairness in tax policy and in public policy that extends even beyond our shores to the extent that we are able. We have been saying, and we continue to say, that if we cannot establish a fair tax system, we will not carry the confidence of Canadians. There are many ways in which that can be done, including the ways that my hon. friend suggests.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my hon. colleague on his speech. I agree with him. He is very eloquent.
    I would like to hear his thoughts on the fact that the economic statement is yet another example of centralization. I think he mentioned the importance of small and medium-sized businesses for the economy and the entrepreneurial base. The Bloc Québécois also talks about this a lot. Quebec is home to many of these businesses. I think that centralizing all resources in Ottawa is detrimental to both the public and private sectors, and especially to our SMEs across Canada and in Quebec.
    The federal government's tendency to centralize is problematic, and I would like my colleague to comment on that.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, that is a fulcrum that changes over time. To centralize or decentralize is a function of circumstance and I do not think that we should be rigid or ideological about which way we choose, because circumstances change all the time and we have to be nimble enough to know where we want to be and how to get there with some fundamental values at the centre of what drives policy. I mentioned those in my short remarks about wealth creation and wealth distribution. We have to respect jurisdiction; otherwise, nothing is going to get done.
    I understand where the question is coming from, but I also believe that, rather than giving an answer that could be framed as ideological or framed always within the context of decentralizing or centralizing, it is better that we be nimble and responsive to the particular circumstances of the moment.

[Translation]

    Order.
    Before resuming debate, it is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Vancouver East, Housing; the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, The Economy; the hon. member for Calgary Centre, Natural Resources.

  (1640)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to put words on the record regarding the Liberal government's fall economic statement. It is arriving at a time that is very critical in Canadian history. We are faced with inflation which is at a 40-year high. Food costs and inflation have not been this high since before I was born. My generation has never seen this type of economy, where people cannot afford food, cannot afford homes and inflation is putting people into poverty.
    When I listened to the speech of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, I was hoping that I would hear some solutions, but I did not hear any real, concrete solutions to address the very difficult circumstances that many of my constituents are facing. For example, last year was a terribly cold, long, brutal and punishing winter and it is predicted that this winter will be much the same. That is very bad news for Canadians because we have heard that energy prices, particularly for gas-heated homes, will increase by 100%, at a minimum, on gas bills. Six out of 10 Canadian families heat their homes with gas. Millions of families and seniors will be paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more on their gas bills just to stay warm this winter, just to heat their homes.
    I am from Winnipeg and home heating is not an option. It is not an option to just throw on an extra sweater. People die if they cannot afford heat. It is very serious. Before the pandemic, there were significant numbers of seniors already living in poverty, particularly widowed women living alone, barely able to afford their rent and food. Now their gas bill is going to increase 100%. It is going to double. Some areas of the country are going to see a 300% increase.
    What makes it worse is the government is raising the carbon tax. It is planning to increase the carbon tax this spring. It has increased it every spring for a number of years and it is planning to triple the carbon tax in the next number of years. We are going to see 100% increases, doubling home heating, and an increase in the carbon tax as well.
    What does that mean? We are seeing the impacts of what the carbon tax, inflation and the cost of living crisis is doing. There were 1.5 million people in Canada who went to food banks last month. This is a record-breaking number. I visit the food banks in Winnipeg. I know the food banks in Toronto have been very vocal. There is news across the country in every city that food banks cannot keep up with the demand. Children are going hungry. Seniors are going hungry. They worked all their lives, contributed to our tax system and now they cannot afford food in Canada. Over half of Canadians are skimping on their grocery bill. They are having to buy less food because the situation is so dire. Twenty per cent of Canadians, one survey showed, are skipping meals. We are hearing this often with single mothers who are going hungry so their children can eat.
    This is Canada. This is not the Canada that I grew up in. This is not something my generation has ever experienced before. I remember hearing about times like this from my grandparents. They recounted their experience in rural Canada during the Great Depression of being incredibly poor, having no options or government services, but we have so many government services. We are paying higher taxes than ever before, and yet here we are.
    There was a headline recently in The Canadian Press which said something to the effect that children are going hungry in Canada. That was a headline in Canadian news, that children are going hungry in Canada. This is not the Canada that I know. I do not think it is the Canada the Speaker recognizes either.
    The government has gone on and on saying that the carbon tax is going to help stop hurricanes, forest fires, heat domes and all these things. I am concerned about climate change, too. I am the generation that learned about climate change in school.
    We are in a situation where the government is raising the tax on our major source of energy. Again, six out of 10 homes heat with gas. Canada could be an energy superpower. We have some of the largest gas reserves in the world. We have gas and we produce much of the world's food, and yet prices for food and gas to heat our homes are so high that people are going into poverty. It does not make sense.
    What kind of federal government do we have that cannot take leadership and see our natural resources for what they are? We are very blessed in this country. People should not be going hungry or cold when we are blessed with these resources.

  (1645)  

    The Liberals are arguing in favour of raising the carbon tax again. We know that the government has spent over $100 billion on climate change. It is planning on tripling the carbon tax, which increases the price of gas to fill one's car, gas to heat one's home and to create, deliver and store food. For all of the things that we need to survive in this country, the carbon tax raises the price.
    The government spent $100 billion on climate change. It is increasing the carbon tax on Canadians. How much of an emissions reduction have we seen in seven years? The Liberals have had seven years for their plan to show emissions reductions and to give people like me who care about emissions reductions hope, yet there have been no emissions reductions. There has been no positive impact on reducing emissions in Canada despite spending $100 billion and tripling the carbon tax. There has been no impact on reducing emissions. Something is very wrong here. Clearly, it is not working. The Liberals do not have a climate plan. They have a tax plan and it is taxing people into poverty.
    I was in the grocery store the other day and I encountered some very friendly constituents who I represent. They are from a farming family. They asked me about the carbon tax and the impacts. They did not really understand. I am from a farming family. I do not think people realize that to grow our crops, we use huge machinery, massive combines, swathers, tillers, and all types of things. We need fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. This is all to feed now eight billion people on earth. These massive machines need a lot of fuel, fossil fuels, just to grow the crops. Then we have to ship them and process them. We turn them into food that we can eat. We ship them to the grocery store and then store them in grocery stores that are powered by gas heating, more often than not.
    Then people pick up their groceries. People wonder why food prices are high. Yes, there are supply chain issues. I think everybody acknowledges that. If the price of fuel to create that food is increased, what do people think is going to happen to the price of food? It is going to go up.
    We keep asking the government. We had two demands specifically for this fall economic statement. They were very simple things. One was no new taxes. We asked that there be no tax increases. We know there is a payroll tax increase coming up on January 1. Of course, the carbon tax is going to be increased yet again in April. We said no new taxes.
     There are no commitments in the fall economic statement not to raise taxes on Canadians. Those are coming during the worst inflation in 40 years. Food prices have skyrocketed and 1.5 million people are using food banks. The government is going to raise taxes on Canadians, the tax on energy and the tax on our paycheques. When people cannot afford food, the government is going to raise taxes. We cannot support it because the government will not do a simple thing and cut taxes or at least commit to not increasing them.
    We asked the Liberal government not to increase spending. The Liberal government has spent over half a trillion dollars of deficits since it has been in office. That is more than any prime minister before this government combined. All the debt from all the prime ministers and leaders of this country combined is how much it has spent in seven years. Almost 150 years of deficits in seven years is how much new money has been pumped into the economy. Of course that has an impact on driving up inflation. More money in the economy chasing fewer goods means higher prices. This is the same as it has been for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
    The Globe and Mail had a great opinion piece about this. The Globe and Mail is far from a Conservative publication. We are now seeing publications talking about how the Liberal government's spending has led to an increase in inflation. All of its spending is causing Canadians to go into poverty.
    We have asked the government to stop new spending. For every dollar it is going to spend, it needs to find a dollar of savings. It is pretty simple stuff in a crisis situation, and yet that also was not met in the fall economic statement. Again, 1.5 million people are using food banks and the government cannot commit to stopping the increase of taxes, let alone cut them. That is what we would do if we were in power. We would also be looking to balance the books so that we are not pushing inflation up and up and up, yet those simple things cannot be done.
    There is $20 billion of new spending in this fall economic statement, so we cannot in good conscience support it. We will ask again that the government commit to axing the carbon tax altogether. That would be really great. Then we could give an immediate break on gas at the pumps. We could give an immediate break on gas for home heating and an immediate break for food production and storage. That would bring immediate relief to moms, dads and seniors who are struggling today. It is what we are going on every single day. It is what we are hearing from our constituents. The cost of living is the number one concern.
    Unfortunately it is going to be a while, but there is hope on the horizon. A Conservative government under our new leader would certainly bring an end to these tax increases, balance the books and reduce inflation.

  (1650)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from the Conservative Party for her intervention today. She mentioned that never in her generation have we witnessed inflation like this, and in my generation, we have never witnessed inflation like this either. It goes without saying that I am from an older generation than she is.
    However, we have also never witnessed a pandemic like this, and we have also never witnessed a war with these degrees of sanctions being put in place, which have affected the supply of particular goods. She talked specifically about the carbon tax, and I want to compliment her because she did something that very few Conservatives do, which is recognize the fact that the tax does not actually increase until April.
    If we are talking about the heating season, it is coming to a close by the time the tax will increase. More importantly, when it does increase, it will not actually triple for a decade, in 2030. When it does, the rebate will also triple.
    Will the member acknowledge that?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's comments and his reaffirming that the tax increases are going to get worse. Home heating bills are going to get more expensive. We know that the carbon tax has been in place for a number of years now, and it is increasing the cost of home heating.
    I appreciate that he has confirmed for Canadians that it will, in fact, be going up and they can expect higher home heating costs under the Liberal government. Perhaps the Liberals will not be in power by the time they are planning to triple it, so hopefully we can be the ones in power to cancel the carbon tax and bring Canadians relief.
    It is important to underline that we needed much of the 40% of new government spending during the COVID pandemic. Many Canadians, including me, agree. However, $4 out of $10 the Liberals spent had nothing to do with the pandemic, and now Canadians are the ones to pay the price because it caused inflation in this country. They have to account for that.
    Frankly, they should probably apologize to Canadians who are going to the food banks because of the Liberals' inflationary deficit spending.
    Mr. Speaker, often we come at things very differently. Interestingly, I appreciate my hon. colleague's speech as she focused entirely on the carbon tax. As was discussed before in this debate, the price on carbon is very key.
    Of course, New Democrats believe that one of the increases that she was talking about in the cost of food also comes because of climate change, because of droughts, floods and forest fires. What the Conservatives have not talked about is the NDP's attempt to work with them to help people by cutting the GST on home heating. That is what the NDP has proposed. That was an amendment that the NDP made, and that was the amendment that the Conservatives rejected.
    If they are truly interested in helping people, why did she and her party not allow that amendment?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague very sincerely for her question, but if my memory serves, it was Conservatives who brought forward a motion to cut the GST on home heating. The NDP voted against it. Unfortunately, her question does not stand.
    We called for a GST break so that Canadians could more adequately afford to heat their homes. We think that the carbon tax should be axed, especially given we are at 40-year-high inflation.
    She is making the argument for the carbon tax, but what about the people who are being priced out of affording food? What do we say to them? Should we not be pausing all these tax increases? Does the NDP not support giving people tax breaks so they can afford to feed their kids and so seniors do not have to eat bananas and bologna because they cannot afford other food? I am hearing that from store clerks.
    I will leave members with this: A store clerk approached me recently, and she said she is seeing more seniors than ever who are buying cat food, as cat food is pretty cheap, but they do not have cats. They are buying cat food because they cannot afford real food for themselves. That is how bad inflation is. That is how bad the taxes are that the government is putting on the energy to create our food. That is the real impact; people are eating cat food. We are asking them to axe the tax to give Canadians relief.

  (1655)  

Points of Order

Amendment to Bill C-228 at Committee Stage—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on November 14, 2022, by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader regarding an amendment adopted by the Standing Committee on Finance during clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-228, an act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985.
    In raising the point of order, the parliamentary secretary explained that the committee passed an amendment to protect termination and severance pay in case of bankruptcy. The chair of the committee ruled the amendment inadmissible on the grounds that it was beyond the scope of the bill. The decision was challenged and overturned. The committee then debated the amendment and adopted it.

[Translation]

     According to the parliamentary secretary, this amendment broadens the scope and principle of the bill as agreed to at second reading. In addition, because the amendment introduces a new concept that was not contemplated at second reading, the parliamentary secretary argued that it should be removed from the version of the bill that will be considered at report stage and third reading.

[English]

    However, the members for Niagara West and Sarnia—Lambton contended that decisions made by committees should not be overturned by the government of the day but allowed to stand in order to uphold their independence. For his part, the member for Elmwood—Transcona is of the view that the amendment should be allowed because the sponsor believed it to be relevant and it had also been referenced during debate at second reading.

[Translation]

    After the report of the Standing Committee on Finance was presented to the House, the Chair was asked to ensure compliance with certain fundamental rules and practices and to consider if the committee had exceeded its powers with regard to an amendment included in its report. As Speaker Fraser explained on April 28, 1992, at page 9801 of the Debates:
    When a bill is referred to a standing or legislative committee of the House, that committee is only empowered to adopt, amend or negative the clauses found in that piece of legislation and to report the bill to the House with or without amendments. The committee is restricted in its examination in a number of ways. It cannot…go beyond the scope of the bill as passed at second reading, and it cannot reach back to the parent act to make further amendments not contemplated in the bill no matter how tempting this may be.

[English]

    The amendment at issue would create new clause 4.1 of the bill, which would protect the termination and severance pay that a bankrupt owes to various categories of its employees.
    Bill C-228 is limited in scope. The summary of the bill at second reading states the following:
    This enactment amends the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act to ensure that claims in respect of unfunded liabilities or solvency deficiencies of pension plans and claims relating to the cessation of an employer’s participation in group insurance plans are paid in priority in the event of bankruptcy proceedings.

  (1700)  

[Translation]

     The chair of the committee was right to conclude that the amendment is beyond the scope of the bill, as Bill C‑228 is intended to protect only employee pension funds and group insurance plans, not termination or severance pay for certain categories of employees in case of bankruptcy.

[English]

    The Chair would like to remind members that the scope of a bill is not determined by its sponsor, by the government or even by the committee considering it, but by the House itself when it adopts the bill at second reading.

[Translation]

    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states the following on page 770: “An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

[English]

    While the Chair recognizes that considering a bill at committee involves its share of challenges, committees must fulfill their mandate without exceeding their powers. Committees overstep the authority granted to them when they pass amendments that go beyond the scope of a bill referred to them after second reading.
    In consequence, the Chair must rule the amendment adopted by the Standing Committee on Finance creating new clause 4.1 of Bill C-228 null and void, and order that it no longer form part of the bill that the committee reported to the House.
    The Chair further orders a reprint of Bill C-228 so that the new version may be considered by the House at report stage.
    I thank members for their attention.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-32, an act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement tabled in Parliament on November 3, 2022 and certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to join the debate on the fall economic statement, otherwise known as the FES. This year, the FES comes at a very difficult time, as the world is suffering from inflation caused in large part by Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, which has reduced the supply of oil and gas in the market and boosted the prices of energy and all the other goods and services that we buy. Similarly, the reduction in grain from Ukraine in the market and the many droughts and climate disasters have inflated the price of food.
    To cope with inflation, we have seen the Bank of Canada and central banks right around the world raise inflation rates to cool an overheated economy. The result is that even Canadians I know who have secure, well-paying jobs are worried about balancing the rise in the cost of everything they buy with paying the mortgage, especially those who have a variable rate mortgage.
    It is even more crushing for those who do not have this security. That is why we passed legislation to double the GST credit for six months, which will provide $467 for families; to provide an extra $500 in rent support for low-income renters; and to launch a dental care program for low-income families, starting with children under 12.
    This, of course, builds on programs that we have brought in since 2015, like the boost to OAS and GIS for seniors, the Canada child benefit, and $10-a-day child care, all of which have lifted over three million Canadians out of poverty and brought Canada to its lowest-ever poverty rate. We believe our approach shows compassion for those who really need the support while being cautious not to make inflation worse with further spending.
    With this in mind, enter the FES. The FES is meant to provide an update on the state of the finances of the government and to introduce limited new measures while signalling where the government intends to go with the next year's budget.
    That is exactly what the FES does this year, providing important supports for young Canadians, low-income workers and small businesses, while showing how Canada is going to compete in the global race for investment and jobs in the low-carbon economy.
    The next year will be really challenging worldwide, but there is no country in the world that is better positioned to thrive going forward than Canada. The measures in the FES will move us closer to that reality.
    We know our country and our economy cannot thrive if we leave students stuck with crippling and ever-increasing debt. Over the last seven years, we have doubled the Canada student grants to help students pay for post-secondary education and made it so that students do not have to start repaying their student loans until they are making at least $40,000 a year.
    During the pandemic we also suspended interest on student loans, and now, through the fall economic statement, we are permanently eliminating the federal interest on student loans.
    In budget 2021, we increased the Canada workers benefit to provide up to $2,500 more in the pockets of families who need it most. Given that the high cost of living today puts a real strain on people's day-to-day lives, we are moving payments to be quarterly, based on last year's income, so they have the support now, when they really need it.
    Throughout the pandemic, the government of Canada was there to support small businesses with wage and rent support and access to liquidity. This meant that businesses survived the pandemic and provided the foundation for a recovery whereby Canada has recovered 117% of the jobs that were there prepandemic.
    Canadians are increasingly moving away from using cash to pay for goods and services in favour of credit cards. This is something that very much happened over the course of the pandemic, but in doing so they are subject to credit card swipe fees, which are impacting businesses, particularly small businesses.
    Small businesses do not want to pass this cost along to customers, especially at this time. To help these businesses and lower the cost of goods for all Canadians, we are proposing legislation to ensure that credit card companies reduce swipe fees.
    We know that the elevated cost of housing is impacting all Canadians. As I mentioned, we are providing a $500 top-up to the Canada housing benefit. To tackle speculation in the market, beginning next year, we are also going to be bringing in a two-year ban on foreign buying of real estate, including a 1% tax on non-resident-owned, unused housing. As of May, we are also taxing property assignments.
    In the FES, we are going to be helping first-time homebuyers get into the market with a tax-free home savings account of up to $40,000, the details of which will be forthcoming, as well as the first-time homebuyers tax credit.
    At the same time, we are providing a new tax credit for owners who build a secondary suite for senior family members or those living with a disability, as well as bringing in a new tax on property-flipping.
    The aforementioned measures will help all Canadians right now, but we know the world is not static. While the war in Ukraine has caused inflation and a short-term hike in the demand for fossil fuels, it has also accelerated the transition to cleaner energy as nations seek to end their dependence on fossil fuels and achieve energy security, as well as tackling climate change.
    Nowhere is this inevitability of the transition away from fossil fuels more obvious than in what is happening south of the border with the Inflation Reduction Act. This act is aptly named because, contrary to what the leader of the official opposition believes, we do not opt out of inflation by investing in crypto, which of course has crashed by 61% this year. We opt out of inflation by reducing reliance on the roller coaster of fossil fuel prices.

  (1705)  

    The IRA offers enormous financial supports for firms that locate their production in the United States and creates generous tax credits to industries like renewable energy development and hydrogen production, and incentives for North American-made electric vehicles to power the transition. While, on a per capita basis, the U.S. investment of almost $370 billion pales in comparison to the $100 billion investment that we have made in Canada, Canada needs to respond to secure its competitive advantage and to secure investment and jobs, or risk being left behind.
    On the fight against climate change alone and to build a net-zero economy by 2050, Canada will need to invest between $125 billion and $140 billion every year over that period. Total annual investment in the climate transition to date is about $15 billion to $25 billion, so no government can close this gap alone.
     We need to mobilize private capital to invest in Canada's green transition and the clean economy, and while companies and investors are aware of opportunities to commercialize and deploy emissions reduction technologies, they are often restrained due to investment risks that are frequently associated with these investment opportunities.
    That is why, through the fall economic statement, or FES, we are launching the Canada growth fund. This is a $15-billion facility that will help attract billions of dollars in new private capital to create good-paying jobs and support Canada's economic transformation towards a low-carbon future. The fund will aim to leverage private capital at a rate of at least three to one and respond to measures that international competitors are bringing in.
    To supplement the Canada growth fund, the FES also proposes a refundable tax credit equal to 30% of the capital cost of investments in renewable energy, electricity storage, heat pumps, zero-emission vehicles, refuelling equipment and more. This will greatly assist with the electrification of our economy, which we will need to do to reduce our emissions.
    However, there are parts of our economy that cannot be practically electrified, and that is where solutions like hydrogen become key, such as in freight transportation, air travel and shipping. To support the growth of this sector, the FES also announced that we will be introducing an investment tax credit for clean hydrogen, to ensure this critical clean energy source is developed here in Canada.
    What is notable about all these measures is that we have geared the full extent of the tax credit only to those companies that follow proper labour practices and create well-paying jobs, which is key. However, to ensure that workers are ready for these jobs, the FES will also proceed with a $250-million investment to create a sustainable jobs training centre to help 1,500 workers upgrade or gain new skills for jobs in the low-carbon economy, and a union training and innovation program to support 20,000 union-based apprenticeship training opportunities in the skilled trades.
    I see that my time is running out, which means I will not be able to discuss things like the additional $1.6 billion that will go towards delivering on our immigration levels plan, or the new tax that we are going to be bringing in on share buybacks to ensure that corporations, many of which are making record profits this year, invest in Canada rather than simply buying back their shares.
    The FES shows that we are not only taking a responsible fiscal path but also being compassionate to those who are most impacted by inflation, through supports for students, low-income workers and small businesses. Importantly, it will also allow Canada to be competitive in the race for investment in the green economy, which will provide long-term prosperity and jobs for our country.
    While we are navigating turbulent times at the moment, there is no country that is better positioned to thrive over time, and that is why I encourage all members of the House to support this legislation.

  (1710)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. He spoke about many things, but he forgot some important things. He forgot to mention seniors, the most vulnerable in our society.
    Once again, we do not understand why the Liberal government continues to discriminate against seniors. It did so in August 2021 when it magically came up with $500 cheques to send to people aged 75 and over.
    As we know, those great magicians are unable to deliver passports, but they can deliver cheques in mailboxes the day before an election, or even the day or the week before calling an election.
    Let us continue. They have increased old age security for those aged 75 and over. They have created two classes of seniors. People are eligible for a pension at age 65, but the increase to which people would usually be entitled is only for those aged 75 and over. How can this government continue to discriminate against seniors?
    We see that again with this economic update, despite the raging inflation. We are dealing with the worst inflationary crisis in 40 years, yet the government is doing absolutely nothing for the most vulnerable, who are having to turn to food banks. In my riding, demand is growing. People have to make agonizing choices between food and medication.
    When will this government do something for seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from la belle province for his question.
    However, I disagree with his question, because we are there for seniors and always have been. In my speech, I said that we had boosted OAS and GIS for seniors. The measures we implemented this fall will help seniors. I am thinking about the $500 cheques that will be sent to low-income renters. There is also the GST credit for people of all ages. I know that many vulnerable seniors will benefit from that.
    I disagree with the member because we have always been there for seniors and for all Canadians. There are always new measures we can bring in to improve the situation. I am always ready to work on that with my hon. colleague.

  (1715)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the cost of living increases that Canadians are being faced with and what the government can do to help those Canadians right now. One of the things that we have heard time and again is about the tripling of the carbon tax and the impact it is going to have on home heating, gas and groceries. Would the member agree that all Canadians can be helped right now and give some assurance that the government will just stop and cancel that increase on the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, this is not a measure that makes life more expensive for Canadians, because we know with the climate action incentive that eight out of 10 families get more back than they pay into this. In my home province of British Columbia it has been something that has been in effect for over a decade. It was brought in by a right-of-centre government at the time, so I completely disagree with that as an affordability measure.
    The last thing we want to do is cut off the cheques that people are receiving. When we talk about the families that receive the most relative to what they pay, it is low-income Canadians, so I think that is precisely the last direction we want to be moving in.
    Also, there is a very strong rationale for it as we are living in a climate emergency, so this is not the time to be scaling back on our actions with respect to that, because we have seen the very real cost just over the last couple of years. Look at what happened this year in Atlantic Canada, with hurricane Fiona. Last year, in my home province of B.C., the atmospheric rivers caused over $9 billion in damage. Climate change is real, and we need to make sure we are all playing our part in addressing it.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am here to talk about the fall economic statement, which was presented last week.
    For the past seven long years, the Liberals, with the shameful complicity of the NDP, have succeeded in breaking the spirit and morale of Canadians by making them poorer than they have ever been in the history of our country. When asked if I would like to share my thoughts on the fall economic statement, I did not think twice.
    As members of Parliament, we are well positioned to see what is actually happening on the ground, and I wonder why the members opposite do not see how people are suffering, as we do on our side. When the Minister of Finance says that cancelling a Disney+ subscription is a good option to reduce the debt burden and make ends meet at the end of the month, it is clear that the Liberals are totally out of touch with reality.
    I will give some examples. When the Liberals came to power in 2015, a litre of gas cost $1. Now, on average, it costs $1.67. This does not even take into account the increases that are expected in the new year, when this Prime Minister raises the carbon tax for a third time.
    In 2015, the average price of a house in Canada was close to $300,000. Today, the average price of a house is over $746,000. This is 40% more expensive than in the United States. The Prime Minister has said he does not think about monetary policy all that much, and I have a feeling the Minister of Finance does not either. The economic update released by the Liberal-NDP coalition does not address the cost of living crisis created by government spending, which is out of control. The Prime Minister's inflationary deficits have driven up the price of groceries, gas and home heating. Canadians have never paid more in taxes than under this Prime Minister.
    To reduce the cost of living in Canada, the Conservatives had two clear requirements. It was not complicated. First, we implored the government to not create any new taxes. We asked it to cancel all planned tax hikes and to not triple the carbon tax. Second, we warned the Liberals that they had to stop all new spending or ensure that any new spending was matched dollar for dollar in savings. In other words, to spend a dollar, they would have to save a dollar. What was so complicated about the Conservative Party's requests for this economic update? Nothing, it was just common sense.
    I cannot show the document that I have with me, but we saw in this economic update that none of the Conservative Party's demands were met. For that reason, we cannot support this inflationary update.
    The Liberals claim that they had no other choice than to double the debt. They have accumulated more debt than all previous prime ministers combined. Let us recall the 2015 election campaign. The Prime Minister, who was then the leader of the Liberal Party, said that the Liberals would have a small deficit of $10 billion the first year in office and another the second year. After that, they would balance the budget. They promised to make massive investments in the country's infrastructure.
    It was a good marketing strategy. They promised to run up a deficit to invest money, and people thought that it might not be such a crazy idea. We all saw what happened. After their first four years in office, they had accumulated $100 billion in additional debt and no major infrastructure project had gotten off the ground in Canada. We fell for it from the beginning.
    Then, the Prime Minister tried to make us believe that all of the spending in the past two years was related to the pandemic. However, today, we know that 40% of the new measures were not. We are talking about $205 billion. The Parliamentary Budget Officer did a study that showed that $300 billion of the $500 billion was used to implement pandemic-related measures. There again, we could look into all of that spending because there was no reason for some of it. Regardless, we know that, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer's assessment, $205 billion in spending had nothing to do with the pandemic. What is worse, we do not know what that money was used for. Half a trillion dollars was spent in two years on top of the government's usual spending.

  (1720)  

    How did we get into this mess? The inflation rate is so insanely high that interest rates had to be pushed up to control it. Meanwhile, ordinary people are being bled dry.
    Additional costs are related to things such as houses and mortgages. People with variable mortgages get hit first. Every time the interest rate rises, their mortgage interest rate goes up. The principal does not change, but the interest rate jumps.
    People who have to renew their mortgage these days will have to pay an average of $7,000 more in interest per year for an average family. That is a chunk of change.
    Our friends across the way used to love talking about how they were working for the middle class and the people who wanted to be part of it. What we have seen in recent years is the opposite of that. They have made the middle class poorer, not richer, and people are ending up in financial trouble.
    The Bank of Canada announced that it had no choice but to raise the interest rate in an attempt to fight inflation driven by inflationary measures. That will make things even worse for people.
    There was nothing in the fall economic update suggesting the government plans to do anything to keep all that under control. The only thing on the agenda is taxes, taxes and more taxes. We have been talking about the carbon tax for two months now.
    Yesterday, I was pleased to see a report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which polled businesses across the country. One of the main conclusions is that the businesses confirm that the carbon tax is a major problem for transportation. All the costs associated with that are causing prices to go up and the consumer is left paying the bill. The CFIB is asking on behalf of its members to not increase the carbon tax. The Conservative Party is not making this up. Businesses across the country are saying that this absurd and that it needs to stop.
    I am not even talking about food banks. Last month, there were 1.5 million visits to the country's food banks in just one month. That is a record number of food bank visits in the history of Canada.
    I have endless examples, but the main thing I want people to remember from my remarks today is that ultimately, this economic update, which is about 100 pages long, simply repeats measures that were voted on last fall. There is nothing really new here. The Conservative Party's simple demands, which we know were backed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, were not considered. Furthermore, the Parliamentary Budget Officer's assessments confirm what we are saying.
    We are not making things up just so we can make speeches and blather on. We are stating economic realities that are easy to understand. Canadians who have to pay the bills at the end of the month understand this full well. They look to their government, which does not seem to get it. People are looking to their MPs and asking them what is going on and what they can do to help the economy make a smart recovery. That is our job.
    The Conservatives are in opposition for now, but not for very long. We do not know how much longer we will be in opposition, but as long as we are, we will make sure Canadians know we are asking the right questions and making the right recommendations to the government to build a good, strong economy so that people can get up in the morning feeling happy to go to work and knowing they have enough money to treat themselves once in a while, not wondering if they will have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month even though they have a job.
    There was nothing new in the fall economic update. Nothing has changed, and that is very disappointing.

  (1725)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I think most Canadians, if they understood the position the Conservative Party is taking on the legislation, would be somewhat disappointed.
    We are going through some very difficult times, even though, relatively speaking, Canada is doing exceptionally well on the inflation front. Compared with the U.S., Germany, England and many of the European Union countries, Canada is doing well. However, it is not good enough. We believe that Canada could do more at the local level.
    The Conservatives say they want us to do more, but they consistently vote against measures that help Canadians, so I have a specific question. Why is the Conservative Party opposed to supporting interest-free relief for students in Canada?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we are against it because these are inflationary measures. Even Mark Carney said that Canada's inflation is domestically generated.
    As long as we are comparing ourselves to other countries, why not compare ourselves to countries such as Switzerland that do not have inflation?
    Should the government copy countries that are not handling things well, that are taking insignificant measures and creating problems? The answer is no. We should do what needs to be done for Canada here in Canada.
    If we cannot stop inflationary measures, we will end up in a vicious cycle, with Canadians getting poorer and poorer.
    Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on his speech, which I listened to carefully.
    We understand that the Conservative Party's strategy is to not raise taxes and to reduce investments. I have another solution to suggest to my colleague. The government could make cuts in unnecessary areas. I would start with subsidies to oil and gas companies. As everyone knows, Canada is a world champion in this field, providing financial support totalling $8 billion a year. That is significant.
    Second, what does my colleague think of the monarchy, which costs about $60 million a year? That would be another good place to make cuts.
    What does he think about abolishing the Senate? In recent years, the cost to operate the Senate has not increased by 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%; it has increased by nearly 40%. People are not elected to the upper chamber. That is archaic. What does my colleague think of that?
    It is all well and good to go after taxes, but why not cut spending on completely useless organizations and companies that make billions in profits every quarter, like oil and gas companies?

  (1730)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his many questions.
    We definitely need to find savings. Over the past two years, at least $205 billion has been spent on who knows what. Imagine all the auditing that needs to be done.
    I do not think that getting out of energy production is a good idea. We would end up buying foreign energy, which we are already doing too much of.
    Instead, we should be self-reliant, consume Canadian energy and get organized. Our energy is the greenest in the world. Why consume foreign energy? Why invest in buying energy from other countries, corrupt countries, when we have everything we need here at home?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am wondering what my hon. colleague's views are on the impact of corporate price raising in this country. Does he believe that it is playing any role in the current inflation? Would he agree with the NDP that at a time of windfall corporate profits, it is time to bring in a windfall corporate profits tax?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
    There is a balance to everything. There needs to be balance when it comes to taxes, both for individuals and businesses. However, let us not forget that businesses are wealth creators. Without businesses, there are no jobs.
    We have to ensure that there is balance and no abuse. We also need to ensure that companies that make a profit reinvest in effective measures to build their business capacity while offering greener solutions for the environment.
    Criteria need to be established and put in place. We cannot simply say that businesses are not paying enough taxes. There needs to be a balance. We need to see what we can do to make things better for businesses, individuals and the environment.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House on behalf of the residents of Brampton South in favour of the fall economic statement, as tabled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
    The past two years have been challenging for residents in Brampton and for all Canadians. We worked together and Canadians rolled up their sleeves to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the government is focused on supporting Canadians who need it while ensuring inclusive economic growth.
    As the Deputy Prime Minister said, this is about building an economy that works for everyone from coast to coast to coast. It is a plan that will set Canada up for success and it is a plan that is balanced, targeted and responsible.
    Already, as a country, we have the lowest deficit and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7, as well as an AAA credit rating. Our economic engine in Canada is strong, but there are challenges on the horizon due to global inflation. This is why we need to take targeted steps. When I talk with parents, families, seniors and youth in my riding, I hear they are grateful that this government is taking targeted action to make sure Canadians in all our communities are supported.
    The programs announced in this fall economic statement add to the series of recent announcements over the past months. These supports have already been reaching Canadians, and I want to begin with some perspective that leads us to where we are today. Recently, I was speaking with a single senior who lives in downtown Brampton. She told me about how impactful the increase to the old age security pension has been, as it is giving her greater peace of mind. I met her at an art class supported by the federal government. She also told me that she is looking forward to the eventual rollout of the dental care program, which will cover Canadians who need it.
    On that point, I have served proudly on the health committee since 2015. Over the years, we have heard about the importance of dental care. We know many families do not have the means to send their kids to a dentist. In committee, we heard about how 2.2 million school days are missed by children every year because of emergency dental care. This is a smart investment from the federal government that will save thousands of dollars through prevention per patient and will help make sure our kids do not need to endure emergency surgeries.
    The actions in the fall economic statement are informed by things we are already seeing on the ground. I also hear about the need for more affordable housing supply, and I am glad this government is recognizing this. Housing density in Brampton is high, with more than 26% of households having five or more people under one roof. In other words, according to the 2021 census, we have hundreds of multi-generational homes in our community. We need to respect and support the choice of families to live together.
    The fall economic statement introduces a multi-generational home renovation tax credit. It would provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary unit for a family member who is a senior or an adult with a disability, starting in January 2023. I know $7,500 will make a big difference for families in Brampton who want to have a grandparent or family member live with them.
    This government is also advancing the age well at home initiative, which will help seniors stay in their homes for as long as possible, providing practical assistance for everyday tasks.
    Brampton is growing, and we have great economic opportunities, but we need more affordable housing options and an increased supply. I was very grateful to see the launch of the third round of the rapid housing initiative, which will be allocated in Peel. This is in addition to the largest investment ever made for housing in the region of Peel, in 2020, of more than $276 million. It means more affordable units in a region that is experiencing a high demand for new housing. In addition to large systemic investments to our regions and cities, we are also giving tools to Canadian families.

  (1735)  

    The fall economic statement would also implement the new tax-free first home savings account, which would allow Canadians under 40 to not only save up $40,000 toward their first home, but also withdraw it tax-free. For those most impacted and with income under $35,000, a one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit program will roll out soon.
    This government has made it a priority to make life more affordable by also reducing long-term inflationary pressures. I want to highlight the impact that our policies have been on young families. We see across the country how impactful our investments in child care have been. In some provinces, parents have already seen a decrease of 25% in their fees, and by the end of the year, they will see another 25% decrease, fulfilling our commitment to cut child care fees in half as we work toward $10-per-day child care by 2025. It is saving parents money and also giving them the chance to step into the workforce.
    Building on that success, the fall economic statement introduces new measures for recent Canadian graduates. I recently spoke with a university graduate from my youth council who was born and raised in Brampton and who has accessed federal loans. This has already been a beneficial program, but we know Canadian students need additional support. That is why this government is making it easier for students to start their careers without the burden of federal student loan interest.
    The fall economic statement includes a commitment to permanently eliminate the federal interest on Canada student loans and Canada apprentice loans. This will benefit over one million student loan borrowers and save an average borrower more than $3,000 over the lifetime of their loan. This will make a real difference to support young Canadians and is a great step in addition to increasing the loan repayment threshold from $25,000 to $40,000. I often say that young people are our leaders of today, and we need to make sure they are set up on the path to excel in their bright futures.
    Immigration is also a key way to create a strong foundation for economic growth. I was pleased to see new investments for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that will address backlogs and speed up the processing of applications. These applicants will help fill labour shortages in crucial areas such as health care, manufacturing and the trades. This comes with a much-needed $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million in new, ongoing funding, as well as $50 million to make sure that the department has the resources it needs to facilitate efficient processing.
    This government recognizes the importance of attracting newcomers to rural and northern communities to address specific labour shortages in some provinces while providing additional much-needed support to communities with diverse populations such as Brampton. Families in Brampton waiting for their relatives applications to be processed will be pleased with our significant investments to reduce wait times and improve file processing.
    Another important measure will be the creation of a new quarterly Canada workers benefit with automatic advance payments. This will be in the form of a refundable tax credit that tops up the earnings of low- and modest-income workers. It will put up to $2,400 in the pockets of low-income families. This will reward and encourage workers for doing essential jobs.
    As we know, the backbone of a strong economy is made up of our small and medium-sized businesses. I received an email from a local grocery store earlier this summer that told me that the majority of the payments it processes are digital, with debit or credit cards, and it wants to continue to offer excellent services to its customers. It is a relief for it to hear the fall economic statement will advance efforts to lower credit card transaction fees for small and medium-sized businesses. This is something we have to do for small business owners. They were hit hard by COVID-19.
    Finally, this past summer, when the Deputy Prime Minister visited Brampton to meet with workers in the trucking industry, we heard the concerns of some employees about their employment status. Last week the Minister of Labour was in the GTA to update industry members and highlight investments in the fall economic statement that will make sure employees can access their rights and what they are entitled to.

  (1740)  

    Madam Speaker, as we have debated this subject, we have heard the Liberal government bragging about Canada's AAA credit rating. When one has a credit card, the provider is always looking to increase the credit, and lenders always make money.
    I have a couple of points here. Number one is homelessness. The Auditor General just spoke about it and gave a failing grade. I sit on the committee for Veterans Affairs, and it is getting a failing grade as well. Why does the government want to continue processing its way of doing its carbon tax when it is failing the people of Canada?
    Madam Speaker, this is a targeted and responsible plan. I want to highlight the fall economic statement is a top-up of measures already taken, it is permanently eliminating interest for federal students, launching the new Canada growth fund and creating a new quarterly Canada workers benefit.
    All these benefits are helping Canadians, and this is a fiscal plan that will help Canadians in this difficult time. This is the way we have to move forward.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I heard my government colleague say that she is proud of this economic update.
    I was not proud when I presented this update to my constituents. There are seasonal workers in my riding, and on September 24, the government announced that, in the Lower St. Lawrence area, the number of insurable hours required to qualify for EI would increase from 420 to 700, even though EI benefits are paid for with the premiums deducted from these workers' wages. Obviously, by then, they had run out of time to work more and accumulate enough hours.
    We expected that there would at least be something in the economic update to help these workers who are being left behind, despite being promised EI reform since 2015.
    I am wondering what my colleague would say on behalf of the government to these seasonal workers in the Lower St. Lawrence area.

  (1745)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the government is presently doing consultations to ensure employers and employees have access to a high quality EI system. What we are debating today is the fall economic statement. We have already announced top-ups and support measures that will make a big difference in the lives of Canadians. For example, rental and dental supports, and doubling the GST credit, will all support what Canadians need.
    Madam Speaker, many economists, including Jim Stanford, have noted that the economic policy that is being used to combat inflation has historically led to a recession. Many economists are actually predicting a recession next year, and it is estimated that as many as 850,000 Canadian workers are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of that policy of quantitative tightening.
    What does my hon. colleague say to Canadian workers? What is her view of the Bank of Canada's policy of raising interest rates in an attempt to suppress wages, which will ultimately lead to a recession and many workers losing their jobs? Does she agree with that?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is a great advocate in the health committee for his residents, but today I want say to members that this is why the fall economic statement is focused on making life more affordable for workers by increasing the Canada workers benefit with up to $2,400 for low-income families and ensuring truck drivers are protected with the Canada Labour Code. The fall economic statement's benefits are a top-up to programs already going on. There is one other thing I just want to say to members. A AAA credit rating sets Canada in a very good fiscal position.
    Madam Speaker, Canadians are out of money and the fall economic statement shows that the Liberals are out of touch. Almost half of Canadians are $200 or less away from bankruptcy, cannot cover their living expenses this year, cannot save for the future and are cutting back on healthy food. A quarter of Canadian households cannot cover monthly bills and debt repayment.
    It is appalling that the Prime Minister doubled Canada’s debt and said that the government “took on debt so Canadians wouldn't have to.” Canadians are now paying the staggering price for his reckless decisions, and he has added more debt than all previous prime ministers in Canadian history combined.
    He claims that all the new spending was because of COVID, but over $200 billion of it had nothing to do with COVID. All that spending has created record-high inflation that is driving up the cost of everything, and essentials such as gas, groceries and home heating are almost out of reach. The fall statement does nothing to alleviate these burdens on struggling Canadians. With record debt, record inflation and, as it turns out, record taxes, Canadians pay more taxes now than ever before, and actually pay more in taxes than for food, clothing and shelter combined.
    The fall statement shows that the Liberals are going to make things worse and will keep racking up debt to fuel their spending. Of course, they plan to triple the carbon tax too. The fall economic statement is an insult to hard-working Canadians struggling just to get by, never mind trying to actually get ahead.
    The Conservatives asked the Liberals to commit to tackling inflation and the skyrocketing cost of living by ensuring they would bring in no new taxes and no new spending. They ignored both and will only fuel the skyrocketing cost of living fire they set.
    As is the government's pattern, the fall statement undermines Canada's natural resources sector, which bolsters the entire economy and is a leading contributor to GDP, jobs, government revenue and closing the gap between the wealthy and poor in Canada. While the Prime Minister recently said Russia's attack on Ukraine has accelerated his government's effort to phase out oil and gas, the finance minister recently claimed that Canada is ready to “support our allies with energy security”. She claims it will be easier for businesses to invest in major projects in Canada, but the reality is that the Liberal record is one of deliberate policy uncertainty, unpredictability and added red tape and costs that drive businesses, jobs and money out of Canada.
    Oil and gas is Canada’s biggest private sector investor and lead export, even now. However, the NDP-Liberals’ anti-energy agenda has already had stark consequences: 300,000 jobs lost, over $150 billion in energy projects and indigenous partnerships cancelled and four pipelines dead. They would have enabled Canadian energy security and self-sufficiency and would have exported more Canadian energy to the world.
    Shockingly, under the Liberals, 25 LNG export projects have been stalled or abandoned, risking 100,000 jobs and $500 billion in new investment. In the same time, the U.S. built seven and approved 20 more, while only one in Canada, with the biggest private sector investment in Canadian history and approved under the former Conservative government, has shovels in the ground. In Germany, a major LNG import facility was just permitted and built in 194 days. They wanted Canadian LNG but cannot get it because of the Liberals. How many times was LNG cited in the fall economic statement? It was zero.
    The finance minister talks about accelerating project approvals, but her government has actually done everything it can to slow them down or destroy them completely. She even said that Canada must and will fast-track “the energy and mining projects our allies need to heat their homes and to manufacture electric vehicles.” However, this fall statement actually eliminates incentives for small-scale energy start-ups, picks winners and losers in resource development and would make energy in Canada for Canadians more and more expensive.
    The fall statement outlines an incoming 2% tax on buybacks of a company’s own stock. That would harm Canadian investment because it is double the rate of the U.S. It would cause Canadian businesses and investments to continue to move south.
    The NDP-Liberals will also get rid of flow-through shares, which are a major source of start-up capital for many oil, gas, and predominantly mining projects. Cancelling them only for oil and gas would hurt small businesses, especially those investing in alternative energy and emissions-reduction technology, because 93% of oil and gas companies in Canada have under 100 employees. They face high costs, high uncertainty, high risk and domestic political hostility, so private investment is already a challenge.
    Get this. In 2020, the then natural resources minister expanded flow-through shares to help small companies build stronger supply chains, including for critical minerals. However, this fall economic statement cuts them, so by their own admission, it is jeopardizing supply chains that are already severely compromised.

  (1750)  

    Liberal claims and policies are incoherent, contradictory and hypocritical. The finance minister's delivery of the fall statement mentioned “critical minerals” five times and she claims they are a priority. They should be a key pillar of Canada's resource future, but so far there is only talk. In reality, critical minerals in Canada such as nickel, lithium and uranium will stay in the ground because mining approvals take several years, duplicate provincial and municipal reviews and can be paused or get new conditions at any time. Canada currently produces no phosphate, a key component in electric car batteries. The Liberals say they want all new vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2035, but phosphate is not even on Canada’s critical minerals list.
    The gap between words and actions is not surprising, though. It is the Liberals' modus operandi on almost everything. Instead of actually fixing the regulatory mess they created, the Liberals drive Canada deeper into debt and announce more tax dollars to fund their broken programs. The fall statement seems to admit it because the Liberals plan to pour $1.28 billion into the various resource regulators.
    The Liberals should be ashamed that this is necessary, since Canada was consistently world renowned for decades as the most responsible resource producer with the highest standards and performance and a best-in-class regulatory system by all measures. It was literally the best in the world out of the top ten resource-producing jurisdictions on the planet before the Liberals broke it. The only way the Liberals seem to get companies to pursue new major projects is by bankrolling them with tax dollars. Layers of red tape and duplication and an unclear and arbitrary review process cause investors to seek opportunities outside of Canada.
    Unlike the Liberals, the Conservatives would remove unnecessary roadblocks and duplication, attract investment and accelerate approvals for resource projects that are crucial to economic and national security, while maintaining the highest global standards. The Conservatives would ensure things can actually get built in this country.
    A Conservative government would axe the carbon tax, repeal the anti-energy, anti-business and anti-export bills and get more of Canada’s world-leading environmentally and socially responsible oil, gas and minerals to the world to displace these products from countries with lower environmental, human rights, labour and governance standards.
    The Conservatives will put the people first. Instead of government creating cash and making everything more expensive, the Conservatives will make sure Canada creates more of what cash buys: more homes, more gas, more food and more resources here at home—

  (1755)  

    The hon. member will have two minutes and 30 seconds to finish her speech the next time this matter is before the House.

[Translation]

    It being 5:55 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act

    He said: Madam Speaker, it is a privilege for me to rise in the House to speak on behalf of supply-managed producers. I will present the main reasons why we, as lawmakers, should guarantee our producers a sustainable future by passing Bill C‑282.
    I just want to take a moment to thank farmers in the riding of Montcalm who operate 87 supply-managed farms. Over 70% of the riding is agricultural. Its main industry is agriculture and agri-food.
    Given that a number of Bloc Québécois motions to protect the integrity of supply management have been adopted unanimously, some members think it would be inconsistent not to pass this bill in principle and refer it to a committee for study. I thank them for that.
    It is also a privilege for me to sponsor this bill, which I should note is identical to Bill C‑216. If memory serves, that bill won the support of a significant majority of 250 MPs in the previous Parliament thanks to my colleagues' amazing work.
    I want to mention the work done by the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, a brilliant and staunch defender of the interests of the agricultural sector. I also salute the contribution of my young and eloquent colleague from Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot, the Bloc Québécois critic for international trade. Not to mention the member for Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel, who sponsored Bill C‑216 in the last Parliament, a bill that would already be in effect if not for the useless election in August 2021. He is the dean of the House, the one who has seen the flood of good intentions in the ocean of promises to protect supply management.
    These promises resulted in irreversible breaches in three major free trade agreements that unfortunately did permanent damage because the supply management system wrongly became a bargaining chip, as Gérard Bérubé wrote in Le Devoir on August 30, 2018:
    Canada's supply management system has found itself in the crosshairs many times in the context of free trade and, unfortunately, has become a bargaining chip for Ottawa in the the past three major negotiations. From breach to fault, the crack continues to grow dangerously bigger.
    I believe in parliamentary democracy and refuse to become a cynic, although I hold no naive beliefs about the ability of the legislative power to not let itself be subordinate to the executive, especially for those on the government benches.
    As MPs, we are representatives of the people and we are legislators. We are the ones who must make the voice of the people heard and defend their interests against an executive power that all too often governs like a supreme ruler and that sometimes breaks its promises and goes against the unanimous will of the House, as expressed in the motions it adopts.
    Some might think that Bill C‑282 is not necessary. They will swear, hand on heart, that they will protect supply management from now on. However, history tends to repeat itself, so I would humbly point out, by way of example, that, in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the Bloc Québécois moved a motion on February 7, 2018, which said, and I quote: “That the House call on the government to ensure that there is no breach in supply management as part of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership.” This motion was unanimously adopted.
    A month later, on March 8, 2018, the Liberal government went back on its word by signing the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  (1800)  

    In the context of the renegotiation of NAFTA, the Bloc also moved a motion on September 26, 2017, for the government to protect supply-managed markets. I will read it:
    That the House reiterate its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations.
    One month later, on November 30, 2018, the Liberal government went back on its word by signing CUSMA, an agreement meant to replace NAFTA. Unfortunately, despite the promise made to Parliament, several concessions were made, putting the financial stability of Quebec's agricultural businesses in jeopardy. Four times the House unanimously expressed its desire to fully protect the supply management system. However, both Liberal and Conservative governments clearly did not feel bound by that commitment when they signed the last three free trade agreements.
    These agreements have been disastrous when it comes to the concessions that were made at the expense of supply-managed agricultural producers and processors. Without the guarantee that Bill C‑282 offers to exclude supply management from free trade agreements, many are now questioning their future.
    Bill C‑282 is very simple. It amends the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to expand the minister's list of responsibilities to include protecting the supply management system. Section 10 of the act would be amended to add supply management to the list of directives that the minister must take into account when conducting Canada's external affairs, including international trade. Once this bill is fully implemented, the minister responsible for international trade will have to defend supply-managed farmers to our trading partners. It will now be part of the minister's mandate to negotiate without creating loopholes in the system, as has been the case with the last three agreements. Bill C‑282 has become necessary because the loopholes that have been created are preventing the system from working effectively. They undermine the integrity of the principles that make up the system: price, production and border controls.
    Supply management is an essential strategic tool in preserving our food autonomy, regional development and land use. It is also a pan-Canadian risk management tool designed to protect agricultural markets against price fluctuations. This system is based on three main principles, on three pillars.
     The first pillar is supply management via a production quota system derived from research on consumption, that is, consumer demand for dairy products. The Canadian Dairy Commission distributes quota to each province. The provinces' marketing boards, also known as producer associations, sell quota to their own farmers to ensure that production is aligned with domestic demand.
    The second pillar is price controls. A floor price and a ceiling price are set to ensure that each link in the supply chain gets its fair share.
    The third pillar is border control.
    Supply management is a model envied around the world, especially in countries that have abolished it. Dairy producers in countries that dropped supply management are lobbying to have it reinstated. Increasingly, American dairy producers are questioning their government's decision to abolish supply management for their sector in the early 1990s. For almost a decade now, the price of milk has been plummeting, and small farms are no longer able to cover production costs.
    This price level is generally attributed to overproduction. Every year, millions of gallons of milk are dumped in ditches. In 2016, it was over 100 million gallons. In the state of Wisconsin, for example, nearly 500 farms per week were shutting down in 2018.

  (1805)  

    Producers can simply no longer afford to produce for so little income. One of the problems is that the dairy sector is organized around overproduction, particularly with the aim of exporting surplus production at low prices. As a former U.S. secretary of agriculture himself admitted, when you overproduce, only the biggest can survive.
    Of course, there is another possible argument. Some people might think that, since producers and processors have finally been compensated, although four years later in some cases, and they are satisfied, small breaches can continue from one agreement to another by compensating people afterwards.
    Of course, no amount of compensation, no temporary one-off cheque, will cover the permanent structural damage and losses caused by the breaches in the agreements with Europe, the Pacific countries, the U.S. and Mexico. Supply management is not perfect, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially in allowing all links in the chain to produce and to have fair and equitable incomes for everyone in the entire production chain.
    In closing, the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do we want to protect certain segments of our agricultural industry from foreign competition while abiding by the rules of the WTO agreements?
    The answer to that question should be yes, especially since the supply management system follows those rules. We have the right to do so, and many countries avail themselves of those provisions. We are not the only ones that protect certain products. Everyone does it, even the countries that are criticizing us for doing so.
    It is important to remember that Canada has signed 16 free trade agreements that do not affect supply management in any way. It is therefore possible to discuss and negotiate without touching supply management.
    We cannot allow the United States or other countries to force us to abandon our agricultural policies and practices. What are we really trying to protect our production from? We want to protect it from unfair competition.
    Our main partner, the United States, is breaking many international trade rules while constantly asking us to give them more access. The U.S. is providing its agricultural industry with billions of dollars in illegal subsidies a year, which cuts production costs for farmers and enables them to resell their products locally or elsewhere at a lower cost. That is strictly prohibited by the WTO.
    There is no question that Quebec and Canada are exporting nations. This is not about increasing protectionism. What we want is to maintain a system that has proven its worth for almost 50 years.
    Since 2015, I have had the opportunity to introduce two bills, which were rejected. This is my third attempt. If the House were to adopt Bill C‑282, I would share my pride with all parliamentarians from all parties, and with all those who care about protecting an agricultural model that provides our producers with the predictability required to look to the future with dignity, to grow their businesses in the hope of proudly passing on their passion to the next generation with human-scale farms, while always ensuring that they produce high-quality products ethically. This model ensures that everyone wins, from producers to processors to consumers.
    By adopting Bill C‑282, we will ensure that never again will supply management be sacrificed on the altar of free trade.

  (1810)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, this is an issue that has come up on many occasions. I recall very clearly, and it could have been while I was in opposition, talking about the many benefits of supply management. I have been a long-time advocate for it.
     The former minister of agriculture on many occasions would stand up and talk about the importance of supply management, as our current Minister of Agriculture has done. It was the Liberal Party that brought in supply management.
     Is the member's motivation for this coming from a concern that the Conservatives are saying something? What makes the member believe that supply management in Canada is at risk? Is it the Conservative Party?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, as I was saying earlier, it is not just the Conservatives who have been chipping away at supply management. The Liberal Party has done it too, after voting, hand on heart, for motions that said supply management should be left alone and needs to be protected. These motions passed unanimously in the House. It is not about who is at fault, the Conservatives or the Liberals. I think that the real problem stems from the fact that Canada's agricultural sectors are ultimately very different, and the government decided that it could sacrifice a sector for the sake of opening up certain markets.
    I am sorry, but I am sure that the Conservatives are going to act differently, since their leader said not so long ago that it would be ridiculous to buy out all the quotas. It would cost billions of dollars, and we need to uphold supply management.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Quebec.

[English]

    What is so important in this discussion and we need to remember is that our supply management sector has worked, is working and will continue to work. We need to make sure that we do everything we can to buttress the supply-managed sector.
    I will be supporting the bill, because I believe in that type of approach to agriculture. We have seen the success. My riding has been a beneficiary of it, and is very thankful for it. I have seen the difference that our dairy sector, our ag producers as well as our poultry and chicken producers have made. Many of them are family owned and family run. I think it is so important that we hold them up through the supply-managed sector.
    I would ask my hon. colleague if he could comment on the absolute importance of food security and how protecting supply management helps preserve our food security here in Canada.

  (1815)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, during the pandemic, we saw that supply-managed sectors did not experience the same shortages that other food sectors did.
    This system, this management model, is essential for food security, or what I refer to as food self-sufficiency.
    Madam Speaker, I would like my colleague to elaborate on that.
    When it comes to supply management and food security, how could we also start exporting this model abroad so that countries around the world can have a solid local food foundation? That is something that we could do.
    Madam Speaker, the supply management model is a collective, co-operative model. It makes it possible for everyone from the farmer to the consumer to earn a decent income.
    The following is very important in defending supply management. What has been hurting our farmers in the years since the government began chipping away at the system is that they have no predictability. They need predictability to grow their business and to be able to export such a model. If the largest G7 countries begin to undermine it, how can we convince people that this is a smart, sustainable model?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to stand up and provide comment on the issue of agriculture, but there are really two issues that I would like to address in this legislation. One is the issue of trade and the other is the issue of supply management, which is more directly related to the legislation itself.
    First of all, we need to recognize that Canada is a trading nation. We depend very much on trading. We have the world's best products from coast to coast to coast. We need to be able to export our widgets, our commodities and our resources. It generates a phenomenal amount of wealth for our country. It is one of the reasons that Canada is, I would ultimately argue, the best country in the world in which to live.
    We can do that because over the years we have set a path that allows us to have what we have today: good, solid trade relations with countries around the world. We need not only to maintain those connections but we also should be looking at ways to expand them.
    In the last six or seven years, we have signed off on more trade agreements with countries than any other government in the history of Canada. We understand the way in which we can have an economy that works for all Canadians is to secure, as much as possible, our trade links. Whether it is with the United States and Mexico or many countries in Asia or in Europe, having those agreements signed off is in Canada's best interest. We need that trade. As I say, we are a trading nation.
    Recognizing agriculture and its significance is something that is not lost on us. We have recognized that for generations. In fact, it was a Liberal government that brought in supply management.
    It has been Liberals that have consistently stood up and talked about the advantages of supply management. Not only are there advantages for the province of Quebec and my home province of Manitoba, but every region of the country benefits. Our agricultural community in certain sectors has come together and provided the best quality milk products, for example, through dairy supply management.
    Just the other day I was entertaining some members from the umbrella organization, Chicken Farmers of Canada. We were talking about the production of chickens in the province of Manitoba in particular.
    I have had the opportunity to visit a hatchery. A hatchery can tell us within a couple of hours how 10,000 eggs are going to hatch and how those hatchlings will go from that particular plant to a chicken farm, where they will be placed into a barn. They might sit there for 28 days, which I think is what KFC is, to some 40 days.
    I love chicken. I would argue that if people want good chicken, they should come to Canada. That is where the best chicken in the world is.
    I have seen the process first-hand, from the hatchery to where the chickens grow, to where they are actually processed. In the province of Manitoba, thousands of chickens are being processed in a day.
    An hon. member: Bawk, bawk, bawk.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: There are some chickens across the way, I would suggest.

  (1820)  

    That is a very important industry, as other supply-managed areas are. It provides assurances in terms of quality. That is why I can say with confidence the type of quality product that Canada has that we are able to supply to Canadians in our grocery stores and even, in some situations, in a more direct fashion. I have also had the opportunity to visit dairy farms.
    There is a high level of interest in how we as parliamentarians can ensure that quality products remain available for our consumers. We are very much concerned about food security and the role that supply management plays in food security, but we also recognize the true value of those trade agreements. In listening to the Bloc members, one might question whether and to what degree they even support trade agreements. It is almost as if they believe that a trade agreement is as simple as saying, “Here is what we want; sign here,” to another country.
    Just last week I was in the Philippines and I met with one of our trade commissioners. I would love to see a bilateral trade agreement between Canada and the Philippines. Agriculture is important. I know that. President Marcos has actually taken on the portfolio of agriculture, much as I know agriculture is so critically important to our Minister of Agriculture and to our Prime Minister. In any sort of negotiations that have taken place, we always and consistently have been there to protect the interest of supply management, without exception and in every agreement. As I said, no government has signed more agreements on trade with individual countries, and that would include the 28 plus in our European Union agreement, as this government has, and supply management is always taken into consideration.
    I guess I am a bit more optimistic than are members from the Bloc. However, I am optimistic knowing full well that it is in our farming communities' best interest that we continue to look at trade opportunities. I will cite the pork industry. In Neepawa, Manitoba, there is a plant that employs hundreds of people through HyLife. I would not be surprised if it was even close to 1,000 or maybe even a bit more than 1,000. Members can talk to the community of Neepawa, a town that is thriving today because, in good part, of the pork industry. There is no supply management there, but the pork that the company is exporting is going overseas, to Asia. That production has increased over the last number of years, and we are receiving the benefits in tangible jobs, whether on the farm or in the processing plants. Those jobs are contributing to the buying of real estate and vehicles, providing all sorts of supports to our communities, and the product is actually sold in Asia.
     That is why I say, as an example, that trade is absolutely critical to Canada, as is supply management. What the Bloc members have failed to demonstrate is how this government has missed on the issue of protecting Canada's supply management, because the numbers have actually gone up overall. That is the case.
    I would like to think that as a government we should continue to look at ways in which we can secure markets, because that is one of the ways we can support Canada's middle class and make sure we have an economy that works for all Canadians and allows us to be able to provide the type of social programming that Canadians want to see in all regions of our country.

  (1825)  

    Madam Speaker, it is indeed a great honour to rise in the House to contribute to the second reading debate on Bill C-282, an act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act (supply management).
    It is a particular honour any time I get to speak to a bill where I can highlight the work that the hard-working farmers and farm families in Perth—Wellington and across Canada are doing not only to feed Canadians, but quite literally to feed the world.
    Bill C-282 may sound familiar to some members and to some Canadians because it is an identical copy of Bill C-216 from the previous Parliament, which was introduced by another Bloc Québécois member of Parliament, the dean of the House of Commons, the hon. member for Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel. Members will recall that the bill died on the Order Paper when Parliament was dissolved for the unnecessary summer election.
    I recognize that both members who introduced this bill have a strong commitment to the supply management industry, which this party and many Canadians across the country certainly support.
    I know there are some in this country who may not have the same vigour in supporting supply management, but I think it is important in a bill such as this one that we have a nuanced and thoughtful discussion on its strengths and weaknesses, how it may contribute to the situation, and how it may affect, negatively or positively, future trade deals in decades to come.
    I want to talk briefly about food security. If we have learned anything during the past two and a half years of the pandemic, it is the importance of food security. When we have seen broken supply chains and shortages of goods on shelves across the country, it reinforces the necessity of a strong domestic production system.
    We need to be able to feed the citizens in our country, but also to export the products that are created here in Canada across the world. I might add that when we have a country that is agriculturally as rich as Canada is, it is a crying shame that there are still Canadians who are food insecure. No Canadian, no person living in this great country of Canada, should be food insecure when we have the great natural benefits of our food production system here in Canada.
    I have the honour of representing perhaps the greatest agricultural riding in this country. Perth—Wellington is home to the most dairy farmers of any electoral district in the country. It is home to the most chicken farmers of any electoral district in the country. It is home to the most pork producers of any area in Ontario, and it is in the top five for beef production as well.
    Perth—Wellington has some of the most fertile farmland anywhere in the world. It is some of the most productive farmland that we will find anywhere in the country. The cost of that farmland reflects that, as we are now seeing land sales of over $35,000 per acre in Perth—Wellington and across southern Ontario.
    I say that to emphasize the importance of the supply managed commodities, but also the non-supply managed commodities as well. Canadians and Canadian agriculture have certainly benefited from supply management, but there are also benefits from the world market that comes with international trade.
    I would note that Perth—Wellington is home to more than 62,000 dairy cows, which is more than the number of people who voted in Perth—Wellington in the last election.
    According to Statistics Canada, Perth—Wellington has over 350 chicken and egg farmers and produces over 28 million eggs. That is enough to make 9.3 million omelettes if one uses three eggs to make an omelette. We produce, in the combined counties of Huron and Perth, 542,270,559 litres of milk each year. That is enough milk for each Canadian to have a glass of milk for 56 consecutive mornings.
    Those same dairy farmers and farm families provide over $1.2 billion to our national gross domestic product, and that is only in the counties of Perth and Huron. If we combine the counties of Wellington, Dufferin, Peel and Simcoe, which produce 385 million litres of milk, that is another $800 million added to Canada's GDP.

  (1830)  

    Let us remember as well the great influence of new technology on our agriculture sector. Agriculture is at the leading and cutting edge of technology. We have robotic milkers that have made advances in the dairy industry. We see folks in the beef industry making concrete efforts to increase sustainability and decrease greenhouse gas emissions within the industry. They are doing it on their own. They are doing it because it is the right thing to do. It is beneficial to farmers and the industry, who know the benefit and know they are the closest to the environment, the closest to the land on which they are stewards.
    I have had the great honour and privilege to visit so many local farms in my community. I know the commitment these farmers and farm families have not only to feeding our communities, but also to playing their part in the great global supply chain and contributing to increased sustainability. It is important that these farmers have a fair and predictable marketplace where they can compete domestically and, for those who export, internationally.
    All is not well in the agriculture industry. Certainly, farmers and farm families are facing the brunt of the inflation crisis and the challenges within the supply chain failures that have been caused by the Liberal government. Fuel, heat, feed, fertilizer, equipment, all of these costs are increasing at a rate that is not sustainable. One proposal from this official opposition is doing one small part to make that better. Bill C-234, an act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, would exempt natural gas and propane from the carbon tax for on-farm use. Canadians know that when farmers are drying their grains they need those things and for the government to apply the carbon tax just does not make sense. I am pleased that bill has finally made it out of committee and will be returning to this House for report stage and third reading debate. I am very pleased that my friend and colleague from Huron—Bruce was the one who was able to shepherd the bill through.
    What we are seeing as well are the fertilizer tariffs. We still have not seen meaningful action from the government regarding the costs that were imposed on Canadian farmers for fertilizer purchased before March 2. In fact, just today I received another letter from the Minister of Agriculture, as I had begged her to address this, and once again she has failed to provide an encouraging response on this matter.
    Farmers and farm families need support and reassurance from the federal government, not ongoing challenges, including, I might add, the unfair, unscientific approach to front-of-pack labelling labelling. The government was finally forced to back down from having it on ground beef and other single ingredient products.
    The Liberal government unfortunately neglects too many farmers and farm families in the agriculture industry. In fact, if anyone had listened to the fall economic statement earlier this month, they would have found that a focus on agriculture was sorely lacking.
    I recognize that this bill, Bill C-282, is largely a reaction to concessions that the Liberal government made in the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement, the CUSMA, in which further concessions were made for dairy, poultry and eggs. I would note that it was under our Conservative government, under the strong leadership of the former minister, the member for Abbotsford, that Canada committed to trade deals with dozens of international countries, where we expanded our foreign markets, all while ensuring the supply management industry was properly protected. That is the approach the Conservative government has taken in the past and one that would be taken in the future.
    Certainly, this bill has some challenges in how it would be implemented and how it would be dealt with at the negotiation table, but that is something that could be considered at the committee stage. It is important that the bill be given a thorough examination at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    Recognizing that my time is dwindling, I shall move on to the final point, which is the importance of our agriculture and agri-food industry, which not only feeds our country, but helps to feed the world.

  (1835)  

    Madam Speaker, I offer my congratulations to the member for Montcalm for bringing forward this bill for us to consider. I appreciate having this bill because it allows me to talk about my riding and the long, storied and very rich agriculture history of the Cowichan Valley. We have multi-generational farms there.
    For Cowichan tribes, in the Hul'q'umi'num language, Cowichan means the warm land. We are blessed with a beautiful little microclimate in the Cowichan Valley. We get copious amounts of rain in the winter, but we are absolutely blasted by the sun in the summer. It allows for a very unique growing climate where there is a very strong connection between local farmers and the population that they grow food for.
    As to supply management, I am very lucky to have a number of dairy farms in the Cowichan Valley and a number of egg farms. In my seven years as a member of Parliament representing that amazing riding, I would be remiss if I did not point out how welcoming supply-managed farmers there have always been to me. They have always extended the courtesy of an invitation so that I can go and tour their farms to see how modern they are, how efficient they are and how the supply management system is able to give them a good income and also allow them to plan for the future.
    That is a real strength of the system. It is a system that rests on three key pillars. It was brought in because a lot of farmers back in the 1970s and before were suffering through very wild price fluctuations, especially on commodities. It was really hard to try to plan for the future. Many farms experience that to this day. If one does not know what one's income is going to be in the year or years ahead, it makes it that much harder to do financial planning around the farm, and that is critical.
    If one wants to stay competitive and have an edge, investment in technology and machinery is absolutely critical. Supply management has always allowed farmers to do that. When one goes to some of the dairy farms around the Cowichan Valley, one can see that they are actually serviced by remarkable robotics. It is quite incredible to see the level of technology on display.
    Those three pillars are production control, pricing mechanisms and import control. Like a three-legged stool, if one were to weaken one of those pillars, the whole system would be at risk. It needs all three to work in tandem, in harmony, and to also be strong.
    Under our system, we have not had so much trouble with production control, which is issued through quotas, or on the pricing part. The part that has always been targeted by governments of a variety of stripes is import control. The way we do this is through tariff rate quotas. We do allow imports of certain dairy products such as eggs and poultry. They can come in at a certain rate, but once they go over the maximum amount that is allowed, a huge tariff is placed on them. That is to protect our homegrown system.
    I am sure if one were to ask any Canadian, their preference would be to always have locally sourced food. I think it is a point of pride that we have developed a system where our farmers can not only thrive but also produce that good local food for their local communities.
    That brings me to why Bill C-282 is before us. I can understand why this bill was brought forward. I was here in the 42nd Parliament. I remember hearing the news of how the TPP had been negotiated, the CETA and also, later on, CUSMA. Each one of those agreements started carving out more of our supply-managed market and allowing more foreign imports to come into Canada. That was despite repeated pleas from the industry to the Liberals to leave their sector alone. Now we have a bill that is going to specifically address that and curtail the ability of a foreign affairs minister to negatively impact it.

  (1840)  

    I have been very curious to see where the Conservatives will land on this bill because, in the previous Parliament, when Bill C-216 was brought before this House, I believe the Conservative caucus was split. About a third of them supported it and two-thirds were against.
    I can understand the awkwardness for the Conservative Party because at one time it almost had mad Max as a leader, the famous man from Beauce. He was almost the leader of the Conservative Party. It went down to, I think, the 13th ballot. Maxime has always been very vocal in his opposition to supply management, which is a very curious thing given the region he comes from, and it may explain why he is no longer here as a member of Parliament. It will be interesting to see, when this bill comes to second reading vote, what the blue team will be able to do on this.
    I will read out a few facts and figures. Last year, Canada had over 9,000 dairy farms. It is an industry that contributes 221,000 jobs and nearly $20 billion to Canada's GDP. We have over 5,200 poultry and egg farms. One statistic that has always stood out for me is that Canada, with a population of around 36 million people, has over 1,000 egg farms. In the United States, which has 10 times the population, there are just over 100. This shows the differences in the systems.
    We have a system that has allowed 1,000 egg farms to thrive on a population that is a tenth the size of our southern neighbour. We know the state of Wisconsin produces more milk than our entire country. Farmers there, unfortunately, have suffered negatively from wild price fluctuations. I know, from talking to farmers, that many of our southern neighbours do look north in envy of the system we have in place here.
    Bill C-216 was successfully referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and reported back to the House. Unfortunately, in 2021, we had to deal with an unnecessary election, which had the effect of killing the bill outright. I hope we have enough runway for this bill to make a longer push this time. I am certainly going to be giving my support for it to be heading to committee, just as I proudly did last time.
    If we look at the mechanics of this bill, we need to take a look at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act. Section 10 basically spells out all of the functions, duties and powers the minister of foreign affairs has. For example, the ability to conduct diplomatic and consular relations on behalf of our country and foster the expansion of Canada's international trade and commerce. These are a few examples of what the powers and duties are, as they currently exist in the act.
    What Bill C-282 seeks to do is to basically prevent the foreign affairs minister from making any kind of a commitment by international treaty or agreement that would have any effect of increasing the tariff rate quota, so basically allowing more foreign imports to come in, and of course reducing the tariff rate on that particular quota that is coming in.
    Again, it is born out of the experience of dealing with Liberals over the last seven years, where they repeatedly stood up in the House and said that they were the strong defenders of supply management, but every single trade deal that came through the House and was enacted was always slicing a bit more of the pie away. I understand why this bill is before us.
    I am always happy to have the opportunity to talk about farmers, not only those across this great country but also those in my riding, and I am always happy to stand here as a strong defender of supply management, as all New Democrats always have been. I look forward to this bill getting another turn at committee. I congratulate the member for Montcalm for bringing it forward.

  (1845)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, who has just finished his speech, for his support.
    This is the moment of truth. This is the moment when we separate the parliamentarians who make vague promises they do not necessarily intend to keep from those who are prepared to put their names down on paper. In real life, if someone makes a commitment, they are prepared to put their name down on paper.
    There have been plenty of commitments and vague promises to protect supply management. There has been no shortage of unanimous motions. Our hon. colleague from Montcalm mentioned them earlier. The Quebec National Assembly has also unanimously adopted several motions. This is what everyone wants. It is time to put it on paper, in legislation. That will give us a reading on those vague promises.
    This legislation will broaden the Minister of International Trade's mandate to include the obligation to protect supply-managed sectors. It will be written into the mandate letter. A lot of parliamentarians are trying to make us believe that this is not possible and that it will hurt trade.
    I listened to the parliamentary secretary just now. To be honest, I found the substance of his speech disappointing. He said that Bloc Québécois members never proved the government had not kept its word, yet it signed twice. Not only did it sign twice, but in the latest trade agreement with the United States, CUSMA, class 7, milk by-products, was cut out even though it was there because of a perfectly legal internal agreement between producers and processors. The government did that because our milk by-product exports bothered the Americans.
    Not only did it bend, it actually rolled over and gave up class 7. It gave a foreign country permission to control the amount of product we export to a third country. That is unbelievable. Plus, the member has the gall to tell us that we did not prove the government does not keep its promises.
    Okay, rant over. I hope he was listening.
    Back to the topic at hand. Understanding why it is important to protect supply management starts with understanding what it is.
    There are three components. The quantity produced is controlled, and the price is controlled. So far, so good. However, to be able to control the quantity produced in order to control the price, what enters from outside our borders must also be controlled. It is like a three-legged stool. There must be three points of support to keep it balanced, stable and upright.
    Consecutive Conservative and Liberal governments have been merrily cutting off the third leg, bit by bit. They cut off a section of the leg representing what enters from outside in the first agreement, then in the second, and again in the third. The stool is still standing, but it is definitely crooked.
    Fortunately, our farmers are good farmers; they are proud and they are brave. They work hard and make the system work. However, if we do not protect it now, there will be new international agreement negotiations in the coming months and years. Think of the agreements with Great Britain, Mercosur or any other trade group. This is a global trend. That it fine; it is normal.
    To answer another of the parliamentary secretary's questions, yes, the Bloc Québécois supports international trade. The Bloc Québécois has read the WTO rules. It discovered that, under the WTO rules, every country has the right to protect certain sectors of its economy. That is legitimate. Everyone does it. The Americans complain all the time, but they protect their cotton and sugar, just as the Japanese protect their rice. In Canada and Quebec, we protect our supply-managed sectors. That is all. It is as simple as that because the system works well, as we saw during the pandemic. That was noted by my brilliant colleague from Montcalm, with whom I am pleased to share the responsibility of advancing this fundamental bill.

  (1850)  

    I would like to talk about what would happen if we got rid of supply management. The parliamentary secretary and the government have two choices right now: either protect supply management, or continue to kill it bit by bit. Many times in the House, I have criticized the government for its lack of courage and its nefarious intent to kill supply management over 10, 15 or 20 years so that it does not end up costing the government anything. The plan is to take away a little bit from farmers, let them struggle along, take away another little bit, let them struggle along and then give them some compensation.
    I want to take this opportunity to commend the minister for keeping her word and paying the final compensation this fall. We are pleased and farmers are pleased; the case is closed. Now, let us make sure this never happens again. Let us move on. I invite each and every parliamentarian here to show some respect for the people who feed us, who get up every morning and work hard. It is a magnificent system.
    Many of my colleagues talked about Wisconsin, where the farms are huge. The average herd size in Quebec is about 87 cows, whereas in the United States, the average herd size is more than 300 cows. There are also farms that are even bigger than that. Do we want milk full of hormones that comes from mega-farms? The reason there are mega-farms in the United States is because the Americans recklessly liberalized their market.
    We were smart enough to come up with a system that works well. I am very proud of my pork producers, which is clear any time people from other parties talk to me about pork and exports. I would never prevent them from exporting. I am talking about people out west who want to feed the world and want to export more grain and other commodities. We can do that while protecting our supply management system, which is critical and gives us a strong foundation of food sovereignty and resiliency.
    I hope I do not hear any more of the nonsense I was hearing earlier. My colleagues know that this is the second time we have introduced such a bill, because this government likes to prorogue Parliament whenever there is a minor scandal, or call an election whenever there are too many bills on the table that would be damaging to it. Last time, the Liberals voted for our bill, and I thank them for that. I urge them to do the same this time around.
    I was thrilled with the answer that the Prime Minister gave me in the previous Parliament when I asked whether he would support us. I would like to remind the House that, at the time, I reached out to the members of the Conservative Party, who were the only ones who were not on board with protecting our sector. They were divided on the issue, as my NDP colleague mentioned earlier. I reached out to them and I am still doing so. The people in our rural areas, our supply-managed producers, need security and predictability. If we do not pass this bill, we will be sending them the message that they need to sell their quotas while they are still worth something because there will be no guarantees in 15 years. That is the message we will be sending.
    Regardless of the promises the government makes, no one here can guarantee that the figure will be the same in six months, one year or five years, and no one can guarantee that the same party will be in power either. Collectively, the time is right. Farmers are asking for this, and they are looking to us. Farmers in Berthier—Maskinongé, Quebec and all of Canada are looking to us hopefully.
    I will end my speech with an appeal to all farmers. I urge them to rally together and join forces with us. I know they are already on board. I encourage them to call their member of Parliament, whether they are Liberal, Conservative, or any other political stripe, to explain what life is like for them and what supply management contributes to their communities.
    Supply management does more than simply ensure that farmers have a decent income. It also keeps communities alive, ensuring that there are twelve farms in the community, not two. It helps ensure that the village school is not empty. The benefits of supply management are exponential in a community. We need to protect our model, and I ask all members to do the right thing and to do it in a positive way.

  (1855)  

[English]

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

ADJOURNMENT PROCEEDINGS

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

[English]

Housing  

    Madam Speaker, with record inflation fuelled by corporate greed, finding safe, affordable and adequate housing has become out of reach for many Canadians. New Democrats have been calling on the Liberals to invest in affordable housing and to stop the profiteering of corporate landlords, but unsurprisingly, the Liberals are tone deaf to the realities of everyday Canadians.
    Successive governments, Conservative and Liberal, have made deep cuts to social and co-op housing and have allowed the cost of housing to increase. Under the Harper government, the cost of buying a home increased by 77%, and under the Liberal government, it has gone up another $300,000. The average rent in Canada now is over $2,000 a month. One in five Canadians puts more than 30% of their total income towards their housing cost. Families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.
    When the Liberals cancelled the national affordable housing strategy in 1993, Canada lost more than 500,000 units of social and co-op housing that would otherwise have been built. Now, nearly three decades later, both the Liberals and the Conservatives allow investors to treat housing like a stock market, driving up rents and home prices.
    The NDP knows that to address the housing crisis, we have to stop the financialization of housing and we need to meaningfully develop social housing and co-op housing units. Housing advocates are calling for the development of at least 300,000 units of core need housing. We need social housing; we need supportive housing, and co-op is a proven model that works. In fact, rents in co-op housing are $400 to $500 less per month compared to private market rental units.
    The Liberals like to talk about their so-called record investments in affordable housing, but the Auditor General's report released yesterday exposed that the government is failing to address the dire homelessness and housing crisis. The Liberals have spent billions to build homes that Canadians cannot afford. What is worse is they do not even know if chronic homelessness has increased or decreased since 2019. They have no idea who is benefiting from their housing initiatives.
    The National Housing Strategy Act, passed in 2019, enshrined a human rights based approach to housing under the law. It commits the government to reducing homelessness and to focusing on improving housing outcomes for vulnerable groups and those with the greatest need, yet three years later, Canada's housing crisis is getting worse. The Liberals have spent billions to develop housing that is not affordable for those in need.
    The national housing co-investment fund is a program meant to deliver rental housing units at below 30% of one's total income. It was a program meant for low-income households, many of whom are among the most vulnerable, but instead of delivering that, the Liberals changed the affordability criteria to 80% of median market rent. Consequently, low-income and vulnerable people cannot access this housing because it is not affordable. In fact, the housing developed under this program is failing low-income families in seven provinces and territories. At this rate, the Liberals are on track to miss their own target of reducing chronic homelessness by 50% by 2028.
    The Liberals' incompetence is shocking. The fallout is deadly. In B.C. alone, there were 247 deaths among individuals experiencing homelessness in 2021, a 75% increase since 2020. In Vancouver East, a large-scale homeless encampment is now a permanent fixture and individual homeless tents are proliferating on the streets—

  (1900)  

    I am sorry, but the member's time is up. She will be able to continue during her next intervention.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Vancouver East for her consistently advocacy on this very pressing issue.
    There is no that doubt housing affordability is one of the most pressing issues in the country right now, especially for the most vulnerable, as she articulated. Everyone needs and everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. There is no space between our position and the position of the member opposite on that front.
    What I will take issue with is some of the points she made with respect to social and co-op housing. We know that we made a significant investment of $1.5 billion in the last budget, committing to building more units. We talked about historic investments in co-operative housing. I believe the member opposite is fully aware that the Minister of Finance herself grew up in co-operative housing and is deeply committed to expanding the supply of such housing.
    This housing includes our commitments to the rapid housing initiative. We announced the details last week, with an expansion of the RHI. That program has consistently exceeded its targets since we introduced it in the early days of the pandemic. It has quickly yielded more than 10,000 new units for people who need them the most. When we talk about people who need it the most, we are talking about initiatives that are focused on women, racialized persons, marginalized persons, indigenous persons and seniors. Those are important objectives to address the vulnerabilities that have been highlighted by the member opposite.
    These new steps to boost housing affordability are critical, and we intend to continue in this vein. The 2022 budget reallocated $500 million of funding to launch a new co-operative housing development program, as I mentioned, which is about expanding co-op housing. That includes $1 billion in loans to support co-op housing projects. That is the largest investment in co-op housing for more than 30 years. There is, again, no disparity between the position of the government and the position of the NDP on this particular issue. This investment alone will yield 6,000 new units.
     All this activity is building on our efforts and our successes in the housing sector thus far. It is clear there is a housing crisis. We saw that when we were first elected in 2015. We immediately took steps to prioritize housing. We have since created and repaired 440,000 homes. We have taken historic steps to ensure that everyone in this country has a place to call home. That includes people across the spectrum of housing need.
     I could give some examples. There is Canadian Forces veteran Bill Beaton, who went from being homeless to living in Veterans' House, a supportive housing facility constructed with funding from the national housing co-investment fund. There is Lianne Leger, a recent university graduate, who was able to make a home for herself in Whitehorse, thanks to the first time home buyer's incentive. There are also the residents of Co:Here housing community, which is in the member opposite's own riding of Vancouver East. That is a 26-unit affordable housing building created through the Government of Canada's bilateral housing agreement with the province.
    I want to thank my colleague and her party for her concern about housing affordability in Canada, and point to these significant actions.

  (1905)  

    Madam Speaker, I would invite the member to actually read the report that the Auditor General just released yesterday. It is entitled “ Report 5—Chronic Homelessness”.
    The situation is that the government does not know what is going on, and it does not even know if it is meeting the needs of those who are homeless. This is from the Auditor General. The Auditor General also indicated that the government is not going to meet its own targets. This is not just me talking. This is the reality from the Auditor General, who is bringing this issue to the government's attention.
    We are approaching another cold, wet season. It just snowed outside in Ottawa. It snowed in Vancouver last week. There have been enough excuses and enough talking points. People are dying on the streets. Housing is a basic human right. Let us get on with it. The Liberal government needs to do its job and build the housing to house people so they can have a roof over their head and safe place to call home.
    Madam Speaker, I want to pick up on something the member just mentioned, and she mentioned it in her first intervention as well.
    When we enacted the legislation that furthers the national housing strategy two Parliaments ago, in the 42nd Parliament, we enshrined housing as a human right. Again, that is a critical component of our government's prioritization of housing. Also, there is agreement on the idea of removing profiteering from the housing sector and stopping the treatment of it as a commodity.
    The Auditor General's report is an important report, as is the initiative we have taken to end homelessness and set targets. Meeting those targets is a priority for our government. We will review that report and respond to it accordingly. We have continued to prioritize housing throughout our mandate. We have a plan to keep it that way. We expanded the rapid housing initiative because we believe a safe and affordable place to call home is the right of every Canadian.

The Economy  

    Madam Speaker, in my question on September 28, I pointed out to the government that in Restaurants Canada's annual report, over the last 12 months 43% more restaurants had closed than opened. Additionally, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada report that our nation’s small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, are responsible for 10 million jobs in our country.
    Like all SMEs, restaurants help to employ 88.3% of Canada’s private labour force. However, all is far from well. In August 2022, for the first time in history, there were over 180,000 client visits in one month to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.
    In prepandemic times, just to put it in context, it would have had 60,000 client visits. If we fast-forward to January 2022, with the increases in inflation, there were 120,000 visits and, as mentioned earlier, in the most recent reported figure in August, that number has tripled, from 60,000 prepandemic to 180,000 client visits in one month.
    There is serious hardship here. Many Canadians face a really harsh winter. This reality is not some partisan thing; it is a very serious situation. It is one thing for a senior minister to suggest that it is not going to be an easy time for Canadians, that it is not going to be an easy time for Canada and that we have to make do with today’s realities.
    Does the government have any other viable plan, and if so, what is it?
    Madam Speaker, let me outline some of the measures that we are taking to address supports for restaurants and the tourism industry and in terms of addressing the inflation that is affecting all Canadians, including people outside Canada. It is, indeed, a global phenomenon.
    We know that Canadians and Canadian businesses, along with those in countries around the world, are dealing with inflationary pressures and increasing interest rates. Things like high oil prices and global supply chain disruptions are leading to a scarcity of goods and to rising prices. Those are a serious concern for the member who raised this question, and they are a serious concern for the government.
    We also understand the important role that restaurants play in communities from coast to coast to coast. In fact, we were there to support them through the pandemic and provided direct support to the hospitality and tourism industry. During the past two and a half years, our government introduced financial support for employees' wages, subsidies for rent, and loans to provide liquidity relief to ensure businesses' survival through the recovery period.
    We took those actions because small businesses are indeed the heart of Canadian communities and the engine of Canada's economy. This was highlighted by the member for Spadina—Fort York. Small businesses contribute 55% of Canada's GDP and employ 10.8 million Canadians across the country. That is an astounding number, and that is why they deserve our support.
    What budget 2022 outlined was a range of incentives to help small businesses remain strong through the economic uncertainty that was highlighted by the member who raised this question. We have cut the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%, which is essential to support businesses coming out of the pandemic. We are working to deliver lower credit card fees to reduce this burden on small businesses. We have stated quite clearly in the fall economic statement that if a negotiated solution is not reached, we will table legislation to regulate that sector and regulate those fees. We have also enhanced the small business financing program by increasing annual financing to small businesses by an estimated annual $560 million, helping businesses and their owners access liquidity for start-up costs and intangible assets.
    Tourism is very vibrant in the riding of Spadina—Fort York. I know this quite well as the member for the riding just adjacent to Spadina—Fort York. We know that virtually all tourism businesses are small businesses themselves, and those tourism businesses employ two million people across this country. Hospitality and tourism is an inclusive industry that provides jobs and opportunities to newcomers, women, youth and indigenous people. These are specific groups that have experienced some of the worst impacts of the global pandemic.
    We have been supporting these businesses in their efforts to strive for even greater inclusivity, with things like the women entrepreneurship program, the Black entrepreneurship program, and targeted supports for indigenous businesses. Returning to budget 2022, we outlined a proposal for $20 million over two years to support a new indigenous tourism fund to help indigenous tourism recover from the pandemic and position itself for long-term sustainable growth.
    We also announced a commitment to develop a new federal tourism growth strategy focused on recovery and civility and growth in the long term. To further spur the recovery, jobs and growth of small businesses, we have launched the Canada digital adoption program. CDAP is a $4-billion program that will help restaurants grow their online presence and boost online ordering. These are targeted supports to help the small businesses that the member for Spadina—Fort York is outlining.

  (1910)  

    Madam Speaker, I have two questions.
    One, does my hon. colleague believe that the government should be instituting a comprehensive plan to help Canadians cope with the record food costs and the high interest rates?
    Two, given how there are other metrics that lag, I would suggest that food bank usage is as close to a real-time indicator that really demonstrates or illustrates, quite frankly, how Canadians are doing, particularly those who are most vulnerable. It should be monitored and used to inform public policy. Would my hon. colleague agree that food bank usage is a metric the government should begin monitoring?
    Madam Speaker, in terms of responding directly to the member, I think that a comprehensive plan is under way. We see that through efforts we are taking not only to assist small businesses but also to assist Canadians with their daily costs.
    The member and I have ridings in the province of Ontario. We heard today that 90% of the child care centres have signed on to our child care plan. This means that families in his riding and mine would be benefiting from a 25% rebate for the early part of the year and a 50% reduction by the end of the year, in terms of child care costs.
    We voted on a GST rebate, which will help 11 million Canadians deal with the rising costs of food.
    Is food bank usage an important metric? Absolutely, it is. We cannot turn away from the rising costs of groceries and the impact that is having on Canadians.
    What we are doing through targeted measures such as the GST rebate, such as the housing benefit and such as dental care for young people is providing relief to those who need it the most, along with the supports for small businesses that I outlined earlier.

  (1915)  

Natural Resources 

    Madam Speaker, on June 3, I asked the Minister of Natural Resources a question about Canada's role in providing the world with energy solutions. I pointed out the government's failures in having Canadian resources delivered to world markets. My question was one about long-term impact, the result of the government's constrictive policies on Canadian resource development and delivery to world markets, and Canada's role in providing the world with energy security.
    The minister told me I was wrong, that I was wrong in pointing out that hundreds of billions of dollars of investment projects have left this country since the government was elected. He said I was wrong that government-funded delays on resource development projects have left Canada with a reputation as an unreliable place to invest. He said I was wrong in indicating that their flagship Impact Assessment Act, the famous Bill C-69, has led to more uncertainty in the process of having projects approved. He said I was wrong in protesting the constraints on Canada's signature contribution to reducing worldwide CO2 emissions by exporting the world's cleanest natural gas to world markets and, in the process, displacing coal burning for electricity production in the developing world. He said I was wrong in actively working to get Canadian resources to world markets like Germany, which were thrust into the arms of Russia, as it filled the void left by Canada these past seven years. This led to a transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth from democratic countries to authoritarian regimes, the most problematic, of course, being the funds that flow to Russia to wage war against our friends in Ukraine.
    The government has made this bed and now it is saying that it would take too long for Canada to provide solutions to the obvious problem.
    Well, I am not wrong.
    The government has failed the world by constraining clean Canadian energy development for the past seven years. It has failed the developing world in providing clean Canadian energy to a growing world demanding more energy. It has failed the environment by keeping Canadian natural gas from markets that have had to burn more coal and emit more CO2. It has failed the democratic nations around the world by forcing them to source their energy at great expense from the world's most authoritarian regimes. We should have developed these resources for the world seven years ago. It is true. These are great policy failures for Canada and for the world.
    The best time to move forward was seven years ago, then six years ago, then five years ago, then four years ago, then three years ago. The best time to move forward is right now. Let us get these things off the building blocks and let us get some things going in Canada.
    Let us talk about the supply disruptions. I know one of the excuses I am going to hear is that these are global supply disruptions. Well, who is causing the global supply disruptions? It is Canada. We cannot get projects built.
    On inflation, if we think about the mounting cost of energy around the world, it is because Canada has not been there to provide energy to a growing world. This past summer alone, energy was $60 per thousand cubic feet in Europe and $10 per thousand cubic feet in the United States. That is a big difference. It was worth negative at times in Canada.
    We have to get our resources to market.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to start off with some general responses to what the member opposite has raised and then go into some specific details.
    First, in terms of investment not having occurred in the last seven years, that is categorically incorrect. The largest foreign investment in Canadian history was actually in the Kitimat facility to develop liquefied natural gas to address clients in Asia, particularly for the transition off coal in India and China. That is a $40-billion investment in the province of British Columbia and it was widely supported in the House.
    Second, in terms of assisting our allies, I am sure the member opposite, who is a wise individual and contributes well to the debates in this chamber, knows about the $2.6-billion hydrogen energy deal that was struck with our German allies as recently as about a month and a half ago. The proposed site of the project is off the coast of Newfoundland. There is also intense activity on hydrogen and hydrogen cell technology in the member's own province of Alberta, which I am sure he is quite familiar with.
    Further to that, we are developing a critical minerals strategy, which has a $4-billion funding investment attached to it. That is to meet the growing need for batteries for vehicles and transportation. These batteries will effectively provide an energy source for vehicles not only on this continent but clearly around the world.
    Lastly, although this is a source of dispute between our two parties, we are not going to apologize, nor should we ever, for the fact that energy projects, energy investments and issues that relate to getting Canadian energy abroad always need to go through an important regulatory permitting requirement, which relates to the Impact Assessment Agency. That program is focused on environmental sustainability and indigenous reconciliation. Those are two things that no one should need to apologize for, and they are important priorities for our country, as they should be.
    With respect to what we are doing, as the member opposite predicted, I am going to talk about the fact that this is a global problem. I am going to talk about the fact that what we are facing is instability as a result of a pandemic. This is coupled with the fact that we have Russia's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine, which is destabilizing Europe and our European allies.
    We are there to support our European allies. That is critical. We will continue to support our European allies with good, clean Canadian energy. We are always willing to entertain projects that meet our permitting process, that meet our sustainability requirements and that meet our ambitious targets, which are being discussed as we speak at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh because they are very, very important.
    With respect to what has been happening in Europe, we need to understand the impact that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had on Ukrainians themselves, thousands of whom have been killed or wounded. We must also understand that we have been working consistently on energy projects and a number of other projects to assist our allies and have been working in conjunction with our American partners. That includes sanctions, aid and the encouragement of Ukrainians vis-à-vis the Ukrainian diaspora here. The member opposite would also know, which I am sure he appreciates, that to meet some of those needs, we have increased our oil and gas exports this year by the equivalent of 300,000 barrels per day. That is a direct attempt to meet some of the energy needs that are required by our allies.
    It is also important to note that this unjustified invasion has been a wake-up call to the world that countries need to move away from the authoritarian actors the member mentioned and move toward more stable sources and locations of energy. Canada is ready, willing and able to meet those needs, but we will meet them in an environmentally sustainable manner that also addresses indigenous reconciliation.

  (1920)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's saying those words, but those are just words. I would say again that he is making some of that stuff up, as so many of the members on the other side of the House do.
    As to the actual facts around LNG development in Canada, we had 18 projects on the west coast and seven on the east coast to develop LNG in this country. Now we have one being developed, with three more that potentially might get developed. It is seven years later, and in the interim the United States has seven fully developed projects and is exporting to the world, and 20 more are in the process of being approved. We are a laggard. We have punished the world by not getting our environmental solutions to the world. We are also a better producer of this resource.
    Any feigned attempt to pretend that we are actually moving forward, from the government's perspective, on a project that was approved long before the member's government got into office and has taken this long to get to development, is pretense, and I need to call it out for what it is.
    I have lots more to say, but I know my time is limited.
    Unsurprisingly, Madam Speaker, we have a strong difference of opinion on this side of the House. One is not making stuff up. I do not do that personally, and the government does not do that as a matter of course.
    What I am talking about is investments that are being made in energy in this country, and investments that are being made toward sustainable, green and cleaner energy. Those include things like renewables: solar, wind and geothermal energy. Those include even initiatives to export Canadian know-how in nuclear technology around the planet.
    The member, in his first intervention, talked about the unfortunate situation in which the Germans were burning coal. That is a very unfortunate situation. I would point out to the member that Germany's reliance on coal comes in part from having been overly reliant on Russian natural gas, and secondly from having turned its back on its own nuclear program.
    That is not something we have done in Ontario. Our phase-out of coal was propelled by our substantive nuclear assets in the province of Ontario. That is what we are hoping to do with the rest of the country in terms of the phase-out of coal in places like Alberta and New Brunswick. That is what we will continue to do with our European allies to meet their energy needs.

[Translation]

    The motion that the House do now adjourn is deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 7:25 p.m.)
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