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Monday, November 21, 2022

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 131


Monday, November 21, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 11 a.m.


Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]



Encouraging the Growth of the Cryptoasset Sector Act

    The House resumed from April 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-249, An Act respecting the encouragement of the growth of the cryptoasset sector, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Mr. Speaker, it was not that long ago when the leader of the Conservative Party was out canvassing, trying to generate support. We understand and appreciate he got overwhelming support from the Conservative Party membership.
    It was really interesting. There was a number of aspects of the leadership convention that sparked a great deal of public policy debate, but one in particular was the issue of cryptocurrency. That is why I am somewhat surprised that the Conservative Party has legislation that deals with cryptocurrency. Members can recall that not that long ago the leader of the Conservative Party said that one of the best ways to fight inflation in Canada would be to invest in cryptocurrency.
     I can recall, vividly, the leader of the Conservative Party making a purchase, suggesting that Canadians get on board, as if we were falling behind, and invest in cryptocurrency, not recognizing the true value of the Canadian dollar. He told Canadians that one of the best ways to fight inflation would be to invest in cryptocurrency.
    Imagine those Conservative delegates, and possibly others, who listened to the leader of the Conservative Party and invested in cryptocurrency, many of whom might have been seniors on fixed incomes, using part of their life savings to invest in something that was being recommended by the leader of Canada's official opposition party.
    The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance has talked a great deal about what we have been doing to support Canadians from coast to coast to coast during this difficult time, a time in which we do see inflation. which concerns all of us. While we are trying to make policy decisions to support Canadians, the Leader of the Opposition is still, to this very day, demonstrating a lack of good judgment by not coming forward and saying to Canadians that he made a mistake back then, that it was not appropriate for people to invest in cryptocurrency, let alone hedging it on inflation. We now have a bill that the Conservatives want, in a very real way, to put on the Canadian agenda.
     Cryptocurrency is a worldwide currency with which nations around the world have to deal. In Canada, whether it is the national government or provincial governments, we have to deal with it. It was a surprise to hear the endorsement and the degree to which the Conservatives came onside, and the lack of a response to the statements being made just months ago by the leader of the Conservative Party.
    It makes me wonder how many Conservative members followed the advice of the Leader of the Conservative Party. I have said in the past that one way to find out would be to pose that question to those members. How many Conservative members have invested in cryptocurrency? I do not see any hands up. I cannot say who is here and who is not here, but I suspect there might have been some—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!


    Order, please. The hon. member knows we cannot mention absences or presences in the House.
    Madam Speaker, the point is that, as he is the leader of Canada's official opposition, there is no doubt that many people would have invested in cryptocurrency based on his recommendation. Those who did make that investment would have suffered a 60% loss or higher. Imagine being a person on a fixed income. Even if people were not on fixed incomes and invested $10,000, they would have lost $6,000-plus of that $10,000.
     I am disappointed by the policy enunciations coming from the Conservative Party today. Many would argue that we are looking for policy ideas. The Conservatives are very good at critiquing and opposing everything. We have taken a number of options for Canadians to help them through the inflation issues. Whether it is rental support, or doubling the GST, or dental support or permanent relief on interest for students, these are the types of policy ideas we have come forward with and the Conservative Party has said no to most of them. The only idea the Conservatives have generated to fight inflation is cryptocurrency. They need to take this issue back to the drawing board, and the leader of the official opposition owes Canadians an apology.



    Madam Speaker, this morning I have the privilege of rising to speak to Bill C-249 on the cryptoasset sector, which was introduced by my Conservative Party colleagues.
    This bill seeks to require the Minister of Finance to develop a national framework to encourage the growth of the cryptoasset sector within three years after the coming into force of the act.
    The bill states that, in developing the framework, the minister must consult with persons designated by Quebec and the provinces and with experts from the cryptoasset sector. Bill C-249 also provides for reporting and tracking requirements in relation to the framework.
    In a sector that is more ideology-driven than factual, the bill points out that cryptoassets have significant economic and innovative potential for Canada and that the government must focus on lowering barriers to entry into the cryptoasset sector, protecting those working in the sector and minimizing the administrative burden.
    I will not keep members in suspense for very long. I will say right now that the Bloc Québécois will be voting against Bill C-249.
    Before getting into more detail about our position, I would like to remind the House and my Conservative colleagues of some financial advice that the leader of the Conservative Party and member for Carleton gave to all Quebeckers and all Canadians last spring. It is no secret that the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada dreams of bitcoin and other cryptoasset fantasies at night.
    Barely seven months ago, in April, he organized a small staged media event when he went to a restaurant in London, Ontario, and paid for a shawarma in bitcoin. He took the opportunity to recommend that Quebeckers and Canadians invest their savings in cryptocurrency to shield their money from inflation.
    What reasoning did the leader of the Conservative Party use to offer this advice?
    He used a simplistic—and frankly dishonest—intellectual shortcut to blame the big bad central bank for the inflationary crisis and in the same breath presented the decentralized cryptocurrencies, regulated by the very free market, as a magic solution against inflation.
    The problem with the supposed freedom of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is that they are also free to crash and burn. I say this with great empathy and compassion for anyone who went through this, but the outcome was quite dramatic for those who followed the financial advice of the Conservative leader by investing in bitcoin in April 2022. Just six months later, they could only watch helplessly as close to 70% of the value of their hard-earned savings had evaporated. Poof.
    I would like to hear what the Conservative leader has to say to all these constituents who trusted him and who now must surely feel he has cheated, betrayed and abandoned them. While he claims to care about helping families put food on the table, how can he take advantage of his position and the credibility his role gives him to trot out such irresponsible and dangerous financial advice?
    As I indicated earlier, the Bloc Québécois will vote against the Conservative bill. My colleagues and I are convinced that, while cryptoassets do have innovative potential in some regards, the regulatory framework around them must be fleshed out and strengthened so as to make the digital and financial ecosystem in which they operate more transparent and accountable.
    Unlike the Conservative Party, we believe that legislative action focused strictly on the growth of the sector, as proposed in the bill, on lowering barriers to entry, and on minimizing the administrative burden would be inappropriate and irresponsible.
    The sector has experienced indisputable and dramatic growth in recent years. What it really needs now is not support for growth but a real regulatory framework that limits the risks associated with possession and transactions of cryptoassets.


    There are still many issues that require us, as decision-makers, to act with caution and diligence in this matter.
    The first issue is, of course, the volatility of cryptocurrencies, which is still extremely high and often inexplicable. It can be correlated to media exposure, and an event as trivial as a simple tweet has previously caused fluctuations of several thousands of dollars in just a few hours for some currencies.
    That is why many professional investors see the use of cryptoassets as more of a lottery than a serious investment. Similarly, Paul Beaudry, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, considers them to be more of a tool for speculation than a real means of payment, as its supporters want to present it.
    Another issue that cannot be overlooked when we talk about cryptoassets is energy consumption, which ultimately leads us to energy production. That certainly is in the Conservative Party’s wheelhouse. To put it simply, cryptoassets are created by mining. This is not mining from the earth, but rather mining done by many very powerful computers operating at full power to perform extremely complicated calculations.
    It is also estimated that the total activity generated by crypto mining uses as much energy as a country like Norway, about 130 terawatt hours. By comparison, Hydro-Québec's electricity sales only reached 50 terawatt hours in 2020. I think that we will have to reflect on what we really want to focus on and what we want to do with our energy production.
    It appears euphemistic, then, to say that cryptoassets are energy intensive. As Europe is going through an energy crisis, we must ask ourselves whether priority should be given to these activities rather than heating our homes, schools and hospitals. Moreover, the environmental impact of these activities must not be forgotten. For jurisdictions that do not have the opportunity to produce clean energy like Quebec, the pollution caused by crypto mining is extremely significant.
    The third issue regarding cryptoassets, which we cannot ignore, is their use to finance criminal and terrorist activities. There is a real and documented possibility of taking advantage of the cryptoasset sector to launder money and finance terrorist activities due to two aspects inherent in these activities: anonymity and the proliferation of instant transactions.
    The launderers take advantage of this sector operating outside of conventional banking systems to convert the proceeds of criminal activities into legal tender. There currently exists a regulatory vacuum, one which organized crime certainly takes advantage of.
    I will give a concrete example. At this time, current legislation allows people to convert up to $1,000 per day into cryptocurrency at an automated teller machine without having to verify their identity. There are currently no fewer than eight companies that operate such machines in Quebec and a single person can exchange several thousands of dollars per day. Obviously, this is a real boon for criminal organizations.
    Terrorists can use it for similar reasons. Since it is difficult to identify the actual recipient of a wallet, money can be transferred from one side of the world to the other to finance terrorist activities without alerting the authorities responsible for our protection. So much for this party claiming to be the champion of law and order.
    My time is coming to an end. I will conclude by reminding you that the cryptoasset sector has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. However, there have been bumps along the way, and it is now clear, given the crash of bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies, that it is better to be cautious and responsible when it comes to this technology, which is a minefield of risks and uncertainties.


    Unlike the Leader of the Conservative Party and his party members, who seem to be looking at cryptoassets through rose-coloured glasses, the Bloc Québécois prefers to focus on transparency and responsibility. We are—
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but we must resume debate.
    The hon. member for Timmins—Baie James.


    Madam Speaker, it is a great honour to rise in the House and discuss what the Conservative Party has put out as its key platform for dealing with inflation: cryptocurrency. It is a really good opportunity to look at what the Conservative leader has as an economic vision. It is perfect that it is happening here just after the weekend, when FTX, the crypto exchange site, collapsed, destroying 32 billion dollars' worth of savings in 48 hours. That is a record for a complete financial collapse. Could we say that money was vaporized?
    If we look at what we have offered as New Democrats for responding to inflation, we put forward the need to get children dental care. The Conservative leader, whose kids get their own dental care paid for by the taxpayer, opposed that and said all that money to help children would vaporize. We talked about doubling the GST tax credit. The Conservatives were against it. They said that money would vaporize because of inflation. Of course, there was our work to get rent support for low-income housing, and the Conservatives were dead set against that. They said inflation would vaporize it. What did the leader of the Conservative Party offer as his one solution for fighting inflation? It was Ponzi schemes and cryptocurrency.
    The Conservatives had a two-part strategy. One was to spin cryptocurrency as something we could buy a shawarma with and put our life savings into. The second part of the Conservative strategy is even more important to look at. It was his full-on attack on the basic principle of having financial regulations to keep people from being scammed.
    I really appreciate the member for Calgary Nose Hill for bringing forward legislation that talks about the need for legislation. She has rightly pointed out that if we do not have regulation, this dark money system could easily be a forum for money laundering and terrorist financing. Who else would want to have a financial system with no checks and balances so we cannot trace where the money goes?
    I appreciate that there are members of the Conservative Party who are not in the thrall of whack-job economics. Unfortunately, her leader is a complete devout believer in whack-job economics, because he is dead set against this principle of regulation. He said, “Canada needs less financial control for politicians and bankers and more financial freedom for the people.” He has referred to financial regulations as “cobwebs” that need to be blown away. Of course, he has his other great folk devil, the gatekeepers. We have to attack the gatekeepers, which is why he wants to get rid of the Bank of Canada. It is a full-on attack of basic regulations.
    The reason we have these so-called cobwebs is that time and time again we have seen hard-working people's savings wiped out by flim-flam artists: Bre-X, Bernie Madoff, junk bonds and the derivative market that destroyed the savings of millions of people. They would love this leader of the Conservative Party. They would embrace him. They embrace the notion of freedom as the freedom to swindle, the freedom to hustle and the freedom to rob people of their savings.
    The leader of the Conservative Party was promoting crypto, but then we found out he was an investor in crypto. I think that is really telling because with a Ponzi scheme, we only get our money back if we sucker other rubes into put their money in too. We had the leader of the Conservative Party using his platform to tell Canadians who were worried about their savings to invest in crypto. He thought, “This is where I'm going to get my money back.” That is highly irresponsible, because who pays the price when $32 billion just vaporizes? It is not Goldman Sachs. It is not Jeff Bezos. It is ordinary working-class and middle-class people who are afraid they do not have enough savings.
    I met many people who were investing in crypto because they were guaranteed that it was going to give them the kind of return on investment they could not get anywhere else. They trusted the leader of the Conservative Party.
    Of course, he explained what his financial knowledge was: He stays up late into the night watching YouTube videos. I stay up late into the night watching YouTube videos too. I love watching old Motown videos. When I have to fix my toilet, YouTube is a great place to learn how to fix my toilet. However, one thing I learned from the pandemic is that just because buddy with a baseball cap sitting in his mother's basement claims he is an expert on immunology and vaccinations does not mean YouTube is a good place to get medical advice.


    What we have learned is the leader of the Conservative Party stays up late into the night learning economics. It is not really too bright to trust the leader of the Conservative Party when he gets his economic vision from YouTube. He is saying he is going to get rid of regulations, he is going to get rid of the Bank of Canada and he is going to get rid of all the cobwebs that have protected people from financial scams year in, year out.
    That takes us to the collapse of FTX. There were a lot of dodgy crypto sites, but this was supposed to be the good one. This was a really good one, apparently. It was set up in the Bahamas, of course, because there is almost no regulation there. They have very limited financial regulation and it is set up as a tax haven with no reporting obligations to anybody. It is like an opaque, financial black box. Is that not exactly what the leader of the Conservative Party thinks is good for getting people investing and believing in crypto?
    FTX did not have a board of directors and was not under the oversight of any American regulators, such as the SEC or the CFTC. It is this black box run by a bunch of 20-year-olds who probably would love to party with the leader of the Conservative Party as they talk about crypto conspiracies. However, here is the thing: We found out that FTX also ran a hedge fund, so people were putting their savings into and trusting this black box with no accountability or regulatory oversight. It was moving anywhere from between $1 billion and $10 billion into this side hustle. That is why we have proper financial regulations.
    It is really irresponsible for the leader of the Conservative Party to feed on the fears of people in a time of uncertainty by hustling a Ponzi scheme. That is what he was doing. He was saying to trust him on the Ponzi scheme because he was going to get rid of any regulation so people could not really tell what was happening, but that Ponzi scheme would be there for people whenever they needed it. It was not, and we have seen the results.
    I am certainly pleased that the member for Calgary Nose Hill is one of the few Conservatives willing to stand up in the face of this party that has now committed to anti-science, anti-vaccination and anti-economics. The Conservatives feel that any kind of regulation on hustlers and swindlers is somehow an attack on freedom: It is the freedom we all enjoy to take our hard-earned savings and get hustled by some scam artist down in the Bahamas. That is not what we should be doing.
    We have to have rules in place, we have to have oversight and we have to ask questions about a system that is supposed to be financial and is trading something that does not exist in order to have no financial tracking of it. If we have an ability to transfer money through sites without tracking, of course it is going to be where money is laundered and where criminal activities are. Is that the freedom the Conservative Party believes is so important to protect: the freedom of gunrunners and gangs to clean money through cryptocurrency? We need to shine a light on this practice.
    For the people who lost $32 billion in savings in 48 hours, what kind of freedom do they get? Those are hard-working people who trusted this guy while he was standing there eating a shawarma and telling everyone this is the best thing to do. Their kids should not get dental care and should not get the GST, but what they should get is an investment in cryptocurrency with no oversight and they will be better off.
    The Liberals are not clear on this either. Before crypto collapsed, they were thinking this was pretty good stuff too. In fact, I know the Liberals invested in cryptocurrency in the Deputy Prime Minister's riding. Before we start promoting these kinds of dodgy financial hustles, we need to ask what rules are in place to protect people and their savings and to have proper oversight. That is something the leader of the Conservative Party refuses to do and he needs to be accountable for it.


    Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to Bill C-249. The member for Winnipeg North's speech is a fine reason why the Liberals are dropping in the polls in popularity with Canadians. I wonder if he would say the same thing about any other tradeable asset in Canada. After all, Canada does depend on trade and regulations.
    First, before I get into the speech on why we need to move forward and have an open view of getting this bill to committee, I want to thank my good friend and colleague from Calgary Nose Hill for introducing this very important legislation, as was said by the other members as well. Her passion and zeal for good public policy is to be commended. She has an innate ability to cut through the claptrap and get straight to the point. She is results-oriented and always comes to the table with a plan. Her private member's bill is a great example of just that.
    I know she has carefully crafted the legislation to allow the Standing Committee on Finance ample room to put forward amendments once expert witnesses have had an opportunity to testify. Unlike some legislation with crafters that guard against any amendments, my colleagues in the House will find that the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill is ready to work with everyone.
    This legislation will start the conversation about how the Government of Canada can begin the process of developing a national framework to protect investors and to encourage the growth of blockchain technology across the country. None of us is so naive as not to notice the recent uptick in media coverage on cryptoassets. The markets are down. Some NFTs have failed spectacularly.
    When cryptocurrencies are being written about by political commentators, we know they have finally broken through to the mainstream. With the recent collapse of FTX and the financial fallout felt by many, there is no better time for Parliament to start this conversation.
    Those involved in the industry want a regulatory system that will help them build trust, and that is a key point. They want a system that will provide clear guardrails and more stability for all those involved. Legal clarity and better education will lead to more innovation. I also want to stress that we cannot let this issue get polarized to the point that it becomes too toxic to discuss.
    The fact that the industry is being disparaged for political reasons is short-sighted and thoughtless. I would encourage all my colleagues in the House to go back to their respective caucuses and stress the need to support this bill and to turn down the rhetoric. I will tell members why as we move forward.
    During the first hour of debate on this bill, my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill laid out a compelling argument for why it is time for the Government of Canada to start working on a national framework. As she said in her speech:
    Many innovators and proponents of cryptoassets in Canada are actually calling for the federal government to use its convening power to provide policy clarity to the industry. The current lack of clarity, particularly on safeguards to protect those working in the space, is seen as an impediment to investment.
    Across the country, there is a mix match of policies. While we respect the jurisdiction of the provinces, the federal government can help facilitate a much more harmonized set of policies for cryptoassets. There are some recent examples of this happening in other countries.
    Recently, the President of the United States issued an executive order for the federal government to start drafting a plan. The EU has also started working on a plan so that various countries and industries are in sync. The acceptance and use of cryptoassets is on the rise. That includes cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, security tokens and stablecoins. Cryptoassets will only continue to grow in prevalence in the years ahead.


    According to the latest statistics, close to 5% of Canadians now own a cryptoasset. Across the globe there are now thousands of cryptoassets, and more will be made available in the years to come. Regardless of whether someone wants to invest in or purchase a cryptoasset, hundreds of thousands of Canadians are currently engaged in the industry. It is about time we started to think about a national framework and to get various jurisdictions working together.
    The Canadian securities administrators are now working in collaboration with the investment industry. They even released guidance for platforms to ensure they are in compliance with regulatory requirements. Securities regulators in individual provinces are now starting to regulate crypto-trading platforms to protect Canadian investors. Last week there was a meeting on Parliament Hill with many of Canada's leading blockchain companies. It was encouraging to hear how they too want to start engaging with policy-makers.
    In Canada, we have some of the best and finest innovators in this growing industry. They have the talent and the solid foundation to further expand their operations. They are optimistic about the future of blockchain technology. Our government should also have the same optimism and can-do attitude. What we do not want to see happen again are more lost opportunities, such as when Ethereum, which was mostly designed and developed in Canada, moved to Switzerland.
    Other countries are quickly realizing the potential of the entire industry and are quickly seizing this moment. As companies are looking around at countries in which to set up shop, I want Canada to be at the top of their list. I want Canada to be known as a jurisdiction where governments work with and listen to those in the industry, while also educating the public and protecting its investors.
    Those in the industry are already talking about making our country a blockchain hub. They see this technology as a way to have a more transparent Internet, and one that will help drive better skills training for the jobs of tomorrow.
    The Web3 economy is here and as Morva Rohani, the executive director of the Canadian Web3 Council said, “blockchain and related technologies have unleashed a wave of innovation and creativity for a generation of entrepreneurs.”
    The key to this speech is that, at its core, this is what this bill is all about. As the industry grows, I want to see those jobs and the wealth created by those innovators' ingenuity stay right here in Canada. I want Canada to be the best place in the world for the Web3 economy and blockchain innovation.
    As with many new innovations, they have the capacity to be used in many ways that were never originally imagined. For instance, blockchain technology can be utilized in various financial services, including remittances, digital assets and online payments, because it enables payments to be settled without a bank or other financial institution taking a cut. Furthermore, the next generation of Internet interaction systems, including smart contracts, reputation systems, public services and security services, are among blockchain technology's most promising applications.
    As the Canadian Web3 Council said during their meeting on Parliament Hill last week, blockchain technology can be used for social good. Whether it be energy, climate and the environment, or health care and even agriculture, the potential of this budding industry is endless.
    In closing, I urge all of my colleagues to vote in favour of this bill. Let us send it to the finance committee and have the thorough consultations that are long overdue. I believe that it would be prudent for all of us to continue to learn more about blockchain technology. This is an exciting opportunity for the Canadian economy, for our innovators and, most importantly, to help create the jobs of tomorrow.



    Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to talk about Bill C‑249, an act respecting the encouragement of the growth of the cryptoasset sector. I would also like to thank my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill for bringing this important matter to our attention.
     This bill would require the Minister of Finance to develop a national framework to encourage the growth of the cryptoasset sector and, in developing the framework, to consult with persons working in the sector who are designated by provinces and territories. I believe this bill merits careful study. I realize that it is well-intentioned, but we must also consider the risks it poses to the country and to all Canadians. Financial innovation can certainly provide significant benefits, such as making payments more efficient, offering a broader range of services and reducing costs for consumers. This change may also make financial services more inclusive and more responsive to the changing needs of consumers and businesses.
     In fact, on March 22, the government announced its intention to move forward with open banking in Canada. Open banking, or consumer-directed finance, is a system that enables consumers to transfer their financial data between financial institutions and accredited third parties in a secure and consumer-friendly manner.
    Modernizing the open banking system and payment services will benefit consumers and businesses by offering more choices in the financial services sector at lower cost. These initiatives will also enhance the security and soundness of the Canadian financial system. The government remains committed to modernizing payment services in a way that is responsible and prudent. This modernization must benefit Canadians while maintaining the security and integrity of the financial system.
    However, getting back to Bill C-249, it is important to understand that, while cryptoassets are innovative financial products, they pose very significant risks to consumers and to the security and integrity of the Canadian financial system.
    The recent protests in downtown Ottawa and at border crossings across the country are an excellent example. Indeed, cryptoassets greatly contributed to funding the protests, which threatened the country's national security for several weeks. Without a doubt, it is vital that any regulatory regime governing cryptoassets balance innovation in the financial system with any possible associated risks in order to ensure that our financial system is safe and secure and benefits all Canadians.
    This bill merely seeks to promote growth in this sector, but this approach definitely does not serve the fundamental interests of Canada.
    I will now speak about cryptoassets and illegal activities. I would like to remind my colleagues that cryptoassets play an important role in facilitating illicit activities such as fraud, cybercrime and money laundering, among others. This is because not all cryptoasset transactions are subject to the same rules to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, or to the same consumer information requirements.
    It is important to understand that cryptoassets are decentralized and based on blockchain technology. This means that cryptoasset transactions can take place beyond our borders, either on numerous exchange platforms, of which there are eight at present, or on peer-to-peer exchanges. Clearly, this creates significant risks for the consumers and investors who participate in these activities. For example, the lack of a framework to protect consumers and investors makes them more vulnerable to fraud.
    We were reminded by recent protests in Canada that were financed with cryptoassets that there is also a real risk for our national security. Unfortunately, Bill C‑249 does not address any of these risks.


    Instead of blindly supporting the growth of cryptoassets, I think the government should focus its efforts on finding solutions and properly take into account the role that cryptoassets play in facilitating illicit activity.
    What is more, given the more global nature of cryptoassets, I think the government needs to work with the provinces to adopt an approach to cryptoassets that is consistent with international standards and best practices. By adopting such an approach, we would limit the risk to Canada's financial system and protect the interests of Canadians.
    In conclusion, imagine if every senior had invested their savings into cryptocurrency on the recommendation of the Conservative leader. What position would they be in today?
    The bill introduced by the member for Calgary Nose Hill raises some rather complex questions. To me, the main problem is that Bill C‑249 seeks exclusively to encourage growth in the cryptoasset sector, without taking into consideration the major risk it poses to the financial system and Canadian consumers.
    As I was saying, cryptoassets play a major role in facilitating illicit activity such as fraud, cybercrime and money laundering, among others. Recent demonstrations across the country are a good example. We have to assume that there is always a risk.
    It would make more sense for the government to work on a comprehensive approach to the regulation of cryptoassets that would both support growth and limit the risks to the financial system and consumers.
    According to the Conservatives, cryptocurrency is still a good investment. The recent drop in cryptocurrency would have jeopardized the investments of middle-class families and seniors. However, seven months ago, during his leadership campaign, the leader of the Conservative Party encouraged Canadians to avoid inflation by investing in cryptocurrency.
    Today, we know that sound financial management does not involve cryptocurrency. Right now, our government is taking a more comprehensive approach and working to more strictly regulate cryptoassets in order to support growth, limit the risks to the financial system and help consumers. Today's cryptocurrency will do nothing to balance consumers' investments.
    I am grateful to have had the opportunity to talk about cryptocurrency. I hope all members will unite to vote against this bill.
    Madam Speaker, we have already stated our position on this bill. I will not elaborate on the fact that cryptocurrency or cryptoassets are not well understood, that they are growing rapidly, that we have no control over them and that they facilitate money laundering and speculation. We have already talked a lot about those aspects.
    It is hard to know the implications of all of this, even after talking to economists. Since the Bloc Québécois has already gone over much of that, I want to provide more of a macroeconomic analysis. That is something I know a little more about.
    The existence of cryptocurrency causes problems with state economic intervention. Let me explain why. In his 1776 work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith made the groundbreaking assertion that money and currency were just a veil and not worthy of our attention. According to Adam Smith, money and currency are like watching a play with the curtains down: The actors perform the play behind the curtains, but the spectators see only the curtains and cannot observe the economic life that takes place behind the curtains. This is why, according to Adam Smith, we should take an interest not in money and currency, but in the actors, in the economy in the true sense of the word, and in the different economic forces that interact.
    Later on, it was suggested that money is not necessarily something useful. During the crisis of the 1930s, GDP fell by 40% over three years and the unemployment rate was 25%. Very little was done to help the unemployed. It was a catastrophe.
    Upon analyzing that economic crisis with some hindsight, it is pretty clear that all the factors that could contribute to a collective collapse were there. Monetary delinquency was one of the reasons why that crisis was so severe, and I use the term “monetary delinquency” because, at that time, people did not believe that monetary policy was very important to the economy. The various players had been allowed to act in a decentralized way, and people later realized that this had aggravated the crisis. During that severe economic crisis, interest rates went up, which further depressed economic growth, after it had already naturally dropped off.
    This is where another great economist, John Maynard Keynes, came in and said that governments had a role to play and that they must intervene in the economy. He began telling the government that it had to use its two arms of intervention, the fiscal or budgetary arm and the monetary arm. He helped people understand that monetary policy can be very important to the economy and can change the macroeconomic situation in different countries.
    Keynes said at the time that intervention was needed in those two areas, and it just so happens that the Bank of Canada was created in 1935. The bank was created precisely so that the Canadian government could intervene more intelligently in order to ensure the economic well-being of Canadians.
    The fundamental objective of the Bank of Canada is to ensure the economic well-being of Canadians. Top economists have worked at Canada's central bank, which is renowned around the world. It is one of the leading banks because it takes its role seriously, it is intelligent and it is there to serve the economic needs of citizens. No leading economist believes that the Bank of Canada does not act in the interest of the well-being of Canadians. By the way, it is beyond the reach of political power.
    This led to the creation of monetary policy using fluctuating interest rates to intervene in the economy. Little by little, some economists noticed that the Bank of Canada could influence production, but only in the short term. When it intervenes, its actions tend to have long-term effects on inflation. This is when monetarists came on the scene saying that the Bank of Canada's only job was to control inflation. To understand this, we must go back to the 16th century when Jean Bodin came up with the quantity theory of money.


    He was saying that printing money always leads to inflation. Back in the day, the great explorers of America came with a lot of gold, which was the currency at the time. Prices skyrocketed while production had not really changed. That is when it became clear that the important thing when working on and dealing with currency is to keep an eye on long-term inflation.
    In the 1990s, the Bank of Canada used the central bank only to control price levels. Its fundamental objective of ensuring the well-being of Canadians turned into an economic objective. The Bank of Canada ensured that prices remained stable. Inflation was allowed to oscillate between 1% and 3% with an ideal target of 2%. The Bank of Canada was the second bank in history to be that transparent, after the Bank of New Zealand.
     Why is it so transparent? It is very simple. Between the time when the Bank of Canada intervenes on interest rates and the time that its actions impact inflation, there are several economic agents who intervene. Plus, that time span can stretch up to two years. It is very complex. The economists at the Bank of Canada are not clowns; they are not performers who get overly agitated. No, they are intelligent, hard-working people. They have extraordinary tools. They can tell us the value of the money supply at a given time and how much money, in its various forms, is circulating in the economy. That is what the Bank of Canada does. The more accurate and transparent the bank is, the greater the impact and efficiency. The goal is to improve the central bank's efficiency.
    Then cryptocurrency comes and puts a wrench in the works. By introducing cryptocurrency into the economy, by giving it an increasing role, the central bank's connection to interest rates becomes weaker. There is also an impact on the consequences the inflation rate has on the economy. In the end, this is another currency that is out of the bank's control, that is unfamiliar and that will, quite simply, disrupt the well-informed connection that has been created between the Bank of Canada and inflation.
    Bodin's quantity theory of money states that the greater the money supply, the more it feeds inflation. This means that the more cryptocurrency there is, the more money there will be, and the more inflation there will be. Conservatives, who fight inflation day and night, want to bring in another money product to further increase inflation. Do they have an economist in their party?



    Madam Speaker, I do have a degree in economics. I want to talk about why this bill is so important and ask the member to reconsider.
    When Bernie Madoff ran his Ponzi scheme, we did not seek to ban email or ban phones because he used those to lure victims, and we did not try to vilify the entire investment services industry because of one bad actor. What we did was seek to strengthen safeguards to ensure that bad governance and “too good to be true” schemes were not taking place anymore. We sought to educate people so they would not be lured into schemes, and most importantly, we said we need to do these things so this sector that is important to our economy can continue to grow.
    I am very concerned by, in Parliament, the words and speeches on this bill, which is fully amendable. It can go to committee, and every single different party can edit the scope of the framework. I made it purposely non-partisan. The reason “growth” is in the title is that the toothpaste is out of the tube on Web3 technologies, and cryptocurrencies are but a small, infinitesimal drop in the bucket of how our economy and our society are changing by blockchain technology.
    It is called “Web3” for a reason. If we think about Web1 as our just being able to read a site on the Internet, and then Web2 as being things like Facebook where we can read and write, Web3 means that individuals can own data and digital assets. For each of us in this place, and probably in the broader Canadian economy right now, the production value of our data might be greater than the value of the labour we provide. Thus how can we sit here and say we should not be putting together a growth framework that provides all the safeguards we have been talking about here for an area of the economy that we so desperately need?
    I represent a riding in Alberta, and I hear, day after day, colleagues of different political stripes talking about how the people who work in my community in natural resource-based jobs need to transition away from these jobs into digital-economy based jobs. Digital asset jobs are the very jobs we all are talking about. It is those jobs, but we have had the Bloc Québécois who, on behalf of their colleagues and the people in Quebec, make the argument that we need fewer natural resource-based jobs and more digital economy jobs, and the speech they gave was that we need to not support this growing more, but to restrict it, and similarly the government said the same thing.
    I do not want to ascribe motive, that this is what my colleagues meant to say, but I want them to understand what investors hear when they listen to this debate, and investors are listening to this. They say not to invest in Canada, because politicians in Parliament are willing to get cheap political points. We are talking about making a decision on an industry over cheap political points, instead of doing something that resembles work at committee.
    I could have picked any private member's bill. I could have picked the national day for something and gotten a big win, but instead I tried to pick something that was one of the hardest things for us to deal with as a Parliament, and I tried to do it in a non-partisan, non-prescriptive way, so that if this bill got to committee, everybody in this place could amend it. Why would we leave this to happen behind closed doors in the government, if it happens at all, without the input of industry?
    If we allow that to happen, the result is things like Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin's organization, which now has a market cap of over $150 billion. All of those jobs and all of that capital, even though he is Canadian, are in Switzerland, because they have a legislative framework. The Americans have a legislative framework. The Europeans have a legislative framework, yet we are sitting here trading partisan barbs, instead of talking about how we grow a sector that could be the solution to all of our job problems in this country.
    Yes, we need safeguards. Yes, we need better rules, but we are the ones who are supposed to do that. Why are we abdicating this responsibility? I do not want to look back in 10 years on this debate and say we missed an opportunity because of partisanship. Members should go back to their colleagues on Wednesday, have a caucus meeting and support this bill through to committee stage.


    The question is on the motion.


    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the amendment be carried or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.


    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded vote.
    Pursuant to an order made on Thursday, June 23, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, November 23, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022

Bill C-32—Time Allocation Motion 

    That, in relation to 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, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the bill; and
    That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.



     Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.
    I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in the question period.
    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.


    Madam Speaker, I just cannot believe this is happening again.
     The Liberal government ran on promises in elections that it was not going to shut down debate, yet it does it all the time. It is no wonder there are no Canadians who believe them any more. However, I am surprised that the NDP is supporting this unholy marriage, this costly coalition. They used to have principles on time allocation, and used to not allow it. It boggles the mind.
    How are the people of Sarnia—Lambton supposed to have their voices heard in this place when I have not even had a chance to speak to Bill C-32?
    Madam Speaker, I think some facts are in order.
    Already with this very important piece of legislation, which will get much-needed support to Canadians, we have had 18 hours of debate and 120 interventions, and there will be a lot more opportunity at second reading for members in all parties to debate this really important piece of legislation.
    The time has come for us to get to the next stage, because Canadians I have talked to are very much looking forward to having no more interest on their student loans, and they are looking forward to the supports in the fall economic statement, which is why we need to get to second reading.


    Madam Speaker, I think it is reasonable for us to get as much time as we need to debate this bill. That is called parliamentary democracy.
    The opposition parties, or at least the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois, noticed a few things missing from the economic update, such as support for seniors 65 and up and support for seasonal workers. Those workers contributed to EI, but now the number of qualifying hours they have to work to be eligible for EI benefits has changed.
    It is important to get the space we need to debate all that, share proposals with the government and potentially improve the bill. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the Minister of National Revenue express astonishment that the opposition parties do not want to rush this bill through and are not supportive of the time allocation motion. She accused them of being mentally unstable.
    That is pretty serious. The minister said that last spring in response to an opposition colleague, and she did it again on a local radio station in Gaspé.
    I wonder if my colleague supports those statements and agrees with her.
    Madam Speaker, I have a great deal of respect for my Bloc Québécois colleague when it come to this issue.
    I think that it is worth noting that we really need to do our homework as parliamentarians when it comes to House procedure and the important Bill C-32 in order to provide Quebeckers and Canadians with the support they so desperately need.
    With regard to the duration of the debate, I want to mention that we have had 18 hours of debate and 120 speeches so far. As members are well aware, the issue can be examined more closely during the in-depth discussions held in committee and members will have more opportunities to speak there. Members will also be able to debate the bill at third reading.
    Madam Speaker, I listened to my Conservative and Bloc colleagues, and they do not seem to understand our parliamentary system and the importance of sending bills to committee.
    We have had a week of debate. The bill contains important measures, such as waiving the interest on student loans. In the past, we have seen the Conservatives try to block economic updates for months on end. These measures must be put in place. The NDP put pressure on the government to waive interest on student loans because we want students to be able to benefit from that. It is also important to send the bill to committee so that it can be improved.
    Why do the other parties not seem to want to send the bill to committee, where they could propose amendments?


    Madam Speaker, my colleague asked a very good question.
    We are grateful for the NDP's support in the House to move this bill forward to the committee stage.
    This is a serious situation. The supports in this bill will help Canadians at a time when they need it most. As my colleague said, we need to eliminate interest on student loans, cut taxes for small but growing businesses and make it more affordable to buy a first home.
    My constituents have asked me to take action here in Parliament to provide that help, and that is what we are doing today.


    Madam Speaker, rising yet again on a time allocation debate, I am reminded of when, in previous Parliaments, the Conservatives under Stephen Harper used time allocation again and again and again. I sat in that corner with the Liberals when they were the third party. Consistently, every time, they said that if we allow this to happen, eventually Parliament and democracy will be diminished and time allocations will become so routine that they are used over and over again in future Parliaments. I think I am the last standing member of the opposition to Stephen Harper's use of time allocations for almost every bill. It has, as we worried, become routine. I will never vote for a time allocation on a bill. Even when, as is the case here, I support Bill C-32, I object to the truncation of time. It diminishes Parliament's work.
    I do, though, sympathise with the governing party in that because we have ignored our rules for so long, nobody remembers that it is against Westminster parliamentary rules to give a written speech. I maintain that House leaders, when meeting together, should give an honest assessment to each other of how many members they really have who can speak to a bill without a written speech, without notes, and contribute to a thoughtful debate. I lament where we are right now, and this can be regarded as more a comment than a question, because the Liberals have completely forgotten all the reasons they used to warn that the use of time allocation for almost every bill was anti-democratic.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. colleague for her support of Bill C-32. I was not on the opposition benches at time to which she is referring. As a member and as a minister, I can say that I talked to Brad in my riding this week, who thanked us for making sure we got Bill C-30 and Bill C-31 done so quickly, because he wanted and needs the $500 housing support in that legislation. On the weekend, I talked to Mike and Laurie, who thanked us for our child care supports. They said to me at the All is Bright festival, “It's making a real difference, and we're able to make it through this inflationary cycle.”
    There are millions of other Canadians waiting for us to get to work, to get to committee and to get Bill C-32 passed so that the people who need the help the most can get those supports when they need them the most.
    Madam Speaker, the very fact that we are having this debate is disappointing enough, but it is even more disappointing to hear once again how the New Democrats have completely surrendered to the Liberal Party and become literally the lapdogs of the Liberal government. I was on the finance committee—
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I know the member is a little cranky and a little upset because nobody is paying attention, but the word “lapdog” is unparliamentary. I would ask him to withdraw that.


    I do not know if it is unparliamentary, but it is not very nice. I will take note of the comment and verify.
    The hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
    I will spare you the research and I will withdraw the term if that would please you, Madam Speaker.
    I was on the finance committee with the House leader of the New Democratic Party and I remember a time when he took seriously his obligation as a member of the opposition to oppose legislation where necessary and actually to take seriously parliamentary norms and the parliamentary duties and responsibilities of a member elected in opposition to the government. It is very disappointing—
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the member knows that the NDP takes things seriously. That is why we have dental care now in this country, rental supplements and a doubling—
    That is debate. I will let the hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge finish his comment.
    Madam Speaker, I will let that part of it speak for itself. That is the extent to which this costly coalition is imposing itself on Canadians.
    With respect to getting back to the bill itself, we heard an absurd speech from the government House leader last week on Motion No. 22, where he completely dismissed the idea that members should speak to legislation and justification of the draconian actions they take to limit debate in this House. We have a bill that would give Canadians more debt, more spending, more taxes, more inflation and higher interest rates, yet the minister would have us shut down debate before members have been able to weigh in and let their own constituents know, by using their voices in the House of Commons, to put their opinion on record on this bill. He should be ashamed of himself. I will let him weigh in on that and comment if he may.
    Madam Speaker, the only dog that we have in this fight is getting supports to Canadians. I am never going to apologize for or run away from lowering taxes on growing small businesses. Maybe the Conservatives have difficulty reading that, because every time we have lowered taxes on Canadians, the Conservatives have voted against it.
    We are talking about taking interest off federal loans for apprentices and students. We are talking about reducing taxes for small businesses. We are talking about making housing more affordable. With 18 hours of debate, 120 interventions and more time for clause-by-clause when it gets to committee, it is time the Conservatives stopped obstructing and let us get it past second reading and get these supports into the hands of Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I would like members to flash back to last year, 2021, when the fall economic statement was brought forward. We saw the Conservative Party filibuster that legislation. In fact, that legislation passed earlier this year. The Conservatives held back the 2021 fall economic statement, saying they wanted to speak and they wanted to speak, and it was well into 2022 before it ultimately passed.
    There are substantial aspects of this fall economic statement that would help Canadians through a difficult time of inflation, and it is imperative that this legislation passes. If we leave it up to the Conservatives, they will never stop talking on the bill.
    Can the member speak to why it is so important that we pass this legislation?
    Madam Speaker, the point of the matter is that the fall economic statement would do three things: It would provide supports to Canadians who need it the most at a time when they need it the most; it would give us extra fiscal firepower so we can manage whatever the world throws at us in the coming months; and it would also put generational investments in the competitiveness of our economy and the ability of our economy to grow, so we can grow and see inflation reduced over time.
    We are talking about families that want the ability to save for their first home. That is embedded in this legislation. Students and apprentices have already asked us to please get rid of the interest on their student loans. Apprentices and students want the interest gone. We would also make it easier for companies to grow and scale in this country, paying lower taxes.



    Madam Speaker, the House adopted a motion last week to allow sitting hours to be extended until midnight. To justify this abuse of process, the government said that it was to limit the use of time allocation motions. We can see today that it was all a sham.
    Can the minister confirm that the Liberal Party was once again taking us for a ride?
    Madam Speaker, the government has multiple projects on the go at the same time. That is why, as a country and a government, we need more hours of debate in the House to explore all the issues before us. Extending sitting hours in the House of Commons has nothing to do with today's situation. The fact is that Canadians need support. We have had 18 hours of debate and 120 interventions, and the clause-by-clause study will be carried out in committee. Canadians need these support measures. That is why we are here today.


    Madam Speaker, the member opposite is all too happy to drive the number one driver of the economy in his home province into the ground. The fall economic statement talks about how our closest partners are shifting their strategic reliance from dictatorships to democracies. However, it does not give a plan about how the government itself is going to shift its support from dictatorships to democracies.
    The member is systematically driving our industry into the ground, so that the dollars go to dictatorships and not to democracies and the oil and gas sector. When the government limits debate on this, it limits Conservatives' ability to go through this statement, this plan, take it apart and show how we can better support Canadians and help make sure we are supporting democracies and not dictatorships.
    What does the member have to say to that?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is about to vote against tax credits that, quite frankly, are essential to Alberta, tax credits for green investments and for hydrogen. I am not sure if the member heard, but my hon. colleague, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, was very clear in this House on Friday when he told the House and Canadians about the fact that we had a $300-million investment in Air Products in Alberta, and that we will build a $1.6-billion net-zero hydrogen complex, the largest in the world, right in Alberta.
    I am never going to stand here and say that we are somehow restraining or constraining the oil and gas sector in Alberta. In fact, we are doing the opposite with pathways and with our shared contribution to making sure we get to net zero. We are going to make sure we get to net zero with the oil and gas industry, making sure Alberta and Canada continue to be the fourth-largest producer of oil and gas.
    The Conservatives can vote against tax incentives for Alberta petroleum. I will not.
    Madam Speaker, let us talk about kicking the dead dog here. I have never met a Conservative who supports any investment into green energy or green tech in western Canada.
    However, what I also find fascinating is that my Liberal colleague has said the government is going to ensure that Canada remains the fourth-largest oil and gas producer. We went to COP27 with more oil and gas executives than anything else. Canada is seen as a country that is ignoring its obligations internationally. The Canada Energy Regulator predicts that Canada's oil and gas production in 2050 will be the same as it is today.
     I would ask my hon. colleague this. How can the government claim it is going to meet the International Energy Agency's obligations to rapidly reduce and transition, and work with Alberta energy workers who are pushing a green economy, when what we see from the Liberals is that they continue to pump money into big oil time and again?
    Madam Speaker, I respect the hon. colleague and his views on this very serious matter of the existential threat of climate change. On Friday, in my riding of Edmonton Centre, I met with the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, Gil McGowan. We had a long and detailed conversation about greening the economy and making sure we are working with workers who are going to be responsible for greening the sector.
    Who is going to green the sector? It is not government, but the workers and companies walking down the path of making sure we focus on emissions, which is why we put billions of dollars in budget 2022 for carbon capture, use and storage.
    My friend from Calgary can be upset about the fact that we are supporting Alberta industry, which is more than he did when he was a provincial minister, but I can tell the House that we are here, focused on oil and gas, focused on the future and focused on reducing our emissions. Today is about getting to vote, so Canadians can have what they need in their pockets, which is more money.


    Madam Speaker, the government's key piece it likes to talk about in the economic statement is the interest relief for students going to school. The question is fairly simple. How many more students will get to access post-secondary education from this government change than otherwise would be the case?
    The government does not have an answer. It is giving a windfall to the students who are already there and spending $500 million a year of money we do not have. Instead of making sure that more students can access post-secondary, the Liberals are spending $500 million and giving it to students who are already there.
    Madam Speaker, I heard my hon. colleague's remarks on this and I agree that the value of a post-secondary education accrues to the student and that, on average, they are able to have a good life. Whether they are an apprentice or a student in the arts, philosophy, science, engineering or STEM, the point is that this is a mechanism we can use to make life more affordable for the students, young professionals and young workers we need right now, to make sure they are able to make it through this inflationary cycle.
    The hon. colleague knows very well that admissions numbers are part of the post-secondary system at the provincial level. That is why we made sure that indigenous and non-indigenous students could have access to more grants and loans so they could continue to study.
    It is this government, not the former Harper government, that has invested billions of dollars into research to make sure our universities can compete on the global stage, so if the Conservatives want to talk about who boosted the post-secondary system, let us have a coffee and I will give them the answer.
    Madam Speaker, I know that the topic now is time allocation, but perhaps it is important to note what happens when we let the Liberals talk more in this place. Rather than hearing that they are climate leaders, the hon. Minister of Tourism has confirmed that we are focused on oil and gas. He said that we are putting more investment into oil and gas. I hate to have to remind the government that a statement like that flies in the face of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warnings. It causes more hurricane Fionas. It brings on more heat domes and wildfires.
    We must be focused on a very rapid move to net zero by 2050. As the former minister of environment in this place, Catherine McKenna, recently pointed out at COP27, it is greenwashing to talk about net zero by 2050 without a pathway that starts with immediate drops in production that are substantial and that cut global oil and gas production at least in half by 2030.
    Madam Speaker, that is not what I said. I guess my hon. colleague is really good at clipping subsets of comments.
    I said that we are focused on emissions. We have invested $100 billion into greening this country. If we go back to the last campaign, who had the plan that was rated the best to actually deal with the climate change crisis? It was not the Greens, the NDP or the Conservatives. It was the Liberal Party.
    We are focused on emissions. We are focused on making sure that we have hydrogen as part of our energy mix. We have phased out coal. We are making sure that we have industry partners that are part of this reduction of emissions, so we can heat our homes and power the world, and do so in an environmentally friendly way.


    Madam Speaker, I detest the way the Liberals keep invoking closure. They did it for the official languages bill and they are doing it today for Bill C‑32. The shocking thing is what is missing from Bill C‑32. All provinces are asking for an increase in health transfers. Health care systems across the country are vulnerable. There is nothing in the bill to help with that, nor is there anything about increasing old age benefits for seniors between the ages of 65 and 74.
    What does my colleague have to say about that? Why not increase the health transfer?
    Madam Speaker, as members know very well, we have indicated very clearly in the fall economic statement that we want to continue to double the GST credit. Millions of seniors across the country could benefit from that. We have also made it very clear that conversations are taking place with the provincial health ministers.
    The thing that matters today is that we lower the interest on federal loans for apprentices and students, reduce taxes for small and medium-sized businesses that want to grow here in Canada, and make it more affordable for people to buy a home.
    These are very important measures for Canadians. That is why we want this bill to move on to third reading stage.



    Madam Speaker, once again we are seeing the Liberals stifling debate. When they realize that they do not have a solid platform to stand on, what do they do? They remove the platform and shut things down.
    If they really understood what this economic statement and budget would do, they would see that giving away more free money to people is going to further exacerbate inflation. Increasing taxes, especially payroll taxes and the carbon tax, is going to increase inflation, which is actually harming the very people they are claiming to help.
    What is it about economics that the Liberals not understand?
    Madam Speaker, I understand the economics of making sure that supports are in place, such as CPP and EI, for people who need it the most when they want it the most. It is a particular Conservative trope to try to raid these important supports that Canadians build up over a lifetime.
    Let us just be really clear that, when it comes to the supports in the fall economic statement, they have been very carefully calibrated not only to provide supports to Canadians who need it the most at a time when they need it the most, but also to not increase inflation and to put billions of dollars against the deficit.
    Canada has the lowest deficit in the G7, the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 and a AAA credit rating based on Moody's and the other agencies. The economic fundamentals of this country are strong and we need to get this bill to committee and to third reading so Canadians can get the supports.
    Madam Speaker, by my count, I think that the vast majority of last week was spent debating Bill C-32. Unfortunately, the House cannot debate two bills at any one time. As a consequence of last week, Bill C-20, the important oversight legislation for both the CBSA and the RCMP, has been bumped to tomorrow.
    People have been waiting for years for an effective oversight mechanism for both of these agencies. The CBSA has never had this kind of oversight. There are other interests in play. I know that the Conservatives would like to keep on debating Bill C-32, but indigenous people in Canada, racialized people and so many people who have been at the wrong receiving end of both the RCMP and the CBSA have been waiting years for this important accountability and oversight legislation.
    I hope that, after we get through Bill C-32 and it is sent to committee, I have a commitment from the government that Bill C-20 will get the priority it deserves.
    We waited in the 42nd Parliament for Bill C-98 when that member was here. We waited in the last Parliament for Bill C-3 and we now, finally, have Bill C-20. I want to see a commitment that this bill will get the time it deserves.
    Madam Speaker, I respect my hon. colleague and his comments on making sure we use time efficiently in the House. I will take his comment under advisement and discuss it with the government House leader.
    Today is about making sure we can get Bill C-32 to committee so we can get back here for third reading, and then we would be able to get housing supports to people, get student loan interest removed for apprentices and students, reduce taxes on small businesses and do all the other good things for growing the economy that are included in the fall economic statement.
    Madam Speaker, the fall economic statement would have been a perfect time for the government to take its commitment to just transition communities seriously. There are many communities not only in my riding and other ridings in Saskatchewan, but also in his home province, that are on the path to being completely left behind in the government's reckless plan to eliminate the workforce from a lot of these communities as they go through this coal transition, which is being forced upon them by the government.
    I want a straight answer from the member. Why has he turned his back on these communities and not allowing for the certainty these communities need and deserve by making sure there was proper wording and allocations in this economic statement for these communities, which is something the government promised to do and has failed to do?
    Madam Speaker, I will point the hon. colleague to my mandate letter, which talks about working with a number of colleagues in cabinet on the futures fund. Quite frankly, we are moving past this conversation of just transition to really talking about the evolution of energy, and more importantly, sustainable jobs.
    We are working at the community level to make sure people have the training and supports they need to have the jobs they want and need in a whole range of industries. We are going to continue to do what we need to do to heat our homes, power our communities, power the world, reduce emissions and make sure good-paying jobs are in rural Saskatchewan, rural Alberta and across rural Canada.



    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.


    The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.



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

(Division No. 218)



Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
Petitpas Taylor
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Taylor Roy
Van Bynen
van Koeverden

Total: -- 164



Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
Rempel Garner
Van Popta

Total: -- 141




Total: -- 18

    I declare the motion carried.


    I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, Government Orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

Second Reading  

    The House resumed from November 18 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.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in the House on behalf of the people of Calgary Midnapore.
    It has been a month now that I have been in the role of shadow minister for the Treasury Board. I would like to once again thank the leader of the official opposition, the member for Carleton, for this role. It gives me an opportunity to work very closely with two of my favourite members of Parliament, the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, the shadow minister for ethics, which we have been doing continuous work on ArriveCAN, and the member for Calgary Forest Lawn, who serves as our shadow minister for finance. It really is a pleasure to have this role.
    I am sure members are aware of the crippling inflationary numbers in Canada, 6.9% in the most recent reports, down a slight bit from the 8.1% high we saw in June. Food, of course, is at a 40-year high.
    I just came from the government operations committee, and the President of the Treasury Board was there on the supplementary estimates. I am sorry to report that the government has asked for another $21 billion, and I am not making that number up. We have a $36.4 billion deficit this year. That is because of $6.1 billion in new spending even though we are supposed to be moving past the pandemic now. One thing is clear about the Liberal government, and that is that it just does not get it.
    As I said, inflation is at a 40-year high, and 1.5 million Canadians are using the food bank in a single month. In the GTA, pre-pandemic food bank usage was at 60,000 people per month. During the pandemic, it was at 120,000 people. Now, under the Liberal government, it is at 182,000 people per month.
     Grocery prices are up 11%, the highest rate in 40 years. One in five Canadians are skipping meals and more than half of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. What is the Liberals' solution? It is to give up one's subscription to the Disney channel. As I have said, the Liberal government just does not get it.
    Consumer insolvencies rose 22.5% compared with a year earlier. This is the largest percentage in 13 years. Small business insolvencies are on the rise. One in six businesses are considering closing their doors. This is very dear to me, since I come from a small business family.
     The average credit card balance held by Canadians was at a record high of $2,121 at the end of September. The Royal Bank of Canada estimates that households will soon have to allocate 15% of their income to debt servicing alone. Nine in 10 Canadians are now tightening their household budgets, yet the Deputy Prime Minister is telling us not to worry, that Moody's gave us a AAA credit rating. Quite frankly, that will not put food on the table. The government just does not get it.
    Mortgage interest rate costs rose by 11.4% on a year-over-year basis, the largest increase since February 1991. For those whose mortgages are up for renewal this year, they will pay $7,000 more compared to five years ago. Also, the average rent is now $2,000 a month. The average rent for a one bedroom in Toronto was $2,474 in September. In 2015, seven years ago, it was $1,100. In Vancouver, it is $2,300. In 2015, it was $1,079. Toronto has the worst housing bubble in the world and Vancouver is the sixth worst, according to UBS. However, the government is telling us not to worry, here is $500, when people need $2,474 for one month rent alone in Toronto. It just does not get it.


    There has been a 32% increase in violent crime since 2015, which is 124,000 more violent crimes last year than in 2015. There were 778 homicides in Canada last year and 611 in 2015, a 29% increase. There has been a 92% increase in gang-related homicides since 2015 and a 61% increase in reported sexual assaults since 2015. Police-reported hate crimes have increased 72% over the last two years, yet the government pushes through Bill C-5, making it easier for offenders to stay home and play video games. The government just does not get it.
    About 31,000 Canadians lost their lives to overdose between 2016 and 2022. There were 7,169 deaths from opioid overdose in Canada in 2021. Twenty-one people a day are dying from overdose, and before the pandemic it was 11. More than six million Canadians do not have access to a family doctor and, as brought to light by the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, there has been a shortage of children's Tylenol and Advil. No other country anywhere in the globe is experiencing such shortages. However, people should not to worry, because if their child is sick, there is day care for $10 a day. The government just does not get it.
    When it comes to immigration, there is a backlog of 2.6 million people. It has grown by 800,000 people under the current government. Fifty-seven per cent of the files in the system are beyond the processing timelines set by the government, and what is it doing? It is putting up incredible new targets that we know it will never achieve, which is not fair to the people who are applying or for the people who are backlogged in the system already. The government just does not get it.
    Toronto's Pearson airport is ranked the most delayed airport in the world, with Montréal-Trudeau International Airport right behind it. We have seen how horrible it is to get a passport in recent days and how difficult it is for families who just want to get away on vacation after the difficult two years they have had. It has been impossible to get a passport. We know this, but what does the Minister of Transport say? He says it is Canadians' fault; they do not know how to travel anymore. The Liberal government just does not get it.
    We have the second-slowest time for building permits of any country in the OECD. The average permit time is 250 days. In South Korea, it is 28 days, yet the government continues to shove money into the Canada Infrastructure Bank. It is millions of dollars after millions of dollars. The government just does not get it.
    In 2015, there were 50 major LNG infrastructure projects under proposal, yet not a single one has been finished. It is the government that gave us Bill C-68, Bill C-49 and the carbon tax, bringing energy production to a halt in this nation at a time when we need it the most. The government just does not get it.
    I will tell members what the Liberals do get. They know how to spend and they know how to tax. Under a Conservative government, there would be no new taxes. For every dollar of spending, we would find a dollar of savings. However, until that day, we are unfortunately stuck with the current government and the government just does not get it.


    Madam Speaker, I genuinely believe that the member and the opposition really and truly just do not get it. At the end of the day, this is about inflation. Canadians are hurting, and the Conservatives consistently vote against policies that are there to help Canadians.
    That goes to my question for the member. There is the doubling of the goods and services tax credit for six months. We can talk about eliminating the interest on student loans. We can talk about dental services for children under the age of 12. We can talk about the rental subsidy of some $500. There are many measures there to help Canadians deal with inflation. That, in good part, is what the fall economic statement is about.
    Can the member tell us specifically why the Conservative Party today is not supporting Canadians by allowing measures of this nature to pass quickly?
    Madam Speaker, we are supporting Canadians and want to support Canadians. We want to support them with measures that actually help them. If what the member was proposing was actually helpful to Canadians, why would we have a 40-year high in food inflation? Why would we have 6.9% inflation in this country? Why would we have 1.5 million Canadians using a food bank in a single month?
    It is very clear why these things are happening: The proposals the government is bringing forward are not working. A Conservative government would change that.


    Madam Speaker, my colleague did an astute job of outlining the problems affecting the people in her riding.
    In addition to all the problems she referred to, there is the fact that some of my constituents are sick and in hospital. We know that Quebec and the provinces are unanimous in calling for health transfers to be increased immediately and unconditionally to cover 35% of system costs. Since the arrival of the new Conservative leader and the bump their party has gotten in the polls, it seems like the Conservatives' support for boosting health transfers to 35% has eroded.
    Can my colleague confirm today that the Conservatives support the call of Quebec and the provinces to increase health transfers immediately?
    Madam Speaker, that is a tough question because it depends on the two parties.
    The first party is the provinces and the other, unfortunately, is the federal government. We have seen the failures when it comes to Canadians finding doctors, and we have seen the failures of the federal government when it comes to medication for children.
    Unfortunately, I would say to my hon. colleague that I do not have a lot of faith that this government will find ways to work with the provinces. However, like my colleague, I still have hope.


    Madam Speaker, I am wondering if my colleague can break down a bit more some of the regional issues she is facing in her community that are not being addressed or are being failed by this fall economic statement.
    Madam Speaker, I have so much respect for the member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands. In fact, I was just talking him up about canola growers the other day, as they face additional failures and frustrations with the government. However, I did not have a chance to address access to fertilizer at a time when not only we as Canadians but the world is facing significant food shortages as a result of the situation in Ukraine.
    I know that my colleague, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands, is no stranger to the frustration we both feel as members of Parliament from the Prairies given, frankly, the slogging that our region has taken on a continuous basis from the government. This is not only to the detriment of our own regions, but to the detriment of Canadians as well. For him, as I mentioned, it is agriculture. For me, which I touched upon in my speech, it is the problem of energy and our inability to create and share it with the rest of the world. I believe it is truly a gift from Canada to the rest of the world.
    I really appreciate the opportunity to highlight just a couple of the small challenges we face as prairie—


    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.
    Madam Speaker, the overall quality of life in Canada is in significant decline under the NDP-Liberal government, and we have the evidence all around us. Government is costing Canadians more while achieving less. Violent crime rates are increasing under the Prime Minister. Food inflation, as has already been said in the House today, is at a 40-year high. The cost of living crisis is ballooning, and basic necessities are becoming more and more out of reach for far too many Canadians. In fact, a record number of Canadians used food banks this past year alone, and reports are telling us that one in five Canadians are skipping meals. Those records are truly shameful.
    The fall economic statement was yet another opportunity for the NDP-Liberal government to take meaningful action to tackle inflation. It was an opportunity to course correct and help the growing number of Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet. Instead, this costly coalition is continuing with its out-of-control inflationary spending and activist-driven policies that are hurting Canadians.
    At the most, the NDP-Liberal government doled out more platitudes and offered remarkably out-of-touch budgeting tips to Canadians. Unlike this costly coalition that thinks it can keep spending and spending and that the budget will balance itself, Canadians already understand that they have to have a budget. The one in five Canadians skipping meals to help make ends meet certainly do not need advice about cancelling a Disney+ subscription from the out-of-touch finance minister and her government. They need a government that is going to stop pouring fuel on the inflationary fire with endless deficit spending and stop hiking taxes. Canadians need a government that is not going to keep making it harder and harder for them to pay their bills, heat their homes or put food on the table.
    The reality is that Canadians are getting hit on all sides. A paycheque is not going nearly as far as it once did. Not only is the value of the dollar in their pockets decreasing as costs of basic necessities soar, but taxes are also going up. In fact, Canadians have never paid more in taxes. Quite frankly, Canadians are out of money.
    That is why the Conservatives put forward two clear demands ahead of this fall economic statement: stop the taxes and stop the spending. There should be no new taxes on Canadians. This costly coalition should not be profiting off the empty stomachs of Canadians just so it can spend those dollars on its activist-driven agenda. It needs to keep those dollars in the pockets of Canadians so they can spend it on their own families' priorities.
    This costly coalition’s plan to triple the carbon tax is cruel. The cost of home heating is expected to be double this winter, and they want to triple the carbon tax on that bill as well. It is a carbon tax, I might add, that has no meaningful impact on the environment, has failed to help the NDP-Liberal government meet a single one of its climate targets and has only succeeded in hurting Canadians, especially those living in rural and remote areas.
    This costly coalition wants to triple the hurt. Cold winter weather has already arrived, and those higher home heating bills are already a reality. Basic necessities like home heating should not be out of reach for Canadians. In a country with an abundance of natural resources, affordable energy should be a reality for all Canadians, but it is far from a reality when we have an NDP-Liberal government that is so dead set on keeping our energy in the ground.
    This is the same NDP-Liberal government that seems to have no problem at all importing energy from foreign countries with lower environmental and human rights standards. Only a Conservative government will remove the obstacles that it has put in place to strangle our resource sector. Not only Canada but the world needs more Canadian energy. Never has that been more obvious than in this last year as Putin wages war in Ukraine. Canada's failure to meet its energy potential is actually failing our allies.


    Just the same, food insecurity is a growing concern globally. Adding insult to injury, the finance minister had the audacity to stand up in front of Canadians and proudly say that we grow food to feed the world while she knows full well that the government is destroying the viability of our agricultural sector.
    Their fertilizer reduction plan not only threatens global food security but also food security here at home in Canada, not to mention its impact on food production and the cost of groceries.
     When it comes to their failed carbon tax, our farmers and our producers are some of the hardest hit. Their excessive tax bills are in no way offset by the government’s measly tax credit. It is truly a slap in the face to our farmers, who are not only producing high-quality and nutritious food but are also doing far more to help the environment than the failed NDP-Liberal carbon tax.
    There are obvious solutions to reversing the decline in the quality of life in our country, but the NDP-Liberal government cannot keep doing more of the same. To tackle the cost of living crisis that we find ourselves in because of the Prime Minister’s out-of-control spending, we have to bring government spending under control. It is one of the reasons Conservatives called on the government to cap government spending.
    We asked the government to commit to matching any new spending with equivalent savings, just as, I am sure, many Canadians have to balance their own household budget. This fall economic statement continues down the path of spending beyond their means, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers and future Canadian taxpayers.
    The members on that side of the House will be very quick to stand up in this place and try to tell Canadians that all of their deficit spending was and is necessary, and that they did it to support Canadians. The non-partisan PBO has already said that more than a third of the government’s spending had nothing to do with the pandemic.
    The long list of wasteful spending continues to grow. Whether it is the overpriced arrive scam app, luxurious hotel stays exceeding $6,000 a night, CERB cheques that were issued to prisoners or wage subsidies given to corporations paying out dividends, there is obvious wasteful spending under the government’s watch.
    The reality is that the NDP-Liberal government’s wasteful spending does nothing to support Canadians, but it does make more Canadians vulnerable and in need of support.
    Only Conservatives are committed to stopping the inflationary deficit spending and to stopping the funding of government programs with printed cash. The potential for growth is immense, but we need to cut red tape and remove the gatekeepers that are standing in the way of our economic drivers. Instead of more cash chasing fewer goods, we need more goods.
    The Prime Minister will find every and any excuse to lay blame elsewhere for the current cost of living crisis, but his failed and costly policies have directly contributed to the challenges that Canadians are facing today. The bills for his activist-driven policies are due and, unfortunately, it is Canadians who are left to pay for it.
    The fall economic statement is inflationary, and it fails to address the challenges that Canadians are facing because of the NDP-Liberal government.


    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague certainly talked about her concerns around the price on pollution, but what I have asked members of His Majesty's loyal opposition is why they ran on a platform to price carbon.
    Just over a year ago, the member ran on a Conservative platform that would have established a price on pollution for a plan that would have rewarded those who were emitting more. She did run on it. I find it a little facetious for her, a year later, to stand in the House and say what a terrible idea it is.
    Can the member explain to her constituents, and indeed to all Canadians, why there has been such a change over the last year in her position?
    Madam Speaker, if we look in Hansard, I have always been against a carbon tax. This carbon tax has done nothing for the environment. The Liberals and the NDP have not met the targets they have set over and over. I have seen bills from my farmers of $10,000 and $20,000 to dry their grain. I have seen the GST being collected on the carbon tax.
    A great question for the government is this. Why is it collecting GST on the carbon tax? This tax on a tax is hurting Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I was listening to my colleague's speech, and throughout it she talked about inflation. There was no mention of the fact that corporations in Canada avoided paying $31 billion in tax last year. There was no mention of the obscene profits that the oil and gas companies, Loblaws or the big grocers are making. When it comes to talking about inflation, the Conservatives will never, ever, with all their might, talk about obscene corporate profits. It is like their kryptonite.
    In the United Kingdom the Conservative government not only has a windfall profit tax on oil and gas companies but also raised it to 35%. It realized those companies were making too much money and it was time to level the playing field for the British people. Through you, Madam Speaker, why is it that the United Kingdom Conservatives have the courage that Canada's Conservatives are so obviously lacking?
    Madam Speaker, I am very disappointed in the member for that question. I am here because the people of Battlefords—Lloydminster sent me here, and these damaging NDP-Liberal policies are destroying their lives. I spoke with constituents who cannot get their kids to the hospital because it is two and a half hours away. I spoke with seniors who cannot afford their medication because they have to pay obscene tax to get—
    You voted against pharmacare.
    Can we allow the hon. member to answer the question that was asked?
    The hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.
    Madam Speaker, I am talking about the ability of my constituents, who live in small, remote, rural communities, to get to a bigger centre to get their prescriptions, to get their kids in sports, to get groceries or to even get the mail. The carbon tax is hurting the people I represent. I would prefer that the government take its hands out of the pockets of these families, let them spend the money they need to on their families and not have the middleman tell them where it goes.


    Madam Speaker, I would like to hear from my colleague.
    Bill C-32 is notable for what it does not contain. Old age security was increased for people 75 years and older. This created a two-tiered system for old age security, because those between 65 and 75 got nothing.
    In my colleague's opinion, should there be just one benefit? Should the benefit not be increased for all seniors, not just those 75 and over?


    Madam Speaker, one thing I noticed is that the current Prime Minister is great at turning people against one another. He found a way to have two tiers of seniors, just as with child care. There are a lot of people in my constituency who cannot access this $10-a-day child care because they do not qualify. They do not work nine to five. They work shift work. Some of them work all the time and they cannot access it.
    The current government is very good at railroading the provinces, not having discussions with them, doing whatever it wants and pitting Canadians against one another.


    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased today to take part in the debate on the Government of Canada’s fall economic statement. We live in very uncertain times. Canadians and all the citizens of the world are struggling not just with one crisis but with multiple crises. Our world is struggling with an inflationary crisis and with an increasingly devastating and costly climate crisis. Canada and its allies are trying to combat the rise of extremism, of isolationism and of the aggression in authoritarian countries like Russia, China and Iran.
    Members of the opposition may wish to minimize the climate crisis or misrepresent the inflationary crisis as being caused by Canada's leader, by Canada’s efforts to combat climate change or by our government’s efforts to support Canadians through the COVID–19 pandemic. However, Canadians, including those of my constituency in the Yukon, know that these issues have a much further reach and a more complex origin than any message bottled into a TikTok video.
     Canadians of all ages are dealing with a host of crises simultaneously that have not been seen before, and stress, in particular, our children and our grandchildren. They are the younger generations whose very futures are at stake. They face a radically changing planet, because older generations have waited too long to listen to our scientists and elders who pleaded that our climate was changing. They face unsustainably high costs of living. They face a growing tidal wave of right-wing populism channelled out of frustration with the status quo and directed against the very measures that would help alleviate that discontent.
    Lester B. Pearson once said, “The as clear now for nations as it was once for the individual: peace or extinction.” Although his words are somewhat chilling when we reflect on Russia's current illegal war in the Ukraine, I would also add today that the choice now includes addressing this climate crisis or facing extinction.
     Baby boomers and generation Xers, like me and many of my colleagues, have been particularly blessed in generations of global stability, high standards of living and mostly peace and prosperity. However, despite all we have been given, the future is increasingly uncertain. Our children, grandchildren, younger parliamentary colleagues, candidates, staff, activists and constituents are the ones who have to face that incertitude, that uncertain future, a future fraught with the destiny of our planet.
    The fall economic statement that we are now debating is well positioned to address the times and the challenges, as well as the opportunities that we are presently living. One of the key components of the economic update is to give younger Canadians a helping hand by making Canada student loans and Canada apprenticeship loans interest free. Thirty per cent or more of what a government student or apprenticeship loan borrower in Canada repays to the government is interest. More than half of Canadian students utilize Canadian student loans.
    Someone from Dawson City who travels to Victoria, Edmonton or Ottawa for an undergraduate degree and takes out a $40,000 loan for that degree will currently pay an additional $13,000 in interest alone. This says nothing of the cost of pursuing a graduate degree or professional degree like engineering or medicine. With the passage of this bill, that is money they can reinvest in the economy now, or save for a down payment on a home. This is a big step forward for Canada and for our younger Canadians.
     I returned from my riding after a long day of travel yesterday. Many people spoke to me to tell me how much they welcomed this support. Young people are not alone in feeling the brunt of rising costs and an uncertain future, which is why our affordability plan is already in place. That includes increasing the Canada workers benefit, cutting average child care fees by 50% and increasing old age security pensions by 10% for those over age 75, and more.
    Rising costs of living are felt particularly in northern and remote communities like those in the Yukon. This has hit families across the Yukon hard. Now, while our government is working hard to help those at the lowest income levels, our middle class is also struggling. The government is building an economy that works for all Canadians. Contrary to what we sometimes hear from across the aisle, there is no magical solution to the pinch of inflation, including removing the price on pollution, which would literally be robbing Peter now to pay much more to Paul later.
    Times are indeed tough. According to Statistics Canada, in the past year alone the cost of heating oil in Whitehorse has increased as much as 80¢ a litre, and it currently sits at almost 60¢ a litre more than it did last fall with a similar increase in the price of diesel and regular gasoline.
    Since 2019, the price on pollution has increased about 13¢ a litre. Though, due to the fluctuations in oil and gas prices in September 2021, Yukoners were actually paying less per litre than they were in January 2019, the year the price on pollution was introduced. The increase in the price on pollution earlier this year was about three to four cents, while the price per litre overall has increased 60¢ to 80¢. Our price on pollution, which some refer to as the carbon tax, represents less than 5% of that overall increase.


    The Yukon government offers its own climate action rebate program. Much of the increase in fuel prices and the cost of living is tied to inflation, higher oil prices and global pricing decisions made by OPEC, along with the global economic impact of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the lingering supply chain impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     Pricing pollution is the most responsible and economical way to reduce emissions in the long run, and while it has increased, it is not having the dramatic impact on inflation and rising prices that the opposition accuses it of. They are more focused on suggesting that devastating forest fires, melting permafrost and more severe storms are not happening because of anthropogenic global warming, and on suggesting that climate change is not wreaking havoc on our infrastructure, people and economy, rather than either coming up with alternatives to combat climate change or proposing concrete measures to support Canadians with these rising costs.
    Not only does Canada and Yukon offer rebates on the price on pollution, putting more money in the pockets of the average citizen than the price on pollution costs, but we are working to implement measures that would support Canadians through these difficult times. Our government has not only introduced measures such as the doubling of the GST tax credit for six months to help Yukoners struggling the most with higher prices, but also invested in a net-zero emission that runs on clean energy so we would not be beholden to the decisions of OPEC.
     For Yukoners who rely on home heating fuel and are looking for an alternative, I hope they will explore the Canada greener homes initiative, which offers grants of up to $5,000 and low-interest loans of up to $40,000 to help transition homes and lower their emissions.
     Our government is investing in the jobs of tomorrow, as demonstrated by our fall economic statement, and is working to build the economy of tomorrow with investments in the sustainable jobs training centre and launching the Canada growth fund. The CGF is Canada’s low-carbon financing initiative, which would attract private sector investment in Canadian businesses and projects to help reduce emissions and deploy clean technologies that drive growth, achieve climate targets and capitalize on Canada’s natural resources and critical supply chains.
     Our fall economic statement also introduces a competitive clean technology tax credit of 30% of the capital cost of investments to ensure that Canada can compete with the United States in attracting clean technology developments. This credit would be critical for business, communities and individuals in the Yukon, as we look to green our economy and our energy grid, which is heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
    I just came from Yukon Geoscience Forum, where our government's critical ministerial strategy and our investments in moving to clean energy were welcomed enthusiastically. Clean energy needs mines, and mines need clean energy sources. The Yukon has a great future in both.
    The clean tech tax credit would be available for investments in electricity generation and storage systems, including run-of-the-river, tidal, and small modular nuclear reactors, all of which are potential components of long-term efforts to green the Yukon’s energy grid.
    It would also be accessible for low-carbon heat equipment and zero-emission industrial vehicles, such as those used in mining and construction. As one of the strongest economies in the G7, with an excellent international credit rating, and a debt-to-GDP ratio that continues to decline, we are facing headwinds in a strong economic position.
     Our communities in Yukon deal with long winter nights every year, but we know that spring, summer and the sun await us all, as they await all Canadians. Our government will be there to continue to help Canadians through what could be a dark winter.
    We will continue to base our decisions on data and facts. We will continue to build an economy that works for all Canadians.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]



Canadian Football League

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the most successful regular season in their 92-year history. Although Winnipeg did not win the Grey Cup this year, its fans and the entire city of Winnipeg are grateful for the exciting season the team brought us.
    I would also like to congratulate the Toronto Argonauts for their Grey Cup victory. The team had an excellent season and put on a gritty and impressive championship performance.
    The Bombers were led by Mike O'Shea, who won his second consecutive coach of the year award, and quarterback Zach Collaros, who won his second consecutive trophy as the league's most outstanding player.
    I give a big shout-out to the four hometown athletes who were on the Bombers' roster this year, including Nic Demski, Brad Oliveira, Geoff Gray and Mike Benson, all of whom were born and raised in Winnipeg. We are so proud of them and the entire team.

Canadian Armed Forces

    Mr. Speaker, like most members in this place, I took time on Remembrance Day to honour those who sacrificed so much for us, giving us the opportunity to participate in forums like this. At the same time, I also recognized our brave men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces. Too many Canadians take our freedom for granted, and Russia's attack on Ukraine should serve as a clear wake-up call.
    However, while we honour our brave men and women of the Canadian Forces, both past and present, the government must start reinvesting in our military. Our funding is inadequate. Our equipment is out of date, and personnel are leaving the forces in greater numbers than are joining. Many of our veterans also need help, and again, the Liberal government is failing to adequately address our veteran situation. Whether it is the veterans who need help, or the current state of our military, the government is failing.

Bill Saunders

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay respect to Mr. Bill Saunders, a Newfoundland veteran of the Second World War, who passed away last week at the age of 101.
    Mr. Saunders joined the Royal Navy at 18 years old and was at sea when the first Allied vessel liberated Hong Kong from the Japanese in August 1945. He went on to be a dedicated member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 1 for over 70 years, until the age of 98.
    The best way to describe Mr. Saunders is through a quote from the Legion Branch president: “When he came through the door, everyone seemed to light up when they see him”. That just paints the perfect picture of the man he was, respected as a mentor and a teacher. As the number of World War II veterans remaining reduces, let us take the time to connect with veterans, hear their stories and learn from them. What they experienced and fought for, we must never forget.
    We pay respect to Mr. Bill Saunders and think of his friends, colleagues and families during this sad time. May he rest in peace.


Social Economy Month

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec celebrates the social economy every November.
    When people purchase goods or services from the social economy, the whole community benefits.
    The social economy is about supporting businesses that care about community and local services. The social economy is about businesswomen and businessmen who value quality of life and citizen engagement. These are business leaders who prioritize quality of life over profit no matter what.
    Quebec's social economy is a big deal. We are talking $47.8 billion. We are talking 220,000 Quebeckers working for 11,200 companies all striving to change the economic landscape.
     I salute the Chantier de l'économie sociale for its dynamic involvement, the 22 regional hubs and every consumer across Quebec who chooses the social economy.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I wish everyone a happy social economy month.

Suroît Food Bank

    Mr. Speaker, every year during the holidays, the people of Vaudreuil—Soulanges come together to make the holiday season a happy one for everyone. With global inflation this year, it is more important than ever.
    I rise today to thank the organizations and individuals in my community who play a leading role. I want to thank organizations like Moisson Sud-Ouest, which provides food to 92 food banks and soup kitchens. I thank the incredible individuals who are working hard every day, people like Stéphane Spisak, Marie-Andrée Prévost and the entire board of directors, as well as all the employees and dedicated volunteers.
    I invite everyone in our community to support them. The easiest way to do so is to give generously to the media food drive, which will be held across Quebec on December 1.



    All proceeds collected will go toward helping put food on the table for seniors, families and kids over the holidays and into the new year. I invite all members of my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges who can to give generously.

Defeat Duchenne Canada

    Mr. Speaker, in the summer of 1995, John Davidson pushed his son Jesse in his wheelchair across Ontario in what was known as “Jesse’s Journey”. What was the purpose of this journey? It was to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
    In 1998, John walked across Canada to continue the journey. Along the way he would break a Guinness world record for the fastest crossing of Canada by foot, but more importantly, he raised another $1.5 million for Duchenne research. Since then, Jesse’s Journey has granted more than $16 million in research funding.
    Twenty-seven years after it all began, Jesse’s Journey is now Defeat Duchenne Canada. The name might have changed, but the purpose remains: a world where those born with Duchenne can live long and healthy lives.
    John Davidson, representatives from Defeat Duchenne Canada and Duchenne families, such as grade 7 student James Allen, who is living with Duchenne, are in Ottawa today. I hope all members will join me in welcoming them to Ottawa and committing to the hard work and resources necessary to defeat Duchenne and other rare diseases.

Toronto Argonauts

    Mr. Speaker, congratulations to the Toronto Argonauts on their record 18th Grey Cup victory, the most any Canadian professional football team has ever won.
    Chad Kelly, the backup quarterback for the Argos, came on for the injured McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the fourth quarter. A pair of touchdowns from AJ Ouellette, and the Argos were once again champions with a hard fought 24-23 victory over the strongly favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
    Toronto linebacker Henoc Muamba had a key interception late in the game and was named the game's most valuable player and top Canadian. Henoc is only the second player in CFL history to be named both most outstanding player and most outstanding Canadian in the Grey Cup championship game. After 11 years in the league, this is Henoc's first Grey Cup, and he credited the positive culture on his team and the support of his family for his success.
    To the players and the coaches, the Argos staff and everyone in their locker room, their families, supporters and fans, and to the incomparable legendary Michael “Pinball” Clemons, we say congratulations. We thank them for playing the Canadian game with three downs, a larger field and our rules.
    Once again, I send my congratulations the Toronto Argonauts, the double blue, on their record 18th Grey Cup win.


    Mr. Speaker, this weekend I was honoured to march alongside Iranian Canadians as they demanded justice, justice for PS752, justice for Mahsa Amini and justice for victims of the Iranian regime's human rights violations. Canada shares in their calls for justice.
    Last week, our government announced another round of sanctions against the Iranian regime, targeting IRGC commanders, state-affiliated weapons firms and UAV manufacturing companies. These sanctions prohibit dealings with the listed individuals and entities, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada and prohibiting them from operating in our country.
    Canada will not hesitate to use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to respond to the Iranian regime's aggressions, whether in Iran or abroad. We will attain justice for victims of flight PS752, for Mahsa and for the Iranian people.


    Mr. Speaker, this coming Sunday is the first Sunday of what Christians call Advent. It is the first of four Sundays that anticipates the coming of Jesus. The Christian church has seen this as a time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus the king. Here was God coming to us as a baby to live among us to invite us into a personal relationship with almighty God.
    Each Sunday in Advent represents God's promises of hope, peace, joy and love. That is what God wants to bring into this broken world. We read in the gospels of the wise men, the kings, the leaders of the time, bringing gifts to this baby because they knew something in this baby's coming merged truth, justice and mercy with this world.
    Still today, Jesus invites people to accept, through faith, the forgiveness that he offers and the gift of eternal life. I wish the Speaker, all members of this House and all Canadians across this beautiful country the hope, peace, joy and love of Jesus throughout this Advent season.


National Child Day

    Mr. Speaker, November 20 is National Child Day in Canada. This special day honours our commitment to upholding the rights of children through two historic events: the signing and adoption in 1959 of the UN Declaration and in 1989 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    This year's theme is “8 Million Rising”. Across Canada there is a growing movement of young change-makers, who are standing up for their rights and speaking up for their generation. National Child Day is an important occasion to reflect on the progress to date and the challenges that remain, especially for indigenous, racialized and 2SLGBTQI+ kids.
    To support our children with the best start in life, our government introduced the Canada child benefit, lifting over 435,000 children out of poverty. It is building a nationwide system of high-quality, affordable child care, and it is laying the groundwork for a national school food policy to help ensure children are well nourished. Finally, it is implementing the Canada dental benefit for children under 12.
    Children are not just the future. They are leading in the present as well.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, listen to this list of Canadians. Vanessa, a single mom in Calgary, just wants to use her minivan to drive her kids to school, to dance and to sports. Cooper in Chilliwack uses his truck to drive from his shop to his clients to use his plumbing skills all around the region. Flora heats her home in Newfoundland with oil to keep her and her husband Peter warm. Jackie thinks twice about turning up the thermostat a degree instead of deciding to just put on a sweater. Mark gets in his big wheeler in Milton at the crack of dawn to deliver food to grocers.
    What do these Canadians have in common? They are struggling to keep up with energy prices under the Liberal-NDP coalition, and to the Prime Minister, they are just polluters.


    Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General recently released a report, and the results are in: The federal government does not know if it is reducing chronic homelessness. Five years have gone by since the launch of the federal government's national housing strategy, yet there is no accountability for billions of dollars spent, while more and more people are living in tents and cars. This is unacceptable, and it is only getting worse right across Canada.
    The federal government must develop a clear strategy with timelines and targets for ending chronic homelessness, including a definition with measurable targets. The Liberals' plan to announce large amounts of money with no follow-up and zero accountability is not working, and it is failing Canadians. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has already spent $4.5 billion and committed $9 billion more to tackle homelessness, but cannot conclude if any of those funds have made a measurable difference.
    Canadians need leadership. Canadians need a plan. Canadians need homes built now. They cannot afford more of this wasteful and bad bureaucracy from the Liberal government.
    Order. I want to remind everyone that statements are being made and there are very important things being said. I want to make sure everyone can hear everything. Members talking among themselves should try whispering rather than talking across three benches or across the floor.
    The hon. member for Etobicoke Centre.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the famine genocide in Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, when the Soviet Union closed Ukraine's borders and confiscated all food to destroy a Ukrainian population opposed to its rule. There were 19 people per minute, 1,200 per hour and 28,000 per day dying of famine at the height of the Holodomor. The world was silent, and millions died as a result.
    After World War II, we said, “Never again.” Year after year, here in this House, we commemorate genocides and atrocities, and we say, “Never again.” Right now, in Russian-occupied Ukraine, it is happening again. Russia is executing; Russia is torturing; Russia is raping women and even children. Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.
    Let us learn the lessons of the Holodomor. The only way to stop this is for the world to help Ukraine liberate all occupied territories. If we do not do this, then millions of Ukrainians will become victims of a genocide; we will show that we did not learn the lessons of the Holodomor, and we will have lost the right to ever again use the words, “Never again.”



    Mr. Speaker, we have a health care crisis in Canada. I witnessed this first-hand over the past year as first my father and then my mother fell sick and went into palliative care. I witnessed the immense dedication of Canada's nurses, doctors and health care workers, and I know, as we all do, how underfunding by the government has created a crisis in public health care. That crisis is clear to see in children's hospitals and emergency rooms everywhere. Our health care workers are overworked to the point of exhaustion. Patients are sleeping in hospital hallways because there is nowhere else to go.
    The Liberal government has been irresponsible here. Instead of providing adequate health care funding to provinces and territories, it gave $750 billion in liquidity supports to help big banks maintain their profits. The same government allows over $30 billion in taxes to go to loopholes for the ultrarich and overseas tax havens every year.
     It must be a top priority to restore adequate health care funding so that seniors, children, families and everyone receives the health care support they deserve.


Jean Lapointe

    Mr. Speaker, Jean Lapointe has left us.
    He left an indelible impression on us as a comedian who made Quebeckers laugh for decades, and as a prominent actor in Quebec films such as Les ordres, L'eau chaude, l'eau frette and Le dernier tunnel.
    We will never forget his star turn as Duplessis, arguably one of the most remarkable performances in the history of Quebec television. We will also never forget his successful career as a singer-songwriter, with hits like C'est dans les chansons, Cyrano, Si on chantait ensemble and Chante-la, ta chanson. Above all, we will never forget his altruism, which motivated him to help out people who were struggling.
    Since 1982, Maison Jean Lapointe has been a beacon of hope for people seeking help for alcoholism and drug abuse. Thousands of Quebeckers, as well as their families and friends, are indebted to him. Thousands, even millions, of Quebeckers are grateful to him, and his passing is a huge loss to us all.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I offer my most sincere condolences to all those who loved him.


Mental Health and Addiction

    Mr. Speaker, since this government took office, failed Liberal policies have cost thousands of Canadians their lives.
    Unfortunately, in my province of Saskatchewan, drug overdose deaths are on the rise again this year. Addictions are terrorizing every community across this country and are the result of a failed experiment by the Liberal government to provide taxpayer-funded drugs to addicts. This approach has failed in every jurisdiction it has been tried in.
    Addiction can happen to anyone. It is a health crisis that unfortunately touches almost all families in this country.
    It feels like everything is broken in Canada, but there is hope. The Conservative leader has a plan: a compassionate, health-based approach to providing recovery, treatment and counselling.
    We need to fix the problem. We are losing too many sisters, brothers, parents and friends to drugs.

Parliamentary Friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians come from a vast range of nations, races, religions and heritage. All Canadians can be proud of their identities, take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging.
    A community that brings Canadian society to life by sharing its identity is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada. We can all attest to the generosity, resilience and commitment of Ahmadi Muslims through Humanity First, Mercy for Mankind, Muslims for Life, Muslims for Remembrance and the Run for Canada. These are just a few initiatives led by the Ahmadiyya community in support of Canadians.
    Despite facing persecution and discrimination in many countries, Ahmadi Muslims strive to live up to the simple but profound message of “Love for all, hatred for none.”
    As chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at group, I ask members to join me in welcoming the Ahmadiyya community to Parliament. I also invite them to join us tonight as we continue to promote adherence to the values of human dignity and freedom of religion for all.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]



Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, Canada ranked 58th out of 63 countries in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    The Liberals have missed every target for reducing emissions, yet they are moving forward with the same strategy. In fact, they want to triple down on the strategy by tripling the carbon tax, even though Canadians are struggling to pay their heating bills.
    When will they realize that turning down the heat in our homes is not the goal of fighting climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the most comprehensive plans in the world to combat climate change.
    We will meet our target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030.
    At the same time, we need to ensure that life is affordable for Canadians, and we have made the investments to ensure that it is.


    Mr. Speaker, if they had the most comprehensive plan in the world, why are they ranked 58th out of 63 in terms of performance on that plan?
    What they have, actually, is a tax, a tax to drive up the cost of home heating, gas, groceries and everything else. They want to triple that tax.
    We are now going into the winter, and families are facing a doubling of their home heating bills right across the country. Forty percent of Atlantic Canadians already live in energy poverty. They cannot afford to pay any more.
    Instead of spending more inflationary money to try to solve the problem they caused, why do the Liberals not just get rid of the problem itself, by getting rid of the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, the government has made enormous progress with respect to fighting climate change. We have one of the most detailed plans that exist in the world, but we were starting from a place where we were following 10 years of Harper Conservatives who did nothing to fight climate change or to ensure a prosperous future for our children.
    We are working very hard to ensure that life is affordable for Canadians—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am just going to interrupt. We are going into preholiday season, known locally as the silly season.
    I am going to ask everybody to just take a deep breath and not shout out.
    I do not want to have to come down hard at Christmas and offer people coal, so please, no shouting or yelling.
    The hon. Minister of Natural Resources, from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the most detailed climate plans in the world. We are on track to ensure that we are meeting the ambitious targets that we have set.
    We started from a base where the previous Conservative government, the Harper Conservatives, did nothing to fight climate change for 10 years.
    We are very much committed and we will achieve those targets. We will do so in a manner that is affordable for Canadians. Eight out of 10 Canadian families get more money back when they pay a price on pollution. It should not be free to pollute in this country, and we are making investments, like the announcement we made this morning of $250 million for heat pumps, to ensure that we are moving forward in a manner that is affordable and fights climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, by using technology and not taxes, the Conservative government presided over the only government that reduced greenhouse gases in Canadian history, while the economy grew.
    Now we have a government that has missed every single greenhouse gas reduction target it has set, even as its carbon tax has gone up, and now it wants to hit people with a tax, just as home heating bills are expected to double.
    Its consolation prize is that some time down the road, one might be able to get a heat pump when the winter is over, if one is lucky.
    Why does the government not get rid of the real problem, which is the tax?


    Mr. Speaker, I find the phrase that the hon. member uses, “technology and not taxes”, quite ironic for somebody who has spent his entire political career being paid by the taxpayer.
    As somebody who has spent 20 years in the clean technology sector, I would note that technology in and of itself is not a climate plan. It is part of a climate plan. It requires regulation. It requires putting a price on a pollution. It requires investments in ensuring that life is affordable.
    Fighting climate change can generate prosperity, but only if one actually understands what one is doing.
    He clearly does not, Mr. Speaker, by virtue of the results.
    The results are higher emissions. The Liberals have missed their targets every single year. Now with 40% of Atlantic Canadians living in energy poverty, rural Canadians facing a doubling of their home heating bills, and some families who will be paying $5,000 and up just to keep the heat on, the Liberals want to go ahead and triple the tax.
    Why will the Liberals not get rid of the tax so Canadians can keep the heat on and pay their bills?
    Mr. Speaker, we had a prime example in Prince Edward Island of what will happen if we do not continue to address climate change.
    We had massive destruction, with winds over 200 kilometres an hour destroying our wharves and over half our softwood forests. We have to continue to make sure we address the climate change. That is what the government has been doing and will continue to do.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' taxes have failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is not an environmental plan; it is a tax plan.
    Now, having driven up the cost of home heating, the Liberals say that if Canadians wait until the end of winter, they might be able to get a rebate for a heat pump if they are among the tiny minority people in this country who will qualify for the program.
     The tax the government imposed caused the problems, and now it says it has a government program to solve the problem. Why not just get rid of the problem and get rid of the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I have to say I am really quite stunned by the comments from the other side of the floor.
    With respect to what happened this year in Atlantic Canada with hurricane Fiona, I had the task of going to visit many provinces. I was in Prince Edward Island. The roof was actually blown off one of the schools completely. When I speak to Atlantic Canadians, they want the government to make sure we take action on climate, and that is exactly what we are doing.
    On this side of the House, we have a plan. On that side of the House, they really do not know what they are talking about.


Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, Global News reported that China interfered in the 2019 federal election by funding at least 11 candidates. The Prime Minister was briefed on this subject last January, but he is denying everything. As usual, he is saying that he knows nothing. However, he raised the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20. He supposedly knows nothing about the situation, yet he knows enough to talk about it with the second most powerful man on the planet.
    Did he raise the very serious subject of interference in our election with China solely on the basis of a news article, or does he know details that he is hiding from the population?
    Mr. Speaker, safeguarding Canada's democracy is something that we take very seriously. We conducted two non-partisan, independent reviews, which confirmed that the 2019 election was free and fair. What is more, we passed Bill C‑66 to close the loopholes surrounding foreign funding. Any threat of foreign interference will be met with the most severe consequences.
    Mr. Speaker, either the Prime Minister knows the identity of the candidates who got money from China but is not telling, or, worse, he really was unaware, even though he talked to the Chinese President about it, like a rank beginner.
    It boils down to two possibilities. One, he is hiding the truth about a Chinese attempt to undermine democracy, much like he hid the truth about Roxham Road and WE Charity. Two, he is admitting to being so diplomatically irresponsible as to be dangerous.
    Which is it? Is he not very honest or not very bright?
    Mr. Speaker, protecting Canadian democracy is a responsibility we take very seriously. We are taking steps to combat foreign interference attempts. It starts with election officials and law enforcement and intelligence services, those who investigate and use all the tools at their disposal. Strengthening Canada's essential infrastructure and institutions is a big job. It takes legislation like Bill C‑26 to reinforce cybersecurity and give the RCMP additional resources.


The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to acknowledge that corporate greed is making life more expensive for families. We now know that since 2019, the profits of big grocery stores have gone up by 118%. The Liberals refuse to point the finger at these excess profits as one of the causes of the increased cost of living, but they have no problem blaming workers' wages. How hypocritical.
    Why attack workers' wages? Why will the Liberals not go after corporate greed?
    Mr. Speaker, I respect my colleague and his question.
    In the budget, we asked the banks to pay their fair share. We increased the tax rate for banks. In our fall economic statement, we implemented a 2% tax on share buybacks.
    Here in Canada, we are asking every business and every individual to pay their fair share of taxes. We have an affordability plan, and it includes having businesses and individuals pay their fair share.


    Mr. Speaker, that did not even come close to answering the question. A new report reveals that the profits of big grocery stores have increased by 118% since 2019. These companies are making massive profits while Canadian families are struggling. In Alberta, food banks have seen a whopping 73% increase over the last three years, yet in the latest government report, the Liberals blame workers' wages for inflation. They do not blame the billionaires. They do not blame the skyrocketing corporate profits. They are blaming workers.
    When will the Liberals stop protecting corporate profits and start taking action to protect Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that Canadians are concerned about how much they are paying for gas and groceries. That is why earlier this year the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry wrote to the Competition Bureau to make sure that it was using all of its tools to detect and deter unlawful behaviours in the food sector. Following up to prevent businesses from taking advantage of high prices and profiting off Canadians, we have asked the bureau to immediately look into these matters. We will continue to make life more affordable for Canadians.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, today's reannouncement of more government spending does not address the real issue of inflation and unaffordability. The Liberal government has demonized and kicked down Canada's energy industry for years. Instead of building energy projects in Canada that would have helped make home heating more affordable, the Liberals cancelled projects, killing good energy jobs while helping China build pipelines instead. As the government keeps spending, it drives up inflation, making gas, groceries and home heating more and more expensive.
    Why will the Liberal government not do the right thing and cancel the carbon tax on all home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly it is unfortunate that it is only the Conservatives in the House who think that it should be free to pollute in this country. It should not be free to pollute in this country. We need a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. That includes putting a price on pollution. It includes regulations. It includes investments in creating prosperity and jobs for the future and investments in ensuring affordability, just like the $250 million announced this morning to help to transition off home heating oil. That is something that will help people with affordability and fight climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, instead of selling green fairy tales and telling Canadians to cancel their Disney+, the government should stop its inflationary spending and stop the plan to triple the taxes. Billions of dollars of cancelled projects, because of the costly coalition's climate zealot ideology, has made home heating unaffordable while not hitting a single emissions reduction target.
    Why will the Liberal government not stop day dreaming, do the right thing and cancel its carbon tax on home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, as our natural resources minister has said, we have the most ambitious climate plan in Canadian history. We have invested $100 billion since 2015, including a $9.1-billion investment in our emissions reduction plan. This is going to reduce pollution. This is going to drive innovation. This is going to enable us to hit our very ambitious climate targets.
    Mr. Speaker, 60% of Canadians pay more in carbon tax than they get back, and the Liberals plan to triple it. Home heating costs have already skyrocketed in Canada and will double this winter. Half of Atlantic Canadians use heating oil to heat their homes, and it is up 56% overall since last year. It is up 77% in Newfoundland and Labrador and 68% in Nova Scotia. Tripling the carbon tax will cost them $900 more a year just in tax to heat their homes.
    Why will the Liberals not cancel their carbon tax on home heating?


    Mr. Speaker, as the minister responsible for ACOA, I have had the challenge of going to Atlantic Canada and meeting with some people who have really seen the destruction in their homes and in their businesses. I have to say it has been really difficult to hear these personal stories. Once again I am really confused with respect to the Conservatives. It is truly important to make sure that we have a comprehensive plan to fight climate change because we are seeing the destruction is extremely real. That is why we are really hoping on this side of the House that we are going to be able to move forward with an ambitious plan to make sure that we meet our targets.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister just gave zero answers whatsoever about how to alleviate the cost of home heating for Atlantic Canadians and people right across the country. They need relief now. Canadians cannot wait for programs that will not even cover half of the $10,000 to $20,000 it will take to install a new home heating system, which will still need a backup. They cannot wait a year to install new windows or reinsulate their homes, or years to replace their furnaces.
    Canadians live in the real world, not in the Liberal fantasy. In that real world it gets really cold in December. Canadians are freezing, and the Liberals are freezing them out.
    Why will they not cancel their cruel carbon tax on home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians faced the worst climate catastrophe in history just one month ago. We are going to be there with $300 million to help them recover and rebuild. We are also going to be there to help them with the transition to greener forms of energy. There was a wonderful announcement this morning that is going to help Canadian families. It is going to help Atlantic Canadian families. We are there for Atlantic Canadians, ever and always.


    Mr. Speaker, COP27 just ended.
    Something very important happened on November 15. The Canadian Minister of Environment issued a challenge to the rest of the world, calling on all countries to impose a carbon tax, as his government is doing to all Canadians.
    Could the Minister of Environment tell us, a week later, how many countries have accepted this invitation to impose the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, affordability is extremely important, and we have taken concrete action to address these issues, including doubling the GST credit. Regardless of what the Conservatives might say, eight out of 10 Canadians are better off because of the climate action incentive.
    It is worth noting that the Conservatives misled Canadians in the last election when they campaigned for a carbon tax. Given their position, every Conservative in the House is breaking promises they made to their constituents who elected them.
    Mr. Speaker, once again, I am pleased to congratulate the minister on his French, but he could have answered my question, because the answer is the same in either English or French: Not one country has taken up Canada's invitation to impose a carbon tax. Why?
    The reason is very simple. The Liberals have governed Canada for seven years, and the carbon tax has existed for seven years. Far worse, Liberal Canada ranks 58 out of 63 countries in the fight against climate change.
    Will the Liberal government understand that tripling the carbon tax is not good for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, many countries around the world have a carbon tax. Sweden and many European countries have a carbon tax.
    It is part of a comprehensive climate plan to fight climate change in a way that will accelerate Canada's energy transition and prosperity. It is something we work on every day and that perhaps my colleague could consider.


    Mr. Speaker, on the topic of health, the Prime Minister came out of his meeting with François Legault at the Sommet de la Francophonie a changed man, I would say.
    He said that Quebec is doing, and I quote, “a very good job” with data collection. It is amazing how things progress when we communicate. Imagine how much progress would be made if the Prime Minister brought all the premiers together to address the issue of transfers.
    My question is simple. When will the Prime Minister invite his counterparts to a public summit on health care funding?
    We have been asking for over a year.


    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question. Our health care system is facing major challenges.
    Our government remains committed to working with the provinces and territories to further discuss health priorities, missions, and outcomes in order to improve health care services for all Canadians, in particular by reducing backlogs and supporting our health care workers, improving access to family health services, improving mental health care and addictions services, helping Canadians live in dignity closer to home and—
    The hon. member for Jonquière.
    Mr. Speaker, that is a fine grocery list, but that is not what we are talking about.
    Incredibly, this is the first time in over a year that the Prime Minister has had anything good to say about Quebec or the provinces in terms of transfers. All it took was a face-to-face meeting. In my mind, that would suggest that organizing meetings could lead to an agreement on increased funding for health care.
     I have a very simple question for my colleague. Why is the federal government stubbornly refusing our request for a public summit on health funding? What is so scary about that?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague. Working together is the right thing to do.
    As we have heard, during the latest health ministers' meeting, our federal, provincial and territorial representatives collaborated to prepare a concrete action plan to advance the use of health data and digital health for Canadians. Our fifth objective is to use health data and digital health more effectively.
    Mr. Speaker, we must act now. The time for distractions is over. For over a year now, we have been calling for a premiers' summit on increasing funding for health care. Meanwhile, surgery waiting lists are extremely long. Some people feel ill but cannot get a diagnosis. Some health care workers are thinking of changing careers. All of these people expect their governments to reach an agreement to increase funding for health care.
    How much more precious time will the federal government waste before holding a summit on health care funding?
    Mr. Speaker, as we know, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of Quebec had an excellent meeting. It is easier for parties to agree when they act in good faith and want to collaborate. That is the case for both levels of government.
    I will say it: The Bloc Québécois is trying to pick a fight, whereas we are trying to collaborate. While the Bloc Québécois is being difficult, we are looking for solutions.


Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, families in Atlantic Canada are hardest hit by the Liberal's carbon tax on home heating fuels. On a year-over-year basis, families in New Brunswick are paying 50% more to heat their homes. It is up over 75% in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Liberals believe heat pumps will solve this energy crisis, but their carbon tax is already forcing families to decide between heating and eating.
    When will the Liberals do the right thing, cancel their carbon tax and give families in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada the break they need this winter?
    Mr. Speaker, what is clear on this side of the House is that my colleagues opposite are suffering from the ostrich syndrome, with their heads in the sand. We really have to recognize that climate change is real and we really have to take action.
    Once again, as the minister responsible for the ACOA, I have seen first-hand the devastation on the ground. What we do need right now in the province of New Brunswick is for the province to return the money on the federal tax to its constituents in New Brunswick as opposed to keeping it in the federal coffers. That is really what will be helping Atlantic Canadians right now.


    Mr. Speaker, no one is taking that minister's advice. No one in Atlantic Canada wants to see home heating fuels double this year. Nobody is asking the federal government to make heating more expensive.
     The Liberal carbon tax is fuelling inflation. Even the Governor of the Bank of Canada says so. It is driving up the price on energy. It is driving up the price on food. It is driving up the price on life.
    When Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick were able to reduce taxes on gasoline and home heating fuels, we saw prices go down. Under the government, they are going up because it keeps raising the carbon tax and it is going to triple it. They need it to stop.
    Mr. Speaker, anybody who witnessed Fiona in Atlantic Canada would understand there truly has to be measures taken. This government has taken measures to make sure that we will be able to live in Atlantic Canada. In fact, the heat pump announcement is a very important part of making sure we help Atlantic Canadians heat their homes this winter.
     We have and will continue to address the climate change issue.
    Mr. Speaker, what that minister just said was a pile of baloney. He should take a meteorology course.
     Back home today, winter is setting in. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are cutting their Disney+ subscriptions left, right and centre, but what they are finding with their Disney+ savings is that it does not even give them one gallon of oil per month.
    Will the left-wing government do the right thing and cancel its plan to put a carbon tax on Atlantic Canadians' fuel this winter?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the one thing we can agree on across the aisle is that affordability is very important—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    We have all day. Members can take their time.
    The hon. minister, from the top please.
    Mr. Speaker, I think the one thing we can all agree on across the aisle is that affordability is extremely important to Canadians, and certainly to all political parties. We have taken significant measures to address current affordability concerns through doubling the GST tax credit and, this morning, through the investment of $250 million to accelerate the transition off home heating oil.
    It is also the case, no matter how much the Conservatives attempt to mislead folks, that eight out of 10 Canadian families in places where the federal backstop is in place get more money back than they actually pay in the price on pollution. It also bears stating that the Conservatives misled Canadians during the recent election campaign when they campaigned on putting in place a carbon tax. Seeing their—
    The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite Patrie.


Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, COP27 has wrapped up and the entire world can see that, when it comes to climate change, the Liberals say one thing and do another.
    Other than Japan, Canada is the G20 country that gives the most money to oil companies. According to the climate change performance index, Canada ranks 58 out 63. Congratulations, that is impressive. Worse yet, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change invited oil lobbyists during COP27, as the planet is heading to catastrophic warming.
    When will the Liberals wake up and come up with a serious and coherent policy?
    Mr. Speaker, combatting climate change is very important and, as I said, we have put in place a comprehensive plan to combat climate change that will accelerate Canada's transition and prosperity.
    Our government is committed to eliminating public funding of fossil fuels by the end of 2022. We have already phased out eight tax subsidies for the fossil fuel sector.


    Mr. Speaker, while winter is hitting hard across northern Canada and Canadians are struggling with the rising cost of home heating, particularly in rural regions like my own, where people are on fixed incomes, oil companies are making record profits, Canadians are paying through the nose and the Conservative solution is to make pollution free for big oil, which is great for the shareholders.
     As for the heat pumps, if people cannot pay their bills now, they are not going to be able to afford the rest of the cost of the installation. However, there is something the government can do. It can work with New Democrats to take the GST off home heating so that seniors and the working class can have a better deal this winter.
    Will the government work with us?


    Mr. Speaker, a number of members have mentioned COP27 and I would like to put on the record that we have been praised for our international leadership in helping developing nations adapt to climate change. Mr. Speaker, you do not like coal, neither do we, and we have been praised for our leadership on the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
     We are on the offence and unfortunately the Conservatives are ragging the puck.


    Mr. Speaker, as Canadians continue to weather the postpandemic storm, increased cost of living and housing affordability is top of mind in my community.
     In Richmond Hill, emergency housing operators such as Blue Door and 360ºkids strive to help the most vulnerable children, youth and adults in the face of poverty vulnerability. This is why I was pleased to see the government take action in the new cost of living measures, including increased financial support through the Canada housing benefit, as a way of helping the most vulnerable in our communities.
    Could the hon. Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion tell the House about the impact this support will have on the lives of—
    The hon. Minister of Housing.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his strong advocacy on this really important issue.
    We understand, as a government, that Canadians are facing more pressures when it comes to paying the rent. That is why we introduced legislation to provide a top-up of $500 through the Canada housing benefit, a top-up that will help 1.8 million Canadian renters pay their rent. I am pleased to share with the House that this legislation has now received royal assent and payments will launch at the end of the year.
     On this side of the House, Canadians know that our government always has their backs.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the terrorist regime in Iran killed 55 Canadian citizens, and tens of thousands of Canadians gather in solidarity with the people fighting for their freedom in Iran.
    The IRGC is threatening Canadians on Canadian soil. Our security agency is sounding the alarm bells. These hostile activities undermine our national security. The Prime Minister knows of these lethal threats on innocent Canadians. It is time to end the platitudes and the empty rhetoric.
    When will the government prioritize the safety and security of Canadians, and list the IRGC as the terrorist organization that it is?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we believe in action. That is why we have an effective range of sanctions that are taking place on those who commit the atrocities in Iran. Because of these new sanctions and the framework we have put in place, we are able to target the core leadership of the Iranian leadership.
    They will not be able to hide in Canada. They will not be able to hide anywhere. Their assets will be frozen in Canada. The message is clear: There is no place for them in Canada.

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, Global News reported on November 7 that the Prime Minister had been briefed last January about federal candidates receiving money from Beijing. We started asking questions a week later, on November 14, but it took until yesterday, November 20, for the Prime Minister to say, “I do not have any information, nor have I been briefed, on any federal candidates receiving any money from China.”
    Why did it take the Prime Minister two weeks to say that he had not been briefed on election candidates receiving money from Beijing?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be unequivocally clear that Canadians can count on our government to remain vigilant when it comes to safeguarding free and fair elections in Canada.
    As my hon. colleague knows, we had an independent body look very closely at the allegations of foreign interference and confirmed that that election was free and fair. We remain soberly aware of the threats that hostile actors pose, which is why we are cracking down on foreign funding that could influence elections, which is why we will continue to leverage every single authority at our disposal to protect free and fair elections in Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, the 2011 election was free and fair, but that did not prevent an investigation from taking place about the Guelph robocall scandal.
    Yesterday, the Prime Minister also said, “I have asked my officials to examine these media reports and give all possible answers—everything they can—to the parliamentary committee that’s looking into this.”
    Will the government assure the House that the procedure and House affairs committee will get all the answers and all the documents it is seeking and not defy the committee, this House and you, Mr. Speaker, as it did with the Winnipeg lab documents?


    Mr. Speaker, as we heard the Prime Minister say, of course we are going to co-operate with the parliamentary committee when it comes to disclosing all the allegations that have been addressed by an independent body, which confirmed that the election in 2019 was both free and fair.
    I want to assure my colleague, and all members of the House, that this is not a partisan issue, that every member in the House has to work together to safeguard all our democratic institutions, including elections, so that every Canadian can have their voice represented in this chamber. We will spare no effort in securing that objective.


    Mr. Speaker, two weeks after the Global News allegations came to light, the Prime Minister finally denied having been personally briefed on the network of 11 candidates who were allegedly funded by the regime in Beijing. Yesterday, the Prime Minister told his government, and I quote, “I've asked them to give all information that they can share, that they can with a parliamentary committee looking into it.”
    Can the Prime Minister confirm that all documents will be shared with the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and that he will not use his coalition majority to hide documents as the Liberals did in the case of the Winnipeg laboratory?
    Mr. Speaker, the government respects the parliamentary committee process and, yes, we will co-operate with the committee to look into the matter.
    However, we have already conducted an independent, non-partisan process that confirmed that the results of the 2019 election were fair. We will continue to use all of the tools available to us to protect all of our democratic institutions, including elections.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, coming out of COP27, the Minister of Environment said that he was disappointed that we were unable to make more progress, but it is his fault if we have not.
     He fought to prevent countries from adding the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels to the final declaration. He censored countries that wanted to recognize the obvious fact that we need to reduce our dependence on oil and gas.
    Is Canada's role in the fight against climate change to censor countries that actually want to win that fight?


    Mr. Speaker, once again, I heard a lot of praise coming from the international delegations on Canada's various efforts at COP27.
    The member will get no argument from this side of the House that there is more to do. That is why we have invested $9.1 billion in our emissions reduction plan, why we are capping oil and gas emissions and why we are eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. We are investing in clean technology, and we want to take advantage of the $2.5-trillion clean energy economy.
    I want to remind hon. members that this is not an Olympic event where one holds up the score. I see a prop, and it can get members thrown out of the House. I just want to point that out to all of you.
    The hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.


Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, at the same time that the Minister of the Environment was censoring the planet at COP27, Canada was continuing its efforts to turn Newfoundland into an oil Klondike.
    Five oil companies have been allowed to explore around Bay du Nord for new deposits. The Liberals have the nerve to justify this by saying that we will always need oil for derivative products like oil for bicycle chains and latex gloves. I am not joking. That is what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment said.
    Can the minister tell us how many jars of Vaseline will have to be produced in order to use up the billions of barrels of oil they want to extract in Newfoundland?
    Mr. Speaker, this is very important.
    We have a comprehensive and robust plan to combat climate change. Of course, we must reduce greenhouse gases. We need to work with our allies, as we did at COP27, and we need to ensure a prosperous future for Canadians. We need to accelerate the energy transition, and our plan does just that.



    Mr. Speaker, earlier today, Statistics Canada reported that the homicide rate in Canada is the highest it has been since 2005, the last year the Liberals were in government in their previous government. In fact, violent crime has risen 32% since the Liberals last took government, but now they want to make it worse: They are letting violent criminals back onto the street after committing serious drug, gang and gun crime.
    Will the minister listen to communities, to the police and to victims and abandon his plan to let violent criminals back onto the streets?


    Mr. Speaker, Bill C-5 received historic royal assent last Thursday. For the first time, we have given back to judges the power to make the punishment fit the crime, allowing all of the judicial system to focus more closely on the serious crimes that the hon. member is referring to. This is a crucial step past the failed Conservative policies that have only led to the overincarceration of Black and indigenous people in the criminal justice system.
    We are moving forward in the right direction for a more just Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, that is just factually incorrect. The mandatory minimum penalties the government is eliminating were mandatory minimums put in place by the Prime Minister's father.
    The minister says that under the government, maximum sentences of 10 years or more are increasing, but do members know how often they have been given out? It is zero percent of the time. When the minister talks about increasing maximum penalties, what he is really saying is that we are not going to do anything about violent crime.
    Will the minister please abandon his soft-on-crime approach and take gun crime seriously in this country?
    Mr. Speaker, I would invite the hon. member to read Bill C-21, which is our attack on gun crime, in which we increased the maximum penalties for very serious gun offences.
    Another important part of Bill C-5 is the reintroduction of the possibility of conditional sentence orders, which allow our judges, based on the person in front of them, to fashion a punishment that fits the crime. Again, it concentrates our valuable judicial resources on serious crimes. It is a direction that even Justice Michael Moldaver has exhorted us to do, because that is what the system—
    The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.


    Mr. Speaker, to hear the Liberals tell it, we live in a world where everything is fine and nothing is wrong. I would like to bring them back to planet earth. After seven long years under this government, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased by 32%. Again, it is up by 32%. The Liberals responded by passing Bill C‑5, which abolishes mandatory minimum sentences for importing illegal weapons.
    Will the Liberals do their job and punish violent criminals to protect Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are doing. For the first time in the country's history, we have repealed mandatory minimum sentences, giving judges the flexibility to impose sentences that fit the crime.
    The former Conservative Party's policy failed and contributed to the over-incarceration of indigenous and Black people in the system. With Bill C‑5, which received royal assent last Thursday, we are moving towards a fairer and more equitable country.


    Mr. Speaker, organ and tissue donation is an important part of our health care system. Bill C‑210, which passed unanimously in the previous Parliament, will enable Canadians to indicate on their income tax return whether they want to receive information on organ and tissue donation from their provincial or territorial government.
    Can the Minister of National Revenue tell us where we are right now with this collaboration with the provinces and territories?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to take the time to thank my colleague from Yukon for his question and for the work that he does on behalf of his constituents.
    I am pleased to announced that Nunavut and Ontario agreed to participate in the organ donation initiative, which will begin in that territory and that province during the next tax filing season. We will continue to work with the other provinces and territories to address the organ donation shortage and increase the potential to save lives.



Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Hortons could not afford a home in Ontario, so they found their dream home on a lake in Nova Scotia. The kids love skating and swimming on the lake. Life was good until this year. The increased cost of everything, like a 68% increase in the cost to heat a home in Nova Scotia, forced the Hortons to have to choose between paying their mortgage and heating their home.
    The Hortons want to know why the Liberal government will not do the right thing and cancel its planned carbon tax on home heating.
     Mr. Speaker, some people are saying the problem is our price on carbon pollution. That is not the problem. The problem is emissions. Every decision we take with regard to the environment on this side is about reducing emissions.
    Just this very day, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in Nova Scotia, announced a program to help Nova Scotian families and other families switch their oil heating furnaces to heat pumps. This is exactly the kind of action that we are taking that solves the affordability problem for Nova Scotian families and lowers emissions.
    Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, heat pumps do not work when it gets below -10°C. He should do his homework.
    Liberal inflation is causing the Hortons to have to sell their home and move to a smaller place. They are working harder and falling further behind. They want to save a little money at the end of the month, but home heating increases are eating up their paycheques.
     Melody Horton has a simple question: Why will the Liberal government not do the right thing and cancel its planned carbon tax on home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, do members know what does not work when it comes to climate action? It is climate inaction.
    What we saw in Nova Scotia today is action. It is exactly the kind of action that this government is committed to. I can offer Ms. Horton some advice: If her MP cannot connect her to this new program, she can talk to me.


    Mr. Speaker, Liberal inflation is making everyone's life impossible. Winter is here. There is no denying it; it is pretty cold already. Canadians are having a hard time paying their bills, including their heating bill. Canadians need help now. They cannot afford to pay more. Our leader, my Conservative Party colleagues and I have a very simple solution: eliminate the carbon tax on home heating bills in Canada.
    Will the Liberals show compassion and follow our recommendation?
    Mr. Speaker, our government implemented a plan to fight climate change. Let me just say that the only plan the Conservatives and their leader have offered up is encouraging Canadians to invest in crypto. A leadership role comes with responsibilities.
    When will the Conservative Party leader apologize to the people who lost their life savings because they followed his advice? It is criminal.


Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, with one of the world's most comprehensive and detailed climate plans, a wealth of natural resources and a skilled workforce, Canada is establishing itself as a global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world.
    With governments worldwide looking for reliable, affordable and non-emitting forms of energy, could the minister please inform the House of actions taken by the government to increase clean fuel production in the country?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I thank the member for Hamilton Mountain for the work she does on behalf of her constituency and every day.
    Clean fuels like hydrogen will play a crucial role in fighting climate change, and our government is taking concrete action to support the development of the sector.
    Last week in Vancouver, I announced $800 million in project funding to advance Canada's clean fuel sector for 60 clean fuel funding projects across the country. These projects not only will bolster Canadian competitiveness in the clean fuel space at a time of rising global demand, but will also create sustainable jobs and grow the economy, all while lowering emissions and protecting the environment for future generations.


Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, the government is sitting idly by while Canadians with disabilities live in poverty and die. The Liberals move quickly when supporting their wealthy friends but tell people with disabilities that help is years away. A growing number of persons with disabilities are losing hope as they contemplate medical assistance in dying, not because they want to die but because they can no longer afford to live.
    Why are the Liberals okay with this?
    Mr. Speaker, with Bill C-22 and the Canada disability benefit, we have an opportunity in the House to bring about a once-in-a-generation change and lift hundreds of thousands of working-age Canadians with disabilities out of poverty. That is exactly the work that is just wrapping up at committee.
    I look forward to having it back in the House for third reading. I look forward to once again having all-party support. This could be transformative for our country.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, it needs to be said: There is no such thing as a credible climate plan that does not include phasing out oil and gas while supporting affected workers.
    At COP27, the federal government claimed at the last minute to support text to phase down unabated fossil fuels, yet back home it approved new oil exploration permits off the coast of Newfoundland.
    Is the government ready to talk seriously about equitably phasing out fossil fuels, or is it going to continue to protect the profits of its friends in the oil and gas industry?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly, the government is entirely committed to the fight against climate change. It is something we have been working on for the past seven years. We have done so with our allies around the world in Europe, Japan and South Korea and with countries across the globe.
    It is a critically important issue. It is something we have invested enormous amounts of time, energy and resources in doing.
    Canada has one of the most detailed climate plans in the world. We have an aggressive target. We are absolutely, fundamentally committed to doing this but doing it in a manner that recognizes this is a transition and recognizes that we have to ensure prosperity and jobs for future generations. We are doing just that.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]


Government Response to Petitions

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


Committees of the House

Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs in relation to Bill C‑29, an act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation.
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Industry and Technology  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology in relation to Bill C‑235, an act respecting the building of a green economy in the Prairies.
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.


Canada Labour Code

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, menstrual products. I would like to thank the member for Winnipeg Centre for seconding the bill and for her tireless advocacy for gender equity.
    Menstrual products are a basic health necessity, yet one in three Canadians struggles to afford them. To help address period poverty in Canada, the legislation would require federal employers to supply free menstrual products to everyone with access to their workplace, including employees, contractors and members of the public.
     The bill is a result of the vision of two bright high school students from Vancouver Kingsway, Vivian Naumenko and Chanel Kershaw, who attend Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School. Vivian and Chanel are this year's winners of my “Create Your Canada” contest, which invites high school students to participate in our democracy and offer their ideas for a better Canada. I hope all parliamentarians will support their thoughtful and creative initiative that is long overdue.

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



Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, constituents in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon are happy that the Government of Canada listened to their petition and amended the air transport agreement with the Government of India.
    The petitioners are again calling on the Government of Canada to establish direct flights between Amritsar and Canadian destinations. It makes economic sense and it makes societal sense. It is good for Canada and it is good for India. Let us get it done.

Ahmadi Muslims  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of Ahmadi Muslims in Canada.
     Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan have been effectively denied the right to vote and essentially have been disenfranchised from equal participation. To register to vote, Ahmadi must either renounce their faith or agree to be placed on a separate electoral list and accept their status as non-Muslims thus stripping away their religious freedom.
     The petitioners urge the Government of Canada to urge the Pakistani government to create a fair and democratic election process for all Pakistanis without discrimination or prejudice and urge the Pakistani government to immediately repeal section 48A of the Elections Act and permit Ahmadi Muslims to vote alongside all other citizens of Pakistan.
    Mr. Speaker, along the same vein as the member for Dufferin—Caledon, I would like to present a petition today that asks the Government of Canada, through the House of Commons, to urge the Pakistani government to create fair and democratic election processes for all Pakistanis without any discrimination, prejudice or mention of anyone's religion, and, secondly, to urge the Pakistani government to immediately repeal section 48A of the Elections Act and permit Ahmadi Muslims to vote alongside all other citizens of Pakistan as part of a joint electorate.
    Through section 48A of the Pakistani Elections Act established in 2017, Ahmadis must renounce their faith to be included in any voter list and be subjected to having their name and particulars available to the general public, thus inadvertently creating a targeted list for Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.
    I seek to have this petition move forward. We stand up for all minority rights throughout the world.

Animal Experimentation  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House to present a petition from concerned constituents who are calling on the government to follow the lead of the European Parliament in banning the unnecessary use of animals in experimentation. The petitioners point out that there are newer methods that will decrease the concern of biohazardous waste and zoonotic diseases. They are looking for a phasing out of experiments that use animals in biomedical research, toxicological testing or education.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 853, 855 and 861 to 864.


Question No. 853—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the Shared Equity Mortgage Providers (SEMP) Fund: (a) how much of the $100 million fund has been distributed to date; (b) how many applications for the SEMP Fund have been (i) received, (ii) approved, (iii) denied, (iv) received, but a decision is still pending; (c) how many new home units receiving SEMP funding (i) have been completed, (ii) are currently under construction; and (d) what is the breakdown of (c)(i) and (ii) by province or territory and by municipal area?
Ms. Soraya Martinez Ferrada (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Housing), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), as of September 30, 2022, under the shared equity mortgage providers, or SEMP, $28.95 million has been committed to date, of which $5 million has been advanced.
    In response to part (b), eight applications for SEMP have been received; seven have been approved with a signed letter of agreement, of those two are at the advanced status where we disbursed the funding; one has been denied; and zero are received but pending.
    In response to part (c), the program offers to eligible proponents repayable loans from one of two possible funding streams. Preconstruction loans, or stream one, offers funding for preconstruction cost loans to commence new housing projects in which shared equity mortgages will be provided to homebuyers via SEMPs. Shared equity mortgages, or stream two, offers loans to SEMPs to fund shared equity mortgages that they provide directly to first-time homebuyers.
    SEMP is not a construction financing program and as such we do not have a view on the stage of construction for projects supported by the program.
    In response to part (d), our financial commitments to date under the SEMP program will support the creation of 1,018 new home ownership units, which are all located in Toronto, Ontario.
Question No. 855—
Mrs. Laila Goodridge:
    With regard to the government's response to the nationwide shortage of children's pain and fever medications, including children's Tylenol, Advil, Motrin and other medications: (a) when did Health Canada first become aware of the shortage; (b) does the government have any firm commitment or timelines from the manufacturers as to when the shortage will be resolved, and, if so, what are the details; (c) does the government foresee the current shortage as a one-time supply problem, or an ongoing issue for years to come; and (d) what is Health Canada's position with regard to substituting adult pain and fever medication when children's medication is not available?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, addressing the shortage of pediatric and children’s analgesics, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, is a top priority for the government and Health Canada. The department shares the concerns of many parents and caregivers, understands how important these products are to treat fever and pain in infants and children, and is committed to doing its part to address the situation.
    Addressing drug shortages is a multistakeholder responsibility. It requires collaborative action from manufacturers, distributors, health care system partners and professionals, provinces and territories, and the federal government. When a national drug shortage occurs, Health Canada works closely with these stakeholders to determine the details and status of the shortage, coordinate information sharing and identify mitigation strategies, which may include regulatory measures to accelerate resupply if possible.
    Health Canada first became aware of supply concerns of pediatric and children’s analgesics in the spring of 2022. The department engaged the major manufacturers of these products, as well as the industry association Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada, or FHCP, for information on these supply concerns. It was expected at that time that these products would face some intermittent and sporadic supply issues, but that stock-outs were not anticipated. The supply situation was expected to improve over the summer as manufacturers ramped up production. However, over the summer months, there was an unprecedented and unexpected demand for these products and companies were unable to produce enough to meet demand, causing a shortage.
    With regard to part (b), since the shortage began, Health Canada has been in regular communication with manufacturers of these products, the provinces and territories, pharmacy associations, children’s hospitals, the Canadian Paediatric Society, associations representing consumers and retail companies. All stakeholders have been working together to increase supply and to help address demand. The Minister of Health has spoken to stakeholders to reiterate the urgent need to collaborate and mobilize to find immediate solutions to this shortage.
    In response to the unprecedented demand, manufacturers have assured Health Canada that they have increased production, some producing at record levels, with additional work under way to further increase production. To supplement this increased supply, we have secured foreign supply of children’s acetaminophen that will be available for sale at retail and in community pharmacies in the coming weeks. The amount to be imported will increase supply available to consumers and will help address the immediate situation. Health Canada has also approved the importation of tens of thousands of units of children’s ibuprofen and infant acetaminophen for use in hospitals. The importation of ibuprofen has occurred and distribution has begun. Health Canada is working closely with manufacturers on proposals to also increase supply in retail settings.
    The government is also working to help ease pressures created by the increased demand for these products. Health Canada is convening partners from across the retail landscape to promote strategies that preserve equitable access to these products and to communicate guidance on their safe use. The focus is on promoting the best possible use of Canada’s existing supply, while work continues to increase and stabilize supply.
    While Health Canada works to bring an end to this shortage as soon as possible, it is also prioritizing public communication by providing information and advice to Canadians on what they can do and to discourage buying more medicine than is needed. This was done via a Departmental statement, a public advisory and a web page dedicated to the analgesic shortages. Health Canada has also convened stakeholders in the hospital and retail sectors to better understand pressure points of demand and develop strategies to support broader access.
    In response to part (c), it is difficult at this time to forecast whether this will be an ongoing issue for years to come. The department will continue to actively engage key stakeholders to help mitigate the effects of this shortage as it does in managing all shortages of critical concern. All options remain on the table, and the department has been using the tools at its disposal, including approving the importation of foreign products to increase supply and working closely with companies authorized to supply the Canadian market to ramp up production, where possible. The department will continue to keep Canadians informed.
    With regard to part (d), the practice of medicine is regulated by the provincial and territorial governments. Health Canada regulates the manufacturing of drugs, including over-the-counter pain and fever medication, under the Food and Drugs Act and the food and drug regulations. Health Canada advises parents and caregivers to speak with a health care professional in cases where they are unable to find pain and fever medications for their children. As with all medications, it is important that children are given the appropriate dose as directed to ensure the safe use of medication. Improper dosing of medication can result in serious harm. Parents and caregivers must always carefully read and understand the information on the product label especially when a new medication is given to a child. This information was communicated in a public advisory, in which Health Canada advised parents and caregivers not to use adult fever and pain medications in children under 12 years of age without consulting a health care professional, as there is a serious risk of overdosing, especially when administering acetaminophen, and a risk of liver injury in infants and children.
Question No. 861—
Mr. James Bezan:
    With regard to the statement during Oral Questions on April 7, 2022, by the former Minister of Public Services and Procurement that "With respect to Supermax, following allegations of forced labour from the supplier, we terminated all contracts with the supplier. In fact, as soon as we heard these allegations, we stopped shipments from entering Canada": (a) on what date was the government informed of the forced labour allegations; (b) on what date did the government terminate all contracts with Supermax Corporation Berhad and its subsidiaries, including Supermax Healthcare Canada; (c) on what date was the order made to stop all shipments from entering Canada and what form did the order take; (d) is the order in (c) still in place, and, if not, when did it end; (e) how many shipments have been stopped to date; (f) what are the details of all stopped shipments, including the (i) date it was stopped, (ii) inventory of shipment, including product description and volume; and (g) does the government currently have any contracts or arrangements in place with distributors providing Supermax products, and, if so, what are the details, including the (i) name of supplier or vendor, (ii) product they are supplying, (iii) contract value, (iv) date the contract was signed, (v) reasons why the government did not terminate the contract or agreement?
Mr. Anthony Housefather (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a) of the question, on October 21, 2021, PSPC learned from media reports that the United States Customs and Border Protection had issued an order that prohibits imports from Supermax based on reasonable information that indicated the use of forced labour in the company's manufacturing operations in Malaysia.
    In response to part (b), all active contracts for Supermax that were managed by PSPC had their shipments suspended on October 25, 2021, and were terminated on January 17, 2022.
    In response to part (c), on October 25, 2021, PSPC communicated to Supermax Healthcare Canada that it remained concerned about the risk of forced labor and poor working conditions abroad, seeking an explanation in regard to the media reports of allegations of the use of forced labor. In light of this new allegation, PSPC requested Supermax Healthcare Canada suspend all future deliveries until Canada was satisfied that its contracted gloves were produced without forced labor.
    In response to parts (d), (e) and (f), PSPC did not produce an order. PSPC asked Supermax Healthcare Canada to suspend all future deliveries until Canada was satisfied that its contracted gloves were produced without forced labor. On December 16, 2021, Supermax Healthcare Canada provided Canada a summary response to the findings of the first of four audit reports. This audit was conducted at the Malaysian sites by an independent firm. Canada reviewed the report and did not believe it had sufficient information to fully assess the matter. Rather than waiting for the full audit report, which was due in April 2022, on December 22, 2021, Canada and Supermax Healthcare Canada mutually agreed to proceed with a termination of contracts. Contracts were terminated on January 17, 2022.
    In response to part (g), this information is not available in the acquisition information system. In order to be able to identify any contracts or arrangements in place with distributors providing Supermax products, a manual review of existing contracts would be required. This work could not be completed in the time allotted to respond to the question.
Question No. 862—
Mrs. Tracy Gray:
    With regard to the Canada Digital Adoption Program: (a) what is the number of businesses which have applied, as of October 5, 2022, to the (i) Grow Your Business Online stream, (ii) Boost Your Business Technology stream; (b) what is the total number of businesses which have received funding or assistance through each of the (i) Grow Your Business Online stream, (ii) Boost Your Business Technology stream; (c) what is the number of students hired, as of October 5, 2022, via the (i) Grow Your Business Online stream, (ii) Boost Your Business Technology stream, broken down by week since April 6, 2022; and (d) of the $ 47,122,734 value of the contracts allocated to Magnet to administer the Boost Your Business Technology stream for the 2022-23 fiscal year, what is the dollar amount that has so far been provided to Magnet, broken down by week since April 1, 2022?
Mr. Arif Virani (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, regarding part (a)(i) of the question, as of September 30, 2022, 5,225 small businesses have applied for a grant to the grow your business online stream. Data is reported on a monthly basis and cannot be broken down by a specific day or week; therefore, the number of businesses that have applied is as of September 30.
    Regarding part (a)(ii), as of October 5, 2022, 5,584 businesses have applied for the boost your business technology stream.
    Regarding part (b)(i), as of September 30, 2022, 1,469 small businesses have received funding or signed a grant agreement through the grow your business online stream. Data is reported on a monthly basis and cannot be broken down by a specific day or week; therefore, the number of businesses that have applied is as of September 30.
    Regarding part (b)(ii), as of October 5, 2022, 8,514 businesses completed the digital needs assessment tool, which provides them with an evaluation of their digital readiness and maturity and suggests areas of focus for their digital transformation. The Canada digital adoption program’s boost your business technology stream also provided grant funding to 501 businesses to cover the cost of retaining a digital advisory firm to create a tailor-made digital adoption plan for their business.
    With regard to part (c)(i), as of September 30, 2022, 577 e-commerce advisers have been hired under the grow your business online stream. Data is reported on a monthly basis and cannot be broken down by a specific day or week; therefore, the number of businesses that have applied is as of September 30.
    Regarding part (c)(ii), the time required for an SME to complete a tailored digital adoption plan with a digital adviser under the boost your business technology stream can take between four to six months. Due to this, only recently have there been requests for youth work placements. Additionally, the youth adviser component is an optional part of the program, as such not every business will request a youth placement. Magnet’s management fees are capped at 12%.
    While no student hires have been concluded as of October 5, 2022, numerous businesses were active on the Magnet matching portal. One hundred requests from businesses had been made for youth work placements. Demand for boost your business technology work placements is increasing each month, reflecting the growing number of businesses that have completed digital adoption plans and become eligible for placement referral.
    With regard to part (d), the first payment was made to Magnet on October 3, 2022, for $1,271,866.98.
Question No. 863—
Mr. Mike Lake:
    With regard to the commitment by the Prime Minister in the 2021 Liberal election platform to establish a Canada mental health transfer (CMHT): (a) why did the government not fulfill the commitment on page 75 of the platform indicating that the government would provide $250 million to the transfer in the 2021-22 fiscal year; and (b) will the government be providing $625 million to the transfer in the 2022-23 fiscal year as stated in the platform and, if not, why not?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, supporting the mental health and substance use care needs of Canadians is a top priority for the government.
    The government reaffirmed in budget 2022 its commitment to engaging with provinces and territories to inform the development of the Canada mental health transfer, or CMHT. When established, the CMHT will build on the significant investment of $5 billion over 10 years that is currently being provided to provinces and territories to expand access to mental health and addiction services, which represents $600 million per year until 2027. The CMHT will assist jurisdictions to expand the delivery of high-quality, accessible mental health services across Canada.
    In support of this objective, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions has also undertaken and continues to engage with a wide variety of partners, stakeholders and Canadians with lived or living experience through meetings and round tables to gather views to inform the development of the transfer, as well as a comprehensive and evidence-based mental health and substance use strategy.
    At the November 7 to 8 health ministers’ meeting in Vancouver, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions engaged provinces and territories on critical issues to improve health care, including addressing health human resources challenges, health data and digital health, and integrated mental health and substance use services.
    Canadians deserve better access to family health services as well as mental health and substance use services. The discussions at the health ministers’ meeting are going to inform health funding discussions going forward.
Question No. 864—
Mr. Eric Melillo:
    With regard to Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, which received Royal Assent on June 23, 2022, and which included amendments to the Special Economic Measures Act, allowing for the forfeiture of assets and property of sanctioned individuals and entities, by the government: (a) how many applications for forfeiture have been made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs since June 23, 2022; (b) what individuals or entities were the subject of such forfeiture applications; (c) from which countries did these individuals or entities originate; (d) what was the total value of assets and property that was the subject of such forfeiture applications; (e) have any court proceedings been initiated as a result of such forfeiture applications, and, if so, what are the details; and (f) have any individuals or governments been compensated with the assets seized under such forfeiture applications, and, if so, what are the details including who was compensated and how much was provided?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    In response to parts (a) to (f) of the question, Canada and its G7 and other allies jointly decided to take further steps to isolate Russia from the international financial system and impose consequences for its actions, including by establishing the Russian elites, proxies and oligarchs, or REPO, task force. Following the March 16, 2022, meeting of the REPO task force, G7 finance ministers released a joint statement outlining their commitment to take all available legal steps to find, restrain, freeze and, where appropriate, seize, confiscate or forfeit the assets of individuals and entities that have been sanctioned in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This commitment seeks to target the assets of key sanctioned Russian elites and proxies.
    Canada moved rapidly and is the first country in the G7 to implement the REPO commitment, further demonstrating Canada’s leadership role in the response to Putin’s unjustified and illegal war in Ukraine. The budget implementation act, which received royal asset on June 23, 2022, established the new asset seizure and forfeiture authorities as part of Canada’s overall sanctions regime, through designated changes to the Special Economic Measures Act and the Justice for Victims of Foreign Corrupt Officials Act. These changes provide authorities to allow Canadian courts to order seized or restrained property in Canada that is owned, held or controlled by sanctioned individuals and entities to be forfeited to the Government of Canada. Funds resulting from asset forfeiture may be used to compensate victims of human rights abuses, restore international peace and security or rebuild affected states.
    Since the enactment of these legislative changes, a whole-of-government effort has been under way to operationalize the new authorities and move forward with respect to the first potential seizure of assets.
    At present, the government is actively engaged in identifying and analyzing potential target assets, including building solid evidentiary packages to support seizure and forfeiture orders. Such steps are crucial to the successful implementation of this new regime.



Starred Questions

    Mr. Speaker, we ask that the government's response to Starred Question No. 856 be printed in Hansard as if read.


*Question No. 856—
Ms. Kristina Michaud:
    With regard to the bilateral negotiations between Canada and the United States to modernize the Safe Third Country Agreement and Canada’s efforts with the United States to crack down on the human smuggling network that uses Roxham Road: (a) how many letters, emails or other items of correspondence has Canada sent to the United States since January 1, 2017, in relation to (i) the modernization of the Safe Third Country Agreement, (ii) the human smuggling network that uses Roxham Road, broken down by month and year; (b) how many letters, emails or other items of correspondence has Canada received from the United States since January 1, 2017, in relation to (i) the modernization of the Safe Third Country Agreement, (ii) the human smuggling network that uses Roxham Road, broken down by month and year; and (c) how many meetings have been held between Canadian and American representatives that addressed primarily (i) the modernization of the Safe Third Country Agreement, (ii) the human smuggling network that uses Roxham Road, broken down by month and year?
Ms. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC, is concerned, IRCC undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. While IRCC engages regularly with the United States on a variety of issues related to our shared border, including the Canada-United States safe third-country agreement, the information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. IRCC concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted, may not otherwise be accurate and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and potentially misleading information.


Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 851, 852, 854 and 857 to 860 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.


Question No. 851—
Mrs. Kelly Block:
    With regard to the Canada Border Services Agency's reduced hours of operation at land ports of entry, broken down by each port of entry: (a) what were the hours of operation in 2019; (b) what are the current hours of operation; and (c) on what date will each port of entry with reduced operating hours compared to 2019 have their hours restored to pre-pandemic levels?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 852—
Mrs. Kelly Block:
    With regard to polling conducted by the government since January 1, 2022: what are the details of each poll conducted by the government, including the (i) date conducted, (ii) subject matter, (iii) vendor having conducted the poll, (iv) type of poll (online, phone, etc.), (v) number of individuals polled, (vi) demographics of who was polled, (vii) questions asked, (viii) results?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 854—
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
    With regard to overpayments made by the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) since 2014, broken down by year: (a) what is the total value of overpayments made by the PSPP; (b) how many retirees received overpayments; (c) of the amount in (a), how much (i) has since been recovered, (ii) has since been forgiven, (iii) is still outstanding; and (d) what is the breakdown of (a) through (c) by department or agency of the recipient's last place of work and by employment levels (EX, AS, etc.), if known?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 857—
Mr. Stephen Ellis:
    With regard to Health Canada's position on the practice of repackaging single use medications to treat macular degeneration, since 2016: (a) does Health Canada allow the practice; (b) what risks does Health Canada recognize as existing with the practice; (c) has Health Canada studied the risks associated with the practice related to (i) sterility, (ii) cold chain protection, (iii) ultraviolet light protection, (iv) accurate dosing, (v) contamination, (vi) transportation issues, and, if so, what were the findings related to each risk; (d) has Health Canada or the Minister of Health received any warnings or correspondence indicating or suggesting that the practice is occurring in Canada, and, if so, what are the details, including the (i) date, (ii) author of the warning or correspondence, (iii) summary of warning or correspondence, (iv) recipient, (v) summary of response given by Health Canada or the Minister's office; and (e) for each warning or correspondence that was received in (d), what follow-up action was taken?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 858—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to Sport Canada: (a) what are the details of all gifts, including sports tickets, received by officials at Sport Canada since January 1, 2018, including for each the (i) date given (ii) description, (iii) quantity, (iv) value per unit, (v) total value, (vi) title of recipients; and (b) for all gifts that were tickets or included tickets, what are the details of the event, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) description of event, (iii) location, (iv) sport, if applicable, (v) league or sports organization putting on the event, if applicable, (vi) recipient, (vii) quantity of tickets, (viii) total value of tickets?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 859—
Mr. Rob Morrison:
    With regard to contracts signed by the government since January 1, 2020, related to the Roxham Road border crossing: what are the details of all such contracts, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the value, (iv) a description of goods or services, including volume, (v) whether the contract was awarded through a sole-sourced contract or competitive bid process?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 860—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the government's decision not to list the whole of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity: has the government been lobbied or had any meetings with entities who advocated in favour of the IRGC being allowed to operate in Canada and advocated against the IRGC being listed as a terrorist entity since January 1, 2019, and, if so, what are the details of all such meetings, including, the (i) date, (ii) titles and organizations or who attended, from both the government and third party sides, (iii) location, (iv) summary of what happened at the meeting?
    (Return tabled)


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

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022

    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, in the fall economic statement, there are a lot of supports to assist Canadians at a time when we recognize inflation is having a profound impact, even though Canada, relatively speaking in comparison to other countries, whether it is the U.S. or the many countries in Europe, is doing quite well, as our inflation rate is lower than the rates in those countries. Still, we need to understand and appreciate the difficult time that many Canadians are having with inflation.
    Would my colleague not agree that the quicker we pass this legislation, the better it will be, as it will provide the supports Canadians need at this time?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for bringing up the question of timing and the importance of coming to a vote and an agreement on moving forward with this fall economic statement and the implementation thereof.
    We know that people need help right now. We know that we are in an affordability crisis as we move toward a new economy. Therefore, time is definitely of the essence.


    Madam Speaker, my question has to do with increasing the old age security pension for people 65 to 74. I want to know whether my colleague is aware that the people the most affected by the two classes of pensioners, are women, those who earn lower incomes their entire life to be able to feed or support their family. It is mainly women 65 to 74 who are suffering the adverse consequences of the government's refusal to increase their pension.
    Does my colleague realize that? Will he commit to pressuring his colleagues to ensure that people 65 to 74 are finally included in the pension increases?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, and I thank her for standing up for seniors.
    As I explained in my speech, our government is focused on helping Canadians who need it most right now. This includes one-time initiatives such as increasing GST credits, support for renters and larger programs such as child care and dental care. All of this is designed to make life more affordable during this difficult time.


    Madam Speaker, I have a direct question about the opportunity the fall economic statement could have provided Canadians in relation to the drug poisoning crisis. The member knows very well the need to address the drug poisoning crisis across Canada. Families across the country, from coast to coast to coast, are being affected by this. It was absent in the fall economic statement.
    What measures will the government take to ensure we have a plan to help save lives?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across the floor for his advocacy on an issue very important to my heart and that we need to move forward on in continuing to address the mental health crisis and the opioid crisis. A critical part of that is continuing with the discussions with the provinces and territories on the $4.5-billion mental health transfer, which continues to be committed to by the government. Those discussions, in addition to the health care discussions, will be continuing.


    Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today as we debate the—what is it now?—18th or 19th time allocation motion so far.
    It is hard to keep track because this habit has become so ingrained in how we operate. It is time allocation after time allocation. Maybe people will start using that expression. Time allocation used to be the exception, but now, since the pandemic, since the advent of the hybrid Parliament, it seems to have become common practice, and I think that is a shame. I think it is a shame to shut down democratic debate and take away what really matters in a Parliament: time and space to debate and air contrasting views.
    That is why I am pleased to share some of my thoughts on Bill C‑32.
    Before the economic statement, the Bloc Québécois had great expectations. We really wanted a conversation about health transfers. We were hoping for a sign that the government wanted to give Quebec and the provinces the health transfers they have been asking for so they can fulfill their responsibilities.
    In Quebec, that means addressing the aging population and the significant issues with mental health services, which are lacking in number and scope to meet the demand. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the economic update about that.
    My colleague from Shefford has said this, and the Bloc Québécois has said it, and it is one of our priorities. We do not understand how the government does not consider those between the ages of 65 and 74 to be people who need to regain a certain amount of purchasing power, especially with the inflation crisis. If there was ever a segment of the population that needed a helping hand, it is them. Increasing old age security would have really been good news, a sign that the government is listening to seniors, those who built the Quebec of today.
    In the economic update, we really wanted to see the government's desire and firm resolve to overhaul employment insurance. Today, I will use the minutes at my disposal to speak in greater detail about the EI program and the need to reform it.
    Today, as we speak, barely 40% of workers have access to EI.
    That is sad because, as we know, the EI fund is an insurance program. That means that workers pay premiums on their paycheque and employers pay premiums, and the money goes to build the EI fund, an important reservoir for workers who need it. Unfortunately, although the fund is quite healthy at the moment, it does not actually serve the people who really need it. Access is restricted.
    I am very committed to this cause. The Bloc Québécois has been asking for EI reform for years, and we do not understand the government's resistance.
    As I like to remind everyone, I decided to run again in 2015, the year the Liberals campaigned on a promise of comprehensive EI reform. In 2019, they promised it again, and then again in 2021. It is promise after promise, but nothing ever happens. The government had included $5 million in its budget to conduct extensive consultations across the provinces and Canada to understand and gauge the needs of workers, employers and civil society, and yet, 18 months later, we still have nothing. There has been no proposal and no plan to reform EI, even though my colleague from Thérèse‑De Blainville made it a subject to be studied by her committee. The committee heard from many witnesses who expressed the needs and shortcomings of the current system, which, as we all know, really needs to be modernized and updated to be tailored to today's labour market.


    Of course, we have a number of demands. Workers who have paid premiums all their lives but find themselves in a difficult situation, like if their business is forced to shut down and they have to rely on EI, receive benefits equivalent to 55% of their income. The Bloc Québécois believes that, in the overall reform, that percentage really needs to increase to 60%. I think this is reasonable, and the rate was 60% prior to 1993. I remember very clearly when it was reduced to 55% of income. This demand remains permanent and is also being made by all the stakeholders who support the unemployed and others.
    In its overhaul of EI, we would also like the government to eliminate the one-week waiting period. I do not know the reason behind the one-week period, but it is in addition to the system's bureaucratic delays for those who lose their jobs. People do not choose to go on EI. They do so because they lose their jobs as a result of the closure of a business, layoffs or any number of other reasons. Because of this long waiting period, which really should not happen, claimants only receive their first payment after six weeks. At least, that was the waiting period before the government system was paralyzed, back when it was working well and the performance and service standards were met. That was in the old days. Now, someone who loses their job in early or mid-June will not receive a cheque until late September or early October, because the system is completely paralyzed.
    Our demands for the reform are important, and we were hoping to see them reflected in the economic update. We wanted people with a serious illness to be able to get 50 to 52 weeks of special EI sickness benefits in the event they are unable to return to work.
    As members know, in the last Parliament, I introduced a bill that proposed that. What is more, as we speak, Bill C‑215 has been studied in committee, and the majority of the members who sit on that committee voted in favour of ensuring that people who have a serious illness can take the time they need to fight the illness and recover their health without having to worry about their financial circumstances.
    As things stand now, it pains me to see people get to the end of their 15th week of special benefits when they have not finished their cancer treatments, their chemotherapy or their radiation. By the next week, they will have nothing left to pay their bills.
    The minister seems to be sympathetic to the situation, but I think it is unacceptable when she promises this will arrive in the summer, then in fall, then at Christmas. She keeps pushing the date back further and further. Although she has the budget to do this, she refuses to give a specific date that would give hope to those who are starting chemotherapy or radiation today or who are taking long-term sick leave to take care of themselves, so they can regain their strength and go back to work.
    We have talked a lot about Marie-Hélène Dubé, a woman who had cancer a few years ago and who decided to fight to have EI sickness benefits increased to 52 weeks, because she had to re-mortgage her house to meet her responsibilities and take care of herself.
    Unfortunately, in committee two weeks ago, she said that her cancer is back and she will not have time to heal before the end of her 15 weeks. She is reliving the nightmare she went through a few years ago. To my mind, that is unacceptable.
    The Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of Bill C‑32, because it does contain some good measures, but I implore the government to take a step in the right direction by quickly agreeing to reform EI and to implement the special benefits program for sick workers as soon as possible.



    Madam Speaker, I am glad the Bloc has decided to support the fall economic statement. It is really encouraging to see that.
    In regard to the gist of the member's comments today on employment insurance and benefits, the minister has been very clear in talking about the importance of reforming and making changes to the EI system. We often overlook the fact that during the pandemic, EI and programs such as CERB were brought to the table to ensure that supports would be there for Canadians going through the pandemic, and there have been modifications to the EI system over the last number of years. I am wondering if the member could provide her comments.
     I can appreciate that the member wants to see an overall reform, but that is going to take some time as we continue to move forward. However, at the very least could she acknowledge that there have been significant modifications and changes over the last number of years?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    During the pandemic, the government reacted quickly and implemented special benefits through EI. These benefits ended recently, leaving a lot of workers and people in need in a tight spot. The EI program already needed to be changed and reformed before the pandemic. People have been calling for that for many years because it is an old program that needs to be modernized.
    I know that the Minister of Employment has shown a real interest in this and that she is running up against an outdated computer system, which is preventing her from being able to listen to workers and employers and come up with a modern EI program that is better at meeting people's needs. She also said that she is really limited by the people she works with in her department, because they need training and supervision.
    Quite honestly, I do not think those are good reasons for delaying or not—
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but I need to leave time for other questions.
    The hon. member for Bay of Quinte.


    Madam Speaker, the member spoke about health care and the lack of investment in health care as one of the primary concerns of the Bloc, so I am fascinated as to why the member is supporting the bill. There is really nothing to address further health care, specifically in terms of people. We are missing, in Canada, 60,000 nurses and 14,000 doctors, midwives and professionals, everything from cardiologists to dermatologists. We have a big problem with people. What are the member's solutions to fixing the people side, and how should we be driving the government, as our side believes we should, on fixing our health care system?


    Madam Speaker, I think we all know the solution. It is what the premiers of every province and territory have been asking for.
    The solution is enough money in health transfers so that each province can make appropriate, high-quality services available to its citizens based on their priorities, their circumstances and their needs. The solution is health transfers with no strings attached because every province is different and has different social issues to deal with.
    I agree with my colleague that the solution is health transfers, and I hope the government will listen to Quebec and the provinces.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for sharing her thoughts.
    I would like to know if she thinks the government should do a lot more to make sure that rich Canadians pay their taxes. We know there is a measure in this bill, but I think much more should be done to tackle inequality in our country.
    What are my colleague's thoughts on that?
    Madam Speaker, I share my colleague's concerns. The measures announced in this economic statement are thin, flimsy and unambitious when it comes to preventing so much money from going to tax havens.
    We urge the government to be a true world leader and do everything it can to prevent tax avoidance.


    Madam Speaker, Liberals are driving the government like a rental. They do not drive it as if it is Canadians' money or savings. They drive it like they stole it, buying the flashiest items without taking care of the tires, the engine or the oil. Today, with the government moving closure on debate, it is just returning the rental car with smoke pouring from the hood and the tank empty.
    The Conservative plan for Canadians and the skyrocketing inflation is quite simple: Invest in Canadians by fixing the basic problems; stop spending an excessive amount of money, and stop the tax increases to Canadians. For every item of spending, we propose that the government must find an item to save. It must stop the triple increases on gas, home heating and groceries and ensure that we give Canadians back control of their lives once again.
    The car is broken. Inflation is at a 40-year high. We have immigration problems, a big, broken system that is resulting in a lack of workers. There is a lack of 1.03 million workers in this country, costing this economy upward of $30 billion. We have a housing crisis. We are over 1.65 million homes short in this country, and from that we have a homelessness problem. In my region there are over 500 homeless at this point, and there are homeless in every single area of this country. We have a health care problem: Canadians cannot find a doctor, nurse practitioner or midwife. Canadians are guaranteed universal health care under our system, but they cannot get the health care they need.
    We have massive problems right now with the cost of everything. Canadians pay the highest cellphone bills in the whole world. No one else pays higher cellphone bills per month, and we have a problem even getting passports in Canada.
    Canadians are hurting. Twenty per cent of Canadians right now are using food banks. Some Canadians are using food banks while they work 40 hours a week. We have problems with just getting basic services in Canada. When we talk about the economic update, we are really looking for solutions that are going to help Canadians, the most basic of solutions that can give Canadians the most basic needs they should have in this G7 nation.
    We are looking, first of all, at what is driving this budget. This budget has $20 billion more in new spending than was in the budget that was passed in March. Why? It is because the price of oil has gone up, because oil itself is driving our country's economy. The 585,000 workers who work in that field, the fact that we have inflation and because of the war in Ukraine, we have had a $20-billion windfall, and that $20 billion has gone in this economic statement. However, nowhere in this statement are we fixing the basic problems: the housing problem, health care, immigration and Canadians' bills, which are the highest in the world.
    Looking at the immigration system and where the biggest flaws are, I am going to focus specifically on housing. When we talk to the Canadian Construction Association and builders in my riding, skilled labour is the biggest gap that we find when it comes to housing. Yes, we have problems with regulations from the provinces and with municipalities getting homes up, but it always comes down to the most basic of needs, which are skilled builders and workers. When it comes to the immigration system, we are short at least 1.2 million, but right now we have a backlog of close to two million workers. We have 2.4 million workers in a backlog in our immigration system, and one million of those applicants are waiting longer than the IRCC service standard.
    There is nothing more important than housing in Canada. More Canadians are homeless than at any time in the history of this country. More Canadians are on precarious footing with their rent and mortgage payments as interest rates rise, and every month we see more people fall through the cracks and end up homeless. The Auditor General this week released a report on homelessness, stating that the accomplishments of the government have been grossly exaggerated. The federal agencies leading the government's efforts to reduce homelessness by 50% by 2027-28 do not know if their efforts have even reduced homelessness. The CMHC has spent $4.5 billion and committed another $9 billion, but cannot tell Canadians who benefited from that money.


    Infrastructure Canada spent $1.4 billion between 2019 and 2021, yet it cannot say whether homelessness increased or decreased as a result. The CMHC, which is overseeing the majority of the $78.5 billion of the national housing strategy, takes the position, as the Auditor General stated, that it is not directly accountable for the targeted 50% reduction in homelessness. If it is not, the question is, who is? Here we thought the government was good at convening. Spending money and thinking that alone gets results is ludicrous. Canadian taxpayer dollars are a means, not an end.
     The labour shortage is, without any doubt, one of the biggest barriers to housing. It is also one of the biggest barriers to our health care system and is contributing to inflation. The Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, stated as much last week, when he said that labour shortages are contributing to inflation. However, in this economic update we are not dealing with the problems in immigration, meaning the backlogs and the fact that we are not getting enough workers, health care workers, or anyone we need to help lift this country out of this inflationary problem.
    We talk about health care and the shortage of 60,000 nurses and 15,000 doctors. Another of the biggest problems we have is that we are not allowing trades, nurses or doctors to move from province to province. We have a military family resource centre at CFB Trenton in my riding, and a lot of our military personnel move around to postings from base to base. For their spouses, who normally are trained as nurses, paramedics or doctors, it can sometimes take from six to eight months for their qualifications to be transferred from, say, Nova Scotia to Ontario. We are not addressing those biggest targets when we need paramedics, nurses and professionals in our health care system.
    When we look at the legislation we need when we are talking about the budget, that should be something that is included in what we are looking at.
    With respect to the costs Canadians are paying right now, in Canada we have the highest cellphone bills on the whole planet. When we look at carriers across the world, of the 121 telecommunications carriers, Rogers, TELUS and Bell are the first, second and third priciest in the world. The results are quite something. Canadians are paying triple what Australians are paying for cellphones, for 25 gigabytes of data and unlimited text and talk, and almost double what Americans pay.
    The reason for that is a lack of competition. We allow the big three to dominate the market, which is what we are seeing play out at the Competition Tribunal right now, and Canadians simply do not have a choice. The government has had six years, and it made a promise. This year, the Prime Minister stated in April that the government had reduced Canadian cellphone costs by 25%. What actually happened was this. If people had two gigabytes of data, that went down 25%, yet no one uses two gigabytes anymore. It is like having a VCR or a Blackberry Pearl. Technology evolves and when it comes to the data that Canadians use and we see that evolution, they are certainly not seeing that savings.
    The Liberal government is forcing Canadians to live in a haze, to stay in the shade. Canadians are forced to sit around and wait for better days. They could use a break; they could use an “amen”, but all they can do is sit around and wait for better days.
    There is nothing wrong with this country that cannot be fixed. We might have a party that has driven government like a rental, like it stole it, but we can right those wrongs with a government that knows it is not a rental, that looks at it like it is the Canadian family's minivan that needs investments into its tires, its engine and its oil to ensure that Canadians can get from point A to point B, can heat their homes, can take care of their families and can make sure they get back to doing what they do best, which is living in the best country in the world.
    We can do a lot of great things for Canadians. We can invest in them. We can make sure we get the labour, the nurses and the doctors. We can make sure we build homes. When it comes to homelessness, we need to make sure we invest in putting roofs over Canadians' heads to ensure they have shelter. We can make sure we take care of Canadians, but it starts with spending money correctly and making sure we take care of their lives, their savings, their pocketbooks and their paycheques.


    Madam Speaker, my colleague underlined a few very crucial areas that Canadians are concerned about and that our government has moved forward with in the fall economic statement. Various decisions have been taken lately. One is with respect to housing. We brought forward the first national housing strategy, and we are seeing the rapid housing initiative move forward very quickly as well.
    He talked about immigration, so I would like him to talk a bit about the opening up of the express entry, which will help identify the needs of Canadians to be able to fill the gap. Of the people coming in through immigration, 60% are already based on the needs of Canadians. There are some good measures in the fall economic statement. One that I would like the member to talk about is immigration.
    Madam Speaker, talking is one thing, but action is another. The economic statement states we need this, but we have a million immigrants backlogged right now. When we talk about bringing in 500,000, let us be clear about that number. Two hundred thousand of those are skilled. We have about 75,000 for refugees, and we have about 75,000 for family reunification, but we are backlogged a million.
    We need these workers today, and although the budget has had a 30% increase of money in the last three years and an extra 2,500 employees for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC, we are not seeing immigrants coming into this country. Employers right now are screaming, and the cost of that is about $30 billion.
    It is nice to have it in the budget, but what we need is action. We need to make sure we think a little differently, get workers here and get them working.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I agree with him that this bill has no colour, no taste and no vision.
    I would like his opinion. The bill includes roughly 108 references to the problem of inflation, without ever offering solutions for vulnerable people, especially while we are heading into a recession.
    Does my colleague agree with the Bloc Québécois on this?


    Madam Speaker, I do believe I agree with the Bloc.
    We have major problems coming here. To my point about the government needing to have a bit more action and look at the basics, we do have an inflationary problem, and our solution is very simply to create more of the stuff money buys. We create more of the stuff money buys by having workers who can work in businesses.
    A report that came out last week said the lack of workers in Quebec is costing the Quebec economy $9 billion, and this was just last year. The reason was that manufacturers, and they are short about 16,000 manufacturers in Quebec, could not fulfill contracts or sign new contracts, and those contracts were worth $5 billion and $2 billion. Obviously, and the Governor of the Bank of Canada is mentioning this, the lack of workers is contributing greatly and mostly to inflation. We need to fix immigration, train more people and get more workers.
    Madam Speaker, winter is coming, and many Canadians are worried they will not be able to afford to heat their homes.
    Conservatives suggest removing the carbon tax from home heating as a way to make life more affordable for Canadians. The New Democrats know that in provinces and territories that have their own carbon pricing, like in British Columbia, and the carbon tax in B.C. was brought in by the right-wing B.C. Liberals, the carbon tax does actually apply to home heating. Removing the GST on home heating would be a better way to offer Canadians financial relief from coast to coast to coast. We have suggested amendments to Conservative motions to this effect, and they have rejected those amendments.
    Why are the Conservative gatekeeping mechanisms that would help Canadians heat their homes this winter with their own litmus test on climate policy?


    Madam Speaker, it sounds like he agrees with us that removing unneeded tax on home heating is one way to alleviate Canadians' struggles, and we certainly have always stated that. We believe that we need to eliminate taxes, which is a great way to help Canadians, and to ensure we stop excessive spending.
    At the end of the day, Canadians need to heat their homes. Someone in my riding I talked to on the weekend went from paying $2,500 a month in home heating to $5,000. The triple increase of the carbon tax is going to hurt them, so we are certainly pushing to eliminate that. We will make things more affordable, and then we will fix the other problems when we get to them.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and take part in this conversation. I had the opportunity last week to engage in some of the questions and answers. It was interesting to see emotions rise a little on the Liberal side when I talked about the Trudeau legacy.
    In our part of the world, when we talk about the Trudeau legacy, emotions rise as well. Of course I was talking about the Pierre Trudeau legacy, but confusion arose because, when we are talking about incompetent Liberal governments, it is hard to distinguish one from the other. I think that was the difficulty on the Liberal side.
    When I made those comments, it was interesting because the Liberal MP to whom I was asking a question actually answered or responded. There are not a lot of answers coming from over there these days. The member responded, clearly reading from the Prime Minister's Office talking points.
    I will read a couple of quotes from her answer. She said that Canada is the third-largest triple economy in the world. I am not sure exactly what that means. She referred to the Moody; she said that the Moody has reaffirmed, just after the statement, the AAA rating deficit.
    Certainly the government's recent deficits deserve a AAA rating. I think she might have been misreading the PMO talking points she had. However, it is an important point.
    Credit ratings are AAA until the time that they are not, and when they are not, governments and countries get in trouble. We saw that with the Trudeau legacy. It is important to talk a little about that legacy, as it seems that many members of the Liberal Party today have virtually no understanding, no recollection, of what happened during those years.
    During the 15 years that Pierre Trudeau was the prime minister of this country, Canada ran deficits in 14 of those 15 years. Coming into that time frame, there was almost no debt in Canada, very low debt. The Trudeau government ran deficits in 14 out of 15 years.
    Then we came to 1984 and a Conservative government. The Liberals like to point out that the Mulroney deficits were, at the time, the highest in Canadian history, but what they do not point out is that because of rising interest rates, because of inflation similar to what we are seeing right now, the deficits the Mulroney government ran were basically interest on the Trudeau government debt, the debt that Trudeau ran up in 14 of the 15 years he was here.
    If we fast-forward about 15 years, we get to another Liberal government, and that is where the lesson on credit ratings comes in. We get to the Chrétien-Martin government in the mid to late 1990s, and suddenly Canada's credit rating was lowered. The government was faced with a really difficult decision. Of course at the time, it had to slash $35 billion from transfers to the provinces for things like health care, social services and education, $35 billion slashed because the Trudeau government had run up deficits or debt in 14 out of its 15 years over time.
    This is exactly the situation we are facing right now. If I were to talk about the Trudeau legacy of an inflation crisis, a housing crisis, an energy crisis, there would be lots of confusion. Lots of members on the other side would stand up and say, “Quit talking about us.” I would be talking about the Pierre Trudeau government when I am talking about the Trudeau legacy; however, it is almost indistinguishable from the Liberal government we have right now.
    Let us take a look at the interest right now on our debt. We are going to spend almost $20 billion more in interest alone in 2023-24 than we were spending in 2021-22, just two years earlier. It is almost $20 billion more. We are going to be spending almost as much on interest as we spend on the Canada health transfer, and we all know the challenges the health system is having in Canada. We cannot afford to be spending that much on interest, but we are going to be because of decisions the government has taken over the past few years.
    We stand up in question period day after day and talk about the fiscal crisis facing the country. What we get in terms of responses is absolutely meaningless language, mind-numbing references to having Canadians' backs as Liberals talk about spending money as though the current Prime Minister is writing cheques from his own personal bank account. However, that is not the case. That money all comes from Canadians. It does not just come from Canadians now; it is actually coming from Canadians in the future. There is a mind-numbing reference to that.
    There is a reference to tax refunds and tax rebates, which is basically that the government is collecting tax and then it is blessing Canadians by giving back to them their own tax dollars that the Liberals have spent.


    There are references and a lot of criticism from the other side. When we talk about the amount of spending the government is doing and the lack of fiscal responsibility, there is a lot of criticism from the other side. The Liberals will list off yet another new spend the government is doing and then demand why Conservatives cannot support it.
     I will tell them why Conservatives cannot support that. It is because, right now, in 2022, if we look back seven years and talk to our constituents, and I am sure those on the other side who were here in 2015 talk to their constituents as well, it is very rare, almost non-existent, to have a conversation with a constituent who says, “My life is better off today than it was in 2015 from a financial standpoint.”
    We are facing crisis after crisis, and when we take a look at program expenditures from the government, in 2022-23, post-COVID, which is our hope, at least post-COVID massive spending, we are going to be looking at 72% more in program expenditures than the 2014-15 budget put forward by our Conservative government, a budget in which we balanced the finances of the country. Now we are spending 70% more and we are obtaining fewer results. Conservatives are just not going to give a blank cheque to this government to spend even more with the results it has gotten over time.
    I am really looking forward to hearing questions from the other side. It is questions and comments, so maybe folks might decide to comment on how they have come to a realization. Maybe they will make a commitment to go back and take a look at the record of the Pierre Trudeau government of the 1970s and 1980s. Maybe they will go back and ask their government, with all of the spending they are doing and the fiscal situation we are in right now, how they cannot even find the $4.5 billion the Liberals promised in their election campaign for a Canada mental health transfer. Where is that $4.5 billion? With all of this spending, the Liberals cannot even find the money to pay for things they promised in their election platform a year ago.
    I will conclude with that. I really look forward to hearing some thoughtful questions from the government side, hopefully.
    Madam Speaker, I listened closely to the hon. member's remarks, and he talked about history.
    The Harper government began with a surplus. The previous Liberal government left, I think, $13 billion at the time. Therefore, it started off really well with a surplus to manage. Also, I checked the record. Under Harper, for the nine years that the Conservatives were in government, not a single year's unemployment rate went below 6%. However, we saw the constant dropping of the unemployment rate under the Trudeau government prior to the pandemic, and now we are seeing five point something per cent as a new norm for Canada. I think we have done quite well.
    By the way, the real debt-to-GDP ratio for the federal government is 31%, which was just released in the public accounts.
    Which program is the hon. member proposing to cut, perhaps in an amendment, that he thinks is a waste of money—


    I will let the member answer because I have to put more questions through.
    The hon. member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin.
    Madam Speaker, I love the opportunity to stand up and talk about the Harper legacy, if we want to talk about that.
    First of all, we cut virtually every tax Canadians could pay. I think over 60 different taxes were cut under our government. We dealt with a global economic meltdown in a world-leading way—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. member had an opportunity to ask a question, and I do not think he needs to try to answer it. I would also remind the hon. parliamentary secretary as well that I did not recognize him, so at this point he should wait if he has questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin
    Madam Speaker, I get as equally excited as they do talking about the Harper record.
    When the world dealt with the global economic meltdown, we laid out a seven-year plan, we followed that plan to a tee, and by 2015, we balanced the budget. In contrast, as this government faced a significant global challenge, what it did was bring out the chequebook and responded by just cutting cheques with no eye toward and no signal in any way that we would ever talk about getting back to balance. In fact, the Prime Minister talked about it being an opportunity, and the Liberals have experimented with all sorts of new things that they never ran on as we went through that.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    It is interesting to talk about the economy, and we can see that next year will be full of uncertainty. The Bloc Québécois is concerned that this is being used as an excuse to bring in austerity measures in essential sectors. I am talking here about the Bloc Québécois' three priorities.
    First there are the health transfers, which are not negotiable. Budget cuts by the Liberals and the Conservatives are what got us into this situation in the first place. More than ever, the government needs to reinvest in our health care system, despite the year of uncertainty that lies ahead.
    Then, we are calling for a major reform of employment insurance. During times of crisis, that is how we protect people who lose their jobs. This reform is important, because far too few people are eligible for EI. In fact, most people cannot access the program.
    I will end with help for seniors. They are directly affected by inflation, because they are on a fixed income. They are deeply concerned about next year.
    What does my colleague think of these three priorities and—
    The hon. member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin.


    Madam Speaker, I have a couple of comments. First of all, during the Harper era, we increased health transfers by about 6% per year for almost every year that we were in government.
    In the plan that our leader has laid out, he has simply said that, after a 70% increase in program spending over the last eight years, and an endless succession of spending plans and massive deficits, we would have a sensible plan that, for every dollar spent, we would find a dollar of savings.
    We did that when we were in government. I sat on a cabinet committee charged with looking at ways we could find efficiencies so we could get back to balance in 2015, and that is a sensible way for a government to approach fiscal planning.
    Madam Speaker, with regard to the Harper era, I had an independent study done by the Library of Parliament on the bringing in of the HST. It was $6 billion in expenditures. That was required for a couple of provinces. If it were to be paid over 10 years, it would actually cost $10 billion.
    I would like the member's thoughts about that. Was that a good idea, in the sense that we are still paying debt on bringing in the HST?
    Madam Speaker, I am not familiar with the specific study the member is talking about. I would be glad to talk to him afterward.
    I would reiterate that, during our time in government, we cut virtually every tax that Canadians pay, and I think that is a plan that is prudent for this country, as we take a look at responsible spending moving forward.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand today, as we get to the dying minutes of debate on the bill, to critique the fall economic statement. We have a lot of concerns about the fall economic statement because the Liberal-NDP coalition government failed to address the concerns of Canadians, who are asking how we are going to control the cost of living, how we are going to get inflation under control and how we are going to get government spending under control. We did not see any of that in the fall economic update, and that is why we will not be supporting this bill.
    We know that the government, under the Prime Minister, has run up more deficits than every prime minister before him. The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, as finance minister, have increased our national debt by over half a trillion dollars. Today's national debt sits at over $1.1 trillion. In my opinion, that is child abuse of the next generation. Our kids and grandkids and our great-grandkids are going to be saddled with a debt because of the orgy of spending we have witnessed from the government.
    We know that, whenever we run high deficits, inflation gets out of control because there is too much money in circulation. The Bank of Canada then has to intercede. Of course, what does it do? It jacks up interest rates. We are seeing interest rates from the Bank of Canada go up, which is impacting mortgage rates and lending rates, so it is impacting every Canadian, whether they own a business, own a home or are trying to get a job, because the cost of government continues to accelerate the cost of living crisis right across the country. We have not seen this type of inflation since the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I have always wondered why Liberal times are tough times for Canadians, but I think, like father, like son.
    We have the tripling of the carbon tax, which will impact every Canadian's life in a negative way because everyone has to eat. We continue to witness the cost of food escalating out of control. With respect to the net cost of the carbon tax, in my riding in Manitoba, they are going to be paying $1,145 per year per Manitoban more than what they get back in rebate cheques from the government.
     Not everyone has the opportunity to take a train or jump on a bus, and this is because they live in rural parts of the country. They have to drive to get to work. Maybe they are retired, living on a fixed income, and need to drive to see their doctor in the city. Maybe they want to retire out at the lake. I have in my riding the beautiful shores of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. Canadians, and especially people in Winnipeg, want to move out there and enjoy their retirement time.
    It is going to cost them more just to commute back and forth to the city, to visit their doctors and do their shopping, and the government seems to callously not care. This is hurting those seniors. It is hurting rural Canadians who are driving around to get their kids to hockey, soccer or other sporting events. Sometimes they want a drive to school. It is not like they can just jump on a bus to get there. They have to drive since there is no other option.
    There is also the idea that everybody is going to be able to switch to electric vehicles, which still have not been tested in the severe climate we have during the winter months in Canada. They have not actually taken a hard look at how we would go long distances, especially in rural areas where they do not have rapid charge stations, or how the electricity to charge these vehicles would be generated. Would it be clean hydro, like we have in Manitoba, or would it come from thermal-fired generation plants, using either natural gas or, even worse, coal? We have to look at the overall carbon footprint that it would be creating.
    No one is getting hurt more by this, though, than farmers producing food, and the cost is impacting food inflation. I have to remind Liberals of this all the time, but they put a carbon tax on the price of growing that food. Thankfully, we just recently passed a bill from the Conservatives that would reduce the carbon tax being paid by farmers, especially on heating their buildings and drying their grain, but still, after that food is grown on the farm, it has to go on a truck and hauled to a processing facility. Often it gets put on a train after that, and every time they haul it, there is carbon tax.


    That will continue to increase the cost of production. It will increase the price of that food stock. Whether it is bread, beer or vegetables, every time it goes through an energy system of transportation or processing, the cost of food will increase disproportionately.
    I want to talk a little about national defence. As the shadow minister of national defence, I am concerned that some of the spending in the fall economic statement does not recognize the threat environment we are currently in, not just because of the war of Ukraine, with Russian's aggression and its genocidal war atrocities being committed by Putin's war machine in Ukraine, but also because we are seeing a lot of sabre-rattling coming out of China these days, out of Beijing, with President Xi talking about Taiwan and trying to take Taiwan into that system by force. We need to make sure that Canada, through our Canadian Armed Forces, is prepared to protect Canada, in our Arctic, on the Pacific and on the Atlantic.
    We are seeing, again, this year, that the Liberals are allowing defence spending to lapse. At over $2.5 billion, this is the biggest lapse of spending we have seen since they took office. Last year, it was $1.24 billion. Since they introduced their defence policy, SSE, they have allowed over $6.8 billion to lapse.
    They said that they would never allow a cent to lapse, but here is money that should be invested, in an expedient manner, in our Canadian Armed Forces to buy equipment and deal with the recruitment crisis, yet we are not seeing that turn into assets for our forces to use to defend Canada and protect our interests around the world while we fight beside our allies against adversaries, as we are witnessing happening in Ukraine today. Because of their slow investment and inability to invest in the proper procurement, we do not have our surface combatants yet, or even the design finalized.
    We are not seeing NORAD modernization done in an expedient manner. We know that NORAD is critical to continental security. It is critical to our relationship with the United States and we still have not seen how we are going to update our North Warning System. We are not seeing how we are going to make sure that we have submarines that can go under the ice and other monitoring systems, whether they are unmanned vehicles or not, to monitor what is happening in our Arctic sea.
    We are not seeing the investment in that continental security, not only in the Arctic but also in making sure that we are getting more of our assets to our borders to help with our continental security.
    The case in point is that, in this economic statement, they announced they are going to extend the lease on the auxiliary offshore replenishment ship we have, the Asterix, which is privately owned with federal leasing, but it ends in 2025. We still do not have our first joint supply ship in the water. Why would we only want to have one vessel when we are trying to project our abilities beyond our shores?
    If we want to have a blue water fleet, then we better have offshore oil replenishment capabilities in the Atlantic and in the Pacific. We need to make sure that we have the ability to also deal with things like maintenance on those vessels once they are out to sea. Having one on each coast is not enough. We need to have at least one more ship to deal with the need to provide that scheduled maintenance, which happens throughout their life cycle. We need to have that extra ship to sail, and we have to think long term on why we need another AOR.
    We still have not signed the lease on our F-35s. The government has been sitting on its hands instead of signing the contract to make sure that we buy the F-35s. The surface combatants need to get in the water to get built.
    There is no money in here to deal with the real crisis happening today in the Canadian Armed Forces, which is recruitment. Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre has said that this is a crisis. I say that it is a catastrophe, and we need to deal with that very quickly.
    We have a lot of needs, but we are getting no vision. It seems like everything these Liberals touch, they break.


    Madam Speaker, I tried to follow my hon. colleague but, at times, I got caught between spending and investing. He is saying we are spending too much. We are investing in our country. That, by itself, is definitely a different approach between our government and the opposition, because we are investing in Canadians. We invested in improving our CPP, for example.
    Let us look at the economic situation today. We have the lowest unemployment in 40 years. We have over 400,000 new jobs since the pandemic, which was a major increase. We have the AAA rating, so we have a strong economy. We have been there through the pandemic. We are there now with affordability.
    I am having trouble because he is saying that we are spending too much, and then he is saying to cut. Which one is it? Which areas are the Conservatives going to cut as we move forward?


    Madam Speaker, if we look at things the Liberals touched and broke, one of the things they broke is Veterans Affairs. We already have a bunch of our veterans who are waiting not weeks, not months, but years before they get any pensions. One RCMP veteran contacted me. He has been waiting for over two years to get his pension from Veterans Affairs.
    How is that compassionate? How is that management that people can rely upon? It comes down to these Liberals, despite throwing money right, left and centre, never having been able to provide the services Canadians expect under their leadership. During their time in government, things have gotten worse not better.


    Madam Speaker, I hear what my colleague is saying about the national shipbuilding strategy, or NSS.
    Since 2015, Davie has made extraordinary improvements to its workforce, so much so that it won the North American Shipyard of the Year that year.
    Despite all of the promises made in 2019 and all of the announcements regarding the umbrella agreement, things keep getting delayed.
    Does the member agree with my colleague that, if Davie had been included in the NSS without delay, then the costs of the strategy would be much lower than they are now?


    Madam Speaker, I am a big fan of the Davie shipyard. I believe it proved itself as being able to deliver on time and on budget when it delivered the Asterix. We campaigned in the last election on having that shipyard also deliver the Obelix so that we could have two offshore auxiliary replenishment ships, one on each coast, plus have the joint supply ships that are being built at Seaspan in Vancouver.
    We think that is the right mix of ships we need to maintain our navy in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and to have the ability to deploy all of the assets we have within the navy. I do believe that Davie has a role to play, and it is one we need to investigate even further. There is no plan in this economic update for where we are going with our surface combatants or where we are going to get submarines. We need to deal with the proliferation of submarines by our adversaries, and the best way to fight a submarine is with a submarine. We need to get some new submarines.
    We have time for a brief question.
    Madam Speaker, I do appreciate my colleague talking about lapsed spending and ensuring the men and women who serve in Canada's military get the right equipment. When he talks about lapsed spending, I remind my colleague that the Conservatives left $1.2 billion unspent that was dedicated to veterans. He just scolded the Liberal government when it was the Harper government that cut a third of Veterans Affairs, which led to the backlog today. The Liberals are just as guilty for not fixing the mess the Conservatives created.
    My question is about young people and students. This legislation includes a framework for removing the interest on the federal portion of student loans, which is something New Democrats have been fighting for. Can the member explain to—
    I am sorry to interrupt, but I did ask for a brief question.
    The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I will give a very brief answer. When it comes down to veterans, that was seven years ago. The backlog we are dealing with now, which has grown so much, is all on the shoulders of the Liberal government. When I talk about RCMP officers waiting for their pensions for 24 months, that all happened under the Liberal leadership. It has failed, in every way, our veterans in the armed forces and our veterans in the RCMP, and it is failing our current serving members in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Madam Speaker, I thank all of my colleagues who are present today for what is a very important topic: the fall economic statement.
    It is important for me to preface how important this tool is for Canadians, and how important the value of respect is not just in this place but across the country. The last year was, in many ways, horrific for many Canadians. We saw some Canadians go to the food bank for the very first time. We saw some students who were unable to begin their next year of studies, because the cost of tuition was too high. We also saw workers rightfully demand increases to their wages as the cost of living crisis continued to clamp down on them. They asked for the basic respect they deserved. New Democrats stand with them, and I hope members of the House will also stand with them.
    In order to do that in a way that is responsible and balanced, and to provide Canadians with a wholesome opinion on the fall economic statement, I will talk about that principle of respect throughout my speech. I will talk about some things New Democrats fought for, some things workers fought for and some things students fought for. I will talk about some great things New Democrats were able to achieve in the fall economic statement, but they were simply not enough.
    I will speak to ways we can improve programs so that they help Canadians. I will talk about the big wins with which Canadians can hope to see relief. To the students, in particular, the removal of interest on student loans is a massive victory. I thank all the students from coast to coast to coast who made this possible. Their advocacy and their work to ensure that students are not left behind has been heard, and we will ensure this remains.
    However, we have to also look at some areas in relation to student debt that were lacking in the fall economic statement. We know that just south of us students in the United States have a forgiveness of $20,000. This is something that, for a long time, New Democrats have fought for, but it was not mentioned in the fall economic statement. I will return to that subject soon.
    I will also highlight the fact that we are seeing signals, which may not be the golden goose we all hoped for in many ways, in relation to clean tech and clean hydrogen. This is important for my province of Alberta. Regular workers do not often check into the proceedings of the House of Commons, but they will see the investments that are happening at their workplace and the investments clean hydrogen will make for them and their families. This is important for communities in Alberta. It is important for communities in places like Saskatchewan.
    We also saw the doubling of the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, which is a good incentive for young people. This is a good first step, but the question for New Democrats is whether it is enough. I will speak to that in a second, as well as to ways we can hopefully find better outcomes.
    We have also seen that financial institutions will be made to pay a bit more. The Canada recovery dividend is an important tool to ensure that those companies that make profits of over $1 billion pay their fair share. However, it is interim and it is not far-reaching enough. We know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that if we were to expand this important windfall tax to other highly profitable industries here in Canada, we would see an income of over $4 billion in revenue to help Canadians who need it most.
     We also see an important tax on those who are flipping houses. It is critical in a housing crisis like we are in right now to tackle those who are driving the cost of housing up. It is important that we take a real financial approach to ensure the market cannot continue to gouge Canadians. That falls to the very premise of what New Democrats have been fighting for in this place for a long time. I encourage all parliamentarians to engage in a respectful and healthy dialogue on this really important topic of differentiating between the needs of Canadians, like food and housing, and the wants.


    New Democrats believe that the free market has a role in Canada, but it should not be used for goods that Canadians rely on. An example of that is something we do not have to look very far back in our history to realize. The price of bread was fixed in Canada. Imagine that. When families were struggling to pay their bills and to put food on the table so that they could have a dignified life in this country, companies were abusing the trust of Canadians and fixed the price of bread.
    My friends, it is important that we talk about these issues. It is important that we talk about the difference between what Canadians actually need, which is food and housing, and what they want. We need to find a way to ensure that the government continues to play a role in ensuring that those needs are regulated in a way that all Canadians can have access to them. The compact that we make as Canadians to one another is that we will be there for each other when we need it the most on those things that matter the most. That is the calling we have today.
    It is important that we tackle the issues that are present to Canadians, from the cost of living to the existing problems we are facing in our social safety net. Our cherished public health care system is crumbling right now. I remind Canadians how important our health care system is in Canada. It has not always been this way.
    Our health care system in Canada was not always freely accessible and publicly administered. It was something Canadians, people from the Prairies in particular, in my home province of Alberta and our relative provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, were able to fight for and they never gave up. It is something that we must continue to defend.
    I am disheartened and sad about what is happening in my home province of Alberta and what could be happening in provinces across this country. The chronic underfunding of our public health care system is leading to it breaking so that it can be replaced. This is not fair to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who rely on our public health care system to get the results they need to ensure they continue to survive. It is a matter of life and death for Canadians.


    We need to ensure we have a robust public health care system in Canada that is publicly funded and publicly administered. That means the federal government needs to come back to the table, invest in the solutions we need and partner with the provinces. It is something I hope we see and continue to fight for as New Democrats in the future, but it is sorely lacking here.
    We know that, in just this year alone, what we are going to see beyond the cost of living crisis is Canadians needing more support. We do not have to look any further than the food banks. The reliance on food banks in Alberta has increased 73%. That is an outrageous number and something we must truly have compassion for.
    Simultaneous to this unfortunate squeeze that so many Canadians are enduring right now, we do not see the same for Canada's richest CEOs. CEOs are laughing and popping bottles in their offices right now, because they are raking in some of the largest profits on things the public needs the most in Canada. Let me mention a few.
    I mentioned groceries earlier. Loblaws increased its profits by 17.2% this year. We also saw the CEO of Loblaws rake in $5.4 million in compensation. It is outrageous that Canadians can barely squeeze by while CEOs are continuing to rake in millions with no compassion for Canadians. As Canadians continue to see the cost of goods increase, they also know it is partly because these same companies are using inflation as a cover to increase prices by almost 25%, as a matter of fact.
    I will conclude by mentioning the importance of workers. Workers from coast to coast to coast are battling to ensure that their collective agreements can actually withstand terrible Conservative governments, like what we have seen in Ontario with the use of the notwithstanding clause pre-emptively against workers. It is unjust, and we are here to defend workers and all Canadians.


     Madam Speaker, I take umbrage at the comments about the Conservatives, but let us talk about something we can agree on.
    The member talked about the price of bread. He said it is unthinkable that people fix the price of bread and it is important to Canadians. I think that is true. However, why does the member support the government putting a tax in place that increases the cost of growing wheat, milling wheat, cooking wheat into bread and shipping bread to the grocery store? Why is he supporting the government in raising the cost of bread in Canada?
    Madam Speaker, it is important to understand that we can, in fact, disagree while not being disagreeable. I understand that the member has often contributed greatly to the dialogue in this place, and I respect that.
    In relation to the cost of bread and the issues we are seeing, my support for this fall economic statement falls on the fact that Canadians are hurting desperately. As a member of Parliament, I know that Canadians do not want to continue to suffer, and these benefits are critical to their support. Removing student loan interest, for instance, is something many students would benefit from.
    It is unfortunate that the Conservatives continue to block important services and programs that every Canadian deserves right now.
    Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's comments and really appreciated the range of topics he was able to cover. I hear him on the fact that we have a lot more work to do, and I am committed to doing that work.
    We have heard from the Conservatives time and time again today about Canada student loans and interest, and that students should be paying their fair share and paying interest on student loans. They would be paying back the principal, and this is a policy that many students in the riding of Waterloo and I have been fighting for.
    I would like to hear the member's comments on the affordability crisis and removing interest from the federal portion of Canada student loans. What kind of benefits and impacts would this have on students? I am sure he can relate to some within his riding.
    Madam Speaker, it is important to remind members of the House that students have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Paying tuition is another double whammy on their lives and is simultaneous to the issues of inflation. The least we can do is ensure they are not paying interest on those loans.
    I would go further, though, to add that it is important to begin the process of ensuring that the government looks at the principal of those debts so we can find ways to actually reduce the debt load that many Canadians are suffering with right now by forgiving $20,000.


    Madam Speaker, does my colleague agree with me on the following?
    Bill C-32 sets out 25 tax measures, but they are basically nothing but minor legislative amendments. Some measures that were announced were already in budget 2020. There is nothing new in Bill C-32 to help combat inflation.
    Does he agree with me?


    Madam Speaker, one particular tax that I think is important to realize, which the Bloc is supporting, is the Canada recovery dividend. It is an important measure to address the insurers and banks that are profiting over $1 billion, which is the kind of revenue the government needs. This is an important tax measure that would continue to fund programs so that regular Canadians do not have to.
    In addition to this, we think some Canadians should benefit despite the crisis we are facing. For home heating costs, we want to ensure there is a removal of the GST. We actually proposed an amendment to the Conservative's opposition day motion that would see that happen and they defeated it.
    We want to ensure the tax system works for Canadians, and these are measures that would do that.


     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 Kitchener Centre, Oil and Gas Industry; the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, The Environment.
    Madam Speaker, Bill C-32 has more bulk than substance. My colleagues were right in saying so earlier.
     Bill C-32 contains 25 different tax measures and a dozen or so non-tax measures. That may seem like a lot, but there are in fact two kinds of measures. Some are minor amendments, like the ones this Parliament adopts on a regular basis to comply with court rulings, treaties and new accounting policies or to correct an unintended effect of an act, while others were already announced in the spring 2022 budget but had not been incorporated into the first budget implementation bill in June.
    Simply put, like the economic statement of November 3, 2022, Bill C-32 does not include any measures to address the new economic reality brought on by the high cost of living and a possible recession. It is a bill that does not do any harm but does not deserve much praise either. At the same time, it is not a total disappointment, because it does contain a few positive measures.
     The Bloc Québécois takes issue with an economic update that mentions the inflation problem 108 times but offers no additional support to vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those who have lost their jobs. It offers no solutions, despite the fact that a recession is expected to hit in 2023. Quebeckers concerned about the high cost of living will find little comfort in this economic update. They will have to make do with what is basically the next step in the implementation of last spring's budget.
    The Bloc Québécois asked the government to focus on its fundamental responsibilities toward vulnerable people, such as increasing health transfers, which I will come back to, adequately supporting people aged 65 and over, and immediately reforming the EI program, which is the best stabilizer in times of economic difficulty. The government dismissed our proposals. We can only denounce this as a missed opportunity to help Quebeckers deal with the tough times that they are already going through or may face in the months to come.
    With respect to health care, there is an ongoing standoff between the federal government on one side and Quebec and the provinces on the other. The Bloc Québécois asked the federal government to agree to the unanimous request of Quebec and the provinces to increase health transfers immediately, permanently and unconditionally. Let us not forget that, in 1993, former minister Paul Martin decided to erase the federal deficit by cutting health transfers from 50% to 25%. The provinces were in crisis. Since then, no government has been interested in getting funding back up to that 50% over time. We would be happy with a boost to 35%, but the government has not only failed to restore funding to where it was, it has reduced it to 22%.
    That is unacceptable. This injustice must be corrected. Sick people and health care workers are the ones suffering. ER doctors are warning that our hospitals have reached the breaking point, but the federal government is not taking action. Obviously, it would much rather prolong the health care funding crisis in the hope of breaking the provinces' united front so it can convince them to accept less than they are asking for.


    I would remind the House that sections 92 and 93 of the Canadian Constitution state very clearly that the only role of the federal Parliament is to transfer money to the provinces without any conditions. When I look at the various political parties here in Ottawa, I often wonder if they are proud to be Canadian. I am very proud to be a Quebecker, and if there were a Quebec constitution, the first thing I would do to express my pride would be to respect it. At the federal level, the Constitution is abundantly clear about health transfers. Why, then, does Ottawa choose not to respect the Constitution? Are those members proud to be Canadian, yes or no? Anyone who is proud to be Canadian would respect the country's Constitution.
     Let us now talk about the two classes of seniors. This is the first time we see an attack on the universality of health programs. People between the ages of 65 and 74 continue to be denied the increase in old age security, which they need more than ever before. Seniors live on fixed incomes, so they cannot deal with such a sharp rise in the cost of living. Seniors are the most likely to have to make tough choices at the grocery store, the pharmacy or the gas pump. The government continues to penalize those who are less well-off and who would like to work more without losing their benefits. Unlike the government, inflation does not discriminate against seniors based on their age. Currently, Canada's income replacement rate, meaning the percentage of income that a senior retains at retirement, is one of the lowest in the OECD.
    The increase in old age security should prevent demographic changes from significantly slowing economic activity. Contrary to what the government says, starving seniors aged 65 to 75 will not encourage them to remain employed. That is done by no longer penalizing them when they work.
    There are several solutions that could help seniors. I would like to quote from a letter I received from Robert Bernatchez, who lives in my riding. His proposal is very acceptable, very simple to understand and very simple to implement, but for the time being the government is turning a deaf ear.
    His letter reads as follows:
     Dear Mr. [MP], allow me to share with you an initiative that may help seniors 65 to 74. They do not benefit from the increase to old age security, since the federal government increased the age of eligibility to 75.
    Whereas the 10% increase to old age security is reserved for individuals 75 and older and this is unfair to individuals who have not reached that age. It should be noted that we had a universal plan starting at 65 for the old age security pension.
    Whereas there is currently no permanent government measure that allows retirees 65 to 74 to increase their income to cope with growing inflation.
    Whereas the message sent by the federal and provincial governments to retirees 65 to 74 is that “if you want more money then get a job to help address the pressing labour shortage and/or to increase your income”.
    Whereas many retirees 65 to 74 do not want to return to work or they would have already done so.
    Whereas these are the same people who helped build the Quebec and Canada of today. They have made invaluable contributions and now want to receive some help.


     We, retirees aged 65 to 75, are calling on the federal government to change the eligibility criteria for the guaranteed income supplement to include the following.
    When inflation exceeds 3%, the following measures will apply:
    Retirees aged 65 to 75 who earn less than $50,000 in income, as entered on line 199 of their income tax return, can withdraw up to a maximum of $2,500 from their RRIFs without any reduction to their guaranteed income supplement. This measure will apply for the 2022 tax year. An adjustment will consequently be made to non-refundable federal tax credits to increase the amount of deductible pension income to $2,500.
    Sir, I hope you will defend this new measure like you defended the earnings exemption for self-employed workers in 2019....
    I hope the government will get the message.


    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on a very well delivered speech. I would expect nothing less from a man of wisdom, one with so many years of experience.
    He delivered a speech that showed a great deal of concern for Canadians, and I thank him very much for that, as well as for his work and his words.
    I would like to address a few points in his speech. I would like my colleague to respond to them with his own comments.
    In terms of our investments in health care, we spent an additional $2 billion not too long ago to try and catch up on surgeries that were delayed because of the pandemic. That was on top of the $4.5 billion that was added during the pandemic, also to help Canadians.
    With respect to Bill C‑32, I would like to remind my colleague that the Canada workers benefit will also help those in need.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for raising those points.
    You mentioned $2 billion, but when the government slashed transfers in half from 50% to 25%, that represented a lot more than the $2 billion you say you provided.
    Let me remind you that the federal government's role is to transfer the money to the provinces, not to give that money directly or to opine that one type of care is better than another or that one type of collaboration is better than another. All the federal government is supposed to do is give the money unconditionally.
    You say that the government has intervened in times of crisis, but the Constitution also says that, in times of crisis, the federal government has an obligation to step up and transfer funds for health care.
    I want to remind the member that he must address the Chair, not the parliamentary secretary.
    The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his speech.
    There is no mention of new health care funding, even though all Canadians are concerned about the current state of our health care system.
    What does my colleague think of the situation?
    Madam Speaker, I talked about the health transfers that all the provinces have requested. Quebec and all the provinces are calling for a new cost-sharing arrangement with an additional $28 billion going to the provinces.
    The federal government may say that this is not immediately feasible, but it could at least promise to do it in increments. It could make a two-, three- or four-year agreement to reach that 35% target. I would remind the House that health transfers to the provinces were 50% in 1993.
    This is critically important. It is what the provinces are calling for, and it is becoming increasingly pressing right now. I read a document about Ontario, where the situation is critical. In Quebec, the situation is critical in all hospitals. We need the money that is owed to us.
    The Constitution very clearly states that the transfers must be unconditional.



    Madam Speaker, in relation to diseases caused by mental illness, compared to G7 and OECD peers, Canada is underspending on mental health. France spends 15% of its health care budget on mental health and the U.K. spends 13%. My colleague, whom I respect a lot, talked about having no strings attached on mental health transfers, but currently, mental health spending makes up between 5% and 7% of health care spending depending on the province or territory. Mental health care stakeholders are saying we need a target of at least 12%.
    Last week, the Bloc voted against a unanimous consent motion I put forward for universal mental health care. Does my colleague recognize the economic and social costs of underinvesting in mental health?


    Madam Speaker, when it comes to mental health, what is happening is terrible. Mental health problems have increased dramatically, so the amount of money that needs to be invested also needs to increase considerably.
    Once again, this is a health-related issue, and health is a provincial responsibility. That is very clearly stated in the Constitution, in section 92. If the government wants to be generous, understanding and responsive to the provinces, it should simply transfer the money. Quebec has the knowledge to help people suffering from mental health problems.


    Madam Speaker, I rise to join the debate today on Bill C-32 as the government tries to push through some of its fall economic update. Not only are we talking about yet another bad bill, but again, it is trying to rush through the process of us reviewing it.
    We saw this morning the government wants to cut short our debate by limiting it until the end of the day. To be clear, when I say “government” in this case, it applies to something more than what the Minister of Finance and the government House leader, as cabinet members, are supposed to represent when they introduce their bills or motions. It is something more than the wider Liberal caucus in this place that has stood by and supported the government's decision no matter the cost it brings to Canadians.
    What is happening right now actually goes back to the agreement made earlier this year with the NDP. Yes, we are starting to see the NDP-Liberal coalition back in action.
    It reminds me of when, not too long ago, Canadians first learned about a deal between the Liberals and the NDP. Everybody knew it was a convenient arrangement for these two parties to help each other stay in business, but they have been downplaying it from the time they announced it. They tried to pass it off as a working agreement on a small number of points where they had some mutual understanding. However, over here in the opposition, we have already seen what is going on, and Canadians outside this place can see it too.
    The NDP and the Liberals will not dare to call themselves a coalition, but the whole time they have behaved like they are a majority government in Parliament. Back in the spring, it did not take long for them to bring forward a motion to push through government bills. The most shocking part of it might have been that it allowed a minister to move, without notice, a motion to adjourn the House until we would resume months later in September. Such a motion would be decided immediately without debate or amendment.
    From early in May, the opposition was left waiting to see if the government would suddenly shut down Parliament for months. It was a strange thing to give the government such power if there was never actually a chance or need for it to be used.
    At the same time, the motion also allowed the government to change the parliamentary schedule and give next to no notice. A minister could rise a minute before adjournment and declare we are sitting until midnight on a government bill. This introduced a lot of uncertainty into the whole process, not just for members but for parliamentary staff like our interpreters, who have had to work throughout these proceedings.
    The Liberals and the NDP would have to explain to me the practicality of a lot of this happening without them working so closely together to coordinate the agenda and prepare for any last-minute changes. It would be exactly like if they were all part of a government trying to keep the opposition on its toes and undermine our important work. As we have heard from the government so often, it made it seem like this was only temporary and that it expired before the summer break. Then we all came back and it seems to be happening all over again.
    First, the Liberals and the NDP used a special motion to rush Bill C-31 through the House with late-night debates and committee meetings. The result is more inflationary spending, which might fulfill part of their political agreement but is not the right solution for what Canadians are going through and asking for at this moment in time. However, that was not enough for the coalition. Last week, it passed another motion similar to the one it used before the summer, so now it can play games with the opposition again until the end of June.
    It is a clear pattern. It is even more troubling to see it come from a party that is supposed to be in opposition and still officially pretends it is. Instead, it is enabling the Liberals to avoid accountability as a minority Parliament. That is what they are doing again with Bill C-32 today. However, none of this will stop us Conservatives from doing our jobs and doing our best to stand up against the desperate decisions of a government in decline.
    Right now there is a cost of living crisis caused by inflation and interest rates, and they are failing to address it. The cost of groceries went up at the fastest pace in 40 years, and people have had to pay the highest gas prices ever. While Canadians are forced to cut back on spending, we are not seeing the government show fiscal restraint or provide tax relief. Instead, it continues to waste taxpayer dollars and weaken the foundation of our economy, especially by attacking our energy sector.
    With that in mind, it is ironic to read this part of the economic update:
    There is no country better placed than Canada to weather the coming global economic slowdown and thrive in the years ahead. We have the most talented and resilient workforce in the world, and we are a country that skilled workers want to move to. We have the key resources the global economy needs, and as we enter an era of friendshoring and our closest partners shift their strategic reliance from dictatorships to democracies, they are looking to Canada to provide them with those resources.
    It is the last part of that statement that I find the most interesting. The government, from day one, has spent the last seven years attacking the development and growth of our natural resources sector here in Canada. During that entire time, the Conservatives have defended Canada's great potential to supply the world's needs, while our industry follows higher standards for respecting human rights and the environment. We keep saying it and the government ignores it time and time again. Even now, I doubt it really even cares to get it.


    The sad reality is that the government is hurting the same sector that would strengthen our economy and support our allies all over the world. We have already seen that the federal government's past decisions have limited Canada's ability to help Europe as much as we otherwise could have during an energy crisis, but what is worse is that the government still does not have the willingness to rise to the occasion with Canadian energy. We saw that when the German Chancellor personally came here on a special trip and the Prime Minister gave him a disappointing response. The Chancellor came here looking for Canadian LNG to help wean Germany off its dependency on Russia, and he was told “no”.
    The Liberals are not going to reverse their anti-energy policies, which they will continue to expand. One of the new and subtle ways they are doing this is through a shares tax. They are not saying it openly, of course, but the industry has raised it as a concern. What is even more telling, though, is that opponents of the energy sector have also pointed to this tax as something that specifically targets Canadian oil and gas.
    The likely result is that there will be damage done to Canadian jobs and industry more than anything else. It is also going to help drive carbon leakage into other areas run by dictators, like some of these overseas places we are importing oil from and other countries are dependent on when they should instead be focused on Canadian oil and gas. As usual, the Liberals pretend to go after big business, while their policies make life more expensive for all Canadians, including the most vulnerable. It is exactly the opposite of what is needed while facing economic hardship.
    This is the same government that weakened our economy before it had to go through stressful events, and then decided to make it worse with wasteful spending. The Liberals' economic update proves that they have not learned much from their mistakes. As a case in point, the Liberals are going to raise the carbon tax, even though it has been a big part of the problem in terms of the cost of food and fuel. They say it is an environmental plan, but it is really nothing but a tax plan.
    Along with that, the Liberals are failing to support workers and communities affected by their mandated coal transition. I represent some of these communities, alongside the member for Souris—Moose Mountain. Rockglen and Willow Bunch are such communities that are in my riding, and this year the environment commissioner's audit has shown that so far, the transition program is shaping up to leave these communities and their workforce behind. In fact, it goes so far as to say there is a complete lack of a plan, and that over the pandemic the Liberals have taken the last two years completely off, while not even allowing an extra two years in lieu for these communities to get their orders in line to be able to meet this transition from the government, but without the government's help.
    There are a lot of talented people who are doing the best they can to prepare for this coming change, but again, as I just alluded to, there is still no planning and no attention from the government. These places still are not getting the answers they need for the future. When I look at the economic update, it still seems like this not a real priority for the Liberals, and that they will continue to break their promise to these coal communities.
    These are the things we need to talk about while the government tries to shut down debate. These are things that should have been brought up in the fall economic update and have not been brought up, which is why we need this time to be debating this here today.
    The Liberals are once again missing an opportunity, and they will continue to use the same kinds of decisions that brought us here, to where we are, where they limit debate along with the help of the NDP, and Canadians cannot afford it anymore.


    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives have made it very clear that if it was up to them there would never be a vote on this particular piece of legislation, much like with the fall interim budget back in 2021. With that fall budget, the Conservatives continued to debate it well into 2022. There are measures within this legislation that are there to help Canadians during a time of inflation. That is what is in this fall economic update.
    Will the member not recognize that, at some point in time, even opposition members need to recognize that it is time to let legislation go through? If there is any justification whatsoever for the time allocation, all one needs to do is take a look at the Conservative Party's behaviour from last year. Its members have no intention of passing it. It has nothing to do with debate time. It has everything to do with filibuster.
    Madam Speaker, that right there indicates everything that is wrong with these time allocation issues, and particularly with these bills the Liberals are ramming through. With this one in particular, the cost of living elements they are talking about are going to cost the taxpayer over $11 billion. Many of the measures are one-time or maybe two-time handouts. These are things that are going to further drive up inflation, because we have to borrow this money in order to be able to hand it out to Canadians. The Liberals continue to run these deficit budgets, and these plans are driving it up.
    That is why we want to debate these bills for an adequate amount of time. It is because there are many great ideas we have on this side, and I am sure the other opposition parties have many great ideas they want to get communicated across, but when the government limits debate, that cannot happen.


    Madam Speaker, while we are on this topic, I would like to ask my colleague a somewhat speculative question.
    Recently, last week in fact, a motion giving the government the power to unilaterally decide to make us sit until midnight every night, not just until December but until June, was rammed down our throats. These types of motions that give all the power to the government are obviously supported by the NDP. I have a hard time understanding how an opposition party could support such a motion.
    What does my colleague believe that the NDP got in return?


    Madam Speaker, it is a very interesting tactic by the NDP to continue to enable the government to push through bad decisions like this. It really eliminates debate and allows it to force through any agenda it wants. We are seeing more often that the government is wading into areas of provincial jurisdiction, which I know is of particular concern to the Bloc, as it is to me and to my constituents back home. They want to see the federal government remain focused on federal issues, allow the provinces to work on provincial issues and offer the support back and forth as the support is needed, which is what the Constitution says they are supposed to do.
    Yes, I am very concerned about it as well.
    Madam Speaker, I enjoyed working with my colleague on the right to repair legislation.
    I will take issue with the Harper administration, which, propped up by the then Liberal Party minority, used closure on debate numerous times. The Harper government used it over 100 times when it had a majority.
    My question is quite simple. Is it the Conservative Party's position to end this practice forever in the House of Commons? Is it the position of the Conservative Party not to have closure of any debates, and why did the member participate in the votes at the time when the Conservatives were propped up by the Liberal minority, with a Conservative majority?
    Madam Speaker, my time in this House began only in 2019. I definitely do not enjoy having to debate closure motions. It is my hope that the government and the NDP will put an end to this practice in this Parliament, so we can move forward on adequately using the time that we have to debate important pieces of legislation, like the one the member mentioned on the right to repair issue.
    We are here today on the government's economic update. There are so many gaps in it that we could drive a truck through them, leaving a lot of people behind. There is a lot of virtue signalling from the government, and we are not able to get the results for Canadians because it is ramming through this piece of legislation, like it has other ones in the past.


    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-32, the fall economic statement implementation act, with a particular focus on how the NDP-Liberal government claims to put Canadians' interests first, yet continues to push forward with its uncontrolled, insatiable inflationary spending.
    We have two simple demands of the NDP-Liberal government to address the affordability crisis: Stop the taxes and stop the spending.
    The cost of living crisis did not come without fair warning. We Conservatives have a long record of warning the NDP-Liberal government of the consequences of its actions. Needless to say, the direction it has demonstrated has been one of irresponsibility, mismanagement and carelessness. Skyrocketing inflation and the affordability crisis are likely to be mishandled yet again unless the NDP-Liberal government continues to listen to common-sense, realistic Conservative solutions to truly support Canadians across the country, so this is what we have to say.
    The economic update does nothing to remedy the homegrown affordability crisis, and there is a running theme of deflecting the blame altogether. Whether it be the war in Ukraine, the pandemic or inflation being a problem around the world, the Liberal government chooses to blame everything else but its inflationary spending.
    The inflationary deficits, totalling about half a trillion dollars, have sent more money chasing fewer goods. These inflationary practices are hiking the cost of everything while leaving Canadians with band-aid solutions that provide them with no long-term support. The Liberals' tax-and-spend agenda is completely unsustainable, and Canadians deserve better than choosing between eating or heating this winter. Seniors deserve better than barely scraping by with the cost of groceries. Families deserve better than paying the ever-climbing carbon tax. Students deserve better than facing a bleak housing market post graduation.
    Canadians have never paid so much into taxes as they are because of this government. With record-breaking price hikes for gas, groceries and home heating, it is no wonder that more Canadians are turning to food banks for extra support once they have exhausted everything else they could possibly have saved money on.
    The Prime Minister has managed to pack on more debt for Canadians than all the past prime ministers combined. That is why we Conservatives are championing the interests of hard-working Canadians by advancing two demands of the government: Stop the tax hikes and stop the inflationary spending.
    The government loves to masquerade its inflationary spending as “helping Canadians” but tends to neglect saying that it is adding more debt and hiking inflation with its so-called affordability measures. If the NDP-Liberals were sincere about supporting Canadians through the cost of living crisis, then they would cancel all planned tax hikes, including the tripling of the carbon tax. Canadians are already struggling with inflation. My constituents have been talking about how much it costs to heat their homes nowadays. Since when has heating during the winter become a luxury?
    Canadians work hard. They have demonstrated resilience and hard work to support their families and help their neighbours throughout the pandemic, even now, when the price of everything drifts further out of reach. Ironically, this coincides directly with the NDP-Liberal government's drifting further out of touch with how much it costs to live under its inflationary nonsense. Canadians deserve better than choosing between heating their homes for the winter or putting food on the table for themselves and their families.
    Furthermore, we Conservatives are calling on the NDP-Liberal government to stop the inflationary spending and strongly consider reinvesting that back into the Canadian economy by creating more things that money can buy: more Canadian energy, more Canadian products and more Canadian jobs.
    We are also calling on the government to manage its inflationary spending for once, by matching new spending with equivalent savings elsewhere to rein in inflation as well as to stop the inflationary deficits that drive the costs of everything up. It is no lie that Canadians' paycheques are no longer going as far as they used to and their dreams of a brighter future are fading.


    None of our practical solutions to curb inflation were reflected in the fall economic statement, and for that reason, we Conservatives cannot stand by the inflationary updates outlined in Bill C-32. The NDP-Liberal government had every opportunity to understand that its approach does nothing to serve Canadians, yet it moved forward with its problematic plan anyway.
    From the lengthy lineups at airports, to the painfully slow passport processing, the wasteful ArriveCAN app and, even now, Bill C-32, the NDP-Liberal government has proven that it is incapable of addressing inflation and meeting the basic needs of Canadians. The cost of government is driving up the cost of living for Canadians. The Liberals are out of touch and Canadians are out of time. Winter is here and the government should do everything better to prevent Canadians from choosing between eating or heating this winter.
     This government likes to pretend that there was no other choice than to double the debt. While the Prime Minister spends $6,000 a night on the most expensive hotel room in London, Canadians are barely able to afford home heating or a roof over their heads. When Canadians are struggling to pay for groceries, this government tells them to tighten their belts and, further, to cancel their Disney+ subscriptions. The Liberal government likes to call the carbon tax a price on pollution while its members are chauffeured everywhere they go. Canadians on the other hand have to pinch pennies at the pumps.
    This government once stated that the country's debt would not exceed $10 billion. It lied. In fact, over 40% of new spending was not related to the pandemic at all. That is $205 billion of inflationary spending. On top of that, interest rates are skyrocketing at an unprecedented pace. Mortgage payments are becoming unaffordable and most young people do not even think about buying a home at all any more. Canada is one of the largest, richest, most proudly diverse countries in the world, yet Canada has had the second most inflated housing bubble.
     Canadians deserve better than just being able to afford to get by. They deserve security, opportunity and a fiscally responsible government. Instead of printing more and more cash to throw around, we Conservatives believe in creating more of what cash buys, bolstering our economy and making more quality jobs and opportunities for Canadians.
    We are lucky enough to be in a country so full of resources, so why are we not investing more proudly in Canadian products, such as food and energy, instead of importing oil from other countries? The NDP-Liberal government loves to claim environmental protection for the tripling carbon tax, but it chooses to import oil from other countries, which costs more in funds and emissions to ship, trains and trucks into Canadian households.
    Instead of providing people with one-time rent support cheques, which only helps a fraction of Canadians, we Conservatives urge this government to cut the red tape, quit the gatekeeping and get shovels into the ground to build more affordable housing for Canadians. It is time that the Liberals understand the real consequences of their wasteful spending and listen to Conservative solutions. It is time for the government to show more compassion and stop the inflationary recklessness. It is time for the government to stop spending and stop the tax hikes.
    Madam Speaker, considering Canadian inflation is lower than that of our neighbours to the south, the U.K., Italy and Germany, and that our inflation rate went unchanged last month from the month previous, yet the work of government continues, would the member finally admit to Canadians that inflation is, in fact, a global crisis fuelled by pandemic shutdowns, disrupted supply chains, Russia's invasion of Ukraine? Will they finally get on board in a collaborative, honest approach to help Canadians weather this storm?
    Madam Speaker, well, that is a very nice response to a question.
    I have to admit that the Liberals talk about how it is a global phenomenon as though they had nothing to do with it. It is no wonder those members talk about removing the Disney+ channel because I think they live in a fantasy world where they say they have no control over the finances or the inflation of the country.
    It is shameful that the Liberals stand here and compare us to other countries. It is not about other countries. It is about Canadians and how they are suffering with the high inflationary rate. They are saying, “Well, we have done nothing, but you say that it is our fault.” It is funny how they always talk about the inflationary crisis not being their fault, but when there is a positive, they always say, “Well, that's because of our programs.”
    Once again, I am sorry, but that is a bad statement and a bad question.



    Madam Speaker, I congratulate my Conservative colleague for his comments and his speech.
    The Bloc Québécois expected three things from this economic statement. First, we wanted health transfers with no strings attached, as Quebec and the provinces have been unanimously calling for for quite some time. There is still a consensus on that.
    Second, we asked for an increase in seniors' pensions that is not based on age, because the increase is presently only for those 75 years of age and older. Those aged 65 to 74 are wondering why they are being left behind. The third item is the much-anticipated reform of employment insurance.
    These are the Bloc Québécois's very simple demands. However, there is nothing in the Liberal Party's proposal on that.
    If my Conservative colleague would like to share his thoughts on that, I would be very pleased to listen.


    Madam Speaker, it is very true that there are many things in the House that the Liberals have brought forward that are not helping Canadians. The member brought up a prime example of the three points the Bloc had wanted. It is a very good point.
    The Liberals talk about how much money they keep spending and how much they are helping Canadians. If that were the case, why are seniors under age 75 in my riding asking why they did not get an increase. They are asking why they are suffering and how it is their fault, and they are saying that their costs have gone up just as much as those of the people who are 75 and older. It is quite surprising that once again the Liberals have failed to help our seniors or help health care.
    There are many problems in health care right now. Alberta is going through that now provincially, trying to find out how they can make improvements. Is the federal government going to be there to help Alberta? It probably would not because it is not in the fall economic update either.
    Madam Speaker, this afternoon the Conservative speeches made me nostalgic for a time when Conservatives were as interested in solutions as they were in slogans. Does the member for Yellowhead realize that taking the carbon tax off home heating fuel would do nothing for people in my province of British Columbia, the province of Quebec or the Atlantic provinces? Why have the Conservatives rejected our idea to take the GST off home heating fuels of all kinds during this winter, for those who heat with electricity as well as with fossil fuels? Are the Conservatives really interested in solutions? Would they drop the rhetoric on the carbon tax and support the NDP plan to take the GST off home heating?
    Madam Speaker, I do not think that we were against taking off the GST. The problem was that it is such a small part of the carbon tax. Most people are telling me that the carbon tax on their utility bills is almost the same amount as they are paying in fuel. Therefore, the GST is not going to amount to as much as the New Democrats had hoped.
    That is why we are asking for the carbon tax to be off home heating. That would have a direct impact on many Canadians right across this country. The member is right that certain provinces do have their own climate crisis or their carbon pricing in effect, but the point is that they could look at that as well in those provinces. To have a better solution—
    Resuming debate, the member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a privilege to rise in the House to represent the incredible people of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.
    Today, as we debate the fall economic statement, Bill C-32, I find it challenging to speak to the government's financial priorities. The priorities of the Liberal government differ dramatically from the priorities of Canadians and the official opposition. We have fundamentally different beliefs, and we generally disagree on the role government should play in the lives of Canadians.
    This is a politically charged financial statement with two objectives: first, for the Liberals to spend enough money to buy the support of the NDP so their Liberal-NDP political love story can continue; and, second, to divide Canadians based on an ideological framework regardless of the financial or political consequences.
    Canadians are tired. We have been stretched emotionally and spiritually, and now we have been physically pushed beyond our limits, especially over the last two and a half years. Like an overworked body, we need time to rest and recover. We need a sense of normality and hope, but that is not what is happening here. Canada is facing a cost of living crisis brought on by years of overspending, excessive borrowing and money printing, though the government will say it is quantitative easing, which has created the highest rates of inflation in decades.
    Of late, the Bank of Canada has been raising interest rates at an unprecedented pace, and it is not done yet, all in an effort to curb the inflationary trend. The government has doubled Canada's debt in the last seven years, and the Prime Minister, as has been said many times before, has added more debt than all prime ministers in the history of Canada combined. For those trying to keep track of that at home, that is over half a trillion dollars.
    The Liberals would have us believe that they had no choice, given the pandemic. However, 40% of all new spending and measures has nothing to do with COVID. That is over $200 billion. The resulting national debt interest payment costs have doubled, and next year those interest payments will be nearly as much as the Canada health transfers to the provinces. Let us just think of the impact of that.
    I am sure that members of the House recall the Prime Minister, the current finance minister and the previous finance minister touting how inexpensive it was for the government to borrow money. This is no longer the case. Now Canadians are stuck repaying their bills at these new and much higher interest rates.
     The only person with any fundamental financial understanding back then and now is the Conservative leader. He warned the finance minister back in December of last year. She was asked what impact a 1% average increase on interest rates would have on Canada's national debt. She was unable to provide any number. The crushing part is that rates did not go up 1%. They are up 3.5%. A finance minister who could not fathom a 1% increase when questioned was clearly unprepared for that eventuality.
    Now we are in a situation where the reality is substantially worse than that, yet the finance minister remains equally as oblivious to the situation and as arrogant to her colleagues as she was a year ago. In her fall update, she should have been singing the praises of the Leader of the Opposition. After all, he was clearly the only one with both the foresight and understanding that interest rates would not remain at historic lows forever and the conviction to ensure that the government had a plan.
    During this time of self-induced financial uncertainty, the government needs to partner with Canadians and not continue to punish them. Let us take small business owners, for example. They are the unsung heroes of Canada's economy. They employ nearly two-thirds of workers across the country and take on incredible risk to provide the necessary goods and services to our communities, yet under the Liberal government, small businesses are being punished with rising payroll taxes, an increasing carbon tax, labour shortages and staggering inflation, which is driving up the cost of everything.
    This fall economic statement was the Liberals' chance to let Canadians know that the Government of Canada is a strong and stable partner, and they failed. It was the Liberals' chance to rein in spending and focus on getting the country's financial house in order, but they failed there, too. It was their chance to acknowledge that a carbon tax only hurts Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet, but Liberals let Canadians down there, too.


    Sadly, the Liberal plan does nothing to address the cost of living crisis and government overspending. Rather, it shows that government revenues have increased by $40 billion this year alone. This not only means that inflation is increasing the cost of everyday essentials, but it also means there is an increase in taxes while the Liberal government is profiting from increased inflation on the backs of already struggling Canadians.
    Canada's Conservatives had two clear expectations and demands of the government, as did Canadians: stop the taxes and stop the spending. Stopping the taxes means no new taxes and includes cancelling all planned tax hikes and the increasing of the carbon tax. Stopping the spending means no new spending and that any new spending by ministers must be matched by an equivalent saving. None of those demands were met in the fall economic inflationary update.
    As I stated recently in the House, all that Canadians really need to thrive and survive is individual freedom and good government. I believe a good government is for the people, not of the people, and is transparent. It acknowledges that every time a dollar is given away, it must first be taken from a Canadian who went to work to earn it. It is a government that makes life more affordable for Canadian, not by creating more cash but by creating more of what cash can buy, and understands that ethically produced and environmentally responsible Canadian energy helps fuel our economy and should fuel the world. It is a government that knows carbon taxes will not tackle climate change and that focuses on promoting Canadian technology to the world, making alternative energy cheaper, not making Canadian energy more expensive. It is a government committed to reforming the tax and benefit system so that those who work can keep more of what they earn, and one that offers Canadians hope and creates an environment to succeed and prosper.
    Freedom and good government are exactly what the Conservative leader, my Conservative colleagues and I are intent on providing Canadians. Buckle up folks. The fight to get Canada back on track has started.
    It starts with removing the carbon tax, which is further burdening already struggling Canadians. It starts by helping the finance minister understand that her plan to print, borrow and spend on political pet projects needs to end. It starts by voting down this misguided and hyperpartisan fall economic statement. I ask my colleagues to please join me in ensuring that this bill does not pass.


    Mr. Speaker, many aspects of the Conservative Party's positioning on this fall economic statement are quite upsetting, and I am sure a vast majority of Canadians would concur with that if they only knew what the Conservatives were proposing.
    When the Conservatives talk about wasteful spending, what they are really talking about are the record-high transfers to health care, the establishment of a national child care program, investing in dental care for children under the age of 12, providing rental support and providing a GST credit rebate for the next six months. Many measures are permanent and others are temporary, but all are for helping Canadians deal with the inflation we are experiencing today.
    Why does the Conservative Party not want to support Canadians on health care and through this inflationary situation?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the member fell on his head one too many times. He is missing the point. What is happening here is we have a government that thinks if it does not spend and spend recklessly, it is not helping Canadians.
    Canadians do not need more taxes. They do not need more inflation. What—
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I have been listening to the debate and the comments made on both sides. Most of them have been pretty constructive, but the member used language that I do not think is respectful or suitable for the House.
    I did hear what the member had to say. When we are talking about other members of the House, we have to be respectful.
    The hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.
    Mr. Speaker, yes, you are right. I could have used other language to explain that my hon. colleague is completely out of touch. He certainly is.
    He suggested that the Conservatives intend to cut health transfers. What rock did he climb out of? Nothing has ever been said about that. In fact, the Conservatives have been pushing for greater health transfers and for increased health care funding, including for mental health and addictions. On all of these things, the government seems to be lost.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    It is fascinating to hear the Conservatives say that for every new dollar spent, we have to find another dollar somewhere else. We agree with them. In fact, we could certainly find new revenue by fighting more effectively against tax evasion and tax avoidance. We could also collect revenue from GAFAM and other large corporations that do not pay taxes. We agree there are revenue streams to look into.
    However, for the Bloc Québécois, there are also certain expenses that are essential. There are areas that we should not even think of cutting right now, such as health care, in light of the health crisis we just went through, which exposed the holes in our system. The government needs to transfer money to Quebec and the provinces. Then there is help for seniors and EI reform.
    To put it plainly, if finding money and spending it on something else were already standard practice, then we would already have the money.



    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my Bloc colleague. I think it would not take long to look at the wastefulness of the government and find not millions or hundreds of millions, but billions of dollars in absolute waste that has gone on. This is waste that could be going to health transfers and waste that could be going to dealing with the opioid crisis we have in this country and to addictions, poverty and homelessness. These are all the things we talk about. We have an Infrastructure Bank that got some $30 billion, and we do not know what projects are being done.
    Plenty of dollars would be available from the government if it would rein in its wasteful spending.
    Mr. Speaker, by demonstrating and trying to model respectful behaviour in this place, my hon. colleague, in his intervention, did add value to the discussion on the fall economic statement.
    One area in particular that I would like to hear the member's comments on is the carbon tax. It is something we often hear slogans for, such as the “triple, triple, triple tax”.
    I know how important it is to see a cost on pollution in Canada and across the world. We are facing truly catastrophic weather events across the world, and we know they are driven by climate change. We know they are driven by pollution.
    The Conservative Party in the last election ran on a cost for carbon, and now we are seeing a flip-flop on that. As a matter of respect, the New Democrats, knowing this consideration and knowing that we wanted to make life more affordable for Canadians, attempted to offer an olive branch to the Conservatives. We attempted to work with the Conservatives to get GST off home heating. That is 5% off home heating, which the New Democrats have fought for for a long time.
    I know the Conservatives, deep down, want to ensure there is affordability for Canadians, but why do they continue to vote against measures that are so important to getting Canadians results, such as getting the GST off home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to recognize that the Conservatives want the carbon tax to be cut, obviously, and giving GST rebates is a great gesture. However, it does not go far enough. There are a lot of things the government can do to cut costs that will make a huge difference. One of them is to get rid of the carbon tax, period. It is important to recognize that we need to be pushing for technologies that are built in Canada, making a difference on climate change initiatives across the world and gaining respect across the globe for our technologies to ensure environmental friendliness in industry. That will have a huge impact globally. That is where I think we should be pushing some of our—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to speak to the fall economic statement, and I am lucky I got the chance before the government shut down debate, which it is doing today. In my usual format, I will look at the different sections of the fall economic update and tell members what I think about them.
    To start off, the first section is called “Sound Economic Stewardship in Uncertain Times”. That sounds like something everybody would want. These certainly are uncertain times, so sound economic stewardship sounds like just what we need. The problem is the document has nothing to do with sound economic stewardship.
    We have more inflationary spending, after economists and experts have said that more inflationary spending is just going to cause more inflation. We have the highest levels of inflation we have had in 40 years. I am not sure why, but I expected more from a Prime Minister who has spent more money in his term in office than all other prime ministers have spent put together. The earning power of Canadians is at the lowest point it has been in decades, and I am very concerned that we have not taken the appropriate actions in the fall economic statement to address sound economic stewardship.
    Our debt is so large that we will pay $22 billion of interest on the debt next year. In two years, we will be paying $44 billion for interest on the debt. That is not the debt itself; we are not paying the debt down. Just the interest on the debt will be $44 billion. That is more than all of the health transfers to all of the provinces. I really think that was a missed opportunity.
    Let us move on to the second part: “Making Life More Affordable”. Again, it sounds like a really good idea. I think Canadians would say they need life to be more affordable. However, this is what the Liberals always do: What they say sounds good, but what they actually do is not that good.
    Fifty per cent of Canadians cannot pay their bills. Personal debt is at an all-time high. What do the Liberals do? They increase the tax that is going to drive up the price of groceries, gas and home heating. Is that going to make life more affordable for Canadians? No, it is not; it is just going to make it worse. I really think the government needs to listen to what Canadians are saying and understand the dire straits that many Canadians are facing in losing their houses and having to choose between heating and eating. Something needs to be done and the “something” is not what was in the fall economic statement.
    There is a lot of wasteful spending going on, and I was shocked to find out about the $450 billion we pumped out the door during COVID. Some supports were definitely needed during the pandemic, but I heard the Parliamentary Budget Officer say that 40% of them had nothing to do with COVID. That is an incredible amount of money. We have to stop wasting it.
    I agree that climate change needs to be addressed and I agree we need to reduce emissions, but we have spent $100 billion and the Liberal government has failed to meet any of its emissions targets. We are number 58 out of 60 on the list of countries that went to COP27 with Paris accord targets. We spent $100 billion, but what do we get for it? We get absolutely nothing.
    We have to do better about spending taxpayer money to get results. Members today were saying that it is a real emergency; we have flooding and wildfires. They can ask themselves how high the carbon tax in Canada has to be to stop us from having floods or stop us from having wildfires here.
    As a chemical engineer, I will say that Canada is less than 2% of the footprint. We could eliminate the whole thing and we are still going to have the impacts of floods and wildfires until the other more substantive contributors in the world, such as China, which has 34% of the footprint, get their act together. We can help them get their act together. If we replace with LNG all the coal that China is using and the coal plants they are building, it would mean jobs for Canadians and would cut the carbon footprint of the whole world by 10% or 15%. That would be worth doing, but it was not in the fall economic update.
    I do not know if there are problems with math on the opposite side, but the Prime Minister ordered 10 vaccines for every Canadian. I do not know if he knew that two or three vaccines, or four or five maximum, were all we were going to take. Now all the rest of the vaccines have expired and have all been thrown away. What a huge waste that is. They could have gone to countries that do not have vaccines or that cannot afford to buy them. That is just one example of the wasteful spending.


    The next section was called “Jobs, Growth, and an Economy That Works for Everyone”, and I think that sounds like something everybody would like. Every Canadian wants jobs, growth and an economy that works for everyone. However, in the fall economic statement we saw that we have only half the GDP growth we expected and predicted earlier this year, so we did not get the growth, and we have lost a lot of jobs and gotten a few jobs back, but it did not work for everyone.
    If someone was unable to take a vaccine due to a medical issue or because they made a personal choice, they got fired, lost their job. Just to make the pain double, even though they had paid into an employment insurance program, paid the premium and should get the benefit, the government made sure that nobody who refused a vaccine could get that, so it does not work for everyone.
    The last section is called “Fair and Effective Government”. Again, who could disagree with fair and effective government? I want the government to be fair. I want to live in a fair democracy, and I want the government to be effective. That would be wonderful, but today we have passports taking seven months to process, and there are 2.5 million immigrants caught in the backlog at IRCC. The average wait time for some of those types of permits is 82 months. We have the Phoenix pay system and the ArriveCAN app. Everything is broken all over the government. There is not any effective government happening. Yes, I think we should have it, but it is not in there.
    With respect to a fair government, this is the Liberal government that brought in the Emergencies Act. We are waiting for the final word on it, but a lot of people have said there was no threat to national security and there was no emergency. The law enforcement people did not ask for it and the provinces did not ask for it, yet the government froze the bank accounts of Canadians without any warrants. That is not a fair democracy.
    There is a freedom of speech war going on in our country. Bill C-11, Bill C-18 and all the bills the government brings forward whereby the government is going to get to control the speech of Canadians and the media, are not fair. We have evidence that CSIS talked to the Prime Minister and said Chinese money from Beijing was funnelled to 11 election candidates, with no transparency on who they were, and that there was interference in the 2021 election, again with no transparency. That is not a fair, democratic government.
    I could go on about rental and dental, where the government has driven up the cost of housing. The average cost of housing rental was $1,000 in Canada, and now it is $2,000. With one hand the government is going to give a cheque for $500, but with the other hand its policies cost an increase of thousands of dollars, $12,000 a month on average in Canada. That is the way the government is working. It gives a little but takes a lot back, and that is not what we want to see, so I cannot support the bill that goes with the fall economic statement. I think we have to do better.


    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is an engineer, and engineers think in a very rigorous fashion, so I was a bit surprised at her comment to the effect that Canada is responsible for only 2% of global greenhouse gases, and that it is not going to make a difference what we do because it is peanuts compared to what the big emitters like China are producing.
    My question to her is very simple. Is she suggesting that Canada can take its foot off the gas and not do anything, because we are really peanuts compared to the big emitters?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite is a very intelligent man, having been an astronaut. I would say that Canada has green technology. I support that. We have nuclear technology. I support that. We have LNG and resources that we could be shipping around the world, and we would be helping those people who are the substantive portion of emitters reduce their footprint. If we do not do that, we certainly will feel the impacts of climate change, like flooding events and wildfires, but we can do nothing about them. Those impacts will come to us. The thing we can do is help reduce the overall footprint, because, as I said, and anyone can Wikipedia it, we are 1.6% of the total footprint.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    In passing, I would like to point out that we have had the pleasure of serving together on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage since the beginning of this Parliament. I heard her talk about coal, oil and those types of resources, but I would like her to talk about another issue in connection with what my colleague from Shefford said about how we need to look for money where it can be found.
    Apparently, the digital giants are not paying their fair share of Canadian taxes and are taking advantage of the public largesse. As my colleague is well aware, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is examining various bills. I would like to know whether she, too, thinks it is time that the digital giants paid their fair share and contributed to the finances of the country, Quebec and the provinces so that we can make improvements in important sectors. I am thinking particularly of health, where we have been waiting for transfers for a long time, of help for seniors and of many other issues. I am sure the member can give me some examples.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.
    Bill C‑18 is another bill that we are working on. The principle of this bill is to help small media organizations. This is another example of the Liberals saying one thing and doing another. This bill will not really help small organizations because Bell Media, Rogers and CBC will get all the money. I would prefer that Facebook and Google put money into a fund and that the small media organizations sign an agreement to share the money.


    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim to defend working people, who are bearing the brunt of this inflation crisis while billionaires make record profits. However, we in the NDP called on all parties to get behind a plan to tax the rich, and the Conservatives voted against it. Why do the Conservatives refuse to make the rich pay their fair share?
    Mr. Speaker, I really believe people should pay their fair share, but Conservatives are also advocates of reducing taxes to make a competitive business environment and to help hard-working Canadians who are struggling. Right now, that is why we are asking to cut the carbon tax. It is inflationary, and it is increasing the cost of groceries, gas and home heating, which are not luxuries. Why is the member who asked the question propping up the government to put those taxes up on Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to rise in the House of Commons, especially to speak to financial bills.
    I always think back, whenever I get an opportunity to speak in the House on a financial bill, to what our old friend Jim Flaherty must think of a bill such as this. I think he would have a wry little grin and probably think that it did not quite come up to the measure of what he would be able to do, perhaps.
    I also think about Milton Friedman, the father of modern economics in many ways, and what he would say about inflation, because if members go to Santa Claus parades or events in their communities, what are people going to be talking about? They are going to be talking about the economy, inflation, the carbon tax and some world events. Milton Friedman has been dead a long time, but as he said, inflation is “too much money chasing too few goods”. He also said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”
    The Liberal government has said many times, and has passed the hat on excuses for inflation, but it has kind of settled at its last chance to say that inflation is a global phenomenon and we had no chance. However, if we look at the G7 and G20 countries, they all spent; they mega spent. They spent huge percentages of their entire economy, so if everybody is spending that much, we just need to look at what Mr. Friedman said so many years ago. It is quite simple.
    I will give the Liberals credit for one thing. Somebody in here slipped a line into the foreword that says, “But we cannot support every single Canadian in the way we did with emergency measures at the height of the pandemic.” The government was spending a lot of money, and some of it very valid. It continues with, “To do so would force the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates even higher.” Here the Liberals are admitting in one line that they cannot do it all for everybody because it would raise spending too much, and on the second line they are saying they would have to raise interest rates to fight the impending spending inflation that would be caused.
    “It would make life more expensive, for everyone, for longer. So as the central bank fights inflation, we will not make its job harder.” Well, that would be the first time in seven years the Liberals have made that decision.
    I know other members have talked about public debt. To service the debt, the interest we would pay, and members have heard the numbers already, is $24.5 billion this year, $34.7 billion next year and $43 billion in 2023-24. Now, we are not in a debt spiral like the one some of the countries are heading towards yet, but that is a concern.
    In the notations in the fall economic update, there is 425 billion dollars' worth of T-bills and bonds that will have to be sent out to the market in the upcoming fiscal year. Now, that is a lot of money to put out into the market and ask people to buy the T-bills, etc. One huge concern out there is if there are no bids, and we have seen that happen in other countries where there are no bids on government debt. I think there probably will be, but that is an awful lot of money to put out in one year, which is a little surprising.
     I still have Bill Morneau's first budget from 2016. He had that nice book, which is in my office. I looked at it before I came over here. The Liberals inherited a balanced budget from the Conservatives in 2015, which is a fact. I will also mention that the inflation rate in October 2015 was 1%. There was a balanced budget and 1% inflation. The debt when Bill Morneau was the finance minister was $1 billion. It was $1 billion for Bill Morneau. Under this finance minister seven years later, it was $1 trillion, and now the number is $1.8 trillion. That is $800 billion in seven years, which is a lot of spending. It takes an Olympic effort to spend that much money in that period of time.


    The net debt is $1.2 trillion. That is what they always hang their hat on, the net debt-to-GDP. The issue that I think most of us would like to bring up, and I am welcome to be corrected if I am wrong here, is that a lot of the assets, about two-thirds of the assets that the government lists, is CPP and QPP. It is really not even a government asset, if we think about it. It is kind of a dotted line to an asset. Really, if we took out the CPP and the QPP, the net debt would be a lot bigger. I think what I saw on a report was that we would not be number one, in terms of dept-to-GDP. We would be more like four or five, in terms of debt-to-GDP.
    These are just some clouds on the horizon. If we do not take care of our fiscal house, we are going to have some long-term issues.
    The economic report also talks about what happens if things are not as rosy as presented. That is when it gets really concerning. From now until 2027, believe it or not, the best-case scenario is that we are going to add another $200 billion to our debt. The worst-case scenario is that it is 50% worse, and we are going to add $300 billion to our net debt. I think that is a concern because, next year, the worst-case scenario is a $50-billion deficit.
    We keep adding these on, piling these on, and I think a lot of people are looking at this and they are saying, “What am I getting for my money?” A lot of people, in my area, if they are going on a vacation now, if they are lucky enough to be able to afford one, do their level best to avoid Pearson airport. They will try Hamilton. They will try somewhere else, like Kitchener. They do not want the hassles of the Pearson airport.
    I think to myself, here we are in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. We should have the best: the best ports, best airports, best infrastructure and best government service. If we want a passport, it should almost be next-day service. Everything is a mess.
    Look at immigration. Look at how many unfilled positions there are in our country. Our office is inundated with people who are at the end of their ropes with trying to get somebody to come and work in their businesses. It is just one mistake from immigration, another one and another one. We would like to bring these hard-working people in and let them really put our economy to work.
    If we went around and we asked parents what some of their issues are, what some pinch problems in their finances are, health care might be one of them. It is maybe not a financial one, but certainly there are concerns regarding emergency rooms. I am sure that everybody in here who has a kid or an elderly parent knows that it is hours upon hours if we have to go to the emergency room. We have shortages in every position in health care. It would have been great to see a better plan from the government to really deliver an improvement to our health outcomes.
    Even the $10-a-day day care business, I have a bit of an issue with that. According to Statistics Canada, there are about 660,000 Canadian families that do not use the government-run day cares. They receive nothing. They do not get $10-a-day day care, so almost half of the kids out there do not get that. Once we are in Ontario, say, for example, when one is in JK, at four years old, parents probably need the extended day program. That is $28 a kid every day. If one had two kids, that can be hundreds and thousands every month.
    Yes, if one is lucky enough to get one of those spots in a licensed day care, one is going to pay $10 a day, but the other problem is that, in Ontario, we almost have a deficit of 100,000 ECE workers, day care workers. In the future, this increase to $10 a day is really zero if we do not have the staff to fill the jobs.
    There is a lot here. I am sorry if I sound like I am being pretty critical here today, but there is plenty of material to be critical of. That is our job over here. The Liberals will tell us how great they are, and it is our job to point out some of their shortcomings.
    The last point I have is on clean tech, hydrogen and critical minerals. I think we would find a lot of commonality, potentially, on all sides. One of the issues we have is that we can never get any of these projects done. To do these projects takes years if not tens of millions of dollars.


     With that, I thank the House for the time and I will take my questions.
    Mr. Speaker, the member covered a lot, which was excellent and informative. I want to dive into one specific comment that was made around the supports that were given to Canadians during the pandemic.
    Is the member asserting we should not have issued the Canada emergency response benefit, a benefit his party supported?
    Mr. Speaker, no. One will find, on the record, that at the time Parliament gave unprecedented support to the government to do what was best for Canadians so they could keep their homes and not go into a financial crisis. Once we got to a certain point, there was $200 billion in extra spending that had nothing to do with pandemic supports. That is really where the problem is.
    The U.S. had the same problem, and that is why its inflation went crazy too. If it would have just kept it to what it was, we would have a different level of inflation at this time, and maybe very little. We certainly see the deficit spending in the first four years of the government, which was $100 billion in deficit, and that is a lot of money. It is 30% of our total debt. These little things make a big difference.
    Mr. Speaker, it was interesting to hear the member for Huron—Bruce open his speech by referring to Milton Friedman as the founder of modern economics. Of course, we are talking about the 20th century and not the 21st century. I wonder, in the 50 years that have passed since Friedman advised Reagan and Thatcher, whether the member is familiar with a living Canadian economist called Jim Stanford, who has talked about how the causes of inflation have changed and about how applying the old solutions Milton Friedman talked about will only cause greater pain for Canadians and greater damage to our economy?
    Mr. Speaker, sometimes things change; sometimes things do not change. I met Jim many times and he is a nice fellow. If we read what he wrote many years ago, in some cases 50 years ago, he talks about too much money chasing too few goods. Anybody can pick up something, read it and think that, yes, we have too much new money being printed from the Bank of Canada, the Federal Reserve and the ECB that is chasing too few goods. It is pretty simple. However, I do respect Jim's writings. He has done a lot of work through the years with the CAW and Unifor, so I would not want to disparage Jim at all; that is for sure.



    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for an excellent and very interesting speech.
    The new trend among Conservatives is to say that for every new expenditure, an old expenditure must be eliminated so that the balance remains at zero. They are obviously forgetting about inflation and economic growth. That is forgivable, however, since we know that economics is not the Conservatives' strong suit.
    Having said that, I would like to ask the member how much more money would be available for health transfers if we abolished all oil subsidies.


    Mr. Speaker, I will say one thing about that member, which is that I cannot compete with him in haircuts. He has a great haircut. I have nothing to compete against this guy on that.
    Years ago, when we balanced the budget the last time after the last economic crisis, we had a very similar program. We reviewed the spending and there were tons of programs out there that delivered no services anymore to people. We were able to balance the budget in a really fair way and it really got Canada back on track and slingshot the economy for the next 10 years, in my opinion.
    There are ways to balance the budget that are fair. In fact, believe it or not, I think the Liberals are even taking the Conservative leader's approach and doing that. They have new spending but new savings have to be found, and that is a fair approach to take during these times.


    Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to participate in the debate on the Liberal government's 2022 economic statement.
    Not surprisingly, the government is sticking to very liberal economic measures. Nothing conservative to see here. We have noticed a pattern of ongoing deficits and promises to balance the budget a few years from now. Whether good times or bad, the government does not seem too concerned about achieving that financial goal or acting responsibly.
    I would also note that the government expects its rising carbon tax to bring in significantly more revenue over the next few years. This leaves Canadians struggling with the Bank of Canada's interest rate hikes very little financial wiggle room.
    This economic statement does nothing to address the many issues Canadians grapple with on a daily basis just to live with dignity.
    We have all noticed the rising price of food, especially meat, fruit and grain and dairy products. The entire agri-food supply chain is under tremendous pressure from world markets. Staple foods are in short supply and transportation costs are exorbitant at a time when Canada is already experiencing a labour shortage.
    We are easily talking about an increase of $3,000 per year for a family of two adults and two children. The housing affordability situation is adding unprecedented financial pressure, with the Bank of Canada raising interest rates from 0.25% to 3.75%.
    Furthermore, the bank is planning two more rate hikes, in December and February. For a family with a $400,000 mortgage, a four-point increase means an additional $16,000 in annual interest costs.
    This is, of course, after-tax dollars, so after the additional $3,000 for groceries, it means another $19,000 for the family budget.
    We must not forget the additional transportation costs for families, given the increase in the price of gas and the carbon tax that is also driving up gas prices in Canada.
    For a family that uses 100 litres of gas per week, that means an extra $60 per week, easily, and therefore another $3,000 per year.
    If I do the math, that means an extra $22,000 per year, and that is just for the basic needs of a family of two adults and two children. There are also all the goods and services needed for the family's well-being, which have also been affected by inflationary costs. That is easily an extra $2,000 per year.
    That brings me to a total of $24,000 in additional expenses. That is a huge amount of financial pressure on the average Canadian family.
    I would like to have seen more conservative measures in the economic statement to reassure Canadians that their tax dollars are used wisely, for the right purposes and at the right cost.
    This means avoiding the Liberals' wasteful and excessive spending and their infuriating practice of buying too much only to throw it all away or overpaying for goods and services.
    Canadians are demanding—and deserve—good government management on all fronts to ensure that we maintain our social safety net as we know it today.
    I am a father to five children and I am fortunate to have grandchildren. When I go to sleep at night, I think of my constituents who share their financial problems with me. I think of those families who are going hungry and who, even after cutting their expenses as much as possible, have to painfully humble themselves and use the services of a food bank.
    Everywhere across Canada, food banks are seeing a large increase in demand for food support. This demand has increased by 35% compared to 2019, the period before the pandemic.


    We also see that many more students and young families are having to turn to this type of assistance to cope with the rising cost of rent, groceries and transportation. Of course, then there are the winter months, which drive up the cost of living even further as a result of the need for heating during these long, cold Canadian winters.
    Across Canada, people are getting poorer thanks to the inflationary policies of this Liberal government, which has been spending freely and recklessly since 2015. Specifically, I am thinking about the princely tastes of the Prime Minister, who treated himself to a $6,000-a-night suite at the taxpayers' expense. I am also thinking about the ArriveCAN app, which cost $54 million to develop when it could have been done for $250,000. Then there was the purchase of twice as many medical ventilators as needed, at a cost of $403 million. That money was spent for nothing, for no good reason other than poor planning.
    Most importantly, we cannot forget that our national debt has doubled since this Liberal government took office. It is now at $1.2 trillion, putting enormous interest pressure on the federal budget. The Prime Minister and his Liberal government will pay $43.3 billion in interest charges annually, which is the budget of several government departments combined, like the health transfer budget and the social housing assistance budget. Our social safety net is at risk of suffering for decades to come as a result of the Liberal government's ill-considered choices.
    The government must encourage Canadians to participate in the labour market in order to reduce the labour shortage in our economy. I do not understand why the Prime Minister did not make it a priority in the economic statement to implement measures that would give Canada some fiscal flexibility.
    I would like to give the government members a reality check as they are also failing Canadians who are sick. I would like to remind the government of Bill C-215 on employment insurance, which seeks to increase the number of weeks of sickness benefits from 15 to 52 in cases of serious illness, such as cancer. I would like to remind the government that, when Canadians are trying to recover from a major health issue, a mere 15 weeks of benefits does not give them financial security. The government is offering 26 weeks and will deprive over 31,000 Canadians a year of the weeks they need to recover their health.
    This bill was passed by the House and reflects its desire to make these additional weeks a reality. It would resolve the economic protection issue for generations to come. I would also like to point out that the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities voted unanimously in favour of allowing the bill to move to third reading. According to parliamentary procedure, the bill now requires a royal recommendation so that it can be passed.
    While we are debating this economic statement, which does not reflect all of the critical needs of Canadians, I will speak on their behalf and implore the government to reconsider and reform the EI system by passing Bill C-215. Bill C‑215 illustrates what the Canadian Parliament and all parliamentarians can do by working together, in the best interests of all Canadians. It is time to set partisanship aside on this matter, in the collective interest of building the Canada of tomorrow, with all Canadians on an equal footing when facing the challenge of a serious illness, especially in light of the current economic crisis. Let us be attentive and compassionate towards one another to build a better world here in Canada.


    I thank my colleague for his speech, Mr. Speaker. It is always interesting to listen to him talk about the economy.
    However, I would like to draw his attention to the fact that in addition to having rehired everyone who lost their job during the pandemic, which is more than three million people, 400,000 new jobs have been created in the meantime.
    Canada has the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years and our AAA rating has been reaffirmed. Our country is in a good position and that is because of the investments we made.
    My colleague talks about immigration. I would like to hear his thoughts on some of the changes we made to encourage more immigration to add to the workforce.
    This bill has some good things that are very interesting and will help Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    On immigration, the economic statement does not actually say anything about a process to bring newcomers into Canada any faster. I do not know if my colleague is having issues in his riding, but in my riding and every other riding in Canada, there are all kinds of problems with immigration files. Unfortunately, the department can take up to four years to fix those problems. If we want to bring more people into Canada through immigration, the government will have to find a way to speed up the process. There is nothing at all about that in the economic statement.
    Mr. Speaker, I was so pleased to hear our colleague's remarks on Bill C‑215, an initiative he put forward together with the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.
    I would like to hear his version. Why is this bill moving so slowly? It might be naive of me to ask, but I thought the NDP was very supportive of the bill. The Bloc Québécois certainly is, and it is even on the Conservatives' agenda.
    Why does he think this is happening? It is such a great bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for this excellent question.
    At present, the ball is in the Liberal government's court. The entire House voted for the bill and the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities voted unanimously in favour of the bill.
    We are at third reading stage. However, this bill must have a royal recommendation from the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance. We all know that it is up to the government. I hope that the government will get onside before the holidays so that the bill receives royal recommendation. This would provide financial relief for those who are sick and financial protection to all Canadians for generations to come. It has taken 50 years to get to this point. In the next few days, let us seize the opportunity to provide protection for the next 50 years.


    Mr. Speaker, I really enjoyed what the hon. member had to say in his speech, particularly the value of the principle he mentioned, about making sure all parliamentarians support Canadians in a non-partisan way. I really appreciate the member for his comments, because I believe he is sticking up for his constituents, albeit all of us are here to do that.
    However, one important piece of that is making sure we have a strong revenue source for our national revenue. Numerous times we heard the leader of the Conservative Party rail against the banks and against the profits of the banks. The fall economic statement offers a 15% tax by way of the Canada recovery dividend, something New Democrats pushed for and something we support, which would ensure that Canada has a revenue from those who have grossed proportionately a profit of over $1 billion.
    Why are the Conservatives now backing down, when we have a chance to tackle the problems with the banks?



    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    As I said in my speech, with regard to the money the government spends, we want to ensure that no money is wasted, and that the goods and services we buy are paid for at fair value. We want to avoid what happened with the ventilators, for example. Their purchase price was $403 million too high. We cannot find anyone to give them to or sell them to. Does that seem right?
    It is vitally important that Canadian families are able to work and that they have money left in their pockets so they can support themselves. Unfortunately, I cannot say any more because my time is running out, but we could debate this issue for a very long time.


    Mr. Speaker, the NDP and the Liberals are patting themselves on the back for this fall economic update. They should not. This is a fall update. Canadians are falling, and the NDP-Liberal government is failing. Canadians are seeing their standards of living erode and the cost of living skyrocket because of inflation.
    If one wants to get depressed, they should go grocery shopping. Basic food costs are way up: bread, apples, cereal up 17%; lettuce is up 21%; chicken, 11%; cheese and bacon, 10%; pasta is up 22%. For those who want to cook from scratch because they think they are going to save, flour is up 24%.
    The Abacus poll that came out earlier this month said that 50% of Canadians are finding it a lot more difficult and 38% a little more difficult. That means almost nine out of 10 Canadians are feeling the impact of inflation at the grocery store. One in five Canadians are saying they are having to reduce meal sizes or meals altogether in order to save money. This is Canada.
    More people are going to the food banks now than in history, 1.5 million in October alone. I know this has been repeated by a number of speakers, but I think we cannot just accept it as just another statistic. These are Canadians who are facing tremendous difficulty. I talked with the local food bank where I live, in Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, and they said they have never seen anything like it.
    The Liberals just shrug their shoulders and do not take responsibility for this mess. They blame it on Ukraine, on COVID, on anything but themselves. Going back to the polls, 56% say the Liberal policies on inflation are making things worse, while only 7% say it has helped. The summary of the Abacus poll is this, right here: Inflation is making life difficult for millions and is the number one political issue in Canada. The biggest impacts are felt in food, but millions are finding it difficult to cope with their energy and housing costs.
    On the issue of inflation, Liberals are like a deer caught in the headlights, stunned and dangerous. I have seen deer sometimes in traffic. They can bounce around anywhere. What we are seeing are the Liberals making poor decisions that are causing a serious accident in Canada.
    I wish I could just say it was an accident. Let me explain. They have printed hundreds of billions of dollars that they put into the economy over the past three years. Nearly half of that money that they have pumped into the economy has had nothing to do with COVID. The money supply has increased by 25%. What does that mean? It means there is a lot more money around for the same goods than there was a few years ago. That just makes everything more expensive. It is like Canadians have had a big pay cut. They may not have seen the number of dollars on their paycheques go down. As a matter of fact, it may have even gone up a little, but because the dollars do not go as far, it is essentially a significant pay cut.
    It seems that the Liberals have seen this pandemic as a time to be silly with Canada's economy. That is a nice way of saying stupid. The finance minister said it was no big deal to print money or to borrow money. She said, listen, it is half a percent. It is at only half a percent. Let us just borrow, borrow and borrow and spend, spend and spend. They said it was going to be like this for years to come. In the past few months it has gone up 750%. Yikes. That is how much interest rates have gone up: 750%.


    Now there is trouble. The cost of interest rates on the deficit is going to be as much as what the government is spending on health care. In this very dangerous time, when we are seeing war in Ukraine and threats elsewhere, it is going to cost more than the government spends on National Defence, which, I will say, is not a priority for the Liberals at all. This is very significant.
    Canadians are very concerned about energy costs to heat their homes and keep fuel in their cars so they can go to work, go to the supermarket and take their kids to sports. Seventy-five per cent of Canadians say this is an important issue. The Liberals are absolutely oblivious to our call to axe the carbon tax, which is making everything more expensive, from transportation and food costs to everything else.
    I must admit it is very challenging for me, and I am sure for my colleagues, to listen to the Liberals brag and pontificate about their plan to save the world by tripling home heating costs. They have a tax plan, but not a climate change plan. The Liberals' plan is just to promote. We are number 50 out of 63 countries on the greenhouse gas reduction target. The Liberals have not met any of their targets. What they are doing is ridiculous and, yes, full steam ahead toward the iceberg.
    I live in the Vancouver area where there are the highest gas costs in North America. It has been up to $2.50 a litre. Something has to give, but the Liberals are basically saying to have no fear, the Liberal government is here, and it has bags full of money to scatter. The Liberals have tremendous causes, each one of them. They put those causes in there for talking points to say they are helping these people and these people for the bad policy they brought in.
     The Liberals have lit an inflationary fire, and they are pretending they are trying to put it out. They have doubled the national debt. They recognized that inflation is not great for them politically, so what did they do? They said, “How can we take care of inflation? Let us ramp up interest rates.” That is causing real problems for people who are renewing their mortgages. In the Vancouver area, people having $500,000, $600,000 and $700,000 mortgages are quite common. People are now going to be paying hundreds and thousands of dollars more each month and each year.
    The Liberals are just saying that they are going to invest. They keep on talking about investing in this and in that, and that they are going to put money in here and in there. I always hear this word “invest”. First of all, it is not the Liberals' money to invest; it is taxpayers' money. Second, it is not just how much they spend, but how effective they are when they are spending. It should not just go to more bureaucracy. We have a lot bigger bureaucracy with worse results. It should not be there just to pad their friends' wallets, whether it be former MP Frank Baylis with a $250-million contract for ventilators, who charged twice the amount, or the ArriveCAN app.
    The finance minister wrote a letter and said that they had a meeting with Chancellor Scholz to get Germany to buy hydrogen. The Liberals did not say anything about Scholz's asking if they could get LNG to Germany. There is a war happening. The Prime Minister said there is no business case.
    They are now producing this in Germany. They are now building these LNG plants and they are getting the LNG from other countries. Those could have been Canadian jobs. That could have been money to go towards health care. It could have helped National Defence and in other ways. The Liberals talk about a war on climate change. It is actually a war on the resource sector, which means that our Canadian dollar is not as strong and Canadians cannot purchase as much as they used to be able to.


    Mr. Speaker, for the last 10 minutes my colleague was talking about the economy. I have to say that I have been listening all day. In one breath the Conservatives are saying we are investing too much in Canadians, and in another they are saying we are not spending enough.
    They are saying they are the party of compassion. Let us look at which side is compassionate. When we brought forward the child care investment, the Conservatives voted against it. When we brought forward dental, they voted against it. When we wanted a top-up for housing, they voted against it. When we talk about removing the interest from student loans, they are against that. They were against the doubling of the GST for six months, but finally saw the light and backed off.
    I would like the member to explain why, if the Conservatives are so compassionate, they are voting against all of these bills to help Canadians with affordability.
    Mr. Speaker, I would say it is the Liberals' policies that have caused the problems in the first place and that they should go back to the source, to the root, and take care of their spending. It is fine to help, but they should find some savings in other places. They have not. They still have a $37-billion deficit and it is accumulating.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking Climate Action Network International for its work on the climate change performance index that was referenced by the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, which ranks Canada 58 out of 63. It is a deplorable record. One reason that is the case is that we continue to add new subsidies to the fossil fuel sector. One example is the new $8.6-billion tax credit for carbon capture and storage at a time when oil and gas companies are making record-breaking profits.
    I wonder if the member could comment on whether he is similarly concerned with the wholesale margins in the oil and gas industry right now. The reason why Canadians are feeling the pinch at the pumps is that those margins are up 18¢ a litre. Is he concerned about that and would he support a windfall tax on those profits so we can do more with respect to taking action on the crisis we are in?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree that companies need to be paying their fair share. I will make note that this year the Alberta government is seeing a massive amount of revenue coming in, and a lot of that is because of the incentives to help in Fort McMurray. That is now going to the government and making a tremendous difference.


    Mr. Speaker, I think that my colleague from Mirabel asked the question earlier. We have entered a new era of magical thinking by the Conservatives who imagine that an exact amount of money will be taken from somewhere and