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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 186


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]



Committees of the House

Public Accounts 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 27th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts concerning the motion adopted on Monday, April 24, regarding the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.


    That motion calls on the CRA to audit the foundation as quickly as possible.

Foreign Affairs and International Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, entitled “The Wake-Up Call: The World After February 24th 2022”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.



    Mr. Speaker, I have 21 petitions calling on the government to repeal Bill C-21, the confiscation of private property act.

Vaccine Mandates  

    Mr. Speaker, I also have petitions asking that the government repeal the results of the mandates, hire soldiers back and reverse the hatred and contempt toward individuals who exercise their constitutionally protected conscience rights.

Corporate Social Responsibility  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.
    The first one calls upon the House to adopt human rights and environmental due diligence legislation that would require companies to prevent adverse human rights impacts and environmental damage throughout their global operations and supply chains. There are a number of other points in this petition that, once it is tabled, people can read.


    Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls on the Government of Canada to take the following action: immediately call for an end to violence and for restraint from all sides and parties involved in the Tigray conflict; and immediately call for humanitarian access to the region and for independent monitoring to be allowed. There are a number of other points along the same lines.


Foreign Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, I am tabling three petitions in the House.
     The first one has to do with the rather horrendous story of a young man named Ahmad Manasra, who was arrested by Israeli forces in October 2015 when he was just 13 years old. After being found guilty of attempted murder in proceedings marred by allegations of torture, the young Ahmad Manasra was sent to prison, where he has remained ever since. What is more, he has been being held in solitary confinement since 2021.
    UN human rights experts and Amnesty International are calling for him to be freed. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to request that Israel immediately free Ahmad Manasra.



     Mr. Speaker, my second petition serves as a reminder that the opioid crisis is a national crisis and a public health emergency. There have been 21,174 deaths over the past five years.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to declare the overdose crisis a national public health emergency and to decriminalize drug possession for personal use.

Corporate Social Responsibility  

    Mr. Speaker, the third and last petition, signed by hundreds of people, points out that some Canadian companies contribute to human rights abuses, the destruction of ecosystems and environmental damage around the world.
    The petitioners are calling for legislation on due diligence for human and environmental rights that would make it possible to prosecute, under Canadian law, Canadian companies that fail to respect human rights abroad.



    Mr. Speaker, members will recall the mass abductions in Nigeria a few years ago, largely the result of Boko Haram, the Islamic State and Fulani militants. The petitioners are particularly concerned about several people: Leah Sharibu; Alice Ngaddah; the Chibok girls, who are largely girls between the ages of 12 and 16; and the victims' families.
    The petitioners are calling upon the Subcommittee on International Human Rights to make contact with the Nigerian government to express their concern and to urge the Nigerian government to intervene in these abductions.

Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I table yet another petition dealing with the issue of international travel.
    The Indo-Canadian community has been growing at a great rate here in Canada, and with that growth there has been an increased demand for international flights. The petitioners are hoping to see an international flight that ultimately goes from Winnipeg to India, and if not, to Europe. The demand continues to increase, and they are calling upon the government to work with private industry and different airlines and for all of us to do what we can to ensure we get an increased number of direct flights coming out of Canadian cities, in particular the city of Winnipeg.

Questions on the Order Paper

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

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1

    The House resumed from April 25 consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak today about the 2023 federal budget, in particular the budget implementation act. This budget is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our government to the people of Canada. We have listened to the needs and concerns of Canadians and have worked tirelessly to create a budget that reflects our shared values and aspirations.
    I want to share, in particular, some initiatives that would benefit the residents of Brampton, since I am the member representing Brampton North. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Brampton has unique needs and challenges. Our government recognizes this and has taken steps to address them in this budget.
    We know that in Brampton, health care is a growing need of the population, and it is sad to say that the Brampton community has been underserved for many years. I can speak to my own experiences with having difficulty finding a family doctor. With the networks people think a member of Parliament has, one would think it would be easy. It makes me believe that my constituents really stand no chance and have a very difficult time being seen on a routine and regular basis. This is one of the reasons we have incredibly long waits in our emergency rooms, which we have been seeing across the country. However, as a representative and long-time resident of Brampton, I know we have been seeing this in our community for years and years now.
    With the investment we are making in health care, it is my hope that when funding is completely received by the provincial governments, they put it to use in making sure they reduce waiting lines in ERs. We have, in particular, carved out a part of our budget to address that, and I really hope the Government of Ontario takes that seriously and gets right to work to reduce those wait lines. Waiting in an ER for 18 hours is the norm in Brampton, and when people started seeing it across the country, it made news stations everywhere else. However, it is the norm we are used to, and it is a shame.
    I looked into this a bit, and we provide our health care transfers at the federal level based on population and some other factors across the provinces. We hand that money over to them in trust that they will divide the pie as fairly as possible down to the regions and municipalities. However, that was not done here. I hope the province is listening, will take this concern seriously and will make sure that Brampton gets its fair share.
    There is almost $200 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding, for the provinces and territories. That is huge. We have never seen that type of funding and investment by a federal government in health care, and I think it is so important.
    I spent some years living in the U.S., and oftentimes the grass looks greener on the other side and we think that perhaps we should have a system similar to that of the U.S. because we could get seen faster. However, I can tell members that it is not a pretty picture there either. It is extremely complex, having the insurance plans that it has. It is also extremely complex trying to figure out how to navigate all of that and whether one would even end up being covered.
    Here, people go in and pay nothing other than maybe the parking fee or a cable bill, which is very minor, at a hospital, and they can have an operation of any magnitude. This is what we take pride in here in Canada and what we want to continue to see in this great country. One of the things I used to always say to my American friends and colleagues is that it is a sense of pride, and I want that sense of pride to continue with Canadians.
    I know that many have been feeling a little let down by their health care system, but we are there as a federal government to support them and make sure those gaps are covered, especially in the area of mental health. We have seen so many issues arising postpandemic in particular. Even before that, some areas were not addressed. This funding will help address them.


    There are other areas of concern for Brampton residents. We have a very young population. We have one of the youngest populations in the country. The average age in Brampton is between 34 and 35, so there are many young families. Oftentimes, these families are the ones that, when we look at income disparity, have the most challenges when it comes to expenditures and the amount of income they are bringing in. This budget helps with affordability. It helps with grocery costs. It helps with day care.
    I have been calling around to different day cares in the Brampton community to see what the costs have come down to, and it is wonderful to hear my local day cares telling me that the costs for many families have come down anywhere from $700 to $800 a month per child. Those are real savings.
    I know that at times we hear from the Conservatives that a one-time grocery benefit is not good enough. However, it is not a one-time grocery benefit; it is a comprehensive plan that we have put forward. We have so many measures that we are providing for Canadians. Overall, when we look at the Canada child benefit, the day care savings, the top-ups for GST and for seniors that we have done, and the grocery benefit, the savings add up to over $11,000 for an average family per year. That is real money, and it is going to help Canadians get through this challenging time that we are facing globally together.
    Another measure that I think is extremely important to many Bramptonians, because they have approached me over the years many times, is dental care for those who could not afford it. Last year, we saw that by the end of the year. We had made a promise, which we kept, to implement a dental health care plan that would provide for children under 12. We have put aside the funding and are doing the hard work that is needed to make sure that this plan continues to expand to seniors, to those under 18, and to those with disabilities. That is a big relief to many people in that community. We are not going to stop there. We are going to continue to help everyone in need, so that families that make an average income of $90,000 or less will be entirely supported by the time we complete the full program of dental care in Canada.
    These programs are going to change the trajectory of our country for decades to come. They will change the lives of many.
    We are also seeing that many more women are joining the workforce. There are so many talented women. In Brampton, it is not uncommon to have a post-secondary degree yet not be able to find a job. Recently there was a study, commissioned with some support and funding provided by our federal government as well, that showed that South Asian women in particular, as well as other minorities, are some of the most highly educated but most underemployed category of immigrant women in this country. I think it is so important that we make sure they have the ability to balance both family and their careers and put their skills to use. We do not want to waste our talent. Our talent is one of the best things we have in this country, and we need to make sure that it is encouraged and used.
    That is why we are seeing so many investments in our country as well, not to mention the clean, green investments in this budget, which I think are going to provide hope for many Canadians. It is going to create a lot of great new jobs. It is extremely exciting, because this is not just a budget for today but a budget that will lead us into the future.
    I am excited about the investments that Volkswagen has made and the investments that MDA has made in Brampton. We have new jobs that are being created around battery manufacturing in Brampton as well, good jobs for good constituents in Brampton North. I am grateful to be here today to share some of my thoughts about the budget and my excitement.


    Mr. Speaker, more Canadians than ever are using the food bank, 1.5 million Canadians a month. The member seems to think Canadians have never had it so good, even though the cost of groceries has never been higher, rent has doubled and mortgages have doubled.
    I have a simple question for the member: Under her government's watch, how many more people are using the food bank in Brampton than before?
    Mr. Speaker, I am by no means saying that life is easy for everyone. I recognize that these are challenging times for Canadians, and not just Canadians but Americans, Europeans and people all around the globe, as we have challenges with our supply chains and inflation throughout the world. Those are challenges that everyone in the world is facing, but Canadians are receiving relief and support from their government. That is incredibly important. We have lifted over 800,000 children out of poverty. Over a million more people in this country are now above the poverty threshold. These are huge numbers, and this is important progress.
    We will continue to have the backs of Canadians. We will continue to do what we can to get them through this challenging time so that we can see brighter hope with clean, green jobs of the future and good employment for all.



    Mr. Speaker, I have a fairly simple question for my colleague.
    Throughout my time in the House, so over the past three or four years, I have been hearing the government voice its concern about the French issue and say that it is very important to protect minority languages in Quebec and Canada.
    Yesterday, the government presented its action plan for official languages 2023-2028. This is important. The plan includes investments totalling $4 billion over the next 5 years. However, $800 million, or 20% of these funds, will go to anglophones living in Quebec.
    I just want to point out that even the government admits that Quebec anglophones are not under threat. English is not under threat in Quebec. In Canada and North America, English is the majority language.
    Why is the government sending $800 million to anglophones in Quebec when they are not under threat?


    Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a good day for languages in our country. Many stakeholder groups gave statements that they were incredibly thrilled that this government has put forward funding to protect our two official languages throughout Canada. It is more than any government has ever given before. It is double what used to be put in.
    It was a good day for Canada. It was a good day for French in Quebec and a good day for English in Quebec, too. That is the beauty of Canada. We respect both languages equally. We want to protect French, and that is why the government is making investments. Bill C-13 is another example of our government modernizing things to make sure that French is protected in our country.
     Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to see the commitment in the budget implementation act to the red dress alert, but I want to ask the member whether she shares my concern about the announced cuts of $150 million to women's shelters across the country. That money was provided during the pandemic, when domestic violence rates spiked, and those rates have not gone down, so it is critical that money be provided in a timely manner once again to women's shelters.
    Mr. Speaker, I can understand that women's shelters and other organizations that received funding from our government during the pandemic were able to get through the pandemic because our government stepped in at that time, when no one else was there to help them. Just like all Canadians, they were going through a very problematic period. Our government invested $300 million to help support them.
    This funding is not being cut. It was a program created for the pandemic, and we have a lot of money in the pot right now to figure out a way to continue to support these organizations. The talks are continuing. The work is going to continue. There will be consultations in the months to come to figure out how we can continue supporting, with the support of the provinces as well, of course, and their operational funding responsibilities for women's shelters.


    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023 continues the Prime Minister's record of high taxes and inflationary deficits. The Prime Minister has added more debt than all other Canadian prime ministers combined and has no plan to balance the budget and control his inflationary deficits, which are driving up the costs of the goods we buy and the interest we pay. Canada's federal debt for the 2023-24 fiscal year is projected to reach, and I hope everyone is sitting down for this, $1.22 trillion. That is nearly $81,000 per household in Canada. There is no plan to balance Canada's budget projections. The deficit of 2022-23 is up to $43 billion. In 2023-24, the deficit is projected to be $40.1 billion. The Prime Minister promised a balanced budget in 2019. He continues to make false promises to Canadians.
    These Liberal deficits are hurting hard-working Canadians due to the increase of the cost of living. One in five Canadians is skipping meals. I know my colleague said earlier, when she was asked the question about the food banks by my colleague, that food bank usage is up and 8.2 million people are using food banks. That is up 60%, compared to two million people before the pandemic. Food bank usage is at an all-time high. One in seven employed Canadians is using a food bank, and seniors' food bank usage is increasing at the highest rate of all other age groups. According to CTV, “service providers in Sault Ste. Marie are noticing a growing number of seniors are relying on food donations.”
    Canadian seniors call my office daily. They share their struggles in trying to mitigate the Liberal-made cost of living crisis we are currently living in. Seniors are having to use their overdraft to keep heat in their home and food on their table. Unfortunately, budget 2023 continues to leave Canadian seniors out in the cold. In a 255-page document, only half of one page is dedicated solely to supporting our seniors. Seniors are telling this government that they are struggling, but they are not being heard.
    The Liberal government claims that seniors have never had it so good. The Minister of Seniors consistently refers to outdated statistics and failed Liberal policies that have not helped the well-being of seniors. Statistics on Canadian seniors have not been updated since 2020, when many seniors were relying on the temporary pandemic CERB payments. The government is not listening to how seniors are struggling. Statistics Canada has determined that the poverty level for seniors is currently based on the cost of living in 2018. Since 2018, the cost of living has skyrocketed and grocery prices have increased. The price of heating a home and driving a car has increased. How can the government possibly judge the current well-being of seniors based on the cost of living in 2018? The government needs to listen to what seniors are saying right now, and unfortunately, according to this budget, it is not.
    Budget 2023 has announced a new grocery rebate, an underwhelming effort to try to mitigate the cost of living. The Liberals' grocery rebate will give a senior citizen a one-time payment of $225 to cover the rising cost of food that their inflationary deficit helped cause. However, “Canada's Food Price Report 2023” predicts that a family of four will spend up to $1,065 more on food this year, $598 more than the $467 they will receive from the rebate. I do not know, but that does not sound like good math to me. CBC reported that, for struggling families and seniors in Windsor, the new grocery rebate is just a drop in the bucket. June Muir, president of Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association, said that the amount of money is not going to make much of an impact. This grocery rebate will not solve the cost of living crisis that has already driven many Canadians over the edge.


    To make things worse, the Prime Minister's carbon tax increase of 14¢ per litre on April 1 is making it more expensive for Canadians to heat their homes and get to work. By 2030, this tax could add 50¢ per litre to gasoline. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the carbon tax will cost the average family between $402 and $847 in 2023 even after the rebates. Sheila, a senior in Winnipeg, had to use her overdraft this winter just to pay her expenses so she could heat her home and stay warm.
     Budget 2023 states, “Our seniors have made Canada what it is today”. Canada's seniors paved the way for our nation's prosperity, but after eight years of the Liberal government's inflationary spending and tax hikes, the government has put a damper on the legacy seniors worked so hard to build.
    After eight years of the Liberal Prime Minister, the dream of home ownership has died for young and new Canadians. Nine out of 10 people who do not own a home say they will never own a home. CMHC data for January showed that new housing starts were at the lowest level since 2020. It is down 52% in Toronto and 14% in Vancouver. Canada has the lowest number of housing units per thousand residents of any G7 country. The number of units per thousand Canadians has been falling since 2016. This is due to the sharp rise in population growth. According to CMHC, Canada needs 3.5 million more homes than projected to restore affordability.
    Under the Liberals, the down payment needed to buy a home has doubled. The minimum down payment on an average home has gone from $22,000 to $45,000 across Canada. Budget 2023 has no plan to get the gatekeepers out of the way and get more houses built to restore affordability. What is the government's plan for first-time homebuyers? It is the new, tax-free first home savings account to allow Canadians to save up to $40,000. However, in our current, Liberal-made cost of living crisis, how will Canadians be able to save this amount of money? According to a recent survey by Angus Reid Institute, 40% of Canadians say recent challenges have forced them to draw money from their savings accounts, which they had put away for emergency purposes, and 35% say they have deferred contributions to their RRSP and TFSA accounts. The average rent in Canada today is $2,200. There is also an 11% increase in grocery prices and a 14¢ increase to a litre of gas. How can Canadians possibly afford to save money in their bank accounts with all the price increases on basic needs?
    First-time homebuyers have given up on ever owning a home. The dream has become a nightmare due to the cost of mortgages and inflation. This has been caused by the Liberal government's wasteful spending of taxpayer money without considering the burden it created, which Canadians now have to bear. Average mortgage payments have more than doubled in eight years, from $1,400 to over $3,100. When the Prime Minister first took office, someone needed 39% of their average paycheque to make a monthly payment. Today, it is 62%.
    Budget 2023 also introduced a new, refundable multi-generational home renovation tax credit, which would provide up to $7,500 in support of construction of secondary suites for seniors and for adults living with disabilities. I am in full support of seniors and persons with disabilities having the opportunity to live in their homes longer. However, $7,500 could not possibly be enough to renovate a home, due to the inflationary cost of materials skyrocketing. Furthermore, we have no labour that can complete these projects. How will families be—


    I am just making sure everybody gets to participate so they can get their thoughts in.
    Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, the member did not start her speech off very well. When she talked about seniors, she tried to give the false impression that the government is not there for them.
     Virtually from day one, this government has been there for seniors. We can talk about the substantial increase to the GIS. We can talk about legislation and one of our very first actions, which was to reduce the age of retirement from 67, something the Conservatives had put into place, to 65. We can talk about the direct supports during the pandemic and the one-time payments. We can talk about the 10% increase for those aged 75 or more. Within this budget, we find the grocery rebate, which she made reference to, but she did not talk about the dental plan, which we are expanding to include seniors. We have lifted literally hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty. How does that contrast with the Conservative regime of Stephen Harper and its blatant disregard and disrespect for Canada's seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask what good the dental plan is when my seniors cannot even afford to pay for gasoline to go to the grocery store to buy groceries. They cannot afford groceries. The rebate does not offset the cost of the carbon tax, heating or medical expenses. The member is talking about dental, which is great, but seniors cannot afford to eat, so they are not going to have dental problems.


    Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked a lot about housing, a subject on which we agree.
    A few weeks ago in committee, I questioned a witness about the Century Initiative, which seems to have inspired the government to increase the number of immigrants to Canada to a minimum of 500,000 a year.
    When I questioned the witness, I asked if any thought had been given to the French language and to the need for housing. The answer was that the only consideration had been the economy.
    If the government insists on reaching its targets without considering the social aspects involved, what will happen to the budgets and needs of Canadians and of Quebeckers, in particular?


    Mr. Speaker, time and again, we have said that we need to build more affordable homes. The hon. member is absolutely correct. We cannot allow 500,000 new immigrants to come to this country and provide them with the false promise that they will be able to have homes for their families, when we are not building them. We need to turn that around. We need to make sure we get rid of the gatekeepers and get those homes built so that, when new immigrants come, they can contribute to our society and make Canada free again.
    Mr. Speaker, I often find, in this place, that we really try to find solutions to the many problems Canadians face. The member pointed out several important issues that, from my perspective, require addressing. However, one of the biggest aspects the New Democrats have called for is the idea of an excess profits tax, and I would love for the member to comment on that. We often hear the Conservatives talk at great lengths about how corporations are taking advantage of Canadians, and I agree. However, I also agree with the solution, which is that, just like the Conservatives in the United Kingdom have done, we need to introduce an excess profits tax. What are the member's thoughts with respect to an excess profits tax, especially in the age of COVID, when we have seen record profits driving up inflation?
    Mr. Speaker, we need to understand that Canadians are working to ensure they provide for their families. However, as long as the Liberal government continues to recklessly and foolishly spend money, scandal after scandal and trip after trip, those tax dollars are going to increase, which means Canadians will have less money in their pockets to support their families. When are the Liberals going to take their own advice, balance the budget, and ensure that Canadians can live the free life we promised them when they came to this country?


    Mr. Speaker, the member tirelessly champions seniors. It was mentioned that seniors are now more likely to be visiting food banks to be able to eat.
    Just two weeks ago, the Minister of Agriculture announced Canada's first food policy, and the food policy is going to be to fund food banks. Having Canadians dependent on government to fill their rice bowls is our first food policy. What does this tell the member about the government's intention to make life more affordable for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I volunteer at some food banks, and this is what I have been hearing: They are desperate, because they have to turn people away. There are people going from food bank to food bank so that they can get enough food to feed their families. We need to stop this foolishness. We need to start having more money for hard-working Canadians so they can support their families.


    Mr. Speaker, unlike Émile Zola who, a hundred years ago, wrote an open letter accusing all the intellectual and government elites of his time of racism, I will turn the camera around and accuse myself.
    I accuse myself and admit that I am guilty of being naive when it comes to political and public life. I am naive. When I went into politics three years ago, I thought that we would have intelligent debates in Parliament, in the House. I thought that the people elected across Canada, people with experience, people with a past, people who had worked on important issues, would come to Parliament and debate. I thought that, if I presented an argument, someone would come up with a counterargument, someone else would then present another counterargument, and that the process would result in brilliant bills—in short, the truth. I thought that we were going to come up with bills that would benefit Canadians, that people would look at us and say, “Wow, these are extraordinary people who are passing really effective bills that meet the specific needs of all Canadians and that are improving our country and ensuring we are going in the right direction”.
    That is what I thought. Imagine how naive I was. I thought that was how democracy works in Quebec and Canada. I thought that that was how things worked, that we would work together and collaborate to get to the truth for the common good. That is what I thought. Imagine how naive I was and how my balloon burst after my three years here, when I saw how badly we fail to meet Canadians’ needs and, especially, how we have to keep repeating the same things day after day. I really was not expecting that.
    In my past life I used to repeat lines as part of my work. I have a background in theatre. I played Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire 250 times. I repeated all my lines 250 times. When you work with Molière, there is always something new to discover. There are always truths hidden behind the lines. This broadens an actor’s horizons, since they can improve their performance every evening. In Parliament, however, all of us in the opposition strive to make speeches. We work in committee, we try to be wise. We conduct studies, we think hard every day to tell the government, the supposed decision-makers, what they should do and the measures they should put in place. We are close to the community, in our respective ridings. We see what is happening on the ground. Unfortunately, we have to repeat ourselves.
    I say this because what I am going to say today is something I have said hundreds of times before in the House. I will have to repeat myself again today. It is sad, because these are important issues. For example, what is missing from this budget and this bill? Housing.
    As my colleague said so well earlier, we need a game plan to build 3.5 million housing units in Canada in the next 10 years. This does not come from an extreme leftist group advocating for social housing, it comes from Scotiabank and the CMHC. These are the challenges we face.
    We expected to see housing treated as an important concern in the budget. Most people devote 30%, 40% or 50% of their income to housing. There are even 80,000 households that spend 80% of their income on housing, and that is just in Quebec. That in itself is scandalous. Imagine someone earning $1,000 or $2,000 and having to spend $800 or $1,600 on housing. How would they eat? How would they send their children to school and pay for their school supplies? We are not even talking about recreational activities.


    With such major concerns, with the bar set so high, with all the things we have repeated here and that organizations across the country have been repeating, we would expect the government to address the issue in the budget, to tackle this challenge and propose robust measures. Out of 250 pages of various measures in all sorts of areas, how many pages in the budget are devoted to the 3.5 million housing units we need over the next 10 years?
    There is only one page. There is one short page about the most important issue of our generation. That is scandalous: a single short page on one of the most fundamental issues of our era, along with the fight against climate change and the language crisis. That in itself is scandalous.
    Instead of addressing the issue, from what we learned yesterday, they are allocating $800 million over the next five years to protect the best protected linguistic minority in the history of humanity, the anglophone community in Quebec. This community represents only 8% of the population, but the power of English is quite evident in Quebec, Canada and North America. However, the government will be sending $800 million to the community over the next five years.
    I advocated for 20 years for the survival of the French language in Quebec. That is one of the reasons I went into politics. The survival of the French language and culture in Quebec is one of our greatest challenges. Since I got here, I have heard a lot of promises. They say they recognize the symmetry between English and French in Canada, that they know it is important, that they know that French-language communities across the country are in peril, that they know that French in Quebec is also threatened, that they will get down to it and come up with a bill with teeth.
    Now the government comes up with Bill C-13 and, yesterday, with a plan to invest $800 million. Anglophones in Quebec have three universities. They have as many hospitals and television stations as they need. They have access to all music on Spotify, and to more movies than they can watch. There is no housing for the most destitute in this country and no investments to make a difference in this budget, but the government’s excuse is that it has invested in recent years. It is unacceptable that we are failing to address this crucial issue. I just cannot believe it.
    Right now, I am touring Quebec to document the crisis, to see what is happening on the ground. The things I am hearing are appalling. In Trois‑Rivières, a victim of domestic violence is sleeping in a car with her two children. How can we allow that? How can there be only one page about housing in the budget?
    In my riding of Longueuil, there are 17 people living in a three-bedroom apartment. What country are we living in? Is this a G7 country, or is it some country in the Middle Ages? I cannot get over the idea of 17 people living in a three-bedroom apartment. There are no measures in the budget for these 17 people in their three-bedroom apartment. There are no measures to help that victim of domestic violence who is living in her car with her two children.
    This budget is a disgrace, a disaster. It does not meet the needs of Quebec and Canadian society today. It is misguided. It fails to target the most important issues, and that is extremely unfortunate.
    Maybe I am being too naive. Still, however much I do not like it, I will keep repeating these truths until the government finally understands what and where the real needs are in this society, here and now.


     I want to issue a reminder that using props is against the rules. In this case, it was a page from a document. I would like the member to go get the piece of paper that he used as a prop and threw on the floor.
    Then we can continue with questions and comments.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Speaker, I will not use any props as I ask my hon. colleague a question.
    I know that it is not all fun and games here in the House, but things do get done. One of the things that gets me down is when members exaggerate.
    The government announced $31.2 billion as part of the national housing strategy. That was in the previous budgets. This funding will be available until 2028. There is a measure in the strategy to assist people in urgent need of housing, such as victims of violence.
    Instead of repeating misinformation, could this well-known member from Quebec occasionally admit that progress is being made? It is not always easy, but progress is being made. A lot of progress was made with the national housing strategy.
    Mr. Speaker, is it not against the rules to accuse another member of spreading misinformation in the House?
    My speech was completely accurate. My colleague is talking about women who are victims of domestic violence. Every day in Quebec during the pandemic, women who are victims of domestic violence were being turned away from shelters because there were no resources available. There were not enough spots.
    In Quebec right now, there are 45,000 households waiting for low-rent housing. These are people who cannot afford housing. These are the hard facts. I do not know what my colleague is talking about. I do not know what planet he is living on. Right now, the housing crisis is one of the most serious crises of our time.
    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Longueuil—Saint‑Hubert on his spirited speech. In my province of British Columbia, the birth rate continues to decline, just like in Quebec.
    Would more births in Quebec help fix the language crisis? How can we encourage Quebeckers to have more babies?
    Mr. Speaker, encouraging Quebeckers to have more babies is a trap. They will not have more babies. Let us be honest, people in the west are not having babies. One way or another, we need to encourage francophone immigration to address the language crisis throughout Canada and Quebec. It is extremely important. People are not having babies.
    Unfortunately, in Quebec, society is anglicizing naturally. This is happening naturally. I talked about it in my speech earlier. We need a substantial francophone immigration policy because there is not going to be another baby boom, unfortunately.



    Mr. Speaker, the area I represent has over 300 years of francophone culture. The citizens I represent there are now going to be able to get dental care, and we have some of the highest rates of child poverty in the country. What would the member have to say to those people if we were to not do a budget that includes child care or access to dental care for children, persons with disabilities and seniors, in particular, given that we have some of the highest rates of poverty? I would like to hear what the member has to say about that.


    Mr. Speaker, it needs to be said: We always get the impression that the NDP is in the wrong Parliament. There is a party in Quebec called Québec Solidaire that is proposing this type of measure. It is working out quite well because when we talk about dental care, that is part of Quebec's responsibility for health care.
    Obviously, I am not against dental care, because it is extremely important. What we keep saying is that Ottawa does not run any hospitals, it does not pay for any doctors and it does not train any nurses. It does not have the authority to talk about these jurisdictions. If it wants to create dental care programs, the government should send money to the provinces, and the provinces will take care of it.

Points of Order

Alleged Unparliamentary Language  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, during the period of questions and comments following the speech by my esteemed colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, the member for Hull—Aylmer claimed indirectly that my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert was spreading lies in the House. I believe it is against the rules of this place to accuse someone of lying. I think the member for Hull—Aylmer did indirectly what he is not allowed to do directly by saying that the member was spreading misinformation. This is extremely insulting to a member who works very hard and does a very thorough job. I am bringing this to your attention because I think my colleague deserves an apology from the member for Hull—Aylmer.
    I will review the video to determine exactly what was said and come back to the House with a ruling.
    Resuming debate. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.


Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I guess the one disappointing thing about the previous member is that he did not tell us where he gets his shirts, and that is something this House needs to know. I hope, some day, he will tell us.
    I rise today on the budget, and I would like to start by talking about some important news that happened last week. I represent the community of St. Catharines, which has been an automotive community for the better part of a century. There is a General Motors factory in our community. It has been a long-time employer in the community, and this week's announcement about the new gigafactory in St. Thomas is exciting for southern Ontario for many reasons.
    An hon. member: Thirteen billion.
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, when we got elected in 2015, there was a dark cloud over the auto industry. The previous government really did not pay enough attention. We saw factory closings in St. Thomas, with thousands of workers laid off. We saw closings throughout the manufacturing sector. We saw a lot of factories close in Niagara, automotive or otherwise.
    I had GM pensioners come to me in the early part of our first mandate worried whether the St. Catharines plant would stay open, after serving the community and being an employer of members of our community for a century. It is a shocking thing for a community, to be worried about something that has been at the heart of it for so long. I tip my hat, not only to this government, but also to the provincial government, for focusing on the auto industry and understanding it is a priority for the province and a priority for southern Ontario.
    The Volkswagen announcement would mean 3,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs. Those would be jobs throughout southern Ontario, the rest of Ontario and even into the neighbouring provinces as well. There was a heckle that it is going to cost billions of dollars in federal and provincial investments, but it is an investment. That investment will be paid off in less than six years, and it is for a plant that will be there for decades, a plant that will produce 400 billion to 500 billion dollars' worth of economic activity. I am going to say that again. This will be $400 billion to $500 billion, not million, in economic activity for a region that has seen so many factories move away and so many factories close.
    Conservatives will say that they stand up for workers, but I ask where the action is on that. It has become awfully quiet. The heckling has stopped, but at the end of the day—
    Mr. Frank Caputo: Where were you for Alberta workers?
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, the heckling has started again, and it is for Alberta workers. They ask about Alberta workers. Unemployment is high. I know the hon. member is excited about automotive workers. What is good for Ontario is good for Alberta. What is good for Alberta is good for the rest of the country as well.
    The hon. member knows that oil is a commodity, and the price of oil will dictate the economy, so it is a global thing. I know he pretends the Prime Minister is in charge of that, which is an incredible thing to suggest to his constituents. It is kind of silly, and it really shows he really does not comprehend how the global economy works, which is truly disappointing for a member in a party that claims it speaks for business.
    To hear these heckles, it is clear he does not know how business works and does not know how the economy works. That being said—


    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the member used unparliamentary language. If the member is going to talk about people personally, he can keep it parliamentary.
    I would like to say that everything was nice and quiet until someone asked for some heckling.
    The hon. member for St. Catharines has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I did not specifically point anyone out until the hon. member stood up to accept that he did not understand what he was talking about. As the old saying goes, it would be best to remain silent and be thought of as a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt, so I am happy to have him stand up.
    It is truly disappointing that the hon. member would try to heckle me over 33,000 jobs. The Conservative member for the region was there. I am sure she is excited about the prospect of tens of thousands of jobs in southern Ontario. I know the premier of Ontario, who is a Conservative, gave her a shout-out for her work in her constituency, but it is disappointing to see the leader of the opposition stand against auto workers, the automotive industry and southern Ontario.
    We have seen investments, and not just in Volkswagen in St. Thomas. We have seen them at automotive plants such as Honda, Toyota, General Motors and Ford. We have seen new announcements in places such as Windsor, London, Niagara and Oshawa, which some had feared would close. These are places that we thought were on the way out, which are now excited about the future, and are there for the future.
    To cash in on the green economy and green jobs, we need to have an environmental plan. That is what the hon. members on the other side do not understand. They do not understand that we need a climate plan. The last election they ran on a carbon tax. At the end of the day, they have now changed their minds, going back to saying it should be free to pollute whenever and however one wants. That is how they go about things. They have tried it three elections in a row and can carry on to continue in the same way in a fourth election.
    A company such as Volkswagen, after looking at Canada, realized that this is a country that is serious about climate and a province that is serious about climate. That is how we attract these jobs. Our workers, whether they are in Ontario or Alberta, are serious about doing better for their environment. We can see with our own eyes that the climate is changing.
    We can bury our heads in the sand, or we can do better. We can get good-paying jobs. We can advance the middle class in our country, or we can say, “Oh, don't worry about it. We'll just stick with the old ways and see those factories close.” That is what they did in the previous 10 years they were in office. They threw up their hands and said they do not care.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, I heard another heckle. We reduced emissions. I always love that we reduced emissions, but they take credit for the Kathleen Wynne closure of coal plants in Ontario. One thing they do is quietly celebrate Kathleen Wynne about that. I appreciate the heckle on that point.
    Again, this is optimistic for St. Catharines, and it is optimistic for southern Ontario. It is going to see workers continue and generations, moving forward, who will have great-paying jobs in this sector. That is how we build the middle class.
    I would also like to speak about dental. This is something else the Conservatives are opposed to, providing free dental care to kids and seniors, even though they themselves get a government-funded dental plan, as we do on this side of this House. They would deny that to Canadians.
    There was a weird comment by a previous member who suggested some seniors are having difficulty buying groceries, so a dental plan would be a waste, which is a shocking thing to say. I guess the Conservative viewpoint on this would be, if someone is having trouble eating, they do not need teeth, which is wild.
    Before I was elected to office, my favourite job, which was also one I did not get paid for, was the chair of Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines. We had a volunteer dental clinic where a volunteer dentist would come and do work on vulnerable members of our community. It was incredible to see the results. People who had been in pain for years, for decades, would use the emergency room to take care of their dental pain. We all know that there are ER crises across the country with long wait times, but people were smiling for the first time.
    The Conservatives see it as a waste, which is disappointing. How does one get a job if one cannot smile? It is the right thing to do, but let us look at it as an economic plan. They can be opposed to alleviating suffering. They can be opposed to making people feel great being able to smile, but it will help them get jobs. It will help them get back into society.


    This is something worthwhile. It is something this budget and this government stand up for, but we do not see it on the other side.
    The Conservatives say that they stand up for the vulnerable, that they stand up for workers, that they stand up for their constituents, but time after time, when the rubber meets the road on these points that actually help Canadians, they are nowhere to be seen. Though they have been heckling me on issues that matter to Canadians, they are nowhere to be seen when the votes happen and it is time to help Canadians. The Conservatives have nothing except bumper sticker slogans, and that will never help Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to reference a remark that the member made about my comment.
    Could he please explain to me why Sheila has to live from overdraft to overdraft, paying 21% just to heat her house and to buy groceries? The dental care plan is not going to help someone who cannot eat. That was my reference, not that it is not a good idea. I am saying that we need to allow people to have more money in their pockets and less taxes.
    Mr. Speaker, this is wild. She did not correct her comment that she does not need dental care, that she is having trouble. That she does not need to no have pain and that she does not deserve to have a smile is beside the point.
    This is from a member who represented a party that was going to increase the age that people could collect OAS and GIS, from age 65 to 67. This is from a party that voted against increases to OAS, that voted against increases to GIS, that voted against cutting taxes on the middle class so we could raise it on the wealthiest 1%. It is a party that votes against dental care for seniors.
    It is absolutely shocking that the hon. member would stand and want to correct her comments when they are flawed to their core.
     Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned the Volkswagen plant. We have been after a national auto strategy for a long time in this place. The original plan was with Dr. David Suzuki, my then friend and former MP Joe Comartin and the CAW, and now Unifor, back in 2006. To be fair to this agreement with Volkswagen, it is a pretty solid deal, because most of it is loaded with the production taking place as opposed to going in without any expectations.
    However, I do want to correct one thing. When General Motors and Chrysler were struggling a few years back, the Conservatives at that time, with the late Jim Flaherty, said that they could not pick winners or losers at first. Later on, they made an agreement to save General Motors and Chrysler, which now Stellantis. Had we not sold the shares to General Motors, we would have made money off the loan that was provided at that time.
    I would like the member to provide a little more details about the Volkswagen investment. To be fair, the minister has done a decent deal with regard to this, ensuring that the money is tied to the facility and the development of that facility, as well as the production of materials, including batteries and so forth. If we do not have that type of production, we will be a rip-and-ship nation, like we are for softwood lumber.


    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right that the government stepped up, as did the government in the United States, to save General Motors. However, having lived in Windsor for three years and being from Niagara, we can probably sit down and go on for far too long about the number of factories that closed and how manufacturing was impacted and forgotten. Even though in that one moment it was saved, we did not see that desire throughout the course of the Conservatives' mandate.
    I agree with the hon. member that this is a good investment. This will go on for years. It is not front-end loaded so the company can walk away or not produce the batteries it says that it will make.
     However, I would like to expand briefly on his analogy with respect to ripping and shipping, as we have done for centuries in our country. We will produce in Canada the critical minerals that will then go into the battery plant. We will take advantage of this. I tip my hat to the Minister of Innovation as Canada has now become the number two place to do business with regard to batteries in the world in a short period of time. We see where the future is going to be, we see where the puck is going to be, and the hon. minister is there.


    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague stated, we keep repeating the same thing, but, there is no mention of regional flights in Bill C‑47.
    Regional flights are out of reach. There has been a considerable increase in the price of fuel, and the price of flights continues to increase. Bill C‑47 would significantly increase the air travel security charge for both international and regional flights.
    I want to talk about airports. When talking about regional flights, we must first talk about regional airports, and I would like to talk about the Val‑D'Or airport in particular. We have been asking for money for this airport, but have had no response from the minister. We keep repeating the same thing.
    This airport is important for aviation safety. It is a hub for northern Quebec, and keeping it operating smoothly is actually a matter of life or death. There is nothing for the regions in this budget.


    Mr. Speaker, it is a very specific question about her region. The only thing I can say is that the airlines are private entities. I know the opposition likes to point to the government and say that it is our fault that flights are delayed, that this and that is our fault. These are private companies across the country—
    Who regulates them?
    Mr. Speaker, though we do not control the weather, as the hon. Leader of the Opposition and the members heckling me seem to suggest we do, it is important for the private sector to step up. There are labour shortages across the sector, which is something at which I hope the minister is looking.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I would like it if people could just have a nice discussion on what is going on, but I would also suggest to folks that extra heckling is a little too much sometimes.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Deputy Speaker: Order. I want to suggest to folks that if they get a little too excited, it is really nice outside. They can go outside and say hi to their friends or take a walk. It is sunny. Maybe they can grab a glass water or something like that.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to the federal government's budget and to report on behalf of working families, seniors and small businesses that I represent in New Brunswick Southwest.
    I will join other Conservative MPs in voting against the budget implement act. We do so because the Liberal budget will make life more difficult and more expensive for Canadians.
    Liberal MPs measure success by how many tax dollars are being spent. They say that the number of programs in this budget is what matters, yet Canadians know and understand why more federal assistance is needed. It is because the government's overall management of the economy is failing. Under the Liberals, Canadians are becoming poorer.
    The Liberal government is raising taxes every year on households and businesses. It is a government that spent so much so quickly that inflation roared back, raising consumer prices throughout the economy on households and businesses, making it harder to get by and harder to compete.
     As a result, Canadians are experiencing a cost of living crisis. It is especially painful on families, pensioners on a fixed income as well as modest and low-income workers. Canadians do not approve of massive inflationary spending. The Conservatives understand this. We recognize that out-of-control debt financing and taxes only hurts the country and it hurts Canadians. However, this is the Liberal plan.
    As well, I should note that Conservatives do not approve of the Liberal-NDP coalition that barters tax dollars for confidence votes so the Prime Minister can govern as if he won a majority, when he did no such thing.
    We know the Prime Minister has no willingness to be fiscally responsible. Nor is he even skilled at overseeing the government. The Liberals have increased spending on the public service, the running of the government, by 50%, yet today, federal workers are out on strike in the largest job action in at least 40 years. I have to say that it takes a special sort of incompetence to accomplish both these things, to both ramp up spending, spending more than $22 billion on the operation of government, and yet be in a position where taxpayers are receiving less but paying more.
    Even while the Prime Minister drops the ball on big items and the cabinet passes these, the Liberal backbench cheers them on. Worse, taxpayers see a leader of a government who does not even care about ethics.
     My constituents are certainly aware of the Prime Minister's extravagant spending habits and posh vacations. As struggling Canadians forgo basics and seniors make a choice between groceries and rent, the Prime Minister is choosing between visiting Jamaica and New York. Given his access to the pocketbook of Canadians, he chooses both. What is a $6,000-a-night hotel room in London when taxpayers cover it, or taking a Caribbean vacation when the $80,000-price is covered by a Trudeau Foundation donor? Canadians work hard and many cannot get ahead, yet the Prime Minister has never had it so good.
    Earlier this month, the Prime Minister was in my home province to tell New Brunswick families that they should also spend without worrying about the consequences of more debt. At a town hall in Moncton, the Prime Minister explained how borrowing money, as his Liberal government is doing, was just like using a credit card. He actually encouraged New Brunswick families and all Canadians to use their credit cards to pay for things like tuition and home renovations. He said, “If you’re using your credit card to go back to school, or if you go into debt to build an expansion on your house, then you’re going to be able to sell your house for more.”
    Our Prime Minister is so out of touch, he is urging Canadians to borrow at interest rates as high as 28%, without any consequences, he says.


    It is the same thing he told Canadians about inflation. Inflation will stay low. Homeowners took him at his word and took out variable mortgages with rates that have now gone through the roof. It is really making life difficult for millions of Canadians.
    This is exactly how the Government of Canada is governing our nation's finances. Borrowing at 28% does not build wealth. It is a recipe for economic hardship. If someone borrows at 28%, their debt will double in three short years. That is what the Prime Minister is urging Canadians to do.
    The projected interest on Canada's debt is going to hit $44 billion this year. That is money we just pay to bondholders. It does not fund a single social program. It does not help hire another RCMP officer. It does not help equip our military. It is money that is going up and is being paid off overseas.
    It is $10 billion more than the estimates the government provided in the last fiscal economic update, and it will hit $50 billion in four short years. That is the spiral the government has us in. We have rising interest rates because of its debt-fuelled spending, twinned with inflation that is making a bad foundation wholly unstable.
    Nowhere in this budget is there a viable strategy to control spending, or offer a plan or an outline to balance the budget. Instead, the total debt will top $1.2 trillion this year. Speaking of doubling debt, that is precisely what the Liberal government has done in eight short years. It has run up more debt than all governments in Canadian history combined. That has us on the road to fiscal ruin.
    It gets worse. It does not just end with spending. The Liberal carbon tax increased to $65 per tonne of emissions this year, resulting in higher prices for gasoline, home heating, food and almost everything in the Canadian economy.
    Liberals like to point to higher gas prices as something that is caused by the war against Russia, and there is no doubt that war has caused hardship, pressure on supply chains and rising energy prices.
    I point to my riding, which neighbours the state of Maine. If someone crosses into Maine and fills up their tank, after the exchange rate, gas is 50% more expensive per litre in New Brunswick than it is in Maine. That is 100% due to energy taxes on gasoline. It has nothing to do with Russia. It has everything to do with how the government is taxing energy to make life more expensive and make life more painful for Canadian families.
    The Liberals are going to triple the carbon tax, raising it from $65 to $175 per tonne by 2030. This will be a body blow to the middle class and working families. It will make our manufacturing sector uncompetitive with the United States.
     I can already hear the Liberals' reply that the carbon tax is for a clean environment, but the carbon tax is not an environment plan. It is the largest tax plan in Canadian history.
    Conservatives do not believe in punishing families for buying groceries or punishing workers for driving to work. I have a few stats that are worth mentioning. If the government likes to talk about its big numbers, let us talk about some items that Canadians are facing every day.
    Canada's Food Price Report this year predicts that a family of four will spend up to $1,065 more on food, which is $598 more than the $467 rebate they will receive from Ottawa.
    I was happy to vote for that motion to return dollars to Canadians. The difference is I believe taxes should come down as a principle. Liberals only cut taxes when they are in trouble politically. They have driven up the cost of living in this country and, as a result, they are looking for rescue plans everywhere they can find them.
    However, their fundamentals are such that this problem is not going to change. We will continue to see Canada go down a dark economic road until we turn things around. We need to limit the taxes on families and businesses, get our spending in order, and begin to make and build things here in Canada that do not require gobs of subsidies and government regulations.
    This is why we are voting against the budget and this is why the Liberal government must be replaced as quickly as possible.


    Mr. Speaker, I was listening to the speech by my colleague with great interest when he talked about the importance of reducing the cost of living for Canadians. I reflect on some of the things that our government has done, including working with every single province to implement affordable child care. I would love for the hon. member across the aisle to explain to Canadians and to us why he and his party and voted against and continue to work against $10-a-day child care in this country.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are becoming tiresome with their one answer to the affordability crisis. The affordability crisis in this country is not just for families with children who are facing struggles. It is about pensioners. It is about small businesses. It is about families throughout this economy, whether they are on a fixed income, whether they are earning a low or modest wage. The government needs a better answer to that as opposed to just ringing on about day care and its plan on that. This is the problem: Any senior who comes into their office is going to talk about the struggles they have in making ends meet.


    Mr. Speaker, I found my Conservative colleague's speech very interesting. It was really a typical Conservative speech, where the member rants and raves about debt. The Conservatives are saying that the federal government spends too much, that Canada is going into debt and that things are going to be hell for our children.
    It is true that the government has done nothing but run deficits since it took office. We agree with that. However, the long-term projections tell a different story. Because of its fiscal capacity and minimal responsibilities, in a few years, the Canadian government could end up with no more debt, while the provinces go bankrupt. That is an acknowledged fact.
     I would like to know whether my colleague can recalibrate his speech based on that information. It seems as though his speech was all about the federal government's finances being in a catastrophic state when, in reality, it is the provincial governments' finances that are in dire straits because the federal government is not helping them and is keeping all the money for itself.
    Mr. Speaker, those comments are typical because these policies work. When we reduce taxes, we see that there is more economic activity in Canada.
    In terms of debt, the provinces also need to act responsibly. In my home province of New Brunswick, Premier Blaine Higgs cut spending, and the province is in a very good position. It is the same elsewhere in Canada. The provinces are working hard, but they are running into problems because of the carbon tax and the fact that the federal government is infringing on their jurisdictions. The government spends too much and imposes too many taxes. That is hard for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from my home province of New Brunswick made a comment about trying to support pensioners and of course on this side of the House we do. We increased the CPP contributions and yet our Conservative friends continue to rail against this. I also heard a lot about the carbon tax. Now in New Brunswick we have the federal backstop where we will be having those quarterly payments going to help with affordability measures and yet once again they are against this.
    I am trying to understand. Do we really want to help constituents here, or are you really just looking for issues where there are not any? I really think it is time that we get on board with pollution pricing in New Brunswick because it is a good thing for them and it is a good thing for environmental projects like supporting indigenous communities and schools. Would you repeal those if you had the chance?


    Remember to speak through the Chair.
    The hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.
    Would we repeal the carbon tax, Mr. Speaker? Absolutely. The member knows well that the reason Blaine Higgs is no longer administrating the Liberal carbon tax is because it is ruinous to families, so he is out of the game. He does not want anything to do with this Liberal carbon tax, just like now eight out of 10 provinces.
    Let me point out something this member says. She says she is for a green economy but opposes nuclear power. Her colleague from Saint John—Rothesay scolded her because if they want power that is carbon-dioxide free, just like other Liberals are realizing, they need to embrace nuclear. The member is an outlier on that and her own Liberal colleague from New Brunswick called her out on that because this fantasy world of high taxes and no energy is just going to result in a ruinous economy and a ruinous country.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss Bill C-47, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget.
    I represent a riding with one of the highest child poverty rates in the country. Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently left parts of the country like mine, northern Manitoba, behind, preferring to stand with their billionaire friends than communities like the one I come from, and communities in our region. I think in many ways this budget reflects that.
    We have seen the slow pace at which the Liberals move when it comes to helping people versus the zeal that comes with standing with the billionaire class. Liberals have been in power for eight years, and it took New Democrats to force them to expand health care services and finally move to provide dental care services for millions of Canadians. New Democrats have made this call for years and now many seniors and young people will finally get access to the dental care they need.
    We also know Canadians are struggling to put food on the table for their families in a way we have not seen in a generation. The reality is the current government is not doing enough. We know the GST rebate that will be sent to families will provide immediate relief for Canadians, and that is also something that is there because of the work of New Democrats. Let us be clear. If Liberals had it their way, none of these supports would have been included. While there is still more work to be done to deliver for the working class, if it were not for elected New Democrats in Parliament this budget would have been much worse.
    Let us talk about what is not in the budget. New Democrats forced the government to help people, but we know there is so much more that must be done. Without this pressure by New Democrats, this budget would not have provided Canadians any sort of help, and they should know that New Democrats will always fight to get results for them.
    One area that is very concerning is the lack of urgent significant investment in indigenous housing. The $4 billion over seven years for a co-developed urban, rural and northern indigenous strategy, starting in 2024-25, is not enough. We know that Liberals did not even want to put this much money in the budget, and it is outrageous that the money will only start flowing in the next fiscal year. Indigenous communities, first nations and Métis communities, like the ones I represent, need action now. The infrastructure gap facing first nations is at least $30 billion, and we suspect that number is much higher. The $4 billion over seven years is barely a drop in the bucket and will not do enough to end the inhumane conditions the current government, and governments before it, have forced indigenous peoples to live in.
    When we talk about the housing crisis facing indigenous communities, let us be clear as to what we are talking about. In places like Shamattawa, Cross Lake and Tataskweyak, we are talking about dilapidated, overcrowded homes, with 12 people or even more to a house, with holes in the walls, mould in the corners and heating that does not work in some of the harshest climates in the country. If members of the House think that the amount of money in this budget for indigenous housing is sufficient, it is because they have never set foot on a first nation.
    It is shameful that the government had to be pulled kicking and screaming to make even these small investments, and I challenge any sitting member who defends the indefensible to come to northern Manitoba, to visit Nunavut, to visit first nations in northern Ontario. The money is barely a drop in the bucket. It is no surprise coming from the Liberal government. It could not even budget for indigenous housing in its platform. It literally had no money for indigenous housing, the most extreme housing crisis in our country, in its platform. When people show us who they are, we should believe them.
    The current government will continue to pay lip service to these commitments and do less than the bare minimum. Yes, it might say all the right things, throw in the word “reconciliation” a few times, but I have suspected for a long time that when it comes to indigenous peoples the government is satisfied making Canadians in cities feel comfortable, rather than making the real systemic change that would allow indigenous peoples and indigenous communities to actually have the right to secure and safe housing. We need real systemic change.
    A great example of how the government is satisfied to tinker around the edges without materially improving the lives of people is how they are dealing with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a Crown corporation.


    To rewind a bit, over a year ago, I proposed legislation that would help communities like the ones I represent, first nations, Métis and northern communities, to access over $35 billion to take on the devastating impacts of the climate crisis in their communities. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, since its inception, has been an abysmal failure for Canadians but a success for the billionaire class. In our bill, we worked to fix that, and a lot of our solutions actually made it into this budget.
    We called for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to prioritize the needs of northern and indigenous communities. At the time, the Liberals voted against that, but it is now in the budget. We called for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to prioritize funding projects that help us deal with the climate crisis. At the time, the Liberals voted against it, but it is now in the budget. We also called to end the corporate giveaway led by the Canada Infrastructure Bank by removing its privatization capacity. The Liberals voted against it. Curiously, this did not make it into the budget.
    We see this repeatedly throughout the budget any time we deal with corporate profits. In 2021, as the richest companies in the country had record profits, they managed to push their tax rate lower, avoiding $30 billion in taxes.
    The government knows about these loopholes. We have called on it numerous times to close them, because the reality is that the problem is getting worse. As Dr. DT Cochrane from Canadians for Tax Fairness pointed out, in the decade before the pandemic, “Canadian corporations claimed about eight cents of every dollar as pre-tax profit.” In 2021, that number was 12¢, which is unsurprising. Every time a for-profit corporation gets a hold of a dollar, it is compelled to siphon as much profit as possible.
    What is equally unsurprising is that the Liberals refuse to do anything about it. If New Democrats were in power, we would bring in an excess profit tax to make sure that billionaires pay their fair share. It really highlights the issue with the Liberal Party and its repeated, utter refusal to do anything that upsets the status quo or upsets the capital class and the Liberals' rich and powerful friends.
    This is why we are unsurprised that the budget is woefully inadequate when it comes to combatting the climate crisis. For the 2023-24 period, only $14 billion is allocated to climate-related spending efforts. This is insultingly low when compared with the 2% of the GDP we need to address the scale and magnitude of the climate emergency. Most of the spending in the Liberal budget is in the form of tax breaks and subsidies to corporations rather than direct investments in proven emissions reduction projects.
    If we could solve the climate crisis through tax breaks to wealthy corporations, it would have already been done. Members can believe me on this: That is literally Liberals' only solution, which they try again and again.
    We need to be real. The climate crisis is nothing to take lightly. Canadians need a plan that will funnel funds into publicly owned sustainable energy projects to reduce our carbon emissions in the long term. Such investments could be made in public transit, renewable energy projects and infrastructure that makes sense and protects our communities. What we have instead is the continued billion-dollar giveaway to big oil.
    Why are the Liberals more concerned with preserving subsidies for big oil, which made record profits this year, than investing in a sustainable, green economy that will save lives? The government has always said the right things when it comes to the environment. It is an expert at greenwashing. Unfortunately, the government has always done the complete opposite. Continued support for the oil and gas sector hinders our progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
    I want to be clear on this: A New Democrat climate policy would involve investing public money in public carbon emissions reduction plans, such as public transit, decarbonized energy grids and renewable energy alternatives. This would be done at a much higher rate than is done in this budget, which carries with it an incalculable loss for future generations. The truth is that the current Liberal government lacks the imagination and, most importantly, the political will to seriously tackle the climate crisis head-on.


    In closing, New Democrats are proud that we forced the Liberals to make some investments that would make a real difference to the people across the country. However, there is so much more that needs to be done, particularly when it comes to the most marginalized communities—
    I know the hon. member did not get all her speech out, but maybe we can finish that up in questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, when the previous speaker was up, I got a little animated, and I went across the floor. I had an issue that I wanted to raise. A more appropriate way for a parliamentarian to raise an issue is to stand on a point of order and go through the Speaker. I want to apologize to the House. I hold myself to a high standard of conduct, and I just want to apologize for going to the edge of the other bench and having my words personally, versus standing on a point of order, which is the parliamentary thing to do.
    I thank the member for that point of order. We appreciate it.
    Questions and comments. The hon. member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Manitoba serves the riding that is probably the most similar to my riding in all of Canada, and so my question for her is actually quite simple.
    In a riding like ours, the carbon tax disproportionately affects rural and remote communities; many of these are indigenous communities that we serve in these northern and remote ridings. What I understand is that everything that gets to a shelf in the communities in these northern and remote areas is trucked in, and for anything that is trucked in, the cost of trucking it is being substantially increased by the cost of the carbon tax. The increase on the carbon tax is increasing the cost of everything on every shelf, everywhere in our northern communities. Increasing prices at a time when people have less money is not a recipe for economic success.
    The member commented in her speech about the budget being woefully inadequate. With that as the context, my question to the member is simply this: Is she in conflict about supporting the budget, if it is so woefully inadequate?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the commonalities between northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba. I think we have to be very real about what is in front of us, and as I said, while there is good in the budget, there is also much more work that needs to be done.
    However, I certainly want to speak to the issue of cost of living. We absolutely need government to be part of the solution. What is also clear to me in terms of regions like ours, and certainly communities across the country, is that we are not taking on the companies that are making profits on the backs of some of the poorest communities in the country.
    For example, we have the nutrition north subsidy, which has not been reformed in ages, since the Harper government totally reshaped it for the benefit of the Northern Store. The reality is that a lot of communities cannot afford, even with the subsidy, to buy the kinds of healthy foods they need for their families. We need the federal government to be taking a hard look at the nutrition north subsidy and working with northern communities, indigenous communities, harvesters, trappers and organizations that want to make a difference in terms of food security. That is clearly not being done right now.
    I would say more broadly that, when we are talking about the cost of living crisis, we also need good jobs in our communities. I come from a mining town where the Harper government signed a deal with Vale, a Brazilian multinational. This deal led to the loss of every single refining job in my community. We lost almost all the value-added jobs, with some of the best salaries, in my hometown. Families left and have never come back.
    As such, if we are going to be real about what the government needs to do, I would take a hard look at the history of the way in which the Conservative government made life more difficult for northerners in my part of the country and do very differently. This is something we are not seeing much of from the Liberals. I can safely say that if we were in government, it would be a whole different story.


    Mr. Speaker, I do not know how helpful it is to speak in hyperbolic terms, and I think that we need to be more collaborative in this House. I take personal offence, given how hard we fight on this side for indigenous communities, at the suggestion that if we support this budget, for those who think it is wholly inadequate, we must never have set foot in a first nations community. That is certainly not true.
    We are looking for creative solutions to address the housing crisis in indigenous communities across this country. Does the member support the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, which will help indigenous-led solutions for indigenous financial institutions to leverage funding and ensure that these kinds of infrastructure projects can move forward?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not really sure what to do with comments around personal offence. I respect the member's work when it comes to speaking out for first nations.
    A few short weeks ago, 11 first nations in my region declared a public state of emergency because the housing, drug and health care crisis is so bad. If folks are offended by that reality and cannot realize that the Liberals are not addressing it, I am not sure what to say about that. We have to be very real about the crisis in communities, certainly where I come from, in northern and remote fly-in communities. This crisis is not by accident. It is the result of decades of neglect from federal Liberal and Conservative governments. Canada needs to do much better.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise on Bill C-47.
    First, I want to thank members here in the chamber and those who are not for supporting Bill C-248, my private member's bill on the Ojibway national urban park, which passed almost unanimously. I thank members for that.
    It is good to talk about how this place can work. I have worked, at the industry committee, on a couple of Conservative bills, one from the member of Essex, and I am glad that this Parliament is continuing, because that work will continue. However, if we do not support the budget bill, it is very clear what happens. As I hear from many members from all political sides, what they say in the chamber and sometimes in public is not the same thing as we hear in private. They are glad we are not going to an election for a lot of reasons, and they will talk about that quite openly because the consequence would be losing all private members' legislation.
    I have worked with a couple of Conservative members, in particular, on their private member's bill, which are quite good. They are excellent, and a good step forward in making a difference for Canadians. One is on affordability and one is on interoperability with regard to sharing information on farming and other things. Lastly, there is one related to tax incentives, which is important for a number of reasons.
    I think it is important to note, as I start to think about why I am supporting this bill, that there are some things I do not like in a bill and there are things I do like in a bill. That has been the same for me in this place for over 20 years for any government that has come forward. It does not matter which one it has been, whether it was Jean Chrétien's when I first got here or, most recently, that of the member for Papineau, the current Prime Minister. There are certain things I do like and certain things I do not like in a bill. However, overall, I am pretty proud of the NDP being able to use this opportunity to get things passed that were defeated in the previous Parliament, whether it is dental care or more housing initiatives.
    They are not all of the things we wanted and asked for, and we wanted other things to go with them, but we are 25 members moving this country forward. Also, imagine going through another election during a pandemic with no results and it costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The Speaker would have to go through another election for the Speaker position, and we would have all the rigamarole to get the House back in operating form, for probably a regular scenario like we have here.
    I have seen in this chamber other political parties get a lot less or not do anything. I remember that during the Harper minority years, the Liberals supported Harper over 100 times without an amendment. Over 100 times they supported the government de facto, letting it operate as a majority government without any challenges. During that time, Harper brought in the HST, a new tax on consumers, and even taxed hospital parking lots, which are no longer taxed. I could go on with a bunch of things that happened with no resistance whatsoever from the Liberals at that time. We sat next to each other in the old chamber, and I remember asking why they were not doing anything about it. They said they did not want to be bothered right now. We bother because we have to fight for things.
    When I got here, there were only 14 New Democrats, and we played our role, as anybody in opposition, in trying to hold the government to account for a lot of reasons, such as making change and so forth. Then, when Jack Layton joined us, there was a real change in where we were. With where we stand today, we want to make propositions as well as be in opposition. That is what Jack instilled in many of the members here today.
    With the culture we now work in on a regular basis, we look at this as an opportunity to get what Tommy Douglas wanted. Tommy Douglas wanted eye care, dental care and pharmacare as part of the full package, and that is part of what drove us as New Democrats. It was the understanding that our freedom, our sense of well-being and our health are so critically important, not only to us and our families but also to the economy and society, that they should be the number one things protected. That is one of the reasons Tommy Douglas was voted the number one Canadian, with the population supporting him as Canada's favourite Canadian.
    We are now realizing a part of that dream that never came to fruition. It is important to recognize that each province does have some elements of dental care and some elements that are stronger than others. However, this is not across the whole country from coast to coast to coast.


    In the area I represent, I have a lot of child poverty and a lot of single mothers. A lot of people, including my own hygienist, do not have dental coverage. These things are wrong because they affect human health, everything from one's heart to wellness to how one feels as a person. This is all preventable.
    This is money that goes back in the economy. Yes, it does cost the government money and there is a cost and expenditure there, but it is not a tax cut, which is something the Conservatives and the Liberals have done in the past. In fact, Stéphane Dion was arguing with I think Michael Ignatieff at the time about tax cuts not going deep enough and fast enough.
    When there are a lot of U.S. corporations and taxes on worldwide profits, some of our industries send money back to Washington. Instead of doing that, I would rather invest in dental care, as an example, because it saves jobs and lowers the cost of jobs in Canada for foreign investment and other investment.
    Earlier in the debate today, we talked about the Volkswagen plant that is coming in. I have been after a national auto policy and I do not want to see one-offs. I would rather see a strategic investment, especially when it comes to batteries and the platinum age of auto, which we are in right now. In the calculations to do the deal here is the cost of labour. When we look at the productivity of Unifor and other labour organizations in the auto sector, yes, their wages and benefits are a little higher, but they also produce significantly more and better than their counterparts.
    On top of that, when there are programs with subsidies going to the worker instead of the corporation, we control those subsidies and those subsidies are not going off to other countries. They are staying here and are investing in people. Those people with those subsidies are better off regarding production and making sure we can be economically viable.
    There is also the social justice argument, which should be a no-brainer. How anybody in this chamber can accept dental benefits for their own children but deny others the same thing is beyond me. I do not understand how they can come to this place and check that at door every single time. We know we get a privilege benefit from the taxpayers, but we tell them they cannot have that. By the way, we still have not fixed eye care. We do not have that either. That is wrong. We should lead by example, and leading by example means providing things that would be fair and balanced.
    Coming from the border town of Windsor, Ontario, in Essex County, where we have to compete against American jobs every single day, I know from talking to executives that they want health care in this country because they know it means a lower production cost for their workers in the United States, Mexico and other places. It means less turnover and less loss of skills and abilities. Especially with an unemployment rate now of 4% to 5% and having a problem attracting workers, this is key. That is what dental care adds to the equation. It will also bring better stability at the bargaining table.
    The government needs to get on this and help negotiate a settlement agreement for its workers, because we are not going to see any value in keeping the public service out right now. It is not going to pay off whatsoever, and the government needs to change that.
    The point is that, yes, there is a surface cost to paying for Canadians to get dental care for themselves and their families, but it is an investment back in them, our communities and our economy versus a net loss. That is one of the reasons I will support this budget. It is going to complete at least one chapter of Tommy Douglas's dream.


    Mr. Speaker, I want to focus on something pretty fundamental. It is the difference between the budget, which I did not vote for because it failed to address the climate crisis, failed to address mental health issues and puts more money into fossil fuels, and this bill, Bill C-47, the budget implementation act, in which to my surprise, having read 429 pages, I did not find anything I wanted to vote against.
    Yes, the change to the Income Tax Act that would allow CRA to share data to allow dental care to happen is part of Bill C-47, but a whole number of budget measures are not mentioned here. I wonder if, as an experienced parliamentarian, the member can help others, in this educational moment, to understand the difference between voting against the budget, which I did, and voting for Bill C-47, which I surprised myself by finding I am going to vote for.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague and the Green Party for supporting Bill C-248 since the very beginning and the Ojibway national urban park. They were instrumental in getting that done.
    She is quite correct that it is not a double standard, by any means, to do this. It is a challenge. I have seen a game going on for a lot of years where if a member votes against the budget, they vote against everything in the budget. That is not true. There are many things, even with this budget, that the Conservatives would do, the Liberals would do and others would do back and forth. I think that argument is rather tired. It has been used against me repeatedly, but I have been able to get back here. Some have even said that I voted against the bridge, which I have been working on for a long period of time.
    I think people are smart enough to know this, so it is not a double standard by any means. I am glad they are supporting it and they can differentiate between the two.
    Mr. Speaker, when listening to the member, I wanted to reflect on Thomas Mulcair and the type of election platform he provided. However, as opposed to doing that, as I know where the member is coming from and that he has a fairly good understanding of the automobile industry as a whole, my question will be related to the VW announcement. I know he made reference to it a bit earlier today.
    The VW announcement is going to lead to the largest factory in Canada. I am talking geographically, in square footage. It will be a huge boost not only to the community of St. Thomas and the area but to all Canadians, as it will increase Canada's footprint in a significant way in the electrical battery industry, whether it is in mining or production.
    Could he provide his thoughts on the importance of this particular announcement to the automobile industry and other industries beyond it?


    Mr. Speaker, we have to decide, for batteries and the electrification of vehicles, as well as other developments that come along with ancillary employment and innovation, whether we are just going to rip and ship raw materials out of this country and send them somewhere else to be produced or do it here. We have done a disservice to our forestry, mining and oil industries by basically being the hewers versus the producers of value-added work.
    This value-added work is going to happen at the Volkswagen plant. That is why I support the announcement. I think it was done in a strategic way that gives us the best chances in an industry notoriously good at playing off different jurisdictions, such as countries and even neighbourhoods, quite frankly, within municipalities.
    This is also going to help the Windsor region because of the critical mass that will develop between the 401 supply chain. The taxes will come back in droves. It is just like if we had not supported General Motors. We would have lost all of the investment that has recently come in.
    This is a tough thing at times. Accountability is the biggest thing we need to see come forward with it.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    My question was for the NDP member who spoke before him, since she talked a lot about housing, but I think my colleague should be able to answer.
    As I said earlier, we have an acute housing crisis in Canada. One of the issues we do not hear that much about in the House is the financialization of housing, which is something really important. It refers to large national and international corporations' growing ownership of Canadian rental housing stock. It is thought that corporate ownership has gone from zero to 22% in 30 years. These large corporations could not care less about the right to housing. Their primary concern is making a profit. We have to deal with this.
    I would like to ask my colleague if any concrete measures could be taken to tackle this issue.


    Mr. Speaker, I would never speak on behalf of the member from Churchill. That is never going to happen.
    I do want to say that I appreciate the question. I think the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation needs to return more to its roots. We have to look at more not-for-profit and co-operative housing. Those are specific things that I would like to see improved.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in this House and speak to budget 2023 and, more important, Bill C-47, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023.
     The budget this year comes at a time when Canada had the fastest-growing economy in the G7 last year and is projected to be the second-fastest-growing this year and when we have near record-low unemployment rate, having created an additional 865,000 jobs compared to what it was before the pandemic. However, we know those lofty numbers do not mean much for a lot of Canadians who are struggling right now. We have had high inflation since last year, peaking in September at 8.1%. It is now down to about 4.3%, but that has come as a result of the work of the Governor of the Bank of Canada in raising interest rates. We know that many Canadians right now are struggling with the high cost of living.
    That is why the budget would make some important investments to help many folks with affordability measures. Key to this is a new grocery rebate, which would help 11 million low-to-modest-income Canadians with up to $467 per couple to help with the rising cost of food. For students right now, as of April 1 of this year, we have eliminated all interest on student loans and we have increased the Canada student grants by 40%. We are also creating a new project and expanding a project to create automatic tax filing for Canadians, because we know it is really important for Canadians to file their taxes so they can get some of the benefits that I was just speaking about.
    This budget would also make historic investments in health care: almost $200 billion over 10 years, which would be key for areas like mine, where access to a family health practitioner is a very big challenge. We are also expanding Canada's dental care program for families earning under $90,000. Last year, we started it with children 12 and under. This year, it would be for Canadians who are 18 and under and those over the age of 65. There are also some very important investments that would be made to tackle the opioid epidemic, which has struck B.C. very hard.
     There are also some major investments in this budget in creating the good jobs of today and the good jobs of tomorrow. We know the world is rapidly transitioning to a cleaner economy, and that is why this budget would make significant investments in supporting renewable electricity projects right across the country, not just for the private sector, but also working with Crown corporations and provinces to do that.
     There are new tax credits for clean hydrogen. I know this is going to be very important for companies in my riding like Quantum Technology, which is involved in projects for the purification and liquefaction of hydrogen. There are also some major investments being made in zero-emissions manufacturing. With the creation of new funds like the Canada growth fund, we would be able to crowd in private capital for projects just like the one that was announced last week with Volkswagen, to create a massive new battery-manufacturing plant in Canada.
     Because it is National Tourism Week this week, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this budget would make some significant down payments on the launch of Canada's new tourism growth strategy. There is over $100 million that would go toward the regional development agencies to support local projects. There would be about $50 million going to Destination Canada to attract international events to Canada, and there would be investments made to speed up the operations at airports, including investments in improving the protection of passenger rights.
    With that, I will turn to the budget implementation act, which is where the rubber hits the road on a lot of these measures.
    I mentioned passenger rights. Right now, we have a backlog of about 30,000 people who are waiting for their cases of delayed flights or cancelled flights to be adjudicated. We would change the process that we utilize for this by switching the onus so that it is not on the travellers to prove that they should be refunded, but on the airline itself to prove that they should not. This would greatly speed up the process and get passengers the refunds they deserve.
    As I am a British Columbia MP, there are a couple of areas of this implementation act that are very important to me. The issue of money laundering in B.C. has really been put in the spotlight with the Cullen commission, which the Province of British Columbia commissioned and which delivered its report relatively recently. This report highlights many of the vulnerabilities that we have in Canada in tackling money laundering.


    Canada has the dubious distinction of being a haven for this, a process called snow-washing. It is because we have a system without the necessary checks in it and a very well-respected financial system. This budget implementation act would make some very important changes to help us better control this challenge. In particular, it would criminalize the operation of unregistered money services businesses; it would create an ability to freeze and seize virtual assets with suspected links to crime; it would improve the financial intelligence, information sharing and strategic analysis of FINTRAC; and it would create a new offence for structuring financial transactions to avoid FINTRAC reporting. Importantly, a commitment has been made to implement all of the recommendations that are listed by the Cullen commission.
    These measures also dovetail to other measures that we are currently debating in this House. We introduced Bill C-42 to create a national beneficial ownership registry so we will know who are the people behind a lot of the numbered companies, which are sometimes using this to evade paying taxes, evade sanctions or do money laundering. Importantly, this system would work very closely with beneficial ownership registries that the provinces are implementing, where the vast majority of companies are incorporated. There is also a commitment made in this budget to work with provinces and territories to look at things like unexplained wealth orders, which would greatly enhance the tools that law enforcement has to be able to locate and seize assets that could be from proceeds of crime.
    As I am a coastal MP, there are a number of measures in this budget that I was very happy to see, particularly the new vessel remediation fund and changes to the abandoned boats program. This measure was introduced in 2017 by my former colleague Bernadette Jordan, and it created a fund to clean up boats that had sunk to the bottom of the ocean and were polluting the ocean. This was incredibly important and actually removed a lot of boats from waters around my riding. However, we need to go a step further, because it is much more effective to take those boats out of the water before they sink rather than having to clean them up once they have already sunk.
    In the budget implementation act, we are establishing a new vessel remediation fund, which would be boat owner-financed, to provide the resources so we can do some of this very important work. There would be the creation of an allowance for financing of preventative measures, such as voluntary vessel disposal activities, so that vessels at risk of becoming dilapidated, wrecked or abandoned can access funding to repair, secure, move or dismantle and sell them. This is very important because it would save a lot money, reduce the amount of pollution we are seeing in the bottom of our oceans and help a lot of folks I know in my riding, like Don MacKenzie, who, out of the goodness of his own heart, has taken it upon himself to clean these boats up.
    I want to talk about something that I think we can all agree on in this House, and that is changes to the alcohol excise tax. As of April 1 this year, the alcohol escalator tax was supposed to increase by over 6%. Through measures that have been introduced in the budget implementation act, we have capped this at 2%. I know this will be a hugely important measure for the breweries in my riding, over a dozen, to be able to provide their products at a cost that is much lower than it would have been. It is really important that we do things like this and support small businesses, which, like all Canadians, are facing rising costs.
    The last thing I will mention is that there is a commitment in the budget this year to lower the credit card swipe fees. There is an agreement with Visa and Mastercard to lower credit swipe fees by 27%. This would save businesses thousands of dollars. It is a really important measure to support small businesses in Canada, so they, in turn, do not have to pass on some of the additional costs they would face as a result of those credit card swipe fees.
    With that, I would encourage all members of this House to vote in favour of this important piece of legislation so we can make some of these great changes and put them into effect.


    Madam Speaker, I know my colleague and I share a passion for the environment. Something I was really excited to see as part of the budget was the Canada water agency and protections for our fresh water in the country. Can he comment on how important that is and how it is achieving a commitment we made to Canadians across the country?
    Madam Speaker, there have been many years of work put into designing this new Canada water agency. We are excited that it is going to be in the Prairies, in Winnipeg.
    There are so many different federal agencies in Canada that have some type of responsibility related to water. This would provide an opportunity for all of those different organizations to collaborate in a very meaningful way so we can better address issues like water quality and water quantity, issues we know we are increasingly going to see.
    I think it is very important that it is established in Winnipeg because we know the Prairies are facing some of the largest challenges, sometimes with water scarcity and sometimes with flooding. I am very excited to see that in the budget this year. I think it is going to make a huge difference on one of the most important issues related to the environment.
    Madam Speaker, I note that the member did not discuss the deficits that are projected in the budget. If we look through to 2027-28, they project that the combined debt of Canada will be over $1.3 trillion, which is more than double what it was when the government took office. Does he think that qualifies as being fiscally responsible?


    Madam Speaker, I think it is very important that we remain fiscally prudent in this budget, and always. In my province of B.C., we have seen an example of perhaps too much spending. Recently, B.C. had its credit rating downgraded and we have not seen that in Canada. I think that is an important measure to understand the fiscal sustainability of this.
    There are some very important investments that needed to be made. I do not know whether the Conservatives would not have made the investments in health care or whether they would not have made some of the affordability measures. It is on the Conservative Party to explain to this House what services it would have cut. Those are areas that I certainly would not support cutting.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's advocacy on the climate crisis, and I also appreciate hearing his comments when it comes to new subsidies that were introduced in this budget for the very sector most responsible for the crisis that we are in. There are at least four, totalling over $3.3 billion in this budget, including new offshore drilling in the Arctic. Can he speak to the influence he can have in this place to move toward ending subsidies like these?
    Madam Speaker, a commitment has been made as part of the G20 to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. We brought that commitment up to the end of this year. We remain committed to doing that. I think it is very important that we do that because we know the world is quickly transitioning to a cleaner economy and there are tremendous opportunities for Canada, as we go forward, to do that. The subsidies we should be providing are the ones that we see in this budget, such as for clean electricity, clean hydrogen and other things.
    I would also mention that the measures in the budget for carbon capture are very important, particularly to take some of the legacy emissions already in the air. There is a company in my riding called Carbon Engineering, which is doing direct air capture. We do need to support companies like that because even when we get to net zero, we are going to have to continue to take carbon out of the atmosphere.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about “a line we shall not cross.” Only one short year ago, the finance minister said, “let me be very clear: We are absolutely determined that our debt-to-GDP ratio must continue to decline.” It did not. In fact, it went up. She also said, “Our deficits must continue to be reduced”, which they were not. She said, “The pandemic debt we incurred to keep Canadians safe and solvent must—and will—be paid down.” It was not. “This is our fiscal anchor. This is a line we shall not cross”, she said. Just last November, the Liberals predicted that the budget would have a $4.5-billion surplus in 2027. Now, they say there is going to be a $14-billion deficit in 2027.
    I am stuck on the words “a line we shall not cross”. High-sounding words of integrity they are indeed, but so many lines have been crossed. In 2015, the Prime Minister promised that the budget would be balanced by 2019. It did not happen. This year alone, the government will go another $43 billion into debt. In 2019, the Prime Minister said that the debt-to-GDP ratio would go down. It did not happen. Do members remember his abandoned promise from 2019? He promised to cut mobile phone rates by 25%. It never happened.
    The Liberals then said, in 2021, that they would create a $5-billion mental health transfer, which was a major promise of transfer to the provinces. It did not happen. It is not mentioned in the budget at all. Do members remember 2015? The Prime Minister said that the election would be the last first-past-the-post one. It did not happen. In 2019, he said, “we will plant two billion trees”. It never happened. How about the carbon tax and the claim that “Canadians get back more than they pay”? This is not true, says the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer. Let us not forget the perennial pharmacare promise in almost every Liberal platform over the last 30 years. In this budget, the word “pharmacare” does not even appear. There is not one mention.
    How about the claim that interest rates will remain low, or that we need to be worried about deflation, not inflation? How about the promise of affordable housing or rent? The Liberals have spent $89 billion on a national housing strategy that hardly creates more housing. Since 2015, mortgage payments, down payments and rents have doubled. They promised to help students, but instead cut the Canada student grant from $6,000 to $4,200 a year.
    The Prime Minister promised to keep our streets safer, yet violent crime is way up. Another promise, “We will make information more accessible by requiring transparency to be a fundamental principle across the federal government”, did not happen. He also promised to stop money laundering. Canada is now such a haven for money launderers that it has its own name: snow-washing. This is not a badge of honour.
    Let us talk about crossing a line. The Prime Minister just appointed, and I cannot believe I am even saying this, as it sounds so ridiculous, the sister-of-law of the intergovernmental affairs minister as the Ethics Commissioner. The minister himself has been charged by the last ethics commissioner.
    It is time for Conservatives to cross a line, the line between this side of the aisle and the government side of the aisle. We will cross that line after the next election, members can be sure, when the member for Carleton is the next prime minister of Canada.
    Conservatives were looking for just three reasonable things in this budget: lower taxes for Canadian workers, an end to inflationary deficit spending, and meaningful measures to make housing more affordable. None of the three Conservative demands has been met, and there is not a chance that Conservatives will support this anti-worker, tax-hiking, inflationary budget.
    Let us talk taxes. Nearly all economists agree that raising taxes during or just before an economic slowdown is absolutely terrible economic policy, yet this government continues raising taxes for ordinary Canadians. The Parliamentary Budget Officer shows that the carbon tax will cost average families way more than the rebate they receive. There is a war on work in this country. Higher taxes mean less take-home pay. Do we know what happens when we punish work? We get less work. Just this year, the Prime Minister raised payroll taxes on workers and small businesses. A worker making about $66,600 will be forced to pay an extra $305.


    By increasing the excise tax on alcohol by 2%, Liberals are still raising taxes on the restaurants and breweries that are struggling to survive. Just when service industry workers are trying to get back on their feet from the pandemic, the current government's brilliant plan is to make it more expensive for Canadians to dine out.
    Let us talk about inflationary spending. In 2015, the total federal debt was about $600 billion. Today, it has doubled, to $1.2 trillion, which is $600 billion from Confederation to 2015 and $600 billion from 2015 to 2023. That is nearly $81,000 per household in Canada. To make matters worse, this year alone, interest on this massive debt will cost Canadians $43 billion. To put that into perspective, it is almost as much as what the federal health care transfer will be, at $49.4 billion. That is interest, going to pay wealthy bondholders and bankers, that is more than enough to fund the health care transfer. Even with revenues way up, the government is going to borrow another $175 billion between now and 2028, bringing the debt to over $1.3 trillion. The spending in this year's budget is $63 billion higher than it was a year ago. That is $4,200 for each and every Canadian, which is almost enough to house the Prime Minister in the hotel room for one whole night.
    The massive federal bureaucracy is costing Canadians in a major way. Here is a troubling statistic: Personnel spending over the past two years increased by 30.9% to $60.7 billion. In spite of that, we now have the biggest strike in Canadian history. That takes a very special kind of incompetence.
    It gets even worse. At the same time, expenditures for external contracting have more than doubled since 2015, to over $20 billion, with billions going to wealthy companies like McKinsey and other consulting firms that are totally unaccountable to taxpayers. Never before has a government spent so much to achieve so little. As Canadians are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, the current government is raking in record revenues. It will receive $413 billion this year, which is up $151 billion from 2015. In fact, Canada's per capita economic growth has been the weakest among the OECD countries, despite all of this spending.
    The dream of home ownership has died for young and new Canadians under the current Prime Minister. Nine in 10 people who do not own a home believe they never will. We have the most expensive housing on the planet, higher in some of our cities than in New York, Los Angeles and other major cities. That makes no sense, with only 38 million people living on the second-largest land mass in the world. Young people who have done everything we have asked them to do, such as go to school and work hard, are living in their parents' basements.
    Conservatives will make sure that the municipal gatekeepers get out of the way so we can get some homes built. We will sell off 15% of federal buildings for affordable housing and will bring back the dream of home ownership.
    Grocery price inflation is in the double digits for the seventh month in a row. Record numbers of people are using food banks. One in five Canadians is skipping meals. The Prime Minister now stands up in the House and brags about all the cheques he is sending for this or that, but the government has no money. It first has to take it from Canadians before it gives it back. Why not leave it where it belongs in the first place? The so-called grocery rebate will not come close to covering the rising cost of food that the inflationary Liberal deficits and tax hikes have caused. The “Canada Food Price Report 2023” predicts that a family of four will spend up to $1,065 more on food this year.
    We must bring home a country where people bring home powerful paycheques. Canada must work for the people who have done the work. Conservatives will bring home powerful paycheques, with lower taxes. We will scrap the carbon tax so hard work pays off again. We will bring home lower prices by ending the inflationary debts and deficits that drive inflation. We will make sure that homes are affordable for young Canadians again. That is what Conservatives will do.


    Madam Speaker, I listened intently to the speech by the member opposite this morning. By the sound of it, he was supporting some progressive ideas that he had hoped to see in the budget.
    My question is simply this. Can we expect to see, in the next Conservative platform, things like aggressive emissions reduction targets, support for unions and workers, pharmacare and electoral reform? I am curious what his response would be.
    Madam Speaker, the reality is that we need to be able to afford to have these things. We have the weakest growth of OECD countries, despite having more than doubled our debt to over $1.3 trillion since the current government took office. We need to grow the economy. We need policies that create more wealth so we can afford the important programs Canadians deserve.
    Madam Speaker, the member spoke directly about some of the massive issues facing Canadians. Some of them are the most critical when its come to affordability. We know there are programs that can be funded to ensure that Canadians have a better outcome in their lives, like dental care and pharmacare. We know that Canadians value these programs.
    We want to see the Conservatives, however, speak about revenue generation. We know that, for example, an excess profits tax is something the Conservatives in the United Kingdom have done to try to bring into balance some of the big oil companies making record profits and to help finance and give regular people a chance during this cost of living crisis. Would the member agree that a profiteering tax to curb the excess profits of big oil companies, big banks and some of the country's largest companies should actually be done?
    Madam Speaker, only the NDP could think that raising taxes for Canadians would make life more affordable for Canadians. The reality is that we need to increase the size of our economic output so we can afford the important programs that the member cares about, and I hope he comes along with us to bring in policies that promote economic growth.


    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his speech. What I found interesting was that he used the word “workers” a lot. It always sounds odd to me, hearing the word “workers” from the mouth of a Conservative, but I suppose it is good to hear, because at least it means they might be somewhat concerned about them.
    What has left me wondering, however, is that I do not recall the Conservatives advocating for one of the things that workers want most of all, something the Bloc has also been calling for, which is EI reform in order to make it more generous. I would like to know what the member has to offer workers who need help and support for a period of time when they lose their jobs, especially in this time of high inflation, with costs going up everywhere.



    Madam Speaker, the reality is that the current Prime Minister has increased spending on our public service by $20 billion at the same time as increasing spending on external consultants by $20 billion, and he still managed to trigger the largest strike in Canadian history. Yes, I do worry about the workers in this country, but I lay the problems workers have in this country squarely at the feet of the Prime Minister.
    Madam Speaker, it is astonishing to me to hear the NDP and Liberal members stand up in the House, with the record-shattering levels of debt and spending they are undertaking together, and call for, in the debate today, more spending.
    I hearken back to the Trudeau government of the seventies and eighties and the massive debt and deficits they rang up. This resulted in record cuts to social services, like health, education and all of those different things, in the late nineties, by another Liberal government, precipitated by the massive levels of debt taken on by the Trudeau government of the seventies and eighties. I wonder if the hon. member could reflect on what it was like in the late nineties, when we saw $35 billion cut from health, education and social services transfers in this country.
    Madam Speaker, in 1995, the most draconian budget in Canadian history was brought in by Liberal finance minister Paul Martin. Why did he do it? It was because he had to. He had to do it because the Government of Canada was broke. It could no longer borrow money. It had hit a wall. The Wall Street Journal was saying that Canada was an economic basket case, because interest rates were high and debt was high, and the Government of Canada could no longer afford to maintain its credit rating or pay for the important programs Canadians required. That is where we are heading today.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to start by sharing, as I usually do, what I like about the bill we are debating this afternoon, in this case, Bill C-47, which would implement some measures that were in the budget, many that would benefit people in my community.
     I would like to share two examples.
    The first is dental care, which is part 4, division 29. Bill C-47 takes meaningful steps to advance the new Canada dental care plan specifically by introducing the dental care measures act. The measures in Bill C-47 move toward dental coverage, starting for those who need it most, including uninsured Canadians under 18, people with disabilities and seniors who have a family income of less than $90,000. Those with average annual family incomes under $70,000 would have their dental visit covered by the federal government without any out-of-pocket costs.
    Second, there is a provision to lower the criminal rate of interest, which is in part 4, division 34. Bill C-47 would amend the Criminal Code to cut the maximum allowable rate of interest to 35% from 47%, at least for alternative lenders, like EasyFinancial, for example. It is a positive step forward that I support, but, sadly, it does not include all companies like this, specifically, predatory payday lenders. Money Mart, for example, would still be exempt from this new rate cap. However, it is a step in the right direction.
    In light of constructive measures like these, I intend on supporting Bill C-47.
     I recognize this is in contrast to how I voted on the budget as a whole, which was against. Therefore, I would like share more, with the rest of my time, on why this was the case. In brief, it is because the budget does not meet the moment we are in.
     I will start with housing, and the words of the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate, an advocate whose role was created by the federal government. It said, “The newly unveiled Federal Budget is a sorry disappointment. It completely misses the mark on addressing the most pressing housing crisis this country has ever seen.”
    Tim Richter from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness said, “It’s clear that the federal government does not see the scale and urgency of these crises, and have offered no solutions.”
    When I look at my community, the housing crisis has and will continue to define us. The number of people living unsheltered has at least tripled since 2018, as encampments continue to grow across our community. When we look at the cost of rent and homes, in 2022 compared to 2005, house prices had gone up 275%, while wages had only gone up by 42%. However, in this budget, there is almost no new investments in housing, and the one investment that was made, an important one in indigenous housing, is back-loaded, meaning the funding will not begin until future years.
    There is also nothing to address the commodification of the housing market to move us back toward homes being places for people to live and not commodities for investors to trade. There is so much the federal government can and should be doing on this front.
     One example of a sensible, simple measure I proposed is to end the tax exemptions for large, corporate investors, real estate investment trusts and direct the minimum of $285 million of revenue that this would generate to build the affordable housing that we need.
    Next is on mental health. I will read the words of Margaret Eaton, National CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association. She says, “The budget is out of touch with the reality of Canadians’ well-being and their ability to afford mental health services. I believe that the government has missed the mark, and that there will be deep human and economic costs to pay.” I feel the same way, and that is reflected in the stories I hear from people and organizations in my community.
     Very specifically, the governing party ran on a campaign that included dedicated mental health funds. In fact, there were $4.5 billion, to be called the Canada mental health transfer, yet there has been some kind of a magic trick, because that has just disappeared in the time since, including again in this budget. At a time when people in my community need that support now more than ever we cannot separate the housing crisis from the reality of the mental health services that people need.


    Third, when it comes to reducing poverty, one of the most effective ways to do that is to ensure we lift people with disabilities out of poverty. In fact, we could cut poverty by 40% if we followed through on promises for which the disability community have advocated, and that is to introduce the Canada disability benefit. Again, in this year's budget, the federal government chose not to do it.
     We know that when the federal government is serious about moving ahead with a policy, it does not start with legislation in the way it did with the disability benefit; it starts with funding. It is what it did with child care, and it is what it is not doing here. It is unfortunate that we will continue to see people with disabilities living in legislated poverty because of this budget. The governing party chose to not move ahead with that as quickly as it should. Neither did the Liberals introduce an emergency response benefit for people living with disabilities.
    When it comes to the arts community, I would like to share another quote with the members:
    [Budget 2023] does not offer a vision for how Canada’s arts, culture, and heritage sector can contribute to the fight against existential challenges of our time....We are...disappointed there is no new funding announced...for critical areas like [modernization initiatives]...supporting repatriation...or helping create new Indigenous museums or cultural centres.
    This is from the BC Museums Association. It reflects concerns in my community also, including organizations like the KW Symphony and Centre in the Square, which need all levels of government to step up. When demand has not returned to prepandemic levels, we need to be continuing to support arts and culture organizations across the country. Instead, in this budget, if it is not a festival or a federally owned national museum, there is nothing here.
    Last, is with respect to climate. I will quote the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who said, “the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”
    Even so, in this budget, at a time when the governing party says time and again it is committing to phasing out so-called unabated fossil fuel subsidies, it has introduced four new ones, including funding for drilling in the Arctic for more oil. At a time when we know we need to move with urgency to address the climate crisis we are facing, does it not make sense that we start by not subsidizing the very sector most responsible for the crisis at a time when its profits are over $38 billion among the five largest oil and gas companies across the country?
    Julia Levin, the associate director of national climate at Environmental Defence, said:
    Rather than finally delivering on the government’s promise to end fossil fuel subsidies, this budget throws more fuel on the fire by funneling even more public dollars into false solutions that serve to prop up the fossil fuel industry. Carbon capture and hydrogen are great for greenwashing oil and gas, but they won’t deliver meaningful emissions reductions.
    She knows as well as I do that this is exactly what we need at this point in this critical decade when we have a chance to keep global average temperatures below 1.5°C.
    I want to encourage all my colleagues here to push for measures that would address these significant gaps that I know are priorities, not only for people in Kitchener and in Waterloo Region but right across the country, when it comes to addressing the housing crisis, mental health, lifting up people with disabilities, investing in the arts and addressing the climate crisis that we are in, while also being mindful that there are important measures in Bill C-47 that we all should be supporting.


    Madam Speaker, Kitchener has a place in my heart as well, because I have family members who live and work in Kitchener. The member spent some time talking about the affordable housing issue and that not enough was being done in this budget. Does he agree with the Conservatives' thoughts on affordable housing, which is getting municipalities out of the way and letting the government go in, build houses and solve the problem? It has to have the municipal touch on it. Does the member agree with that statement?
    Madam Speaker, my concern with the talking points from the Conservative Party is that they are playing on justifiable anger but then not offering reasonable solutions. The fact is that we need all three levels of government working together, and browbeating municipalities is not how we are going to solve the housing crisis. What will is the federal government getting back to the stage of investing in the housing we need, non-market and co-op housing, the way we used to in the eighties and the nineties. Anything less is unacceptable.
    Madam Speaker, although we do not always see eye to eye on everything, I do appreciate the tone my colleague from Kitchener Centre brings to this place.
     I would like to stick on the topic of housing. To the point that was just made, the Conservative Party has brought forward a number of solutions, such as bringing forward a plan to speed up building permits to get more homes built and create an incentive for housing units to be developed. There is certainly a need for more affordable housing and social housing, no question about it, but we also see issues with supply around regular market housing in my region as well.
     I would like to get the member's comments on what our party has brought forward to help address the issues we see with market housing.
    Madam Speaker, I would agree. The member for Kenora's tone in a similar way is how we have constructive conversations here. However, I will also agree to disagree.
     I have not heard those kinds of proposals from the Conservative Party, and I would like to hear more of it. For example, when it comes to building the supply we need, the proposal I offered was with respect to at least looking at large corporate investors who are not building. They are primarily buying existing units and are getting preferential tax treatment for it.
    Why is the Conservative Party not stepping up to say that we should at least have them pay their taxes, and with the minimum $285 million that this would generate, invest in the supply of the affordable housing we need? I would welcome more support across the aisle on reasonable proposals like that.



    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech, which once again demonstrates his well-developed sense of balance and impartiality.
    I recall that, during the pandemic, the government and the Prime Minister kept repeating that no one would be left behind. Even so, people with great credit scores of 800 and 900 ended up going bankrupt because they were among those left behind by the government. At some point, they were unable to make ends meet. These people have been left behind because when they file for bankruptcy or make a consumer proposal, their excellent credit rating is wiped out. There has been no effort to come up with legislation for this, and to ensure that the major credit score companies consider people's history and also exceptional circumstances.
    Is it not time to pass legislation so that these people are not left behind and their personal lives impacted for five or even 10 years by this omission?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou raises a good point, and it is true that many people have been left behind by this government. I am thinking in particular of the homeless and people living with disabilities. Many people need more than lip service. They need investments and legislation to show them that the federal government is there for them.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to join the debate on Bill C‑47 and highlight our government's efforts to support the middle class, build a strong and prosperous economy, and help Canadians cope with the rising cost of living.
    The 2023 budget tabled last month by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance proposes, for one, targeted inflation relief for 11 million Canadians and families. That is what I would like to talk about today.
    This targeted relief is both necessary and appropriate. Since 2015, the government has been committed to helping those who need it most, and that has not changed. On the one hand, Canada's recovery from the recession caused by COVID‑19 has been remarkable. There are 865,000 more Canadians in the workforce now than there were before the pandemic, and the unemployment rate is near its record low. Inflation also continues to drop.
    On the other hand, there are challenges that remain. For example, inflation is still too high. Canadian families are feeling the effects every time they go grocery shopping. Rising prices for basic necessities are a concern for many Canadians.
    In the 2023 budget, we propose new, targeted inflation relief for the Canadians hardest hit by rising food prices. Thanks to this grocery rebate, 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families will receive financial assistance. These 11 million Canadians include people in my riding of London West.
    In concrete terms, this represents up to $467 for couples with children and up to $234 for single people without children. It represents an extra $225 on average for seniors. This assistance will be provided through goods and services tax credits. The reimbursement will be paid by the Canada Revenue Agency as a one-time payment shortly after Bill C‑47 passes.
    I am therefore happy to see that our grocery rebate is advancing well at the legislative level, Bill C‑46 now being before the Senate after having been adopted by the House on April 19.
    That represents a $2.5-billion investment for the treasury. It is indeed an investment that will strengthen Canada's social safety net and improve the quality of life of millions of Canadians, without boosting inflation. It would be unreasonable to send a cheque to every Canadian, since that would only make things more difficult for the Bank of Canada, and things would remain more expensive longer for all Canadians.
    We need to understand that the worst appears to be behind us in terms of inflation, which has declined every month in the past nine months and is now holding stable at 4.3%. That being said, we know that some families are having a harder time than others, and they are the ones that need help.
    Budget implementation Bill C‑47 also includes a series of measures to help Canadians face the rise in the cost of living. They include legislative amendments to crack down on predatory lending. The bill also includes several provisions to implement the new Canadian dental care plan. This will help up to nine million Canadians, and ensure that no one in Canada has to choose between dental care and paying their monthly bills.
    This is in addition to other measures included in budget 2023. I am thinking in particular of collaboration with regulatory agencies, provinces and territories to reduce junk fees such as high roaming and telecommunications charges, excessive baggage fees and unfair shipping fees. I am also thinking of the implementation of a right to repair to make it easier and less costly to repair appliances and electronics than to replace them. The possibility of implementing a common charging port for telephones, tablets, cameras and laptops will also be explored.


    There is also a reduction in credit card transaction fees for small businesses.
    This is also in addition to measures already in place, such as the reduction of day care fees at regulated services across Canada. Six provinces and territories already provide regulated child care services at $10 per day or less, on average. The other provinces and territories are on track to do so by 2026. We have also strengthened the day care system in Quebec. In that province, we are providing more day care spaces.
    These are responsible measures. All Canadians want right now is for inflation to keep declining. Canada is proud of its tradition of fiscal responsibility. It is a tradition that the government is determined to maintain. That is why budget 2023 will allow Canada to keep the lowest deficit and net debt-to-GDP ratio among the G7. Budget 2023 will slow the growth of public spending and bring it back to prepandemic levels.
    In exercising fiscal restraint, we ensure that we will continue to make investments for Canadians. With targeted investments, we will help those who truly need it. There are investments in housing, because our economy is built by people and people need a roof. There are investments in labour so workers have the skills needed to find and keep good jobs. There are also investments to strengthen the immigration system so that we can welcome a record number of qualified workers and help growing businesses.
    In conclusion, Bill C‑47 will help the most vulnerable Canadians cope with price increases. It will ensure that no one is left behind. This bill will make it possible to consider everyone and manage the public finances effectively.
    I encourage hon. members to support this bill and help create a stronger and more prosperous future for Canada.



    Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member could tell us a little more about the help that this budget would provide to vulnerable people in her riding.
    Madam Speaker, it is important to highlight that this budget targets families and young children. There would be dental care for families in need.
    I just mentioned that this budget really targets families that are struggling, and that is what our government is trying to do right now to support Canadians who are struggling the most. The grocery rebate would go 11 million targeted Canadians to make sure they have the support they need to continue to thrive in the environment we are in.
    Madam Speaker, I have had a chance to chat with the hon. member about some issues, and I know we are concerned and care about similar issues regarding vulnerable Canadians.
    I brought up earlier, as I do many times in the House, one of the things I am concerned about. Looking back, the Liberal government of the late 1990s had to cut $35 billion in transfers to provinces for things such as health care, social services and education, many of the things that most impact the most vulnerable of Canadians. It had to do that because of deficits run up by the Trudeau government in the 1970s.
    Is the member at all concerned with these record-breaking deficits, the record-breaking levels of spending that we are seeing right now, and that there might be a similar challenge down the road, in the future, caused by the record levels of spending we are seeing right now?
    Madam Speaker, I have had multiple occasions to talk with my colleague about similar, shared interests and how we are both working to serve Canadians. I do agree that we care about a lot of similar things, including health care.
    I want to talk about how this budget would help Canadians. This budget would ensure that all Canadians have access to health care, dental care and doctors. We also need to talk about protecting the Canada Health Act and making sure it is not about those who make more money who are able to access health care. Those things are really important for my riding, and those things are really important for Ontarians and Canadians altogether.
    It is important to talk about how this government has set up Canadians to be successful in the future by investing in child care and dental care, and by making sure that all Canadians are starting on good ground to be successful, as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Madam Speaker, on certain things, we do agree. The budget considers some people, but it leaves out a huge number of others.
    The fact that the budget offers no new money for housing is appalling. These announcements are nothing new. They were made before, over the past two years. Now, however, the need is glaring. It seems that 3.5 million housing units will be required in the next 10 years, without even factoring in population growth. Every newcomer has the right to decent housing.
    Will my colleague confirm that her government will invest new money in housing, instead of simply rehashing old announcements?
    Madam Speaker, I greatly appreciate my colleague's commitment to making sure all Canadians have access to housing, to a home.
    This government has invested a lot in housing. We can talk about the $40,000 that young people like me can invest today to be able to buy a home. We can talk about the interest that has been removed from student loans so students can have money to invest in a home. We can also talk about the fact that the money we invested in child care now allows people have a little more money to do groceries and to buy a home.
    I think we can agree that everyone in the House is committed to making sure all Canadians—


    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Edmonton West.


    Madam Speaker, I rise today to talk about the budget implementation act, just one of a string of many betrayals of Albertans and future generations. I will offer a spoiler alert right now, in case anyone is waiting until the end of my speech to see whether I will be supporting this bill. The answer is no.
    There are far too many reasons why I oppose this bill to explain in just 10 minutes. There are lots of bad parts in this bill. If I do not discuss them or mention them, it is just due to a lack of time. It is not intentional.
    The Liberal Party continues to treat our children, our grandchildren and future generations as an ATM with this bill. The debt has soared to an eyewatering $1.2 trillion. Just as a ballpark, there are about 28 million taxpayers in Canada. That is about $42,000 for every taxpayer. People in their twenties or thirties right now have mostly given up any chance of owning a home. As an added bonus of being able to spend all this time in their parents' basements, they are going to be saddled and crushed with future debt from the government.
    The Liberal government is going to claim that a lot of this spending is Harper's fault, which is a default for them. Their members will get up to say that it is due to the pandemic; they had to because of the pandemic.
    We need to look at the taxes collected, not just the gross amount of spending going out. In 2019-20, what I call “1 BC”, before COVID, the government collected $334 billion in taxes for the year, including personal taxes, excise, GST and corporate taxes. In 2021-22, during the COVID period, the amount of taxes increased to $413 billion. This year's budget expects $457 billion to be collected in taxes, rising to $543 billion collected in 2028.
    The last year before COVID was a very good year for the world, with strong economies around strong employment. There was low growth, but it was still relatively strong. From then to now, there has been an $8,200-per-family increase in the amount of taxes collected by the government. I have to ask if families feel they are getting an extra $8,200 extra in services this year. What did $8,200 per family for just one year get us? We have had to wait six months for passports and have missed weddings, funerals and other occasions. We have had a record delay in immigration backlogs, five-hour waits at Pearson Airport and missed flights because of the incompetence of the transport minister.
    The government claimed to be taken by surprise about the increase in travel. Who could have possibly foreseen an increase in demand for travel as COVID ended? Do we know who did? The transportation safety authority, CATSA, actually had in its corporation plan that exponential growth was expected in travel, yet somehow the transport minister missed it and did not get our airports ready for that.
    We have ended up with 1.5 million Canadians visiting food banks. We have had a record increase in violent crime, and we are seeing the largest strike in the history of the public service in Canada right now. That is what we are getting for $8,200 more per family in taxes collected.
    The government's own record from the Treasury Board president shows that the government actually missed 51% of all its targeted goals for service to Canadians. They still managed to pay out well over $100 million in bonuses to bureaucrats for that failure, so we have $8,200 a year for extra taxes collected and nothing back. I guess I should be thankful that the government has not collected $10,000 more per family. Imagine the level of incompetence delivered for that.
    Let us look at the debt side. Last year, despite $103 billion more in taxes taken from Canadians than in the pre-COVID era, we have $43 billion added to the debt. This year, there is going to be a gobsmacking $123 billion more in taxes collected from Canadians than in the pre-COVID era, and yet we are still going to have a $43-billion deficit. In 2028, at the end of the five-year budget forecast cycle, it is predicted that $200 billion more in taxes will be collected from Canadians compared with the last year before COVID. It is still forecasting a deficit. How is it that taxes can be increased almost 60% to 70% and we still end up with a deficit? Actually, it is 62% more revenue, yet still a deficit.


    The finance minister famously stated about a year ago that Canada could not afford not to go deeper into debt. Of course, she also said that deflation, not inflation, was the issue to worry about and that growth would stay higher than interest rates. Considering her track record, I hope everyone will excuse me if I do not go to her for a forecast for the Lotto 6/49 numbers.
    I want to look at the interest costs. This is money coming out of taxpayers' pockets and the government's pocket that goes right to bondholders and Bay Street bankers and provides nothing to Canadians. We are going to be paying $235 billion in interest costs alone over the next five years. Almost a quarter of a trillion dollars will be gone, just for interest payments. That is $13,000 per family in Canada, just for non-productive interest. It is not going to help health care or anything.
    In five years' time, in 2028, interest alone is forecasted to be $50 billion. To put this into perspective, $50 billion in one year is 31% more than Alberta is paying for health care. Alberta pays more per capita than any other province in Canada, and we are going to be spending 31% more just on interest than we are paying for health care.
    It is far more than we pay for defence. We have heard the horrible stories of Canadian soldiers serving in Poland and not being reimbursed for their meals. However, the government is going to spend far more on interest than we pay for all our defence.
    I want to put this into perspective for government members, so they can understand better what that $50 billion is. It is eight million nights in a luxury hotel suite in London. It is half a million individual suspect donations to the Trudeau Foundation from Beijing Communists or about two and a half years of the government shovelling money into Liberal-connected consulting firms. That $50 billion would be going to Bay Street bankers and the wealthy and not to our armed forces, our seniors, our health care system or anything Canadians value.
    Would a budget be a Liberal budget without being stacked full of various things hidden in an omnibus way? In the BIA, the Liberals plan to extend the unfair equalization program for another five years. This is what I mean by calling it another betrayal for Albertans. There were no consultations with the Province of Alberta. The government is just sliding it in for another five years. Albertans were very clear when we did a referendum last year. We want a place at the table, and we want to discuss equalization. The government is just ramming it through without anything.
    I want Albertans to think about that. There is an election coming up in May, and there will be a federal election coming up as well. I want them to look at their provincial candidates. Which party is supporting an extension of equalization without any say from Alberta? It is the NDP. Federally, which parties are backing an extension of the unfair equalization? They are the NDP and the Liberal Party. I want Albertans to remember that, come election time in May and in the next federal election. They need to understand who is going to stand up for Albertans. It is not the Liberals, and it is certainly not the NDP.
    The bill before us would do nothing to address the productivity crisis. We are going on a downward slope with our standard of living. The bill would do nothing for that. It would do nothing to address inflation. In fact, the Bank of Canada, in its monetary update that just came out, stated that the Liberals' budget and their spending are adding to inflation. Moreover, there is nothing for Alberta, except a continual betrayal in the form of an extension of the equalization plan.
    That is unfair to Albertans, and that is why I will not be supporting the bill.


    Madam Speaker, I heard several times that he was trying to make things clear to us. I am not sure what the member opposite's background is, but it does not sound like it is business. You asked how we could have revenues go up but not have expenses—
    I remind the hon. member that I did not ask anything. Please speak through the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member questioned how revenue could go up from taxes and why our expenses went up.
    Typically, the balance sheets affect income and expenses, so the revenue went up because of inflationary pressures. These are global, as we all know. Although the member would like to give credit to our government for causing global inflation, I do not think we are quite that powerful.
    The other thing the member opposite was talking about inflation. Since the budget came out, inflation has actually gone down. I think it is about half of what the high was. Perhaps it did have an effect.
    The other point I wanted to make was that the member opposite mentioned that we get nothing for the interest we are paying. Again, as business people, we know that when we borrow money, we invest it. We are investing, in this case, in things like the Volkswagen plant, which will create jobs and increase our economic growth—
    I will give the member for Edmonton West the opportunity to comment or answer.
    The hon. member for Edmonton West.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for “Lib-splaining” basic economics to me. To be very clear, the government is increasing its take from taxpayers by 62%. Generally, in business, when we increase our sales by 62%, we can squeeze out a profit or at least break even. We do not increase our sales by 62% and end up with a catastrophic debt.
    I want to quote something right from the Bank of Canada, from the monetary policy report for April 2023: “Fiscal measures adding to the growth of domestic demand”. We asked Bank of Canada officials about this at the finance committee, and they said that, yes, it is a polite way of saying that government spending is increasing inflation.


    Madam Speaker, my colleague has a good grasp of the economy. We are both members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, where we received the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who mentioned in one of his recent reports that 30 years from now, Canada will have paid all of its debts since its creation in 1867.
    To achieve that, it will have brought the budgets of Quebec and the Canadian provinces to their knees, and some of those provinces will be technically bankrupt. Does my colleague not see a problem that needs to be addressed, namely a fiscal imbalance that should never have happened in the first place?


    Madam Speaker, I quite enjoy working with my hon. colleague on the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, or, as I call it, the “mighty OGGO”.
    Yes, there is a fiscal imbalance, quite often, in a lot of issues; this is caused in part by the aging population and other issues. However, the biggest issue we have is the fiscal incompetence of the federal government. We have never seen so much money come in and so much money spent unproductively. We could fix a lot of the fiscal imbalances between the federal government and the provinces if the federal government would get its act together.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member and I have the pleasure of sitting on the public accounts committee. At that place, we do good work together across party lines and for the betterment of all Canadians.
    He mentioned, in particular, our home province of Alberta and, of course, the upcoming provincial election. My question, in reference to the statement he made, is this: What about the reality that health care, education and many of the items that he has spoken about are under provincial jurisdiction?
    We have seen what the UCP has done to our province. How can he reconcile the fact that the UCP is in power right now and that there has been support offered by the federal government that the premier will just not accept? She is trying to privatize health care.
    Will the member stand to defend public health care?
    Madam Speaker, it is committee day for me today. I enjoy my time with my colleague, who is also from Edmonton, on public accounts. I am going to disagree with him on a lot of the issues he has spoken about. I do not think they are quite correct.
    I think that when I look at it and when Albertans look at it, there is a stark choice. I do not get involved in provincial politics, but I will note that there is a stark choice. Who is going to stand against this government? Who is going to stand for Albertans to address equalization?
    It is not the party that is voting to extend the unfair equalization against Alberta. It will be Conservatives.


    Madam Speaker, New Democrats have always been on the side of everyday Canadians. I want to speak to that, and I want to ensure that we can have a healthy debate about this today. What I mean by a healthy debate is that, in this place, often times we speak at each other. We speak to each other without the decency and respect that Canadians across the country expect from us in this place.
    I want to talk about one of my role models and one of the great stewards of our country, who has now passed on, Tommy Douglas. I want to speak about what an incredible man Tommy was. He was an incredible person who often spoke about the needs of regular, everyday Canadians. I know Canadians from coast to coast to coast respect him. Some may disagree with his ideology, and that is okay, but his ideas are still with us and are still present.
    Whether we are talking about this budget, or the one in 2005, which witnessed our beloved Jack Layton force the government to make historic investments in social programs during a time of Liberal austerity, or talking about when Tommy Douglas pushed the Progressive Conservatives to come to a deal on publicly financing health care, they were both major achievements.
    We have always used our time, our voice and our power in this place for good. I believe all members believe deep down in their hearts that they are doing the same. It is my hope that we can show all Canadians, particularly young Canadians, that there is a third way, through a little tale told and retold in my home of Alberta in the Prairies.
    The story is a story that many members may know and sympathize with, but I want to retell it for the generations of prairie people and Canadians across the country who may not know about it.
    It is a story about mice in a community called Mouseland. It was a place where all the little mice lived and played, where they were born and died. They lived much the same as us. They even had a Parliament. Every so often, they would be asked to go to an election. They would walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them would walk there and others would get a ride, and many of them would get a ride for the next four years as well.
    Every election day, all the little mice would go to elect a government. On one election day, a government was formed and that government was made up of big, fat black cats. Some would think it was strange that a community of mice would elect cats. However, we do not have to look that far in our own Canadian history to see that perplexing reality for the past nearly 150 years, and they were not any wiser than we are today.
    I am not saying anything against the cats. I am not, trust me. I believe that the cats were decent, hard-working and good. They believed that they were doing the best for those they represented. They passed good laws. That is, they passed good laws for cats. They passed laws that were really good for cats.
    Some of those laws were laws that made the entryway holes to the homes of mice into circles, so the cats could grab the mice from their homes. They also brought in speed limits, so a mouse would be unable to run away from the cat. These were all good laws for cats, but they were dangerous and scary for the mice.
    Life was getting harder and harder. When the mice could not put up with it anymore, they decided something had to be done about it. They went en masse to the polls and voted out the black cats, but they voted in the white cats.
    The white cats had put on a terrific campaign. They had said that all Mouseland needed was more vision, and they had sometimes said, “triple, triple, triple”. They said that the trouble with Mouseland was all those round holes. All the round holes were a big problem, so they said that they would bring in square holes.
    The policy of square holes did not make the lives of those mice any easier. The square mouse holes were twice as big as the round holes, and now the cats could get both paws in. It was a shame, and life was harder than ever.


    The mice could not take it anymore. They voted the white cats out and the black cats back in. For 150 years it has been the black cats out, the white cats in, then the white cats out, and the black cats in.
    Then one little mouse had an idea that some would say is ludicrous today. They might even say it is impossible to be done. There were attempts to create alternatives to the black and white cats, some with spots and some with stripes, but at the end of the day, they were still cats.
    Can members see that the trouble with all of this is not that the cats were white or black? The trouble is that they were cats, and because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats. We spoke about that. I would tell my friends to watch out for the little mouse with an idea. When that one little mouse asked the other mice why they kept electing a government made up of cats, they called it a socialist that should be locked up, and they locked him up. I want to remind members that we can lock up a mouse or a man, but we cannot lock up an idea.
    I share this story to not only pay tribute to our party's many great leaders and the decisions we have made, but also to ensure that the next generation of Canadians know that, throughout our country's tough moments, there have been mice fighting for them each and every day so that we can build a better future for everyday people, and they did it in a way that showed decency and respect for Canadians, and for each and every one of us in this place.
    Canadians are experiencing one of the most devastating times in their lives. It is talked about by our Liberal and Conservative colleagues. We are now in a position where we understand the problem together, which is a good thing. It is good that we are speaking about those who are attending food banks at record levels, the lack of clean water in first nations and indigenous communities, and the need to ensure that children get the support they need, but we are divided on the solutions.
    New Democrats have been consistent in our support for many of the solutions. That is why dental care is something we fought so hard to achieve for decades. Though we have never formed government in this country, it is my hope that one day New Democrats and our ideas can truly show Canadians that there is a third way.
    I know that many, not just those here, will laugh at us, mock us and tell us it can never be done. I would tell those people to just watch us, because the mice know that, whether it is the black cats or the white cats, they will make laws, and those laws will be for cats. We are here to say that now is the time for the everyday people.
     When we look around our communities and see hard-working Canadians show up every single day and do everything right but fall further behind, we know that the laws that are put against regular Canadians are unfair. They know this. They feel it. They see it every single day.
    It has been the project of New Democrats to ensure that our colleagues in this place, and one day hopefully across this country, will see that mice can make laws too. We can make laws for the regular everyday people that do not take so much from them to reward the cats, because they will continue to do that if we do not break the mould in our country of electing cat after cat. We can bring this place to a new reality, where regular folks can have their issues heard, have the respect and decorum we would expect for all Canadians, and ensure that the programs are there so that mice can take care of mice.


    Madam Speaker, I think the member wants to focus on health care. We learned a lot about cats and mice, and I get the message he is trying to convey there, but I want to get us back on track with the budget implementation act.
    For me, health care is certainly top of mind, as we know it is for Canadians across this country. In my riding in New Brunswick, $1.3 million was held back in federal health transfers because it was in contravention of the Canada Health Act for reproductive services and diagnostic testing. My question is this: How can we work together in this place to ensure that the public universal health care system is upheld in this country?
    Madam Speaker, I do have great respect for the member opposite. However, I do think she may have missed a really critical part of our analogy. When we have a public health care system like the one we have in Canada, which should guarantee access and administration for regular, everyday Canadians across the country, it is up to the federal government to actually enforce the Canada Health Act.
    The reality is that, right now, in my home province of Alberta, there are private surgeries taking place already, which is in contravention of the Canada Health Act, but the government allows it. It continues to make transfers. It continues to send money to the provinces and to not enforce it. My question back to the member would be, when will the government enforce the health care transfer rules in the act?
    Madam Speaker, the member spoke about cats. When I think about my cat, my cat has this habit of jumping out of nowhere and grabbing me, and it is really annoying. It is kind of like another cat I know in this place, a cat who has taken an all-expenses-paid trip to the Aga Khan island, charged six thousands dollars' worth of hotel rooms, went on a Jamaican vacation with a donor to his family foundation, turfed the first indigenous justice minister and has ethical breach after spending breach after problem. He is the biggest cat here. He is the fat cat, the fattest cat of them all.
    Why is my colleague opposite, if he is a proponent to support mice, continuing to prop up this cat's government?
    Madam Speaker, the member from Calgary oftentimes does great work in respecting the dignity and decency of this place. There are two kinds of cats in this place: the Prime Minister and the member for Carleton.. Both of them are one hundred per cent government funded.
    When it comes to ensuring we actually get real results for mice, yes, New Democrats will continue to show up so we get those services for mice. Why are these cats so opposed to ensuring dental care and things like pharmacare are realized for mice?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his very inspiring speech.
    I asked a question earlier for which I did not receive a satisfactory response from another NDP friend. Housing is a top priority in this country. The financialization of housing is a growing phenomenon, where large financial conglomerates are buying more and more rental housing in Canada. According to a study, in the past 30 years, ownership of the rental housing stock by large international financial conglomerates has gone from 0% to 22%. There are no simple solutions to this issue. Obviously, their priority is not the right to housing, but rather their bottom line. We need to address this if we want to address the housing crisis.
    I would like to know if my colleague has any solutions for dealing with the financialization of housing in Canada.


    Madam Speaker, I apologize to my Bloc Québécois colleague for my inability to speak French at this time. I am learning.
    In relation to housing, it is true that housing is a true crisis in our country. The reality is that we need to ensure there is outside the market to ensure the right to housing, for example, is truly met for those who cannot participate in it. The reality is we need to see social housing in our country. We need to see the federal government return to the business of building homes, and we need to do it quickly.
    The reality is those corporations, those large investment trusts, are going to continue to get away with ripping off Canadians so long as we allow them to. We need to see the introduction of social homes and housing that is out of private market to ensure those who fall below the cracks and fall below the margins have a home. We know that a good life, good health care and a good education starts with a good and safe home.


    Madam Speaker, it is a great opportunity to stand up and speak in the House today.
    If members will indulge me for a moment, I want to briefly mention two people who are very important in my life, my mother and father, Alvin and Irene Redekopp. They have been there for my whole life, a great life growing up, and are probably the most ardent watchers of the House out of all of us. They watch question period, they watch, of course, when I speak, and they probably watch random debates just for fun. They have been married 63 years, and it is my privilege and honour to still have a great relationship with them even though they are a few years older than me. I thank my mom and dad for all they have done.
    One month ago, we listened to the budget in this place, and here we are now a month later. I think I would summarize the budget with the word “underwhelming”. There was a Global News story the following day in which Pamela George, a financial literacy counsellor who works with women, said that the 2023 spending plan was subpar. She said:
    It’s nothing to write home about. I’m not shouting and celebrating anything...When I hear things like, “we’re going to do this,” or “we’re looking into this,” I just feel it’s stalling....
    I think that summarizes my thoughts on the budget; it really was quite underwhelming. So, of course, the questions from the residents of Saskatoon West are: How does this budget affect me? What is going to change because of this budget? How is it is going to impact my life?
    Of course, they are struggling, like all Canadians are, with pressures on meeting their monthly costs, whether it is to put groceries on the table, fuelling their cars, heating their homes or even their cost to own a home. Saskatoon is one of the cheaper places in the country to own a home, yet it is still very difficult. Many people in my riding struggle with paying their rent and paying their mortgage payments, especially as mortgage payments increase. So, many of them were looking for solutions.
    It is fair to say that there were no long-term solutions in this budget at all. There were some band-aids, yes, but there were really no long-term solutions. Getting a few hundred dollars extra on a GST rebate might help in the very short term, but it does not help in the long term. We have heard the proverb, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” I think that is what we are seeing here with a few hundred dollars to a family. Okay, fine, they can buy groceries for a week, maybe two, but then the problem is there again.
    We need permanent, long-term solutions that actually solve the problems that are out there, and I acknowledge that this is a hard thing. A master's level skill is required to achieve this. Unfortunately, what we have seen in so many things, and this budget is a good example of it, is a master's level of incompetence. We just cannot get the competence that we require out of this government. Of course, right now, we are in the middle of this strike and, as has been mentioned many times, this government has managed to spend 50% more on its workforce and still have the workforce go on strike. That takes a master's level of incompetence.
    Conservatives had some very positive suggestions for this budget, and I just want to review those very quickly.
    The first one was that we had suggested the government pursue an area of lower taxes for workers. People need to keep more of their paycheques so that they can spend the money they need to survive. The second thing we suggested was that the government end inflationary deficits that are driving up the cost of goods. This is fairly straightforward and was a very good suggestion that should not have been very difficult for this government. The third was to remove gatekeepers to increase home building for Canadians. This is something we hear of constantly in our ridings and across the country on the availability of affordable housing.
    Did the government take us up on our constructive advice? Well, let us talk about taxes.
    Several days after the budget was released, what happened to taxes? They went up. Why is that? It is because of the carbon tax. This is part of the plan to increase the carbon tax over the next months to ultimately triple it to where it is going to cost 40¢ a litre for fuel, for gasoline, and, of course, it adds a cost to everything else, whether it is fuel for homes, which, by the way, there is GST on top of the carbon tax, or whether it is for groceries. Basically, anything that moves on a truck is impacted by this. Of course, food is greatly impacted by this, because farmers end up bearing a huge cost of GST on their farms. So, did taxes go down? No, they went up.
    What about the inflationary deficits? Did they go down? No, actually.


    I would like to read a quote, which says, “Our deficits must continue to be reduced. The pandemic debt we incurred to keep Canadians safe and solvent paid down. This is our fiscal anchor. ...a line we shall not cross.” Who said that? Of course, it was the illustrious finance minister, and it was said less than a year ago. Here we are, just months after making that statement, and what do we see in this budget? We see deficits forever. The idea of deficits being reduced and eliminated is just not there. The crazy thing is that in 2026, it would just take a 3% reduction to achieve a balanced budget, yet that is not something that this master's level of incompetence government was able to achieve, which I think is quite simple.
    What about the third thing: home building? What I see in the budget are some things that are going to increase the supply. Let me take a moment and talk about supply and demand, because that is the most basic principle of everything that affects money in our country. When there is a lot of supply, there are low prices; when there is a lot of demand, prices go up. What we see in this budget are measures that would increase demand. What is the effect of that? It means there are more people chasing fewer things, which means the prices will go up. The master's level of competence approach to this budget would be to increase the supply of houses, and that is not something I see in here. We need to incentivize companies and cities to build houses and require cities to build more houses. They are the gatekeepers that are holding back the supply of houses that could be built in this country.
    Another way to look at this is what is missing in this budget. One thing that struck me quite obviously was foreign credential recognition. As I have spoken with newcomers to Canada all across the country, this comes up inevitably as one of the first or second things they mention. They will say things like they are doctors and not able to work in this country or they are lawyers, engineers or in a certain profession and they cannot work in this country because it is too difficult for them to be licensed to practise in this country.
    Health care is a huge problem. Canadians will say that in surveys, but yet, after eight years of the Liberal government, only 41% of foreign-trained doctors are able to work as doctors in our country. Only 37% of nurses are able to work as nurses in our country, and there are countless others. That leaves us with the typical doctor driving a taxi. I am sure many of us in this room have been driven in taxis by doctors, and the reason is because they are unable to be licensed and work as doctors. This is a huge issue for our country because we need doctors.
    That is why I introduced my private member's bill, Bill C-286, to help address this issue and allow foreign-trained professionals to have their credentials recognized more easily, and that is why the Conservative leader has introduced his system, which is the Blue Seal system. The Blue Seal is modelled after the Red Seal program. The Red Seal program is for professions like electricians and plumbers. It has been adopted for 50 years and is used in all of the provinces. The idea is that we would have a similar system where doctors or nurses could make sure they qualify by showing they have the knowledge through passing a national competence exam. They would then be given a Blue Seal and be able to work in the country, in provinces that choose to join the program. Why would they join the program? Because it would allow access to more staff, and that is what we need to do.
    One other thing that surprised me that was not in this bill was the student direct stream. Bangladesh has been asking for the student direct stream for a long time. This allows students from other countries, which are part of the program, an easier and quicker way to come to Canada to get their post-secondary education in the country. It is good for our country because our post-secondary institutions benefit from having them. They are a great asset to our country in terms of their knowledge and skills. They create businesses and increase trade between the countries. Bangladesh has been trying to become part of the program. India and its neighbour Pakistan are part of this program. I have spoken about it many times with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. There are many things we can gain in our country by having this done. We do not have it yet. It is something I wish had been in the budget and I am sad to see it was not. On behalf of Bangladeshi students who are trying to get to Canada, I am sad we did not see that.
    We are seeing a budget from a tired and worn out NDP-Liberal coalition, a government that is full of scandals and cover-ups. Conservatives will bring relief. We will lower taxes, we will end inflationary deficits and we will remove the gatekeepers so that we can build more houses in this country.


    Madam Speaker, I must admit that in the entire intervention the best part of it was how he opened it: talking about his parents. Indeed, congratulations on such a successful marriage of 63 years. That is absolutely remarkable. I wonder if the member can inform the House on the secret to having a marriage that lasts 63 years.
    Madam Speaker, I will note a couple of things. First, neither of my parents were politicians, so that might be part of it. I can think of a trip in Florida when I was young where I was not sure they were going to make it. My dad was driving and my mom was navigating. Members can imagine how that went, but they did survive. Obviously, it is love and dealing with issues that come up. That is something that we could all take to heart in this place. We are never going to agree on everything and we have to work together for the betterment of Canadians.


    Madam Speaker, my colleague's question is going to be hard to beat.
    My opposition party colleague mentioned several things that are missing. Members have been talking about them since this morning. One of those things is housing. We need more than three million housing units in the next 10 years, and that is not even counting housing for the immigrants who are arriving in Canada by the hundreds of thousands.
    What does my colleague suggest we do to meet the urgent and growing need for housing? Does he have any advice for the party opposite?


    Madam Speaker, of course, as I mentioned quite strongly in my speech, we have a master's level of incompetence on one side of the House and, I believe, a master's level of competence on this side.
     One of the ideas that we have been pushing forward is that we need to force municipalities, through funding and through different arrangements that we have with them, to actually increase the amount of housing that is available. One easy way to do that is to provide infrastructure spending for transportation. We need to make cities create housing around the transportation hubs that we are funding. When we have a large transportation hub, we would need to have housing and apartments around that. That increases the availability of housing, which, as I said in my speech, increases the supply. When they increase supply, they decrease the cost.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. Before I begin, I just want to welcome to my family my cousin's child, a brand new little girl, Isabelle Vera Smith, daughter to Claudia Wright and Lewis Smith and my newest constituent. I welcome Isabelle to the family and also welcome her to Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    My colleague comes from an area that, in my view, provides for Canada through so many farmers who really know the value of hard work. Is there anything the member can point to that he would have loved to see in this budget for the hard-working people of Saskatchewan?
    Madam Speaker, there are many things that come to mind. The very first thing that is top of mind and top of mind for many people in Saskatchewan is the carbon tax. The member spoke about providing for the country and of course he is referring to food and the way that hard-working farmers in Saskatchewan and other prairie provinces produce food not only for Canada but for the world. What we are seeing here is a tremendous amount of money that is being spent by each farmer to cover the cost of the carbon tax. That cost is only going up from this point. It is going to triple from where it is now. A typical farmer pays more than $150,000 a year in carbon tax.
     What happens to that carbon tax? It ends up getting built in to the cost of the products that the farmers produce, which then shows up at the grocery store. When people go to the grocery store and wonder why prices are so high and why they are seeing 10% and 6% inflation on grocery prices in the grocery store, part of the answer to that is the carbon tax. The carbon tax is built into the cost of everything that is in the grocery store. That is a huge element of what we are seeing. People in Saskatchewan would like to see this carbon tax reduced because they are not getting the benefit. They are paying more than they are receiving back.



    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-47, especially since I have here with me the Minister of National Revenue, who came just to hear my speech, as well as two of my loyal squires.
    I must interrupt the hon. member because members are not allowed to draw attention to either presences or absences in the House. I just wanted to remind him of that.
    Madam Speaker, I fully understand, but sometimes when we get excited we forget the most basic parliamentary rules.
    I am pleased to speak to Bill C-47 today. At first, I thought that, as natural resources critic, I would focus my comments on energy but, as luck would have it, I will be able to speak on another one of my favourite issues, health transfers. Members will understand why.
    I have risen many times in the House to speak about an issue that is plaguing Canadian federalism, and that is the fiscal imbalance. The fiscal imbalance could probably have been resolved in Bill C‑47. I will explain why. In fact, I hope that it will be resolved in Bill C-47 by a stroke of luck.
    Before rising, I spoke with my favourite colleagues, the members for Drummond and Lac-Saint-Jean, to find out what they thought about health. The member for Lac-Saint-Jean, with his usual edgy wit, told us that, when it comes to health, the Leader of the Conservative Party makes Scrooge look like a spendthrift. Basically, we know that the Conservative Leader now wants to maintain health funding at $4.6 billion, as proposed by the Liberals, against the wishes of all the provinces, which want $28 million in funding. That is the silliness of the member for Lac-Saint-Jean, but I want to bring up something that happened on Wednesday, April 19.
    At that time, the House had voted unanimously in favour of Bill C-46. That bill included $2 billion in health transfers to the provinces. For us, it was not enough. However, we later found that the $2 billion was in Bill C-47. That was very interesting, because a total of $4 billion would be going to the provinces instead of the initial $2 billion. I think that is very good news. It should be very good news for all government ministers, including the Minister of Revenue, but unfortunately, the member for Winnipeg-North put a damper on the good news. He can always be counted on to put a damper on good news. On April 21, he told us in a statement that he would be removing the most interesting part of Bill C-47, the part saying that there would be an additional $2 billion.
    The Bloc Québécois will clearly oppose that amendment. Indeed, in our opinion, the fiscal imbalance must be resolved. We will talk more about that. Our recent experience with the pandemic showed us that our health care system is struggling. That $2 billion would be very useful.
    Now comes the million-dollar question, as the expression goes. Except it is even worse in this case, because it is the $2-billion question. What is the NDP leader going to do? Will he support the government in cutting $2 billion from health transfers? The government has a coalition with the NDP right now, so I think the NDP has the opportunity to make a difference by not supporting the government in its plans to cut those $2 billion.
    As I said earlier, we know that the provinces were asking for $28 billion, and they got only $4.6 billion. We know that the government refuses to fund 35% of health care costs, but the NDP could make all the difference.
    To put things into perspective, I will share what the leader of the NDP said very recently. On December 12, the leader of the NDP said that his party was prepared to withdraw from the supply and confidence agreement it had signed with the Liberals if there was no federal action to resolve the health care crisis affecting Canadian children. That is what the NDP leader said on December 12. He went on to say that this was a decision he was not taking lightly and that it was time to keep the pressure on, because the goal of the New Democrats was to save lives.
    The NDP can always be counted on when it comes to saving lives.


    Saving our health care system is about helping workers and helping children. I wonder if the NDP today still wants to save lives. Does it still want to save our health care system and children? It has the opportunity to do so. All it has to do is refuse to allow the removal of the much-touted $2 billion from Bill C-47.
    In February of this year, the same situation arose when an NDP opposition day was specifically about health care. Its strategy was a bit questionable, in my view. They tried to put the onus on the provinces by saying that there could be funding for health care as long as the money was not used for private services, as long as the private sector was not involved. Health falls under provincial jurisdiction. I would describe myself as a progressive. I do not agree with allowing the private sector to play a bigger role in health care, but the crux of the problem remains the same. The crux of the problem is funding.
    On February 7, 2023, the NDP leader said, “After spending the last two and a half years stalling any progress to improve health care, Justin Trudeau has come forward with the bare minimum”—
    Need I remind the hon. member that members should not be named, even in the context of a quote?
    Madam Speaker, in a momentary fit of enthusiasm and sincere affection, I forgot myself.
    As I was saying, the Prime Minister has come forward with the bare minimum. Let us go back to that bare minimum. According to the NDP, the minimum was $4.6 billion. The NDP therefore wants there to be more than $4.6 billion. In my opinion, the NDP surely wants the $2 billion dollars that was in Bill C‑46 to also be included in Bill C‑47. That is my interpretation.
    I will continue to read the quote: “The Prime Minister has come forward with the bare minimum—a deal that won't do nearly enough to recruit, retain and respect frontline workers, does not address the conditions in long-term care”.
     I think it is clear that the leader of the NDP has the same objectives as us and that he wants the health care system to be better funded.
     I will read a third statement by the leader of the NDP, who said, “Increasing the Canada Health Transfer is a start—but this is not enough to rebuild our public health care system.” Again, the leader of the NDP finds that the government is a bit stingy when it comes to funding health care.
    In my opinion, $2 billion is not enough, but $4 billion might be enough. I have a feeling that my colleagues in the NDP are thinking the same thing. The $2-billion question, therefore, is this: Will the representatives from the NDP support us for better health care funding?
    Based on everything the leader of the NDP has said, I get the feeling they will. Will they instead support the government and deny us a more robust health care system?
    I would like to quickly address something else. It is the issue of energy and the environment. In Bill C‑47, $21 billion will be used for greenwashing oil companies and for funding madness, namely small modular nuclear reactors that will allow the oil and gas industry to use less gas in its processes. Essentially, nuclear energy, energy that is anything but clean, will be used to produce more gas.
    That is a total aberration that everyone is against. It is all the more a total aberration because there is no country, to my knowledge, that considers nuclear energy to be clean energy, except Canada. It is well known that nuclear energy costs 10 times more than solar or wind energy. It is also well known that research has shown that every country that has wanted to go the route of nuclear energy in their fight against climate change in the past 25 years has clearly failed. It is known that the federal government's strategy is doomed to fail, and there are funds for that in Bill C‑47. That is another aberration.
    I will conclude my comments by reaching out to my colleagues in the NDP, because I am a man of good faith, so we can demand that the government adequately fund the health care system.


    Madam Speaker, I really appreciated my colleague's speech. As I said yesterday, I strongly believe in respect for jurisdictions. What falls to the federal government is up to the federal government, and what falls to the provinces is up to the provinces.
    The question I have for my colleague is about two measures in Bill C‑47 that are very important to my constituents. I am referring to the tradesperson's tools deduction. We are also proposing to advance payments for low-income workers to help them with their cash flow. Does my colleague support these two measures?
    Madam Speaker, I did not quite grasp the part about cash flow, but I did understand what she said at the beginning of the question: She respects provincial jurisdictions.
    If she does believe in respect for jurisdictions, like me, she should be outraged to see the government implement this ridiculous promise to put in place a dental care system, as this is fully and entirely within the jurisdiction of the provinces. This will again strain the provinces' finances and exacerbate the fiscal imbalance. I see that my colleague completely agrees with me on the fiscal imbalance issue.
    Madam Speaker, although we desperately need affordable housing, the budget contains no decent plan for providing affordable housing. We are expecting many immigrants to arrive, but there is no plan for housing them.
    Would my colleague like to share his thoughts on that?
     Madam President, I would advise my colleague to go back and listen to the speech on housing given earlier by my colleague for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
    I do agree with her. Affordable and social housing is essential. Apart from that, what I wanted my colleague to take away from my speech is the fact that our health care system is still falling apart.
    I would point out to her once again that her leader agreed to maintain the minimal funding that the Liberal government granted to our health care systems.
    Madam Speaker, I am fascinated by the remarks of my colleague from Jonquière about small modular reactors. I do not think they are a source of clean energy and I think it is a big—
    May I interrupt the hon. member for a second?


    Could everyone please keep the tone down so we can actually hear the question and the answer when the time comes?
    The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.


    Madam Speaker, I see no need to start over from the beginning, but I will say that my friend from Jonquière said some very interesting things about the nuclear industry and small modular reactors, which are not a source of clean energy. It is a serious distraction, moving us further away from the need to tackle the climate emergency.
    My question is this. Why does he think we are facing a new nuclear threat?
    Madam Speaker, earlier this week, I took part in a non-partisan media scrum with my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands, some Liberal members and my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie to denounce a situation that is completely inconceivable, specifically that Canada considers small modular reactors to be clean energy. Ottawa is going to invest in a technology that every other country seems to want to get away from and that costs a lot more, as I said earlier, compared to wind and solar energy. It defies reason and must be condemned.
    I would actually like to applaud the efforts of my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands and thank her for everything she is doing to combat this ridiculous nonsense.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]



Retirement Congratulations

     Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate Bonnie Wong on her retirement. As the executive director of the Hong Fook Mental Health Association, Bonnie’s work has changed lives.
    Bonnie expanded culturally competent services for East Asian youth and seniors, launched three new satellite offices and established a nurse practitioner-led clinic to provide primary care access for the Scarborough community. Bonnie also served the wider community as co-chair of the mental health sector group on the collaboration council of the Scarborough Ontario Health Team. She even came to Ottawa to fiercely advocate for the inclusion of people of colour in mental health policies.
     Under her leadership, Hong Fook just became accredited with an exemplary standing of 98.3% under a global standards program.
    I thank Bonnie Wong for her dedication, hard work and advocacy for mental health.

Human Rights

    Madam Speaker, today is a good day for the cause of human rights in Canada. Bill C-281, the international human rights act, has passed in the foreign affairs committee.
    Bill C-281 would help hold human rights violators accountable, raise awareness of prisoners of conscience, prevent genocidal regimes from broadcasting their propaganda on our airwaves, and it would help eliminate the vile cluster munitions from the face of the earth.
    I would like to thank the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his friendship, his support and his leadership on this important legislation, and all members who worked collaboratively to get this back to the House.
    However, our job is far from done. We are in a minority Parliament and there are no guarantees in a minority Parliament. That is why I call on all members of the House to work as hard as possible to get this important legislation passed as soon as possible.

Battery Plants

    Madam Speaker, last Friday, I was proud to represent the residents of Windsor—Tecumseh at the historic VW announcement in St. Thomas. This $7-billion battery plant will create thousands of well-paying auto jobs in communities up and down the 401. That is good teamwork and good Liberal policy at work.
    The same Liberal teamwork delivered a $5-billion battery plant in Windsor, which will create over 5,000 jobs in my community. It is the same Liberal teamwork that delivered a $1.5-billion battery plant in Loyalist near Kingston.
    I am thrilled my Conservative colleagues, the member of Parliament for Elgin—Middlesex—London and the member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, have joined me in representing ridings now home to billion-dollar battery plants, creating thousands of well-paying auto jobs.
    We see the benefits of Liberal policies at work and the value of investing in auto workers. Why oh why can the Conservative leader not see the same?


Petit Théâtre du Nord

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to mark the 25th anniversary of Petit Théâtre du Nord, a veritable institution of the performing arts in the Lower Laurentians.
    Founded in a garage in Mirabel in 1998, Petit Théâtre du Nord moved first to the Blainville community centre, and then to its permanent home at the Centre de création de Boisbriand, a beautifully renovated old church. The little theatre company has certainly come a long way.
    Year after year, this theatre company has stood out for its entertaining, accessible and professional programming, focused on showcasing up-and-coming Quebec playwrights and actors.
    I congratulate the entire Petit Théâtre team on 25 years of laughter and entertainment. I congratulate Luc Bourgeois, Sébastien Gauthier and Mélanie St-Laurent, the artistic directors and founders of Petit Théâtre du Nord, on their wonderfully successful venture. I wish them a happy 25th anniversary and, especially, a great summer season.

National Tourism Week

     Mr. Speaker, since it is National Tourism Week, allow me to take this opportunity to invite everyone to explore the magnificent riding of Châteauguay—Lacolle, soon to be renamed Châteauguay—Les Jardins‑de‑Napierville. Nestled between the U.S. border and the St. Lawrence River, our region boasts a wide range of unforgettable tourist attractions.
    Tourists passing through the area will have fun discovering the beautiful Île Saint-Bernard in Châteauguay, our safari park, and the vineyards and cider houses along the Circuit du paysan tourism circuit. I encourage everyone to visit the Circuit du paysan website for great ideas on sights to see and places to stay.
    Everyone is sure to have a great time in our region.



Simon Fraser University Football Program

    Mr. Speaker, I come from a three-generation family of professional football players. Courage, loyalty, integrity, that is the motto of Simon Fraser University's legendary football program that has developed elite athletes from across Canada for 58 years, producing 217 CFL draft picks. Alumni include TSN star, Farhan Lalji; sports broadcaster, Glen Suitor; CFL veterans, Dave Cutler, Rick Klassen, Lui Passaglia; and community leaders like Glen Orris, K.C., a prominent Vancouver lawyer.
    On April 4, SFU terminated its football program. The 97 student athletes on the current roster were blindsided by a press release during exams. Many players depend on football scholarships to pursue higher education. Scrapping this program is a major blow to varsity sports in B.C.
    I encourage all sport lovers to join thousands and sign the alumni online petition. Let us save the SFU football program.

Ottawa Initiatives

    Mr. Speaker, I am sure members have noticed that the days are getting a little longer and the sun is shining a little brighter.
     With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some active ways my community of Ottawa Centre, as well as visitors to our nation’s capital, can get out to enjoy this beautiful city.
    This summer, Ottawa will see the grand opening of the new Chief William Commanda Bridge, made possible by an $8.6-million investment by the Government of Canada, that will connect bikers and pedestrians across the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Gatineau. We will also see the return of NCC Weekend Bikedays, encouraging residents to use our existing parkways without their cars.
     These initiatives build on Ottawa’s growing active transportation network, which includes new paths across LeBreton Flats, the iconic Flora Footbridge, hundreds of kilometres of bike paths and, quite possibly in the future, a fully pedestrianized Wellington Street.
    I encourage all members to join the residents of Ottawa Centre whenever they visit our city, by walking, biking, running or just roaming around.


    Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to speak about the brave men and women who serve as firefighters in our communities. These courageous individuals put their lives on the line every day to ensure we all remain safe from emergencies. They are the front line of our emergency response system.
    A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to meet with a few of their firefighters and their union from my riding of Mississauga—Streetsville. Our interaction was enlightening and it reinforced my admiration for the invaluable work they do.
     Bill C-224 was introduced by the member for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne. The bill would establish a national framework for the prevention and treatment of cancers linked to firefighting. It has passed in the House with unanimous consent and is now in the Senate. As elected officials, we owe it to our firefighters to ensure they receive the support and resources needed to remain healthy and safe.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank firefighters from across Canada for their dedication and continued service to keep us safe.


Organ and Tissue Donation

    Mr. Speaker, one morning in January 2020, my home phone rang. It was the father of Catherine, a very close friend of my daughter Justine. He was calling to tell me that Catherine had passed away in a car accident with her friend Jérémy Routhier. I had to break the news to my daughter.
    Three years later, Catherine and Jérémy are still with us as ambassadors of an organization called Chaîne de vie, whose mission is to educate young people on the importance of organ and tissue donation. Catherine's brother, Philippe Poulin, along with Elie Lessard, Mikaël Binet, Alex-Antoine Mercier and Émile Brousseau, with the help of Félix Tanguay, Samuel Laflamme and Mégane Bolduc, produced a poignant video that begins with an image depicting Catherine and Jérémy's accident. The video's narrator says:

When I die
My brain shuts down
My body leaves me
My soul takes flight

But my skin can still embrace
My lungs can still fill with air
My bones can still crack
My muscles can still lift
My corneas can still see
And my heart can still love

    Catherine and Jérémy's organs and tissues have helped improve the lives of at least 30 people. Let us be part of the chain of life and share the video. Organ and tissue donation is about giving others a second chance at life. It makes perfect sense.



Vancouver Chinatown Foundation

    Mr. Speaker, next Wednesday, the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation will host its annual spring banquet.
     The foundation is dedicated to the revitalization of one of Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhoods, honouring a culture and community established in Vancouver over 100 years ago. It is building a more resilient and inclusive community, and preserving Chinatown’s irreplaceable cultural heritage, the historic heart of Vancouver.
    To generate support and awareness for its projects, the foundation hosts several events each year. Some of this phenomenal work includes the autumn gala, which in recent years raised an impressive $1.1 million toward 230 units of social housing.
    The spring banquet next week is held annually to remember the stories of working, playing and living in Chinatown. It is a celebration not only of Chinatown’s future, but also of its long and storied past.
     I would like to particularly thank my friend Carol Lee, chair of the board of the foundation and the indomitable force behind this historic community’s revitalization.
    I want to thank all for the work being done to preserve Chinatown in Vancouver for generations to come.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce the death of a groundbreaking tidal energy project near Digby, Nova Scotia. It was operated by a world-leading company, Sustainable Marine Energy, which has been killed by the Liberal government.
    A wonderful opportunity to make this country a leader in clean energy has been lost and thousands of hours of hard work have been wasted. This paints a picture of a government that is psycho-sclerotic, unintelligent, unimaginative and unwilling to experiment with new ideas to protect our environment, outside of taxing Canadians into submission at the fuel pump.
    In the paraphrased words of the Premier of Nova Scotia, the federal government is shutting down a project that would change the economy of Nova Scotia and supply clean, green energy.
    The federal Liberal government is happy to saddle us with a carbon tax, which will cost us more and do little to protect the environment.
    Shame on the Liberal government.

Canada Infrastructure Bank

    Mr. Speaker, McKinsey & Company has been connected to the Canada Infrastructure Bank since the beginning. It was McKinsey's CEO, Dominic Barton, who recommended the bank's creation. They then funnelled from the bank $1.4 million in contracts to McKinsey. Then a bunch of McKinsey loyalists were hired at the bank.
    Now these former executives, board chairs and even the Minister of Infrastructure refuse to appear at the committee on transport and infrastructure.
    These taxpayer-funded executives with six-figure salaries, some of whom are receiving big payouts and bonuses, think they do not have to answer to Parliament.
    The committee was cancelled today, at a cost to taxpayers. That is why I am putting the witnesses on notice. The Conservatives will be demanding that these witnesses appear at committee. They can come the easy way or they can come the hard way, but they will come to committee and they will answer to taxpayers.


La Nuit sur l'étang

    Mr. Speaker, last month, La Nuit sur l'étang celebrated 50 remarkable years in our community. La Nuit sur l'étang is a Franco-Canadian music festival held every year in my riding of Sudbury.
    This festival has contributed to the development of the Franco-Ontarian culture and helped it thrive, especially in the north. La Nuit sur l'étang has played an important role in promoting Franco-Ontarian musicians. It has had a crucial and lasting impact on the francophone arts community in the North.
    I want to acknowledge the distinguished history of La Nuit sur l'étang. I also want to congratulate the team, the volunteers and the musicians on their remarkable work, their dedication and their passion. I congratulate them on 50 stellar years.



Honorary Doctorate Degree

    Mr. Speaker, when I first visited Bella Coola, several Nuxalk people encouraged me to track down Clyde Tallio, their knowledge keeper.
    The words “knowledge keeper” conjure an image of a wizened elder, so I surprised to discover that Clyde was an energetic 30 year old. After high school, instead of university, Clyde undertook five years of intensive traditional training with a group of elders and became one of only a handful of people who speak the Nuxalk language fluently. He was initiated as an Alkw, a ceremonial speaker and knowledge keeper.
    Clyde's work revitalizing the Nuxalk culture, language and ceremonies now spans two decades and has made a tremendous impact.
    Next month, the University of British Columbia is bestowing upon him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his work.
    I spoke to Clyde the other day and he told me, “Our ways work. Our ways are relevant. Our ways are the future.”
    I want to congratulate Clyde.


International Workers' Day

    Mr. Speaker, May 1 is International Workers' Day, a day that will be marked in Quebec by rallies that will focus on inflation.
    Too many workers cannot make ends meet because inflation is driving up expenses but not wages. May 1 is the time to remember the struggles of the working class and the many gains painfully earned through lengthy struggles. These victories should not be taken for granted.
    We should keep in mind that federal workers who are on strike or locked out can still be replaced by scabs, as we are currently seeing at the Port of Quebec. We should keep in mind that, because of the federal government, 60% of those who lose their jobs cannot rely on employment insurance. We should keep in mind that 150,000 people are on strike right now and the Prime Minister is ducking the issue.
    On May 1, let us keep in mind that the struggle continues and that solidarity remains the key to victory. I wish everyone a happy May 1.


Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, it takes an “unforgettable” amount of incompetence to increase public service spending by 53% and still end up with the biggest federal public service strike in history. Where is the Prime Minister this weekend? He is making a “brand new start of it in old New York”. We jest, but with how often he is out of the country, one would really think he is Frank Sinatra.
    We all know that at the end of the day he likes to say, “I did it my way”. While everyday Canadians struggle thanks to ever-soaring inflation, Liberal insiders are still singing “come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly”, even “to the moon” and back.
    Canadians cannot fly with the Liberal elite when their cost of living is so out of reach. The Prime Minister may be in his “New York state of mind”, but Canadians no longer care about “the way [he looks] tonight”, because after eight long years, they have felt like “strangers in the night”.
    “The best is yet to come”, because nationwide, as “a moon hits [their] eye”, Canadians will realize they deserve a bigger piece of the pie. Thankfully, “just in time”, a Conservative government will bring it home and that will be “amore.”

Tree Planting in Kitchener—Conestoga

    Mr. Speaker, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now, or in this case, this past weekend.
    The rain did not dampen our spirits in Kitchener—Conestoga. We had an amazing turnout for two Earth Day tree-planting events in our community.
    I spent the morning with the organization Trees for Woolwich planting, staking and sheltering over 100 trees in the Elmira Nature Reserve. That afternoon, I joined another hard-working group of volunteers, led by Let's Tree Wilmot. This organization dedicated its time and efforts to extend the forest between Schmidt Woods and Highway 7 and Highway 8 in Baden.
    Nature-based solutions play an important part in protecting our environment. Trees help clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. They shelter and protect biodiversity. Investing in nature is one of the most affordable climate actions we can take.
    I thank the amazing volunteers with Trees for Woolwich and Let’s Tree Wilmot for their time and dedication in selflessly planting trees knowing that in their lifetime, they may never sit in their shade. Future generations might someday spend an Earth Day in the very forests they helped create.


[Oral Questions]



Government Priorities

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this Prime Minister, one in five Canadians are skipping meals and 1.5 million have to go to food banks just to eat. We have a government that is costing 50% more because of red tape and a strike at the same time. What is the Prime Minister doing? He is going to New York on vacation with fancy people who have a lot of money, but not much common sense.
    When will the Prime Minister and his government get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, I believe the question was about what is happening at the bargaining table. What is happening is that we are working very hard to ensure that there is an agreement that is reasonable for employees and reasonable for Canadians. We are working hard to make sure that this agreement can bring the strike to an end. Obviously, we respect the strike, but we are working very hard at the bargaining table right now.


    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, Canadians are broke and the government is broken. Here we have one in five Canadians skipping meals because they cannot afford the price of food. Nine in 10 young people say they cannot afford housing, and no wonder, as the Prime Minister has doubled rent, doubled mortgage payments and doubled down payments. Crime is raging out of control on our streets, and there is the biggest federal strike in Canadian history.
    What is the Prime Minister's priority? Why, it is another vacation, this time to New York to hang out with people who have lots of money but not a lot of common sense. When will the Prime Minister and his government get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, in the Leader of the Opposition's comment, I believe I heard him asking what is happening at the table at this time. What is happening is that we are negotiating. We are trying to find a reasonable deal for public servants that will be fair, and we are working day in and day out to get to that deal. We respect workers as they are striking, but we know that the best deal we will find is at the table.
    Mr. Speaker, they consider the best deal to be paying 50% more tax dollars on bureaucracy and ending up with a strike regardless.
    The average Canadian household has to spend $1,300 more in federal tax just for bureaucracy, and people are not getting the services they are paying for. This is on top of 40-year highs in inflation, a doubling in housing costs and jobs that are leaving our country because the Prime Minister's gatekeepers are standing in the way.
    Why does the Prime Minister not turn his plane around, get back to Ottawa, do his job and get his government back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts, because we have a lot of bluff and bluster from the other side.
    This government has been working for Canadians since the day we formed government. Let us just take a look at the facts over the last year: the strongest economic recovery in the G7, 830,000 jobs created since the worst time of the pandemic, an economic recovery that is faster than the United States' and over 700,000 people lifted out of poverty. We are going to continue to lead growth in the G7.
    We are here working for Canadians every day. That is our job. We are going to keep doing just that.

Natural Resources

    Wow, Mr. Speaker, are they ever out of touch, telling Canadians they have never had it so good. Well, the 1.5 million people eating at food banks, some of them asking for help with medical assistance in dying because they are too hungry and miserable to go on, might beg to disagree with that rosy picture over there.
    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is expatriating our jobs to other countries. Most recently, we have Glencore, an ethically challenged company, threatening to take over one of the oldest resource companies in Canadian history, Teck Resources. Will the government protect the thousands of jobs at stake and our minerals by blocking this takeover?
    Mr. Speaker, critical minerals are an enormously high priority for this government. They represent a generational economic opportunity for Canada.
    At this point, there is no formal offer on the table, but as a British Columbian who lives in Vancouver where Teck is headquartered, I am very proud of the fact that its corporate office is in Vancouver and its research and development is done in British Columbia. It is an important member of the Canadian business community, and we certainly are in touch with it on an ongoing basis.


    Mr. Speaker, what we need to do is bring home more control over our resources so it is in the hands of Canadians, rather than ship our jobs overseas, as the Prime Minister has been doing for eight years. We can do that by getting rid of the gatekeepers to quickly build natural gas liquefaction facilities; by getting rid of the gatekeepers so we can have tidal power developed, which is clean and green, in Atlantic Canada; by getting rid of the gatekeepers to build more hydroelectric dams in Quebec; and finally by blocking this foreign takeover by an unethical overseas company.
    Will the Prime Minister finally bring it home for Canada and block this takeover?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the hon. member has been sitting for the past few weeks, perhaps behind a gate, because if we look at the work that has been done, we see the approval of a recent LNG project, two critical mineral mines and a major port expansion. Just yesterday, TD put out a report that said Canada is the second-best place in the world to invest in the green economy, largely as a result of the investments we have made in the budget.
    I would encourage my hon. friend to do his homework.


Democratic Institutions

    Who is telling the truth, Mr. Speaker?
    On Tuesday, the 2019 Liberal campaign director, Jeremy Broadhurst, said that CSIS informed him about foreign interference in the riding of Don Valley North and that he told the Prime Minister about it on September 29, 2019.
    In November 2022, the Prime Minister said in the House, and I quote, “there was never any information given to me on candidates receiving money from China”.
    Who is telling the truth, Mr. Broadhurst or the Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear in the House. Since we took office, we have taken the matter of foreign interference in our democratic institutions very seriously.
    There have been increasing attempts by several countries to interfere in our democracy. That is why our government has taken meaningful and effective action to counter that interference.
    We are prepared to do more. We look forward to hearing Mr. Johnston's recommendations, and we will continue to ensure that our democratic institutions are protected.
    Mr. Speaker, on September 29, 2019, there were just a few hours left to get a new candidate.
    The Prime Minister did not want to run the risk of giving his political opponents an advantage. He closed his eyes, looked away and now says that no one told him anything at all.
    This Prime Minister prefers to create an alternate reality. Today he would have us trust his special rapporteur, appointed by him and for him, on the matter of Chinese interference.
    When will there be a public and independent inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, we believe, and rightly so, that Canadians trust the work of Mr. Johnston, his service to Canada in several capacities and his integrity. He will be transparent in his work as an independent special rapporteur. He is the one who will advise the government on the next steps to take to reassure Canadians that our democratic institutions are definitely protected.
    We look forward to working with Mr. Johnston and sharing his recommendations with all Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is nowhere to be seen when it comes time to tackle the excessive profits of grocery stores, the housing crisis and the climate crisis. The Prime Minister was nowhere to be seen for two years when it was time to give employees—
    I would like to remind the member that he is coming close to saying something that he is not allowed to say in the House. Members are not permitted to draw attention to the presence or the absence of a member. I would ask the hon. member to rephrase his question.
    The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is doing nothing when it comes to tackling the excessive profits of grocery stores, the housing crisis and the climate crisis. The Prime Minister has been doing nothing for the past two years, when all that public servants are asking for is a salary that is in line with inflation.
    When will the Prime Minister do his job, show some respect for public servants and give his minister the mandate to resolve the issue?


    Mr. Speaker, as the minister responsible for the bargaining process, here is another update for the Canadians and the public servants who are watching at home. We are at the table today to try to find creative solutions that will enable us to move forward and reach an agreement. However, the government will not give in to demands that are unaffordable and that will affect our ability to provide services to Canadians.
    We are working tirelessly to come to an agreement, and we will do so as soon as we can.


Women and Gender Equality

    Mr. Speaker, most of the public service workers on strike are women. Some of them try to raise their families on $40,000 a year. Where is the Prime Minister? He is in New York announcing funding for international women's organizations while cutting $150 million from women's—
    We are getting into a place where we know something is happening, but we cannot really say here on the floor of the chamber whether somebody is here or not. We need to be careful and judicious in the words we are using in our questions.
    I will go back to the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre and ask her to back up and restart her question, and try to stay away from who is here and who is not here.
    Mr. Speaker, most of the public service workers on strike are women. Some of them try to raise their family on $40,000 a year. What is the Prime Minister doing? He is announcing funding for international organizations while cutting $150 million from women's shelters here in Canada and refusing to reach a fair agreement with PSAC workers. He has to support women internationally and here at home. He must do both. Does he really think he is fooling Canadians with his fake feminism?
    Mr. Speaker, this government has always been there for women and will continue to be there for women.
    When the pandemic struck, we saw what was happening. We knew that grassroots organizations had to keep their doors open. We responded with $300 million in emergency funding. That work continues with the action plan to end gender-based violence, with half a billion dollars on the table. I am negotiating with provinces and territories right now to get this done.
    We have been there for women. We will always be there for women.


    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister spent $21 billion more on public services that brought Canadians the biggest federal strike in Canadian history. There are more than 150,000 people blocking streets, blocking buildings and now blocking critical infrastructure. Canadians trying to get a passport, call Immigration or talk to anyone at CRA cannot do it because of this government's incompetence.
    He paid $21 billion to cause this strike, and he took off on a private jet to lecture the world about climate change with the fancy people in New York. Will somebody kindly tell us how much it will cost Canadians for him to end this strike?
    Mr. Speaker, in difference to the Conservative members of Parliament, on this side we actually respect workers and we respect their rights. We are at the negotiating table right now to ensure that we get a fair deal for Canadian taxpayers, as well as for the hard-working public servants who have been there for Canadians, particularly in their moment of need, particularly during the worst economic and health crisis that we have seen in a generation.
    We are going to get a good agreement that is going to support our workers as well as Canadian taxpayers.
    Mr. Speaker, nobody is disputing the hard work of the public service; they are simply flabbergasted by the incompetence of the Prime Minister and the government. He grew the public service by 53% and hired his friends to do the work, and he still cannot assure Canadians that they can get through to CRA or even get a passport in this country. He is on vacation again, far away from this strike.
    When will he and his government get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, I think what is particularly concerning about what the member opposite is saying is that the public service grew at a time when Canadians were in their darkest hour. We are talking about a once-in-a-generation pandemic. We supported, and those same public servants supported, 8.5 million Canadians to access the Canada emergency response benefit. Those same public servants supported Canadians to receive the Canada emergency business account support. They were there in Canada's time of need.
     We believe in collective bargaining. We believe in the right to strike, and we will get a good deal for the public servants and for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister jet-sets to New York trying to up his phony celebrity profile, he leaves behind a Canada that feels more and more broken.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The rule is specific on whether a member is in the House or out of the House. Members cannot say indirectly what they cannot say directly in the House. Members have to be judicious in how they ask questions and try to stick to the rules of the House of Commons.
    I will let the hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn continue with his question.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister jet-sets to New York trying to up his phony celebrity profile while leaving behind a Canada that feels more and more broken. Only this guy could blow up the public service by 50%, costing an extra $21 billion, and cause the biggest strike in Canadian history, a special kind of incompetence only the Prime Minister could accomplish. After spending all that money, Canadians ended up getting longer lineups, bigger backlogs and slower services, a job well failed.
    After eight years of this costly coalition, when will the Prime Minister get out of his empire state of mind and get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, what is interesting about the other side is that we have said time and time again that we respect collective bargaining, that we are going to get a good deal for Canadians and that we are going to get a good deal for the federal public service, but what the Conservatives do not want to talk about is all the stuff they are going to vote against in the budget implementation act. They are going to vote against a new tax credit to boost investment for critical mineral production. They are going to vote against tradespeople getting more money for their tools deduction. They are going to vote against getting good resource deals approved faster.
    They are going to vote against economic development. We are going to keep working for Canadians.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, those empty words are not going to fill the empty stomachs of Canadians, as one in five continues to skip meals. While the Prime Minister drops in on the Big Apple, Canadians cannot afford many. The Prime Minister created a socialist paradise for his Liberal insiders and elites, and his costly coalition NDP partner supports all of this.
    It supports the carbon tax scam, which takes more from Canadians than what they get back in these phony rebates, making the cost of gas, groceries and home heating more expensive. When will this tax-to-the-max team stop the scam and get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, it is a bit hard to take the Conservatives at face value when they talk about Canadians in poverty, because when the Conservative government came into power in 2006, it was 17th in the OECD when it came to child poverty rankings. By the time Conservatives left office nine years later, they had fallen to 24th. They had actually done nothing to alleviate people who were living in poverty.
    We came into office in 2015. We have helped 450,000 children get out of poverty. We have helped 2.7 million Canadians get out of poverty. We are going to keep being there for Canadians, unlike the members opposite.



    Mr. Speaker, as we speak, there is a Canadian in New York whom I know, whom everyone here knows, and he is out there living it up.
    Meanwhile, here at home, millions of Canadians are struggling. It is a very serious situation. Over the course of eight years, this government has increased the public service budget by more than 50%. At the same time, there is a general strike right now. It is incredible: an additional $21 billion in spending and a general strike. Only the Liberals under the current Prime Minister could make that happen.
    Why are the Liberals unable to fix a problem that affects all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we will continue to sit at the bargaining table with the public service, and we will reach a deal that makes sense for Canadians.
    What the Conservatives do not want to discuss is the fact that Canada is leading global growth in the G7. There are 865,000 more jobs than at the lowest point in the pandemic. Canada's female workforce participation rate is 85.7%.
    The Conservatives do not want to talk about women in the workforce. They do not want to talk about the economy. We are going to do it. We are going to grow this country.
    Mr. Speaker, we do want to talk about the economy. Consider the $22 billion in additional spending. We want to talk about jobs. Consider the 150,000 workers currently on strike. That is Canada's reality under this Liberal government.
    I want to be fair. I want to give them credit for one thing.
    In their eight years in power, the Liberals have been unwaveringly consistent when it comes to flouting ethics rules. I could mention the SNC‑Lavalin scandal, WE Charity, the Prime Minister's vacations, and the multiple conflicts of interest involving the Trudeau Foundation.
    When will the Prime Minister buckle down and get to work for all Canadians, instead of his Liberal cronies?


    Mr. Speaker, a lot of energy is being spent on talking about all the things the Conservatives want us to do for Canadians.
    Let us look at all the things that the Conservatives will oppose in the budget. They are going to vote against a tax credit that will boost investment in critical minerals projects. They are going to vote against workers and their tax deductions. They are also going to vote against dental care assistance for Canadians. It is shameful.

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C‑13 acknowledges that French is under threat in Quebec.
    However, the Liberals introduced an action plan yesterday that gives Quebec $140 million per year to promote English. That is $700 million over five years for English in Quebec and nothing, or a few crumbs, for French.
    Today, Quebeckers are wondering if the federal government has some statistics to prove that English is under threat in Quebec. If not, why are the Liberals funding English in Quebec when it is French—
    The hon. Minister of Official Languages.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a historic day for this country's official languages.
    The action plan makes a historic $4.1-million investment to support our official language minority communities and reverse the decline of French across the country, including in Quebec.
    The funding we announced yesterday does not include funding for English in Quebec. On the contrary, we are funding the vitality of Quebec's English-speaking community with French courses and the help these people need to find jobs.
    Once again, yesterday was a good day.
    Mr. Speaker, that is some logic.
    The Quebec government official said, “I have not yet seen in the plan any measures that are consistent with the declaration of [the] Prime Minister...namely that French in Quebec is threatened”.
    In other words, there is nothing in there for French in Quebec, but there is $700 million for English. If French is threatened in Quebec and not English, then why not use this $700 million for French at work, for promoting French?
    Mr. Speaker, again, yesterday, we announced and unveiled a truly historic action plan with $4.1 million to protect and promote our official language minority communities and reverse the decline of French in Quebec and across Canada.
    We are not funding English in Quebec. On the contrary, we are supporting the vitality of English-speaking communities with employment assistance services and French as a second language programs.
    We will always be there to support our communities and we will do everything we can to reverse the decline of French in the country.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals acknowledge that French in Quebec is under threat; it is even in Bill C‑13. That is nice, but they have not changed a single thing in the federal strategy for promoting English in Quebec.
    Despite their lofty words, their action plan for official languages 2023-2028 is basically crumbs for French in Quebec and $700 million for English.
    What will have more impact, the rhetoric or $700 million invested directly in the anglicization of Quebec?
    With our investment in official languages, we are doing everything we can to protect and promote French across the country, including in Quebec, as well as to support our official language minority communities.
    Yesterday, we unveiled a plan. We had conversations with thousands of Canadians across the country. They told us about their priorities: francophone immigration, continued investment in education, support for organizations on the ground, and assurance that the government is showing leadership.
    That is exactly what we are doing with our bill and our action plan.




    Mr. Speaker, after eight years under the Prime Minister, many Canadians cannot afford a place to live. The Liberals have committed $90 billion to housing, and what do they have to show for it? It is a record of unprecedented mismanagement and ineffective governance.
    Mortgages and rents have doubled. It now costs an average of $2,500 a month to rent one room in a townhouse. Where is the Prime Minister during the crisis? He would rather be gallivanting to New York City. I cannot wait to see the outrageous bill he will foist on struggling Canadians for this junket.
    When will the Prime Minister and the government get serious and get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been working for Canadian renters, and we have been putting in place groundbreaking programs, such as the Canada housing benefit, which the party opposite voted against.
    When we proposed the top-up to the Canada housing benefit to help vulnerable renters during this difficult period, what did the party opposite do? Not only did it vote against this badly needed help, but it also played procedural games in the House to delay the passage of much-needed support.
    Canadians can see through their rhetoric. The Conservatives can come here and talk about supports for renters, but when it comes time to actually do the work, they are MIA.
    Mr. Speaker, after eight years under the Prime Minister, Canadians cannot afford a home of their own. It costs $2,500 a month for a couple to rent a room in a townhouse. That is not for the townhouse; that is just for a room.
    Mortgage payments have doubled. Construction of new housing is actually in decline. The Liberals' $90-billion transformational housing scheme is making the situation worse. Of course, the Prime Minister would rather be hobnobbing with his rich friends in other places while Canadians are struggling and cannot afford a house.
    When is the government going to get back to work for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I actually get along really well with my critic. He recently said he is looking for literature to figure out how to build housing policy. I am happy to share our national housing strategy. Not only that, but I am also happy to share the new, groundbreaking housing accelerator fund. This is about adding more housing supply and working with municipalities to make sure that we unlock more housing supply, including affordable housing and purposefully built rentals, as well as tying federal dollars of infrastructure to housing while also making sure that we are taking care of the most vulnerable. The Conservatives voted against every one of those elements.
    Mr. Speaker, I have news for the minister. I have read his national housing plan, and it is not working. It is making the situation worse. Every member on this side of the House can be very proud of the fact that we did not write a blank cheque for Liberal failures when we voted against it. The housing minister does not seem to even understand that we are in a housing crisis. The Liberals' expensive schemes are making the situation worse and worse.
    My question is simply this: When will the government learn that in a housing supply crisis, photo ops and talking points simply do not get more homes built?
    Mr. Speaker, Conservative gatekeepers simply are not serious when it comes to housing. When his leader was the housing minister, he did nothing to help Canadians with affordable housing opportunities. The Conservative position on housing is now to do nothing, cut funding and magically hope that things will get better. It is the same kind of thinking that underpinned his leader's call for the embrace of cryptocurrency to deal with inflation. That is not a serious plan. Our national housing strategy is serious, and it is getting help to Canadians.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, in committee, we found out that the former chief of staff to the past minister of defence provided a senator an altered official government document to bring Afghans to safety. We found out that the minister was copied on all communications. Shockingly, the minister said he was too busy at the time to check his personal government email account. Almost two years later, he says he still has not checked.
    How is this even possible? Does the Prime Minister really think this is acceptable?


    Mr. Speaker, the evacuation of Kabul was an absolute crisis situation. The response by the Government of Canada during that time saved thousands of lives. I am pleased to share with members of the House that, today, there are more than 30,000 vulnerable Afghan refugees who have received a second lease on life.
    When it comes to the issuance of facilitation letters, we used those to move people through Taliban checkpoints. They were not intended for people to arrive in Canada. When we became aware of the use of inauthentic letters, we shared them with law enforcement to conduct an independent investigation. It was the responsible thing to do.


    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the National Day of Mourning, a day when we remember workers who have been killed or injured on the job, such as Troy Pearson and Charlie Cragg. They were killed when the tugboat MV Ingenika sank near Kitimat.
    It has been a month and a half since the Transportation Safety Board issued four recommendations to prevent similar deaths; every single day, workers board vessels just like the Ingenika up and down our coast.
    Will the minister stand in the House and commit to finally implementing all four recommendations?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his constant advocacy on making sure that we increase the level of safety in our transportation industry.
    I recently met with Ms. Cragg. I expressed our government's condolences to her for her loss. I looked her in the eye, and I told her that we are going to take action based on the recommendations of the Transportation Safety Board.
    We are currently examining our options, but we will take action, because one loss of life is too many.

Air Transportation

     Mr. Speaker, Canadians deserve to have access to a fair and efficient passenger airline sector and to travel with relative ease and without major inconvenience and disruption. Many travellers, however, have experienced delayed and cancelled flights over the past year. They deserve to be compensated accordingly.
    Can the Minister of Transport inform the House on actions our government has taken to ensure that air travellers' rights are respected and protected?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his leadership.
    Last year, we saw significant disruptions in the air sector as it was recovering from COVID. We promised Canadians that we would further protect passenger rights. This week, we delivered on that promise.
    We are reversing the onus on airlines to make sure that compensation will be mandatory. We are putting into place new standards of service and new rules for delayed and lost luggage. Plus, we are simplifying the complaint process at the CTA.
    Protections for passengers in Canada will be the toughest in the world.


Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this Liberal Prime Minister, despite a series of disturbing and shocking revelations, the Prime Minister finds all sorts of tricks to avoid answering questions. This week, he continued to claim that he has no affiliation with the Trudeau Foundation, but the Trudeau Foundation held a meeting in the Prime Minister's Office. The person protecting elections from foreign interference, who the Prime Minister himself appointed, is the president and CEO of the Trudeau Foundation. The special rapporteur is a member of the Trudeau Foundation.
    When it is time to get to work and tell Canadians the truth, why is the Prime Minister nowhere to be found?


    Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear on this issue. The member knows full well that the Prime Minister has had no direct or indirect communications with the foundation over the past 10 years.


    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, we know that the Prime Minister likes travelling by private jet, attending New York high-society receptions, with an audience that is not fully aware of what is going on in Canada. The situation is bad. The Trudeau Foundation, with help from the Prime Minister's brother, received $140,000 from the regime in Beijing. This morning, in committee, after several questions, the Minister of Public Safety could no longer deny Beijing's influence on the Prime Minister.
    The Prime Minister is going to run out of jet fuel if he keeps denying the evidence. When will he accept reality and get to work?


    Mr. Speaker, once again, I will reinforce this. To be perfectly clear, the Prime Minister has no direct or indirect communications with the Trudeau Foundation. That has been the case now for over 10 years.

Government Priorities

    Mr. Speaker, there is an old saying that “you can't win if you don't try”. In order for the Liberal government to resolve the PSAC strike, rescue hundreds of Canadians stranded in Sudan or answer basic questions of accountability about the Trudeau Foundation, the Prime Minister has to at least try. However, I do not think the Prime Minister is trying too hard to solve these problems if he is hobnobbing with celebrities in New York City.
    When is the Prime Minister going to get back to work and resolve these—


    We are running against this line. We continue to run against the line.
    The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    Mr. Speaker, I just want to set the record straight. It is important for Canadians to know that consular services helping on the crisis in Sudan right now are working 24-7. The strike is not affecting these services; there are 130 people right now at Global Affairs helping Canadians who are stranded in Sudan, and they will work until every single one of them is back.


    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister would have us believe that a wall exists between him and the foundation that bears his family name. However, we know that the Prime Minister held a meeting with the Trudeau Foundation in his office, and the Prime Minister is still listed as a member of the foundation. His appointed election watchdog was the president and CEO of the Trudeau Foundation and his special rapporteur was a Trudeau Foundation board member until a few weeks ago. With walls like this, what is holding up the roof of his New York hotel room?
    Mr. Speaker, the member knows full well that the foundation actually met with public servants. The Prime Minister did not have a meeting, as has been suggested by the member, and he knows that.



    Mr. Speaker, eight days have passed since the public service strike began, and people are still looking for the Prime Minister.
    The union has formally asked him to join the negotiations. The invitation has been made, but it is being snubbed by the Prime Minister. Eight days is unusually long for a dispute of this magnitude. The Prime Minister knows that he cannot do without the 150,000 workers who provide services to Canadians.
    When will he answer the workers' call instead of prolonging the labour dispute?
    Mr. Speaker, the public servants represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada provide important services to the Canadian population, and, of course, the government values their work.
    For the last three weeks, we have been in mediation with the union to try to come to an agreement that will be reasonable for Canadians and fair to workers. We have a good deal on the table, but we cannot act in a way that will disrupt the services we offer Canadians. We will get there.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, CBSA just clued in about the violence in Sudan.
    Ottawa finally decided yesterday to stop the deportation of asylum seekers to that country, to avoid putting their lives in danger. Some may say that it is better late than never, but when we are talking about people's lives, what we should be saying is, “the sooner the better”.
    Ottawa should have done that automatically on compassionate grounds from day one. Sudan has been in total chaos since April 15. It was only yesterday that deportations were halted, and not until this morning that the first Canadian plane evacuated nationals.
    Did the government learn nothing from the debacle in Afghanistan?
    Mr. Speaker, getting Canadian residents and Canadians out of Sudan is absolutely our priority.
    Just a few days ago, the UN Secretary General called Sudan one of the most dangerous places in the world, so we are operating in a very volatile and very difficult environment. At this point, 200 Canadians have managed to leave the country. Two planes have left Sudan. The goal is to help all the Canadians who have reached out and are asking for help. At this point, that is about 800 people. We are in contact with all of them. Some of them want to leave by land and some by air.
    Of course, we are doing everything we can to communicate with the countries around Sudan to negotiate safe passage.


Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years under this Prime Minister, violent crime is up 32% and gang-related killings are up 92%. It is shocking, yet this Prime Minister and his Attorney General continue to ignore the demands of police chiefs begging for bail reform in this country. After months of empty talk and no action, our communities feel less safe because repeat violent offenders are continually being released.
     What is the Prime Minister doing about it? He would rather hang out with Liberal elites in New York City. When will he and the government finally get back to work?


    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a right to feel safe, and they have a right to be safe. That is precisely why we are working with the provinces and territories and with provincial and territorial attorneys general. We are proposing to amend parts of the Criminal Code to strengthen the bail regime and work with the provinces so that they can also better administer the bail regime with adequate resources. We all have to work on this problem together. It is complex, given the structure of Canadian federalism and the assignment of responsibilities, and we are doing just that.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, just in time for Earth Day, this government approved a devastating, nature-killing project, massively expanding the Port of Vancouver at Roberts Bank.
    It is also a job-killing project, because the head of the longshoremen dock workers union says that it will be devastating, but wait, I am going to anticipate the minister's answer and save him some time. He is going to tell us that there are 370 legally binding conditions. Here is my favourite: 14.7.1, the construction cranes will be painted in a colour that matches the nature they are destroying.
    How does he make this match up to the COP15 commitments to protect nature?
    Mr. Speaker, as I announced in the House of Commons here last week, the Minister of Natural Resources and I informed Canadians that we have declared that the Roberts Bank terminal expansion is in the national interest. We have obligated the port with 370 conditions. I know the member opposite has read the entire number of conditions and how strict they are and how focused they are in ensuring that we are protecting the environment.
    We have committed to Canadians that the best way to develop and grow our economy is having an environmental plan.
    We are showing Canadians how the economy and the environment go hand in hand.


    Mr. Speaker, 32%, the increase in violent crime, 92%, the increase in gangland slayings; and police and premiers are begging for bail reform.
    Where would the Prime Minister rather be? Not in Kamloops looking at boarded windows from break and enters. Not in Vancouver, seeing failed Liberal bail policies. Not in Toronto, where broken bail policies have led to crime.
    When will the Prime Minister get back to work on bail so that Canadians can feel safe, rather than jet-setting?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have already said to the House on numerous occasions, we are working with the provincial and territorial attorneys general on bail reform. I have committed to doing that and tabling it in the House before the end of this session.
    We are on track to do that. While I am up, let me tell the hon. members across the way and in the House and Canadians across Canada that yesterday we tabled, in the Senate, our government's response to fixing the sexual offenders registry, parts of which had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.
    We have created a presumption in favour of registration, as well as other measures to strengthen the sexual offenders registry.


    Mr. Speaker, since the Prime Minister took office, violent crime has increased by 32% and crime related to street gangs has jumped by 92%. Sex offenders can serve their sentences in the comfort of their own homes while watching Netflix.
    Together with police forces, we are calling for tougher legislation so criminals go to prison rather than staying at home.
    Instead of gallivanting around the world, including in the Big Apple, could the Prime Minister get back to work and fix this problem once and for all?


    Mr. Speaker, as I have said several times, serious crimes deserve serious consequences.
    Our government has taken action on several fronts to ensure that victims of sexual assault are treated with dignity and respect.
    Yesterday, I tabled in the Senate Bill S‑12, which will strengthen the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and will also give victims more powers. I hope that all parties in the House will support it.
    This is in addition to other measures we have introduced such as Bill C‑3 and Bill C‑51, which will protect victims of sexual assault.


    Mr. Speaker, our government is working hard to help Canadians have a healthier lifestyle.
    We have implemented important initiatives, such as an updated Canada's food guide, new nutrition labelling standards and investments of $10 million in budget 2023 to encourage people to adopt a more active lifestyle.
    Can the Minister of Health tell us what new measures might be added to Canada's healthy eating strategy?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for her question, her leadership and her focus on the importance of protecting people's health.
    That is why we are so proud of her bill, Bill C‑252, which protects children from the effects of food and beverage marketing. That is why we are introducing a new food guide and improving food labelling to help people make better food choices. That is why budget 2023 includes $10 million in funding for Participaction to help people, particularly youth, to increase their physical activity.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, “They will definitely be allowed to enter Canada with this letter” is what a senator's office told people when distributing hundreds of unauthorized travel documents, yet the then minister of defence said he did not know this was happening because he was not reading his emails. These actions put lives in danger and vaporized any illusion of equity in Canada's grossly inadequate evacuation of Afghanistan, and none of the people involved in this scandal have faced any consequences.
    Is the government comfortable sending a message that the system is so broken that the only way to help people during a crisis is for Canadian politicians to issue fake travel documents?
    Mr. Speaker, the crisis situation during the evacuation in Kabul presented extraordinary challenges. Despite those challenges, thousands of people were able to escape and their lives were saved. I am so pleased to share that there are more than 30,000 Afghan refugees living in Canada today as a result of this initiative. These are people I have met. They are living in our communities. I happened to meet some of them in the community of the hon. member who posed the question during one of my recent visits to Calgary.
    We are going to continue to do what we can to protect the integrity of the system, including the decision that we made previously to refer the use of inauthentic letters to law enforcement. It is the right thing to do. We are going to continue to be a welcoming country and protect the integrity of Canada's immigration system.

Government Priorities

    Mr. Speaker, every day I receive calls to my office from people who are struggling with the high cost of living that the Liberal government has caused. Seniors who are losing their homes are having to go back to work. People are skipping meals because they cannot afford to eat and heat. Other people cannot find affordable housing. What is the Prime Minister's response? To jet-set with the rich and famous while Canadians struggle.
    When will the government get serious and get back to work?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working every day on behalf of Canadians. I hope the Conservatives will have a change of heart from their normal approach to vote against measures designed to help Canadians, like, for example, taking the pinch out of inflation or making sure there is a $196-billion investment into our health care system to stabilize it for the next generation, and, heaven forbid, will lean in to grow the economy. I know it is hard, because in the 10 years they were in office we had no economic growth.
    We are on that track to grow the economy and deliver jobs to Canadians. That is our job. We are going to continue doing it.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are struggling. The carbon tax is going up, which means the cost of gas is going up, the cost of groceries is going up and the cost of home heating is going up. One in five Canadians are now skipping meals and Canadians cannot afford a place to live because rent has doubled under the current Prime Minister. The Prime Minister does not care.
     Private jets and expensive hotel rooms will not get the job done. When will the Prime Minister and his government get back to work?


    Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. Since the day we took office in 2015, we have been there to support Canadians. We have put in place the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 Canadian families and has lifted 435,000 children out of poverty.
    Most recently we brought forward the Canada dental benefit and, so far, 250,000 children have been able to access the dentist.
    When it comes to child care, something the Leader of the Opposition calls a “slush fund” has helped thousands of Canadian families across this country save thousands of dollars this year.
    When it comes to climate change, we put in place the climate action incentive.
    We are there for Canadians every single step of the way.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this year our government announced two major initiatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan that support Canada's commitment to investing in renewable energy and achieving the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement please share the details of these investments and how this furthers the government's goals on greening initiatives?
    Mr. Speaker, recently we announced agreements with Alberta and Saskatchewan energy providers to power federal buildings in their provinces with 100% green energy. This will help reduce emissions by about 166 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is equal to the annual GHG emissions of more than 50,000 gas-powered vehicles. We are fighting climate change and greening government.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians in Sudan need our help right now. Our men and women in the armed forces are eager to help, but the minister put them on the sidelines at a critical time. While the government delayed deployment, there were reports that it is now charging one Canadian family evacuated by the U.K. $10,000 for their flight home.
    Can the Canadian government explain why it acted so slowly to send our armed forces and why it charged Canadians thousands of dollars for trying to get home?
    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this crisis, we have been at it. At Global Affairs Canada, 130 people have been reaching out to every single Canadian who has been registered online on the Global Affairs website: 800 Canadians have raised their hand for support and 200 Canadians have left. We will continue to help. This morning two Canadian planes left Sudan. They are on their way to a safe third country. We also made sure that we were participating in international co-operation efforts. Since day one, Canadians have left Sudan.


911 Service

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
That the House require that the CRTC act immediately so that all those answering 911 emergency calls are able to respond quickly, efficiently and clearly in French.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)


Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, it being Thursday, I would ask the government if it could update the House as to the business for the rest of the week and the next week ahead.
    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will resume second reading debate on Bill C-42, regarding the Canada Business Corporations Act.
    On Monday, we will continue to debate Bill C-47, the budget implementation act.
    On Wednesday, we will commence report stage debate of Bill S-5, regarding the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
    Tuesday and Thursday will both be opposition days. In order to assist the Table, I will ask my friend, the hon. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, to confirm their designation following my statement.


    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, I would like to confirm that Tuesday, May 2, and Thursday, May 4, shall be allotted days.

Red Dress Day

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion. I move:
     That a take-note debate on Red Dress Day be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, pursuant to Standing Order 53.1, and that, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House: (a) members rising to speak during the debate may indicate to the Chair that they will be dividing their time with another member; (b) the time provided for the debate be extended beyond four hours, as needed, to include a minimum of 12 periods of 20 minutes each; and (c) no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. Agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise on behalf of the fiscally sane constituents of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.
    This is supposed to be a debate about a budget. Sadly, the document the Liberals tabled is an insult to the word “budget”. They claim it is fiscally responsible as they cast away the last fiscal anchor. They claim it is about productivity while they strangle innovation with red tape. They claim their GST rebate is a grocery rebate, when there is no GST on groceries.
     Spending is clearly out of control. Each budget and fiscal update revises future spending upward. Whether it is a household budget or a business budget, the goal is to make a plan in the face of an uncertain future. If a person is responsible in their financial planning, some years they will be a little over in their estimates, and other years a little under. For a business, that might mean that an estimated profit of 5% at the end of the year might come in at 4.9% or 5.1%. It is like target shooting. If a person is generally around the target, they can be satisfied they are doing it accurately, but if their shots are way off to the extreme left, it means they are doing it wrong. As this gang shoots Canada farther and farther to the extreme left, they are no longer shooting at the target. Instead, they have decided that the best thing for Canada is to shoot ourselves in the foot. That is the best way to describe this glut of corporate subsidies for green energy.
    The Liberals claim that they have to spend like crazy because the Americans and Europeans are spending like crazy. No one told the Liberals that, just because all of their friends are throwing money off the bridge, it does not mean that they should too. The Liberals claim they believe in free trade, but they do not really get it. If our competitors are lighting money on fire, we do not join the bonfire; we sell them matches. Canada had an opportunity to sell natural gas to Europe, but the Prime Minister, the Mr. Dressup drama teacher, claimed there was no business case. The finance minister claims they are not picking winners and losers, then proceeds to pick which Liberal-friendly companies will get subsides and picks out all the small businesses and expects them to pay for those subsides.
    The government is picking electricity-hogging electric vehicles over more emissions-efficient hybrid vehicles. The government is effectively prohibiting carbon-neutral fuel development in Canada by banning internal combustion engines. All this extravagant spending is supposed to lead us to a promised land of green jobs. This was the same pipe dream we heard from Dalton McGuinty in Ontario. The result was higher electricity prices, tens of billions of tax dollars wasted, and, according to the Auditor General, over 60,000 net jobs lost. After laying waste to Ontario’s economy, the Liberals packed up their taxpayer-funded moving trucks and came to Ottawa to repeat their failed experiment. This seems to be the socialist mindset. Every time socialism is implemented, it leads to misery, suffering and death. Yet they continue to try again, thinking that, somehow, it will be different. Einstein called this insanity.
    What is worse is that failure only seems to make the Liberals more ambitious. In their first budget, they said they would conserve an additional 7% of Canada’s natural habitat by 2020. After eight years, they managed to reach only half of their goal. A normal person who missed the mark by half would lower their future estimates. Instead, this Prime Minister announced that he would conserve 30% by 2030. That would require him to conserve four times as much land in the next seven years as he has in the last eight years.
    The truth is that the Liberals know they will not be held accountable for empty promises, so they just use the simplest slogans. That is why they announced a target of 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions by 2030. They announced a Soviet-style sales quota mandating that 30% of cars must be EV by 2030, and then there is their Paris pledge of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide by 2030. This policy-making is based on slogan. It is tweet-sized thinking. It is TikTok-style government: short, snappy, attention-deprived and a little too close to the Communists in Beijing.
    If we need any more evidence that this government is abandoning liberal democracy for a progressive socialist technocracy, we need look no further than the Public Health Agency report on public health and climate change.


    For the Public Health Agency report, they hired a radical academic to act as an outside consultant. They used taxpayer money to conduct focus groups with other far-left extremists working in public health. What was the conclusion of the government-published report? According to the so-called experts, climate change is not caused by carbon but by capitalism, individual liberty and democracy. In socialist mindset, capitalism is always the villain. In reality, socialist and authoritarian countries are the worst environmental offenders. Unfortunately for Canadians, the Liberals have abandoned reality-based policy, making for visions of a socialist utopia. The radical socialist public health manifesto said that non-western science fiction “offers a way of imagining the future without colonization and asking ourselves how we can get there.”
    While it is true that Star Trek was inspiring to many who worked at NASA, it should not form the basis of our climate policy. If these radical socialists were just sitting around in a big self-congratulatory circle while fantasizing about a climate apocalypse, they could be dismissed. However, they have laid out their plan for all to see. The report calls for a complete reordering of Canadian values led by these radical public health socialists. The authors of the report wrote, “Many experts we heard from highlighted the importance of shifting dominant societal values and transitioning to health and well-being economies if meaningful action is to be taken on climate change adaptation and mitigation.” What are those societal values that they need to shift? Here is what one expert had to say:
     Ultimately, there are 3 core values in western society, and for that matter, in global society, that have to change. One core value is about growth and materialism. The second core value is liberty and individualism, which has to be rethought because the kind of individualism that is preached by neoliberals is part of the problem.
    In response to this extremist claim that individual liberty and ending poverty are the root of all evil, the report's authors wrote:
     The above-noted core values, which are undermining public health and well-being, are well known, but public health systems have been successful in reorienting society values. For example, public health research and communications have changed our societal relationship with tobacco products.
    That is shocking to read. Radical public health experts want to socially stigmatize liberty. They want to socially stigmatize economic growth. Stigmatizing people has become the current government's calling card. That is what the Prime Minister was doing when he accused opponents of forced vaccinations of being misogynists and racists who hold unacceptable views. If someone does not agree with their plan to use climate change as an excuse to advance socialism, they accuse them of being a climate denier.
     The goal is to rhetorically link critics of bad climate policy to racist anti-Semites who deny the Nazi Holocaust. All societies stigmatize gluttony and over-consumption, but these socialists want to stigmatize all consumption. Then he tried to stigmatize words like “freedom” by labelling them as dog whistles. They are even trying to stigmatize the Canadian flag. None of this comes as a surprise. The Prime Minister said that Canada is a “postnational state”, and he is committed to seeing this fantasy become reality.
    The budget bill would further entrench the government in the market. It would keep expanding the state and driving out free enterprise until there is nothing left but the party and the state. Ever since the Prime Minister positioned the Liberals to the left of the NDP and broke the Canadian consensus that balancing the budget was the responsible thing to do, we have been sent down a dangerous path. We have become governed by slogans. The Liberals have forgotten Canada's multicultural heritage in favour of a single narrative of oppression. They love to claim they have Canadians' backs; the truth is that they just find it easier to pick people's wallets when they are hiding behind them.
    After eight years, the Liberals are tired, desperate and dangerous. Reduced to spewing slogans like “30 by 30”, they now project their policy on poverty onto us. We have a plan to put more money into people's wallets. They have a tax plan; we have an environmental plan. They have slogans; we have solutions. If they had any real confidence in their radical socialist agenda, they would put it to Canadians to decide. While the Liberals are busy dividing and stigmatizing Canadians, Conservatives offer unity and hope.


    Madam Speaker, at a time where Canadians are struggling with the cost of living, Conservatives provide no solutions. That speech was a prime example of that. There were no ideas or concrete things that could be done. Instead, they have just been calling for cuts to pensions and employment insurance, which Canadians rely on, and they are urging for pollution to be free again.
    It is reckless to suggest the ideas they have been suggesting, such as crypto, but one thing I was really happy to see was that the Conservatives were able to give unanimous consent to have the grocery rebate passed so Canadians could receive it. I know the member just mentioned the grocery rebate was not a good idea, so I am wondering why she provided unanimous consent to provide Canadians the grocery rebate. I would like to know why she thought it was a good idea that day.
    Madam Speaker, what this member opposite just did is called paltering: stating a fact then propagating it with a lie. What I said was that there is no GST on groceries, yet they call the bonus they are giving Canadians a GST rebate. They do not make sense.
    We have a concrete plan. The plan is to reduce taxes, so there is more money in people's pockets to pay their bills, feed their families and spend their money the way they feel is best, and not have the government spending on their behalf.
    Madam Speaker, one of the things my NDP colleagues and I are very proud of is that we have brought in Canada's first-ever dental care program on a national basis. Last year, of course, it covered children under the age of 12. Now it would be expanded to children under the age of 18, seniors and persons with disabilities—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Members of Parliament are talking loudly while they are coming in and interrupting. If members want to have conversations, they should go into the lobby or the hallway.
    I will ask the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford to restart his question.
    I appreciate that, Madam Speaker.
    As I was saying, one of the proudest accomplishments my NDP colleagues and I have is expanding dental care to low-income Canadians, who have never had the opportunity to afford to go to a dentist. That program is now going to expand to seniors and to persons with disabilities. These are the people who live on the margins of our society and need this.
    I hope my hon. colleague from the Conservatives will recognize that good oral health care is a part of health care. Will she commit, along with her caucus, to keeping that program? Will she at least see the benefits it has for her constituents?
    Madam Speaker, I am familiar with dental plans, and what they have put forth is not a dental plan. A dental plan matches codes with procedures.
    This is dental CERB, and we are still sorting out the problems from the CERB, which went forth initially without the necessary screening. Now we have people who were given all these thousands of dollars who need to find ways of paying it back because it was not given properly.



    Madam Speaker, we are seized with the budget implementation act, which is several hundred pages long and will amend dozens upon dozens of acts. Toward the end of these hundreds of pages, division 31 recognizes Charles III as King of Canada. The clause in question reads, “Charles the Third, by the Grace of God King of Canada and His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth”.
     Does my hon. colleague think it is appropriate to include this in a budget implementation bill, or should it be tabled separately from these hundreds of pages of amendments?


    Madam Speaker, there are all kinds of unexploded ordinances hidden in this budget implementation bill. We cannot even tell what they will be until they start blowing up in Canadians' faces.
    I know “Her Majesty” is still copied and pasted and put into templates, referring to Her Majesty giving a royal assent. This is probably another copy and pasted budget. I would be surprised if it says “His Majesty” anywhere in the budget.
    In the meantime, Canadians should be very careful. We have had experiences with budget implementations where people had tax imposed retroactively. That is the kind of thing they bury when they push through the budget before a fulsome scrutiny can be taken on a committee-by-committee basis.
    Madam Speaker, I just had the opportunity to visit Kapuskasing, and many people said wonderful things about you.
    I want to start with a positive view of the budget, and then go toward where there is some improvement required. Unfortunately there is a missing element that I think ought to be emphasized as well, but let us start where there are clear and incredibly important priorities. The federal budget rightly prioritizes better health care, affordability measures and clean economic growth.
    On the health care front, we see major new funding to modernize health systems, including significant funding through bilateral agreements with provinces. We see measures to address urgent pressures in emergency rooms, to support hourly wage increases for PSWs, to expand access to family health services, to increase mental health and substance use support, and more.
    We see a major commitment to a dental care plan, and this is really one of the signature pieces of this budget, done in co-operation with our partners across the aisle in the NDP. We have made a $13-billion commitment over five years to expand dental care to families earning less than $90,000 a year.
    We also see important new measures to combat the opioid crisis. While it does not quite get to the $500-million commitment in our platform, we are getting there. There is $360 million committed over five years for a renewed Canadian drugs and substances strategy, including community-based mental health, harm reduction services and more.
    We see the Canadian Cancer Society saying, “#Budget2023 is a sign that there is political will to fund our healthcare system so people can get timely, affordable access to cancer care.” The Canadian Medical Association says, “We’re pleased to see the federal government confirm significant health funding commitments as part of budget 2023-24.”
    On the affordability side, we see targeted inflation relief. There is a new rebate increasing the GST tax credit delivered to 11 million low and modest-income people. We see affordable higher education prioritized with increases to student grants and the raising of the interest-free loan limit. We see action for consumers and small businesses to reduce junk fees, crack down on predatory lenders and lower credit card transaction fees. We see measures to protect air passengers, enshrine the right to repair and more.
    We also see a code of conduct to protect Canadians with existing mortgages and automatic tax filings. It is not a perfectly automatic tax filing, so there is more work required, but the CRA will be piloting a new filing service to help vulnerable Canadians receive benefits to which they are entitled. Everyone should receive the benefits they deserve.
    Third, we see a major emphasis on clean economic growth. We see $21 billion over five years to really build on past measures. We have come a long way since 2015, and we need to keep moving forward.
    We have seen a rising price on pollution to help shift demand and spur innovation, with the revenue rebated directly to ensure low- and middle income Canadians are not worse off. There is now a clean fuel standard, rules to phase out coal-fired electricity and increasingly stringent measures to slash methane emissions. Work is also well under way to establish a clean electricity regulation and cap emissions from the oil and gas sector, and we have put a climate accountability law in place that sets strong targets, requires the government to table a comprehensive climate plan and ensures regular progress reports to keep all future governments honest.
    In past budgets, we have invested billions in retrofits, zero-emission vehicles, public transit, nature protection, clean technologies, critical minerals and more. We have also encouraged recent and multi-billion-dollar private sector investments in the clean economy, and the 2023 federal budget would build on this work with new initiatives to protect our fresh water and deliver clean electricity, clean tech manufacturing and clean hydrogen.
    The Canadian Climate Institute called the budget measures “decisive steps to ensure Canada won’t fall behind in the global race to net zero.” The Pembina Institute said the budget “sends a clear message that Canada is committed to building a cleaner future.” The International Institute for Sustainable Development called the funding for clean electricity and fresh water “unprecedented,” and the David Suzuki Foundation called it “historic” and “an important turning point”.
    Challenges remain, of course. I do not want to get into the $30 billion on TMX, which I wish we were spending elsewhere, but we do need stronger climate conditions to ensure money is well spent and there are safeguards against inefficient fossil fuel support.
    Some programs need to be strengthened, especially for home and business retrofits. We need to increase international climate financing, and we need all provinces to step up to do their part. We lack a serious and credible climate plan here in Ontario, for example, and that undercuts our overall ability to meet and exceed existing national targets. Despite the significant federal action to date, we are not yet where we need to be, but we are on track, in a serious way, to get there.
    The IPCC, or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, lead scientist Dr. Otto said that its recent report highlights “the urgency of the problem and the gravity of it”. However, Dr. Otto also acknowledged that there are “lots of reasons for hope – because we still have the time to act and we have everything we need”. We certainly see significant action here in Canada.


    The fourth item I want to note that is going in an incredibly positive direction is this. We see significant new spending, $4 billion over seven years, to implement a co-developed urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy. I think some of these ideas should be pulled apart. An urban strategy ought to be different from one for the realities of northern and rural Ontario.
    I just mentioned travelling in Kapuskasing, and I was in Timmins as well. I certainly heard concerns. When programs are being designed, whether at Queen's Park or Ottawa, they need to be designed with northern realities in mind. It really would make a lot more sense to pull the strategy apart and deal with urban, northern and rural realities separately.
    On the fiscal sustainability front, before I get to where work is required, I will quote Kevin Page, the former PBO, who wrote, “On balance, the 2023 budget has a credible fiscal strategy.” He continued, “Net new spending in 2023 largely goes to people struggling with high inflation...and our health care system. This is not spending that will impede efforts to lower inflation.” He then concluded, “Fiscally credibility has to be earned budget by budget. The 2023 budget gets a thumbs-up.” Those are not my words but the words of Kevin Page.
    It is important to not only look at Canada's situation in isolation but also to compare Canada's fiscal situation to our partners around the world. Budget 2023 notes, “Including new measures...Canada’s net debt as a share of the economy is still lower today than in any other G7 country prior to the pandemic—an advantage that Canada is forecasted to maintain”.
    With the time I have left, I will look at where work is required. On mental health, we have made progress. I highlighted new spending on mental health and addictions. However, it is not enough to meet our platform promise of $500 million. The CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association has said, “We are deeply concerned that this budget does not include critically needed investments in services delivered by community providers”. Our platform promised federal funding for mental health transfers, a significant commitment, and we are not yet where we need to be on that front.
    To give a very specific, concrete example here, we are launching 988, the new national mental health crisis number. It is incredibly important as a matter of delivery on mental health, but callers need to be referred to services in their own communities for it to be the most effective. Therefore, we need to fund services in our respective communities.
    I also want to emphasize the need to address the disability benefit. Many in the disability community were expecting a clear signal about what is to come. It is important that we see additional spending on consultation. We are going to do an expansive consultation to get it right, but to really make a meaningful difference, to deliver a transformative benefit, it is going to take billions in new spending every year to lift people with disabilities out of poverty in a way that they deserve. Much more work is required on this front.
    So too with housing. I mentioned the importance of the new billions in spending for an urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy, but we need to do much more on housing. It is a matter of generational fairness. It is a matter of productivity. People are leaving our cities. People are leaving our provinces. We are not going to be as competitive as we need to be if we do not fix the affordable housing crisis. That means governments have to get out of the way and help build housing. Governments have to get back in the game on building social housing, and we really have to treat housing as a home first and an investment second.
    Last, where there is a missing piece, we committed to increase foreign aid every year. We simply did not do that in this budget. Results Canada has rightly criticized the budget on those grounds. As wealthy a country as we are, we need to look after those in need in our country. We also have to look after and do our part for those in need all around the world.
    With that, overwhelmingly, despite areas of improvement and despite some areas of criticism, there are many reasons to be positive and optimistic about what we see in budget 2023, and there are certainly many reasons to support the budget in the coming weeks.



    Madam Speaker, toward the end of his speech, my colleague said that there needs to be money for mental health. Then he went on to quote organizations that say there is not enough funding. Something interesting happened, however. Last Wednesday, Bill C‑46 was passed by the House at all stages. The next day, Thursday, the government introduced Bill C‑47.
     Bill C‑46 included a $2-billion, unconditional health transfer to the provinces. This is included again in Bill C‑47. At the Standing Committee on Finance earlier today, senior officials confirmed to us that if Bill C‑47 is passed as is, an additional $2 billion would be transferred to the provinces.
    The hon. member says there is not enough money for health and mental health. Now, there could be an extra $2 billion if his government does not make an amendment to take that part out.
    Will the hon. member vote to keep the extra $2 billion?


    Madam Speaker, technology being what it is, I missed the preamble to the member's question. I only heard the last 15 seconds of it.
    I will allow the hon. member to restate his question.


    Madam Speaker, we have been using Zoom for two or three years now. It is a shame that some people still have problems choosing the right interpretation channel.
    I have a question for my colleague.
    Bill C‑46 includes a $2-billion investment in health care. This measure appears again in Bill C‑47.
    Today at the Standing Committee on Finance, senior officials confirmed that, if the bill is not amended, a total of $4 billion will be invested in health care.
    The hon. member is saying that there is not enough money for health and mental health. This is our chance to ask his government to not remove that part of Bill C‑47, so that $4 billion will be invested in health care instead of $2 billion.
    Will he commit to working to keep the $4 billion?


    Madam Speaker, it was not, by the way, a matter of selecting the right channel. It was simply a matter of my home Internet.
    I am committed to supporting the budgets that the government puts forward. In this case, I do not support the idea of transfers that are not coordinated, that are not properly negotiated and that do not have adequate strings attached. The idea that some inadvertence is being corrected to allow inadvertence to stand that is not intentional makes no sense at all to me.


    Madam Speaker, the member mentioned the lack of investments in housing and affordable housing. I wonder if he could share his thoughts around the fact that we are losing 15 affordable units to every one unit that is being built, yet the government continues to go forward with its market-driven lens on housing.
    Madam Speaker, I would dispute the idea that the government is not looking at non-market options. It was not in this budget, but in previous economic statements and budgets we certainly committed to an expansion of co-op housing, for example, one of the largest investments in co-op housing in decades. There is a commitment to non-market-based options, but I will agree that we are not delivering at scale.
     It is not only up to the federal government. In fact, provincial governments have more to say on housing, all things considered, working with municipalities, but I do think market supply is a huge part of the answer.
    We should not be pitting these ideas against one another, but we do need much more market supply and we also need governments to get back in the game on social public housing, like co-op housing. Then, important at all levels, especially at the federal level, as we examine every policy measure, we need to ensure that we treat housing as a home first and investment second. Whether we look at the work of Generation Squeeze or any analysis, over 40 years ago, it used to take five years to save a down payment. Now it takes over 20 years, and over 30 years in some communities, and that is obviously unacceptable.
    Madam Speaker, I will continue along the theme of housing. I am so glad my friend and colleague referenced the investments that we have made in affordable housing. Unfortunately, we have not seen those same investments at the provincial level, especially in Ontario.
    I wonder if the member could comment on the importance of having all three levels of government investing in affordable housing to ensure that the supply is there for the people who need it.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his work, especially his work in looking at housing options and partnerships with community organizations like legions.
    There is no question that provinces need to lead on this. I will speak to Ontario specifically. Its housing affordability task force has said that we need to do more on housing and enshrine a 1.5-million supply target in planning guidance to ensure we encourage municipalities to add density and end restrictive zoning. What does the provincial government do? It encourages sprawl and builds on the greenbelt.
    We, at all levels of government, but especially at the provincial level, need to take housing much more seriously and deliver the housing supply, all kinds of housing supply, that is so desperately needed.


    Madam Speaker, today we are examining Bill C-47, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023. I wanted to read the full title because I am going to use it to back up what I am saying.
    This is a huge bill, a mammoth bill. It is 430 pages long and seeks to amend 59 statutes and the Income Tax Regulations. However, since we have people who can read quickly, we noticed that King Charles III was hiding in this mammoth bill.
    The government is trying to sneakily introduce a measure in this budget implementation bill that will force us to be loyal to His Majesty and will enshrine in law the fact that Charles III is indeed Canada's sovereign. That is quite appalling.
    It is more than just appalling. I am convinced that, while there are those who are just a bit complacent about this matter, there are others who find this extremely offensive because of their roots. I am sure that those who have indigenous or Acadian roots may find it offensive to have to recognize this archaic institution. Clearly, the government put this in a mammoth bill because mammoths are another archaic part of history. In fact, they have disappeared, just as the monarchy should.
    For someone with Acadian roots, swearing an oath and recognizing this monarch in 2023 hurts deeply. We know the harm that was caused to the Acadian people and to indigenous peoples.
    I do not get it. How is there not a majority of members here who agree with what I just said? They could make sure we have an honest bill and submit the issue in all honesty to the House in a separate bill. No, this is hidden in a mammoth bill that amends 59 statutes. I get the impression that the government is a bit ashamed of its monarch.
    I am not the first member to speak to this bill, but the Bloc Québécois is voting against Bill C‑47. First of all, there is nothing in there for seniors. For years we have been asking the government why there is a two-tiered system for seniors, but it stubbornly refuses to change this. It is as though people between 65 and 74 do not have needs and were not affected by inflation. It is as though every senior between 65 and 74 had enough income to live it up every day, when the opposite is true.
    According to epidemiological studies, many illnesses emerge at this age. If we add to that financial insecurity, instead of a life without too many worries about living comfortably and deciding to buy this or that product or this or that medication, we would see that it is far more costly, in many ways, not to make the program fair.


    The bill should have included tax measures to allow seniors who want to work to do so without being penalized. Something should be done about that. I cannot understand this stubbornness. Obviously, this is the budget implementation bill. These measures were not in the budget, which is not surprising, but it will come as no surprise that I am criticizing it.
    The bill contains no long-term solutions for funding health care. My colleague spoke before about Bill C-46 and Bill C-47. Bill C‑46 included a $2-billion transfer, without conditions, to Quebec and the provinces. Suddenly, Bill C‑47 decides that would be redundant. We thought it was a generous gesture, given the government's previous power grab.
    Now the government is preparing an amendment to walk it back. We are going to work hard to ensure it remains in Bill C‑47. I am appealing to the social conscience of all so-called Liberal members. A Liberal is supposed to be a progressive who is in touch with what is happening. At present, I would truly like to see one Liberal rise and show me that, in the medium and long term, the health transfers being provided are enough to meet the needs that the provinces and Quebec will have over the next ten years. That is an impossible task.
    This does not mean that we do not appreciate the one-time investments made as a result of the pandemic. However, the structural problems of the health care system will not be fixed with one-time investments. The government made non-recurring investments when medium- and long-term structural investments were needed to rebuild the health care systems and to ensure that a pandemic will never again undermine and weaken these systems to the point that we have to lock down for a year, for example.
    It is appalling, what is happening here. Taking away this $2 billion is shameful. That they would even consider taking it away is shameful, indecent even. They are offering crumbs. As I said before, the provinces were asking for $28 billion a year, from coast to coast to coast. The government offered them $4.6 billion with a gun to their heads. Take it or leave it; the budget was already written. The government thinks that that will be enough for the provinces to be able to take care of their aging population and cover all other needs, which ballooned and became more acute during the pandemic because of the delays and the waiting lists.
    The Standing Committee on Health has done a study on the collateral effects of the pandemic. In the midst of the third wave, the experts came to us and said that even if we injected that $28 billion during that wave, it would still take 10 years for us to claw our way out of the pandemic. Imagine that. The government did not inject the money until after the eighth wave, and offered only $4.6 billion in new money, thinking that it would be enough for the provinces to take care of their people.
    There is nothing in the bill for EI. Worse still, the government is about to pilfer $17 billion from the EI fund, because the only budget item it has decided not to absorb is EI. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have ever put back into the EI fund the $57 billion the federal government stole from it.
    My father worked and paid into EI all his life. He was proud to pay into it for his colleagues who might need it and for workers who would probably need it. It made him proud to pay into it out of solidarity, but to never have personal need of it. He took pride in that.


    What has this government done? It has pilfered $57 billion from the fund and has never returned it. Today, when it should be able to pay back $17 billion of that amount, it has decided to pay it by increasing workers' premiums. It is shameful, and it is why I will be voting against the bill.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his brilliant speech. I would, however, like him to clarify something for me. I heard him criticize the government for making non-recurring investments rather than structural ones.
    When I look at what is happening with the budget, I get the impression that the government is investing based on events. I would like to know what my colleague thinks about that.
    Madam Speaker, I do not know whether the government is investing based on events, but the passage of Bill C-47 will not be an event. To clarify, I would say this.
    The government boasts about having invested a lot of money during the pandemic. However, had it taken the necessary precautions, it probably could have spent a lot less money.
    We likely would have been able to save the lives of more people in long-term care if the national PPE stockpile had not been completely depleted and if we had had masks to protect the personal support workers who had to work in two or three different facilities to be able to make ends meet at the end of the year, because the federal government has been making cuts to health care transfers for 30 years. The chronic underfunding of health care weakened the system, which led to anomalies during the pandemic.
    Yes, there is an obligation to make one-time investments, but if we want to make our health care systems strong again, then we need to make long-term structural investments to get results.



    Madam Speaker, the member referenced the health accord quite a bit and the Canada health transfer, and mentioned that the government should demonstrate in some way that this funding will be enough. Well, it is $198 billion in new funding over 10 years, and it includes $46.2 billion in new funding for the provinces and territories.
    One of the ways something like this can be demonstrated is by the Province of Quebec signing agreements. The Province of Quebec entered into negotiations with the federal government and agreed to this transfer of funds. The Premier of Quebec has come out in statements commending the government on providing these transfers, just like with the new funding for official languages and many other investments that have been made in the province of Quebec.
    What would the member say about the province's support?


    Madam Speaker, I think that my colleague and I see history differently.
    The Quebec government was hoping for $6 billion in recurring funding every year to rebuild its network. It got barely $1 billion. Then the Minister of Health had the nerve to claw back $42 million.
    Given that, the correct answer is not complicated. The Quebec government had no choice. It had to either accept the $1 billion, one-sixth of what it needed, or it would get nothing at all.


    Madam Speaker, I agree with the member about the structural investments we need in these budgets, and that is why I am happy to say the NDP has solidified structural investments in dental care. I am also proud to say that the NDP is putting in place structural benefits for child care, which Quebec has benefited from for over 25 years. I commend it on that.
    I want to ask the member specifically about dental care. Does he support at least that part of the budget? The second piece is the red dress alert. Does the member support that?


    Madam Speaker, with respect to dental care, the program got off to a very poor start. The government rushed to get it up and running.
    Quebec asked for the right to opt out with full compensation so that it could actually use that money to improve its own program. The Canada Revenue Agency showed that the project was off to a bad start, because there was no way to confirm whether the $650 given to people was being used appropriately.
    When it comes to health care, we cannot afford to waste any money anywhere. That is my answer.


    Madam Speaker, the defining issue of our time is how to keep the promise of a better future alive for everyone. We have a choice. We can settle for a country where a few people do very well and everyone else struggles to get by, or we can work toward a promise of a country where everyone gets a fair shot, where we all play by the same rules and where the strong do not get to pick on the weak and the rich do not get rich by exploiting the poor. That is what our government is about. That is what this budget is about. From Whitehorse and Vancouver to Toronto and Halifax, that is the Canada we believe in.
    Middle-class Canadians need a sense of security. We cannot let that slip away. We should not forget that we are still recovering from an unprecedented time and still have a ways to go before the international economic order finds a steady state. However, every month, we are adding tens of thousands of new jobs to the economy. Canadian manufacturers are creating jobs here. Our government's investments in clean tech are creating high-paying, high-skilled jobs here in Canada.
    As we move forward, far too many Canadians are being left behind. There are some gaps in policy, and folks have been falling through the holes. That is why it brings me great pride to speak to budget 2023. This budget is a budget of small victories with big impact, immediate focus and long-term vision.
    Looking at budget 2023, I can point to so many measures meant to help those who are just starting out or those who are in vulnerable positions. For example, for too long, predatory loaners have preyed on vulnerable Canadians in our communities experiencing financial crises, such as seniors, newcomers and low-income Canadians, by extending them high-interest loans, loans that lock Canadians in dangerous cycles of debt that they cannot afford and cannot escape. Victims are far too often Canadians with poor credit who cannot receive a loan from a traditional bank.
    Consider someone who takes out a single, small payday loan to deal with an emergency expense and finds themselves unable to pay back that expense within the usual two-week period. This can trigger significant penalties and can lead to extending the loan or securing an additional loan from another payday loan company.
    Budget 2023 introduces changes so that payday lenders cannot charge any more than $14 for every $100 borrowed. That would be the fee over a two-week period. Additionally, we are also proposing to change the criminal rate of interest to 35% from the current 47% APR. These measures are crucial for stopping exploitation.
    The Toronto Star has estimated that our changes to the system around payday loans would help Canadians save hundreds if not thousands of dollars that would otherwise be lost to predatory lending. This is a critical first step to ensure a more equal society, a society that does not leave people behind and a society where we can all grow.
    This is a budget of small victories with big impact, immediate focus and long-term vision. We can look at automatic tax filing. Up to 12% of Canadians do not file their taxes. The majority of these folks are low-income and would not pay much in tax anyway. In a lot of cases, they would not pay any taxes at all. However, by not filing their taxes, they miss out on the valuable credits and benefits they are entitled to even if they do not pay taxes. Examples include the Canada child benefit, the guaranteed income supplement and the climate action incentive.
    A report by Carleton estimated that up to $1.7 billion went unclaimed by working-age, non-filing Canadians in 2021. The primary reason is that vulnerable Canadians find dealing with taxes daunting, as something that is difficult to navigate and just too complicated.
    Budget 2023 outlines a pilot for automatic tax filing next year. Through this program, many vulnerable Canadians would have access to benefits and credits they have never had before. This is targeted relief for those who are feeling the worst of worldwide inflation. This is a small program that has the potential to be transformative in supporting low-income Canadians for years to come.


    Last, to help us realize our highest potential, we need to ensure that our young people are supported. I want to work so that every student in this country receives at least the opportunities that were presented to me, because the young people of today will be the foundation for this country tomorrow. Students are looking for greater security and we cannot ignore that.
    That is why it gives me great pleasure and great relief that budget 2023 includes measures for students. Thanks to changes we are introducing, students will be able to rely on their RESPs more going forward. While the cost of attending a post-secondary school has risen in recent years, the withdrawal limit for RESPs has not been increased in 25 years.
    Every year, nearly half a million students rely on their RESP to fund their education. Students rely on the RESP to cover everything from course enrolment to buying textbooks to living expenses. Budget 2023 plans to increase the withdrawal limit for full-time students from $5,000 to $8,000 and for part-time students from $2,500 to $4,000. These changes would help ensure that the next generation's access to education is not compromised amid the rising cost of living.
    Budget 2023 would also expand loans and grants for the 2023-24 school year, increasing the maximum grants available to $4,200, up from the $3,000 it was before, for low-income students. This represents a 40% increase to student grants for students who qualify in normal years. This is on top of our previously announced policy to erase interest on federal student and apprentice loans as part of our fiscal update last year. That move helped budget-strapped young Canadians who have borrowed to finance their education. It was a monumental investment for students across this country.
    I truly believe that if we can outbuild, out-innovate and out-hustle, the jobs and industries of our time will take root here in Canada, people will prosper and the country will succeed. The only way we can make this happen is if we invest in our economy to give it a boost and spur industry and innovation so we can see around the corner to the industries of tomorrow and lay the bedrock of industry today.
    However, we also need to make sure that as we move forward, we take everyone with us. Canadians should not be left behind, and that is exactly what this budget would do. Even as we cut out things we can do without, we have a responsibility to invest in things that will have the biggest impact on our future. That is especially true when it comes to measures that help vulnerable Canadians.
    Here in Canada, the story has never been about what we can do by ourselves; it is about what we can do together. It is about believing in our future and the future of our country. That is why Canadians are working hard, with some balancing jobs and school and others learning our languages while they learn their jobs. It is about working hard. It is about pulling together and pulling each other up, and it is on government to enable our population to achieve their maximum. If we work together in common purpose, we can shape an economy that will cement Canada's place on the world stage, an economy that does not leave Canadians behind. That is something we can be proud of.


    Madam Speaker, it is spending, spending, spending. There is one thing that should concern all members in this House, something that is not really being talked about. We touched on it at the finance committee: the Bank of Canada, with $600 billion on the balance sheet. It was $120 billion in 2020.
    For the first time in 87 years, the Bank of Canada lost $522 million last year. We do not see that in the budget. How are the Liberals going to account for that loss? Is the Canadian taxpayer, because there is only one, going to be on the hook for that?
    Madam Speaker, my speech was on budget 2023 and that is what I will focus on.
    In opposition to Conservative logic, we cannot just cut our way into growth. We have to provide subsidies to companies that are creating jobs here in Canada, and that is something we can all agree on. Short-sighted, crisis-driven spending is never the answer. The answer is a fiscally responsible blueprint for jobs, which is exactly what this budget focuses on.


    Madam Speaker, we were expecting the government to use Bill C‑47 to eliminate the EI deficit that accumulated during the pandemic, but it did not. The Employment Insurance Act requires the EI fund to break even over a seven-year period. Ultimately, workers will have to pay off $17 billion through their premiums to wipe out the deficit.
    The government covered all of the other pandemic-related deficits, but not this one. As my colleague from Montcalm said a few moments ago, in the Chrétien and Martin eras, the government took $57 billion from the fund.
    Does my hon. colleague consider it fair to leave workers on the hook for this deficit?



    Madam Speaker, EI is something that is under consideration by this government. This government will never leave vulnerable Canadians behind. We will support vulnerable Canadians and our workers. That is exactly why my speech touched on automatic tax filing and on drawing more RESP loans for students. This government believes in the right of every Canadian to live in dignity, so we will support Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to follow up on the question of EI. Let us face it: The budget implementation act is very light on EI measures. One thing it does is extend the pilot program for the “black hole” by just another year. When this pilot program is something that has been going on now for five or six years, I think it makes a lot of sense simply to make it permanent, rather than continuing to extend it year by year. There are also some modest changes to the EI appeal board, but there is not really anything that addresses the important changes that were made during the pandemic and cancelled by the Liberals in September.
    Why does the government continue to drag its feet when it comes to this important reform as we are being told that Canada is likely heading into a recession, when employment insurance is at its most important in terms of the lives of Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, EI was there for Canadians during the pandemic. We will continue to look at the system and how we can modernize it for our current day.
    Once again, these programs are meant to help vulnerable Canadians. That is exactly why I was touching on automatic tax filing for Canadians, which will help vulnerable Canadians who have not been able to access Canadian benefits. We also looked at students and the fact that the interest on their federal loans will be waived. They can also draw more from their RESPs heading into the next school year. These measures are there to help Canadians who are the hardest hit by worldwide inflation.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak this afternoon to the budget implementation act. At the outset, let me acknowledge that we are gathered here on the traditional, unceded lands of the Algonquin people.
    While talking about the budget, I want to preface it by outlining the current economic state of our country. After coming through the pandemic, Canada, while facing a number of headwinds, is in a very strong position. First and foremost, we continue to have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7. We continue to have one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the G7, but also in Canadian history. We continue to lead in building a green economy that responds to the needs of the day, including addressing the existential threat of climate change.
    In many ways, the pandemic taught us that the government can be there to support Canadians of all stripes, whether it be through supporting organizations that work on the front lines or supporting businesses through wage subsidies or emergency loans, which, in many ways, were lifelines for our businesses. On an individual level, the Canada emergency response benefit, or CERB, supported so many Canadians in getting to the other side of the pandemic.
    As we look forward, we realize that the issues around inflation and increasing interest rates are a threat to our economy and, as a government, we have been addressing these issues head-on. We have one of the lowest rates of inflation among developed countries. Also, our rate of inflation has gone down to new lows, and we are confident that we will reach the 3% mark by the summer and be well into the 2% mark by next year. That should give us some confidence.
    As a steward of this economy, we have looked at our economy in a very different way than it has traditionally been viewed. We have made sure that our economy is very much linked to our environment. We do not decouple the issue. We believe that they are fundamentally related and we cannot, under any circumstances, decouple it. If we look at modern accounting practices, we will note that many companies are now reporting their environmental liability. As we go forward and as we see the impacts of climate change, whether it is floods or wildfires, we know that the environment plays a critical role in our long-term sustainability, directly linked to our economy.
    In this budget, the Minister of Finance and her team worked very hard to put together some measures that will give individuals real support during the pandemic. As we know, in the fall economic statement we had very important measures that supported Canadians on affordability. First and foremost was the GST credit, and the second one was the $500 housing rebate for those in the lowest income brackets. Those were crucial in ensuring that affordability was maintained for the most vulnerable Canadians.
    As we look forward, we are looking at a number of targeted initiatives, the critical one being the one-time grocery rebate, which will support 11 million Canadians in making ends meet. While we know that it is not a permanent fix, we do realize that in these most difficult times, we need to get Canadians to the other side of these economic threats. I believe this is a very smart way of addressing this issue.


    With respect to predatory lending, when I was in my first year of law school, a professor by the name of Iain Ramsay was my contracts prof, and he was a highly respected professor at Osgoode. During our contracts class, his singular focus was on predatory lending. He did an enormous amount of research on the impacts of predatory lending on low-income Canadians, the cycle of debt that it brings individuals and, subsequently, young families into, and the systemic challenges of getting out of this debt. As a result, I learned a great deal about those who are dependent on payday loans, which can only be described as predatory.
    I realize that this was over 20 years ago, so I am actually quite heartened and also somewhat disappointed that it took Canada this many years to get to the point where we are actually addressing this issue head-on, redefining the notion of criminal interest rates and ensuring that those who are dependent on payday loans, our most vulnerable, are supported. It is something that I believe is fundamentally important to the economy but also to those who may be struggling right now. In addition, we are cracking down on junk fees to ensure that businesses are transparent with the prices they are set to pay.
    We are also looking to implement automatic tax filing for low-income Canadians. Every year, and I know my colleagues here will probably relate to this as well, we have a volunteer who, since I was elected in 2015, comes every February and offers up her time to do tax returns. In fact, even if we do not call her, she calls us. Every year, that service is full. She really does it as a service to her community, to those who are struggling and to those for whom the tax return is so critical to their income, whether it be the Canada child benefit, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement or other government entitlements. She is very diligent in getting this done, and there are literally thousands of tax preparers who do this out of the kindness of their hearts, to make sure they support other Canadians.
    Automatic tax filing, in many ways, will ensure that those who are left outside of the ability to prepare their taxes or get the type of help that is provided by my office, and I am sure many of my colleagues' offices, are supported. I am very glad to confirm that automatic tax filing will be coming and is included in the budget implementation act.
    We know that students have had a particularly difficult time. I interviewed for the summer leadership program that we have, and I am pleased to say that we have two students who are starting next week. As a government, we have over 150 students, with over 4,000 applications from students who have applied to our program. This is, I believe, our seventh year running this program. It is so good to see the quality of candidates who are coming forward, but when I speak to students, I know they are struggling. Whether it is through the youth constituency advisory council that I have or through the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus, which is located in my riding, or Centennial College, I hear from students about the issue of affordability. Oftentimes, it is the ability to pay the tuition or to make ends meet.
     I believe there are many measures in here, including increased grants, that will enable students to ensure that their education is affordable. I often say that in our society education is our ultimate equalizer and the measures that we have in place will support students in attaining an education.


    Madam Speaker, given the hon. member's legal expertise, I appreciated his legal analysis of the budget.
    However, I am concerned about the economic trajectory of this country. With the data from the budget itself and from last year's budget, in fact, our GDP per capita is significantly lower than those of the Americans and of our OECD advanced economy competitors. In fact, it has gotten worse over the last three decades. In particular, we have seen stagnant wage growth over the past five years, compounded with record-high inflation and very high housing prices.
    The Liberal government is spending all this money, and yet we are not seeing great economic growth trajectory for Canadians. I am very concerned about it.
    Madam Speaker, let me say at the outset that the expenditures we are talking about are investments in our community, individuals and businesses. Just last week, the Prime Minister was in St. Thomas announcing a record investment in the auto sector with Volkswagen coming to Canada. It is the first European carmaker to set up shop here, which we believe is transformational. While we have some challenges with respect to the economy today, we are poised for long-term sustainable growth because of the investments we are making in individuals and businesses.


    Madam Speaker, in the recent budget, the government announced $80 billion for the green economy and the transition to a carbon-neutral future. In Bill C‑47, we learn how this will be managed and that has us concerned. Through a legislative change, the government is creating two institutions that will be in charge of administering the money the government plans to invest, money that escapes the control of Parliament. Non-elected people will be able to choose the projects they support without being accountable to anyone, without being accountable to the House and without any clear criteria.
    What does the member think about that?


    Madam Speaker, I do not think it is a bad thing for decisions regarding funding to be made by independent actors. I believe Parliament has a very important role in setting the agenda and terms of reference, and appointing custodians and managers to ensure the funds are managed. However, I believe that processes that are meant to adjudicate and allow funding to go to individuals and businesses ought to be managed independently of government and that it is wise for us to continue to do that. We have a civil service that does it. Oftentimes, we Crown corporations that do that. I believe that is probably a more prudent way to achieve the goals we are mutually trying to achieve.


    Madam Speaker, I asked earlier about the urgency of employment insurance reform. I want to talk about another facet of the employment insurance problem that Canada has at the moment, which is the decision of the government to allocate $25 billion of CERB debt to the EI account. We know that EI was not in a good place prior to the pandemic. It was not adequate to the task. The whole system had to be revamped. It was effectively run like a program and not the usual employment insurance system that premium payers are used to. That was cancelled back in September.
     How does the government imagine it is going to achieve an effective modernization of the employment insurance system when premium payers are preoccupied with paying down a $25-billion debt over the next seven years instead of seeing improvements to the employment insurance program?
    Madam Speaker, of course the issue of employment insurance is so critical to Canada, and to anyone who depends on a paycheque, which is the vast majority of Canadians. We know that any one of us could, at some point over the years, face the difficult challenge of applying for employment insurance.
    During the pandemic, we were there for Canadians through the Canada employment response benefit. I recognize the member's concern with respect to the additional obligations under EI for the CERB shortfall, but we are confident we will ensure we will have a system that protects the most vulnerable, especially those who may be out of a job or temporarily see themselves seeking employment insurance because of seasonal employment and the like.
    Madam Speaker, today we are talking about budget 2023, and there are many serious issues facing Canada. Unfortunately, I do believe that many of them are not addressed in the federal 2023 Liberal budget.
    I am the shadow minister for public safety and the vice-chair of the public safety and national security committee for Canada, and so when I was looking at the budget, I was looking at it through a public safety lens: How is this budget going to improve public safety in Canada? Again, there are very serious issues in public safety that need dire and immediate attention from the Liberal government, and I do not feel that they were given that attention in budget 2023.
    We are facing a 32% rise in violent crime since 2015, which is the 2015-21 statistic. I am confident that, unfortunately, the 2022 statistic is going to be even worse, given the headlines that we have seen over the past year and a half. Also, 32% is not just a number. In fact, it represents 124,000 more very serious violent crime incidents that have impacted innocent Canadians across the country. That is how many more violent crime incidents per year we experienced in 2021 versus 2015, when the Liberal Prime Minister first came to power. So, there are very serious issues not being addressed, from my perspective, in the budget.
    Many of us read the news and watch the headlines, and we have seen a lot of very concerning stabbings, shootings, murders, assaults on innocent Canadians and stranger attacks on public safety, and a lot of it has to do with repeat violent offenders in our community who continue to get bail and wreak havoc on innocent Canadians. For example, there was a violent knife attack on a Surrey SkyTrain, which is its public transit, that left a young man in hospital. The attempted murderer was released on bail less than two weeks later. A man was almost stabbed to death, and the culprit was back on the streets. This follows the death of a 17 year old who was murdered, stabbed to death, in B.C. on a bus. This follows a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in a Toronto public transit station. There are countless other examples of these horrific attacks in Canada. It seems that there are more and more every day.
     It is not just civilians; it is also police. In fact, 10 police officers have died in the past year, eight of them on the job, and notably repeat violent offenders is a theme in many of the murders. Of course, everyone has heard of OPP Officer Greg Pierzchala, a young OPP officer who was murdered just after Christmas this past year. He walked up to a vehicle in a ditch and the driver shot and murdered him. That driver, that murderer, was out on bail and had a lifetime prohibition from ever owning a gun. Yet, he got out on bail, got a gun and shot and murdered that young police officer. We mourn the loss of Greg Pierzchala with his family.
    Notably, his death sparked a necessary national conversation about bail reform, which is not mentioned once in the federal budget, despite every premier in the country joining in on one letter, which is very rare, and sending it to the Prime Minister demanding bail reform. Despite big-city mayors and municipal police forces across the country demanding bail reform, we see no action, no results on bail reform from this government. It is not mentioned in the budget at all. I find it very concerning, and it is very serious. Last year, in Toronto, of the 44 murders when someone used a gun to murder someone, 24 of the murderers were out on bail at the time, and so 24 of 44 could have been prevented if our bail system was a bit tougher. It is quite serious.
    In B.C., the NDP provincial government has written urgently to the Prime Minister just in the last few weeks outlining what they are facing in terms of bail and violent crime. Only about 16% to 17% of those who are going through a trial for a violent crime actually get detained. I was shocked at these statistics, and I had to read them a number of times. Fewer than 20% of violent criminals are being denied bail in B.C. Something is seriously wrong, and the B.C. NDP government is demanding bail reform as a solution from the Liberal government, and yet it is not mentioned as a priority in the Liberal budget. I found that very disappointing, given the national conversation and the deaths that we have seen. We could say that maybe bail will be mentioned somewhere else, but violent crime was not mentioned as a priority. Members can google it themselves; it was not in the budget.
    Again, folks at home need to understand that a government's budget is telling Canadians what its values are and what it is prioritizing for the year ahead with the billions of taxpayer dollars it accumulates over the year. If violent crime is not mentioned, then clearly it is not a priority for the Liberals to fight violent crime or to deal with bail and repeat violent offenders. There are issues in our parole system as well.


    What is in the budget? It is not something that is answering the calls of police. Before I move on, I want to say I found something quite shocking this week. The Victoria Police Department, just to drive this point home, recently released a news release about a vile rapist who was charged with 10 counts of sexual assault with a weapon. It says, “Why was this person released? Bill C-75....”
    Bill C-75 was a Liberal bill from a couple years ago. Where is the mention of fixing this problem in the budget? Where are the resources to fix this problem in the budget? Why was it not prioritized by the Minister of Public Safety? I have not received any answers for these questions yet.
    There are a few things in the budget that I did find notable in the public safety realm. There is $29 million over five years for an IT computer program for the government's so-called buyback program of long guns. I know this is very contentious. I have talked about this extensively elsewhere.
    There is no evidence to suggest that long gun confiscation is going to do anything for all the issues I have outlined. In fact, of the multitude of violent crimes in this country, fewer than 0.5% are committed with long guns. We know the majority of crime committed with firearms is committed by people who are not legally allowed to own them.
    Spending millions of dollars on an IT program, millions of dollars buying inventory from small gun shops and then billions of dollars buying property from law-abiding citizens who have been trained, tested and vetted by police to own firearms, is not going to make any difference to everything that I have been talking about.
    However, it is a top priority for Canadians that it get solved. I put this to the minister. He said there are a lot of ways to fight gun violence. I said sure there are, but I asked what they were in his opinion. He said he is investing money in the border. Is he doing that?
    I took a closer look at the budget since the Liberals formed government. In 2015, there were 8,400 frontline officers and investigators working for CBSA, our border agency. We know, as Toronto Police have told us, about nine out of 10 guns that are used in crime in Toronto are smuggled in from the U.S. We hear this quite universally from police departments across the country. It is a gun-smuggling problem from the U.S.
    In 2015, we had 8,400 frontline workers who were tasked with stopping things like this from happening and stopping the gun smugglers. The Minister of Public Safety has said to Canadians multiple times, every time he gets a microphone, that he is spending all this money on the border to stop gun smuggling.
    However, eight years later, there are only 25 more frontline officers, yet a lot of money has been spent. There are only 25 more frontline officers to fight gun smuggling, which is the source of violent crime in this country. Every chance he gets, he boasts about how much money he has invested.
    Where is that money going? A closer look at the employees at CBSA shows that middle management has gone from approximately 2,000 people in 2015 to 4,000 people in 2023. It has doubled middle management, not the frontline workers who are working hard and putting their lives at risk to apprehend gun smugglers at the border, but the middle managers.
    I greatly respect all of our middle managers in public safety, but the point is that it has doubled, while there has been almost no movement of the frontline officer numbers. How serious is he about cracking down on gun smuggling? The numbers are not telling me that the results are going to be there.
    We know the RCMP is facing significant issues as well. Recruitment is way down, as is morale, across the country. Police say this is an issue, yet there is not any new money in the budget to encourage recruitment or for new recruits. We are seeing serious declines in recruitment in our police forces. Why is that not being addressed? We need more frontline police officers to fight violent crime.
    We also know there has been a 12% funding cut to the Parole Board and a 36% decrease in staff at the Parole Board. Perhaps that is why we have major mass casualties like the murderer in Saskatchewan who murdered, with a knife, 11 people and sent 17 more people to hospital. He was out on parole with 59 prior convictions.
    After all that, we see cuts to parole and no increase in this budget, yet increases everywhere else. Public safety is not a priority for the government from what I have seen in the budget.
    I do feel very strongly about this, as does the Conservative Party. We know Canadians care about public safety. I call on the Minister of Public Safety and the Liberal government to bring forward real measures to address public safety because so far, they are getting a failing grade from me.



    Madam Speaker, my colleague and I are members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. I also studied the budget from a security perspective. I realize that not enough is being done, as she said, to counter gun violence.
    Yes, we are working on Bill C‑21. There are good things in there. Is this going to solve all the problems? Unfortunately not and it is certainly not going to solve the problem of illicit firearms trafficking.
    For months, the Bloc Québécois has been proposing that more people work together and that we create a sort of squad of New York police officers, Akwesasne Mohawk police officers, police officers from the Sûreté du Québec, police officers from Ontario and Border Services officers. They also need to be given more resources.
    When these people appear in committee, they tell us that guns are crossing the border and they do not have the resources to stop it. Does the member think that the government is putting money in the right place?


    Madam Speaker, it has been a great pleasure to work with my colleague on public safety. It is great to have two young, strong women fighting for public safety in Canada. I appreciated the guns and gangs study that the two of us and the others at the public safety committee spearheaded, and we all signed on to that report. It is amazing what we can accomplish when the Liberal cabinet does not stick its nose into public safety affairs, I will say.
    That aside, we did learn significantly that, just as the member outlined, there is a lot of gun smuggling and drug smuggling coming in. Actually, this is happening near her riding, I believe. I firmly believe in empowering first nations policing and first nations community resources to stop that sort of thing. I think they clearly need to be an equal partner at the table in that regard. I am not happy with the results we have seen, and I do not believe the first nations are either, because we have had them at committee and we have talked to them. It does not seem like they are getting the resources they need, which is very odd given the money being spent.
    This is where the problem is. Why are we not investing more money? They are spending money everywhere else. Why not do so to stop the problem?
    Madam Speaker, in my riding of Vancouver East, we are actually struggling with a series of crises. We have a homelessness crisis, and we have a drug poisoning crisis; we have a mental health crisis where people need mental health support and are not able to access it.
    I wonder whether the Conservatives would support an approach whereby all levels of government are brought together, including federal, provincial and municipal governments, along with the community and indigenous leadership to find a way to address the crisis that we face. This would be similar to what is in place in Winnipeg, in what is called the Winnipeg accord, and formerly in Vancouver, in the Vancouver agreement. Then, in a non-partisan way, we could take a concerted approach to addressing the situation that we are all facing, and particularly, in my situation, in the Downtown Eastside.


    Madam Speaker, I appreciated working with the member when we were on the immigration committee together. This collaboration is something I would personally support. I cannot speak for the Liberal government or any other level of government, but I certainly believe that when we come together and collaborate, especially across party lines, we see real results. We have seen collaboration across party lines at the provincial level. All premiers of multiple different parties signed a letter demanding bail reform, which is a consequence and part of the problem the member outlined. This problem is that there are repeat violent offenders who are wreaking havoc on our communities and taking advantage of vulnerable people, particularly those addicted to drugs, thereby putting them at risk or even hurting them.
    I think that there is a lot that the member and I would work well together on, and collaboration is certainly a female strength. I would love to see something like that happen given all the lives that we have lost, particularly young lives in the last number of years, to the drug addiction issue.
    Madam Speaker, I listened attentively to the member's speech. There are many things in this budget that are very go