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Friday, June 2, 2023

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 205


Friday, June 2, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.




Points of Order

Request to Consider Motions in Amendment 

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to present my arguments for why you should select my motions and other motions that might not normally be selected. I use the word “normally” because the circumstances of the process at committee were not normal at all.
    It is important to understand why we are here today, pleading with the Speaker to select amendments at the report stage. O'Brien and Bosc, at page 784, state:
    It is up to the Speaker to decide which amendments will be considered at report stage. The Speaker rules not on whether the purport of the amendment or its substance is worthy of debate, but rather on whether the amendment is procedurally acceptable within the framework of the rules established for the admissibility of amendments presented at report stage.
    At report stage, a bill is examined as a whole and not clause by clause as is the case at committee stage. Generally, the rules relating to the admissibility of amendments presented at committee stage also apply to motions in amendment at report stage. However, certain rules apply only to report stage. For instance, since 1968 when the rules relating to report stage came into force, a motion in amendment to delete a clause from a bill has always been considered by the Chair to be in order, even if such a motion would alter or go against the principle of the bill as approved at second reading, and a motion to amend a number of clauses of a bill has been considered out of order.
    At report stage, the Speaker has ruled out of order a motion in amendment that: infringed upon the financial initiative of the Crown; proposed to alter an agreement that was within the prerogatives of the Crown; proposed to amend a statute or a section of a statute not amended by the bill; and proposed to alter the title of a bill when no substantial changes had been made to the bill that would have necessitated a change in the title.
    I do have motions on notice to delete clauses, but I have other substantive motions. None of them are in this category concerning the prerogative of the Crown or the title.
    Bosc and Gagnon, at pages 786 and 787, address the point I want to make today. They say:
    As a general principle, the Speaker seeks to forestall debate on the floor of the House which is simply a repetition of the debate in committee. Normally, the Speaker will not select a motion in amendment previously ruled out of order in committee, unless the reason for that ruling was the requirement for a royal recommendation or that the amendment moved in committee had proposed the deletion of an entire clause of the bill. Furthermore, the Speaker will normally select only those motions in amendment that could not have been presented in committee. In such cases, Members can send a written submission to the Speaker explaining why it was not possible to present these motions in committee.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. What the member is referring to is outside of normal process. The member should have corresponded with the Speaker's office to express his concern, as opposed to trying to anticipate what a Speaker's ruling might be. The Speaker, from what I understand, is very close to making a ruling. To interject at this point in time is highly inappropriate. The member should have been in correspondence with the Speaker's office prior to doing what he is doing currently. I would suggest to the member that he wait until there is a Speaker's ruling before he tries to anticipate what the Speaker is going to say.
    Madam Speaker, in response to the point of order from the member for Winnipeg North, I would just state that the intervention by the member for Calgary Forest Lawn is in anticipation of such a ruling. It would not be appropriate for an individual member to try to persuade a Speaker in a private forum beforehand, when a decision is about to be made. It might be inappropriate to try to go in that direction. I do think that the member for Calgary Forest Lawn is laying out the point in advance of the Speaker's making a ruling on this important matter.
    Madam Speaker, on the same point of order, just logically, I am confused by the arguments from the member for Winnipeg North. He is saying that the Speaker is, in his view, about to make a ruling, and, therefore, that the member should wait to hear the Speaker's ruling before making arguments that would be material to the Speaker's ruling. It seems to be quite logical that members would want to make arguments to the Speaker prior to the Speaker's ruling, in order to inform the Speaker in their deliberations about what ruling they are going to make.
    The Standing Orders are also explicit about the fact that oral arguments may be part of the deliberations around which amendments are put forward. Standing Order 76 describes not only the procedure whereby members may write to the Speaker, but also the procedure whereby members may address or be called upon to address the Speaker with oral arguments. It is fairly rare that we are in the situation where this is necessary, but insofar as the situation is necessary, the procedure being followed by my colleague, the member for Calgary Forest Lawn, is clearly anticipated by the Standing Orders.
    We also have the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South. Is it on this same point of order, or is it a different point of order?
    Mr. Philip Lawrence: It is a different point of order.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): That is perfect. Based on past practice, as the parliamentary secretary has mentioned, it is customary for the member of Parliament who wishes to raise issues such as this one to be in touch with the Speaker first, before bringing it to the House. I will just let the hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn briefly finish up his point of order, and we will then go from there.


    Madam Speaker, as described at page 954 of Bosc and Gagnon, normally, “responsibilities of parliamentary committees are to review in detail and improve bills and existing legislation, and to monitor the activities of the machinery of government and its executive branch by conducting reviews of and inquiries into government programs and policies, reviews of past and planned expenditures, and reviews of non-judicial appointments.”
    The committee ran out of time to review in detail, and since not all of the amendments and subamendments could be considered within the time allotted to the closure motion adopted by the committee, some proposals to improve the bill could not be considered. Therefore, the committee did not do its job, and a repeat of debate in committee does not apply here. It is unfortunate that the committee could not have concluded its work properly—
    I am sorry. I have another point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, the rule is very clear: Members are supposed to write to the Speaker in advance, not rise on a point of order on the issue. I believe the member should not be allowed to continue with the point of order, because he has not followed due process.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I would just note for the member for Winnipeg North that you, Madam Speaker, made a decision to allow the member for Calgary Forest Lawn to conclude his remarks. That was the decision that the Chair made, and to see the member for Winnipeg North try to challenge the Chair on that matter is unfortunate.
    I did not indicate for the hon. member to conclude his report; I asked him to wrap it up. Therefore, if he could, I would ask him to wrap it up as I indicated.
     The hon. parliamentary secretary is correct that the hon. member should have been in touch with the Speaker on this matter ahead of time and that once a decision is made, that is when the discussion could be put forward.
    Therefore, I would ask the member to wrap it up in two minutes.
    Madam Speaker, I do think it is material to the requirements here that the government made a last-minute change to the schedule with respect to the calling of Bill C-47. Members became aware of it for the first time in the Thursday question, which was very late in the day yesterday.
     I understand that it is common for members to write to the Speaker in advance, and that is ideal, but it is ideal under circumstances in which members have sufficient time. As I am going to raise in a question of privilege shortly, there was a mad scramble, which limited the rights of members in terms of submitting amendments. Therefore, some degree of recognition of that fact is important in this case, in light of the fact that the government is trying to limit the ability of members to move amendments and make arguments by these last-minute changes to the schedule. I hope that is part of the consideration as well.
    The report was tabled on Wednesday, and, as customary, the decision to move forward with the bill could be at any time. Hon. members know that once a report is tabled, it can move forward at any time thereafter. Therefore, I have heard enough of the arguments before the House right now.
    I would ask the hon. member to wrap it up in two minutes, and then we are going to be moving forward with the orders of the day.
    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    Madam Speaker, I will conclude in two minutes—
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South has a point of order.


    Madam Speaker, I certainly respect any ruling you might make, but I did have my hand up prior to your saying that we would go to orders of the day after this. I would like my point of order heard before we—
    I will be going to your point of order.
    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    Madam Speaker, the problems first began when the minister of finance refused to appear for two hours. It is a long-standing practice that ministers of the Crown appear at committees and answer basic questions about the business of government, especially when they are dropping a $60-billion fuel onto the inflation fire they started.
    I acknowledge that there are several ministers who do appear regularly at committees; however, the minister of finance had refused three separate invitations to appear, before her last-minute appearance on May 16, which is an important piece to this issue before the House today. Had she committed in writing to appearing for two hours, the events that unfolded at the Standing Committee on Finance would not have happened. It is because of the minister's refusal to appear that the normal business of the finance committee during its study of a budget bill were unable to occur, and that, instead, a closure motion was adopted, leaving little opportunity for committee members to submit amendments to Bill C-47.
    I now rise in this place to ask you, Madam Speaker, to allow these amendments to continue forward as part of report stage on Bill C-47 as I believe they are within the national interest and would enhance the legislation.
    To make clear which amendments I am referencing, the first one is report stage amendment reference 12475209, which proposes to amend clause—
    I am going to cut the hon. member off there. Those are arguments that need to be made, and the hon. member has not heard the decision yet.
    I will end this point of order here, and I will take under advisement the information the member has already provided, until such time as I render a decision. Then the hon. member will be able to comment on it if he wants to. However, to bypass the procedure and to argue on something he anticipates is either being put forward or not being put forward is not the proper process.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order before you make your decision on how to group report stage motions on Bill C-47, budget implementation act 2023, no. 1.
    Before I get to the specifics of my request, let me say at the outset of my appeal to the Chair how disappointing it is that the debate on the budget has been shut down at every stage of the legislative process so far. In its rush, the government has, perhaps inadvertently, limited the ability of the finance committee to properly consider amendments, which may impact your decision in determining how to group motions for the debate at report stage and which substantive motions will be allowed to stand.
    To remind the Chair, the budget tabled in the House on March 28—
    I have a point of order on your point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, this is highly irregular, and it defies a process that has been well established, not only with this government—
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: Point of order.
    We have already started hearing part of what this is, but we have not heard what the point of order is that the hon. parliamentary secretary is saying.
    I will allow the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan a point of order once we have heard the basics of this point of order.
    Madam Speaker, there is well-established process that needs to be followed in order to be able to do what it is that the Conservative opposition party is attempting to do. The Conservatives have known, and we, as a government, have followed due process. We can go back to Wednesday and to the Thursday question. All of this has been before the House. What is not appropriate is for opposition members to anticipate the type of ruling that you could make, Madam Speaker, and addressing it at this point in in time.
    The opportunity was there. Maybe the Conservatives did not do their homework, or whatever it is, but that does not justify their breaking the process that has long been a procedure of the House, not only for the current government but also for the governments before it.
    Madam Speaker, it was actually a point of order on the process for raising points of order during points of order. This member has, on multiple occasions, interrupted a point of order. When another member is raising and explaining a matter of order, his point of order should not take precedence over an existing point of order on the floor.
     I think he has also failed to take note of the fact that the member for Northumberland—Peterborough South's point of order was distinct from the point of order raised by the member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    His objection may have had some relation to the previous point of order, but it does not have any relation to the one currently being raised.


    I have not heard enough of the point of order from the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South to determine whether it is in order, so if we can allow him to elaborate. It is different from the previous point of order. This is more about regrouping. Again, it seems to border on a decision that has not been rendered yet. I will just double check that by allowing him to elaborate a little bit more on his point of order before I indicate whether I will allow him to go even further.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.
    Madam Speaker, as always, I appreciate your patience on these matters.
    It is normal, of course, for a government to table a budget and then get a bump in the polls, but this budget is so unpopular with Canadians that the Liberals actually dropped in the polls after the finance minister tabled it in the House—
    Some of what the hon. member is bringing up is debate. I would just ask him to get to his point of order without bringing debates into the matter.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.
    Madam Speaker, I will jump ahead in my remarks here in order to expedite things, given your continued patience.
     I will start here and, I promise, get to my point relatively quickly. This little bit of context is important and germane to my point. I am just going through the facts here.
    On May 29, beginning at 4:30 p.m., the Chair was empowered by a programming motion to put every question necessary to dispose of the bill without further debate and then report the bill to the House. The Chair interrupted the programming motion in such a way that the amendments could not be table-dropped or moved from the floor. Instead, he ruled that the only amendments that could properly be moved were to the ones provided to the Clerk before May 19. Notably, this was before testimony was supposed to be wrapped up. He also ruled that subamendments could not be moved, because members would need the floor in order to move a subamendment, but he refused to allow debate under the programming motion.
    These rulings by the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville made the committee even more dysfunctional but, importantly, at the heart of—
    I just want to remind the member that decisions made by the committee are not things that the Speaker can rule on, as mentioned on a number of occasions while I have been here. Other speakers have also indicated that we do not give rulings to committees. Committees are an entity in themselves and make their own decisions.
    If there are matters about the report itself, those matters within the report are what can be debated. At this point in time, I am not satisfied with the additional information the hon. member is providing, especially given the fact that there has not been a decision read out and rendered by the Speaker.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I recognize the correctness of everything you said, but I would add that there is an exception to the Standing Orders in terms of the Speaker's power as it relates to what happens at committee. Standing Order 116(2)(b) reads:
    A violation of paragraph (a) of this section may be brought to the attention of the Speaker by any member and the Speaker shall have the power to rule on the matter. If, in the opinion of the Speaker, such violation has occurred, the Speaker may order that all subsequent proceedings in relation to the said violation be nullified.
    I believe that may have been where the member was going. I am not entirely sure but, certainly in my own view, there were things that occurred at the finance committee that were in violation of Standing Order 116(2)(a), which is referenced in Standing Order 116(2)(b). Therefore, I think those arguments can at least be made, given this particular and admittedly very unique exception to the Standing Orders that allows matters from committee to be brought directly to the attention of the Speaker.


    The hon. parliamentary secretary is rising on the previous point of order.
    Madam Speaker, a point of order is when a member would highlight a breach of the rules. It is clear that this particular bill is properly before the House. You have already ruled on that. I would suggest that the Conservatives are doing indirectly what they cannot do directly, and that is to filibuster by using points of order to prevent matters from being debated in the House.
    The government has followed the process, and the opposition knows that. The Speaker has recognized that the bill is properly before the House.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South wants to weigh in on the point of order again.
    Madam Speaker, my point of order is a little different from what the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan was saying, but I look forward to hearing his comments with respect to that.
    I was literally stating the facts, which I believe, on a point of order, I am not only allowed but also obligated to do. Facts that I am describing are critical to the argument because, in order to introduce an amendment at report stage, it has to be established that it could not be made at committee. I was simply litigating the facts, and not debating, as per my point of order.
    Relatively quickly, I will cite a couple of sections, Madam Speaker, if you would be so kind. I will then yield the floor.
    The hon. member is basing his arguments on an anticipated decision, and that has not happened yet. That point of order is not acceptable, and I will end it here.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan can proceed with his question of privilege.


Alleged Breach of Privilege at Committee  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to raise a question of privilege in relation to a number of issues respecting the process on Bill C-47 that I believe violate the privileges of members. I will identify at least three distinct situations, or areas, where the privilege of members of Parliament, in my view, was violated in the process of disposing of this bill. I will begin with just a few relevant references to contextualize this.
    The discussion of privilege in Bosc and Gagnon, at page 57, reads:
     It also refers to the powers possessed by the House to protect itself, its Members and its procedures from undue interference so that it can effectively carry out its principal functions which are to legislate, deliberate and hold the government to account. In that sense, parliamentary privilege can be viewed as the independence Parliament and its Members need to function unimpeded.
    At page 59, it states, “The House has the authority to assert privilege where its ability has been obstructed in the execution of its functions or where Members have been obstructed in the performance of their duties.”
    Page 60, meanwhile, elaborates on the concept of contempt, saying:
    Any conduct which offends the authority or dignity of the House, even though no breach of any specific privilege may have been committed, is referred to as a contempt of the House. Contempt may be an act or an omission. It does not have to actually obstruct or impede the House or a Member; it merely has to have the tendency to produce such results.
    Then, at page 81 of the third edition, House of Commons Procedure and Practice states, “There are...other affronts against—”


    There is a point of order by the hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, it is very clear, but to make it as crystal clear as possible for the member and members listening, the Speaker has made it clear that a ruling was made on this bill. It has gone through the process properly, and it is in order. The members opposite are using points of order in order for us to prevent—
    This is not a point of order, but a question of privilege. I will allow the hon. member to continue.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, with due respect to my friend from Winnipeg North, he is clearly not even paying attention. I have raised an issue of privilege, and he is welcome to make arguments about it—
    What is the privilege?
    I want to remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that this is not a point of debate. This is a question of privilege, and a question of privilege is to be explained. However, there is limited time to bring forward the information the Speaker requires, so I would just ask the member to try to keep it as brief as possible.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, that is precisely what I intend to do. The member across the way is heckling and asking what the matter of privilege is. Again, I invite him to listen, and I think he will appreciate the point.
    I also want to identify, as I said earlier, that there are at least three separate ways in which the privileges of members were impacted by the proceedings on Bill C-47. I will be appropriately brief, but I want to identify all three areas where I think there was an infringement of privilege.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Garnett Genuis: The heckling continues, but I will continue in spite of it.
    Page 81 of the third edition of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice states:
    There are...other affronts against the dignity and authority of Parliament which may not fall within one of the specifically defined privileges. Thus, the House also claims the right to punish, as a contempt, any action which, though not a breach of a specific privilege: tends to obstruct or impede the House in the performance of its functions; obstructs or impedes any Member or officer of the House in the discharge of their duties; or is an offence against the authority or dignity of the House...its Members, or its officers.
    This is the general context.
    I also want to highlight Standing Order 116, which applies to the Chair's ability and responsibility here in the House to deal with violations of the rights and privileges of members that occurred in committee in a very narrow and specific situation. Standing Order 116(1) reads:
    In a standing, special or legislative committee, the Standing Orders shall apply so far as may be applicable, except the standing orders as to the election of a Speaker, seconding of motions, limiting the number of times of speaking and the length of speeches.
    The Standing Order on “End of debate” reads:
    (2)(a) Unless a time limit has been adopted by the committee or by the House, the Chair of a standing, special or legislative committee may not bring a debate to an end while there are members present who still wish to participate. A decision of the Chair in this regard may not be subject to an appeal to the committee.
(b) A violation of paragraph (a) of this section may be brought to the attention of the Speaker by any member and the Speaker shall have the power to rule on the matter. If, in the opinion of the Speaker, such violation has occurred, the Speaker may order that all subsequent proceedings in relation to the said violation be nullified.
    What occurred at the Standing Committee on Finance was precisely this. Members' ability to speak was not explicitly limited in a particular sense, yet the Chair acted in a way that limited the ability of members to speak and move amendments.
    I acknowledge that there will be some dispute on this point, because the committee adopted a programming motion of sorts. However, the Chair took it upon himself to then make rulings that in fact went far beyond the particulars of the programming motion. That is, the Chair did not confine himself to the programming motion. Instead, he made additional decisions that further limited the ability of members to speak and to bring forward points and/or move subamendments. This was a violation of Standing Order 116(2)(b), which materially affected the privileges of members.
    Standing Order 116(2)(a) says, “Unless a time limit has been adopted by the committee or by the House”. In this case, while a time limit was adopted, it did not prescribe the things the Chair said it prescribed. Thus, in the process, the privileges of members, in terms of the ability of members to move subamendments and to speak, was limited.
    The programming motion that was adopted by the committee said the following: “That the committee continue its pre-study of Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, by:
     “(a) Inviting witnesses to appear on the contents of Bill C-47 during meetings scheduled the weeks of May 1, May 8, and May 15, 2023, and that
     “Members of the committee submit their prioritized witness lists for the study of Bill C-47 to the clerk of the committee by no later than Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023, at 12 p.m., and that these lists be distributed to members of the committee as soon as possible,
    “(b) Moving to clause-by-clause review of Bill C-47 no later than Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 11 a.m., provided that the bill is referred to the committee on or before Thursday, May 18, 2023, and that;
    “i. amendments be submitted to the clerk of the committee in both official languages no later than noon on Friday, May 19, 2023;
    “ii. the clerk of the committee write immediately to each member who is not a member of a caucus represented on the committee and any independent members to inform them of the study of Bill C-47 by the committee and to invite them to prepare and submit any proposed amendments to Bill C-47 which they would suggest the committee consider during the clause-by-clause study of the bill;


    “iii. if the committee has not completed the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2023, all remaining amendments submitted to the committee shall be deemed moved, the Chair shall put the question, forthwith and successively, without further debate on all remaining clauses and proposed amendments, as well as each and every question necessary to dispose of clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, as well as all questions necessary to report the bill to the House and to order the Chair to report the bill to the House as soon as possible;
    “(c) if Bill C-47 is referred to the Committee by the House during the subject matter study of the Bill, all witness testimony, evidence and documentation received in public”—
    Madam Speaker, I do not see the relevancy of the member rising on a matter of privilege when there has already been a ruling on the proper form and process for the legislation. The member is just dictating something from a standing committee of the House with one purpose, which is to test your patience.
    That is what this is all about. The member is testing your patience to prevent you from beginning the formal process for the budget implementation bill. This is not a matter of privilege. The member could be far more concise in his question of privilege.
    I would ask that you look at what the official opposition is attempting to do—
    The hon. member for Simcoe—Grey is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to say that what is being said here is very important. I had the opportunity to substitute into finance committee, and I saw what happened that day. It was extremely frustrating for democracy.
    My point of order on this is that I think it would go quicker if the member opposite would perhaps not rise so often. We could get through this important point of privilege—
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I will be brief. Having been at the finance committee, I know the violation of privilege happened. This is totally separate and distinct, as I mentioned earlier in my point of order, from the point of order on the allowance of amendments at report stage.
    Points of privilege are, of course, incredibly critical to the functioning of the House. If the rules and the privileges are violated, it is incredibly challenging for the system and Parliament to continue.
    I do not believe he is taking an unreasonable amount of time. The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is simply laying down the appropriate citations, which any good lawyer would do in the court and, certainly, a parliamentarian would do here.
    I want to remind members that this is a question of privilege, and on questions of privilege, the parliamentarian who is raising the question of privilege should be brief and concise, and to not go into the motions, the discussions that have happened or the goings-on at committee.
    If the hon. member could be brief and concise about where his privilege was breached, that would improve my ability to better review the information to see if further debate needs to be done on it. A decision could then be rendered.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.


    Madam Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary does not like hearing questions of privilege raised, my suggestion would be that the government not violate the privileges of members. There would then be less of a need for questions of privilege to be raised in the House—
    I would just ask the hon. member to go directly to his question of privilege and to be brief and concise.
    Madam Speaker, I will be. The point that I was making, and the reason why I think taking note of the motion at finance committee is important, is that Standing Order 116(2)(a) says, “unless a time limit has been adopted by the committee or by the House”. The committee did adopt a motion that prescribed time limits. However, that motion did not establish time limits in the way the Chair was applying them.
    I have read most of the motion from the finance committee, which I think establishes the point that, after 4:30 p.m., on Monday May 29, it was agreed that the questions would be put. It was also agreed that amendments were to be submitted to the committee by Friday, May 19.
    However, and this would be clear if I had read all of it, but it should be clear enough, and members can take my word for it if they wish, the motion before the finance committee made no mention of the exclusion of subamendments. It is well-established procedure in the Standing Orders and the rules that members may move subamendments to amendments once they are on the floor. I did not propose to speak to the subamendments, but I did, on multiple occasions, seek the opportunity to move subamendments at committee—
    We have another point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, you requested that the member be concise, brief and to the point. I have listened, as you have, for the last minute, and I have no idea what point the member is making as a case of privilege. He is filibustering—
    This is not a point of order. I do want to allow the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to provide his breach of privilege, and I would ask him to go directly to that breach of privilege.
    As I have indicated, it is not just about me. There are many rulings I have in my hands. When it comes to breaches of questions of privilege, all of the speakers have indicated that it needs to be brief, concise and to the point. I would ask the hon. member to get to his question of privilege.
    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Perth—Wellington.
    Madam Speaker, quorum has been lost.
    I will double-check if we have quorum.
    And the count having been taken:
    The hon. parliamentary secretary has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I do not know if it is appropriate for another member to instruct one of his caucus colleagues to exit the chamber to—
    I am sorry, these are becoming points of debate.
    On the point of order, the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    Madam Speaker, I have important points to raise. I think it is evident, from the sound of my voice, that I have a sore throat. I asked the member for Edmonton Manning to come over here and then I requested he get me a glass of water, as he has just graciously done. The fact that this is being used by the member for Winnipeg North is grossly unfair.
    I am trying to execute my responsibilities, in spite of the state of my voice, and I am trying to do my job as a member—
    These are becoming points of debate. I will hear this question of privilege. If the hon. parliamentary secretary has a question of privilege, I will hear it after.
    I would ask the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to get to his question of privilege now.


    Madam Speaker, I would welcome the members who have returned.
    The programming motion did not mention an exclusion of subamendments. I, as a member of Parliament, believe that it is consistent with my privileges to be able to propose some amendments at the committee stage. The right to move subamendments flows from what is referenced in Standing Order 116, namely that “the Standing Orders shall apply so far as may be applicable”. That is Standing Order 116(1).
    This is the first violation of privilege. Standing Order 116(1), which prescribes the right of members being applicable from the House in committee, was not applied in the process of the determinations made at committee, and the Chair made a ruling to not allow subamendments, which were not mentioned in the motion. Having read and reviewed the motion in detail, it makes no mention of whether subamendments could be moved.
    In another respect, we saw a violation of privilege in members' right to speak around the ability of members to raise points of order. Although the ability to raise points of order are distinct from points of debate, a member's ability to raise points of order, to identify violations of order that have occurred at committee, can be reasonably seen to flow from the provisions established in 116(2)(a). It says that the Chair may not limit the ability of members' right to speak and that violations of such right may be brought to the attention of the Speaker. This was also a matter that was violated.
    Further, we saw a violation of privilege in the rights of members to vote. The sacredness of the rights of members to vote is well established. Every time members have faced impediments in their ability to vote or have been blocked in their ability to vote, and we have seen various instances of this have been raised, including things that are on their face trivial, such as limits to transportation, that have obstructed the ability of members to get to the House, the House has ruled in favour of members in the importance of their privilege and of their right to vote.
    At committee, we saw it happen at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday during considerations of the budget bill. What we saw—
    I am sorry. I have another point of order.
    The hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.
    Madam Speaker, I would request a quorum call again, please.
    I will double-check if we quorum.
    And the count having been taken:
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is on the right track and is being succinct with his points of order. I would ask him to finish up.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I believe that the parliamentary secretary for finance was in the House without a jacket on, which I do not believe is—
    I am not entertaining such points of order. The only thing that is required is for hon. members to have a jacket and tie when they are speaking.
    Is the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South rising on the same point of order?
    Madam Speaker, I believe that men are required to have a jacket at all times in the House. There are certain wardrobe requirements, and I believe wearing a T-shirt borders on being disrespectful to the House.
    I have not noticed the hon. member, but I will certainly look into it. As far as I am aware, and I will have to double check, the attire mandate comes in when members want to speak.
    We have another point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary.


    Madam Speaker, with regard to the point of order, I want to mention that I serve on the Standing Committee on Finance and what my colleague is debating right now is a motion that the committee unanimously adopted. The Conservatives are—


    Order. That is not a point of order.
    —filibustering when we should be debating Bill C-47.


    What the member for Pontiac is putting forward is debate. She is trying to weigh in on the questions of privilege, and she can do that as soon as the hon. member finishes his questions of privilege.
    The hon. member is on the right track to get his questions of privilege through, so if we can be patient, I would ask the hon. member to state his questions of privilege. I think we were on the third one.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    Madam Speaker, just to clarify, I was conceptually grouping the violations of privilege that had happened at committee. I think there were a number of violations of privilege that happened at committee.
    The second issue, and this was raised as a question of privilege at committee, does touch on 116(2)(b), and that is the right of members to be able to vote. It is the right of members to be able to raise subamendments that was limited, which is a matter of privilege of members. It was the right of members, as well, to be able to vote at committee.
    I remember the time this happened because the points of order were in relation to the finance committee continuing to sit during Question Period. At 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, members were trying to raise points of order with respect to the fact that the finance committee was continuing during Question Period. While members were raising those points of order, the chair, in spite of that, proceeded pushing through to have votes take place, which a number of members were not able to participate in.
    This was raised at the time as a violation of the privileges of members, and it has obviously materially impacted the bill that is before the House. This is also an issue of privilege, the rights of members to vote on something as critical as the budget implementation bill was limited by the process that unfolded at committee. This is a matter that should be of grave concern to all members.
    I would just say as well that the subamendments that we wished to raise were substantive and were in fact submitted to the clerk in advance. Admittedly, they were not submitted in time for the deadline for the submission of amendments, which was Friday, May 19, however, they were submitted in advance of the consideration of those amendments. It would be impossible to submit subamendments to amendments unless those amendments had already been seen.
    There would be no way to submit subamendments and get those subamendments in time for the amendment deadline, because members obviously have to be able to see the amendments in order to be able to then move the subamendments.
     There were a limited number of subamendments that were emailed to the clerk. Many of them were emailed in both official languages. The clerk had them. They could have been moved. They should have been moved. It would have been a matter of privilege for members to be able to move those subamendments. They were prevented from doing so by a ruling of the chair. That ruling was challenged, but a majority of the committee did not choose to uphold the privileges of members.
    It is in those circumstances, the right to move subamendments and the right to be able to vote, that I have raised this question of privilege in the House.
    There is one very distinct issue of privilege, as well, that is important to raise, because it deals with what happened after the committee, that is with the process for being able to move report stage amendments and the process for being able to bring those report stage amendments to the House.
    There are various services available to members in the drafting of amendments, the drafting of subamendments and the drafting of report stage amendments. These services are particularly important for members of the opposition. The reality is members of the government, when it comes to drafting amendments, subamendments and report stage amendments, have resources available to them that are associated with being in government that members of the opposition do not have available to them.
    It is important for members of the opposition, especially, to be able to access those resources in a timely way that corresponds to the calendar of being able to bring these issues before the House. The right of members to be able to do that in a timely fashion depends on the ability of members to receive support from the House in order to be able to bring those things forward.
    I became aware, yesterday afternoon, of a last-minute change in the schedule. This was in response to the Thursday question, after Question Period, moved by the Associate Minister of Finance, when he told the House that Bill C-47 would be brought forward to debate. He said tomorrow, which is today, Friday. At the time, I immediately sent my draft of the subamendments that I had wanted to move at committee, that I would like to move at report stage.
    My view is that, given that they could not be moved in committee as a result of the ruling of the chair that subamendments could not be moved, they could then be moved in the House as report stage amendments.


    Therefore, I sought the assistance of the appropriate legislative staff in preparing those subamendments and I immediately sent those in following the Thursday question, at which point we were provided information saying, where we thought we would have a bit more time, that this was required immediately.
    Some of that is more of a point of debate. With respect to the question of privilege that the hon. member was raising, I have basically heard enough to come back to the Chair with a decision and I would ask the member to wrap it up in 30 seconds.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to be able to finish this third point. It is the final point and I will wrap it up as quickly as I can.
    The issue is that I sent six distinct subamendments to the House of Commons drafting service and I asked that these be generated as report stage amendments, which was a request that I sent in as soon as I was able to, following the announcement of the change in the timeline. At that point, I expected to be able to receive that information back from our legislative staff at least by 6 p.m. so that I could put them on notice by the deadline, by 6 p.m., so that we could get the report stage amendments in and that at that point they would be on notice so that they could be moved. I did, in fact, send a letter to the Speaker making my argument. I did all the things that I could within the very tight timeline that I had.
    However, of those six subamendments that were submitted to the legislative staff, I only got one of them back. Therefore, my request for drafting was only honoured in one out of six cases. I want to be very clear that I am not criticizing the staff. The staff here work very hard; they do their best within very tight parameters but it is a question of how many staff were available and it is a question of the resourcing that was available. These raise questions of privilege for members who should be entitled to move those report stage amendments. I wanted to move those report stage amendments—
    I do appreciate the additional information that the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has provided. I feel that I have enough information and I will get back to the House as soon as possible.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to contribute some facts to the discussion of these questions of privilege that the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan has raised.
    I will go to the point of order first.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South
    Madam Speaker, mine is on the same point. Please give the member—
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is yours a point of order or on the question of privilege?
    Mr. Philip Lawrence: Mine is on the question of privilege.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Madam Speaker, as a member of the committee on finance and somebody who was there during the times when the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan alleges there were violations of privilege that went on, I just want to provide a couple of reflections for you, Madam Speaker, and some important facts for you to consider as you deliberate on these questions.
    I have a feeling that this will take a bit of time, so I will bring this back then right after question period. We are at Statements by Members.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]



Conservative Party of Canada

    Madam Speaker, this has been an interesting process, listening over the last hour to a destructive force that we have in the House of Commons in Canada. The Conservative Party has gone out of its way to please its far right extreme members, sparing no cost.
    This government focuses on Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, focused on helping Canadians in every region of this country by introducing important legislation, including budget legislation. What is the response we have gotten from the Conservative Party of Canada? A filibuster, going out of its way to prevent Canadians from getting the benefits they need at a time when there are a variety of issues that are of concern to Canadians.
    I find it shameful and disgusting how the Conservative Party continues to play the role of a destructive force on the floor of the House of Commons. I would suggest that its members go to their constituents, listen to what their constituents are saying, come back to the House, behave more like the members of an opposition party and be more creative.

George MacDonell

    Madam Speaker, a great Canadian has died at age 100. George MacDonell survived the Battle of Hong Kong where 2,000 Canadians fought bravely to defend Hong Kongers, including my father and his family. Half of them were casualties. The survivors were taken to be prisoners of war. By war's end, George had dropped to 110 pounds, although he was 6'4".
    That was just the beginning of his remarkable story. After liberation as a prisoner of war and spending half a year recovering, George completed his high school and university, and eventually became vice-president and group executive of Canadian General Electric. Later, he was appointed by then Premier Davis as the deputy minister of industry, trade and technology.
    George MacDonell was truly a member of the greatest generation. He fought for freedom and democracy and came home to build post-war Canada.
    We will remember him.

Forest Fires in Nova Scotia

    Madam Speaker, this week has been an unprecedented challenge for Nova Scotians. Our thoughts are with those affected by the ongoing forest fires, the largest and most extensive in our history. I wish to send a special thanks to the firefighters, first responders and volunteers for their efforts during this difficult time. As our country and our government continue to adapt and prepare ourselves against the realities of climate change, all Canadians will need to stand united to meet these challenges together.
     Near my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook we are closely monitoring the ongoing fires in the Tantallon, Bedford and Hammonds Plains areas. Evacuation and comfort centres are in place to meet the needs of the people on the ground.
    I want to reassure all Nova Scotians that the federal government is in regular contact with our provincial counterparts. We have deployed CAF members to assist with the wildfire response, in addition to support provided by the Coast Guard, Health Canada and Transport Canada.
    We will get through this, Nova Scotia strong.

Indigenous Laws

    Uqaqtittiji, before colonialism, first nations and Inuit had laws. Through the process of genocidal and colonial aggression, indigenous laws were almost lost. I am proud to stand here and confirm that indigenous laws still exist. For Inuit, laws are categorized into three areas: tirigusuusiit, piqujait and maligait. These laws govern behaviours, relationships and respect for the wildlife and environment.
    I encourage indigenous peoples to use their indigenous laws. There are many opportunities, like in treaty implementation, land protection, relationships with families, communities and, yes, with governments. The elders who possess the knowledge of these laws are passing too quickly. We must revitalize these indigenous laws now.



    Madam Speaker, I want to recognize the tireless work of the firefighters and all those working to protect the communities affected by wildfires. In Quebec, people in Chapais and Sept‑Îles are being evacuated as we speak. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are also battling wildfires. Wildfires have a major impact on the daily lives of people and communities.
    We need to take the risks associated with climate change seriously. Our government is there, as always, to support all Canadians who are affected and to help them prepare for future threats.



Language and Cultural Advisers

    Madam Speaker, Canada's language and cultural advisers, or LCAs, are Canadian citizens of Afghan origin, immigrants who went back to serve their adopted country, so every LCA has family members in Afghanistan. The government’s criteria for admitting these family members to Canada are arbitrary and stingy.
    Here is how these rules affect one LCA from my riding. In 2021, his brother-in-law was murdered by the Taliban, so the rest of the family fled for their lives across the border. If Pakistan follows through on its threat to deport Afghans, they too will be killed. However, because these events happened before July 2021, the family does not qualify to come here.
    When my constituent asked to meet with the minister, he was told to go through my office. He did so, and after a two-week delay, my staff were told the minister was just too busy to meet with him. We were then directed to a website reaffirming that the family does not qualify. Surely, trapping Canadians in this kind of catch-22 is beneath the dignity of this nation.

Urban Wetlands Project

    Madam Speaker, I am excited to tell the House about a true success story in my riding and an example of what can happen when environmental organizations, community groups and government work together toward solutions for conservation and biodiversity.
    On the DND Carling campus, we have restored urban wetlands that just a few years ago had almost completely dried up because of water diversion and pollution. Today, dozens of new species have returned to the area. These wetlands act as water storage, which has helped to prevent flooding in the neighbouring communities. Wetlands also store carbon, which is a natural climate solution.
    With the leadership of Kate MacNeil and Donna DuBreuil at the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the advocacy and active participation of residents in the surrounding communities of Crystal Beach, Lakeview and Belltown, they worked closely with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, PSPC and the NCC to make this project a success.
    Congratulations to everyone involved.

Ian Gordon McBride

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to honour the life of my friend, colleague and constituent, Ian Gordon McBride. Ian was a resident of my riding in Thorncliffe Park and an active member of The United Church of Canada. Sadly, Ian died very recently, far too soon after his well-deserved retirement began.
    Ian worked tirelessly as executive director of the Anglican United Refugee Alliance, or AURA. In his time at AURA, he made an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of newcomers and Canadians, promoting and facilitating private sponsorships of hundreds of refugees across Canada. He put his heart, his soul and his body into this work. His compassion and leadership made Canada a more welcoming and better country.
    Ian was an inspiration to me not only when I was clergy seeking his assistance, but also as a parliamentarian when he sought mine. I will miss his wise counsel and his company. Ian fought the good fight, he finished the race and he kept the faith.
    May he rest in peace.

National Indigenous History Month

    Madam Speaker, June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize the rich cultures, heritage, traditions, resilience and diversity of first nations, Inuit and Métis.
    As we come together to learn and celebrate, we must not forget the underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historical causes that have contributed to the violence and vulnerability against indigenous women and girls. We must remember and reflect on the terrible tragedies of the residential school system, the sixties scoop and other colonial policies and the legacy they left behind. It is the responsibility of every Canadian to work toward reconciliation and, in doing so, move closer to a better and more equitable future.
    I am thankful for the people who have shared with me their stories, and I am honoured to work beside them to ensure the mistakes of the past are not made again. I hope all hon. members in this place will join with me in building a stronger country where indigenous people are treated equally and fairly.

Global Defence and Security Trade Show

    Madam Speaker, this week I visited CANSEC, Canada's largest defence and security trade show, and what a show it was. From wearable exoskeletons to a new generation of light armoured vehicles to the technology that will take the first Canadian to the moon, what a show it was. I was blown away.
    As I toured the floor of the show, innovations in the air, land, sea and even space were on full display. It was fabulous to see so many familiar faces from Canada's defence and security industry, as they employ thousands in my riding of Kanata—Carleton. These are companies like Collins Aerospace, Calian, Leonardo DRS and MDA, all of which are at the forefront of their fields. Their work is not only part of Canada’s growing defence ecosystem, but is also ensuring the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are equipped with the cutting-edge technology they need to keep us safe.


Steven Tourangeau and David Stewart

    Madam Speaker, on Monday, on a road northwest of Woodstock, a tragic traffic collision claimed the lives of Detective Constable Steven Tourangeau of the Perth County OPP and local school bus driver David James Stewart.
    Steven Tourangeau was a husband and a father of three. He dedicated his life to keeping our community safe. He had a bright future, both in serving the people of our community and with his family, whom he loved dearly. He was only 35 years old.
    Dave Stewart was a 71-year-old family man who, in his retirement, chose to spend his time getting children safely to and from school. His unexpected death is a loss to his family, the community and the school kids who appreciated him so dearly.
    Our entire region is mourning the loss of two admirable gentlemen who served their communities in different but very important ways. Our hearts go out to their families and their loved ones. We will remember the lives they lived and the good they did for the people they loved and the communities they cared about.

Health Care Staffing Shortages

    Madam Speaker, I stand in the House today to add my name to those of residents in Fort Erie and Port Colborne who were shocked and disappointed by the decision of the Niagara health system to reduce the operating hours of the urgent care centres in both communities. What makes this decision so disappointing and frustrating is the fact that nearly 8,000 residents in Fort Erie alone are without a family doctor. When speaking with Niagara Health, they say this issue is not about money but is about a lack of the certified nurses and doctors needed to help staff these sites.
    The Conservatives have been proposing a solution to help fix these health care staff shortages. It is called a blue seal certification program. Implementing a national certification testing standard such as this would mean foreign-trained health professionals would get a chance to take a test and receive an answer and a certification within 60 days. This would go a long way to helping solve the staffing shortages now plaguing Niagara Health, and it would deliver the improved health care services that Fort Erie and Port Colborne residents rightly deserve.

National Day Against Gun Violence

    Madam Speaker, today is the inaugural National Day Against Gun Violence. For far too many in our country, gun violence is a deeply personal tragedy that has claimed loved ones, shattered dreams and robbed our sense of security.
    Many will recall the Danzig Street shooting in the summer of 2012 in my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park. A gunman fired into a crowded block party, killing two young men and wounding 22 others. Even with the passage of time, the pain and loss linger. Let us honour the memories of victims and support the survivors by wearing white, the colour of peace, and raising awareness around gun violence.
    As a government, we are taking decisive action to address gun violence with Bill C-21. Today, I call upon the leader of the opposition in the Senate to stop obstructing the passage of this bill.
    Finally, I want to thank the Toronto Raptors for their collaboration and advocacy in making this day a reality.

Finalist of Canada's Got Talent

    Madam Speaker, Raymond Salgado from my riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith received a standing ovation from the judges after his first performance on season two of Canada's Got Talent, and he continued to amaze the judges and all of Canada with every performance. Without surprise, Salgado has continued on all the way to the finals.
    It is not hard to see how Canada fell in love with Raymond Salgado so quickly with his incredibly powerful voice and the undeniable way he lights up a stage. At 24 years of age, Raymond's career is just getting started. Be sure to see Raymond Salgado perform at Nanaimo's Silly Boat Regatta and to keep following his work, with new, original music on the way.
    Raymond is not new to creating beautiful music. He created one such song, entitled Runaway, at just 17 years of age, which was inspired by his experience of coming out as gay. Raymond shared that he wanted his music to help others in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who may be struggling.
    As we celebrate pride this month, I want to acknowledge incredible people like Raymond Salgado. We are proud of him.



Sercan Palliative Care Home

    Madam Speaker, today I want to mark the recent opening of the new addition to the Sercan palliative care centre in Saint‑Eustache in my riding. Since the expansion was completed, 12 beautiful, large, peaceful and warm private rooms have been accessible free of charge to people nearing the end of their lives.
    Since 2005, more than 1,000 individuals have received end-of-life care at Maison Sercan. In addition to the palliative care home, Sercan offers help and support following a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a loved one. Hundreds of times a year, dedicated volunteers provide medical transport to people diagnosed with cancer.
    As a not-for-profit organization that gets only 50% of its funding from the government, Sercan could not operate without these volunteers and donations from the community. If we judge a society by the way it treats its seniors, then I stand before the Chair filled with hope and pride. Congratulations, Sercan.


Carbon Tax

    Madam Speaker, the people in my community are hurting and cannot afford more Liberal taxes. However, demonstrating just how out of touch the government really is, it is making life even more expensive by implementing a second carbon tax during a cost of living crisis of all things. The second carbon tax will add 20¢ on a litre of gasoline on top of the 40¢ from the first carbon tax. Who can afford a 60¢-a-litre increase? The Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed that both carbon taxes will have an annual net cost of up to $4,000 per family.
    Luckily for Canadians, the Conservatives have put forward a motion calling on the government to immediately cancel its second carbon tax. I ask Canadians who are watching, if they agree, to please call and email every MP in the Liberal-NDP coalition before Monday's vote, demanding that they support the motion to cancel the second carbon tax.

Nova Scotia Wildfires

    Madam Speaker, the devastation wrought by wildfires surrounding the Halifax area is absolutely heartbreaking, and the Nova Scotians who have had to flee their homes are still reeling. However, despite the toll this latest tragedy is having on our province, we continue to be there for one another.
    We thank the professional and volunteer firefighters who have battled blazes for days on end. So much has been lost, but so much more, including lives, has been saved because of their courage.
    We also thank the emergency responders, including the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Armed Forces; those working in comfort centres; mental health counsellors; those in the charitable sector, who have once again stepped forward to help; and the many local businesses that have done their part. It is neighbours helping neighbours.
    My message to Nova Scotians who are hurting is this: For as long as it takes, the federal government will be there to support them and help them. After all, that is the Nova Scotian way. We are there for one another through the hard time and through the rebuilding, the way it has always been.


[Oral Questions]


Democratic Institutions

    Madam Speaker, David Johnston is in a clear conflict of interest. He was a member of the Trudeau Foundation, and he is the Prime Minister's friend. He released a report meant to whitewash Beijing's influence with the Liberal government and Beijing's interference in our elections. However, this whitewashing is what he was always going to do, is it not? After all, he is there as a special adviser exclusively for the Prime Minister.
    Canadians have rejected Johnston's cover-up, and they want the facts from the Prime Minister. Will he call a public inquiry today?
    Madam Speaker, foreign-state actors are trying to undermine our democracy. However, the members of the Conservative Party are actually assisting in this. They stand there and make personal attacks on those who are serving our country to bring forward reports on how we can move forward with better measures to improve our democratic institutions.
    The member opposite talked about facts. If they care about facts, their leader should get the briefing and learn the facts about the foreign interference in this country.


    Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary wants facts. Here is a fact: The majority of members of this House, representing a majority of Canadians, voted to have a public inquiry and to fire David Johnston. However, the Prime Minister continues to ignore that in favour of his cover-up man, his ski buddy, his friend and his Beijing-funded Trudeau Foundation board member. Canadians saw straight through the sham and they want information.
    That is why this House voted for a public inquiry. The Prime Minister might not like it, but that is what this House called for. Will he call one today?
    Madam Speaker, when it comes to matters of national security, Canadians can see that the Conservatives are just not fit to lead. They are immature when it comes to these matters. Rather than talking about the actual measures and recommendations in the Right Hon. David Johnston's report, instead, when listening to that member's question, it was nothing but personal political attacks. It was not about the interests of Canadians or protecting our democratic institutions. It was about partisan games for the Conservatives.
    On this side of the House, we are going to focus on protecting Canadian democracy.
    Madam Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary wants to protect Canadian democracy, she would have her Prime Minister call a full, independent public inquiry. That is what this House has twice voted to do. The special rapporteur declined to do so, saying that he does not work for Parliament, that he is not accountable to Parliament and that he works only for the Prime Minister.
    Everyone agrees that we need a public inquiry, except for those who work for the Liberal government or the Trudeau Foundation. Canadians want a public inquiry. This House has twice voted for one. Will the Liberals do the right thing and call a full public inquiry?
    Madam Speaker, how could we take lessons from the party opposite when the members will not even take the basic minimum national security briefing on this very matter? The Conservatives would rather operate under a veil of ignorance. We expect all members of this House to come forward. Opposition parties may criticize our government, but Canadians expect them to at least do so with information and the facts.
    While Conservatives ignore briefings on national security, we cannot take them very seriously.


    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister and the special rapporteur have many things in common: the Trudeau Foundation, an old friendship, skiing, respect for the regime in Beijing, and, above all, contempt for the House of Commons.
    Prime Minister Trudeau and David Johnston are the only ones who do not see how their close relationship is undermining the credibility of our democratic institutions.
    Will the Prime Minister put national security before Liberal security and fire the special rapporteur?
    The hon. member knows very well that he cannot refer to the Prime Minister by name. I expect him to check his questions before asking them.
    The hon. minister.
    Madam Speaker, the recommendations in Mr. Johnston's report may not be popular, but they are courageous. Members elected to the House of Commons have a responsibility to treat national security information seriously, to ensure the safety of the people who collect that information and to maintain a good relationship with our allies, who trust us with the information they share. The responsible thing for the opposition Bloc and Conservative Party leaders to do is to get their briefings and come back here to debate the facts.
    Madam Speaker, I have seen the facts. David Johnston is a former governor general. He was granted the “Right Honourable” title for the role he played on behalf of Canada. All governors general are well aware that Parliament, especially the House of Commons, is the people's House. There is nothing very honourable about seeing the Prime Minister use a former governor general like his puppet to protect himself from a public inquiry that has been demanded twice now by a majority of members who represent Canadian citizens.
    The Prime Minister is the one who got David Johnston into this mess. When is he going to get him out of it by firing him?


    Madam Speaker, Mr. Johnston was honourable, reliable and credible enough for the Harper government to appoint him as governor general and for the Mulroney government to appoint him to conduct inquiries. Suddenly, when the Conservatives are unhappy with Mr. Johnston's findings, they attack the credibility of a Canadian who spent his life serving Canadians and Canada. It is totally dishonourable and irresponsible.

Emergency Preparedness

    Madam Speaker, forest fires have triggered a state of emergency in Sept‑Îles, where 10,000 people are currently being evacuated. Another thousand people are being evacuated in Chapais. The Bloc Québécois obviously offers its full support and solidarity to these people and these communities. Citizens need to know that all governments are behind them to help them through this crisis.
    Is the federal government committed to fully supporting the efforts being made by Quebec and local authorities to fight the raging forest fires?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech. We are co-operating fully with the Province of Quebec. Our hearts go out to the people of Sept-Îles and other communities affected by forest fires. We had an update from officials just this morning. Over the past few days, more than 100 wildfires have broken out in Quebec, 20 of which are out of control. We are on the lookout and are still waiting for an official request from the province to help. We know that the Province of Quebec has a very good response team that can come to the aid of Quebeckers.

Democratic Institutions

    Madam Speaker, let us get back to the basics when it comes to Chinese interference. The problem is China's actions and the fact that the Johnston report prevents us from dealing with them because, as a result of that report, there will be no inquiry into the Chinese police stations, the election candidates supported by China, the intimidation of the Chinese diaspora or the threats against elected officials. In the years I spent working as an ethicist, I lived by this adage: “Any action that needs darkness to succeed is probably more unethical than an action that can stand the light.” In this case, there is a lot of darkness. Let us shine a light on what is happening by holding an independent public inquiry.
    Madam Speaker, when I see the leader of the Bloc Québécois taking exactly the same position as the Conservative leader, namely, choosing wilful blindness over getting the necessary security clearance to receive briefings that would provide him with information on all the points my colleague raised, then I can only assume that the Bloc Québécois has truly become a pale imitation of the Conservatives, the “Conservatives lite”.


Emergency Preparedness

    Madam Speaker, across Canada, forest fires are burning. This may be the worst season yet.
    In my riding, there is a forest fire near Sayward village. I want to thank all the firefighters who have stepped up across our region to help, as well as Mayor Baker, who has shared updates with me. The leadership in the community is working hard to keep everyone safe.
     Climate change is impacting small communities in particular. With their limited resources and funds, the challenges will only grow. How will the Liberal government support small communities as climate change creates these new realities?


    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the question. We know that climate change is having a direct impact on what we are experiencing right now with the forest fires. Our government is very closely monitoring all the fires burning in Canada during forest fire season. We are working closely with our provincial and territorial counterparts to ensure that they have all the necessary support measures in place. We are also getting help from other countries such as Australia, the United States and others. I would like to offer him our full collaboration so that we can get through this forest fire crisis.


Automotive Industry

    Madam Speaker, when Canada had an auto policy, being the auto pact, we were second in the world in manufacturing and the hub of investment, research and development. When the Conservatives and Liberals signed NAFTA, they allowed us to get bullied by Japan and the WTO. Without a fight, they gave up our trade agreement, the best trade agreement we had in history. The result is that we have dropped to 15th in the world, behind Indonesia, and we are now tied with the Czech Republic and Slovakia for auto assembly.
    The Windsor Stellantis plant's future, as well as the investment in it, has played out in all the media headlines, as the Deputy Prime Minister and the premier negotiate. Will the government show real leadership, ditch the drama and public headline approach, sign a deal with Stellantis, and bring in a real auto policy that does not embarrass us and puts workers first?


    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend and colleague from the industry committee for his advocacy for the Canadian automobile industry and his hard work on the committee.
    He knows very well that our auto industry is crucial to the Canadian economy and to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work in that sector. This is why the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry has worked tirelessly to secure a future for Canada's auto industry. We continue to negotiate in good faith with our partners. That includes Stellantis and the Government of Ontario. Through it all, our top priority is going to be getting the best possible deal for Canadians.

Democratic Institutions

    Madam Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister's national security adviser testified that her office and three deputy ministers received a memo warning that a sitting member of Parliament and his family were being targeted by Beijing. This memo went into a black hole, but according to her, no one is responsible for that.
    It is the Prime Minister's job to run the machinery of government, and he has special responsibilities when it comes to national security. Will he finally step up and accept responsibility for this colossal failure taking place on his watch?
    Madam Speaker, we will never tolerate foreign-state actors attempting to intimidate members of this House, members of diaspora communities or any Canadians. We take this matter extremely seriously.
    David Johnston's report has indicated areas that need improvement in policy and communication. We take that work extremely seriously.
    Prior to the release of the report, the Prime Minister said we would implement those recommendations. We are looking at that very closely. The Minister of Public Safety is going to make sure that these gaps are closed.
    Madam Speaker, consistent with the Prime Minister not taking responsibility, one of his ministers claims that he was not responsible for not reviewing a memo that was sent to his attention. It warned that the member for Wellington—Halton Hills was being targeted by Beijing. The minister blames CSIS instead.
    With the cover-up, the denial and the blame, the Liberals' story just does not add up. Why do they expect all the power and none of the responsibility?
    Madam Speaker, the issue of foreign interference is extremely serious. It is not new, and it is certainly not unique to Canada. However, it is precisely why, from 2015, we implemented a number of measures to deal with attempted foreign interference in our democracy. We will never accept it. We are going to continue to strengthen our democratic institutions, as well as our national security community, to ensure that information is properly shared with those who need it.
    While the Conservatives do nothing and just play politics, we take this seriously.

Carbon Pricing

    Madam Speaker, if the Liberals' first carbon tax was not driving up gas and grocery bills enough, they have now decided that Canadians need a second carbon tax on the price of fuel.
    The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer laid out these new tax hikes clearly. The first carbon tax added 41¢ a litre. Now, the second carbon tax is going to add 17¢ a litre. Then, of course, the Liberals are going to tax the tax by putting GST on their carbon tax. That is 61¢ a litre in new taxes. When will the Liberals and the NDP just axe the tax?
    Madam Speaker, let me demonstrate the height of Conservative hypocrisy. The Conservative platform in the 2021 election states, “We recognize that the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing mechanisms.” Another excerpt, on the clean fuel standard—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    There seems to be an issue with being able to understand what the hon. parliamentary secretary is responding to.
    I am sure the hon. member wants to hear the answer so he can ask a subsequent question.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, this is pretty tough medicine for the Conservatives, but let me quote from page 79 to 80 of the Conservative platform: “We'll finalize and improve the clean fuel regulations to reduce carbon emissions from every litre of gasoline”. That sounds an awful lot like what we are doing on this side of the aisle.
    When will the Conservatives stop the hypocrisy and get serious about climate change?


    Madam Speaker, the Liberals do not have an environmental plan, they have a tax plan, because the fact is they have never met a target on climate change they have ever set. All it is doing is skyrocketing food prices in this country. They are taxing farmers who grow food, they are taxing truckers who ship it and they are taxing the businesses and restaurants that sell it. Ontario families are going to be out $2,300 a year under this Liberal-NDP scheme.
    When are they finally going to realize they are the ones causing the cost of living crisis, that their environmental plan is non-existent and just scrap the tax and help Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, I will answer the substantive matter of the member's question, but I want to take us back seven years ago and a day to when, for the first time in Canadian history, we raised the pride flag on Parliament Hill. We made history. We stood up for Canadians. Members from the House and members from the Senate were on the lawn of Parliament to do that very thing. I want to thank all 2SLGBTQI+ members of this House, our allies and our champions, staff and the new Canadian pride caucus for getting this work done.
    On the substantive issue of the matters raised, he should check his party platform in 2021 when they ran on a price on pollution.


    Madam Speaker, I can assure the House, the minister and everyone here that on this side of the House we are fully in favour of standing up for LGBTQ+ communities. People can rest assured of that.
    Another thing they can be sure of is that unfortunately, the Liberals have invented a new tax to further tax individuals and take more money out of everyone's pockets. As we face the current challenge of inflation, this is going to cost families in Quebec an extra $436, on average.
    Can the minister seriously tell us that it is a good idea to create a new tax when we are struggling with inflation?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that if he wants to make life more affordable for Canadians, the Conservatives need only stop filibustering and simply support our budget implementation bill, which will ease the cost of living for Canadians.
    As for the price on pollution, I recommend that people look at the Conservatives' 2021 election platform. It says that the low-carbon fuel standard is something the Conservatives will adopt if they form government.
    What is happening on the other side?
    Madam Speaker, this side of the House wants to remind the Liberals that even though they formed government, we garnered many more votes than they did.
    Also, the fact is that, just a few months ago, someone said that deficits and out-of-control spending add fuel to the inflationary fire. Who said that? It was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. However, a few months later, she presented a budget that increased the deficit and increased spending.
    Seriously, can the minister say that taking another $436 out of Quebec families' pockets with a new tax is a good idea?
    Madam Speaker, this question touches on several things and there is very little time. I will answer what I can.
    The former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, clearly said that our budget is very balanced, very responsible and will not create inflation in Canada.
    The Conservatives' election platform states, “We will assess set...carbon prices on a path to $170/tonne”.
    What is happening on the other side? They swept it off and cleaned house. They now have a new leader, and that is finished for them.

Employment Insurance

    Madam Speaker, on Saturday, it will be two years since all of the parties in the House recommended, in a report, a comprehensive EI reform. All the parties, including the Liberals, made that recommendation.
    Two years later, absolutely nothing has been done, and yet, in that report, all the parties found that “the EI program no longer reflects the realities”—
    I must interrupt the member for a point of order. I think it has to do with the interpretation.
    Can the hon. member for Northumberland-Peterborough South confirm whether it is working now?
    Yes, it is working, Madam Speaker.
    The hon. member for Thérèse-De Blainville can start her question again from the beginning.
    I would be happy to, Madam Speaker.
    On Saturday, it will be two years since all of the parties in the House recommended, in a report, a comprehensive EI reform. All the parties, including the Liberals, made that recommendation. Two years later, absolutely nothing has been done.
    However, in that report, all the parties found that the “program no longer reflects the realities of today’s labour market”. In other words, the Liberals have known for two years that they are leaving workers to deal with an outdated system. They admitted as much.
    When will they take action?



    Madam Speaker, EI is currently one of the oldest and most complex systems across the Government of Canada. That is why we made a commitment to fully modernize the system.
    In the past two years, the minister has led more than 35 virtual national and regional round tables with workers, employers and academics. We have also engaged the provinces and territories as well as indigenous organizations in separate consultations. We have already extended sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks and with a board of appeal in budget 2023, we will put EI appeal decisions back in the hands of workers.
    EI reform is a priority. We are on it and we are going to get it done.


    Madam Speaker, corrections will need to be made, but what I wanted to say is that this is not the only anniversary to mark when it comes to Liberal dishonesty.
    Let us not forget that the Prime Minister himself ordered an EI reform by the summer of 2022. The hot weather we have been having over the past few days reminds us that it has already been a year and the Liberals have done nothing. Two years after promising this reform and a year after the date set by the Prime Minister, nothing has changed.
    Keeping one's word is the most basic sign of respect.
    When the Liberals—
    The hon. Minister of Sport.
    Madam Speaker, I am very proud that during the pandemic our government supported workers who were not covered by employment insurance. We made sure that self-employed workers, just as an example, had some money coming in, so they could continue to feed their families.
    As for EI reform, we prioritized things in the budget to make life more affordable and to provide health transfers, but we have also held consultations, and the work continues.


The Economy

    Madam Speaker, Canadians are not just hungry, they are hangry at the price of groceries. The Minister of Finance is pouring an additional $60 billion over the inflationary fire. The Food Professor says that overspending by government is to blame. He said, “when a government injects more money into the economy, the excess liquidity can drive up demand for goods, including food, which, in turn, can lead to higher prices.”
    Does the Minister of Finance feel guilty that her large deficits are hurting Canadians' ability to feed themselves or is she secretly trying to start a national weight loss challenge?
    Madam Speaker, I know personally that I could maybe lose five or 10, but when it comes to that member's question if they really want to help Canadians they would stop the filibuster in this chamber today. They could show up for work and make sure that the budget implementation act passes and that supports get to Canadians who need them.
    The hypocrisy on that side is making things smell in this House. It is not just the heat, it is the Conservatives who are blocking this Parliament.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    We were doing not too bad. All of a sudden it just picked up. I would ask members to please keep it down because we would not want to have to change the speaking order.
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Madam Speaker, the minister is clearly misinformed. The committee has already passed the bill and there is no filibuster.
    On the topic, inflation is like a bad houseguest that just will not leave. No matter how many hints the Conservatives, economists and even the Governor of the Bank of Canada drop to stop spending so much, the Minister of Finance is pumping another $60 billion on top of last year's record deficit, which only increases inflation, the houseguest, to stay and make an even bigger mess to the economy.
    Will the Minister of Finance finally take a hint and reduce spending, or is she so tired of her job that she wants voters to show her and her unwanted houseguest the door?
    Madam Speaker, if the Conservatives read the budget, they would see that there are measures to make sure that we reduce spending by $15 billion over the next years.
    Also, in the budget implementation act, we would be able to make sure that Canada worker benefits go to Canadians faster. It would improve the education savings plans and it would lower the tax burden for tradespeople.
    The Conservatives do not like that we stabilized health care for a generation, that we are making historic investments to grow the economy and that we are also helping those Canadians who need it the most.
    They want to use dilatory tactics. We are going to keep delivering for Canadians.


Carbon Pricing

    Madam Speaker, our national holiday, Canada Day, will be observed by Canadians in less than one month. This is a day when we all gather to celebrate our nation. However, most Canadians are more concerned with the high cost of living. If the first carbon tax was not harsh enough, the Liberals' birthday gift to Canadians is a second carbon tax, which will intend to destroy Canada Day festivities.
    Will the government show some compassion and give all Canadians the gift they deserve and axe this costly carbon tax?
    Madam Speaker, yes, July 1 is a great day to celebrate in Canada. There is another reason to celebrate, because that is the day when the climate action rebate will come out. Those payments will come quarterly. In my home province, it is $1,000 a year, $250 a quarter. It is going to fight climate change. It is going to support affordability and it is going to be a great day for Canadians indeed.
    Madam Speaker, this Liberal government has no shortage of imagination when it comes to making life miserable for those who drive their car to work or take a summer road trip with their family.
    They have already imposed a carbon tax that adds 41¢ to a litre a gas and now carbon tax 2 will add another 17¢ to that same litre of gas. Compounded with GST, that is an extra 61¢ per litre during the worst cost of living crisis since Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
    When will these Liberals show some decency and scrap both of these punitive carbon taxes?
    Madam Speaker, it is indeed puzzling that every single person on that side of the aisle supported putting a price on pollution in the 2021 campaign. The member for Wellington—Halton Hills, much admired in this chamber, made it the centrepiece of his Conservative leadership campaign in 2017.
    Get this, the MP for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge actually introduced the first carbon tax in North America.
    I have a good report. It was a success. The economy grew and more money was put into B.C. pockets.


    Madam Speaker, the NDP leader and I just joined a rally for Webster Street tenants last week. After living in their apartments for years, they are facing renovictions by a new corporate landlord. When the tenants organized, the owner threatened to tag and tow their cars for not paying a new $200 parking fee.
    This Liberal government has allowed corporate landlords to drive up London rents. The average cost for a one-bedroom is up 28% in a single year.
    Will this government create a housing acquisition fund to make rent affordable in London?
    Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that we need to take action to support renters. That is precisely why our government introduced the Canada housing benefit, which is delivering rent supports to tens of thousands of families right across our country.
    This Canada housing benefit is now live in every province and territory in Canada. In addition to that, we had a top-up to the Canada housing benefit. In addition to that, we are building more affordable rental housing.
    I would urge the hon. member to also contact the provincial government, which is responsible for rent control.
    Madam Speaker, natural disasters, including wildfires and floods, fuelled by climate change are making it difficult to get home insurance. Canadians cannot buy a home when there is an active wildfire within 50 kilometres and that covers most of the summer in B.C., and 10% of Canadians cannot get flood insurance. Canada is the only major country where the government does not have a backstop for earthquake insurance.
    Canadians cannot afford to wait while their homes and businesses are destroyed.
    Will the Liberals act to make sure Canadians have the insurance protection they need?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising that point.
    All parliamentarians in the House should be taking the risks posed by climate change very seriously. Our government is here, as always, to support all affected Canadians and indigenous communities so as to better prepare them for future threats. That includes insurance.
    We are well aware that the insurability of some neighbourhoods, homes and villages is becoming increasingly difficult. We will be there to support Canadians who live in places that are no longer insurable.




    Madam Speaker, gun violence poses a real threat to the safety of our communities. Canadians expect to be able to take their kids to school, ride transit and visit places of worship without fear. People from my riding of Richmond Hill, like Canadians across the country, have been very clear. They want us to take strong action to prevent gun violence and keep their loved ones safe.
    How is the government taking action to deliver on safety for Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, gun violence has no place in our communities. We are taking the strongest action in a generation to keep our communities safe.
    Today, on June 2, we are marking the first National Day Against Gun Violence here in the great nation of Canada. Going forward, on the first Friday of June, we will raise awareness around the tragedies caused by gun violence, and remember the victims and the survivors. This is another part of our plan to get firearms off our streets and invest in prevention.

Tourism Industry

    Madam Speaker, Canada's tourism sector, and Canadians who enjoy travelling, are under attack by the Liberal government's out-of-control spending and tax hikes.
    A recent Ipsos report found that six in 10 Canadians are now planning to scale back on their summer vacation plans, yet the Liberal government continues to hike taxes, like adding a second carbon tax to the price of gas, which will add 17¢ per litre.
    Does the government not realize its taxes add up and will ultimately hurt Canada's tourism industry and our chances of achieving a full tourism recovery?
    Madam Speaker, I respect the hon. member, who is my tourism critic, but something does not add up. He voted against supporting the tourism industry in the budget, yet he voted for pricing on carbon in the last campaign. I do not know what they drink in Niagara, but I know—
    I cannot hear the answer, and I am sure the hon. member wants to hear the answer because he will probably want to pose another question. I would ask members to hold off on allowing their thoughts to be said out loud.
    The hon. Minister of Tourism.
    Madam Speaker, I find it a little odd that the tourism critic for the Conservatives voted against supporting the tourism industry in the budget, yet he voted for a price on pollution when he ran in the last election. I am going to let him explain that to his constituents.
    I was at Rendez-vous Canada in Quebec City this week, and the tourism sector in this country is going to be back, not in 2026, not in 2025 and not in 2024, but at the end of 2023. This is thanks to Canadians, thanks to what we have to offer and thanks to the international community for knowing that Canada is back and that people want to come to see us.
    Madam Speaker, that is an interesting response. Surely our tourism minister knows that travel is a discretionary activity. Adding 41¢ a litre to gas through the first carbon tax will not help. A second Liberal carbon tax of 17¢ will hurt as well. If we add GST to that, we have a tax on a tax on a tax. Canadians need tax relief, not another tax.
    When will the Liberal government axe the tax and help the tourism sector recovery fully this year?
    Madam Speaker, it is so nice to have so many friends from the blue team from Alberta in the chamber on a Friday.
    I can say to my colleague from Niagara Falls that, in this budget, $158 million is directly going to the tourism sector, and $1.8 billion will do exactly what he said, which is to get more people to come to Canada for CATSA and for modernization of the airports.
    How did the member and the entire Conservative caucus vote? They voted against the tourism sector, against airports and against getting people to our country. “Shame on them”, I say.


    Order. If members want to have cross-debate, they should leave the chamber.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Order on both sides.
    The hon. member for Essex.

Carbon Pricing

    Madam Speaker, the Liberals already have one carbon tax in place, which will add 41¢ to a litre of gas. Carbon tax 2 would add another 17¢ to a litre of gas. If we add the GST on top, that is an extra 61¢ added to a litre of gas.
    When will the NDP-Liberal costly coalition realize that it is out of touch and that Canadians are out of patience and out of money?
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives campaigned on putting a price on pollution, but what the Conservatives never want to talk about is the cost of climate change.
    There are 1,600 fires burning in our country at the moment. People from the suburbs of Halifax are being evacuated. The costs of climate change are real and they are rising. When are the Conservatives going to get serious about climate change?


Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Madam Speaker, after eight years of this Prime Minister, Beauce businesses are struggling to find employees. SMEs and agricultural businesses are starting to close their doors because of the backlog at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the endless paperwork.
    Since my arrival in 2019, I have been asking for the streamlining of labour market impact assessments. With an unemployment rate of 1.9% in my region, we need help filling important positions.
    Why are the Liberals refusing to help Beauce businesses?
    Madam Speaker, the opposite is true. Agricultural producers in Quebec and across Canada know that our government is there to help them. I am in constant communication with them. Yesterday, I met again with the president of the Union des producteurs agricoles, and I can say that the process of bringing temporary foreign workers to Canada went quite well this year.
    We continue to work with my colleagues at Employment and Social Development and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to improve this process.

Official Languages

    Madam Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages has once again been flooded with complaints. Air Canada is on the podium once again, with 276 complaints about its inability to serve customers in French.
    Let us talk about this year's gold medalist, the federal government. Some 714 complaints were filed against Ottawa for ignoring French in its bilingual public service job postings. That is more than triple the number of complaints from last year.
    How can we expect companies like Air Canada to do better when this is the example being set by the federal government?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his question. I would also like to thank the Commissioner of Official Languages for the report he released this week. We accept his recommendations.
    As Minister of Official Languages, I am very pleased with the work we have accomplished so far. We recently passed Bill C‑13. We were able to get all parties in the House onside to support this bill. Once again, we look forward to the final step in the legislative process, royal assent. Let us not forget that we have also made historic investments in our action plan, specifically $4.1 billion to support our official language minority communities and to combat the decline of French.
    Madam Speaker, of course we will be monitoring the impact of Bill C‑13 on companies like Air Canada. However, in the case of the federal public service, the employer responsible is every single minister here in the House. They do not need Bill C‑13 to ensure that French is respected. All they have to do is stop treating their francophone employees like second-class citizens.
    Will the Liberals send a clear message to the senior public service that there will be severe consequences unless the situation of French improves dramatically in the coming months?
    Madam Speaker, let us be very clear. We are the first government to recognize the decline of French in this country. That is why we are moving forward with a bill that is ambitious, that has teeth. It does not stop there. We have made historic investments in our action plan, namely $4.1 billion to ensure that the federal government will do its fair share to protect and promote French across the country. Let us also not forget that the Commissioner of Official Languages will now have many more tools to do his job and to ensure that he plays the role of watchdog to protect our official languages.




    Madam Speaker, we all know the facts. Violent crime is up 32%. Gang-related killings are up 92%. Worst of all, 10 police officers have been killed in the line of duty in recent months.
    It is clear that the Liberals' soft-on-crime agenda has failed again. The only thing the divisive Liberal government has united Canadians on is how bad the bail system is after it broke it.
    Why is it that, every time the Liberals are in charge, hard-working citizens and law-abiding gun owners are punished, while dangerous repeat offenders get to ride the merry-go-round of the revolving door of justice?
     That is why introduced Bill C-48, a targeted reform to our bail laws, designed to focus on violent repeat offenders, gun and knife violence, and intimate partner violence. This bill is the product of collaboration with the provinces and territories.
    I want to quote from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which said, “We are convinced that the legislative changes put forth in Bill C-48 will go a long way to help eliminate the preventable harm and senseless tragedies attributable to violent and repeat offenders across Canada.”
    I invite the Conservative Party—
    The hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country.

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, after eight years of the Trudeau government—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. member knows that she cannot name individual members of Parliament or ministers, by either their first names or their last names.
    The hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country.
    Madam Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal government, violent crime is up 32%, and our most vulnerable citizens are some of the most impacted.
    People are in desperate situations, without being able to afford basic necessities, with high inflation, with rent costs doubling, and with mental health and addiction issues rising.
    It was just yesterday, in the House, that I spoke about the issue of homelessness being on the rise and safety concerns surrounding homeless encampments. This morning, we heard about the death of a woman following a reported shooting at a tent encampment in Peterborough.
    When will the government take public safety seriously?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to just repeat what I was saying earlier.
    With Bill C-48, introduced a couple of weeks ago, we have nearly unanimous support from across provinces, as well as from police leadership. I want to quote again from the statement from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which said that it commends the federal government for acting on the urgency for legislative change and for recognizing that the proposed amendments are important. The statement also says, “We are convinced that the legislative changes put forth in Bill C-48 will go a long way to help eliminate the preventable harm and senseless tragedies attributable to violent and repeat offenders across Canada.”



    Madam Speaker, since the Prime Minister took office, violent crime has increased by 32%. As an aside, I would just like to remind the House that the Conservative government lowered the crime rate by 23%.
    This situation is a direct result of this Liberal government's soft-on-crime policies. It is incredibly easy for criminals to get out on bail.
    Will the Prime Minister finally get the message and make changes to stop the revolving door in our prison system? One would think these offenders were staying at a hotel.


    That is why we introduced Bill C-48, a targeted reform to update our bail laws, designed to focus on violent, repeat offenders, gun and knife violence, as well as intimate partner violence.
    If I may, I will repeat what I said earlier. This is from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.


    The officials said the following about Bill C-48: We appreciate the fact that the minister worked with the party to introduce this common-sense bill that responds to concerns—
    Order. The hon. member for Pontiac.

News Media Industry

    Madam Speaker, Bill C‑18 on online communications requires web giants to pay their fair share to local media when they profit from their work. That makes sense. However, Facebook does not want that.
    When Australia introduced a similar bill, the web giants even tried to use intimidation tactics. Now they are doing the same thing in Canada and California.
    Today, we find out that Facebook is doubling down on its bullying tactics and preventing thousands of Canadians from accessing their news.
    I would like to know how the government plans to react to these grotesque bullying tactics.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pontiac for the question and her hard work. She is absolutely right. Facebook wants once again to bully Canadians and is now blocking news on its platform for many Canadians. That is schoolyard bullying.
    Facebook seems to think that Canadians are going to be scared and are not going to ask web giants to pay their fair share. Our door is open to making appropriate changes. We are not going to be intimidated and we are going to demand that the web giants pay their fair share.


Correctional Service of Canada

    Madam Speaker, Corrections Canada tells us that offenders who find jobs in the community are three times less likely to reoffend. This is true, but it is also irrelevant because there is zero statistical correlation between participation in CSC's job-creating programs and getting post-incarceration work. Here is why: Instead of recognized third party vocational certifications, CSC issues informal statements of achievement that have all the authority of the ribbons issued at a children's bicycle-decorating contest. Will the government fix this problem?
    Madam Speaker, the opposition has a wonderful opportunity by listening to the consultations and the output that came from the consultations with the provinces and Ottawa on bail reform. We have legislation here that the Conservative Party members could support. By doing that, they will be supporting the provinces and the legislation, which would be good for all Canadians.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Madam Speaker, the Liberals have wreaked havoc on our immigration system. Canadians and prospective Canadians who play by the rules are being forced to wait for years, while the integrity of our system is threatened by unscrupulous consultants and an incompetent government.
     Conservatives have moved a motion at the immigration committee to get to the bottom of a scandal in which the government issued visas based on fake college acceptance letters and then tried to punish the victims instead of the scammers. My question is for the chair of the immigration committee: After Liberals and New Democrats shut down debate on this issue, does the committee have plans to study the impact on students of the government's failure to properly enforce Canada's immigration laws?
    Madam Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that we take these allegations of fraud very seriously. For these students—
    An hon. member: The question is for the chair.
    I recognize the individual who gets up to answer the question.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.


    Madam Speaker, opposition members may want to listen to the answer.


    I can assure the member opposite that we take these allegations very seriously. For these students who may have been victims of fraud, we want to make it clear: They can benefit from full due process. We are also cracking down on these bad actors who prey on our most vulnerable. We will always be there for these vulnerable students and we will be relentless in our efforts to clamp down on these dishonest consultants.
    Madam Speaker, Logan Hunter and Jaxon Joseph had their lives taken in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Because of the reckless, criminal actions of one man, 16 people are dead and 13 more were injured. The perpetrator, a non-citizen, is fighting to stay in Canada. Logan's and Jaxon's parents want to know, if committing a crime of this consequence is not enough to get someone deported, then what is?
    Madam Speaker, I want to say to those victims that I was a member of the provincial government, actually the former solicitor general, when these incidents happened. We collectively, as Canadians, stand very firm on the tragic loss of these wonderful young men who perished. I can assure the House that every day we remember them.
     We also know that there is a court case in place, and this is the court to make the decision. I hate to think that the Conservatives will interfere into a court procedure. Let us allow—


    The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

Climate Change

    Madam Speaker, taking action on climate change is something we should all be able to agree on. Recently, we saw another major initiative to combat climate change in the Canada greener homes program. Can the minister share with the House the anticipated impact of this program on affordable housing providers and residents and how this initiative will support our government's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his advocacy on this important issue.
    Affordable housing and climate change must go hand in hand. That is why I was pleased to recently announce the launch of the $1.2-billion Canada greener affordable housing program. This initiative will help affordable housing providers serving low- and moderate-income households complete deep energy retrofits for residential rental buildings and reduce operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. This will result in an increased quality of life for residents while contributing to climate change initiatives. This is what real action on housing affordability and sustainability looks like.

The Environment

    Madam Speaker, as communities from coast to coast to coast face wildfires and flooding, Canadians need the government to step up and do more. The B.C. NDP government already provided a $100-million watershed security fund to proactively protect from extreme weather events, and the Liberal government needs to do the same.
    Will the government show the same leadership as British Columbia did on water and match, at minimum, its $100-million watershed security fund?


    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.
    All of the currently active wildfires are making it abundantly clear how important it is to tackle climate change.
    Our government is very closely monitoring fires that are worsening during this wildfire season to the point of overwhelming local capacity. Our government is standing by to offer federal assistance. We encourage Canadians to follow the advice and warnings issued by local authorities.
    The government will always be there to help the provinces and territories.


Persons with Disabilities

    Madam Speaker, it has been two weeks now since the Senate strengthened and passed Bill C-22, the Canada disability benefit act, yet the governing party has prioritized six or seven government bills ahead of it. Canadians with disabilities continue to disproportionately live in poverty across the country. They need to see action.
    When will the Liberals bring Bill C-22 back to the floor of the House so it can be urgently passed into law?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for this important question.
    In the spirit of “Nothing Without Us”, we are continuing to move forward with historic investments and actions that will improve the social and economic inclusion of millions of Canadians with disabilities.
    In February, Bill C-22, the act to establish the Canada disability benefit, was unanimously adopted by this House. On May 18, Bill C-22 was adopted with amendments in the Senate and has now been sent back to this House for consideration.
    This bill remains a top priority for us, and we have every intention of dealing with it as quickly as possible. We are working with all parties to get this important legislation passed.


Points of Order

Oral Questions  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, during question period, I rose to point out a problem with the interpretation. The member for Halifax was answering a question but, sadly, when the interpretation began, he was halfway through his answer. Given that both official languages are very important in the House, I would like to ask him to please repeat his answer.
    Could the hon. parliamentary secretary repeat his answer?


    Madam Speaker, I believe the member was referring to the question about Stellantis. I am not sure. I did not hear the beginning of his intervention. I think the member knows I am working hard to learn French. I would be happy to convey my answer to him in writing, en français.
    The member was asking that the hon. parliamentary secretary repeat the answer he gave.


    Madam Speaker, I understand. First of all, I thanked the NDP member from the industry committee who posed the question for his tireless advocacy for the auto industry and for his great work on the committee. I then went on to say that, as the member knows, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry has worked hard to secure the future of Canada's auto industry. We continue to negotiate in good faith with our partners. That includes the Province of Ontario and Stellantis. At the heart of our negotiations is getting the best deal possible for the auto workers and for Canadians.
    I see there are other individuals rising on points of order. Are they pertaining to question period?
    The hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.
    Madam Speaker, if I could, I am looking for unanimous consent, following question period today, to table in the House the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report detailing the impacts of the second carbon tax coming by province. One will find in the—
    Some hon. members: No.
    Are there still points of order arising from question period?
    The hon. member for Red Deer—Lacombe.
    Madam Speaker, I have in my hands a letter that was written to the Chair of the procedure and house affairs committee requesting that the Minister of Public Safety appear for two hours instead of one hour in response to the—
    Is this pertaining to question period? I would ask the member for Red Deer—Lacombe to get to his point of order.
    Madam Speaker, in lieu of the answers that were given when the government was asked about foreign interference, we requested, in this letter I would like to table through unanimous consent, that the Minister of Public Safety appear for two hours. Do I—
    Some hon. members: No.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, on a point of order relating to question period.
    Madam Speaker, I raised a question respecting committee agendas. I will note page 512 of the House of Commons Procedure and Practice specifically says that members may raise questions concerning matters before committee and that those questions are directed toward the committee chair. Page 512 reads:
    Questions seeking information about the schedule and agenda of committees may be directed to Chairs of committees. Questions to the Ministry or to a committee Chair concerning the proceedings or work of a committee, including its order of reference, may not be raised. Thus, for example, a question would be disallowed if it dealt with a vote in committee....
    The question I raised was very clearly dealing with the agenda of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I will note various examples that are in the footnote: “for example, Debates, May 20, 1970, pp. 7126-7; November 4, 1981, p. 12499; March 9, 1987, p. 3955”. Various points continue.
    The footnote continues:
    In the 2008 example, the Liberal House Leader rose...on a point of order and asked the Speaker if someone other than the Chair of a committee could respond to a question concerning the agenda of a committee. The Speaker advised that his role is to “take a look at those who are standing to answer and choose who is going to answer”. He indicated that he had recognized the Government House Leader because he was the only Member rising to respond and that it seemed preferable for the Member asking the question to get an answer than none at all.
    However, in this particular case, there was no opportunity given for the chair or vice-chairs of the committee to rise. Sadly, the right of members to raise questions to committee chairs is becoming in practice almost irrelevant because, every time members have raised these kinds—
    The hon. member is getting into debate now. He has raised his point of order. As he has indicated, others who rise can be recognized, but no one else rose. There was plenty of opportunity for anybody to rise, so the individual who actually rose is the individual who was recognized.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    Respectfully, on the facts, Madam Speaker, I believe someone may have been trying to get the attention of the Chair online. I cannot say for sure, because I was not online and I am here, but I—


    There were no hands raised online. As I indicated, I recognized the person who wanted to answer that question.


    The hon. member for Louis‑Saint‑Laurent.
    Madam Speaker, during question period, a number of my colleagues and I asked questions about carbon pricing. We indicated that the Parliamentary Budget Officer had prepared a report.
    I would ask for unanimous consent to table the document of May 18, 2023, entitled—
    Some hon. members: No.


    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn is rising on a point of order relating to question period.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to seek unanimous consent, following question period, to table witness testimony from the finance committee from May 17—
    Some hon. members: No.
    The hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South is rising on a point of order relating to question period.
    Madam Speaker, my point of order is with respect to the Minister of Tourism. I had intended to raise this issue earlier.
    The Minister of Tourism, in responding to a question, said, “it is so nice to have so many friends from the blue team from Alberta”. This is doing indirectly what he cannot do directly. Of course, members cannot comment on the presence or absence of a member.
    I do not believe it was directed to anybody in particular, but I want to remind members to be careful when they make comments in the House. Again, it was not directed at any one member in particular.
    The hon. member for Simcoe—Grey is rising on a point of order related to question period.
    Madam Speaker, during question period, there was a lot of discussion, and all parliamentarians are concerned with the food banks and the budget coming up. I hope to get unanimous consent to table HungerCount policy recommendations so that everyone has the opportunity to read them. Hopefully—
    Some hon. members: No.
    Madam Speaker, as you know, it is a long-standing practice in this House that important government documents are tabled in this place. I would note that typically a minister of the Crown does table government reports in this House. It is a rubric in Routine Proceedings. I would note that the Right Hon. David Johnston's report on foreign interference was never tabled in this House, despite it being a report directly asked for by the Prime Minister.
    The Liberals seem to be very proud of the rapporteur, so I would seek unanimous consent to table the David Johnston report on foreign interference.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the report?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising from question period.
    I posed two questions to the government relating to the testimony of the Prime Minister's national security adviser, Jody Thomas, and the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, who was then minister of public safety.
    I am seeking the unanimous consent of this House to table the blues from yesterday, wherein the national security adviser indicated that three deputy ministers, as well as her office, had received the memo indicating that the member for Wellington—Halton Hills and his family had been targeted by the Beijing regime, and the further testimony of the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, who incredibly claimed that it was CSIS's fault that he had not read a memo that was sent to him and his chief of staff also indicating that the member for Wellington—Halton Hills was a target of the Beijing regime.
    We have a Prime Minister who—


    This seems to be more a point of debate.
    Can the hon. member come to his point?
    Madam Speaker, I ask for unanimous consent to table the blues from yesterday from the procedure and House affairs committee, in which that shocking testimony from both the minister and the Prime Minister's—
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the blues?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, in light of some comments made by members of the New Democratic Party in this House arising out of question period, I would like to seek unanimous consent to table the most recent results of the Alberta election, which show a whopping majority by a strong United Conservative Party, to show the rejection of the socialistic policies of the New Democratic—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Essex is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, with regard to question period and regarding committees, on May 18, at the transport committee, Bill Morneau, a key witness in the committee's study examining the role of McKinsey & Company, attended the meeting, but his earpiece did not work, ironically. Therefore, all six opposition committee members wrote to the chair, calling on Bill Morneau to come to committee to testify, and I am seeking unanimous consent from this House to ensure that happens.
    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, during question period there was a lot of discussion on inflation. In light of that, I am seeking unanimous consent to table the monetary policy report by the Bank of Canada dated April 2023, specifically the part highlighted as “Fiscal measures adding to the growth of domestic demand”, which proves that government spending drove up inflation.
    Does the member have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.


    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, during question period, the member for Edmonton Centre, who is also the Associate Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism, referred to the Conservative Party platform on two occasions.
    Since the beginning of the week, and again today during question period, the Liberal Party has been asking the Conservative Party for permission to table the Conservative plan in the House.
    I would like to correct one of the facts. First, there is no mention of a carbon tax in these platforms.
    Second, I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table the Liberal cost plan from the 2015 platform, in which the Liberals said, “We will run modest deficits for—
    The member asked to table a document. As for correcting the record, that is a matter of debate.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table to the document?
    Some hon. members: No.


    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I am hoping that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to table a news report about something that happened in my riding this morning.
    My riding, for people who may not know, is Peterborough—Kawartha, and it has been a bit of a canary in the coal mine of the crisis happening in this country. There is a decline in public safety, primarily for our most vulnerable, and also addictions and mental health.
    Early this morning, there was a fatal shooting of a young woman in a homeless tent encampment in Peterborough, and I am asking if we could table with unanimous consent the news report of this, because I think it is really critical that we address this right now. This is why I came here to Parliament, to be honest, and this is something that business owners have been crying about. People knew and said this was going to happen. I have been in contact with officials. In my riding, there is a sense of fear and a sense of despair, quite frankly, and it is just horrific news coming out of our community.
    I would just ask for unanimous consent to table this news story for the House.


    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the news story?
    Some hon. members: No.


[Routine Proceedings]


Government Response to Petitions

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 14 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.
    While I am on my feet, I move:
    That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
    The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.


    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.


    Call in the members.
    During the taking of the vote:


     Madam Speaker, I logged into the app. It did not work. I would like to register my vote as no.
    It was a technical issue.
    Given that individuals had so many problems, I am going to make sure that we ask the technical team to look at this to make sure that it was not intentional on the part of members.
    The table will now compile the results of the vote.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

(Division No. 344)



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

Total: -- 170



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

Total: -- 140



    I declare the motion carried.

Points of Order

Technical Issues Raised During the Taking of Recorded Division  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I would urge you, in light of the circus that just transpired, to fully investigate this vote.
    We have functioned for three years on an honour system around virtual voting and virtual Parliament, and Conservatives have actually used the virtual Parliament more than any other party. I find it difficult to accept that today that there is some mystery virus that has impacted only Conservatives and has not impacted members of the Bloc, the NDP, the Liberals or the Greens. The fact that we have had repeated disruptions is equivalent, in the virtual world, to a member in this House throwing their chair across the House and setting fire to their desk.
    If there was some mystery virus that hit only Conservatives—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    We have had so many problems. I will endeavour to have the team look into this.
    I have to recognize someone from other than the official opposition. The hon. parliamentary secretary has a point of order.


    Madam Speaker, you made a comment that you will review what has taken place, and we appreciate that. I would point out that there is a rule regarding contempt of Parliament, and this does need to be looked at if members were participating here in an intentionally inappropriate way through the voting application. That would be a contempt of Parliament. We would appreciate the Speaker taking note of this and reporting back to the House.
    I appreciate the information. As I have indicated, I will have the technical team look into why there were so many technical difficulties.
    In order for the hon. official opposition House leader to speak, he would have to have a headset. He may want to ask somebody else to speak on his behalf.
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Madam Speaker, on this point of order, we have had a number of accusations thrown around. I think everyone in this place understands that we are in a work environment where we are combining different time zones and different Internet capacity and that on Fridays we do not have votes. That is understood.
    I was at an event in Ottawa at one point and my phone would not work. It kept spinning and would not allow me to take a picture. We should be giving the benefit of the doubt to hon. members in this place. A review would be helpful, but I would also like hon. members to act honourably. All members have these challenges when working virtually, and to imply that certain members are in contempt of Parliament is straying into more partisan lines. This is a practical matter, and I hope the review is a practical one, not a partisan one.
    As I indicated, there will be a request to have our technical team look into this. I hope that satisfies everybody so we can move on with orders of the day.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to point out that the obstruction happened before the vote as well. I did the whip walk, and for the first time ever in this House that I have seen, it was done by—
    That is not a point of order. As we have seen, sometimes it has not occurred that the two whips walk to the table.
    There is a point of order by the member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.
    Madam Speaker, there is contempt. There is contempt for the lack of democratic process in this Liberal budget. That is what there is—
    That is not a point of order; it is a point of debate.
    The hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.
    Madam Speaker, in your investigation for the technical event that took place, I would ask you to consider that the member from the NDP who rose, when the New Democrats were in the official opposition, used dilatory motions and stall tactics—
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Madam Speaker, prior to question period, I was hoping to weigh in on a question of privilege that had been raised earlier. I thought this might be—
    That is on my list of things to do, but we are not quite there yet.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is rising on another point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I believe we have gone to orders of the day. We have a private member's bill that is scheduled to go forward, and out of courtesy to the member, which we always give to those who bring forward private member's bills, it is important that we give due consideration and time for that.
    I would respectfully ask my colleagues to move forward, and if there are further submissions on this matter, perhaps we can take it up at a later time.


    The House has just completed a vote on a motion to move to orders of the day. At the time the vote started, the motion was in order as there was still time remaining under Government Orders today. The Chair cannot interrupt the vote once it is under way. However, due to the length of the taking of the recorded division, we have now passed the time allotted to Government Orders; therefore, the terms of the motion are moot.

Business of the House

    Madam Speaker, I request that the ordinary hour of daily adjournment of the next sitting be 12 midnight, pursuant to order made Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
    In addition, I am tabling the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1399 to 1404.
    Pursuant to order made Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the minister’s request to extend the said sitting is deemed adopted.


Alleged Breach of Privilege at Committee 

    Madam Speaker, I will try not to be more than a few minutes, but I did want to contribute to the question of privilege that was raised by the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. I took him to have raised three separate questions of privilege, and it may be that he wants to subdivide those a bit more. I do not know, but I am going to respond to what I think were the three major themes of his intervention.
    One had to do with his ability to move subamendments; another had to do with a vote that was taken on a particular clause that was at issue at committee; and the final one was about drafting for report stage amendments.
    With respect to his ability to move subamendments, I think it is important for the Speaker to know the following as this question of privilege is deliberated. The member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan did mention that the committee had adopted a programming motion by unanimous consent. It was very clear that there was to be no debate during the votes after 4:30 this past Monday. That means that no member was able to get the floor to move a subamendment, so I think it was pretty clear by the terms of the motion. It should not have been a surprise to the member that there would not have been the ability to move subamendments. I think that was foreseen by all members of the committee when they agreed to that programming motion.
    I would also say that there was, in fact, time to move subamendments, which I think is an important thing to consider with this question of privilege. The committee met last week for about 10 hours to consider clause by clause. During that time, Conservative members of the committee chose to filibuster on a motion they had presented, and that ate up all the time we had to discuss the amendments that had already been presented according to the deadline or to move subamendments to those amendments.
    That was a choice by members, and the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan substituted in on the committee to be part of that filibuster at one point. There had been warnings. I intervened at the committee to say that we were risking losing the time we had, not only to debate amendments, but also to move subamendments, so I would say, in this respect, the member's question of privilege is a bit like a member who tied themselves to a chair in their own home and then claimed they were physically obstructed from getting to the House of Commons. It may be true, but it is superficially true, and I do not think it is really a matter of concern for the House. I would note also, as the member did, that he submitted his amendments, to the extent he did, after the deadline.
    On the report stage amendments, he said that he was not aware that the bill would be called for debate today until it was announced in the Thursday question. However, I would say that members should know, and perhaps the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan does not know, in which case that would be tragic and he should be informed, members can contact drafters and ask to have amendments drafted well in advance of the bill being called for debate. All of us who were following the progress of that bill at committee knew that it had passed out of committee on Tuesday night. We knew that it had been reported to the House on Wednesday. There was nothing stopping that particular member from contacting drafters earlier in the process to ensure he had those amendments drafted and ready to go for when the bill was ultimately called.
    Of course, we knew that, with a bill being reported back to the House from committee on a Wednesday, the first day eligible for debate would be a Friday, so I respectfully submit that the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan knew, or ought to have known, that the bill could be called Friday and had ample opportunity to prepare his amendments.
    In respect of the missed vote on a clause at committee, there was certainly a lot of disorder in the room going on at that time. I think if we were to go check the video, we would find that the proximate cause of that disorder was the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan when he opened his microphone, took an electronic device and held it to the microphone. He was playing question period into the microphone. One of the reasons that caused so much disorder was, as we know and as we have been told many times, this causes harm to the interpreters. We are not to hold electronic devices playing sound of any kind to the microphone because it hurts people and it is a workplace safety and health issue for the interpreters.
    There was no reason for the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to do that. He could have made his point in many other ways, ones that were not damaging to the people who support our work in the House of Commons. The chair asked him to stop. He would not stop, and disorder ensued. I will not belabour that point any further.


    All that is to say that this was part of what was going on, so there is a reasonable question as to whether the Chair ought to have tried to call a vote in the midst of that level of disorder.
    However, I would note, and I think it is important for the Speaker to know when deliberating on this question of privilege, that when the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan raised this as a question of privilege at the committee level, the committee agreed, by unanimous consent, to go back and redo the vote on that clause, ensuring that everyone knew we were voting on that particular clause and that they were paying attention during the vote to ensure that all those votes were cast.
    Those are things that I think are really important for the Speaker to note while deliberating on these points of order. I think the member is referring to certain things that if they had played out some other way might have been quite serious, but the committee was very willing to entertain the legitimate concerns the member raised. I think that is evidenced by our providing unanimous consent to go back to the vote and I think it is evidenced by the programming motion that is at issue in all of this having been agreed to by unanimous consent after being negotiated between Liberals and Conservatives and then being presented to the committee.
     I think those are all things that really ought to be taken into account, and I suspect they may be things that the member himself may want to contemplate for future instances.
    Thank you very much. I think I have enough information before me on both sides and I will certainly come back to the House with a decision.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]


Parliament of Canada Act

    The House resumed from March 31 consideration of the motion that Bill S-202, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Parliamentary Visual Artist Laureate) be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, it is indeed an honour and a privilege to rise today to speak to Bill S-202. I want to begin by acknowledging the importance of the arts and culture in Canadian life. While the motivation for this bill may be admirable, I do question, at a time when one in five Canadians is skipping meals, when we see record-high food bank usage, when we see Canadians struggling to make their rent and mortgage payments, why the government would use a Senate public bill to advance such a matter.
    That said, I am pleased to rise and speak to various issues related to Bill S-202, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act regarding a parliamentary visual artist laureate. I must admit that I personally am not much of an artist. I am not an expert on the art world. I am one of those people who know when art looks good or what I think looks good, although many people will not agree with my perspective. Certainly, I do not have many original artworks hanging in my home. Those I do have that are originals were created by some of the cutest constituents in my riding, aged seven, nine and five.
    However, I do appreciate the art that our world creates and, certainly, in my riding, as in so many ridings across the country, there are many opportunities to see those great works of art at the local level, in places like Minto or Stratford, whether it is the Gallery Stratford or the weekly Art in the Park enterprises in Stratford.
    Bill S-202 proposes to create the position of a parliamentary visual artist laureate, who, according to the bill, will be “an officer of the Library of Parliament.” This bill follows a similar formula that was used over 20 years ago to create the parliamentary poet laureate.
    It is important to recognize that here on Parliament Hill, we do indeed have an impressive collection of visual art. Many of us who were privileged enough to be able to sit in the original Centre Block, and certainly some of us miss that historic building, will know some of the work that was included in that building. After it was rebuilt, on February 3, 1916, many visual artworks were included in it. It had many great paintings and sculptures, many of which were carved in the interior Centre Block stone itself.
    What many might not know is that much of the stone in Centre Block was deliberately left unmarked upon construction so that future art could be carved into the building over the decades. The art on Parliament Hill was sculpted as our country was sculpted.
    What is more, outside this very chamber are the portraits of many former Speakers of the House of Commons and the portraits of 21 of the 22 former prime ministers. I am personally quite fond of the painting of Canada's ninth prime minister, Blanshard Township-born Arthur Meighen, the right hon. member who was perhaps the greatest orator that this House has ever seen.
    It was, in fact, Canadian historian Arthur Milnes, when he was doing work on a project on Arthur Meighen, who discovered a serious blunder related to that portrait. While the portrait had been displayed on Parliament Hill since it was painted by Ernest Fosbery in 1948, it had never been officially unveiled or dedicated. Fortunately, that oversight was corrected when then prime minister Stephen Harper, then Speaker Peter Milliken, former prime minister Joe Clark and then senator Michael Meighen rectified the situation and held an official portrait unveiling in February 2011.
    As a side note, I would note that this past Tuesday evening, I had the great privilege of speaking with our former Senate colleague, Michael Meighen, at the opening night of the Stratford Festival's 2023 season. It gives me the opportunity to highlight former senator Meighen and the Meighen family for their strong support of the Stratford Festival and, in particular, the Meighen Forum, which makes such contributions to thoughtful reflection on the arts and culture in Canada.
    Back to the Meighen portrait, it was displayed in Centre Block with the other prime ministerial portraits until they were moved here in 2018. While it is unfortunate that the formal portrait unveiling did not occur while Arthur Meighen was still alive, perhaps having a parliamentary visual artist at the time may have rectified that situation.
    I did mention that the portraits of 21 of our 22 former prime ministers are hung on these walls. The one that is missing is our former prime minister Stephen Harper, who is yet to have his own portrait unveiled. I know all members are looking forward to the day when we unveil his portrait as one of Canada's great leaders of this century.


    Another great work of art that hangs within the parliamentary precinct is entitled The Ghosts of Vimy Ridge. It was painted in 1928 by William Longstaff. This magnificent work shows a dark sky over the Vimy Ridge memorial in France. The description of the painting from the House of Commons says:
    On Easter Sunday, 1917, Canadian soldiers launched a bloody, victorious attack on the German-held Vimy Ridge. This battle is considered a defining moment for Canada coming into its own as a young country.
    In William Longstaff’s oil painting, The Ghosts of Vimy Ridge, the spectres of almost 3,600 fallen Canadian soldiers trod back to camp, through shell-pocked ground and darkness, guided by light from below that illuminates Walter Allward’s massive Canadian monument.
    Longstaff, an Australian, sold the painting to Captain John Arthur Dewer, of the Dewer distillery family, who presented it to Canadian Prime Minister R.B. Bennett in 1931.
    This painting used to hang in the railway committee room of Centre Block, where the opposition parties held their caucus meetings. However, since the closure of that building, it has been moved to the main floor of the Wellington Building, a building in which I am pleased to have an office. I am able to pass by that painting each day on my way to work. It reminds us of the bravery and sacrifice of so many Canadian soldiers who helped make this country what it is today.
    Recognizing that the bill is likely to pass, I would encourage the first holder of this position to prioritize the creation of more paintings and artworks to honour the Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in other battles, including at Normandy, in the Korean War, in more recent peacekeeping missions and, certainly, in the war in Afghanistan. I would note that, about two months ago, I learned of a great painting in Cambridge, Ontario, that honours the lives of the 159 Canadians who died in Afghanistan. This painting needs a new home, and I think it would be appropriate that such a painting be displayed here on Parliament Hill.
    Before I wrap up, I want to highlight one visual artist from my riding, Horatio Walker. Born in Listowel in 1858, Horatio Walker was primarily a self-taught artist, and he soon became known for his beautiful paintings depicting rural life in Canada. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Canada in 1918, and he became its president in 1925. However, his works have never been displayed here on Parliament Hill, nor have I found a record of any of his paintings displayed within the precinct.
    Part of the mandate for the parliamentary visual artist laureate, as provided in Bill S-202, is to “give advice to the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the collection of the Library and acquisitions to enrich the Library’s cultural holdings”. If this position is created, I hope that the first parliamentary visual artist laureate will take the initiative and ensure that at least one of Horatio Walker's great paintings, which depict the spirit and beauty of life in rural Canada, will be displayed here on Parliament Hill for all Canadians who come here to view and reflect upon. I know for a fact that just a kilometre from here, a few of his paintings are sitting in storage at the National Gallery, where they are not being viewed by anyone. It would be wonderful if just one of them came to Parliament Hill, so that they could be seen by so many.
    As well, indigenous art has often been undervalued and unseen in Canada's history. I am hopeful that, if this bill were to pass before this Parliament dissolves, a future visual artist laureate would make a concerted effort to ensure the work of indigenous artists are made well represented within this place. Certainly, as shadow minister for Canadian heritage, my office was in contact with a gentleman in New Brunswick who is looking for a home for several pieces of indigenous art from the great Christian Morrisseau. Thus far, he has found little receptiveness to placing them here. I would hope that the new parliamentary visual artist laureate would find a way to make that happen.
    To conclude, Canada is home to so much great art, as well as so much great culture, that we ought to celebrate it and share it with all Canadians.


    Madam Speaker, I am rising in support of Bill S-202. It is a two-page document. It is very straightforward.
     It basically asks the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons to select the parliamentary visual artist laureate. It would ensure that the person would hold office for a term not exceeding two years. It would ensure that their mandate would be to promote the arts and culture in Canada, and I will come back to that in a moment, because it is for that reason that I am supportive and the NDP is supportive of this bill.
    The visual artist laureate would produce artistic creations, sponsor artistic events, give advice to the parliamentary librarian and perform other related duties. Therefore, the visual artist laureate could play an important role in fostering the arts. This is important; there is no doubt, and I will come back to why this is important in just a moment.
    Because it is a brief bill, it is important to comment on what we do in this place. The reality is that private members' legislation can make a huge difference in people's lives. I am going to talk about two bills that have performed that, really responding to the needs of people in a way that is fundamentally important. I am not suggesting the visual arts laureate is not responding to some need. It does help to foster the arts sector, and for that reason we support it.
    Last night I was at a vigil on Parliament Hill, just a few steps from this place. Moms Stop the Harm had a vigil for members of their families who had passed away due to the toxic drug supply in this country. It was a profoundly moving event as we listened to each of the families step forward to speak about how toxic drugs had had an impact on their family and about the devastating loss of their loved one. Members will recall that the member for Courtenay—Alberni brought forward Bill C-216, a health-based response to substance use. This bill would have helped those families immeasurably, right across the length and breadth of our country.
    This bill on the visual arts laureate will pass easily. I have no doubt that members of all parties will support it, and the visual laureate will be put into place. It is a good thing. I am not suggesting it is a bad thing. It will make a difference in fostering the arts, and, for a number of reasons, that is important.
     However, the reality is that Bill C-216, which would have saved people's lives, was defeated in the House, with Conservatives and Liberals voting against it. The Moms Stop the Harm family members who have lost a loved one lament the fact that in this place we are willing to vote for legislation that is sometimes symbolic and sometimes positive symbolism, and that sometimes makes a difference, but we are unwilling to take the courageous step of adopting legislation that would literally save people's lives.
    I experienced the same thing in presenting as a private member's bill the Canada pharmacare act. Members will recall that two years ago we had a vote in this place on that. There is no doubt that universal pharmacare saves people's lives. Every single country that has universal health care has universal pharmacare. In Canada, the Canadian Nurses Association tells us that hundreds of Canadians die every year because they do not have the financial resources to pay for the medication that will keep them in life. There is no doubt that a private member's bill putting the foundation in place for universal pharmacare would have made an enormous difference in people's lives, yet, again, Conservatives and Liberals in this place voted that down.
    We have a symbolic piece of legislation, a private member's bill that we do not oppose, to establish a visual artist laureate. It will be adopted by all members of Parliament voting together. We will vote unanimously, perhaps, to put in place a visual artist laureate, but what about universal pharmacare? What about putting in place health care measures that would actually save people's lives and provide support to those who have addictions and are struggling with substance use?


    This is what I find difficult: It is that while we can reach unanimity around things that do not necessarily make a difference in people's lives, time and time again, as a House, as members of Parliament, a majority of us vote against the essential measures that would actually make a difference.
    With that caveat, I would like to return to Bill S-202 and what I hope will come out of this.
    The reality is that the arts sector in Canada has been a major motor of the economy. I would particularly like to shout out, as the member of Parliament for New Westminster—Burnaby, to the Arts Council of New Westminster and the Burnaby Arts Council for the work they do each and every day to foster the arts and to foster community togetherness in our communities.
     The two communities I represent have very strong artistic sectors, and it is the volunteer work that folks have been doing over years that has led to that. We have been very fortunate in the communities I represent.
    However, with COVID we have seen how the arts sector has been hard hit, right across the country, with a 25% decrease in employment levels in arts, entertainment and recreation. In many cases, we are seeing a one-third loss or a 50% loss of gate receipts for festivals and for performing arts, so there is no doubt that the arts sector particularly suffered through COVID and has not been fully revived.
    For that reason, it makes sense to ensure that a parliamentary visual artist laureate position is put in place and that the laureate immediately starts to work to help publicize the arts sector, to help make a difference in the arts sector, and in a sense to help to revive the arts sector.
    I believe fundamentally that we need to contribute to the arts sector and make that difference right across the country, and the member for Nunavut just agreed with me. The member for Nunavut is a huge supporter of the arts. As we know, Nunavut is a major engine of the arts but is not receiving the support from the federal government that I think other parts of the country should be receiving.
    The federal government needs to step up far beyond the issue of putting in place the parliamentary visual artist laureate. There is also the restoration of funding that needs to take place right across the country, I would suggest in New Westminster—Burnaby, Nunavut, North Island—Powell River, Nanaimo—Ladysmith and South Okanagan—West Kootenay, as well as right across the country. I have colleagues who represent very vibrant arts sectors in those communities. In fact, I have been to every one of them. It is amazing what the arts sector does in every one of those communities—shepherded and supported by strong members of Parliament, I would add.
    The reality is that the federal government has not been there since COVID. There was support that the NDP forced through during COVID to ensure that much of the arts sector that was hard hit by COVID made it through, but now the federal government is stepping back and saying that they are on their own.
    There is the exception, in that we will have a parliamentary visual artist laureate, but that is only a small step in what is actually needed to provide supports to the performing arts and the festivals of arts and culture right across this country.
    This is fundamentally important. It goes far beyond the private member's bill. We are sometimes called upon to speak to private member's bills that are symbolic; in some cases they are symbolic, but they have added elements. In this case, there is a symbolism that does provide for other elements, the promotion of the arts on Parliament Hill. Hopefully it will make a difference in the federal government's response to the artistic sector, because ultimately, the federal government needs to step up and go beyond this private member's bill.


    The hon. member for Cloverdale—Langley City for his right of reply
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to close our current debate on the matter of Bill S-202 at second reading, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act and to establish a parliamentary visual artist laureate for the parliamentary library.
    I would first like to address a couple of comments raised in my colleagues' comments today.
    The Conservative member spoke about why this is important when we have issues such as people relying on food banks. I would like to point out, as I did in my first speech in the House, that the arts and artists were very negatively impacted during COVID. As just mentioned, many have not fully recovered yet. It is important to bring attention to the arts and the importance of the arts. They were there for us during COVID, even though their revenues suffered tremendously. That is one of the reasons this position is so important.
    We also heard from our NDP colleague about other competing priorities, like pharma care. That is the issue we have with the arts. The arts are often competing against other priorities and they often lose. That is a concern. That is why I think this position, this role, is so important to Canadians and the arts community.
    I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to former senator Patricia Bovey, who has championed this bill every step of the way. Her passion and appreciation for the arts have laid the foundation for our debate, and it is thanks to her that this bill has come to fruition. We owe her our profound appreciation for her invaluable effort and years of service in the Senate.
    The bill presented before us today is one that recognizes and embraces the immense value of art in our country. We are surrounded by culture, beauty and a myriad of visual arts. Our art is a reflection of our Canadian identity and the Canadian soul. It unifies us in our endless appreciation and brings us together in admiration of the many artists who have dedicated countless hours to creating captivating works for our eyes.
    I would also like to take a moment to thank Senator Wilfred Moore, who first introduced this legislation back in 2016. Although his bill was not able to pass before the dissolution of Parliament, he was the first legislator to introduce the idea of a parliamentary visual artist laureate.
    I would like to express my gratitude for the kind words spoken by my colleagues as we have debated this bill. It has been frequently stated that art is universal, transcending barriers of language and ideology. It pleases me to witness the truth of this sentiment and that art has touched all of our lives in some shape or form. It communicates ideas and our experiences from every corner of life.
    The Canadian painter Emily Carr once said, “Pictures should be inspired by nature, but made in the soul of the artist; it is the soul of the individual that counts.” It is a profound statement that encapsulates the essence of art and its ability to externalize the depths of an artist's emotions. Through the establishment of this office, we can bring those words to life within the House of Commons. We can give a voice to the soul of our country through its visual creations.
    Ms. Carr, like too many other talented artists, was not widely recognized for most of her life. At the time, her artistic approach was neither appreciated nor understood. She suffered the fate of countless individuals who waited years to witness the full recognition of their work, if received at all. It will be the duty of the parliamentary visual artist laureate to seek out that talent, give them a platform and ensure that our artists receive the respect they deserve as soon as possible, not posthumously.
    With the passage of this bill and the establishment of this office, we will honour the works, events and exhibitions of Canadian artists everywhere. The creation of a parliamentary visual artist laureate sends a message to the rest of the country and the world: Art is a universal language that knows no boundaries.
    Canada respects and celebrates this language, embracing the diverse cultural values within our country. From the Pacific coast to the Québécois to the countless indigenous communities and so many others, we want to dedicate an office that ensures their work does not go unnoticed. We value their immense talent and the contributions they have made to our country. I urge my colleagues to join me in showing our appreciation.
    An office such as the one proposed by this bill would serve as an opportunity for many young artists. Its establishment would provide a platform for young up-and-coming artists to gain exposure and support for their craft. It would foster an environment where new talent can proudly showcase their work and achievements to a broader audience. By doing so, we take another step toward fostering a vibrant, thriving artistic community right here at home.
    The parliamentary visual artist laureate would serve as a champion of artistic expression and advocate for its recognition within the country. Collaborating alongside the Speaker and members of Parliament, their insight would be an invaluable resource as we consider the profound influences of culture and art on policy.
    The passage of Bill S-202 and the establishment of this office symbolize our commitment to celebrating the transformative power of art. By creating this position, we honour our cultural heritage and pave the way for future generations of artists to thrive. I implore all my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill, on division. I look forward to seeing my bill through to its successful conclusion.


    The question is on the motion.


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


    Pursuant to order made Thursday, June 23, 2022, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 7, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.



    It being 2:20 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).
    (The House adjourned at 2:20 p.m.)
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