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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 213

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 14, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 213
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[Translation]

    It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Pawan K. Singal

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to the late Dr. Pawan K. Singal, a champion of medical research and education in Winnipeg.
     Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Singal was known for his dedication as a researcher, educator, mentor, and community leader. After serving as a professor at the University of Manitoba and as director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Dr. Singal’s contributions to medical research in Manitoba are matched by few.
     His passing will be mourned by his friends and family, by countless colleagues and students and by Canada’s scientific community. Dr. Singal will be remembered as a compassionate man who cared deeply for his family and his community. He was a generous and long-standing contributor to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, and a devoted volunteer with the Hindu Society of Manitoba.
     I send my condolences to the friends and family of a true Manitoban hero, Dr. Pawan K. Singal.

Martin Naundorf

    Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to Martin Naundorf, who farmed near St. Paul. He passed away on June 2 at the age of 80.
     Known as a man of few words, he wore his heart on his sleeve, and was proud to be a dedicated volunteer. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Martin served as president of Mallaig’s Haying in the 30's Cancer Support Society, a completely volunteer-driven cancer support society that provides financial aid for transportation, fuel and lodging to families of loved ones going through cancer treatment.
     Since 1999, it has raised more than $6 million and assisted more than 5,000 families across Lakeland, with every single cent going to the people they help. Martin’s motto was that, every day, we are blessed with a sunrise and a sunset, and believed that a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love is all we need.
     Our thoughts are with Martin’s family, his many loved ones and his community. May we all live our lives with the same grace, selfless dedication and love for life that Martin did. May his memory be eternal.

Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre

    Mr. Speaker, this Seniors Month, I would like to recognize the Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre in my riding of Hamilton Mountain.
    Founded after the Second World War, CJCC initially gathered its members in homes and churches before establishing their centre on Hamilton Mountain, where I am proud to say it still thrives today.
    Thanks to the new horizon for seniors program, the CJCC was able to improve accessibility, allowing for more diverse participation in programs such as the Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese language classes, and ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. I recently tried a class, and it was so engaging that I bought my own kenzan to practice ikebana at home.
    These types of experiences are why the CJCC makes our community richer and why it needs to be accessible for everyone. Thanks to our funding for the improvements, the centre recently welcomed back a member who is 102 years old.
     The Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre is an integral part of Hamilton, and I look forward to visiting again very soon.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

Stanley Cup

    Mr. Speaker, it is now official. The Stanley Cup is coming to Amos this summer, thanks to the excellent work of native son Nicolas Roy. This great centre and former Forestiers player will have his name forever engraved on the precious trophy that he and his Vegas Golden Knights teammates won last night. It has been 30 years since a hockey player from Abitibi—Témiscamingue last hoisted the emblem of our national sport.
    I am also proud to recognize the achievements of two other Quebec hockey players. Jonathan Marchessault was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He recorded more than one point in every game of the playoffs. Thanks to his legendary perseverance, he became only the second player in history to win that trophy after going unselected in the annual NHL draft. I also want to congratulate William Carrier for his grit in overcoming a serious injury to help his team to victory.
    Thanks to the hard work of our three Golden Knights, these magical moments will become cherished shared memories and give us yet another great opportunity to be proud to be Quebeckers.

Fred Jalbout

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is a welcoming place where people are free to explore their unique talents and vision of the world. Fred Jalbout is the embodiment of a dreamer. His relentless work has earned him success and several Guinness world records. As co-founder and CEO of SACO, his environmentally friendly LED lighting company, he now collaborates with world-renowned performers like Céline Dion, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, U2 and Taylor Swift.

[English]

    The Burj Khalifa proudly displayed its work on its endless structure a few years ago, just like it did on the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The company will soon unveil its latest groundbreaking project with new cutting-edge technologies and the world's largest video screen surface.

[Translation]

    Mr. Jalbout is also actively involved in the community, including the Montreal Children's Hospital and the Cedars Cancer Foundation. He is a proud Lebanese Canadian and an inspiration to young inventors and entrepreneurs.
    Long live Canada and long live Lebanon.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, last week, many Canadians were subjected to poor air quality from wildfires across this country. However, in my community, many suffer from terrible air quality every day. While visiting one of my constituents in Langton, Norfolk County, I sat in their backyard and my eyes were burning. They were burning from the horrible methane and hydrogen sulphide venting from orphan gas wells that were drilled by companies. Some of them are from over 100 years ago, and many of these companies no longer exist.
    Homeowners, most of whom were not even born at the time that these wells were abandoned, are now left to deal with the fallout. Communities and landowners are not able to deal with the 27,000 orphan wells in Ontario, which pose an environmental and public health risk. In 2021, in Chatham-Kent, an orphan well exploded, destroying a building and injuring 20 people.
     I am calling on the government to stop ignoring this problem and to ensure clean air, clean water and safe communities for my residents of Haldimand—Norfolk.

Basketball Excellence

    Mr. Speaker, on June 12, Waterloo region cheered on Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets as they captured their first NBA championship. Jamal, like me, was born in Kitchener, Ontario. Jamal played at the Stanley Park Community Centre and it was clear even then that he is an exceptional basketball player.
    In the Waterloo region, it was no surprise that Jamal averaged 26.1 points per game, the highest ever by any Canadian citizen. After all, a Canadian invented basketball. Jamal Murray is the ninth Canadian to win an NBA title. He is the fourth player to average 20-plus points and 10-plus assists per game in the finals, with the three before him being Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
    On behalf of the Waterloo region and Canada, our thanks go to Jamal's family, Roger, Sylvia and Lamar. NBA champion and superstar Jamal Murray has made Waterloo region and Canada proud. I send him congratulations, and say to keep being himself and doing what he does.

  (1410)  

Birthday and Anniversary Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to celebrate two remarkable milestones.
     First, I want to congratulate Liem Tran on reaching the magnificent milestone of his 80th birthday. Liem Tran's journey through eight decades has been a testament to resilience, wisdom and the beauty of a life well lived. His dedication, kindness and commitment to our community have touched the lives of countless individuals, inspiring us all to strive to greatness.
    Second, my warmest congratulations go to the Vietnamese community of North York for working in our community for over 30 years. This remarkable organization has been a beacon of hope, support and unity for our Vietnamese seniors. It has provided a platform for connection, cultural preservation and the sharing of experiences.
    On behalf of the Humber River—Black Creek community, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Liem Tran for a happy 80th birthday. To the North York Vietnamese Canadian Seniors Association, I wish continued success in its noble endeavours.

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, the budget adds more than $60 billion in new deficit spending, meaning more taxes, more inflation and higher interest rates. The former Liberal finance minister John Manley said that the government is stepping on the gas with new spending while the Bank of Canada is stepping on the brakes with higher interest rates.
    Ordinary Canadians are getting caught in the middle, like Jeff from Langley, who wrote to me saying that he thought he had been doing everything right in order to give his wife and two young children a comfortable life. However, he is terrified that he will no longer be able to afford the cost of his mortgage when it comes up for renewal.
     Canadians are out of money, and the government is out of touch. Only Conservatives can bring home a government that works for the people who work. It is time to bring back the common sense of common people.

Social Connection

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize two organizations that are making Canada a healthier and happier place by fostering and supporting human connectivity through face-to-face social connections.
    OOt is a Whitby-based social enterprise that launched on Monday. Co-founders Thyagi and Paul developed a social media platform to help people more easily find others with common interests so they can connect face to face. Through their business, they are fostering a sense of belonging and are combatting isolation and loneliness.
     Genwell Project is a registered Canadian non-profit organization and is leading Canada's Human Connection Movement as a grassroots, community-led initiative. The Genwell Project has been working since 2016 to share essential resources, and in collaboration with the Canadian Alliance for Social Connection and Health, it is leading the development of Canadian social connection guidelines.
    As the world emerges from a global pandemic, The Genwell Project and OOt continue to forge ahead, ensuring that Canadians understand that social connection is just as important to our health as nutritious diets and an active lifestyle are. As Pete Bombaci says, as it turns out, “The best medicine for people, is people.”

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, “insulting” is how the Liberal premier of Newfoundland and Labrador describes Ottawa's approach to carbon tax. Atlantic premiers have long called for Ottawa to re-examine the policies of the Liberal government that will result in a heavier cost for the people of Atlantic Canada.
    The PM's close friend Premier Furey said, “I take great exception to the federal minister...it's a false dilemma, and it's as insulting to us as it is simplistic.” On July 1, Atlantic Canadians will pay an extra 20¢ per litre for heating fuel as a result of carbon tax 1, and that same day, carbon tax 2.0 will add another 20¢ per litre to diesel and heating oil, 17¢ to gasoline, and 12¢ per litre to propane, so those who heat their homes with oil will be slammed with a total of 40¢ extra per litre.
    If the Liberal government will not listen to Atlantic Canadians, then there is one thing left to do: get rid of the Liberal government.

  (1415)  

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, the finance minister said she did not want to pour fuel on the fire of inflation and that she would balance the budget by 2027, but as with all NDP-Liberal promises, the government did a massive flip-flop with its failed budget, admitting deficits are here to stay as it adds to the debt and fuels further inflation.
    Random Liberals like Mark Carney say inflation is a domestic issue, and former Liberal finance minister John Manley said government spending fuels inflation. The debt-fuelled inflation made interest rates rise, and now homeowners are at risk of defaulting on their mortgages. Canadians have as much debt as the entire GDP, and the IMF warns that Canada is the most at risk of a mortgage default crisis in the G7.
    The NDP continues to prop up and support the Liberals, indebting struggling Canadians further. Maybe instead of going woke and virtue signalling, the NDP-Liberals should rein in government spending and rewrite this failed budget so Canadians do not go broke and start losing their homes this summer.

[Translation]

Circuit du paysan

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to a real success story in my region: 25 years of the Circuit du paysan.
    The Circuit du paysan is a key tourist attraction in the region. It links up various attractions, sites, local producers, artisans and artists. It helps sustain vibrant local businesses.
    Hats off to everyone who believed in it from the very beginning and who worked to get it off the ground and keep it going, including my friend Michel Charbonneau, former executive director of the Centre local de développement des Jardins‑de‑Napierville and the driving force behind this fantastic regional marketing tool.

[English]

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, the international development sector in Canada is led by incredible women like Lauren Ravon and her team at Oxfam Canada, who shared their work on how to improve the lives of paid and unpaid care workers in Canada and around the world; Anna Vogt and the international program representatives from the Mennonite Central Committee, who are in Ottawa to share MCC's work building peace globally; and Janice Hamilton, who heads the Fund for Innovation and Transformation alongside the folks at the ICN who are testing innovative solutions for gender equality in the global south.
    These leaders are changing the world, but they need the government to support their efforts. They need the government to reverse the 15% cut to official development assistance and to finally deliver the promised feminist foreign policy.
    When we make women and girls the centre of our efforts, ensuring women at are the table for peace talks; acting on climate change, which disproportionately affects women and girls; and empowering women and girls to determine their own health and education priorities, we make a real difference for everyone.

[Translation]

350th Anniversary of City of Terrebonne

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to say hello to my dad.
    I would like to wish a happy anniversary to the residents of Terrebonne, who are celebrating their city's 350th anniversary this year.
    Since it was founded in 1673, the face of Terrebonne has been shaped by the construction of a flour mill, and then by the arrival of the textile industry. It is thanks to people like Charles Aubert de La Chesnaye, Calixte Gauthier, Louis Lecompte Dupré and Joseph Masson, who instilled an enduring entrepreneurial spirit right from the start, that Terrebonne has grown into the 10th-largest city in Quebec today.
    I invite everyone to come out and enjoy the 350th anniversary festivities and discover everything Terrebonne has to offer, such as Île‑des‑Moulins and Vieux‑Terrebonne, where I have the pleasure of having my constituency office.
    The wonderful team at the 350th anniversary steering committee has put together a rich and diverse program of events. I would like to thank them for all the effort and heart they put into this historic year.
    I wish Terrebonne a happy 350th.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety is accountable for the actions of his staff and his department.
    Last week, we learned that Canada's most heinous criminal was being transferred from a maximum-security prison to a medium-security prison. This is a slap in the face to the victims and their families. The minister claimed that he was not aware, but his claims just do not add up. We know that on March 2, the minister's office was informed that this transfer would happen. On May 25, his office was informed again that this transfer would happen, and on May 29, the transfer did indeed happen.
    The minister is either misleading Canadians or he is recklessly incompetent in carrying out the duties as minister. The minister must take responsibility for his inaction and his actions. The Minister of Public Safety must resign.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month in Canada

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, Awareness Month, a time to reflect—
    I do not know what happened, but it is a bit noisy. I will ask the hon. member to start again.
    The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark ALS Awareness Month, a time to reflect on a cause that affects the lives of many Canadians.
    ALS is a progressive and terminal disease that affects nerve cells in the brain, resulting in a loss of muscle control.

[English]

    In Canada, approximately 3,000 people live with this debilitating illness, with two to three Canadians diagnosed with ALS every day.

[Translation]

    These statistics highlight the need for continued research, improved support for patients and caregivers, and increased public awareness of this disease.

[English]

    Let us not forget the faces behind these numbers. In their honour, and in recognition of all Canadians affected by ALS, we need to continue on for a future without ALS.
    I thank all the researchers who have dedicated countless hours towards developing treatments for this disease. Their work means everything to the ALS community, and I sincerely hope for, and wish them tremendous good luck in finding, a treatment for ALS.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, an entire generation of women will have to relive the traumatization of hearing about Paul Bernardo. We have learned that the government moved this monster, Paul Bernardo, from a maximum-security prison to a medium-security prison, where he will be free to receive visitors and interact with other human beings.
    The Minister of Public Safety said he was shocked by the news. We now know that he had known about it for three months. What he said was false.
    Will he resign?
    Mr. Speaker, I was shocked because I was informed about it on May 30, the day after Mr. Bernardo was transferred to a medium-security institution. This was a mistake made by my office, and I will be taking concrete action.
    We will always defend the rights of victims. I had a very good call with the representatives of the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. We will always defend their rights and all victims' rights.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, an entire generation of Canadian women have to relive the traumatization of hearing Paul Bernardo's name. They all remember his horrific and monstrous crimes. They learned that the government decided to free this monster from a maximum-security prison and allow him to go to medium security, where he would be able to interact with other people, have visitors and enjoy other liberties.
    The minister claimed this was all a big surprise to him. However, we learned today that his office knew in early March and was informed again in May. In other words, he did know, and what he said was false. Will he resign?
    Mr. Speaker, nothing could be farther from the truth. As I said earlier, I was informed on May 30, the day after Paul Bernardo was physically transferred to a medium security institution. At that time, I took immediate action, expressing the concerns of the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French to the commissioner. There is an internal review process.
    I have also made it clear to my staff that this should have been briefed immediately. Corrective steps have been taken. I have dealt with it, and we will now always defend the rights of victims.
    Mr. Speaker, now the minister is throwing his staff under the bus. His office admits that it found out on March 2, three months before the minister claimed to be shocked by the news. If his staff had really kept a secret from him of this enormity, he would have fired them a long time ago, but he has not, because he knows and they know that he knew way back then.
    Will he do the only honourable thing that is left for him to do, and resign?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, I invite the leader of the Conservative Party to repeat that allegation outside of the House. I will absolutely reject it. I knew on May 30—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I am going to ask the members to take a deep breath. I know some of the topics we are discussing here are very emotional, and we get carried away, but I am going to ask everyone to allow the minister to answer so the Leader of the Opposition can hear the answer.
    The hon. minister, please continue.
    Mr. Speaker, it is the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada who misleads the House when he implies my knowledge before May 30. I had made it absolutely clear that that was the day on which I found out.
    I have taken corrective steps internally with my office, an office for which I am responsible, to this Parliament and to the Canadian public. That is why, immediately upon knowing the fact that the prisoner was transferred to a medium-security institution, I raised it with the commissioner. I have spoken with the representatives of the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. We will always—
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I have stated all these things outside of the House of Commons, so whatever threat he is trying to make, he can act on.
    More important than that is that he did not act. His office knew on March 2. He expects us to believe that his staff just forgot to walk down the hall and inform him that perhaps the most notorious killer in Canadian history was being moved out of a maximum-security penitentiary to enjoy more luxuries and more freedoms in a medium-security penitentiary.
    Finally, he has the power now to designate that mass murderers should all go into maximum-security prisons. He could have done that weeks ago. Why has he not done it, and why has he not resigned?
    Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada lays out a prescription for political interference, which foreshadows what Canadians would get with a Conservative government.
    On this side of the House, we recognize the independence of those decisions. When I became aware of the fact that Bernardo had been transferred to a medium-security institution, I raised it with the commissioner. I raised the concern—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am going to have to interrupt again. It is getting way out of hand. I want everyone to take a deep breath.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, in the questions that are posed by the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Canadians know they will get a prescription for political interference. On this side of the House, we are doing it the right way.
    Today, I will be issuing new ministerial instructions to the Correctional Service of Canada to make sure that it puts victims' rights at the centre of decisions to transfer and that it informs victims' families before those transfers take place. We will always stand up for their rights.
    Mr. Speaker, it is the legitimate power of a public safety minister to issue directives about classes of prisoners. The former public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, did that about prisoners suspected of having contraband. That is normal. That is a power that the minister has today. He could classify all mass murderers as requiring maximum-security detention. That is a decision he could make now. It is a decision he could have made on March 2, when his office became aware that this monster was being transferred out of a maximum-security prison.
    Given that he has not done that, and because he has misled the House, will the Prime Minister fire him?
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada did not hear my last answer. We will be issuing new directions to the Correctional Service of Canada to ensure that it puts victims' rights at the centre of these decisions, to be sure that it informs victims' families before these transfers take place and to be sure that I am directly notified on a go-forward basis.
    What did they get with Conservatives the last time they were in government? They got cuts to the Correctional Service of Canada in the amount of $300 million in their last year of government. That is the difference between what Canadians get with Conservatives and what they get with our government.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the government must launch an inquiry into Chinese interference before we rise for the summer. The government appears more open to the idea, but it is not making much headway because it refuses to clarify its intentions. This is because of a word that starts with “p”. Every time we mention an inquiry, the government talks about a public process. I looked everywhere but could not find a definition for “public process”. Potential commissioners probably do not know exactly what it means either. A public inquiry is a clear concept; it is even defined by law.
    Why not just announce an independent commission of public inquiry? That is what everyone wants. This is what it comes down to.

  (1430)  

    I share the interest of all parliamentarians in finding the right process and, as I have said, a public inquiry has never been ruled out. However, it is a matter of finding the right way to do the work in a respectful manner, while taking into account the importance of protecting highly confidential security information, in order to rebuild Canadians' trust.
    That is what we are going to do, hopefully with the support of the opposition parties.
    Mr. Speaker, they are still talking about a process. It is not easy to get the facts from the government.
    It seems like the government is hemming and hawing over whether to hold a public inquiry on Chinese interference. It must do it, because this is too important. The government has a duty to launch an inquiry before the House adjourns. In order for that to happen, it must do two things. First, it must announce the format of the inquiry, which will be a commission of inquiry. Second, it must ensure that the commissioner is truly independent. No one will accept the job as long as the government keeps hiding its intentions.
    Will it launch a commission of inquiry, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, the letter we received from the Bloc Québécois is an important step towards building a consensus about the right way to move forward. Our colleague put forward the idea of an independent public inquiry. Perhaps he did not hear when I clearly said that it is an option the government is considering.
    However, the process for this public inquiry must be properly defined. How will it protect top secret information? What will the time frame be? Who are the right people to lead this process?

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, what is going on in the office of the public security minister? We just found out that his office was aware of the transfer of Paul Bernardo out of maximum security three months ago, but the minister claims that he only knew about it on May 30. If the minister cannot keep his house in order, how is he going to keep the country safe?
    When will the minister stop waiting beside a fax machine and start checking his emails for these serious updates?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier in this chamber, I was notified on May 30, the day after Paul Bernardo was transferred to a medium-security institution. I have taken corrective steps to deal with the issues within my office, and going forward, I have indicated that we will be issuing new instructions to the Correctional Service of Canada to put victims' rights at the very centre of transfer decisions and make sure that victims' families are notified. This is something I will continue to be focused on every day: defending victims' rights.
    Mr. Speaker, the problem does not end there.

[Translation]

    The director of CSIS confirmed in committee that his service had indeed informed the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, when he was Minister of Public Safety, of the information involving the member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
    The director said that he had shared information with the Department of Public Safety with very specific instructions to share it with the minister.
    Can the minister confirm in the House that he is now able to read his emails?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding the member opposite appears to have. The national security and intelligence adviser, the public safety officials and Director Vigneault have all been very clear in that ministers and their offices do not have direct access to top secret electronic networks. Mr. Vigneault did not send his note to me, nor did he notify me that the information had been sent. Director Vigneault had many opportunities to brief me but, unfortunately, never briefed me on the contents of his note.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, when we learned last week that serial killer Paul Bernardo was going to leave a maximum security prison, the Minister of Public Safety acted surprised.
    According to the CBC, he knew about this for three months. This minister misled Canadians. If ministerial responsibility and honour still mean anything to him, he should resign.
    Will he do that?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I was shocked by CSC's decision to transfer Mr. Bernardo. I was informed of that decision on May 30.
    I am taking corrective steps at my office. It is my responsibility and I take it very seriously.
    We will continue to focus on victims' rights. I had a very good conversation with the representatives of the French and Mahaffy families. We will work together to protect victims' rights.
    Mr. Speaker, we cannot imagine how much pain, anxiety and indignation the loved ones of Paul Bernardo's victims felt when they learned that the minister had known about the murderer's transfer for three months and said nothing.
    It was completely insensitive and downright irresponsible. This minister has lost all credibility when it comes to protecting victims. He needs to resign, right away.
    Is he going to resign?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is mistaken. I was informed of the transfer on May 30, as I have said many times.
    Today, I am handling this by taking further action and giving new directives to the CSC. The CSC must notify victims' families before a transfer occurs. I must also be directly briefed as Minister of Public Safety.
    We will always protect victims' rights.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety told Canadians that he relied on the advice of law enforcement to implement the Emergencies Act. That was false. He told Canadians that the Beijing-run police stations in our country were closed, and that was false. Then he told Canadians that he did not know about child rapist and murderer Paul Bernardo’s transfer out of a maximum-security prison. He stood in front of the victims’ families and acted shocked.
    He knew for three months; now he is throwing his staff under the bus. Which staff member did he fire?
    Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right. I stood with the families of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, because I have great care for them, as do all Canadians. That is why I called the commissioner to express my concerns. That is why she is conducting a review of the decision. That is why I am issuing new instructions to the CSC.
    The hon. colleague refers to the Emergencies Act. I will always defend the government's decision to invoke that act. While we were working around the clock to restore public safety, what were the Conservatives doing? What was the leader of the Conservative Party doing? He was serving up Timmy's. On this side of the House, we will always defend law and order.
    Mr. Speaker, if he claims he does not read emails, if he claims he does not get briefed by staff, if he claims he does not get briefed by his officials, if he claims he does not tell the Prime Minister anything, what does he actually do here?
    He told the families of Paul Bernardo's victims that he had no knowledge of the transfer. He pretended that he had no idea. He revictimized the families of the victims, and he does not have the trust of Canadians. His own caucus cannot even look up at him.
    There is only one option for the minister. It is to resign.
    Mr. Speaker, the events that occurred—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order.
    The hon. government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, the horrific events that were the result of the absolutely heinous crimes by Paul Bernardo are felt viscerally, I would say, by every single Canadian.
    What the minister has stated is that this is a decision that was made by Correctional Services Canada, which acts independently. The minister indicated that when he became aware of it, he indicated to Correctional Services that he did not find that decision acceptable and asked for it to be reviewed.
    We have also asked for it to take a victims-centred approach going forward in corrections. I want to work with the party opposite on that, because I know they care—
    The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    Mr. Speaker, this is a pattern of misleading behaviour from the minister. That is the problem here.
    For example, he misled the House when he said he was not banning hunting rifles. That was false. He was banning hunting rifles. He misled hunters. He misled farmers. He misled indigenous Canadians. He was forced to back down on that as a result, but he broke the trust of hunters and firearms owners. He will never get that back.
    How can the Prime Minister have a Minister of Public Safety who cannot be trusted?
    Mr. Speaker, I rise once again, because I think we are all unified in our horror of these crimes. I think that we are all unified in our desire to make sure that the victims, not only here but in every instance, are protected. That is why I think the minister's offer to have a conversation about how we can use this to instruct a more victims-centred approach in our corrections is the right approach.
    I would invite the opposition to participate in that discussion. I think the minister has been clear that the decision made by Correctional Services Canada was one that we do not support and have asked them to review.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I do not think the member is listening to the exchange going on here. The minister also claimed that the illegal Beijing police stations operating in Canada were closed. That was not true either, was it?
    These police stations not only violate our sovereignty, but they threaten the security of Chinese Canadians. It is issue after issue with the minister, and he continues to mislead the public. It is critical that the Minister of Public Safety, above most ministers, has the trust of Canadians. However, he has repeatedly misled Canadians on issues of public safety.
    How can he be trusted to keep us safe when we cannot trust a word he says?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way is not the final arbiter of trust. It is Canadians. We are working hard every single day to protect public safety.
    We have introduced Bill C-21, which will take AR15-style guns out of our communities. The Conservatives want to make those types of guns legal again.
    My colleague refers to the so-called police stations. The RCMP has repeatedly confirmed that it has taken disruptive action to stop foreign interference in relation to those so-called police stations.
    On the matter of Paul Bernardo, there is an internal review. We are working with the families. We will always stand up for victims' rights.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, foreign interference continues while the government is still waffling, wondering what to do about the special rapporteur fiasco. It still cannot take the first step, which is to announce whether it intends to launch a public and independent commission of inquiry.
    I am reminded of those profound words, full of wisdom, from Talleyrand, a French diplomat, who said something to the effect that there is only one way to say yes, and that is yes, and all the others mean no.
    So is that a yes on an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to repeat the answers I gave to my Bloc colleague a few moments ago. As we have always said, the country, Canadians and parliamentarians will benefit from a public process that will follow up on Mr. Johnston's reports and recommendations.
    This is an opportunity to collaborate on what kind of process will be launched, what kind of people will lead that process and what the mandate will be. I look forward to continuing to work with the opposition parties.
    Mr. Speaker, for almost four months now, the government has been schooling us on how to stall for time on the Chinese interference issue. The four-month mark is approaching, and we are right back at square one. We have no time left. If the inquiry is to shed light on this interference before the next election, considering the upcoming summer recess, it has to get off the ground now. Time is running out.
    Will the government finally announce an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, I share our colleague's opinion on the need for swift action. I said it publicly and I repeat it now: Ideally, the opposition parties and the government will agree on a process by the end of next week. This work is being done in the interest of Canadians. I deeply appreciated the letter I received yesterday from the Bloc Québécois. I have had encouraging conversations with other opposition parties, even today. The work continues. I remain optimistic.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Paul Bernardo is a brutal serial killer and rapist. He kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered teenage girls. His victims and their loved ones have to live with that grief forever. He traumatized an entire generation and the whole country.
    Two weeks ago, that monster was moved out of maximum security, but three months before that, the minister was told. He did nothing, and now he says he cannot do anything to keep this dangerous criminal locked up in max. His whole job is to keep Canadians safe, and he cannot or he will not.
    When will he name and fire the staffer he says screwed up, or just resign?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is right in her characterization of these crimes. I think she will find no argument from anyone there.
    Let me say that all of us, on this issue, need to work together to make sure that the families are served and the victims are served. The minister has suggested a conversation about a victim-centred approach in corrections to make sure this mistake, which was made independently by corrections services, does not happen again.
    I hope the member opposite will take up that conversation. I know how sincere she is in her horror of those events. I know she knows I am sincere in mine.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians want accountability and action. The ministers can blame everyone else all they want, but the truth is their policies endanger Canadians and it is a habit.
    The Liberals are soft on sentences for kidnapping, sexual assault and rape, and let those monsters do time at home among their victims and law-abiding neighbours. Crime has skyrocketed because the Liberals give bail not jail to violent criminals.
    Misleading Canadians is the minister's habit. He said law enforcement asked for the Emergencies Act. That was not true. He said all Beijing police stations in Canada were closed. That was not true. He is misleading us now, as we know, when he says he did not know about Paul Bernardo's transfer.
    When will he finally be accountable, stop all this deliberate deception and resign?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be absolutely clear again that I found out about this decision on May 30. I agree with my colleague that—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am having a hard time hearing the answer. I am sure many other members are as well.
    I just want to remind some members that they have very strong voices. Maybe they are just trying to talk to someone close to them and their voices are very loud. I want them to be very mindful of the strength of their voices.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said on numerous occasions, I was personally informed on May 30, the day after an independent decision was taken by CSC to transfer Paul Bernardo. I expressed shock and outrage at the time, along with the families.
    I should have been briefed immediately by my staff. I have dealt with that matter internally through corrective steps. Going forward, we have new instructions coming to CSC to put victims at the very centre of these decisions. We will ensure they are notified so that we can take a trauma-informed approach.
    Mr. Speaker, Paul Bernardo is a serial rapist and murderer who targeted teenagers. He deserves to stay in a maximum security prison forever, full stop.
    If the minister's staff keeps secrets from him on serious issues, then the public safety minister has no control over his files. He has not fired anyone. To allow the minister to keep his job is to be anti-woman, anti-justice and anti-victim.
    If the Liberals want to stand with women, tell him to resign.
    Mr. Speaker, opposition members want what they have asked for many times. I do not know if there was ever a point at which they supported the minister, but they do not now and that is fine.
    What we are talking about with the crimes they are consistently repeating are heinous traumas that were visited upon those families and, in an echoed way, upon every single Canadian. What I have heard from the minister is an offer to have a conversation about how we ensure that Correctional Services does not make a decision like that again and that we work together on that.
    I look forward to constructive offers from the other side, not just—
    The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock.
    Mr. Speaker, those families are suffering again because of the inaction of the government.
    The minister makes an art form of spreading misinformation. He said CSIS did not inform him that Beijing was targeting an MP, that Chinese-run police stations were closed and that Bill C-21 did not target hunting rifles. That was false, false and false. Now he says he did not know that Paul Bernardo was transferred to medium security. He has known since March.
    Canadians deserve a public safety minister who tells the truth. This one, who threatens our safety with his deceptions, should resign.
    Mr. Speaker, I will not, because I continue to be focused on public safety for all Canadians.
    I issued ministerial directions to the service to ensure that the elected government would be briefed on the foreign interference of parliamentarians. I am going to be issuing directions to the CSC to be sure that this office is briefed directly when it comes to inmate transfer decisions. That is what responsibility looks like.
    On the opposite side, what are we getting? We are getting dilatory tactics, delays, filibustering and no support for the budget. That undermines public safety.
    On this side of the House, we will be focused on our paramount objective, which is protecting the safety and security of Canadians.

  (1450)  

Grocery Industry

    Mr. Speaker, we hauled the CEO of Loblaws in front of the committee and told him that he has to stop gouging Canadians. The reality is that greedflation is a massive contributor to the cost of living going up, but neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have the courage to even mention it.
    Yesterday, it was confirmed at committee with the grocery affordability report that there needs to be more transparency, and yes, the federal government can do a lot more to bring down the price of groceries.
    When will the Prime Minister stop protecting billionaires and start standing up for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we stick up for Canadians every day on this side of the House. That is why our budget has measures in place to make sure that Canadians can get through this inflationary cycle.
    Let us take a look at what we have done on the tax front. We have permanently raised the corporate income tax by 1.5% on the largest banks and insurance companies. We have put in the Canada recovery dividend for banks and insurance companies that made more than $1 billion in profit. We have also put in a luxury tax on vehicles and planes.
    We are making sure that tax fairness is integral to how we approach things in Canada. We will continue to do that work.

Electoral Reform

    Mr. Speaker, every election the Liberals campaign on electoral reform, yet the only thing the Liberals have done is leave a trail of broken promises. Canadians are feeling increasingly disengaged with not seeing their votes represented. People do not want political games; they expect action. The NDP believes that all Canadians deserve a voice in our democracy.
     My question is simple. Will the Liberals make right on their promises and implement a citizens' assembly on electoral reform?
    Mr. Speaker, what we are focused on is working collaboratively with the NDP. The member's colleague and I have had a number of meetings to talk about how we can implement the agreements in the supply and confidence agreement to make voting more accessible, exactly as our colleague identified. This is to ensure the greatest number of Canadians can participate in the democratic process, to deal with issues like mail-in ballots, to allow people to vote at different polling stations and to ensure that our electoral system is safe but also accessible to the greatest number of people in the easiest way. Those are our priorities.
    I want to point out to the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies that I realize he has a very strong voice and we can all hear it. I just want him to realize that himself.
    The hon. member for Don Valley East.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that Canada is a top destination for many travellers from around the world. Though we experience cold winters, Canadians are known for their warm welcome.
    In my riding of Don Valley East, we have a very vibrant Caribbean population whose loved ones from abroad are hoping to visit Canada and spend more time with their loved ones. In fact, as we speak, my Aunty Maria is visiting from Trinidad.
    There have been some updates to the visa process here in Canada. I would like to ask the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to share some of these updates with us in the House today.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his advocacy for liberalized travel policy when it comes to Canada.
    I am pleased to share with this House that last week we announced a major change to immigration policy that is going to allow more people to come to Canada visa-free if they have held a Canadian visa within the past 10 years or hold a current American visa. This applies to nationals of 13 different countries, including Trinidad and Tobago. This is going to allow them to access our country for a seven-dollar application fee, and approval will come within mere minutes.
    The member's aunt will be able to continue to visit, and I look forward to more families being reunited and a successful tourism season this summer.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, for three months, the office of the Minister of Public Safety knew that Canada's most heinous criminal was being moved from maximum to medium security. Paul Bernardo is a serial killer, a serial rapist and, without a doubt, the most heinous monster of our time, yet the minister did not tell the victims' families and pretended to be shocked by the news.
    Today, the Conservatives demand that the minister stand in this House, apologize, do the right thing, just say sorry and resign. If you care about these victims' families, do it.

  (1455)  

    I want to remind hon. members to place their questions through the Chair and not directly to each other, as well as the answers, for that matter.
    The hon. government House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I would just observe that I do not think we should be casting aspersions about whether anybody in this House does not feel absolute horror and repulsion at these crimes. It is not a constructive or useful approach to accuse anyone of not caring about these families or these victims. The member obviously knows that just as she cares deeply about what happened in those crimes, so does every member of this House.
    There is an opportunity to talk about how we can ensure the decision made by Correctional Services Canada does not happen again, and that is action. That is an opportunity that we have to take together.
    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety cannot even stand in the House and answer the question I just gave him. He cannot even look into the camera and say to the victims' families that he is sorry. Instead, he wants to divert. He wants to blame everyone else. He is the minister. The buck with public safety stops with him, no one else.
    It is enough. Will he resign? If he will not resign, he should tell us right now which staff member is going down for not telling him.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member and all members in this chamber that I grieve with the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. I said so when I first communicated my shock and outrage at the decision of the CSC. I said so this morning when I spoke to the representative for the families. I think all members can and should empathize with those families and with the families of all victims.
    We will continue to do everything necessary to put their rights at the very centre of the decisions that are taken around the transferring of inmates. That is precisely what I have done today by signalling new instructions to the CSC.
    Mr. Speaker, I remember sitting here five years ago when the public safety minister said he would make changes to the prison transfer program when another child killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic, was transferred to a minimum-security healing lodge.
    Right now, I am struck by the fact that the Prime Minister has only ever fired one person. Therefore, I have to wonder if the minister thinks the reason the Prime Minister has not fired him, while he did fire Jody Wilson-Raybould for doing the right thing, is because of Jody's gender.
    Mr. Speaker, again, I have offered many times to have a constructive conversation around specifics and about how we can deal with the decision made by Correctional Services Canada. Instead, we are getting into what I would categorize as very partisan territory on an issue that is extremely sensitive. We are dealing with victims here whom we all care about.
    I look across to the member and know that she cares as much about this as any other member does in the House, so let us have a constructive conversation. I would suggest that victims—
    The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill.
    Mr. Speaker, respectfully, I would argue the government has had five years to have a constructive conversation on this. The victim's family was revictimized when Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to a minimum-security prison.
    My colleagues have already gone down the line of the litany of failures of the minister. It is not just the Bernardo issue today. If he will not admit a gendered aspect to the firing in his cabinet, which I think is true, will he at least have the courage to name which one of his staff he is going to make fall on the sword for this issue?
    Mr. Speaker, all of us, unfortunately, have had our lives touched by crime. That is something that some have to live with, and in the case of these victims, it has been in the most horrific and awful way.
    The only thing that is gendered about it is that women, unfortunately, are more often the victims than not. Having responsible, mature conversations about that and about how we deal with the Correctional Service of Canada, which is independent and cannot be directed by us, and how we create policies that make sure we have the right outcomes is the conversation that we need to have.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service confirmed that he warned the Minister of Emergency Preparedness in a memo that a member of Parliament was being threatened by China. However, it was reportedly lost in limbo because the minister was never informed.
    Yesterday, we also learned that the same bad luck befell his colleague at Public Safety. His office had known for three months that Paul Bernardo would be transferred from prison, but he was never informed either.
    Why is it that, when it comes to safety, everyone knows about the hot issues except the ministers responsible?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, the former public safety minister clarified that he was not informed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. That is why I gave new instructions to ensure that elected representatives on the government side will now be briefed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service when there are incidents involving foreign interference.
    That is why I am in the process of issuing new instructions to the Correctional Service of Canada to protect victims' rights.

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, that takes us right back to Chinese interference.
    The Prime Minister does not have much luck either with memos getting lost in limbo. He, too, was never warned of the threats against the member for Wellington—Halton Hills, even though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had produced the memo and it briefs the Prime Minister every week. The information got lost along the way, as it did for his two ministers of public safety.
    Are all their offices dysfunctional or is it the ministers who make sure they know only what it suits them to know?
    Mr. Speaker, on the issue of sharing information when a member of Parliament is being threatened as part of foreign interference, we acknowledged the problem and rectified it.
    The Minister of Public Safety has given instructions that, from now on, this kind of information and intelligence must be shared not only with the minister responsible but also with the parliamentarian concerned. We have made a positive change.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that the families of the victims of Paul Bernardo were only informed of his prison transfer after it had taken place. They have every right to be shocked and outraged, but the Minister of Public Safety has absolutely zero excuses, especially when he and his staff knew of this transfer for three months.
    Paul Bernardo should be in a maximum security prison. When will the minister do the right thing? Canadians deserve better. Victims' families deserve better. Will the minister resign?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with one aspect of the question from the member opposite, and it is that I do agree that victims' families should be notified ahead of these transfer decisions.
    That is precisely what we are in the course of doing. We are issuing new instructions to the Correctional Service of Canada so that we can prevent a situation like that from occurring again. We will continue to put victims' rights forward and front and centre when it comes to these decisions.
    I agree to work with my colleague opposite, who represents the Niagara region, and the colleagues on this side of this House, some of whom have been personally and profoundly impacted, along with victims' families, so that we can prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, CBC is reporting that the Minister of Public Safety's staff found out Paul Bernardo was going to be transferred to a medium-security institution three months before it happened.
    However, neither the deputy minister nor senior officials knew about it. No one other than the minister's staff knew about it.
    Can the minister tell us which staff member made the mistake and whether they have been fired?
    Mr. Speaker, I will be clear. I addressed today the mistakes made by my office. It is very important that, now, we focus on victims' rights.
    Today, I am issuing new directives to the Correctional Service of Canada that will put victims' rights at the heart of our approach to decisions about transferring offenders. These directives will ensure that I, as Minister of Public Safety, will be briefed about such decisions going forward.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister admits that there has been a series of mistakes in his office.
    We saw the same thing in January, when the minister said that the safe third country agreement was working very well at Roxham Road. Meanwhile, hundreds of illegal migrants were entering Canada.
    Suddenly, two months later, President Biden and the Prime Minister announced that an agreement had been reached and that the road would finally be officially closed, even though the minister had said that closing the road would be impossible.
    This points to a series of mistakes and incompetence in the minister's office. Will he do the right thing, fire these people and resign as minister?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has a new agreement with the United States to accomplish two goals.
    First, we want to protect the rights of refugees. This is very important. Second, we want to strengthen the integrity of our borders. That is exactly what we are doing with a new $450‑million investment in the CBSA.
    We will always protect the rights of refugees. That is what this new agreement is all about.

Women and Gender Equality

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party would have us believe that the abortion debate is closed, but it is taking every opportunity to reopen it.
    The member for Yorkton—Melville introduced a bill to limit a woman's right to reproductive health services. We cannot take that right for granted.
    Can the minister tell us what our government is doing to protect the right to choose?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sudbury for her advocacy on this important issue.
    I want to reassure my colleague and all Canadians that we will not allow the Conservatives to do through the back door what they cannot do openly, in other words, chip away at a woman's right to choose.
    The Conservative leader is trying to win votes by attempting to reopen the abortion debate. In Canada, in 2023, it is shameful and unacceptable. A Liberal government will always stand up for women's rights.

Financial Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadians are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, the Prime Minister gave $200 million to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB.
    Now, after resigning, the bank's communications director has revealed that the AIIB is controlled by Beijing, which intends to expand the Chinese empire worldwide using Canadian taxpayers' money.
    Will the Prime Minister take back the money that he gave the AIIB and return it to Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, as the Deputy Prime Minister said earlier today in answer to this question, the Government of Canada will immediately halt all government-led activity at the bank.
    Furthermore, she has instructed the Department of Finance to lead an immediate review of the allegations raised and of Canada's involvement in the AIIB. The Canadian government will also be discussing this issue with its allies and partners who are members of the bank.
    The review announced today is to be undertaken expeditiously. No outcome is being ruled out following its completion.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, four years ago, Conservatives told the Prime Minister that he had no business sending over 200 million tax dollars to the Beijing-controlled Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to fund pipelines and roads and bridges over there while Canadians could not pay for groceries. Now we have been proven right by the head of communications for that very bank, who has resigned, saying that it is dominated by the Communist Party and is being used to build Beijing's empire around the world.
    The government says it is going to cease operations now, but the question is this: Where is the $200 million of Canadians' money that he gave that bank?
    Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said earlier today in response to this matter, the Government of Canada will immediately halt all government-led activity at the bank. The minister has instructed the Department of Finance to lead an immediate review of the allegations raised and of Canada's involvement at the AIIB.
    The Canadian government will also be discussing this issue with allies and partners who are members of the bank. The review announced today is to be undertaken expeditiously. No outcome is being ruled out following its completion.
    Mr. Speaker, that was not the question. Conservatives agreed with Japan and the United States, which refused to give money to the Beijing-controlled Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We pleaded with the Prime Minister not to throw our money away on this enterprise, which was designed to expand Beijing's empire around the world by building infrastructure in other countries.
    However, 200 million Canadian tax dollars have gone into this bank, so I will ask for a third time: Where is our money and how will we get it back?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to repeat that the Government of Canada has halted all government-led activities at the AIIB. Our government has instructed the Department of Finance to lead an immediate review of the allegations to end Canada's involvement at the AIIB. This review is to be done expeditiously, and no outcome has been taken off the table.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, Bill S‑5, the bill modernizing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which had not had a major overhaul in more than 20 years, received royal assent yesterday.
    More than 50 hours were spent on this bill in parliamentary committee. The newly strengthened legislation includes major advances in protecting the environment and human health.
    Can the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change tell the House about the next steps in implementing the framework for ensuring the right to a healthy environment?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for all his work as chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as all the members of the committee.
    I would also like to thank the Senate, since Bill S‑5 was passed last night. For the first time ever in Canadian law, we have enshrined in law the right to a healthy environment for all Canadians. This is a first for our country.
    We will be working hard over the coming months to determine how this right will be implemented in Canadian law.

[English]

Emergency Preparedness

    Mr. Speaker, my riding is cut in half. Highway 4 has been closed for over a week because of wildfires. With the closure, local food banks are suffering, as people are trapped. This is impacting people who were already struggling with food insecurity. They are worried, and many do not know where their next meal will come from.
    Will the federal government provide emergency funding to local food banks, small businesses and the community and provide emergency unemployment insurance to help people who are cut off by the wildfires?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for a very important question. I want to assure him that I will reach out today to the British Columbia government and ensure that there is close coordination between federal supports and the province's work to serve that community. We will work with him and those communities to ensure that the people who are impacted by those wildfires receive the supports that they require.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, carbon capture and storage is unproven technology. In fact, it often emits more carbon than it captures, yet this government keeps—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sorry, but I am having a hard time hearing the question. There is someone shouting over here. I am sure they do not want me to name them.
    The hon. member for Kitchener Centre can continue from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, carbon capture and storage is unproven technology. In fact, it often emits more carbon than it captures, yet this government keeps giving our money to big polluters to experiment with it, including $520 million in this year's budget alone, and now we know why: Oil and gas executives helped write our government's own strategy on carbon capture.
    Will the government stop outsourcing the climate plan to the very industry most responsible for the crisis we are in?
    Mr. Speaker, to my hon. colleague, I would certainly say that his technical assessment is simply wrong. I would be more than happy to sit down and have a conversation with him about carbon capture and storage technologies.
    The development of thoughtful policy requires gathering input broadly, including environmental organizations, indigenous peoples, civil society and industry. When we were developing the carbon management strategy for Canada, 1,500 organizations and individuals provided input. The advisory group that was referenced by the hon. member included a whole range of people, including Ed Whittingham, the former executive director of the Pembina Institute, and—

Presence in Gallery

    I am afraid that is all the time we have today for question period.
    I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of Labour and Immigration for the Province of Manitoba.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

  (1515)  

[Translation]

    We have other guests joining us today. Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity for Canadians across the country to recognize the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf.

[English]

    It is my pleasure to draw the attention of the members to the presence in the gallery of six members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in Canadian Armed Forces Day today: Captain Sigmund Sort, Captain Hilary Anderson, Sergeant Joshua Ballard, Master Corporal Jude Julien, Sailor 1 Charles Tucker and Corporal Mathieu Mageau-Martin.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Canada Disability Benefit Act

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion.
    I move:
     That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, in relation to the motion respecting Senate amendments made to Bill C-22, An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act, one member of each recognized party will be allowed to speak for not more than ten minutes followed by five minutes for questions and comments, and at the conclusion of the time provided for this debate or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, the motion be deemed agreed to.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I am concerned about this conspiracy theory among Green and New Democrat politicians that carbon capture and storage does not exist. Therefore, I would like to seek the unanimous consent of the House to table the addresses of a number of hotels in my riding to help these members come and see for themselves how carbon capture and storage works.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Copyright Act

    The House resumed from June 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-294, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (interoperability), be read the third time and passed, and of the motion that this question be now put.
    It being 3:18 p.m., pursuant to order made Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion that this question be now put.
    Call in the members.

  (1545)  

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

(Division No. 373)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 320


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Bergeron
Bibeau
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Savard-Tremblay

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

    The next question is on the main motion.

  (1555)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 374)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 322


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Bergeron
Bibeau
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Savard-Tremblay

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

Anti-Asian Racism

    The House resumed from June 9 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 63 under Private Members' Business in the name of the member for Scarborough North.

  (1610)  

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

(Division No. 375)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 322


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Bergeron
Bibeau
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Savard-Tremblay

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Government Operations and Estimates 

    The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, concerning the extension to consider Bill C‑290.

  (1620)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 376)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 319


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Bergeron
Bibeau
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Savard-Tremblay

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

  (1625)  

[Translation]

Violence Against Pregnant Women Act

    The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion that Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (violence against pregnant women), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C‑311, under Private Members' Business.

  (1635)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 377)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Berthold
Bezan
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chambers
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Perkins
Poilievre
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 113


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Ali
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bérubé
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lemire
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Singh
Sorbara
Sousa
Ste-Marie
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thompson
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vignola
Villemure
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 205


PAIRED

Members

Bergeron
Bibeau
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Savard-Tremblay

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion defeated.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; and the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, Public Safety.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2022 annual report on the RCMP's use of the law enforcement justification provisions. This report addresses the RCMP's use of specified provisions within the law enforcement justification regime, which is set out in subsections 25(1) to 25(4) of the Criminal Code. This report also documents the nature of the investigations in which these provisions were used.
    The report stands referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

Export Development Canada

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, the annual report of the 2021-22 Canada account, as prepared by Export Development Canada.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), and consistent with the policy on the tabling of treaties in Parliament, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaties entitled “Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Finland concerning Youth Mobility”, done at Helsinki on March 31, 2023; and “Amendments to Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade”, adopted at Geneva between June 6 and 17, 2022. This treaty is tabled for information purposes only.

Government Response to Petitions

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

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the fourth part of the 2022 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE, and parliamentary mission to Poland in Strasbourg, France, and Warsaw, Poland, from October 10 to 20, 2022.

  (1640)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, five reports of the delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, or APF.
    The first is respecting its participation in the APF's Parliamentary Affairs Committee meeting, held in Brussels, Belgium, from May 23 to 25, 2022.
    The second is respecting its participation in the meeting of the Working Group on Reforming the APF Constitution, held in Paris on November 3 and 4, 2022.
    The third is respecting its participation in the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Sharm el‑Sheikh on November 10 and 11, 2022.
    The fourth is respecting its participation in the 18th Summit of La Francophonie, held in Djerba from November 18 to 20, 2022.
    The fifth is respecting its participation in the fifth Leadership Workshop for Francophone Women Parliamentarians, held in Paris from December 12 to 16, 2022.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association respecting its bilateral visit to the United Kingdom held in London, England, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, from October 24 to 27, 2022.

Committees of the House

Veterans Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, entitled “New Contract for the Administration of Veterans Affairs Canada's Rehabilitation Program”.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a response to this report.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the witnesses who appeared before us for this report, and to acknowledge the tireless work of the committee members, the analyst and the clerks who helped us.

Industry and Technology  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the following three reports of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology.
    I am tabling the 14th report, entitled “Domestic Manufacturing Capacity for a COVID‑19 Vaccine - Prevention is Better than Cure”, and the 15th report, entitled “Blockchain Technology: Cryptocurrencies and Beyond”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.
    I also have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology concerning Bill C-42, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report it back to the House with amendments.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the analysts, the interpreters and our clerk, and now our new clerk. Their work was instrumental in the committee's successful presentation and tabling of these three reports.

[English]

Status of Women  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, entitled “Time to Listen to Survivors: Taking Action Towards Creating a Safe Sport Environment for all Athletes in Canada”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    This has been an incredible journey for all of our members. I would specifically like to thank our clerk, Danielle, and our incredible analysts, Dominique and Clare, who worked through this very difficult study. I am proud to present this on behalf of the status of women committee. I am proud of what we have done.

  (1645)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the supplementary report on behalf of the Conservative members of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
    Many witnesses expressed the need for the government to commit to conducting an independent, trauma-informed, survivor-led inquiry into maltreatment in Canadian sport.
    We believe that the terms of reference for the inquiry should include, among other things, an examination of the failure of sporting bodies to report or address breaches or alleged breaches of the Criminal Code to the proper authorities.

[English]

Corrections and Conditional Release Act

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in my place today to introduce this private member's bill. Over the past several days, Canadians have shared with us their frustration and anger with a justice and corrections system they feel is out of balance. The recent decision by the Correctional Service of Canada to transfer Paul Bernardo to a medium-security facility has shocked Canadians and galvanized them into wanting to see action taken to protect society.
    This proposed legislation would amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to require that inmates who have been found to be dangerous offenders or convicted of more than one first-degree murder be assigned a security classification of maximum and confined in a maximum-security penitentiary or area in a penitentiary.
    I wish to thank our Conservative leader, the hon. member for Carleton, for his tremendous leadership and support on this issue, as well as my hon. colleague, who seconded the bill, our Conservative shadow minister for public safety and the member of Parliament for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    It is an honour for me to sponsor this important bill. It is an important bill for the residents in my community, but it also addresses the concerns of all members who are now hearing from constituents about the need to restore trust and confidence in our justice and corrections system. This is about doing what is right.
    I look forward to working with all my parliamentary colleagues on seeing this legislation pass.

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

Petitions

Firearms  

    Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to table today.
    In the first, the petitioners call on Parliament to reject what they rightly refer to as the Liberal government's federal gun grab. The signatories reject the premise of the Liberals' justification for confiscating law-abiding gun owners' personal property. They say that going after the lawful registered rifles of hunters, farmers and ranchers under the pretense of public safety utterly ignores the reality that illegally obtained black market guns smuggled in from the U.S. are the real reason for the gun violence in Canadian cities. Furthermore, they call on the Liberals to replace bail for jail for violent offenders if they are serious about tackling gun crime.

  (1650)  

Bereavement Care  

    Mr. Speaker, when families are grieving the loss of a child, they need all the support they can get. That is why I am rising to table a petition on behalf of petitioners demanding that common-sense and compassionate measures be implemented to help these families. They are calling on the government to implement all seven recommendations contained within the report “Supporting Families After the Loss of a Child” and to implement a bereavement benefit for all parents experiencing pregnancy and infant loss.

Carbon Pricing  

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government penalizes working people in so many ways at every turn and none so blatantly as with its carbon tax on the necessities needed to live in Canada's northern climate, like transportation fuel and home heating. The petitioners say that in addition to raising fuel costs, the carbon tax applied throughout the supply chain is raising the price of everything, and the government's so-called rebates come nowhere near covering the real cost of the tax. They worry about the impact that the Liberals' scheduled tripling of this tax will have on their incomes and their ability to meet their basic needs.
    The petitioners join Canada's Conservatives in calling on Parliament to scrap the Liberal carbon tax.

Search and Rescue Services  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House of Commons and able to stand and represent the constituents of Labrador.
    I am presenting a petition today on behalf of over 3,500 residents in Newfoundland and Labrador calling on the Government of Canada to designate 5 Wing Goose Bay a dedicated SAR air base and to include a designated SAR Cormorant helicopter as part of the Department of National Defence's NORAD modernization commitment, which would be assigned to the 5 Wing air base in support of search and rescue for Labrador and adjacent northern areas of Canada.
    I want to thank my colleague from Avalon for accepting this petition on my behalf when I was away, and all my colleagues in Newfoundland and Labrador on both sides of the House for their support of search and rescue in Labrador.
    I also want to acknowledge the family that started this petition. Jeanette and Dwight Russell lost their son Marc and his friend Joey tragically at sea and recognize the need for enhanced search and rescue services in the Labrador region.

Veterans of Persian Gulf War  

    Mr. Speaker, I echo those sentiments and I welcome back the member for Labrador.
    I am very proud to present petition e-4399 on behalf of the 965 Canadians who signed it. This petition follows up on e-petition 3217, which I presented in May of 2021, but it did not receive a government response because of the election.
    In the petition, Canadians call on the government to reclassify the Persian Gulf mission to “wartime service”. Petition e-4399 has support from all parties and a former prime minister, the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney.
    Persian Gulf veterans deserve to have the same classification as veterans from the Korean War and merchant mariners. Their classification was changed long after the Korean War and after the Second World War.
    I want to thank President Harold Davis of the Persian Gulf War Veterans of Canada; Mike McGlennon, vice-president; and all veterans of the Persian Gulf war. On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank them for their service. Veterans are indeed the ties who bind this great nation together.

Port Workers  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of over 600 folks in British Columbia, most of whom are members of the ILWU, Canada's largest port workers union.
    The petitioners note that Canadian port workers are essential to the efficiency, resiliency, competitiveness and sustainability of Canada's supply chain. They further note that decisions related to Canada's ports have a profound impact on the lives of port workers and that port workers bring unique and important skills, expertise and experience to the table when it comes to the management and operation of marine ports.
    The petitioners call on the government to amend the Canada Marine Act to ensure there is a seat at the board tables of Canada's port authorities for the employees and the workers in those ports.

Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table a petition on behalf of residents of Brampton South, who are calling for the establishment of direct international flights from Toronto to destinations in India, particularly to Amritsar in Punjab.
    Brampton has a significant Indo-Canadian population, and there is a rising demand from residents to have a direct flight from Toronto to Amritsar. Establishing a route between Toronto and Amritsar in Punjab will reduce the overall distance travelled, leading to shorter travel times and better travel experiences for passengers.
    These residents urge the government to continue expanding and facilitating these direct flights and to collaborate with all partners to make these flights a reality.

Finance  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present this afternoon.
    The first petition is a petition to the House of Commons and Parliament assembled from 58 signatories in Guelph to support Bill S-243, an act that would enact the climate-aligned finance act, which was drafted based on consultation with national and international experts. It would enable Canada to leapfrog from a laggard to a leader in aligning financial flows with climate commitments.

  (1655)  

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from 37 constituents who are calling on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Canada to stop fossil fuel extraction expansion, accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy and offer much more help to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.
    I thank the people from Guelph for continuing to advocate for our climate and for the alignment with financial institutions.

Air Transportation  

    Mr. Speaker, like the member for Brampton South, I too have a petition dealing with the substantial growth of Canada's Indo-Canadian community. With that substantial growth, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for international flights, and specifically for direct flights from Canada to India.
    The personal preference of the people who have signed this petition is to have a flight that goes from Winnipeg to Amritsar. Increasing the number of flights is a very positive idea, and the petitioners are calling upon the Prime Minister and members of Parliament in general, along with the airport authorities and the different airlines that provide international flights, to give more consideration to establishing direct flights between Canada and India.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, as always, it is an honour to be able to stand in this place and present petitions on issues that are important to Canadians.
    The first petition that I will be presenting today is from a number of Canadians who have stated a significant concern regarding some of the language that has been used in the committee studying medical assistance in dying, specifically by Louis Roy from the Quebec college of physicians, who recommended expanding euthanasia to “babies from birth to one year of age who come into the world with severe deformities and very serious syndromes”.
    These petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to block any attempt to allow the killing of children in this country.

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition that I am here to present on behalf of a host of Canadians from across the country is in relation to a promise that the Liberal Party made in the 2021 election, in which I would note that it got fewer votes than the party that makes up the official opposition.
    During that election, the Liberal Party specifically referenced that it was going to apply a values test, referred to as “values test 2.0”, on not-for-profit organizations that do not align with its political views.
    Petitioners therefore call upon the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis, without discrimination on the basis of political or religious values and without the imposition of another values test, and to affirm the right of Canadians to freedom of expression.
    As always, it is an honour to present these petitions in the people's House of Commons here today.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a number of petitions today, starting with one signed by Canadians from across the country who are concerned about the unsanctioned detention of people around the world, particularly by Turkish, Pakistani and Bahraini officials who have committed gross violations of human rights against Turks, with eight Turkish Canadians being detained at this point.
    Turkish officials are responsible for causing hundreds of deaths, including the torture of Gokhan Acikkollu. Turkish officials have wrongfully detained over 300,000 people.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to closely monitor the human rights situation in Turkey and to place sanctions on 12 Turkish officials who are responsible for these gross violations against eight Canadians and the death of their friend Gokhan Acikkollu. They are calling on the Turkish, Pakistani and Bahraini governments to end all violations of human rights in their countries.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition is from Canadians from across the country who are concerned around the comments made by Louis Roy of the Quebec college of physicians, recommending the expansion of euthanasia to babies from birth to one year of age who come into the world with severe deformities and serious syndromes.
    This proposed legalization of the killing of infants is deeply offensive to the folks who have signed this petition, and they want to state emphatically that infanticide is always wrong. They call on the Government of Canada to block any attempt to allow for the euthanasia of children.

  (1700)  

Military Chaplaincy  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition comes from Canadians from across the country who are concerned about a report from the national defence advisory panel that calls for the clergy from religions that have views on gender and sexuality that differ from the views of the Department of National Defence to be banned as chaplains in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    This report slanders mainstream Canadian religious communities, and the petitioners are calling on the Canadian government to ensure that the freedom of expression of chaplains and the freedom of religion of chaplains be maintained without discrimination.
    Discrimination on the basis of religion is wrong and is offensive to Canadians. The Canadians who have signed this petition are calling on the Government of Canada to ensure that the chaplaincy of the Canadian Armed Forces remains the way it is and that the final report of the Minister of National Defence's advisory panel not—
    I am going to have to shut it down there. Your phone is on top. I have reminded folks time and time again to make sure that those phones are not put near the microphones so that that the impedance of the phone does not interfere with the microphones.
    The hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Mr. Speaker, they recommend that the House of Commons and the Government of Canada reject the recommendations on chaplaincy in the Canadian Armed Forces' final report and that they affirm the right of Canadians, including Canadian Armed Forces chaplains, to their freedom of religion.

Charitable Organization  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition I have is from Canadians across the country who are concerned with an item in the 2021 platform of Liberal Party that would deny charitable status to organizations that have convictions about abortion that differ from the Liberal Party's position. This may jeopardize the charitable status of hospitals, houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations that do not agree with the Liberal Party on this matter for reasons of conscience.
     Many Canadians depend on the benefits of these charitable organizations, which include food banks and summer camps, and the government has previously added a values test and discriminated against worthy applicants for the Canada summer jobs program, denying funding to any organization whose officials were not willing to check a box endorsing the political position of the governing party.
     Charities and other organizations should not be discriminated against on the basis of their political views or religious values and should not be subject to a politicization of charitable status. Under the charter, all Canadians have the right to freedom of expression without discrimination.
     Therefore, the folks who signed this petition, residents of Canada, call on the House of Commons to protect and preserve the application of charitable status rules on a politically and ideologically neutral basis, without discrimination on the basis of political or religious values and without imposing another values test, and to affirm the rights of Canadians to freedom of expression.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 1459, 1460, 1465, 1466 and 1467.

[Text]

Question No. 1459—
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the use of artificial intelligence by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): does the CRA use artificial intelligence, and, if so, how?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, please note that the scope of the CRA's artificial intelligence, AI, definition is consistent with the definition of "automated decision systems" outlined in the Treasury Board's directive on automated decision-making. However, the CRA's directive is broader in scope as it includes AI solutions developed for CRA's compliance programs and internal operations in addition to those developed for external service delivery. This definition also includes robotic process automation, RPA, processes that are highly administrative, require little judgment and have clear business rules.
    It is important to highlight that the CRA continues to keep humans in the loop of all its AI activities. Human oversight and final decision-making continue to be applied in all types of AI results and program activities.
    The CRA does use artificial intelligence in various ways.
    The CRA is using AI-based solutions to solve compliance and collection business activities including analysis of patterns, cluster analysis, prescriptive, predictive models and applied predictive analytics i.e., for non-compliance identification, fraud detection, workload selection and compliance strategies.
    The CRA employs AI to transform business activities using robotic process automation to automate pre-assessment activities and AI techniques to model and identify processes efficiency gains.
    The CRA is using AI-based solutions to transform client service offerings and enhancements through continuous improvements such as the chatbot and improved accessibility. Service improvements are also informed through AI text analytics such as topic modelling, text summarization and sentiment analysis on high volumes of unstructured textual data such as client feedback.
    The CRA also uses AI techniques to strengthen data-driven outcomes. Specifically, it is used for research including forecasting, identity and relationship resolution, lead generation and advanced visualization pattern detection. In the research space, the CRA is beginning to experiment with artificial neural networks and recurrent neural networks to test predictive capabilities and assess potential business benefits.
    Internally, the CRA uses AI to transform its internal services including natural language processing for analysis of employee surveys. The CRA also uses AI to support security including the evaluation of software/documents to assess their maliciousness, anomaly detection, log collection, tracing and monitoring of accesses.
Question No. 1460—
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the use of artificial intelligence by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): does IRCC use artificial intelligence, and, if so, how?
Ms. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, IRCC uses artificial intelligence, AI, technology for purposes of advanced analytics to triage client enquiries and to identify routine and straightforward applications for faster processing within the programs of temporary resident visa for visitors, visitor records, and spouse and common-law partner in Canada applications. Advanced analytic tools are used to help determine the applicant’s eligibility to the respective program. When eligibility requirements are met, the application is then sent to an officer to determine if the applicant is admissible to Canada and to make the final decision. Applications that do not have their eligibility approved automatically are sent to an officer for review and final decision. Only an IRCC officer can refuse an application; the automated tools never refuse or recommend refusing applications. IRCC does not currently use black-box algorithms to automate or recommend decisions.
    AI is used by IRCC to automate the detection of risk patterns. These risk patterns are one factor considered when determining whether to initiate a verification activity. IRCC officers would then follow standard operational processes to verify the authenticity of documents with the document issuer, e.g. university, bank, etc. Risk patterns are not visible to IRCC officers; instead, they receive only the results of the verification activities initiated. As such, the tool does not automate nor does it recommend final decisions on applications.
    AI is also used for a chatbot deployed on IRCC's Facebook channel to provide functional guidance to IRCC clients looking to make an application. The intent of IRCC’s chatbot is to serve client inquiries in English and French on 76 unique pages of IRCC’s website. The responses provided by the chatbot are general and based on people’s typical circumstances. This means it cannot respond to case-specific information or provide tailored immigration advice. The chatbot can respond to questions in two ways: responses written and trained by human operators based on previously received questions, or referrals to curated lists of IRCC web content.  It directs clients to various linked web pages across our website, including our help centre FAQs, tools such as the “Come to Canada tool”, varied program-specific web content and the client support centre.    
    The IRCC chatbot cannot intervene with a client’s application as it does not have back-end access to the GCMS services. This means it cannot respond to case-specific questions or provide tailored immigration advice based on a client’s particular situation. The responses provided by the chatbot are general and based on people’s typical circumstances. If the chatbot can’t answer your question, or the user is unsatisfied with the answer provided, it will instead ask you a series of questions to determine which of our service channels is right for you, and then direct you there.
Question No. 1465—
Mr. Ben Lobb:
    With regard to government revenue from the goods and services tax (GST) and the federal portion of harmonized sales tax (HST), broken down by year since 2016: (a) how much GST or HST revenue was collected on the sale of new homes; (b) on how many new homes was GST or HST collected; and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by province or territory?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, under the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax, GST/HST, the government does not track the amount of GST/HST that is collected for each type of good or service that a vendor may sell. When firms remit the GST/HST that they have collected on their taxable sales, they report and remit to the Canada Revenue Agency only one single amount. Requiring vendors, such as small businesses, to track GST/HST collected on the individual types of goods or services they sell would impose a significant reporting burden on them.
Question No. 1466—
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
    With regard to legal costs incurred by the government in relation to the invocation of the Emergencies Act in 2022, as well as any subsequent legal action: what is the total amount (i) paid out to date, (ii) scheduled to be paid out, on outside legal counsel, broken down by department, agency or other government entity which encountered the expense?
Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to legal expenses incurred by the government for outside legal counsel on work related to the invocation of the Emergencies Act in 2022, as well as any subsequent legal action, to the extent that the information that has been requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege, and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs.
    The total legal costs associated with expenses incurred by the government for outside legal counsel on work related to the invocation of the Emergencies Act in 2022, as well as any subsequent legal action amounts to $3,756,458.66. This amount includes outside legal fees related to the Public Order Emergency Commission, which had a timeline compressed by statute. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of May 4, 2023.
Question No. 1467—
Mr. Dane Lloyd:
    With regard to the upcoming tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, from November 10 to 25, 2023, and the third session of the Meeting of Parties (MOP3) to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, from November 27 to 30, 2023: (a) how many individuals will be part of the government's delegation and what are their names and titles; (b) what is the overall budget for the government's COP10 and MOP3 participation, broken down by (i) accommodations, (ii) meals or per diems, (iii) hospitality; (c) what are the government's key priorities or action items for both the COP10 and MOP3; and (d) has the government been assigned any specific agenda items or resolutions for both the COP1O and MOP3, and, if so, what are they?
Mrs. Élisabeth Brière (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, at this time, the Convention Secretariat to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has not published an agenda for the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties. Therefore, Health Canada has not yet confirmed details such as participants in the Canadian delegation, the budget for Canada’s participation, or key priorities and action items.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, if the government's response to Questions Nos. 1458, 1461 to 1464, 1468 and 1469 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1458—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the Canada Dental Benefit, broken down by federal electoral district since the program's inception: (a) what is the total number of applications (i) received, (ii) approved; (b) what is the total dollar value of payments delivered to eligible applicants; and (c) how many children, in total, have been helped by the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1461—
Mr. Ryan Williams:
    With regard to expenditures on chauffeur-driven vehicles or similar types of car and driver services for ministers, exempt staff, or senior government officials, since January 1, 2018, excluding expenditures associated with the government's fleet of executive vehicles: what are the details of all such expenditures, including, for each, the (i) start and end dates of the vehicle usage, (ii) amount, (iii) individual for whom the vehicle was used, (iv) pick up location, (v) destination, (vi) type of vehicle, (vii) vendor?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1462—
Mr. Ryan Williams:
    With regard to the public service: (a) how many employees occupy or have been assigned more than one physical office on government property; (b) of the employees in (a), how many are (i) executives, (ii) other employees; and (c) for each employee in (a), what is (i) their title and classification, (ii) the number of offices they have, (iii) the buildings and cities where their offices are located, (iv) the reason for having multiple offices?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1463—
Ms. Louise Chabot:
    With respect to the Canada Summer Jobs program: (a) for each of the 338 ridings in Canada (i) how much money, how many positions and how many hours of work were allocated for fiscal year 2023-24, (ii) how much money, how many positions and how many hours were requested for fiscal year 2023-24, (iii) what is the numerical difference between the amount of money requested and the amount of money received, (iv) what is the numerical difference between the number of positions requested and the number of positions granted, (v) what is the numerical difference between the number of hours requested and the number of hours granted; (b) in mathematical terms, and with all variables defined, what was the formula used in fiscal year 2023-24 to determine the funding granted to each riding; and (c) what share of the overall funding, in percentage and dollar terms, has been paid to ridings in Quebec, broken down by fiscal year since 2006-07?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1464—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the communities which comprise the federal electoral district of Courtenay-Alberni, since fiscal year 2018-19: (a) what are the federal infrastructure investments, including direct transfers to municipalities and First Nations, for the communities of (i) Tofino, (ii) Ucluelet, (iii) Port Alberni, (iv) Parksville, (v) Qualicum Beach, (vi) Cumberland, (vii) Courtenay, (viii) Deep Bay, (ix) Dashwood, (x) Royston, (xi) French Creek, (xii) Errington, (xiii) Coombs, (xiv) Nanoose Bay, (xv) Cherry Creek, (xvi) China Creek, (xvii) Bamfield, (xviii) Beaver Creek, (xix) Beaufort Range, (xx) Millstream, (xxi) Mt. Washington Ski Resort, broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project; (b) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the regional districts of (i) Comox Valley Regional District, (ii) Nanaimo Regional District, (iii) Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, (iv) Powell River Regional District, broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project; (c) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the Island Trusts of (i) Hornby Island, (ii) Denman Island, (iii) Lasquetti Island, broken down by fiscal year, and total expenditure; (d) what are the federal infrastructure investments transferred to the (i) Ahousaht First Nation, (ii) Hesquiaht First Nation, (iii) Huu-ay-aht First Nation, (iv) Hupacasath First Nation, (v) Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, (vi) Toquaht First Nation, (vii) Tseshaht First Nation, (viii) Uchucklesaht First Nation, (ix) Ucluelet First Nation, (x) K'omoks First Nation, broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project; (e) what is the infrastructure funding of Pacific Rim National Park, broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project; (f) what is the funding of highways, including, but not limited to, (i) Highway 4, (ii) Highway 19, (iii) Highway 19a, (iv) Bamfield Road, broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project; and (g) what other infrastructure investments are provided through the funding of national parks, highways, the Building Canada Fund, Infrastructure Canada, the Gas Tax Fund, Small Crafts and Harbours, BC Ferries, etc., broken down by fiscal year, total expenditure, and project?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1468—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to the government's executive vehicle fleet for ministers, since January 1, 2019: (a) what is the make and model assigned to each minister; (b) were there any changes to the assigned vehicle for each minister, and, if so, on what date did it change; and (c) what was the mileage driven on each vehicle, broken down by year?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1469—
Mrs. Shelby Kramp-Neuman:
    With regard to polling conducted by or on behalf of the Privy Council Office since January 1, 2022: what are the details of all such polling, including, for each poll, (i) who conducted the poll, (ii) the start and end dates, (iii) the number of participants, (iv) the complete results of the poll, including the questions asked and the responses received, (v) the type of poll, (vi) the value of the contract related to the poll?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, once again I would ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers also be allowed to stand at this time, please.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Deputy Speaker: Before we go to orders of the day, I believe the hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock is standing on a question of privilege.

Privilege

Alleged Obstruction of Member for South Surrey—White Rock  

[Privilege]
    Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a question of privilege concerning the offensive and unparliamentary gesture the Parliamentary Secretary to the government House leader, Senate, made toward me last evening during private members' hour. The facts are well known already. Put bluntly, he gave me the finger.
    It is my belief that this constitutes a prima facie contempt and should be taken up by the House as such. Hansard shows the sequence of events and comments that led to the incident during the debate on Bill C-311, the violence against pregnant women act.
     I argued that the government had lost credibility on the matter of women's rights, in part because it had failed to stand up for the victims of Paul Bernardo. As members know, this killer and serial rapist targeted female teenagers and traumatized our nation. In my speech, I referenced a unanimous consent motion that the member for Niagara Falls brought to the House. The motion reads as follows:
...that the House call for the immediate return of vile serial killer and rapist Paul Bernardo to a maximum security prison, that all court-ordered dangerous offenders and mass murderers be permanently assigned a maximum security classification, that the least-restrictive-environment standard be repealed and that the language of necessary restrictions that the previous Conservative government put in place be restored.
    In my remarks, I stated that the member for Kingston and the Islands was a member who denied consent.

  (1705)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think it is really important, when the member is rising on a question of privilege, to understand what actually took place yesterday, and the member is talking about a dispute over—
    Ms. Raquel Dancho: This is debate.
    Hon. Kerry-Lynne Findlay: I am speaking to that.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: I was being respectful for the member—
    Order. Order. Let us please get to the point of order that we are trying to hear.
    Mr. Speaker, I would argue that the member is talking about a dispute over the facts, and she is misrepresenting what actually was said by the member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I will let the hon. whip for the Conservatives speak, and I will go to the hon. parliamentary secretary afterward.
    The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock.
    Mr. Speaker, in my remarks, I stated that the member for Kingston and the Islands was the member who denied consent. I did so because I was in the House when unanimous consent was asked for. I sat directly across from the member and heard him deny consent, as did many other House officers and members near me. I recognize that the member has every right to defend himself and can dispute me in the course of debate. However, his response went far beyond debate. He said, “This member should apologize, because she is lying right now.” He then walked out of the House. This remark caused significant disorder.
    I immediately rose on a point of order to file my objection to his use of an unparliamentary term. The member returned during my remarks, and he proceeded to shout over me, making it difficult to express my point of view. He then offered a half-hearted and insincere apology. I say “half-hearted and insincere” because his next action was to make a face at me and give me the middle finger. At that point, he walked out of the House again.
    His aggressive gesture is representative of language that is strictly forbidden in the House. Many members saw this aggression. Notably, the member for Vancouver Kingsway and the member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies confirmed that they saw this action in their own points of order. I took the floor again to call for the member to be sanctioned in the strongest way possible, including being ejected from the House.
    The Chair informed the House that he did not see the gesture in question and would review the tapes. That step is no longer necessary, because the member for Kingston and the Islands returned to the House again, admitted that he made the gesture and then followed that with another insufficient apology for what he described as “displaying [his] frustration”. He did not adequately take—
    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Waterloo.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take away from the opposition whip's time, but I want to acknowledge, as the member just stated, that the member for Kingston and the Islands did apologize. In this place, we have a tradition where we take members at their word and—
    That again falls into debate. Let us have those comments after the member for South Surrey—White Rock completes her statement, when I will be more than happy to recognize other members.
    The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock.

  (1710)  

    Mr. Speaker, he did not adequately take responsibility for his actions. He should apologize to me, the Chair and the House.
    In the circumstances, and upon some reflection on the matter, now that we are out of the heat of the moment, I truly believe that with his misogynistic bullying and insults, the parliamentary secretary was trying to obstruct me from making and completing my speech.
    House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, at page 107, states:
    In order to fulfill their parliamentary duties, Members should be able to go about their parliamentary business undisturbed. Assaulting, threatening, or insulting a Member during a proceeding of Parliament...is a violation of the rights of Parliament.
    Continuing at page 108, it states:
    Speakers have consistently upheld the right of the House to the services of its Members free from intimidation, obstruction and interference.
    This is a long-standing and well-established principle in the law of parliamentary privilege, tracing its roots back to the April 12, 1733, resolution of the British House of Commons, which states, “That the assaulting, insulting or menacing any member of this House, in his coming to or going from the House, or upon the account of his behaviour in Parliament, is a high infringement of the privilege of this House, a most outrageous and dangerous violation of the rights of Parliament and an high crime and misdemeanour.”
     Bosc and Gagnon observe the following at page 109:
    In order to find a prima facie breach of privilege, the Speaker must be satisfied that there is evidence to support the Member’s claim that he or she has been impeded in the performance of his or her parliamentary functions and that the matter is directly related to a proceeding in Parliament.
    On May 1, 1986, at page 12847 of the Debates, Speaker Bosley held:
    If an Hon. Member is impeded or obstructed in the performance of his or her parliamentary duties through threats, intimidation, bribery attempts or other improper behaviour, such a case would fall within the limits of parliamentary privilege.
    While I did complete my speech, I have to say it is very disturbing, distracting and disruptive to have to finish a speech after being put through that escalating ordeal by the member for Kingston and the Islands. I say that as someone who has spent a career as a litigator.
    Certainly, the giving of the finger is improper behaviour at the least, and with the context it was given in last evening, it was intended to be of a threatening or intimidating nature. In fact, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, second edition, defines giving the finger, at page 555, as “mak[ing] an obscene gesture with the middle finger raised as a sign of contempt.” A “sign of contempt” is the literal definition. It is certainly unparliamentary, and I would argue that it is contemptuous, behaviour. No matter how we cut it, it is unacceptable conduct in any professional setting. I must say, I have never experienced this in my professional career to date.
    While I do not believe we have ever had a Speaker's Ruling on a member giving another the finger, Bosc and Gagnon explain, at page 112:
    It is impossible to codify all incidents which might be interpreted as matters of obstruction, interference, molestation or intimidation and, as such, constitute prima facie cases of [contempt].
    At page 81, they state:
    There are, however, 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, such as disobedience of its legitimate commands or libels upon itself, its Members, or its officers.
    They continue:
     The House of Commons enjoys very wide latitude in maintaining its dignity and authority through the exercise of its contempt power. In other words, the House may consider any misconduct to be contempt and may deal with it accordingly.
    Indeed, on June 7, 2021, at page 8034 of the Debates, the Speaker found a prima facie contempt concerning our former colleague, Will Amos, who, while attending the House virtually, urinated into a coffee cup.

  (1715)  

     I would note the wording from that ruling. It states:
     In response, the member for Kingston and the Islands agreed that it was a deplorable and unacceptable incident, while also pointing out that the member for Pontiac had accepted full responsibility and that he had stepped aside from his parliamentary secretary responsibilities and from his committee responsibilities in order to obtain the appropriate assistance. For that reason, he was again apologizing on his behalf.
    Further in the ruling, it states:
    I obviously take note of the apology from the member for Pontiac. He recognized that his behaviour was completely inappropriate and confirms his commitment to obtain the necessary assistance. Nevertheless, the Chair is required to determine whether the alleged facts are a breach of the rules governing contempt and thus merit priority consideration.
    That is the case here.
    Just as in those circumstances two years ago, I believe that the misogynistic bullying and offensive gestures by the member for Kingston and the Islands must absolutely be called out. They rise to the threshold requiring your intervention, Mr. Speaker, and this House's disposition through a privilege motion.
    Therefore, Mr. Speaker, should you agree, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.
    I thank the member for her intervention. Just to add to what happened last evening, after the member had come back in, I think I was pretty stern in telling him that he had to unreservedly admit and apologize.
    I am just going to read Hansard. He said, “Mr. Speaker, I admit that what the members are indicating that I did, I did do. I unreservedly apologize for displaying my frustration that way.”
    Knowing the information that was provided, we will go back and come back with a ruling.
    The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock.
    Mr. Speaker, I read through that apology again, as I said, out of the heat of the moment, which was very disorderly and chaotic in this place.
    What the member apologized for was using that expression to express his frustration. He did not apologize to me, the House or the other members, and that is quite different.
    I thank the member for that. We will come back with a ruling.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada Disability Benefit Act

    That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint Their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-22, An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act, the House:
agrees with amendments 1, 4 and 5 made by the Senate;
agrees with the Senate proposal to make any necessary consequential changes to the numbering of provisions and cross-references resulting from the amendments to the bill;
respectfully disagrees with amendment 2 because it raises significant constitutional concerns by seeking to regulate the insurance industry specifically or contracting generally, both of which fall within provincial jurisdiction;
proposes that amendment 3 be amended to read as follows:
    “New clause 10.1, page 4: Add the following after line 5:
“Appeals
    10.1 Subject to regulations, a person, or any other person acting on their behalf, may appeal to a body identified in regulations made under paragraph 11(1)(i) in respect of any decision
(a) relating to the person’s ineligibility for a Canada disability benefit;
(b) relating to the amount of a Canada disability benefit that the person has received or will receive; or
(c) prescribed by the regulations.””.
    She said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss the government's position on the proposed Senate amendments to Bill C-22, an act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act. I do so on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe peoples.
    I will begin by thanking senators for their attention to this bill, especially the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for their study, which resulted in six amendments to the bill and seven observations.
     Each time I have risen in the House on Bill C-22, I have begun by declaring that no person with a disability in this country should live in poverty, yet many do. Approximately 23% of working-age persons with disabilities in Canada live in poverty, and many are in deep poverty. The history of how this came to be in a country with as much promise and opportunity as Canada is one of exclusion, marginalization and discrimination. This history, and the resulting financial insecurity and poverty, which is a lived experience of many persons with disabilities in Canada, is the backdrop for Bill C-22, and it is why we are here today working together to create a new federal benefit for low-income, working-aged persons with disabilities. At its core, the Canada disability benefit is about poverty reduction and financial security.
    There is a significant gap in our social safety net for persons with disabilities. The Canada child benefit disability supplement is available until age 18 and old age security and the guaranteed income supplement are available after age 65, but there is nothing in between. However, just as the guaranteed income supplement did for seniors and the Canada child benefit did for children, the Canada disability benefit would lift persons with disabilities out of poverty.
    Bill C-22 is framework legislation by design. The Canada disability benefit would be established and implemented through Bill C-22, which is a legal framework to create the benefit and a subsequent regulatory process through which the specific details will be established. This reflects our commitment to the disability community and recognizes the leading role that provinces and territories play in providing supports and services to persons with disabilities.
    Now I will move on to the amendments.
     There were six amendments sent back from the Senate. As was said, the government agrees with amendments 1,4, 5 and 6, and proposes that the House accepts these amendments as is. These amendments enhance Bill C-22 in that they add clarity, precision and specificity. We also agree with amendment 3 with a minor amendment.
    Amendment 3 would add a new clause, clause 10.1, related to appeals. While Bill C-22 provides for an appeal process to be created by regulation, this new clause gives a right to appeal in two specific areas: benefit ineligibility and amount. The government proposes that this Senate amendment be further amended to clarify that other decisions may also be appealed. This would avoid a future legal interpretation where grounds for appeal are restricted to the two specified areas of ineligibility and amount. I thank the Senate for its thoughtfulness on this important issue of administrative justice and trust that it will consider the government's proposed amendment appropriate.
    Now, I will spend some time on the final amendment, Senate amendment 2, as the government's proposed response to it is to respectfully disagree.
    Amendment 2 would amend clause 9 of Bill C-22, which concerns the way benefit payments are to be treated in situations such as bankruptcy or insolvency. Amendment 2 would add that benefit payments “cannot be recovered or retained, in whole or in part, under the terms of any contract, insurance plan or similar instrument”.
    I understand that the intent of this amendment is to address the situation where provincial benefits or insurance payments are at risk of being clawed back or reduced as a result of a payment of the Canada disability benefit, effectively leaving the recipient no better off and potentially impacting secondary program and service entitlements. The issue of clawbacks is perhaps the most common concern raised by the disability community. We heard it here in the House as well.
    The disability benefit and support landscape is incredibly complex, and varies significantly across the country. There are different eligibility criteria in every province and territory, different definitions of disability, different treatments of other sources of income, different reduction rates, etc. As a result, we have to be mindful of the potential direct and indirect impacts that additional income in the form of the CDB could have on provincial or territorial benefit and service entitlements.

  (1720)  

    Since day one, we have been clear that this is supplemental income, meant to be in addition to provincial and territorial income supports and other forms of income. It is not replacement income. It is not employment income or employment earnings.
    We explored ways to address these concerns through legislation. The challenge is that both contracting generally and the insurance industry fall within provincial and territorial jurisdiction. This is why no such provision exists in any other benefit legislation in Canada, not for the Canada child benefit, OAS or GIS, CPP, or the Canada workers benefit.
    While the federal spending authority allows the government to create such a benefit, it does not allow the federal government to attach conditions in areas of provincial jurisdiction, such as the regulation of insurance companies. Knowing this, we have worked very closely with provinces and territories on benefit interaction.
    Provinces and territories have expressed gratitude for early engagement. There is consensus that the CDB is intended to be supplemental income, not replacement income, and make people better off. They share our view that the best way of optimizing benefit interaction is by working together. We have a detailed federal-provincial-territorial work plan that all jurisdictions have agreed to. Once this bill becomes law, we will begin the formal negotiations on agreements with the provinces and territories.
     We have also engaged with the private insurance industry. The feedback we have received from the industry is that they would not choose to offset or claw back income that is considered social assistance or a poverty reduction measure. Once again, the CDB is not replacement or employment income. Once this bill becomes law, we will continue to work with private insurers throughout the regulatory process.
     Simply put, the government disagrees with this amendment because we believe it raises significant constitutional concerns. Both the regulation of private insurance and contracting generally fall within provincial jurisdiction. If we went ahead with this amendment, the likelihood of an individual or organization bringing forward a court challenge would be very high. This would create significant uncertainty and could impact the regulatory process, which could in turn impact benefit delivery. This could very well delay benefit payments.
    Furthermore, I am concerned that there would be serious implications for federal-provincial-territorial relations. It is likely that the provinces and territories would see this provision as an encroachment on their jurisdiction. This could undermine the work that we have accomplished to date. Therefore, while I understand and share the Senate's concerns around clawbacks, the way to address this issue is to continue with the process that is already under way, not through this amendment to Bill C-22.
    The Senate amendments we are proposing to accept further strengthen Bill C-22 and do not limit the government's commitment to a quick, regulatory process. The amendment we are proposing to not accept, respectfully, raises constitutional concerns and could significantly impair our relationships with provinces and territories, and ultimately delay benefit delivery.
    I thank the senators for responding to the disability community's concerns. Both the House and the Senate have improved this bill.
    The Canada disability benefit is the result of decades of relentless advocacy on the part of the disability community. This benefit is the culmination of the work of every self-advocate, every activist, every parent, every ally, every organization, everyone who has fought to have disability rights recognized.
    I said at the beginning of my remarks that we are here, working together, on this. We have come together on this bill already, and today we did it again. We are on the cusp of doing what every single one of us in this place came to Ottawa to do, which is to help people, make their lives better and right historic wrongs. Today, we are literally making history.

  (1725)  

    Mr. Speaker, the last we heard was that it would take approximately a year to negotiate with the provinces and territories, and a year, at the same time, to develop the regulations, once this potentially passes royal assent and became law.
    Is that still the timeline that is being worked towards? Will it take a year to develop all of that? Should people realistically expect the disability benefit a year past this point?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, the anticipated timeline for the regulatory process remains at 12 months, so as I have said, the quicker we get this to royal assent, the quicker we start that 12-month clock.

  (1730)  

Government Business No. 26—Amendments to the Standing Orders

Notice of Closure Motion  

[S. O. 57]
    Mr. Speaker, I give notice that, with respect to the consideration of Government Business No. 26, at the next sitting of the House, a minister of the Crown shall move, pursuant to Standing Order 57, that debate not be further adjourned.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[English]

Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights

     He said: Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I stand in the chamber this evening to begin debate on my bill, Bill C-219, the Canadian environmental bill of rights. I first want to thank Linda Duncan, the author of this bill, who introduced it on four occasions over 11 years during her time as the member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona. On one of those occasions, it passed at second reading, but it unfortunately died when an election was called.
    There are environmental bills of rights in Ontario, Quebec, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, but until last night, there was no federal law that explicitly recognized the right to a healthy environment in Canada. With the passing of Bill S-5, which updated the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, we now have a federal statement of rights to a healthy environment, but those rights are limited to the scope of CEPA, basically to toxins within our environment, and those rights have no accountability processes or powers associated with them. Bill C-219 would expand and strengthen those rights to the rest of the scope of federal jurisdiction.
    Last summer, on July 28, 2022, the UN General Assembly passed a unanimous resolution that recognized the right to a healthy environment around the world. With Canada voting for that resolution to join the rest of the world and 92% of Canadians agreeing with it, it is certainly high time we had federal legislation that recognizes that right. We are behind the rest of the world in that regard. Over 80% of UN member states already legally recognize the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
    International efforts to recognize this right go back to the 1972 Stockholm declaration, which recognized the right to an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being. After that came the United Nations Aarhus convention in 2001. This multilateral agreement, more fully known as the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, protects every person's right to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being. The Aarhus convention links environmental rights and human rights. It acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations. It establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders. It links government accountability and environmental protection, and focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a democratic context. According to the Aarhus convention website, it is, at its heart, about government accountability, transparency and responsiveness. It grants the public rights, and it imposes on parties and public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public participation in and access to justice.
    This is what this bill would do as well. Bill C-219 would extend the right to a healthy, ecologically balanced environment to all Canadian residents. It would do this by amending the Canadian Bill of Rights to add the right to a healthy environment; by providing a bundle of rights and legal tools to all residents of Canada, including accessing information around environmental issues and decisions, standing before courts and tribunals, transparent processes that will help hold the government accountable on effective environmental enforcement and on the review of law and policies through investigations and, if necessary, environmental protection actions; and by extending protections for government whistle-blowers who release information relevant to health and environmental impacts.
    This bill would apply only to federal jurisdiction, and would not change provincial environmental law. The bill would not take away from the rights of Canadian indigenous peoples, as recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution. The bill would specifically exclude the Canadian Environmental Protection Act from its ambit, as that act, after the passage of Bill S-5 last night, provides rights to a healthy environment, although restricted to the scope of that bill. Bill C-219 would extend those rights to the rest of federal legislation.

  (1735)  

    Why do we need this? For one thing, Canadians want it. As I mentioned, in a recent poll, 92% of Canadians agreed we should have the right to live in a healthy environment. However, the right to a clean and healthy environment is a hollow promise if it does not come with accountability measures. That is because, unfortunately, governments often simply do not live up to the legislation they pass. They do not take action to enforce that legislation, including legislation meant to protect our environment.
    I will mention two quick examples of this, and I am sure everyone here in the chamber could add to that list. Ten years ago, in July 2013, a tanker truck rolled into Lemon Creek in the beautiful Slocan Valley, in my riding, and spilled its entire load of 33,000 litres of aviation fuel into this pristine water source. Although this clearly caused environmental harm, not only to the stream and the life within it but also to the residents of the Slocan Valley who relied on that water source, the government of the day refused to act. It was left to a courageous local resident, Marilyn Burgoon, to initiate court action against the trucking company under the federal Fisheries Act. Eventually, perhaps shamed by Marilyn's powerful example, the federal government did agree to step in to help fight this battle, which dragged on until January 2020, for seven years, before finally being resolved. Sadly, Marilyn passed away a few weeks before that case was concluded, but her legacy in the Slocan Valley lives on, and her memory is cherished by many.
    If we declare that Canadians have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment, we must make sure the federal government is accountable for holding up its part of that all-important bargain. Bill C-219 would do that.
    Another example is a more personal one to me. I used to work as a consulting ecologist, and much of my work involved species at risk. For eight years, I was one of the co-chairs of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, or COSEWIC. Under the Species at Risk Act, or SARA as it is called in the trade, COSEWIC has the task of assessing wild species in Canada and advising the government, through the Minister of Environment, of its decisions. Every year, COSEWIC writes a letter to the minister and lists the assessments it has made. Some species might be listed as endangered. Others may be listed as threatened, and still others may be listed as not at risk. Under SARA, the government has nine months to make a decision about listing a species after receiving the advice from COSEWIC. It can adopt the advice or not, but the decision is public and transparent. If a cabinet decision is not made, the decision defaults to the COSEWIC-assessed status.
    All this sounds perfectly logical, but what happened under the Harper government was unexpected. It decided the clock started ticking when the minister told cabinet, so it came up with the cunning plan that the minister would not tell cabinet at all about COSEWIC assessments, even though they were on the public registry. Therefore, that government listed zero species for four years, despite having been advised to list over 80. It avoided the transparent decision part of the deal. I pressured the current Liberal government to at least change that in policy, though it was reluctant to support the bill I put forward to change it into law, so now it is public policy that listing cannot be put off indefinitely.
    Bill C-219 could help in that situation too, since it covers all federal legislation, including SARA, the Fisheries Act and others. This would be for all legislation I mentioned except the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which is carved out because it has a similar promise when it comes to living in a clean and healthy environment.
    Like most members with private members' bills, I have talked to each party about my bill and about why its so important and what it would and would not do. In one of those discussions, the issue of constitutionality came up, so I want to spend a couple of minutes talking about that issue. I will say right off the top that I am confident this bill is constitutional. For one thing, this is the fifth time the bill has been introduced, and as far as I know, this is the first time this concern has been raised. As I mentioned before, the bill passed second reading in a previous Parliament, and the bill is explicitly concerned with actions based on existing federal legislation.

  (1740)  

    None of the rights here apply to matters that are found only in provincial legislation, so I was confident this concern had no real foundation. However, to be sure, I asked the House of Commons legal department to provide an opinion on this matter. This is the conclusion of its opinion:
     After having reviewed the bill carefully, we are of the opinion that the main subject of the bill is not the environment. Consider that the bill would not regulate any aspect of the environment, such as water quality, air quality, species at risk or toxic substances. Rather, the bill relates to civil liberties, which may be regulated by either level of government, depending on which level of government has legislative authority over the institutions and activities to which the civil liberties apply. In the case of Bill C-219, most provisions explicitly apply to federal matters only.
    The opinion also explains why three provisions, while not explicitly applying to federal matters, would be considered by any court as applying to federal matters. Accordingly, the opinion states that no amendment to Bill C-219 is necessary.
    In summary, the environment is a jurisdiction shared between the provinces and the federal government. Some people might therefore be concerned that this bill treads on provincial jurisdiction. However, since this bill deals with human rights and civil rights, and deals with them on matters of federal issues only, this bill is constitutional. I am confident of that and I do not think we need to amend it in any way to deal with that issue.
    I am going to conclude with a plea. We are so proud of this country. We are proud of its size, its beauty and all the resources it provides for us in ways that keep us living in a healthy way in this clean environment. It gives us jobs and also keeps us healthy. I think everybody in the House would agree that we have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment. If we have that right, we need legislation to uphold that right. That is what Bill C-219 would do, and I hope that everyone here will support this bill and provide that right to all Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's bringing forward the legislation, and his comment. The member has made reference to the fact that the bill has been brought forward to the House in the past. He also made reference to the fact that there is joint responsibility between the provinces and the federal government. I would add indigenous peoples to that as a very important factor when we talk about anything related to the environment, let alone any other issue that might be out there.
    Could he just share whether he has had that dialogue and whether he has some direct information he can provide in terms of feedback from the provinces, territories and indigenous communities?

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, as I said, this bill would not infringe on anything involving the indigenous rights under section 35. I discussed this with my colleagues here in this place: the member for Nunavut and the member for Winnipeg Centre, who are well versed in these matters.
     Again, this is the fifth time this bill has been tabled in this place. Those matters have been discussed in committee and discussed at length in other venues, so I am confident we are actually making this country a clean and healthy place for all. Indigenous people are really the best stewards we have had, and I am sure they would appreciate any legislation that would keep us all protected from anything that would limit the ability for us to live in a healthy environment.
    Madam Speaker, I am on the environment committee, so if it does proceed past this stage, I will look forward to seeing it studied in more detail.
    In relation to indigenous communities and indigenous people here in Canada, could the member unpack how this legislation would impact that special relationship that indigenous communities have with the Crown, and how that would impact the environment? I am specifically asking in relation to a number of communities in Alberta that are looking for partnership opportunities when it comes to resource development. I know there are other economic opportunities, fisheries on the coast, and otherwise. Could the member expand on that?
    Madam Speaker, that question is very similar to the previous one.
    With regard to development or anything like that that would have an impact on the environment, Bill C-219 operates through federal legislation. Any development that went through federal legislation, having gone through those regulations, got their permits and all that, would not be affected by this at all.
    This only comes into effect when there are developments that contravene those regulations, those protections that we already have in place. It would not affect any development that is proceeding legally whatsoever.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his bill and the care he took to ensure that it did not affect Quebec's environmental sovereignty.
    Can he clarify how his bill goes much further than the study we did in committee on Bill S-5 with respect to the right to a healthy environment?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am assuming that the member was referring to how this bill extends these rights further than Bill S-5 and in a stronger way.
    This covers all federal legislation, not just the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and it provides, as I mentioned, mechanisms for citizens, if they feel that the federal government is not responding to environmental issues, such as companies that are breaking the law with regard to the environment, citizens could demand an investigation. If that proceeds to a certain point, they could even take environmental action.
    If we are giving people the right to live in a healthy environment, we must uphold that right and we must hold the government accountable with transparent measures so that people know that they can enjoy this right.

  (1750)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member bringing forward Bill C-219. As he is indicated on several occasions, this is legislation that, with a different bill number, has been before the House in the past.
    The timing is really interesting. Just yesterday, we had royal assent on Bill S-5. I was encouraged by the way many members of the House spoke to Bill S-5. I thought that maybe I would pick up on a couple of points, if I may, the first one being something that I think, far too often, does get overlooked, something that we should be talking about more whenever we talk about the environment.
    It is a shared responsibility, as we know. If one were to do a radar scan of one's constituents, we would find that it is typically in the top three or four issues. For me, in Winnipeg North, health care might be number one or in the top two, but the environment and concerns related to the environment are consistently among the top issues that want to be talked about. They also want to see action on the issue of the environment.
    The member talks about shared responsibility. Often, when we talk about shared responsibility, we do not highlight the importance of indigenous people. When we talk about reconciliation, I think it is absolutely critical that indigenous people, governments, first governments and so forth be recognized and appreciated in terms of their important role traditionally, today and going into the future.
    I like to think that Bill S-5, in good part, reinforces that. We talk about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and its adoption. We need to apply that lens to the different types of legislation that come through the House.
    That is the reason I had posed the question to the member. I am concerned about the issue of jurisdictional responsibility, recognizing that the environment does not recognize borders, interprovincially or internationally.
    We just saw a very good example of that with the forest fires. I am thinking of Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta. We had responses across Canada, in trying to assist in dealing with these fires. We also had direct contact with the President of the United States, who was concerned about the quality of air that is going south of the Canada-U.S. border.
    I would like to emphasize that when one talks about the environment, one has jurisdictional responsibility but, even more importantly, many would argue that there is a moral responsibility that is tagged to that jurisdictional responsibility, because air knows no boundaries; water knows no boundaries.

  (1755)  

    When we take a look at what the member also emphasized, it is the issue of environmental rights, the idea of having a right to a healthy environment. That is why, at the beginning, I tied Bill S-5 in. When I spoke on Bill S-5, I like to think that I amplified the issue of the right to a healthy environment and the expectations that Canadians have regarding it.
    Bill S-5 dealt with the assessment and management of substances and ensured that Canadians and residents from coast to coast to coast have a direct link to ensure that they have that right to a healthy environment.
    I understand that the legislation that is being proposed, Bill C-219, wants to expand on that. I think it is worth looking at. The right to a healthy environment means more than just the air we breathe. We can and should be expanding on that.
    I do not want to say that I know all the details of the legislation, nor have I been around to hear the discussions that have taken place at the committee level. What I do know is that there is, as an issue, a desire of the people of Canada to see the government be proactive at dealing with our environment.
    I also recognize that there are not only the legislative measures that I referred to in relation to Bill S-5, but there are also budgetary measures and measures that would be incorporated through regulations that also deal with the concerns that we have with respect to the population as a whole.
    I would like to highlight a few of those measures. When we talk about our environment, we need to try to put it in a way most people, including myself, can understand the issues. When I think of a right to a healthy environment, I would like to think there is a tangible recourse dealing with an issue that is affecting me. When I say, “me”, I am not talking about me as a member of Parliament. I am talking about me as a resident and anyone in the communities we represent.
    If they witness or have a concern about something that is taking place in our environment, they need a vehicle to express that concern with an expectation that someone is actually listening. Hopefully, some form of action can be taken where it is, in fact, warranted.
    I remember many years ago one of the first issues that I ever had to deal with in 1989 or 1990 was the issue of PCBs and how PCBs were impacting a playground at a school. There were concerns, at that time, about Manitoba was going to be able to do.
    There are issues of that nature and issues people want to directly get involved in themselves. There are issues like when the government, through a regulation, said that it wanted to ban single-use plastics or it wanted to provide financial assistance to those who are prepared to look at alternatives to fossil fuels.
    These are the types of initiatives the government can look at and deliver on. The idea of how we can enhance those environmental rights is something I am very interested in.

  (1800)  

     I would look for specific examples that we could, in essence, put into a brochure. I think it is important—
    Unfortunately, the hon. member's time is up. I know that 10 minutes goes by quickly.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent has the floor.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to speak in the House, especially on a subject is important as the environment and our vision for the future of the planet and our country for our children and grandchildren.
    The bill introduced by our NDP colleague deserves our attention. First of all, we feel that the key element of this bill is that it ensures that people can live in a healthy environment. It is a principle we share, of course, and one we shared in Bill S‑5, as the member stated earlier in response to a question from the member for Terrebonne, my Bloc Québécois counterpart. The bill we are currently studying certainly does go much further than Bill S‑5 in protecting the environment and ensuring that people can live in a healthy environment. We recognize that.
    As we see it, however, the bill goes too far in the judicial area. This is a delicate issue. Ultimately, we believe that the judiciary must enforce laws, and that elected representatives of the people must make the laws and vote on them. This is a fundamental principle. Based on the wording of the bill, we think that the judiciary will become the legislative authority. This is where our visions differ. Ultimately, we do not believe that the role of judges is to decide how laws are made, but rather, to decide how they should be enforced. It is the role of the legislator, the elected representatives of the people, to establish legal frameworks. This is not to say that the bill should be scrapped. On the contrary, it contains some positive elements that could serve as inspiration for other legislation and other parliaments. These strong elements could be used to create an even more forceful argument in support of the need for people to live in a healthy environment. We recognize and support this principle.
    This gives us the opportunity to discuss the environmental issue. We all know that climate change is real and that it directly affects peoples' lives. Humans contributed to climate change, so they have a responsibility to take steps to reduce the impact of climate change and, essentially, reduce pollution. Members will recall that just a few days ago, on Monday afternoon, the deputy House leader of the official opposition and member for Mégantic—L'Érable read a motion that was unfortunately rejected by the Liberal government, a move we vigorously condemn. The motion included all the elements of our vision for the environment. Unfortunately, it was rejected by the Liberals. I will read the motion moved by my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable:
    
    That the House:
(a) stand in solidarity with and express its support for all those affected by the current forest fires;
(b) acknowledge that climate change is having a direct impact on people's quality of life, and that it is exacerbating the frequency and scale of extreme weather and climate events, such as floods, tornadoes, forest fires and heat waves;
(c) recognize that the federal government must do more to combat climate change, prevent its impacts and support communities affected by natural disasters;
(d) call on the federal government to take concrete action in the fight against climate change, which is at risk of becoming increasingly expensive for both the public and the environment.
    That text outlined our vision concerning climate change. It unequivocally stated that we acknowledge that climate change exists, that it has an impact on the extreme weather events that we are experiencing, that it makes them worse and that it is our duty, as parliamentarians, to take concrete steps to address that situation. It is unfortunate that, for the sake of petty partisan politics, the government rejected our motion. The Liberals simply had to say yes. I cannot believe that they had anything against a single word or sentence of that motion. However, they could not acknowledge that we Conservatives are thinking about this issue. I understand them, in a way, because they have nothing to be proud of. After eight years of this government, where does Canada stand on the world environmental stage?
    I would remind members that, after being elected in 2015, the Prime Minister was proud as a peacock to stand up at the Paris climate conference and say, “Canada is back”. Eight years later, Canada is way back.

  (1805)  

    It is not me saying it, it is the UN itself. In November, at COP27 in Egypt, the United Nations tabled a report containing a scathing indictment of this Liberal administration. The report assessed the 63 most industrialized countries and scored each country on effectiveness in fighting climate change. Scientists from around the world who were brought together by the UN gave the following report on the Liberal government that has been in power for eight years. Liberal Canada ranks 58th out of 63 countries in terms of fighting climate change. It is not the Conservatives saying that, it is UN scientists who said it in a report.
    Since the UN released that report, I have asked for unanimous consent from the House over a dozen times, if not more, to table that scientific UN document. Once again, the Liberals in power decided that that UN assessment should be swept aside and that they should continue as if nothing were wrong.
    The problem is that they talk a good game but cannot deliver. That is also why Equiterre, the group co-founded by the current Minister of Environment and Climate Change that recently marked its 30th anniversary, decided to sue the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, because it feels that the government is good at rhetoric, but not so good at fighting climate change. Once again, it is not the Conservatives saying that, it is Equiterre, the group co-founded by the current Liberal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. On May 6, 2022, he was sued by Equiterre, the group he founded.
    The government has chosen to fight climate change with taxes. That is not the road we want to take. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, who I just questioned at the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, confirmed that the Liberal approach of creating a second carbon tax on clean energy, as they themselves have stated, will have a direct impact on every family in Quebec. Quebec families will need to spend an average of $436 more because of that double carbon tax. In other words, Quebec families will have $436 less in their pockets because of that double carbon tax. People really do not need that when we know that interest rates are rising. We know that everybody is struggling right now. Creating a new tax during a period of inflation when people are struggling is absolutely ridiculous. I would go so far as to say that only the Liberals could come up with such an idea.
    Let us talk about the future. Let us talk about hope. We Conservatives want the government to put in place concrete, realistic and responsible measures to tackle climate change. If the Liberals do not, we will. The fundamental principle to consider is the need to reduce pollution. That will take concrete action. What does that mean? It means reaching out to polluters and asking them to cut their pollution as much as possible. It is a bottomless pit, but that is okay.
    If we somehow manage to lower our pollution by 20% in one year, I say bravo. However, what is to be done on January 1 to reduce the impact of pollution on our environment? For that, we must rely on research and development, new technologies and tax incentives for businesses to invest in them. Real, concrete measures are needed to reduce pollution.
    Then, the green light needs to be given to green energy. In Canada, we have tremendous solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear energy potential. We can develop our green energy potential even further. To do that, however, the government would have to be willing to move forward and not constantly throw up roadblocks every time we come up with an idea.
    Under Bill C-69, which was passed in 2019 with the backing of the Bloc Québécois, the federal government gave itself veto power over hydroelectric projects in Quebec. That is crazy. If the Government of Quebec wants to propose a hydroelectric project, it should get every facility to move forward, but the federal government gave itself veto power with the surprising and disappointing backing of the Bloc Québécois.
    In addition, our Canadian know-how must be exported. Our natural resources must be exported. It is unfortunate that rare metals like lithium, cobalt and other similar elements are currently being mined in countries where human rights are unfortunately not respected.

  (1810)  

    We need to promote Canadian potential. The fourth part is more than just a pillar; it is the foundation of our whole vision. It is that all this needs to be done in partnership with first nations, as our leader said at a press conference in Vancouver three months ago.
    Madam Speaker, my goodness, I have so much to say to my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent. It is going to take a glass of wine or a beer to talk about it.
    The Bloc Québécois supports the principle of Bill C‑219. We believe that it really needs to be studied in committee. At first glance, the bill seems to be well thought out and drafted, with its preamble clearly setting the context for this desire to include real access to the courts as part of the enforcement of the right to a healthy environment.
    In reading this bill from my colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay, I am pleased to see something other than statements of principle, and to see more legally binding and prescriptive provisions. I am especially pleased that its content has the potential to have a tangible impact on Canadians, the environment and society in general.
    Bill C‑219 also stands in contrast to what the Liberal government has given us. I am talking about its claim to have literally created a right to a healthy environment. I do not know about anyone else, but I believe that the word “creation” implies the idea of accomplishing something bigger than oneself.
    Still, the Liberal government believes that, with Bill S‑5, which modernizes the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, it has done exactly that. We do not think so, however. In fact, senior officials confirmed that this is merely an interpretation key for the implementation of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which does not apply to other legislation and is to be defined at a later date by the Minister of the Environment.
    Let me describe this as a communication strategy. What is the point of having a right if it is unenforceable, and if in the event that this right is violated, remedies and penalties are essentially symbolic and serve as neither a deterrent nor a punishment? The answer is obvious. Sadly, there is a lack of accountability for organizations and individuals who think that they are above the law and who commit reprehensible acts that cause serious harm to the natural environment, to the people who have to deal with it, and to society as a whole.
    Since 2006, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms has established that “[e]very person has a right to live in a healthful environment in which biodiversity is preserved, to the extent and according to the standards provided by law.”
    The Bloc Québécois believes that the Quebec nation has sole jurisdiction over public decisions concerning the environment and Quebec's territory. Therefore, it seems to us that Bill C‑219, as drafted, will be enforceable under federal environmental legislation without adversely affecting the laws of Quebec or Quebec's environmental sovereignty.
    In April 2022, members of the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion affirming the primacy of Quebec's jurisdiction in matters of the environment. I would like to make it perfectly clear that in matters of environmental protection, this essential condition must be met before the Bloc Québécois will support any legislative proposal.
    Elected members from Quebec also unanimously oppose any environmental intervention by the federal government on Quebec's territory. We view this position, which we will voice systematically on the federal political stage, to be a true reflection of the interests and values of Quebeckers. That is our mandate.
    The Bloc Québécois definitely supports the recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a universal human right. It has almost been one year since the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a historic resolution declaring that access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right.
    There were 161 countries that voted in favour of the resolution. According to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, if we want to make this right a reality, governments must recognize it and do what is required to make it a reality. Governments must also ratify and implement all existing multilateral agreements concerning environmental rights.
    Obviously, Bill C‑219 will not make the right to a healthy environment a fundamental right like the rights that are guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, it is interesting to consider studying it in committee if only to examine and better interpret the legal, even constitutional, framework for a Canadian environmental bill of rights.

  (1815)  

    That said, the bill will amend “the Canadian Bill of Rights to provide that the right of the individual to life, liberty and security of the person includes the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.” In that context, it makes sense to think that this right would be quasi-constitutional in scope.
    In support of this scope, I should mention that the preamble to the bill states the following:
    Whereas action or inaction that results in significant harm to the environment could be regarded as compromising the life, liberty or security of the person and as contrary to section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
    Ultimately, my colleague's proposal creates a true right under Canadian environmental laws. It is a right that citizens could avail themselves of in order to require the government to investigate potential violations of environmental laws, to bring an environmental protection action against a person who has allegedly violated federal environmental laws, to file petitions on the review of any federal environmental law, and to file an application for judicial review, including by a person not directly affected by the subject matter of the application, if the matter concerns environmental protection. That is very interesting.
    It is significant that the meaning of the word “environment” and the expression “healthy and ecologically balanced environment” is clarified under the “Interpretation“ heading.
    I also appreciate that the bill includes the concept of the state as trustee of the public good. Protecting the environment means looking after society's collective interest, which is the role of the state, as much for those living now as for future generations. This principle, the fiduciary doctrine, is the very foundation of the progressive work leading to a better understanding and application of environmental rights around the world.
    I must also applaud the Member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay for the attention he has given to an extremely valuable piece of legal content, a section entitled “Paramountcy of Principles of Environmental Law”.
    In any legal context, it is vitally important to be able to rely on clear concepts and recognized definitions, if for no other reason than to allow the legislative branch to unambiguously express what the judiciary must have in mind when seized of a case.
    I am referring to the polluter pays principle, the principle of sustainable development, the principle of generational equity and the principle of environmental justice. I could also talk about the principle of prudence, but it is not there. Instead, we have the precautionary principle. I want to reassure everyone that just because I was a professor in another life, that does not mean that I am going to flunk a member on their exam. I will just make the correction.
    It is a typo. Looking at the English version of the Rio declaration of 1992, it clearly says “precautionary principle”. However, that was poorly translated. The French version refers to the “principe de prudence”, which has nothing to do with the environment. This flawed translation removed the very essence of this principle, which is central to the framework for implementing such a bill.
    The Bloc Québécois succeeded in rallying the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development around this correction during the study of Bill S‑5. The precautionary principle entails abstaining if there is a risk, whereas the idea of prudence instead suggests the authorization of an action and the management of its risk, which is very different. I know my colleague will be quick to make this change. Like the Bloc Québécois, I am sure he sees recognition of the precautionary principle as essential to the framework for implementing legislation to protect the environment.
    In conclusion, I repeat that the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of Bill C‑219.

  (1820)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise on behalf of the people of Skeena—Bulkley Valley in northwest B.C. to speak to Bill C-219, which is before us today.
    I will start by paying tribute to my colleague from South Okanagan—West Kootenay. It has been, and continues to be, such a pleasure to work with him in the House. My colleague is an ardent defender of the environment and, in addition to being an excellent parliamentarian, many people do not know that he is one of Canada's foremost bird experts. I think he probably holds the record for the most question period interventions related to birds. I had the opportunity last year to go birdwatching with him, which was a real treat.
    His work in the House is a service not only to his constituents, but also to all Canadians. The bill before us is just one example of that work, so I want to thank the member for bringing it forward. I am excited it has gotten to this point and will be put to a vote because this is an issue of interest and concern to so many Canadians.
    I also want to acknowledge Linda Duncan, the former member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona, who brought forward a very similar bill during her time in the House. I am sure she is pleased to see these ideas advancing in Parliament.
    Sometimes when I sit in this place, I remind myself, particularly on days when we feel stuck in the weeds of the minutiae of different issues, to reflect on our purpose as parliamentarians, the reason we are here, why we are elected and what our constituents want us to focus on. I can think of nothing more central to our mission, more core to our purpose as a Parliament and as a country, than ensuring our citizens are able to live healthy, fulfilling lives. The security and vitality that could be afforded to every Canadian are so important for us to come back to in all of our work. I cannot think of anything more important in this bill than its articulating in Canadian law the right to a healthy environment, which is very central and relevant to the idea of facilitating healthy, fulfilling lives for all Canadians.
    I was thinking of another person in preparing for this speech, who was 10 years old when I met him. In 2014, I was a small-town mayor in Vancouver for a conference. Going into the Vancouver Convention Centre, I was approached by a 10-year-old boy named Rupert. He is still out there. I looked at the date, did the math and realized that he is now almost 20. Rupert was approaching all the municipal politicians at this convention and advocating for the very concept that we are talking about today in the House of Commons.
    To him, the most important thing we could be doing was ensuring a healthy environment for his generation and generations to come. He looked around at the world that he was inheriting. He was there with his sister Franny, and both were involved in this advocacy. He wanted us, as local politicians, to understand how vitally important it was to protect the environment and pass on an environment that would not put his generation in jeopardy.
    I think sometimes 10-year-olds and young people can see complex issues with such moral clarity. One of the reasons I wanted to amend the Canada Elections Act to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to participate in our elections is that I believe they have so much to contribute to the conversation. Even at 10 years old, Rupert was contributing back in 2014, and I am thinking about him today as we debate this bill in the House.
    We know that the environment is us. We are the environment. We are inextricably linked to our surroundings, the ecosystems and other systems that support life on this beautiful planet. I was reminded of a quote from David Suzuki that speaks to this very well. He said, “We are of the Earth, every cell in our bodies formed by molecules derived from plants and animals, inflated by water, energized by sunlight captured through photosynthesis and ignited by atmospheric oxygen.”

  (1825)  

    Rupert was quoted as saying, “If humans are harming the environment, we're directly harming ourselves”. This is something that for so long we have been oblivious to. It is something I believe as humans we once understood much more intuitively and paid more respect to, this concept of being inextricably linked to our environment, but somehow we have forgotten and have moved away from that.
    I grew up in a remote community out in the bush. When I think about a clean environment, the image that sticks in my mind is that of drinking right out of the river. My parents had a homestead, and we had a log house on the bank of this swift flowing creek, Kiwa Creek. We had a log that went out onto the creek. My father had flattened the top of the log, and we walk out on to that log with a bucket, scoop water right from the river and drink it without any treatment.
    I cannot think of an image that sticks in my mind more when I think of a clean and healthy environment than that of drinking clean water coming from our rivers and streams, yet in so many parts of Canada, that is no longer a safe proposition for people.
    How many among us would disagree that Canadians deserve these things, that they deserve to breathe clean air, drink clean water, eat safe food, live lives free of dangerous toxins, receive the many benefits of healthy functioning ecosystems, and most importantly in this day and age, enjoy the benefits of a stable climate and pass a stable climate on to future generations? As well, as this bill speaks to, who would disagree that they deserve to participate in the decisions that affect the environment and, thereby, affect them?
    For people raising children in this day and age, the right to a healthy environment has a particularly poignant and meaningful relevance. My children are now 18 and 16 and going off into the world, and I think about the future they are inheriting. There is nothing I want more for them than for them to experience the environment in the way I enjoyed and have all of these things I have spoken of to live lives that are healthy and free from environmental harm.
    When thinking about this bill, I also think about all of the people in northwest B.C. who have been fighting for a healthier environment, for a cleaner environment and for the various environmental harms to be dealt with by the government and other governments. I think of the Chicago Creek environmental group near Hazelton, which was responding to a coal spill into Mission Creek, a creek near its community. I heard from indigenous folks in the area, members of the Gitxsan Nation, who are deeply concerned about the impact of that coal spill on the creek itself and on the vegetation surrounding it, vegetation they rely on for a number of purposes.
    I think of CN rail, of course, which runs right through the riding I represent. A couple of years ago, CN rail was found guilty of spraying herbicides right into the waterways that flow into the Skeena River, British Columbia's second-largest wild salmon river.
    I think of community groups in Smithers and in Kitimat that have been working for years to address air quality concerns. I think of one particular citizen of our community, who was deeply concerned about a government practice of spraying arsenic on pine trees to kill the mountain pine beetle, who eventually succeeded in forcing an end to that practice.
    For those people who are watching tonight, and I am sure they are watching on CPAC as all Canadians do, I hope they see some promise in this bill before us.
    I want to again thank my colleague for bringing it forward, and I look forward to the vote in the House of Commons.

  (1830)  

[Translation]

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

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Canada Disability Benefit Act

    Madam Speaker, I thank the minister again for her intervention today.
    Part of the next stage of this, presuming this passes and becomes law, would then be to develop the regulations for this bill and to negotiate with the provinces and territories. This would all be done not through Parliament, not at committee but behind closed doors. While the government touts itself as being open and transparent, the way that this would play out would actually be behind closed doors. There would not be an opportunity to come back to Parliament. There would not be an opportunity to take any of the details of this benefit to committee to be analyzed, to have witnesses testify and to have amendments.
     My question to the minister is this. Would you consider this to be an open and transparent process going into the next stage?
    I just want to remind the member that she is to address all questions and comments through the Chair and not directly to the member.
    The hon. Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
    Madam Speaker, I can reassure the hon. member that this would be a very public process. In fact, because of amendments made in this House, there would be an obligation of the government and of the minister to report to both Houses on engagement: the level of engagement and how we have engaged with the disability community. We would have to report, at the end of one year, what regulations have been put in place and what they look like, not to mention that the regulatory process itself would be quite public.
    In the pre-regulatory process, we have already engaged with the disability community. We are working on a series of round tables. We have a ton of input already. I could go on, but I want everyone to know that we intend to make this a very public, open and transparent process.
    Madam Speaker, I want to ask a little bit about the consultation that has already happened and how far along this is. I know, and the minister and everyone in the House knows, that the community wants this benefit to be passed and that it wants to have it in bank accounts as soon as possible.
    Has some of that consultation already gone forward on regulation, and what kind of timeline do you really anticipate this is going to be?
    I would remind members to address questions and comments through the Chair.
    The hon. minister.
    Madam Speaker, technically, the regulatory process itself has not commenced, because there is nothing to regulate until there is a law, until the bill is passed; however, a lot of work has been done to date. Community members are very engaged on the specific elements, giving us feedback on areas like how the reduction rate should be designed, how much the amount should be, how we work with provinces and territories—

[Translation]

    I am sorry to interrupt the minister, but I have been informed that there are problems with the interpretation.
    It is sorted out now.
    The hon. minister can continue.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, yes, a lot of work has been done technically on specific elements of the benefit, but of course the regulatory process itself cannot start until this bill becomes law.
    Madam Speaker, while I am encouraged that the minister was so deeply involved in ensuring that Bill C-22 was going to move through the House this evening, I am deeply disappointed that the Senate amendment that would have ensured that people with disabilities do not have their benefits clawed back from the insurance industry was not supported. This is essentially going to increase the profits of private insurance companies.
    Why is the minister not willing to stand up and ensure that this amendment that the Senate carefully worked through is included?

  (1835)  

    Madam Speaker, I am not willing to encroach on provincial jurisdiction in the area of general contracting or on private insurance, or create the risk and uncertainty that doing so would do, which is not to say that I have not put a red line in the sand on clawbacks. I am working very closely with provincial and territorial colleagues to make sure that does not happen.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad to stand in the House to speak to Bill C-22 today. It is always an honour to represent my community of Kelowna—Lake Country.
    I know that our Conservative members are all committed to increasing support for Canadians living with a disability. More than one in five Canadians lives with a disability. It is not an insignificant number. In fact, it is not a number at all; these are people. These are family members, friends, brothers, sisters and parents. Canadians living with disabilities can have additional financial burdens with assistance, supplies or equipment that they may require. Canadians living with disabilities are underemployed, as approximately 59% of working-age adults with disabilities are employed, compared to around 80% of those without disabilities, according to Statistics Canada.
    Navigating life with a disability can be a full-time job for many, with no time out and no break. While the intention to support those with disabilities remains, there are many unknowns with Bill C-22, which we are discussing today. This is because the most important details of this bill, such as eligibility, what “working age” means as mentioned in the bill, what the payment amounts will be, what the application process will be, and provincial and territorial co-operation and interaction with other benefits are all being left to be determined through regulation. These would all be determined behind closed doors, with no ability to come back to parliamentarians for debate or amendments, and no opportunity to hear from witnesses at committee in a public venue. Essentially, we have a bill with a benefit and process that are yet to be determined. Canadians living with disabilities deserve legislation that is committed to them through concrete action, not promises.
     This legislation had extensive testimony at the human resources committee, including many written submissions. I will mention just one witness who testified at committee: Michelle Hewitt, chair of the board of directors for Disability Without Poverty, who is also a constituent of mine in Kelowna—Lake Country. I first met Michelle many years ago in my community, and she has been a strong advocate in many ways for persons with disabilities. I will read a couple of comments she made on record during her witness testimony at committee. She said, “Disabled people do not live in poverty because they are worthless to society. It is quite the opposite; it is because their worth is not valued. In fact, people with disabilities contribute over $47 billion to the Canadian economy.” She also stated:
    We talk about lifting disabled people out of poverty, but what does that really mean? Canada's official poverty lines use the market basket measure, which fails to take disability into account.
    We hear the stories of disabled people living in poverty on a daily basis, as they are our friends and family. We can tell you about the man who approached Rabia in the parking lot of a grocery store offering to swap bus tickets for food, or my friend who lives month to month with MAID approved, wondering if this month will be her last because she can't afford to live.
...Time is of the essence. Food inflation is at 11.6%, yet provincial disability payments are not index-linked. This means that in real terms, disabled people fall further behind every day.
    This is why this benefit would most effectively be delivered if details were co-created with persons with disabilities. This is why Conservatives supported amendments at the human resources committee, which passed, to provide more certainty on this benefit, including indexing the benefit to inflation, ensuring the Canada disability benefit payment amount would stay proportionate to the cost of living. We also support the Senate amendments the government has brought forth.
    The creation of the Canada disability benefit should consider the complex web of programs currently in place, which, for many Canadians with disabilities, including those with episodic disabilities, can result in benefit cuts and higher taxes as a consequence of taking on work. There are families that rely solely on benefits due to the nature of the disability, and people are living in poverty.

  (1840)  

    I want to be clear that I am concerned about the potential clawbacks that could affect people. These could be with interactions with provincial or territorial benefits, with interaction of benefits through insurance, or with interactions with federal benefits. While the minister has stated that potential clawback of provincial supports is a red line when negotiating the creation of the benefit with provinces, she has not been able to point to any specifics in the legislation or guarantee that this will not happen. Conservatives proposed an amendment to Bill C-22 at the human resources committee to prevent clawbacks at the federal level. This was written by the legal department of the House of Commons. Disappointingly, the Liberals voted against it and it did not get into the legislation.
    There was an amendment put forth by the Senate to address clawbacks dealing with insurance, based on witness testimony at the Senate. I spoke to a constitutional lawyer about this, who pointed out that there are strong constitutional arguments in favour of this Senate amendment and that it was endorsed by all provincial trial lawyers associations in Canada. However, the Liberal government has not accepted that amendment.
    I want to be very clear, on the record, that Conservatives are concerned with any form of clawbacks, and that this disability benefit act does not have anything in the legislation to give assurances to address this. We will be watching very closely over the next couple of years, once the regulations are developed and this benefit is all implemented and it plays out. Conservatives will be holding the Liberal government to account on this.
    This is all at a time when the cost of rent has doubled and mortgages have doubled. Inflation has hit a 40-year high, and interest rates increased nine times in the past year. Liberal inflationary deficit spending led to high inflation, which led to high interest rates, which will lead to mortgage defaults. This is very concerning, and those with disabilities are among the hardest hit.
    I want to comment on and clarify the parliamentary process and timelines the Liberal government went through with this legislation. The Liberals say that persons with disabilities are a priority; however, it took them six years to take action on this disability benefit. They finally introduced Bill C-35 in 2021, in the previous Parliament, and the Liberals then called an unnecessary election in the summer of 2021, which collapsed the legislation.
    The minister said she was consulting with the disability community. However, she introduced the exact same legislation in 2022. It was a goal of mine, and of my colleagues in the Conservative official opposition, to ensure that Bill C-22 progressed through the committee process diligently and through adding needed amendments, though there are others we wished were agreed to. We managed to get the bill through the committee process quickly and passed in the House of Commons before Parliament rose at the end of 2022. On May 18, the Senate returned the bill to the House of Commons with amendments, and on May 30, at the human resources committee, the minister would not commit to a timeline on which the government would return Bill C-22 to the House of Commons. We have been waiting for weeks.
    I and other Conservative colleagues were hearing from persons with disabilities that Liberal MPs were telling them that Conservatives have delayed this legislation. I want to be very clear that those comments are a fabrication and a falsehood. I would just tell people to look at the facts, the actions at committee and the parliamentary process the Liberal government has followed in bringing this forward. This debate could have been held weeks earlier than today if the Liberals had brought it forward.
    As I mentioned earlier, the level of disability poverty in Canada remains a prominent issue, and we have a responsibility to do better. The Conservative members of Parliament are committed to supporting Canadians living with disabilities, and not penalizing people and families. Therefore, I can say that we are all in agreement that the Canada disability benefit must be passed, and we encourage the government to immediately get to work consulting with the disability community, as the minister has said that the regulations will, in fact, take a year to develop. We heard that today in response to my questions for the minister.
     With that being said, our Conservative caucus will remain vigilant in ensuring that the government fulfills its promises to the disability community.
    Madam Speaker, I know it has been a very difficult time to try to get the Liberal government to accept proposals that have been coming from the opposition parties, so I very much appreciate the work the member has been doing, and I certainly agree with her on our wanting to make sure that this is very strong legislation and that we really push the government on those clawbacks. I agree with her on that.
    I do want to ask a question. We know there is going to be a time gap between when regulations happen and when the money is going to get into folks' bank accounts. In committee, I and the NDP asked for an emergency interim benefit, and I am wondering if the member is in agreement with that, now that these things have changed slightly.

  (1845)  

    Madam Speaker, I know that, jointly, the member and I had worked really hard at committee to make sure that some amendments got through. As I mentioned earlier, there were some that I wish would have gotten through that were not accepted. We worked on that.
    With regard to that, we would have to look at it. I think part of the challenge right now, as I mentioned in my speech, is that inflation is so incredibly high. The actions of the government with the last budget, with its inflationary deficit spending, are only going to pour fuel on the inflationary fire.
    It is going to be even more difficult for people. We absolutely need to make it a priority as well to bring inflation down so that interest rates can go down and people do not lose their homes.
    Madam Speaker, given that the member's concerns regarding the clawbacks were not adequately addressed and that the act to restrict the charges from disability tax promoters was passed unanimously, yet took eight years to implement, how confident is she that this bill will come forth and be enacted and that people will not, instead, be faced with medical assistance in dying to lift themselves out of poverty? For all those years that the promoters were collecting money, it went toward the promoters instead of the people living with disabilities.
    Madam Speaker, we heard more than once in testimony at committee that people were considering MAID because they could not afford to live; I must say, that was absolutely heartbreaking.
    It is unbelievable that people feel that way and are dealing with that in Canada. As I mentioned in my intervention, my Conservative colleagues and I have a lot of concerns around clawbacks, which is why we tried to put something in the legislation. Unfortunately, it was not accepted by everyone.
    We are going to keep pressing the government on that. There should have been something in the legislation. As I mentioned, we had legal in the House of Commons draft something that was very simple in order to address that, specifically at the federal level, which is within our jurisdiction. Unfortunately, that was not supported.
    Madam Speaker, my constituents in Guelph have been talking about clawbacks as well.
    However, we accepted five of the six amendments from the Senate. In our government, two-thirds of amendments coming from the Senate are generally accepted. In the case of clawbacks, it is so important for us to work with provinces and territories. It is their area of jurisdiction. In Ontario, ODSP has to coordinate with what we are proposing. Although it might look good for us to tell the provinces what to do, eventually, it could end up in the Supreme Court.
    Could the hon. member tell us how important it is for us to coordinate with the provinces and territories, to the benefit of all Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, part of the situation is that, in the legislation, there is so much that is so vague that there are really no assurances. Even if all the fine details were not defined, there is a lot of vagueness in here. That is part of the concern that we have. Not only that but, frankly, we heard lots of testimony about this at committee.
    All the vagueness in this legislation is a real concern for people. That is why, as I mentioned in my speech, we will be holding the government to account on all the commitments they have made.

  (1850)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise this evening to discuss Bill C‑22, which will be implemented. We should collectively congratulate ourselves for the work that has been done.
    Of course, we could look back and talk about the pitfalls that we ran into in coming up with this bill, but I think that all the parties here in the House of Commons have always supported the many disability organizations and advocacy groups that have come out time and time again to express their desire to see this Canada disability benefit become a reality. We do not consider these people to be different. As one of my colleagues and friends would say, they are unique. I believe that the basic purpose of this bill is to lift these people out of poverty.
    I would like to take this opportunity to salute the many organizations in my riding that are dedicated to this cause and that support and stand by people with disabilities. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to salute the Mouvement Personne d'Abord de Sainte‑Thérèse, which advocates for people living with an intellectual disability. This year, it is celebrating 25 years of defending and promoting the rights of these individuals.
    I also want to acknowledge the many witnesses who met with us at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities during the study of this bill. I especially want to thank Disability Without Poverty, the Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec, the Fédération des Mouvements Personne d'Abord du Québec, the Québec Intellectual Disability Society, and all the others.
    There is one thing we all agree on and must make sure of: Although this has always been the stated intention and objective of the government, this new disability benefit needs to be a supplement to and not a replacement of the support that currently exists for these people in Quebec and in the provinces. We will have to be especially vigilant.
    That will be a major challenge because we know that, in both Quebec and the other provinces, the programs are not necessarily standardized. As part of our work, we have focused on the objective and guarantee of ensuring that they are complementary. As we know, a higher proportion of people with disabilities live in poverty than the general population. The pandemic has once again provided a powerful illustration of that reality. We know that the current economic climate is making it harder for people with disabilities to meet their basic needs, such as food, housing and clothing. Those are basic needs.
    It is very difficult for people to break out of this cycle of poverty when they do not have access to sufficient income to begin with. We want people with disabilities to be able to participate fully in life and society. They are already doing so, but we want to give them every possible means to ensure that their inclusion and participation are as active as possible. That is why the benefit must provide a minimum of resources or a decent amount of income. It is about ensuring that these people's incomes are above the poverty line and that they can live decently and with dignity.

  (1855)  

    As has already been said, there was also a consensus that the groups representing these individuals should be able to actively participate in the process, so that the process is done “by and for” persons with disabilities. That is why the consultations will be so important, and as soon as the bill is in force, I hope we will be able to get this major regulatory work under way as quickly as possible.
    Quebec recently developed its basic income program, which is aimed specifically at people with severe employment restrictions and has been in effect since January 1, 2023. I think it is a good model to follow. All this to say that, if we want to implement a Canadian benefit similar to the guaranteed income supplement, we have to make sure that it complements what already exists and that it will not take anything away from the flagship social programs that are already in place in certain provinces for these individuals.
    We all want this bill to pass as quickly as possible. Several amendments were proposed in committee to establish when this new benefit will be available and to set a deadline so that it does not take months and years to become a reality. We know that it will take a tremendous amount of work because agreements must be reached with the provinces and territories, which, as I mentioned, do not have the same social programs. Regulations will have to be created to cover a long list of elements.
    We have some reservations about this bill. The amendment we wanted to move in committee concerned the regulatory work. We wanted to know the amount of the benefit, the eligibility criteria and the terms of payment. All of that is like a blank page because parliamentarians have no control over these terms as they will be established by regulation. We know that regulations can be rescinded at any time. If the bill had provided parliamentarians with some oversight of these terms, I believe that this would have provided more guarantees about what we want to achieve.
    Unfortunately, these amendments were rejected. The amount of money going to people with disabilities will be significant, or at least that is our hope. It is quite unprecedented that such an amount cannot be approved by Parliament and is not formally enshrined in law, but rather set by regulation.
    We also agree with the government's response to the Senate amendments. We had the same misgivings, particularly about the amendment concerning clawbacks for private contracts or insurance.
    I even had the opportunity to speak with a few individuals. If there is one thing that people with a disability do not need, it is a constitutional debate over provincial jurisdiction. As far as private contracting and insurance plans are concerned, I think that we would only be delaying things if we had to have a legal debate about whether or not these individuals are entitled to the benefits in question. These are issues that warrant careful study. In our opinion, the response that was respectfully given to the senators who worked on this bill was more than adequate, and we are open to the other amendments.
    What can we collectively hope for, not just for ourselves, but for all people with disabilities? When we look at all the organizations and individuals that make up our society, when we look at the status of women, indigenous or racialized people, we see that there are still other factors of discrimination that negatively affect them.

  (1900)  

    We can only hope that the government will be thorough and that members will exercise oversight to ensure that this bill will meet the objective of those—

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member from the Bloc for her thoughtful intervention tonight. I was particularly interested in her comments around working together with the provinces and territories to come to an agreement.
    With respect to the Canada child benefit, we were the government that negotiated no clawbacks.
    We are now putting into legislation the early learning and child care benefit that we have also negotiated with the provinces and territories.
    We are developing a track record. In fact, we have one we are expanding, and this will become part of what we are doing together with the provinces and territories. Instead of telling them what to do, we will work together.
    Could the hon. member talk about how important it is, particularly with us working with Quebec and the other provinces, to get this right together?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is a must, especially when dealing with issues such as this.
    It was hard not to work with Quebec on child care. They drew on the Quebec model because it is recognized around the world. We have been using the model for 25 years, so yes, an agreement was required. This time it was asymmetrical. Members can understand the context.
    To put in place a Canadian benefit for people with disabilities akin to the guaranteed income supplement we know from pension plans, it is a must. It is going to take more than co-operation; it is going to take agreements.
    We already have social programs in Quebec. We already have support for these individuals. If they want to take additional measures that are complementary, they absolutely must have agreements with the provinces, which also have jurisdiction in this area.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I want to express how shameful it is that it has taken us this long to get to the point we are at today. I know so many people living with disabilities in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith who have been legislated into poverty and struggling to make ends meet, keep food on the table and keep a roof over their head. It is time for us to get this done, so I am happy we are moving in the right direction today.
    One thing the NDP has been pushing for through this whole process, and of course my colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam has been fighting to ensure, is that people living with disabilities have enough money to be able to make ends meet. It is not good enough for us to just push this through and then they are still struggling to make ends meet.
    My question for the member is this. Does she feel this is a step that provides her with the optimism we all need that people with disabilities will not have to keep living in poverty and will in fact allow them to live with the dignity and respect they deserve?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am equally optimistic. I would be more inclined to see the glass as half full than half empty. That is already a step forward.
    People with disabilities are in great need of a boost to their abilities. Fortunately, there are programs that support them. In any case, I am proud of what is being done in Quebec, but I think we have to go much further.
    What we need as parliamentarians to ensure that the work is done quickly, realistically and in line with the objective is accountability and regular updates on the work being done. Without this, a lot of time can be lost.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have a quick question for the member with respect to the timing.
    We know the government has been working on this for years. It tabled the first legislation back in 2021. Then, because of the snap election, it stopped and had to start all over again, so it has been working on it for years.
    We hear once it passes, presumably it will still take another year in order to negotiate with the provinces and develop the regulations.
    I wonder if the member has a concern that the government is already years into it, yet it does not have regulations at this point.

  (1905)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, some situations make us wonder if we still believe in this.
    I think it is also important to take into account people with disabilities. Overwhelmingly, they came and told us that they wanted regulations to be made by and for them, so we will have to go through this whole exercise.
    What I want is for us to stop dragging our feet. Now that we have the tools and have established criteria, we must take action. We cannot change the past.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we are here today debating the Canada disability framework bill because of the incredible work done by the disability community, individuals, advocates and allies who have worked tirelessly to express to all members of this House the urgent need to improve the lives of persons with disabilities living in poverty in this country.
    Their work has been difficult and powerful, and it is not finished yet. As we speak, disability organizations and advocates are gathered in New York City, attending the 16th session of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, still fighting for equality and human rights for persons with disabilities in Canada and across the globe.
    This is the work they should not have to do. Persons with disabilities should not have to face discrimination and should not have to navigate the many barriers that are currently in place. It is our work here in this place to remove these obstacles. That is what the NDP will continue to do, as we have always done.
    My colleagues and I are disappointed that the Canada disability framework does not yet meet the requirement of upholding human rights and does not ensure every Canadian with a disability is protected from poverty.
    That is why the NDP will hold the government to account, to work collaboratively with the disability community, to meet its expectations and to create regulations in Bill C-22 that will put an end to disability poverty.
    Bill C-22 initially came to the House incomplete and clumsy. New Democrats worked to improve it, proposing an assurance of an adequate income that conforms to article 28 from the CRPD, which states:
... the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing...
    The Liberals should have accepted that and yet, in committee, they would not even allow for the debate, and the Conservatives abstained from having a vote on that debate and from standing up for human rights based on that amendment, abstained from even considering it.
    Fortunately, even without that opportunity to debate the need for adequacy, the NDP was able to include adequacy in regulations. That adequacy has been enhanced with an amendment from the other place, which I appreciate.
    Making adequacy even stronger but not absolute in stature is better than not having adequacy at all.
    It will now be left up to the minister, and order in council, to honour the intent of adequacy and to honour the trust extended by the community, and the House, and build a benefit amount with a foundation based on human rights and adequacy, and to protect from clawbacks of any kind, including public insurance companies and in the negotiations with provinces and territories.
    We all know that provinces already offer unequal benefits and some claw back funds from those living with a disability. In Alberta and Nova Scotia, for example, a person can only make around $10,000 annually before they experience clawbacks of their benefits. The provinces and territories do not have benefits that match the financial requirements to live in Canada.
    The government must work to ensure that wherever one lives in Canada, one’s location does not indicate the quality of life one has access to. New Democrats have stated that this benefit must be an amount that will actually lift people out of poverty.
    We know that Bill C-22 is urgently needed and it has been delayed for far too long, over and over again by the government. The community has been forced to wait and wait, and that delay by the Liberals has created a rush to the finish line. I have received hundreds of emails and phone calls asking for the government to get this bill passed and those voices can no longer wait.
    The New Democrats will not ignore these Canadians. We will advance this bill while still holding the government to account, like we always do. The fight continues and the government must do the work to ensure that it meets the expectations of the disability community.
    New Democrats will hold the government accountable for working with the provinces and territories to ensure that private insurance companies are not the beneficiaries of funding meant to go directly to people with disabilities living in poverty.

  (1910)  

    With the implementation, this benefit must do its work and not enhance the pocketbooks of corporate Canada. This Liberal government must not leave people behind again.
    In addition, it is time for this government to acknowledge that an immediate interim support is needed. As the bill progresses into 2024, Canadians living with a disability in poverty cannot make ends meet. The reality is that, right now, poverty continues to be forced on them, and they must choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. One more year of waiting or more is not acceptable. The government must provide, in good faith, financial relief now for these Canadians who are suffering as they wait for this benefit. Financial relief is needed today.
    The minister said that the government does not want to work on a disability emergency response fund while working on Bill C-22. However, those living in poverty do not have the luxury of that choice. Today, the NDP asks again for the government to enact an immediate relief payment, or what the community is calling “DERB”, as the community is asking for it.
    The delays in this process with the bill has shown Canadians that the Liberal government is not concerned about upholding the rights and dignity of persons living with a disability. Government members know about the inadequacies of provincial and territorial benefits, yet they sit by and choose not to act on it until they are forced to, unless, of course, they are acting on behalf of corporate Canada. The NDP has seen this government support legislation that put millions of dollars into greedy CEOs' pockets instantly while it drags its feet on investing in pharmacare, accessible housing, employment insurance reform and the protection of indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people.
    Almost a million people in Canada with a disability live in poverty because of the discriminatory practices and ableist government policies that exclude them. This is unacceptable. The lack of accessible homes, inaccessible infrastructure and limited inclusion in the workplace creates barriers that have resulted in poverty; legislated poverty that past and present Conservative and Liberal governments have perpetuated.
    Bill C-22 is a welcomed step forward to provide Canadians living with a disability new supports. I appreciate that. However, this new benefit must be adequate and accessible in 2024.
    I will wrap up by acknowledging the toll that this process has taken on those in the disability community and all the hard work they have done to get us to this point. Their work has brought results, and I look forward to the co-creation to now begin. They can rest tonight on their win and know that the New Democrats will continue to fight alongside them again tomorrow.
    Madam Speaker, I must admit that I am a little bit surprised by some of the words that are being put on the record.
    What we are talking about is a historic piece of legislation, and we can thank the community of people with disabilities throughout the country for the advocacy that they have done and conveyed to the member for Delta. From my perspective, in my decades of being a parliamentarian, I have never seen a parliamentarian who has been as strong an advocate for people with disabilities than the current minister.
    Would the member not recognize that this is indeed historic legislation and maybe remind the House if she can recall any private members' bills on this? I, myself, cannot.

  (1915)  

    Madam Speaker, I think that when we are talking about Canadians who are living in poverty, we do not make comparisons. We are talking about people in Canada who are living in poverty. So, although the Liberals want to take a win every time they do something they should be doing on human rights, NDP members are disappointed that the bill is not stronger. We will continue to be disappointed until this government delivers adequate income supports for persons living with disabilities, who are disproportionately discriminated against in this country because they have a disability.
    Madam Speaker, it was nice working with my colleague on the HUMA committee to study this bill.
    I have seen a lot of genuine and authentic effort from the minister responsible for this bill. I will absolutely recognize that. However, just having an authentic minister who genuinely believes in this and has lived experience, quite frankly, around this does not negate the bureaucracy that she has to face.
    Does the member have faith that the Liberal government will actually be able to deliver this in a timely manner based on what we have seen so far?
    Madam Speaker, it is fair to acknowledge that the minister has a lot of trust in this process. The disability community has given her trust and members of this Parliament have given her trust. However, I am still nervous, because at the end of the day, this has to be a benefit that lifts people out of poverty. As I said in my speech, I am hoping that the trust and honour are rewarded, not for us but for the people in Canada who need this benefit to make ends meet.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for all the work that I know she has put into trying to make this bill better in what has been a frustrating process. We are working with a government that has promised, with its many opportunities, to bring forward this legislation expeditiously over two Parliaments, and we are only now just getting to the end of the legislative process.
    As the member pointed out, the bill is not perfect. One of the issues with the bill, as I understand it, which I would be glad to get her commentary on, is that the program is largely set up in regulation. That means a future government that is not on board with providing this benefit, either at all or according to the terms and conditions the government will ultimately set in regulation, can scrap the program with the stroke of a pen at the cabinet table. It will not come back to Parliament if this program is destroyed.
    I hope the member will talk a bit about the kind of protection we could have afforded people living with disabilities if we had legislated more of the program details instead of leaving that to regulation.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank very much the member for Elmwood—Transcona, because it was he who really moved this along before I was even elected. He was also the one who talked about the fact that persons with disabilities needed additional funds through CERB during COVID because it is more expensive to have a disability in this country. I appreciate all the work the member did.
    The NDP pushed very hard to have within legislation, within statute, that this benefit provide an adequate income. Not having that protection, that minimum, in legislation is a risk, and I am worried about it. I am worried every time we talk about there being a new government, as we may lose things that have not yet been voted on. That is why it is so important that we get the bill through and get the legislation going. Then we really need to hold the Liberals to account for all the promises they have broken in the past.

[Translation]

    It being 7:20 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier this day the motion is deemed to have been adopted.

    (Motion agreed to)

  (1920)  

[English]

    The member for Kelowna—Lake Country is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, it is my understanding that the member for Kitchener Centre would like to speak to this, but because of the draconian motion the Liberals and the NDP put forward for restricting debate, he is not allowed to. Quorum calls are not even allowed in this place.
    I note that the member contributed a lot at committee. He brought forth several motions, and my understanding is that he would like to speak this evening to this piece of legislation.
    The hon. member mentioned quorum and she knows what the motions that were already adopted in the House say. Unless there is unanimous consent, the motion before the House stands.

Canada Early Learning and Child Care Act

    She said: Madam Speaker, it gives me such tremendous pleasure to rise on the occasion of third reading of Bill C-35, an act respecting early learning and child care in Canada.
    Today is another historic step toward having federal legislation with regard to early learning and child care. I have spoken numerous times in this House about the benefit of early learning and child care. I have talked about the life-changing experiences it has led to for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    We are coming up on the two-year anniversary of signing the first agreement with British Columbia, and since then, as members know, all 13 provinces and territories have signed on. That has meant 50% fee reductions as of December 2022 in every single jurisdiction. Six jurisdictions, Quebec, Yukon, Nunavut, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, have already achieved $10-a-day child care in regulated spaces, which is well ahead of schedule, and we are on track to meeting our objective by 2026.
    We understand that what is important is making sure that all Canadian families have access to affordable child care, so we have also committed to increasing the number of spaces by 250,000 in that same time period. About 52,000 have already been created with the provinces and territories. It is so incredible to be at a groundbreaking or to hear from families that now have access to affordable child care.
    Of course, we cannot do this without the talented and qualified early learning and child care workforce, which is the backbone and beating heart of child care in Canada. We recognize those tremendous workers, who go to work so the rest of us can go to work as well.
    Having quality, inclusive, affordable and accessible child care is exactly why we are here at third reading debating Bill C-35, moving it through the legislative process and hopefully continuing to get the unanimous support of every single party and member in this House to move forward and do something that is truly historic and truly transformative for Canadian families.
    Do not just take it from me. Since I have spoken a lot about the benefits of child care, what I would like to do tonight is share the voices of Canadians and share what Canadians across this country are saying about our Canada-wide early learning and child care initiative.
    Candice from Burnaby, British Columbia, said, “we paid $455 for TWO kids to be in daycare for the month of December. Is this real life? Three cheers for your hard earned tax dollars being put to our use. I love you all.”
    Katie from Ottawa, Ontario, said, “Just paid our January daycare fees. Under $500!!!!! This is a 55% reduction from last year. This is going to make such a huge difference for so many families.”
    Greg from Kelowna, B.C., said, “My daughter's daycare fees have dropped from $1200 to $500 per month as well. It sure reduces the stress, including the strain on us grandparents.”
    Ben from Toronto said, “Our infant's daycare fees have dropped $500 (FIVE HUNDRED) per month, and on the 26th at her 18mnthaversary it will drop an ADDITIONAL $200 (TWO HUNDRED!!) per month. Probably one of the largest pieces of legislation to personally affect me in my lifetime.”
    Alana from Ontario said, “This is incredible work—I am so grateful as a mother to benefit from this and see my children thrive, as a RECE to feel hopeful for the future, and as an advocate to contribute to building this system.”
    Amil said, “We are finally FINALLY seeing real reductions in our daycare costs. It's genuinely life-changing to see fees reduced by just over 50%—this is how you support families, this is how you achieve real equity in the workforce.”
    Jocelyne from B.C. said, “My daughter on Vancouver Island found out yesterday that her daycare will be charging $10/day. This is huge for families! Thank you to the federal and provincial gov for collaborating on this excellent legislation. It truly puts families first.”

  (1925)  

    Isabelle from Toronto said, “It was absolutely surreal to see my daycare fees drop from a high of $167.25. As of Jan, we will be paying less than 50% of that, on a path to $10. Two kids, non-profit centre, Toronto.”
    Clay from Nova Scotia said, “I remember when my grandmother who raised me on her own received $20 a month baby bonus & how much it meant to her. The Liberals did that and improved it every time they formed government. I can't imagine what a $10 dollar a day childcare would be single moms today.”
    A tweet from someone in the Snuneymuxw territory said, “Thank you and your party for every one of these steps forwards for Canadians during these very challenging times. Though I'm not a member of any political party, I admire the progress made by @liberal_party despite the official opposition's grandstanding and obstructionism.”
    Karen said, “Early '90's I paid $900/mo for 1 preschool[er] and 2 after-schoolers. Thank goodness families today will have a better chance of getting ahead.”
    A parent from Alberta said, “I paid a lot in daycare costs, and I didn't have a choice. I am more than okay with families getting help with costs. It benefits us all when parents are able to join the workforce.”
    Another person said, “My highest daycare bill for 2 kids was $2100. That's now over for me but working families should not have to pay that much. A break was much needed.”
    The principal from Ataguttaaluk Elementary School in Igloolik, Nunavut, said, “It helps students prepare in a more formal setting for school, kindergarten, grade one and up. When you can introduce students at the young age of three, four to a routine or a program I think it benefits them years down the road in their education.”
    Meghan from Winnipeg said, “I can't bring my baby to work. $10 a day childcare has been absolutely fantastic.”
    A parent from P.E.I. said, “This is great news! This helps families, and will result in better outcomes for kids—the more support we give to early learning and childcare centres, the healthier and happier children are. The economic ROI is huge—and parents can choose to return to the workforce!”
    Amy from Nunavut said, “I work in the field of ELCC in Nunavut and their multilateral and coinciding bilateral agreements with all P/T's have allowed for crucial initiatives and programs that otherwise would have been impossible.”
    Let me tell members what Myra said. She said, “Thank you, Minister Gould. As a minority member of the society, I've witness[ed] friends and family members who struggle to keep up with inflation and high interest rates. This will surely help families, especially children and women.”
    Sam said, “I just found out yesterday my daughter was accepted for a full time spot!! We'll be paying just 22$/day! This is a MASSIVE help to our budget, we would have been paying 59$/day if not for this program.”
    Quinn said, “Affordable child care most importantly allows for my children to grow and develop in a safe, loving, and nourishing environment. The early years are so [important] and without the affordability, so many people were missing out on the perks of a licensed child care facility. They are shaping our little people into who they are going to be in the future. Secondly, it allows moms to work who may not have been able to before due to the high cost of childcare. For myself, I work in this field as well and the benefits for all my families in my centre are huge. This has been such a blessing all around!”
    Finally, Natalia says, “This reduction in feeds has meant that I can go back to work. I'm a mother of 2 boys, a 3.5 year old and a 16 month old. If the fees would have continued to be so unaffordable, I would not have been able to afford childcare for my children and would have had to stop working outside of the home for a number of years to care for my little ones. This means that as a woman I can continue to have a professional life while being a mother. It means that we can afford a better life for my family and most importantly, it means that I feel happy and productive because I want to work and have a career.”
    These are just a few examples of what Canadians are saying across this country about what the Canada-wide early learning and child care agreements and this legislation mean to them. I think that last point is really important. It is really about choice. When someone cannot afford child care and cannot afford to work, they are not really making a choice. What we are offering Canadian women, Canadian families and Canadian children is a real choice, the choice that they can be a parent and can also be in the workforce.

  (1930)  

    The stats are backing that up. In the past year, from April 2022 to April 2023, unemployment among women over the age of 25 dropped 10% in Canada. That means that the participation of prime-age women in the Canadian workforce has expanded by almost 100,000 women. We have reached an all-time high of Canadian women in the workforce, and the Bank of Canada points to our early learning and child care initiative as one of the key factors.

[Translation]

    Twenty-five years ago, Quebec established its child care system. Today, 85% of Quebec women over age 25 with children under four years old are in the workforce. That is the highest rate in the world.
    Quebec economist Professor Fortin attributes this high percentage to Quebec's child care system. We know that making sure high-quality, affordable and inclusive day care centres are available is a powerful economic driver.

[English]

    It is a strong economic engine for our country, for our society and, most importantly, for our families. What it means is that they now have that extra bit of disposable income to pay what they need to pay for, to make sure that they are providing the best start and the best quality of life to their children.
    Debating Bill C-35 here is an exciting opportunity for us to enshrine in Canada, in federal legislation, the role of the federal government to ensure that future generations will not have to worry about the cost of child care. They will not have to worry about making that impossible choice between whether they want to continue to pursue a career or whether they want to stay home and raise their children, because they will actually have the opportunity to make that choice.
    We know there is a lot of work ahead when it comes to affordable child care in Canada, but we would not be able to do any of this work if we had not put those bilateral agreements in place and if we were not bringing forward this legislation.
    That does not mean that we do not see challenges and it does not mean that there will not be bumps along the road of implementation; that is what happens when we build a brand new social program, the biggest and most important social program in this country in probably 50 years. It means that we should keep pursuing that objective and keep building that new system, that transformational objective that is going to have such a positive impact on families across this country.
    Indeed, those stories that I read into the record show that it is already having a positive impact, so I hope I can continue to count on the support of all members in this place to keep advancing this legislation so that we can keep working together to do what is right for Canadian families, for Canadian children and for our economy. This is smart economic social policy that I think is going to have a truly transformational impact on our country, and members do not have to take it from me: This is what Canadians are saying right across the country.
    With that, let us move expeditiously through third reading. We have gone unanimously through second reading unanimously through report stage. Let us get unanimously through third reading and send this over to the other place. Let us deliver affordable, accessible, high-quality, inclusive child care for all Canadians.

  (1935)  

    Madam Speaker, I have an opportunity to speak as the critic and offer the other side to a lot of those positive stories. I think it is important to have that on the record also.
    I would like to have on the record the minister's prediction of how successful she thinks this program is going to be in five years' time. Particularly, by how much does the minister think wait-lists are going to go down? I would like it read into the record today.
    Madam Speaker, in contrast to the Conservatives, I am an optimist, and I believe that when one works hard, develops good policy and does things that actually help people, it is going to make a difference. We have already seen the creation of over 50,000 new spaces in our country, in provinces and territories and in communities big and small.
    We are committed to creating another 200,000 spaces. Those are the commitments of the federal government, but provinces and territories, if they want to, can also create additional spaces. I believe strongly that in five years' time, this is going to continue to be a success and that we are going to have even more stories to read into the record about how transformational this initiative has been for Canadian families, Canadian children and particularly for Canadian women.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister not just for her speech but for the incredible amount of work that went into this. It cannot have been an easy task to go to every jurisdiction throughout the country to negotiate the various different deals and arrangements she was able to accomplish in a relatively short time span, given what would have been involved in it.
    I note that despite the continuous objections from Conservatives when they come into the House and downplay the legislation, at the end of the day they ended up voting in favour of it. What I also find to be extremely remarkable is that this seems to have been, at least outside of this chamber, in the engagement with the rest of the country in provinces and jurisdictions, a non-partisan issue. Conservative premiers embraced the concept throughout the country.
    I am wondering if the minister would like to comment on that process.
    Madam Speaker, yes, it was a very interesting process, and at times a challenging one, to negotiate with the 13 different provinces and territories, but as my colleague alluded to, regardless of political stripe, in the end, every single province and territory signed on to the initiative and are now moving forward enthusiastically. In fact, the current Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, campaigned on $10-a-day day care in the most recent provincial election, and Alberta was one of the last jurisdictions to sign on.
    However, what the premiers have come to understand and what they have seen borne out is that this is not only an extraordinarily popular program with parents but also an incredible economic driver. The return on investment to our economy is huge. The prediction is that anywhere between $1.80 and $2.60 will be returned to the economy for every dollar that is invested. There is a prediction that there could be an increase to the GDP of 1.2% over the coming years.
    These huge contributions will take place because of additional people in the workforce, and we are already seeing that with the labour stats that I cited in my speech.
    This is a tremendous policy that is having a tremendous impact on Canadians across the country.

  (1940)  

    Madam Speaker, this program is not about choice. It gives money to certain people in certain situations who are not necessarily those who need the support the most.
    The minister cherry-picked quotes that she had received. I would like to share and put on the record a quote from a child care operator in my riding, and I would like the minister's response to it. This person wrote to the HUMA committee, saying, “The child care industry in Canada is in crisis today as a result of the federal government's overreach through this program, and I fear that Bill C-35 does not sufficiently recognize that Canada's current child care system still depends on thousands of private operators, despite the directional preference for the not-for-profit business model.
    “The on-the-ground experience of private operators reflects that this model is currently not meeting its promised intentions for affordable, equitable, accessible, high-quality child care for families as wait-lists soar around the country, creating inaccessible and inequitable access to the promised affordable child care, which is preventing parents from re-entering the workforce.”
    Further on she stated, “While both levels of government made flashy announcements about how they were creating affordable child care for families, small businesses, often run by women and new Canadians, are being forced into bankruptcy and staff face extreme burnout, while frustrated parents are, in fact, unable to access the promised affordable, equitable and accessible child care the governments have announced.”
    Why did the minister not read that quotation as part of her motivation for this bill?
    Madam Speaker, it is disappointing that the Conservatives focus on the negative instead of focusing on how we are trying to work to improve this bill. At the end of the day, they did vote in favour of the bill, so I hope they will continue to do that.
    What is also important is that while the Conservatives keep saying that private operators are shut out, that is just not true, particularly in Alberta, where we have negotiated an increase in private for-profit operations of 22,500 additional spaces in the for-profit sector. They keep focusing on it and they keep saying it, but it is just not true. We want to see that increase in child care spaces. We do say that we want to prioritize not-for-profit growth because these are public dollars, but private operators are absolutely not shut out. In fact, all existing private operators across the country are grandfathered in.
    I did not say there would not be challenges. We are building something new. We have never had a child care system before, but instead of saying “Let us do nothing; those challenges exist, so we should rip the bill up”, I am saying we should continue to work on this and build a better system that works for everyone.
    Madam Speaker, we know how important child care is. I have spoken in this House many times about the impacts on constituents in my riding. I wonder if the minister could explain the plan a little more for moving forward to ensure that we have skilled and qualified people in these positions.
    We know this is not a workforce shortage but a pay shortage, a benefit shortage and a retirement income shortage. How are we making sure that we have qualified people in these positions and that they are paid appropriately so that children in Canada get the quality care they deserve?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for that important question.
    We will not have a high-quality, accessible, affordable, inclusive child care system without the workforce to deliver it. Of course, the workforce forms the backbone and the heart of our child care initiative. With every agreement we have signed on child care, we have ensured that the provinces and territories have to do a couple of things to access those funds, the first of which is to create a wage grid and make sure they are paying an adequate wage to our ECEs. They have work to do when it comes to building a workforce recruitment and retention strategy.
     We have seen provinces and territories engage in different activities across the country. For example, Manitoba has brought forward a provincial pension and benefits plan for ECEs. B.C. is doing really important work on increasing the wages of ECEs and is working on new ways to ensure it is bringing qualified ECEs into the workforce.
    I could go on and talk about every province and territory, but a lot of work is happening in that space.

  (1945)  

    Madam Speaker, I had a conversation yesterday with an intended mother who was telling me about the difficulties when it comes to surrogacy and the lack of time that surrogate mothers and fathers have with their children after the baby is born. She also talked about how this difficulty is compounded because they have a shorter amount of time to access child care, as they only get nine months of leave.
     I am sure the minister knows that I have a private member's bill, Bill C-318, that would address this issue for adoptive and intended parents. My question, through you, Madam Speaker, is this: Is the minister willing to lobby at the cabinet table for a royal recommendation for it so that intended and adoptive parents do not have to wait to have time with their children? In essence, we know there are still wait-lists when it comes to child care, and this bill would give them that extra time. Is the minister willing to assist with the royal recommendation for Bill C-318?
    Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for bringing forward what I think is an important private member's bill that is going to address an important need.
     I think she is raising a really important issue that is affecting thousands of people across this country, so I look forward to having more conversations with her and with others on this bill.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Earlier the member for Kelowna—Lake Country got up on a point of order with respect to the proceedings on Bill C-22 and said she was dismayed that the Green Party was excluded from having a speaking spot.
     I think there has been some confusion over a long-standing opposition by the Conservatives to including Green Party members in UC motions to provide for extra speaking spots. If that has changed, I would ask that a Conservative rise in his or her place to affirm that change so that we can include Green Party members going forward.
    I think that would be approaching debate. That has been addressed by the chair occupant.
    I will give the floor to the hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour and a real privilege to speak to child care in this country and to be the critic for families, children and social development. It is obviously a great honour to rise and represent my riding of Peterborough—Kawartha.
    Tonight, we are in what is called the third reading of Bill C-35. For people at home, this means that after this reading, we will vote on it and see what happens. There has been a lot of study and a lot of debate on this bill. There has been a lot of opportunity to meet with stakeholders and operators and to listen to parents and colleagues across the way in committee.
    The reality is that the Liberal government loves to promise the moon and the stars but not deliver. Therefore, it is not very surprising that this universal child care bill is no different; it is not universal. As critic to this file, I am here to elevate the alarm bells of parents and operators who are being silenced about the shortcomings of this bill. Do members know the ratio of private versus publicly funded child care in Newfoundland? It is 70%. Seventy per cent of Newfoundland relies on the private sector. Therefore, why would the Liberals purposely leave them out of Bill C-35?
    Here is the exact language of the bill. Under “Guiding principles”, paragraph 7(1)(a) says:
(a) support the provision of, and facilitate equitable access to, high-quality early learning and child care programs and services—in particular those that are provided by public and not for profit child care providers....
    Therefore, Conservatives put forth an amendment in committee, which read as follows:
(a) facilitate access to all types of early learning and child care programs and services regardless of the provider—such as those that are provided through traditional daycare centres, centres with extended, part-time or overnight care, nurseries, flexible and drop-in care, before- and after-school care, preschools and co-op child care, faith-based care, unique programming to support children with disabilities, home-based child care, nannies and shared nannies, au pairs, stay-at-home parents or guardians who raise their own children, or family members, friends or neighbours who provide care—that meet or exceed standards set by provincial governments or Indigenous governing bodies and respond to the varying needs of children and families while respecting the jurisdiction and unique needs of the provinces and Indigenous peoples....
    That is a pretty well-rounded amendment, and it really speaks to what Conservatives have been saying from the beginning: The bill should deliver choice and flexibility and include everyone. The Liberals and NDP voted “no”. Why did they vote “no” to that amendment? This is where the politics and ideology really come into play. They have an agenda, and it does not include everyone. They really believe in public and not-for-profit; they really believe that they can decide what is best for people's children. That is just the opposite of what Conservatives believe.
     They think they know what is best for people's children. However, in reality, this bill would actually exclude 50% of children. Fifty per cent of children in Canada are living in a child care desert. The Liberals are quite talented, actually, at coming up with marketing slogans. What sounds better than a $10-a-day day care? It sounds wonderful. The out-of-control cost of living created by the Liberals, with their inflationary spending, has made life unbearable for most Canadians. However, what they love to do is come in from the side, bring a distraction and say, “Do not look at that; we are going to make life more affordable for people. Here is $10-a-day child care.” They give faulty solutions to the big problems they have created.
    Therefore, it is really important to break down this $10-a-day day care plan. Let us break down the fine print and the very important details that the Liberals conveniently forgot to mention. They will tell people we are negative. We would like to tell them that we elevate the voices of the people who speak to us, because that is what we were elected to do.
    This marketing campaign instantly and drastically increased demand. Of course it would do that. As a mom, I know that affordable child care is critical. However, if people cannot access it, it does not exist. The reality is that there are no systems or infrastructure in place to meet the demand. The children and the parents are then the ones who suffer. The quality of child care is being compromised because of this poorly thought-out and poorly executed bill. One operator told me that Bill C-35 is like putting a Band-Aid on a sinking ship.

  (1950)  

     How many people are familiar with budget airline service? This is the concept where the customer pays a lower fee but is nickel-and-dimed for all the basics. For example, one pays $200 for a flight but then one also has to pay maybe 50 bucks for a seat, another 50 bucks for luggage, more money for food and so on. Members get the idea. By the time all is said and done, there is really not a deal, because the money has to come from somewhere. That is what is happening with this child care bill. Centres are being forced to charge parents extra fees to cover food, administrative costs and more. One operator told me they are 15 months into their provincial agreement, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel; this means that they do not know how they are going to manage the extra costs.
    Erin Cullen is an engineer with a beautiful new daughter. She lives in Newfoundland and Labrador, and she cannot access child care. I think she really summarized it best when she compared the Liberal child care program to the government telling Canadians they are getting free groceries: “Everybody's getting free groceries. You get free groceries, and you get free groceries.” The problem is that when we get to the grocery store, there is no food on the shelves.
    I think the worst part about this bill and the story the Liberals want to sell is the promotion of gender equity. How is not having a choice equitable? Erin is one of many who has no choice. There is no choice because she, like many health care workers, shift workers and other workers, cannot go to work because there are no child care spaces available. Erin has said they have to leave the province. They have to leave her home. How is that equitable?
    Jennifer Ratcliffe is the director of Pebble Lane Early Learning. She testified at the HUMA committee when we studied this bill. I want to read into the record what she said, because I think it is really important. For those watching, I note that CWELCC means Canada-wide early learning and child care. Many children require additional support right now. They are still reeling from COVID. There are so many special needs kids out there.
     Ms. Ratcliffe testified:
    Currently, the CWELCC excludes disbursement funding that is used to hire support staff. Without this funding available, we have to turn away children who require additional support in our programs. This must also change, so that we can meet the needs of all children.
    She went on to say:
    The pressure to implement this program so quickly has resulted in overpayments to providers, families double-dipping, and funding methods being overlapped. Parents are stressed and providers feel like they have no help. It is clear that the provinces are scrambling as they try to prove they can do this, but they are ultimately failing. You cannot simply throw money at a problem and expect it to change.
    Wait-lists across the country are growing by the thousands each month, and families are left with no one to help them. Parents need to work and if they don't have care, their only option is social assistance. This doesn't seem right. Affordable child care is an empty promise to parents if it is not accessible.
     Providers are doing everything they can to accept as many families as possible, but there are simply not enough spaces. Demand is increasing at a level that we have not seen in years. New spaces must be created in order to meet demand. Private operators need to be able to expand, but being excluded from funding for new spaces means they cannot afford to. The fee caps mean we are restricted when negotiating leases and working out operating expenses.
    I really want the NDP members to listen to the testimony of this next woman who testified. This is what the NDP fight for, quite frankly, and I think it is important. Maggie Moser is the director of the board of directors, Ontario Association of Independent Childcare Centres. She said:
    The CWELCC program has not delivered good value for taxpayers and does not meet Canadian standards of equity. The implementation provides undue benefits to higher-income families, who are sailing their yachts on the tides of the program, while those who need it most are left drowning.
    Lower-income families were excluded from obtaining access to the CWELCC child care spots. Families who could already afford the fees of their centre were the ones who benefited from the rebates and discounts, while the rest were left behind on a long wait-list.
    That is the reality of this bill, because if people already have a spot, they are going to take it up. Then there are people who need maybe a part-time spot, but they cannot access it; people are holding their own spots because they are so scarce. It is the people who have the lowest incomes, the most vulnerable, who are most negatively impacted by this.
    I asked Maggie about her current wait-list, how many child care centres she oversees and how many spaces there are. Maggie responded:
    We have 147 spaces as well as 24 half-time spaces, going all the way from infant up to kindergarten. Our centre is 100% full. There is not one empty space in our centre.
     At the moment, we have around 600 names on our wait-list. They are for spots in the next year and a half.

  (1955)  

    That is the sad part. By the time some of these people are able to access this spot, their child has aged out of it. We have people who are thinking about having kids and putting their names on a wait-list.
    I want to acknowledge to the minister and to everybody that, yes, for the people who were lucky enough to get a spot, this is helping them. I will not dismiss that at all. However, it is like winning the lottery. This plan is saving them money, if they are lucky enough to win the child care lottery. That is what this is. However, the money is also being taken in other spaces, such as food, gas and mortgages. I just think it is really important that we recognize where all of the gaps are.
    One problem is all the women who have messaged me, because they cannot choose to go back to work. Kathryn Babowal, who operates Les Petite Soleils Inc., made a written submission to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. I want to read it into the record: “From what I can see happening today as a result of the CWELCC program, and what will inevitably continue to happen through Bill C-35, many private child care centres will not survive this transition and the investments made by private, tax paying citizens, will be instead replaced by not-for-profit child care centres that will be funded through hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money in subsidies and supports.” Kathryn says, “There are private childcare operators ready and willing to make the investments in their communities to create childcare spaces with no cost to taxpayers, but they are unable to access a free market and thus the families that choose these private centres are unable to receive the affordability support of the CWELCC Program. There are also substantial administrative costs being incurred by taxpayers to offer incentive grants to not-for-profits and to staff government positions to manage the use of funds, claims and audits. As a Canadian, as a tax paying citizen, and as a child care entrepreneur who has invested thousands of dollars and hours into building the best child care program I possibly could to support the parents and children in the community...[I find] this...extremely disheartening.” Her voice matters too.
    This email is pretty powerful: “My name is Rebecca and I am [a] lawyer practising in St John's Newfoundland and Labrador. I have an 11 month old and I am currently on leave from my position.” Rebecca says, “The federal government brought in a subsidy so that parents could avail of $10 a day daycare. Daycares collect 10 dollars a day from parents and collect the rest from the federal government, however the federal government only pays on a quarterly basis and often late. As such daycares end up operating at a loss with...minimal cash flow and many have had to shut down as a result.” This part is so important: “The intention of the 10 dollar a day daycare was to allow women to access affordable childcare but it has had the very absurd result that women are being forced out of the workforce entirely with no income at all because they made the choice to have a child.”
    Many of these people, when they phone me, say, “Michelle, I am a Liberal” or “I am an NDP supporter.” When we talk about partisanship, the child should be at the crux of this discussion, but it is not, because it is political. This is part of the supply agreement that the Liberals and the NDP signed together, and they checked it off. When we look at the political implications of this, at where the child care deserts are the highest, with Saskatchewan at 92%, how many Liberal seats are in that province? There are zero.
    They know that. They have created a bill to try to divide us and, unfortunately, pit women against each other. I am not buying into that. I am here to elevate the voices of parents and operators.
    It is urban versus rural. That is what this bill has done. It has left more people out. The reality is that so many people in rural ridings cannot access a centre. That is not how it works. One has to rely on one's friends, family, neighbours or grandma. It is not in this bill. If they really cared, they would have added that amendment. They would have said, “Yes, we will put that amendment in.”
    This is a political game, because they are failing as a government in all areas, including housing and the cost of living. This is a distraction. They say, “We are giving out $10-a-day day care.”
    This place is so upsetting. I really think that everyone in here came with the intention to help people. I believe that, and it is the biggest question we get asked, but this is the reality of what we are dealing with. It is just upsetting because one thinks that people come here to make a difference and to listen, but one gets sucked into these political games.

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    When the Conservatives asked the Liberal government in a written Order Paper question how it could back up its claim that Ontario had 92% of licenced child care providers sign on to the CWELCC program, and that almost all of them had reduced fees by 50%, it responded, “The specific implementation of these ELCC [or Early Learning and Child Care] agreements falls within the legislative authorities of the provinces and ter