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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 333

CONTENTS

Monday, June 17, 2024




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 333
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Monday, June 17, 2024

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 11 a.m.

Prayer



Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

(1105)

[English]

Excise Tax Act

    The House resumed from June 7 consideration of the motion that Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (mental health services), be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.
     Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to have the opportunity to take part in the debate at third reading of Bill C-323, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act on mental health services. As we all know, this bill would exempt supplies of psychotherapy and mental health counselling services from the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax, or the GST/HST, something which we already support.
    In fact, we proposed our own legislation, Bill C-59, which, alongside other affordability measures, would achieve the very same goal of making counselling services more accessible.
     We welcome and applaud any initiative that helps make mental health supports more affordable for Canadians, but Bill C-59 was introduced on November 30, 2023, seven months ago. If the Conservatives truly cared about making life more affordable for Canadians and offering support to those seeking psychotherapy and counselling and therapy services, they would have easily supported Bill C-59. Instead, the obstruction and delay tactics have delayed that critical bill, subjecting Canadians to paying the GST/HST on these services for an additional seven months.
     I look forward to discussing this impactful legislation, as well as our government's ongoing work to support the mental health and well-being of Canadians and help save lives.
     Our government's economic plan is about building a strong economy, one that works for everyone, and Bill C-59 would deliver critical pieces of the 2023 fall economic statement, so we can make life more affordable, build more homes and create good jobs from coast to coast to coast.
    A key pillar of this plan is ensuring that Canadians have the mental support they need to thrive and to build a better life for themselves and their family, which is why Bill C-59 also proposes to exempt professional services rendered by psychotherapists and counselling therapists from the GST/HST.
     How will this work? Services that assist individuals in coping with an illness or a disorder will be exempt from the GST/HST in a province if it is provided by a person who practises the profession of psychotherapy or counselling therapy and is licenced to practise in that province. Similarly, if a province has no such licensing requirements, psychotherapy and counselling therapy services will also be exempt from the GST/HST model in that province if the services are provided by a person who has the qualifications equivalent to those necessary to be so licensed in another province. Straightforwardly, this measure will change and, quite frankly, save lives.
    Bill C-323 was passed unanimously at second reading, and has the support of the House, which recognizes the importance we all place on mental health. The provisions included in Bill C-59 would improve on the already interesting proposals put forward by the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.
    Notably, Bill C-323's proposal raises concerns as far as “mental health counselling” is not a defined term in some provincial regulations. As a result, if that term were added to the GST/HST definition of “practitioner” for GST/HST purposes, which is what Bill C-323 proposes, it is not clear which mental health counsellors, or even any of them, would actually meet the requirement to be licensed or certified to practise in this profession. This could result in the amendment having no practical effect, and mental health counsellors may continue to be required to collect the GST/HST on a supply of mental health counselling services.
    To address this risk, the references to “mental health counselling” and “mental health counselling services” would have to be replaced by “counselling therapy” and “counselling therapy services”, such that the amended text of Bill C-323 would be identical to the text in Bill C-59. In addition, Bill C-59 is likely to provide real tax relief to individuals with mental health issues sooner than the measure under Bill C-323.
    Even if Bill C-323 were to receive royal assent before Bill C-59, the relief under Bill C-59 would begin to apply before the relief measures under Bill C-323, as the measures in Bill C-323 would only apply six months after the date on which it receives royal assent.
     That said, I would like to acknowledge and thank my hon. colleague for this important work and for giving us all an opportunity to talk about mental health services that are necessary. Together, we are making steps in the right direction when it comes to breaking down the barriers to mental health care still faced by so many Canadians.
     This brings me to our government's achievements and the focus we have put on mental health supports.
    Since announcing our historic $200-billion health care plan last year, we have reached agreements with all provinces and territories to strengthen Canada's universal public health care system, including funding for mental health care. These agreements are delivering $25 billion in new funding to provinces and territories over the next decade to improve health care for all Canadians.
    We are also investing $2.4 billion to help provinces and territories bolster mental health and substance use services, so help gets to those who need it quickly and effectively. Last fall, we improved access to suicide prevention supports by launching the 988 suicide crisis helpline, which was advanced by my colleague across the way. It is available to Canadians wherever and whenever it is needed, and I am glad that has been done.
    More recently, as part of our plan to ensure fairness for every generation, budget 2024 proposed a suite of new investments aimed at improving mental health care for Canadians, including the creation of a new youth mental health fund, which will support community health organizations that provide mental health care to young Canadians. We will also equip those organizations with the tools and resources they need to refer youth to other mental health services in their communities. When we invest in our youth and their mental health, we also invest in helping them reach their full potential. That is so needed at a time when millennials and gen Z feel as if the cards are stacked against them.
    Budget 2024 also includes supports that provide continued access to mental health services for indigenous people, including approaches to mental health that are culturally appropriate for first nations, Inuit and Métis.
    These transformational investments build on the significant actions that the federal government has taken over the past years to expand access to community-based mental health and addiction services for all Canadians. This includes investing $359 million over five years in support of the renewed Canadian drug and substance strategy, which is now guiding our government's work to save lives and protect the health and safety of Canadians.
    It includes providing $5 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories, as announced in budget 2017, for mental health and addiction services. It includes providing $14.25 million in annual funding to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to advance mental health in the priority areas of suicide prevention, mental health and substance abuse, engagement with Canadians and population-based initiatives.
    It also includes supporting the mental health promotion innovation fund with another $5 million in additional funding to support the delivery of innovative community-based programs in mental health promotion for infants, children, youth and their caregivers, as well as funding to support priority groups susceptible to mental health inequities, like LGBTQ2+ members, and newcomers and refugees.
    We are doing all of this because we know that a strong and effective public health care system is essential to the well-being of Canadians and because we know there is simply no health without mental health.

(1110)

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with Bill C‑323, which basically seeks to amend the Excise Tax Act.
    We know that, in a schedule, this act provides tax exempt status for various health care products and services offered by private practitioners. This includes optometry, naturopathy, acupuncture and midwifery services. These services are currently exempt from the goods and services tax. The bill seeks to add psychotherapy and mental health counselling services to this list of services that are exempt from the goods and services tax.
    This bill at least highlights the importance of mental health and the important work to be done in this area to ensure that all—
    I have to interrupt the hon. member because of a small problem. A political logo is displayed on the back of his sheet. That is not permitted in the House.
    Mr. Speaker, I understand that I was not entitled to display the logo. I apologize.
     I was saying that this bill helps highligth the importance of our social services and mental health services. The need for these services can arise at a very young age. In fact, it is not just individual adults who may need such services. Children, youth, parents and families may need them too. I think that COVID-19 exacerbated the tensions that may have already existed in this regard.
     The bill's merit lies in the fact that it exempts professional mental health services from the goods and services tax. In other words, patients obtaining these services in the private sector will no longer have to pay the tax, which will make these services more accessible.
     I do, however, have doubts as to whether exempting a private sector professional from the tax will make these services more accessible. We all know that the cost of these services in the private sector are onerous and that few people have access to them. That is why it is important to work toward making access to these services virtually universal in the public sector. In Quebec, work is under way to do precisely that.
     There is also the matter of the definitions. What is psychotherapy? If we define it in simple terms, it is the psychological treatment of a person. What is mental health counselling? That is less clear, in our eyes. For example, psychological treatment services for individuals in Quebec are regulated by professional associations. We call these services “reserved”. There is a reserved title for those practising such professions. Things are less clear with mental health counselling, however. What type of profession are we talking about here?
     The Ordre des psychologues du Québec cautioned us about mental health counselling, because that can be pretty much anything. There is little in the way of training, and it is not regulated. If mental health counselling is not better defined, we are not certain that this legislation will strengthen what we are trying to strengthen, which is why we were so interested in studying this bill in committee. As it turned out, though, it was not possible to study it in committee.
     This bill should have been studied in the Standing Committee on Finance, but because of economic omnibus bills, such as Bill C-59 or the current Bill C-69, which deals with the budget, the usual 60-day deadline for committee study, after referral of a private member's bill, was not met. Despite a request for an extension, this bill could not be studied.
     That is quite troubling. It makes us think about the process of studying bills. We should ensure that a bill passed at second reading in the House also passes at the committee stage. Had that happened, we would have heard from experts and witnesses who could have better defined what the bill seeks to do, especially in terms of psychotherapy and mental health counselling services. That would have been important.
    Aside from Quebec, I do not know how mental health services are regulated in the Canadian provinces. What are the definitions for the provinces? Are these regulated professions, or do those professionals have the authority to provide psychotherapy services? In any case, the committee process would have been very important.

(1115)

     Since we were not able to study it in committee, we are now here in the House to pass this bill. The Bloc Québécois nevertheless supports it. We know there is currently a certain inequity in terms of the excise tax exemption. We know it applies to doctors and psychologists. It should apply just as much to these mental health professionals─ and I say “professionals” because, for us, that is important─at least when we see the growing number of services in this sector.
     I have to say that when it comes to mental health, Quebec was a pioneer in terms of psychotherapy legislation. This also inspired several provinces. We recently saw that the Quebec plan d’action interministériel en santé mentale 2022‑2026 outlined a framework for mental health by focusing on seven specific areas, namely, the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental health problems, services to prevent and respond to crisis situations and actions aimed at youth, their families and their loved ones, in particular.
     I do not have the time to list them all, but want to say that mental health is a priority for our social services, which, as we know, have a very strong role and presence in our society. That is also why, with the modernization of legislation on professions, the Ordre des psychologues du Québec has been entrusted to deliver licences to practise to other professionals such as school counsellors and psychoeducators, as well as nurses.
    If we had had time to study Bill C‑323 at committee, we would have been able to add other types of professionals to the list. That was not possible, so we have to leave it at that. I would remind the House that the definition of “mental health counselling” really needs to be clarified to ensure that we have regulated services by professionals, which is the case in Quebec.
    As I said at the beginning, I will close by saying that it is all well and good to address inequity when it comes to the GST, but that is not going to guarantee universal access, which is what people really want when it comes to the services provided by mental health workers and professionals. That will take a major investment in our public services, because Quebec's education sector, its health and social services sector and its community organizations do require significant funding.
    The problem is, the federal government is going to fix things by removing a tax while it continues to chronically underfund our health and social services. If the private sector is given a bigger role in our system, which I find unacceptable, I think we really need to ask ourselves how much the federal government needs to invest in health and social services to enable Quebec and the provinces to strengthen their public systems.

(1120)

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise today to discuss Bill C-323, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act for mental health services. It is great to see the bill come forward. The bill would add psychotherapy and counselling to the list of health care services exempt from point-of-sale taxes, and as members can imagine, New Democrats are very much in support of this.
    My colleague from London—Fanshawe tabled Bill C-218, which would also remove GST from psychotherapy services, and the bill is currently outside of the order of precedence. Another of my NDP colleagues tabled a bill for the very same thing in 2017, so we have been fighting for this for years,.
    However, I do want to highlight a couple of things. The bill is actually encapsulated in the budget bill, Bill C-69, which the Conservatives who are bringing forward Bill C-323 voted against. It is hypocrisy that the Conservatives are bringing forward a bill that is now in the budget bill. They could support the budget, like we have had to do. We have had to work with the government. There are things that we do not love that the Liberals did not do. I supported the budget and got the firefighter tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers doubled. Those are things that we do.
    I heard one of my colleagues, the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster, complain that the government stole her bill. Actually, our job in opposition is to bring good ideas to government and have the government see that they are good ideas and then take them. That is the idea. That is a good thing, so today is a good day, when Bill C-323 was encapsulated in Bill C-69, the budget Implementation bill, and it is something, again, that New Democrats have led the charge on.
    Regarding the Excise Tax Act, I think back to my predecessors John Duncan, who was an MP in this place for 18 years, and James Lunney, who was an MP for 15 years, both Conservatives, with a total of about 33 years that they sat in this place. They did get one bill passed, and it was actually to change the Excise Tax Act to remove the excise tax on jewellery so people could get their diamonds more cheaply. Those are the people they were fighting for. I cannot even make this stuff up. Therefore it is good to see Conservatives come here today to bring forward legislation that would actually make a difference in people's lives, and not just in the lives of the wealthy and the well-connected.
    I will get to the crux of it. We know physical health services are typically included in our universal health care system, or at the very least are exempt from sales taxes. That is critical. We are proud of our universal health care system and we need to do much more. However, mental health care is not included in our health care system. There is a two-tiered health care system in this country right now. We know that Canadians who cannot afford services like therapy and counselling are actually paying taxes on those services.
    There should be no tax on health care in this country; it should be covered. It is absolutely absurd to hear about Canadians' having to pay taxes on health care services. We know that they do not have to pay taxes to see an optometrist, a chiropractor or a physiotherapist, so it seems obvious to all of us. Why is it not obvious when it comes to mental health care? Again, it is the stigma; that is why. Mental health is health care and we need to treat it as health care. We need parity in this country when it comes to mental and physical health.
     There is a mental health care crisis post-COVID, but actually pre-COVID there was a mental health crisis in this country. Things were exacerbated, as we know, throughout COVID, and now they are exacerbated with the cost of living crisis. A tax exemption would certainly increase access to the services by reducing the costs directly, but it would also help Canadians who cannot afford or can barely afford the services to access care. It might open up a few appointments for them to get a couple of extra sessions that they might not have been able to access before, or maybe they would have less strain on their grocery budget.
     However, it is certainly not a complete solution. Lowering the cost would not help those people who still cannot afford it, which is a situation that no Canadian should be in. All health care services, including mental health care, should be available at no cost to Canadians, and as soon as they need them. They should have no-wait support. Again, we are in a mental health crisis, and so many Canadians who cannot afford therapy and counselling services need the support. People are going through their daily lives trying to survive, and they are in serious need of supports.

(1125)

    There should be no barriers in getting them the support if they cannot afford it. Certainly we know that parents often cannot afford it, and children are the most vulnerable. In Ontario, children can wait anywhere from two weeks to two years to get these kinds of supports. That is completely unacceptable when it comes to children.
    I am grateful and glad that we could work with the government as New Democrats to get the first federal youth mental health fund launched. It is a $500-million fund over five years. It will make a difference, getting funding out to community-based organizations at no cost to support children and youth. We have to mitigate and identify, and work with youth when it comes to mental health issues as they arise.
    When someone's spouse or other family members need help and mental health care is impossible, we know terrible things can happen. We are forcing Canadians to go through their daily life without the care they need, and we need to turn the tide. This can have both an impact not just on people's mental health but also on their physical health, which is directly related, and their work. People can withdraw. As we know, the impact that can have on families and communities has been identified, and some people will even lose their lives. As New Democrats, we will not accept this until there is true parity.
     I know yesterday was Father's Day, and I want to wish all my colleagues from across political lines a happy Father's Day. We have been working on Father's Day on the Hill, my colleagues from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the Bloc. For seven years we have been working on raising awareness for men's mental health on the Hill so men talk about their issues. We also want to encourage men, who are disproportionately at higher risk of death by suicide or of having depression, which leads to even further challenges around substance use-related issues, to seek help.
    Something I just want to raise while we are in this debate today is how important it is that we talk to the men in our lives, and to everybody, but obviously the importance of talking to men is something that we always want to highlight around Father's Day.
    We know that provinces and territories are spending far too little when it comes to mental health care. Most provinces are spending between 5% and 7% of their health care budget on mental health. In British Columbia, with the new billion-dollar commitment from the Eby government, it will be at close to 9%. That is still not good enough. We know Ontario is even lower; mental health spending is at 3% of its overall health care spending.
     Other OECD countries are spending 12% to 14% of their health care budget on mental health. That is where we need to get to at bare minimum, and we know that the new bilateral agreements will increase funding for mental health, which is something that is part of the confidence and supply agreement that we worked with the government on. It is still not enough; we have to go much further.
     To get parity between mental and physical health in our country and universal access to health care is one of our core values as new Democrats. It is something we are always going to support. If somebody breaks their leg, they will never have to worry about paying for the medical treatment they need, but if something happens when it comes to their mental health, they also should not have to wait. We know that is not the case in our country today, and that needs to change.
    We are going to fight every single day to make sure people do not have to worry that they are going to have to wait when it comes to their mental health, and I can assure members that there is no one in this country who is not touched by a mental health illness, a mental health-related issue or a substance use-related issue, so we are all in this together. We have to demonstrate this when we support legislation and bills like the one before us and when we roll them into the budget implementation act, so we can fast-track getting supports and breaks. However, we have to go much, much further, and as New Democrats, we will fight every single day until there is parity between mental and physical health.
    I want to thank my colleague who sponsored the bill following the bill from the New Democratic Party, and I actually want to congratulate him for turning the tide when they look at changing the Excise Tax Act, in reducing taxes not just on diamond jewellery but actually on mental health. I want to congratulate them on taking this step.

(1130)

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a wonderful honour to rise in the House of Commons to speak on behalf of the people of Peterborough—Kawartha and, of course, all the people across Canada who feel they do not have a voice.
    The bill we are talking about today is a private member's bill put forward by my friend and colleague, the member for Cumberland—Colchester, who is a doctor himself. He has seen the implications across this country of not just a health care crisis in access to primary care but also the consequences resulting from inflation, a cost of living crisis and, really, a downfall of leadership. These things are all connected to our mental health.
    The summary of Bill C-323 explains that the bill would amend the Excise Tax Act in order to exempt psychotherapy and mental health counselling services from the goods and services tax. Basically, right now, psychotherapists and mental health counsellors are the only ones who have to charge tax, HST. Members can imagine that, for people who do not have coverage, this extra tax that they have to pay out-of-pocket is a really big deal. When we look at people who cannot afford housing or food, this is impacting their mental health; now they cannot afford access to mental health and counselling services.
     My colleague, the member for Cariboo—Prince George, has dedicated a lot of his life's work to mental health. He was key in creating the 988 suicide helpline, a critical piece of legislation. It is very simple to use the helpline for suicide awareness. However, the member also amended the bill before us to include massage therapy, so registered massage therapists would not be excluded from this.
    It is interesting that, in Canada today, counselling therapists and psychotherapists are the only regulated mental health service providers that must remit tax on their work. I want to talk about this a bit because, many times, we hear people say that this is not political or partisan. However, every single thing in our lives is politics. There is a great saying: “If you do not want to get involved in politics, politics will do you.” However, we have seen a massive movement in the last nine years, quite frankly, where people would have otherwise said, “I'm not political, and I don't want to do that”, as Canadians are quite friendly, congenial people and do not like confrontation. However, when their lives become miserable and they suffer, they have to stand up, pay attention and get involved, which is what we have seen across this country.
    The incidence of mental health issues in our country has drastically increased. All we need to do is go outside and walk the streets. Substance abuse disorder is an illness. There is a reason somebody is using drugs or substances to mask their pain; they cannot manage the feelings, emotions or stress in their life.
     Do members know of the shocking stats in Canada? I will read some of these. We have 22 people a day who are dying of overdoses. However, this is not some socio-economic crisis of people who are lower income or something like that. I have people come into my office, moms and dads, whose kids come from loving, beautiful homes, but something happened. There is one story of a young boy in my riding who died of an overdose. His mom came to see me, and we talked about him. She said, “You know, things really changed for him when he started to use marijuana as a teenager.” She said, “The doctor said it to him so perfectly that when he used marijuana, he didn't have the same reaction as someone else, and he was basically allergic to it. Some people can have sugar; some people can't.”
    This was really profound to me, but the problem is that almost seven million Canadians do not have access to a doctor. They do not have access to somebody who can explain to them what is going on or give it to them in common terms.

(1135)

    There are kids who are lost right now because of a combination of a whole bunch of factors. When parents are not okay, the kids are not okay. Parents are sitting around the dining room table, and they are stressed about trying to pay for housing, trying to afford groceries and every single thing. We have people who are making more than they have ever made in their life, and they are taxed to death. Now we have another tax coming in. It is a job-killing tax. In a doctor shortage crisis, It is going to pull back doctor retention and recruitment in this country even more. People need doctors to refer them to a specialist, and Canadians do not have access to that. What does that come down to? It comes down to more tax.
     This is an article from the Canadian Medical Association. It reads:
    Increasing the capital gains inclusion rate for corporations will create another barrier to retaining and recruiting physicians in a time when our health system and the providers within it are already under constant strain....
    This not only undermines the well-being of health care professionals, it jeopardizes the stability of our struggling health care system. The risk of already over-stretched physicians leaving the profession or reducing their hours in response to heightened taxation is real.
     Dr. Kathleen Ross of the Canadian Medical Association went on to say that “incorporated doctors are unlike other businesses as the corporation is primarily used as a vehicle for retirement savings or parental and sick leaves.” In response to the Minister of Finance's comments about provincial governments, Dr. Ross said, “We do support remunerating physicians according to their expertise”; however, in her view, “pushing the issue onto other governments is not the right approach.” I am talking about that policy because it is all connected.
     Right now we have the lowest GDP per capita of any G7 country. That means people have never been poorer. How did that happen? There has been wasteful spending, but taxation used by the government is also a big piece of it. The Liberals and NDP have a coalition. It spends and spends. The government has to make up that money. This may be the hundredth time I will say this, but the government does not have money. It has our money. It has taxpayers' money. I will keep talking about that in the House of Commons. If the government spends too much of it, it has to make it back in revenue.
    The current private member's bill is saying that there has been enough taxation. Forty-six per cent of Canadians' paycheques are going toward taxes. That is unbelievable. One has to work until June to pay for the taxes in this country before one actually even starts making any money. This takes away one's motivation to go to work. Then there is this carbon tax in place. Conservatives have been saying for months that the tax should be axed; we know the carbon tax drives up the cost of every single thing in this country. Fuel is being taxed. We need fuel for everything. Farmers grow the food that has to be trucked to the grocery stores. The business owner has to raise their prices to cover those increased costs.
    The Liberals and NDP think that the carbon tax is the best thing for the environment, that everything is great and that they are doing a great job. The Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote a report on the economic analysis of the carbon tax; the report revealed that it is costing $30 billion more. That is almost $2,000 per Canadian family. They gagged the PBO. On May 14, the environment minister had his bureaucrat, his deputy minister, write a letter to the PBO, asking him not to release the report.
    Conservatives put on the pressure, and the report was released; everything we have said is confirmed. The government is taxing people into a mental health crisis. It is not compassionate. It is not pragmatic. Evil is what it is. It is irresponsible. The most compassionate thing a leader can do is make life affordable and give Canadians the autonomy to make decisions for their lives, to be able to provide for their family, to want to go to work, to have purpose and to feel proud and confident.
    This private member's bill is a very simple piece of legislation that removes the tax for psychotherapists, mental health counsellors and massage therapists to ensure that people can access the resources they need. We support it. We ask for the support of the House, and we hope it gets passed and Canadians can afford to live and improve their mental health.

(1140)

    The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester has five minutes for his right of reply.
    Mr. Speaker, I look at the piece of legislation really quite simply in the sense that a health care service is unfairly taxed; people suffer with its cost and with their mental health. Let us make it better. We cannot say it much more simply than that.
    It is not about the tax on diamonds or whatever else we have heard. We need to remove the tax on psychotherapy, counselling therapy services and, with the amendment, registered massage therapy services. I hope Canadians understand that it is that easy to do. It is within the purview of the federal government to modify the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act. It is well within the business of the House to do that.
    There are some complicating factors in the sense that, as mentioned, it was incorporated into the fall economic statement. This meant that the bill was sent to committee and returned in its original form. We believe the addition of registered massage therapy is a significant amendment and, therefore, the bill should be sent back to committee and re-examined from that perspective.
    From a Canadian's perspective, this is very important because, as my colleague from Peterborough—Kawartha said previously, there is a mental health crisis in the country at the current time. Canadians have significant unmet mental health needs, and they are not able to access those services in a timely fashion. Historically, such access would probably have started with a visit to a family physician's office. We now know from the Canadian Medical Association that about seven million Canadians do not have access to primary care.
    As that has traditionally been the way to access services, for those unable to access a family physician, it becomes exceedingly difficult to see a psychiatrist. Sadly, psychiatrists are also in very short supply in this country. Oftentimes, the family physician is also the gateway to psychology services, which are under the purview of provincial governments and funded therein. This means that people are now accessing private care, and private psychologists are exempt from this particular tax. We are very simply asking, as I mentioned previously, that private psychotherapy, counselling therapy and registered massage therapy services be exempt from the GST on their services as well.
    Did those of us on this side of the House vote against the fall economic statement? Yes, we did. Much to the chagrin of others in the House, it is the job of the opposition to oppose those things with which we do not agree. We sit on this side of the House to say that there are several things the government continues to do that have taken us down a significant financial pathway that is unsustainable. It is important for Canadians to hear over and over again that all of us are paying a share of the $1 billion a week just to service the debt that has been created.
    When we look at those things, I believe there is a common-sense voice on this side of the House that needs to say we do not agree with that spending. There are certain things that we need to look at carefully. The bill would allow the tax to be removed from those particular services. Given that, as I said previously, it is very important for Canadians with mental health issues to have access to services without tax associated with them. If we do the math, depending on where one lives, about every eighth session would be free. However, nothing is free. We all know that. We still pay for it; we would just not pay the tax. Therefore, people would get an extra session with the money they would normally have spent anyway.
    Let us remove the tax from psychotherapy, counselling therapy and registered massage therapy services.

(1145)

     The question is on the amendment.

[Translation]

    If a member participating in person wishes that the amendment be carried or carried on division, or if a member of a recognized party participating in person wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to request a recorded division.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 98, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 19, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

[English]

    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on a point of order.
     Mr. Speaker, I think you will find it the will of the House to suspend until Government Orders at 12 o'clock.

Sitting Suspended 

    The House will be suspended until 12 o'clock.

    (The sitting of the House was suspended at 11:49 a.m.)

Sitting Resumed  

    (The House resumed at 12:01 p.m.)


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

(1200)

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2024, No. 1

Bill C-69—Time Allocation Motion  

    That, in relation to Bill C-69, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 16, 2024, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the bill; and
    That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 67(1), there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise or to use the “raise hand” function so that the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.
    Madam Speaker, here we are again with time allocation. After a disastrous budget rollout and spring session, instead of the Liberals listening to the feedback that I know Canadians are giving them about their budget, their economic mismanagement and their scandal-plagued affairs, they are slamming their budget down the throats of Canadians even though it is clear they are not buying what the Liberals are selling.
     I want to ask a very specific question. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending allowances that have been granted through the Liberals' economic agenda. Can the minister articulate very clearly why they had to go beyond and increase the debt allowance and the debt borrowing capacity of this country, which far exceeds the spending proposed in this budget? Can she very clearly articulate why they are demanding so much cash when they are unable to account for where it is going?
    Madam Speaker, let us be clear about what this budget is about. It is delivering for Canadians. The member refers to terms in this budget that I absolutely do not agree with. We know that Canadians are struggling, and our government is there to support them every step of the way.
     In this budget, we look at programs like affordable child care to get women back to work. Think of the contributions women are making to the workforce. Our government is making it easier for women to share their gifts and to participate to a fuller extent by providing them with affordable child care.
    There is a national school food program. I worked in education for 20 years. I can tell members that there is a disparity across the country with respect to the food programs taking place. Yes, some teachers are able to take the time, and they have the resources to do it, but there are schools where children are hungry. We know that when children are hungry, they are not at their best. Our government wants to support children so that when they go to school, they have full stomachs. That means the learning takes place at a higher level. They are now able to learn because their stomachs are full. The fact that they are all accessing this food means there is no stigma by providing this. There are 400,000 students who would benefit from this program.
    We want to provide dental care. Seniors have said to me that in their senior years, they have never had dental care. Now, with the dental care program, seniors would have access to dental care. Then, of course, there is pharmacare and housing.
    In all of these areas, there are supports that the government would give to Canadians because we know it is a challenging time. At the end of the day, members should think about how these supports would elevate Canadians. We are all better off, and we benefit when we all have an opportunity to succeed—

(1205)

     Questions and comments, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
     Madam Speaker, the minister has neglected to say that all of those things that are good things in the budget came as a result of NDP pressure. We had a government that did nothing for a number of years. We now have dental care, thanks to the NDP. We now have pharmacare moving through its last stages. We pushed the government to make up for that disastrous decision by the Liberal government, decades ago, to end the national housing program, and we are finally getting financing for affordable housing and getting national school lunches, all thanks to the NDP.
    The minister should be phrasing and adding “thanks to the NDP” for every one of those measures that it brought to the budget. What I do not understand is why Conservatives have fought so ferociously to oppose every one of those measures, including Conservatives who have seen thousands of their constituents step up already for the NDP dental care plan. It is the most successful new government program in decades, with over two million seniors already a part of it.
    Why are Conservatives blocking this important legislation?
    Madam Speaker, I am a person who has been very clear from the beginning of my time in office that positive politics works and that collaboration works. This is an example of working together to ensure that supports for Canadians have been delivered. Yes, I thank the NDP members for their support in helping us get these measures forward. It is with that support that we are going to get these items across the finish line. These are items which, on this side of the House, we have recognized as so very important for Canadians, whether it is housing, as I have said, or whether it is child care or the food program, and there are also opportunities to foster and to promote economic development, a file that is very close to my heart. This is a budget that demonstrates that we, as a government, believe in Canadians. We believe in the talent they possess. We want to give them the opportunity to flourish to their full potential. That is what this budget does.
     Madam Speaker, Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1, Bill C-47, made numerous changes to the Food and Drugs Act, redefining what a therapeutic product is. We now see, in Bill C-69, that there are again further amendments to the Food and Drugs Act. There do not appear to be any appropriations in the budget whatsoever that actually require more spending for Health Canada or for the natural health directorate.
    I am wondering why the government is continuing to put major changes into how natural health products are governed and regulated in this country, through budget implementation acts, when there is no budget appropriation for it.
    Why are they doing this omnibus backdoor approach, instead of actually consulting with the industry, and leaving them blindsided by these budget changes?

(1210)

     Madam Speaker, it is interesting. Usually, we get criticized for too much consultation, and now we are getting criticized for not enough. In this budget, we have invested $200 billion in health care. We recognize the importance of providing affordable, good health care to Canadians. We are working with provinces and territories in order to ensure that this health care is provided, that there is access to doctors and that information is shared to help expedite treatment and care. In my own file, in economic development, we are making investments in projects like SOPHIE, the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem.
    These projects are moving health care forward so that we are investing in those research capabilities and also in the commercialization aspect. Health care is a top priority for the government. Our investments have demonstrated that. We are going to continue to deliver the health care Canadians need.
     Madam Speaker, I do appreciate the conversation that is taking place today, and it is always an honour and a privilege to represent the good people of the riding of Waterloo and to hear the comments made by colleagues on the other side. I will just remind the NDP members that it was their party that chose to bring down a Liberal government and that allowed former prime minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party to abolish Kyoto, to abolish Kelowna and to abolish early learning and child care education in this country. It is only appropriate that the NDP show up again to make sure that we have it available because it used to be available. It was their electoral expediency that saw them remain in the opposition benches, but it was Canadians who got hit.
     I will remind the Conservatives as well that it was the Conservatives who chose to lower the GST by 2%, which actually took a massive toll on the economics of the country. The Conservatives expected seniors to keep working until the age of 67 so that they could help recoup those costs. They said to seniors, who have already given so much, that they expect them to give more. They are now voting against the capital gains, and they are voting against this budget.
    What is in this budget that is so important to help Canadians, especially the most vulnerable, and to ensure that our country can succeed and that Canadians can do better?
     Madam Speaker, the hon. member mentioned seniors. We, as a government, and I, as the previous minister of seniors, have a passion to ensure that seniors are getting the support they need.
    Let us look at some of the measures, such as pharmacare, dental care and taking the GST off purpose-built rentals, which applies to seniors' residences as well. Let me be clear that we have advocated and worked for seniors, as we should, since 2015. I was honoured to serve as the first full minister of seniors in this country.
    Let us look at the measures that we have implemented. We doubled the new horizons for seniors program. Seniors from across the country have been in tears, telling me that the programs that were supported have changed their lives, including the social integration, being able to participate and rolling back the age of eligibility for pensions from 67 to 65.
     I ask seniors out there to listen to this, as that is two years of support that would have been taken out of their pockets from the ages of 65 to 67. They would not have received those pension supports. Not only did we roll it back so that they do receive it, we have increased the money on the GIS for those most vulnerable seniors, and that has raised hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty.
     In this budget, there is much for seniors. I am hoping that the official opposition has a change of heart, recognizes that, and actually puts into action the words that they say, such as compassion and understanding, for Canadians. That is exactly what this budget does.
     Madam Speaker, I am really glad to hear the minister talk about seniors.
     I received an email from Patricia from Port Alberni. She sent it on Friday. She talked about saving $532 at her dentist on Friday. She said that not only did she save that money, but also that this would enable her to pay the property taxes. She thanked the NDP for sticking to its guns for a Canadian dental care plan.
     We are sticking to our guns. We know that the Liberals voted against a dental care plan. They voted against a pharmacare plan in the past. However, right now, we are making sure that we put Canadians heart and centre in dealing with combatting inflation and making sure that we expand our health care system.
     What do the Conservatives want to do? They want to take away Patricia's dental care plan. We know that. We know Conservative MPs all have a gold-plated dental care plan and pharmacare plan. What do they want to do? They want to take away Canadians' dental care plan. That is what the Conservatives want to do. They want to strip that from Canadians.

(1215)

    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his advocacy on so many fronts.
     As I have said, collaboration is extremely important. In my time here, I want to demonstrate that positive politics work when we work together in the interests of those we serve, not to score political points or to win favour, but to actually roll up our sleeves and get the job done.
    This budget presents so many positive measures for Canadians, and of course, we are happy to have the NDP support us on so many measures. I know that mental health is very important to the member opposite, and there is $500 million for mental health supports in the budget. This is going to make a huge difference. I have three post-secondary institutions in my riding. Mental health is an area that they have raised over and over again.
    To students and young people out there, I say, “Keep contributing. Keep giving your opinions and advice.” They are on the ground. We want to make things easier for them, whether it is through mental health supports, or through supporting them by taking interest off of their loans, giving them more support in loans or supporting them if they are working and studying in the area of innovation and research. We are with them every step of the way.
     Canadians want positive politics. They want collaboration. They do not want division. Let us work together in the House and demonstrate that it is possible and that we are all on a better path. We can elevate each other if we practise positive politics and collaboration.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague across the way a question. Over two million people are using the food bank. Seniors are now living in shelters. They cannot afford to even pay their rents.
     What, in the budget, have the Liberals allocated to ensure that seniors are able to live? They have not done anything with a carbon tax. The Liberals planned this dental plan, which is great, but if people do not have food or a place to live, how are they supposed to support themselves?
    Madam Speaker, this is interesting because the leader of the official opposition has said that he has not seen any food flow as a result of the budget. That is because it is in the budget. We need to get the budget passed for the national food program to be unveiled, so we can get food to those who need it most.
    I have already talked about the support for seniors. I am going to share a story about Kelly, who is a senior in Scarborough. I was just there on Friday. Kelly talked about how she was given the keys to a unit. She was promised a unit. It is an affordable housing unit made possible by the supports from this government. We have supported housing for those who live independently. They are affordable housing units with wraparound supports for those who need supports. It is 24-hour support. That is the type of housing that our government is delivering. Kelly said that, when she found out she was going to have a new place to call home, she cried. She lived in the community, and every day, she walked past the site where the new housing complex was being built. She loved watching it get developed.
    I know the opposition members like slogans, and I want to be positive. I have a slogan for them: Let us get the food flowing. Let us get the businesses growing, and let us get the houses showing. That is exactly what the budget does.

(1220)

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, there will be no suspense here. This is another closure motion which the New Democratic Party will support. I have lost count of the number of gag orders limiting time on questions as fundamental as the budget.
     I understand the NDP even less, who continue to insist on limiting parliamentarians' right to speak to the budget. Yes, the budget allows gains to be made. However, when we hear the Liberals speak on the topics of social housing, the new disability benefit, the environment and climate change, they get all worked up.
     They are also creating badly written social programs, like dental care, which has been assigned to a private insurance company, rather than recognizing Quebec's expertise and jurisdiction in this area and transferring the money with full compensation. This would have allowed us to enhance our own program.
     I am becoming uncomfortable with the fact that parliamentarians, in a democracy, should face repeated closures on substantive issues. It is certain that my political party and I will again vote against this attempt to limit the time to study a budget that does not meet Quebeckers' needs.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have great respect for the member. She served as my critic, I believe, when I was the Minister of Labour. I always appreciate not only her advocacy, but also the approach she takes in the House. She is respectful and constructive. I am glad she asked me a question about the amount of time we have to pass the bill. Liberals want to get this budget across the finish line because of all of the things I have mentioned thus far, as well as what we have heard in the House throughout debate.
    Let us look at the amount of time we have had to talk about the bill. There have been six meetings at the finance committee. The last meeting was clause by clause on June 4. On May 22, the Conservatives filibustered. That is regrettable because we lost time. Instead of making up time, we were losing time and actually killed time. Filibustering is permitted in this place, but to be honest, I do not understand why we permit it.
    On May 30, we had four hours of department witnesses. May 31, we had four hours with many subject matter experts. June 3, we had four hours with many subject matter experts, including the PBO. June 4, we had five hours and clause by clause. We had debate May 6 for two hours. On May 7, we had debate for four hours. On May 8, we had debate for one and a half hours, and on May 20 as well. It has been many hours. The true colours of the Conservatives' position have been made known. Before the budget was presented, and immediately when it was presented, they were in opposition to it. There is opposition to the bill.
    Let us be clear about what the position is. I say this as respectfully as I can. It is clear the Conservatives do not want the budget to pass, and they will implement every measure that they can to stop the budget from passing. This is not about having enough time to debate. We do have time to debate, and we have had time.
    That is what I would say in response to the member. Again, I thank her for her approach in the House.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we have seen fierce opposition from Bloc Québécois members to all the programs Quebeckers want. To date, 700,000 Quebeckers, more than anywhere else in the country, have shown their full support for the NDP's dental care program by signing up for it. We have also seen a huge coalition form in support of pharmacare. According to this coalition, nearly 2 million Quebeckers are calling for the implementation of pharmacare.
     The Bloc Québécois has opposed all these measures and now opposes this budget, which would allow affordable homes to be built and provide lunches to schoolchildren. Why does my colleague think Bloc Québécois members so ferociously oppose all the measures Quebeckers want, and fail to listen to people in their riding who want dental care, pharmacare, affordable housing and, of course, schoolchildren to actually have the opportunity to eat during the day?

(1225)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am happy that my colleague has asked me this because I did not have time in responding to the last question to answer it, but I agree completely with what my hon. colleague has just said. There are a number of priorities in the budget that Quebec would love to see implemented. My colleague has outlined a number of them that I think Quebeckers want. In addition to that, I look at some of the supports that we have provided for Quebec. Just last summer, we provided $1.8 billion in a housing agreement. In budget 2024, we provided $3.4 billion to support young researchers in Canada and Quebec, $1.28 billion to fight homelessness, and $1.5 billion to protect and expand affordable housing.
    There are lots of things here, but let me add this as a final point: Yes, Quebec does have some measures that are in place, so let us build on what we have. This does not have to be adversarial or pit one against the other. If we have something that is working, let us continue to work collaboratively, learn from what works and build on what works, but make the investments, not cuts. We do not want cuts.
    There are members from the official opposition who are writing me, for example, on CFDCs, which are community future development corporations. They want to see more money into CFDCs. I want to know what they are going to do. Are they going to take that position publicly? Are they going to say that publicly? What dollars are they going to cut because they have this new dollar-for-dollar approach? What is going to be cut? That is what I would ask the official opposition.
    Madam Speaker, I think it is very clear that we have to move time allocation because the Conservatives are just delaying, and that is what they do. For the average person out there watching this from a high level, let us say what happened. The Leader of the Opposition said, before he even looked at the budget, that Conservatives were against it, so they decided they were against it, but then they continued to delay like this. We already know they are voting against it. They have already made it clear they are voting against it, but they are preventing us from voting on it, so I think it is very clear, especially to anybody who watches parliamentary procedure, that we have no choice but to move time allocation because it is not as though they are debating to try to inform policy or change direction. We already know they are against it. They have made that very clear, but they will not let it come to a vote.
    I am wondering if the minister can provide her insight into that.
    Madam Speaker, I will tell what members are voting against when they vote against this budget because it is not talked about much: investing in economic development.
    I have had the opportunity, which is a gift, to travel across southern Ontario and see amazing businesses that the government has supported, which are taking their business to the next level. I look at companies such as Cedar Valley, which started as a grade 10 high school project. This young man went home and talked to his mother, and they created Cedar Valley dressing and chips. With a small investment from our government, this business is now taking it to the whole next level. They started with a little fryer that they brought out and showed me. It was a Hamilton Beach. I remember it well because of the Hamilton name. I love that. The money that we gave allowed them to buy a big machine, and that allows them to deliver chips now and fulfill their contracts with businesses such as Costco, and they want to go externally. They were on Dragons' Den and got $1 million in support.
    These are the businesses. With economic development we have potential, and it is not often talked about, but the potential we have in Canada to support entrepreneurs, to bring their businesses to the next level and to get them exporting to other countries around the world is all there. Supports are in the budget. I cannot wait to go make announcements that would have a result because of what is in this budget.
     Madam Speaker, I just want to address the situation. As shadow minister for seniors, I get hundreds of emails from seniors across the country. I am going to quote one I received recently. Paul wrote to me and said, “The new capital gains tax is robbery. We are middle class and worked hard all our lives. We managed to scrape together a house and a cottage after 40 years of work. We made modest gains and the Prime Minister wants to take a sizable chunk because he spends money like a drunken sailor.”
    Why will the Prime Minister not amend the budget to include that the bottom 99% of Canadians are not impacted?

(1230)

    Madam Speaker, I talked about the supports for seniors that we have implemented, whether it is the New Horizons for Seniors program or the rolling back. When they talk about thousands of dollars being taken, two years of pension supports would have been removed because the eligibility was going to be increased to age 67 by the Conservatives. It is on the record; it was in the works. We rolled that back.
    In terms of the capital gains, this is about fairness for everyone. I am the daughter of a steelworker. The steelworker, the PSW, the educational assistant and the nurse all pay tax on 100% of the income they earn. What is being presented with respect to capital gains is an inclusion rate that is going to be increased, but this is asking those who have a little more to pay it, so we can address things like the housing crisis.
    What will happen at the end of the day is that we are going to elevate everyone. Think of a country where everybody is elevated and supported, a country that is getting people who are on the streets into a home and getting Kelly, who is living in not very good conditions, into a home, where she is in tears and is proud. This enables people to be at their best, and we want to see that potential revealed. That is exactly why all these supports, like dental care—
     Questions and comments, the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Madam Speaker, we continue to hear Conservatives today talking about the capital gains tax, when in fact in my riding it is going to impact 118 people. That is who we know the Conservatives are fighting for. They are fighting for the 118 people, just like my predecessors, two Conservatives in my riding. Over 32 years, between the two of them, the only PMB they got passed was for removing the excise tax on diamond jewellery. One cannot even make this stuff up. They did it under a Conservative government majority.
    What do the Conservatives want to do today? They want to stop dental care, stop pharmacare and get rid of the school food program. They are here to block getting help to people. They are not here to bring forward solutions—
    I will give the hon. minister a few seconds to answer.
     Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's passion for these programs that are in the budget. I have the same passion. There are measures with respect to capital gains where, in fact, a business, unless it makes over $6 million, is going to be better off because of the exemptions we have elevated. I agree with the member. There are going to be a few that are impacted, but as I said, let us elevate all Canadians. Let us ensure that everybody has—
    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

[Translation]

    The question is on the motion.

[English]

    Shall I dispense?
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of motion to House]

[Translation]

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

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we request a recorded vote, please.

(1235)

(1315)

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

(Division No. 825)

YEAS

Members

Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
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
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
Sorbara
Sousa
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Trudeau
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 175


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Jivani
Kelly
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Majumdar
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 147


PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Plamondon

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

Report Stage  

    The House resumed from June 11 consideration of Bill C-69, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 16, 2024, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed emotions that I rise to speak in the chamber today for the last time as the member for Halifax. I have informed the Prime Minister that when the House of Commons resumes in the fall, I will not be returning. I rise today to share some reflections as this chapter of my service to Halifax comes to a close. What a chapter it has been: three elections, nine years full of learning, hard work, new friendships, unexpected adventures, plenty of ups, a few downs and, according to the Library of Parliament, 2,414 votes. It is incredible. It is difficult to put into words just how much it has all meant.
    After a 20-year career as a city planner, I arrived in Centre Block as the first city planner ever elected to Canada's House of Commons. That career instilled in me the value of thoughtful planning to the well-being of Canadians who call our communities home. I saw what poor planning, neglect and underfunding of our communities were doing to Canada, which ultimately was my call to run, that and a convincing conversation with my dear friend and mentor, Halifax's own Dale Godsoe, herself a member of former prime minister Paul Martin's advisory task force on cities and communities. Dale is just now celebrating her 80th birthday. I wish Dale a happy birthday.
    I ran for office because I wanted to be a voice for Canadian communities like mine, to make the case that our cities and towns could propel Canada toward its best days if we just unlocked their potential. As I have pursued that goal here, I have so many people to thank who have supported me along the way, first and foremost, my incredible daughter, Daisy Isabella Fillmore.
    We all know too well the immense burden that our lives in politics place on our family and loved ones. That burden is greatest on the teenagers who grow up with a parent in politics. When I was nominated in 2014, Daisy was seven years old. She was eight at my 2015 election. She is now a magnificent 17-year-old off to university in the fall. Through it all, she has been loving, wise beyond her years and mostly patient. She was my beautiful little shadow at constituency events as a preteen and not at all interested in me or my events as a teen. Now, as a brilliant young adult, she has come back to me and supports me in what comes next. I am so profoundly proud of her and forever grateful. She teaches me something new every time we sit down and have a talk. She has been and will always be my north star. I love her beyond my ability to express it.

(1320)

    I also want to thank my family. My big sisters, Jenny Hawes and Julia Doughty,, sat on our beloved Bayswater Beach, back in 2014, and told me to go for it, so I did. My mom and greatest champion, Anne Ellen Fillmore, did not live to see her son sit in this place, but she is with me every day that I am here. My father, Peter Fillmore, always demonstrated the importance of being guided by purpose.
     Now to my political family, beginning with my remarkable staff team. In Halifax, that is the indefatigable Joanne Macrae, Alec MacKinnon, Mackenzie Lambert and Lew Rogers. Previously, it was Dakota Kochie, Jennifer Drillio, Sarah Dobson, Cameron Lusby and, most recently, Will Regan. Here in Ottawa, it is Breton Cousins and, earlier, Jared Valdes, Matt Conley and Nicholas McCue. From the very first day until the last, seven parliamentary interns, or PIPs, have been a critical part of our team. My thanks to Etienne Grandmaison, Claire Sieffert, Andrew Walker, Enya Bouchard, Angelica Kalubiaka, Sarah Rollason-MacAulay and Camille Cournoyer. In politics, as in life, there is nothing of greater value than teammates who have each other's back, and that has been us for nine years. My team has always been there for me, and I will always be there for them.
     In Ottawa, I have been fortunate to chair the indigenous and northern affairs committee and to serve as parliamentary secretary to four ministries: democratic institutions, Canadian heritage; infrastructure and communities; and innovation, science and industry. I want to sincerely thank each of those ministers and teams for their work and their support.
    Coming back to Halifax, I am incredibly grateful to have been backed by an electoral district association led by current chair Martha Reynolds, past chairs Joanne Bouchard and Michelle Daignault, and indeed everyone who served on the board of the association throughout my time as their candidate. I would not have walked these halls for nine years were it not for an extraordinary team of campaign volunteers of every age and background who joined me on the doorsteps, on the phones and at countless events. It takes real guts to climb the stairs to a stranger's door and engage them in the political process, and yet that is what this team has done for over 100,000 doors over three election cycles. These are the people who power Canadian politics: tireless, selfless volunteers.
    My final thanks is for those to whom I owe it all: the good people of Halifax who took a chance on me and then renewed their trust in me twice more. I came here to be their champion. Whether they voted for me or not, I hope in the end that I have served our city well. Looking back now, we achieved a lot together. We moved Halifax's share of federal funding from the bottom of the pack to eighth out of 338 ridings in Canada. With shipbuilders, we stood up for good shipbuilding jobs and closing the work gap. With community partners, we saved our beloved Northwest Arm from harmful infilling.
     With provincial partners, we reopened Georges Island in Halifax Harbour after generations of closure. With longshoremen, we defended the Port of Halifax. With veteran advocates, we revived the veteran's ID card. With advocates across the country, we created Canada's first national active transportation strategy and associated fund.
    With colleagues here in the House, we passed Motion No. 45, my private member's motion that put a green lens on federally funded infrastructure projects. With government and industry partners, we brought NATO's Defence Innovation Accelerator of the North Atlantic, DIANA, to Halifax.
     With indigenous partners, we secured funding for a new Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre in downtown Halifax. And with the Royal Canadian Navy, we established the first-ever Halifax International Fleet Week.
    These are just some of the projects that I have had the chance to work on and lead as Halifax MP, and yet there is still more to do, like my current effort to open up Canada Post lands in Halifax for housing. Rest assured, my colleagues here and back at home in Halifax will continue to hear from me on this.
     I also want to express my deepest thanks to my dear colleagues in this place. This experience has taught me not just about the inner workings of Parliament and politics, but about Canada itself. What a unique experience it is to sit in a room with 338 people representing every corner, every single community of our vast nation. In the 42nd Parliament, my seatmate was former MP Pam Goldsmith-Jones, the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country. There we were representing the west coast and the east coast, separated by 4,400 kilometres and yet, sitting side by side at the same desk in this chamber, we found so much in common in the Canadians that we represented and in their shared hopes and in their aspirations.
     In moments of intense debate in this House, when I struggled to see the other side, the thing that helped me make sense of this place was to remember that each of us here in this chamber together represented every single Canadian, regardless of background or persuasion, and that is the beauty of our Canadian democracy. Let us never forget that we do this job in service to every single one of them.

(1325)

     This job has taught me a lot about my hometown too. It has taken me into places I may never otherwise have been. I have been welcomed into people's homes, their places of worship, community centres, businesses, workplaces and backyards. I have forged new friendships with communities of every kind, seeing Halifax in a way that has inspired me over and over again.
    I spoke earlier about the potential of our country's cities and towns to propel Canada toward its best days if only we unlock their potential. I believe there is nowhere in Canada that is more true than in Halifax, a municipality bursting with hard-won potential. Over the last two decades, so many Haligonians have rolled up our sleeves, linked arms and put our collective ambition into action. Together, we have turned the tides of stagnation that had haunted our municipality for decades and turned Halifax toward prosperity and growth.
    Today that growth has brought many opportunities, but it has also brought its share of challenges, and so today, while I find myself reflecting on the past nine years, my sights are firmly set on the future, because the job is not finished at home. There is still work to do for Halifax, and I intend to see to it.
     Madam Speaker, it is highly unusual for me to ask a question or even make a comment, but I just wanted to reflect a little on the hon. member's speech when he talked about family. All of us come with some of the very same kinds of challenges when we come here, where we leave family behind in order come back and would like to be able to spend more time with them. What the hon. member is doing is trying to find another opportunity to spend more time at home.
    I do congratulate him in making his decision on putting his name forward, I think, for mayor of Halifax. I keep hearing that. That is the story going around in the community.
    With all the things the hon. member has listed, what is the project he looks most forward to that he did not have the chance to do as the member of Parliament for Halifax?
    Madam Speaker, indeed, this place can be very hard on families. I am so grateful that, as a result of COVID, we were able to innovate some virtual protocols such as voting by app, which have made this place more hospitable, friendly and welcoming to family and people with children. This is very important. Collectively, moving forward I hope this place protects those hard-won abilities to do so.
    As for what is next in Halifax, like the rest of the country, there are a lot of houses to build. There are a lot of people to support in all kinds of different ways. However, there is tremendous optimism in my city, and I look forward to propelling that and keeping the good momentum we have built through hard work going into the future.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise to celebrate my colleague from Halifax's career in federal politics. I really enjoyed working with him, particularly on the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology. I believe it is possible to be friends with and trust the people with whom we work. I even believe that, together, we could have gotten Bill C-27 passed, if we still had similar responsibilities.
    That being said, he talked about the many things that have been accomplished in Halifax, but he forgot one: Halifax hosted the Memorial Cup in 2019, which gave the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies the opportunity to win not one, but two cups, the President's Cup and the Memorial Cup, against the Mooseheads. Perhaps I should not mention that here. Perhaps now is not the time. I am sorry.
    I really appreciate my colleague's ambition in running for mayor. I would like him to tell us what particular thing he is most proud of.
    What is the greatest legacy he is leaving his city and this Parliament?

(1330)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would tell my dear friend, the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue, that of course my greatest accomplishment was making sure his Huskies could have a place to win in the Memorial Cup in Halifax. I hope it is a great legacy for both of us from my time in this place.
    I am very proud of my work with the member on the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology. We worked together on all kinds of matters, such as critical minerals, quantum computing, the Copyright Act modernization, blockchain technologies, crypto and fair competition across industries. We did an awful lot together.
    If I I were to answer the member directly, my greatest accomplishment was done as a team with everyone in the House who achieved the great things for Canadians that are propelling them forward through what has been a difficult time and have set them up for a strong economy looking forward. We all did that together in so many different ways, and that is the thing I am proudest of.
    Madam Speaker, it is huge honour and privilege to rise after the final speech of my friend from Halifax. We have done many things together.
     When he was the parliamentary secretary to the environment and climate change minister, he worked with me on a national strategy to combat plastic pollution and helped get his caucus to unanimously support that. We also worked together on cycling. I had a bill on a national cycling strategy. I remember getting the call the night before the announcement of the first-ever $400 million dedicated to active transportation and an active transportation strategy.
     The member also supported a health-based approach to the toxic drug crisis. He even broke away from his party and supported my bill. Last, he worked with me to double the firefighter tax credit and the tax credit for search and rescue.
     I cannot say enough about the member's ability to work across political lines. I appreciate his dedication to the people of Halifax. I know he will be at home watching the last blow on a gale. He will not be missing it anymore. I had to use a maritime comment.
    Will he be reaching out to the NDP, if he becomes the mayor of Halifax, in ways that we can continue to work together on things that are going to help benefit Canadians and the environment?
    Madam Speaker, I really do appreciate working with the member for Courtenay—Alberni. We have done very well together over a long period of time.
    If I think back to the harmful plastics ban, it was about a week before that bill passed that my daughter, who I spoke about earlier today and who at that time was about 12 years old or so, texted me when I was here and asked me if there was anything I could do about helping sea life, given all the plastic bags and everything. A week later, I was able to tell her that, in fact, we had passed that bill with the member's help.
    I want to finish with the firefighters' tax credit, an absolutely remarkable thing. I thank the member for the help that he applied to that. In fact, it doubled the credit from $3,000 to $6,000. That had everything to do with the advocacy of the member and other members. We are in a position now where we know the skills of firefighters are going to be called upon more and more frequently throughout the course of the year, and we need to do everything we can to position them for success. Again, collectively, we can all feel good about the way we have been able to position them for that success.
     Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to debate Bill C-69.
     Here we are again. Another year, another NDP-Liberal budget, and every budget it seems is worse than the one before. This year's iteration of the budget is falsely titled “Fairness for Every Generation”. The title is ironic because, after nine years of the government, virtually every generation in the country is worse off. In fact, I cannot think of a single demographic, other than the Liberal insiders, that is better off in nine years.
    Our youth can only dream of affording a home after the government has allowed a housing shortfall. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, we would need to build 1.3 million homes to close the housing gap. Both renters and homeowners are struggling to pay their bills after the cost of housing has been allowed to double under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
    Our seniors are seeing their pensions ravaged by inflation. Not that long ago, it used to be that their old age security, CPP and whatever other savings they might have could see them through on a monthly basis. That is no longer the case. The government has directly driven up that inflation, making life unaffordable by continuing to overspend. By piling on another $61 billion of new spending this year, piling on to our already enormous debt, it has proven that it does not plan on changing course any time soon.
    Parents are struggling with affordability, and it is now difficult for many families to feed their children. We are seeing yearly inflation rates for many food products in the double digits, while a record two million Canadians had to use a food bank in a single month last year, which is incredible.
    Let us not forget the pesky carbon tax that compounds through the economy, costing over $30 billion of economic activity, as recently highlighted by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Therefore, not only is it costing us every time we make a purchase, but it is costing our economy $30 billion in output. After nine years of the government creating intergenerational poverty, that would be a more apt name for this budget.
     We know things are bad for the government when former Liberal Bank of Canada governor David Dodge has called it the worst budget since 1982, when the current Prime Minister's father was the prime minister. Like father, like son, as they say.
     Instead of cutting back spending, the government has continued to be irresponsible and is spending money that Canadians no longer have. This has forced the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. The cost to service the debt is now $54.1 billion. One must wonder what $54.1 billion could have been spent on instead of servicing the debt.
    Like many Liberal bills, the budget has been turned into an omnibus bill to push forward strange and unusual requests that have little to do with budgets or measures, that are so controversial that if tabled on their own would not likely get the support of this chamber.
     This year's boondoggle is the new tax on capital gains, a direct attack on business owners. It is only after the Conservatives pushed back that the government relented and put the capital gains changes into a separate bill. I chalk this up to pure incompetence, as the government continues to wedge, stigmatize and divide Canadians, and has open class warfare in our tax system.
     The government claims that this change will bring fairness into the tax system essentially to target the richest 0.13%. Nothing could be further from the truth. What it conveniently ignores is how this tax will likely impact, and only impact, middle-class Canadians. This includes tradesmen, farmers who are worried about the succession of their family farms and small business owners who worry that it may not be worth growing their businesses in Canada anymore after these changes. The immigration stats are proving this to be true.
     This would not be the typical 1%, but in fact would not be any of the 1% at all. Rather, they are our neighbours, friends and family members, the people who put food on our table and build our homes, and those industrious small business owners who employ people in our local communities and, meanwhile, sponsor the T-shirts for our kids' soccer teams.
    I would also like to focus the attention of members on another underhanded change in the budget implementation act, and that is the newest changes to the Food and Drugs Act. The NDP vacated its role as an opposition party in March 2022, and instead of holding the government to account, its members have decided to help ease the passage of budget Bill C-47, which was the budget implementation act of 2023.

(1335)

    The ghastly bill was a direct attack on Canada's natural health product industry, one of the safest and best regulated industries on Planet Earth. These changes came as part of a push to radically change Health Canada's regulatory framework. Health Canada claimed that the changes were necessary to safeguard public health, but we simply know, with all the powers that it has, that this simply is not true.
     The major alteration to the act was to change the definition of a therapeutic product to include natural health products. A therapeutic product is essentially a synthetic drug and it has little in common with food, which is the closest commonality that natural health products actually have. This would essentially put natural health products in the same regulatory framework as pharmaceutical drugs. It would also force the industry to pay for Health Canada's costly bureaucratic overhead with expensive new licensing fees and fines.
     Essentially, by putting a self-funding model in place, what the government would be doing is just taxing the industry with that self-funding regulatory model so that it could free up the $50 million a year, which it already uses to manage the natural health product space, and use that money on some other misguided priority of the government.
     Previously, natural health products were exempt from much of the regulations in the Food and Drugs Act, as a common understanding is that natural health products are a much lower risk to one's health than a pharmaceutical drug. That is why I introduced my private member's Bill C-368 to repeal these changes to the Food and Drugs Act and return to the status quo, maintaining the distinction between natural health products and therapeutic products.
     However, if my private member's bill fails to pass, this new budget may also have a big impact on the natural health products industry. That is because division 31 of part 4 of this new budget implementation bill has introduced new ministerial powers pertaining to therapeutic products. Once again, it would be another change to the Food and Drugs Act and Health Canada. Instead of putting it in its own bill, it is tucked into part of an omnibus budget implementation act.
     The most concerning of these changes is to allow the minister to make unilateral changes on therapeutic products without any basis in science demonstrating risk. Proposed subsection 30.01(1) of the bill states:
    Subject to any regulations made under paragraph 30(1)‍(j.‍1) and if the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that the use of a therapeutic product, other than the intended use, may present a risk of injury to health, the Minister may, by order, establish rules in respect of the importation, sale, conditions of sale, advertising, manufacture, preparation, preservation, packaging, labelling, storage or testing of the therapeutic product for the purpose of preventing, managing or controlling the risk of injury to health.
    That might seem innocuous, however, proposed subsection 30.01(3) states, “The Minister may make the order despite any uncertainty respecting the risk of injury to health that the use of the therapeutic product, other than the intended use, may present.” It states “despite any uncertainty”, so there would be no scientific rationale needed anymore, if the bill passes, for the minister to pull any product he or she wants off of the shelf. That is uncontrolled power. The powers that would be given to the ministers are concerning, but what is even more concerning is the combined effect of both budgets on our homegrown natural health product industry. The effect would be catastrophic. Not only is the industry reeling from the changes in the last budget implementation bill, but this one has introduced the element of arbitrary power in the hands of the minister.
     There is little worse in business than uncertainty, and natural health products are only a small part of what is wrong with this bill and with industries across Canada. Small businesses are closing across our country, and yet, instead of supporting our entrepreneurs, the government uses every budget it has to target them.
     We need a budget that empowers small business owners instead of penalizing them. In essence, I say not to buy into the budget title. If the last eight budgets from the Prime Minister are any indication, fairness for every generation is simply a pipe dream. As Winston Churchill once noted, “The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” If by promoting fairness, the government means promoting intergenerational poverty, then in its own way, I guess it is fair, but absolutely nobody is better off.
     Only the Conservatives can restore Canada's fiscal house to order. Instead of saddling Canadian families, tradesmen, small enterprise operators and entrepreneurs with ever-growing regulation and taxation, we would axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. Canada has a vast and untapped economic potential and it is time for a Conservative government to unleash that potential.

(1340)

    Madam Speaker, it is about fairness for generations. What we have witnessed is the Conservatives being consistent. Members will recall that when it came to having an additional tax on Canada's wealthiest 1%, the Conservatives voted against that a few years back. When it came time for a tax break for Canada's middle class, the Conservatives voted no for that too.
    When we can look at the capital gains tax and what has been proposed, less than 1% would be affected, some of the wealthiest people in the country, and the Conservatives again are voting no. Where in the platform of the Conservatives does it imply any sense of fairness to Canadians? What I see are cuts, cuts and cuts.
     Madam Speaker, the question from my colleague is sadly preposterous and hilarious in its own right. If we take a look at the wealthiest Canadians, we see that their wealth has actually doubled under the leadership of the Prime Minister. It is the middle class and those who are desperately trying to cling to it who are just hanging on, which is why the government continues to raise taxes to provide solutions to the problems it created in the first place.
     I do not believe that Canadians want the government to do everything for them. Canadians used to be able to save for their own retirement, buy their own home and pay for their own health care, like dental plans and so on. They used to be able to buy their kids food. The Liberal government brags that there are now 400,000 kids in Canada who need the government to buy them lunch. I dream of a day when the government does not have to do any of that for any Canadians and when Canadians can look after themselves.

(1345)

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, of course there are partisan speeches and there are the repercussions they have on people in real life. I would like my colleague to tell me what tools are being given to communities in this budget so they can take charge of their lives, especially as concerns the question of housing and other issues. We need to find a way to decentralize management and trust our people on the ground. There are growing problems. Témiscamingue, for example, needs levers to take charge of its economic development, especially in the forestry sector.
     Can my colleague commit to making sure that more power and means are given to communities that want to take charge of their development and invest in their economy if we have a change of government in the next election?

[English]

     Madam Speaker, I am from Alberta, and like a Quebecker, I have very similar thoughts about how much control Ottawa should have on our daily lives.
    I do believe, as my colleague is from Quebec, that he was trying to say thanks for the millions of dollars that his province receives in equalization and transfers. My province does not receive any of that.
    However, we do not need to belabour those particular issues. If we actually cut the size of the federal government and allow our provincial governments to do the jobs that they are constitutionally empowered to do, get out of the way and just focus on economic growth and opportunity, reduce the red tape and the gatekeepers, as the leader of my party says, Canadians, including Quebeckers, will be better off.
    Madam Speaker, I applaud my colleague for his work on natural health products in particular.
    I was interested to hear him deride the use of omnibus budget bills, because omnibus bills are a bit of a dark art that has been perfected by successive Conservative and Liberal governments. In fact it was a government under Stephen Harper that tabled a budget bill that was 880 pages in length. By comparison, the budget we are debating is 416 pages, including the annexes.
    My question is a simple one: Has the Conservative Party decided to oppose the use of omnibus budget bills?
    Madam Speaker, the irony of the question is that I have been here for 18 years and remember a time when the NDP used to actually keep count of how many times time allocation had been used, and they said they would never, ever do it. However, here we are; the NDP is just going along with every time allocation motion moved by the government across the way. We would have plenty of time to have the debate if we did not have time allocation on Bill C-69.
    I will remind my colleague that when Stephen Harper was the prime minister, we cut taxes over 130 times. That required a fairly big budget implementation act.
    Madam Speaker, is a real pleasure for me to stand here on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Davenport to speak to Bill C-69, the budget implementation act.
     It is legislation that would deliver on key measures from budget 2024, a budget that would advance our government's plan to build more homes faster, make life cost less and grow the economy in a way that helps generations get ahead. Budget 2024 is a plan to build a Canada where people of all generations have a fair chance to build a good middle-class life, a Canada where Canadians, especially young Canadians, can get ahead, where their work pays off and where there are homes that they can afford.
     Fairness matters. Budget 2024 matters. Bill C-69 matters.

[Translation]

     The bill we are studying allows us to implement several elements of the last budget, as well as policies that the government announced in recent months. I am thinking in particular of the housing sector, because giving a fair chance to the next generation begins with housing.

(1350)

[English]

    One of the key elements of the plan is that it would improve the homebuyers' plan. This is one of the programs that can help Canadians buy their first home. It allows people to withdraw money tax-free from their RRSP to make a down payment for their first house. Homebuyers then pay themselves back over the years by putting the money back into their RRSPs. The program has been in place for over 30 years, and it has enabled thousands of Canadians to become homeowners. I am one of them; I used the program to buy my own home, and I am delighted that we are expanding the program.
    Across the country, especially in major cities, home prices have gone up steeply. With rising prices, the amount needed for a down payment is now much greater. The housing market facing today's young families is different from what it was when the homebuyers' plan was created, a time when many of today's young buyers had not yet been born.
    We still need to help first-time buyers save, but the support must keep pace with market prices. Currently, a person can withdraw $35,000 from an RRSP to use in the homebuyers' plan. As announced in budget 2024, we have proposed to increase the limit to $60,000 per person.

[Translation]

    For couples, if both spouses meet the eligibility requirements of the home buyers' plan, the maximum withdrawal limit will go from $60,000 to $120,000. This will allow more Canadians to buy the first home of their dreams.

[English]

    In addition, we are proposing to temporarily extend the grace period during which homebuyers are not required to repay their home buyers' plan withdrawals, from two years to five years. This extension would apply to those who made a first withdrawal between 2022 and 2025 inclusive.

[Translation]

     In reality, whoever buys a house in 2024 would not have to start paying it back until 2029. In the medium and long term, the building of new housing will drop real estate prices in Canada. This is why in April's budget we presented a plan to make 3.87 million new homes available by 2031.
     We must also act in the short term. That is what improvements to the home buyers' plan will do: help Canadians buy a home and enjoy a middle-class quality of life.

[English]

    Liberals want to help Canadians put a roof over their head. Building more housing is one way. Helping Canadians buy their first home is another. We also need to ensure that homes are for Canadians to live in, not to be used as speculative assets for investors. Platforms such as Airbnb and and Vrbo are keeping tens of thousands of homes off the market, homes that Canadians cannot buy or rent on a long-term basis.
    We need to crack down on short-term rentals that do not comply with provincial and municipal restrictions. In last year's fall economic statement, we announced that we would introduce a measure to support provincial and municipal efforts in this area. Bill C-69 proposes legislation to do just that. Under the proposed legislation, tax deductions would no longer be available in computing income from a short-term rental if the property is located in a province or municipality that has rules that prohibit or restrict the operation of short-term rentals and the property does not comply with those rules.

[Translation]

    That income would be subject to tax without an offsetting deduction. By ending these tax deductions, the government is eliminating a financial incentive to non-compliant short-term rental properties. The changes will be retroactive to January 1, 2024.
    We are also proposing adding an incentive for short-term rental property owners who revert their properties to the long-term rental market.

(1355)

[English]

     This too would make more homes available for Canadians.
    Another way to help Canadians find a place to live is to limit the number of homes that are left empty and often kept only as a passive asset. To counter this practice, an annual 1% tax is applied on the ownership of vacant or underused housing in Canada; this has been in place since 2022. The tax generally applies to foreign owners. However, Canadians who own their residential property indirectly, like via a corporation, partnership or trust, have been required to file an annual return even if they did not have to pay the tax. Bill C-69 proposes changes first announced last fall to facilitate the application of the law while ensuring that the tax would be applied as intended.

[Translation]

     The change would make it possible for more Canadian owners to be excluded from application of the law, particularly those who own their property through entities that are substantially or entirely Canadian. They would no longer have to file an annual return on underused housing or pay the tax.
     We also propose to implement a new exception for houses that serve as employee lodging in rural areas with around 30,000 residents. We are proposing these changes in response to constructive suggestions sent to us by Canadians.

[English]

    Finally, Bill C-69 would extend by two years the existing ban on foreign buyers of Canadian housing, something we promised we would do in January. The ban was set to expire January 1 of 2025. Bill C-69 would extend it to 2027.

[Translation]

    That means even more homes on the market for Canadians and less upward pressure on the price. Every exception in place will remain in effect, including those for non-Canadians who will be settling in Canada to build a new life.

[English]

    Bill C-69 would help to make housing more affordable for every generation. For years and years in this country, if one found a good job, worked hard and saved money, they could afford a home. For today's young adults, that is under threat.

[Translation]

    Bill C‑69, like budget 2024, seeks to ensure that the dream of joining the middle class remains accessible to everyone and that Canadians, including millennials and those who are part of generation Z, have the means to buy a home.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. I really appreciated the fact that she delivered some of it in French.
    My colleague talked about housing initiatives. There is one for the first nations. As members know, the Auditor General of Canada released a scathing report. We need to encourage initiatives by, for and with indigenous people, particularly the Yänonhchia' initiative.
    Will my colleague commit, with the Minister of Finance and her colleagues, to exert pressure to support these opportunities for first nations?

[English]

     Madam Speaker, we know that we need to build more housing for indigenous peoples here in Canada. We need to build more on reserves. We are very committed to doing that. We have committed and will continue to commit a significant amount of money to building the homes they need.

Statements By Members

[Statements By Members]

(1400)

[English]

Brazilian Canadians

    Madam Speaker, on April 29, disaster struck the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Flash floods and heavy rains, three times higher than normal, led to the worst flooding that residents of the state have seen since 1941. More than 2.3 million people across 471 municipalities have been impacted, 600,000 have been displaced and over 100 people have died. Half a million people continue to be in shelters and cannot get back to their homes.
    This is a tragedy of enormous proportions, but the Brazilian community is strong and resilient. Brazilian Canadians quickly came together to assemble 85,000 kilograms of goods for those impacted in record time. In addition, Brazilian leaders hosted a Life For Lives fundraiser to raise funds to support rebuilding efforts for those who have lost their homes.
    Canada also moved quickly to work with trusted international partners, World Vision and Red Cross, to hand out life-saving kits and to give hundreds of thousands of dollars for immediate emergency aid to those affected by flooding. I want to thank everyone who stepped up to help. Canada will continue to be there for Brazil as it continues to deal with this difficult crisis.
     Viva Brazil, and viva Canada.

Summer Events in Cariboo—Prince George

     Mr. Speaker, it is my favourite time of year. Starting next week, the Cariboo will be home to fast-paced, world-class rodeo action.
    

It's the ropes and the reins, the joy and the pain.
It's the bulls and the blood, the dust and the mud.
The roar of the Sunday crowd,
And the Let R Buck Saloon playing country music just a little too loud.

Bucking Bronc Fun under the Hot Quesnel Sun,
Whether it is the Williams Lake Stampede, Billy Barker days or the Quesnel Rodeo, you're sure to have some fun.

It's boots and chaps, it's cowboy hats,
Wild horses and the Smoke Show.

It's the broncs and the blood, the steers and the mud
Mr. Speaker, we call it rodeo.

    It is time to rope that dream, blow off some steam, and head down to the greatest shows on dirt. I hope to see everyone at the 96th Annual Williams Lake Stampede and the 57th Annual Quesnel Rodeo. Yee-haw.

David Chiapin Tang

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life and legacy of a remarkable community leader, Dr. David Chiapin Tang, who sadly passed away on May 31 because of a COVID-19 virus.
    As the chief executive officer of Tzu Chi Foundation Canada, David dedicated himself to building a better community for everyone. Beyond his professional accomplishment, David was a source of inspiration and wisdom for all who knew him. He immigrated to Canada in 2006 and started volunteering for Tzu Chi. In 2019, he moved to Vancouver with the hope of building a home for his family and serving the community, where he touched the lives of many with his values of compassion and service. He lived a life of volunteerism that embodied the Buddhist teaching of compassion, kindness and genuineness.
     To the family of David, especially his wife and two sons, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences.
    Let us work together to preserve and to continue his legacy to build a better, more compassionate and inclusive Canada for everyone.

[Translation]

Louise Bourgeois

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay homage to a very special person who passionately invests in my riding and throughout Quebec. I am referring to Louise Bourgeois, president for more than 20 years of the Fédération des Mouvements Personne d'Abord du Québec, and a member for more than 30 years of the Sainte-Thérèse movement.
     Mrs. Bourgeois is a great activist who is involved in the collective defence of the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. She lends her voice tirelessly to those who, like her, promote the fact that everyone has the same rights and that we need to do more and do better. Mrs. Bourgeois's expertise, dedication, compassion and tenacity make her an exceptional person who is making a significant contribution to a fairer, more inclusive society. I would like to congratulate her and thank her for her commitment.

[English]

Conversion Therapy

     Mr. Speaker, my private member's bill, Bill C-404, an act to establish a national conversion therapy awareness day, would establish a national day of awareness for conversion therapy on January 7 of each year, which is the date the law banning this harmful practice came into force in Canada in 2022.
     Two people inspired the creation of this bill: Ben Rodgers, who is from the Kingston area, and Veronica Merryfield from Cape Breton—Canso.
     Ben is the founder of the group C.T. Survivors Connect, a first-of-its-kind support group for conversion therapy survivors. Survivors come together to support one another and to access and share support resources.
    I thank Ben and Veronica for their work and inspiration.
    I hope all parliamentarians will support Bill C-404, which is intended to assist the incredible work to support those affected by this horrific practice of conversion therapy and to bring awareness to the legacy effects that still exist.

(1405)

Calgary Stampede

     Mr. Speaker, cowgirls and cowboys should dust off their boots. The greatest outdoor show on earth is about to begin. From July 5 to 14, Calgary will welcome visitors from around the globe to celebrate our western way of life.
    The Stampede Parade kicks off 10 action-packed days, including exciting chuckwagon races and rodeo, as well as live music and entertainment. We have world-class agricultural exhibits, weird and wonderful snacks, a huge midway and an amazing display of evening fireworks, as everyone two-steps the night away at Cowboys or Ranchman's. This year, people can also visit the beautiful, newly expanded BMO Centre, the largest event complex in western Canada. No Stampede experience would be complete without trying one of the many free pancake breakfasts or barbecues held across the city.
    Calgary's white hat hospitality extends to one and all, and no matter who one is or where one is from, I wish them all a very happy stampede.

Graduation Congratulations

     Mr. Speaker, congratulations to the class of 2024 in Scarborough—Agincourt and across Canada. Whether students are graduating from kindergarten, high school, college, university or any level in between, they can be proud of what they have accomplished.
    As graduates go forward, it is important to continue to be curious, to be helpful to others and to be willing to explore new paths. They have gotten here with years of dedication, hard work and perseverance. Life is not always easy, so it is important for them to stop and recognize the effort they have put in to get here. I would also like to acknowledge their families, their teachers and their school staff for their roles in students' monumental achievements.
    May their journey ahead be filled with continued growth and endless possibilities.

London Journalists

     Mr. Speaker, we know that changes in the digital environment have impacted news media. What is also true is that large media organizations have tended to, unfortunately, put profit ahead of people, including some of the most loyal employees. One of those is Jim Knight, who, for 43 years, worked at CTV News London and its predecessors.
    I first met Jim when he was behind the camera and, sometimes, as a journalist when a media reporter was not available. The reality is that this is someone who served loyally, not just his community but also his country. We tend to forget that people behind the scenes are instrumental in helping news media happen and in helping those stories come together that tell the stories of everyday people. Jim was one of those.
    In the end, it is not just about Peter Mansbridge, Lisa LaFlamme or Lloyd Robertson. It is about people who help to shape the news. Jim Knight was one of those. We thank him for his service, today and all days.
    We wish Jim all the very best in the future.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the housing crisis is untenable in Quebec. The housing shortage is being felt by people throughout Quebec. Homelessness is spreading and is more visible than ever before.
     While Quebeckers suffer, the Bloc Québécois voted with the Liberals against the bill introduced by the Conservative Party aimed at building housing units. It also voted for $500 billion in centralizing and inflationary budgetary appropriations.
     Quebeckers' cries for help can be heard across Quebec. Homelessness is everywhere in Rouyn-Noranda, and community service agencies in Rimouski are barely able to serve their growing client base. While Quebec needs help now more than ever, the Bloc Québécois is refusing to listen to their pleas.
     Here on this side of the House, we hear them loud and clear. The common-sense Conservatives will continue to introduce measures to improve the quality of life of all Canadians, even if we are the only ones in the House to do so.

(1410)

[English]

Inter-Parliamentary Union

     Mr. Speaker, the International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated every year on June 30. This year, June 30 also marks the 135th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the IPU.
    Having begun as a small group of parliamentarians in 1889, today, the IPU is a thriving international organization of 180 national parliaments, open to 46,000 parliamentarians. While Canada first joined the IPU in 1912, the current Canadian group was established in 1960. As president of the Canadian group and of the IPU Standing Committee on UN Affairs, I have the privilege of experiencing first-hand the incredible work the IPU does to make the world a better place, especially in relation to peace, democracy and human rights.
     On behalf of all 130 Canadian members of the Canadian group, congratulations to the IPU on this 135th anniversary.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, it is just as we suspected. The Prime Minister is not worth the crime and certainly not worth the corruption. Recently, the Auditor General reported that more than 180 conflicts of interest were committed at the Prime Minister's green slush fund. Corrupt directors actually funnelled taxpayer money to the tune of $336 million. That is $336 million to companies those directors own themselves. If that is not a textbook definition of corruption, I am not sure what is.
    Conservatives have successfully pushed to try to bring action forward in order to make sure this corruption is exposed, and now, the RCMP is investigating it. It has also informed us it has the ability to actually get that money back. It just takes a little bit of political will. Canadians certainly deserve that much, at least. The Prime Minister must get that taxpayer money back, and he must act now.
    Only common-sense Conservatives will continue to demand transparency from the Prime Minister and end this type of Liberal corruption that exists, right here, in Ottawa. May Canadians be well served by the next government.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, after nine years of raising taxes, the Liberal-NDP government is doing it again with a new job-killing tax on health care, homes, farms, small businesses and fishing communities. Members heard me right. The taxaholics are again digging deeper into the pockets of Canadian taxpayers. The NDP-Liberals are raising taxes on doctors during a doctor shortage, on farmers while we have a food price crisis, on home builders in a housing shortage and on small businesses during a cost of living crisis that the federal government created.
    To Liberals, hard work pursuing the Canadian dream should be punished, not rewarded. A common-sense Conservative government will fix this mess. We will introduce lower, fairer and simpler taxes to restore the Canadian dream. We will make sure hard work delivers strong paycheques that can buy affordable food, energy and homes in safe neighbourhoods. Conservatives will bring it home.

[Translation]

Lorraine Henderson

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the work of an exceptional member of the House of Commons' broadcasting team who, after a career spanning more than 32 years, will be retiring in the next few days.
     Lorraine Henderson began her career at the House of Commons in 1992. She quickly gained her co-workers' confidence after establishing high broadcasting standards that fulfilled members' expectations. Over the years, she has contributed to the success of many important events, including visits by President Biden, Prime Minister Rutte and Malala Yousafzai.
     A pioneer in a non-traditional occupation, she was one of the first women to be appointed television production director for the House of Commons. She inspired many women to join the broadcasting team. Her professionalism and dedication over the years have been exemplary.
     Her legacy at the House of Commons will live on, and we are extremely grateful.
     I wish her a happy retirement and thank her for her service.

[English]

Truth and Reconciliation

    Mr. Speaker, I want to humbly offer new thoughts on an aging tradition. Canada is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 157 years old. Happy birthday, kid. However, like any good coming of age story, there is much internal conflict. We, indigenous peoples and settlers alike, are at the convergence, or better said, at the place where rivers meet, perhaps again. All which has kept us from each other has now led us to one another.
    Although our experiences over the last 157 years are vastly different, we can today see each other more clearly. We can hear each other more soundly, and we can understand each other more emotionally. Indigenous peoples History Month and Canada Day are often a reminder for me of just how far we have truly come, even in my short time. It is also a painful reminder of just how much more work there is to be done, but justice begins with truth. It is where wisdom, redemption and forgiveness live. Reconciliation is not a policy, but a journey toward that truth that we all must take.
    I want to thank all those who are offering truths about these lands, especially our youth and our elders. kinana'skomitina'wa'w. Let us continue to heed these truths, and in time, we can become a worthy nation.

(1415)

[Translation]

National Indigenous Peoples Day

    Mr. Speaker, this week, let us all celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day together.
    The presence of first nations and their influence on our society have been overlooked for far too long. It is essential that we recognize their contributions and the richness of their cultures and languages. It is as much a matter of truth as it is of reconciliation.
    Without their knowledge of medicinal plants and especially without their support, the first Europeans in North America would never have been able to survive, let alone prosper. Let us not forget that, according to many historians, the first nations were ones who first laid the foundations for democracy in the Americas, with the council circle.
    June 21 is really the perfect day on which to celebrate their heritage since it is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
    I would like to wish a happy National Indigenous Peoples Day to all the Abenakis, Anishinabe, Atikamekw, Cree, Huron-Wendat, Inuit, Innu, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk and Naskapi peoples with whom we share this land.

[English]

Carbon Tax

     Mr. Speaker, the NDP-Liberal carbon tax is costing northerners billions. We found out that the radical minister's carbon tax will cost Canadians over $30.5 billion per year, and that will be $2,000 per family by 2030. Last week, I was in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, where the carbon tax has caused diesel to rise to $2.73 per litre. High fuel costs are the reason food is so expensive in the Arctic. A can of Heinz beans is $7, a loaf of bread is $8, a regular bag of peas is $10, and a four-litre jug of milk is $18.
    A local teacher from Inuvik told me that, by the end of the month, money is running short because of high food and heating costs. Judy, a local grandmother, told me that many cannot afford healthy food, so they rely on high-calorie junk foods, such as chips, chocolate and pop, to survive. In Tuktoyaktuk, Tina, a mother of four, told me she struggles to afford even the basics, such as milk, sugar, coffee and salt.
    As such, will the radical environment minister finally resign?

Cutest Pets on Parliament Hill

     Speaker, I rise today to highlight a special event that took place last week on Parliament Hill: the second annual Cutest Pets on Parliament Hill contest.
    I thank the Canadian Animal Health Institute for organizing this contest, and I congratulate all the nominees and winners. Of course, I would like to congratulate my Walnut, who won cutest dog; I would also like to recognize the runner-up, owned by none other than the deputy leader of the Conservative Party. She showed me a picture of her beautiful dog, Winston, and the look on her face can only be compared to the look she has during question period when she is looking at her leader.
    There are lessons to be taken away from this. Walnut and Winston were competitors. It was friendly. They were friends before, and they are friends after. It was not personal. The other lesson that can be taken away from this is that it does not matter how we dress up our dog or how many poles they sniff along the way; the campaign is what matters.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, I am hoping someone can explain something to me. The leader of the Bloc Québécois voted for a Liberal motion to raise taxes. The same day, he posted on X that the tax also significantly affects people who have been saving their entire lives, many of them pensioners, whose property is their retirement fund. Now he opposes the tax hike. He wants to amend it in committee, but the motion will not go to committee. The tax will be implemented within a week.
    Can the Prime Minister explain to his counterpart in the Bloc-Liberal coalition how Parliament works?

(1420)

    Mr. Speaker, in budget 2024, we are proposing an economic plan for our country. The other side of the House has no plan. We have a plan for the economy, for families, for seniors, for children. Those folks over there have no plan at all.
    I hope everyone will vote in favour of our plan this week.
    Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a so-called sovereignist party in Quebec that wants to take money from Quebec entrepreneurs, Quebec farmers, Quebec home builders and Quebec doctors and funnel it to the massive, centralist Liberal government.
    How is that common sense?
    Mr. Speaker, how can the Conservative leader and chief insult-hurler explain the nonsense of asking someone who earns $500,000 in capital gains to pay less tax than a nurse who earns $50,000? How can he claim that it is common sense to ask middle-class families to pay more tax than those who make huge capital gains?

[English]

Carbon Pricing

     Mr. Speaker, we always knew the Prime Minister was not worth the cost after nine years, but now his carbon tax cover-up has been exposed. We forced him to release data showing that, in addition to the higher bills at the pumps and on home heating that Canadians pay directly in the tax, there is also going to be a $30-billion-a-year hit to our economy. That is $1,800 in lost wages and higher prices for Canadian families.
    Now that we have caught the Liberals hiding the true cost of their tax, how can we believe anything else they say about any other tax hike?
     Mr. Speaker, facts are facts. The facts are that eight out of 10 Canadian families get more money back from carbon pricing than they pay. It is a fact that climate change is going to cost Canadians $35 billion by 2030. In fact, right now, eastern Canada is seeing a second heat wave before the summer has even started.
    People are being evacuated in the Northwest Territories. What is the Conservative response? It is to let the planet burn. It is immoral. We will not have that on this side of the House. We will work with Canadians. We will help them. We will be there for them. Unfortunately, the Conservative Party of Canada will not.
    Mr. Speaker, the fanatical rhetoric of the extremist minister will not change anything, nor will his carbon tax change the weather. His carbon tax is not going to eliminate a single forest fire, a single drought or a single heat wave. All it will do is turn up the heat on Canadian taxpayers. Now we know that the Liberals' talking point about eight out of 10 Canadians does not include a $25-billion hit to the economy, which works out to almost $2,000 in lost wages and higher prices for families. Again, if they have been hiding this, what else are they hiding about their other tax hikes?
     Mr. Speaker, last week, I noted my colleague's newfound interest in what economists have to say. Three hundred economists across this country actually validated the fact that eight out of 10 Canadians get more money back.
    What is appalling is the complete disregard and ignorance of the effects of climate change and the costs of climate change. I do not know whether the hon. member is a climate denier or whether he just does not think climate change is very important, but his willingness to compromise the future of our children is absolutely appalling.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, now that we have caught them covering up the real cost of their carbon tax and who will pay it, it raises the question about their job-killing tax on home builders, health care, small business and farmers. The president of real estate company RE/MAX said that “it's just not true” that just the rich will pay; it will “penalize...average Canadians”.
    The Canadian food professor says farmers will pay, which means that anyone who eats will pay.
    Why will they not just clear all this up and accept an amendment to their capital gains tax hike to exclude anyone who is making less than $120,000 in income from paying a single cent in higher tax?

(1425)

     Mr. Speaker, actually, a new report out today says that housing starts are up by 10%. We are now on track to build over 50,000 housing starts this year. We can compare this to when the Leader of the Opposition was the housing minister. Can we count how many housing units were built? That would be six. I wonder about those stats.
    On this side of the House, we actually have a plan to build housing; the units continue to go up.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, we are back to square one in the foreign interference saga. One leader is telling us that everything is fine and dandy. Another leader is telling us that things could not be worse and that the house is on fire. Both ask for our blind trust in their judgment.
     Their public statements prove, however, that when judgment was being handed out, there were at least two people in this room who were at the end of the line. The whole thing was pointless. Now there is a risk that doubt will be cast on the Hogue commission if the justice does not arrive at the same findings as our two chatterboxes. Is it asking too much to allow justice to run its course?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from La Prairie for his question and the work he is doing with me. As I said time and again last summer to other colleagues, we mandated the Hogue commission to specifically examine all the questions surrounding foreign interference and our democratic institutions. We were heartened by the commission's willingness to review the questions that the committee of parliamentarians examined. We very much look forward to collaborating with the commission in this regard.
    Mr. Speaker, things would not be where they are had the Prime Minister been worthy of trust in this file. He has been receiving intelligence briefings on foreign interference for years, but by his own admission he does not even read the files.
     The Prime Minister has the report on foreign interference with elected officials. He has had it since the month of March. He has done nothing to date. It had to come out in the newspapers for him to finally care. That is really discouraging. How is the public to trust that he will be responsible enough to clean up his caucus if need be? He never does anything.
    Mr. Speaker, our colleague from La Prairie normally practises an optimistic brand of politics, and I do not wish to discourage him. Our government took the foreign interference threats seriously right from the get-go. He knows full well that we worked with parliamentarians just recently to pass a very important bill to strengthen our security institutions. I thank my colleagues for this non-partisan effort. We will continue as a government to take our responsibilities seriously when it comes to strengthening our democratic institutions against foreign interference.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been nine long years since the truth and reconciliation report was released. The Prime Minister claimed that the indigenous communities were his most important relationship. Today, the commissioners say that progress is too slow. The Prime Minister has turned his back on indigenous people, and every broken promise means that indigenous people have to wait even longer for clean drinking water, for adequate housing, for health care and for the services they need for justice.
    When will the Prime Minister stop turning his back on indigenous people?
    Mr. Speaker, we have come a long way since 2015. In fact, we have seen an increase of 185% in spending on indigenous priorities. Just today, I stood with a national chief, who talked about the improvement of the relationship between Canada and first nations people. We made an announcement that we would support Ontario to deliver health care in the Weeneebayko health area for $1.2 billion. We will continue to work on reconciliation with colleagues across the country.
    I want to thank all the first nations and indigenous leaders who are working so hard.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals only take action when New Democrats force them to.

(1430)

[Translation]

    It has been nine years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued its report. The commissioners are sending a clear message today. The Liberals' progress is too slow. Every day that passes is another day without housing, clean water or justice.
    Will the Prime Minister admit that if CEOs were the ones asking, he would not be dragging his feet?

[English]

    We work with first nations people every single day to do the kinds of things that the member opposite is talking about, closing infrastructure gaps and lifting boil water advisories. Ninety-six per cent of first nations now live in communities with access to clean water, and we will not rest until it is done.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, only after relentless pressure from Conservatives did the Liberals finally end their carbon tax cover-up.
     The numbers show the NDP-Liberal carbon tax is going to blow a hole of $30 billion a year once they fully quadruple the carbon tax. That is nearly $2,000 per family per year. The radical environment minister knew that all along. Instead of publishing the report, he gagged and ridiculed the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer.
    Will the never-ending tax hikes finally stop or, better yet, will the minister just resign?
    Mr. Speaker, eight out of 10 Canadians do better where the federal system applies.
    The Conservative Party of Canada, after campaigning to put in place carbon pricing during the last election, has now turned its back on it, just as Conservatives have turned their backs on Canadians. Their only answer to climate change is to ignore it and to let the planet burn. This is immoral.
     We will not let that happen on this side of the House. We will be there to support Canadians, unlike the Conservative Party of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, the Liberals do not have an environmental plan; they have a tax plan, and it is a tax plan they were trying to hide from Canadians.
    It was Conservatives who finally got the answers that show the $30-billion-a-year hole it is blowing in our Canadian economy, a billion-dollar tax increase to farmers coming up, and a quadrupling of the carbon tax to 61¢ a litre on the price of gas. It is out of touch. It is arrogant. It is punishing Canadians when they need help.
     Will the minister get with reality and finally stop increasing the carbon tax, or again, better yet, just fire himself?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, what we have is a comprehensive plan to address the threat of climate change, one of the most comprehensive in the world. We also have a plan for the economy, one that will ensure economic jobs and economic prosperity in a low-carbon world.
     What is astonishing is the fact that the Conservatives have neither. They have neither an environmental plan to save the planet from burning, nor an economic plan. With the height of hypocrisy, that member over there actually campaigned on putting a price on pollution. Where were they?
    Mr. Speaker, Liberals knew that the carbon tax was costing Canadians billions of dollars. They knew and they covered it up.
     The cost is $25 billion a year. That works out to $1,800, each and every year, cost for every single Canadian family. If Canadians wonder why it is hard to pay for things, this is why. If the average Canadian went to work, lied and covered something up, they would be fired.
     Will the Prime Minister fire the radical environment minister, who tried to cover this all up from Canadians?
     Mr. Speaker, if anyone should resign in this House, it is the people who are misleading Canadians about the benefit of carbon pricing.
    There is 25 million tonnes less pollution in this country because of carbon pricing. We have a plan to work with Canadians to help them better prepare to face the impacts of climate change.
     The Conservatives have nothing: no plans for adaptation, no plan to reduce the amount of pollution, and no plan for the economy. If anyone should resign, it should be them over there.
    Mr. Speaker, if we want to talk about misleading Canadians, the Liberals pretend they have an environmental plan when greenhouse gas emissions actually went up year over year. Canada is now ranked 62nd out of 67 for emissions reduction performance. We are now ranked with the low-performing countries. All the while, the government is bankrupting Canadians while the limousine Liberals drive around and preach that Canadians should just take it. It is all a pack of lies.
    The environment minister should be fired for covering up the truth of the cost of the carbon tax from Canadians. Will he resign?

(1435)

     Mr. Speaker, I would invite the member to update his speaking notes, which date back many months.
    We just received, in fact, the Climate Scorecard 2024 Government Climate Leadership Award for one of the best performances in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction since 2019 in all of the G7 countries, something that has never happened under a Conservative Government of Canada and will never happen under a Conservative government.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the radical environment minister must either resign or be fired, full stop. First he misled Canadians by falsely claiming that the carbon tax would financially benefit them, and then he hid from Canadians a study from his own department that said the opposite. When the Parliamentary Budget Officer found out about it, the minister put a gag on him, preventing him from disclosing or referencing the study. Next, he tried to ruin the PBO's reputation. His report clearly shows that the economic damage from the carbon tax will cost every Canadian family $2,000 a year.
     When will the minister be fired for his economic extremism?
     Mr. Speaker, if anyone in the House ought to resign, it is the member who just spoke. Back in 2021, he campaigned on a promise of putting a price on pollution and introducing a clean fuel standard.
     What are the Conservatives doing today? They have turned their backs on those promises. They are the ones flip-flopping. They have no plan for the economy. They have no plan for helping Canadians deal with the impact of climate change. They have no plan for combatting climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, does everyone know what the minister did? He desperately tried to hide the fact that Quebeckers are paying dearly for the federal carbon tax, which is supported by the Bloc Québécois. Despite his claims that Quebeckers do not pay the carbon tax, his own figures, which he would not reveal until the Conservatives forced him to, tell a different story. The report that he was so anxious to conceal shows that the economic cost of the carbon tax for Quebeckers is $5 billion.
     Are these not five billion reasons for the minister to resign?
    Mr. Speaker, it is sad to see the Conservative Party of Canada continue to display its complete ignorance on the issue of climate change.
     The member should just turn around and speak to the member behind him. She was part of a provincial government in Quebec that introduced a price on pollution long before the federal government did. As he knows full well, or should know by now, the federal price does not apply in Quebec. It applies to other provinces.

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, this week's forecast calls for temperatures that feel like 45°C. This is the weather forecast not for Arizona, but for my home region, southern Quebec. The planet is heating up and the climate is changing, yet the federal government plans on giving oil companies a further $83 billion in tax handouts over the next 10 years. It is doing this not to help with the just transition away from oil, but to try and mask the impact of boosting oil production. While Quebec burns, Ottawa is going to help fund 10 more years of increased production of dirty oil.
     Has the time not come to just stop?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, who recognizes the importance of combatting climate change. However, I disagree with the premise of her question, since Canada is the only G20 country to have eliminated subsidies for fossil fuels. We did this two years sooner than any of our G20 partners. We even went further by committing to also eliminating public subsidies from Crown corporations for fossil fuel production.
     We are the only G20 country to have made this commitment, and we will do it by the end of the year.

(1440)

    Mr. Speaker, it is 45°C in southern Quebec, and Environment Canada is predicting an abnormally hot summer.
     Unprecedented heatwave conditions were recorded last year in 90% of the world's oceans, according to the UN, and our own St. Lawrence River was not spared. Quebec climate change experts predict that the north will heat up by 7.6°C, five times higher than the Paris Agreement target.
     Meanwhile, Ottawa is giving oil companies $83 billion in tax breaks and spending a further $34 billion to buy a pipeline.
     Would these billions of dollars not be better spent on climate change adaptation?
    Mr. Speaker, I again thank my colleague for her question. I would remind her that last year, for the first time in Canada's history, we adopted a national adaptation strategy. The provinces, territories, indigenous peoples and experts worked together to develop this strategy to help us prepare for the impacts of climate change.
     In fact, all the provincial, territorial and federal ministers are scheduled to meet in two weeks to work on implementing this national adaptation policy.
    Mr. Speaker, that is not all. According to a federal greenhouse gas inventory report, the dirty oil industry is even dirtier than we thought.
    The federal government realized that it was miscalculating fugitive emissions from sources like wells, pipes and torches. As a result, the 2021 emissions retroactively shot up by 38 megatonnes. It is good news that Ottawa can now keep track better, but it is bad news for the planet.
    Is investing $117 billion in dirty oil that is even dirtier than expected really the disgraced environmentalist minister's solution to climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, I said it earlier in English, but for the benefit of my colleague, I will say it in French. Canada just received the 2024 Climate Scorecard award for its performance in the fight against climate change. Between 2019 and now, we have been a top performer in the G7 when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    I completely agree with her that more needs to be done. That is why we continue to move forward with our plan. Over the next year, we will be capping greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector to ensure that that sector, like the others, is doing its part to reduce emissions.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, common-sense Conservatives got proof that the Liberals kicked and screamed to hide, but most Canadians already know that after nine years, the NDP-Liberals' carbon tax is not worth the cost. It will gouge Canada's economy for about $30 billion. That is almost $2,000 for every household each year.
     In Lakeland, a family farm paid nearly $500 in carbon taxes in one month. An agricultural group paid $5,000 in just six months. Both were before the April 1 hike.
    Will the environment minister finally just admit that his failed carbon tax is a cash grab and resign?
    Mr. Speaker, I would invite my hon. colleague to have a conversation with the 300 economists who have validated that eight out of 10 families get more money back, that the price on pollution is a driver of innovation and is a driver of investment in our economy.
    Across the aisle, we have a Conservative Party in the country that denies the existence of climate change and has no economic plan to ensure prosperity in the future for people from coast to coast to coast. It is truly a shame. It is abandoning the future of our children and the future of our country.
    Mr. Speaker, he should actually listen to what Canadians are pleading with him about, because emissions are up and so is the price of everything. It is all a sham. The truth is that not once did the 1,200-page analysis show that Canadians were better off with the carbon tax and rebate.
    The worst thing is the Prime Minister fought to hide the real costs of his agenda, even though he has never had to worry about affording anything in his entire life. He has the gall to tell Canadians that paying more for gas, heat and groceries makes them better off, just like he claims that hiking taxes on small business and farmers makes Canadians better off. None of it is true and none of it is worth the cost or the cover-up.
    If the fibbing environment minister will not resign, will the Prime Minister finally just fire him?
     The hon. member is an experienced member, and that is getting very close to the line in terms of what is acceptable parliamentary behaviour. I will look at that question a bit more carefully.
    The hon. Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

(1445)

    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and her colleagues across the aisle may be entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts. The fact is that emissions are down in a significant way. The fact is that 300 economists, experts in their field, say that eight out of 10 Canadians get more money back. Those are facts.
    What is also a fact is that the party across the way has no plan to address climate change and no plan for the economic future of the country. It is also the case that they all campaigned on putting a price on pollution. If anybody should resign, it is those members opposite.
    Mr. Speaker, the fix is in. Last week Conservatives forced the reveal of the secret report that the Prime Minister and his carbon-tax-obsessed environment minister covered up, which confirmed that the carbon tax costs families almost $2,000 per year, and every year $30 billion is lost in economic productivity. Liberals are so desperate to hide the truth, they publicly smeared and gagged the independent budget officer.
    When will the minister of economic and environment vandalism resign, or better yet, get fired?
    Mr. Speaker, that question has been asked and answered several times already today. My question for the Conservatives is this: Why should a dollar earned from working, whether it be as an insurance broker, a fish plant worker, a construction worker or a cashier, be taxed higher than a dollar received as profit from the sale of an investment? Why is it that a person flipping burgers pays a higher tax rate than a person flipping stocks?

Indigenous Affairs

    Uqaqtittiji, the more that Inuit regain their pride, the more identity fraud we see. The problem is being made worse from inside the Prime Minister's caucus. The parliamentary secretary of northern affairs recently said her government would recognize the constitutional rights of NunatuKavut, despite the court ruling differently. Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut, has called for the demotion of the parliamentary secretary.
    Will the Prime Minister show his commitment to Inuit and protect legitimate communities from identity fraud?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is fully engaged in making sure that all section 35 rights are developed and exercised with everybody who deserves section 35 rights. We will continue engaging. We will continue talking to communities, be they first nation, Inuit or Métis, and we will make sure that section 35 rights are respected.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, in Union Bay on Vancouver Island, a massive ship full of toxic chemicals is being broken up in the high tide zone in the same waters that half of B.C. shellfish come from. Recent tests show that this area has become a toxic wasteland with copper levels 15 times higher than they should be. Local government, first nations and the province are calling for the federal government to act, but the Liberals are instead green-lighting the dumping of toxic waste on our coast.
    When will the Liberals finally put an end to this harmful ship-breaking and protect local health and the economy?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, our government is keenly aware of the environmental impact that abandoned vessels can have on Canadians and their communities.
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to working with local communities and harbour authorities to reduce the number of abandoned vessels.
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada's efforts are paying off. Since 2017, more than 584 hazardous vessels have been removed.
    Whether it is by following the rules or reporting any offences, we all have a role to play in keeping our waterways safe.

(1450)

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians from across the country are concerned about the rising levels of auto theft. This is an issue that our government takes very seriously, and we have taken meaningful action to combat it. Yesterday, our government announced the deployment of a mobile X-ray scanner in the GTA to combat auto theft. This scanner will enable the CBSA to recover even more stolen vehicles and help our law enforcement partners to crack down on crime.
    Can the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs tell Canadians about the action our government is taking in the GTA to combat auto theft?
     Mr. Speaker, yesterday's announcement adds to multiple measures our government has taken to counter auto theft and crack down on organized crime. The deployment of an X-ray scanner is an important step in combatting auto theft and organized crime, not only in the GTA but also right across the country. The scanner will allow law enforcement to intercept stolen vehicles before they go to ports to leave Canada.
    While Conservatives were in power, they cut the CBSA and its capacity to counter organized crime. We will continue to crack down on organized criminals.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, July 1, moving day in Quebec, is fast approaching, and it is set to be a disaster because of the housing crisis. The government, supported by the Bloc Québécois, created this situation with its exorbitant, inflationary spending, and we are now seeing homelessness in places like Trois‑Rivières, Rimouski, Rouyn‑Noranda and Sept‑Îles. All these towns are located in Bloc ridings.
    To alleviate the housing crisis, can the Prime Minister and the Bloc Québécois commit to stop wasting taxpayers' money?
    Mr. Speaker, it has been a while since we reminded my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles that his Conservative leader built six affordable housing units across the country during his entire career as minister responsible for housing, while there are 222 in his riding alone and, in the next few days, we will be announcing the Habitations Charles IV housing project right in his riding.
    Would my colleague care to invite me for a tour of those units? There will be far more than the six his Conservative leader built.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois voted for $500 billion in budget appropriations, which contributed to the current housing crisis. The Bloc also voted with the Liberals against the bill introduced by the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, who was trying to make housing more affordable.
     Numerous newspaper articles are now reporting that homelessness is going up sharply in ridings represented by the Bloc Québécois. Quebeckers are suffering and have lost confidence in this government and its Bloc buddies.
     Will the government do the right thing and call an election today?
    Mr. Speaker, what we can do today is go visit some of the 222 affordable homes built in his riding over the last few months. That figure does not include the thousands of homes that will be built there in the coming years with the support of the Quebec government.
     Unfortunately, this stands in stark contrast to the six affordable homes that his Conservative leader built during his entire tenure as minister responsible for housing. I am referring to the chief insult-hurler, who insults Quebec municipalities by calling them incompetent in matters of housing.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years of this Liberal government, Quebeckers are going through housing hell. The lack of affordable housing throughout Quebec is forcing many women to remain in abusive situations.
    The Bloc Québécois has made the housing crisis worse by voting for $500 billion in spending. On top of that, it voted with the Liberals against the Conservative leader's bill, which was aimed specifically at speeding up housing construction.
    Can this Prime Minister, supported by the Bloc Québécois, stop forcing Quebeckers to live in misery by voting against measures designed to make their lives better?
    Mr. Speaker, I would not want to compare the records of Conservative MPs in the Quebec City region. In her own riding of Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, 205 affordable housing units have been built in recent years.
    That is slightly less than the 222 affordable housing units in Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles, but it is far more than the six affordable housing units that our colleague, the MP for Carleton and Conservative leader—and chief insult-hurler, since he calls everyone incompetent—built in this country during his entire career as minister responsible for housing.

(1455)

    Mr. Speaker, with moving day two weeks away, Quebeckers are worried. Many of them are looking for a new place to live. In Saguenay, skyrocketing rent costs have families believing they will end up living on the streets.
    Despite it all, the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals voted against our common-sense bill to build housing. The Bloc would rather support the government and vote for the $500 billion in budget allocations that helped fuel the housing crisis in the first place. Voting for the Bloc Québécois is costly, especially in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.
    When will the Liberals and their Bloc Québécois supporters listen to us?
    Mr. Speaker, I have bad news for the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord. A hundred and eighty-one affordable housing units have been built in his riding.
    Now for the good news: 181 affordable housing units is 30 times more than the six units that the Conservative leader built across the whole country during his entire career as housing minister.
    He got six affordable housing units built. I know people might not believe us, but that is a fact. Fortunately, 181 affordable housing units have been built in the member's riding over the past few months, with more on the way in the months to come.

Employment

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are joining forces and speaking out against $145 million in cuts to workforce training in Quebec.
    The Quebec government and labour market partners have asked Ottawa to back down in a letter signed by the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, the Conseil du patronat du Québec, youth chambers of commerce, as well as manufacturers and exporters. They are all speaking with one voice.
    The Minister of Labour is scheduled to meet with his counterpart today. Will he announce that he is cancelling these cuts?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. It is extremely important that our government invest in training. We are making historic investments in training.
    We will continue to work with businesses across Quebec. As the minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, that is exactly what I am doing. I am working very closely with my colleague, the Minister of Labour, who is investing record amounts in training.
    Mr. Speaker, we know how the Liberals operate. They give money hand over fist to oil companies and to firms like McKinsey for untendered contracts. However, they count their pennies when it comes to helping unemployed workers, young people, people with disabilities and others join the workforce.
    The $145 million in cuts represent 16% of federal labour transfers to Quebec. It makes no sense. The government needs to reverse course.
    Will it cancel the cuts?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, our government is making record investments to create record jobs, with $50 billion in the auto sector alone, creating tens of thousands of jobs. We are also investing record amounts in skills training, amounting to billions of dollars each and every year for labour market transfers to the provinces, sectoral workforce programs, doubling the UTIP union training and $1 billion supporting apprentices annually.
    No government has delivered more for training and jobs than this Liberal government has.

Taxation

     Mr. Speaker, Niagara Falls is powered by tourism, and I am already hearing concerns from small business operators about the Liberal-NDP government's new capital gains tax. Simply put, after nine years, the Liberals do not care about small business. We should remember that it was the government that called them tax cheats. Now, these small businesses are falsely being targeted by the NDP-Liberal coalition as the top one percenters who need to pay more.
    How many family-run businesses are going to be unfairly taxed and face ruin because of the government's policy?
    Mr. Speaker, I would invite my colleague opposite to look into the important small business tax exemption that is also coming into effect.
    I would like to know why the Conservatives would rather slash the pensions of our seniors than ask the wealthy to pay just a little more. I would like to ask the Conservatives why they would rather cut school lunches for over 400,000 children than to ask the one per cent in our society to pay just a little more.

(1500)

    Mr. Speaker, the member should be speaking to Nick and his family, who recently sold their tourism retail business after 40 years in operation. The price they negotiated this past winter did not account for the surprise, massive and unfair Liberal tax hike they will now be facing. In fact, Nick wrote to me that the sale was for the retirement of four families and that the extra loss of income, which they did not anticipate, is utterly unfair.
    Why is the Minister of Finance targeting small family-run businesses and ruining their retirement dreams?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservatives, who continue to mock the supports we provide small businesses and actually vote against all the supports we have provided to small businesses, on this side of the House we will continue to support small businesses. In fact on this side of the House we reduced small business taxes from 10.5% to 9%.
    We will continue to support small businesses and be there for them to start, grow and scale their businesses.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians are without a family doctor. The shortage is even more severe in rural and remote communities. The carbon tax already punishes them for driving long distances when they have no other choice. Now the Prime Minister's job-killing tax on health care will make it even harder to find a doctor.
    It is not fair that Canadian families have to go without a doctor. How many more Canadians will lose a family doctor just to pay for the Prime Minister's out-of-control spending?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, asking for a more fair and equitable tax system where those who are the very wealthiest pay a little bit more in taxes so we can have money for doctors and nurses and to make investments into our health care system is actually the answer, not the problem.
    The problem is Conservative cuts, the fact that the Conservatives want to attack our health care system with deep cuts that would create much worse problems. Of course, the world has faced big challenges in health care coming out of COVID. What we have seen in Canada is leadership, with 26 agreements, $200 billion, dental care, pharmacare and action across the board.

Women and Gender Equality

    Mr. Speaker, at this time two years ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned in the United States. The fear and uncertainty this has caused millions of women cannot be minimized. It is a reminder that here in Canada, choice for women is paramount. While Conservative MPs celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade, our government stood committed to ensuring that choice for women remains a fundamental right.
    Could the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth share the importance of this work?
     Mr. Speaker, two years ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned in the U.S., and so many thought that was an impossibility. However, it taught us that vigilance everywhere is imperative.
    This past weekend, I met Liz, a self-described old feminist in Thunder Bay. Liz wanted me to remind Canadians that the right to an abortion is a human right and always worth fighting for. That is exactly what we will continue to do on this side of the House. That side of the House cannot say the same.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the government's capital gains tax is killing jobs in health care, home building, small businesses and farming. An agriculture producer in my riding is deeply concerned that the tax is undermining the profitability and sustainability in an already volatile business environment. Their current transition of ownership is severely impacted by these tax changes, rising input costs and softening markets.
    The minister is raising taxes without even passing a law, which begs this ultimate question: How many more surprise tax hikes will the government spring on Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make very clear one important point, and that is that the changes we have introduced in the budget are just not going to affect the paycheques of Canadians. Anybody taking home a salary in Canada is not going to see a change based on what we have presented for capital gains. In fact what we are asking is with respect to those who do not make a salary, who have their money working for them, who make incredible profits on the investments that they sell. They will be paying a little bit more.

(1505)

Diversity and Inclusion

    Mr. Speaker, anti-Semitism has become a plague on university campuses. Hamas sympathizers camping out at McGill are promoting the “revolutionary summer program”, featuring images of kaffiyeh-clad fighters brandishing machine guns. It is appalling.
    Summer camp used to be about campfires and canoeing. After nine years of the Prime Minister, it has become “Bring your machine gun to camp to threaten and harass Jewish students.” It must be stopped. What is the government going to do about it?
    Mr. Speaker, I think every single Canadian and every single member of the House condemns anti-Semitism.
    We know that combatting anti-Semitism and hate takes concrete action. That is why in this particular budget we are investing $273 million toward Canada's first-ever action plan on combatting hate. We have also invested more than $200 million toward Canada's anti-racism strategy. We have launched a community resiliency fund. We are working with the Minister of Public Safety. We are going to continue to do everything possible to make sure we combat hate in this country and around the world.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs told CBC News, last week, that it was news to her that Russian warships were docked alongside one of our Canadian naval vessels in Havana celebrating the Cuban Communist dictatorship. This morning, the Minister of National Defence was asked whether he had told the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and of course he denied it.
    It is both reckless and dangerous for the Liberals to honour Cuba, Russia's junior partner, and once again they are undermining our relationship and support for Ukraine.
    Why is the Minister of National Defence using our navy to cozy up to the Communist regime in Cuba with our Russian adversaries?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to act surprised that the Conservatives are politicizing the Royal Canadian Navy deployments, but frankly I am not.
    To be very clear, it was a military mission. Along with our American allies, the Canadian Navy and Air Force have been tracking the movements and activity of a Russian naval flotilla along the eastern seaboard and into Cuba with our Aurora aircraft and the HMCS Ville de Québec. Upon the advice and at the request of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Joint Operations Command, I authorised the HMCS Margaret Brooke to visit Havana. We were well aware that the Russians would be present at the same time and we planned our mission accordingly.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that auto theft is a growing problem and that organized crime is constantly reinventing itself to foil the tactics of our police forces. Yesterday, our government announced the deployment of a mobile X-ray scanner that can scan cargo containers to find stolen vehicles.
    Can the Minister of Public Safety tell the House what our government has done to intercept more stolen vehicles and thwart the organized crime groups behind auto theft?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank our colleague from Vaughan—Woodbridge for his work on this issue and for speaking French.
    The deployment of an X-ray scanner to detect stolen vehicles inside cargo containers is an important tool for the CBSA in the fight against organized crime across the country. When the Conservatives were in power, they cut the CBSA's funding, reduced the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime and cut services for Canadians. We are doing the opposite. We will protect Canadians.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

     Mr. Speaker, It has been three years since Kabul fell, and for Afghans life gets worse every day. Canadians want to help Afghans living under the horrific Taliban rule, but the Canadian government is getting in the way. The flawed bill that the Liberals passed a year ago, Bill C-41, has not been implemented. There has been no guidance and no funding for any Canadian organization, nothing.
    As Afghan girls face gender apartheid and as people starve, the incompetence of the Liberals is staggering. Why is the government delaying the much-needed aid to save lives?

(1510)

    Mr. Speaker, in June of last year, Bill C-41, which created a humanitarian exception as an authorization regime, was passed. The new legislation facilitates Canada's engagement to address humanitarian crises and advance human rights globally while also ensuring strong counterterrorism financing provisions. There is no doubt that any delays on such an important matter are frustrating for all of us. We are hopeful that this will launch in the near future.

Democratic Institutions

     Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister once said that he thought NSICOP was well suited to examine foreign interference in Canada's democracy and democratic institutions, but apparently not anymore. Why the change? Was it an NSICOP report that shed some redacted light on the willing involvement of Liberals guilty of seeking political and financial benefit?
    Does the Prime Minister still feel that “Canadians need to have faith in their institutions and deserve answers and transparency”, or have his party's Beijing masters called for a reversal?
    Mr. Speaker, our colleague should be careful before he simply makes up stuff in question period and asserts things that he knows are absolutely false. He knows very well that our government created, for the first time ever, a committee of parliamentarians to oversee the work of our security agencies.
     We think it is important for parliamentarians from every political party and from the other place to do this important work. We have acted on their recommendations. We thank them for this important contribution to the fight against foreign interference and for a series of other measures that are important for assuring the national security of all Canadians.

Presence in Gallery

     I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Ryan Straughn, Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment of Barbados.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    I would also like to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Agriculture and Lands, Forestry, Marine Resources and Cooperatives of Grenada.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
     Finally, I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, Minister of Planning and Development of Trinidad and Tobago.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been discussions among the parties and, if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
    I regret to inform the hon. member that there have been several noes. I will say this once again, that to ensure we use the time efficiently, if it is possible, that a member get agreement before rising to seek unanimous consent.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Miscarriage of Justice Review Commission Act (David and Joyce Milgaard's Law)

     The House resumed from June 14 consideration of Bill C-40, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to repeal a regulation (miscarriage of justice reviews), as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    It being 3:14 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-40.
    Call in the members.
    And the bells having rung:

(1535)

    The question is on Motion No. 1. A vote on this motion also applies to Motions Nos. 2 to 20.

(1540)

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 826)

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
d'Entremont
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Jivani
Kelly
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Majumdar
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
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
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 118


NAYS

Members

Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bergeron
Bérubé
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
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
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
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
Villemure
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 206


PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Plamondon

Total: -- 2


    I declare Motion No. 1 defeated.
    I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2 to 20 defeated.

[English]

Iran

     Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent for the following motion:
     That the House:
(a) condemn the death sentence of Iranian musician and vocal critic of the Iranian regime, Toomaj Salehi;
(b) urge the Government of Canada to impose targeted sanctions on the thirty-one judges, prosecutors, and investigators of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Courts included on the "TOOMAJ" list, who are responsible for sham trials, torture, and the inhumane treatment of Iranian protesters and political dissidents;
(c) condemn gender apartheid, violations of civil liberties, killings, intimidation, and acts of violence initiated by the Islamic Republic against the people of Iran; and
(d) reiterate its unconditional support for Iranians advocating for human rights and democracy as part of the Women, Life, Freedom movement.

(1545)

    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
     The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

[Translation]

Miscarriage of Justice Review Commission Act (David and Joyce Milgaard's Law)

    The House resumed consideration of Bill C-40, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to repeal a regulation (miscarriage of justice reviews), as reported (with amendments) from the committee.
     moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.
    If a member participating in person wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or if a member of a recognized party participating in person wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

(1555)

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

(Division No. 827)

YEAS

Members

Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bergeron
Bérubé
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jowhari
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
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
McKay
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
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
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
Villemure
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 206


NAYS

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
d'Entremont
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
Jivani
Kelly
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Majumdar
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
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: -- 118


PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Plamondon

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

[English]

Privilege

Record of the Proceedings of the House—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am ready to rule on the question of privilege raised on June 6, by the member for Winnipeg Centre, concerning editorial changes to the Debates of June 4.
    In raising this matter, the member asserted that a substantive change was inappropriately made at page 24440 of the Debates of June 4, 2024. According to the member, that day's Debates do not accurately reflect the content of the speech given by the member for Saskatoon West during the consideration at report stage of Bill C-20, an act establishing the public complaints and review commission and amending certain acts and statutory instruments. She explained that the member for Saskatoon West had stated that a certain individual “was likely to reoffend because of his racial background.”
    However, the Debates read that the same individual “was likely to reoffend regardless of his racial background.”
    She stated that replacing the word “because” with the word “regardless” significantly altered the meaning of the member's intervention. In making this point, the member referenced a recent ruling in which the Chair indicated that revisions should not alter the substance and meaning of what members say in the House.

(1600)

[Translation]

     On June 6, 2024, the member for Saskatoon West rose on a point of order to apologize for misspeaking during the debate. He said that he had realized his mistake immediately after his speech and therefore requested the change when the blues came out.
    The House leader of the official opposition subsequently intervened on this matter, outlining the purpose of the blues and the role of editors in producing the Debates. Given the apologies offered by the member for Saskatoon West and his admission that he had misspoken, thereby properly correcting the record to reflect the intention of his remarks, the House leader suggested that the matter be considered closed.

[English]

    The Chair is hesitant to deal with concerns about the editing of the Debates. The work of the editors is based on a standard of professional excellence and performed independently from political pressures. However, when members complain about the accuracy of the Debates, the Chair also has a duty to assess whether the record accurately reflects the proceedings of the House. If not, the Chair can ask that the Debates be modified.
    Regarding the editing process, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, at page 1229, states the following:
    It is a long-standing practice of the House that editors of the Debates may exercise judgment as to whether or not changes suggested by Members constitute the correction of an error or a minor alteration. The editors may likewise alter a sentence to render it more readable but may not go so far as to change its meaning

[Translation]

    On October 29, 2009, in a ruling on a similar matter, which can be found at page 6356 of the Debates, Speaker Milliken said:
    As all members know, the Debates are not a verbatim ad literatum transcription of what is said in this House. When producing the Debates, House of Commons editors routinely edit interventions for clarity and clean up our grammatical and syntactical lapses. They also of course consider corrections and minor alterations to the blues submitted by the member to which words are attributed.
    Any editorial changes, either suggested by a member or made by the editors themselves, must remain faithful to the original meaning of the statement as a whole, as spoken on the floor of the House. Editors are also expected to exercise judgment in assessing any potential change. The final word on the change does not rest with the member requesting it, but with the editors.

[English]

    Just recently, on May 30, the Chair ruled on a complaint about the editing process for the Debates of April 30. In that ruling, which can be found at page 24087 of the Debates, the following is stated with respect to the independence of Parliamentary Publications, “The editors of the Parliamentary Publications team craft a record that, in their judgment, best corresponds to the proceedings, without political interference and in a completely non-partisan manner.”
    Exercising due diligence, the Chair assessed the facts of the present situation by inquiring with Parliamentary Publications. The question editors faced when preparing the Debates on June 4 was whether substituting “regardless” for “because” would distort the meaning of the intervention or clarify it. That day, even before the member for Saskatoon West requested a change, editors had already begun to investigate the issue and analyze the overall context of his intervention. They had found through their fact-checking that the member was paraphrasing an assessment made by the Parole Board that did not seem to align with the term used.
    Furthermore, the member's use of the word seemed illogical in the context of the rest of his speech. The request from the member for Saskatoon West to modify the blues ostensibly confirmed their suspicion as to his apparent intention. The editors concluded he had misspoken and it was on that basis that the editorial change was made. In retrospect, the editors might have handled the situation differently as they always have the option to leave an intervention as is, even if it is incoherent. However, their ultimate objective is for the transcript to make sense.

(1605)

[Translation]

    Members should not be surprised to learn that editors occasionally make changes and replace words to ensure that members' interventions remain coherent for the reader, while attempting to ensure they accurately reflect what was said. This is not unusual. These changes are made by editors on their own initiative, but also at the request of members from all parties. Accordingly, editors must have the latitude to navigate perilous interpretation exercises, though they do not have free rein, as they must be equally careful not to change the meaning of what is said.

[English]

     Admittedly, some situations are more complex than others and, indeed, the present case has caused some degree of controversy. The member for Saskatoon West undoubtedly used the word “because” in his intervention. He admitted the mistake himself and apologized for having misspoken. His initial use of the word is now on the record.
    The Chair is, nonetheless, satisfied with the explanations provided by Parliamentary Publications and the reasoning behind the replacement of the disputed word. While the decision does appear to change the meaning of the intervention, their motivation was clearly to make the text more coherent.
    I hope members can accept that the editors have a challenging job and that the correction was made in good faith. As a result, the Chair concludes that this matter does not constitute a question of privilege and, therefore, considers the matter closed.
    I thank all members for their attention.

Privilege

Alleged Premature Release of Speaker's Ruling on Social Media  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a question of privilege. I have a concern. As you were giving us the ruling today, we noticed on Twitter that the ruling was already published. The idea that members of this House should get that ruling before anyone else is quite clear and the fact that Twitter got the ruling before the member for Winnipeg Centre or any of the members of this House is inappropriate.
    I thank the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona.

[Translation]

    Before I recognize the member for Salaberry—Suroît, who may be rising on the same point of order, I would like to clarify the following.

[English]

     I would note that the member is right. We do not normally publish the ruling before it is given in the House. After the ruling is given, we distribute it by email to members, as well as note on social media that a ruling has been given.
    Given that the hon. member has raised this issue quite appropriately, we will look at this and come back to the hon. member.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.
    Mr. Speaker, to follow up on my colleague's point of order, this is not the first time we have seen one of your rulings posted on social media before you delivered it orally from your chair.
    If you do some checking, it is important that you and your team look into this to avoid repeating what the member just pointed out to you.
    I thank the hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît. The table and I believe this is the first time that a Speaker's ruling has been published in the media before it was delivered in the House of Commons.
    We are going to check to make sure it does not happen again.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre on a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my point of order is about parliamentary behaviour. We cannot use such words as “shit” or “fuck” in this place, but we can say such things as “because of [somebody's] racial background”. We can perpetrate racism in the House, and it is treated less seriously than swearing is. It is deeply troubling for me that we do not find it terribly troubling when one's racial background is blamed for criminality. That seems quite unparliamentary to me.

(1610)

     I am going to invite the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre to take the opportunity to look more carefully at the ruling. The door is always open to speak to the hon. member and to speak to any member who has any concerns about the language that is used or that is acceptable in the House.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to nine petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.
    While I am on my feet, I move:
That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.
     If a member participating in person wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or if a member of a recognized party participating in person wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.
    Call in the members.

(1655)

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

(Division No. 828)

YEAS

Members

Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
Sorbara
Sousa
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Trudeau
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 173


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Jivani
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Martel
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Poilievre
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 147


PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Plamondon

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Electoral Participation Act

Bill C‑65—Time Allocation Motion  

    That, in relation to Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the bill; and
    That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at second reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.

(1700)

[Translation]

    I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so that the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.

[English]

    The hon. member for South Shore—St. Margarets.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader why he has imposed a record number of closures and time allocations, I think, in the history of Canada. Why does he feel it necessary to constantly shut down debate, especially, ironically, on an election bill, or what some might call the “pension” bill? I would like to understand why the government continues to use closure more than any other government in history.
    Madam Speaker, I know that my friend, the member for South Shore—St. Margarets, will be devastated that it is not the government House leader answering the question. He will have to take the answer from me, and I cannot imagine that is not a source of immense happiness for him.
     It is somewhat ironic that a member of the Conservative Party would find something strange about using time allocation or closure. I often tease my seatmate, who is the government House leader, that Peter Van Loan, when he was House leader, actually left affixed to the top of the desk the motion that my colleague read, because no previous government in Canadian history used these parliamentary tactics more than the Harper government.
    We are facing dilatory tactics from the Conservatives. We are trying to get this legislation to committee and do the business of the Canadian people.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
     We have 30 minutes for questions and comments. I would ask members to please hold off on their questions and comments until they have the floor.

[Translation]

    Order.
    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, Public Services and Procurement; the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, Democratic Institutions.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, my question for the minister is around the fact that we need to be moving forward to strengthen our democracy, to ensure that Canadians have access to be able to vote barrier-free. There is a lot of work that has to happen, and there is a lot of good content in the bill.
    I find it pretty rich to see the Conservatives' response to the bill. There was a problem with the bill, which I identified, and I put forward an amendment. I am going to be putting forward an amendment, of course, to make sure that we move the date back to the original election date so that we do not see the consequence of MPs' pensions being impacted. However, instead of moving forward with solutions, the Conservatives, in true fashion, have been trying to cut and gut the entire bill to not see Canadians able to move forward with having as few barriers as possible in participating in the elections.
    Does the minister think it is because the current system benefits the Conservatives that they would want to cut and gut this legislation, and why is it important that we see this bill go through?
     Madam Speaker, I thank our colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for the work that she and her colleagues in the New Democratic Party did with us, in a collaborative way, to bring this legislation before Parliament.
    When the Prime Minister and the leader of the New Democratic Party signed the supply and confidence agreement, one of the elements in that agreement was exactly as our colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith indicated: ways to amend the Canada Elections Act to make voting more accessible. I had the privilege of working with our former colleague, Daniel Blaikie, when we wanted to, for example, make campus voting a permanent fixture of the Elections Act and make it easier for people to register online for mail-in ballots. We think that it is important for Canadians to have access to the electoral process and be able to participate, obviously while ensuring the integrity of our system.
     The Conservatives take their page from Donald Trump, trying to suppress votes, trying to make sure it is more difficult to vote and putting barriers in front of people voting. We saw that with Mr. Harper, and now they are doing the same thing here.

(1705)

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the minister decided to change the election date so as not to disrupt a religious holiday, but clearly he did not consider the fact that he would be disrupting municipal elections.
    The former president of the Union des municipalités du Québec, Daniel Côté, who also just happens to be the mayor of Gaspé, pointed out to me that 37 of the 45 days of municipal election campaigns would take place at the same time as the federal election campaign.
    The minister knows as well as I do that there is a low turnout for municipal elections. Is he not concerned that democracy will suffer if there are two simultaneous elections in Quebec?
    Madam Speaker, in principle, I share my colleague's concern about the difficulty of determining a date that does not disrupt municipal elections in her province, as she rightly said. I believe that Quebec's municipal election day falls one week after the date proposed in the bill, which is October 27.
    I, too, have a constructive relationship with the mayor of Gaspé. I saw him in the Gaspé last summer, and I hope to return in the coming weeks. I spoke to the mayor of Longueuil, Ms. Fournier, who contacted me about this issue. I am very aware of their views and appreciate the concern.
    It is difficult to revert back to the original date of October 20, however, because the municipal elections in Alberta will be held on that same day. I am not talking about the election campaign, but the actual date of the Alberta municipal elections. There is also the religious holiday. That is the challenge of choosing a date. Obviously, we are going to rely on the judgment of parliamentarians.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the minister's comments, especially when it comes to making voting more accessible for more Canadians. Something I hear in the riding of Waterloo is how we will ensure that Canadians receive good information, real information, and people often remind me of the Conservative history, such as robocalls to ensure that people did not know where to vote. I think the Conservatives were also notorious for even stealing a ballot box one time. I believe that member, the minister, got to see a Conservative taken out of this place in shackles.
    I would love to hear from the minister why we are having to use time allocation for a second time today and the importance of Canadians having accessible voting and ensuring that more Canadians are able to vote and participate in democratic institutions.
     Madam Speaker, my colleague from Waterloo, as always, identified a serious concern that I think many parliamentarians share.
    The Conservative Party has a long history of seeking to make voting more difficult by putting barriers in front of people, whether it is to register to vote or whether it is appropriate identification to ensure the integrity of people presenting themselves at the polls. In this case, one thing about this legislation that we think is very positive is that it would ban, for example, disinformation intended to disrupt the conduct of an election. It would remove a time frame limit for offences involving impersonation or false statements: for example, as my colleague from Waterloo noted, attempting to impersonate an official with Elections Canada or another candidate to create confusion around what is the appropriate place to vote.
    We are happy to work with members of this House, of course. We think it is important to ensure the integrity of our electoral system, but also to ensure that it is accessible and fair for everyone.
     Madam Speaker, I will start by making clear that Greens support this bill, notwithstanding this one silly provision with respect to pensions. We, too, will be working across party lines to remove that from this bill.
    When it comes to time allocation, by my count, a total of five members have spoken to this bill at second reading. In fact, I think the minister himself only spoke to the bill when he rose to introduce it originally. Earlier in the day, when it came to time allocation on the budget bill, the Greens supported that, recognizing there are some dilatory tactics at play this time of year. However, this particular bill has been up for debate one time, on a Friday, for a couple of hours.
    How does the minister justify time allocation on this particular bill?

(1710)

     Madam Speaker, I think our colleague, the member for Kitchener Centre, understands the parliamentary process well. He knows that when this legislation gets to committee, it will be an opportunity for members on the committee and others who want to attend the committee to hear from expert witnesses. Obviously, the Chief Electoral Officer and others will be important witnesses for the committee. It will come back to the House at report stage and third reading.
    We are also conscious of the importance of adopting legislation like this in a timely way to allow Elections Canada to be ready to implement these provisions. We appreciate that our colleague from Kitchener Centre supports this legislation. We would not, obviously, think that he would, in some cynical way, as the Conservatives do, pretend to take more time precisely to ensure that Elections Canada does not have reasonable time to be ready to implement these changes.
    These are discussions I have had with the Chief Electoral Officer. We think it is time for Parliament to consider this legislation at committee as a result of today's proceeding.
     Madam Speaker, this is about as cynical as it gets. This is a pension bill under the guise of an elections bill. It ought to be called the “loser Liberal pension protection act”, because that is precisely what it is doing. It is designed to pad the pockets of soon-to-be loser Liberals so that they can secure pensions that they otherwise would not be entitled to. The government is literally giving the middle finger to everyday Canadians who are struggling as Liberals pad their pockets. Is that not the reason why the government House leader is moving to expedite this legislation?
    Madam Speaker, absolutely not. My friend should be concerned about the municipal election in Alberta that would happen on the day that the legislation originally contemplated the election, on October 20. There is also an important religious holiday, Diwali.
    We look forward to the committee hearing from witnesses. No matter what date one chooses, any time that fixed election legislation contemplates a day, it will bump into significant religious holidays or some municipal, provincial or territorial elections. If we move the legislation back, for example, to October 20, that is the municipal election day in Alberta. We heard from our colleagues from the Bloc Québécois. They think seven days before the Quebec municipal election is too much time in terms of an overlap.
    If the committee in its judgment wants to hear from witnesses and look at this issue, the government will obviously be happy to work with the committee. We think it is important to pass this legislation to make voting more accessible.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we received this proposal to push back the date of the next federal general election by a week, on the pretext that the current date coincides with a Hindu holiday.
    Unless someone can prove otherwise, the options to vote by advance polling or at the office of a returning officer are specifically intended for voters unavailable to vote on election day. I do not think anyone would be offended by that.
    However, as we know, by delaying the date of the election for a week, members elected in 2019 would qualify for a pension. Not only would it be a generous parting gift for some of them, but it might be an opportunity to renew the team and attract new candidates.
    Are the Liberals showing their elected members the door so that they can shop around for a better team, or are they in ethnocultural vote-buying mode? I think it is probably both.
    Madam Speaker, I never thought I would hear such a cynical question as that from a Bloc Québécois colleague.
    His colleague just asked a question about the importance of respecting municipal elections in Quebec. Obviously, we considered the representations of the Union des municipalités du Québec. Municipal elections are also being held in Alberta, as are provincial elections in Newfoundland and Labrador and territorial elections in Nunavut. My colleague chose to base his argument on a religious holiday. That is up to him.
    We are also concerned about municipal elections scheduled in certain provinces at the same time. However, as I said, we hope that the committee will study the matter. If it decides to change the date, we will be happy to comply with its decision.

(1715)

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, first of all I would like to commend the great work of the commissioner of Canada elections, who has reached out to my office a few times regarding preparing for the next federal election, based on the work that I had started by introducing my bill, Bill C-297, to amend the Elections Act with respect to indigenous languages. I just want to use this time to follow up and ask the minister what kind of work is being done as a pilot project to make sure that indigenous languages are also on the ballot.
     Madam Speaker, our colleague from Nunavut again raises a very important point. We were inspired by the work she did in terms of indigenous languages' being included on the ballots. Having had a number of conversations with the Chief Electoral Officer and other colleagues, I was struck by the number of indigenous persons who when they would go to vote would be in a circumstance where, again, their ability to properly exercise their democratic right would be negatively affected by their inability to understand, whether it was English or French, what was on a ballot.
    Therefore we thought that the legislation before us, to a very considerable extent inspired by the work of our colleague from Nunavut, would give Elections Canada precisely the authority and the ability to ensure that people in her territory, her constituency and other indigenous communities are able to exercise their rights, including having a ballot in their own language.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to just put one question really clearly to the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs. With respect to the clause in the bill that would extend the voting date by one week so a number of Liberal MPs who are about to lose, by one week, their ability to attain a pension, was it put in the bill to appease the minister's caucus and the members who are about to lose their seat? It is a simple question: yes or no?
     Madam Speaker, no, and it certainly was not put in there to benefit the 32 Conservative MPs who would benefit by that change as well. Therefore the answer is no to both of those questions.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question. Bill C-65 contains interesting elements, but it would require that Elections Canada offer online registration. However, we know that Canada has experienced foreign cyber-attacks, and that there have been interference and attempts at fraud. Those actors are trying to sow chaos. Russia has been particularly active on this front.
     Would online registration not make us more vulnerable? Have special measures been considered to protect Canadians' data? I think that, in today's context, we are taking a risk. I would like to hear more from the minister on this.
    Madam Speaker, our colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue raises a question that should concern all members of Parliament. I had this discussion with the Chief Electoral Officer. I know that senior public servants in the Privy Council Office who work with Elections Canada are also concerned. I, too, am concerned.
     However, I have been reassured by our cybersecurity services, in particular at the Department of National Defence. I was told that there is indeed a way of ensuring the integrity of the process.
     Canadians must register to receive a ballot by mail. I think it is important to make that distinction. We are not allowing people to vote online. We are talking about having people register online to receive a ballot, which they can then return by mail or drop off in an appropriate box at Elections Canada. I look forward to hearing from the witnesses in committee and getting a better grasp of the issue.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in my riding there is a very large college, Fanshawe College, and I am always very concerned about students and their ability to vote. Could the minister talk about how important it is to ensure that we are constantly making it more accessible for students to have that right? This is especially important because often they are voting for the first time, and they are voting away from home. This would solidify consistency throughout their lifetime of exercising their right.

(1720)

Business of the House

    Madam Speaker, I request that the ordinary hour of daily adjournment of the next sitting be 12 midnight, pursuant to order made Wednesday, February 28.
     Pursuant to order made Wednesday, February 28, the minister's requests to extend said sitting is deemed adopted.

Electoral Participation Act

Bill C-65—Time Allocation Motion  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
     Madam Speaker, our colleague from London—Fanshawe again identifies one of the things we think is very important in the legislation. We worked on this with our colleagues in the NDP caucus. Our leader and her leader agreed, for example, regarding campus voting, whether at Fanshawe College or Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, in my riding, on allowing students, for the reasons our colleague from London— Fanshawe correctly identified, to be able to easily access campus voting and making the campus voting program permanent in the election legislation, as well as making it easier for persons living with disabilities to be able to access voting.
    We think these are important changes that we hope will garner the support of all parliamentarians, and I totally totally share the view of our colleague from London—Fanshawe about the importance of having young persons, when they leave home and are living away from home for college or university, getting in the habit and easily being able to cast their democratic ballot in a way that we should make more accessible, obviously while ensuring the integrity of the system.
    Madam Speaker, a talking point the minister often likes to use is that Alberta is going to have a municipal election in 2025. He uses the talking point repeatedly despite the fact that the Local Authorities Election Act allows any council across Alberta to move the election from the Monday to the Saturday just with a bylaw change. I would hope the minister's staff would go back and do their homework so they can better inform the minister that this is not a problem in Alberta. Albertans will figure it out on their own, as we have in the past.
    Is it not the case then that the piece of legislation before us is strictly about protecting the pensions of loser Liberal MPs in the next general election?
     Madam Speaker, I answered that question a moment ago. Absolutely not, nor is it about protecting the pensions of the 32 Conservatives who would be eligible with this particular scenario.
    We have made it clear that if the committee, in its study of the legislation, wants to look at this particular date, obviously it is within the purview of the committee to do that. In my discussions with Elections Canada, it is clear that there are significant religious holidays that bump into any one of these potential dates. In some cases, there are municipal elections. Again, if colleagues at the committee want to study the issue and hear from the appropriate witnesses, the government will obviously be very happy to work with the committee.
    Madam Speaker, at the get-go, I want to recognize Elections Canada and the outstanding work it does. It is recognized around the world as an agency that does a fantastic job in protecting Canada's democracy. When I think of the legislation, what I see, put very simply, is that it would enable more people to participate in the voting process, by simplifying it.
    One of the areas is long-term care facilities. The minister has pointed out others. I would like to get his overall thoughts on how important it is that as a democracy we continue to take steps forward at enhancing our democracy, which is exactly what the legislation would do.
     Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary to the House leader has said it very well. We on this side, with the co-operation of some opposition parties, I hope the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois, think it is important to offer thoughtful ways to enhance citizens' ability to participate in the democratic process.
    Our colleague from Winnipeg North referred to long-term care homes. We just discussed the importance of campus voting and persons with disabilities. We talked about indigenous languages, for example, in a territory as vast as Nunavut. All of these are very important, thoughtful and balanced ways to ensure that Canadians are easily able to access the democratic process, obviously while at all times ensuring the integrity of the process.
    I also share our friend's view with respect to the importance of Elections Canada and the terrific work it does, which is recognized around the world.

(1725)

    Madam Speaker, Bill C-65 is filled with nothing but rank hypocrisy. First the Liberals talk about giving voters access to voting, yet it was the Prime Minister and the minister who sat around the cabinet table and chose to call an election when they promised not to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Canadians, including students by not allowing campus voting in the last election. That is on the Prime Minister and the minister. The rank hypocrisy is simply stunning.
    When it comes to misinformation and disinformation, the Deputy Prime Minister had a video flagged on Twitter. Also, the member for Calgary Skyview stole his Conservative opponent's election literature. There are many other examples where we have seen the Liberals stop at nothing to try to gain a political advantage.
     My question is very simple. This is not an elections bill but truly a pension bill. At any point in time, did the minister get feedback from his caucus, his department officials or anybody within the Liberal Party about the consequences of adjusting the election date so that losing Liberal MPs would qualify for a pension? I have heard from many constituents who want a clear answer from the minister about the pension bill.
     I want to remind the hon. member to be extremely careful about making accusations about members in the House of Commons. He used the word “stole”, and I would ask him not to do that again.
    The hon. minister.
    Madam Speaker, in spite of the manufactured indignation from our colleague, he knows very well that the Conservatives are experts at the very words the member used. I will not repeat the words my colleague used, because of your admonishment, which I obviously take seriously.
     Former prime minister Harper introduced, with the current Leader of the Opposition as the minister responsible for democratic institutions, a series of measures deliberately designed to suppress the vote and to make voting more difficult. They were deliberately designed to ensure that some people, whether students or persons with disabilities, were not able to easily access voting.
    Liberals think it is important. We have worked happily with our colleagues in the New Democratic Party as our two leaders committed to doing in their supply and confidence agreement. We think there are a number of very important and significant steps to making voting more accessible in Canada. We look forward to hearing from colleagues in committee and when the legislation, we hope, comes back to this place.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You referred to some of the words that I had stated in the preamble to what was ultimately my question. However, I would ask for clarification from the Chair whether anything I said was untrue because everything that I—
    There is no clarification on the point of order, and the hon. member is actually challenging the Chair. I would ask him to be very careful.
    Before I go to other questions, I want to remind members that I did ask how many individuals wanted to speak to this. Before I go to a second round of questions, I need to get through the first round.
    The hon. member for York—Simcoe.
    Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the minister tonight. This is coming from a government that called an election in the middle of a pandemic, and now it is worried about voting. This is about moving a vote date for an election.
    I have been out in my riding knocking on doors, and I can make it really simple for the minister. The people of York—Simcoe would love an election, a carbon tax election, tonight. We can make it very simple and go to an election tonight.
    Madam Speaker, I am not sure that there was a question in the comments from my colleague from York—Simcoe.
    Liberals think Canadians want the House and the government to focus on the important issues that matter to them. We think one of the fundamental issues for Canadians is having an electoral system that is accessible, open and fair, obviously while ensuring all of the important elements of integrity. We have a lot of confidence in the work of Elections Canada.
    We think there is an opportunity here for parliamentarians to come together. As my friends across the aisle, not from the Conservative Party of course but from other political parties, have said, this is an opportunity to do something significant to improve our democratic process.

(1730)

     Madam Speaker, I thank this place for having a meaningful discussion about democracy, which I think is something we should be talking about frequently. I know that holistically, when we look at the bill, most of the things do strengthen our democracy, and I think there are some good steps that have been taken. Obviously, the Conservatives have a concern about their 32 members who will be eligible for a pension. I know that our member who is the critic for democratic reform has been very clear that she will be moving an amendment to remedy that issue by moving the date of the election back.
    I am wondering if the minister would share with this place if the Liberals would be supporting that amendment.
    Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity to discuss this very issue with the member's colleague, the critic for democratic institutions. As I have said in previous answers, if the committee in its wisdom wants to look at this issue and wants to hear from witnesses and from the Chief Electoral Officer, who may have some views, we would obviously abide by the consensus of the committee. We do think it is important for people, however, to recognize that at any moment, when we move that date, we are going to bump into significant religious holidays and some municipal, or potentially provincial or territorial elections. However, obviously, if the consensus of the committee is to adjust the date, the Liberal Party would, of course, be happy to go along with that consensus.

[Translation]

    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.
    The question is on the motion.
    If a member participating in person wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or if a member of a recognized party participating in person wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask for a recorded division.

(1815)

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 829)

YEAS

Members

Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
Sorbara
Sousa
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Trudeau
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 173


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Jivani
Kelly
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Majumdar
Martel
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 146


PAIRED

Members

Freeland
Plamondon

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2024, No. 1

     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-69, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 16, 2024, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
     Mr. Speaker, we are here this evening to debate Bill C-69, the budget implementation act.
    We are again debating the out-of-control inflationary spending by the Liberals that is driving up the cost of literally everything for Canadians. In the budget for which this is the implementation act, we saw another $61 billion in inflationary spending piled on the backs of Canadians, on top of the billions we have seen over the last nine years. It must be noted that, as a result of this, Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for $58 billion in interest on that debt, which is more than the federal government sends to the provinces for health transfers. This point has been made, but it is worth restating because it is such an astronomical number.
    All this debt and interest equals more taxes on the backs of Canadians, which is why, on April 1, we saw the Liberals increase the carbon tax by 23%, notwithstanding the outcry from premiers and Canadians. It is on the way to quadrupling, which we now know will be a $30-billion-per-year hole in the economy. The report has now become public. Of course, there is the recent job-killing tax hike as well.
    The problem with all the spending, taxes and red tape is that these things are killing our economy. Canada is now the worst-performing economy in the G7 and in the OECD. Since 2019, the last year before COVID, GDP per capita in Canada is down 2%; in the U.S., it has increased by 8%. Therefore, we really have a huge gap here between our two countries. We are at the very bottom and the U.S. is at the top of the G7, after nine years of the Prime Minister. The OECD calculated that Canada's economic growth will be the worst of the nearly 40 advanced economies in the OECD in this decade, again in the very basement. It will be below Greece and Italy, which are often the historical underperformers. If this trajectory continues and is not reversed, the OECD projects that Canada will have the worst economic growth for the next three decades.
    Therefore, as we debate the budget, all of this means that we are on track for the worst decline in Canada's standard of living in 40 years, according to a Fraser Institute report from last month. In fact, we are seeing the widest gap in GDP per capita, which is a measure of the standard of living, between Canada and the U.S. since 1965. That is according to RBC.
    This is alarming to me, and it should be alarming to all Canadians. It should be setting off alarm bells on the government benches as to how we got here. Clearly, all the inflationary spending, debt, taxes and red tape have compounded it. Really, it is what we have been calling economic vandalism.
    Over the weekend, I was talking to a constituent who has a trucking firm. He told me that his orders are down and people are shipping less. This is in the midst of the greater Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario. He is seeing that decline in business in the daily orders he is getting. He told me that, often, trucking is a harbinger of a decline in economic activity. We know this is true. Therefore, it confounds me that this is the case. How did we get this way in Canada? We have so many advantages that have been squandered by the Liberal-NDP government, with its fiscal and economic policies. The budget, with its taxes, exacerbates the issue even further.
     In Canada, we have everything the world wants. We have 18 LNG projects awaiting approval; they are on the desk of the Prime Minister. The Germans, the Japanese, the Poles and the Greeks have all come to Canada looking for our LNG. We can help get the world off coal and replace Europe's dependence upon Russian natural gas. However, the Prime Minister told the German chancellor that there was no business case for LNG, so Germany went to Qatar, which helped it build the facility in seven months. This was a lost opportunity for Canada and Canadian jobs.

(1820)

     Canada has all the critical minerals, as well as many rare earth minerals. The world needs them, the world wants them, and we need them for our own economy. While we have 6% of the world's lithium, we do not extract it because of the government's bad policies and ideological aversion to natural resource extraction industries.
    We also have nuclear expertise; not far from my home in southern Ontario, there is the second-largest nuclear plant in the world. There is a whole supply chain of companies that help feed that throughout southwestern Ontario, some of which are located in my constituency. That is another advantage that Canada has, yet our economy and standard of living are in decline, with the worst decline in 40 years. How can this be? Despite all these obvious advantages, along with smart people and good people, Canada is lacking in private sector investment in our economy. We saw that in the recent report about the lack of entrepreneurs that will take risks and seed innovation.
    Therefore, it is not surprising that, after nine years of Liberal taxes and out-of-control spending, entrepreneurialism is being stifled. We saw that Canada lost 100,000 entrepreneurs. In the year 2000, Canada had three entrepreneurs for every 1,000 people. Today, that is down to 1.3, on average, per 1,000 people. The Prime Minister has bloated the size of the federal government at the expense of entrepreneurs and innovation. What is sad is that this is happening in Canada; we have every reason to succeed, but the government, these policies and the budget are dragging us down.
    I contrast that to 2014, when there was a headline in The New York Times declaring that Canada had the strongest, most prosperous middle class in the world. In fact, The New York Times suggested that the Canadian dream had replaced the American dream in many respects in 2014. That is why my omas and opas came to Canada from the Netherlands following the Second World War. After the hunger winter, when the Dutch people were literally being starved to death by the Nazis, it was Canadian troops who liberated them. Many Dutch people came to Canada seeking hope, opportunity and freedom, and that is the story of many Canadians over the course of our history.
    These people came with nothing in their pockets, as my grandparents did. They could work hard, save up, buy a home and start a family, but after nine years of the Prime Minister, that is no longer possible. It was possible in 2014, when The New York Times had that headline. Now, mortgages, down payments and rents have doubled, and taxes are up. That is why Canadians of all generations and backgrounds are upset. They are very upset. The most common thing I hear is people asking how it is that the Canadian dream has faded away. They ask how the freedom to work hard and succeed, to have that opportunity and hope, has drifted away after nine years of the Prime Minister.
    It used to be that nine in 10 young people had given up on the dream of home ownership. It is now nine in 10 Canadians overall who see no future and no hope. That is an indicator of what the government farcically calls a budget that has fairness for every generation, when it is actually unfairness for every generation. They government has eroded that hope. I will be voting against Bill C-69, the budget implementation act, because it does not serve the interests of any generation of Canadians.
    It is long past time that the Liberals get out of the way so that common-sense Conservatives can unleash Canada's potential and people can bring home powerful paycheques. Let us bring it home.

(1825)

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I hear my colleague saying that we could extract 6% more lithium, that we could explore nuclear energy, and so on.
     Apart from suggesting that we deplete our soil and subsoil, in Quebec and Canada, does my colleague realize that the humidex in the region is 45 degrees today and that it will be 45 degrees again tomorrow, that 135 million people around the globe will suffer from the extreme heat, and that 19 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia died today, all because of the over-exploitation of minerals and oil?
     How does my colleague see the future, he who was born in Canada, this wealthy country that opened doors for him? How does he respond to this? How does he respond to the fact that his fellow citizens in Canada and around the world are dying?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would say a couple of things. First of all, the carbon tax is a tax plan and not an environmental plan. That is why we see that Canada is 62nd out of 67 countries in achieving our emissions targets. Therefore, I reject the member's analysis.
     Second, we have an abundance of and an opportunity for liquefied natural gas in Canada, which is what I spoke about. We have seen the Japanese, the Germans, the Poles and the Greeks, who are hardly environmental Luddites, wanting our liquefied natural gas. This can help get the world off coal. China, which has one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world, is using coal for its manufacturing economy. We have the ability to help China get off that. We should actually embrace that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. I found it somewhat interesting to hear him talk about the dream of home ownership, of owning a house. For several years, the government has had a plan to build more housing. In budget 2024 alone, we are increasing the number—

[English]

     I have a point of order from the hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap.
     Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask if there is a quorum in the House.
    There is a quorum call. The bells shall not ring for more than 15 minutes.
    And the bells having rung:
    We now have quorum.
    The hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, my hon. colleague was talking in his speech about the dream of home ownership. For several years now, the government has been working to build new homes so that both younger and older people can have the opportunity to own a home. For example, the 2024 budget includes investments in the housing accelerator fund, which will help municipalities.
    Can the member tell me whether the fact that he is voting against the budget means that he does not believe that we are helping municipalities to build more housing? If he thinks he wants more housing—

(1830)

    The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I really do not want to interrupt my colleague, who had to start her question again, but I am having trouble hearing her. I should be able to hear her. I think the quorum call interrupted things. Some people are talking about their travel plans and rum tasting.
    Perhaps they should be asked to focus and promise not to break quorum, if it is going to prevent us from being able to hear the—
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention.

[English]

    Journals Branch is telling me that it is really nice outside, so members can take the conversations outside, if they need to.
    The hon. member for Flamborough—Glanbrook.
    Mr. Speaker, I am all in favour of rum tasting.
     In response to the question, there is a reason why nine in 10 young people have entirely given up on the dream of home ownership. We are building fewer homes today.
    Order. I am still hearing a lot of chatter, and the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot is really trying to listen. I see the pain on his face. I am just saying, for those who want to be outside, that it is beautiful outside, so take the conversations at least out into the lobbies where it is not quite as hot as it is outside.
     The hon. member for Flamborough—Glanbrook.
     Mr. Speaker, in terms of home ownership, we see fewer homes being built today than we did in 1972. That is more than 50 years ago. In terms of the macroeconomic policy of the current government, fuelled by taxes and overspending, even Scotiabank has said that 2% of the rate hikes are attributable to government overspending by the Liberals. That is causing massive pain to those renewing their fixed and variable-rate mortgages. It is having a direct impact on the ability to access home ownership. It is also exacerbating the issue of people's ability to save for a down payment.
    Uqaqtittiji, unfortunately, what we do not see in Bill C-69 is an investment in the Kivalliq hydro-fibre link project, which would help Nunavut communities not to rely on diesel. Does the member agree that there needs to be more taxation on oil and gas companies so that tax collected from them can help fund projects such as the Kivalliq hydro-fibre link project?
     Mr. Speaker, our energy sector in Canada is a large contributor of tax dollars to the federal government and to transfers to the respective provinces. In fact, the oil and gas industry in Canada is the most environmentally conscious and socially conscious, and it consults with indigenous communities more than any other energy sector in the world. I would reject the fact that we are importing oil from jurisdictions that have a horrible human rights record when we could be getting that right here from Canadian sources.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great to rise this evening and represent the most generous and entrepreneurial residents in the country, the residents of Vaughan—Woodbridge. It is a privilege to represent them. I understand there are other residents in the 338 ridings, but mine are the most special, in my humble view.
    Bill C-69, the budget implementation act, is another major piece of legislation that would move Canada forward, move our economy forward, and provide foundational pillars for a strong economy and a strong future for my children and all the children who are blessed to call Canada home.
    One thing I want to really be adamant about tonight is Canada's economic fundamentals. If we look at the foundation that we are building as a government, that we have built, one piece is the dental care plan. In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, all over the riding, there are billboards up of dentists accepting patients under the Canadian dental care plan. We can think of the over two million seniors who have been approved by the plan. Over 200,000 seniors have seen oral health care providers from coast to coast to coast. Now, kids who are under 18 can also go.
    This is transformational, and it is moving the country forward. This is helping Canadian families, not only for today, while we are elected to be in the House, but also for the future and for decades to come. It is part of our health care system. We did it, and we should be proud of that.
     On the early learning and national day care plan, I am blessed to have a two-and-a-half-year-old who is in day care. We know of the reductions that have taken place in Ontario. By September 2025, we will get day care down to an average of $10-per-day, working with the province of Ontario. We need to expand the child care spaces to meet the demand, and that is happening. Yes, there are always kinks in the road. Life is not a straight line, and every representative knows this. However, it is about working hard and making sure that we are doing the right thing for our constituents, and the constituents in Vaughan—Woodbridge know that. We will continue to move forward.
    On the housing accelerator fund, there has been a $59-million investment into the city of Vaughan, and we are using those funds to incentivize home building.
    The Canada child benefit is a transformational plan. When the Conservatives were in power, they were sending $100 cheques to millionaires. We stopped that. We now have monthly, tax-free cheques going out to families across the country. It is nearly a $30-billion program.
    Now, we know that Conservatives equal austerity, and they are going to need to come clean on their plan to cut vital programs for Canadians and hard-working Canadian families, much like the ones in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge.
     On the capital gains front, I have heard some chirping on the other side about the inclusion rate. Capital gains were taxed at 25% versus dividends in the mid-30% and versus interest. When we look at forms of capital income, it can lead to tax avoidance strategies put in place by accountants across this country, but I love accountants. I was halfway through doing my CPA. I have my CFA, and I have my master's degree in economics. I also worked on Wall Street and Bay Street, and I understand the tax system very well.
    However, this is a fairness question that we need to fundamentally debate in the House. We move to integration, and the IMF said it in its review that this measure would make the tax system fairer. It makes it neutral, and we do not undertake strategies such as surplus stripping. I recommend members of the House to type in “surplus stripping”. They will see that it is a tax avoidance strategy.
    We need to build a country that incentivizes entrepreneurs and incentivizes investment, such as in the auto sector, and we know that the opposition would have abandoned the auto sector. They would have abandoned St. Thomas, Windsor, Oakville, Brampton, Alliston and Oshawa. The investments in Quebec and British Columbia would not have happened. However, we stood up, and we collaborated with our provincial partners, the Ontario Progressive Conservative government, and that is what it is about. It is working with industry and labour, and getting those strategic investments.

(1835)

    I have heard much about energy and the forms of energy. We know that we will not, in the world, reach net zero by 2050 without nuclear energy, and Ontario is a leader. I am proud of our government, which believes in nuclear energy and is investing in nuclear energy. I have been up to Bruce Power in Kincardine, and I have been over to OPG on the east side of Toronto, near the area of my colleague's riding, the hon. member for Whitby, who is seated close to me. We are investing in small modular reactors. We have put in an ITC to assist the nuclear sector. The Conservatives would cancel that.
    The Conservatives do not believe in incentivizing investment. They believe in small government. They want to shrink the size of government. They would starve the government.
     Some of my Conservative friends say that the FTE count has increased on the federal bureaucracy. Yes, it has, but do colleagues know why? It is because the Conservatives cut the living daylights out of the public service when they were in power. That is what they did. They made cuts. How do colleagues think Phoenix happened? The former Conservative government cut border services. It made cuts to the RCMP. It made cuts to everything to try to achieve a magic balanced budget, and used some accounting gimmicks from the sale of the shares of GM. Conservatives claim that was due to the small government. They should come clean and put out a plan.
    It is 40°C outside. The world is experiencing climate change. It is real. They have no plan. We need an environmental plan. We need an economic plan. They have neither. They have slogans which mean absolutely nothing. It is unfortunate because I know that, on the other side, there are some hon. members with a lot of substance. It is unfortunate that they are not allowed to put forth ideas that have substance.
    On Bill C-69, I look at our economic growth rate, which has forecasts for the IMF, built on the budget implementation act, built on the past. In 2025, Canada is forecasted to lead the G7 in growth. I think it is around 2.5%. Yes, we have had a population increase that has impacted our per capita rate. That will adjust itself in time. We know that. As an economist, I know that.
     Let us be serious. We need to build a country where all Canadians are given the chance to succeed, not just the lucky few. I hear the chatter about capital gains. I hear the chatter against dental care. I hear the conversation against child care, which has increased labour participation rates, and I hear the chatter against nuclear energy and renewable energy, which half that caucus probably does not believe in. We know the cost curve has come down, that it is the cheapest form of energy there is and how many hundreds of billions of dollars is going into that. That is where the smart money is going. The member from Calgary on the opposite side knows that. We understand that.
    Look at our AAA credit rating, which we have sustained since the former Liberal government, under Martin and Chrétien, fixed it. Look at our growth rate. Look at our net debt-to-GDP ratio and our deficit-to-GDP ratio, which is at 1%, versus the United States, which is between 5% and 7%, depending on how one measures it, and the European countries, which is three or four times that. Countries around the world look at us with envy and say, wow, look at their fiscal framework. Look at their banking system. Look at the FDI they are receiving for indirect investment. That is how to build a country. That is how to move forward.
     On climate change, I am going to say that, again, we need to believe in climate change. The science is there. The next thing we will be having is a debate about vaccines again. Thinking about some of the commentary I have heard over the last couple of years, maybe members on the other side will say we should not vaccinate against measles, polio or something else.
     When I look at my own riding, the EDA president was just shamed on Instagram for putting up fake news about our Minister of the Environment. That is what the Conservative Party of Canada is about. It is about fake news and misinformation, not real solutions for people at home and middle-class Canadians who work hard, get up and do the right thing every single day. That is unfortunate because Canadians deserve better. As an economist, as a father, as someone who worked for 25 years in the private sector before coming to this place, I will debate any one of those colleagues on economics, finance and business at any time. We are building a country where all Canadians get a fair shot of success, and that is what we need to continue to do.
    I would be more than happy to have questions and comments. It is a beautiful day outside, but it is very hot. Climate change is real.

(1840)

     Mr. Speaker, I usually enjoy the speeches from the member on the other side of the House. I often refer to him in public as the “minister of finance” because I think he knows more about finance than anybody on that bench.
    However, that speech was a ramble. I do not know if it is just because it is Monday and he had not prepared to be here, but he talked about a lot of things, including the capital gains rate, which, I will tell him, because he probably has not read it, is not part of the budget implementation act. He needs to go back and read that.
    I will ask him some questions because he raised the budget implementation act. As far as capital gains go, capital gains are going back beyond the formula of his party's previous leaders, Chrétien and Martin, who reduced it to the 50% level because they got the budget back in balance. The budget is now not in balance, so of course, they are looking for ways to take more money from Canadians and are pretending it is only a certain sector of Canadians. It is all Canadians.
    At that point in time, what exactly was the exemption rate that Canadians paid zero dollars on for their capital gains?

(1845)

    Mr. Speaker, there we have it. The Conservative Party of Canada is advocating for a 0% capital gains inclusion rate, which would only benefit the wealthiest of the wealthiest in this country. That is exactly what the member just said.
    I will say this: When given a choice between investing in dental care, seniors and child care or having a capital gains inclusion rate of two-thirds times the personal income tax rate, to get to a rate around 35%, so that somebody keeps about two-thirds of the dollars when they have a capital gains rate transaction, I will choose our plan over the 0% rate the member just talked about.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that I see my colleague, whom I very much like, get so heated. I am disappointed because I was on a mission with him and I tried to teach him a little more French. It did not work that evening, but he always has a French word to say.
     He talks about building a country. It is clear that we do not feel included in that country, because Quebeckers and the Bloc Québécois's demands are ignored.
     I will list a few of our demands: Quebec's right to opt out with full compensation; increased old age pensions for people aged 65 and over; an end to subsidies for all fossil fuels and support for a clean energy transition; and the transfer of housing money to Quebec.
     How does he respond to this? We are not part of the story. We will never be part of the Liberals' federalist story. There is nothing there for us.
     Does my colleague agree that the Bloc Québécois's demands remain unanswered?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to see my colleague. In response to his question, I would say that we are working together with all of the provinces and territories in our country. We are focusing on economic growth.

[English]

     We are focused on creating a country that is more fair and where all Canadians succeed, all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

[Translation]

     I love Canada, and I love the beautiful province of Quebec. I am an anglophone from Ontario. I take French lessons all the time because I want to get better at it. My daughters are in French immersion in Ontario.
     I always believe that Canada is the best country in the world, with all its provinces and territories.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciated how much the hon. member talked about the seriousness of climate change. I do agree. I come from a riding that is in a rainforest. We are in droughts more often than we are not, which is very concerning for me because of the long-term impacts that it will have.
    I am just wondering if the member could talk about why they keep giving so much money to oil and gas industries in subsidies instead of taking some of those resources and investing in a more green economy.
     Mr. Speaker, we are investing the ITCs in climate, in renewable energy and renewable resources, literally billions of dollars in partnering with industry to do that. At the same time, we need to be realistic. With our climate goals, we will need energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable, for the years to come.
    I just want to take my hat off to the over 800,000 Canadian workers who are employed in the oil and gas industry and related industries across Canada because they get up and they go work hard every day. They save the money. They want a bright future for their kids, and they deserve it. We will be there for them as the years go by. We will make sure we are the leader in renewable energy, just as much as we are in the auto sector—

[Translation]

    Resuming debate.
    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak about Bill C-69, which is a huge omnibus bill containing more than 650 pages. I would not be entirely honest if I said that I read them all. It contains 67 different measures, more specifically 23 tax measures and 44 non-tax measures. There are therefore a lot of elements in this huge bill.
    Like any omnibus bill, Bill C‑69 contains some commendable measures. However, it also contains measures that the Bloc Québécois and I consider unacceptable. I will give two examples.
    First, the division regarding the banking system essentially removes Quebec and the provinces from the financial sector when a financial institution deals with its clients through a technological platform. The parties treacherously made no move to change this, as though nothing had happened, despite the explanation by the witness from Quebec. A representative from Mouvement Desjardins, the largest financial cooperative in Quebec, told the committee that the entire financial sector in Quebec and the provinces would be penalized if this power were taken away. My colleague from Joliette clearly explained how this does not make a lick of sense for the provinces and Quebec. Despite that, this division remains in Bill C‑69, to our profound dismay. We do not understand why the members of the parliamentary committee did not listen to Mouvement Desjardins and the other witnesses who criticized this.
    Bill C‑69 also contains a new oil and gas subsidy. The government has added a so-called clean hydrogen tax credit. It is a 15% to 40% tax credit that will be calculated based on the carbon intensity of the hydrogen produced. I think we can read between the lines. It is really a tax credit tailor-made for natural gas producers. We have talked ourselves hoarse saying that enough is enough with the support for all the companies and producers that has increased greenhouse gas rates in Quebec, in the provinces and across Canada.
    I could list make a list of things that disappoint me, but what disappoints me the most is that there is nothing, no income support measure, for our farmers. When I say farmers, I am talking about small-, medium- and large-scale fruit and vegetable growers who are subject to the vagaries of climate and temperature.
    If the members over there could stop talking loudly so I could finish my speech—

(1850)

    I did not mean to interrupt the hon. member. I was trying to give a little wink and a nod to the members.

[English]

    To the hon. members for Abbotsford and Provencher, the hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît is not far away, and men's voices tend to carry in the chamber. I just want to make sure they know that when members are speaking in French, it is just as important as when members are speaking in English.
    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is time for the House to rise, because situations like this are unacceptable. I know my colleague is not wearing his earpiece, so he does not know how angry I am that he interrupted me during my speech.
    I will go back to what I was saying. What outrages me is that there is no support for farmers, especially produce growers, those who grow our peppers, carrots and lettuce, those who work the land and really depend on the climate. There are all kinds of weather variations. Abitibi has had droughts. Elsewhere, we have seen floods. Farmers and produce growers had to deal with that last year. Their yields were a total disaster. I am thinking of strawberries and raspberries.
     The fruits and vegetables we are buying right now in grocery stores in Quebec come from our produce growers. I am not just talking about small-scale produce growers who put together baskets of organic fruits and vegetables and sell them to people in their region or at farmers' markets in Montreal. All those produce growers have come to the same conclusion: The current programs are not designed for them and do not meet their needs.
    More importantly, they have been asking the federal government for help for months now. One of the things they are calling for is for the AgriRecovery program to be activated, but the government refuses to listen. Quebec, meanwhile, understood the situation weeks ago, granting emergency assistance to support produce growers during the current season. They need to buy seeds and whatever else they need for the summer growing season. Everything we eat this fall and winter will come from investments made in fruit and vegetable growers. If the previous season was a disaster, that means they will not have enough cash. Produce growers cannot be compared to dairy farmers. They are two completely different sectors. I care deeply about this because there are a lot of produce growers in my riding. Many small-scale organic producers tell me that they feel completely ignored by the federal government. There is nothing in the budget for them, nothing to help them cope with the bad seasons that are, ultimately, the result of climate change.
     I want to talk about something I have mentioned several times in the House. Two years ago, the government exempted apple ciders and meads from excise duty. It did so because the output of these small producers in Quebec is not intended for the international market. It is actually destined for the domestic, local and regional markets. There is not enough product to sell to a broader market. There are 118 cideries in Quebec. Those that produce apple cider or mead, a honey-based wine, have been exempted. We were very pleased because this is something the Bloc Québécois worked hard on, with help from the member for Joliette.
    Has anyone ever tasted pear cider? It is heavenly. It is like regular cider, but made from pears. Has anyone tasted maple wine? It is an alcoholic wine made with maple syrup. Quebec has a lot of sugar bushes, and some have developed alcoholic products. There is one thing I do not understand. In my area, for example, we have the Black Creek cider house, which produces magnificent apple cider. It tastes heavenly too. This cider house also produces maple-based wine. Its bottles of apple cider are exempt from excise duty, but the small amount of maple wine it produces is not. It makes no sense. We do not understand why the Minister of Finance did not try to harmonize the exemption for all producers of berry wines.

(1855)

    As a last resort to convince the Minister of Finance, maybe I should offer her a bottle of currant wine, pear cider or ice pear cider. La Capsule Temporelle, a new cidery in my riding, makes a pear cider that tastes absolutely ambrosial.
    However, the companies are struggling with the accounting. One of the companies is exempt from excise duty, while the other is not. Can we ask our Minister of Finance for some harmonization to allow our artisan producers to make a good living and sell a quality product in our regions, in all fairness and justice?
    This is a heartfelt plea. I even wore a botanical print today in hopes of swaying the government. I hope my message has been heard by the government, specifically the Minister of Finance.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, I too have a passion and love for agri-food businesses, especially the ones in Quebec, like the microenterprises that produce high-quality products in Quebec that are to be savoured and enjoyed. When I travel through the region, I really appreciate that about Quebec.
    In the federal budget this year, the BIA, we have the Canada carbon rebate for small businesses, which supports a rebate going back to small businesses. We have initiated an opportunity to work with Crown corporations, including BDC and EDC, so they can take more risks and lend more money to small and medium-sized enterprises, including agri-food businesses. We are also investing in Canadian start-ups through Futurpreneur, which has increased funding, and are working with Canada pension plans to see if they can invest more domestically. The list goes on. There is more money for regional economic growth as well.
    There is quite a bit to be desired in this budget. Can the member opposite speak to the very large investments in it for small business?

(1900)

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we noticed that the budget contains a helpful measure for microbreweries that make craft beer.
    My question for the parliamentary secretary, who, if I remember correctly, serves on the Standing Committee on Finance, has to do with excise duty on small artisanal producers. It is a lot for them. It makes a big difference in the cost per bottle, whereas exempting them from excise duty will not have much impact on the government's coffers.
    I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary to use his influence to convince the Minister of Finance to exempt berry wine producers from excise duty at the next opportunity. It is too late to do so in Bill C-69.
    Mr. Speaker, I found my colleague's intervention very interesting, because a distillery in my riding that had been in business for five or six years was forced to shut down. It was producing some absolutely extraordinary products, mainly fantastic gins.
     Unfortunately, it was forced to close down for obvious reasons. Small businesses like this one have to fill out literal mountains of paperwork on a daily and monthly basis to satisfy the government's ravenous appetite for red tape.
     I will ask my colleague if she can confirm that her goal is truly to reduce the amount of paperwork that these small artisanal producers of wine, cider, honey and other fabulous made-in-Quebec products are required to fill out.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right.
     In a region or a riding like mine, there are a lot of small artisanal producers of alcohol and other products. They all complain about the mountain of red tape they have to deal with, because it takes up a lot of their time. They do not have a lot of employees. Often, they are family businesses that do not have a lot of staff to meet these requirements.
     The first thing my colleagues need to understand is that Quebec is proud to be home to many distilleries, microbreweries, cideries and wineries. Quebec produces many excellent artisanal products.
     We cannot understand why these businesses are not getting better support. The first measure the government should take is to put apple cider and mead producers on an equal footing with berry winemakers. The first step in doing this is to exempt these producers from excise duty. As I said, this will not make a huge hole in the government's budget, but it will make a huge difference for small-scale producers.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, what a pleasure it is to be able to speak to the budget implementation bill. Bill C-69 is a very important piece of legislation. Ultimately, it shows very clearly to Canadians in all regions of the country what they can expect from a Liberal government versus a Conservative opposition, or the Conservative-Reform party compared to the Liberal Party. Let us be very clear on that.
    A few weeks back, I was at the party's annual general meeting, where some of the members were asking me a very simple question. They asked how I would best describe the difference between the Conservative Party today and the Liberal Party. The best thing I could come up with at the time was to say to think of it in the sense that the Liberal Party cares while the Conservative Party cuts. There is so much truth to that.
    All one needs to do is take a look at what the Conservative-Reform party stands for today and listen to the many announcements being brought forward by the government to get a better appreciation of the contrast between the two parties. As a government and as a political party, we have advocated for very strong progressive policies. At the same time, we have taken budgetary and legislative action to support a strong, healthy economy. The big difference is that our plan is about building a Canada that ensures fairness for every generation. We do not see that coming from the Conservative Party.
    I would suggest some members need to look at Hobbes and his theories on economic development and people to get a better sense of maybe where the Conservative-Reform party is. I would argue the Conservative Party today has really shifted far to the right. The more people understand the degree to which it has shifted, the more they are going to turn their backs on the Conservative Party.
    Former prime minister Joe Clark is distancing himself by saying things like he never left the Progressive Conservative Party but that the party left him. Individuals like Kim Campbell are talking in a not a very positive way about the current leadership of the Conservative Party and the type of misinformation the party—

(1905)

    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Provencher.
     Mr. Speaker, I know there is very little good to talk about in this Bill C-69, this budget implementation act, but it would be nice if the member could use some of his time at least to talk about the actual issue we are debating.
    I guess that is a call for relevance, so I will ask the hon. member to maybe stick to what we are prescribed today, which is Bill C-69.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, that is one weird call for relevance. I suspect the member is maybe reflecting on some of the words that I am using and trying to point out the contrast, how that contrast is amplified in this budget and how the Conservative Party continues to vote against and indicate very clearly that its members do not support the measures. The types of measures that we are talking about are very progressive in their nature.
    That is why I think it is valid to repeat Joe Clark, the former Progressive Conservative prime minister, when he said that the party has left him. I hear Kim Campbell and the comments that she is making about this new Reform-Conservative party and how far to the right it has gone. We talk about the late Brian Mulroney, and he indicated that they have amputated the progressive nature of the Conservative Party.
    In fact, if we take a look at some of the actions that they talk about, we will find that the current leadership has taken the party even more far right than Stephen Harper, and Stephen Harper was not that popular. What is going to happen? As we get closer to the election, more and more Canadians are going to look at what the Conservatives have to offer and contrast that with the types of things we have put in place over the last eight and a half, coming up to nine, years.
     We could talk about the economy and the two million jobs, which is virtually double what the former government did in the same time span. We could talk about the pandemic around the world or interest rates around the world going through the roof. Inflation numbers were astronomical around the world, compared to Canada's numbers, yet we were able to keep control over them. We brought forward budgets and legislation to support Canadians while continuing to build a strong and healthy economy. That is one of the reasons Canada was in a great position out of the pandemic to be able to continue to grow the economy.
     In fact, in the first three quarters of last year, Canada was number one in direct foreign investment out of the G7. If we contrast that with the world, we will see that we were number three. We have people and companies around the world looking at Canada as the place to invest. This did not happen by accident. This government has signed off on more trade agreements than any other government in Canada's history. This government has invested, in real dollars, in more capital infrastructure than any government in Canada's history.
     In order to develop and encourage a healthy middle class, we need to have a healthy economy, and we have not lost sight of that. At the same time, we recognize the importance of fairness, and we have been consistent on that. Our very first budget, and one of the first pieces of legislation that we brought forward, was to put a special tax increase on Canada's 1% wealthiest. The Conservative Party actually voted against that. Is there any surprise that they now vote against the capital tax increase, which would affect 0.2%? It is less than half a per cent. We are talking about some of the wealthiest Canadians and asking them to pay a fairer share. The hypocrisy that flows from the Conservative Party and the misinformation that it spreads through social media are virtually endless.

(1910)

     As we get closer to the election, people will take a look at some of the things that we have been able to accomplish in this budget and others, such as investing in generational support for health care, almost $200 billion over 10 years; the first-ever national child care program that is seeing people pay $10 a day for child care; the first-ever pharmacare program that is at least going to be there for individuals with diabetes or women in need of contraceptives; the dental program to support our seniors and our children and others as we continue to expand upon it; a national school program to ensure that children are getting nutrition in the classroom, because we know that one cannot learn on an empty stomach; and the first-ever disability benefit. It would have been great to see a higher amount, but it is the first ever. It is the single greatest, I believe, expense in terms of new money on this budget line.
     These are the types of things that we are bringing forward. What we are hearing from the Conservatives is that they are going to chop, chop, chop. There is the contrast: a caring, competent government and party versus a Conservative-Reform party that is more focused on the wealthiest Canadians and wanting to cut the programs that Canadians need and will support.

(1915)

     Mr. Speaker, I have been very perplexed. I am hoping my colleague will be able to clear something up for me. We have in place a number of programs that actually help people, the Canadian dental program, thanks to the NPD, which has helped two million seniors who have signed up already, and we have millions of others expressing interest. We have pharmacare, which is going to help six million Canadians with diabetes and nine million Canadians who take contraception. Affordable housing and school lunches help hundreds of thousands of kids around the country and hundreds of thousands of families to recover from the national housing program that was gutted by the former Liberal government under Paul Martin.
    All of these things benefit constituents of all of us. Perhaps the member could explain to me why the Conservatives have been fighting tooth and nail to block all of those programs, even though these programs are literally helping thousands of their constituents. I know seniors who live in Conservative-held ridings who say that their Conservative MP told them nothing about dental care but that, thanks to the NDP, they know it is there and they are actually getting these dental services.
    Why are Conservatives, elected to represent their constituents, fighting their constituents' interests tooth and nail?
     Mr. Speaker, when one takes a look at the types of programs in a minority situation, the government needs to find a party inside the House in order to pass things. There is no doubt that the New Democrats have played a very strong role in that. I value that support and I truly appreciate it.
    What is confusing is that, quite often, we will see the Conservative Party talk in great opposition to many of these benefits, yet in each and every Conservative riding, one will find that there are literally thousands of their constituents who will benefit by them.
    In the dental program in particular, they even have some Conservative spin discouraging the development of that program. I believe that the Conservative Party has moved so far to the right, and that is one of the reasons I suggest that it is not the traditional Conservative Party. It is more of a Reform-extreme party today.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, if Canada is in a sound financial position here and around the world, as our dear colleague from Winnipeg North, who I really like to listen to, says, why was the government unable to include a single one of the measures proposed by the Bloc Québécois? They included giving Quebec the right to opt out with full compensation, increasing old age security for those aged 65 and over, ending subsidies for fossil fuels, supporting a clean energy transition and transferring the amounts dedicated to housing to Quebec.
     None of these are in the budget implementation bill. Why is that? For Canada, everything is going well financially. Is it different in Quebec? Are we not entitled to such measures?

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, the member raises a number of points, and I would love to be able to address them all. However, let me address one that the Bloc members constantly bring up, and that is in regard to seniors and the age 65 issue.
    We, as a political party, made an election platform commitment to increase the OAS by 10% for seniors who were 75 and over. That was intentionally done because, as people get older, often, medical requirements increase. There are other issues, like the ability to get a part-time job if they need or desire one. By looking at a number of factors, it was determined that the best way we can assist seniors is to look at those who are 75 and up and to give them a healthy increase of 10%.
    Through the years, we continue to see the COLA increases to OAS, and we have also seen substantial increases to the GIS, which date back to 2015-16. We dramatically increased it and took hundreds of seniors, in Winnipeg North alone, out of poverty.

(1920)

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour once again to rise on behalf of the great people of southwestern Saskatchewan. There is no shortage of issues to talk about today, especially as we are debating the budget implementation act, yet again.
    I first want to talk about the livestock tax deferral. This was in the budget. It was one of only two or three items that dealt with agriculture when the Liberals tabled the budget. Agriculture is obviously one of the largest economic drivers not just in southwestern Saskatchewan but also across the Prairies, and indeed, it contributes greatly to the national economy across the country.
    I noticed today that there was an early designation of tax deferral zones under the livestock tax deferral program. I noticed that the majority of it, this go-round, was not so much in Saskatchewan, but in Alberta. Weather being weather, that is just the way it is, but what I want to talk about in particular are producers and producer groups who have been asking for a three-year window when it comes to the livestock tax deferral. When I spoke to the budget the first time, I brought this up, and I see no changes have been made when it comes to that window or time frame. I want to talk again about why that is important.
    Over the last couple of months, I have been driving across my riding. I have been to Grasslands National Park