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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 083

CONTENTS

Tuesday, June 7, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 083
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer


  (1000)  

[English]

    The hon. government House leader is rising on a point of order.

Business of the House

    Mr. Speaker, I request that the ordinary hour of daily adjournment of the June 8 and June 9 sittings be 12 midnight, pursuant to order made on Monday, May 2.
    Pursuant to order made on May 2, the minister's request to extend the said sittings is deemed adopted.
    Mr. Speaker, the order did require two House leaders, including an opposition House leader.
    Can the hon. member indicate which other House leader gave an indication that they would like to extend hours?
    We did consult, and the Standing Orders state that the hon. government House leader has the right to stand up and it is assumed that he has consulted with others, and there is no need to produce another one.
    The hon. member for La Prairie on a point of order.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to echo the comments of my colleague, the leader of the official opposition, who was not consulted. I was not consulted either. I would like to know who agreed to it. There is no indication, so we have no idea.
    I simply want to say that I was not consulted and that the government leader did not even broach the subject with me.

  (1005)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in this corner of the House, we believe in working hard on behalf of the constituents of Canada. We have absolutely no hesitation in supporting that move to midnight sittings.
    However, to the “block everything” party, they really need to stop abusing these midnight sessions, as they did last week when we were supposed to vote on which Conservative would speak next. What a colossal waste of time that was. I hope they do not do that again. I hope Conservatives will actually work this time.
    That is getting into argument.
    I want to thank the hon. members. We will continue with Routine Proceedings.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

    It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 536 of the Canada Elections Act, a report from the Chief Electoral Officer, accompanied by a report of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, on proposed amendments to the Canada Elections Act.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

[English]

International Trade

     Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), and consistent with the current policy on the tabling of treaties in Parliament, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Modification to Canada's Schedule of Specific Commitments”, pursuant to the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services, as set out in the World Trade Organization's “Reference Paper on Services Domestic Regulation”.

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 five petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

[Translation]

Historic Places of Canada Act

[English]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the delegation of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union respecting its participation in the 142nd assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and related meetings, held by video conference from April 13 to May 27, 2021.

Petitions

Electoral Reform 

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise this morning in our virtual setting.
    I am presenting a petition on behalf of many constituents who are very concerned about the nature of our voting system in this country. The petitioners point out that the first-past-the-post system results in a Parliament that does not reflect the popular vote. They ask very specifically that this Parliament establish a national citizens assembly on electoral reform. They point out that many other countries have used the vehicle of a national citizens assembly in order to develop voting systems that promote democracy and provide results that reflect the way citizens have actually voted.

  (1010)  

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege of presenting two petitions this morning.
    The first petition is calling on members of Parliament to do all they can to prevent the current government from revoking the charitable status of pro-life organizations in Canada. The petitioners are concerned that this policy, outlined in the Liberal Party's election platform, will eventually be extended to other entities that do not align with the Liberals' ideology.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, freedom of conscience is a fundamental right, clearly articulated in section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have the honour to present a petition signed by hundreds of citizens from across Canada calling on Parliament to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals from coercion or intimidation to provide or refer patients for assisted suicide or euthanasia.
     I thank these Canadians for their engagement on this important issue.

Electoral Reform  

    Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, it is great to see you back in the chair.
    I am really honoured to present this petition on behalf of constituents of mine. They are citing that Canada's electoral system, from its very inception, has been a first-past-the-post system, unfairly resulting in either a Liberal or a Conservative government, and that proportional representation is a principle that says that the percentage of seats a party has in a legislature should reflect the percentage of people who voted for that party.
    The petitioners highlight the 2021 election results, where the Liberals, with 32%, won 160 seats; the Conservatives, with 33%, won 119 seats; the Bloc, with 7%, won 32 seats; and the NDP, with 17%, won 25 seats.
    As well, they cite that many other countries, such as Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and the Netherlands, have progressed from a first-past-the-post system to a PR system.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to move to a proportional representation system to bring credible representation to Canadians.

Pharmacare  

    Mr. Speaker, it is good to see you back in the chair and looking so hale and hearty. Welcome back.
    I am pleased to present, on behalf of several dozen Canadians, a petition that speaks to the lack of universal pharmacare in this country. They point out that there are nearly 10 million Canadians who do not have access to drug plans, that two million Canadians have to skimp on their medicine because they do not have the money to pay for it, and that hundreds of people die every year in Canada because they simply do not have the money to pay for their medication.
    Therefore, these petitioners from across Canada are calling upon the Government of Canada to pass a Canada pharmacare act legislation that would create universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare for all Canadians. Members will recall that this is part of the confidence and supply agreement that the NDP pushed and agreed to with the Liberal government.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(6), I rise to present a petition on behalf of constituents in my riding of Ottawa South.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to enact just transition legislation to address the climate emergency. As an environmental lawyer, I am very pleased to present this petition. I would like to thank my constituent Dr. Sarah Charron for organizing this important local effort.

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1015)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Measures for Immediate Financial Relief  

     That, given that,
(i) high inflation rates are driving the cost of living up for all Canadians,
(ii) the price of gasoline and diesel is hitting record-highs across Canada, making it more expensive for Canadians to get to work, transport goods, and to live their everyday lives,
(iii) the price of food is up more than 9.7% since last year, making it more difficult for Canadians to put food on the table,
(iv) contrary to the government's previous statements, heightened inflation is not transitory and is projected to persist,
(v) the decision to continue to impose ideologically-driven COVID-19 restrictions places a barrier on growth and recovery of the Canadian economy, the transportation of goods, and by consequence, the cost of those goods,
(vi) Canada has experienced the steepest decline in housing affordability in a generation,
the House call on the government to provide immediate relief to Canadians by:
(a) temporarily suspending the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected on gasoline and diesel;
(b) suspending the carbon tax;
(c) eliminating tariffs on fertilizer;
(d) enabling the free flow of goods across the Canadian border, supporting the recovery of the tourism sector and protecting the jobs of federally-regulated employees by immediately removing all federal COVID-19 restrictions; and
(e) curbing speculation in the housing market by immediately launching a national public inquiry into money laundering.
     Since today is the final allotted day for the supply period ending June 23, 2022, the House will go through the usual procedures to consider and dispose of supply bills. In view of recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bills be distributed now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
     Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time this morning with the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    The Prime Minister's political vindictiveness is hurting Canadians. Since February, Conservatives have been presenting pragmatic and reasonable solutions to help Canadians who are suffering because of the affordability crisis. Instead of agreeing with us, the Prime Minister is being vindictive, and he thinks he is hurting Conservatives politically by saying no to our proposals, when in fact he is punishing Canadians with his petty political vengeance.
    This is his last chance before the summer adjournment to listen to what Conservatives have been saying and to take action for Canadians who are suffering with the high cost of food, fuel and housing. The Liberals need a reality check, so here are some facts they might want to consider—
    I am just going to interrupt the hon. member. I believe we have a translation issue.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the interpreter is saying something about the Larsen effect, but I do not know what that is. However, it is affecting the interpretation.
    An hon. member: It has to do with the earpieces.

[English]

    We have a problem with the pickup. The earpiece is maybe too close to the microphone and we are getting feedback. How about if we start right from the beginning so that everyone can hear what the hon. member has to say.
    Mr. Speaker, I would let the House know I will be splitting my time, so I will continue from the beginning.
    The Prime Minister's political vindictiveness is hurting Canadians. Since February, Conservatives have been presenting pragmatic and reasonable solutions to help Canadians who are suffering because of the affordability crisis. Instead, the Prime Minister is being vindictive, and he thinks he is hurting Conservatives politically by saying no to our proposals. In fact, he is punishing Canadians with petty political vengeance.
    This is the last chance before the summer adjournment to listen to what Conservatives have been saying and to take action for Canadians who are suffering with the high cost of food, fuel and housing. The Liberals need a reality check, so here are some facts they might want to consider. Canadians are paying record high gas prices. Housing costs have had their biggest increase in a generation. The dream of owning a home is withering away for young Canadians. Food prices are up 9.7% this year alone. These are the realities that Canadians are facing, but instead of working to help, the government has the gall to hike taxes and drive the cost of living even higher.
    The solutions that Conservatives have been offering for months to deal with this crisis are not radical ideas; they are common-sense ideas. When gas prices started to increase, we asked that the government suspend the GST on fuel to give Canadians a break. Provinces were doing it, and we believed the federal government could offer help too. The Prime Minister said “no”. We asked for relief for Canadians by suspending the carbon tax on April 1. Again, the Prime Minister said “no”. He thinks he can score political points with his friends at the UN, maybe, by making Canadians pay record-high gas prices. He thinks he can hurt Conservatives by acting like we are being careless, but that is just not true. It is clear the Prime Minister is saying no because of politics: It is because it is Conservatives who are asking. It is our idea. The fact is that in both cases his vindictiveness did not hurt us, but it did hurt Canadians.
    This attitude is incredibly disheartening and it is failing the people who need help the most. It ignores the facts that single parents are not able to fill up their cars and that seniors are struggling to pay for groceries and rent. We must keep in mind that the cost of living crisis does not affect the Prime Minister at all. He does not pay for his own gas. He does not pay for his own food. He does not have to worry about standing in line anywhere.
    Conservatives have also been asking that the tariff on fertilizer be removed so that our farmers and producers are not punished for using the tools they need to work effectively. Again, the Prime Minister said no to this, at the expense of farmers who have been working tirelessly through the pandemic to keep food on our tables.
    Conservatives have also consistently been asking the Prime Minister to listen to science and to experts who say that vaccine mandates are no longer required. We have asked that he return to pre-COVID normal in order to allow Canadians to travel unobstructed, to help our hurting tourism sector and to let Canadians get back to their pre-COVID normal. Again, he said no to Conservatives, thinking he was hurting us, but saying no to Canadians is causing irreparable damage to Canadians.
    To him, it does not matter that we are not the only ones asking that these restrictions be lifted. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce agrees with us. The Toronto Airport Authority has called for an end to the restrictions. There are the Hotel Association of Canada and the Canadian Tourism and Travel Roundtable. The CEO of WestJet has asked for it as well as the Canadian Airports Council, just to name a few. It does not matter to the Prime Minister. It does not matter what experts say: what doctors, scientists or public health officials say. All that matters to the Prime Minister is that he seize on these issues so that he can wedge, stigmatize and divide Canadians and try to hurt Conservatives. This is probably the most egregious example of his pettiness, his vindictiveness and his hypocrisy.
    He travels around the world, and travels around North America today as we speak. He travels to countries without restrictions, enjoying their freedoms, having a good time, hanging out, eating, drinking and partying a little with people who may not be vaccinated. There are no masks on. We have all seen the pictures of the Prime Minister maskless in every country that he has visited over the past year while at the same time telling his own citizens, telling Canadians, they must abide by domestic restrictions that are incredibly draconian and completely out of date.

  (1020)  

    The Prime Minister's forced restrictions at home in Canada, while he flaunts his personal freedoms abroad, are theatrics and astounding hypocrisy.
     For months, we have been on working on this side to bring solutions to these problems and these challenges. I invite Canadians, and I invite everyone in the House, to go back and look at our record and at the reasonable things that we have been offering. We could have moved all kinds of partisan motions. Even today, we could have presented motions that would have put the Liberals, and even the NDP and the Bloc, in a difficult position. We have not done that, because we want to offer solutions to Canadians. We want to unite Canadians around things that make life more affordable for them, that allow them to visit their families and allow them to be able to go back to work. These are things that unite. These are the things that Conservatives have been offering. What does the Prime Minister do? He says no, and all for political gain.
    While we call for action on gas prices and everyday expenses, unfortunately Canadians are paying higher costs. Parents should not be forced to choose between enrolling their kids in sports and putting food on their tables. They should not be forced to rack up mountains of debt just to pay for basic groceries. Young people should be optimistic and see Canada as a place of opportunity. Instead, a recent RBC report has shown that younger Canadians are actually losing money every single month, especially if they live in a big city.
    However, the Prime Minister and his government have made it clear that they are more interested in vindictive and petty politics than in actually helping Canadians. At every turn, the Prime Minister has rejected our proposals because he thinks that it helps him politically by hurting Conservatives. While he is focused on scoring points, he is leaving Canadians behind. Canadians are the ones who are being forced to make sacrifices while he sits back and enjoys the praise of his Liberal friends, and I guess his Liberal caucus likes all of it, as well.
    Today, we are offering our own omnibus motion of sorts. It is a motion that would give Canadians a break and get their lives back to normal. We do not think that is too much to ask for. We are calling on our colleagues on the NDP and Bloc side to help us help Canadians. They have a chance today to put Canadians first. Our message to our friends in the Bloc and the NDP is not to vote for Conservatives, but to vote yes for Canadians. They can do the right thing, and vote yes for Canadians.
    The same opportunity exists for the Liberals. The Prime Minister can continue to be petty and stubborn, because boy oh boy, a lot of the things that he is doing are just pure stubbornness, or he can do the right thing and agree with our common-sense ideas for Canadians. Today, he has the chance to show leadership: to stop his childish games and stop blaming Russia, or the pandemic or whatever excuse he brings up, and recognize that Canadians need him to get to work.
     Instead of spending all his time and energy on wedging Canadians and trying to figure out ways to try to hurt Conservatives and make Conservatives look bad, for once the Prime Minister could look beyond his own political future. Our motion would immediately provide relief for families, seniors, farmers, small business owners and commuters who are suffering from high prices. It would give hope to Canadians who are hoping to save up for a home or to those who just want to travel and visit their loved ones. It would help millions of Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet in this affordability crisis. It would help millions of Canadians who work in the federal sector to be able to go back to work. So far, the Prime Minister has utterly failed these people. He has abandoned them in order to play political games.
    Today, we are offering our final chance. This is our final opposition day motion. Today, we are offering a final chance to put vindictive, petty politics aside and deliver the relief that Canadians need before the summer holidays begin. It is such an important time, and this year more than ever Canadians want hope. Conservatives are offering that hope. We ask today that the Prime Minister take the opportunity to give Canadians hope and opportunity, and know that things can be better for them, for their children and for this country.

  (1025)  

    Mr. Speaker, I really believe it is quite the opposite that the interim Conservative leader is talking about today.
    When we talk about the Conservative Party's approach, what we have actually witnessed is more of a destructive force inside the chamber. It it to stop everything and not allow anything to pass. It is all about personal attacks coming from the Conservative Party. Its members tend to ignore the issue of the pandemic or the war that is taking place in Europe, based on issues like inflation. As the Conservatives are so focused on that, I can assure people who are following the debate today that the government, and this Prime Minister, will continue to focus their attention on the economy, on the pandemic, on the war and on the issues Canadians are interested in most.
    When will the member opposite start refocusing the Conservative Party, so that we can start to see more attention given to the issues Canadians are concerned about every day, not just the one day in which they propose a motion?

  (1030)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying that we hear from that member a lot, and I appreciate the hard work he does, but there are four amazing Liberal women in the House. I would have loved to hear from one of them, and I would be happy to answer another question.
    It shows how absolutely out of touch so many of these Liberals are that this member would stand up and say Canadians do not care about affordability and they do not care about restrictions being lifted. This is all they are talking about. This is all Canadians are talking about, and they are not only angry, they are also scared. They are worried. They are afraid for when the gas prices are going to stop going up. We thought 80¢ a litre was something and 90¢ was a lot, but we have $1.20 or over two dollars a litre in some provinces.
    I would suggest that the member maybe consult with some of the strong women who are sitting around him, because I think they would tell him that moms, dads, teenagers, young people and seniors are incredibly worried about the cost of everything, and they are worried about the Prime Minister, who refuses to lift restrictions that the rest of the world has moved on with. He needs to get with the program. That is what I would suggest.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I read in the Journal de Québec this morning that Suncor's profits are basically set to triple from $4 billion to $11 billion for the coming year. The same is true for Imperial, which will have profits of $6.2 billion. As we know, Boris Johnson's government has imposed a 25% tax on oil companies' profits.
    Earlier, I heard my colleague say not to vote for the Conservatives, but to vote for Canadians. I think she said that wrong. What she should have said was do not vote for the Conservatives, vote for the oil companies.
    Does my colleague agree with me?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would say Conservatives certainly have a very different approach from the Bloc when it comes to oil, gas and natural resources in our country. We believe the natural resources in Canada are amazing things that the world needs, and in this time when we want to fight emissions and be responsible, the world needs more Canadian oil and gas energy, and we are incredibly proud to be champions of Canadian oil and gas.
    What we need are the jobs that come from that, and the opportunity. The Liberals have shut down any hope of pipelines being built. They shut down any hope of any kind of infrastructure being built, and then they raised taxes on Canadians. The Liberals actually want gas prices high. The Prime Minister does not pay for his gas, but he wants Canadian moms, dads, single parents, people living in poverty and people in rural areas of this country to pay a heavy price for fuel.
    Conservatives want to see Canadian oil and gas expanded. We want all Canadians to have access to our amazing oil and gas, and not have to pay these ridiculous taxes that do nothing but fill the Prime Minister's coffers.
    Mr. Speaker, we proposed taxing the windfall pandemic profits of big corporations and sending them back to Canadians through the GST rebate and the Canada child benefit as a way for the federal government to provide immediate relief to Canadians and make the wealthy pay their fair share. The official leader of the opposition has put forward an extension of wanting to work with us, but this motion is quick to cut taxes and other sources of revenue for the government, while offering nothing in terms of consumer protection from big corporations raising their prices above and beyond inflation.
    Can the member comment on why the Conservatives think cutting taxes at the pump would actually stop big oil and gas from just raising their prices? Can she—
    The hon. leader of the official opposition with a brief answer.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question.
    Here is the problem: The more we see the Liberals buy NDP policy like that, which is big government, big spend and a few people getting a few cheques here and there, the worse off Canadians are.
    Canadians are much worse off now than they were six years ago. The Liberal-NDP plan is to spend, spend, spend on big government, and tax, tax, tax, and maybe throw a cheque here or there to a few people. It is not working. Conservatives believe Canadians need more money in their pockets, less taxes, less spending and less big government to unleash the power of entrepreneurs, of workers, of labour and of our natural resources.
    That is how we create economic opportunity, but right now we would like to see taxes decreased at the pump for Canadians.

  (1035)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to highlight the excellent work of the Leader of the Opposition, who today made a passionate plea on behalf of Canadians who are struggling and having a hard time making ends meet. By moving this motion today, the Leader of the Opposition clearly showed her support for Canadians, families, young people, workers, seniors and everyone affected by the skyrocketing cost of living.
    Inflation is going through the roof. The cost of everything is rising more than it has in years. Take, for example, the cost of food, which has gone up about 10% over the past year. That means, on average, the cost of some grocery items has gone up by 20%, 25% or even 30%. Unfortunately, those items are often the ones people need the most. We have not seen prices go up like this since 1981.
    The motion that the official opposition brought today is eminently sensible. It calls on the government to listen to Canadians for once and to set partisanship and the Prime Minister's vindictiveness aside in order to do what is right: provide a little relief to Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet.
    Over the past few days, the Prime Minister and his ministers, including the Minister of Finance, have all demonstrated a total lack of compassion for what Canadians are going through. We have presented quite a few proposals, all of them just and sincere, to make things more manageable for people. Unfortunately, the government chose to say no to the Conservatives' proposals every time. What worries me is that the Prime Minister's attitude suggests he said no to the Conservatives because these good ideas were coming from the official opposition and the Conservatives. He wanted to punish the Conservatives by rejecting their ideas, which included lowering the gas tax and cancelling the carbon tax hike. Those were logical, eminently sensible proposals.
    However, by doing that, the Prime Minister punished Canadians instead. He prevented Canadians from enjoying a bit of a break. He did not hurt the Conservatives, he hurt Canadian families, young Canadians, seniors and workers. That is the reality.
    Today, we are giving him the chance to make amends. That is something he can do. We have moved a very sensible motion that the government could support to show a bit of compassion to Canadians. It is his last chance to do so, since this is the last opposition day. This is the last chance a member can move a motion in the House calling on the government to act now to provide some relief for Canadians. Based on what we have heard so far, this likely will not come from the Liberal benches.
    The Liberals truly need to come down to earth and get in touch with the reality of Canadians. During question period, we call them out on the increased cost of living, because everything is going up. The price of gas is $2.23 or $2.32 a litre in some places in the country. It is crazy. When we ask them questions about that, the Liberals say that in their budget they lowered child care costs for families, brought in an expensive dental care program, and so on. These are all sorts of things that are likely connected to the coalition agreement the Liberal government made with the NDP, but none of them will do anything at all to help families that are suffering.
    I had the opportunity to speak with some people from ORAPE, a food bank in my riding. Over the last few weeks, demand has gone up 10%. More and more people cannot make ends meet and are urgently going to the food bank so they can get a bit of food and make it until the next cheque, because everything costs more.

  (1040)  

    Workers are telling us that they can no longer afford the gas they need to get to work. Other parents are telling us that they can no longer afford to drive their kids to activities and that they are having to make choices: buy a bit more meat for dinner, or take the kids to a few more activities. This is Canada, in 2022, and families are being forced to make these kinds of choices. If someone had asked me last year if I thought this was possible, I would have said no. Today, this is the reality that many Canadians face.
    When we hear the answers from the Prime Minister and ministers, including the Minister of Finance, it is as though none of this exists. They think that inflation is global. It is all over the place, and according to them, Canada is doing a little bit better than everywhere else. However, looking at the numbers, we see that this is because inflation in Canada is not calculated the same way as it is in other countries. We are being told that everything is fine, that Canada is doing better than other countries and that this will continue to be the case. That kind of answer offers absolutely no help to families and the people who are struggling to make ends meet and are forced to make tough choices.
    I would remind members that 25% of Canadians have been forced to make tough choices like buying less food to make ends meet, and that 40% of families and Canadians earning less than $50,000 a year are going hungry. When I say “families”, I am not just talking about families with children; I am talking about all kinds of families.
    However, when we tell the Prime Minister these things, we are told to look at the latest budget and all the measures that will be introduced several weeks or months from now. We are told to look at the decisions that were made to deliver a budget that clearly proves that this government failed to see the current crisis on the horizon. There is absolutely nothing in the most recent budget to help families now, to help them deal with the crisis of high gas prices, to help people make ends meet. The budget includes a lot of spending for later, but the crisis is happening right now.
    Are we going to ask people to keep tightening their belts, to not eat, to make hard choices and not send their children to their activities until these measures are implemented several years down the road? That is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate it. We cannot accept the government acting this way.
    That is why we have introduced an eminently sensible motion that calls on the government to temporarily reduce the tax on gas and diesel and give Canadians a break. The price at the pump right now is $2.32 a litre.
    In addition, we are calling on the government to scrap the carbon tax increase. They keep telling us that the carbon tax will be given back to families. Until those families receive a cheque, which will not be for the exact amount they paid, they need to put food on the table. That cheque will not give them any.
    We are also asking the government to eliminate the punitive measures at airports to help the tourism industry and our small businesses across our regions. That will spur economic activity and put more money in people's pockets. That is the reality.
    We have been proposing these measures since January. The various measures included in this motion were presented to the government previously. Each time, the Prime Minister said no. He said no to Canadians in need, to the most disadvantaged Canadians. However, more and more Canadians in the middle class, who are working very hard to stay there, are also finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.
    That is why today we are appealing to the government, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP. We are asking them to support our motion, which will give Canadians a bit of a break, something they currently need. I believe it is the right thing to do. We must avoid partisanship and saying no to the Conservatives simply because it is a Conservative motion. It is not a Conservative motion, it is a common sense motion for Canadians.

  (1045)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the Conservatives talk about families and children, but when it comes time to vote on issues of that nature, they consistently vote against progressive policies. The best example I can give offhand is child care. We established a national child care program that would enable thousands of people to enter the workforce. It is going to provide better quality of living for many in our society, yet the Conservative Party, in its wisdom, says no, that is a bad government expenditure.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, when the member talks about helping children and families, why does the Conservative Party oppose a genuine national child care program, which provinces and territories of all political stripes have supported?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I would remind folks to keep their comments down. They can get on the speaking list to ask some questions, which is the right we have as members, but I ask members to try to keep it down so we can hear questions and comments.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
     Mr. Speaker, this is what happens when members speak up: they encourage debate.
    When members say things to distract the House, some of our colleagues here want to get us back on topic. This was, unfortunately, yet another example of this kind of distraction. The Liberals do not see any inflation crisis. They see no crisis, and they do not think people are having a hard time paying their gas or grocery bills.
    My colleague from Winnipeg North just tried to distract from the real problems by talking about one aspect of the program and one aspect of the budget that the government has implemented. That is what the member just did and what the Liberals are always doing. They would rather talk about other elements of a massive project that will pay off in 10 or 15 years, instead of responding to the inflation crisis that is preventing people from putting food on the table.
    Quebec has had a day care system for more than 20 years. Many families still do not have access to this program, but the government thinks it will fix everything. That is not true. There is a crisis right now and we are demanding solutions right now.
    A vote in favour of this motion is a vote in favour of solutions for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable for his speech.
    As my colleague from Jonquière has said, and we saw again this morning, oil companies are making record profits, and so are the banks. With that in mind, I wonder how today's Conservative motion responds to an important notion of tax fairness. Do we really want the oil companies and the banks to keep getting richer?
    That said, the member talked a lot about families, which is fine. We are aware that families are affected by inflation, but what about seniors who are on fixed incomes? I wonder if he could comment on why it might be important to support a measure the Bloc Québécois has been calling for for quite some time. I am talking about increasing seniors' incomes through the universal old age security pension, beginning at age 65. Inflation does not hit only those who are 75 and over. It affects all seniors aged 65 and up.
    It seems to me that today's Conservative motion offers a simplistic solution to a much bigger problem and fails to consider the much broader view of the problem of inflation and rising prices.
    Mr. Speaker, there is much in what my hon. colleague said. I must mention that she works very hard for seniors. That is her file and she often speaks about seniors' needs. We are currently facing a crisis.
    All consumers who are seniors will get a break with the measures we outlined. Seniors, youth and workers will immediately get a break. That is the goal. We are the official opposition, and therefore I personally cannot say that we will increase all seniors' pensions. Even though we may believe that is a good solution, it is up to the government to implement that measure, but it is not doing so. It is not lowering taxes. Instead it is going to look for more money from taxpayers. Who is paying for all that? It is the entire population, Canadians of all ages. We want immediate measures put in place to provide some financial relief and allow them to buy the food they need every month.

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, I have shared in the House several times the food insecurity issues that are suffered by my constituents and many indigenous peoples. Meanwhile, major corporations, such as Loblaws and The North West Company are reporting billions and millions in profits, as well as billions and millions in dividends going to shareholders.
    Instead of increasing the profits of these major corporations, why do the Conservatives not support taxing their profits to help people before they fall further into food insecurity?

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, we support a relief on taxes for each and every Canadian, including indigenous people. This is for everyone in the country. It is what we are supportive of. It could be the direct answer and could help everyone right now. This is what we need in Canada, and I hope the member will support our motion today.
    As a friendly reminder, I note that we run out of time very quickly. Members are making very long comments, asking very long questions and giving very long answers. Members are not getting the opportunity to participate in the debate, so I want to make sure that we keep all questions and comments concise.

[Translation]

    Resuming debate. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.
    Mr Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my friend, the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    Canadians are feeling the effects of inflation, especially at the pump and at the grocery store. This situation is largely attributable to the residual effects of the pandemic, namely supply chain disruptions, China’s zero-COVID policy and, especially, the economic repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This means that Canadians are paying more, especially for energy and food.
    I would like to remind my colleagues across the aisle that inflation is being felt around the world and that, right now, in Canada, it is lower than in our peer countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. It is even even lower than the G7, G20, OECD and European Union averages.
    I would also like to remind my colleagues opposite, who like to blame all the world’s woes on government spending, that it is thanks to our federal government that Canadian workers were able to continue receiving a paycheque during the pandemic.
    The reason why we implemented so many supports and programs is precisely so that Canadians could continue to put food on the table, heat their home and gas up their car. These programs proved to be absolutely essential for Canadians and the Canadian economy to survive the pandemic.
    It is thanks to our support and that fact that we avoided austerity measures during the pandemic that the Canadian government was in the position to withstand the omicron wave, supply chain disruptions and many other situations.
    The Canadian economy is recovering strongly right now. We recorded the fastest growth among G7 countries in the first quarter, and our real GDP, taking inflation into account, is now higher than what it was before the pandemic. That is remarkable.

[English]

     Canada not only has the strongest and fastest economic recovery, but has one of the strongest and fastest employment recoveries in the G7. In fact, there are more Canadians working now than at any other time in the history of recording unemployment in this country, that is, over the last 50 years.
    We have recovered 115% of the jobs lost in the very difficult and awful first months of the pandemic. Compared with other countries, that is an extraordinary recovery. Even in the United States, just 96% of jobs have been recovered. Canadians, our entrepreneurs and small business owners have created 3.5 million jobs in the last two years alone.
    As the job numbers continue to increase and our output lost during the pandemic is being recovered, the focus in our most recent budget has been on making life more affordable for Canadians and making targeted investments that will build Canada’s economic capacity and support Canadians while doing so. However, before I get into that, let me address specifically what the Conservatives are proposing in their opposition day motion today and why these ideas are at best misguided.
    The only concrete economic policy proposals that have come out of the Conservative Party recently are the temporary suspension of GST on gas and diesel and the cancelling of the price on pollution. That is it. This is the extent of the economic policy proposals we have heard from the Conservative Party.

[Translation]

    That is all. It is just incredible.

[English]

    As pointed out before in the House by many, there is absolutely no guarantee these large oil and gas companies will pass on any savings to Canadian consumers. It rests entirely with these companies to choose whether or not Canadians see any savings and relief at the pumps.
    I know the price on pollution is a matter of huge contention in the Conservative leadership race. I know they are still deciding whether there is a climate crisis, and there have been many positions on this issue. In fact, there have been as many positions as there have been Conservative leaders in the past six years. However, on this, economists and scientists are very clear: A price on pollution is the most effective way to fight climate change.

  (1055)  

    The PBO has confirmed that our approach is putting more money back into the pockets of eight out of 10 Canadian families through our climate action incentive. That means Canadians receive more money back than they are paying at the pump with the price on pollution.
    It is also ironic that the Conservatives are claiming that our fiscal policies, or perhaps the fiscal policies of the Bank of Canada, which they like to impugn, are somehow to blame for global inflation. They are now putting forward policies in this very motion that economists would all agree increase demand at a time of supply shortage and at a time when these policies would exacerbate inflation, although this may not come as too big of a surprise after the Conservatives campaigned on a $168-billion deficit.
    The Conservative motion also proposes the easing of sanctions against Russia. I would like to tackle this head-on. The Conservatives stood up and applauded the sanctions against Russia and today are asking us to remove them.
    When it comes to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, our policy is simple. We have one of the world's leading sanction policies and will continue to target Putin and his cronies. This is what the people of Ukraine are asking for, this is what the global community is asking for and this is what Canadians are asking for. However, for some reason, 100 days into the war the Conservatives are willing to fold to Russia. Perhaps they are under pressure from Russia. Who knows?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor. I want to make sure I hear her, and I am sure everyone wants to listen to her speech as well. There are comments and questions right after.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.

[Translation]

    Mr Speaker, since we came to power, we have made real improvements to make Canadians’ lives more affordable, and these investments are helping Canadians now, despite inflation.
     It was our government that introduced the Canada child benefit, which will give Canadian families almost $7,000 per child in benefits in the coming year. We also expanded the Canada workers benefit to support an additional one million Canadians, which could represent $1,000 more per year for full-time workers. We are also the government that increased the guaranteed income supplement maximum benefit for single seniors by 10% and decreased the age of eligibility for old age security and the GIS from 67 to 65.
    Conservative members should bear in mind that all our major government benefits are indexed to inflation, including old age security, the guaranteed income supplement, the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit and many others. That means that benefits increase with inflation.

[English]

    The Conservatives have attempted to block, at every turn, our support for Canadians. The Conservatives voted against our tax cut for middle-class Canadians and are now proposing a tax cut for the oil and gas sector, which is making huge profits. We will continue to put forward real, progressive policies that will support real Canadians.
    Let me just take one example from our most recent budget. We all know that seeing a dentist is expensive. In fact, a third of Canadians do not have dental insurance, and in 2018, more than one in five Canadians said they avoided getting dental care because of the cost. This is an affordability issue that we are tackling head-on. We are investing in order to support Canadians and in order to help them pay their bills. There are numerous other examples in the budget.
    As I am almost out of time, allow me to mention briefly the fact that our budget is tackling the housing crisis. Our budget is ensuring that we are supporting Canadian families by subsidizing child care. I could go on and on. These are real policies helping real Canadians, and I would invite the Conservatives to vote in favour of the budget rather than presenting a motion that is clearly void of any tangible economic policy to help Canadians.

  (1100)  

    Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary spoke to a number of issues. Unfortunately, none of them touched upon tourism and the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on the tourism and travel sector.
    Perhaps she should have spoken to two of her colleagues, who are in the House today, both former Ontario ministers of tourism. They know that tourism and travel are discretionary activities and that the cost-of-living crisis will impact them. Over the next four months, the tourism industry will generate 75% of its revenues, but the government has done nothing to help the tourism sector. In fact, all support programs have now ended. The best thing the Liberals can do is get out of the way and allow the tourism sector to do what it does best: welcome people from around the world.
    Does the member not agree that cutting gas taxes will assist with this? For the rubber tire market, for example, it means discretionary spending. If Canadians do not have those dollars, they are not going to visit our communities, and that would be one thing to assist them. Also, we need to end the mandates. We need to return to prepandemic travel—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, I was speaking on behalf of the finance team, but I am always happy to talk about our fabulous tourism sector.
    Just this morning, I was with the Frontier Duty Free Association. I understand it will be meeting with the member shortly. This afternoon, I have a fabulous round table with British Columbian stakeholders in the tourism industry.
    What is unfortunate is that the Conservative Party voted against Bill C-2, which provided support directly to the tourism industry. Last week, I made a number of announcements to tourism operators for funding. In some cases, non-refundable funding is going straight into the pockets of our small businesses in the tourism sector and supporting them through this difficult time.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. We can wait until everyone comes to order.
    While I am standing here waiting, I will comment that the quicker we ask questions, the more people can participate in the debate we are having this morning. I can start cutting people off. I really do not like doing that because I want people to get their comments, thoughts and questions out, but if members get long-winded, I might have to adopt a new way of doing this and cut them off when they hit a minute.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech.
    It is quite disappointing to see the Conservative Party move an omnibus motion that combines so many issues. That said, the Conservatives are acknowledging some basic points, such as the situation for low-income earners who are struggling right now because of high inflation. I am not getting the impression that the government is doing much about that.
    Is my colleague prepared to consider a surtax on oil companies making record profits, as well as a surtax on companies making over $1 billion in profits?
    With this money, we could help the poorest people cope with the cost of gasoline and groceries. We could immediately stop cuts to the guaranteed income supplement for seniors. It is hard to believe that those kinds of cuts are even being made right now.
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts.
    Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate that question. We, too, believe that everyone must pay their fair share. That is why we brought in a tax on banks, which made huge profits during the pandemic.
    We also proposed a luxury tax on expensive boats and aircraft because we understand how important it is to continue to support vulnerable Canadians. In our budget, we are proposing one-time payments for Canadians who are struggling to find affordable housing. We are proposing measures to help our seniors and to support Canadian families.
    I think we completely agree on the principle. I also appreciate the Bloc's suggestion to tax oil companies. We will also look into that.

  (1105)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I did appreciate some of the burns on the Conservatives in the member's speech, but ultimately, this back-and-forth is not necessarily helping Canadians. We have to put forward real solutions. We have to bring forward not only long-lasting ideas that hit the inflation spikes now, but the long-lasting reforms that are required.
    One thing the New Democrats have brought forward is tightening the regulation of the oil and gas sector. We have seen a lot of price gouging over the years. The New Democrats have asked for the establishment of a petroleum monitoring agency and an oil and gas ombudsmen to ensure that Canadians are getting fairer prices at the pumps. Could the member support that NDP initiative?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand I have only a short time. I always appreciate concrete suggestions from opposition members. As I mentioned in my speech, it has been disappointing to hear some of the proposals put forward, including the ones in today's motion, which do not actually address the affordability crisis in this country.
    I am happy to work with the member opposite on her proposal.
    That is all the time we have again this time. I know there are a number of members on Zoom who have tried to get in and ask questions but have been unable to do so up to this point. Again, let us keep comments and questions as concise as we possibly can.
    We are continuing debate.
    Good morning to all my hon. colleagues here in the House. It is always a pleasure to rise in this honourable place and speak to Canadians and the residents of Vaughan—Woodbridge on the issues that matter most to them.
    Today we are speaking to the opposition day motion put forward by the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, a very good friend of mine, with regard to a matter that is very important to Canadians in terms of where we are in the world today and the pressures that Canadians are facing at home and that my family faces. I am raising three daughters. We know that the expenses Canadian families are facing are elevated and we need to be cognizant of that. Our government is cognizant of that.
    Before I begin my formal remarks, tomorrow my oldest daughter is turning 11, so I am selfishly going to take the time to wish Eliana a very happy birthday. I hope to see her tomorrow evening. If that happens, great, but we will celebrate nonetheless tomorrow and in the days to come. I am blessed. God has blessed me with three beautiful daughters. They are the love of our life for my wife and me, and the time I have with them when I am back home is always very special. I try to be as present as possible. Happy birthday to Eliana.
    We do know that in this time and in today's world, we are facing very elevated commodity prices, energy prices and food prices as a result of a number of factors that are unfortunately beyond our control, including the barbaric invasion of Ukraine by Russia and supply chain bottlenecks due to COVID-19 that are still being sorted out. We can look at the price of a container, for example. In my riding a container used to cost about $3,000 to go FOB from Europe to the port of Halifax, and the same container today costs about $12,000 to $15,000 to bring in products. That is just one data point, and there are many others.
    One thing that is sort of within our control is how we fight climate change. As an economist, I know carbon pricing is a very effective tool in fighting climate change. We know that is what the international experts are saying. We know the world needs more of Canada's energy, both renewable and non-renewable, but we know there is a transition happening. I have read the opposition day motion from my hon. colleague and friend from Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, and the reference to suspending the pricing on carbon is something I disagree with. As an economist, I know we are doing the right thing.
    With that, climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and carbon pricing is the backbone of our climate plan. In recent years, climate change has had unprecedented effects on Canadians. Impacts from climate change are wide-ranging, affecting our homes, the cost of living, infrastructure, health and safety, and economic activities in communities across Canada. We saw that in B.C. with the recent floods, which we had to react to, and we did. The latest science warns us that to avoid severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced significantly and urgently to hold the global average temperature to 1.5°.
    In April 2021, the Government of Canada responded by submitting a strengthened national emissions target of 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, in addition to its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. On March 29, the government released the 2030 emissions reduction plan, outlining how Canada would meet its 2030 target. The plan builds on a strong foundation, starting with Canada's first-ever national climate change plan in 2016 and then our strengthened plan, which was released in 2020.
    Carbon pricing is central to all of these plans because it is the most efficient and lowest-cost policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike the policy of the Conservative Party, which in its platform released a bureaucratic, inefficient program that would not have the desired effect of lowering greenhouse gas emissions, our policy of carbon pricing continues to be the most efficient market-based pricing mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coast to coast to coast in Canada. I hope it is emulated throughout the world, as different mechanisms have been. We can look to Europe, of course.
    We have heard from stakeholders across the country that consistency and predictability are key to unlocking investments in this low-carbon economy. We also know that businesses and industries are developing innovative technologies and approaches to reduce emissions. They need clear incentives and supports to put those technologies into practice. Carbon pricing creates those incentives without dictating any particular approach. It lets businesses decide how to best cut their emissions.

  (1110)  

    At the same time, Canadians are facing an affordability challenge, especially the most vulnerable Canadians. The federal approach to carbon pricing is designed to maintain the consistency demanded by industry and investors while prioritizing affordability for Canadians. We know it is not enough to create a cleaner economy; we have to make sure that Canadians can afford it.
    It is true that pricing carbon pollution will modestly increase fuel costs by about 2¢ per litre of gasoline in 2022, and we know every little bit counts when gasoline prices are hitting north of $2 a litre. We see it, but carbon pricing has never been about raising revenues; in fact, our plan allows most households to end up with more money in their pocket than what they have paid in approximately eight out of 10 households. Wherever federal fuel charge proceeds are returned directly to households, eight out of 10 families actually get more back through climate action incentive rebates than they paid, meaning this system is helping with the cost of living for a majority of Canadian families.
    For example, the average cost impact of carbon pricing per household in Alberta is expected to be about $700 in 2022, but this is less than the average climate action incentive payment of about $1,040. In Ontario, the average household cost is estimated to be about $580, but households will receive back, on average, about $7l0. These estimates take into account direct costs like paying more for fuel and also indirect costs like paying a bit more for goods and services. Families in rural and small communities are eligible to receive an extra 10%. Households can use these funds in any way they want. They can use them to absorb the extra 2¢ per litre of gasoline if they choose.
    Any households that take action to reduce their energy use would come out even further ahead. Zero-emission vehicles are an option, with federal purchase incentives helping reduce the costs. The federal government is also supporting home energy retrofits under the Canada greener homes grant to reduce energy use at home, save money, and yes, cut pollution by reducing greenhouse emissions.
    The Government of Canada has also committed to return proceeds collected from the federal output-based pricing system, the OBPS, to the jurisdictions of origin. Provinces and territories that have voluntarily adopted the OBPS can opt for a direct transfer of proceeds collected. Proceeds collected in the other backstop jurisdictions will be returned through the OBPS proceeds fund, which is aimed at supporting clean industrial technologies and clean electricity projects.
    Climate change is a serious challenge, and it requires serious but reasonable leadership. This is an opportunity that Canadian industry, businesses and workers are taking hold of and leading globally. It is a very big opportunity. Canadians want to take advantage of the significant opportunities in the low-carbon economy. Analysis by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate estimates that transitioning to a low-carbon economy will deliver an economic gain of $26 trillion U.S. and generate 65 million new jobs globally.
    Just as we put a price on carbon pollution, we are also making historic investments in clean technology, innovation and green infrastructure to drive economic growth and yes, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, including $9.1 billion in new investments to cut pollution and grow the economy as part of the 2030 emissions reductions plan.
    The “2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada's Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy” reflects submissions from over 30,000 Canadians, provinces and territories; indigenous partners; industry; civil society and the independent net-zero advisory body. This plan represents a whole-of-society approach with practical ways to achieve emission reductions across all of the economy.
    Canada is not alone in fighting climate change and pricing carbon pollution. The cost of inaction on climate change is enormous, and as a government and as a society, we must continue to ensure that we achieve our net-zero by 2050 goals and also make sure that the transition is affordable for Canadians.
    On the affordability front, through the last several years our government has put in place two major tax cuts for middle-class Canadians. Literally tens of millions of dollars have been returned to the pockets of Canadian families. The Canada child benefit is another measure, along with the Canada workers income benefit. The upcoming 10% increase in old age security for seniors will benefit over 3.3 million seniors.
    We understand that we need to assist Canadian families in getting ahead and we will continue to do that.
     I look forward to questions and comments.

  (1115)  

    We will go to questions and comments, and again my suggestion is that we try to keep them as concise as we possibly can. If we do run out of time, I will call someone whose hand has been up for a long time.
    The hon. member for Foothills.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to call into question my colleague's comments that the carbon tax is revenue-neutral. We know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report that this is not true, and I want to give the hon. member an example. Through Bill C-8, Canadian farmers are getting $1.70 for every $1,000 of eligible expenses as part of their carbon tax rebate. Some of them are paying more than $19,000 a month right now to run their machinery during seeding. They are getting pennies on the dollar for what they are paying in carbon tax.
    Would my colleague not agree that this is not revenue-neutral?
    Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member for Foothills' interventions in the House with regard to agriculture and farmers are very well respected.
    I have the utmost respect for farmers across Canada from coast to coast to coast. We need to make sure we have their backs at all times, particularly at a time when food security, food affordability and food security are of paramount concern. We will be there always to ensure we have the backs of farmers. I know the minister of agriculture is obviously fighting for farmers day in and day out.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, earlier, I pointed out to my Conservative colleagues that it was rather shameful to ask the government to lift the GST on gas, particularly since oil companies are making record profits right now. Big oil companies are the ones robbing the middle class of what little wealth it had managed to accumulate.
    I am wondering whether my colleague is aware that the government is supporting oil companies. That is another shameful fact. Think of the $2.6 billion the budget allocates to carbon capture strategies. Does my colleague agree that that is shameful, given what the greedy oil companies are up to?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Jonquière for his question. I support carbon capture strategies.

[English]

    I believe the carbon capture measure we put into our budget is one additional measure that we need to put into place to lower greenhouse gas emissions by working with industry. I will also add that the measures our government has brought into place since 2015 have been directly aimed at helping middle-class Canadians and middle-class Canadian families. We will continue to have their backs coming out of COVID-19 and working through this affordability situation that the whole world faces.

  (1120)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend happy birthday wishes to my colleague's daughter.
    We know that the Conservative motion, by cutting the GST and by eliminating the carbon tax on oil and gas, will actually just lead to an increased amount on our deficit. Also, it will do nothing to stop oil and gas companies from earning skyrocketing profits on the backs of everyday Canadians.
    We know that speculation is the biggest factor driving oil and gas prices at the moment. Does the member agree that tighter regulation of this sector, with the establishment of a petroleum monitoring agency and an oil and gas ombudsman—something we have been urging for several years—would be a good way to ensure Canadians are getting fair prices at the pump?
    Mr. Speaker, as a government and as a society, we always must monitor any anti-competitive practices that are being put in place or practised by whichever sector of the economy where they are in place. It was great to see a number of measures in budget 2022 that are aimed at strengthening the Competition Act and giving more teeth and more resources to that entity.
    Mr. Speaker, happy birthday to Eliana, the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge's daughter.
    I feel that my question really is about all of our children's future, particularly someone at 11 years old. Despite the many programs that the Liberals have put forward on climate, they cumulatively are completely inadequate to ensure that we will avoid an unlivable world for our own children. The warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are clear that we must ensure that emissions begin to drop globally before 2025.
    I ask the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge if he would accept that approving Baie du Nord and continuing to build the Trans Mountain pipeline shows that there is an inadequate understanding that we are in a climate emergency.
    Mr. Speaker, I also read a report. I think it was from the IAEA, if I have the acronym correct, and there is a chart in it showing the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas emissions over time. That chart is very startling.
    I agree with the hon. member that this is about our children's future. This is a global issue. Canada needs to lead on it, but we also need to know and also need to understand that this is a transition in place and that we need to ensure that energy security is there for citizens across the world, along with energy affordability. Also, we need to decarbonize. That has to be our priority.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Mirabel.
    I am pleased to rise today to speak to the motion moved on the Conservative Party’s opposition day. This motion comprises many of the motions that have been moved by the Conservatives here in the past, most of which were defeated. They decided to take all these motions and lump them together, claiming that they were right and everyone else was wrong.
    I will begin by quoting Albert Einstein, hoping that my colleagues will not be offended that I am citing a scientist. He said that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Let us be clear. Inflation is a real problem that concerns our constituents, but we need more than simplistic solutions to deal with long-standing patterns and complex phenomena. It is not enough to resort to libertarian monetary fads, such as cryptocurrency, to overcome rising prices caused by demand outstripping supply in the context of a labour shortage. Also, the word “cryptocurrency” is strangely absent from the motion, unless we should be expecting an amendment from the hon. member for Carleton. We will see.
    We are dealing with a real conflict in terms of the distribution of wealth and equity. I am not saying that this is the crux of the problem, but it is one of them. There appear to be three fundamental differences between Canadian and British Conservatives. First, British Conservatives defend sovereignty. As we know, it was the Conservatives who orchestrated Brexit. Second, they did not fire their leader. Third, they are concerned about their most disadvantaged citizens. Boris Johnson’s government plans to levy an exceptional 25% tax on gas and oil company profits in an effort to return the revenues to households experiencing the greatest difficulties.
    Canada’s Conservatives, on the other hand, are proposing that we suspend the goods and services tax on gasoline and diesel. That is pure demagoguery. Obviously, many Canadians get angry when they go to the pumps. Their anger is the most understandable and legitimate in the world and, for many of them, this simple solution may appear to be eminently sensible. They likely think that it would give them a bit of breathing room. The problem is that this is a false solution to a real problem. As long as oil companies control prices, they will obviously be able to increase them.
    Oil companies understand full well that, despite people’s anger, they have no other option right now than to go to the gas station and fill up their tank. If we were to suspend the tax, the oil companies would only increase their prices. It is that simple. That is the problem. Even if consumers were to pay less in the short term, which is not guaranteed, prices would soon increase. One could even say that this motion moved by the Conservatives is a gift for their oil company friends.
    An hon. member: Oh, come on!
    Mr. Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to have unsettled my colleagues with this surprising revelation this morning.
    In this morning’s Journal de Montréal, Michel Girard, in an article entitled “Les pétrolières nous pompent des milliards”, or oil companies are siphoning billions out of our pockets—another article that will prove to be unsettling for some—reported on the expected and past profits of several major oil companies. Suncor Energy pocketed $11 billion in 2022, Imperial Oil made $6.2 billion in profits in 2021, and Valero Energy made $6.5 billion in profits last year. Internationally, Shell is expected to pocket more than $40 billion this year. Moreover, the energy sector subindex has risen by 43% since the beginning of the year, and that followed a 42% increase in 2021.
     I will now address the Quebeckers and Canadians who are listening to us. Here is the proof: Your inflation is their loot. It is that simple. We need a transition plan out of fossil fuels. We have been saying that for a long time, and we will continue to say it. We need to take action.

  (1125)  

    Obviously, it will not happen overnight. We do not want to lay anyone off tomorrow morning. There are workers in the sector. The aim is not to lay them off, but it goes without saying that decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels means decreasing our dependence on fossil fuel price fluctuations. That is just logical.
    Today, as drivers are going broke, shareholders are celebrating. Sadly, there is nothing in the Conservatives’ motion about that. Still, the oil companies are not the only ones to be making record profits we could easily describe as obscene. Consider banks, with their astronomical senior executive salaries and profits in 2021.
    Combined, the National Bank, Laurentian Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC and Desjardins Group earned $60.68 billion in profits. That is a 39% jump, or about $17 billion more, over the previous year, which was also a pandemic year.
    The Royal Bank of Canada was the biggest profit maker, raking in $16.05 billion, an increase of over 40%. It was followed by TD Bank, with $14.3 billion, an increase of 20%. Scotiabank pocketed $9.99 billion, an increase of 45%. The Bank of Montreal posted profits of $7.75 billion, an increase of over 52%. CIBC took in $6.45 billion, an increase of more than 68%. National Bank made $3.18 billion, an increase of more than 53%. Only Laurentian Bank did not do as well as in the previous year.
    Now let us look at salaries. The CEOs of these eight financial institutions took home $88.87 million, compared with $71.52 million in 2020. Not everyone is experiencing the crisis in the same way.
    According to Canadians for Tax Fairness, 111 publicly traded companies headquartered in Canada recorded profits over $100 million in the first nine months of the year. Thirty-four of these companies posted record profits during a crisis. Let me repeat that: during a crisis. The top earner was TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, whose Keystone project has been in the news for years. The company made $3.5 billion in profit on sales of $9.7 billion in the third quarter.
    Meanwhile, SMEs are going into debt. We need to levy a tax on profits exceeding $1 billion for banks, insurance companies, oil companies and big box stores. The tax revenue should be used to fund assistance programs, particularly for SMEs. That is how wealth is redistributed. That is also how the impact of the crisis is evenly distributed.
    The Biden administration in the United States has proposed a tax on the super-rich to finance its postpandemic investment plan. There would be a tax on unrealized capital gains, in other words, a tax on dormant income, which would apply to approximately 700 taxpayers and would raise hundreds of millions of dollars, guaranteeing that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share to finance the historic investments needed for a strong recovery.
    Last year in Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that a tax on excess profits earned by big firms in 2020, during the pandemic, would have generated $7.9 billion for the federal treasury.
    One promising solution that should be considered is a global minimum tax. In June 2021, the G7 finance ministers met in London and reached an astonishing landmark agreement to establish an international corporate tax rate of at least 15% and improve the distribution of tax revenues from multinationals.
    I only have six seconds left, but I still have so much to say.

  (1130)  

    Before I take questions, I will conclude by thanking my colleagues for listening so carefully and by stating that the Bloc Québécois will not support these bogus solutions to real problems.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    I do not know if he really took the time to read the motion, but the solutions we are proposing are perhaps not long-term solutions as he suggests. I still feel it is important that we discuss them.
    However, in the short term, for all Canadians and those living in his riding, measures like temporarily suspending the GST on gas and diesel would benefit taxpayers in his riding.
    We understand that it is a short-term measure, but if we want to give our constituents a break, I feel it is important that we do it.
    Madam Speaker, first of all, there is no problem with the part about fertilizer, and I want to make that clear. That is probably one of the things that is having a very big impact on my riding as well.
    The member is talking about giving people a break, but this motion would give a break to the oil companies. There is “short term”, and then there is “short term”. It will only take the oil companies a few months to realize that they can raise prices. They will be even happier. We will end up with the same price at the pump, with more money going to the oil companies and less to the government.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and for the work that he continues to do on international trade.
    I did not quite hear the last few seconds of his speech. Is the Bloc Québécois planning to vote against this motion, given what we just heard about the oil companies not needing a break and the Conservative proposals not really going to help Canadians?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, my colleague is correct; the Bloc Québécois will be voting against this motion.
    I am also happy to see my former colleague from the Standing Committee on International Trade, and I give her my regards.
    That said, I am appealing to our government colleagues. The energy transition ball is also in the government's court, and I would encourage them to listen to us. There needs to be a real transition. As my colleague said, the oil companies are making enough and do not deserve any more profit. We urge the government to take action in this area as well.
    Madam Speaker, I enjoyed hearing my colleague's comments.
    Does he agree that, if we truly want to support ordinary people in crisis, we need to make the rich pay? They need be taxed fairly so that the government can invest in our social systems and support the people, families and communities who are going through very difficult times.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, because I would have liked to speak to that point if I had had more time.
    If I understand the question correctly, in terms of those who are struggling the most, that is exactly what we must do. We need to help those with the lowest incomes. We also need to help seniors by giving them a real pension increase starting at age 65, not a one-time cheque. In other words, we must help the real victims of inflation, with fairer taxes, taxes on obscene profits and on the ultrarich. That will get us somewhere.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot for that excellent speech.
    I have here the Conservatives' opposition day motion. The motion is quite detailed and long. It includes all their failed initiatives from this parliamentary session. For their sake, I am glad it all fits on a letter-sized page. It includes a number of whereases that are hard to argue with, especially the ones about the high cost of living. That is a simple fact. We know inflation has gone up and the price of goods has gone up.
    The whereases are fine. Things are off to a good start. For example, we know the price of gas is over two dollars. We are aware of that. People in my riding are worried about it. The same goes for the price of food, which has gone up over 9%. Other goods have gone up even more. We know that.
    The motion also says that heightened inflation is projected to persist longer than was reasonably believed a while ago. Obviously, economic projections are made with the best information available at the time, and nobody predicted the war in Ukraine. The point is, it is true that the cost of living is higher and will remain higher for some time.
    Based on the solutions offered in the motion, however, it is clear that, although they identified the symptoms of inflation correctly, the Conservatives do not understand the causes. They did not do their homework, and the facts cannot lie. Facts can be checked. The Conservatives are laughing, but they will learn.
    The facts show that household demand has continued to increase, but it is not much higher than it would have been without the pandemic. Habits have changed and people are consuming less services and more goods, which has led to supply chain issues. This is true in Canada, it is true in Quebec and, because we cannot ignore the rest of the world, it is true in the majority of other developed countries.
    On top of that is the war in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine has most certainly had an effect on supply chains, an effect that is still present today, for example, on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Russia is using supplies of grain, food and fuel as a weapon of mass destruction, which has made food prices here skyrocket. This weapon is also being used to make developing countries suffer because they are being held hostage. This is very real.
    If we look at the figures, we can see that 70% of the factors driving the price increases are what we call supply-side factors. Neither we nor the Bank of Canada have any influence over these factors. That is our economic reality. It is unpleasant, hence all the grandstanding we are seeing, but that is our economic reality.
    The Conservative motion proposes solutions to all these supply shock problems. The first solution is to end all federal restrictions on travel, masks and so on. There are not many federal restrictions left, but a few still remain. That is already out of touch.
    I am a member of the Standing Committee on Health, and last week we heard from Dr. MacDonald, a professor at Dalhousie University who specializes in pediatrics and infectious diseases. I asked her if she thought that politicians should stop meddling in health measures and including specific health measures in motions in Parliament. She replied that she agreed, that it did not make any sense. She said that parliamentarians should stop dictating health measures and that these decisions should be made by public health authorities.
    This is true of the Conservatives' motions, but it is also true of the Liberals, who may be using the health measures for political purposes. This has to stop. That is one reason this motion is problematic. It is not the Conservatives' job to dictate health measures in a motion.
    There is also the cost of living. We know that the cost of living is going up. The Conservatives are saying that we need to do something about it and that they will propose something smart. Since March 2022, the solution of the motion's sponsor, the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, has been to support the member for Carleton in the leadership race. We know they are popular. They are saying that what they will do, since everyone is suffering, is fire the Governor of the Bank of Canada. What a brilliant idea, as if firing the Governor of the Bank of Canada is going to help people in Mirabel and Beauce, or our farmers.
    They want to fire the leader of one of the most credible central banks in the world when 70% of inflation is not his responsibility. As for the other 30%, the Conservatives who said he was not taking action are now complaining because he is taking action by raising interest rates. The last time a party or a government was irresponsible enough to propose such a thing was in 1961, when Prime Minister Flemming, who was a Conservative, shockingly enough, said he was going to fire the Governor of the Bank of Canada, James Elliott Coyne.

  (1140)  

    What happened? The government did it by passing legislation, because it was illegal. However, the Senate slammed the door on their faces. Things must be going badly if the Senate is giving lessons on democracy. The Senate told the government that the head of a central bank cannot be fired. Nevertheless, that is where today's Conservatives are headed under the member for Carleton. They are going to be given a lesson on democracy by the Senate. Lucky them.
    There are solutions, and we have proposed some. The first is to tax oil companies in order to fund our public services and launch assistance programs. I am sure the Conservatives will say this is a Bloc fantasy.
    There is only one entity in the world that is proposing to abolish gas taxes, and that is the Conservative Party of Canada. However, on May 26, the U.K. proposed a 25% windfall tax that is expected to bring in $6 billion U.S. I did not make this up; their Conservative friends in Britain proposed it.
    On June 4, the Biden administration suggested a similar tax, which is now being studied. India is also thinking about this. How amazing to think that India is a step ahead of the Conservatives.
    The Conservatives' solution is to lower taxes. As my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot said, the oil companies are going to lie low for a few weeks, like they did in Alberta. Then, once the public relations crisis is over, they will raise prices. They know full well that people are not going to run out and buy electric vehicles tomorrow morning, and that they will have to keep filling up their tanks. The Conservative motion will not help farmers in the member for Beauce's riding, I can promise him that.
    What should we do instead? First, we need to increase seniors' purchasing power. Where in the motion is the increase to the federal pension for seniors? Nowhere.
    There needs to be a program to support the people who are most affected, such as farmers, who cannot buy a Tesla combine. Where is the targeted program for them? Nowhere.
    There needs to be a program to help taxi drivers, including Uber drivers. Where is that program in the Conservative motion? Nowhere.
    We need to address the labour shortage. There was nothing in the budget tabled by the Liberals, who are no better. Where in the Conservative motion are the solutions to the labour shortage? Nowhere.
    We are talking about real people who are being affected by these higher prices. Where is the proposal for increasing the GST rebate and issuing cheques more frequently every month? It is nowhere to be found, either from the government or from the Conservatives.
    We asked that fertilizers that had been ordered and paid for before the crisis in Ukraine started be cleared for delivery. That is not in the motion, although we do support the part about the tariffs on fertilizer. It just goes to show that there is always a little light in the darkness.
    Where is the Conservatives' proposal for fixing social housing? We need 60,000 units in Montreal just to start getting back on track. Where is the Conservatives' proposal for sending that money to Quebec, since the Liberals think sending money to Quebec is even harder than building housing? Nowhere.
    Where is the money for real housing, for real families who are on a real budget, with real children who go to real schools? Rather than helping people, the Conservatives are fixating on the governor of the central bank.
    Where is the tax credit for experienced workers in our supply chains? It is nowhere to be found in the Conservative motion.
     Where is the Conservatives' proposal for handing over control of the temporary foreign worker program to Quebec so that farmers in Oka, Mirabel or Sainte‑Anne‑des‑Plaines get the people they need, so that the process is efficient and there is no need to conduct the same labour market impact assessment twice? Nowhere.
    Where is their aerospace policy that will help us become more efficient at research and development, seeing as Canada is the only country with such a large industry and no aerospace policy? Nowhere. The Liberals will tell us that they gave $800 million to Bell Textron. We know that, and we are happy about it. However, Canada still has no policy.
    This Conservative motion is devoid of substance. As for the Liberals, they will do what they always do, which is stand up and tell us that they have increased family benefits indexed to inflation. However, indexation is always one year behind, and people are living with 6% to 7% inflation right now.
    There are solutions out there, and we have proposed some, but they are nowhere to be found in this motion.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech about the economy.
    However, this is just a motion. It is not the Conservatives' budget. It is just a motion designed to help all the people in our ridings, be they in Nova Scotia or Quebec. It is just the Conservatives' straightforward way of trying to help all Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague is a great person and I thank him for his question.
    They have the right idea. They identified a problem and they want to find solutions. However, the Bloc Québécois and I find that these solutions are short term and not a good fit for the situation. These are not the right solutions.
    I realize that this is not a Conservative budget, thank God. However, it does give us some indication that, if the Conservatives were in power, oil companies would take precedence over the people of my riding.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with what my colleague just said in the House.
    He talked about the importance of coming up with solutions. Does the Bloc Québécois have some solutions and some concrete, long-term economic policy ideas that can help us develop well-thought-out policies in the House?
    Madam Speaker, I just spent 10 minutes proposing solutions that were not in the motion, as I said. The Bloc Québécois has obviously been proposing plenty of solutions.
    However, the government keeps saying that inflation is temporary, that we are in a supply and affordability crisis because of what is happening in Ukraine. In question period every day, when ministers read their talking points prepared by the Prime Minister's Office, they keep saying it is temporary.
    Today I am suggesting concrete solutions for people who are experiencing these problems right now. Obviously, long-term solutions do exist. We have been asking for an aerospace policy in Quebec for 10, 12, 15 years, and we have yet to see one. We are proposing solutions. I spent 10 minutes doing just that.
    Obviously, we are in a crisis, and this calls for crisis solutions, which need to be brought in immediately. Unfortunately, the budget was devoid of these kinds of solutions.

  (1150)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech.
    I think we can agree that, in this time of inflation, while some things are indeed out of the government's control, there are some measures it could be taking.
    What is missing from the Conservative analysis is a real assessment of the role of the private sector and how it is contributing to inflation. We must not forget that aspect in our analysis. I wonder if my hon. colleague could elaborate on that.
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives think that the private sector is the solution for everything. That is because they took economics 101, but did not bother with economics 102. Public goods is a real thing.
    The governments that are the closest to the people on the ground, providing them with services to support them, are the governments of Quebec and the provinces. That is why I invite our NDP colleagues to support the unconditional increase of health transfers, so that the money goes directly to the provinces. I also invite them to support unconditional transfers for housing, so that the provinces can house people. These solutions rarely come from Ottawa because Ottawa is not in touch with people and Canada is a big country where there is a lot of diversity in the economic structure and in mentalities. The federal government needs to trust Quebec and the provinces and give them the money.
    I am not a huge federalist, on the contrary, but if my colleague believes in federalism, he has to believe in the ability of the governments of Quebec and the provinces to help people. That is all.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.
    I want to speak to what is a bit of a grab bag of various initiatives that we have largely seen before in the House in other Conservative opposition day motions. I take it that my colleagues on the Conservative side will not be surprised at the fact that New Democrats do not intend to support this motion because we have actually debated and voted on most of these initiatives already in the House. In fact, one wonders if there is not a procedural question about revisiting some of the same decisions in the House, but I will put that procedural point on hold to address what I take to be the substantive issues in the motion.
    The motion is talking about a very real problem that Canadians are experiencing and, frankly, cannot get away from, which is the incredible price increases at the grocery store, at the pump and elsewhere on just about everything, which is making it really difficult for Canadians to operate within their normal budget. We all know that wages are not keeping pace with the extent of the price increases we are seeing, so we certainly welcome an opportunity to talk about the impact that inflation is having on Canadians and to propose solutions, even where we disagree about what those solutions ought to be.
    One of the solutions proposed in the motion is to simply lift all public health restrictions. New Democrats have said many times in the House that we support public health officials leading those conversations, as they have in provinces, where they have come to certain conclusions and federal public health officials, at the moment, have come to different conclusions. We support public health officials making those decisions.
    We also believe that Canadians have a right to know the evidence and information on which those decisions are based. I think the government's refusal to table that evidence and make it public has created a problem of public trust in our institutions, which is growing. I would beseech the government to make that information public and to be very frank about the recommendations it is getting from public health, including the data and evidence that support them, because that is important to building and maintaining public trust in our institutions. It is something that we need now more than ever, and the government is doing a disservice to Canadians and our institutions by not being more forthcoming with the information it is receiving from public health officials.
    Even as we support public health officials, we certainly have our own critique of the how the government has handled the file and what that has meant in Canadians' own attitudes toward our public health officials at the federal level. As I say, we call upon the government to do better in supporting those institutions and Canadians by being frank, open and accountable about the information that drives its decision-making.
    However, that is not the call here. The call here is to substitute politicians for public health officials and say that the House of Commons should decide, rather than experts based on the best available evidence, and that is a wrong turn. It is not one that we have supported at anytime during the pandemic, and it is not one that we are going to support at this time or anytime in the future, even as we encourage the government to do a better job of making that information available.
    I will speak more generally now for a moment about the motion because it talks about a number of things. It talks about lowering the GST and the carbon tax on the price of gas, even though that is a solution that does not touch as many people as it needs to because we know there are a lot of people who do not drive vehicles who are also suffering from inflation. They are the people who ride their bikes and take public transportation and cannot afford to own a car, and this solution helps perpetuate a culture that is driving climate change. It is bereft of any kind of meaningful thinking about the next real economic crisis, which has already started to make itself felt and is only going to continue to make itself felt to a greater and greater degree.
    Our solution to inflation in the present moment cannot be one that is going to compound a growing economic problem, which is the problem of climate change. We have to find solutions to inflation now that also set us up for success moving into the future. We are going to have to continue to grapple with serious economic challenges that will cause economic displacement and will continue to cause upward cost pressures on goods of all kinds as climate change will continue to interfere with supply chains beyond the life of the pandemic.

  (1155)  

    When I said I wanted to speak a little more generally, what I meant was that what is characteristic of Conservative solutions, as they call them, is that they are completely blind to the role the private sector plays in driving inflation. It is as if the private sector is completely innocent, that corporate board members are completely innocent, that the CEOs of large companies like oil and gas companies, big box stores, insurance companies and banks, which have all made a killing during the pandemic with profits way above their prepandemic norms, are somehow innocent, and if we only left it more to them, everything would work out.
    They do not talk about the kind of good work that has been done by the member for Windsor West on gas prices to actually do something. When we talk about raising taxes on oil and gas companies, they say that this will just get passed onto the consumer and, in the next breath, they say, “Let us cut taxes on gas.” As if those same companies, which have been known to jack up the price of gas by 8¢ a litre just because of a long weekend, are not going to take that space up themselves, now that they know that people are prepared to pay for it. The blind spots are inexcusable.
    The way to take meaningful action on gas prices is to follow the lead of the member for Windsor West, who has talked about establishing a price monitoring board that would look at real data from the oil and gas industry and determine what their pricing might be. We then need to have an ombudsperson who would be able to take complaints from Canadians who notice that the price of gas jumps every time somebody sneezes internationally and there is worry that it might cause a crisis. Well, actually, they are not worried. They see it as an opportunity for speculation.
    That is what needs to be reined in, and the only way to do that is by properly regulating the market. When we do that, we could increase taxes on oil and gas companies that have made record profits over the course of the pandemic, and we would know that this money can be reinvested back into Canadians without them having to pay for it at the pump. That is how one sets up an infrastructure to actually look after Canadians and make sure that they are being treated fairly. We do not hear that except from the NDP in this place.
    I hope that we will start to hear about it from more than New Democrats because it is something that actually ought to get done. However, the idea that, somehow, just by giving a little bit of a break at the pump for those who are driving vehicles is going to be the solution to inflation is facile. It puts us on the wrong track in the much bigger economic problem we are facing, which is climate change.
    We talk about housing. The solution for housing proposed here is to have a public inquiry into money laundering. Well, we should be looking into money laundering and the role it is playing, but if we are talking about urgent action to help people during the pandemic, people would be much better off getting a bigger GST rebate, paid for by the largest companies that are making the biggest profits. I named those industries earlier: oil and gas, insurance and banking. Big box stores have also seen giant increases in profits.
    That is something that would go directly to Canadians who are the most in need. It is something we can do now. It is something that the government has already done during the course of the pandemic, and that is why we know it can be done. We know it can be done quickly, and we know that it helps. Providing an extra $500 on the Canada child benefit this year is another way to help families that are struggling with rising costs. That is something that we can do right away.
    We know that there are companies operating in Canada that have made additional profits that Canadians have paid for, so I ask what the difference is between that and a tax. Canadians go to the grocery store to buy food for their family, and Loblaws or somebody else has decided to jack up the price in a moment of opportunity, as they see it, or whatever the rationale is, maybe to shield themselves from future risk. Whatever it is, they have decided that Canadians are going to pay more for things they cannot do without and that is going to go into their bank account. The difference between that and a tax is that this never gets reinvested into Canadians at the bottom and the services that they need.
    That is where a tax, if it is done well, is better than what we too often hear from the Conservatives.
    On the question of tariffs on fertilizer, I think there is an interesting point here. The Conservatives clearly have put together a list of things with people that they want to be able to talk to and please, and there are some important points about the tariff on fertilizer that I will get to in the questions and comments, but the fact of the matter is that this reads more like a target demographic list of people they want to fundraise on.

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, I was happy to listen to the member opposite's speech, but the NDP has truly fallen far from being the party of hard-working Canadians.
    In this motion, we talk about getting rid of restrictions and mandates so people can go back to work. These are people in the public service and the RCMP across this nation. There are three million to four million people who have not been able to go to work.
    Also, those same people cannot travel within their own country, yet all this member wants to talk about is big corporations and how they are bad for Canadians and never help Canadians. What we want to do is talk about a few things, and one of which is getting Canadians back to work.
    How far has the NDP fallen that its members do not even care if people can provide for their families anymore? This member should be ashamed of that speech.
    Madam Speaker, I am certainly not ashamed to stand up to talk about something we will never hear from the Conservatives, which is the extent to which corporate Canada is also putting pain on Canadians. We are also not embarrassed to be proposing real solutions about that.
    I will suppress the unparliamentary phrase that comes to mind as an appropriate response to the member's question and just say that people who want to go back to work also want to go back to safe workplaces. For as much as there are people who are frustrated they have not been able to go to work because they did not get the vaccine, there are also a lot of people who are glad to be in a safe workplace and glad to follow the directives of public health officials.
    As I said, we believe government should do a better job of reinforcing faith in those public officials by being open and transparent about the information they are getting from them, but a safe workplace is also about standing up for workers. That is something we are proud to do on this side of the House.
    Madam Speaker, the motion talks about tariffs on fertilizer, and we all know Russia is a major exporter of fertilizer. This is not necessarily about previous contracts but contracts moving forward. Does the member have any thoughts regarding the issue?
    An hon. member: That is not true and you know it.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, does the member believe the federal government should be relieving tariffs on fertilizer?
    There are questions and comments coming from members of the official opposition, and I would just ask them to please hold off until I recognize them. They have already had the opportunity to ask a question.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona has the floor.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, the motion simply says “eliminating tariffs on fertilizer”. The member for Winnipeg North is right to point out that tariffs were imposed on fertilizer coming from Russia as part of our effort to punish Vladimir Putin.
    The legitimate issue here is that there are farmers who signed contracts to buy fertilizer as part of their pricing for the year before the invasion of Ukraine, so there is a real question of fairness in retroactively imposing a tariff on farmers who had already signed contracts to get that fertilizer and who had built it into their pricing structure for the year.
    We are not hearing that kind of conversation from the Conservatives. They are not trying to build a parliamentary consensus. They are trying to build a fundraising list. That comes across very clearly in the motion.
    An hon. member: That is wrong.
    I want to remind members of the official opposition that it is not time for questions and comments unless I recognize them, and if they have other questions and comments, then they should stand and attempt to be recognized. Otherwise, I would ask them to please hold on to their thoughts, jot them down and wait for the appropriate time to do that.
    Continuing with questions and comments, the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot has the floor.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, thank you for recognizing that I have the floor.
    I would like to ask my colleague, with whom I had the pleasure of serving on the Standing Committee on International Trade during the last Parliament—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

[English]

    Once again, it is really disrespectful what is happening in the House right now, and I would ask the parliamentary secretary not to partake in discussions going back and forth with the official opposition when somebody else has the floor.
    I know most members who are participating in this right now have been in the House for some time. They should know what the rules of the House are.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be able to hear myself talk without anyone talking over me when I am trying to ask a question.
    In 2021, we floated the idea of a type of minimum tax for G7 countries to prevent competition among the tax systems and to prevent multinationals from taking advantage of that competition to engage in blackmail, for example, by threatening one country that they would move to a neighbouring country if the former did not lower its tax rate. That is a good idea that seems to break with the neo-liberalism that has prevailed for several decades.
    What does my colleague think about that?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, which was asked in the appropriate way.
    I think we have been in a race to the bottom for far too long. An agreement that would guarantee a fair minimum tax rate is a very good idea. I think it would be a good thing for companies that want to stay in Canada but are in competition with companies whose operations are located in countries with lower tax rates.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to this Conservative opposition day motion because I think it identifies a very real problem facing Canadians: inflation generally, and the price of gas, the price of food and the price of housing.
    Unfortunately, it does something the Conservatives are wont to do recently, which is ignore the ongoing pandemic. It asks us to ignore health experts in favour of so-called freedom from mandates. I would just remind members of the House that in my home province of British Columbia, in the last week of May, 44 people died from COVID. We have many people, some of whom I know quite well, who are suffering from long COVID, and many members, or certainly many citizens of British Columbia, are receiving things like cancer treatments that compromise their immune systems, so there are lots of reasons why we should continue to listen to the health experts and not simply adopt some political position on mandates.
    I would agree with the Conservatives on only one small aspect, which is that I think the government has an obligation to show its work, as we say, when it comes to mandates. I believe that public health officials will do what is right, but the government needs to show us the evidence it is using for the decisions it is making, which it was pretty good at during the early stages of the pandemic, but seems to have forgotten about now.
    Having identified the affordability crisis, of course the Conservatives like to say the solution is more money in Canadians' pockets. Strangely, there is some agreement here. I believe there are some Canadians who need more money in their pockets. The problem is this: Which Canadians need that money in their pockets? The Conservative solution is to make sure that the pockets that get filled are those of large corporations and not the people who are actually facing an affordability crisis in their families.
    When it comes to gas prices, let us look at the profits of oil companies. In the first quarter of 2022 only, Imperial Oil recorded $1.17 billion in profits. This was its best record in 30 years. Suncor recorded a profit, in the first quarter only, of $2.95 billion, which is four times its profits last year. What is going on here is profiteering. These are companies that are taking advantage of the international situation, of the climate crisis and of all kinds of things to line their own pockets. The Conservative solution here, first of all, is a bit ironic, because it is to increase the deficit by decreasing our tax revenues. It is also to trust that the oil companies would not just fill that space with their own price increases and scoop up all the benefits of any tax reductions. There is no mechanism to prevent that, and we have seen the record, over and over again, of the oil companies: they will take any advantage to increase their profits. The Conservative solution risks lining the pockets of big oil and providing nothing for families who are struggling with high gas prices on a daily basis.
    The New Democrats have instead called for an excess profits tax not just on oil companies, but also on big banks and large food retailers. Scotiabank recorded profits of over $10 billion last year, the Bank of Montreal had over $8 billion, Loblaws had a net profit of $1.2 billion, and Sobeys, a smaller player, had over $600 million in profits. The Conservative proposal would increase the deficit and inflationary pressures, and there would be nothing about these record profits being racked up by the big corporations. It would take away necessary revenues for providing some help to those who really are hit by the affordability crisis. We know who is hardest hit: It is the seniors living on a fixed income, people with disabilities, indigenous people and northerners.
    We must never forget that these impacts are strongly gendered, I will say, in that when we look at women over 65, a vast majority of them are living in poverty, especially single women over the age of 65. When we look at single-parent families who are living in poverty, the vast majority are headed by women, so when we are talking about these impacts of affordability, we have to remember that they hit particularly hard at Canadian women, no matter their age or their family status.
    I want to thank the member for Nunavut, who continually raises the food insecurity problem in the north, for bringing our attention to it again today. The biggest impact of these rising costs for Canadian families is food insecurity.
    I want to draw the House's attention to the report released yesterday by Food Banks Canada. Canada, one of the richest countries in the world and one of the major food-producing countries in the world, now reports that 23% of Canadians, over seven million Canadians, reported going hungry in the past year because they could not afford to buy food. One-third of Canadians earning less than $50,000 a year reported having to skip meals because they did not have enough money, and 43% of indigenous people, to the enormous shame of this country, reported food insecurity that caused them to go hungry for more than one day.

  (1210)  

    What is the solution? Food banks do their best to fill that gap in our income system and in our food system, but we cannot keep asking charitable, hard-working volunteers to solve the food insecurity crisis. We need to step up and solve that crisis by putting more money in the pockets of those who face food insecurity, immediately and in the long term.
    Conservatives point to that problem of food insecurity in their preamble, but then when we look down into the solutions in today's motion, there are none. There is nothing to actually help people who face food insecurity, unlike New Democrats' proposed measures to put money in the hands of those most vulnerable to food insecurity right now and in the long term. We have always called for an increase to OAS and GIS benefits for seniors. Seniors cannot do anything about rising food prices, because most of them already spend all of their fixed income. Their only choice is to eat less and put their health at risk. Again, we would like to see an increase to OAS and GIS.
    We have called for an immediate hike to the Canada child benefit. Even a modest hike as we are calling for, of $500 a year, would provide an increase on a monthly basis to families with kids trying to meet food costs. We know there are lots of parents who go hungry and will not report it so they can feed their kids. They skip meals. They do not eat the nutritious meals they need as adults, so they can provide that food to their kids. An increase right away to the Canada child benefit would help meet that crisis, and would continue in the long run to help people with food security.
    A doubling of the GST tax credit for low-income Canadians would go a long way in the short and long term to helping to meet that crisis of food insecurity.
    It is interesting that the data that was released yesterday by Food Banks Canada also shows that 60% of those who use food banks report that housing costs are the main reason they are at the food bank. They cannot afford to buy healthy, nutritious food for their families because they are already paying way too much of their limited income to meet their housing needs.
    This time, the Conservative motion acknowledges the affordability crisis in housing, but it proposes a national inquiry in money laundering as if this would have some impact on the provision of affordable housing units. I believe that we need to crack down on money laundering, absolutely. I do not think we need an inquiry to know what we need to do. Nevertheless, I cannot find the connection between the Conservatives saying there is a crisis in affordability and that we should have an inquiry into money laundering. It just does not make any sense to me.
    New Democrats, instead, favour measures to curb the use of housing for speculative investments. We need to crack down on corporate landlords who are gobbling up affordable housing in many cities across Canada, and then renovicting the people who have lived in that affordable housing and forcing them out onto the street or into their families' overcrowded housing units.
     We also need to crack down on real estate investment trusts. Real estate investment trusts get privileged tax treatment. They get tax breaks for buying up affordable housing. I just cannot imagine why we think that is good public policy in this country. I would love to see us eliminate the special tax treatment for real estate investment trusts. Obviously, we would have to phase in something like that, because people have done a lot of their financial planning based on it, but still it is something in the short and long term that we could do to address using the housing market for speculation and profit.
    Instead, we should be doing something that I have always called for as a New Democrat and that we have always worked for. That is to get the government back into the business of building non-profit housing in very large numbers. The market will never provide the housing that we need at the low end. It will continue to build high-end housing until the cows come home, as they used to say where I was raised, but it will never provide those affordable housing units.
    Non-profit housing could provide the housing security that is necessary for families. They do not necessarily have to own a single family house to feel secure in their housing. They could get a unit in a non-profit housing co-operative, for instance, and raise their kids in that security. It also creates a sense of community: of people who live together and have a common interest in taking care of their housing needs.
     New Democrats are not the only ones who make the obvious link between the high cost of housing and homelessness, but it is something I do not hear the Conservatives talking about. It is something I rarely hear the Liberals or the Conservatives talking about. When I look in my community, I see the unfortunate complaints that are coming up about people feeling unsafe in the streets because of homeless people.
    What is the solution? First of all, I do not think homeless people are the problem, in terms of safety locally. The solution is housing in the short term, so that those people are not forced onto the streets.

  (1215)  

    Of course, the member for Winnipeg Centre has been very vocal, this week and always, in calling for the government to immediately fund a low-barrier, safe shelter place for indigenous women in Winnipeg Centre, and it is a good example—
    I am sorry, but the hon. member's time is up. I have been trying to give him some signals to let him know that it was coming to an end. The hon. member will have an opportunity to say more during questions and comments.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    I do not know where to start here. As I understand his speech, the member said reducing the sales tax is repugnant and should not be supported because it contributes to the overall deficit. Is it not the whole point that we are trying to put money back into people's pockets based on their consumption? I do not understand that.
    The member has spoken at length about the government's response when it comes to a failure to tax this and failure to tax that, yet for every single vote of matter, whether it is for shutting down debate in the House or curtailing debate, his party stands up and supports the government.
    Given his issues with the government and all that it has stood for, which he pointed out today, will he be supporting the government tonight? I ask because it sounds like he should have no confidence in the government.

  (1220)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question because it gives me time to talk about the confidence and supply agreement we reached with the government.
    Some of the goals in the confidence and supply agreement are things like providing dental care, which will help poor families take care of their kids and help seniors take care of their teeth. What is most important to me in that agreement is the early launch of a for indigenous, by indigenous housing strategy, which will get secure housing built for first nations across this country.
    There are many reasons in that confidence and supply agreement to support the government, but there are no reasons that I would support a cut to the GST or HST that would only benefit the wealthy and the big corporations.
    Madam Speaker, I want to pick up on one of the points the member raised, because I have been a long-term advocate for it. In fact, back in the late 1980s, we advocated for Weston, a community in Winnipeg's northwest end, to develop the Weston housing co-op.
    It has been a long time since we have seen the development of co-ops, but for the first time, we are seeing how the Government of Canada can ensure that we see co-ops grow across this country. There is a great value to that. I always say that in a housing co-op, one is not a tenant but a resident, and that is a huge difference.
    I wonder if the member could provide his thoughts and perspective on housing co-ops giving many people the opportunity to have a sense of ownership in an affordable fashion.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Winnipeg North for his question on co-operatives. I am a big fan of co-operatives, and there are lots in my riding.
    One thing I would like to see Canada Mortgage and Housing do right now is invest in the redevelopment and rebuilding of co-ops. Many of the co-ops in my riding are quite old, are quite low density and have only relatively large family-style units. People who want to stay in those co-operatives need that redevelopment. If we build some new one-bedroom units, they can stay in their communities. People have learned that co-ops provide housing security in the long term.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, what worries me about this Conservative motion is the tax that could benefit oil companies. If we truly want to be free from the rising cost of oil, then we need to be less dependent on oil overall. My colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot illustrated this quite well. Right now, we need to be talking about investing in a green energy transition and divesting ourselves of oil.
    How does my colleague explain his support for a government that, unfortunately, continues to invest in Bay du Nord and in the oil industry?
    Also, we have not truly embarked on a transition. How does my colleague feel about the Liberals' failure to take action on the energy transition, which is an important step in distancing ourselves from this industry?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, my answer is quite clear. Outside of the confidence and supply agreement, we have complete freedom as New Democrats to oppose the government on things like its failure to respond adequately to the climate crisis.
    I would point out that the motion in front of us today really exacerbates the climate crisis by providing a way for big companies to get more profits that they can reinvest in oil in the long term, instead of addressing things like food insecurity and homelessness in this country.
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of the opposition motion before this chamber. While obviously I cannot speak for other members of this place, I can state that the affordability crisis in many parts of my riding is critical. I am reasonably certain that other members of this place also hear similar concerns from some of their citizens.
    The recent rise in interest rates is taking as much as $700 or more out of people's household budgets. Gas and diesel prices are also taking a huge toll. I recognize that there are members who represent ridings where gas and diesel prices probably do not matter as much, perhaps those with a large urban city and good public transit.
     I know that often in this place we debate how the carbon tax only drives up the price of gas and diesel, causing hardship on many Canadian families. I also know that in response, the Prime Minister will often say that this is not true because of carbon tax rebates. Here is the thing. Someone who lives in a large urban city and seldom uses a car, even if they own one, probably does come out ahead with the carbon tax rebates. However, we seem to have hit a situation here in Canada where, under the Liberal government, vast amounts of policy are geared toward those who live in urban centres.
     We must be mindful that we collectively represent the national interests of all Canadians, and many Canadians, particularly in parts of my riding, absolutely depend on owning a vehicle that must be driven daily. In parts of my riding, there is still no high-speed Internet, despite seven years of Liberal promises to the contrary. In fact, there are even a few areas where people cannot get a wireless signal. Many secondary roads may only see a snowplow once a day in harder winter conditions, if that. People not only need a car, but need one with all-wheel drive and significant ground clearance to navigate these roads in the winter.
    I should also add that in many of these small rural communities, public transport is not available. Even Greyhound is now gone. For most, there might be one grocery store or possibly two. Prices were always a struggle in these communities due to a lack of competition and high transport costs, but right now, with record high inflation, things have never been worse.

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    Many families are really struggling right now.
    I heard about a senior on a fixed income who volunteers at a local thrift shop. She has been volunteering there for many years and understands how important these thrift shops are to low-income families. She can no longer afford the gas to get to her volunteer job at the shop.
    I have heard about young families that had to cancel their summer vacations because of the high price of gas. Many local small business owners have spoken about having to pass on the much higher shipping costs, which makes them less competitive with online retailers.

[English]

     I have heard from contractors who bid on jobs that they have to commute to complete them. Now the higher costs have eaten away at their profit margins. Everywhere I look, I am hearing from citizens who are being hit hard by the lack of affordability. High inflation and higher interest rates are causing the perfect storm.
    Again, I feel the need to point this out: This is not the case everywhere in Canada. Wealthy citizens are largely not impacted by this. Likewise, for those people in larger cities where they are less car dependent, I am certain they are less severely impacted. However, we must recognize that we are here for all Canadians.
    While I am on my feet, I would like to mention that I am splitting my time with the hon. member for Brandon—Souris, who will be giving an excellent speech that I am sure this chamber will approve.
    We must recognize that we are supposed to be here for all Canadians. That includes people who live in smaller communities, such as Princeton, Merritt, Keremeos, Cawston, Olalla and Logan Lake. Of course, there are also unincorporated rural areas where these problems are even more challenging.
    This opposition day motion cannot cure all of the challenges facing Canadians who live in these areas, but these measures could and would provide some assistance. They send a message of hope that people who are elected and sent to Ottawa are listening and that we are trying to do what we can to make life a bit easier for Canadians who are not wealthy and who live in rural areas.
    Let us make no mistake that these challenges disproportionately impact those who live in rural areas of Canada. These are good people who send a significant amount of their paycheque here to Ottawa. They watch a federal Liberal government that does not think twice about giving $12 million to a multi-billion dollar grocery corporation so it can buy new refrigerators. I mention this point because imagine what it feels like for people struggling financially in a small community like Hedley, where there is no high school and they must drive their kids to school, to hear some members of Parliament say these proposed savings do not add up to much. To them, every dollar counts.
     Let us keep in mind that many citizens who live in rural areas often do so because those are the only areas where they can find affordable housing for their families. They hear the Prime Minister say that gas prices are exactly what he wants, but in a place like Hedley, where people must commute to either Princeton or Keremeos and where a car or truck is the lifeline for services, school, groceries, supplies and a job, what do they do? Sometimes in this place I think the Prime Minister has forgotten places like Hedley and that those who live there absolutely need and depend on owning and driving a car. They should not be demonized for that fact.
    The proposed measures in the motion would help them and would send a valuable and important message: that in a time of need, this Parliament tried to help, or at least those who will vote in support of the motion can take some comfort in knowing they tried to do something. Those who oppose it can, I suppose, ask themselves differently.
    The bottom line is that I believe these proposed measures are a small but important step to help make life more affordable. Other G7 leaders are taking these actions to help make life more affordable for the citizens they serve. I am calling on all hon. members of this place to take action, vote in support of the motion and send a message that we are trying to make life more affordable for our citizens, who are struggling right now. The Prime Minister once said better is always possible, but after seven years under the Prime Minister, the reality for many Canadians is that more expensive is always possible, because their costs are going up and up and nothing is getting more affordable, despite the promises of the Prime Minister to the contrary.
    We have a critically urgent situation in many parts of Canada, and it is indeed now the time to take action by voting in support of the motion, in support of giving Canadians a break at the pumps and in support of our farmers, so they can keep their input costs down, particularly for fertilizer, and can plant food and feed the world. The Russians have been bombing key strategic areas in Ukraine to block wheat transports. This is a crisis of affordability not just for Canadians, but for people around the world. Canadian farmers can be part of the solution, but they cannot do this if they cannot get some certainty and cannot plant accordingly.
    We can also start to address long-term issues. Despite what other members of this place say, money laundering has been a major focus of the Cullen commission in my province of British Columbia. The Cullen commission has now reported to government, and the first thing that happened with money laundering in casinos is the government tightened things up. Guess what happened then. Suspicious transaction reports in Ontario immediately doubled. When one jurisdiction within Canada starts to tighten its rules, we will see that pushed to other areas.
     The Government of Canada owes it to every Canadian to make sure it is doing everything it can, particularly when so many millennials feel the system is rigged. They feel they cannot get a mortgage because they have been excluded by the Liberal stress test. They feel that other speculative forces, such as money laundering, are entering the market and making things difficult. They will feel alienated if we do not allow them to get a home.
     There are some common-sense measures in the motion, and I hope that all hon. members will look at them. We may not be able to make life easy in a time of struggle, but we can always make it easier. We can let Canadians know that Parliament, the House of Commons, is on their side.

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, I have a very specific question for the member, for clarification purposes. Clause (c) says that the Conservative Party is now proposing to eliminate tariffs on fertilizer. In other words, one could actually purchase fertilizer from Russia and not have to pay a tariff.
    Is that really what the Conservatives are saying in this motion?
    Madam Speaker, I am glad the member brought that up. No other G7 country is putting these tariffs on.
    Let us remember who pays the tariffs. The tariffs are actually eaten up by the farmers who have to pay to get them. The money is not going to Russia; the money is going to the government. If we want to be able to feed the world, particularly given the focus by the Russian military on destroying the strategic access to market of Ukraine's grain, such as wheat, it has to come from somewhere, and it is not coming from the current government so far. The government is not willing to give the tools farmers need to be able to put food on people's plates. That is bad for Canada, bad for farmers and bad for the world.

  (1235)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I have a great deal of respect for him.
    I am disappointed because today the Conservative Party has an omnibus motion for us after they slammed Bill C‑19 for being an appalling mammoth of a bill, and that was echoed by the Bloc Québécois. Now they present us with this motion in a sort of giant lump. There is so much in there that I am surprised it does not say “build more pipelines” somewhere. It is mind-boggling.
    There are a bunch of issues we agree on, such as fertilizer and the real estate market. It really upsets me that we cannot vote on those issues because they are all lumped together with many other things, such as scrapping the carbon tax, for example.
    Here is my question for the member: Does he really expect to get support for this motion, or is this just a ploy to make all the other parties look like the bad guys?
    I would like to remind the hon. member to address his questions through the Chair and not directly to the member.
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am disappointed that the Bloc is not seeing the bigger picture here.
    British Columbia has its own provincial carbon tax. That is something this motion would not affect whatsoever, but what it would affect is the GST. The goods and services tax is actually a tax on all provincial tax excise and the provincial-federal gas tax excise, as well as any carbon taxes. When we pay at the pump, that GST gets added to the total of it. This is one way in which that particular portion, that 5% on every dollar, would stay in the pockets of Canadians and it would not go to anyone else. This is a way we could actually start to help people, both on commuting and also on groceries, because groceries are heavily dependent on gas prices.
    Madam Speaker, the New Democrats continue to put forward proposals to double the GST rebate and to increase the child tax credit by $500, yet the Conservatives do not support that. In fact, they continue to stand up for big oil. The member talked about the system being rigged; it is rigged, because Liberals are afraid to tax oil and gas. Who needs oil lobbyists, when we have the Conservative Party?
    This motion is quick to cut taxes and other sources of revenue for government, but it offers nothing to protect consumers. In fact, all it would do is increase profits for oil and gas.
    Madam Speaker, that member should come to see some truths here.
    First of all, when the Harper government lowered the GST from 7% to 5%, it maintained the 7% rebates for those on low income, which helped out seniors. Conservatives have always tried to help people with the lowest means. At the other side of this, New Democrats keep saying this will help oil companies, but the GST is applied on the transaction after everything else has been taken into account. This motion would mean money in people's pockets, which they can spend on things like food. Doug Porter from the Bank of Montreal has said that we should stop trying to entrench inflation, and gas prices are a way to do that at grocery stores. This motion would help.
    Madam Speaker, it is my privilege today to speak to our opposition day motion.
    The number one issue facing my constituents right now is the fact that they cannot pay their bills, put fuel in their tank and put groceries on their table. Inflation is costing everyone an extra $2,000 this year alone. Seniors, students and working families are getting crushed by the dramatic rise in the cost of almost everything they purchase. Food is up almost 9.7% in the last year alone. Gas is at record highs and there seems to be no end in sight. Housing is now out of reach for millions of Canadians, who will never be able to have a home of their own, which, as a grandparent, greatly concerns me.
    The government should be seized by this issue, but all it has are empty talking points. It still does not have a plan to address inflation and fix the supply chain issues. In fact, in a recent consumer debt index survey from MNP, 53% of Canadians surveyed said they are $200 a month away from being unable to pay their bills at the end of every month and meet their debt obligations. That is proof in itself that families are struggling to get by.
    I want to focus my speech on the dramatic rise in the price of energy. Driving to work or heating or cooling one's home is not a luxury. It is a necessity in Canada. For those thinking the government cannot do anything to ease the price at the pump, let me just remind them, as we have heard from some of our opposition colleagues, that a significant portion of every litre of gas they pay for is heavily taxed.
    If a constituent in Brandon, Manitoba went to the gas station and filled up an F-150, which is probably one of the most widely owned trucks in Canada, it would cost an astonishing $266.56. Out of that $266 to fill up the tank, the GST and the carbon tax combined would amount to $28.26. In my constituency, it is not unusual for residents to have to fill up their tank at least three times a month, as they have to drive long distances to go to work, drop the kids off at school, get groceries or go to the hospital.
    If we pass this Conservative motion, we would provide immediate relief from the record-high energy prices by suspending the GST and the carbon tax. That would result in tax savings of close to $85 a month. For some, that may not seem like a lot, but I can assure my colleagues that for a working family, that is a lot of money.
    Constituents of Brandon—Souris are disproportionately affected by the carbon tax. The Liberal government needs to start realizing that its policies affect rural and urban Canadians quite differently. My riding covers a span of well over 17,000 square kilometres. That figure may be hard to picture for the Minister of Finance, who lives in downtown Toronto, the ninth-smallest riding in Canada, but that is roughly the same size as three Prince Edward Islands put together.
    I am a proud Manitoban. I am also proud to be from rural Canada. Unfortunately, I do not believe the government has any regard for the livelihoods and concerns of those who are from that portion of our great nation. Many members of the Liberal government probably do not understand what life in rural Manitoba is like. Let me paint a picture of it for them.
    In my entire riding, there are only nine police stations and one Walmart. For many, the nearest full-scale hospital is a drive of up to two hours away. There is little to no public transportation in my riding, and many have to drive upwards of 30 minutes just to go to the nearest grocery store. I and the rest of the Conservative caucus believe in public transit but, let us face it, across rural Canada it is non-existent. Families need to take their kids to school and to hockey practice and to drive long distances to get to their jobs. With the price of gas hovering around $2 per litre, that is making life very difficult. I fear things are only going to get worse, as the Liberals are planning to hike the carbon tax even further: in fact, to actually quadruple it.
    If the Liberals are concerned about those who live in rural Canada and all those who are struggling to pay their bills, they should vote in favour of our motion and suspend, not get rid of but suspend, the GST and the carbon tax on fuel.
     The other part of our Conservative motion I want to touch on is taking the GST and the carbon tax off people's residential energy bills.

  (1240)  

    According to Manitoba Hydro, the carbon tax is equal to 9.79¢ applied to each cubic metre of natural gas that a household uses. The typical household in Manitoba will use around 2,250 cubic metres of natural gas in a year, resulting in $220 in carbon taxes. If we remove the GST from the average person's energy bills, it would result in even more savings.
    We need to look no further than the Liberals' budget implementation act to see how their carbon tax is impacting people's pocketbooks. Part 1 of the budget implementation act aims to enact certain tax measures by “changing the delivery of Climate Action Incentive payments from a refundable credit claimed annually to a credit that is paid quarterly”. There is only one reason the government would have a need to change these rebates from annual to quarterly, and that is because the carbon tax is taking so much money out of people's pockets.
    We also know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report released on March 24, 2022, that “[m]ost households...will see a net loss resulting from federal carbon pricing”. The report revealed that the average Manitoban will be giving $1,145 to the federal government due to the carbon tax. However, they will be receiving only $832 from the incentive payments, and $1,145 is a lot of money for those who are struggling to pay their bills.
    The PBO report proves what we have been saying all along: The carbon tax is not cost-neutral and it is costing people a lot of money. To make matters worse, the Minister of Environment has been claiming that eight out of 10 Canadians get more money back from the carbon tax, but the PBO declares that not to be the case.
    Let us just end the charade and suspend the carbon tax. It is one of the easiest things the government could do to immediately help families and seniors who are getting squeezed by record inflation. Instead of taxing hard-working people, a responsible government would come up with a plan that not only protects the environment, but also protects people's bank accounts.
    The Liberals can make the climate action incentive payments as frequent as they want, but that is not going to change the fact that more Canadians are going to be worse off than not. Making the climate action incentive payments quarterly does not relieve financial stress for those who cannot afford to put gas in their tank this weekend. The fact that the government is ignoring the calls for help should be much more concerning to them. I know it certainly is for me.
    I recently put out a survey on the price of fuel, and I am starting to receive responses. I heard from my constituent Chelsea, who said, “The middle class...and those who drive to work every day are the ones who are suffering most”. Maybe the finance minister needs to hear from Keith and Marlene, who are seniors living on a fixed income. They are worried about not being able to stay in their home. They said, “We are seniors and the only pensions we have are OAS and CPP. Our world is crazy with high prices. We own our home [but] for how long?”
    Folks across the country are in difficult situations. With the price of fuel and, quite frankly, most other essential items being so high, it is no wonder that young adults are having such a hard time saving up for big purchases, such as a new car or a home.
    I also want to stress how the Liberal government is continuing to leave farmers behind and putting them at a competitive disadvantage. Just a couple of weeks ago, almost every single Liberal MP voted against our Conservative bill to finally exempt farmers from the carbon tax.
    In closing, I implore my Liberal colleagues to vote in favour of our Conservative motion, suspend the GST and the carbon tax, and give people some much-needed relief. It is time for action and it is time to help those struggling to make ends meet. People are tired of hearing nothing but platitudes. This proposal would guarantee immediate financial relief and put money back into people's pockets.

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, it is interesting that a number of years ago, the Conservatives were criticizing the government, saying that because of the Government of Canada, the price of oil was too low, when gas was being sold for 88¢ a litre, and now they are criticizing the government because the price of gas is too high, at over $2 a litre. Obviously, the Government of Canada is concerned, but to try to give a false impression that the war that is taking place in Europe today is not influencing the price of oil and gas is dangerously close to misleading.
    Does the member believe that the world price of oil has anything to do with what people are paying at the pump?

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, of course it does, but the government added to inflation long before there was ever a war in Ukraine. When $5 billion a week is printed for a year and a half, it is bound to put a lot of money into circulation in a country like Canada. When COVID hit, we had to help people out off the hop, but the government helped itself out by continuing to spend money that even the Parliamentary Budget Officer cannot keep track of, and he admits that only two-thirds of it was being used for COVID.
    The member for Winnipeg North says that there is not enough input from the petroleum industry in Canada, if I can put it that way. It pays $20 billion a year in taxes. How much more does he think it should pay?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for his intervention. Rather than eliminating the taxes on gas, does he not think that we should charge a special tax on the profits of oil companies, which have reached a record high this year?
    We could also introduce a special tax on businesses that made more than $1 billion in profit last year in order to help those most affected. We could stop decreasing the guaranteed income supplement for seniors and increase old age security.
    We could find solutions other than eliminating a tax, whose only impact will be to make oil companies die of laughter in a few months, when they will have quietly increased their prices to recover those amounts and once again line their pockets, even though they are already handsomely benefiting from the current situation.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I just indicated to my colleague from Winnipeg North that these oil companies already pay $20 billion in tax to Canada, and that goes a long way to help us have the health, education and social programs that we have in this country.
    I want to say how ironic I find it that both the NDP and the Bloc today are saying they are against lowering the GST and carbon tax. Why are we asking to do that? It is put dollars in people's pockets. They say they do not want to do it that way; they think that we should instead raise the OAS and CPP to put money in people's pockets. It is a difference in view on how to help people in this country. I get where they are coming from, but this is a very quick way of doing it. It could be done with a stroke of a pen. We are in the middle of a crisis right now, at a time when this measure would be most helpful.
    Uqaqtittiji, The North West Company is a multinational Canadian grocery and retail store, which, according to its reports in October, said its profits were 57.6% higher than at prepandemic levels. Does the member agree that taxing the windfall pandemic profits of big corporations is a better way to help Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity of being in my colleague's home city in Nunavut in a previous provincial life due to my responsibilities there.
    I do agree that companies should not be taking advantage of a situation that we had with COVID. There is no doubt about that, but as I said earlier, while a lot of these corporations are making money, they are paying huge amounts of tax back into our Canadian coffers and we need to make sure that we are looking at the whole tax system and not just one specific region.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Winnipeg North.
    On behalf of the residents of my riding of Davenport, it is absolute honour for me to speak on today's opposition day motion regarding inflation and taxation.
    Our federal government understands that Canadians are being hit hard by rising prices and, more importantly, we are taking effective action to meaningfully support Canadians so that they can deal with this challenge.
    Inflation is a global phenomenon that is being driven by unprecedented supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the severe commodity disruptions arising from Russia's brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine. It is a complex and multi-faceted problem, and with today's motion for debate, the hon. opposition is offering what appears to be simple solutions.
    Unfortunately, the proposed solutions are not simple. Rising prices are the product of market forces, and these market forces are powerful. Taxes on gasoline and diesel, for example, represent only a very small portion of the total price that Canadians pay at the pump. Cutting them, as the opposition is proposing, would be ineffective in protecting consumers from these powerful global market forces.
    Even if our federal government were to cut gas prices in Canada by 5% today by removing the GST on gasoline and diesel, the benefits to consumers would be completely wiped out by market forces within a matter of days. The federal government would then be in an uneasy position of having spent tens or hundreds of millions of dollars trying to unsuccessfully fight powerful market forces over which it has completely no control.
    Instead of proposing unrealistic and ineffective solutions, our federal government is focused on implementing realistic measures to help families make ends meet, and we have been doing so since we were first elected in late 2015. Our government has already cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the wealthiest 1%. We have also increased support for families and low-income workers through programs such as the Canada child benefit and the Canada workers benefit.
    Thanks to the Canada child benefit, nine out of 10 Canadian families have more money to help with the cost of caring for their children than they did with previous benefits, and our expanded Canada workers benefit, which provides support to low-income workers and also encourages many to enter the workforce, will support an estimated one million additional Canadians, which could mean $1,000 more per year for a full-time minimum-wage worker.
    Our financial support for Canadians does not stop there. In budget 2021, our federal government laid out an ambitious plan to provide Canadian parents with, on average, $10-a-day regulated child care spaces for children under six years old. In less than a year, we have reached agreements with all provinces and territories. This means that by the end of this year in 2022, families across Canada will have seen their child care fees reduced by an average of 50%. That is huge. That is an average of $6,000 in savings per child for families in provinces like Ontario, where my riding of Davenport is located.
    These are not savings that will appear in five or 10 years; these are savings that are going to occur by the end of this year. Over the past weekend, I had the chance to meet many parents across the riding, and they were very excited about the national child care plan and very much appreciated the additional dollars that are going into their pockets to help cover their living costs. By 2025-26, our national child care plan will mean an average child care fee of $10 a day for all regulated child care spaces across Canada, meaning thousands of dollars in savings for families across Canada.
    To support vulnerable Canadians at the other end of the demographic spectrum, we have increased the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit for low-income single seniors. We have enhanced the GIS earnings exemption and we are increasing old age security for Canadians aged 75 and older in July of this year. This 10% increase will provide more than $766 in additional benefits to full pensioners over the first year. About 3.3 million Canadian seniors will benefit, and no action will be required on their part. They will automatically receive the payment if they are eligible. This is the first permanent increase to the old age security pension since 1973, other than adjustments due to inflation.

  (1255)  

    Seniors in my riding of Davenport are really happy to hear this. They have been struggling with their fixed incomes and struggling with rising costs, and they are so happy to hear of this significant increase, which will have an impact on affordability in their lives.
    Seniors and Canadians who receive federal government support or benefits will also be happy to note that most of our federal government programs are indexed to inflation in order to protect Canadians from its impact. The government indexes the Canada child benefit to inflation, as well as the Canada pension plan, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement, the goods and services tax credit and other benefits for the most vulnerable Canadians.
    To further offset the impact of inflation and make life more affordable for Canadians, we have increased the basic personal amount that Canadians can earn before paying federal income tax. To ensure the support is targeted at the middle class, the benefits of the increased basic personal amount are phased out for high-income taxpayers. When this measure is fully implemented next year, single individuals will pay $300 less in tax each year and families will pay $600 less each year. There are a number of measures that our federal government is enacting and implementing in order to support families and support Canadians in dealing with the affordability crisis that is currently under way in Canada.
    Our federal government is also returning the direct proceeds from the federal carbon pollution pricing system to their province or territory of origin, with most of these proceeds going to families in those jurisdictions. In fact, in jurisdictions that do not have their own pricing system consistent with the federal benchmark criteria, those being Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, approximately 90% of direct proceeds from the fuel charge are being returned to residents in those provinces through the climate action incentive payments. In 2022-23, these increased payments mean that a family of four will receive $745 in Ontario, $832 in Manitoba and $1,079 in Alberta. In addition, families in rural and small communities are eligible to receive an extra 10%.
    The reality is that as a result of these climate action incentive payments, most households are getting back more than what they are paying in increased costs as a result of the federal carbon pollution pricing system. What is more, the remaining fuel charge proceeds are being used to support small businesses, farmers, indigenous groups and other organizations. Going forward, the federal carbon price will continue to be revenue-neutral for the Government of Canada.
    At the same time, we are ensuring that taxes are appropriate and fair. Our federal government knows that those who can afford to buy expensive cars, planes and boats can also afford to pay a bit more. Canadians agree. Our government campaigned on this promise in 2019 and 2021, and we were elected to enact this measure. To that end, we are following through on this commitment to introduce a tax on the sale of new luxury cars and aircraft with a retail price of over $100,000 and on new boats priced over $250,000. The revenues raised by this tax can be used to offset costs for Canadians and invest in a strong economic recovery that supports their highest priorities.
    Another example of our government's commitment to tax fairness is our proposed tax on non-resident, non-Canadian-owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or under-used. This tax would become effective as of January 1, 2022. While this tax would not be paid by individual Canadian homeowners, it would definitely benefit Canadians. That is because the recent and rapid rise in housing prices has made finding an affordable place to call home increasingly difficult, and the under-used housing tax would help support investments in housing affordability so that all Canadians could have a safe and affordable place to call home.
    Our recent budget introduced what may be the most ambitious plan to build new housing that Canada has ever seen, putting Canada on the path to double the number of new homes we build over the next 10 years.
    In conclusion, the federal government has been seized, and will continue to be seized, with how we can make life more affordable for Canadians and provide offsets to the impact of inflation.
     On behalf of the residents of Davenport, I want to express my thanks for the opportunity to speak today on this important opposition motion.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, I am so happy the member for Davenport got to her feet today to take part in this debate.
    The member said it was a fact that eight out of 10 households are getting money back from the carbon tax. I would like to quote the PBO, who said in a report from March 24, 2022:
    Most households in provinces under the backstop will see a net loss resulting from federal carbon pricing.
    That is a direct quote from the PBO from the March 24, 2022, report. Are Canadians and the constituents of Regina—Lewvan supposed to trust what the PBO says or the misinformation this member is peddling?

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, I would say to the hon. member that I am very big on making sure that I stick to the facts, and I do not like to be accused of anything to do with misinformation or disinformation because that is never my intention.
    The climate action incentive is going to be increased in 2022-23. I do not have the exact number for Regina, but I know that in Manitoba a family of four will receive $832.
    I would also say to the member that, if Manitoba or any of the provinces that receive the climate action incentive now want to put their own decarbonization plan in place, they can choose to do so, and then the price on pollution would not apply to those respective provinces.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague. Carbon pricing is certainly a worthwhile way to fight climate change. However, given what we have learned today and what I read in Le Journal de Montréal on the huge profits that oil companies like Suncor will be making—to the tune of almost triple the profits—I think the Conservatives' proposal is shameful. I also think it is shameful that the government is still agreeing to provide funding for carbon capture strategies and has allocated $2.6 billion in the budget for that.
    It is going to be you, me and all Quebec and Canadian taxpayers who will be paying for oil companies to produce net-zero oil, which many people feel is completely outrageous.
    Does the member agree with me that we need to put an end to oil and gas subsidies as quickly as possible?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would say a couple of things.
    First, I am hoping the oil and gas companies are going to use some of those profits to start decarbonizing and help Canada move to a low-carbon economy. We need the private sector to be stepping up. The private sector has not been stepping up in recent years, and we really need it to do so.
    Second, with respect to the federal investment in carbon capture technologies, I would say that our federal government needs to be investing in as many technologies as possible in order to decarbonize, reduce our overall carbon emissions and meet our overall target of net zero by 2050. We all play a role. We have to look at all of the technologies and employ as many of them as possible.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly agree with the essence of what the Conservatives are trying to bring forward in this motion with respect to addressing inflation and Canadians suffering. I know we are all feeling that. Our constituents are feeling that, and we know we need to address it. However, the way they are going about it is not the way the New Democrats would.
    As the hon. member mentioned in her speech, it does not appear she agrees with it either, but I know that she is a huge proponent of long-lasting solutions, such as a guaranteed basic livable income and how that would address the poverty issues people are facing. I would like for her to maybe expand on not only how she believes a guaranteed basic livable income could help Canadians in all of our ridings, but also if she would be supporting it and if her government would be bringing that forward as we go forward in this session.
    Madam Speaker, I do indeed support a guaranteed basic income or a guaranteed livable income. The world of work has changed. We have a social welfare system that was set up in the 1940s that does not easily meet the current needs of Canadians in the 21st century. I think a guaranteed basic income is something we need to look at very seriously as a new foundation to our social welfare system.
    I thank the member for the opportunity to allow me to speak to that today.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and speak to this particular motion, even though I will be voting against it.
    Often, the Conservatives are pretty good at using their imagination, which, at times, can be confusing and possibly even misleading in a number of the things they try to put on the record.
    If we listen to the Conservative Party of Canada, we would think that it is just Canada that is experiencing inflation. What they fail to recognize is that there are things happening around the world that have had an impact on the cost of living for all of us, whether it is coming out of a pandemic or what is taking place in Europe with Russian aggression and the illegal invasion of Ukraine. All of this plays a significant role, which is why I think that, at least in part, for fairness, when we talk about the inflation rate in Canada, we also need to take into consideration what is happening around the world.
     The inflation rate is higher in the United States than in Canada. In many European countries, the inflation rate is higher than it is in Canada. Relatively speaking, with the G7 or the U.S. and many of those European countries, we will find that Canada's inflation rate is actually lower. Does that mean that our communities are not impacted? Of course they are impacted.
    I do not like to see inflation any more than any other person, let alone for my constituents. They want the government to do what it can with the tools and levers we have in government to try to minimize the harm of inflation, and we have seen that in many ways. The Conservatives will talk about supporting Canadians during these times, but members opposite know that things such as our guaranteed income supplement for seniors, the old age supplement for seniors and the Canada child benefit program are indexed according to inflation.
     When the Conservatives say, “Well, give some tax breaks here and give some tax break there”, we see there is a Conservative mindset on tax breaks, and that is what they like to say to Canadians. However, we know that the Conservatives have been afforded the opportunity to support tax breaks. Members will recall the first budget that we brought in and the legislation that provided a tax break to middle-class Canadians. The Conservatives actually voted against it.
    The Conservatives have come up with a motion today, and this is their policy, their alternative to the budget. However, I would suggest that there are significant flaws in what they are suggesting.
    They say, “Let us reduce the tax on gas.” Yes, let us continue with all the government expenditures to support Canadians, as I just finished citing, but let us reduce the price of gas by lowering it from the consumption tax or from the price on pollution. However, there is absolutely zero guarantee that this price decrease would actually be passed on to consumers. The Conservatives cannot guarantee that price saving.
    Earlier today, I asked a question of my Conservative friends. When Alberta was experiencing a significant decline in economic activities, we were being criticized by the Conservatives because the price of oil was too low. They were saying that gas prices were too low, and it was damaging the Alberta economy. We were being criticized for that. Now we are being criticized because the price of gas is too high.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1310)  

    I want to remind members that it is not time for questions and comments yet, but the official opposition will have the first question. I would ask individuals to be mindful of this point until the hon. member has finished his speech.
    Madam Speaker, the world price on oil and gas is not set by the Conservative Party of Canada. I would suggest there is no way the Conservative Party can guarantee any sort of savings by cutting a consumption tax or a price on pollution. There is no guarantee of that.
    The motion talks about the housing market. At the end of the day, and we have had discussions about the housing market in Canada, the national government does have a leadership role to play. There is absolutely no doubt of that. We have done that, whether it be in the fall economic statement, which the Conservatives voted against, or within this budget, which the Conservatives are voting against.
    Things like the annual tax on homes that are not being used as residences or the freeze being put into place through the budget on foreign ownership related issues are all having an impact. Most importantly, for the first time in a generation, we have a government that has been very proactive on the housing file. We have invested far greater amounts of money into housing and providing supports to the non-profit sector, to provincial and territorial governments and to indigenous communities. We are talking about hundreds of millions, going into billions, of dollars that has been incorporated into the national housing strategy, which is something that did not exist prior.
    We have the intergenerational housing credit within this particular budget to encourage families to build onto homes or have something built on their property. This is an excellent program. We have encouraged community members to look at ways in which they can make their homes more energy efficient. For the first time in many, many years, we have a government that has been spending a great deal of resources and efforts at improving Canada's housing stock.

  (1315)  

    It takes more than a national government to deal with this problem, whether it is municipalities in the areas of zoning and making accessible properties or individuals who want to purchase property. If someone is a normal resident, it is very difficult to buy an individual building lot, especially in urban centres.
    We can take a look at the amount of administration provinces are ultimately responsible for when it comes to housing. The federal government provides hundreds of millions of dollars on an annual basis to support low-income housing, not to mention the rapid housing program and other housing projects the Minister of Housing has put into place.
    The Conservatives will criticize the housing file, but when they were in office, they absolutely failed in comparison to some of the initiatives we have put into place. We can take a look at the speech that was given by the leader of the Conservative Party. Unlike the Conservatives, the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister will continue to focus our attention on the real issues that are facing Canadians every day of the week. It is why we are concerned about housing, inflation and many other issues, such as the pandemic. We will continue to do what we can to assist Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, I listened to the member's speech and heard him say something we heard earlier today. I would like him to very clear about it. Is he telling the House that the reason the Liberals cannot eliminate, even temporarily, the GST on fuel and the carbon tax, or even just on fuel, is they believe retailers would collude to prevent the tax savings from going to consumers? Yes or no, is that the reason you cannot do this?
    I just want to remind the hon. member that he is to address questions and comments through the Chair.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I think we need to recognize, when we talk about consumption taxes, that there is absolutely no guarantee, and the Conservatives cannot guarantee, that any sort of savings could be passed on in that direction.
    I would suggest to the member that there are other things the government does. For example, a GST rebate and a price-on-pollution credit are given out so that individuals in the most need are receiving benefits. Those are the types things that I believe a government could be more focused on, as opposed to the simple solutions the Conservatives like to put on paper while they say to get rid of this or get rid of that. It is a populist attitude, and is much like when the leader of the Conservative Party says he will fire, banish or punish the Bank of Canada governor, or makes irresponsible statements of that nature. We are not going to do that on this side of the House.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I do not know if the member did it deliberately or not, but referring to the leader of the Conservative Party as somebody who is a leadership contestant is offside. He should refrain from doing that.
    The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, as my colleague opposite so often says, “at the end of the day”, knowing that no other parties are going to support this omnibus Conservative motion, not much is going to change. “At the end of the day”, nothing will change.
    However, I would like to know if my colleague opposite is prepared to do something that, “at the end of the day”, would make a big difference, for example, helping seniors. They need to stop cuts to the guaranteed income supplement immediately and agree to increase old age pensions, as we have been calling for for so long. That has fallen on deaf ears.
    I have no desire to hear, once again, that they have always been there for seniors and that they have handed out a one-time payment of $500. A $500 payment is a joke, given today's inflation.
    Increases to old age pensions: Yea or nay?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, first of all, to my friend across the way, I should not make the presumption that the member for Carleton will ultimately prevail. I know it does scare a lot of his colleagues, but a vast majority seem to want to support him.
    With regard to seniors, virtually from day one, this government has been supportive of seniors. The member might not necessarily like to hear that, but we can talk about substantial increases to the GIS at the very beginning of the pandemic, when there were $300 and $200 direct payments, depending on whether someone was collecting GIS. At the very least, that went to every senior who was 65 and above. We have seen 10% increases for seniors who are 75 and over. We have seen hundreds of millions of dollars invested into many non-profit organizations throughout Canada that provide support services for seniors. We have also invested a huge amount of money into long-term care and issues of mental health, and have reduced the cost of pharmaceuticals, all to the benefit of seniors.
    Madam Speaker, as we have all expressed here, we are opposed to this Conservative take on supporting Canadians who are struggling.
    Are the the Liberals prepared to ensure tax fairness and make sure the rich are paying their fair share of taxes so we can reinvest that money into supporting Canadians, who are struggling so much right now?
    Madam Speaker, yes, absolutely. From the very beginning, we saw the issue of income inequality. It is one of the reasons we put a tax on Canada's wealthiest 1% at the beginning of the mandate. If we take a look at this particular budget, we will see a luxury tax of just over $100,000 and $250,000 on boats. This is a government that genuinely believes that for us to move forward, we need to continue to support our middle class and those who need the support of government to get into the middle class.

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Simcoe North.
    We are talking about an affordability crisis in the House today. I am very confident that I am not the only member of the House who is getting dozens and dozens of calls and emails every single day from constituents who are very concerned about their ability to put food on the table, put fuel in their cars, heat their homes and put their kids in the activities they enjoy the most. What we are talking about here in our opposition day motion is reducing taxes to make life more affordable for Canadians by eliminating the GST on fuel and the carbon tax.
    What I am hearing is somewhat unbelievable. The argument from the Liberals and the NDP is that somehow eliminating a point-of-sale tax does not put more money in the pockets of Canadians. I am not sure how one can even argue that. In fact, their argument against this is that retailers are going to collude to ensure that savings are not passed on to Canadians. I can say from experience that in Alberta, where the provincial government has removed the provincial sales tax on fuel, fuel is about 20¢ cheaper than anywhere else in Canada. Albertans are benefiting from a government that has seen the difficulties Canadians are facing, has taken action to address them and has passed savings directly to Canadians.
    What I am hearing from my constituents, after two years of the pandemic, is that they are exhausted; they are tired. They want to get life back to normal. While they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that the pandemic is all but over and that businesses are opening back up, they see the affordability crisis, where fuel prices are exorbitant, grocery prices are going up and housing prices are going up. A lot of this has to fall at the feet of the Liberal government.
    I know the Liberals like to say this is a global issue and that the war in Ukraine with Putin is causing prices to increase. However, I have been in the House pretty much every day and I do not ever recall Vladimir Putin sitting across the way and voting in favour of a carbon tax. I do not recall Vladimir Putin putting forward legislation or a bill to increase the carbon tax on April 1. Maybe I missed that. I am not sure if my colleagues around the House can confirm that Vladimir Putin is the reason the carbon tax went up 25% on April 1, despite an affordability crisis around the world and a war in Ukraine. I am not sure how we put this all at the feet of Vladimir Putin.
    Instead of the government offering relief to Canadians when they need it most, the Prime Minister is travelling around the world with no mask in sight, and here at home he is punishing Canadians over and over again with his draconian mandates and travel restrictions, which are not in place anywhere else around the world. That really seems to be the modus operandi of the Liberal government. It is going to punish Canadians at home and do something completely different around the world.
    A good example of that is the fertilizer tariff. My colleague across the way does not seem to think that this is a problem and thinks this is a way of punishing Russia. I would invite my Liberal colleagues talk to any farmer, especially in eastern Canada, and ask them if the fertilizer tariff is hurting Vladimir Putin. The only people this fertilizer tariff of 35% is punishing are Canadian farmers. Vladimir Putin, once again, is not paying this tariff; Canadian farmers are paying this tariff. Even before the war in Ukraine, fertilizer prices in many parts of the country were more than double what they were the year before, as a result, in many cases, of the carbon tax. Do members know what makes fertilizer? It is natural gas. Carbon taxes put on natural gas cause prices to increase.
    Canadian farmers are being punished and we have offered solutions. We have asked the Liberal government to provide an exemption on fertilizers purchased before March 2, before Russia invaded Ukraine. The Liberals said no. We then asked them if they would offer compensation to farmers who have had to pay an exorbitant price for that tariff. Again, the Liberals said no.
    Let me put this in perspective. Canada is the only G7 country putting a tariff on Russian fertilizer, meaning that Canadian farmers are now at a severe competitive disadvantage to our compatriots around the world. They are paying an exorbitantly high carbon tax and they are paying a tariff on fertilizer.

  (1330)  

    At the same time, we are in the midst of a global food crisis. Food insecurity is probably the number one priority on earth and we are the only country on earth that is increasing taxes and putting a tariff on fertilizer. How does that make us competitive? How does that give us the ability to carry the burden of helping in a global food crisis, which our farmers absolutely want to do? They want to be there to help, but the Liberal government is doing everything possible to ensure that we cannot do that and do not meet our potential.
    Despite the Conservatives offering these solutions, the Liberals carry on with this activist agenda, let us say, or the theatrics they are putting on that this is somehow punishing Putin when it is only punishing Canadian farmers. However, it is not just Canadians farmers who are going to feel the impact of this. If Canadian farmers have to reduce their use of fertilizer simply because they cannot afford it, yields are going to go down and the prices of commodities are going to go up. We have already seen the price of groceries go up. In many cases they are up 15%, depending on the product. This is only going to get worse. We are not only talking about countries that have been relying on Ukrainian commodities such as barley, wheat and sunflower oil; this is going to be felt here at home.
    My NDP colleagues have been talking about food insecurity here at home in Canada. A lot of that is the result of Liberal policies. The Liberals are the ones increasing the cost of those groceries by increasing the carbon tax, putting a tariff on fertilizer and having additional red tape, making it very difficult for our farmers to do the job they do best and better than anyone else in the world. We are the only country with a government, in a food security crisis, that is asking Canadian consumers to pay more. It is the only government asking farmers to pay more. How does this make any sense whatsoever?
    I want to get to another part of our opposition day motion. I talked about fertilizer, but I also want to talk about the carbon tax.
    The carbon tax is something for which the Conservatives have offered a solution. My colleague from Huron—Bruce offered a private member's bill that would eliminate the carbon tax on farm fuels, Bill C-234. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, in assessing the carbon tax, has said a few things that I think are very enlightening: The carbon tax is not revenue-neutral, the carbon tax increases inflation and the carbon tax does not reduce emissions. This is everything the Liberals are saying the carbon tax will accomplish, and the study by the Parliamentary Budget Officer has refuted all of those claims. Why are we charging this carbon tax on our Canadian farmers? We put forward a solution in Bill C-234 to eliminate the carbon tax from farm fuels.
    The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has done the math. In the first year of the carbon tax, Canadian farmers paid on average about $14,000 a year. With the increase on April 1, that goes to $45,000 per average farmer. The Liberals are going to say there is a carbon tax rebate and eight out of 10 families make more off the carbon tax. Again, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an arm's-length officer of the House, has said that is not the case. In Bill C-8, with the carbon tax rebate, farmers get $1.70 for every $1,000 of eligible expenses. They are getting pennies on the dollar for what they are contributing to the carbon tax. Farmers are price-takers. They cannot afford to carry the burden of the carbon tax when we are asking them to improve yields and their efficiency. It does not make sense.
    At a time when we are talking about global food security, we also need to talk about affordability. Our farmers, producers and manufacturers need to be able to do what they do and do it efficiently. I have talked about the carbon tax and the fertilizer price, but there is another issue where the Liberals continue to throw on red tape and obstacles, which is going to be coming out in the next little while. It is front-of-package labelling. That is a direct attack on beef and pork producers in Canada. The United States has already identified this as a trade irritant that will impact our beef exports and increase grocery costs here at home, making things even more unaffordable for Canadians.
    In conclusion, our motion is very prudent. It would ensure that we address the affordability crisis facing Canadians, and, most importantly, help our farmers, producers and ranchers, who are doing all they can to address a global food security crisis, ensure that groceries are affordable for all Canadians.

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, I have noticed that the motion calls for eliminating tariffs on fertilizer. Some Canadian companies have reorganized their supply chains, have said they agree with Canada and do not want to buy Russian fertilizer or Belarusian fertilizer, and have gone somewhere else and paid a higher price.
    Does the member not believe that they too should get a break from high fertilizer costs?
    Madam Speaker, they were going to find those new resources only because of the tariff put on Russian fertilizer by the Liberal government. Again, we are not arguing that there should not be sanctions on Russia, but they should be sanctions that actually impact Russia and its economy. This tariff is only punishing Canadian farmers. If we have realized anything through COVID, it is that we must diversify our trade agreements and be much more self-sufficient.
    The tariff that the Liberals put on Russian fertilizer is the only reason farmers are paying higher costs. I might add too that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance did not even realize that Canada purchased fertilizer from Russia before putting on that tariff.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague, who spoke at length about agriculture, which is near and dear to my heart because there are a lot of farmers in my riding of Shefford.
    The Bloc agrees with the Conservatives on the fertilizer issue. However, I would like to talk to my colleague about drought, which is causing problems for a lot of farmers. Climate change is a crucial issue. My colleague talked about the importance of eating properly. If we are to achieve true food sovereignty, we need to work on farming here. To protect that, we also need to tackle climate change.
    Farmers are also asking for support as they try to go green. It is important to encourage that for a lot of our farmers. The tax is not what matters to them. They want us to work on climate change and reward good green practices.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I agree, but I think the part that we are missing here is that there is an assumption that Canadian producers are not doing everything they can to protect their land, their water, their soil and their livestock. They want to be as efficient as possible, because that is how they remain environmentally sustainable and socially sustainable, but the one critical point is to remain economically sustainable.
    Yes, our farmers are always concerned about being stewards of their land. They are the ones who are on the ground. I appreciate that this is an important message as well.
    Madam Speaker, one thing we do agree on is that we need to provide relief to Canadians from skyrocketing inflation. We agree on that, but how we get there has been challenging. We have seen skyrocketing oil prices and we have seen bank fees go up and we have seen grocery costs go up. We have seen record profits for big corporations , including oil companies, grocery companies and banks. Conservatives do not believe that they should be paying their fair share of taxes, more taxes, and giving that back to Canadians through doubling the GST or the child tax benefit.
    My concern is that my colleague's proposal could still lead to skyrocketing oil prices. That does not preclude the oil companies from raising their prices. Does he believe that they should be paying more taxes and contributing more to Canadians, given the fact that they are making record profits right now?
    Madam Speaker, I really do appreciate the NDP dance on this issue. With their proposals to increase the carbon tax because it is not doing enough and needs to be higher, they should be celebrating really high gas prices, but now they are trying to dance around it because now the politics are against them. Canadians have to pay more than $2 a litre, likely in his riding, and they have to figure it out. Maybe they do not really support really high gas prices, the climate change and the carbon tax and whatnot.
    They have to make a decision here: Either they want to tax Canadians to the point of unaffordability in a crisis or they do not. Our position is to give Canadians a break as quickly as possible, get rid of the middleman, which is big government, and give Canadians a break in their pocketbooks.

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in this chamber to talk about the Conservative opposition day motion on a very important issue affecting Canadians: affordability and the cost of living.
    Before I talk about the motion, I would just like to set some context for individuals who are here. Food prices have increased 9.7%; in many cases fuel is up, depending on what time it is measured, almost 65% to 70%; in some cases diesel has doubled in about 12 months; and retail prices, the prices paid for clothing and other goods, are also significantly higher.
     It is also important to recognize that we were on an incredibly high trajectory of inflation before the war in Ukraine started. Inflation was at a 25-year high of 5.5% in February, before the Russian Federation's invasion in Ukraine. To suggest that it is all explained by the war misses the point that we were on a quite high inflation trajectory before that war started.
    For full disclosure, I will concede to the members across the way that there are multiple reasons for inflation. Of course there are supply chain issues and of course there is the war. However, there are also serious structural issues that are leading to inflation. By its definition, a consumption tax is inflationary. The Bank of Canada even says this. At least half a percentage point of inflation can be attributed to the carbon tax, according to the Bank of Canada.
    The challenge that I have, or perhaps some of the members on this side of the House have, is that every time questions about inflation or costs of living or affordability have been raised, they are waved away and explained away by referring to these external factors that are out of the government's control. I do not believe that to be true. Yes, there are things that are outside of the government's control, and I just mentioned a few of them, but there are simple things that the government could do to provide immediate relief to Canadians.
    The challenge is about not acknowledging that inflation is perhaps not transitory. If we take a long enough view, everything is transitory. Even life is transitory, if we take a long enough view. The challenge is that the facts are changing on the ground. The government is now out of step with the rest of the world because it has yet to acknowledge the challenge of inflation and the tools that it has to deal with it.
    In fact, just last week President Biden wrote an op-ed to the American people. In it he vowed to take action on inflation immediately and provided a three-point plan on how the federal government in the United States was going to deal with it, acknowledging that of course the central banks have a role to play.
    Secretary Yellen said last week in an interview that she was wrong about inflation, that inflation was persisting longer than they had thought. We have also heard this from the Federal Reserve chair in the U.S. We have also heard it from Bank of Canada officials, who admitted that they had all underestimated inflation, but we have not heard it from the Liberal government. The government refuses to even acknowledge that it might be behind the curve.
    I think Canadians would appreciate a little bit of humility in hearing, “Look, we were a little slow on the inflation front, but we have tools that we can use to combat inflation.” The question I have every day is this: How long does inflation need to persist or how high does inflation need to get before the government realizes that it must act?
    We have put forward an opposition day motion, which I think some would even call an omnibus motion, with some interesting ideas. In the interest of constructive discussion in this House, there may be some ideas that individuals feel strongly opposed to, but they are ideas. The government could feel free to take any of these ideas it might like and act on them. We do not need to pass this entire motion. It does not sound as if we will have support from some other parties, but certainly there are some reasonable ideas. I would like to highlight a couple that speak to me.

  (1345)  

    With respect to suspending the GST on fuel, both regular gasoline and diesel, the price for diesel has doubled in 12 to 16 months. That also means that the HST the government receives on diesel has doubled. The revenue the government is making has doubled because the price has doubled, and it is applied right before people pay the final price. In fact, the government has never made as much money as it is making right now. That is why I have significant concerns about the idea that the answer to inflation is for the government to tax companies more so it can take that money and do something with it. The government does not need that money. It has never made as much money as it is making right now.
     If we consider the budget of 2021 and what we believe the government will be making in revenues over the next five years and compare it to budget 2022 and the revenue it is going to be receiving now, it has found an extra $170 billion. The question is this: What is it doing with it? Why is it not returning that money to Canadians? It is coming from Canadians in the first place.
     I think we have to be a little more realistic and pragmatic, because increasing taxes on companies is not going to all of a sudden solve our inflation problem. We have a bunch of extra revenue now and we still have inflation, so making the government bigger is not the answer to our worries.
    The hon. colleague from Foothills talked about fertilizer, and because of the significant farming community in Simcoe North, I will mention it just for a moment.
    I have phone calls every day, and I visit farms to talk to farmers in my riding. They are all saying they want to help Ukraine and do their part and that they do not mind paying a fertilizer tariff on fertilizer that is purchased after March 2. However, they prepaid for fertilizer in December and are still being hit with this tariff. The government did not even understand the impacts of that tariff before it brought it in, nor did it have very clear and defined rules, which shows a lack of understanding or an unwillingness to understand the farming community.
    There is an element of this motion that talks about money laundering. Some members will wonder why we are talking about money laundering and will think it is incredible to be talking about money laundering when it is such a long-term problem. Well, the best time to plant a tree, if not yesterday, is today. The Cullen commission is coming out with an 1,800-page report, which I hope becomes public very soon, about the challenges of money laundering in British Columbia, but it is going to expose a significant challenge nationally that we must take head-on. We have to understand the impact of money laundering, especially on our real estate sector, because it distorts our real estate markets.
    In Orillia, which is in Simcoe North, we have seen a 300% increase in the price of housing in six years. That is unsustainable. I believe some of that is due to the distorting effects of money laundering in our big cities, because people are now moving out and looking at other places.
     It is in this context that I think most of the ideas in our motion are quite reasonable. We may not expect the motion to pass, but I hope we have a great debate and I would welcome the government to take any of these ideas as its own.
    In closing, I will make a brief comment about leadership. True leadership is recognizing that perhaps one's original plan needs to change when the facts on the ground change. True leadership is showing a level of humility by acknowledging that humans can sometimes get things wrong. There are some interesting examples from the previous government, but I will only mention three: It decided to change its mind and tax income trusts in the face of different facts changing on the ground; it reversed its decision on interest income deductibility; and when the global financial crisis hit, it reversed its ideological position on running deficits and saved Canada from significant financial ruin.
    I am thankful to have been afforded this opportunity today.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his intervention today, although I am not exactly sure where he was getting his information from. The government has certainly pointed towards the war in Ukraine as something to explain the global increase in the price of oil, and of gas more specifically.
    However, as it relates to inflation, I think it is fair to say, and I would certainly say, that there have been a whole host of things over the last two years that have played into that. I am willing to accept that, and I am willing to state that. Would the member also be willing to state the fact that inflation is not a problem that is unique to Canada? As a matter of fact, in looking at all the developed countries, we see that Canada is among those at the bottom end in terms of the rate of inflation that we have seen over the last year or so.
    Madam Speaker, I welcome the question from the member across the aisle. I will make two quick points. One is that inflation is measured differently in all of these different countries, so it is very hard to compare them. Yes, inflation is a challenge in all of these other countries, but—
    There are side conversations going on across the way, and I do not think that is very respectful. The hon. parliamentary secretary had time to ask a question, and he should not be engaging with other members as well while someone is trying to answer the question.
    The hon. member for Simcoe North.
    Madam Speaker, yes, inflation is a global problem, but guess what? All of the countries where inflation is a problem are countries that did the exact same economic, monetary and fiscal policy expansion that we have seen, and that is why there is an inflation problem.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Again, it is not time to respond until I actually acknowledge individuals.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his intervention. My question will be a very simple one.
    Do you not think that you would have been more successful had you presented something more specific instead of lumping everything all together?
    There are a lot of things on which we agree, but we cannot vote in favour of all aspects of the motion.
    I would like to remind the hon. member to address his comments through the Chair, and not directly to the member.
    The hon. member for Simcoe North.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my friend for his question.

[English]

    I appreciate the suggestion. I think we would welcome the hon. member's suggestion on the items that the Bloc Québécois and this member do support. Maybe we could find some common ground to advance some initiatives for the next opposition day motion. Let us call this a good first step on putting some ideas forward that we can all perhaps get behind.
    Uqaqtittiji, Suncor reported net profits of over $4 billion. It distributed $3.9 billion to its shareholders. The motion before us seems to indicate that the Conservative Party is acting as a gatekeeper for such corporations.
    I would like to ask the member why his party thinks that cutting taxes at the pumps will stop big oil and gas from simply raising gas prices.
    Madam Speaker, perhaps this will expose a slight difference in approach between the Conservatives and the NDP on this issue. We believe that cutting taxes at the pump by the government will reduce prices for consumers, as evidenced by some actions by provincial governments, including the Government of Alberta and the soon-to-be Government of Ontario.
     I do not believe that increasing taxes on companies and giving the federal government more money is going to solve our inflation crisis. I would just point out that when companies pay dividends, most of those dividends go to Canadians, pensioners and elderly individuals who are living on a fixed income, so companies that are making money and paying dividends happen to be a very good thing for Canadians.

  (1355)  

[Translation]

    Resuming debate, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    However, I would like to inform him that I will have to interrupt him and that he will be able to continue his speech later this afternoon.

[English]

    We are speaking today on the opposition motion, and the first point of the motion is that “high inflation rates are driving the cost of living up for all Canadians”. Well, of course, that is what inflation is. However, I would argue that it is driving up the cost for everyone living across the world, and I want to put this into context. Let us look at the Czech Republic. What is its rate of inflation? It is 14.2%. Let us see what Poland's rate of inflation is—
    I am sorry. There are more cross-discussions happening. I would ask those members to maybe step out to have those conversations, in order to be respectful. There are individuals in the galleries who would like to hear what is going on and individuals at home as well.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad to reiterate what the rates of inflation are for different countries across the world.
    The Czech Republic is dealing with a rate of inflation of 14.2%. Poland is dealing with a rate of inflation of 13.9%. Romania is dealing with a rate of inflation of 13.8%. Greece is dealing with a rate of inflation of 10.2%. The Netherlands is dealing with a rate of inflation of 9.6%. Hungary is dealing with a rate of inflation of 9.5%. The United Kingdom is dealing with a rate of inflation of 9%.

[Translation]

    Belgium has an inflation rate of 9% as well. Germany has an inflation rate of 8.7%. The United States has an inflation rate of 8.3%. Portugal has an inflation rate of 8%.

[English]

    Austria is dealing with a rate of inflation of 7.9%. Italy is dealing with a rate of inflation of 6.9%. Finally, Canada is dealing with a rate of inflation of 6.8%.
    This is a world problem. Obviously, we are all suffering the consequences of the illegal war of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, but that particular motion does not offer many solutions.
    Let us talk about the fertilizer prices: “eliminating tariffs on fertilizer”. The hon. members offer that as a simple solution that will cause a great relief for all farmers. Do they not realize that fertilizer went up by 70% to 100% before the Ukraine war? Yes, now there is a 35% tariff on fertilizer, but do they not realize that there are Canadian companies that realigned their supply chains to ensure that they are not going to be penalized by that 35% tariff? Yes, they are paying higher prices, but I believe we should be advocating for a solution that offers all farmers a reduction on prices, not just those who have paid that 35%.
    Obviously, for next year, the point of a tariff is for Canadian companies to stop dealing with the Russian government and Russian companies. We heard loud and clear from a Ukrainian MP yesterday that Canada should be doing everything to stop doing business with Russia. I believe that question was asked by the member for Beauce, who heard it loud and clear from that Ukrainian MP, and I thank her for her testimony at the agriculture committee.
    The motion talks about the solution to address housing affordability being, let me get this straight, to launch a public inquiry. I just do not understand how that is going to provide immediate relief to Canadians. I am surprised that this actually came from the Conservatives, because the Conservatives are usually about smaller government. Now they are proposing a bureaucracy to look into how we could make sure that housing affordability is available through a public inquiry. Come on—

  (1400)  

    Unfortunately, we have to go to Statements by Members. The hon. member will have six minutes when he continues his speech in the House.
    I would ask members who are coming in to please keep it down a bit, because parliamentarians are going to be making their statements.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Islamophobia

     Madam Speaker, they were going for a walk: Salman, Madiha, Talat, Yumna and Fayez. A year ago, three generations of the Afzaal family were victims of an Islamophobic terror attack in London, Ontario, just down the road from us in Waterloo region. Four were murdered simply for being Muslims, while Fayez was left orphaned and injured.
    Yesterday, the Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener-Waterloo held a vigil to mark this difficult anniversary as our community continues to stand in solidarity with our neighbours in London.
    We must all recognize that white supremacy kills. Islamophobia kills. We must denounce all forms of racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia, but words are not enough. All levels of government must act more quickly to eradicate Islamophobia and ensure that this never happens again.

Islamophobia

     Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the Afzaal family was tragically murdered while walking in Hyde Park. Salman loved gardening. Yumna loved art. Madiha loved caring for others. Talat simply loved her grandchildren. The void they left on this earth is immeasurable. It was felt during the many events honouring their lives that I attended over the weekend.
    In the nine months after this tragedy, Yumna’s friend founded YCCI, a youth-led organization to combat Islamophobia in Canada by offering key educational material to teach us how to see the human behind the hijab. Members of the Youth Coalition Combating Islamophobia made it very clear that they will not stop until this country is safe for Muslim families and all families. They made it clear that their love for Yumna is what drives their work, but that is not all they said.
    They asked that I remind this place of how much they have accomplished in the last few months, and that we, as a collective, look among ourselves to reflect on how we can continue to build on what they have started. They also asked that I let all members in this place know that they never want to plan another vigil.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the goal of the Liberal government is the redistribution of wealth. It is not just me saying that. That is directly from former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau, who said he was forced to spend way too much energy finding ways to redistribute wealth.
    The redistribution of wealth is the goal of the Prime Minister and his Liberal cronies. Now it all makes sense. That is why he wants to tax the principal residence of Canadians. That is why he wants to shut down our energy sector. That is why he keeps attacking small businesses. It is why he continues to double down on his carbon tax, the biggest wealth redistribution scheme the Liberals have concocted yet. They want to pick the winners and the losers. They want control, control, control. Why else are China, North Korea and Canada the only countries to have ridiculous vaccine mandates and restrictions?
    The Prime Minister took advantage of COVID to pick winners and losers, not only in the economy, but in society. As Canadians struggle, the government is doing cartwheels because everything is going according to its redistribution plan. It is time for the nonsense to end.

Peel Medical Officer of Health

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize in this House someone who worked very hard in the region of Peel to ensure the good health of our residents.
    Peel was one of the hardest-hit regions in this pandemic, and our medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, worked tirelessly on vaccination, isolation centres, mental health and wellness. I had the opportunity to work with him through the health committee, where we got valuable grassroots feedback from Dr. Loh, which set us on the path to recovery. Thanks to Dr. Loh’s leadership, more than 90% of eligible Peel residents over 12 are double-vaccinated, and Brampton became a national leader in vaccination.
    This fall, Dr. Loh will be stepping into a new role. I send him my best wishes on behalf of all Brampton residents. We are very grateful for the service and dedication of Dr. Loh and his team, and all the frontline health care workers.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, in June we celebrate pride and what a well-earned feeling for the entire LGBTQ+ community. They have come a long way and accomplished a lot.
    From fighting for decriminalization to fighting for equality, all these battles were fought with determination, courage and love and have made members of the LGBTQ+ community role models in the art of peaceful protest at a time of positive advocacy. That is something else to be proud of.
    June is Pride Month. We are proud of who we are, proud of the way we live, proud of who we love and proud to love. The greatest pride is rooted in these two sentiments: self-affirmation and love for others.
    In Quebec, pride celebrations are held in August, when our cities are bathed in sunshine, bright colours and rainbows. We will be there with the communities in August, as we are in June, to celebrate pride and to keep fighting together.
    Happy Pride Month, everyone.

Lawyers Without Borders Canada

    Mr. Speaker, Lawyers Without Borders is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For two decades, it has been advocating for the respect and promotion of fundamental freedoms as defined by international law.
    With deep roots in my riding, the magnificent Quebec City, these exceptional legal experts, lawyers and volunteers are the voice for those who, all too often, do not have one. Whether in Africa, Latin America or the Caribbean, their smart, caring and enthusiastic team is working to bring more justice to the world.
    I would like to give special recognition to Pascal Paradis, executive director and co-founder of Lawyers Without Borders Canada, who left behind the stability of a large law firm to be true to his convictions.
    I wish Lawyers Without Borders Canada continued success and thank them for making us proud through their commitment, intelligence and humanitarianism.

[English]

COVID-19 Mandates

    Mr. Speaker, if we want our country to recover mentally and financially, we need to support our tourism sector. We hear the Liberals tell us the pandemic is not over and people are dying from COVID, but why are they not talking about the people who are dying from stress-induced diseases after losing their businesses, their jobs and their livelihoods because of the unnecessary restrictions.
    Independent duty-free shops located at land borders are in a crisis, and they need help now. Before COVID, the average wait time at a land border was 45 seconds per vehicle. Today, it can be as long as 38 minutes. Every second counts to move people and help our tourism sector recover.
    Today I implore the Liberal government to immediately step up and help our land border crossings and all the locally owned tourism businesses that benefit from them. The Liberal government has two options. Number one is to create further debt for both business owners and Canadians and provide more loans so they can survive. Number two is to do the right thing and lift restrictions and barriers such as the ArriveCAN app, restore travel confidence and show the world Canada is open for business.

World Hakka Conference

    Mr. Speaker, at the end of this month, thousands of Hakka people from around the world will descend upon Markham, Ontario, for the 31st World Hakka Conference.
    As a proud Canadian of Hakka Chinese descent, I am honoured and privileged to welcome everyone attending this first-ever global Hakka event in Canada. Recognizing our rich and and diverse histories, cultures and traditions, this is an opportunity to celebrate the unique achievements of the Hakka people while reflecting on the challenges we have faced along the way.
    Allow me to recognize the Hakka Canadian Association and its chair, Markham regional councillor Joe Li, who has been instrumental in organizing this monumental occasion.
    I welcome the many Hakka diasporas visiting Canada from around the world, and hope they enjoy all this beautiful country has to offer. Together, let us honour the Hakka spirit and cherish the values that unite us.
    Before we go to the next statement, I would like to call order to make sure everyone can hear the statements. These are very important statements to the individual MPs who make them, so if members could keep the talk down a bit, we would all be able to hear them.

  (1410)  

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, “We don’t give people with developmental disabilities enough credit. You never know what is possible until people are given the opportunity.” This quote from a business owner who hired persons with disabilities could not better describe my cousin, Gwen, who we lost in May of 2021, just over a year ago. When she was born, her parents were told it would be best if she was institutionalized, but with their bottomless love and dedication, Gwen went on to live a full life. We still miss her indefatigable joy.
    Community Living, which serves York region, was an important support for Gwen and her family, as was her associate family, and they enabled her to be integrated into the community. Last week, my parents and I visited Community Living to see the tree planted on their grounds in honour of Gwen. While there, we had the pleasure of talking with CEO Andrew Fagan. He explained how organizations such as his play a critical role in the health and well-being of persons with disabilities. My father had been a member of the board of the organization since 1961.
     Our government is committed to becoming a more accessible, more disability-inclusive Canada, but this cannot happen without all of us doing our part.

World Sailing Championships

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to express my pride in welcoming the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Sailing Championships to my beautiful riding of South Shore—St. Margarets from August 31 to September 5.
    This international sailing regatta will bring the best competitors of the world to my own backyard in St. Margarets Bay and will be hosted by the community of Hubbards. This world championship will see a field of 400 sailors from over 35 countries competing in three Olympic classes: the wickedly fast 49er, the 49erFX and the Nacra 17.
    I know that residents in my community are eager to host the thousands of visitors and spectators we will be bringing to our community. As a sailor myself, I look forward to not only appreciating the hard work and dedication of these athletes, but also cheering on our own team of Canadian competitors.
    I encourage others to show their support for our Canadian team in its mission to take home the gold in this world championship event.

St. John's East

    Mr. Speaker, as we near the end of this session of the 44th Parliament, I would like to extend my appreciation to the residents of St. John’s East. It has been a busy nine months, and I look forward to seeing many of them soon.
    This summer I will be on the ground, celebrating funding announcements and meeting with seniors, businesses, local service centres, not-for-profit organizations and as many residents as I can. Their voices matter, and I am here to work with them and hear their needs and concerns.
    I thank my team for its shared commitment and dedication to the people who call this riding home. To the Prime Minister and the many ministers who have demonstrated their support for my work and the riding through visits and in-person announcements, I am thankful. To my family and all those who have sent notes of concern, encouragement and offers to help, their support has not gone unnoticed.
    We work best when we work together, and I am excited to see all of them in the riding this summer.

Christopher Pratt

    Mr. Speaker, flying the provincial flag at half-mast in Newfoundland and Labrador on June 5 had an extra special meaning, as this was the day we lost its creator: Mr. Christopher Pratt.
    Mr. Pratt was a proud Newfoundlander and Labradorian, an artist, one of Canada’s prominent painters and print makers, and the designer of our Newfoundland and Labrador flag. He will be sorely missed. Born in St. John’s in 1935, Mr. Pratt first started painting watercolours in 1952. He served on many committees, including the Canadian government's Stamp Design Advisory Committee and the board of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1973, he was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada before becoming a companion of the Order in 1983. He was awarded the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2018.
    He was known not only for his brilliant artwork, but also for his great sense of humour. On behalf of the House of Commons of Canada, I offer sincere condolences to the Pratt family as we say goodbye to this legendary Canadian who left his mark on our great province.

Governor General's Foot Guards

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to pay tribute to Canada's senior army reserve infantry regiment, the Governor General's Foot Guards, as it celebrates its 150th anniversary of its founding on June 7, 1872. The foot guards have a proud history as old as Canada itself. The regiment has fought in every war Canada has been a part of, and its members have received the highest decorations, including two Victoria crosses and 34 battle honours.
    During the Second World War, the guards fought their way from the beaches of Normandy to the liberation of the Netherlands. The guards have also served in many United Nations and NATO operations, including service in Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia and Cyprus. Guards have also answered the call to help Canadians affected by severe flooding, forest fires and the pandemic.
    The guards are also well known for their annual ceremonial guard. The changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill is greatly anticipated by Canadians and tourists alike, and I know we all look forward to it coming back next year.
    I am a proud foot guard myself, so please join me in paying tribute to the Governor General's Foot Guards on this milestone of 150 years of service to Canada. I wish a happy birthday to the regiment. Up the guards.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Aerotechnical School Awards Gala

    Mr. Speaker, the École nationale d’aérotechnique, the ENA, holds an annual gala to reward its students. This year, the ENA, which is affiliated with the Édouard-Montpetit CEGEP, had a record number of corporate sponsors and was able to award scholarships worth $45,000.
    Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of aerospace companies, over 50 students each received a scholarship. These valuable partners signalled their support for students in a very tangible way by offering them real recognition and helping offset the cost of their studies.

[English]

    Concrete recognition of this kind can have a huge impact on a students' progress and perseverance. I applaud the aerospace firms that provided these bursaries for their foresight in investing in the future.

[Translation]

    My hearty congratulations to the students, the participating companies and the ENA for its essential contribution to our aerospace cluster.

[English]

Events in Elmwood—Transcona

    Mr. Speaker, even though the pandemic is not entirely behind us, it is heartening to see more things return to normal. On Saturday, I enjoyed spending time with my family at Transcona's Hi Neighbour Festival after a pancake breakfast at the legion. Baba's Country Kitchen was back in action and as delicious as ever. On Sunday, I was pleased to join with tens of thousands of people for the Winnipeg pride parade.
     Next weekend, I look forward to celebrating with people in Elmwood as Happy Days on Henderson makes its return after a two-year hiatus. As usual, there will be live music, children's games and a lot more.
    Winnipeg had a long, cold winter, and it has been a difficult year so far. As the little bit of sunshine we are getting now warms our faces, these events are helping to warm our hearts. I thank all the amazing people who have worked hard to put these events back together.

[Translation]

Kidney Disease

    Mr. Speaker, during the night of June 25 to 26, there will be a moonlight tennis challenge in my riding in support of the Kidney Foundation. The name of the event is “Get on the ball and make a donation”. Tennis players from across Quebec will face off on the court to raise money for people with kidney disease, many of whom undergo dialysis at night. Dialysis is not a solution. Transplants do not necessarily guarantee a cure. That is why this athletic event will be raising awareness about the vital importance of kidney health.
    The money raised will give hope to the thousands who have kidney disease or are waiting for a transplant. In Quebec, more than 550,000 people suffer from kidney failure, including 1,300 in the Lanaudière region.
     Rates are not going to go down. American studies clearly link increased levels of fine particles due to pollution with the risk of developing chronic kidney failure. I encourage everyone who wants to get on the ball and make a donation to do so at tennisnocture.ca.

[English]

Owo Church Attack

    Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday at St. Francis Xavier church in Owo, Nigeria, as the choir was singing the closing hymns for their Pentecost celebration, gunmen commenced what would be a massacre of the gathered faithful. For 20 minutes, the gunmen fired. Children running to their parents had their last breaths snatched away. Survivors saw life-long friends, neighbours and family members murdered. When the vicious attack was finished, at least 50 men, women and children lay dead.
     These innocent people were murdered for carrying out their faith and for simply being Catholic. At Pentecost, we celebrate the fullness of the paschal mystery and the birthday of our church. For this holy day to be chosen for the attack is beyond heinous. More and more, we see churches burnt down and vandalized, Catholic holy sites desecrated and, far too often, Catholics killed for their faith.
     We must call out hate anytime it is manifested with words or with actions. Nobody should be targeted or made to feel inferior because they live their faith. I ask Canadians and all members in this place to join me in praying for the victims and their families during this unthinkable hardship.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Edward Laba

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a young man from Halifax West, Edward Laba, on his graduation from École secondaire du Sommet. He is an outstanding student, an accomplished athlete, and has been legally blind since birth.

[English]

    In March, Edward, who is the assistant captain of the See Kings hockey team, competed in the 2022 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament in Toronto where he played as junior defence alongside his more senior teammates and won the gold medal.
    Just last month, Edward was off to Mississauga to play goalball with the Nova Scotia junior team at the Ontario Parasport Games. He was the heart of his team and once again returned home with a gold medal in hand.
    Throughout Edward's academic life, his proud parents, Peter and Rita, have been his biggest supporters. The sky is the limit for Edward. I ask all parliamentarians to join me in congratulating him on his graduation and applauding his success.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has jetted off on another international trip, with no airport lineups for him. I bet we are going to see some more pictures of him with his mask off having a great time. He flaunts the personal freedoms he is enjoying abroad, while back here Canadians are suffering under his out-of-date restrictions. Tourism, federal employees, small businesses and families are all suffering. They are all pawns in the Prime Minister's COVID game.
    Is it not true the Prime Minister knows he needs to lift these restrictions but would rather do COVID theatre than do what is right?
    Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of this pandemic, we have been there for Canadians. Of course, it is the Prime Minister's job and obligation to travel to other countries to do his important work.
    When we hear the opposition speak positively about public health measures but badly about vaccination, it confuses the public. We should be encouraging our neighbours to consider a third or fourth dose. We cannot have relaxed public health measures and more freedom without vaccination as COVID-19 continues to progress. We all have an obligation to ensure that our neighbours are aware of the opportunity for a third dose.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians would like to be planning their summer vacation right now, but too many are focused on how they are going to afford fuel for their cars or to feed their families. Over 20% of Canadians are actually skipping a meal in order to save money. The Liberal solution is blame: blame COVID, blame Putin and blame the Conservatives.
     Today, our Conservative caucus motion provides real solutions so that Canadians can take that summer trip, send their kids to camp and not worry about missing a flight. Will the Liberals support giving Canadians a break or are they going to double down on their vindictive, petty approach?
    Mr. Speaker, we absolutely understand that affordability matters for Canadians. That is why we are taking action by increasing the Canada workers benefit. This year a family of three is getting $2,300 more. We are increasing the OAS for seniors 75 and over by 10% this year, and there is a $500 top-up for people facing housing affordability challenges.
    Mr. Speaker, that is great. A few piddly cheques might dribble in through the mail, and the government thinks that is having any impact on what Canadians are dealing with.
    Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians are worried more about money than anything else they are dealing with, so these Liberal cheques, which are coming from the pockets of Canadians because their taxes are going up, are doing absolutely nothing. The Liberals are so massively out of touch that they do not understand gas prices, they do not understand high food prices and they do not understand long lineups. They understand nothing about what Canadians are dealing with and they do not care.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, what is out of touch is for someone who lives in government accommodation to suggest that a cheque for $2,300 for a family of three working at minimum wage is piddly. It is out of touch to suggest that for a senior over 75 to get an additional $815 is piddly. This is real support for Canadians who need it most.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the crisis, we have seen that the Minister of Finance is totally out of touch with the reality of Canadians.
    According to the Liberals, gas prices are not too high. According to them, Russia, the pandemic and even Canadians are to blame. They are going to criticize the Conservatives today for introducing a motion calling on them to act, to give a little breathing room to Canadians who are having trouble making ends meet at the end of the month.
    Will they help Canadians, yes or no, or will they continue to play their vindictive little political games, which are preventing 25% of Canadians from putting food on their tables?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives love to quote from the Parliamentary Budget Officer's reports so now I would like to quote the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who talked about inflation today. Here is what he said: “The ultimate impetus for the resurgence of high inflation can [be] traced back to the COVID‑19 pandemic. More recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has compounded inflationary pressures.”
    That is exactly what is happening.
    Mr. Speaker, working Canadians and everyone else do not care what is causing inflation or why everything costs more.
    What they do care about is being able to afford to buy groceries at the end of the month, making sure that their kids are not going to bed hungry, and being able to afford to fill up their vehicle so that they can get to work.
    Whether it is the pandemic, COVID‑19, or anything else that the Liberals are going to blame, the reality is that they are doing absolutely nothing right now to help Canadians who need it.
    Why are they so out of touch with Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, that is simply not true. The reality is that we understand very well that affordability is important to Canadian families.
    That is precisely why we have taken action such as increasing the Canada workers benefit, which gives a single worker an extra $1,000 in benefits. We are providing an additional one-time $500 payment to those struggling to find housing.

Service Canada

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are furious about passport wait times. Even in the midst of a crisis, none of the passport offices are open on the weekend, even for people who are leaving within 48 hours.
    The Liberals are forcing people who have been waiting for three months to miss a day of work in order to make an urgent application. Worse, they are charging $50 to $110 in extra fees. That is crazy. They are making citizens pay the price for their incompetence.
    Will they open offices on the weekend and process urgent applications at no extra cost?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House before, we are seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of passport applications.
    Nevertheless, people should not have to pay to have their application processed more quickly if it occurs outside normal service hours.
    Also, a dozen offices are open almost every Saturday to ensure that we can respond to urgent requests.

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, the government says it is doing everything in its power, but only between the hours of eight and four and at people's expense. That is outrageous.
    They have to open passport offices on the weekend for people who need to travel within 48 hours. They have to stop charging extra fees for people who submitted their application and are still waiting 20 business days later.
    When will they actually do everything in their power to fix their mistakes and deliver passports on time without fees? Enough is enough.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, those fees should not apply if the passport is not delivered within the normal 20-day period.
    I will raise the matter with Service Canada again. I know Service Canada employees are working extremely hard, including evenings and weekends, to serve Canadians. They are there, and we will do everything in our power to make sure Canadians receive their passports before travelling.

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, one out of every four Canadians in this country is going hungry because they cannot afford groceries. At the same time, corporations are making record profits. They are breaking record after record.
    Our plan is to tax the excess—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I will ask the hon. member to start from the top so we can all hear his question.
    The hon. member for Burnaby South.
    Mr. Speaker, I just mentioned that Canadians are hungry and I hear laughter in the chamber. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    One out of every four Canadians is hungry because they cannot afford groceries, while corporations are making record profits and are responsible for one-fourth of the inflation that Canadians are experiencing. Our plan is to tax the excess profits of these corporations and put the money directly into the pockets of Canadians who need it.
    When will the government stop protecting the wealth of these corporations and start standing up for families that need help right now?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is absolutely committed to making sure everyone in Canada pays their fair share and we have taken concrete action. We have permanently raised the corporate income tax on the largest and most profitable banks and insurance companies in Canada by 1.5%. We are introducing a Canada recovery dividend on banks and insurance companies of 15%. We are also putting in place a luxury tax on cars and planes worth more than $100,000 and on boats worth more than $250,000.
    Mr. Speaker, we need to expand the tax that has been proposed for banks to the profitable oil and gas sector and corporate big box stores that are making record profits while Canadians are hungry and cannot afford food.

[Translation]

    A quarter of Canadians are going hungry because they cannot afford groceries, while corporations are making record profits. Our plan is to tax those excess profits and redistribute the money directly to families.
    When will this government stand up for families instead of protecting the profits of big corporations?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to making sure that everyone pays their fair share. We have taken concrete action by permanently raising the corporate income tax on the largest and most profitable corporations, banks and insurance companies and by introducing a 15% Canada recovery dividend on banks and insurance companies.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, almost every G7 country has a plan to deal with high gas prices and runaway inflation. For example, Germany has a $16-billion plan to lower gas prices. The Americans have released their strategic reserve. Even the British government has cut gas taxes and is considering more. From our Prime Minister we have word salad.
    Besides blaming Putin or suggesting that people buy an electric vehicle, can the Prime Minister cobble together a plan to deal with rising gas prices, or is that just way too much to ask of him as a leader of a G7 country?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, the party that needs a coherent policy is the Conservative Party, and it just does not have one. As usual, the Conservatives are failing to pick a lane on fiscal policy. Half of the time they like to talk about deficits and complain about government spending, but the other half of the time, like just now, they praise the expensive multi-billion dollar programs put in place by the governments of other countries, so really, what is the fiscal policy of the Conservative Party of Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, despite having lower gas prices, the Americans have acted to help struggling families fill their tanks and keep life affordable. The Prime Minister likes to import the divisive politics that occur to the south of our border and claims that if we do not act firmly and rapidly it will only get worse and be more difficult to counter. As our largest importer of American politics, when will the Prime Minister finally try to import something positive, like helping Canadians deal with gas prices?
    Mr. Speaker, as the hon. colleague knows, the current situation in Ukraine and the unprovoked attack by Russia have resulted in a geopolitical crisis in Europe and elevated energy prices around the world. While Canada's energy security remains intact, we are working with our international allies, and very much with our friends in the United States, to stabilize energy markets around the world. In this regard, we have committed to increasing oil and gas production by 300,000 barrels per day by the end of the year. At home, we have instructed the Competition Bureau to ensure there is no collusion around gas pricing.
    We are working to ensure that we are putting money back in the pockets of Canadians through the Canada child benefit, tax cuts for the middle class, and other items to ensure we are addressing the affordability of—
    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, people in my riding woke up to some bad news this morning. The price of gas is up to $2.24 a litre. That is a record high. This is the reality for every Canadian family in my riding and from coast to coast to coast.
    As we know, when the price goes up, the tax also goes up. Basically, the government makes more money when the price goes up. However, what differentiates Canada from other countries like Germany, England, Australia and South Korea is that those countries have lowered the gas tax.
    Why does this government refuse to do that?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on what my finance colleague said. On the issue of carbon pricing, in 2007, the Harper government proposed a $15 tax. In 2008, it proposed a cap-and-trade system, only to change its mind in 2011. In the end, it decided not to do anything about climate change.
    Surprise, surprise, during the last election campaign, the Conservative Party went back to supporting carbon pricing. Now, as of a few weeks ago, it no longer supports it. What Canadians want is action on climate change, not a party that changes its mind all the time.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been clear about what they want, and that is effective policies to fight inflation.
    As gas prices continue to rise, the tax rises too, so the government is pocketing more and more money. The government is putting more money in its own pockets and less in the pockets of Canadians.
    This is a direct measure that Canadians want. Other countries have adopted this measure, so why does the Liberal government refuse to do so?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives need to pick a lane on fiscal policy. Half of the time, they talk about the deficit and complain about government spending, but the other half of the time, they praise expensive programs proposed by other governments. What are the Conservatives actually advocating for: spending or fiscal responsibility?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, Canadians need answers, not talking points. People in my riding and in northern and rural communities all across Canada have to drive just about everywhere. Fuel prices are at record highs, which is making life harder for all Canadians.
    When will the government drop the talking points, do the right thing, drop the GST on fuel and make life more affordable for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows, the unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russia has driven up energy prices around the world. The government is working actively with partners in the United States and with other countries around the world to ensure that Canada is increasing supplies to stabilize energy pricing globally. We are also working actively within this country to ensure that we are addressing affordability challenges.
    The opposition voted against tax cuts for the middle class. It voted against the Canada child benefit and it voted against day care programs, all of which are aimed at ensuring affordability for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' high taxes and high inflation policies are hurting Canadians. Shaughn, a veteran and a constituent in my riding, recently emailed me to say that as a result of the carbon tax and the impact of inflation, he has had to sell his home in order to get by. Shaughn’s home was his nest egg and safety net for the future, but thanks to the Prime Minister's policies, it is gone.
    Will the Prime Minister acknowledge the harm his policies are having on Canadians like Shaughn?
    Mr. Speaker, our plan is designed so that the majority of households in Canada receive more money from the climate incentive payment than they pay. This has been confirmed through the analysis of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. As carbon prices increase, these payments also increase. For example, this year a family of four will receive up to $745 in Ontario, $830 in Manitoba, $1,100 in the member's province of Saskatchewan and more than $1,000 in Alberta.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, it is official: 2021 was Montreal's most violent year in a decade. The police released its annual report, and there were 25,000 crimes against the person. Incidents where shots were fired doubled compared to last year. This wave of violence can be traced back to organized crime and its illegal weapons.
    The federal government must do more than restrict legal firearms. Illegal weapons are plaguing Montreal. Will the minister admit that Bill C‑21 does not solve this problem?
    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague that shootings and tragic events caused by firearms are unacceptable. I am always ready to work with my Bloc colleagues.
    However, today, we are studying Bill C‑21 in the House. I very much look forward to starting the debate on this bill, because the measures it contains can make all communities and all Canadians safer.
    Mr. Speaker, putting a freeze on legal handgun sales is a step in the right direction, I will give him that.
    As for illegal firearms, we need to face facts. Criminal groups do not buy their guns at the store, and they are the ones who made 2021 Montreal's most violent year.
    The minister may well increase prison sentences, but we still need to be able to arrest these individuals, seize their illegal weapons and lay charges. The numbers show that we did not manage to do it in 2021. Organized crime groups are not worried. Does the minister realize that?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is quite right. This bill is an important step. Why is that?
    It is because it introduces a national freeze on handguns. It is because it introduces many criminal penalties for organized criminals. It is because we can now do what needs to be done to curb intimate partner violence. That is meaningful action. These measures need to be passed into law to protect all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, we need to give the police more resources so that they can take action. One of those resources is a list of criminal organizations, like the Bloc Québécois suggested. That would greatly ease the burden of proof when the police want to lay charges against members of criminal groups. Given that 2021 was the most violent year of the past decade in Montreal, the minister simply cannot afford to deprive the police of such a tool any longer.
    Does the minister realize that this sad statistic obligates him to consider our proposal and create an organized crime registry?
    Mr. Speaker, that is exactly why we introduced Bill C-21. As I already said, I am always willing to work with my colleague. I agree with the Bloc Québécois's goal, vision and concept, but we still need to examine the bill.
    It is too bad that the Conservatives picked a fight on Friday when we had time to start this debate. We really need to move forward on this. We need to pass this bill as soon as possible.

  (1445)  

[English]

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, under this government, Canada is becoming less and less safe. The Liberals have brought in Bill C-5, legislation that is soft on gun crime, while the Supreme Court has ruled that one can drink one's way out of a conviction for a serious crime and receive a discounted sentence for multiple murders.
    It is about time the Liberals put victims first. Will the government provide a legislative response to these court rulings?
    Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to victims and we will always stand with victims. With respect to the Supreme Court ruling on serious intoxication, we are looking carefully at that ruling. The Court has presented us with a number of different options, and I have already said publicly that we will evaluate those options and come back to this place.
    Serious crimes in this country will always carry serious consequences. The failed tough-on-crime Conservative policy needs to be put in the past, and that is precisely what we are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court ruling means that the killer of three Mounties in Moncton, New Brunswick has had his parole ineligibility reduced from 75 years to 25. This will put the victims' families through future misery.
    Will the government respond?
    Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to anybody, to any families and communities that suffer from the ravages of multiple murders. The Supreme Court ruling is clear and unanimous. We have said and we have pointed out that the ability of a mass murderer to get parole is extremely rare. Celebrated murderers and mass murderers like Paul Bernardo do not get parole. The system is, in itself, one that punishes criminals seriously.
    Mr. Speaker, not all mandatory minimum sentences have been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada. Bill C-5 punishes legitimate gun owners and gives violent criminals a ticket back to ruining more lives. In Surrey, two men, including one wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for human trafficking, have been charged after Mounties seized a loaded handgun in a traffic stop.
    Violent repeat offenders should be taken off the streets. What does this government not understand about protecting victims and putting violent criminals behind bars?
    Mr. Speaker, if my colleague had read the bill, she would see that this initiative tackles organized crime head-on by raising maximum sentences against serious hardened criminals who would terrorize our communities.
    I was in my hon. colleague's province just last week to speak with Eileen Mohan, who lost her son some 15 years ago to gun violence, unnecessary, harsh, needless, senseless violence.
    If my hon. colleague is interested in protecting her community, then she will vote for Bill C-21. It enjoys the support of survivors. It enjoys the support of women's groups. It enjoys the support of law enforcement.
    We should all unite behind this bill, because that is how we will protect Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, Surrey, B.C., has seen a troubling spike in gun violence, with 28 reports of shots fired and three confirmed deadly shootings by April of this year. Fatal gun violence by gangs linked to the drug trade continues to rise in my riding, putting our community in jeopardy, yet this government chooses to play politics at the expense of people's lives.
    Why does the Prime Minister refuse to protect victims—often racialized and indigenous Canadians, by the way—by ensuring repeat violent offenders go to jail for their crimes?
    Mr. Speaker, what playing politics looks like in this chamber is exactly what we saw last Friday and what we are pretty sure we are going to continue to see from Conservatives. Rather than allowing for debate to commence on Bill C-21, they are stalling it, filibustering it. which is
    Notwithstanding that, we are going to continue to have this debate—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1450)  

    Order.
    Can we continue?
    I will ask the hon. minister to take it from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, what playing politics looks like in this chamber is when there is filibustering, which is exactly what the Conservatives engaged in last Friday when we were supposed to start debating Bill C-21.
    What we need to do is move forward with a national freeze on handguns. We need to move forward with the tools that will allow us to take on organized crime and gun violence.
    When we actually look at the Conservatives on this issue, they have no plan except for legalizing AR-15s and assault-style rifles, which will make our communities more dangerous. Our bill will protect communities. That is why they should vote for it.

Airline Industry

    Mr. Speaker, security workers continue to bear the brunt of the chaos at our airports. In Vancouver on Friday, I met directly with airport workers who told me about missed breaks, excessive overtime and low wages. It is no wonder this government is having trouble filling positions. Now, in Amsterdam, the public airport just reached a deal with the union that sees a pay raise during the busy summer travel season, but this government leaves workers at the whim of private contractors.
    Will the minister tell us if he is concerned about the working conditions faced by our airport workers? Does he even care?
    Mr. Speaker, of course our government is concerned about working conditions for all employees, including those who work for CATSA. We are also concerned about the experience of travellers.
    My hon. colleague mentions Amsterdam. Let me read this headline: “Amsterdam Airport Boldly Asks Airlines to Cancel Flights to Alleviate Chaos”.
    We are witnessing a global phenomenon, and in order for us to serve the public properly, we need to increase resources and be there working with the airlines, working with the airport, working with CATSA to ensure that we address these issues.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been over 100 days since the illegal war in Ukraine began, and this government still is not transparent on sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs. Global Affairs will not tell us what assets have been frozen, because it says that its data may not be complete, so the government does not know what has been sanctioned and Canadians do not know what has been sanctioned. Do the Russian oligarchs being sanctioned know what is being sanctioned?
    When will the minister finally tell us the number and the amount of assets seized so Canadians can tell if the government's plan is actually working?
    Mr. Speaker, one thing that has brought this House together over this last number of months is our solidarity in our support for Ukraine and our condemnation of the illegal invasion by Russia into Ukraine. What we have also done is work in an unprecedented fashion in imposing sanctions upon Russia to level that playing field and bring Russia down as we lift Ukraine up in this battle of their lives.
    Those sanctions are unprecedented. Since February 24, we have levelled sanctions at over 1,400 individuals and entities, and we will continue to do that until the job is done.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, on April 7, our government put forward its plan to make life more affordable for Canadians through the 2022 budget. A top area of concern in my riding of Kitchener South—Hespeler is the issue of housing affordability. We know that Canadians deserve a safe place to call home and that it should be affordable.
     Can the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance tell us what the government is doing to make the dream of owning a home a reality for more Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member, my colleague, for the very hard work that she is doing in her constituency.
    We are committed to making housing more affordable for all Canadians. That is why the budget included a tax-free first home savings account, a ban on foreign buyers for two years, a one-time payment of $500 to help people in need, $1.5 billion to support new housing co-ops and a new $4-billion housing accelerator fund.
    I look forward to working with my colleague on these important projects.

  (1455)  

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the government clearly does not know its own policies with respect to travel on federally regulated boats. The Marine Atlantic policy clearly states that travel is open to unvaccinated Canadians because the voyage is less than 24 hours and the service is essential. Clearly, all plane trips in the world are less than 24 hours. Also, the parliamentary secretary's assertion that the hardy folks of Newfoundland will spend the entire voyage outside on the North Atlantic in the wintertime is nothing short of ridiculous.
    Canadians need a commitment that this government will put an end to their hypocritical and vindictive political mandates.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hard work and the advocacy of the member opposite.
    As I said yesterday, it is a lot different travelling on a boat versus a plane. When we are in an airplane, we are in a confined space, seated right next to somebody, as we are here in the House of Commons. That is why we on this side wear masks. When somebody is on a ferry, they can be far more socially distant. They can go outside. Windows are available. I would not recommend opening the window when one is up in the air.
    Mr. Speaker, the other thing we hear from the government is lots of statistics with respect to health care: We hear that 6,000 people die every month from heart disease, 3,500 die from diabetes, 7,000 die monthly from cancer and 600 people die every month from overdoses, which is four times the prepandemic number.
    Clearly, these numbers are meant simply for context. These diseases are a reality in our lives, but Canadians do not live in fear. It is time for us to learn to live with COVID also. These mandates are clearly political science and not medical science. Is that not right?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not a medical doctor like the member opposite.
     I would take note of the fact that he just referred to a few deadly diseases. However, COVID-19 is one—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am just going to interrupt for a moment. I am sure the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester wants to hear the answer, but we cannot hear it if people are talking or shouting.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I am not a medical doctor like my colleague opposite, and we have been collaborating on the health committee. However, I do not think that just because Canadians unfortunately die from things like coronary artery disease, strokes and heart attacks means that COVID-19 is less of a priority for this government. COVID-19 is beatable. With vaccines and social distancing and by wearing masks, we can beat COVID-19, but we need everybody in this House to participate.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government continue their hypocrisy and virtue signalling with their vindictive mandates as airports are in disarray, people are blocked from travelling and others remain unable to return to their jobs. We will hear in their response that they are following the science, but let me offer a quote on the government's mandates from a well-known infectious disease specialist, Dr. Isaac Bogoch: “At the end of the day, the current policy probably isn’t doing a whole lot.”
    So mandates are not stopping the spread. They are not saving lives. They are hurting Canadians. When will the Prime Minister and the government end the mandates?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his collaboration at the health committee as well. I was also there when we heard from Dr. Bogoch, who has been a consistent and sage advocate for vaccines from the first day of this pandemic. He was, this morning, on the news as well.
    It is incontrovertible that vaccines will continue to save lives in this country. Only in the last month, over 1,800 Canadians died from COVID-19. We cannot wish COVID-19 away. We must continue to be vigilant. We must continue to ensure that our neighbours are aware of where they can get a third or a fourth dose, and we must be wearing our masks when we are in public.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes is trying to ask a question and his own side is talking over him. Let us keep it down and let the hon. member ask his question.
    The hon. member.
    Mr. Speaker, they are excited to tell the parliamentary secretary that he should offer that advice to the Prime Minister. He is out not wearing his mask when he is in enclosed spaces, but he has people wear them when he does not.
     Now that we have heard political spin, let us hear from another infectious disease specialist, Dr. Neil Rau, who said, “The policy seems to lag the science and it has become incredibly political.”
    It is well past the time for the Prime Minister and the government to accept that dividing Canadians and pitting neighbour against neighbour was wrong. People want their jobs back. They want to travel. They want to be able to visit with their families.
    Is the Prime Minister finally ready to drop the politics of stigmatization and division and end the mandates?

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, of course Dr. Neil Rau is renowned in my community as well. He has helped my mother. When I was travelling a lot, he supported our team when we were travelling. He is a very good infectious disease doctor.
    However, I would posit that it is that side that is making this political. Vaccines are not political. They are not controversial. These vaccine mandates have done a very good job, and of course all of the regulations and all of the public health restrictions are constantly being reviewed, as they will be.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Bill 96 makes federally regulated businesses subject to the Charter of the French Language, but the Liberals' Bill C‑13 contradicts Bill 96 and gives businesses the choice to make French optional.
    For the Quebec Community Groups Network, offering this choice already goes too far. Yesterday they demanded that only the federal legislation apply, so that its businesses can continue to operate in English only. Does the minister believe that her allies such as the QCGN care one bit about the decline of French in Quebec?
    As I have said many times, our government is the first to recognize that French is in decline in Canada, including in Quebec.
     That is why we are moving forward with an ambitious bill, one with teeth, to ensure that we can do our part. The federal government wants to take responsibility and make sure that we are doing everything we can to address this situation, as it is a top priority for the government.
    Mr. Speaker, English is not threatened in Quebec or anywhere in North America, and yet that is what the English Montreal School Board believes. It has announced plans to challenge Bill 96, and it is calling on all like-minded groups to provide financial support for its challenge.
    I have a simple question for the minister: Does she agree with us that the English Montreal School Board should not get one penny of taxpayer money to challenge Quebec's Bill 96?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, we have been very clear that our government is the first federal party to recognize that French is in decline in Canada, including in Quebec. That is why we are moving forward with an ambitious bill to address this situation.
    What is really disappointing is that yesterday, at the Standing Committee on Official Languages, we saw time being wasted in the first hour of the committee meeting. Rather than taking the time needed to begin a thorough analysis of Bill C‑13, we saw members of the opposition, including the Bloc, simply waste that time.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, shootings are happening more and more often in the greater Montreal area. Fear is taking hold in some neighbourhoods, and children have been traumatized by shootings in broad daylight.
     What is the government doing to address this? With Bill C-5, it is eliminating mandatory prison time for armed robbery, armed extortion and weapons trafficking.
    What is the world coming to? Why is the government so soft on crime?
    Mr. Speaker, serious crime will always have serious consequences.
    What we are doing with Bill C‑5 is completely different. We are targeting the overrepresentation of Black and indigenous people in the criminal justice system. We are talking about offences where public safety is not at stake. For serious offences, there is Bill C-21. I hope the opposition will support both of these bills.
    Mr. Speaker, I invite the Minister of Justice to listen to the following quotation: “while the federal government is using the overrepresentation of indigenous peoples and people of diverse backgrounds in our prisons to justify abolishing many minimum sentences, it seems to forget one important fact: Members of these same communities are equally overrepresented among the victims of these armed crimes”.
    This quotation came from Murielle Chatellier, who is a member of Montreal's Black community.
    Would the Prime Minister like to discuss Bill C-5 with her, or does he think she is racist, too?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, these attempts to spread misinformation about Bill C-5 are appalling. It is important remember that serious offences will always carry serious consequences.
    Bill C-5 targets offences where public safety is not threatened. The idea is to give judges the latitude they need to hand down sentences that can help society as well as the victims.
    Mr. Speaker, when something comes from the Liberal side, it is always perfect, but when it comes from the opposition parties then it is always disinformation.
    I would like to know what the minister thinks about what Quebec's public safety minister said when she announced her strategy to combat gun violence. She said, “To all those gang members terrorizing our citizens...you are going to have to deal with our police officers”. Minister Guilbault wants to enforce the law the way it is meant to be enforced, regardless of colour and without playing political games like the Prime Minister.
    If Minister Guilbault agrees with our position and the Prime Minister thinks our position is racist, does he also believe that Minister Guilbault and the Quebec government are racist?
    Before we continue, I want to remind members that they are not to refer to their colleagues by name, but rather by their title, even if they are quoting.
    Some hon. members: It is a minister from Quebec.
    The Speaker: Pardon me, my mistake. Even the Speaker makes mistakes.
    The hon. Minister of Public Safety.
    Mr. Speaker, I have spoken several times with my Quebec counterpart, Minister Guilbault, and we will continue to exchange views on Bill C‑21. Minister Guilbault announced her support for this bill. She said that it was a step in the right direction for the protection of Quebeckers and even all Canadians.
    We must start debating this bill so we can implement measures to protect Canadians, and I hope that the Conservatives will now change course.

Agriculture and Agri-food

    Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. Farmers are on the front lines of climate change and their efforts are essential to achieve Canada's climate goals.
    Could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food inform the House of the most recent initiatives that will make a real difference in helping farmers reduce their GHG emissions?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. The agricultural sector must be an important partner in our fight against climate change. That is why I was very pleased to recently announce 47 projects totalling $15 million under the agricultural clean technology program.
    These projects will provide subsidies for the purchase of energy efficient equipment, for precision agriculture and for reducing emissions. They will also include investments in research and innovation.

[English]

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to ethics violations, the Liberal government has already reached the super elite status. Whether it is a $1-billion sweetheart deal with WE Charity or SNC-Lavalin bullying, clam scam nepotism or the $200,000 illegal vacation by the Prime Minister, it is as though the Liberals are competing for who can be the most unethical.
    Now the Minister of International Trade knew Amanda Alvaro was a close friend who ran her election campaign, and yet she awarded her a $17,000 contract anyway. When will the minister quit blaming her own department officials and take ownership of and responsibility for her own scandal?
    Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. This contract was proactively disclosed to the public over two years ago. I was not involved in the awarding of it, and this contract was reviewed by the civil service to ensure compliance with the rules.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister is being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner because she advanced the personal interests of her friend. Now we understand the Liberals need to pay a premium for spin doctors, given all their scandals. The Minister of International Trade is being investigated because she gave a $17,000 sole-sourced contract to a CBC pundit who is her dear personal friend and former campaign organizer. This is ridiculous.
    Will the minister apologize for her unethical behaviour and hand over all records on this contract to the Ethics Commissioner immediately?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, as I said, all information related to this contract was disclosed proactively two years ago.
    I might remind the hon. member that at the height of this pandemic, it was critical to ensure that our small businesses and our workers knew what was available to them. I think our record speaks for itself. Five million jobs were—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. minister will start from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, all of the information related to this contract was proactively disclosed over two years ago.
    Let us remember that at the height of this pandemic, it was really critical that small businesses, workers and Canadians understood what was available to them in support. Now the record speaks for itself. Over five million jobs were saved as a result of the wage subsidy, and over 900,000 businesses got small business loans as a result of CEBA.
    Mr. Speaker, the contracting authority must not issue multiple contracts against a single requirement or back-to-back contracts to the same supplier in order to avoid obtaining the approval required by statute. These are Treasury Board contracting rules, yet the government has refused to address the rampant splitting of contracts that benefit government insiders.
    Internal government documents show several hundred of these violations of the law. Will the President of the Treasury Board commit to the law or commit, instead, to Liberal insiders?
    Mr. Speaker, all TBS contracts are issued in accordance with government contract regulations and Treasury Board contracting policy, guidelines and procedures.
    One of the fundamental principles of federal contracting is openness in providing suppliers with opportunities to submit bids for government contracts. When departments choose a non-competitive procurement strategy, it must be fully justified and recorded. From the perspective of value for money, the cost of awarding a contract outweighs any economic advantage associated with competing for goods under $25,000 and services in construction contracts under $40,000.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, in the 42nd Parliament, I introduced Bill C-374, an act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. That bill responded directly to call to action 79, which calls for the development of “a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration”. It would also help to promote recognition and understanding of the history of indigenous peoples, including their significant ongoing contributions to Canada. This ensures representation for indigenous peoples on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
    Could the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell the House how we are advancing on call to action 79?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Cloverdale—Langley City for the important work he did on advancing this very important issue.
    The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plays a central role in our country's official historic designations. Ensuring representation for indigenous peoples on the board is an important step in responding to call to action 79.
    Today, I introduced Bill C-23. The strong legislative framework, the first of its kind in Canada, would help ensure that Canada's treasured historic places are protected. The proposed legislation not only strengthens indigenous voices at the table, but also provides flexibility to adapt and reuse historic places as sustainable ways of addressing the climate change crisis.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, experts are clear that we will not control COVID until the world is vaccinated, yet only 10% of people in low-income countries have received a vaccine, compared to 77% in high-income nations. The Liberals promised to send 200 million doses to COVAX, but fewer than 15 million have been delivered to date.
     Last year, the WHO said we stood “on the brink of a catastrophic...failure”. Today, Doctors Without Borders says that we have fallen off the cliff.
    Why are the Liberals failing to deliver for Canadians and the world?

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has stepped up to vaccinate the world. In fact, the 200 million doses we promised we have actually been delivering to multiple countries around the world.
    In fact, tomorrow I have another meeting with multiple nations to discuss the next steps. This is also a supply chain issue. We are making sure we provide the appropriate therapeutics, but we also need to make sure the misinformation that is in our own country does not spread and prevent the acceptance of vaccines around the world.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow members of all parties will have a chance to send Bill