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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 084

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 8, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 084
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

    The hon. member for Yellowhead will now lead us in the singing of the national anthem.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a local non-profit organization, Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.
    It has played a vital role in Richmond by providing philanthropic efforts and essential services in our community. Started in 1972 with humble beginnings, a group of passionate individuals launched an information centre. Eventually, the organization grew and began offering more services with the passion to serve the community as its core value.
    Some of its programs include a child care resource centre, senior support services and the annual Richmond Christmas fund. Its contributions have demonstrated the community values of generosity, collaboration and compassion.
    I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the amazing work of all the volunteers, staff, board members and supporters of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives. Their stories and ongoing work continue to inspire us all and remind us of what a healthy community looks like.

[Translation]

Leucan Shaved Head Challenge

    Mr. Speaker, I want to share the story of Clovis, a talented and imaginative little boy from Saint‑Cyrille‑de‑Lessard.
    The first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was two years old, Clovis started experiencing strange symptoms, which led to hospital visit after hospital visit, where he was poked and prodded. It was a very painful, emotional and worrisome time for both him and his family. Finally, he, his parents, Rémy and Véronique, and his brothers found out that he has cancer. He was diagnosed with leukemia.
    His loved ones and community, along with Leucan, stepped up to help. Leucan brings moments of joy, peace and support.
    On June 18, Jean‑Philippe Dumas and I, the co-chairs of the 2022 Leucan campaign, will be shaving our heads in a show of solidarity at the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge in Montmagny. I am very happy to do it.
    As we speak, every member of the House is receiving an email from me asking them to contribute to this cause and support Leucan. I want to thank them in advance on behalf of Clovis and all children with cancer. I thank them for their generosity.

[English]

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, June is Seniors Month in Ontario, and last Friday I had the pleasure of visiting the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre, which serves about 3,000 members across my riding of Hamilton Mountain and beyond. I awkwardly participated in an energetic cardio dance class led by Pam, got schooled in billiards by Angelo and chatted and laughed with women enjoying the bright, sunny lounge.
    The centre was packed and full of life, despite not yet returning to full capacity. We know the pandemic took a toll on many seniors, who are already vulnerable to social isolation. Places like Sackville are critical to healthy aging and supporting mental well-being and regular physical activity.
    We thank recreation supervisor Laura Rolph for the tour, for showing me the impact that Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre has on our community and for sharing postpandemic plans to further engage and expand.

[Translation]

Roger Barrette

    Mr. Speaker, today I have the pleasure and privilege of paying tribute to an exceptional man.
    Roger Barrette, a community worker at the CISSS des Laurentides, is loved by all and known for his outstanding sense of dedication to his community. That dedication is not new. By the time he was 14, he knew he was destined for a career in community service.
     He started getting involved at a young age. He opened the first youth centre in his home town of Lac‑Saint‑Jean. He became a community worker at the age of 21, and his first assignment was to support the community of Chapais in the wake of a deadly fire.
    During his more than 40-year career, Mr. Barrette has taken on numerous professional challenges. Most importantly, he has played a vital role in developing a unique community approach that has made a huge difference in the lives of residents and strengthened the social fabric of our community.
    I want to thank Mr. Barrette.

  (1410)  

Laurentian University Lunars

    Mr. Speaker, the Laurentian Lunars of Laurentian University in my riding of Sudbury recently won the Over the Dusty Moon competition hosted by the Colorado School of Mines.
    Students from around the world went to Colorado to participate in the innovation competition. Each team had to create a system capable of transporting lunar regolith, or loose sediment.
    I am so impressed by the team's hard work and innovative spirit. Its members are Ethan Murphy, Adam Farrow, Quade Howald, Alexander Mackenzie, Reid Ludgate, Goran Hinic, Kevan Sullivan and Kyle Wulle.
     The competition took place at the same time as convocation, so these students did not have the pleasure of walking across the stage with the other graduates.
    Cheers to the team's impressive leadership, and congratulations to its members on winning the competition and earning their diplomas.

[English]

Women's Institutes

    Mr. Speaker, on June 18, the Wellington-Halton District Women's Institute will be joining other women's institutes across Ontario to celebrate 125 years. Established in 1897 in Stoney Creek, Ontario, the Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario offers inclusive and supportive social networking for women, community action and the personal growth of women.
    Women's institutes offer educational programs and advocate for social, environmental and economic change. Today, there are some 2,600 members across 220 branches in Ontario. In Wellington—Halton Hills, we have six branches in the local communities of Alma, Ashgrove, Coningsby, Dublin, Norval and Silver-Wood.
    I would like to thank all of the volunteers of the women's institutes that have served our local communities. Congratulations on this important anniversary.

Birthday Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable person from my riding of Ottawa Centre who will be celebrating her 100th birthday on June 25. Rita Margaret MacKenzie Markey moved to Ottawa when she was 18 years old to help support her mother. She worked hard and was employed in this very House as a transcriber of Hansard. She is a proud Canadian who takes pride in the fact that she has voted in every election.
    In 1940, Rita met a young man named Edward John Markey. They have been married for an amazing 62 years. They found joy in their six children: Stephen, Shaun, Scott, Stuart, Sloan and Sharon. Her 22 grandchildren and great grandchildren adore their nonna. Rita loves nature and always spends her time painting, gardening and swimming at her cottage on Danford Lake.
    On behalf of the entire community of Ottawa Centre and the entire House, I wish to recognize Rita Markey, a wonderful Canadian. I wish Rita a happy 100th birthday.

Canada-Ireland Relations

    Mr. Speaker, I have risen many times in the chamber to celebrate the important relationship between Canada and Ireland. This week is the first-ever Canada regional conference. It is hosted by the Irish embassy in Ottawa and brings together Irish honorary consuls and the trade promotion agencies from across Canada. Representatives from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax and Ireland are meeting to look at ways to continue strengthening the bonds between our two nations.
    I want to thank them, and in particular I want to thank our friend, the Irish ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Eamonn McKee. His tireless efforts to highlight our cultural ties and close historical links are truly inspiring. I also want to say a special thanks to our friend Eithne Heffernan, a true champion in the Irish community.
    However, it is with great sadness that I also pay respects to a former ambassador, His Excellency Jim Kelly, who passed suddenly on March 17. He was a man of great integrity and kindness and a diplomat with enormous vision.
    As we look to the future, the House looks forward to working with Ambassador McKee and his team. Lastly, I want to wish my Irish seatmate a happy birthday.

  (1415)  

Canadian Walk for Veterans

    Mr. Speaker, today, I have the honour to talk to the House about the annual Canadian Walk for Veterans. The first walk was hosted as a fundraiser for the Equitas Society, organized by South Surrey—White Rock resident Marc Burchell, a great friend of mine, and the co-founder, retired Master Corporal Chance Burles.
    This year the walk will take place both in person and virtually across Canada over the weekend of September 24 in over 152 cities. This event, hosted by One Veteran Society, invites Canadians from coast to coast to coast to walk shoulder to shoulder in recognition of our military, veterans and first responders, with the goal of providing opportunities for Canadians to learn about the challenges of coping with life after service. The walk will raise awareness of the plight of translators, interpreters, cultural advisers and other locally employed people who have been essential to the success of multiple Canadian missions.
    I call on each and every member of the House to participate in any way they can and help bring awareness to this very important issue and outstanding organization.

Portuguese Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, in June, we celebrate Portuguese Heritage Month. It is a great time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Portuguese descent.
     Also, Friday, June 10, is Portugal Day. It is commemorated both in Portugal and around the world. It is a very special day of pride for me as a Portuguese Canadian. Canada is now home to one of the largest Portuguese diasporas in the world, with nearly half a million people of Portuguese origin calling Canada home.
    This year, we have the special honour of having with us His Excellency Augusto Santos Silva, President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the ambassador of Portugal, António Leão Rocha, and Mrs. Luisa Leão Rocha for their great service to our Portuguese Canadian community.
    To our LUSO community and in tribute for 70 years of Canada-Portugal relations, I say this.
    [Member spoke in Portuguese]

North Nova Scotia Highlanders

    Mr. Speaker, on June 6, 1944, 156,000 Canadian, British and American soldiers stormed some 50 miles of beaches along the heavily fortified Normandy coast of France. The sage advice given to troops by Dwight Eisenhower was simple: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”
    Fortunately for us, one of the regiments to land on D-Day was the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. This storied regiment, based in Amherst in my riding of Cumberland—Colchester, pushed through the extreme fighting and made the greatest inland gains of any allied forces. The now Nova Scotia Highlanders still exists today in Cumberland—Colchester and in Pictou County. Those who continue to serve stand on the shoulders of giants. The cenotaph in Amherst has recently been beautifully revamped. It is adorned with a lifelike North Novie and it is spectacular.
    As we often debate freedom in this House, let us always remember the great sacrifice by those who have gone before, the seriousness of our decisions and the plight of those we represent. Lest we forget.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in this House with sadness, frustration and worry. These emotions are directly related to the Liberal government's agreement with British Columbia that will decriminalize fentanyl. Never before has the government made such a bad decision that will directly impact the safety and well-being of British Columbians. This exemption will now allow British Columbians to carry up to 2.5 grams of this deadly drug. This amount is serious enough to kill someone many times over, including many members of this House.
     How can the Liberal government be so complacent and look to normalize the use of this deadly drug, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine? Street drugs are a serious issue in B.C. In so many cases, parents cannot take their children to the park without first checking for used needles. Just this week, at my son's school, teachers were picking up drug paraphernalia right at the entrance of his classroom. This is devastating and not acceptable.
    Canadians struggling with addiction deserve compassion, compassion that puts them on the path to recovery, compassion that leads them to the mental, physical and cultural health supports they need. Normalizing fentanyl is not compassionate.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Canadian Environment Week

    Mr. Speaker, this is Canadian Environment Week, so it is a great time to highlight the historic investments our government has made to position our country and the Sherbrooke community on the path to a clean, strong and competitive economy in a low-carbon world.
    I am proud of our government for investing more than $3.8 million in the Société de transport de Sherbrooke so it can operate a fleet of 100% electric buses.
    I would also like to highlight the innovative businesses in Sherbrooke that are doing their part to reduce our carbon footprint. One great example is Sherbrooke OEM, a company that specializes in recycling. It has been able to continue to expand after receiving an investment of nearly $1 million from our government.
    We all know how much these businesses need our support for the common good.
    Let us all continue our efforts to ensure that our country remains a leader in the fight against climate change.

[English]

Justice

    [Member spoke in Inuktitut and provided the following text:]
    ᐅᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎᔨ
    ᓈᒻᒫᓂᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᑐᐃᔪᓕᕆᓂᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᐅᒪᔭᐅᓗᐊᕌᓂᒃᑐᖅ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᐊᓪᓚᐃᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᓪᓚᖓᔪᓄᑦ ᐊᕐᓇᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᑲᓇᑕᒥ.
    ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᖑᔪᑦ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᑭᒡᓕᓯᓂᐊᕐᓂᒧᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᕐᓇᐃᑦ ᐃᓄᐊᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᓅᖓᔪᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᕆᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐊᒥᓱᒻᒪᕆᖕᓂ ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓂ ᐃᓅᓯᖏᓐᓂ ᐊᒃᑐᐃᓂᕆᔭᐅᓯᒪᓂᖏᑦ ᓈᒻᒫᓂᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᑐᐃᔪᓕᕆᓂᖅ.
    Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance, ᐊᓪᓚᐃᑦ ᓄᑲᕇᒃ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᕐᒥᒃ ᑕᐃᔭᐅᔪᖅ “ᓈᒻᒫᓂᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᑐᐃᔪᓕᕆᓂᖅᒥᒃ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ 12 ᓂᒃ ᐊᕐᓇᐅᔪᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ” ᓇᓗᓇᐃᕆᒻᒪᕆᒃᐳᖅ ᑐᓴᕆᐊᖃᒻᒪᕆᖕᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓗᐃᑦᑑᓂᖓ ᓈᒻᒫᓂᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᑐᐃᔪᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ.
    ᐊᕐᓇᐃᑦ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐊᒥᓲᓂᖏᑦ ᑳᓇᑕᒥᒃ 4%ᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᕗᑦ. ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐊᒥᓲᓂᖅᐹᖑᔪᑦ ᑎᒍᔭᐅᕕᖕᒦᑦᑐᑦ 50% ᒧᑦ ᑎᑭᐅᑎᓯᒪᒻᒪᕆᒃᖢᑎᒃ ᒐᕙᒪᑐᖃᒃᑯᓐᓂ ᑎᒍᔭᐅᕕᖏᓐᓂᒃ.
    ᐊᔭᐅᖅᑐᖅᐸᓯ 44ᖑᒋᔭᐅᔪᑎᒍᑦ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᖅᔪᐊᕆᔭᐅᑎᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐃᓕᒪᖁᓪᓗᑕ ᓈᒻᒫᓂᖏᑦᑐᒥᒃ ᐃᖅᑲᑐᐃᔪᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ. ᐊᔭᐅᖅᑐᒻᒪᕆᒃᐸᓯ ᐃᓗᐃᑦᑑᔪᒥᒃ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᔪᒃᓴᕐᓂᒃ ᐱᙳᖅᑎᖁᓪᓗᓯᒃ ᑕᒪᒃᑯᓂᖓ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒋᓕᐊᓂᒃ ᑐᙵᕕᖃᖅᑐᓂᒃ
    [Inuktitut text interpreted as follows:]
    Mr. Speaker, “incremental justice” is a phrase too familiar with Inuit, first nations and Métis women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ in Canada. Odelia and Nerissa Quewezance are indigenous sisters whose stories in “Injustices and Miscarriages of Justice Experienced by 12 Indigenous Women” demand that we pay attention to the shortcomings of incremental justice.
    Indigenous women account for 4% of women in Canada, yet they represent 50% of all women in federal prisons. I call upon members to ensure comprehensive action to avoid incremental justice.

[Translation]

French at Work

    Mr. Speaker, on May 23, the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec launched a big campaign to promote the French language and to emphasize that working in French is a right.
    With online, television and street furniture ads, this campaign uses funny translations of Quebec expressions as a reminder that people understand one another better when they speak our common language. The French expression “pain sur la planche” does not mean “having bread on the board”.
    It means we have our work cut out for us, and that is true when it comes to stopping the decline of French in Quebec workplaces. I would like to draw the attention of our friends in the FTQ to Ottawa, which continues to avoid applying the Charter of the French Language to federally regulated businesses.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I thank the entire FTQ team, especially its president, Daniel Boyer, and its general secretary, Denis Bolduc, for promoting our national language. As the FTQ said so well, French at work is always better.

[English]

Bill C-5

    Mr. Speaker, this week, a coroner’s inquest has begun into one of the worst cases of multiple-partner violence in Canadian history.
     Basil Borutski murdered Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam, and Carol Culleton in separate incidents on the morning of September 22, 2015 in Renfrew County. Borutski was well known to all of his victims and to police for a long history of violence. He was a dangerous serial offender with a history of beating women. Now, the three families, and our entire community, are reliving the horror of that event through the inquest.
    Bill C-5 is a radical left-wing bill that would eliminate mandatory minimum penalties. It sends the wrong message to women who live in fear of domestic violence. It sends the wrong message to the courts. In this case, a violent offender who openly ignored court orders that were part of his probation was released anyhow. Bill C-5 is a slap in the face to every woman in Canada by a Prime Minister consumed by his own toxic masculinity.

  (1425)  

Filipino Heritage Month

    Mr. Speaker, mabuhay. Maligayang Buwan ng Pamanang Pilipino.
    For decades, Filipino Canadians have contributed to the social and economic fabric of Canada, and throughout June we recognize their achievements and show our appreciation for this growing community. Among Vaughan's outstanding Filipino organizations actively building a more inclusive Canada are the Filipino-Canadian Association of Vaughan, founded in 1990 by Antonio and Erlinda Insigne, which will be celebrating its fifth annual Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza this July 2-3; MCBN's Pinoy Radio, led by Von Canton, a great friend, keeping the community across Canada informed and connected; and the Filipino Seniors Club of Vaughan, offering regular cultural and educational activities to seniors.
    For 26 years, the City of Vaughan has been a proud sister city of Baguio, Philippines, and it is home to more than 15,000 hard-working Filipinos, who are enriching our community every day.
    I want to say maraming salamat to all Filipino Canadians, who embody the values of perseverance, selflessness and hard work, and wish them a happy Filipino Heritage Month.
    Before proceeding, I want to thank all the members who kept their Standing Order 31 messages under 60 seconds. To those who went over, which was quite a number of them, I just want to remind them that I do not want to have to cut off their messages, so tomorrow when we are starting, they should make sure to keep them under 60 seconds.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, 38% of Canadians are worried more about money than anything else in their lives, more than their health, their kids or their relationships. What does that tell us?
    Over 20% of Canadians are skipping meals because they cannot afford to eat. They do not need a top-up cheque from these big-spending Liberals. They want the price of gas, food and housing to go down, or at least stop going up. What are these Liberals, who do not think much about monetary policy, going to do to stop the rising cost of everything?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to affording the cost of living for the overwhelming majority of Canadians, the most important thing is to have a job. That is why our government focused so relentlessly on a jobs-centred recovery, and it has worked. Canada has recovered 115% of the jobs lost to COVID compared to just 96% in the U.S. Right now, our unemployment rate, at 5.2%, is the lowest it has been since comparable records were kept. That matters to Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, Liberals are completely out of touch and denying reality. That is why single parents, young homebuyers and seniors do not believe that they have a plan. Literally every single day, people are seeing the prices of everything go up. On fiscal policy overall, no one will trust the Prime Minister, who is in a very happy political marriage with the NDP. We should just ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer, or maybe former finance minister Bill Morneau, what they think of the government's fiscal policy.
    All we see from the tax-and-spend Liberals is more taxing and more spending, and no plan to fight inflation. Is that not the truth?
    Mr. Speaker, I am really glad that the member opposite spoke about seniors, parents and people struggling to pay the rent because, thanks to our policies in this year's and last year's budgets, there are measures directly focused at helping them. With the Canada workers benefit for low-wage Canadians, a family of three will get up to $2,300 more this year. Seniors will receive a 10% increase in OAS, which is $815.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, families and leaders across the country are tired of seeing repeat offenders in their communities terrorizing them with guns. Conservatives are tired of it, too. We are all tired of the Liberals' soft-on-crime approach. The Liberals' so-called gun ban is a joke and will do nothing to stop the violence. We just need to ask frontline officers.
    Why do these soft-on-crime Liberals think it is okay for drug dealers to shoot up neighbourhoods using stolen and smuggled weapons and then be let out on the street, literally sometimes the next day, to do it all over again? Why?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have a question about crime. I want to talk about Bill C-5 and mandatory minimums, and I want to offer a very personal story.
    When I was a small child, my mother practised law in northern Alberta. She did a lot of legal aid work and the overwhelming majority of her clients were indigenous. She would take me court and sometimes she would take me with her to reserves, and I saw first-hand how our criminal justice system treats indigenous peoples. Our government is fixing that and everyone in the House should be supportive of that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to share what I heard from the representative of a community that this government claims it wants to help. She says that eliminating these minimum sentences is not only a bad idea masquerading as a good one, but an idea that will further jeopardize the communities this initiative is supposed to protect. That is what we heard from Murielle Chatellier in a parliamentary committee.
    On the one hand, the Prime Minister is abolishing mandatory minimum sentences with Bill C‑5; on the other, he does not mention victims of gun violence even once in Bill C‑21.
    Why is the Prime Minister so intent on helping criminals rather than victims?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide a very personal answer to that question.
    When I was a child, my mother worked as a lawyer in northern Alberta and did a lot of legal aid work. Many of her clients were indigenous people. When I was a child, I witnessed, in the courts and sometimes on reserves, how our country and our justice system treated indigenous people. We need to fix that. Our government will do it. I hope all members will help us.
    Mr. Speaker, allow me to share another story from one of my constituents who is worried about the cost of living. This person will not have enough to pay his bills and put food on the table at the end of the month. He will have to make some very difficult choices. Some members of his family will probably have to go hungry so that he can afford to pay his bills. This is the experience of someone from my riding, but it is similar to stories that many of my colleagues have heard in their own ridings.
    Unfortunately, yesterday, the NDP-Liberal government, with the support of the Bloc Québécois, voted against our motion, which would have implemented concrete measures.
    Why are they refusing to help Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we recognize that affordability is a very important issue for Canadians. I am wondering why the Conservatives are not supporting the targeted, concrete measures that will help Canadians, such as the increase to the Canada workers benefit. This will give the most vulnerable workers an additional $2,300.
    Why do they not support increasing old age security for seniors by 10%, which would provide a much-needed additional $815.

Pensions

    Mr. Speaker, seniors have been left to deal with the surging cost of living on their own. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed it yesterday. A total of 1.7 million seniors have seen their purchasing power slashed because the indexed increase in their old age security benefit is below the rate of inflation.
    If the federal government does not fix this, it will be keeping a third of Quebec seniors from receiving $660.
    Will the Deputy Prime Minister commit to paying seniors back every penny they have lost, the next time OAS is adjusted?
    Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the leader of the Bloc Québécois: Our government has already decided that, as of this summer, we will increase OAS by 10%.
    This step, which we have already taken, will give seniors an additional $815. It is a good measure, a targeted measure that will remain in place for as long as it is needed.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's response raises two questions.
    How big is that increase in relation to current inflation, which is having a devastating impact on seniors' purchasing power? Also, we want assurances, which would certainly be a welcome change, that there will not be any discrimination based on the age of the recipients, so that people 75 to 80 do not get more than people 65 to 75. We do not want to see discrimination from a government that boasts about being against all discrimination.
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues know, the most important programs for Canadians are indexed to inflation. That is very important.
    As far as our seniors are concerned, we have already decided and voted in favour of the legislation to increase OAS for people 75 and older. That means 3.3 million people in Canada will be getting an extra $815.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, families everywhere are struggling because of the cost of living.
    The Liberals' response is pathetic. They say inflation is not their fault and everything will be all right. Can the Liberals put themselves in the shoes of a family that is cutting back on groceries to make ends meet? There are things the Liberals could do right now.
    Why are the Liberals not doubling the GST tax credit? Why are they not increasing the Canada child benefit by $500? Why are they doing nothing to help people get through this crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I want to take this opportunity to point out that there is money that will be given out this year in a targeted way to those who need it. This year, we increased the Canada workers benefit. The people who need it most will receive an additional $2,300 this year. We will also be making a one-time $500 payment to people facing housing challenges.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are going hungry. Perhaps the Prime Minister and the finance minister have never gone hungry. Perhaps they have never had to suffer through pain after not being able to afford their medication because they had to pay the rent. Maybe they have never had to walk to work because they cannot afford the gas to get there in their own car.
    Those are the realities of Canadians across the country right now, while we know that the oil and gas industry is reaping extra mega profits. Canadians need urgent help today, not months from now.
    Will the government finally step up for Canadians, make sure that they get double the GST and that—
    The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we looked ahead. Our government has already set in motion five important programs that will deliver supports starting this year to the Canadians who need it the most. With the Canada workers benefit, a family of three can get up to $2,300 more. With the 10% increase in the OAS, a senior can get $815 more. There is $500 payment to people experiencing housing affordability challenges, dental care—
    The hon. member for Fundy Royal.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians from coast to coast are worried about the rising rate of violent gun crimes in their communities. They are calling on the government for action. Instead of listening to Canadians, the Liberals are removing mandatory jail time for offences such as robbery with a firearm, extortion with a firearm and weapons trafficking, just to name a few.
    Canadians do not want to see government bills that help dangerous criminals skip out on jail time. They want dangerous criminals taken off our streets. Will the Liberals reverse course on their soft-on-crime agenda?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, serious crime in this country will always carry with it serious consequences. The kinds of situations that we are targeting with this legislation on minimum mandatory penalties are situations where public security and public safety are not at risk. It is being done to attack the systemic overrepresentation of Black and indigenous people in the criminal justice system.
    The kinds of situations that he is describing are being attacked in Bill C-21, and we are raising the maximum penalties.
    Mr. Speaker, that is incomprehensible. Canadians simply do not buy this Liberal logic. According to Liberal logic, the justice minister's bill tackles racism by decreasing jail time for gun crimes, but the public safety minister's bill tackles racism by increasing jail time for the exact same crimes.
    They cannot have it both ways, so which one is it?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I believe members were very excited to have two people rise to speak, so we will just calm down and let one proceed.
    The hon. Minister of Justice can begin from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, this attack on minimum mandatory penalties, coming from a lawyer, is something that is hard to understand. The situations that he describes are not the situations that would be touched by minimum mandatory penalties.
    Minimum mandatory penalties are being abandoned because they fail. It is a failed so-called tough-on-crime policy. The jurisdictions in the United States that inspired the Harper government to bring in these minimum mandatory penalties are abandoning minimum mandatory penalties, one by one.
    Serious crime will always be punished seriously. There is no threat to—
    The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, May 19, at the public safety committee, the Minister of Public Safety confirmed that he stood by his statement in Parliament on May 2 when he said, “At the recommendation of [law enforcement], we invoked the Emergencies Act”.
    We now know that police did not make this recommendation and his own deputy minister said yesterday that he was misunderstood. When did it become acceptable for a minister of the House to spread misinformation?
    Mr. Speaker, over the heckling of my colleagues who I know are—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland asked a question and I think he wants to hear the answer.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to give an answer by refreshing his memory and the memory of all members in this chamber that, last winter, we experienced an unprecedented public order emergency in the opinion of law enforcement, which is why, prior to invoking the Emergencies Act, we sought their advice on the powers that were needed to restore public safety.
    Let me quote from Commissioner Lucki's testimony before the committee when she said—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am going to interrupt the hon. minister. I want to make sure we can hear that quote.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just about to say that Commissioner Lucki said the following: “the Emergencies Act did give us the tools that we needed to get the job done quickly.” We invoked the Emergencies Act to restore public safety. It was the right and responsible thing to do.
    Mr. Speaker, our memories are very clear on this side of the House. The minister repeatedly stated that police recommended that the government invoke the Emergencies Act. However, now we know that not a single police force in this country made that recommendation. The minister has had multiple opportunities to clarify, but he stood by his statement. Now his deputy minister is saying that the minister was misunderstood.
    Who is telling the truth? The public safety minister or his most senior public servant?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be absolutely clear that last winter when we saw an unprecedented public order emergency in the opinion of law enforcement, we filled the gaps that existed within authorities that were not effective at the time to restore public safety.
    Prior to invoking the Emergencies Act, we sought advice, as any responsible government would do, prior to invoking the act. We heard Commissioner Lucki say that we needed, for example, power to compel tow trucks as a result of protesters who would not leave. I wonder why they would not leave. They would not leave because Conservatives were egging them on to stay. That was wrong and we invoked it to protect Canadians.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety knows the severity of invoking the Emergencies Act, the historical significance and the impact on due process and charter rights. The details of why and how the government invoked the act are key. It will set a precedent in Canada on government powers. I am sure the minister would agree there is no room for being misunderstood when setting a historical precedent. There is also no room for hiding cabinet documents from Justice Rouleau's inquiry.
    Will the Liberal government waive cabinet confidence and release the documents to Justice Rouleau?
    Mr. Speaker, as we have said all along, the government will co-operate with Justice Rouleau. We will co-operate with the joint parliamentary committee to be transparent because I agree with my colleague that we need to scrutinize the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
    My point is that the facts are very clear. We were in the midst and in the throes of an unprecedented public order emergency in the opinion of non-partisan, professional law enforcement. When we sought their advice about which powers were needed to restore public safety, we listened to them and we invoked to restore public safety.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister is being a bit vague answering my question on whether his government is going to release the documents. The question of cabinet confidence is critical to the Rouleau inquiry as argued by a former clerk of the Privy Council who said cabinet confidence “should not be utilized to impede the search for the truth where the validity of government action is seriously contested and the law demands that it be reviewed, as is the case with the recent declaration of emergency in response to the trucker convoy protests and blockades.”
    In other words, this is a really big deal. Will the Liberals respect Justice Rouleau's request and hand over the cabinet documents, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, when we invoked the Emergencies Act, we did it to restore public safety after we sought the advice of law enforcement. Following that, we commenced the public inquiry giving—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sure the hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul missed the first part.
    Please start right from the top, minister.
    Mr. Speaker, we invoked the Emergencies Act to restore public safety. We did it following the conversations and consultations we had with law enforcement, including on which powers were needed to restore public safety. At the conclusion of it, we revoked the Emergencies Act and, as part of that, we are now participating in an exercise of transparency, including with Justice Rouleau, who has the power to compel witnesses and documents, including classified information.
    Of course, the government will co-operate because we agree that the act should be scrutinized so that it is never abused. We will always follow that principle.

[Translation]

Official Languages

    Mr. Speaker, a record number of complaints were filed with the Commissioner of Official Languages this year. He received 5,409 complaints, which is triple the number filed last year.
    The main reason for this barrage of complaints is the Prime Minister's decision to appoint people who do not speak French, particularly the Governor General. The Prime Minister is personally responsible for one-quarter of these complaints.
    Will the minister remind her boss that French is not a second-class language?
    I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Théberge, the Commissioner of Official Languages, for his work and his report.
    The House of Commons is still studying the bill to modernize the Official Languages Act. This is a very important bill because we want to do everything we can to protect and promote the beautiful French language. I hope that the Bloc Québécois will work with us to pass this bill as quickly as possible.
    Mr. Speaker, the commissioner also courageously denounced the slippery slope that the federal government is on. He feels that French is seen as “an impediment to embracing diversity and advancing true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples”. He also said: “I believe that official languages and diversity are complementary, because they are both ways to be more inclusive.”
    When will the federal government understand that the French language and diversity are two compatible assets and that it is not being inclusive when it undervalues French proficiency in the appointment process?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear that protecting and promoting the French language is a priority.
    I am not here to pick a fight with the Bloc either. Quite the opposite, in fact. I want to work closely with the Bloc and ensure that Bill C‑13 gets adopted, because it will make a difference in the lives of Canadians.
    What we saw this week in committee was members wasting time. I hope that the Bloc Québécois and all of the opposition members will really work with us to pass Bill C‑13 as soon as possible and to hear from the witnesses who have important information to share that will help us pass a good bill.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the President of the Unites States has ordered the release of their strategic reserve to help struggling families with record high gas prices at the pumps. There is an idea for our jet-setting Prime Minister for his meeting in Los Angeles. We know he likes to import American cultural problems to paper over his lack of leadership.
    Could he instead import good ideas from our neighbours to the south, like taking action on high gas prices, instead of this habitual dividing of Canadians, or does he want to maintain his reputation as Canada's divider-in-chief?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the same question as yesterday.
     We certainly recognize the current impact that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is having on global energy prices around the world. That is something that is of concern to all countries, all democratic countries. It is something that we are working actively on with our partners in the United States and in Europe to address. We have announced that we will be increasing oil and gas production by 300,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, alongside our American friends who are doing likewise. We are working to stabilize energy prices.
    Here at home, we are working to ensure affordability for Canadians on an ongoing basis.
    Mr. Speaker, he is the divider-in-chief and ditherer-in-chief.
    Canadians have long appreciated that most groceries are exempt from GST. This keeps groceries affordable for families. Yesterday, when the Conservative opposition voted to temporarily do the same by suspending GST on gas and diesel to help Canadians with out-of-control prices at the pumps the speNDP-Liberals voted against it.
     When will the Prime Minister put affordability ahead of Liberal tax-and-spend ideology?
    Mr. Speaker, from day one, this government has put affordability at the forefront. The opposition voted against middle-class tax cuts. They voted against the day care program to ensure affordability for Canadians. They have voted against affordability measures since 2015 and they continue to do so.
    Here we are working on practical solutions to address the energy crisis that is facing the world. We are working to ensure that we are increasing our production, working with our partners around the world to address this issue, to stabilize energy prices and to ensure affordability for Canadians going forward.
    Mr. Speaker, the price of gas and diesel is hitting a record high across Canada, making it more expensive for Canadians to live their everyday lives. The Liberal government keeps blaming our oil and gas companies but it is the Liberal energy policies that have put us in this place. Energy workers build our communities, help the disadvantaged and provide billions of dollars to national programs.
    When will the Prime Minister stop blaming our natural resources sector, take responsibility and suspend the GST on gas and diesel?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand the important role that energy workers play in this country. I have spent much of my time, since being appointed to this post, in Calgary working with the energy sector.
    I would actually suggest to my colleagues across the way that they perhaps meet with some of the energy sector workers to understand that they are focused, very much, on ensuring that we are doing what we need to do to address energy security issues, to address affordability issues and, yes, to fight climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is determined to phase out Canada's oil and gas sector, and now our labour minister is surprised that we do not have enough workers in this industry to keep up with demand. As prices for gas and diesel keep climbing, the Liberal government knows its policies have put us here. Its years of industry-killing legislation and laying off thousands of workers are ruining families and lives.
    When will the government take responsibility for this cost-of-living crisis and provide Canadians with some relief?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, certainly it is important that we are thinking about how we actually create good, economic prospects for people across this country and that we are creating jobs and economic opportunities.
    I was very pleased last week to launch the regional energy and natural resource tables, which are about building, on a province-by-province, territory-by-territory basis, a future that is going to create those jobs and economic opportunities in a manner that would actually drive growth and prosperity and in a manner that is consistent with meeting our moral obligation to our children to fight climate change.
    I certainly look forward to working with the energy sector as move forward in that direction.

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, when people lose their jobs, they count on employment insurance to keep their homes and feed their families while they look for new work.
    However, the EI system has been broken for far too long. There are more people who pay into EI that do not qualify for benefits when they need them than who do. After almost seven years in government, the Liberals finally tried to fix something about the EI system in the latest budget bill, and they fell flat on their face.
    When are the Liberals finally going to fix the EI system and do right by Canadian workers?
    Mr. Speaker, we are working very hard to modernize employment insurance. Quickly, when we got into the pandemic, we recognized that the EI system had not kept up with the way Canadians work. That is exactly why we are working to improve the system in terms of adequacy, in terms of access and in terms of the individuals who pay in and who do not yet have access.
    The member knows very well that we are working very hard on this file.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, today the Conseil national des chômeurs et chômeuses is launching its employment insurance campaign. It highlights this government's monumental failure to deliver on its promise to reform employment insurance.
    The pandemic has shown that the current system is not working. For example, self-employed workers, freelancers and women are being forgotten. We need real reform so that workers have access to good benefits to make ends meet.
    When will the Liberals finally fix the EI system to help struggling families?
    Mr. Speaker, the pandemic has revealed that Canada must adapt its employment insurance system to the realities of the 21st century.
    Our government is currently holding consultations on how to modernize the system to make it more responsive to workers and employers.
    We need to strengthen the rights of workers hired through digital platforms and establish new provisions in the Income Tax Act to include that work in the calculation of hours needed to qualify for employment insurance and the Canada pension plan.

[English]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Russia's genocidal war on Ukraine has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, with 14 million Ukrainians having fled their homes and about six million having fled to other countries. In my community in Etobicoke Centre and across this country, Canadians have opened their arms to Ukrainian refugees, opening up their homes, collecting donations, offering financial support and more.
    Could the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship please share with Canadians what the Government of Canada is doing to support Ukrainians fleeing Russia's genocidal war on Ukraine?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the member for Etobicoke Centre, who has been a tireless champion for Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians from the beginning of this war.
    This unjust war of aggression is an affront to humanity and the very values that underpin the international legal order. Canada has opened its arms to provide safe haven so far to 30,000 Ukrainians or more, who have already landed in Canada. It is not enough that they get here. They need to be supported when they arrive. We have arranged federal charters, including last week in my home province of Nova Scotia. We have established income supports, temporary accommodation, reception supports at airports and settlement services, including language training. We are going to continue to do what we can to demonstrate this is not a European problem. It is a problem for the world, and Canada will continue to play a leadership role.
    Slava Ukraini.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, we have heard from the parliamentary secretary the tremendous risk for and from unvaccinated air travellers. However, is it not true that many unvaccinated Canadians can actually travel by air with a negative antigen test?
    Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are sick and tired of COVID, and we all agree on that, but just wishing it away or ignoring it will not simply make it go away. Over the past three months, we continue to see more deaths from COVID. There were over 1,700 in the month of May. The most important thing we can do to get through this pandemic is to drive up vaccination rates. We will continue to be informed by science and not the political games of the Conservative opposition.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I find it fascinating. We do not want to wish away science. We want to wish away incompetence.
    What is important here is to answer the actual question because, if an antigen test is good enough for some Canadians to get on an airplane, why is it not good enough for all Canadians? What is the difference between Canadians who are unvaccinated and who want to fly in Cumberland—Colchester, for instance, and those who live in northern communities? The answer is clear. The only difference is not medical science, but political science.
    When will the government drop these vindictive mandates and let Canadians get back to prepandemic normal?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Cumberland—Colchester tried to minimize the COVID‑19 deaths in this country by referencing deaths from other causes. Every lost life is tragic and, on this side of the House, we understand that it is the government's job to do everything we can to protect people and save lives, whether that is from COVID‑19 or any other cause. We owe it to them and all Canadians to remain focused on keeping them safe and our communities healthy, and we will continue to do that.
    Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health needs to get in line with the rest of the countries, all 55 of them, that have dropped all the mandates. He was informed the other day that Canadians who are unvaccinated can travel on ferries as long as the journey is less than 24 hours, so why are unvaccinated Canadians not able to travel on flights within Canada since they are all less than 24 hours? When is the Liberal government going to get rid of the mandates and get us back to prepandemic normal?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives just cannot seem to make up their minds about vaccinations. The member for Yorkton—Melville claims the government has a secret agenda after she refused to get vaccinated. Another Conservative, the MP for Niagara West, tabled a petition in the House to ban all mRNA vaccines. Those are the vaccines that have saved millions of lives around the world.
    The science is clear that vaccines are safe and effective in reducing the spread of COVID‑19, as well as severe cases, hospitalizations and death. I would encourage the members opposite in the Conservative opposition to get behind that and encourage their constituents to get a third or fourth dose.
    Mr. Speaker, ArriveCAN provides a serious accessibility barrier to many Canadians, in particular those who may not own a smart phone or have the digital literacy to properly navigate the process. Not everyone is tech savvy. While the introduction of a paper form was a good first step, and one that should have been in place since day one, when will the government commit to listening to the thousands of Canadians experiencing problems at the border and stop the mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for underlining some of the issues which we have worked through with the CBSA.
    With respect to ArriveCAN, I am pleased to report that, since the low point of travel during the pandemic, we are now seeing levels come back over 700%, which is good news. That is as a result of the modifications we have made for easing travel restrictions. That is also as a result of lowering some of the barriers that my colleague pointed out with respect to ArriveCAN. I am also pleased to report to the chamber that compliance with ArriveCAN is over 90% and, in the long run, will make the voyage of travellers that much more efficient. We will continue to work with all members on it.

[Translation]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, according to experts, the increase in cases of gun violence in Montreal in recent years is a new phenomenon. Gang members now appear to be firing multiple shots at buildings and cars to send a message and mark what they claim is their territory.
    However, the guns they are using are not covered by Bill C-21. Will the minister admit that the solution to this scourge is about more than just making these guns illegal, as Bill C-21 proposes to do? More importantly, we need to prevent illegal guns from getting into our neighbourhoods.

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague. The cycle of gun violence is out of control.
    We have already taken action by banning assault weapons. We will build on this initiative with our next step, which is implementing a mandatory buyback program.
    The issue right now is Bill C-21. The Conservatives' delays and filibustering must stop. We need to start debating Bill C-21 to protect our communities. I am always willing to work with the Bloc and everyone else.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to contradict my colleague, but my question was not on Bill C‑21. As my colleague noted, the gunshots we hear in the streets of Montreal may not always result in deaths, but there is always a victim, and that is the public's sense of safety. Gun culture is taking hold in Montreal, as is gang culture.
    The solution to the problem of illegal guns requires helping police forces deal with the gang problem. Bill C‑21 is not a bad bill, but it does not offer any solutions to address the shootings. When will the minister realize that to deal with criminal organizations we need to start by having a registry of those criminal organizations?
    Mr. Speaker, our government has already done a number of practical things, such as establishing a $350‑million fund to provide resources to our police forces.
    With all due respect to my colleague, Bill C‑21 contains tangible measures to target organized crime, including by increasing criminal sanctions and giving new oversight powers to eliminate and prevent gun violence.
    We will work with the Bloc and every member to get this bill passed. It is very important. It is essential for protecting our communities.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, a 12-year-old girl found herself right in the middle of a shooting in Montreal. She was traumatized, of course. This is happening in our streets in Quebec.
    Instead of tackling the problems of street gangs and illegal arms trafficking, this Liberal government is doing the opposite with its Bill C‑5. It is eliminating mandatory prison sentences for gun crimes.
    How can this government be so disconnected from reality that it is doing the opposite of what is obviously common sense?
    Mr. Speaker, serious offences will always be punished in a serious manner.
    The situation that my colleague just described is not a situation targeted by Bill C‑5. This bill addresses situations that are not a threat to public safety. Bill C‑5 seeks to address the overrepresentation of Black and indigenous people in the justice system.
    That is precisely what we are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we believe that serious and violent firearms offences warrant a mandatory sentence.
    We stand on the side of victims. It is disappointing to see this government openly siding with criminals. It is even letting them serve their sentence at home for such crimes as armed robbery and extortion with a firearm. Those are quite serious crimes.
    Why is this government being so soft on crime with Bill C-5?
    Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to watch the opposition continue to support Harper's tough-on-crime policy, which was a total failure.
    What we are doing is continuing to punish serious offences in a serious way. What we are doing is taking a different approach when public safety is not threatened or at risk in order to help communities and victims.
    Mr. Speaker, let us hear what Stephan Fogaing, a member of Montreal's Black community, has to say about Bill C‑5: “In short, when the federal government contemplates doing away with some of the minimum sentences in the Criminal Code, we can only wonder whether they are more interested in protecting criminals than the public and victims of crime.”
    Given what these people had to say, is the Prime Minister interested in listening to them, or does he prefer to protect criminals over victims?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Harper's tough-on-crime policy was a complete failure. We have managed to fill our prisons with indigenous people and Black people. We have prevented the system from working properly, because minimum sentences slow down the justice system.
    Around the globe, and especially in the United States, where the Conservatives drew their inspiration 15 years ago, authorities are doing away with minimum sentences because they do not work. We are here to do a better job of protecting society.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, indigenous peoples and first nations organizations have long been calling for police reform. Security and protection are essential services. It is time for indigenous police forces to be considered as equally essential. Indigenous groups have been very clear about wanting a law that recognizes, funds and prioritizes first nations police services.
    How is this government supporting culturally sensitive first nations police forces and recognizing the essential role they play on the pathway to reconciliation?
    Mr. Speaker, to begin, I want to thank my colleague for all of her hard work.

[English]

    Protecting indigenous communities through well-funded, culturally sensitive indigenous police services is a top priority and vital to our commitment to walk the pathway to truth and reconciliation. We understand the importance of recognizing indigenous police services as an essential service, which is why our government is imminently launching a public engagement process to develop legislation.
    In consultation with indigenous groups, provinces and territories, we will work to further protect indigenous communities all across Canada. We will do this work because it is in response to the calls to justice and the calls to action and because it is the right thing to do.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the 83-year-old father of my constituent was deported from Canada because of the government's draconian mandates. He arrived in Canada, and despite being doubly vaccinated, one of the vaccines he had was not approved. He co-operated and got the Pfizer shot. That did not help. After being held three days, he was sent back to Venezuela to return after a two-week quarantine. This involved unnecessary stress, extra expenses and zero common sense.
    Will the minister apologize for the appalling treatment of this family?
    Mr. Speaker, back in 2020, the Conservatives claimed that we would not have enough vaccines for all Canadians, but let me be clear that Canada has sufficient supply to ensure all eligible Canadians are protected for primary, series, boosters and pediatrics. On this side of the House, our government will continue to make sure we are putting the health and safety of Canadians first because nobody wants another wave of this COVID-19 pandemic.
    The member opposite raised a particular case. If he would like to discuss it personally, I would be happy to accept a call or an email anytime.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is in a housing crisis. Too many families are unable to find a safe roof over their heads and many young Canadians are just being forced to give up on the dream of ever even owning a home. There is a simple solution, though. It is to build more houses and increase the housing supply. All we see the government do is pose for photo ops at spending announcements, but there is a curious lack of ribbon cuttings.
    My question is simple: When is the government going to get off the sidelines, demonstrate leadership to end exclusionary zoning and say yes to building more homes for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt in saying they are facing a crisis of leadership, because the hon. member fails to mention his very leader refuses to help municipalities with supply. His member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon says that we should step back and not invest in provisional housing programs. He is opposed, on the record, to the foreign ban of Canadian residential real estate and has opposed funding for affordable housing for indigenous peoples. It is all rhetoric and more rhetoric.
    Mr. Speaker, there it is once again: more rhetoric, more talk, but no real action. If announcing billions of dollars could solve this problem, we would have a housing surplus in this country right now. In fact, the number of houses per 1,000 Canadians has gone down dramatically since 2016 under this government's watch.
    Again I ask the minister: When is the government finally going to have the courage to do what is right and commit to working with provincial governments and municipalities to end exclusionary zoning and fix this crisis?

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are doing exactly that through the housing accelerator fund. The housing accelerator fund is all about supply, supply, supply, but they are on record as opposing the housing accelerator fund—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka asked a question and he wants to hear the answer, I am sure. I would ask members to keep it down.
    The hon. minister, from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should speak to his leader, who has trashed the housing accelerator fund, which is all about supply. His colleagues from Calgary Centre, Edmonton Riverbend, Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon and Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola have all said contradictory things about housing supply, about support for first-time homebuyers, about building more affordable housing in this country. They have no shame.

Families, Children and Social Development

    Mr. Speaker, as someone who spent years working with social purpose organizations, I have seen first-hand how social innovation and social finance are catalysts for positive change. Big challenges like climate change, energy security, poverty, systemic racism, food insecurity, housing affordability, reconciliation and more can all be addressed by harnessing the ingenuity of our social innovators and our social entrepreneurs. That is why I am proud of the work that our government is doing to implement Canada's first social innovation and social finance strategy, which will drive economic growth, build more inclusive communities and help transition to a low-carbon economy.
    Can the minister update the House on the progress our government is making on building a stronger social innovation and social finance ecosystem?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Could I have everyone's attention, please? Can I continue?
    Before the minister answers the question, I want to remind hon. members that when they are referring to someone, to please refer to them by their title or the riding they represent and not by their first name. Mocking someone in the House, regardless of what side members are on, is not an example we want to set for our children, who are watching today and wondering what is going on. I want everyone to reflect on what they are saying, please.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, let me start by thanking the member for Whitby, who is the hardest-working member in this House when it comes to social finance.
    Social purpose organizations like charities and non-profits play a key role in addressing complex social and environmental issues. They are more important than ever, as many of these issues have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we launched the renewed investment readiness program in the summer of 2021, which will provide another $50 million to continue to support social purpose organizations in building capacity and increasing their investment readiness. This will also help the social purpose organizations take advantage of the $755-million social finance fund.
    I thank the member for Whitby for his excellent work.

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, people with disabilities are relying on the government to fast track a Canada disability benefit to deliver support without delay. After years of a pandemic, the skyrocketing cost of living is leaving people with disabilities behind. We know emergency COVID payments reached less than one-third of these Canadians because the data was not available. That is unacceptable.
    Will the minister fix this problem immediately to make sure no one living with a disability is left out of needed income supports ever again?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, our government has taken bold action to help persons with disabilities find and maintain employment and make Canada more inclusive. We have made significant progress, but persons with disabilities still face serious barriers in this country.
     That is why we are introducing the historic Canada disability benefit, which is an income supplement for working-age Canadians with disabilities. Details of the CDB, including the benefit amount and eligibility criteria, will be informed by ongoing engagement with the community, in the spirit of “nothing without us”.

  (1520)  

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, today is World Oceans Day, and our oceans are in distress. They are getting hotter. Acid levels are rising. Oxygen levels are dropping. The heat absorbed by our oceans due to global warming is equivalent to seven Hiroshima bombs every second of every hour every day.
    Approving the TMX pipeline and Bay du Nord just makes matters worse. As it is, net zero by 2050 is not a goal; it is an epitaph.
    When will the government take the climate crisis as seriously as the emergency it is?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the member that we do take climate change very seriously. That is why our emissions reduction plan is an ambitious sector-by-sector path for Canada to reach our 2030 emissions reduction targets and go on to net zero by 2050. It has broad support from environmental groups, industry and farmers. It is going to deliver clean air, a healthy environment and a strong economy. That is what Canadians want and that is what we will deliver.

Presence in Gallery

    I wish draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Murray Rankin, our former colleague and current Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for British Columbia.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Canada National Parks Act

    The House resumed from June 1, consideration of the motion that Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:22 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-248 under Private Members' Business.
    Call in the members.

  (1535)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 137)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Angus
Arnold
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Block
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Collins (Victoria)
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desilets
Desjarlais
Doherty
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Green
Hallan
Hughes
Idlout
Johns
Julian
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
McPherson
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Singh
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zarrillo
Zimmer

Total: -- 169


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blois
Bradford
Brière
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gould
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jones
Jowhari
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sorbara
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zuberi

Total: -- 147


PAIRED

Members

Anand
Boissonnault
Dowdall
Fast
Guilbeault
Hoback
Jeneroux
Joly
Ng
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer

Total: -- 12


    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Income Tax Act

    The House resumed from June 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-240, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (donations involving private corporation shares or real estate), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-240 under Private Members' Business.

  (1550)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 138)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 146


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 171


PAIRED

Members

Anand
Boissonnault
Dowdall
Fast
Guilbeault
Hoback
Jeneroux
Joly
Ng
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer

Total: -- 12


    I declare the motion lost.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise a point of order.
    I would like you to shed some light on the process for voting on private member's bills.
    To my knowledge, it is customary to vote by row, not by party. Is the Chair allowing members to stand when their row has already voted and is she allowing members to vote by party? I would like some clarification on that.
    That is a very good question.
    The vote is by individual and by row.
    A small mistake was made. I called the members of one row to vote and people rose after that. The clerk registered their votes.
    This is a practice we have used before. That is why we registered their votes instead of starting all over again.

Income Tax Act

     The House resumed from June 3 consideration of the motion that Bill C-241, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (deduction of travel expenses for tradespersons), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-241 under Private Members' Business.

  (1600)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 139)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Ashton
Bachrach
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Bergeron
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Block
Boulerice
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Collins (Victoria)
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desilets
Desjarlais
Doherty
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Green
Hallan
Hughes
Idlout
Johns
Julian
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Kwan
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacGregor
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
McPherson
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zarrillo
Zimmer

Total: -- 166


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anandasangaree
Arseneault
Arya
Atwin
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blois
Brière
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Gerretsen
Gould
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jones
Jowhari
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Sorbara
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zuberi

Total: -- 148


PAIRED

Members

Anand
Boissonnault
Dowdall
Fast
Guilbeault
Hoback
Jeneroux
Joly
Ng
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer

Total: -- 12


    I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

    (Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

  (1605)  

Constitution Act, 2022 (representation of Quebec)

    The House resumed from June 6 consideration of the motion that Bill C-246, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 (representation in the House of Commons), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-246 under Private Members' Business.

  (1615)  

[Translation]

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

(Division No. 140)

YEAS

Members

Ashton
Bachrach
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bergeron
Bérubé
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Boulerice
Brunelle-Duceppe
Chabot
Champoux
Collins (Victoria)
DeBellefeuille
Desilets
Desjarlais
Fortin
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Hughes
Idlout
Johns
Julian
Kwan
Larouche
Lemire
MacGregor
Masse
Mathyssen
McPherson
Michaud
Normandin
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Savard-Tremblay
Simard
Singh
Ste-Marie
Thériault
Therrien
Trudel
Vignola
Villemure
Vuong
Zarrillo

Total: -- 51


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Allison
Anandasangaree
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Atwin
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Block
Blois
Bradford
Bragdon
Brassard
Brière
Brock
Calkins
Caputo
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Chambers
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Chong
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Cooper
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Dalton
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
d'Entremont
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Doherty
Dong
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Erskine-Smith
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fergus
Ferreri
Fillmore
Findlay
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Genuis
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Hajdu
Hallan
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jones
Jowhari
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Kelly
Khalid
Khera
Kitchen
Kmiec
Koutrakis
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Kusmierczyk
Lake
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lantsman
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
Lawrence
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lightbound
Lloyd
Lobb
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKenzie
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maguire
Maloney
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
McLeod
Melillo
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Muys
Naqvi
Nater
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
Paul-Hus
Perkins
Petitpas Taylor
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schiefke
Schmale
Seeback
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Small
Sorbara
Soroka
Steinley
Stewart
St-Onge
Strahl
Stubbs
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thomas
Thompson
Tochor
Tolmie
Turnbull
Uppal
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Van Popta
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Virani
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williams
Williamson
Yip
Zahid
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 264


PAIRED

Members

Anand
Boissonnault
Dowdall
Fast
Guilbeault
Hoback
Jeneroux
Joly
Ng
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer

Total: -- 12


    I declare the motion lost.

[English]

    It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, International Development; the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Health; the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Points of Order

Oral Questions 

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order that arises from a question during question period, and I would appreciate it if the Speaker could confirm if my understanding of petitions is correct.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health referred in his answer to a petition presented by the hon. member for Niagara West with the presumption that the member for Niagara West supported the petition he presented. I have always taken the view that, when asked to present a petition, it is not a statement of my position but it is doing what my constituents or other petitioners have requested. I worry that this is a poor precedent, but I would not want to make the presumption.
    Technically, hon. members are not supposed to endorse the petition or show their support, but saying it does not nullify the petition.
    When presenting petitions, I want to remind hon. members to be as concise as possible and very factual. We are not looking for their opinion. We just want to know what the petition is about.
    The hon. opposition House leader has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member from the Green Party raising this. It is convention around this place that petitions are presented by members, and I think the confusion may lie in the fact that the member for Milton referred to a member's support of the petition.
    It is convention around this place that, when a member presents a petition, it is on behalf of their constituents and does not necessarily reflect an endorsement of the petition nor whether they are contrary to the petition or not. They are doing the work on behalf of the people they represent. I think that is where the confusion may lie.
    That is exactly it. Members are presenting their petitions on behalf of their constituents. That is their duty as members.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Certificates of Nomination

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to 53(1) of the Privacy Act and Standing Order 111.1, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the certificate of nomination and biographical notes for the proposed appointment of Philippe Dufresne to the position of Privacy Commissioner for a term of seven years.
    I request that the nomination and biographical notes be referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

  (1620)  

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

Committees of the House

Afghanistan  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Special Committee on Afghanistan, entitled “Honouring Canada’s Legacy in Afghanistan: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis and Helping People Reach Safety”. In accordance with the motion adopted in the House on November 8, 2021, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I want to congratulate the members of the special committee from all parties and thank them for their dedication, teamwork and collaborative efforts over the past six months. I also want to thank the support staff, including clerk Miriam Burke and the analysts Julie Béchard and Allison Goody, for all their hard work in preparing this very important report.
    I believe we have a dissenting report.
    The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on the supplement to the report of the Special Committee on Afghanistan.

[English]

    Our supplementary report adds the following evidence and observations not included in the main report.
    While all NATO allies scrambled in the withdrawal and evacuation last August from Afghanistan, Canada performed particularly poorly. The war in Afghanistan was Canada's longest war. Canada's withdrawal from Afghanistan last August was not only a betrayal of our soldiers, diplomats and Afghans themselves, but it was a disaster that has damaged Canada's interests for years to come.
    Allies and competitors around the world will question the strength of the Canadian government's commitments and whether the government is willing and able to back up these commitments with effective action. Afghans who worked for Canada were left behind and are being persecuted by the Taliban, precisely because they worked for Canada. The Canadian government had a moral duty to evacuate these Afghans and their families and failed to do so.

Agriculture and Agri-Food  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, entitled “Confronting Urgent Challenges and Building the Resilience of the Canadian Food Supply Chain”.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

[English]

    I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our clerk, our analysts and, indeed, the witnesses who appeared before the committee. Their contributions have been very important, and I would like to thank everyone for their collective work.

Financial Protection for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very excited today and I am pleased to rise to introduce the financial protection for fresh fruit and vegetable farmers act, which proposes to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act to support Canadian produce sellers.
    Every time I see the dark soil and endless rows of vegetables in the Holland Marsh in my community, the soup and salad bowl of Canada, I see opportunity. In order for that opportunity to be fully realized in the marsh and across Canada, more must be done to protect Canada's fresh fruit and vegetable growers during the bankruptcy of a buyer. We know that fresh fruits and vegetables are highly perishable with a limited shelf life. Unfortunately, the existing laws do not take this into account.
    This legislation would address this deficiency by establishing a deemed trust for fresh produce sellers, ensuring they have priority access to an insolvent buyer's assets related to the sale of fresh produce. I am glad to bring this initiative forward and champion fresh fruit and vegetable producers. I trust that all members in the House will support this bill.

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

  (1625)  

Petitions

Human Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, today I will be tabling two petitions.
    The first petition is from a group of British Columbians calling upon the Government of Canada to strengthen the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act to address Canada's significant shortcomings on human trafficking, which were embarrassingly highlighted by the U.S. Department of State's 20th Trafficking in Persons Report.

Addiction Recovery  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, and it calls upon the government to expand rapid detox programs and provide housing and skills training to those who are struggling with addiction to get their lives back on track. The petitioners state that harm reduction monies are being used to keep addicts on drugs, thus shortening their lives and providing no real help to those unfortunate individuals.
    They need to get their lives back, so the petitioners call upon on the government to stop giving free needles and drug supplies to addicts and to use those funds to establish rapid detox centres and provide the skills previously mentioned.

Firearms  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition on behalf of my constituents with respect to the Liberal government's introduction on April 29 of, in their words, a “shadow registry” on licensed firearms owners in Canada. The petitioners are pointing out that this is unfairly going to target businesses and cost countless jobs and wages, and that it is unfairly targeting Canadian firearms owners, who are already the most vetted citizens in Canada. They are subject to daily screenings and are statistically proven to be less likely to commit crimes than non-PAL and non-RPAL holders.
    The petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to immediately repeal the order issued on April 29, 2022.

Banknote Redesign  

    Mr. Speaker, I am here to present a petition on behalf of 75 Canadians and Canadian residents who call upon the Minister of Finance to select Won Alexander Cumyow to be featured as the face on the redesigned five-dollar Canadian bank note. We believe that this initiative will help fight the anti-Asian racism we have observed in the last few years.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by over 1,400 Canadians who call upon Parliament to ensure that the Government of Canada denies public funding to any domestic or foreign non-governmental organizations that promote or engage in acts of anti-Semitism.

Honeybees  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise. I have two petitions to present today, and they are both related to the environment and the importance of being good stewards of our environment.
    The first one is on honeybees, the importance of the 10,000 beekeepers in Canada and the important role bees play in our environment. The petition encourages people to consider ways we can help the bee population. There has been overwhelming support by the provinces and cities to support a day of the honeybee since 2010, and I am honoured to sponsor this petition, which 748 people have signed.

  (1630)  

Nuclear Energy  

    Mr. Speaker, given the neglect of the environment by the Liberals, I have petition e-3912. It has to do with the exclusion of nuclear energy in the green bond framework. It classifies nuclear energy as a sin stock. The Liberals are grouping nuclear energy with arms manufacturers, tobacco, alcohol and gambling activities, which I think is a travesty and so do a lot of Canadians. Some 10,544 people across Canada signed the petition, hoping the Liberals would reconsider their position on nuclear energy.
    I present these petitions to the House.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 493, 496 and 499.

[Text]

Question No. 493—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to the government providing NDP members with special briefings in the days prior to April 7, 2022, about the content of the 2022 budget: (a) on what dates did these briefings occur; (b) which NDP members were invited to the briefings; (c) were any NDP staff allowed to attend these briefings, and, if so, which ones; (d) who from the government, including both elected and departmental officials, provided the briefings to the NDP members; (e) what precise information was provided in the briefings; (f) is it the position of the Department of Finance that none of the information contained in the briefings could have had any market implications, and, if so, who determined that position; and (g) if there was any possible market impacting information contained in the briefings, what written assurances, if any, did the government require to ensure that profits could not be made as a result of the advance information provided?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Department of Finance did not provide any briefings on the content of budget 2022 to New Democratic Party members of Parliament or their staff prior to April 7, 2022.
Question No. 496—
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
    With regard to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and information about former prostitution offences committed prior to 2014, in relation to section 210, former section 212(1)(j), and former section 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code: (a) when these offences were committed, what information was entered by police services to the files of offenders in the CPIC; (b) are the circumstances of the commission of a prostitution offence recorded and visible in the CPIC; and (c) has the Parole Board of Canada studied the feasibility of the automation of record suspensions for these former prostitution related offences, and, if so, did the studies conclude that it is possible to automate these record suspensions?
Ms. Pam Damoff (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (c), it should be noted that Public Safety Canada does not have input into parts (a) and (b) of this question. The feasibility of the potential automation of record suspensions is currently being studied and considered as part of broader record suspension program reforms. Public Safety Canada, in collaboration with portfolio partners the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Parole Board of Canada, is currently engaging with key criminal justice stakeholders and federal, provincial and territorial partners on the potential implementation of an automated sequestering of criminal records system in Canada. Former prostitution-related offences may be considered for eligibility, along with other offences, as the government moves forward with exploring a potential automated sequestering of criminal records system.
    With regard to (a), in relation to section 210, former section 212(1)(j), and former section 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code and specific to the offences above, the Canadian Police Information Centre, CPIC, conducted a review on the investigative databank to ascertain what information was entered by police services into CPIC concerning former prostitution offences committed prior to 2014. Findings indicate that information pertaining to these offences remains available under several CPIC records categories, including “accused person”, “wanted person” and “prohibited person”. The criminal record in the identification databank on CPIC does not contain information as to when offences were committed. Only the final disposition information provided by the police of jurisdiction is entered into that criminal record, that information being disposition date, section of the Criminal Code and final disposition information. Charges that do not result in convictions, such as acquittals and withdrawals, are available only to Canadian law enforcement partners for limited criminal identification and investigative purposes and are generally not included in criminal record checks for civil purposes, per the dissemination of criminal record information policy.
    With regard to (b), the circumstances of a prostitution offence, or any offence, are only available from the originating agency’s reports and/or record management system. However, there is an option when an individual has been added to the investigative databank of CPIC for an agency to add more information under the “Remarks” field. This field provides investigators with the option to indicate why an individual is of interest or wanted by the police, instructions to the person conducting the query when further action is required, or to clarify any other information related to the record, such as additional convictions, additional warrants, publication bans, failure to attend court, probation or release conditions, and firearms prohibitions. Information as to the circumstances of the offence is not recorded or visible on the criminal record in the identification databank on CPIC.
Question No. 499—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to COVID-19 vaccines thrown away due to spoilage or expiration: what was the available national wastage rate between May 1, 2021, and April 21, 2022, including the (i) percentage of doses wasted, (ii) number of doses wasted, (iii) number of doses administered?
Mr. Adam van Koeverden (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (i) and (ii), of the vaccines held in the federally managed central inventory, 759,948 doses of the Moderna vaccine expired on March 21, 2022, and an additional 429,450 doses expired in mid-April of 2022. In addition, 3.8 million AstraZeneca doses held by the manufacturer and made available for donation by Canada to COVAX in 2021 expired in March 2022.
    The Public Health Agency of Canada does not maintain provincial and territorial wastage figures. Provinces and territories are responsible for the management of wastage and for the disposal of vaccines that have been transferred to their jurisdiction to support vaccination campaigns.
    With regard to (iii), as of April 21, 2022, approximately 153.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been procured and made available. Of these, more than 83 million doses have been administered.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 489 to 492, 494, 495, 497 and 498 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 489—
Mr. Rhéal Éloi Fortin:
    With regard to the government-owned building at the corner of Saint-Georges and Labelle streets in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, that is used by the Correctional Service of Canada as the Laferrière Community Correctional Centre: (a) why did the centre close in March 2019; (b) when did the Correctional Service of Canada make the decision to close the centre; (c) what impact did the closure of the centre have on the mission of the Correctional Service of Canada and the services provided; (d) over the past 15 years, how many inmates (i) transited through, (ii) could be accommodated at, this centre, broken down by year; (e) what data (occupancy and growth statistics) warrant reopening this centre; (f) have other organizations working for community reintegration in the Laurentians or in the greater Montreal area been consulted about the need to renovate and reopen this centre, and, if so, which ones and when; (g) has the City of Saint-Jérôme been consulted about the planned renovations to this building, and, if so, on what dates and for which parts of the project; (h) has a study on the heritage value of the building been conducted, and, if so, by which organization and what are its conclusions; (i) does the government intend to respond positively to the request to transfer the building to the City of Saint-Jérôme in order to restore its heritage value and develop it as a place of culture and pride, as requested by the city council in its resolution adopted unanimously on January 18, 2022, copies of which were provided to the ministers of Public Safety, Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, and Public Services and Procurement; (j) has a study been conducted on the centre’s location and have the City of Saint-Jérôme and community partners been consulted on this location, and, if so, on what dates and which individuals and organizations were involved in these consultations; (k) does the Correctional Service of Canada intend to comply with the City of Saint-Jérôme municipal by-laws with respect to the renovation of buildings within its city limits, particularly concerning the timeline for completing the work in question, and, if so, when; (l) since the closure of the centre in March 2019, what correspondence, emails and other communications have been exchanged between the Correctional Service of Canada and the City of Saint-Jérôme concerning this building and on what subjects, broken down by date; (m) since the closure of the centre in March 2019, how much public money has been invested in studies and work on this building, broken down by budget item, supplier and month; (n) what is the timeline for renovating the building, broken down by month and by major work completed and to be completed; (o) what are the total cost estimates related to the proposed renovation and restoration of this building; and (p) were any options other than the currently planned renovation considered, and, if so, what were they and what did they consist of?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 490—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to the departmental acquisition cards and expenditures made in March 2022: (a) what is the total sum of all purchases made; (b) what departmental expenses were made, broken down by accounting code; and (c) what is the number of purchases made specifically between March 22 and March 31, 2022?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 491—
Mr. Dan Mazier:
    With regard to Parks Canada, broken down by each national park that is accessible to tourists: (a) how much money has each park budgeted for tourism promotion in 2022; (b) how much money did each park spend on tourism promotion in each of the last five years; and (c) what were the visitor attendance numbers, broken down by each of the last five years?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 492—
Mr. Jeremy Patzer:
    With regard to the government's response to rising inflation across the Canadian economy: (a) is it the government's position that the high rate of inflation is entirely the result of temporary factors, such as supply disruptions, and, if so, does the government also maintain that the rise of inflation is unrelated to its economic and spending policies; (b) what specific analysis or data, if any, does the government have to support the position that inflation is entirely the result of temporary forces and not the result of its fiscal policy; (c) what specific actions in 2022, broken down by month or quarter, is the government taking or will take to ensure that temporary forces do not become embedded in ongoing inflation; and (d) does the government have any contingency plans to address other factors driving inflation for any rate higher than two per cent in late 2022, and, if so, what are the details?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 494—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to reports of "March madness expenditures" where the government makes purchases before the end of the fiscal year so that departmental funds do not go unspent, broken down by department, agency or other government entity: (a) what were the total expenditures during February and March of 2022 on (i) materials and supplies (standard object 07), (ii) acquisition of machinery and equipment, including parts and consumable tools (standard object 09); and (b) what are the details of each such expenditure, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of the expenditure, (iv) description of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery date, (vi) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 495—
Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval:
    With regard to the High Frequency Rail (HFR) project between Toronto and Quebec City and the funding for this project announced in the 2022 budget: (a) what is the expected breakdown of the $396.8 million over two years, beginning in 2022-23, provided to Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada for the planning and design phases of the HFR by (i) year, (ii) department, (iii) milestone description; (b) what specifically is the plan for the amount set out in (a); and (c) what will be the extent of VIA Rail’s involvement in the project, especially regarding (i) train operations, (ii) ticket sales?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 497—
Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval:
    With regard to the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass project: (a) what is the itemized breakdown of the projected expenditures by (i) year, (ii) department, (iii) project, of the $237.2 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, provided to Transport Canada in the 2022 budget; (b) what, specifically, is planned to be done with that amount; and (c) what is Canadian Pacific’s projected financial share of the project?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 498—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s policy on Somaliland and reaction to requests for support to rebuild the Hargeisa market: (a) what is the government's position with respect to Somaliland’s claim to independence; (b) have ministers or officials met with representatives or employees of the Government of Somaliland in the last seven years, and if so, what are the details of all such meetings, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) names and titles of the individuals in attendance, (iv) purpose of the meeting, (v) outcome; (c) did the Minister of International Development receive a letter from the Canadian Alliance to rebuild Hargeisa market requesting financial support for the rebuilding of Hargeisa market; and (d) what is the government’s response to the request for financial support, including what amount, if any, the government will provide?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Motions for Papers

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[Translation]

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege to have the opportunity to talk about the budget implementation bill or the budget in general.
    I want to spend a bit of time on what I believe is a very important issue to Canadians, something that I have not really spoken about for a while now and needs to be reinforced. For the first time in many years, we have seen a government that is genuinely committed to a national health care system. We have seen that virtually since day one from the government.
    Many years ago, I was the health critic in the province of Manitoba, and I can say that back then, there was quite a bit of dialogue with Ottawa and many requests for money. Let there be no doubt that throughout every one of those years, the provinces were constantly asking for more health care dollars, and justifiably so, as the cost of health care has gone up. Our government has responded to that call in a very real and tangible way.
    Back in the days when the Liberals were in opposition, the health care accord expired. We wanted a new health care accord to be reached, and it was through the efforts of this government that we were able to achieve that by going to the provinces and territories. Today we have agreements, and they will ultimately mean that health care transfers will increase over the next number of years. I see that as a very strong positive. In fact, if we look at the total amount of money we spend on health care today, it is at a historic high.
    One could easily stop there, but we take the Canada Health Act very seriously. We want to be sensitive to what is taking place. The Prime Minister has argued in the past that there are many things we can learn from the pandemic. One of those things is with regard to health care.
    All of us, I am sure, can appreciate the concerns that were expressed regarding long-term care, and the federal government responded to them. There was the immediate response of providing the provinces hands-on support, whether it was through the Canadian Forces or the Red Cross, some of which went into my own riding of Winnipeg North. It is the idea of working toward stronger and healthier national standards for long-term care, something we are very much interested in doing and pursuing.
    On the issue of mental health, we have seen a huge investment in mental health by the government. We also wanted movement in the area of pharmacare. It was not that long ago that we reached out to willing partners to start exploring how we could develop a national pharmacare program. I am very happy that in this budget we talk about a dental care program, at a substantial cost. If I had a choice, I probably would have wanted more emphasis on the pharmacare side as opposed to the dental care side, but that is a personal preference.
    The commitment over the next number of years to establish a dental program is a very positive move. I do not think we should forget about the pharmacare program, but I understand that discussions continue to take place. I say that because I often have the opportunity, as we all do, to have discussions with people and constituents. It may be that as we get closer to Canada Day, people reflect on how fortunate we are to live in Canada, but when I ask people about this, especially newer immigrants, I find that one thing allowing them to identify with Canada, which they really appreciate about Canada, is our health care system.

  (1635)  

    I think that is something that often gets overlooked. That is why I thought I would start on that issue today by recognizing our investments as a government into health care, whether it was in our very first budget and the investments that we made in health care or the most recent budget, which expands investment into dental care while still looking at pharmacare, as well as investing historic amounts into health care transfer payments and giving a great deal of attention to issues like mental health and long-term care. I would encourage members to reflect on those activities over the last number of years, and I suggest that we are moving forward on the issue of public policy on health care. It is one of the things I am very proud of.
    Another issue I want to comment on is housing, because there is a great deal of debate and discussion on it and it is often a topic in question period. We are all concerned about the costs of housing and the shortage of supply, but we have to look at what has actually transpired over the last number of years and what has been incorporated into this budget.
    This government established the first housing strategy in our country, committing literally billions of dollars. We have looked at new initiatives, and I have always been a very big fan of housing co-ops. I remember many years ago playing a role in the start-up of the Weston Housing Co-op. In my riding of Winnipeg North, we have Willow Park and Willow Park East. One of those is likely the oldest housing co-op in Canada, and some have suggested possibly even in North America. Our Minister of Housing has seen co-ops as a viable investment. It is an alternative.
    There is a difference between living in an apartment and living in a co-op. In one situation we are a tenant and in the other situation we are a resident. There is a big difference. When we are a resident, we participate in ownership, whereas a tenant will never own the place they are renting. As well, there is a non-profit element in housing co-ops. The expansion of that program will do wonders, and I look forward to possibly seeing some new housing co-op start-ups.
     We continue to support provincial governments and the many different non-profit agencies. We have literally tens of thousands of units across the country. I do not know the actual number in the province of Manitoba, but I suspect that probably around 20,000 units are heavily subsidized by Ottawa so that people who are financially challenged have an option in finding a home.
    Initiatives within the budget include the intergenerational grants, a program that is going to enable people to look at their current home and maybe build on an addition, often referred to as a granny suite, or establish an independent unit in the yard for a parent to stay with them. The government is making it much easier to do that. It is a program that is very popular, and it will become even more popular once it becomes better known.

  (1640)  

    We can talk about the idea of renovations. There is the greener homes project, providing thousands of grants and involving tens of thousands of dollars, for people who want to fix up their homes by making their windows or whatever else more energy efficient. When I think of a program like that, I cannot help but think about our environment providing jobs just through the overall housing stock. Investing in home renovations, as we are doing, creates jobs. Renovations are very labour-intensive projects. They create opportunities to have more energy-efficient homes. With programs of this nature, we are improving the overall condition of Canada's housing stock.
    We can talk about first-time homebuyers and enhancing that program so that people who are purchasing their homes for the first time have more financing that they can turn to.
    We can talk about the millions going into the rapid housing initiative, not to mention the monies that have been there to support agencies like Main Street Project in Winnipeg and others, such as women's shelters. There is so much we have been able to do on the housing front.
    Ultimately, I would argue that we have demonstrated that the national government is prepared to lead and work with others, because dealing with the housing crisis that we are in today is going to take more than just the federal government. We will need a higher sense of co-operation, whether it comes from municipalities or from provinces.
    At the end of the day, we need to see more land being developed. I believe that we need to see individuals being able to acquire properties, as opposed to having to go through a developer, for example. I think there are ways to have provinces look at some of the reviews for housing condos, co-operatives, life-lease programs or the 55-plus types of programs that are out there. What we know is that there is a high need.
    At the end of the day, when talking about housing and the costs of housing, I am very concerned, like all of my colleagues. However, I do not think we should give the false impression, as the opposition side often does, that the government is not taking action. The federal government today has taken more action on this file than many, many other governments before it. We are talking about generations, a historic amount of investment and an incredible number of programs that have been developed and ultimately administered.
    I wanted to highlight those two areas because I do not really get to talk too much about those two areas of housing and health care, so I wanted to start off my comments on those.
    Having said that, I believe that the big issues in regard to the budget can be rooted right back to having a consistent policy that recognizes that the backbone to Canada's economy is our small businesses, our middle class and those aspiring to be a part of the middle class. This is where the government has done incredible work. From the very beginning, going back to the 2015 election until today, the cabinet and caucus as a whole have been focused on Canada's middle class and their economy.

  (1645)  

    I would like to cite a few examples of that. Prior to the pandemic taking effect, there were over a million jobs created in those first four or four and a half years. Let us keep in mind that Canada's population is 37 million. It was a million jobs.
    It was not just the Government of Canada alone. We worked with partners and stakeholders. That is where a good part of our focus was. We saw incredible amounts of effort put into trade agreements. This government has signed off on more trade agreements than any other government. That is the absolute truth.
    In terms of North America and the European Union, those agreements were signed off. I can recall opposition parties saying that this process was derailed, that it was not going to happen.
    Canada is a trading nation. We depend on trade. I understand that our trading deficit has virtually evaporated. For years, when I was in opposition, that was not the case. We understand the importance of international trade and we invested a great deal in that area.
    Infrastructure is another thing. Infrastructure is so important to all of us. I would challenge any member to demonstrate another government that has committed as much in financial resources toward infrastructure in terms of real dollars. Again we are going into the billions of dollars. Not only was the government working with municipalities or provinces or other stakeholders, but we also created the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
    Mr. Pat Kelly: How is that working?
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: It is interesting that I make that comment and then we witness the response coming from the Conservatives, as if it has been—
    Mr. Dan Albas: It is a laughingstock of an organization.
    Mr. Pat Kelly: A failure, yes..
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: The member says it is a total failure. To my friend who just said that the Infrastructure Bank is a total failure, my recommendation is to maybe do a little Google search. I am sure he can get some high tech going there and find out what the Infrastructure Bank has done.
    What will happen is that we will find that the Conservative talking notes are somewhat misleading. I will use an example that I used just the other day. In Brampton, we are seeing fossil-fuelled buses being converted into electric buses. That is happening because of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.
    You should think before you say something. You are the finance critic and you should know better—or rather, Madam Speaker, the member opposite who was just heckling should know better.
    At the end of the day, let us take a look at the Infrastructure Bank and many of the projects.
    Mr. Pat Kelly: Read what it says.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Well, do not read your Tory notes.
    Mr. Pat Kelly: I am reading Wikipedia, and it is pretty good.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Look at the site. Look at the hundreds of millions of dollars that are being spent on this issue. The member might actually be surprised. He might even want to change his talking points on it, because it is delivering in a very real and tangible way.
    Our government that has been there to support people, whether it is our seniors through increases to the GIS, one-time payments during the pandemic, the 10% to seniors 75 and over or, as I said yesterday, the hundreds of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations that support our seniors through all sorts of wonderful activities like New Horizons and so forth.
    Whether it is supporting small businesses through tax cuts all through the pandemic, wage subsidies, rent support or easier access to loans, all of these have enabled Canada to do relatively well in comparison to the world.

  (1650)  

     I will get another chance, possibly in answers. You will find that Canada is doing exceptionally well.
    I need to remind the hon. member to channel his comments, of course, through the Chair because this has happened on a number of occasions.

Criminal Code

Bill C-5—Notice of Time Allocation  

    Mr. Speaker, an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-5, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
     Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the respective stages of the said bill.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, I have to go there, because the member raised the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and I have no idea why this member would want to raise that.
    The former finance minister Bill Morneau pointed out that the Canada Infrastructure Bank did not do what was intended. This member is trying to say that somehow, if the Canada Infrastructure Bank was not entity, if it did not exist, municipalities would not be able to purchase electric vehicles or electric buses. That is simply not the case.
    Would the member acknowledge that in this budget bill the government is changing the mandate of said institution? Really, all we have seen since this was proposed in 2017 is, year after year, scandalous stories about executives at the Canada Infrastructure Bank getting bonuses. In fact, the previous CEO and president left, and we still do not know what the former minister of infrastructure Catherine McKenna, who has left this place, gave that member. This has been a complete failure.
    Would the member at least acknowledge, with a little humility, that that particular institution put in place by his government has been a failure?

  (1655)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member is known as the shadow finance minister, and the shadow finance minister should know better. We are talking about of dozens of projects. We are talking about over $30 billion in investments. The finance critic believes that it has not done anything. I do not know what world his mind might be in, but it is obviously not engaged in reality.
    At the end of the day, the member is listening to the Conservative spin doctors in the back room. He needs to do some independent research. I would suggest to the shadow minister of finance to take a look at it. If he did that, he would see that it has invested millions. I will use the example of Brampton, which I think is a great example. Does the member not support what is happening in Brampton today because, in part, of what the Infrastructure Bank has done?
    This is where I give my daily reminder to keep questions and answer as short as we can so that everyone can participate.
    The member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for speaking about health.
    One in five people in this country works in the care economy. Those health care workers and care workers are being exploited in this country. They are immigrants, more often women without secured status; seniors caring for seniors in long-term care homes without, in too many cases, proper PPE, adequate linens or lifting equipment; and nurses, who were not even mentioned in the budget speech. They deserve better.
    When will the government respect the women in the care economy by paying them properly, give immigrant care workers immediate permanent status, and give long-term care workers the protection they deserve with legislation?
    Mr. Speaker, during the pandemic, the federal government gave a number of supports for nurses. They are the backbone of our health care system. Literally millions of dollars were allocated to the provinces to support our nurses.
    On a couple of occasions, including the other day, I have had the opportunity to talk with Ambassador Robles from the Philippines. We talked about how many people of Filipino heritage have the skills to be health care providers and nurses, and those skill sets are not necessarily being recognized here, so they are not working as nurses.
    There is a wide spectrum in the health care field that we need to improve upon. We have to respect the fact that there is provincial jurisdiction and there is a role for the federal government, but I do believe that the federal government is working with provinces as much as possible. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to have more dialogue on that.
    Not recognizing immigrant credentials, in particular, is really quite sad, and it needs to be dealt with. They could contribute so much more to our health care system.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, our colleague from Winnipeg North always gives lengthy responses, and I like that. I like his passion, and of course it is always a pleasure to ask him questions in the House.
    My colleague talked about what is in Bill C‑19. I am going to ask him about what is not in it.
    What is not in Bill C‑19 are the health transfers to the provinces and Quebec. These transfers have been requested by all provincial premiers and the Premier of Quebec, all the opposition parties in the House of Commons and all the parties in the Quebec National Assembly. The only ones saying no to health transfers are the Liberals.
    My question is very simple. If someone is alone in thinking they are right, could it be because they are wrong?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I addressed that issue at the very beginning of my comments where I said that even when I was the health care critic in the province of Manitoba about 30 years ago, provinces we always asking for more money. It is just something that is an annual thing.
    What I found was that during the early nineties, when I was heavily involved in the provincial legislature, there was this threat that we were going to see the federal government get out of financing health care because provinces wanted to continue with the tax point shift, as opposed to a cash over. That is ultimately what I would argue, that back in the late seventies and early eighties there was some consensus that saw tax point shifts. That was part of the problem.
    Today, we have health care accords with the different provinces. We understand the importance of health care. That is why I spent the first six or seven minutes talking about health care. Today, we have record amounts of health transfers, and we are looking beyond those in how we can support issues such as mental health and long-term care.

  (1700)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think the Conservatives are not interested in the Infrastructure Bank because of the five objectives it focuses on. It focuses on green infrastructure, clean power, public transit, trade and transportation, and broadband infrastructure. With the exception of one of those, which they might be remotely interested in, the rest are just topics the Conservatives are not interested in.
    The reality is that the Canada Infrastructure Bank, and anybody can go to its website to see the projects that are under way through that bank, is providing innovative solutions for municipalities, in particular, and private industry to work with the government, with the expertise that can come along with those partnerships, to delivery real, quite often large-scale, infrastructure projects throughout the country.
    Could the parliamentary secretary further expand on the importance of these infrastructure projects right in our local communities and what that means for the municipalities that are trying to build critical infrastructure for tomorrow?
    Mr. Speaker, in wanting to be fair to my colleagues across the way in the Conservative Party, I think we need to recognize that they are still trying to determine whether or not climate change is real.
    Having said that, as my colleague points out, there is an issue where there is a bias toward the new economy and the importance of recognizing new energies. The point is that we have literally dozens of projects all over Canada. We are talking well over $30 billion, not $30 million, but $30 billion, and the Conservative speaking points that come from the backroom are saying that there is nothing happening in that bank. They need to update their speaking points.
    Mr. Speaker, during the member's speech, he challenged the Conservatives to google the Infrastructure Bank, so I took the opportunity to do so. I found its Wikipedia entry, which has a table that lists the various projects. However, I noticed, according to Wikipedia anyway, that exactly zero of them have been completed. Could the member elaborate on whether the Infrastructure Bank has actually completed any projects since it was established by this government?
    Mr. Speaker, I would think that the member might want to consider expanding his research capabilities and possibly look directly at the Canada Infrastructure Bank website. He will be amazed with how much information he will be able to find there. He will be able to identify the programs that are actually being financed today.
    My recommendation is to expand his research capabilities. The Conservative caucus has a lot of money. Let us start doing a little more, and let us start saying some positive things about the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand in this place on behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Today, I am going to be speaking to Bill C-19, but I will also be speaking to some of the points that I am sure the Liberal government may not want to hear. Part of democracy means everyone having a say before a decision is made. As the previous speaker said, there are a number of things where the Liberals accuse us of having blind spots. I would simply say that the same goes for the Liberals. That is why it is important for debates to happen, for those ideas, and for the people at home to be able to make up their own minds. That is something I hope to do today.
    One of the biggest challenges I believe Canada has right now is not debates over spending too much or not spending enough; it is credibility. There used to be a time when both Liberal and Conservative finance ministers spent considerable time and effort to come to this chamber and say that they had a path to balance. In our history, we have gone through world wars and pandemics. We have had cases where we have even survived Liberal government “spendathons” backed by the NDP, which put Canadian taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars of debt that took decades to be straightened out, and a lot of pain.
    When a finance minister comes to this place and says that the government has a path to balance or a balanced budget, that means a couple of things. Number one, it means that people know that the government has credibility when it lets out a bond and takes money from domestic lenders or from outside of Canada. It also says that the power of the government is in a very strong state, so if it decides to go with an infrastructure spending program or if it feels there is a hole in the safety net, depending on the needs of the day, there would be money for that, and taxpayers, both today and tomorrow, are going to be respected in those transactions.
    When I go door knocking and speak to seniors or middle-aged people in my riding of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, one thing I hear a lot is that they are very concerned that their children and grandchildren do not have the same opportunities they did at that period in their lives, and that in order to get a good job they need more and more education, which comes at great cost. Even if they get that great education, it is not always easy to find the work they need in their area of specialty. Now, there is a lot of work, and I appreciate meeting people who are doing whatever they can to get the skills they need so they can raise a family. However, people are feeling hurt. In all age categories, there is the cost-of-living crisis we are in right now. We have not seen groceries jump 10% since we had another divisive, big tax-and-spend Liberal prime minister in office. It almost plays to a T that we are somewhat repeating history. We have a big-spending government that makes bad choices and hits a debt crisis or oil shocks, and suddenly interest rates go up, inflation starts soaring and everyone is in a load of pain.
    The pain people are feeling right now, where they cannot fill up their gas tanks or purchase the same amount of groceries they could just a few months ago, is pain enough, but young people are also feeling that the system does not work for them anymore because they cannot buy a home. They have given up on that. They are just trying to scrape by and do what little they can. Instead of putting their money into something that brings them equity, they are seeing their credit card bills go up to pay for those groceries and to have those little luxuries because they do not have a home. That is a real shame, and I think all of us here recognize that. This is not a partisan issue, when we recognize that a whole generation feels like it is not part of the economy. That is on all of us, and we have to work together to try to find ways to deal with that.

  (1705)  

    We will have debates in this place. I do not want to say that I have all the answers, but I will say that part of it comes with credibility. People need to know that their government is working for them, that it is not thinking for them but thinking of them. In question period, when I ask questions of the Minister of Finance, I do not get the sense that she is thinking of Canadians; I think she is thinking for them. She may be well intentioned, but I would also say, and I have been very open with this criticism, that it is a bad decision by the Prime Minister to give so much responsibility to a single individual: to be Deputy Prime Minister, which is an honour, I am sure, and to also be finance minister.
    Being a finance minister is a full-time job. I remember seeing Minister Flaherty and how hard he would work. It was good and meaningful work. However, to add to that, by a Prime Minister who seems to be more about the jet-set life and seems to be more about playing a Prime Minister on TV than being a Prime Minister in this place, putting so much responsibility onto one individual, that is not fair to her and it is not fair to this place.
    In my experience on the finance committee, we saw large sections of the budget bill just cut. The EI component, which is an incredibly important part, was cut. Why? Everyone agreed the government had botched it. There is so much in this budget bill. There are other things the Liberals have botched, but unfortunately the government members just nod and say they lost something and just keep going on like nothing has happened. That is the problem. The finance minister is too busy, the Prime Minister is too busy doing his own thing, and there is not a focused government in place.
    Credibility is so important that when the finance minister says something, it can move markets. Having credibility is so important in a Minister of Finance and in a Prime Minister. Yesterday, Yves Giroux, the Parliamentary Budget Officer who works for all of us in this place, was at a Senate committee, the national finance committee. In response to being asked about whether the government's fiscal position and its numbers were credible, this is what he had to say: “I personally don't believe it is credible that there will be that level of spending restraint in the period 2024 to 2027, given all the expenditures that remain to be implemented by the government over that period of time.” When asked if these planned savings in that time frame were still feasible, he said, “If we were to believe the government's numbers, that would mean that in 2024 to 2027, operating and capital spending would grow by 0.3% per year, which is a level of growth that we have not seen in a long, long time.”
    What did I say about moving markets? Actually, the Royal Bank of Canada just put out its macroeconomic outlook, and it said that the bank expects GDP to go down to 1.9% in 2023, which is a marked drop. What we have is very optimistic numbers that are not meeting the test of time. We have inflation shooting up. We have growth dropping down. People are tightening up their wallets so they can pay for filling up their tank, let alone anything else. This is not a good situation. For our Parliamentary Budget Officer to be saying that he cannot trust the numbers and that those numbers seem overly optimistic, that is a big alarm bell.
    The Liberals are not credible on their budget implementation act. The minister is too busy. There is so much happening, and the Liberal government tries to portray a rosy outlook, that everything is good.
    Even today, when the finance minister rose in this chamber, she did not want to talk about inflation, but she said to look over there, that employment is at an all-time high and unemployment is at an all-time low. The Liberals were trying to take credit for baby boomers, who, as we have known for well over a decade, eventually would retire, starting in 2016, and leave en masse. The Liberals are trying to take credit for something the baby boomers are doing themselves, something we all know as the demographics are changing.

  (1710)  

    This is where the Liberals are at. They are again trying to point away, telling us to look at a number because they do not want us looking at these other numbers. RBC is questioning the economy, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer is questioning the assumptions in the budget. It is up to parliamentarians to ask if what the Liberals are saying is credible. Are they treating government as a serious responsibility or are they going by the seat of their pants? It is sad for me to say that, because I would want any government in power to be credible, especially at times when there is crisis or tumult or trouble.
    What else does “credible” mean? It means being credible on the small things and not just on the big macroeconomic level. Never have I seen, and many of my constituents have told me they have not, so much spent by any government in the history of Canada, or at least in their lifetime, with so little to show for it.
    Economist Tyler Cowen has been speaking about this a lot in the United States, and it is a great concept for us to look at. It is called “state capacity”. In my mind, state capacity is having a military that can blow things up, having hospitals that can handle a pandemic, and having the ability to do everything in between. It is having a Service Canada office that can get us passports in a timely manner. It is having a military that can replace a 50-year-old Browning pistol without having to go through multiple procurements. This is something the Minister of National Defence is going to have to wrestle with.
    I know the Liberals do not want to talk about health care transfers. They talk about how they are doing all these other things. However, premiers unanimously say that the one thing they ask for from the federal government is to supply them with more health care transfers. Given what we have seen in our health care system, we can see why they are asking for that. I personally believe that our health care system needs to change. A lot of those arguments need to happen at the provincial level, because a one-size-fits-all, Ottawa-knows-best policy is not good for this country. There is a reason provinces have the responsibility for health care.
    If the Liberals do not want to give health care transfers, then maybe they could stick to their promises from 2019, and again in 2021, when they said they would hire and bring in all these doctors and nurses. In British Columbia, it is critical. There are places like Merritt and northern parts of the province that need to shut down the only emergency clinics they have because they do not have health care professionals.
    If there is one thing the government can do, it is to just own up to its own commitment. It made the commitment, and if it cannot keep it, it should stand in this chamber and tell us that it cannot do that, and why. Was it a bad idea to begin with, or was it just being used as a way to get votes?
    Yesterday I was on a show, and an esteemed Liberal colleague was also on it. He accused Conservatives of using a gimmick. He said that our motion to take the GST off home heating, electricity, gasoline and diesel was just a gimmick. For so long, groceries have been exempt from the GST, because they are life-sustaining. I do not think any political party disagrees that we should not be applying GST to foodstuff, which allows families to feed themselves. I think that is a consensus and I do not see anyone ever changing that.
    We are telling the government, during this period of time, to just stop. It is getting windfall monies from oil and other commodities going up and it is getting all sorts of money coming in from inflation. In 2017, the government made all user fees by the Government of Canada go along with inflation, with the CPI, and what happened? That is inflationary policy. The government has never had so much money.

  (1715)  

    A little bit of work on the health care front would be helpful. A little bit of help by supporting common-sense, pragmatic suggestions, like suspending the GST, would go so far, yet the NDP-Liberals voted against that. Those members will say that we have all of these programs, like CPP and the Canada child benefit, which are all indexed to inflation. That means it is going to come down the road, and it is not here now at the time of the emergency.
     The government has the money to do this, but the Liberals just do not want to use a Conservative suggestion, and that is wrong. It should not be based on who proposes an idea to decide whether or not it has merit. It should be whether the idea itself has merit. That is a problem in this chamber. I would hope that members in caucus would speak to it when they hear a good idea, and whether it comes from the NDP, the Bloc, the Liberals, the Conservatives or the independents, that they would take it to their caucus and try to work with it.
    I will continue to go through a couple of things quickly. Let us take capacity. In the port of Vancouver, we know we that we have supply chain issues from the COVID pandemic. We can look at what happened in Shanghai. All those ports were shut down, with thousands of boats waiting to take products to other countries.
    The port of Vancouver was rated recently by the World Bank in a survey as being one of the worst in the developed world. The Minister of Transport needs to get out to Vancouver and start looking at how to fix this. He cannot just say that it is someone else's responsibility. Yes, there is an independent authority, and I am sure it is trying its best, but at some point the government has to be accountable. If we want to deal with inflation, we should expect that our ports are able to run. Again, the survey did not call out many of the other ports in the United States. We should at least be at the same level as those other ones.
    Look at the shemozzle at Pearson airport. It is terrible what people are having to go through. Blacklock's Reporter did a story on this today. The government decided it did not want to hire people back as aggressively and now we are at this particular stage. Yes, the mask mandates, and as I like to say “my way or the highway” mandate for travel are causing all sorts of issues. However, the Liberals are not showing up when it counts. They are not putting their hands on the wheel like we would expect a minister of the Crown to do.
    I want to talk about productivity. Recently there were some comments from Bill Morneau, the former minister of finance. I am going to read what he said:
    So much time and energy was spent on finding ways to redistribute Canada's wealth that there was little attention given to the importance of increasing our collective prosperity — let alone developing a disciplined way of thinking and acting on the problem," Morneau said in prepared remarks.
    That says what this government has done on productivity. In its own budget, the government is saying that in Canada, it expects investment levels to remain low because people do not see us as a credible place to invest. The NDP wants to add all sorts of new taxes, and this government actually put a retroactive tax last year on the banks. We can have arguments about that, but when the government does those kinds of things, it sends out a chill on investment.
    To conclude, this government needs to get serious, and this government needs to focus. It has not done that, but I hope it does.
    I move:
    That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
    Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022, and other measures, be not now read a third time, but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Finance for the purpose of reconsidering the clauses in Division 15 of Part 5, amending the Competition Act, with the view to incorporate the consultation measures industry has been asking for.
    I would appreciate hearing what members have to say and answering a few questions.

  (1720)  

    The amendment is in order.
    Questions and comments, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate).

  (1725)  

    Mr. Speaker, I hope the Conservatives are aware of the fact that the only thing their amendment does when it is moved right after a bill is introduced is give the member for Winnipeg North another opportunity to speak. That is great for the member for Winnipeg North, but I am feeling really left out, because I will only have one opportunity to speak on this.
    The Conservatives are relentless in talking about, to quote the member, “a path to balance” in terms of the budget. Personally, I like to focus more on our debt-to-GDP ratio, and I will say why. It is more important because our country has added a million more people to it since 2015. Why is that important when we consider the debt-to-GDP ratio? That is a million more people who require services, a million more people who require infrastructure, but a million more people who, for decades to come, will be helping to fund the tax base that this country relies on.
    Can the member not accept the fact that the debt-to-GDP ratio is more important? I would remind him to look back at the Conservatives' platform from last fall, where the Conservatives proposed to run a higher deficit than we did. That was the member for Durham, who is no longer the leader, but nonetheless—
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
    Madam Speaker, it is excellent to hear the member complain about the member for Winnipeg North.
    I would simply say this. First of all, we proposed in the last election to shore up our health care system. It is something that every province wanted, including my own province. John Horgan, on behalf of all of the provincial premiers, asked that there not be any new spending or new social programs and to help provinces sustain their health care system. We put that forward because we felt it was a bedrock thing to do. Right now in my riding, emergency rooms are closing in certain communities on very short notice.
    I would also say that the net debt-to-GDP ratio is going to be affected. RBC, in its macroeconomic outlook, is downgrading Canada's growth. That is huge. If we cannot build new homes, we are going to see it continue. Two out of five new Canadians who were surveyed said they were thinking of leaving Canada because they could not find a home, that it was not affordable.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I heard my colleague say that one solution to helping people deal with the rising cost of living could be to lift consumption taxes, which was part of the Conservative motion yesterday. However, I wonder if the government is even prepared to lift or lower these taxes.
    Does my colleague agree with me that these taxes are there for a reason? Taxes are paid and sent to the federal government so that we receive services in return.
    I feel that the public is not being provided adequate services right now, as demonstrated by the incredible delays in processing passport applications. The same applies to resolving EI fraud cases, with people spending hours on the phone before they get service.
    Does my colleague not think that if the federal government is not prepared to lift or lower these taxes, it should at least provide these services to the public in a timely manner?

[English]

    I am afraid the time is a bit too short for the hon. member to answer the question fully, so we will return to him after Private Members' Business hour. The hon. member will have six and a half minutes remaining in questions and comments. I do not want to cut the member off when he is answering.
    It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

  (1730)  

[English]

Conservation of Fish Stocks and Management of Pinnipeds Act

    The House resumed from April 28 consideration of the motion that C-251, An Act respecting the development of a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to debate private member's Bill C-251, an act respecting the development of a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds.
    Let me start by saying that I appreciate the passion of the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame on the issue of seal predation. It is something that almost all of us from Atlantic Canada are deeply concerned about, but like most things in the House, it is one where the details really matter.
    To date, our approach to pinniped management has focused on a sustainable, well-regulated seal harvest that supports Canada's indigenous, rural, coastal and remote populations. This approach is informed by the best available scientific evidence.
    Let us focus on those words: scientific evidence. Would it shock members of the House to learn that the member’s bill does not mention the word “science” once? Perhaps not when you consider that during the time of the last Conservative government, a great deal of cutting and slashing was done in science and to scientists. Indeed, it was what many people in my part of the world called a decade of darkness when it comes to science.
    Instead of basing this proposed framework of pinniped management on science, the member suggested an annual census of all pinnipeds. There are 11 different types of pinnipeds in Canada and an annual census would cost the government approximately $30 million a year. I know this was likely not the intent of the member when he wrote the bill, but as I said earlier, in this House details matter, and the bills we pass have consequences.
    It is concerning that Bill C-251 does not mention science, not only because of the $30-million-a-year census, but because of our trading partners and what they expect in terms of our management decisions based in science.
    Take, for example, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the MMPA, in the United States. The MMPA contains important measures to reduce the impact of commercial fishing on marine mammals. It is one of the reasons we have worked so hard to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale and one of my key concerns with the bill.
    With no reference to science and an expectation that the government regulate the population of pinnipeds to acceptable levels, this bill could expose Canada and the fish and seafood sector to economic risk that a more protectionist American administration could take advantage of.
    Seventy per cent of Canada's fish and seafood exports went to the United States in 2021. I cannot in good conscience support a bill that could create numerous vulnerabilities to this critical industry, an industry that I cherish, that we cherish.
    That is why when the sponsor of Bill C-251 moved a motion at the fisheries and oceans committee this past January that we study the issue of pinniped predation, I was pleased to vote for it.
    The motion read, in part:
    That the committee undertake a comprehensive study of pinnipeds that would examine the ecosystem impacts of pinniped overpopulation in the waters of Quebec, eastern and western Canada; international experience in pinniped stock management; the domestic and international market potential for various pinniped products; social acceptability; and the social cultural importance of developing active management of predation for coastal and first nations communities with access to the resource;
    It was to my surprise actually when the member opposite, who said we needed to study this issue in order to address it, came forward with a solution without ever having done the work for it. We would not accept this anywhere else, and it should not fly in Parliament.
    There is a clear need for us to grow the market on seal products. I think we would all agree with that. The issue is that last year we had a total allowable catch for harp seals. In 2016. The TAC that year was 400,000 for harp seals, but only 68,317, which is 17% of the quota, were caught. Since 2016, so few have been caught that there no longer is a TAC. In 2021, only 26,545 harp seals, less than half, were caught.
    We know that more work needs to be done to address this issue. That is why last month we released the Atlantic Science Seal Task Team report and set out a plan of action on this issue to grow our research capabilities, listen to harvesters and invest in the marketability of seal products.
    The right way to address this issue is a whole-of-government approach, which I hope the member opposite will support, rather than through a private member's bill that would have potential serious ramifications.

  (1735)  

    When we get down to it, the intent of the bill, in my opinion, is flawed. It is not only unnecessary; it is an issue we are already addressing right now in a comprehensive way thanks to the hard work of the Newfoundland and Labrador caucus. We should be talking about how we strengthen the summit that is coming up in the fall, what will come out of the summit and what we are doing to address the report, rather than sending this bill to committee.
    Clearly, as has been said before, seals eat fish. They are not vegans. We now have the tools to fill in the knowledge gaps that the task force team identified and invest in the marketability of seal products.
    I think we can all agree that we need to tackle this problem thoughtfully, comprehensively, tactically and strategically, with a focus on outcomes, because like everything in the House, the details matter. Sadly, Bill C-251 is just not ready for prime time.
    Uqaqtittiji, I am very pleased to represent Nunavut, and I thank my constituents for their continued faith and trust in me to represent them in matters as important as those contained within in this bill.
    I take this opportunity to share the meaning of my surname ldlout, pronounced in Inuktitut as illauq. Translated into English, it means “embryo of marine mammals”, like walrus and seals. Indeed, seals have always been important in my life.
    Before my main points, I must acknowledge the great work of my colleague, the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, who sought my advice on this bill and understands the importance of protecting indigenous people's rights. I must also share my appreciation for the member for Labrador. I have tremendous respect for the effort she has made to destigmatize all seal hunts. I appreciate all her efforts in showing how we all can use seal products in everyday life, including in clothes and jewellery, as a part of our diet and as sources of important vitamins, like omega-3s.
    Of course, I thank the sponsor of this bill, the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, for putting this matter before the House and beginning the dialogue.
    l would like to talk about three key points regarding this proposed legislation. First is that seal harvests in Canada by non-indigenous people are as important as seal hunts by indigenous people. Next is my personal belief that wildlife harvesting and management must be founded upon and practised through an indigenous lens. Finally, the sustainable management of our natural resources can and should support local and regional economic development.
    To give a brief history, after the drastic impact of the anti-seal hunt campaigns, the next link in this chain of damage to our reliance on the seal hunt has been the many comments that I hear from Qallunaat. While Qallunaat translated into English means “white people”, I will use it for all non-indigenous people.
    Basically, what we hear from Qallunaat is that they support the indigenous seal hunt, but they do not support the east coast seal hunt. I am quite sure many Inuit are told this. I am quite sure that many Inuit say that this is just as damaging as the initial anti-seal hunt campaigns that decimated the Inuit economy in the 1980s.
    What many people do not realize is that the discrimination against the east coast seal harvest is damaging the opportunities to support the economy of Inuit as well. It should not be this way. We are a large, diverse and rich country with enough for everyone. We should support one another in all matters, including the seal harvest or hunt, and the sustainable management of our fish stocks, other wildlife and other natural resources.
    For that reason, I am happy to support those who would be directly affected by this legislation, just as I hope they would support Nunavummiut in our pursuit of a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future, and the successful and sustainable management of our natural resources.
    I turn now to the need to use the indigenous lens for better wildlife management.
    Throughout Canada's first nations, Inuit and Métis communities, people will find a wealth of local knowledge and traditions related to sustainable living and the harvesting of wildlife. This knowledge and these traditions have helped us successfully and sustainably manage our natural resources for millennia in our territories.

  (1740)  

    In Nunavut, we have Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit traditional knowledge, which is the body of knowledge and unique cultural insights of Inuit regarding the workings of nature, humans and animals. The Nunavut Impact Review Board applied the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in its decision-making on economic development projects that impact Nunavummiut and recently rejected phase two of the Mary River Mine's proposal to expand the project, which clearly violated these principles.
    I encourage the use of similar local indigenous knowledge and principles elsewhere in Canada and for the east coast seal harvest, in particular. However, there is no mention of such traditional and sustainable practices in this bill, and I worry that if it is passed, it would do nothing more than promote a cull of seals instead of a useful harvest that benefits the local populations while ensuring the sustainability of their way of life moving forward.
    Finally, my third point is the importance of sustainable management of our natural resources to support local and regional economic development. This final point is where I think the member's well-intentioned bill is far too narrow in its focus.
    In the 1970s and throughout the 1980s and 1990s, individuals and groups targeted the livelihood and well-being of Inuit and others living in the north and mounted a fierce campaign against commercial seal harvests. Markets for seal products in the United States and the European Union were practically eliminated overnight thanks to these well-intended but badly misguided campaigns.
    To its credit, in 1985, Greenpeace apologized for the unforeseen and negative impact that these campaigns had upon Inuit and non-Inuit harvesting communities, but the damage done has been lasting and severe. I fear that this bill, if passed, would simply encourage more campaigns against our way of life and inflict even more lasting economic damage on our communities since it would likely result in a simple cull rather than a harvest of seal populations.
    I think there is a better approach. We should apply the indigenous lens that I spoke of earlier, which embraces the more modern ecosystem approach, to manage our natural resources. Indeed, the indigenous-led approach and ecosystem approach are practically one and the same. By sustainably managing our precious natural resources, such as the various seal populations in our oceans and the fish they consume, we can build confidence in the international community that we are not wastefully killing animals but ethically harvesting them in a sustainable manner that makes use of every part of these beautiful creatures: the fur to keep us warm, the meat to keep us fed and the omega-3 rich oil and other parts that keep us healthy.
    We should be better regulating seal products, creating and growing markets abroad, particularly in Europe and China, and using the trade and sale of these products to help Inuit and non-Inuit northern communities improve their standard of living, while protecting our traditional way of life. As this bill proposes, we should conserve fish stocks as well.
    Because of these and other issues with the bill, I will not be voting in support of it, but I want to thank the hon. member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame for sponsoring this legislation and beginning this important dialogue in this 44th Parliament. I hope we can work together to support our communities and work toward successfully managing seal and fish populations in a way that embraces and protects our traditional ways of life and improves the standard of living of those we represent for generations to come.

  (1745)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a real privilege to stand in support of a colleague who is sitting right in front of me, the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame. I am honoured to support the bill, and I want to speak to how it would positively impact our northern communities if it passes.
    Pinniped harvesting has a long history in Canada, especially for our indigenous and northern communities, and I want to get into exactly that. I will first read one little part of the bill, which explains what we are supporting here tonight. The bill would establish “a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds.”
    There is a bit of a longer paragraph. Subclause 3(1) of the bill states, “The Minister must, in consultation with representatives of the provincial governments responsible for fisheries, the environment and trade, with Indigenous governing bodies and with other relevant stakeholders, develop a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds.”
    Many in the House know I have been working on the conservation of threatened stocks, especially when it relates to my home province of British Columbia, but I also have a role as the northern affairs shadow minister, and I am very concerned about the negative effects on those communities.
    I am going to speak about, first of all, our indigenous communities. My NDP colleague down the way already referenced the right to harvest pinnipeds, so I am just going to read something out. This is from a government document from 2017. It is a backgrounder for pinniped harvesting. It states, “Nevertheless, subsistence harvests are in effect for these three species because 'Indigenous peoples in Canada have a constitutionally protected right to harvest marine mammals, including seals, as long as the harvest is consistent with conservation needs and other requirements.'”
    Supporting the member down the way, we absolutely support those rights, and we support that way of life and the ability to continue on.
    We have a long history of harvesting in Canada, and another quote from that same document states, “'[f]or thousands of years, seals have provided food, clothing and heat for people living in challenging northern regions' and continue to do so for many Indigenous peoples and northern communities.” It continues, “In the Arctic, sealing continues to play an important role in Inuit life, which can be seen in 'the rich vocabulary in the Inuktitut language for different species, varieties and characteristics of seals.'”
    I think we all recognize this is an important part of culture in our country and it is an important part of our future. Again, the member is wishing to have it come back to the way it once was, but let me speak to the problems with what happened to the industry.
    Back in 1972, the U.S. had the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which basically closed out access of the pinniped harvest and pinniped products to the North American market and our American friends. There were huge impacts to that industry. Most of the folks affected were in northern communities and indigenous communities that made their living from harvesting pinnipeds. That was the first blow to the industry.
    I am going to get into some numbers in a minute, but I want to talk about the second blow, which was really dramatic. In 2009, we had the European ban on pinniped products. What I am getting at is that, even though we had rights that were protected by our constitution for indigenous communities to harvest pinnipeds, we saw the market absolutely collapse. That really collapsed the entire economy around pinnipeds in this country.
    I have some evidence of what happened. In 2004 there was a landed value, which is for Canadian pinniped values. In 2004, it was $14,862,415. By 2006, it had grown to $30 million, and then there was the absolute collapse. By 2015, it had gone down to $1,126,912. It was absolutely a massive collapse of the market.

  (1750)  

    The member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame is trying to get that industry back on its feet again. The reason we are talking about this tonight, and I am about defending the bill, is the effects of having an out-of-control pinniped population on our coasts.
    We have members on all sides of the House that say they care about salmon and southern resident killer whales and all the rest, but guess what eats a lot of fish. Killer whales eat fish too, but when pinnipeds are absolutely collapsing stocks of other fish, sometimes there is not much left for those other species to eat because there is an overpopulation, a massive imbalance in the ecosystem as a result of this harvest basically ceasing to exist. It still happens, but on a much smaller scale.
    The member is trying to have an answer to the imbalance in the ecosystem and for an industry that has been flattened and the communities that have been negatively affected by this collapse. How about we do something in Parliament? We have that agreement across the way, but I am hearing from the Liberals and NDP now that they are pulling back their support, which is interesting because this industry is so key in their communities. It is so easy to support, and I am surprised that they would be pulling back their support at this time.
    Again, what the member is trying to do is a positive change for not only the pinniped industry but also the communities that benefit from it. I want to read one part of the bill to highlight a specific section for those who say they care about conservation and threatened stocks. Subclause 3(1) reads, “The Minister must, in consultation with representatives of the provincial governments responsible for fisheries, the environment and trade, with Indigenous governing bodies and with other relevant stakeholders develop a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks”, which is the crux of the whole bill.
    First of all, we are going to help fish stocks big time. For salmon, we call it the brick wall of pinnipeds on our coastlines, and not many get through. Again, if the government is talking big about conservation and really doing something positive for the ecosystem and for salmon as an example on both coasts, this is the answer to that. The other benefit that benefits both communities in a huge way is that we would get our pinniped industry back again.
    My hope is, especially for members affected in Newfoundland and in the north in the territories, which are affected by having a positive pinniped industry, that they will have some really long thoughts about the consideration of supporting the bill. It is great. It is going to be good for every coastline that we have. It will be positive for the communities that reside on the coastlines and in our north.
    For the sake of my fellow member on fisheries and oceans, Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, my hope is that we can all come to an agreement and support the bill.

  (1755)  

    Madam Speaker, there is nothing like a good motion on seals to get some debate going in the House of Commons.
    I think this has been the story of our legacy in Canada since the 1980s whenever the word “seal” popped up in the context of Atlantic Canada, northern Canada or Quebec. The fact that people depended upon it for their livelihood or the potential for product has always stirred tremendous amounts of debate. The member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame has stimulated some good debate around seals again.
    I am happy to speak to this motion, because I really believe that this bill comes from a place of wanting to do something to protect the ecosystems of the ocean and to build upon a good product that could be a very good source of protein and oil for many around the world. We see that as well. We see that as members. I listened to my colleague, the member for Nunavut, when she spoke very eloquently about the industry. Like me, she grew up in this industry. It has been the source of food, clothing and heat for so many generations and centuries of Inuit people, coastal people and people around different ocean areas of Canada.
    Since 1986, we have had more than 20 particular studies, reports and committees on seals, starting with “Seals and Sealing in Canada”. The whole purpose of that first report was to identify the dependency upon on seal and sealing in Canada, and the people who depended on that resource.
    Unfortunately, since 1986 nothing has really generated out of the sealing industry because of the activist groups, the protests and animal rights groups that identified indigenous people and people who hunt for seal as barbaric. They were identified as people who had no respect for the ocean or for the environment. That was completely wrong.
    Their actions not only caused us to have a problem of the overpredation of seals we have today, but also their actions erased the livelihoods of so many people in northern and coastal communities who depended on the hunt, and so many indigenous people as well.
    Today, we have a problem in Canada where our ocean ecosystem is not being protected. Our ocean ecosystem of fish species is being depleted by the overpredation of seals. I want to give some information that comes right from DFO reports. It says that, commercially, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we take a little over 200,000 metric ton of fish in a commercial year in a fishery. Gray seals alone are eating 1.6 million metric tons of fish.
    That is 1.6 million metric tons being taken by seals, but only 200,000 metric tons being taken by commercial fishers. That is why we have a problem in the ocean ecosystem. That is why we have capelin stocks that are going down. That is why, for 30 years in Newfoundland and Labrador, we have cod stocks that have not rebuilt. That is why fishermen are constantly sending pictures of crab grounds where crab stocks are falling, but seals are being found with their stomachs full of small crab and full of shrimp. They are consuming the shellfish populations, which is now provoking a decline. Where I live, the most beautiful rivers in the world for salmon, we see seal in the salmon rivers. It is a problem.

  (1800)  

    I know where my colleague is coming from in identifying the problem and that it needs to be fixed. That is why the minister had the task force on seals. She actually commissioned a number of people across Newfoundland and Labrador. The task force was completed and the recommendations are in. I have to say that she is the first federal fisheries minister I have ever heard stand up and admit that seals eat fish.
    At one time we had a minister named John Efford from Newfoundland and Labrador in this honourable House. He was not the minister of fisheries at the time, but he told people over and over again that seals eat fish, that they do not eat turnips. Like my colleague from Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame said, “They don't eat Mary Brown's.” No, they do not. They eat fish. Finally we have a minister who has recognized that and agrees. Now we need to do something about it. The summit that will be launched by the Government of Canada through the minister is to deal with just that.
    I support the premise of my colleague's bill. I think it comes from a place of recognition. He recognizes there is a problem, as I do. We also know that we cannot have a bill that talks about managing the industry and that talks about “year-round control of pinnipeds in order to manage their numbers and mitigate the detrimental effect these marine mammals are having” on the ocean. I think that is where my colleague from Nunavut was coming from. Yes, that concerns me as well.
     I think that whatever we do has to be based on science. It has to be with input from indigenous people and from the industry. I believe it has to be linked to product development and to markets. That means there is a lot of work to do. I am finally pleased to say that we are prepared to do that work. I am pleased to see that my colleague is interested in working with us to make that happen, as I am pleased to see the member for Nunavut is willing to work with us to make that happen.
     I want to appeal to all of those out there who want to act on conservation and who have a conscience when it comes to conservation. We live in a country today where our ocean ecosystem is in danger. Today is World Oceans Day, a day when we stand up to protect the oceans. Since the 1980s, no one has stood up to protect the people who fell through the cracks due to the activism against the seal industry. Our people suffered. They suffered and they suffer today. Today we would have an industry and we would not have an ocean predation problem, but because the activists won out and beat down the ordinary individuals who live in northern indigenous and coastal communities, that did not happen.
    Today here in this House we have a problem and we need to deal with that problem. I say to the member opposite that if his bill passes second reading and goes to committee, I will be happy to propose some amendments to the bill that would include consultation with indigenous peoples, that would include the industry and that would make sure that it is based on science.
    In the meantime, I will be there to support the Minister of Fisheries in the work that we are doing as a government because it is important work. It will involve engaging the industry. It will involve developing good markets for seal proteins, seal oils and seal products. It will include making sure that we have good products, good markets and a good industry that will support all of the people in Canada who depend upon seals.
     For us, seals are sacred, so we take this seriously, but so are our oceans. We need to protect them and create balance. There is a lot of work to do here. I hope that my colleagues will see that important work and support the options that the government has laid out.

  (1805)  

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-251 put forward by my friend and colleague, the hon. member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame.
    The hon. member continues important work undertaken by his predecessor, Mr. Scott Simms, who served in the House from 2004 to 2021. In addition to being chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, Mr. Simms was also instrumental in the passage of Bill S-208, in 2017, to establish a national seal products day.
    It has been and continues to be an honour to work with the members for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, and I am grateful for their unyielding commitment to conservation and sound fisheries management for indigenous and coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond.
    Bill C-251 proposes to establish a requirement for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to develop a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds.
    At the outset, I note that this bill's proposed requirement, I believe, is necessitated by the refusal of successive Liberal fisheries ministers to make management decisions needed to conserve and restore Canada's fisheries. In particular, I am talking about fisheries being decimated by populations of pinnipeds, like seals and sea lions, that government inaction has allowed to grow unmanaged.
    What is the problem that this bill is seeking to remedy? Well, pinniped populations on Canada's coasts have been allowed to expand unchecked through decades of anti-use and anti-harvest ideologies. As pinniped populations have increased, their impacts, especially predation, have caused a domino effect of imbalances throughout ecosystems and food webs. What my colleague is seeking with this legislation is what I believe all parties want: timely and effective fisheries management to restore balance and to conserve and rebuild Canada's fish stocks.
    In the face of sound science, this government has refused to accept or produce a plan to manage pinniped populations that are exacting a great toll on fish stocks, including some that are in critical states. It is as if successive fisheries ministers of this government have chosen to ignore the reality that has been described and defined by scientists, experts, indigenous and non-indigenous fishers and Canadians across our country.
    For instance, three years ago, in 2019, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, known as FOPO, received testimony from Mr. Robert Bison, a fisheries biologist with the Government of British Columbia. Mr. Bison spoke to the plight of steelhead in B.C. and stated that the “evidence to date suggests that the most likely causes responsible for the decline and survival of abundance include an increase in predation in the inshore marine habitats; increased predation from marine mammals, particularly pinnipeds”.
    Mr. Bison went on to testify that all factors of steelhead declines are partially or wholly human-induced effect and that the increase in pinniped populations particularly is largely attributed to marine mammal protection in both Canada and the U.S. He also testified that, in terms of the evidence of causal factors, pinniped predation in the inshore waters actually ranked among the strongest causal factor, not only for steelhead, but for many salmon populations as well.
    At the fisheries committee's meeting on June 5, 2019, Dr. Eric Taylor of the University of British Columbia also appeared. In his testimony, Dr. Taylor stated that he supported bold action required to deal with the pinniped issue. He said, “That there may be some uncertainty as to the exact effect of pinnipeds is exactly why bold action is needed.” He want to say, “Instead of residing in this sort of atmosphere of speculation, we can actually provide some management actions to reduce numbers in an experimental approach to try to understand the situation better.”
    Here we have two experienced fisheries experts describing to parliamentarians how increased pinniped populations are directly damaging fish populations, including some that are in critical or worse conditions.

  (1810)  

    At the same meeting in which Mr. Bison and Dr. Taylor provided their testimony, DFO’s director for the Pacific region, Ms. Rebecca Reid, also appeared as a witness and provided testimony that clearly reflected the government’s refusal to manage known and detrimental ecosystem factors, such as pinniped predation in order to support conservation and recoveries of wild fish and marine species.
    In her testimony, Ms. Reid told the committee:
     In our view, the question about pinnipeds is outstanding. We have done some work. There has been a recent symposium. There is some additional work going on. I would say that the impact of pinnipeds on these species is not entirely clear.
    That was three years ago, and the government and its officials continue to stonewall pinniped management actions to save fish populations like Fraser River steelhead and Pacific salmon from being wiped out by out-of-control populations of pinnipeds.
    In 2020, Dr. Carl Walters from the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries appeared at the fisheries committee. Dr. Walters has been doing research on Pacific salmon populations for over 50 years, focused particularly on understanding why there have been severe declines in salmon and herring populations.
    Dr. Walters testified how he has come to believe that the declines have been substantially due to massive increases in seal and sea lion populations and their predation impacts as the number of pinnipeds on the Pacific coast today is probably double what it was for the last several thousand years, when first nations people harvested them intensively.
    Dr. Walters described how major increases in Steller sea lion populations in B.C. waters outside the Georgia Strait have contributed to Fraser sockeye declines and collapses of two of B.C.’s major herring stocks on the west coast of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. Scientists like Dr. Walters are not only raising the alarm over pinniped populations but they are also proposing viable solutions.
    Dr. Walters contributed to one such proposal that he helped the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society develop for commercial and first nations harvesting of seals and sea lions, which is aimed at reducing these pinniped populations and sustaining them at the levels that existed when first nations harvesting maintained balances at ecosystems levels.
    As Mr. Bison testified, increases in pinniped populations particularly are largely human induced and attributed to marine mammal protection in both Canada and the U.S. I assume the human decision-makers of the day had good intentions when they introduced protections for marine mammals, but as the decision-makers of today, what are our intentions?
    Should we be following science data? Should we take action as pinnipeds in B.C. waters drive our steelhead and salmon populations to extinction? Should we expect the government direction to drive recovery of cod and mackerel stocks in Canada’s Atlantic waters? Should indigenous communities have the right to participate in restoring ecosystem balance through predator management?
    From my Conservative colleagues and me, the answers to these four questions are yes, yes, yes and yes. As we see many of Canada's fish stocks continue to decline under the current management regime of preservation based on ideologies instead of conservation based on science, I hope members from all parties will agree that action, not just more studies and talk, needs to happen in our waters to rebuild fish stocks.
    I hope hon. colleagues from all parties will support this bill and vote yes, because it is necessary. Timely and effective pinniped management is necessary to restore balance in ecosystems to give our fisheries, the fishers and the communities that depend on them a chance to survive.

  (1815)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues for engaging in this very important debate on the future of balance and biodiversity in our ocean ecosystems and the impact that it has on the coastal and indigenous groups who rely on them.
    Since the 1970s, pinniped populations have risen exponentially on the east and west coasts of Canada as harvesting virtually ended. The indigenous communities that relied on selling pinniped products saw their markets disappear as a result of foreign sanctions on Canadian seal products and witnessed the destruction of their way of life. As pinniped populations rose, commercial and sport fishers took vast conservation measures, and in fact completely stopped harvesting some species, such as Atlantic salmon and northern cod. These conservation measures have not worked, because pinnipeds know no seasons and have few natural predators.
    In Atlantic Canada, for example, Canadian science says that seals consume 24 times the total commercial yearly catch. Norwegian science suggests seals consume double that amount. Seal populations in Atlantic Canada total over 10 million; once, that figure was less than two million. Seals now live in our estuaries, waiting to clean out what is left of our struggling Atlantic salmon.
    On the west coast of Canada, seal and sea lion populations have increased tenfold. These populations now consume 50% of young salmon and steelhead as they enter the ocean and millions of returning adults every year. This destroys the livelihoods of indigenous fishers, the vast sport fishing industry and the commercial fishery. Even southern resident killer whales that rely on salmon to survive and feed their young are being out-competed for food.
    Bill C-251, an act respecting the development of a federal framework on the conservation of fish stocks and management of pinnipeds, is meant to address these issues and help restore balance by managing pinniped populations. With indigenous involvement, we can educate the world about the ecological and cultural disaster that is taking place. The framework that gets developed under this bill will ensure that the government works to break down trade barriers to our products so that we can harvest pinnipeds and have full utilization to supply healthy protein, oil and eco-friendly clothing to world markets.
    I have listened to questions and concerns raised by my parliamentary colleagues regarding aspects of Bill C-251 and I am open to amendments when this bill gets to committee. Some have suggested that this bill could result in a cull. There is no language in this bill calling for a cull, but at committee the language can be firmed up to ensure this.
    Others have mentioned they do not like the clause about anti-predator mechanisms. That clause can go.
     The minister said she cannot support the bill because the yearly cost of the census will be over $30 million. The clause calling for a yearly census can be amended out of this bill as well.
    A minister from my province recently said that harvesting seals could lead to sanctions against our seafood products; Norway hunts seals and whales and is the second-largest supplier of seafood to the U.S. market, but activists mislead our politicians to believe that if we harvest pinnipeds, we will be sanctioned. Right now Russia is pumping unsanctioned crab into that very same market, so we should have no fear of hollow-threat sanctions.
    Another MP told me I should be happy that this bill has raised awareness, that the minister has committed to another study and a conference, and that the bill is not needed now. Awareness will not restore indigenous livelihoods or return balance to our oceans.
    Governments come and go. They make promises to take action, to complete more science and the like, but indigenous and fishing industry stakeholders have witnessed the results of years of empty promises, inaction and lack of direction in pinniped management.
    Our coastal and indigenous communities are counting on all members of this House to support this bill at second reading so that they can come to the table and fine-tune it at committee. The framework it would create would restore our culture, our livelihoods and the biodiversity of our oceans, and bring this ecological disaster to an end.
    I encourage all members of this House to put party politics aside and vote for the greater good of all our coastal and indigenous communities.

  (1820)  

    The question is on the motion.

[Translation]

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

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.
     Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

Sitting Suspended  

    We will suspend until 6:30 p.m.

    (The sitting of the House was suspended at 6:21 p.m.)

Sitting Resumed  

    (The House resumed at 6:30 p.m.)


Government Orders

[Government Orders]

  (1830)  

[English]

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1

     The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.
    The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, on reply to a comment.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly appreciate the question from the hon. member from Quebec. In her question, she asked whether I support less taxes and at the same time strong services being provided by government. It reminds me of an answer I received at a business luncheon from my predecessor, the Hon. Stockwell Day, before I was elected.
     He actually said at that business lunch that he was a strong proponent and that he thought Canadians felt that usually a government is either a fit or a flabby government. It does not matter about the size; what matters is the health of government, and if it is fit, it is able to supply services at a reasonable level. If it is flabby and unable to healthfully be able to respond to things, it just is not as effective.
    I support, again, that kind of fit government, and I think Canadians would too. They want their passports and they also want to get value for their dollar.
    Madam Speaker, I will go back to the amendment that the Conservatives have put forward.
    I will note that it is the role of the opposition to oppose, but it is not the role of the opposition to be on a relentless crusade of obstruction. Unfortunately, that is what we have seen at every step of the way with respect to this bill. I will recap that.
    The Conservatives put forward amendments at second reading to not allow the BIA even to be scrutinized. Then they went on to move motions of concurrence to delay the debate at report stage. They moved multiple motions of unanimous consent, again to delay the debate on this bill. They put in 62 amendments at report stage, and some of those were to cancel the luxury tax and health care rebates. Now there is another motion to amend the bill at the final reading.
     Would the member not agree that perhaps it would be in the better interest of Canadians for Conservatives to actually play a constructive role in scrutinizing this bill, as opposed to being on this relentless crusade of obstruction?
    Madam Speaker, there are two sides to every coin. We have a job to do, which is to present views and to be heard. The government also has tools, such as time allocation at report stage. The Liberals imposed time allocation almost right away, before many members, including members in their own caucus, had a chance to speak. We could talk about process here, but what I am going to talk about is the actual bill.
    In this amendment, we would send back to committee elements of the changes to the Competition Act that have been proposed by the government. We did not have a lot of time to scrutinize them. Even when we had the Canadian Chamber of Commerce appear, one of Canada's most trusted industry associations, they said they had not had time and had not been able to consult. We just asked the government to stop on this issue and consult with industry before proceeding with those amendments.
    While this member may want everything to go his way 100% of the time, this is a democracy and people should be heard.
    Madam Speaker, many points of my hon. colleague's speech prompted me to want to ask a question, but I was very pleased to hear his analysis of what is going on at the port of Vancouver.
     In my riding in Saanich—Gulf Islands, the inefficiencies in loading bulk goods in the port of Vancouver have resulted in a real crisis of freighters basically getting free parking in the waters of the Salish Sea, all the way up as far as off of Ladysmith. They are stuck waiting there, because they have several holds and the delivery of grain and other bulk goods like coal is not efficient.
     Given that the harbour authorities have been created as stand-alone agencies at arm's length from the minister, what does the Minister of Transport need to do to ensure that we get the port of Vancouver working efficiently? It hurts everyone from grain farmers in the prairies all the way through to my constituents in Saanich—Gulf Islands.

  (1835)  

    Madam Speaker, this is where I have always said that leadership is everything. If something is not working, we would expect the minister to be there and to be immediately working with all the force that they can to identify where the gaps are and how to close them.
     As my fellow member from British Columbia has said, there are externalities that are being created by the slow processing times. In my community, there are small business owners who are suddenly receiving bills from the port in large amounts that are causing them to raise their prices because they cannot afford to sell the furniture or items that they have brought in, with the shipping included, at the rate that they originally promised. This is causing inflation and it is causing aggravation.
     As the member said, there are some environmental externalities that are causing negative spillovers. We should be asking the government, but unfortunately this Minister of Transport is missing in action when it comes to the port.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate and thank my colleague for his speech and his very honest, but unfortunately sad, presentation of the financial reality of this government.

[English]

    The big issue of the day is inflation. It has hurt every family, especially when we talk about the price of gas. We all realize and recognize that elsewhere offshore we see great countries applying positive action to reduce taxation, such as the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Australia and South Korea.
    I want my colleague to talk about why the government is not doing the same as our allies.
    Madam Speaker, every economy is different, but the member is 100% right. Those G7 countries and other OECD countries are doing what they can to protect not only their consumers from the issue of high gas prices, but their economies.
    If we look to Alberta, it has reduced its gas tax when it is above $90 a barrel. Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist, has said that this reduces inflation in Alberta by half a percentage point. It not only helps consumers put food on the table and drive to work and helps small businesses cope; it protects the economy from rising inflation. That is what the government should be doing. It is not doing it.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak during third reading of Bill C-19, which of course is the budget implementation act. I thought I might treat it as a bit of a case study, because in the debate about our electoral system we often hear that Canada needs strong majority governments in order to have decisive decision-making and action and to not end up with a hung Parliament. This is one of the main motivations for some to oppose electoral reform, and particularly forms of proportional representation, which tend to lead to more instances of minority Parliaments and minority governments.
    My view is that the process around this budget bill, without being a perfect process and without the bill being a perfect bill, was actually a decent process, so I want to talk a bit about some of the improvements that were made to the bill during the course of it and some of the ways that it suggests we can make progress on other issues in this Parliament through members of various parties working together, and not only members of the same party working together. I think this process, in fact, showed that members can be nimble in terms of whom they are working with on particular issues and still get outcomes that make sense for Canadians and that benefit a lot of Canadians. We do not need one party having 100% of the power here in Parliament in order to make substantial progress for Canadians.
    The first example I would point to is related to changes to the disability tax credit. We heard a fair bit of testimony at committee on this point. A Conservative colleague of mine on the committee brought forward an amendment, and the way this happens, as I am sure members will know but folks listening at home may not, is that parties will typically submit their amendments independently. Sometimes there are pleasant surprises when we receive the package. In this case, it was an identical amendment.
    I was happy to work with Conservative colleagues and my Bloc colleague on the committee to pass an amendment that would change the disability tax credit requirements. A person has to show that they spend 14 hours a week tending to their condition, as somebody with type 1 diabetes does, whether that is injecting themselves with insulin, going to the pharmacy to get insulin, monitoring their blood sugar or doing other things that folks living with type 1 diabetes have to do. Then they often have to prove this every year, despite the fact that type 1 diabetes is not a condition that simply goes away and despite the fact that the requirements of the condition do not simply go away. Nevertheless, people have had to constantly show they have it, again and again.
    This is reminiscent of some of the stories we have heard over the years out of Veterans Affairs Canada about veteran amputees who have to demonstrate every so often that, in fact, their leg is still missing and they are still an amputee and continue to require the same help. Folks with type 1 diabetes were having to continually show this.
    We were able to bring forward an amendment, pass it at committee and even overcome some procedural wrangling, after the amendment was initially ruled out of order. We were happy to overrule the chair at committee on that point and very pleased that the Speaker saw fit to uphold the will of the committee in respect of that amendment when it came back to the House.
    What that means concretely for people who are living with type 1 diabetes is that they will no longer have to do all of the paperwork, with the bother and expense that comes with it, in order to qualify for the disability tax credit. Once they have qualified as having type 1 diabetes, that will be sufficient to qualify them in the future.
    I think that was a really hopeful exercise, and not just hopeful for Parliament in general, but also hopeful because we know that when it comes to Canadians living with disabilities, there has not been enough meaningful action on the part of the current government to serve that community. We saw that last June, when the government presented a bill for a Canada disability benefit that had absolutely no details about what the benefit would be, how much it would be, what the eligibility criteria would be and how it might impact other benefits that people living with a disability already receive. There was a lot more work to do, and since the new Parliament was elected in the fall, an ongoing priority of the NDP has been to call on the government to present new legislation and better legislation that would actually tell Canadians living with disabilities what the government has in mind and would provide far better ongoing income support for people living with disabilities.

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    Why is that important? It is because under the current federal programs and under provincial programs across the country, people living with disabilities have been consistently legislated into poverty to the extent that someone with a disability has to rely on existing disability pensions of various kinds across the country, none of which provide an income that brings them to the poverty line. This means that as soon as they have to rely on those things, people know they are going to be living a life of poverty with all of the challenges that come with that. Those are challenges of poverty over and above the challenges people living with disabilities already face.
    With the great work from my colleague, the NDP disability critic in this Parliament, to press the government to bring legislation forward, we finally got wind on the Notice Paper that legislation was coming. It was an exciting moment. We had hoped to get more detail, just as we had hoped that certain changes to the disability tax credit in this legislation might have meant that finally the government would act on the long-standing call by people living with type 1 diabetes to make their lives easier and make their access to the disability tax credit available.
    That was a disappointment, initially. However, by working together across party lines, we were able to remedy that, similar to the tabling of the Canada disability legislation. I almost said the “new” legislation, but I think I would have misspoken because it is pretty much the same legislation and has the same problems, therefore. It does not spell out what the program is supposed to look like. It does not let Canadians living with disabilities know what kind of financial help there is and the extent of financial support they could hope to receive from the federal government.
     I would go further and say that part of the problem with legislation like this, and there are a couple, is it essentially just empowers cabinet to design a program and fund that program by statute, without having to return to Parliament. There is a procedural question, which I think may be less interesting to a lot of Canadians, but that procedural question is important to the extent that Parliament is a place that is meant to provide oversight on government spending. This bill would empower the government to create a program without having any idea what the price tag is, when it should be quite clear with Parliament on how the program is going to be designed. Parliamentarians should be able to authorize a new program like that knowing those things. That is a problem.
    The other problem with setting up that program in legislation without actually legislating it is that a future government and a future cabinet that does not agree with the program or that wants to change it would not have to come back to this place. There would be no legislative process. This would also mean that the time it normally takes for a bill to go through the House of Commons and through the Senate would not be there. That is the time civil society often uses to mobilize in order to influence the content of legislation and government policy. It is an opportunity lost. It would make it very easy for a future government to undo whatever the current government does. If it finally gets around to creating a program for the Canada disability benefit, it would be far too easy for it to be undone.
    Our experience at committee with the initial disappointment around the disability tax credit shows that a minority Parliament can come together and can have a positive influence on government policy and legislation. It can get things done for people that a majority government clearly would not have done because it was not in the Liberals' proposal.
    I would also point to the example of employment insurance reform, something the government promised in its election campaign in 2015. We have had two elections since. The government has been in power now for coming on seven years, yet we have not seen any meaningful EI reform. We have to bracket a lot of what happened in the pandemic, because there were substantial changes to the EI program during the pandemic, but the speed with which those reforms occurred shows that it is possible to make meaningful reform quickly. Also, the nature of many of those reforms shows that what workers have been asking for in their EI program is in fact possible. This is not pie-in-the-sky stuff. Most of what they have been asking for are things the government did through the EI program during the pandemic.

  (1845)  

    As the pandemic recedes somewhat, at least for the moment, certainly the Liberals are of that view when they are talking about their financial support programs, less so when they are talking about public health restrictions. As the pandemic recedes somewhat, the government is going back to its regular inaction on the employment insurance file.
    The Liberals finally did try to do something important but relatively minor in the grand scheme of systemic employment insurance reform: They presented a proposal to change the EI appeal board and undo some of the damage that was done by the Harper government to the EI appeal board. They fell flat on their face. It was not well received, even by the very people the Liberals sought to please with those reforms. They were lambasted for it, and they themselves sought to remove that part of the budget bill.
    New Democrats were pleased to support that removal, for two reasons. One was that we agreed that those reforms were misguided and did not represent what I would dare to call a consensus among EI stakeholders about how the system, and particularly the appeal board, has to change. However, we were glad to support the reforms on a condition, which was satisfied, which was that the minister declare publicly that they would bring legislation back in the fall in order to make better changes to the EI appeal board system that people would actually welcome. Having secured that commitment, we were happy to support the removal of those appeal board changes that were quite ill-conceived.
    However, it does raise a question of trust in the government. After being in government for well over six and a half years and having not really made any major reforms to EI except those that were forced by pandemic circumstances, when they finally came out of the gate to do something, how could they get it so terribly wrong? I take some solace in the fact that we have a minority Parliament, that Canadians did not entrust the Liberals with a majority of seats here in the House of Commons, that they do not have 100% of the power in this place and that negotiation is possible, because I think it is leading to better outcomes.
    There is another example that is a little outside the scope of this bill, but it is an important one when we are talking about the pandemic. Early on in this Parliament, one of the first things that the finance committee did was to deal with Bill C-2, which established the new pandemic benefit regime that has now expired. It was instituted in December and was effectively the pandemic support regime that saw us through the omicron wave, with some notable changes by order in council right after the legislation passed, because as New Democrats said at the time, the reason we voted against that legislation was that we thought it would be inadequate to the task. I want to zero in on an important change that was made to those programs, particularly the wage subsidy program that was conceived in that bill.
     Working with members of the Bloc and the Conservative Party, we were able to pass an amendment that said that companies that were receiving wage subsidy money under the authority of Bill C-2 would not be allowed to pay dividends to shareholders while accepting money from the government that presumably they needed because they did not have enough revenue to stay afloat. Clearly, if they were making big dividend payments to their shareholders, they did have the money, so that was an appropriate reform. It was the kind of thing that New Democrats had called for at the inception of the wage subsidy program that the government would not agree to initially, but we finally found a way, again working across party lines. That is not always an easy thing to do, but it is always a worthwhile thing to try to do. This was again an example of Parliament being able to correct course for a government that had got off on the wrong foot.
    It really matters and it serves Canadians well that we are in a Parliament that does not have a majority government. I do hope that is something Canadians will consider in the next election. I also hope that they will consider electoral reform when organizations like Fair Vote approach them to talk about it. I will remind some of my Conservative colleagues—and we have gone into it a little over the budget debate—that reform is the want of folks around here, and it is not a bad thing. Conservatives will know that they had more share of the popular vote than the Liberals, who are in power, but they got far fewer seats.

  (1850)  

    We just saw, in the Ontario election, the New Democrats get about 30 seats to the Liberals' eight, approximately, despite having roughly an equal share of the popular vote. We saw the Ford government form a majority with a very small amount of support when we consider how low turnout was and how the way we vote under the first-past-the-post system can generate very distorted electoral outcomes.
    I raise all these things to contribute to the debate on this bill, but I also hope to contribute to a larger debate about how we elect Parliaments that select governments here in Canada and show that we have been doing good work in this Parliament. We have been correcting course for the government when it got it wrong on the first go, and that has been made possible by virtue of having a minority Parliament. It is exactly because we do not have a majority government that these corrections and some of the good things that came out of the committee process have been possible.
    One of the things I hope we may yet make progress on, which I will be looking to colleagues in other parties for support on, is the call for a low-income CERB repayment amnesty. This is something that has come up at the finance committee. It heard compelling testimony, and there is an important moral dimension to this issue. We are talking about people whose incomes are already below the poverty line. CTV did a piece on this last week, but it is not new. It has been a running story and has had various permutations through the pandemic, with the CRA sending letters to Canadians already in very difficult financial straits even before the current round of inflation hit us. It is all the more so now that people are struggling with the cost of groceries. The cost of housing has been an issue—let us not kid ourselves—for a long time. The rate of acceleration of the problem got worse during the pandemic, but the problem was getting worse even before the pandemic.
    People who applied in good faith for help and were told to apply, in some cases, by their very own Liberal MP are now getting letters saying that they have to pay the money back, that they did not qualify and were not eligible. In some cases, they are people who applied for employment insurance and would have preferred just to get EI, but were told no, they could only get CERB. Then they got the CERB cheque and figured that was what they were entitled to. They applied for EI, were told no, and got the CERB. CERB sent them the cheque; they did not ask for it, so they thought it must be okay. They spent the money because they had lost their jobs and were trying to get through a global pandemic, which I think we can all agree was not an easy thing to do no matter what people's incomes were, let alone if they had just lost their jobs, and now the government is asking them for that money back. They do not have the money, and the efforts to collect that money, particularly from people who are already below the poverty line, are not going to bear fruit.
    There is the moral dimension in terms of the anxiety and the financial harm that it is causing, but there is also a very real financial dimension. We heard a bit about that at committee. The government is planning to spend around $260 million chasing after a CERB debt that is a function of how it publicized its own program and encouraged people, and in some cases forced people, into the CERB system as opposed to the employment insurance system. For the $260 million that the government is going to spend over the next three or four years chasing that debt, how much is it actually going to get back? I think it is unlikely that it is going to get back $260 million.
    I would love to know. I would love to have the government tell us how much it thinks it is actually going to get back. I have asked the question. I asked it at committee and I asked in a number of different fora and I cannot get an answer. It is shocking to me that the government would decide to invest $260 million to collect a debt that it does not know the value of, let alone the likelihood of succeeding. When we talk about investing over a quarter of a billion dollars in collecting a debt, we would want to be darn sure we are actually going to get that money back. Even if it makes its money back and calls it a wash—spend $260 million and get $260 million, which I think is very unlikely—it would not be worth it. It would not be worth it because the time and expense that it is spending chasing after low-income Canadians who are already in dire straits, particularly in this context of inflation, is time and expense that it could spend chasing tax evaders who are hiding their money out of the country and using other means to not pay their fair share. It would get a better return.

  (1855)  

     There is a good financial argument for a low-income CERB repayment amnesty, and I hope that in the context of this Parliament that I have been talking about, we will find support among enough other parties to convince the government to do the right thing, which is to not chase that debt and try to wring it out of low-income Canadians but instead divert the CRA's resources to chasing the people who are really getting away with something, people who are not paying their fair share and who have the resources to pay it back.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to commend and congratulate my colleague on another very interesting speech. He always has something constructive to say, both here in the House and in committee.
    I am concerned about the length of the budget implementation bill currently before us. Bill C-19 is a mammoth bill that amends numerous laws and deals with many issues that have nothing to do with the budget, including, for example, enforcing the justice system in space and conducting strip searches in prisons.
    What does my colleague think of the fact that the government regularly resorts to such mammoth bills that lump together so many issues? Can committees and parliamentarians study all this thoroughly?
    On top of that, the paper version of the bill that was given to the opposition was some 420 pages long, while the official PDF version that was posted online was over 440 pages long. Could my colleague comment on that?
    Madam Speaker, I will start with the second question. The fact that the version of the documents tabled in the House is not the full version is obviously a problem, and it is part of a broader issue that bothers me a bit. We no longer see paper copies being tabled these days. For example, as a parliamentarian, I was unable to get a copy of the blue book of the estimates. The government and the House of Commons only work on computers now, whereas I work better with a paper copy, so I am having a tough time adapting.
    As for omnibus bills, that is something that has been highly criticized, and rightly so in my opinion. If governments want to keep introducing massive bills, then I think we might need a separate process for budget bills.

  (1900)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for Elmwood—Transcona for a thoughtful discussion of what minority parliaments can do together.
    I also lament the failure to provide the disability tax benefit, as does my colleague, the member for Kitchener Centre. We expected it. It should have been in the budget and it should have been in Bill C-19. I appreciate that we have made some progress for people with type 1 diabetes, but it is not nearly enough, nor is it fast enough.
    The member will not be surprised that I will ask him to expand on his points about proportional representation. It is certainly timely, given the results from Ontario, where the election had the lowest voter turnout, as I understand it, in the history of that province. Barely 43% voted, which means that nearly 60% of Ontario voters did not vote.
    I was taken with a column in Rabble newspaper by Karl Nerenberg on all the fetishizing and coverage by the media in just looking at the polling and kind of announcing that Doug Ford was going to win before the campaign started. Does the member feel that this played a role in reducing voter turnout?
    Madam Speaker, I do often worry about the extent to which the publishing of polls can affect public opinion, but it is something that is accentuated in a first-past-the-post system. If there is a proportional system of some kind, then in spite of whatever polling is saying about who is going to win the most seats, people can still feel they are contributing to electing people they agree with and who are going to speak on their behalf and raise issues that are of importance to them.
    That effect is amplified by the voting system we have. Unfortunately, getting information about where people are at and the kind of attitude pundits have when they are predicting outcomes can affect voter turnout. I would hope that by moving toward some kind of proportional system we could diminish those effects, because people can still go and vote with confidence.
    I was quite disheartened by the recent comments of the Prime Minister about proportional representation and some rewriting of history in what he presented to the electorate in 2015. Perhaps someone else will want to ask me a question about that and I can elaborate a little further.
    Madam Speaker, coincidentally, I was going to ask my brilliant colleague from Elmwood—Transcona about the Prime Minister's recent comments, which I was shocked to hear, frankly. I thought they were flippant and really did not do justice to the commitment he made to Canadians. It is a broken promise that really betrayed so many people in this country, especially young people.
    Could the member speak to his own reaction to the Prime Minister's recent response?
    Madam Speaker, I was flabbergasted, frankly. I think that is a proper parliamentary term. I could express my feelings a few other ways, but they may not be as parliamentary.
    I was surprised in two senses, first of all, at the fact that he kind of made the blanket statement, “Well, any time you have proportional representation you have bitter disagreement and polarizing” as if that is something that is not happening here in Canada. I wish it were not, but I do not think any competent follower of politics could pretend that we do not have real issues of polarization, division and excessive antagonism in Canadian politics. That is a real thing. It was an interesting kind of blind spot. Also, for a Prime Minister who has shown up at rallies where there has been that on display in ways I condemn and think are inappropriate was also a little much. It was a little much to somehow pretend that there are not countries with proportional representation that are not doing at least a good job of managing polarization within their politics.
    I was also surprised that the Prime Minister would try to say he only ever advocated for a ranked ballot and that he was never really interested in proportional representation—

  (1905)  

    I need to allow other members an opportunity to ask questions.
    The hon. member for Red Deer—Mountain View has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, these have certainly been interesting discussions.
    As far as proportional representation goes, I guess a lot of people are not overly surprised with the Prime Minister being somewhat flippant about anything he thinks might cause a bit of consternation for people.
    A week or so ago we heard from former minister Bill Morneau about some of the constraints and the concerns he had when he was trying to present budgets and look at competitiveness. He basically said that it is not happening here with the present government.
     I am curious whether the member has some ideas on how we can move forward to encourage competitiveness here in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, it may not surprise the member that I may have a different take on what constitutes building a kind of competitive culture, but I do want to offer some remarks to that effect.
    When companies are looking to locate, we often hear about the importance of the tax regime. Other things we know they look for is a well-trained and available workforce, and so investing in people can also increase our productivity and our competitiveness. The government should be looking at investing in training and connecting workers who currently do not have work and are not able to be hired into the kinds of jobs they want with particular jobs and with real employers who are asking for that so there is a clear pathway through their education to a job that is already waiting for them at the end.
    Things like a national pharmacare plan and dental care also help attract talent. When they are provided on a universal basis, that is something companies benefit from because they do not have pay for them, but they help attract talent. That is also an important component of building a competitive environment here for Canada to attract investment.
    I know that where the economy is going, and not just here in Canada but globally, has to do with reforming our energy infrastructure. Public investment can help lead the development of talent not just for workers but for companies as well, which can then be exported out of Canada to help other countries build—
    That is all the time we have.

[Translation]

    Resuming debate.
    The hon. member for Joliette.
    Madam Speaker, we are now at third reading of this omnibus bill.
    In fact, there are all kinds of statutes stuffed into Bill C-19, with topics ranging from strip searches to justice in space. That might be helpful for addressing all the mischief Brad Spitfire could get up to, but it does not belong in a budget implementation bill. This is a half-baked omnibus bill. It is no wonder it is full of problems.
    To start, the paper copy we were given was missing more than 20 pages. We were working with the wrong version for far too long. That is unacceptable, and it seriously undermines the government's credibility and our trust in it.
    A lot of changes were made to this bill at the Standing Committee on Finance, and I applaud the work we did. However, it is so big that there was no way the committee could do an in-depth study of the entire bill.
    I will have to criticize the government's approach once again. The government promised that it would not introduce any more omnibus bills, but only the willfully naive are buying Liberal promises these days.
    Regarding our study, I am sincerely grateful for the help we got from the other House of Commons standing committees: Justice and Human Rights, Citizenship and Immigration, International Trade, and Industry and Technology. Let me add an honourable mention for the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and our superhero there, the member for Thérèse‑De Blainville.
    Bill C‑19 put forward a lot of changes to the employment insurance system, including the EI board of appeal. The government did not do its job properly. It did not consider the consultations and the needs expressed by stakeholders, such as unions. It is rare for the employer and the union to agree that something like this was poorly done. The member for Thérèse‑De Blainville was very efficient at bringing all those people together with the finance committee and the human resources committee so parliamentarians could hear from them. Their message was clear. Better to strike the issue from the bill altogether rather than pass flawed measures.
    We in the Bloc Québécois prepared for both eventualities. We introduced several amendments and asked that the section be deleted. In committee, I pressed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to lobby his government to have it removed.
    I tabled a motion to that effect. My colleague from Thérèse‑De Blainville got the human resources committee to adopt a unanimous motion to delete it. The Conservative and NDP members also requested the same thing. The government listened to reason. It backed down and committed to tabling something a little better in the fall.
    This is what we MPs are here for. It is what the House and the parliamentary committees are here for as well. We study government bills. We review them with the people they would affect. If the bill is good, we support it. If it is bad, we reject it. We work tirelessly to improve the bills.
    We know the government is tired and worn out. The pandemic took its toll on us all. The Prime Minister gave an election a shot in the fall. That tired out his government, which is still a minority. We had the blockades in the winter, followed by the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for over 100 days. That has kept everyone busy.
    The Prime Minister is overwhelmed and exhausted. The Minister of Finance is playing the roles of both prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, especially with respect to the war. All the work she is doing is very honourable. The problem is that she is caught up in all these fast-moving issues, so she no longer has enough time to do her job properly as finance minister.
    We saw that with her budget. We saw that with the crisis facing specialized businesses that convert trucks into ambulances, armoured vans and other specialty trucks. They are affected by the semiconductor shortage, which has shut down truck manufacturers in the United States. This input shortage is hitting our businesses hard. We cannot afford to lose these good niche jobs.
    In December, the finance minister promised that the shortage was over. We supported Bill C‑8 based on her assurances. She had agreed to provide us with the statistics showing that things were getting better. We believed the Liberals' promises, but we never got the statistics, and the situation of these businesses is getting worse and worse as the weeks go by. We have been pressing the minister on this issue since January, but we have still heard nothing.
    The only response we received came in her fall economic update, when she committed to subsidizing semiconductor manufacturers. However, this is a far more complex market, and she has completely missed the mark. We were unable to secure a meeting with her to discuss this subject. We were also unable to get her to come to committee to talk about inflation, even though we officially invited her in January to come testify sometime before May 31. It is now June 8, and we have still heard nothing.

  (1910)  

    We know that the Minister of Finance is very busy with the war and all of the other files she manages for the Prime Minister. The only problem is that that does not leave her any time to take care of finance. The associate ministers and parliamentary secretaries have not been delegated to follow up on this or other files. It is a serious problem that will have harmful consequences for our economy.
    I have another example. In Bill C‑19, the budget implementation bill, the government presents the details of its luxury tax. It is 170 pages long. We agree in principle that people who buy luxury cars, planes or boats should pay a luxury tax. That is one way to redistribute wealth. However, the tax needs to be well constructed and the situation properly assessed.
    For example, this tax will have serious repercussions on the entire economy and on jobs related to the use of personal boats. When I asked the Department of Finance to show us its impact studies for this new tax, the departmental officials told me that they had not done any studies. There is nothing. This has a real boys‑in‑short‑pants feel about it. Santa Banana could have done a better job of this.
    What we have here is an ideological tax. It is all about the principle, and no one cares about how it will be implemented. In any case, the minister does not have time to waste on that.
    This tax will be disastrous for the aerospace industry, which has been in a complete panic for almost a year now, not because the wealthy will no longer be able to afford to buy private jets, but because the tax will apply to companies and exports, even though it is not supposed to.
    This whole thing is a big mess. The government gave the Department of Finance carte blanche, and it did not do its job properly. It did not feel like doing it, so it did a poor job. Because the Minister of Finance is busy dealing with the situation in Ukraine, the government is letting this slide. That is unacceptable. This measure is so poorly thought out that unions and employers, along with some members of the House, have banded together to warn us about how serious this situation is.
    Canada is already the only country that has an aerospace industry but no industry strategy, not even for government procurement. Now the government is imposing poorly designed taxes that are harmful to the industry without even doing an impact study. That undermines Canada's credibility with the industry.
    I would remind members that greater Montreal is the third-largest aerospace hub on the planet. Such a high value-added sector helps drive our economy. Anyone in the world would be very careful to preserve such a cluster—anyone, that is, but Ottawa. Is this all because the industry is in Quebec? That is unacceptable, and it reminds us of the repercussions of being under our neighbour's thumb.
    Working with the unions and employers, we submitted several amendments to correct the poorly drafted tax measure. For instance, one amendment stated that the tax must not apply to exported aircraft. Another would have excluded businesses from the tax, which is how it is supposed to work. The Liberals and NDP voted against all those amendments. Yes, the NDP voted against what the unions were calling for. Why? It is because of their deal with the Liberals and their promise of unwavering support, to the point of compromising their principles.
    The Conservatives voted with the unions on the luxury tax in Bill C-19, and the NDP and the Liberals voted against the unions. They were so quick to compromise their principles for a promise that benefits only the party that wanted it in the first place.
    All of this will undermine our important aerospace industry and its unionized, well-paying jobs. This is all because the tax is ill-conceived and fails to meet its objective of taxing people who purchase luxury vehicles. Instead, the bill will tax airplane and helicopter manufacturers on aircraft that they export, over 90% of their output, or sell to businesses. This comes at a time when the industry is barely recovering from being hard hit by the pandemic. This is all because we have a finance minister who is no longer doing her job, since she is doing the Prime Minister's job and nothing is delegated. This is all because the government is not putting more effort into supporting and developing our economy.
    In a normal democracy, a government like that would be overturned and replaced, but not in Canada. This government is supported by a party that is afraid of losing seats and is facing an opposition that is torn apart by extreme and polarizing ideologies. This is the price of following our neighbour's lead. It has little concern for our economic issues and has its own fish to fry.

  (1915)  

    With respect to the problems that the ill-conceived luxury tax will cause for the aerospace industry, I spoke numerous times with the finance minister, members of her team, her parliamentary secretary, her department and several other government members. That accomplished next to nothing. All we were able to get passed was an amendment that allows the government to delay implementation until after September at its discretion.
    In addition, we had to wait until the report stage. My colleague from Saint-Jean and I introduced the amendment, as did the member for Elmwood—Transcona. This is the last glimmer of hope. If the government can take its head out of the sand and does its homework, we are offering it the opportunity to not implement the tax and to come back with a better bill in the fall. I urge the government to take us up on our offer.
    The government is proposing a vast array of legislative changes in this mammoth bill. It has cut corners and done a poor job. The government is patting itself on the back for holding lots of consultations on everything. The only problem is that it is not taking the feedback into account. The Liberals' idea of democracy is letting everyone talk without listening to a word they say.
    Luckily, we got the government to backtrack on its ill-conceived employment insurance amendment. We told it to go back and do its homework and listen to stakeholders. Unfortunately, we did not get the government to backtrack on its new tax that is 170 pages of poorly written text, but we did get one amendment passed that will create a window for changes in the fall. That will depend on whether the government sees fit though. I am very worried, as are the industry and union members. The government has not seen fit for quite some time now.
    We managed to fix another of the government's egregious errors on another subject entirely in Bill C‑19. Australia took its dispute with Canada over an excise tax on wine to the World Trade Organization. Obviously, it was about wine made from grapes. However, because wine is not just grape wine to Ottawa, the tax applies to many other products too. In committee, we heard from cider and mead producers. The tax would have really hurt them and undermined a rapidly growing sector. We worked with them to propose an amendment that would exempt them from the tax. I think we made some important progress that will enable these passionate people to keep improving their quality products so that we can enjoy the fruits of their labour. I think we deserve congratulations.
    More generally, let me say that I am very proud of every member of the Standing Committee on Finance. We spent many hours working constructively and collaboratively. From my perspective, we engaged in successful dialogue and made progress. I am sincerely grateful to every member of the committee, including its chair and the parliamentary secretary. I believe we made substantial improvements to Bill C‑19, and that is down to how well we worked together.
    I also want to commend the work done by the other committees that studied parts of Bill C-19. I thank them for their insights. Lastly, I want to once again commend the hard work of my esteemed colleague and friend from Thérèse-De Blainville, who helped force the government to commit to redoing its homework on EI. I salute her for that.
    Despite all my criticisms, Bill C-19 does include many good measures. Even though the government introduced a mammoth bill, even though it cut corners, even though we were not able to improve the bill as much as we would have liked, the fact remains that, when we weigh it all out, there are more pluses than minuses for the Quebec economy. That is why we decided to support the bill.

  (1920)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, part of my colleague's speech addressed the fact that the present finance minister has been somewhat overwhelmed with what she has to deal with. I think that is sort of what the former finance minister, Bill Morneau, talked about, that there really is no direction. There have been a lot of statements about what they might like to do, but if we try to drill down as to whether there have been any studies or whatever, we find out that this really has not happened. I think this has become one of the critical aspects.
    I am just wondering if the member could comment on this. I asked the NDP earlier how we can get competitiveness so we can bring in investments. The member mentioned the aerospace industry. If we get to a stage where nobody trusts that we can get anything done, those dollars are then going to leave this country and we will all be in worse shape.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Finance is hard-working and a fierce fighter who never stops. However, since the start of this year, with the conflict in Ukraine and all the Prime Minister's files she is juggling, I have noticed that she does not have the time she needs to do her job as finance minister properly. That is to be expected given the circumstances.
    One of the things I like about being an MP, and this is the case for each one of my colleagues, is dealing with specific issues that are brought to our attention by businesses or individuals. We can make a request of the minister responsible, work together and, quite often, solve the problem behind the scenes without garnering media attention. It is very gratifying and we feel as though we are improving people's lives.
    Of all the ministers, the Minister of Finance is usually the quickest to respond. Since January, however, she has been overwhelmed by other matters and there is no longer any follow up, which is understandable. We see it in the lack of vision and direction for the budget and in this bill, which is very problematic. It is not the person who is the problem, but the way the government is configured. What is needed is someone who can be more focused on the finance department.
    As for the competitiveness and productivity of our economy, it is clear that more needs to be done, and that takes vision. There are several possible avenues the government could take, but if it does not take any of them, then of course it is going to lose. Every economy is in competition with all the others to attract good jobs and develop this or that niche, such as artificial intelligence, aerospace or the green economy.
    Whatever the niche, it takes vision. For example, in aerospace, Canada is the only country that does not have an industrial policy or comprehensive strategy to support and develop this sector in order to demonstrate that we value this cluster, these companies and this expertise. This is missing from the budget and it is a massive oversight.

  (1925)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I heard the member's critique of the luxury goods tax, and some of that may indeed be fair. He did not mention that the NDP was able to negotiate a carve-out for the aerospace industry so that the cabinet, if it so chooses, can address the concerns of the industry prior to the tax coming into effect.
    My question is about the larger issue of wealth inequality and the idea that those among us who are doing the best for themselves should also do their part and pay their share so that we can have a strong country and a strong future. I think this is a concept that the Bloc supports, the overall concept of reducing wealth inequality.
    What are some measures he would have liked to see in this legislation that would go further and do a better job of addressing wealth inequality in our country?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the issue that is most important to me in this Parliament is the fight against the legal, yet immoral, use of tax havens by large corporations, Bay Street banks, multinationals and the wealthy. This government is doing very little to combat tax evasion, and Canada lags behind other countries in this respect.
    I want to respond humbly to my colleague's question. As I said in my speech, the amendment that the member for Elmwood—Transcona, my colleague from Saint-Jean and I proposed at report stage was not extensive and was merely intended to give the government an opportunity to delay the implementation of the luxury tax. This might have given the government time to address some problems, if it had been willing. I remind the House, however, that unions and machinists, among others, told us to make sure that this tax does not apply to exports or to sales to companies.
    Because of its deal with the Liberal government, the NDP voted against the unions' amendments, while the Conservatives voted in favour. In this type of deal, compromises always have to be made. Since the vote in committee, however, I have been wondering whether the NDP is starting to compromise its ideals.
    Madam Speaker, all the Quebec MPs saw what happened in the province's long-term care facilities during the pandemic. What does my colleague think about the multi-generational home renovation tax credit? Instead of putting a senior in a nursing home, a family can renovate their own home to accommodate the senior and have them live there. The goal is to keep families together. I would like to hear his opinion on this tax credit.
    Madam Speaker, there are a number of good measures in Bill C-19, and this tax credit is certainly one of them. It is important, and that is why we will be supporting Bill C‑19.
    However, I would ask the government to implement this tax credit more quickly than the one they gave to teachers in last fall's budget. It is still not in effect because Bill C-8 is still before the Senate. Normally, when a bill is winding its way through Parliament, tax credits can be put in place more quickly. It appears that because the opposition parties are against Bill C‑8, they are being blamed for not granting this tax credit, which several teachers have asked me about.
    I would therefore ask that the tax credit to help seniors stay in their homes be implemented more quickly than the tax credit for teachers.
    I do not know if I have enough time to respond, but I would add that the situation in the long-term care facilities was carnage, a real disaster. The long-term care facilities are the poor cousin of Quebec's health care system, which brings to mind the chronic underfunding of the health care system. Obviously this goes back to the years of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin who, in order to balance Ottawa's budget, massively cut transfers to Quebec and the provinces. The situation has never been rectified since, and we expect Ottawa to send massive transfers to the provinces to respect each one's ability to pay.

  (1930)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Joliette, who is our excellent finance critic. One file overlaps both of our critic roles: the luxury tax.
    One of my parliamentary files is aerospace. For over a year now, I have been hearing about this tax, which we agree with in principle. In the Bloc Québécois, we are big fans of better distribution of wealth. We gladly support that goal, since the ultrarich have to pay their share. However, often the devil is in the details, and that was the case with this luxury tax.
    A year ago, it was only natural that we did not necessarily understand all the implications of the description of this luxury tax. However, the stakeholders contacted the government. How is it that a year later they continue to—
    Order. I have to give the hon. member for Joliette a few seconds to respond.
    Madam Speaker, the government does a lot of consultation. The aerospace industry was consulted. Its representatives raised their concerns all year, but no changes were made to the tax. When we attended the Department of Finance's information session about this tax, departmental officials answered all of our questions by saying that it would depend on how it was interpreted by the Canada Revenue Agency.
    The committee summoned experts and stakeholders, who said that the tax made no sense and that it needed to be changed. However, at the end of the process, the Liberals rejected all of those amendments, with the support of the NDP.
    What we have is 170 pages of extremely complicated text that does not target the right people, namely the wealthy who purchase luxury products. Instead, the tax targets an industry, manufacturers and their unionized workers.
    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here with you and all of my colleagues this evening to debate Bill C-19.

[English]

    I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member for Kitchener Centre this evening.
    It is a pleasure to be here this evening to reflect and offer a few thoughts on a piece of legislation that is important not only for those in the chamber but also for all Canadians, coast to coast to coast. It is important in the fact that I, like many of my colleagues here, have children at home, or grandchildren for that matter, and everything we do, as legislators and as members of Parliament, should be through the lens of ensuring that we leave a strong economy and a clean and healthy environment for our children and grandchildren.
    I do have some thoughts on where we are in Canada and in the world, and where we are with the economy today. Bill C-19 would continue to put us on a path for strong economic growth, good jobs and employment prospects for Canadians. We would also ensure we are leaving behind a very healthy and clean environment, including reaching our net-zero goals by 2050 and the interim targets which were defined and which we became accountable for through Bill C-12.
    As we look at the Canadian economy, with an unemployment rate of 5.2%, we, as a country, through the hard work of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, have recovered 116% of the jobs to where to were pre-COVID. We are on the right path. Our AAA, the big A's and the small a's, for our credit ratings have both been affirmed by all three major agencies: DBRS Morningstar, S&P and Moody's. Our fiscal framework and the finances of this country are strong and continue to be guided by the Minister of Finance, who is doing an incredible job.
    We know that in the world today, Canadian families are facing an affordability issue. We have inflation, and we know what has caused the inflation. We do know that COVID-19 has disrupted and continues to disrupt supply chains. Some of them have been fixed, and some of them will take longer. We know the barbaric, unprovoked invasion by the Russian Federation and President Putin into Ukraine has disrupted commodity markets, food markets and, obviously, energy security and affordability. We acknowledge that.
    I see it when I go to the grocery store. My wife sees it when she goes to the grocery store to shop for our three children. It is a conversation at home. We all know it. We must be steadfast and resolute as a government to maintain the backs of Canadians as we move forward through this environment, and as we move forward ensuring that Canadians have the resources they need for them and their families.
    We can look at our measures for affordability over the years. We have Bill C-19 and the BIA, as well as bills on past budget measures that we have implemented. We can think about the Canada child benefit being indexed, which benefits more than 9 out of 10 Canadian families. It is literally thousands of dollars, tax free, arriving monthly to Canadian families. We can think about the Canada workers benefit, something I have championed day after day, literally helping millions of Canadians and lower-income workers. We can think about early learning and child care plan we have put in place with all provinces and territories. It is something we said we would do. It is a promise made and a promise kept.
    My family is going to be putting our almost eight-month-old daughter into day care in the fall. It is something we will see a benefit from. I know that in the province of Ontario, by the end of this year,December 31, we will see a 50% reduction in child care fees. For the area I represent, the York region, just on top of Toronto, this would represent a 50% reduction in child care fees. It would represent literally thousands of after-tax dollars to families in York region and in the city of Vaughan. That is something I applaud.
     I am proud to be part of a government that signed on and collaborated with provinces and governments of all political stripes in the provinces. Unlike the Conservative Party of Canada, which wishes to tear up the early learning and child care agreements, we will maintain those agreements. We will continue to work with those provinces and territories across Canada to maintain these agreements because it is the right thing to do. We will not buy into the gimmicks offered by the Conservative Party of Canada when it comes to affordability.

  (1935)  

    Our seniors will receive a 10% increase in their old age security in July. That is roughly $800 a year, which will continue to be indexed, for roughly 3.5 million seniors. Again, that is a promise made and a promise kept by this government. I look forward to seeing our senior groups over the summer at the bocce courts, picnics and gatherings.
    In the city of Vaughan, we have such a vibrant senior population. I love my seniors. They built this country, and they built the community. Many of them immigrated here with very little education and very little money. They came through Pier 21. They never complained. They worked hard. They saved, and they created a better future for themselves and their families. I just love and applaud them. They have my utmost respect as an individual and as a parliamentarian.
    We have committed to dental care, and that is something that I have a very granular story on. A senior came into my office and said she needed help with her dental care. She had an infection. We sent her to York Region where there is a program to assist low-income seniors. Something like that for a senior who is on a very minimal income can really bankrupt them. It could really set a person back.
    We cannot have that in our country. We cannot have that in modern-day Canada. That is why we have committed to ensuring that Canadians from coast to coast to coast, such as young children, seniors and all Canadians, will have some sort of coverage or insurance through a $5.3-billion dental care plan that will ensure vulnerable Canadians do not have an issue with getting dental care. The BIA and Bill C-19 really invest in growth, in people and in the green transition.
    Of course, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the tradespeople who build this country from coast to coast to coast. My father was a tradesman. He was a carpenter, a labourer, a sheet-metal worker and a roofer. I remember working on weekends with him, when we would do odd jobs for our neighbours and friends, and that was something that taught me the values of hard work, sacrifice and putting aside that dollar, and I see that in our budget.
    We came through on a promise made and kept on a labour and mobility tax deduction for tradespeople. Obviously, they have to fit the criteria. This would be $4,000, and it would be a deduction and not a credit. A deduction is very powerful. It would allow tradespeople to move from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction and cover those expenses, which is something I know the Canadian Building Trades Union, LiUNA and the carpenters have advocated for.
    I mention those two organizations because both of their training facilities are located in the city of Vaughan in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge. I meet with those members, and those are the folks who every day, rain, shine or sleet, warm or cold, get up to build our communities and build our critical infrastructure. They are great people.
    We need more of those apprenticeships, and when we talk about apprenticeships, our government rolled out a program called the UTIP, the union training and innovation program.
    We have committed another $80 million, which is within Bill C-19, to ensure we train literally thousands and thousands more apprentices. I went on a visit to a carpenters union, and I was looking at CCAT. They had their apprentices there, and they were high school students. They were being funded through this UTIP program. It was so great to see these young folks so excited about their futures and so excited about what they are going to do in this country, building the homes and the infrastructure for tomorrow.
    The same thing takes place, whether it is at the LiUNA 506 training facility in York Region or LiUNA 183's training facility, with the operating engineers, the painters, and the HVAC and the electrical workers. The same thing takes place, and we are partnering with all of these organizations.
    Members will remember that the Conservative Party from prior years attacked private sector unions with Bill C-525 and Bill C-377. The first thing we did in 2015 and 2016 was repeal those bills. We will always stand beside working Canadians, and we will always stand beside those tradespeople who go to work every day to maintain and build and repair our critical infrastructure.
    When it comes to homes, I have spoken before about them in the House. I am blessed to live in a very entrepreneurial area. I have to hand it to the entrepreneurs in my area. The Mayor of Vaughan, the hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, was a member of Parliament for many years. He committed to raising $250 million for our hospital, so this city of 330,000 people has the spirit of generosity.

  (1940)  

    We, the city of Vaughan and the entrepreneurs, hit the target of $250 million last week. I applaud them. They are entrepreneurs who have taken risks, invested, made money and contributed to their hospital. With that—
    We have run out of time for the member's speech.
    Continuing with questions and comments, the hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I noticed that the member was talking about the government's early learning and child care promise to create a $10-a-day day care system in this country.
    What we are seeing on the ground is a very different story. It looks like the government is creating a two-tier day care system in this country. I am getting messages from day cares across the country saying they cannot even apply for the government's subsidy because of the amount of red tape the government is putting in place.
    For example, the government is saying it is only going to fund the program up to $18 an hour. We know child care workers get paid way more than $18 an hour, so they cannot afford to hold onto these programs at $10 a day. We are going to have some families get into $10-a-day day care and some families paying $2,000 a month.
    How does the member support a two-tier day care system?
    Madam Speaker, we need to put the early learning and child care system in place and sign agreements with every single province and territory. We need to make sure it is affordable and accessible, and that we hit the target within each individual province that signed. With the Province of Ontario, we got to $10-a-day day care. My understanding is now, after the provincial election here in the province of Ontario, the Government of Ontario will be implementing that accord. It is a very detailed accord from what I understand. We definitely do not want a two-tier system on day care.

  (1945)  

    Madam Speaker, I was really glad to hear the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge talk about dental care. Our old friend Jack Harris was in town today, the former member for St. John's East. It was less than a year ago on June 16, 2021, that the House voted on the motion that Mr. Harris brought forward, Motion No. 62, which would have extended dental care to families making under $90,000 a year.
    Unfortunately, that member voted against that motion, so I am glad to see that the Liberals have made an about-face and come to understand the importance of dental care for low-income families. Is the member now happy that the NDP pushed the Liberals to see the light of day, do the right thing and put forward this important program for low-income families?
    Madam Speaker, dental care was actually mentioned in the prior throne speech. It has always been a priority of our government to help all Canadians, middle-class Canadians and those who are vulnerable, who do not have access to certain services. On this dental care program we are rolling out, I am glad to see we are working together with other parties to get things done for Canadians so we can leave a better future for all Canadians, and that is what we will continue to do.
    As well, I love the province of British Columbia. It is my home province, where I was born and raised.
    Madam Speaker, I get two questions in a row. My second question for the member is about the first home savings account, we know that young, working families simply cannot afford to put away $40,000 into a savings account. What we are going to see with this program is the children of very wealthy people whose parents are giving them the money to put into the first home savings account will be the ones who benefit the most.
    Does the member think it is appropriate for taxpayers to be subsidizing the children of the wealthiest 1% to buy their first homes?
    Madam Speaker, on the situation with housing affordability in Canada, we need more housing supply. The plan we have put forward is a holistic plan. It is a plan that will need collaboration with provinces municipalities and regions to increase housing supply. It is a plan that targets the froth in the housing market with banning foreign purchases, the anti-flipping measures that we have put in place, and the $4-billion home accelerator fund. We have put in place a lot of measures in the BIA, including the measure the member talked about, to allow first-time homebuyers to actually save.
    If someone is a young, downtown professional and they need to save for a first home, this is going to be a great measure and great vehicle for them to do that. This is much like the tax-free savings accounts, which millions of people have used year after year. This is going to be another measure for Canadians to utilize and leverage, and I am so happy to see it in Bill C-19.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise again on Bill C-19, the budget implementation act, this time at third reading. I would like to start with what I appreciate, specifically about the work that was done at committee. If Canadians and neighbours in my community watch only question period, they might wonder whether anyone here gets anything done at all. The fact is that there are plenty of opportunities at committee for parliamentarians from all sides to come together to improve legislation. That is really important to highlight.
    First, I want to point out one really critical amendment that was unanimously passed, which would ensure that all Canadians living with type 1 diabetes, of whom there are over 300,000 across the country, will now be able to access the disability tax credit. This is going to help ease the financial burden caused by unavoidable and necessary life-saving expenses.
    The original bill had the foreign homebuyers ban, but there was no date set for when it would come into force. It was left up to the governing party's discretion. Through committee, there is now a hard date set. It is longer out than I would prefer, all the way out to January 1, 2023, but it is an improvement at least to have a date within the legislation. As I have said before, in my community, the extent to which all levels of government work to address the skyrocketing cost of housing will define us over the coming years.
    I wish there was more in the budget implementation act, and certainly we need more. Investments like those in co-op housing in the budget, for deeply affordable and dignified housing, are a step in the right direction. Having a date in place for when this foreign homebuyers ban will come into force is an improvement.
    That being said, these tweaks are insufficient, given the moment we are in. I would like to take this opportunity to share five significant and urgent priorities of my neighbours that are still missed by Bill C-19 and are the reasons why I cannot support it.
    First, when it comes to the climate crisis, no doubt this is our last chance at a livable planet. The most recent report from the IPCC defines it as “an atlas of human suffering”. We know that if we want even a 50% chance of staying below a 1.5°C increase in global average temperatures, which, as scientists from the IPCC tell us, is required if we want to hold on to the possibility of a livable future for our kids and grandkids, and if we are to do our fair share, that means 86% of Canada's proven fossil fuel reserves need to remain unextracted. The UN Secretary-General went on to say that “the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”
    Of course, I was disappointed that in Bill C-19 and in the budget there is nothing for a prosperous transition for workers, which we so desperately need when it comes to retraining and career support, when it comes to pension bridging, and when it comes to compensation. In the budget, instead, what we saw was $7.1 billion between now and 2030 for a new subsidy in the form of a tax credit for carbon capture and storage. A recent study of this technology from the Netherlands found that in 32 out of 40 projects they looked at worldwide that implemented carbon capture and storage, emissions actually went up. It is one of the reasons why 400 academics penned a letter to our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance saying this is a false climate solution.
    Unfortunately, the only time climate is even mentioned in Bill C-19 is when it speaks about the fact that an annual climate incentive is now going to be received by Canadians once a quarter, certainly not the kind of change that reflects the moment we are in, that reflects the crisis we are in, and that reflects the urgency of action required to meet this moment.

  (1950)  

    The second priority that continues to be missed is with respect to addressing the disproportionate number of Canadians with disabilities who are living in poverty across the country. We know that back in 2020, the governing party first promised the Canada disability benefit, a guaranteed livable income for every Canadian with a disability across the country, which would lift up, or it could if done well, 1.5 million Canadians with disabilities across the country.
    We already know that 89% of Canadians support the Canada disability benefit. They are way ahead of parliamentarians here. However, we also need to recognize that emergency funds are required to address the very real, direct and urgent needs of Canadians with disabilities who are living in poverty across the country. Both in the budget and in this budget implementation act, there is no mention of emergency funds. There is no mention of the Canada disability benefit. It was, instead, introduced as Bill C-22. The same as last year, though, all of the major decisions on eligibility and the amounts are left to regulation.
    It is going to be really critical for all of us to continue to put the prioritization, the urgency and the advocacy behind ensuring that we get support to Canadians with disabilities across the country, the Canadians who need it the most. We already know that it has support. In fact, 103 parliamentarians from all parties have now asked not only to bring it forward in the legislation that has now been done through Bill C-22, which I am glad to see, but to fast-track it and ensure that the experiences of Canadians with disabilities are heard every step of the way.
    The third priority I want to mention tonight is with respect to mental health. In the budget, the only real mention was with respect to a wellness portal. So many parliamentarians in this place recognize, as is so important to do, that mental health is health. If that is the case, we need to be looking at organizations like the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and their calls for legislation that would put in place a framework for the Canadian federal government to collaborate with and support provinces and territories and bring about parity in mental health support and funding. That is not in Bill C-19. As I mentioned, it was only tangentially mentioned in the budget. I will continue to advocate and encourage the governing party to meet the moment when it comes to addressing mental health.
    Just last week, I spoke about the need to honour promises made when it comes to long-term care. This is because so many neighbours of mine have shared their stories, whether they are caregivers who are not in a position to deliver the care that is necessary or those who have a parent waiting in a hospital bed for months on end, hoping that their parent might one day have a spot in long-term care. We have to recognize the wait-lists. The research I saw last summer said that there were 52,000 people on a wait-list. We still have not seen this promised safe long-term care act. It was mentioned in the confidence and supply agreement between the NDP and the Liberal Party, and I continue to encourage the urgency to be placed on that legislation being moving forward, given that it is not in Bill C-19. In fact, long-term care is mentioned in the budget only once, as it relates to funding that was promised back in 2021.
    In closing, the last critical priority that is urgent and needs sufficient prioritization in this place relates to addressing indigenous reconciliation, specifically following through on the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. According to the Yellowhead Institute's most recent report on the calls to action, only 11 of 94 have been completed to date. In my view, that is another significant gap. If we are not doing enough to move sufficiently quickly to follow through on all of the promises made, to follow through on all 94 calls to action, this is another critical moment to do so.

  (1955)  

    Madam Speaker, my friend from the Green Party touched on mental health. We see all the time the Liberal government members say they have thrown this many millions of dollars at it. I would like to hear from somebody who I feel is very passionate about mental health and youth. Let us put the partisanship aside. What can we do as community leaders together? How can we use that money, the many millions that we hear all about? What can people do to use that money properly, equitably and fairly among youth so that we can help with the pandemic that is going on in mental health?
    Madam Speaker, I really appreciate not only the question but the person who asked it, because the member for Calgary Forest Lawn has brought up the Canada mental health transfer many times, without anything that I read in it with respect to partisanship but with an interest in really moving ahead.
     We know the governing party has promised the mental health transfer. When I go home and reflect back to neighbours of mine some of my aspirations for this place, what I often share is that there are examples where so many parliamentarians do agree, and mental health certainly is one of those. While I am glad to share more about the obvious needs in communities like mine, and his as well, as a newer parliamentarian here, I see this as an example where, as we continue to bring up mental health in this place, we could put pressure on the government, which has said that it intends to move forward. Let us ensure that it follows through on doing so.

  (2000)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my dear Green Party colleague for his speech. I want to acknowledge his hard and heartfelt work on matters of social justice, the environment and persons with disabilities. He shows such compassion for people in vulnerable situations and I commend him for that.
     I heard him say that he was disappointed that there was nothing in the budget about standards for long-term care.
    Long-term care falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and Quebec. Would my colleague not agree that the best way to support long-term care is for the federal government to transfer the money that the provinces and Quebec need?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I will answer in English, only to ensure that I get my words right.
    Yes, I would agree that funding is critical. National standards for long-term care that are brought about in collaboration and consultation with provinces and territories, in my view, are also really critical to ensure that we address what we strongly agree on, which is that there is a crisis in long-term care, that we have not moved through that crisis yet, and that we need to ensure that we do so much better by our elders right across the country.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's thoughtful and articulate speech. I share his dismay at the $2.6 billion in this budget for carbon capture and storage, not because I do not believe that this technology will likely play some modest role in reaching our climate targets, but because this is a direct subsidy to some of the wealthiest and most profitable corporations in our country. The $2.6 billion is not pocket change. Could my colleague perhaps provide his thoughts on where that $2.6 billion could be better spent in meeting our climate targets and ensuring a healthy future for our kids?
    Madam Speaker, I will recognize that it was the NDP that brought forward a motion just last week calling for repealing and ending all subsidies at a time when, under various names, we continue to see new ones added.
     To answer the question, we know exactly where those funds should go. They should be going to workers, to invest in their long-term future and a prosperous transition for workers to ensure that they know that they are going to be a part of the economy of the future.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    It is my greatest honour and privilege to rise on behalf of the people in my riding of Bay of Quinte and the region.
    I have found in my time as a member of Parliament that as an MP, I get to use my voice to speak for those people in the riding. My wife Allyson and I have met with so many great people, especially in the last few months. We have had nothing short of amazing experiences in listening to them and representing them here in Ottawa. It is my privilege to act as their voice in this place.
    Today I talked with Katie, who cannot travel within her own country. She has an allergy and she cannot get out to see her family. I talked with Josh, who cannot afford a house. He has bid on seven houses now, and has been outbid each time. He is having a really tough time. I also spoke with Jane, who cannot afford either groceries or gas right now.
     I am using this privilege to speak on behalf of people who are struggling and asking for help, and to ensure that we see a budget that makes sure that Canadians get to take control of their lives through uncertain times. Each and every Canadian wants equality of opportunity, to have a place to live and work, the opportunity to marry whom they want, to travel where they want, the opportunity to live freely and to pursue that which motivates them most, and not because government tells them it is the right thing to do, but because it is their right as Canadians.
    It is my belief and my party's belief that the government's job is to provide equality of opportunity for Canadians to take control of their lives, as they have for the last 155 years, and to lead this planet with that Canadian innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, hard work, passion, and yes, even politeness. We need to lead Canada in standing as a symbol of democracy and freedom. That is not to say government does not have a role, but it is not the role of government to lead; it is the role of government to empower our citizens.
    We have the worst housing crisis in this generation in the whole history of Canada right now. We have an inflation crisis, a war in Ukraine and an energy crisis with gas as high as $2.50 a litre in some parts of the country. We have a food unaffordability crisis, with fertilizer up 42%, and in my riding, food prices have been up 30% in the grocery store, which is correlated to a 30% rise in food bank usage. We have 1.03 million jobs unfilled in this country. People are screaming for employees. We have clogged airports, lineups for passports and unstaffed Canadian border entry locations. I think it is safe to say that we just wish we could live through some precedented times. However, these unprecedented times need major action.
     No matter the party in the House, I think we can all agree that these are trying times and that it is our responsibility to do what is best for Canadians, and not just in trying times but truly unprecedented times. We need new ideas. We need to make new stands. We need to inspire all Canadians to believe in themselves to start to solve the biggest issues that plague us.
    While budget 2022 speaks to three main pillars, my objection to the budget, and my party's objection to the budget, is not just to the pillars but that it speaks to a government solving these issues instead of instilling that power to Canadians to solve those issues and get government out of the way.
    There is pillar one, which is about investing in people. We certainly need people to fill the over one million jobs that are open, and there is a price to unfilled jobs in this country, which is $30 billion. Let us equate that to the tourism industry, which is worth $34 billion to Canada. Unfilled positions, which include in the tourism sector, are causing major backlogs. They are causing bottlenecks. We are short factory workers, skilled trades to build homes and software engineers who go to some of our universities but then get taken up by the U.S. We are short 25,000 truckers whom we depend on to take our goods across our country and across our borders. We are short 60,000 nurses and 14,000 doctors and specialists.
    There are currently 1.5 million unemployed Canadians under the age of 66 and there are one million jobs available. Do members know who is not short of employees? It is the federal government. Since 2015, this Liberal government has added 62,000 federal employees to the federal payroll, which employs just over 319,000 employees right now. In spite of that, we have unprecedented backlogs in federal departments.
    We know about the IRCC backlogs. Did members know that it is two million people? Do members know that we are waiting for 45,000 skilled trades to come to this country? It was just launched yesterday, or the day before, that we have hired 500 more employees. Why not just add more employees to try to solve the issue, and $85 million? There are two levers that we can pull. One is bringing more skilled immigrants in and the other is helping to get money to train skilled workers into better jobs. Members can excuse my constituents if they do not believe that budget 2022 will do anything to change that.

  (2005)  

    The alternative puts control into people and more money into colleges so that Canadians can choose to train for jobs that the regions need. As we have been studying this in science, research and industry, colleges have programs that work for the employers that have empty jobs so they end up getting the employees they need to put into those jobs, such as nurses and PSWs. Colleges also do training for skilled trades and technical jobs. That works in remote communities. Some 95% of Canadians live within 50 kilometres of a college in Canada. This also works for the rural communities and first nations communities.
    Employers themselves, as well as economic development organizations, can train employees. My local organization, Bay of Quinte Economic Development, has a great program called Elevate Plus. It takes students and trains them in six-week cohorts in a classroom. I have been to the graduations, which are often emotional, because for many of these students it is the first job they have ever had. It is empowering and powerful. How incredible it has been for those students who were on Ontario Works social assistance, to come off of that system and get themselves jobs.
    Housing can be a major driver. If we look at immigration, we should make sure we put the skilled trades we need first, such as plumbers, electricians and well drillers. We need at least 600 in my riding alone. We look at the million jobs needed filled across Canada, and many of them could be filled, which would build homes and create GDP and economic development.
    The member who spoke earlier talked about investing in people's mental health, because when we help people, they help themselves. It is a major empowerment.
    Pillar two in the budget is the green transition. This is obviously very important. We want a green future for our children. Given the choice, Canadians will make choices that allow them to make the planet greener, but the hidden danger of a green energy transition is ignoring affordability, security and reliability, which need to be a key plank in the green transition, but are not part of budget 2022.
    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world and has also triggered an energy crisis that is exposing the world's dependence on not only Russian energy, but green energy that is not yet available to replace it. We know the future is going to be green with hydrogen, modular nuclear energy and Canadian natural gas and converting the world from coal. It is going to be a big transition that we need to make as Canadians, and Canada is going to play a big role in that. When we ignore affordability, when people need to heat their homes and make a choices that are good for their family, we are ignoring the choices they can make. We are actually hurting them with those energy policies, not helping them. We need to include affordability, choice, jobs, income investment and productivity when including a green transition, none of which are in budget 2022.
    Pillar three is about productivity and innovation. We have to work hard at the new economy. We have so many great jobs. We have never seen a time like this since 1900s, with the introduction of electricity, automobiles and the telephone. Now we have five major technologies converging. When the government talks about investing, we need to invest in mentorship and allow Canadians to bring that innovation to the forefront, such as AI, blockchain, robotics, energy storage and DNA sequencing, which are all working together.
    I agree with the three pillars in the budget, but I believe that it is people, not government, who need to be empowered. People need to invest in it. I will say right now that Canadians are going to be the ones to lead this country out of inflation, out of all of our crises and lead Canada and the world forward.

  (2010)  

    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague is from Bay of Quinte, which also has CFB Trenton in his riding. He did not mention anything with respect to the additional $8 billion in funding for the Canadian Armed Forces in the budget. I know that he has brought forward the issue of Canadian Armed Forces housing and the issues that are facing the PMQs across Canada.
    I would like to ask the member opposite for his opinion on the additional $8 billion in funding for Canadian Armed Forces members, which can include funding for housing. I know he has had some investments recently announced in his riding for Canadian Armed Forces housing. As a parent of two Canadian Armed Forces members and a mother-in-law of one, this is something that is very important to me, so I would like his opinion on the additional funding for the Canadian Armed Forces.
    Madam Speaker, I have so much respect for the Canadian Armed Forces. I think the member and members of her family have also served in the Canadian Armed Forces and I thank her for her service.
    There is a funeral on Friday for John Smylie who followed my father as honorary colonel on the base. It is very emotional. The base is worth so much to our region.
    We thank the government for the investment in the base. Sixty homes is where the money went, as well as for an emergency response unit, which is so needed. Canada has a great role to play in the world. We still need a lot of housing in the military. Of the 6,000 homes, we are short 360 there.
    I know the government is committed to investing in the military, as well as in NATO and NORAD. I very much thank all of those who are supporting the military.

  (2015)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to salute my colleague and thank him for his speech.
    There is all kinds of stuff in this omnibus bill, which deals with such topics as space jurisdiction, strip searches in prison and whatever else, but 170 pages are dedicated to the new Liberal luxury tax.
    This tax will have a significant impact on entire sectors of our economy. One example frequently mentioned by Conservative members on the Standing Committee on Finance is the whole boating and pleasure craft industry. When we asked finance officials to table the impact studies for this tax, they turned to us and said they had nothing, they did not know about it, and they had not done anything.
    Does my colleague think it is acceptable for the government to implement a new tax that is going to affect whole sectors of our economy without doing any economic impact studies?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, Winston Churchill said that taxing oneself into prosperity is akin to standing in a bucket while trying to lift oneself up.
    We have industries that are just coming out of COVID. We know that industries are lacking labour. We know that industries have taken on massive loans, apart from the government, but they are trying to claw their way out. Every industry in Canada, every business and every Canadian is trying to get out. They are fighting just to get back up on their feet. This is not a time for new taxes. This is a time for tax relief.
    We have certainly offered solutions for tax relief to Canadians. We certainly have to look at helping Canadians with tax relief. This is not a time for taxes.
    Madam Speaker, I sit on the defence committee and we heard a lot about the need of those in the armed forces who are struggling with the cost of living, with having to move all the time. Families are struggling with housing costs. One of the things that was offered up was a reinstatement of the cost of living differential for Canadian Armed Forces members.
    I would like to hear the member's thoughts on how that would help.