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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 094

CONTENTS

Wednesday, June 22, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 094
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayer


[Statements by Members]

  (1405)  

[English]

    In a sign of everyone coming together, we almost have a choir today. We have the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton, the hon. member for Kitchener—Conestoga and the hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay, who will be leading us, and the choir, in the singing of the national anthem.
    [Members sang the national anthem]

Business of the House

Interruption to Proceedings 

    If I can have everyone's attention, the Chair wishes to revisit the technical issues that led to the early adjournment of the House yesterday evening.

[Translation]

     While the sitting was suspended and after yesterday’s adjournment, House staff was busy identifying and resolving the causes of the problem, which proved to be a connectivity issue external to the infrastructure of the House. The problem was corrected, and the systems were tested over night. Everything is now in order.

[English]

    The proceedings of the House and its committees may continue and technical resources will be available as needed. I would like to give my sincere thanks to all the devoted staff of the House who handled the situation diligently.

[Translation]

    I thank members for their attention.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Canada Day

    Mr. Speaker, on July 1, Canadians will celebrate Canada's 155th birthday. As the son of refugees, I can say that Canada has presented me and my family with not just a home, but also opportunities and a future.
    Even in tough times, this country rises above many others. We believe in the rule of law. We believe in free health care for all. We believe in assistance for those in need. We believe in the people's right to be heard. We do not have tanks on the streets. Many other countries do not enjoy this way of life.
     We have a lot to be thankful for, but it did not happen by accident. It took a lot of hard work to forge the nation that we are today. We are not perfect, but I would say we are pretty close. We will face our challenges. We will be respectful. We will be inclusive as we move forward together to build an even better country.
    This upcoming Canada Day, let us reaffirm our common values and go forward. On behalf of the people of my riding, I hope everyone can stay safe and celebrate this magnificent country in their own unique way.
    Happy birthday, Canada.

World War II Veteran

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a very special person from Don Valley North. Mr. Jim Wilson was born in Toronto in September 1921. He joined the Canadian Army at the age of 22 and was sent to England with the Glengarry Highlanders 9th Brigade, 3rd Canadian infantry division.
    Jim was among the 14,000 Canadians who stormed Juno Beach with allied forces on D-Day. He was ashore during the second wave, with the goal of advancing 16 kilometres inland to occupy the high ground west of the strategic city of Caen. Following weeks of fighting, finally Caen was secured and Jim's division continued eastward to Belgium and then Holland. Unfortunately, that is where he got shot. In 1946, Jim returned to Toronto, where he found the love of his life, his late wife Audrey, and began a successful career with Esso.
    Last month, Jim was made a knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour for his immense contribution to the liberation of France during World War II.
    Colleagues, please join me in applauding this great Canadian, Mr. Jim Wilson.

Appreciation for Constituency Staff

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to recognize Oula and Linda, the two wonderful ladies who run my Edmonton constituency office.
    The two are probably the most experienced team in Alberta, with Oula having worked with MPs Peter Goldring and Laurie Hawn before me, and Linda having worked with Laurie Hawn as well.
    My friend, the Hon. Laurie Hawn, often compared his constituency to a car. He would explain that he was merely the hood ornament and the office team was the engine. That is to say that the real work, the heavy lifting, was done by the team and he was just the hood ornament. He was completely right. I am very blessed that Oula and Linda have been the engine for my Edmonton team since I was elected.
    Laurie would also say that the best part of being an MP was helping people and the worst part was the travel. The joy I get when I receive a letter or card thanking Linda and Oula for helping a family reunite, getting their passport or fixing a CRA problem more than makes up for the hours spent waiting for a connection at Pearson.
    I thank Oula and Linda for everything they have done and their service to the people of Edmonton West.

Pride Month

    Mr. Speaker, the month of June marks Pride Month. Canadians across the country are celebrating and recognizing the invaluable contributions of the LGBTQIA2S+ community in areas such as health, politics, academia, sports, our military, and many other fields. We celebrate Pride to embrace LGBTQIA2S+ people and acknowledge the decades-long struggles and sacrifices made to gain the equality they rightfully deserve.
     While we have made progress over the years, we know that we must continue building a more tolerant and peaceful society, so let us stand shoulder to shoulder with LGBTQIA2S+ Canadians as friends and allies, including people living with disabilities and indigenous, Black and racialized members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
    On behalf of my constituents in Mississauga—Streetsville, I wish all Canadians a happy Pride Month, and we all know that love is love.
    I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer break.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

Quebec's National Holiday

    Mr. Speaker, this year, for our national holiday, we are going to make our language and its myriad accents heard. We are going to make it heard loud and clear, and continue making it heard, together.
    We are going to make each and every one of our regional dialects and accents heard to show that our national language is also a great international language and an extraordinary way of being open to the world.
    We are going to make our language heard so loudly that the entire planet will hear this proud and unique voice. It is the voice of a nation that celebrates its culture in its common language. It is the voice of a nation that sings, writes, works, teaches, grows up and lives in French, because that is what unites us and brings us together, whatever our differences.
    People are going to hear that voice because we are not afraid to celebrate it. We are not afraid to protect and promote it, because French is an integral part of who we are.
    I wish a happy national holiday to all Quebeckers with all their myriad accents.

[English]

Retirement Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, the congregation at Beaconsfield United Church celebrated Reverend Shaun Fryday as he prepared to embark on a well-deserved retirement after 22 years of dedicated pastoral service.
     Shaun’s boundless goodwill and warm humanity will be dearly missed by church members, and indeed by the entire Montreal West Island community. In addition to his role as a spiritual leader, Shaun displayed vision and determination in his efforts to strengthen the foundations of community. He was a driving force in the creation of the West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre and served as the organization’s chair, offering wisdom, support and guidance.
     Shaun’s ministry was also marked by a deep commitment to social justice overseas. He travelled five times to the Philippines in support of indigenous communities defending their rights against local mining operations.
    Like so many, I will miss Shaun’s spiritual and community leadership, but also his engaging voice on matters of government policy.

Vaccine Mandates

    Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to share the story of James Topp.
     James is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. He has served for 29 years. James is marching on foot from Vancouver to Ottawa to support Canadians hurt by vaccine mandates. The march started at the Terry Fox statue in Vancouver and is ending at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa. That is 4,293 kilometres in approximately 130 days.
     James himself has suffered the consequences of the punishing vaccine mandate policy. He was placed on leave without pay from his civilian position in the RCMP. He is also currently in the process of being released from the Canadian Armed Forces, all because of a medical decision.
     I invite all MPs in the House to meet James and to hear his story, and the stories of those he met along the way to Ottawa. Starting a conversation and listening to each other during these difficult times, when our country seems so divided, is the only path forward. James has started the conversation, and I intend to participate for the good of our country.

Mathieu Da Costa

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of grade 8 students at Thomas Street Middle School in Mississauga-Erin Mills to highlight an important figure in our history, Mathieu Da Costa.
     Mathieu da Costa is said to have been the first recorded person of African descent to set foot on this land that we now call Canada. He is one of so many Canadians of African descent who have helped build this country since long before Confederation.
    He was a gifted linguist and played a vital role in building early relations with indigenous peoples of this land. In particular, he is said to have served as an interpreter between French explorers and the Mi'kmaq people. Today, he is recognized from coast to coast to coast in museums, monuments, roads and schools.
     I am glad that these stories have been so inspiring to youth in my riding of Mississauga-Erin Mills. It is always a good time to celebrate Black history in Canada, and I hope we can all continue to recognize the accomplishments of our diverse communities all across this beautiful nation.

  (1415)  

Graduates in Winnipeg South Centre

    Mr. Speaker, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the schools in Winnipeg South Centre have completed an entire school year in person.
     For the next two weeks, I will be attending the farewell ceremonies and convocations of schools to offer warm congratulations to students on a year of success and for committing to their studies and persevering during uncertain times.
     Everyone deserves to have a bright future full of possibilities ahead of them, and I am confident that the class of 2022 will take full advantage of their moment. I wish the graduates every success as they move on to the next exciting chapter of their lives and their careers.
    I wish good luck to the graduates.

Junior Hockey in Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa

    Mr. Speaker, my constituency is proud to be home to four teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League: the Dauphin Kings, the Neepawa Titans, the Swan Valley Stampeders and the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. I rise today to congratulate all of them on a fantastic season, but I want to especially congratulate the Dauphin Kings on a stellar year of hockey.
    Last month, after a nail-biting game seven against the Steinbach Pistons, the Dauphin Kings were victorious in the MJHL finals. Congratulations to all the players who worked to win the Turnbull Memorial Trophy. Congratulations to coach and general manager Doug Hedley for leading a great team to victory.
    I also want to thank the community of Dauphin for rallying behind the Kings and expressing their unwavering support in countless ways. Next year, the national Centennial Cup will be hosted in Portage la Prairie, and I have no doubt that one of my riding's MJHL teams will claim victory.

Vijayalayan Mathiyalaghan

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Constable Vijayalayan Mathiyalaghan, a Tamil Canadian who led a life of exemplary service to his adopted country, Canada.
     Vijay enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2011 and served in the 2 Combat Engineer Regiment. He notably served in Ukraine in 2018 as part of Operation Unifier, where he used his expertise in explosive ordnance disposal to train local forces in mine clearing. These skills undoubtedly helped save the lives of many Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in the dreadful war that ensued.
    In 2020, Vijay joined the Ottawa Police Service and was assigned to frontline operations with A Platoon Central. Vijay was highly respected by his colleagues in the city of Ottawa, with many remembering him for his kind nature and selflessness.
    He will be sorely missed by the Canadian military, Ottawa Police Services, his close-knit Ottawa Tamil community and the growing network of Tamil law enforcement professionals across Canada. He leaves behind a proud family, community and country.

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon

    Mr. Speaker, June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples Day, and June is National Indigenous History Month. Throughout my riding, there have been events showcasing and celebrating indigenous and Métis culture. I am proud to represent the number-one riding in Canada: Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. What makes my riding so great is that it is home to the Sts’ailes and the Stó:lo people, the Stellat’en people, the Secwépemc people and the Nlaka’pamux people in the Fraser Canyon, as well as many others.
    Last weekend, I was pleased to participate in Sasquatch Days, and I am so proud to represent the riding that is home to the mythical sasquatch. Children from one of our local indigenous dance clubs did the sasquatch dance, and indigenous groups from across B.C. and Washington state took part in competitive canoe races for all ages. What a great way to celebrate sport and to bring people together.
    I thank the organizers from the village of Harrison Hot Springs and the Sts’ailes people for putting on such a wonderful event.

[Translation]

Landslide in La Baie

    Mr. Speaker, last week there was a landslide in La Baie, which is in my riding. A house was destroyed, but fortunately there were no casualties.
    Since then, nearly 80 families have been evacuated and are homeless. It is a terrible situation. The City of Saguenay is predicting another major landslide in the coming weeks, and that really worries me.
    Earlier this week, I spoke with the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, who has assured me that he is ready to intervene on behalf of the citizens of La Baie should the provincial government make such a request. I thank him for his co-operation.
    In these difficult and uncertain times, I take comfort in the fact that all levels of government are working together and joining forces to ensure that families are not left to fend for themselves. I want to thank the firefighters and the police for the excellent work they did in evacuating families.
    To all those affected: Stay strong. My heart goes out to them. The people of Saguenay are always there to help one another.

  (1420)  

[English]

Ending the Captivity of Whales

    Mr. Speaker, the plight of a 45-year-old female has been brought to my attention by Judith Goldberg, a principal in my riding. Teachers and students at Forest Run school are passionate and determined to do something about this situation. They have created art and a website, and ultimately circulated a petition.
    This female has been kept captive for over 40 years. Pregnant five times, each time she lost her child and was left to mourn on her own. She lives alone in a concrete space with little room to move about. I visited the school and spoke with some of the students. One young boy looked at me, confused, and pleadingly asked, “What if someone did that to us?”
    The 45-year-old female is named Kiska. She is an orca whale, a sentient being like us. She is highly intelligent and sensitive, and is currently being held captive at Marineland.
    In 2019, the House passed Bill S-203 to end the captivity of whales, but Kiska was not released. Her misery was grandfathered in. She could live somewhere, such as the Nova Scotia Whale Sanctuary, and have decades left if we do not allow her to die first due to her confinement. Judith and her students know it is wrong for us to condone this in 2022. It is past time for us to do the right thing.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank the incredible team of Ukrainian interns who have been working in our offices over the past several months.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
    Ms. Heather McPherson: Mr. Speaker, parliamentarians have benefited from the work of these dedicated young leaders in the past, but of course this time it is very different. While Russia wages an illegal war in their homeland, while Russia is committing a genocide against their people, and while Ukrainians are fighting heroically for their freedom and democracy, these amazing women have been here helping us with our democracy.
    In particular, I want to thank my intern, Mariia. It has been an incredible pleasure to work with her. I thank all the 2022 Ukrainian interns for strengthening the bond between Canada and Ukraine, and for reminding us every day that democracy matters in Ukraine and everywhere in the world. I thank them so much for being here.

[Translation]

Quebec Sports Foundation

    Mr. Speaker, today I rise to congratulate and express my deep appreciation to representatives of Quebec teams and the Fondation Équipe‑Québec.
    Not once, not twice, but three times, our Quebec teams have been crowned world champions. Again this year, we won World Ball Hockey Federation titles in three categories: women's, master's and men's. The events were held at Mont‑Tremblant in Quebec. I congratulate Patrick Ducharme and Alex Burrows on working so hard to promote the up-and-coming sport of ball hockey. I thank the organizers for doing such a great job. Bravo.
    I also want to express my appreciation for the Fondation Équipe‑Québec and its president, Stefan Allinger, as well as Robert Sirois and Pascale Pinard. They are dedicated to improving our Quebec athletes' access to international competitions by giving them a chance to play for Quebec in every sport.
    I got into politics to feel the kind of national pride I felt on June 12 at Mont‑Tremblant. I look forward to repeating the experience during every international sporting event.

  (1425)  

[English]

Cost of Living

    Mr. Speaker, the cost-of-living crisis is real, and it is hurting Canadians in my riding and across Canada. Inflation has hit a 40-year high of 7.7%, and all the Liberals are doing is playing the blame game. Inflation has increased the cost of groceries by more than 25%, which is lowering the amount of food families and seniors can put on their tables. The cost of fuel has been increasing, which also has a direct impact on the cost of production and the cost to transport food to grocery stores.
    The stories I am hearing from my communities are heartbreaking. The food banks in our small rural towns are busier than they have ever been, and demand is going up exponentially. Skyrocketing food prices are driving up food security concerns across the board. One woman even caught her senior neighbour eating canned cat food because she could not afford groceries. Many more seniors have told me they believe the hardship and lack of support is because the government is waiting for them to die.
    That is unacceptable, and the Liberal government is letting this happen.

Retirement Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and commend the retirement of one of my constituents, Mrs. Diana Nugara.
    For the past 32 years, Diana has served both her Brampton and neighbouring Toronto community as a court officer with the Toronto Police Service. As a first generation Canadian to immigrant parents, Diana has played an important role in assisting with policing and community services across the GTA.
    To name a few, her achievements include everything from facilitating various contraband raids to helping save the life of an individual who went into cardiac arrest in the courtroom. In the latter part of her career, Diana helped train and test a new integrated computer system that will help police officers and court houses increase reporting efficiencies. Like many frontline workers throughout the pandemic, Diana continued to work and fulfill her duties.
    Diana can now expect a well-earned, restful retirement with her husband Kelvin, who is also a former court officer with 33 years of service; her mother Anna; her adult children; and her first grandchild, Sebastian.
    Please join me in congratulating Diana and wishing her the best during her retirement.
    Before continuing to question period, I would like to remind everyone that referring to anyone in the gallery is not permitted.
    I would also like to remind everyone that, when we are referring to someone, whether in a question or in a answer, it is by their title or by their riding, whichever one is more convenient.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, accusations that the Prime Minister used the Nova Scotia mass shooting to advance his political agenda are extremely troubling. We believe Superintendent Darren Campbell when he says that Commissioner Lucki pressured the RCMP to reveal certain information. We also believe that it is possible the commissioner was pressured by the PMO and the public safety minister's office. These Liberals have a pattern of interfering in investigations to advance their political agenda, just as we saw in SNC-Lavalin.
    Will the government commit today to a full, open and transparent investigation to get to the bottom of this?
    Mr. Speaker, the independence of law enforcement operations is a key principle of our democracy and it is one that our government deeply respects and one that I have always defended. At no point did our government pressure or interfere with the operational decisions of the RCMP.
    I would take the opportunity to direct the members to the commissioner's statement from yesterday in which she makes it very clear that there was no interference.
    Mr. Speaker, somebody is not telling the truth, and it is not Superintendent Darren Campbell. He did not just experience this differently. We know the Liberals have a track record of interfering in investigations when it is to their advantage. When they are caught they deny it, then they deflect and then they blame. It is sickening to think that they are using the worst mass shooting in Canadian history for political gain, but it is very possible. We need to get to the truth on this.
    Again, I am going to ask the minister and the government: Will they commit to a full and open investigation?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to share with the members opposite the truth. In fact, yesterday, the commissioner of the RCMP released a statement in which she said, and I quote:
     It is important to note that the sharing of information and briefings with the Minister of Public Safety are necessary, particularly during a mass shooting on Canadian soil. This is standard procedure, and does not impact the integrity of ongoing investigations or interfere with the independence of the RCMP.
    It is important that she concludes:
    I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, they deny, deflect and blame.
    Inflation has hit a 40-year high and Canadians are worse off than they ever could have imagined. With 7.7% inflation, it is Canadians who are suffering. While Liberals blame COVID, Putin and everything else, Conservatives have asked, and are still asking, that the Liberals cut taxes and give Canadians a break at the pumps. Even President Biden announced a three-month gas tax break, but these Liberals cold-heartedly keep saying “no”.
    Liberals would rather see Canadians suffer than accept any of our good ideas. Is that not the truth?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is certainly correct that affordability is a critically important concern for Canadians. That is why the Deputy Prime Minister, in a speech last week, talked through the $9 billion in support that we are providing on that basis.
    We are also working to help stabilize global energy prices through increasing production of oil and gas alongside our partners in the United States, Brazil and other countries, to ensure that we are concurrently addressing the energy crisis that exists in a manner that will ensure affordability for Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the figures speak for themselves. Inflation is at 7.7%, its highest level in 40 years. The grandiose speech by the Minister of Finance to the elite in Toronto last week was all smoke and mirrors. There was absolutely nothing in there to address inflation in this country. Even President Joe Biden temporarily lowered taxes to give Americans a bit of a break. It is well known that the Liberals love it when gas is expensive.
    Why are they willing to let Canadians suffer instead of helping them pay for groceries, rent and gas? Why are they doing nothing?
    Mr. Speaker, there is no certainty that the policies the Conservatives are proposing will affect the price at the pump for Canadians. What is certain is that we went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to defend our price on pollution, and the court ruled in our favour. What is certain is that the Conservatives have run out of ideas and do not know how to manage the economy or how to help Canadians. We are here to help Canadians deal with the rising cost of living.

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, answers like that one clearly show that the cost of living is not the only thing going up because of inflation. Liberal incompetence has also increased dramatically. Canadians currently waiting in line at passport offices are talking about mismanagement, complacency, crisis and a lack of compassion. Those are their words, not mine. The reality is that people are waiting for days for a basic government document, a passport.
    This morning the minister admitted that she has known for months that this would happen, and today we finally heard her solution. She wants to create another line for people to take a number so they do not have to wait in line for a passport. Essentially, people will have to line up for a number instead of a passport. Where is the logic in that?
    When will the Liberals wake up and take real action for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the situation in Montreal is unacceptable. That is why we are changing things up as of today. We will ensure that people who are travelling in the next 24 hours receive their passports on time. For people who are travelling in more than 48 hours, we have another strategy.
    Senior management is there to speak with those waiting in line, because what people are going through in Montreal is truly unacceptable. We will make sure they get served on time.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would wish the Prime Minister bon voyage, but I do not really feel like it. A nice plane has been reserved for him to travel to Rwanda, his passport is in order and his visas are most certainly in order.
    Here at home, thousands of people are waiting. They wait until nighttime at the risk of losing their spot to a petty cheater; they wait to pay the late fees charged by an irresponsible government, without media presence, under police supervision; and now, they are numbered like a herd of sheep. That is not a solution, it is more chaos. It is worse. It is not working.
    Now that nothing is working, what is being done for these people?
    Mr. Speaker, the situation in Montreal is unacceptable and does not reflect what is happening in other places in the country.
    For the past four business days, more than 1,000 people have been waiting in line, and we do not want people to be forced to do that. That is why, starting a 7 a.m., senior management teams were there to talk with people and ensure that they were receiving the necessary information and that they had an appointment, which would enable them to come back at a specific time without having to wait in line.
    We know it is frustrating and we know that it is important. We will continue to respond to the situation.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps saying that she issued directives and that no one is following them. Yesterday, all government ministers said that it was unacceptable. No one has brought forward a solution that works.
    Are we to understand that this will continue until the end of 2022, and that nothing else or nothing better will be done?
    If government ministers criticize instead of governing, who will govern? The Bloc Québécois?
    Mr. Speaker, I see that all the other parties in the House agree that the Bloc Québécois could never form the government here.
    We will ensure that Canadians receive their passports. It is a difficult situation. After two years, we know that Canadians want to travel and that they need to get their passports. The demand is huge, and Service Canada employees are working extremely hard, day and night, to ensure that Canadians receive their passports. We will continue to take action to meet their needs.

[English]

Families, Children and Social Development

    Mr. Speaker, inflation has reached its highest level since 1983, and what that means is that workers are having a harder time making ends meet. We know that the solution proposed is to increase interest rates, but that is going to put more pressure on the shoulders of workers.
    When will the government understand that workers did not cause this inflation? They should not bear the burden of it and they need help. When will the government send help to families now?
    Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. leader of the NDP's little person. I am glad he brought her in.
    This government is delivering for families. In fact, across the country, we have delivered 13 child care—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sure the hon. minister appreciates being cheered on, but it prevents us from hearing the answer.
    The hon. minister can start from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to congratulate the hon. leader of the NDP for bringing his little person in here. It is wonderful to see children here as well.
    I am so thrilled to hear the members opposite be so excited about child care, because there are 13 agreements right across the country that are helping families today. In fact, in many of those provinces, families are already receiving 50% off registered child care fees, which in some provinces is between $2,000 and $4,000 additional dollars in their pockets each year.
    That is helping working Canadians, that is helping families and that is helping our children.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, inflation has reached its highest level since 1983, which means that families are struggling to make ends meet.
    Using higher interest rates as the only solution to address inflation will place families under even more pressure. The plan to lower inflation must include assistance for workers.
    When will this government offer assistance for families?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the hon. leader of the NDP. We are providing assistance right now in the 13 provinces and territories, right across the country, through the child care agreements. Families with young children will save thousands of dollars every year. We are talking about real dollars to help families cope with the rising cost of living.
    We are there for families, children and our country.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, to have the mass murder of 22 of my fellow Nova Scotians and an unborn child be used as a Liberal gun control wedge is disgusting, obscene and an insult to the victims and their families.
    The detailed investigative notes of RCMP officers, which will be used in court, state political interference into this mass murder. They were contradicted by the public safety minister and the commissioner of the RCMP.
    Who is telling the truth: the RCMP investigators, or the Liberal politicians trying to interfere in the investigation?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like again to direct my hon. colleague to the commissioner's statement, which I believe speaks for itself. The decision as to what information will be publicly disclosed regarding any investigation, as well as all operational matters, lies always and solely with the police.
    Let me also take the opportunity to acknowledge that the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia devastated families and communities, and particularly the families and loved ones of the 22 individuals who lost their lives. We should all keep them in our thoughts.
    Mr. Speaker, many in Nova Scotia are already concerned about the proceedings of the Mass Casualty Commission. Superintendent Campbell testified, “The commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP would release this information.” The commissioner then said that the RCMP did not understand this was tied to pending gun control legislation.
    Twenty-two individuals and an unborn baby died in my riding during this tragedy. We believe Superintendent Campbell. Does the minister?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I have never had a conversation with the superintendent, but the commissioner who did released a statement, in which she said:
    It is important to note that the sharing of information and briefings with the Minister of Public Safety are necessary, particularly during a mass shooting on Canadian soil.
    This is standard procedure. It does not impact the integrity of any ongoing investigation or interfere with the independence of the RCMP. She concluded:
    I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has somehow managed to use politics to interfere with a cross-border police investigation. It hoped it would advance its potential gun control legislation. This interference further undermined public confidence in the police investigation as to how the killer managed to obtain and smuggle illegal guns into Canada.
    How long after this tragedy did the minister discuss the gun legislation and the resulting order in council, which happened 10 days later, with Commissioner Lucki?
    Mr. Speaker, I would remind the member that we actually campaigned in 2019 on our promise to Canadians that we would strengthen gun control and ban assault-style rifles. In May 2020, we kept that promise, but the independence of law enforcement operations remains a key principle of our democracy. It is one that our government has always respected and one I have always defended. At no point did our government pressure or interfere with any of the operational decisions of the RCMP.
    Mr. Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear why the government wanted to have a secret inquiry on this. In a statement yesterday, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki did not deny that she promised the Minister of Emergency Preparedness that she would release information surrounding the Nova Scotia mass shooting. People are not in the habit of making promises unless they are asked to do so.
    Did the Minister of Emergency Preparedness or his staff, at any time, ask the commissioner to publicly release information regarding the Nova Scotia mass shooting, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, the very short answer to the member's question is no. Finally, I would point again to the commissioner's statement, in which she said, “I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.” Those are the facts.

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has gone from inappropriately interfering with prosecutions to interfering with police investigations. To the Prime Minister, the murder of 22 people is not tragedy but political opportunity.
    Superintendent Campbell made it clear: “The commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP would release this information.... The Commissioner then said that we didn't understand, that this was tied to pending gun control legislation”.
    Will the NDP-Liberal government allow the public safety committee to fully investigate this shocking revelation?
    Mr. Speaker, again I would point out to the member the statement that was issued by the commissioner of the RCMP, in which she made it crystal clear—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Throwing names back and forth from both sides is not going to solve the problem. I am going to ask both sides to take a deep breath, and we will let the minister respond, from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to take a breath.
    Please let me reiterate that the decision as to how or when the police will release information lies with the police and the police alone. This was not a matter that the government in any way interfered with or extracted any promises for. I remind members of the commissioner's statement, in which she has made equally clear that there was no interference in this case. Those are the facts and that is what I have shared with the House.
    Mr. Speaker, multiple sources from the RCMP are accusing the government of political interference that risks police investigations into a tragic mass shooting. Lia Scanlan, from RCMP communications, is quoted as saying, “The commissioner releases a body count that we don't even have.... It was all political pressure. That is 100% [the] Minister...and the Prime Minister.”
    Canadians are not buying the minister's excuse as he desperately tries to cover for the Prime Minister and save both their careers. If the NDP-Liberals have nothing to hide, will they support the committee's investigation of this egregious political interference?
    Mr. Speaker, again, I would advise the members that there was no interference. At no point did our government pressure or interfere in the operational decisions of the RCMP. This has been very clearly articulated in the commissioner's statements from yesterday.
    Let me also add that Canadians, including those who were directly impacted by this tragedy, have expressed great concern about how and when the RCMP shared information with the public. That is precisely why we specified in the order of reference for the Mass Casualty Commission that it examine the communications approach taken both during and after the event. That is the work of the Mass Casualty Commission. That is the work we will depend upon.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is time for a performance review.
    Faced with a high-risk demonstration by truckers, the government stalled and stalled before finally invoking the Emergencies Act at the request of the police, or so they said.
    However, that is not true. The police did not ask for it. Even government ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister, have said it was a purely political choice.
    Is the minister proud of the fact that he simply allowed the Prime Minister—like someone else we know in 1970—to invoke emergency measures against civilians when it was all based on lies?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the government's work during the illegal blockades. We made the necessary decisions, including invoking the Emergencies Act, based on advice from the police. That is exactly what the RCMP commissioner confirmed in committee.
    We will now work with the joint parliamentary committee during the review process, as well as with Justice Rouleau, to provide as much transparency as possible on this decision, which we will always defend.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, next up in our performance review is the environment and the utterly nonsensical business of carbon sequestration, which experts say does not work, lies about whether the government's targets can be met, the acquisition of Trans Mountain at a loss, indirect subsidies for the oil industry and Bay du Nord.
    I am sure the minister was acting in good faith initially, but he ended up selling out. Do the Liberals realize they turned an environmental activist into an oil industry lobbyist?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that, as Minister of Environment, I never circumvented environmental assessment rules, unlike my colleague, who did so not once, not twice but three times during his tenure as environment minister.
    We have a plan. Our plan is working. Pollution levels in Canada are down. We will keep doing what we are doing.

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are shocked by evidence in the Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry showing that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki made a promise to the then public safety minister and the PMO to leverage the mass murders to get gun control laws passed. That is the most outrageous attempt to politicize the RCMP in Canadian history. It is another woman leader forced to compromise principles for political expediency.
    We are calling for a committee to investigate this political interference. Will the Prime Minister co-operate with this committee investigation?
    Mr. Speaker, of course there was no promise, but I will again take members back to the commissioner's statement because I think it speaks for itself. She said:
    It is important to note that the sharing of information and briefings with the Minister of Public Safety are necessary, particularly during a mass shooting on Canadian soil. This is standard procedure, and does not impact the integrity of ongoing investigations or interfere with the independence of the RCMP.
    The commissioner concludes with this: “I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.”
    Those are the facts.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister does not need a breath; he needs ethics.
    Twenty-two people were brutally murdered in Nova Scotia, including an RCMP officer and a pregnant mother, by a gunman with illegal firearms. What did the Prime Minister do? He coerced the RCMP commissioner to use those innocents' deaths to support a political agenda. Canadians now know they pressured the commissioner to subvert an active investigation into mass murder. Canadians believe Superintendent Campbell.
    Shame on the government. Why did it politically influence and jeopardize a mass murder investigation?
    Mr. Speaker, with the respect to the suggestion and question about my ethics, I will consider the source and ignore the comment. I will—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am just going to cut this off. To both sides, please do not throw out insults. That is all I am asking. I have heard it from both sides, so I am asking both sides to calm down. If members throw one out, they deserve one back. I am sorry. That is enough from both sides. When somebody says, “They did it first”, it makes me feel like I am in a kindergarten yard.
    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, how can a government sink so low as to exploit a mass shooting for political purposes?
    Lia Scanlan, a spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said, and I quote: “[The minister], all these people, the Prime Minister, they were weighing in on what we could and couldn't say...It was all political pressure.”
    This government is totally immoral. Can the Prime Minister tell us who in his cabinet decided to politicize the RCMP and when that person will be relieved of their duties?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to advise the House that no one made a choice to politicize the terrible tragedy of the murder of 22 people in Nova Scotia in 2020.
    The independence of law enforcement operations is a key principle of our democracy. It is one that our government deeply respects and one that I have always defended. At no point did our government pressure or interfere with the operational decisions of the RCMP, including their communications strategy. I direct members to the commissioner's statement from yesterday, where she makes it very clear that there was no interference.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would counter that Superintendent Campbell of the RCMP stated, and I quote, “The commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP would release this information.”
    For her to make that promise, she would have had to be asked to do so. This is not the first time the Prime Minister and his cabinet have abused their power. They would have us believe that RCMP investigators are lying, but Canadians see what is going on.
    We Conservatives believe Superintendent Campbell. Does the Prime Minister?

  (1455)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as I have already made clear, I have never had a conversation with Mr. Campbell. The conversations between the commissioner and her subordinates are something she can speak to.
    However, I would reiterate for the member opposite that the independence of law enforcement operations is a key principle of our democracy, which is respected and defended by our government. I can assure the member that at no point did our government pressure or interfere in any of the operational communication decisions of the RCMP. I would direct the member to the commissioner's statement, in which she makes it crystal clear that no such interference took place.
    Mr. Speaker, there are very disturbing allegations that the government directed interference in an ongoing police investigation. Nova Scotians have suffered and they deserve answers. The idea that any government would compromise an investigation for its own political gain is insulting for families of the victims. Any interference from the Prime Minister's Office is completely unacceptable and breaks Canadians' trust in our institutions.
    Will the government launch a full investigation into these disturbing allegations to give Canadians the answers they need?
    Mr. Speaker, I will have to repeat once again that there was no interference. We did not place any pressure on the RCMP for any reason.
    Several months before, we made a promise to Canadians that we would ban assault-style rifles, and we kept that promise, but this terrible tragedy in Nova Scotia was certainly not to be used. We know that these weapons used in mass shootings are used for the purpose of killing as many people as possible, and we were highly resolved to act.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals face a test today. Will they take a good idea in my bill to fight climate change or side with their rich friends at the Infrastructure Bank, a corporate welfare scheme? Today we will find out as MPs vote on my bill to support indigenous and northern communities to get the infrastructure they need to survive climate change. During this week's debate, we had to listen to a Liberal MP support public-private partnership scams and push more privatization.
    The climate crisis is here, and northern and indigenous communities are paying the price. Will the Liberals stand with northern and indigenous communities or their billionaire friends?
    Mr. Speaker, while we always recognize how we can improve delivering on infrastructure across this country, the member opposite's comments are completely out of touch with the reality of the work that the Infrastructure Bank is doing.
    Here is one example. Almost 49,000 homes are going to be connected in Manitoba to fibre projects in 53 rural municipalities. Do the member opposite and her leader, who advocated for the abolishment of the Infrastructure Bank, want to talk to those 48,000 residents who are now going to be connected to much-needed fibre, because the New Democrats feel they can do better?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, halting and reversing the biodiversity decline presents a major challenge that we all need to tackle together.
    Canada is providing leadership on the world stage when it comes to tackling climate change and protecting nature.
    Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change update the House on the latest developments towards achieving an ambitious global framework on biodiversity?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her work and activism on this issue.
     I am proud to announce to the House that, at the request of the United Nations, Canada has agreed to host the next United Nations conference on the protection of biological diversity in December.
    This important conference must be the moment when countries all over the world, including Canada, commit to protecting at least 30% of our land and oceans by 2030, and to reversing biodiversity loss by 2050.

  (1500)  

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, who would have thought it? The last time inflation was this high was 40 years ago, when we had another divisive tax-and-spend Liberal prime minister named Trudeau. They say history repeats itself; I say we should have learned from the last experience.
    With so many Canadians struggling, would the Minister of Finance acknowledge that her $100 billion of stimulus spending is inflationary, that this level of inflation is not fair and is not just? Will she admit today that it is “Justinflation”?
    Mr. Speaker, global inflation caused by a number of factors. Supply chain bottlenecks, climate change and the war in Ukraine are having significant impacts on the household budgets of Canadians.
    While Canada's rate of inflation is below average when compared to the Euro area, the U.S. and the OECD, we are continuing to focus on economic growth and making life more affordable for Canadians. Our measures have helped lift 1.3 million Canadians out of poverty, and important programs that have supported seniors, families and individuals are indexed to the cost of living.
    We will continue to invest in Canadians while lowering our debt-to-GDP ratio and increasing Canada's long-term fiscal advantage.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, these Liberals always want to talk about what Moody's thinks, but the only Moody that that member should think about right now is the mood of the Canadian people.
    Conservatives have been pointing to the example of Alberta for months. When the Alberta government cut gas taxes, the price of gas dropped along with the province's inflation. Lower gas prices are a win for consumers and for the economy. Even President Biden is now calling for a three-month gas tax holiday to do the same for the American people.
    Will the finance minister implement one today, or is the only holiday her government has in the mind a three-month accountability holiday from Parliament?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand rising gas prices have had a negative impact on the household budgets of Canadians, but we also know that the increase is a global phenomenon, in part resulting from the war in Ukraine.
    If we implement a tax holiday on oil and gas, energy companies could actually pocket the difference in costs. There is no guarantee that the savings would be passed on to Canadian consumers. Similarly, our carbon price at 11 cents per litre is the only fee collected on gas that is returned to consumers, making life more affordable for eight out of 10 Canadian families.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, this morning, Canadians woke up to more bad news from this government: Inflation in Canada is at 7.7%, the highest it has been in 40 years.
    This affects every Canadian family, especially lower-income earners. For months, the Conservatives have been calling for the tax on the price of gas to be reduced. We are not alone in thinking that way. U.S. President Biden, a Democrat, is calling for the tax to be reduced for the next three months.
    Could the Prime Minister agree with his friend Biden and lower the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that this is a very difficult time for millions of Canadians. Groceries cost more, and Canadians are having a hard time making their rent or mortgage payments.
    That is why we have lowered taxes for the middle class twice now. The Conservatives voted against that. That is also why old age security payments, which we just increased, are arriving in July. That is also why the Canada child benefit payments will be transferred in July.
    We are here to help Canadians deal with the rising cost of living. The Conservatives oppose all these measures.
    Mr. Speaker, by not following President Biden's lead, the Liberals have made Canada the only G7 country that has not reduced its gas tax.
    We do not need to search high and low for proof that cutting the gas tax works. In Canada, on April 1, when the government increased the Liberal carbon tax, the Alberta government lowered its tax and even removed it. That has lowered inflation in Alberta.
    If it works in Alberta, why would it not work everywhere in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I would like to correct my colleague. Americans have not cut gas taxes, not yet anyway, because they know that lowering taxes for big oil does not help Canadians directly.
    On this side of the House, we help Canadians directly by providing one-time payments to Canadians facing housing affordability challenges, direct payments to seniors, and direct payments to families with young children.
    We are here to support Canadians. The Conservatives are here to support big oil. That is the reality.

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, the government is taking people for fools when it comes to passports.
     Today, it started issuing tickets with fixed appointment times to the people lining up outside the Montreal office. However, by 9:20 a.m., there were no more tickets left. According to TVA, the government gave out about 75 tickets, even though thousands of people are waiting for an appointment.
    Is that really the best solution the government could come up with this week? If so, it really has a long way to go.

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, today, we adopted a new strategy to deal with applications in Montreal in particular. Hundreds and even thousands of people are waiting outside Service Canada offices. We gave out tickets for appointments. The director for Quebec assured me that senior management will be there all day to make sure that everyone in line gets the information they need and that those who are travelling in the very near future get an appointment.
     How reassuring, Mr. Speaker.
    Thank goodness the federal government was not responsible for getting people vaccinated. Remember how the vaccination centres were run? We were greeted at the door with information and instructions, even though millions of us were seeking an appointment at the same time. What a stark contrast to the passport process.
    We pay half of our taxes to this federal government, yet it is incapable of getting us a simple piece of photo ID.
    Will the government at least acknowledge its own utter incompetence? I hope it at least feels ashamed.
    Mr. Speaker, a passport is a secure document. We must ensure the integrity of the process, which involves stringent screening measures. This document confirms Canadian citizenship, and the integrity of the process is paramount.
    In addition, nearly 85% of the passport applications we have received are from first-time applicants, and that process is much more complex than a simple renewal. That said, we are here, and we have hired more staff. We are reallocating resources, and we will be there for Canadians.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, residents in my riding are making hard decisions when it comes to everyday essentials. Paul, from Omemee, is caught in a catch-22, because he has to work more than 50 hours a week just to make a living. Barbara, a senior in Bobcaygeon, worries as her savings dwindle away. Scott, from Burnt River, has concerns that the ongoing cost of diesel could mean the end of his business. Brad, from Peterborough, must make tough decisions between gas for work and food for the family.
    When will the Prime Minister end his reckless spending and finally address the cost-of-living crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that this is a difficult time for millions of Canadian families. Groceries are more expensive and bills are adding up. That is why we cut taxes for the middle class and for small businesses and lifted more than 1.3 million Canadians out of poverty. We are reducing child care costs for parents; we are delivering increased benefits for our seniors; we are also making investments to boost Canada's long-term growth and create well-paying jobs, all while lowering our debt-to-GDP ratio every single year.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, inflation has risen almost a full point month over month to 7.7%, which is near record levels. Europe has reduced fuel taxes, and the U.S. president is now calling for a gas tax holiday. What is the Canadian government doing? It is increasing fuel taxes.
    The last time world oil prices were this high was 2014, when the price of gas in Canada was $1.40, which is 70¢ less than today. The Minister of Finance says this is beyond her control, but she is ignoring her role in actually escalating inflation.
    When will she take her foot off the gas on fuel tax increases?
    Mr. Speaker, certainly affordability challenges that are facing Canadians today are significant. It is incumbent on the government to take steps to ensure we are addressing that issue. As the hon. member knows, the Minister of Finance discussed last week the investments we are making to address the affordability challenges faced by Canadians of modest incomes.
    We will continue to look at how we can actually work to ensure affordability going forward. Concurrently, we are working to address the energy security challenge, increasing the amount of oil and gas we are producing in this country to stabilize the global energy crisis, and allow it to be reduced over time, to get away from Vladimir Putin, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the impacts on energy prices.

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, Brandy, from my riding, is a single mom struggling to get by. The higher cost of gas and groceries has forced her to go to the food bank. Now the CRA, after seven years of auditing her without finding anything, has decided that she has to pay $30,000 in back taxes, and the minister has taken no action to revisit her case.
    Will the Liberals resolve Brandy's case and suspend the tax on gas, as Joe Biden is planning to do?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, our government was there to support Canadians during the pandemic.
    The Canada Revenue Agency is expanding its audit and recovery efforts, but I want to reassure those who are affected that we are also here to help them.
    Anyone who needs help can contact the CRA to find a solution tailored to their unique circumstances, and I can reassure my colleagues that the CRA will proceed with empathy and compassion.

[English]

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability found that more than six million Canadians report having a disability. We need to create a Canada that is inclusive from the start. That is why the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion announced new funding today for licensed early learning and child care centres through the enabling accessibility fund, which is a federal grants and contribution program that supports infrastructure projects that improve the accessibility, safety and inclusion of persons with disabilities.
    Can the minister share with us more about this important announcement?
    Mr. Speaker, this morning I was pleased to join the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the President of the Treasury Board to announce that as part of our government's commitment to building a barrier-free Canada, we are investing $12.5 million in funding for 225 early learning and child care centres across Canada.
     Through the accessibility fund, child care centres will receive specialized equipment so that children with disabilities can thrive in a safe environment that respects their needs. We are proud to invest in these organizations.

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, thanks to the Harper Conservatives, the Liberal government has an important tool to protect kids abroad from sexual exploitation: The Liberals can refuse passports to Canadians who are likely to travel abroad to exploit children.
    However, the Liberals are not doing this. Since they have come to power, they have only revoked 13 passports for child predators and refused eight. There are 42,000 child predators in Canada.
    To the Prime Minister, over the last seven years, how many passports has the government given to convicted child sex offenders?
    Mr. Speaker, it is extraordinarily important that we get the integrity of passports right. That is something that I have been communicating, and when someone is applying for a passport for the first time, it is one of the reasons that we ensure we are getting this right. When we are looking at children's passports, it is another reason that we want to make sure we have permission from both parents, and if there is a separation, that we go through the custody agreements, because at all costs, we must protect our children. That is exactly what we continue to do.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, passports are a major issue. In an interview with Paul Arcand this morning, the minister said that she knew for months that the situation was going to become problematic.
    She let the situation deteriorate. Her negligence is typical of this government. The number of applications the government needs to deal with has gotten so out of hand that we have lost count. The minister misled Canadians by telling them that they would get their passports on time when she knew full well such would not be the case.
    Can she now set the record straight in the House and tell us how many thousands of people are waiting in line outside to get their passports?
    Mr. Speaker, the situation in Montreal right now is like nowhere else in the country, with hundreds of people lining up at the three passport offices. With the Saint-Jean and Canada Day holidays coming up, we know that many Quebeckers want to travel.
    We have now changed our strategy to ensure that people receive the services and information they need. We will continue to respond to the situation to ensure that Canadians receive their passports.

[English]

Government Services

    Mr. Speaker, MPs' offices are outposts for Canadians for help in getting their issues fixed, and boy, with this incompetent Liberal government, the people of Oshawa need a lot of assistance: passports, airports, immigration, public safety, foreign affairs, CERB. It goes on and on. Our office is working around the clock fixing these Liberal failures.
     When will the Liberals stop downloading their screw-ups on constituency offices, take responsibility for their chaos, get back to work and fix their mess?

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, first I want to clarify something. The members opposite keep saying that public servants need to get back to work. Public servants at Service Canada have been in offices for months. They have been working around the clock. The people they are talking about who are working from home are the same people who delivered CERB to nine million Canadians. They are the same people who have delivered EI, OAS and CPP at the highest rate in 15 years.
    We know there are challenges with passports right now. We continue to work around the clock, and public servants are working—
    The hon. member for Davenport.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, climate change is top of mind for the residents of my riding of Davenport. In fact, I recently received a handwritten letter from Selena, an 11-year-old constituent. She is concerned about the environment and wanted to know what our federal government was doing to protect it. At the end of her letter she said, “We can all make a difference. Together, we can make the world a safer place for all its residents.”
    Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change update the House on the latest initiatives our federal government has in place to protect the environment, combat climate change and make the world a safer place?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Davenport for her advocacy and her work on these important issues.
    Selena is right. We need to do better when it comes to protecting our environment, which is why this week we announced that we are banning six single-use plastics that are polluting our rivers and our environment. They are ending up on our streets and everywhere. Between now and 2030, there will be 22,000 tonnes of plastic waste that we will take out of our environment and 1.3 million tonnes that we will take out of the Canadian economy.

Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, three years ago the Liberals created a $150-million veterans survivors fund. As of today, zero dollars have been spent. Yesterday, the PBO found out that almost double is required to make this right.
    Thousands of veterans' widows are living in poverty, and the government continues to break its promise to eliminate the sexist, archaic “gold-digger” clause.
    When will the current government stop punishing veterans for finding love after 60?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is aware that we are committed to making sure veterans and their spouses have the support they need. We have been working with Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research to gather information from the survivors.
    I understand of course that the committee has studied this issue and I look forward to its report. We will use the results to evaluate the situation.
    I can assure my hon. colleague we will do everything to make sure we provide the services that our veterans need and deserve.

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, here we are again. Last June, the government introduced a bill to implement the Canada disability benefit days before Parliament rose and then called an election.
    This June, the government introduced the exact same bill. It has been 20 days and we have yet to debate it once. Nine other bills have been prioritized since.
    Canadians with disabilities continue to disproportionately live in poverty across the country. They want to see emergency supports. They want to see action.
    Does the current government understand that simply introducing a bill does nothing to help Canadians with disabilities today?
    Mr. Speaker, since 2015, we have done so much as a government to help persons with disabilities, and I was honoured to reintroduce Bill C-22 in the House several weeks ago. We are working with the disability community to ensure that their needs and wants are reflected in the bill and that we lift as many people out of poverty as we can with the new Canada disability benefit.
    We are about to release our first-ever disability inclusion action plan. Financial security is a key pillar of that plan, as is employment. We are going to make sure we get this done.

  (1520)  

Presence in Gallery

    I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Honourable Jeanie McLean, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate for Yukon.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

[Translation]

Hockey Canada

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
     That the House call for an independent inquiry into Hockey Canada's handling of the events of June 2018, in order to determine whether this was an isolated event or whether there are deficiencies in Hockey Canada's handling of reported complaints of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other types of misconduct.
     All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Okay. The House has heard the terms of the motion.
    All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Privilege

Interruption to Proceedings  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a question of privilege concerning last night's crash of the hybrid Parliament system. I was working in my Confederation Building office here in the precinct for the House of Commons, but could not log into the Zoom portion of the House's proceedings last night. We were discussing Bill C-21, the government's cynical approach to gun control, which was to be followed by Bill C-28, a response to the Supreme Court's decision that relieved extremely intoxicated criminals of taking responsibility for their crimes. These are both issues that many of my constituents are very passionate about, and I wanted to be present for the debates.
    Several colleagues also tried to access the video conference for the sitting, but were unsuccessful, I was told. I also understand that a meeting of the very important Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency, the committee looking into the government's choice to declare a national emergency over this winter's truck protest in Ottawa, had to be abandoned because of these technical failures.
    Beyond the obvious inconvenience and embarrassment of the hybrid system, which incredibly the government House leader will be asking later today to be renewed for another year, this incident represents broadly, I believe, a breach of the privilege to be able to represent my constituents. Under the House order of November 25, 2021, which reinstituted hybrid arrangements after last year's election, “members may participate in proceedings of the House either in person or by video conference”. It states “may participate”. There is no caveat or qualification to that. There is nothing that says it is only applicable when all the technology lines are up.
     As much as I may think the hybrid Parliament should be scrapped, the House has agreed to those arrangements until at least tomorrow, so I sought to exercise my right to participate remotely from my parliamentary office, yet I simply could not.
    While I acknowledge that the House suspended last evening shortly after the connectivity problems were flagged, which was appropriate, the way the House adjourned was not, however. According to the records of the House, the sitting resumed at 8:54 last evening when the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader then sought unanimous consent for the House to adjourn. The chair then canvassed the House in the usual manner and found there was agreement for the motion. Since I was trying to attend remotely, but with a technical range that prevented me from doing so, I was unable to present for that vote. That too is a breach of my privileges.
    I have since come to understand that there had been a consensus of party representatives to reconvene the House for the purpose of adjourning when it became obvious that technical issues could not be resolved prior to midnight. That said, I understand that my House leader's office had been assured by the government House leader's office that a minister of the Crown would be proposing the adjournment of the House. That is a critical point in these circumstances. Last night's sitting was an extended sitting under the House order of May 2, better known as Motion No. 11, which permits a cabinet minister to move an adjournment motion on a point of order, which is deemed adopted upon being moved. There would have been no vote and no opportunity to object. The NDP-Liberal agreement on Motion No. 11 already stripped me of those rights.
    Had any of the 39 ministers of the Crown been here to manage the Business of the House, the House could have properly adjourned early under the Liberals' ruthless Motion No. 11, but they did not even manage that correctly. Instead, there was a vote and I was not able to be present for it. Your predecessors, Mr. Speaker, have found several prima facie cases of privilege concerning the inability of a member to reach the House, especially when there is a vote.
    Mr. Speaker Regan put it well on April 6, 2017, at page 10,246 of the Debates:
    The importance of the matter of members' access to the precinct, particularly when there are votes for members to attend, cannot be overstated. It bears repeating that even a temporary denial of access, whether there is a vote or not, cannot be tolerated.
    He cited favourably the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in 2004, in relation to security arrangements on Parliament Hill for the visit of an American president:
    The denial of access to Members of the House—even if temporary—is unacceptable, and constitutes a contempt of the House. Members must not be impeded or interfered with while on their way to the Chamber, or when going about their parliamentary business. To permit this would interfere with the operation of the House of Commons, and undermine the pre-eminent right of the House to the service of its Members.
    Those cases concerned physical obstruction.

  (1525)  

    Page 111 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, reminds us, “A Member may also be obstructed or interfered with in the performance of his or her parliamentary functions by non-physical means.” This new hybrid world obviously presents entirely new considerations that had not even been contemplated when those previous cases arose or when our procedural authorities were written. Bosc and Gagnon, at page 112, continues, “It is impossible to codify all incidents which might be interpreted as matters of obstruction [or] interference”.
    That said, Mr. Speaker, I know that you, yourself, have been seized with considering just how privilege intersects with the virtual component of our proceedings from the very beginning. When the procedure and House affairs committee first began studying these issues in the earliest weeks of the pandemic, you testified on April 21, 2020, saying, at page five of the evidence, “By not having the connectivity or by having any issues, that could be an issue down the road.”
    Later you added, at page 10, with particular relevance to my situation last night, “Allowing individuals to vote is the heart of our system, and it's the base of parliamentary privilege.” You reinforced this point in your July 6, 2020, appearance before the same committee by commenting, at page six of the evidence, “It is a member's privilege to vote, and we don't want the member to lose that privilege or not be able to access it.”
    The issue goes much deeper than just attending votes. I could not attend any of the virtual sitting. A predecessor of yours, Peter Milliken, bluntly made the point about connection failures to the procedure and House affairs committee on April 23, 2020, at page 19 of the evidence. He said, “It would be a matter of privilege if they couldn't get into it.”
    Taking the evidence the committee heard in the spring and summer of 2020, it presented two reports which helped form the structure of the hybrid system which has evolved here. Its views on these issues are equally clear.
    In its fifth report presented in May 2020, the committee wrote at page 31, “It is essential that any modifications to the procedures and practices of the House made in response to the COVID-19 outbreak fully respect the rights possessed by members under parliamentary privilege.” It continues, “Further, in the exercise of the rights accorded by parliamentary privilege, members have the right to full and equal participation in parliamentary proceedings.” Last night, I did not have full and equal participation in parliamentary proceedings.
    In its seventh report, which was presented in July 2020, at page 55, the committee recommended:
    That the virtual or hybrid parliament replicate the rules and customs of the House as closely as possible...in order to fully ensure the democratic role of Parliament (deliberation, accountability and decision-making), as well as the parliamentary rights and privileges of members.
    Further in the report, at page 60, the committee recommended, “That members participating virtually in any proceedings of the House of Commons enjoy and exercise the same parliamentary privileges that apply to members physically present.” I was incapable of exercising the same rights and privileges as my colleagues inside the chamber last evening when the Chair canvassed the House on the parliamentary secretary's unanimous consent motion.
    As for the causes of the outage last night, I would submit that identifying the origins and motivations, if any, if either can even be identified, is immaterial to this question of privilege.
    First, and most important, House business was conducted in defiance of the order adopted on November 25, 2021, denying me the opportunity to participate and vote, which is in breach of parliamentary privilege.
    Second, that is a matter that a committee of the House, with a privilege reference, can determine. I will quote Mr. Speaker Milliken from October 15, 2001, at page 6085 of the debates, who said:
    There is a body that is well equipped to commit acts of inquisition, and that is the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which has a fearsome chairman, quite able to extract information from witnesses who appear before the committee, with the aid of the capable members who form that committee of the House.
    Third, even if the source of last night's technical difficulties can be readily pinpointed, I would refer you to the ruling of your predecessor, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, on March 6, 2012, at page 5,834 of the debates, where he found a prima facie case of privilege in connection with the online hacker collective Anonymous.

  (1530)  

    I have long thought that we need to get back to traditional in-person sittings of the House. Yesterday's situation is just the latest example of why it is so important.
     Though I recognize I am straying into debate on Motion No. 19, which is on today's schedule, the point remains that something serious happened last night. It was something that rose to the level of a breach of privilege, and a committee needs to get to the bottom of it. Should you agree, Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to move the appropriate motion.
    I want to thank the hon. member.
    The hon. government House leader is rising on this point as well.
    Mr. Speaker, obviously, an Internet connectivity issue with an external service provider does not constitute a question of privilege because it is outside the control of the House. The House took appropriate action to restart it. Of course, these provisions have worked 99.9% of the time.
    I appreciate that the member, who was in his office 100 or 200 metres away, was impacted by this. All members were. However, there are various things that are outside of our control that sometimes interrupt our proceedings. We are back here today. It continues to work, and it has worked in 99.9% of the time. I would say that is very effective.
    Mr. Speaker, on the same point, the hon. member for Calgary Centre expressed the issue, which is that, in the context of his participation in the House, his participation was not able to occur. That is actually the point of his question of privilege today. This relates to Motion No. 11.
    I think if you go back, Mr. Speaker, you will see that he had every right to participate. He could not last night, and I would agree with the member that this is the basis of his question of privilege.
    Mr. Speaker, in response to the government House leader, I would encourage him to first review the points that were raised by the member for Calgary Centre and then consult the authorities. He would learn that, in fact, it is not necessarily an internal challenge that would create a question of privilege.
     As has been clearly stated by Mr. Speaker Milliken, Mr. Speaker Regan and the current member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, external factors can, in fact, have an impact on the privileges and the dignity of this House. For the government House leader to say that just because it was an external problem outside of the direct control of this place is incredibly misleading. I would encourage him to consult the authorities, which are available at the table in those wonderful green books, and review what constitutes a question of privilege in this place.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, given last night's troubling events, the Bloc Québécois wishes to assert the right of reply on this question of privilege. We consider it to be very important, and we would like to contribute our thoughts.

[English]

    In light of the amount of time that we have before we recess for summer, I will do my best to come back as soon as possible.

  (1535)  

[Translation]

    If any member has something to add, I would advise them to do so as soon as possible.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

[Translation]

Pension Protection Act

    The House resumed from June 15 consideration of the motion that Bill C-228, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, be read the second time and referred to a committee.
    It being 3:35 p.m., pursuant to an 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‑228 under Private Members' Business.

[English]

    Call in the members.
    [Before the Clerk announced the results of the vote:]

  (1550)  

     Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I had some technical difficulties. I would like to vote “for”.
    The member voted “nay”.
    To clarify for the member, if he wishes to change his vote, he would have to ask for unanimous consent from the House now, if he is interested.
    Mr. Speaker, I ask for unanimous consent to change my vote to “for”.
    Do we have unanimous consent?
    Some hon. members: No.
    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 165)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 323


NAYS

Members

Bains

Total: -- 1


PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Joly

Total: -- 2


    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)

[Translation]

National Framework on Cancers Linked to Firefighting Act

    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-224 under Private Members' Business.

[English]

    The question is on the motion.

  (1600)  

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

(Division No. 166)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 319


NAYS

Nil

PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Joly

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

    Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Health.

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

[English]

National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act

    The House resumed from June 17 consideration of the motion that Bill C-226, An Act respecting the development of a national strategy to assess, prevent and address environmental racism and to advance environmental justice, 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-226 under Private Members' Business.

[Translation]

    The question is on the motion.

  (1615)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 167)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
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
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
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)
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vuong
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 177


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Cooper
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Généreux
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
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
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 146


PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Joly

Total: -- 2


    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)

Canada Infrastructure Bank Act

    The House resumed from June 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-245, An Act to amend the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act, 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-245 under Private Members' Business.

[Translation]

    The question is on the motion.

  (1630)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 168)

YEAS

Members

Angus
Ashton
Bachrach
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Bérubé
Blaikie
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Boulerice
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Chabot
Champoux
Collins (Victoria)
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Erskine-Smith
Fortin
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gill
Green
Hanley
Hughes
Idlout
Johns
Julian
Kwan
Larouche
Lemire
MacGregor
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McLeod
McPherson
Michaud
Morrice
Normandin
Pauzé
Perron
Plamondon
Savard-Tremblay
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Singh
Ste-Marie
Thériault
Therrien
Trudel
Vignola
Villemure
Zarrillo

Total: -- 59


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Allison
Anand
Anandasangaree
Arnold
Arseneault
Arya
Atwin
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Baldinelli
Barrett
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Block
Blois
Boissonnault
Bradford
Bragdon
Brassard
Brière
Calkins
Caputo
Carr
Carrie
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Chambers
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Chong
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Cooper
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
d'Entremont
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Doherty
Dong
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Fergus
Ferreri
Fillmore
Findlay
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Gallant
Garneau
Généreux
Gerretsen
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gould
Gourde
Gray
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hallan
Hardie
Hepfner
Hoback
Holland
Housefather
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Ien
Jaczek
Jeneroux
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
Martel
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLean
Melillo
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Morrissey
Motz
Murray
Muys
Naqvi
Nater
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Perkins
Petitpas Taylor
Poilievre
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rood
Ruff
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Serré
Shanahan
Sheehan
Shields
Shipley
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Small
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
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Weiler
Wilkinson
Williams
Williamson
Yip
Zimmer
Zuberi

Total: -- 260


PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Joly

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion defeated.
    It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, Taxation; the hon. member for Kitchener Centre, Housing; the hon. member for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, Correctional Service of Canada.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Pay Equity Commissioner

    It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 117(2) of the Pay Equity Act, the pay equity commissioner's report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

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

[Translation]

National Council for Reconciliation Act

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

[English]

Committees of the House

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, entitled “Medical Assistance in Dying and Mental Disorder as the Sole Underlying Condition: An Interim Report”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table the official opposition's dissenting report to the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying interim report.
    The government continues to push the expansion of medically assisted death in such a rushed and reckless manner that Canadians will continue to be victimized. Legislation of this nature needs to be guided by science, not ideology.
     We have been warned by countless experts that if MAID for those with a mental disorder as the sole underlying medical condition is implemented as planned, it will facilitate the deaths of Canadians who could have gotten better, robbing them of the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. Such an outcome is completely unacceptable and preventable, but only if the Liberal government halts and reconsiders the expansion of MAID for mental disorders as the sole underlying medical condition.

  (1635)  

Canadian Heritage  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, entitled “Arts, Culture, Heritage, and Sport Sector Recovery from the Impact of COVID-19”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

[Translation]

National Defence  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on National Defence entitled “Modernizing Recruitment and Retention in the Canadian Armed Forces”.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    While I am on my feet, may I wish you and your family a restful and recuperative summer.
    Thank you, and I will pass it on to the other Chair occupants as well.
    The hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain.

Government Operations and Estimates  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Supplying Canada’s Armed Forces and Coast Guard With the Right Equipment: An Interim Report”.

[Translation]

Veterans  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs entitled “Fairness in the Services Offered to Francophone, Women and 2SLGBTQ+ Veterans”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the analyst, the clerk, the interpreters and all the technical staff who support us at the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

[English]

Justice and Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, entitled “Preventing Harm in the Canadian Sex Industry: A Review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I also want to wish everyone here, as it is the last day here for me, a very good end to the season and a good break.
    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table the official opposition's dissenting report in the review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.
     Since 2014, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act has been a crucial tool to protect Canadians from sexual exploitation and intervene in the buying and selling of human beings. The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act confirms to Canadians, particularly women and girls, that they are valuable and worthy of protection.

Canada Elections Act

     [Member spoke in Inuktitut and provided the following text:]
    ᓯᕗᓪᓕᕐᒥᒃ ᐊᒃᓱᐊᓗ ᖁᔭᓕᒍᒪᕗᖓ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᖅᔪᐊᕐᒃ ᐊᑦᒪᓐᑕᓐ- ᒍᕆᔅᐹᒧᑦ, ᐊᐃᒃᐲᒪᑦ ᑖᒃᓱᒥᖓ ᒪᓕᒐᒃᓴᒃᒥᒃ. ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᒪᑦᓇᓪᓗᐊᕕᒃ ᒧᒥᓛᖅ ᖃᖅᑲᖅ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᖅᔪᐊᖑᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒧ ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᓚᐅᖅᑕᖓ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᓐᓇᓱᒃᑲᒃᑯ
    [Member provided the following translation:]
    First off, I would like to very much thank my colleague, the member for Edmonton Griesbach, for seconding my bill. This bill builds upon the great work started by my predecessor MP for Nunavut, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, and I thank her.
[English]
    She said: Mr. Speaker, first off, I would like to very much thank my colleague, the member for Edmonton Griesbach, for seconding my bill.
    This bill builds upon the great work started by my predecessor MP for Nunavut, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, and I thank her.
    Nunavummiut and other speakers of indigenous languages have an inherent right to receive information and cast a ballot in their own language. In the 2019 election, voter turnout for indigenous people living on reserves was 51.8%. In Nunavut, which is almost entirely indigenous, voter turnout was under 50%, well below the Canadian average of 76% voter turnout. The federal government's report in PROC recognized that indigenous peoples, especially elders, would face significant barriers to voting in a COVID election.
    How can it be that in Nunavut, where the first language of 46% of the voters is Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun, ballots are only in English and French? The Crown and the federal government have an obligation to work with and build trust with the indigenous communities and people throughout Canada.
    This bill, if enacted, would represent a meaningful step towards that building of trust and respecting of our inherent rights, and would hopefully lead to greater participation in our democratic electoral process by indigenous peoples throughout Canada.

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

  (1640)  

[Translation]

An Act Respecting Regulatory Modernization

     (Motion deemed adopted and bill read the first time)

[English]

Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and, if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
    That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, Bill S-10, An Act to give effect to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, to amend the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be deemed read a second time and referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.
     ?ul nu msh chalap.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. I hear none.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee of the whole, reported without amendment, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

Petitions

Vaccine Mandates  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition. The petitioners call on the government to permanently end all the cruel and inhumane COVID restrictions and invite federal workers, together with armed forces personnel and federal contractors, back to work.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and present a petition wherein the petitioners are calling upon the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada to enact just transition legislation. They want to see this legislation reduce emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels by the year 2030, wind down the fossil fuel industry, related infrastructure and fossil fuel subsidies, and transition to a decarbonized economy. They want to see it create good, green jobs and drive inclusive workforce development. They also want to see it protect and strengthen human rights and worker rights, and respect indigenous rights, sovereignty and knowledge. Finally, they want the legislation to be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations, and financing through a public national bank.

  (1645)  

[Translation]

Due Diligence  

    Mr. Speaker, there are currently companies in the world that are based in Canada. I say “based” because Canada is a veritable flag of convenience. In reality, there is often nothing Canadian about these companies. They are committing serious human, social, and environmental rights abuses around the world.
     I myself have participated in human rights observation missions, and I have seen that these companies often pollute the water, poison the air and are complicit in driving out indigenous populations. Unfortunately, they do this with total impunity. There is no legal recourse. This has to stop. That is why we need due diligence legislation.
    Today, I am presenting a petition signed by 1,722 people all across Quebec. We must ensure that this reign of impunity comes to an end. We must demand that companies put an end to these abuses. We need truly binding legislation.

[English]

Ukraine  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to present two petitions on behalf of my constituents in Willowdale, both of which pertain to our government's response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.
    The first petition has been signed by over 500 individuals from across the country, and it is put forward by youth activists who cite existing laws on hate speech and hate symbols. Against the backdrop of rising vandalism and intimidation in our country regarding Russian military emblems, petitioners are calling upon the government to ban the “V” and “Z” symbols, as well as the ribbon of St. George, on the basis that they serve as symbols of hate.
    The second petition speaks to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and asks that our government uphold our tradition of peacekeeping and press for an urgent ceasefire and the securing of humanitarian corridors for aid to Ukrainians. The petitioners suggest that such an event might coincide with an internationally recognized humanitarian day of recognition.
    Both of these petitions highlight our expressions of solidarity with the courageous people of Ukraine. I am grateful to the petitioners for drawing attention to the issue and I am honoured to present these petitions in the House on their behalf.
    Mr. Speaker, allow me to join other colleagues in wishing you and your family a splendid summer.
    Again, I will pass that on to the other occupants of this great chair.
    The hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.

Animal Welfare  

     Mr. Speaker, I am presenting this petition today on behalf of the students of Forest Run Public School and residents of Ontario who have brought to my attention the plight of Kiska, the orca whale, who has been held in solitary confinement, in poor health, in a concrete tank since 2011 at Marineland in Niagara Falls.
    These students, teachers and others in our province want to ensure that Kiska is moved to a more suitable and healthy location. The ideal location would be the Nova Scotia whale sanctuary, and they ask that we support that project. Until it is ready to accept whales, they ask us to help Kiska have a better life, where she can live in a facility that can rehabilitate her and ensure her interaction with other orcas and cetaceans.
    To achieve this, they ask the Government of Canada to remove the grandfather clause in Bill S-203, which allows Marineland to retain ownership of Kiska and possibly use her for entertainment purposes.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers, the principal and the students at Forest Run Public School for their hard work in advocating for Kiska, for putting forward acts of artistry and for the petition, which received over 700 signatures.

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, I have several petitions I would like to present today.
    The first one is signed by many petitioners. They are recognizing the Liberal government's commitment to revoking charitable status for pro-life organizations, such as crisis pregnancy centres. They are concerned that this is only the first step toward more tyrannical measures that would eradicate the values and principles of Christian Canadians. They are very concerned about where that will lead to. They are resolved that members of Parliament should do everything to prevent Parliament from going down this slippery slope and to vote against any such efforts to do exactly that.

  (1650)  

Vaccine Mandates  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from a group of petitioners saying that they are recognizing the convoys and protest rallies across Canada opposing COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. In particular, they want to recognize the truckers who, through COVID-19, served Canadians so faithfully and were the heroes of our economy. Truckers are still subject to vaccine mandates when crossing the international border. The petitioners would like to see all federal mandates and restrictions lifted and an end to COVID-19 restrictions.

Canada Summer Jobs Program  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition I want to present to the House is signed by petitioners who recognize that the Liberal Party has views about values tests, which it ascribed to the Canada summer jobs program. They are also concerned that this may be applied to other institutions as well in order to receive federal funding. They also want to make sure that we protect the charter rights and freedoms of all Canadians and that they have the freedom to express their opinions.

Vaccine Mandates  

    Mr. Speaker, the final petition is signed by numerous Canadians who ask the House of Commons to conduct a review by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization regarding the transmission of COVID-19 on airplanes.
    They take note that WestJet's first chief medical officer, Dr. Tammy McKnight, stated that there have been no known cases of COVID-19 transmission aboard Canadian aircraft. An International Air Transport Association study in 2020 found that out of 1.2 billion passengers worldwide, only 44 cases of COVID-19 transmission were reported as flight-related.
    Countries around the world have removed their vaccine mandates and restrictions. Petitioners are encouraging the government and the Minister of Transport to abolish all vaccine passport requirements and end all federally regulated COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions.

Graphic Imagery  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand here today to present a petition from a group of concerned Londoners who want to stop the distribution of graphic images of allegedly aborted fetuses. They know that this imagery can be triggering to those who have suffered trauma and loss involving pregnancy and childbirth.
    They are asking for this House to amend section 175(b) of the Criminal Code, on indecent exhibition, to include indecent graphic displays; to amend legislation setting out the limitations regarding what imagery and content can be used in a protest or demonstration that is subject to public viewing; and to amend legislation regarding if and how graphic imagery can be delivered to homes across the country. An example is putting those pamphlets in envelopes with a “viewer discretion” warning.

[Translation]

The Environment   

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition about environmental racism, particularly at the G&R Recycling facility in Kanesatake, Quebec.
     Concerned citizens of Canada are calling upon the House of Commons to mobilize the vast resources of the federal government to secure and decontaminate the G&R recycling facility in Kanesatake and others like it; and to put forward concrete plans to enact the measures addressing systemic environmental racism as proposed in Bill C-226. Incidentally, I am very happy about the vote on that bill.

  (1655)  

[English]

Cruelty to Animals  

    Mr. Speaker, I am really honoured to submit this petition on behalf of the students of Forest Run Public School and residents of Ontario within the riding of the hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill. This petition is very close to my heart, because Bill S-203 is the bill that bans the keeping of cetaceans in captivity. I was honoured to be one of the movers of that effort, along with a number of wonderful senators.
    This orca whale has been held in solitary confinement since 2011 at Marineland in Niagara Falls. Her name is Kiska. She needs to be moved to a more suitable and healthy location.
     We forget sometimes in this place that petitioners do not have to be 18 years and older. Petitioners can be under 18 as long as they are Canadian citizens, and it is inspiring to see young people mobilizing to bring their voices to this place.
    The petitioners ask us to do what is needed to move Kiska to a safe and healthy natural facility.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of constituents in Canada's number one riding, Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon. This petition was born out of my community email blasts. I say in every single one, “Bring a petition forward.”
    Like most MPs, I have to devote a lot of staff to immigration-related issues. My riding encompasses the third most multicultural census area in Canada. There are, understandably, tons of people concerned about immigration processing times. In fact, I have to devote a single staff member—
    There is a point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader (Senate).
    Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the fact that the member is absolutely incorrect, as indeed Kingston is the best riding in the country, he is now providing his own personal opinion on a petition. During petitions, members are only supposed to present a petition, not provide their own commentary on it.
    I thank the hon. member for the intervention. I think West Nova is the best riding, or maybe Avalon. On that point of order, there are a whole bunch of them.
    I will remind the members that when we present petitions, we try to keep to the basis of the petition.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Mr. Speaker, I will stand by my words. Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon is the number one riding in Canada, and I am pleased to represent it every day.
    My constituents are calling upon the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to do a much better job with giving Canadians realistic processing times for applications and permits, such as temporary resident visas and permanent residence. Newcomers want to get the necessary permits to live and work in Canada in a timely manner, but many applications are sitting in limbo even when there are no further details required to process them.
     My constituents are therefore calling upon the Government of Canada and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to provide a more efficient service so that immigrants and refugees do not have to wait years for a response to their applications for various permits, as well as to provide accurate timelines for processing those applications.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 561, 563 and 565.

[Text]

Question No. 561—
Mr. Ryan Williams:
    With regard to memorandums, briefing notes, or other documents prepared by or for Employment and Social Development Canada, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all briefing notes or memorandums prepared on Canada’s labour force participation rate, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of the content, (vii) file number, (viii) type of document; and (b) what are the details of all briefing notes or memorandums prepared on Canada’s productivity rate, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of the content, (vii) file number, (viii) type of document?
Mr. Irek Kusmierczyk (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, each month Statistics Canada conducts the labour force survey, which is used to produce labour market indicators such as the participation rate. ESDC closely monitors Statistics Canada updates of labour market participation rate and uses this key metric in several labour market diagnostics, as well as to support planning, development and evaluation of various employment programs delivered by the department.
    Having surveyed the work required to respond to this request, ESDC has concluded that the production and validation of a response to this question would require significant manual information gathering. As our systems do not index memoranda and briefing notes by their contents, it is not possible to complete such a search within the required time frame.
    For records back to 2019, the Open Canada website at https://open. canada.ca/en/ proactive- disclosure provides proactive disclosure of briefing packages, such as briefing note titles, question period notes, etc., which might be useful to narrow the scope of the request on the two topics of labour force participation rate and productivity rate.
Question No. 563—
Mr. Dan Muys:
    With regard to the recommendation by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to abolish the Canada Infrastructure Bank: does the government respect the work of the committee, and, if so, when will it abolish the Canada Infrastructure Bank?
Ms. Jennifer O’Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the recommendation by the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to abolish the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the government continues to review the findings of the report and associated recommendation and will provide a response.
    The Canada Infrastructure Bank, the CIB, works with all orders of government and private partners, including indigenous investment partners, to help to transform how infrastructure is planned, funded and delivered to Canadians.
    The CIB is involved in more than 30 infrastructure partnerships and has committed over $7.2 billion in capital, attracting over $7.6 billion in private and institutional investment.
    Budget 2022 announced measures to increase the CIB’s impact by broadening the types of private sector-led projects it can support. Further, under the emissions reductions plan, it is expected to invest $500 million in large-scale zero-emission vehicle charging and refueling infrastructure.
    The CIB is supporting key projects like high-frequency rail, helping to transition Atlantic Canada off coal through clean power transmission, and supporting the Manitoba fibre plan to provide broadband access to households and businesses.
Question No. 565—
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to the government-wide directives in response to the first recommendation of the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, "That the Government of Canada stipulate in all future requests for proposals for collecting data of Canadians that Canadians have the option to opt out of the data collection and that instructions for the method for opting out be easily understood, widely communicated and remain publicly available,": (a) on what date will the government implement changes to abide by the recommendation; and (b) what specific directives or action has been taken by the government to implement the recommended changes?
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the government is currently studying the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in its recent report tabled in the House of Commons, “Collection and Use of Mobility Data by the Government of Canada and Related Issues”. The government will table a response, as requested by the committee, within the timelines required by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.
    It is important to note that in addition to the obligations in the Privacy Act, TBS’s policy on privacy protection and its underlying instruments, such as the directive on privacy practices, currently include strong requirements for institutions relating to the collection, notification, use, and disclosure of personal information as defined in section 3 of the act.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if revised response to Question No. 444, originally tabled on May 13, 2022, and the government's response to Questions Nos. 562, 564 and 566 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 444—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to expenditures on public relations or media training, or similar type of services for ministers or their offices, including the Office of the Prime Minister, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of each such expenditure, including the (i) date of the contract, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) individual providing the training, (v) summary of services provided, including the type of training, (vi) person who received the training, (vii) date of the training?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 562—
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
    With regard to the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, since January 2020: what are the details of any contracts or partnerships with non-Canadian entities or states to conduct operations within Canada, including the (i) start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work, (v) value of the contract?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 564—
Mr. Dan Muys:
    With regard to government expenditures on Cisco and Cisco Systems products or services since January 1, 2020, including those obtained or purchased through a third party vendor: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date, (ii) amount or value, (iii) vendor, (iv) description of goods or services, including the volume, (v) file number, (vi) manner in which the contract was awarded (sole-sourced, competitive bid, etc.)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 566—
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
    With regard to government programs conducting surveillance or gathering information from Canadians through their phones or other mobile devices, including programs involving anonymized data: what are the details of these programs since January 1, 2020, including, for each, (i) the name of program, (ii) the date the program began, if it began after January 1, 2020, (iii) the description of the data being collected, (iv) the purpose of the program, (v) the description of how the data is collected, (vi) the department or agency responsible for overseeing the program, (vii) whether or not the privacy commissioner was consulted before the program was implemented, (viii) the concerns raised by the privacy commissioner, (ix) how each concern was addressed, (x) the end date of the program, (xi) the number of Canadians who had their data tracked?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

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

Motions for Papers

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

Request for Emergency Debate

Passports  

[S. O. 52]
    The Chair has notice of a request for an emergency debate. I invite the hon. member for Thornhill to rise and make a brief intervention.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country are experiencing an unprecedented backlog in the processing of passport applications. Wait times are exceeding the normal standards, and the government's inability to meet demands is affecting Canadians' ability to obtain the necessary documentation to travel. They are being forced to take time away from work, to wait in lineups for hours and hours, sometimes starting at 3 a.m. The government's remedy to the current situation is, frankly, inadequate.
    This is an important matter requiring urgent consideration pursuant to Standing Order 52, and as a result I am requesting an emergency debate.

  (1700)  

Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I thank the hon. member for Thornhill for her intervention. However, I am not satisfied that her request meets the requirements of the Standing Orders at this time.

Government Communications  

    The Chair has notice of a request for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand and defend the people of Cumberland—Colchester and of Portapique specifically, who we know are being revictimized by the actions of some members of this House in their spreading of disinformation and their attempts to discount the written information given by members of the RCMP in testimony to the Mass Casualty Commission.
    There is concern in Nova Scotia with respect to the proceedings of the Mass Casualty Commission at this time, and the actions and disinformation spread in this House continue to undermine the actual workings of that committee. Today we need to address the things that we have seen in this House.

Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I thank the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester for his intervention. However, the Chair is not satisfied that his request meets the requirements of the Standing Orders at this time.
    Mr. Speaker, there was notice of a request for an emergency debate from the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. Unfortunately, he had to leave the House, so I am asking for unanimous consent for an emergency debate on the inflation and affordability crisis in this country. We found out today that inflation numbers are at 7.7%, the highest in a generation, almost 40 years. I am requesting unanimous consent for an emergency debate on that.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.

[Translation]

Privilege

Interruption to Proceedings  

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to the question of privilege raised by the official opposition member from Calgary Centre with regard to the technical difficulties we had in the middle of debate in the House on the evening of June 21.
    This clearly demonstrates that the hybrid system of Parliament has its shortcomings when technical difficulties occur. The hybrid system is not infallible and brings with it certain risks with regard to parliamentary rights and privileges.
    It is therefore clear that we need to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether to make this way of doing things in the House permanent in order to deal with exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. With the voting app, there is always a plan B with the possibility of voting by Zoom if there is a problem. However, there is no plan B when there are issues with secure broadcasting on the House network.
    Yesterday, there was a request for unanimous consent once there was a known issue with secure broadcasting in the House. The member for Calgary Centre was unable to hear the question because of problems with the House network. The hon. member clearly demonstrated the limitations of a hybrid Parliament, and we therefore ask the Chair to consider the hon. member's request.
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed from June 21 consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-21, the NDP-Liberals' most recent attempt to scapegoat law-abiding firearms owners and to trick the average Canadian into believing they are trying to improve public safety while doing absolutely no such thing.
    If we looks at the balance of the government's agenda on public safety and justice, we see that Liberals seem content to undermine both of these departments and the essential institutions that support them. This is being done in order to virtue signal and play petty politics to the detriment of our entire society.
    While this is deeply disappointing, it is hardly surprising. The government is light on substantive policy solutions and heavy on press conferences and so-called alternative facts.
    Today additional details came to light about interference by the government and the Prime Minister in the investigation of the tragic mass murders in Nova Scotia in an attempt to create a narrative that would fit their political agenda. This is important, because it speaks to the foundation on which substantial parts of the Liberals' firearms policy rests, including parts of Bill C-21, the bill we are currently debating.
    The Halifax Examiner reported yesterday that “RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki 'made a promise' to [the] Public Safety Minister...[at the time] and the Prime Minister’s Office to leverage the mass murders of April 18/19, 2020 to get a gun control law passed.”
    To be clear, that former public safety minister is now the current Minister of Emergency Preparedness.
    The article makes it clear that the commissioner was being pressured by the Prime Minister's Office and the current Minister of Emergency Preparedness to ensure that information was released that would help them politically, to the detriment of the ongoing investigation and potentially placing it in jeopardy.
    As the Minister of Emergency Preparedness is a former police chief, we would expect better from him. However, maybe this is how he has always operated. This is a pattern of behaviour with this Prime Minister: He puts himself first, the Liberal Party second, his donors and insider friends third, and then if there is time and the chance for a really good photo op, he might try to do something that actually helps a few Canadians.
    This is an example of the first two. The Prime Minister was willing to interfere with the ongoing police investigation in order to try to leverage a political edge. This used to be unimaginable, but given the Prime Minister's SNC-Lavalin track record, it is totally in line with his character. The way someone does one thing is the way that person does everything.
    I want to read part of this article, because it is important and deserves to be heard in this place. Nova Scotia Superintendent Darren Campbell wrote about a meeting he had with Commissioner Lucki, stating:
    The Commissioner was obviously upset. She did not raise her voice but her choice of words was indicative of her overall dissatisfaction with our work. The Commissioner accused us (me) of disrespecting her by not following her instructions. I was and remain confused over this. The Commissioner said she told Comms to tell us at H Division to include specific info about the firearms used by [the killer]….However I said we couldn’t because to do so would jeopardize ongoing efforts to advance the U.S. side of the case as well as the Canadian components of the investigation. Those are facts and I stand by them.
    Those are the words of Superintendent Campbell.
    I will add that every police officer carries with them an evidence notebook. I, as a former law enforcement officer back in the 1990s, still have today my evidence notebooks in case I need to recall facts about events that happened while I was on duty.
    The article continues:
    Campbell noted that Lucki went on at length and said she was “sad and disappointed” that he had not provided these details to the media. Campbell continued:
    The Commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister’s Office that the RCMP (we) would release this information. I tried to explain there was no intent to disrespect anyone however we could not release this information at this time. The Commissioner then said that we didn’t understand, that this was tied to pending gun control legislation that would make officers and the public safer. She was very upset and at one point Deputy Commissioner (Brian) Brennan tried to get things calmed down but that had little effect. Some in the room were reduced to tears and emotional over this belittling reprimand.

  (1705)  

    The article makes it clear that this was not the only way that the government interfered with this investigation and the release of information, by pressuring the commissioner to break agreed-upon protocols.
    The article also attributes a quote to Lia Scanlan, communications director for the RCMP, that says, “The commissioner releases a body count that we don’t even have. She went out and did that. It was all political pressure. That is 100% the minister and the Prime Minister. And we have a Commissioner that does not push back.”
    Those are the words of RCMP communications director Scanlan. It is deeply concerning that the commissioner would not push back against the government on this request, but it is completely and totally unacceptable that she should ever have had to. I can only surmise that she is all too familiar with what happens to women who speak truth to power to the Prime Minister and his underlings.
    This is the foundation on which Bill C-21 was constructed: political pressure and interference with the RCMP, misinformation about the perpetrators of gun violence and naked political opportunism. The bill was also announced on the heels of an American tragedy, deliberately importing American political discourse into domestic Canadian policies. The Prime Minister seems to be confused about the impact of Canadian legislation on American society, of which there is virtually none.
    Unless he is announcing his plan to run for president of the United States, he should start trying to address the issues that Canadians face, not American issues here in Canada.
    The firearms regimes in our two countries, Canada and the United States, are completely different. It has been made clear that the mass murderer from Texas would not be able to get a gun in Canada. In most U.S. states, a 21-year-old American with no convictions could purchase a firearm and, in pretty much every state, carry it. In about half of them, they could carry concealed with limited regulations. That is not the reality in Canada.
    I am a law-abiding firearms owner. In Canada, people need to take a firearms safety course, apply for a licence and submit to a background check, not only on the initial application but on every reapplication every five years, in which the RCMP can contact former conjugal partners. Then, they wait for that information to come back for a few months, and maybe then can go and purchase a firearm and abide by stringent safe storage and transport laws. That is the reality in Canada. Every day, my ability to continue to own or possess firearms is checked against the Canadian Police Information Centre’s database to ensure that I am still legally and lawfully able to.
    If only the government of the day would spend that much time following up on people who are prohibited from possessing or acquiring firearms, spend that much time policing our borders and making sure that the people on our borders had the tools and equipment that they needed, and spend that much time in this chamber actually focused on criminals who commit crimes: they shoot guns in our urban centres, in our communities and in our rural areas and have no respect for the law and no respect for human life.
    That is not the case with the 2.1 million law-abiding Canadian firearms owners. In fact, the data clearly says the opposite. If we are going to be harmed by somebody in the country with a firearm, the vast majority of that harm is coming from somebody who is not licensed to have the firearm in the first place.
    Every gun in this country is illegal unless it is in the possession of somebody licensed to have it. We have the best firearms laws in the world, and I will put that up against the record of any other country.
    It is shameful that the government is importing U.S. politics into Canada to sell misinformation to the voters of this country and disenfranchise law-abiding Canadian citizens.

  (1710)  

    Mr. Speaker, I will start with a comment before I get to the question. There are times that we will disagree, regardless of what side of the House we sit on, but the member opposite turned his comments to try and slander and disingenuously try to harm the reputation of a former police officer, namely now the Minister of Emergency Preparedness. I would ask the member to withdraw his statement about the member's character and apologize to the House for doing so.
    Mr. Speaker, I actually do genuinely appreciate my colleague. We have spent lots of time working together in a constructive fashion on the fisheries committee, and I believe him to be an individual of solid character. I would simply suggest something to him, given the fact and the track record of the government that he has been supporting here all the while. If he wants to provide some solace to the House, I would humbly ask him to go and have a tête-à-tête with the Minister of Emergency Preparedness to make darn sure, before he asks somebody to apologize in the House, that he has all of the actual facts.

  (1715)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times, there are a lot of good points in this bill. However, the weapons involved in all these incidents that keep happening in Montreal are weapons that have crossed the border illegally.
    It turns out that people are buying these weapons, and the people buying them are members of criminal groups. Police services need to have the tools to take action against these groups.
    That is why, for weeks, the Bloc Québécois has been asking the Minister of Public Safety to create a registry of criminal organizations, much like the one we have for terrorist organizations, so that we can target these people and take action against them.
    The Montreal police have confirmed that 95% of the handguns used recently in these incidents in Montreal were illegal.
    Can my colleague tell me why the minister has, so far, refused to establish such a registry?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, this is an excellent idea and worthy of debate in the House. I look forward to my colleague in the Bloc Québécois tabling a private member's bill, or somebody in the House tabling a bill, to establish just such a thing.
    As I said in my comments, I am checked as a law-abiding citizen every day to ensure that I am able to continue to legally possess firearms in the this country, yet we do not have a system in this country that would keep track of people who are prohibited from having firearms because of their affiliation and association with criminal gang activities and prior convictions.
    This government, through Bill C-71, now Bill C-5 before the House, would make it easier for criminals to be out on bail, to be out on parole and to have zero time served in jail. At the same time, the only people it would make life difficult for, when it comes to firearms, are law-abiding firearms owners in this country. It is shameful.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague for Red Deer—Lacombe about airsoft guns. I have heard from a number of constituents who enjoy playing airsoft, and they feel that the proposed restrictions go too far and would make it hard for them to participate in their sport. At the same time, Canada has very few regulations for airsoft guns. Other countries around the world have different solutions. Some of them require that the barrels be painted a bright colour such as pink or yellow. Orange might be a nice colour.
    I wonder, if not the regulations in the bill, is there a reasonable regulation that the member would support?
    Mr. Speaker, I represent constituents who also participate in airsoft activities. It is a small but important industry to those who take great enjoyment in it and have fun with it. It is great for exercise and a number of reasons. The fact that the Liberal government is actually not even differentiating between a toy gun and an actual firearm shows me just how little Liberals actually know or understand about actual firearms.
    I would welcome any changes to this legislation that would extract those who legitimately want to use airsoft. If there are any mechanisms that are reasonable and make sense so that people who just want to go out and have a little bit of fun can continue to do so, they would have my support.

Privilege

Interruption to Proceedings  

[Privilege]
    I will be very brief on two points, with reference to the question of privilege raised earlier today.
    If I may, I will first provide a comment from the Speaker of the House who issued a news release back on February 18 notifying members. I will read it directly:
    As per the Parliamentary Protective Service’s (PPS) most recent email notification, a police operation is expected to take place on Wellington Street and other locations in the downtown core of Ottawa.
    Given these exceptional circumstances, and following discussion with all recognized party leadership, the sitting today is cancelled. More information will follow.
    I cite that, because at times there are environments in which, through consultation, there is a need for the House, such as in last night's case, to adjourn. That is just the reality, and I think that I am using this to cite the precedent.
    The other thing I would like to highlight is that I would like to draw to your attention some pertinent details around the adjournment of the House last night.
    At 8:54 p.m., you, the Deputy Speaker, resumed the sitting of the House. When you did this, you stated the following: “I would like to inform members that we are still having trouble with the network. There is an estimation this will not be solved this evening, so I am wondering if we can come up with an agreement.” Given that you, the Deputy Speaker, made the request that agreement be sought to adjourn, I rose in response to see if there was an agreement to adjourn, given the challenges being experienced.
    No one's privileges were breached. I was responding to the information and the request from the Deputy Speaker to adjourn, so that the problem could be fixed and so that all MPs could participate.

  (1720)  

    I thank the member for his intervention. Knowing that the House may be rising soon, I know the Speaker will be trying hard to come up with a response as soon as possible.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Surrey Centre.

Criminal Code

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in the debate today on Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments concerning firearms. This is a very important issue for the majority of Canadians, and it is particularly important for my constituency, where public safety was recently identified as a top area of concern for our community.
    All levels of government and numerous dedicated organizations in my riding of Surrey Centre have been working for many years to address gun violence and gang-related violence. Rates of gun violence have continued to rise since 2009, and violent offences that involve guns have increased by 81%. With so much news content from the United States available to Canadians, we hear daily reports of shootings in the United States. We do not want this constant exposure to desensitize us to the horrific, unspeakable tragedies that come from gun violence. As we know, Canada is not immune to that violence.
    Too many communities across the country have grieved the loss of loved ones. École Polytechnique, Moncton, the mosque shooting in Quebec City, and Nova Scotia are only a few of many examples of violent acts with firearms that have occurred in Canada. These examples do not even cover the number of individuals who face gun violence on a regular basis due to domestic or intimate partner violence or gang-related activity.
     According to Statistics Canada, there has been a notable increase in firearm-related violent crime across many rural areas in the country, and 47% of Canadians reported feeling that gun violence posed a serious threat to their communities. This includes my own community of Surrey Centre. Earlier this year, the RCMP in Surrey reported that, in a six-day span, there had been four incidents of shots fired in the city.
    From my days in high school, I saw hundreds of young boys and men shot and killed for petty disputes and turf wars. Others will recall the innocent victims of gun violence who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Paul Bennett, a nurse and hockey coach, was killed outside his home in Surrey. Chris Mohan was shot for simply being on the same floor as a gangland hit. Bikramdeep Randhawa, a correctional officer, was killed outside of a McDonald's in another case of mistaken identity. These are all on top of hundreds of women killed in cases of domestic or intimate partner violence, including Maple Batalia, a young woman studying at Simon Fraser University, who was killed on campus by a jealous ex-boyfriend.
     This is far too regular an occurrence and it puts our communities at risk of being caught in the crossfire. It is clear we need to do more to address gun violence in our communities. Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities, homes, schools and workplaces, and we do not want to wait for another tragedy to occur in Canada before we take strong action to address that violence.
     We know that reducing access to firearms reduces the amount of gun violence. It is simple. Other countries around the world have essentially eliminated gun violence in their countries by enacting tougher laws. Scotland, Australia and New Zealand are all examples of this.
    In 1996, a deadly shooting at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland killed 16 students and a teacher and injured 15 others. The following year, the U.K. Parliament banned private ownership of most handguns as well as semi-automatic weapons, and required mandatory registration for shotgun owners. The reforms required owners of permitted firearms to pass a strict licence process, which involves interviews and home visits by local police who have the authority to deny approval of permits if they deem the would-be owner a potential risk to public safety. In the last decade, there have only been three homicides by gun violence in the United Kingdom. There has never been another school shooting.
    Also in 1996, in a shooting at a café in Port Arthur, Australia, a man opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. He killed 35 people and wounded another 28. Australia's then new prime minister, John Howard, who had taken office only six weeks prior to the tragedy, led a sweeping nationwide reform on guns following the incident. Australia's National Firearms Agreement restricted legal ownership of firearms in Australia. It established a registry of all guns owned in the country, among other measures. It required a permit for all new firearms purchases, as well as a flat-out ban on certain kinds of guns, such as automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

  (1725)  

    Similar to our own government's plan, the Australian government has established a mandatory buyback of legal and illegal guns resulting in 650,000 formerly legally owned guns being peacefully seized. The average firearm suicide rate in Australia, in the seven years after the bill, declined by 57% compared with the seven years prior. The average firearm homicide rate went down by nearly 42%. Between 1978 and 1995, 13 mass shootings occurred in the country. In the years since those mass shootings, Australians brought in sweeping gun reform, and since 1995 there has only been one mass shooting.
    New Zealand has traditionally had a high gun ownership rate, but tight restrictions and low rates of gun violence. In less than the two weeks after a far right extremist killed 50 people at a mosque in 2019, authorities in New Zealand announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, like those the attacker had used. They also created a buyback program, as well as a special commission to explore broader issues around the accessibility of weapons and the role of social media.
     Gun ownership in Canada is the fifth highest in the world. The countries I have mentioned, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, are like Canada in that they all have a strong culture of guns. Despite this, they have successfully reduced the number of gun-related incidents and saved countless lives through comprehensive reforms and policies that address the complexity of gun violence.
     The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recently tabled a report entitled, “A Path Forward: Reducing Gun and Gang Violence in Canada”. The committee heard from 50 witnesses who echoed the same message: Gun violence is a complex issue that will take more than one program or policy to fix. The committee heard that it will take a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach that includes all levels of government, indigenous peoples, grassroots organizations, law enforcement and social services. It will require research, collection of data, and preventative and intervention measures.
     Our government is committed to addressing gun violence, and we will continue to take action in an effort to mitigate the senseless tragedies that occur at the hands of firearms, and this legislation is the next step.
    For those who say illegal guns smuggled across the border are the ones that we should be concerned about, they should have spoken up when the Harper Conservatives cut CBSA staff by 30%, or when they disbanded and defunded the major organized crime unit in the RCMP that investigated cross-border smuggling. How were they silent then? Are they silent now, when it comes to reducing gun violence? The story is the same.
    We re-funded the CBSA and the RCMP, and the proof is in the pudding, with gun seizures at the border being double last year from the year prior.
    Our plan to address gun violence will address this complexity. Bill C-21 will establish a national freeze on handguns; establish red flag and yellow flag laws; expand licence revocation; combat firearms smuggling and trafficking, notably by increasing the maximum penalty; and prohibit mid-velocity replica airguns.
     This plan is about the survivors and about communities across Canada from coast to coast to coast, which are too often touched by gun violence. Canadians told us they wanted to see more action, more quickly, and we are doing that through our commitment to do more.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

  (1730)  

[Translation]

Improvements to Long-Term Care

    The House resumed from April 25 consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, Motion No. 47 is a very interesting motion. I read it carefully. There are many items and observations in this motion on improvements the governments of Quebec and the provinces need to make to long-term care. We know that many people suffered during the pandemic. We really need to keep their interests in mind when we legislate.
    When I read the motion, my first thought was to grab my phone, open Google Maps and look at where we are, because I get the impression that the person who wrote this motion did not know that they were in Ottawa. Not only does this motion talk about Quebec and provincial jurisdictions at every turn, but, what is more, it contains factual errors.
    We are told that health care is a jurisdiction the federal government shares with Quebec and the provinces. I find this motion absurd. In recent years, the federal government has suddenly become interested in health care. It has developed a passion for health care, for regulating health care and for imposing conditions on the provinces. The Liberals appointed a Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and now they want to attach conditions to health transfers and to microtransfers.
    Now, the Liberals want to tackle long-term care when they have never, ever, managed such facilities, as I said before. This is absurd, because they are so interested in health care that, when the time comes to pay, they disappear. When it comes time to reach into their pockets, they disappear. When something is likely to cost even a penny, they disappear.
    According to the Liberals’ perspective in this motion, health is a shared jurisdiction. They are gravely mistaken, since they have made it somewhat of a shared jurisdiction over the years by using a loophole in the Constitution known as spending power. Health care is so not a shared jurisdiction that they have to interfere in a roundabout way.
    I will explain for the umpteenth time how the spending power works. The Liberals in Ottawa wake up one morning, read the Constitution and decide to interfere in health care. Once they have read the Constitution properly, they see that they do not have the right to legislate health care. They then think about how they can interfere in the provinces’ affairs and decide to tighten the purse strings and to clamp down on the provinces so hard that, sooner or later, the provinces will do what they tell them to do. That is what is known as spending power. That it what they are doing by imposing conditions.
    That is the case with the Canada Health Act and many other legislative measures. They have invented these shared jurisdictions. This is really the power to hold up the provinces. It is literally an extortion power over Quebec, over sick people, people who are suffering, people who are victims of post-COVID downloading. It is a power the federal government gave itself to hold up these people who are suffering.
    The Liberals are arrogant enough to tell us that health care is a shared jurisdiction. In any case, violating Quebec’s jurisdictions is certainly the exclusive purview of the federal government. I can attest to it.
    It is funny, because the provinces and Quebec, the ones that know what health is all about, the ones that manage hospitals, the ones that work in this area all year long, are asking for increased health transfers. They are asking for unconditional transfers that will cover 35% of health care system costs. That is what the people who know what they are talking about are calling for.
    Other people who also know what they are talking about include the witnesses who appeared before the Standing Committee on Health, of which I am a member. They told us that the Quebec and the provinces need more funding to carry out long-term reforms, particularly in home care and long-term care. The provinces should be able to make these reforms with increasing, stable and predictable funds.
    In the past few weeks, no one has appeared before the Standing Committee on Health to ask the federal government to impose more constraints on the provinces because they need them. The government is proposing new constraints for the provinces, as if they needed them. The spending power is being used very liberally.

  (1735)  

    Only this week, the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, whom I have jokingly called “Dr. Spending Power,” suggested to the Standing Committee on Health that the federal government should hold back the funds until Quebec and the provinces have met the federal government’s immigration and medical staff targets.
    I cannot make this stuff up. Quebec manages its economic immigration, and the federal government wants to reopen the agreements to interfere in our affairs. Now it is interfering in workforce training, when it cannot even run its own immigration department. IRCC cannot even bring in temporary foreign workers. The government cannot even process those applications in a timely manner, but it wants to tell us how to train our workforce. Quebec has always defended its administrative sovereignty tooth and nail with asymmetrical agreements, and the other provinces should follow our lead.
     That is what the federal government’s shared jurisdiction is all about.
    Over the years, the Liberals and Conservatives have cut health care funding so much that Quebeckers now believe they are the ones who can no longer manage health care. They are losing confidence in themselves and in their institutions and hospitals, because they do not realize that the problem comes from above. The problem comes from people who are interested in every aspect of health care except the aspect they are actually responsible for, namely taking the money and transferring it.
    I will be honest. If the federal government were a good government and did its job like everyone else once in a while, and if the people on the other side were competent, which they definitely are not, we might be interested in hearing their advice on health care. I though they might be good at it and maybe I am prejudiced against the federal government and especially the Liberals, so I went to see the list of the federal government’s achievements in its own areas of jurisdiction.
    Let us start with IRCC, which may be the worst immigration department of a G20 country. These people cannot bring in temporary foreign workers on time. Last December, our farmers were wondering whether they would get their workers, because the government was doing new labour market impact assessments, which had already been done in Quebec by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, Quebec's labour market partners commission. The federal government thinks that temporary foreign workers are going to steal our jobs when we are at full employment. That is how the federal government is doing in jurisdictions where it is supposed to be good.
    Let us talk about passports. The federal government cannot get the printer to work, but it wants to tell Quebec and the provinces what they should do in health care.
    Moreover, the government cannot even fulfill its military obligations toward its partners. It took the war in Ukraine to remind the feds that NATO exists and that normal countries take care of their army. The government does have time, however, to harass people about health care.
    The Minister of Immigration is doing nothing about the airlift. We have been talking about it for weeks, and when the government finally woke up, it found three planes. We would have to put 50,000 people on each plane for that plan to work. However, the federal government has time to harass us about health care.
    Let us talk about Phoenix. Some of the federal public servants whose work is being praised by the government have lost their home. Some are still refusing promotions today. They are refusing them because they are afraid that Phoenix will mess up their file. However, the government is telling Quebec what to do about health care.
    Let us talk about KPMG. The minister does not even know that she is entitled to request an investigation. The Minister of National Revenue has not read her own act. However, the government is interfering in health care.
    The Governor General drinks champagne while our indigenous peoples do not even have drinking water, but the government can tell us what to do about health care.
    I apologize for interrupting the hon. member. I will stop the clock. I think someone has a microphone on.

  (1740)  

[English]

    I want to remind members who are participating virtually to make sure their microphones are not on, because they disrupt what is going on in the House.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mirabel. He has 40 seconds left.
    Madam Speaker, I will not be disarmed. The Minister of Transport is not even able to sign a sheet of paper to start the construction of a seniors' residence in Mirabel, but the Liberals can come up with a motion on this subject to meddle in our affairs.
    With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, the Minister of Environment is incapable of knowing that oil is brown and black and that a pipeline carries it, but we are being told what to do about health.
    As was said earlier, 95% of the weapons used in the incidents we are currently seeing are illegal weapons, but the government does not want to make a list of criminal organizations.
    When the Liberals do their job, they can tell the provinces to do theirs.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the COVID pandemic has exposed long-standing issues affecting long-term care. In response to what the country now knows about the shortcomings, it is the duty of the government to work with the provinces and territories to improve seniors’ living conditions as well as workers’ conditions in long-term care, to be more equitable across this country.
    As a New Democrat, I am happy to say that we have used our power to secure a commitment from the federal government, through the confidence and supply agreement, to bring in a safe long-term care act that would ensure seniors receive the care they deserve, no matter in what province or which long-term care home they live. This long-overdue legislation must be implemented without delay, and I thank the member for Avalon for introducing this motion, which takes another step forward in speeding up the necessary action to protect seniors and the workers who care for them.
    I would like to thank all the workers who have supported seniors throughout this pandemic and who support seniors every day in this country. I offer my heartfelt gratitude to every single worker who did double duty as a caregiver and an emotional supporter when families could not visit or hug their loved ones for months on end during this pandemic. When family support was not available, every care worker stepped up to fill that gap.
    I will also take a moment to recognize Frank, a long-term care resident and loved dad and uncle who finds himself again in lockdown as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Care workers have a special constitution, a moral connection to their clients and skills that deserve great respect. Their work is hard, stressful and both physically and emotionally taxing. This is why the working conditions and pay of long-term care workers need to improve as we work to improve long-term care itself.
    COVID-19 magnified the unequal and under-resourced long-term care system across Canada, and the lack of accountability, especially in privatized care. This lack of accountability is due to lax enforcement of standards and regulations. For example, a CBC investigation revealed that 85% of long-term care homes in Ontario had routinely violated health care standards for decades, with near total impunity.
    Let me be clear that there is no fault on the workers here, who give their all in a system that is undervalued by the government. Decades of underinvestment and under-regulation have resulted in short-staffed institutions and underpaid workers. Inadequate wages have forced care workers to take on long hours and to work at multiple care homes just to make ends meet. That practice serves neither workers nor seniors and must change.
    Deeply troubling in this country is the move to privatize long-term care, where corporations are focused on profits rather than the care of the people they are supposed to serve. Long-term care is medical care, but it is not covered under our universal, not-for-profit health care system in Canada, and because long-term care lies outside the Canada Health Act, too many care homes are run first and foremost for profit.
    Privatization of long-term care does not work for seniors and does not work for the workers either. Decades of research have demonstrated that long-term care homes that run on a for-profit basis tend to have lower staffing levels, more verified complaints and more transfers to hospitals.
    In addition, during the pandemic, many for-profit operators paid out millions in bonuses to CEOs and dividends while accepting subsidies from the government and neglecting the residents under their care. While those CEOs were taking home bonuses, workers in long-term care had to work multiple jobs to pay rent and keep food on the table. During COVID-19, they were getting sick and injured and their mental health suffered.
    We must recognize and value the essential labour of those who take care of us. Crucial policy actions need to include better and faster recognition for credentials received outside Canada for care workers, higher wages, paid sick days, accessible and affordable child care, and mental health supports. Let us also include dental care and pharmacare.

  (1745)  

    In recent testimony out of the HUMA committee on long-term care, Katherine Scott of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives told us that women represent 75% of workers in care occupations and have lower average employment income than their male counterparts. In 2015, a female care worker earned an average of 81% of a male care worker’s wage.
    Naomi Lightman told the HUMA committee, “we know that the process of transferring credentials needs to be accelerated. It needs to be faster, it needs to be easier and it needs to be more affordable.” She said that many immigrant women who work in the care sector are sending remittances to their home countries and are working multiple part-time jobs just to make ends meet to support their families. She also said the current process does not allow them the time or the financial means needed to do the upgrading the government requires.
    How can we expect to attract and retain workers in this highly gendered occupation when the industry discriminates against them? The exploitation of care workers needs to stop. We must make every care job a good job, to protect seniors and workers across the country.
    In a HUMA study on seniors, we were told that staffing levels in long-term care facilities also need to improve. Care homes are having trouble hiring more staff. This is no surprise given that these facilities are known for low wages and difficult working conditions. The Liberals must act immediately to ensure both seniors and their care workers get the dignity they deserve.
    Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed our care workers. As a result, the current government has also failed our seniors. It has not legislated improved standards in long-term care, has not ensured workers are paid adequately and has not respected the skill and importance of care work. Instead, it continues to let the market erode our long-term care. As it embraces the profit-driven model, it turns a blind eye to the inadequate care for seniors and the exploitation of workers.
    The NDP will work relentlessly to change that. Profit has no place in the care of seniors, just as it has no place anywhere in our primary health care system. We must continue to work collaboratively with seniors, their families, caregivers, not-for-profit and public care providers and provincial and territorial governments to develop national standards for long-term care, which must include accountability mechanisms and data collection measuring outcomes, as well as funding.
    All people in Canada deserve to live in dignity, with their human rights upheld and protected. It is my expectation that the government live up to its commitments and act quickly and boldly to fix the deteriorating conditions in long-term care, not just for the residents of Port Moody—Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra, but for everyone across Canada. It must also stop the exploitation of care workers immediately.
    Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak on something residents told me is their clear priority. I will be speaking in support of the private member's motion of my colleague for Avalon on improvements to long-term care
    We know residents in long-term care homes disproportionately suffered during the early stages of the pandemic. That was true in Brampton, but also from coast to coast to coast.
    Seniors are one of the fastest-growing age groups in Canada. I know everyone in this chamber agrees we need to do everything we can for the people who built this country. I read the text of this motion and see that it speaks to the many needs of our seniors, families and health care workers. The motion is in line with the Minister of Seniors' mandate letter, and I trust all members will agree that it is a positive step forward.
    Today, I want to focus on specific elements of this motion to share the perspective of seniors from my community, as I have heard it directly from them.
    The past two years have been challenging for Canadians. The pandemic exposed gaps in the system, and our government has been there to support Canadians and provinces by laying out a plan for the recovery. Time flies, but I still remember all the work we have done since 2020 in the Standing Committee on Health. We have listened to experts on our government's response to the pandemic.
    I would like to take members back to the beginning of 2020. From January 15 to February 28, there were 14,960 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario among long-term care residents. Those accounted for 15% of all reported cases in the first wave, according to Public Health Ontario. At the same time, at the peak of the first wave, outbreaks in LTC and seniors' homes accounted for 81% of deaths in Canada.
    As the situation worsened, and at the request of the Government of Ontario, teams of medically trained Canadian Armed Forces personnel were temporarily deployed to facilities identified by the province to provide a range of assistance and medical support. Grace Manor was one of them: this facility is located in Brampton South.
    The Canadian Armed Forces went above and beyond to temporarily support long-term care homes. Then, the CAF report that followed included stories and examples of unacceptable abuse. When I first saw this report, I was deeply concerned about residents enduring unbearable conditions.
    I want to thank all CAF members for their selfless service to our seniors, but these tragedies should never have happened. Sad stories such as these are why we are debating this motion today. They are also why I want to recognize all of the families with residents living in long-term care. Family members of residents in LTC are important support systems, and the pandemic made that difficult. We will always keep them in our hearts. Their strength, resilience and advocacy has been inspiring. That is why, back in 2020, my Ontario colleagues and I got together to advocate for national standards for long-term care so seniors in Canada could receive the quality of care they deserved.
    In the 2020 fall economic statement, in budget 2021 and in budget 2022, we continued our commitment to strengthen care for seniors and persons with disabilities. The Government of Canada has worked collaboratively with provinces and territories throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to protect seniors in long-term care. This includes up to $4 billion to help provinces and territories improve the standard of care in those facilities.
    I know the Minister of Health, the Minister of Seniors and other ministers are working together with provinces to advance these commitments, and I know they will deliver. A lot of important steps have already been taken.
    Our government welcomed the news that the Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standards Association have launched a process to help address these issues.

  (1750)  

    The Health Standards Organization and Canadian Standard Association will work with the government, stakeholders and Canadians to develop national standards that will help to inform ongoing discussions with provinces and territories on improving the quality of life of seniors in long-term care homes. After years of hard work, our seniors deserve that.
    In budget 2021, our government committed $3 billion over five years to Health Canada to support provinces and territories in ensuring that standards for long-term care were applied and permanent changes were made. Our government amended the Criminal Code to penalize those who neglect seniors under their care. This will go a long way in addressing some of the long-standing challenges and gaps.
    Budget 2022 proposes the creation of an expert panel to study the idea of an aging-at-home benefit. Our government recognizes that some seniors wish to stay at home for as long as possible, where they are comfortable and with the communities that support them. Coming this summer, we are increasing old age security for seniors ages 75 and up. I know my residents welcome this initiative, and I know that our government is taking meaningful action to support the provinces and territories as they address gaps.
    The pandemic was hard on seniors, and we will come out of this stronger than ever before. Helping Canadians age with dignity in the best possible health, all while enjoying social and economic security, is one of the government's top priorities.
    In conclusion, let us agree that we must continue to work with all provinces and territories to help ensure that everyone, no matter where they live in Canada, has access to the long-term care they deserve.

  (1755)  

    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Motion No. 47.
    As of 2021, Alberta had a total of 186 long-term care homes. From June 6 to 12, Alberta celebrated Seniors' Week and honoured the vital contributions seniors have made, and will still make, in their respective communities. Now, it is our turn to reciprocate.
    As we are all aware, it was difficult during the pandemic for many, especially seniors in long-term care. It was an eye-opener for all of us. Our long-term care facilities needed to be improved. The NDP-Liberal government must meet its provincial counterparts to ensure our seniors are taken care of properly. During the pandemic, I received complaints from families worried about their parents' well-being. Seniors were isolated. They had to stay in their rooms and have their meals in their rooms, and their daily exercise routines, as well as their socialization with others, was not permitted.
    Although health care is primarily a provincial issue, the federal government needs to increase the health transfers to help provinces with the ongoing challenges they are facing. Even though the provinces use the health transfers at their discretion, the federal government can make recommendations. The government's uncontrolled spending that is exacerbating skyrocketing inflation leaves seniors and other vulnerable demographics behind. The government needs to commit to long-term care with accountability and to long-term care that serves Canadians' best interests.
    For years, experts, residents and caregivers have identified the need for the same rigorous standards and accountability across Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed new light on the long-standing challenges with our health care system, and we need to tackle those challenges head-on. We can no longer afford to ignore the issues that have long existed in long-term care and home care. These health services were crucial in helping older Canadians to remain active and engaged in society and to live with dignity. The pandemic has exposed the unacceptable conditions in many long-term care homes across the country that people with serious health conditions have been required to live in for decades.
    Home care clients were left without basic personal care services, such as bathing and laundry, during the pandemic. This is reflective of the larger issue with home care. Its capacity to improve health and reduce costs continuously fails to be recognized and funded by governments. When long-term care and home care fail older adults, families and friends step in. Informal caregivers provide an estimated 80% of community care and 30% of care in institutions. As Canada's population ages, relying on informal caregivers to bolster the health and social systems will have major ramifications for our society and our economy.
    Now is the time to implement enforced principles and national standards for long-term care developed in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments. As part of our national seniors strategy, these standards must specify conditions and criteria the provinces and territories must meet to receive federal health and social transfer payments, with repercussions for failing to meet the outlined conditions and criteria. This would ensure a standard level of quality care, availability of equitable and consistent services across the country, and adequate levels of funding for these types of care. It would also ensure greater public accountability of government delivering on long-term care and home care.
    For decades, research has shown that our global counterparts that have national standards for long-term care and home care have better health outcomes and quality of life for their older populations. Research conducted during the pandemic has reaffirmed this, demonstrating that countries with national standards experienced dramatically lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and fatalities tied to long-term care and home care.

  (1800)  

     In Canada, during the first wave, more than 80% of COVID-19 deaths occurred in long-term care facilities. We cannot let this happen again. This government needs to commit to ensuring Canadians from coast to coast to coast have access to quality care and safe care by supporting the implementation of enforced principles and national standards for long-term care.
    It is time to reimagine older adult care. It is time for the federal government to take a leadership role in establishing enforceable national standards tied to funding, and it is time for territories and provinces to unite to collaborate and fix long-term and home care. We must look out for the best interests of older Canadians by supporting the implementation of enforceable national standards for long-term and home care. We need improvements in the quality and quantity of care work. We need concrete strategies and real action to ensure everyone has the right to receive quality care. This includes the right to decent work for those providing care.
    Canadian care standards need to be implemented to address shortfalls and inequitable levels of care for seniors and persons with disabilities, including in long-term care, home care and palliative care. Building an inclusive and equitable recovery must mean investments in better, safer jobs and stronger care systems to support care workers, ensuring that all those who need care have access to quality, public care services. This can be done by establishing an e-health strategy that includes virtual care, expanding MyHealth Records and similar programs for patient portal information capabilities, developing secure messaging and collaboration services to enhance communication, and developing a privacy and security framework for virtual care.
    According to Statistics Canada, the demographic of those aged 85 and over has doubled since 2001, and it is expected to double again by 2046. A significant proportion of those in this demographic will reside in long-term care facilities. We are all aging, and one day may find ourselves in long-term care. Let us fix it now. This federal government must invest and repair Canada's failing care systems. How we emerge from the crisis in long-term care will define us as a society.
    I think that part of my concern with Motion No. 47 is the fact that we have not kept up with the issues our seniors are facing in long-term care, as well as those many other issues our seniors are facing. It seems like we have almost taken them for granted, and that they are not part of our society any more. Instead, they are locked away, and we do not have to worry about them.
    However, that is not the attitude that we should be taking as a government. We should be there honouring and respecting our elders, giving them the best quality of life they possibly can have, not only now, but also for years to come. That is why we need to start improving all of our long-term care facilities and making sure they are not just places where people go to die, but places where people want to be and need to be, and where they are taken care of properly. That is what we are lacking, not only with the government, but also other governments.
    To make these improvements, yes, money will have to be spent, but we will be much better as a society if we are able to accomplish this as a country united to improve the quality of care for all seniors.

  (1805)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is with much exasperation that I rise today to talk about a motion on long-term care. The major problem is that we are in the wrong legislative assembly. This is a crucial jurisdictional issue, since the federal government does not have the necessary expertise in this area. I realize that, unfortunately, I have had to say this too often. We have had enough of the federal government's paternalistic attitude. The government needs to do its duty and its job. It should not be using the COVID-19 crisis to exploit seniors for its own ends.
    We do not want to trivialize what happened in our long-term care facilities. On the contrary, we want nothing less than to give them the financial means they need. I will get back to this in my speech. I am going to give some background information and outline the reasons for which the Bloc Québécois is against the motion. I will close by reminding my colleagues of the support of certain civil society groups.
    As we now know, COVID-19 mainly affected seniors. This fact, combined with the critical situation in our long-term care facilities, finally forced the Quebec government to ask for the military's help on April 22, 2020.
    Barely one month later, in May 2020, negotiations between the CAQ and Liberal governments got especially tense because of the federal government's refusal to extend the military's involvement. The government then used Quebec's request for military assistance as a pretext to announce, in its throne speech, its intention to impose Canada-wide standards on long-term care facilities. That was a twisted way of imposing its requirements on the provinces, instead of agreeing to their unanimous demand for an increase in federal health transfers equal to 35% of health care system costs.
    To add insult to injury, the Liberal government reiterated its intention in last fall's economic update and at the 20th telephone conference of Canada's premiers, with the NDP's blessing, of course.
    The Liberals are still clinging to that idea. In the 2021 election campaign, they promised $6 billion for long-term care facilities in exchange for Canada-wide standards. However, for the past several weeks, the Quebec political media has been abuzz with the findings of various investigations into the matter. The debate is ongoing in civil society and in Quebec's National Assembly.
    This is therefore not the problem. Allow me to share why the Bloc Québécois is opposed to the motion. The motion states that “we need to make sure the conditions of work reflect the care standards our seniors deserve”, which is something we agree with. We are all, as individuals, collectively responsible for taking care of our seniors. However, working conditions in long-term care homes and in private seniors' residences are not a federal jurisdiction.
    The motion also states that “while the management of long-term care facilities is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, we share the goal of ensuring safer, better care for seniors”. Our response to this is that health care is not under federal jurisdiction. If the federal government truly wants to help the provinces, it should hold a summit and permanently increase funding for health care, as we have proposed.
    Furthermore, the motion states that “in the opinion of the House, the government should work with the provinces and territories to...improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds”. Our response to this is that Quebec already has a plan to overhaul its system and what it needs is funding.
    The motion also states that the government should work with the provinces and territories to “implement strict infection prevention and control measures, including through more provincial and territorial facility inspections for long-term care homes”. Anything else? Quebec has assessed, and continues to assess, its actions during the pandemic. It is not up to the federal government to tell Quebec what to do or how to do it. This paternalism must stop.
    Finally, the motion states that it should “develop a safe long-term care act collaboratively to ensure that seniors are guaranteed the care they deserve, no matter where they live.” Enough is enough. The Quebec National Assembly already unanimously opposed such federal standards.
    We already had this debate before the pointless election called by the Liberal Party, which still makes me mad. In March 2021, I remember rising to speak when the NDP moved a motion to nationalize and impose standards for long-term care institutions. Members will recall that the motion was rejected by everyone, except the NDP of course. Even the Liberals voted against the motion. Here we are in the 44th Parliament, and the Liberal Party suddenly has amnesia. It has come back with the same motion.

  (1810)  

     I have to say, since the advent of the NDP-Liberal government, their position has become muddled. The one thing that does remain clear, however, is their appetite for interfering in things that do not concern them. Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, set out how jurisdictions are shared between the federal government and the provinces. Pursuant to those two sections, health is the exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec.
    The Liberal Party of Canada and the NDP are always trying to interfere in the jurisdictions of the provinces, especially in the area of health care. However, the federalism they hold so dear requires that each level of government respect its exclusive jurisdictions.
    Federalists sometimes argue that health transfers should have conditions attached. Otherwise, the provinces will take advantage of them to lower taxes rather than provide better services to their people. Our response to that argument is that it is not the federal government's job to lecture the provincial and Quebec governments. In a democracy, it is up to voters to sanction their government.
    There is currently a debate raging about the issue of long-term care and the decisions that were made during the COVID-19 crisis. This debate continues, and it is up to the Quebec government to take action to remedy the situation. Then, in October, it will be up to voters, not the Liberal Party of Canada, to decide whether they are satisfied with their government's actions. In short, Quebec already has some potential solutions, including a detailed plan to increase the capacity of long-term care facilities as mentioned in a special report by the ombudsman.
    The federal government will not be able to improve the situation because it does not know what is really happening on the ground. It does not understand these unique hospital settings. In response to the special report, the Quebec government has already presented a plan to overhaul the health care system.
    I would like to remind the hon. members of an important date: December 2, 2020. As the Bloc Québécois critic for seniors, I had the opportunity to speak with Quebec's minister for seniors and caregivers, Marguerite Blais. She tabled a motion to denounce the Liberals' desire to impose Canadian standards on Quebec's long-term care facilities, which I will read:
    That the National Assembly reject the Government of Canada's desire to impose Canadian standards in Québec CHSLDs and long-term care facilities for the elderly, as this falls under exclusive Québec jurisdiction;
    That it express its disappointment that the federal government did not include an increase in health transfer payments in its last economic update, while the provinces must cover significant health spending costs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    That it call on the federal government to commit to not imposing Canadian standards in Québec CHSLDs and long-term care facilities for the elderly and to increasing health transfer payments to an amount equal to 35% of healthcare network costs.
    Let us not forget that the provinces and Quebec are the ones with the expertise and experience in long-term care homes, not the federal government. Every long-term care facility has to meet safety and care quality standards in order to be permitted to operate. Standards already exist.
    Obviously, the federal government has no business setting those standards for long-term care facilities on behalf of the provinces and Quebec, since it has neither the experience nor the expertise, as I said. Instead, the government should focus on doing what is expected of it and taking responsibility.
    The Canadian Armed Forces' report on their experience in Quebec's long-term care facilities made it clear that there were already many standards and rules in place regarding infection prevention and control and the use of PPE, but they were not enough to stop the virus. The real issue is the ability to comply with the existing standards and rules. The main reason it is so hard to follow these rules is also clear: the labour shortage.
    If the federal government really wants to help Quebec and the provinces overcome the pandemic and improve care for seniors, it must drop the paternalistic attitude, scrap its plan to impose Canada-wide standards that are ill suited for all the different social and institutional contexts, and increase health transfers, which will allow the provinces to attract and retain more health care workers.
    One of the Bloc Québécois's demands is that the federal government increase health transfers to an amount equal to 35% of health care system costs. However, the government continues to say no, even though Parliament adopted a motion in the spring asking all parties to recognize the increase in transfers, which all of the parties did, except the Liberals, who once again found themselves standing alone.
    Even civil society groups, such as various unions, stepped up in March 2021 to ask for the increase and explain why it was important. A Leger poll showed that 85% of people want this. FADOQ wants it. When I went to the latest summit on seniors' quality of life, everyone said they wanted an increase, no strings attached.
    In conclusion, we are not the ones spoiling for a fight. The NDP-Liberal coalition is. They are delaying many of Quebec's demands, but we are not the only ones making these demands. The provinces and territories are too. These NDP-Liberal threats need to stop. Seniors must not be held hostage. The federal government must hand over the financial means to take care of them, and that means health transfers.

  (1815)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am delighted to rise today to participate in the second hour of debate on Motion No. 47, a motion introduced by my colleague, the hon. member of Parliament for Avalon, regarding improvements to long-term care. I am going to keep my remarks very brief today, as I recognize that the content of this motion serves to address pressing issues that should already be deemed both urgent and important by all members of the House.
    This motion can be defined in two main parts. They can be categorized as a need for recognizing the problem and a need for addressing it. Primarily, the motion would require that the House recognize the long-standing issues that have plagued long-term care facilities across Canada. It calls for action to address this by requesting a joint effort in ensuring that these facilities reflect a certain standard of care that seniors deserve.
    With Motion No. 47, our government is acting on its commitment to work with the provinces and territories to improve the quality and availability of long-term care homes and beds, while ensuring the implementation of strict infection and control measures and, most importantly, collaborating on the development of a safe long-term care act that would guarantee the care that seniors deserve, regardless of their geographic location across the country.
    I represent the riding of Richmond Hill, a beautiful and diverse community that has only been enhanced thanks to the hard work, efforts and contributions of our senior constituents, who collectively account for almost 30% of the population in the riding. Thirty per cent is not just a statistic. This number reflects real people who have lived in our community and helped build it, grow it and make it stronger. In census 2016, there were nearly 30,000 seniors in my riding, and many local seniors are active participants in my monthly seniors community council meetings, where they are still contributing to making Richmond Hill a better place to live by sharing their ideas and advocating for how we can make life more accessible, affordable and enjoyable for their peers.
    We heard from them that we need to make sure we have sufficient funds to support them and that we hold other jurisdictions, as collaborative partners, accountable for that. As such, it is only right that when they reach the later years of their adulthood, their communities and governments are there and should be there to help them access safe, healthy and dignified care spaces. This is exactly what sets the base for Motion No. 47.
    Among the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one harsh reality that was brought to light: Older adults in long-term care facilities, especially those who are immunocompromised or have other underlying health conditions, were severely and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This impact was felt not only physically but emotionally and mentally, as the residents of long-term care homes had to witness great loss while often feeling socially isolated and alone due to restrictions that were there to protect their health. This motion would only build on the previous investments made by our government to improve conditions in long-term care, such as up to $4 billion allocated for improving the standards of care provided in these facilities.
    We acknowledge that health care is a shared responsibility between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The Government of Canada provides financial support that empowers the provinces and territories' delivery and planning of health services. This explains why each provincial and territorial government is able to enforce its own legislation and regulations for long-term care services. However, given the variations and inconsistencies across Canada, we know that there is a need for our federal government to help facilitate cross-country coordination.
    Long-term care homes in my community of Richmond Hill and across Canada serve as vital services and resources that should be subjected to a similar set of standards, regardless of which provincial or territorial jurisdiction they operate in. With Motion No. 47, we can work toward making this very needed objective a reality through teamwork with the provinces and territories, while respecting their jurisdictional authority.

  (1820)  

    This motion is good for seniors, it is good for the overall health care system and it is good for Canada. I urge all members to join me in supporting it in its goal to make long-term care safer.
    Before I conclude, seeing as this is my last intervention on legislation for this parliamentary session, I want to take a moment to thank all of my hon. colleagues for their hard work here in the House, as well as my constituents in Richmond Hill for once again trusting me to serve as their voice in Ottawa.
    Madam Speaker, we have heard throughout this debate that seniors were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and we know that this was particularly true for seniors living in long-term care.
    In the previous Parliament, I had the opportunity to initiate a study at the HUMA committee to review the impact of COVID-19 on the financial and social health and well-being of seniors. The purpose of the study was to understand the impact on seniors, take lessons from that understanding and make specific recommendations to improve supports for seniors. We know that long-term care was central to that study, and the committee heard important testimony that spoke directly to the experiences and needs of seniors, their families and staff in care homes.
     I was relieved that in this Parliament, the HUMA committee completed that study. The report entitled “The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Well-Being of Seniors” was tabled in the House just recently. Similar to recommendations in that report, the motion being debated today calls on the government to work collaboratively with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that seniors receive adequate care.
    I certainly appreciate and support the member for Avalon calling on his own government to act, but action must be taken. We know that the status quo is unacceptable and that the government can do better.
    The conversation really turns to the Liberal government and the seniors minister. It is not enough to pass the motion in the House. The needle needs to move, and we know and have heard that action is past due. There are areas that fall under federal jurisdiction that can be acted on in the immediate term, and while we know that provincial jurisdictions must absolutely be respected, especially as priorities and needs may different regionally, the federal government can certainly provide leadership.

  (1825)  

    I apologize for interrupting the hon. member, but the hon. member for Avalon has a right of reply for five minutes.
    The hon. member for Avalon.
    Madam Speaker, I want to start off my speech this evening by thanking the colleagues who have reached out to me to voice their support for Motion No. 47 and have spoken in support of the motion in our first hour of debate and again here today.
    I know that each and every one of us is plagued with the state of our long-term care facilities. Members' constituents, like mine, are asking us to take the state of long-term care in this country seriously. I believe, in looking around the chamber today, that I can confidently say we have bipartisan consensus that something needs to be done.
    Organizations in my province, such as the NL Seniors' Coalition, Advocates for Senior Citizens' Rights and SeniorsNL, have all done a great deal of work over the years in educating on, consulting on and researching the impact that this ever-changing world has on our seniors, and in advocating for better standards of care, especially in long-term care, not just in my province, but across the country.
    I want to take my time today to address some of the concerns colleagues have expressed in previous debate on Motion No. 47. I think it is important that we continue the debate today and move this conversation forward.
    I first want to talk about how funding is critical to ensuring that long-term care facilities in Canada are held to a national standard. While Motion No. 47 does not tie any monetary value to implementing a national standard for long-term care across the country, we in this chamber all know that funding is the foundation of safe and well-regulated long-term care in Canada.
    Our government recognizes this and has been stepping up to the plate to do what we can to support long-term care facilities in being the safest they can be. In the 2020 fall economic statement, we announced the establishment of a $1-billion safe long-term care fund. We have invested $38.5 million to hire and train 4,000 personal support worker interns to address the significant labour shortages that exist for long-term care homes.
    We know there is more to do and more we can do, but I believe that by developing and enforcing a national standard of care throughout this country for all long-term care facilities, we can give the provinces and territories, which have jurisdiction over this industry, the framework they need to determine what funding and support are needed. We can then work with our provincial and territorial partners to determine how and where our federal government can help implement these standards.
    Next I would like to speak to some concerns raised about seniors aging at home, living out their golden years in their own residences and not ending up in long-term care. I believe that Canadian seniors should have the choice of where they want to be as they get older. Everyone has different needs as they age, and I believe that seniors choosing to live in their own home in their later years is a wonderful choice. Our government supports that decision fully.
    Our recently launched age well at home initiative is proof of that. Budget 2021 provided $90 million in funding that will deliver practical support to help low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors continue to live safely, independently and comfortably in their own homes and communities. The initiative will help seniors with at-home tasks, both big and small.
    The reason Motion No. 47 focuses on creating a long-term care act and developing a set of standards for long-term care facilities really boils down to choice. When seniors can and choose to remain in their own homes as they age, they have the freedom of choice. We can all think of the best long-term care facility in our own ridings and would hope that all facilities are adhering to the same standard of care for all residents, but we know that is not always the case.
    My hope with this motion is to ensure that every senior, whether they choose to stay in their own home or move into a long-term care facility, has the same freedom and choice in their care and treatment as they age. Setting out a minimum standard of care in this country and ensuring that our seniors know what that is and know what to expect from a facility are the main objectives of this motion.
    I want to finish off today by reiterating something I said in my first speech before the House.
    We recognize that our provincial and territorial partners have primary jurisdiction over long-term care in Canada. However, the federal government still has a vital role to play. The provinces and territories cannot do it alone. Our federal government has the resources, statistical knowledge and national expertise to help them improve the quality of long-term care in their province or territory. Only if we work collaboratively, as we did throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, will we be able to secure peace of mind for all Canadians who are residents, future residents or loved ones of someone in long-term care in any province or territory in this country.

  (1830)  

    I would like to thank colleagues again for their support of Motion No. 47 and for the opportunity to speak to this again today. When we look back on our legacies as parliamentarians, I think we all want to look back on them favourably, like we did the right things to benefit the most Canadians. For me, I would like to look back on this opportunity and say that we did the right thing and did what was best for those who paved the way for us and built this country: our seniors.
    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]

    I would like to request a recorded vote.
    Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, September 21, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise today to speak to Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments, specifically with respect to firearms. I know that there has been a lot said about this bill and how it would impact Canadians. I know that there have been some unfortunate comments that, in my opinion, do not exactly reflect what is in this bill, so I will use the opportunity today to try to highlight exactly what this bill would do.
    First and foremost, this bill would establish a national freeze on handguns. Individuals would no longer have the ability to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns. This is extremely reasonable in today's society with what we are seeing going on not just outside of our borders in the United States, but also as we have actually witnessed here in Canada. We know that for the vast majority of those who are looking to harm individuals and utilize a gun for an illegal purpose, the weapon of choice is a handgun, and it is extremely important to ensure that there is a restricted ability for people to access these.
    There would be exemptions, and there are exemptions in the bill, that ensure that those who require a weapon for security or policing purposes, etc., would obviously be exempt for those reasons. They would be able to make purchases for those reasons.
    We also know that a certain number of people out there enjoy using a handgun for sport: for shooting at a range or in various ways. They utilize that. Although it might be more challenging to access a handgun in order to continue using it for that purpose, this bill certainly makes it known that this is not about attempting to regulate those individuals or prevent those individuals from utilizing a handgun for that purpose. In many cases, for sport, those individuals would not be impacted.
    This bill would also establish red flag and yellow flag laws to expand the licence revocation process when it is deemed necessary in the right context.
     The bill would also combat firearms smuggling and trafficking, notably by increasing the maximum penalty of imprisonment for indictable weapons offences. This is extremely important to reference because this, along with the mandatory minimum sentences bill that the House has also been debating in the past few weeks, is a talking point for Conservatives, with respect to minimum sentences being dropped primarily because the Supreme Court has determined that to be a necessity. Because those are being dropped, the Conservatives are suggesting that the government is being more lenient on those who commit certain crimes that would have otherwise been, and currently would be, regulated by mandatory minimums.
     It is actually the opposite, because although the government does feel that when it comes to sentencing, judges should be the ones who are determining what sentencing is, we also recognize that for some of these indictable offences, particularly those around weapons, we would be giving greater sentencing capacity to change that maximum sentence from 10 years to 14 years. Indeed, when judges find it appropriate to increase the sentence even further, they would be given more capacity to do that.
    Of course, as indicated by other people who spoke before me, there is a provision within this bill to prohibit mid-velocity replica airguns. The reasons for that are quite notable, despite the fact that we have heard some conversation about the fact that different sporting activities might from time to time require these airguns.

  (1835)  

    It is very important to point out that this bill, at least in my opinion, is not about targeting law-abiding gun owners.
    Most of my uncles in particular either own hunting lodges, where they hunt with their friends and families, or have been participating as hunters for generations, quite frankly. On my wife's side of the family, my father-in-law grew up on a hunting and fishing lodge. I am quite familiar with the needs and requirements of hunters specifically, and I must admit I have never heard one of them talk about the need to use a handgun or an AR-15 for the purpose of hunting.
    What we are really trying to do here is curb the use of guns for illegal purposes: for the shootings we have seen in our country and continue to witness in the United States to the south of us. That is what the issue really is here.
    I know the default, and quite often used, excuse from the other side of the House is to ask why we are not going after those who are trying to bring the guns across the border, because a significant number of guns that are used in criminal activity are coming from across the border.
    I like my gun.
    Madam Speaker, that is the default reaction we hear from the Conservatives and continue to, literally as I speak right now. I am being heckled by them.
    If one believes nothing else about—
    I like my handgun the best; that's my favourite.
    I want to remind the hon. member who is heckling the parliamentary secretary that if he happens to have comments or questions he should wait until it is questions and comments time. There will be five minutes for questions and comments, and the official opposition will have the first question. I would ask him to wait until then because it is not respectful to be doing what he is doing at the moment.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, if the member wants, I would be happy to accept a unanimous consent motion to double my question time to 10 minutes, and then I could make sure I get to all the questions the Conservatives want to ask me. I would be more than happy to do that.
    What I was getting at is that if one does not believe in anything else, they should just look at the data that is out there. The countries that have the stricter gun laws are the countries that have fewer shootings. If one considers no other information than that plain and simple fact, one is left trying to decide whether the trade-off is deemed acceptable. Do we want stricter gun laws that result in fewer gun fatalities and homicides in particular? The data also shows there is a significant decrease in police officers who are killed in the line of duty by somebody who uses a gun on them.
    For me, that trade-off is pretty simple. Do we have to make things more restrictive in order to save more lives? All we have to do is look to the countries that have been quite successful in this. Other people have mentioned them throughout the debate today. The trade-off is quite simple for me. I am more interested in saving lives than preserving individuals' opportunity to hold on to and carry a firearm.
    I respect the fact that there are others on the other side of the House whose tolerance for that risk is different from mine. It is just a reality that we have differing opinions on this. However, I will stand firmly in my position that I do not see the need for handguns to be on our streets or to be held on to, or that people need to have a handgun. I do not personally see the reason for it.
    As I said, all those in my family and extended family who I know have hunted for generations, have never once, during our own individual discussions about this issue around the dinner table, talked about the need for a handgun. Yes, there are concerns from time to time about weapons, and in particular those used for hunting. I can respect that, but I just do not think handguns fall into that category, nor has any hunter I have ever spoken with agreed with that sentiment.
    I will leave it at that. If the member wants to put forward a unanimous consent motion to get me to answer twice as many questions, I would be happy to do that to make sure I can answer all those Conservative questions out there.

  (1840)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader indicated in his speech that he did not believe this bill would negatively impact law-abiding gun owners. I would take a little exception to that. As a licence-holder for restricted firearms, I know this would very negatively affect law-abiding gun owners.
    I am wondering why the member cannot see how the bill would do that and, at the same time, I am hoping that his position in his speech does not put him offside with his family members.
    Madam Speaker, I will address the last part first. I think what puts me offside with my family members more is the rhetoric that comes from the lobbying groups and, quite frankly, to be honest, the Conservatives. It is not until I have the opportunity to correct that information with my family members that they then seem to be much more at ease.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, the member can disagree with me, but I am saying how my family interacts with me, and that is just the reality of the situation.
    In the first part of his question, he was asking about how it would impact people. I guess it really comes down to what they determine to be an impact on somebody. Would it have an impact to tell people that we do not think it is appropriate to be carrying a firearm? If that negatively impacts them because they have a passion for doing that, then I guess it would impact them. However, I do not think it would impact those who are using a firearm for the purpose of hunting, in particular, which is the example I have been using.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we fully agree that we need better gun control. However, I would like to make a brief comment: We also have to control the border, because illegal weapons are coming across it, which is a problem.
    The way the bill is currently drafted, even airsoft players, who use air guns like paintball guns, will be banned from playing their sport. These are people who are very respectful of safety measures, but they will no longer be able to play, even though airsoft guns cause no injury, other than bruises.
    Would my colleague be open to proposing amendments in committee on this matter?

  (1845)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am always open to hearing ideas about how a bill can be amended to make it better. I have participated in paintballing myself. I am quite familiar with what the guns look like. The ones that are specifically referenced in the bill are replicas. A typical paintball gun used for recreational purposes outside of intense sport have a big barrel for the paintballs. It is quite clear that it is not a replica, at least in my opinion, but I would love to explore this more at committee.
    As to the first point when the member talked about the border, I would say that we have done two significant things since coming into power. The first is that we recommitted and put money into securing our borders by investing in the CBSA officers the previous Conservative government had eliminated. The second is that this bill would change the maximum sentence for those indictable offences from 10 years to 14 years. We are putting a stricter sentence on those who choose to participate in that criminal activity.
    Madam Speaker, I will ask a question similar to what my colleague asked about the airsoft guns. In my riding, there are some small businesses owners who sell those airsoft rifles, and they are really concerned about what is going to happen to their business. I would like to know what the government did to consult with some of these small business owners, and if the bill moves forward and the legislation is not changed, what they will do to ensure that those small businesses are able to continue to do business.
    Madam Speaker, I did not write the bill, so I do not know exactly what the consultative process has been up to this point, but what I do know is that the next stage of this bill is in committee, where the committee could do a lot of that consultative process and perhaps come up with some solutions and ideas. There is the idea her colleague mentioned in the House earlier about making it a requirement that the tip of the gun be painted a certain colour. I would argue that a nice, bright red would be better than orange, as suggested by her colleague earlier, but, nonetheless, I am sure there are opportunities out there to help improve the bill.
    Madam Speaker, today we are debating Bill C-21. My Conservative colleagues have already laid out some of the bill's content and really the false narrative the Liberals have tried to advance in trying to pass this bill.
    We know there is a significant crime problem in many of our urban centres, especially in those where we have seen a rise in shootings and gun crime. We also know that illegal weapons are the real problem. In the city of Toronto, the police have clearly stated that in over 85% of crimes involving a firearm in that city the weapons were smuggled in illegally from the United States. As a matter of fact, CBC reported that municipalities across the country report very similar stats. It said that, depending on the municipality, between 70% and 95% of all guns used in the commission of a crime have been imported from the United States.
    The stats clearly prove that very few crimes were committed by those who are legally permitted to own them, who are the real targets of Bill C-21. Members will notice the Liberals never share that data. They never say that legal gun owners are not the problem because that is the group of people they like to target. They want to have Canadians believe that legal gun owners are the problem, are scary and need to be eliminated. They are stating in this bill that they want to see an end to the trading of these guns.
    It is important that Canadians know that anybody who owns a weapon that is addressed in this bill has gone through extensive training and background checks, and the stats clearly indicate they are not the problem when it comes to crime in our cities. The Liberals have been fabricating a narrative that is completely hypocritical when we see what they have done. Bill C-21 does next to nothing to deal with smuggled firearms or target the criminals who import, sell and use them.
    What makes the Liberals even more hypocritical is the fact that they have a bill to deal with these criminals, which is Bill C-5. In that bill the Liberals are reducing the mandatory minimum imprisonments for criminals who are involved in the following crimes: unauthorized possession of prohibited or restricted weapons; possession of prohibited or restricted firearms with ammunition; possession of firearms obtained by commission of an offence; firearms trafficking; possession of firearms for the purposes of trafficking; and knowingly importing and exporting an unauthorized firearm. They are reducing the penalties for the people who are actually the problem when it comes to gun crime in this country. It is clear to see the Liberals have no interest in dealing with the real problem, taking illegal weapons off of our streets.
    As if we needed any additional evidence that the Liberal government would go to disturbing lengths to advance its own political agenda, in breaking news just yesterday afternoon we learned that the Liberals would jeopardize the independence of the institution of the RCMP for their political interests. The evidence in the report that was released included some of the scariest evidence of how low the government will go and how many boundaries it will break to advance its own political agenda. The Halifax Examiner exposed the rot that exists in the government and the manipulation it expects from the highest levels of what should be an independent trusted public institution.
    The headline screams, “RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki tried to 'jeopardize' mass murder investigation to advance [the Prime Minister's] gun control efforts”. In her report, Jennifer Henderson stated:

  (1850)  

    RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki “made a promise” to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and the Prime Minister's Office to leverage the mass murders of April 18/19, 2020 to get a gun control law passed.
    A week after the murders, Lucki pressured RCMP in Nova Scotia to release details of the weapons used by the killer. But RCMP commanders in Nova Scotia refused to release such details, saying doing so would threaten their investigation into the murders.
    The Trudeau government’s gun control objectives were spelled out in an order in council issued in May 2020....
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I suspect you might be thinking I am rising to say that the member is stating mistruths on the record, but that is not it. The member has made reference to the Prime Minister by using his name, and we are not allowed to use the name of the Prime Minister or any other member.
    I would like to remind the member that, in the House of Commons, he is not to use the names of current sitting members, the Prime Minister or ministers. They have to be referred to by their titles.
    The hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie.
    Madam Speaker, I was quoting, and I do apologize because I know that, even while quoting, I am not allowed to use the member's names.
    The member is correct. He confirmed that I am not spreading misinformation. He has confirmed that, in fact, this is truth, so I am going to continue reading. The article continues:
     The...government's gun control objectives were spelled out in an order in council issued in May 2020, and [the legislation codifying them] were encapsulated in Bill C-21, which was tabled last month, but the concern in April 2020 was the extent to which politics threatened to interfere with a cross-border police investigation into how the killer managed to obtain and smuggle into Canada four illegal guns used to commit many of the 22 murders.
    Now I am going to jump a little bit further ahead in the report to the part where RCMP commanders in Nova Scotia refused to release details they thought would compromise their investigation. Jennifer Henderson writes:
     April 28, 2020 — just one week after the murders...Nova Scotia Supt. Darren Campbell briefed journalists at a news conference....
    On the firearms question, Campbell told journalists he “couldn't get into details... because the investigation is still active and ongoing,” except to confirm the gunman had several semi-automatic handguns and two semi-automatic rifles.
    Shortly after the news conference Campbell, Asst. Commander Lee Bergerman, Leather, and Nova Scotia Communications director Lia Scanlan were summoned to a meeting. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and a deputy from Ottawa were on the conference call. Lucki was not happy.
     Let me quote that again: “Lucki was not happy.”
     The article then continues:
    Campbell’s handwritten notes made immediately following that meeting describe what happened:
    “The Commissioner was obviously upset. She did not raise her voice but her choice of words was indicative of her overall dissatisfaction with our work. The Commissioner accused us (me) of disrespecting her by not following her instructions. I was and remain confused over this. The Commissioner said she told Comms to tell us at H Division to include specific info about the firearms used by [the killer]....However I said we couldn’t because to do so would jeopardize ongoing efforts to advance the U.S. side of the case as well as the Canadian components of the investigation. Those are facts and I stand by them.”
    Campbell noted that Lucki went on at length and said she was “sad and disappointed” that he had not provided these details to the media. Campbell continued:
    “The Commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister’s Office that the RCMP...would release this information. I tried to explain there was no intent to disrespect anyone however we could not release this information at this time. The Commissioner then said that we didn’t understand, that this was tied to pending gun control legislation that would make officers and the public safer. She was very upset and at one point Deputy Commissioner (Brian) Brennan tried to get things calmed down but that had little effect. Some in the room were reduced to tears and emotional over this belittling reprimand.”

  (1855)  

    The hon. member's time is up. I have been trying to give him a signal. He does have five minutes of questions and comments.
    Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives' back room is working hard. They have the new spin going on in regard to the whole issue of guns. Wherever they can get personal and start attacking, that is what they are going to do.
    That is what we have heard for the last five or six minutes from the member. It is just comments attacking the integrity of the system. I will stand by the RCMP. I support the RCMP. The minister has been very clear on the RCMP, but the member does not let the facts cause issues.
    In the legislation, there is the issue of yellow flags and red flags, an area that I think the vast majority of Canadians, and I suspect even some Conservatives, would support. What is the member's opinion on the value of having the red flags and yellow flags in the legislation?
    Madam Speaker, this is a Liberal member again trying to spread information that is not complete. The member opposite knows that the system currently has a flagging system for guns that are legally held. Those people who have gone through robust security checks, those who have gone through training programs, have to relinquish their guns if, in fact, they are flagged. That exists today.
    The government can put a new name on the flagging system, or put a colour on it, but the fact is that it exists today, and the members opposite know that they have been playing politics with this entire issue since the very beginning. The member claims that I am making this up or that the back rooms of the Conservative Party are making this stuff up. It is printed in every newspaper in this country currently.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    The government says it wants to reduce gun violence by introducing Bill C‑21, but the Montreal police service tells us that 95% of handguns used in violent crimes come from the black market.
    I would like to know if my colleague thinks the government is doing enough to fight violence committed with illegal weapons. Is it doing enough at the borders, for example? Is Bill C‑21 sufficient?

  (1900)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, that is the real tragedy, that the Liberals would use the tragedy of the murders of 22 Nova Scotians, innocent civilians in many cases, to advance this agenda. All of the guns that were included in that were illegal weapons—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    I ruled on this a while ago on the official opposition side. The hon. parliamentary secretary has been in this House for some time, and he knows that he should not be heckling or trying to ask questions while someone is already answering a question.
    The hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie.
    Madam Speaker, that is exactly what has happened. The Liberals have tried to shut it down every time the facts get in the way of their good story, their spin. That is the incredible heartbreak of what they did with the RCMP, where they instructed the commissioner to go out there and release information, compromising an investigation.
    In fact, the four guns that were found were illegally owned and had come across the border illegally. That is what we should be tackling. Instead, the Liberals are passing legislation to reduce sentences for people who are trafficking in illegal weapons, and going after law-abiding gun owners.
    Madam Speaker, we know that in most violence in intimate partner relationships, in terms of murders, there is the use of handguns. I am wondering what the Conservative Party would do, if anything, to put in stricter laws for handguns to make sure that women, in particular, are safer.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague brings up a very important point. I think she misspoke when she suggested that the vast majority of domestic abuse involves firearms. I do not believe that statistic is correct.
     I do believe protocols exist for those people who have been flagged as risks, those who have demonstrated a compromised mental capacity and those who have demonstrated that they should not be in possession of a firearm. I believe in and support a flagging system that gets those firearms confiscated from people who have demonstrated that they should no longer have them.
    Obviously, we do need to get serious about domestic violence in this country. We do have to get serious about the importation of illegal weapons, and that is what we would like to do on this side of the House.

[Translation]

    Is the House ready for the question?
    Some hon. members: Question.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The question is on the amendment to the amendment.

[English]

    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division, or that the subamendment be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. official opposition House leader.
    Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to an order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the recorded division stands deferred until Thursday, June 23, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

  (1905)  

[English]

Order Respecting the Business of the House and its Committees

    That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, beginning on Friday, June 24, 2022, and ending on Friday, June 23, 2023:
(a) members may participate in proceedings of the House either in person or by videoconference, provided that members participating remotely be in Canada;
(b) members who participate remotely in a sitting of the House be counted for the purpose of quorum;
(c) provisions in the Standing Orders to the need for members to rise or to be in their place, as well as any reference to the chair, the table or the chamber shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the virtual and hybrid nature of the proceedings;
(d) the application of Standing Order 17 shall be suspended;
(e) in Standing Orders 26(2), 53(4), 56.1(3), and 56.2(2), the reference to the number of members required to rise be replaced with the word “five”;
(f) the application of Standing Order 62 shall be suspended for any member participating remotely;
(g) documents may be laid before the House or presented to the House electronically, provided that:
(i) documents deposited pursuant to Standing Order 32(1) shall be deposited with the Clerk of the House electronically,
(ii) documents shall be transmitted to the clerk by members prior to their intervention,
(iii) any petition presented pursuant to Standing Order 36(5) may be filed with the clerk electronically,
(iv) responses to questions on the Order Paper deposited pursuant to Standing Order 39 may be tabled electronically;
(h) should the House resolve itself in a committee of the whole, the Chair may preside from the Speaker’s chair;
(i) when a question that could lead to a recorded division is put to the House, in lieu of calling for the yeas and nays, one representative of a recognized party can rise to request a recorded vote or to indicate that the motion is adopted on division, provided that a request for a recorded division has precedence;
(j) when a recorded division is requested in respect of a debatable motion, or a motion to concur in a bill at report stage on a Friday, including any division arising as a consequence of the application of Standing Order 78, but excluding any division in relation to the budget debate, pursuant to Standing Order 84, or the business of supply occurring on the last supply day of a period, other than as provided in Standing Orders 81(17) and 81(18)(b), or arising as a consequence of an order made pursuant to Standing Order 57,
(i) before 2:00 p.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, it shall stand deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions at that day’s sitting, or
(ii) after 2:00 p.m. on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or at any time on a Friday, it shall stand deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions at the next sitting day that is not a Friday,
provided that any extension of time pursuant to Standing Order 45(7.1) shall not exceed 90 minutes;
(k) if a motion for the previous question under Standing Order 61 is adopted without a recorded division, the vote on the main question may be deferred under the provisions of paragraph (j), however if a recorded division is requested on the previous question, and such division is deferred and the previous question subsequently adopted, the vote on the original question shall not be deferred;
(l) when a recorded division, which would have ordinarily been deemed deferred to immediately before the time provided for Private Members’ Business on a Wednesday governed by this order, is requested, the said division is deemed to have been deferred until the conclusion of Oral Questions on the same Wednesday, provided that such recorded divisions be taken after the other recorded divisions deferred at that time;
(m) for greater certainty, this order shall not limit the application of Standing Order 45(7);
(n) when a recorded division is to be held, the bells to call in the members shall be sounded for not more than 30 minutes, except recorded divisions deferred to the conclusion of Oral Questions, when the bells shall be sounded for not more than 15 minutes;
(o) recorded divisions shall take place in the usual way for members participating in person or by electronic means through the House of Commons electronic voting application for all other members, provided that:
(i) electronic votes shall be cast from within Canada using the member’s House-managed mobile device and the member’s personal House of Commons account, and that each vote require visual identity validation,
(ii) the period allowed for voting electronically on a motion shall be 10 minutes, to begin after the Chair has read the motion to the House, and members voting electronically may change their vote until the electronic voting period has closed,
(iii) in the event a member casts their vote both in person and electronically, a vote cast in person take precedence,
(iv) any member unable to vote via the electronic voting system during the 10-minute period due to technical issues may connect to the virtual sitting to indicate to the Chair their voting intention by the House videoconferencing system,
(v) following any concern, identified by the electronic voting system, which is raised by a House officer of a recognized party regarding the visual identity of a member using the electronic voting system, the member in question shall respond immediately to confirm their vote, either in person or by the House videoconferencing system, failing which the vote shall not be recorded,
(vi) the whip of each recognized party have access to a tool to confirm the visual identity of each member voting by electronic means, and that the votes of members voting by electronic means be made available to the public during the period allowed for the vote,
(vii) the process for votes in committees of the whole take place in a manner similar to the process for votes during sittings of the House with the exception of the requirement to call in the members,
(viii) any question to be resolved by secret ballot be excluded from this order,
(ix) during the taking of a recorded division on a private members’ business, when the sponsor of the item is the first to vote and present at the beginning of the vote, the member be called first, whether participating in person or remotely;
(p) during meetings of standing, standing joint, special, special joint, except the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency, and legislative committees and the Liaison Committee, as well as their subcommittees, where applicable, members may participate either in person or by videoconference, and provided that priority use of House resources for meetings shall be established by an agreement of the whips and, for virtual or hybrid meetings, the following provisions shall apply:
(i) members who participate remotely shall be counted for the purpose of quorum,
(ii) except for those decided unanimously or on division, all questions shall be decided by a recorded vote,
(iii) when more than one motion is proposed for the election of a chair or a vice-chair of a committee, any motion received after the initial one shall be taken as a notice of motion and such motions shall be put to the committee seriatim until one is adopted,
(iv) public proceedings shall be made available to the public via the House of Commons website,
(v) in camera proceedings may be conducted in a manner that takes into account the potential risks to confidentiality inherent in meetings with remote participants,
(vi) notices of membership substitutions pursuant to Standing Order 114(2) and requests pursuant to Standing Order 106(4) may be filed with the clerk of each committee by email; and
(q) notwithstanding the order adopted on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, regarding the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency, until the committee ceases to exist and where applicable,
(i) the committee shall hold meetings in person only should this be necessary to consider any matter referred to it pursuant to subsection 61(2) of the act,
(ii) members who participate remotely shall be counted for the purpose of quorum,
(iii) except for those decided unanimously or on division, all questions shall be decided by a recorded vote,
(iv) in camera proceedings may be conducted in a manner that takes into account the potential risks to confidentiality inherent in meetings with remote participants,
(v) when more than one motion is proposed for the election of the House vice-chairs, any motion received after the initial one shall be taken as a notice of motion and such motions shall be put to the committee seriatim until one is adopted;
that a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint Their Honours that this House has passed this order; and
that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to undertake a study on hybrid proceedings and the aforementioned changes to the Standing Orders and the usual practice of the House.
    He said: Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on this motion and talk about the extension of hybrid provisions for one year and the opportunity for the procedure and House affairs committee members to study the issue of either the use or the non-use of those provisions as they deem through their process and their recommendations thereafter.
    I will take us back for a moment to March 2020. As the whole business of the pandemic was unfolding, it was about a week before this House shut down when I had a conversation with the House administration at that time asking what the pandemic plan was and what we had on the books. Of course, those who wrote it had put something together, but it became apparent very quickly upon looking at it that the intersection of what was planned with what happened in real life meant that the plan, frankly, was not of much use.
    We then began a process, and I want to thank members from all parties, reflecting back on those early days in March 2020, as we attempted to find a way for Canada's Parliament to continue to do its business and to make sure that, notwithstanding the fact that we had this incredible public health emergency that sent people to their homes, Canadians knew that the seat of their democracy continued to function, continued to get bills passed and continued to put supports out there for them.
    Before I talk about some of those supports, I want to take a moment to thank the House administration and officials who worked with us to create these tools and innovations to allow our democracy to continue to function. In an incredibly short period of time, an ability was developed to participate and vote virtually. This eventually led to a voting app and other refinements that have enabled members, whether or not they are sick, whether or not they are unable to be at the House for medical or other reasons, to continue to participate in the proceedings of the House and to make sure they are not disenfranchised and their constituents continue to be represented.
    Members would remember that Canadians and businesses were reeling in those early days of COVID, and some three million jobs were lost. There was a real state of folks not knowing where things were going to go. Small businesses were left unable to serve their customers and wondering what their future would be. It was specifically because of the provisions we put in place, which all parties worked on with the House administration, that we were able to still get those supports adopted and make historic support available to make sure that businesses and individuals did not fall through the cracks.
    Now we see the economy roaring back, and 115% of jobs lost during the pandemic have come back, compared to below 100% for the United States. We see us being a world leader in economic growth, number two in the G7 and trending towards being number one next year. It is absolutely evident that the supports that were put in place to make sure that Canadians did not fall through the cracks were what got us there.
    When we think of the bravery of people opening a small business, taking a chance and putting themselves out in the world, putting their shingle out and hoping to survive, there are a lot of things they have to prepare for, such as the possibility that their product may not be as popular as they had hoped, or the long hours that they, and the people they employ, will have to put in to try to make the business successful. Of course, it is not reasonable for folks to expect that a global pandemic will be the thing that shuts them down. It was, in fact, those hybrid provisions that enabled people to get that work done.
    The pandemic continues, but before I talk about the continuing pandemic, I will take a moment to talk about all the things that we got done, and not just those historic supports.
    As the pandemic came and went, as we thought it was over last November and we thought that things might be returning to a sense of normalcy but we got hit by omicron, the flexibility of Parliament meant that we were able to continue to get the job of the nation done. We can take a look at how much Parliament was able to accomplish from January to June: 14 bills, not including supply, were presented, and we introduced seven bills in the Senate on a range of important issues. Many of the bills that we are passing now or that have just passed through the House are going to the Senate, and it is our hope and expectation, particularly with the great work that was just done on Bill C-28, that the Senate will be able to get that done as well before it rises for the summer. This was all done using the hybrid provisions.

  (1910)  

    Let us take a look at some of those bills.
    Bill C-19 is critical to grow our economy, foster clean technology, strengthen our health care system and make life more affordable for Canadians in areas such as housing and child care.
     Bill C-18 would make sure that media and journalists in Canadian digital news receive fair compensation for their work in an incredibly challenged digital environment.
    Bill C-11 would require online streaming services to contribute to the creation and availability of Canadian stories and music to better support Canadian artists.
    Bill C-21 would protect Canadians from the dangers of firearms in our communities, making sure that we freeze the market on handguns, attack smuggling at the border and implement red flag provisions to address domestic violence.
    Bill C-22 was brought forward to reduce poverty among persons with disabilities in Canada and is part of a broader strategy that has seen more than one million Canadians lifted out of poverty. That is particularly remarkable when we think that it was this government that set the first targets ever for poverty reduction. After we set those goals, we have been exceeding them every step of the way, and Bill C-22 is a big part of that strategy.
    Bill C-28, which I talked about a minute ago, deals with the extreme intoxication defence. It is a great example of Parliament in a hybrid environment being able to work collaboratively to ensure that we close an important loophole to make sure that the extreme intoxication defence is not used when murder has been committed.
    These are just some of the bills that we have been able to put forward, and we have been able to do so in a way that empowered all members of Parliament to be able to participate, whether they had COVID or not.
    To give members a sense of the challenges, not only was all of this done using the hybrid system and during the middle of a pandemic, but it was done while dealing with obstruction. We saw all the times the Conservatives obstructed government legislation. In fact, 17 times over the past 14 weeks, the Conservatives used obstruction tactics, using concurrence motions and other tactics to block and obstruct, in many cases, legislation that was supported by three out of the four official parties here. They took the opportunity to obstruct, yet despite that, we have been able to make great progress.
    The Conservatives support Bill C-14, yet we ended up spending a night because they were moving motions to hear their own speakers. At the MAID committee looking at medical assistance in dying, where there was incredibly sensitive testimony, witnesses were not able to testify because of the tactics and games that were happening here in this place. However, despite all that, in a hybrid environment we have been able to move forward.
    Let us look at last week. Last week there were five members of the Liberal caucus who had COVID, and one of these people was the Prime Minister. I do not know how many members there were in other caucuses, but all were still able to participate in these proceedings. Every day, unfortunately, thousands of Canadians across the country continue to get COVID. Sadly, many of them are in hospitals and, even more tragically, many of them are dying. This pandemic is still very much a reality.
    What we have seen over the last two years is that every time we try to start a parliamentary session, we spend weeks debating whether we should or should not continue using the hybrid system. Parliament deserves stability. People are still getting COVID. They have the right to be able to participate in this place, and as has been demonstrated by the incredible amount of work we have been able to get done during the pandemic, from historic supports in the deepest, darkest time of the pandemic to the more recent times dealing with a whole range of legislation that is absolutely critical to Canadians, these provisions allow us to continue to do the work of this nation in extraordinary times.
    I do not think we should be in a position such that every time we start Parliament, we continue to have this debate. Canadians need predictability, as we do not know where this pandemic or public health circumstances are going. Canadians need predictability until the House of Commons, through a committee process, can evaluate the utility and usefulness of the provisions outside of a pandemic reality to see if they should be extended or used. We need to have a proper, thorough debate in that venue, hearing from witnesses, hearing from parliamentarians, taking a look at what was accomplished and at what could be done better or differently.

  (1915)  

    We are already seeing big improvements in everything, from the services that are being delivered to interpretation. I look forward to PROC's work to see whether or not these provisions have utility, but until then, this measure would give us the stability for PROC to do its report and for Parliament to continue to function in incredibly challenging times.
    That is why I think it is only prudent to pass this measure now. It is so that Parliament will have the stability to do its work, so Canadians will know this work will not be interrupted, and so we can focus instead on the business of the nation.
    Madam Speaker, I certainly appreciate the history lesson from the government House leader. I know he has focused a lot on predictability, but let us look at what is happening in the here and now.
    There is not one legislature in this country that is working under a hybrid system. Even the mother Parliament in Britain suspended its hybrid system last July and returned to an in-person system. There are other legislatures around the world that have returned to an in-person system.
    The reality is that public health agencies, not just here in Ontario but in Quebec and all over the country, have limited the restrictions. There are no more mandates, for example. The government, just this week, announced that. We could revisit this in August and September and, with an agreement, return to a hybrid format if the need is there.
    I do not understand why the government House leader will not accept that as the current reality of today.
    Madam Speaker, there is no obligation on the hon. House leader for the Conservatives or on his colleagues to use any of these provisions. They can show up to this place 100% of the time. When they have had COVID or been sick, they have used these provisions and voted through them. If they would rather not vote or participate and not represent their constituents using these tools, that is an option they have.
    On this side of the aisle, we do not find it acceptable for somebody who is sick to attend. As I said, we had five individuals just last week, as we are still in the middle of this pandemic, who had COVID, and despite that, they were able to continue to participate. They did not come in here and they did not spread it. I think that is responsible, and it allows us to continue to do our work. Rather than debating this for an entire summer, leading up to having to deal with it again in the fall, this would provide us with the stability and clarity we need.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. However, I am concerned about government accountability when we use the hybrid model.
    It is clear, and studies have shown, that when we study important bills in committee, the informal aspect that allows us to truly engage with our colleagues to look for constructive ways to improve things is not there.
    I wonder about how the hybrid approach affects accountability, especially in a context where there are a lot of worrisome signals about democracy. We have seen a government run by closure motions in recent weeks.
    It is important to respect the democratic aspect, and this hybrid approach can sometimes make things a little more complicated, especially in committee. I would like to know what my colleague thinks about this.
    Madam Speaker, obviously, questions can be asked in committee both within and outside the hybrid system. Many people appeared in committee virtually, and we were able to ask them questions.
    During the most difficult period of the pandemic for businesses and individuals, it was entirely possible for members to ask questions, participate in debates and exercise all their rights as members in virtual mode.
    Generally speaking, most people now participate in person, but the hybrid system enables us to adapt to changing health situations while maintaining the flexibility to answer questions.

  (1920)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we heard some really interesting, to put it mildly, arguments from the Conservatives over the last number of days. I think what we have said very clearly is that virtual work is work and that we are still in the pandemic and expecting another wave, possibly in the early fall.
    We know that a hybrid Parliament is a family-friendly Parliament. A hybrid Parliament is also a climate-smart Parliament in the era of climate change when we should be reducing our carbon footprint.
    First of all, does the hon. member believe that the Conservatives need to get out of the time warp that they are in, and should Parliament not be a model workplace? Should we not be opening the doors to new and smarter and safer ways of doing work, meaning hybrid work?
    Madam Speaker, I think what we demonstrated in this vast, enormous country, the second-largest country in the world, where we traverse enormous distances, is that in this global pandemic, a virtual environment allowed us to do our work despite those incredible challenges. There will be a separate process at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to look at its utility outside of the public health circumstance.
    Inside the public health circumstance, when we take people from all ends of the country, put them in airplanes, put them in a small room and then send them back to their home communities, that is not a safe environment. That is not a good way for us to be operating and that is why, in a continuing pandemic, we need to have the flexibility to keep people safe.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to use myself as an example. I was one of the members who tested positive for COVID and was unable to participate in person, and this was just last week. My choice was between coming into the chamber knowing that I had tested positive for COVID or using the hybrid provisions to attend.
    Because the hybrid format was there, I was able to be engaged in debates, at least on a few occasions. I was also able to vote. I think it sends a message to my constituents in terms of doing the right thing by not coming here and speaking and voting. In that way I can protect my colleagues and ultimately demonstrate leadership in the community.
    Madam Speaker, my friend and colleague raises a very important point. All members of Parliament take their responsibility to represent their communities as sacrosanct, as something that is deep within them. This would put members in a situation of having to choose whether to not represent their constituents, not show up, not participate and not vote, or come in and get everybody sick.
    Remember, if we come in sick because we want to represent our constituents and be able to vote and be able to participate in a critical debate, we are going to make other people in the chamber sick, and then those sick people will go back to every corner of the country and make everybody else sick.
    In talking about ending this in the middle of a pandemic, we are literally incentivizing members to come in sick so that they can represent their constituents and then act as super-spreaders across the country. That is not responsible.
    I understand that there is a debate about how we can or cannot use these provisions outside of a pandemic circumstance, but since we continue to be in a pandemic right now, shutting off that option and incentivizing members to come in sick is not the right approach.
    Madam Speaker, the NDP and the Liberals seem to feel they know a lot more than a lot of the public health officials and any other parliamentarians around the country, and, as the hon. member from the Conservatives mentioned earlier, more than all other parliaments around the world.
    What makes Canada so much more special that we can carve out this small niche for ourselves when the rest of the world is moving on?

  (1925)  

    Madam Speaker, I think I just explained what is different about the Canadian circumstance, and I do not think I could have been any clearer in my example.
    When people are forced to make a choice between coming to work sick, representing their constituents, voting and participating in critical issues, or else staying home and not making people sick, the ramifications in a pandemic, I think, are exceptionally clear. This is particularly the case in a country as big and vast as this country. We are pulling people in from communities all over the second-largest country in the world and putting them into a small, confined space.
    Eliminating the ability for them to work when they are sick and incentivizing them to come in when they are ill does not make sense. We continue to be in a pandemic.
    This hybrid format makes sense. It would last for a year, and there is every opportunity for the procedure and house affairs committee to take a look at the utility or lack of utility outside of a public circumstance. We deserve to have that debate. It should take place, and I look forward to it.
    Madam Speaker, it is with mixed emotions that I stand here tonight to participate in this debate. The emotions are really a misunderstanding of why we are even debating this, and somewhat anger as well that we are actually using up valuable time in this place to debate a futuristic issue that somehow the government House leader is predicting to occur when everything else around the world, including 10 feet outside of this building, has returned to normal.
    It does not make any sense to me that we are wasting this time tonight when there are other issues we could be discussing, including the affordability and inflation crisis going on right now. The inflation rate rose to 7.7% today, which is the highest level in 40 years, and we are not seeing any solutions from the government to deal with that.
    In fact, earlier today I asked for a unanimous consent motion to deal with an emergency debate on the inflation and affordability crisis given the news of today. Given the fact that Canadians are struggling and suffering under the weight of these financial pressures, and the level of anxiety they are facing right now, I thought it would be prudent to use the time this evening to have a debate on inflation and affordability.
    Right now, across this country there is a situation where even the most basic services the government can provide, passport services, are a fiasco. There are lineups right across the country. People are travelling in those small confined spaces: the airplanes that the government House leader just described as being a risk. They are waiting in line for passports. Some have trips coming up in a couple of days and are still waiting for their passports to be processed. In Montreal, we have seen lineups around the building. In North York, there are lineups around the building and down the street.
    The most basic governmen