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View Joël Lightbound Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Joël Lightbound Profile
2020-02-06 15:41 [p.1044]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, for his speech.
I would like to correct one of his figures, since we agree on the facts themselves. Yes, the previous Conservative government cut the Canada Border Services Agency's budget. However, it was not cut by $300 million, but rather $390 million. The Conservatives eliminated more than 1,000 CBSA jobs, and we all know how that turned out.
I do not agree with his reading of the facts. A number of analysts do not agree with the version put forward by the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles regarding the consequences those cuts had on the CBSA. In his speech, he talked about the importance of increasing CBSA's human and financial resources. Indeed the border is difficult to protect. It is important to properly equip the men and women who defend and monitor it.
In that regard, I find it hard to understand why the member's party voted against the 2019 budget, which increased the CBSA budget by $382 million, resulting in the hiring of 560 full-time employees, including 350 border security officers next year. That is significant.
The Conservatives also voted against Bill C-37, which allowed border services officers to search for 30-gram packages of fentanyl. We know that this can cause up to 15,000 deaths. We invested $33 million in the Canada Border Services Agency specifically for this initiative, which prevents drugs such as fentanyl to reach the Canadian market. We know the consequences this can have.
Now for my question for my hon. colleague. Does he agree with our government's reinvestments following the budget cuts made by the previous Conservative government?
I appreciate that he will support Bill C-3, which has not changed in recent months from when it was originally introduced in the House.
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