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Friday, June 18, 2021

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 150
No. 121


Friday, June 18, 2021

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Government Orders

[Government Orders]



Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

    The House resumed from June 16 consideration of Bill C‑30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of Motion No. 2.
    Resuming debate. The member has six and a half minutes to finish his speech.
    Madam Speaker, as I was saying, the facts show that Quebeckers cannot count on the federal government to take action against tax havens. There is nothing in budget 2021 to do away with them.
    Unfortunately, there are provisions in Bill C‑30 that make it even easier to use tax havens. The federal government is therefore still complicit in tax avoidance schemes, which makes Canada part of the problem and not part of the solution in the fight against tax havens.
    In budget 2021, which serves as a springboard for the post-COVID‑19 economic recovery, the federal government offers little or nothing to help small farms get better access to credit. This inability to access credit was one of the most serious problems that farmers encountered during the health crisis. That is unacceptable.
    Agriculture is obviously not a priority for the Liberal government, but it is a priority for Quebec and an integral part of our culture. The Liberal government has never been interested in supporting a bill to better protect supply management, which is essential to the survival of the agricultural model. Protecting supply management has always enjoyed broad support within Quebec's agricultural sector, but it is also acknowledged by producers in the other provinces as well as in the United States, which says something.
    Why did the Liberal government recently do everything it could to prevent Bill C‑216 being passed in committee? Well, it did pass, and we hope the accelerating pace of the coming days will bring this bill along for the ride. Quebec's agricultural sector is counting on us.
    In the Bloc Québécois's view, parliamentary proceedings and debates too often take too long, things do not move fast enough, and people talk even though they have nothing to say. For years, and again this week, members have spoken at length in the House of Commons about various aspects of the housing problem.
    Still, there remains a desperate need for housing in Abitibi—Témiscamingue as well as in several other regions of Quebec, and that need is only being made more acute by the communities' sustained efforts to attract workers.
    What of the federal government's solutions to this problem? There are none. The federal government has not proposed any. I would, however, like to highlight a local initiative undertaken by the Fondation Martin-Bradley. They organized a radiothon and raised $301,000 to, among other things, build housing for people who are struggling, especially people living with mental health problems.
    The Fondation Martin-Bradley got things done. I am thinking especially of Ghislain Beaulieu, and of Jean-Yves Morneau and his son, Jean-François, who organized a fundraiser among the region's entrepreneurs and businesspeople. The amount raised, $301,000, is huge, and I want to salute them. Among other things, the funds will go to finance projects, like for farm outreach workers in Abitibi—Témiscamingue's farming community, for whom psychological support is so essential. I have to say it again: All this stems from the fact that the federal budget does nothing to address the situation.
    Legitimate transfer payments to Quebec to encourage housing initiatives are both slow to come and hugely insufficient. Not enough construction is happening, which is having a direct impact on the economic and social development of our regions and Quebec as a whole.
    Out of respect for Quebec's jurisdictions, more substantial amounts need to be transferred, especially considering the current context, which includes the significantly higher cost of materials and labour. At the same time, tax incentives for developers would be a way to support and stimulate infrastructure initiatives that offer exciting opportunities for the recovery by building on what has been achieved in our communities, not to mention community-based housing projects that would provide a sustainable solution to this problem.
    Finally, why will Ottawa not allocate funding for the regions, with no strings attached, to be administered by Quebec and people on the ground? This would encourage development projects based on specific parameters and priorities linked to specific needs. More than ever, labour shortages are hindering the economic recovery of my region, Abitibi—Témiscamingue. More than ever, the federal government needs to come up with solutions, because we are feeling abandoned right now.
    I believe that the particular status of a region like Abitibi—Témiscamingue, which borders Ontario, places it in a certain situation. People back home are moving to the riding of the member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing because immigration cases are processed in 12 months in Ontario, whereas in my riding it takes up to 27 months, or even 30 months in certain cases. That is ridiculous.
    As I was saying, in Abitibi—Témiscamingue there is a housing shortage coupled with a labour shortage, and therefore it is important to stimulate housing construction. How can we attract and keep skilled workers in Abitibi—Témiscamingue when they are unable to find a home for their families? The federal government must act quickly.
    Bill C‑30 also attacks Quebec once more and its securities regulator. That is unacceptable.


     How can we ignore one of the federal government's most blatant centralizing moves in recent years, its attempt to bring the financial sector under federal control by making it responsible for insurance, securities, derivatives, deposit taking institutions except for banks and the distribution of financial products and services?
    The objective of this Canada-wide securities regulator is another example of the centralization of financial markets by the federal government. It wants Toronto to become a single Canada-wide regulator, which would be contrary to the independent economic development of all the other provinces. This is not just a jurisdictional dispute or a squabble between the federal and provincial governments, it is a battle between Bay Street and Quebec.
    I remind members that the Bloc Québécois and Quebec are strongly opposed to this. Four times now, the National Assembly of Quebec has unanimously called on the federal government to abandon that idea. It is no exaggeration to say that everyone in Quebec is against it. Seldom have we seen Quebec's business community come together as one to oppose this very bad idea of the federal government, which just wants to cater to Bay Street.
    Let the federal government and Bay Street take note: The Bloc Québécois will always stand in the way of creating a single Canada-wide securities regulator.
    Having a financial markets authority is essential to Quebec's development. This is nothing short of an attack on our ability to keep our head offices. Preserving Quebec's distinct economic pillars is essential to our development. We will not let the federal government get away with this.



    Madam Speaker, it is always good to hear members of Parliament talk about housing. However, the interesting issue in this respect is that housing is one of the areas where exclusive jurisdiction has been sought, secured and delivered to Quebec.
    If the member's riding is not getting housing money, why is he coming to Ottawa to complain? We have given every single dollar we spend on housing to the Government of Quebec. It distributes the dollars. It sets the priorities. It chooses the projects. It makes the investments.
    I realize that the Bloc is here to antagonize the federal government rather than co-operate and work with us, but if the member opposite wants housing in his region, he should be going to Quebec City to get the dollars because that is where we sent them on the request of parties like the Bloc.


    Madam Speaker, it is plain to see that the parliamentary secretary did not listen to the first part of my speech. I can forgive him to some extent because I gave it at 12:48 a.m. two days ago.
    I would say that one of the problems is that it took three years to get these agreements in place. The federal government really dragged its feet on transferring the money to Quebec. Why did the other provinces get their money quickly but not Quebec?
    Furthermore, in Abitibi—Témiscamingue, now that housing construction can start, the cost of materials is skyrocketing and these amounts are largely insufficient. I understand that the government did not anticipate COVID‑19, but it has a responsibility to take action on housing.


    Madam Speaker, the pandemic has exposed many flaws in our health care system, whether in terms of our vaccine supply or the quality of long-term care facilities. Our health care workers and seniors have suffered the direct consequences of years of successive Liberal and Conservative cuts, yet the budget announcement makes no increase in health care transfers.
    Could the member tell us about the impact of health underfunding on the worsening of the pandemic?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Hamilton Centre for his excellent question.
    That is indeed the crux of the matter, and that is why the Bloc Québécois voted against the budget. We are in the midst of a pandemic and the federal government has a responsibility to respect the agreements it has made in the past.
    Under normal circumstances, the costs associated with health care spending should be shared 50-50. We are barely receiving 20%. The provinces and the Quebec National Assembly are unanimous in their request to increase this percentage to 35%.
    When we see the federal government rack up more than $1 trillion in debt, money becomes very relative. That really worries me, and I think that one of the solutions would have been to give the people who are managing the pandemic the necessary means to achieve their objectives, instead of trying to impose national standards, as in the case of long-term care facilities.
    Madam Speaker, interestingly enough, the first speaker asked a question about housing and said that the federal government had invested enough, while the second speaker spoke about health transfers.
    I just had a discussion with Marguerite Blais, Quebec's minister responsible for seniors and caregivers. She spoke about two things.
    First, she spoke about how the federal government did not want to increase health transfers to 35%, even though that is Quebec's main demand to help our health care system. Second, she spoke about housing, about how we need to help workers—and therefore businesses—back home, in the riding of Shefford, who are struggling to find housing. She also spoke about how we must help seniors, who need safe, affordable housing.
    There is not enough funding; we need more. On top of that, the agreements have been dragging on.
    I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on this.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the member for Shefford for her commitment to seniors. One of the key things missing from this budget is help for seniors aged 65 to 74. It is fascinating that the government wants to create two classes of seniors. I just cannot understand it.
    How did the government determine that the needs of seniors aged 65 to 74 are not the same as those aged 75 and up? I am thinking here of prescription drug assistance and rent relief, or even the increase in the cost of Internet services and electricity. Only this government would think that people should have to wait until they are 75 to live with dignity.
    Housing is a top priority in indigenous communities, as well as in our cities and towns. It is a matter of dignity. Housing is a tool for economic development, but it is also essential to every individual's psychological and mental health. Every Canadian should have a decent roof over their heads, and that should be the priority of this government and future governments in the years to come.



     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to respond to Bill C-30, the budget debate.
    I first want to reflect on my constituency's strengths and its ability to adapt to these changing times. This is because Egmont is a place where people take care of one another. First, there is a great respect for family, and in a tight-knit community that means the residents are very conscious of both the successes and the challenges faced by their neighbours. Further to that, there is a collective understanding that every individual has a contribution to make. Within that fabric of individuals, families and communities there is a real strength. As a result, Egmont has fared relatively well during the pandemic because virtually every individual recognizes a real sense of duty to the whole.
    People have worked hard to keep the community safe, and all the while we have been hard at work building one of the greenest ridings in the country with a thriving economy based on fishing, farming, high-level services and a very successful aerospace sector. Indeed, the City of Summerside has recently been recognized by a national magazine as one of the leaders in the field of green energy. It has spent a great deal of time focusing on wind energy, solar energy with a smart grid system, industrial-scale lithium batteries and the highest per capita concentration of electric car chargers in the country. Those are just a few of the green energy initiatives the city has moved on. I am pleased to be part of a government that has supported the city's initiatives in its innovative, leading-edge green energy solutions and innovations. We have continued to build on those infrastructure investments over the last number of years.
    Summerside is just one example I use in identifying Egmont as a leader in the field of green energy across the riding. We were one of the first parts of the country to move toward wind energy and, indeed, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada is located in the riding of Egmont. This has allowed us to build a very successful and thriving green energy infrastructure here in my riding.
    Summerside is one of a number of communities that makes up the riding of Egmont. In each of these I could look at the improvements that our government has supported, community by community, in a host of infrastructure initiatives that have built stronger communities right across the riding, including in the rural parts.
    We have also maintained a trajectory of success at a difficult time because of hard work, diligence and a constant sense of optimism that these qualities can transcend any difficulty thrown at us. I am proud to be a member of a government that recognizes and celebrates meaningful support for individuals. I say that because I believe this government understands that support for the individual is the foundation of a strong community. From speaking to residents, I know that their confidence levels grew dramatically over the last year because they knew this fact: Our Liberal government has Egmont's back. Why am I so sure of that? Let us look at just a few priorities.
    Programs for students are a priority. In 2021, our government has committed record financial contributions to the Canada summer jobs program, which students depend on for securing work over the summer months. We continue to waive student loan interest during the pandemic. We are enhancing repayment assistance on student loans and we are doubling the Canada student grants. These are just some of the initiatives that have been identified in this budget.
    We have extended sick time for individuals. When this budget is passed, this will be a major initiative. An issue that we have heard a lot about over the last number of years, especially through the House of Commons HUMA committee, is that the existing sick time benefit is not adequate. I am pleased that our government has recognized that.
    We also have an extensive array of business supports that were required to carry businesses through this unprecedented pandemic. We hear constantly in the House of Commons that this is an area where we have to continue to offer more support as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.
    We have also supported enhanced educational opportunities for everyone.
    For all these reasons and many more, I am proud to be part of a government that is active, that is smart, that protects Canadians and that understands the real challenges that have confronted each and every one of us. I compare that system of values to the one so fondly embraced by the Conservatives.


    Too often, I have heard our colleagues in the opposition rail against support for individuals, saying that the so-called “free market” will be the salvation of our well-being. Such a direction would have led to catastrophic results in Egmont, and the deep and terrible worries unleashed by the pandemic would have been swollen with further concerns about bills, putting food on the table and shelter costs.
    I believe in a government that will be there to support individuals during difficult times, because if that is not the government's role, then what is it? In a difficult time, we should not only be focused on bean counting and should not reject the legitimate needs of Canadians. Instead, we should be responding effectively, with reliability and in a way that builds public confidence that the government is there to prevent disaster and guide Canadians through a difficult time.
    That said, I believe there is an area of public responsibility that requires greater attention. I have always been of the opinion that seniors who receive the guaranteed income supplement require more assistance. These are the most financially vulnerable members of the seniors community, and after a lifetime I believe they have earned the right to have fewer worries and more comfort. Therefore, I firmly believe the GIS should be increased, and I will continue to raise this subject.
    My firm hope is that, in the very near future, government will take the steps to adjust these supports in a way that reflects two items. First, I believe we have the capacity as a country to offer this additional assistance, and second, I think it is very important that we recognize the challenges associated with being a senior in a changing world. I will continue to raise this subject in the hope that the government will adjust its plan and decide on a different course that is more helpful to the larger community and that helps individuals in a much more focused way.
    To conclude, I want to congratulate the government. In effect, I am grading this budget at well above 90%, which is a very good mark by any stretch of the imagination. I am proud of my constituency and its efforts to get through a difficult year, and with the ongoing and dedicated support of an active and reliable government, the constituency of Egmont will emerge stronger than ever before.
    As I indicated throughout my comments, I am pleased to be part of a government that has the backs of Canadians, the backs of Islanders and the backs of the residents of my riding of Egmont. I have been most proud to be part of the decision-making process in supporting those programs that have been so beneficial to Canadians, to Canadian businesses, to non-profit organizations and to municipalities and infrastructures that needed so much assistance during this unprecedented change in the economy created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I would like him to comment, in detail, if possible, on the creation of two classes of seniors.
    This measure would have cost around $4 billion if the government had included seniors aged 65 to 75. Once taxes are paid, that figure drops to a little over $2 billion.
    This is not money that we would lose to tax havens. This money would be reinvested in the economy, so the final cost is relatively low. Would he agree that not only would this have been a good measure to help with the economic recovery, but it would also have kept seniors from falling through the cracks?


    Madam Speaker, there are valid reasons we chose to increase the OAS program for those over 75. Those are well documented, but I would draw the member's attention to the record of this government. One of the first actions we took after being elected in 2015 was to raise the guaranteed income supplement for all seniors across the board. At the same time, we have to remember that a Conservative policy that was in place and a decision that was made removed the old age pension and guaranteed income supplement for seniors between the ages of 65 and 67. That, in effect, took well over $18,000 per senior out of their pockets. Yes, we have more work to do, but the initiatives taken by this government signal to the senior community that we know the issues before them and we are committed to working with them to make them better financially.


    Madam Speaker, I find it interesting to hear the Liberals tying themselves in rhetorical knots about defending aspects of policies and trying to distance themselves from decisions that were made in the past. It certainly is a fascinating discussion in rhetoric.
    My question for the member is quite simple. In Bill C-30, there are some changes to the Elections Act that are related to a court decision. Specifically, it would make it illegal to knowingly mislead constituents during an election. Now, there has not been a lot of focus on this in the debate on this bill because it is a bit like an omnibus bill, which the Liberals had promised not to do, but this has been inserted into the bill. I would like to hear the member's comments on that particular aspect of Bill C-30.
    Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the question from my colleague, and having listened to many debates and speeches in the House of Commons since 2015, I am often perplexed when the opposition Conservative Party rails against our government on the key area of energy as it relates to the western provinces, where the member is from. I am often left arriving at the conclusion that every member from western Canada who was part of the former Conservative government should be apologizing to the people of the prairie provinces for not taking any steps to unlock the oil industry there. They did not get any pipelines approved under that Conservative government because it had a process that was so flawed it was constantly being challenged.
     One of the first initiatives of our government was to recognize that we had to have a process in place that met the needs of first nations communities and the environmental community to approve pipelines that met the test of protecting the environment and included first nations communities, and our government has done that. It was a major achievement that—
    I do want to allow for one more brief question.
    The hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for touching on the importance of more investments for seniors, which is absolutely necessary.
    As the critic for small business and tourism, I will focus on small businesses because they have been very clear that they want to see an extension of the wage subsidy and rental program into next spring, especially for those in the tourism industry. Many of them cater to international tourists, and we know that they are not going to see international tourists this year.
    Does my colleague agree that those programs should be extended to ensure that those businesses survive into next year given the border will not open any time soon?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague has a valid question.
    I will simply respond by telling the member that the Prime Minister has been very clear that we will have the backs of Canadians and businesses for as long as it takes to get us successfully through the pandemic.
    Madam Speaker, it is good to be here. I am thankful for the opportunity to speak on what could very well be one of the last sitting days of the 43rd Parliament. It remains a tremendous opportunity to represent the riding of Edmonton Riverbend, and I certainly look forward to continuing important discussions during what is likely a potential election around the corner.
    Now I want to get to the topic at hand, the budget. I want to highlight an aspect of the budget that I think is important, but maybe has not received a lot of the attention here in the House, and that is Canada's aerospace sector. Canada's aerospace industry was one of the hardest-hit industries as a result of the pandemic, and the budget has not allocated enough for its recovery. Specifically, there was very little mention of Canada's space industry and the government's long-term plans.
    Canada's space industry supports approximately 21,000 jobs across the country. The sector is composed of small businesses, multinational space companies, not-for-profit organizations, research centres and, of course, universities across the country. Canadian space organizations are internationally renowned for their scientific excellence and leading-edge technologies, such as space robotics, optical telescopes, satellite communications, earth observation and space situation awareness, and countless contributions to international collaborative science missions over the past five decades.
    There is a clear need for Canada's space sector to maximize Canada's leadership at the forefront of space. By charting a new course and taking a balanced approach, we can realize the full economic, social, scientific and strategic benefits to Canada's place as a global leader in the exploration, research and commercialization of space.
    This budget was a missed opportunity to provide Canadian space stakeholders clear guidance and a way to contribute to the future of the growing space program more proactively. If Canada is to remain competitive in space, it must adopt an overarching aerospace strategy that includes a clear and visible plan for space for the future. Every other aerospace nation has a national strategy to position their industries for recovery and growth and seize their share of the multitrillion-dollar emerging aerospace clean tech market. Canada needs to proudly support its aerospace industry and plan for the future. This budget fell short of that.
    I am a member of Parliament from Alberta, a province that has experienced great upheaval over the last few years. Oil prices have dropped and thousands are out of work. Every day I hear from families who are struggling to get by. This budget, which I will remind my colleagues is the first in two years, missed an opportunity to address these concerns and make long-term plans for the future of the province.
    We understand that transitioning to a green economy is in the best interest of our planet, and Alberta can play a big role in that transition. More than 17,000 Albertans already work for energy companies that have committed to net-zero by 2050. There was nothing in the budget about a long-term vision for Alberta's future.
    Western alienation is very real. Albertans are feeling like undervalued members of the Confederation, and talk of separation from Canada has become more and more common. There is a real anger toward Ottawa, and the budget was an opportunity for the federal government to make amends and show Albertans they are valuable and needed for a strong Canada. Sadly, it did not.
    My colleagues representing Alberta have been working extremely hard in the past number of years, and I am proud to say that our party has released a plan for economic recovery, stood up for Canadian energy workers and introduced a number of our members' bills to help Albertans and all Canadians. We all know that a strong Alberta means a strong Canada, and we will keep fighting for our province to be treated fairly by the federal government.
    If I may just beg the indulgence of the House for a few short minutes, I would like to reflect and offer a statement.
    In 2017, I was a member of a caucus that largely voted against Motion No. 103 when it was put forth in this House. Although nuanced, essentially it was a vote against recognizing that Islamophobia exists. I was wrong, and I am sorry. I want not just the Muslim community, but all of the communities of Edmonton, Alberta and Canada, to hear me say that Islamophobia is real. Islamophobia does exist within our communities, as witnessed this week at the Baitul Hadi Mosque in Edmonton.
     Since 2017, I have spoken to many who have helped show me what this vote meant to their community, and the sense of unbelonging it helped to perpetuate. Quite simply, the impact of our words and actions in this place reverberate throughout our society. I do not want to do this in a self-promoting way, but I wanted to make this statement here, in arguably the most important building in our country, that I recognize that Islamophobia exists here in Canada. The attack in London was an attack against the Muslim community and an attack on Canadian values.


    I want my children to also hear this lesson, and that is the lesson that, no matter how hard it can be, they can grow. I needed time to say this not only for my children but also for all children of Canada. I want them to see members from all political parties condemning these actions together because, after all, we are one Canada, and it is never too late to do the right thing.
    I will conclude with something that I think has interrupted every aspect of Canadians' lives. Canadians have really borne the brunt of the economic damage the pandemic has caused. Donations to many charities have dropped, and Canadians have seen their incomes impacted. Canadian charities play a critical role in the day-to-day lives of Canadians.
    Health charities support people living with diseases with information that has been backed by research and clinical studies. The pandemic has put many research programs at risk. Without funding for research that is usually provided by donors to charities, we could miss out on an important scientific breakthrough that could drastically improve the lives of Canadians. It is vitally important that we keep supporting our important charities.
    I was pleased to see the budget addressing the gap created by COVID-19, but we need to act urgently. The budget proposes launching public consultations with charities in the coming months. However, the eligibility has yet to be unveiled and the consultations have only just begun, despite the fact that charities of all sizes have been calling for additional supports from the federal government from the start of the pandemic.
    There is no guarantee that large national charities will qualify for this recovery fund. The allocated $400 million is unlikely to be enough to resemble recovery for the charitable sector. The government must have clear ineligibility guidelines and a timeline. These charities and the Canadians they serve need help now.
    I have had the privilege of working very closely with a number of Canada's health charities over the past number of months, and I can personally attest to the good work they do in our communities and all across the country. It would be a tragedy to lose the invaluable services that they provide and to lose any research funding that could lead to the breakthroughs. I urge the government to fast-track its commitment to charities.


    Madam Speaker, I listened closely to what the member had to say, and I was particularly touched by his comments regarding Motion No. 103 on Islamophobia and how he recognizes that it is very real and something that needs to be dealt with in this country.
    All I really want to do is thank him for being able to acknowledge that and saying he was wrong with respect to that. We can all learn a great deal from the member's speech, myself included. It is very easy to become blindly partisan sometimes, and I put myself in that camp, but the member has demonstrated how we can learn from what we have gone through and the experiences we have had, and hopefully this place will be better as a result of that.
    Madam Speaker, my statement speaks for itself, but the member is right that we can always grow. What I tell my children and the people I love is that it is never too late to do the right thing, and that is what I did today.
    Madam Speaker, Islamophobia is real. We see it daily. We have seen the height of it in the last few days and the recognition of it is important, albeit delayed.
    With respect to addressing systemic racism and Islamophobia, in particular, what can we do together as parliamentarians to elevate the debate on issues of racism and Islamophobia, instead of using them as wedge issues? What do we need to do to ensure that we can move forward in building a country where we address underlying issues of systemic racism?
    Madam Speaker, it is great to see my friend and neighbour in the Valour Building here in Ottawa. I had an opportunity to see him just this week. It is refreshing to start to be able to see more people around this place.
    The member raises some great questions. The important thing to remember, and what he and I often talk about, is that there are a lot of partisan lines drawn in this place. It is unfortunate at times, because I think we do have a lot in common. We could all learn from each other, no matter what part of the country we come from, no matter what political beliefs we have. There are always opportunities to grow. He is a perfect example of someone I have learned a lot from.


    Madam Speaker, I just want to share a story and ask the member a question.
    I went to a Catholic high school but grew up in a Muslim household. I remember taking a world religions class. It talked about all the religions of the world. It was a great course to introduce students to a lot of different ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. When I was in that high school, I can say without a doubt that I did not experience Islamophobia one bit. However, after 9/11, this has accelerated and brought Islamophobia and the fear of others into the limelight.
    Would my hon. colleague agree that these types of education courses in certain particular schools would help alleviate Islamophobia?
    Madam Speaker, it is great to see my friend joining us here in the chamber today.
    Education is, of course, a very important aspect. I think of my friend who works in my constituency office. She is scared to go out in public to a train station where other members of her faith have been attacked and have had their head scarves pulled off. To me, that means something is wrong.
    Together, members from all parties could help to raise that issue more. I can only think that this would help fight the fact that Islamophobia is real and it does exist in our communities here in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, I want to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to members from Scarborough—Rouge Park, the traditional lands of many indigenous nations, most recently of the Mississaugas of the Credit. I will be speaking in support of Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021.
    Before I go deeper into the budget, I want to reflect on the past few weeks. It has been a difficult few weeks for many in our country, and I think it is safe to say that our hearts ache on a number of different fronts.
    First and foremost, learning of the graves of 215 children in Kamloops has really opened existing wounds and has shaken us up in a way things have rarely shaken us. This is a moment in time when all of us need to come together and ensure that there is justice, accountability and reflection. There is also a real commitment to ensure that all of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report are implemented.
    There are sadly going to be other findings along the way, and I think in order for us to have closure, in order for us to truly live up to the past and move forward, we need to support indigenous-led initiatives that will commemorate and remember, and that will ensure that the children are brought home. I send my heartfelt condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc people and I want to assure them that I, along with my colleagues in the House, will continue to work to support them and others in these efforts.
    Just last week, I sadly attended another memorial, in London, Ontario, to pay respects to the Afzaal family. I was joined by members from all parties and leaders from across different levels of government, but most importantly the members of the Muslim community in London.
    The Afzaal family were walking, like most of us have relearned to do over the past 18 months or so. They were going on an evening walk and they were sadly mowed down by a terrorist, by someone who espoused so much hate. I do not even know if I could fathom the level of hate this individual had to do this to this family, but more broadly, to attack us as Canadians. When we see an attack on one individual community or family, it really is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the values that we espouse.
    Sadly, it did not stop there. We know that incidents of Islamophobia have been on the rise exponentially over the past several days. We have seen incidents in Edmonton, as my friend from Edmonton Riverbend just referenced. We have seen daily microaggressions toward many friends, colleagues and others we may have worked with. This is a real moment for us to reflect on the level of hate speech, the level of hate propaganda on social media. We know that incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise.
    This is a moment for us to reflect and make sure that we do better and we collectively work together, that we do not use race and these differences as wedge issues, but rather as issues that we can all come together to fight against as a common good. I sincerely hope that we have turned the page in our Parliament where we can do that. I hope to work across the aisle with my friends opposite to do that.


    On a very personal note, I must thank all those colleagues who are not going to be running again in the next election. Most importantly, I want to acknowledge and thank my good friend from Mississauga—Malton, the former minister of innovation, for his extraordinary guidance for me personally and the doors that he opened for me to ensure my success. I want to pay particular respect and thank him and his extraordinary family, Bram, Kirpa, Nanki, Poppa Bains and Momma Bains, for all they have done.
    In his speech, he reflected on the issue of identity, on the issue of being Sikh and being able to practise his faith and live day to day as a Sikh with enormous and extraordinary challenges, and yet he has overcome so many and has led us in ways that I do not have time to describe here.
    I do want to get to the budget, and I want to talk about something that has been very important for the people of Scarborough. Scarborough region used to be its own municipality prior to amalgamation with the broader city of Toronto. We have a population of roughly 630,000 people. We are represented by six parliamentarians; we call them the Scarborough caucus. We have set out since 2015 to prioritize one singular ask, which is additional support for transit.
    The Scarborough region has not had any higher levels of transit built in a generation. The last project, the rapid transit, the LRT, is coming to an end in 2023. It is broken down. It is far past its best-before date, and it is fair to say that it is not serving the people of Scarborough.
    In 2015, Scarborough Agincourt was represented by Arnold Chan. We got together and said we absolutely needed to make sure that we built higher orders of transit. At that time, the singular project that was in the pipeline, with almost a 10-year debate behind it, was the Scarborough subway extension. It was initially a three-stop subway. It became a four-stop subway, then a two-stop subway, and finally here we are today and we were recently able to announce a federal investment of $2.25 billion into a three-stop line, which will start construction before the end of the year, and we are hopeful that it will be constructed by 2030. That is the timeline that has been provided.
    This is a game-changer. This is very important, and this is an important investment in the people of Scarborough, all the hard-working people. Scarborough had one of the most affected populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had so many issues of riders, essential workers, going downtown in crammed buses and being affected disproportionately to the population. I believe this is a very important investment.
    As much as this is important, this is not the end for us. Scarborough as a region will require additional supports in terms of infrastructure, and that is why this budget is so important, as it outlines a mechanism through the permanent public transit funding that would enable places like Scarborough to build. I am looking forward to supporting the construction of the Eglinton East LRT as the next project.
    I look forward to the questions and answers today.


    Madam Speaker, we heard the hon. member reference the atrocities committed across these lands under the guise of residential schools and we know [Technical difficulty—Editor] from future generations from their lands. Near me, at Six Nations territory, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy council has called for a moratorium on all developments on disputed territories, and yet the government refuses to come back to the negotiating table with the hereditary chiefs.
    When will the hon. member and his government finally get back to the table with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy council and honour the request for a moratorium on development?
    Madam Speaker, I want to note that the one thing I did not mention is that Bill C-15 passed through the Senate this week, which is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It has clearly outlined many of the issues that my friend opposite talked about. The declaration offers us guidance regarding how we engage on a nation-to-nation basis with indigenous people. I know that, with respect to his particular concern, we will continue to work with all of the parties to come to a solution on the dispute that he referenced.
    Madam Speaker, I also heard the good words from our colleague from Alberta in response to a change of position regarding Motion No. 103. The very aggressive and quite frankly dangerous words that were shared around the time of that debate put a number of members of this Parliament in a very precarious place in their private life.
    Right now I represent the oldest Chinatown in Toronto. The member represents some of the newer communities of the Chinese Canadian settlement, but the language around China has taken on a very similar tone to the language around Muslims in this Parliament. I know from talking to community leaders and individuals in my riding that anti-Asian hate crime is rising as China is singled out for a whole series of challenges. I wonder if my colleague could talk about the impact some of that rhetoric around China is having on Chinese Canadians in our communities.


    Madam Speaker, when we were developing the anti-racism strategy in 2019, we realized that racism has a different impact on different communities, and anti-Asian racism is one that has historically, whether through the head tax or other forms of indentured labour to bring people of Chinese origin into Canada to work, had a disparate impact on the Asian community. I know language is important and as we continuously and rightfully criticize China on a number of issues, we have to differentiate between the state and the people. I think that is sometimes lost here and I hope members will be much more careful with the language that is used.
    Madam Speaker, when it comes to Bill C-30, there are a lot of measures in it for Canadians that have to be passed in order to get us through the rest of this pandemic. I wonder if the parliamentary secretary can give his feedback on how important he thinks it is, now more than ever, to make sure this bill passes as quickly as possible.
    Madam Speaker, I think there is an urgency here, especially with respect to the supports to individuals and small businesses. I know many of the small businesses in my community are struggling. Although we are on the cusp of opening up in phases, they are really behind with respect to rent and other financial needs, so we really need to get this budget implementation act through in the next couple of days for this to have a meaningful impact on Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts on the importance of passing this legislation and other progressive pieces of legislation over the next few days and how Canadians would benefit from such.
    Madam Speaker, this is important legislation, as is Bill C-12, Bill C-10 and Bill C-6. They contain important value-based measures for Canadians that we need to pass before we rise for the summer.


[Statements by Members]


COVID-19 Vaccination

    Madam Speaker, Canadians are now world leaders in the share of people who have had at least one dose of vaccine. With our steady supply, high vaccination rates and a shift to second doses, Canada is on its way to being one of the most vaccinated nations in the world. Congratulations to everyone who has worked on this world-leading procurement and logistical project.
     However, the fight against COVID is still not over and my riding of Kitchener South—Hespeler in Waterloo Region is currently the region with the highest number of new cases daily in Ontario. Over 80% of the new cases and hospitalizations are from 30% of the adult population who remain unvaccinated. Sadly, we are facing the prospect of being left behind in reopening plans. I want to remind my constituents and all Canadians of the importance of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. It is the fastest path back to normal.

Human Rights

    Madam Speaker, Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem is the third-holiest site in Islam. My wife and I visited Al-Aqsa Mosque when we travelled to Palestine and the images of violence we saw there during the holy month of Ramadan were upsetting; it resulted in conflict and loss of life, including children.
     The Human Rights Watch report reflects the life conditions of Palestinians under occupation, of which we all are well aware.
     It is not enough for Canada just to state it is concerned about settlements, demolitions and evictions, including in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. I request our government to distinguish between the occupied and the occupier and to take concrete, visible and decisive action toward finding a peaceful two-state solution.


Father's Day

    Madam Speaker, the family has always been regarded as the cornerstone of society. Ronald Reagan stated, “Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation for our freedoms.”
    The importance of the role of fatherhood should never be diminished. As we celebrate our fathers this Sunday, I want to pay tribute to the three generations of fathers in my family.
    To my father Ernie, thank you for being my biggest fan and a tremendous source of guidance and encouragement.
    To my father-in-law Henry, thank you for your wisdom and reason.
    To Theo, Jeff, Michael and Nic, thank you for your courage and commitment to your families.
    Finally, to Milton, thank you for being my rock, best friend and life partner; and for your dedication to our family.
    To fathers across the country, your contributions are essential in ensuring that we continue to thrive as a society.
    Happy Father's Day.


Montreal Canadiens

    Madam Speaker, one thing that unites Canadians from coast to coast is their love of hockey. It is June, the outdoor rinks in Vaudreuil—Soulanges have long disappeared, and the skates have been replaced by bathing suits.
    None of that matters, though, because the NHL playoffs are under way. One Canadian team is still in contention to win the Stanley Cup, and we are all cheering them on.


    The Montreal Canadiens, hockey's most storied franchise, are tied in the conference semifinals against the Vegas Golden Knights.
     While those in Las Vegas may be going all in, in supporting their team, we know that in Vegas going all in can come with a price. What kind of price? Well, a big price. If they have not factored in that price, it may just be too much to handle. After every game, it feels more like 1993. The only thing left to do is bring that cup back to Montreal.


    On behalf of all Canadians, go, Habs, go!



    Madam Speaker, “junior seniors” and “senior seniors” sounds absurd because it is absurd. That is what we will have in Canada if the Liberal government does not fix its budget, Bill C-30: a two-tier seniors system.
    Many Canadians are outraged that seniors aged 65 to 74 have been left out of the plan for a long-overdue increase to old age security payments. Our government is hiding from them, saying it is living up to a campaign promise. Keeping a promise on bad policy does not make it good.
    The minister says older seniors are “at greater risk of running out of their savings”. Also, government documentation refers to our large proportion of seniors aged 65 to 74 who still work. There it is: the government policies on the backs of seniors who feel they need to either work or use up their savings. By its design, it is a two-tier and unfair system.
     The Liberals still have the power to fix this before we rise for the summer. I call on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Seniors to do what is right.


The Liberal Government

    Madam Speaker, my first term as a member of Parliament has been unusual, obviously, on account of COVID. As far as I am concerned, since October 2019, I have been proud to represent the most beautiful city in the world, Sherbrooke. I am proud to be part of a government that has lifted over one million Canadians out of poverty, including nearly 400,000 children. I am proud of the $92 million that went out to over 20,000 Sherbrooke children during the first year of my term. I am proud of the $15.4 million given to 14,000 seniors in my riding as a one-time payment to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of programs like the RRRF, which supported our local businesses. We will take no lessons from the Conservatives, who, need I remind members, do not even recognize the existence of climate change.
    The session will soon come to an end. I would like to wish all my colleagues a great summer.


Government Transparency

    Madam Speaker, Canadians can see right through the government's tired, old excuses. That is not the kind of transparency Canadians are owed.
    The Prime Minister has become the boy who cried national security wolf once too often. Canadians remember how the government invoked national security as an excuse not to come clean about a sole-sourced contract for parkas. These were not military parkas; they were parkas for refugees, and the government covered up the contract.
    Lawful firearms owners have taken the government to court to challenge the scary-looking gun bans. They have learned all government evidence to justify the gun grab has been deemed a national security secret.
    Hotel quarantine costs, a national security secret; vaccine contracts, a national security secret; and the Prime Minister's sock budget, a national security secret. This is not how a democratic society is supposed to work.
    It is time for the government to stop crying national security wolf any time it has embarrassing information it wants to hide.


Retirement Congratulations

    Madam Speaker, today I rise in the House of Commons to recognize the remarkable leadership of Theresa Marentette, the CEO of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
    Over the last 15 months of the pandemic, Theresa worked with courage and composure alongside Dr. Wajid Ahmed to steer our community through the greatest public health crisis in our history. We faced outbreaks in long-term care homes and among migrant farm workers, but we came through it thanks to Theresa and Dr. Ahmed. Today, Windsor-Essex is the gold standard for the vaccine rollout, with 75% of residents vaccinated and almost 30% with two doses.
    Theresa is retiring at the end of this month after over 30 years at the health unit, which she joined as a public health nurse in 1989. Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said it best: “It has been my privilege to work with Theresa Marentette. Her passion for public health and the community she serves is apparent everyday in her tireless journey to keep us all healthy and safe.”
    On behalf of all residents of Windsor—Tecumseh, it has been our privilege, and we thank Theresa from the bottom of our hearts.

Labour Rights Activist

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise virtually today to recognize a tireless labour rights activist, who I have known for quite some time, by the name of the Marino Toppan.
    Marino is the creator behind the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial project established in 2016. This memorial, one of the biggest of its kind in Canada, commemorates nearly 2,000 Italian workers who lost their lives on the job over a century ago. I know the Italian community truly appreciates this important recognition.
    Marino is also a published author. His book, entitled Land of Triumph and Tragedy: Voices of the Italian Fallen Workers is a book I always notice on the shelf my office.
    From all Italian Canadians across our country, myself, and my husband Sam, I would like to thank Marino for all he has done to bring closure to the families of the Italian workers.
    Grazie mille.

COVID-19 Pandemic

    Madam Speaker, today, I do not wish to give a political speech. Today I wish to give a speech of hope. As Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
    For over the last year, people have lost their small businesses, loved ones, mental health, physical health, their homes and even, in some cases, their lives. For some of us, all hope seems to be lost. It seems that darkness has consumed our nation, but it is hope that will continue to keep us going.
    Just recently in my province of Alberta, many restaurants reopened for dine-in and many other restrictions were lifted. Hope is on the horizon. Businesses are reopening, jobs are coming, and I ask the Canadian people to get up and continue the fight against the pandemic and help rebuild our economy and glorious country.


Louis-Hébert Constituency Team

    Madam Speaker, as the summer approaches after a tougher-than-usual year, I want to pay tribute to my constituency team in Louis‑Hébert. I have the best team in the country, if I do say so myself.
    Filip Novakovic, a Bosnian refugee, dearly loves both his country of origin and his adopted country. He is a humanist in both his ideals and his everyday actions. Everyone in the riding loves him because he is always ready to help. Thank you, Filip.
    Marie-Claude Gagnon, our office manager and its heart and soul, always welcomes constituents and organizations with sunshine in her voice, a compassionate outlook and a healthy dose of the typical Beauce pragmatism we all need. Thank you, Marie-Claude.
    My constituency assistant, Gabriel Bergevin-Estable, has done more than anyone would ever have thought possible from a modest MP's office. That is what happens when extraordinary intelligence meets gumption. Thank you, Gabriel.
    Claudine Boucher also pushes the limits with just as much heart and soul. She has a fierce sense of justice. She is a mother of five bright, lively children, with one more on the way, and she is studying for her master's degree. She even managed to get blocked on Twitter by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, like thousands of other Quebeckers, I am told. It is an achievement that we are all rather proud of around the office.
    It is an honour to work alongside them for the people of Louis‑Hébert. I thank them and wish them a restful summer, because they have earned it.



Government Policies

    Madam Speaker, there is an ancient writing that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The Liberal government clearly has a lack of vision for Canada.
     On this side of the House, we see beyond our perils and speak to our potential. On this side of the House, we know the importance of our farmers and harvesters who supply our food and literally keep our land. On this side of the House, we recognize how vital our energy sector is. On this side of the House, we value our workers, entrepreneurs, transporters and builders, knowing they will be the key to our comeback. On this side of the House, we recognize the importance of our seniors, veterans and current members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have both built and defended this great country. On this side of the House, we will offer Canadians a clear vision, so that when we get to that side of the House, Canadians will have a government that recognizes their potential and a government that will secure their future. On this side of the House, we believe in Canada and the story we have to tell: Our best chapters are yet ahead.
     May God continue to keep our land glorious and free.

Class of 2021

    Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate the graduating class of 2021. These graduates have overcome tremendous adversity over this past difficult year, and it is my hope they will take the resilience they have built and use it to empower their dreams, aspire to new heights and achieve excellence in their future endeavours. We are so proud of them.
    Now it is time to help us build a better world, and Canada needs them. We need their energy, their spirit and their optimism. There will be many more challenges ahead, but with them at the helm of the next generation, I know our future is in safe hands.
    This is an exciting time in their lives. The possibilities are truly endless for them. They should take all the opportunities that come their way, keep an open mind, work very hard, and have some fun this summer, because they have certainly earned it.
     If they can, they should reach out and volunteer in their community. We have many vulnerable neighbours who have had tough times this year and their smiling faces may be all they need to get through the day.

Government Priorities

    Madam Speaker, Manitoba continues to be in a serious lockdown. Many businesses are not open to the public and, as a result, small business owners and employees in Elmwood—Transcona and across the province are struggling to earn income.
     The Liberals are completely out of touch on this. How else could they plan to cut the Canada recovery benefit by 40% as early as July 18? Seniors across the country are outraged at the government's plan to exclude seniors aged 65 to 74 from a long-overdue increase in the old age supplement, but their protests are falling on deaf ears in the Liberal government. Meanwhile, large corporations, known to have abused the wage subsidy by paying executive bonuses and dividends, are getting off scot-free, even as the government nickel-and-dimes disabled Canadians and kids who graduated from foster care and applied for the CERB in good faith, albeit perhaps erroneously.
     We know from the behaviour of provincial Conservatives that they are not here to help and they do not have answers to these problems. That is why I am proud to belong to an NDP caucus that is fighting for the interests of all the people who do not have corporate box office tickets, and we are going to keep up the fight.


Wanda Beaudoin

    Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart filled with love for her family and loved ones that I rise today to pay tribute to one of the greats of the north shore. Wanda Beaudoin died suddenly on June 13.
    Wanda was the first woman to serve as mayor of the fabled Blanc‑Sablon. A coaster at heart and proud north shore denizen, she firmly believed that women's contribution to politics is both necessary and invaluable. She put her sharp mind and gut instinct to work for her constituents.
    Less than a month ago, I was working with Wanda on a case riddled with injustice. It hit close to home for her, and she was completely outraged about it. However, her voice was so filled with determination that no one would ever have guessed she was living with cancer.
    Wanda, you were a smart and caring woman, a woman in politics, a woman from the north, and by showing the House your strength and determination and your love for our lower north shore, I hope I have made it clear that the north shore will remember you always.
    Farewell, Madam Mayor.



The Economy

    Madam Speaker, many Canadians are on bended knees under the weight of crushing debt and a new reality of inflation, the levels of which have not been felt for generations. The cost of everything has gone up, but it is those who can least afford it who are paying the price.
    Increases in groceries, gas, carbon taxes, housing and rental costs are cascading across communities in Canada, including in my community of Barrie—Innisfil, and it is causing many sleepless nights. Senior Elizabeth recently wrote me, “We now have to pick our food purchases very carefully; even local produce has taken a large jump.” This should not be happening in Canada
    We need a government that understands that it will be the power of Canadian businesses, the people they employ, the products they produce in every region, in every sector of the economy, so Canadian businesses can compete here at home and around the world, and bring back investor confidence.
    There is only one party that will secure the future, that will unify Canada and bring back hope, opportunity and prosperity for all Canadians, and that is Canada’s Conservatives.

Class of 2021

    Madam Speaker, for the 1,000 students graduating grade 12 in Winnipeg North this year, I would like to extend my personal congratulations. The class of 2021 has done it.
    Whether it is of a virtual nature in their living rooms or in a ceremony of some sort, they should know that, without a doubt, the people who care about them are beaming with pride and are so proud of them.
     For parents, guardians, family members, teachers and close friends of a grad, I offer my congratulations as they, too, have done their job of shaping a very special person.
    Common quotes we would have heard at ceremonies to inspire might have been: “Be bold”, “Be courageous”, “Be your best”, “Follow your fear”, “If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door”, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    I would like to conclude with one of my favourite quotes from no other than Dr. Seuss:

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting, So...get on your way!”

    I congratulate all grads across Canada.


[Oral Questions]


Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, yesterday we witnessed a great, very rare and extremely important moment in the House. The House found the Public Health Agency of Canada in contempt for its failure to provide the documents about the events that occurred at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and ordered PHAC to produce these documents.
    We know that the Prime Minister refused three times to comply with orders of the House to that effect. On Monday, the Prime Minister will have two options: He can obey our laws and regulations, or he can flout them.
    What will he do?


    Madam Speaker, on this side of the House, we will not play partisan games with national security. Yesterday the Leader of the Opposition, in his announcement to pull out of NSICOP, was roundly criticized by a number of security experts, including, for example, Stephen Saideman, Paterson Chair of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He said the Leader of the Opposition is “earning this level of support with his move of pulling out of NSICOP. Oversight? Why bother when we can grandstand?”


    Madam Speaker, it is precisely because we are committed to national security that we are asking these questions and demanding the truth.
    Why did the Public Health Agency of Canada give the highest security clearance to a researcher with ties to the Chinese army?
    Why did PHAC give the highest security clearance to two researchers who were marched out of the laboratory by the RCMP?
    We want clear answers, and these answers cannot come from just anyone. The answers must come from the government.
    What will the Prime Minister do on Monday? Will he table the documents, yes or no?


    Madam Speaker, let me respond again with some of the criticism that we heard from the national security expert community yesterday after the announcement of the Leader of the Opposition's decision to pull out of NSICOP.
    Let us listen to Stephanie Carvin, association professor at Carleton University. She said, “This bulldozer approach to national security is misguided, dangerous and will result in a less transparent system overall.”
    What does the Conservative Party want, a transparent, safe system for Canadians or partisan gain?


    Madam Speaker, I cannot get over the fact that she said that with a big smile.
    The reality is that Canadians need reassurance. As far as I know, the minister is an MP duly elected by the people, and she must comply with the rules of the House of Commons. This is an order of the House, and the government must support it.
    The Prime Minister refused three times. Monday is the moment of truth.
    Does the Prime Minister respect the House of Commons, yes or no?



    Madam Speaker, again, as we have said, those documents were fully provided in an unredacted manner to NSICOP, the appropriate committee of parliamentarians to review security documents of this nature.
    Let us hear what Thomas Juneau, associate professor at the University of Ottawa said. In regard to the opposition's choice to pull out of NSICOP, he said, “This is a big setback for the parliamentary oversight of intelligence in Canada and, more broadly, for efforts to improve transparency and accountability.” That speaks for itself.
    Madam Speaker, the role of Parliament is to hold the government to account. The National Microbiology Lab saw a significant security issue happen earlier this year, and Parliament needs to determine what happened so that it does not happen again. In order to do that, we need to see the documents that are related to this incident. There have been numerous orders for the government to provide them to Parliament, not to a different committee that is not an official parliamentary committee.
    Will the Minister of Health comply with the House order and send Iain Stewart here with the documents on Monday?
    Madam Speaker, the member knows full well that the unredacted documents are with NSICOP, fully unredacted, for appropriate review to protect national security.
    Let us hear more from Thomas Juneau, the associate professor at the University of Ottawa. He said, “What is going on now is several steps above what is normal. The public criticism of NSICOP and the withdrawal of its members damages the confidence and trust that are necessary to its operations.” What a short-term play. Playing games with national security is never okay.
    Madam Speaker, the minister is not accountable to Thomas Juneau. She is accountable to this place.
    NSICOP is not an official parliamentary committee and it happens in secret. What is happening here is the government provided documents to that committee so that we could not look at them and we could not fix these issues on behalf of our constituents and the people of Canada. That is wrong and that is why this place is supreme.
    I will ask the minister this one more time. Will she comply with the House order and send Iain Stewart here to be admonished with the documents per the motion that was passed yesterday?
    Madam Speaker, on this side, we will never play games with Canadians' national security and privacy concerns. That is why we have a special committee to review documents of this nature that are sensitive in nature.
    If the member of the opposition does not believe me, let us listen to Stephen Saideman, Paterson Chair of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He said, “The question right now is why is [the Leader of the Opposition] abandoning NSICOP? Its reviews [thus] far have raised important issues and serve as basis of comparison for changes down the road. I think it is short-term stance.” We will not play short-term games for partisan purposes.


Official Languages

    Madam Speaker, three days ago, the government introduced a bill to protect the French language.
    Three days, just three short days later, we are learning that Ottawa wants to appoint a unilingual anglophone as CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. This sends a very clear message. The federal government is appointing a unilingual anglophone to be in charge of how history is told in Canada.
    The worst part is that this appointment is not at a museum in Toronto or a museum in Calgary. It is at a museum in Gatineau. Is the minister aware of the message he is sending, and will he back down?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her important question. Since I was appointed, and since forming government, actually, we have recognized the importance of protecting and promoting French in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, as well as the importance of protecting our minority language communities.
    The bill we are introducing aims to do just that, and I hope everyone in the House will support it.
    Madam Speaker, three days after the federal government's big show about protecting French, nothing has changed on the ground.
     CBC/Radio-Canada revealed that, in its job posting, the federal government said that fluency in both official languages would be preferable. For a museum in Quebec that serves a large population of Franco-Ontarians and that is supposed to hire employees who speak French, fluency in French is not preferable; it is essential.
    After all of the debates we have had this year about the decline of French, how can the federal government still be so negligent?


    The Bloc Québécois does not have a monopoly on love for the French language. I have always worked in French and will continue to do so. It is my language and my identity. It is our history and we are all very proud of it.
    The bill introduced by the minister reflects all of that. We are the first government to acknowledge that there has been a decline in French and that we need to do something to protect and promote that language. That is what we are doing and that is what we will continue to do. We are assuming our responsibilities within the limits of our jurisdiction, and I hope that all members will support this bill.


Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, land border communities and families have been reeling for more than a year as parents, brothers, sisters, loved ones and even children have been torn apart by restrictions. We all want to keep everyone safe. That is the entire point of family reunification for families and businesses. However, at every turn the Liberals ignore input, fearmonger and never offer solutions. What is worse is that the elite exclusivism and the shroud of secrecy create anxiety and depression.
    The NDP proposed an inclusive safe border task force to find solutions and give stakeholders and the public confidence. What is it going to take before the Liberals offer a plan to help Canadians through this ordeal?


    Madam Speaker, last year we introduced major reciprocal border restrictions with countries like the United States for public health reasons. That was an evidence-based decision to protect the health of Canadians.
    We ensure that our border services officers have the most relevant, up-to-date information so they can make quick decisions for citizens who have to cross the border for essential reasons. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation as it evolves, and we will make decisions focused on protecting Canadians from COVID‑19.


Veterans Affairs

    Madam Speaker, Roy is a veteran with nine years of service to our country. He left the military with an operational stress injury and applied to VAC for the remedy, but everything went wrong and it kept going wrong. Since 2012, this veteran has been trying to get help. Roy cannot sleep. He cannot hold a job. He has been traumatized by the very department that should be helping him. Roy's file requires a simple but meaningful fix, but his MP and the minister have failed him.
    Will his MP and the minister finally stand up for Roy, or will they continue to ignore him, hoping he will go away?
    Madam Speaker, ensuring that our veterans and their families have the mental health support they need is our absolute top priority. I have directed my department to demonstrate maximum flexibility in addressing the urgent mental health needs for veterans and their families. Budget 2021 provides $140 million to cover mental health costs for veterans while they are waiting for their disability benefits application to be processed.
    We understand the vital role families play in supporting our veterans, and we will continue to look at ways to provide the best possible support for our veterans and their families.

National Defence

    Madam Speaker, last night, the majority of the House of Commons voted to censure the Minister of National Defence for his litany of failures. The most egregious thing he has been condemned for is allowing the crisis of sexual misconduct to fester in the military. Referring to the victims of military sexual traumas, Stephanie Carvin, associate professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, said the minister failed utterly to protect them or ensure there is any kind of justice for them in over six years of being the defence minister.
    Will the Prime Minister fire the defence minister today?
    Madam Speaker, yesterday shows that the Conservatives are more focused on waging personal and partisan attacks than supporting the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces. As opposition members themselves admitted, that vote will do nothing to help our women and men in uniform, including those who have experienced misconduct.
    Do members know what would help the women and men in uniform? It is supporting the nearly one-quarter of a billion dollars in budget 2021 committed to ending sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. However, the opposition will not do that.
    While the Conservatives play partisan games, we are focused on creating a lasting and positive culture change.


    Madam Speaker, if the member really wants to help victims of sexual misconduct in the military, she would quit obstructing the national defence committee's work.
    There is a growing wave of consensus that the Minister of National Defence is ill suited to implement the changes needed to end sexual misconduct since he has already failed to protect our women and men in uniform. Military sexual assault survivor Stéphanie Raymond said the defence minister “has missed too many opportunities to act. Unfortunately, he too is part of the problem [if] he continues to camouflage, or to be complicit by omission.” She also stated, “The minister, basically, I think he should perhaps leave his functions.”
    When will the Prime Minister do the right thing and show the defence minister the door?
    Madam Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives, who, while under the Harper government, appointed a chief of the defence staff who was under active investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service. If the Conservatives were serious about this issue, they would support budget 2021 and the $236 million dedicated to combatting and eradicating sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
    As for the committee, Liberal members have asked 20 times for the committee to adjourn debate so we can move on to the reports, but the opposition has refused.
    Madam Speaker, a scathing Toronto Star editorial said, “One of the minor mysteries of Ottawa in the spring of 2021 is why on earth [the defence minister] is still Canada’s minister of national defence. [His] credibility has been so thoroughly shredded by the sexual misconduct scandals paralyzing the Canadian Forces”. Sexual misconduct expert Megan MacKenzie from Simon Fraser University said the defence minister has “zero credibility” on sexual misconduct.
    Why will the Prime Minister not fire the Minister of National Defence?
    Madam Speaker, the Minister of National Defence is an inspirational trailblazer and ally who we are absolutely proud to have on our team. He has spent his career breaking down barriers to inclusion. The minister has lived a life of service to Canadians, whether that was during his time in the Canadian Armed Forces, as a member of the Vancouver Police Department, or now as a cabinet minister.
    This House and Canada are better for the service of the Minister of National Defence.

The Economy

    Madam Speaker, here we are in the magic million job month. June was supposed to be the month in which all of the pre-COVID jobs would be recovered: a million of them in chart 35. It is right there in the minister's budget that all of the jobs would be restored this month, yet we have lost a quarter of a million jobs in the last two months and have the second-highest unemployment in the G7.
    Will this month be as miraculous as the government claims? Will we have all of those million jobs back when the numbers come out next month?
    Madam Speaker, I am glad that for a change it appears the hon. member is actually reading some of the government's budget. If he pays close attention to the same chart, he will see another trend line on that graph that indicates the impact job numbers would have felt without government supports.
    The very dangerous game of chicken that the Conservatives are engaging in to prevent supports from helping workers and families is going to preclude the expeditious economic recovery that the private sector is forecasting for Canada. The reality is that because of the measures we are putting in place, we expect to see jobs rebound beyond one million. I expect that member will be disappointed when Canadians do so well.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member did not answer the question. It was supposed to be this month that all those million Canadians would have their jobs back. He claims that there will be an “expeditious” recovery, another one of these subjective words that has no timeline, but his chart is very clear. It was supposed to be a million jobs by June 2021, yet we are actually losing jobs. We are down a quarter of a million in two months. We have the second-highest unemployment in the G7.
    Yes or no: Will the million Canadians have their jobs back?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is trying to torque statistics to insert a narrative into this debate that simply is not borne out by the facts. We know that the economy is in a volatile position because we need to respond to the continuing public health emergency.
     I have good news for the hon. member. If he could convince his colleagues to get out of the way and stop obstructing the measures included in budget 2021 so we could extend benefits to help businesses hire more workers, support those who have lost their jobs and encourage more young people to take training opportunities, we would see the economy come roaring back. He does not have to believe me. He can look to private-sector economists who have testified to—
    The hon. member for Carleton.


    Madam Speaker, the hon. member need not worry. I do not believe him, because the chart in his government's budget says there will be a million jobs back by this month. Now, suddenly, he is running away from that commitment. He is saying, “Don't worry. We've got really expensive debt-financed government programs.” The Liberals are putting it all on the credit card, but he is running away from the central commitment to restore paycheques. Only paycheques will secure our future.
    I will give him a third chance. Will he restate the government's commitment in chart 35 of its budget, that a million Canadians who lost their jobs during COVID will have them back this month?
    Madam Speaker, let me begin by pointing out how disappointed I am that the hon. member takes such glee in the suffering of Canadians who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If he is concerned about getting the paycheques back for Canadians who have been impacted negatively, I would point him to the measures that he is obstructing, such as the Canada hiring recovery incentive, which is specifically designed to help more businesses get paycheques to Canadians.
    The reality is that we need to continue to support Canadians to stabilize the economy, so that we can absolutely crush the economic rebound and come roaring out of the pandemic recession as strong as any economy in the developed world.



    Madam Speaker, do my colleagues remember Gary Kobinger, a Université Laval researcher? He is the expert who became famous for his discovery of the Ebola vaccine, and he is also the expert who, at the start of the pandemic, developed a COVID‑19 vaccine candidate. Unfortunately, Ottawa denied him funding for clinical trials.
    Canada still does not have a made-in-Canada vaccine or a modern pharmaceutical industry, and now it no longer has Dr. Kobinger either. The University of Texas put him in charge of one of the most prestigious biomedical research labs in the world.
    Why did the government not do everything in its power to develop a local vaccine—


    Mr. Speaker, every step of the way we have invested in research and science. In fact, one of the very first things we did when we saw COVID-19 approaching Canada's shores was to stimulate the research and science community with a massive investment of money to ensure that our scientists and researchers were equipped to study COVID-19, potential solutions to COVID-19 treatments and indeed vaccines.
    We will continue to work with the Canadian research community to ensure that we have domestic capacity for this pandemic and any future ones that arise.


    Madam Speaker, that is nonsense. Quebec will receive 600,000 fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, but will receive more doses of Moderna. The reason we are still talking about weekly deliveries is that Canada is still, to this day, 100% dependent on foreign suppliers for our vaccines.
    While Canada still does not have the high-tech industry needed, at least it had the expertise. Now we learn that Canada is losing one of its most eminent scientists, because Ottawa was too cheap to fund his research. Why is the government pinching pennies rather than funding our own scientists, forcing us to depend on foreign pharmaceutical companies to whom we pay billions of dollars?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, but I have to call him out on what he said. I spoke with Dr. Kobinger personally and we agreed on the next steps. I understand his personal decision.
    However, I want to remind Quebeckers that one of the companies the government is investing in is Medicago, in Quebec City. We are making a significant investment to produce a vaccine against COVID-19 in Canada that will be available to all Canadians. We have invested billions of dollars to fund the manufacture of a Canadian vaccine—
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

The Economy

    Madam Speaker, here are the direct consequences of 3.6% inflation, the likes of which we have not seen in 10 years. A young family is unable to buy a house. A father is forced to decide which day his kids will get a good meal this week. François and Martin struggle to make their long-distance relationship work because the cost of gas is too high for them to visit each other.
    The Liberals are putting Canadian families at risk. Why does the Prime Minister not have a plan to jump-start the economy and create jobs?


    Madam Speaker, the hon. member's question rests on false pretenses and suffers from a deficit of morals. As a matter of fact, the Bank of Canada, not the Government of Canada, is responsible for managing inflation. In any event, if the member would speak to an economist, they would tell him that the increase in prices we are seeing on some products is a result of supply and demand in the marketplace, or the base effects that stem from the massive plunge that we saw when the economy shut down to save lives. As a matter of morals, his solution is to pull supports from Canadians when they need it most. It is tasteless and short-sighted, and it is a good thing his party is not in charge.


    Madam Speaker, I will take no moral lessons from the member.


    The threat here is that interest rates are being driven up by inflation. The threat here is that this government is $1 trillion in debt. The threat here is that we have an apathetic Prime Minister who thinks that budgets balance themselves. The threat here is that the Liberals are doing absolutely nothing to make life more affordable for Canadians because they like to impose tax after tax. When will we get a realistic plan to create jobs?


    Madam Speaker, with great respect, if the hon. member is concerned about getting supports to Canadians who are experiencing financial need as a result of the pandemic, he should get out of the way and stop obstructing the budget, which includes supports that are going to help vulnerable Canadians. The budget is going to put more money in the pockets of affected workers. It is creating incentives for businesses to bring more workers back on the payroll and ensure people can keep roofs over their heads and food on the table.
    The reality is that since the beginning of this pandemic we have had the backs of Canadians. The Conservatives have tried to obstruct every step of the way. We will not have it. We will be there for Canadians no matter what it takes, for as long as it takes.

Natural Resources

    Madam Speaker, unfortunately we were listening closely when the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Finance actually let it slip that these Liberals were going to crush the economic rebound. They are going to make sure it does not come back. We can absolutely see this in their approach to the oil and gas sector. They have Biden vetoing Keystone. Now Governor Whitmer is trying to shut down Line 5.
    My question to the parliamentary secretary to the finance minister is this. Did the Prime Minister even mention Line 5 at the G7 junket last week?
    Madam Speaker, Michigan's response was a routine step of its court process. We are strongly supporting Line 5. Canada's amicus brief clearly and directly expressed the government's legal position that Line 5 is an important and safe piece of infrastructure benefiting both Canada and the United States.
    Negotiating an agreement that respects all parties is the best solution, and we are confident that a solution will be reached. Yes, we are behind Line 5. We have done all that we need to do to make sure that Line 5 continues to operate. We are behind the energy workers and we will have no Canadians left—
    The hon. member for Regina—Lewvan.
    I believe that, Madam Speaker: They are so far behind energy workers that no one can see where they actually are. It is an embarrassment how this government can treat our oil and gas sector.
    However, one thing about Line 5, and what we should be talking about, is that the treaty that was signed in 1977 to allow the free flow of oil across our borders was actually ratified and voted on by none other than then Delaware senator Joe Biden.
    If the Prime Minister has such a great relationship with the President of the United States, I ask again, at their G7 summit, when they were maskless and visiting, did the Prime Minister bring up Line 5?
    Madam Speaker, I encourage all members opposite to actually read the amicus brief to understand the Government of Canada's legal position on this issue. It has been endorsed by the Conservative governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario as well as by the Government of Quebec. It has been endorsed by Sarnia's mayor, Mike Bradley, and by industry and labour: the building trades and Unifor.
    The 1977 transit pipelines treaty remains in effect. The State of Michigan proposes measures at present, but we are supporting our workers, we are supporting Line 5 and we will do everything that it takes to make it—
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.

Government Programs

    Madam Speaker, ever since the Liberals announced a significant cut to the Canada recovery benefit in their budget, New Democrats have been pushing back against that cut and challenging the government to undo it.
    The answer the Liberals give in the House is completely disingenuous. They pretend that there is a choice between voting for their budget and voting for the cuts, or voting against the budget and voting against extending the benefit. They know that there is a third option, which is to extend the benefit and maintain the current benefit level.
    I am just looking for some honesty here. Will the government acknowledge that this is an option and finally explain why it is choosing instead to cut the budgets of Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet?


    Madam Speaker, the CRB is part of a comprehensive suite of emergency and recovery measures to support Canadian workers and businesses. Through the CRB, if opposition parties support Bill C-30, Canadians can have access to up to 50 weeks of benefits. They could also have access to more flexible EI benefits, businesses could continue to have access to the wage subsidy, and we could help Canadians reenter the labour market by creating 500,000 new training and work opportunities and launching the Canada recovery hiring program.
    We will continue to do whatever it takes, but we implore opposition parties to help us put Bill C-30 through.

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, a scathing report from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reveals that Canada jails thousands of people fleeing persecution, including those with disabilities. Many are held in maximum-security provincial jails and put in solitary confinement without any charges or convictions.
    There is no legal limit to the length of immigration detention. Black and racialized people are often detained longer, CBSA officials can still put children in detention or separate them from their families, and there is no independent oversight for CBSA. This is happening in Canada under this Prime Minister's watch.
    Will the government stop this horrific practice?


    Madam Speaker, we want to thank Amnesty International for its report. We will certainly take the time to read through it.
    I do want to make a few reminders. Immigrant detention is a measure of last resort. It is used only in certain circumstances. Furthermore, long-term detention is used only when the individual in detention poses a danger to the public, when alternatives to detention do not adequately mitigate that danger, when there are doubts about the individual's identity, or when it is unlikely that the individual will show up for their legal hearing.
    All detention decisions are reviewed by a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


Indigenous Affairs

    Madam Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic hit businesses across Canada hard. Now, as we move into recovery, it is crucial that we support communities through the reopening process. This is particularly important for indigenous businesses, which often face barriers such as accessing capital or broadband Internet.
    Could the minister please provide an update on the current supports for first nations, Inuit and Métis businesses?
    Madam Speaker, on Wednesday our government announced $117 million to renew the indigenous community business fund to support local businesses and economies. The first round of this initiative helped fund over 1,000 first nations, Inuit and Métis-owned businesses.
    We recognize that indigenous businesses, particularly community-owned micro-businesses such as beaders and craft workers, face unique challenges due to their size and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This distinctions-based fund will relieve financial pressure for businesses, sustain jobs and keep doors open through the economic recovery.
    Madam Speaker, Elder Eliza is a constituent of mine and a residential school survivor. She and her daughter applied for their status cards and were promised it would take six months to review. It has now been nearly three years. Every time they call Indigenous Services Canada for an update, they are left on hold for hours and given the runaround, time and time again. Perhaps it is because the minister has only 10 people at the call centre to process thousands of status card applications.
    Elder Eliza feels this delay is just another form of mistreatment and disrespect of indigenous peoples. Will the minister ensure that Elder Eliza and her daughter receive their status cards before the third anniversary of their application on July 7?
    Madam Speaker, I would ask the member to forward that information to my office and reach out. We will do our utmost to expedite that process.

Employment Insurance

    Madam Speaker, months ago I wrote to the Minister of Employment asking her to immediately address her department’s discriminatory policy. It is preventing some pregnant women who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, through no fault of their own, from claiming EI maternity benefits.
    Maternity leave is a sacred right of motherhood in Canada for millions of women. These women have paid into EI for years, and it is unfair that they will be forced back into the job market within weeks of giving birth. I have met with these women. They are real. They are stressed. They need our help.
    The minister has the power to fix this. Why has she not?
    Madam Speaker, our government is very committed to supporting new mothers and parents who face unique challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. We launched the CERB and provided support to more than eight million Canadians, introduced a credit of 480 hours to increase access to maternity and parental benefits and set a minimum benefit rate of $500 a week.
    In budget 2021 we would be investing $3.9 billion into changes that would make EI more accessible and simpler for Canadians. This would include maintaining uniform access to EI benefits and a 420-hour entrance requirement for EI claims. We have had the backs of new mothers. I am looking forward to conversations around modernizing EI, and—


    The hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.

National Defence

    Madam Speaker, the defence minister has been without honour from the start.
    First he let the Prime Minister destroy Vice-Admiral Norman, then he falsely claimed he was the architect of Operation Medusa. He took the honour out of the operation to combat sexual misconduct in the military, and now he has put the honour of our country at risk by claiming he did not know about our soldiers being ordered to train war criminals, when the report about it was sent three years ago.
    Why won’t the Prime Minister do the honourable thing and fire this minister?
    Madam Speaker, I am very disappointed by the viciousness of the tone in the House we have seen yesterday and today. I would like to review the track record of service to Canada and Canadians of this Minister of National Defence. He has over two decades of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, including four tours of duty, with three in Afghanistan, for which he was awarded the Order of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the NATO Service Medal and others. He also served for over a decade as an officer in the Vancouver Police Department. I thank the Minister of National Defence for his service.

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, when the Speaker makes a ruling, it is binding on this House. The Speaker is the lawful authority, and the Speaker's rulings carry force of law. The Speaker has clearly ruled that any parliamentary committee has the right to send for unredacted documents. That ruling has force of law.
    I have a simple question for the government members. Will they follow the law, or do they think that they do not have to follow the law?
    Madam Speaker, on this side of the House we will never play games with national security. Canadians expect us to be mature and appropriate in the way that we treat documents of this nature. I will quote Stephanie Carvin, associate professor at Carleton University.
    She said, “This bulldozer approach to national security is misguided, dangerous and will result in a less transparent system overall.” Do members know who last quoted her? It was the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman just a few moments ago.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, the federal assistance that farmers are receiving to cover the costs of quarantine for their temporary foreign workers was cut in half.
    Ottawa was giving farmers a reimbursement of up to $1,500 to apologize for forcing them to cover the costs of quarantine. Now, the federal government has cut that amount to $750, but farmers still need to bring in workers, and quarantine is still mandatory. The health measures have not changed. The costs have not changed either. The only thing that has changed is that Ottawa is no longer doing its part.
    Will the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship immediately reverse those cuts?
    Madam Speaker, we worked closely with our Quebec counterparts on this and many other files.
    More than 34,000 foreign workers have already arrived in Canada for the 2021 growing season, including more than 14,000 in Quebec. These results speak for themselves, and we will continue to provide Quebec with the workers it needs to support its economic recovery.
    Madam Speaker, when the minister announced $1,500 to help cover the cost of worker quarantines, she gave farmers her word. She said, “This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force.” Quarantine is still mandatory. There is no logical reason for her to cut this financial assistance in half.
    Will the minister keep her promise to farmers and put an end to the cuts as long as quarantining is mandatory?
    Madam Speaker, our government doubled the number of temporary foreign workers in Quebec from 11,000 in 2015 to 23,000 in 2019.
    Last year, despite the pandemic, we brought in the second-highest number of temporary workers ever, and we will be bringing in even more this year.
    In addition, we have already brought more than 8,500 skilled workers into Quebec this year. We will keep working with the Government of Quebec to support its economic recovery.




    Madam Speaker, Canada’s housing market is the latest victim of Liberal incompetence. Their first-time homebuyer program has allocated only $178 million since its creation. That is just 14% of its budget. The minister’s program has helped only 9,800 applicants in two years.
    This is a national crisis affecting millions of Canadians, and it is the highest price increase since 2006. When will the minister realize this and admit his program is not working?
    Madam Speaker, I would point out to the Conservatives that every single measure we put in place to fix the housing crisis in this country has been opposed by their party, including the measures to help first-time buyers access the homes of their choice. Examples of this include the tax on vacant properties and offshore speculation, the disclosure requirements under beneficial ownership, the first-time homebuyer plan itself and even the modifications to allow more people to be qualified.
    Every single step of the way, the Conservatives say no. That leaves us with the status quo, a status quo they created. They are the problem, not our government. Our government has invested $72 billion in addressing the situation. Change is happening, and change will be—
    Madam Speaker, StatsCan released a new housing price index for May. New home prices have increased 11.3% year over year, and this is the largest increase since November 2006. Prices for lumber and other products increased 17.9% from the previous month and have more than doubled year over year.
    Can the Prime Minister explain why he has implemented such incredibly poor economic policies leading to increased inflation and higher home prices, effectively crushing the dreams of young Canadian families looking to buy their first home?
    Madam Speaker, the reality is that our government is the first government in a generation to address the housing crisis in this country, from the perspective not only of affordable housing, but also of housing affordability. The investments we have made in the national housing strategy, now $72 billion, include supports to broaden the supports to the rental housing market being built in this country, as well as creating clear access and bridges to home ownership if that is the choice Canadians make.
    Inflation is presenting a serious challenge. We are working to make sure we achieve on our housing goals because Canadians expect us to deliver on the right to housing. They also expect us to deliver a budget that supports this. Why did the Conservatives oppose all these changes?
    Madam Speaker, last week, Conservatives brought forward a motion that called on the government to address Canada’s housing affordability crisis. It laid out common-sense solutions to help Canadians achieve their dreams of home ownership, but the Liberals voted against it. Today, Stats Canada is reporting the largest increase in new home prices in 15 years. Increasing inflation and out-of-control Liberal deficits are only exacerbating the situation.
    Why are the Liberals pushing home ownership further out of reach for young Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, I have to say that listening to the Conservatives talk about housing is really quite astonishing considering they did not do it the entire time they were in office.
    The measures we are taking to create and sustain housing affordability are critically important to Canadians, but the pamphlet, or postcard, they produced last week as a budget proposal, which included, for example, the proposal to collapse the entire national housing strategy overnight, makes no sense whatsoever.
    When they proposed to temporarily suspend ownership opportunities they think are too generous for foreign offshore owners, they did not even put a time limit on that. Is it a day, a month or a week? It was a pamphlet with slogans. I live in a province that is governed by a Conservative government that uses slogans. It does not work. We need real policies and—
    The hon. member for Markham—Stouffville.

Innovation, Science and Industry

    Madam Speaker, unlike the Harper Conservatives, who defunded scientific inquiry, our government understands how essential it is to have a strong and resilient research and science ecosystem.
    Canadians are at the forefront of cutting-edge research into scientific issues. Would the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry update the House about recent investments that the government has made to help scientists conduct their research and spur innovation during this pandemic?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Markham—Stouffville for her excellent question on a very important issue.
    As she said, earlier this week I was proud to announce, on behalf of Canadians, a historic investment of over $635 million to foster a stronger and more vibrant research and science ecosystem in Canada. Through these investments, we will support innovative world-class research to better address and overcome some of the most pressing challenges. These investments would create prosperity for all Canadians.


    Madam Speaker, Oshawa is home to Ontario Tech University, an institution designed to be a key economic driver in my community.
     A 2018 study found that 65% of software engineers and 30% of other STEM graduates leave Canada for opportunities abroad. The global tech race is on, and with the expiry of the American H1B visa ban in March, American tech companies are again free to start poaching our youngest and brightest.
     When will Canadian students see a targeted plan to keep them and their futures in Canada?
    Madam Speaker, we know that investments in science, technology and innovation are crucial. We also know that we need to invest more in training to make sure that people have the skills. I would agree with the member that we need to do everything we can to retain our bright talent here in Canada because we know that talent attracts investment.
    That is why, in the last budget we presented, there are a number of measures to make sure that Canada remains the most attractive place for talent around the world.

Government Priorities

    Madam Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister’s misleading and blind partisan rhetoric over the last week is quite something.
     It was recently pointed out to me that the Liberals' attitude is like that of an irresponsible student who, only when faced with a deadline and possible failure in a class, realizes their actions have consequences. Instead of taking responsibility, they are blaming others, blaming the system, and screaming it is simply not fair.
     The Liberals' condescending attitude abdicates the responsibility they have to serve Canadians. It is time to end the excuses and grow up. Will these Liberals take responsibility for their failures?
    Madam Speaker, I find it bizarre that the hon. member is pointing the finger at blind partisan arguments, when he seems to have asked a question without a real subject other than a generic allegation about the government's failures.
    I will tell him about the government's work. We launched one of the most ambitious pandemic responses, from both a public health and an economic point of view. We are leading the world when it comes to the number of Canadians who have received their first dose. We have protected millions of Canadians' jobs. We helped nine million families keep food on the table and a roof over their heads with CERB. We have had about five million Canadians kept on payrolls as a result of the wage subsidy.
    We have a plan that is going to kick-start this recovery, if only the Conservatives would—
    The hon. member for Cloverdale—Langley City.

Public Safety

    Madam Speaker, 21 years ago, a little girl named Heather was playing in her front yard in Cloverdale. Her neighbour, 24-year-old violent pedophile Shane Ertmoed, sexually assaulted and brutally murdered her. He stuffed her in his hockey bag and dumped her in the lake. Shane was sentenced to life in prison.
     Recently, the parole board approved his early day release, even though he admits that he continues to experience disturbing sexual urges. He plans to work in public parks, which are visited by many Victoria families.
    Will this government commit to reviewing this release immediately and overturning the board’s decision?


    Madam Speaker, the case the member raised is certainly very disturbing. The Parole Board of Canada operates independently and makes decisions based on well-established criteria. I would definitely like to take a look at this case with the opposition member to find out more.



    Madam Speaker, my community in Brampton North was hit hard by COVID-19 earlier this year and we have worked tirelessly to get cases down and vaccinations up. I am proud to say that over 75% of adults in Peel Region have received at least one dose, but we know there is more work to do to make sure we are all protected from COVID-19.
    I would ask this of the Minister of Health: What actions can Canadians take right now to help us all have a safer summer?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Brampton North, first of all, for her ongoing and continued advocacy for her constituents. Her work is tremendous and I am so grateful to have her as a partner in that work.
    What Canadians can do is continue to step up to get vaccinated. We are the number one vaccinator in the G7. That speaks to the hard work of the immunizers, but it also speaks to the willingness of Canadians to do the right thing and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities. While we are getting that job done, let us continue to do the other things that we know will keep us safe: follow our local public health measures and wear a mask to protect our communities.



    Madam Speaker, recent policy changes to the Canada summer jobs program are hurting university students who need that program the most. Employers have been told that the longest a single job can last is eight weeks. University students need at least 12 to 16 weeks to make enough money for next year's studies, so they will not apply for these jobs.
    Will the minister bring back flexibility to the program so jobs can be created that meet the needs of both university students and employers?
    Madam Speaker, we are very excited that this year we have offered more jobs to the Canada summer jobs program than ever before. Up to 150,000 opportunities are available.
    Prior to project approvals, of course, the member opposite had the opportunity to provide feedback on all the recommended projects. I encourage students to go to the job bank, apply for a job and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to contribute to their community and get work experience as they head back to university in the fall.


    Madam Speaker, I have been troubled to see the suspension of Canadians' ability to travel domestically and internationally, as guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have seen Manitoba close its borders, keeping one half of the country from the other. How many family vacations will be ruined by these measures?
    Just yesterday, CBC reported from an anonymous government source that a vaccine passport program will be implemented for travellers entering Canada soon. Why is the government at liberty to discuss with CBC something that has never been presented or debated in the House of Commons?
    Madam Speaker, what will inevitably ruin Canadians' vacations plans is any member of their families becoming sick with COVID-19.
    Every step of the way, we have relied on science and evidence to protect Canadians, to ensure that our communities are safe and increasingly free of COVID-19. We have done a great job together. It is really due to Canadians' hard work at protecting each other and the many sacrifices that they have made to do that. I want to thank all Canadians for stepping up because a country that has COVID banished from our communities is the safest one.

Points of Order

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been consultations among the parties and if you seek it, I hope that you will find consent for the following motion: That in light of the uncovering of unmarked graves at residential schools, the House call on the government to establish an independent commission with the resources to establish standards and provide oversight in the searches of records, in ground searches and investigations in accordance with the wishes of communities, as well as invite international experts including the International Commission on Missing Persons to work with first nations, Inuit and Métis communities to bring their children home.
    We would need unanimous consent to pass this motion. Therefore, all those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): There is dissent and therefore it cannot be adopted.
    I have two points of order, so I will go to the first one that came up.
    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Statements by Members 

    Madam Speaker, immediately following the conclusion of my S.O. 31, I received a message from AV services and translation saying that unfortunately because of my mike they were unable to properly translate my S.O. 31, half of which was done in French and half in English. I therefore am requesting kindly that I be able to redo my S.O. 31.


    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    An hon. member: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): I had a nay on that, therefore it is not approved.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I just wanted to clarify. I did not quite hear it, but it was the Liberal Party that turned down the support for indigenous people in finding the bodies—
    That is not a point of order.
    On another point of order, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
    Madam Speaker, the precedent was set, as you will recall, a few years ago. We had unanimous consent to put the motion. That was accepted. Then you asked for unanimous consent to adopt the motion. That was declined. What that means is because the motion was accepted, we now have to have a parliamentary vote on that. You can check the precedents back to 2015, but that is indeed the case. When the House allows the presentation of a motion, then subsequent to that, if unanimous consent for adoption of the motion is denied, it does mean that we then go to a vote.
    The member for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski moving the motion, having had the House accept the presentation of the motion, we would normally go to a vote. I would suggest though you might want to ask for unanimous consent to adopt again because that would very clearly the second time around avoid a vote. I think you would probably find unanimous consent, but if consent is not given for adoption, we have to proceed to a vote on it.
    On the point of order from the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby, I want to remind him on the procedure that is before the House when tabling these types of motion under a point of order. My first intervention was asking whether someone was against the hon. member moving the motion to please say nay and there were no nays on moving the motion. Then the following step is asking if the House has heard the terms of the motion and whether or not they agree with the motion, which is all those opposed to the motion will please say nay, and it was not carried.
    Therefore, it is not a point of debate at this point.
    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby has another point of order.
    Madam Speaker, just on this point of order, I would ask the table to very carefully check the precedent from 2015. The Speaker ruled at that time, and that is the precedent and the jurisprudence, that when the motion is allowed to be moved unanimously and then the adoption of the motion is denied, then the House proceeds to a vote on adoption of the motion. That is the clear precedent. I will give the table time to look at the precedent, but it has been clearly set and I would ask you, through the table, to look at that precedent and then come back with an ulterior ruling.
    I appreciate the additional information that the hon. member has provided. We will certainly look into this some more and will get back to the House briefly, if need be.


    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, as we have known with the virtual Parliament, when a member, for technical reasons, was not able to complete their S.O. 31, the Speaker has had the ability to indicate to the member to start again. When that does not occur, for whatever reasons, members have stood up and explained themselves.
     This is something that is beyond the member's control and there might have been some confusion. The member was not asking to repeat because of something that he had said; he was asking to repeat the S.O. 31 because there was a technical problem. In the past, we have always granted leave for that, so I just want to make sure the members understood it was not the member, it was a technical problem from the system.
    The hon. member is correct. After reviewing the request, I will grant the hon. member's request to redo his S.O. 31.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to speak to the same point of order. You seem to have granted what is an appropriate remedy.
    I would only point out that it may actually impinge on a question of privilege if, due to problems with translation, a member is unable to give their statement. However, I believe you have granted the appropriate remedy, so thank you.


    The hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges.
    Madam Speaker, one thing that unites Canadians from coast to coast to coast is their love of hockey. It is June, the outdoor rinks in Vaudreuil—Soulanges have long disappeared, and the skates have been replaced by bathing suits.
    None of that matters, though, because the NHL playoffs are under way. One Canadian team is still in contention to win the Stanley Cup, and we are all cheering them on.


    The Montreal Canadiens, hockey's most storied franchise, are in the conference finals against the Vegas Golden Knights. While those in Vegas may be all in, supporting their team, we know that in Vegas going all in can come with a price. What kind of price, members may ask. Well, it is a big price. If they have not factored in that price, that price may just be too much to handle. After every game, it feels more like 1993, and the only thing left to do is to bring that cup back to Montreal.


    On behalf of the entire House and all Canadians, I say, “Go for it, guys.
     Go, Habs, go!”


[Routine Proceedings]


Government Response to Petitions

    Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 16 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.


Committees of the House

International Trade  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on International Trade, entitled “Reform of the World Trade Organization: Some Canadian Views and Priorities”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Madam Speaker, I am standing on behalf of the Conservative committee members on the trade committee to present our supplementary opinion, which is attached to the report on WTO reform.
     As this is likely to be the final report tabled by the committee before we return in September, I would like to thank the clerk, the analysts and the technical staff of the committee for all their hard work in ensuring our meetings ran smoothly during this extraordinary time. I also want to thank the chair and all committee members for their work and contributions over the session.
    In our supplementary opinion, we highlight the important role the WTO has when it comes to free and fair trade globally. The pandemic has shown some gaps where the WTO could be reformed or better utilized, including in recent cases such as the dispute settlement process via the WTO's appellate body, as well as when it comes to finding a common-ground solution via the TRIPS council on intellectual property rights around COVID‑19 vaccines.
    Conservative committee members also highlight an observation we heard from Global Affairs Canada officials on the definition of “developed” and “developing” countries at the WTO, with each country getting to define itself as it chooses, with both of these salutations having different rights. We believe the Government of Canada's work in the Ottawa Group on WTO reform could also look into this definition to help standardize it to improve fair trade globally.
    We have also included recommendations in the supplementary opinion, which we hope the government will take into account.

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Report on the Government’s Report to Parliament: August 2020 Prorogation—COVID-19 Pandemic”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Madam Speaker, the official opposition generally agrees with the committee's findings and recommendations on the government's claims for why it prorogued Parliament last August. It was clear to Conservatives that the Liberals shut down Parliament last summer to cancel four committee investigations into the WE scandal and to prevent the ethics committee from learning how profitable the Trudeau family name has been for the Prime Minister's mother and brother.
    We deeply regret that the Liberals mounted a filibuster for over 100 days, preventing the committee from hearing from the Prime Minister and anyone else who had a role in his decision to shut down Parliament. With the help of the New Democrats, the Liberals managed to avoid any further scrutiny in committee.
    Where Conservatives part company with the committee's report is that we think the committee should actually finish the study by hearing from the Prime Minister. We think the committee should be empowered to order the Prime Minister to give testimony, and for the committee to see the PMO's emails and text messages about the plan to shut down Parliament.
    The committee report and the Liberal filibuster add another chapter to the current government's record. More scandals, more corruption and more cover-ups are what Canadians can expect from the Prime Minister and the Liberals.
    There is only one choice to end this corruption and secure accountability in Ottawa: Canada's Conservatives.

Environment and Sustainable Development  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “The Volkswagen Defeat Device Case and Enforcement of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.


Income Tax Act

    He said: Madam Speaker, today I rise in my place to table a bill that proposes a new way that we can help support students who are struggling with student debt. My bill proposes to amend the Income Tax Act so that employers can voluntarily enter into an arrangement in which part of the employee's remuneration would go toward student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit.
    Currently, if an employer wanted to help employees pay off their apprenticeship or student loan, that help would be taxed as regular income. That does not provide the needed and necessary help to students struggling with student debt. Student loan balances are often listed by young adults as a major reason for suffering from economic anxiety.
    Allowing employers and employees to voluntarily enter into an agreement in which part of the employee's remuneration would go toward apprenticeship loan or student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit would help young people pay down debt and start saving for the future by encouraging good financial management habits.
    I want to thank all of my constituents, particularly those young students who shared with me the pressure they are under, and I am hopeful that all members of this place will help support this initiative.

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

    I see that there are quite a few petitions, so I would remind members to keep their interventions short in order to ensure that as many individuals as possible can present petitions. If there is not enough time, those petitions will have to be taken up the next time we do petitions before the House.


Falun Gong  

    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to present two petitions.
    The first one is this. The Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, or the Magnitsky law, sanctions foreign officials responsible for gross human rights violations or acts of corruption. For over 21 years, China's Communist Party officials have orchestrated the torture and killing of large numbers of people who practise Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline promoting the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance. This includes the killing of practitioners on a mass scale for their vital organs to fuel the communist regime's organ transplant trade.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to deploy all legal sanctions, including the freezing of assets and the barring of entry into Canada, against, but not limited to, the many listed in the petition.


    Madam Speaker, the second petition says that the undersigned citizens of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following: Ethiopia has experienced alarming bouts of unrest and violence in the last year; conflict has engulfed the Tigray region of Ethiopia, leading to egregious human rights abuses and a humanitarian crisis; and humanitarian actors and independent journalists and researchers have almost no access to the affected regions. They are being shut out from human rights, and many human rights violations have been going on. There are many other things listed in this petition.


    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present two petitions.
    The first petition was sent to me by Lynn Cockburn and the Canadians for Peace in Cameroon, which addresses the continuing violence in the northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon and reports that the Canadian-made technology from L3 Wescam has reportedly been used by the Cameroonian government to carry out reconnaissance and surveillance missions to suppress peaceful protests and provide information to government security forces that are accused of committing human rights violations and war crimes.
    The petition calls on the government to ensure that no further Wescam systems, spare parts or training support services are exported to Cameroon and that no other Canadian-made military or dual-use technologies are exported to Cameroon until there is a peaceful resolution to the anglophone crisis.



     Madam Speaker, the second petition, e-3122, concerns the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Yemen. The civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and has left an estimated 24 million people and nearly 80% of the population in desperate need of humanitarian support.
    The petitioners call on the government to immediately halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, participate in international efforts to immediately end Saudi-led attacks on Yemen civilians, and support international partners in lifting the siege on Sanaa airport and Hadhramaut airport in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance can be delivered.

Rights of Children  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to present e-petition 3312, which has been signed by nearly 5,000 people across Canada. The petitioners note that the protection of the rights of children around the world is a priority of the government and they note that all signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child have the obligation to ensure basic due process rights for children in accordance with international juvenile justice standards.
    The petitioners point to the 2019 United Nations report on children and armed conflict, which they say raised concerns about the detention of children in Israel's justice system, and they call on the House of Commons to urge the Subcommittee on International Human Rights to urgently study this issue.

Pefferlaw Dam  

    Madam Speaker, in Pefferlaw, we believe in rolling up our sleeves to help each other and in the power of our voices, and I am happy to rise today on behalf of the residents of Pefferlaw.
    The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to rehabilitate the historic Pefferlaw Dam and ensure the Pefferlaw River flows again. Built in the 1820s, the Pefferlaw Dam has a cultural, historical, environmental, economic and recreational significance to the visitors and residents of Pefferlaw.

Sex Selection  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present these petitions. These individuals have indicated that sex-selection abortion is legal in Canada because we have no restrictions to date, in spite of the fact that 84% of Canadians believe it should be illegal to have an abortion simply when the sex of the child is not favoured.
    International organizations, including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the United Nations Children's Fund, have identified unequal sex ratios at birth as a growing problem internationally, and our medical associations have indicated that in Canada as well. The petitioners are calling on the government to bring forward a Criminal Code prohibition on sex-selective abortion.


    Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present a petition from 165 Canadians, who point out that the opioid crisis is one of the most deadly public health emergencies of our lifetime. They ask the government to take steps to end overdose deaths and injuries; to immediately collaborate with the provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive action plan; to ensure that any plan considers reforms that other countries have used, such as legal regulations of drugs to ensure safe supply, decriminalization for personal use, changes to flawed drug policy and policing; and to ensure that this emergency is taken seriously, with adequately funded programming and supports.

Forestry Industry  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present this petition today. This is part of a large stack I have, with over 15,000 signatures now. People are really concerned about the trashing of the last remaining old-growth forests in British Columbia, with less than 3% left.
    The petitioners call on the government to work with the province and first nations to follow through on our international commitments to protect biodiversity and to save these forests as part of our climate action plan and reconciliation with first nations; to refocus on second- and third-growth forests with value-added logging; to stop the export of raw logs; to stop the grinding up of whole trees for biofuel pellets; and to protect our old-growth forests.


Travel Advisers  

    Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions I am pleased to present today from concerned Canadians from our great country.
    In the first, the petitioners are deeply concerned about the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the travel industry and independent travel agents in particular.
     The petitioners call on the government to ensure any financial aid afforded to the airlines is conditional on the payment of commissions to travel agents, who are being left out of any discussions. They also want to ensure any commissions clawed back by the airlines are returned in a timely fashion to the travel agents who have already performed the work.
    My second petition is also from Canada's independent travel agents, specifically those from Airdrie, Innisfail and Calgary, Alberta. Like those in the last petition, they worked hard early in the pandemic, rebooking and cancelling flights, only to have their commissions clawed back. They were not paid for their work.
     The petitioners ask the government to continue the Canada recovery benefit for an additional six months following the lifting of pandemic travel advisories. They also want to see the benefits maintained at $2,000 per month for the hardest-hit sectors of the economy.
    Finally, I have a third petition from independent travel agents, who are also struggling with the current travel and quarantine requirements in effect.
     The petitioners also call for specific sector funding for independent travel advisers. This sector was the first to see disruption and likely will be the last to return to normal. They also call on the government to extend the qualifications for the regional relief and recovery fund in urban areas to include sole proprietors.


    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to table this petition on behalf of petitioners from Parksville, Qualicum, Hilliers, Coombs and Errington, and it is timely, given there was a massive fire on Highway 4 yesterday at the Whiskey Creek gas station.
    The petitioners, in support of volunteer firefighters, cite that 83% of Canada's total firefighting essential needs are supported by first responders and volunteer firefighters. They get about a $3,000 tax credit for 200 volunteer hours completed in a calendar year. This works out to a mere $450 per year that we allow these essential volunteers to keep of their income from their regular jobs or small businesses. It works out to about $2.25 an hour.
    The petitioners call on the government to increase this tax credit, which would allow these essential volunteers to keep more of their hard-earned money, likely to be spent in the communities in which they live. Also, these essential volunteers, like I cited yesterday, not only put their lives on the line and give their time, training and efforts to Canadians, but also allow cities and municipalities to keep property taxes lower.
     They call for the increase of the tax exemption to go from $3,000 to $10,000, which would be the honourable thing to do, given approximately 8,000 essential search and rescue volunteers respond to thousands of incidents every year.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of hundreds of Canadians, joining their voices to thousands of other Canadians from coast to coast to coast, all of them petitioning Parliament to adopt Motion No. 1, the green new deal.
    These petitioners say that Canada has to address the climate emergency with the ambition and urgency required. On behalf of present and future generations, they call on the government to support, by Motion No. 1, a made in Canada green new deal, which calls on Canada to take bold and rapid action to adopt climate action to tackle the climate emergency, while ending fossil fuel subsidies, closing offshore tax havens and supporting workers impacted by the transition in the shift to a clean and renewable energy economy.


    Mr. Speaker, the first petition I have to present today comes from Canadians across the country, who were very concerned about allegations that came out in a New York Times article, entitled “The Children of Pornhub”. One story reported that a 15-year-old girl, who had been missing for over a year, had been found when 58 videos of her rape and sexual assault were discovered on Pornhub.
    The petitioners note that Pornhub has no reliable system to verify that the people in the videos are not being trafficked or are minors who are being sexually exploited; that over 100 survivors and 500 NGOs have written a letter calling for a “criminal investigation” into MindGeek; and that the justice committee heard shocking testimony from Pornhub executives.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to investigate and prosecute companies in Canada that host content featuring sex trafficking and child sexual abuse to the fullest extent of the law. They also call for a review of the legislative and regulatory framework to ensure that Canada's laws fully prohibit online, sexually explicit content featuring minors, torture, violence, cruelty and coercion.
    Finally, they ask for the introduction of legislation that would require companies to possess reliable systems to verify that people in sexually explicit images are of age and are not being trafficked.


Correctional Services  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I have to present is from people across Canada.
    In Canada, almost one-quarter of the people who leave our correctional system reoffend within two years of being released. The petitioners are calling for a new system to ensure that victims are at the heart of our justice system and that we have a system to prevent recidivism and reoffending.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to support and quickly pass Bill C-228, an act to establish a federal framework to reduce recidivism, to help to ensure that our society is safer, more peaceful, prosperous and just; and to support local communities and organizations that help people leaving correctional facilities become reintegrated into society.

Freedom of Conscience  

    Mr. Speaker, the third petition I have to present today is from Canadians from across the country.
    The petitioners are concerned about coercion, intimidation and other forms of pressure intended to force physicians and health institutions to become parties in assisted suicide or euthanasia in the violation of their freedom of conscience.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enshrine in the Criminal Code the protection of conscience supported by the passing of Bill C-268, the protection of freedom of conscience act, and to protect the charter rights of medical professionals who have chosen to not take part directly or indirectly in euthanasia or medical assistance in dying, ensuring that all medical practitioners and health care institutions are free from coercion and intimidation related to providing these services.
    Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition I have to present—
    I am going to have to interrupt the hon. member. The time allowed for the presentation of petitions has been reached, which is at 15 minutes. In some cases, members have considered proposing a unanimous consent motion to extend the period. I note that the member still has more to say, and there is one other member of Parliament who has petitions to present as well.
    I would invite hon. members, if they wish, to proceed in that way, otherwise members who did not finish today will have to consider getting back to the House at the next sitting.
    Mr. Speaker, I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House to finish presenting petitions today.
    Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House for hon. members to finish their petitions?
    Some hon. members: No.

Questions on the Order Paper


Question No. 733--
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the court cases Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 BCSC 1494; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2011 BCCA 237; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), (29 March 2012) SCC File No. 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2013 BCCA 300; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), (30 January 2012) SCC File No. 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General Trial decision (Garson J.) – 2009 BCSC 1494; BC Supreme Court Docket No. S033335; the Supreme Court of Canada’s file number 34387; Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) 2021 BCCA 155; and all related cases: what are, including information from the Attorney General of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, for each case, the (i) total amount spent by the Crown between January 1, 2006, and April 30, 2021, (ii) total amount, adjusted for inflation, (iii) total spent by the Crown by category (travel, salary, supplies, etc.), (iv) total amount spent in each fiscal year from 2005 to 2021, (v) total payment that has been, or is projected to be paid by the Crown, and an explanation as to how this figure was calculated, (vi) date by which it will be or is projected to be paid by the Crown?
Hon. David Lametti (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to the legal costs incurred by the government in relation to the various Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) matters identified in the question, at the British Columbia Supreme Court, court file number S033335, British Columbia Court of Appeal, court file number CA037704, Supreme Court of Canada, court file number 34387, and all related cases, to the extent that the information that has been requested is or may be protected by any legal privileges, including solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown asserts those privileges. In this case, it has only waived solicitor-client privilege, and only to the extent of revealing the total legal costs, as defined below.
    The total legal costs, actual and notional costs, associated with the Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) matters referenced above, including at the British Columbia Supreme Court, court file number S033335, British Columbia Court of Appeal, court file number CA037704, and Supreme Court of Canada, and any related cases, between January 1, 2006, and April 30, 2021, amount to approximately $19.6 million. This amount covers the costs associated with the numerous procedures that have been filed in these various matters over a period of 15 years. The services targeted here are litigation services as well as litigation support services. Department of Justice lawyers, notaries and paralegals are salaried public servants and therefore no legal fees are incurred for their services. A “notional amount” can, however, be provided to account for the legal services they provide. The notional amount is calculated by multiplying the total hours recorded in the responsive files for the relevant period by the applicable approved internal legal services hourly rates. Actual costs represent file-related legal disbursements and legal agent fees, as the case may be. The total amount mentioned in this response is based on information contained in Department of Justice systems, as of May 5, 2021.


Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's response to Questions Nos. 725 to 732 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.


Question No. 725--
Ms. Leona Alleslev:
    With regard to Elections Canada, since January 1, 2014: (a) how many (i) electoral district associations, (ii) election campaigns were sent a confirmation email from Elections Canada that their financial return had been received by Elections Canada, broken down by year; (b) how many (i) emails, (ii) phone calls were received by Elections Canada related to political financing, broken down by quarter, province and year; (c) how many and what percentage of the political financing emails and phone calls in (b) received a response, broken down by quarter, province and year; (d) what are Elections Canada’s performance metrics for email and phone call response rates, broken down by year; (e) are political financing response emails required to include the name of the individual providing the response, and, if not, why not; and (f) how many and what percentage of political financing emails did not have the name of the individual providing the response, broken down by province?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 726--
Ms. Leona Alleslev:
    With regard to Elections Canada, broken down by province, political party and year, since January 1, 2014: (a) how many and what percentage of annual electoral district association returns were considered completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months, (ix) greater than 24 months of their initial submission to Elections Canada; (b) how many electoral district associations have been deregistered; (c) how many local (riding-level) election campaign returns for the 2015 election were completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months; (d) how many local (riding-level) election campaign returns for the 2019 election were completed within (i) one month, (ii) two months, (iii) four months, (iv) six months, (v) nine months, (vi) 12 months, (vii) 13-18 months, (viii) 18-24 months; (f) how many 2019 local election campaign returns submitted to Elections Canada have not been completed; and (g) how many of the campaigns in (f) would qualify for, but have not yet received their election rebates funds?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 727--
Ms. Leona Alleslev:
    With regard to Elections Canada, broken down by year since January 1, 2014: (a) how many full-time permanent employees worked at Elections Canada, excluding temporary employees hired for a specific election period; (b) how many individuals on contract with Elections Canada provided full-time labour or support to Elections Canada; (c) what is the yearly total amount of the contracts in (b); (d) how many individuals employed by or providing full-time labour or support to Elections Canada were given their position through an outside employment firm or agency; (e) of the employees in (a), how many had annual salaries (i) under $29,999, (ii) between $30,000 and $49,999, (iii) between $50,000 and $69,999, (iv) between $70,000 and $89,999, (v) between $90,000 and $119,999, (vi) between $120,000 and $149,999, (vii) over $150,000; (f) of the individuals in (b), how many received an annual renumeration with an annual rate (i) under $29,999, (ii) between $30,000 and $49,999, (iii) between $50,000 and $69,999, (iv) between $70,000 and $89,999, (v) between $90,000 and $119,999, (vi) between $120,000 and $149,999, (vii) over $150,000; (g) what was the yearly turnover rate for the employees in (a); (h) what was the yearly turnover rate for the individuals in (b); and (i) for the individuals having contracts with Elections Canada in (b), who fell ill or were required to quarantine, what, if any, specific sick leave or access to compensation has Elections Canada provided them, and on what date did this policy come into effect?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 728--
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
    With regard to the Senate Appointment Advisory Board, broken down by fiscal year since 2016-17: (a) how many employees or full-time equivalents were or are working with or assisting the board; (b) of the positions in (a), what are the (i) job titles, (ii) Treasury Board classifications (AS-01, EX-02, etc.) and related pay ranges; (c) what are the total expenditures for the board, broken down by type of expenses and line item; (d) how much was spent to set up the board, including (i) the salaries of the staff that support the board, (ii) the furniture, (iii) the moving costs, (iv) the website development, (v) the information technology costs, (vi) other costs, broken down by type of costs; (e) how many resumes were received; and (f) how many Senate positions were filled from the resumes in (e)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 729--
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
    With regard to Requests for Proposal (RFP) put forward by Shared Services Canada (SSC) since January 1, 2020: (a) how many RFPs were issued by SSC; (b) for each RFP in (a), how many were issued that stated a brand name as a requirement; (c) what is the number of contracts issued by SSC based on brand name requirements in the RFP, broken down by (i) brand name, (ii) date, (iii) value of the contract, (iv) description of the service rendered, (v) file number; and (d) what is the number of contracts issued by SSC that were awarded through RFPs in (a) to companies offering an equivalent product?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 730--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to all grants and contributions provided to the Centre for Inquiry Canada, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity, since 2006: (a) what are the details of each grant or contribution, including the (i) date, (ii) type of grant or contribution, (iii) program, (iv) department, (v) purpose of funding and project description, (vi) location where related work took place, (vii) amount; and (b) which of the grants and contributions in (a) were related to the Canada Summer Jobs program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 731--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to the Pickering Agricultural Lease Renewal Strategy announced by Transport Canada on May 15, 2017: (a) what is the total number of leases signed under the strategy; (b) how many of the leases were (i) provided to new leaseholders, (ii) renewals of existing leaseholders; (c) what are the details of each lease, including (i) the size of holding, (ii) the dollar value, (iii) the nature of use, (iv) the length of tenure, (v) the restrictions, (vi) whether or not a purchase option was included, (vii) the name of lease, (viii) the nationality of lease, (ix) whether or not lease is transferable; (d) for leases with a purchase option, was the price set at fair market value, at the time of the signing of the original lease, or at the time of purchase; (e) what comparables were used to determine the market value used to set lease rates; (f) what was the number of expressions of interest made to lease land at Pickering; (g) what was the number of one year leases affected by the 60-day termination clause and were renewed under the 10 year lease to the original leaseholder, or to a new leaseholder; and (h) what are the details of all meetings or consultations, including those with lobbyists or politicians, related to the formulation of the Pickering Agricultural Renewal Lease Strategy, including, for each meeting, the (i) date, (ii) list of attendees?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 732--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
    With regard to the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) how much was collected from passengers, broken down by averages per (i) day, (ii) month, (iii) year; (b) how much was used to pay for security services; and (c) what other programs or services are funded with the ATSC, and how much funding was provided to each program?
    (Return tabled)


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


    Mr. Speaker, I, too, await with great interest the question of privilege from my colleague from Timmins—James Bay. However, we have not yet resolved the issue that was raised earlier on the motion that was moved by the member for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski.
    You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that the member sought and received unanimous consent to move her motion, and then when the Speaker asked whether that motion could be adopted, the request was denied. I cited at the time a precedent dating back and asked the table to look into this. I have found the precedent. It is a ruling by former Deputy Speaker Comartin, on June 12, 2014.
    On June 12, 2014, the member for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Philip Toone, moved a similar motion and there was unanimous consent to present the motion. Then when the Speaker asked if there was unanimous consent to adopt the motion, that was denied. At that time, there was a series of procedural questions, which I will not go into, but essentially Deputy Speaker Comartin ruled very clearly that in a case when consent was provided for moving the motion and then consent was denied for adoption of the motion, the member then had the right to move the motion, debate was not precluded and ultimately the House was called upon to vote on that question.
    I think that the government member who denied adoption may have done that by mistake and the first opportunity should be to allow the motion to be adopted by unanimous consent. However, if it is not adopted by unanimous consent, the precedent is very clear.
     This is a rare occurrence, and the last Speaker ruling that we have is very clear that because consent was given for moving the motion, the motion is now on the floor and adoption can either be done by unanimous consent or by a vote. I think all members would probably agree that it is much simpler just to adopt it by unanimous consent. Again, the precedent is very clear and I would ask you to uphold that ruling, Mr. Speaker.
    On the same point of order, Mr. Speaker, the issue and the problem I would have with what is being suggested is that, when the Speaker made the original ruling, we have no idea whether the member who said no is still in the chamber. There was a ruling. I would be very reluctant to ask, once again, for unanimous consent, given that the time and the dynamic have changed considerably since then, and there was already a ruling.
    I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his additional comments, and thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby, who always frames his arguments in a well-informed way. I have the utmost of appreciation to my predecessor as well, Mr. Comartin, who I greatly admired in the House. He was a great chair occupant.
    For the familiarity of the House, there is a two-step process for a unanimous consent motion. The first part is indeed to seek consent for the member to move the motion, thereby waiving the usual notice requirement to put the motion before the House. Then, as members all know, if the waiving of the notice is accepted, the member can propose the motion for the consideration of the House. However, the unanimous consent motion process was only ever intended to be for taking an immediate decision in the House, and can in no way interrupt the daily proceedings of the House. This is why all of the rules say that for members to properly consider business, debate and take votes on questions, they must be put before the House in an orderly manner.
    The unanimous consent process calls for an immediate reflection of the House. It is an up or down, yea or nay. It is in two steps. If the second step does not succeed, in other words, if the second time around the House says no, it does not want to accept the motion that has been proposed, then that is the end of it.
    Admittedly, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby has found a precedent, an absolutely valid one. However, there have been three other occasions when the same question has been put before the Speaker and we have decided more in keeping with the comments that I just reflected upon, that unanimous consent requires an immediate decision to be taken, and if there is a no on either of the two steps, the matter is finished until such time as another member may wish to propose it in a different way or indeed use other rubrics of the House to bring it before members for their consideration. That is where we stand on this.
     Now we will go to the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.



Alleged Obstruction by the Government of Parliamentarians' Ability to Fulfill Obligations to Canada's Indigenous People  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of privilege for an issue that I think goes beyond merely the procedural wrangling that often happens in the House. It speaks to issues that are confronting us as a nation and very much goes to the heart of what our obligations are as parliamentarians and what we need to do as a nation to address historical wrongs.
    As I walked to Parliament Hill this morning, I noticed that the national flag continues to fly at half-mast. It is an extraordinary move that flags across this nation are at half-mast. They are there, of course, to pay respect to the 215 children of the former Catholic residential school in Kamloops whose bodies have been found. We now know about children found in Manitoba, and we know that we will find many other children who never got to go home.
    I am sure members took the time to stop at the eternal flame to see the extraordinary outpouring of sadness and respect for the children who have been taken. It shows that Canadians, from all walks of life, are not only shocked and saddened by what has happened to indigenous children, but are looking to these institutions to correct it. The deaths of these children were not accidental. These children died through deliberate policies that were made in the chamber of the House of Commons. The taking of indigenous children from their families was done to destroy indigenous identity in Canada, and it meets the international test of genocide, as the destruction of a people involves the taking of children.
    I say this, in leading up to my point of privilege, to encourage my colleagues and citizens to go see the memorial that is at the flame right now. For the indigenous people of this country, these are not historical wrongs, although the government always uses that term. It is a present-day attack through the broken social welfare system, through the taking of children that has continued without pause since Confederation. We have more children in the broken child welfare system today than were ever taken to residential schools.
    The background to this, of course, is that in response to the revelations in Kamloops and the shock on the part of Canadians and the demand for action, we brought to the House, on June 7, a motion that was passed unanimously. It reads:
    That, given that,
(i) the discovery of the grave of 215 children at Kamloops Indian Residential School has led to an outpouring of grief and anger across Canada,
(ii) the vast majority of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action remain uncompleted, despite the clear path to justice and reconciliation that the Commission provides,
(iii) survivors, families and nations are demanding concrete action to advance real reconciliation, as opposed to just more words and symbolic gestures,
the House call on the government to:
(a) cease its belligerent and litigious approach to justice for Indigenous children by immediately dropping its appeal before the Federal Court in file numbers T-1621-19 (compensation) and T-1559-20 (Jordan's Principle for non-status First Nations kids recognized by their nations) and to recognize the government's legal obligation to fully comply with Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders in this regard;
(b) agree to sit down with the St. Anne's residential school survivors organization Peetabeck Keway Keykaywin Association to find a just solution to the fact that survivors’ access to justice has been denied as a consequence of the actions of government lawyers in suppressing evidence at the Independent Assessment Process;
(c) accelerate the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, including by providing immediate funding for further investigation into the deaths and disappearances of children at residential schools in compliance with calls to action 71 to 76;
(d) provide survivors, their families, and their communities with appropriate resources to assist with the emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, and cultural trauma resulting from residential schools; and
(e) within 10 days, table a progress report on actions taken in compliance with paragraphs (a) through (d) of the present motion, and that this report be deemed to have been referred to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for consideration upon tabling.


    I want to stress the call that within 10 days, we “table a progress report on actions taken in compliance with paragraphs (a) through (d) of the present motion”, which was passed unanimously in the House of Commons, and we refer the report to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
    Late last night, the Liberal government presented a report at the eleventh hour, but this report in no way addresses the seriousness and specificity of what was laid out in the motion. In fact, it looks like some staffer did a cut-and-paste job and looked some stuff up on Google, and then had the temerity to present it to Parliament. What we see are Liberal electoral claims and claims from the previous budget announcements, but they in no way meet the test of what was laid out in a very serious motion about reconciliation and justice, particularly in the call to end the federal court cases in files T-1621-19 and T-1559-20 and recognize the government's legal obligation to fully comply with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings. The report did not respect the right of members of the House to receive the documents and information needed for us to see whether the government has respected the will of Parliament.
    We know that only days after Parliament instructed the Prime Minister to end his belligerent and toxic legal war against indigenous children, he opted instead to instruct the Minister of Indigenous Services and the Attorney General of Canada to return to federal court to try to quash the two federal cases specifically referenced in the motion. Once again, if we look at the memorials for the dead children that have been put up across this country, wherever we look they will show us pictures and stories of the children still being taken today. The Human Rights Tribunal found in 2016 that the government was guilty of systemic discrimination through “wilful and reckless” policies that it knew were harmful to the children. Parliament called on the government to end those court cases and negotiate a just solution.
    The motion could not be considered unfair by the government, nor can it say we are not giving it enough time, because we know that the Assembly of First Nations has an offer on the table for the government to get out of court and settle. The government was instructed to do that. The motion was timely, and the issue of the 10 days was important because we knew the government was getting ready to return to federal court. Instead, the government has opted to be held in contempt by the House.
    Members should listen to the explanations by the government about why it ignored Parliament. As we know, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Indigenous Services and all the key people on this file did not even bother to show up to vote on the motion. They said they did not vote because they did not want to show contempt for the courts. However, they were more than willing to show contempt for the indigenous people of this country, and they were more than willing to show contempt for Parliament.
    If we believe, as a fundamental principle, that it is okay for members of cabinet to absolve themselves of the obligation to respect the will of Parliament and show contempt for Parliament, we are, I think, on very dangerous terrain. We are at a historical moment in this country, and that is why I bring this question to the House with such urgency. I have brought forward questions of privilege in the past about governments doing this or not doing that, but we are talking about the policies that led to the widespread death and damage of generations of indigenous children. The government says these harms are historical, but that has been proven to be untrue. It is ongoing.
    What is incredibly cynical is that, in ignoring the order of Parliament, the Minister of Indigenous Services has misled the House time and time again, because we see what is actually in the legal case by the federal government. He claims that it is just trying to clarify jurisdictional questions. No, it is not. It is trying to quash the ruling.


    He claims that the tribunal failed to give due consideration to Canada's right to procedural fairness through this process, and that when Canada raised concerns about the lack of procedural fairness, the tribunal stated that any procedural unfairness to Canada is outweighed by the prejudice born by the victims of discrimination.
     The minister took that statement, which clearly says that the harms that have been done to children far outweigh the procedural fairness to the government, and is using that to attack the tribunal at federal court.
    I raise this because the motion speaks about St. Anne's residential school survivors. In that case, the federal government took the exact opposite position and said that St. Anne's survivors were not entitled to the basic principle of procedural fairness. When it comes to denying basic services and rights to indigenous people, the government flips its argument.
    I am getting to the point of the issue of contempt. The House of Commons Procedure and Practice says that while contempt can be hard to define:
    The United Kingdom Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege attempted to provide a list of some types of contempt in its 1999 report...[including] without reasonable excuse, refusing to answer a question or provide information or produce papers formally required by the House or a committee [and] without reasonable excuse, disobeying a lawful order of the House or a committee.
    Contempt is not limited to specific circumstances. It is intentionally meant to be wide-ranging and to provide the House the ability to determine when that bar has been reached.
    In this case, the government has been ordered by Parliament to end its toxic legal war that has cost over $10 million in legal fees, resulted in 19 non-compliance orders and seen obstruction after obstruction. The government has been ordered to end this legal war, and to sit down and negotiate. We know there is a negotiating table waiting for them.
    The government has also misled the House continually. Just the other day, the Minister of Indigenous Services claimed that because he has not put a six-year-old on the witness stand technically he is not fighting these children in court. In fact, the government's legal argument rests on the dubious case that because these children were found to have suffered systemic, mass discrimination, which the tribunal refers to as wilful and reckless discrimination, none of them is individually eligible for compensation. How can that be?
    The government has also said that there has to be a test. That means that unless these six-year-olds, 12-year-olds and 15-year-olds are brought before a government body to be tested for how much suffering they have endured, the government will fight the tribunal.
    The reason that the government was hit with $40,000 of compensation per child has to be understood very clearly. When the ruling came down in 2016 and the Prime Minister said he would not contest the order, he had an opportunity to work with Cindy Blackstock, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Assembly of First Nations and other players, and to sit down and negotiate a way to end these harms. Instead, the government did not. It fought, obstructed and continually ran on the principle that it was not accountable for the lives of children. In the end, the tribunal was so frustrated that it gave the maximum penalty of $40,000 per person, per child in this case, because it said it was the worst case of indifference that the Human Rights Tribunal had ever seen. That happened under the Liberal government.
    The fact that the government has continued with these actions is contrary to the will of the House and is therefore an affront to the House. It is now up to the House to determine the action that is needed. I say this again, because we are at a historic crossroads. People are looking. Indigenous people are looking to see whether we take this seriously. Canada's argument all along has been that there is no evidence of children having been harmed through systemic, wilful and reckless discrimination. The government says there is no evidence that children have been harmed.
    We know that we lose a child every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in those broken systems. We lose three children a week, and no one over there seems to even notice.
    Now the government has clarified that it has changed after all this losing, time and time again. My God, the government has had more failures than a Ford Pinto when it comes to fighting indigenous kids in court. It has lost every single decision.


    This is not the first time the government has failed to comply with a motion on this exact issue. On December 13, 2019, the member for New Westminster—Burnaby raised a question of privilege alleging the government had not complied with a motion I had presented that was adopted unanimously in the House. It called on the government to abide by a decision made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on compensation for residential school survivors. In his Speaker's ruling of January 27, 2020, which was the Speaker's very first ruling, he said:
    For a motion to constitute an order of the House, it would have to pertain to those matters where the House, acting alone, possesses the power to compel an action. This is true, for example, when the House sends for persons, papers or records, or when it regulates its own internal proceedings. Only in such circumstances will the Chair determine whether disregard for the order in question constitutes a prima facie case of contempt.
    We were unsuccessful at that time, but today's case is substantially different because the motion put forward was a substantive debatable motion placed on the Order Paper, and that motion was subject to a recorded division. Therefore, it carries more weight because of the unanimous consent that was expressed in 2019. In this case it was clearly the will of the House that a document be produced and referred to the appropriate standing committee, and that this document was specific to the issues related to the court cases and whether the government was going to respect the will of the House.
    Earlier this week, I will remind members, the government was found to have breached privilege on some issues that are very pertinent to this. The official opposition house leader argued this week that, in a May 2019 report on the power to send for papers, the United Kingdom House of Commons procedure committee concluded, at paragraph 16:
    The power of the House of Commons to require the production of papers is in theory absolute. It is binding on Ministers, and its exercise has consistently been complied with by the Government.
    The Speaker was very wise on ruling on that matter. He stated:
    While they are not being challenged, it is still worth recalling that, at the heart of the parliamentary system, and firmly anchored in our Constitution, there are rights and privileges that are indispensable to the performance of members' duties.
     For this, we need to receive the documents that treat matters as urgent as the lives of indigenous children and the issue of the finding of systemic discrimination with seriousness and respect.
    I am going to conclude, but I want to mention two children: Jolynn Winter and Chantel Fox. They were 12 years old and died on Wapekeka First Nation, and I keep their photos with me in my office. The people of Wapekeka begged the government during the Human Rights Tribunal to get help to children in Wapekeka. The government claimed that it was its right to decide whether these children got services, and these two 12-year-old children died. They were loved and they are mourned, like so many other children who have died. The government was found guilty by the Human Rights Tribunal, in one of many non-compliance orders, of being complicit in their deaths and for its attitude that it is not accountable to the Human Rights Tribunal.
    Parliament, in paying tribute to the deaths of those children and the other children who suffered, has called on the government to change track, and it is refusing. The vote was a vote for reconciliation. It was a vote for recognizing the role that this institution played in policies that deliberately attempted to destroy children and destroy indigenous people. It was a vote that told the government these issues are not historic wrongs, but ongoing policies that have caused, and continue to cause, serious damage to the indigenous families of this nation. From the residential schools to the sixties scoop, the millennial scoop and the children being taken today, there is an unbroken line of intent, damage and systemic abuse.
    I urge members that we are standing at a historic moment of reckoning. Now I would like to quote the member for Nunavut, who just spoke this week, and I will finish on this. She said:
    This place was built on the oppression of indigenous peoples.... Our history is stained with...the blood of children, youth, adults and elders. It is time to face the scales of justice.


    On one side we have a mountain of suffering, and whenever the government gives us a grain of sand of support, it seems to think the trauma from our past has been rectified and that somehow it deserves a pat on the back. However, it will take a mountain of support to even begin the healing process. As long as these halls echo with empty promises instead of real action, I will not belong here.
    I urge the Speaker, in his role representing Parliament and all our members, to hold the government to account for its contempt, its breach of privilege and its ongoing attack on the indigenous families and children of this nation.
    I will take under advisement the words of the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay, take this into consideration and get back to the House in due course.


    I see the hon. member for Saint-Jean is rising.
    Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to reserve the right for the Bloc Québécois to reply to the question of privilege that was just raised.
    Members certainly have the right to express comments and arguments in relation to questions of privilege raised in the House.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.


    Mr. Speaker, I wanted to offer comment with respect to the question of privilege from the member for Timmins—James Bay.
    With the hon. member for Carleton about to rise, is now the appropriate time to do that?
    I would say not.
    Certainly it is a member's right to add some comments on these matters. In the normal course, notice to the Chair around the interventions respecting questions of privilege is helpful, so I would ask the hon. member to consider that, as I explained to the hon. member for Saint-Jean.
    The member's interest is noted. I will now go to the member for Carleton for his comments, and ask the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to think about perhaps doing that at another time.
    The hon. member for Carleton has the floor.

Alleged Breach of Members' Right to Vote on a New Tax 

    Mr. Speaker, I will continue the question of privilege that I began earlier.
    As I have demonstrated, the government's decision to use printed money to pay its bills has driven up the cost of living for Canadians and increased inflation of key essentials, effectively creating the exact same conditions as a tax would on the population. Before we hear responses from the government, claiming that this money printing is for some purpose other than generating government funds for spending, let me quickly address the false pretext that the Bank of Canada and the government have ostensibly used to justify this money-printing bonanza.
    First, the Bank of Canada told the finance committee in the spring of 2020 that the program of purchasing government debt was designed to restore order in credit and capital markets. In fairness to the bank, there was disorder in the markets at that narrow period of time, in March 2020, as the world was responding to the sudden shock of the COVID closures. The bank officials noted at the time that there was a large bid-ask spread in bond markets, which effectively means that sellers of bonds were asking significantly more than buyers were willing to pay and as a result these markets were seizing up, threatening the ability of governments to raise cash and for markets to function. That was the case in late March 2020, but it only lasted about 10 days. That bid-ask spread vanished by early April, at which point bond prices not only began trading freely on public markets but also began increasing at an extraordinary pace. The bond prices began to inflate as central banks in general, but our central bank in particular, began buying them at an unprecedented pace.
    Furthermore, capital markets, while they did take a sudden drop in late March of that same year, had more than recovered by summer. In fact, today, our capital markets are higher than they have ever been. In fact, the Standard & Poor's TSX, which is the largest index of Canadian stocks, rose in market value above the size of our entire GDP for the first time in Canadian history and now stands somewhere around 125% of GDP, reaching record heights.
    Furthermore, as I have demonstrated, mortgage issuances have reached records and they rose faster than ever before in our history. The amount of cash in people's and businesses' bank accounts has increased by $200 billion. In other words, the absence of liquidity or the seizing up of capital and credit markets can no longer be used as a justification to continue printing money and pumping it into the financial system. Now we have more cash circulating in markets, both credit and capital, than ever before and more liquidity in the hands of businesses and households than ever before. Therefore, the claim that money printing is just designed in order to protect the liquidity of capital and credit markets is demonstrably false.
    Further evidence that it is false is the fact that the central bank has since changed its explanation for why it needed to continue printing money. It claimed then that it wanted to avoid disinflation or deflation. Apparently, they told us, this was the great risk that would result from COVID. However, as the evidence I have already presented demonstrates, there is no disinflation or deflation anywhere except perhaps in movie theatre and airplane tickets because people are effectively banned from buying either of them. Therefore, aside from those areas of the economy in which purchases are actually banned by local authorities for public health purposes, everything is actually increasing in price—


    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member has been on the same question of privilege now for about 50 minutes if we include the 45 minutes prior to today. If you listen to the content of what he is discussing, it has nothing to do with a question of privilege, which is what he originally raised at that time. More importantly, I think if you would consider in your ruling the fact that the earliest opportunity he had to continue this question of privilege was yesterday, he chose not to do it yesterday. That should give some indication, being that it was an opposition day, why he chose not to do it yesterday.
    Therefore, I think it is clear that what is going on here is filibustering in order to prevent a discussion on government legislation. Indeed, the member is not contributing to a question of privilege, which is what is to be discussed right now. I understand you have given him latitude, I think that is fair, but he really has never come to discuss what the actual question of privilege is. Maybe you want to give him two or three more minutes to do exactly that, but then I think it is fair to use your powers as the Speaker to cut him off, to say you have heard what you have heard and have what you need and that you will come back with a ruling later.


    The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent is rising on the same point of order.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There are three elements to consider when you make your decision on the question of privilege.
    First, the member for Carleton respected the rules we have in this House of Commons when he raised his question of privilege two days ago and when he raised it again today, and he will conclude it today.
    Second, the decision belongs to you and no one else. I know that you will make your decision, and I will respect that decision because you are the Speaker of the House and you have no lessons to take from either side of the House. The decision is yours to make.
    Third, as my colleague from Kingston and the Islands raised the issue of filibustering, I would remind him that his party is super efficient at filibustering, because in five parliamentary committees the Liberals spent 177 hours filibustering. We are peewees compared to them.


    I thank the hon. members for their additional comments.
    Before I go back to the hon. member for Carleton, I will let him know that members who bring questions of privilege before the House should indeed take the appropriate time to explain the reasons they believe a breach of privilege has occurred. In fact, the convention we take as Chair occupants on these matters is to listen long enough to have an appropriate comprehension of the member's proposition and his or her concern about the breach of privilege to render a decision on it. Therefore, it really is an individual member making a case to the Speaker that in fact a prima facie case of privilege exists. That is why it generally follows with the opportunity for, if the Speaker should wish, the member to put the motion, after which a debate on the matter can ensue. However, initially, it is really an individual member making his or her arguments to the Speaker.
    I recognize the hon. member for Carleton has already been diligent in presenting on this particular point uninterrupted for more than 30 minutes. It is a complex point, so I will listen to him further, but I will also ask him to bring his presentation around to the specific area where he believes there has been a breach of his privileges.
    We will go back to the hon. member for Carleton.
    Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada and the government have then claimed that the reason it must continue to expand the money supply, print cash and provide it to the government is to avoid deflation or disinflation, which they have identified as a great threat from COVID. However, as I was saying, there is no evidence that either of these threats have manifested themselves. Outside of sectors for which consumers are banned from spending their money, like airlines and movie theatres, effectively, there is inflation everywhere. In fact, as I said, inflation has now exceeded not only the 2% target of the Bank of Canada, but the 1% to 3% acceptable range for inflation. We are well out of the woods of any concern that we are going to plunge this year or anytime in the immediate future into a deflationary spiral. Therefore, that cannot be the justification.
    Finally, the Bank of Canada has claimed that it is continuing to print money because unemployment remains high. It is true that unemployment is high, we are the second-highest unemployment region in the G7, but there is absolutely no evidence, historical or present, that printing money will do anything about that at all. Money printing has never created jobs and in fact, if the Bank of Canada were to look upon its own history in the 1970s when it began a similar program of money creation, the result was higher unemployment, unemployment that reached 12% and inflation that also reached 12% and then later interest rates to quell that inflation reaching 20%.
    That was the stagnation crisis of the early 1980s that, I might add, left us with not just the worst economic situation since the Depression, but also the highest suicide rate among Canadians. In other words, fighting unemployment cannot be the justification for printing money. Quite the contrary, it makes no sense. Therefore, that leaves one explanation for the ongoing money printing, and that is that it is intended to fund government operations.
    It is standard and customary for a member making a claim of a breach of privilege of this type to rely on expert witness evidence, that is to say, to rely on the scientists and others who know the facts, the way that they would testify as expert witnesses in a court of law. I will bring to your attention the views on this specific matter of the inflation tax of the most renowned economic scientists in the history of the world. I will start with a 1978 lecture from Nobel laureate economic scientist—


    I will interrupt the member as he is going into another segment of his presentation. I would ask him if he has an estimate as to how many more minutes he needs to frame these arguments.
    About 30 minutes, Mr. Speaker.
    We are really at a point where I have heard enough. We have had enough information presented that we are able to make a determination as to the prima facie case. I will give the member another two or three minutes to bring his comments to a close, after which I will be in an appropriate position to make the decision on the question of privilege. When I get back to the House, depending on what that decision is, we will have the opportunity to proceed from there.
    I will ask the hon. member for Carleton to wrap up.
    Mr. Speaker, I then address the third and final characteristic of a tax, which is that it is compulsory. This inflation tax is obviously compulsory. If people do not pay the inflation tax, they cannot buy food, which has gone up in price. They cannot buy housing, which has gone up in price. They cannot buy clothing, which has gone up in price. They cannot buy any of the essentials. The only way to avoid paying this inflation tax is to freeze, starve and go without the fuel to power one's life. In other words, other than to die, they have to pay the costs that are applied.
    The only alternative to that would be to violate a federal statute in the Criminal Code that bans people from stealing because that is, again, the only way to get around paying the inflated prices the government has imposed upon people.
    This inflation has all the three of the defining characteristics of a tax as provided in the Oxford English Dictionary: one, it raises money and is a levy for the government; two, it is paid by the people; and three, it is compulsory. It is all three of those things.
    The tradition of requiring every tax increase that is imposed on the population to come before Parliament is one that dates back 800 years to the Magna Carta. It is probably the reason we have Parliament. The number one point of tension between the commoner and the king has always been the king's insatiable appetite for tax revenue and the commoners' desire to resist that appetite and protect the fruits of their labour.
    If you were to rule that governments are allowed to do indirectly what they cannot do directly, that is to, for example, print money to fund their spending and pass on that cost through higher inflation to the population, you would effectively be setting a staggering precedent whereby governments can violate the principle of no taxation without representation by simply going around the parliamentary legislation process and raising taxes through the creation of cash.
    I finally point out that the reason for this rule is not just to stop the government from taking too much, but to stop it from taking from the wrong places. This is a tax we would never approve because it falls heaviest on those with the least, and in a roundabout way by inflating their assets, improves the fortunes of those with the most.
    In conclusion, if you were to put before the House a proposition to raise taxes on the poorest people in the land in order to increase the wealth of the most affluent people in the land and provide government with unlimited ability to spend, that would be voted down nearly unanimously because there is not a person in this chamber who would have the guts to go back to their constituents and defend such a voting decision.
    That is precisely why we have this precedent. It is why we have the privilege and the duty to vote on every single tax increase. I ask you to uphold these ancient English liberties that make Parliament relevant and that make this country a place of the commoners, not of the Crown.


    I thank the hon. member for Carleton for his comments on this matter. We will take it under advisement and get back to the House in due course.
    It now being 1:30 p.m., the House will proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]


Criminal Code

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege. I would ask you to please allow me a brief moment, hopefully only two or three minutes, to emphasize what I believe the Speaker needs to look into.
    The issue is this: What is a breach of privilege?
    I would like to get a clear understanding that goes beyond what our Standing Orders say because I believe that, at a time when Canadians need Parliament to work to help them through this pandemic, we are seeing an opposition tactic being used that is very toxic in terms of partisanship. The issue is that of privileges and points of orders and to what degree they can be used as a tool to filibuster.
    So, without me contributing beyond that, I would be very much interested in a ruling coming from the Speaker's chair. Is there a limit, and how far is too far? I am concerned about the limited amount of time and how privileges are actually being used. As a parliamentarian, I am very much interested in this issue.
    I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary.
    On the face of what he has suggested, it does refer back to my earlier comments. Typically, when a member is posing a question of privilege for the consideration of the Chair, it is on them to present their arguments so the Speaker may decide whether a breach of privilege has indeed occurred. If it has, then a motion is moved and the debate can be taken.
    To the hon. parliamentary secretary's question, the amount of time is completely at the discretion of the Speaker. Once he or she has heard enough and are convinced that they have been provided enough information with which to render a decision on the proposition, as has been seen here this afternoon, the limit has been reached and we move on to other business.
    The opportunities to raise questions of privilege are an important privilege of hon. members, but they can only interrupt the process of debate and the day's business to the extent that conventions and practices permit, and ultimately, the chair occupant, the Speaker who hears the intervention, decides what that is.
    I think we will leave it at that.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with you. I would submit further that, as you said, it is a right of members to present their point of privilege, and it is indeed a sacred and very important right, but it is also the responsibility of all members not to abuse that right. From time to time it would be your job to determine if such an abuse is occurring.


    That is indeed correct.
    The hon. member for Flamborough—Glanbrook.
    Mr. Speaker, in that vein, I am wondering whether the parliamentary secretary actually gave you the requisite notification that he would be raising that point of privilege, which is a concern as well.
    That is a good question, but when the parliamentary secretary initially raised his point of order, I was not too sure whether it was a new question of privilege. Indeed, I received it as, if you will, almost a follow-up intervention with respect the two earlier questions of privilege the House has been involved with.
    However, it is a good reminder for hon. members that, if they wish to bring something like that before the House, a one-hour notice is required, and I urge hon. members to do that.
    I see that we are six minutes into our time for private members' business, so we will start debate on that now.
    We will start with the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
    Mr. Speaker, Bill S-204 would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without consent. It fights the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.
    I am not going to speak much about the bill because everyone already knows this bill should pass. This bill has already passed the Senate twice and the House once, unanimously. This bill started out as a Liberal bill under Borys Wrzesnewskyj and Irwin Cotler.
    The question today is not on the substance of the bill. The question is about whether the government is committed to doing what it knows to be the right thing and allowing this bill to pass, or whether it will prevent the bill from passing. If this bill passes now, then the House can immediately resume consideration of the government's budget, so the government can either support that to happen, or we can spend the hour talking, delaying both this bill and the budget bill.
    Therefore, I would like to seek the consent of the House for the following motion. I move that notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, at the conclusion of today's debate on Bill S-204, the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in a committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.


    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: There is not unanimous consent.
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.


    Mr. Speaker, it was disappointing to hear the no from—
    Just one moment, there is a point of order from the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I believe after someone puts forward a motion in the middle of their speech, they do not get to continue speaking after. I think the proper rule would be to go to the next speaker, would it not?
    In the normal context, yes. Given that the motion was proposed in such a way that it would be acted upon at the end of today's debate, the expectation is that it would go the full hour, and members who are scheduled for debate would participate in it. In the normal course, a motion, for example, an amendment, would be proposed at the end of one's speech. If the amendment carries at that point, the debate would then continue on the amendment, and the member would have used all their time to do that.
    In this particular case, because the proposition was to essentially take effect at the end of the hour, I will accept that the members would normally have the usual time remaining for their remarks.
    Did the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan want to add to that point of order, or would he like to pick it up from here?
    Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat of a moot point. I am very disappointed the member for Kingston and the Islands chose to say no to this unanimous consent motion given that the House has unanimously supported this bill in the past, but I have finished my speech.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    If the member is able to confirm I am the individual who said no, I would love for him to be able do that, but in the meantime, perhaps he should not suggest it until he is somehow able to confirm it.


    I think we heard this earlier today. When yeas and nays are provided in the House, they are general in nature and not necessarily attributed to individual members.
    I am going to go back to the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan to finish up his remarks. He has 13 minutes remaining if he wishes to use all of that, and then we will continue in the usual way. It appears as though the hon. member is finished.
    We will now go to questions and comments.
    Mr. Speaker, my question to the member is related to the request he has asked of the House. Would he agree that what he was attempting to do is best done through House leadership teams, where they can try to see if it is possible to do what he has requested?
    For example, would the member support the quick passage of Bill C-30, which is the budget bill, given the implications for the pandemic and supports for Canadians? Would he support such a measure for Bill C-30, Bill C-6, Bill C-10 and Bill C-12?
    It seems that we have lost the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan's signal. We are not sure what happened. Given that we are partway into this, we will have to wait to see if he can get reconnected. We will pick it up at a later time under the debate on the motion before the House.
    We will go to the next scheduled member on the list. The hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this important issue today, an issue I have cared about for a very long time, as do many members of the House.
    Before I do that, what a pleasure it has been to serve with you, Mr. Speaker. You have been kind and constantly pleasant, even if we have been on opposite sides of the discussion. You are always very polite to everyone in the House. In your role as Deputy Speaker, you have done a fine job. I wish you and your lovely wife much happiness in the future as you go into what is called retirement, but I have a feeling it is not really retirement for you.
    As I rise today for what will most likely be my last opportunity to speak before we recess for the summer break, I look forward to the opportunity of being back in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek full time this summer. It seems like it has been ages since I have seen my constituents, especially being able to give them a hug and playing bingo with them.
     I cannot wait to visit the local community parks, the various seniors groups and, mostly important, to spend some more time with all my family, not just my husband. It has been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to hug my grandchildren, and I know it is similar for you, the Speaker. After recently receiving my second dose, this will mean the world to me.
    However, before that happens, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the teams, the clerks and all the people in the team that kept us going forward in the diligent management of this year's House proceedings. It certainly was an extremely difficult time and a real learning experience for many of us. We could not have done our job if everyone had not done such an incredible job. It is amazing what we have accomplished in such difficult times. I thank all of them.
    I would also like to thank the House of Commons support staff for their tireless effort in assisting members to operate in a virtual Parliament. The number for IT help is front and centre in my home, by my computer. Like all my colleagues, when things are not working, I have to call the wonderful people in IT for help. I thank all of them.
    It was not an easy job, but we all managed to get through it. It is my hope that we will soon see some normalcy in all our lives—



    Mr. Speaker, we are supposed to be debating Bill S‑204. From what I understand, the Liberals do not want this bill to pass quickly.
    It is very nice and all to want to thank everyone, but the member's comments have nothing to do with the subject at hand.


    Mr. Speaker, on that same point of order, when we come toward the end of a session like this, it is not uncharacteristic for us to allow members a brief opportunity to thank people. She spent half the time thanking you, Mr. Speaker, for the incredible work you have done before departing on your retirement. She was thanking a few members of her staff. She was literally just getting started when the member interrupted her. It was entirely appropriate and we should allow the member to continue now so she can get on with her speech.


    I thank the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands and the hon. member for Lac‑Saint‑Jean.
    The question of relevance certainly applies to all debates in the House. At the same time, however, there are always members who take the liberty of making a few comments on other matters. I am sure the hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek will quickly come back to the relevant subject before the House.
    The hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.


    Mr. Speaker, I have been following the debates all week and many of my colleagues have used their time in their interventions to acknowledge the wonderful work that various people have done.
     I very much support Bill S-204.
    As members know, we had a late night last night. We were voting on the main estimates to approve the necessary programs that were going to make a difference in all Canadians' lives, programs that would help get people back on their feet after surviving this global pandemic. It has not been easy, but we have been there for Canadians.
    It is my hope that in the coming days, when we deal with bills like Bill S-204, we will see the swift passage of bills like Bill C-30 and other important pieces of legislation, which still need to be addressed, so we can ensure that the supports needed to help Canadians through the final stages of this pandemic are in place. That is why we are all here in this place. We do not need to be told by other colleagues that if we want to get Bill C-30 passed, we have to turn around and get some other bill passed. That is not the way democracy works.
    We are to represent our constituents and make a positive difference, and I believe Bill S-204 would make a big difference in the lives of many people.
     Bill S-204, formally known as Bill S-240, passed both in the House and in the other place in 2019. I was very proud to be one of the persons, along with my colleagues, who passed this important bill. I appreciate the fact that my colleague has raised this issue, brought it back and continues to move it forward, because it is a very important bill.
    Unfortunately, Bill S-240 never became law due to the dissolution of the House before the federal election. That happened to many good pieces of legislation. It is long overdue that this Parliament pass legislation like Bill S-204, dealing with a practice that we all are appalled to know continues in spite of many of us calling for the abolition of it. We know it continues on many days and in many countries.
    Similar bills have been sitting in Parliament for over 12 years, during which time many innocent lives have perished due to the organ transplant trade, something we all find completely appalling. Two previous private members' bills were tabled by my former colleague, the former member for Etobicoke Centre, and my life-long friend, someone we all love and respect, the Hon. Irwin Cotler.
    I am the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong and I am all too familiar with the issue of organ harvesting and how this bill could help put an end to this horrific practice. I have seen many pictures and talked to people who have had their family go through this terrible process.
    Bill S-204 proposes to amend the Criminal Code to create new offences in relation to trafficking in human organs. The bill also would amend the Criminal Code to enable Canada to assume extraterritorial jurisdiction to prosecute, and that is very important. There is no sense having legislation if we do not put teeth in it. We need that ability to prosecute, in Canada, Canadian citizens or permanent residents who commit any of the proposed offences abroad.
    I was recently told about number of Canadians who were going abroad, specifically to China, and getting kidney transplants and different things done. I would like to ask Canadians, before they do that, to think about where those organs come from. This would make it an offence for any Canadian to go abroad to take advantage of that.
    It would also amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide that permanent residents or foreign nationals would be inadmissible to Canada if the responsible person were of the opinion that they have engaged in any of these activities relating to trafficking in human organs. Imagine that for $5,000, someone can get a transplant, never asking where that organ came from.


    Our government is committed to ensuring our criminal justice system keeps communities safe, protects victims and holds offenders to account. We condemn the illegal and exploitative trade of human organs in the strongest of terms, and that was shown in the previous vote on Bill S-240, and will be on this one as well. We continue to have very strong feelings on things like this, as I believe all Canadians do.
    Organ trafficking, the practice of extracting organs through coercive means to sell them for profit, is absolutely reprehensible and it is a global challenge, not just the challenge we are talking about today, which frequently involves the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. It is a complex issue that requires both legislative and policy responses. Our government is proud to support this important bill, with targeted amendments that would make it better to achieve its objectives.
    I very much look forward to seeing its passage by Parliament contrary to what my colleagues seemed to indicate earlier. This a bill that we all want to pass and then have very strong enforcement to end human trafficking in organ transplants.
    If I do not get another opportunity to do so, I wish everyone a blessed summer and I will see everyone in September.


    Madam Speaker, Bill S‑204 would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad to receive an organ harvested without consent. This bill combats the horrible practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking in human organs. I will not get into the bill because everyone agrees that it should be passed.
    This bill has already been unanimously passed twice by the Senate and once by the House. Initially it was a Liberal bill introduced by Borys Wrzesnewskyj and Irwin Cotler. The issue today is not about the bill.
    The issue is whether the government is committed to doing what it knows is the right thing and will allow the bill to pass or whether it will decide otherwise. If this bill is passed right away then the House could resume debate of the government's budget. The government can either agree to this or spend an hour talking about it, delaying both this bill and its own budget.
    Accordingly, I would like to seek the unanimous consent of the House to move the following motion: That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House, at the conclusion of today's debate on Bill S‑204, the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in a committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.


    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    An hon. member: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean wish to continue his speech?
    Madam Speaker, unfortunately, I believe it is quite obvious what the Liberals are doing. Afterwards, they will tell us that the opposition was being partisan and playing politics. Quite frankly, that is disappointing today.


    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in support of Bill S-204. The bill would prevent the illegal harvesting and trafficking of human organs, penalize Canadians who participate in or facilitate the illegal black market for organ harvesting and deter people from getting involved in this immoral and unregulated industry that is loaded with illegal businesses. This illicit and illegal organ-harvesting industry is hurting vulnerable people across the world. A global shortage of organs has driven this illegal industry, which relies on low-income populations as donors and wealthy foreigners as recipients. It is illegal and immoral. It is an industry that preys on some of the most vulnerable people across the world. We have to recognize that this demand is fed by wealthier nations and individuals.
    According to experts, the illicit trafficking of organs on the black market has grown exponentially as demand has grown and supply has become more limited. Who are the victims of this illicit trade? As is mostly the case with the trafficking of organs, they tend to be the poor, who are vulnerable and exposed to exploitation. They are commonly refugees living in terrible and unsafe conditions. They are often told they will get large sums of money or released from debt. Specifically in the case of kidneys, the most commonly harvested organ from living donors, recruiters will even tell victims that the kidneys will grow back. These victims are desperate and seen as easy prey for exploitation.
    The perpetrators who are often implicit in the trafficking of organs include a wide array of people, from the recruiters who identify the vulnerable victims, the transporters, the staff working at the clinic or hospital, the medical professionals who carry out the surgery and the wealthy westerners who buy these organs. There is a whole chain of people who end up profiting from this horrific crime.
    Just over the border in the United States, over 114,000 people are on the organ waiting list with a new person added every 10 minutes. The World Health Organization estimates that 10,000 kidneys are traded on the black market worldwide annually. That is more than one every hour. We just cannot go on like this. It is completely unacceptable and we as members of Parliament have to do something about it. This is the fourth—
    I will interrupt the hon. member there. The hon. member for Regina—Lewvan is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sorry to interrupt my colleague.
    Because of the numerous points of orders that were brought during private members' hour, I was wondering if that time will be added to the end of the hour.
    Standing Order 30(7) states:
    If the beginning of private members’ hour is delayed for any reason, or if the hour is interrupted for any reason, a period of time corresponding to the time of the delay or interruption shall be added to the end of the hour suspending as much of the business set out in section (6) of this standing order as necessary.
    To the hon. member's point, the points of order that were brought were not counted as part of the hour of debate on this. That should clarify the hon. member's point of order.
    We will continue with the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Madam Speaker, this is the fourth time that this issue has been brought before Parliament. The situation is urgent, especially for those who are being preyed upon. Clearly it should not be a partisan issue. I know it is June and I know it is a difficult time, but, sadly, here today partisanship is now playing in on this bill that could be saving the lives of those who are being preyed upon in developing countries. We need to stop waiting around and get this done.
    I am really disappointed to see how things are playing out today. This is exactly the sort of bill that should get cross-party support and all sides of the House should be able to and can agree that we have to do more about this and that this has to be stopped, not at some distant time in the future but right now. There have been opportunities today to advance that, so it is very disappointing. The victims of this crime simply cannot wait any longer.
    Here in Canada, we are way behind in dealing with this issue on organ trafficking. We look at other countries, such as Spain and Norway and Taiwan, that have passed similar pieces of legislation to tackle this issue. Europeans have a convention entitled, “Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs”. We have to start catching up with the rest of the world by acknowledging the problem and taking action to fix it. The international community must come together on this issue. Canada needs to be a leader and establish clear conditions that will cut off the organ-trafficking industry's profits and the illegal businesses.
    While most organ trafficking occurs abroad, measures must and can be implemented to ensure Canadians on long organ donation lists are not perpetuating this brutality by purchasing trafficked organs out of desperation. While we debate this bill to stop international organ trafficking, I do want to take time today to commend my colleague and good friend from Calgary Confederation for taking great action here at home and in this House that I know will address many domestic needs for organs. I am aware it just received royal assent. His bill, C-316, would deal with tax records being used for an organ donor registry. It is a highly commendable proposal that can be part of the solution to increase the supply of safe, legal and consensual organ donations, in an ethical way that respects human rights. This will have a real impact on people's lives here in Canada. I am honoured to continue to work with my colleague and to be a part of supporting his proposal, both his bill from the last Parliament and the bill that just passed.
    The NDP really wants to ensure that this bill is passed swiftly and that those who have been harmed by this illicit trade are given the justice that they deserve. To support this, we must do more domestically to encourage ethical, safe organ donations, including giving Canadians more options to be able to sign up to the organ donation registry.
     Organ harvesting and trafficking abroad is a horrific crime against humanity. It must be stopped. Canada can and must begin the process of fixing this injustice by passage of this bill.
    Again, I am disappointed today that partisan politics have come into play. We support dealing with this horrific crime of organ harvesting and trafficking abroad.


    Madam Speaker, I have been listening very closely to what has been said. In good part I agree when members talk about the partisanship we are seeing on the floor, but I take it from a different perspective, where, over the last while, there has been a great deal of partisanship on the floor of the House of Commons.
    I know that a good number of people are watching and are very much interested in this piece of legislation ultimately passing and receiving royal assent. There was a great sense of disappointment when it passed the House of Commons but the Senate was not able to get its royal assent. There is no doubt that a vast majority of Canadians recognized that it should be a crime to travel abroad without the donor's consent in order to get an organ transplant.
    They try to give a false impression. I referred to it yesterday, and more and more we are seeing this unholy alliance of opposition parties coming together to try, in every way possible and in as partisan a way as possible, to make the Prime Minister and members of the Liberal caucus look bad. Seriously, I am not aware of any Liberal member of Parliament who would want to prevent this from becoming law. There are procedures that need to take place. Each political entity has a House leadership team with whom the issue could be addressed.
    I say, to individuals like Irwin Cotler, David Matis, Maria and so many others who have been strong advocates on this issue, that what they are witnessing today is a partisanship that is not coming from the government. The government is doing what it can to ensure that there is a series of pieces of legislation. I could cite specific examples that have been provided to me. We know that we could pass this with unanimous consent, as we could do for a number of pieces of legislation.
    Where was this empathy for the people the legislation would benefit, for example, when we dealt with Bill C-3? Bill C-3 was about the judicial appointments and training. Members will recall that it, too, passed the House of Commons in the last Parliament and the government reintroduced it as Bill C-3. How many hours of debate took place on that bill, even though it went through the full process the previous time? It was hours and days, but the Conservatives did not want it passed, and for what reasons? I will let people follow the debate.
    Members will say that the issue has been debated already. I remember opposition members, when the shoe was on the other foot, would say that it was the previous Parliament and there are new members of Parliament who were just elected back in 2019 and ask if they should not be afforded the opportunity, if they want to be able to contribute to the debate. I understand the rules, the process and how things operate regarding legislation. We now have an offer saying that if we pass this bill unanimously right now, we will be allowed to debate Bill C-30. Members can imagine the hypocrisy. That is the reason I raised the matter of privilege I raised earlier today.
    Last Friday and this Friday the NDP and the Conservatives were working together through privileges to prevent the government from being able to deal with legislation. Is this legislation not also important? What about other private—


    I do have to interrupt the hon. member.
    The hon. member for Regina—Lewvan is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Winnipeg North has talked about how much he knows about the parliamentary practices and procedures of this House. I have been listening intently, and he really has not talked about human trafficking—
    That is a point of debate and not a point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, shame on the member for the interruption.
     I have debated this issue. I have supported this issue's advancement, and I suspect that it will get through second reading at some point, as other private members' bills will. If there is keen interest such as I have heard today on the floor of the House from all members, I would suggest that they raise the issue with their respective House leadership teams. Maybe there is a way in which it can be accommodated.
    Is this select group now going to prioritize all the other areas and bills that are before us and say these ones too should be rushed through the House of Commons without debate, let alone some debate? I could list Bill C-6 on conversion therapy. I could talk about Bill C-30, which is going to help millions of Canadians, many of whom are in desperate situations. Then there is Bill C-12, on net zero and the environment, and Bill C-10. That does not even go into the many private members' bills from many of our colleagues who are very interested in advancing their ideas, resolutions and bills.
    That does not take away from the importance of the debate on this bill. I suspect that when it comes to a vote, every member will likely vote for it as they did previously. The ones who are trying to score political cheap shots today are the opposition parties. In the days going into summer, this is brought to the table. If the people who are pushing for this legislation really wanted to do a service for the audience, there is a better way of doing it. I suspect some of them know that, but they have chosen to do this in their partisanship, while saying the Liberal government is preventing it.
    Out of respect for some of the individuals I have referenced, I will work within my caucus, as I know my colleague from Toronto who spoke prior to me will. We understand what the bill and the legislation will do, but we also understand that after today there are three days left of this session before we break for the summer. There are still opportunities to try to shame one political entity into unanimous consent for personal or political views, or to try to make others look bad. I believe that the manner in which this issue is being dealt with today is just wrong.
    I have been on House leadership teams for 30 years. It would be nice to see this bill passed at all stages. If that is possible, then I would really recommend that members watching or participating use that same passion in talking to their House leaderships. There might even be some other members who have other ideas for legislation that may be important to them and to Canadians, and that could allow us to set a good example around the world.
    Canada taking action can have a positive outcome for other nations. I recognize that, but I also recognize that at the end of the day, in order for us to succeed we have to have a process. If we are respectful of the process and work in collaboration as parties, we could probably achieve a lot more, as we did for the private member's bill the first and second go-round.
    I would invite members who are following the debate to participate in a discussion afterwards with regard to how I feel, using my expertise, about what could be done with regard to this legislation.


    I suggest this as an open gesture of goodwill, because I, like the former Liberal speaker, support the legislation.
    Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to this bill today. Before I do that, I want to address some of the observations I have had from the debate so far today.
    The member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan took the floor, introduced the subject, talked a little about it and then said he wanted to move that we vote on it. If a minister had brought forward a bill, even a bill that he or she knew the House would definitely support, can members imagine the outrage that would have come from the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, in particular? It has happened on a number of occasions.
    That is what this is about. This is about letting all members have the opportunity to speak to these very important pieces of legislation.
     To my colleague from the Bloc, I cannot remember his riding, but I am pretty sure that when he was speaking, his famous father was actually in the background of his shot at one point, which I thought was pretty cool by the way. I would say the same thing to him. The Bloc had an opportunity to speak to this. The member had an opportunity to speak to this. Then he tried to move the same motion again.
    I am more concerned about why opposition parties seem not to want to allow Liberal government members to speak to this. The member for Courtenay—Alberni, with all due respect, spoke for almost a full 10 minutes, and then shamed other people for wanting to speak. His party has 24 seats in the House, and he occupied a full 10 minutes of the 60 minutes of debate.
    I find it very troubling when, especially on the motion that we are talking about, someone could come forward and say, “Here are all my thoughts. Now let us vote.” To the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, the manner in which he clearly went about doing this and getting this legislation to be voted on very quickly, perhaps the opposition could have picked somebody to run that exercise who could have perhaps shown more diligence or respect for the process? They could work with parties, talk to the parties beforehand and say, “This is what we want to do. Would you consider asking your members to limit how much they speak so we could do this? Is that a possibility? If not, are there other concessions we could make?”
    We could have had a discussion and tried to negotiate. I had my speech ready to go here when I found out I might not have the opportunity to speak to this. I just think that if the opposition was genuine in really wanting this to pass, and we have seen it before, it would have used resources differently. It is almost as though the opposition members wanted this reaction from the government, so that they could say, “See? This is such a great bill and nobody else wants it to pass.”
    I am very happy with the work that this bill has gone through, both in this House and in the other place, and that it is back before the House. If we do not specifically wrap it up now, we will have an opportunity to continue it in the fall. It is important. Now I want to turn to my prepared notes because I know I will run out of time if I do not.
    Bill S-204 proposes a number of reforms that would target trafficking in human organs. We know that trafficking in human organs is a transnational, global challenge. This heinous crime involves the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable living in under-resourced developing countries. International estimates indicate that organ trafficking nets between $600 million and $1.2 billion U.S. annually in illegal profits.
    Generally, wealthier individuals, often from developed countries, drive demand for organs, and the supply of organs usually comes from developing regions of South America, Asia, Africa, India and China. Bill S-204 seeks to end organ trafficking by creating organ trafficking-specific indictable Criminal Code offences. The bill's proposed offences would prohibit obtaining an organ or otherwise taking part in the removal of an organ without the informed consent of the person from whom it was being removed. These offences criminalize organ trafficking-related conduct when there is evidence that organs were extracted through this coercive process.


    The bill would also create an indictable Criminal Code offence that would prohibit obtaining an organ, or otherwise taking part in the removal of an organ that is obtained for financial consideration. This transactional offence would criminalize organ trafficking-related conduct where there is evidence that organs were purchased.
    Furthermore, the bill would ensure that Canadians and permanent residents of Canada were not able to escape criminal liability by going abroad to commit these offences. We have heard why it is so important that it be part of this. I listened to what the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan said at the beginning. Based on his comments, this is why that is so important.
    The bill would achieve this goal by enabling Canadian prosecution of Canadians and permanent residents of Canada who commit any of the proposed offences abroad. This reform, together with the bill's financial transaction offences, criminalizes transplant tourism, which involves buying organs abroad.
    The bill would also create a new category of inadmissibility to Canada for foreign nationals and permanent residents who engage in organ trafficking conduct. Specifically, it would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to make those who engage in the conduct prohibited by this bill inadmissible under the provisions that apply when foreign nationals and permanent residents have violated human or international rights, for example by committing war crimes or crimes against humanity.
    Vulnerable people who have organs extracted coercively or who sell their organs out of financial desperation deserve the protection of criminal law. As I have explained, these are reforms that would achieve that goal by creating specific organ trafficking Criminal Code offences that apply extraterritorially.
    Currently, the Criminal Code prohibits conduct related to coercive organ removal through its human trafficking offences, which apply extraterritorially, and its assault offences, which do not. However, this can be difficult to prove, particularly when a person is coerced into doing this overseas or is led overseas to do it.
    The bill's financial transaction offence would provide extra protection for the vulnerable by criminalizing anyone engaged in conduct that involves the commercialization of organs. This includes those who extract organs for profit, those who facilitate the extraction of organs for profit and those who buy organs for their own use regardless of evidence of these practices taking place. The offence would address the demand that fuels organ trafficking. There is no doubt that organ trafficking is a serious global problem that harms the most vulnerable. It is a problem that requires a comprehensive and effective response.
    In Canada, organ transplantation is governed by a legislative framework that encompasses both health and criminal law. Provincial and territorial human tissue gift statutes regulate organ donation. They contain regulatory offences that prohibit the sale, purchase or dealing in any human tissues or organs outside the applicable regulated framework. The applicable provincial and territorial legal framework has never allowed for the commercialization of organs, but these regulatory measures do not apply extraterritorially.
     Ongoing efforts to increase legitimate organ donation in Canada complement these reforms. Since 2018, Health Canada has been leading an initiative called the organ donation and transplantation collaborative with provinces and territories, Canadian Blood Services, patients, families, clinical and administrative stakeholders, and researchers. The collaborative's goal is to achieve organ donation improvements that result in better patient outcomes and increase the number and quality of successful transplantations.
    As I have indicated, we need to protect the vulnerable against those who are engaging in criminal activity, particularly those who are subject to that criminal activity. We need to protect those who might be interested in selling an organ out of financial hardship. A motion such as this that comes through both Houses, here and the other place, will truly assist in making this activity much more challenging for those who want to do it illegally.


    Madam Speaker, in my riding of Spadina—Fort York, the intersection of Spadina and Dundas is the scene of virtually a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week protest of this very single issue. During the last campaign, as I do my work out of my constituency office, which is located at Spadina and Dundas, the people who protest this issue talked to the public and talked to me. They saw my face and my name on the billboard at the office building where their protests are staged, and they asked me a question in the last Parliament. They said they knew how I voted on this issue but asked why I did not speak to it. Clearly, the people leading the campaign to prevent this horrendous practice want people to not only support their cause, but advocate for it. They want to see how and why that advocacy will be effective and where and how that advocacy will be used to advance the issue they are speaking to.
    If I were to go back to the protesters and organizations leading this debate and say that I just decided to vote but not speak to it and not honour my commitment to speak to it, I would disappoint them. I am thankful that a number of members of the House have created this debate and this space to forward the work that was started by my cherished colleague Irwin Cotler, and then Borys Wrzesnewskyj, because not all of us get the opportunity, due to our parliamentary duties, to speak to every issue that comes in front of the House. If we did, every debate would take days and days and weeks and weeks.
    We try to prioritize, but in this situation I made a commitment to the residents I represent, and in particular the organizers and protesters who stand guard on this issue, that I would speak to this issue. I thank my colleagues for affording me this opportunity, and I hope members opposite understand that for those of us who represent communities where this issue is most poignant, affording us a chance to speak to it is part of our responsibility and duty to this House, but also to the people we represent. I hope it is not seen in any other light.
    There are a number of different dynamics that drive this issue, but there is also great disappointment in the inability of our Houses of Parliament, both the other place and the House of Commons, to get this legislation through in the last term. We know why that happened. It did not happen because this bill was filibustered; it happened because several other critically important bills were filibustered, including the work on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was in fact that filibuster in the House that prevented the Senate from getting to this bill. Thankfully, all sides now seem to have seen a way forward on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and hopefully that bill will get royal assent on Monday.
    It is a little rich for the sort of back-and-forth that we are filibustering to be raised in this context, when the parties opposite, in particular the Conservatives, know that the Conservatives filibustered this one in the last Parliament. They are suddenly now demanding immediate action on this file, when they could have achieved immediate action on this file years ago if they had co-operated. They take no responsibility or accountability for that, but their obstruction, even in the majority Parliament, had an impact on the legislation that was proposed and that we are talking about here today.
    Let us not talk about the strategies and the inside baseball of House affairs and the various tactics that various House leaders use to try to achieve progress on parts of the agenda that are a priority to their party. That is politics. That is the House, and that is what happens in Parliament, but to pretend that there is some sort of ideological purity on that or partisanship that is independent of ulterior motives is a little rich, especially coming from a party that has been filibustering, in particular, the legislation on conversion therapy, which impacts Canadians' civil liberties and Canadians' human rights now, as we speak. For the Conservatives, in particular, to stand on a high horse on this one only makes me wonder if they have ever actually seen a horse—


    Unfortunately, I will have to interrupt the member.
    The hon. member for Carleton is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the member asked if we have ever seen a horse. We have seen part of one, but my point of order is different from that.
    Government members are now filibustering this private member's bill and have done so for half an hour now, which is pushing back debate on the budget. We were anxious to get working on the budget. Had Liberal members not been filibustering this particular bill, would that have allowed us to get through the time-allocated portion of the debate on the budget? That is my question.
    Unfortunately, that is not a point of order; therefore, the hon. parliamentary secretary may continue his speech.
    Madam Speaker, that was an excellent impression of the horse's end that I think the member was speaking to.
    At any rate, the issue I am talking about now is the issue of organ harvesting, which happens primarily because our own organ donation system is not working. In fact, the city of Toronto has the lowest enrolment of organ donors of any other municipality in the country. We have worked very hard as city councillors and as elected federal and provincial politicians to reverse that. It is a public education campaign; it is a change in the system by which people register; it is a whole series of processes that must be addressed to take away the demand for this unspeakable activity, which we hope to make illegal through this bill. We have to do better on organ donations in this country if we are going to contribute to the eradication of this horrible practice that sees people leaving the country to attain organs in a way that is unbelievably horrendous and hard to describe in simple terms.
    Part of the bill also requires us, as politicians, to think about the public education campaign part of this and to relieve the anxiety and desperation of Canadians across the country who are seeking to achieve full health through the miracles of modern medicine. We also have to make sure that we remove barriers for people who do want to donate, and make sure that for those who have signed up to give the gift of life, the process becomes easier and is facilitated in a way that would alleviate the pressure on people to go looking in the dark corners of the globe to do what they have to do.
    As well, the research and the work done by many community activists and leaders to highlight where some of these terrible practices emanate from have to be broadened. We tend to focus in, because of the work of a particular organization, on one particular part of the world, but this is a global phenomenon that requires us to understand it in a more complex way and to do the research and the public education so that Canadians do not unwittingly take part in what they think is a legitimate operation and end up contributing to the harm that is being done to so many people around the world. This is also part of the work that has to be done.
    It is not addressed in the bill, but perhaps there are ways, through committee, that it can be enhanced and developed, and perhaps it can be tied [Technical difficulty—Editor] in this country and make them more efficient and more humane. I think that is part of the process and part of the reason many of us want to speak to the bill in a way that generates a much stronger and much more important piece of legislation.
    However, if we pass the bill on to the other House, if it goes through the parliamentary process and gets voted on, and I believe all parties have indicated support for it, then we will also need those parties in this House that have caucus members who sit in the other place, because we need the other House to also prioritize the bill in the way that has been spoken to today by several opposition members. It is not good enough for political parties to just stand in one chamber and say they want speedy passage, if they know in the back of their mind that in the other chamber their colleagues, their caucus members, their political movement, will do everything they can to frustrate every other piece of legislation that is coming through the parliamentary process. We need some consistency out of the Conservatives on the bill and we need some co-operation, which is the last point I would like to bring to this debate today.
    All the processes and all the legislative agendas that collide in the House of Commons, such as measures brought forward by the government, by private members and by political parties in this House [Technical difficulty—Editor] slowing down legislation, but how little they contribute to speeding up legislation. We have had some good examples when there has been consensus on some critical pieces of legislation. The situation around UNDRIP is a perfect example where, quite clearly, the tenor of the House changed. As people thought more deeply about the information and the circumstance, they realized that some of the good legislation proposed by our government required immediate passage, and I think we saw some progress on bills like that.
    I also think back to last week, when an opposition motion designed to blow up the national housing strategy was presented, and all opposition parties sided against the government. I find it ironic that, as they sought to destroy the national housing strategy, including the rapid housing initiative, the right to housing, the work on the co-investment fund, and the work being done in building housing in every riding, in every part of this country from coast to coast to coast, no sooner had members of the opposition voted to destroy the national housing strategy that they called up the parliamentary secretary to the minister in charge of CMHC and asked if we could fast-track some of the projects in their ridings, because they want to get the work done and they know how critical the job is.


    If members are going to talk out of both sides of their mouths, they should try to be consistent. They should not try to destroy the program and try to acquire access to the program simultaneously. They should be honest about their approach here. I think that it is incumbent upon all of us to do that, to find a co-operative way forward, to work across party lines to achieve on issues that need to be achieved on and not to play these sorts of games where they deflect and present false arguments, when things are clearly in need of speedy passage.
    I look forward—


    Unfortunately, the hon. member's time is up, so I will go to resuming debate with the hon. member for Surrey Centre, and I will advise him that he has only about two minutes to begin his debate.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I would like to seek the consent of the House for a motion that would allow every member who so wishes to speak and still expedite passage of this bill.
    I would like to seek the consent of the House for the following motion.
    I move that, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, the House shall sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment to consider and dispose of Bill S-204 as follows: the member currently speaking, as well as all members of the government caucus may speak for not more than 10 minutes on the second reading motion; and when every member of the government has spoken or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, Bill S-204 shall be deemed to have been 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 report stage and deemed read a third time and passed. When Bill S-204 has been read a third time and passed, the House shall adjourn to the next sitting day.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    An hon. member: Nay.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    Normally, when somebody seeks unanimous consent, it implies, and it is quite often why we start off that unanimous consent statement by saying such, that discussions have happened among the parties. Discussions did not happen among the parties before we heard this motion. The member needs to have those discussions, and I would encourage him to do that.
    On that point of order, I would say that was just a point of clarification on the point of order. That is something I would normally say if there was debate on the point of order.
    Therefore, the hon. member for Surrey Centre has two minutes, and then I will interrupt the proceedings to move on to the orders of the day.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join the second reading debate on Bill S-204, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs), which came to us on May 10, after having passed in the other place.
    This important bill proposes to protect vulnerable persons who have organs extracted through exploitation of their vulnerabilities by creating new Criminal Code offences targeting organ trafficking-related conduct that would apply extra-territorially, including a financial transaction offence that would criminalize transplant tourism, a practice that involves purchasing organs abroad, usually in under-resourced countries; and amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to make foreign nationals or permanent residents of Canada who engage in conduct that would constitute an offence under one of the bill's proposed organ trafficking offences be inadmissible to Canada for having violated human or international rights.
    International research indicates that traffickers may coerce vulnerable victims into giving up an organ and that organ donors often come from less wealthy nations. That is why organ trafficking affects certain populations disproportionately. Patients from wealthy countries travel abroad to obtain organs from donors in impoverished countries who may suffer from desperate poverty and may feel the need to sell their organs out of financial desperation.
    Donors may also be deceived by traffickers into trading their organs for money that may not be paid at the end of the surgery. This exploitation of extreme poverty in certain parts of the world, for example in North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central America, drives organ trafficking.
    In addition to the abuses I have just noted, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that “In cases of trafficking in persons for organ removal, victims may be recruited through deception, [and may not be] fully informed as to the nature of the procedure, the recovery and the impact—”


    I am sorry. The hon. member will have eight minutes the next time this matter is before the House.


    The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired. The order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1

    The House resumed consideration of Bill C-30, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures, as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of Motion No. 2.
     Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures.
    Canadians have been hit very hard over the past year and a half because of the global pandemic, and many have lost jobs or had hours reduced. Some have had time off work to care for loved ones. Sectors, such as tourism and retail, have been hit especially hard.
    After going years since the last budget, Canadians were hoping to see some leadership from the Liberal government, and perhaps a clear direction and a path forward as we move closer to putting the pandemic behind us. Instead, Canadians were presented with a budget that was big on promises and very low on substance. Instead of a concrete plan of investment, increased economic activity and a pathway toward economic recovery and reopening, Canadians were presented with a collection of the greatest hits of past Liberal promises, which have never been delivered on to this day. The government has been high on rhetoric and low on results. Canada has a great story to tell, and we should have a government that is willing to do the work to put Canada in a position to prosper as we transition out of the pandemic.
    In the early weeks of the pandemic when Canadians were facing tremendous uncertainty, I took a drive through the beautiful riding of Tobique—Mactaquac in western New Brunswick. During the drive, I remember reflecting on what a difficult time Canadians were facing, some even more than others, and how many sectors were affected by the devastating effects of the pandemic. Some were fully shut down. Others were facing tremendous uncertainty. The headwinds of this unprecedented circumstance were truly overwhelming for many parts of the world, and Canada was no exception.
    As I was driving through my riding that day in the spring of last year, something caught my eye, and it left a deep impression on me. I still reflect upon it to this day on occasion. I come from a large rural riding, a farming and agricultural riding, that plays a tremendous role in our local economy. Particularly, I come from potato-growing country. In fact, part of my riding is known as the french fry capital of the world, and I must confess that my physique sometimes portrays that. It is a bit of a weakness. We do have great potatoes, meat and beef in my riding.
    This, in turn, drives many other sectors in our region, such as trucking and manufacturing, and our processing facilities. While much of our lives were shut down and despite the great uncertainty, fear and anxiety, some sectors kept going. even in the face of great uncertainty. They kept doing what they needed to do in the face of unprecedented obstacles.
    What I observed that day last year left an imprint on me: I saw farmers once again, in the spring, going out into their fields to plant seed in the ground. They did not know what the market would be like and they were not sure about the demand, but they got up and went to sow seed into the soil. They kept doing what they knew they could do, and entrusted things they were not sure about to what would come and who could be trusted to take care of them.
    Through faith, through hard work and through pure tenacity, many farmers in my region faced the headwinds of uncertainty head-on, and I drew inspiration from that. I thought that if the farmers can keep doing what they know is right to do in the face of uncertainty, all of us as Canadians can draw inspiration from that and keep doing the things we know are right to do, even though we are not sure what the ultimate outcome may be.
    I am glad to report that in my region several sectors kept going. Truckers kept moving their goods, farmers kept planting their seeds and the processors kept processing. The demand for food has remained.


    I think this has taught us all a significant lesson that we need to reflect upon: Now is the time for Canada to be positioned to take advantage of a post-COVID world. Now is the time for Canada to make the decisions that state clearly that we believe in ourselves and we believe in our potential as a country to move past COVID-19. This is a time when we can show the strength and fortitude that I saw in the producers, truckers and first responders of my region and that we have seen throughout this entire country. Now is the time to build with the future in mind. Rather than continually speaking to the perils and the overwhelming challenges that we face, let us as parliamentarians and as a collective body in the House speak to our potential as a country.
    The world wants to do business with Canada. The world likes Canada and the world sees our potential, and I think often more than what we may see in ourselves. We need the leadership here at home to say that Canada can become even more than what it has ever been. Canada can be positioned to thrive and prosper for generations to come if we make decisions to prioritize Canadian industry, Canadian entrepreneurship, Canadian technology, Canadian resources and Canadian know-how. Our greatest asset is our people, and the more we can empower our people and allow them to do what they do best, the more Canada will be positioned to thrive, grow and prosper on the other side of the pandemic.
    I speak with faith and optimism because of what I have witnessed at home and what I have heard from across the country: Canadians rose to the occasion in the face of great uncertainty. What we need now is a government that will respond in kind and say that it trusts Canadians to do what only Canadians can do and in a way that only Canadians can do it, that is, rise to face the challenges of this moment.
    Today I stand before the House with a great deal of gratitude in my heart for what I have witnessed in people and what I see in Canadians. I also stand before the House with a challenge for each of us. We should draw inspiration from those we work with, those we have witnessed on the front lines and those who have kept doing tremendous things when they were facing overwhelming odds and obstacles. I feel we can even draw inspiration from our very own coat of arms, which says, “They desire a better country.” That is in our coat of arms.
    In this post-COVID time when we move beyond the pandemic and get to the other side of it, why not desire an even better country to hand to future generations? Let us make decisions to invest in our people and entrust our people, and make the decisions we need in order to secure our future in a way that will make Canada sustainable for generations to come.
    How do we do that? We do it by maximizing the areas that we do and know so well, whether it is in agriculture, where we grow some of the best and finest foods in the world; in energy, where we have the most environmentally regulated and sustainable energy resources in the world and where we treat ethically the people who produce and work in its sectors; or in our technological fields, which are advanced. We have amazing potential, and I am speaking to it today.


    Madam Speaker, I do not want to get in the way of the member opposite's optimism. I think we all believe that this issue is critically important. However, I will note that yesterday, my family buried an uncle who passed away from COVID this week. His wife, who is even more frail that he was and is still in hospital, has not been told she has lost her husband. The contact tracing shows that COVID came through the health care workers in the family, who continue to battle on the front lines even though the vaccination rates are brilliant and we are leading in the G7 and the G20 on the first dose and are closing in on the second dose. All of these circumstances have to be dealt with, and I would really caution the member opposite not to speak as if the crisis is over, because in many, many communities it quite frankly is not over.
    Since he spoke to the future and to the budget, I have one question for him. People tell us to invest in the people, invest in our sectors and invest in the economy. It is invest, invest, invest. However, all we hear from the Conservatives is cut, cut, cut. How do we invest and cut at the same time?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his insight and perspective, but being wise, being good stewards, planning ahead and seeing around corners is the essence of leadership and good governance. We cannot just speak to where we are currently; we must speak to where we are heading. I find the current government puts too much emphasis on what is behind, what we have gone through already. We need to have the vision to see where we are going in order to traverse the uncertain waters we are in now. That takes away nothing from the horrific challenges that COVID has presented to the country, and is still having its effect on, but we must speak to the future.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and for speaking at length about agriculture. I understand that he wants us to turn our attention to what comes after COVID-19, but I would like him to speak to what happened during the pandemic.
    In question period today, I asked why support for mandatory quarantines was cut in half a few days ago when the war on COVID-19 is not over and our farmers need support.
    I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the general support provided to the agriculture and agri-food community during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the inadequacy of the emergency processing fund.


    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague's question is a good one as it relates to the inadequate support that we have found for those who literally grow our food and keep our land. Our agriculture producers are the backbone of our economy and are essential to our food security. If this pandemic has revealed anything, it is the absolute need to prioritize our agriculture and food supply chains.
    The current government has not. In fact, it has put priorities on so many things, but the one sector that seems to have been overlooked in many cases are those who actually grow and supply and literally keep our land in this time; that being, our farmers and our agricultural sector.
     I agree with the hon. member. This must be an ongoing priority for the government and we must do everything we can to ensure that our food supply chains are secure and that proper investment is made into agriculture.
    Madam Speaker, it is very clear to me that the member represents a rural riding like I do. Could the member speak to a motion I tabled in the House, Motion No. 53, which talks about an equitable and fair future. It talks about ensuring that resources are going out to rural and remote communities, especially as we know the climate is changing and the economy is changing and our resource-based economies need support to transition and change.
    Does the member have any thoughts on that and would he support the motion I have tabled.


    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her passion for rural Canadians, and I share that passion.
    We need to ensure that rural Canada remains and actually becomes a much greater priority for our governments. Our rural areas literally grow and produce so much of the food that we enjoy and require. Our rural areas oftentimes are the key manufacturers and developers of our natural resources. They are the ones that oftentimes house those who truck and ship our goods all over the world and throughout our continent. Our rural areas will be key in getting us to the other side of COVID-19.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin my remarks on Bill C-30, the budget implementation act, with a solemn reflection of my time in the House.
    When I first began, I had the opportunity to reply to the Speech from the Throne. At that point in time, we were all hopeful that in a minority government, we could work through in a way that would be of the greatest benefit to Canadians. Then, with the next Speech from the Throne after prorogation, I rose in this very spot and talked about the regret I felt, that we could have done better by Canadians in this time of crisis.
    I want to take this moment of solemn reflection and centre the conversation back to the 25,000 people who have died from COVID in our country. We heard the remarks from the previous speaker about our agricultural sector. I want to note the recent passing of a migrant farm worker, someone who was left without the basic protections that most Canadians seem to take for granted. I want to think about the key question of what a budget implementation act is meant to do in a time of crisis, in this time of COVID. We have heard the term “unprecedented” time and again.
    The last time I rose in the House, I talked about the opportunity we had before us and how, as New Democrats, we could fight for what could be in Canada and not what was. I wish I could suggest today that we have somehow found that dream, but I continue to point to the promises made, but not kept, by the Liberal government to the working-class people of the country. We know this crisis was not experienced equally.
     During the pandemic, inequalities have increased. There was not an all-hands-on-deck approach. This has not been a team Canada approach. While everybody else was $200 away from insolvency, while 25,000 people perished, many of them living in deplorable conditions in long-term care facilities that had been privatized and carved out of our so-called universal health care, the ultra wealthy among us acquired close to $80 billion in wealth.
    We have learned a lot about the Liberal government over the last few years. It talks a really good game and chases those headlines, but has no intention of delivering. Even elements of its own budget announcement have been left out of this budget implementation act. There is no wealth tax. There is no excess profits tax. The government talks about consultations, so it can report back to the House at a future date, and all the while the ultra-wealthy in the country continue to profit from the misery.
    There is a choice to be made each and every time a budget is presented. It is ultimately a choice of which side one is on, that of the ultra-wealthy 1% or the rest of us. Since the beginning, people in my community of Hamilton Centre, noting the chuckles in the House from the Liberal side, are worried about whether they will be able to keep their job or pay rent. Let us forget about them ever being first-time homeowners. That dream is long gone for the people in my city, because the working-class wages have been suppressed. while the ultra-wealthy gained incredibly obscene amounts of money.
    This crisis has revealed the fragility of the social safety nets we tout and for which we have so much pride, those measures that supposedly distinguish us from the rest of the world. The whole system has been set up on the backs of working-class people. We only have to look at the way the EI program, which had been raided by previous Liberal governments to balance the budget, completely fell apart and left out part-time workers and people who were self-employed. During this crisis, it was the workers who experienced the direct consequences of years of austerity and underfunding from successive Conservative and Liberal governments.


    In this moment of historic crisis, when we stood here fighting for greater benefits for workers and pushing to ensure people had some kind of security, we heard people in the House bemoan the fact the average everyday Canadian may have received a meagre $2,000 a month. All the programs and social spending combined, at about $100 billion, pales in comparison to the $750 billion that was transferred to Bay Street and the big banks.
    When were talking about a guaranteed livable income and about increasing CERB supports for people, I remember the hon. member for Winnipeg North asking “What are we going to do, click our heels to support Canadians?” The Liberals certainly did that for Bay Street. This represents the largest transfer of wealth from the general public, the working-class people, to the ultra-wealthy in the country. Main street was absolutely mugged by Bay Street.
    We were fighting for workers and tried to find that balance. One of the mistakes made over the course of COVID was the fact that rather than ensure the direct supports for wage subsidies went directly for workers, we allowed it to go to businesses. The Liberals did it in such a way they knew had significant holes and gaps, loopholes almost as big as their tax haven scams. What did that result in?
    There were $18 billion that went into oil and gas in 2020. Imperial Oil took $120 million in the Canada emergency wage subsidy, while paying out $324 million to its shareholders. Chartwell received $3 million and paid out 11 times that amount, $33 million, to its shareholders.
    Yesterday, in debate, I recall one of the hon. members from the Liberal side tried to challenge the hon. member for Burnaby, suggesting somehow he was not doing enough as an individual to contribute to his community.
    I put a question to the House, to all the members who are watching in the Canadian public. When I talk about the theft of corporate Canada from taxpayers in the country, the question is cui bono, who profited from that crime? Who in the House holds stocks and shares that may have been paid off the dividends and off the back of our Canada emergency wage subsidy?
    Air Canada was given $6 billion, yet Greyhound leaves and the government does not see fit to support northern and rural communities by expanding government as a service, a national passenger bus transit strategy that would have ensured people had the ability to move around the country. We can look at the close to one billion dollars given to pharmaceutical companies. We have no preferable procurement. We are giving money away to the private sector and getting nothing in return.
    Why do we not have in this moment, in this budget implementation act, the ability for us as a nation to procure our own life-saving vaccines? Because the government would rather kowtow to pharmaceutical companies, to allow them to set the agenda, the prices and the market, the global market.
    Nobody is safe in the country until the entire world is safe. The government continues to tout how many vaccines it has taken in, while simultaneously taking from the COVAX facility. At the very same time, with absolutely zero moral authority, it blocked the patent waivers for which the international world is calling.
    My city was just named a Delta variant hot spot this week. This budget does not deliver on the ability for us to adequately respond to how this could potentially have mutations and could potentially make all our vaccination efforts useless.
    I want the Liberals to reflect on the things they have said over the last two years versus what they have actually delivered. At the end of the day, I want them to be accountable for all the people they have left out in this implementation act.


    Madam Speaker, listening to the member's speech, it would appear as though he is not going to be supporting this budget and voting in favour of it.
    Could he confirm if he and the NDP are opposed to it and would be voting against it?
    Madam Speaker, this is the cute game that Liberals like to play. They know that we are here to fight for Canadians. We know the Melba toast efforts of the Liberals.
    If we do not support this bill, we know that the meagre supports Canadians have would be cut in July. The Liberals like to play those games of half-measures. They would like Canadians to believe that they have been there fighting for them, when at the end of the day, I have people calling my office every single day, concerned about what will happen when CRA begins to claw back some of the benefits that they are now being told they were not eligible for, that they had not successfully applied for.
    When those critical services are cut back, that is going to have a ripple effect on OAS, the guaranteed income supplement. Mark my words, to MPs all around this House, their lower-income seniors will start calling. The Liberals, in their headlines, told everyone to just go ahead and apply, and on the good word of the government and senior members of government, they did so. Now it is going to be clawed back and people are going to be left with the tab, for some, in the tens of thousands of dollars.
    Madam Speaker, one of the things that Bill C-30 does not address, and it is a wide chasm, is the issue of those who fell through the cracks under previous iterations of some of the benefits.
    I am speaking specifically about travel advisers and businesses that were started in 2020 that did not have access to many of the benefits that other businesses or other Canadians had. The fact is that the implementation bill neglects to address those issues and causes severe problems for those Canadians who otherwise did not qualify for these types of benefits.
    Could the member comment on that?
    Madam Speaker, let us think about all the businesses that this hon. member just listed. They are small mom-and-pop entrepreneurs, people who are struggling to get by.
    By design, the government programs left them out. They absolutely left them out. I brought it to the government's attention, that it needed to close the loopholes for the ultra wealthy and the big corporations that were soaking this country and then paying out CEO bonuses and dividends. Every single person on Main Street who is struggling to get by in the small business sector, when all is said and done, will hold the government to account in the next election.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Hamilton Centre for his speech. He spoke a lot about the Canada emergency wage benefit. I would like to hear his thoughts on the political parties that received the wage subsidy.
    What does he think about that?


    Madam Speaker, in a moment of candour, I personally do not think it was appropriate. I will say that on the record. At the same time, particularly those parties that were flush have to significantly account for it.
     All of our efforts in this House should have been directed at everyday working-class Canadians.


    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his very important and powerful speech in the House today.
    I know that in my office I am getting a lot of calls from constituents who are hard-working people who cannot go back to work. Their jobs are simply not there. They do not know what they are going to do when the CERB goes down to $300 a week from $500 a week. What is most shameful is how these people are apologizing to the people who work in my office and saying they want me to know they are not trying to be a burden.
     What does this do to people who work hard for our country?
    Madam Speaker, it was glaringly obvious from the outset that the government really only values people who it deemed were contributing directly to the economy in ways that left out people with disabilities and people who continue to fall through the cracks. That is apparent each and every day in the calls we get. If there is an MP in this House who denies the fact they are getting those calls, that is something they are going to have to answer for to their constituents in the next election.


    Madam Speaker, today we are debating Bill C‑30, but that does not mean much to the average person. This is a budget implementation bill.
    It is interesting that we are talking about the budget and the budget implementation bill. It is 2021, and the government was elected in 2019, which means that the government took two years and a bit to finally present a budget. That is a problem. The COVID‑19 crisis started at the beginning of 2020, and it is still not over. It seems like the government took advantage of the crisis to avoid tabling a budget. This is a minority government, and it would normally have been held to account. Normally, the government would have had to try to work with the other parties, especially since it got even fewer votes than another opposition party.
    A result like that on the heels of an election should be a wake-up call. The government should have understood that it might be a good idea to face the facts and that it would have to think carefully about its next moves and reach out to others. Unfortunately, it seems that [Technical difficulty—Editor].
    Madam Speaker, I just realized that I had some technical issues.
    Everything seems to be working fine on our end; perhaps the problem is on the hon. member's end.
    The problem has now been resolved.
    The hon. member for Pierre‑Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères can continue his intervention.
    Madam Speaker, I seem to have gotten cut off for a moment. I think a member had their microphone on, and a meeting host put everyone on mute to turn the member's sound off. I think that probably put me and the Chair on mute. I could be wrong. I am not a tech expert, but that would be my guess.
    What I was saying was that we would have expected the government, upon winning a minority, to make an effort to negotiate with the parties, to present a budget and to make concessions. Instead, it dragged things out and took advantage of the pandemic to avoid presenting a budget, to avoid being held accountable and to do whatever it wanted. Once the pandemic arrived, the government came to us with piecemeal legislation that we always had to vote on quickly. We then noticed all of the holes and all of the problems these programs had.
    It is now June 2021 and we are hearing all kinds of rumours about a possible election. Meanwhile, we are still on this government's first budget. That speaks volumes. We agree that that is not much of a record, that it is not very impressive.
    Let us also talk a little bit about the way this crisis was managed, the way we experienced it as parliamentarians and the way the population saw it. I am not sure that the Liberals were the great champions they sometimes claim to be.
    In fact, when looking at the situation, we see that they took advantage of the crisis to try to give contracts to their friends. They arranged for a nice wage subsidy and included a special stipulation saying that political parties would be eligible. That is about it. They arranged things and no one seemed to be aware of it. However, at a certain point, we realized what was happening. We wondered how the Liberals could take advantage of the wage subsidy when their coffers were already full. It was the same for the other parties. The Bloc Québécois is the only party that refused to take advantage of the wage subsidy.
    The Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, two political parties that are far from lacking in funds, took advantage of the pandemic to get rich and fill their coffers, at the expense of people who were in need and who needed the support of the government.
    We will not stop reminding the House of this, even though the government may not like to hear it. We are going to repeat it because we know that the public is eventually going to have to vote and pass judgment.
    We also saw a company being incorporated and, practically the very next day, magically receiving government contracts at prices that were frankly pretty high. First of all, the company did not manufacture equipment or respirators. Second, the people linked to this company were former Liberals.
    We saw the WE Charity program brought in, again in a rush. The government claimed it did not have the expertise or staff to run a program. In the end, we realized that this charity had dubious practices. For example, it might get four or five different donors to fund the same project and just change the name on the plaque out front. We discovered that some people in the organization were particularly close to the Liberals and that the government was going to put the group in charge of distributing about $1 billion in grants for “paid volunteer work” without a competition and without consulting anyone. It is a weird story, and I think that many people had a hard time following the government's reasoning, the Liberals' reasoning. It is so hard to explain. We still have a hard time explaining it. The whole thing was called off when the parliamentary committees started looking into this infamous program, which seemed tailor-made for a group that had ties to the Liberals.
    There were other problems that may not have bothered people in the rest of Canada very much, but that certainly bothered people in Quebec. In the middle of the health crisis, when people were a bit worried and stressed out, we sometimes wondered if we would be able to get all the products we needed. Some products on the shelves were dangerous and came with no instructions. Some products had no information on them.


    In times of crisis, governments show their true colours, and we certainly saw the Canadian government's true colours. As it turns out, French is a frill for the Canadian government. It is a cute little language that the government likes to trot out from time to time to placate francophones whenever we make a fuss, but when the rubber hits the road, French gets tossed aside. That is exactly what happened with product labelling during the crisis.
    We also found out how the federal government was managing its medical equipment. When the emergency supply warehouses were opened up, it turned out that the masks were past their expiry date, and lots of the gear in the federal stockpile was no longer usable. Panic ensued, and the government scrambled to bring in equipment from all over the world.
    A similar fate befell our vaccine production capacity. We realized it had become all but impossible to make vaccines here. It is possible, but our capacity is greatly diminished. Why? Because Canada has chosen to outsource everything over the years, often at the expense of our local industries.
    As I mentioned earlier, some programs had some deficiencies, like the CERB, which created disincentives to work. Many people decided to stay at home instead of going to work, even though there was a need on the ground.
    The government decided not to close the borders, even though it was well known that the virus was entering from other countries. It did not come from within Canada. Some people were getting cheques to quarantine after going on holiday, while others had no access to any assistance.
    The government felt sorry for the airlines. Yes, they needed help, but ordinary people were not getting refunds for their plane tickets. Their rights were completely violated.
    On top of that, the government has taken to lecturing Quebec on how it has handled the crisis. After everything I just pointed out, in my opinion, that is the worst. There is nothing worse than a government that comes along and tells Quebec what to do in its areas of jurisdiction, that gives lessons on how Quebec should manage its health care system when it is incapable of managing its own jurisdictions.
    I will conclude there.



    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for raising concerns related to the gaps in the programs for small business.
    I would like to ask him about something in respect to seniors. We have seen that many seniors were outraged that the government left out seniors aged 65 to 74 in its plan for a long overdue increase to old age security payments. We have seen seniors struggle through COVID-19.
    As our colleague from Hamilton Mountain so eloquently articulated, the Liberals have now created junior seniors and senior seniors. It sounds absurd because it is absurd, but that is what we would have in our country if this government does not fix it in its budget bill. We would have a two-tiered senior system.
    Does my colleague agree that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Seniors need to fix this, and do what is right, so we do not have a two-tiered system for seniors? Does he agree we need to give them the support they need so they are not using their savings? Seniors are getting by on very little, and they need this help right now.


    Madam Speaker, my colleague asked an excellent question.
    The phone calls, emails and Facebook messages have been pouring in non-stop. For years, when I have been out speaking to people, both young and older retirees have been telling me that a 50¢ increase in their pension is ridiculous. They feel like they are being made fun of.
    Seniors are very frustrated at being disrespected and mistreated by this federal government when they have contributed to society all their lives. It is insulting to receive a 50¢ increase as a result of indexing. That is a joke. What will 50¢ buy in 2021?
    Every senior needs support, and the government should listen to them.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very interesting speech.
    He showed us the many differences between Quebec and the Canadian provinces.
    I know that my colleague has taken a great interest in agriculture, in particular the next generation of farmers. There are very few supports in this budget for the agriculture sector, which is so important. In particular, there is nothing for the Quebec model, which is different from the other provinces' models.
    Can my colleague make some suggestions about how the budget could have better supported our farmers?


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. She was not very specific, so I do not quite know how to answer. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to answer at this point.
    However, with regard to the agricultural model, I can say that, in the past, we were very disappointed to see the federal government sacrificing Quebec at every opportunity in matters involving international trade.
    Quebec has an agricultural model that works. The COVID-19 crisis strengthened Quebec's resolve to promote local agriculture and family farms and to take another look at our vision of agriculture so that we can eat high-quality, locally produced food.


    Madam Speaker, one of the issues that people in my province have been speaking a lot about is the need for reforms to equalization and to the fiscal stabilization program. Views may not be uniform across the country on that, but one thing on which there is agreement, and that all the premiers have called for, is lifting the cap on the fiscal stabilization program. Provinces agree that it is not reasonable to have a cap on the fiscal stabilization program in light of the nature and objectives of this program.
    This is a call supported by premiers in the west and also by Premier Legault. I would like to hear if the Bloc supports this call from the premiers, including Premier Legault, to eliminate that cap as a basic fairness measure for the provinces.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his rather technical question. If I can provide him with a more general answer, I would say that some provinces are very frustrated and have a lot of demands related to the equalization problem, or equalization program, rather. Pardon my mistake.
    These provinces would probably have fewer problems if they could raise taxes high enough to meet their financial needs. Often the problem results from the fact that a government makes tax cuts before realizing that it can no longer afford to pay for services. That might be the answer.


    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise to speak to Bill C-30, the budget implementation act.
    The Liberals, after failing to deliver a budget for two years, finally got around to delivering one a few months ago. I have to say that the budget delivers. The only problem is that it delivers in all the wrong ways. The Liberals have delivered a historic deficit of $354 billion, the largest deficit in Canadian history, and the Liberals have delivered a mountain of debt, with the national debt projected to reach $1.4 trillion by the end of this year.
    To put that staggering figure in some context, the Liberals have managed to nearly double the national debt in the span of less than two years. This Liberal budget delivers yet another near historic deficit for this year of $154.7 billion, with deficit after deficit projected year after year, and no plan whatsoever to see a return to a balanced budget.
    The members of the government say, as one of the excuses that they peddle for the massive deficits and massive debt, that it is all about COVID, and that COVID has necessitated all of the spending, except that simply is not true. Indeed, when one looks at program spending for 2021-22 of $475.6 billion, only a little more than 10% of that is attributable to COVID. Speaking of $475.6 billion in program spending, that represents a 40.5% increase in spending from 2019-20 levels. That is right. It is a 40.5% increase in spending in two years under these Liberals.
    In the face of this massive, reckless spending, to paraphrase the great late former U.S. president Ronald Reagan, one could accuse the government of spending like drunken sailors. However, as President Reagan would say that at least the drunken sailors were spending their own money. The same cannot be said for the government. Whose money are the Liberals spending? It turns out that a lot of what they are doing is printing money.
    In an unprecedented manner, the Bank of Canada is buying the government's debt. There was a $354-billion deficit last year. Of that, the Bank of Canada bought over $300 billion, or over 80%. We have seen, in terms of the supply of money, an increase of some 20% over this past year alone. That represents an increase in the supply of money that we have not seen in this country since 1974, nearly 50 years ago.
    There is a price to be paid for all of this borrowing and all of the spending, and we hear the excuses from the government. The Liberals' justification is to say that now is a better time than ever to borrow and spend because interest rates are low.


    Interest rates will not always be low, and it must be said that the government does not entirely have control of interest rates. Market forces also help determine what interest rates will be. Putting that aside, there is a cost being borne by everyday, middle-class Canadians in inflation.
    Indeed, the consumer price index for April saw an increase of 3.4%. That was its highest recording since September 2011. It was a 10-year record in the consumer price index, and it was broken one month later when it rose by 3.6%. That has hit Canadians hard in the wallet.
    We have seen the costs of just about everything go up. Homeowners' replacement costs increased 11.3% from last year, representing the largest annual increase since 1987. Housing prices have skyrocketed 42% in the span of one year. We have seen gasoline prices increase by about 50% from last year.
    Regarding essentials such as groceries, the Canada Food Price Report projects that the average family of four will pay $695 more in groceries this year compared with last year. That represents the largest projected increase in the cost of groceries since the report was first published, more than 10 years ago.
    I know that for our silver-spoon Prime Minister and other Liberal elites, $695 is chump change. It means nothing to them. For everyday Canadians, at a time when 53% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency, $695 can make the difference between putting food on the table and being able to stay in their homes.
    For this budget, we have heard the finance minister talk so much about stimulus. By the way, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said it was totally miscalibrated. For all the talk about recovery, I say where are the jobs? There were 200,000 jobs lost in April and 68,000 jobs lost in May. Canada has the second-highest unemployment rate in the G7, and the sixth-highest unemployment rate out of 37 countries in the OECD.
    For a government that has spent so much, it has failed to deliver as Canadians fall farther and farther behind. This is a failed budget from a failed Liberal government.


    Madam Speaker, let me thank the official opposition and their partners for allowing us to debate this particular bill. It is an important piece of legislation, so I appreciate the opportunity to speak to it and ask questions today.
    To my friend across the way, does he not see the hypocrisy of some Conservative members saying we need to spend more money in certain areas, in particular on support packages that will cost additional hundreds of millions of dollars, when on the other hand the Conservative right is saying they do not want us spending as much money?
    How does he balance what appears to many to be hypocrisy?
    Madam Speaker, we have a government that has spent a lot of money, but has not targeted the dollars to help Canadians. The member for Barrie—Innisfil posed a question earlier today about new businesses that have been completely shut out of the government's COVID supports. While small businesses and new businesses were struggling, however, the government had no trouble rewarding Liberal insiders like the Kielburger brothers and the WE organization. I reject the premise of the hon. member's question.
    Madam Speaker, I agree that a lot of folks across the country are really worried about their futures. My concern is that during this time, Canada's richest folks, the ultrarich, have increased their wealth substantially. I am very concerned that neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals seem to be interested in making sure that the richest Canadians pay their fair share. They do not need to pay more: just their fair share, because they are paying significantly less in taxes than everyday hard-working Canadians.
    I am wondering this. Could the member explain why his party refuses to make sure that the richest pay their fair share?


    Madam Speaker, with respect to the hon. member for North Island—Powell River, we on this side of the House have been fighting for everyday Canadians, unlike the Liberal government whose policies have benefited some of the very wealthiest Canadians.
    What I entirely reject are the efforts on the part of the NDP to redistribute wealth, increase taxes massively and undermine Canada's competitiveness at a time when we are already lagging.
    Madam Speaker, I too would like to reiterate that we need to help businesses that are starting up that needed help and did not get it. Lots of Canadians did not get help in this situation. However, we have also seen CEOs take advantage of this situation and shareholders have been paid huge bonuses.
    Does the hon. member think it is fair that there is pandemic profiteering by the big banks and large corporations when so many small businesses and working people are struggling?
    Madam Speaker, no, I do not believe it is fair. We saw one example of that with Air Canada. We need to help Canadians get through this very difficult time, and the best way to do that right now is to move forward with a plan to reopen the economy so that Canadians can get working again and Canada can recover. That was entirely lacking in this budget.
    Madam Speaker, it is with joy that I enter the debate here on a Friday afternoon to talk about Bill C-30.
    There is a lot in this more than 700-page budget that we could go over. One of the things we noticed in this 700-page budget document is that it does not include the words “balanced budget” once. Out of 700 pages, there is no plan to return to balance. There is no plan to actually stop stockpiling debt onto future generations of Canadians. That is where I want to start my presentation today, talking about the next generations of Canadians, what this budget would actually do and how it would set up their life.
    There was a column, written by Franco Terrazzano, of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and Kris Rondolo, who is the executive director of Generation Screwed. That is how the next generation is starting to feel right now. In this column, they wrote, “Canadian babies born on federal budget day 2021 had more than $28,000 of debt the moment they opened their eyes.”
    I saw today that my friend and colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot had his seven-day-old son, Winston, on the screen today. I am sorry to tell Winston that he already owes the government $28,000 as of today. What will that look like in a couple of years? By the time these little ones are blowing out the candles on their fifth birthday, Ottawa projects their share of the federal debt will be $35,000. That will be for every baby who was born on budget day this year.
    That is something we really need to start considering when we talk about budgets and bills like Bill C-30, and what we are doing to the next generation of Canadians.
     It is important to know why the debt is soaring. The pandemic caused government revenues to drop by 11% in 2020, but there is a bigger story. Ottawa's spending, and let us remember that revenue dropped by 11%, has increased 75%. Let us take that 75% increase in Ottawa's spending into consideration.
    Even worse, the Prime Minister and finance minister are using the COVID-19 pandemic as a cover to increase government spending for the years to come. By 2026, the federal government is planning to permanently hike government spending by $100 billion more than pre-pandemic.
    Where would we get the revenue from? I have often said to the people in Regina—Lewvan that the government does not make money, government only has the ability to take money, through taxes, from businesses and Canadians who have made it. That means that in 2026, the Government of Canada will be spending over $100 billion more than pre-pandemic levels. That money has to come from somewhere, and we all know where the government is looking to get some of that money.
     It would be out Canadians' pockets, whether it be through a $170 carbon tax, income tax or a tax on permanent residents. We know the CMHC has been looking at that. We talked about in the 2019 campaign. Everyone said that is was ridiculous and that it would never happen. However, the Liberal government has spent a lot of money to look at how it could take money from Canadians.
    Let us look at a few more numbers. On a year-to-year basis, the federal government spends $20 billion on debt interest charges each year. The provinces spend nearly $30 billion. By 2026, annual interest charges on the federal debt will nearly double to $39 billion. To put that in perspective, the finance minister's big announcement on a national child care program was that it was planning to spend $30 billion on day care over the next five years.
    It would be $30 billion for a national child care program. How much would the federal government spend on debt payment in the next five years? It would be $153 billion in debt interest. The government is going to spend $30 billion on child care, and that was a big, trumpeted, top platform policy, something it was finally going to get done, yet over five years, it would be spending $30 billion on day care and $153 billion on the debt.


    There is a lot of spending in this budget. It is 700 pages and there are programs that are going to have to be rolled out. We do not question the Liberal government's ability to spend money. I am sure the Prime Minister and the finance minister are very good at spending money. What we question is where their priorities lie for spending this money.
    As my colleague before me asked, where is the job creation in this? When are people going back to work? Where is the plan for people to start earning paycheques instead of receiving government cheques? That is what we on this side are asking. Despite the size of this budget and the long wait, because we waited two years for it, there is still no plan for Canadians to return to normal life. That is what I have been hearing. I had time to do a lot of Zoom calls in my riding and I spoke with Tracy Fahlman of the Regina Hotel Association. She said that her stakeholder groups and the members of the association know they need help to get by, but they want to know when they will be able to welcome clients back through their doors and start making money again. They do not want to be on government programs for years to come; they want to start living their lives, earn their money, have their employees come back to work and get their businesses up and running again. That is what Canadians are looking for in this budget, but what is sorely missing is the lack of a plan to create jobs for Canadians.
    Another thing we talked about in this budget is the ability to secure the future for the next generation. We are really looking forward to having this conversation, because I believe the government is really fired up to get ready for a campaign this fall, so we are looking forward to contrasting its lack of vision with our five-point plan to secure the future for Canadians and recover those million jobs that were lost. The member for Carleton brings that up often in question period. By the end of this month, in the government's detailed department plan, it is supposed to recover all jobs lost due to the pandemic. However, the members on that side do not want to answer if they will fulfill that promise they made to recover the million jobs lost due to COVID‑19. That is the question that Canadians want answered. It is in the detailed department plan of the Minister of Finance, so why can the Liberals not tell us if they are going to reach that goal? It is a simple question that requires a simple answer: yes or no. However, again today no one on that side wanted to answer that question in question period.
    I have often stood in this House and talked about the independent travel agents who have really been forgotten by the government. I tabled a petition on behalf of travel agents across Regina—Lewvan who are asking why, if the government has enough money for big bailouts for Air Canada, which can give $10 million to its executives, there is no money being paid to the independent travel agents who have been without income and unable to collect revenues for almost a year. The government is failing average, everyday Canadians. They have been left behind by the government's plan and budget.
    Another thing we looked for in the budget was support for pipelines. I do not think they are mentioned in this budget at all, not with respect to the oil and gas sector, so I have brought that up several times. They really need some support. We need to fight to make sure that Line 5 does not get shut down. The government gave up on Keystone XL, because we know the members on that side of the House do not like the energy sector. The Prime Minister himself said he wants to phase out the oil sector across western Canada. Ironically, that might be the only promise he ends up keeping for western Canadians, to continue to phase out the oil sector where the hard-working men and women in my riding and across western Canada go to work every day.
    I am happy to put on the record that the people of Regina—Lewvan did not vote for a Liberal government and that is why I will not be supporting this budget.



    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. We do not often agree, but it is a pleasure to work with him, especially in committee.
    I really like the part of the Conservatives' discourse on effective spending and the need to target the right people. My colleague spoke of big companies that sought out financial aid, while small businesses, especially travel agencies, did not receive adequate support.
    I would like to know my colleague's opinion on the Canada emergency wage subsidy. What does he think about the fact that political parties benefited from this support, while the small businesses it was originally intended for could not benefit from it? What does he think of the amounts his party received from the wage subsidy, and does he think that money should be paid back?


    Madam Speaker, the member is correct. I do enjoy working with him on the agriculture committee, and that is why I was very proud of our leader when he said that we would stop receiving the wage subsidy immediately when he became leader and that we would pay it back slowly.
    That is what Conservatives believe in. We put our money where our mouth is. I am not sure if the Liberal Party is going to buck up and pay the money back that they got from the wage subsidy, but Conservatives believe that money should be paid back. That is why I was proud to support the member for Durham when he made that announcement during his leadership race.
    Madam Speaker, the member in his intervention spoke quite a bit about debt and deficit, and this country's position with respect to that. If he is so incredibly passionate about ensuring the deficit is eliminated, can he explain to this House why his own party, in its platform, says that it is only committing to balancing the budget within 10 years? The Conservatives are saying it will take 10 years to balance it.
    Why is that? If he is so committed to it—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, obviously, they do not like me saying that, because I am getting a lot of heckles coming across the way, so maybe it is why the member should address this head-on. Why would it take 10 years, if he is so concerned about it?
    Madam Speaker, I can tell this member is a little sheepish right now because he did not realize that, during the debate on Bill S-204, the Liberals were filibustering their own budget bill. If they actually had knowledge of the parliamentary process, they would have realized that passing that bill unanimously would have let us vote on their budget bill this afternoon, but they are so incompetent, they did not realize they were filibustering their own budget bill.
    It is really unbelievable.


    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend and colleague for the shout-out and comment on how troubling the debt level is that exists for new Canadians. I am very happy to have celebrated the birth of my third son, Winston, so I appreciate that context for what we are debating here today.
    However, I want to ask specifically about how troubling the rhetoric coming from the Liberal side is. We saw an example of that here just a moment ago. Somehow, Liberals are blaming Conservatives for their own unbelievable mismanagement of COVID, the economy and the legislative agenda. I wonder if the member for Regina—Lewvan has further comments on that.
    Madam Speaker, that is a very tough but fair comment.
    I really think that everyone in this chamber is honourable, but the government may be angling for a fall election. They are going to try to say that we are uncooperative and that they cannot get their budget passed, which is their own fault because we could have voted on it this afternoon if they were really good at handling their legislative agenda. Sometimes we should not attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.


    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent speech.
    It is now my turn to rise to speak to Bill C-30, the budget implementation act, 2021. This budget looks nothing like any other budget in Canadian history. Before I comment on Bill C‑30, I want to talk about an unacceptable situation in my riding that the government is responsible for.
    For years, the federal and provincial governments benefited greatly from the asbestos mines in the Appalaches RCM. Then the Liberal government shut down mining operations in the area. We can live with that. It was bound to happen. We can live with the mine tailings left by more than 100 years of mining operations. We can live with that, because we have turned things around. We have diversified our economy. I am very proud of my constituents' entrepreneurial spirit. They have transformed our mining town into a burgeoning town filled with robust small businesses. We can live with the fact that asbestos is still all around us. Asbestos is a natural fibre found in the ground, and closing the mines did not change the local geology. The asbestos was there long before us, and it will be there long after we are gone.
    What I refuse to accept is Environment Canada's latest fearmongering campaign. Environment Canada put an ad in our local paper that says, “If you are using mining residues containing asbestos in your landscaping you could be putting yourself, your family and your neighbours at risk.” The hook reads, “DID YOU KNOW THAT breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases?”
    The answer to that question is yes. Used improperly, as was the case for years, asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases. It is ridiculous to tell people to be careful, because the fact is, their environment is dangerous. The government cannot just tell our people that their lives are in danger and then proceed to do nothing.
    In 2018, I asked the Prime Minister to help our people rehabilitate mine lands and fix 100 years' worth of mining mistakes. The only answer I got was that my request had been forwarded to the Minister of Natural Resources. I have heard nothing more since, nothing at all. Then this inappropriate, inexcusable and unacceptable ad was printed in the local paper.
    The people of our RCM are being asked to assume the full costs of the environmental clean-up needed after 100 years of asbestos mining, and to do so quickly. They are being told that if this is not done, their lives will be at risk.
    What is in the budget to help the people in my region? What is in the budget to help maintain economic diversification in my region? What is in the budget to protect people in regions that produce asbestos? There is nothing, other than an advertising budget, which Environment Canada is using to scare people without providing any real solutions.
    It may not look all that exciting, but this is a small town in Quebec that is doing its best to emerge from the asbestos producing era and has diversified its economy. Its people are proud to live there.
    The government is not offering any solutions. Time is running out. I wrote to the Prime Minister, to the Minister of Environment and to several offices last week. I did not even receive an acknowledgement of receipt.
    Governments are responsible for those 100 years of asbestos mining in my region. I expect the Liberal government to take responsibility and provide the means to ensure the safety and prosperity of our people.
    Thetford Mines is like a town in a mine, it is like an oasis in the desert. The government cannot turn a blind eye to this reality and it must immediately end the fear campaign initiated by Environment Canada. It must grant my request to create a rehabilitation fund, and it must assume and accept its responsibilities for the 100 years of asbestos mining in Thetford Mines, in Asbestos and in every mining town in the country where there was asbestos.
    Unfortunately for us, it seems that the government is completely disconnected from reality, the reality of regions like mine and the reality of the majority of Canadians.


    This budget is historic, but for all the wrong reasons.
    This week, we saw one of the negative effects of the Liberals' budget. The inflation rate hit 3.6%, the highest level in a decade.
    Statistics Canada reported that costs are rising in all areas: housing, vehicles, food, energy, consumer goods and others. Housing costs increased by 4.2% by May, the fastest increase since 2008. The cost of gas increased 43%, the cost of vehicles rose by 5%. Prices rose by 3.2% in just a few months. Everything is going up, including furniture and accommodation costs. However, Canadians do not have more money.
    The leader of the official opposition, the member for Durham, summed up the situation quite well in a speech earlier this week, and I quote:
     Today's inflation numbers show the damage [the Prime Minister's] risky deficits and trillion-dollar debt are causing Canadians.
    From housing to post-secondary education, transportation, and groceries, [the Prime Minister] has made life more expensive for average Canadians who are exhausted and want life to return to normal.
    It is clear that this government's spending habits will only make life more difficult and more expensive for Canadians.
    What does that debt look like? All told, the Liberals increased Canada's spending from $363 billion before the pandemic to about $500 billion for this year alone, and the deficit from $155 billion to a staggering $354 billion. After all of this government's spending promises, our national debt is going to hit the $1.5-trillion mark, a number that we are going to be hearing more and more in the House, a number that we never used before but that will now become a regular part of our vocabulary.
    Canadians, my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be paying off this debt for generations. The risk of a rise in inflation is currently weighing heavily on people's shoulders because interest rates are going to go up. That means that this budget will be a real problem for all generations of Canadians.
    Before I wrap things up, I want to stress that there are two absolutely unacceptable things in this budget.
    The first is the government's decision to divide seniors into two categories: younger seniors aged 65 to 74 and older seniors 75 and up. There is absolutely nothing in this budget for younger seniors. In contrast, older seniors, those who will be 75 before July of next year, will be getting a $500 cheque a few weeks before a possible election call this fall.
    The government has a lot of nerve if it thinks it is okay to give money to one group of seniors and completely ignore other seniors who, because of inflation, will have to pay higher prices for gas, food and all the other things I mentioned before. The government projects this image of being such a hero for seniors, yet it thinks this is okay. What a crock.
    The second item I wanted to highlight is increasing EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks. The House wanted these payments to go up to at least 50 weeks. For its part, our party is asking for 52 weeks. However, the government is not listening and will only increase the payment period to 26 weeks, and only as of next year.
    What will happen to all the cancer cases diagnosed between now and then? What will happen to all the people who become sick before the date the change comes into effect and who will not be able to receive benefits because the government decided that the change should only come into effect next year?
    It makes no sense. The government is completely out of touch. I am asking that it put both feet back on the ground. Therefore, it will come as no surprise that I should vote against such a budget, which divides and which will put generations upon generations of Canadians into debt, while doing absolutely nothing to protect our future or create jobs.



    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague, who I have great respect for, for his speech today. One of the things that has not come up with Bill C-30 is the fact that it is an omnibus bill and it makes consequential changes to other acts including the Judges Act, the Elections Act and many other changes as well. This is coming from a government that ran in 2015, on the premise and the promise to Canadians that the Liberals were not going to impose omnibus bills.
    Could the member comment on that and the other pattern of deceit on the part of the government?


    Madam Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. This is not the first time that the government has deceived us. Saying something and not following through seems to be the Liberals' governing style now.
    I was first elected in 2015, and I have a vivid memory of the Prime Minister telling us that interest rates were low and that they were going to run teeny-tiny deficits. The $10 billion was supposed to decrease until the budget was balanced.
    It did not take long to go from teeny-tiny deficits in one budget to massive ones in the next, and this was even before the pandemic. The deficits are even bigger now, as our national debt is going to hit $1.5 trillion.
    No, I do not believe a single word this government has to say about projections and budgets.


    The member always speaks very well. I have to correct the last intervention though. The budget implementation act is an exception. It is always an omnibus bill because it always deals with a whole bunch of departments.
    It was interesting how parts of the member's speech asked for all sorts of expenditures and then the other half complained about all the expenditures. I wonder if he could tell us what significant amounts of money to reduce the debt he is talking about and the expenditures he is complaining about.
    The second item I would like to ask him is about the recovery benefit, the wage benefit and the rent subsidy all running out in 12 days. A lot of businesses in Quebec are going to be hurt. Will he vote for the budget to support them?



    Madam Speaker, we have asked this government repeatedly to take action for small businesses in the tourism industry and others that have been completely overlooked. It has not done so. This government is now claiming that we are opposing measures that should have been implemented a long time ago.
    The Liberals are in charge of their own legislative calendar, yet almost two years after the election, here we are at the eleventh hour, being asked to pass this government's first budget since the election. It is totally unacceptable. The Liberals are incapable of managing finances, and they are incapable of managing the House.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable. Both of our ridings cover part of the Eastern