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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 266

CONTENTS

Tuesday, December 12, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 266
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) and consistent with the policy on the tabling of treaties in Parliament, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Convention relating to the distribution of programme-carrying signals transmitted by satellite”, done at Brussels on May 21, 1974.

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 31 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

[Translation]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association regarding its participation in the 49th annual meeting in Île-de-France and Normandy, France, from April 1 to 8, 2023.
    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, four reports from the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie or APF.
    The first report deals with its participation in the meetings of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee and the Network of Women Parliamentarians of the APF, held in Rabat from March 1 to 3, 2023. The second report covers its participation in the 29th assembly of the Africa Region of the APF, held in Niamey, Republic of Niger, from May 16 to 18, 2023. The third report is on its participation in the mission to the United Nations in New York on June 9, 2023. The last report is on its participation in the IX Jeux de La Francophonie, held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, from August 3 to 7, 2023.

[English]

Committees of the House

Public Safety and National Security 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the tenth report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to Bill C-320, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

Science and Research  

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(i), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Science and Research, entitled “Government of Canada’s Graduate Scholarship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programs”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

  (1005)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party disagrees with the recommendations in this report. We do not support unfunded spending. We agree that graduate students and post-doctorate fellows play an important role within our universities and they are disproportionately affected by the carbon tax, runaway inflation, the doubling of rent and the doubling of mortgages. We all know that if the government brings forward new, unfunded spending, it is just future deficits for future generations to pay back, so we disagree with the recommendations found in this report.

Public Accounts  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 35th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, entitled “Specific COVID-19 Benefits”.
     There are also three dissenting reports to this committee report. We will hear from the official opposition on one of those in a moment.

[Translation]

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

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present the Conservative Party's dissenting report.
    It cost $32 billion for political interference by this government when it ignored CRA recommendations on prepayment controls for the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the CERB and instead based the $100-billion-plus program on the flimsiest prepayment controls.
    The head of the CRA testified in committee that the Liberal cabinet overrode recommendations by the CRA on setting up more stringent prepayment controls and instead forced the department to dole out taxpayers' dollars based on a mere self-attestation despite, as the Auditor General stated, knowing full well this would lead to very large eligibility problems. Despite the Auditor General's Office stating that $32 billion in questionable payments was hugely understated, the Government of Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, and the CRA still questioned the feasibility and economics of pursuing ineligible claims. Thus, in order to correct this gross negligence from the Liberal government, the Conservative Party members submit four recommendations.
    Recommendation one is that former minister of national revenue and current Minister of Fisheries and Oceans apologize to the Auditor General of Canada for her politically motivated attacks on the Auditor General's integrity.
    Recommendation two is that the CRA immediately implement the Auditor General of Canada's methodology that calculated levels of ineligibility for the COVID benefit wage subsidy.
    Recommendation three is that the CRA and Employment and Social Development Canada accept the findings of the Auditor General in their entirety and perform immediate and extensive post-payment verifications to identify payments made to ineligible recipients.
    Recommendation four is that the CRA and Employment and Social Development Canada end their post-payment verification delays and work immediately to retrieve all ineligible COVID financial aid.

Canadian Heritage  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee of Canadian Heritage entitled “Job Cuts Announced at CBC/Radio-Canada”.

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 54th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

[English]

    Pursuant to its mandate under Standing Order 111.1, the committee has examined the proposed appointment of Mr. Eric Janse to the position of Clerk of the House of Commons. The committee recommends that the House ratify the appointment of Mr. Eric Janse to the position of Clerk of the House of Commons, and I would like to send my congratulations.

  (1010)  

Petitions

Northern Residents Tax Deduction   

    Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.
    After eight years, this Prime Minister has made life unaffordable for Canadians with his carbon tax. Mackenzie residents are simply asking for some relief from this Liberal Prime Minister in this petition.
    We, the undersigned residents of Mackenzie, B.C., call upon the House of Commons to reconsider the northern living allowance classification for Mackenzie and change from its current prescribed immediate zone of 50% deduction to full prescribed northern zone of 100% deduction.

Firearms  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is from residents of Skeena—Bulkley Valley. Sadly, their own MP would not present this petition on behalf of residents of Smithers—
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member is experienced and he knows that is a clear violation of what petitions are supposed to be.
    The hon. member's point is well taken. Please do not refer to other members. As the hon. member knows, it is not admissible.
    The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    Madam Speaker, I think the point being made is that they have tried to get their local member of Parliament to do this and they will not do it—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I have already told the hon. member that is not permissible and the hon. member should not refer to the person, and should apologize for making that reference.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. Please forgive the Conservatives. They are about to make a very important decision on a vote. That is why they are on edge. You have asked him to apologize. He has not apologized and his own members are telling him—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Madam Speaker, I guess if it is in the rules of the House of Commons then I will apologize, but I certainly will not apologize for speaking on behalf of residents of Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    I will speak to the petition but they are trying to interrupt—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    All the hon. member has to do is to speak to the petition and not refer to anything else.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am asking for the member, through you, to retract those comments. It is not following the rules—
    An hon. member: He already did.
    Ms. Jenny Kwan: No, he did not.
    Madam Speaker, he apologized but I am asking for him to retract those comments.
    We will allow the member to go straight to the petition. If not, we will move to someone else.
    The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    Madam Speaker, I will get to the petition finally.
     We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following: Whereas the Trudeau government has attempted to ban and seize the—
    An hon. member: You cannot say the Prime Minister's name.
    The hon. member knows that, even if the petition says it, he cannot mention names of current members of the House.
    Mr. Speaker, one more time. The Prime Minister—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Bob Zimmer: Can I actually get this done? The truth hurts, I guess.
    The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies has the floor and I will allow him to present the petition without mention of names.
    Madam Speaker, we, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following petition—

  (1015)  

    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the member should also know he is not allowed to read the petition. He is supposed to give the essence of the petition.
    Madam Speaker, I am sure if everyone would just calm down, my colleague from Prince George would get to the intent of the petition.
    That is exactly what I just said, that the hon. member will get to the essence.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the government is challenging your ruling. You have asked the member to read the petition. He is reading the petition—
    I asked for the essence of the petition, as is the rule for everyone.
    The hon. member for Prince George, please.
    Madam Speaker, we, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following: Whereas the Prime Minister's government has attempted to ban—
    Read the essence of the petition, as is the rule. Members cannot read all the articles because they will read the whole petition.
    Madam Speaker, I guess the truth hurt over there. The Liberals do not like us reading a pro law-abiding firearms petition into the record in the House of Commons.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Bob Zimmer: Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister's government has attempted to ban and seize hunting rifles and shotguns of millions of Canadians. The targeting of farmers and hunters does not fight crime.
    The Prime Minister's government has failed those who participate in the Canadian traditions of sport shooting. Therefore, the undersigned petitioners call on the Government of Canada to stop any and all current and future bans on hunting and sport shooting firearms.

Military Chaplaincy  

    Madam Speaker, I have a few petitions to present today.
    The first petition is on public prayer in the Canadian Armed Forces. The recent directive that was issued to military chaplains banning religious symbols and prayer at public ceremonies, such as that of Remembrance Day, undermines our religious freedom. Ironically, this is one of the very values that our men and women in uniform have fought to defend.
    The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to affirm the right to public prayer in our Canadian Armed Forces.

Freedom of Political Expression  

    Madam Speaker, my next petition is with regard to Canadians having the right to be protected against discrimination. Canadians can and do face political discrimination, but it is a fundamental Canadian right to be politically active and vocal.
    It is in the best interest of Canadian democracy to protect public debate and the exchange of differing ideas. Bill C-257 seeks to add protection against political discrimination to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Employment Insurance  

    Madam Speaker, in my final petition, the undersigned understand that adoptive and intended parents are at a disadvantage when it comes to leave and time with their children. All parents deserve equal access to parental leave benefits, and Bill C-318 would deliver this equitable access.
    The Speaker has said this bill needs a royal recommendation, and the undersigned are asking that the government provide that royal recommendation to Bill C-318.

Climate Change  

    Madam Speaker, I will be presenting two petitions today.
    The first petition is from members of my constituency who are very concerned about the climate emergency. They are asking the government to reduce emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels, to make sure the fossil fuel industry and related infrastructure wind down, to end fossil fuel subsidies, to transition to a decarbonized economy and to focus on protecting and strengthening human rights, workers' rights and indigenous rights, sovereignty and knowledge.
    There are many signatures, and I appreciate the petitioners' hard work. They want to make sure this transition happens by increasing the taxes on the wealthiest corporations and people to finance it.

Expanded Polystyrene  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition is with respect to a big issue in the riding I represent of North Island—Powell River regarding foam in marine infrastructure that continues to pollute Canadian beaches. The petitioners talk about expanded polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, in the marine environment and the harm it causes for marine life, seafood resources and ecosystems.
    These citizens are calling on the Government of Canada to prohibit the use of expanded polystyrene in the marine environment.

  (1020)  

Food Security  

    Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today, both on the same subject. One is signed by members of the North Addington Education Centre in Kingston, and the other is signed by the St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School community.
    These petitioners are calling on the federal government to implement a national school food program through budget 2024 for implementation in the fall of 2024. They bring to the government's attention Statistics Canada data from 2022 indicating that one in four children in Canada lives in a food-insecure household. They also draw to the government's attention that Canada is the only G7 country without a school food program.
    Finally, they draw to the government's attention that there are 388 million children throughout the world in developed countries who benefit from such a food program, yet we do not have one in Canada.

Religious Freedom  

    Madam Speaker, indulge me for a moment:
    

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King...

    In places of worship across this country, Canadians come together to sing Joy to the World and other Christmas carols during Advent and the Christmas season. Unfortunately, the Canadian Human Rights Commission recently stated that this holiday is discriminatory, colonialist and intolerant to Canadian society.
    My constituents reject that notion and call upon the Government of Canada to denounce the recent report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which discriminates against Christianity and freedom of religion for all Canadians.

Health Care Workers  

    Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today on behalf of my constituents.
     The first one draws attention to the fact that only 41% of doctors with international credentials work as doctors in Canada, and 30% of nurses with international credentials work as nurses in Canada. That is about 53,000 foreign or internationally trained professionals, and many of them have great difficulty. We just had a case of that here in the Ottawa region, where an Ottawa doctor did not get her PR status.
    My constituents are calling for the Minister of Employment to create a blue seal program with a 60-day standard for licensing doctors and nurses. This will make processes more streamlined and help fill Canada's shortages of health care professionals.

Energy Sector  

    Madam Speaker, my second petition draws the attention of the House to the following: The value of the energy sector is about 10% of Canada's GDP. It pays over $26 billion in taxes at all levels of government, and it paid about $48 billion in royalties and taxes in 2022.
    Constituents are calling for Bill C-50, the “unjust transition act”, to be abandoned. They say that a central planning agenda is not fair, just or right. Instead, they would like the acceleration of Canadian energy projects and infrastructure, technology and exports and green-lighting of green energy projects.

Freedom of Political Expression  

    Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present to the House today.
    The first is from some great people from Skeena—Bulkley Valley. I want to thank them for signing this petition in support of Bill C-257. It is a private member's bill put forward by me in the House to combat political discrimination.
    Petitioners note that it should be a protected right in Canada to be free from discrimination on the basis of political views, yet there is no such protection in the Canadian Human Rights Act. They support this bill, which would add political belief and activity to the Canadian Human Rights Act as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Human Rights in Eritrea  

    Madam Speaker, next I am pleased to table a fairly lengthy petition about human rights in Eritrea, which was organized and signed by members of the Eritrean Canadian community. They are deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Eritrea and about attempts at foreign interference by Eritrea here in Canada.
    To briefly go through the points, they note how Eritrea has been ruled by a brutal authoritarian dictator for the last 30 years, with no constitution, no elections, no parliament, no freedom of the press and no freedom of movement and association. Eritrea has been called the “North Korea of Africa”. They note how Eritreans continue to flee indefinite military conscription and religious persecution, how hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have fled the country, how those who have managed to flee still face intimidation and extortion from representatives and agents of the Eritrean regime abroad and how their families in Eritrea are harassed and forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars simply because their children have fled.
    Petitioners note that the Eritrean embassy and other representatives of the diaspora have been utilized to surveil and monitor those in the diaspora. Various concerns are raised throughout this petition about violence that is organized outside Eritrea by the Eritrean regime. Petitioners also note the alignment of Eritrea's dictator with Vladimir Putin and the collaboration with Russia's aggressive agenda around the world.
    Therefore, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to engage Eritrean political and human rights activists and pro-democracy groups to take a leadership role among western allies to challenge the Eritrean dictators' malicious conspiracy with Vladimir Putin; to do more to combat foreign interference in Canada by Eritrea, including rejecting the entry visas of those who are affiliated with the regime; to enforce Canada's asylum laws properly against those who provide—

  (1025)  

    May I remind the hon. member that we really just want a short summary of each petition and not the whole reading out of it. I know it is a lengthy one, but it does go into many details.
    Madam Speaker, I want to commend the petitioners, who have worked very hard to put many different items in this petition. I am summarizing it, but there is a great deal raised.
    Petitioners want the proper enforcement of Canada's asylum laws and strengthened sanctions for human rights abusers. They also want Canada to call for the release of imprisoned journalists, including Swedish Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, and 11 imprisoned parliamentarians. Petros Solomon, Mahmoud Ahmed Sheriffo, Haile Woldetensae and Ogbe Abraha are political prisoners—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the member, who has probably tabled more petitions than any other member inside the chamber, is very much aware of the rule that the member is supposed to capture the essence of the petition and not read—
    I would like the hon. member to proceed, so other members can present petitions.
    Madam Speaker, I hope, partisanship aside, that I can just briefly read the names of these political prisoners, because putting their names on the record is important to them and their families. I read some of their names already. The other imprisoned Eritrean parliamentarians are Hamid Himid, Saleh Idras Kekya, Estifanos Seyoum, Berhane Ghebrezgabiher, Aster Fesehazion, Germano Nati and Beraki Gebreselassie.
    Petitioners want to see advocacy for their release.

Employment Insurance  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition that I am presenting is in support of Bill C-318, for my colleague. Petitioners want to see the government support this bill and provide a royal recommendation to allow all parents to have equal access to parental leave benefits, including adoptive families.

Women's Shelters  

    Madam Speaker, the next petition that I am presenting highlights the decision, according to petitioners, by the Liberal government to cut funding from women's shelters. They say that, sadly, women's shelters are seeing increased demand. They note the high cost of living and the challenges of those facing domestic violence and other areas of wasteful spending on bureaucracy and consultants, money that could be better spent on helping the most vulnerable.
    Therefore, they call on the government to restore funding to women's shelters.

Children and Families  

    Madam Speaker, next, I am presenting a petition that is in support of Premier Blaine Higgs in New Brunswick and his policy to protect the rights of parents. The petitioners want to see the federal government butt out and not try to insert itself into decisions that should properly be made by provinces and parents.

Falun Gong  

    Madam Speaker, the final petition I am presenting today highlights the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Petitioners discuss the history of the petition and various human rights abuses that have taken place as part of that. They call on the Canadian Parliament and the government to take action to raise the issues of the persecution of Falun Gong more frequently and more forcefully in international fora.
    I commend these petitions to the consideration of colleagues.

  (1030)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 1861, 1863, 1864, 1867 to 1869, 1879, 1884, 1886, 1891, 1892, 1896, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1909, 1915, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1933, 1936 to 1938 and 1942.

[Text]

Question No. 1861—
Mr. Michael Kram:
    With regard to the 2 Billion Trees Program mentioned in the Minister of Energy and Natural Resource’s announcement of August 2, 2023: how many of the trees were planted under (i) the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund, (ii) the Low Carbon Economy Fund, (iii) neither the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund or the Low Carbon Economy Fund?
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, in 2021-22 and 2022-23, over 110 million trees have been planted towards the federal government’s commitment to plant two billion incremental trees over 10 years.
    With regard to (i), no trees planted under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund have been counted towards this total.
    With regard to (ii), 54 million trees planted by provinces and territories via Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund in 2021-22 and in 2022-23. The 2 Billion Trees program was designed to ensure that existing climate change programs that support tree planting are counted towards the Government’s commitment to plant two billion trees, which includes the Low Carbon Economy Fund.
    With regard to (iii), over 56 million trees planted via Natural Resources Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program. No other trees planted under other government programs have been counted toward this total to date. In order to be included, trees planted must be incremental to business as usual, and must be reported by proponents with sufficient detail to support verification.
Question No. 1863—
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): (a) what are the specific job performance benchmarks or criteria for an employee of the CMHC to receive a bonus or salary increase; (b) how does the number of new housing units constructed, or the creation of new housing starts, in Canada affect whether an employee of the CMHC receives a bonus or salary increase; (c) how does the performance of a CMHC program affect whether an employee of the CMHC receives a bonus or salary increase; and (d) how does the progress of meeting CMHC’s planned results, as laid out in the CMHC 2023-2027 Corporate Plan, affect whether an employee of the CMHC receives a bonus or salary increase?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, or CMHC, with regard to (a), employees set SMART, namely specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, objectives tied to the responsibilities of their individual positions. Each year managers assess the performance of the employee and assign a performance rating on a 5-point scale, namely does not meet expectations, meets most expectations, meets all expectations, exceeds most expectations, exceeds all expectations. Employees who meet or exceed their objectives are eligible for an annual individual incentive payment and salary increase.
    With regard to (b) to (d), the Guidelines of the Performance Management Program for Chief Executive Officers of Crown Corporations, which can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/programs/appointments/governor-council-appointments/performance-management/crown-appointees.html, from the Privy Council Office, Senior Personnel Secretariat outlines the process for determining whether and at what level a performance-based compensation is payable.
Question No. 1864—
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
    With regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Housing Strategy: (a) how many new homes have been completed with the assistance of any type of funding from the National Housing Strategy, since 2017, in total and broken down by province or territory; (b) how many new homes does the CMHC expect will have been completed in 2023 with the assistance of any type of funding from the National Housing Strategy; (c) what is the breakdown of (a) and (b) by program or initiative; and (d) will the National Housing Strategy help to construct enough homes by 2030 to meet the CMHC’s projection that Canada needs 5.8 million new homes to restore affordability?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, or CMHC, and the National Housing Strategy, and with regard to (a), (b) and (c), please refer to the information available on the National Housing Strategy results website, which can be found at https://www.placetocallhome.ca. More precisely, the detailed breakdown requested can found by downloading the file made available on the Housing Funding Initiative Map section of the website, which can be found at https://www.placetocallhome.ca/housing-funding-initiatives-map.
    With regards to the Housing Accelerator Fund, as of October 27, 2023, the committed permits to be facilitated for this program is 14,509 units. HAF is still undergoing the assessment of applications, hence, any further information cannot be provided.
    With regard to (d), to restore affordability, CMHC estimates that Canada will need 3.5 million more units on top of what is already projected to be built based on current rates of new construction.
    The National Housing Strategy is contributing to increasing housing supply across Canada and aims to create 160,000 new units but the federal government cannot achieve affordability for everyone in Canada on its own. The government needs partners, all orders of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and others who share our goal of creating a new generation of housing in Canada. Collaboration, partnership and innovation will be critical in addressing this supply shortfall.
Question No. 1867—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to heavy body armour acquisition and usage by the RCMP, since 2016: (a) how many sets of heavy body armour have been purchased for the RCMP, broken down by year; (b) what is the yearly breakdown of the total costs associated with the purchases in (a); (c) how many requests for proposals (RFP) have been issued for heavy body armour; (d) what are the details of each RFP, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) how many sets of heavy body armour were desired, (iii) the RFP number; (e) how many and what percentage of RCMP vehicles have two sets of heavy body armour; (f) how many sets are currently in inventory or storage, but have not yet been issued to RCMP officers; (g) of the sets currently in use by the RCMP, how many are expired; and (h) what is the total number of sets currently owned by the RCMP, and, of those, how many are in use?
Ms. Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs (Cybersecurity), Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) to (d), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the amount of information that would fall within the scope of the question and the amount of time that would be required to prepare a comprehensive response. The level of detail of the information requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. The RCMP concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question would require a manual collection of information that is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
    With regard to (e), on December 7, 2020, OM - ch. 99.2., Active Threat Training and Equipment, was updated to ensure that as many operational frontline members as possible are personally assigned unit-issued hard body armour, or HBA. This national operational standard ensures that the members at greatest risk receive the equipment and training they need to perform their duties as safely as possible.
    The current benchmark for HBA is that “all operational frontline members are to be personally assigned unit-issued HBA by March 31, 2022.”
    With regard to (f), as of October 26, 2023, 1,619 sets of HBA have been ordered, but have not yet been delivered to the RCMP National Warehouse. As soon as the HBA sets are received by the RCMP Uniform and Equipment Program, or U&E, there is a two-week preparation and quality assurance process that takes place before they can be shipped out to the Divisions.
    With regard to (g) to (h), as of October 26, 2023, according to procurement records, there have been 18,595 sets of HBA procured by the RCMP. Since this number is based on procurement records, it does not take into account HBA sets that have been disposed of, lost, or destroyed. Of the sets that were deployed, 3,994 have expired. Based on Divisional annual HBA attestations, there are 12,607 HBA sets in use in the Divisions.
Question No. 1868—
Mr. Blake Richards:
    With regard to the morale of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the statement in a July 23, 2023, briefing note from Canadian Forces Chaplain General, BGen Guy Bélisle, that “CAF leaders and members feeling more undervalued and underappreciated than at any point in recent memory”: (a) what is the government’s assessment of why CAF leaders and members feel undervalued and underappreciated; (b) what new measures, if any, will the government implement to improve CAF morale; and (c) when was the last time that the CAF conducted a thorough analysis of the state of morale, and what were the findings of that analysis?
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the well-being of Canadian Armed Forces, or CAF, personnel is of the highest priority to the CAF and National Defence, and the retention of trained and experienced personnel is fundamental to the professionalism and operational effectiveness of the organization. The Defence Team wants every Canadian to see service to Canada within the CAF as a first-rate career choice, which is why efforts are underway to strengthen how the organization recruits, retains, and takes care of its people.
    With regard to (a) and (c), National Defence and the CAF recognize that military service places unique demands on CAF members and their families, including unique cost-of-living challenges due to operational tempo and job requirements. The CAF is also experiencing a shortfall in personnel, and the Defence Team is undertaking significant reconstitution efforts to make the organization stronger and more effective.
    Your Say Matters: Defence Team Well-Being Survey, or YSM, is a survey aimed to obtain Defence Team members’ attitudes, perceptions, and experiences on a broad range of work and organizational factors related to well-being, organizational culture, and retention.
    The 2022 YSM was administered, at random and in anonymous format, to members of the Defence Team, including CAF members, Regular and Primary Reserve, and National Defence civilian personnel, between March and May 2022, with approximately 8,000 CAF respondents. The results showed overall that the responding CAF members have moderate levels of morale, with more than a third of the respondents reporting low morale.
    With regard to (b), National Defence is committed to improving the morale and welfare of the CAF and have implemented a number of initiatives in support of this effort. This includes delivering a 12.03% cost of living increase for CAF members and covering rations and quarters for members who have not yet completed all qualifications required for their first employment in their military occupation.
    The CAF is further advancing meaningful culture evolution efforts to help build a more inclusive environment. Since its creation in 2021, Chief Professional Conduct and Culture conducted engagement with over 16,000 Defence Team members and external stakeholders to listen and learn from their lived experience, which informs the way forward to improving the culture within the Defence Team.
    Ensuring that our soldiers, sailors, and aviators are equipped with modern and effective equipment also remains a priority for National Defence. This includes continued investments through Strong, Secure Engaged. For example, since 2017, the Government of Canada has developed a clear plan of action to modernize continental defence, including an investment of $38.6 billion over 20 years in NORAD modernization, and delivered critical new equipment to the CAF. This includes the purchase of F-35 advanced fighter aircraft, Canadian Surface Combatant ships, Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles and the Medium Support Vehicle System.
    Finally, further initiatives will be launched in 2024 as efforts continue to create a healthier work environment for all to thrive and achieve increased operational readiness and effectiveness.
Question No. 1869—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC) July 2023 Guideline on Existing Consumer Mortgage Loans in Exceptional Circumstances (Guideline): (a) how many financial institutions who provide mortgage lending in Canada were consulted by the FCAC on this Guideline; (b) did any of the financial institutions consulted raise concerns with the FCAC regarding the Guideline, prior to the implementation, and, if so, what are the details, including what concerns were raised and by which financial institutions; (c) if no financial institutions were consulted before the FCAC implemented the Guideline, why were they not consulted; (d) have any financial institutions raised concerns with the FCAC since the Guideline was introduced, and, if so, what are the details, including what concerns were raised and by which financial institutions; and (e) is the Guideline temporary or will the FCAC leave it in place indefinitely?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, or FCAC, protects Canadians by supervising the compliance of federally regulated financial entities, such as banks, with their legislative obligations, codes of conduct and public commitments, and by strengthening Canadians’ financial literacy.
    In response to the current economic environment, FCAC developed the Guideline on Existing Consumer Mortgage Loans in Exceptional Circumstances, which can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/industry/commissioner-guidance/mortgage-loans-exceptional-circumstances.html. The Guideline sets out how FCAC expects federally regulated financial institutions to provide tailored support to consumers with mortgages on their principal residence who are experiencing severe financial difficulty.
    Guidelines establish practices that FCAC expects regulated entities to incorporate within their business operations. They are intended to assist regulated entities in complying with market conduct obligations stemming from legislation, regulations, codes of conduct and public commitments.
    With regard to (a), consultations are part of FCAC’s standard practice in developing guidelines. FCAC launched public consultations on the proposed Guideline on March 21, 2023, and received comments until the close of the consultation period on May 5, 2023.
    FCAC participated in 13 stakeholder engagements and received 36 written submissions from stakeholders, including members of the public, consumer advocacy groups, academics, financial institutions, and industry associations.
    Industry-specific consultations took place via engagements with the Canadian Bankers Association, or CBA, representing a wide range of Schedule I, Schedule II, and Schedule III banks, namely Member banks, which are listed at https://cba.ca/member-banks?l=en-us, the Canadian Credit Union Association, or CCUA, for Canada’s credit unions, and some caisses populaires.
    With regard to (b), four of the 36 written submissions received from stakeholders were submitted by financial institutions or their respective trade associations (the CBA and the CCUA). FCAC’s “What we heard: Public consultation on the Guideline on Existing Consumer Mortgage Loans in Exceptional Circumstances”, which can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/corporate/transparency/consultations/mortgage-loans/what-we-heard.html, provides an anonymized summary of all the comments received during the public consultations and indicates how FCAC addressed this input.
    With regard to (c), this part is not applicable given the response to (a).
    With regard to (d), since the Guideline’s implementation, financial institutions raised some of the following concerns with FCAC through regulatory supervisory touchpoints: consistency of guidelines and the consistent interpretation of those guidelines, timelines for the update of systems, how to define and identify consumer at risk, and more.
    With regard to (e), the guideline is a response to the current exceptional circumstances facing mortgage holders. FCAC will continue to monitor the economic environment and adjust its approach, as appropriate.
Question No. 1879—
Mr. Peter Julian:
    With regard to the Privy Council Office's Results and Delivery Unit: (a) what is the total amount of mandate letter commitments that are being tracked from the 2021 ministerial mandate letters, broken down by reporting lead (i.e. minister); and (b) as of October 2023, broken down by reporting lead (i.e. minister) and identification number, how many of the 2021 ministerial mandate letter commitments are identified (i) as completed by the government, (ii) to have seen actions taken by the government but not completed, (iii) as not being pursued by the government?
Mr. Terry Duguid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Special Advisor for Water, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the list of mandate letter commitments, as aligned with the December 2021 mandate letters, is publicly available at https://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/8f6b5490-8684-4a0d-91a3-97ba28acc9cd.
    Information regarding the progress of our government’s commitments is publicly available as part of the Public Accounts of Canada, at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/index-eng.html, the Government Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates, at https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/government-expenditure-plan-main-estimates.html, the Supplementary Estimates, at https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/planned-government-spending/supplementary-estimates.html, and the budgets, at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html and at https://www.canada.ca/en/news.html.
Question No. 1884—
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
    With regard to the Lytton Homeowner Resilient Rebuild Program: (a) how much money has been distributed through the program to date; (b) how many recipients have received funding through the program; (c) what was the average payment amount received; and (d) how many applications have been received to date?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada and President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), concerning the Lytton Homeowner Resilient Rebuild Program, Pacific Economic Development Canada, or PacifiCan, distributed $0 between May 31 and October 24, 2023. In order to receive the fire-resilient or fire-resilient and net zero homes grant, the homeowner is required to complete home construction and meet all stated program requirements. As of October 24, 2023, all three applicants were in process but had not yet achieved the requirements.
    With regard to (b), as of October 24, 2023, a total amount of $279,288 has been committed towards three recipients.
    With regard to (c), the average payment to participants is $0 as of October 24, 2023. The average is expected to be $93,096 once grants are distributed.
    With regard to (d), as of October 24, 2023, PacifiCan received three applications.
Question No. 1886—
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
    With regard to the government’s response to the explosion at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which occurred on October 17, 2023: (a) to whom were the Minister of Foreign Affairs' comments on October 17, 2023, that “Bombing a hospital is an unthinkable act, and there is no doubt that doing so is absolutely illegal”, which were posted on X (Twitter), addressed; (b) on what basis did the Minister of Foreign Affairs assess that the explosion at the Gaza hospital was illegal; (c) when did the Minister of National Defence notify the Minister of Foreign Affairs that the government’s statement, the “more likely scenario is that the strike was caused by an errant rocket fired from Gaza”, would be issued; and (d) did the Minister of Foreign Affairs change her position regarding the illegality of the explosion at the Al Ahli hospital following the statement in (c) from the Minister of National Defence, and, if not, why not?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
    The Government of Canada unequivocally condemns the brutal and horrific terrorist attacks against the people of Israel by Hamas, which took place October 7, 2023. Canada has been clear that Israel, like all states, has a right to defend itself, and that it has an obligation to do so in accordance with international law. Canada has called on all parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.
    The Government of Canada also recognizes the dire situation and human tragedy in Gaza and has been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Canada has called for Canadians, including foreign nationals, to be permitted to leave, for the release of all hostages, for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid, including life-saving access to medical services, food, fuel, and water, and for an end to the violence.
    The Government of Canada continues to work with allies and partners in the region towards a lasting peace. Canada stands firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace, security, and dignity, without fear, and supports a two-state solution where a peaceful, prosperous, and safe Palestinian state thrives alongside a peaceful, prosperous, and safe state of Israel.
    Global Affairs Canada regularly prepares situation reports and briefing products that cover a broad range of developments in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, as it does for other regions. Such reports are used alongside a variety of other sources, including open-source media reports and information from other government departments, in assessing the veracity of reporting on international incidents and determining an appropriate response.
    As indicated by the Department of National Defence, or DND, on October 21, 2023, analysis conducted independently by the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command indicates with a high degree of confidence that Israel did not strike the al-Ahli hospital on October 17, 2023. Based on open source and classified reporting, the DND and the Canadian Armed Forces have assessed that the strike was more likely caused by an errant rocket fired from Gaza. This assessment is informed by an analysis of the blast damage to the hospital complex, including adjacent buildings and the area surrounding the hospital, as well as the flight pattern of the incoming munition. Reporting from Canada’s allies corroborates the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ findings.
Question No. 1891—
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
    With regard to the Auditor General’s report entitled “Modernizing Information Technology Systems”: why does the government not retain historical data as cited in section 7.40 of the report?
Hon. Anita Anand (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, due to technical limitations with the Application Portfolio Management, or APM, system, it cannot record historical information about applications. The system was designed in 2013, and at the time it was only meant to record a point-in-time snapshot about applications, and not a historical time series. There is currently an active APM system redesign project and retaining historical data is one of the requirements for the new system, and although we cannot confirm that the vendor will be able to implement this requirement in the new software, appropriate solutions will be in place to alleviate the current limitations.
    The upcoming systems will be designed to integrate a robust array of cutting-edge features and data, enhancing our capabilities and providing deeper insights into our environment. Through these modern advancements, we will gain a more comprehensive understanding of the IT ecosystem, fostering improved adaptability and informed decision-making.
    As an interim solution and given the existing limitation, Excel extracts of the data have been made annually since 2018-19, and daily since January 2022 to allow for historical data analysis.
Question No. 1892—
Mr. Tim Uppal:
    With regard to the finding in the Auditor General’s report entitled “The Benefits Delivery Modernization Programme”, that “Employment and Social Development Canada, in 2017, encountered numerous obstacles and delays in its implementation of the programme and had to make difficult choices about the sequence of key steps”: (a) what were these obstacles and delays; and (b) what difficult choices were made?
Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizens’ Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General’s report on Benefits Delivery Modernization, or BDM, states that “Employment and Social Development Canada, since 2017, encountered numerous obstacles and delays in its implementation of the programme and had to make difficult choices about the sequence of key steps.”
    BDM is a complex, large scale, multi-year undertaking, and the programme plan continues to be refined as scope, timing and other factors are assessed. As the work underway in BDM continues, the Programme is gaining a greater understanding of the complexity of unraveling the decades-old Old Age Security, or OAS, and Employment Insurance, or EI, system.
    The obstacles and delays encountered by Employment and Social Development Canada, or ESDC, since 2017 were mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the downstream impacts, as well as the switch from EI to OAS as the first benefit to onboard.
    Due to COVID impacts, a number of key resources were temporarily deployed outside of the Programme to support the GC’s overall emergency response. At the peak of the response, nearly 25% of BDM’s employees were deployed outside of the Programme to assist other departments and agencies. Specifically, BDM’s employees assisted with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB, the Public Health Agency of Canada, or PHAC, with their call centre and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or DFO, with their Fish Harvesters Benefit. As a result, some key decisions and activities related to the BDM Programme were delayed, resulting in downstream impacts on the Programme Definition phase.
    To address these developments, the BDM Programme conducted an assessment to identify what elements of Programme Definition could still be delivered. Consequently, the timelines for the completion of the Programme Definition phase were delayed.
    In 2021, in response to an elevated risk of system failure, ESDC accelerated the migration of OAS, the oldest of the three legacy systems, ahead of EI.
Question No. 1896—
Mr. Mike Morrice:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) administration of Part XIII of the Income Tax Act over the past 20 tax years: (a) has the CRA held any Canadian resident tenant (i.e. residential or commercial) liable for failing to withhold and remit the tax payable by their non-resident landlord or required a Canadian resident tenant (i.e. residential or commercial) to pay any outstanding taxes of their non-resident landlord; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the total number of instances of this occurring, broken down by tax year, tenancy type (i.e. residential or commercial), and total amount of funds that the Canadian resident tenant was held liable to pay; (c) does the CRA have any internal policies, directives, standards or guidelines on administering Part XIII of the Income Tax Act within the context of a relationship between a Canadian resident tenant (i.e. residential or commercial) and a non-resident landlord; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what are the details of any such documents; (e) has the CRA modified, or does the CRA have plans to modify in the future, its policies, directives, standards or guidelines on administering Part XIII of the Income Tax Act following the ruling of the Tax Court of Canada in 3792391 Canada Inc. V. The King, 2023 TCC 37; and (f) if the answer to (e) is affirmative, what are the details of any such modifications?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, what follows is the response from the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA, as of October 24, 2023, the date of the question.
    With regard to (a), per a review of the records available within its systems, the CRA has held one Canadian resident tenant liable for failing to withhold and remit the tax payable by their non-resident landlord as a result of an audit.
    With regard to (b), only one case, which was a commercial tenancy, was found. To protect the integrity of the CRA’s work and to respect the confidentiality provisions of the Acts it administers, the CRA cannot provide taxpayer information or comment on specific taxpayer files.
    With regard to (c), the CRA’s Non-Resident Audit Manual contains guidance on the administration of Part XIII of the Income Tax Act in cases where rental income for Canadian properties is received by a non-resident.
    With regard to (d), to preserve the integrity of its compliance programs, as a standard practice the CRA does not disclose specific details about its audit or review techniques. However, a general summary of the CRA’s Non-Resident Audit Manual referred to in (c) follows: If a payer fails to withhold the required amount of the Part XIII tax from an amount paid to a non-resident, the payer and non-resident are both liable for this amount and the general practice of the CRA is to assess the payer for any amount owing. However, the CRA’s Non-Resident Audit Program takes into consideration all relevant facts and may instead assess the non-resident.
    With regard to (e) and (f), as there are currently no plans to make changes to the CRA’s policies, directives, standards or guidelines on administering Part XIII of the Income Tax Act following the ruling of the Tax Court of Canada in 3792391 Canada Inc. V. The King, 2023 TCC 37, no further details regarding modifications apply in this case.
Question No. 1901—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to Infrastructure Canada’s program funding: (a) since 2015, has Infrastructure Canada become aware of any projects funded by the department that have, or are alleged to have, employed illegal labour or projects in which any employee, or individual working in relation to the project, was not paid the minimum hourly wage required by federal or provincial law; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of each instance, including the (i) name of project, (ii) project description, (iii) summary of wrongdoing or allegations, (iv) date on which the department became aware, (v) description of the actions taken, including the dates of each action, (vi) date on which the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities or the minister’s office was first notified, (vii) actions taken by the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, if any; and (c) what mechanisms are in place to ensure that no projects receiving government funding employ illegal labour or labour that is not paid the minimum hourly wage required by law?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to program funding for Infrastructure Canada, or INFC, in response to (a), INFC is not aware of any projects that have been funded by the department since 2015 that have, or are alleged to have, employed illegal labour or projects in which any employee, or individual working in relation to the project, was not paid the minimum hourly wage required by federal or provincial law.
    With regard to (b), the answer to (a) is negative. INFC has not been made aware of illegal labour practices or minimum wage infractions on its funded projects through any of its project monitoring practices or interactions with recipients.
    With regard to (c), information on recipients’ labour practices is not collected through project applications or project reporting. However, INFC’s contribution agreements with funding recipients include a standard provision requiring that all projects be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, which would include all applicable labour laws.
Question No. 1903—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to visas for international students in Canada: how many international students (i) are currently studying in Canada, (ii) are studying at institutions accredited by Universities Canada, (iii) are in post-graduate studies, (iv) have transferred institutions within Canada during their period of study, (v) have completed their program of study in the last year, (vi) dropped out of their program of study in the last year, (vii) died in the last year, (viii) died by suicide in the last year?
Mr. Paul Chiang (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, does not hold information on the number of study permit holders who are currently residing in Canada, mainly due to the fact that people can leave the country at any point in time.
    With regard to part (i), as a proxy, IRCC holds information on the total number of study permit holders. On September 30, 2023, 1,015,744 study permit holders held a valid permit.
    With regard to part (ii), 343,470 students are studying at institutions recognized by Universities Canada.
    With regard to part (iii), 133,370 are in post-graduate studies.
    With regard to parts (iv) through (viii), this data is not tracked by IRCC.
    Please note that data are preliminary estimates and subject to change. Study permits are valid on September 30, 2023, and a client’s most recent study permit is considered. A client’s designated learning institution, DLI, is based on the current permit. The list of DLIs is based on the following website for Universities Canada: https://www.univcan.ca/universities/member-universities/. Universities Canada is a membership organization and not an official accrediting organization.
    Please also note that the study level of a client is based on the recent permit. Post-graduate studies are defined as clients who have identified their level of study being either a master or a doctorate.
Question No. 1905—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the government's recently published draft Clean Electricity Regulations: (a) how many megawatts of unabated fossil fuel electricity does Environment and Climate Change Canada estimate will be remaining on Canada's electricity grid in 2035; and (b) how many tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions will this represent on an annual basis?
Hon. Steven Guilbeault (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, to support reliability and affordability, the draft regulations include flexibilities that allow a limited and declining ongoing role for fossil fuel generation. This flexible approach will enable provincial utilities and system operators to plan and manage their systems in accordance with relevant provincial circumstances, while creating a clear signal for reducing emissions over time.
    According to the regulatory impact analysis statement, RIAS, for the draft clean electricity regulations, CER, in 2035, 9% of Canada’s electricity capacity will come from emitting sources, which are expected to decline over time. This would account for approximately 19,789 megawatts of emitting electricity capacity. However, it is important to note that this value also includes biomass and waste generation, which are not considered fossil fuels. The complete breakdown of forecasted electricity capacity under the draft regulatory scenario can be seen in table 5 of the CER RIAS. Further information is available at the following link: https://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2023/2023-08-19/html/reg1-eng.html
    The regulations on their own would decrease annual emissions from 62 megatonnes to less than nine megatonnes remaining from grid electricity in 2035. These remaining emissions will also be exposed to the carbon price of a particular year to further bring us to net zero.
    The proposed CER is expected to deliver nearly 342 megatonnes of cumulative emissions reductions between 2024 and 2050.
    These projections are from the RIAS that accompanied the draft CER. Please note that Environment and Climate Change Canada will provide updated estimated impacts associated with the final regulations when they are published. The impacts may differ to the extent that the final regulations differ from the draft CER published in the Canada Gazette, part I.
Question No. 1909—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative: (a) how much of the initiative's $650 million budget has been allocated within each of the strategy's pillars; (b) what projects have received funding commitments and under which pillars do these fall; and (c) what is the total amount of funding that has been disbursed under each of the pillars?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), program funding for the Pacific salmon strategy initiative, PSSI, is distributed in the following manner: $262.5 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, is for conservation and stewardship; $145.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, is for salmon enhancement; $204.4 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, is for harvest transformation; and $35 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, is for integration and collaboration.
    With regard to part (b), numerous new initiatives and projects are now under way across all four implementation pillars of the Pacific salmon strategy initiative.
    Under the conservation and stewardship pillar, new science investments have been made to improve understanding of salmon ecosystems. The British Columbia salmon restoration and innovation fund, a cost-shared federal-provincial program, has also been renewed. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, is demonstrating leadership internationally through funding science and high seas inspection in the north Pacific Ocean. Funding is also supporting the launch of the new DFO habitat restoration centre of expertise, which is advancing a number of initiatives related to salmon habitat restoration, including emergency salmon recovery efforts related to the recent flood, drought and wildfires in British Columbia.
    Examples of current projects under way under the salmon enhancement pillar include the expansion of mass marking programs, which supports mark selective fisheries for the recreational fishing sector; the retrofitting and modernizing of existing hatcheries; and the planning and designing of new salmon hatchery facilities.
    Under the harvest transformation pillar, PSSI is supporting modernized harvest management approaches for indigenous, commercial and recreational Pacific salmon fisheries that respond to current and future population trends. In addition, the department continues to explore new harvest opportunities for indigenous harvesters through terminal fisheries, and the recreational sector through mark selective fisheries. The new Pacific salmon commercial licence retirement program has also recently completed the first application round, where commercial salmon licence eligibility holders are able to voluntarily retire their licence eligibilities permanently for market value through reverse auction.
    Finally, several initiatives are under way under the PSSI’s integration and collaboration pillar, most notably the launch of a targeted action plan measure, number 41, under the recently announced federal UN declaration act action plan, and efforts to modernize DFO’s Pacific salmon data and its availability through a new Pacific salmon data portal.
    With regard to part (c), here is a breakdown of funds disbursed under each of the four PSSI implementation pillars: $33.5 million has been disbursed under conservation and stewardship; $28.4 million has been disbursed under salmon enhancement; $33 million has been disbursed under harvest transformation; and $8.4 million has been disbursed under integration and collaboration.
Question No. 1915—
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
    With regard to cost estimates related to the Benefits Delivery Modernization Programme: (a) what methodology was used by Employment and Social Development Canada to conclude the programme would cost $1.7 billion; and (b) what methodology was used by the third-party review to conclude that the cost would be between $2.7 billion and $3.4 billion?
Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizens' Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), in 2017, the benefits delivery modernization program was in the initial planning or program definition phase. As is typical and expected for programs of this size and magnitude, at the program definition stage there is uncertainty around the program’s overall scope, full requirements, including the technology solutions, and the procurement necessary to support those solutions. The combination of these factors means that the initial $1.7-billion cost was an initial planning assumption based on what was known at the time. In multi-year, large-scale IT transformations, it is very difficult to forecast costs with any degree of precision at program inception. As expected and known, the cost profile would evolve and move upwards as further planning, deeper discovery and learned experience become clearer.
    With regard to part (b), preliminary benchmarking exercises and third party validations were used to support those initial planning efforts, again with the information known at the time. As the program has evolved and more is known about the sheer complexity of unravelling decades of IT systems structure, benefits delivery modernization, BDM, is in a better position to offer more realistic cost forecasts. This case study used a data-driven approach to develop a top-down rough order of magnitude costs for the BDM program based on the experiences of other comparator organizations selected for the study that were undertaking IT transformation projects related to benefits delivery modernization. These organizations are located in Australia, Scotland, the U.K., Ontario and New Zealand. While no comparator organizations were a match for the BDM’s scope and complexity, the report did conclude that based on the experiences of those organizations, cost and time would increase. A secondary analysis was performed to consider these findings and impacts of higher inflation, actual expenditures and the inherent complexity of decades-old IT systems on overall program costs.
Question No. 1919—
Mr. Kyle Seeback:
    With regard to the government’s approach to a digital services tax (DST): (a) will the DST still go into effect as of January 1, 2024, as planned; (b) how much revenue is the government expected to receive as a result of the retroactivity of the tax back to 2022; (c) how much DST revenue is the government projected to receive in 2024; (d) has the government done a cost-benefit analysis on the DST, and, if so, what are the details, including the findings of the analysis; and (e) what are the details of all communication or representations the government received from representatives of other G20 countries related to the implementation of a DST since the proposal was first unveiled, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) country, (iii) type of communication, (iv) summary of the comments or concerns raised?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Canada’s priority and preference have always been to take a multilateral approach to the tax challenges of digitalization. Canada continues to strongly support the two-pillar multilateral plan agreed to in 2021 and has been actively working with international partners to bring it into effect. In October 2021, the federal government agreed to pause the implementation of Canada’s digital services tax, which had been announced in 2020, until the end of 2023, in order to give time for negotiations on pillar one to conclude. Meanwhile, at least seven other countries, including Austria, France, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom, have continued to apply their own digital services taxes. Canada reaffirms its desire to see pillar one implemented and will continue to work with our international partners to bring the new multilateral system into effect as soon as a critical mass of countries is willing. Until that time, and in order to protect Canada’s national economic interest, the government intends to move ahead with its long-standing plan for legislation to enact a digital services tax in Canada and ensure that businesses pay their fair share of taxes and that Canada is not at a disadvantage relative to other countries. Current legislation in the House, Bill C 59, would allow the government to determine the entry into force date of the new digital services tax.
Question No. 1922—
Mr. Warren Steinley:
    With regard to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and information technology (IT): (a) what policies and procedures are in place to ensure independent assessment and oversight, as well as ensuring value-for-money, on IT projects over $2.5 million; (b) does the TBS have a policy regarding the role of research (IT database subscription services), benchmarking and value-assurance services in IT, and, if so, what is that policy; (c) how many contracts are currently in place for research (IT database subscription services), benchmarking and value-assurance services in IT; (d) what is the total value of the contracts in (c); (e) how many suppliers does the TBS use for research (IT database subscription services), benchmarking and value-assurance services; (f) of the suppliers in (e), how many suppliers include retired civil servants from the government; (g) what steps does the TBS take to ensure these service providers aren’t conflicted through partnerships, alliances, downstream implementation conflicts and other contractual arrangements; and (h) did the TBS request research, benchmarking or value-assurance services for the development of the ArriveCan app, and, if so, what are the details of what was done?
Hon. Anita Anand (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), as per the policy on the planning and management of investments, deputy heads are responsible for ensuring that investment decisions demonstrate best value and sound stewardship, taking into account the life-cycle costs of assets and services, as well as ensuring that the governance of all projects provides for effective and timely decision-making, communication, control and oversight and is supported by appropriate structures and processes, such as committees, quality assurance and the use of independent reviews.
    As per the directive on the management of projects and programs, the chief information officer of Canada is responsible for establishing a digital investment oversight program, including identifying projects that are subject to oversight by the chief information officer of Canada; conducting oversight activities; requiring the responsible deputy head to commission independent reviews; commissioning independent reviews; and requiring the responsible deputy head to undertake specific course corrections as deemed necessary by the chief information officer of Canada based on evidence gathered in the course of overseeing identified projects.
    With regard to part (b), the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, TBS, does not have a policy regarding the role of research on IT database subscription services, benchmarking and value-assurance services in IT.
    With regard to part (c), TBS has one contract for independent IT project review services for Government of Canada digitally enabled projects and programs, with contract number 24062-22-021, in which two suppliers were qualified: BDO Canada LLP, 2406A-22-021, and MDOS Consulting Inc., 2406B-22-021.
    With regard to part (d), the total value of the contract is $3,616,000, or $1,808,000 for each of the two vendors, on an as- and when-needed basis through the issuance of individual task authorizations against the contract, over the three-year term of the contract, signed November 2021.
    With regard to part (e), TBS uses the two suppliers, BDO Canada LLP and MDOS Consulting, associated with the independent review contract.
    With regard to part (f), of these suppliers, both have used former civil servants retired from the government during the course of our engagement with them.
    With regard to part (g), TBS ensures procurement activities are conducted in accordance with regulations, trade agreements and Treasury Board policies and procedures, such as the directive on the management of procurement and the integrity regime. Furthermore, TBS specifically works with vendors to ensure that there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest that could compromise the integrity of review activities or outputs.
    With regard to part (h), TBS did not request any independent review services for the development of the ArriveCAN application.
Question No. 1923—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to rescue missions by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard: (a) how many search and rescue missions were required to respond to incidents arising from the recreational cod or groundfish fishery in each of the last five years, broken down by month, year and province or territory; and (b) what are the details of each mission since 2018, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) incident summary?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to rescue missions by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, please note that the Canadian Coast Guard, CCG, does not track data specific to recreational fishing activities, and as such, any data is at risk of being incomplete or not representative of the question asked. Therefore, the CCG is providing a nil response.
Question No. 1925—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to Marine Protected Areas in Atlantic Canada and the Canadian Arctic: (a) how many new Marine Protected Areas are planned by 2025 in Atlantic Canada, and what are the details, descriptions, and locations of each area; (b) how many new Marine Protected Areas are planned by 2025 in the Canadian Arctic, and what are the details, descriptions, and locations of each area; (c) for each new area in (a) and (b), what are the (i) latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, (ii) protection goals and the planned fighting restrictions; and (d) what percentage of Canada’s (i) Atlantic waters, (ii) Arctic waters, are Marine Protected Areas as of now, and what will the percentage be in 2025 and 2030?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the following response from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, DFO, describes marine protected areas established under the Oceans Act that are under the authority of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. This response does not include information on other marine protected areas, such as national marine conservation areas, marine national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries, that are established and managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada or Parks Canada.
    With regard to part (a), there is one Oceans Act marine protected area, MPA, proposed in Atlantic Canada as a contribution toward the marine conservation target of 25% by 2025: Fundian Channel-Browns Bank.
    The proposed Fundian Channel-Browns Bank area of interest, AOI, is located south of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in the Scotian Shelf bioregion. The site’s approximate size is 7,200 square kilometres. The AOI is divided into two geographically separate components. The western section is centered on Georges Basin, and the larger eastern section encompasses the Fundian Channel, also known as the northeast channel, and part of Browns Bank. It encompasses diverse sensitive benthic habitat that provides feeding and nursery areas for a variety of commercial and non-commercial species. The site is representative of a diverse range of habitat types, including basin, bank, deepwater slope and channel habitats. It includes a migratory corridor and is an area of high biodiversity. The site hosts the densest known concentration of large gorgonian corals in Atlantic Canada and significant concentrations of sponges, which provide important habitat for several depleted groundfish species.
    With regard to part (b), there are three proposed MPAs being considered for designation in the Arctic: the Southampton Island AOI, Sarvarjuaq and Qikiqtait.
    The Southampton Island AOI encompasses the nearshore ocean around Southampton Island and Chesterfield Inlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The site’s approximate size is 93,087 square kilometres, and it is located near the confluence of Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin waters, making it an area of high marine productivity. The area serves as an important migration pathway for marine mammals such as narwhals, beluga whales and bowhead whales, and the marine area supports colonies of nesting seabirds.
    Sarvarjuaq is on the Canadian side of the North Water Polynya and is located in northern Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland. It is one of the largest reoccurring polynyas in the Arctic, and Inuit-led conservation of this area is being advanced in partnership with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, QIA. This area is a highly productive ecosystem; its high rates of biodiversity and biological productivity support an abundance of marine life. It is a key feeding area and migration corridor for seabirds, fish and mammals such as narwhals, walruses, beluga and bowhead whales, ringed, bearded and harp seals, and polar bears.
    Qikiqtait is the marine region surrounding an archipelago of over 1,500 islands in southeastern Hudson Bay and is home to the southernmost community in Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region, Sanikiluaq. Inuit-led conservation of this site is being advanced in partnership with the QIA and local boards and organizations.
    QIA’s terrestrial priorities for conservation and protection are being advanced collaboratively with Environment and Climate Change Canada. This area is surrounded by 35 recurrent polynyas that help sustain high populations of invertebrates such as sea urchins, sea cucumbers and bivalves. It is also a refuge, feeding area and migratory corridor for marine mammals such as seals, belugas, polar bears and walruses; fish such as Arctic char; and seabirds such as the Arctic eider duck.
    With regard to part (c)(i), latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for the proposed MPAs outlined in this response are not available as boundaries have not been finalized. Consultation on site design, including boundary delineation, is ongoing with partners and stakeholders as part of the MPA establishment process.
    With regard to part (c)(ii) on protection goals, in the Atlantic, the overreaching conservation goal for Fundian Channel-Browns Bank is “to conserve and protect the ecological integrity of the area, including its biodiversity, productivity, ecosystem components and special natural features”. In the Arctic, the conservation objectives and priorities for the Southampton Island AOI, Qikiqtait and Sarvarjuaq are in development with partners, communities and stakeholders.
    On planned activity restrictions, in the Atlantic, activity restrictions for the Fundian Channel-Browns Bank AOI are still being developed with partners, communities and stakeholders. In the Arctic, activity restrictions for each of the three proposed MPAs in the area are still being developed with partners, communities and stakeholders and will depend on the tool used to designate the area.
    With regard to part (d), Canada has conserved 14.66%, or 842,823 square kilometres, of its marine and coastal areas to date through MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures. With regard to part (d)(i), 3.72%, or 214,176, square kilometres, is in Atlantic waters. Of the current percentage total, Oceans Act MPAs protect 6.11%, or 351,517 square kilometres, of Canada's total marine and coastal areas, with 0.34%, or 19,388 square kilometres, of protected area in Atlantic waters. With regard to part d(ii), 9%, or 517,779 square kilometres, is in Arctic waters. Of the current percentage total, Oceans Act MPAs protect 6.11%, or 351,517 square kilometres, of Canada's total marine and coastal areas, with 5.63%, or 323,519 square kilometres, in Arctic waters. The percentage of area designated as Oceans Act MPAs in Atlantic and Arctic waters in 2025 and 2030 will depend on the final boundaries of the proposed MPAs and the point at which they are designated.
Question No. 1927—
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to exhibit 8.2 in the Auditor General’s report entitled “The Benefits Delivery Modernization Programme”: (a) in reference to the June 2022 case study, what were the transformational steps that were postponed; (b) in reference to the November 2022 case study, (i) by how much did costs actually increase since the study was conducted, (ii) are initial cost estimates for software and implementation still well below the average comparator project and the industry average; and (c) in reference to the March 2023 programme review, were there delays to the migration component, and, if so, how long were they?
Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizens' Services, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), as a result of the strategic assessment conducted by Canada’s chief information officer, CIO, in June 2022, Employment and Social Development Canada, ESDC, reviewed the remaining approved scope of the benefits delivery modernization program, BDM, and proposed moving several planned BDM deliverables to organizations outside of BDM, such as digital identity services, social insurance register replacement and long-term cloud service procurement. Also, BDM agreed to defer some of its planned deliverables until after old age security, OAS, benefits are transferred through the workforce and workload management systems implementation. The department further assessed the impacts, risks and dependencies associated with the scope changes and developed an integrated plan for formally amending the BDM program’s scope.
    With regard to part (b), BDM is a complex, large-scale, multi-year undertaking, and as expected, costs continue to be refined as scope, timing and outside factors are assessed. In 2017, $1.75 billion was the preliminary planning assumption. In 2020, $2.2 billion was the updated planning estimate. From 2021 to 2023, there was a recognition of increased costs and a need to reset the program.
    The main drivers for the evolution of costs are a greater understanding of the complexity of unraveling 60-year-old systems, experience and lessons learned, increased global security threats and the impact of unanticipated global inflation. Since the November 2022 case study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC, on benchmarking for cost estimation, BDM undertook an internal exercise to further refine estimates based on current plans, which have been revised as the program progresses and moves into implementation. The revised program estimate is based on the latest BDM integrated road map and accounts for known costs from the program definition, foundations phase, OAS implementation, platform maturity, employment insurance, EI, on BDM planning and implementation, Canada pension plan, CPP, on BDM, and the program management and oversight BDM project costs. Cost projections to the end of the program in 2030 have increased based on the above but have not yet been confirmed.
    With regard to part (c), in the fall of 2022, the revised OAS on the BDM project plan was approved, with the migration of 600,000 foreign benefit recipients scheduled for June 2023 and the migration of all 6.9 million OAS recipients scheduled for December 2024. In March 2023, ESDC reviewed cloud security measures to better protect the new cloud platform from security issues. The first OAS release was successfully achieved on June 12, 2023, and the project remains on track for the full migration for the December 2024 date.
Question No. 1933—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), since the program officially launched in 2018: (a) how many applications for funding have been received from the City of Windsor, Ontario; (b) of the applications in (a), how many have been approved; (c) what is the total amount of funding distributed in Windsor, Ontario, through the fund since its official launch; (d) does the government have a plan in place to assist with increased inflationary costs to the currently approved projects; and (e) does the government plan to increase the total federal DMAF fund due to the ever-increasing costs associated with DMAF projects?
Mr. Chris Bittle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund program, DMAF, was officially launched in 2018.
    With respect to part (a), since 2018, the DMAF has received a total of four applications from the City of Windsor, Ontario.
    With respect to part (b), among the four applications received, two projects were approved.
    With respect to part (c), the total federal contribution committed for the projects is $64,831,491 from the DMAF.
    With respect to part (d), applicants under direct delivery programs are encouraged to build appropriate contingencies into their budget estimates. Contingencies provide a buffer for early cost estimates but can also serve as a cushion toward unexpected increases.
    With respect to part (e), the maximum federal contribution committed for a specific project is based on the cost estimates provided by the recipient at the application stage. As stipulated in the applicant guide, the approval in principle letter and the contribution agreements, it is the recipient’s responsibility to manage the approved funding amount for a given project.
Question No. 1936—
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative: (a) how much of the $647 million pledged for the initiative has been spent since the announcement in budget 2021; (b) what are the objectives and deliverables of the fund; (c) how are the objectives and deliverables measured; and (d) what are the details of each project funded through the initiative, including, for each, the (i) date of the announcement, (ii) project description, (iii) project location, (iv) funding recipient, (v) projected total project cost, (vi) amount of federal contribution towards the total project cost, (vii) expected completion date of the project?
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), the total program expenditures for the Pacific salmon strategy initiative, PSSI, across year one, 2021-22, and year two, 2022-23, to date is $58.8 million, with $37.3 million for operational expenses, $9.4 million for capital and $12.1 million for grants and contributions. In 2023-24 to date, mid-year, a total of $44.7 million has been spent, of which $21.6 million is for vote 10.
    With regard to part (b), the PSSI seeks to address the steep declines in Pacific salmon through a series of immediate and long-term measures to conserve and rebuild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems. The goal is that over the long term, Pacific salmon and their ecosystem are conserved and restored through targeted action in collaboration with partners.
    With regard to part (c), the PSSI’s results are being measured in accordance with the Government of Canada’s planning and reporting requirements and reported on annually through the departmental results report of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The department is also tracking implementation through internal project management and governance structures. Through PSSI’s external engagement, first nations, partners and stakeholders have expressed strong support for DFO to share outcomes publicly and enhance transparency. In response to this feedback, the department has committed to publishing year in reviews, which will share progress and key results achieved through the PSSI on an annual basis. The first year in review is expected to be published later this fall.
    With regard to part (d)(i), the PSSI was launched on June 8, 2021. Since 2021, a number of key activities have been implemented, with external funding provided through programs including but not limited to the renewed B.C. salmon restoration and innovation fund, the Pacific salmon commercial licence retirement program and over 30 indigenous harvest transformation projects.
    With regard to part (d)(ii), the PSSI is a five-year initiative aimed at stemming historic declines in Pacific salmon by conserving and restoring Pacific salmon and their ecosystems. Through collaboration with first nations, the Province of British Columbia, the Yukon territory, harvesters and key salmon stakeholders, the PSSI aims to improve understanding of salmon stocks and ecosystems, protect and conserve salmon habitats and ensure the sustainability of Canada’s Pacific salmon populations.
    With regard to (d)(iii), PSSI projects and activities take place across British Columbia and the Yukon territory.
    With regard to part (d)(iv), through PSSI investments, the department has provided funding to a broad range of recipients, including first nations in British Columbia and the Yukon territory, indigenous organizations, environmental groups, harvesters and other key salmon stakeholders.
    With regard to parts (d)(v) and (vi), the total cash profile for the PSSI is $741.3 million over five years. Budget 2021 announced $647.1 million over five years, as well as $98.9 million in amortization funds for the PSSI. The resulting $746 million included $4.7 million in revenues that have been lost as a result of reduced revenues from fishing licences, hence $741.3 million. The current projected total cost for the PSSI is $741.3 million over five years.
    (vii) PSSI is funded until March 31, 2026.
Question No. 1937—
Mr. Brad Vis:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): (a) as of October 25, 2023, in total, how many businesses that received CEBA funding have repaid their loan in full; and (b) what is the total dollar amount owing on the principal balance of outstanding loans?
Mr. Maninder Sidhu (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), as of August 31, 2023, a total of 176,353 businesses that received CEBA funding have repaid their loan in full.
    The numbers are not available as of October 25, 2023. There is a reporting lag as businesses repay their financial institutions and the financial institutions remit to us.
    With regard to part (b), $38.669 million is the total dollar amount owing on the principal balance of outstanding loans.
Question No. 1938—
Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay:
    With regard to the government’s Rapid Response Mechanism and the reaction to the Spamouflage campaign: (a) which members of Parliament were targeted; (b) which other elected officials, including at a provincial, territorial, or local level were targeted; (c) which unelected officials or individuals were targeted; (d) on what date did the government first become aware of the program; and (e) for each individual in (a) through (c), on what date did the government (i) become aware that that individual was targeted, (ii) notify that individual that they were being targeted?
Hon. Robert Oliphant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), 47 members of Parliament were targeted across the political spectrum and all geographic regions of Canada. All those targeted parliamentarians have been notified. Parliamentarians affected by this “spamouflage” campaign have been offered a briefing by rapid response mechanism Canada, RRM, on the findings of the report. It has also been made clear to them that nothing observed in this activity represents a threat to their safety or that of their family.
    With regard to part (b), Global Affairs Canada is currently aware of one other provincial, territorial or local-level official having been targeted. The individual has also been notified and their identity will be kept confidential for privacy reasons. It is conceivable that additional elected officials at other levels of government may have also been targeted.
    With regard to part (c), RRM Canada has a mandate to monitor and counter foreign information operations that represent a direct threat to our democracy and democratic institutions. However, RRM Canada does not have the mandate, jurisdiction or capacity to monitor all activity online affecting individuals and society at large. RRM Canada is continuing to monitor the digital environment for “spamouflage” targeting democratic institutions.
    With regard to parts (d) and (e), RRM Canada first became aware of some of this activity on September 5, 2023, and launched a broader investigation. RRM Canada became aware of the full extent of the campaign by September 20, 2023. RRM Canada then conducted due diligence through consultations with other government departments; a partner of the Five Eyes, the intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States; and external experts such as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, before finalizing conclusions and beginning the notification of targeted individuals on October 23, 2023.
Question No. 1942—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC): (a) is the independent impartial report completed by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton regarding the allegations of mismanagement of SDTC and provided to the minister available to the public; (b) if the report in (a) is published, where is it published on a government of Canada website; (c) if the report in (a) is not published, when and where will it be published on a government of Canada website; (d) when and where will the government publish its action plan to correct any reported deficiencies; and (e) what further additional oversight will be implemented to ensure that SDTC is delivering on expected outcomes and provides value added investment of public funds?
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to parts (a), (b), (c) and (d), the report and action plan have been made available to interested parties upon request through the access to information request process. Those seeking a copy can make a request by email to the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s access to information and privacy team at ic.atip-aiprpa.ic@ised-isde.gc.ca.
    With regard to part (e), the findings of the report are being actioned as follows. Sustainable Development Technology Canada, SDTC, received a detailed management response and action plan, MRAP, to address the issues identified in the report. The MRAP is to be implemented no later than December 31, 2023. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED, temporarily suspended the funding for new projects until the corrective measures are in place. The Auditor General will be conducting an audit of sustainable development technologies in Canada, which will provide the opportunity for a more comprehensive review of SDTC. With SDTC consent, ISED is conducting an independent review via a third party law firm that will report its findings to the minister.
    Any future potential additional measures will be informed by due process and due diligence.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Madam Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1862, 1865, 1866, 1870 to 1878, 1880 to 1883, 1885, 1887 to 1890, 1893 to 1895, 1897 to 1900, 1902, 1904, 1906 to 1908, 1910 to 1914, 1916 to 1918, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1926, 1928 to 1932, 1934, 1935, 1939, 1940 and 1941 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled in an electronic format.

[Translation]

[English]

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1862—
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
    With regard to Public Safety Canada’s Firearms Buyback Program for recently prohibited firearms: (a) how much was spent to develop the information technology required to administer the program; and (b) what are the details of all contracts signed in relation to the program, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the vendor, (iii) the amount, (iv) a description of the goods or services, (v) the duration, (vi) whether the contract was awarded through a competitive bid or sole-source process?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1865—
Ms. Kirsty Duncan:
    With regard to the Dimensions program: (a) what is the size of the current team that leads the program; (b) what are the details of the team that leads the program, including (i) the name of all the positions of the current team, (ii) whether any positions have been cut since its inception, (iii) the dates for any positions that were cut; (c) what are the details of the program’s financing, including (i) the cost to administer the program annually, (ii) whether there have been any financial cuts to the program since its inception, (iii) the dates of any cuts, if any; (d) what are all of the accomplishments of the program since its inception; (e) what third-party international organizations have recognized the program since its inception; and (f) what are the details of any external reviews of the program, including (i) the start date of the review, (ii) the end date of the review, (iii) who led the review, (iv) the structure of the review, (v) who specifically was consulted in the review, including, but not limited to, the Chief Science Advisor, granting councils, research networks, research organizations, and all researchers or experts?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1866—
Mr. Scott Aitchison:
    With regard to military housing and the Canadian Forces Housing Agency, in total and broken down by location: (a) what is the total number of rental housing units of military housing; (b) how many units are currently (i) occupied, (ii) unoccupied and available for rent, (iii) unoccupied and unavailable for rent; (c) outside of routine maintenance, how many units are currently in need of repairs, renovations or upgrades; (d) what are the details of the actions required in (c), including, for each, the description of what is needed and the projected completion date; (e) how many units are currently considered to be in disrepair; and (f) how many of the units in disrepair are currently (i) occupied, (ii) available for rent, (iii) unoccupied and unavailable for rent?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1870—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the Canada Dental Benefit, broken down by federal electoral district since the program’s inception: (a) what is the total number of applications (i) received, (ii) approved; (b) what is the total dollar value of payments delivered to eligible applicants; and (c) how many children, in total, have been helped by the program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1871—
Mr. Daniel Blaikie:
    With regard to the measures in Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (temporary enhancement to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax credit), concerning GST credits, broken down by federal electoral district: (a) what is the total number of eligible Canadians who saw their GST credits double; and (b) what is the total dollar value of additional GST payments delivered to payees in (a)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1872—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to Canada’s participation in the World Health Organization's (WHO) proposed international treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response: (a) what is the government’s formal position with regard to a proposed legally binding international treaty, and why; (b) what are the details of all documents the government has provided to the WHO or the World Health Assembly (WHA) related to the treaty or the International Health Regulations since July 2022, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number; (c) what are the details of Canada’s submission or contribution to the 76th WHA meeting with regard to strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies; (d) which elected and unelected officials led Canada’s delegation at the 2023 WHA meeting, including the number of people in the delegations and their titles and positions; (e) what are the details of Canada’s contributions to the WHO’s Executive Board since May 2022, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title, (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents, (vii) file number; (f) what meetings, including the Global Affairs Canada call on July 11, 2022, have been and will be scheduled for public consultation with Canadians; (g) for each public consultation meeting in (f), what are the details of the meetings, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) names and titles of the attendees, (iii) purpose of the meeting, (iv) agenda items, (v) summary of what occurred at the meeting, including anything that was agreed to; (h) does the government have any plans to undertake a formal and public review of Canada’s whole-of-government pandemic response to inform future national pandemic planning, and, if so, what are the details; (i) what input fed into and/or informed the government’s rationale for recommending that the WHO include “other global health threats”, including climate change impacts in the scope of a pandemic instrument; and (j) what criteria did the government envision the WHO would use to determine when climate change impacts would reach a pandemic threshold?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1873—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to Canada's participation in the First Movers Coalition (FMC): (a) what will be the specific obligations and actions undertaken to fulfill its commitments as a partner of the FMC; (b) what are the projected annual expenditures or costs to the government as a result of the government's participation in the (i) current fiscal year, (ii) next fiscal year; (c) what are the details of any policy measures that have been or will be implemented as part of the FMC; (d) what private sector consultation or engagement has the government undertaken thus far, and what are the results of that consultation; (e) has the government signed any contracts or agreements related to its FMC membership or FMC-related commitments, and, if so, what are the details of any such contracts or agreements, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) summary of terms, (iii) vendor, if applicable, (iv) financial value, if applicable, (v) titles of signatories to the agreement or contract; and (f) what FMC meetings have taken place or are currently planned, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) list of invitees, (iii) meeting purpose, (iv) location, (v) agenda?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1874—
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
    With regard to Canadian Armed Forces Reconstitution Directive released in October 2022: what are the details of all briefing notes, placemats, or analysis reports the government has in relation to the directive, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) type of document, (iii) title, (iv) sender, (v) recipient, (vi) file number?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1875—
Mr. Mike Morrice:
    With regard to bi-annual compliance reporting required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) since April 2015, for each Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, excluding those located in Quebec: (a) what is the total number of international students reported, broken down by DLI, bi-annual reporting period, and student status (i.e. academic break, academic suspension, authorized leave, deferred enrolment, full-time studies, no longer registered/enrolled, no show, not started, part-time studies, program/degree completed, unknown/no record); (b) has IRCC identified any non-genuine or non-compliant international students as a result of the information collected through DLI’s bi-annual compliance reporting; and (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what is the total number of instances of non-genuine or non-compliant international students identified, broken down by DLI and bi-annual reporting period?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1876—
Mr. Arpan Khanna:
    With regard to funding provided by the government to organizations for the purpose of advocacy, since 2019, and broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) what was the total amount of funding on advocacy, broken down by year; (b) what are the details of all government programs that fund advocacy or similar activities, such as lobbying, including, for each, the (i) name of the program, (ii) purpose, (iii) annual budget; (c) what are the details of all funding provided through the programs in (b), including, for each, the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) purpose of the funding; and (d) what are the details of all funding for advocacy or similar types of activities that were not included in the response to (c), including, for each, the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) purpose of the funding, (v) program under which funding was provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1877—
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to the ban on the use of TikTok on government devices: (a) what evidence was used as the basis for the ban; (b) who approved the ban; (c) how many security breaches involving TikTok is the government aware of, and what are the details of each breach, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) summary; and (d) what is the timeline for when the ban will either expire or be up for renewal?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1878—
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
    With regard to the travel by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the accompanying delegation to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development in late August 2023: (a) what are the details of the trip, including the (i) names and titles of all attendees, (ii) costs associated with the trip, in total, and broken down by each individual that incurred expenses and the type of expense; and (b) what are the details of each meeting attended by the minister or any member of the Canadian delegation, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) names and titles of attendees, (iv) purpose of the meeting?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1880—
Mr. Ron Liepert:
    With regard to the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA): (a) how many people have applied for, but have not yet been placed into, military housing, as of October 24, 2023; (b) within the current 2023-24 fiscal year, how many applicants to the CFHA waited (i) between one and 30 days, (ii) between 31 and 60 days, (iii) between 61 and 90 days, (iv) more than 90 days, between the date of application and the date of placement into military housing; and (c) during the (i) 2020-21, (ii) 2021-22, (iii) 2022-23, fiscal years, what was the greatest number of applicants on the waiting list on any one specific date?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1881—
Mr. Ron Liepert:
    With regard to violent crimes and the firearms ban that prohibited certain firearms as of May 1, 2020: (a) in the last fiscal year, how many violent crimes, defined by Statistics Canada as “Crimes against the person involve the use or threatened use of violence against a person, including homicide, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and robbery”, involving firearms were committed with firearms that were included in the 2020 ban; (b) of the firearms in (a), (i) how many of the guns' origins could be traced via a serial number, (ii) how many guns' origins were traced back to the United States; and (c) how many violent crimes committed with firearms in the last fiscal year were committed by individuals without proper firearms licensing?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1882—
Mr. Ron Liepert:
    With regard to Parks Canada expenditures: (a) how much money did Parks Canada spend on (i) gasoline, (ii) diesel fuel, in the last fiscal year; (b) what portion of the total in (a), in dollar amounts, was spent on (i) federal carbon taxes, (ii) provincial carbon taxes; (c) how much money did Parks Canada spend on building heating in the last fiscal year; (d) what portion of the total in (c), in dollar amounts, was spent on (i) federal carbon taxes, (ii) provincial carbon taxes; and (e) what are Parks Canada’s projections on how much more money the clean fuel regulations will add to their total expenditures on (i) gasoline, (ii) diesel fuel, (iii) building heating?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1883—
Mr. Arpan Khanna:
    With regard to the Mortgage Loan Insurance Select program offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, since 2016: (a) what are the details of all projects completed as a result of the program, including, for each, the (i) location, (ii) number of units, (iii) value of the project, (iv) date of application, (v) date of approval; and (b) what was the number of units completed each year as a result of the program, including the current year to date?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1885—
Mr. Tako Van Popta:
    With regard to expenditures by the government on cannabis intended for veterans: (a) what were the total expenditures on cannabis intended for veterans, broken down by year for the past five years; and (b) what are the details of all contracts that the government has for cannabis intended for veterans since 2018, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) value, (iv) amount of cannabis provided?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1887—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the design selection of the National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan: (a) what surveys did the government conduct to solicit feedback on the monument’s design that were conducted (i) online, (ii) in-person, (iii) by mail; (b) on what date was each survey in (a) conducted; (c) how many respondents to surveys in (a) were (i) veterans of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, (ii) Canadian veterans, (iii) active service members in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), (iv) family members of CAF members or veterans, (v) family members of veterans who served in Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, (vi) members of the general public; (d) how was each survey in (a) communicated with potential respondents, especially with veterans of Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan, their families, and current CAF members; (e) what were the costs associated with each survey in (a), broken down by survey; and (f) what was the reason given by the government as to why survey results would be used to select the monument over the advice of the commemorative advisory committee?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1888—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to sexual misconduct complaints within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for calendar years 2022 and 2023: (a) what is the current total number of complaints received by the (i) chain of command, (ii) Military Police, (iii) Military Police Complaints Commission; (b) of the complaints received in (a), what specific administrative actions were taken, including the (i) initial counselling, (ii) recorded warning, (iii) counselling and probation, (iv) release from the CAF; (c) how many complaints are before a military tribunal; (d) broken down by province or territory, what is the total number of cases that have been transferred to (i) the RCMP, (ii) provincial police forces, (iii) municipal police forces; (e) what is the total number of cases that have been declined or sent back to the military; and (f) of the cases in (d) and (e), what is the average number of days for the relevant jurisdiction to accept or reject the case?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1889—
Ms. Leslyn Lewis:
    With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB): (a) since 2017, what are the total expenditures by the CIB on projects that were not completed, indefinitely delayed or otherwise abandoned, including projects announced that never reached the Financial Close stage; (b) what is the breakdown of the expenditures in (a) by (i) project name and project partners, (ii) category and type of expenditure; (c) to date, how many (i) unsolicited project proposals has the CIB received, (ii) solicited proposals has the CIB proactively pursued; and (d) of the projects announced to date, how many of those were the result of (i) the CIB seeking those investments out, (ii) unsolicited proposals in which partners sought out CIB investment in their project?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1890—
Mr. Alex Ruff:
    With regard to Canada’s census of agriculture and government information about farmland in Canada: (a) how many farm properties exist, broken down by federal electoral district; (b) how many different entities own agricultural land, broken down by federal electoral district; (c) how many different farm businesses are located in each federal electoral district; (d) what is the total number of acres of farmland in each federal electoral district; and (e) what is the average size of farms, in acres, in each federal electoral district?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1893—
Mr. Tim Uppal:
    With regard to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, in the past five years: (a) how many and what percentage of applications exceeded the six months service standard for processing; and (b) of the applications in (a), how many and what percentage took (i) six months to nine months, (ii) nine months to one year, (iii) one year to 18 months, (iv) 18 months to five years, (v) more than five years, to be processed?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1894—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the Auditor General’s report entitled “Modernizing Information Technology Systems”, in section 7.44: (a) what are details of the 22 high-risk projects monitored by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), including, for each, the (i) name of the department or agency overseeing the project, (ii) project name, (iii) description, (iv) action taken by the government to address the concerns raised in the report; and (b) what are the total expenditures to date, and the project future expenditures of each of the 22-high risk projects monitored by the TBS?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1895—
Mr. Richard Bragdon:
    With regard to the Auditor General’s report entitled “Modernizing Information Technology Systems”, in section 7.50: (a) which departments or agencies have requested funding for “modernization needs” and how much has each one requested; and (b) which departments or agencies were represented by the 83% of Chief Technology Officers that expressed they were not satisfied with the available mechanisms for funding modernization projects?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1897—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities program, broken down by fiscal year and province or territory, since November 2015: (a) what is the annual budget of this program; (b) what are the details of all activities funded by this program, including the (i) community or First Nation that received funding, (ii) amount of funding received, (iii) number of children expected to benefit; (c) how many proposals for funding were denied funding; and (d) what is the total amount of lapsed spending by this program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1898—
Mr. Charlie Angus:
    With regard to the Nutrition North program, broken down by province or territory and fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what is the total amount of funding directed towards culturally appropriate retail and community-based nutrition education activities; (b) how many initiatives received funding for the purpose of (i) nutrition workshops, (ii) healthy cooking classes, (iii) in-store sampling of healthy food, (iv) knowledge and skill building related to traditional or country food harvesting and preparation, (v) gardening, (vi) training of community workers, (vii) the development of local nutrition education materials; and (c) what are the details of all initiatives in (b), including the (i) name of the community, organization, or company that received funding, (ii) date the funding was received, (iii) amount of funding?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1899—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit: (a) how much does the government estimate is owed in repayments; (b) how many individuals owe repayments; (c) how many individuals in (b) reported an income below the low-income cut off on their 2022 income tax return; (d) what is the lowest amount owed; (e) what is the highest amount owed; (f) what is the average amount owed; (g) of the individuals owing money, how many does the government estimate were victims of fraud; (h) of the total estimate amount owed, how much does the government expect to (i) successfully recover, (ii) recover from those whose income is below the low-income cut-off; and (i) how much does the government intend to spend on staff time and resources to recover these debts, broken down by department, agency or other government entity?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1900—
Ms. Bonita Zarrillo:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): (a) broken down by province or territory, what is the total number of individuals who have had their government benefits or credits applied to outstanding CERB or CRB debt; (b) of the individuals in (a), what is the total number who have had tax refunds or benefit payments offset to recover debt, broken down by costs recovered from (i) individual tax returns, (ii) the Canada Child benefit, (iii) provincial or territorial child benefits, (iv) GST or HST credits, (v) Canada Disability Benefits, (vi) Climate Action incentive?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1902—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to the government’s response to the situation in Sudan: (a) how many people have been evacuated from Sudan who are (i) Canadian citizens, (ii) Canadian permanent residents, (iii) family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, since April 1, 2023; (b) what special immigration measures has the government implemented for people leaving Sudan; (c) what additional special immigration measures is the government examining or considering for people leaving Sudan; (d) is the government investigating allegations against any Canadian firms relating to their relationships with Sudanese military or paramilitary groups, and, if so, which firms are under investigation; (e) what is the government’s position regarding (i) the presence of the Wagner Group in Sudan, (ii) calls for the listing of the Wagner Group as a terrorist entity?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1904—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) posted in Europe: are members of the CAF still being asked to pay for their own meals upfront and then seek reimbursements, and, if so, how many are currently required to do this, in total, and broken down by rank and location of service?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1906—
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
    With regard to Canadian citizens detained or incarcerated abroad, in total, and broken down by country of detention or incarceration: (a) how many citizens are detained or incarcerated; (b) how many citizens are detained in circumstances that violate their human rights; (c) how many citizens are detained for offenses that would not be considered offenses if committed in Canada; and (d) how many Canadian detainees is the government seeking to have released?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1907—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to the Northern Residents Tax Deduction: (a) what is the total number of claimants and the total amount of residency deduction claimed between 2018 and 2022, broken down by province; and (b) what is the total number of claimants and the total amount of residency deduction claimed by residents of Haida Gwaii between 2018 and 2022?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1908—
Mr. Taylor Bachrach:
    With regard to federally owned lands in British Columbia: (a) what federally owned lands fall within the municipal boundaries of the (i) City of Terrace, (ii) the District of Kitimat, (iii) Town of Smithers, (iv) City of Prince Rupert; and (b) for each parcel in (a), what is the (i) size in hectares, (ii) current use?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1910—
Mr. Don Davies:
    With regard to Health Canada’s authorization of the Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 and Spikevax XBB.1.5 vaccines: (a) is there any clinical data demonstrating efficacy of these vaccines, and, if so, what data; (b) is there any clinical data demonstrating safety of these vaccines, and, if so, what data; (c) is there any data suggesting that previously authorized messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines are outdated with respect to currently circulating variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; (d) is there any concern that currently authorized mRNA vaccines will help select for more successful variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; (e) is there any data suggesting that disease-induced immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity from authorized mRNA vaccines for COVID-19; (f) do currently authorized mRNA vaccines prevent COVID-19 infection; (g) do currently authorized mRNA vaccines prevent COVID-19 transmission; and (h) what positive health impact do currently authorized mRNA vaccines have on recipients?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1911—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the government’s policies governing information technology (IT) projects, delivery, and contracting: (a) what policies and procedures are in place to ensure independent assessment and oversight, as well as ensuring value-for-money, on IT projects over $2.5 million; (b) what contract vehicles are in place for departments and agencies to secure the resources needed to perform the procedures in (a); (c) what are the details of each contract related to (b), including, for each, the (i) date the contract came into force, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided; and (d) what were the total expenditures on federal IT (i) infrastructure, (ii) software, (iii) services, (iv) consultants, in each of the last three years, in total and broken down by department or agency?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1912—
Mr. Adam Chambers:
    With regard to the government’s approach to information technology (IT): (a) what were the total expenditures on (i) research or IT database subscription services, (ii) benchmarking, (iii) value-assurance services for IT, in total, and broken down by department or agency and by each client department of Shared Services Canada; (b) which companies or stakeholders were consulted when Public Services and Procurement Canada made the decision to eliminate the National Master Standing Offers for Research (IT database subscription services) and Benchmarking for IT services that was previously in place for research and benchmarking services; (c) what are the details of the consultations in (b), including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) who was consulted, (iii) the feedback received; (d) what are the details of any outside consultants or service providers that have been involved in the development of a new contracting vehicle for these services, and what are the details of each, including the (i) name of the individual or firm, (ii) contract value, (iii) date of the contract, (iv) description of the goods or services provided; (e) how many government employees or full-time equivalents worked on the redesign and consultations; (f) what are the (i) travel, (ii) hospitality, costs associated with the redesign and consultations incurred to date, in total, and broken down by year and type of expense; (g) how many suppliers does the government use for research (IT database subscription services), benchmarking and value-assurance services relating to IT, and who are the suppliers; (h) how many of the suppliers in (g) include retired civil servants from the government; (i) what steps does the government take to ensure these service providers aren’t conflicted through partnerships, alliances, downstream implementation conflicts and other contractual arrangements; (j) how many and which departments and agencies use research (IT database subscription services), benchmarking and value-assurance services; and (k) for each department or agency in (j), what service providers are contracted to provide these services?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1913—
Mr. John Williamson:
    With regard to government funding provided to Greenfield Construction or its subsidiaries: what are the details of all funding, since November 4, 2015, broken down by department or agency, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the amount, (iii) the type of funding (i.e. repayable loan, grant, contract), (iv) the purpose of funding or the project description, (v) the repayment terms, if applicable, (vi) whether there has been a change order associated with the funding, and, if so, what are the details, including the revised amount of the change order?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1914—
Mr. John Williamson:
    With regard to government funding provided for projects at or in the vicinity of North Head Harbour on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick: what are the details of all funding, since November 4, 2015, broken down by department or agency, including, for each, (i) the date, (ii) the amount, (iii) the type of funding (i.e. repayable loan, grant, contract), (iv) the purpose of funding or the project description, (v) the repayment terms, if applicable, (vi) whether there has been a change order associated with the funding, and, if so, what are the details, including the revised amount of the change order?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1916—
Mr. John Nater:
    With regard to VIA Rail Canada: what are the details of all meetings involving the current President and CEO and one or more government officials not employed by VIA Rail Canada, including elected and non-elected officials of all federal, provincial, and municipal governments, including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) location, including if the meeting was in person or virtual, (iii) names and titles of the attendees, (iv) purpose of the meeting?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1917—
Mr. Shuvaloy Majumdar:
    With regard to Global Affairs Canada and foreign aid funding: (a) what are the details of how much funding was received by (i) the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs funding, (ii) the United Nations Development Programme, (iii) the World Health Organization, (iv) the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, (v) the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, (vi) the World Food Programme, (vii) any other organization that received over $1 million in foreign aid funding in the last fiscal year; (b) for each organization in (a), on what date were they last audited to ensure that their funding was being spent appropriately; and (c) what were the findings of each audit in (b)?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1918—
Mr. Mel Arnold:
    With regard to efforts by the government to combat illegal fishing by vessels off the British Columbia coast, broken down by year since 2019: (a) how many boats were intercepted for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing; and (b) what are the details of each incident where a vessel was intercepted, including, for each, the (i) name, (ii) country of origin, (iii) location where the vessel was intercepted, (iv) type of alleged illegal fishing, (v) resulting action (i.e. fine, seizure, criminal charges, etc.), (vi) quantity of illegal fish caught, broken down by species?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1920—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to government expenditures on aircraft rentals or charters since December 1, 2020, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation and other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent on the rental of aircraft; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) amount, (ii) vendor, (iii) dates of rental, (iv) type of aircraft, (v) purpose of the trip, (vi) origin and the destination of flights, (vii) titles of passengers, including which passengers were on which segments of each trip?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1921—
Mr. Scot Davidson:
    With regard to Indigenous Services Canada’s funding of the seasonal ferry Aazhaawe that travels between Virginia Beach, Ontario, to the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation on Lake Simcoe: (a) how much funding has been provided related to the ferry by Indigenous Services Canada, broken down by year for each of the last five years; and (b) what costs are covered by this funding, including whether (i) fuel costs, (ii) maintenance and repair costs, (iii) operations costs, (iv) other costs, broken down by type, are covered?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1924—
Mr. Clifford Small:
    With regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans: (a) what was the average hourly catch rate, per net, of northern cod, broken down by area for fishing areas 2J, 3K and 3L, in 1988, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, for the commercial and stewardship fisheries; (b) what was the average catch rate, per net, of northern cod, broken down by area for fishing areas 2J, 3K, and 3L, in 1994, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, in the sentinel fishery program; and (c) what is the annual cost to carry out the sentinel cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1994, 2005, 2015, 2020 and 2022?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1926—
Mr. Corey Tochor:
    With regard to the Auditor General’s report entitled “The Benefits Delivery Modernization Programme”: (a) what were the total expenditures associated with the June 2022 review by the Treasury Board Secretariat; (b) what is the breakdown of (a) by line item and type of expense; (c) what were the total expenditures associated with the March 2021 schedule review; (d) what is the breakdown of (c) by line item and type of expense; and (e) what were the costs associated with the delays associated with the March 2021 schedule review?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1928—
Mr. Dan Albas:
    With regard to the export of Canada’s plastic waste under the Basel Convention: (a) what measures are in place to ensure that plastic waste exported without a permit is clean, sorted, and intended for recycling; (b) how many times since January 1, 2021, has the government imposed punitive measures on companies for failing to comply with these requirements; (c) does the government monitor the final country of destination for plastic waste exported to the United States, and, if so, what specific processes are in place to accomplish this; (d) does the government track the exported plastic waste that is (i) covered under export permits, (ii) exempted from the permit process, to determine if this waste is recycled or disposed of safely, and, if so, what specific processes are in place to accomplish this; (e) since November 4, 2015, has the government conducted research to evaluate the potential impact that banning the export of plastic waste would have on stimulating investments in a national circular economy, and, if so, what are the details of this research, including (i) who conducted it, (ii) its methodology, (iii) its findings; and (f) what are the details of each punitive measure in (b), including, for each, the (i) date, (ii) name of the company, (iii) type of punitive measure, including the amount fined, (iv) incident summary?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1929—
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
    With regard to the carbon footprint resulting from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s air travel: (a) what are the details of all trips involving air travel taken by the minister since January 1, 2019, including, for each, the (i) dates, (ii) origin and the destination, (iii) purpose of the trip, (iv) number of travellers accompanying the minister, (v) estimated carbon footprint resulting from the minister’s travel, (vi) estimated carbon footprint resulting from the delegation’s travel, (vii) total expenditures related to the trip, broken down by each traveller and type of expense; and (b) for each trip in (a), were virtual or other options that did not involve air travel considered, and, if so, why were the other options not chosen?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1930—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to federal spending on settlement services and newcomer housing in the electoral district of Winnipeg Centre, broken down by fiscal year since November 2019: (a) what is the amount of federal funding committed for the purpose of (i) settlement services, (ii) newcomer housing; (b) what are the details of all initiatives that received funding, including the (i) name of the organization that received funding, (ii) date the funding was received, (iii) amount of funding; and (c) what is the total amount of lapsed spending?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1931—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to the government’s response to homelessness and tent cities: (a) what are the details of all programs currently in place to deal with homelessness and tent cities; (b) for each program in (a), how much funding is allocated in (i) the current fiscal year, (ii) each of the next five fiscal years; (c) which of the programs in (a) involve funding for addiction treatment and recovery; (d) how is the funding for each program tracked, monitored and audited; and (e) does the government have any quantifiable goals for reducing the number of homeless Canadians, and, if so, what are they, nationally and broken down by region?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1932—
Ms. Michelle Ferreri:
    With regard to expenditures on social media influencers, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign, since January 1, 2021: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including the (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of the contract, (v) name or handle of the influencer; and (b) for each campaign that paid an influencer, was there a requirement to make public, as part of a disclaimer, the fact that the influencer was being paid by the government, and, if not, why not?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1934—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s (GLFC) machinery of government interface with the government, its financing and its obligations to Canada under the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries Between the United States of America and Canada (1954): (a) from what statute(s) or Act(s) of Parliament does the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard derive the legislative authority to function as the lead minister; (b) does the existing legislative authority of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard negate, alter or eliminate the GLFC Privileges and Immunities Order (originally made under section 3 of the Privileges and Immunities (International Organizations) Act and subsumed into section 16 of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act); (c) what are the primary functions and operational limitations of the ministers responsible for the interface functions pursuant to all relevant statutes and regulations; (d) does the Great Lakes Convention Act, or any other statutes, regulations or Acts of Parliament, provide any ministers with the authority to direct the commission or the commission’s routine activities and programming beyond Parliament’s prerogative to approve annual budget allocations to the Commission; (e) what are the implications of paragraph 10(2)(b) of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act for the interaction of Canada with the commission; (f) has Canada’s annual financial allocation to the commission been “fenced” as described by the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO) officials during their testimony on June 8, 2023, to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (FOPO); (g) what is the precise nature, structure and limitations of the “fencing” structure described by DFO officials during testimony on June 8, 2023, to the FOPO; (h) what sources, officials, or departments would possess the authority to alter, reverse or eliminate the financial “fencing” described by DFO officials during their testimony on June 8, 2023, to FOPO; (i) who or what body is the Canadian Contracting Party as described under Article II; (j) what is the role of Parliament with regard to supervision, directing and oversight of the activities and programming of the commission; (k) if the Contracting Party is not Parliament, what is the role of Parliament with regard to the supervision, direction and oversight of the Contracting Party; (l) does the existing legislative framework provide the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard with the authority to administer the Great Lakes Fishery Convention Act or does the legislative framework provide specific ministerial authority, and, if so, what is the precise nature and limit of that authority; (m) does the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries Between the United States of America and Canada (1954) stipulate that commissioners are representatives of the Contracting Parties, and, if so, does this stipulation provide commissioners with the authority to represent Canada at Commission meeting and events; and (n) does the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries Between the United States of America and Canada (1954) provide for a specific authority for any minister(s) to directly represent Canada at commission meetings and events?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1935—
Mr. Brian Masse:
    With regard to the housing crisis and affordable housing in Canada: (a) will the government commit to the recommendations of the Canadian Real Estate Association to (i) create a permanent national housing roundtable to bring together housing stakeholders in order to address the housing crisis through an inclusive, holistic approach that emphasizes collaboration, innovation and policy coordination, (ii) leverage federal infrastructure funding with municipal, provincial and territorial partners requiring the creation of more housing supply, (iii) develop a housing workforce immigration strategy to attract tradespeople from abroad while streamlining the immigration process for qualified professionals willing to work in the construction industry; and (b) how much funding for affordable housing has been distributed to the City of Windsor, Ontario, through federal government programs over the last five years, from January 1, 2018, through present, including (i) what federal funding programs were applied for, (ii) the amount of funding distributed, (iii) the list of specific projects funded, (iv) whether the funding was in the form of grants or loans?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1939—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) funding for Indigenous housing in Edmonton, broken down by fiscal year since 2015-16: (a) what are the details of all funding applications received, including the (i) name of the requester, (ii) amount requested, (iii) status of the application, (iv) amount of funding granted, (v) progress on the project; (b) what actions has the CMHC undertaken to make it easier for Indigenous housing providers to apply for funding; (c) does the CMHC record data on potential applications who have abandoned projects because of burdensome or overly complicated application procedures, and, if so, what indicators does the CMHC use to make the process easier; and (d) what is the CMHC doing to ensure that Indigenous housing providers, such as Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc., are not encumbered by debt when co-investing in Indigenous housing?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1940—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program, broken down by fiscal year since 2008-09 and by province or territory: (a) what are the details of all funding arrangements made with Indigenous governments and organizations concerning this program, including the (i) name of the First Nations or First Nations-designated organization, (ii) amount of funding to cover eligible expenses for students, (iii) number of students who received support; and (b) what is the total annual expenditure by the government on this program?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1941—
Mr. Matthew Green:
    With regard to contract work performed for the Canadian Border Services Agency, since November 2015, and broken down by fiscal year: (a) what is the total number of contracts awarded to (i) GCStrategies, (ii) Dalian Enterprises Inc., (iii) Coradix Technology Consulting, (iv) Moravej Inc., (v) 10583308 Canada Inc.; (b) what are the details of all contracts in (a), including the (i) date the contract was awarded, (ii) value of the contract, (iii) number of amendments to the initial contract; and (c) what is the total number of government employees who reviewed, processed and approved each contract in (a)?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Madam Speaker, finally, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Points of Order

Bill C-59—Proposal to Apply Standing Order 69.1  

[Points of Order]
     Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order 69.1, to ask that you treat Bill C-59, an act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement tabled in Parliament on November 21, 2023 and certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, as an omnibus bill, and divide it for voting purposes at the second and third reading stages.
    This argument is, of course, without prejudice to the arguments which were made last week by me in respect of the rule against anticipation and Ways and Means Motion No. 19, which preceded the introduction of Bill C-59, for which the House is still awaiting a ruling from the Speaker.
    Section (1) of Standing Order 69.1 provides that “In the case where a government bill seeks to repeal, amend or enact more than one act, and where there is not a common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked, the Speaker shall have the power to divide the questions, for the purposes of voting". Section (2) of the same standing order makes an exception for budget implementation bills, stating, “if the bill has as its main purpose the implementation of a budget and contains only provisions that were announced in the budget presentation”.
     As Speaker Regan ruled on November 8, 2017, at page 15143 of the Debates, where a budget bill contains measures which were not part of the budget, this budget bill exemption applies only to those elements which were in the budget itself. The non-budget elements can be divided under the provisions of Standing Order 69.1(1).
    In the case of Bill C-59, calling it a budget implementation bill would be exceedingly generous. While reference to the March budget can be found in the long title, the short title ignores this, calling the bill the “fall economic statement implementation act, 2023”. Not even the government House leader, the manager of the government's parliamentary program, used it as a budget implementation bill, judging by her remarks in the last two weekly business statements. On November 23, she told the House, “it is the intention of the government to commence debate next week concerning the bill relating to the fall economic statement”. This past Thursday, she said that priority will be given to the second reading of Bill C-59, an act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement. Therefore, I would argue that the evident treatment given to Bill C-59 by its own proponents, would mean that its main purpose is, indeed, not the implementation of a budget. Accordingly, it would follow that the exemption found in Standing Order 69.1(2) cannot apply here.
    I would further argue that Speaker Regan's November 2017 ruling can be distinguished from the facts at hand today, namely that he dealt with a budget bill with a few extra add-ons. Here, we have a bill that is not even being treated, in the main, as a budget implementation bill and that, therefore, cannot even benefit from a partial exemption, since the main purpose of Bill C-59 is not to implement a budget.
    Having addressed that matter, I now wish to turn to the matter of treating the bill as an omnibus one, “where there is not a common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked”. In my respectful view, the fact that a series of measures may have been previewed in a fall economic statement does not amount to a so-called common element. Given that fall economic statements are often popularly dubbed “mini-budgets” and that the House itself recognizes that budgets often string together otherwise unrelated things by creating the budget implementation bill exemption in Standing Order 69.1, it is my submission that the mere inclusion of an item in a fall economic statement cannot be sufficient to overcome the treatment required for an omnibus bill.
    Even if the Chair might be persuaded that all of the measures are, in one form or another, a matter of broad economic policy, I would refer you to Speaker Regan's March 1, 2018, ruling at page 17551 of the Debates:
    In presenting arguments relating to Bill C-63, the hon. member for Calgary Shepard raised an interesting concept from the practice in the Quebec National Assembly. Quoting from page 400 of Parliamentary Procedure in Québec, he stated:
    “The principle or principles contained in a bill must not be confused with the field it concerns. To frame the concept of principle in that way would prevent the division of most bills, because they apply to a specific field.”
    While their procedure for dividing bills is quite different from ours, the idea of distinguishing the principles of a bill from its field has stayed with me. While each bill is different and so too each case, I believe that Standing Order 69.1 can indeed be applied to a bill where all of the initiatives relate to a specific policy area, if those initiatives are sufficiently distinct to warrant a separate decision of the House.
    In this particular instance, I have no trouble agreeing that all of the measures contained in Bill C-69 relate to environmental protection. However, I believe there are distinct initiatives that are sufficiently unrelated that they warrant multiple votes.

  (1035)  

    Deputy Speaker Bruce Stanton dealt with another similar situation when he ruled on June 18, 2018, at page 21163 of the Debates, in respect of a former Bill C-59, stating it:
...does clearly contain several different initiatives. It establishes new agencies and mechanisms for oversight of national security agencies and deals with information collection and sharing as well as criminal offences relating to terrorism. That said, one could argue, as the parliamentary secretary did, that since these are all matters related to national security, there is, indeed, a common thread between them. However, the question the Chair must ask itself is whether these specific measures should be subjected to separate votes.
    He goes on to state, “In this particular case, while the Chair has no trouble agreeing that all of the measures contained in Bill C-59 relate to national security, it is the Chair's view that there are distinct initiatives that are sufficiently unrelated as to warrant dividing the question.”
    Therefore, I would suggest that today's bill, Bill C-59, should also be divided for voting purposes at second reading and, if necessary, at third reading.
    After a brief review and analysis of the bill's contents, it seems that it could actually be divided into several groupings: clauses 1 to 95, proposing amendments to the Income Tax Act and consequential amendments to other enactments, as well as the bill's short title; clauses 96 to 128, proposing the creation of a digital services tax; clauses 129 to 136, 138 to 143 and 145 to 167, proposing amendments concerning the excise tax, other than the exemption of GST for mental health services, which is also contained in Bill C-323, a matter to which I will return later; clauses 168 to 196, proposing amendments to the laws governing financial institutions; clauses 197 to 208, proposing to create a leave entitlement related to pregnancy loss and to amend the law concerning bereavement leave; clauses 209 to 216, proposing the creation of a Canada water agency; clauses 217 and 218, proposing amendments to the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act; clauses 219 to 230, proposing amendments to the Canadian Payments Act; clauses 231 to 272 proposing various amendments to competition law; clauses 273 to 277, proposing amendments exempting post-secondary schools from the laws concerning bankruptcy and insolvency; clauses 278 to 317, proposing various legislative amendments concerning money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions evasions; clauses 318 and 319, concerning the information which is published by the government respecting certain transfer payments to the provinces; clauses 320 to 322, proposing amendments concerning the Public Sector Pension Investment Board; and clauses 323 to 341, proposing the creation of a department of housing, infrastructure and communities.
    Additionally, I would propose that clauses 137 and 144, concerning the exemption of GST for mental health services, mirroring the provisions of Bill C-323, as well as clauses 342 to 365, creating employment insurance and job protection benefits for adoptive and surrogate parents, replicating the substance of Bill C-318, should also be separated out from Bill C-59. However, in this instance, I would suggest that, instead of a separate vote, these provisions would simply not proceed further given that the House has already taken a decision on the principle of those matters when it adopted the common-sense Conservative private members' bills at second reading.
    Approaching it in this fashion might be an elegant solution to squaring the circle in the ruling that remains pending on Ways and Means Motion No. 19.
    In short, Bill C-59, the fall economic statement implementation bill, is an omnibus bill under Standing Order 69.1. It qualifies in no way for the budget bill exemption in that rule. It can and should be divided into separate votes, about 14 or so based on the thematic groupings of the bill's clauses. It would, if so divided, offer an elegant solution for a pending Speaker's ruling to reconcile the long-standing rules and precedents of the House respecting multiple decisions on the same question that, for reasons we are awaiting, did not apply to Ways and Means Motion No. 19 and that saw the House vote, yet again, on the principles found in two Conservative private members' bills that had already been adopted at second reading.

  (1040)  

    I thank the hon. member for all of the elements brought forth. They will be taken into consideration.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 2023

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-57, An Act to implement the 2023 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

[English]

Speaker's Ruling  

    The sponsor of the motion and the member who had submitted an identical notice have indicated to the Chair that they do not wish to proceed with Motion No. 1.

[Translation]

    Accordingly, the House will now proceed, without debate, to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.
Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (for the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development)  
    moved that the bill be concurred in.

[English]

    The question is on the motion.
    If a member participating in person wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or if a member of a recognized party participating in person wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    Madam Speaker, I am very glad to see that the Conservatives chose not to debate the short title. I would ask for a recorded division.

  (1125)  

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

(Division No. 607)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bergeron
Bérubé
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boissonnault
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Davies
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Gainey
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hutchings
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lemire
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Rayes
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Rota
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Sorbara
Sousa
Ste-Marie
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Thompson
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vignola
Villemure
Virani
Vuong
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 209


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Berthold
Bezan
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brock
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chambers
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Davidson
Deltell
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Gallant
Généreux
Genuis
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Khanna
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Leslie
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
Maguire
Majumdar
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Perkins
Poilievre
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Roberts
Rood
Ruff
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Stewart
Strahl
Tochor
Tolmie
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vis
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 112


PAIRED

Members

Deltell
Guilbeault
Hussen
Michaud

Total: -- 4


    I declare the motion carried.
     moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
    Mr. Speaker, the words that come to my mind right away are “all MAGA, all the time”. To me, that is what this vote was all about. I think the vast majority of Canadians truly understand what we just witnessed, and this is not the first time. The Conservative Party today has gone so far to the right—
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe the Standing Orders say we are not allowed to reflect on a vote that has been taken in this House, and the parliamentary secretary is doing that.
    Also, the parliamentary secretary consistently rises in this place and extols very toxic rhetoric. We have the Minister of Trade sitting right here. Should she not be addressing this instead of the parliamentary secretary?
    That is definitely not up to the opposition to decide.
    The hon. member for Kingston and Islands, on the same point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the issue of reflecting on a vote and talking about how one has voted previously is something we all do in this House all the time. I do not know where the member is coming from, other than the fact that he does not want to hear the truth about—
    We are not going to get into a debate on this. I will make sure this is the case in just a moment.
    Standing Order 18, on page 12, says, “No member may reflect upon any vote of the House, except for the purpose of moving that such vote be rescinded.” This is in the Standing Orders, and I would ask the hon. parliamentary secretary to retract.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to continue to reflect on the behaviour of the Conservative Party when the Conservative Party consistently votes against Ukraine.

  (1130)  

    The hon. member was told that is not allowed by the Standing Orders.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Madam Speaker, on that point of order, not only do I take great offence to the fact that he referred to the Conservative Party as far right, but I would also note that according to the Standing Orders, that is not the subject of the debate at hand today.
    Yes, and I have reminded the hon. member that we shall not refer to votes taken in the House.
    Madam Speaker, I can appreciate that the Conservative Party is a little sensitive right now, because at the end of the day, more and more Canadians are going to come to the realization that the Conservative Party of today is far to the right. It is a pattern we have seen now for months, where the Conservative Party is becoming, as much as possible, the extreme right. I think it is appropriate to point—
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, we all know that Liberal Party members do not like to participate in debate. They defer to the member for Winnipeg North to do their dirty work—
    We are not going to enter into that debate.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands has a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, we have seen this happen before, and it is about the procedure in this House. I know sometimes when this member speaks and sometimes when I speak, there is a coordinated effort among Conservative members to stand up on points of order that quite often are not anywhere near points of order, as the member just did.
    I am looking to you for guidance, Madam Speaker, as to how you will deal with this procedurally if they continually get up on points of order, especially when they are not relevant or not real points of order. How will you ensure that the member has the opportunity to properly debate in this House?
    The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, on the same point of order.
    Madam Speaker, my point of order was on Standing Order 18, which you definitely ruled on. I have still not heard the member for Winnipeg North retract his inflammatory statements.
    Madam Speaker, on that point of order, I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years, and if we say that a member cannot reflect on a vote, one has to take a look at the traditions. It is not just what is in the book but also the traditions, and traditionally—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. parliamentary secretary knows that if another member feels something is disruptive or offensive, we have to act on it. The standing order does say that we do not reflect on votes, so I would ask the hon. parliamentary secretary to retract.
    Madam Speaker, I am looking for clarity on the issue, because I think this is really important.
    At the end of the day, I cannot imagine how a member of Parliament or any parliamentarian would not be able to challenge a member for the manner in which their caucus is voting. I cannot imagine a world where it would be unparliamentary to do that. Every political party that I am aware of has done that throughout my 30 years in Parliament, whether it is here or at the Manitoba legislature.
    I would ask, with all due respect, that we reflect on the traditions of the House. Just because one opposition party is sensitive to the truth, I should not be censored from being able to express the reality on the floor of the House of Commons in Canada today.
    While the hon. parliamentary secretary may be right in terms of traditions, I have to refer to the Standing Orders as they stand. The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman rose on a point of order, and there is a standing order reflecting that we cannot refer to votes, so I have to apply it. I ask the hon. parliamentary secretary to retract.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I suspect that if we were to go through the Standing Orders today, we would find a number of Standing Orders that are somewhat redundant and do not necessarily have value. I would suggest this is one of those Standing Orders, and I would ask—
    I would agree with the hon. member, but it is not up to me. I am not the one to change Standing Orders as we go. We have a process for that.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Madam Speaker, there is another Standing Order that says we are not allowed to sing in the House, yet the member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, when introducing a petition earlier today, was singing. I think it would only be appropriate that the petition be removed from the record, because he presented it in a way that goes against our Standing Orders. As a member, I would like to call that out.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1135)  

    Nobody raised it at the time so it passed.
    The hon. member for Brandon—Souris, on the same point of order, I presume.
    Madam Speaker, yes, but I will get to my point in a moment. If the member who just spoke is calling out the member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon for singing today, he is pretty loose with what he calls singing.
    I just want to say—
    We are judging artistic capacity here.
    The hon. member for Brandon—Souris has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, the member across the way for Winnipeg North has challenged the Speaker's ruling.
    I think the hon. member was trying to see if tradition overrides the Standing Orders, if I understand correctly the point the hon. parliamentary secretary was making.

Points of Order

Alleged Breach of Standing Order 18  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I talk about traditions, and all one needs to do is take a look at question periods. In the debates I have witnessed, the way in which members have voted is constantly being reflected on.
    All I am asking is for some clarity, and I do not think clarity can be decided instantaneously. It is something that should be brought back and thought through, because it is a very important ruling you need to make, Madam Speaker, given the very nature of what I am asking for.
    It will be taken under advisement because it has been raised.
    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Madam Speaker, Standing Order 11(b) says, “In the event of a member disregarding an order of the Chair made pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the Speaker shall order the removal of the member.”
    Not only did the member for Winnipeg North disregard your order, but he then went on to state that the Standing Orders were not relevant. The Standing Orders under the Parliament of Canada Act are the rules by which we govern democracy in Canada. They are relevant.
    I take the hon. member's point. That is exactly why I stated what I did.
    I invite the hon. parliamentary secretary to go back to his speech and avoid creating more dissension.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask the parliamentary secretary to retract his comments and apologize. If he does not want to, then I suggest we move on to the next speaker and continue debate.
    Since we are taking his comments on the standing order under advisement, I will not be able to proceed with that, but I did invite the hon. member to retract his comments.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 2023

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-57, An Act to implement the 2023 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine, be read the third time and passed.
    Madam Speaker, if at any point it was interpreted that I was challenging the ruling of the Chair, I apologize for that.
    I am glad the Speaker has recognized the very serious nature of what the Conservatives are suggesting by implementing that standing order because it will have a very profound effect on many speeches, not only today but well into the future. I suspect it will be referred to well into the future until the rule is changed. I suggest it is a dated rule and one taken out of context only because members opposite are against the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, which is not a reflection on the vote. It is very clear that the Conservatives do not support the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement.
    We remember the voting marathon and voting line by line. We also remember the leader of the Conservative Party saying last week that Conservatives were going to keep the government working until Christmas, that they were going to fight the government over the price on pollution and keep Liberals voting endlessly. There were 30-plus hours of voting. That was the energy of the leader of the Conservative Party.
    What ended up happening? When midnight approached, a good portion of Conservatives decided to have a nap and did not necessarily participate in the proceedings. Some caused a great deal of concern. When we voted line by line, we saw the true colours of the Conservative Party on a couple of motions. One was on funding to reinforce Canada's support for Ukraine, better known as Operation Unifier. Canadians would have been shocked to see the manner in which the Conservatives dealt with that particular issue. People would be shocked—

  (1140)  

    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, a moment ago the member was reflecting on the presence or absence of members at the end of last week. That is very clearly against the rules. The member is not new and knows that reflecting on the presence or absence of particular members is against the rules. I hope he will bring himself to order.
    I would remind the hon. member that referring to the presence or absence of members is against the rules.
    Madam Speaker, for clarification, if one were to say that 40% of the Conservative caucus was not present for 45% of the votes, would that be against the rules, as I am not talking about an individual?
    It is saying indirectly what members cannot say directly, so I would remind the hon. member that he cannot make those implications.
    Madam Speaker, I apologize for having an effect on the sensitivities of the Conservatives on this issue.
    As I said, Canadians would be very surprised and disappointed because of what we have witnessed, not only today but also the other day during the voting marathon, of the Conservative Party being influenced by MAGA from the deep south in the United States, where there is a movement that is very real and tangible and is being ushered into Canada through the leader of the Conservative Party. We see that the positions Conservatives are taking are now starting to impact Canadian public policy, to the degree that they are detrimental to our communities.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, it goes without saying that Canada is a sovereign nation. For a member to suggest that we are influenced by certain—
    Ms. Jennifer O'Connell: Debate.
    Mr. Brad Vis: No.
    Madam Speaker, when the member brings into question whether Canada is being influenced by a foreign government on certain policies—
    Madam Speaker, on the point of order, I am concerned that, through points of order, the Conservative Party of Canada, the so-called freedom party, is trying to limit and censor what I am saying in the House. I find that—
    I invite the hon. parliamentary secretary to continue his speech.
    Madam Speaker, I was explaining that we have the MAGA Conservative who has actually infiltrated the leader of the Conservative Party's office. We see that—
    I have another point of order from the hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
    Madam Speaker, under Standing Order 18, I would consider that to be disrespectful and offensive language. I am not MAGA. I do not refer to myself—
    That is another point of debate.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary may continue his speech.
    Madam Speaker, they are a little sensitive on the other side. At the end of the day, they should take responsibility for their behaviour. The Conservatives, on one hand, want to take certain actions, but when they get called out on it, they get a little sensitive. They say they do not want the member from Winnipeg North to be talking about this, and they do not want the member from Winnipeg North to be talking about that. They are trying to censor what I say.
    This is the first time in 30 years I have heard people say we cannot tell people how we voted. I have news for them, despite their trying to prevent me from talking about how they voted inside in the chamber. They may have limited success inside the chamber, but I am going to let people know about the behaviour of members of the Conservative Party of Canada and how they are being influenced by the MAGA movement from the United States coming into Canada. It is very serious stuff. They are not going to stop me from talking about that issue.
     It is shameful the way members of the Conservative Party today are playing a destructive force, not only on the floor of the House of Commons in preventing legislation from passing, but also in their behaviour, which other people as well as myself have witnessed, in limiting the types of things that can actually be said.
    Members can think about it. They do not want me, from the floor of the House of Commons, telling Canadians how they voted on legislation because they are embarrassed. I am not talking about any specific piece of legislation. I am talking about the principle of my being able to tell Canadians through this platform how they behave inside this chamber. They will not allow me to say that the Conservative Party voted x on any piece of legislation or any motion. That is what they do not want me to say—

  (1145)  

    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, it is not the Conservative members or the official opposition. It is Standing Order 18, which states, “No member may reflect upon any vote of the House, except”—
    Yes. I did remind the hon. parliamentary secretary of that. The hon. parliamentary secretary is making very broad comments on voting history.
    Madam Speaker, to the member opposite, cry me a river. At the end of the day, he can cry all he wants, but Canadians are going to know how the Conservative Party is behaving within the House of Commons. They are going to know how its members are trying to limit debate and the freedom of individuals like me to tell Canadians specifically how the Conservative Party is voting within the House of Commons.
    Conservatives find a standing order. For the first time in 30 years, I see an opposition party that is so scared to be pointed out and told how its members are behaving. It is because they do not like what they are hearing. I believe there is a number of members in the Conservative caucus who feel very uncomfortable with the manner in which they have been forced to vote.
    Let me talk about some of the issues. The Conservative Party of Canada demonstrates very clearly the degree to which the MAGA movement in the United States has influenced its members. On the Ukraine trade agreement, there is no other trade agreement I can recall that the Conservatives were in opposition to. This is the only trade agreement they seem to be in opposition to. I am being very generous when I say “seem to be in opposition” because their actions over the last number of weeks, and in fact months, clearly show they have taken that far right stand in support of Russia and against Ukraine.
    All one needs to do is take a look at the voting marathon, when the Conservative caucus said it was going to challenge the government of the day. We went line by line, and discussions and votes occurred, as we went line by line. I will not say how the Conservatives voted because, after all, they do not want Canadians to know how they voted, but Canadians would be very disappointed. It is consistent with what we saw today on this particular legislation.
    On the issue of funding to reinforce Canada's support of Ukraine, which is better known as Operation Unifier, Canadians would be very disappointed to see how the Conservatives voted. I cannot tell the House because apparently the Conservatives are super sensitive. They do not want Canadians to know.
    An hon. member: They didn't vote the same way we did.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Well, I do not know if I can say that. They might jump up.
    An hon. member: I voted no. You can comment on that.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, one member says that I can say that he voted no. I do not want to be called out for being out of order, but it was a Conservative member who said I could say that, so I had permission to say it.
    At the end of the day, Operation Unifier is something that supports Ukraine in a very real and tangible way. When one takes—

  (1150)  

    I need to interrupt the hon. member.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, you have very clearly made a ruling with respect to a standing order on reflecting on a vote. This is not a matter of what individual members want or prefer, it is simply a matter of enforcement of the ruling you made.
    This member is continuing to show disrespect for the Chair, which is against another standing order, by doing everything he can to make a point that the Speaker has said he cannot make. It is not for me to say what the standing order should or should not be or what the Chair should or should not have ruled, but this member is showing profound disrespect to—
    I will refer to our book, the Bosc and Gagnon book on procedure. On page 590, chapter 12. It reads:
    It is not in order for Members to “reflect” upon (i.e., to reconsider or comment upon) votes of the House, and when this has occurred, the Chair has been quick to call attention to it. Members have also occasionally called attention to the rule.
    I will remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that it is not only a standing order but has also been addressed in House of Commons Procedure and Practice.
    Madam Speaker, I look forward to the report back from the Chair.
    On that particular point, and I am rising on a point of order, I would like to use the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent as an example, when he stood up and indicated:
    The Liberals voted against that request and even the Bloc Québécois voted against. It is outrageous.
    The Bloc Québécois voted in favour of Bill C‑234, but it voted against asking the Senate to adopt it.
    We find endless examples like this one, and that is the reason it is important that we—
    I agree with the hon. member. There have been many examples of references to votes but today, the standing order was invoked. That is what we are dealing with. Until such time as the Chair comes back with a decision, I think we have to abide by it.
    Madam Speaker, I was going through what had taken place during the voting marathon in which the Conservative Party continued to demonstrate its lack of support for Ukraine.
    When one thinks of Operation Unifier, that is something that literally trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and contributed positively to the war. The way in which Canada contributes can be found in many different ways. One of those was on that particular vote and that was actually Motion No. 54. I would encourage Canadians who want to find out exactly how the Conservatives voted to look it up.
    Another vote was on funding to reinforce Canada's support for Ukraine, which, again, complemented Unifier. That was on Motion No. 55. Again, I will not say how parties voted, but I would indicate that Canadians might want to take a look at the votes and proceedings, to see how the Conservative Party voted.
     Motion No. 56 was on funding for military aid. Think about that: military aid for Ukraine. This item received funding from the Treasury Board vote 5, which is government contingency funding, for the expanded contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is budget 2023, funding to reinforce Canada's support for Ukraine.
    If those who are following the debate want to understand why I have said what I have said and have expressed my disappointment in today's Conservative Party, all they need to do is look at the voting record on those motions and, I would suggest, the report stage of the Canada-Ukraine trade agreement bill. A lot of Canadians would be very disappointed in the official opposition.
    I would suggest that the reason we have seen that voting pattern by the Conservative Party is the MAGA right movement in the United States of America and how that movement is coming north. It is being jumped on by the leader of the official opposition.
    In fact, as I have suggested in the past, we need to be concerned about patterns. One of the patterns that I have witnessed coming from the leader of the official opposition's office is the misinformation and how the official opposition is using that style of politics of MAGA right in order to generate the type of attention that the Conservatives want. They will do it at all costs.
    Ukraine is but one—

  (1155)  

    The hon. member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I continue to rise on points of order because the language we are hearing from the member from Winnipeg is contrary to Standing Order 18. It is implying that the Conservative Party of Canada is breaking laws related to treason in Canada.
    As a member of Parliament, I find that offensive to assume that we are influenced by a foreign government—
    I do not think the hon. member was implying such a thing. He was referring to influences, not necessarily to being treasonous.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, on the same point of order, I would point out that the Conservatives often make false claims about associations and such—
    We are not going to start a debate on this.
    The hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I think my colleague knows well the rules about accusing people of lying or being liars in the House—
    I do not think the hon. member did such a thing. She said that people on both sides accuse each other of different things.
    I will let the hon. parliamentary secretary continue.
    Madam Speaker, guilt is a wonderful thing at times. When I look across the way, I see a lot of heads that are down and those members look somewhat depressed. I suspect it might have to do with something that has taken place in terms of their behaviour with respect to Ukraine. Canadians have unified and understood the importance of what is taking place in Ukraine today, but they are disappointed in what they have witnessed coming from the Conservative Party.
    The President of Ukraine, at a time of war, came to Canada. While in Canada, he signed a trade agreement that is very meaningful not only for economic purposes, but also for morale and making a strong political statement to countries like Russia. It shows that Ukraine is building relationships with the European Union and North America, because Ukraine wants to be able to expand its economy and its relationships through trade agreements.
    The president, during a time of war, took the time to come here. Let us go back to when we first introduced the bill. In September, he was here. A couple of months later, we are actually dealing with the legislation.
    If we look at the comments that I put on the record back then, I said I suspect that all members of the House would be glad to see the legislation pass and how wonderful it would be to pass the legislation before Christmas. When I said “pass”, I meant that it had to go through the entire process, including in the Senate. The House will rise in a couple of days, and we have not even got out of third reading.
    The solidarity for Ukraine is not there because the Conservative Party of today has made the decision to do what it can to deny the unanimous support that is required to get this legislation through. What we have seen today is the Conservative Party does not want us to tell anyone how it is actually voting because the Conservatives feel ashamed about it. That is why.
    Never before have I been limited in any way, which is why I am very anxious to hear the ruling on being able to tell Canadians how another entity or individual in the House voted. However, I will respect what you have said, Madam Speaker, in the hope that we will get clarity on the issue. I suspect there are many people in this chamber who want to be able to ask the Conservative Party why and challenge it on its actions.
    The best excuse the Conservatives have come up with is the issue of the price on pollution. That is a red herring. That is all that is. The Conservatives say the reason they are uncomfortable with the legislation is that it has a price on pollution. What they do not recognize is that Ukraine already has a price on pollution. It has had one for over a decade. The whole European Union is moving toward a price on pollution.
    Only the leader of the Conservative Party here in Canada believes that there is no need for a price on pollution and that there is no need to have a plan for Canada's environment.

  (1200)  

     I heard one of my colleagues say that it is going back to the Stone Age. I can appreciate why she would say that. They have climate deniers. They do not recognize it. They feel that all they have to do is one thing, but I am scared that if I say the word “mislead”, they will jump up like beans saying that I cannot say that.
     Let us think about it. Here is what the Conservatives actually say, coast to coast to coast. Conservatives with their shiny-new leader say they are going to cut the tax, that they are going to garbage the price on pollution, and that they are going to make life more affordable. That is what we see today from the Conservative right.
    I could provide a 20-minute comment in regard to their lack of respect for the whole issue of the environment, but rather, what I would like to point to is just the degree to which they are misleading Canadians. In essence, they are saying that they are going to get rid of the price on pollution for the residents of Winnipeg North, and that means they are going to axe the tax. That is what, in essence, the Conservatives are saying. They are saying that they would be making life more affordable. I say balderdash. At the end of the day, the Conservatives would actually take money out of the pockets of my constituents because 80-plus per cent get more money back in the rebates than they pay into the price on pollution. That tells me that the Conservatives would take money away from Canadians, but they do not tell Canadians that, because that is not part of the MAGA movement.
     The MAGA movement says to mislead, and that is what the Conservatives are doing to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. They are deceiving real people. They are hurting Canadians. They are not helping on the affordability file—
    The hon. member's time is up.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.
    Madam Speaker, opposition parties oppose, and they oppose legislation that they think is bad. That does not cause harm to anyone. The parliamentary secretary's argument that somehow voting against a bill is bad makes no sense. However, something that was bad was the current government's granting—
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the member just told Canadians, on the floor of the House of Commons, that the opposition party voted against a bill and that was just—
    I am sorry, but that is not a point of order. That is a point of debate.
    The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, with respect to that point of order, the—
    It was not a point of order.
    The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon, on the question.
    Madam Speaker, what actually has harmed Ukraine was the government's decision to grant a waiver to export a gas turbine. It is interesting. The Liberals use President Zelenskyy's name all the time in support of their cause to try to score cheap political points. President Zelenskyy had a few things to say about that waiver.
    If a terrorist state can squeeze out such an exemption to sanctions, what exemptions would it want? Moreover, it is dangerous not only for Ukraine but for all countries of the democratic world. Zelenskyy called on the Canadian government to reverse that decision. The Ukrainian ambassador went on to say that Russia is using energy as a weapon in Europe and all over the world and this money and fuel were going to support the war in Ukraine. Do the Liberals regret that they actually aided President Putin in his war by exporting that gas turbine?
    Madam Speaker, as the member tries to change the channel, we need to recognize the reality of today. The reality of today is that there is one political entity, better known as the Conservative Party of Canada, that seems to want to take the side of Russia over Ukraine. That has been clearly demonstrated—
    Mr. Kyle Seeback: No, giving the turbine to Russia—
    Order. The hon. member had an opportunity to ask his question. Now, whether he likes the answer or not, he needs to take the opportunity to listen. If he has other questions, he can wait until I ask for questions and comments.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker—
    On a point of order, the hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.
    Madam Speaker, for the member to suggest that I support Russia is despicable and—
    Actually, the hon. member's question seemed to indicate that on the other side as well. I would ask members to please refrain from doing that. We know that everybody in this House does not support Russia. That has been reaffirmed in the House. I would ask members to please refrain from saying that during their questions and during their comments.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I see some individuals on the other side, just as they should well be, are very ashamed of the way they have conducted themselves when it comes to issues with respect to Ukraine. Where there should have been unanimous support for Ukraine at a very difficult time in its history, we see the Conservative Party under its current leadership looking south to be inspired by MAGA politics. That is to the detriment of Ukraine. The Conservatives have to take responsibility for their actions, and by that I mean their votes, and not try to hide behind the Speaker's back.

Official Report

    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to seek unanimous consent from the House to change my vote from last night on Bill C-56, Division No. 606, from nay to yea. I ran out of time and was unable to make that change then. I hope the House will allow me to change my vote.
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

Points of Order

Alleged Breach of Standing Order 18  

[Points of Order]
    Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on the remarks made by the member for Winnipeg North, who referred to the nature of the Conservatives' vote on one of the aspects of the many votes that were held in the House on Friday. He simply mentioned the Conservatives' vote.
    The Conservatives mentioned Standing Order 18, which says that no member may—
    The member needs to get to the reason he is rising on a point of order, because, for now, this seems to be a matter of debate.
    Madam Chair, I would have liked to be part of the debate on the earlier point of order to talk about Standing Order 18, which the Conservatives mentioned and which, according to them, prevents members from reflecting on a vote.
    We cannot criticize a vote, but we can talk about it. We can talk about the position a member took during a vote. The member for Winnipeg North did not criticize the vote. He simply pointed out that the Conservative Party took a particular position on a particular vote.
    The House should not oppose what the member for Winnipeg North said. That is why I am rising. I want to add my voice to what was said earlier about the standing order the Conservatives mentioned.

  (1210)  

    The Chair will take this intervention under advisement and get back to the House with an answer if necessary.

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 2023

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C‑57, An Act to implement the 2023 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine, be read the third time and passed.
    Madam Speaker, it would be worth our while to discuss this bill. I would like the member for Winnipeg North to tell me about his vision for the free trade agreement with Ukraine. We obviously agree on the bill, though it still has some shortcomings. The Bloc Québécois has long objected to the fact that private companies can sue governments under free trade agreements by claiming that a government's legislation is detrimental to a company's trade. We see this as a mistake that needs to be corrected.
    Is my colleague willing to study this issue and make improvements?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as the member is likely aware, there are very serious limitations as to what we can do with respect to making changes. The simple reason for this is that we have an agreement that is signed off on, and it is more of a ratification process. I do not know the details of what kind of modifications would, in fact, be acceptable without having to sign a different agreement.
    Having said that, the real benefits of the agreement for both Canada and Ukraine deal with everything from infrastructure to high-tech companies, as well as many agricultural benefits. In essence, it enhances opportunities for both countries to be able to develop stronger and healthier trade links.
    Uqaqtittiji, the other thing I very much appreciate about this trade agreement is the chapter that talks about trade and indigenous peoples. I understand that modernizing the agreement is important, and ensuring that indigenous peoples are allowed economic opportunities through this trade agreement is particularly important.
    Will the member make sure that, when his party is creating the bilateral committee, it will include indigenous representation from all indigenous groups?
    Madam Speaker, I am confident in knowing that, when we talk about trade agreements, economic development and the social impacts of these agreements, a wide spectrum of things are considered. These include the absolutely critical role, as the Prime Minister himself has indicated, of ensuring that we operate as two governments, making sure that indigenous and Canadian interests are being served well.
    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague spoke about the obsession that the Conservatives have around pricing pollution, which will actually take money out of the pockets of his constituents. He also spoke about the influences from the Trumpist MAGA Republicans in the U.S. Is the member at all concerned that the Conservatives seem to be advocating for the far right in this country, which supports Russia, as well as big oil instead of constituents?
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question, and that is the reason I would reference a pattern. What we have actually seen is that the Conservative Party of today is not the same Conservative Party even of Stephen Harper. Under the current leadership, it continues to move farther to the right.
    The MAGA right is very real. It is a movement that is in the United States, and it is coming north. The one who is selling it the most today is the leader of the Conservative Party, and the price on pollution is an excellent example of that.
    A bunch of Conservatives travel the country saying that they are going to get rid of the price on pollution and make things more affordable; in fact, it is just not true. A vast majority of Canadians would actually have less disposable income as a direct result of the Conservatives' policy, yet they would not know that from what they are being told by the Conservative movement today. Canadians need to be made aware of it. American-style politics is coming north through the leader of the official opposition.

  (1215)  

    Madam Speaker, of course, different sovereign states disagree from time to time about policy. Last summer, the Canadian ambassador to Ukraine was actually summoned, and the President of Ukraine publicly and repeatedly expressed his extreme displeasure over the fact that this government granted a sanctions waiver for a turbine that was to facilitate the export of Russian gas. This was a very serious issue for the Government of Ukraine. One does not summon an ambassador lightly, but that is what the Ukrainian government did.
    The member is sort of on his high horse about how, somehow, we should never disagree with a country that we are friends with. Of course, Canada supports Ukraine; Conservatives support Ukraine. However, this member is now saying that we should do exactly what the government wants.
    I want to ask the member: Where was he last summer? Did he make any statements about the sanctions waiver? What, if anything, did he have to say when the Canadian ambassador to Ukraine was summoned by President Zelenskyy to express his displeasure?
    Madam Speaker, I am not going to accept the changing of the channel. At the end of the day, whether it is the President of Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada or the Canadian Ukrainian Congress, not to mention millions of Canadians, they can see the behaviour of the Conservative Party today when it comes to the Canada-Ukraine agreement and the line-by-line allotments of support to Ukraine. The Conservative Party has been nothing but a disappointment; the far right has taken over the party on certain policies, and this is one of them.
     I say shame on the Conservative Party for not getting behind this and continuing to have that unanimous support. Rather, it caters to the far right. I think that does a disservice to all of Canada.
    Madam Speaker, as I rise for this third reading debate, I have to express my deep disappointment at the inflammatory rhetoric that we hear from the Liberal government. Its members are desperately trying to change the channel from the misery that they have brought to Canadians, whether in terms of the millions of Canadians visiting food banks or the 800,000 people in Ontario who have to rely on a food bank now. This would be the same as the fourth-largest city in Ontario being completely dependent on the food bank to survive. That is the result after eight years of the Liberal government.
     Liberals try to change the channel about a principled decision by the Conservative Party to vote against this free trade agreement. There are many reasons to do so. Of course, we have talked about the fact that there is a reference to carbon pricing and carbon leakage. There is also, as the Liberals like to call it, the polluter pays principle, with policies that those who pollute the environment should bear the cost of that pollution. Most Liberals say that emitting carbon is pollution. Therefore, as Ukrainians are in the middle of a war and are trying to heat their homes, the Liberal government is saying that they are polluters, because most Ukrainians use carbon-based fuels for heating.
    We get to have a principled objection to this free trade agreement on that basis alone. There are many other reasons we would be opposed to it that we have not debated in great detail. Opposition parties get to vote against what they consider to be bad legislation. The Liberals say it is no big deal that there are some references to carbon pricing and carbon leakage. However, what will they do in the next trade agreement they try to sign? This is the first time carbon pricing and carbon leakage have ever been in a trade agreement. Is it in the free trade agreement with the European Union, the CPTPP, our trade agreement with the United States or any other trade agreement that Canada has ever signed? No, it is not.
    This is the first time Liberals have put it into a trade agreement. What will it be the next time? Will Liberals mandate a certain carbon tax within a trade agreement? That is what they are trying to do. The Liberals are desperately trying to entrench the carbon tax and their version of carbon pricing into international trade agreements. What will be the next step they take on that?
    We get to oppose that on principle. The really despicable thing that has happened as a result of this is that the Liberals suggest that this is the Conservative Party not supporting Ukraine and, in fact, somehow supporting Vladimir Putin and Russia. That kind of toxic rhetoric is actually quite despicable. The Liberals should be ashamed that they are using it on the very principled position that Conservatives have taken on this free trade agreement.
    As we know, there are two other parties in the House that have supported this free trade agreement, so this is actually going to pass. Our vote will cause no harm to Ukraine as we voice our principled opposition to the Liberal government's obsession with carbon taxes and carbon pricing.
    When we look at—

  (1220)  

    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, seriously? Wow.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I have recognized the hon. parliamentary secretary for a point of order. Let us hear what he has to say.
    Madam Speaker, the member is, if not directly, then indirectly, talking about how the Conservative Party has voted. It was ruled earlier that we cannot do that.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. These far left, megadisruptive tactics from this member have no place in the House. He should be ashamed of himself.
    The member in question was talking about his own decisions, which the other member has done, and he says this should be allowed.
    Again, I encourage these far left-importing tactics—
     From what I can see, we are starting to go down that road again that was ruled on earlier this morning based on all the points of order that were being raised. I would recommend that members go back and look at the rules of order we already have in place. If they have a point of order, members should make sure it fits within those rules, one that we can actually take in.
    Madam Speaker, the party that complaints that points of order are disruptive makes a ridiculous point of order.
    I will go back to my point, which is that my decision as a Conservative to vote against this agreement is a principled decision. I will not stand for trade agreements having carbon pricing or taxes, because who knows what the Liberals are going to do next time. I get to do that. As we know, this legislation is going to pass, so there is no harm being caused by that.
    When we look, for instance, at what happened with the waiver of the export permit that the government granted for a gas turbine, that caused significant harm to Ukraine. President Zelenskyy said, “If a terrorist state can squeeze out such an exception to sanctions, what exceptions will it want tomorrow or the day after tomorrow? ...it is dangerous not only for Ukraine, but also for all countries of the democratic world.” President Zelenskyy called on the Liberal government to change its decision.
    The Liberals say we should listen to President Zelenskyy on the trade agreement, but Conservatives get to disagree with them on that. We think it is not a good trade deal. It is not good for Ukraine and not good for Canada. However, President Zelenskyy saying that the Liberal government should not grant the export waiver that is aiding Russia is somehow no big deal, there is nothing to see here. Their hypocrisy on this is really astounding.
    Then the government turns a principled vote in the House of Commons against including carbon taxes, carbon leakage or carbon pricing in a trade agreement for the first time ever into somehow aiding Russia or Vladimir Putin. Not only is that language despicable, it is completely unhelpful to the debate. Liberals saying Conservatives are supporting Russia is giving Russia some kind of a win.
    Conservatives, of course, are not saying that. We are saying it is a terrible decision and the decision helped Russia pump gas, which has helped fuelled its war. President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian ambassador said that. Those are their words, not ours.
    If we look at who is actually causing harm to Ukraine, it is the Liberal government in its decision to grant that export waiver. Many Liberal members stand and claim that Conservatives are doing terrible things to Ukraine as a result of our principled decision. Where were they on this decision? They are not there, which, to me, is deeply hypocritical. Ukrainian Canadians know exactly which party supported the export of that gas turbine. If that was all, I would say that is pretty bad, but not absolutely awful.
    However, let us look at what else has happened. There are now media reports that Canadian detonators are in Russian mines. That is a complete lack of export control by the government. We know that Liberals are not very good at doing much, but to allow Canadian detonators to find their way, as the media has reported, into Russian mines is inexcusable. They say our principled vote against the bad things they put in this trade agreement is somehow aiding Russia and Vladimir Putin, but they exported a gas turbine used to pump Russian gas to fund the war and Canadian detonators have found their way into Russian mines that are used during the war. If we compare these things, some things are desperately harmful to Ukraine and other things do not cause any damage whatsoever.
    If that was all, Conservatives would say it is terrible, though not absolutely awful, but there is more. Canada is the only G7 country that is not offering wartime insurance to businesses. Liberals say Canada is there to help rebuild Ukraine, but they will not put wartime insurance in place for businesses right now. Therefore, any businesses in Canada that want to help Ukraine during the war do not have wartime insurance. Every other G7 country has it. This causes real damage to Ukraine and they have the audacity to say that our principled vote against the trade agreement is somehow aiding Vladimir Putin. These three decisions the Liberals made are aiding the Russian war effort, so their hypocrisy on this is really stunning.

  (1225)  

    At committee, we tried to improve the trade agreement. The Ukrainian ambassador said recently that they could use, in the future, co-operation on energy security. As we pointed out at the committee, there is nothing in this trade agreement on energy security. It is shocking.
    Ukraine needs energy security. Why would we not include a chapter on energy security? I know the Liberals and all their proxies say that has never been in a trade agreement before, so we cannot put it in. Carbon pricing and carbon leakage were never in a trade agreement before either. Clearly, we can put things into trade agreements that have never been in them before.
    They are going to ask why it is not in there. It is because when we negotiate a trade agreement, two sides decide what they are going to put in them. The Liberal government's priority was carbon taxes, carbon pricing and carbon leakage. We know the Ukrainians want energy security. The ambassador just said it recently on the news. Why was there not a chapter on energy security in the trade agreement? We can only conclude it is because the Liberal government did not want to put anything in the trade agreement on energy security. We can come to no other conclusion.
    The Conservatives tried to fix that. We brought forward a motion at committee to expand the scope of what could be included in the review of this trade agreement to allow for energy security. Every single Liberal member on that committee voted no, which is the exact opposite of what the Ukrainian ambassador was just asking for.
    When we talk about what is causing harm, there is only one wrecking ball going through this and it is the wrecking ball of the Liberals because they exported the gas turbine, they will not grant wartime insurance and Canadian detonators are somehow finding their way into Russian mines. I ascribe all of that to gross incompetence because we see gross incompetence from the Liberals on virtually every single thing they touch right now here in Canada.
    If that was all, we could say that it is not such a big deal. However, there were eight amendments at committee that we tried to use to improve the free trade agreement so we could actually find a way to support it. One of the amendments that I put forward would have delayed the coming into force of the agreement until the references to carbon pricing and carbon leakage were removed. If that had been done, I would have found a way to vote in favour of it, but that was voted down like every single amendment was voted down that we put forward to make this trade agreement better.
    This included an amendment to strengthen co-operation on matters relating to nuclear technology, including the export of Canadian nuclear equipment, expertise and uranium to Ukraine. Ukraine has lost 50% of its electricity-generating capacity as a result of this war from Russian bombing. Would it not have been great to put in this free trade agreement co-operation on expanding nuclear capacity?
    I know, everyone is saying surely the Liberals voted for that. It is what Ukraine needs, it is what the Ukrainian ambassador asked for. No, people would be wrong. Liberals voted against it. They want to include their ideological obsession with carbon pricing and carbon leakage, but they do not want to vote for co-operation in nuclear technology, and co-operation on energy to provide energy security.
    The other issue is this: There could have been co-operation on LNG capacity in Ukraine and increasing Canadian LNG exports. As everyone knows, Russia's war machine is primarily funded by the exports of gas.
     Ukraine is sitting on the third-largest proven reserves of LNG in all of Europe. Imagine a Europe that is getting its LNG exclusively from Ukraine, as opposed to getting LNG from Russia. Imagine if Ukraine got the revenues from being able to export LNG to Europe and to other parts of the world to help it fight the Russian invasion. This would be a double win. It would cut off the blood money that is going to Russia and it would increase the revenues of Ukraine. It would have more money to fight the war.

  (1230)  

    Surely, Liberals voted for the trade agreement to include LNG co-operation, right? It would be a win-win for everyone. No, they did not; they voted against it, because the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party have an ideological obsession with carbon taxes, carbon prices and carbon emissions.
    Even to the detriment of a country in the middle of war, a country fighting for its very survival, what is the most important thing for the Liberal government? It is carbon tax, carbon price and carbon leakage. Even in this context, Liberals cannot get out of their obsession with the carbon tax, which is something that absolutely would have helped Ukraine.
    I will move on to some of the amendments that were put forward. We put forward an amendment on the donation of Canadian military equipment because we have equipment somewhat past its functional life but not completely unusable. This could be exported to Ukraine and refurbished so it could have more Canadian military equipment to help in its war. Again, surely Liberals voted for that because it would be a direct benefit to Ukraine. No, they did not. Then they have the audacity to say to us that if we vote against this free trade agreement somehow it is a win for Russia and Vladimir Putin. The hypocrisy is really unbelievable.
    There are more and more amendments that were put forward—

  (1235)  

    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order, only because I do think it is important we get some sort of a ruling sooner as opposed to later. The member has now, on a couple of occasions, been reflecting on votes, whether they were in committee or here, which is a concern all members should be having.
    Madam Speaker, on the same point of order, on what the parliamentary secretary just said, a member is allowed to reflect on their own votes. I do not believe the Standing Orders in the House of Commons directly affect how committees vote. I do not believe it has ever been part of the rules directly.
    Votes cannot be referred to in the House that are taken here. Part of the ruling that is made should also include whether we can refer to votes taken at committee, especially a member's own vote, which a member is allowed to reflect on because it is part of the public record. It should be public and they can refer to it when speaking to constituents and speaking in the House on it. That is what the member for Dufferin—Caledon was doing. If not for the interruption by the parliamentary secretary, I am sure he would have finished by now.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. I will read very specifically from the standing order I think the member is trying to refer to. This is Standing Order 18, the second half of it, which reads:
    No member may reflect upon any vote of the House, except for the purpose of moving that such vote be rescinded.
    That makes fairly clear that reflecting on a vote of committee is not covered by the standing order.
    As indicated before, I appreciate the additional information the hon. members have put forward. I will come back to the House, if need be.
    I want to remind members that, according to the Standing Orders, they are not to reflect on how other members have voted in votes that have been held in the House.
    I will allow the hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon to continue his speech.
    Madam Speaker, it is amazing to me that the member who complained about points of order during his speech continues to rise to interrupt me when I am giving my speech about continuing to talk about motions that were brought forward to try to make the trade agreement better.
    Again, a motion was brought at committee for expanded munitions productions in Canada to increase munitions exports to Ukraine and to support the development of weapons and ammunitions manufacturing capabilities in Ukraine by Canadian industry. A country in the middle of a war and using thousands of shells a day needs expanded munitions, so, of course, we brought forward the motion to say that we want to directly support Ukraine, because, despite the desperate attempts by the Liberal government and its members to say we do not support Ukraine, we absolutely do. Of course, the motion was defeated, with all Liberal members at the committee voting against it.
    We try to talk about actual support for Ukraine, and Conservatives have put forward real motions, real amendments to improve the trade agreement to help Ukraine. We have done that. What the Liberal government has done is export a gas turbine and be so incompetent and negligent as to allow Canadian detonators to end up in Russian mines. It has not provided wartime insurance for Canadian businesses to help rebuild Ukraine. We are the only country in the G7 not to do that. Liberals then have had the audacity to stand here and somehow suggest that we are supporting Vladimir Putin. That is a disgraceful comment to make. They should be ashamed of themselves for making it, but—
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think it would be really shocking if the Liberals accused the Conservatives of supporting Vladimir Putin, but I think the issue was that they voted against Operation Unifier on three separate occasions.
    Again, that is a point of debate.
    The hon. member for Dufferin—Caledon.
    Madam Speaker, what we find is that the hyperbole coming from the Liberals does not match reality. Their criticism is deeply hypocritical. We all know it. They have done things that have directly harmed and continue to directly harm Ukraine with their decisions. They have become the party of disinformation by suggesting that we do not support Ukraine, disinformation that somehow our opposition to the free trade agreement means not supporting Ukraine. We tried to make the trade agreement better so we could support the agreement and, of course, Ukraine. The Liberal government did everything it could to make sure that was not possible. Why did it? It is because it wants to use the trade agreement in a desperate attempt to score cheap political points here in Canada with an incredibly false narrative.
    I move:
    That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:
    “Bill C-57, An Act to implement the 2023 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine, be not now read a third time, but be referred back to the Standing Committee on International Trade with the view to amend the coming into force provision to allow it to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council after the removal of all references to carbon pricing and carbon leakage.”

  (1240)  

    The amendment is in order.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, are we debating the amendment or are we still in the original debate?
     It is questions and comments on the member's speech.
    Madam Speaker, the member spoke of the principled approach of the Conservative Party to the agreement, so let us talk about principles.
    This is not about the carbon tax, but today the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition. Today, President Zelenskyy is in Washington, D.C., desperate to get military support from the United States that is being blocked by the American far right. Today, more than ever, is a day when Ukraine needs the political support, and where is the Conservative Party? Conservatives voted against the free trade agreement today. On Friday, they voted against any military assistance to Ukraine. Today, of all days, is a day when Ukraine really needs political support around the world. Why do they continue to oppose support for Ukraine?
    Madam Speaker, of course we support Ukraine; that is absolutely true. We voted against the fall economic statement because we have absolutely no confidence in the incompetent, corrupt Liberal government.
    The member is talking about munitions. That is great; good for him. We had a motion at committee to support expanded munitions productions in Canada, increase munitions exports to Ukraine and support the delivery of weapons and munitions manufacturing capabilities in Ukraine by Canadian industry. How did Liberal members of the committee vote? They voted against it. The member should perhaps get off of his PMO talking points that he just read to the House and actually understand what his party has done with respect to munitions.

  (1245)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague referred to the amendments to the treaty that the Conservative Party proposed in committee. We disagree with most of those amendments, but we still think that we should have had an opportunity to debate them, because we are in a parliamentary system and a democracy.
    However, the way treaties are negotiated in Canada is unique. The government negotiates them behind Parliament's back in a way. The government decides on the content of the treaty, which means that parliamentarians are deprived of all their democratic tools and cannot debate or amend the treaty either in committee or in the House. The only thing they have a say in is the treaty's rules of application. That seems undemocratic to me and it is at odds with what is done in the United States and Europe. The Canadian approach seems very undemocratic to me.
    I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the undemocratic way that Canada negotiates treaties and prevents Parliament from debating amendments.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, coming to Parliament, table-dropping a 700-page trade agreement and expecting Parliament to just immediately rubber-stamp it is the kind of arrogance one gets with the Liberal government. It believes that, somehow, it is so infallible, so perfect, that it has brought to us, as we approach Christmas, something like the birth of Christ. Here it is: the perfect child.
    In fact, we get to have real criticisms of the bill. Yes, the challenge is, of course, this: There is a process to bring treaties and trade agreements to members so they have an opportunity to have input. The Liberals did none of that. They brought it here and said it is perfect, and now they are criticizing people for criticizing it. It is an embarrassing way for them to behave.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank our shadow minister for trade for his very thoughtful and well-articulated concerns about the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. I think he was very clear that Conservatives support Ukraine. Conservatives are the party of free trade.
    Unfortunately, the Liberals have stuck carbon taxes into the trade agreement. This is the first time in history. It is unprecedented, and we cannot accept it when we are the party that is opposed to carbon taxes.
    I know that the hon. member has already reflected on this, but we have been calling on the government since 2018 to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. It did not wait four weeks to send lethal weapons. It did not wait four months. It waited four years, until the hot, full-scale invasion happened in Ukraine. The member was very clear to say that we have been asking for the government to do more in support of Ukraine. The free trade agreement would not provide the opportunity for the Canadian defence industry to do business in Ukraine. There would be no war insurance provided.
    Right now, the Canadian Armed Forces is decommissioning old light armoured vehicles: Bisons, Coyotes and tracked LAVs, the M113s. Why are the Liberals sitting around? We have been asking since March of last year to actually export the vehicles, to send them to Ukraine in the fight against Russia. They have not. Why have they not?
    Madam Speaker, it is a great question. This is actually where we get to where the rubber hits the road. There are real and concrete things that the Liberal government could have done and could be doing to help Ukraine. Instead, it has wrapped itself in the free trade agreement to somehow suggest that this is the only way one can support Ukraine. Of course, it put a poison pill in it. It knew that the Conservatives could not support carbon pricing and carbon leakage.
    However, there are real, measurable things that would have made a difference. There was a motion on the exact issue that the member has just raised, to do that. Of course, it was defeated.
    Exporting a gas turbine to Russia, the Canadian detonators in Russian mines, no wartime insurance, not sending the armoured vehicle and not increasing munitions production are things that are actually harming Ukraine. Our vote does not harm it. The Liberals should stop talking the way they are. It is disgraceful.
    Madam Speaker, in his remarks, the member spoke about why all Conservatives oppose the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. He cited two things. First, there is the mention of carbon pricing in it, which, of course, is not a legitimate reason, because Ukraine has already had carbon pricing since 2011 and needs carbon pricing to enter the EU, which it is desperately trying to do. The agreement would not even force Ukraine to do anything on carbon pricing, so that is not a reason to oppose the agreement. We already know that.
    The other reason he gave was that the government is somehow imposing language about carbon pricing on Ukraine, or imposing something on it that it does not want. However, President Zelenskyy signed the agreement; he came to Canada to do that. He asked all parliamentarians to vote for it. The Ukrainian ambassador asked all parliamentarians to vote for it. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress asked all parliamentarians to vote for it. Ukraine MPs who were visiting Canada asked all parliamentarians to vote for it. Conservatives seem to believe that they know better than Ukrainians themselves do what Ukrainians want.
    My question for the member is this: Why are Conservatives and Vladimir Putin the only people out there who seem to think they know better than Ukrainians themselves what Ukrainians want or need ?

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, the logical gymnastics the member just had to do are something that could probably have won him a gold medal at an Olympic gymnastics competition.
    President Zelenskyy actually asked the Liberals to not send the gas turbine. Did the member stand up against his government and say that it should not happen? No, he did not. There are currently no export controls in place to stop Canadian detonators from getting into Russian land mines. Has he stood up to criticize his government for doing that? No, he has not. However, somehow, voting against a trade agreement is one of the cardinal sins, one of the seven deadly sins. It is ridiculous and pathetic.
    The Liberals should be stopping the things I have raised. They should be including the things I have raised. That is how to show support for Ukraine, not this fake straw-man argument they are building up about voting against a trade agreement that includes language that we would never support, because in the next trade agreement, they will mandate a carbon price if we let them get away with it this time.
    Canadians know the misery of the carbon tax. We are against it in Canada and we are against it in trade agreements. We will be against it forever.
    Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that we are in favour of Ukraine. I want to go back to December 2, 1991, when former prime minister Brian Mulroney made us the first country in the world to recognize the independence of Ukraine.
     I would ask my colleague to elaborate on the kind of dedication this country has provided to our Ukrainian cohorts, friends and families in Ukraine today, to justify some of the great comments my colleagues have made and to further denigrate what the Liberal government has done with respect to putting a carbon tax into a trade agreement with a country that is at war.
    Madam Speaker, this could be a meme.
    Liberals think that sending a gas turbine that Russia uses to pump gas and make money to fund the war is no big deal, that allowing Canadian detonators to end up in Russian land mines that are killing Ukrainian soldiers is no big deal and that not giving businesses war risk insurance is no big deal. None of that is a big deal, but if we vote against a free trade agreement that we think is a bad trade agreement, they say, “Oh my God, you are supporting Vladimir Putin.” Their arguments on this are pathetic and embarrassing.
    Canadians have always supported Ukraine. Conservatives have always supported Ukraine, just like when we were almost the first country in the world to recognize an independent Ukraine. I think Poland beat us by something like 25 minutes. That is the Conservative record. We support Ukraine, so members should not listen to the misinformation and disinformation the despicable Liberals are trying to spread.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we are already debating third reading of Bill C-57, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement implementation act, 2023, which the Standing Committee on International Trade had the opportunity to study. Several of my colleagues here were present during the committee study.
    Fundamentally, not much has changed about the reasons for our support. This time, the agreement puts some meat on the bones. The old version was pretty skeletal. This agreement will not make Ukraine a major trading partner for Quebec and Canada, of course. I would say Ukraine will remain a minor, not to say marginal, partner. However, this agreement does put meat on the bones. It is a real trade agreement, whereas the previous version was essentially a declaration of friendship.
    We note that there are some promising opportunities for Quebec. Our pork producers will be able to export more to that country. Also, since Quebec is home to many highly reputable engineering firms, there could be some very attractive contracts for them when Ukraine rebuilds. This will also benefit Ukraine economically, and we hope that the rebuilding takes place as soon as possible and that peace is restored quickly.
    However, I do want to point out that there is one clause I voted against in committee. I asked that it not be agreed to on division, like most of the clauses, and that we proceed to a recorded division. It is the clause concerning investor-state dispute settlement. I do not understand why, after removing this from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, Canada would go back to negotiating agreements that include such provisions, which place multinationals on the same footing as governments.
    Yes, it is written very cautiously. There are exceptions, and it is written far more cautiously than the infamous chapter 11 of the former NAFTA agreement, but the fact remains that this still allows multinationals to take states to court when government measures run counter to the company's right to make a profit.
    Take the following case, for example. Ukraine seized property from Ukrainian citizens who were financing and supporting the Russian side. Under the guise of protecting foreign investors, this agreement would make it very difficult for Canada to do the same thing, that is, seize the assets and property of Ukrainian citizens here who support Russia. Our country could expose itself to lawsuits against public property, against the Canadian government, from these investors.
    This is unacceptable. We do not understand why it is still in there. When I asked for a recorded vote on this clause, which is in itself undemocratic because it limits the power of the states to legislate and make political decisions, only my NDP colleague, the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay, voted with me. The Liberals and Conservatives were quick to vote to keep this clause in the bill. The last thing they wanted to do was upset their buddies at the big multinational corporations, of course.
    I should also point out that one chapter in the agreement is full of lofty principles that the government likes to brag about. These lofty principles include the fact that companies will now behave responsibly and Canadian companies will behave properly, so there is nothing to worry about. However, these are nothing but lofty principles. Of course, this refers to international concepts, and it is in no way binding. That is why I am very proud to say that the only amendment that was adopted was the one I proposed, the Bloc Québécois's amendment. I will read it:
    That Bill C-57 be amended by adding after line 11 on page 6 the following new clause:
    “Compliance with principles and guidelines — Canadian companies
     15.1 (1) The Minister must ensure that Canadian companies operating in Ukraine comply with the principles and guidelines referred to in article 15.14 of the Agreement.
     (2) The Minister must establish a process for receiving and responding to complaints of non-compliance with those principles and guidelines.
    (3) On or before January 1st of each year starting in 2025, the Minister must prepare a report that summarizes activities carried out in relation to the Minister’s obligations under this section.
    (4) The Minister must table a copy of the report in each House of Parliament on any of the first 30 days on which that House is sitting after the report is completed.”

  (1255)  

    Thanks to the Bloc Québécois's work in committee, there has been a shift from lofty principles to an obligation of political accountability that is written into the bill. I think that we can be very proud of the work we have done.
    That being said, allow me to digress. The issue of Canadian companies respecting all human rights abroad is far from resolved. I want to read an excerpt from budget 2023. It is not partisan, I will read verbatim what is written:
    Budget 2023 announces the federal government's intention to introduce legislation by 2024 to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains to strengthen the import ban on goods produced using forced labour. The government will also work to ensure existing legislation fits within the government's overall framework to safeguard our supply chains.
    The budget was presented in March 2023. It says “by 2024”.
    May I remind the government that it has three days left to keep its promise to introduce legislation before the House adjourns, three days from now? May I remind the government of this, or will it add this to its long list of broken promises?
    At the Standing Committee on International Trade, I also moved a motion to send the Minister of Labour a letter to remind him of the commitment in his mandate letter. My motion was adopted, with all my colleagues, including the Liberals, voting in favour. The letter was sent. I am glad. I am looking forward to seeing the government's response. Perhaps we will get a nice surprise. Perhaps when we wake up tomorrow morning, the bill will miraculously be introduced and the government will keep its promise. I just want to remind it that it has three days left.
    Of course, the government may say that there was Bill S-211. That bill requires Canadian companies to prepare an annual report. It does not have much to do with respecting human rights. It only deals with forced labour. It does not cover human rights, which, according to international conventions, are indivisible. We are far from that. Under Bill S‑211, a company could comply just by reporting that it took no due diligence measures. All it has to do is submit a report in which it says it did nothing, and it will meet the requirement. The only consequences, the only fines, are for companies that fail to submit a report or that make false statements. Therefore, if the company reports that it did no due diligence, the government would say, “That is fine, thank you, good night”, and move on to the next company. Only companies with more than 250 employees that generate significant active revenue are covered.
    Instead, I urge the government to move forward with Bill C-262, which was introduced by the NDP, but which I am co-sponsoring and supporting. It covers companies of all sizes, gets the affected communities involved, encompasses all human rights and, above all, provides meaningful recourse for victims.

  (1300)  

    The member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman on a point of order.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I believe the member inadvertently referred to the Prime Minister by his name.

[Translation]

    I do not know. I did not hear it.
    Did the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot mention the Prime Minister's name?
    Madam Speaker, I did not mention the Prime Minister in my speech at all.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to ask that my colleague listen before he raises points of order. He might find that useful later on during question period.
    That brings me to the matter of returning to the agreement. I have consistently said that I oppose it. Let us keep in mind that all of the Conservatives' amendments were ruled out of order. I was against all of them. Some of what they contained was totally irresponsible and dangerous, such as including the sale of weapons in a trade agreement. We want this to be an agreement for reconstruction and peace, not for what its wording implies, an agreement for perpetual warfare. It made no sense. However, every time that the amendments brought forward were ruled out of order, I voted with the Conservatives so that the amendments could be debated and heard.
    The definition of trade agreements has a major transparency problem. Something makes no sense. I intend to talk about it.
    Ottawa is not being transparent with its own MPs even though they are the ones chosen by the people to represent them in the House. No matter the issue or the party in power, governments do not like their opponents scrutinizing their actions too closely. When it comes to trade agreements, Canada's monarchical culture demands secrecy. Canada clings to that monarchical tradition, keeping its trade agreements hidden in the shadows lest they perish like vampires in the sun.
    As an MP, I have experienced this on several occasions, including in November and December 2020, when the Standing Committee on International Trade was supposed to study the transitional Canada-UK free trade agreement without actually seeing it. It was a genuine theatre of the absurd. We heard witnesses, experts who told us what they liked and did not like, and who encouraged us to vote for or against certain parts of it. Not one of those people had seen the agreement, not even the MPs who were supposed to study it. What was the point?
    When Canada's Department of External Affairs was created in 1909, the Secretary of State presiding over it was required to provide an annual report to Parliament on the department's activities. Logically, this included a report on Canada's international discussions and commitments. In 1995, at the height of globalization, the department's act was amended to give it a freer hand by granting it jurisdiction over international trade, to the detriment of Parliament. The requirement for an annual report was abolished at that time.
    However, in 1926, the House of Commons passed a resolution stating the following:
...before His Majesty's Canadian Ministers advise ratification of a treaty or convention affecting Canada, or signify acceptance of any treaty, convention or agreement involving military or economic sanctions, the approval of the parliament of Canada should be secured.
    In actual fact, this practice was applied unevenly for 40 years until it was finally abandoned in 1966. A parliament worthy of the name should adopt procedures aimed at increasing the level of democratic control over agreements.
    My political party, the Bloc Québécois, introduced seven bills on the procedure for reaching agreements between 1999 and 2004, requiring the minister responsible for the ratification of an agreement to table it in Parliament, along with an explanatory memorandum, within a reasonable time frame, and requiring the approval of members of Parliament before any ratification. As a result of the Bloc Québécois’s efforts, it is now policy that an explanatory memorandum be submitted within a reasonable time before an agreement is ratified by elected members. There is currently a policy in place, but no government has had the courage to create binding legislation. That is not the same thing.
    As a result, the government can act arbitrarily. We are certainly not a British regime where Parliament is supposed to have partial veto rights over ratifications. Also, this process, while desirable in itself but ridiculously inadequate, consisting in asking members what they think after the fact, could be a means of controlling Parliament. Rather than really involving members in the drafting of international agreements, this policy is merely an instrument to sound out the opposition parties’ position.

  (1305)  

    Some parliaments around the world even consult elected members before starting negotiations to obtain mandates on sectors to be promoted or protected. The United States, for example, has a law that protects the sugar sector. It is written down. The European Union has members vote before starting negotiations. It asks them which mandates they wish to give negotiators.
    The principle makes sense. Members of Parliament are elected by the public to represent the interests and values of their constituents. Given its lack of transparency before, during and after trade negotiations, Canada has a long way to go when it comes to involving members of Parliament in the process.
    We might have hoped for progress when yet another agreement was reached between the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party in 2020. We would have thought there would be more transparency in the process. I remember that we were studying the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA, in the Standing Committee on International Trade. Before CUSMA was adopted, the NDP reached an agreement with the Liberal Party, agreeing to accelerate the adoption of CUSMA in exchange for the government’s commitment to increase transparency in trade agreements. There would be less transparency at the time, because there was less time to study CUSMA but, in exchange, there would be more transparency in the future.
    What happened? The next agreement, with the United Kingdom, was referred for consideration for several weeks without us having any text. This tells us how successful the agreement was. Now, there are talks with Indonesia. There were talks with India until not long ago. There are talks with the whole Indo-Pacific region and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. There are talks with the United Kingdom for a transitional agreement. Eventually, there will be talks with Mercosur. We know absolutely nothing about any of these. The meetings of the Standing Committee on International Trade, even when we hear from Canadian negotiators, tell us very little.
    That agreement between the NDP and the Liberal Party of Canada yielded negligible results, which does not seem to have discouraged the NDP from continuing to forge alliances with them. Good for them, but when it comes to transparency, I wish them better luck next time.
    I would also like to talk about transparency toward the provinces. There is nothing in Canadian federalism—and this is a misnomer, since there is no longer any federalism; we are on the road to a centralized unitary state—that requires consultation with the provinces.
    There was one sole exception. It was for an agreement with Europe, when Quebec was allowed one negotiator. However, that negotiator had no seat at the negotiations table. The chief negotiator for Quebec, former premier Pierre Marc Johnson, has said that he was there just to be a cheerleader for the Canadian delegation, which essentially engaged in backroom negotiations. In contrast, Wallonia nearly scuttled that whole agreement, because it disagreed with one provision, and because that is how the Belgian system works. Perhaps there is something here for Canada to learn, in terms of how it operates. That would be showing real respect for the provinces.
    It is a proposal for reform, but it is not my preferred solution. My preference would be for Quebec to be at the negotiating table as an independent country.
    I would add that, if the federal government is to represent all Canadians in international agreements and we cannot even manage to enjoy the benefits, Quebec is becoming an increasingly negligible quantity in Parliament. How can we ever gain the smallest advantage if year after year, electoral reform after electoral reform, we are losing more and more ground?
    We are going to become a more and more insignificant minority in this Parliament. When I say “we”, I mean the Quebec nation. With the new electoral map coming into effect shortly, Quebec will have 70 seats out of 341 instead of out of 338. Since votes in Parliament are often close, Quebec’s political weight will be reduced, accounting for around 22% of the total number of members. The trend is clear. As Quebec’s demographic weight decreases, its power in the House of Commons will become increasingly insignificant.

  (1310)  

    Beyond the numbers, continuously reducing Quebec's importance within the institution that makes the laws in this country will have real consequences, because Quebec will have less and less say. Its interests and values will be more and more diluted to the benefit of the interests and values of the rest of Canada. Is that not the real consequence of our presence in this regime, which seems to be designed to perpetually marginalize us?
    Before the creation of the poorly named Confederation, when French Canadians were more numerous than English Canadians, we had the right to equal representation. We were two peoples unequal in number but with the same number of representatives, for as long as French Canadians were in the minority. Once we became less numerous, the regime magically switched to proportional representation. It is handy when the conqueror decides what kind of system to set up.
    I will conclude my speech by repeating that we are in favour of the agreement, but that we would have preferred a much different process in which the provinces and elected members could have taken part in the negotiations.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his speech, his comments, and his and his party’s support for the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. I would like to ask him why he thinks this agreement is important for Canada and Ukraine.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, as I mentioned, this agreement will certainly be good for the economy. For Quebec, I think that there are interesting prospects in the sports and engineering industries. Of course, the agreement will also promote trade, which will also be good for Ukrainians and their country.
    However, I will reiterate that I do not understand why Canada elevated multinationals to the status of sovereign powers. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement was replaced by the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, there is no reason for this. That is why I asked that we vote separately on that particular aspect. I voted against that aspect.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his speech about the free trade agreement and the bill, which will implement it in Canada. I travelled with him several times to Washington, and I must say that he is a champion of workers’ interests in the labour and battery sectors. Every time we met with the Americans, he would talk about that, trying to convince them.
    I think there is something that is very difficult for us when it comes to free trade agreements, even with our closest allies, including the U.S. We need to convince them that Canada can bring something to the table to help them. I think that our trade in goods and services with Ukraine is worth about $1 billion.
    In committee, we Conservatives proposed eight amendments to the free trade agreement to try to broaden its scope. I will try to summarize the member’s statements. He says that he wants a free trade system to promote peace. However, Ukraine is at war, having been invaded by Russia under Vladimir Putin. It needs weapons and it needs to be able to manufacture weapons within its borders.
    Would it not be preferable to include that in the free trade agreement?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, who did travel with me.
    He also defended his region’s interests quite vigorously in meetings we had with U.S. elected officials. This being said, it is the prerogative of all sovereign states to sell or donate weapons. Of course, there are ways of doing so, and this is regulated by conventions. However, it is the prerogative of a state to support one of the parties in a conflict.
    Still, should this be included in an agreement that is intended to remain in effect for many years? That is where I have a problem.
    In the interest of transparency, I want to say something. Although I was radically opposed to every amendment proposed by the Conservatives, I agreed that they should have been ruled in order for debate. I find it sad to have an agreement thrust upon us and not be able to change it later.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, for his speech.

[English]

    I would also like to thank him for his support at committee during the discussions on the investor-state dispute mechanism question. I would like to give him some more time to expand on that. He mentioned that the ISDS gives corporations the status of sovereign nations. It puts them above Canadian corporations here in Canada. It brings up the possibility that Ukraine would be on the hook for huge settlements if one of these disputes was made against Ukraine by a Canadian company.
    I am wondering if the member could comment on that and comment on why the world is moving away from ISDS agreements while Canada seems stuck in that lane.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I do not understand why this keeps getting brought up even though it was removed from the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement. It is a non-issue.
    That said, in terms of the general consequences, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms allow litigation based on the right to profit.
    Early on, in the old North American Free Trade Agreement, this was called “expropriation” or “equivalent to expropriation”. That is the vague term that opened the way to every possible kind of abuse. It justified countries being sued for increasing minimum wage, for cancelling certain offshore petroleum developments, and for banning the use of chemicals in certain lawn care products. It was really a step backwards for democracy. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, political will declined partly or completely in 60% of cases. In other words, it was a victory for multinationals or out-of-court settlements.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his brilliant speech and for his continued, meaningful defence of Quebec's interests.
    I would like him to elaborate further because, before he arrived in the House earlier, I asked a question regarding that same issue. The parliamentary secretary replied that we were only approving the agreement and could not change it. That is exactly what my colleague has just demonstrated in his speech.
    What must we do for this not to be the case in subsequent international agreements? How can we change the way that we reach international agreements?
    Madam Speaker, the entire culture needs to be changed. We heard some pretty amazing things in the debate on our supply management bill, which my colleague and I sponsored and for which we toured Quebec twice, virtually in 2021 and in person this year.
    We heard some pretty amazing things, like Parliament should not have anything to say on the matter, because it would interfere with negotiators' methods. We live in a democracy. The first idea we need to adopt in our culture and our way of doing things is that debates should take place before the negotiators get to work. That is the first thing.
    Then, through legislation rather than policy, there should be time built in to make amendments to the agreement and to produce an explanatory memorandum. We do not need a policy, we need a law. I emphasize this point.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, when we talk about the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, a great deal of interest goes well beyond this chamber, whether it is from the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada or President Zelenskyy.
    A letter that I received from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress was sent to the leader of the Conservative Party. The letter says, “The UCC therefore asks that the Official Opposition revisit their position on Bill C-57 and vote to support the Bill”. I think that would be in our best interests. At one point, it seemed that everyone inside this chamber was behind Ukraine and showed Ukrainian solidarity given what is taking place in Europe. The trade agreement is sound and solid.
    I wonder if the member could provide his thoughts in regard to the Conservative Party rethinking its position so we can get unanimous support for this trade agreement.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would also invite the Conservatives to rethink their position. I radically disagree with their arguments. I think a lot of them could easily be disproved by the facts.
    That being said, let us be clear about one thing: A trade agreement is not a religion. It is reasonable to raise questions and to disagree with certain aspects. If they are fundamentally opposed to most of them, they can oppose them. I do not want to send them to the stake for opposing those things. They are entitled to disagree.
    That being said, of course, their argument has obvious weaknesses. For that reason, I also invite them to rethink their position.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise today to once again speak to Bill C-57, the new Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, this time at third reading, the final stage of debate.
    The Canada-Ukraine friendship is very special. Over one million Canadians are very proud of their Ukrainian heritage. In fact, when Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Canada was the first western country to recognize that act. Shortly after that recognition, in 1995, Canada signed an early foreign investment protection agreement, or FIPA, with Ukraine, so we have always supported attempts to strengthen our trade with Ukraine.
    In 2017, Canada signed the first version of this free trade agreement. Let us remember that, at that time, Ukraine was already involved in conflicts with Russia. It was recognized that a broader, more complete agreement would be needed. The two countries agreed in 2019 to begin the process of creating this new agreement. That treaty was completed early in 2023 and signed at the end of September when President Zelenskyy visited Ottawa.
    The text of the treaty, however, was not released until this implementation bill, Bill C-57, was tabled on October 17. Debate on the bill began only a few days later. The compressed timeline of parliamentary debate on this agreement is problematic, and I will speak to that later.
    Ukraine is now literally fighting for its life in an illegal war instigated by the Russian invasion in 2022. Canada has been providing aid in many forms to Ukraine since that war began. With respect to trade, Canada issued remission orders to temporarily open up trade with Ukraine, allowing supply-managed products such as poultry to enter Canada. We have heard some concerns about these remission orders in the international trade and agriculture committees, but it is fair to say that most Canadians are happy to help Ukraine in any way during this horrific time in their struggles.
    I mentioned the FIPA that predated the free trade agreements with Ukraine, an agreement signed in 1995. FIPAs allow foreign corporations to sue Canadian governments if they feel the new laws or regulations in Canada impact their profit. The most famous of these in Canada is the FIPA that Stephen Harper signed with China in 2012 without any debate in this place. That still haunts us to this day.
    FIPAs now find their way into broader free trade agreements in the form of investor-state dispute systems, or ISDS. It is no secret that New Democrats are not a fan of ISDS. When we have voted against free trade agreements in the past, whether it was the CETA with the EU or the CPTPP agreement with Pacific nations, it was almost always because those agreements included ISDS clauses.
    New Democrats were happy when the new CUSMA agreement with the United States and Mexico eliminated the ISDS provisions that had been included in the original NAFTA, so we are very disappointed that this new agreement with Ukraine has inserted ISDS provisions in its investment chapter. It basically rolls the old FIPA conditions into this treaty with some updated language. We joined the Bloc Québécois member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot in committee to try to remove the ISDS implementation in this agreement, but we were voted down by the Liberals and Conservatives.
    The world is moving away from ISDS language in trade agreements. Canada should be at the forefront of that trend, not a laggard trying to catch up. Australia and New Zealand have negotiated side letters with the United Kingdom taking out ISDS language in the CPTPP agreement as part of the U.K.'s accession process to that agreement. The U.K. Parliament is actively debating whether it wants to include ISDS provisions in future trade deals. The European Union is moving away from ISDS, and Canada should do the same.

  (1325)  

    Bill C-57 passed second reading on November 21. Surprisingly, the Conservatives voted against it. They voted against a trade agreement that Ukraine very much wanted full support for. Why? The Conservatives found very deep in the environment chapter the words “carbon pricing”. They concocted a scenario of Canada forcing Ukraine in its time of need to agree to support carbon pricing.
    The fact is that Ukraine has had carbon pricing since 2011, long before Canada put the carbon tax in place. Ukraine strengthened that resolve in 2018 as part of its efforts to join the European Union. If anything, Ukraine has been leading Canada in the carbon pricing scenario. The mention of carbon pricing in this agreement in no way obliges either Canada or Ukraine to implement or continue carbon pricing.
     Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians noticed that the Conservatives voted against the agreement. They pleaded for unanimity. What did the Conservatives do in response to Ukraine's concerns? Well, they voted against funding for Ukraine aid in the supplementary estimates last week. They voted against funding for Operation Unifier as well. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress commented online, “For the second time this month, Conservative MPs undermine support for Ukraine by voting against funding for Operation Unifier and other support for Ukraine in the supplementary estimates. Canada's support for Ukraine should be unanimous and beyond political games.”
    Just a few minutes ago, the Conservatives doubled-down and once again voted against the Ukraine free trade agreement at report stage. Then they added an amendment to send the bill back to committee, further delaying a bill that the Ukrainian government has asked us to pass without delay. We cannot make this stuff up.
    I would like to turn back to the issue of how we debate free trade agreements in this Parliament. Too often in the past, we have barely known that a trade agreement was being negotiated before it was presented with a signed agreement that we were asked to ratify, a fait accompli. The NDP thinks it is important that Parliament have input into trade negotiations before they begin. When the government negotiated CETA and CPTPP, Canadians were kept in the dark about what was being negotiated. When we finally learned what was on the table, the deals were already finalized, and the government said there was absolutely no way to change anything at that point. It is not too much to ask for input on these important policies. The United States Congress has the right and ability to debate what priorities its country will have before entering into free trade negotiations.
    The member for Elmwood—Transcona wrote a letter in December 2019 to the Minister of International Trade, who is now the Minister of Finance, regarding increased transparency around the negotiations for the new Canada-United States-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. In response to that letter, the minister agreed, on February 19, 2020, to change the policy on tabling treaties in Parliament. Those changes were to “require that a notice of intent to enter into negotiations toward a new free trade agreement be tabled in the House of Commons at least 90 calendar days prior to the commencement of negotiations.” That is three months. Under normal parliamentary procedures, the notice of intent would be referred to the committee on international trade. The second one was to “require that the objectives for negotiations toward the new free agreement be tabled in the House of Commons at least 30 calendar days prior to the commencement of negotiations.” Under normal parliamentary procedures, those objectives would be referred to the committee on international trade.
    As I mentioned previously, there were discussions with some stakeholders around the scope of changes to this free trade agreement in the winter of 2020, but the international trade committee was only able to provide input well after negotiations had begun. It is also important to allow ample notice once the treaties are signed for debate in this place before they are ratified. We should know what the treaty contains as soon as it is signed.

  (1330)  

    The standing policy of this place is there should be 21 sitting days between the tabling of treaties and the tabling of implementing legislation. At the same time, the government must table an explanatory memorandum and a final environmental assessment.
    When the first Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement was tabled in 2017, the government followed that policy, but that did not happen at all with this agreement. The treaty and the implementing legislation were tabled on the same day with the memorandum. On top of that, the minister tabled the legislation on a Tuesday, and we began debate the following Monday. As the Conservative member mentioned, it is hardly enough time to read a very large agreement, find out what it is all about and really make meaningful debate in this House to properly discuss the ramifications of these treaties that mean a lot to Canadian companies and Canadians.
    This has to change. MPs should have the opportunity to debate the priorities of free trade negotiations before they begin and should have ample opportunity to debate the implementation of treaties after they are signed. I urge the minister and her government to follow the standard policies on how to introduce treaties and implement legislation before Parliament. These are not minor details. They are important points on how Canadians expect us here in this place to hold the government to account.
    To conclude, the NDP is very much in favour of free trade. We supported the original version of this agreement with Ukraine in 2017. Our main caveat for free trade agreements in general is that they must be designed to protect and create Canadian jobs and protect the ability of Canadian governments at all levels to care for our environment and promote the well-being of all citizens.
    The measure of success of free trade deals must not be just the profits made by Canadian corporations. They must include measures of good labour agreements both here and in the countries we are making deals with and measures of good environmental and human rights laws on both sides as well. These agreements must be beneficial to the people of both countries involved.
    This new agreement with Ukraine and the bill before us which would implement this agreement seem to do a good job in that direction. We must do everything we can to support Ukraine and to prepare for the rebuilding of Ukraine after its victory over Russia.

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, I hear the member's points about the process in negotiating free trade agreements and have taken that under advisement and to heart.
    One of the things he did speak about was that the carbon tax purportedly is the reason the Conservative Party has voted against this agreement and does not support this agreement. I am wondering if he could share with the House and with Canadians what his point of view is on the Conservatives' rationale for opposing this free trade agreement.
    Madam Speaker, I cannot speak for the Conservatives, and I really cannot understand their position here. We have mentioned in this agreement carbon pricing in a way that would not hold either Canada or Ukraine to having a carbon price, or increasing it or promoting it. It simply talks about this in a broad list of environmental objectives.
    As I mentioned, Ukraine already has a carbon price. It has had one for 12 years, which is much longer than Canada. We heard in debate here today the Conservatives think that this is some kind of poison pill. I cannot imagine Volodymyr Zelenskyy would sign an agreement that had a poison pill in it. It is the height of illogical thinking that Canada would put a poison pill in a free trade agreement so the Conservatives would vote against it. It simply does not make any sense at all, and so I am baffled. The member should ask the Conservatives that question.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's fair criticism of the decisions that the Conservatives have made on this, unlike the hyperpartisan rhetoric that we hear from the Liberal government. He talked about how President Zelenskyy signed this agreement and wants Canada to go forward with it, so he accepts that what President Zelenskyy says means something.
    I am wondering if he wants to comment on President Zelenskyy's comments about how this Liberal government allowed a gas turbine to be exported from Canada to pump Russian gas, to actually help fund Putin's illegal war in Ukraine.
    President Zelenskyy said, “Moreover, it is dangerous not only for Ukraine, but also [dangerous] for all countries of the democratic world.” President Zelenskyy called on the Canadian government to reverse the decision. The Canadian ambassador said, “Russia is using energy as a weapon, in Europe and all over the world. This money and fuel are going to support the war in Ukraine.”
    Does the member also agree with President Zelenskyy that this was a terrible decision by the Liberal government that actually helped fund Putin's war machine?

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, yes, I think it was the wrong decision, for all of the reasons he mentioned.
    Uqaqtittiji, I have always appreciated the hon. member's solidarity with indigenous peoples and the work that he does to meet the needs of his constituents.
    One of the things that seems quite important about this particular modernization of this free trade agreement is the chapter on indigenous peoples and trade.
    I think that these are important acknowledgements about what we need to do for indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, we have been hearing about causes trumping these kinds of important issues. I wonder if the member can speak to what the difference is, in terms of advocating for human rights, indigenous rights, as well as how fighting for a cause might not be as effective as what we are seeing today.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Nunavut for her important and wonderful voice here in this Parliament, constantly reminding us about the rights of indigenous people. It gives more than just words and thoughts to their rights, and actually puts those rights into action in our agreements and our laws.
    Yes, I am very happy that we have a chapter here on indigenous rights in this agreement. It speaks to the Tatar people of Ukraine, as well as the indigenous people here in Canada, and that these types of chapters will be in further agreements.
    We had the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which we have recognized here in Canada. British Columbia has laws. We have to make sure that, every day, we think of what those rights mean and how we make our laws and decisions here to uphold those rights.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague is a wonderful member of the international trade committee, who contributes very significantly to whatever the discussion or debate is in a very comprehensive and thoughtful way. I understand, after the next election, he is not going to be returning to the House, which I think is a real loss for the House of Commons, because he adds a tremendous amount in the House and at the committee level.
    I would like to ask my hon. colleague about the concerns of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and so many other organizations that have echoed their support for this. President Zelenskyy sat right in front of me and urged us to pass this free trade agreement very quickly.
    Was my hon. colleague concerned with the amount of opposition that was led by the Conservative Party of Canada?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Humber River—Black for those warm regards and for being a wonderful chair of the international trade committee.
    Yes, as I said before in answer to a previous question, I am surprised at the Conservative response to this agreement. The Conservatives seem to have reacted to a couple of words in the agreement and used that to vote against it when Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians have been very vocal in calling them out on this decision. We should be unanimous in our support for Ukraine. I was surprised that the Conservatives doubled down today and have done a couple more things to try to slow down this bill, when Ukraine wants it passed right now.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, the point of this trade agreement, or part of it, is allegedly to help rebuild Ukraine. That is some of the rhetoric that we hear from the the Liberal Party. However, one thing that actually is a problem is that Canada is the only G7 country that has not offered wartime insurance to Canadian business operators who want to rebuild in Ukraine. That means that the projects that they undertake are subject to enormous risk because, of course, it is a war. Every other G7 country has recognized this risk and has provided wartime insurance to business operators. Canada has not. Was the member aware of that, and does he think that is another major failure of the current Liberal government?
    Madam Speaker, the member is valuable member of the international trade committee. This issue of wartime insurance for Canadian companies is important. I do not believe it belongs in a free trade agreement, just as I do not believe that calls for more munitions to Ukraine or natural gas to Ukraine belong in a free trade agreement. These agreements are about taking tariffs off things and not about trying to promote one thing or the other.
     This is something that the government should be looking into. This is an agreement that is supposed to help rebuild Ukraine and right now we are talking about issues within the war experience.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Humber River—Black Creek.
    As we speak, the Ukrainian people are risking their lives and sacrificing their lives to defend their homeland. Notwithstanding the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people, the situation in Ukraine is dire. There are millions of refugees inside and outside Ukraine. Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine every day. We have heard about many forms of war crimes, including the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, as one example.
    There are hundreds of millions of people in the global south who are facing food shortages and famine because of Russia's invasion and blockade of Ukrainian ports. The war is the primary reason for food and energy price inflation around the world, including here in Canada. When Canadians pay higher prices at the pumps and the grocery store, the primary reason for that is Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
    This is an existential threat to global security and to Canada's security. It is critical that Ukraine win this war, not just for the sake of the Ukrainian people and not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is important to us. Ukrainian people are not just fighting for themselves, but they are also fighting for us. I believe we should be fighting for them.
    The Government of Canada has been fighting for them. Canada has been a leading country in supporting Ukraine. We have provided over $5 billion in financial aid to Ukraine. That is the largest amount of financial aid per capita of any country in the world.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Yvan Baker: My Conservative colleague is heckling me as I speak, so clearly he does not support that.
    Madam Speaker, we have provided about $2.4 billion in military support that is going to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the front line fight against this invasion. There has been over $350 million in humanitarian assistance, $127 million in development assistance, and over $102 million in security and stabilization assistance. We have the implementation of the CUAET visa program that has allowed about 200,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war to come here for temporary refuge in Canada.
    We have been a leader in supporting Ukraine's entry into NATO. We have been advocating for Ukraine's entry into the EU. There was some talk earlier in this debate about what we can do to help Ukraine rebuild. The reality is that Canada is a leading country. We are making sure that we are seizing Russian assets here in Canada, and other countries are looking to our leadership on that, to make sure that we can sanction Russian assets here in Canada and use them to help rebuild Ukraine.
     We are leading in terms of working with Ukraine, the International Criminal Court and others to make sure that Russia's war crimes are prosecuted. We have trained 40,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces through Operation Unifier. Let us just imagine 40,000 Ukrainian men and women fighting and giving everything to defend their homeland, and they were trained by Canada. I think that is something that, as Canadians, we can be very proud of.
    One of the things we can be very proud of is the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, which I would note was negotiated in record time at the request of the Ukrainian government while it was under attack by Russia. These are steps that we can be very proud of. These are important, material steps to help Ukraine win the war.
    The reality is that this will not be enough until Ukraine achieves a decisive victory. To me, a decisive victory means it wins the war, but it also wins the peace. Winning the war means they recapture all of their territory, and that includes Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea.
    Winning the peace, to me, means many things. It means that Ukraine is secure as a member of NATO, that we secure reparations from Russia to help rebuild Ukraine, that there is justice for Russian war crimes and that we help rebuild Ukraine's economy. That means not just helping to rebuild the physical infrastructure that has been destroyed in Ukraine, but it also means helping Ukraine's economy rebuild so it can be prosperous and so the Ukrainian people can achieve the freedom, the democracy, but also the prosperity that they are fighting for every minute of every day, and that tens of thousands of Ukrainians have given their lives to defend.
    That is where this Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement comes in. It is actually incredibly important, not just to Canada's economy, but also to Ukraine's economy. Ukraine's economy, since the invasion started, has declined by over 30%. Let us imagine a 30% decline in a country's economy. The reality is that is why signing free trade agreements, with countries like Canada that are interested in not only trade, but also investing in Ukraine, is so critical, especially at this time.

  (1350)  

    If Ukraine is going to fight this war, it will need an economy that is functioning, that is allowing it to fund the war by collecting taxes to pay for munitions and everything else it needs to pay for. I think it is very important that we appreciate the importance of this agreement for that purpose.
    The other reason this agreement is important is that the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement we currently have in place covers goods. It covers the trade of physical material, physical stuff, that goes back and forth, which is very important. However, the bigger economic opportunity is in trade and services and allowing investment to flow between our countries.
    Just from a purely Canadian perspective, it is good for Canada to have this trade agreement with Ukraine. It is an economic opportunity for our workers and our business people, so it should be unanimously supported. It is equally important for Ukraine from an economic perspective to trade services and allow investment to flow. It is critical and urgent for Ukraine, not just because we need to help Ukraine's economy but because the flow of investment is critical to helping Ukraine rebuild. Ukraine cannot rebuild without investment from individuals and businesses who want to invest to build businesses and help rebuild Ukraine.
    This trade agreement was asked for and signed by President Zelenskyy and the Prime Minister. It is supported by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. It is supported by the Ukrainian ambassador. Ukrainian MPs have travelled to Canada to ask MPs of all parties to support it. It is widely supported. It is beneficial to Ukraine and is beneficial to Canada, but there is a problem: Every single Conservative MP continuously votes against it. They just voted against it an hour or two ago here in this House again.
    The argument they have put forward is that there is mention of a carbon price in the agreement. First of all, the mention of a carbon price does not require Ukraine to do anything. It is just a mention. The second thing is that Ukraine has had a carbon price in place since 2011. It had a carbon price before Canada had one. It needs one to join the EU. Ukraine committed to a carbon price long ago and has committed to a carbon price for the future, so nothing here is being imposed on Ukraine.
    The other thing that is a little odd is the suggestion that Canada somehow imposed this on Ukraine. This is the government, its leader and the people fighting to defend themselves from the second-largest military in the world and somehow Canada imposed something on them. I have never heard a more ridiculous argument in my life from the Conservatives.
    The Conservatives have argued here in this debate that they know better than President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government what Ukraine needs. They have said we should delay this agreement, we should amend this agreement and we should remove segments of the agreement, all of those things because this would be better for Ukraine. Do members know who knows better what Ukraine needs? Ukrainians do. We should be listening to them. They have asked us to pass this agreement. We should respect their decision and respect the fact that they want this agreement signed and need it urgently.
    Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern now that has emerged since the member for Carleton became leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. The Conservatives talk about what Brian Mulroney and Diefenbaker did. That is great, but we are not talking about them because those folks are not sitting in the House today.
     The member for Carleton is the leader of the Conservative Party, and since he has become the leader, members of the Conservative Party and he specifically have never advocated for more military, financial or humanitarian support for Ukraine. He has been silent on Russia's acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people. He has echoed the false narratives that the war in Ukraine does not affect inflation around the world when expert after expert tells us it does. The other day on—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1355)  

    There will be an opportunity for questions and comments. If members are not in agreement with what the hon. member says, they can raise it during questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Etobicoke Centre has a little over a minute.
    Madam Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party has echoed false narratives about the war, suggesting the war does not affect us and does not affect inflation in Canada. He has said that in this House multiple times, which is of course not true. We know that not to be true.
    The Conservatives specifically challenged spending in our budget and voted to cut Operation Unifier, Canada's training mission of Ukrainian soldiers, through which we have trained 40,000 of them. They voted to cut military aid to Ukraine on Friday. Now they have voted again against the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. Every single Conservative MP did that.
    This is part of a pattern. The Conservative Party under its leader does not support Ukraine. It is very obvious and apparent. I think it is important that we all support Ukraine. Ukrainians are fighting for themselves but they are also fighting for us.
    Let us unify. Let us support Ukraine. Slava Ukraini.
    Madam Speaker, the hypocrisy of the member is astounding. He says we should listen to President Zelenskyy. Well, what he said on Canada exporting gas turbines is that it was “absolutely unacceptable”. “Moreover, it is dangerous not only for Ukraine, but also for all countries of the democratic world.”
    President Zelenskyy called on the Canadian government to reverse the decision. Where was the member when that was going on? Was he condemning his government? Was he standing up and saying that we have to listen to President Zelenskyy? No. The member was quiet as a church mouse on an issue that is serious: a gas turbine being used to pump Russian gas to fund the war in Ukraine.
    He did not listen to President Zelenskyy then, but somehow it is outrageous that we disagree with President Zelenskyy on a trade agreement. How does the member square his hypocrisy?
    Madam Speaker, during this debate and during their consistent opposition to measures that help Ukraine over the last few weeks especially, Conservatives focus on the past, on nostalgia: what Mulroney did, what Diefenbaker did, what somebody did 10 years ago, what somebody did two years ago.
    What the Ukrainian people need is not nostalgia. They need help. They are fighting for their lives, and they are fighting for us. The members opposite should stop focusing on what happened 10 or 20 years ago and focus on today.
    Today, President Zelenskyy is asking us to pass this free trade agreement because it is vital to Ukraine winning this war. Let us support them. Slava Ukraini.
    Order. I want to remind members they had an opportunity to ask a question. They were not disturbed while they were asking the question and should return that respect when they are listening to the answer. If they are not in agreement with the answer, they should wait for questions and comments.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.
    Madam Speaker, I want to applaud the efforts of my colleague, along with many other members of the House of Commons, to advance this free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine and the importance of it.
    We know Ukrainians are fighting an illegal Russian aggression against them. I would like to know what else the hon. member suggests we could be doing to advance and promote the free trade agreement with Ukraine.
    Madam Speaker, it is critical that we continue to work with our allies and encourage them to support Ukraine until it wins. That is a critical step.
    We have seen some wavering of support among some in the United States. It is important that we buffer that support. Canada can help Ukraine by continuing to send military aid to Ukraine, by continuing to train the Ukrainian armed forces and by continuing to send humanitarian aid. Also, let us expand our economic relationship with Ukraine and work toward Ukraine's rebuilding after the victory.
    If we stay resolved and work with our allies to stay resolved, Ukraine will win. If Ukraine wins, we all win.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Child Care

    Madam Speaker, last week, the Conservatives tried to cut funding for over 30 critical programs for Canadian families, specifically child care. Every child deserves a chance to dream big and every parent deserves the opportunity to build their careers without worrying about child care costs.
    We have heard the struggles, felt the worries and understood the juggle of balancing work and raising children. I personally experienced that myself as a single mother raising three children on my own. That is why I am glad our government committed to reducing child care fees by an average of 50% this year, with a goal of just $10 a day by 2025. Child care empowers parents, especially mothers, to realize their full potential, promotes gender equality and increases the size of the workforce.
    The Conservatives talk a big game about having Canadians' backs, especially when it comes to Canadian families, but when it comes to supporting mothers and our children, they do not believe in it. Our government will continue to fight for children, mothers and families all across Canada.

Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

    

'Twas the week before Christmas, just before the House break,
Eight long years with a government on the take.
The economy was stalled, Liberal spending was high,
Canadians were struggling just to get by.
No one could afford a house or pay rent,
The carbon tax quadrupled is making a dent.
Canadians struggling and having to choose,
Between heating and eating, it was only bad news.
For families lined up at the food banks to eat,
The costly coalition was making Christmas look bleak.
But alas there was hope, from the opposition side,
A new Conservative leader was sure to provide.
With a common-sense plan geared for all people,
He would axe the tax and end the upheaval.
His housing policy would fix what the Liberals had broken,
He would ensure there would be no need for food tokens.
After eight long years of wasteful spending,
He would stop the debt from ever ascending.
The member for Carleton will soon be PM,
And this costly coalition will come to an end.
I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,
Your home, my home, our home, let us bring it home and to all a good night.

[Translation]

Women and Gender Equality

    Madam Speaker, supporting women so they can claim their full and proper place in the economy is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Are members aware that, by promoting women's participation in the economy, we could increase our GDP by $150 billion?
    Unfortunately, only 17% of SMEs are currently owned by women. That is why I was so proud to vote in favour of the women entrepreneurship strategy. Of course, that vote took place in the middle of the night, while half the Conservatives were tucked away in their beds. The other half of the Conservatives voted against it. Am I surprised? No, because a party made up of only 18% women cannot represent women in Canada.

Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi Montmorency

    Mr. Speaker, the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Montmorency, or CJE Montmorency, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This organization in Beauport has become indispensable for young people between the ages of 15 and 35.
    CJE Montmorency provides a wide range of free services to these youths to help and support them as they look for work, go back to school or even start their own business. In 25 years, thousands of young people have benefited from the entire team's extraordinary work.
    At the head of this team is an incredible woman, the CEO, Sonia Noël. Sonia is frank, open, direct and creative. She is amazing. She does a masterful job of keeping the organization running. Through her understanding, empathy and determination, CJE Montmorency has been able to grow and expand its activities.
    I want to say congratulations to the entire team and thank them on behalf of our young people.

  (1405)  

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Toronto has always been a safe city, yet over the last year there has been a marked increase of stabbings and shootings. In my riding of Davenport, residents have really begun to worry about their safety and the safety of their children.
    After meeting with a number of local police superintendents, one thing they asked is for us to continue to focus on stopping guns from illegally entering our country. Our Liberal government has stepped up with more funding to keep Canadians safe, yet last week the Conservatives voted no to funding that would crack down on firearms from illegally entering Canada, no to additional dollars to keep the Canadian border secure and no to enhancing the RCMP's work to combat gun and gang violence.
    On this side of the House, we will continue the important work to keep Toronto and all Canadian cities safe, while the Conservatives continue to play partisan games and obstruct important legislation. They are not worth the risk.

Peter Elzinga

    Mr. Speaker, Alberta and Canada lost a giant recently, a man who was known around these halls, during his time as a member of Parliament for 12 years, and certainly around the Alberta legislature, as a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1986 to 1993 and then chief of staff to former premier Ralph Klein.
    Although Peter Elzinga has left us in person, many of us are certainly better off for having known him.
    Remarkably, he left his life in government to donate a kidney to his friend, which characterizes the spirit of Peter and his public life. He was always filled with generosity and kindness, and I will cherish my many conversations with him and his committed guidance to me during my time in public life.
    He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Patricia; sons Gregory, Roger and Peter-Burl; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
    May Peter rest in peace. He served Canada with distinction, and, as a country, it is better off.

Menstrual Equity Fund

    Mr. Speaker, for most of our history, people who menstruate have been expected to fend for themselves and always carry hygienic supplies in case their “monthly visitor” arrives by surprise.
     There are plenty of euphemisms for menstruation, because we have been taught this bodily function is somehow embarrassing. In consequence, those who experience period poverty have an exacerbated inability to access menstrual products. They face more inequity at school and work; in some cases, they decline to participate in society. That is why so many celebrated the $18-million investment to distribute menstrual products to our most vulnerable through Food Banks Canada, as announced by the Minister for Women and Gender Equality. This is the kind of forward-thinking policy we get when women are in positions of power.
    Conservatives voted against the menstrual equity fund last week, against helping more than 570,000 people access free menstrual products every month. Conservatives are not worth the risk to all we have accomplished for women's equity.

Conservative Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, leading the country takes stamina. That is why our team, cabinet and leader were here, vote after vote, for 30-plus hours last week. Meanwhile, the opposition members could barely fill their benches, and their leader could barely show his face. When they did vote, they voted against our plan to help Canadians, including innovative Atlantic Canadian businesses, communities and businesses recovering from hurricane Fiona, Atlantic Canada's growing bioscience sector and marine conservation.
    The fall economic statement is a plan that will support people in St. John's East and across the country. If we wanted to compare the opposition's plan, it is nowhere to be found; there are only cuts and political stunts.
    Conservatives' true colours were on display last week as they voted against 100 measures to help this country.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the NDP-Liberal government, the dream of home ownership has become a nightmare. Today, mortgages have become unmanageable, devouring two-thirds of the average Canadian's monthly income for a typical Canadian home. I have heard from far too many families in Waterdown and Binbrook that are now teetering on the brink, because their monthly payments are up thousands. It is all because of the Liberals' reckless spending and deficits.
    Young Canadians who are not yet in the market have totally given up. Saving for a down payment used to be achievable with a few years of hard work, but now it takes 25 years, which is what it used to take to pay off the entire home. This proves once again that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost.
    Rents, mortgages and down payments have doubled. It is double trouble.
    However, hope is on the way. Common-sense Conservatives have a plan to build homes, not bureaucracy, and restore the dream of home ownership for Canadians once again. Let us bring it home.

  (1410)  

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, our government is continuing to invest in affordable housing.
    In 2017, our Prime Minister launched a badly needed $80-billion national housing strategy to fill the big gaps left by the previous Conservative government's denial of federal responsibility for housing. Countless Canadians remember what life was like during Prime Minister Harper's “decade of darkness”.
    Last week showed that today's Conservative leader is cut from the same cloth. On Thursday and Friday, Conservative MPs voted against funding indigenous housing, funding 15,000 permanent affordable homes, constructing 71,000 rental homes and so much more.
    Our government is working to strengthen the economy by supporting the middle class and those seeking to join it. While in Mr. Harper's cabinet, today's Conservative leader worked to undermine Canada's electoral democracy and shred our social safety net.
    The Conservative leader is simply not worth the risk.

[Translation]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years under this government, food, housing and gas prices have never been higher, and with the governing Bloc-Liberal coalition intent on drastically increasing the carbon tax, prices are only going to go up.
    I am so sick and tired of hearing these two parties say that the carbon tax does not impact Quebec. The second carbon tax will increase the price of gasoline by 17¢ per litre. Quebeckers also have to pay higher prices on products brought in from other provinces, because the price of the carbon tax is passed on indirectly.
    The Conservatives want the carbon tax to be eliminated in all provinces and territories. We knew right from the start that this was not an environmental plan, but a tax plan. Our party put forward motion after motion, but the Bloc-Liberal coalition opposed every single one.
    Conservatives will continue to fight to remove the carbon tax on farmers and Canadian families, restore common sense in the next election and show these two parties what Canadians really want: affordable housing and a well-stocked fridge.

[English]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians hate the carbon tax. We see premiers suing the government, first nations taking the government to court and people lined up in breadlines at the food bank, because they cannot afford to eat.
    Farmers feed this country. They do not understand why the Prime Minister continues to tax the inputs they must purchase to grow food. They are taxes that their competitors do not pay, yet the Liberal rural affairs minister has just made a spectacle of herself, stating that the country needs to vote for more Liberals if people want an exemption to this unfair tax.
    The Prime Minister has instructed his appointed senators to gut the Conservative bill to remove carbon taxes on farmers, and we have the NDP leader willing to vote against farmers in the House of Commons to keep the Prime Minister in power. Canadians agree: The Prime Minister and the NDP-Liberal government are just not worth the cost.

Mental Health and Addictions

    Mr. Speaker, last week's 30-hour circus put on by the Conservatives cost Canadian taxpayers nearly $2 million. While I was happy to sit in the House with my colleagues to ensure that the services that Canadians need most were passed and protected, Conservatives spent their night voting against Canadians.
    Let me tell members one of their most shocking votes against communities such as my riding of London West. Conservatives voted to cut the funding to combat the toxic drug overdose crisis. They voted against substance use prevention programs for youth and the new national suicide crisis hotline.
    The toxic drug crisis has claimed too many Canadian lives, and the risk that the opposition will cause an already struggling population to plunge into crisis is too high. Cutting a bilingual, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support for suicide prevention would be a risk that Canadians cannot afford to take right now.
     On this side of the House, we are going to keep fighting to make sure that Canadians have access to the mental health and addictions support that they need most, when they need it.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Food Security

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are suffering from a food insecurity crisis that is jeopardizing our constituents' fundamental right to food.
    The pillars of that right, namely availability, adequacy and accessibility, are compromised not only in my riding, Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, but also across the country.

[English]

    Food insecurity in Ontario has been steadily increasing, from 7.8% in 2008 to 18% in 2022. Feed Ontario reports a 36% rise in food bank visits last year, soaring by 101% compared to prepandemic levels.
    Among the most affected are 41.7% of first nations on-reserve households, followed by single mothers, at a distressing 41%. Moreover, over one-third of food bank users are children.
    Parliament needs to implement a national school lunch program and a guaranteed livable basic income, as well as to crack down on corporate greed. Let us all affirm our commitment to a society where every citizen lives in dignity, free from the spectre of food insecurity.

[Translation]

Danielle Gamelin

    Mr. Speaker, allow me to take a few moments to pay tribute to Danielle Gamelin, director general of Fondation Santé Bécancour–Nicolet–Yamaska.
    From the time she started running that organization eight years ago, she proceeded to restructuring internal operations to improve efficiency and organizing fundraisers to stabilize the organization's financial health. What is more, she has reached out many times to the municipalities, the two RCMs, the chamber of commerce and every organization that offers health care services or community services so that the foundation can effectively meet their needs.
    Ms. Gamelin is a woman of conviction. She is persuasive, inspiring, genuine, audacious and extremely disciplined. May she stay at the head of the Fondation Santé Bécancour–Nicolet–Yamaska for a long time to come. This entire beautiful region thanks her very much.

[English]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, last night, the industry committee heard from a former employee of the Prime Minister's green slush fund about $150 million of taxpayer money being misappropriated. Canadian tax dollars were funnelled to companies with Liberal insiders.
    The witness said, “[an] embarrassing lack of oversight...allowed these problems to persist”, and there was an “egregious cover-up of the truth.” There were “breaches of...conflict of interest.”
    Millions were approved for companies owned or operated by board members. A staggering level of incompetence, willful ignorance and corruption was shown. The minister and the Privy Council Office actively engaged with altering memos before they were sent.
    After eight years of the NDP-Liberal government, it is obvious that they are not worth the cost. The Liberals will take care of their friends; Conservatives will continue to push for accountability and answers. When will Canadians get back the missing millions from Liberal insiders?

Jim Carr

    Mr. Speaker, today marks one year since the death of my father, Jim Carr. My dad had a deep respect for our institutions. He believed in the possibility borne from civil, yet rigorous debate; hard work; and confidence in what we can accomplish when working together.
     His morals and values were guided by a faith in people. The proudest of his accomplishments was the last one: In his final days, he stood in this chamber, just a few seats from the one I occupy today, to advance the greening of the Prairie economy. He said during debate on the bill that, if he had a favourite part, it was that which required a report back to Parliament. Yesterday, the bill's framework was tabled in the House.
     Dad's final moments here saw him surrounded by people he loved, in a place he loved, working to improve the well-being of everyone from the region he loved. He lived by what our dear Auntie Fran would say, that it all comes down to attitude. She would say that “the glass always had to be half-full” and that one should be full of life. That he was.
     Whenever the time may come that I look back at my own parliamentary career and judge its successes and shortcomings, I hope that I will be able to genuinely say that I have lived up to the standard that he set for us all. We miss him.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

  (1420)  

[Translation]

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is inflating grocery prices and forcing 28,000 young Quebeckers to write letters to Opération Père Noël asking for food instead of gifts. Meanwhile, he is also spending $1 billion on a green slush fund where public servants are saying that the money is being given to friends and wasted.
    Now, a whistle-blower and former employee is saying that the minister lied to the committee about the scandal.
    Why did this minister cover up the scandal and Liberal waste?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader's plan to shut down Parliament last week failed. All his 30-hour temper tantrum achieved was to show Canadians his party's true colours and cost taxpayers $2 million in wasteful spending.
    The Conservative Party tried to reduce access to affordable child care, cut construction of affordable housing and make cuts to the police and the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The Conservatives want to bring us back to the Stone Age, but we are going to meet Canadians' needs.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the question was about the Prime Minister's billion-dollar green slush fund scandal. We already know that, while he is forcing two million Canadians to a food bank, doubling housing costs and quadrupling the carbon tax, he has a billion-dollar fund that its own bureaucrats say reminds them of the sponsorship scandal and where its executives were giving money to their own companies.
    Yesterday, a courageous whistle-blower testified the Prime Minister's innovation minister “lied” to the committee. Why are the minister and his boss, the Prime Minister, covering up this scandal and waste of Canadian tax dollars?
    Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that the Conservative leader does not want to talk about his failed Republican-style plan to shut down Parliament last week. All his 30-hour temper tantrum achieved was to show Canadians the party's true colours and cost Canadians $2 million in wasteful spending.
    The Conservative Party tried to cut affordable child care, cut construction of affordable housing, defund the police and defund Canada's armed forces. While they want to bring us back to the Stone Age, we will stay focused on Canadians.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians will be forced to eat stone soup this winter after the Prime Minister gave us the worst food price inflation in 40 years, and we have two million Canadians, a record-smashing number, lined up at food banks. I know the Prime Minister is desperate to avoid defending his own track record, or worse yet, his quadrupling of the carbon tax.
    There is a common-sense Conservative bill, Bill C-234, in the Senate up for the vote today. Will the Prime Minister stop blocking the bill and axe the tax so our farmers can feed families?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada had the opportunity to support affordability measures for Canadians, but instead, its members chose to take 30 hours attacking the most vulnerable. During the Conservative leader's $2-million temper tantrum, they gladly stood against veterans experiencing homelessness, against emergency shelters for women and girls, against indigenous housing, and against rapid affordable housing construction. They even tried to prevent support for those who lost their homes in hurricane Fiona. That leader is reckless and should be ashamed.
    Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the Prime Minister is not spending money on any of those things. He has a food program that does not feed kids. It feeds bureaucracies and creates frameworks that kids cannot eat. He has a housing affordability program that doubles the cost of housing, a housing accelerator that has not built a single house and a carbon tax that has not reduced emissions.
    Instead of spending billions on programs that cause inflation and do nothing but sound pretty, why will he not axe the tax on our farmers so they can feed Canadians this winter?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, whether the Leader of the Opposition makes a homemade video about it or not, a key factor contributing to food inflation around the world is Putin's illegal war in Ukraine. That party has been playing right into the Kremlin's hands by voting against Operation Unifier, by voting against funding for military aid to Ukraine and by voting at every opportunity, including again this morning, against the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement that Ukrainians have been asking for. We will never abandon Ukraine, unlike the Conservative leader, who showed Canadians—
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is desperate to distract from the misery he has caused here at home. I wonder if he could, just for once, think about Canadians instead of thinking about himself.
    We have two million Canadians lined up for food banks, which is a record-smashing number. He has doubled the cost of housing. He wants to quadruple the carbon tax. Nine in 10 young people say that they will never be able to afford a home. We understand that, with this miserable record, he does not want to talk about Canada or Canadians. He would rather spread falsehoods about far away foreign lands. Will he not stand up for once for Canada? Will he not axe the tax so our families can—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The right hon. Prime Minister.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader's partisan vitriol and performance games are hurting Canadians. Let us talk about the Conservatives' record directly.
    When it came to 988, the suicide crisis help line, how did they vote? They voted against it.
    When it came to the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass, how did they vote? They voted against it.
    When it came to the new Montreal Holocaust Museum on the first night of Hanukkah, how did they vote? They voted against it.
    There is clearly nothing this Conservative leader will not compromise.

[Translation]

Dental Care

    Mr. Speaker, I tried to understand the government's new dental care program, but it is not simple. There are three types of dental insurance: private insurance for those who have it, the federal program and Quebec's program. However, there is only one jurisdiction, and that belongs to Quebec.
    Since it should be easy to explain if it is simple, and since the Liberal government keeps compulsively tossing candy to the NDP to try to keep its government going a little longer, can the Prime Minister at least explain his hodgepodge of a dental program to us?
    Mr. Speaker, it is funny that the Bloc Québécois leader mentions candy, because we have a dental plan to help children who have cavities. We have brought in a plan that will help families across the country who are unable to send their children to the dentist right now. Starting next year, we will be there for seniors with dental care. We will be there for young people under 18 who need dental care and cannot afford it. Eventually, we will cover all Canadians who cannot afford to pay for dental care.
    We know that oral health is important for overall health, and we are there to help families.
    Mr. Speaker, that is pretty much what we were told about dental health back in grade three, but that does not explain the program. However, I get that it is hard to explain.
    The government announced a slapdash program that puts the private sector front and centre, which is surprising coming from the NDP, and that interferes in an area under Quebec's jurisdiction, although that part is no shocker coming from either the Liberals or the NDP.
    When the Prime Minister authorized the announcement of the dental care program, was it the health of Canadians he had in mind, or the strength, survival and ideology of his alliance with the NDP?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that too many Canadians have no access to dental care. We are a government that has always been there to invest in Canadians and to help them socially and economically. We know that many families that have to pay for their own dental care end up going without other things, such as groceries or rent.
    Now, we are making sure that Canadians will no longer have to make hard choices when it comes to dental care, because we are there to help them. It is something that matters to Canadians, and we are there for them.

  (1430)  

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, to date, 20,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed in Gaza, more than half of whom are women and children. Despite this, the Liberals and the Conservatives refuse to call for a ceasefire. It is appalling. It is inhumane. The NDP has been calling for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages for the past two months.
    An important vote is taking place today at the UN. We know that the Liberals refuse to listen to those who have lost their families, but perhaps they will listen to their donors, who are starting to turn their backs on the party.
    At the UN today, will Canada vote for a ceasefire, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, for the past nine weeks, the Government of Canada has taken a responsible stance in defending civilians and seeking a two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians, so that they can live in safety and security, in countries recognized by the international community. We will do everything we can to ensure that Canadians are united and to curb the rise in hate, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism that we are experiencing. This government will continue to be there for everyone.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal position is appalling, not responsible. For two months, this government sat and watched while 18,000 innocent civilians lost their lives, and it has refused to call for a ceasefire. We need a ceasefire. We need the hostages removed.
    Last week, it was reported that Liberal donors were withholding support because of the moral failure of the Liberals. Today, there is an important vote at the United Nations. The Liberals have failed to listen to the Palestinian people and to Canadian Palestinians. Will they at least listen to their fundraisers and vote for a ceasefire today?
    Mr. Speaker, since October 7, we have recognized the terrorist attack by Hamas that killed well over 1,000 innocent Israelis, and we have recognized Israel's right to defend itself. At the same time, the cost of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians.
    That is why we are continuing to put forward, including today, in a statement with Australia and New Zealand, a strong and clear Canadian position that we will continue to work with allies around the world on moving toward a two-state solution, with peace for Israelis and peace for Palestinians, living side by side.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, there has been explosive testimony made by a whistle-blower on the Prime Minister's billion-dollar green slush fund, which has seen $150 million misappropriated to Liberal insiders. Senior NDP-Liberal government officials have said that there is no plan to get Canadians back their missing millions.
    After eight years of the Prime Minister, it is clear that he is not worth the cost. It is probably why he would not even stick around.
    Will the Prime Minister shut down the slush fund and get Canadians back their money?
    Mr. Speaker, it is shocking but not surprising to see the Conservative ideology on full display.
    We are seeing that Conservatives are willing to attack anyone and any institution that would fight climate change, even institutions that were voted for by the Parliament in 2001. Now the Conservatives are calling into question the integrity of one of the top accounting firms in the country.
    We will fight for Canadians. We will fight climate change, and we will restore governance in that institution.
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are fighting Liberal corruption. We will keep doing that. This minister and his chief of staff, although they say it did not happen, were briefed on what was going on at SDTC. It was done orally, so they would not be subject to ATIP rules.
    There are 150 million missing dollars, given outside the funding agreement, and we have two Liberal-appointed board members who are under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner. We have an Auditor General investigation, and we have whistle-blowers blowing the lid off this thing, which shows that this minister and the Prime Minister do not have the courage to fight for Canadian tax dollars.
    Where are the missing millions? Who got rich?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we will fight for Canadians every day. Let us be very clear. We are seeing, again, for Canadians who are watching at home to not be fooled, the Conservative ideology to fight against anyone, any institution, even one they voted for in this House in 2001, that would fight climate change.
    We suspended the funding of the organization. We called for an investigation. The leadership has resigned. We will get to the bottom of this.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister will not tell us which Liberals got rich. Government officials, last night, admitted that they were in every single board meeting where this happened in the Liberal green slush fund.
    According to the whistle-blower, the former chair and directors took over $150 million of taxpayer money to their own companies. Government officials were present during these meetings and allowed it to happen.
    Why did the minister not fire these corrupt Liberal directors?
    Mr. Speaker, it is great to see my hon. colleague from Atlantic Canada stand up. I wish he and his seven other colleagues had stood up last week.
    On this side of the House, we know the great work that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency does for communities, for not-for-profits and for businesses. If the member truly believed in the great work of ACOA, he would have done what his colleague from Cariboo—Prince George did, who abstained on his beliefs.
    What is he going to say to the people of South Shore—St. Margarets and the 108 projects that ACOA funds in his riding? I am going to tell them we have their backs.
    Mr. Speaker, it is just not good enough that they will not deal with Liberal corruption at the green Liberal slush fund. In fact, it took the minister 35 months under his watch to suspend the green slush fund when his own officials were in the meeting. The whistle-blower testified last night that the chair of the green slush fund tried to get $2.2 million from the fund into her own vanity project, the Verschuren Centre, a direct conflict of interest.
    Since industry officials were in the meeting, why did the minister not fire this Liberal corrupt director the minute that happened?
    Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives. Just last week, Canadians saw them vote against CSIS. They voted against funding for affordable child care in this country. They voted to cut the Canadian dental care program.
    On this side of the House, we will stand up for Canadians. We will stand up for growth, and we will continue to fight for Canadians at every step of the way.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the billion-dollar Liberal green fund paid out $150 million in subsidies to Liberal cronies over a period of months, despite the fact that government officials, his eyes and ears on the green fund board, attended meetings during which Liberal friends lined their pockets.
    After eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. Instead of continuing his cover-up, can the Prime Minister tell us when his Liberal friends will return their ill-gotten gains to Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are all about “chop, chop, chop”. Last week, the Conservative leader ordered his far-right caucus to cut funding for the Canadian Coast Guard's search and rescue activities. The Coast Guard saves lives. The Conservatives stood up 120 times to vote against measures that support Canadians. Shame on them.
    Mr. Speaker, this costly NDP-Liberal government learned in May that Liberal friends it had appointed to the Liberal green fund board had dipped into the $1‑billion fund to further their own interests. What did the minister do about it? Nothing.
    It gets worse. The minister “lied”, to quote a whistle-blower who testified at committee. He let it happen, and Liberal friends continued to line their pockets with more money. After eight years, this Prime Minister is not worth the cost of all the payouts to his cronies. When will Canadians get their money back?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister has already adequately answered this question.
    What we do not know is why the opposition member, just a few days ago, voted against the dental plan that was announced yesterday. In his riding, nearly 30,000 people will be eligible for this dental plan by 2025. Without this plan, they would not be able to go to the dentist or dental hygienist, which would create the kinds of serious health problems that often land people in the ER or hospital.
    Why did the member betray the interests of 30,000 people in his riding?

CBC/Radio-Canada