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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 321

CONTENTS

Thursday, May 30, 2024




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 321
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

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

[Translation]

Committees of the House

Transport, Infrastructure and Communities 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities entitled “Main Estimates 2024-25”.

[English]

Indigenous and Northern Affairs  

     Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, entitled “Main Estimates 2024-25”.

[Translation]

Veterans  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs entitled “Main Estimates 2024-25: Votes 1 and 5 under Department of Veterans Affairs, Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board”.

National Defence  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence entitled “Main Estimates 2024-25: Vote 1 under Communications Security Establishment, Votes 1, 5, 10 and 15 under Department of National Defence, Vote 1 under Military Grievances External Review Committee, Vote 1 under Military Police Complaints Commission, Vote 1 under Office of the Intelligence Commissioner”.

The Criminal Code  

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to table this bill today. It closes a loophole in our justice systems, ensuring that the principle of access to justice is followed for violent and serious crimes. It will also help restore public trust in the justice system.
    The Bloc Québécois's bill seeks to provide a framework for the use of the Jordan decision by amending the Criminal Code so that the decision cannot be invoked for primary designated offences under section 487.04 of the Criminal Code. These offences are serious crimes that include sexual assault, murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and torture.
    In Quebec alone, 148 stays of proceedings on the ground of unreasonable delay have been granted by judges at the request of the defence since 2021. Our bill will serve as a guardrail against the government's slow pace in appointing judges, which lengthens court delays.
    There are currently 57 judicial vacancies in Canada. If the government were to appoint judges as requested by all chief justices of the various courts, we would not need to use this bill.

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

  (1005)  

[English]

Petitions

Canada Post  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from 7,000 residents of Langdon who have been without a post office for a year and a half. I can understand why Canada Post is losing money when it is not providing a service in this community. People are being directed 30 kilometres away to another community. This is unacceptable. This is why the post office is in deficit. It is not providing the service.
    The residents of Langdon deserve a post office, and this is another petition stating that fact.

Public Safety  

    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to present a petition on behalf of constituents.
    I rise for the 39th time on behalf of the people of Swan River, Manitoba, to present a petition on the rising rate of crime. The NDP-Liberal government is failing to protect the people of Swan River amidst a crime wave that has swept through a rural town of 4,000.
     A 2023 report from Manitoba West district RCMP revealed that within 18 months, the region experienced 1,184 service calls and 703 offences committed by just 15 individuals. Four individuals in Swan River were responsible for 53 violent offences and 507 calls for service. This is why the rural community is calling for action and demanding jail, not bail, when it comes to violent repeat offenders.
    The people of Swan River demand that the Liberal government repeal its soft-on-crime policies that directly threaten their livelihoods and their community. I support the good people of Swan River.

Citizenship and Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today on behalf of Hong Kongers in Canada who are concerned about the permanent residence pathways stream A and B. This is particularly relevant given the ruling that happened in Hong Kong in the last day.
    The petitioners note the 7,500 who have been granted permanent residency, but there are still 8,000 applications and many more in backlog.
     The petitioners call on the government and the minister to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis that has happened, to create a mechanism to ensure that minor study permits to children are safeguarded, to create a mechanism to grant all Hong Kong pathway applicants to maintain their legal status and to get the PR process moving quickly.

Correctional Officers  

     Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to table a petition on behalf of correctional officers, who are calling for the Government of Canada to cease the prison needle exchange and to stop the proliferation of hard drugs in our federal institutions.
     Correctional officers are calling for enhanced safety measures and policies, such as a drone dereliction strategy, to stop illegal drugs from entering our prisons through drones hovering over prison walls.

[Translation]

Immigration and Citizenship  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present this morning.
     The first one addresses processing times for applications to sponsor spouses, common-law partners or children to Quebec. These delays are really too long and result in excessively long, forced separations, while also causing a lot of suffering and anxiety for these families.
    More than a thousand people have signed this petition calling on the government to honour the immigration minister's May 2023 commitment to ensure faster family reunification. Petitioners are also calling on the government to ensure fair, priority processing of visitor visas in these cases. They are also making other similar requests to ensure that families can be together, because that is absolutely vital.

  (1010)  

Assistance Dogs  

    Mr. Speaker, I will now present my second petition.
    Store entrances often have signs saying that no dogs are allowed, but there is no indication that assistance animals are permitted. This can sometimes lead to frustrating interactions between people with disabilities and staff on the premises.
    Petitioners are asking that signage at the entrances to services and stores to be changed from “No dogs allowed” to “Assistance dogs welcome” and “no pets allowed”. They are also asking that these changes be paired with a campaign to educate and raise awareness among store owners so that people with disabilities who need an assistance dog can access these stores.

[English]

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of many Canadians who are concerned about human rights protections in India.
     The petitioners say that according to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, various actors are supporting and enforcing sectarian policies seeking to establish India as a Hindu state. They say that Christians in India are being targeted by extremists, vandalizing their churches, attacking church workers and threatening and humiliating their congregations. They say that crimes against Dalit groups, including Dalit women and girls, are increasing. They say that Indian Muslims are at risk of genocide, assault and sexual violence.
    The petitioners ask that the government ensure that all trade deals with India are premised on mandatory human rights provisions, that extremists are sanctioned and that our government promotes a respectful human rights dialogue between Canada and India.

Carbon Tax  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition signed by over 100 people, who are calling on the elimination of the Liberal carbon tax on home heating.
    It was a cold, costly winter in Westman thanks to the Prime Minister's carbon tax on home heating. The divisive Liberal government believes only provinces that vote for Liberals should be exempt from the carbon tax on heating. However, Westman residents, struggling under the weight of high prices and inflation, disagree.
    David from Cartwright wrote that the rules providing carbon tax relief to only some parts of Canada are “divisive and undemocratic, and that all Canadians should be exempt from carbon taxes on home heating regardless of which fuel they use.”
    These petitioners would agree. That is because we have seen the impacts of high prices and inflation on the ground in Westman. The Samaritan House Food Bank gave out nearly 36,000 hampers last year, an astonishing increase of 12,000, 50% above its normal annual average.
    The overwhelming support for this petition is plain and simple. The solution is plain and simple: Axe the tax so Westman residents, all Westman residents, can heat their homes and afford to buy food.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The rules are fairly clear for the presentation of a petition. The member should be capturing the essence of it and should not be overly lengthy. It should not be a political statement. The member made reference to “axe the tax”.
    I am not going to entertain a series of points of order on this issue. The hon. parliamentary secretary is partially right. Petitions should be brief and should be very much the presentation of the petition. I will remind all members, please, to not offer opinions as to whether they agree with it or not. However, there is a bit of latitude and flexibility, which the Chair is happy to give.

Criminal Code  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition organized by Survivors Safety Matters, which is co-founded by Alexa Barkley and Tanya Couch.
    What they are petitioning is with respect to section 278 of the Criminal Code, which allows for the disclosure of the private records of the victim, including therapeutic and counselling records and personal journals, during legal proceedings. In fact, this also gives access to notes and records from the 988 suicide hotline. The petitioners find this to be absolutely unacceptable, because it re-victimizes victims and prevents victims from coming forward to report sexual assaults out of fear that all their records will be used against them.
     The petitioners are therefore calling on the Government of Canada to unconditionally protect the privacy and safety of sexual assault victims by eliminating that provision in section 278.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition. The petitioners note that we are facing intersecting crises, the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, as well as pollution and resource depletion.
     The petitioners are calling on the government to publicly declare its support for the international crime of ecocide.

  (1015)  

[Translation]

Old-Growth Forests  

     Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to present a petition from my Saanich—Gulf Islands constituents. They are concerned about threats to our old-growth forest. There is one last unprotected intact old-growth valley on all of southern Vancouver Island. Constituents asked—demanded—that the government take action against clear-cut logging.
    I do not want to say something in English or joke around.

[English]

    Perhaps it is “tax the axe.” The petitioners are hoping the government will act in concert with the provinces and in the interests of first nations.

[Translation]

    We need to work with the provinces and first nations to immediately halt the logging of endangered old-growth ecosystems.

[English]

     The petitioners point out this affects climate change, biodiversity and indigenous rights. They urge the government to take action while there is still time.

Health Care Workers  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to table in regard to Canada's health care workers.
    The petitioners are asking for all parliamentarians, both at the federal and provincial level, to recognize the important role that health care workers play in our communities and to support them, and also to recognize the importance of immigrant credentials and getting those recognized.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today. The first was initiated by Amalie Wilkinson. It has been signed by over 1,200 people across Canada, including many constituents. It notes that there are three intersecting crises we are facing: pollution, biodiversity and resource depletion crises. It notes that the most severe form of environmental damages related to these crises forms ecocide. It notes that many other countries in the world have brought in or have proposed legislation for ecocide, joining an international call to bring this type of measure in at the international level. The petitioners are calling on the federal government to publicly declare its support for an international crime of ecocide.

Cannabis  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition that I am presenting today was initiated by Sarah Mills and has been signed by over 3,200 Canadians. The petitioners note that the current limit placed on the content of THC does not adequately cater to the existing cannabis consumers and that it is a factor in which the legal, regulated cannabis industry is unable to compete with the illicit market, which is, of course, unregulated. They further note supporting statements from the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Cannabis Store to reconsider the current restriction on THC limits. The petitioners are therefore calling upon the Government of Canada to increase the maximum THC allowed in edible cannabis products to 100mg.

Questions on the Order Paper

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

Privilege

Alleged Unjustified Naming of a Member—Speaker's Ruling  

[Speaker's Ruling]
    I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised on May 1 by the member for Lethbridge, regarding the content of the Debates of April 30. In so doing, I would also like to comment on several points of order raised subsequently regarding the fallout of that day’s events.
    In raising her question of privilege, the member stated that the Debates of April 30 did not accurately reflect the previous day’s proceedings in the House. She alleged that the words “I withdraw” had been removed from the blues in the portion where the Chair had named her. The member stated that those words appeared under her name in the initial version of the blues and were attributed to her and that they could be heard in the audio recording.
    She added that, in this specific context, those words were not insignificant, as they showed that she had unconditionally complied with the Speaker’s request and that her withdrawal from the House was therefore unjustified. The member argued that since she was unable to participate in the debates and the votes of that day, her privileges had been breached. She also noted that this misrepresentation of her actions could amount to an improper reflection upon a member. The member was supported by some of her colleagues, who said that they had heard her say those words.
    Let us first review the events of April 30. The beginning of question period that day was particularly difficult. There was clearly a lot of strong language and strong reactions that required the Chair to intervene. I issued warnings, but also the possibility to rephrase their comments, to both the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister, for particular words they used, those terms being “racist” and “spineless” respectively.
    I subsequently asked for the word “wacko” to be withdrawn when it was used as a personal insult. I am certain all members can agree that such terms are not helpful and do not contribute to the kind of civility necessary for our proceedings. In the course of these events, the Chair was subjected to invective from the member for Lethbridge. The Chair told the member that challenging decisions of the Chair is contrary to the Standing Orders and subsequently asked her to withdraw her words. The member replied by saying that the Chair was “acting in a disgraceful manner”. At that point, since she did not appear to be complying with my request to withdraw her words, I rose, and her microphone was deactivated. Even though the member was only a few metres from the Chair, I did not hear what she said after her microphone was turned off, as there was too much noise in the House. The member was named pursuant to Standing Order 11.

  (1020)  

[Translation]

     The Hansard blues are the unrevised transcript of the debates of the House of Commons. The Debates, on the other hand, are the record of the proceedings, with the necessary editing and grammatical corrections. As House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states on page 1227, and I quote: “The Debates are published under the authority of the Speaker of the House. They are compiled using the audio recording of the proceedings as well as information provided by Parliamentary Publications staff stationed on the floor of the House.”
    As Speaker Milliken explained on March 20, 2001, on page 1917 of the Debates, and I quote: “The editors of Hansard always try to be fair and just in reporting and printing what we have said in the House. It is often difficult to determine exactly what was said.”

[English]

    An hon. member: I have a point of order.
    The Speaker: It is the normal tradition of the House that the Speaker finishes their ruling before points of order are raised. I will entertain them at the end of the ruling, which will happen in a couple of minutes.
    While the Debates are published under the authority of the Chair, the House should know that the Chair plays no part in editing the Debates. The editors of the Parliamentary Publications team craft a record that, in their judgment, best corresponds to the proceedings, without political interference and in a completely non-partisan manner.
    The editors may make changes to the records of the House proceedings, whether or not those changes are proposed by members, in accordance with their own guidelines and long-standing practices. Moreover, it is understood that the revisions should not alter the substance and the meaning of the members' statements in the House.
    The Chair learned that, on April 30, two versions of the blues had been prepared. The words “I withdraw” were indeed in the first version and were attributed to the member for Lethbridge. During the revision process, the editors listened carefully to the audio recording of the sitting but could not be certain that those specific words had been said or that the statement should be attributed to the member for Lethbridge. The word “withdraw” was clearly audible, but what preceded was not.
    Given the context of the exchange between the Chair and the member, the words she said immediately prior and the process of naming the member that subsequently began, the audio in question could plausibly be interpreted as either “I withdraw” or “I do not withdraw”.
    In addition, the particularly high level of ambient noise substantially complicated the editors’ task. Faced with this uncertainty, the editors removed the words, and a second version of the blues was produced, which was provided to the member. No comments or revisions were communicated to the Parliamentary Publications department in connection with this intervention prior to the publication of Hansard by the member for Lethbridge or her staff, or any other member or their staff.
    Finally, the words are not included in the published version of the Debates. While investigating this matter, the Chair also learned that the staff responsible for Debates had provided these explanations to the member in the afternoon of May 1, even before she raised her question of privilege.

  (1025)  

[Translation]

    As the member for Lethbridge later pointed out on May 9, it is true that on the morning of May 1, a member of my staff received a question from a journalist about the difference between the blues and the Debates. On the other hand, it should be noted that the answer offered was very general and was provided even before the question of privilege was raised in the House.

[English]

     The Chair recognizes that the member for Lethbridge states that she said “I withdraw”. The Chair has no reason to doubt her word, nor that of the chief opposition whip, who confirmed that others heard those words. I hope she will accept that, because she began by repeating her comments, and because the noise level was so high, the Chair did not hear her say that day that she was withdrawing her words. My decision to name her seemed justified, based on the information I had at the time. If the member had begun by withdrawing her words, events surely would have unfolded differently.
    I want to emphasize this point. When the Chair asks a member to withdraw offensive remarks and apologize, out of respect for the Chair and the rules of the House, the Chair expects members to comply, with no hesitation, period. An invitation to withdraw words that are deemed unacceptable is not an invitation to repeat those very words. In the event of refusal to comply, a member risks being named and asked to withdraw from the House or having the Chair decide not to recognize them until they do.

[Translation]

    Members sometimes disagree with the Chair’s decisions, but it is important for all members to accept them once they are made. Disregarding the rules is one thing; disregarding the authority of the Chair when one is called to order is another.
    As the member for New Westminster—Burnaby stated in his point of order on May 1, 2024, criticizing such decisions in the House amounts to challenging the Chair, which is contrary to our practices. On the other hand, while it is true that the Chair exercises control over decorum during proceedings and generally does not comment on statements made outside, attacks on the Speaker or the deputy speakers outside of the House can have a corrosive effect on our proceedings. It certainly does not help the House function smoothly.

[English]

    In conclusion, the Chair is of the opinion that the final version of the debates was prepared in accordance with the standards applied by the debates' editors and that their decision, as well as the Chair's decision to name the member, was justifiable based on the information available on April 30. Consequently, I cannot find a prima facie question of privilege. The member for Lethbridge has clearly indicated what her words were, and that is now also part of the record.

[Translation]

    I thank members for their attention.
    The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill on a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, my point of order relates to the manner in which you have arrived at this decision.
     In several previous cases of questions of privilege related to your conduct, for example, when I raised a point of privilege related to the government potentially withholding information on an Order Paper question that you had signed off in your role as parliamentary secretary in this Parliament, you had recused yourself from the decision.
     In this instance, you are ruling on a matter that directly relates to, once again, your conduct and your behaviour. How is it possible that you can make a ruling related to your behaviour, when precedent in this Parliament clearly shows that you should have recused yourself?

  (1030)  

     I thank the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill for raising her point of order.
    Because the question of privilege was germane to the question of how the blues are prepared and to how the contents of Hansard were prepared, which of course the Speaker has no role in doing, it was found to be appropriate for the Speaker to be able to issue this ruling.
     Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. When this controversy was first brought to our attention by the hon. member for Lethbridge, I rose to speak in deep concern about the possibility that the words that were spoken, which were in the initial blues, had been changed without the member's knowledge because this is an essential piece of how this place works, that we are confident that there is no interference with respect to the words that come out of our mouths, as best as they are able to be captured by the extraordinarily talented and dedicated staff, obviously with new equipment. However, for centuries there has been Hansard, and the words of parliamentarians are recorded, we hope faithfully.
    I also want to make a parenthetical comment. Then, I want to ask a specific question in case your ruling included it and I missed it.
    One of the things about the operations of Parliament, which is to say the fragility of our democracy, is that in Westminster parliamentary democracies, such as Canada, and I would say particularly Canada, much rests on intangibles: respect, decency, unwritten rules, traditions, concern for the country, etc. There are a lot of intangibles that float around when it comes to respect. I know that when hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle was the Speaker, I vigorously disagreed with many of his rulings, but I knew, as there is no appeal of a Speaker's ruling, there would be nothing but chaos if I were to show anything but respect for the rulings I heard, no matter how passionately I disagreed.
    My point is this. We are in a perilous place, to all my colleagues I would say the same, and we have to be able to work together and to respect our traditions. They are intangible and imperfect, but without them, there is nothing here but chaos.
    My question is this. I do not know if you can respond to it now or if you will have to fill me in later. I have had the experience of saying things and the Hansard staff got back to me to say that they were not sure they heard me right and asked me what I said. What I am missing here is this. I remember the day; there was a lot of noise and a lot of chaos, so I can understand that it was hard to hear clearly. What I am not certain about, and I would feel much more reassured as I am very concerned about the point the member for Lethbridge made, is if we were absolutely certain that nothing untoward occurred between what she said and how it was recorded.
    Do we know if the staff from Hansard reached out to the member for Lethbridge to seek clarification before the new version of Hansard emerged with the words “I withdraw” removed?
     I would like to thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for rising on the point of order.
     As was contained in the ruling of the Chair, and if members were to check the ruling they would see that we do address precisely that point, that there were two times that the blues were prepared and shared, and there was a discussion on top of that between the member for Lethbridge and the people who prepare Hansard.
    Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, I would offer to respond to that, actually.
     There was no effort made to reach out to my office to clarify what I had said that day and whether or not the blues had been changed. In fact they were changed without my knowledge and then published in the Hansard record, which was signed off by your office, all without my knowing about it. It was only after the change that I, on my initiative, reached out to your office in order to seek clarification and understand the procedure better.
    I thank the hon. member for Lethbridge. Once again, I would encourage all members to read the ruling very carefully.
     The honourable Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, part of the concern I have on this is that there is the official Hansard record when a member is standing up and speaking. Then there are individuals heckling, and there are mics that are around that often pick up the heckling.
     From my understanding, there is no issue with regard to members who have been recognized and are speaking. What we are talking about is off-to-the-side comments. Hansard does not record all the offside comments, nor do I believe we would want to mandate it to do that, because we would need another whole team, plus, at times, to record all of the statements that are said off the record. What the member said was completely off the record. I never even heard it.

  (1035)  

    Before we get into a back and forth, I just want to make it clear that the Chair has been very open to hearing points of view, especially on a sensitive issue like this. I am going to invite all members to please take a closer look at the ruling. The hon. parliamentary secretary raised a point that I think can, again, be found in the ruling, in terms of how this was captured or not captured.
    I am going to allow the chief opposition whip to rise on the last point of order on this matter. It is not normally—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: The reason is that after a decision of the Chair, it is not up for debate. I do understand, and I have great respect for the chief opposition whip.
     Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I am standing for clarity on this. This was not a heckle. It was not an offside comment, as it has just been characterized. It was—
    An hon. member: It was.
    Hon. Kerry-Lynne Findlay: No, it was not. The member is heckling now. That is not the same thing.
    It was a statement by the person who had been recognized. There was an exchange going on. Her last comment was “I withdraw”, which was picked up and then put in the blues. I will not go any further on the point other than to say that was a mischaracterization of what happened on the day.
     I thank the hon. official opposition whip, and I appreciate the point. It is a fair point as well. I invite all members, once again, to read the ruling where it makes it very clear the sequence of events.
    I am afraid that is the final point the Speaker is going to entertain on the issue.
     If the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville is rising on the same matter, I am going to invite her to please take a look at the ruling of the Speaker, as I said earlier.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Summer Tax Break  

    That, in order to help Canadians afford a simple summer vacation and save typical Canadian families $670 this summer, the House call on the NDPLiberal government to immediately axe the carbon tax, the federal fuel tax, and the GST on gasoline and diesel until Labour Day.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, after nine years of this Prime Minister, the Liberal Bloc is not worth the cost. Housing costs have doubled. The debt has doubled. Inflation is at a 40-year high. These tax and spending increases are penalizing the work being done by Quebeckers. These increases are also further centralizing our country's power in the hands of federal politicians and bureaucrats.
    All this was done with the support of the Bloc Québécois, which is the bizarre and ironic part. A so-called separatist party is becoming increasingly dependent on the federal government. It voted in favour of $500 billion in bureaucratic, inflationary and centralizing spending. This spending is not on health care or old age security, but rather on bureaucracy, agencies, consultants and other parts of the bloated federal and central machine here in Ottawa.
     From time to time the Bloc Québécois votes to ensure Ottawa collects Quebeckers' powers and money. It is not an pro-independence party. It is a pro-dependence party.
    In contrast, the Conservative Party seeks to reduce the federal government's role, power and costs. We want a smaller federal government to create more space for Quebeckers. We are going to reduce the cost of government by cutting spending and waste with a view to lowering taxes, inflation and interest rates. That means more money in Quebeckers' pockets and less money in the coffers of this centralizing Prime Minister.
     We are the only party that supports Quebeckers' autonomy and that of all Canadians. Our common-sense plan is very focused. It consists in axing the tax, building the homes, fixing the budget and stopping the crime. We are also proposing that Quebeckers get a gas tax cut of 17 cents per litre this summer. This would at least allow them to have a vacation and spend time in Quebec communities, while supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as camping sites and the magnificent hotels and small inns that dot this beautiful province. It would keep more money in the Quebec economy instead of feeding the bloated monster that is the federal government.
     Our approach means less for Ottawa and more for Quebeckers. That is common sense. Fortunately, there is a party that is there for people. On the other side, there are the other parties and the Liberal bloc. For the next elections, the choice is clear. It is either the Liberal bloc, which taxes food, penalizes work, doubles the cost of housing and releases criminals into the streets, or the common-sense Conservative Party, which is going to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. That is what we call common sense.

  (1040)  

[English]

    I am going to begin with a text message I just got from the owner of a small business in Ottawa who has opened some beautiful, legendary local restaurants, Fratelli, which is Italian for “brothers”; and Roberto, an incredible and beautiful pizza shop where one can get some wood-oven pizza.
     He sent me this message, in which he was responding to a friend who asked him about a business investment opportunity in Ottawa: “Hi Victor, I appreciate you thinking of me. I am personally done with investing any time or money in Canada. I've actually started the process of leaving. My kids have already left and don't want to come back here. One is in Italy, the other in Florida. Both are extremely happy and living life the way it should be lived. It's sad, but it's my new reality based on what's happening with this Liberal Prime Minister and Canada, for the next generation. I hope all is well with you and your family. Lastly, FYI, I found out today that 46% of businesses in the downtown business improvement area will not renew their leases. Yikes, that's scary. What's coming in the next year or two? I hope you and your family are well. See you soon.”
    Is that not sad? This is the kind of person the Prime Minister likes to demonize. The person is someone who has earned a living and built his own business from scratch. He did not inherit a multi-million-dollar tax-deferred trust fund.
    No, he had poor immigrant parents from south Italy, the kind of people whom we see in communities across the land, including in South Shore—St. Margarets, where the member with whom I am splitting my time resides, and I know that this is the kind of story that the Liberal-controlled media likes to shut down. For example, I told the story of a Cape Breton couple that had moved to Nicaragua, and Bell CTV tried to gaslight them and me by claiming that it was all crazy talk. It was actually a story told by the person themself.
    Of course, Bell is the Prime Minister's favourite telephone company. It loves to get favours from his regulatory arm by giving him a lot of gushing media propaganda. It even publishes the propaganda that is regurgitated by The Canadian Press. It just literally cuts and pastes the stuff the PMO feeds The Canadian Press to write. It can no longer gaslight Canadians on these facts.
    Let me read from an article. Even the CBC had to admit it today:
    Emigration from Canada to the U.S. hits a 10-year high as tens of thousands head south. Census [data] says 126,340 people left Canada for the US in 2022, a 70 per cent increase over a decade....
    One group called Canadians Moving to Florida & USA has more than 55,000 members and is adding dozens of...members every [single] week....
    Marco Terminesi is a former professional soccer player who grew up in Woodbridge, Ont. and now works as a real estate agent in Florida's Palm Beach County with a busy practice that caters to Canadian expats.
    “I hate the politics here”—
    “Here” is Canada.
    —Terminesi said his phone has been ringing off the hook for the last 18 months with calls from Canadians wanting to move to sunny Florida.
    “‘With [the Prime Minister], I have to get out of here,’ that's what people tell me. They say to me, ‘Marco, who do I have to talk to to get out of here?’....
    “There's a lot of hatred, a lot of pissed-off calls. It's really shocking for me to hear all of this....
    “And I'm not sure all these people are moving for the right reason. People are saying, ‘I hate the politics..., I'm uprooting my whole family and moving down,’ and I say, ‘Well, that problem could be solved in a year or two.’”
     God willing. I think a lot of people are hoping that common-sense Conservatives will come in to solve the problem the Prime Minister has caused. I think it is clear. Let us be very blunt about this. If I am not prime minister in the next two years, there will be a large sucking sound of Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs and workers leaving this country to go anywhere on Planet Earth and escape the doubling housing costs, the quadrupling carbon tax and the devastating economic policies that are pricing the people out of their own country. That is the reality.
    It is happening already. Canadians are fleeing the doubling housing costs that the Prime Minister has caused by printing cash to inflate costs and by funding bureaucracy that blocks homebuilding. Canadians are leaving the country to avoid the massive tax increases that have shut down businesses and pushed, according to one Liberal former governor of the central bank, $800 billion of Canadian investment more abroad than has come home.
    With all of the suffering and misery, the 256 homeless encampments that have popped up in Toronto, the 35 homeless encampments in Winnipeg, the two million people lined up at food banks, the one in four Canadians skipping meals because they cannot afford the price of eating, and the 76% of young people who say they will never own a home, for God's sakes, can Canadians not at least enjoy a merciful vacation from the taxes?
    That is why common-sense Conservatives not only want to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime when we form government, but also in the meantime are asking for a tax holiday on fuel that would save 35¢ a litre and allow families to get in their car, go on the road, do some camping and support local tourism businesses.
    Let us bring our money home. Let us bring a vacation for long-suffering Canadians. It is common sense. Let us bring it home.

  (1045)  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a very specific question for the Leader of the Opposition, and I would ask that he listen and try to provide a direct answer to this. I think it is really important, and it pertains to the substance of his motion.
    The member's motion says that the average Canadian will save $670 between now and Labour Day. Now, if we look at the carbon tax, it is 17.6¢; the federal gas tax is 10¢. If we put GST on there, it is 29¢. In order to save $670 for the average Canadian, they would have to drive 25,842 kilometres between now and Labour Day. To put that in perspective, if we were to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole, we would still have over 5,000 kilometres left over. We would have to drive 272 kilometres per day between now and Labour Day.
     Can the member explain where he plans to travel that would account for 272 kilometres per day, starting today, between now and Labour Day?

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, I think the member got confused. He was actually looking at the manifest that lays out the Prime Minister's international island-trotting vacations, and that is where he got all these numbers. It is his leader who travels those distances to vacation on private billionaire islands in the Caribbean and who loves to globe-trot around the world to various tax havens where he can enjoy a vacation.
     We are talking about Canadians enjoying a camping trip and saving 35¢ a litre on diesel, on gas, by getting rid of the carbon tax and then the tax on the tax. The one thing he did not even acknowledge is that not only do the Liberals tax gas, but they also have a carbon tax, and then they have the GST on those two other taxes. The compounding effect of those taxes drives up hundreds of dollars in taxes that Canadians pay every single year. The member thinks it is not enough. He wants to quadruple the carbon tax. We will decide what happens in the carbon tax election.
     Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has been an enthusiastic cheerleader for the oil and gas industry. He fills his fundraisers with its lobbyists and CEOs, so it is not surprising that he has no climate plan. He is not concerned with the fact that many Canadians will have a road trip this summer in which they flee wildfire evacuation zones, worrying about whether their home will still be there when they get back. On top of that, he has been going around the country saying that he would also scrap the north coast oil tanker moratorium. This would ignore municipalities, first nations, anglers, commercial fishermen and the majority of the people in the District of Kitimat, among many other communities in the north, who wholly reject any plan to bring crude oil supertankers to the north coast of B.C.
    Can the Leader of the Opposition confirm that he would scrap that moratorium?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, I will acknowledge that the member and her party have been enthusiastic supporters of the oil industries in Russia, in Saudi Arabia and in Venezuela. They love the oil industries in countries where they have ideological allies running socialist governments. They also do not have a problem with tankers. They support bringing in Saudi and Nigerian tankers to Port Saint John in New Brunswick.
    I find it very interesting that they are against putting Canadian energy products on ships and sending them off to market, but they are delighted to have dirty dictator oil arrive at our shores in the amount of 130,000 barrels every single day. It is interesting how wacko one has to be to support dictator oil while shutting down the paycheques of unionized Canadian workers. We stand on the side of bringing home powerful paycheques for our union workers in this country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I find this to be the most extraordinary opposition day we have ever had. It is a bunch of hot air. This is a horrible show of populism.
     These taxes represent $1.3 billion for the three months during which the Leader of the Opposition wants them waived.
     How would he make up for this $1.3-billion shortfall? Would he make cuts, or would he simply add to Canadians' debt?
    Mr. Speaker, I think it was René Lévesque who said, “Beware of those who say they love the people but hate everything the people love.” That is my response to his aiming to collect money here in Ottawa. I find it interesting that a member of the Bloc is opposed to us taking money away from the federal government to leave it in the pockets of Quebeckers
     Where will I find the money to reduce taxes on gas? We will reduce the amounts spent on hiring consultants. Note that $21 billion was spent to hire consultants. That is an increase of 100%, which represents $1,400 for every family in Quebec. The Bloc Québécois voted for this increase in federal consultants and we voted against it. We will wipe out this centralist spending to put money in the pockets of Quebeckers.

  (1055)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a little intimidating to speak after the Leader of the Opposition, but I will give it a shot.
    The motion is a really important one for all members of Parliament to show they have a bit of a heart, caring and understanding of what Canadians are going through. It made me reflect on my childhood, growing up, and this time of year, approaching the end of school in June. There was excitement that I would have the freedom to do all the things that I liked to do in the summer, such as ride my bike and all the stuff I would do with my friends. The summers seemed to last forever back then.
    One thing my family would do was summer road trips. My parents struggled each month to decide which bill to pay or not pay, but they always found the money to take the four kids on a holiday. Sometimes, we would simply go across the Annapolis Valley from our house in Halifax and stay at my grandmother's house in a place called Paradise. It was paradise as a kid. Other times, they would have enough to take us to Toronto on a car trip. We would stay at my aunt's, go to the CNE and do great things.
    Once in a while, we had enough money to go to the United States; we would go to Washington or visit Disney World in the summer, believe it or not. Those are great memories, and we were fortunate enough to do those things; we did not understand that our parents may have been struggling a little with money.
    However, after nine years of the NDP-Liberal government, the dream of doing that for millions of Canadian families is gone. Canadians are going hungry and having trouble even paying their rent or mortgage. Last year, food banks had to handle a record two million visits, and they are projecting an additional million this year. Can members imagine? There were three million visits, a record number, to food banks in Canada. Feed Nova Scotia estimates that, in my province, food bank usage went up 27% last year alone; the record for every number it tracks has been broken.
    Last weekend, I went to the Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, which provides meals for the homeless in Bridgewater in my riding. They did not have to do that two years ago, and now they have to cook meals for the homeless. The hon. member for Tobique—Mactaquac met with the folks there who are doing that great work. Last year, 36% of food banks had to turn people away because they ran out of food. Canadians are homeless because they can no longer afford the cost to own or rent a home under the NDP-Liberals.
    Rent has increased 107%, and now it takes Canadians 25 years to even save for the idea of a down payment on a house. We know homeless encampments have grown everywhere, in small towns and large towns; there are 35 of them in Halifax. In 2015, there were only 284 homeless people in the city of Halifax. Today, there are over 1,200. That is a 326% increase under the NDP-Liberals. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said that, since 2018, the number of people who have been continuously homeless has increased by 38% nationally. They have been homeless for more than a year. For those who are recently homeless, the increase is 88%.
    After nine years of the NDP-Liberal government, it is not just low-income families that are suffering. Middle-class families are now both working and using food banks because all their income is going to pay the mortgage. Why did this happen? It is not something that happened because of Europe, as the government claims. It is a made-in-Canada, NDP-Liberal creation. Years of inflationary debt and taxes led to Canada's record inflation rate, which reached 8.1% at one point in the last two years, with the fastest growth in inflation in Canadian history.
     These inflation hikes have hit countless Canadians who are now facing mortgage renewals. They are already facing historically high debt and a cost of living crisis. Over the next two years, 45% of outstanding mortgages in Canada will be up for renewal. These represent homes built at record-high prices and at record-low interest rates. The homeowners could see a 30% to 40% uptick from the interest rate they received only a few years ago. For a $500,000 mortgage on a home over a five-year fixed term for 25 years, this will mean an increased payment of nearly $1,000 a month.
    In addition to that, we know that food costs are up 23% since 2020; gasoline costs are up 30%. The years with the greatest decline in food purchasing power for Canadians were 2022 and 2023.

  (1100)  

    Unfortunately, for Canadians, these records are not records they seek from their government, but their government nonetheless brags that inflation has come down to 3%. The government is bragging that prices are still going up, and these are shocks that Canadians cannot afford.
    As Canadians are struggling, the NDP-Liberal government increased taxes by increasing the carbon tax by 23% last April. That means the average Nova Scotian family will now pay $1,500 more in the carbon tax than they get back in fake carbon rebates according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. It is estimated that in 2024, the average Canadian family will have to pay $700 more for food than they paid last year.
    Canadians cannot afford these increases. Despite the dangerous misinformation that the NDP-Liberals spread about how great Canadians have it, they are not better off because of the government. They are suffering dramatically. That is why premiers in almost every province of this country have asked for the government to get rid of the carbon tax. The government says it care about provinces, but it ignores every request from them.
    A poet named Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. The foolish consistency of the NDP-Liberal government is continuing to spend money, which is driving up inflation, driving up interest rates and driving up food costs. The government thinks that somehow, after nine years, that is going to result in an outcome other than having poorer and poorer Canadians. That is the foolish consistency of the government. I will let members judge the issue of little minds.
    I will also leave it to members to consider that Canadians are demanding a break. The number one question we all get is, when are we going to get an election? It is not because Canadians love elections. It is because they want to get rid of the government. Canadians need a break from the hurt, the pain and the hunger caused by the NDP-Liberals.
    We are proposing to give Canadians a temporary break so that the great privilege that some of us had in our summers in our youth of getting into the family car, going on a vacation and having a great adventure can happen this summer too. What is the best way to do this? Our motion today says the following:
    That, in order to help Canadians afford a simple summer vacation and save typical Canadian families $670 this summer, the House call on the NDP-Liberal government to immediately axe the carbon tax, the federal fuel tax, and the GST on gasoline and diesel until Labour Day.
    That is a reasonable request. It would save Nova Scotians $542 this summer. Some in this place may not think $542 is a big deal, but $542 will help someone pay the gas to drive from Halifax to Toronto to take their kids to a Blue Jays game or visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. That would be a great treat for many of the struggling families in my province. They could even go to the Canadian National Exhibition and watch the fantastic air show that it has on Labour Day.
    However, that is out of reach for families in my community in Nova Scotia, with an average income in my riding of $30,000. The $542 is tax that the NDP-Liberals will keep taking from their pockets while they suffer and try to put food on the table. This would be the difference between taking a vacation and what unfortunately has become normalized under the government, which is the staycation. The staycation means someone cannot afford to take a holiday, so they just stay at home. That is not a vacation for families.
    We are asking the government to show a little compassion and a little heart. We would not be in this situation if the government just followed our common-sense plan to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. Particularly, this summer, the Conservatives want the government to axe the tax on all fuel costs and call a carbon tax election, if it believes in it so much, so that we can deliver what Canadians are asking for. I challenge the government to do one of those two things. If the Liberals do not have the guts to remove federal taxes this summer to give a break to Canadians, at least they should have the guts to call an election and let Canadians decide.

  (1105)  

     Mr. Speaker, this is a bit much. The Conservative policy guru in Alberta, better known as Premier Danielle Smith, increased the gas tax by four cents. If we take a look at the weird Conservative calculation and think about it, the Conservatives say they are going to save $670. That is a joke. Their calculator is way off, as the deputy government House leader just pointed out. To get that, the average driver would have to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole. They could almost do it twice.
    I do not know what is going on in the Conservative Party. It is going further right than Premier Danielle Smith and the MAGA Conservatives. Its calculator is broken. Where do Conservatives get that $670 from? I do not understand it.
     Mr. Speaker, forgive me if I do not believe the math of the Liberals, who have not met a single budget target at any time and have said the budget will balance itself. Maybe when the previous member, the member for Kingston and the Islands, who brought it up, did the math, the kilometres were based on the $150,000 Ford Lightning he drives. He should try using a normal vehicle, like most Canadians drive.
    I understand why the member is embarrassed by that fact, but the Liberals made the carbon tax go up on April 1, April Fool's Day, by 23%. They are continuing to do that and plan to make it go up by 65¢ a litre by 2030. The Liberals have no compassion for people who are suffering because of their tax policy.
    Mr. Speaker, I feel that my colleague's intervention was not entirely accurate in some of the information he shared, and I want to give him some perspective.
     We just heard from one of the members of the Liberal Party about Danielle Smith and the taxes that she has put on gas in Alberta. In Alberta, we have Trevor Tombe, who is an economics professor at the University of Calgary. He is quite renowned for being very smart with regard to carbon economics. He writes, “A clear majority of households do receive rebates that are larger than the carbon taxes they pay for.” He also says, “If we got rid of the carbon tax and the rebate, then this would harm a much larger fraction of lower- and middle-income households than it would higher-income households.” The Business Council of Alberta has said that the carbon tax is the “simplest, clearest, cheapest, and least interventionist way to achieve Canada’s climate goals”. These are experts who have been doing this work and have been doing research.
    I am wondering why the information the Conservative Party of Canada is trying to put out today completely contradicts the information of experts like Trevor Tombe and those within the Business Council of Alberta.
    Mr. Speaker, why does it not come as a surprise to me that the NDP continues to speak for the elites at universities rather than ordinary blue-collar working people?
    I know this is inconvenient for the NDP-Liberals, but looking to the experts, the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer says the tax will cost families $1,500 more a year than they get back in fake rebates. This is a convenient way for the NDP-Liberals to ignore experts. They choose their elite university economists as the group they believe in.
    I would ask the member to take another read of the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report so that she has a fuller understanding of the effect of this tax on families.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague has just set himself up as a defender of the people in the struggle of the academic elite against the people. The Conservatives want to defend what they call ordinary people.
     However, the Conservative Party's policies benefit the western oil companies. Does my colleague really believe that western oil companies need help and that they are ordinary people?

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, the government's policies have caused 78,000 ordinary people to lose their jobs in the oil patch, which has driven investment per employee in this country down and our productivity to 40% less than that of the United States, making the cost of living for everyday individuals much more difficult.
    It is literally crazy that despite our competitive advantage as a nation with natural resources, the NDP-Liberal government says we should shut them all down and hope that somehow fairy dust in other industries with government taxpayer money, which is raised by the oil industry, by the way, will somehow correct or change how our economy operates and how we lead families to a successful life. The great policies they enjoy in Canada have to be provided by profits from businesses, which create jobs and innovation.
     I would ask the hon. member to take another look in the mirror.

  (1110)  

    As a reminder to all hon. members, try to keep the answers and questions short so that all members who want to participate and ask questions get an opportunity to do so. The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has tried to be recognized on a number of occasions, and I will see if I can put her up first in the next round.
    Resuming debate, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the opposition for putting forth another opposition day on one of Canada's most successful tools to reduce our carbon pollution. Carbon pricing works, and that has never been clearer.
    Before I go on, I would like to say I fully support the Speaker's idea to have the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands take the first question so we can talk about how we fight climate change, not whether we fight climate change. The Conservatives seem hell-bent on letting our planet burn.
    Carbon pricing works at the business level, and carbon pricing works at the personal household level as well. In fact, it increases the success of all other emissions reductions policies because it builds in a powerful incentive for energy efficiency right across the Canadian economy. We might call carbon pricing the sixth player on the ice in Canada's emissions reductions plan. ECCC's modelling shows that carbon pricing alone accounts for around one-third of the emissions reductions expected in Canada between 2005 and 2030. Other independent experts have calculated it to be even more effective in cutting Canada's carbon pollution.
    The Conservatives do not need to listen to experts, whom they have said are so-called experts, but they should heed the advice of William Nordhaus, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, who just recently said that Canada is getting it right on carbon pricing, that we are getting it right on carbon reductions, that our pollution is going down as a result and that our economy continues to be very strong. Let me summarize quickly how our department calculates emissions reductions.
    We use a program called EC-PRO. It is a computable general equilibrium model that allows us to perform complex statistical calculations. We begin by preparing a reference scenario that includes all current federal, provincial and territorial emissions reductions policies and calculates the total emissions expected by 2030. Then we prepare a second hypothetical scenario that excludes carbon pricing altogether. We also exclude all provincial carbon pricing policies, including those from Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, which are not covered by the federal system. Finally, the difference is used to estimate the effect of carbon pricing on emissions. This results in a difference of 78 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent, which represents about a third of the total reductions that Canada plans to make between 2005 and 2030. This is according to our commitments under the Paris Agreement, which we reaffirmed when we formed government in 2015.
    Our modelling also shows that the effect of carbon pricing is very rapid. It is one of the least expensive, least intrusive and quickest ways to reduce carbon emissions. By 2023, just the fourth year of this plan, our emissions would have been around 24 million tonnes higher without Canada's national minimum carbon price. It has the same effect as taking more than seven million internal combustion passenger cars off the road.
    I will remind my colleague from the Conservative Party, who earlier asked a member about the calculations he used for the $670 savings the Conservative Party is boasting about and asked if he was going to drive his electric car, that electric cars do not require fuel. It seems to be lost on the Conservatives that they are an innovation that do not require the input of fossil fuels.
    In short, putting a price on pollution works, and our data proves it. It is not just our data. It is also the data of 300 independent economists from across this country, renowned people who work at universities and whom the Conservatives continue to call so-called experts. If they have any experts, Conservative experts, who would like to come forward with some data, economic analysis or anything that indicates carbon pricing is having a negative impact on the real affordability challenges that Canadians are experiencing, I am here for it. I asked them for it back in December and have not seen anything since.
    Carbon pricing continues to be the most efficient, simple and cost-effective way to meet our targets. It is a measure that encourages the whole population, every household and every business, to find ways to cut pollution, whether and however they would like to. It sends a powerful message forward of confidence to businesses to invest in cleaner technologies and be more energy efficient in the future.
    It is truly mind-boggling to see all of the misinformation out there being spread especially by the Conservative Party of Canada. Carbon pricing does not raise the cost of living. Economists from across this country, people who are experts on these types of analyses, indicate that, yet the Conservative Party chooses to continue to toe that line, which is based on absolutely no factual data.
    In provinces where the federal fuel charge applies, it represents a tiny fraction of inflation and of the increase in the price of groceries. As my colleague from the NDP pointed out, Trevor Tombe, from the University of Calgary in Alberta, said that it adds to the price of groceries a very negligible amount. We are talking about pennies on a full cart of groceries.

  (1115)  

    I would also just point out that there is a 10% supplement for people living in rural and remote areas, who do not have access to things like active transportation or public transportation. They might be more reliant on propane or natural gas, as other forms of heating are less available in rural Canada. We proposed increasing it by 20%, but the Conservatives have been delaying Bill C-59 for months now, withholding that money from Canadians.
    For provinces under the federal pricing system, with the Canada carbon rebate, 80% of Canadian households receive a refund that is greater than what they pay. In fact, if carbon pricing were abolished, not only would clean energy investment, innovation and job creation all grind to a halt, but our low- and middle-income families would have less money in their pockets.
    I would like to expand on another piece of false information that is being driven by the Conservative Party of Canada, with respect to how carbon pricing has an impact on our economy: No, carbon pricing does not hurt businesses, and it does not hurt the economy.
    In other countries similar to Canada, cold ones that also get warm in the summer, we see that pricing systems like ours offer the stability to build more prosperous economies. Sweden, which put a price on carbon over 30 years ago, has managed to cut its emissions by a third and double its economy.
    The same is true for us, such as in British Columbia, which has had its own system for more than a decade. Many members of the Conservative Party of Canada served in the B.C. legislature under the Liberal Party when it was instituted. They seem to have forgotten that it has been lowering their per capita emissions and per GDP emissions in the great province of British Columbia for decades now. They have also seen, over the exact same time, rapid economic growth and innovation. Congratulations to British Columbia. On that piece of policy, the federal government is proud to follow in its footsteps.
    We also must consider the demand for clean innovation, which is growing worldwide. We have seen investments in Canada. In fact, foreign direct investment in Canada is at an all-time high, and that is because people want to invest here. It is a great time to invest in Canada. We have the green energy and the great ideas that the world really depends on when it comes to innovation and a green revolution. That is why they are coming here to do business.
    Because carbon pricing attracts investment in clean energy technologies and low-carbon industry here in Canada, it allows Canadian companies to take the lead. If we abolished it, we would lose our position in the global race toward carbon neutrality and we would sacrifice all of the jobs that come with it. It would do serious harm to Canadian companies that are exporting to other countries with carbon markets that will impose carbon adjustment mechanisms at their border. That includes the entire European Union, for example. It also includes the U.K., and other countries plan to do so soon.
    Canada has already made so much progress. As a result of the suite of climate change-fighting, emissions-reducing policies implemented since 2015, Canada is set to exceed our 2026 interim climate objective of a 20% reduction in emissions from 2005 levels. There goes another Conservative talking point up in smoke.
    It is amusing when opposition members accuse us of missing climate targets, when they do everything in their power to kneecap the policies that are, in fact, getting us to achieving our targets. The most recent projections, published last December, suggest that Canada should achieve a 36% reduction by 2030. We are getting there. The latest national inventory report confirmed that emissions are consistent with our forecast and remain below prepandemic levels.
    Canada's emissions, with the exception of the pandemic, have never been so low in 25 years. This is a great achievement, something that the entire House of Commons ought to be proud of and ought to be looking for ways to make even better. Electricity and heat production in the public sector has become less polluting due, in part, to further reductions in the use of coal and coke in those applications. Fugitive emissions from oil and gas extraction have also decreased.
    The numbers are very clear. Carbon pricing works, and it will make it possible to achieve one-third of Canada's emissions reduction targets by 2030. It also helps ease the cost of living for families that need it the most. It is good for business and it is good for the economy. The revenue-neutral nature of our carbon pricing system is less costly than offering subsidies or adopting regulatory measures.
    With respect to the Conservative motion today suggesting that we drop all levies and tax on fuel over the course of the summer, the suggestion that it would save a family $670 is obviously false. They would have to drive over 25,000 kilometres in those few months. It also really ignores the fact that Canadians who really need it receive an HST refund four times a year. They receive a rebate.

  (1120)  

    I remember, when I was growing up, that my mom really looked forward to that. There was usually a trip to Swiss Chalet when my mom received the HST rebate. It was really, really helpful for our family. At that time, I think it was about $90 four times a year, and it is more now.
     However, more than that, the Canada carbon rebate is really supporting families, particularly those on the lower and modest income scale, not because they receive a bit more, as with the HST refund, but because everybody receives that incentive. Everybody receives the same amount. A family of four in Alberta receives the same as another family of four. The Conservatives have shamelessly called this some kind of a trick. It is not a trick; it is a rebate, a refund. The Canada carbon rebate is just like the Canada child benefit and just like all of the services and the programs we have implemented to lower poverty in the last eight years. The Canada carbon rebate really works and, like I said, it is less costly and less intrusive than offering subsidies or adopting strict regulatory measures. We absolutely must maintain it.
     I do not need to remind members of the urgent need for action. It is, unfortunately, wildfire season once again. Our country is very vulnerable to climate change. I read this statistic just recently, and it is absolutely alarming. Canada is 0.5% of the global population, about 41 million people on a planet of more than eight billion people. However, over 40%, I think it was 45%, of families displaced from their homes as a result of wildfires in 2023 were Canadian. Canada is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We warm faster and we dry faster. When it is dry, as is forecasted for this summer, we get more wildfires, and more intense wildfires, and that means more Canadians will be driven from their homes.
     Every day, Canadians see the costly impacts of climate change, from droughts to wildfires and floods. Climate change costs average Canadian households about $720 a year. The costs of climate change are not spoken about enough in this House of Commons. Climate change is one of the leading causes of grocery inflation. People go to the grocery store and say, “Hey, why is lettuce $3.50? Why are tomatoes all of a sudden $1.99 or $2.99?” It is because of climate change. It is because those crops are grown in places that are vulnerable to climate change and the extreme weather that has an impact on drought and on all sorts of important measures. It really speaks to the need for a more fulsome food strategy in Canada, and I support that as well.
     For families that are having a difficult time paying for groceries, the Canada carbon rebate really supports them, and it is important to note that it supports lower- and modest-income families even more. The next rebate is coming on July 15 and, for many families, it will be more than the average because if they did not submit their taxes by April 15, that rebate will be quite a lot higher than it was going to be alternatively. July 15 is the next installment for the Canada carbon rebate. Whether families live in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, as your family does, Mr. Speaker, P.E.I., Newfoundland, New Brunswick or Ontario, they all will receive the Canada carbon rebate on July 15.
     Over the same period of time that we have seen all of these changes, household revenues could decrease by as much as $1,900 just because of climate change. Climate change is having a really negative impact. There was actually an op-ed in the National Post by a former Conservative MP talking about how climate change might actually be good for Canada. What a cynical, pessimistic, horribly misguided viewpoint that would be. Climate change is costly, and Canadians are more vulnerable than average citizens around the world.
    That is not to mention the physical and mental health problems it causes. Not that long ago, only about a year ago, the skies in Ottawa were completely turned orange from wildfire smoke, and members in this House had a difficult time breathing. How quickly those Conservatives forget.
     The recently announced 2024 federal budget was named “Fairness for Every Generation”. Generational fairness means that we cannot saddle our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren with cleaning up our climate mess. Indeed, it is our obligation to make changes to our emissions behaviour so that we leave the planet better than we found it, like a good campsite. We are currently in the century of climate impact, and we cannot kick this can down the road: never again. Previous generations have been talking about climate change, global warming and other impacts on our natural environment, on our country and on our economy. I will not be one of those who ignore it in favour of other priorities, like higher oil and gas profits, as the Conservatives seem so committed to do.
    Carbon pricing gives us a much better chance of success than virtually any other policy. It is also important to recognize that our carbon-pricing protocol is just one measure in a suite of protocols.

  (1125)  

     As I said, Canadians are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Climate change manifests itself in our lives on a daily basis, whether it is with respect to air quality or, in the unfortunate scenario that many Canadians have experienced in the last year, an evacuation order. It has already forced us, and will continue to force us, to adapt and change the way we manage our businesses, organize our lives and interact with nature.
    Warmer temperatures come with more intense and frequent weather events everywhere on earth, but especially here at home. On a global level, it has been estimated that between 2000 and 2019, extreme weather events have caused damages averaging around $143 billion. That is $16 million per hour throughout the entire year for the last 20 years. Climate change is a real threat to our economy, to our livelihoods and to our very lives.
     Here at home, Canadians have experienced first-hand the severe weather events, such as hurricanes, storms, flooding, extreme heat and wildfires, which are now common, severe and more disastrous than ever. That is why I was actually very disappointed to hear the previous speaker on this from Nova Scotia talking as if climate change and extreme weather were not connected. They indeed are. We need not look any further than to some of our great Canadian paleoclimatologists and amazing economists. People research this, and members of this House ought to lean in on some of that economic and paleoclimatic data for insight.
     These kinds of weather events have had major impacts on property and infrastructure. They cause environmental damage. They threaten our very lives, and our food and water security. The impact of extreme weather events on Canadian communities is not limited to one given place. We see those changes across our country and severe weather from coast to coast to coast.
     When we are looking at the financial impacts of extreme weather, six out of 10 of the costliest years on record in Canada were in the last decade. Indeed, 2023 was the hottest year on record, and 2024 is slated to be even hotter. January of this year had the highest temperature ever recorded in a January on record. February was the hottest February ever on record. March was the hottest March ever on record. It is staring us right in the face. The climate crisis is not an optional thing that we must act on; it is 100% mandatory. Future generations are depending on us.
     If the Conservatives want to continue to use their slogans and their misguided approach with absolutely no data, to further inflame the conversation around the affordability crisis without offering any solutions, I would just ask that over the course of the summer they travel to a university or ask a climate scientist for a little bit of insight so they can come back to this House in September with some data to back up their claims on either one of these two things: They are suggesting that carbon pricing is ineffective in reducing our emissions, or they are suggesting that the Canada carbon rebate is not supporting affordability right across this country.
    Both are true. They are facts. It is hard to argue with facts when economists point to them and say, “Hey, what you just said is actually not controversial; the math works out. We did the math, and we agree. That is actually supporting Canadians.”
     Speaking of poverty reduction, I came to this House because I was concerned that poverty in Canada was legislated. I am a strong believer that we can just decide as a country to implement some policies to reduce poverty. I also know that poverty and climate change are linked. Climate change actually impacts poorer, more modest-income Canadians more significantly. When we have a heat wave in this country, seniors without air conditioning suffer more than wealthy people with a swimming pool in their backyard, who can take a dip and cool down.
    Communities that are mostly paved, without a lot of canopy, are a lot hotter than communities with a nice canopy and lots of trees. Having grown up in a co-op with lots of nice trees, a co-op that had the forethought 40 years ago to plant a bunch, I knew that. We could hang out in the park in our little co-op and play softball. When it got hot, we could hang out underneath a tree. That is not the same in every community. A lot of those lower-income apartment buildings have a lot of concrete and not a lot of trees. Climate change impacts more modest-income Canadians worse.
     Just to close up, the motion in question here is to reduce gas prices over the course of this summer so that Canadians could save money, according to the Conservatives. However, what they are ignoring, as they always do, is the Canada carbon rebate. The Canada carbon rebate will send, in Alberta, $450 quarterly, four times a year, so $900 over the next six months or so, to Canadians. That is actually more than the amount the Conservatives are saying folks will save.
    The Conservatives want to axe the Canada carbon rebate. They want to take that money away from lower- and middle-income families and make sure that oil and gas companies can profit. I will say it once again: Who needs an oil and gas lobby when we have the Conservative Party of Canada?

  (1130)  

     Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon, colleague, the parliamentary secretary, for endorsing the Speaker's generous impulse, because I do get up and down a lot. Then again, I am an Anglican, so I am used to it.
     I want to ask my hon. friend, the parliamentary secretary this. I know the topic of this debate is about the summer tax break, which I oppose for many reasons, and he has admirably summed up most of my reasons, but I have been wanting to get on my feet all morning because I was surprised at how uncomfortable I was with the speech by the leader of the official opposition. I do not think he intended to do that, but I want to ask the parliamentary secretary this. It made me uncomfortable because it seemed to suggest that Canadians would be better off packing up in droves and moving to the United States. The United States remains a more expensive place to live. Its health care is more expensive.
    Our health care system is in some crisis, no doubt. Our cost of living has gone up, it is increasingly difficult to pay rent and there is no question that Canadians are facing increased costs. However, as a Canadian, as the only member of Parliament who has been honoured to receive the Order of Canada and as an officer of the Order of Canada I can say that the slogan of the Order of Canada is that we “desire a better country”. However, that means this country. It does not suggest there is a better country somewhere else. This is the best country in the world to live in. It was 20 years ago, it was 50 years ago and it remains so today. We have a health care system that is universal. Our education costs are lower. As we face the climate crisis, I want to be in a place where neighbours take care of each other, where we are, in the words of the Right Hon. Joe Clark, a former prime minister, “a community of communities” and we can pull together.
     I wonder if the hon. parliamentary secretary could find ways within his party to reach across party lines and remind each other that we must not ever accidentally run down our own country. We are proud Canadians and we fight for Canada. We stand on guard for Canada.
     Mr. Speaker, before I start, I just want to say that the Order of Canada designation could not have been invested in a more hon. member and better friend. Therefore, I want to thank my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands for her intervention today.
    Really, I think what we are talking about today is the Canada that we collectively envision for the future. I have had the luxury of travelling as a member of team Canada. I went to 70 different countries on every continent and got to see them first-hand. I was there for federal elections. I read the local news. I sat in coffee shops and got to know people from other places. Indeed, I shopped for groceries and paid rent in countries like Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and in some of that experience I was very lucky—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Adam van Koeverden: Mr. Speaker, I do not know what Conservatives are heckling about now.
    The reality is that we have an obligation to continue to ensure that Canada is the greatest country in the world. Canada is the greatest country in the world and Conservatives continue to talk it down. When they do that, they are talking down Canadian innovators, Canadian scientists, Canadian students and Canadian workers. Better is always possible, but this far-right nonsense from Conservatives, that more resembles the Trump Republicans than the good old days of Erin O'Toole or reasonable Conservatives back in the day like Brian Mulroney, is a Republican effort that seeks to exploit fear and anxiety rather than address the real concerns and issues that Canadians face.

  (1135)  

    Mr. Speaker, this morning I heard the Conservative leader on his nonsense plan and the fact that the Conservatives want to axe the facts. First of all, we heard an attack on media, one of the pillars of democracy, and then we heard an attack on academic institutions.
     We know that climate change is real, for those who actually believe in science, and we know that the Conservatives' plan is just to prop up big oil and give big oil companies a wonderful summer of profits instead of going after big oil, which they are friends of. However, at the same time, the Liberal government is still allowing fossil fuel subsidies.
    It is not that I question the sincerity of my hon. colleague, but I want to ask him a couple of things.
     Does he support his government's continual support of the fossil fuel industry and propping up big oil?
    Also, the member was talking about the cost of living, and I have a private member's bill coming forward, Bill C-223, to put in place a guaranteed livable basic income. He said that one of the reasons he ran was to change legislation to tackle poverty head on. We know, in terms of facts and leading economists, including Evelyn Forget, who got an Order of Canada, that this is the way to do it.
    Could the member respond?
     Mr. Speaker, yes, indeed, this morning we saw the Conservative leader stand in this House and once again attack the media and question the expertise of scientists. He decided to take it upon himself to suggest that, once again, the media in Canada is not doing their job. They do a great job, and I want to thank every journalist in Canada who stands up, whether they are writing an opinion article, an editorial, or presenting news. We cannot take that for granted. We have a free media. We have great journalists in Canada, and I want to thank every single one of them. His negativity towards them and his anger towards them is just evidence that he has no respect for institutions.
     The member's question was with respect to a universal basic income, which is something that I truly endorse. I also want to point out that our government was the first oil- and gas-producing nation to phase out oil and gas subsidies. However, they are not all created equal, and some oil and gas subsidies ensure that diesel can get to the far north for remote communities that rely on it disproportionately.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am going to ask my colleague, whom I respect and whose sincere commitment to the cause I recognize, a very simple question.
     On one hand, we have the Conservatives, who are moving very populist motions that are very easy to swallow for those who do not ask questions beyond the headlines. On the other hand, we have a government that continues to blithely finance the oil companies and dirty oil operations in the west. Given this situation, can we not imagine the big oil bosses in their offices slapping their thighs in laughter, telling themselves that life is damned good?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague to say that the leader of the Conservative Party is not reporting the facts. Here is another example of that. While there are many MPs in the House, there is only one party in the House that does not believe in the fight against climate change.
     Once again, as I said in my response earlier, yes, we should continue to support industries in Canada.

  (1140)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have a quick question. Why will the government not tell Canadians whether it is going to increase the carbon tax beyond $170 a tonne beyond 2030?
    Mr. Speaker, we have answered that question a number of times. We have no plans to increase the price on pollution beyond that. I do just want to take this time to mention to the member's constituents that in Manitoba on July 15 they will be receiving a quarterly Canada carbon rebate of $300. Families of four will receive $1,200 in 2024 in Canada carbon rebate and that supports affordability in Manitoba.
     Now I am going to say it again. Let us keep our questions as short as possible. Let us keep our answers as short as possible so that everyone can get to participate in this debate. Everybody should be a little more like the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa with a short question and short answer. It was awesome.

[Translation]

    Resuming debate. The hon. member for Mirabel.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for their presence. If I may, I will be sharing my time with the member for Jonquière.
    Earlier, in his speech, the leader of the official opposition quoted René Lévesque, who said, “Beware of those who say they love the people but hate everything the people love”. Obviously, it is hard not to seize on this expression. It is hard not to reflect on it. Indeed, people like the truth. People like facts. People like political leaders who have had a real job. We are talking about people, like the member for Jonquière, who did not arrive here at 22 years of age. The member for Jonquière had real jobs. Quebeckers like people who do not insult their intelligence, who appeal to their intelligence.
    Quebeckers and the people do not like those who hide from debates, people like the leader of the official opposition who refuse to debate. Quebeckers and the people do not like people who want to shut down local media and defund the CBC in the regions. People do not like that. People do not like official opposition leaders who, for years, hid the fact that they spoke French in order to be more popular in their agricultural riding in Ontario. Quebeckers and the people do not like that. People do not like it either when politicians move stupid motions. That brings us to the agenda. Obviously, the adjective applies to the motion.
     I think this is the 42nd speech I have heard about the carbon tax. I am at the point where I start the clock and wait 10 minutes. That is what I usually do when the Conservatives are talking. This time, the Conservatives are trying to reinvent the wheel, talking about a break over the summer. When one likes what the people like, summer vacation is more important than Christmas vacation or Easter vacation. That is what love for the people looks like to the Conservatives.
     They are reinventing the wheel and, every time they do, it gets more and more square. We have another example right here. They found another way of undermining the tax on pollution, which all of our economic partners have. It is once again a way of trying to convince people that fighting climate change is not in their best interest. Above all, it is a populist, ineffective approach that goes against the most basic Conservative values. They actually think people will believe that the Conservative Party cares about the purchasing power of middle-class and poor Canadians.
     First of all, there has been inflation in Canada over the last two and a half years, just as there has been in the other G7 and G20 countries. A number of ad hoc measures were taken to support those most affected by inflation and the increase in the cost of living. The Conservatives voted against them consistently. All of a sudden, they feel the need to help people go camping. That is exactly what is happening.
     For example, we wanted to help taxi and truck drivers facing higher fuel prices after they had already signed contracts and made commitments. These are people who burn fuel. We can agree that it is in the Conservatives' DNA to want to help them, but they opposed that measure. We wanted to increase the GST credit. The GST credit is a cheque sent to the least fortunate Canadians so that they can buy groceries. The Conservatives said that the measure was inflationist, and they blew off the poorest people in Canada.
    All of a sudden, we should be helping Conservatives by removing a tax, which would be extremely expensive. I will come back to that later. All of a sudden, the Conservatives are concerned about people. The member for Shefford is working hard to increase OAS and abolish the two classes of seniors. Supposedly, the Conservatives are against anything that costs a penny, but, when it comes time to put forward a stupid motion, they are concerned about what the people like. It is a real dog and pony show.
     The people care about health transfers. The people care about wait times. The people in the regions care about access to a family doctor. For them to get these things, we need unconditional transfers. All the Conservatives will say is that they will cut funding, so, yes, we need to beware of those who say they love the people and then spit on them. We especially need to beware of those who say they love Quebec and then spit on it.

  (1145)  

    Now, I want to talk about student grants. We believe in research and science. Under the Harper government, we had a science and technology minister who was a creationist. We hope for better days ahead. For 20 years now, students have been leaving Canada because there is not enough funding for research. Not only did the Conservatives refuse to help these young people get through the period of their careers when they are most affected by the cost of living, but they also submitted a dissenting opinion against the proposal by our colleague from Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques on this subject. All of a sudden, these people have the nerve to quote René Lévesque. That is what I call the art of failing to grasp what they are reading.
     Now they are saying that, if they form government, they will save a penny for every penny spent. Yesterday, during question period, the Leader of the Opposition told the Prime Minister that every penny spent was an inflationary expense. Lifting this tax would be an expenditure of hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, but that does not bother them. What they propose is equivalent to writing people cheques. It is a tax expenditure. It is just less obvious. Suddenly, tax expenditures are okay. This party runs on slogans. What is its slogan? Is it, “Axe the homes”? I cannot recall.
     A member is answering. I am pleased to see at least one Conservative member is listening to me. I take that as a compliment.
     Suddenly, these expenditures are no longer inflationary.
    Then there is the issue of red tape. They want to cut the red tape, omitting that housing transfers must go to Quebec. The federal government cannot deal directly with municipalities. There is the Conservative leader's housing bonus and penalty program, supported by his Quebec cronies, who understand almost nothing of how this works in the province, even though some of them have sat as MNAs or been chiefs of staff in Quebec. They have no consideration for people.
     The GST cannot be lifted willy-nilly. It must be understood that it is part of a value-added tax system. A business that sells a product collects the GST and remits it to the government. When a business buys goods and services that it uses to create others, it requests a GST tax credit. It is a chain. It is an effective tax in that creates little distortion, less distortion and economic damage than other taxes, but it is a tax that is levied in developed countries and is burdensome to administer.
     It is a chain, a process. The Conservatives want to lift this tax for four months. That means that every accountant of every small business in Canada, from coast to coast to coast, will get a holiday. I am not sure whose camping trip they want to pay for, but it will certainly not be our small business owners, whose lives will suddenly get a lot more complicated. Sending cheques would be easier. However, for purely ideological reasons, they do not want to do this. They do not want any programs, and they do not want to help people. All they can say, again and again, is, “Axe the tax”.
    Why is this? It is because they have absolutely no substance. They are showing us today that they do not even have a basic grasp of how the business tax system works.
    He may be full of ambition, but let me conclude by saying this: The leader of the official opposition does not give a fig about people's vacations. That is the least of his worries. He does not care one whit whether people can go camping. He does not care one whit about getting rid of the tax. What he wants is a summer tax break so that he can have the pleasure of becoming a hatemonger again in the fall when the tax is reinstated. That is what he wants to do. It is pure electioneering. What he wants to do is say that we are going to enjoy a break from paying taxes and, when we come back in September, when the tax is reinstated—at his request—he is going to rise and harass people all fall because the tax was reinstated. Another false scandal will be created with this, but his proposal will have added management costs to every business in Canada.
    It is irresponsible, because the main thing the official opposition leader is doing is fostering detestation, hate and the loss of confidence in the institutions that we vow to leave because we are separatists, but that we respect because we are democrats. I think that these people, their sloppiness aside, should be deeply ashamed of themselves today.

  (1150)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, that was an entertaining speech, to say the least.
    I grew up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. The Bloc largely represents rural Quebec. My family's personal vehicles would usually have a combined amount of about 115,000 kilometres a year on two vehicles. That did not include our farm vehicles, farm machinery and all the other stuff.
     If we wanted to go on a family vacation to Jasper National Park, it was 1,000 kilometres from my place to get there. If I wanted to stay in my home province and go to Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, for example, that was 650 kilometres from where I grew up. Even if we wanted to just go camping at the landing where we would always go, it was about 250 kilometres to get there. Those who live in rural Canada have to drive a long way to get places.
    I know they say that they do not pay the carbon tax, but there is still a federal tax and GST. Would the members of the Bloc not at least agree that the federal tax and the GST being removed for the summer would be a good idea?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am a bit fed up with some Conservatives who rise and think that since they grew up on a farm, they can say anything they want and get away with it. Me, I grew up 1,000 kilometres north of Montreal, in the Far North. To go to the hardware store, I had to travel 200 kilometres to Val-d'Or. I know what life in the regions is like. I know that the dairy producers in my riding work so hard they probably will not take a vacation this summer.
     Our identity is always under attack, as if we were elitists. Just now my colleague from South Shore—St. Margarets literally told the House which car the member for Kingston and the Islands drives, while Conservative members— we could name them — travel here by private jet and a Quebec member pulls up in a Cadillac. Members cannot say whatever they want just because they claim they grew up on a farm.
     In reality, the measure the Conservatives are proposing is inefficient, costly and of little help to people. Its purpose is to manufacture a scandal in the fall. If the aim is for people to have more money, we must develop green technologies, engage in the economy of tomorrow and stop living in the 19th century.
    Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciated the remarks of my colleague from Mirabel because he summed up the issue before us today. It is not at all about affordability or the fight against climate change. I always have to scratch my head when the Conservatives talk about a price on pollution. They want no price. They imagine it does not cost anything. In Quebec, we have long understood there is a cost.
     I would like to hear my colleague's comments on this. If the Conservatives so despise the idea of a price on carbon, why do they not adopt the carbon exchange?

  (1155)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is part of the nonsense that the leader of the official opposition told us today. He told us that if we were against the oil industry and against the development of the domestic oil industry, we were for foreign regimes, including Saudi Arabia, a socialist country. He told us this. We can tell that this is a very serious man.
     As for the carbon tax, it will happen and here is why: Beginning in 2035 or 2040, if we ourselves do not tax carbon, the European Union and most of our major trade partners will do so at the borders. There are adjustment mechanisms at the borders.
     According to the Conservative leader, more oil should be produced here so we can buy our own oil, but he wants to develop policies that will see Canadians, in the years to come, pad foreign countries' pockets with carbon taxes, meaning that Canadians will pick up the tab.
     This is the type of chronic incoherence the leader of the official opposition is known for.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his remarks. This is a strong take.
     If the Conservatives really wanted to help people with their cost of living and help them save some money, they could back the initiatives we in the NDP are advancing. I am speaking here about better access to dental care to lower their bills, and pharmacare for things like diabetes drugs or contraceptives. No, they continue to rail against the carbon tax and the gas tax.
     Getting back to what our colleague from Kingston and the Islands said, he did a great job crunching the numbers just now. He calculated that, to arrive at a savings of $670 per family, people would have to be driving around 25,000 kilometres during their vacation. That means that after going from the North Pole to the South Pole, they have to drive another 5,000 kilometres.
     Speaking about the planet, I would like to ask my colleague this question. What planet do the Conservatives live on?
    Mr. Speaker, to respond to the first part of my colleague's question, we favour universal health care and pharmacare, but just as the measure involving the GST, we want it to be done efficiently. For that to happen, the money must go to Quebec City. We must not sell ourselves short. Unfortunately, that is what some people do occasionally.
     The Parliamentary Budget Officer said so himself on the air. However, I would point out that these are pseudo-journalists. That is obviously what happens when there are facts. Nevertheless, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said so. The Conservatives cherry-pick from all sorts of reports in an effort to doctor all sorts of things. They are betting on the fact that the average person will not spend their entire day studying the motion.
     We, on the other hand, have a responsibility as parliamentarians. We must debate ideas and policies. We can propose different solutions to the problems, but ever since they changed leaders, the members of that party seem to think that the earth is flat. This saddens me, and I hope that they change course.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague from Mirabel. I am his confidant, so I know his secrets, which I will not reveal, but which explain to some extent his candour this morning.
     As we can see, it is another opposition day marked by rank populism, another demonstration of how the Conservative Party takes liberties with the truth. My colleague from Mirabel offered the perfect illustration just now. The Conservative Party is a bit disconnected from political reality.
     I will try to demonstrate this quickly by stating a few facts and claims that involve the Conservative leader. Two or three days ago, while discussing the Bloc Québécois, the opposition leader tweeted, “Under the previous Conservative government, which respected Quebec's jurisdiction and had a decentralist approach, [the Bloc] went from 51 to 4 seats. The Bloc is a dependence party. They defend those on whom they are dependent.”
     I would like to deconstruct this with the members in the House. The opposition leader claims that it is thanks to the Conservatives that the Bloc Québécois collapsed in Quebec when they formed the government in 2011. I would like to set the record straight and remind the opposition leader that, in 2011, there were five Conservative members in Quebec. That is one fewer than the six housing units the leader of the official opposition managed to build when he was minister responsible for housing. There were five Conservative members in Quebec, but there were lots of NDP members. We called that the orange wave.
     Why am I talking about that? It is because Quebeckers are no fools. Since Brian Mulroney left the scene, the Conservative Party has never made a dent in Quebec. That is because the Conservatives have never engaged with Quebeckers.
     Today's motion demonstrates yet again that the Conservative Party is not engaging with Quebeckers. Quebeckers do not care for social conservatism. Quebeckers do not care about Canada's much ballyhooed multiculturalism. Quebeckers want us to defend the French language, which the Conservative Party does not do.
     To reprise the opposition leader's play on words in his tweet, indeed, the Bloc Québécois is an independence party, but it is also a dependence party. The only thing the Bloc depends on is the Quebec nation. The only thing the Bloc depends on is Quebec's interests. The only thing the Bloc depends on is the motions that pass unanimously in the Quebec National Assembly.
     We could flip the question around and ask who the Conservatives are dependent on. When we examine the motion being studied today, I think it is clear enough that the Conservative Party is dependent on big oil. That is what I would like to demonstrate.
     The first thing the motion talks about is axing the carbon tax. Since the carbon tax does not apply to Quebec, there would be significant inequity if, heaven forbid, people voted for the motion.
     The second thing the motion talks about is axing the GST, but only on gasoline. Why did they choose gas? There are other things we pay GST on when taking vacations, including hotel rooms. There are a number of things for which the GST could be waived. Why only on gas? Is it not to give oil companies the chance to play with refining margins and raise prices? What is the Conservative Party's interest in this?
    Allow me to give a demonstration. A few days ago, there was an article that presented the views of Derek Evans, former CEO of MEG Energy, who is now the executive chair of Pathways Alliance. Pathways Alliance is the largest consortium in the oil sands industry, representing 95% of all oil producers in Canada. A few days ago, Derek Evans had something to say about the leader of the official opposition and carbon pricing. What he said is worth hearing. He said it would be very helpful if the leader of the official opposition could “provide greater clarity”. The man who represents the biggest oil sands consortium in Canada thinks the Conservative leader's position on carbon pricing is not clear enough. Not only that, he says the advice he would give the opposition leader is that “carbon policy is going to be absolutely critical to maintaining our standing on the world stage”.

  (1200)  

     The largest oil consortium in Canada told the Leader of the Opposition that it was doing more than he was on carbon pricing. That is astounding. Oil industry representatives are taking the Leader of the Official Opposition to task on the carbon tax. Let me offer an analogy. In my opinion, that would be like Maxime Bernier telling Greenpeace that they are not doing enough to protect the environment. It would be like a separatist saying that the Canada Day celebrations in his riding are not festive enough. It is completely counterintuitive.
     Why do I say this? I say this because it clearly shows that the only thing the Conservatives are dependent on is big oil. I will go a step further, because the facts back me up. If we look at all of the Conservative opposition days and all of the Bloc Québécois opposition days, we can see that theirs focus on the oil companies, while ours focus on the Quebec nation.
     What did our party talk about on our opposition days? We talked about the representation of Quebec in the House of Commons. We talked about the fact that the changes to the electoral map will reduce the representation of the only francophone nation in Canada. We devoted a whole opposition day to this topic. What did the Conservatives talk about on their opposition day? I will give my colleagues the answer: the carbon tax.
     The Bloc Québécois devoted an opposition day to the use of the notwithstanding clause to ensure that laws passed by Quebec's National Assembly are respected, as is the case for Bill 21 now, as was once the case for Bill 101, and as will be the case for Bill 96. What did the Conservatives do around that time? They devoted an opposition day to the carbon tax.
     The Bloc Québécois devoted an opposition day to immigration thresholds and the Century Initiative, and we called on the Prime Minister meet with the provincial premiers to set immigration targets. What did the Conservatives do with their opposition day around the same time? They moved a motion on the carbon tax.
     We devoted an opposition day to climate change. What did the Conservatives do around that time? They devoted an opposition day to the carbon tax. We devoted an opposition day to the federal government's interference in areas under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces. What did the Conservatives do? They devoted an opposition day to the carbon tax.
     In my opinion, it is clear that the pro-independence Bloc Québécois is dependent on just one thing, namely the interests of the Quebec nation, and that the Conservative Party is dependent on just one thing, namely the interests of big oil. Even the big oil companies think the Conservatives are over the top. That is astonishing.
     The Leader of the Opposition is presenting a caricatured view of the world. I would go so far as to say that it is no longer a caricature, it is becoming a Disneyesque, cartoonified imaginary world. When I listen to the leader of the Conservatives, that is what I think. Why? It is because, as the Conservative leader recently admitted, it is as if Jiminy Cricket could become an electrician and capture lightning to illuminate the room in which we are sitting. If we follow the logic of the leader of the Conservative Party, it is as if Tinkerbell could weld two pieces of metal together with her bare hands. It is as if Pinocchio could build houses by chanting “common sense” two or three times in a row. It is as if Cinderella could jump in and fix the budget.
     Every day, we see this imaginary world the Conservatives have created. The sad thing is that, in the Conservatives' imaginary world, climate change does not exist. It is not a reality for them. The worst thing is that the Quebec members of the Conservative Party are buying into this insidious logic. None of the Quebec members are willing to defend the specific interests of the Quebec nation. This will become obvious when we debate the state secularism law.
     I will conclude by quoting wise words from the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who recently said, “The Liberals refuse to say that they will respect the state secularism law enacted by the Quebec government. We all know that they want to challenge it using [our] money. As nationalists, we must stop them.” That is what is happening in the real world. That is what the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord said not so long ago. I wish he would say it again.

  (1205)  

     He went even further, saying that we know that most Quebeckers agree with Bill 21, that they agree that religious symbols should be prohibited for people in authority, and that the Prime Minister should take note of what most Quebeckers want.
     Before the member for Carleton became Leader of the Opposition, the Quebec members of the Conservative Party still defended the Quebec nation at least once in a while. Today, they only defend big oil.
    Madam Speaker, I really enjoyed hearing my colleague from Jonquière's point of view, especially what he said about the oil industry, which supports and is still working on carbon pricing. Its representatives are saying that it is important to the future of the industry. In Quebec, we have the agriculture industry, among others, that is working to reduce the impact of climate change.
     I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.
    Madam Speaker, I wish my Liberal colleagues were also aware that fighting climate change means not buying a pipeline for $34 billion. I wish my Liberal colleagues were aware that fighting climate change means not giving $83 billion to greedy oil companies by 2035.
    Unfortunately, I get the feeling that when it comes to the interests of the oil and gas industry, the Liberals and Conservatives are on the same page.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his great remarks. They were very funny and entertaining.
    I have a brief question for my colleague. In Alberta, Suncor pays just one-fourteenth of the carbon price. Is that fair to Canadians? Why does he think the government allows that?

  (1210)  

    Madam Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague.
     The government's complacency when it comes to the oil industry is boundless. We were supposed to get clear direction on the elimination of the fossil fuel subsidies, the elimination of inefficient subsidies. However, this government cannot even tell us what the word “inefficient” means.
     The oil lobby is so well represented here that the oil companies do not need anything at all. That is telling. They are so well represented in the House of Commons that they have to take the Leader of the Opposition to task for not acknowledging climate change. This is how bad things are.
    Madam Speaker, members keep telling us that, during the Harper era, there was such open federalism that it undercut the separatist movement. However, a certain premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, who later became the darling of the Quebec wing of the Conservative Party, said that it was not as open as all that, that our choices were being dictated and that we were not happy.
     We have an aspiring prime minister who says he is very concerned about the provinces' jurisdictions and autonomy, but he is still incapable of saying whether he would impose a pipeline without the provinces' consent.
     Is that open federalism?
    Madam Speaker, that is precisely it.
     We all remember the 2019 election. The Conservatives had an energy corridor project, where they tried to shove a dirty oil pipeline down our throats, a pipeline that would transport the dirtiest oil in the world all the way to Quebec. We remember that. We remember all the candidates waffling over Bill 21 during the last Conservative leadership race. That is the only thing they agreed on. They all agreed that it should be challenged in court.
     A Conservative champion who defends Quebec is as rare as something I will not name here.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, this is my first full speech since the IDF air strike on a camp for displaced persons. I want to take a moment to acknowledge the horrors taking place in Gaza. We must do everything in our power to stop genocide.
    I think of the families that were burnt alive in their tents in a place they were told would be safe. I urge the government to immediately implement a two-way arms embargo, to uphold the rulings from the International Court of Justice, to support the call for arrests from the International Criminal Court and implement sanctions now.
    The Conservatives and the Liberals continue to oppose the recognition of the Palestinian State. This is a dehumanizing position that undermines those working for peace and it undermines the safety of Israelis and Palestinians.
    I will continue to the motion that the Conservatives have put forward today.
    It is not surprising to me that, yet again, the Conservatives are ignoring the role of big oil and gas CEOs in driving up gas prices, while fuelling the climate crisis. They have mentioned wanting to support Canadians in taking road trips, but they ignore the fact that, for many Canadians, the road trip they will be forced to take this summer is when they flee wildfire evacuation zones.
    The Conservatives have no climate plan and they do not care about Canadians who are struggling with affordability. If they did, they would support dental care, they would support medication for people with diabetes, they would support contraception for women and they would support a national school food program, so kids do not go hungry and can focus on their studies.
    For many Canadians, road trips are a summer tradition that goes back generations. It is the chance to explore our beautiful country and the nature we are grateful to have in Canada. I have enjoyed road trips in the past, but when thinking about road trips this coming summer, which I think is on the minds of a lot of Canadians, I wonder if we will be choking on smoke. Will my community be safe?
    Communities are already facing wildfires. Homes have already been burnt to the ground. Communities within the past couple months, while they face multi-year droughts, have had to be evacuated for extreme flooding. We are facing a climate emergency.
    The Leader of the Opposition is fooling himself if he thinks that pausing taxes on gas and diesel will save summer for Canadians. In 2021, the B.C. heat dome took the lives of 619 individuals. Those 619 people had loved ones who miss them. Predominantly, those people were low-income folks, seniors and people on fixed incomes who were in homes that did not have cooling.
    We have solutions that will make life more affordable, that will bring down our emissions and that will save lives. The heat dome would have been virtually impossible without the added effects of climate change. It is disturbing to me that we have members of Parliament sitting in the House who continue to question whether climate change is real.
    While the Conservatives deny the reality of the climate crisis and deny the fact that we have to address the intersecting crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss, the Liberals tell us that they believe in climate change and that that there is a biodiversity crisis, but refuse to take the action that would match the scale and the urgency of the crisis.
     Climate denial and climate delay are not good options. Both of those options leave us in a scenario where the climate crisis is costing us the lives of Canadians.

  (1215)  

     I think about the conversation I had this week. I spoke to members from the Mikisew First Nation. They said that if there was a wildfire near their community and if the smoke was too dense in the air, they had no way to evacuate. They are a remote community with fly-in service. If the wind is blowing in a certain direction and if there is too much smoke in the air, they have no options.
     They also shared with me that numerous members of their community had a rare form of bile cancer. Each one told a story about the numerous loved ones who had been diagnosed with cancer, because they were in such close proximity to the tailings ponds. Their water has been poisoned. For decades, they have been calling on the government to fund a health study, at the bare minimum, to find out and to prove what is going on, why their loved ones are dying.
     Consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed the Mikisew Cree First Nation. While the Liberals like to say that at least they believe in climate change, that does not excuse the fact that they refuse to hold the oil and gas companies accountable for polluting the water, for driving up emissions. In fact, they not only refuse to hold them accountable, they are handing out taxpayer dollars to these same companies, giving them tax breaks.
     At a time when Canadians are calling on the government for bold climate action, what we get are watered down policies. What we get is the Liberal government inviting oil and gas CEOs to help them craft their climate plan. I have said it before and will say it again, that is like inviting the fox to help us design our hen house.
    The consequences are dire for Canadians. They are dire for the Mikisew Cree First Nation. I call on the government to fund the health study for which this community has been asking for decades. I call on them to uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and ensure they have consent from the nations that are directly impacted by the pollution of these greedy oil and gas CEOs.
    I think about the low water levels in their community as a direct result of the climate crisis. Climate change continues to impact access to fresh water.
     Western Canada is in a multi-year drought, with no end in sight. Ecosystems that have been in place for hundreds of thousands of years are breaking down, because there are increasing emissions affecting our atmosphere. If the Conservatives do not like to admit that there is a climate crisis and they do not like to accept the international experts, the climate experts, who are telling us that we are in a climate emergency, I am just at a loss as to how they face their constituents; how they face constituents who are fleeing from wildfires; how they face constituents who are seeing their farms flooded, their livestock stranded.
    How can Conservative MPs look young people in the eye and tell them they do not deserve a climate-safe future? When I speak to young people, they tell me how worried they are about their future. They tell me they are fed up with governments that fail to act, that talk the talk but will not walk the walk. For the first time in generations, the younger generation will have a lower quality of life than their parents. Government after government has failed to address the systemic problems that have bubbled up.

  (1220)  

    It is not just the climate crisis; we are also facing a cost of living crisis. It is surprising to me that Conservatives and Liberals do not get how the climate crisis and the environmental crisis are intersecting with the affordability crisis. We have solutions that can drive down costs and drive down emissions. We have solutions that can support young people, like a youth climate corps, where we can employ young people in the green, sustainable jobs of the future, support them in getting training and ensure there is a skilled workforce for the kinds of jobs we need in a low-carbon economy.
    Wildfires cost Canada a billion dollars every season. Those costs are only going to go up. Families in areas at high risk for flooding and wildfires are finding it impossible to insure their homes or pay for their extremely high premiums. It is not just the astronomical costs of the climate crisis that we should be concerned about, but we should also be concerned about how the government is bankrolling the oil and gas industry.
    In 2023, the Government of Canada provided at least $18.6 billion in financial support to fossil fuel and petrochemical companies. Over the last four years, the federal government's total financial support for the oil and gas industry was at least $65 billion. This is at a time when oil and gas companies are making record profits and when their CEOs are getting over a million dollars in bonuses.
    Doing nothing about the climate crisis has cost Canadian taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, and watering down key climate policies and delaying the needed action continues to cost Canadians. It costs them their taxpayer money, their livelihoods, their homes and their lives.
    There are also the long-term impacts on our economy.
    If the leader of the official opposition, or the Prime Minister himself for that matter, cared about the Canadian economy, they would support strong climate action, and not the watered-down climate action that we have seen from the government, not the delays and not the broken promises. The government would stop implementing incremental changes and stop cozying up to their friends in oil and gas. Enough is enough.
    It is clear to so many people, especially people in my community, that the CEOs of oil and gas giants need to be forced to clean up their acts. They are threatening our future. They are poisoning our waters. They are driving up emissions, and they are threatening our coast. There is no way that these companies that are making record profits and polluting at an all-time high will willingly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but the Prime Minister and the environment minister seem to believe that if we are nice enough, if we take small steps towards progress, then everything will be fine, like if we buy a pipeline to fund climate action, somehow that is going to help us avoid the worst outcomes of the climate crisis.
    The government is misleading Canadians, but nothing compares to the level of misleading Canadians that we have seen from the Leader of the Opposition. I would be open to a conversation to hear, if they are going to roll back climate policies, what policies they are going to put in place to reduce emissions to the same levels or, even better, to get greater emissions reductions, but that is not the conversation we are having.

  (1225)  

    The conversation that the Conservatives continue to have is one where they ignore the fact that we are in a climate crisis. What will it take to get the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister to take this crisis seriously?
    The Liberals think that they are climate leaders because they have implemented a carbon tax. The consumer carbon tax makes up between 8% and 14% of their emissions reduction plan. This is while they are letting the biggest polluters off the hook. This is while their industrial carbon price, which is doing the bulk of emissions reduction, has allowed loopholes such as allowing Suncor to pay 14 times less than everyday Canadians.
    The Liberals have turned the carbon tax into this silver bullet of climate policy, while they refuse to implement a strong, robust emissions cap, to transform our economy with a green industrial strategy, to centre indigenous voices on climate action and to adequately fund watershed security in my home province of B.C.
    If we invest in climate resilience and climate adaptation, in supporting our communities, our farmers and indigenous communities to adapt to the coming changes, we will save billions of dollars and we will save lives.
    However, it seems like the Liberals and the Conservatives do not actually care that thousands of people are going to be evacuated from their homes again this year. Instead of showing concern and compassion for the people who are going through this unimaginable disruption, we have one party that denies that there is actually a problem and another one that continues to delay and to break promises.
    How will Canada uphold its international commitments and its international climate agreements? How will we prevent wildfires, floods and heat domes? How are we going to protect Canadians from the worst impacts of the climate crisis?
     Canadians are seeing elected leaders who ignore some of the most serious problems that we are facing. They should not have to pick between denial and delay. They should not have to pick between no plan and watered-down policies.
     Canadians are facing a climate emergency and a cost of living crisis. We know that a huge piece of this is corporate greed. These two major parties refuse to tackle corporate greed. They lack the courage to take on the biggest corporations and the CEOs making record profits while Canadians suffer, while our planet burns, while Canadians are struggling to get by, while they are choking on smoke and while they are being evacuated from their homes.
     New Democrats are the only ones who have the courage to take on corporate greed, who will name the oil and gas CEOs responsible for fuelling the climate crisis. We are going to continue to fight for Canadians. We are going to continue to fight for bold climate action. I will continue to hold the leaders of the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party to account for their failures.

  (1230)  

     Madam Speaker, the motion from the Conservative Party is about making life easier for Canadians, because they are struggling.
     That member should certainly know that, being a representative for Victoria. As someone who is also a British Columbia MP, I can say first-hand that all I am hearing from young people and others is that they are finding it a challenge just to make ends meet, whether it is housing or gas. That is what this motion is about.
     Is the member not aware that three-quarters of the money that is being collected by the carbon tax in British Columbia, by the NDP government, is actually just going to general revenues and not helping climate initiatives at all? Those are her brothers and sisters in the NDP Government of British Columbia. I wonder if the member could speak to that.
     Madam Speaker, young people are struggling, and they are worried about their future. They are worried about both the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis. I wish the Conservatives had put forward a motion today that would tackle that to ensure that young people are not going to face ecosystem collapse, their food systems threatened and disaster responses overwhelmed. I wish they had put forward a motion that would tackle the housing crisis. Unfortunately, all we get from the Conservatives is more propping up of oil and gas CEOs, rich real estate investors, big pharmaceutical companies and the big grocery stores. They continue to have the back of the richest Canadians—
    She should talk to her leader about his brother.
    I would remind members that if they have questions and comments to wait until the appropriate time and not to interrupt members who already have the floor.
    Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, I listened very closely to what the member was saying.
    The member comes across as having very strong convictions in wanting to see our environment protected. The question I have for her is in regards to the price on pollution and how important it is that the policy remain, not only for today, but into the years ahead of us. Can she give her solid commitment that she will continue to support the carbon rebate along with the carbon tax or the price on pollution? Will she give that commitment today?
     Madam Speaker, I am very firmly committed to carbon pricing. The industrial carbon price makes up between 20% and 48% of our emissions reduction. The consumer carbon price makes up between 8% and 14%. My commitment is that we reduce emissions in Canada to meet our international climate targets. Honestly, I am not married to any particular policy, but I am committed to ensuring that we have a credible climate plan, and right now, that means including carbon pricing.
    The fact is that the Conservatives are saying to scrap the carbon tax, but they have not been clear about whether that means the industrial carbon price as well, which could be about half of our emissions reduction in Canada that all of a sudden would no longer be happening. However, the Liberals, unfortunately, have failed to close the loopholes in the industrial carbon price. They failed to hold big polluters accountable. It is no wonder that people are questioning the Liberal government and its commitment to climate action when it waters down its policies on the emissions cap, fails to implement bold climate policies and buys a pipeline.

  (1235)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I always love hearing my colleague from Victoria speak in the House. She speaks with sincerity, conviction, love and sensitivity. She should be held up as an example for some of our colleagues. I will throw something out to her. In my opinion, if we adopted this Conservative motion, it would mean that, from now on, it would be legal and free to pollute in English Canada. What does she have to say about that?

[English]

     Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his kind words.
     However, this is what we have been seeing from the Conservative Party time and time again. Conservatives would like to see there be no consequences for the biggest polluters. They are not committed to climate action. When they voted at their convention, they could not vote in favour of a resolution that said climate change was real. This is the level of debate that we are at right now.
    I call upon Conservative members to look at the science and to listen to the international climate experts who are telling us that we are in a climate emergency, that we need to come together as elected officials and create and ensure a climate-safe future for Canadians today and for future generations.
    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague spoke in her speech about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Conservatives talk a good game about economic reconciliation, which I will translate: “We will support your free, prior and informed consent if you support our economic and resource agenda and, if not, we are going to brush you aside.” It is a clear position that does not respect yes, no or yes with conditions.
    I am wondering if my hon. colleague supports free, prior and informed consent without qualification: yes, no or yes with conditions?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for her constant advocacy not only for bold climate action, but also for upholding indigenous rights. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is very clear: free, prior and informed consent. That means yes. That means no. That means yes, with conditions. Every member in the House has a responsibility to uphold that declaration.
    Madam Speaker, the member talked quite a bit about damaging the ecology. She talks a lot about having to pay for pollution. The member's city, the city of Victoria, has historically been one of the biggest offenders of dumping raw sewage into the ocean without having to pay for it. Port Alberni, B.C., in 2018, dumped nearly 47 billion litres of raw sewage. Richmond, B.C. also dumped 42 billion litres of raw sewage in 2018. Port Alberni is represented by an NDP member, as well.
     Conservatives have previously actually tabled a bill to make it illegal to dump raw sewage into the oceans so that we can protect our ecosystems, yet she voted against it. Why on earth would she vote against that?

  (1240)  

     Madam Speaker, just as a point of clarification so that the Canadians watching are not misinformed by Conservative rhetoric, Victoria actually has a sewage treatment centre and is treating its sewage. I have attended many meetings to ensure that Victoria treats its sewage.
     I am also putting forward a motion, which I put forward in the past Parliament and in this one again, to stop the cruise industry from dumping sewage as well as effluent into the oceans. I am going to continue to stand up to protect our water and to stop the dumping that happens, and I am going to continue to stand up against the oil and gas industry, whose CEOs and lobbyists are flocking to the Conservative fundraisers because they know that the Conservatives are going to continue to let them pollute.
    Madam Speaker, there are many who say that because our emissions are so small compared to global emissions, we should not do anything. How does the member respond to that logic?
    Madam Speaker, I want to say that Canada should be a leader. We have a responsibility, as a country who has one of the highest per capita emissions around the world, to do our fair share to reduce our emissions. It is our responsibility as Canadians to ensure that we are tackling the climate emergency head-on.
     I want to thank the member for his work on the environment committee and for his commitment to freshwater. I do just want to put forward a quick plug that he push his government to fund a B.C. watershed security fund. There have been investments on the east coast, or at least in eastern Canada, but unfortunately, B.C. is struggling with multi-year droughts and with unprecedented wildfire seasons. A B.C. watershed security fund would make a world of difference in adapting to climate change.
     Madam Speaker, I am going to split my time with my colleague from Oxford, who I promise will deliver a barnburner in his speech.
    Today is another day, yet another occasion, that we are hearing in this place how the Prime Minister and his NDP enablers are just not worth the cost. After nine years of the Liberal-NDP government, it is no longer a stretch to say that Canadians are being robbed not only of the luxuries they used to enjoy, but also of their hard-earned money and the bare necessities of life. We all know that the biggest thief of all is this costly coalition's tax-and-spend regime, a regime that takes from the poor and gives to the rich, that does nothing to help the environment and that leaves Canadians with less and less money at the end of every month.
    The out-of-control Liberal taxes already stole Christmas by putting up the cost of home heating and groceries, not to mention Christmas presents, which were simply out of reach. Ruining Christmas vacation was not enough for the Liberal Prime Minister, for his cabinet or for his NDP enablers. Now, they are coming for one's summer vacation too. Thanks to the Liberal-NDP government, it is simply too expensive to take a holiday with one's family, to go on a road trip somewhere or to enjoy everything the nation has to offer. There is not even anything left to spend, to begin with, because the cost of rent and mortgages are all up. They have doubled. Grocery bills have skyrocketed, and life, everywhere we turn, is just getting more expensive. Members do not have to hear it from me. They can just talk to anybody in their own neighbourhood, which I think the Liberals have stopped doing.
    Some of my fondest memories from my childhood involve packing up the car, hitting the road and exploring someplace new with my parents. For me, seeing the beauty of Canada from the car window started this love for Canada that I still have to this day. We came to this place and so many others, stopping along the way, anywhere an old book would tell us there was something to see. As an immigrant family, there was an innate sense of pride for my family to be able to explore freely the land that was now ours to explore.
    Fast-forward to the world today, where these days, families will not be able to have that experience. In fact, we hear about that every single day. This is all because of a greedy government that cannot keep its hands off our wallets. Sacrificing holidays with families, much-needed time off, even things like meals or just the things we used to have, seems like a new norm in this country. Canadians from coast to coast have just one message for the Prime Minister, which is to just stop.
    Today's motion would do exactly that. It would stop the Liberal regime's, forgive the pun, highway robbery from taking place at the gas pumps across the country. On average, the government takes 30¢ at the end price of a litre of gas in the form of the GST, the carbon tax and the excise tax, not to mention all the hidden costs because of the resource zealots and their anti-resource laws, and the red tape at every step of the way to drill oil, to refine it, to ship it and to sell it. On the docket today, we are calling for the government to give Canadians some temporary relief, to help save them 30¢ on every litre of gas they pump by axing the GST, the carbon tax and the excise tax, charged every time drivers fill their cars.
    In just a few months, this would save the average family over $650. That is what it could do. This is money that could pay for one of those hard-earned summer vacations people have been dreaming of, after a long year of work and after nine years of the Liberal-NDP government.
    Imagine the relief not only for families, but also for small businesses and for communities right across the country, as we unleash a new wave of tourism in places like the beautiful B.C. interior, northern Ontario and New Brunswick, which are all places where people have told me just how much this would help.
    These are places that suffer not only during the summer, but also all year round with the carbon tax. We know that, particularly on the east coast because the Prime Minister actually gave the east coast a break. He actually admitted his carbon tax was costing too much by giving relief to those on the east coast, to those the Liberal minister said that we should have voted in more Liberals if we wanted to see those tax breaks given elsewhere in the country. The Prime Minister actually did that.

  (1245)  

     These are places where people have no choice but to drive to work, to buy groceries transported by a truck and to heat their homes with oil. All year round, they are punished by the Prime Minister and his NDP-Liberal government, just like people everywhere, from coast to coast, 80% of whom the PBO says pay more to the government than they get back in their so-called rebates.
    That brings me to my next point. What happens after the summer holiday? It is hard to believe that in just a few months, which I do not really want to talk about, we will be turning in our shorts and going back to coats. If the Liberal-NDP government has its way, it will carbon tax until the cows come home, with no chance of relief. In fact, the tax will go up again on April Fool's Day 2025. However, with a common-sense Conservative majority government, Canadians would have relief not just this summer but also all year round. We would axe the carbon tax so that families could afford to feed, to heat and to house themselves.
    Conservatives would axe other taxes and clawbacks, too, so workers could keep more of their hard-earned money. They could spend it, instead of having the government spend it for them. We would cap the inflationary, out-of-control borrowing and spending here in Ottawa so that grocery bills and mortgage payments could finally be within reach and so that somebody without rich parents or a trust fund could take a summer vacation.
    Every day, Conservatives stand in the House of Commons, as the only party of all the parties that advocates for ordinary, hard-working Canadians whose government takes more of their money each and every day. Every day, we take that message to Canadians, but every day, the Liberal government and its NDP partner in crime stand and say no. They stand and vote for more taxes on every single Canadian. They do not just say no to us; they say no to any common-sense agenda. They are saying no to millions of Canadians who stand with us, too. They are actively thumbing their noses in the faces of so many who just want to get by, like the two million every month who use a food bank, the mother who puts water in her kid's milk or the carpenter who fixes his boots with duct tape.
    The show of arrogance and incompetence is striking. It tells us just how out of touch the Liberals have become after nine years in government. They stand and promote a big, fat tax on almost everything that Canadians do and buy as not only an affordability measure but also the centrepiece of the Liberals' ideological crusade. If we ask Canadians, they would tell us that they are not better off. In fact, I have not run into anybody who is better off today than they were nine years ago.
    On this side of the House, we have a real agenda. Conservatives are going to axe the tax. We are going to build homes. We are going to fix the budget, and we are going to stop the crime. It is a common-sense plan to fix what the Prime Minister has so broken after nine years of being here. That plan starts right now and right here this summer. Liberals could vote for this today. We will continue the fight for everyone being left behind after nine years of the Liberal government. The choice is clear. It is for the only party that would axe the tax for Canadians, that would build homes for Canadians, that would fix the budget for Canadians and that would stop the crime for Canadians. We are the only party, out of all of the parties in the House, making any sense at all. If anyone does not believe me, they can go outside of this place and ask nine out of 10 Canadians. They would say that they are not better off.
    Today, tomorrow and every single day, in government or in opposition, Conservatives are going to continue to stand up for Canadians. All we want, for once, is for the Liberals to have some compassion, even some courage, to have a free vote, to vote for this motion and to give people the summer vacation that they want and that they deserve.

  (1250)  

    Madam Speaker, my colleague is very articulate and eloquent, but she missed a few points. With the kind of tax cut that Conservatives are talking about, somebody would have to burn almost 1,300 litres of gasoline over the next three months for that to really make sense.
    There are a couple of other things. We could do without the rebates, which is a consequence of axing the tax, but what a lot of people do not remember is that 40% of the excise taxes collected in Canada go back to municipalities to help them with infrastructure. I know this from my days in metro Vancouver at the transportation authority because we benefited from that. Is that also something she would give up?
    Would she be prepared, as well, to contemplate somebody doing a “Danielle Smith” or the big oil companies just simply raising their prices to take up the space left when she cuts the tax?
     Madam Speaker, imagine telling Canadians that 30¢ a litre is somehow punishing and that taking 30¢ off a litre by taking off the carbon tax, the excise tax and the GST would somehow be a bad thing. Imagine telling them that they cannot take a summer vacation.
    In the case of Alberta, and we all know this and have said it in the House hundreds of times, the cost of the carbon tax is $2,943 while the price of the rebate is $2,032. That number, the amount of the rebate, is less than the amount that people pay. In fact when the government raises the carbon tax by quadrupling it, like it wants to, the number is going to cost families over $5,700 while the rebate will be $2,900.
     Madam Speaker, one of my challenges is that when the member talks about Alberta and about the carbon tax, she is not listening to experts, expert economists. I brought this up in the House today, but I will read it one more time: “A clear majority of households do receive rebates that are larger than the carbon taxes they pay for....If we got rid of the carbon tax and the rebate, then this would harm a much larger fraction of lower- and middle-income households than it would higher-income households.”
    In fact what the Conservatives are proposing would hurt the people who need the rebate the most. The statement came from an economics professor at the University of Calgary, Trevor Tombe. He is very well known in Alberta and should be very well known in the House as well. He is a very smart man. What the member is saying is that people who are wealthy are the people the Conservatives are most interested in helping.

  (1255)  

     Madam Speaker, we are listening to ordinary Canadians. We are listening to premiers across the province, 70% of whom want the tax gone, as well as 70% of Canadians who want it gone. They know, despite being lectured otherwise by the government, which continues to tell us the opposite of what the PBO, another expert, told the House, that Alberta families actually get less. I guess the government picks and chooses its experts.
     I would suggest that the member opposite listen to her constituents and to people right across the country who are telling the government to axe the tax. If the government does not, they will finally have a government in place after a carbon tax election that will.
     Madam Speaker, that was a great intervention from my colleague. I have a quick question.
     One of the numbers that she brought up was how much the average family would save by having the carbon tax, excise tax and GST rebate over the summer. We also know that there are reports that the average family will be spending $700 more on food this year, so the costs just keep going up.
    How big a difference would the tax holiday make to families?
     Madam Speaker, I think that of all the parties in the House, there is only one party that ever talks about tax cuts. That is the Conservative Party. If Canadians want a party that is going to put more money in their pockets and less money towards feeding the obese government, then they have a clear choice in the next election, the next carbon tax election, when Conservatives will go to the people.
    Madam Speaker, I want first of all to thank my hon. colleague, the deputy leader of our party and great member for Thornhill, who has been a tireless champion in the fight for working-class Canadians.
     “Choose forward”, “forward for everyone”, “sunny ways” and vote for “real change” were the slogans of the Liberals' campaigns year after year, and we have seen some real change. After nine years of the Liberal-NDP government, we are seeing two million visits to a food bank in a single month last year, with a million more expected this year. We see a historic high cost of living for Canadians. Families are now paying more for food, gas, housing and rent.
    There is an absolute crisis in our country. Canadians are looking on Facebook pages trying to get tips on how to dumpster dive to get food to feed their family. That is not the Canadian dream, but after nine years of the government's reckless policies, we are seeing the damage it has done. That is the real change with the government.
     In my riding, there are 22 encampments all across Oxford County. I was in Halifax recently, and there are 35 new encampments there. In Toronto and B.C., tent cities are now popping up, as well as right across our country. We have never seen that before, but that is the real change after nine years of the government.
    There is a single parent in my riding, in Tillsonburg, who is a mother of an autistic child. I met with her in Tillsonburg and she told me that she is having trouble driving her son to London for treatment because she cannot afford the gas anymore. Can members believe that? We live in a country where a single mother cannot go to the hospital to get treatment for her autistic child. In Thamesford, there are grandparents who want to meet with their grandkids and spend time with the next generation but are clawing that back because of the cost of living crisis.
    The scary part is that working-class Canadians, people who have decent jobs, who have worked hard, done everything right, gone to school and saved money are barely getting by. Fifty per cent of Canadians are now only $200 away from going bankrupt. That is very scary. Food banks are at capacity and are begging for help and relief.
     In my own riding, a lot of great charities are stepping up. An individual named Jayna has put together a Facebook group to help our seniors put food on their table and to provide rides when they cannot get to doctor's appointments. Our communities are starting to step up, as are the food banks, the Salvation Army in Woodstock and the Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg. Operation Sharing has set up in Woodstock. Organizations are going above and beyond to help wherever they can. Churches are coming together and offering some hope for our communities. The Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs have all been stepping up when the government has been failing to support Canadians.
    Canadians wanted relief in the budget. We were all hopeful that maybe in the budget there would be some chance of relief for Canadians after the government increased the carbon tax by 23% on April Fool's Day, which has punished Canadians, including our farmers and working-class Canadians who just want to get by. The budget failed to provide any relief. Instead of the government's getting its spending under control, it spent an additional $60 billion on inflationary spending. We are now paying $55 billion of our hard-earned taxpayer money to service its interest payments on its debt. Canadians make it and the government takes it.

  (1300)  

    That is why the Conservatives have been very clear that we will axe the tax once and for all for everyone everywhere, for good. However, to get relief for families this summer, we have brought forward a motion to give them a summer break. We all need a break sometimes, like the deputy leader mentioned, and some of my best memories growing up were spending time with my family during the summer. We would go from place to place, checking out amusement parks and just having time to spend with family.
    We are not seeing that anymore, and that is why our motion would give an average Canadian family $670 of relief. That money could be invested in buying more food, in doing an activity or in supporting a charity of one's choice. Much could be done with the money.
    On average, because of the carbon tax, Canadians are paying almost $1,700 more in Ontario. I have been listening to the Liberals, and despite their claims, the Parliamentary Budget Officer himself has said that Canadians pay more in the carbon tax than they get back from the so-called rebates. If we look at the raw numbers, the break would give Canadians almost 36¢ off a litre. That is not a small number; it is huge. It would be a huge amount of relief that would go to families.
    However, for some reason the Liberals talk a big game about compassion. They talk a big game about being the party for the working class. We have not seen one policy that puts the working class forward. The slogans that the Liberals campaigned on are just empty promises. They are all words, no action. That is all they are. While the Liberals brag about their so-called experts, Conservatives go on the ground. We go to our neighbours, to our friends and to the working-class Canadians, who tell us every day that the carbon tax is punishing them. The premiers are telling us the same thing, that it is punishing Canadians.
    Every policy the government has put forward is hurting Canadians, so we are asking the NDP, the Liberals, the Bloc and the Greens to come together and do what is right. Give relief to Canadians, and give them a break just for the summer. Let them enjoy their summers and axe the carbon tax on gas, the federal fuel tax, and also the GST.
    The great thing is that ridings like mine are amazing when it comes to tourism. I encourage everyone to come visit Oxford. It is a great community. We are the dairy capital of Canada. There is a great cheese trail for those who love cheese. I am a big fan of dairy. As members can tell, I have gained almost 18 pounds since being elected to office. It is kind of scary, all the cheese I have been eating.
    Oxford is a great place to be. It has a ridiculously great dairy for everyone to try ice cream at. It has amazing campgrounds like the Willow Lake Campground in my riding. It has great restaurants like The Mill and cafés like Kintore Coffee. It has the agri-tourism sector in our community where we bring together our strong farmers and showcase to the world the greatness of our community.
    That is what Canada is all about: giving Canadians the chance to explore our great nation. We need to restore Canada's promise that if someone works hard, follows the laws and plays by the rules, then they will get ahead, save some money, buy a dream house and go on a vacation. However, because of the Liberals' reckless policies, we do not see that anymore.
    I ask members to please have a free vote, give Canadians the relief they need, axe the tax, and give Canadians the relief they need to enjoy this summer.

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, I have three questions for the member.
    First, the Supreme Court has said the price on carbon is not a tax; does the member agree or disagree with the Supreme Court? Second, I would like to know why the Leader of the Opposition will not state his view on the output-based pricing system. Why is he hiding? Third, I would like a comment from the member about the PBO's retracting the report he published, which the Conservative caucus has been repeating ad nauseam for the last few weeks. Will the caucus apologize for spreading that misinformation?
    Madam Speaker, I understand that the member is having a tough time going back to his riding and explaining why they keep raising taxes time and time again, over and over. I absolutely understand that it will be difficult for them when they hit their doors this summer. I get that they are desperate and divided. They are trying to throw everything they can at everyone else.
    My response to them is this: It is your responsibility. You have been in government for nine years—
    I want to remind the hon. member to direct questions and comments through the Chair.
    There seems to be some going back and forth as well, so I would just ask members to please keep their thoughts to themselves until the appropriate time.
    The hon. member for Oxford.
     Madam Speaker, they are desperate. They are running scared, and when the election gets called, they will get a strong response from Canadians. Their reckless path, which raises taxes on our farmers, on our working class and on our families, will be rejected once and for all. If they want to go to the polls, we are ready. Let us do it now.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the motion moved by the Conservative leader is yet another very populist gimmick. It is easy for the Conservatives to tell people they are going to demand a summer tax break so people can go on vacation. I do not think it is as simple as that for Quebec and Canadian families, but the idea, as far-fetched as it may seem, would still come at a cost.
    Can my colleague tell me how much it is estimated that Quebeckers and Canadians will save thanks to the measure proposed by the Conservatives, but more importantly, how much it will cost SMEs, Quebec and Canadian businesses and the administration of the system in general to suspend a tax for a limited period of time?
    What will it cost in terms of operating costs, and what will it cost the public purse in lost revenue?

[English]

     Madam Speaker, in Oxford County, we are a farming community. I know much of rural Oxford is also similar to that. When it comes to our farmers and travelling long distances, it will provide a big relief to Quebec families as well. On average, it will save $670 per family just this summer alone. We will find savings by cutting the reckless expenditure on inside consultants that the government has been spending. They have spent $21 billion on inside consultants. They have been feeding their own Liberal elites instead of Canadian families.
    We are going to bring that money home, put it toward Canadians and provide relief to Canadians across Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the west.
    We will work hard to put that money back in the pockets of Canadians.

  (1310)  

     Madam Speaker, I really enjoyed my colleague's speech. It was great.
    What I find interesting about the Parliament is this: If the NDP and the Liberals are so adamant and so confident in the carbon tax, and if they are so confident that people want this and are willing to live with the pain that they are experiencing, to forgo things like food and housing so that they can pay a carbon tax, why will they not go to the polls?
    Can the member give me an idea as to why the Liberals or the NDP would not say take it to the people and let them decide?
    Why will they not do that?
    Madam Speaker, the member is absolutely right. Whenever we are going across the country, especially in NDP-held ridings, people feel as though the party has sold them out and betrayed their values. The NDP was once known as the party of hard-working, union, blue-collar workers, but it has now abandoned them with Versace bags, Rolexes and champagne socialism.
    Absolutely, we are ready to go to the polls. They will be seeing, in the next election, that Canadians will give a strong response to their reckless policies.
    Madam Speaker, my colleagues are asking me to skip the speech and go straight to questions. If the Speaker would allow me to take 30 minutes of straight questions, I would absolutely love the opportunity to do that, but I do not think she will. If there was unanimous consent from the House, I would even take them up on that offer—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    That is on both sides of the House. I would ask the hon. member not to engage until it is the proper time for questions and comments. I ask members to please hold on to their thoughts; they will have time for questions.
    The hon. deputy government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, there is nothing quite like slapping around the misinformation in the questions and answers portion. I like that best, but we will save it; that time will come shortly.
    I have had the opportunity to sit here today and listen to three speeches from Conservatives. I have listened to the Leader of the Opposition; his deputy leader, the member for Thornhill; and now the member for Oxford. All I can say is that it is a ton of misinformation, hyperbole and inaccurate information. Whenever I ask the question to please explain to me where their information and data are coming from, nobody stands up and explains.
    For starters, the member for Oxford just said that the motion would save people 36¢ a litre; the previous speaker, the member for Thornhill, said it was 30¢ a litre. Which is it? It is really important for the math on their own issue to work. The reality is that, if we look at the federal carbon tax, it is 17.6¢ per litre; if we add the 10¢ per litre, which is the gas tax, that brings us to 27.6¢ per litre. If we put GST on that, we are just shy of 29¢. That is what they are talking about.
    I want to explain why I think it is so important to point out that number. If we take the 29¢ per litre and accept that as fact, which I hope we all do, because it is a fact, and we look at the motion—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Madam Speaker, they are laughing at it. I guess, to them, it is not a fact; however, it is literally a fact.
    The motion says that the average Canadian would save $670 between now and Labour Day, basically three months. I extrapolate how many litres one would have to use in order to save that at 29¢ per litre, and by the member for Oxford's math, we get to 3,293 litres.
    The Conservatives are saying that the average Canadian is going to consume 3,293 litres between now and Labour Day. That is important to know; let us see what somebody can do with 3,293 litres. Using the average vehicle in Canada, that would get someone 25,842 kilometres' worth of travel. That is a lot. To put that into perspective for people who are watching this, the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole is 20,000 kilometres. I could drive from the North Pole to the South Pole and still have over 5,000 kilometres of distance before I meet the objectives of what the Leader of the Opposition is saying.
    Put another way, I could drive from Ottawa to Florida and back five times and still have kilometres left over. I could drive from Ottawa to San Diego on three return trips and still have kilometres left over. The member for Oxford invited us to go to his riding, and I would love the opportunity. I do not know if I need to go 60 times between now and Labour Day, which I would have to do in order to get the savings that the Leader of the Opposition, his deputy and the member for Oxford are talking about—

  (1315)  

    The hon. member for Provencher is rising on a point of order, and I hope it is in conjunction with a standing order.
    Madam Speaker, I am sure it is, because I did a quick calculation with my calculator—
    This is a point of debate, not a point of order.
    The hon. deputy government House leader has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I hope that the member does not go anywhere, because I want to hear his question. He will have an opportunity to ask me, and I would love to hear his math. The truth is, at least he is attempting to answer it.
     I asked the question of the Leader of the Opposition after his speech today. I said, “I just want to understand the math; explain the math to me.” Of course, the Leader of the Opposition would not even remotely come close to answering my question. He just skated around and said that the Prime Minister does this and that I travel here. He did not answer my question. I just want to understand who did the math and how they calculated it. The reality is that it is just not true.
     This is the problem: Conservatives get so outraged when we say that they are providing misinformation, which they are, but they should at least be able to substantiate the claims that they are making. The motion specifically says that $670 for this summer would be saved by the average Canadian family between now and, presumably, Labour Day, when the summer unofficially comes to an end.
     I could go on about the data around this, but I think I have made the point in that there is a ton of misinformation coming from the other side. Why are the Conservatives providing this misinformation? Why do they continually and repeatedly do this? It is because the Leader of the Opposition wants to fundraise. He is using this venue, the democratic centre of our country and the chamber where we have debates over policy, as an opportunity to fundraise. He wants to give a speech, talk about these things and then go and send out an email blast, saying, “Donate to me and we are going to make life more affordable.” Does it sound like anybody familiar? It sounds a lot like that guy with the red tie in the United States, Donald Trump. He seems to do a lot of that, does he not? It is the same outrage, the same—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
     Again, I want to remind members, if they have comments or questions, that they should wait until the appropriate time and not be interrupting members who have the floor. When the Speaker is speaking, again, it is inappropriate for members to still be making comments.
     The hon. deputy government House Leader.
     Madam Speaker, this happens a lot. Whenever I talk about the Conservatives and compare them to the MAGA Republicans in the south, they get outraged like this. The Conservatives do not like it.

  (1320)  

     Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. The member is supposed to be talking about Canadian politics. He referred to the Speaker—
    The hon. member knows full well that, when it comes to speeches, there is some flexibility. I would ask members to please allow the member to make his speech, and I am sure that they will see that it is very relevant.
     The hon. deputy government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, that is why he must have voted against Ukraine. He thinks we should only be talking about Canadian politics in this room. What an outrageous statement to make, on a point of order no less. The reality is that the Conservative Party is the equivalent of the Republican alt-right in the United States. It is a reality. It comes from the neoliberal concept of having absolutely no involvement in making life better for Canadians and, more importantly, using faux outrage whenever they can find an opportunity to use it.
    Let us look at who the Leader of the Opposition hangs out with. He goes to camps set up by members of Diagolon, an organization in Canada that has ties to some pretty shady activity. It is the reality. The Conservatives keep heckling because they are upset about it, and maybe some of them even ask why he did that, why he participated in this. Those are good, fair questions. However, this is what the member for Carleton has transformed Brian Mulroney's Conservative Party into. They have the same colour, the same shade of blue, and they call themselves Conservatives, but they are not. They are the former Reform Party of Canada. Why they are ashamed to call themselves what they are is beyond me. They should just change their name to accurately reflect what they are.
     They are following the same playbook as Donald Trump. They do the exact same thing. They try to find ways to outrage people. They try to tap into people's anxieties. They try to tap into the fears that people are experiencing right now and the anxieties they are experiencing in their lives. That is what they are doing with this motion.
     Once again, we have a motion before us on the issue of the carbon tax. I have a whole binder here from every single time they have brought it up. Of course, they never talk about the fact that people get more money back. They will never even talk about the fact that people get money back, never mind how much. The Conservatives treat the carbon tax as though they know they can rage farm more if they just talk about it. This is what we continually see from Conservatives, over and over.
     I pointed that out when I started my speech by talking about the math and about how they came to the conclusion that the average Canadian is going to save $670 per month. I want to know how they came to that conclusion. By my calculations, someone would have to drive 272 kilometres every day between today and Labour Day in order to realize the savings they are talking about.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I know some members were in the chamber a while ago when I indicated that there will be an opportunity for questions and comments, but some may not have been. Again, all of these points of order and interruptions that I have to rise on mean that hon. members may end up losing a spot because it is taking too much time for them to do their speeches.
     Members should hold on to their thoughts. There is still a little under 10 minutes for the hon. member to finish his speech. Members will have 10 minutes of questions and comments, so they should jot down their thoughts.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Madam Speaker, I just talked about the average Canadian. However, Alberta MPs, presuming they are purchasing their gas in Alberta, would get 37,000 kilometres of driving out of the potential savings that their leader is talking about.
    All that is to say that it is absolutely ludicrous what the Conservatives are suggesting and trying to sell to Canadians. I am sure an email will go out later today to their base saying they would save Canadians $670, so please donate $1,000. I am sure that will happen later today, because that is what they do. However, the reality is that they are misleading Canadians by suggesting that the average Canadian would save $670. It is an outright falsehood. There is absolutely nothing true about it, unless the member for Dufferin—Caledon plans to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole, and then still have over 5,000 kilometres left afterwards to continue driving around. That is the only way he would ever save the kind of money they are talking about.
     I find it incredibly concerning when we see, time after time, the Conservatives get up with their fake outrage and try to mislead Canadians and sell them something that is not true. In reality, if we stop and think about it, if we were to remove the price on pollution, the carbon tax, we would also have to remove the rebate. Even if what they are saying is true and we could somehow come to the conclusion that we would be saving $670 at the point of sale, even if we could wrap our heads around all that and accept it, their math still would not work because people would not be getting the rebates.
    The whole point of the rebates, the whole point to pricing pollution, is to incentivize people to make different decisions when it comes to their purchasing power, what they are buying and how they are going about their days. For some people that will be easier than for other people. That is why we have set up various programs to help people transition to cleaner options, transition to doing things differently that do not have a large carbon footprint. That is what this is all about.
     For somebody who studied economics in university, I understand this. However, what baffles me the most is how Conservatives do not understand it. Conservatives are the ones who will tell us they know everything about how an economy works. They know how to save people money and know what is in the best interests of growing our economy while saving money. They sell people a fake bill of goods all the time on that narrative. However, for some reason, recently, they have lost the ability to look at things from a macroeconomic perspective to understand what the implications are on the micro level. That is exactly what is happening. It is exactly what we have seen time and time again from Conservatives.
    It was not always this way. This is a new-found passion. To the Conservatives who continue to heckle me right now as I speak, guess what. They ran on pricing pollution. They ran on the concept of pricing pollution and a carbon tax. It was not even Liberals who first floated the idea of pricing carbon. It was Stephen Harper, in 2008, who said that he wanted to price pollution, because as an economist, he understood that changing market behaviour is easily accomplished by putting a price on something. We just took it one step further by saying that not only will we change behaviour, but we will also give all the money back through rebates.
    I know that Conservatives are going to say the PBO said this and that, but my colleague just raised the point that the PBO recently issued a retraction on the numbers that it had done previously, which are the basis for all the Conservative misinformation. The reality is that eight out of 10 Canadians get back more than they put in. More importantly, 94% of Canadians who have a household income of less than $50,000 a year absolutely get back more.

  (1325)  

    The people who are not in favour of this program are the wealthiest, and surprise, surprise, it is the Conservative base, the people who Conservatives go after all the time for fundraising, the people they will fundraise off of later on today. These are the people who Conservatives are insistent on trying to please because they know the more they appease their rich friends, the better off they will be as a party and, in particular, the better off the party's coffers will be.
    I will conclude with that. I am looking forward to taking questions from my colleagues, but I really hope that the member for Provencher or the member for Dufferin—Caledon, when they stand up, address specifically where they are getting $670 from. I want to understand who did the math and how they got there. I am willing to be proven wrong. I just want to understand the facts. Every time I have asked so far today, I have not been given an answer, including from the Leader of the Opposition, who completely avoided my question.
    I would like Conservatives to explain to me how they conclude that people will save $670 between now and Labour Day. Based on the way that I have calculated it, in the best case scenario with the lowest amount, it would be around 25,000 kilometres, which would allow a person to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole and get a significant way back home as well.

  (1330)  

     Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Kingston and the Islands for wanting to speak in facts. Given his speech, we can all agree that we know the shopping cart is the most expensive vehicle in Canada to operate for all Canadians.
    Speaking in facts, my riding of York—Simcoe does not qualify for the 20% rural top-up. I cannot even see the CN Tower from my riding. The Chippewas of Georgina Island, in the middle of Lake Simcoe, are 70 miles from Toronto, and they are classified as rural and remote by the federal government. We know, based on facts, that the government has rolled back the CMAs for certain ridings. It knows there is a problem. Houston, there is a problem. It even said so in the budget, but it has done nothing to address this.
    Madam Speaker, I am not going to avoid the member's question. I am not going to do what the Leader of the Opposition or the member for Oxford did earlier when they were asked a question. I am going to answer the question directly.
    I think the member has a really good point. When I think of his riding, I do not think of downtown Toronto. It genuinely makes me question why his riding does not have the rural top-up as well. It is a good question. I do not have the answer to it specifically, but I certainly think it is should be looked at.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: I am trying to agree with their colleague and the Conservatives are heckling me. It is unreal.
    I think there should be a good assessment of this to understand why the government came to this conclusion. I am very happy that the government doubled the rural top-up to continue to help more rural Canadians, who are experiencing the impacts even more. Why it is not impacting his riding, to be honest, is something that I have questioned as well.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his speech and for his efforts to deliver a speech that makes sense, relatively speaking, while ignoring all the attempts to distract him. I wanted to point that out. There could be a little more decorum in this chamber.
    In Quebec, for every litre of gas, the carbon tax is estimated to add—
    The hon. member for York—Simcoe on a point of order.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to ask the member for Kingston and the Islands if he would sign my petition.
    That is not a point of order. The hon. member got some direction from someone in his party a while ago addressing points of order.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Drummond.
    Madam Speaker, I was just talking about decorum in the House. These rather ridiculous interjections do nothing to lend credibility to our work.
    As I was saying, with the carbon exchange in Quebec, gasoline costs 9.9¢ more per litre, while in the other provinces, gas costs an estimated 14.3¢ more per litre because of the federal carbon tax.
    Obviously, when we see that, it seems much more advantageous to have a carbon exchange like Quebec and British Columbia. Not only does it encourage people to pollute less, but we are always hearing good things about it. However, Canadians in other provinces seem to prefer the carbon tax approach because of the rebates.
    Could my colleague tell me the average rebate that Canadians in the backstop provinces get? That way, we can see whether the Conservatives' proposal makes sense in terms of the rebates that are paid out.

  (1335)  

[English]

     Madam Speaker, I appreciate that comment. I always feel as though it is a bit of a set up when Quebec MPs ask me about pricing mechanisms in Quebec, because I think they know how I feel about it. I believe it is among the best in the world. Ontario, my province, used to be involved in that pricing mechanism as well, but unfortunately our premier was short-sighted and got out of it. At the same time, he started pulling charging stations out of locations, only to start reinstalling them five years later, but I digress.
    The member made a really important point when he questioned how much the average Canadian would get back. It is different between each province, as he would know, depending on the jurisdiction and how it is being impacted. What I can tell him is that the last time the Conservatives brought up this issue in the House in an opposition day motion, I stood up. This was after I went through the math of my own personal finances, looking at what I was paying on heating and what I would be paying if I was driving a gas vehicle. Then I looked at what was actually deposited back into my bank account, and I ended up ahead.
     When the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that eight out of 10 Canadians are better off, then I have no problem believing that because I know the math worked for me.
     Madam Speaker, I want to pick up on the last comments by the member for Kingston and the Islands. He talked about the fact that he got more money back. That is great for him, but unfortunately that is not the reality for the vast majority of Canadians, particularly those in rural and northern areas across the country where they are paying the carbon tax. They are using more fuel for essential things. People in northwestern Ontario, as members well know, need to travel great distances for essential travel for things like health care, which is not available in their community. It is not a luxury to drive; it is essential.
    Why is the government so determined to tax Canadians just for living their lives?
    Madam Speaker, how is it possible for the hon. member to have listened to the first half of my sentence and not the second half of it? The second half of my sentence, after I said that I knew I was better off, I said that I had no problem believing the PBO when he said that that eight out of 10 Canadians were better off.
     To member's point, that is why we have a rural top-up. It is why the rural top-up was doubled in the last fall economic statement. The reality is that eight out of 10 Canadians are better off. More important, as I indicated at the conclusion of my speech, 94% of households that make $50,000 or less are better off.
    The member is on a crusade to fight a price on pollution and to fight the carbon rebates that come along with them. He should know that his crusade is not with the least fortunate in our country. His crusade is with the best and the most well-off in our country.
    Madam Speaker, when I asked the Leader of the Opposition about industrial carbon pricing, he said that the industrial carbon price did not exist, which is a new level of misinformation.
    However, I am critical of the Liberal government's loopholes that have been left in the federal backstop that allow companies like Suncor to pay 14 times less than average Canadians. The government could close the loopholes in industrial carbon pricing, strengthen our emissions reduction plan, get greater emissions reduction and also hold the biggest polluters to account. It could also enshrine industrial carbon pricing in law so that if, in the future, there were another government that wanted to scrap it, it would be much more difficult to take away this vital policy, which is doing the bulk of our emissions reduction.
    I am curious if the member is pushing his government to close the loopholes and enshrine industrial carbon pricing in legislation?
    Madam Speaker, I am always pushing my government, whether in the House or in our caucus meetings, to do as much as we possibly can as it relates to reducing GHG emissions. A model that incentivizes people to make different choices, such as pricing pollution, whether it be at the retail or industrial level, will benefit tangible results in the future. This is not just me saying this. A vast majority of economists are saying this.
     The joint signed letter of economists throughout Canada has over 400 signatories now. They believe that pricing pollution is an effective way to deal with GHG emissions and reduce them, and that more people are better off under the carbon rebate program.
     It is only the Conservatives, with their rhetoric and their misinformation, who are informing people otherwise. If we were to ask the vast majority of people, they would agree that there are certainly benefits to them and, in particular, the least fortunate.

  (1340)  

     Madam Speaker, could my colleague address the issue of hypocrisy when the Alberta Conservative government increases its gas tax by four cents a litre and then the national Reform Party proposes that we get rid of the gas tax? Does he have a thought on that?
    Madam Speaker, believe it or not, I have a thought on that. The exact same day the carbon tax increased by three cents in the country, Alberta increased its own gas tax by four cents. I did not hear one bit of outrage from Conservative MPs about what Danielle Smith was doing. They know that the information they are providing is false and that they are doing it only for political opportunity. If it were genuine, they would have gone after Danielle Smith, just like they went after the Prime Minister.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time this afternoon with the member for Langley—Aldergrove.
     It is my pleasure to rise today to speak to our opposition day motion on removing the fuel tax until Labour Day. While many of my colleagues may focus on the immediate economic benefit that this proposal would have on every single financially strapped Canadian listening today, I would also like to complement the conversation with an element of mental health.
     As we all know, mental health has been declining in Canada. A piece in the Queen's Gazette succinctly states:
    A 2023 report from Statistics Canada has revealed that despite over half of Canadians reporting very good or excellent overall health, mental health is on a concerning decline. Anxiety and mood disorders, particularly among vulnerable populations, have surged, with a notable impact on adults aged 18 to 34 years. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, in any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness...
    I do not think this is news to anyone. This is a real problem.
     While the pandemic certainly played a large role in this worsening public disaster, it is not the only culprit. The mental health of Canadians is declining, nearly in lockstep with their financial health.
     Two months ago, the Canadian Institute for Health Information issued a press release, suggesting “Canadians increasingly report poor mental health, cite growing economic concerns as a contributing factor.” Compared to the Commonwealth Fund average, Canada had higher percentages of its residents who worried about affording rent, about food security and about having a roof over their head at all. Its message is clear: Canada is lagging considerably behind its Commonwealth allies when it comes to economic stressors on mental health.
    I know the other parties here today care about mental health. In its 2021 platform, “Forward. For Everyone”, the government had a page and a bit of its 89-page platform dedicated to mental health. It opened with:
    In a typical year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or addiction problem. And we know that over the last 18 months, nearly half of Canadians reported that their mental health worsened during the pandemic. Mental health is health. This is why we have made mental health a priority.
    Our friends in the NDP had very similar overtures in their “Ready for Better” platform.
     What I find troubling and confusing is that the Liberal government would engage in such dramatic inflationary spending and impose crippling tax measures onto cash-strapped Canadians. It is even more confusing as to why the NDP would play the role of the enabler for the Liberal government. It turns out that mental health as a priority in 2021 has given way, in 2024, to excessively taxing Canadians to the brink of financial ruin; mental health consequences be damned.
     The fact remains that while, yes, mental health is health, economic stability contributes to mental health. Financially stable Canadians do not have the same economic stressors on them that non-financially stable Canadians do. Subsequently, there are less stressors on our already straining health care system, particularly on our mental health.
     We only need to turn to the government's own numbers to validate the relationship between finances and mental and physical health.
     In March 2019, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada released a report that showed financial concerns were a greater source of stress than relationships, workplace performance or their own personal health. Nearly half of Canadians have lost sleep worrying over which bills they will be able to pay. Forty-four per cent of Canadians say they would be in dire financial straits if a paycheque were late.
     This is all part of a vicious feedback loop. Mental health issues make it more difficult to earn and to seek help, resulting in financial distress. Then people start to worry about where they will go to get their next meal or what valuables to sell to pay off their past-due Internet bill so that their service is not cut off or what side hustle they will find, adding additional stress and anxiety onto already existing mental health issues.

  (1345)  

    Rinse and repeat is the reality of too many of the constituents in Hastings—Lennox and Addington and people across this country. The absolute last thing they need is the government adding on to that financial burden.
    This is an opportunity to alleviate the burden the government has placed on Canadians when it hiked the tax on gas. Vacations, road trips, a time to step back are all great ways to reduce stress, spend family time and come back to the workplace motivated, inspired and recharged. This is absolutely true. However, the reality here is that far too many Canadians may not be able to even consider taking a vacation because they are so destitute. This common-sense Conservative motion would put money back into their pockets, not necessarily to go on road trips, but to use for their grocery bill or for all the other pressing issues Canadians are facing.
     A recent survey by Ipsos shows that while nearly 80% of Canadians really need a vacation, two-thirds are scaling back due to inflation and economic uncertainty, and three out of five Canadians are scrapping vacations entirely. Canadians are not thinking about Disney; they are thinking about dinner. A clear indicator of the government's failure is that not only is it not providing for Canadians, but it continues to take what little they have.
    Today, we have an opportunity to provide a temporary measure of relief for Canadians over the summer. This would help families, single parents, students, seniors and everyone in between. Pausing the tax on fuel would provide benefits to all Canadians. If they choose to use those extra dollars for a road trip and support local tourism, that is great. If instead they want to use the dollars to pay bills and get groceries, that is okay too. The real kicker here is that we are not proposing to give tax dollars to Canadians; we are simply asking the federal government to stop taking from them.
     I think this last point will really illustrate a dangerous mentality that far too many governments have. They view themselves as entitled to the money of taxpayers, as though it does not belong to Canadians, but to them, and they are going to collect it. This reminds me of a comment made by a former Liberal cabinet minister when he served as the CEO of the Mint. I think it encapsulates the mentality of the current Liberal-NDP government. He stated, “I am entitled to my entitlements.” This time I think even David Dingwall himself would have to agree that it is the taxpayer footing the bill.

  (1350)  

     Madam Speaker, the member started her speech by talking about the importance of mental health and how environmental issues can hurt one's mental health. It begs the question why we the Conservative Party is voting against the support programs that are there for Canadians. In particular, I am thinking of fixed-income people, seniors or children and the dental and pharmacare programs. These are all constituents she would represent. We are not talking about hundreds, but thousands of constituents who she represents, yet she continues to vote against these vital programs that I would argue are also good for mental health.
     Madam Speaker, I will assure the member across the aisle that every single day I am listening to and working for the ordinary, hard-working Canadians in Hastings—Lennox and Addington.
     I will also remind the member that, with respect to mental health, we should address the cause. The cause is the issue. If the symptoms are always the focus, we need to re-evaluate how we are looking at this. How did we get here? Where did these issues come from? People are in dire straits right now and they need serious help. People are hurting. People are dying. Conservatives are offering a bit of a solution.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I have a very simple question for my colleague.
    First of all, we are talking about $1.4 billion in government revenue, which is a truly astronomical sum.
    Can my colleague help me understand why the Conservatives claim that axing this tax will be better for poor people than for rich people, who obviously use more oil and gas than other people?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would suggest that our middle class is shrinking for a number of reasons. We have become a country of high taxation, dwindling revenues, big government, massive social programs and massive deficits. High inflation and high interest rates are making it so the middle class no longer exists. We need to move forward. We need solutions. We cannot continuously just say damn. The government is not working. Conservatives are offering a solution.
     Madam Speaker, I wanted to ask the member about the mental health crisis of young people who are concerned about the climate crisis. Climate anxiety is at an all-time high. When young people are seeing communities evacuated because of wildfires, multi-year droughts, heat domes that kill hundreds of people and extreme flooding, they are worried about right now and they are worried about their future.
    Can the member speak to young people and tell them why the Conservatives have no climate plan?
     Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that perhaps caring is not always convenient. How people care and how people find solutions come in different silos. How they are interpreted is different for everyone.
    Members across the aisle will probably agree with me that youth are the future of this country. Youth need to ask critical, informed questions. I know on this side of the aisle, we are giving them accurate, positive solutions.

  (1355)  

     Madam Speaker, it gives me a great deal of pleasure today to stand up to talk about the Conservatives' motion for an axe-the-tax summer vacation road trip. I had a very happy childhood, spending many hours in the great outdoors in Edmonton, Alberta, all seasons of the year, even in the winter when everything was frozen solid, but the highlight of our family's year was always planning the summer road trip.
    We started the planning as the snow started melting, usually around this time of the year, in late May. I know with global warming it is happening a couple of weeks earlier, but that was something that always bound our family together. We were always very excited about it. It was usually a three-day trip as we made our way from Edmonton in Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia. We took our time, camping along the way. The first night was often in Jasper, maybe in Banff, and the second night somewhere in the Okanagan Valley. We never took the shortest route because there was so much to explore and so much to see in this great land of ours.
    By the third day we arrived at beautiful Cultus Lake in Chilliwack, where we camped for usually two or three weeks. Along the way, we always camped. There were no motels for us and no restaurants for us. We did not have money for that. It was too expensive, but the one thing that we never had to worry about was the price of gasoline for our Chevy with a big V8 engine.
    I wonder what the story would be like today, if we were to relive that. To stick with my personal example for a minute longer, there was not a lot of extra money to cut out of our travel budget. Motels and restaurants were already out. Maybe we could have cut the mini-golf at campgrounds or the comic books that kept us quiet sitting in the back seat for hours on end or maybe we could have cut some of the excursions like taking the airtram down to Hells Gate in Fraser Canyon. Every Canadian should see our amazing nature and the engineering around building the railroad through the Fraser Canyon.
     The decisions that families have to make these days are much more difficult and much more challenging than that, because after nine years of the Liberal government, Canadians are being forced to cancel their summer vacations altogether, as the Liberals' ill-conceived tax-and-spend agenda has made even a simple road trip unaffordable.
    Parents can barely afford necessities, much less a summer road trip. Families will pay $700 on average more for food this year than they did in 2023. Last year, food banks had to handle a record two million visits in a single month, with a million more expected this year, as food inflation continues to be such a challenge for people.
    Let us talk about housing inflation. This is what I hear from people in my community of Langley. Tanya wrote to me and said, “Youth in high school and university don't even dream of owning a home now. They simply hope to one day be able to afford to rent their own place. The inflation is stifling the hopes and dreams of Canadian youth.”
    Similarly, Fred and Elaine wrote to me and said, “We are in our mid 80s. We can't leave B.C. because all our family live here and it's getting harder for us, and many of our friends are feeling frightened the way things are going. Rent prices are terrible, how are our grandchildren and great grandchildren going to live?”
    I thank Fred and Elaine for that comment.
    I get a lot of comments like that, and here is another one from Anthony, who is a business person. He is talking about the cost of housing and the effect it has. He said, “I am having trouble retaining and attracting young employees as the cost to live in Metro Vancouver is simply unaffordable. I had a great apprentice leave last summer and move to Calgary, he took a pay cut but was wanting to start a family and saw no chance of that happening here in B.C.”
    That is good for Calgary once again. Someone else leaving is British Columbia to go to Calgary where things are more affordable, but it is a real challenge there as well.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Woman of the Year Award Recipient

     Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Nedia El Khouri, a gifted artist, dedicated arts activist and dynamic entrepreneur, who is a 2024 recipient of the Montreal Council of Women's Woman of the Year Award. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Sheila Goldbloom, Chantal Hébert and Margaret Trudeau, among others.
    In 2009, drawing on her passion for art and art education and on a strong belief in art's transformative power, Nedia founded the Viva Vida Art Gallery in Pointe-Claire village in my riding of Lac-Saint-Louis. The gallery features exhibitions on important themes, but also supports artist development and offers art education for youth and adults. Both the gallery and Nedia's own explorations as an artist have brought a new dimension to life in Montreal's West Island.
    I thank Nedia, and once again, congratulations on this well-deserved honour.

End of the School Year

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to give a big congratulations to all the grade 8 and grade 12 students who are graduating this year in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex and beyond. We are all proud of them for reaching this significant milestone in their educational journey. Their hard work, dedication and resilience have paid off, and they should be proud of their achievements.
    This year's ceremony is extra special for our grade 12 students, who were denied a proper grade 8 graduation because of the pandemic. I hope their high school graduation ceremonies are made even more memorable to mark overcoming such a challenging time. As they move on, whether to high school, post-secondary education, trade or entering the workforce, I remind them to embrace every opportunity, continue to strive for excellence and never stop learning. They are the future of Canada. Celebrate this momentous occasion with joy. Best wishes for continued success and happiness, and congratulations again to the class of 2024.

Canada-Wide Science Fair

    Mr. Speaker, this week I had the opportunity to visit students from Waterloo—Wellington and others from across Canada at the Canadian Museum of Nature. They are participating in this year's Canada-Wide Science Fair, hosted by Youth Science Canada.
    Every year for the past 11 years, talented youth from across the nation have had the opportunity to present their science and engineering projects that will transform the future of Canada's science and technology landscape. Some of our nation's brightest young minds come together to share their passion for STEM and innovation. The next generation of our country's scientists and innovators are bright with promise and curiosity, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish next.
    Congratulations to all the national winners, who will be announced today.

[Translation]

World Milk Day

    Mr. Speaker, this Saturday is World Milk Day. From skim milk to lactose-free milk to chocolate milk, this beverage will always be a comfort food. However, because of market share surrendered in past agreements, about one in five pints of milk will eventually be imported from abroad.
    That is why the Senate must pass Bill C‑282 as soon as possible. Our dairy farmers do not want to beg for temporary compensation for permanent losses. They want to work hard to make a decent living and provide us with quality milk. Our public policies must be designed to serve the interests of the public and safeguard our own food security, not please foreign interests.
    It is time to stand up. Our farmers are passionate about dairy production, committed to a sustainable future and proud of what they have achieved together, and they are calling on the Senate to act quickly. Let us all celebrate World Milk Day together.

Seigneuriales de Vaudreuil‑Dorion

    Mr. Speaker, oyez, oyez!
    Lords, ladies, nobles and all the good folk of Vaudreuil-Dorion will gather on June 6, 7, 8 and 9 for the 32nd edition of the Seigneuriales de Vaudreuil-Dorion. At this festival honouring the history of New France, they will eat, drink, play and sing as they celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our community, Vaudreuil—Soulanges.
    Thanks to the extraordinary work of the Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, and Christiane Lévesque and her team, the people of Vaudreuil—Soulanges can explore the local artisan fair all weekend long and be charmed by period costumes and an atmosphere worthy of New France.
    I want to take this opportunity to invite all the gentlefolk of Vaudreuil—Soulanges to join me at this festival. There will be activities for the whole family, local artisans and, of course, everything our seigneury has to offer.

  (1405)  

World Milk Day

    Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, June 1, we are celebrating World Milk Day.
    To the nearly 10,000 dairy farms and the more than 500 processing plants in Canada, I say thank you. These men and women get up at dawn every day, put on their work boots and do an incredible job to feed Canadians with the quality products we are celebrating.
    My riding is home to many of these businesses, which never fail to offer top-notch products that are among the healthiest and most nutritious in the world. These farmers not only provide the best products in the world, but they also play an important role in achieving our country's environmental goals.
    I speak for all parliamentarians when I thank them for their hard work. As Conservatives, we will continue to support our agricultural sector, which is an essential economic driver in this country.
    On the eve of World Milk Day, and in honour of the Canadians who work hard in our dairy industry, I invite all my colleagues to stand up and raise a glass of milk.
    I would just like to remind members once again that they are not to use props to make their point. What is more, they are only allowed to bring water onto the floor of the House of Commons.
    The hon. member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.

[English]

Community Champions Awards

     Mr. Speaker, today, I would like, once again, to launch my Community Champions awards, for which we are now accepting nominations. Each year, we recognize everyday leaders who work hard to build a better community for everyone. A community champion is an outstanding neighbour, such as a volunteer, frontline worker, parent or unsung hero, who demonstrates leadership. Through their leadership, they create a better society by fostering a culture of kindness and generosity. They inspire others to step up and be part of positive change. To nominate a community champion, please email my constituency office. Nominations are open until July 14. I look forward to honouring this year's outstanding community champions in Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Day

    Mr. Speaker, May 12 was international myalgic encephalomyelitis awareness day. I would like to acknowledge the approximately two to three million Canadians now living with this debilitating illness. ME, formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a devastating, chronic, complex, multi-system illness. It occurs in children, adolescents and adults of all ages and backgrounds, and three-quarters of people living with the illness are women. Up to 75% are unable to work, and one-quarter are consistently bed-bound or housebound. ME is an urgent health crisis, with research showing that 50% or more of those with long COVID go on to develop ME. People with ME are suffering and desperately want their lives back. There is currently no cure or approved treatment for it at this time. It is therefore crucial that Canada take action, increase funding for ME research and provide resources for national education and training.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the housing crisis is reaching an unsustainable level for Canadians. La Presse reported that it takes 610 days to obtain a building permit in some parts of Montreal. That is almost two years.
    Quebeckers are suffering and the leader of the Conservative Party sees that. He is taking concrete action to alleviate Quebeckers' suffering. His legislation to build homes, not bureaucracy requires cities to build housing quickly, with rewards for cities that do and penalties for those that put up bureaucratic hurdles.
    The Bloc Québécois voted against this solution yesterday, just as it voted against Quebec's fundamental interests when it voted in favour of $500 billion in spending. The Bloc Québécois refuses to make housing more affordable. This housing crisis requires common-sense solutions. Canadians need them badly. Not only does the Bloc Québécois refuse to meet Quebeckers' needs, it also opposes solutions aimed at making their lives better.

  (1410)  

[English]

Anti-Semitism

     Mr. Speaker, during the Second World War, our country held Japanese, German and Italian Canadians responsible for the actions of their heritage or origin countries. That was wrong. With the rise in anti-Semitism today, too many Canadians are repeating that mistake. It is wrong to hold Jewish Canadians responsible for the actions of Israel. The vast majority of Jewish Canadians feel a deep connection to Israel. That is called Zionism. It is the same connection that many people in the House feel to their heritage countries or countries of origin, but we do not and we should not hold anyone to account for the actions of another country, and we should never question their loyalty to our great country. Let us all stand up against anti-Semitism. It is dangerous and it needs to stop.

Carbon Tax

     Mr. Speaker, at every door, in every conversation and in every phone call, it is the same comment over and over again: life is too unaffordable. How did it get this way in Canada?
     We know that it is the inflationary spending, the taxes and the deficits of the Liberal-NDP government that have driven up the cost of literally everything, and that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost.
    Canadians are crying out for some relief. That is why, in our motion before Parliament today, common-sense Conservatives are calling on the government to suspend all gas and diesel taxes for the summer, until Labour Day. That would be $670 in savings for a typical Canadian family, enough to take a road trip, to go camping or take a day trip to one of the many outstanding local attractions across our country, which is the stuff that memories are made of.
     It would give some relief and some hope, until a new common-sense Conservative government, under the leadership of the hon. Leader of the Opposition, can axe the tax on everything, everywhere, for good.

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, this week, the Calgary Herald confirmed how hard the people in my city are struggling as a result of the fiscal incompetence and arrogance of the Liberal-NDP government.
     Since 2019, shelter and food costs have gone up 26% for Calgarians, while electricity and natural gas are up over 70%. Alberta used to be a province of opportunity and economic prosperity, but the Prime Minister has done everything he could to change that. His ideological carbon tax and his irresponsible spending have my constituents feeling desperation, dread and lost hope. Young adults cannot afford to have the children they dreamed of. Parents have to pull kids out of organized sport. Seniors are embarrassed that they have to rely on food banks.
     Today, we asked the Liberal-NDP government to immediately axe the carbon tax, the federal fuel tax and the GST on gasoline and diesel until Labour Day. I hope the other members in the House will do the right thing, and vote to help Canadians who need and deserve a break.

Canadian Dental Care Plan

    Mr. Speaker, dental care is health care, and I am proud to be part of a team that is making dental care more accessible and affordable for millions of Canadians, including so many in my riding of Brampton East.
     More than two million Canadians have successfully signed up for the Canadian dental care plan. Over 10,000 dentists and oral health providers have signed up to participate in this plan. In three weeks, over 120,000 seniors have visited their oral health providers under our federally funded plan, saving seniors hundreds of dollars in dental care costs.
     I find it hard to believe that the Conservatives across the way stand against these vital supports for seniors. The Canadian dental care plan is a significant achievement by our federal government. It will not only alleviate major financial barriers and burdens, but also improve the quality of life for many Canadians.
     As the initiative continues to roll out in phases, our plan will help improve dental health not only for the seniors in my constituency, but also for seniors in communities across Canada.

Aviation Industry

     Mr. Speaker, big airlines are raking in billions of dollars of profits off the back of unpaid work. In Canada, flight attendants, who are disproportionately women, work an average of 35 hours for free every month.
    There is no reason that big airlines who make huge profits should be making their staff work for free, yet the Liberals have allowed big airlines to take advantage of workers.
     Today, flight attendants are in Ottawa, fighting for their right to be paid for the work they do. They want the government to change the laws, to correct this unacceptable status quo and to ensure that when flight attendants are at work, in uniform, performing their duties, they are being paid. It is only fair. New Democrats agree.
    The government must stand up to corporate greed and protect workers. Flight attendants deserve better, and today, I raise their voices here in the House of Commons by saying that unpaid work will not fly.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Réginald Charles Gagnon

    Mr. Speaker, the great Acadian country singer Cayouche has passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with cancer.
    Réginald Charles Gagnon, his real name, lived a very full life and had an outstanding career. Far from the spotlight, he built a loyal following by telling stories about his friends, his heartbreak and his travels.
    For those who were not fortunate enough to know him, we can say that he was a cross between Willie Nelson and Willie Lamothe. For those who did know him, we can say that those two singers both had a little bit of Cayouche in them.
    With his guitar on his back, he played everywhere, in small towns and at big festivals. The inimitable Cayouche was truly unique. Some of his songs include La chaîne de mon tracteur, Le frigidaire de mon chum, Mon bicycle, ma musique and C'est ça mon Acadie. He is one of the most successful Acadian artists, with more than 100,000 albums sold.
    We would like to extend our condolences to his family, friends and fans. We join all of our Acadian friends in hoping that he is met at heaven's gates with a nice, cold Alpine.
    I say goodbye to Cayouche.

[English]

Liberal Party of Canada

     Mr. Speaker, here they come, and there they go. The race to replace the Prime Minister is under way, and Mark “carbon tax” Carney is out ahead of the pack. He has been seen jet-setting across the globe, sliding into ballrooms, sipping on champagne, eating caviar and trying to win favour with global Liberal elites, and all the while, hard-working Canadians are struggling to afford to pay their rent and buy groceries.
    The finance committee has called for Mark Carney to come and answer questions. Will he have the guts to appear, or will he keep campaigning from his private jet? Canadians need to know just how much carbon tax Carney will jack up the Prime Minister's carbon tax or if there is even one dollar of inflationary spending that he would do away with. The reality is that he has never met a hard-working Canadians' tax dollar that he is not prepared to take away from them, and he is not prepared to do away with one cent of Liberal waste. Carney will do anything to make a buck. He is after Canadians. Will he come to committee and finally testify to answer questions?

Northern Super League Professional Women's Soccer

     Mr. Speaker, on August 9, 2012, Canada's women's soccer team played France for Olympic bronze in London. In the dying seconds of the game, Oakville's own Diana Matheson scored the winning goal, a goal that changed the trajectory of soccer in Canada and inspired a whole generation of young Canadian female soccer players, like Sophia Stevens from my office.
     Matheson and Team Canada would go on to win Olympic bronze in 2016 in Rio. She is more than just a Canadian Olympic hero, she is a trailblazer and an extraordinary leader.
     Canada is the only top ten women's soccer team in the world without its own professional women's league. In 2022, Matheson launched Project 8 to change that, with the goal of creating a league that would see Canada's best soccer players play in front of their hometowns instead of moving abroad. This week, that dream became a reality when Project 8 announced the Northern Super League.
    I congratulate Diana Matheson on her hard work and dedication.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, the NDP-Liberal Prime Minister is not worth the cost, and Canadians are suffering through his inflation and high interest rates.
    For many families, the best hope for a summer vacation will be a modest road trip. Parents will sketch out a budget based on meals and hotels, and a big expense will be fuel. The GST, excise tax and carbon tax have helped push fuel prices to near record levels, with many families unable to afford a vacation at all. Conservatives have proposed taking the tax off of gas and diesel for the summer, saving Canadians 35¢ a litre.
    Will the Prime Minister vote for our motion, or will he force more Canadians to stay home this summer?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is a prime cut of Conservative baloney. I know what I am talking about; my dad was a butcher.
    The savings that the Conservative Party of Canada claims for Albertans is based on people travelling 37,000 kilometres during their holidays. For 37,000 kilometres, someone can go from the North Pole to the South Pole and still have kilometres left to achieve the savings that the Conservatives claim.
    Mr. Speaker, that is just not true. Everybody knows that the carbon tax costs more than the rebate. That is why the Prime Minister was humiliated into granting a carve-out for just some people in some parts of the country. That is all we are asking for today: a carve-out on federal taxes on fuel and diesel for the summer.
    For the average family in Ontario, that would mean almost $600 in savings. To the Prime Minister's wealthy friends, that might not seem like a lot of money, but to struggling Canadians, that can make the difference of being able to say yes to kids when they ask for some summertime fun.
    Will the Prime Minister have an ounce of compassion and help more Canadian families afford a vacation?
    Mr. Speaker, I know math is not the forte of the Conservative Party of Canada. Let me walk its members through it. By their math, Albertans would have to use 3,293 litres of gasoline over a three-month period. At an average of 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres, that is equivalent to 37,000 kilometres. Someone would have to drive for 10 consecutive days, nonstop, and after two weeks of vacation, they would have two days left, or maybe three, to enjoy that vacation.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not think math is the forte of someone who brags that he does not think about monetary policy and who thinks that budgets balance themselves.
    Maybe the reason the Prime Minister is being so cruel about this issue is that he has long forgotten the thrill of the family road trip. He has wealthy lobbyists who invite him to their private islands where he does not have to pay for the villas, and he gets to stick taxpayers with the bill. Canadian workers have to pay for all the inflation, all the interest rates and all the tax hikes themselves.
    Will the Prime Minister have an ounce of compassion and take fuel taxes off for the summer so that Canadians can have a road trip this year?
     Mr. Speaker, I do not think Canadians' idea of summertime fun is being locked in a car for 10 straight days. I also do not think their idea of summertime fun is having their dental care taken away, taking away their diabetes medication or losing their child care.
    For their definition of summertime fun, I think they should have a conversation with kids about what they want to do with their summer. I think they care more about getting dental care and having good teeth than being locked in a car for 10 straight days.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, this Prime Minister and his Bloc Québécois supporters are not worth the cost. Their $500 billion in inflationary spending is forcing parents to skip meals so they can feed their children. While the leader of the Bloc Québécois and several of his members are campaigning to radically increase gas taxes, Quebeckers in the regions are paying the price because they do not have access to public transit.
    Talk about being completely out of touch. Will the Liberal Bloc set aside its ideological agenda to raise taxes on Quebeckers and vote in favour of our motion to suspend federal taxes for the summer?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada's calculations and purported savings are hogwash. To save as much money as the Conservatives claim, an Alberta family would have to travel 37,000 kilometres on its vacation. Folks could go from Montreal to Mexico City, back to Montreal, back to Mexico City, back to Montreal, back to Mexico City, back to Montreal and back to Mexico City and still not have racked up enough kilometres—
     Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order.
    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not know where they are pulling their numbers from. As usual, they are making things up. We know full well that Quebeckers who will be paying at the pump every week are going to notice the difference at the end of the month.
    That is the reality facing Quebeckers, who pay too much for food and rent, cannot make it to the end of the month and are lining up at food banks. They have no problem understanding Liberal math. It is costing them too much. Will the Liberals listen to common sense and put gas taxes on hold for the summer?
    Mr. Speaker, I know that math is not a strong suit for members of the Conservative Party of Canada, so let me help them out. To achieve the savings that the Conservatives are suggesting, a family would have to burn through 3,293 litres of gas over three months in one summer.
    If a vehicle uses 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres, that means it would have to travel 37,000 kilometres. A person could drive from the North Pole to the South Pole and practically all the way back to the North Pole at that rate, and of course, they would have to do so over just a couple of months. What nonsense.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, and then there was light. The Liberals from the Outaouais have finally clued in to the fact that the health care system is in crisis. They have written to Quebec asking for more money for health care. Where were these visionaries when Quebec was warning of a $28-billion annual shortfall? Where were they when the Prime Minister, their boss, was fighting the provinces to not increase transfers by a single penny? Where were they when their boss imposed a cut-rate agreement on Quebec? Why did those visionaries personally vote against our motion for a sustainable increase in health care funding? The Liberals have been underfunding health care since 2015. Are they at least a little embarrassed about that?
    Mr. Speaker, this is proof once again that it takes a Liberal member from Quebec to stand up for Quebeckers and defend the interests of Quebec voters in the House of Commons. Obviously, we fully respect Quebec's jurisdictions. I did not intend to bring this up, but thanks to the Bloc Québécois, I am reaffirming that the Quebec government must urgently address health care needs in the Outaouais region.
    Any objective person looking at this situation will realize that action is needed on health care in the Outaouais.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal members from the Outaouais are right. There is not enough money for health care in the Outaouais, but they have no one to blame but themselves. There is not enough money on the north shore. There is not enough money for Quebec as a whole. That is their fault. They voted for it. They did not speak out against federal underfunding of health care. They did not go against their boss, who refused to increase health transfers. They did not stand up for citizens who were told to go to the private sector for treatment. They were too busy looking for jobs as ministers and chairs. Now they are waking up. They need to look in the mirror. Should these visionaries really be lecturing people?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is voting against pharmacare. The Bloc Québécois is voting against health care budgets. The Bloc Québécois is voting against all our efforts to provide dental care, and the list goes on.
    If we were to take the Bloc's desired ratio, or if we were to compare the Outaouais with any other region in Quebec, we would see that the Outaouais region is underfunded. The number of doctors, nurses, surgeries and hospitals has fallen in the area. The Outaouais needs urgent action on health care.

  (1430)  

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the lack of housing, higher rents and the higher cost of living are the reasons why there are more and more homeless people in the streets of Montreal. We need social and affordable housing.
    Under the Liberals, homelessness across the country has only gone up. Despite the promises, people do not have access to housing. The Conservatives lost 800,00 affordable housing units when they were in power. As for the Liberals, they have lost another 370,000 housing units.
    What good are Liberal MPs in Montreal when they are not even able to ensure that Montrealers have a roof over their heads?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. One thing my colleague and I agree on is that, on this side of the House, and I include him in that, we truly believe that a government must address homelessness and must work on fighting chronic homelessness. The people across the way do not believe that.
    The housing plan has given more money to the municipalities to help them put a roof over the heads of everyone who needs it. We will continue to work with the municipalities on that, instead of insulting mayors.

[English]

Persons with Disabilities

    Mr. Speaker, a landmark report this week exposed that women with disabilities are more likely to visit the emergency room during pregnancy, because reproductive care is not accessible. It is impacting their mental health during pregnancy and postpartum. People with disabilities have had enough of the Liberals' half measures. The Liberals are all talk, no action, just like their Canada disability benefit that is nowhere near enough to live on.
    What is the government going to do to address the unacceptable barriers to care for pregnant women with disabilities?
     Mr. Speaker, with every province and every territory, we have signed agreements to improve health care in this country, and that absolutely includes care for persons with disabilities. Specifically on sexual and reproductive health, we are making sure that we are there for women with the sexual and reproductive assistance that they need and making sure that they have the contraception they need to have control over their sexual and reproductive lives and their futures.
    Absolutely, we are going to continue to work with provinces and territories to increase access and resist the cuts and the reductions the Conservatives want to bring.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, the Liberal-NDP Prime Minister is not worth hunger or homelessness as one in four Canadians skips meals. Edith is a single mom in my community who cannot afford to feed her kids because the Prime Minister doubled the cost of groceries and gas. His bright idea was to jack up the carbon tax 23%. Common-sense Conservatives are calling on him to axe all federal fuel taxes this summer to save the average family $670.
    Will the Prime Minister vote with us, or does he want more families like Edith's to go hungry and broke?
     Mr. Speaker, maybe I need to go through the math again to make sure it is understood. The savings that the Conservative Party are claiming, based on the member's assertion, are based on use of gasoline over the summertime of 3,293 litres. Do the math; it is not complicated. At an average consumption of 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres, a family in Alberta would have to drive 37,000 kilometres to be able to benefit from the claimed savings.
     This has nothing to do with reality. It would be nice for the Conservative Party of Canada to come down to earth and leave la-la land for a little while.
     Mr. Speaker, Liberal math used by the anti-Alberta minister says that jacking up the carbon tax 20% is somehow going to fix forest fires and reduce the—
    Some hon members: Oh, oh!
    I am going to ask the hon. member to start from the top again and just rephrase it slightly.
    Mr. Speaker, Liberal math says that jacking up the carbon tax 23% is going to somehow magically fix forest fires and reduce the cost of groceries like those that Edith cannot afford. Do the Liberals think we are gullible and incompetent like the NDP, which blindly supports policies that have made two millions Canadians go to a food bank in a single month and one in four Canadians skip meals?
    Why will the government not do everyone a favour, give Canadians a break and finally end their misery? The government should call a carbon tax election so that common-sense Conservatives can scrap the carbon tax scam and Canadians can kick the costly carbon tax coalition to the curb.

  (1435)  

     Mr. Speaker, there they go again. The Conservatives want to ruin the rebate for Canadians, a rebate that disproportionately impacts the middle class and lower-income Canadians working hard to join the middle class.
    I also noticed that throughout the past few weeks, they have been quoting from reports from Food Banks Canada and The Salvation Army, and those reports are important. We thank the organizations for the reports. What they point out are challenges faced by Canadians. In those recommendations, which the Conservatives ignore, they point to programs that the government has continued to support, such as the Canada child benefit, for example, but that the Conservatives have voted against every single time.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years, the NDP-Liberal government is not worth the hunger and homelessness that it is causing so many Canadians across this country. Many Canadians just simply look forward to a small summer vacation, a road trip perhaps. It is normally a time when they can camp in the mountains, go to a national park or visit loved ones, but this year, many Canadians cannot afford this simple delight because the government has made life too expensive.
    On Monday, the House will have the opportunity to vote on a common-sense motion to save Canadians 35¢ per litre on gas. Will the Prime Minister vote with us, the common-sense Conservatives, so that Canadians can afford a simple vacation, or will he force them to stay home?
    Mr. Speaker, there is good news for kids. They can take a summer fun-time vacation where they are locked in a car for 10 consecutive days non-stop, with no bathroom breaks, and the Conservatives have a plan for them to have that summertime fun. What is the cost? It is to give up the future of the planet.
    Kids do not have to worry about climate change. They do not have to worry about taking action on the planet. They can enjoy their 10 hours in the car and let the planet burn.
    Mr. Speaker, the out-of-touch Prime Minister might be able to take a $230,000 taxpayer-funded vacation to some fancy island, but that is not an option for most Canadians. In fact, most Canadians just simply want to be able to get in a car and drive a few kilometres to enjoy a national park or the mountains for the day, but even that is out of reach for so many of them because of the Liberal government's out-of-touch policies that are driving up the cost of everything.
    On Monday, the House will have the opportunity to vote on a very common-sense motion that would take the federal tax off fuel. It would make life affordable for Canadians and allow them to enjoy their summer. Will the Prime Minister vote with us so that Canadians can afford a simple road trip, or will he force them to stay at home while he enjoys his luxury vacation?
    Mr. Speaker, today we are having a lot of fun with figures because the Conservative AI machine suddenly broke down and did not quite supply them with the right math. They do rely heavily on it for mathematics.
     I do note that the member fights against a regime that sends eight out of 10 Albertans more money than they pay in, but she was a little sheepish, a little quiet, when her own premier, Danielle Smith, hiked gas taxes 13¢ on fuel and increased government spending in Alberta. She did not talk about that. I wonder why.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years of the NDP-Liberal government, Canadians know that the Liberal Prime Minister is not worth the homelessness, is not worth the hunger and is not worth the tent cities that are popping up everywhere. However, there is a plan to give some relief. A Conservative motion would take the carbon tax and all federal taxes off gas from now until Labour Day. It would save 35¢ a litre and maybe give Canadians a road trip. The only road trip the Liberals know is their ministers' driving around in their limousine with their chauffeur.
    Will the Liberals support the motion to axe the tax, yes or no?
     Mr. Speaker, the Conservative motion is written on the same napkin as their housing plan.
    The reality is that whenever it comes to serious issues of the day, all they have are hollow slogans. What happened in the House of Commons yesterday? Every single party in the House, minus the Conservatives, voted against their initiative because it would tax homebuilding and says nothing about homelessness.
    Finally, most of the Conservative caucus is made up of rural members. Do they know that the housing plan applies only to a certain number of cities and not to the entire country?

  (1440)  

     Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable. This would save 35¢ a litre on gasoline. That does not mean much to ministers, who get driven around by chauffeurs in their limos and probably have not pumped gas nor known the cost of gas in about 10 years. However, for the average Canadian family, it would mean everything, and the Liberals could do something about it. I know they do not take road trips, but Canadian families do, and it would make a difference.
    The Liberals have a choice. They can vote to take those taxes off and save Canadians 35¢ a litre so they can take a road trip, or they can continue to punish Canadians with this damn carbon tax.
     I am going to ask members to be very careful about the use of language in the House.
    The hon. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want to talk about numbers today, so let us talk about a few of those numbers: four, the number of consecutive months that we have seen inflation decrease in this country; 750,000, the number of families benefiting from our affordable early learning and child care; 1.3 million, the number of Canadians who have been lifted out of poverty with our policies; and 400,000, the number of kids who will receive access to food at school.
    This is what our government is doing on this side of the house. Why will the Conservatives not get onside and support Canadians?

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec's French language commissioner is sounding the alarm.
    Quebec is unable to ensure that such a high number of immigrants learn French. It is well and good to invest hundreds of millions of dollars, but there are currently 642,000 people in Quebec who do not speak French. Only 70,000 of them have been able to join French language classes, which is a record, but that is nowhere near enough.
    When will the federal government ensure that asylum seekers are spread out among the provinces and temporarily reduce immigration in collaboration with the Government of Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, that is precisely what we are doing in the task force with Minister Fréchette and other provincial ministers. The member across the way seems to forget that Bill 101 has been around for a long time. He also seems to forget that we have been transferring $5.2 billion since 2015 to Quebec, without accountability, for francization.
    Obviously, if Quebec needs more francophone immigrants, we are here to help.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals themselves do not respect Bill 101.
    Quebec's French language commissioner is clear. There are currently 20,000 people coming to Quebec every month who need French classes. Only 8,000 of them register with Francisation Québec, which cannot keep up. We simply cannot maintain our current immigration levels without weakening the French language in Quebec. In fact, that is the purely mathematical observation of Quebec's French language commissioner.
    Will the federal government finally respect Quebec's integration capacity?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, it appears that the member opposite is asking the question of the wrong legislature.
    It should be noted that under the Canada-Quebec agreement, Quebec holds the majority of the power to select francophone immigrants. It has the power and the ability to do so. Considering the $5.2 billion it has received in transfers since 2015, it also has the financial capacity to do it all and without accountability, either.
    When it comes to accountability, Quebeckers are the ones who need to demand answers.
    Mr. Speaker, financial resources are a key aspect of our integration capacity. However, it is hard to ask people to learn French when they cannot even manage to feed themselves.
    In Drummondville alone, the food bank has seen a 97% increase in use this year. It has to turn people away. That increase includes asylum seekers and foreign workers. A disappointed immigrant told the organization, “I didn't think it would be like this in Canada”. He is right.
    Will the minister finally take action and understand that exceeding integration capacity means being responsible for a humanitarian crisis?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, again, he is going to blame immigrants for rising food prices. Come on, we have to be reasonable.
    It is clear that Canada is going to play a role, and it must bear some responsibility in all this. That is why we are working closely with Quebec to send asylum seekers to other provinces. There is work to be done at several levels. It is a job I look forward to working on with Ms. Fréchette.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it has been nine years of the NDP-Liberal Prime Minister, and Canadians are fleeing Canada and moving south in record numbers. Tens of thousands, the highest number in 10 years, are escaping the Prime Minister's economic ruin, fleeing so they can afford to live, afford to buy a home and stop paying for the government's bloat. This is an inconvenient truth from the Prime Minister's very own media machine, the CBC, this morning.
    How many more Canadians have to leave their country before the Prime Minister realizes that his government is just not worth the cost?
    Mr. Speaker, there it is. I wondered, as they continually put down our country, who they want us to be and what they want to emulate. Now we know that they prefer to have a United States model, for example, of health care.
    I was down south a couple of months ago with my partner, and an individual fell over. When they came conscious after I called 911, their concern was not their health; their concern was money, that they did not have the money for care. I do not want to live in that country.
    On this side, we will fight for public health care, we will fight against the cuts the Conservatives want to bring to our health care system and we will make sure that every Canadian gets access to the care they need.
    Mr. Speaker, their plan is driving Canadians out of this country in droves. More than 126,000 Canadians left to go stateside in 2022. That is a 71% increase from the year before. It is doctors, nurses, mechanics and young Canadians with university degrees. Do the Liberals not get why they are leaving? The Prime Minister's policies are hurting them.
    When will the Prime Minister realize that Canadians are just not that into him?
     Mr. Speaker, families like mine chose to come to Canada from places that were difficult and where there were challenges. Canadians are proud of the country we have. Conservatives keep talking this country down, but there are people around the world who would choose to come to this country and who are choosing to come to this country every single day for freedom and for the capacity to be who they are, to love who they love and to be proud of their traditions. They are able to do that in this country.
    We have health care. We have the things that Canadians and all those around the world are desperately seeking. We will keep fighting for that on this side of the House while the Conservatives keep talking this country down.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years of the NDP-Liberal Prime Minister, Canadians know how unaffordable life has become, and the facts speak for themselves. They are so glaringly obvious that even the CBC of all places is covering the record surge of Canadians moving to the United States. Some 126,000 Canadians moved to the U.S. in 2022 alone, a 70% increase in the last decade. There are Facebook groups, some as big as 55,000 members, that are finding ways and sharing tips on how to move out of Canada.
    If things are so great, why are a record number of Canadians moving to the United States?
    Mr. Speaker, while we are talking about the United States, let us just take a moment to reflect on what women in that country are going through: a lack of access to reproductive choice. I read an article in The New York Times yesterday about the number of women who are dying because they cannot access abortion care in their states. That is the kind of future that the Conservatives want for Canadian women, and we will fight for their freedom.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, every year, hundreds of festivals light up communities across Canada. In Edmonton, the internationally renowned Fringe Festival supports thousands of artists, volunteers and visitors, generating $16 million in economic benefits. Despite this, the Fringe Festival and other festivals have had their federal funding significantly cut. This is devastating for our festivals and for our communities. These are already-promised funding agreements.
    Why is the government cutting funding and hurting Canadian arts and culture?

  (1450)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, since it gives me an opportunity to talk about budget 2024, in which we reinvested $31 million in festivals. The Fringe Festival should also benefit from that.
    We know how important culture is to all communities across Canada, especially after the pandemic. Festivals are truly fantastic occasions for communities to come together to share cultural events that bring people closer and tell Canadian stories.
    Unfortunately, the Conservatives will vote against that in budget 2024, just as they will vote against all other support for the cultural community across the country.

[English]

Mental Health and Addictions

    Mr. Speaker, 523 people in Toronto died last year from toxic drugs, and still the Liberals rejected the City of Toronto's request to take a health-based approach to tackling this crisis without offering any other solutions. Then there are the Conservatives, who keep yelling out harmful disinformation and attacking real people. People are dying, and Canada needs to take a compassionate approach: treatment, housing and health care.
    Will the minister reconsider Toronto's proposal to tackle this crisis and save lives?
    Mr. Speaker, we are guided by the lens of public health and public safety. We refused the Toronto Public Health request because it did not adequately protect public health and maintain public safety. We follow science. We listen to families, doctors and people with lived and living experience because we know what works: a full continuum of support, from prevention and harm reduction to treatment.

Women and Gender Equality

    Mr. Speaker, if I believe in something, I defend it. Our government firmly believes in a woman's right to choose, which is why we are unwavering in our defence of abortion rights in Parliament and in our communities.
    Conservative caucus members demonize abortion and would rather ban it from Canada. The Leader of the Opposition outright refuses to defend abortion. Why is he so silent? Canadians have a right to know where their leaders stand on abortion.
    Can the Minister of Justice please let us know the government's position?
     Mr. Speaker, on this day in 1990, members of Parliament passed a Conservative bill that would sentence doctors to jail for providing abortions. Thankfully, that bill died in the Senate.
    Abortion is health care. Canadian women should always have access to abortion. Recognizing this constitutional right to abortion, Liberal Bill C-75 removed abortion from our Criminal Code entirely in 2019. That is the exact same bill the Conservative leader keeps promising to repeal.
    While Conservatives speak at anti-abortion rallies and venerate American restrictions on abortion, this Liberal government will always stand up for women's rights.

[Translation]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, in Ville-Marie, where the mayor of Montreal was elected, it takes 540 days to get a building permit.
    What is more, the Bloc Québécois voted against the bill to build housing. That is called incompetence. It is absolutely ridiculous that this Liberal-Bloc government is not demanding that the cities speed up housing construction.
    Why is the Prime Minister rejecting common sense and still protecting the incompetence of the mayors who support him?
    There is a basic concept in math called magnitude. The number one is smaller than the number ten. Therefore, six is smaller than thousands. One plan is much greater than zero plans.
    The only thing the party across the way wants to do is make cuts to infrastructure and insult mayors. That builds zero housing units.
    Mr. Speaker, after nine years of this government that is not worth the cost, the CMHC is saying that Canada needs 5.8 million housing units to address the housing affordability crisis.
    This Liberal-Bloc government is building fewer homes than in the 1970s. It is truly scandalous.
    The Conservative act to build homes and not bureaucracy is a logical solution. Why is the Prime Minister protecting the incompetence of Liberal mayors instead of building housing?

  (1455)  

    Zero is a lot less than 179 agreements with municipalities across the country, 200,000 is less than 240,000, and zero housing units is still zero.
    Their plan is zero. That simply does not work.
    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are paying the price for this Prime Minister's nine years in power. The housing crisis is hitting them hard.
    In Ville-Marie, the mayor of Montreal's administration takes 540 days to get a building permit. That is quite a number: 540 days. Given the unrelenting housing crisis, that is sheer incompetence.
    Quebeckers are suffering, yet the Bloc Québécois is voting in favour of $500 billion in spending and against common-sense solutions to this crisis.
    Can the Liberal-Bloc government get down to business and help build housing in Montreal and across Quebec, once and for all?
    Mr. Speaker, today we are talking about math. There is one small number that is easy to forget because it is so small: six.
    Six is the number of affordable housing units that the Conservative leader, the champion insult-hurler, built from coast to coast to coast during his tenure as housing minister. He built six small housing units. In contrast, the Government of Canada funded the construction of 134 affordable housing units over the past few months in the riding of my colleague who spoke moments ago.
    Nevertheless, the insult-hurler-in-chief continues to insult Quebec municipalities.
    Mr. Speaker, nine is more than six. For nine years, under this Prime Minister, more and more Quebeckers have been living on the streets because of the lack of affordable housing across Canada.
    The Liberal-Bloc government has doubled the cost of rent. In Montreal alone, it takes two years to get a building permit on a good day. Once again, the incompetence is on full display. Quebeckers need solutions, yet the Bloc Québécois voted against our Conservative leader's affordable housing plan.
    Can the Liberal-Bloc government help Canadians across Canada once and for all by helping to build housing?
    Mr. Speaker, let us put the math aside and steer the discussion to something they love to talk about: common sense.
    Building a house involves certain essentials called infrastructure, like water, electricity, sidewalks and roads. However, one of the areas that Conservatives want to cut back on is infrastructure, which municipalities need so they can build housing.
    Again, there is plan one, which provides for three million housing units, and plan zero, which provides for zero housing.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec's justice minister informed us in March that there had been 109 stays of proceedings for unreasonable delays in Quebec alone last year.
    How can we expect the public to have confidence in our justice system when the course of justice is being impeded? We have been sounding the alarm for years now about this government's careless attitude when it comes to appointing judges. There is still a shortage of nearly 60 judges, and it is a recurring problem.
    Does the Minister of Justice think it is acceptable for trials to be cancelled because he did not bother to appoint judges?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the Bloc Québécois member's question.
    I have appointed judges to the bench at the fastest rate in Canadian history. Some 113 judges were appointed in my first 10 months. However, there is always more to do. We are in the process of getting it done.
    With regard to delays in the criminal justice system, we have invested $700 million to improve access to legal aid, which will help speed up trials.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is obviously in favour of holding trials within a reasonable time, but when people charged with murder or other crimes against the person escape justice due to the backlog in our courts, we are not on board.
    The minister's statistics aside, releasing violent, dangerous people because there happens to be a shortage of judges has serious consequences on public safety and trust in the justice system.
    Will the minister support our bill so that people accused of violent crimes will no longer be released simply because the courts ran out of time to try them?
    Mr. Speaker, just to be clear, the bill that the Bloc Québécois tabled today proposes using the notwithstanding clause under section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    The opposition leader opened the floodgates last month when he stated that he would use the notwithstanding clause to trample on the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the charter.
    Now we see another federal party deciding that the charter is optional. Nevertheless, our government will always protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the charter.

[English]

Mental Health and Addictions

     Mr. Speaker, earlier today in the health committee, we heard powerful testimony from indigenous leader Earl Thiessen, executive director of Oxford House, who said that safe supply was akin to pharmaceutical colonialization.
    Will the Prime Minister listen to indigenous leaders, like Earl, and put an immediate end to this dangerous government drug trafficking program?
     Mr. Speaker, it is important to recognize that there is not one perspective on the best way forward to this toxic drug supply that is facing the country. That is why this government is focused on providing tools that meet the needs of communities. In fact, if communities are not comfortable with safe supply, then they are not using safe supply. To allege that this approach writ large across the country would not have detrimental effects is false.
     We, on this side, are focused on saving the lives of our friends' children, and we will continue to do that.
    Mr. Speaker, last night, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions said that the Prime Minister's deadly experiment of hard drug legalization in B.C. was a success. After nine years of the NDP-Liberal Prime Minister, drug overdose deaths are up 380% in B.C.
    The minister refused to rule out expanding the drug legalization in Toronto, or Montreal or anywhere else in Canada. The message is clear: The NDP-Liberal government will import death, disorder, crime and chaos caused by this deadly experiment.
     Why will the Prime Minister not abandon his deadly hard drug policies?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, what we have been hearing from the Conservative side is dehumanizing. They are basically saying that we need to clean up the streets because these people are a bother.
    On this side of the House, we are here to help people who use drugs. They did not choose to become addicts. They did not wake up one morning and say that they were going to start using drugs. The important thing is to give them a range of options so that they can find their way forward and overcome their addiction, which is not a criminal law problem. It is a mental health problem.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions doubled down and said that her deadly experiment of legalizing hard drugs in British Columbia was a success. For the minister, success means a 380% increase in the number of drug-related deaths.
    In 2023, the mayor of Montreal reiterated her radical request to legalize hard drugs like heroin and crack. This morning in committee, Montreal's regional director of public health very clearly said “yes” to replicating the B.C. model, even though it has been a dismal failure.
    Can the minister reassure Quebeckers and tell them that she will never replicate her hard drug experiment in Montreal?
    Before recognizing the hon. parliamentary secretary, I would like to encourage all members to refrain from speaking until they are recognized by the Chair. I am speaking primarily to the member for Courtenay—Alberni, who had the privilege of asking a question.

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, I also happen to sit on the Standing Committee on Health. In recent meetings, we heard what my colleague from the other side just said. We also heard that we need to have a whole range of options, because there is more than one way of getting off drugs.
    We need many options, strategies and initiatives that could potentially suit everyone. That is the direction we are heading in. With respect to the application for exemption, we have not received one from Montreal yet. If that happens, we will do what we need to do.

[English]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, taxing climate change, reducing emissions and moving to a low-carbon future is a top priority for Canadians and for our Liberal government. We are implementing an aggressive climate action plan while trying to keep costs down for Canadians.
     We recently learned that the PBO has agreed to do a revised analysis on his report on the costs of carbon pricing to Canadians, as he acknowledged some errors in the original analysis.
    Could the Minister of Environment update the House on the benefits of the Canada carbon rebate to Canadians and comment on the PBO's recent publication?
     Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, on April 17, put an update on his website, saying that the last estimate he had done was based on faulty premises. We thank the PBO for doing that. In fact, it confirms what we have known all along and what economists and independent organizations in the country are saying, which is that eight out of 10 Canadians are better off with the federal pricing on carbon. It helps fight climate change. It helps Canadians with affordability. We thank the PBO for doing that.

Natural Resources

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP-Liberal government is once again hiring foreign mercenaries to shoot deer on a B.C. island. This will cost taxpayers over $12 million to cull less than 900 invasive deer, this while local hunters had previously removed over 2,000 of the invasive fallow deer for free.
    Why is the minister wasting $12 million on a deer hunt that Canadian hunters said they would do for free?
     Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge of this issue. We will look into it and get back to the member as quickly as possible.
     Mr. Speaker, we have Canadian hunters that say they would even pay to hunt these deer, yet the NDP-Liberals have found a way to make it cost millions.
    Scott Carpenter says, “It’s a real slap in the face to Canadian hunters, and there’s millions of us in this country who would’ve been more than happy to spend our own money to go in there and harvest some of the meat ourselves...To...invite foreigners into the country because they felt we were incapable of doing it ourselves, it’s insulting to say the least.”
     What does the NDP-Liberal government have against Canadian hunters?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, we will look into it and get back to the member as fast as possible.
     Mr. Speaker, it just goes to show that if it is not climate change, they do not know anything about it.
    In 2015, the Prime Minister told Canadians that one did not need an AR-15 to bring down a deer, yet he has hired foreign mercenaries with semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines to do just that. The NDP-Liberals are spending $12 million to cull a few hundred deer on Sidney Island. The waste is typical; the hypocrisy is palpable.
    Why does the Prime Minister continue to demonize hunters, while finding the most expensive way to do something that local hunters would have done for free?

  (1510)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I answered this question twice in English. I know my English could stand some improvement, so I will answer in French.
    We will look into this matter and provide an answer to the member as quickly as possible.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian task force on preventative health just announced its updated breast cancer screening guidelines. I am disappointed that the guidelines do not reflect concerns put forward by many Canadians.
    Could the Minister of Health please share his views on the task force recommendations?
     Mr. Speaker, I share the member's concern. I was concerned and disappointed, frankly, at the recommendations that were there. They do not seem to comport to the experts who I have spoken to across the country.
    That is why I have asked immediately for the chief public health officer to review this independent task force decision, to make sure we convene the best science and the best experts to be able to inform the decision that makes sure that every woman in the country gets the guidance they need to protect their health.

Emergency Preparedness

     Mr. Speaker, Canadians are expecting this wildfire season to be devastating, and the minister has said the same.
     Last summer, we had to rely on our military to help battle wildfires and support communities. This year, the chief of defence staff says that is no longer an option. We need a solution.
     Canadians overwhelmingly want a dedicated national wildfire fighting force. Will the Liberals create this needed force to tackle fires, support communities and save lives?
    Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to say that our hearts go out to the families of the eight firefighters who were killed in last year's wildfire season. Over 200,000 Canadians were evacuated last year. The important thing is that we work very closely with the municipalities, the provinces and territories that have the first line of defence when it comes to fighting wildfires. We will always be there for them. We are ensuring that we have the proper resources in place to make sure we are ready for this year.

Electoral Reform

     Mr. Speaker, I had the great honour of participating yesterday in a symposium sponsored by Senator Marilou McPhedran, from the other place. It was attended by many brilliant young people arguing that the voting age should be 16 years. The #Vote16 movement includes a bunch of people over 70, like myself. Well, I am not over 70, but I am almost 70. However, my point is, all of us, regardless of party, should get behind this.
    Would the hon. Minister for Democratic Reform, responsible for the elections, let us know whether the government is prepared to listen to young people and put the voting age at 16?
     Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for the question and, in particular, for young people taking part in their democratic institutions. This is precisely what we want young people to do: be engaged. The democratic process involves Canadians all across this country at every age to take part in our democracy.
    PROC is studying this matter as well, and we have introduced reforms to the Canada Elections Act. We are going to continue to listen to Canadians to ensure that everybody can take part in the democratic process.

[Translation]

Réginald Charles Gagnon

    There have been discussions among all the parties in the House and I believe there is consent to observe a moment of silence in memory of Réginald Charles Gagnon, who was known as Cayouche.
    I invite hon. members to rise.
    [A moment of silence observed]

  (1515)  

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, it is the usual Thursday question, but for the last few days, if not weeks, the government has been having a hard time sticking to a schedule. It keeps moving more and more time allocation motions and muzzling parliamentarians on a lot of important bills.
    Can the government House leader tell us what business is planned for tomorrow and next week? Can we be certain that the schedule he shares with us today will be the same we will see next week?
    Mr. Speaker, my daily attempts to reach out to opposition members and improve the efficiency of the business of the House are always rebuffed out of hand. The Conservatives would rather filibuster, raise totally fake questions of privilege, and use all sorts of delay tactics in the House to prevent the government from passing measures that are going to help Canadians in their daily lives.
    Despite it all, I will continue to reach out to opposition members to make sure that the business of the House takes place efficiently.

[English]

     This evening, we will deal with report stage of Bill C-64 respecting pharmacare. Tomorrow, we will commence second reading of Bill C-65, the electoral participation act. On Monday, we will call Bill C-64 again, this time at third reading stage.

[Translation]

    I would also like to inform the House that next Tuesday and Thursday shall be allotted days. On Wednesday, we will consider second reading of Bill C‑61, an act respecting water, source water, drinking water, wastewater and related infrastructure on first nation lands.
    Next week, we will also give priority to Bill C‑20, an act establishing the public complaints and review commission and amending certain acts and statutory instruments, and Bill C‑40, the miscarriage of justice review commission act, also known as David and Joyce Milgaard's law.

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, earlier today in question period, one of my Alberta colleagues, the member for Calgary Forest Lawn, in asking a question, used the phrase “anti-Alberta minister” in reference to the environment minister. You asked him to rephrase his question.
    A simple Google search shows that, over the years, members of all four recognized parties in the House have used the phrase “anti-Alberta” or “anti-Quebec” in standing up for their constituents in ways that their constituents would expect them to stand up.
    I think we are not better off in the House when the list of words we cannot use gets longer and longer. I think we suffer from a lack of clarity right now as we make efforts, as members of Parliament, to stand up for our constituents.
    I would like some clarification on what language we can and cannot use because it seems to have changed significantly over the past several months.
     I would like to thank the hon. member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin for raising this issue.
    What was going through the Chair's mind on this issue is that people can have policies or they can have ideas they might characterize as one thing or the other. The thing that caught me, and I will get back to the member on this, is whether or not members should attribute that to another hon. member. That is something I will review. I thank the hon. member for raising it, and I will come back to the House on this point.
    We have another point of order. I am going to ask for a very short intervention from the member for Kingston and the Islands on this point, because we are going to come back to the House on it.

  (1520)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that I do agree with the member and what he said.
    In particular, I would bring to the attention of the Chair that there is still a member of Parliament on this side of the House who has not spoken in about a month and a half because he accused Conservatives of being pro-Russia.
    As a result, your deputy asked him to withdraw his comment. He did not want to withdraw because he believed what he was saying was correct. As a result, he has not been able to speak for about six weeks.
    In your consideration about this issue, I would ask that you also consider whether or not it is appropriate to make a statement like that, because I would agree with the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin that this would be limiting the words we can use in this House.
    I thank the hon. member for his intervention. I will consider that and come back to the House.

Privilege

Alleged Breach of Deputy Speaker's Impartiality   

[Privilege]
    Mr. Speaker, earlier this afternoon, my office submitted to you the necessary letter pursuant to Standing Order 48(2) to give notice to you of my intention to rise now and to speak to what I believe to be a potential question of privilege. The document that I will be referring to was just recently brought to my attention and I am bringing this forward at my first opportunity, as is required.
     It has come to my attention that on October 31, 2023, the member of Parliament for West Nova and our esteemed Deputy Speaker appeared in his Speaker robes in a Conservative Party advertisement. At first sight, this constitutes an improper use of the Speaker's robes, which of course are meant to be above the partisan fray. It is also worth noting that the ad specifically mentions him as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and not just as an MP.
     As outlined in the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, the role of Deputy Speaker is an important one, with the Deputy Speaker's authority being comparable to that of Speaker. Page 359 reads, “Every action of the Deputy Speaker when acting in the Speaker’s place has the same effect and validity as if the Speaker had acted,....”
    We do have some previous examples in recent months of discussions in the chamber around the principles of impartiality and of the use of House of Commons resources, namely the Speaker's robes. On December 4, 2023, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle was commenting on the appearance of the Speaker in a partisan ad while wearing his robes and when being referred to as “Speaker”. As the member pointed out:
    [The Speaker] made these remarks from the Speaker's office in the West Block while dressed in his Speaker's robes. As bad as it would have been to appear at a party convention at all, it might have at least been a little different if he had been introduced as the member for Hull—Aylmer, and worn a suit or a sweater, while standing in front of a scenic backdrop in his riding, but he was not.
    On the following day, the same member said:
    When somebody enters this place and decides to run for Speaker, they usually go to some length to assure members that they do have a non-partisan side, that they can put aside their partisanship and partisan affiliations, and that they can take the Speaker's chair, put on the Speaker's robe and be impartial.
    Again, the critical detail here is the use of the robes, which the member contends are meant to represent the impartiality of the office. Ultimately, the procedure and House affairs committee found that in using the Speaker's robes, the Speaker had effectively used House of Commons resources. On that basis, the Speaker was ordered to pay a fine.
     Mr. Speaker, as you know, earlier this week, there was also a debate over the Liberal Party of Canada's posting of an inappropriate ad featuring the Speaker, as well as partisan messaging. The party—
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon member. I am going to come back to the hon. member.
     There is a conversation between the government House leader and members on this side of the House. I am going to ask them to please take their conversation behind the curtains, so that I can hear the intervention from the hon. member for London—Fanshawe, uninterrupted.
     The hon. member.
    Mr. Speaker, I will start back at the point where I was interrupted.
     As you know, Mr. Speaker, earlier this week there was debate about the Liberal Party of Canada's posting of an inappropriate ad featuring the Speaker, as well as partisan messaging. That party took responsibility and the matter was concluded.
     I suspect that in the case of the member for West Nova and the ad I have raised today, the same is true. I believe an opportunity should be afforded to the member and to the Conservative Party of Canada to clarify who was responsible. Should the party prove to have made this decision without the knowledge or consent of the Deputy Speaker, then the member is owed an apology from the party and I would consider the matter closed.
     However, I would think that if the Deputy Speaker did approve or direct this ad wherein he is clearly using the office of Speaker for partisanship gain, then I believe, Mr. Speaker, you would have to find a prima facie case for a question of privilege. If so, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion to have this matter referred to the procedure and House affairs committee.

  (1525)  

    I thank the hon. member for London—Fanshawe for rising on this question of privilege.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, we would like to take a few moments before responding with our comments on this question of privilege at a later time.

[English]

     I also see the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader rising on his feet. I am assuming it is in a manner similar to the member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
     Mr. Speaker, you are correct. I would like to be able to review the comments that have been put on the record. We do take it seriously, and we would like to provide comment back at some point in time in the near future.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Summer Tax Break  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the Conservative Party's “axe the tax for summer” motion, which seeks to make life more affordable for Canadians and, in particular, help them with their summer road trip. I have related the story of my fond memories of taking road trips as a child. This motion comes in the context of a cost of living crisis that Canada finds itself in the middle of. What is the NDP-Liberal coalition going to do? If members can believe it, they have decided to actually hike the carbon tax by yet another 23%. This is just one step in their plan to quadruple the carbon tax over the next six years, making everything more expensive at the worst possible time.
    Now, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has been clear that most families will pay more in the carbon tax than they receive in the rebate. This year, the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family $1,963. I know that members on the other side of the aisle will jump up and say that we have it all wrong, that 80% of households are actually better off being taxed until it hurts; then the government can come to the rescue, give them some of their money back and look like heroes. However, we are saying that people should not be fooled by that sleight of hand. What the Liberals and the NDP are not telling us is that the carbon tax adds inflationary cost to everything we buy, and that has a negative impact on our economy, on our businesses and on our families.
    Here is a really good example of how that works out. Last weekend, my wife, Inga, and I took a road trip down to southern Ontario. We visited with our friends Ken and Julie Wall, who are vegetable farmers and owners of Sandy Shore Farms, on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. They related to us how it is becoming more and more difficult to compete with farmers from jurisdictions with lower taxes, such as California, Mexico, and even Central and South America, which are competing for the national North American market.
    This is what Ken sent to me in an email: “I'm an Ontario producer, and because of the Canadian carbon tax designed to reduce emissions, I get priced out of the market by competitors in non-carbon tax jurisdictions. The end result? The Canadian ag sector collapses and the carbon footprint of asparagus, which Canadians consume, grows dramatically. It is utter insanity.” That's what they do; they're specialists in asparagus.
    Now, if Ken is listening, I agree with that. It is utter insanity. This does not make economic sense at all.
    What is the solution? Conservatives want a carbon tax election, and the sooner the better, for entrepreneurs and farmers such as Ken, for other businesses across the country, for all consumers and for all Canadians. After we win the carbon tax election, we will axe the carbon tax as soon as possible. However, in the meantime, for the here and now, we are calling on the NDP-Liberal coalition to give Canadians a summer break by axing the carbon tax, the federal fuel tax, and the GST on gasoline and diesel fuel between Victoria Day and Labour Day. In that way, families could afford a simple summer vacation again.
     To pay for this, Conservatives are calling on the government to cut back on the spending on overpriced outside consultants, which is to the tune of $21 billion and has gone up by more than 100% since the Liberals took office in 2015. We are told that we have an excellent civil service, so why do we need outside consultants?
     After nine years of mismanagement of our economy by the current occupant of the Prime Minister's Office, life has become difficult for many Canadians. While the Prime Minister is off on his government-funded vacation, ordinary Canadians are having trouble funding even a simple road trip. Canadians deserve relief, not more taxes; they should be able to afford a simple road trip like the ones I took when I was a child. Let us do it for them.

  (1530)  

     Madam Speaker, the Conservatives say the average Canadian will save $670. Many of the constituents I represent might drive 10 or 15 kilometres a day, and a good percentage of them do not even drive. They take buses. Sometimes, unfortunately, they even have to take taxis.
    This policy would cut the tax, but it would also take away the rebate, I assume. How does the member square that with supporting people who quite often need support from government?
     Madam Speaker, the fact remains that the government does not have money to rebate until it first collects the money. I am calling it a sleight of hand. Citizens are going to be taxed until they hurt, and then the government will give some of the money back and look like a hero, look as though it is doing something. The government members say they have Canadians' backs, but it is only after the government has taken the money out of people's pockets in the first place.
    When they stick-handle around this very difficult question, the Liberals and the NDP always try to avoid the fact that carbon tax is inflationary. I gave the example of my friend Ken Wall, who is a farmer. It is hurting his business. It is not reducing the carbon footprint of the vegetables that he produces or that Canadians are consuming.
    It is time to axe the tax. It does not make sense.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, is my colleague aware that the carbon tax does not apply in Quebec? I wish someone would recognize that at some point. He is therefore asking the government to create a major imbalance between people in Quebec and people in the rest of Canada.
    If the Conservatives suspend the carbon tax and the gas tax for the entire summer, without suspending the rebates that the federal government pays to families, because we know that money is returned to lower-income people, that is the equivalent of a $3-billion subsidy that could go straight into the pockets of the oil companies, which will absorb the rest of the price, as they usually do.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am very sensitive to the fact that different provinces want to handle their tax regimes differently, and I respect Quebec for wanting to do that. British Columbia has its own carbon tax as well, so it is not even caught by this federal government backstop. However, I can say that the carbon tax is becoming as unpopular in British Columbia as it is in the rest of the country, particularly after the federal government started to force British Columbia to raise the carbon tax beyond what the provincial government has done.
    We are in interesting times in B.C. There is an election coming up, and I would encourage my fellow British Columbians to vote for a political party that promises to axe the tax, as the federal Conservatives are going to do.

  (1535)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a relief to finally hear a B.C. MP stand and acknowledge facts. The federal carbon tax does not apply to British Columbia. I will remind my colleague that it was actually members of the B.C. Liberal Party, now B.C. United, and the B.C. Conservative Party, Kevin Falcon and John Rustad, who were in government and brought it in. In fact, until just a couple of years ago, they were patting themselves on the back for bringing in one of the biggest carbon tax initiatives in the world.
    Today, we have members such as my colleague, who are saying we should axe the tax. The member for Carleton, the leader of the Conservative Party, is going to British Columbia and saying he would get rid of the carbon tax; in fact, no prime minister has authority to get rid of the carbon tax in B.C. It was brought in by the right-of-centre party.
    Could the member tell me when he is finally going to talk to his leader and help his leader understand that he does not have the authority to remove the carbon tax in British Columbia?
     Madam Speaker, the member says the federal tax does not apply in British Columbia. It actually does. The federal government forced the British Columbia government to increase the carbon tax to beyond what the provincial government had ever planned to do, to match the federal level.
    I would just reassert that the carbon tax has become as unpopular in British Columbia as it has in other places in Canada. Again, I would urge my fellow British Columbians to vote for a party that says it will axe that tax. It is not working. We do not need it. It is inflationary.
     Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and address yet another opposition day motion.
    Those who are following the debate will find that, more often than not, virtually all the time, the Conservative Party of Canada, the official opposition, better known as the Reformers, continue to bring the one bumper sticker campaign to the floor of the House of Commons on their opposition days. The bumper sticker says, “Cut the tax.”
     It is interesting to hear some of the Conservative members talk about other issues. However, the leadership of the Conservative Party, which comes out of the current leader, is so focused on this one aspect. This is not only in terms of what is consistently being discussed on an opposition day but also the manner in which it is portrayed to Canadians as a whole.
    We talk a great deal about AI and social media, and how we get a lot of fake news and misinformation being spread, as well as the role that social media plays in that. I sincerely and genuinely believe that this issue really amplifies the degree to which the Conservative Party of Canada believes it can fool Canadians. Conservatives have adopted the bumper sticker saying “axe the tax”, they travel around the country, and they talk about that.
    The Conservatives continually espouse false information, whether it is through the leader of the Conservative Party talking to a group of people in any area of the country or through social media. I will give some very specific examples. The Conservatives say they are going to get rid of the carbon tax, but how often do we hear their leader saying we are going to get rid of the carbon rebate? He does not draw that connection.
    People need to appreciate and understand that, when the leader says we are going to get rid of the carbon tax, that also means the carbon rebate. We should be concerned about that. Eighty per cent of the constituents I represent actually get more money back from the rebate than they pay in tax. The concept and the sound policy of having a price on pollution benefits everyone. We all get to participate in reducing emissions.
    There is an incentive through the price on pollution to reduce emissions. For example, if Canadians upgrade the windows in their house, when they have an older home; add a little more insulation; or buy a car that does not consume as much in fossil fuels, then they will have more disposable income. The percentage of their rebate will be that much higher than they would pay in terms of the carbon tax.
    Everyone benefits. We can take a look at everyone in that 80%-plus. I represent many people who actually just ride a bus. They do not have a vehicle. Those individuals are actually benefiting. I would suggest that the individuals who are riding the bus are often not high-income individuals. This not exclusively true, but it refers to a very high percentage of them.
    We are giving a rebate to the middle- and lower-income individuals who are actually riding the bus.

  (1540)  

    We are also providing an incentive for those who want to fix up their homes or make them more energy-efficient. In return, they will get more money back from the rebate than they pay in the tax. It is sound public policy, so whenever the leader of the Conservative Party and his minions go around saying they are going to axe the tax and giving the impression that Canadians will benefit from that, it is false information, because 80% of Canadians will actually receive more money back than they will pay in. They do not have to believe me—
    I have to interrupt the hon. parliamentary secretary for a point of order from the hon. member for Edmonton West.
    Madam Speaker, I figured you would catch it, but I saw you were busy. The hon. member across the way just referred to the Conservative Party members as minions. I believe that is unparliamentary. I would ask him to apologize.
    I am not sure it is unparliamentary, but it is definitely pejorative. I would like to invite the hon. parliamentary secretary to be more judicious in his choice of adjectives.
     Madam Speaker, I would not want to offend anyone on the other side, so let me withdraw that.
    The point is that the collective Conservative reformers across the way have no problem at all in misleading Canadians. When they say that they are going to get rid of the carbon tax, that also includes the rebate, which means 80% of Canadians will be worse off financially. They will have less disposable income. That is fairly significant, not to mention the environmental aspect that I just finished amplifying, but it does not end there. It does not matter where the leader of the Conservative Party goes; this is what he talks about.
     Some provinces do not have the carbon tax, because this is a federal backstop program. In other words, any province can come up with a plan of its own and opt out of the federal program. The province of Quebec and the province of British Columbia are not in that program. Why is it that the Conservative leadership does not even want to recognize that? That is why I say there is misinformation or misleading information that consistently comes out of the Conservative Party.
    Let us take a look at the motion today. It was interesting, as I kind of enjoyed question period. I kind of wish it had been extended today, in one sense, because of the questions that were being asked. I thought we saw a little bit of shame, possibly, that was starting to creep into the Conservative benches. Think about what they are proposing. They are saying they want to get rid of the carbon tax and the gas tax for the next few months. That way, the average family would get $670 in savings. In order to achieve that $670 in savings, people would actually have to drive. The more they drive, the more they get back, and gas is not free. Conservatives are encouraging people to go out there and consume as much gas as they can to actually get that $670 break from the Conservative Party.
     There are a few things that I would like to suggest my colleagues across the way should focus a little bit of time on. As they focus on that, they should think about the word “hypocrisy”. Here is one of the things they should think about. Let us look at the carbon tax increase that occurred on April 1. How many seats are there for the province of Alberta? I think there are 34 seats. I might be wrong. I might have the number wrong. Out of the 34 seats, I think the Conservatives have 30-plus of those seats. Then there is the Conservative Premier of Alberta. In Alberta, on April 1, the Conservative premier brought in a gas tax hike that was larger than the carbon tax that was increased on April 1. Members will recall that not one, but numerous Conservatives were hanging from the ceiling here yelling and screaming about the tax increase on gas that was taking effect in April. They were jumping all over the place, condemning the government. On the other hand, how many of those Conservatives, in particular those reformers from Alberta, stood in their place here in Ottawa, or on their social media accounts, to criticize the Conservative policy guru from Alberta? I did not hear one of them.

  (1545)  

    I say to them across the way right now, is there any Conservative member of Parliament who was critical of the gas tax hike in Alberta and the impact that it was going to have on Albertans? Is there one Conservative member, of the hundred members of their caucus, who actually stood up for those Albertans the same way they were critical of the Government of Canada for the increase that was less than the Alberta increase? The short answer is no. Not one of them stood up to criticize it in any fashion. They would say that it is provincial. I have been here long enough to recognize that when it comes to jurisdiction, on issues of this nature, Conservatives have no problems standing up. All one needs to do is take a little bit of a history or a look at some of the things that were said in Hansard.
    I can tell members that, at the end of the day, the policy that is being proposed really does not make sense. When one stops and thinks about what the Conservatives are talking about, they go around saying, and again, it feeds into this misinformation, that they are going to give a $670 break to average Canadians this summer, between now and September 1 or the long weekend in September. That is a conditional amount of money that they are actually giving, as I have pointed out.
     What does it actually mean? A couple of my colleagues did some math on that issue. If we think about it, the carbon tax is 17.6¢ a litre. The gas tax is 10¢ a litre. If we add the GST to it, that gives us just under 29¢ a litre. If we look at $670 and do the math, that means an individual would have to use 3,293 litres. When we average things out, in terms of what the average person drives, in terms of a gas vehicle or a gas engine, it works out to approximately 37,000 kilometres.
    As has been pointed out, whether by the deputy House leader or the Minister of Environment earlier today, who I thought did a fantastic job in explaining it to the official opposition, one could literally, if there were a highway between the North Pole and the South Pole, visit the polar bears at the North Pole, and then drive all the way down and visit the penguins at the South Pole, and still have thousands of kilometres to be able to drive. If one did all of that driving, then one would benefit from that $670.
    I do not know how much of a benefit that is, because people are going to pay a whole lot more on the gas in order to achieve that $670 amount, yet Conservatives seem to think that this is a sound policy. That does not say anything about the policy that the Conservatives do not have in regard to our environment. On the one hand, their understanding of basic arithmetic seems to be really off, I would suggest. As was suggested by the Minister of Environment and others, the Conservatives need to get that calculator fixed or go back to some AI or maybe do a bit of a Google search on it. At the end of the day, their math just does not add up. If one takes a look at those who would actually benefit from it, I would suggest that it is a very small percentage of people.

  (1550)  

    If we factor in those individuals who do not drive, which is a fairly significant percentage of our population, there is absolutely zero benefit for them, yet the Conservatives go around saying that they are going to give a $670 break to people this summer. Just do not ask them to explain it because the moment they have to explain it, I suspect they would be lucky if 10% of Canadians would actually benefit from it in any way, and that is being somewhat generous with the numbers.
    What about the impact in terms of the environment itself? I would suggest that it reinforces something that Canadians already know, and it is that the Conservative Party of Canada does not have a climate policy. There are still members of the Conservative/Reform caucus who are climate deniers. I still remember a resolution, not that long ago, that passed within the Conservative annual meeting that denied the existence of climate change.
    There are genuine concerns, and we wait with bated breath until we can actually hear something of substance. The last time we actually heard something was two or three leaders ago, when Erin O'Toole was the leader of the Conservative Party. He made it very clear to Canadians that Canada needs to have a price on pollution, and he came up with a plan, but he was not alone.
     Stephen Harper actually had a plan for a price on pollution, too. He did not do a good job in implementing it, but he did have a plan. The thing that Stephen Harper and Erin O'Toole had in common was that they both believed in a price on pollution. In fact, for the Conservative candidates in the last election, all they need to do is open up their platform book, and they will see that they supported a price on pollution, but unlike Erin O'Toole or Stephen Harper, the far-right Conservative Party today, which I see as more of a Reform party, to be honest, are so far to the right that they do not believe in things such as climate change.
    The environment is not something that they have truly demonstrated any interest in dealing with when it comes to public policy. They are more interested in the flashy bumper sticker, even though that bumper sticker is misleading Canadians. That is truly unfortunate because young and old alike understand the importance of our environment. Constituents, not only mine but also 80% plus of all Canadians, are getting a net benefit with the carbon rebate.

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