Skip to main content
Start of content

House Publications

The Debates are the report—transcribed, edited, and corrected—of what is said in the House. The Journals are the official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House. The Order Paper and Notice Paper contains the listing of all items that may be brought forward on a particular sitting day, and notices for upcoming items.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication
Skip to Document Navigation Skip to Document Content

44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 144

CONTENTS

Thursday, December 8, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 144
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    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 six petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Canada Early Learning and Child Care Act

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

[Translation]

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the bilateral mission to Accra, Ghana, from May 21 to 27, 2022.

[English]

Income Tax Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today to table this bill. This bill calls on the Government of Canada to increase the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue responders from $3,000 to $10,000 in the Income Tax Act.
    We know that search and rescue responders and firefighters always show up—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I will ask the hon. member to start over. I am sure we all want to hear about his bill. I ask the hon. members to keep it down so that we can hear what is going on.
    The hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, please start from the top. For the history books, this is the first time I have had to stop everyone so that we can hear a private member's bill start over from the top. Please, go ahead.
    Mr. Speaker, I think firefighters would appreciate that.
    It is a privilege to rise today to table this bill. This bill calls on the Government of Canada to increase the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue responders from $3,000 to $10,000 in the Income Tax Act.
    We know that search and rescue responders and firefighters always show up in difficult crises such as fires, floods and accidents in our local communities. Ninety thousand of Canada's 126,000 firefighters are volunteer firefighters. These essential first responders give their time, training and efforts to Canadians on a voluntary basis. They often put their lives at risk, while allowing local governments to keep property taxes lower than if paid services were required.
    Increasing this tax credit would allow these essential volunteers to keep more of their hard-earned money, which is likely to be spent in the communities where they live. An increase in this tax credit could also assist with the volunteer recruitment and retention.
    I previously tabled Bill C-201 on this issue, but I brought forward this bill today because it would define eligible volunteer firefighting services and would provide clarity on when this tax credit would apply.
    I thank the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs for their work on this issue as well as thank the many Canadians who have signed petitions in support.
    I hope all members in the House will show support for the bill and show respect for all those volunteer firefighters across Canada who put their lives at risk to serve their communities.
    I thank my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for seconding this bill.

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

  (1005)  

Petitions

Hazaras 

    Mr. Speaker, I have one petition to present today from Canadians who are in solidarity with the Hazara community and the violence it has experienced in Afghanistan over decades.
    The petitioners call on the government to formally recognize the 1891-93 ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Hazaras as a genocide and to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I join my hon. Conservative Party colleague in tabling a petition. I have the honour to present today in the House a petition that was signed by citizens who, like us, want to stand up for the rights of the oppressed.
     This petition seeks to have the government formally recognize the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hazaras from 1891 to 1893 as a genocide and to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.
    If we do not speak on behalf of the oppressed, then who will?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to present a petition on behalf of Canadians across the country who are very concerned about the persecution and the genocide that has happened to the Hazara people, which goes all the way back to 1891. We know that Hazaras continue to face systematic and targeted persecution in Afghanistan, including the killing of newborn infants and the attacks on men, women, children and elders.
    As Canada has a special relationship with Afghanistan, these citizens are calling on the Government of Canada to formally recognize the 1891-93 ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Hazaras as a genocide. They are asking us to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.

Health  

    Mr. Speaker, with the growing number of senior Canadians comes an exponential increase in the onset of diseases of the brain and mind, which is creating a huge pressure on our health care system. It impacts our elderly, their families and their caregivers.
    There is a need to bring together stakeholders with expertise to shape public policy on this issue. The petition calls for a national brain and mind health week beginning every first Monday of October.

Human Organ Trafficking  

    Mr. Speaker, Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that consists of meditation, exercise and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. The petitioners are calling upon parliamentarians to do what they can with regard to organ harvesting and, in particular, to pass a resolution to establish measures to stop the Chinese communist regime's crime of systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.
    I am presenting this petition because of what we will be voting on next Wednesday.

Canada Post Corporation  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of the good people of Winnipegosis who were forced to drive over 40 minutes to pick up their mail after Canada Post closed their local post office multiple times. These rural residents are feeling punished for simply living in rural Canada. These are valid concerns that are amplified by seniors, persons with disabilities and those who do not have the ability to travel.
    The petitioners are calling on the Liberal government to provide a detailed explanation of why this essential service was closed despite the anticipated staffing shortages, and are calling on the government to work with Canada Post and the Minister of Rural Economic Development to ensure that these temporary post office closures in rural areas are not normalized. I support the people of Winnipegosis.

  (1010)  

Expanded Polystyrene  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from people across my riding who are very concerned about expanded polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, and the impact it has on the marine environment. It is incredibly difficult to clean EPS off beaches and shorelines. We know that it is getting into the marine environment and causing a lot of challenges. We also know that the qathet Regional District and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities have unanimously endorsed the prohibition of EPS in marine environments.
    The petitioners are asking for the government to take action, and I hope it does so soon.

Iran  

    Mr. Speaker, I am tabling two petitions today on behalf of my constituents.
    The first petition is on behalf of Canadians of Persian heritage, as well as Rojhelat Kurdish heritage who live in Calgary. It calls on the government to immediately implement a Conservative motion passed in 2018 and to list Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
    The petitioners remind the Government of Canada that Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which was shot down by the Iranian regime, claimed the lives of 176 people, including 57 Canadians and many permanent residents of Canada. They also remind the Government of Canada that the IRGC is responsible for terrorism across the Middle East. It is a huge part of the Iranian regime's forces, and it is being currently used to oppress the people of Iran who are fighting for their freedoms.

Cost of Living  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of constituents in my riding who are calling on the Minister of Finance to suspend the federal excise tax and carbon tax for Canadians until the cost of living crisis has been resolved.
    They are reminding the Government of Canada, in their petition, that the price of gasoline is way up all across the country, that the clean fuel standard will cost the average family over $1,300, that mortgages are going to be costing about $7,000 more in the new year, and that the average costs for a family, because of the inflationary spending of the government, will be another $3,000. Therefore, they are asking the government to cut the carbon tax and the excise tax on fuel, home heating and groceries.

First Responders Tax Credit  

    Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise I am now tabling a petition on the firefighter tax credit. Firefighters, especially in rural communities, put their lives on the line. Petitioners from my riding of Courtenay—Alberni, from Courtenay, Cumberland, Royston, Dashwood, Parksville, Qualicum, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake, have all signed this petition. The tax code of Canada currently allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if they do 200 hours of volunteer services in a calendar year. The petitioners want to move that to $10,000. They are calling for this action to take place. It is something hopefully all the House would support.

Ukraine  

    Mr. Speaker, I am presenting one petition today from 136 esteemed Canadians who have recognized there are a number of issues when Ukrainians come to Canada. They are calling on the federal government to do the four following things: develop a federal program to bring Ukrainian children to Canada for temporary shelter; ensure they have access to the necessary medical services via provincial insurance programs; ensure they have access to education, services and scholarships in Canada; and ensure necessary financial support for Canadian families hosting those children.

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.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax  

    That, given that, (i) Canada's Food Price Report 2023 states that a typical farm will pay $150,000 in carbon tax per year when the carbon tax is tripled, (ii) families will pay an additional $1,065 for groceries in 2023 for a total of $16,288 due to increased costs being passed on to consumers, (iii) food bank visits were at an all-time high reaching 1.5 million in March 2022, a 15% increase from the previous year according to Food Banks Canada, (iv) 20% of Canadians are skipping meals and grocery price inflation is at 11%, the House call on the government to cancel the carbon tax that is applied to all food inputs and production, including: (a) all farm fuels; (b) grain drying; (c) fertilizer; (d) transportation; and (e) other appropriate aspects of the food supply system.

[English]

     Since today is the final allotted day for the supply period ending December 10, the House will now go through the usual procedures to consider and dispose of the supply bill.
    In view of current recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bill be distributed now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

  (1015)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Thursday, December 8, may go down in history. It is a great day for all Canadians, because today the House of Commons has a unique opportunity to give some relief to all Canadian consumers who are suffering the effects of inflation, the increase in the cost of living and the increase in the price of food by doing something that is only right.
    I am very optimistic and fully hope that all of my colleagues here in the House will finally, this time, do the right thing and vote in favour of our motion, which will cancel the carbon tax applied to all food chain inputs and production.
    We are giving all members of the House a unique opportunity to do what is only right to give some relief to all Canadians. This motion seeks to help get things back on track for Canadians who are suffering, those who are struggling to put food on the table.
    We asked for this many times. Many times we begged the government and the other parties to support motions simply seeking to reduce the carbon tax, or at least to not increase it. This time we are going a step further. We are asking them to cancel the tax on an essential need, namely food.
    This is a day that may go down in history or that Canadians may remember for a long time. In fact, some parties may decide to vote against the motion seeking to give Canadians a break.
    I would like to say something right from the start. I know that some members will probably ask why the member for Mégantic—L’Érable has risen to demand that the carbon tax be cancelled when it does not apply to Quebec.
    I would remind the members opposite that Quebec is not self-sufficient when it comes to oil, food and supplies. Quebec has to buy products from around the world and especially, we hope, from everywhere in Canada.
    The food that comes from the western provinces, the potatoes that come from the Atlantic provinces, all of that has to be brought in by truck. Unfortunately, the carbon tax applies to all of it, and the tax will increase over the next few years. Those are the facts. To deny those facts is to deny the reality that, right now, Quebeckers live in the province most affected by increasing food prices, according to “Canada’s Food Price Report 2023”. This report was issued by Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan. We are talking about 11%. Quebec is the hardest-hit province. However, it is the only province that is not subject to the carbon tax. That is what the Liberals are going to say today, despite the fact that I just demonstrated that such arguments are totally ridiculous.
    I would like to talk about something else. Who will the carbon tax hurt the most? It will hit agricultural producers and farmers in the western provinces hardest. They will have to pay much higher tax bills, and will probably have to cease production in the coming years if nothing is done, if the government does not do the right thing and eliminate the carbon tax.
    What will happen if there are fewer producers in the western provinces to supply food to Quebec? We will have to get our food from farther away and pay more for the same product. If we purchase from farther away and pay more, it will take more fuel to transport the food to Quebec. That will completely offset any positive effects of the carbon tax, and we know full well that the carbon tax has not allowed the government to achieve any of its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    I will not speak any longer about everything happening in the west because my colleague from Foothills, with whom I will be sharing my time, will be happy to demonstrate the effects of the carbon tax on the western provinces.
    Where are we today? The newspapers are publishing headlines like “The coming months will be really difficult” and “Multiple devastating effects”. Of course, we are talking about the interest rate hike announced yesterday by the Bank of Canada, combined with the increase in the price of food which I will address in a few minutes and which is clearly explained in Canada's Food Price Report 2023.

  (1020)  

    I will read a paragraph from an article by Michel Girard this morning in Le Journal de Montréal, in which he says that the coming months will be really difficult: “Who is responsible? According to economists Jean-François Perrault and René Lalonde of the Bank of Nova Scotia...federal government spending on COVID‑19 support programs forced the Bank of Canada to aggressively raise interest rates. They believe that federal support for COVID‑19 victims, which amounted to more than $200 billion, was 'welcome, but probably overdone'. This spending created excess demand, which the Bank of Canada is trying to curb by increasing the cost of borrowing.”
    There you have it. As we said earlier, the government had to do something, but the Liberals were sloppy once again. That is what the Auditor General said this week in her report. The government was sloppy, it was wasteful, it spent too much, and that is why we are seeing skyrocketing inflation today. That is why the Bank of Canada had to raise interest rates. At the same time, if everything is going up, if inflation is increasing, if the interest rates are skyrocketing, it is not surprising that the price of food is going up as well.
    Canada's Food Price Report shows that the price of fish has increased by 10%, and the price of butter, by 16%. Even the price of fresh and dried pasta has gone up. When we were students and did not have much money to spend on food, we bought pasta. We ate pasta five days a week and, on weekends, instead of eating spaghetti, we ate macaroni. The price of pasta has gone up 32%. It is not surprising that students can no longer afford an apartment and have to live in their parents' basement.
    The problem is that the government caused this inflation. We could call it Liberal inflation. The price of everything is going up. For example, the report projected that food costs for a family of four would reach approximately $14,700 in 2022. Based on what was observed in 2022, it appears that there will be a $455 increase for 2022. Worse yet, next year, the increase for the same family will be $1,065. That is a lot of money.
    As I was saying earlier, Quebec is the province hardest hit by rising food prices. According to the report, the price of food has increased by 11% in Quebec. The increase across Canada varies between 9.2% and 11% in a single year. I do not know many people who received salary increases that will allow them to offset these increases. Moreover, it is not just the cost of food. I have not said anything about the cost of rent, mortgages or the additional costs of car loans. All of these new costs Canadians will have to pay in the coming years are outrageous.
    It gets worse. According to HungerCount 2022 published by Food Banks Canada, food bank usage increased by 15% this year. The report states that high food prices are limiting Canadians' access to food. It is estimated that 23% of Canadians eat less than they should. That is what is happening in Canada in 2022. Normally, during the summer, the demand on food banks drops. That was not the case this year. This year, food banks faced their most difficult summer in 41 years.
    The government can do something, Parliament can do something, the House can do something. Every member can do something today by voting for the opposition's motion, which asks that the carbon tax on food inputs and production, including all farm fuels, grain drying, fertilizer, transportation and other aspects of the food supply system be eliminated to give Canadians a little respite and allow them to put more bread, butter and milk on the table.

  (1025)  

    I am not sure why, but I am craving Kraft Dinner.
    The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board.
    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my opposition colleague for finally recognizing that there are at least some problems with the environment and the fact there is a price on pollution.
    He talked about the price that businesses have to pay. Does he really believe that pollution should be free or does he believe that we should put a price on pollution? Should people be able to pollute without consequence or should we instead tell them that the more they pollute, the more they must pay?
    Mr. Speaker, the carbon tax does not work. The only thing it does is take money away from Canadians and put it in the government's coffers, but that does not help the government meet any of its targets.
    A recent international conference recently took stock of how different countries are performing. With its carbon pricing, Canada ranks 58 out of 63 countries. Let us remember that number. We rank 58 out of 63 with the Liberal carbon tax. That is not doing much to help the environment.
    Mr. Speaker, I used to eat ramen noodles when I was in CEGEP.
    I would like to thank my hon colleague from Quebec, whom I hold in high esteem. It is always a pleasure to work with him.
    Now, I agree that the federal government ranks near the bottom when it comes to protecting the environment and fighting greenhouse gas emissions. I think that is crystal clear. Statistics do not lie. Canada ranks 58th out of 63. That is not a great record. That being said, does that mean we should allow major polluters to pollute with impunity?
    There is one thing that Conservatives never do when they talk about going after money. Have the Conservatives ever asked themselves why the big oil companies are making exorbitant profits, record profits, this year, and why the government does not go get that money and redistribute it to Canadians?
    I have never heard the Conservatives wonder why the government is not going after big oil's huge profits. I would like my colleague to answer the question.
    Mr. Speaker, I went to do groceries with my wife last week, and I was walking up and down the aisles. When I saw that all the prices had gone up, I began to ask myself some serious questions. How can we help families deal with these price hikes?
    The report said that the price of lettuce went up 12%. That is not correct. The price of lettuce actually jumped from 99¢ to seven dollars. Things are so bad that we can no longer even afford to eat vegetables. Imagine how much more expensive meat is these days. It is absolutely essential that we give Canadians a little breathing room. We need to focus on what Canadians need right now. They need to put enough food on the table to stave off hunger.
    We could help them right now by putting an end to the carbon tax on everything up and down the food supply chain. I encourage my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois to think about that.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would offer that the impact on food prices from the climate crisis and from the price gouging of the big box stores and big grocery retailers far outstrips the impact of carbon pricing.
    My question is this. When farmers across this country are facing massive crop failures and the infrastructure needed to ship our food is being ripped out by climate disasters, why do the Conservatives not have a plan to tackle the climate crisis, the most significant crisis facing us as a population? Why do they refuse to come up with a credible plan?

  (1030)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I think there is some information that my colleague is not aware of. This year, in Canada, we had the third best harvest on record. Usually, when more and more food is available on the market, prices are supposed to come down for consumers. That is not happening. Despite the third best harvest in history, prices are at a 40-year high.
    There is a problem. The main cause is the Liberals' carbon tax. We are asking them to eliminate this tax to give Canadians and farmers across the country some relief.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable for tabling this opposition motion today as it shows our farmers, producers and ranchers, as well as consumers across Canada, that the Conservative Party certainly understands food security and their economic viability.
    In my opinion, the Liberals have a stark decision to make in the next few months. The decision is either to continue on this activist, ideological agenda, increasing carbon taxes and taxes on producers, or to start to understand that food security and the cost of food should be a priority for all Canadians. For a government that prides itself on making science-based decisions, clearly the policies it is putting forward are not based on sound science.
     What is stark and what is really the impetus for the motion is the new 2023 food price report. It showed that by 2030, when the carbon tax would be tripled by the Liberals, farmers of a 5,000-acre farm, not a large farm by any means but a typical one, would pay $150,000 a year in carbon tax. I would ask the government how it could possibly think a farm family is going to absorb that cost and still be able to produce affordable, nutritious food, not only for Canadians but to help feed the world.
    How does the Liberal government possibly feel a farm family could absorb $150,000 a year in carbon taxes alone and still remain economically viable? It simply cannot. That is the stark reality the Liberal government needs to understand sooner rather than later. When it makes these extreme ideological policies, there are consequences.
    Part of that food report also stated that the average family of four would see its grocery bill go up more than $1,000 a year to a total of close to $17,000 a year in one year alone. The consequence of that, as we saw in March, is that 1.5 million Canadians were accessing a food bank, the highest number in our history. I cannot believe this is happening in Canada, a G7 country, where we are unable to feed our own people and where food security is at risk.
    As my colleague said in response to the Bloc question, we did have the third-best harvest in our history this year. Why, if we had such a great harvest, are we talking about food insecurity and the economic viability of our farms, which are at risk? When there is a large harvest, the issue is that if the input costs far exceed the value of that crop, then the farmer is further behind at the end of the year rather than being ahead.
     At committee yesterday, we had Rebecca Lee, executive director of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada, say that 44% of its members are selling their products at a loss. Almost half of the produce growers in Canada are selling their products at a loss. They cannot afford the massive increases in fertilizer costs. They cannot afford the massive increases in fuel costs.
    How long does the Liberal government expect these farmers are going to stay in business? If they go out of business, we have to import more of those foods from other countries around the world. What will that do to our GHG emissions? What will that do to the government's climate change philosophy and policies?
    We had Dr. Sylvain Charlebois at committee, one of the most respected food scientists in the country, from Dalhousie University. I am paraphrasing a bit, but he basically said, and I quote this part, the carbon tax is a bad idea. The carbon tax is putting farms out of business and putting our food security at risk. That is one of the top food scientists in Canada. He is saying the carbon tax is a bad idea and we are losing farms as a result of it.
    When we lose farms, food prices go up. When food prices go up, food security is an issue. As a result, we see what has happened with more Canadians having to use the food bank.
    There is more to that as well. This is where I think the Liberals are missing the point when they make these decisions not based on sound science and data.

  (1035)  

    For example, we asked the Minister of Agriculture yesterday at committee why the Liberals are imposing these massive carbon tax increases on Canadian farmers when we are already more efficient than any other country on earth. The data show that out of Canada's total GHG emissions, which is about 2%, 8% of that comes from agriculture. That is 8% of 2%. That is infinitesimal on the global scale. The global average is 26%. That is a stark contrast when comparing where we are to the rest of the world. Why is the Liberal government not celebrating those achievements of Canadian agriculture?
     Instead of punishing farmers with massive increases in the carbon tax, which is going to have a profound impact on food security in Canada, why is the government not saying to the rest of the world, “If you want to reduce your GHG emissions from agriculture, we are already there and we will show you how to get there. Use our technology and our practices, and we will export our manufacturing”?
     We are already using zero till. We are already using cover crop. We are already using precision agriculture. We manufacture air drills in Canada that we are happy to export for other countries to use in their production. We use 4R nutrient stewardship. All of these things are already being used in Canada, but they seem to be ignored by the current government.
    We asked the minister yesterday how she expects the family farm to absorb these types of costs. Her answer was that she does not understand what our definition of a family farm is. She is the Minister of Agriculture. If anyone should know what a family farm is, it is the Minister of Agriculture.
    What makes it worse is the Liberals put forward Bill C-8, which included a rebate on the carbon tax for farms. We know from the Ontario grain farmers association that their members get back about 15% of what they spend on the carbon tax. Finance Canada said the average payback for a farm family is about $860. The government can compare that to the $150,000 that the farmers are going to be paying. They are going to get $1,000 back. Does the Minister of Agriculture not understand that? She was saying the families are going to get that back, but that the farm is a business. Ninety-five per cent of farms in Canada are family farms, owned by the family. Yes, they may be incorporated, but they are family farms. It is not possible to separate one from the other.
     That is why we put forward our private member's bill, Bill C-234, which would remove the carbon tax from natural gas and propane to help with grain drying, heating of barns and those operations that are integral to the family farm. We have the support of all the opposition parties on that private member's bill, including the Bloc, the NDP and the Green Party. The opposition understands how important agriculture is to the Canadian economy and our food security not only here at home, but around the world.
     I am hoping the opposition parties also will be supporting our opposition motion today. It reinforces the importance of Canadian agriculture, and that the decisions impacting our families must be based on sound science and sound data. Instead of apologizing for the incredible achievements of Canadian agriculture, a Canadian government should be going around the world, as proud as it can be, being a champion of what we do and not apologizing for it.

  (1040)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to serve on the same committee as the member opposite, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
    The member mentioned in his speech Sylvain Charlebois, who came before our committee. Just the other day when asked a question about whether the price on pollution is affecting food price inflation he, very explicitly, said no. Does the member opposite recollect that?
    The other thing I will just add is that the recent report done by the Canadian Climate Institute shows there is going to be $25 billion in losses due to climate change by 2025, and that the number is going to rise to $100 billion over the next 10 to 15 years. This actually undermines the entire growth of our economy. How does the member reconcile that with the statements he has made today?
    Mr. Speaker, at committee there are pushes to increase these carbon taxes to reach our climate change goals, but we will not have any farms left. There will be no farms and no food. If we tax them into bankruptcy, then what?
    The most frustrating part is that the Liberals continue to ignore the accomplishments of Canadian farming, in terms of our standings with emissions, carbon sequestration, stewardship and conservation, but they increase these carbon taxes, and they have not met a single target. If they were increasing these carbon taxes, which they say is the best way to meet our GHG emission goals, they have not hit a single one. The proof is in the pudding.
    They do not work and they are causing harm across Canada.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I find that fascinating. Indeed, I am going to ask my Conservative friends the same question today and I think that not one will answer.
    How is it that, in 2022, and probably in years to come, the oil companies, banks and major food chains are making record profits and that the Conservative Party, which professes to stand up for the middle-class and workers, is blaming the carbon tax rather than looking for the money in the excessive profits of the big corporations?
    If Canada is ranked 58th out of 63 countries in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions, it is because it continues to subsidize oil companies, which are protected by the Conservative Party.
    I would like someone from the Conservative Party to tell me when they are going to do something about the oil companies' excessive profits and give the money back to the people who are paying too much for gas.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I should have been prepared that this question was coming. Obviously, speaking as an Albertan, those energy companies are critical to our economy. They pay for those middle-class jobs and they ensure our economies, not only across Alberta but across Canada, are operating.
    I am not endorsing taking the carbon tax off large emitters. In fact Alberta was the first province in Canada that implemented a carbon tax on large emitters like the energy companies. We understand there are ways we can incentivize improvements and innovation in technology, and there are areas in which those taxes should not be imposed. Canadian agriculture and food production is certainly one of those.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking my colleague for his excellent private member's bill. It would be an improvement for farmers.
    I am surprised, though, that the Conservative motion did not mention the grocery store chains. First of all, we know we are plagued by lack of competition. We know some of these chains actually hedge some money overseas and had to pay a CRA fine for hiding money in Barbados. They fixed the price of bread; the Competition Bureau proved that was true. They have excessive profits from COVID-related policies because restaurants were closed and the chains lacked competition. They ended hero pay to their workers unilaterally, despite the fact they should not be working together behind the scenes. Their CEO bonuses and manager salaries would make a robber baron blush. Finally, they have predatory pricing for local produce on shelves that restricts some of the distribution by farmers.
    How can the Conservatives not mention the situation with the grocery store chains?

  (1045)  

    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should remember the NDP has already put in a motion, which was passed in the House several weeks ago and is being studied at committee.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to split my time with my friend and colleague, the member for Hull—Aylmer, who will be up next.
    I appreciate the opportunity to participate in a debate on the higher cost of living that Canadians and the world are experiencing. Let me reassure the hon. member that the government is well aware of these challenges, and that our priorities remain helping the most vulnerable in our society cope with the higher cost of living.
    That is why the government has an affordability plan, a suite of targeted measures totalling $12.1 billion in new support in 2022. The affordability plan is designed to help address the needs of low-income Canadians who are most exposed to inflation. Because of investments the government has already made in the last two federal budgets, many of the measures in our affordability plan are in place right now to help Canadians.
    In budget 2021, the government enhanced the Canada workers benefit, putting up to an additional $2,400 into the pockets of modest-income families, starting this year. I am pleased to say that most recipients have already received this increased support through their 2021 tax return.
    This enhancement of the Canada workers benefit is extending support to about one million Canadians and helping to lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty. The government also proposes to provide automatic advance payments of the Canada workers benefit to people who qualified for the benefit in the previous year, with these advance payments starting in July 2023. Workers would receive a minimum entitlement for the year through the advance payments, based on income reported in the prior year's tax return.
    We are also fully aware that Canada and the rest of the world have been experiencing a period of higher inflation, including for food and groceries. This is part of a global phenomenon driven by the impacts of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has led to sharply higher food and energy prices, as has been described today, as well as persistent impacts from supply chain disruptions and the COVID pandemic. That is why we are also providing targeted support to roughly 11 million individuals and families by doubling the goods and services tax credit for six months. This is delivering $2.5 billion in additional support to those who already receive the tax credit, including more than half of Canadian seniors.
    With the passage of Bill C-30, many Canadians have already received this additional payment. Single Canadians without children are receiving up to an extra $234, and couples with two children are receiving up to an extra $467 this year. Seniors are receiving an extra $225 on average. What is more is that the money is coming to them through a straightforward process. That is because the extra GST credit amounts are being paid to all current recipients through the existing GST credit system as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Recipients will not need to apply for the additional payment. They need only file their 2021 tax return, if they have not already done so, to receive both the current GST credit and the additional payment.
    Finally, we know that the costs of climate change are significant. Climate change is real, and we know that carbon pollution pricing remains a pillar of Canada's climate plan as an efficient way to incent reductions and drive innovation. Carbon pricing lets industry, households and businesses choose the lowest-cost ways to reduce emissions and creates demand for low-carbon technologies, goods and services.
    The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution, announced in 2016, gives provinces and territories the flexibility to implement their own carbon pricing systems aligned with common minimum national stringency requirements, referred to as the “federal benchmark”. The federal carbon pricing system serves as a backstop in jurisdictions that requested or that do not implement a system aligned with minimum national requirements. All direct proceeds from the federal system will continue to be returned to the jurisdiction in which they were collected.

  (1050)  

    In order for a provincial or territorial government to receive these proceeds directly to use as they see fit, they were required to request the application of the federal system and commit to not using the proceeds to negate the carbon price signal.
    More importantly, 90% of the projected fuel charge proceeds will be sent to households in the form of quarterly climate action incentive payments, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. The majority of households will receive more back than they pay as a result of the federal system. This will help Canadians to pay for the food and basic necessities their families need.
    Lower- and middle-income households will benefit the most. Also, there is a 10% supplementary amount for residents of small and rural communities. The other 10% of projected proceeds will be returned through federal programming, while 1% of the proceeds will be returned to indigenous recipients based on co-developed approaches and priorities; the remaining 9% of proceeds return through the environment and climate change programming for small and medium-sized enterprises in emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sectors.
    Last month, the Minister of Finance specified climate action incentive payment amounts for the 2022 to 2024 fuel charge year. Those have been announced in the House. In provinces where climate action and incentive payments will continue to be paid, there will be four equal quarterly payments starting in April 2023, so that households will receive these ahead of costs incurred and are not out of pocket. A family of four will receive, each quarter, $386 four times a year in Alberta; $340 in Saskatchewan; $264 in my home province of Manitoba, so over $1,000 a year; and $244 in Ontario.
    In provinces where the federal fuel charge will start to apply in July 1, 2023, and where climate action incentive payments will be paid for the first time, there will be three equal quarterly payments starting in July 2023, in the following amounts for a family of four: $248 in Nova Scotia, $240 in Prince Edward Island and $300 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
    Overall, a price on carbon pollution reduces pollution at the lowest overall cost to businesses and consumers, and it provides an incentive for climate action and clean innovation, while protecting business competitiveness.
    Just to conclude, the measures I have highlighted today are delivering timely, effective financial help to millions of Canadians. For our neighbours who need this support the most, this means more money for them this year to help make life more affordable. While putting a price on pollution remains the most effective way to fight climate change while making life more affordable for Canadians, not only does pollution pricing ensure it is no longer free to pollute anymore, but for the eight out of 10 Canadians who receive climate action incentive payments, the federal pollution pricing system actually puts more money back in their pockets.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member lives in Winnipeg. Just south of Winnipeg, I am sure there are a number of those 5,000 typical family farms that would be very near where he lives. What does he have to say to those operators, those family farms that he just accused of polluting through the use of fertilizer?
    What will he say to Canadians when those farmers are looking at a potential additional $150,000 by the time this tripling of the carbon tax takes effect? What is going to happen to Canada's emissions as those farmers go out of business and we are importing more food? What is the price of our food going to be when this carbon tax is tripled?
    Mr. Speaker, I invite the hon. member to Manitoba to see those beautiful landscapes. I toured that area this spring. It was under water. About a third of southern Manitoba was out of water. There was a late spring, so farmers could not plant their crops in a timely way.
    However, in 2021, many of those farmers had to plow their canola fields under because we had the worst drought in 60 years. We had two one-in-300-year floods that cost $1 billion each and destroyed agriculture in many parts of the Assiniboine Valley.
    The impacts of climate change are real, and I would ask the hon. member where his climate plan is, because the Conservative Party has no plan.

  (1055)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I quite agree with my colleague that the Conservatives do not really have a climate plan, but maybe he should think about whether the Liberal plan is a good one.
    The Liberals opened the door for the Conservative Party to criticize the carbon tax, because Canada ranks 58th out of 63 in the fight against GHGs. The problem is not the carbon tax itself, but the subsidies to the oil industry and the fact that the government is approving drilling off the coast of Newfoundland in areas where biodiversity is at risk.
    The Liberal Party is great at controlling their image, but terrible at delivering results. I asked the Conservatives this question, but I did not get a response. Could my colleague tell me whether the Liberals have a different opinion? Are they going to go after the oil companies' excess profits? Are they going to go after the banks' excess profits? The big grocery chains are making excess profits. Are the Liberals going to go after that money and give it back to the middle class to address not only GHGs but also the cost of living?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the hon. member that oil profits are at record levels. They need to put their shoulder to the wheel and help us reduce emissions. We are working hard with them to cap oil and gas emissions. We will be introducing a clean fuel standard, and we will be removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. We have already removed eight. We are on our way to completely eliminating them two years ahead of schedule.
    Mr. Speaker, we also agree that putting a price on carbon is critical. In British Columbia it was actually the right-leaning BC Liberal party that brought in the carbon tax in 2009, but it is now supported by all provincial parties, because we understand the impacts of climate change. We have seen Lytton burn down. We have seen flooding. We have seen the impacts of climate change, which I have talked to my colleague about a number of times.
    My concern here, and I share this concern with the Bloc, is that there is no excess profit tax on oil and gas companies right now. We have seen the U.K. take leadership, as well as other countries around the world. We have seen over $100 billion in record profits for the oil and gas companies, but we see Liberals and Conservatives standing side by side, letting them get a free ride.
    It is unacceptable, because that money could be used for taking pressure off people today by removing the GST on home heating, which would apply to electric heating, something that Conservatives had in their platform but do not support today, as well as removing the unacceptable 39.5% surcharge on Canada Post.
    Will my colleague finally charge oil and gas companies the excess profit tax that they should pay and take the pressure off everyday Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I find myself agreeing with the spirit of the questions my opposition colleagues are asking me. Oil profits are up. Emissions must come down. The oil and gas sector and the energy sector must put their shoulder to the wheel. They must work with us. Come hell or high water, we must meet those emissions targets of 40% to 45% reductions in emissions below 2005 levels. We have emissions targets. We will meet them.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on the wonderful questions being asked by our Bloc and NDP colleagues here as to the specific amounts. The PBO has done a report already. The windfall profits tax being called for by others would generate almost $4.4 billion a year at a time when Imperial Oil made profits of $6.2 billion in the first nine months of 2021 alone. They are making off like bandits in the midst of a climate crisis, and the federal government has already applied this to banks and life insurance companies.
    Will the parliamentary secretary comment on the importance of applying the Canada recovery dividend to oil and gas companies in the midst of a climate crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and friend from the Green Party and I talk often about the importance of action on climate change. He is indeed a devoted advocate.
    Again, I would agree with the spirit of his comments, if not the actual content. We are going to be working hard to get those emissions down, and we are not going to be giving the energy sector a free pass, as has been implied by opposition members.

  (1100)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Winnipeg South for his excellent speech today and for his answers to the questions, because he really hit the nail on the head.
    This opposition motion makes a brief reference to pollution pricing. Pollution pricing is a good thing, because pollution has a price. It is not free to pollute. My hon. colleague from Winnipeg South mentioned that in his province, floods that should only happen once every 100 years have occurred twice. It has happened twice.
    In my own riding, the Ottawa River burst its banks and caused flooding in 2017 and 2019. Statistically speaking, such floods should happen once a century, but they happened twice in three years. The climate crisis is here, and we need to get rid of practices that are not working anymore. The days when individuals, businesses, organizations and governments could pollute with impunity have passed. That is why I am very proud to say that we are going to be putting a price on pollution.
    I am a firm believer in capitalism. I think it is good for people to earn money. We applaud all those who want to make money by producing a good or providing a service. If they pollute while doing so, however, they must pay. I have confidence in the wisdom and ingenuity of Canadians, and certainly in our entrepreneurs, who will find ways to produce goods while reducing their carbon emissions. That means they will pay less, their product will be more efficient and cheaper, and people will buy it because it works. That is the idea behind pollution pricing.
    However, the motion before us today attempts to link the inflation we are experiencing today, the increase in prices, with pollution pricing. There is no link. When my colleague from Whitby was asking a question, he referred to a witness who appeared before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, on which my colleague sits. This witness is famous in Quebec and knows agriculture like the back of his hand. He was asked if the carbon tax was contributing to inflation and driving grocery prices up, and he said that it was not.
    What is causing inflation is the global context. There are several factors. First of all, there was the pandemic. All the companies suddenly had to shut down to make sure that people were safe and that the COVID-19 virus did not spread. Eventually, thanks to the innovations that led to the development of vaccines, the economy started to reopen, following the advice of public health authorities.

  (1105)  

    All of a sudden, there were a lot of people all wanting to buy things at the same time. They wanted their freedom back. One or two people would have been okay, but when the whole world wants to buy things, it creates significant demand. Problems arose with supply chains around the world, especially in China because of its zero-COVID policy. That policy led to plant closures and disrupted supply chains worldwide. As if that were not enough, there is also Vladimir Putin's abhorrent war on Ukraine. It has hampered the flow of goods, creating product shortages and doubling price increases.
    These are global trends that are happening, so what do we do? Canadians are facing price increases, but, unlike the official opposition, our government has an answer. Our answer is to help the most vulnerable Canadians. We are doing that in several different ways. Let me explain.
    The first thing we want to do is make life more affordable for Canadians. With Bill C-30, we doubled the goods and services tax credit for a period of six months. The GST credit, which is in place to help the most vulnerable Canadians, is a tax-free payment to low- and modest-income individuals and families. Regardless of the circumstances, these people need a hand, especially these days. Our measure will put $2.5 billion in the pockets of around 11 million Canadians, and these individuals and families will be very happy to have this money for the next six months.
    With Bill C-31, we created the Canada dental benefit. Once again, this benefit will put about $1,300 in Canadians' pockets to ensure that kids 12 and under have access to dental care. There is something else, too. We also paid $500 to 1.8 million low-income Canadian renters who are struggling to pay the rent. This is another targeted, non-inflationary support measure that will make a big difference for those in need.
    Earlier this year, we increased old age security by 10% for people aged 75 and over. I can also talk about the Canada workers benefit, which is another way we are providing targeted assistance to support Canadians in need. This benefit is a refundable tax credit offered to Canadians and families who are working but earning a low or modest income.
    All of these targeted and reasonable measures will help Canadians get through this global crisis. We can do all this while also fighting the climate crisis. That is what we have done in Canada. This will create a more sustainable economy, a healthier environment, and social cohesion. As parliamentarians, what are we good for if not bringing everyone together?

  (1110)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his speech today. There were certain words in it that I had a bit of a challenge with. It was mostly when he was talking about the Liberal carbon tax and inflation. He said that they are probably not related and that we are talking about two different things.
    This week, there has not been a lot of respect from members opposite toward the Auditor General's role, and I know the Governor of the Bank of Canada said, at FINA committee, that the carbon tax has increased inflation.
    Does he agree with the comments from the Governor of the Bank of Canada?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, but my colleague should not quote out of context. Quoting out of context is just a pretext for saying things that are not true. What he said is true in theory, but the effect is minimal, and that is what matters.
    The real causes of inflation are the broken supply chains, which take time to fix; China's zero-COVID policy, which has disrupted all the supply chains; and Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, which has also thrown supply chains around the world into chaos.
    Mr. Speaker, we are debating a motion on the carbon tax, which, according to the Conservatives, is the enemy of humankind.
    What is more, we have before us Bill C-234, which will give our farmers some tax relief on farm fuels and the sales tax on propane used for drying grain. We have many farmers in my riding of Mirabel. I would like to know what the government thinks about that. We know that, previously, the government and even the Minister of Agriculture voted against farmers. I am wondering whether they have changed their minds in that regard. This is very important for farmers in Mirabel. They have talked to me about it many times.
    Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I am not completely familiar with that private member's bill. Nevertheless, I know that the government is always there to support our farmers.
    We will support them by fighting against climate change. We are well aware that the climate crisis is something that we have to deal with today, tomorrow and in the coming years.
    Farmers know in their gut that climate change is coming. We have to work on that, and that is why we always need to put a price on pollution and implement a number of policies that will help create a greener, more sustainable Canada.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat ironic that the Conservatives have raised the fact that Canada is number 58 when it comes to climate action and spoke to our ability to tackle the climate challenge and live up to our commitments. It is ironic because the Conservatives do not have a plan to address climate change, but it is also a problem because number 58 is not where we need to be as a country.
    Despite having a carbon pricing system in this country, Canada continues to be laggard, to not live up to the commitments we have made and to not perform. We are not on track to meet the targets we have set. What needs to be done to improve Canada's approach to climate and to stop being such a laggard on this critical issue?

  (1115)  

    That is a big question, and we only have about 30 seconds to answer it.

[Translation]

    The hon. parliamentary secretary, for a brief response.
    Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to give a brief response. That is a great question from my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    The reason Canada has fallen behind is that, for too long, we felt the effects of the Harper government's non-plan for the environment.
    Now we have a realistic plan in place, one that is recognized throughout the world and is one of the best plans because it is detailed. It includes very specific and very strong targets, as well as initiatives that, finally, are rigorous.
    That is why I am very optimistic about the future.
    Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.
    Mr. Speaker, I went to the cafeteria on the first floor yesterday to get a grilled cheese, and I was really hoping to see you there. You are very charming and I really appreciate you. In the end, upon reflection, it was just as well that you were not there, because I ran into a Conservative member who spilled a coffee on his pants and found a way to colourfully blame it on the carbon tax.
    I thought to myself, yes, that is obviously the source of all evil. I knew today was going to be a Conservative opposition day, so I made a bet with myself that the Conservatives would move a motion to give the bogeyman a new name, the carbon-tax man.
    I read the motion last night, and I am pleased to say I was right, because that is essentially what this is. This entirely predictable motion portrays the carbon tax as the source of all evil and its abolition the solution to every problem under the sun. This is not really a motion about buying power or the price of food. It is not really about helping our farmers. This motion is further evidence that the Conservatives are trapped in their ideological cage, an ideology that says abolishing the carbon tax is the only way to fight climate change and make a transition. It is an ideological cage, and they are imprisoned inside it. Public debate is also being held captive, but the premise is false. It is false to say that this is the only solution.
    The Conservatives are talking about our farmers. I would like to talk about farmers in the Lower Laurentians. The Union des producteurs agricoles, the UPA, recently held a convention in the riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. I went to the UPA convention and talked to farmers. They thanked the Bloc Québécois for supporting Bill C‑234, which gives them a little GST relief on fuel for their tractors, agricultural equipment, propane and grain drying. They applauded our responsiveness, our pragmatism and our openness. They recognize that and told me so. That is always good to hear.
    Instead of proposing a targeted approach, they are engaging in a generalized attack against the infamous carbon tax, which does not apply directly to Quebec, because Quebec has a cap-and-trade system. The basic principle of these systems is to increase the price of inputs or goods that pollute, while at the same time returning the tax-generated revenues to households. The relative price of these goods will be higher because they pollute more, but, in return, people will get help with their purchasing power. In the long run, it means that people will choose inputs and goods that pollute less. However, for these changes to be made, we must be realistic. There also needs to be a vision for the long-term transition. We must give people more options. Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals are offering that. That is why we are still stuck in our current situation. Bloc Québécois members are realists. We think it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time without getting stuck like the Conservatives.
    This is why we supported the part of their motion that deals with agricultural fuels and which is the object of Bill C‑234. That is why we support the elimination of the tax on propane used to dry grain. At the UPA central union in Sainte-Scholastique-Mirabel, they looked me in the eyes and told me that it was important. However, that is the object of Bill C‑234, so the Conservatives do not need to waste time with their motion.
    With respect to fertilizer, I would like to commend the extraordinary work of the member for Berthier—Maskinongé. I myself participated in meetings where the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, our agriculture critic, had gathered everyone around the table, including farmers. There were meetings with firms to ensure that fertilizer supply contracts, which had been signed before the war in Ukraine, are not subject to sanctions. These honest farmers had the right to get their fertilizer at a predictable price. We were there for them.
    The issue of transportation is important, because that is where we will have cut emissions the most over the next 10, 20 and 30 years, if we exclude electricity generation itself in most provinces. We have adopted a smart, focused and temporary approach that is compatible with the transition and shows compassion for the people who pay. This helps taxi drivers, truckers and those who are temporarily affected by the vagaries of the geopolitical tensions that we are currently experiencing.
    I would remind our Conservative colleagues that the price of oil is currently determined by a cartel, by their friends in Saudi Arabia and their friends in Venezuela, who are communists. This is OPEC+, which includes Russia, which, again last week, decided to cut production to keep prices high, to the great delight of Alberta's public finances.

  (1120)  

    That is why we supported Bill C‑234. If we must point the finger at a party that does not support farmers, it is the Liberal Party. When we voted on Bill C‑234, I was there and the Bloc Québécois was there for farmers from Quebec and the whole country. I was the first of 338 members of the House to say on social media that even the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food had voted against farmers. The central unions of the Union des producteurs agricoles noticed that.
    The reality is that we must embark on a transition; this was not decided on a whim. The Conservatives have never tabled a motion that would allow us to assess and appreciate how we can embark on a transition that would reflect the ambitions of the west. They are still fixated on the carbon tax.
    The International Energy Agency, however, believes that demand in energy will drop by 7% by 2050 because some countries are making a effort, although Canada is not.
    The European Union believes that energy demand will drop by 30% to 38% by 2050. Why? It is because some countries are doing their part. Canada is not among them.
    France expects its energy demand to drop by 40% by 2050. Why? It is because France is a G7 country that is making an effort. Here in the House, whenever a Conservative motion is put forward, the substantive problems are forgotten in the rush to score partisan points. I have no interest in going down that road. We deserve better in the House.
    When faced with the kinds of things I am saying now, the Conservatives attack Quebec. Just last week, Conservatives posted misleading statements on social media, saying that a metric tonne of carbon is cheaper in Quebec, with our cap-and-trade system, than in the rest of the country. The reason is simple: Our system is based on controlling quantity, and prices fluctuate. A metric tonne is cheaper in Quebec because there is less demand. There is less demand for allowances because we pollute less.
    This system was the Western Climate Initiative, which originally included Canadian provinces and U.S. states. Some of them dropped out because they wanted to pay less, because they do not want to transition and because they knew it would cost them even more. Today, they refuse to consider possible solutions. That is what put us in the position we are in today.
    Let us get back to the issue of inflation. All of this does not mean that no one is facing higher prices for groceries or fuel. The people I meet on a daily basis are experiencing these difficulties. We must address the weaknesses in our supply chain. It is not because of the Bank of Canada that we are having a hard time getting Japanese cars. There is just one Conservative telling us that. It is not the Bank of Canada's fault that lumber is in short supply. Last time I checked, the governor of the central bank was not out cutting down spruce trees in the Saguenay region. I did not hear anything of the kind.
    It is not Canada's fault that we have seen record prices for resources such as wheat, rice or commodities. At the Chicago stock exchange, a few weeks ago, no one cared about Alberta's carbon tax. There is just one Conservative saying that and misleading the public.
    Over the long term, global warming will cause even more disruption and instability in the supply chain. There is just one Conservative telling us it is a myth. This week, I heard a Conservative say that the holes in the ozone layer were a myth. They are the only ones who think that way.
    When the Bloc Québécois moves motions on the prayer in the House or on the monarchy and the fact that we kneel before entering the House to pray to a foreign sovereign who is up to his ears in monarchy, the Conservatives lecture us about priorities.
    I would have liked to see the Conservatives move a motion about our dependence on oil and how we can reduce it in a way that is fair to workers. I would have liked to see them present a targeted plan for low-income individuals or targeted support for our farmers. That is what our farmers are asking for, to deal with the structural weaknesses of our supply chains.
    I would have liked to see them present a plan for building social housing for those who need it. Trickle-down economics does not work for housing. We must build housing for people who are living on the streets.
    I would have liked to see a motion proposing solutions to address the weak links in the supply chain. Quebec's seaports are telling us they need help.
    The next time the Conservatives call our priorities into question, I will tell them to buy a mirror, because they are on sale at Rona.

  (1125)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure my colleague, who is also my office neighbour, about three things.
    First of all, there will be no visits from our Saudi Arabian friends this holiday season in my riding because we have Valero Energy, the largest refinery in Quebec, which sources its crude oil from Canada and the United States.
    Second, in his speech, my hon. colleague talked about the fact that, with the bill, farmers would get GST refunds. The GST is already refunded. It is an input. The GST and QST have been refunded for the past 30 years.
    Here is my final point. I wonder if my colleague has ever seen a propane bill from one of the farmers in his riding that shows the carbon tax rate, which is increasing in line with the Liberal formula.
    Has my colleague ever personally seen a real-life propane bill for drying grain in Quebec that includes the carbon tax rate?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows that I appreciate him.
    I welcome the fact that Valero Energy refines Canadian oil for domestic use. This further confirms that we do not need to increase production for export. I thank him for pointing that out. The Conservatives do not seem to understand that most days.
    Second, they need to understand that abolishing the carbon tax in provinces that are not environmentally responsible creates unfair competition with producers of various goods in other provinces that do pay their carbon tax. Conservatives love competition until it involves oil.
    Third, I would like to say hello to Claude, a member of the Union des producteurs agricoles in Sainte‑Scholastique. At a meeting two weeks ago, he thanked me for our support for Bill C‑234, which addresses the cost of propane used for drying grain. I want to tell him that I am very much looking forward to visiting him at his farm.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party motion today proposes the elimination the carbon tax. I wonder how that would affect or come into force in provinces that have their own carbon tax plan, as well as the issuance of refunds or rebates that may be part of their plan. How would the federal government tell provinces not to implement the carbon tax when it is the province that is responsible for it?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, today I want to reiterate how proud I am to be a Quebecker.
    When everyone was drawing back, pulling out of the Western Climate Initiative and reneging on their climate responsibilities. Quebec, as a nation, decided to take responsibility and set up its emissions trading system. Today, it is working so well that the Conservatives are jealous and are attacking it.
    In politics, when you are attacked, it is often because you are right.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I would like him to explain how this tax affects Canadian agriculture as a whole. We are pork, chicken and grain exporters.
    What impact will this tax have if our farmers' prices go up compared to other countries? Will our farmers be able to sell their products? They will have to sell them at a loss on the international market. What is he going to tell people in his riding of Mirabel?

  (1130)  

    Mr. Speaker, many of our competitors that produce agricultural commodities are subject to similar tax measures in competing countries. What I tried to tell my colleague earlier in my speech, not my question, is that we recognize the impact on farmers, so we want targeted measures.
    What my colleague forgot to mention is that the carbon tax applies to markets in general. We care about farmers, and we are sensitive to the problems they are dealing with, which is why my colleague is indirectly asking me whether we should abolish the tax for all industries, including western Canada's oil industry, which is the most polluting of all.
    We need targeted measures. That is the problem with the Conservatives, and that is the problem with their motion. They are better at changing the subject than they are at identifying problems.
    Mr. Speaker, the opposition motion before us today is the kind of Conservative motion we have had to debate since this session began. The message this motion sends is one of goodness, of awareness-raising of the financial difficulties that people are facing now. These struggles are real. Consumer prices have gone up. I have no doubt about my colleagues' goodness and desire to raise awareness on this subject. I have no doubts whatsoever, and I want to clarify that.
    That said, when we take the time to analyze the motion, looking at its contents in greater detail and checking the facts, what we find under this lid of goodness and awareness-raising is a pot of soup filled to the brim with pieces of political and electoral interests, bits of misuse of information and incomplete facts.
    The first premise of the motion sets out some frightening numbers for farmers, who are already struggling to get a sufficient income. According to this first premise, farmers will have to pay $150,000 a year in carbon taxes when they triple. That is a huge, terrifying amount. However, the motion fails to mention some information. For example, by 2030, the amount of the carbon tax will triple from what it is now. Consequently, the motion does not refer to a current or even near event. It also fails to mention that by 2030, a host of transitional measures will be in place to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. Yes, taxes are increasing, but if our GHG production is reduced, the amount to be paid in 2030 should be roughly the same as today.
    Now let us talk about some inconsistencies. Concerning the first point, today's motion fails to mention one very important aspect. It boggles the mind that it could have been left out. I am talking about the fact that the Conservative Party, namely, the hon. member for Huron—Bruce, introduced Bill C-234, which is intended specifically to remove the carbon tax on agricultural facilities. The bill is now in committee, and everyone agrees that it should progress quickly. In short, it seems as though the right hand did not know what the left one was doing when it was time to write this motion today. The first premise of the motion could be described as misinformation, since the information contained therein is incomplete.
    I want to take my colleagues back to their intro to philosophy class in college. Disinformation is caused by three main elements. The first is omitting to provide all the information necessary to understand the facts. That is what we have here. The second is distracting the reader from the information. That is what the motion does by blaming all the world's woes on the carbon tax, when rising consumer prices are the result of a multitude of factors. The third is deliberately sharing false information. The good news is that this is not the case here, but we do have two of three elements of misinformation.
    The next few premises also contain big numbers, ones that are accurate. Nevertheless, because of the first premise, we might believe that the carbon tax alone is causing consumer prices to rise. However, as I just said, consumer price increases are caused by a multitude of factors, not just the carbon tax.
    Now let us talk about what the motion calls for. The first two points are about eliminating the carbon tax on farm fuels. As I just explained, Bill C-234 addresses that. The right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing. The third point is about eliminating the carbon tax on fertilizer. Bill C-234 does not cover that, which is too bad. A bill to that effect could be brought in quite quickly with all the goodwill that I know Parliament is capable of showing. Having said that, farmers are suffering the consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia and its fertilizer exports. That needs to be addressed. Those sanctions have nothing to do with the carbon tax. They were imposed because of the war. The fourth point is about eliminating the carbon tax on transportation. What kind of transportation are we talking about?

  (1135)  

    It cannot be agricultural transportation, because that is already covered by the first point about farm fuels. Therefore, it must mean other modes of transportation. Does it mean heavy trucks, trains, planes?
    In the case of trucks, technologies are already in place to reduce the pollution they create. Thanks to these technologies, which include diesel exhaust fluid, trucks will be emitting far less pollution by 2030, when the carbon tax will be $170 a tonne. Aircraft technology is also changing a lot in terms of fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. That just leaves trains. We need to figure out how to move beyond Canada's 19th-century rail system. I dream of high-speed electromagnetic trains, not high-frequency rail. I dream of real modern trains. That would be so amazing.
    Lastly, the fifth point of the motion is overly vague. It calls for the carbon tax to be cancelled on all other appropriate aspects of the food supply system. What are all those other aspects? Does that mean electricity, coal, factories, oil industries? I have no idea. I will not dwell on this point any longer than necessary, because it is as blurry as a desert mirage.
    As I said, inflation has multiple causes: labour shortages affecting agricultural businesses and companies in general; natural disasters, such as floods, drought, hurricanes and fires; corporate wage increases; and war, which we have to include in the list. By blaming the increase in consumer prices on the carbon tax alone, this motion blatantly oversimplifies a far more complex phenomenon, and that oversimplification amounts to disinformation.
    There are viable and responsible solutions that I would have loved to hear my colleagues suggest. First of all, pensions could be increased to help seniors between the ages of 65 and 74. They should also be allowed to work, if they so choose, without being doubly taxed. They pay more taxes than a family, when they have already paid taxes their entire lives. Furthermore, their pension gets clawed back once their income reaches a certain threshold. That makes no sense. Second, a program could be implemented to support the people hardest hit by rising gas prices, such as farmers and truckers. I want to mention that since these people are dependent on gasoline, they are also at the mercy of fluctuations in gasoline prices. As part of the transition, we must provide these people with solutions so that they are no longer subject to fluctuations. Third, the supply chain could be stabilized by strengthening critical links and promoting local production.
    Of course, Quebec does not pay a carbon tax because it participates in the carbon market. However, I would like to remind members, as did my colleague, that when Quebec became a member of this market it tried to convince all Canadian provinces to join as well, but it was met with outright refusal. Quebec was alone in finding this to be a good idea. Quebec was also alone in 1982 when the provinces stabbed it in the back by going back on their promise. Quebec was alone on child care, as well; Canada's provinces insulted us for 20 years by saying that Quebec could not afford it, but it suddenly become a good idea when the federal government agreed to pay for it. Quebec was also alone in standing up for aluminum compared to steel, the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries, and others.
    Given that the premises of the motion are incomplete, that a bill to provide farmers with relief will be passed and implemented, we cannot vote in favour of this motion.

  (1140)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned in her speech that the motion put forward by the official opposition was like a stew and should have a lot of ingredients. She mentioned that one of the main ingredients should be meat. Can she please explain to the House why she believes there is not much meat in this stew from the official opposition?

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of my speech, I talked about a lid of goodness and consideration.
    I believe that all members, be they Conservative, NDP or Liberal, are capable of goodness and consideration. They have shown this to be true. However, I said that the contents of the pot might come across as campaign-flavoured because of the information that was left out. That is what I explained in my speech.
    When they talk about inflation, they point to one factor. They say it is because of the carbon tax, but they do not talk about other factors, such as environmental disasters, war and a weak supply chain. We can and must work on those other weaknesses.
    Mr. Speaker, I listened to the speech by my colleague, which contained a lot of dreams and assumptions, but I would like to talk about something tangible. In 2030, the carbon tax will represent $30 an acre in Canada. Over 400 million acres, that means Canadian farmers will have to pay $12 billion a year.
    According to my colleague, what part of that $12 billion could go back to the farmers, if they even get one cent?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague talks about assumptions when the question itself contains one.
    First, in 2030, transition measures will have reduced green house gas emissions. Will the carbon tax represent $30 an acre? Yes, but because of the reduced GHG emissions, that $30 an acre will be less significant because fewer GHGs will be emitted.
    Second, I really hope that Bill C‑234, which we are studying at report stage, will be in force in 2030 and that for that reason, farmers will be exempt from the carbon tax.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I was surprised that there was no mention of grocery store chains and no connection to getting the produce of local farmers and their production into the chains without farmers being taken advantage of or being in a situation with a lesser advantage regarding product placement and so forth. I think this was at least worth a mention, because it is affecting the price of groceries. At the end of the day, if Canadian access is prevented from being competitive, it really hurts consumers.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the situation with the big grocery store chains is worrisome. The increase in consumer prices caused by a desire to maintain a profit margin is worrisome. That being said, I delivered a 10-minute speech to explain why we are against this opposition motion and to propose other solutions. There are many other solutions that I did not mention. I only had 10 minutes, not 20.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on this beautiful day to speak to the opposition motion before us.
    I will be splitting my time with the wonderful member of Parliament for Nunavut. Mr. Speaker.
    It feels funny to be speaking on this topic, a little like Groundhog Day. It seems like no matter the problem, the tool is always the same for the Conservatives. I guess when the only tool one has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
     The climate crisis, the very pressing issue of astronomical food prices and the impact on Canadians is a serious problem that requires serious tools.
    The motion before us is ostensibly about farmers. I want to take a moment to talk a bit about the farmers in northwest B.C. who do such an incredible job, such as the dairy and beef farmers.
     I met in Terrace the other day with the owners of a new goat dairy. It wants to produce its own artisanal goat cheese and goat milk in the northwest, which is a really amazing endeavour. That includes the vegetable farmers as well, the market gardens and producers who sell their food throughout the northwest. We have a really bourgeoning local food culture in northwest B.C. and it is something of which we are very proud. All those farmers, no matter the size of their operations, should be rightly proud of the work they do.
    It is right that farmers are facing many challenges. One of those challenges is the cost of the inputs that they require for their operations, but it is not the only challenge. Of course, longer term, one of the biggest challenges facing farmers is the impact of the climate crisis. It is somewhat ironic to debate an opposition day motion that seeks to undermine Canada's approach to the climate crisis when the people who feel the impact of the climate crisis most intimately are farmers across our country.
    I want to talk a bit about the farmers who would be affected by this, but I also want to talk about the farmers who would not be affected by this. I appreciate my colleagues in the Bloc highlighting that the Province of Quebec is part of a cap and trade system, a carbon market, that is provincial in nature, with which the federal government has no tie-in. British Columbia is in a similar situation because it has a provincial price on carbon.
    It concerns me that at the heart of this motion is a bit of deception, because it talks about helping farmers across the country, yet it is not going to help farmers in Quebec nor farmers in British Columbia, like the ones I represent. There is going to be zero help for those farmers if this opposition motion were to pass and the government were to act accordingly.
    The real problem faced by farmers who are struggling is with the cost diesel for their tractors. I talked to one neighbour on the south side of Francois Lake, who has a beef operation. The price that he was paying for diesel for his tractor was unbelievable. This is a real challenge. However, if we are looking to Canada's carbon pricing system as the villain in this, we are looking in the wrong spot. The real challenge, when it comes to gas and diesel prices, is the absurd gouging by the oil and gas companies.
    Members do not have to believe me; they can ask the President of the United States, Joe Biden. He called it war profiteering and he threatened to put an excess profit tax on oil and gas companies in that country. They are not just gouging farmers, but all Americans who require petroleum products in their lives.
    We could also look to the United Kingdom, where a Conservative government has put a 25% excess profit tax in place on the oil and gas companies. It will take the revenue from that excess profit tax and drive it back into affordability measures so the British people can benefit during hard times when inflation is out of control.
    Those are the kinds of real measures that the NDP has been advocating for the government to get serious about in cracking down on profiteering and excess profits during a time that is difficult for so many Canadians. We need that kind of action.

  (1145)  

    When we think about the carbon tax in British Columbia, it has an interesting history. It was brought in in 2007-08 by the noted eco-socialist premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell. He did that because, to his credit, he believed climate was the existential issue of our time and we needed to act in a way that was rigorous and evidence-based. He was a very Conservative political leader, as the Speaker well knows, and he believed that markets were the best way to do that. Part of the Conservative philosophy is that the best way to tackle things is through markets because they are efficient and often provide the lowest-cost approach to tackling big problems.
     Therefore, if we believe that the climate crisis is a problem, then it makes sense to choose a tool that is efficient and low cost. That is why the Conservatives, in their last election platform, sort of had a price on carbon. They wanted to use a market-based mechanism, albeit a bit of a goofy one, that would charge people a carbon tax and then put that money into a special savings account that could only be used to buy eco-friendly things like bicycles and solar panels. It was a bit of a weird implementation of the idea, but at its heart was the idea of using a pricing mechanism. They did that because almost every economist in the western world agreed that pricing carbon was the most efficient way to go about it.
     Members might be surprised to hear that I am a bit agnostic on the topic. I want to ensure that we use whatever tools it takes to drive down emissions and tackle the climate crisis so my kids, and all members' kids, can have the kind of stable future, prosperous economy and good quality of life that I and my parents enjoyed. That is what we need. This motion would do not achieve that.
    When we talk about the cost of the climate crisis, it is astronomical. If we do not act in a definitive way, not only to drive down emissions but to adapt our communities and our infrastructure, we will pay dearly for this crisis.
     In British Columbia, we have already felt that. We lost the entire community of Lytton, which burned to the ground. Flooding in the Lower Mainland took out a huge amount of key infrastructure and crippled our supply chain just this past year. In 2018, there were devastating wildfires across northwest B.C. that affected so many parts of our economy and community.
    This crisis deserves a serious approach. The affordability crisis and the crisis of inflation and food prices are serious issues that deserve a serious approach. We do that by cracking down on profiteering. We do that by having a real climate plan that uses credible evidence-based tools to drive down emissions. I am agnostic as to whether those are regulations or pricing mechanisms.
     We need urgent action and political leaders who have a plan, who are transparent about their plan and can tell the Canadian people that this is the issue of our time and they intend to tackle it with all the seriousness that it deserves. Our kids are worth it. People in our communities who are struggling with the price of food are worth it. Seniors in Terrace, Smithers, Prince Rupert and Kitimat who cannot afford groceries are worth it.
    Motions like this, which are inherently deceptive and try to fool British Columbians, Quebec residents and people across the country into believing that somehow removing carbon pricing from certain sectors is going to solve these problems, frankly, are unfair, unjust, and not the way to approach very serious issues in our country.

  (1150)  

    Mr. Speaker, one of the issues I have brought up is that the Conservatives seem to be on their own island when it comes to the price on pollution, but it has not always been that way. As the member will recall, in the last federal election, all major national parties supported a price on pollution. Even the Conservatives made a commitment to have a price on pollution. I wonder if he can provide his thoughts on this, that what the Conservative said at that time was fairly misleading, given the fact they told the electorate that they would support a price on pollution and given the position they are taking today.
    Mr. Speaker, honesty in politics is one of the most important things. All political leaders need to be upfront and transparent with Canadians about how they intend to tackle the biggest issues of our time. When they do that, it needs to be based on evidence and they need to show the work, show the math, and how they will actually tackle the problems we face.
    We know a lot about the climate crisis. The majority of Canadians support urgent action on the climate crisis. However, I would argue that the government has not done nearly enough in this regard. We need policies that are rigorous enough to drive down emissions and ensure it is done in a way that is affordable for Canadians. At the end of the day, the numbers do not lie, and Canada's numbers are not good.

  (1155)  

    Mr. Speaker, I like the revisionist history in my colleague's speech and the colleague across the way. Positions change. It was only in 2009 when the NDP leader in B.C. was going to scrap the carbon tax. She felt that it was going to be punishing for B.C. residents. It is ironic that there is this massive change in position now.
    The New Democrats position on this upsets me a bit. They are going support Bill C-234,, and I appreciate that. It is an important message to our producers. This motion is very similar. We would be expanding the exemptions on the carbon tax. I do not want to see this dividing one area of Canada from another; people in B.C., Quebec and the rest of Canada who are paying the carbon tax. This would help B.C. farmers.
    B.C. farmers are buying fertilizer. B.C. farmers are moving cattle from one area of the country to the other. Would my colleague not agree that his farmers will be impacted by the carbon price in 2030, which will cost every farmer at least $150,000 a year? How does he expect his farmers in Skeena—Bulkley Valley to absorb that cost?
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague noted, we support targeted efforts to help the farming industry, and we have supported the private member's bill brought forward by his party. It is one approach and certainly something that has been well received.
    However, the reality is that the measures in the motion before us would not be equally applied across the country. If we are talking about helping farmers, let us have proposals that help all farmers across the country, not just ones in some provinces that happen to pay the federal carbon price. That would be a fair approach and it is an approach that I would be more willing to look at.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I think things have been clear since the beginning of the day. From what we can see, the Liberal's plan to address greenhouse gas emissions is not working and, before the carbon tax, the Conservatives unveiled an ideological plan that will not work either. We know what the outcome of this motion will be. We already know how the parties will vote. It will come as no surprise to anyone.
    Since we are here debating, could we not use this day to talk about how ineffective both the Liberal and Conservative parties are when it comes to fighting climate change?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I share my colleague's dismay that not only are we talking about the same topic for the sixth time now, but we are doing so in the context of the government and an official opposition, neither of which are doing enough to tackle the climate crisis.
    We need a more rigorous approach on this most important issue, as I said in my remarks. Frankly, we could use this opportunity today to highlight the ways in which the Liberal approach is not putting us on the path to meeting our targets and providing the kind of safe future that our kids deserve.
    Uqaqtittiji, I am happy to rise as the member for Nunavut. I thank my constituents for their trust in me and for allowing me to continue to amplify their voices and indigenous people's voices as well.
    People are struggling. There is a rising cost of groceries, gas and housing. We all know this. This is a reality that Nunavummiut have been experiencing for decades. It is unfortunate that, while we have been suffering these high costs of living for decades, it has recently been the experience for most Canadians. I am glad, at least, to see that most Canadians now can understand what the struggles have been for my constituents in Nunavut.
    Billionaires are getting rich while more people are suffering in poverty. Time and again, I have stood in this place to talk about the profits of major grocery stores, which continue to keep showing increased profits. This is at the same time that we have seen, as mentioned in the opposition motion, increased use of food banks.
    New Democrats are showing leadership. We are speaking to seek accountability. We have seen the impacts of our good work. I have risen a few times in the House to talk about subsidies that are being provided to grocery stores, such as the nutrition north program.
    Nutrition north is subsidizing for-profit corporations such as Northmart, which continues to show profits. The Northern stores are major grocery stores in northern Canada, not just in Nunavut. They are also in northern Ontario and northern Quebec. These subsidies going to grocery stores are completely unacceptable.
    To speak to farmers, I see from my notes that there are already huge exemptions provided for farm fuels in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, so I think this motion may be quite ineffective if passed. This motion by the Conservatives would not do anything for provinces that have their own pollution pricing schemes, such as British Columbia.
    I will return to my speaking notes about the food costs because that, to me, is something we can all try to do something more about. To remind the House, the CEO of Sobeys was awarded $8.6 million in 2022. Sobeys, a grocery store, is having so much profit that it is awarding its CEO $8.6 million.
    Honestly, we have to ask, in this House, how we can make sure there is tax fairness. How can we make sure they are paying their fair share in taxes, so we can help ensure that we are actually alleviating poverty, as well as making sure that families are getting the help they need?
    How does this party defend to their constituents that this is okay?
    What do the New Democrats want? We want to force CEOs and large corporations to pay their fair share on excess profits. They need to be taxed for all of the profits they are making. There needs to be a launch of an affordable and fair food strategy that would address the profit motives of grocery companies, including requesting the Competition Bureau to investigate the profits of chain grocery stores.

  (1200)  

     While advancements in green technology are being developed to replace carbon-based fuel sources, we need to have supports for farmers with relief for high grain-drying costs and the costs of heating and cooling buildings used for raising and housing livestock. We need to support and increase investments for Nunavut to transition from diesel to renewable energy.
     There needs to be a reform of the nutrition north Canada program. To date, the for-profit grocery stores being subsidized by the nutrition north program self-monitor the program. The federal government does not monitor how these for-profit corporations are doing in the program.
     There needs to be a removal of GST from heating bills.
     Finally, I will conclude by reminding the House that, while Canadians pay the price for rising food costs, billionaire Galen Weston, chairman of Loblaws, has increased dividends to shareholders from $118 million to $125 million in 2022.

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, the issue of the price on pollution is something that has been around for many years. We have seen provincial governments of different political stripes bring it in. We have seen the national government in support of a price on pollution, along with New Democrats, the Bloc members and the Greens. It would appear as if the Conservative Party is alone in its opposition to a price on pollution.
     I wonder if my colleague could provide some of her thoughts on the caribou population and the impact on environmental change in northern Canada, just to get a better sense of awareness for our Conservative friends of the real impact of climate change.
    Uqaqtittiji, climate change indeed has been impacting my territory for years. I would like to thank Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who published her book, The Right to Be Cold, to raise awareness about just how early on she started raising awareness about the impacts of climate change.
    Hunters are telling me that the caribou are at risk with the climate. When it warms up, then rains and then freezes right away, caribou are losing their source of food. It makes it very difficult for them to chip away at the ice to reach their source of food, so it is absolutely having an impact.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the situation in Nunavut and in northern Quebec and Canada is very worrisome. I would say that those are the areas of Canada that are being hit hardest by climate change.
    Members spoke about caribou. I remember when I was in the near-northern town of Fermont that people could hunt caribou there. That is no longer the case. Caribou do not even venture that far south anymore.
    What other major effects is climate change having on my colleague's constituents and even on the infrastructure in her riding, including housing?

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, there are other factors as well that are contributing to climate change and the impacts on calving grounds of caribou. Too much of the mining industry is looking to interrupt calving grounds. There are specific projects that are having impacts that we need to hold accountable to the mining industry, which continues to push for mining to continue in our territories, especially on calving grounds, which we need to protect so dearly. Even though the mining sector stakeholders say that they will do mitigation, they do not do enough.
     We saw the impact of Inuit uniting when they called for their rejection of Baffinland's phase 2 project, which would have had a deeper impact on the caribou population. We thank the Minister of Northern Affairs for listening to Inuit and rejected the expansion of that project.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member for Nunavut for helping us all understand the devastating impacts of the climate crisis in the north. She and I agree that we need to be phasing out all fossil fuel subsidies. In the Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement, there is a commitment to get an early start on that by the end of this year.
    I know how effective the hon. member is in this place. Could she comment on what she can do to help advance that to ensure there is follow up on that agreement?

  (1210)  

    Uqaqtittiji, there are projects that are trying to go ahead, such as the Kivalliq hydro-fibre link project. We need to see commitments go through on that. The Inuit community in the Kivalliq region has done great work to address its needs and does what it can to make sure there is renewable energy to replace reliance on diesel. It has been working with other great indigenous nations to make sure that this project can go ahead.
    The federal government needs to do its part to make sure that this project—
    We have to resume debate.
    The hon. member for Chatham-Kent—Leamington.
    Madam Speaker, as always, it is a privilege and honour to rise and bring the voice of Chatham-Kent—Leamington to this place.
    I will be splitting my time with my hon. friend and colleague from Thornhill.
    Food inflation remains a top priority for Canadians from coast to coast, with almost six million people reportedly living in food-insecure homes in Canada last year. This is per Canada's Food Price Report. This number is expected to be even higher in 2022.
    Food inflation is impacted by a number of factors, including general inflation, supply chain issues, geopolitical situations and, of course, internal policies. General inflation in Canada has reached the highest level in decades, as the more the government spends, the more things cost.
    We have seen local supply chain issues caused by the global pandemic, and there are global impacts on food, especially fertilizer supply, as a result of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine. Yes, these events are not controlled here, but here at home, the Liberal carbon tax continues to drive up the price of all goods, along with all of the other non-pandemic-related spending that the government has chosen to do.
    Canada's general inflation rate is 6.9%, the highest it has been in 40 years, and food inflation has exceeded general inflation for 13 consecutive months, with food prices surpassing even the high-end predictions for 2021 to an astonishing rate of 10.3% this past September. This has led to food banks experiencing their highest level of demand in decades.
    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had global impacts on food prices through trade restrictions and further supply chain interruptions. This ongoing conflict has especially affected the fertilizer market here in Canada, and more than it should have since Canada should be far more self-sufficient in nitrogen and potassium than it is. We have the national gas here to provide our nitrogen fertilizers, but not the pipelines across Canada to get the gas to eastern Canada. Railcars do some of the cross-Canada shipping of our petroleum products, which ties up and makes more expensive the option of railing potassium to eastern Canadian markets. Saskatchewan is a very large producer of potash, or potassium, but instead of using our own, we have became dependent on imports.
    As Russia is also the world's largest exporter of fertilizer and as trade restrictions remain in place, the shortage of fertilizer puts pressure on global prices. However, instead of helping farmers, the government has demonized our farmers' use of fertilizer. The introduction of a fertilizer emissions reduction target of 30% could not have come at a worse time, and this unscientific scheme is not based on any measured baseline data. Progress could not even be directly measured, because there is no base to measure from, nor a way of directly measuring emissions. Canadian farmers are already outproducing the world on sustainability and continue to improve their environmental record, as they are already up to 70% more efficient in fertilizer use than many other countries.
    Russia is also the largest gas exporter in the world, meaning that sanctions imposed on Russia by Canada and a number of other countries have placed pressure on other suppliers of gas, once again driving prices up. Higher fuel costs affect food prices in every step of our food value chain, as suppliers are forced to pass along their increased costs at every step up the chain and then, of course, ultimately to consumers.
    The government's carbon tax, the subject of today's opposition motion, is yet another factor driving up food costs across Canada, as its exemptions are currently limited to only on-farm fuels and it is still applied in many other areas of the food supply chain. Not only does the carbon tax directly raise costs for Canadians, but it has far-reaching indirect effects as well, especially if the government insists on tripling it. It is important to note that a large part of inflation, and certainly the carbon tax, is the result of internal policies over which the government has control.
    In my remaining time, I want to spend some time on an important issue that has been a priority for me since I first became a member of Parliament. It is the role that grocery retailers play in our inflationary challenges.
    On the one end, our food supply chain continues to be crippled by the government's cash grab carbon tax, and we are certainly hearing about that in the House today. However, let us look at the other end of this equation and at the role of the large grocery retailers that complete the double whammy of the carbon tax.

  (1215)  

    The government has the opportunity to address the crisis of food inflation and lower food costs, namely through the implementation of a grocer code of conduct. Farmers are often called the first step in the food value chain. However, the “field to fork” expression is a bit of a misnomer. Farmers have many suppliers, so they are not the first step in the value chain. These suppliers, in turn, incur the carbon tax on many of their products and of course on the transportation of their products to the farm, and these costs are once again passed along to the farmer. Food manufacturers and processors are next, and then on to food distribution, which is either retail or the food service industry. The carbon tax is incurred at each step of this chain, eventually ending on the consumer's lap.
    There are two seemingly contradictory statements being bandied about these days. The first is that retailers are seeing record profits. The counter-argument from the industry is that retailer margins have not changed in percentage terms throughout the pandemic. Both these statements can be true, as retail volumes have increased during the pandemic since consumers shopped more retail versus the food service that supplies the restaurants and institutional trade.
    The carbon tax, which applies to the delivery of farm inputs and outputs and to the transportation all along the food chain, has increased costs, so retailers, maintaining their margins in percentage terms, which is what they are claiming, are applying this margin to a higher cost from suppliers and to higher volumes generated by the change in the market from consumers shopping retail versus food service. Of course, their profits then set records.
    However, there is an opportunity before us that could accomplish many goals if we get it right. When properly implemented, it would result in increased profits for food manufacturers because of fair trading practices and reduced administrative costs in attempting to comply with the many “rules” applied by retailers. It would also lead to reduced costs for the retailers themselves in administering all these programs allegedly used as profit centres. Most importantly, it would reduce food costs for consumers.
    Right now, shelf listing fees, fines for short or late deliveries and a host of other administrative exercises are adding costs that eventually end with the consumer paying a higher price. There is certainly an international precedent for such a solution, as the U.K., Ireland and Australia have all gone down this road with varying degrees of success.
    Initially, retailers were afraid imposing a code would lead to a reduction in the number of retailers with gross sales meeting the threshold for the application of the code. However, the U.K., since fixing its original attempts, has seen more retailers succeed. At the outset of the program, only 10 retailers reached the threshold of dollar value throughput, but now 14 are large enough, meaning that the code has not driven consolidation.
    In addition, and this is very important as well, it would allow the 10,000 independent grocers, which are crucial to so many parts of rural Canada, to be treated on par with the big five that control 85% of the grocery retail trade.
    In conclusion, an appropriately structured code results in lower consumer prices and fairer trading practices within the value chain. Punishing farmers with an unscientific fertilizer emission target and applying a carbon tax to almost every step of the food value chain only serve to drive up food prices and drive more Canadians to the food bank.

  (1220)  

    Madam Speaker, the motion asks us to eliminate the carbon tax from various entities throughout the country. How would that apply to provinces that brought in their own carbon tax and have had it in use for a number of years? Would that change their way of doing things, or would we only select provinces where the backstop is brought in by the federal government, leaving the other provinces to continue with their programs?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague from Newfoundland is very familiar with the fact that the federal government and the provincial governments have different jurisdictions, and with the trepidation that any federal government would have over imposing a tax on the provinces. However, this would certainly help the majority of provinces where there is a federal program and would go a long way in showing leadership. Removing the punishing carbon tax from our food value chain would set the example, and I do not think those provinces would continue with this.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the carbon tax is not all bad.
    Some parts of it are not so great, particularly with respect to businesses. It will hurt small and medium-sized businesses more than large businesses and large emitters that are benefiting from carbon cost relief programs, which are designed to encourage oil and gas production. Farmers are affected, but there are measures to help them, some of which will be implemented soon.
    Would it not be better if the carbon tax actually targeted the companies that pollute the most? Should we not stop giving them carbon cost breaks?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as stated earlier, we are not opposed to having incentives or disincentives placed on large emitters where it makes sense, where there are options and where there are other practices that can lead to a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax is not that plan across the food value chain.
    That is the point of our opposition motion today. All the carbon tax does is raise food prices for consumers. Of the 2% of greenhouse gas emissions that Canada adds to the world, 8% come from our agriculture. The motion would not impact our climate change targets, and the carbon tax, as it is being presently administered across Canada, will not impact Canada's goals.
    Our neighbour to the south has been meeting and will be meeting its climate targets, and there is no carbon tax there. Our agricultural and food systems are so interrelated that we are being made uncompetitive by the additional environmental charge here that is not helping us address our climate targets.
    Madam Speaker, it is like Groundhog Day in here. We have another Conservative opposition day about lifting a federal carbon tax that does not apply to six provinces and a territory.
    There are other issues the Conservative Party could take on. It has 112 members of Parliament. I just met with the MPP for Kiiwetinoong, Sol Mamakwa—
    Mr. Blake Richards: Why is he supporting the government?
    Could we have some order, please? The hon. member is asking a question, and it is his right.
    The hon. member.
    Madam Speaker, I have a very serious question. I was talking to the Ontario MPP for Kiiwetinoong, Sol Mamakwa, just now. He has 14 nations in his riding that do not have clean drinking water. The Conservatives could have used an opposition day to call on the government to tackle that. No Canadian should go without clean drinking water in this country.
    Instead of bringing forward motions that cannot be applied nationally, will the Conservatives take on that challenge? That area is actually represented by a Conservative in the House. This is a very important issue.

  (1225)  

    Madam Speaker, if I recall, it was a Conservative government that put the truth and reconciliation recommendations in place, and it is the Liberal government that has not followed through. I will gladly support clean drinking water for every first nation, but there were 1.5 million trips to the food bank by Canadians.
    Every single Canadian eats. This opposition day motion would reduce the cost of food and would not hinder our environmental targets. I will support ensuring that every Canadian eats.
    Madam Speaker, it is a privilege to add my thoughts to the debate. It is shocking to watch the mental gymnastics taking place in the House to say that the rising inflation, which every Canadian is feeling, and the carbon tax have nothing to do with the cost of food. I have heard that a number of times.
    Anyone watching in this country right now is affected by the price of food. Regardless of all other important things we talk about in this place, if people cannot feed themselves, they cannot do anything else. If people are worried about feeding their families, they simply do not have the luxury, necessarily, of worrying about some of the other issues we discuss here. If kids are not eating, then their school, their growth and their health all suffer.
     We usually think of things like mass food insecurity happening in other nations that simply do not have the bounty that Canada has, but we never think about it in our own country on such a mass scale. The sad state of affairs in Canada right now is such that more people are being driven into poverty by failed economic policy from the government. Many rely on food banks, and some are not eating at all. If that is not important, then I think we should all question why we are here.
    How do we know this? Our constituents tell us every day. Just last week I got an email from somebody in Thornhill. He said that he has lived in Canada for eight years. He is a student. He works and pays his taxes. His rent is being increased and food is being increased. He is living on one student's salary and is in so much debt. Instead of building their lives here, they are being ruined by the piling debt because of government inefficiency. That is from constituents. I assume members in the House are hearing a similar refrain.
    It is not just people in our communities who are telling us this. It is also the statistics. A survey from Angus Reid found that, not too long ago, nearly 60% of Canadians were having a hard time affording enough food for their families. Food Banks Canada recently revealed that food bank use in 2022 was at its highest level ever recorded and that nearly 1.5 million Canadians used food banks in one month. That is up 35% in two years.
    I want to make something clear. We are G7 country. We are one of the richest countries in the world. When people cannot even afford food, there is something wrong in Canada. We should ask what it is. Then we should ask how we can make it better.
    I have heard a lot of rhetoric from the other side today about these two questions. The Liberals say it is all because of Putin's war, and it is all due to international phenomena. They say this even though we know that 0.3% of our trade is with Russia and Ukraine combined, and that inflation in this country was already two and a half times higher than the target rate when the war started.
    It is always something else. It is always someone else. It is always somewhere else. It is a complete abdication of responsibility by the people in charge of this country. These are people who continue to want more control and less responsibility.
    What do we see the NDP members saying? The entire inflation crisis is due to what they are calling greedflation. There are companies taking on unreasonable amounts of profits, and there is nothing else at play here.
    They are missing the bigger picture. There is somebody else taking away more money than their fair share from Canadians' paycheques and hard work. That is the same Liberal government that they are propping up in their supply and confidence agreement. The greed that is making this crisis a crisis is the greed of the federal government, the greed of power and the greed of politics, because they are profiting from inflation.
    The fall economic statement has shown that the government revenues went up more than $40 billion, because the cost of everything is going up. People are having a harder time making their paycheques last, and the Liberals want a share of that too. They are increasing the tax or the premiums on EI and CPP. Then there is the plan to triple the carbon tax. This is the tax they said they would not hike and the one that Canadians are paying more into than they are getting back. It is the one tax that has not met a single environmental target that the government has ever set.

  (1230)  

    We know that people are struggling and they are looking for hope. They are looking for real leadership and a real plan from the federal government. It is no surprise that the people who got us into this mess have no plan to get us out of it. What they are proposing is more of the same: tripling the tax on food, on gas, on home heating and on nearly everything else.
    More than that, there are new fertilizer restrictions on Canadian farmers that are going to make it even harder for them to grow good, nutritious and affordable food here in our country. They are going to keep the reckless spending and the deficits. They are going to keep the waste, the tax hikes and the mismanagement. It is making inflation even worse.
    Yesterday we saw another rate hike of 0.5%. That is the seventh in a row. How are people going to pay for this? We know that the Liberal plan is costing Canadians. The Governor of the Bank of Canada said so, and the previous governor said so too. It is not just because of them bringing us to where we are, but it is also where we are going. The latest “Food Price Report” released this week estimates that food prices are going up another 5% to 7%. That is $1,000 of after-tax income for a typical family to pay a typical grocery bill. Where do families find that money?
    We have to do something, because this is not sustainable and it is not okay. If the Liberals are not going to listen to the millions of Canadians who are ringing the alarm bells, at least there is one party in the House, it seems after today, that is listening.
    Conservatives are calling on the government to cancel the carbon tax on everything related to food production, including farm fuels, grain drying, fertilizer and transportation. To bring immediate relief, the Liberals can do something now. They hear it when they go back to their constituencies. They hear it from people who cannot afford to eat in a G7 country, in a rich country like Canada.
    Conservatives have taken major steps already on this. Bill C-234, introduced by my colleague from Huron—Bruce, would exempt the carbon tax from natural gas and propane used on farms. I would remind colleagues from the NDP and the Bloc that they voted for that, and they can vote for this motion. They can do the right thing by their constituents.
    There is even more that we could be doing. We could be growing more food right here in Canada. We could be supporting good-paying jobs. We could be lowering prices at the same time. If members in the House do not think this issue is important and they talk about it being Groundhog Day, then it might be the case for them, but this is what Canadians are talking about and struggling with.
    When our neighbours are making decisions about feeding themselves, we have lost the plot. Canadians will remember that this is the government that told us interest rates would stay low. It told us that the carbon tax would not go up. It told us that the problem was deflation, not inflation, and that everything would be okay.
    We have record inflation. There is a plan to triple the carbon tax. We have the highest interest rates since the 1990s, the highest in the G7, and everything is not okay. It is time that the inflationary taxing and deficits that have led to this stop. It is time that we put people back in control of their lives. Let them keep their own money. This is not our money.
    We have to be able to do the very basic thing and help Canadians feed themselves in Canada. Reducing taxes, capping government waste and removing red tape are just some of the best ways to end the inflation crisis. We talk about it here every day. This has trickled down to people's ability to feed their families, to feed themselves and to be productive.
    The solution is not going to be bigger budgets. It is not going to be higher taxes. It is never going to be more government. It is the exact opposite of what we are seeing. My time here is limited, but if I were to list all the things we could be doing better, I would be here all day. I want to be clear. This specific proposal today is not the silver bullet that is going to make all of the problems go away. It is not the magic fix, but it will help. Anything that we can do to help Canadians right now is something worth doing. They are watching.
    When our neighbours' and constituents' ability to feed themselves is at risk, it is incumbent on us to act in this place, because it is too important not to. Supporting this is just a start, and I hope that members in the House will do the right thing and spare Canadians their support for a failed carbon tax, one that they said would not go up, one that they said would reduce emissions and one that is costing consumers by driving the cost of everything up.
    Today, I hope members will find an ounce of courage to start with food and to start with the production of the very basic things we need to feed ourselves in this country. That is the least they can do by supporting this motion.

  (1235)  

    Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member can provide her thoughts in regard to the last federal election.
    In the last federal election, the member, like 337 other Conservative candidates, adopted a policy platform position saying to all Canadians that the Conservative Party of Canada supported a price on pollution. Today, contrary to what they told Canadians they were committed to doing and advocating for, they have taken a complete and absolute reverse on that position. I am wondering how the member can justify that policy reversal to her constituents today.
    Madam Speaker, I do not have all day, but if we want to talk about all of the broken promises from all of the platforms of the last number of elections from the Liberals, we could be here all day.
    The fact of the matter is that the carbon tax does not work. The Liberals have not met a single target. It costs Canadians more than they pay, and they said the opposite. They also said that it would never go up. This is not the carbon tax that they presented to Canadians. This is not the carbon tax that was voted for.
    This is not even the government that Canadians put in place because of the supply and confidence agreement, which is based on policies they never brought to the Canadian population. That is what the member should be asking about. Why continue to support a failed carbon tax that costs more and does nothing in terms of their own targets?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I think we have talked about the carbon tax enough during this parliamentary period. Perhaps we could have a debate on whether it works or not. One thing is certain, the fight against climate change is not working.
    Having said that, there is another way to look at this. I would agree that there are people who have serious needs and that rising costs mean we need to take action. Does my colleague agree that now is not the time to lower taxes, but rather the time to implement targeted measures with a fairer redistribution of wealth to the most vulnerable?
    In economics, it seems to me that in difficult times—
    The hon. member for Thornhill.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member acknowledging that the carbon tax may not work. I appreciate the member acknowledging that Canadians are struggling to pay their bills. What I do not understand is how there is a complete disconnect in the House in that $500 billion of debt, 40% of which had nothing to do with COVID, is not driving up inflation and is not making life harder. That is more than $200 billion wasted, according to the Auditor General who, apparently, the Liberals do not listen to anymore.
     We have heard it from experts. We have heard it from the Governor of the Bank of Canada. We have heard it from economists across the country. I cannot understand how members in the House can stand up and say that the cost of government is not driving up the cost of everything else in the country. We have a solution today, and members can support it.
    Madam Speaker, there are a couple of things that the Conservatives have broken promises on. They broke a promise to bring in a price on carbon. They broke a promise to remove the GST on home heating, which is something they had in their last couple of campaigns. Then they brought forward a motion today that is unenforceable in many of the jurisdictions in this country.
    We need to have a real conversation. The member talked about the disconnect with the debt, but what she did not talk about is the disconnect with the record profits. We do not need experts. Everyday Canadians know that big corporations are having record profits in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the government is not charging an excess profit tax like many countries. The U.K., Germany and other Conservative governments around the world have an excess profit tax. Germany also has a carbon tax, as does the EU, Japan, U.K., New Zealand, Sweden and Norway.
    When will the Conservatives get on board and understand that we need to make sure that some of those excess profits are returned to Canadians to help take the pressure off them?

  (1240)  

    Madam Speaker, I get that the member does not like the opposition motion, and perhaps he can use his own day, but NDP members consistently choose politics over principle. They are there to protect their pensions over the paycheques of Canadians. They are choosing to tell Canadians about GST on heating when they voted to triple the carbon tax. They are supporting the government. The NDP—
    Resuming debate, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, it is an interesting process we have with our rules in the House. Opposition members are afforded the opportunity to bring opposition day motions. I have talked about this in the past in terms of how opposition parties will establish different types of priorities.
    I will give credit to the Conservatives. They are definitely focused. They are focused on the price on pollution. They are on a little island of their own, not only here in Canada but around the world, where they are now convinced that a price on pollution is bad.
    I believe this is the seventh time the Conservative Party, as the official opposition, has decided to bring this issue to the floor. I do not know if it is because it likes to feel really important, being the only party in the House that supports getting rid of a price on pollution.
    After all, the Bloc supports a price on pollution. The New Democrats support a price on pollution. Members of the Green Party support a price on pollution. We all know the Government of Canada supports a price on pollution. It should be no surprise.
    Back in 2015, the world came together in Paris. In the dialogue that occurred there, Canada was well represented by all sorts of stakeholders, including provincial entities. What came out of that, and was one of the ideas that really resonated, was the need to have a price on pollution.
    Shortly after forming the government, we made the decision to listen to what Canadians were saying, appreciate the importance of our environment and implement a national policy ensuring a price on pollution.
    In Canada, we were not alone. There were provincial jurisdictions that already had a price on pollution. Members might be surprised to know this, but in potentially the first jurisdiction in North America to take the principle of a price on pollution and put it into a budgetary measure, the Conservative Party did this in the province of Alberta many years ago.
     The Province of Quebec, under Jean Charest, brought in a price on pollution. There have been a few leadership contests within the Conservative Party, but in the most recent one, interestingly enough, Jean Charest was one of the candidates. He received substantial support, and he too was an advocate.
    His Liberal government, in the province of Quebec, brought in a price on pollution. The Province of British Columbia has a price on pollution.
    People around the world are looking for ideas. We came back from the Paris conference saying we needed to get onside and recognize that a price on pollution is one of the most effective ways of being able to deal with the climate crisis of the century.
    I can appreciate there are climate deniers within the Conservative Party. There are actual members of Parliament on the Conservative side who do not recognize that climate change is a reality.
    When we first brought in a price on pollution, the Conservative Party actually opposed it. In the lead-up to the last election, not the last Conservative leadership race but the one before that, the Conservatives actually changed their position from their original one of opposing the price on pollution.

  (1245)  

    Just last year, during the election, the then leader of the Conservative Party actually put it forward in the Conservatives' platform. All Conservative candidates, in 338 ridings in Canada coast to coast to coast, had a platform document that said the Conservative Party of Canada supports a price on pollution.
    Another leadership contest took place and the Conservatives now are not really too sure what they are saying. They just skip answering the questions when asked about the price on pollution, as I just finished demonstrating by my question for the deputy leader of the Conservative Party. They made the decision that it is just bad, that Canadians should believe them and that we should just be getting rid of the price on pollution. So says the new leader of the Conservative Party.
     Do members remember the other idea the leader of the Conservative Party had, about cryptocurrency? The leader of the Conservative Party told Canadians that, if they want to fight inflation, they should invest in cryptocurrency. How did that idea pan out for the Conservative Party? Much like the most recent position of the Conservative Party on the price on pollution, that idea did not fly.
    At the end of the day, those individuals who followed the advice of the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada have lost a great deal of money, well over 60% of their investments. In fact when I say “over 60%”, I am probably being a little conservative in that estimate, as many people have lost a lot more. Let us think of the seniors the Conservatives often talk about, as if they were advocates for seniors. We still have not even heard any regret or apology coming from the leader of the Conservative Party or from any Conservative candidate in regard to that idea.
     What are the Conservatives waiting for now with the price on pollution? They like to say they are going to get rid of the carbon tax, as they call it. In Winnipeg North, eight out of 10 people actually get a net benefit with the price on pollution. There is the climate incentive cheque, which is given out four times a year. The Conservatives should be saying that, if they are going to get rid of the price on pollution, they are also going to be getting rid of those rebate cheques. Winnipeg North is not alone. Eight out of every 10 homes in the country receive them.
    When the Conservatives say there is going to be a tripling of the price on pollution, and of course they are not talking about this year but about an increase over the next eight years, what they do not tell Canadians is that the rebate will also increase. We have the price on pollution and we have the rebate. All the Conservatives want to talk about is the price on pollution. They are more concerned about the bumper sticker, going into the next election, saying, “Axe the carbon tax.” That is what their priority is. It is not about the environment. It has nothing to do with the environment for the Conservatives. They do not even have a plan, as has been illustrated time and again. The last time they actually had a plan was for the price on pollution, and they abandoned that plan.
    The Conservative Party is not reflecting the desire of Canadians to see some sort of plan dealing with the environment. To make matters even worse, they are spreading misinformation intentionally.

  (1250)  

    If the Conservatives were to come into Winnipeg North and we were to do a bit of door knocking, the Conservative candidate would stand beside me and say they were going to get rid of the price on pollution. However, I would say that if they get rid of the price on pollution, it would mean they would also get rid of the rebate. A person would get more money because of the rebate than they would pay on the pollution, generally speaking, for 80% of my constituents. Then, not only that, but at least as a government we are recognizing that the environment does matter and is an important issue, unlike the Conservative Party.
    I suspect that if the sole debate were on that issue in the constituency of Winnipeg North, I would get more votes than I received in the last federal election. I am very grateful for the over 50% I got in the last election, but I believe I would even get more support if that were the only ballot issue being decided, because the rebate puts more money in the pockets of my constituents, and it deals with the price on pollution for climate change.
    When we talk about farmers, the department of agriculture spends far more today than it did when Stephen Harper was the Prime Minister. In fact we are spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars, well past a billion dollars, supporting farmers, supporting our prairie farmers. We had one Conservative member say that this year was the third best on record in Canada for our farmers, and in particular our prairie farmers. My focus in Manitoba is canola, wheat and flax, all of these wonderful bumper crops, not to mention the other commodities, whether in the pork industry, the cattle industry or our chicken industry. All of these industries, we value.
    That is why we have a very proactive Minister of Agriculture. Not only is she proactive, but we are providing cash support. We are ensuring we can move toward a greener economy, just like other countries around the world. There is an expectation that Canada has to demonstrate leadership, and I believe it is important we do just that. By recognizing the importance of moving forward in a positive way with the environment, we will be in a much better position in the months and years ahead to ensure opportunities well into the future. We need to do this so Canada can continue to play that important role it does in the world, whether by providing food or through the many other industries Canada leads in.
    The Conservative Party likes to say this is all about the issue of inflation. Inflation is a very serious issue. I like to think it does not matter what side of the House we are sitting on. We all recognize how important inflation is to address as an issue. The Conservatives bring forward a motion that really would not deal with the issue they are talking about in a tangible way that would assist the majority of Canadians. We have put into place, over the last number of months in particular, a series of policy announcements that do deal with and support Canadians in a very real and tangible way.
    When the Conservative Party says that it is concerned about inflation and the government needs to do more to support Canadians, unlike the Conservative Party, we are not going to sit back and just watch things take place. There is a role for government.

  (1255)  

    Before the Conservatives make the suggestion, as they are now, that government should not play a role, let me talk about the larger picture of inflation outside of Canadian boundaries. We know Canada is doing better with its inflation rate than the United States of America. We are doing better than England and many different European countries. We are well below the average of the G7 countries overall. From a world perspective, our inflation rate is doing well.
    I find this interesting. I looked up the inflation rates of the United States and Canada over the last two years of Stephen Harper. I think this is appropriate, because the Conservatives are trying to tell us what we need to do, as if they have wonderful experience in dealing with inflation. In the last two years of Stephen Harper, the United States of America's inflation rate was lower than Canada's. In other words, Canada had a higher inflation rate in the last two years of Stephen Harper. Today, if we look at our administration, in the last two years our inflation rate has been lower than that of the United States.
    I do not think we need to follow the advice of the Conservative Party of Canada, in particular the leader, who recommends things like cryptocurrency, to deal with the types of policies that are not only important in having an impact on the overall inflation rate, but that we can use to support Canadians at a time when inflation hurts. Even though I pointed to the U.S.A. and how Canada is doing relatively well, my constituents, like everyone else in Canada, are hurting with respect to inflation. We are very much aware of the grocery prices and how much it hurts their pocketbooks. I too am offended that farmers are putting their blood, sweat and tears into ensuring we have food production but are not reaping in huge profits or rewards for their efforts to anywhere near the same degree others are. There are things we can do to help, and I could list them off.
    We can talk all we want, but the Conservatives continue to vote against measures to support Canadians, whether with respect to issues like the dental program for children under the age of 12 or the Canada housing benefit to provide rental subsidies that would benefit two million Canadians. There are already 35,000 children who have put in applications for the dental program since we brought it in a couple of weeks ago. Also, the doubling of the GST rebate for the next six months will benefit 11 million Canadians. When it comes to the Canada workers benefit, by making quarterly payments, thousands of Canadians will benefit from that. There is the elimination of the federal interest on student loans, which will benefit thousands of students, and that is not to mention child care.
     This government, unlike the Conservative Party, recognizes there is something the Government of Canada can do, and I can tell members that every Liberal member of Parliament will continue to fight, day in and day out, to ensure that we can marginalize the negative impacts of inflation, because that is the right thing to do, even though as a nation we are still doing better than the U.S.A. and most G7 and G8 countries.

  (1300)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the main problem with the carbon tax is that it taxes carbon emissions without capping them. People can pollute as much as they want as long as they can afford to pay the tax. That will not necessarily reduce GHGs. Those who can afford the tax will not necessarily be motivated to reduce their GHG emissions.
    In 2013, Quebec enrolled in a carbon market, which is a type of exchange or auction among greater and lesser carbon emitters that helps limit GHG emissions.
    Quebec tried to encourage the other Canadian provinces and Canada to enrol in the carbon market. I have a very simple question. Why did Canada not take this route to truly cap carbon emissions not only here but across the continent?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the specifics of that answer would probably be best put, in terms of a question, to the Minister of Environment, but what I would note is that with respect to the province of Quebec, I need to recognize Jean Charest. He was, even though he was a Liberal premier at the time, very progressive in his thinking in regard to the environment. He ultimately led the country, through the province of Quebec. He was a very strong nationalist who understood that the environment matters and who led a lot of initiatives.
    That is why I think, when we take a look at it, with regard to that last federal Conservative leadership race, where Jean Charest actually did quite well, he has got to be looking at the Conservative Party's positioning today from a Progressive Conservative position of saying that a price on pollution is good and remembering how he led the country through the province of Quebec while he was the premier. To see the Conservatives taking this sort of position, I suspect there are a lot of Conservatives who are wondering what the heck has happened to the Conservative Party of Canada.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Winnipeg North spoke about all the great work that the Liberals are perceived, in his mind, to have done. I would like to ask him if he could explain to the House why they felt the need to give CERB payments to prisoners.
    What does this have to do with the motion?
    I am being asked what this has to do with the motion. It is inflationary spending, which has led to the cost of living crisis that we are in.
    Could the member explain the need for prisoners and public servants to be paid CERB, or for high school students living at home to be paid CERB? I wonder if he could explain to the taxpayers of Canada why that was necessary.
    Madam Speaker, first of all, I am not going to blame the recipients of CERB payments as the reason for inflation. Families found it very difficult. We are talking about millions of families, nine million families, virtually, who needed to have CERB for a wide variety of reasons.
    The Conservative Party might want to try to blame those families, but from the government's perspective we needed to be there to support Canadians going through the pandemic. Had the Conservatives been in power, it is obvious that they might not have done that.
    As the result of a Liberal government doing it, as a result of a Prime Minister who understood the importance of having Canadians' backs, we were in a better position to be able to get out of the pandemic in the fashion in which we have. I will compare our record to any G8 country that is there today. We have done exceptionally well. There is always room for improvement, and at the end of the day I look forward to continuing the dialogue on that particular issue.

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for listing all the initiatives that the NDP have brought forward, like dental care and the rent subsidy, but my question for him is a bit more concrete. I have been sitting in the House all week, listening to the Liberals asking Conservatives how they can face their constituents when the Conservatives promised to put a price on pollution and are now against it.
    I am wondering how the member faces his constituents when the Liberal government promised to put that price on pollution and promised to deal with our climate crisis and has done so in such a poor way that we have met none of our targets and are at the bottom of the barrel for actually dealing with the climate crisis in this country.
    On one side, we have some Conservatives who have been, frankly, very dishonest with their constituents. On the other side, we have the government, which has actually done nothing for our climate crisis.
    How does he face his constituents?
    Madam Speaker, I talk to my constituents about putting into place a national policy, so that in every province, no matter where a person lives, there is a price on pollution. I talk about the two billion trees that are going to be planted as a result of policy.
    It is interesting. We often get the question, “Where are those two billion trees?” They start as seedlings, and it takes a little while for them to grow. I am very confident that we will continue to look at ways, whether it is the banning of single-use plastics or the planting of trees or having a price on pollution, not to mention the numerous budgetary measures to support getting Canada on the right road to a greener economy. That is what I would be telling my constituents.
    Madam Speaker, the member knows through the interventions I have shared in this place that if the governing party were serious about the climate crisis, it would start by taking the Canada recovery dividend that is already in Bill C-32 and apply it to oil and gas companies.
    I will move to a different topic. One thing I think we agree on is addressing affordability, particularly for those who need it the most, and that is people with disabilities across the country who are disproportionately living in poverty today. They have been calling out for an emergency response benefit to address the rising cost of living, food and day-to-day life. If all parliamentarians were serious about addressing affordability in this place, they would be directing funding to those living with disabilities.
    Could the member share his level of support for addressing poverty for those living with disabilities through an emergency response benefit?
    Madam Speaker, the issue of disabilities and how we can assist and support those disabilities was really amplified by the problems during the pandemic, when it came time to ensure that we could provide direct payments to people with disabilities.
    At the time I thought it took a while before we could ultimately create the databank or the mechanism that would ensure there would be a disability payment going out. We were able to do that. I know the minister responsible also has some fairly historic legislation. I do not necessarily know all the details of it. I am open to it. In the legislation the member just referenced, there is the intergenerational credit for housing, which helps seniors and people with a disability for whom additional suites can be built. That is a positive thing.
    This might not be the type of detailed answer the member would want, but that is the best I can give at this point.
    Madam Speaker, I want to give the hon. member a chance to highlight, once again, the things we have done as a government to support Canadians through this affordability crisis, and compare them to what Conservatives have supported or not supported.
    Madam Speaker, I happen to have a list here.
    The doubling of the GST rebate for six months helps 11 million people. The Conservatives originally opposed it, as the member might recall, but they were shamed into supporting it. We are glad they flip-flopped. We thank them very much.
    The Canada housing benefit was opposed by the Conservatives. That was to help two million people with rental support.
    The Canada dental benefit is the program that 35,000 children have already put in an application for. The Conservatives opposed that one, too.
    The Canada workers benefit creates more payments and helps at a time of need, i.e. a time of high inflation, as the member knows. The Conservatives opposed that one too.
    Wiping out the federal interest on Canada student loans was also opposed by the Conservatives, unfortunately.
    Child care is a really big one. We are talking about a lot of money. The Conservatives said it was absolutely wasted and we should not have done it. It was to ensure that child care is affordable from coast to coast to coast. In fact, Conservatives say they will rip it up and will not support it. Obviously, they voted against that.
    If I had more time, I am sure I could come up with even more details.

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise today in the House to address the concerns of my constituents in Perth—Wellington and Canadians across the country.
    I will be splitting my time with my deal colleague, the hon. member for South Shore—St. Margarets, Madam Speaker.
    It is appropriate that we, as the Conservative opposition, are debating this opposition day motion today. Today is the last opportunity that the opposition can bring forward an opposition day motion. We are focusing on the issues that we have been hearing about from constituents over the past year and before. These are issues we have been raising time and time again in the House, in question period, and the issues we are hearing time and time again from constituents in our ridings across the country.
    The cost of living and the cost of everyday essentials keep going up. We hear this from constituents who are struggling with home heating, groceries and putting gas in their tanks. I have been receiving emails and phone calls daily, hourly, by the minute basically, from constituents sharing their concerns with me.
     Sam from Arthur wrote me a heartbreaking email about how she and her husband, a carpenter, were nearing retirement and they were struggling to get by. She wrote:
     “Balancing a budget was incredibly difficult before COVID but now it is beyond me. Speaking for myself, basic essential groceries absorb at least half of my income....In our case, we tried to plan well. We took care of my husband's parents until they required fulltime care and we did our very best to conduct our affairs in the right way, for the right reasons. Now that we are at the point where we should be celebrating life with each other, we are struggling to try to make ends meet!”
    Sam is not alone. She expresses the concerns of so many in our communities.
     Danny from St. Marys wrote:
    “I have been very closely watching the parliament broadcasts and what is going on with gas prices and the inflation that is going on right now. Honestly, I am very disgusted with the way the Liberal Government is looking at these issues. I am disgusted with the way the Liberal Government continues to misinform, evade, and deflect on every single topic.”
    “My weekly gas price to go to and from work was approx. $150.00 a week, that is now $250.00 a week. My Wife and I generally buy the same groceries all the time, our grocery bill has gone from $160 a week to $25 0 a week. This is 200 a week more that is being spent each and every week right now. That is pretty close to $1000 a month, just in inflation.”
     Anthony from Perth South wrote, “I have a really big concern with the gas prices. When are we going to see affordable prices? Buying an electric car is not a viable option given the cost even for a used car.”
    Pam from Mount Forest in the north part of Wellington County wrote:
    “I almost cried talking to my husband last night about how much our expenses have been in the past month. Last weekend we picked up a modest "freezer pack" and a few other things from the butcher, which was over $450 and being realistic it will last my family of four MAYBE a month. Then picked up our groceries ... another $250. $700 and we will have to get more from the grocery store the end of this week."
    Walter from West Perth had to go back to work after retiring. He wrote, “Gas is driving everything up except for my pension, so now I get to go back to work. So much for a nice retirement. There has to be a way to get this liberal govt under control or out of office."
    People in Perth—Wellington are struggling. People across Canada are struggling. While the Liberal government is making more and more inflationary spending, the impact of this inflationary spending drives up the prices and makes matters worse for everyday Canadians.
    Over the past few months, the Liberal response to the criticism has varied from pathetic to downright infuriating. This past Monday in question period, I asked the government about the cost of groceries and the rising number of Canadians who were forced to use food banks. How did the government respond? The parliamentary secretary gave a non-answer, repeating the same false claim that the carbon tax was necessary to fight climate change, yet, as we have seen, emissions keep going up as the carbon tax goes up. These evasive and cowardly answers fail to address the real concerns.

  (1315)  

    Unfortunately, the Liberals have taken the approach that if they say the same thing time and time again, it might eventually become true. The fact is that it has not. The carbon tax has the impact of driving up the costs of growing, processing and transporting food, making it more expensive for farmers, farm families and Canadians across the country who are trying to feed their families.
    Yesterday, I was up in question period again and asked another question that received an evasive answer. Instead of getting a response from the Prime Minister or Minister of Finance, I received a response from a different minister, who took the opportunity to boast about the money that went out for CERB. What she neglected to acknowledge was that the day before, the Auditor General reported that nearly $13.4 billion had gone out in overpayments to those who were ineligible or to people who should be investigated further. She also said that those in prison received the CERB.
    When a Liberal minister stands and says the Liberals' spending is helping those in need, it simply does not stand up to scrutiny.
     Creating more and more inflationary spending will only drive up the costs in the short term and in the long term create structural economic problems, which have been going on since 2015.
    When we are out visiting our constituents, we often get asked what we would do if we were in power. This opposition day motion is our answer. We would take the carbon tax off all food inputs, all inputs that are used for production of the food that feeds each and every Canadian. We have been trying to do this for months now.
    In March, we had a motion calling for a tax reduction on gas and diesel prices. The Liberals and NDP rejected it. In September, we introduced a motion calling for a moratorium on new taxes. The Liberals and NDP rejected it. In October, we introduced a motion calling for a tax exemption on home heating. The Liberals and NDP rejected it. This is in Canada, where it gets exceptionally cold in the winter, and they rejected our call to remove the carbon tax on home heating. Every time we propose meaningful solutions for families and Canadians across the country, these proposals get rejected.
    What would this motion do? On our last day of the supply period, we call for five simple things: to cancel the carbon tax on farm fuels, grain, drying, fertilizer, transportation and other appropriate aspects of the food supply system. Canada quite literally helps to feed the world, but we are handcuffed in that ability when the input costs keep going up on farmers and farm families.
    In fact, just yesterday, at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, which I had the honour to sit in on, the member for Regina—Lewvan asked a very simple question of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The member asked, “Madam Minister, do you know what percentage of Canadian farms are family-owned farms?” The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food responded “No.” The answer to that is 95% of farms in Canada are family owned.
    Farm families feed families across Canada, and this motion serves to make it more affordable for farm families to feed our country and more affordable for families to feed their families. When we read heartbreaking emails each day about families struggling to make ends meet or when we hear that 1.5 million Canadians are using a food bank in a given month, half a million of those being children, we have the opportunity and the necessity to act. We need to remove the carbon tax on essentials. We need to remove the carbon tax on what it takes to feed our country.
    We put this motion before the House, and I am incredibly hopeful that the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois will join our Conservative opposition in making it more affordable for Canadians to feed their families.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to read something for the member. It says, “We recognize that the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing mechanisms.” This is from the platform that the member ran on and was elected on in his riding on September 20, 2021. He ran on a platform of pricing pollution, and now the Conservatives stand before the House and suggest they are dead set against it. The people who voted for him thought he believed in this. How can the Conservatives be so hypocritical as to now come and demand everything but this option of pricing pollution?
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member for Kingston and the Islands quoting from our 2021 platform. I would encourage him to read the whole thing because there is a lot of good stuff in it. If he wishes, I would encourage the member to steal any ideas from it, because there are some great ideas in it.
    What we promised in our platform was to make life affordable for Canadians. We were against a consumer carbon tax. We were against forcing Canadians to bear the brunt. We were against making it harder and harder for Canadians to afford to feed their families.
     In fact, if he keeps reading that platform, he will see that we were in favour of a grocery code of conduct. That was one of the key elements of our platform and it would have reined in the powers of the grocery store to make it more affordable for Canadians, while supporting farmers, farm families and Canadians across the country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, let us review for a moment. In 2020, the price of gas was under a dollar per litre. People talked about how cheap that was. I told my partner that oil companies would get their revenge once people went back to work and started driving again. That is exactly what happened. In some places, prices climbed over two dollars. The oil companies may have lost money, but they got it all back and more later.
    Would it not be a good idea to limit or index oil companies' massive profits in an attempt to shut down what is basically a coalition that drives up the price of a litre of gas?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou for the question.
    Let us be clear. Many Canadians work in the oil industry and that industry provides a lot of benefits to our economy. It contributes nearly $48 billion to the government in taxes. Canadians need to be able to drive to get to work.
    What is more, it is important that we, as members of the opposition, propose ideas and solutions to make life more affordable for Canadians.

  (1325)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, while I certainly do not agree with many of the things the member brought forward, it was interesting.
     He did talk about how we could make things more affordable for Canadians. I think and hope that is something everyone in the House is eager to do. However, the Conservatives have voted against many of the initiatives that the NDP have brought forward, things like dental care, the rent subsidy; taking GST off of home heating.
    One of the other things that we could be doing, that we should be doing, is what the Conservative Party in the U.K. is doing. It has put in place a 25% excess profit tax on companies that made massive profits during the pandemic.
    Would he vote against that initiative as well or would he be supportive of something like that?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member touched on ideas from different parties and different countries. One of the things I always think is important to do is to look to other jurisdictions and see what they have proposed. In fact, in 2009, the British Columbia New Democrats had a great idea. I am quoting from a headline from the very respectable Toronto Star, which said “B.C. NDP promises to kill carbon tax.” That is a great idea and one that we as Canadians would support.
    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to follow my colleague who gave a very entertaining speech. It is always a great honour for all of us to stand in our place to speak on behalf of the communities that elected us.
    The debate today is about a motion we put forward that we think is very reasonable in the economic crisis we are experiencing right now, this cost of living crisis. It is a motion that calls on the government to remove the carbon tax on all those input costs of the food processes we have, whether it is through agriculture, or in my part of the world, elements that are affected by the pricing on fishing.
    It is important because the carbon tax is really a tax on everything. Most people are probably aware of that, but the primary reason we are having this inflationary, some say a just inflationary, type of period is that we have a tax that is applied to everything, and it is pushing the prices up, combined with government spending.
    I would like my colleagues here to understand a little bit about the effect of these costs. Some here, as we are paid a fairly good salary, may not feel the pinch the same way as people in my community do, where the median individual income is $20,000 a year and the median household income is only $44,000 a year. We are forced, in our province, to heat with either oil, 53% of which is oil that comes from Saudi Arabia, so dirty Saudi Arabian oil, or with electricity, which is generated in Nova Scotia with coal, of which 60% comes from Colombia. Therefore, we do not have the choice, because of decisions of the government, to use clean Canadian energy in our province. We are forced to use these methods, which is dramatically increasing the cost of living. When one has a median income of $20,000, these increases are huge.
    Some of the constituents have written to me, and we are all getting calls, I am sure, on all sides of the House, from people who are suffering. I will tell members what Jeff Kinar from riding wrote to me.
    He said that he was absolutely shocked to pay over $2 a litre for diesel for his truck. He is a pensioner living in a rural area of Nova Scotia trying to enjoy what he considers to be a well-deserved retirement. He did his time in the public service and has a modest pension income. Fortunately, he has few medical issues and he does own his own home, but these fuel prices are unbearable for those who are living in rural areas who must make regular trips to town for groceries, prescription drugs and medical appointments. He said that it was shocking to see that almost the entire crew of Liberals jaunted off to Europe while exhorting, or extorting, the Canadian public to do their part in the fight on climate change.
    Now, Nancy Celic in my riding wrote—
    I have to interrupt the hon. member.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I was listening to my colleague. Is he saying that the Liberals are extorting the public?
    Madam Speaker, I said “exhorting”.
    Madam Speaker, he said “exhorting”. Okay, I was just worried about what I had heard.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, the NDP member from the costly coalition is obviously very sensitive to any accusation that his friends and fellow caucus members are putting up the cost of everything.
    I will go back to what my constituents have written to me. The member for Kingston and the Islands, I am sure, is getting emails like this. Nancy wrote to me to raise the issues facing those on a federal disability pension. The member for Kingston and the Islands is obviously not aware that people live on disability pensions.
    She continued with asking us to please raise their pension. She wrote that her oil bill was over $700, and she gets $895 a month. She cannot afford prescriptions, power, cable, phone or Internet, to say nothing of food. She lives in rural Nova Scotia, so everything she needs, she has to drive to, but she cannot afford gas. She says she is usually home anyway, but this is ridiculous. She goes on to talk about her medical needs, and she says she is living a life like the early days of the pandemic because she cannot get out and misses appointments.
    She then says that the government is giving away millions of dollars, and she understands why it has to do it, and she does sympathize, but she asks about Canadian citizens. She questions if the government cares about them. She then says that she finds it hard to see her mom, as she is 35 kilometres away, and Nancy cannot afford the gas to visit her. Her mother is on an old age pension too and cannot afford food.
    I would think that the Liberals would care about these issues and vote for the motion.
    We are seeing, for example, that food inflation is up 10.8% because of the policies of the government. Fish, which is very important in my riding, is up 10.4%. Butter is up 16%. Eggs are up 11%. Margarine is up 37%. I am not buttering members up on this. The reality is it has gone up by 37%. Bread and rolls, which is something we butter up, have gone up 17%. I can go on. The food costs have grown enormously.
    Fishing is an important part of my riding. It is lobster season and the winter has just started. It is a dangerous job, fishing in the north Atlantic for lobster in the winter during storms, with waves and snow. There are dangers when people are out to sea, 40 to 50 miles off shore.
    I know I am going to get scoffs from the other side, but the cost of diesel for a fishing boat is $2.70 per gallon, which is triple what it was at the start of the season last year. It is tripling. It is because of the policies of the government that we no longer have access to the necessary bait. We are not allowed to fish mackerel because of the decisions of the government. The reality is they have to buy bait from Europe and Norway, and the bait has now doubled to $1.40 per fish.
    There are people who have a loan from the provincial loan board. They are young entrepreneurs who have gotten into the fishing business and have upwards of a million dollars of loans, so they could buy their boat, their licence and their gear. Their loans have just rolled over this fall. Do members know what they are now? They were paying 2%. What do members think they have gone up to? They have more than tripled to 7% on a million-dollar loan.
    This is an incredible burden on and cost increase to the food that we eat. That is why we are putting forward this motion. We are saying we have to give people relief. The government has to give relief to Canadians to stop the cycle of inflation it is causing, which is driving up food prices and making our constituents have to choose between heating and eating.
    How did we get here? Those tiny deficits were promised in 2015 and balanced by 2019. Before COVID, we had $110 billion of deficits spent by the government, which was supposed to have balanced budgets. Then during COVID, over $200 million was spent on issues that were not related to COVID, which added more debt to the country than all other prime ministers combined in the history of this country.
    That excessive spending puts more cash into the market, and it is chasing fewer goods, which means our paycheques cannot buy what they used to. It is basic economics. However, if we had a government that understood or paid attention to monetary policy, it would have understood that and saw it coming, as we did two years. We warned the government that this was going to happen. The Minister of Finance said she was worried about deflation. Do members believe that? She did nothing about understanding the basic economics of our economy.

  (1335)  

    I have a lot more to talk about on the wasted government spending that has led us to this point where we are calling on the government to give some compassion and relief, so people can afford to buy food and do not have to choose between food, heating and prescriptions in my province, and in some cases selling their houses.
    I have asked questions here, and I had Debbie on the phone. Her mother has to sell her family house. She has to sell the family house because the price of home heating has gone up from $200 to $400 a month. We get calls every week from people having to sell their houses because they cannot afford to heat them anymore, and they have to make the choice between maintaining that home or eating, so they have to sell the home.
    We are calling on the government to show a little compassion and reduce or eliminate its failed carbon tax, which has not met a single carbon target it has set out. The Liberals have not reduced carbon outputs in this country since they have been in government. It is an inflationary tax intended to drive up inflation, and it is not working, so we would urge all members in the House to please support this motion today. It is a brilliantly crafted motion, which would really help Canadians suffer through this terrible economic time we are in.
    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague, during his remarks, talked about government spending over the last two years, and some of that spending has included a national child care program, which has been rolled out across the country. Indeed, the Nova Scotia minister is actually an MLA within that member's riding. We just announced that child care fees are going to be going down by 50%, and that there will be another 1,500 spaces added in our province of Nova Scotia alone. That will help support families in my riding and in the member opposite's riding.
    Does that member support that government spending over the last two years? Why does he not support it? Will he support the legislation we introduced today that would enshrine that moving forward, so that families in his riding and mine can be supported with important affordability measures that would make a difference to our young kids?
    Madam Speaker, my colleague from Kings—Hants, who represents a rural riding in Nova Scotia, will know that there is almost no institutional child care available in rural Nova Scotia. I have one institutional child care space that helps nobody in my riding, and there are over 70,000 or 80,000 families on the waiting list in Quebec for this program, and that is a mature program, so it is not going to help. I think it is highly misleading to the families in my riding to think that somehow that would help them achieve their child care needs.
    Madam Speaker, the colleague opposite mentioned two things that kind of caught my attention: the price of diesel, which somebody is burning in his riding, and the price of gasoline for somebody else to get to medical appointments or to visit their mom. How much of that price, because he quoted the actual price per litre in his speech, is a federally implemented carbon tax, or is it a provincially implemented carbon tax? Could he please—
    The hon. member for South Shore—St. Margarets.
    Madam Speaker, the member for Avalon does an excellent job chairing the fisheries committee, and I enjoy working with him on that committee.
    On the question, there is no provincial carbon tax on that diesel because we did not impose a carbon tax provincially in Nova Scotia, and the price has gone up from 90¢ to $2.70 because of the inflationary policies of the government. The policies of the government have also led to our dependence on Saudi Arabian fuel coming into Atlantic Canada, including to the refineries in that member's province, which has energy coming from Saudi Arabia. The—
    I have to give time for other questions.
    The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in 2013, the Government of Quebec joined the carbon market with California, but the negotiations were held long before 2013. The Conservative government was in power at the time. The good thing about the carbon market is that it puts a cap on carbon emissions. Quebec tried to encourage the Government of Canada to join the carbon market, but it did not.
    Looking back, does my colleague think that the carbon market is a better alternative to taxation, which only puts a price per tonne without putting a cap on emissions?

  (1340)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, no, because the carbon market is basically allowing somebody to pay at the end of the day for continuing to pollute. It puts the price of everything up, even in the province of Quebec, and we have not seen carbon emissions come down as a result of that. The province with the most aggressive carbon tax in this country is British Columbia, and we have seen nothing but increases in carbon in that province for the almost 20 years that it has had a carbon tax in place.
    Madam Speaker, I enjoyed my colleague's speech, especially when he read some his constituents' concerns, which he highlighted. The cost here in Windsor, Ontario, is significant as well, and I would like to hear his perspective on a problem we have that is compounding everything. I have not heard the Conservative position on this.
    The City of Windsor had to spend $5.7 million to clear the illegal border crossing blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, which cost tens of millions of dollars per day to the Canadian economy. Does the member's party support making the city of Windsor residents whole? On top of all these other expenses, we now have to foot the bill of nearly $6 million to clear the illegal blockade for the rest of the country, and most of the people came from outside this region. Does he support that restitution for the City of Windsor?
    Madam Speaker, I am not an expert on the priorities of the City of Windsor's municipal government, but I think it enjoys having the responsibility of policing and not having the federal government do it. When the city takes those responsibilities on, it involves a cost throughout the year, whatever the challenges are.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Obviously, the procedural rules say that no member should suggest that another member has misled the House, but before me I have a report from the Nova Scotia government that talks about the number of registered day care spaces in South Shore—St. Margarets. Could we—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Davenport.
    Madam Speaker, I am happy to be sharing my time with the very hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    I am very pleased to join in today's debate on the issue of the higher cost of living. It is one that is top of mind for our federal government and also for the residents of my riding of Davenport. It is also the top economic challenge facing our country right now.
    We have been speaking with Canadians and know the real uncertainty they are feeling today. First, we have experienced a once-in-a-generation pandemic. We turned the Canadian economy off and then turned it back on. Then Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Now we are dealing with inflation. All of these things are related, of course. Global inflation has not been created by the decisions of any one government alone. Global inflation has been created by the combined aftershocks of two and a half years of historic tumult.
    Fortunately, Canada is faring better than most other G7 countries in these very difficult times. However, that reality does not change the impact on Canadians when they are looking at their grocery bills or their gas receipts. Our federal government knows how challenging these past several months have been, and while inflation is down to 6.9% from a peak of 8.1% in June, it is still too high. It is also no comfort that Canada's inflation rate is one of the lowest of all G7 countries.
    Affordability and covering the costs of everyday living will continue to be a top issue. It will continue to be a difficult time for a lot of Canadians, friends, families and neighbours. Our economy will slow, the same as economies around the world, as central banks continue to act to tackle inflation, as we heard from the Bank of Canada yesterday. There will be people whose mortgage payments will rise. Businesses will no longer be booming in the same way they have been since we left our homes after the COVID lockdowns and went back out into the world. Our unemployment rate will still be low but will not be at its record low.
    We know that Canadians are worried about the higher cost of living and are also wondering when it will all end. For the Canadians who need it the most, namely those who are the most vulnerable and those who feel the bite of rising prices most acutely, our federal government is there with measures in our affordability plan right now, this year.
    Our affordability plan has been providing up to $12.1 billion in new supports throughout this year, with many measures continuing after this year to help make life more affordable for millions of Canadians. Let me go through some of those measures.
    We have doubled the GST credit for six months, which is providing $2.5 billion in additional targeted support to roughly 11 million individuals and families who already receive the tax credit, including more than half of Canadian seniors. Many received this additional payment last month.
    The second thing we are doing is enhancing the Canada workers benefit to put up to an additional $2,400 into the pockets of low- and modest-income families, starting already this year.
    We also increased, on a permanent basis, old age security by 10% for seniors over 75. That began in July. This increases benefits for more than three million seniors and provides more than $800 in the first year to full pensioners.
    In addition, we have a $500 payment this year going to 1.8 million Canadian low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing through a one-time top-up to the Canada housing benefit.
    We are also cutting regulated child care fees by an average of 50% by the end of this year. I am delighted that we have introduced Bill C-35, legislation that will protect access to affordable, inclusive, high-quality early learning and child care now and ongoing. This legislation will make it harder for any future government to cancel or cut any child care in the future. I am very happy that this is happening and is currently under way.
    We are providing dental care for Canadians without dental insurance who are in households earning under $90,000 and have children under the age of 12. They are getting up to $650 this year and up to $650 next year.
    We are also indexing benefits to inflation, including the Canada child benefit, the GST credit, the Canada pension plan, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.

  (1345)  

    All of these measures mean that Canadians are getting more money back in their pockets when they need it most. Also, when it comes to pollution pricing, we know a national price on pollution is the most effective and least costly way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and putting money back into the pockets of most Canadians.
    I would like to take a moment to further highlight two other measures in this plan in more detail.
    First, in the fall economic statement, we set out a plan to further improve the Canada workers benefit, in addition to already expanding and enhancing it in budget 2021 to reach up to three million Canadians who do important jobs but do not get paid very much. The federal government currently delivers the Canada workers benefit through tax returns. That means eligible Canadians need to wait until the tax year is over to receive the money they have already earned.
    However, bills need to be paid throughout the year. That is why in the fall economic statement, we set out a plan to further improve the Canada workers benefit. With the changes proposed in the fall economic statement, the Canada workers benefit will reach up to 1.2 million additional hard-working low- and modest-income Canadians through advance payments that would be made in July, October and January based on a worker's income in the previous year. This means that in total, the Canada workers benefit would top up the income of up to 4.2 million Canadians. They are among the lowest paid Canadians, and no one who works 40 hours a week should have to worry about paying the bills or putting food on the table.
    The second measure I would like to underscore is our federal government's investments to support early learning and child care. Child care is not just a social policy; it is an economic policy too. Affordable, high-quality child care will grow our economy, will help give every Canadian child the best start in life and will allow more women to enter the workforce.
    I call this policy a game-changer. In fact, just last week, Statistics Canada reported that almost 82% of women in their prime working years had jobs in November, the most on record, as our implementation of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system continues to close long-standing gender gaps in conjunction with a tight labour market. At a time when the cost of living is top of mind for so many, the investments we have made are having a real, tangible impact on what is often one of the biggest monthly expenses for a family.
    This is very popular among residents in my riding of Davenport. They love this national child care plan. They are absolutely using it. They very much appreciate the additional dollars, especially during months like December, when there are some additional family gatherings and they need additional dollars.
    In budget 2021, our federal government has made a historic investment of $30 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. In less than a year, we have reached agreements with all 13 provinces and territories. As I mentioned earlier, by the end of this year, regulated child care fees will be reduced by an average of 50% by 2025-26. Child care fees will average $10 a day by then for all regulated child care spaces from coast to coast to coast.
    Today, that means parents across British Columbia can now save on average up to $550 more per month for each child they have in licensed child care, representing up to an additional $6,600 annual savings. This is on top of the existing savings of up to $350 per month introduced by the ChildCareBC plan in 2018, for a total of almost $900 in savings per month on average.
    As we continue to work with the provinces and territories on the implementation of agreements, we are also creating an early learning and child care infrastructure fund. Through an investment of $625 million, this fund will enable provinces and territories to make additional child care investments, including for the building of new facilities, all with the goal of making high-quality child care across Canada more accessible and more affordable.
    When it comes to ensuring Canadians will get through this challenging economic time, we are providing inflation relief, through our affordability plan, to Canadians who need it the most: the most vulnerable, who are most exposed to inflation. We, of course, cannot support every single Canadian the same way we did with emergency measures at the height of the pandemic. To do so would only make inflation worse and more persistent. In saying that, I note we have been responsible with our spending, we are being compassionate and we are going to continue to have the backs of Canadians who need it the most, both now and moving forward.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Davenport, because she just admitted at the end of her speech that the more the government spends, the higher inflation goes. She just said it. She said that we cannot spend as much as at the height of the pandemic because it makes inflation go up.
    I will get to my question for her, now that she was honest about that.
    In listening to her speech, Canadians would think they have never had it so good, yet 1.5 million Canadians use the food bank every month. Does the member think this is a statistic that shows her government is doing well, yes or no?
    Madam Speaker, on the first part of the member's question, I said that we had to be very responsible in our spending, and that is exactly what we have been. We have been very responsible in our spending in our fall economic statement, in which we were very targeted in how we would actually spend money. We wanted to ensure we were providing targeted funding to those who needed it the most. I provided a number of those examples of how we were targeting that funding. None of that will add to us increasing inflation.
    With respect to food banks, it is a very serious situation, something I definitely worry about in my riding of Davenport. All the measures we have put into place will continue to help the most vulnerable and will put additional dollars into their pockets. We are hoping that the use of—

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, what is unfortunate is that, because of the government's inaction on climate change, the Conservatives have come here today with a populist motion saying that the carbon tax does not do anything to fight climate change since Canada is ranked 58 out of 63 and is among the worst countries when it comes to climate change performance. It is a good thing there is a carbon tax. Without it, I think we would likely be ranked 122 out of 63.
    At a time when Quebeckers and Canadians are struggling to put food on the table, big oil companies, banks and major food corporations are making record profits. Meanwhile, the government is allowing oil projects to increase their production when every international body is calling for a reduction in oil production around the world. To me, it seems absolutely insane to think that Canada is bragging about being good at fighting climate change when it is ranked 58 out of 63.
    My question is as follows. When is the government going to start taking money out of the pockets of big oil, big banks and major food corporations and give it to citizens who are working hard to live a decent life?

  (1355)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I do think oil and gas companies are raking in the profits. They need to be using their profits and putting them toward reducing their emissions, to decarbonizing, to a just transition plan to help their workers continue to have well-paying jobs as we move forward to decarbonize and achieve our net-zero-by-2050 targets.
    I do not agree with the hon. member that we have not done enough as a government. We have put in over $100 billion. We have introduced over 100 actions to ensure we achieve our Paris accord targets and that we meet our net-zero targets by 2050.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague just read off a long list of NDP proposals that are there to help Canadians, such as dental care, doubling the GST tax credit and the rent benefit. We are glad to see that.
    Many Liberals have read off lists of jurisdictions and countries that have a price on carbon. We are glad to hear that as well.
    However, I have a list of countries that have an excess profit tax: Belgium, Czech, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, U.K., Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and I could go on. They have had the courage to go after CEOs.
    The member has said that the Liberals cannot help Canadians like they did in COVID, but they are helping CEOs like they did in COVID. They are helping shareholders like they did in COVID.
    When is Canada going to make the list of countries that are taking on greedflation and excess profit from oil and gas companies?
    Madam Speaker, fist, the supply and confidence agreement between the Liberals and the NDP was about us coming together and working on the things that we both believed in, such as the environment, housing, indigenous reconciliation, dental care and pharmacare. These are important priorities for Canadians and I am really glad we are working very hard together on achieving these objectives.
    With respect to going going after oil and gas companies and profit-making, we have already raised corporate income tax rates. We have increased it by 1.5% on Canada's largest and most profitable banks and insurance companies—
    Resuming debate, the hon, member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    Madam Speaker, I know that all my hon. colleagues in the House are very excited for question period to begin so I will just say a few remarks and then turn it back to you.
    As many of us in the House know, the early learning and national child care agreement has come into application across the country. I know my family is quite blessed in many ways. The impact for us is a positive one. Our little one, who is 13 months old, just started day care this week. We received notification about the fees for that day care, which has been in existence for about 30 years.
    First, I want to give a shout-out to all the early childhood educators taking care of kids across the country. I would also like to give a shout-out to our government. This accord is so transformational for families across the country.
    We are very blessed as a family and we can cover our fees without issue, but the fees have gone down 25% and there will be a further 25% reduction. For families across Canada, these reductions in child care fees and the after-tax savings for families is because of the child care agreement that our government negotiated with all provinces and territories. This is transformational for families and it is transformational for our economy, participation rates and so forth. I wish to applaud the government. I am very proud that our government was able to sign these agreements.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Liz Byrd

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to mourn the passing of a great woman whose impact will not soon be forgotten. Liz Byrd, who passed away in November at the age of 81, was the sort of community leader who was never afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work.
    Liz was a long-time councillor for the West Vancouver Council and a founder of the prestigious Collingwood School. Self-describing as “a bit of an activist”, Liz led a nationally publicized protest to protect the ecologically fragile Eagleridge Bluffs from destruction. She raised $8 million for community initiatives and was a key advocate that led to the setting up of the Kay Meek Arts Centre.
    Liz’s contributions have led to countless recognitions, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, and she played a defining role in shaping West Vancouver as we know it. West Vancouver will forever be indebted to Liz for everything she has done and our thoughts and prayers are with Liz’s family and friends.
    I thank her. May she rest in peace.

Medical Assistance in Dying

    Mr. Speaker, in 2016, the government legalized medical assistance in dying for adults who had an incurable illness that was irreversible and caused intolerable pain. Many of us warned that we were now on a slippery slope, which would lead to many others being offered assisted death. We were assured that assisted suicide would never be expanded, yet a short six years later, it is being offered to those who give mental illness as their sole reason for ending their lives, and there are plans to extend this scheme to minor children.
    Now we are hearing terrible stories of veterans being encouraged to end their lives rather than receive the mental health supports they need. Assisted suicide is even being approved for those who cannot find adequate housing or have fallen through the cracks of our social support system. The government has moved too fast and too far. Life is a beautiful gift.
    Before we move from a culture of life to a culture of death, let us reconsider the precarious path we are on and pause any further expansion of assisted death.

Volunteerism

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to commend several constituents from my riding of Cape Breton—Canso who are truly making a difference for their community this holiday season.
    For the past 15 years, Inspector Billy Turner, Sergeant John Anthony and Constable Marvin MacDonald of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service have volunteered their time toward the department’s “Shop of the Class” initiative. Shop of the class is a program that pairs local elementary students with a Cape Breton Regional Police officer, an officer who volunteers his or her time to help that child fulfill his or her holiday wish through donations and sponsored activities.
    Thanks to the work of dedicated officers like Inspector Turner, Sergeant Anthony and Constable MacDonald, 278 local children have incredibly had their spirits brightened so far.
     This goes far beyond the call of duty. From the bottom of my heart and the hearts of my constituents, I am proud to thank these officers for all they do.

[Translation]

Anti-scab Legislation

     Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend the striking United Steelworkers employees from Océan Remorquage of Sorel-Tracy. That company is a federally regulated business that provides port services. Workers demonstrated yesterday in Quebec City to demand decent working conditions and wages, as well as anti-scab legislation.
    These workers have been on strike for more than five months and are dealing with a bad faith employer who chose to take advantage of the weakness inherent in the Canada Labour Code to hire scabs, thus allowing the dispute to drag on.
    I would remind the House that the Minister of Labour has been mandated to introduce a bill to ban this practice, which greatly affects workers' bargaining power. He will not do so until December 2023. There is no justification for this delay. He must act now.
    The Bloc Québécois has introduced 11 bills to correct this injustice, and today we reiterate the importance of this issue by showing our support for these striking workers.

Hunting

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to highlight the importance of hunting in our rural communities. Although I am not currently a hunter, I do enjoy wild game meat. Venison and moose meat are my favourites.
    For my Franco-Ontarian community, I know that the tradition of hunting is rooted in its way of life. Whether it is back home, in eastern Ontario, or in the north, when hunting season arrives, time stops and people head for the woods.
    In 2012, the current Prime Minister declared in Hawkesbury, where I was born, that the long gun registry was a failure. We have never targeted hunters with our legislation, including Bill C‑21. It is not unusual for certain amendments to be debated at the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    I salute the efforts of Liberal, Bloc Québécois and NDP members to ensure that hunters will not be mistakenly subject to this law.
    Hunting is part of a legitimate way of life.

  (1405)  

[English]

The Sindhi Language

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to honour my Sindhi friends Sufi and Muzafar, and to recognize Sindhi as one of the ancient languages of the world and one worth preserving today.
     While Sindhi is recognized as an official language in the province of Sindh, in Pakistan, it is not recognized as an official language by the Consulate of Canada to Pakistan, in Karachi, nor by the High Commission of Canada to Pakistan, in Islamabad. This lack of recognition of a prominent regional language is resulting in a barrier of communication between the Canadian consulate and high commission and the Sindhi people.
    This needs to be changed. The Sindhi people deserve to have consular services in their native tongue. For this reason I am calling on the Canadian consulate in Karachi and the high commission in Islamabad to consider recognizing Sindhi as an official language and to provide their services to the people in the Sindhi language. Sindhi is a rich, beautiful language and it ought to be preserved.
     Mehrbaani.

Hockey Hall of Fame

    Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to congratulate Roberto Luongo, former Florida Panthers goaltender, on his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     A native of my riding of Saint-Léonard who also grew up on my street, Roberto Luongo is known for his on-ice butterfly style of goaltending and remains one of only three goaltenders in history to have played over 1,000 games in the NHL. He is a recipient of multiple awards, mentions and trophies. He has appeared in three Winter Olympics and won gold twice, in Vancouver in 2010 and in Sochi in 2014.
    Beyond his considerable hockey skills, Roberto Luongo is also a man with a big heart who has actively participated in multiple fundraisers for charitable causes and who has sponsored events for underprivileged children. Lou, as he is affectionately called by his devoted fans, continues to inspire our constituents who skate and hold their hockey practices in the arena that proudly bears his name.
    Auguri to Roberto Luongo, our number one hockey player.

JWest Community Centre

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I was proud to announce a new investment of $25 million to revitalize the Jewish Community Centre in my riding of Vancouver Granville. For generations the JCC has been the centre of Jewish life, and it has been the place where people of so many different communities have learned to swim, have gone to day care and attended seniors programs.
    The new JCC will be at the heart of Vancouver Granville with more than 500 units of affordable housing, expanded day care spaces, an aquatic centre, a theatre and so much more. It will also house the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, which, at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, will be an important weapon in the fight against hate and ignorance.
    The JWest will be a place of gathering, of learning and of helping us understand one another. Above all, it demonstrates the incredibly generous contribution of so many in the Jewish community in Vancouver in building a place where all of us can belong.

Events in Regina

    Mr. Speaker, Regina hosted two major events over the past month.
     The 109th Grey Cup took place in the heartland of Canadian football. Even though Canada's team was not playing, Rider Nation still rolled out the red carpet and hosted an amazing Grey Cup week. It was a great game between Winnipeg and Toronto. Yes, Toronto still has a team. Over 33,350 fans packed Mosaic Stadium and watched the Argos squeak out a win over the Bombers. Sorry to the members from Winnipeg.
    Next up was the 51st edition of the Canadian Western Agribition. People from across Canada and abroad came to see the best of the best of beef genetics, and the Maple Leaf Finals Rodeo was sold out every night. It was great to see the enthusiasm for Canadian agriculture, with over 100,000 people going through the gates at Agribition. It was a joy to walk through the barns and the trade shows and see the buzzing of activity. If they have never been to Agribition, I ask members to please make the time next year. It is a world-class show.
    These two events prove once again that Regina is the best place in Canada to host a party.

[Translation]

Sherbrooke CEGEP Football Victory

    Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the amazing performance of the Sherbrooke CEGEP's Volontaires, who won the college football division 2 Bol d'or last month.
    The team, which took home the title for the first time since 2010, played a great defensive game, as usual, and led a forceful offence. I congratulate all of the players and coaches.
    Sherbrooke is making a name for itself on Canada's sports scene thanks to our athletes and sports teams.
    Our government is taking action to make sports more accessible in Canada. Thanks to the leadership of my colleague, the Minister of Sport, our government is providing $25.3 million in financial support over three years for gender equity in sports. What is more, budget 2022 proposes an investment of $16 million over three years to support measures to create a safer sports system.
    Together, let us continue to support our athletes by ensuring that national sport policies and practices reduce the risk of harassment, abuse and discrimination and create a safer and more inclusive sports system for everyone.

  (1410)  

[English]

Cost of Living

    Mr. Speaker, as families look forward to gathering for the holidays, rising food prices will buy them less while costing them more.
     There is a cost of living crisis for millions of Canadians, and the Liberal carbon tax is only fuelling more inflation. New data show a family of four will pay nearly $1,100 more for groceries next year. By the end of 2023, families will have paid almost $16,300 just to put food on their tables. On top of that, farmers of a typical 5,000-acre farm will have to pay $150,000 in carbon tax per year once the Liberals triple it.
    Farmers need to dry their grain and heat their livestock barns. They are getting punished for no fault of their own. Every time the carbon tax goes up, the cost of transporting food also gets more expensive.
    To help struggling farmers, it is time the Liberals reined in their inflationary spending and axed the carbon tax once and for all.

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, Champion Petfoods, with facilities in Parkland County in Morinville, is state of the art and provides jobs for hundreds of Albertans. Its naturally sourced Orijen and ACANA pet food brands are internationally recognized for their quality.
    Since February 2022, after an avian flu outbreak in Canada, China, Champion's largest market, placed restrictions on Canadian pet food exports. It did not do the same for the United States despite similar issues with the avian flu. The World Organisation for Animal Health has recognized that Canadian pet food products are safe, yet China maintains its unscientific restrictions on Canadian exports. It is the only country in the world to do so.
     This represents an existential threat to thousands of Canadian jobs and billions in Canadian exports. This government needs to stand up to Beijing and protect market access for world-class Canadian products. It is time for the Minister of International Trade to step up to the plate and end this absurd ban on Canadian pet food.

[Translation]

Jan Rok Achard

     Mr. Speaker, the circus world is in mourning.
    Today I want to lift the curtain and give you a look behind the scenes at a pillar of the circus community in Quebec and Canada.
    Jan Rok Achard was a visionary who was unfortunately not well known to the general public. He led the National Circus School of Montreal for 13 years. He co-founded TOHU and the En Piste group, Canada's only circus arts alliance.
    Jan Rok Achard professionalized the art of the circus in Quebec and across the country by creating a structure around the milieu. He actively worked to innovate the art form and help it reinvent itself. He also helped propel it to international success and global recognition. The circus was his life.
    Jan Rok Achard passed away last week at the age of 79 after a long illness. I offer my condolences to his family, and I join the entire circus arts community in their grief. Let us honour his memory and remain mindful of his vision of the circus arts.

[English]

Border Communities

    Mr. Speaker, border communities have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic and have yet to fully recover. Partly this is due to the shutdown of NEXUS centres, which has created an over 300,000-person backlog.
     NEXUS allows commuters, workers and travellers into the U.S. and Canada to cross rapidly, which is essential to the trade between both of our countries, the largest economic relationship in the world.
    In addition, the Windsor border blockade was a threat to our national economy. It cost municipalities nearly $6 million in policing costs to remove it. The federal government has yet to reimburse the city, leaving local taxpayers on the hook for a national security action and thus becoming a delinquent deadbeat.
    Even on Bill C-21, the Liberals have demonstrated ineptitude by not providing the necessary resources for our CBSA officers to stop gun smuggling.
    Ignoring our border communities is poor short-term policy that will have long-term consequences for our economy.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

World Climate Day

    Mr. Speaker, today, December 8, is World Climate Day, a reminder of the very real threat of global warming and the need to take action to limit its effects on the planet.
    What are we seeing today? An increase in carbon, extreme temperatures and methane; shrinking boreal, equatorial and tropical forests; forest fires; acidification and lower oxygen levels in the oceans; melting glaciers and Arctic ice; drought; extreme flooding; declining biodiversity; food insecurity; climate refugees by the millions, and so on.
    The government is giving billions of dollars to help adapt to climate change. Money is good, but reducing our greenhouse gases is better.
    I sometimes feel that here in Canada, just getting the government to understand the urgency to act would be a win.

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, more and more people are finding themselves on edge as they struggle to feed their families during this Liberal-made cost of living crisis. Grocery prices are up by 11%, rising at the fastest pace in 40 years, and are expected to rise another 5% to 7%. One in five families are skipping meals, with 1.5 million people using food banks in a single month. In Ontario, first-time food bank usage is up a whopping 64%.
    Nine in 10 are tightening household budgets as consumer debt rises 8.2%. The average credit card balance for Canadians is at a record high of $2,100. RBC estimates households will have to allocate 15% of their incomes to just debt servicing alone. As well, earlier this week the Auditor General confirmed what Conservatives have been saying all along, which is that this cost of living crisis has been made worse by the Liberal government’s wasteful spending and absolute refusal to put any controls in place. Canadians are out of money, the Liberals are out of touch and the Prime Minister and his costly coalition have broken Canada.

Retirement Congratulations

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Don Mitchell, the former mayor of Whitby, who served our town for over 30 years. He made the difficult decision to not seek re-election and to retire this year.
    Don was first elected in 1991 as a councillor and moved on to serve as mayor for over eight years. As a lifelong resident of Whitby and a lover of history, Don always worked to promote and preserve the rich history and heritage of our town while aiming to build modern and complete communities, both healthy and sustainable.
    Don stood up for what he believed in and was relentless in his commitment to preserve the environment and address climate change. Under Don's leadership, Whitby became a more inclusive, sustainable and healthy place to live. I have no doubt his legacy as mayor has left its mark on Whitby.
    On behalf of the people of Whitby, I want thank Don for all he has done for our community. He embodies the spirit and dedication it takes to build strong and more resilient communities, and I hope he looks back proudly on his work for Whitby and knows he made a real difference. I also want to wish him and his wonderful wife Liz all the best as they embark on this next chapter.
    Happy retirement to my friend.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, enormous deficit spending by the Prime Minister caused the Bank of Canada to hike interest rates for the seventh consecutive time this year. An average mortgage will cost Canadians an extra $7,000 in interest payments alone. The Prime Minister's reckless spending has already driven up the cost on gas and groceries, and his failed energy policies will make home heating costs double. He will further pile-drive Canadians financially when his failed carbon tax increases this year.
    Why will the Prime Minister not stop his wasteful inflationary spending and axe the failed carbon tax so Canadians can keep the heat on this winter and food on the table?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are nothing if not consistent. They continue to ask us to stop being there to support Canadians. They opposed the child care agreements we signed with the provinces, which we are enshrining into law with legislation we are bringing in to today. They opposed the dental supports for low-income Canadians to make sure kids have the best start in life possible. They opposed the rental supports we moved forward with to deliver for Canadians. They stood against the kinds of supports we were flowing to Canadians through the dark times of the pandemic.
    We will continue to be there for Canadians and remain fiscally responsible, because that is what Canadians expect.

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is easy for the Prime Minister to sit in his ivory tower, blame everyone else and spend even more of Canadians' money to cover his own inflationary mess. His inflation tax is going to cost Canadians an extra $3,500, according to the Governor of the Bank of Canada.
    The Prime Minister is the architect of sending 1.5 million Canadians into a food bank, half a million of whom were children. He is responsible for one in five Canadians skipping meals. He keeps failing, and Canadians continue to be on the hook for it.
    When will he understand that Canadians cannot afford any more of his failures and just want to eat and heat their homes?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives say they stand with Canadians, but then they stand in opposition to measures that ensure Canadians can send their kids to the dentist. They stand in opposition to measures that will give families paying a large amount of their low incomes on rent an extra bit of help. They stand against, and continue to stand against, child care fees that have been cut in half across the country. That is not only giving opportunities for kids to get the best start in life and not only supporting parents when the cost of living and payments are so high, but it is ensuring that our economy grows as people participate fully in our growth.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister continues to keep his head in the sand when it comes to people's home heating bills. Someone from my community reached out to me recently saying they had to make the tough decision of whether to pay for their Fortis home heating bill or buy groceries. He chose to heat his home, even though the bill went from $46 a month to $163 a month. He said that now he has to go to a food bank just to feed himself, the same food bank he used to donate to.
    Why is the Prime Minister tripling down on increasing carbon taxes for everyday Canadians who cannot even heat their homes now?
    Mr. Speaker, I have heard from Canadians right across the country that they are facing difficult times. We know how important it is to be there for Canadians, which is exactly what we are doing as a government despite Conservative politicians opposing that. We are there with dental supports. We are there with rental supports. We are there by cutting child care fees in half. I was just in the hon. member's province a few days ago to make the announcement that child care fees have been cut in half, saving families hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month.
    We will continue to stand with Canadians despite Conservative opposition.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians woke up yesterday morning to news that is the stuff of nightmares. The Bank of Canada announced an increase in the interest rate, the seventh increase in a year, thanks to the Liberals and their inflationary spending.
    For a family with an average mortgage, that represents $7,000 more in interest per year and then they still need to heat their home. We know that the carbon tax applies to residential heating.
    Will the Prime Minister cancel this tax so that Canadians do not freeze in their own homes?
    Mr. Speaker, we are all concerned about the rising cost of living for Canadians, but on this side of the House we are providing help to Canadians. The Conservatives continue to oppose it.
    We are there with help for dental care for children, we are there with help for low-income renters, we are there to ensure more affordable child care across the country. We will continue to be there for people, even though the Conservative Party continues to vote against our measures to help people.
    Mr. Speaker, it is pretty ironic to hear the Liberals say that they understand Canadians' suffering when they have no problem handing out $32 billion in benefits to dead people and prisoners. What they need to understand is that we live in Canada. In winter, the temperature can drop to -45°C, and we are expecting record-breaking cold temperatures. Heating their homes in winter is not a luxury for Canadians.
    Will the Prime Minister promise to do the only honourable thing left, which is to cancel the carbon tax so Canadians can stay warm?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable to see the Conservatives once again attacking the assistance we are providing to citizens, such as CERB. The member just ridiculed CERB. The reality is that, during the pandemic, the direct assistance we provided to Canadians and small businesses, to Quebeckers and Canadians all across our country, was essential not just to get through the pandemic, but to ensure that our economy bounces back as quickly as possible.
    We were there despite the Conservatives' opposition, and we will continue to be there to support Canadians.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the contract the government awarded to Sinclair Technologies, which is partly owned by Chinese interests accused of espionage, is extremely troubling. We know that the contract was just cancelled, but the government still gave a Chinese government-owned company access to the RCMP's classified frequencies. The contract was for a filtering system that ensures the confidentiality of the communications of the Prime Minister and foreign heads of state visiting Canada.
    No one thought any security checks were in order. Can the Prime Minister explain this?
    Mr. Speaker, our eyes are always open when it comes to threats from hostile actors. We are very concerned about what happened with these contracts with Sinclair Technologies, and our government is looking at them carefully. We will take all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our national security, and we will put measures in place to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future.
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about those measures. The federal government has a Crown corporation whose mandate is to monitor communications security. It is called the CSE, the Communications Security Establishment. Nobody in government thought to ask CSE experts to assess the national security risk associated with this contract, which gave a company accused of espionage in the U.S. access to the RCMP's secret frequencies.
    Nobody in government thought to ask the CSE to look into this. What is the Prime Minister's explanation for that?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, we are concerned about the situation. That is why we asked the minister and officials to review two things. First, what should we do to ensure the integrity and security of our communications at this point? Second, how can we improve our systems to avoid problems like this going forward?

Health

    Mr. Speaker, while sick children are suffering and our children's hospitals are overflowing, the Prime Minister is trying to blend into the background. Worried parents are filling the waiting rooms with their little ones, but this Prime Minister is nowhere to be found. People are looking for him, but no one can find him. This is not the time to play “Where's Waldo”.
    At Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, at the Centre mère-enfant Soleil in Quebec City and everywhere else, the crisis is reaching unprecedented levels. Our public system needs help. There is nothing scarier for a parent than having a sick child. Why is the health of our children not a priority for this Prime Minister?
    Mr. Speaker, as a parent, I fully understand the concerns about families whose children require pediatric care. We are committed to ensuring that all families have access to the essential care and medications their children need. We will continue to work hand in hand with the provinces and territories to improve health care and deliver real results for Canadians. People know that our health care systems need improvement. The federal government will be there to ensure that the provinces deliver results for children and families.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the federal government is not present. That is the problem.
    Ontario hospitals are so overwhelmed with sick kids that they are calling in the Red Cross. Staff at the Alberta Children's Hospital are worried that a child might die waiting for care because it is overrun with patients. Across Canada, the situation is dire and parents are horrified, but the Liberals are missing in action and Conservative premiers are moving to privatize health care.
    Canadians expect leadership from their Prime Minister in a time of crisis. When will he call an urgent meeting with the premiers so our children get the care they need and deserve?
    Mr. Speaker, we will always defend our public health care system. We believe that all a person should need to get health care in Canada is a health card, not a credit card. That is why we are making sure that in our discussions with the provinces, as we pour more money than ever before into health care systems, we are asking for better outcomes and concrete results. We are making sure that Canadians get the health care they need.
    We know the system is failing far too many Canadians right across the country. We will be there to ensure there are significant improvements.

  (1430)  

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have taken wasteful spending to the next level, whether it is tens of billions of dollars in wasteful COVID benefits, $54 million on the arrive scam app or $6,000 a night for a luxury hotel room for the Prime Minister. The Liberals have no problem reaching into the pockets of Canadians, taking their money and throwing it on the inflationary fire they lit.
    Life has become unaffordable under the mismanagement of the Liberals. Will they stop their wasteful inflationary spending so that Canadians do not have to decide whether to feed their families or heat their homes?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not think the 13 million Canadians who got individual COVID benefits would agree that this was wasteful spending. We were there for them from the beginning when they needed it, and the Auditor General agreed. She said that we were able to get money into the hands of Canadians quickly, that the money was well spent and helped people stay home safely, and that we avoided significant economic and social consequences.
    Mr. Speaker, they absolutely got tens of billions of dollars into the hands of prisoners and the deceased very quickly. That is wasted money. It is money that the Liberals need to account for.
    At the same time, we have heard from Ipsos polling this week that the majority of Canadians are scared they will not be able to put enough food on the table or put gas in the car to get to work. Four in 10 Canadians are worried that they are going to lose their jobs in an economy under the Liberals.
    They have created a Canada where Canadians are afraid every day. Will they end their wasteful spending so that Canadians can feed their families and heat their homes?
    Mr. Speaker, we have created and are creating a Canada where Canadians are there for each other and where the government is there for them in their times of need.
    At the height of the pandemic, nine million Canadians accessed CERB. We will not apologize for being there for Canadians when they needed us. We start from a place of compassion and from a place of trust. That does not mean there are not controls in place, but unlike the Conservatives, we trust Canadians and we are going to be there for them when they need it.
    Mr. Speaker, there was $54 million for an arrive scam app, but the Liberals do not know who got rich. There is $4.5 billion to cut chronic homelessness by 50%, yet tent cities continue to increase across this country. The latest is that $4.6 billion went to COVID relief to people who did not even qualify.
     The Liberals continue to spend billions and billions of Canadian taxpayers' money, so how do they have the audacity to expect them to pay for their incompetence?
    Mr. Speaker, how ironic is it that the Conservative Party of Canada's strategy to combat an affordability crisis is to do less for Canadians in their time of need? It comes as no surprise to me because at the beginning of the pandemic, their leader started with a press conference where he said these “big, fat government programs” would not receive the support of the Conservative Party.
    Those programs kept food on the table for my neighbours and a roof over the heads of their children. Those programs kept open the doors of small businesses in my community, and the owners were able to keep the lights on. Those programs kept workers on payroll, which allowed them to afford the cost of living and, at the same time, maintain the benefits that their employer provided for them.
    I regret none of these programs. We would do it again because it was the right thing to do then and it is the right thing to do now.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' inability to listen is inconceivable. We are not saying that this did not help people. They are not accounting for nearly $30 billion that the Auditor General is calling for them to investigate. Who are they listening to when 1.5 billion people used a food bank, children are starving and people are dying by suicide? We are not saying that.
    When will they listen, have some humble pie and quit their inflationary spending?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, whether the Conservatives like it or not, the Auditor General really did say in her report that the programs we put in place helped save lives and jobs.
    We demonstrated courage. We looked after our economy. I have met many people in the community who have told me that they are glad the Liberals were in power during the pandemic. It would have been disastrous for them had the Conservatives been in power.
    We will continue to look after Canadians.

  (1435)  

[English]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, it cost Canadian families a record amount to feed themselves in the last year, and unfortunately it is only going to get worse.
    A new report confirms that it will cost over $1,000 more for Canadian families to put groceries on the table this year, driving their food costs to over $16,000 per year. Canadians who used to donate to the food bank are now lining up to use the food bank.
    Why do the Liberals not put an end to their inflationary policies and stop driving up the cost of everything, so that Canadians can afford to feed their families again?
    Mr. Speaker, it is because of the actions of the government and the measures that we have put in place that two million fewer Canadians are living in poverty today.
    In just a few days' time, Canadians will be able to apply for a new rental benefit. This is a direct payment that would help Canadians make ends meet, and this is targeted spending in order to help vulnerable Canadians. Experts have all agreed that this is not inflationary spending. This is being there for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal program and plan is a total and complete failure. Food inflation is at a 40-year high. One in five Canadians are skipping meals to try to make ends meet; 1.5 million Canadians used the food bank in one month alone, and 500,000 of them were children.
    Canadians cannot afford these Liberal inflationary policies. They cannot afford to feed their families. Why do the Liberals not stop with the inflationary spending, stop making everything more expensive, and let Canadians get back to providing for their families?
    Mr. Speaker, what Canadians cannot afford is bad financial advice from the Conservatives opposite. If Canadians had taken their advice and invested in crypto, they would have seen their savings wiped out.
    Instead, on this side of the House, we have been there to support Canadians. The Canada child benefit has lifted over 450,000 children out of poverty since 2015. Two million fewer Canadians are living in poverty thanks to the investments that the government has made in Canadians.
    We trust Canadians; we believe in Canadians, and we are going to keep investing in them. I just wish the members opposite would do the same.

[Translation]

Financial Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, urged banks to join the fight against climate change. He wants them to do one simple thing: Come up with verifiable plans for a swift transition to renewable energy.
    Meanwhile, Canada's big banks are among the top 20 fossil fuel backers in the world. A lot of oil money comes from Canadian banks.
    Will the government implement measures to encourage banks, our banks, to focus on renewable energy?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to talk about everything we are doing for the environment. We said we would stop putting money into fossil fuels. We are also working hard to conserve and protect our lands and waters. We are doing that now. We are talking about it here, in Montreal and internationally. Everyone came to see what we are doing. We are proud of what we are doing to protect the environment.
    Mr. Speaker, we know that the federal government subsidizes the oil industry, but so does the Canadian banking sector.
    In two years, the Royal Bank of Canada's investments in oil rose from $19 billion to $39 billion. That is a lot of money. It more than doubled its investments in two years.
    If the government was truly committed to fighting climate change, it would do two things. It would make it harder to obtain funding for polluting energies and it would provide incentives for investing in renewable energy. It has done neither.
    What is the government waiting for? Will it take action only when there is not one drop of oil left to siphon?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, unlike the hon. member, we are committed to concerted climate action, and that is why we have the most ambitious climate plan in Canada's history: $100 billion have been invested since 2015; we have a $9.1-billion emissions reduction plan, and we are working to cap emissions from the oil and gas sector. We are going to be eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. We are introducing a clean electricity standard. We are going to reach our climate goals while building a clean economy.

  (1440)  

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, at COP15, the Prime Minister announced the creation of a million square kilometres of protected areas. That is extraordinary. The animals will be able to live in peace and the plants and trees will be protected. What a nice gesture for biodiversity.
    The only thing is that these protected areas must not interfere in the development of natural resources. The areas will be protected unless there is an oil, gas, or mining project.
    If protected areas can be used for any kind of development at any time, how exactly are they being protected?
    Mr. Speaker, I will say again that we are doing a lot to protect biodiversity and our environment. We have the oceans protection plan and we are making investments in that.
    I am very pleased that members opposite talked about what we did for the indigenous-led area-based conservation program. A big investment in that program was announced just yesterday. That is important for reconciliation and for the environment.

[English]

Firearms

    Mr. Speaker, just moments ago the Assembly of First Nations, which represents indigenous people across Canada, issued a declaration publicly opposing the Liberals' Bill C-21. This Liberal hunting gun grab is not only a threat to the livelihood of hunters, trappers and sport shooters but a violation of the treaty hunting rights of all first nations.
    When will the Prime Minister end his attack on law-abiding hunters and indigenous treaty rights and stop Bill C-21?
    Mr. Speaker, today Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, alongside the Bloc Québécois and the NDP, requested two urgent meetings to be held immediately.
    The premise behind this is to work together with the Bloc and the NDP. Unfortunately, the Conservatives continue to be part of the problem versus being part of the solution.
    The mission here is to get guns off the street—
    You are lying.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    An hon. member: Do not let us hear that again.
    Does the hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul want to withdraw the statement she made, please?
    Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the statement.
    Will she apologize?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Speaker: I am going to ask one more time for the hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul to apologize.
    She is not going to apologize.

  (1445)  

Naming of Member

    Ms. Dancho, I must name you for disregarding the authority of the Chair.
    Pursuant to authority granted to me by Standing Order 11, I order you to withdraw from the House and video conferences for the remainder of this day's sitting.
    [And Ms. Dancho having withdrawn:]
    The Speaker: The hon. parliamentary secretary may finish what he was saying.

Firearms

    Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity, as well, to thank the Bloc, and in particular its MPs, those who are on the committee and the one who brought the motion forward. I thank them for that, and I also thank the NDP.
    The key here is that we work together with different organizations and different members of the House to ensure, once again, that we get those dangerous weapons off the streets.
    Mr. Speaker, consultation at this late stage in the process is an act of bad faith by the government. It is a slap in the face to reconciliation. The government needs to go back to the drawing board and consult with first nations and hunters across this country before coming up with any new legislation on this matter.
    It is black and white. The Assembly of First Nations knows it; the Conservatives know it, and all other parties know it. The government denied it for weeks, saying it was not going after hunting rifles and shotguns, but now it is finally admitting it. It knows it was misleading the House. When will the government stop going after law-abiding hunters and sport shooters?
    Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear that it is not targeting the guns commonly used for hunting. I applaud the members of the Bloc—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I would ask the parliamentary secretary to continue.
    Mr. Speaker, I applaud the members of the Bloc and the NDP for working with us to try to come up with solutions while the Conservative Party is just looking for problems. The committee is doing the important work it needs to do on this legislation. I invite the hon. members from the Conservative Party to join us in finding solutions and supporting our emergency motion for a meeting to invite witnesses to come to committee.
    Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing our Prime Minister hates, it is diversity, the diversity of opinion. He goes after anyone he does not agree with by insulting them, harassing them and restricting their rights.
    His latest target is law-abiding firearm owners. He is banning thousands of firearms used for hunting, while giving gangs and smugglers a free pass. The PM should spend more time up in a tree stand and less time standing against hunters. The Liberals have missed the mark on Bill C-21. When will they stop targeting law-abiding hunters and farmers?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after what we just heard from our Conservative colleagues and the insults they have hurled at my colleagues, we will take no lessons from them on this.
    When it comes to firearms, we have been clear from the beginning. We would never prevent hunters from hunting or prevent indigenous communities from practising their traditions. That is why we will continue to work with those who are willing to do so, in order to protect Canadians and get rid of the assault weapons and handguns that have been used to commit horrific killings, whether at École Polytechnique or the Quebec City mosque.
    We call on everyone to act responsibly to protect Canadians.

  (1450)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the government's proposed amendment to Bill C-21 has become a textbook case on what not to do. This change was brought in at the 11th hour, with no consultation and no testimony. It has distracted from the original purpose of the bill, and it hurts rural communities.
    Hunters, farmers and indigenous communities are outraged that some of the rifles and shotguns they use to provide for their families could be banned. The Minister of Public Safety blindsided Canadians when he made this mess. How is he going to fix it?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to start by acknowledging the good work the hon. member does on the public safety committee and the perspective he brings forward.
    We will not be banning any guns that are commonly used for hunting. We spent two hours at committee today, getting very technical answers on what is included in the bill and the types of guns that are being considered under this legislation. I look forward to working with the hon. member, and in fact all members of the House, to make sure we get this legislation right.
    Mr. Speaker, that answer is not good enough for the people of northwestern B.C. or people across rural Canada. We are not going to clean up the mess the Liberals have made of this bill, and people feel hoodwinked by these last-minute amendments.
    This was meant to be a bill about limiting handguns and protecting victims of domestic violence, but now the Liberals are going after the tools that my neighbours use for hunting, predator control and backcountry safety. When is the Prime Minister going to realize the mistake he has made, fix this mess and back up the bus?
    Mr. Speaker, the important role that committees have is exactly what they are doing right now. We have been very clear from the beginning that the bill's intention is to remove assault-style weapons from our streets and handguns that are involved in terrible tragedies. There is the opportunity—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I will let the government House leader start from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, in many different moments in time, when we are dealing with contentious legislation, we have an opportunity to work on our differences and find solutions. I would suggest in this instance, when we are talking about the type of weapons that are involved in terrible tragedies, tragedies like the one unfortunately we commemorated and memorialized just a couple of days ago with Polytechnique, our square focus must be on keeping our streets safe and being able to look into the eyes of victims, and making sure we are removing those guns that are offending. What we have said, in no uncertain terms, is that those guns used for hunting are ones we want to make sure are not included.

Child Care

    Mr. Speaker, we know how important child care is to families from coast to coast to coast. Families in my province of New Brunswick are already seeing the benefits of the significant investments Canada and the province are making. I was glad to see the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development introduce legislation earlier today to enshrine the principles of a Canada-wide early learning and child care system into federal law.
    Could she please update the House on this important initiative?
    Mr. Speaker, today is a historic day. This morning I introduced Bill C-35, an act respecting early learning and child care in Canada. Our child care plan is working. Fees are being reduced across the country, new spaces are being built and women are getting back to work. This legislation matters.
    Let me remind the House that the leader of the Conservatives boasted in 2015 that his government had proudly cancelled Liberal child care agreements, and in the last election, every Conservative candidate ran on a promise to cancel affordable child care for Canadians. We are not going to let that happen. On this side, we are going to support children, families, women and our economy.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals recklessly awarded a contract to the subsidiary of a Beijing-controlled company to provide counterespionage technology, a company that literally faces 21 espionage charges and has been blacklisted from the U.S. as a national security threat.
    The Liberals literally handed the keys of our national security over to Beijing. How could they be so incompetent?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister made very clear today, and the Minister of Public Safety and I yesterday, we also share these concerns around this contract that the RCMP had with Sinclair Technologies. The member will have heard that contract has been suspended.
    As the central purchasing agent for the Government of Canada, Public Services and Procurement will look very closely at this. I have instructed my officials to examine this issue. We are going to look at our procedures and our processes with the greatest intensity to ensure our security of our infrastructure.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Safety repeatedly claimed that vigorous security processes were in place, except that is not true. Government officials are on record saying that security issues were not considered when this contract was awarded, a contract that affects our national security directly.
    When will the Liberals finally accept responsibility for this complete failure on their part to protect our national security?
    Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more important than safeguarding our democracy. The RCMP has confirmed that the contract with Sinclair Technologies has been suspended and that it is conducting further reviews to ensure the integrity of our infrastructure is in place.
     Given the current geopolitical dynamics, we are taking all actions to combat foreign interference.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, that is something. The Liberal government gave access to the RCMP's secured communications system to a company held by Beijing while the RCMP confirmed that it was investigating Beijing's interference into our election. There was no security check nor any questions about the company that the RCMP is going to entrust its secret codes to for its internal communications. Our American neighbours have known about this for a long time and that company was on their blacklist.
    Instead of taking responsibility, as usual the Prime Minister is blaming others. Why is the Prime Minister always so slow and so spineless every time he needs to stand up to Beijing?
    Mr. Speaker, our priority was and remains protecting the integrity of Canada's contracting system.
    As soon as threats are identified, we take action.
    I gave our officials instructions to review the process in place for contracts and to target areas that can be improved.
    Mr. Speaker, we have a serious problem in Canada.
    Judging by the Liberals' answers, the media is the Prime Minister's primary source of information on Beijing's interference.
    Whether it is a network of candidates funded by China or a company held by the Chinese communist regime getting a contract to protect the RCMP's communications, every time the Prime Minister denies having been informed by his intelligence experts.
    Either the Prime Minister has his eyes closed or he does not want to know; or he knows, but is voluntarily hiding the information.
    Which answer are we going to get today?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.
    I think we all agree, as parliamentarians and as Canadians, that this contract should never have been signed. We all agree that national security is everyone's responsibility.
    We on this side of the House have always taken steps to deal with foreign interference. My hon. colleague will recall that just a few months ago we blocked three transactions, precisely to protect critical minerals in this country.
    When it comes to national security, we will always be there to defend the interests of Canadians.

Post-Secondary Education

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec's National Assembly passed a unanimous motion on academic freedom:
     THAT [the National Assembly] reiterate that promoting greater representation of under-represented target groups must always happen in a context of equal qualifications;
    THAT it denounce the interference of the federal government, which funds research chair programs according to certain criteria that do not reflect the specificity of Quebec.
    Instead of imposing its ideological agenda, why will Ottawa not let Quebec manage research chairs?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that important question.
    As he knows, Canada's research councils are independent from government. Canadians and Quebeckers tuning in today should know that our government has invested more in science than any other government, nearly $16 billion since coming to power.
    I think that is the right thing to do because we all agree that the best decisions are the ones based on facts and science.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, this is not about money, it is about criteria.
    The research chair funding criteria no longer have anything to do with research. The nature of the research itself no longer counts. What counts is the nature of the researcher, assessed against the following criteria: skin colour, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation and disability. The last person anyone wants as a researcher is an average white man.
    We agree that all kinds of people should be better represented. Among equally qualified applicants, under-represented minorities should get priority.
    How is excluding a group of people consistent with a policy of inclusion?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    We all agree on inclusion and diversity. That is certainly the directive that the research councils have been given. As my hon. colleague well knows, the criteria are determined by the research councils.
    What we are doing as the government is investing in science and in research chairs.
    I am sure that, as members of the House, we all want to foster diversity and inclusion through science and society in general.

[English]

COVID-19 Emergency Response

    Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has again exposed the incompetence of the government, saying $32 billion were wasted paying COVID cash to prisoners, the deceased, people living overseas and non-eligible corporations. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has found more waste—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am hearing a lot of rumbling and people talking to each other.
    I will ask the hon. member for Edmonton West to start over.
    Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has again exposed the incompetence of the government, saying $32 billion were wasted paying COVID cash to low-income prisoners, low-income deceased, people living overseas and non-eligible corporations. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has found $4 billion more wasted, with people being sent money who will actually earn more income than the program will allow them to qualify.
    Will the Liberal government end its wasteful inflationary spending so Canadians can afford to put food on their tables and heat their houses?
    Mr. Speaker, the entire House approved an approach to the COVID benefits that was quick, that got money into the hands of Canadians quickly, that was based on attestation and that ensured there would be post-payment verification. We are going through that process now in a responsible and compassionate way. As the work is ongoing, I can assure the House that we will ensure we follow up with everything.

Financial Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister spent so much money that he actually ran out of people to borrow it from, so he had the Bank of Canada create a complex scheme to pour billions of dollars into the accounts of wealthy financial institutions. As the bank raises interest rates to fight the inflation the government caused, the Bank of Canada is actually losing money.
    For the first time in Canadian history, as the bank loses money, how much taxpayer money will have to go to bail out the Bank of Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have heard us explain why it was important that we were there for Canadians. If we had to do it again, we would, because Canadians needed us and we were there in their time of need.
    What I do not understand is that in an hour's time, we will be voting on Bill C-32 and the Conservatives have consistently voted against the bill. The bill contains an important measure that will further lower the small business tax rate for our entrepreneurs in the country.
    If the Conservatives wish to be consistent about their position, why are they voting against a tax cut for small businesses?
    Mr. Speaker, what the parliamentary secretary is not telling us is that 40% of all that new spending had nothing to do with the pandemic. The Auditor General has now told us that over $30 billion was wasted. That is what is causing inflation.
    The government's answer is to pour more inflationary gasoline on the raging fire. It is already taking a big bite out of Canadian households. As interest rates rise to fight inflation, Canadians have to pay more in interest payments to the banks, but so too does the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada has one shareholder, the Minister of Finance.
    How much money will taxpayers be on the hook for to pay off the Bank of Canada's losses?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives bothered to look at the facts, they would see that we have the lowest deficit and the lowest debt among G7 countries. They would also see that the international community and investors have extraordinary confidence in the Canadian economy. Thanks to the decisions that our government has made, we still have a AAA credit rating.
    I would also note that were it not for the important supports we put in place during the pandemic, our economy would not have rebounded as quickly and as strongly as it did. It is among the strongest in the world.

[Translation]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, Haiti remains a major concern. Canada has clearly expressed its support for Haiti and its intention to help Haitians in their quest for peace and democracy.
    The Haitian crisis will require Haitian solutions. It also requires the support of the international community and regional partners. What measures have been taken under the leadership of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ensure that other countries follow Canada's example and that our partners commit to supporting the Haitian solution?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his incredible question and also his leadership on the Haitian issue.
    We have imposed severe sanctions on members of the economic and political elite in Haiti who are profiting from gang violence.
    At present, our objective is to advance the political dialogue. That is why our ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, is currently in Haiti. Our goal continues to be to support solutions by and for Haitians.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is truly out of touch. Canadians are worried. Everything costs more, including clothing, heating, housing and food. With butter costing $6 a pound, some people are having to cut baking out of their holiday traditions. Others are hunting for bargains and buying products that are close to expired. A distinguished professor said that 2023 is going to be even worse.
    Can the Prime Minister give hope and a bit of help to honest folks and cancel all tax increases?
    Mr. Speaker, I still do not understand how the Conservatives from Quebec can be against the actions our government is taking to deal with climate change. I understand that the Conservatives want to ignore climate change, but in an hour, we will be voting on Bill C‑32, which will lower taxes for our SMEs and our entrepreneurs.
    Why do the Conservatives systematically vote against tax cuts, including tax cuts for the middle class?

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, Europe is facing an energy crisis this winter that will force people to choose between heating and eating. People are facing the trifecta of inflation, job losses and energy shortages. To address this, European governments have reversed carbon and excise taxes. What are the Liberals doing? They are increasing Canada's carbon tax by 30%. Even Scrooge would find this unacceptable.
    When will the Minister of Finance realize that this crisis is not fiction and curb this tax increase on everything?
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to remind the hon. member that I had the pleasure of making an announcement in Nova Scotia of a new national program that is going to see $5,000 grants to help homeowners install heat pumps, which will save them thousands of dollars every year on home heating costs. This is in addition to a $5,000 grant that was available through the greener homes grant program. That is not all. We have new measures, including the doubling of the GST rebate, more support for low-income renters, new grants in place now to help families with the cost of sending their kids to the dentist and much, much more.
     Every step of the way, our focus has been on affordability since 2015. I hope the Conservatives will finally put their money where their mouth is and support us for once.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know a shell game when they see one. The impact of actually taxing Canadians to say they are going to give it back in all kinds of programs means that we are all going to get better just by giving the government more money.
    According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an independent officer of Parliament, a 30% tax increase means an extra $700 out of the budget of Albertans. Meanwhile, European governments have provided energy tax relief to the tune of 8,000 euros per family.
    Let me ask again. Why is this finance minister the only one on earth who is ignoring the obvious inflationary effects of this tax?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are focused like a laser beam on affordability. I hope that in just a few short minutes, members opposite will vote for Bill C-32, which helps affordability.
    Do members know what else helps affordability? It is the climate action rebate. It puts more money in people's pockets, and eight out of 10 families will benefit.
     Do members know what they will not benefit from? The advice of the Leader of the Opposition to invest in cryptocurrency. There are a few days left in this session. I hope the hon. Leader of the Opposition has the opportunity to apologize. He should.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, it has been almost 10 months since Russia began its genocidal full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian people have mounted a remarkable counteroffensive retaking territory and in so doing, defending our security and democracy around the world.
    The NATO secretary general has said that Canada's military support, including our training of the Ukrainian armed forces, has been integral to Ukraine's progress on the ground.
    Could the Minister of National Defence share with Canadians the work that Canada is doing to train the Ukrainian armed forces?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his leadership on this issue.
    Since 2015, under Operation Unifier, the Canadian Armed Forces have trained more than 34,000 Ukrainian military personnel. We are training them in England. We are training Ukrainian engineers in Poland. Why? It is because their sovereignty, their stability and their security is global security as well, and we are there in the short term and the long term until Ukraine wins this war.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Bank of Canada's interest rate was hiked yet again. Interest rates have already fuelled the high cost of rent, and this will just make it worse. Canadians are now facing a nearly 12% rent hike. In Vancouver, a one-bedroom apartment costs over $2,576, more than a 17% increase from last year.
    The NDP has always said that the $500 housing benefit is not enough. Will the government help renters by expanding and extending the housing benefit?
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the hon. member has not stated all the facts.
    The fact of the matter is that we are the government that introduced the Canada housing benefit, which is already delivering an average of $2,500 to vulnerable renters across the country, and it is active in all 10 provinces and three territories. The $500 top-up that the hon. member is mentioning is on top of that $2,500 average payment. On top of that, we are moving ahead with the rapid housing initiative, the national housing co-investment fund and more supports for vulnerable renters.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, on December 6, I again questioned the government on the very serious matter of foreign interference. The government revealed that its strategy is to observe and report. Seriously? Its strategy is to observe and report to whom? Is it to the brain trust that approved Chinese communications equipment for the RCMP?
     There are more protests in China and Iran against those regimes than action from the Canadian government. Mall cops observe and report. Why is the government failing to protect Canadians and stand up for Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more important to us than safeguarding our democracy, and that is why, as a government, we are taking action to combat foreign interference. We begin with our national security agents. They conduct investigations and use all tools at their disposal. It includes the significant work that is being done to shore up Canada's institutions and critical infrastructure. Finally, it involves longer-term solutions, which is why we are exploring changes to legislation to strengthen Canada's defences.

[Translation]

Jean Paul Riopelle

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and, if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
    That the House recognize the extraordinary contribution of Jean-Paul Riopelle to the visual arts and invite the museums of Quebec and Canada to highlight his work and his unique contribution to the arts as part of the centennial of his birth in 2023.

  (1515)  

    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Points of Order

Oral Questions  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It troubles me greatly that during question period, while the member for Fredericton was asking me a question, the member for Haldimand—Norfolk called her an anti-Semite. I would ask that she withdraw that comment and apologize for it. It is unacceptable to say such things in this place.
    I was not aware of that, but I will look into it and come back to the House, if necessary.
    The hon. member for Haldimand—Norfolk is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, that unequivocally did not happen. I would like the recording replayed. It did not happen. I do not speak like that. I do not speak to my colleagues like that. I respect my colleagues across the floor equally. I do not do that. That did not happen.
    I would ask members to place their questions and comments through the Chair.
    It seems there was a possible misunderstanding. I do not want this to turn into a she-said-she-said.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, I hope the blues are checked. It was something that I heard as I was preparing to answer the question. It shocked me greatly. We do not use that kind of language in this House. I am quite troubled by it.
    I will look at the Hansard to see if anything was recorded. If it was, then I will come back to this; if not, we will let it rest.
    The hon. member for Haldimand—Norfolk.
    Mr. Speaker, I do require an apology. If this did not happen, and I know unequivocally that it did not happen, I require an apology.
    As I said, I will check the Hansard and come back to the House, if need be.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022

    It being 3:18 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-32.

[Translation]

     Call in the members.

  (1545)  

[English]

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

(Division No. 237)

YEAS

Members

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

Total: -- 209


NAYS

Members

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

Total: -- 105


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

    I wish inform the House that, because of the deferred recorded divisions, Government Orders will be extended by 12 minutes.

[Translation]

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, since this may be our last Thursday question of 2022, I would ask the government House leader to tell us what the business of the House is for the rest of this week and for next week, the last week before members return to their ridings for the holidays.
    Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. We will continue our discussions about when the House will adjourn for Christmas. This afternoon, we will continue debate on the Conservative Party's opposition day motion.

[English]

    After that, we will vote on the adoption of the supply for the current period. Tomorrow, we will be begin debate at report stage of third reading of Bill C-9, the judges bill.
    Next week priority will be given to Bill S-8, the sanctions legislation; Bill S-4, COVID-19 justice measures legislation; and Bill C-18, the online news act.

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax  

[Business of Supply]
    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great to recommence speaking to such an important topic, but also on our government's record of assisting Canadians at this period of time.

[Translation]

    Our government is well aware that many Canadians are struggling to put food on the table during this period of high inflation. We go to the grocery store and cannot help but feel discouraged to see the price of the food we eat every day continue to rise. Milk, meat, bread, fruit and vegetables all cost more now. Many families across the country are struggling to make ends meet these days because of inflation.

  (1550)  

[English]

    However, it is important to remember that inflation is a global phenomenon, and food inflation is no exception. It is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been exacerbated by Vladimir Putin's illegal and barbaric war in Ukraine. To make things worse, snarled supply chains are affecting people and businesses around the world.
    However, there is some room for hope in Canada. While inflation was 8.1% in June, it is now down to 6.9%, lower than what we see in many peer economies. For example, in the United States, it is at 7.7%. The EU is in double digits at 10%, and in the United Kingdom is 11.1 %. Still, inflation at 6.9% in Canada is too high.
    I do personally, as an economist, forecast inflation going down in the quarters ahead, which will bring much needed relief to Canadian families.
    On the bright side of things, as we are all bracing for a global economic slowdown, I believe there is no country better placed than Canada to weather the coming global economic slowdown and thrive in the years ahead. Indeed, Canada has an unemployment rate near its record low, as more than 500,000 more Canadians are working today than at the beginning the pandemic. We also have the strongest economic growth in the G7 so far this year and the lowest net debt and deficit-to-GDP ratios in the G7. On top of that, our country maintains its AAA credit rating from all three rating agencies.

[Translation]

    However, we understand that a large number of Canadians will continue to struggle. The next few months will be difficult for our friends, families and neighbours because of inflation.
    Many Canadians need help to get through the crisis, and our government is there for them. For example, with our affordability plan, we are putting forward a suite of measures totalling $12.1 billion to help Canadians make ends meet and provide for their families.

[English]

    It is important to note that the measures we are putting forward are not pouring unnecessary fuel on the inflation fire. They only provide targeted, fiscally responsible help to those who need it most.
    I would like to remind my colleagues what our affordability plan has to offer. It would enhance the Canada workers benefit and put up to $2,400 more in the pockets of modest-income families. That would assist nearly three million Canadian workers on a yearly basis.
    We will cut regulated child care fees by an average of 50% by the end of this year. As I noted in the first two minutes of my speech prior to question period, my family received news that, for little Leia, who is in day care now, the fees have been reduced by 25% and a further 25% will occur by the end of the year. That is great news for not only my family, and we are quite blessed, but also for families who need that assistance and help.
    There is a 10% increase in old age security, which we had put in prior to the increase in global inflation. This will be $800 more for over three million seniors aged 75 and up who need it the most.
    Regarding dental care, over 35,000 Canadians have signed up for their children under 12. These Canadians have incomes under $90,000 a year and do not have private insurance.
    We will make a $500 payment to 1.8 million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.
    There is the doubling of the GST credit for six months, which is providing additional relief to 11 million individuals and families.
    Everything is indexed to inflation. As I mentioned earlier this week, when speaking to Bill C-32, then finance minister Paul Martin introduced the indexation of all benefits of all marginal income tax rates to avoid what is called “tax creep” due to inflation. It was very important. It was one of the largest tax cuts ever introduced in Canadian history and provided a boost to incomes. It is great to see that continue.

[Translation]

    When we think about the increase in the cost of living, it is due to the cost of groceries, of course, but it is also due to the cost of housing. Our government believes that everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home. That goal was taken as a given for previous generations, but it is increasingly out of reach for far too many Canadians. Rents continue to climb across the country, pushing people further and further away from where they work.

  (1555)  

[English]

    With Bill C-31, we move forward with a one-time top-up to the Canada housing program. This will provide a tax-free payment of $500 to low-income renters, and 1.8 million Canadians will receive this. This payment will provide direct assistance to those who are most vulnerable to inflation and those experiencing housing difficulties.
    These 1.8 million low-income renters include students who are struggling to pay for housing, and they will be eligible for this new assistance. This one-time top-up is part of a broader set of initiatives introduced in budget 2022. It will invest more than $9 billion to help make housing more affordable, including by alleviating the supply shortage, which is one of the main causes of the high cost of housing, particularly in the GTA.

[Translation]

    In addition, with Bill C‑32, our government is moving forward with its ambitious package of measures to build more homes and make housing more affordable across the country.

[English]

    In order to help Canadians afford a down payment faster, Bill C-32 proposes to move forward with a new tax-free home savings account. This account would allow prospective first-time homebuyers to save up to $40,000 tax-free toward buying their first home.

[Translation]

    As with the registered retirement savings plan, or RRSP, contributions would be tax deductible and, as with the tax-free savings account, or TFSA, withdrawals would be non-taxable. The tax-free first home savings account is a new tool that will help prospective first-time homebuyers save for a down payment.
    We will also enhance the first-time homebuyers' tax credit. The professional fees associated with real estate transactions are another hurdle. That is why we are proposing to double the first-time homebuyers' tax credit. The enhanced credit would provide up to $1,500.

[English]

    I know my time is winding up, so I will stop there. I look forward to questions and comments from my hon. colleagues from all sides of this hon. place.

[Translation]

    I commend the hon. member for his French.
    We will now move on to questions and comments. The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.
    Madam Speaker, I also commend my colleague for his French. He has really made a lot more effort than some. He spoke more in French than many of the Liberal members from Quebec that we have heard speak recently in the House. I commend him and thank him for that.
    He spoke a lot about housing. Today, the federal housing advocate released a report on homelessness that is rather critical of what is currently happening in Canada. I will read an excerpt from her press release, which states, and I quote: “Today, the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate released a series of research reports on homeless encampments that confirm a human rights crisis is unfolding in cities across Canada”.
    Here, in a G7 country, we are experiencing a human rights crisis when it comes to housing and homelessness. How will the government respond to that report?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question this afternoon. As regards housing and the cost of living across the country, it is very important to bring in measures to help all Canadians.

[English]

    On the housing front, with the measures put in place by the fall economic statement, some of which will flow through Bill C-32 and the upcoming housing accelerator fund, we will work with all levels of government to ensure that the housing supply is boosted for Canadian families, for first-time buyers and for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    Madam Speaker, it is always important to help the Conservatives deal with their deep political amnesia. Let us go back to before Doug Ford tried to rip up the charter rights of janitors in schools and before Doug Ford tried to pave over the greenbelt to help wealthy investor pals.
    Do colleagues remember his very first act? It was to attack the carbon-trading system that existed in Ontario, because the people in Ontario did not pay a carbon tax. It was Conservatives who brought a carbon tax into Ontario and then stamped their feet, shouted and hollered while Ontarians had to pay a carbon tax they never had to pay before. That was all because of Doug Ford.
    Why is it that the Conservatives come up with one dumb plan after another to hurt ordinary people and then blame everyone else for the things they have inflicted on us?

  (1600)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. member always has insightful commentary. I have had the opportunity to travel with the member for a number of days, and I got to know him as well at committee. I consider him a friend.
    Our government will continue to put in place measures that will continue to help Canadians deal with the affordability issues we see due to global inflation. We will continue to move this economy forward. We will continue to create good jobs and good futures for Canadian families across this beautiful country that we are blessed to call home.
    Madam Speaker, I noticed at the beginning of my hon. friend's speech that he listed a litany of external reasons we are experiencing inflation. None of them are attributable to the government.
    Since the government has added half a trillion dollars in debt, how much more debt does he think it would take for it to actually have an effect on inflation, if half a trillion is having no effect?
    Madam Speaker, I am very good friends with the member for Chatham-Kent—Leamington, and it has been an honour to get to know him these last several months. We have many mutual friends in that area.
    The financial ratios and our AAA credit rating speak for themselves. Ever since the Liberals reobtained our AAA credit rating many years ago, we have ensured that our financial foundations are strong for today, for tomorrow and for future generations with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio and lowest deficit-to-GDP ratio. The numbers speak for themselves.
    We will continue to put in place the programs to support Canadian families, and we will continue to put into place the programs to support investment in job creation here in Canada.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Beauce.
    When I was first elected to this place, after about a year’s time, I was approached by a member of the Liberal Party. He came to me and he was trying to make chit-chat. He took an interest in my riding and asked me where I was from. I said Alberta, and more formally Lethbridge.
    He asked if that was a rural riding. I said, yes, it was mixed with a small urban centre. He asked if there were farms. I said, yes, we have farms. He asked what we produced, so I gave him the list: chicken, eggs, beef, pork, buffalo, grain, cereals, pulses and dairy. I am proud of this. He turned to me with an inquisitive look and he said, grain is produced there. I said, yes.
    Then he said that it was not really produce for food though. It was just for fuel. I said excuse me, because I did not think I had understood him. He said that it was just for fuel. I explained to this member that some of it was, but mostly it was for silage, for animal food or for human consumption, which was the vast majority. He was a bit dumbfounded. He shrugged his shoulders and said, that was weird, because he thought most Canadians just got their food at the grocery store.
    I will let this member remain nameless for his sake, but I share this story for a reason. It highlights how out of touch the Liberal government is when it comes to Canadians, when it comes to their way of life and when it comes to this big, beautiful, vast country we call Canada and all of the many incredible things that are done here. It shows the lack of knowledge that exists when it comes to rural areas and how hard-working, innovative, creative and entrepreneurial farmers are.
    Meanwhile, the government likes to exercise its ego, engage in theatrics and virtue-signal, which is primarily what the carbon tax is all about. The government talks about the carbon tax as if it is a price on pollution. I am going to get to that in just a moment because I find it to be an interesting term. What I wish to highlight here is that the Liberals have put this in place, but they have not met a single climate target. That would mean that it cannot be a solution. It is simply signalling a virtue.
    I would say it is a failed experiment. What is interesting to me is that even in signalling a virtue, it is a virtue that applies to all others, but not actually to the Liberal Party or the government. I will tell members why. We are talking about multiple Liberal members who will get on jets and fly halfway around the world, multiple times over, to go to climate conferences.
    We are talking about a Prime Minister who has no problem getting on his private jet and going to places for frivolous reasons, like surfing, perhaps on important days. We are talking about a Prime Minister who has no problem living in one residence, having his food prepared for him in another, and then being driven in a vehicle that uses fossil fuels on a daily basis. It is interesting.
    This virtue that is being signalled, which is to care for the environment, applies to everybody else but not the Liberal members. It is incredibly disingenuous. It is incredibly hypocritical, and it is harming Canadians because it is driving up the cost of everything.
    The Liberals' prescribed solution is simply therapy for their guilty conscience, but not something that is creating real change. It is shameful. It is punitive toward Canadians and it is just to help the Liberals sleep better at night while accomplishing nothing.

  (1605)  

    Let us talk about those farmers. Let us talk about what they really do. Contrary to some of the Liberals' beliefs, they do not just grow crops for fuel. They happen to feed not only our country but the world. Let us talk about them. Let us talk about those hard-working individuals.
    In 1978, a radio broadcaster by the name of Paul Harvey gave a speech entitled “So God Made a Farmer.” In it, he outlined the incredible characteristics that a farmer had to hold to be a fit caretaker of the land and the animals. He reflected that it is someone hard working and tough enough to bear the weight and struggle of adversity, yet gentle enough to care for the animals in a beautiful way.
    In his speech, he hypothesized:
    God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.
    In this simple yet powerful tribute, he really does capture those who work night and day and who often overcome challenge and tribulation to care for the needs of not only our population but also the population of the world. It is remarkable.
    We are talking about individuals who are pioneers in looking after the environment. These folks look after the land, the soil, the air and the water like nobody else, yet the government insists that they too need to be penalized with a carbon tax. We are talking about folks who heat their barns to care for their animals, dry their grain so they can get it to market, irrigate so they can have crops and transport livestock so we can pick it up in the freezer section. That is what we are talking about.
    Of course, that cost gets passed down from the farmer to Canadians, and unfortunately we have seen grocery costs skyrocket due to poor Liberal management and terrible policies, such as the carbon tax. Some 20% of individuals are skipping meals. Food banks are serving people at an astronomical rate, more than ever. Canadians are finding it difficult to make their way to the end of the month while still being able to feed their families. They can expect in 2023 that their grocery bills will go up by another $1,100 thanks to the Liberal government, the carbon tax, the mismanagement of the overall economy and out-of-control spending.
    However, that is not where the Liberals want to stop. They also want to go after fertilizer use. Of course, we are talking about farmers who are already trying to run a business and are using fertilizer with great care, making sure their input costs are minimal by not using very much. Fertilizer is expensive, in case the folks across the way did not know, so farmers want to use as little as possible to get the greatest yield possible.
    The Liberal government feels they need to be punished for that. How dare farmers want to feed the country. How dare they want to feed the world. How dare they want to increase their yield. However, the Liberal government goes after fertilizer use and penalizes the farmers for it.
    Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to increase. Canadians continue to pay the price. Farmers continue to be demonized instead of celebrated as the incredible people they are.
     Today, the motion before us calls on the government to dare to lean in and understand the act of farming, to dare to understand the impact of their policies on the Canadian people and to give them a break for the sake of families, for the sake of seniors, for the sake of those living with a disability and for the sake of each and every woman, child and man across this country. They deserve a break.

  (1610)  

    Madam Speaker, I somewhat thank the member for her speech. Just for comparison, the member compares the whole Liberal bench to one question she asked one member back when she was first elected and maybe when that member was first elected.
     She said she is from rural Alberta. Well, I live in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. I grew up in a household where we grew all our own vegetables. We never had to buy anything in the way of vegetables from one season to the next. We kept a horse. We raised a pig for food. Later, we would slaughter the pig and do whatever with it.
     The member makes it seem like it is all about her and her constituents. It is about everyone in Canada, as members of Parliament know. Yes, I get a plane back and forth to Ottawa every time I come here. I do not walk here. I actually get two planes. I spend a lot of time sitting down and waiting.
     Can the member please explain herself? Should we only abide by what she thinks people are like in the House, or do we all have our own identity?
    Madam Speaker, indeed, the member is an honourable one, so we can call him that.
    The member is asking a very good question and is making my point exactly. It seems rather ridiculous to be applying a carbon tax to something that people must use. In Canada, we do not really have a choice as to whether to heat our homes, so we do, but we get penalized with a carbon tax. Many of us do not really have a choice in this vast country as to whether we need a car to get to work. Why are those individuals being penalized for making a living?
    The member opposite is a member of Parliament. He takes a plane here to represent his constituents. Why is that being penalized?
    These are very good questions, and I encourage him to ask his government.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the problem with the Conservatives is that they say that we need to cut spending, but we never really know how they are going to solve the problems.
    Last week, someone in my riding slit his throat open in front of a homeless shelter because he was dealing with mental health problems. He had applied to enter a facility to address his problems, but he had just found out that he could not get the spot that had been reserved for him. There was not enough room.
    There were two issues at play in this incident: the issue of housing and the issue of health.
    To take care of this person's problems, we need to invest in both health and housing. The health transfers we are asking for are the government's responsibility. The Liberals, on the other side of the House, do not want to invest in health.
    Should the Conservatives come to power in a few years, not that we necessarily want that, but if it happens, will they provide the health transfers that every province from one end of Canada to the other is asking for?

  (1615)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I fail to see the relevance. I recognize that to the member, that was an important question with regard to health care transfers. However, the topic of conversation today is the carbon tax and the government's mismanagement of the economy. It also has to do with the cost to Canadians.
    Where I would perhaps find some commonality with the member is in the notion that indeed Canadians are in a really tight spot right now in trying to make ends meet, and they certainly need to be helped. One of the best ways to help them is by removing the carbon tax and other penalizing policies, including the printing of money, and by helping to put faith back in the Canadian people.