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Results: 1 - 100 of 444
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House as a father from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. We are grappling with a real crisis. Young women are getting dragged into a process that will destroy them. As a father, I am deeply troubled by that.
I know nothing about this subject, seeing as I am not a lawyer, but the point raised by my Conservative colleague caught my attention. It is true that $5,000 sounds like a paltry fine. I do not know much about this.
The government says that we have been talking about this for however many days and hours, but when it decides to cut our debate time short, it is not respecting the standard regarding the number of hours that should be allocated to debate on a given issue. The Liberals say it is fine, but this is an issue I really care about.
Do they think all bills should be debated for less time? Is the Minister of Justice trying to tell us that the parliamentary process in general is too long?
The debate on this issue does not seem like an appropriate place to save time. This is such a serious issue that we should have enough time to discuss it fully, but the Liberals are saying we have talked enough.
Does my colleague think the parliamentary process is too long? It seems to me that it is shorter in China.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, as part of this exchange, I would like to hear the Liberal government explain why it believes that tripling oil sands production will not triple pollution. It could have decided to support Alberta's economy, which I understand, by requiring the increased production to be offset by a decrease in emissions per barrel. However, there is no mention of that. This is an election ploy designed to obfuscate. The government is talking out of both sides of its mouth. I will ask a very straightforward question.
How can the Liberal government believe that tripling production will not triple pollution?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I wish I could believe that the government will eventually rise above partisanship.
A month ago, the NDP tabled a motion in Parliament declaring a climate emergency, but the Conservatives and the Liberals voted against it. The government chose to adopt its own emergency declaration by moving a motion that will not stop pipelines from being built or stop the flow of subsidies to oil companies. They chose to play political games rather than work with all the parties to tackle the emergency head-on.
Can the government stop making this existential crisis political and work with the rest of us to revise the greenhouse gas reduction targets? Can it stop subsidizing oil companies and embark on the climate transition an entire generation is calling for, yes or no?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, about six months ago, on December 6, on behalf of the NDP, I joined forces with a group of about 50 MPs from the Green Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to call on this government to work with all parties and hold a kind of summit where everyone could agree on the importance of meeting these targets.
Sadly, six months on, I have yet to receive an answer from either the Conservatives or the Liberals.
How can that be, when my colleague just said we all need to work together?
He was perfectly right in saying that, but the government has a responsibility to bring people together to tackle a crisis that is like a major war.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, as members know, frustration associated with the end of the parliamentary session can sometimes lead even the wisest amongst us to behave inappropriately.
I want to apologize for making offensive comments toward the Minister of Transport, for whom I have immense respect, particularly with regard to his previous career.
I do apologize.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the member for Courtenay—Alberni.
This is probably my last chance to express my opinion about this government.
I listened to my colleague from Malpeque, and I know his heart is in the right place. He talked about the new horizons for seniors program, which is a very good program in many of our ridings. It is indeed a success.
However, I listened to my other colleague who spoke before him about the government's social housing initiatives, and I had to work hard to keep from shouting. The truth is that places like Longueuil—Saint-Hubert need social housing. We do not spend enough time talking about that. Sadly, the poverty rate in the City of Longueuil and its two suburbs is incredibly high. Over a third of the children belong to families living below the poverty line. I know for a fact that we need social housing. The Longueuil housing office's waiting list now has over 2,000 names on it. We need this kind of initiative, but the Liberal government has never done more than talk about it.
Once again, we are seeing their obsession with always calculating the very best time to announce some big carrot they want to dangle in front of people right before the election. That is what they did. Even though that was two years ago, they told us they were investing $10 billion in social housing. What they have put on the table so far is really just peanuts. What will we get later? It will be a nice gift. We will see if Canadians are smart, if they have realized that they have to trust the blue bloods in the Liberal Party of Canada. Now we will get small carrots here and there; we will get what is to be expected. It is appalling.
The media industry is now in crisis. How are the Liberals going to support the media? They are offering more carrots. No changes were made to the legislation.
Getting back to the people of Longueuil, what did the government do right away? It eliminated the tax credit for public transit passes. That is fantastic. It is almost as good as pipelines. Let us encourage people to take the bus. Congratulations, that is fantastic. I will not even mention the subway, since we obviously still do not have our subway extension.
Quebec has a lot of needs and a lot of ambition, and we can be proud of that. People in Montreal and the rest of Quebec really want to use public transit. Are we going to get some support from higher up? I sure hope so. I would love to see some big announcements before the election. They had better be good, and the Liberals would do well to keep their word and not lose the election. I hope members on that side can really understand how things are for the people of Longueuil.
Longueuil has had the same metro station since 1967. It is 52 years old. Nothing has been built since. God knows we need more. The bridges in my riding, especially the Jacques Cartier Bridge, are constantly congested. When people need to get to Montreal, they do not even consider taking public transit because it takes two tickets to cross the river and the return trip costs $13, so they drive their cars.
In fact, that is why I am so passionate about electric cars and the electrification of transportation. The people in my community were early adopters because it seemed like we were always stuck in traffic. Many drivers ended up going electric. Again, we got peanuts for the electrification of transportation. The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development at least had the vision to support a few good projects, but the Department of Transport has not offered up a penny, for Pete's sake. How pathetic. Electric cars are nothing new. Tesla reinvented the car years ago, but Ottawa is asleep at the wheel.
Being here among the 338 MPs who represent the people of Canada is an incredible opportunity. It is time to wake up. We see a lot of apathy, especially on the other side of the aisle. I have said over and over how ashamed I am that this Parliament cannot stand up and make sure e-commerce is properly taxed, at least at the same rate as our own businesses. Peter Simons has opened a store here on Rideau Street, and what a store it is. It was not that guy from Amazon who did it; it was Peter Simons. He got people involved by investing his own money and hiring employees.
Taxes are to be expected, since they fund our services. Paying a tax is not a shame. Roads and hospitals do not pay for themselves, nor do the boats that keep us safe on the water.
The government is letting web giants into the country. Does Amazon, a competitor to Simons, for example, pay taxes? I am not so sure. People are always surprised to hear that someone who ordered a product on Amazon did not pay tax. This cannot work. We are not in a little village in 1812. This is 2019 in a G7 country. I am trying to refrain from swearing.
This is shameful. Why is the media in a crisis right now? The government thinks it is complicated and that it is a new paradigm. I remember I had an eBay account about 20 years ago. This is not a new paradigm, and that is not an excuse.
It is a fact that the Conservatives ignored this for 10 years. The Liberals are even worse. They have been calling this situation appalling for four years, but they are not doing anything. The truth is that the media sector is in one hell of a mess right now and has lost 16,800 jobs since 2008, and the Liberals are partly at fault, since they had four years to do something.
We do indeed need to amend legislation, but the government should have done it sooner. When the Liberals were elected in 2015, they said that they were going to change this because it is important. They said that they would consult, but they did not manage to get everyone together. A government is meant to be able to unite people. Did this government do so? Absolutely not. I do not want to sound alarmist, but that is the truth. Anyone in the culture industry would tell you that.
Currently, we are talking a lot about the 75th anniversary of the brave heroes who defended our democracy in the Second World War. That is what we call patriotism, correct? The person who made a documentary on the Second World War—I forget the name of the production company, but no matter—sold one million copies of his DVD. Three years later, or around four years ago, they made another documentary, this time on the First World War. I can see how people could have found it a little dated and would not have been as interested, but that is not the point. They sold 100,000 copies of this documentary.
The band Alfa Rococo received $16,000 in public performance royalties for one of their radio hits, which makes sense, given that the radio was playing their song. During the same period, they only got $11 from Spotify. Clearly, this is the kind of thing that influences the decision of whether to go into music or not. That said, we are all happy to have music.
The government is well aware of all the problems. This morning I was asked in an interview whether the Minister of Canadian Heritage is incompetent. I said that I believe he is not incompetent so much as powerless. He is powerless before the will of the Prime Minister and he is powerless before the intellectual dishonesty of the Minister of Finance, who, when asked why the GST is not applied to Netflix subscriptions or ads on Google and Facebook, always says that this is very complicated and it should be taken up with the G7 and the G20.
Most of the U.S. states apply a sales tax on accounts like that. Everyone is asked to pay sales tax. For example, when we go to a small-time garage to buy some washer fluid and the employee says it will cost $4 in cash but he will have to add the tax if we pay by credit card, we raise a disapproving eyebrow, but that is what we are allowing to happen.
I did the math. GST would cost Netflix roughly 75 cents a month per subscription. That is roughly $10 a year per subscription. Ten dollars times roughly ten million subscriptions is $100 million.
Do the Liberals not want that money? Canadians do. We need it. The Liberals have to wake up.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, in my response, I will consider the fact that my colleague is a former journalist and has the utmost respect for that profession, which is very important in our country.
The distribution of government support to the media, electronic or print, must be carried out in the most impartial way. We made several recommendations, such as supporting journalists independently of the platform they use. Naturally, the report was shelved because the Liberals are in the majority and are in charge at committees. I have been an MP for eight years and, unfortunately, most of the time, reports are shelved. That is disgraceful. The report had not even been tabled yet and the Prime Minister dismissed it, as did the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Several suggestions were made, in particular in Mr. Greenspon's report, which was not acted upon. What did the Liberals do? Just before the election, they realized that they needed to do something. They asked themselves who might be involved. They made a choice knowing that that would work to defeat the Conservatives, and told themselves it was not a problem, it would do the trick.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my heartfelt thanks to my colleague. I know she is doing a fantastic job in her riding. If anyone can talk about local media, it is her. I know that she writes for a local newspaper, for instance. These newspapers are often free, like the Pamplemousse in the riding of my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. I will not make a joke about his riding's name.
Local media need support. Unfortunately, the program that was created specified that they needed to have at least two employees, which is often impossible for local media outlets. They did not get any support at all.
Many reports on this issue have recommended supporting local media in the transition to digital platforms. However, that requires Internet access, which is another thing the regions may not get.
The survival of our information and our culture is vital to our democracy.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, what a circus we have around here. Exactly six months ago, the NDP invited all parties of the House of Commons to work together on the climate crisis because the failure to meet our targets is the failure of this entire Parliament. The Liberals and the Conservatives continue refuse this offer.
I have a message for the young people marching in the streets: get involved in the upcoming election and kick out all those who do not want to save the planet or find solutions. It is appalling.
I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Climate Change a question, but, honestly, I feel like there is no point. I do not even want to hear what you have to say. Keep thinking that you are the best and figure it out yourselves. Goodbye.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Google spent $47 million on lobbying to roll back copyright in Europe. Here in Canada, the Liberal government is leaving the door wide open to giants such as Facebook, Google and Netflix. The government says nobody gets a free ride. Give me a break. It has been singing the same tune for four years now.
The consequences are very real. Today, TVA announced it is cutting 68 jobs because of Liberal favouritism and the government's refusal to ensure a level playing field for everyone.
I am ashamed of Parliament for handing our culture, our democracy and our jobs over to Big Brother in the states on a silver platter. The Liberals have not done a thing for four years.
Why not? God dammit!
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I wish my colleague would tell me what I did that she found so disrespectful. I did indeed say the word “dammit”, but I could just as easily have said “thorn” or “lemon”. I do not see how that is disrespectful towards the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, who, truth be told, has not done anything these past four years.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question.
The first point in their motion reads:
(a) take note of the importance of a free and independent press to a healthy democracy;
The Conservatives want a “free and independent” press. Do they also want a sustainable press or do they want a dying one? From what I know, things are not going well.
What are they proposing?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I am beginning to feel like a parrot and it is getting tiresome. Why does another four years have to go by before something gets done?
He is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. His minister's predecessor launched the ecosystem review process four years ago.
It was passed from committee to committee, then there was a committee report, and then it went back to committee. The election will be over and still nothing will have been done.
How is it that the Liberal government has not accomplished anything in this regard in four years?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Elmwood—Transcona.
I am happy that the masks are coming off today, because we are talking about something that the NDP has been concerned about for a long time. For around eight years, we have been standing up for Canadian news media and cultural content, and particularly in Quebec, where there is a great deal of provincial investment in businesses that offer such content. Furthermore, as a result of the changing paradigm, every investment the Government of Quebec makes involves greater risk.
Last night, the Québec Cinéma Gala celebrated the talents of director Ricardo Trogi, actor Debbie Lynch-White, actor Martin Dubreuil and Sara Mishara, who did the cinematography for the movie The Great Darkened Days. The Québec Cinéma team reminded us that Quebec is so good at telling its stories because of giants like Jean Beaudin and Jean-Claude Labrecque, who passed away last week.
A pioneer of filmmaking on nearly 100 Canadian films and keenly attuned to the evolution of Quebec society, Jean-Claude Labrecque, considered the filmmaker who captured the essence of Quebec, used to describe himself simply as the guy holding the camera. He did right by us, as the great man he was.
To pay tribute to Jean-Claude Labrecque is to pay tribute to the architect of what we inherited today. We inherited a system that allows us to tell our stories through fiction and documentaries, but also through the news media. It allows us to talk about our democracy and to monitor what our politicians do. That is precisely what is currently at stake, because of the partisan games and mediocrity we are seeing from Canada's two main parties.
Under the Conservatives we had 10 years of inaction. Ten years of acting like nothing happened. Then the Liberals came to power saying that something had to be done, that we absolutely needed to fix the problem. That was four years ago and they have done absolutely nothing since then. This government has done a poor job because it is afraid of the opposition. I am talking about the official opposition, of course, because the NDP has been fighting for this cause for at least four years, if not eight, since this issue was not as urgent at the time. This situation has truly deteriorated in no time at all.
It is unacceptable that 80% of Internet advertising revenue currently goes to the United States. All legislators in Canada should be ashamed. It is not unusual for a society that lives in the north, like ours, to import pineapples or bananas. However, we are now importing advertising signs. Is it not appalling that we are letting all our advertising investments go elsewhere? That is a pathetic trade record. Time and again I find myself having to face the fact that we have no backbone. We have to wake up and protect our industry. We have to stop being mesmerized by five different colour letters just because they represent the most beloved brand in the United States, by Republicans and Democrats alike. We need to wake up.
It is not Google's fault that we are slackers. It is not Netflix's fault that we have not asked it to collect the GST, our country's basic tax, which is a consumption tax. The Liberals will not do it for utterly embarrassing reasons. They are afraid that those opposite, the Conservatives, who only want to win the next election, will say that a Netflix tax will raise prices. Give me a break. All Canadians pay the GST on goods they purchase. That is normal. We pay for goods and services, but they will not charge the GST.
You should all be ashamed. I, for one, as a citizen of a country like Canada, am ashamed that we are not taking a stand and charging our consumption tax. That is just disgraceful. As we can see, this mainly concerns the GST.
The government has been avoiding the issue and thinking pretty highly of itself for four years. For the past four years, it has been ignoring other people's advice. For four years, it has been afraid of being known as the government that taxed Netflix, but come on, Netflix raised its rate by about 33% a year ago and nobody said boo. The Liberals say they will not charge the GST for that kind of service. They know they do not have a leg to stand on, but they will not do it. There might be questions at the year-end review. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance are literally lying to us when they say taxing an intangible online service is complicated. They talk about seeking advice from their G7 and G20 friends. Seriously, though, this is a sales tax. What is the deal here? You are lying to our faces. This kind of situation—
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, the fact is, we are here in a Parliament where the opposition is supposed to be able to propose things and take a constructive approach. I have been fighting for the media for eight years now, and the NDP has been working tirelessly to protect our stories and our journalism, to ensure a level playing field for everyone. It is not happening. We are not the only ones. In January 2017, a report entitled “Shattered Mirror” recommended the following:
Recommendation No. 1: Enhance Section 19 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act
We have talked about this. It is completely unacceptable that, in a wealthy, western democracy like ours, we are incapable of amending a section of an act that online advertisers are shamelessly exploiting. Basically, if a company pays to place an ad in an American magazine, it cannot include it as a deduction for its advertising expenses. It cannot put it in an American or Canadian magazine, because it is not an eligible expense. However, placing an ad on Google or Facebook is an eligible expense. It is completely ridiculous.
The Conservatives were no better. That loophole has been around for a long time but the Liberals let it be because they are afraid of being taxed. They have spent four years doing nothing even though this is such an important issue, an issue so crucial to our identity. Our stories are disappearing along with our journalism and possibly even our democracy. A number of us have pointed out that many of the weekly papers that cover local politics in every one of our ridings are closing. They are closing because advertisers can jump on that kind of outrageous advantage. That recommendation I just quoted was the first one in the January 2017 report. That was two years ago, and it came from an expert. The heritage minister requested the report. Two years have passed, and nothing has been done. The government has not done a thing about it even though that was the first recommendation.
Here is another recommendation from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage's June 2017 report:
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Minister of Canadian Heritage explore the existing structures to create a new funding model that is platform agnostic and would support Canadian journalistic content.
That was two years ago. Let me point out that both the heritage minister and the Prime Minister summarily dismissed the report.
Here is the second recommendation from the other report from January 2017:
Extend GST/HST to all digital news subscription and advertising revenue for companies not qualifying under new Section 19 criteria. Rebate GST/HST for those that do qualify
Nothing was done. That was in the January 2017 report published by Mr. Greenspon, a distinguished journalist and expert. The Liberals did nothing.
Now, a little like the huge boondoggle they made of the SNC-Lavalin affair, the government decided once again to improvise. It slipped a line somewhere in the omnibus bill, thinking no one would noticed, but they were wrong. The government should have consulted everyone. It would have been nice if it had not tried to hide this in a huge bill the size of an Eaton's catalogue. What happened as a result? Many jobs were lost in Quebec. People might be in difficult situations, but it is not the government's problem. It is, however, a serious problem for Quebec.
Once again, a committee was thrown together at the last minute. It smacks of conflict and does not look good on the members opposite. They have always known just how much the unions hate them because they are always saying they do not care about the news or the situation facing our media here in Quebec and Canada.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I will focus on the second part of the member's comment, so that my answer is as constructive as possible.
In the second part of his comment, the member asked me what we would recommend. First, we would recommend that the government take things seriously and acknowledge that information promotes a better democracy. Such a fundamental issue should have been tackled much earlier. It would have been preferable not to wait until the last minute, as the government did with a number of very important bills. It also should have done some research and not thought it was so superior that it was above criticism.
Obviously, it is going to be a bit controversial when the government chooses a union that has very much taken a side in the debate and when it makes the announcement at the last second, right before the election. Nevertheless, the Conservatives should not be surprised. They are hated by almost everyone in the news and communications sector. The Conservatives hung us out to dry for 10, or even 14, years, because they were threatening the government.
As for the first part of your comment, you claim to have done things. The Canada Council for the Arts budget was doubled four years ago. Stop saying that; you have not done a thing since.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
That will not be easy, Madam Speaker.
I thank my colleague. I know he means well, and I appreciate his province taking the lead.
He is absolutely right. This definitely demonstrates how pathetic it is that this government does not to have the guts to do the obvious and just apply the GST to a service like this. He is right that we all need to work together. As a result of the government's inability to show federal leadership and persuade the telecom giants to join the comprehensive review, the stakeholders are left to watch as the system falls to pieces. They are petrified of being swallowed up by Big Brother, Google, GAFA and others.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his important speech, particularly since, in his riding, the Franco-Ontarian fact is, of course, very vulnerable and must always be promoted and protected.
I would like to know where small newspapers and local weeklies stand. Did the people who run them feel reassured by the government's announcements? If the member has any time left, I would like him to tell me why the Liberals took so long to present solutions that were looked into two years ago in a number of reports submitted to the government.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech and excellent work at committee, where we discussed these issues at length.
I will not ask her why we had to wait until the last minute because I have already asked that question many times today. A lot of people are wondering if they are going to pack up next weekend because the parliamentary session is almost over. It cannot believe that we are tackling this issue today, but the Conservatives wanted to raise it.
Is my colleague surprised by the Conservative belief that choosing a union such as Unifor to represent the views of workers and others is some kind of a game?
I find it appalling that they waited until the last minute, just before the election, to introduce such a highly debatable motion.
Is she surprised by the Conservative belief that unions do not look favourably on the Conservatives and do not believe them to be on their side?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my colleague works with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, where we talked about this issue many times.
Does he not find it shameful that the Liberals once again waited until the last minute, when they could have been much more effective in helping our media outlets make more money? For example, the government could have amended the exemption in section 19 of the Income Tax Act so that Internet ads are considered expenses for income tax purposes just as magazine ads are.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I agree with him. There is a lot wrong with this situation. A few days from the end of this Parliament, it is very awkward and negligent of this government to be making so many proposals and appointments that could cause confusion, when we do not have the means to do an analysis. Our news industry and our media are not doing well.
I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the information I found indicating that Canada subsidizes the media to the tune of $2 per capita. In Quebec, with its current formula, it is about $3 per capita. Compare that to $5.83 in the United States, $18.17 in the United Kingdom and $30 in France. Of course, Sweden, Norway and Finland, which are fantastic countries, provide significantly more help to the media, with support ranging from $57 to $90 per capita. That is a huge amount compared to Canada's $2 per capita.
Does my colleague agree with the idea that the state must provide better support for newspapers, in a non-partisan manner of course?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, who serves with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Clearly, we cannot oppose a good thing, even if it being proposed late in the game. When a union that represents thousands of workers is disparaged, there may be some comments that people would like to take back.
However, as everyone has said today, it is obvious that this is a temporary measure while we wait for something better. That is the issue. Why did we wait all this time to solve the fundamental problem afflicting our media, namely the loss of advertising revenue? What is the cause of these losses? I wonder if my colleague can answer that. Section 19 is overused with respect to online advertising, as though the ads were being placed in Canadian media.
Why has this loophole not been closed? Why is GST not charged on ads purchased on these platforms? If the reason is that these are U.S. platforms, it is not a good reason.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear that. I will ask the member to slow down a bit and to find an answer to my question. Why is the government not closing the section 19 loophole?
Allow me to explain. Under section 19, a Canadian advertiser can advertise in an American magazine, but this expense will not count as an operating expense for advertising come tax time. This expense is not allowed because the advertiser is not advertising in Canadian media. However, section 19 does not currently specify that these ads must be bought on Canadian online media in order to be considered an eligible expense.
Why is the government not doing this?
Everyone knows that this is a big problem. Everyone also knows that if the government closed this loophole, Canadian advertisers would probably spend less on American platforms and more on Canadian ones. It is not complicated. This would obviously bring in more money for the government.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague opposite why the NDP's position is drawing so much ridicule today.
The fact is, the people we are talking about today are the ones who are being unfairly penalized. Our position was that their criminal records should be expunged. The Liberal government told us it wanted to make marijuana legal in Canada. What was the result? The Liberals will never get me to believe they cared about the situation of the people we are talking about today. All they wanted to do was please the general public, which does not face excessive criminalization, and above all pander to their investor friends and help them make lots of money.
Today, it is clear that the offence of simple possession of cannabis will come back to haunt someone if they commit another offence. Was this a simple oversight or do you just not give a damn?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Longueuil is two kilometres away from Montreal. If a person from Longueuil needs to take public transit to Montreal for a job interview or a doctor's appointment, for example, it will cost them $13 to get there and back. It makes no sense to pay $13 to travel two kilometres. If people have to make the trip regularly, they can buy a monthly pass for $138. At these prices, it is not surprising that there is always so much traffic on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
That is why the NDP opposed the Liberal government's decision to do away with the public transit tax credit. That is why the government should invest in extending the yellow line. Extending that line would attract 70,000 users a day. That is why RTL Longueuil needs a partner to extend the yellow line and money to renovate and expand the garages for its new electric fleet.
We need a government that will stand firm. In Quebec, 43% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, with on-road vehicles accounting for 34%. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and that is why we need governments to make major investments in efficient, reliable and affordable public transit so that we can build our cities while addressing the climate crisis.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this morning I heard the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan talk about the importance of caring for the most vulnerable members of our society as well. Unfortunately, disabilities often contribute to this very economic vulnerability.
My colleague was a member of the previous government, which created a disability savings plan. I wonder if he could tell us a little more about that program.
Did that program produce the desired results?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, for four years, the media industry has been floundering. Thousands of journalism jobs have been lost. Our information and democracy are in jeopardy.
Last week, the Conservative leader basically announced that he will do nothing to address the media crisis. Come to think of it, nothing is exactly what the Liberals are doing. After four years of studies and committees, last week, the Liberals came up with the half-baked idea to set up yet another controversial committee that will not release its findings until just after the House rises for the summer.
Why did the government wait four years, a full term in office, before finally coming to its senses about the crisis? Are the Liberals that afraid of the Conservatives?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is not without a certain bitterness that I join the debate on this bill.
Of course, we can tout the merits of Canada's two official languages. I rise in the House with all due respect for francophone minority communities outside Quebec and anglophone minority communities in Quebec. There is no denying, however, that, over the past few years, there has been an effort to relegate the sovereignty issue to the dustbin of history and to downplay the importance of acknowledging Quebeckers' quiet nationalism, which concerns me greatly. I have observed firsthand that the French language is at the heart of culture.
Last week, we debated the bill on indigenous languages. We heard from several people who stated just how important indigenous languages are to the indigenous identity and culture, and how it is very important to preserve them. The situation in Quebec is obviously not the same because Quebeckers have had the opportunity to take strong positions and to implement measures such as Bill 101. It was highly controversial at the time but it ultimately played an important, structural role in Quebec culture, and is a critical part of French's resilience in Quebec.
I am talking about our national question being turned into a bit of folklore, because, I would remind hon. members, Quebec is a distinct nation. I immediately think of simple things like the fact that our parliament is not called a legislature, but a national assembly, like in France, to reflect the fact that we adhere to the Civil Code instead of common law. We have a republican-like way of thinking, a way of seeing society that is more reflective of France, but includes a healthy mix of our status as Canadians and North Americans in the Westminister system.
My general impression when it comes to defending the interests of Quebec is that there are not too many Quebec MPs who want to talk about quiet nationalism, an expression that I quite liked and adopted. It was coined by Alain Dubuc, and economics columnist at La Presse. This is a nod to the Quiet Revolution and a characterization of our nationalism. In Quebec today, in 2019, this is a consensual nationalism, in the vast majority of cases.
Some hon. members represent largely anglophone communities where people are not inclined to be open to this idea. I forgive those members for not rising often enough to stand up for the quiet nationalism we are seeing in Quebec. As for the other MPs, I honestly have to say that I am very frustrated. For four years now, I have been front and centre at all times. My party, the NDP, gives me room to talk about how vital culture is to our television and popular music industries. Quebec's cultural industries are thriving. Every time we talk about a Canadian filmmaker doing well internationally we are proud of that, but often that filmmaker is from Quebec. We are so proud we might as well be talking about an Olympic champion. However, this does not come from nothing.
In the Olympics, there are programs such as own the podium. In Quebec and Canada, Quebec culture was allowed to thrive in television, film and music. How did we do that? By enforcing regulations; not letting ourselves be colonized and stepped on like doormats; and telling industry stakeholders interested in developing international culture that we had a weakness and that we needed to be a part of the story. If there is foreign content, there will have to be local content. This goes for all Canadian content, and everyone knows it, but it takes on a whole new meaning in Quebec. Both Canadian and Quebec content are hugely successful and have exceptional ratings, and ultimately, they also have a positive impact on society.
I will stop there to return to the bill introduced by my colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île.
In Quebec, protecting culture means ensuring that the stories we tell reflect peoples' lives. I often give the example of the show Fugueuse, which had great ratings and a profound social impact. Every day after an episode would air, social workers and screenwriters would come to Longueuil station to talk about child prostitution, which is a blight, especially in my constituency. The show is having an impact.
In Quebec, we have invested in this particular way of telling our stories and expressing our love to one another, of greeting the world and welcoming new communities that come here. Last year, at a televised gala, we learned that Fugueuse helped 20 or so young people get out of prostitution after speaking to their parents. How marvellous is that?
Some people might say they are sick of hearing about the bloody Quebec culture and would rather watch Netflix anyway because the content is more relatable and much better. Is it though? I myself obsessively watched 13 Reasons Why, a series about teen suicide, before my daughters watched it, because I wanted to make sure it was appropriate for them. Then I learned that, according to American studies, youth suicide rates rose by 27% after the first few episodes were released. That is a huge increase.
The reason I bring this up is that we need to defend the Quebec nation in a constructive way. That is why we in the NDP strongly objected when this bill was designated as non-votable. Incidentally, I tip my hat to the member for Hamilton Centre, who fought to convince all his colleagues to vote to debate the bill. This bill represents an idea that could be immensely improved by the work of all the legislators in the House. I do not want to hear anyone telling me this bill is silly. If there is one bill that was sloppily cobbled together without constructive input from all members of Parliament, it is the omnibus bill that contained a certain little provision about SNC-Lavalin. We know all about the disastrous consequences for that company, which is Quebec's leading engineering firm, and above all for my dear Liberal colleagues, who really messed up.
The NDP believes this is an important issue because we are acutely conscious of the significant contributions that these new cultures make. They are going to help us build a stronger Quebec. Naturally, teaching French to newcomers is the central issue. We actually adopted a resolution on this topic at the last NDP convention in Trois-Rivières: Whereas immigration is essential to address the labour shortage, which is hurting the economy; whereas the Conservative and now the Liberal governments did nothing to support francophone immigration and make French language classes more accessible—God knows that is true; and whereas francophone immigration is indispensable for ensuring the future of Quebec and francophone communities across Canada outside Quebec; be it resolved that an NDP government will commit to providing adequate funding to increase the required percentage of French-speaking immigrants and will adapt existing immigration programs to Quebec's unique economic, social and labour needs.
That is why the Quebec caucus would surely have voted in favour of this bill at second reading so that it could be sent to committee. We are not getting anywhere by cutting ourselves off and talking past one another. It is shameful and disrespectful for any Quebec MP to ignore the vulnerability and value of Quebeckers' quiet nationalism and to fail to proudly defend Quebec's distinct identity.
In closing, we are very disappointed that we are not able to vote on this bill. This really is a dialogue of the deaf. It seems like members just want to put a lid on this issue and not talk about it. I would urge my dear friends to wake up. There is a quiet nationalism in Quebec, and it is high time we helped it along rather than stand in its way.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, when the government asks regular folks to pay their taxes but gives tax breaks to billion-dollar companies, there is clearly something wrong.
Canada is the only G7 nation that applies sales tax as if the Internet did not exist.
The NDP will shortly be introducing a bill that will finally extend tax compliance to Facebook, Google and Netflix. Multinational web corporations need to follow the same rules as Canadian companies; otherwise, the playing field will not be level.
Will the government finally join the 21st century and support the NDP's bill to adapt our tax laws to the digital economy?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I gather there are many big lakes and waterways in his riding. I am sure this issue hits home for him and his constituents.
I would like to know his thoughts on what a number of members have said about how certain marine protected areas would be excluded from the list under this bill.
Am I mistaken, or does he see that as a good thing?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I am not an expert in these matters, but, like everyone else, I am very worried about global warming.
How can we even think of allowing oil and gas exploration in marine protected areas?
We would never dream of putting an oil well or a tar sands development in a national park. There is even talk of asking Alberta to slow production or clean up the process so it pollutes less. I think the whole idea is preposterous.
Why are we still talking about this?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, the Quebec City tramway would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a quality service to residents.
A recent survey showed that most residents of Quebec City hope the tramway will be added to their public transit offering. Obviously, in public, the Liberal government says that it hopes the project will begin this summer. However, it is not answering the Quebec government's call for help to make up the $800-million shortfall for the tramway. This is not the first time infrastructure funding has been slow to make its way down the pipe.
Speaking of pipes, rather than buying an old pipeline, why does the government not switch to solution mode and fund the tramway that Quebec City residents want?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his testimony.
He may have given a speech, but he was also testifying to what he experienced at this committee, when he saw the amendments being rejected and this government showing its paternalistic approach. I regret that a member has to wonder whether he is naive for thinking that committee members should normally be able to make independent decisions without being controlled by the government.
Does he think that the government is rushing a bit at the end of its term to do something significant, after realizing that it did nothing for four years about something that was supposedly important to its mandate? Does he think the government figures that even if the bill is not perfect, it is good enough?
What does my colleague think about that?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona. I will try to stay constructive and positive, but I have to say that this government's holier-than-thou attitude annoys me to no end. It is exasperating. The Liberals seem to believe they are above all comments and constructive feedback. They think they know everything, and that is incredibly irritating. We can always sense it in their tone. I have never felt this way before. In the last Parliament, under the Conservatives, I never sensed this level of arrogance. “We know best”, the Liberals say. It is so infuriating.
I sit on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, and this is an issue that is close to my heart. I have here 17 NDP amendments, which obviously were not adopted, and I can confirm that the amendment my colleague mentioned earlier was extremely constructive and opened up doors. Unfortunately, the Liberals think they have all the answers when it comes to drafting bills. They were like that with the SNC-Lavalin affair as well, when they added that little line to the omnibus bill. That was an inspired move. The Liberals must be kicking themselves, because all of Quebec is now complaining about it.
I cannot talk about Bill C-91 without talking about my experience as a member of this House. I represent the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, so of course I want to stand up for the interests of my constituents, for aerospace and for our social fabric. More importantly, I want to find solutions to address the fact that one-third of the children in Longueuil—Saint-Hubert are living in poverty. It is a shocking figure, and no one ever talks about it.
I want to talk about my election in 2011. When I was elected, I was an ordinary citizen from Longueuil who did not have a clear understanding of the issues facing first nations. When I arrived here, my main concerns were defending Quebec's distinct culture and fighting climate change. Quite frankly, first nations were not on my list of priorities. On top of that, I did not know very much about the topic.
Many will recall the leadership race that happened so quickly following Jack Layton's death, and my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, was one of the candidates. At that point, many people in Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, including myself, discovered an ambassador for the Cree Nation. Today that member is one of the people scratching their heads, wondering whether this bill on indigenous languages lives up to the expectations.
When I became acquainted with the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, I saw how hard he had worked, especially on the peace of the braves agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I saw how diligently he had to work to solve such issues. I also realized that what was needed was a compassionate approach, not a theoretical one.
This man, whom I consider a friend, taught me that this privileged relationship, as the Liberal Party often calls it, needs to be cultivated. Every time we deal with indigenous languages in committee, I am struck by the heart-wrenching testimony that shows this goes well beyond a theory that language is important. We saw people who were suffering because their past and their roots had been erased, and their personalities and cultures had been bleached white by a centralizing government.
As the representative for the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I was shocked to see just how many open wounds the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was trying to heal. The commission attempted to set out a path for reconciliation.
We came to committee with this in mind, with the goal of working together congenially and collaboratively.
I mentioned the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou today because his outstanding bill seeking to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Bill C-262, has stalled in the Senate. This is a very important bill because it would redefine our relationship with indigenous peoples, with those who are at the very core of this country, but partisan politics are holding it up in the Senate.
I will not call out those involved in the Senate, but it is quite shameful. Things need to get moving. They could use a little nudge to get things going and see them through. This bill would ensure that the government respects the rights of our indigenous peoples and that these rights would be enshrined in all of our bills.
Bill C-91 is by all accounts fundamental and extremely important to the reconciliation process. I understand perfectly just how valuable language is, and how culture is primarily carried through language. It is essential to everything. The situation looks precarious. During one of my visits to Kahnawake, Mr. Norton told me that the Mohawk language is in jeopardy. He said that he was committed to supporting the process. He wants to encourage people to take interest in this issue. Teaching people who are interested in learning these languages again will take several months or years. I therefore understand how important this is.
Also, I was very pleased that my colleagues from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou and Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River supported me during the work on this bill and the study in committee. It is a sensitive topic that requires careful consideration. These are not routine laws. These laws have emotional consequences and will shape our relationship with these nations and the preservation of their culture.
People on the ground obviously saw and grasped the importance of this bill. They understood that public officials had tried to draft legislation that would meet their needs. I will try not to use provocative language. I will try not to make us out to be saintly know-it-alls. I just did it, but I apologize. I will try to put this delicately. If this bill is so important to the Liberal government, why are we only talking about it with five weeks left in the parliamentary session? Why is that? Is there a valid reason to explain why this bill was delayed until the very end of the parliamentary session?
The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is busy. The committee constantly deals with issues related to the cultural resilience of Quebec, first nations or the Innu people. Let me use a metaphor to describe what is going on here. The Liberals were thinking about where they stood. They realized that the parliamentary session was drawing to a close, and they decided that, given their meagre legislative agenda, they were not too busy to introduce some new bills. They figured it would be nice to do something about this issue. They thought they would look really stupid if they went four years without doing anything about it, so they threw a bill together at the last minute.
As my colleague rightly said, a major player, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, says it is not satisfied and was not consulted. This bill is being shoved down their throats. It is tragic to see this holier-than-thou government pretending it has not just been sitting on its hands this whole time. Sadly, that is what happened.
This is critically important bill. It is unfortunate that it had to be rammed through since it still has many flaws and is far from perfect.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his appreciation for everything one discovers about indigenous, Innu and Métis issues when one becomes a member of Parliament. That having been said, I certainly do not want to understate the complexity of the task. It is true that it is very complex.
However, the fact remains that it is very frustrating for the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to all of a sudden be told that this is a government priority that is way behind schedule and that the committee needs to conduct a pre-study of the bill. We did that with as open an attitude as possible, but the government did not really co-operate.
I understand that this is a complex issue. There is no doubt about that. That being said, we need to all work together. The Liberals may have tried to work as much as possible with all those involved, but they certainly did not try to work with us.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.
I admire the fact that he is able to speak the language of some of his constituents. It is a language that is all the more important because it is on the verge of extinction.
He is absolutely right. I should even have talked about how no money has been set aside to ensure the sustainability of such a program. Members will also recall that many people are rightly opposed to the fact that the commissioner in question is not required, by definition, to come from an indigenous community. My colleague is right to point out how important that is, since there are only 50 people left who speak the language. That is outrageous, and it is all happening right before our eyes.
We have a number of institutes that deal with archeology and studying the past, but if we do not want our indigenous languages to become a thing of the past, then we need to ensure their survival.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am sincerely grateful to my colleague from Bow River for his speech and his contributions to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, particularly in the case of this study. Unlike me, he has a direct connection to these people and their reality. He has often spoken on behalf of communities affected by this bill.
I second what he said about the importance of this bill. I share his disappointment in the Liberals' grand consultation, which was supposed to take care of everything and happened a lot faster than expected.
For years, our wonderful Liberal government sat back and did nothing. Now, all of a sudden, right before the election, the government thinks it is time to take meaningful action. Does my colleague not find that despicable? The government says everything is as it should be and wants us all to support the bill.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Quebec's culture and communications minister wrote to our Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism to share his concerns about the crisis at Telefilm Canada.
As a side note, I hope that the minister will allow the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to support my motion today to call Telefilm Canada before the committee.
Since last week, CTVM.info and all major media outlets have been reporting about how much the cultural community needs a strong, tuned-in Telefilm Canada. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism promised to act this week.
It is already Thursday, so does he have some good news to announce about our cultural scene, for once?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I think you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion: that the House of Commons (a) acknowledge the concerns of the Government of Quebec about the budget situation at Telefilm Canada; (b) recognize, as La Presse noted yesterday, that without Telefilm and its operating budget, Quebec cinema and artists such as Xavier Dolan would not have had as much international success; (c) note the outrage of the film industry over the dismissal of some of the leadership at Telefilm; (d) call on the government to resolve the crisis, act swiftly to secure funding for francophone cinema for 2019-20, and ensure that films in production in the coming months are not jeopardized.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the crisis at Telefilm Canada and the abrupt dismissal of Michel Pradier, Roxane Girard and Denis Pion are causing dismay in the film industry, especially in Quebec.
With the Liberals' lack of leadership on the web giant issue already creating serious concerns, we certainly do not need them taking dangerously rash actions like this one. This will further undermine our industry, which is more vulnerable than ever right now.
Will the minister commit to releasing emergency financial support to defuse this crisis, which has left many projects in limbo?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise. I really want to say what a privilege it was to work with my colleague during the committee's study of this bill.
As the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I came to Ottawa with certain beliefs and goals with respect to various issues. I discovered just how dysfunctional the relationship with indigenous peoples is. Major changes are needed.
I noticed how irritated my colleague was that the government again chose a regrettably paternalistic approach in the lead-up to passing a consequential bill, not to mention the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's calls to action. Parliamentarians must look to the wisdom and experience of this leader and her community, for they are intimately familiar with the reality of these people. That is why I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on this.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, this morning, the government released its youth policy, which astonishingly announces that “[y]outh are conscious of the negative impacts climate change has” and that they “want to see further immediate action”. It is about time the government noticed, seeing as 150,000 young people have taken to the streets of Montreal demanding action.
In London, the U.K. Parliament wasted no time declaring a climate emergency earlier this week. Canada is asleep at the switch. It is true.
Six months ago, I urged all the parties to come together to implement emergency climate measures without further delay.
Now that their own report says it is important to listen to youth, will the Liberal Party finally sit down with all the other parties so we can work together to fight climate change?
This is urgent. Let's go.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention back to the question posed by my colleague from Kitchener. He was absolutely right to bring up SNC-Lavalin.
This kind of procedure will rush the bill through the House of Commons. However, the government has presented a budget and an omnibus bill that includes everything but the kitchen sink. When the government tries to pass measures without anyone knowing, it thinks it knows better than everyone, that it knows all the answers. The government came up with a haphazard solution to the SNC-Lavalin problem. The Liberals figured that they would tinker with the legislation a little and it would work. It did not work considering the mess that you and those who live in Quebec are now dealing with.
The government is coming up with solutions in secret and is not presenting them to the 338 members of the House in order to take advantage of their expertise in finding solutions.
I would like to know whether the Minister of Finance will answer my colleague from Kitchener.
Can the government assure us that there will not be any more mistakes, aberrations, serious errors and serious consequences for all Canadians and for you as a government like we saw with the improvised line regarding SNC-Lavalin?
The government is irresponsibly improvising because it thinks it knows everything.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I cannot help but respond when I hear the member for Winnipeg North say that Canadians chose to put an end to austerity. There is a huge difference between austerity and the deficit-palooza we have been experiencing ever since. It is pathetic and completely irresponsible. I agree with my colleague from Durham on that.
Obviously, I understand that he is concerned about workers at the GM plant in Oshawa. There is no long-term vision to try to keep those big plants here in Canada, to open more plants, and to manufacture models of the future rather than models that are going to be discontinued. Could we build vehicles of the future that would sell well and ensure that jobs are not lost in this industry?
I would like to ask my colleague whether he noticed any hidden or dangerous measures when he pored over this bill. That is the challenge that we, as parliamentarians, have to face. We need to go over this phone-book-sized bill with a fine-tooth comb to make sure we do not miss anything, but we do not have time for that. As a result, the last omnibus bill contained a ridiculous, half-baked measure on SNC-Lavalin and now we are seeing the terrible impact that is having on Quebec, jobs and engineering in Canada. It also created a huge scandal that is going to hurt the Liberals in the next election. It serves them right.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change often talks about how high a priority this is for him. However, when we look at the current situation, the budget or just the headlines, it is clear that there is a disconnect, from a financial point of view. It is valid to bring up deficits, but the most urgent issue is climate warming. One province, Alberta, has based its economy on oil production. What is the government going to do to come up with some kind of social licence, and what efforts will be made to limit greenhouse gas emissions? These things will not happen overnight. Oil is to Alberta what potatoes are to Prince Edward Island. I can see why they are scratching their heads, saying they cannot stop production because it would bring their economy to a halt.
How does the government plan to convince Albertans to accept help from across Canada in order to migrate to some other basis for their economy? What is it suggesting? It sounds like it is going to take 200 years to meet our targets. That is pathetic.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, another student demonstration is taking place today in Jeanne-Mance park in Montreal. What are those students asking for? They are asking us to stop dragging our feet. They are asking us to address the most pressing issue of all, climate change. They are asking us to stop all the partisan bickering. They are asking us to take a stand. They are asking us to work together to finally agree to reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets.
That is what we have done. The NDP, the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party have banded together. We asked the leaders of the other two parties to sit down with us so that we could come to an agreement on how we are going to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets. We have global targets. We set those targets based on what is needed at the international level. We need to meet them. That is what the students are asking us to do. Some are even questioning whether they want to bring children into this world.
It is our responsibility, here in the House, to come to an agreement, not about whether or not we will meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets, but about what we are going to do to meet them during the next campaign. We need to stand up for children.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis for his speech.
I noted that he spoke with great pride about the budget and also that he insisted we must fight global warming. I thank him for that, because I believe we do not discuss it enough.
I would like to ask him two questions. First, given that he spoke about plug-in hybrids, I would like him to remind me whether plug-in hybrids such as the Chrysler Pacifica, which is built in Windsor and is the only vehicle of this kind made in Canada, will be eligible. Could he please refresh my memory and provide details about that?
Second, since he is an experienced politician, he knows full well that over the next six months the only thing the parties are going to do is sling mud at one another and quarrel about whether there will be a carbon tax. That will be a pointless fight. I would like to know what he thinks of that.
Take, for example, the resignation of Nicolas Hulot in France. He said that partisan politics do not work. We do not want yellow vests in Canada. There was the United We Roll movement. We must find a consensus and the social licence for what needs to be done.
Does my colleague not agree that it would be good if, before the end of this session, we could come up with a non-partisan, all-party approach to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I hope we will hear some good news about the member for Oakville North—Burlington.
I will shortly be seeking the unanimous consent of the House for a motion. On Tuesday, Quebec's National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion moved by the MNA for Marie-Victorin, Catherine Fournier. This unanimous motion recognizes the work that creators do to promote Quebec culture and asks the Canadian government to modernize CRTC and broadcasting rules to defend Quebec culture.
We want to respect the consensus of the National Assembly. I therefore seek the consent of the House to move the following motion: That the House of Commons receive the motion adopted unanimously by the National Assembly on April 9, 2019, and relay its request that the CRTC and broadcasting rules be adapted to the new challenges of our era.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, 42% of children up to the age of four already have their own tablet to watch what used to be called television. It does not take a genius to realize that these young streamers are watching less Quebec and francophone content. With each passing day, the next generation is losing more and more of their cultural roots. The truth is, we are at risk of becoming another Louisiana. The cultural community is calling on the government to take urgent action to ensure that Canadian media and digital platforms everywhere evolve following the same rules.
Will the government finally take urgent action to protect our culture before the end of its mandate and before we disappear?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.
I have noticed that his speeches are generally very detailed and well-researched. However, it is still important to point out that, generally speaking, the Conservative Party is known for its rather aggressive and somewhat crass approach. We cannot help but notice that the current approach taken by the Conservative Party is putting the Liberal Party in a very difficult position. Generally speaking, the Liberals signal left during elections and then turn right once they take office. We currently have a government that has done nothing about the things that it said were important priorities.
The member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, my neighbour's colleague, talked about the indigenous languages act yesterday. A total of 23 new amendments to the bill were flippantly proposed during the clause-by-clause study. That is reckless. It is obvious the file is being mismanaged when we look at the differences between the bill and what was said, namely that indigenous languages are so important to the Liberals and that this is such an important issue for them. Bill  C-92 is a perfect example of this.
I would like my colleague to explain why the Liberal government does not take control instead of blaming the Conservatives. The government has everything it needs to do that, so that we can talk about Bill C-92.
Our parliamentary secretary said that there are only 49 sitting days left. It is shameful that the government waited so long to study such an important bill.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, as we all know, our media industry is going through an unprecedented crisis. Last year, the government promised a tax credit and other measures to support Canadian journalism. A few announcements were made, but since then, there has been radio silence. The government issued a news release, but it has not provided any money or anything concrete.
Now rumour has it that the government is planning to delay all this until just after the election. Funnily enough, Facebook and Google have no trouble securing a meeting with the Prime Minister or a massive tax break. Meanwhile, our media industry is crumbling and thousands of Canadian jobs are at risk.
How many more years will the media have to wait?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague for his speech. The general public may not be very familiar with military justice—as his colleague pointed out earlier—but there is no doubt these changes are desperately needed. They are tackling issues that have caused a lot of well-documented harm.
Based on his experience, would my colleague agree that this government's legislative agenda will have been rather slim?
Few substantive bills have been passed, and now that the end is in sight, they decide to move this sensitive subject forward. How long did it take them to get to this point—two years?
Last fall, when Bill C-15 came into force, the government could have made amendments that would have implemented all this right away. Victims in the military community are suffering. Why did the government take so long to introduce this?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Toronto—Danforth for her speech.
I am not an expert in military justice. However, it has come to my attention that, in the military, acts of self-harm are considered an offence. This makes it punishable behaviour.
I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the fact that the new legislation does not address this problem, even though it is a known issue. Self-harm is still considered an offence.
Obviously, if an individual is struggling with this problem, it will be hard for them to seek help because they could end up being reprimanded under the Code of Service Discipline.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I just heard him say that the purpose of this process is to place criminals back into society as safely as possible following their time in prison.
He must be familiar with the two provincial rulings, one in British Columbia and the other in Ontario, I believe, that challenged the value of administrative segregation.
Would the member not agree that administrative segregation is often used in the case of people with mental health issues and that, in many cases, this only makes matters worse?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
I understand her reaction to the comments made by my Conservative colleague from Cariboo—Prince George regarding the worst of the worst. I agree with her. These individuals must be treated like human beings. Earlier a Conservative member said that segregation problems are often related to mental health issues, and I understand those concerns.
Considering my colleague's expertise, however, I do not understand how she cannot see that the bill, in its current form, will cause the same problems that led to the rulings handed down by the two provincial courts.
Is that not the case?
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Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I feel the minister is being sincere about this bill, and I am happy to see that.
Indeed, the work has begun, and a significant effort is required from all committee members. There are several relevant topics that could be raised at committee.
I heard the question asked by my colleague from the Green Party, and I want to make sure my friend properly understood her request. She is calling on the government to listen to amendments that may be forthcoming—not just those brought forward by the three main parties, with whom the Liberals have negotiated carefully and well, believe me, and explored the possibilities.
I say this honestly and without cynicism: reach out to experts in this Parliament from the other parties. To be frank, I must say that, in the scandal involving SNC-Lavalin, you wanted to deal with it very quickly and, in the end, that has put a lot of jobs at risk when those in jeopardy should be the white-collar criminals. Of course, it was not you, but everyone knows that your government moved very quickly to add a provision in an omnibus bill, and now we are in this mess.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his longstanding dedication to these important issues. As members know, he has repeatedly tried to rally us all to this cause.
Does he think it is possible to gather data about what led to such despair, to these fatal acts, and to show that the health care system lacks professionals and family doctors?
Bit by bit, our health care system is becoming a two-tier system, and we do not even realize it. Because of this system, have-not families may not get a diagnosis, and I suspect this problem is even worse in Canada's north.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Pickering—Uxbridge, in whom we often see a youthful exuberance. It is important to have our young MPs take the floor.
However, I cannot ignore the fact that she is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, and I expect her to provide an explanation, since I believe she is objective and intelligent. Can she explain why her boss, the Minister of Finance, steadfastly refuses to have Netflix collect the GST? It is outrageous. Everyone is laughing at us. Television producers, cable companies and Internet service providers around the world are laughing at us.
I hope that my colleague will give me something other than the usual answer that there is a lot of discussion about corporate taxes within the G20. We are talking about a consumption rather than a destination tax. I would like a clear answer.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I made an effort not to use the word “culture” in my question. I did not say culture or content. I spoke about the GST, which Netflix, unlike its competitors, does not have to pay. In return, I heard more rhetoric about culture.
Could I just get an answer that is not more obfuscation?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, in January, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with about 100 constituents of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert to listen to their concerns. The environment, poverty, culture, electoral reform and defending Quebec's interests were the main topics of discussion. However, at this year's Saturday morning gathering, there was one distinctive voice missing, that of Claude Bouchard.
Claude died of cancer on January 16. It was a great loss for Longueuil. A karate teacher and black belt, an activist and advocate, Claude Bouchard was a key member of our community, an ambassador for a nurturing society, something far too often overlooked in our productivity-driven system. Claude was the president of the Longueuil—Saint-Hubert NDP riding association and deeply involved in politics. He gave a lot to politics, but he also expected a lot from politicians.
Claude made municipal, provincial and federal politicians truly aware of the reality of people living in Longueuil, which is struggling but is such a supportive community.
On behalf of the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I extend my most sincere condolences to his wife, France, his sons, Mathieu and Simon, and to his family and friends.
Thank you, Claude.
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Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, for three years now, the Liberals have been promising reforms to protect our culture from the flood of American content on Netflix and its ilk. Ten days ago, artists from Quebec media and culture gathered in Montreal, and the one message I heard tossed around was “just do it”. The Liberals keep saying that to profit from our culture, one must contribute to our culture, and that there is no free pass. The government should do something, then. Everyone involved agreed that Ottawa already has the tools to start stemming the tide.
Everyone wants the minister to adopt interim measures before the election. Will he take action, or would he rather let our culture slowly die out?
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Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for his speech. It goes without saying that in Parliament we must always try to find solutions, especially to the problems that will affect the planet and all of humanity.
With that in mind, we must remember, however, that the Conservative motion calls on the government to not raise taxes on Canadians. What they are criticizing is the carbon tax, which regular consumers will have to pay but big polluters will not.
I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change whether it is possible to introduce measures that do not amount to political grandstanding. You announced $1.6 billion in assistance to the oil industry. Everyone would have thought it sensible to invest this money in a cleaner method of oil extraction, but—
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague for his passionate speech on fairness. That is what he talked about.
He has good reason to sing Canada's praises on many fronts, and it is true that efforts are being made to increase fairness.
However, I would like to ask him whether he thinks it is fair that OTT services like Netflix are not required to collect GST.
How does he explain the fact that, among all the competitors in the cultural community, his government is favouring a web giant by not forcing it to abide by the same rules as its Canadian competitors?
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Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question to clarify something for all Canadians. I hope I will get an answer that will make things clearer.
In your motion, you ask the Prime Minister to provide written confirmation that he will not impose any more taxes. I would like to appeal to your judgment. If the Minister of Finance found a bit of courage and finally asked Netflix to collect GST, would your caucus consider that a new tax?
I hope not because it is not right that Netflix does not have to collect GST.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleague whether he thinks that asking Netflix to collect GST constitutes a new tax.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague for his speech. He spoke very eloquently about the major differences between them and us and about both the Liberals' and the Conservatives' lack of vision when it comes to management. He talked about the measures that make it easier for web giants to do business and make profits here in Canada without paying any taxes.
I would like to ask him about compelling web giants to collect sales tax, GST and HST, since, unlike Canadian companies, they are currently not required to do so.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech.
Today, the Conservatives are asking the government whether it will make a commitment to not create new taxes. For my part, I will be speaking about existing taxes.
The member opposite is very familiar with the retail sector. She knows full well that merchants and SMEs must collect the HST on their clients' transactions. It is not money taken from their account, but it is their job to collect this tax.
Speaking of an existing tax, why is the government intent on being one of the last lax governments not to charge a “destination” tax, such as the GST, on over-the-top television services of web giants such as Netflix?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you will find unanimous consent of the House for the following motion:
That the House of Commons:
(a) condemn the use of images of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy in works of fiction;
(b) demand that Netflix Inc. remove all images of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, which took 47 lives, from its fiction catalogue; and
(c) demand that Netflix Inc. financially compensate the community of Lac-Mégantic for using those images for entertainment purposes, without concern for the trauma of citizens, survivors, and the victims' families.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, given that Netflix has rejected the request made by the Quebec government, on behalf of the people of Lac-Mégantic and all Quebeckers, that it stop using images of the Lac-Mégantic disaster, I wish to seek consent for the following motion: That the House of Commons call on Netflix Inc. to withdraw from its catalogue all images of the Lac-Mégantic disaster, which took the lives of 47 people, and that Netflix Inc. provide financial compensation to the Lac-Mégantic community for having used these images for entertainment purposes without regard for the trauma experienced by the residents, survivors and friends and families of the victims.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I have a specific question. Yesterday the leaders of the NDP, Bloc Québécois and Green Party met for the purpose of reaching out to the rest of the House, because it is time we recognized the absolute urgency of climate change. There is no time to argue. We need to set aside partisan politics and launch no less than a war effort to combat climate change. No one party can meet this challenge alone. We need to come together. Taking a non-partisan approach is a message that will make all the difference.
Would the Prime Minister agree to participate in a non-partisan effort and convene a summit of all party leaders to combat climate change?
Our children are watching us.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Government of Quebec confirmed that Netflix will start collecting the QST on January 1, 2019, but not the GST, because Ottawa is refusing to change federal laws and make California-based Internet multinationals collect the same GST it makes our businesses collect.
Quebec explicitly asked the federal government to work with it to change the law, but the government flatly refused. No other G7 country is dumb enough to refuse to adapt its tax system to the Internet age.
Can the Prime Minister do better than the Minister of Finance's pathetic attempts to justify the unjustifiable?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague across the way finds it inappropriate of the current government to once again introduce a mega-bill with a tremendous amount of pages and details. Everyone is having a tough time deciphering all these details.
I am vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The committee has to review the Copyright Act. No one knows where this is going and we learn in this bill that this is how the Copyright Board of Canada will be reviewed.
Can the hon. member understand how someone like me, who is committed to understanding the issues, may find it unacceptable that the Copyright Board of Canada is being reviewed in an omnibus bill when it is such an important issue right now?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
Many people in Canada who are aware of problems in the cultural sector and the media might be asking themselves this question. As my colleague said, our economic performance was among the best in the G7. However, yesterday in committee, Facebook representatives told us they had decided to set up their sales offices in Canada and would begin collecting GST on their ads sometime in mid-2019. How can that be?
How can it be that our government does not have the backbone to tell companies that sell ad services to Canadians to collect GST? That failure to act is inexplicable and has probably cost us billions in uncollected revenue at a time when we really need it.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage is not the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. However, if he is following this file within his own department, he knows full well that failing to require that companies like Netflix or Google collect GST on their services is an injustice to all competitors that are Canadian and hire Canadians.
I am not even talking about corporate taxes, because I know that the Minister of Finance will say that it is complicated. The Liberals do not have much initiative, but I can understand that corporate taxes are complicated. That said, applying a transaction tax on transactions made in Canada is pretty basic.
Are the minister's rose-coloured finance glasses so big that he does not even see a need to collect taxes from service providers? Pathetic. Does my colleague have nothing to say on this? He knows very well that the cultural sector is unanimous on this issue.
Our service providers and creators at least want local broadcasters and over-the-top television services, which are comparable to Netflix, to be on an equal footing with the others.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. I do not doubt his sincerity, but I really did not get an answer to the question I asked earlier. It was a very simple question.
My colleague attends many of our committee meetings and he knows very well that the Quebec cultural sector sees as an injustice the fact that regular buyers of their content will be at a disadvantage compared with Netflix, for example, when it comes time to offer content on the web using their on-demand platforms.
He knows full well that the entire cultural sector would at least like to make sure that buyers are not at a disadvantage on the web, since the government is not requiring that Netflix collect GST on acquisitions and services in Canada, just as it does not require that Google collect tax on ad sales.
I am asking the question. I hope that my colleague will not give excuses and that he will answer my question. It is baffling that, despite the fact that Canada is a G7 nation and that it is performing better in certain areas—although it is also less savvy—we are not asking that federal and provincial taxes be collected on these subscriptions.
I hope to get an answer or at least an admission that he does not know.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I do not know whether this is a translation problem, but I was expecting a very simple answer. It took two minutes and I did not hear the words “I do not know”.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am truly glad to rise today to speak to this very sad situation. Talking about cars is a joy, but it is unspeakably sad to learn, as we did today, that 3,000 Ontario workers will be losing their jobs. It is appalling.
I said it is a joy because cars are one of humanity's guilty pleasures. I am 55 years old; I was born in 1963. When I was younger, I dreamed of owning a Duster with big tires and side pipes. That was my dream for years. I have been driving a Prius for the past 17 years, and it may not be terribly exciting, but it is the right thing to do. The problem with the Prius is that it is imported, so it does not really support Canadian industry. The Oshawa plant that will be closing its doors has been open since 1930, if memory serves. People have been making cars in that part of the country for a long time.
Which vehicles are made there today? They make the Chevrolet Impala, a small police car. I have had one as a rental car on occasion, and it is pretty nice to drive. Surprisingly, it is relatively good on gas. When the speedometer was showing 110 or 115 kilometres an hour—yes, I drive 15 kilometres over the speed limit—the car used 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, if I remember correctly. That is pretty good, but that is not the current market trend, as my Conservative colleague said. People want big cars and SUVs. It is too bad, since we need to think about the environment right now, but that is the market trend.
The GM plant manufactures the Impala, the Cadillac XTS and the Equinox. Anyone, including the Prime Minister, can see that those models are on their last legs. Those old models are not very trendy. The Chevrolet Equinox probably still sells well, but it is definitely not the car of the future. Everybody knows that everything is built on platforms. I do not know the name of the platform used to manufacture the Impala and the Cadillac XTS, but it is a platform that has reached the end of its life cycle.
My colleague from Durham talked about the Chevrolet Volt. That car was manufactured in a plant in the United States that also shut down. I do not think that the closure of the American plant is an indication that hybrid vehicles have no future. The reality is that the Chevrolet Volt is built on the Chevrolet Cruze platform. The Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid of the Chevrolet Cruze. It is not the plug-in hybrid technology that is being abandoned, but the look of the Volt. Anyone who knows a little about cars will notice the similarities between the two, particularly with regard to the way the cabin is built. Only the look of the Volt is changing. The car will eventually be back in a different form. Obviously, that is what is intended because it was a great commercial success.
When I bought my first Prius in 2001, everyone laughed at me, even Jacques Duval. Today, he is a great supporter of the Tesla, but at the time, he said that these cars were ridiculous and that they were not going anywhere. Toyota gambled on hybrid vehicles and won. That is why we are proud to know that some Toyota hybrids are built here in Canada. Hybrid cars popularized the idea of driving a vehicle powered by something other than a combustion engine.
The Chevrolet Volt is a commercial success. Quebeckers love that car. The Chevrolet dealership in Rawdon is the top dealership in North America. It is no doubt the General Motors dealership that sells the most cars like the Volt, the Sonic, or perhaps the Sprint, and the Bolt, both by volume and per capita. It gets the lion's share. Many Ontarians buy from that dealership because Quebec offers a lot of incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. The Volt is a major seller, and I find that reassuring. In my opinion, that model will come back on another platform.
Canada's auto manufacturers always end up with the short end of the stick. Having spoken to workers' groups and representatives of Canadian manufacturers, I can see that companies are fond of describing themselves as international players. They do not want to say that their made-in-Canada cars are better than the others. They do not want to get into regionalization. As members can imagine, this would not be beneficial for them. At the very least, they do not see it as a positive.
We have to do this, at least as much as our trade agreements allow us to. We should be proud of what is manufactured here. We should be promoting the vehicles manufactured by our workers.
Earlier I said that a long time ago, in 2003, Jack Layton pushed for a plan, a vision, to renew Canada's automotive sector.
I understand that Canadian auto workers look down on Japanese vehicles or other vehicles that come from elsewhere. Unfortunately, up until now, the electric vehicle movement was essentially limited to imports.
Our relationship with the auto industry in general is not one of equals. It is the epitome of cynicism. If I look at the notes we had on GM, it would seem that bailing out companies is inevitable. Two days later, the boss gives himself a bonus before closing up shop. In this case, the government gave GM a $14-billion tax break just last week.
In the meantime, we cannot be so self-centred as to ignore reality. GM is facing challenges. According to the numbers I saw and the consultations I have held, the company is very profitable. It is in the process of downsizing. We see it quite often. These companies are posting profits, but in this case it was not enough, because 2,500 jobs are being cut in Oshawa. It is cynical. It is even more so when we consider that it was just given a lovely $14-billion gift. The company got financial assistance when it needed it, and now it is closing its doors.
That said, what I want to focus on is the pride we should take in what we make. In Canada, we manufacture vehicles that may seem a bit outdated, a bit last-generation. However, not many people know that we also make cars like the Toyota Corolla, a top seller with broad appeal. Normally, the plant should not have to close. Of course, the Cruze is a whole different story, because the platform needs to change.
In Canada, we manufacture the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota RAV4, the Lexus RX 350 and the Lexus RX 450H, which is the hybrid model. We also manufacture the RAV4 hybrid. Not many people know that.
Once the car is in the dealer showroom, is there anything preventing us from saying that the car was built in Canada or that it is a modern, environmentally friendly car? I would think that would be a plus, yet nothing is ever said about that.
The last time I went to California, I drove through strawberry country and saw signs saying “America's best strawberries”. Americans are always tooting their own horn. In Canada, we never brag about what we do. I think that is a bit of a shame.
Toyota manufactures its cars here because we have good workers who do an excellent job of assembling cars and who know how to do it. They know very well that they are going to sell those cars to their neighbours, and they want them to be made right. We can be proud of our workers. Unfortunately, I do not know why we are so embarrassed about this.
I want to point out that there are a lot of RAV4 hybrids in the government's fleet. This is a good thing, and I am proud of it.
In addition to those three GM vehicles, we also make the Ford Flex, which, I must admit, will soon be discontinued. This model was quite unique, but it is clearly not a car of the future. The Ford Edge and its equivalent at Lincoln, the MKT, are interesting vehicles, but as far as I know, they will soon be discontinued. We have been making these cars for quite a while, so this is a bit worrisome.
As a politician in Ottawa, I do not find it reassuring to know that we make the Ford Flex, the Lincoln MKT and the Ford Edge. These are old models. We also make the Ford GT, an extremely prestigious car with a short run, but I still think it is worth pointing out that skilled Canadians hands manufactured such a prestigious vehicle.
Before I talk about Chrysler, I need to talk about Honda, which manufactures the popular Civic. Something tells me that this model is not going anywhere. I would be shocked if there were problems at that plant. We also manufacture the Honda CR-V, a much larger, but extremely popular, model. I have no concerns about this plant either, although I cannot say the same about Ford's.
Next, I wanted to talk about Chrysler, for I am not at all reassured, given that in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, the price of a bungalow keeps going up, not to mention all the rumours going around. I am pretty sure that neither management nor the union would disagree with me on this: the Brampton plant just completely renovated its paint facility. I think tens of million of dollars were invested in it.
That is where the Chrysler 300, the Challenger and the infamous and aptly named Demon are manufactured. I think the Demon has 700 horsepower under the hood, which is about the same as eight Honda Civic engines. It is a beast. These are limited editions, and they can be very exciting and quite beautiful. However, they are relics of transportation prehistory on our planet, since they are powered by engines that produce an appalling level of pollution.
The Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 are three very nice cars that many young men might find exciting, but honestly, we have to admit that their future does not look bright.
Now we come to the model that interests me the most. Yes, I am interested in the Dodge Caravan, but I especially like the Chrysler Pacifica. My colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands mentioned the movie Who Killed the Electric Car. I went to the Windsor and Detroit area and had the chance to see the sites that are interesting to people who are into cars.
First, I saw the first versions of the Pacifica, which is delivered with a rechargeable hybrid engine. It is a regular car for a regular family. I agree that it could be less expensive, and could be better supported, but it is equipped with a rechargeable hybrid system.
That means it is not unreasonable to think that a family living in a Toronto suburb with a Pacifica Hybrid could leave their house, drop off the children at day care and school, go to work, park the car, not plug in, all without using a drop of gas. Then when they go to visit grandma in Muskoka, the engine will start. At the end of the day, the family will fill up the gas tank once every two months. That is not bad as far as I am concerned. It is progress.
Has anyone really ever heard of this vehicle, though? It would appear that even the government has never heard of it, because I have been keeping an eye on it for two years now. There were two vehicles here in front of Parliament for the Canada 150 celebrations. This year, another official vehicle was used for the Canada Day celebrations and it ran on gas. What a bad idea.
There was no shortage of tourists that could have been shown those vehicles and who would have thought to themselves, “It's probably built in Windsor and it's all electric”. People can tell when a car is electric because they do not hear it pull up. It runs clean without exhaust emissions. We will not talk about it though. It is far too great of a Canadian success to actually talk about.
I visit Windsor to see that plant and that truck. People who like cars and who visit Windsor also go across the way to Detroit, Motor City, while they are there. Detroit is home to the headquarters of GM and the big towers that are right across from Windsor. Detroit is also home to the famous plant where the Ford F-150 is built.
I was therefore pleased to learn, even though this still surprises me, that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America. It outsells the Honda Civic and other brands of pickup trucks.
There is a reason for that, however. A lot of people need a pickup truck, and that is fine. I have a few doubts about my neighbour in Longueuil who has a really big pickup and, as far as I know, does not have to tow a trailer full of tools, a fifth-wheel trailer, or anything like that. Does he really need a truck like that to go to Jean Coutu? I have my doubts. It seems to me that it may not be a very good choice, but overall it is top selling vehicle.
I was delighted to see it at the plant and to see a plant like that one. I have not visited plants in Canada, but I can say that the Ford F-150 plant in Rouge River is a marvel of automation. The employees there work in a lab-like setting with gloves and little mitts. It is a model factory very much inspired by the man who invented the assembly line, Mr. Ford himself. I visited that place, and I was overjoyed to see that the gas tank is made in my riding, in Boucherville, by Spectra Premium Industries.
Obviously, this will have a huge impact on jobs and the economy. Anyway, I took a little detour to go see the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. While there, I saw GM's famous EV1, the electric car that debuted in the 1990s through Saturn. That model was destroyed, put out of commission by the oil industry. That was such a shame, and I have never really forgiven GM for making something so wonderful and then selling out to the oil lobby.
Today, in 2018, the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid is a vehicle that is well suited to the needs of Canadian families. Unfortunately, there is no sense of pride, no Canada-wide incentives, for this vehicle. We also do not have a vision for what we could do to improve Canada's automotive sector.
Unfortunately, the dealers that have these cars do not promote them. They do not want to sell them and would rather sell the regular Caravan minivan, which carries a profit margin of $1,200. The Pacifica does not have such incentives, and the margin is just $200 or $300. They would rather not convince a customer to buy a $50,000 van to earn just $300.
What this means is that I am worried for the Pacifica Hybrid, a vehicle than can be plugged in and that is manufactured in Windsor. This is the most futuristic vehicle ever manufactured in Canada, and I think that if we do not do something, we will lose it. We need to wake up, have some vision and be proud.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, first I would like to thank the member for asking his question in French.
Second, I am touched to know that his father worked in Sainte-Thérèse. Back in the day, Sainte-Thérèse is where they made the four-door Pontiac LeMans, that run-of-the-mill car everyone's mother-in-law drove. It was fine. Eventually, however, front-wheel drive took over and rear-wheel-drive cars fell out of fashion.
What happened next? The Sainte-Thérèse plant manufactured the last of those prehistoric vehicles: the Firebird, the Trans Am and the Camaro. We ended up with a mediocre factory. We always wind up with scraps, leftovers, auto manufacturing flotsam and jetsam. Can we make the next vehicle? Can we invest in a facility that will last 10 years instead of producing cars that will no longer be made a year and a half from now?
The member mentioned electric vehicles. What can we do for the people of Oshawa? When Bombardier announced it would be cutting 2,500 jobs, Montreal's aerospace sector banded together and took action. Can we work together to find places for these people? An entire city is traumatized by this turn of events. Can we stop quarrelling amongst ourselves and work together to find a way to put pressure on GM to retool the factory for the cars of tomorrow, not some old diesel dinosaur?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question. It is true that there seems to be an interest in alternative vehicles in Quebec. In fact, Quebec has the highest number of electric vehicles per capita in Canada, and I am very proud to say so.
The biggest market in Quebec is the south shore, and more specifically Longueuil. That is why I formed a coalition in Longueuil with my provincial and federal colleagues. We are six elected officials who fight to raise the profile of transport electrification.
No one knows this, but a company called Avestor, which is owned by Hydro-Québec, was building a battery. It was eventually sold, at an astronomical price, to the Bolloré Group, a French company that created a vehicle based on that battery. If I remember correctly, it was designed by Pininfarina, a great car designer, which created a small, four-door car with that battery, which can now be found in 4,600 electric cars in Paris's car sharing program.
Unfortunately, this program is winding down. As in the case of BIXI, there were problems and operating deficits. That said, at the time, it was the biggest test fleet of electric vehicles ever seen. We have every reason to be proud of our prototypes. The battery must have had some great qualities to have spawned such a tremendous project, but ultimately, they moved on to the next generation. The Minister of Science said that he had supported Blue Solutions in the development of its next generation of batteries.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question and for being here. We are having an emergency debate about the closure of the GM plant in Oshawa. My colleague just flew in from Vancouver about an hour and a half ago, and she is here. I congratulate her, and I think that all the workers at the Oshawa plant will thank her.
We are talking about electric vehicles. Electra Meccanica is a Vancouver company that builds great three-wheeled electric vehicles for the commuter market. Their vehicles are used by DHL, an express courier service. Many of these yellow vehicles are on the streets. Electra Meccanica also makes a convertible model, the Tofino, which will be fully electric. These cars are manufactured in Vancouver. We know that there is an interest in the environment and best practices in that region.
I have here the brief submitted by Electric Mobility Canada, which made five recommendations to the federal government. This organization was heavily involved in the consultations requested by the Minister of Transport. However, nothing has happened yet, unfortunately. It is really deplorable because delays on current issues like transport electrification can lead to our automotive industry being perceived as a dinosaur with no vision for the future.
I would like to point out that Toyota manufactures a RAV4 that is completely electric, but it is only sold in California. No one has ever seen it here.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. Tonight is about the workers losing their jobs. We want to take emergency measures, such as convincing GM to give rebates or 0% interest on the Equinox and sell the Impala at a lower price. These are last-ditch efforts.
Ideally, we would build a car of the future in Oshawa. Why does the plant not build the next Volt? It is no longer being built in Detroit, and we want it here. We want to build the new Volt here.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, there is a crisis in the media industry, and the Liberals finally decided to take notice yesterday, after tens of thousands of jobs had already been cut. This was a good decision, and I thank them for it, but it is a little late. Our media industry has been gutted, and 92% of the money will not be spent until after the next election.
The Liberals chose to make Canadians foot the bill, yet Google and Facebook, which dominate the online advertising world, are the ones that swallowed up our media's advertising revenue. They are the ones that caused this crisis. The Liberals are not making them pay taxes. What is worse, the Liberals make these companies' services tax deductible, as if they were Canadian companies.
Why does the Liberal Party not demand anything from Facebook, Google and the rest? Are they like firefighters who start fires?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks.
We all know that Conservatives and New Democrats do not always agree. However, one point on which we can agree is that the government's failure to appoint judges is deplorable. Without more judges, delays in the justice system will not get better.
I would like to know if my colleague finds that utterly deplorable. The election is a year away, but we all know that anything the government does between now and then will be motivated solely by a desire to get re-elected.
For the past three years, the government's legislative agenda has been quite sparse. The government has not changed much, and when it does do something people were looking forward to, such as this bill, it does a poor job.
What does the member think of that?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the passion of my colleague opposite. I would want to believe that too, if I were her. I would want to believe what my colleagues told me, what my ministerial colleague told me.
Can she tell me whether she will at least have a chance to look into how little progress the current government has made on its legislative agenda compared with the previous government at the same point in time?
When a bill is suddenly introduced, it is only natural to say that we are going to examine it, but ultimately, many witnesses and experts in the field believe that Bill C-75 does not come close to doing what needs to be done.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague for his speech. We discussed our positions, which sometimes align, but often do not.
Obviously, I always feel a need to point out how disappointing this government's legislative agenda is. Given all of the serious problems Canada is facing, including those faced by first nations, this bill once again seems insufficient.
In the spring, the Criminal Lawyers' Association said that, sadly, intimate partner violence is one of the recognized legacies of residential schools and the sixties scoop. It believes that creating a reverse onus at the bail stage and increasing the sentence on conviction will likely aggravate the crisis of the overrepresentation of indigenous people in our prisons.
I would like to know what my colleague thinks about that. I think that is a major problem. The government is always talking about reconciliation, but it would be nice if the Liberals would take concrete action to improve this situation, rather than just being satisfied with public relations exercises.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I hear the government talk about being a law and order government when it is clearly a common spin government.
I am not an expert on these matters, but all I can say about this bill is that everyone including the member for Papineau can see that the justice system is clogged up because of these very mandatory minimums.
Why not deal with the bigger problem, which is mandatory minimums? It is as though they called a plumber to fix a leak in the water heater and he is wasting his time fiddling with the taps.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Louis-Hébert. I often say that I believe him to be a politician with great intentions. However, the question the Conservatives are asking today is quite legitimate. I expect to get a frank and honest answer to the many questions that will be asked.
I have a simple question for my colleague. It is easy to draw parallels between the country's budget and that of the average family in Canada. Unfortunately, statistics can lead us astray. It seems that roughly half of all families in Canada are living paycheque to paycheque. The level of debt is quite high and clearly the government is leading the way on that.
Does my colleague not find it shameful on the government's part to not know when the budget will be balanced again? It is a problem. Maybe they do not want to say because there is an election coming up in a year. Is that not pathetic?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Vaughan—Woodbridge for his speech. He mentioned having children.
I wonder how we can really have such a debate where, once again, the parties blame one another for accumulating the most debt. I was chuckling and wondering who was telling the truth, the Liberals or the Conservatives? However, that is not really the issue. The real issue, as the Conservatives have so clearly articulated, is when we will return to a balanced budget.
I would like to know how my colleague can justify his point of view to his constituents and to his child. They asked you a simple question, so why are you not answering? It is so simple.
I have never heard an informed response on managing public finances or international borrowing rates that justifies the fact that the Liberals cannot give us a specific date. We are not even given an articulate reply.
Would you mind telling me what you would say to a constituent who asks you how many millions of dollars a week you spend to say nothing?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague. I think that the debate is enriched when members make historic references in their speeches. He is always saying hello to his constituents, which I find very amusing, but he is right. I also want to say hello to the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. We are here in Parliament to represent them, to debate and to talk about various topics, and people can watch us on TV. I thank my colleague for making meaningful speeches and reminding us why we are here and why we have these conversations.
Sure, I understand when my Liberal colleague says that these deficits are being used to make investments. I agree, but an investment involves a loan, a payment and a term.
Does my Conservative colleague think that if we were two or three years out from an election, instead of one year out, the Liberals would be more forthcoming about the date? Is it not precisely because an election is coming up that the Liberals are willing to say just about anything in order to make Canadians more cynical?
The Liberals carry a heavy burden because they created very high expectations. There have been many disappointments, and they cannot even tell us when the budget will be balanced.
Does my colleague think that, if we were not one year out from the election, the government would be more transparent about when it expects to return to a balanced budget?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Brandon—Souris for his speech. I really liked how he presented the subject, in a very rational, common sense way. That is done all too rarely in this place.
Earlier a Liberal member said that business owners were happy that the economy has recovered. Of course my local business owner is going to be very happy with me if I max out my credit card to invest in his or her business.
I would like to know what my colleague thinks of the message being sent to Canadians, since everyone knows that Canada's debt is huge. I read recently that nearly half of all households are living paycheque to paycheque and do not have substantial savings.
Would my colleague agree that this is not only a broken promise—and certainly not the first—but also a bad message to be sending on financial management?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know whether my colleague from Canadian Heritage is concerned about the fact that La Presse cut 37 jobs, that Le Droit will likely close up shop if nothing changes, that Postmedia is on the verge of bankruptcy and that Capital Media is in one hell of a mess—
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my colleague said, “to make a contribution at some point”. Is “some point” in six years?
What a meaningless answer. The Liberals are just putting things off. Honestly, I completely understand my colleague from Quebec. I am not sure if that is the name of his riding, but everyone knows who I am talking about. He was getting very worked up listening to the government's petty answers. The government is clearly under the impression that the blue bloods, the members of royalty, know what to do. It is appalling.
There is something that really sticks in my craw. I have been a member of the House and vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for seven years. This year, we did not agree with the Conservatives, but at least they were doing things properly. When we began the copyright review, we knew it was a big deal. There was an ad hoc committee for all the parties participating. There were special clerks, analysts and advisors.
In order to get its own way, the government decided to revamp the Copyright Board of Canada without knowing what changes would be made to the legislation. It is like trying to build a Japanese car with American tools. The government knew it was not a good idea, but it did it anyway.
The government asked the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to examine certain provisions of the act here and there. Members did not have the slightest idea of the scope of the task they were being asked to do.
Did the government do that to be able to get its own way? Do the Liberals think it is right that universities and colleges pay for electricity and insurance but do not pay royalties to authors?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from St. Catharines for coming back to this topic when he had any number of topics to choose from in these 800 pages. I appreciate that. I think this is an important topic. I find it worrisome that our Conservative colleagues seem determined to deny the facts and reject the solutions. This is rather sad.
I have a question. With all due respect to our veterans, I think he was right to reference a war effort. Our enemy now is even greater than our greatest adversaries in the world wars. This absolutely calls for a war effort.
My question is the same as the one I asked the minister during the debate on global warming. In light of the Conservatives' denial, are you prepared to have the House appoint a super minister to combat global warming?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, UQAM researchers have discovered that just five movies and five TV shows in Netflix's catalogue of 5,500 titles were produced in Quebec. That is 0.1% of Netflix's content. Quebec is not in the picture.
As Quebec film and TV producers noted recently, the Netflix agreement has done nothing for our culture. What we need is content produced here. If the next generation of Quebeckers does not have access to made-in-Quebec programming, it will turn to English-language American content.
Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage apply our laws to online platforms, or does he want us to become totally assimilated?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I rarely do this, but today I am rising in the House as a citizen. I am rising to speak on my own behalf and in solidarity with all those who share my feeling of urgency regarding the environment to say that we need to move beyond partisanship. The time for parroting party lines has passed. Global warming is threatening human existence.
That is such a serious and overwhelming thing to say that our brains cannot really process the magnitude or scope of the response that this situation requires. It is not because we have not talked about it, read reports or seen the protests. It is not because we have not noticed the growing number of climate disasters or the areas affected by flooding.
I am rising today, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people across Quebec and throughout the world, to officially declare war on climate change. Today, I am calling on all of the party leaders and asking them to set aside their differences, as in days gone by when war cabinets and governments of national unity were set up, so that we can appoint in the House, in a completely non-partisan manner, a minister of war on climate change. If we fail to work together, humankind will lose this war.
As long as I am a member of Parliament, I will not allow party lines or indifference to ride roughshod over the future of our planet.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, after last night's ADISQ gala, I would ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage to change the record, because my question has nothing to do with CBC, the Canada Council for the Arts or the budget from three years ago.
Our culture and our media are under attack by foreign competition online. Our government's response is a report in 2020 and legislation planned for 2025. That will be too late for our culture, too late for thousands of media jobs and too late for Postmedia, which is already on the brink of bankruptcy.
Is the minister ready for Postmedia to go bankrupt?
Does he realize that a bankruptcy would shut down every daily newspaper in Ottawa except Le Droit?
Wake up.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we cannot oppose a good thing. It is quite clear that this bill makes good sense. However, I find it rather sad because it is like changing the wipers on a lemon with a flat tire.
Animal welfare is the subject of many conversations. There is a legal grey area. There are animals that are mistreated and even tortured. We have seen so many farms where conditions were just deplorable. I can hardly believe people treat animals that way. An animal should have rights and not be treated like property or merchandise. That is a simple idea.
It is a little surprising to see a government reject a private member's bill from one of its own and then present an abbreviated version that does not reflect the reality of people with animals, both those who love them and those who torture them.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, there will be no free rides in five years.
Fourteen past presidents of the ADISQ sent a very clear message this week. Our music industry is in crisis. Our Quebec artists continue to create, but the problem is that the platforms are not covered by our laws.
We have been asking for the same thing for three years now. Apple, Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Google and whatever other services are out there need to respect our culture and contribute to it in order to keep it strong. As the ADISQ has said, that takes political courage. The Liberals have been trying to muster up their courage for three years now.
Will the minister give us something other than the tired speaking points we heard from his predecessor, please? Come on.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the ADISQ gala is less than a week away, and this weekend's edition of Le Devoir indicated that, when it comes to Quebec culture, we are at risk of losing everything we have built over the years.
The Regroupement des artisans de la musique is speaking out against the fact that YouTube and Spotify do not have to pay their fair share. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and his predecessor keep saying that there are no free passes. That is easy to say; it is just lip service. Ottawa holds the solutions to issues involving taxes, copyrights and quotas, but the Liberals committed to do nothing until 2024.
Does the minister not think that the daily loss of market shares for Quebec culture justifies urgent and immediate interim action?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, there is no excuse for this. When it comes to asking Web giants to pay their fair share, it seems that common sense and tax fairness go out the window.
The Minister of Finance expects an international consensus. I have news for him. We are the only idiots in the G7 who are not taxing Netflix. Worse still, France is going to make Netflix pay taxes, collect sales tax and guarantee 30% local content. Meanwhile, in Canada, everything is cool for Netflix and Google. There are no taxes, no sales tax, no quotas. Nothing.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage could take a lesson from the Robert Charlebois song: “Between two joints, you could do something.”
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