Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 46
View Joël Godin Profile
View Joël Godin Profile
2019-06-20 10:23 [p.29466]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition was prepared by the residents of the municipality of Saint-Thuribe.
They are calling on the government to provide broadband Internet so that, like all Canadians, they can have access to the modern communications of the coming decade.
I am tabling this petition in support of the residents who signed it, who are from the municipality of Saint-Thuribe, in the beautiful riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.
In closing, I would like to wish all parliamentarians, you, Mr. Speaker, support staff and the table staff a great summer. You have all made the 42nd Parliament an extraordinary one.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-17 16:03

Question No. 2454--
Mr. Murray Rankin:
With regard to the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik and his claims that Canada violated his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, since June 1, 2018: how much has it cost the government to litigate the case, broken down by (i) the value of all legal services, (ii) disbursements and costs awards for Federal Court file numbers T-727-08 and T-1580-09?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2455--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the restrictions announced in April 2019 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on Chinook salmon fishing in British Columbia: (a) did the government do an economic analysis of the impact of the recreational fishery restrictions on the fishing tourism industry for 2019, and, if so, what were the findings of the analysis; and (b) did the government do an economic analysis of the impact of the restrictions, both recreational and commercial, on the various communities and regions of British Columbia impacted by the restrictions and, if so, what were the findings of the analysis?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2456--
Mr. Larry Maguire:
With regard to the procurement, deployment, usage and maintenance of all new and existing information and communications techonolgies (ICT) and all related costs incurred by the government in fiscal year 2018-19: (a) what was the total level of overall spending by each federal department, agency, Crown corporation, and other governement entities; (b) what are the details of all these expenditures and related costs, including salaries and commercial purchases; (c) how many full-time employees, part-time employees, indeterminate appointments, term employees, contractors and consultants were employed to manage, maintain and improve ICT systems and infrasturcture in each federal department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entities; and (d) what is the ratio of all ICT support workers (full-time, part-time, indeterminate, term employees, contractors and consultants) to non-ICT employees in each federal department, agency, Crown corporation, and other government entities?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2457--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to the caribou recovery agreements negotiated, proposed, or entered into by the government since November 4, 2015, including those currently under negotiation or consultation: (a) for each agreement, has an economic impact study been conducted and, if so, what are the details, including findings of each study; (b) for each agreement, what is the total projected economic impact, broken down by (i) industry (tourism, logging, transportation, etc.), (ii) region or municipality; and (c) what are the details of all organizations consulted in relation to the economic impact of such agreements, including (i) name of organization, (ii) date, (iii) form of consultation?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2459--
Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since its creation: (a) what is the number of meetings held with Canadian and foreign investors, broken down by (i) month, (ii) country, (iii) investor class; (b) what is the complete list of investors met; (c) what are the details of the contracts awarded by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided; (d) what are the details of all travel expenses incurred, including for each expenditure the (i) traveller’s name, (ii) purpose of the travel, (iii) travel dates, (iv) airfare, (v) other transportation costs, (vi) accommodation costs, (vii) meals and incidentals, (viii) other expenses, (ix) total amount; and (e) what are the details of all hospitality expenses incurred by the Bank, including for each expenditure the (i) guest’s name, (ii) event location, (iii) service vendor, (iv) total amount, (v) event description, (vi) date, (vii) number of attendees, (viii) number of government employees in attendance, (ix) number of guests?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2460--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to ongoing or planned government IT projects over $1 million: (a) what is the list of each project, including a brief description; and (b) for each project listed in (a), what is the (i) total budget, (ii) estimated completion date?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2461--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to international trips taken by the Prime Minister since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of each trip, including (i) dates, (ii) destination, (iii) purpose; (b) for each trip in (a), how many guests who were not members of the Prime Minister’s family, employees of the government, or elected officials, were on each trip; and (c) what are the details of each guest in (b), including (i) name, (ii) title, (iii) reason for being on the trip, (iv) dates individual was on the trip?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2462--
Mr. Guy Lauzon:
With regard to government expenditures on gala, concert or sporting event tickets since January 1, 2018: what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) total cost, (iv) cost per ticket, (v) number of tickets, (vi) title of persons using the tickets, (vii) name or title of event for tickets purchased by, or billed to, any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2463--
Mr. Dave Van Kesteren:
With regard to Minister’s regional offices (MROs): (a) what are the current locations of each MRO; (b) how many government employees, excluding Ministerial exempt staff, are currently working in each office; and (c) how many Ministerial exempt staff are currently working in each office?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2464--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the statement by the Minister of Indigenous Services on April 30, 2019, that “Kashechewan will be relocated”: (a) where will the community be located; and (b) what is the projected timeline for the relocation?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2465--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to the government’s response to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in certain parts of the world: (a) what specific new measures has the government taken since January 1, 2019, in order to prevent ASF from coming to Canada; and (b) what new restrictions have been put in place on imports in order to prevent ASF from coming to Canada, broken down by country?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2466--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to usage of the government's fleet of Challenger aircraft, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2467--
Mr. Dave MacKenzie:
With regard to all government contracts awarded for public relation services since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of these contracts, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided, (vi) start and end dates of services provided?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2468--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to Service Canada’s national in-person service delivery network, for each Service Canada Centre: (a) how many centres were operational as of November 4, 2015; (b) what were the locations and number of full-time employees (FTEs) at each location, as of November 4, 2015; (c) how many centres are currently operational; (d) what are the current locations and number of FTEs at each location; (e) which offices have changed their hours of service between November 4, 2015, and present; and (f) for each office which has changed their hours, what were the hours of service as of (i) November 4, 2015, (ii) May 1, 2019?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2471--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government’s Connect to Innovate Program first announced in the 2016 Budget: (a) what is the total of all expenditures to date under the program; (b) what are the details of all projects funded to date under the program, including (i) recipient of funding, (ii) name of the project, (iii) location, (iv) project start date, (v) projected completion date, (vi) amount of funding pledged, (vii) amount of funding actually provided to date, (viii) description of the project; (c) which of the projected listed in (b) have agreements signed, and which ones do not yet have a signed agreement; and (d) which of the details in (a) through (c) are available on the Connect to Innovate section of Industry Canada’s website and what is the specific website location where each such detail is located, broken down by detail requested in (a) through (c), including the subparts of each question?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2472--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to concerns that infrastructure funding has been announced, but not delivered, in Kelowna, British Columbia, since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the total amount of funding committed in Kelowna; (b) what is the total amount of funding paid out in relation to the funding committed in (a); and (c) what are the details of all projects, including (i) date of announcement, (ii) amount committed, (iii) amount actually paid out to date, (iv) project description?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2473--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the Connect to Innovate Program and specifically the project to close the Canadian North Fibre Loop between Dawson City and Inuvik: (a) what is the current status of the project; (b) what are the details of any contracts signed in relation to the project, including the date each contract was signed; (c) what amount has the government committed to the project; (d) of the funding commitment in (c), what amount has been delivered; (e) what is the start date of the project; (f) what is the projected completion date of the project; (g) what are the details of any tender issued in relation to the project; (h) has a contractor been selected for the project and, if so, which contractor was selected and when was the selection made; and (i) which of the details in (a) through (h) are available on the Connect to Innovate section of Industry Canada’s website and what is the specific website location where each such detail is located, broken down by detail requested in (a) through (h)?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2474--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to all expenditures on hospitality since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) start and end date of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if applicable, (vi) file number, (vii) number of government employees in attendance, (viii) number of other attendees, (ix) location?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2475--
Ms. Sheri Benson:
With regard to the Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) Program, and the provision of medical transportation benefits in Saskatchewan for each fiscal year from 2012-13 to the current : (a) what is the number of clients served; (b) what is the number of approved trips; (c) what were the approved transportation service providers and the number of trips approved for each; (d) what were the approved modes of transportation and the number of trips per mode; (e) what was the average wait time for approval of applications; (f) what was the number of trips that required lodging, accommodations, or other expenses unrelated to the provision of the treatment being sought; (g) what were the reasons why additional expenses in (f) were approved and the number of applications or trips approved for each; and (h) what was the number of appeals launched as a result of rejected applications, the average length of the appeals process, and the aggregate results?
(Return tabled)

Question No. 2476--
Ms. Sheri Benson:
With regard to the 2019-20 federal budget presentation of March 19, 2019, and issues related to the Phoenix pay system for public servants, as of today: (a) what is the total number of affected clients; and (b) what is the total number of affected clients in each electoral district?
(Return tabled)
8555-421-2454 Abousfian Abdelrazik8555-421-2455 Restrictions on Chinook sa ...8555-421-2456 Information and communicat ...8555-421-2457 Caribou recovery agreements8555-421-2459 Canada Infrastructure Bank8555-421-2460 Government IT projects8555-421-2461 International trips taken ...8555-421-2462 Government expenditures on ...8555-421-2463 Ministers' regional offices8555-421-2464 Statement by the Minister ...8555-421-2465 Outbreak of African Swine Fever
...Show all topics
View Dan Albas Profile
Mr. Speaker, for the first time ever, the government has clawed back a spectrum, not because companies did not own up to the conditions of the spectrum but because the spectrum itself was worth more.
In question period last week, I asked the minister about the clawback and repurpose of the 3,500 megahertz spectrum, and he called it a clawback. The Liberals are kneecapping rural and remote communities where small and regional players have designed networks, have innovated and are supplying services. They are either going to cut services to rural customers or they are going to have a permanent cap on the services' ability to grow.
Why is the Liberal government talking a good game on affordability and access in rural areas, and handicapping the very people who are offering the services that are bringing up the quality of life of rural residents in Canada?
View Michael Barrett Profile
Mr. Speaker, my riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes is served by the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus, which has developed a working group, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network. It has a shovel-ready project that requires a $71 million investment from the federal government. The provincial government in Ontario has committed $71 million and the municipalities have committed the same. All of the Liberal members in eastern Ontario, including a minister of the government, have signed on and endorsed the Eastern Ontario Regional Network project. If my colleague is unfamiliar with it, this project would close the cell gap, which is vital in our region, but it would also allow for reliable broadband Internet in homes and businesses. This region is home to 1.1 million people. The current government has made all the noises and waved its hands about being committed to connecting Canadians, but there are 1.1 million Canadians in eastern Ontario, including in my riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, who are counting on the current government to commit $71 million. Will it commit that money?
View Dan Albas Profile
Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to stand and represent the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.
When I found out we were going to be debating telecommunications policy here today, I was very excited. Accessing services and the cost of those services are barriers that Canadians from coast to coast to coast experience every single day. When I speak to Canadians, cost of living is their number one concern. With the Liberal government's huge tax increases weighing them down, the added cost of a $100-a-month cellphone bill can be devastating. Canadians are struggling with affordability more now than ever and the Liberal government has just made it worse.
Yes, I was excited to talk about and debate real solutions and ideas about how we can support Canadians and make their lives more affordable. Then I read the NDP motion. This motion is typical New Democratic policy. It identifies a very real problem and then proposes terrible ideas to deal with it. This motion is full of ideas that are impractical at best and ruinous at worst.
Let us examine the motion and see how many of these proposals would only serve to hurt Canadians. My NDP colleague proposes a price cap for mobile phone bills. That would be a disastrous idea. Canadian mobile phone companies have to spend billions on new infrastructure every year to keep up with new technology and new data demands. They must spend hundreds of millions of dollars on spectrum so they can offer services at all, not to mention the immense cost of bringing Canada into the 5G future we all desire. One report estimated well over $20 billion. If the government were to implement a price cap on mobile services, it would make these investments impossible.
We all want lower prices. In committee last week, I questioned a representative from the telecommunication industry about how we can lower prices and ensure we see the investments we need. The only solution is more free market, not less. I know that New Democrats prefer big government, bureaucratic ideas that only work in university classrooms and, I suppose, probably in their caucus room, but they do not work in the real world. We need to see more competition in the marketplace, more new entrants and smaller regional companies; and the existing big mobile companies are going to have to accept that fact. I want to make myself extremely clear. I am not defending the status quo. Clearly, data prices are too high in Canada. However, a top-down big-government price cap would only make things worse in the long run.
Regarding the second point on data caps, I agree with the sentiment. Like many Canadians, I also see the mobile phone plans available around the world that offer unlimited data plans. Unlimited data plans should be an attainable option for Canadians. However, mandating that is not the right policy. Again, only free market solutions will ensure we have the services we all demand. Canada has among the fastest mobile networks in the world, a testament to the amount of investment we have seen in our country. However, data usage is a challenge. Modern services like video streaming put a huge drain on network resources, and if everyone is using these services, it can bog down the connection speed. This is why I find it annoying when mobile phone companies advertise steaming sports in high definition on their networks. That activity is not really practical across the board under current circumstances.
In a future world, with 5G and Internet of things and all of the innovations those will bring, it is unavoidable that data caps will have to go. However, we are not there yet and we have to make sure the accessibility of the network is open to all Canadians. Therefore, the logical question is, do I like data caps? Of course not; no one likes data caps, but forcing a big-government solution on the issue is not the right way to proceed.
Regarding the point on outrageous sales practices, let me start by saying that no one supports companies preying on people and using abusive practices. I question if an entire bill of rights is necessary when consumer protection rules already exist, but in principle, this is a point I believe there is widespread agreement on, and I would like to hear more from New Democrats as to exactly what that would entail.
Clearly, when the government put out its air passenger bill of rights, it was all marketing and, even now, on the implementation, when I talk to most Canadians about air travel, they want to know who is going to enforce it. They do not see the actual promise attached to the marketing. I would say, in this case, unless the NDP starts putting forward concrete proposals on how current legislation could be improved so that we deal with this, it is just marketing for a party that is quite low in the polls.
Sales practices that lie or misrepresent what a customer is agreeing to need to stop, and they need to stop now. The point in the motion that talks about spectrum is a great opportunity to speak about how the government is hurting rural Canadians with its 3,500 megahertz clawback. I asked the minister about this last week, and he did not deny that rural customers will lose service, and he even called it a “clawback” in this place. At least he gets points for being honest.
The 3,500 megahertz band is essential for ensuring Canadians can join the 5G future. We are not denying that at all. However, government policy that cuts off service to rural Canadians with no recourse is absolutely unacceptable.
The chair of the industry committee just spoke, and he talked about all the new technology that will help people in rural areas to access medical services. This policy eats away at that promise, because if those areas that have the least access are being clawed back spectrum that is necessary to run the service, these innovations, these abilities to offer medical services in rural areas, just will not happen.
Exactly how many people will be affected at this point remains unclear, but I asked a mobile fixed wireless company about the impacts during an industry committee meeting last week. The response it gave was that it would be significant.
The 3,500 megahertz band has been previously allocated to fix wireless for rural communities. Now that band is in major demand for 5G. The fact is that it is not the government's fault. International forces determine which bands should be used. However, what is the government's fault in this case is not addressing the fact that crucial rural infrastructure is now in conflict with extremely important new technologies.
Even if no one lost service from the clawback, and I think many will, repurposing the band to mobile without first finding an alternative for fixed rural wireless will stop rural providers from being able to acquire more spectrum to grow their business or to provide faster speeds.
We also need to be mindful that fixed wireless technology and the spectrum required to run it has allowed regional players to provide service to rural areas, which raises competition, which facilitates better prices.
This whole decision needs a rethink to ensure rural customers would not be left in the cold. However, over and over again, the Liberal government has proven it is not especially concerned with rural Canadians.
Looping back to the NDP suggestion within the motion, it is fundamentally flawed. Frankly, I am surprised that the NDP, a party that never saw a tax it did not like—well, except for when the B.C. NDP opposed the carbon tax—would oppose money flowing into general revenue. The NDP says that over $20 billion brought into government over the last number of years has been squandered. Do not get me wrong. The Liberal government has squandered much more than $20 billion. However, under a Conservative government, that revenue was used for health care, old age security, social transfers. I suppose the NDP does not think those things are important.
In principle, can spectrum auctions be done better? Absolutely; we can never stop working to make sure that government programs function better. Unfortunately with this motion, the NDP would clearly rather attack the previous Conservative government for funding health care and social services than find a workable solution.
Regarding rural broadband in general, this is a topic that every single Canadian needs to pay attention to, to work to find solutions. While the major mobile companies like to say that the vast majority of Canadians have good services, many do not and they are Canadians too.
I was very disappointed during a committee meeting last week when the member for Pontiac lamented the fact that the first phase of the CRTC rural broadband funding was only open to the territories. The needs of our northern brothers and sisters are immense, and if service even exists in the remote north, the cost would make most Canadians' heads spin.
Making sure that remote northern communities get a first crack at broadband funding is a positive move, but clearly at least one government member disagrees. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he is probably just frustrated because the government's connect to innovate program is such a disaster. This program was supposed to bring broadband to rural communities. Unfortunately, it has largely been a communications exercise in trying to get Liberal members good press.
Based on an Order Paper question from my colleague from Edmonton Riverbend, we learned that less than 10% of the funding promised and announced has actually gone out the door. This is a government of stalled and delayed infrastructure funding, so it should not come as a surprise, but the government at least seems to pretend to care about rural broadband.
It is not just me saying that the Liberal government has problems. The Auditor General declared last year that the connect to innovate program was poorly designed and did not get good value for money. Maybe that finding is why the government refuses to fund the Auditor General now.
There has been announcement after announcement with press releases, but no funding. I have a list of projects with start dates in 2017 and 2018 on which literally zero dollars have been spent. For Câble-Axion and Projet Redondance Estrie in Brome–Missisquoi, Quebec, the amount of money pledged was $119,000, but the money given to date is zero. For CoopTel, Quebec, again, with just over half a million dollars, to this date zero dollars have been paid. We also have Duclos & Michaud Télécom, projet Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec: Again, from over $1 million, the amount actually provided to date is zero. I could go on and on with these things right across this great country. It is absolutely shocking to see that a program designed and launched with so much fanfare still has not found its feet.
Canadians expect that their MPs show up with a cheque that maybe two years later might be cashed. It seems to me that the Liberal plan is to break ground on these projects this summer as a pre-election, taxpayer-funded media blitz. I asked the minister responsible if any projects announced already would be re-announced this summer, and she refused to say no. Now, as we know with the Liberal government and the SNC-Lavalin scandal, a denial often means yes. Therefore, a refusal to answer probably definitely means yes.
Now we need to have a real plan to deliver broadband services to all Canadians, no matter where they live, a plan that works with every single level of government to identify where and when we can get cable in the ground and people connected. We also have to work with the existing telecommunications companies, not to do what this motion does and simply attack them.
Earlier, an NDP member said she was concerned that small companies are being played down by the larger companies and that more competition is needed. The price cap, again, affects all companies, including small or regional players, and they have the least access to capital and the smallest footprint in terms of already existing infrastructure. Therefore, the New Democrats really need to figure out what they want to do and the mechanism they want to do it by.
Do not get me wrong, the big three are not innocent. Canadian mobile companies receive among the highest revenue per customer in the world, while claiming poverty. Over the last number of days, I have seen several things from various telecommunications companies that make it seem to Canadians like they do not take affordability seriously. The other day in a panel at an industry conference, one representative said that there is no price challenge because most Canadians have phones. This is a totally absurd statement and extremely unhelpful when we need everyone to work together. Just because most Canadians have a place to live, that does not mean there is no housing affordability crisis in much of the country.
Another statement that struck me as incredible was that Canadians cannot expect price drops because their demands on data are increasing. Now, taking it to the extreme, are we then to expect a $1,000 basic data bill when 5G rolls around? Prices have to come down, not data prices relative to what data cost 10 years ago, but real prices in real terms. The sector must take that seriously. Canadians are not an endless piggy bank. Despite all that, and despite how good it can feel to criticize the telecommunications sector, that would be absolutely zero towards connecting Canadians and lowering their bills. It is perhaps good politics, but bad policy.
This is a major challenge for everyone, and everyone must work together to get this done.
The motion contains ideas that would do nothing to address the structural problems in Canada, help rural and remote residents get connected, or ensure adequate competition.
In the NDP world, where the motion would be law, companies would never be able to build the capital needed to invest in facilities to connect more Canadians. There would never be 5G, or there would be 5G but it would happen in other places. We would see a continued flight of talent and capital to other regions. Young, aspiring creators and programmers, the people who want to create new systems and innovations, would just go to the places that allow them. Again, the NDP is putting a cap on all these plans.
The answer is not big government and less freedom. More economic freedom is what brings prosperity. More freedom in this space to adopt new technologies and push the envelope would allow Canadian innovators to stay in Canada, participate in our economy and help Canadians lead the field when it comes to the adoption of new technologies, particularly regarding the Internet of things.
We need more competition in that sector, not regulations that ensure no company will ever want to compete. We also need new investment, innovation and price caps.
We need only look to the 1970s line “Zap, you're frozen.” It is very easy for government to dictate a price. However, it is very difficult for those operating in the market to then be able to invest properly and make capital plans. It would run from small operators all the way up to the large ones.
I have never faulted NDP members for having their heart in the right place. They clearly have identified a problem. However, their solutions, I have to say, border on the absurd.
We have a New Democratic Party that thinks with its heart and a Prime Minister who wants to grow the economy from the heart out. Conservatives will use their heads to find good policy that ensures all Canadians can live a prosperous and successful life.
Canadians are drowning under the weight of the Liberal government's affordability crisis. A future Conservative government would ensure that people have more money in their pockets and more market choice, because that is what brings prices and costs down for everyone.
Again, it is an honour to rise on behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I hope I have added some thought to the debate. I certainly appreciate that all of us come here with our strong ideas on how things should be. I know I have mine, and I am prepared to defend them. However, as we move forward, let us really focus on trying to find practical solutions.
Canadians do not care what is in our minds. They just want to be able to pay their bills and see their kids go to school, get good access to the latest health care, utilize technologies and be able to stay in Canada. Those are the things we should be focused on in our telecom policy, and a future Conservative government would ensure that Canadians can get ahead and will not simply tread water.
View Dan Albas Profile
Mr. Speaker, I think any Canadian government is going to look at innovative ways.
Specifically, on Statistics Canada, the member knows I have some concerns about how Statistics Canada operates. The government had a mandate to bring back the mandatory aspect of the long-form census. It was clear it had a democratic mandate to do that. However, I do not believe Statistics Canada should be getting access to people's personal financial information without their consent, which is something at which the Privacy Commissioner is currently looking.
Getting to the brass tacks of it, affordability means that Canadians feel they can access services and do not have to choose between paying their rent or paying their Internet bill. We want to see, through market mechanisms, a stronger emphasis on affordability. Unfortunately, even with the 35 megahertz clawback and repurpose, and the minister has clearly called it a clawback, members must know it will reduce the amount of service or even cut off service to certain areas.
We need to be focused on the real issues. There are all sorts of things government can support that are new and novel. However, when someone cannot access e-health or cannot process an Interac transaction because the broadband is insufficient, that is what we need to be focused on in this place.
View Dan Albas Profile
Madam Speaker, in this debate, the member has made a number of points about the government introducing programming. The connect to innovate program, should be called the “connect to announce”. It announces so much but does not fund anything.
The minister's own office said this in response to an Order Paper question about improving community Internet connectivity through backbone infrastructure. It said that with regard to a first nations community in the Fraser, the Sts'ailes in B.C., $132,000 were announced and zero dollars were funded. On connect to innovate projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, over $24 million and zero dollars were funded. On connect to innovate projects in Nova Scotia, over $17 million were announced and zero have come through. On the Fort Severn and Peawanuk satellite backbone project in Ontario, again, $5 million-plus were announced and zero dollars have gone through. Last, on the Little Red River backbone project in Alberta, over $4 million were announced and zero dollars have gone through.
Why is the government so bad on delivering infrastructure such as roads, bridges and everything that it has to get even worse when it comes to funding these things through connect to innovate?
View John Nater Profile
View John Nater Profile
2019-06-10 18:02 [p.28840]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary mentioned the connect to innovate program. I have to say how disappointing that program is for the people in rural Ontario, particularly those in Perth—Wellington. I know of at least three small, independent Internet service providers that applied for that program in November 2016. Here we are in June 2019, and they still have not been told, one way or the other, whether they have been approved or denied. These small, independent telecoms are the ones leading the way in putting fibre to homes in rural communities, yet the current government has left them dangling for over two and a half years. Why is it that the Liberals like to talk a big game, but when it comes to supporting rural communities and broadband Internet, they deliver nothing to the rural communities in places like Perth—Wellington?
View Dan Albas Profile
Mr. Speaker, last week, the minister announced at the telecom summit that he was going to be clawing back and repurposing a large amount of the 3,500 megahertz band under options one and two. I appreciate that he provided a modified version of option two.
The minister was not clear in question period, so I still have a question for him. How many rural Canadians will have their service cut off or their regional operator stop growing? I would like to hear the government's numbers as to how many Canadians the minister estimates will be affected by this clawback and repurposing scheme, which has never been done before.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-10 22:16 [p.28868]
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
Normally, I am even more pleased to rise in the House, but I want to point out that we are here sitting late in the session. At 10:15 in the evening, I am sure most other people are watching the Raptors game.
I want to point out that the Liberal government is rushing through a lot of legislation at the last minute. We have seen a bill today that was just introduced two weeks ago and that the government is moving closure on. The Liberals have moved closure on this bill in a big rush. They have woken up like a teenager at school and realized that the end of the session is upon them and they have not finished any of their assignments.
I am happy to be here and debate this legislation. I do not have any family or a spouse who would be an issue. However, a lot of members do have young families or spouses. We talk about this being a family-friendly Parliament. A lot of rhetoric often goes on by members on the other side, but we can see that the Liberals are using their powers as government to drive an agenda that is not family-friendly.
I would be remiss, as the shadow health minister, if I did not point out that these late sessions that go until midnight are not good from a sleep perspective. There are a number of more aged members of Parliament. It is not good for them either.
While it is worthwhile debating Bill C-88, the government should have done more careful planning so as to avoid coming to the end of the session and realizing that none of its legislation was passed.
I do not want to be accused of not being relevant tonight, so I will tell the House in advance what I am going to speak about so members will understand where I am going with this whole thing.
First, I am going to talk about what the bill would do and what it proposes to do, and then I will discuss my concerns about the bill. Then, I want to talk a bit about how the bill aligns overall to indigenous reconciliation in Canada, which is on the minds of all Canadians and I am sure is important.
Then, I will speak a bit about how the bill aligns to natural resource sector development. The natural resource sector is a huge part of Canada's GDP and our economic growth. It is an important industry, so every time we make a change to something that will impact that industry, it is important to look at how it will align to the overall plan. We have a strategy for the north. It is important to look at this bill and how it will align to our northern strategy. Does it fit in? Are there any concerns there?
The bill actually has three parts. The first part would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, from 1998, to reverse provisions that would have consolidated the Mackenzie Valley land and water boards into one.
These provisions were introduced by the former Conservative government within Bill C-15, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. By way of history, we know that a major component of Bill C-15, where this originated, was the restructuring of the four land and water boards from the Mackenzie Valley into one. Following its passage in 2014, the Tlicho government and the Sahtu Secretariat filed lawsuits against Canada, arguing that the restructuring violated their land claim agreements.
In February 2015, the Northwest Territories Supreme Court issued an injunction preventing the board restructuring provisions from coming into force until a decision on the case was issued. The Liberals paused that legal battle shortly after forming government, and it remains an unresolved issue.
To try to consolidate the land and water boards into one seems to be, in my view, an efficiency, but again, it is important to consult and understand what the people who have the land claims are thinking.
For the government to leave it so late in the session, when there is a lawsuit that pertains to this, is troubling. When we rise from this Parliament, there will be an election, and whatever government is elected will not be able to get back to this matter in a timely way. That is unfortunate.
The second part of the bill would amend the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to issue orders, when in the national interest, to prohibit oil and gas activities, and it would freeze the terms of existing licences to prevent them from expiring during a moratorium. There are a lot of vague terms there. What is the national interest? How is that determined, and who determines that? I assume it is the Liberal cabinet, and I am not sure it would be necessarily unbiased in its definition. What are oil and gas activities? There is a bit of vagueness in the second part of the bill.
The third part of the bill, as we heard earlier, talks about the regulatory items that were brought forward from the previous Conservative bill, which I have heard members on the opposite side say were actually good. It is not surprising, because the Conservative government has, in the past, done a very good job with respect to regulations that have brought us forward in terms of emission reductions and a number of other items. I do not have much objection to the regulatory items. I agree the Conservative government brought them forward, and they are fine as they are.
Let me go to concerns about the bill. In addition to the litigation cycle that is hanging over this bill, I am concerned with the number of powers the government would have to politically interfere in the development of our natural resources as a result of this bill. We have seen lots of political interference by the government.
Today, I participated in a debate on Bill C-101, a bill about the government politically interfering in the steel market. We have the USMCA agreement with the U.S. and, as members know, there were tariffs on steel for nearly a year that were very punishing to our businesses. In order to get rid of those tariffs, the Liberal government traded away our ability to strategically put tariffs in place on the U.S., which, ironically, is how we got rid of the tariffs on steel in the first place.
It is troubling to me, having the knowledge that the U.S. may again put tariffs on steel, which it is not prohibited from doing under the agreement that has been signed, that the government would immediately virtue-signal to the steel industry that it is doing something. It came forward with a bill two weeks ago, with the dying days of Parliament before us, trying to rush it through in order to make it seem as though it is doing something, when, in fact, it is trying to politically interfere in the free market for steel.
That is not the first time, as I mentioned. There is a pattern of behaviour that I want to talk a bit about. We saw with Bill C-69, the no-more-pipelines bill, that this bill would hugely interfere in projects that are proposed to be built in Canada. It would give the environment minister powers to, for any reason, at any time, reset the process and start the clock again, to veto the process. That is a huge amount of power, and it causes great uncertainty. Those looking to invest and do large projects in Canada are not going to want to invest billions of dollars, knowing that at the whim of the environment minister, projects may die on the vine.
I will talk a bit about the reason the government brings these bills forward and the reaction in the indigenous community. Part of the bill would allow the government to put a moratorium on oil and gas development. I heard in some of the speeches earlier the comment that just before Christmas 2016, the Prime Minister travelled to Washington, D.C. to make an announcement with then U.S. president Barrack Obama, even though there had been no consultation with northerners, despite consistent rhetoric about consulting with Canada's indigenous peoples prior to decision-making. The Prime Minister's Office made this decision and, with 20 minutes' notice, elected leaders in Canada's north were made aware of the announcement. Some of the comments that followed from the community are probably worthy of note.
Wally Schumann, who is the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment and the Minister of Infrastructure for the Northwest Territories, said:
I guess we can be very frank because we're in front of the committee.
When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
The mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, Merven Gruben, said:
I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word to us.
The Hon. Jackie Jacobson stated:
It's so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people—training and all the stuff we're wishing for.
Merven Gruben further said, “We're proud people who like to work for a living.” He spoke of the increasing reliance on social assistance.
Here again we see that the people who are living there are looking for that economic development they so badly need, but the current government, without any consultation whatsoever, shut it down and put a moratorium in place. Clearly, that is not acceptable.
The pattern of reversing what Conservatives have proposed or put in place is not new to this House. I would say that it has been done on a number of bills. I will pick a small sampling to back up the point.
We had a housing first program that was lifting people out of homelessness. Of the people on that program, 73% ended up going into stable housing. When the Liberal government came in, it decided it was going to have its national housing strategy, but instead of keeping something that was working, it tossed the baby out with the bathwater on that one.
I would say the same was true regarding a bill in the previous government, Bill C-24, which suggested that if people had become a Canadian citizen and gone off to fight against Canada, their citizenship would be revoked. We see that we are in a situation now with people who have been involved in terrorism trying to come back and the government is struggling to get the evidentiary proof to file charges. That would be another example.
One of the first bills the Liberals passed in this Parliament was to remove the financial transparency and accountability for the first nations people on the funding they receive.
Therefore, there is a previous pattern of behaviour of the Liberal government reversing things the Conservatives did when those things were not necessarily bad things.
With respect to the themes we are talking about today, I have expressed some concerns about the bill, but I want to talk about how this bill aligns to indigenous reconciliation, because there has been a lot of rhetoric in the current government about lining up to indigenous reconciliation and consulting with indigenous people. I would say that it is forever consulting but never listening.
If we think about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, early in the mandate of the government it unanimously adopted all 94, and where has the action on those gone? Crickets.
We have seen the mess of the inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women has been, with the number of people who have resigned en route and the fact that many indigenous people feel they were not allowed to participate. Here we are four years down the road, with $98 million or something like that having been spent, and no action.
Many indigenous people felt the tanker ban, Bill C-48, would be bad for them, especially those who were trying to get the Eagle Spirit pipeline built. They were saying this was going to deprive them of an opportunity to have the kind of economic development they need, the same kind of economic opportunity that we see in Bill C-88, which the people there are looking for. Now we have this moratorium on the Beaufort Sea.
Another issue we need to consider when looking at Bill C-88 is how it fits into our northern strategy. If we think about the needs of people who are living in the north, we know there are a number of issues. We know that there is a food insecurity issue in the north. Will this help with that issue? When the government is depriving people of economic development, I am not sure that it is helping that situation.
In terms of the broadband problem, the government has had four years to address the issue. I know I have an inventor in my riding, and I put ideas forward to the innovation minister that for less than $20 million, I have somebody who knows how to put that kind of broadband Internet access across the north, with satellite balloons that are solar powered, incidentally, but to no avail.
The health care in the north has huge issues, from dental hygiene to tuberculosis and just even access to care. There are those things and the sovereignty issues. We have sovereignty in the north, but we have Russia and China really starting to pay a lot of attention to that area. We need to have a plan for how we are going to defend that area, along with the natural resources that are there and what we need to do to protect those. I do not see any plan or any discussion about how this fits into that northern strategy. I think that is something that needs to be looked at.
Another thing that is really affecting the northern area is climate change. We are seeing a thawing of the permafrost. As an engineer who used to work in construction, I am paying close attention to some of the horrendous things that are happening, in terms of roads that are developing huge crevices as the permafrost shifts and buildings that are collapsing after months of construction because the foundations are no longer solid. There really does not seem to be a strategy for how we are going to make sure that, in the north, we are setting them up for success, that we are protecting the assets that are in place. These are places where, if people cannot get to them, any hope of economic development would be lost. There is something to be done there.
Many times this week we have heard that the government has a tax plan, not a climate plan. This is just one more thing that I would add to what needs to be part of a comprehensive climate plan, how we are going to address the results that we see as the climate shifts.
As we look to this bill, in the dying days of the 42nd Parliament, it looks to me, again, like something that may not even make it through in the remaining days that we have, and it may not have a good chance of being implemented. Certainly, with all of the things the government promised to do but never did, I reflect on the 42nd Parliament and I think, “What did the government really do?” The Canada child benefit and the legalization of marijuana, I will give it those two. Other than that, I am not really sure what has been accomplished.
As we look to the summary of Bill C-88, we have talked about what the bill does, some of the concerns of the political interference that exists and how people are not being listened to in the north. People want this economic development, and the government now has the power to shut them down and is using that power.
I do not think the actions being taken by the government align well with the overall theme of indigenous reconciliation. I feel this will be more fanning of the flame, when people in the north want this economic development and the government is standing in the way or is interfering in the ability of the people to support themselves. That will not go over well.
I also think it is part of a bigger rhetoric on the natural resources sector. We know that the carbon tax has been a huge problem for small businesses. In my riding I have a lot of refineries. Now the government has exempted all the large emitters, 90%, from the carbon tax, but it has also put on a clean fuel tax, which is costing billions of dollars. One refinery in my riding has just gone up for sale, and another one has said that if it does not get an exemption from those clean fuel taxes, it may be unsustainable as well.
The government has a clean pattern of undermining the natural resources sector. We know that it has killed all kinds of natural resource projects: energy east, the northern gateway, the Petronas LNG and, of course, the Trans Mountain pipeline has gone absolutely nowhere.
Until the government can come with a clear message about the natural resources plan and support for that plan, and support for people in the north who want that economic development and are looking for the government to support them and not interfere, then I think that Bill C-88 is not going to go a long way in achieving what is hoped.
View Jamie Schmale Profile
Madam Speaker, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network has a plan to help people get the broadband and cellular service connections they need.
Nearly 20% of eastern Ontario has no cell service, putting Ontarians lives at risk. The project is expected to generate up to 3,000 jobs over 10 years, with potential revenues of $420 million. Municipalities, private sector partners and the province have all committed.
When will the Prime Minister start taking connectivity seriously and commit to funding this essential project?
View Michael Barrett Profile
Madam Speaker, we have heard the same answer from those Liberals about the Eastern Ontario Regional Network project and its inaction after four weeks of non-answers. The province has already committed $71 million to fund it.
This project will save lives by connecting first responders on a dedicated network. Municipalities in the province have put people's safety first and committed their share. The Ontario government has stepped up. The municipalities have stepped up.
When will the Liberal government and the Prime Minister finally put eastern Ontarians' safety first and fund this project?
View Dan Albas Profile
Mr. Speaker, time after time the Liberals have failed to address the lack of Internet connectivity for rural Canadians. Yesterday the Liberal government announced a spectrum clawback that may significantly affect Internet service for a huge number of rural customers. How many rural Canadians will be negatively impacted by the Liberal government's decision to claw back and repurpose the 3,500-megahertz spectrum band?
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-05 17:53 [p.28605]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 226. which seeks to give instructions to the Standing Committee on Health regarding health care delivery in rural Canada.
There is an extremely concerning shortage of family doctors and nurses in Canada, particularly in rural areas. The lack of broadband Internet also prevents rural communities from accessing online health services. The committee should also consider the worrisome deterioration of rural hospitals in its study.
I want to thank the member for Kenora for bringing the motion before the House. My daughter was a nurse in his lovely riding, so she is well acquainted with its hospital and the health care services that are available there.
As the member for Sarnia—Lambton, I note that Sarnia is a mixture of urban and rural, so there are also quite a number of parts of my riding where services and transportation are not available.
I would like to start by talking about the current situation in health care in general in Canada.
We know there is already a shortage of doctors and nurses across the country. I have travelled from coast to coast to coast and spoken with people in various ridings. I would like to give members a few examples of the shortage, starting with what I think is one of the worst cases I have heard, which is Cape Breton.
Cape Breton was missing 52 emergency room physicians and a vascular surgeon. People who cut an artery in Cape Breton would lose a limb or die because they would not be able to get to Halifax in time to get the services.
Let us look across the country. Given the wait times in Ottawa, it takes six years to get a family doctor. The former member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith ran provincially, and one of the priority issues she brought up was the shortage of doctors in B.C. Truly, there is a shortage of health care workers.
This is particularly disturbing, as we have an aging population. Right now, one in six people is a senior, and that will be one in four in the next six to 10 years. With that comes a need for a number of different services.
First of all, we are seeing a movement toward more chronic disease, in part due to rising obesity rates, smoking issues and so on. Also, as people are living longer, we are seeing an increase in dementia, and there is a need for palliative care. Of course, I have been a strong advocate for palliative care during my time in the House. About 70% of Canadians do not have any access to palliative care, and this is especially true in rural and remote places. It is a pressing problem.
As I look to the government that has been in power for four years, I see absolutely no plan to address the gaps that exist regarding the resources for health care workers and all the infrastructure needed in places like Petrolia, which is one of the hamlets within my riding. Right now, the electrical and mechanical systems in place at the Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital are so obsolete and so likely to fail that Petrolia is planning how it will shut down the hospital when the systems fail. All of the patients will have to be moved to the nearby high school. Petrolia needs $5 million to repair that infrastructure.
I could tell members similar stories, from across the nation, of hospitals that have not received any funding for infrastructure. Clearly the provinces do not have money for that. One solution the government could bring forward in that light is a program that would specify rural hospitals and their infrastructure needs, which would address some of the outstanding issues there.
Another need in many rural and remote places is broadband Internet. As we move increasingly to using virtual services, such as virtual palliative care and virtual consultations, communities need broadband Internet to receive them. There is a huge need for this in the north. My riding has several places without good access to the Internet. I think it will be incredibly important to address this need.
One of the other problems with the rural and remote health care system is just accessing the services. Transportation can be very costly and, as the member for Kenora has mentioned, it can take a really long time. In Kenora, people transit by airplane. In my riding, even though there are many services, a lot of people have to go to nearby London, which is an hour away. For low-income people and those who do not have transportation, there is no service to take them for weekly cancer treatments or other procedures. Transportation is a big barrier, and we need to find solutions to address that.
There have been some really innovative solutions that I discovered when I was working on the palliative care private member's bill. One of them was the use of paramedics to deliver palliative care. Trained paramedics, during the hours they are not taking care of emergencies, would distribute pain medications and perform procedures that patients need. This is really cost-efficient, because they are already on the payroll, and it is a great service for people who have trouble accessing services and cannot get the transportation they need. It is those kinds of innovations that will be really important as we move forward.
Another issue in my riding—and I heard it is also an issue in Kenora—has to do with how to attract doctors, nurses and health care workers to go to rural places. There has to be some kind of incentive. One of the great innovations, also in Petrolia, was a clinic that was put together with multiple family physicians and nurse practitioners providing various services. Because the doctors did not have to be sole family physicians working umpteen hours in practice and then being on call for emergencies, the balance of life and work was much better. There was a real effort made to attract doctors to that practice. They are doing a fine job and making services very accessible to people who live nearby. In fact, because of the quality, in some cases people are even coming from Sarnia to Petrolia to access services.
We need to come up with solutions on how to provide health care and work with the provinces and territories. Every region is different. We talked about some of the barriers, such as travel during bad weather, for accessing services, but in some places, the problems are different. Some places have an aging population. In my riding, 50% of people are over the age of 57, so care for seniors is a key issue, and I know that is true as well in Nova Scotia and a number of places across the country.
At the end of the day, I would be happy to have the health committee study this issue. I wish we had time in this parliamentary session, but, as has already been pointed out, it is unlikely that a study could be taken up at this point in time. Perhaps it will happen in a future Parliament.
This is an urgent need and something we need to consider. We need to put together a plan that will identify the health care workers required and how to get them. In some cases, there are enough workers in Canada; in some cases, we will have to change how we train doctors, for example. There was a very innovative example in New Brunswick, where, although there is no teaching hospital or university for residencies, the province partnered with Dalhousie University and Sherbrooke for a residency program that would provide medical services in New Brunswick and allow doctors to be certified. That kind of innovation is needed to address the health care worker issue.
In addition, there is a need for an infrastructure plan, as I have mentioned, for broadband Internet and hospital care and other services. For example, we see an increasing need for home care. Home care in rural and remote situations is increasingly difficult because of the amount of travel time and, in some cases, the weather, etc.
When we get this plan together with the resources and infrastructure and decide which services we will need as we move toward more chronic disease and an aging population with more dementia, thus requiring more palliative care, then we can start to execute that plan. It could not happen soon enough because, as I have said, one person in six being a senior now will be one in four within six to 10 years.
It is an urgent issue, and I am happy to support this motion.
View Michael Barrett Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network proposal will help increase eastern Ontario's access to cellphone service and capable Internet. It will give residents and businesses in rural Ontario access to the digital market and help them remain competitive.
These Liberals refuse to announce funding for this project, while the Ontario government has already announced $71 million in funding. This project has received support from both sides of the aisle, with six Liberal members of Parliament already signing on.
When will the Prime Minister finally support rural Ontarians and fund this project?
Results: 1 - 15 of 46 | Page: 1 of 4

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data