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Results: 1 - 15 of 1705
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I want to thank my colleagues in the official opposition for all their hard work throughout the day. I want to thank the members of other parties as well as we tried to find a resolution to a problem that was created when the government decided to add additional measures to its financial assistance package.
We recognize that many Canadians are going to face a great deal of difficulty in the days and weeks ahead, and we are ready to help find solutions.
We recognize that Canadians are going to face a great deal of difficulty in the days and weeks ahead and we are here ready to help find solutions. That is what we were expecting to do. The Liberals have now agreed to our grave concerns about the types of sweeping power they were going to give themselves, we do find that we are in a position where we are able to support this going ahead.
That being said, I do have a number of questions for my colleagues across the aisle. As they will well know, many businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy. Many businesses have been told that they must close their doors. Restaurants and other types of businesses in the service industry are facing a great deal of hardship. The government's original proposal was to provide a 10% wage subsidy. I believe the ministers would acknowledge that the situation has changed from those early days and in many cases that will not be sufficient to help individuals stay employed.
Will the government consider other additional measures that would keep small businesses afloat during this difficult time? We have called for not only the raising of that wage subsidy, but also to have GST rebated to the small businesses that have collected that GST over the past few months. That would provide them with a great deal of cash flow that would be able to assist.
Will the government be willing to entertain that type of measure?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, I will acknowledge that we are in agreement with much of what the finance minister has said. I think we are heading into some uncharted territory. There will be many Canadians who have never looked to government before for assistance who will now be looking to government. We must make sure that we find a way to provide that support to them, and help to keep people in their apartments and homes and able to put food on the table.
One way to ensure that the effects of this downturn last even longer is if the government or our central bank were to consider a quantitative easing measure. That is a guaranteed way to make sure that the lingering effects of this downturn will last years and years beyond what it needs to.
Will the finance minister commit to assuring the House that quantitative easing, printing money, is not something the government would support and certainly not something that the government would request the Bank of Canada to consider?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:39 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, my question is for the Minister of Finance.
We know that in the last week alone nearly a million Canadians applied for EI. Canadians are faced with an impossible choice: Do they stay home and help prevent the spread of an illness but risk not being able to pay their rent or put food on the table or do they go to work and risk the spread of the illness to their loved ones and themselves? People cannot wait until April or May for help. They need help immediately. There are many workers now who are in the gig economy, freelance and contract workers who need immediate supports.
Will the Minister of Finance consider our proposal to send, while we are in this crisis, $2,000 to each Canadian monthly and an additional $250 for each child? This form of universal basic income would provide direct support to Canadians who desperately need it.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:41 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, I have spoken to indigenous leaders across the country. They are highlighting some serious concerns they have. Because of historic and ongoing injustices, indigenous communities have inadequate access to clean drinking water, housing, and health care services. As a result, leaders are concerned their communities will not be able to deal with COVID-19 if they are exposed and it starts to spread. They are concerned about the lack of resources, equipment and supplies.
What is the plan to ensure that indigenous communities get the supports they need? I also want to make it clear that isolation tents are not going to cut it. What is the plan to help indigenous communities in this crisis?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:43 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, one of the big concerns we have is that while we are dealing with the immediate crisis of COVID-19 and the immediate impacts on society, we also need to make sure that we have a plan once this immediate health care issue is dealt with and we look at the recovery.
People need to know that they will have a job to return to. A lot of small businesses are struggling right now with the impacts of COVID-19. What I am suggesting to the government is that we need to increase the wage subsidy. Right now the government is proposing 10%. We are suggesting that what is needed is at least a 75% wage subsidy or more. Will the government commit to increasing the wage subsidy to at least 75% to help small businesses and ensure that workers have a job to return to?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Employment.
Applications for regular EI have overwhelmed the system and no one can get hold of Service Canada to apply. With a whole new benefit, how will the caseload be managed to ensure that people can apply and how are staff resources being redirected to support Canadians?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:45 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, we have intentionally created this new benefit separate from the EI system so that we can continue to process claims that were filed before March 15, and we can continue to process claims for other benefits, like maternity and parental benefits, since March 15. Any claim that has been filed since March 15 will be channelled into this new Canada emergency response benefit, and any EI claim that is filed between now and when this new application for this benefit arises will be also channelled into the new benefit.
I can assure members that we have redirected every single possible resource to Service Canada. I do not have the exact number, but I think it is about 1,300 people who have been redirected to work on processing these claims and answering these questions. We have had an enormous volume of EI claims. We have had an enormous number of questions to Service Canada. We are doing our utmost to answer them and respond as quickly as possible.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, many people who are about to go on parental leave have been laid off and have had to start EI, which will reduce the time that they can be on parental leave. Will their leave be extended to ensure that they can take their planned time with their new child?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:46 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, any EI entitlement that a worker currently has will not in any way be impacted by the new Canada emergency response benefit. Whatever someone is entitled to now he or she will be entitled to after the 16 weeks.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, last Friday the government announced temporary foreign workers already here would be extended from one year to two, and in certain industries it will be easier and faster to bring in a temporary foreign worker. We see in this legislation tonight, under the definition of “worker”, it says “resident of Canada”.
Does this new benefit apply to citizens and permanent residents or to anyone who lives here, such as those on a work visa?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, we are looking for clarity. Will people who here as temporary foreign workers who lose their jobs be able to apply for this benefit, yes or no?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, this bill states that one would not be eligible if one received employment insurance after one's employment ceased. Will a fisher or someone in the tourism and hospitality industries who was laid off last year, received EI and has now exhausted it, and the job that person expected to have this summer is gone due to COVID-19, be eligible for this benefit?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:49 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, given the member's fact pattern, if that individual met the eligibility of 15 years of age, earned $5,000 in the past year and was a resident of Canada, I believe, to the best of my knowledge, yes.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, I am happy that we are here in the House. It is late and it has been a long day, but I know that Canadians across this country are looking for action, so I am glad that we are here getting this important step done.
One of the concerns I want to bring to the House today is that there are people who are ineligible for the supports. They do not qualify for EI or the emergency support benefit. I am talking about folks like travel agents who earn commissions. They will continue working unpaid as people are cancelling all of their vacations right now, which means their commissions are being returned. Also, there are people who rely on tips for their income who will now barely see 30% of their income. There are people who are facing reduced work hours and income but are still working to support Canadians and do not have enough to pay their everyday living expenses.
I would like to hear from the government how those people are going to be supported through this crisis.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, another group of people I am very concerned about during this process is Canadian seniors. The reality is that they are the most vulnerable of all of us. We want to protect them and see them safe through this trying time.
Many seniors across this country are doing their best to follow all public health guidelines. They are trying to stay safe and in their homes, but this means for many of them having things delivered, and paying extra costs for delivery, and looking at people to do tasks for them that they can no longer do for themselves. Many seniors are on a fixed income. They often are close to the poverty line. I am wondering if there is any way that we are going to see seniors supported in this time.
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