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Results: 121 - 135 of 4317
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-08-12 14:30 [p.2769]
I thank the hon. opposition House leader for bringing that to my attention. It occurred to me as I read his name, actually. I will indicate then that the motion will be proposed by the hon. Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth on behalf of the hon. government House leader. I think that should take care of it.
We will proceed with the debate with the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2020-08-12 14:30 [p.2769]
moved:
That the House take note of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the government to respond to it.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, we have not had the opportunity to hear from the Prime Minister on a few issues, and I would like to invite the member to comment on them. The most pressing of these today are the ongoing scandals that have engulfed the government. We have a tremendous number of unanswered questions.
We have issued an invitation, which has not yet been responded to, for the Prime Minister to appear at the ethics committee. We have issued an invitation to the finance minister to attend that committee as well. Parliamentarians have questions for the government. Canadians have questions for the government. We do not have all of the answers with respect to this WE scandal. We have new news breaking every day.
Can the member tell us if we can expect to see the Prime Minister and the finance minister appear at committee, as they have been requested to do so?
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-08-12 14:45 [p.2771]
Mr. Chair, what really needs to be pointed out is the incredible social solidarity Canadians from coast to coast to coast have shown in response to the unprecedented economic and medical catastrophe that has befallen us. It is really important to also state that we are not out of the first phase yet. We could be plunged back into a crisis. If we are plunged back in, it will be a catastrophe for families who have already suffered enormous economic losses, for small businesses and for students who have had their lives upended.
We are just over two weeks away from CERB's ending. Many people in my riding have no jobs to go back to, or they are only going back to partial or insecure work. We need to be there for them to get them through this crisis. If we leave people behind at this time, it will take years for our nation to recover economically and socially.
I would like to ask the member about the efforts that need to be taken between now and the beginning of September to make sure that we have a plan to get us through what may be a very difficult fall and a very difficult winter, particularly if COVID hits us again the way people expect it may.
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2020-08-12 15:08 [p.2775]
Mr. Chair, we heard before an accusation by the member from Nova Scotia that somehow it was Conservatives who stalled the disability part of the bill. In fact, it was the government that stalled it. We proposed, as the hon. member said, that we deal with that issue that day and it ended up being stalled.
The opposition has brought other issues to our attention in this team Canada approach, including the student payments and the emergency wage subsidy, which were significantly lacking in the beginning of the announcements of those programs.
Could the member highlight for Canadians the efforts and effects that the role of the opposition has played throughout this crisis?
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, in response to the member for Barrie—Innisfil and the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, when the issue of the disability bill came forward and the Conservatives wanted to debate it, there were two other opportunities on that day to do so, but they voted against it. Let us celebrate the fact that there is meaningful legislation right now that is taking care of those people who really need this.
When the member talks about businesses, giving supports to them and the government not listening to what is being said by members of Parliament, we had a number of programs that were literally built, developed and implemented in a matter of days, programs that probably would have taken a year to 18 months to develop and deliver by any other standard.
In fact, the government did listen to stakeholders and members of Parliament who raised concerns about various programs and reacted very quickly to making changes on those, whether it be the CERB or the wage subsidy program.
Would the member not agree that there was at least some back and forth among the government, members of Parliament and stakeholders to ensure those programs were as robust and meaningful as possible?
View John Brassard Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Brassard Profile
2020-08-12 15:25 [p.2777]
Mr. Chair, I thank my colleague.
Earlier, I called this government a kleptocracy. In a kleptocracy, corrupt politicians enrich themselves secretly outside the rule of law through kickbacks, bribes and special favours, or they simply direct state funds to themselves or their associates.
Given all the scandals, would my colleague agree that the Liberals put the interests of their families, friends and connections first?
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-08-12 15:32 [p.2778]
We have just enough time for one short question.
The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-08-12 15:50 [p.2781]
Mr. Speaker, there are two pandemics in the country right now. We have COVID and an opioid pandemic. The opioid pandemic is very similar to COVID, in cutting across all sectors of society: rural, urban, rich and poor. I want to ask my hon. colleague about what he has seen in his community.
We know that in our Far North, the communities in Treaty 9 are so desperate to stop the opioids that they have people at the airports trying to stop the drugs from coming in because they have no other supports. In the city of Timmins, the police are working with mental health workers on the streets, trying to deal with this because they recognize that this is beyond criminal. This is a massive mental health crisis and we are seeing deaths, suffering and families being broken apart from the devastation from these drugs. We really want to be able to stop the pushers who are making these drugs, particularly fentanyl and its destructive nature, but we need to have measures of support to get people out of the nightmare of opioid addictions.
What has my hon. colleague seen on the west coast and what steps can we take in this Parliament in the midst of this COVID pandemic to deal with the other pandemic, the opioid crisis?
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2020-08-12 15:55 [p.2782]
Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by offering my sincere condolences to the people of Lebanon following last week's devastating explosion in Beirut. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy and the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Canadians who are worried about their friends and family. Canada is working with the international community to identify how we can support urgent needs and continue to offer emergency supports such as medical aid, food and shelter.
Here at home, the Government of Canada is working with all levels of government to respond to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and to reduce the impact it is having on families, communities and our economy. We have seen a decrease in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and associated deaths over the past few months, which shows that we have really flattened the curve. This downward trend is largely the result of two factors: one, governments working together in a coordinated pan-Canadian fashion, and two, the ongoing efforts of individual Canadians who are diligently following our public health advice.
As we safely and gradually reopen our economy, we need to remain vigilant. We need to learn from the experiences of other countries that are seeing a significant resurgence of cases, and prevent that from happening here at home.
For today's debate, I would like to highlight some of the actions that have been taken by the Public Health Agency of Canada since the onset of this pandemic. As members know, collaboration is the cornerstone of good public health. That is why the Government of Canada has taken a whole-of-government approach to managing this crisis and is committed to working with the provinces and territories and our international partners.
Public Health Agency of Canada officials have been working closely with international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization, as well as with public health agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to protect the health and safety of Canadians and the global community.
We have been engaging with our G7 counterparts on a regular basis to share information on public health measures, to learn from their experiences, and to share best practices and identify possible joint actions to tackle this outbreak together. Of course, we have been working very closely with the provinces and territories throughout this time on vital issues such as developing guidance on infection prevention, conducting laboratory testing and ensuring that facilities are equipped with the personal protective equipment and ventilators they need.
It is important to recognize that the science around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, which means that our public health guidance continues to evolve along with it. Researchers at PHAC are working with scientific experts in various fields across the country and around the world to continually review and evaluate the latest scientific evidence. When they determine that the body of evidence has gained sufficient credibility and acceptability with the scientific community, our advice and guidance is updated as quickly as possible to reflect the best current scientific knowledge and public health practices.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, PHAC officials have worked with provincial, territorial and international partners to detect signals and investigate transmission patterns of COVID-19 in communities across Canada. Multiple data streams are used to monitor and illustrate the current situation in Canada, including daily case information by province and territory in developing outbreak scenarios. PHAC analyzes this data on a daily basis to monitor trends for early detection of new patterns of transmission. PHAC also monitors early warning signs and systems to collect and exchange timely information on public health events with its members.
The Government of Canada, in collaboration with other orders of government and across sectors, has developed a new nationwide mobile app to let users know if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. The app, called COVID Alert, is free and available to all Canadians to download. COVID Alert uses strong measures to protect the privacy and confidentiality of any data it collects. The app does not track a user's location or collect personally identifiable information. It is another tool that Canadians can use to help slow the spread of infection, prevent future outbreaks and protect our communities as we ease restrictions and restart the economy. I urge all Canadians to download and use this app. Certainly, the more people who use it the more effective it will be.
The government has also taken strong measures at the border to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of Canadians.
For example, emergency orders have been enacted under the Quarantine Act to restrict discretionary entry into Canada from abroad and to strengthen measures to reduce the importation risk from other countries. This means that people entering Canada, no matter their country of origin or their mode of entry, are required to quarantine for 14 days. Some exemptions to the mandatory quarantine are allowed so critical infrastructure, essential services and economic supply chains can continue between Canada and the United States.
All travellers entering Canada are required to provide certain information upon entry, including contact information and an appropriate quarantine plan. The government has developed a mobile app called “ArriveCAN” to allow travellers to input their information quickly, easily and securely before, during and after their arrival at the border.
I am pleased to see that thousands of travellers to Canada are using the “ArriveCAN” app. This means they are spending less time with border services officers, public health officers and other travellers and in lineups.
PHAC is increasing its public health presence to 36 points of entry across the country, which cover 90% of all traffic coming into Canada during normal operating circumstances. This positions us well to deal with increasing non-essential travel now that international travel is starting to resume.
I also want to mention vulnerable populations. The government recognizes that while public health measures are essential for stopping the spread of COVID-19, they have taken a toll on Canadians. COVID-19 is creating stress and anxiety for people, particularly for those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. This has had an impact on mental wellness and has increased the risks associated with family violence and substance use. This is why our government created the wellness together Canada portal to connect Canadians with mental health and substance use supports.
PHAC has also announced new initiatives that can help reduce the risk and impacts of family violence, including funding for the Kids Help Phone, shelters and sexual assault services, income support initiatives and support for non-profit and charitable organizations. In addition, PHAC continues to work closely with Correctional Service Canada to strengthen measures to prevent the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in federal correctional institutions across Canada.
This is just a snapshot of some of the actions that the Public Health Agency of Canada has taken to protect the health and safety of Canadians from COVID-19. As all members in the House can appreciate, an incalculable amount of work is going on behind the scenes across all orders of government and with our many partners in the public health, academic and research communities.
By continuing to work together, we will further our understanding of this novel coronavirus and gain the scientific evidence and data we need to inform our public health planning and response at local, national and international levels. We need to continue to be vigilant; operate based on scientific evidence, which is accumulating; and adapt our public health measures accordingly. This is part of being a responsive government. I am very proud to say I am part of a team that is being really responsive at a time when Canadians need us most.
Last, I would like to commend all our public health agency staff right across the country. We have professionals who are top-notch and they have done an incredible job of helping all our communities.
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2020-08-12 16:05 [p.2783]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his deep concern in making sure this app is accessible to all Canadians.
The government has done a great job of developing an application that will be adopted by many users across the country. Many of our measures are not perfect. We roll them out and obtain feedback, and then continue work on them. With every one of our measures during COVID-19, I am proud that we have remained responsive to the feedback we have received.
I appreciate the feedback the member has given. There may be some portions of the population that will not be able to access the app, but I hope we can address those concerns.
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2020-08-12 16:07 [p.2784]
Mr. Speaker, I understand the deep concerns the member has about substance use and the rise in the number of cases in her area.
From my perspective, our government has tried to implement numerous measures to address the many different segments of the population that are vulnerable during the pandemic. The Wellness Together Canada portal offers tech support, info and videos on mental health issues, modules people can use for coaching, community support and individual counselling. I know this does not adequately address the issue that the member has raised, but it is certainly a start. This is not to mention the fact that we have given $157.5 million to shelters and another $40 million to women's shelters and sexual assault services. We have also put out $350 million through the emergency community support fund, which non-profit agencies, many of which are doing the work on the front lines, can use for people who suffer from substance use or substance abuse issues.
In general, I am very proud of our government for adopting a harm-reduction approach. That gives me a lot of confidence.
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2020-08-12 16:10 [p.2784]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member expressing the sincere intentions I had in running in the election and supporting the Liberal Party. It was a very conscious decision on my part. I certainly believe that our government has stepped up and shown leadership during this pandemic and remained responsive every step of the way.
I don't share the concerns that are being raised in the House. I am an ethics professional and I see no basis for many of the things that are being claimed in the House. I feel there is a distortion of the truth and I really do think that our government is doing its best to show leadership at a time when Canadians need us most.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I want to hit on something that the member mentioned toward the—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Should I wait until they are done, Mr. Speaker?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Order, order. I want to remind everyone that if they are going to have conversations, they should not shout.
The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
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