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Results: 1 - 15 of 15
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2020-08-12 12:47 [p.2751]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asked a really important question.
In addition to our long-term commitments on early learning and child care, this year alone we are delivering $400 million to provinces and territories as part of bilateral agreements on early learning and child care. I want to point out to the hon. member the fact that, in addition to that, as part of the safe restart agreement, we are transferring an additional $625 million for early learning and child care to help a sector that has been hard hit by COVID-19.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2020-08-12 12:48 [p.2752]
Mr. Speaker, I find it really hard when the leader of the NDP claims that $625 million plus $400 million in just the next eight months is inadequate. That is completely the opposite of what we are doing.
We are providing federal leadership and the resources to back the safe restart of the early learning and child care sector. We have been there for parents in the long term, and we are there for parents as this sector recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2020-08-12 12:49 [p.2752]
Mr. Speaker, our government has created over 40,000 affordable child care spaces and is committed to creating another quarter of a million child care spaces that are affordable. A federal secretariat will be investing over $1.2 billion over the next eight months.
This is questioning the sincerity and the commitment of a government that is not only demonstrating leadership, but also backing that leadership with resources for the sector. It boggles my mind what the leader of the NDP is talking about.
View Han Dong Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Han Dong Profile
2020-08-12 13:29 [p.2759]
Mr. Speaker, a team Canada response to COVID-19 has been essential in protecting the health and safety of Canadians these past few months and will continue to be important as we move forward in our continued response to COVID-19 and to recovery, but this pandemic has also had a significant economic and social impact on communities across Canada.
I have heard from many residents in Don Valley North who are asking for help in getting back to work in a safe and responsible manner. That is why I was so pleased to see the Prime Minister announce the safe restart agreement that was reached with provinces and territories. I was especially happy to see the relief for the City of Toronto, which employs many front-line workers who are keeping our loved ones healthy and safe during this pandemic. In addition to providing services that residents of Don Valley North rely on, this includes support for the TTC, an essential service that so many of us rely on every day to keep us moving across the city.
Could the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities tell this House what the government is doing to help the safe restart of our economy?
View Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2020-08-12 13:31 [p.2759]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Don Valley North for his important question.
Now is the time to help communities like the City of Toronto to build back up from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is a key part of the $19-billion safe restart agreement between our federal government and the provinces and territories. This agreement includes $2 billion in federal funding, matched by provinces and territories, for cities and towns across Canada. It is funding that will support front-line workers and critical municipal services as we keep people safe during the economic restart.
The Government of Canada has also agreed to match more than $1.8 billion to help cities keep their transit systems running so that Canadians can get to work and home to their families safely. For Ontario, the federal government has committed $1 billion for public transit, which the province is matching.
We are supporting the front-line workers who are making an economic recovery possible because people depend on these critical front-line services, including public transit, to get safely back to work and to build back up our economy. If our cities are not running, our economy is not running. The safe restart agreement will help Canada get back on track.
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2020-07-22 14:07 [p.2722]
Mr. Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live, how we work, how we interact with other people. Over the past six months, the pandemic has taken an especially heavy toll on Canadians who are members of vulnerable populations. We have learned that COVID most negatively impacts our most vulnerable—seniors, people experiencing homelessness, Canadians with disabilities, racialized Canadians, persons who use substances, and persons with mental health challenges—along with those who work to support them. As restrictive public health measures are lifted and our economy reopens, we must remember there are vulnerable people in our communities, as well as those who support them, who will continue to need our help in order to stay healthy.
Our government is responding to these needs through funding provided to the provinces and territories under the safe restart agreement, which was just announced by the first ministers on July 16. The agreement is far-reaching in its intent and scope. The $19-billion commitment will help provinces and territories, which have had to respond to COVID-19 in unique ways and have already made major investments, and will continue to do so, in critical areas, including health care and vulnerable populations. It includes funding over the next six to eight months to support capacity in health care services, procurement of personal protective equipment and support for Canadians facing challenges related to mental health, harmful substances or homelessness.
The funding will also support infection prevention and control measures to protect vulnerable populations, including residents at long-term care facilities and those requiring home care. This money will complement the Public Health Agency of Canada's ongoing efforts to provide guidance to health care providers, facility directors and administrators on resident care within long-term care homes.
Funding provided under the safe restart agreement will also be used to support other vulnerable populations, such as homeless Canadians and those living in remote or isolated communities.
The agreement is an example of the extraordinary federal-provincial-territorial collaboration that has characterized our collective response to this pandemic. It is an indication of our deep and ongoing commitment to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
The safe restart agreement is the latest in a series of actions that our government has taken to support vulnerable populations throughout this crisis. Access to support or prevention programs by those fleeing family and gender-based violence has become more difficult in the context of community lockdowns and social distancing practices. In recognition of this, our government has announced new initiatives to help reduce the impacts of abuse and violence within vulnerable families. A $7.5-million investment has been made in the Kids Help Phone to help support mental health and crisis support for children and youth, an acknowledgement that without school, children may be particularly at risk.
There is also $50 million in new funding being provided through the Reaching Home program to women's shelters and sexual assault centres, including $26 million to women's shelters across Canada to distribute to shelters right across the country, $4 million to the Canadian Women's Foundation to distribute to sexual assault centres, and $10 million to support Indigenous Services Canada's existing network of 46 emergency shelters on reserve and in the Yukon.
These measures will complement other economic and financial measures to assist vulnerable individuals and families through this crisis, including the enhancement of the Canada child benefit and support for the charitable sector.
Our government also recognizes the significant and unique challenges faced by black Canadians and other racialized populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the crisis has unfolded across the country, it has become clear that we need more information on certain groups at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a key social determinant of health that can affect an individual's access and willingness to seek medical care, racism is a public health issue.
Canadians who, before the pandemic, were at greater risk of poor health owing to systemic discrimination are likely to be at greater risk of suffering COVID-19's direct and indirect consequences. Given this, the Public Health Agency of Canada and partners are undertaking a number of activities to improve Canada's knowledge on the impact of COVID-19 on racialized communities.
Canada has recently established a new national COVID-19 dataset, approved by Canada's special advisory committee on COVID-19. This dataset includes race or ethnicity as a key variable to be collected in the national COVID-19 case report form, which is used by the provincial and territorial governments to report COVID-19 cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Until now, with the exception of a section for identifying and classifying cases as indigenous, data on these variables was not collected. Thus, this new dataset represents an important advance in Canada's ability to track the relationship between COVID-19 and race or ethnicity. However, it may take some time for all jurisdictions to be able to collect this data.
The mental health impacts of systemic discrimination can also have negative implications for physical health. Our government is working to advance knowledge of the intersections between the mental and physical health of black Canadians through an initiative on promoting health equity called the mental health of black Canadians fund. This fund is supporting projects that generate knowledge, capacity and programs that promote mental health and address its determinants for black Canadians. All funded projects are led by black Canadian experts or organizations, and they are informed by the mental health of black Canadians working group, comprising experts in research, practice and policy from diverse black communities right across the country. Funding recipients have demonstrated great resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and are working to continue planned activities in the pandemic context.
We also recognize that public health measures have taken their toll on the mental health of Canadians, with feelings of isolation, lack of access to usual support networks and living in fear of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic. Targeted mental health initiatives such as this are in addition to the broader supports that have been developed to help Canadians stay healthy and informed during this difficult period. For example, the Wellness Together Canada portal was developed to link Canadians to mental health and substance use supports. As of July 10, more than 283,000 Canadians had accessed the portal.
Under COVID-19 and the mental health initiative, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research has also launched, in partnership with four provincial research agencies, a funding opportunity to better understand mental health, including substance use of both individuals and communities due to the pandemic.
In parallel with the COVID-19 pandemic, many communities continue to struggle with a second public health crisis, namely the devastating impact of substance abuse and the overdose crisis. The pandemic has exposed people who use drugs to additional barriers when it comes to accessing health and social services. While necessary public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may sadly also have had unintended consequences, including increased toxicity of the illegal drug supply and reduction in the availability of life-saving services.
We have made it easier for people to access the medications they need, such as those necessary for opioid agonist treatment, such as Suboxone and methadone. Pharmacists now have the ability to extend and renew prescriptions.
We are supporting community-based projects across a wide variety of topics and we will continue to do whatever is needed to help and protect Canadians.
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2020-07-22 14:21 [p.2724]
Mr. Speaker, it is a difficult issue. The federal government is trying to make sure that services and access to mental health treatments are fairly equal across the provinces. We do not want it so that in one province they are fully supported and in another province they are not. That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to make sure that the level of support is equal across the country, because some provinces will need more in child care, will need more in mental health, will need more in addressing the opioid crisis than other provinces will. We wanted to make sure that at least we have that baseline standard right across the country. That was the reason behind that negotiation.
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
2020-07-21 10:30 [p.2655]
Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, I read a number of the elements of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion's mandate letter and we are going to take a number of additional steps to try to be more helpful to our disability community.
In terms of health care, my understanding is that we have health agreements with every single province, except Quebec, and we are very happy to step up to the plate and continue those discussions with Quebec to ensure that persons with disabilities, as well as all Quebeckers, will have access to better health.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to be here this afternoon to talk about Bill C-20 and the government's response to COVID-19. I want to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered here on the traditional lands of the Algonquin people.
Before I go on, I want to take a moment. Usually we never meet in July, and this is a very important week for me personally, and the entire Tamil community, so I want to just take a moment to acknowledge the horrific events of Black July, which started on the evening of July 22, 1983. Mobs armed with an electoral list of Tamil homes went door to door in Colombo, Sri Lanka, beat and killed over 3,000 Tamils, and looted their homes and businesses.
This period, known as Black July, sparked an armed conflict and the mass exodus of Tamils out of Sri Lanka. The anti-Tamil pogroms forced many, including my family, to seek refuge in Canada. The government of Pierre Trudeau at that time enacted a special measures program to assist over 1,800 Tamils to settle in Canada. Today, this community is over 300,000 strong, and I am so very proud to be part of this community from coast to coast to coast.
With that, I want to take a moment to reflect on the most vulnerable in our society, particularly as a result of COVID-19. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the refugees who are in many camps around the world, struggling in cramped conditions in UNHCR tents or displaced altogether. There are over 80 million displaced people around the world and over 30 million refugees. I want to recognize them and all those who support refugees, both abroad and in Canada, and particularly those who are vulnerable in Canada, who have come in search of freedom but are unfortunately struggling with COVID-19, as are all of us across the globe.
This pandemic has had a very profound effect on all of us, but none more than our seniors. I want to talk about long-term care homes in my province of Ontario, and also locally at the Altamont Care Community in Scarborough—Rouge Park. We lost 52 residents and one staff member to COVID-19, so we have lost 53 people as a result of COVID-19. This is just in one home. There are four other homes: Orchard Villa in Pickering—Uxbridge, Holland Christian Grace Manor in Brampton South, Hawthorne Place Care Centre in Humber River—Black Creek, and Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke Centre. All five MPs who correspond to these homes have written to Premier Doug Ford, as well as the Prime Minister.
We are asking the premier to initiate a public inquiry, similar to that of Ipperwash, to make sure that we do not make the mistakes that we made in long-term care homes. Some 80% of deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are a result of people living in long-term care homes. These are our seniors, and it is a national shame. I would say that we have failed our seniors, those who are in long-term care homes, and I am saddened to stand here today to even talk about it. The report from the Canadian Armed Forces, who were deployed to these five care homes, really does shed light on what we need to do, and I want to emphasize and ask the Premier of Ontario to make sure that we do right and get to the bottom of this.
Equally, the five colleagues, including myself, wrote to the Prime Minister seeking national standards for long-term care homes. I realize that there are challenges, in terms of jurisdiction. As a federal government, we are not directly responsible for long-term care homes. Nevertheless, as a government that is responsible for Canadians and to Canadians, it would be incumbent upon us to take some leadership and make sure that we have national standards of care for all those who are in long-term care homes. As a government, we regulate everything from plastic bags to toothpaste and all kinds of consumer products, and, for the life of me, it is hard to imagine why we cannot have some form of minimum standards set for long-term care homes.
I think it is long overdue, and that conversation needs to take place. I look forward to working with the government, as well as our friends across the aisle, to ensure that this does not happen again.
I also want to note that the government recently announced $19 billion toward a safe restart program. This is part of our government's response to COVID-19. This $19 billion will go, in part, toward supporting long-term care homes, especially the deficiencies that are outlined in the report by the Canadian Armed Forces. We are hopeful that the immediate response, in case there is a second or third wave, will be mitigated by the additional financial support that our government is giving to the provinces and, in turn, that should filter in toward long-term care homes.
I also want to address another issue that has been quite troubling to me, and that is the issue of systemic racism. I have spoken about this many, many times in this House and with many of my colleagues, including colleagues from across the aisle. I want to acknowledge that a couple of weeks ago many of us got together and wrote a letter that was signed by many members, led by the member for Hull—Aylmer and of course supported by people like my friend from Hamilton Centre, where we highlighted the need for the government to address the issues of systemic racism.
One thing that COVID-19 has shown us is that it has an impact on racialized people. Whether it is people working on the front lines as workers at hospitals, working as cashiers or working in the restaurant industry, for example, there is a significant impact of COVID-19 on racialized people.
In places like the United States and England, we have specific numbers that speak to this racial divide, but in Canada we do not keep those kinds of statistics. I believe that one of the things we really need to do is gather that information and make sure that we connect the dots between race, poverty and health services. I hope that this is an opportunity for us to learn and, again, mitigate in terms of a second wave.
With respect to overall systemic racism, it is very clear that racism affects many people and it affects them differently. Anti-black racism is profound in our history. It continues. The social results are very obvious. The numbers kind of speak for themselves. Whether it is with respect to the social determinants of health, issues of incarceration or issues of education streaming, there is a profound impact on Canada's black community, as well as indigenous peoples, who, since Confederation, have been rendered to be second-class citizens in all aspects.
This conversation was sparked by the tragic killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, but of course in Canada we have seen our share of these tragedies, including the brutal attack on Chief Allan Adam at the hands of the RCMP, and the death of Chantel Moore.
We have seen calls for governments at all levels to reimagine what policing looks like, to reimagine how interaction between police and individuals is, especially those who may have mental health issues and those in racialized communities. I think the moment is now for us to seize and make sure we address the systemic issues that have led to these devastating results. I hope that we will be able to work collaboratively to advance these issues in the months to come.
Support for Canadians with disabilities is something our government has been trying to do from the beginning. There have been a number of measures we have put in to support all Canadians, and I will speak to that at the end. However, with respect to this legislation, it will directly assist people with disabilities with a non-reportable payment of $600 to all eligible individuals who receive the disability tax credit.
We have worked hard since the start of this pandemic to provide support for vulnerable Canadians and to ensure that the response plan leaves no one behind. We need to make sure that Canadians with disabilities who are facing additional costs related to the pandemic get the support they need. This payment would also flow to those who are eligible for other disability benefits or supports, such as the Canada pension plan disability benefits, the Quebec pension plan disability benefits or one of the disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. This would benefit approximately 1.7 million Canadians with disabilities who are facing additional expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the 2017 Canadian survey on disability, 22% of Canadians aged 15 and over identify as having a disability. The rate goes up with age, with 38% of Canadians over 65 and 47% of Canadians over 75. We know that among working-age Canadians with disabilities, more than 1.5 million, or 41%, are unemployed or out of the labour market entirely. Among those with severe disabilities, the rate increases to over 60%.
These Canadians face challenges each and every day, and they do it with determination. They deserve the support of their government. Our government has worked closely with the disability community during this time of crisis, including the COVID-19 disability advisory group, which is advising the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. The group has shared details about the lived experiences of persons with disabilities during the pandemic, along with disability-specific issues, systemic gaps and potential responses. Our government will continue to work hard to increase accessibility and remove barriers, and it remains committed to a disability-inclusive pandemic response and recovery.
I want to take a minute to acknowledge some of the incredible organizations in Scarborough that have been working to address and support people with disabilities during this pandemic. I want to start by thanking the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre, which does magnificent work with young people with autism who are on the spectrum. The Wellspring Centre, which I was able to visit last week, is a respite care facility that just reopened. I was able to meet with its team and some of its clients. It is a relatively new organization, but one that is very promising and that will really support a lot of people with disabilities.
Community Living is another one. Many of us in Parliament have very important Community Living locations in our ridings. There are several in my riding, and I am always awed by the work they do and the level of commitment their staff and volunteers have in supporting those with disabilities. TAIBU Community Health Centre is located in Scarborough North, adjacent to my riding. It is the only black-focused community health centre in North America. They do some great work, especially supporting those with sickle cell disease and other issues related to the black community, and I want to thank them for their work.
The next aspect of my discussion today is about broadening the Canada emergency wage subsidy. It is now one of the pillars of the government's COVID-19 economic response plan. The Canada emergency wage subsidy was introduced to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to quickly rehire workers previously laid off because of COVID-19, and help better position the Canadian economy as we transition into the post-pandemic recovery.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy can continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to rehire workers previously laid off. We are already seeing lower unemployment numbers because people are being rehired. It offers more flexibility to employers so that a large number of them can benefit from this subsidy. Employers of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy may be eligible.
Since we launched this program this spring, about three million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the Canada emergency wage subsidy, and that number continues to grow. To help support these Canadians, our bill would redesign the Canada emergency wage subsidy and tailor it to the needs of more businesses. This bill would extend the program to the end of 2020, with the intent of providing further support until the end of the year.
The wage subsidy would be made more accessible by making the base subsidy available to all eligible employees who are experiencing any decline in revenues. This would allow businesses, small and large, that have been struggling throughout this pandemic to get access to the support for the first time and help more Canadian workers get support as a result. This would remove any barriers to growth for firms currently using the Canada emergency wage subsidy program. By removing the threshold for support, they will know that they have support as they work to grow, invest and rehire workers.
Our government is also proposing to introduce a top-up subsidy for eligible employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The redesigned wage subsidy would help position employers and workers for a strong rebound in the post-pandemic recovery.
I want to talk about this program in relation to my experience in the 2008 financial crisis. At that time, I had opened a law firm a couple of years earlier. I had about a dozen staff, and one of the toughest things I had to do at that time, because the economy was contracting, was to lay off staff. I lost a couple of really good people whom I was never able to get back.
From my experience, making sure that companies are supported in keeping their staffing levels is critical to the long-term viability of our economy. It is so important that Canadians be able to continue to work and receive a paycheque, because, ultimately, that is the best form of support any government could give. I am very pleased to say that this program has helped dozens of organizations in my riding and, I am sure, across many of my colleagues' ridings as well.
This is just part of our overall response to COVID-19. Here I want to say a thing or two about the restart program. I know that the city councillor in ward 25, Dr. Jennifer McKelvie, John Tory, the mayor of the City of Toronto, and others have been speaking to us over the last several weeks about their challenges with the city budget and that the $19 billion the federal government is giving to the provinces will inevitably support them with their restart. I really want to thank them for their advocacy.
The other programs we have, as we know, are the Canada emergency response benefit, the Canada emergency student benefit, the GST rebate back in April, the OAS and GIS top-ups, as well as the Canada emergency business account. These are all supports that we have given individual Canadians to make sure they can sustain the financial challenges they have incurred over the past four months.
I want to conclude by thanking all of those who have been working on the front lines, who have been heroic in their efforts. They never set out to be heroes, but they are our Canadian heroes. I want to thank the Canadian Armed Forces for the work they did in my riding, the front-line workers at the hospitals and in all of the different areas, including trucking, cashiers at grocery stores and, of course, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the medical officer of health for the City of Toronto, for her tremendous leadership.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my good friend from Winnipeg North for his impassioned speech.
I want to talk about big cities. As a member representing part of the city of Toronto, I got a lot of feedback from the mayor, as well as local city councillors such as my counterpart Jennifer McKelvie, on the need for us to support cities with a safe restart. There is $19 billion that has been allocated, and we have an agreement with the provinces to invest in cities to make sure we have a safe restart. Can my friend tell us how this will impact his home province of Manitoba and what kind of direct supports the City of Winnipeg will be getting as a result of this agreement?
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Speaker, during the back-and-forth between the Conservative member and the Bloc member, there was a discussion about getting the projects at the ground level so that the communities and provinces could deal with those objectives and priorities. The interesting thing is that is exactly what the gas tax does, which we doubled in the last session of Parliament. Rather than doing one-off buildings of gazebos, creating fake lakes and having ribbon-cutting ceremonies, like the Conservatives used to do, we have decided to give the money from the gas tax right to the communities and provinces so they can decide what to do with it. Would the member agree the program does exactly that?
View Adam Vaughan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam Vaughan Profile
2020-01-28 15:43 [p.594]
Mr. Speaker, I am curious to hear the member opposite's response to this observation. The infrastructure program is not a program where the federal government picks and chooses priorities in different municipalities or provinces. Provinces open up the application process to municipalities, municipalities choose their priorities, the provinces sign off on them and then the funding flows. There are two components to that which are critically important.
One is that it is the cities that drive the priority setting, but provinces can actually play a role in that. In my home province of Ontario, the Ford government has gone out of its way not to approve anything. In fact, it has not opened up many of the files to get our dollars flowing. The second part of it, something the PBO corrected in the second report but not the first report, is that when a $20-million bridge is approved, we do not send a cheque for $20 million to the municipality. The municipality sends us the receipts and we cash out the project, which means the commitment is there, but the dollars do not flow until the project is built. Sometimes cities do not get them built as quickly as we would like, but, nonetheless, the dollars are still committed there for future governments.
Is the member aware of those two criteria and could the Conservatives assist us in making provincial premiers, particularly a few Conservative ones I could name, get the dollars flowing?
View Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2020-01-28 16:19 [p.599]
Mr. Speaker, I also congratulate my opposition colleague on his election.
We are definitely working with the provinces and territories. That is vital to the projects and investments we are undertaking. We are working with the Province of Quebec on municipal files such as Montreal's blue line, the Quebec City tramway, the Champlain Bridge and affordable housing, to name but a few. Of course it is very important. I have already had the chance to talk to my counterpart. In fact, I have many counterparts in Quebec, and I will continue to work with them.
View Adam Vaughan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam Vaughan Profile
2020-01-28 17:14 [p.608]
Mr. Speaker, one of the challenges we had in the first term was that when we put infrastructure dollars on the table, when we put infrastructure dollars at the front door of provincial parliaments, out the back door provincial cuts undermined the program. In particular, in Alberta, we had a significant problem with this, where we did not bind the government into spending levels with conditions. What we had was a government that simply used federal money to fund provincial programs and did not add to the mix. We are trying to increase infrastructure spending, not simply change who is funding it.
If the Auditor General comes back with a report saying that we have to bind provincial spending levels in order to have impact, would the member not agree that is a reasonable request, without setting priorities from the province of Quebec, to ensure we do not lose provincial dollars while we put federal dollars on the table so municipalities get the benefit of both programs instead of just one or the other?
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