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View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Madam Speaker, CEBA loans saved hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs across Canada during the pandemic, but recovery has been slow.
I received messages from two businesses in my riding: the Ginger Room hair salon, managed by Nicole Doyle, with eight employees; and the Fish Bowl Cafe, managed by Jessica Fetchko, with nine employees. At this time of hardship, one is struggling with lower sales and the other with higher costs. Both are extremely worried about their ability to pay back their CEBA loans and are having to choose between cutting staff hours and very high interest loans.
In response, the Liberals only extended the repayment deadline by 18 days. Why is this Liberal government so inflexible on this simple request, and why is it choosing to put the small businesses in my riding in danger at such a tough time for our communities?
On behalf of the many small businesses in my riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, I call on this Liberal government to extend the CEBA loan repayment deadline. There is still time to do the right thing.
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
2023-12-01 11:38 [p.19332]
Madam Speaker, the unemployment rate is on the rise in Quebec. In October it was at its highest since January 2022. It is not going to go down because the federal government is pushing tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses toward bankruptcy as of January 18.
By keeping the January 18 loan forgiveness repayment deadline for the Canada emergency business account, the government is putting hundreds of thousands of jobs in jeopardy in the middle of the holiday period.
Why does this government simply not reassure the workers that they will not be unemployed after the holidays?
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, let us be clear.
Plan A: the business owner has the money, repays the CEBA and gets some loan forgiveness.
Plan B: the business owner has the capacity to take out a loan, repays the CEBA and gets some loan forgiveness.
Plan C: the business owner does not have the capacity to take out a loan, stays with us for another three years and has to pay the minimum, which is 5% interest, or $250 a month at most.
That is not going to bankrupt anyone.
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
2023-12-01 13:15 [p.19349]
Madam Speaker, the Conservatives want to debate a report about food security within the federation that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts studied almost two years ago. The Conservatives' intentions are probably questionable, but unlike the members who like to play partisan games and the Canadian parties who can only argue with one another, I am quite happy to talk about food security. Even though this report was completed almost two years ago, it is still a very topical issue.
Indeed, for a supposedly self-respecting G7 country, Canada and Quebec still have major problems with food security.
Unsurprisingly, the report highlighted shortcomings regarding one fundamental duty of any self-respecting country: making sure its citizens do not go hungry. It is not a coincidence that Maslow's hierarchy of needs puts food at the bottom of the pyramid. I know that my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou will be very happy to hear me mention Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
It is also not a coincidence that many a monarchy in the not-so-distant past has been toppled by food riots. It is not that we want to preserve Canada's monarchy, but food security comes first.
Let us consider what this report tells us and, above all, what it says about the Liberal way of governing. Let us take a look at the Auditor General's findings.
First, in 2009, the government designated food as a critical infrastructure sector. That was written down back in 2009. However, the Auditor General noted:
...the government had not developed a national emergency preparedness and response plan that considered a crisis affecting the entire food system and Canadians' food security.
The pandemic struck in 2020. In 2009, food security was identified as a critically important issue. Eleven years on, the government still had no plan and still had done nothing to prepare for a crisis.
Second, the Auditor General noted:
...although gender-based analysis plus and sustainable development were considered during the design of each program, the responsible departments and agencies could not always measure gender and diversity outcomes, and the programs' contributions to sustainable development were not always clear.
How is that for another surprise? We can tell what really matters to the government in a crisis. Clearly, it is not sustainable development, women, visible minorities or gender minorities. Wow, just wow.
Third, the Auditor General noted the following:
...the responsible departments and agencies had many oversight controls in place for the delivery of the emergency food programs and monitored that the funding was spent as directed. However, [the Auditor General] also found some inconsistencies in program design, which led to unfair treatment of applicants and recipients across regions.
I will come back to that.
When the pandemic hit, the government decided to take action on food security. We were in crisis. With that in mind, the government created an emergency fund with various programs to address food security across the country. Criteria were established for how that money would be spent, especially for the organizations receiving it. Not surprisingly, some organizations did not meet the criteria, but they received government money anyway. Why is that? It is because we were in a crisis and money had to get out quickly, they said. However, that was not the real reason. The government is doing the same thing with Boeing.
Fourth, the Auditor General also noted the following:
...each of the programs helped to mitigate some effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic on elements of Canada's food system. However, because of shortcomings in how the responsible departments and agencies gathered information, they could not show that they had achieved results against all of the outcomes intended to reduce food insecurity or support the resilience of food processors in the agriculture and agri-food and the fish and seafood sectors.
Again, there was absolutely no follow-up mechanism to determine whether or not the organizations, some of which received hundreds of millions of dollars, had met their objectives. That is just great. It is truly fantastic.
Let us come back to food security and the organizations that were selected for these emergency funds. The organization that was supposed to cover the beautiful nation of Quebec did not meet the criteria. That was La tablée des chefs. The department invited organizations to submit a request for the funding that was available rather than opening a competition to all. Does that not remind members of what happened last week when we learned that there had been no open competition? Does that not ring a bell for anyone? It is funny, because it does for me. Again, I am thinking of Boeing.
The reason given by the department when I questioned it was that these are well-established and financially robust organizations with wide-ranging networks that cover the entire country. The first thing we see when opening the financial statements of that organization is that it received funds from the Canada emergency business account. Is that what we would call financially robust? I do not think so. What were the criteria for giving out hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funding? It is difficult to fathom. How can one organization receive emergency funding and, at the same time, take part in a program of such magnitude?
Again, no surprise there: it is all in a day's work for the Liberal government. When the Liberal government gives an untendered $9-billion contract, it claims that no decision has been made, that it is still unclear, but it still goes ahead. Once again, in a time of need or in a crisis, it brushes aside that which it considers to be unimportant. This time, it is Quebec's economy that is brushed aside to accommodate an American company, with no call for tenders, just as we see in this report.
As I mentioned earlier, food insecurity is always there, crisis after crisis. I do not know how long it will take for the government to realize that food security is an important issue. The pandemic might be behind us, but we are in an inflationary crisis. Looking at what the Auditor General wrote in her report in 2021, we can see that not much has changed, unfortunately.
Here is what the Auditor General said:
According to a May 2020 study by Statistics Canada [and we cannot argue with the numbers], food insecurity among Canadians rose during the COVID‑19 pandemic to 14.6% (almost 4.4 million people), up from 10.5% (almost 3.1 million people) according to a 2017–18 survey. The May 2020 study also noted that the level of food insecurity for households with children was even higher, at 19.2%, [or almost one in five households] and reached 28.4% for those absent from work because of business closures, layoffs, or personal circumstances as a result of the pandemic.
What are we seeing? The situation is basically the same right now. This year, when the cost of basic necessities skyrocketed, the Liberal government simply allowed normal market forces to prevail, without intervening with any tangible measures. Take, for example, the fact that grocery prices have increased by about 10%. As a result, one in five Canadians are eating smaller meals, and one in 10 Quebeckers are using food banks. Once again, this report was published in 2021 with data from 2020. It is now 2023, almost 2024, and as we approach the holiday season, we are still talking about food insecurity and food banks. One in 10 Quebeckers are using food banks.
Four years later, having made zero investments in this area, the government may want to think about continuing to reflect, move forward and act. In 2019, the Liberals pledged to introduce a national school food program. Those were promises. There have been crises, yet we still have nothing, four years later. There is no national food program making sure children can go to school with full bellies so they can learn. The only thing we ask of them is to go to school. Kids are going to school hungry, and that is unacceptable in any self-respecting country.
While children go to school hungry, their parents wonder how they will pay the next grocery bill, and food insecurity is on the rise in Canada, what are we learning? We are learning that this government is still taking its time setting federal standards that ignore all special local circumstances and that, after years of delays, it is still unable to ensure its citizens have a modicum of food security in the event of a disaster. The Liberals have not even considered including first nations in their approach, when it is obvious that isolated communities will be the first victims of a major disruption in the food supply.
How many more crises will it take before this government finally starts planning for the future?
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
Madam Speaker, I would like my colleague to elaborate on how this situation will affect our farmers. Are we doing enough for our farmers from a public accounts perspective?
It is easy to look at other countries. Indeed, inputs are a major issue. This has changed in the past two years. My colleague reminded us that this report was produced two years ago. Are we doing enough for our farmers? I am thinking in particular of those who applied for CEBA loans. Could the government not have waited one more farming season?
I would like my colleague to elaborate on that.
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
2023-12-01 13:28 [p.19351]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue for that brilliant question.
Indeed, we are not doing enough for our friends in the agriculture sector. We know that the sector has gone through a lot. Obviously, we talked about inputs costs. We talk about climate change, which has had a serious impact on crops. There is also the Canada emergency business account.
The Union des producteurs agricoles, a very important player, was among the first in the sector to note that the CEBA loan forgiveness repayment deadline needed to be extended by at least a year to help the agricultural sector, which is especially hard hit. That is what we want and what we are asking for.
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
View Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné Profile
2023-11-30 15:18 [p.19278]
Mr. Speaker, let us be serious. To offer $9 billion to Boeing without an open competition is to abandon our aerospace industry. The Liberals are abandoning our primary export sector.
It was not enough for them to abandon our major corporations. Last week, there was nothing in the economic statement to help SMEs that are on the verge of bankruptcy if the CEBA repayment is not deferred. They are also abandoning our local businesses. That is the Liberal record over the past two weeks. They are hurting Quebec's businesses, large and small.
How can we not conclude that they are hurting Quebec's economy?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2023-11-30 15:19 [p.19278]
Mr. Speaker, benefiting Quebec's economy and the aerospace sector across Canada is precisely one of the objectives of this morning's announcement. That is why we are moving forward over the next few months with the procurement announced today, which will be good for 3,000 jobs, or 3,000 workers, over the coming years.
The spinoffs in Canada, including in Quebec, will be roughly $400 million a year, which will help even more of our workers in the aerospace sector in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.
View Richard Cannings Profile
Madam Speaker, one of the big disappointments from last week's fall economic statement was the lack of action on extending the loan repayment deadline for the Canada emergency business account program.
CEBA loans saved hundreds of thousands of businesses across Canada and millions of jobs during the pandemic, but recovery has been slow, particularly in sectors such as tourism. The deadline to repay CEBA loans was extended from the end of 2022 to the end of 2023, but there continue to be calls to extend it once more, to the end of 2024.
Last month, the provincial premiers from across the country called on the government to make that extension. Chambers of commerce, including those in my riding, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business asked for an extension. The NDP and Bloc Québécois have both asked for an extension. Sadly, both the Liberals and Conservatives in this place have ignored those calls and remained silent. Eventually, the government extended the repayment deadline by 18 days. That time will only allow businesses to secure additional loans and take on more debt.
I recently met with Anette and Jörg in my riding. They own one of the oldest craft distilleries in the country. They have been in business for years. As many of the small businesses in my riding do, they depend on the tourism industry to be successful, so the CEBA loan program literally kept their business alive during the pandemic. They were on schedule to pay back their CEBA loan until this summer, when wildfires in the interior of B.C. drove the provincial government to close the region to tourism. It was not just that visitors did not want to come to a region that was on fire; they were literally told they could not come. August, one of the two big months for tourism-related business, was a complete writeoff.
I also heard from Conrad, who has a family-owned and operated fashion store in Osoyoos. The CEBA loan made the difference in getting his business through COVID. Conrad's business is almost entirely dependent on tourism, and it was also impacted by the wildfires this summer. He did not even get to the break-even point this year, and he cannot pay back the CEBA loan or even buy new stock for next year.
The wine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Okanagan Valley. It was hard hit last winter, with an unusually hard and early frost that damaged many vines and even killed vines in some vineyards. Therefore, harvest was cut in half this year, and that impact will be felt next year and years after that when the wine matures. On top of that, most of the 300 or so wineries in the region were also hit by the lack of tourism in August because of wildfires. I had dinner last week with wine industry leaders and learned that many wineries are considering closing or selling right now, because they cannot make ends meet. Some have already closed.
The B.C. Craft Brewers Guild reported yesterday that 15% of their members face bankruptcy if the CEBA loan repayment period is not extended. They are impacted not only by the downturn in tourism but also by the inflation that has driven up the cost of everything that goes into their craft beers.
Small businesses across Canada are in crisis. We need to support them by extending the CEBA loan repayment deadline. It is not too late.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2023-11-29 19:45 [p.19248]
Madam Speaker, what I would like to do is reinforce exactly what the minister said to the member not that long ago with respect to the CEBA loan deadline:
That is why we are offering additional flexibilities for small businesses to repay their CEBA loans. This includes a full one-year extension on the term loan repayment deadline, more flexibility on refinancing and more time to access loan forgiveness, which is both balanced and fiscally responsible....
We know times are tough, which is why our government is also cutting taxes for growing small businesses and lowering their credit card fees by up to a quarter. We will continue to listen to small businesses, and we will be there for all Canadians.
If I may, I would like to pick up on the issue of continuing to be there for small businesses, because I think it is important to recognize that the government, over the last number of years, even prepandemic, was there to support small businesses in different ways. One that stands out to me offhand is the small business tax reduction that was given, a substantial tax reduction in order to support small businesses. When we went into the pandemic, what we saw in a very real and tangible way was direct financial support put into the tills of small businesses and into the pockets of small business owners. We saw that in different forms, whether indirectly through wage subsidies for workers, or through rent support or the small business loans. We are talking about billions of dollars. We made it very clear at the beginning of the pandemic that the government would be there to support small businesses, because we recognize the valuable role they play in modern society here in Canada. They are the backbone of our economy, and the potential is absolutely overwhelming. That is why, from giving the tax break and the supports during the pandemic to being able to extend where we can in a fiscally responsible fashion, we are doing that.
I have had the opportunity to visit many small businesses, and one thing I am happy to see is the many programs we put into place to assist them. I constantly get reminded how the government supports have been there and have allowed a business, or even a community non-profit group, to be able to survive; it is because the government was there to have its back.
Nothing has really changed. We will continue to be there to support small businesses today and into the future. One needs to look at the fall economic statement, and there are a number of things we can do, whether directly or indirectly. I often say that one of the best things we can do indirectly is to ensure that there is disposable income for Canadians. We do that through different forms of rebates, such as the GST rebate, or through the enhancement of social programs to ensure that seniors or people with a disability have more disposable income. All of that indirectly allows people to support small businesses. In fact, on a personal note, I am sending out my next householder, encouraging people to get out there and use the small businesses in our community. I think we all have an important role.
View Richard Cannings Profile
Madam Speaker, I recently asked the Parliamentary Budget Officer to calculate the cost or benefit to Canada of a one-year extension to the CEBA loan deadline. I knew there would be a financial cost for the government to carry $40 billion in loans for another year. The PBO said that it would be close to a billion dollars, but I also know that many businesses will go under if they do not get the extension. A recent CFIB survey found that 28% of businesses strongly question whether they could remain in business if they lose the forgivable portion of the CEBA loan. If those businesses go bankrupt, the government could lose over $10 billion in loans it cannot recover. Unfortunately, the PBO told me he could not use the CFIB data and could not find any other data to calculate that loss. However, even if only 10% of businesses go under, we would lose over $4 billion in unpaid loans. More importantly, we would lose tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2023-11-29 19:50 [p.19249]
Madam Speaker, I am personally very sympathetic to small businesses, which in many ways are the backbone of the Canadian economy. I have more than one family member very much engaged in small business. I believe my youngest brother had a CEBA loan, though I am not 100% sure of that. I understand how important those loans are.
I can assure the member that had the government not stepped up when it did, there would have been a huge number of bankruptcies. There would have been a lot more unemployment. It would have been so much more difficult for us to recover coming out of the pandemic. I say that only because I truly believe that as a government, we have been supporting small businesses.
The government has some limitations, and that is the reason the minister continues to work closely with our—
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2023-11-23 16:41 [p.18945]
Madam Speaker, I am always happy to see you. I like speaking when you are in the Chair. I know you are eagerly awaiting my speech, but I know you are even more eagerly awaiting that of the colleague with whom I am sharing my time, the member for Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot, a man so very cultivated that his riding is zoned for agriculture.
I feel like repeating that we are faced with closure yet again. They are reducing our debate time and bypassing the process. They are taking time away from the Standing Committee on Finance for a bill that we feel is important.
The argument the government gives for working this way is this. It says that housing is so important that we need to ram this through by bypassing parliamentary processes and that the Competition Act reform is so important that we need to ram it through before Christmas by bypassing parliamentary processes.
I am not very satisfied with that type of logic for the following reason. There have been problems with the Canadian competition regime for years. In the early 1980s, we had 13 big box stores in Canada. Geographically speaking, Canada is a rather large country. We allowed mergers and acquisitions to occur at the expense of consumers to the point where the minister can now sit down with the entire grocery market around a coffee table in his office one morning. The government let that happen. The Liberals and Conservatives let that happen. We have had alternating Liberal and Conservative governments, and this has never been urgent until now. It was never urgent until the Liberals' pre-session caucus meeting where an argument broke out and then, all of a sudden, they had to move quickly. All of a sudden, this is so urgent that every parliamentarian who is not a Liberal is having their rights violated.
Housing and the GST on housing are so urgent that they have to be rammed through under a gag order. Where did this measure come from? I am not saying it is a bad measure. I am not saying that it will not help increase the supply of housing.
What I can say is that the Liberals had a caucus meeting prior to the parliamentary session. They were down in the polls, they panicked and they had to do something about housing. They came up with the GST measure, but were not even able to include the parameters of a major change to the tax laws in the bill. Now here they are introducing a very flawed bill that will give the government disproportionate regulatory power. Now they are telling us that it has to be passed quickly.
However, they had not thought about it before. This is the government's new way of skirting democratic debate: gag orders.
Today, when we ask questions about the administration of the Canada Revenue Agency's programs, we are told that the CRA is independent.
Now there are new bills where we are given only a framework and everything else is set by regulation. The Liberals had promised help for the disabled. They finally introduced a bill with a framework, but it does not include a penny for the disabled and its parameters are unknown to us.
That is why I have to say that, once again, the Liberal government is disrespecting parliamentarians. I believe in parliamentary work. I disagree with lots of people in the House, but I recognize that they take the time to look at the issues, read the bills, propose amendments, rise in the House and express their views on bills. I think those parliamentarians should have the right to speak. Now the Liberals are talking about the cost of living. They say we have to bypass the whole process because of the cost of living.
The economic statement contained no immediate social housing measures. That is what Quebec wanted. We have permanent programs to build low-income housing and housing co-ops. The federal government has been stalling on handing money over to Quebec for years. The Bloc Québécois had to push to get the last $900 million we were owed. There is virtually nothing in the latest economic statement that acknowledges the urgency of the situation.
Take the cost of living, for one. Now that there are only five major grocery chains left, we have to hustle for legislation they took decades to introduce. On housing, not only is there nothing in the statement, but, to make things worse, they are complicating matters with Quebec by creating the department of interference in Quebec's municipal affairs.
It is a bad idea. Pierre Elliott Trudeau's government tried it back in the day and gave up. That government had no luck doing anything with it. Now it is the son's turn. Repeating a mistake twice is never a sign of common sense. It must be an intergenerational thing.
Small and medium-sized businesses and chambers of commerce in my riding are asking that we give our businesses more time to repay their Canada emergency business account loans. What is this government's contemptuous response? It says that the federal government provided $8 out of $10 of assistance during the pandemic and that it has helped businesses tremendously. However, it did so with our tax dollars, and piled up a debt that our children will have to pay interest on. This is not money that the federal government conjured out of thin air. It is money that the federal government borrowed at the expense of future generations. True, we collectively took the risk. However, the government is telling us that since it helped businesses during the first phase of the crisis, it has the moral right to abandon them during the second.
Now the government is talking to us about competition. When people in my riding go out shopping, how many small businesses, suppliers and shops will be closed? How many fewer stores will people have to choose from? What effect will this have on consumer choice and prices in rural areas, where often the only place people can buy many products is from a small business? Despite all that, the government is doing absolutely nothing.
Earlier, I had a phone conversation with a produce grower in my riding. He called to tell me that he had a bad season, that it was terrible. I see Conservative MPs looking at me and they know that what I am saying is true. We all get these calls. People are asking us when the government is going to pay out emergency support to get them through the year. The government's answer is that it will not do anything. It will not offer them any emergency assistance to make up for the worst season they have ever had. How will consumers be affected when produce markets close? In the world of fruit and vegetables, we need produce growers to provide us with local, environmentally friendly products that are grown nearby, that are homegrown and that revitalize our rural areas and regions. The government is doing absolutely nothing about that.
I understand that the NDP wanted to shut down the debate. I do not know what they got in return, but I am very curious. Everyone in the parliamentary precinct is dying to know what the NDP is getting in return for shutting down the debate. Everyone wants to know how the movie ends. I cannot wait to find out. I do not know what the NDP got but I think it was probably pretty costly for the Liberals, although the NDP did not get anything in the economic update. What we want are measures for the middle class. We want measures for our farmers, for our businesses and for housing, but there are no such measures.
Now, on the substance of the bill, it is a good bill. We have been saying for years that this kind of legislation should be introduced, specifically regarding competition.
In Canada, our competition regime is archaic on every level. It is not that the commissioner of competition does not want to do his job. The Competition Bureau employs competent people, but there are fundamental flaws in their mandate. Among other things, mergers and acquisitions are allowed based on efficiency gains alone. In Canada, when two businesses merge, no one asks whether the cost reduction and efficiency gain will allow them to be more competitive with the others and in turn lower the price consumers pay. They only ask whether they are able to be more efficient and to hell with the consumer.
I do not have enough time to get into the details of the bill, but I can say that it will change this particular situation. It will also prohibit other anti-competitive practices. In Canada, it is prohibited to directly come to an agreement with a competitor to reduce competition, but getting the dirty work done by another is allowed. For example, a business has the right to tell the shopping centre it is renting space from that it cannot rent space to another grocer or another hardware store. They get others to do the dirty work.
This bill contains a number of good things. They include the government giving the Competition Bureau more power to conduct investigations, obtain documents and compel witnesses to testify. That will be a good thing.
I will conclude my speech by saying that a bank merger is coming. HSBC is being acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada, or RBC. This file is on the Minister of Finance's desk, and the Competition Bureau only looked into the efficiencies that would be generated by the transaction.
If the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is at all committed to his principles, he will require that the Minister of Finance wait for this legislation to be passed and for the Competition Bureau to conduct a new analysis before authorizing this transaction.
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
Madam Speaker, I think it is important to also raise the issue, since we are talking about affordability, of the Canada emergency business account. For months, New Democrats have been calling for a year-long extension so that small businesses have the time to repay their loan. However, the 18-day extension announced by this Liberal government is a cruel joke.
I have just heard from small businesses in my riding, and I am proud to stand in this place and defend their interests to make sure that they can continue serving. I got an email from a business representative in my riding that says, “Our data shows that only 49% of businesses are back to prepandemic sales, and our last media release indicated that business start-ups are at a historical low and 20%, one out of five, will be out of business by next year if that CEBA loan is not extended until the end of 2024.”
Given that we have been talking about affordability issues, I think we also need to address the shortcomings of the CEBA. On behalf of small businesses in my riding, I urge this Liberal government to listen to them. How does it make sense to let all of these small businesses fail when a one-year extension would be so meaningful?
To conclude, I think I have outlined all the reasons why the additions to Motion No. 30 are so important. I am glad to see, as a New Democrat at caucus, that all 25 of us have rolled up our sleeves, put in the work and offered some constructive amendments to the bill. We are looking forward to seeing it voted on, passed on to committee and making sure that we deliver that legislative fix to help Canadians get through the cost of living crisis and new rental housing start-ups.
With that, I welcome any questions or comments from my colleagues.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2023-11-23 18:32 [p.18961]
Madam Speaker, in regards to small businesses, the government has been very supportive of small businesses in Canada and continues to work with small businesses. I think that our record will clearly demonstrate that through the pandemic, prepandemic and to where we are today.
With regards to the legislation, my question to the member is with respect to the efficiency argument and how the legislation would actually ensure that there is a healthier sense of competition into the future by the amendments to the Competition Act, particularly with the Competition Bureau's ability and enhancing that ability, to ensure that Canadian consumers are taken into consideration far more than they currently are. Could the member give his thoughts on that issue?
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