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Results: 1 - 60 of 69
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-23 11:32 [p.1164]
Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals were busy handing a $237-million contract to yet another Liberal Party pal, former MP Frank Baylis, restaurants and bars in Quebec were closing because of COVID-19, and their situation is critical. One way to help them would be to provide access to rapid tests.
Why do businesses, restaurants and the provinces not yet have access to these tests when other countries have been using them for months?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-23 11:32 [p.1164]
Mr. Speaker, big countries around the world have been using rapid tests for weeks. We are no different from other countries. Why can we not get the tests?
I talked about restaurant operators and bars, but the aviation sector and travel agencies are also in survival mode right now. They too have been waiting for rapid tests for months.
When it comes to giving money to Liberal Party friends, it does not take long; just a couple of days and it is a done deal. Millions of dollars are being spent. However, when it comes to helping businesses, money to pay for rapid tests is not forthcoming.
Why?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-22 14:54 [p.1120]
Mr. Speaker, first there was the WE Charity scandal, then the $237-million contract given to former Liberal MP Frank Baylis to buy ventilators at double the price, and now there is a new scandal with partisan judicial appointments. The Liberals are up to the same shenanigans as they were with the sponsorship scandal.
Can the Minister of Justice guarantee that there has been no interference in the judicial appointment process, yes or no?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-21 14:50 [p.1032]
Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill asked the Prime Minister a very simple question: Did he or did he not consult Dr. Tam about holding an election during this second wave of the pandemic?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-21 14:51 [p.1032]
Mr. Speaker, we have a Prime Minister who wants to trigger an election and blame the opposition for it. This Prime Minister wants to cover up his scandals involving WE Charity, judicial appointments and money given to his Liberal cronies.
The question posed by the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Calgary Nose Hill is extremely simple: Did the Prime Minister ask Dr. Tam if we could call an election during the second wave of the pandemic, yes or no?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-19 12:22 [p.842]
Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to the important Bill C-7. We need to know its origins to understand why we are at this point today.
In 2016, working on Bill C-14 was a rather difficult exercise given that the Liberal government was intent on bulldozing it through. I believe that is the right expression, because the government refused all amendments proposed by the different opposition parties, including the Conservative Party, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois.
The government put pressure on the Senate by giving it a deadline. The Senate wanted to improve the bill before the House voted on it. What was the end result? In September 2019, the Superior Court pointed out that the bill passed by the House was not adequate, especially with respect to the issue of the foreseeability of the date of the person's death.
That is where we find ourselves today. We are in the House debating an extremely sensitive subject, but we have not had much time to consult the experts.
Everyone has a different perspective on the issue, whether they are members of the House or members of the public in Quebec or elsewhere in Canada.
I wrote a speech, but I have decided not to read it. Instead, I would like to share my own experience with my colleagues.
The vote on Bill C-14 was the hardest vote I cast in my first four years in Ottawa.
On the one hand, I had some constituents asking me to vote in favour of the bill, while others wanted me to make sure that the legislation would protect the most vulnerable and honour the conscientious objection rights of medical practitioners. On the other hand, I had constituents going through a very difficult time with a loved one who was suffering and could not access MAID.
I did not sleep well the night before the vote. I knew that no matter which position I took, whatever I said in the House could be interpreted by the media and by Canadians. Allow me to explain. Some members voted against Bill C-14, and I would imagine that others will vote against Bill C-7. Members voting against the bill are doing so not because they are against it, but because they do not think it goes far enough.
The opposite is also true. Some members voted in favour of Bill C-14 in 2016 because they wanted to make sure people got the bare minimum. No matter which side we took, we had to explain something extremely sensitive, and I do not think a simple yes or no could accomplish that.
I often ask myself, who am I to decide for someone else? As lawmakers, it is our duty to protect the most vulnerable, especially if we remove the criterion of reasonably foreseeable natural death for access to MAID. This is reflected in the questions that some members have been asking in the House. I am sure it reflects the opinion of many Canadians who wonder what would happen if a person wanted to give advance written consent in case their situation changed over time. There is much more to this debate, and I do not think we are done talking about it.
Madam Speaker, I forgot to tell you that I will be sharing my time with the member for Calgary Signal Hill.
I am very concerned about ensuring that this bill enables all Canadians, wherever they may live in this country, to have access to the appropriate resources to make the right decision for their situation. The current pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health care systems. I doubt all Canadians in rural areas have access to specialists who can guide them and give them the right information so that they can make a decision based on their circumstances.
I am also very concerned about minors and vulnerable people. During the study of Bill C-14 in 2016, I had the opportunity to hear the testimony of two witnesses who had suffered accidents and endured the most traumatic ordeals a human being can experience. They told me that, had they had access to MAID back then, they probably would not have been talking to me that day because they had been in such a dark place at the time.
I know people who were there for the final moments when someone who was suffering asked for MAID. I am certainly concerned about all that, and it makes me wonder what the best solution is. Is it because we do not have the necessary palliative care resources? Is it because both the federal and provincial governments and health care facilities are making poor decisions? I am wondering about that.
I must say, I feel like we are rushing the process today, because has been quite a while since the courts asked Parliament to modernize this legislation after what happened in Quebec. This is a government that shut down Parliament under the pretext of being in a pandemic, as though we could not do more than one thing at a time. There are 338 MPs. Committees could have continued to sit. We could have heard from experts who could have explained this issue to us properly so we could make the right decision, the best decision.
Again, this is something that will not be easy for many of us. We have differing opinions within our party and elsewhere. However, I would like to note that I am proud of my party for letting me vote freely. I want to thank my leader for allowing this, without any pressure from my organization. I hope that all political parties will offer this choice, because this is a vote of conscience, and it is challenging for us to represent our constituents, who do not all share the same opinion. We also have our own conscience. For some, this is a matter of religion or beliefs, which means we may not all see eye to eye on this file.
Personally, the thing I wrestle with the most is wondering who I am to decide what is best for someone who is suffering. I believe that is what will guide my decision on the day of the vote. I hope that I will be able to make the right decision and that all of us can then work with the government to put all the necessary resources in place to properly inform and educate the public, and provide everything we can to vulnerable people who are going through tough times with loved ones, so that they are adequately supported in making the best decision.
In closing, I hope that next time, we will have more time to talk about people who are not vulnerable, sick or about to die, but still want to express advance consent.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-19 12:34 [p.843]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and for the clarifications he provided.
I do think that some expertise will be required. This is a very big decision for patients and their loved ones. There is the whole issue of grieving, a whole process. Yes, it makes sense that the doctor would be a specialist in the individual's illness or disability. However, I wonder if everyone will have access to those resources during the decision-making process. The devil is in the details, as they say. This shows just how urgent it is to deal with the matter of medical assistance in dying and, in particular, Bill C-7.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-19 12:36 [p.844]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
At the end of my speech, I talked about reflecting on the notion of who am I to decide on behalf of someone else going through such a terrible ordeal. I had those discussions, that very debate, more than once with friends over dinner. Some of those friends were going through this situation with their mother or father, or a brother or sister. This is what is really giving me pause right now.
Ultimately, I should allow these individuals to have access to this resource. I am not sure “resource” is the right word; I should say, people should have this as one of their options.
I do want to ensure, however, that the government does everything it can to protect vulnerable people if the time ever comes in their life that they want to end it. It should not have to come to that, and that is what I am wrestling with at the moment.
Ultimately, I hope to be able to let go and vote in favour of this bill, as my colleague mentioned earlier, to let everyone decide for themselves.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-19 14:08 [p.857]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are great at preaching to others, but not so good at taking action themselves.
From the day he took office, the Prime Minister has done anything and everything to avoid talking about China. However, the threat is real. Whether it is about Huawei, the illegal detention of the two Michaels or the aggressive statement by the Chinese ambassador regarding people fleeing Hong Kong, the Prime Minister does nothing. Worse yet, he said he admired the Chinese dictatorship. It is not surprising, then, that the Prime Minister is using Canadians' money to support infrastructure projects in China instead of promoting projects here in Canada.
It is high time we took a stand. Backing down from China will only weaken Canada and our economy at this time of pandemic. Failing to deal with China sends a signal to the international community that Canada is weak and vulnerable. Canadians deserve better.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-19 14:57 [p.867]
Mr. Speaker, we have been waiting for the modernization of the Official Languages Act for over two years. For over two years, the government has been talking about studies, consultations and reports.
The organizations have done their homework and so has the Commissioner of Official Languages. In his 2018-19 report, he made 18 recommendations. How many of those recommendations were implemented? None.
Why is the minister refusing to give a timeline for the modernization of the Official Languages Act?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-06 14:58 [p.632]
Mr. Speaker, Canada has the highest unemployment rate and the highest per capita spending in the G7. Canada is the only major country in the world that does not have an economic recovery plan. Stores across the country are closing. Restaurant owners are at the end of their rope and businesses are having trouble finding workers. According to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, hundreds of businesses will not survive and tens of thousands of jobs are in jeopardy in Quebec.
When will the government table a real plan to manage these job losses in Quebec and across the country?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-01 14:50 [p.427]
Mr. Speaker, last week, I asked the minister when she planned to modernize the Official Languages Act.
For weeks, the Commissioner of Official Languages, the FCFA and every organization representing francophones in Canada have been asking the same question. I fully expect the minister to respond with yet more attacks against Conservatives, but the fact that she is ignoring all of these stakeholders is highly disrespectful to them. I am giving her a second chance.
When will she introduce a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-10-01 14:52 [p.427]
Mr. Speaker, the Official Languages Act was rewritten by the Mulroney government. It was under the former Conservative government that historic investments of $2.2 billion were made. The former commissioner of official languages confirmed that the situation improved during the decade that the Conservatives were in office. The Liberals have been in power for five years and have done nothing tangible, as we see in the most recent report from the Commissioner of Official Languages, which was tabled this week.
We are sick of the rhetoric. We want to know when the minister is going to introduce the bill on modernizing the Official Languages Act.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-09-30 14:51 [p.341]
Mr. Speaker, this is a very difficult time for the economies of Quebec and Canada. Small businesses are struggling to find workers. Farmers are desperately looking for ways to save their crops, and dairy producers are still waiting for the compensation they were promised. What have the Liberals been doing? They have been meeting with Chinese agricultural investors behind closed doors to try and accommodate them. While the Liberals are helping Chinese investors, our farmers and small businesses are still waiting for the compensation they were promised.
Why?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like some clarification. We saw many members turn their cameras off during the vote. It seems to me that the rules are extremely clear, and I am sure that your staff, the IT people, can check on that. You have already pointed out this situation several times. One day, a vote might bring down the government. There are important decisions to be made. It seems to me that the rules are extremely clear. I would like you to clarify the situation for us so that we can be sure to follow the rules we were given.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know whether the rule is going to be applied so as to cancel the votes of those whose cameras did not stay on from beginning to end, or is this simply a request.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, that is my request, Mr. Speaker.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-09-28 15:00 [p.183]
Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has spent more than any other country in the G7 and has the highest unemployment rate.
Meanwhile, in the midst of our economic recovery, small businesses in Quebec keep looking for workers but are unable to find them. This means that even with the billions of dollars of deficit off-loaded to our children, the Liberal government's measures are not working. What is worse, it did not present any kind of economic recovery plan in the throne speech.
Can the Prime Minister tell us when he will present a real economic recovery plan to everyone?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-09-25 11:41 [p.120]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has literally wrapped itself in a fine speech, but concretely it has done nothing for francophones. That is not surprising, given that it gave a $1-billion contract to WE Charity, a unilingual anglophone organization. This not complicated. The one thing everyone is waiting for is the modernization of the Official Languages Act.
Can the Minister of Official Languages tell us when she plans to finally introduce legislation, as called for by all the organizations that advocate for francophones across the country?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-09-25 11:41 [p.121]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the minister that the reality is that the Liberals have been in power for five years, and nothing has been done. A few weeks ago, the Liberal government and the minister awarded a sole-source contract to Liberal cronies at WE Charity. Everyone here knows, and this has been documented, that this charity is not able to operate in French. This is a tangible issue that should have been addressed. This is about the WE Charity scandal, which the government is trying to cover up.
I repeat: When will the minister introduce a bill so that all organizations—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-08-12 12:56 [p.2753]
Mr. Speaker, did the Prime Minister, any minister in the Liberal government or any of their staffers know that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a Crown corporation mandated to manage the emergency commercial rent assistance program, ultimately decided to outsource the file to MCAP, a mortgage lender, yes or no? Was anyone in this government aware of that?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-08-12 12:57 [p.2753]
Mr. Speaker, I am holding in my hand a press release from the Prime Minister's Office dated April 24. It states, and I quote, “The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation [the CMHC] will administer and deliver the CECRA”.
How is it that the CMHC, which was mandated by the government to manage a program worth several billion dollars, decided to outsource it at a cost of $84 million to MCAP, the vice-president of which just happens to be married to the PMO's chief of staff, the most powerful person in that office?
Did anyone in this Liberal government know that the file was going to be outsourced to that organization with close ties to the Prime Minister's chief of staff?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-08-12 12:59 [p.2753]
Mr. Speaker, in this cabinet there are 11 Quebec ministers as well as other francophones: the Minister of Official Languages, the President of the Treasury Board, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and political lieutenant for Quebec, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of National Revenue, not to mention the Prime Minister, who is a Quebecker.
Why did not one of these people rise and state that it is unacceptable to award a contract without a bidding process to an organization that only works in English? It is unacceptable to all Quebeckers and francophones across the country. Did even one of these ministers rise to say that awarding a contract to the Prime Minister's friends was ill-advised?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-08-12 13:01 [p.2754]
Mr. Speaker, we are starting to see the pattern. The government awards a contract to an organization, which then subcontracts to friends of the government. I think all of the links are clear.
Here is a very simple question for the Prime Minister. Could he tell us whether WE Charity has repaid the $30 million? Is there anyone in this government, whether it is the clerk of the Treasury Board, one of the ministers responsible or the Prime Minister, who can tell us whether this $30 million, which belongs to the people of Canada, will be returned to the government's coffers? Yes or no?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-06-17 15:19 [p.2491]
Madam Chair, today we are in the House for a relatively short amount of time since we have only four hours to talk about the government's $87 billion in spending.
Before getting into the questions I have for the government, I thought I would crunch some numbers. We are going to spend four hours discussing $87 billion. That represents $362.5 million a minute or roughly $6 million a second. That is how much time we have to talk about the Prime Minister's announcements and all the questions on the minds of Canadians, businesses, organizations and all parliamentarians across the country. I am sure the Liberals across the way get asked the same questions by constituents. Unfortunately, they are unable to provide any answers.
Earlier today, during the sitting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, I asked the Minister of Finance some questions on the economic update, or economic snapshot, as the Prime Minister calls it. Apparently the Canadian Parliament is incapable of doing as other countries or provinces have done and present a real economic update or a budget so that we can see where we stand after all of the announcements that have been made in the past three months.
In what little time we have every day to ask questions, we cannot even get basic information, such as the amount of the deficit or the debt, or the amount associated with a government announcement. I think that this shows a lack of respect for the parliamentarians here in this House and for Canadians who work hard to earn a living and support their families. Canadians pay taxes, which are used to provide services to the public and to those who are most vulnerable or in need.
Today I am relating the comments of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The Conservatives are not making any of this up. For weeks now, we have been asking for an economic update. We are going to vote supply without knowing any of the details. Actually, we just learned that we will get all the facts in a few weeks, on July 8, so we have a bit of time today to ask some questions.
Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that the Liberals' estimates are incomplete. The Prime Minister is talking about some really big numbers, in the billions of dollars, on the steps of his cottage instead of convening Parliament so we can debate the issues and legislation or ask questions. We are being left on our own to do our work as MPs in our ridings and help our constituents. The last three weeks have been extremely frustrating. We have received little information and we cannot meet with anyone in the halls of Parliament to get some help to do our work as MPs in our ridings. We do not have the opportunity to speak with the right people who might be able to get answers for our constituents and the businesses in need.
My first question is rather simple and I hope someone will be able to answer it. A month ago, following pressure from the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister stood on the steps of his cottage and announced that businesses that have just one employee or that pay themselves in dividends would finally have access to $40,000 in loans through the Canada emergency business account.
As much as we have gotten some answers during briefing calls, we still do not know when this information will be communicated to the financial institutions and credit unions so that businesses can receive that emergency assistance.
When will those $40,000 loans be available to businesses with just one employee or that pay themselves in dividends?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-06-17 15:25 [p.2492]
Madam Chair, unfortunately, my question was not answered.
Some businesses are trying to get the emergency loan. The Prime Minister announced it a month ago in front of his home. This information is still not available and is not found on any official site. There is not one financial institution that can provide answers to businesses that need this money today when provinces are fully reopening.
There is another question that I would like to ask the government. It is now mid-June. On April 22, there was a major announcement about helping students, and that if they wanted to volunteer to help the vulnerable dealing with COVID-19 they would receive up to $5,000 in grants. I checked the website again this morning. There is no information about this.
When will the information be available?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-04-29 15:10 [p.2248]
Mr. Speaker, the question I am going to put to the minister comes from a woman in my riding.
We are often asked where we get our questions from. In this case, the manager of a fruit and vegetable store wrote to me on my Facebook page. After the government announcement concerning financial assistance, that is, the Canada emergency student benefit, she contacted a former employee, who is a student, to ask her if she wanted to return to work. This employee told her that she did not want to work more than fifteen hours a week because she wanted to be eligible for the new Canada emergency student benefit.
This woman asked me to ask the government how it intends to solve this problem. This is a problem that business owners, farmers and companies will have to deal with in the summer months. It is a major issue.
Therefore, I am passing on this question to the government. All MPs, whether Conservative, NDP, Bloc Québécois or Green, are receiving many questions from their constituents. I am certain that is the case for the Liberals as well.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-04-29 15:15 [p.2248]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to split my time with the member for Kenora.
Thank you for giving me a chance today to speak about this new measure, the Canada emergency student benefit. As a political lieutenant, I would like to state that this is an important measure that will help students across the country and across Quebec. Sadly, for various reasons, these students are also being affected by this pandemic, along with workers and seniors.
The government has announced this important measure, which will provide $1,250 a month to students affected by COVID-19. This bill shows the government's desire to also support young people who will be doing volunteer work to help people who are directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19. We look forward to getting the details in order to find out how this measure will be rolled out and how the number of hours will be determined. Checks will have to be done to prevent abuse. However, the government's intentions are clear. I also commend the idea of enhancing loans and grants for more vulnerable students who have a harder time making ends meet.
However, people are very concerned about the process of reopening the economy. Some people are downplaying the important role students will play in the labour force as we reopen the economy. During a press conference, I heard the Prime Minister answer a question from Philippe-Vincent Foisy about why he did not set up incentives like Quebec did to help and motivate young people to go out and find jobs instead of handing them cash directly. Some students might decide to stay home so they can collect the benefit.
The intent is there. We all want to help students and not pigeonhole them. We want to help them and all other Canadians. Earlier, I spoke to the minister about one of the dozens of cases that have been brought to my attention and to the attention of members of all political stripes. The owner of a fruit and vegetable store said that she had called a former student to ask her to come work, as she had every year. The student told her that she was able to come back, but not full time, as she had all of the other summers. This is a busy time for merchants. The student would be penalized because she would earn more than $1,000 a month. She would have made too much money to receive the $1,250 benefit. In some cases, these measures deter students, and we still have not received specifics from the government. What will be done? What will be the measures, the criteria and the oversight to ensure that students are not deterred from working?
I would like to draw my colleagues', Canadians' and Quebeckers' attention to what the Prime Minister told a journalist who asked why there were no incentives in the Canada emergency response benefit to encourage young people, and I would add adults to that as well, to join the labour force. The Prime Minister said that, after analyzing the situation, it was determined that, unfortunately, there are not enough jobs for all young people.
I did a fairly simple calculation and I would like to tell everyone here about a measure that the government could put in place fairly quickly that could help many young people earn money to pay for their university or CEGEP tuition, their books, their rent, and their groceries, or in other words, all of the basic necessities that every student has to pay for. I called my Conservative colleagues from Quebec, the nine other members who work with me, to talk about the following.
As part of its student employment program, the government decided to give subsidies of 100% rather than subsidies of 50% as it did in the past and to allow farm, business, NPO and municipal employers to apply for funding. Contrary to what the government is suggesting, the budget has not increased. It is the same budget. That means that, if jobs are subsidized at 100% rather than at 50%, then fewer jobs will be created.
I talked to all the Conservative Party members from Quebec so I could calculate the number of applications submitted by businesses and farmers in our ridings. The federal government's current summer jobs budget will not meet demand.
Quebec's 10 Conservative members alone reported 1,442 applications for existing summer jobs. Those applications were submitted by businesses, farmers and non-profits when the government was offering a 50% subsidy. Now the government is offering a 100% subsidy. I have a B.A. and a master's degree in administration and math education, so I applied the rule of three to that data to extrapolate the results for all 338 MPs here in the House.
According to my calculations, some 48,740 jobs will not be covered by the Canada summer jobs program. These are existing jobs for which employers have submitted applications, but they will get no help from the government even though these jobs would enable young people to work rather than collect the $1,250 CESB on top of income from part-time jobs. Also, students will steer clear of full-time minimum wage jobs because they do not pay enough.
Canada has 48,740 job openings for students. Officials told us that subsidizing each of those summer jobs would cost about $4,000, which adds up to $194,960,000, or a little less than $200 million.
Compare that to the $9-billion overall envelope the government is providing to help students through loans and bursaries, the Canada emergency student benefit and the service grant, if a paid service can still be considered volunteer work. The total amount of $194,960,000 represents roughly 2% of the government's total $9-billion aid package. That amount would allow the government to immediately meet the needs of businesses without having them compete with one another and would not require new programs to be created. What is more, students would be able to make a living and pay their bills while at school.
If the opposition parties could have worked proactively, that is the type of solution they would have proposed. I hope the government will seize this opportunity. It could increase this envelope without changing anything else. That way, roughly 50,000 students in Canada, in every single riding, could have a job instead of receiving the CERB, which could be used to help people who need it even more.
The Conservative Party is pleased to see that the government agreed to make changes to the bill to make it more acceptable, fairer and more equitable and to ensure businesses do not have to compete as much. It is rather impressive to see the number of emails, calls and comments on social media relaying to MPs the adverse effect of this measure on recruiting employees. That is the sense we are getting on this side of the House and we get the impression it is a bit ideological.
We are pleased that the government agreed to require that all applicants contact Employment and Social Development Canada to obtain information about available student jobs. We are pleased that the government agreed to our request for parliamentary review of the bill and the Canada emergency student benefit in order to find ways to mitigate the unintended disincentives to work that we are currently seeing. Finally, we are pleased that the government agreed to a deadline so that it cannot unilaterally extend this benefit through regulations. We are pleased to see that the Conservative Party's efforts have enhanced the bill to help students across the country.
I encourage the government to stop with the empty rhetoric. While it says that it wants to help everyone, the fact remains that this measure also has unintended consequences. Even though this measure is intended to help students, it will nevertheless hurt the economy if controls are not put in place. If the government were to demonstrate political goodwill, jobs could be quickly filled, just like that.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-04-29 15:26 [p.2250]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her excellent question.
The Conservative Party did indeed propose an amendment calling on the government to match students looking for work with employers in the agriculture and fishing sectors, specifically. I am thinking of Maritimers who are suffering the consequences of this decision, which many employers might not welcome.
I think this proposal just makes sense. I would like to point out that it aims to help students. We all want to help students. It would be wrong to suggest that any member from any political party does not support students.
In this recovery, we must work hard to help our economy. This is a public health crisis, yes, but we are also experiencing an economic crisis at the same time. Depending on the government's decisions, we will also face a public finance crisis in the future. It will be a huge challenge for the next government, which I hope is Conservative, to get our public finances back on track before the next crisis hits, whatever that may be.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-04-29 15:28 [p.2250]
Mr. Speaker, we have gotten a lot of questions.
My office alone has seven employees, including me. We are spending nearly 12 hours a week answering questions. Most other members are experiencing the same at their offices. We are getting these questions because even though the information is good, it unfortunately is not making it all the way to our ridings in a transparent way.
That is one of the big problems. We informed the government of this problem through officials. Although we get daily teleconference briefings at 4:30 p.m., we are not given any documentation that would enable us to answer questions afterwards. I should point out that on these briefing calls to assist all MPs, there is often no official or staffer from the Minister of Finance's office to answer questions about the key components of the government's assistance.
Naturally, the people who are really affected and who need the CERB and the CESB are happy to receive that assistance. There is a reason why we all passed this legislation here in the House.
However, there are some unintended consequences, which were quickly felt in the hard-hit business sector. It is no joke. Every day, in one of our ridings, a business or industry is shutting down. The money offered to help has not yet made it to them. Unfortunately a lot of people are unhappy, even though the government announced billions of dollars in support.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-12 14:22 [p.2015]
Mr. Speaker, major sports organizations like the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League are taking concrete measures to protect their athletes and fans against the coronavirus. American, Italian and Chinese authorities have implemented strong measures. The Government of Quebec has taken extraordinary measures, such as cancelling any gathering of more than 250 people. Unfortunately, here in Canada, we are still waiting for a plan to protect our border and manage large gatherings.
When will the government present a plan for both of these scenarios to comply with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-12 14:24 [p.2015]
Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the World Health Organisation has declared a global pandemic and has called on all countries to take concrete action in response to the situation. Aside from the border and large gatherings, the Prime Minister announced that it would be easier to access EI, but that does not help workers who lose their jobs as a direct result of the coronavirus. We are talking about thousands of Canadians and Quebeckers.
We would like to know when the government will announce concrete measures to support workers whose employers are directly affected by the coronavirus. The measures that were announced unfortunately do nothing for those individuals.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-11 14:35 [p.1930]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister burst out laughing at my simple but serious question, which I will now repeat.
What did the Prime Minister offer the leader of the Bloc Québécois to buy his vote and ensure that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner will not testify about the “Trudeau II Report”, a report that clearly shows the Prime Minister interfered in our justice system?
Here is what his House leader told me: If you want to know, invite them out for a beer.
If a person has to go for a beer in order to talk to the government about national issues, that is totally irresponsible.
What did he offer the leader of the Bloc Québécois in exchange for his vote?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-11 14:36 [p.1931]
Mr. Speaker, the only job the Bloc Québécois and the Prime Minister are trying to save is the Prime Minister's job.
There is a scathing report called the “Trudeau II Report”. The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner wants to appear and testify. All we want is to hear from the commissioner so he can answer questions on the report that found that this Prime Minister interfered in the justice system. This is not about jobs at SNC-Lavalin; this is about the Prime Minister's job.
What did he do to buy the Bloc Québécois's vote to keep the commissioner from coming to testify?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-10 14:51 [p.1888]
Mr. Speaker, given that today is budget day in Quebec, this is a good time to address the economic downturn. At the federal level, it is a free for all, with $50 million for Mastercard, $12 million for Loblaws so it can change its fridges, $5,000 for some coat hooks and $14,000 for a single television set. The Bloc Québécois supported that spending by voting with the government on the budget.
When will the Liberals and the Bloc stop cozying up at taxpayers' expense by accepting these completely outrageous expenditures?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-10 14:53 [p.1888]
Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberal leader invited the leader of the Bloc Québécois to a private meeting to discuss the upcoming budget. Imagine meeting with a leader who wants to separate from Canada and who voted against a motion to question the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner on his devastating report on the Prime Minister. The Bloc was in favour of preventing the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner from testifying about the Prime Minister.
What did the Prime Minister offer the Leader of the Bloc to buy his vote this time?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-03-09 14:41 [p.1802]
Mr. Speaker, many countries are starting to talk about COVID-19 as a global pandemic. As of today, the vast majority of developed countries have already implemented measures for travellers. Here in Canada, there are no restrictions on or monitoring of people entering the country.
My question is for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Does he intend to ban travellers from countries such as China, Iran or Italy from entering Canada?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-27 14:23 [p.1685]
Mr. Speaker, every time Canada has gone through a difficult situation in the past five years, our Prime Minister has shown no leadership. Look at his trip to the Aga Khan's island, his trip to India, SNC-Lavalin, the coronavirus, the CN strike, the energy projects in western Canada and now the rail blockades.
Running a country when things are going well is easy, but when there is adversity, it is much harder.
When will the Prime Minister show leadership and deal with the rail blockades once and for all?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-27 14:24 [p.1685]
Mr. Speaker, this is week four of the rail blockades, and no progress has been made. One day, the Prime Minister blames the Conservatives. The next, he blames Stephen Harper. It is the UN's fault, the provinces' fault, everyone's fault except the Prime Minister's. However, he has been in power for five years. The reality is that Canadians are fed up. They want a Prime Minister who shows leadership.
When will he be able to give us a date when all the railways will reopen?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-26 14:17 [p.1601]
Mr. Speaker, February 26 is Pink Shirt Day, which is why I am proudly wearing pink today. This important national day was launched in 2007, when a group of students decided to come to the defence of a boy who was being bullied for wearing pink.
Having worked in the education system myself, I am especially sensitive to this cause. Roughly one in four Canadian youths reported being bullied as often as twice a week. According to a UNICEF report, when it comes to bullying, Canada unfortunately ranks 21st out of 29 developed countries.
We still have a lot of work to do to improve the situation. That is why it is crucial that we continue to take action to raise awareness and prevent bullying. We must provide a safe environment for all our children, and in doing that we will be supporting the development of the decision-makers of tomorrow. After all, our beautiful young people are our future.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-26 14:38 [p.1605]
Mr. Speaker, we are on day 21 of this crisis. Canadians are fed up with the Prime Minister's lofty rhetoric.
Managing a country is serious business. It means making tough decisions. Our economy is being held hostage, and we have not seen any plans to get us out of this crisis. Business owners across the country are worried. Billions of dollars have been lost, and many workers have been laid off.
How long do we have to wait before the Prime Minister assumes his responsibilities and shows the slightest bit of leadership?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-20 14:24 [p.1325]
Mr. Speaker, this is the 15th day of the blockade. As we enter the third week, our Prime Minister is still not showing any leadership and has not come up with a plan.
François Legault and several other premiers have asked the Liberal Prime Minister for a deadline to end the impasse.
Does anyone in the government have the leadership sense to understand the urgent need for action? Can the Prime Minister show just a little leadership and give us a plan with a deadline?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-20 14:25 [p.1325]
Mr. Speaker, while this Prime Minister and his ministers are taking pictures, legs crossed, to post on Twitter, we have just learned that 5,300 employees in Ontario and Quebec are about to be laid off by Resolute Forest Products. This is in addition to the 1,500 layoffs at VIA Rail and CN, as well as many others across Canada in all our regions. We have 4,500 cars stuck on the rails, which represents $425 million worth of goods a day.
When will this Prime Minister stop ignoring all these alarm bells, show a modicum of leadership, and table a plan with a deadline?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-19 14:35 [p.1249]
Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of the rail blockade crisis, the Prime Minister has demonstrated a lack of leadership that is frustrating Canadians and Quebec Premier François Legault. Mr. Legault said that the federal Liberal government is losing control and that we are on the verge of having serious problems.
The Prime Minister does not seem to understand the urgent need to act.
Will he do his job, show a little leadership and tell us when he will table his plan with a time frame?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-18 14:49 [p.1160]
Mr. Speaker, 43 Canadians in Japan have contracted COVID-19, including three Quebeckers: Mr. and Mrs. Ménard and Mr. Bergeron.
In all three cases, and for other Canadians too, family members are extremely worried and are getting conflicting information. These people want to return to Canada as soon as possible. This is a serious situation, and people need clear, specific answers, but the problem is that the government is moving at a snail's pace.
Will the government finally tell us the plan for the 43 Canadians who have tested positive for the virus in Japan?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-18 14:50 [p.1160]
Mr. Speaker, other countries are bringing their citizens home, but our citizens are still there. A woman on another cruise ship, the MS Westerdam, has now tested positive for COVID-19. The ship docked today with 1,455 passengers on board. This could be an extremely problematic scenario because most of the passengers flew home not knowing they might constitute a risk.
Can the government tell us where the 271 Canadians are and their current health status?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-06 14:29 [p.1032]
Mr. Speaker, we have just learned that two Canadians contracted the coronavirus on a cruise ship with 3,700 passengers, including 251 Canadians, in Japan. Among them are Diane and Bernard Ménard, a Gatineau couple who are currently confined to their cabin. In their case, the problem is that her health could deteriorate since she has run out of medication for her diabetes. Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he has a plan to look after our Canadians who are in a vulnerable situation on that ship?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-05 14:37 [p.951]
Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the flight that was scheduled for this evening to bring Canadians home from China has been delayed, apparently because of the weather.
However, other airlines are landing in China right now, and we know that the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Jordan, Great Britain and Portugal have all managed to get their citizens out.
Can the Prime Minister tell us whether the real reason for this delay is Canada's strained relationship with the Chinese government, or was it really the weather?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-05 14:39 [p.951]
Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives were in power, these people would already be back in Canada.
The Chinese are trying to expand their influence throughout the world with their belt and road initiative. According to many experts, this initiative is another way for China to aggressively expand its global influence and to trap developing countries by not only making them financially dependent but also politically dependent on China.
Can the Prime Minister clarify the role of the Canadian government in promoting Canadian businesses in the belt and road initiative?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-04 14:31 [p.905]
It is no wonder, Mr. Speaker; his question was for the Minister of Transport.
Yesterday, the minister said that the 27 passengers aboard flight CZ311 had been contacted and that they posed no risk to the public. The problem is that this type of aircraft can hold 300 to 350 passengers. The 27 passengers she is talking about were those who were within three metres of the two people infected with the coronavirus.
At a time when the whole world is taking major precautions, how is it that the minister does not know where all the passengers are, what their current condition is and where the plane is located?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-02-03 14:30 [p.824]
Mr. Speaker, there are now four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Canada. We have learned that Canadians in China will be brought back to Canada and placed under quarantine. However, we asked many times what had been done for passengers on flight CZ311, on which the two first cases were detected. Unfortunately the government has yet to respond.
Can the Prime Minister tell us whether all passengers from flight CZ311 have been contacted? Do we know where they are? What is being done to make sure they do not have the coronavirus?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-31 11:12 [p.759]
Madam Speaker, on Sunday, over one hundred million North Americans will get together to watch the fabled Super Bowl. All eyes will be on the Chiefs and the 49ers as they battle for the Vince Lombardi trophy in Miami.
Like many Canadians and Quebeckers, I will be cheering on our local favourite, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. This 28-year-old Quebecker is a star guard for the Chiefs and will be playing a pivotal role in this match. Not only has he reached the top of a sport that has practically become a religion in the United States and North America, but he is also the first medical doctor in the history of the NFL to play in the Super Bowl.
Dr. Duvernay-Tardif, an exceptional student athlete, is inspiring an entire generation to pursue higher learning, follow their passion and embrace life with a steely determination. At six feet five inches and weighing 321 pounds, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also the friend everyone dreams of having. We wish him an excellent Super Bowl.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-31 11:23 [p.761]
Madam Speaker, in November the Liberal government created the department of middle class prosperity. When asked to define the middle class, the new minister said she did not really know and did not have any hard data. She said they are families that have a quality of life and can send their kids to play hockey or even have different activities.
Can the minister tell us if her definition of the middle class is as fuzzy as her definition of personal happiness?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-31 11:24 [p.761]
Madam Speaker, I will help my colleague across the way.
The middle class is the 81% of families who are paying more taxes since the Liberals came to power. They are the families who are fed up with paying too many taxes. They are the families who are trying to make ends meet, who are having financial difficulties. They are the families who are paying for the subsidies to Loblaws and Mastercard because of the ridiculous decisions of this government.
If the minister really wants to help the middle class, she can ask the Minister of Finance to stop spending money at the expense of Canadian families.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-30 14:40 [p.711]
Mr. Speaker, at the Conservative Party's request, the Standing Committee on Health held an emergency meeting yesterday evening to discuss the latest measures taken to protect Canadians from the coronavirus. Unfortunately, many of the Conservatives' questions remained unanswered. Nobody wants to be alarmist, but Canadians want answers.
Can the Prime Minister tell us when those Canadians will be back in Canada and whether they will be quarantined?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-29 15:05 [p.634]
Mr. Speaker, the number of cases of coronavirus is soaring in China and around the world. In Canada there are three confirmed cases, and several Canadians are currently under observation.
According to the experts, this crisis has greatly surpassed the SARS epidemic, and the WHO today convened the emergency committee.
Can the Prime minister tell us that he is certain that the situation is under control and that he is satisfied with his government's response to this crisis?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-28 14:32 [p.581]
Mr. Speaker, the coronavirus crisis is worsening. Several people are currently under observation. We also know that the virus is spreading more quickly than we thought and that the number of infected people has risen by 65%. We also know that the first two cases detected in Canada were on flight CZ311, which had more than one hundred passengers.
Does the government know the location of all passengers who were on that flight?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-28 14:34 [p.582]
Mr. Speaker, more than 168 Canadians are currently confined in quarantined areas in China. The United States, France, South Korea, Germany and Morocco have already confirmed that they would be bringing home their citizens.
Can the Prime Minister tell us what concrete action he has taken to protect our Canadians in China and to provide the appropriate consular services?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-01-27 14:35 [p.459]
Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned a few moments ago, we learned this morning that there is now a second case of coronavirus in Canada. People are increasingly worried, and the government must act swiftly.
Can the Prime Minister tell us what his plan is to protect Canadians from this new virus?
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