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View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 11:32 [p.29277]
Mr. Speaker, one of the main concerns the Conservatives have raised is that if we have a carbon price, it could prompt a carbon-intensive industry to move to jurisdictions with weaker environmental standards, eliminating Canadian jobs and potentially increasing global emissions. The government is trying to address this problem of carbon leakage with output-based rebates to industry that keeps its production here. Another approach to this problem would be carbon border adjustments, extending the carbon price to the carbon content of imports and rebating it on Canadian-made exports.
I would like to invite the parliamentary secretary to comment a bit further on the importance of maintaining a level playing field between Canada and countries that do not price emissions.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:23 [p.29336]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply and, like the rest of the independent caucus, will be voting yes.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:30 [p.29338]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation agrees to apply and will be voting in favour.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:32 [p.29339]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the election of our first government in Saskatchewan, agrees to apply and votes yes.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:39 [p.29341]
Mr. Speaker, the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which of course entails a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C. I appreciate that the government has done its due diligence and put in place safeguards to ensure those LNG tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C.
Could the Minister of Transport explain why he does not have confidence that those same safeguards could not be made to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same coastal waters?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-17 13:38 [p.29172]
Mr. Speaker, while this legislation has been making its way through Parliament to ban oil tankers on the north coast of B.C., the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which would entail a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C.
I congratulate the government for putting in place safeguards to ensure that liquefied natural gas tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C. However, I would ask the member for Burnaby North—Seymour this. Why does he not believe those safeguards that would be adequate for liquefied natural gas would not be adequate to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same waters?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-13 15:11 [p.29069]
Mr. Speaker, universal pharmacare was part of the CCF's original vision for medicare. Yesterday's report estimated that it will save Canadians and employers $23 billion but cost governments $15 billion.
How much of that will Ottawa transfer to the provinces to make pharmacare a reality? Will that transfer be a block grant based on provincial demographics, or will it share the actual cost of covering prescription drugs in each province?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-11 13:13 [p.28906]
Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Minister of Foreign Affairs that one of the best features of the new NAFTA is the removal of the investor-state dispute resolution provisions which had enabled foreign corporations to directly challenge our democratic laws, regulations and policies before secretive international tribunals rather than in the normal court system. Therefore, I am wondering whether the government will seek to remove investor-state provisions from Canada's other free trade agreements.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-10 13:55 [p.28801]
Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about cheaper telecommunications services in other countries. I would like to highlight that in Saskatchewan, we have affordable unlimited data plans because SaskTel is a Crown corporation owned by the people of Saskatchewan. If there is one element missing from today's otherwise excellent motion, it is public ownership of telecommunications as a means of ensuring affordable and accessible access to what the member for Windsor West correctly describes as an essential service.
I appreciate that we cannot move amendments during questions and comments, but I would like to ask the member for Windsor West whether he would be amenable to adding a paragraph (f) to his motion, directing the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development not to approve privatization of SaskTel?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-06 13:15 [p.28687]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of serving on the all-party steel caucus with the member for Hamilton Mountain. I would just invite him to speak to the role of the all-party steel caucus in advocating for appropriate safeguards for our steel industry.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-06 13:26 [p.28688]
Mr. Speaker, I have had the honour of serving with the member for Sault Ste. Marie on the all-party steel caucus.
As I think we all understand in this House, the legislation we are debating today would remove the moratorium, which would allow the government to bring in safeguard measures. I am wondering if he could provide some reassurance that the government's intention is to actually bring in those safeguards to protect Canada's steel industry and steelworkers from unfair competition from offshore steel, often produced in violation of internationally recognized labour and environmental standards.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-06 13:59 [p.28693]
Mr. Speaker, 75 years ago today, in the largest seaborne invasion in the history of the world, allied soldiers opened another front against Nazi Germany to help liberate occupied Europe.
The first Canadians on the beach were the Royal Regina Rifles. They landed at the most heavily fortified German point on the Anglo-Canadian beaches, facing artillery and 12 machine gun pillboxes.
Two of the regiment's landing craft were destroyed by mines. Fortunately, most of the Regina Rifles made it ashore with support from amphibious tanks. They cleared the beach and captured the port of Courseulles, where the Juno Beach Centre Museum is now located.
Today, Canadians are proud of the role our country played in the allied landings. The people of Regina will always remember what our regiment contributed to this Canadian victory.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-04 19:32 [p.28536]
Mr. Speaker, those of us who have had the privilege of serving in this 42nd Parliament have experienced some truly historic moments. We celebrated the 150th anniversary of this Parliament. We welcomed President Barack Obama into this House to speak to us. We witnessed the return of the CCF after half a century, contributing to the largest number of independent MPs in Canadian history. We served in the Centre Block and in this new House.
I was honoured to be part of that history, but my interest in politics has always been motivated by an interest in public policy, so I want to talk about some of the issues that I have raised in this Parliament, both as a member of the NDP caucus and as an independent MP.
During my time in the NDP caucus, I was the first MP in the House to call for federal funding to help restore bus service in Saskatchewan. I was also the first MP to call for a federal role in keeping SaskTel public. As part of the NDP caucus, I even managed to sneak in one member's statement advocating for the use of Regina-made steel in the Trans Mountain expansion. It has been even easier to advocate for Regina-made steel as an independent MP.
In the NDP caucus I tried to raise the idea of border adjustments to carbon pricing to ensure a level playing field for our Canadian workers. As members know, I got into some trouble with my party leadership for debating that issue, which brings me to my time as an independent. Of course, I have been more free to speak up for the use of Regina steel in Trans Mountain and for extending federal carbon pricing to the carbon content of imports while rebating it on Canadian-made exports.
I have been the only member of this Parliament to advocate for restoring VIA Rail service to Regina and for a federal investigation of the Regina bypass. I was the first member of the House to advocate for federal assistance to our canola farmers when China closed its market.
In addition to the issues that I have been proud to raise on the floor of this House, I also want to speak to some of the issues that I have been able to work on through committees.
In this 42nd Parliament, I was the only western Canadian MP to serve on the all-party steel caucus. We travelled to Washington to advocate for a Canadian exemption from American steel tariffs and I am extremely pleased to see that goal has been achieved.
I served as the NDP vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
Mr. Erin Weir: I hear some of my colleagues from that committee. I think it was a very co-operative committee and I actually went to the same high school as the chair of that committee. I think it is probably a rare thing in this Parliament to have a committee chair and a vice-chair from the same high school, Campbell Collegiate in Regina, in this case.
At that committee I was able to ask about the Phoenix pay system, even before it became a national scandal. I pushed to keep the government's feet to the fire on paying our federal public servants correctly and on time.
Our committee also conducted a major study on the future of Canada Post. Talking about Canada Post, one of my proud moments in this House was occupying the Prime Minister's chair during committee of the whole to speak up for collective bargaining rights in response to back-to-work legislation for postal workers.
The government operations committee also undertook a major study of whistle-blower protection in the federal public service. The report that we prepared was a truly unanimous report without any dissenting or supplementary reports from any political party. I believe it is a fairly rare accomplishment in this Parliament to achieve that level of agreement at a committee, so I am certainly very proud of that report.
When I became an independent MP, I had no guaranteed spots at committee. On the other hand, I had the freedom to try to intervene on any committee. Most recently, I have participated in meetings of the agriculture and trade committees to advocate for federal assistance to canola farmers, and I am pleased that the government has expanded the advance payments program to provide some assistance to those producers.
I also participated in hearings of the justice and ethics committees on SNC-Lavalin. I was able to ask questions of the now independent member for Vancouver Granville, Gerry Butts and Michael Wernick.
I do not believe that I would have been able to play that role on those committees as a member of the NDP caucus, so on reflection, I am pleased to have been able to spend part of this term as an independent MP. It is something I would recommend to other members of the House, especially those who might be on the fence and considering joining our growing corner of Parliament.
I am going to stop short of thanking the federal NDP leader for removing me from caucus and making me an independent, but I do want to thank all the local volunteers and donors who helped elect me in a very closely fought campaign.
I also want to say that the support of family, friends, staff and other people across Canada through difficult times has meant so much to me. I particularly want to thank all the former elected officials, national commentators and grassroots activists who spoke up for due process, common sense and local democracy.
Most of all I want to thank the people of Regina for entrusting me with the great privilege of representing them in Parliament, which has been the greatest honour of my life.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-03 15:06 [p.28415]
Mr. Speaker, a dispute over border security and tariffs has raised questions about whether Mexico will ratify the new NAFTA. By contrast, Canada and the U.S. share a secure border, similar wage rates and balanced trade.
If Mexico does not ratify, will the Canadian government amend the replacement protocol so we can ratify the new NAFTA bilaterally with our largest trading partner?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-03 15:23 [p.28418]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply the vote and is voting in favour of the motion.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-03 15:42 [p.28422]
Mr. Speaker, today, Bill S-214, which would ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics using animal testing, was debated in the House for the first time.
I am pleased to present more than 2,400 petition signatures, collected at The Body Shop in Regina's Southland Mall, in support of the legislation.
It is disappointing that the legislation was not brought forward in the House of Commons earlier, but I hope the next Parliament will take account of the strong public support for a ban on animal testing.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-28 22:14 [p.28199]
Madam Speaker, the Insurance Brokers were on Parliament Hill today, which reminded me of the member for Foothills because I just renewed my insurance with Dusyk & Barlow.
One of my constituents, Michael Huck, a tireless advocate for people living with disabilities, made a submission to the standing committee studying the accessible Canada act. One of the points he emphasized was the importance of promoting this legislation after it is passed so that employers know about it. He also emphasized the importance of recognizing designated entities who are doing a good job of creating a barrier-free environment.
Those of us on the opposition side are often skeptical of government advertising, but I wonder if the member for Foothills would agree with supporting efforts to promote the accessible Canada act.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-16 18:34 [p.27984]
Mr. Speaker, the day after the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith was elected in that riding's by-election, I rose in this House to ask about the possibility of adding more independent questions to accommodate the growing number of independent MPs. The Green Party is not a recognized party in this House, so its MPs are adding to the number of independents, which is now 21, the largest ever in Canadian history.
It seems only logical that as the number of independent MPs increases, the number of opportunities for us to participate in question period should increase correspondingly. However, the government House leader rejected this suggestion, stating, “There is a formula to determine the number of questions for each party and for independents.” It would be nice to know what that formula is. Perhaps the government will be able to provide a more detailed answer this evening.
I can certainly say that the soon-to-be-21 independent MPs are now sharing only 14 spots in question period every week. We compare that to the officially recognized opposition parties. An NDP caucus of 41 MPs gets 54 question period spots every week, and a Conservative caucus of 97 MPs gets 120 questions per week. I think we all accept the idea that officially recognized parties would receive some extra questions. They get a bit of a bonus.
However, it seems that the current formula, such as it is, is completely out of whack. To provide a direct comparison, the NDP caucus has about twice as many MPs as the independent group, yet receives nearly four times as many spots in question period every week. It does not strike me that this represents a reasonable allocation of question period opportunities or that it provides a fair chance for independent MPs to speak up for our constituents.
Of course, there is a bit of history to this question. Earlier in this Parliament, the Bloc Québécois, which is also part of the independent group, raised a point of privilege, requesting more spots in question period. The Chair ruled that this was not a matter of privilege. Fair enough, but I want to emphasize that this ruling does not mean that the current allocation is proper or that it makes sense. There may not be a right to more questions as a matter of privilege, but surely common sense would suggest that the allocation of questions should reflect, roughly speaking, the allocation of MPs.
Therefore, when the government House leader says that there is a formula, at the start of this Parliament what that formula meant was that there were as many questions for independents as there were independent MPs. When I became an independent MP, the Speaker added another question to the Tuesday question period to maintain that balance, but since then we have had seven more independent MPs and no additional independent questions. I think that is where the allocation breaks down, and I hope the government would support reallocating some opportunities to independent MPs to restore a proper equilibrium.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-16 18:38 [p.27985]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary began by quoting a Speaker's ruling that 14 question period slots were appropriate for independent MPs. The Speaker made that ruling at a time when there were only 15 independent MPs. I think it was reasonable at that point in time. Of course, there are now going to be 21 independent MPs, and what I am suggesting is that the number of questions should be related to the number of MPs.
The parliamentary secretary also raised the question about whether the slots allocated to independents are being used. I am pleased to assure him that they are, every week. We now have 21 MPs sharing 14 slots, so certainly if someone is not available, other MPs step in very quickly to fill those spots. The utilization of those spots is a matter of public record. It is not at all in doubt.
The fundamental point here is that it is quite strange to imagine that there is a formula for question period that is totally disconnected from the actual numbers of MPs.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-14 15:07 [p.27766]
Mr. Speaker, on the Mark Norman case, it has been refreshing to hear the federal NDP leader speak up for due process.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-14 15:08 [p.27766]
Mr. Speaker, that case and the SNC-Lavalin controversy have raised questions about interference in our justice system. They have also underscored the need for independent review of decisions made by the director of public prosecutions.
Will the government commit to separate the office of the attorney general from the minister of justice if re-elected?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-13 19:30 [p.27720]
Mr. Speaker, near the end of January, I was proud to be the only member of the House to rise to question the Government of Canada's decision to recognize Juan Guaidó standing up in front of a crowd and unilaterally declaring himself to be the President of Venezuela. That is the question that prompts this evening's adjournment debate.
I do not pretend to be an expert on Venezuelan politics, but I do have a clear idea about what Canada's role in the world should be, and I think the best contribution Canada can make, as an honest broker, is as a country that is trusted to mediate when these kinds of disputes come up.
It is certainly legitimate to question the current Maduro government of Venezuela. It is one thing to propose that there should be new elections in that country, but it is quite another to simply recognize an opposition politician's declaration that he is the new president of the country. I would suggest in hindsight that it really has not worked out all that well.
It has now been about three and a half months, and we see that Mr. Guaidó has not clearly established himself as a new government in Venezuela. There have not been new elections in that country. Mr. Guaidó is now appealing to the Venezuelan military and now even directly to the American military to intervene in his favour. It seems that concerns about a coup or armed conflict are really starting to materialize.
I do not have a lengthy speech, but I really hope that the parliamentary secretary can provide the House with a bit of an update on what the government's plan is now.
It has been months since the Canadian government agreed to recognize Mr. Guaidó, and it does not seem as though the goals of that policy have been achieved. The only real consequence of the Government of Canada jumping the gun in that fashion is that it is now very difficult for our country to play any kind of constructive role, to participate as an honest broker or to be seen as any kind of mediator in Venezuela.
I am hoping that the parliamentary secretary can give us an update and a bit of an explanation of what the Government of Canada's plan is for Venezuela going forward.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-13 19:37 [p.27721]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the parliament secretary and congratulate him on his relatively recent appointment as a parliamentary secretary. I believe this might be his very first adjournment debate, and so I would like to welcome him to the late show.
I believe the presentation that he provided might have been compelling back in January when the Government of Canada first decided to recognize Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela. However, I do not think it addresses how things have unfolded since then. This idea of Mr. Guaidó as an interim president who is going to hold new elections, I think, conflicts with the fact that three and half months have gone by. How long is this interim presidency going to last, and at what point is it going to actually translate into elections?
I really have to ask whether the parliamentary secretary would at least acknowledge that things have not unfolded as his government would have hoped.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-07 15:07 [p.27484]
Mr. Speaker, as the independent whip, it falls to me to congratulate Paul Manly on last night's byelection win in Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
Including him, we will have 21 independent MPs sharing only 14 weekly spots in question period. Would the Prime Minister support reallocating more questions to independents so that Mr. Manly and all of us can better represent our constituents?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-07 18:21 [p.27508]
Mr. Speaker, back in December, I asked about restoring VIA passenger rail service between Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary. In response, the Minister of Transport tried to reassure me that Via Rail does pass through Saskatchewan. He must have been referring to the quite limited VIA Rail service to Saskatoon, but I want to make the distinction between Regina and Saskatoon clear to the parliamentary secretary, because that seemed to be a point of confusion for the minister. My question was about restoring passenger service on the southern Prairie line, from Winnipeg to Regina to Calgary.
One of the original purposes of our Canadian Confederation was to build a railway across the Prairies to the Pacific coast, so it is somewhat ironic that today we do not have passenger rail service in the southern part of the Prairies. Of course, the motivation behind my question was not simply to achieve that historic goal. I think in the present day, we need to recognize the importance of providing accessible transportation options to people and also of providing transportation options that are environmentally friendly.
We had a whole debate in this House for most of today about an opposition motion regarding the price of gasoline, and a lot of the argument came down to whether a higher gasoline price would motivate consumers to drive less. A key part of that question was whether people had concrete alternatives to driving. On the southern Prairies, people do not.
The Saskatchewan Transportation Company and Greyhound have both withdrawn intercity bus service, and as I mentioned, there is no VIA Rail service in the southern part of the Prairies. Therefore, people really do not have much of an option other than to drive or fly. We have people without the means to travel for important purposes, and the people who do have the means to travel do not have much choice but to use these more polluting means of transport. That is part of the major rationale for wanting to restore VIA Rail service on the southern Prairies.
I am sure that one of the questions is how much this would cost. Is it feasible? Is this a realistic proposal? I took a look at VIA Rail's 2017 annual report, which is the most recent annual report available. What it shows is that the subsidy per passenger mile in western Canada, in other words for long-haul travel from Toronto to Vancouver, is about 32¢, which is quite similar to the subsidy of 28¢ per passenger mile across VIA Rail's entire system. As well, it is quite a bit less than the subsidies of three dollars and four dollars per passenger mile that we find on some of VIA's more remote routes. What I am proposing is actually quite consistent with Via's existing operations.
To put that in terms of total dollars, the subsidy for long-haul travel west of Toronto is $41 million. Extending that to the southern part of the Prairies would presumably cost a comparable amount, which would be quite a bit less than the $350 million currently provided to VIA Rail.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-07 18:28 [p.27509]
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by agreeing with the parliamentary secretary that it is quite disappointing that the Government of Saskatchewan did not take up the funding that the Government of Canada offered to try to restore some intercity bus service. However, the federal government does not simply need to wait for the province to agree to cost-share bus service; the federal government could, on its own, restore passenger rail service on the southern prairies.
I thought it was interesting that the parliamentary secretary began by mentioning that VIA Rail is needed to provide a transport option to Canadians. I want to reiterate that this option does not exist on the southern prairies. It is impossible to travel from Winnipeg to Regina to Calgary by train.
The parliamentary secretary mentioned all the money the government spent in restoring passenger rail service to Churchill, Manitoba. That is a good thing, but it would be far more economical to restore that same service on the southern prairies.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-03 12:08 [p.27344]
Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot in this House about SNC-Lavalin, but Saskatchewan people are concerned about another multinational construction company accused of corruption. Vinci Construction took $2 billion to build a bypass around Regina that was supposed to cost only $400 million. Will the government investigate to ensure that the federal funds invested in this boondoggle were not misused?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-01 18:54 [p.27267]
Mr. Speaker, the question that prompts this adjournment debate is with respect to the agenda for a premiers' conference that occurred months ago. I would like to broaden the adjournment debate to talk about the federal government's role in coordinating among provinces. Specifically, I would like to address the new Alberta government's proposal to slash its provincial corporate income tax rate to 8%.
The reason this should be of concern to the Government of Canada is that our federal corporate tax structure includes a 10 percentage point abatement to allow provinces and territories to levy their own corporate taxes. Currently, all provinces have corporate tax rates of around 12%. The only exceptions are in Atlantic Canada, where provinces have slightly higher corporate income tax rates. Therefore, that obviously accounts for the abatement from the federal government.
In proposing to slash Alberta's corporate tax rate to 8%, Jason Kenney is effectively asking the federal government to continue to provide a 10% abatement to companies operating in Alberta, even though they will only pay 8% provincial corporate tax. I do not think this makes sense and I want to suggest that the federal government should not go along with that. The federal government should require that to receive a 10% abatement, a province should be levying a corporate income tax rate of at least 10%.
Why would the federal government want to establish this type of a corporate tax floor for provinces?
The first point is obviously one of common sense. If the federal government has provided an abatement of 10% to allow provincial and territorial corporate taxes, those provincial and territorial corporate taxes should be at least that amount. However, a more fundamental reason is that the federal government should not want to encourage a race to the bottom on corporate taxes.
The federal government has wisely resisted the temptation to engage in such a race to the bottom with the United States. When confronted with the Trump administration's corporate tax cuts, the Government of Canada did not actually cut the federal corporate tax rate in this country. Instead it provided an accelerated depreciation for companies that were making investments in Canada.
Therefore, I do not think it makes any more sense for the federal government to be facilitating a race to the bottom among provinces on corporate taxes. That is exactly what Mr. Kenney is contemplating in proposing an 8% corporate tax rate for Alberta. He has specifically talked about achieving a competitive advantage relative to B.C. and Saskatchewan.
Clearly, the federal government needs to look out not only for Alberta's competitiveness, but also for the competitiveness of its neighbours. Indeed, in preserving our economic union, we should hope that industries will make decisions about where to locate among provinces based on real economic factors, not based on tax differences. It makes the Canadian economy less efficient if companies are moving around between provinces simply to take advantage of lower corporate income tax rates.
In summary, I believe the federal government should make its corporate tax abatement of 10 points contingent on provinces and territories levying corporate taxes of at least that amount.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-05-01 19:01 [p.27268]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to apologize to the parliamentary secretary. It certainly was not my intention to catch anyone off-guard. The question that this adjournment debate was based on was indeed about energy issues on the agenda of the premier's conference. However, since that conference is over, I wanted to speak about another federal-provincial issue that has a big impact on our energy sector, which is Alberta's proposal to slash its corporate income tax rate to 8%.
I certainly do not expect the parliamentary secretary to come up with a snap response to that issue. However, I would encourage the federal government to seriously consider whether it makes sense to continue extending a 10% corporate tax abatement to corporations in Alberta if that provincial government decides to cut its corporate tax rate below that 10% threshold.
This is an important issue for the House to deal with going forward.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-12 10:58 [p.27042]
Mr. Speaker, last week, we lost one of Saskatchewan's great pioneers for medicare.
Betsy Bury served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II before becoming active in the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. She was a founding member of the Saskatoon Community Clinic, which continued to provide health care after doctors withdrew their services in opposition to the CCF government's medicare plan. She was predeceased by her husband, John Bury, one of the doctors from the British National Health Service who came to Saskatchewan in support of medicare.
While the Burys and other Saskatchewan people succeeded in bringing public health care to Canada, their work remains incomplete. The best tribute we can pay them is to continue building our public system to include prescription drugs, dental care and all health services.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-12 12:02 [p.27055]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Speaker ruled that he cannot enforce the Parliament of Canada Act rules for caucus expulsions, which are also not subject to judicial review. If neither the courts nor the Speaker uphold the law, party leaders are free to ignore it. A possible solution would be to empower an independent Attorney General, separate from the justice minister, to enforce the Parliament of Canada Act.
Does the government agree?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-08 18:32 [p.26832]
Mr. Speaker, the closure of the Chinese market to Canadian canola seed has been a major blow to Saskatchewan's economy.
I am proud to have been the only member of the House to have risen in March to ask the government a question specifically about canola. On March 22, I asked what actions the government was taking to reopen the Chinese market and to support our canola farmers until this was rectified.
On the point of supporting our canola farmers, I would note that the Saskatchewan government has since called on the federal government to expand the advance payment program to provide loans of up to a million dollars, interest-free, while this crisis persists.
At the international trade committee meeting last Tuesday, I asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the federal government was prepared to make that enhancement to the advance payment program. Her response was essentially that the government had a working group that would meet to consider options this past Thursday.
That meeting has come and gone, and we still do not have a clear idea of what the federal government plans to do to support our farmers during this crisis. Farmers need to make decisions about what to plant and how to manage their operations. Of course, those decisions would be informed by information about what the government planned to do, whether it would be to increase the loan amounts available under the advance payment program, whether it would be to change or, hopefully, eliminate the interest due on those loans or whether the response would be through some other program.
The second part of my question had to do with reopening the Chinese market. On this point, there has been a bit of debate between the opposition pushing for the government to escalate things to a higher diplomatic level and the government trying to deal with it as more of a technical issue, without escalating it into a bigger diplomatic fight.
Without weighing in to that bigger diplomatic question, we did hear some optimistic things at the trade committee. One of them was that China would have a great deal of difficulty replacing the quantity and quality of canola that it received from Canada from other suppliers. That suggests to me that there is a good possibility of getting the Chinese market reopened.
The second reason for optimism is that Canada can try to develop some alternative markets for canola. We would be hard-pressed to really replace the Chinese market, but I would like to reiterate the call for the government to do everything that it can do to open other markets.
A final optimistic note is that while canola seed has been excluded from the Chinese market, exports of canola oil really have not been affected. It is a sealed product. It is really not subject to the same sort of phytosanitary objections.
There are many reasons to expand Canada's canola processing capacity, mostly to add to our economy and to create jobs in that processing sector. However, this latest trade dispute with China really underscores another reason to continue investing in canola processing. The finished product, the oil, is much less vulnerable to these diplomatically motivated phytosanitary types of concerns.
I am wondering if the government will take action on these fronts.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-08 18:39 [p.26833]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the update from the parliamentary secretary about some of the talks that continue with China. I would really like to focus, though, on what the government is doing or is perhaps failing to do to support our canola farmers until this situation is rectified.
The parliamentary secretary mentioned the current parameters of the advance payment program; that is, loans of up to $400,000, interest-free on the first increment. However, the question he did not answer is whether the government is willing to improve that program, on a temporary or a permanent basis, in response to this crisis with the Chinese market being closed. I would reiterate that the Saskatchewan government has asked for the advance payments program to be improved to provide loans for up to $1 million, interest-free.
If the government is willing to do that, it would be excellent. If the federal government is not willing to make that change, it should be prepared to explain why, and to present some sort of alternative measures to support canola farmers who are currently excluded from the Chinese market.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-03 16:07 [p.26630]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to add to the very same point of privilege.
The member for Wellington—Halton Hills has thoroughly explained how the Parliament of Canada Act applies to expulsion from caucus. The federal NDP leader expelled me from caucus without written notice and without a vote, so that evidence should also be considered in your ruling on this point of privilege.
The context for my expulsion was that another member of the House suggested that I was involved in some unspecified harassing behaviour. No complaints were ever brought forward against me under the House of Commons anti-harassment policy. No complaints were ever brought forward against me through the NDP staff union. Instead, the federal NDP leader invented his own process and appointed his own investigator.
It is very important to consider the Parliament of Canada Act in this case. It sets out a clear procedure for expulsion from caucus. Whether that procedure applies in the given caucus is to be determined by a vote of that caucus at its first meeting after the election. No such votes were held by the NDP caucus at its first meeting after the election. In fact, no such votes were held by the NDP caucus at any of its meetings in 2015. We cannot conclude that the federal NDP leader had the unilateral authority to expel me or anyone else from caucus.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-03 16:24 [p.26632]
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry for the interruption. I do just need to add briefly to what I said previously on the question of privilege.
In response, the member for Windsor West rose to reassure the House that the NDP caucus did follow the Parliament of Canada Act with respect to adopting or rejecting the model rules, including the one for expulsion from caucus.
I want to clearly put on record that what the act says is that each party caucus needs to hold four recorded ballot votes on each of those model rules at its first meeting after the election. The NDP caucus did not hold votes, let alone recorded ballot votes, on those model rules at its first meeting after the election or at any of its meetings in 2015.
Rather than just generally suggesting compliance with the act, it would be necessary for the member for Windsor West, or another member, to suggest that they remember actually holding recorded ballot votes at the first meeting following the election. I note that claim has not been made.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-02 17:51 [p.26613]
Mr. Speaker, on November 19 I noted that the price of western Canadian heavy oil had fallen to a record low, threatening employment in the sector as well as provincial government revenues. I noted that this was a major crisis facing our country and that the industry was considering a coordinated production cut in order to boost prices.
I asked the federal government to provide assurances that the federal Competition Bureau would not intervene to prevent such a production cut. Of course, what ended up happening is that on December 2, the Alberta premier announced that the provincial government would mandate a production cut of about 9%. Because this was required by the province and not just coordinated among companies, there was no role for federal competition policy.
I am pleased to report that the policy I raised in the House, which the Alberta government implemented, was quite successful in rapidly increasing the price of western Canadian select oil. The Alberta government also invested in railcars in order to help move its oil to market in the absence of sufficient pipeline capacity. That is also making a positive contribution to pricing.
These are a couple of very positive examples of what the Notley government has done to steward Alberta's oil industry, and I think all western Canadians appreciate those efforts.
I want to speak in a broader sense about federal competition policy. It is already the case that Canadian law does not try to sanction cartels or uncompetitive activity regarding things that are entirely for export, because of course Canadians benefit from being able to get the best possible price for commodities that we are exporting.
That logic largely applies to oil, but of course we also consume oil right here in Canada. We have had a recent kerfuffle about the application of the federal carbon tax to gasoline. In the past few days, we have seen photos of Conservative politicians gassing up over the weekend, ahead of the federal carbon tax coming into effect.
It is worth noting that the carbon tax is about 4¢ or 5¢ per litre, whereas the price of gasoline has gone up by something like 20¢ per litre over the past month. At a minimum, this tells us that there are many factors other than carbon pricing that influence the cost of gasoline. However, it also suggests that if there is a role for federal competition policy, it should be focused on markets that actually affect Canadian consumers.
There is a role for the federal Competition Bureau to look at collusion regarding the retail pricing of gasoline, because as much as we want a high price for the oil that Canada tries to sell on world markets, we also want to make sure there is a fair price for consumers at the pump here in Canada. The way to do this is to ensure that the Competition Bureau focuses not so much on the oil production but on gasoline retailing.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-04-02 17:57 [p.26614]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his remarks. I would also like to apologize to him and to you, Mr. Speaker, for keeping you away from what was undoubtedly a very interesting Liberal caucus meeting this evening, but perhaps I have done a bit of a favour in that sense. If you want to thank me as well, I would accept that.
I really have just one question for the parliamentary secretary. Given that the retail price of gasoline seems to have increased much more sharply than the price of oil or the carbon tax over the past month, would he support an inquiry by the federal Competition Bureau into possible collusion and anti-competitive behaviour in the retail pricing of gasoline in this country?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-22 12:11 [p.26482]
Mr. Speaker, until today's breaking news, the only thing growing faster than the number of independent MPs was Canada's canola exports.
Now our largest customer, China, has stopped buying Canadian canola. Prairie farmers should not pay the price for an unrelated diplomatic tiff.
What actions is the government taking to reopen the Chinese market and to support our canola farmers until this is rectified?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-18 14:00 [p.26055]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the inter-varsity men's volleyball national championships. I particularly congratulate my taller cousin, James Weir, and all Saskatchewan athletes who played in the final.
It is an exciting time for sport in Regina. Our city will host the Grey Cup next year, and the NHL's outdoor Heritage Classic later this year.
In less competitive skating, I want to thank the 300 people who participated in my office's Family Day skate one month ago. This event enabled Regina residents to lace up for free, including many new Canadians learning to skate for the first time.
We must continue this type of inclusive activity to counter the intolerance that motivated the terrible attack on Muslims in New Zealand on Friday. I invite all members to join in sharing our condolences.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-03-01 12:02 [p.26023]
Mr. Speaker, this week, Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan was the only province where payroll earnings fell in 2018. That drop was driven by lower construction earnings. The government was elected promising to restore a fair wages policy for federally funded construction projects.
Will the government enact a fair wages policy for construction workers before the House rises this spring?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-28 20:21 [p.25973]
Madam Speaker, I think we would all agree that the minister of justice is part of cabinet decision-making within the government. I also think that everyone in the House would agree that the Attorney General often needs to play the role of an independent arbiter.
I would ask the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell what he thinks about the idea of the portfolios of the minister of justice and the Attorney General being assigned to different people in order to strengthen the independence of the Attorney General.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-22 12:05 [p.25688]
Madam Speaker, the misconduct of a Canadian company abroad has recently created some political controversy. More than a year ago, the government announced a Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise to investigate such conduct. Unfortunately, no ombudsperson has been appointed. When asked yesterday, the minister said that the appointment will be announced soon.
Can the government commit to appoint an ombudsperson before the House rises this spring?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-21 18:47 [p.25667]
Madam Speaker, earlier this month, I asked whether the federal government was offering to share the cost of restoring needed bus service in Saskatchewan. I did not get a very specific answer that day, but the next day, news broke that the federal government had offered cost sharing to Saskatchewan but unfortunately our provincial government had turned down the money. I would like to use this adjournment debate to examine what the federal government offered and what it should potentially offer, going forward.
As reported in the media, the federal government's offer was an amount of $10 million to all four western Canadian provinces to replace the service lost when Greyhound withdrew from western Canada. Saskatchewan would have received about $2 million.
A large part of the reason that amount is so low is that the federal government was only proposing to replace the service lost from Greyhound. Greyhound only provided interprovincial routes from Saskatchewan. Routes inside the province were operated by a provincial crown corporation, the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. Therefore, the federal government was not proposing anything to replace the service lost when our Saskatchewan Party government shut down and sold off that enterprise in 2017. The Sask Party said that it would have cost $85 million over five years to continue operating the STC routes, which of course is an order of magnitude greater than what the federal government had offered to replace just the lost Greyhound service.
To put these numbers in context, budget 2017 unveiled a $20-billion transit fund. It allocated this money between the provinces, mostly according to existing transit ridership. That funding formula skewed very much in favour of large metropolitan centres that already had well-developed transit systems and a large number of people already using those systems. This focus on existing transit ridership disadvantaged smaller provinces such as Saskatchewan.
To provide some numbers, the federal government's formula gave Saskatchewan 1.6% of the transit funding, whereas our province comprises 3.2% of Canada's population. In other words, the federal government is providing transit funding of $320 million to Saskatchewan, whereas our equal per capita share of the money would be more like $640 million.
Of course, as members know, most federal transfer programs are allocated on a strictly per capita basis to the provinces. Therefore, the case that I would make is that by simply providing a fair per capita share of transit funding to Saskatchewan and making it clear that this money can be used not only for urban transit but also for interprovincial and rural bus service, there would be more than enough funding to restore needed bus service in Saskatchewan to replace not only the routes abandoned by Greyhound but also the routes that used to be provided by our provincial crown corporation, the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. I hope the government will agree to this approach, going forward.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-21 18:53 [p.25668]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for providing a very good account of why intercity bus service is so important.
The parliamentary secretary suggested that the federal government would fund only interprovincial service, but of course, the federal government has chosen to fund urban transit, which is clearly within provincial jurisdiction. The federal government could choose to fund other bus service within provincial jurisdiction as well if it wanted to offer the money.
The parliamentary secretary seemed open to future federal support or future federal offers. I wonder if he could clarify whether the Government of Canada will make its public transit infrastructure fund available to provinces on an equal per capita basis and whether it will make those funds available not only for urban transit but for intercity transit.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-20 20:06 [p.25591]
Mr. Speaker, the question that prompts this evening's adjournment debate was whether the government would enact a carbon tariff. The context for this question is that the federal government has enacted a national price on carbon. One of the main concerns about a national carbon price is that it could prompt carbon-intensive industries to relocate to other countries that do not put a price on emissions. That would increase global emissions while eliminating Canadian jobs. Adjusting our carbon pricing at the border with a carbon tariff on imports and a rebate on exports would safeguard Canadian jobs while ensuring that our carbon pricing actually helps to reduce global emissions. I think this concept of carbon border adjustments can be illustrated with the help of an example.
Producing a tonne of steel in China and shipping it here emits about five times as much carbon as manufacturing it at the EVRAZ mill in Regina. However, if we just put a price on Canadian emissions, that would tend to increase the price of Regina-made steel, creating an incentive for consumers to instead use dirtier steel from China. This would eliminate Canadian jobs and actually increase global emissions.
By comparison, if we had a national carbon price with a corresponding carbon tariff, it would increase the price of steel imports from China by more than it would increase the price of Regina-made steel. This would create an environmentally appropriate incentive for Canadians to buy local. In a nutshell, that is what is being proposed with a carbon tariff.
The government certainly recognizes that there is a challenge with competitiveness, and what the government has proposed instead of adjusting carbon pricing at the border, is to basically rebate between 80% and 90% of carbon tax revenues directly to the large emitters. The government is essentially on board with the idea of some sort of rebate to large emitters and wants to base it on their output rather than on the amount that they export. The government is prepared to undertake this huge cost, which will come at the expense of the consumer rebates that the government has proposed to try to make carbon pricing more palatable.
What I feel the government is missing out on is the potential to collect its carbon price on the carbon content of imports from countries that do not price emissions. This carbon tariff would help to ensure a level playing field, as I have described, but it would also collect revenues to help offset the cost of whatever funds are rebated to industry, either through the government's existing output-based rebates or through an export rebate as I have proposed.
By fully adjusting Canada's carbon price at the border, including a carbon tariff on imports, the government could help to protect Canadian jobs, help to reduce global emissions and also collect more revenue to fund greater rebates to all Canadians.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-20 20:13 [p.25592]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary sang the praises of the government's climate action rebate and I agree it makes sense to rebate money to households. In fact, I am putting forward a proposal for the government to deliver even bigger rebates.
The fundamental issue that has not been addressed is the question of imports versus Canadian-made products. Yes, the government has implemented this output-based pricing scheme to try to prevent Canadian industry from being displaced out of the country by the national carbon price. However, it has not done anything to ensure a level playing field between Canadian industry and products coming in from abroad, often from countries that do not price emissions.
Does the parliamentary secretary not agree that a carbon tariff would be a way of addressing that problem?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-07 18:32 [p.25434]
Mr. Speaker, the debate we just heard, about benefits for people with serious illnesses, reminds me that just yesterday, we lost, to cancer, Paul Dewar, the former MP for Ottawa Centre. There have already been some wonderful tributes in this House. I would just add that I had the honour of volunteering on his first election campaign and saw first-hand what a great person he was. He was also a great parliamentarian. If he were here, he would probably encourage me to get on with the adjournment debate.
On that note, I would remind the House that the question that prompted these adjournment proceedings was about the carbon emissions from cannabis production. Growing cannabis indoors, under bright lights, is extremely energy intensive. Academic research has concluded that cannabis production in the United States emits about as much carbon as three million cars.
The first part of my question was to ask the government whether it could provide those kinds of statistics for our country. Of course, we might speculate that indoor heating and lighting might require even more energy in Canada than they do south of the border. On the other hand, electricity in Canada is a bit less carbon intensive, on average. Rather than speculate, it would be nice to see some actual data. I know the government prides itself on evidence-based policy. I am hoping this evening that we will hear some actual numbers on how much carbon is emitted through cannabis production in our country.
Today I noticed that Statistics Canada released its national cannabis survey, which contained a great deal of data about the sector. There was some good information, but there was nothing about the associated carbon emissions. I am hoping the parliamentary secretary will be able to help us out on that.
Beyond quantifying the level of carbon emissions from cannabis production, what we really want is that the government take action to limit and minimize those emissions. One of the strongest arguments in favour of legalizing cannabis is that it gives the opportunity to regulate the sector. I would like to know what actions the government has taken to try to minimize the carbon emissions from cannabis production through regulation.
I would note that businesses are clamouring to get licences to be allowed to produce cannabis. It strikes me that it should be possible to make those licences conditional upon their committing to produce the cannabis in an environmentally friendly way. Licensing requirements might be one tool. Perhaps the parliamentary secretary will speak to other tools that could be used.
I would just note that through legalization, the government is effectively setting up an entirely new industry of cannabis production, and setting up a new industry is really a golden opportunity to make sure that the industry is structured in a sustainable way. I think it is important for the government to get this right. It is rare that the government has this opportunity to launch a new industry and have so much influence over how it is going to be set up.
I am really keen to hear from the parliamentary secretary what the government has done and is doing to minimize the amount cannabis production adds to Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-07 18:39 [p.25435]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for providing what I think was a very good overview of the government's general policies for trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but what I was hoping to do in this evening's adjournment debate was really drill down into what the government is doing or could be doing to minimize the emissions from cannabis production specifically. I am sure it is a small part of total emissions for the country, but it is an area over which the government has quite a bit of influence during this period of legalization.
I appreciate that the government might have been caught off guard by this rather esoteric question when I first asked it back in October, but I would ask the parliamentary secretary, in her final minute, to provide a little more information, if possible, about what specifically the government is doing to address carbon emissions from cannabis production.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-02-04 15:07 [p.25208]
Mr. Speaker, when asked last week about Greyhound pulling out of B.C., the Minister of Transport said, “We are working with the provinces.... We will be there if they request us to help them on a cost-sharing basis.”
The Saskatchewan Transportation Company has been shut down and sold off. Is the federal government also offering to share the cost of restoring needed bus service in our province?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-01-28 14:01 [p.24872]
Happy new year, Mr. Speaker.
It is an honour to deliver the very first member's statement in our new House of Commons. I am optimistic about what we can accomplish here.
In Centre Block, MPs implemented transfers for early learning and child care. I believe this House should support provinces in building universally accessible child care across Canada. In Centre Block, MPs passed the Canada Health Act. I am optimistic this House will finally add prescription drugs and dental treatment to our public health care system. In Centre Block, MPs adopted public pensions and child benefits. I hope this House will continue to expand these social programs toward guaranteeing every Canadian a minimum level of income and a decent standard of living.
The workers who built this chamber did a great job. Now it is our job to deliver for working Canadians.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-01-28 15:12 [p.24885]
Mr. Speaker, it has been an interesting week for Canadian foreign policy. The government recognized an opposition MP declaring himself President of Venezuela. I wish I had thought of that. I am going to resist the temptation to declare myself Prime Minister of Canada. Unfortunately, there are many governments around the world whose democratic legitimacy is questionable.
Is Canadian government policy now to endorse coups against all of them?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-12-13 15:32 [p.24844]
Merry Christmas, Mr. Speaker. The CCF agrees to apply, and will vote yes.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-12-10 15:05 [p.24622]
Mr. Speaker, the government says it will consider helping Alberta buy tanker cars. That is welcome news and I trust that the same offer will be extended to Saskatchewan. Transport in our region is limited not only for oil but also for people. The southern Prairies currently have neither passenger rail nor bus service.
Will the government consider restoring VIA Rail service between Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary to help the Prairies get back on track?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-12-04 15:02 [p.24411]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's first ministers are meeting this Friday, but the crisis in our energy sector was left off the agenda. The premiers of Saskatchewan and Alberta have written to the Prime Minister to ask him to change that. Will the Prime Minister add energy market access and the oil price differential to the first ministers' agenda?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-30 12:02 [p.24270]
Mr. Speaker, USMCA, CUSMA, MUSCA, as we hear these strange new acronyms for the deal signed this morning, we might prefer the sound of Muzak. Certainly, we need to face the Muzak and address the American tariffs that remain on our steel and aluminum exports. It would be Muzak to my ears if the government could commit to not ratify the new NAFTA until those American tariffs are lifted.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-29 18:36 [p.24247]
Mr. Speaker, earlier this month I asked about the structural steel construction of the new LNG Canada facility. After determining that China was dumping and subsidizing structural steel, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal applied countervailing duties. LNG Canada sought an exception from those tariffs so that it could ship in steel modules from China. It appears that the Government of Canada has granted exactly such an exception.
It is understandable that the government wants to pull out all the stops to facilitate a $40-billion project. However, we should recognize that this project will not contribute very much to our economy if $39 billion is spent on imported components. On the contrary, I would argue that the construction of LNG Canada should be seized as an opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry.
As much as I would like to advocate that these steel modules be built in Regina, I recognize that it would not be feasible to ship them over land to the west coast. However, if they can be shipped from China, perhaps they could be shipped from Canada's east coast or perhaps we need to look at developing the construction facilities on Canada's west coast to build the modules right there. Therefore, we should take this as an opportunity, a historic chance, to build up our steel industry. There are all kinds of ways that the government could try to support this industrial development. However, the first and obvious step would be to uphold the existing tariffs on Chinese structural steel and not to grant an exception for LNG Canada to ship in modules from China rather than build them here.
I have talked about Canada's steel industry. Another aspect of the LNG Canada project is the regulation of tanker traffic on our west coast. Yesterday, I saw Canada's best premier, Rachel Notley, speak to the Canadian Club here in Ottawa. Unfortunately, only one other member of this House attended that event. It is too bad that other MPs missed the speech because Premier Notley raised a very good point, that the LNG Canada project inevitably means a large number of tankers on the north coast of British Columbia, which seems inconsistent with Bill C-48, which put a moratorium on oil tankers on the north coast of B.C.
I supported Bill C-48 because it seemed like a reasonable compromise to limit tanker traffic on the north coast and allow it on the south coast. That seemed consistent with the plan to export oil through the Trans Mountain expansion. However, since that project is now stalled, I think we need to re-examine whether it makes sense to ban oil tankers while increasing the number of LNG tankers. Maybe the government has a good reason for that, but I think we need more of an explanation.
Therefore, I have two questions for the parliamentary secretary. Why not use the LNG Canada project as an opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry? Why continue to ban oil tankers on B.C.'s north coast while the government supports LNG tankers in those same waters?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-29 18:45 [p.24248]
Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate that the parliamentary secretary may not have come here this evening prepared to talk about tanker regulations that did seem flow from the broader issue of the LNG Canada project. I would just encourage the federal government to take seriously the question posed by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
The parliamentary secretary did a fine job of summarizing the government's actions for special import measures. I think the government has done a decent job of strengthening our system to respond to unfairly traded products, such as Chinese steel, and that system resulted in countervailing tariffs on Chinese structural steel.
The question that I asked originally, and that I asked again this evening, is this. Why is the government backing down from its own system and allowing this exception for LNG Canada?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-27 18:32 [p.24063]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF is pleased to confirm that there is unanimous consent to apply and will be voting no.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-26 19:57 [p.23962]
Mr. Speaker, we have heard some very legitimate criticism of the bailout of General Motors. Two potentially encouraging aspects of that bailout were the fact that GM committed to maintain its share of Canadian production and the Government of Canada gained an equity stake in GM. Unfortunately, that commitment to maintain a Canadian footprint expired last year. Meanwhile, the federal government sold off its stake in General Motors to create the impression of a balanced budget.
I wonder if the member for London—Fanshawe would agree we might be in a better situation today if the Government of Canada had negotiated a longer commitment to Canada from GM, or had at least maintained its equity position in the company so that it could influence management decisions on behalf of our Canadian workers.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 13:07 [p.23795]
Mr. Speaker, we just had a government member stand up and ask the opposition to explain why this proposed back-to-work legislation might be unconstitutional. All we know for sure is that the last time the Government of Canada ordered postal workers back to work, it was ruled unconstitutional.
A way we might be able to figure out whether this proposed legislation is also unconstitutional is by having a full debate on it in the House and a rigorous study of it at committee. If even Liberal MPs are asking whether this legislation is unconstitutional, it really seems to make the case against the motion to accelerate the back-to-work legislation and in favour of doing our due diligence as parliamentarians.
Something else the government has said is a bit rich. We heard the Minister of Public Services and Procurement say that other countries have stopped delivering mail to Canada, as though this is some sort of international crisis. It is pretty important to put on the record that the reason other countries are not delivering mail to Canada is that Canada Post itself has asked them not to. There is a problem with the government taking an action from Canada Post management and using it as a justification for applying back-to-work legislation against its employees.
I wonder if the member for Elmwood—Transcona can think of any other instances of the government using that tactic in this debate.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 16:00 [p.23819]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Joliette spoke a bit about the history of federal back-to-work legislation. One of the problems with the bill before the House today is that it will set a precedent and that everyone in the sector expects the workers to be forced back to work. In this context, it is almost impossible to hold real negotiations.
I would like the hon. member for Joliette to tell us more about the dangerous precedent this bill would set.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 22:08 [p.23863]
Mr. Speaker, the minister described back-to-work legislation as a last resort. It is important to note that these negotiations have not even reached a full-scale strike, and it is a huge stretch to describe rotating strikes as reaching a last resort.
The minister also indicated that one of the criterion the arbitrator would consider is financial sustainability. One of the ways to improve Canada Post's financial situation would be to move it into new lines of business, such as postal banking, which the government has ruled out.
I would also note that one of the reasons there are questions about Canada Post's financial sustainability is that the government forces it to value its pension plan on a solvency basis, which is unrealistic. Would the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques agree that it would make far more sense to assess Canada Post's pension on a going-concern basis, like the rest of the federal public service?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 23:27 [p.23871]
Mr. Chair, now that I find myself seated on this side of the House, I feel a sudden compulsion to speak about the middle class and those working hard to join it. I would like to make the point that one of the building blocks for our middle class has been free collective bargaining. Things such as better wages, safer working conditions and paid time off have all come through free collective bargaining. Sometimes arbitration is used as a substitute, but when we talk about the new pioneering gains for middle-class people, they really can only come from free collective bargaining.
This is a goal that we should share on all sides of this House, and we should be very concerned when the government steps in to take away the ability for free collective bargaining, for a few reasons. One is that it sets a very negative precedent for other areas of the economy. Another is that it sets a negative precedent for Canada Post itself because if the employees and the management know that they should expect that the federal government is going to step in with back-to-work legislation, it really takes away any incentive or any impetus they have to try to negotiate an actual settlement. It actually gives them a bit of an incentive to wait around for the government to bring in this legislation.
The Minister of Labour actually recognizes that it is not desirable to have back-to-work legislation. She has described it as a last resort and has suggested that all available options were exhausted before bringing in back-to-work legislation. This seems a bit doubtful to me, given the fact that we do not even have a full-scale strike at Canada Post; we just have rotating strikes.
I would actually like to use some of my time to ask the Minister of Labour whether she attempted to negotiate an essential service protocol with the employees of Canada Post to ensure that they would continue to deliver the cheques to low-income people and to charities that she has spoken about and deems to be such an important service. Perhaps I could turn it over to the Minister of Labour to answer that question.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 23:33 [p.23872]
Mr. Chair, the minister indicated to the House earlier today the criteria that would be presented to the arbitrator. One of the criteria the arbitrator is supposed to consider is the financial sustainability of Canada Post. The financial sustainability of Canada Post has often been questioned because the government has insisted that as a Crown corporation, it account for its pension plan on a solvency basis. This is a very unrealistic assumption that posits that Canada Post be wound up and have to pay out all of its pension benefits at once. Of course, this formula necessarily shows an unfunded liability and a problem with financial sustainability.
Some have proposed that it would make much more sense to treat Canada Post like the rest of the federal public service and account for its pension plan on a going concern basis. I would ask the labour minister whether she will be instructing the arbitrator to evaluate Canada Post's financial sustainability with a solvency valuation approach or with a going concern approach.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 23:37 [p.23873]
Mr. Chair, in this debate, the minister has spoken a great deal about the needs of lower-income people and smaller businesses that might depend on service from Canada Post. Something that would help those lower-income individuals and smaller businesses, but would also contribute to Canada Post's financial sustainability, would be for it to move into the area of postal banking. This would provide much-needed financial services to communities and smaller enterprises, which are often underserved by the big banks, while at the same time providing a new source of revenue for Canada Post and a new way of using its offices all across the country in so many communities.
I would like to give the minister a chance to explain whether in this search for financial sustainability, she or the arbitrator will give serious consideration to implementing postal banking.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 23:39 [p.23873]
Mr. Chair, something the government promised during the past election campaign was to restore door-to-door mail delivery. Of course, keeping that promise would make a huge, positive difference for Canada Post and its employees. I would like to give the minister a chance to inform the House when the government is going to restore door-to-door mail delivery.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-23 23:40 [p.23873]
Mr. Chair, so far in this portion of the committee of the whole, I have asked the minister whether, in viewing back-to-work legislation as a last resort, she made an effort to negotiate an essential service protocol with the employees of Canada Post to ensure the delivery of cheques and other services that she does not want to see disrupted. We really have not heard a clear answer to that question, and I think we need one to be able to evaluate whether this actually is the last resort.
I also asked the minister, in terms of financial sustainability, how the Canada Post pension plan is going to be evaluated. That is a critically important question in terms of whether we believe management's storyline that there is a crisis and a need for concessions or whether we recognize that if Canada Post employees were treated the same as other federal public servants, there really would not be such a problem, and we could negotiate with them on a much more positive basis.
I asked the minister whether there would be consideration of postal banking as a way of improving the financial sustainability of Canada Post and of providing a needed service to Canadian communities, some of the same communities the government has tried to invoke in justifying this legislation. All we have really heard is that the arbitrator cannot determine Canada Post's corporate model. Fair enough, but surely the government can, and it would be nice to have an answer to that question as well.
Finally, the last thing I asked was when the government would keep its promise to restore door-to-door mail delivery. The minister mentioned the fact that the government has put a moratorium on the further removal of door-to-door mail delivery, which is a welcome development. However, it is not enough, and it is certainly not what was talked about during the election campaign.
It seems to me that a number of questions have come before the House this evening, and we have not really received complete answers to them. I think that really underscores why we should be having a great deal more time to debate and have deliberations on this type of legislation. The government has certainly made the case that its back-to-work legislation will not violate constitutional rights to free association and collective bargaining. However, one of the best ways to make sure that the legislation complies with the Constitution and other requirements is to actually have a full, proper amount of debate in this House.
I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in such a significant way in the committee of the whole, and I am glad we are having this deliberation. However, I feel that the deliberation we have had so far has really only underscored and exposed the need for a much more fulsome debate on this proposed legislation before we have to have a vote at third reading.
I appeal to other members of this House to reconsider the rushed timeline that has been adopted and to consider the possibility of having a few days, at least, of debate on something that might impinge on the fundamental workplace rights of tens of thousands of Canadians and that might do serious damage to a movement that is so important to the development of the middle class and those working hard to join it.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-22 11:01 [p.23709]
Mr. Speaker, the last time the Government of Canada ordered Canada Post employees back to work, the courts ruled that legislation to be unconstitutional. One of the ways we normally try to make sure legislation is constitutional is by having a full debate on it in this House and by having a full study of it at committee.
Why is the minister putting forward a motion to limit consideration of this potential legislation to only a couple of hours, and how is she so confident that it is going to be constitutional this time?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-22 12:07 [p.23718]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Jonquière and I both worked on the government operations committee study on the future of Canada Post, which clearly showed that cutbacks and concessions are not the way forward for Canada Post.
Today the government is introducing a motion that would sharply limit the amount of time to debate and consider back-to-work legislation for Canada Post employees. This is particularly concerning in light of the 2016 Ontario Superior Court ruling that the 2011 Conservative back-to-work legislation had been unconstitutional.
I would ask the member for Jonquière whether she believes that the Liberal back-to-work legislation is any more likely to be considered constitutional, or whether it would be yet another unconstitutional violation of fundamental workers' rights.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-22 12:36 [p.23722]
Mr. Speaker, government members have been trying to justify back-to-work legislation by noting that management and the union did not avail themselves of arbitration.
I am wondering if the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge could clarify whether the government is contemplating back-to-work legislation that would require binding arbitration or whether the government is contemplating back-to-work legislation that would impose a settlement designed by the government itself.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-19 15:09 [p.23536]
Mr. Speaker, with the lack of pipeline capacity, the price of western Canadian heavy oil has fallen to a record low, undercutting employment and public revenues.
The Alberta government and industry are considering temporarily cutting output to improve prices, but are concerned about federal competition rules.
Can the government assure Alberta and Saskatchewan that the federal Competition Bureau will not interfere if they coordinate a production cut?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-07 19:37 [p.23419]
Mr. Speaker, in June, I asked whether the government would consider sanctioning President Trump's personal business interests in order to lift the American tariffs from our steel and aluminum exports.
I would like to begin by mentioning the high cost of these tariffs for our country. Not only have they reduced current exports and cost jobs in the present, they are also hurting investments in Canada's steel and aluminum industries, which will be costing our economy and employment in the long term as well.
What has the government done so far? Well, it has applied reciprocal tariffs on American steel and aluminum coming into our country. It also has retaliatory tariffs targeting products coming from politically sensitive American electoral districts. While that was a very clever type of retaliation, I really think it has run its course, given that they had American mid-term elections yesterday, with whatever political consequences have been felt. Unfortunately, the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs still apply to Canadian exports. Therefore, we need to look at other options.
As I suggested back in June, one option could be to sanction the personal business interests of President Trump. Unlike previous American presidents, he has not divested his business assets. This makes him uniquely vulnerable to the possibility of sanctions from other countries. I would like to hear what the government's response is to that option.
I think another option we need to look at involves the recently agreed to USMCA. Just this evening, CBC reported that our ambassador to the United States has indicated that the Prime Minister will not participate in a signing ceremony as long as the American steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place. However, it does seem that the government is prepared to go ahead and sign the agreement. CNN interviewed the Prime Minister, and he said, “We're not at the point of saying that we wouldn't sign if it wasn't lifted, although we're trying to make that case.”
It sounds as though the government is prepared to go ahead and sign the USMCA, even if American tariffs continue to apply to Canadian steel and aluminum exports. I think that is a big problem.
One of the obvious goals of a free trade agreement should be to not have that type of tariff in place between our two countries. Therefore, I find it concerning that the government is already signalling, by way of this interview the Prime Minister did on CNN, that the government is prepared to go ahead and sign the USMCA, even if the U.S. keeps these tariffs in place. I think we need our government to take a much stronger stand on that point, and we really need to see some strong action to get these American tariffs off our steel and aluminum exports.
To sum up, we have these American tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum being sold south of the border. It is imposing huge costs on Canada's economy and on Canadian workers. My constituents and other Canadians need to know what the government's plan is and what the government's timeline will be to have these American tariffs removed.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-07 19:44 [p.23420]
Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate that the parliamentary secretary has stated the government's opposition to the illegitimate American tariffs on our steel and aluminum exports. I think everyone in the House shares the goal of removing those tariffs. The question we are debating this evening is how to achieve that goal.
The parliamentary secretary mentioned the government's existing retaliatory strategy, which was largely based on targeting certain American electoral districts. Now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over, I wonder whether the parliamentary secretary believes that strategy has worked or whether he would agree with me that some new strategy is now required.
I would like to hear some kind of a response to the possibility of instead targeting President Trump's personal business interests, rather than continuing with retaliation that targets the American people. I would also like a commitment that the government will not sign USMCA until these tariffs are lifted.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-11-06 15:06 [p.23339]
Mr. Speaker, after determining that China was dumping and subsidizing structural steel, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal applied countervailing duties. However, LNG Canada has sought an exception so it can ship in steel modules from China rather than building them here. We should seize this opportunity to develop Canada's steel industry.
Could the government commit to enforcing existing tariffs against unfairly traded Chinese steel?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-30 15:06 [p.23032]
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow night, Canadian children will be curious to see what gets into their Halloween bags. Unfortunately, trick or treat remains an apt metaphor for how our federal public servants are compensated under the Phoenix pay system. Tomorrow is also the two-year anniversary of the government's deadline to fix Phoenix.
How many more years will it take for the government to implement a payroll system that pays its workers accurately and on time?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-29 19:13 [p.22969]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply the vote, and will vote no.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-29 19:25 [p.22972]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply and will be voting no.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-24 15:06 [p.22795]
Mr. Speaker, with climate rebates, the Prime Minister has offered “mo'” money to Saskatchewan people, but our premier has responded with “Moe” problems.
A solution would be to extend the federal carbon price to the carbon content of imports from countries that do not price their emissions. Will the Prime Minister enact a carbon tariff to ensure a level playing field for Canadian workers and to collect more revenue, which could fund greater rebates?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-22 13:59 [p.22662]
Madam Speaker, over the weekend, CBC reported that this will be Leo Gerard's last term as president of the united steelworkers.
As a member of the union and of the all-party steel caucus, I rise to congratulate Leo on his extensive service to steelworkers across North America, including those at EVRAZ and other workplaces in Regina. Leo distinguished himself as one of a very few Canadians to be elected as president of an international union. With his leadership, the united steelworkers have been steadfast in advocating for a Canadian exemption from U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. All Canadians appreciate such cross-border solidarity as we push to maintain fair and balanced trade with our neighbours.
I invite all members of the House to join me in congratulating Leo.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-18 15:02 [p.22571]
Mr. Speaker, in the past couple of days, Canadians have emitted a great deal of cannabis smoke. However, that is nothing compared to the emissions from energy-intensive cannabis production. U.S. cannabis production emits as much carbon as three million cars.
Has the government estimated the carbon footprint of Canadian cannabis production and what steps has the government taken to limit those emissions as it lights up this new industry?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-18 18:33 [p.22599]
Mr. Speaker, in June, I asked whether the federal government would prioritize the use of Canadian-made steel in infrastructure projects, such as the Trans Mountain expansion, as well as the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal, particularly given the imposition of U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel exports. If we are unable to sell our steel south of the border, it is all the more reason to ensure that we are able to use it in federal infrastructure in our own country. This question is still very much relevant because, of course, we still have American tariffs on Canadian steel exports, even after this USMCA agreement to renew the former NAFTA.
In addition to reiterating that question, I want to raise some other issues regarding the potential benefits to Canadian workers of federal infrastructure spending.
The first thing I want to raise has to do with the Trans Mountain expansion. Kinder Morgan had contracted to do most of the construction with the Christian Labour Association of Canada, which is a very employer friendly organization. It was recently kicked out of the International Trade Union Confederation, and now that Trans Mountain is a public project, I wonder if consideration might be given to reissuing those contracts to more legitimate trade unions that would properly represent their employees and, indeed, bargain for better wages and working conditions.
The second issue I want to raise is that this government was elected on the promise of introducing a modernized fair wages policy, after the former Conservative government had eliminated the federal fair wages legislation. What this really means is that when the federal government builds infrastructure, the construction contracts should require some sort of minimum level of wages for different trades, wages that are better than the prevailing provincial minimum wage. One way the federal government could ensure quite concretely that its infrastructure investment benefits Canadian workers to a greater extent would be to keep its promise to reintroduce some sort of federal fair wages legislation. It is one of the first things I asked about at committee after I was elected, and we are still waiting for the government to make good on that promise.
The third topic I would like to raise would be the notion of community benefit agreements that the Government of Canada could attach to its infrastructure spending. The House passed Bill C-344, a private member's bill, to enable community benefit agreements. I believe that bill is before the Senate, and so it is not law yet. On the other hand, there really is nothing stopping the federal government from choosing to negotiate community benefit agreements when it lets these infrastructure contracts. I believe that would be another way it could ensure that its infrastructure investments are tied to local job and training opportunities, as well as other types of economic and social benefits for the regions where these infrastructure investments are occurring.
I would be very interested to hear from the government whether it will take up any of these suggestions to ensure that its infrastructure spending makes the maximum possible contribution to our Canadian economy.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-18 18:37 [p.22601]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary began his remarks by emphasizing the government's commitment to a rules-based trading system. I certainly appreciate some of the positive accomplishments in the USMCA. However, the fact remains that even with that deal negotiated, we still have American tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum exports. Therefore, the rules-based trading system is not being respected and I guess the question is how we will respond to that. Will we just accept it or will we use federal procurement policy to ensure that in the face of these trade barriers we can at least use Canadian steel in our own infrastructure?
The parliamentary secretary talked a fair bit about the new Champlain Bridge in Montreal. The last time I asked about it, less than 20% of the steel for that project was being manufactured in Canada. Therefore, I think there are opportunities to use some of the steel that we cannot sell south of the border in federal infrastructure right here in Canada.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-16 13:58 [p.22445]
Mr. Speaker, last weekend, the only thing in Saskatoon more exciting than the Blades' come-from-behind overtime victory against the Red Deer Rebels was the Saskatchewan NDP convention. As an automatic delegate, I was privileged to reconnect with many party stalwarts.
Provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili unveiled renew Saskatchewan, a plan to finance the upfront costs of energy installations and retrofits for homes, farms, businesses, municipalities and reserves, with the loans repaid from the energy savings over time. This initiative to create jobs and reduce emissions by tapping into Saskatchewan's tremendous potential for wind, solar and geothermal power should have us all running back to Saskatoon.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-16 15:18 [p.22460]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to apologize for my lack of caution in this case. I did not realize that my delegate badge from this past weekend's Saskatchewan NDP convention might be considered as a prop. I would be willing to table the badge.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-15 12:43 [p.22315]
Mr. Speaker, this is a very esoteric topic, and I think it makes sense to talk about tangible examples.
I spent this past weekend in Saskatoon at the Saskatchewan NDP convention. One of the largest companies in that city is Cameco, which mines uranium in the northern part of the province. For many years, it had a contract with its own subsidiary, in Zug, Switzerland, to sell uranium for the rock-bottom price of only $10 per pound. The uranium was not being consumed in Switzerland. The whole point of this arrangement was to transfer profits from Canada to Switzerland, avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax both federally and in the Province of Saskatchewan.
Could the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook explain to us how Bill C-82 would help to stop companies from engaging in that type of tax avoidance?
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2018-10-15 13:13 [p.22319]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Calgary Shepard for bringing up the challenge posed by intellectual property, where it is very difficult for tax authorities to determine where it is located and how much it is worth. Now, there is a potential solution to that, which is called “formulary apportionment”, essentially allocating a company's profits based on the actual location of its sales and payrolls. We are familiar with the system in Canada because the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow companies to move their profits around between provinces based on transfer pricing. It actually requires them to allocate their Canadian profits based on where they actually employ people and sell their goods and services.
Since we are talking about an attempt at international co-operation through Bill C-82, does the member for Calgary Shepard see prospects to apply formulary apportionment at the international level?
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