Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-20 12:19 [p.29469]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to offer my condolences to Mr. Warawa's family and friends and to his colleagues in the Conservative caucus.
Mr. Warawa proudly served the people of Langley—Aldergrove for 15 years. He was taken from us by cancer today, reminding us that there is still a long way to go to beat this terrible disease.
The last time he addressed the House, Mr. Warawa knew this day would come. He reminded us that members must not let themselves get too caught up in politics and forget what matters. He told us to take care of ourselves and to spend time with our families, because in the end, that is what really matters.
Rest in peace, Mark. Thank you for your public service and your contribution to your country.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-19 15:16 [p.29394]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has no credibility when it comes to the environment. Just 24 hours after declaring a climate emergency, he gave the green light to the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will produce more greenhouse gas emissions than all of Quebec's industries combined.
He is apologizing by saying that he is going to invest $500 million in green energy, but he is investing $14 billion in pollution.
How is the Prime Minister going to fight climate change by investing our money in a project that creates more pollution than all of Quebec?
View Xavier Barsalou-Duval Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, today, I am tabling a petition calling on the government to protect the banks of the St. Lawrence River corridor.
This petition follows on an e-petition signed by about 700 people that has already been submitted. This time, the clerk certified 1,500 signatures on this paper petition. In the past, when Canadians came to Parliament Hill, the Minister of Transport refused to meet with them. We hope that, even if he does not meet with them, he will still respond favourably to the petition. The erosion of the banks of the St. Lawrence River is a very important issue for the petitioners. It affects their daily lives. I think the minister should show a little humanity.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-18 10:20 [p.29266]
Mr. Speaker, I have another 50 or so signatures to add to the 3,792 signatures on last week's petition calling for a public inquiry into the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
This petition is not just about the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. It is about all aspects of rail safety. Decades of deregulation and privatization have jeopardized rail safety across the country.
Petitions are a way for citizens to make their voices heard. There are other ways. A documentary series about the Lac-Mégantic tragedy is in production. We will not give up.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-18 13:06 [p.29290]
Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the parliamentary secretary, who said that a price on pollution improves economic competitiveness. That is what OECD researchers are saying. That is a message for my Conservative colleagues.
However, I do not agree with the Liberals, who keep repeating that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. That is not the case for Trans Mountain.
The more we increase oil sands development, the more we increase greenhouse gas emissions. Here are a few statistics. Since 2005, the oil sands have grown by 158%. Alberta is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which rose by 28.7% between 2009 and 2016.
The economy and the environment do not always go hand in hand, when it comes to the extraction of dirty oil from the oil sands.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 14:00 [p.29298]
Mr. Speaker, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, tax evasion costs us $26 billion and banks and oil companies reap the rewards.
That is $26 billion that is not being taxed and used to pay for our nurses or to renovate our schools and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Canada Revenue Agency calculates how much money people are hiding, but not how much money people keep in tax havens with the CRA's permission. Corporations and banks are allowed to engage in tax avoidance. That is what the Liberals are hiding when they talk about tax fairness.
The CRA will put a citizen who owes $100 through hell to get that money, but Ottawa allows banks to hide billions of dollars in Barbados.
The Liberals even legalized three new tax havens during their term. They say that the net is tightening on tax cheats, but it is more like a window that is opening.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2019-06-18 15:07 [p.29312]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice said yesterday that Bill 21 violates fundamental rights and individual freedoms and that he would always defend the charter. He was basically saying that he intends to challenge the Government of Quebec's secularism law.
My question is simple. Is the minister going to wait until after the election to challenge Bill 21, for fear of alienating Quebeckers?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2019-06-18 15:08 [p.29312]
Mr. Speaker, the government already dictates what people can and cannot wear. Soldiers, RCMP officers and prison guards all wear uniforms. Male MPs have to wear a tie in order to be recognized in the House of Commons. I do not hear the Minister of Justice objecting to those rules.
What is the real reason that the Minister of Justice wants to challenge a state secularism law that is supported by the people of Quebec?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:30 [p.29360]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Durham for his speech.
Today we are debating the new NAFTA. The government announced that it wanted to fast-track it. For the Trans-Pacific Partnership we heard more than 400 witnesses in committee. There are just three days left before the House adjourns for the summer, followed by the election.
Does the member for Durham think this is all a pre-election spectacle by the government to show Canadians that it is resolving the matter of free trade, or is the Prime Minister simply sending a message to President Trump, telling him that he is taking care of it and will see him next week?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:32 [p.29360]
Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois does not oppose the implementation of the new NAFTA, now known as CUSMA. We had two conditions for agreeing to consider the bill. We stated our reasons more than once, and I even wrote about them in the U.S. media. First, we wanted the issue of the steel and aluminum tariffs to be resolved. That has been done. However, there is also the issue of supply management, which has not been resolved.
The government wants to ram through the implementation bill for the agreement, and we are opposed to that. As I indicated in my previous question, more than 400 witnesses were invited to appear before the committee when it was studying the trans-Pacific partnership. However, to date, no witnesses have been invited to speak about CUSMA, the new NAFTA. We are therefore opposed to its implementation, because it puts the cart before the horse.
In Washington, Congress has barely started looking at the new agreement, and Congress has the authority to sign international agreements. The text that the Prime Minister signed in November may change. We know that the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, disagree with the Republicans, who control the U.S. Senate, about a number of things. The Democrats may well demand changes to the agreement before they endorse it. As of now, Congress has not even drafted the bills to implement the agreement, yet here we are debating ours. This makes no sense. Implementing an agreement that has not even been finalized is nothing more than pre-election smoke and mirrors.
Where is the fire? NAFTA is still in force and will remain in force after the dissolution of the House. There is no rush. I understand the government wanting to cross a few things off its to-do list, but doing a sloppy job is not the right way to bolster its record. Doing things properly means waiting. Furthermore, this agreement has some very real implications, and the government has not even bothered to listen to the people it will affect. That is a major problem.
Like all agreements, this one has winners and losers. The losers will need compensation, guidance and help, and that needs to happen at the same time as ratification, not afterwards, on the 12th of never. We know that promises made before ratification are quickly forgotten. Just look at the workers in the shipbuilding industry. They were told they would be compensated, and the next day, they were forgotten. We can also think of workers in the clothing, furniture, agriculture and automotive industries. They are getting no support.
We all know that this agreement was signed at the expense of our supply-managed farmers, our regions and our agricultural model. There is nothing to help them deal with this, nothing but vague promises. There was nothing in the notice of ways and means motion tabled a few weeks ago either.
After four years, we know what this government's promises are worth. It has been two years since CETA and the TPP were signed, but our farmers have yet to see even a hint of any cheques, and they will not get one red cent before the election. Despite its lofty promises, the government has done nothing. It should be ashamed. Because of its inaction, any commitments made in the budget have become campaign promises. Canadians have been burned, so all trust is gone.
With respect to CUSMA, the programs should already be in place when the agreement comes into force. Our farmers have been fleeced twice now, but they will not be fleeced a third time.
I want to address another issue of concern to dairy farmers. With CUSMA, Donald Trump will have control over the export of milk proteins, class 7. That is an unprecedented surrender of sovereignty by this government. Our farmers can currently sell surplus milk protein on foreign markets. If the agreement comes into force too quickly, there is a good chance that Washington and President Donald Trump will completely block our exports. It is worrisome. The risk is very real. That would completely destabilize Quebec's dairy industry.
If we get our protein exports in order before the agreement is implemented, there is a chance that the Americans will see the matter as resolved and will let it go. That is what we want. The last three agreements were signed at the expense of our producers. If the government implements this agreement in the worst way possible, it will cause irreparable harm. I think our farmers have been punished enough by the government. Enough is enough. For this reason alone, it is worth waiting. I think we all agree on that.
As I was saying, we do not systematically oppose every free trade agreement. We support free trade in principle. Quebec needs free trade. I also want to say that CUSMA, the new NAFTA, is not all bad. If I were a Canadian, I would probably think that the Minister of Foreign Affairs got a good deal. For example, she shielded Ontario's auto sector from potential tariffs. She also protected Canada's banking sector from American competition. That is not nothing. It is good for Ontario. She maintained access to the American market for grain from the west. This is good for the Prairies. This is a good agreement for Canada.
She also took back Canada's control over the oil trade, which Brian Mulroney abandoned in 1988. Alberta must be happy. For once, I am not being heckled too much. She did away with the infamous chapter 11 on investments and preserved the cultural exception. That is good. However, the specific gains for Quebec are less clear. I talked about supply-managed producers. I could talk about how the Government of Quebec will have to pay more for biologic drugs and will no longer be able to collect QST on packages arriving from the United States from Amazon or other web giants. Small retailers will find themselves at a disadvantage. What is more, copyright will be extended from 50 years to 70.
In short, we need to look at all of those things in order to implement measures that will help Quebeckers benefit from the new opportunities that are available and put programs in place to compensate those the government abandoned during the negotiations. We need to do all that before we vote on this legislation. No party in the House deserves to be given a blank cheque.
I hope that, after the election, the Bloc Québécois will have the balance of power. That is what political analysts are saying could happen. Then, there will be no more blank cheques.
An hon. member: Oh, oh!
Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie: Madam Speaker, the member for Brossard—Saint-Lambert will see. For the first time in years, Quebeckers will be able to rest assured that their interests are being taken into account. In order to do that, we need to wait before voting on the NAFTA implementation bill. There is no hurry.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:41 [p.29361]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his thoughtful question.
Before I answer, I do not think I made myself clear in my speech, so I wanted to say again that I will be sharing my time with the member for Davenport. The microphone was off, but—
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-06-18 21:42 [p.29362]
Madam Speaker, I also said that I wanted to share my time with the member for Davenport, but you could not hear me because the microphone was off.
I therefore ask the unanimous consent of the House to share my time.
An hon. member: No.
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