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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-24 12:03 [p.2067]
Colleagues, before we begin our proceedings, I would like to say a few words.
We all recognize that this is a highly unusual sitting, given the extraordinary circumstances in which we all find ourselves presently.
As a result, you will notice that the arrangements we are used to are different today. We are fewer in number and other special measures have been put in place based on the recommendations of public health officials.
To that end, I understand that there will be agreement to see the application of Standing Order 17 suspended for the current sitting to allow members the practice of social distancing. I encourage all members to follow this and other recommended best practices during today's proceedings.
As a result, any member who wants to speak or address the Chair can rise from any seat in the House.
In addition, we will suspend the sitting every 45 minutes for approximately one minute in order to allow employees who provide support for the sitting to substitute for each other safely.
Finally, I would ask all members who are tabling a document or proposing a motion to sign the document and bring it to the Table themselves.
I wish to inform the House that pursuant to Standing Order 28(3), the Speaker sent a notice calling the House to meet this day and I now lay this on the table.
What is more, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, the Speaker sent every member a message explaining why the House was being recalled. I would also like to inform the House that, as part of the steps taken by the government under Standing Order 55(1), the Speaker published a special Order Paper and Notice Paper giving notice of a government bill.
I also wish to lay upon the table a letter from the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, dated March 22, 2020.
I recognize the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-03-24 12:06 [p.2067]
Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you suspend until later today, to the call of the Chair, after consultation with the House leaders.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-24 12:06 [p.2067]
Accordingly, the House will remain suspended to the call of the Chair.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-03-24 18:25 [p.2067]
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I think you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
That the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment and that, following the adoption of this order, the sitting be suspended to the call of the Chair after consultation with the House Leaders.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-24 18:25 [p.2067]
Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous of the consent of the House to propose this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Deputy Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-24 18:25 [p.2068]
As a result, the House is suspended.
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:14 [p.2068]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I have the honour to table a notice of a ways and means motion to introduce an act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19.
Pursuant to Standing Order 83(2), I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-03-25 3:15 [p.2068]
Mr. Speaker, we are in an unprecedented crisis that is affecting all Canadians. It is therefore our duty to work together to quickly provide emergency aid. That is why you will find that there have been discussions among the parties and that there is unanimous consent for the following motion:
That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the application of Standing Orders 17, 36(8)(b), 39(5)(b) and 56.1 be suspended for the current sitting, provided that the responses to petitions and questions on the Order Paper otherwise due shall be tabled at the next sitting of the House;
(b) ways and means motion No. 4, notice of which was laid upon the table earlier this day, be concurred in, that a bill based thereon in the name of the Minister of Finance, entitled An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, be deemed to have been introduced and read a first time and ordered for consideration at second reading later this day;
(c) following the adoption of this order, the House shall resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic for a period not exceeding one hour and provided that the Chair may preside from the Speaker's chair; that during the proceedings of the committee, the Chair shall call members in a fashion consistent with the proportions observed during Oral Questions; no member shall be recognized for more than five minutes which may be used for posing questions to a minister of the Crown or a parliamentary secretary acting on behalf of the minister; members may be permitted to split their time with one or more members by so indicating to the Chair; and at the conclusion of the time provided for the proceedings, or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, the committee shall rise;
(d) when the committee of the whole rises, the House shall begin debate on the motion for second reading of the bill referred to in paragraph (b), a member of each recognized party and a member of the Green Party may speak to the said motion for not more than 10 minutes, followed by five minutes for questions and comments; provided that members may be permitted to split their time with another member; and, at the conclusion of the time provided for the debate or when no member rises to speak, whichever is earlier, all questions necessary to dispose of the second reading stage of the bill shall be put without further debate or amendment provided that, if a recorded division is requested, it shall not be deferred and that, if the bill is adopted at second reading, it shall be deemed referred to a committee of the whole; deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, deemed read a third time and passed;
(e) when the bill referred to in paragraph (b) has been read the third time and passed, the House shall adjourn until Monday, April 20, 2020, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28, and, for greater certainty, the provisions of paragraphs (m) to (p) of the order adopted on Friday, March 13, 2020, remain in effect;
(f) if, during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the Speaker receives a notice from the House leaders of all four recognized parties indicating that it is in the public interest that the House remain adjourned until a future date or until future notice is given to the Speaker, the House will remain adjourned accordingly, provided that (i) in the event of the Speaker being unable to act owing to illness or other cause, the Deputy Speaker or either of the Assistant Deputy Speakers shall act in the Speaker's stead for all the purposes of this paragraph, (ii) in the event the House remains adjourned beyond April 20, 2020, pursuant to this paragraph, the words “May 1” and “May 31” in Standing Order 81(4)(a) shall be deemed to read “May 27” and “June 15”, respectively;
(g) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the House may be recalled, under the provisions of Standing Order 28(3), to consider measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19 and the impacts on the lives of Canadians;
(h) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Health and the Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance shall each convene a meeting of their respective committee (i) at least once per week, unless the whips of all four recognized parties agree to not hold a meeting, and (ii) within 48 hours of the receipt by email, by the clerk of the committee, of a request signed by any four members of the committee, that during such meetings, committee members shall attend and witnesses shall participate via either videoconferencing or teleconferencing, that the committees meet for the sole purpose of receiving evidence concerning matters related to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provided that, for greater certainty, each committee may receive evidence which may otherwise exceed the committee's mandate under Standing Order 108(2), all such meetings shall be made available to the public via the House of Commons website, and notices of membership substitutions pursuant to Standing Order 114(2) may be filed with the clerk of each committee by email;
(i) starting the week of March 30, 2020, the Minister of Finance or his delegate shall provide the Standing Committee on Finance with a bi-weekly report on all actions undertaken pursuant to parts 3, 8 and 19 of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act and shall appear before the committee to discuss the report, provided that, until April 20, 2020, or any date to which the adjournment period is extended pursuant to paragraph f), if committee is not satisfied with how the government is exercising its powers under the Act, it may adopt a motion during a meeting by videoconference or teleconference to report this to the House by depositing a report with the Clerk of the House which shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House on that day;
(j) upon the presentation of any report pursuant to paragraph i), the Speaker shall recall the House to consider a motion to take note of the report of the committee which shall be deemed to be proposed and have precedence over all other business that day, provided that proceedings shall expire when debate thereon has concluded or at the ordinary hour of daily adjournment and that at least 48 hours' notice shall be given for any sitting held pursuant to this paragraph;
(k) the Standing Committee on Finance be instructed to commence a review of the provisions and operation of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act within 6 months of the day on which the Act receives royal assent and to report its findings to the House no later than March 31, 2021, provided that the report may be deposited with the Clerk of the House when the House stands adjourned and it shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House on that day;
(l) within 30 sitting days of the resumption of regular sittings of the House pursuant to paragraph e) or f) of this order, the government table a comprehensive report of all activities undertaken pursuant to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act and that this report be permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Finance; and
(m) the House call upon the government to provide regular updates to representatives of opposition parties on its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a bi-weekly conference call between the finance critics of recognized parties and the Minister of Finance.
That concludes the motion, and that is our government's emergency response to help Canadians. We will get through this difficult time together.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2020-03-25 3:25 [p.2069]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order for clarification. I just wanted to clarify part c). The House leader said that we would be resolving into committee of the whole for a period not exceeding one hour. I believe translation said one hour and 45 minutes, so perhaps the House leader could clarify that.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-03-25 3:25 [p.2069]
Mr. Speaker, it is indeed for one hour.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-25 3:26 [p.2069]
Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Deputy Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-03-25 3:26 [p.2069]
Pursuant to an order made earlier today, the House shall now resolve itself into committee of the whole to consider matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I do now leave the chair for the House to go into committee of the whole.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I want to thank my colleagues in the official opposition for all their hard work throughout the day. I want to thank the members of other parties as well as we tried to find a resolution to a problem that was created when the government decided to add additional measures to its financial assistance package.
We recognize that many Canadians are going to face a great deal of difficulty in the days and weeks ahead, and we are ready to help find solutions.
We recognize that Canadians are going to face a great deal of difficulty in the days and weeks ahead and we are here ready to help find solutions. That is what we were expecting to do. The Liberals have now agreed to our grave concerns about the types of sweeping power they were going to give themselves, we do find that we are in a position where we are able to support this going ahead.
That being said, I do have a number of questions for my colleagues across the aisle. As they will well know, many businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy. Many businesses have been told that they must close their doors. Restaurants and other types of businesses in the service industry are facing a great deal of hardship. The government's original proposal was to provide a 10% wage subsidy. I believe the ministers would acknowledge that the situation has changed from those early days and in many cases that will not be sufficient to help individuals stay employed.
Will the government consider other additional measures that would keep small businesses afloat during this difficult time? We have called for not only the raising of that wage subsidy, but also to have GST rebated to the small businesses that have collected that GST over the past few months. That would provide them with a great deal of cash flow that would be able to assist.
Will the government be willing to entertain that type of measure?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:29 [p.2069]
Mr. Chair, the place I would like to start, of course, is to recognize the nature and the scale of the challenges we are facing today. I want to acknowledge that even with the enormous challenges that Canadians are facing and the significant issues our economy is facing, we still do not know and cannot know the depth and duration of the challenge we are facing. How we must protect ourselves is by ensuring that we, together in this House, have the capacity to deal with this on behalf of Canadians.
In that regard, I am obviously pleased that we are moving forward with the legislation proposed today. It will allow us, with the oversight of this House as appropriate, to come forward and make sure that we can protect Canadians in the short term through health measures that are of critical importance, in the medium term as we think about how we deal with our economic challenges, and more importantly, prepare ourselves for opportunity to come out of this challenge in a way that will show the strength of Canadians and Canada for today and for tomorrow.
We have put forward measures here today that we believe are going to enable us to support Canadians and also support Canadian businesses. We think that is the way we should be moving ourselves forward. We have put forward measures that will provide every Canadian who is finding himself or herself away from work because of sickness, quarantine, supporting an elderly parent, supporting their children who might be away from school due to sickness or just because they are away from school, or importantly, if they are away from work because they cannot actually be at work or their employer has asked them to—
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I have to allow for one more question from the Leader of the Opposition. There is the same amount of time for asking the question, basically.
The hon. Leader of the Opposition has one minute to ask a question.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, I will acknowledge that we are in agreement with much of what the finance minister has said. I think we are heading into some uncharted territory. There will be many Canadians who have never looked to government before for assistance who will now be looking to government. We must make sure that we find a way to provide that support to them, and help to keep people in their apartments and homes and able to put food on the table.
One way to ensure that the effects of this downturn last even longer is if the government or our central bank were to consider a quantitative easing measure. That is a guaranteed way to make sure that the lingering effects of this downturn will last years and years beyond what it needs to.
Will the finance minister commit to assuring the House that quantitative easing, printing money, is not something the government would support and certainly not something that the government would request the Bank of Canada to consider?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:32 [p.2070]
Madam Chair, first of all, to continue where I left off, our measure would ensure that every Canadian who is off work for any reason, which means they are not going to be able to have the income that they previously had if they had income the year before, will be able to get a wage subsidy. That, of course, will be very important in allowing them to deal with the challenge that they are facing. This would not only provide the employee with support, but would also ensure that the firm they work for is able to have that kind of support through those funds. That we see as critically important. It would allow those firms to have the people off work who need to be off work and the ones who are at work not at work.
With respect to anything to do with the Bank of Canada, I think it is important to note that the Bank of Canada is independent of government and will remain so under this government.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I will remind members that it is five minutes for questions and comments together. If the question is posed for two minutes, then there is up to two minutes to answer. If there is only one minute left, then it means there is only 30 seconds to ask a question and 30 seconds to answer.
I would ask people to be mindful of the time and to look at me so that I can give them the signal.
The hon. member for Joliette.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-03-25 3:33 [p.2070]
Mr. Morneau, as you know, we are experiencing a pandemic of unprecedented proportions that is putting the economy on hold. Nearly one million people have submitted employment insurance claims. People are worried because they cannot get in touch with anyone at EI. They want to know when they will be getting their cheques.
Mr. Morneau, what will your government do to speed up the process and make sure people get an answer?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I would remind the hon. member for Joliette to address his questions to the Chair.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-03-25 3:34 [p.2070]
Madam Chair, in committee of the whole, I believe we are allowed to use people's names.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I can confirm for the hon. member that he must address his questions to the Chair and refrain from naming individuals in the House.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-03-25 3:35 [p.2070]
Madam Chair, it is my understanding that, in committee of the whole, we are allowed to name individuals.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The hon. member for Joliette does not have the correct information. He must address his questions and comments to the Chair and refrain from calling members, including ministers, by their names.
The hon. Minister of Finance.
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:35 [p.2070]
Madam Chair, that is a very important question. We know that access to these funds is very important to all Canadians who are struggling because of COVID-19. That is why we came up with a simple and rapid solution to ensure that people receive this money over the next two or three weeks. We are aiming for the first week of April. This is very important to them, and very important to our economy.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-03-25 3:36 [p.2070]
Madam Chair, I want to thank the Minister of Finance for reassuring the public in that regard.
It is important to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. We need to think about the unemployed, about the workers who have not accumulated sufficient hours to qualify for EI, and about self-employed workers. A program will be created for those individuals.
However, I am thinking of small business owners, who often do not even have any employees. In the technical briefings we have had so far, we have been told that when it comes to registered small businesses, people will not be eligible for the income support measure. Restaurant owners are often forced to shut down and will no longer have any income.
Aside from possibly deferring tax payments and granting access to loans, will there be anything else for these individuals, like the income support measure?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:37 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, we continue to come up with ways to ensure that our small and medium-sized business owners are in good shape.
To be eligible, individuals must have earned $5,000 or more in the past 12 months and find themselves with no income as a result of COVID-19. Those are the conditions. A small business owner therefore has the same access to benefits as anyone else. That is very important.
Of course, we will continue to think of ways to ensure that all Canadians are able to deal with this difficult situation.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-03-25 3:38 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, I want to thank the Minister of Finance for that clarification. This will ease a serious concern felt by many people in our communities.
With regard to the income support measure and payments, we are still waiting for the calculation grid. In the technical briefings, we have not yet been told what the calculation grid might look like or when we will have access to that.
Can the Minister of Finance indicate, first of all, what the calculation grid might look like, and second, when we might have access to that grid to assess the sums that might be available?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:38 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, we know the situation is changing rapidly. We therefore need more information. We will make an announcement when we are ready. It will be in the next few days, certainly. I know this is very important. We are working on getting the exact numbers very soon.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:39 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, my question is for the Minister of Finance.
We know that in the last week alone nearly a million Canadians applied for EI. Canadians are faced with an impossible choice: Do they stay home and help prevent the spread of an illness but risk not being able to pay their rent or put food on the table or do they go to work and risk the spread of the illness to their loved ones and themselves? People cannot wait until April or May for help. They need help immediately. There are many workers now who are in the gig economy, freelance and contract workers who need immediate supports.
Will the Minister of Finance consider our proposal to send, while we are in this crisis, $2,000 to each Canadian monthly and an additional $250 for each child? This form of universal basic income would provide direct support to Canadians who desperately need it.
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:40 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, we are ensuring that all Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 are in a situation where they can face up to this challenge.
The announcements we have made with this legislation allow us to create a benefit for everyone who has been in a situation where they previously earned revenue of $5,000 or more in the past 12 months, and because of sickness, because of quarantine, because they need to stay home to protect themselves and their family because their employer has asked them to stay home, and they are not receiving revenue as a result. Those people will have access to the benefit. That we think is critically important. I can assure the member that in that way we have in fact taken his very legitimate question and come up with a solution.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:41 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, I have spoken to indigenous leaders across the country. They are highlighting some serious concerns they have. Because of historic and ongoing injustices, indigenous communities have inadequate access to clean drinking water, housing, and health care services. As a result, leaders are concerned their communities will not be able to deal with COVID-19 if they are exposed and it starts to spread. They are concerned about the lack of resources, equipment and supplies.
What is the plan to ensure that indigenous communities get the supports they need? I also want to make it clear that isolation tents are not going to cut it. What is the plan to help indigenous communities in this crisis?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:42 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, in a time of challenge like we are facing, we recognize that Canadians in many different situations are facing extreme challenges which we have never seen before. We recognize that indigenous peoples, first nations, the Inuit nation and the Métis nation are indeed facing real challenges, especially when they live in places that are remote or unable to access appropriate health care. When we came out with our measures, we recognized this. We recognized it by putting more than $300 million into our package. We also recognized that we need to work together to consider the specific situations that people are facing in particular parts of our country.
We will be doing that right now, over the course of the next number of days. I would invite the member opposite if he has suggestions to get them to me and we will most certainly consider them.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:43 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, one of the big concerns we have is that while we are dealing with the immediate crisis of COVID-19 and the immediate impacts on society, we also need to make sure that we have a plan once this immediate health care issue is dealt with and we look at the recovery.
People need to know that they will have a job to return to. A lot of small businesses are struggling right now with the impacts of COVID-19. What I am suggesting to the government is that we need to increase the wage subsidy. Right now the government is proposing 10%. We are suggesting that what is needed is at least a 75% wage subsidy or more. Will the government commit to increasing the wage subsidy to at least 75% to help small businesses and ensure that workers have a job to return to?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:44 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, this situation is moving quickly. I appreciate that all of the members in this chamber have not in any way had the opportunity to fully understand what it is we are trying to achieve.
We are, in fact, delivering a wage subsidy directly to Canadians. What we are doing is making sure those Canadians who are furloughed from their employment, meaning they are not separated from their employment but they are off work and not able to get income from their employment, whether it be because they are at home or whether it be because they are sick, in those situations they will be getting the emergency benefit that we are proposing.
In that way, we can ensure the wage subsidy is not only that amount, but for employees who stay at work, it is the additional 10%.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Employment.
Applications for regular EI have overwhelmed the system and no one can get hold of Service Canada to apply. With a whole new benefit, how will the caseload be managed to ensure that people can apply and how are staff resources being redirected to support Canadians?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:45 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, we have intentionally created this new benefit separate from the EI system so that we can continue to process claims that were filed before March 15, and we can continue to process claims for other benefits, like maternity and parental benefits, since March 15. Any claim that has been filed since March 15 will be channelled into this new Canada emergency response benefit, and any EI claim that is filed between now and when this new application for this benefit arises will be also channelled into the new benefit.
I can assure members that we have redirected every single possible resource to Service Canada. I do not have the exact number, but I think it is about 1,300 people who have been redirected to work on processing these claims and answering these questions. We have had an enormous volume of EI claims. We have had an enormous number of questions to Service Canada. We are doing our utmost to answer them and respond as quickly as possible.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, many people who are about to go on parental leave have been laid off and have had to start EI, which will reduce the time that they can be on parental leave. Will their leave be extended to ensure that they can take their planned time with their new child?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:46 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, any EI entitlement that a worker currently has will not in any way be impacted by the new Canada emergency response benefit. Whatever someone is entitled to now he or she will be entitled to after the 16 weeks.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, last Friday the government announced temporary foreign workers already here would be extended from one year to two, and in certain industries it will be easier and faster to bring in a temporary foreign worker. We see in this legislation tonight, under the definition of “worker”, it says “resident of Canada”.
Does this new benefit apply to citizens and permanent residents or to anyone who lives here, such as those on a work visa?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:47 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, the intent behind this new benefit is to deal with the crisis we are facing. We have created a new benefit, and the idea behind the new benefit is with respect to anyone who has received revenue of $5,000 or more in the last 12 months and anyone who has found themselves in a situation where their income has gone down to nothing as a result of COVID-19. That is the attestation we are asking the individual to make. We would then adjudicate that claim on a simple form that would allow us to move forward to get the individual the money as rapidly as possible through the Canada Revenue Agency, which is the system that is the largest and most robust that the government has.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, we are looking for clarity. Will people who here as temporary foreign workers who lose their jobs be able to apply for this benefit, yes or no?
View Bill Morneau Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bill Morneau Profile
2020-03-25 3:48 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, as I said, the criteria are as I laid them out. We also need to recognize that in a time of extreme challenge, a time in which we are working to make sure we protect Canadians facing challenges as a result of this coronavirus, we need to move fast and we need to find a way to get revenue and sources of income to people as rapidly as possible.
We are working to make sure all the details are deliberated on and delivered as soon as humanly possible.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, this bill states that one would not be eligible if one received employment insurance after one's employment ceased. Will a fisher or someone in the tourism and hospitality industries who was laid off last year, received EI and has now exhausted it, and the job that person expected to have this summer is gone due to COVID-19, be eligible for this benefit?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:49 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, given the member's fact pattern, if that individual met the eligibility of 15 years of age, earned $5,000 in the past year and was a resident of Canada, I believe, to the best of my knowledge, yes.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, my question is for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Given the current situation, has the minister established a contingency plan with the private sector in order to protect and maintain operations in critical infrastructure sectors, such as ports, airports, power plants and railroads?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, we are working with the whole of government in reaching out to all of the 10 critical infrastructure sectors in this country to ensure continuity of supply and services throughout the country. It is being very carefully monitored and we are working diligently to ensure all critical infrastructure sectors will be maintained.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, it appears at the moment that the larger provinces like Quebec and Ontario, which have resources, are in control of the situation. However, we know that the smaller provinces will need some help.
Is your government able to help them without invoking the Emergencies Act?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I would remind the hon. member that he must address his comments to the Chair.
The hon. minister.
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, I am pleased to advise members that I am in contact with our provincial and territorial partners several times each week. We have been working very closely with them, listening to their concerns and responding to any requests they may have. We have the ability, through the Emergency Management Act, to provide resources to a province should it be necessary.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, over one million Canadians returned to Canada between March 14 and March 20. In just one week, one million people crossed our borders. Some border officers have said that many people entered the country with visible flu-like symptoms.
Knowing that the virus entered Canada across the border, did the minister recommend that the Prime Minister close our borders at the outset and require travellers to self-isolate?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, based on the advice we have received from our public health officials, all persons entering Canada are, first of all, asked with respect to their symptoms whether they have a headache, fever or any other symptoms of COVID-19. If they do, they are immediately directed to a public health referral to receive further inquiry and treatment, if necessary.
Every person entering Canada from an international destination, the United States or anywhere else in the world, is also advised to enter into a 14-day period of self-isolation. As they enter, people are required to acknowledge that they have been asked about symptoms and to acknowledge that they have been given the advice to pursue 14 days of isolation.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, according to some experts, family violence is expected to increase as a result of consequences related to the virus, isolation and everything that goes along with that. I am wondering whether the government has planned any additional measures to keep vulnerable women, seniors and children safe.
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, this is something that we are quite aware of. We know that all kinds of violence increase when people are under stress. We also know that issues around substance use and mental health are exacerbated when people are under tremendous stress.
That is why we are working with my colleague, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, to ensure that we have partnerships in place to support people who are vulnerable in these circumstances.
I will also say that we are working very diligently on a mental health act that would be available to all Canadians in the days to come. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and we want to thank all the organizations that are working so hard to protect the safety of both women and children.
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Chair, we have learned that when cargo ships dock in Canada, disembarking crew members are not being screened. Does the minister have any information about that?
View Marc Garneau Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, under international law, when a ship arrives at a port, the people who work onboard the ship have access to the port for a very short period of time. We are abiding by that at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation, but we have a duty to comply with international law.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Chair, many Canadians are stranded abroad, worried and wanting to come home at the first opportunity. I would like to extend thanks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for his collaboration and the information he has given in working with all of our colleagues in the House to get as many Canadians home as quickly as possible.
We also recognize that there are many Canadians abroad who may have to stay in place. I am wondering if the minister could give them advice and identify what kind of support his office could offer them.
View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Chair, I thank the member for the great collaboration. What we are doing is probably the largest repatriation effort in Canada's history, in peacetime at least.
I want to say that no one is going to be left behind. We are doing, as the member said, the largest repatriation. We are helping people to come home.
For those who will not be able to come home, we will provide consular services, wherever they might be. We have already worked with our missions to identify what we can do, and we will continue to help Canadians wherever they might be.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Chair, during this crisis, there will be a need for critical medical items, many of which are not manufactured in Canada. Will the government ensure that those critical items are manufactured in Canada?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, in fact, procurement of medical devices, including personal protective equipment, testing kits and a number of other items that are in desperate need all around the globe, is a major preoccupation of mine. Certainly my department, in partnership with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, is looking at domestic manufacturing of many of these items. I am very encouraged by the volume of manufacturers and suppliers who have stepped up to be part of a Canadian solution in this time of immense need.
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