Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 100 of 13394
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I call the meeting to order.
Welcome to the 10th meeting of the House of Commons Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that today's proceedings will be televised in the same way as a typical sitting of the House.
We will now proceed to ministerial announcements.
The honourable Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.
View Maryam Monsef Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Boozoo, aaniin and as-salaam alaikum, colleagues. I hope you're safe. I hope you're well, and I wish the same for your teams and for your loved ones.
It's a privilege to be back in the House, on the traditional territory that the Algonquin peoples have called home for so many generations.
Let me begin by first recognizing and appreciating nurses on the front lines of this work. Last week, as a country, we mobilized to celebrate them. Let me thank the nurses who were by the bedside of Sister Ruth Hennessey in Peterborough and saw her through her final moments, the nurses who were with my own grandmother in her own final moments, the nurses who are having very difficult conversations with their loved ones, explaining why they can't be close to them. We thank them, and we look forward to a day when their work and the demand on their services is less than it is today.
It is my honour to stand in the House and pay tribute to the incredible women, past and present, who have shaped Canada, who have struggled to create change in systems that don't always welcome it, who have pushed to create a stronger and fairer country, and who have led the way in the drive for equality. Our government will continue to take our lead from those on the front lines of the efforts to advance equality. We have worked with them every step of the way since we formed government. Our plan is working because we're working with them.
COVID-19 is a crisis unlike any other. It's hit women hardest with jobs lost and women taking on more unpaid work than they already were for their kids as well as their elders. Women are the majority of those on the front lines of the fight against COVID. That includes nurses, of course, but also personal support workers, other health care workers, child care workers, food sector workers and social workers.
The rates of domestic violence and gender-based violence were high in Canada pre-COVID, with a woman being killed by her intimate partner every six days. We were already moving ahead with a national action plan to address and prevent gender-based violence. We were already well poised to work with our territorial and provincial counterparts to make this happen. We were already adopting a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive and intersectional approach.
What the pandemic has done is exacerbate the vulnerabilities of too many women and their children. COVID-19 has resulted in a shadow pandemic, exacerbating the issue of gender-based violence. As a result of the necessary isolation measures, coupled with the pressures that people are experiencing, many of our partners on the front lines are telling us that the rates and severity of violence have increased. At the same time, some organizations are telling us that things are eerily quiet. This is especially true in more rural and remote parts of this country, where too many are without access to high-speed Internet.
The isolation measures in place mean that some women are unable to seek help due to increased scrutiny and control, compounded by a lack of access to friends, extended families, community centres, schools and places of worship. In too many instances, they're trapped at home with their abusers.
Just because we can't see it does not mean it's not happening. This pandemic has not made the violence stop. It's driven it further underground. We may not be able to see it, but we know it's happening.
Too many may not be aware that support organizations are open and are ready to help. Help is available. You don't need to stay at home if your home is not a safe home.
To ensure that these organizations are able to continue their critical work at this important time, our government announced $50 million to support them—$40 million being delivered through my own department and $10 million being delivered through the department of Indigenous Services Canada. I thank my colleague there for his strong partnership.
As well, $23 million has been provided to Women's Shelters Canada and the Canadian Women's Foundation, who worked quickly to get money into the bank accounts of front-line organizations. I thank Lise Martin and Paulette Senior for their effective leadership. Payments began to flow in April. As of today, I can confirm that 422 women's shelters and 89 sexual assault centres have received funding.
We've of course reached a separate agreement with the Government of Quebec, which is receiving $6.4 million in federal funding to flow to their front-line organizations. Those funds were transferred to the province in early May.
We're deeply grateful to women's and equality-seeking organizations across the country for providing services to women and to vulnerable children. They're providing critical supports, and we will continue to support them so that they can continue to be there for women and children in their hour of need.
Organizations are using these funds to keep their staff paid, to keep their doors open and to ensure that the most vulnerable in communities across the country have a place to turn to. The money is helping to assist them in purchasing cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to protect workers and those they serve, and in securing additional laptops and software so that they can support their clients remotely and allow for necessary physical distancing measures.
An additional $10 million will be distributed to address gaps and support hundreds of other organizations. All eligible organizations will receive funding by early June, and I will have more to share with my colleagues and with Canadians in the coming days.
If your home is not a safe home for you or your family, you don't have to stay. Reach out to a local organization directly or talk to someone you trust to discuss your options and plan your exit. Visit sheltersafe.ca. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local emergency services. There are people answering crisis lines across the country and they can help you even if you have only a few minutes to talk, including the kids helpline. You can reach them at 1-800-668-6868.
If you can't speak on the phone, the signal for help is a simple one-handed sign you can use during a video call. It can help you silently show that you need help and want someone to check in with you in a safe way. Put your palm to the camera, tuck your thumb and trap your thumb. If you see someone signalling for help, call and ask them open-ended questions like “Are you okay?”, “Do you want me to call 911?” or “Do you want me to check in with you regularly?” Visit the Canadian Women's Foundation website for more details. They have created this hand signal.
No one should have to live through violence, whether it's physical, psychological, financial or sexual. I want to assure all those impacted by gender-based violence, and indeed all Canadians, that we will continue to be there for you throughout the pandemic, and that as we move forward together, things will get better.
Thank you.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now go to Ms. Dancho.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We will now move on to Ms. Chabot.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We will now go to Ms. Mathyssen.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We stand at a pivotal moment, a moment that will be looked back on for how Canadian society and the global community banded together to help one another fight an invisible enemy. Hard decisions had to be made and, with the spirit of collaboration, parliamentarians have come together to deliver programs that are helping millions of Canadians weather the storm of the pandemic.
While we are all in the same storm, Mr. Chair, we are not all in the same boat and, sadly, many are taking on water. COVID-19 has exposed the many cracks in our system and has highlighted the millions of Canadians who were struggling before the pandemic even began.
I think of the many people in my constituency who have no access to health benefits. With fewer employers offering benefits, people are having to pay out of pocket for needed medications. There are those workers who are deemed essential and who fear falling ill, as they have no sick leave and, with poverty-level minimum wages, they struggle to pay rent and put food on the table. There are seniors struggling on fixed incomes, who see the costs of everyday goods continuing to rise and the money they receive from their pensions covering less. As well, I often speak to younger Canadians who do not even know what a workplace pension is because they are becoming increasingly rare.
Daily, I speak with women who face incredible barriers, barriers that generations of women have been fighting to tear down, yet they still stand. Those barriers existed through government after government. Those barriers continue to stand under this Liberal government. You can forgive those who are discouraged by the fact that they still must fight the battles of generations past, despite its being 2020.
While we are still experiencing the effects of COVID-19, there is hope that we will soon see the other side of this pandemic. At that time, we will stand at the crossroads, and we'll have to decide how we go forward. What kind of Canada do we want to see? Already, like clockwork, you can count on those in the right wing sirening a call for austerity and a devastating agenda of cuts that will prolong the sufferings of Canadians and what they are already feeling.
I hear from women's organizations and charities about the kinds of supports they need. They and I humbly propose a different vision from the same old neo-liberal agenda that is on offer, one where the government stops the project-based funding model for organizations that support women and charities. That model has forced organizations to continuously address the symptomatic problems women and marginalized Canadians face, rather than address the real issues. We need to change how we fund these organizations. Until we get back to offering consistent, reliable core funding, we cannot begin to address the systemic barriers that keep people down.
In my home of London, Ontario, we saw a clear example of this just last week. Funding that was allocated for organizations to provide long-term support to trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls is being cut. These women already face incredible trauma and abuse. They need support and stability, and the government is taking it away because the project has ended—except people don't live in projects with hard timelines. I fear for the women who will come after and who are fleeing violence and now have fewer places to turn to because of the actions of this feminist government.
Because of the models of funding that governments have put in place, they starve women's organizations. They have to scramble to find whatever funding they can to deliver the critical supports they offer our communities across this country. Short-term funding can't solve long-term problems. Sadly, because of COVID-19, when more is being asked of them, when supports are needed the most, their ability to raise money has all but vanished. These organizations, like many Canadians, don't have rainy day funds. They don't own the buildings they are in, and they are scrambling to keep the lights on while helping people who desperately need it.
We can help them so that we can help Canadians. We need a government that will take some bold steps and show some courage.
Another simple but effective measure that can help women now and going forward is for Canada to establish paid domestic violence leave. From the government's own data, domestic violence accounted for 30% of all police-reported violent crime in Canada in 2017. Eight out of 10 times, women were the victims.
Many women and those who are marginalized not only suffer at the hands of their abusers but also suffer significant financial costs when they are trying to escape. We can and should put in whatever financial backing we can to help those who are fleeing that violence. What we need is a government that has the political will to do it.
Mr. Chair, women are still not equal in the workplace. Of course, we see this in a variety of ways. I'll quote the former member of Parliament for Qu'Appelle and the fifth woman ever elected to the House of Commons, Gladys Strum, who said:
I submit to the house...that no one has ever objected to women working. The only thing they have ever objected to is paying women for working.
For every 10 jobs that have been lost due to COVID-19, six were lost by women. We have seen the extreme toll that takes.
We have also seen women laid off, unable to acquire the needed hours to receive maternity benefits. Every week, expectant mothers reach out to my office to ask what will happen to them in a post-pandemic world where they are unable to return to work and fall short of the hours they need to claim the benefits they need.
There are many ways the work that women do goes unrecognized. Because of old, tired views of what constitutes work, enshrined by outdated laws and regulations, a lot of work is unpaid, overlooked and taken for granted. With children out of school, the home has become the day care or school. With a lack of supports for seniors at home, often the responsibility of caring for them falls on women.
While we have made a lot of progress since MP Strum said those words in the House in 1945, when it comes to recognizing the work of women and pay equity, a lot more needs to be done. Around 56% of women are employed in occupations involving the five Cs: caring, clerical, catering, cashiering and cleaning. The differences in how female-dominated occupations are valued relative to male-dominated jobs contribute to gender-based pay inequality. Right now, Canadian women make 32% less than men do, and the gap is even wider for racialized women, immigrant women, women with disabilities and indigenous women.
Respect for indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people must be at the core of a new Crown-indigenous relationship, but for too many indigenous women, systemic discrimination and violence continue to be a reality.
After the Conservatives refused to address the tragedy of murdered and missing indigenous women for almost a decade, the Liberal government finally launched a long-overdue inquiry. However, they set it up with a limited mandate and failed to adequately care for the families who courageously shared their stories. The inquiry's finding of a genocide against indigenous women in Canada demands action from all Canadians. The report from the national inquiry must not sit on the shelf. The government needs to work in partnership with indigenous women, the families of the murdered and missing, and the communities, to implement the inquiry's call for justice and the calls to action brought forward by communities.
As more and more businesses are slowly allowed to reopen, people need to know they can return to work safely. They need to know their children will be cared for and kept safe. Many people don't have the privilege of working from home, and the government has a responsibility to guarantee them more security and supports. People have sacrificed so much, and Canadians did this in good faith. They put the needs of their communities first so we could weather this storm. The government must make public its plan to transition into our next phase so that those sacrifices are not wasted.
With bold thinking and political courage, we could bring forward some exciting new realities. Let's make workplaces safer and give workers 10 mandatory days of paid sick leave. Let's make child care available, affordable and accessible. Canadians want to go back to work. Let's make sure that when they go back, they can stay safe and stay healthy.
We have a lot of choices ahead of us. We can ensure a Canada that removes the barriers women and marginalized people face so that they can meet their full potential. We can address the core funding crisis women's organizations and charities face. We can work to change the laws to recognize all the many ways women work and contribute to our economy and society. We can address pay equity, an issue that is long overdue. We can redefine relationships with indigenous communities across Canada. We can move forward in a positive, progressive way. We can make further investments in the people who make up the neighbourhoods, organizations and communities we love. They are our foundations. They are our anchor.
It is certainly never too late to invest in people and the programs that reinforce our society. That ship hasn't sailed. In fact, the tide is just coming in.
Thank you.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The next statement goes to Mr. Manly.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now proceed to the presenting of petitions, for a period not exceeding 15 minutes.
I would like to remind honourable members that petitions presented during a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic must already have been certified by the clerk of petitions.
Once a member has presented their petition, we ask that they please drop off their petition at the table.
Mr. Genuis.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Barsalou-Duval, the floor is yours.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, following the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, I would also like to present a petition where the signatories have grave concerns with respect to human organ trafficking. As the member stated, Canadians can be rightly concerned with the WHO's endorsement of practices that are currently being undertaken by the state in China, so we're looking for support for Bill S-204.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now proceed to the questioning of ministers.
Please note that we will suspend the proceedings every 45 minutes to allow the employees supporting the work of the sitting to replace each other in complete safety.
The honourable Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Scheer.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Blanchet, the floor is yours.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
One moment, please. Mr. Kurek has a point of order.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
It's interesting that you bring that up. It's a discussion I had while it was said.
I asked the table officers because it was said a bit in a roundabout way, but it was not directly referring to anybody in the room or referring to a group; it was more about proportionality. It was kind of borderline, but it's not quite a point of order. It's not quite sustainable, but it is something that is a concern.
I am sorry, Mr. Blanchet. You may continue.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We now move on to Mr. Singh.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll now go to Mr. Singh.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll go back to Mr. Singh.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll go back to Mr. Singh.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Singh, we have 30 seconds left.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Now we'll go on.
Mr. Berthold, the floor is yours.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The Right Honourable Prime Minister is raising a point of order.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The Right Honourable Prime Minister is correct. We bent the rules earlier, but this time it was fairly clear.
Let me remind all members that they must not refer to a member's presence in or absence from the House, especially in the current situation.
The honourable minister has the floor.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Communities is working closely with her provincial and territorial counterparts, municipal elected officials across Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and public transit authorities to assess needs and priorities—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Berthold, you have the floor.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, we will continue to work hard every day with our colleagues across Canada, particularly elected municipal officials. We will continue to find solutions that will help municipalities.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We will continue with Ms. Rood.
View Lianne Rood Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, the Liberal government is letting down Canadian farmers. Stakeholders are unanimous: Government support for Canadian agriculture has been woefully inadequate. As a result, fruit and vegetable producers are cutting back their production by as much as 25%. This will have a profound impact on our food security.
Does the government know how much grocery prices will increase and the impact a smaller harvest will have on Canadian families as we have to rely on imported food?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The honourable minister.
View Lianne Rood Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, the U.S. President made remarks about considering terminating trade deals that would require the United States to import cattle. This is extremely concerning for Canada's cattle industry.
Has the Minister of Agriculture spoken to her American counterparts regarding the remarks the U.S. President made on banning the import of Canadian beef, and will she stand up for Canadian cattle producers?
View Lianne Rood Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, amid this pandemic the government has decided to evade Parliament and fundamentally alter our firearms laws without an order in council. The ban was based on many misconceptions that could have been brought to light through debate and expert testimony. Instead, the government circumvented Parliament and is setting a dangerous precedent for our democratic process.
Can the Prime Minister explain to my constituents why their voices and the voices of millions of Canadian law-abiding firearm owners were effectively muted by the government through its order in council?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The honourable minister.
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I would like to advise the member that the law in Canada requires that the only way to prohibit any firearm is under section 117.15 of the Criminal Code. This has been the law in Canada since 1998. It was introduced by a Conservative government which required that all weapons to be proscribed had to be done by order in council. It was also a process that was used quite vigorously by the Harper government, so the member might be familiar with that action.
I would also remind the member that we promised Canadians we would prohibit these weapons.
View Lianne Rood Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, high-speed Internet access is a necessity. In my rural riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, many of my constituents are seeing skyrocketing connectivity costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some constituents have told me they're spending over $500 a month on Internet. While those in big cities are having data caps waived and costs frozen, the same is not true for rural Canada.
Why does the government think it's acceptable for my constituents to wait 10 years to get high-speed Internet access?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The honourable minister.
View Maryam Monsef Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I appreciate my colleague's question.
We too believe that access to high-speed Internet is an essential reality in the 21st century. We had a plan before the pandemic, with $6 billion in investments set aside to make it happen. It was the first plan of its kind for our country, by the way. That plan continues to be informed by the changes and the challenges that COVID has brought forward. We're going to work with all willing partners to move forward as quickly as possible to connect as many Canadians to high-speed Internet as we can.
View Lianne Rood Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, small businesses are the backbone of our rural communities. Travel and tourism are huge economic drivers in my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. Small businesses rely on the May to September tourism season and are facing uncertainty about the success of their businesses as current aid programs don't work for seasonal businesses. The borders remain closed and tourists are forced to stay home, which is deeply affecting these businesses.
Can the minister tell us what the government's path forward is for opening our borders, and will the government promote domestic tourism to make up for the loss of our international tourists?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The next question goes to Mr. Davidson.
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, months ago I alerted the Minister of Health to the lack of personal protective equipment available at River Glen Haven, a nursing home in my riding. It's a nursing home now in crisis. It has 62 residents and 27 staff who have tested positive, and 14 have died to date. I want the minister to understand, Mr. Chair, through you, that this is a nursing home that we grew up with in our community. I used to take Christmas cards there when I was in grade 3, and cards to vets. It's very important to our community.
I'd like to know what this government is doing currently to protect residents and staff of long-term care homes. How will they be provided the personal protective equipment they need?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I share the member's horror at what's happened across our country in long-term care homes. The fact that so many of our seniors have perished through COVID-19 is truly a national tragedy.
As the member opposite knows, we've been working very closely with provinces and territories to make sure that long-term care homes have the personal protective equipment they need. We've also worked with the long-term care association to understand how that equipment is or isn't getting to their door.
I'll also remind the member that personal protective equipment is really only one layer of defence. We've been working with provinces and territories to ensure that they have the people they need and the financial resources they need to make changes that will protect all of the seniors in our lives.
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, we just had a call come out for gowns at the nursing home. They cannot source gowns right now. This is a crisis situation, and we are in need of them.
What is Canada's current stock on PPE, including gowns, in the national inventory? What is available in Canada right now?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, my honourable colleague is absolutely correct in his assessment that we are making efforts to procure the necessary PPE as well as build up domestic capacity.
With regard to gowns, I'd like to say that we have made significant orders in the millions. Right now, we have close to 600,000 gowns that have been received and we're working with the provinces and territories to make sure we distribute them in an equitable manner.
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, if there are that many in Ottawa now and the minister can tell me the location, I will gladly take some back to this nursing home when I leave.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I understand the concern raised by the member opposite. We know the situation is very dire and challenging, particularly in our long-term care facilities. That is why we are working very closely with the provinces and territories to make PPE—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, 81% of deaths have occurred in long-term care homes. Is it time now for this government to commit to a national public inquiry into long-term care homes?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I think the member opposite has heard both me and the Prime Minister speak about the need to review how seniors are cared for in long-term care homes. We look forward to doing that work in partnership with the provinces and territories which, as the member knows, have the jurisdiction to deliver—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I was out in the riding this week and I had many small business people and individuals trying to source PPE and paying exorbitant costs for it. I had business owners paying $2 and $3 each for surgical masks that they have to give out to their customers to get their businesses open.
I wonder what this government is doing currently about price gouging on PPE. Also, will the government commit to taking HST off PPE?
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, we recognize that there's an enormous demand for personal protective equipment. That is why we mobilized industry in Canada. We had a call to action where over 6,000 companies stepped up with different solutions. Right now 700 different businesses are scaling and retooling to provide the appropriate personal protective equipment.
View Scot Davidson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, this country has recently been faced with floods, fires, ice storms and now a pandemic. Increasingly, our highly trained military is being called to get involved in domestic emergencies rather than in the traditional operations they were trained for. Canada has the best military in the world.
Will the government, as a suggestion, consider the establishment of a separate specialized force, under Public Safety, that is designed to respond to domestic national emergencies?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I'm very proud to advise this House that the men and women in uniform in the Canadian Armed Forces have been answering the call. With regard to all of the provincial requests for assistance that we have received, the Canadian Armed Forces have responded to these requests and have provided that assistance. There are over 1,400 members now deployed, for example, in Quebec, helping in long-term care facilities, and 450 Canadian Armed Forces members in Ontario, helping in those facilities. They have been responding to those floods and fires.
We're grateful for their service, and we'll continue to be there for Canadians when they ask for our help.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
The next question goes to Mr. Barrett.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, this week the government was expected to release seven items pertaining to the massacre in Nova Scotia, including four search warrants, two production orders and a closed warrant. That did not happen. Instead, we received a single highly redacted document.
A crisis is not an excuse to hide information from Canadians. In fact, it's more important now than ever for the government to be open and transparent. Why are the Liberals using this pandemic to withhold information about this tragic crime?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, the member's assertion is completely incorrect. In fact, our government does not in any way interfere with ongoing criminal investigations conducted by the RCMP. They are engaged in a very robust and vigorous investigation. We know that the people of Nova Scotia and Canadians want answers to the questions about what happened in this terrible and tragic event. The RCMP will continue their investigation.
We're working very closely with the Province of Nova Scotia to make sure that Canadians get the answers they need.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, the families of the victims, Nova Scotians and all Canadians deserve answers as to how and why this incident occurred in the way that it did. When will all of this information finally be made transparent and public?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, I am absolutely confident that at the conclusion of the RCMP investigation, when the investigation is complete and the facts are known, the information will be made available to Nova Scotians and to Canadians. We're working very closely with the Nova Scotia government. I'm in constant contact with the attorney general, as recently as yesterday, to ensure that the information is available when it's—
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
We'll go back to Mr. Barrett.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, Prime Minister Trudeau is having a waterfront mansion built at Harrington Lake at taxpayers' expense while the existing mansion is renovated. Can't he just stay at home during the renovations? How much are Canadian taxpayers on the hook for?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
That is a good point.
Before I start the clock again and go back to Mr. Barrett, I want to reply to that question.
We've been sitting here for the last number of sessions, and occasionally I've seen people go off into different tangents. I want to remind honourable members that this committee has to do with things relating to COVID-19. Questions have been asked that have been off topic and answers have been given to some of those questions.
I want to caution both sides on this. If you hear something that isn't quite COVID-related, please let us know and don't answer. If you ask a question that isn't on COVID-19, please realize it before we have to reprimand you. That way we can keep this flowing well.
Mr. Barrett, a question.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I object to you referring to my question as a tangent. It is pertinent to all Canadians. I do believe this is a point of personal privilege and it should not be deducted from my time, because Canadians want answers to more than just the questions from the journalists selected by the PMO when the Prime Minister pops out of the cottage every morning.
The Hollywood Squares version of the House of Commons is not what Canadians expect. They want oversight. They want accountability. They elected parliamentarians. They elected an official opposition to hold the government to account, and that's why we're here today.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I want to remind the honourable members that although we're not in a parliamentary session, we do have a certain amount of respect, so when referring to people, please do it respectfully. We are in a committee that is limited, and it can be enforced that we only deal with items dealing with COVID-19. I just want to remind everyone that this is a committee. This is not a session of Parliament.
Mr. Barrett, I'll let you continue. You have two minutes and 37 seconds left.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, my question for Prime Minister Trudeau is why, during COVID-19, like all times under his government, the Liberals only tell the truth when they get caught. Why did they try to hide the cost of this mansion from Canadians?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Again, I want to remind honourable members that you cannot do indirectly what you can't do directly. Accusing someone of something is not parliamentary language, even if it is a committee.
Do we have a point of order?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Barrett, please.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, I fail to understand what your intervention was there on behalf of the government, because my questions are pertinent. These are questions that Canadians have. The government is not tabling a fiscal update. It is not giving us a budget. During COVID-19, Canadians expect us to get answers from the government about what it spends money on.
My questions are pertinent. They are on topic. The government's not being interested in answering them is typical 365 days a year, not just during this pandemic. I fail to understand how it's not relevant for me to ask about the money the government is spending when it fails to update this House and this committee in an appropriate way.
Mr. Chair, I'm certainly at a loss on how you expect us to hold the government to account and how you expect committee members to question the government when we have to filter through a narrow channel that is approved again by the PMO. This is very disappointing. I can tell you that many Canadians would be disappointed that our questions for the government have to be approved by you, so if in future I ought to submit them in advance—
An hon. member: For shame.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
For shame is right.
Ms. Dancho, please.
View Mona Fortier Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, yesterday was a great day, and we continue to expand the CEBA program to support businesses across the country. We have been listening to businesses as to how we can support them, and we will continue to find ways to support all Canadians, workers and businesses.
This is a very difficult time, and our government has put forth many programs in a very short period. We will continue to work on these programs and focus on Canadians.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
View Mona Fortier Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, I want to again raise the fact that since day one, our government has been focusing on Canadians, on workers and on businesses. We have many programs to support Canadians, workers and businesses. Just yesterday we expanded again our CEBA program to make it available to businesses with dividends and contractors.
We will continue to look at the gaps and work with all members in the House to see how we can make sure we make those programs available for Canadians.
View Mona Fortier Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, through you, I want to raise the fact that, yes, we know we need to find potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account and have not yet filed their tax returns, such as newly created businesses. We expanded the CEBA program yesterday by making it available for dividends and contractors. We will continue to work with all members of Parliament and businesses to find ways to support them through this difficult time.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, the government was very clear at the recent general assembly of the WHO that we do support a post-crisis review. That's the right thing to do. Canada is behind it.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, our government has been very clear, working together with our allies, co-sponsoring an EU-sponsored resolution, that we do believe a post-crisis review is the right thing to do.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, my answer was also very clear, which is that Canada, working together with our closest allies, such as the EU, has been very clear that we support a post-crisis review.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, our government has been very clear and has been working effectively with our strongest democratic allies in the world, such as the EU. We believe a post-crisis review is absolutely necessary. We will continue pushing for that.
Let me just say that right now we're focusing on fighting the coronavirus in Canada.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, let me be extremely clear about our government's public position taken just a few days ago, which is that we support an independent and comprehensive review of the WHO response to the pandemic. We're working with our allies to get that done, and we will.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
I think that I have been extremely clear about the government's position when it comes to the WHO. Canada is working closely with our democratic partners to ensure there is an independent and comprehensive post-crisis review, and one will happen. We'll make sure it does.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, the work of parliamentary committees is independent, as it ought to be, and we support the work of all of our parliamentary committees, including calling the witnesses whom they would like to interview.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Let me just say this: The government supports the work of our parliamentary committees very much, including the health committee, and the health committee has the right to call witnesses it believes are necessary for its work. When it comes to the WHO, our Minister of International Development has spoken directly with the leader of the WHO and made it clear that a post-crisis review is the right thing, and Canada is calling for it.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable parliamentary...the minister. Sorry.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
I was a parliamentary secretary one time. It's an honour.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
You have 30 seconds, please.
View Navdeep Bains Profile
Lib. (ON)
When it comes to intellectual property, we're the first government to introduce a national intellectual property strategy. We understand that we need to support our researchers and scientists and make sure they have the ability to see those benefits right here in Canada for Canadians. We'll also continue to work with our allies.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable member for Beloeil—Chambly has the floor.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
We have a point of order for the honourable member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
Mr. Garnett Genuis: Do I have 30 seconds?
The Acting Chair (Mrs. Carol Hughes): No, there is no time left at all. Actually, there was a little extra that I gave the minister to respond.
The honourable member for Beloeil—Chambly has the floor.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
Please provide a brief answer, Minister.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable member for Thérèse-De Blainville has the floor.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The member has 25 seconds left.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The Minister has 10 seconds to answer the question.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie has the floor.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, I thank my colleague for his question. It is a very important issue.
I spoke with Mayor Plante on Friday. I agree with her and with the mayors across the country that municipalities continue to play an essential role, especially when it comes to reopening our country. Municipalities, public transit and everything else will be essential for us.
That is why we encourage municipalities to work with the provinces. We are prepared to work with the provinces to support municipalities.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, once again, I fully agree that this is a very important issue for our country. Our government is prepared to work closely with municipalities. The issue of public transit is absolutely essential to the recovery of the economy.
I also want to note that it is very important that municipalities continue to work with the provinces, which have the primary responsibility for municipalities. The federal government will be there as well.
I encourage all members of Parliament to have talks with the provinces.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The hon. minister has 35 seconds to respond.
View Chrystia Freeland Profile
Lib. (ON)
The Prime Minister of Canada understands that this is a historic moment for Canada and for the world, and he understands the importance of Canada's voice in this historic moment.
After World War II, Canada did some important work in creating the postwar international order. Canada must and can do similar work now. That is why the Prime Minister is making those calls.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
We will go to honourable Minister Blair.
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, I think this is a very important question. As the member knows, our government has made an effort to flatten the curve. We've had to take a number of extraordinary measures at our borders, including restricting non-essential travel.
While Canadian citizens and permanent residents are always admissible and are required to quarantine upon entry, foreign nationals, of course, are subject to travel restrictions. For any individuals to be eligible to travel to Canada, they have to demonstrate that their travel is in fact essential.
We recognize that many people are making significant sacrifices. It is not our intention in any way to separate families, but the border officers are faced with situations that have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. It depends entirely on the information provided to the border officer, who determines whether or not the travel is indeed essential.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The honourable minister has 27 seconds to respond.
Results: 1 - 100 of 13394 | Page: 1 of 134

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data