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Results: 1 - 49 of 49
View Diane Finley Profile
CPC (ON)
View Diane Finley Profile
2020-07-22 12:48 [p.2708]
Mr. Speaker, according to reports, the Liberal government failed to request up-to-date housing reports before approving migrant workers to come to Canada. Since then, we have seen outbreaks on farms that have put our food supply and the safety of workers at risk. With COVID-19 on the rise, why did the minister not request up-to-date housing reports?
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2020-07-22 12:49 [p.2708]
Mr. Speaker, employers of temporary foreign workers have an important role to play in helping prevent the introduction and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary foreign workers entering Canada must comply with all public health requirements, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine. These rules are important for maintaining public health and safety.
In addition, employers of temporary foreign workers are also responsible for their workplaces—
View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2020-05-25 17:23 [p.2383]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague very much for naming all the measures that the government has put in place over the past two months. I believe that these are targeted measures. There is more work to be done. Seniors, children with disabilities and workers have been taken care of.
Over the past two months, the government has announced measures totalling between $250 billion and $300 billion. That is fine. As I mentioned earlier, 150,000 Quebec households were unable to pay their rent in April despite the CERB. In May, 10% of renters were unable to pay their rent. In Montreal, 15% were unable to pay their rent.
In a few days, the government managed to put together and enact a law that will send $73 billion to workers. That is fine. However, in the past three years, it has not managed to pay the $1.4 billion that would help Quebec with its housing crisis. In Quebec, 10 major cities have been asking for the government's help for years and telling it that they need the $1.4 billion now.
In Quebec, not-for-profit housing organizations, co-operatives, tenant associations, engineers and urban planners have been united during the pandemic in asking for the $1.4 billion needed to house the most vulnerable during this crisis.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
2020-05-25 17:25 [p.2383]
Madam Speaker, we want Quebeckers to receive their fair share of our historic investment in housing. We hope to enter into a bilateral agreement with the Government of Quebec and with the other provinces and territories. We made a commitment to enter into a bilateral agreement with Quebec based on the principles of partnership, collaboration, consensus and responsibility.
View Diane Finley Profile
CPC (ON)
View Diane Finley Profile
2020-03-11 14:54 [p.1934]
Mr. Speaker, earlier today my colleagues and I sent a letter urging the Prime Minister to work with us to address flooding along the Great Lakes. Many people in Haldimand—Norfolk have businesses and homes right along the shoreline.
That shoreline has already seen record high water levels. These people are not just worried about potential damages, but also for their safety.
Will the Prime Minister set partisan politics aside and work with us to address this very serious issue?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-03-11 14:54 [p.1934]
Mr. Speaker, the safety and security of Canadians is always a primary concern for the government. We will work to ensure the safety of Canadians along the Great Lakes and elsewhere.
At the same time, on this side of the House, we recognize the prevalence of extreme weather events and flooding is only going to increase with climate change. That is why making serious measures to fight against climate change, like a price on pollution right across the country, are the kinds of things that Canadians expect and to which the Conservatives have closed their ears and hearts.
View Eric Duncan Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, for a Prime Minister who wants to work across the aisle and work together, that answer is unacceptable. This is very simple.
It seems like the Prime Minister is more interested in attacking the opposition than in protecting homes, livelihoods and the safety of thousands of Canadians living along the shores of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Could the Prime Minister let those Canadians know what detailed action he is taking this year for a potentially devastating spring thaw? Will he commit to working with us, and it is very simple, on a bipartisan committee, to help these people out?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-03-11 14:56 [p.1934]
Mr. Speaker, we are concerned with the water levels in the Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission, a joint panel between Canada and the United States, manages these levels.
We are working with the U.S. and the IJC, which is actively examining measures to address these issues. The IJC will be providing a briefing to members in the coming weeks. I invite the member opposite to join.
Again, fighting climate change will be an important part of keeping these Canadians safe, and I invite the members to join with us on that, as well.
View Philip Lawrence Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, normally spring is a time of rejuvenation and reinvigoration. However, for many residents on the Great Lakes shoreline it is a time of anxiety and worry. With record high water levels, they are concerned about flooding destroying their houses, which they have all worked so hard for.
Could the Prime Minister please inform the House what actions the government is taking to protect residents along the shorelines of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River?
View Jonathan Wilkinson Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, certainly the water levels in the Great Lakes are a cause for significant concern. The management of water is done through the IJC, which is a joint panel between Canada and the United States. The IJC is looking actively at measures it may take to address some of those levels.
We are in conversation with the IJC, and I believe that the IJC will be on the Hill to provide a briefing to members in the coming weeks.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2020-02-07 10:38 [p.1078]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Lévis—Lotbinière for sharing his time with me so I could add my comments on the bill.
I want to also thank my constituents for sending me here for a second term and for the trust they placed in me in the past election.
Bill C-3 was in the last Parliament. I was a member of Parliament at that time and I remember the debates on the subject. Much of the content of the legislation being proposed before us is similar. The fact that this happens to be one of the government's earliest bills, when we have so many urgent, more critical issues to deal with, just calls into question the judgment of the government in pushing this forward at this time.
I support the contents of the bill. I support making a complaints body. I support greater oversight over the civil service and in other situations as well. I spent the better part of the last Parliament on two different committees, foreign affairs and finance, calling exactly for that greater oversight. Our role as parliamentarians is to ensure the oversight of the Government of Canada's spending, but also the oversight over the civil service and what it does.
I know, Madam Speaker, that you sat on a committee in the previous Parliament, the OGGO as we call it, operations and government estimates.
Again, there are so many other things with which we could be dealing.
I often have heard members say, for example, this is good, or, for example, this legislation has this concept or, for example, these are the types of problems this legislation will solve.
This will bring me to my Yiddish proverb, one that says, “for example” is not the same as proof, proof of why we should be pursuing this legislation at this time with this expediency. There are so many other issues.
I will use, for example, there are other issues we should have brought forward and dealt with immediately. These issues are of number one concern to people in Alberta, people in my constituency and people all across Canada.
I will mention, for example, the first time home buyer incentive program. Just last week, the Government of Canada, to a question I asked on the Order Paper, gave us an answer on the $1.25 billion of spending on a program that had helped fewer than 3,000 people. I called it an election gimmick many months ago when the program came out.
I chased down the Department of Finance officials. I chased down Evan Siddall, the CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the minister and many others at different committees to get answers before the House. Now we see from the results that the program has failed. It would be much more interesting for the House to do a deep dive into this program more closely.
The Government of Canada has said that 2,700 approvals happened, but as my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge mentioned to me, industry standards say that only about 50% of the people actually went through with it.
We have put aside $1.25 billion, and probably have helped 1,300 people achieve their dream of home ownership, which is an abysmal failure for a government program, a program pushed forward by the Minister of Finance and the minister for families and social development. The program was highly defended by Department of Finance officials and CMHC officials who did not like my chasing down answers on behalf of constituents. People in my riding are very worried about that.
That is a bill we could be reviewing right now, a piece of legislation to review the program and maybe eliminate it. It would save some money, time and look into why we failed as an oversight body to stop this election gimmick. That is my first example.
Originally the Government of Canada said that 100,000 people would be helped by the program. After 99 days, in the data provided in the House, we know that only about 32,000 people would be helped over a four-year time span. When I originally asked the question at committee about where the government got the number of 100,000 people, the Department of Finance officials told me that CMHC gave them the numbers and CMHC officials told me that the Department of Finance gave them the numbers. I am sure, Madam Speaker, that has been your experience in the past on different parliamentary committees, where department officials disagree about who gave whom what numbers. That would be a worthy enterprise for the House, to look into why this program so massively failed.
I know that in this next budget, potentially we could be expanding the reach of the program to $789,000 homes. I am very worried that the expansion of this program would not meet any of its goals.
We could, for example, have looked at the approval of Teck Frontier and the legislation governing it. The Teck Frontier project is a $20.6 billion investment in northern Alberta: 10,000 jobs, 7,500 construction and 2,500 operating jobs annually for four years. It is wholly within the territory of Alberta. It is wholly within the jurisdiction of Alberta. We control our natural resources.
As an Albertan, I do not want a handout. The people of my constituency do not want a handout. We do not want a just transition directed from Ottawa to the people of Alberta. We simply want to be given the respect and dignity to continue creating wealth. We are fine if a portion of the equalization and transfer payments are redistributed to our friends in rest of Canada.
However, Teck Frontier would be an important issue to be debated before the House. It must be approved.
As I asked yesterday in the House, I am wondering if the Government of Canada is afraid to say “yes” to prime minister Jason Kenney— Premier Jason Kenney. I was thinking in French. It would be an interesting one to look at that.
Albertans will say that if this project is not approved, they will know they are not respected within the Confederation. That is a drastic change to how the Confederation is supposed to work. I want the Confederation of 1867, the way the Fathers of Confederation intended it to be, truly autonomous provinces, able to develop their resources, able to do the best things for the people of their province. Provincial governments are elected to do that.
I know the people of Quebec understand this and have fought for this for decades now, just like all provincial residents should do. They should be looking to the provincial governments. It would be worthy, for example, of the House to look at, to ensure the Government of Canada is making the right decisions on behalf of Canadians and on behalf of Albertans.
We could be looking at the Trans Mountain pipeline, its construction and the series of missteps, dithering and failures of the Government of Canada that led to point where a business, Kinder Morgan, opted out. Northern gateway was cancelled, energy east was cancelled, TMX was expropriated.
As my colleague, the member for Carleton likes to say, “All our exes are in Texas.” All those companies moved their money to Texas, and are now building thousands of kilometres of pipeline in Texas for product that will compete at the Oklahoma hub with Alberta product. That situation is an absolutely travesty. For example, that would be something we could have considered instead of doing Bill C-3 immediately.
Bill C-3 could have been cobbled with other matters before the House.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
View Yves Perron Profile
2020-01-28 11:51 [p.555]
Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate our colleague, the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, on his speech.
I want to ask him a question. The Bloc Québécois and the NDP often agree when it comes to funding for social issues, particularly social housing.
Do the NDP members support the Bloc Québécois' efforts to get the federal government to remove the conditions on its funding programs wherever possible and transfer the money to Quebec and the other provinces, which are closer to the people and in a better position to manage it wisely?
I mentioned social housing, but I am wondering about infrastructure in general.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
This is why we support the proposal that the Auditor General look at this funding in its entirety, including the conditions attached to all these funding matters. In my opinion, the important thing is that the government has mismanaged the entire infrastructure file, including social housing. That is another issue, but I believe that my colleague and I will agree about the pitiful state of funding for social housing in Canada.
I believe it is extremely important for the Auditor General to examine all these matters, including the conditions, which are part of a multi-billion-dollar program that has been of very little benefit to date.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-01-27 11:19 [p.429]
Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the chamber and address a number of concerns that I have.
Here we are at the beginning of a new decade and I am feeling very optimistic, because over the last number of years we have seen a government in Canada that has had a very progressive attitude and has been able to deliver for Canadians in all regions of our country. Let there be no doubt that the priority of this government has been Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. That has been the case since day one, and even prior.
I can recall that when the Prime Minister was elected leader of the Liberal Party, when we were the third party in the far corner of the House of Commons, he made it very clear in his leadership bid that his personal priority was the well-being of Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it, believing that by building Canada's middle class and giving it strength, we would have a healthier economy. We have seen that.
The member opposite made reference to the fact that in the month of November, 70,000 people became unemployed. We need to look at what we have accomplished in the last four years. There are well over one million net new jobs in Canada's economy. That is far more than Stephen Harper ever achieved in his eight or nine years. We have accomplished a great deal.
I will be splitting my time with the member for Hull—Aylmer.
I was very proud to be sitting beside the Deputy Prime Minister just 20 minutes ago when she tabled a ways and means notice of motion dealing with the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement.
Having said that, trade is important to Canada. This is one thing that adds value to our economy. In the last four years, the government has accomplished the signing of a significant number of trade agreements. We are talking about well over 25 or 30, with numerous countries. We have had a very aggressive and progressive movement toward trade agreements around the world because we know that Canada is very much dependent on world trade. That is one of the ways we can assist our middle class and grow our economy. We have seen that first-hand.
I often make reference to the pork industry in the province of Manitoba and how that industry as a whole continues to grow and provide thousands of jobs there, whether in Brandon, Neepawa, the city of Winnipeg or throughout rural communities. This is the type of thing that has a real impact, and that is just one industry. These jobs, in good part, are there because of trade. Trade is critically important. That is why it was so encouraging to see the government put trade as a high priority.
We look to the opposition members and particularly the Conservative Party, which has been a very strong advocate in past years for trade. We anticipate that the Conservatives will have the opportunity to go through the agreement and will continue to support trade with the United States. It is the same with the Bloc and the New Democrats. We understand and appreciate just how important this agreement is to Canada.
We have talked about the issues brought forward in the last few years, and I made reference to a number of them in the question I put to the member for Kildonan—St. Paul. We dealt with them through positive, progressive social policies, and we have seen a continuation.
I could talk about the first bill that we brought in back in 2015, the tax break for Canada's middle class. At the same time, we increased taxes for Canada's wealthiest 1%. Four years later, we are seeing a decrease in taxes for Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars being put into the pockets of Canadians, adding to the disposable income of people across this country.
In terms of the other benefits we have enhanced, the Canada child benefit is something members of the Liberal caucus will quite often talk about. As I have made reference to in the past, over $9 million a month goes into the riding of Winnipeg North alone to support children.
We can talk about the increases to the guaranteed income supplement. We made a commitment to support some of our poorest seniors, those aged 75 and over, who are having a more difficult time, by looking into how we could further enhance their pensionable incomes. Over the next period of time, I look forward to seeing that realized. We understand how important it is to support young people and seniors in our communities.
These sorts of investments and putting the money back in through tax breaks allow the disposable income in our communities to go up. When we do these things, disposable income is being spent in our communities. That helps to fuel the demand for jobs.
That is why I believe, as I know my colleagues also believe, that having a healthy, strong middle class and building that middle class will add value to our economy and will make it stronger and healthier.
Over the years, we have seen an ongoing commitment to capital investments such as our housing strategy, with billions of dollars being invested in the first-ever national housing strategy, a very tangible action that will have a profoundly positive impact on thousands of Canadians in every region of our country by recognizing the importance of housing.
We can talk about infrastructure, whether it is roads or other types of community public facilities. Hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars have thus far been invested in our communities from coast to coast to coast.
For the first time, we have a government that is prepared to negotiate with the provinces to achieve tangible results. We have seen that in the Canada pension program. Individuals who are working today will have more money when it comes time to retire because of an initiative we took a couple of years back.
As a government, I truly believe we have recognized how important it is to invest in our social programs. If we were to canvass Canadians and ask them what makes them feel good about being a Canadian, more often than not I believe they would say, at least in Winnipeg North, that it is our health care system. People love our health care system. They believe in our health care system. The Canada Health Act provides the type of framework that Canadians are behind. The government is sending record amounts of health care dollars throughout our federation. Not only are we doing that, but we are now talking about how to come up with a pharmacare program.
I have been a parliamentarian for 30 years. For a vast majority of those years, we never heard about a national pharmacare program. It is only in the last four years it has been on the public agenda on virtually a weekly basis. If it were up to me, we would be having debate and discussion on a national pharmacare program every day, because it is something in which I genuinely believe. I suspect we will continue to receive the type of support we have seen from the New Democrats on pharmacare.
Discussing how we might be able to expand it is something I am open to. I remember a few years ago, my daughter, who happens to be the MLA in an area I represent in Winnipeg North, and I made a commitment to continue to push the pharmacare issue. She has tabled petitions in the Manitoba legislature and I have tabled numerous petitions in the House of Commons on this issue. The reason is that I know how important it is for all Canadians that we continue to push this issue forward. I believe we have a united caucus within the government caucus to ensure we see a realization of a pharmacare program.
I see my time has expired, so I will leave it at that.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to respond to the Liberal government's Speech from the Throne.
I would like to begin by quoting Edmond Rostand, who would have this to say about it: That's too brief, young man! The throne speech is silent on quite a few subjects, especially subjects of interest to Quebeckers. In fact, the word “Quebec” does not appear even once. That is a singular omission on the part of a minority government that would have done well to pay more attention to Quebec's needs and interests in the throne speech. Unfortunately, it did not. The speech is long on rhetoric, hot air, good intentions and lip service but short on details, clarity and firm commitments in several areas, except where it suits the Liberals.
For years, the Liberals have been promising money for the national housing strategy and the fight against homelessness. Unfortunately, people on the ground know that the federal government provides precious few resources and refuses to make the kind of concrete commitments that allow projects to move forward and housing co-ops and affordable and low-income housing to get built. The housing issue is of vital importance to many Canadians and Quebeckers because it is many families' biggest expense. Right now, people are struggling to find adequate housing. The Liberals have said a lot of nice things about housing over the past few years but, sadly, have done very little.
In Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, one-third of households spend more than 30% of their income on housing. In my riding, one in three families is literally at or below the poverty line. We all know that, as a rule, people should expect to spend 30% of their income on housing.
There is currently just one social housing project, unfortunately, and this project will soon come to an end. There is no plan for what comes next. How is that possible? The government has been going on for four years about how housing is a priority and how we need to build affordable and social housing. Nothing ever happens, because the federal government bickers with the Quebec government over which government should put its flag and logo on the project.
The NDP thinks that real action is needed to ensure access to affordable housing. The Liberals need to stop bickering with the Quebec government and transfer the funds. The Quebec government would then be able to implement the AccèsLogis program, through which projects could actually help people. I am sick of the bickering between Ottawa and Quebec at the expense of the poorest families, individuals and workers in my riding and across Quebec. The budget will soon be tabled, so now is the time to free up the money. This is urgent. We need this.
Also, I am not sure where the member for Winnipeg North has been for the past 25 years. He said we have been talking about pharmacare for the past four years, but I would remind him that it was in the Liberal platform of 1997. It was also part of the discussion when medicare was first introduced in this country in the 1960s. That was just a little refresher for my colleague from Winnipeg North. The Liberals are still talking about pharmacare, but we need to see whether there will ever be more than just consultations and reports. Are they ever going to actually implement anything?
Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal public health care system without a universal public pharmacare system to go with it. This is an anomaly. This means that Canadians and Quebeckers pay some of the highest prices for prescription drugs. This is slightly less problematic in Quebec, since we have a hybrid regime that is administered by the Quebec government. However, it also poses significant problems for many people who sometimes have to make really tough choices, like paying for their medication or paying for their groceries. When people do not take all their medication as prescribed, it can cause illnesses to progress more rapidly and force people back to work too soon. It can lead to other health problems and additional costs for the health care system.
The NDP believes it is high time that the Canada Health Act included a principle emphasizing the importance of a complete, free and universal pharmacare program and indicating that this is one of our society's values because we want to take care of people. That is not the case right now and people are suffering because of it. This issue is a priority for the NDP.
Many large groups in Quebec are calling for such a program because they understand the difference it could make in people's lives. Quebec's three major unions, the FTQ, the CSN and the CSQ, are calling for this program, as are many civil society groups, such as the Union des consommateurs du Québec. They are saying that it would make a difference in people's lives if we had a universal public pharmacare program managed by the provinces and the Government of Quebec, obviously.
Last year, I met with people who are directly affected by the lack of such a principle or federal program, for example, retail workers and unionized workers at Métro, Provigo and Loblaws. They work part time for a modest wage and have to contribute to their employer's drug plan. In Quebec, this supplemental health care coverage is not optional; it is mandatory. People cannot choose to opt for the public plan. They are required to contribute to the private plan. Those contributions cost many workers up to 25% of their income.
I met a young worker, about 25, who told me that for every month he works, his first week's salary goes entirely toward the drug plan offered by his employer. Public universal pharmacare would considerably change the life of someone like that. It would simplify collective bargaining for many groups. For that individual, it would mean a 25% increase in pay. That is not nothing. Not only would that worker's drug costs be covered, but his take-home pay would also get him much further ahead.
For all these reasons, we are telling the Liberal government that it is time to take action. According to the Hoskins report released a few months ago, this is a good thing that has been studied at length, and our society needs it. We at the NDP are saying that it is time to move forward and take this seriously, and we will be here to support the government if it comes up with something public and universal.
The other thing we wanted to see in the Speech from the Throne is dental care coverage. That would be another tangible way to help people in their lives.
We have a medicare system—thanks to the NDP, by the way—that is highly appreciated but that is not comprehensive because some parts of the body are not covered. That is rather bizarre. It is as though we collectively decided that our heart and arms would be insured, but that our eyes and teeth would not. There is no logic to it. Having to pay a dentist to provide care and ensure good dental hygiene also represents a considerable cost for many people.
Dental coverage would make a big difference in people's lives at a cost almost equivalent to the amount of the tax cut that the Liberal government has announced—a tax cut that will again benefit the wealthiest in our society.
They could have used that money, which amounts to a little less than one billion, or about $800 or $850 million, to provide dental care to all Quebeckers and Canadians. We, the New Democrats, would not make the same choices the Liberal government did.
We hope the government will be able to implement public pharmacare and dental care. We also hope the government will increase the federal contribution for early childhood care. Quebec needs 42,000 more ECE spots, in publicly funded day cares. We hope the federal government will be willing to give Quebec's ECE system a boost, so that families can get their children into affordable day care.
I only have a minute left, which is not enough time to talk about the climate emergency and the fact that this government is once again saying one thing and doing the opposite. We in the NDP condemn the decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This decision completely flies in the face of the federal government's pledges to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
We are eager to see how the government reacts to the new Frontier oil sands project. If the government is serious about setting more ambitious targets for 2030, I hope that it will take measures that are consistent and logical with that goal, which is something the entire population is calling for, especially our youth.
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
2020-01-27 13:51 [p.451]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Fredericton.
I will begin by saying it is such an honour to address the House today on the Speech from the Throne. I want to once again thank the constituents of Davenport and all the friends, family and volunteers who were so generous with their time and energy in ensuring my success in the 2019 campaign.
Davenport is an amazing, vibrant riding in the downtown west end of Toronto, and I cannot put into words what a privilege it is to be re-elected as the member of Parliament for Davenport. My highest responsibility is to serve Canadians, and I hope to always do my constituents and our country proud. In fact, it is a privilege and responsibility for all of us who work in this great chamber to address key issues facing Canadians today and to do all we can to create an even better Canada, ensuring Canadians are ready and have the tools to address the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow.
The throne speech mentioned the long history and the many differences in Canada, and the enduring stability and progress of our Parliament despite those differences. Canada, as we know, has three founding nations. Our country originated on the talents and values of our first nations and aboriginal peoples, as well as the settlers from Britain and France. At times in our history, relationships among the three groups have been contentious, to say the least, but as we evolved, our governments always found ways to compromise, collaborate and move forward toward a fairer and more just society.
Generations of immigrants to Canada from all over the world have only made our society richer and stronger. My riding of Davenport has Canada's largest Portuguese population, many of whom arrived over the same few years decades ago, but there are also people of Italian, Hispanic, Brazilian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Ukrainian descent, just to name a handful, all living together in the same wonderful community. I am the daughter of immigrant parents from Ukraine and Mexico, and I know as well as anyone the disagreement and beauty that come when cultures meet. We have had some of those arguments in my house, but at the end of the day, we are all family.
I want to turn my attention to the key priorities mentioned in the Speech from the Throne that are so important to Davenport residents.
I heard so much at the doors during the election campaign in October 2019. The first priority I want to touch on is environment and climate change. I would say this is the top preoccupation for most residents in Davenport. They were absolutely delighted to hear that we are already spending around $63 billion and have over 50 climate actions under way right now. They were also happy to hear that we have made a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and that we will be studying legally binding five-year milestones based on the advice of experts and consultants. They know that in order for us to move to net zero by 2050, we will have to exceed our current 2030 targets. They were really happy to hear about the just transition act, because we want to make sure we give those working in high-emissions industries access to the training, support and new opportunities they need to succeed in a clean economy. A number of groups in the Davenport community have already met with me to say that this continues to be the key priority for them and Davenport.
I want to mention the promises about energy-efficient homes and lower energy bills that we made in our platform. I mention this point because many Canadians want to feel that they are taking their own steps to combat climate change in order to move us into a low-carbon economy.
What we promised in our platform and mandate letters is that we are going to give homeowners and landlords free energy audits. This, to me, is a game-changer. This would allow homeowners and apartment dwellers to take their own steps in order to reduce their energy bills, increase their energy efficiency and lower their individual emissions. We have also made a commitment to retrofit 1.5 million homes to help Canadians make their homes more efficient. This is wonderful.
I will mention a couple more things on the environment, because the environment is important for Davenport residents. We promised to protect 25% of Canada's land and oceans by 2025. We have the longest coastline in the world, one-fifth of the world's fresh water, and vast and wild forests. Our ecosystem depends on all of this for its survival, and our quality of life will depend on it moving forward.
My riding is also delighted with the ban on single-use plastics that will begin in 2021, but we know we have some more things to do. Davenport residents are very much looking for a full plan on how our government is going to ensure that we reach our Paris accord targets. They are also looking for the systemic changes that we need to make, such as perhaps putting all of our spending through an environmental lens, and various other systemic changes that we should be looking at moving forward.
I will turn to the second top issue that is preoccupying Davenport residents. That is housing.
Many people have owned homes in my riding for 20, 30 or 40 years, and they are starting to wonder how they are going to continue to be able to live in Davenport. They are older. They want to sell their homes. They want to, as seniors, continue to live in downtown west Toronto. They want their kids to live close to them. They are really happy with a number of the measures we are taking in order to ensure affordable housing moving forward.
We have already made a huge commitment to the national housing strategy, putting $11.2 billion over 11 years to build, renew and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing. We have also taken some steps for those who are new buyers. In our platform and the throne speech we said that we are going to improve our first-time home buyer incentive, which will give people up to 10% off the purchase price of their first home. We have also increased the qualifying value of a home to $800,000. In places like downtown Toronto, unfortunately houses are that expensive, so we need to provide some additional support.
I have a lot of confidence that with these measures I have mentioned and other measures we will be introducing or have introduced, we will continue to ensure that people who want to live in our cities will be able to do so affordably.
I will move on to seniors, because I have so many of them in my riding. They are so wonderful and engaged, and they want to continue to be active citizens. We, as a federal government, want to help them to live affordably and to have a good standard of living. They were really happy with three key things in our platform that we had promised.
The first is that they do not have to pay taxes on the first $15,000 of whatever income they earn. They were pleased to hear about our commitment to increase OAS by 10% for those who are 75 years of age and over. They were also really happy with our promise to increase the survivor benefit by 25%. That is going to help 1.2 million more Canadian seniors to live more affordably in Canada.
In my remaining time I will talk about arts and culture. We have such a rich group of artists, creators and those working in the cultural industry in Davenport. I told them that our national government cares about them, and what we want to do is make sure there is more support and more funding to create and support Canadian content in Canada. We have made a strong commitment to impose a tax on foreign-based Internet platform providers to fund the creation of cultural content in this country.
I think everybody knows the importance of arts and culture to us as a nation, to getting a better understanding of each other and who we are in all of our complexities. It is a way for us to be able to share our joy, our pain and our way of understanding the world around us, not through words, but through pictures, dance and every way possible.
There are other commitments to health care, immigration and community safety in the Speech from the Throne that are really important to Davenport residents and that we are really happy about. We are in a minority government, and I still believe that we, as a minority government, can do great things. What we have to do is continue to listen to Canadians. We have to be willing to compromise and we have to never forget that we are here to serve Canadians.
I will end with a quote from our Prime Minister, “Canadians are counting on us, and this plan is a path forward for everyone. We have common ground and shared purpose. Together, we can and we will overcome the challenges of today to build a brighter tomorrow.”
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)

Question No. 1--
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
With regard to the barge Nana Provider and its grounding off of Quadra Island in the Salish Sea on November 9, 2019, while being towed by the Polar King: (a) was the government notified by domestic or international authorities if the Nana Provider was carrying any dangerous goods as defined in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, and, if so, which authorities reported the dangerous goods and when; (b) were the barge and tug following a proper route as prescribed in the Canadian Coast Guards’ Radio Aids to Navigation 2019 in the time leading up to the Nana Provider’s grounding; (c) what are the requirements for a vessel to use the Inside Passage instead of travelling along the West Coast of Vancouver Island and did the Nana Provider meet those requirements; (d) was there any communication from the Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services prior to the grounding that would have prevented it; (e) what has the government determined was the reason for the barge running aground; (f) if the reason has not yet been determined, (i) when is the expected date of completion of the investigation; (ii) will the results of the investigation be publicly available; (iii) how does the government intend to inform local, Indigenous, provincial and federal representatives of the result of the investigation; (g) to which authority or authorities was the occurrence reported and when; (h) how were affected Indigenous communities consulted and involved in the reporting, management of the stationary barge, and salvage processes; (i) what was the capacity of each of the federal vessels that responded to the occurrence to mitigate damage to the environment and people nearby; and (j) how long did it take each of the federal response vessels to arrive from the time of reporting?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 3--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to government usage of cargo planes, excluding for military purposes, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all instances where government aircraft was used for cargo flights including (i) date, (ii) origin and destination for each leg, (iii) type of aircraft, (iv) description of cargo, (v) related government event cargo was used for, if applicable; and (b) what are the details of all instances where the government chartered cargo aircraft including (i) date, (ii) origin and destination for each leg, (iii) type of aircraft, (iv) description of cargo, (v) related government event cargo was intended for, if applicable, (vi) vendor, (vii) amount paid to vendor?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 4--
Mr. John Nater:
With regard to government expenditures with the Internet media company BuzzFeed, since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of each expenditure, including the (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) description of expenditure or ad campaign, (iv) title for each “quiz” or “story” purchased?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 6--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to communication between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the government: (a) with the exception of media inquiries, did anyone in the government receive any communication from the CBC, during the 2019 writ period and if so, what are the details of the such communication including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) subject matter, (v) summary of contents; and (b) what are the details of any correspondence or briefing materials which have been provided to the Privy Council Office, the Office of the Prime Minister or the Department of Canadian Heritage regarding the CBC since September 11, 2019, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) file number, (vi) summary of contents?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 7--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to the government’s policy on the political neutrality of Crown corporations: what is the government’s policy regarding Crown corporations commencing legal action or suing political parties during a writ period?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 8--
Mr. Chris Warkentin:
With regard to taxpayer-funded legal representation, since November 4, 2015: has any cabinet minister, including the Prime Minister, retained taxpayer-funded independent legal counsel and, if so, (i) what was the matter related to, (ii) what was the rationale provided to the Department of Justice to authorize the independent legal counsel, (iii) what was the name of the independent legal counsel, (iv) what was the total cost of the independent legal counsel, (v) what was the hourly rate authorized by the government to pay for the independent legal counsel, (vi) why were government lawyers not used instead of independent legal counsel?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 9--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to government loans and grants to businesses since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the names of the companies that received grants and loans, including, (i) the program under which the loan was granted, (ii) the amount of the loan, (iii) the amount that has been paid back to date, (iv) the amount that is currently outstanding, (v) the amount that was originally announced, (vi) the reason for any write-down or write-off, (vii) the number of jobs that were supposed to be created by the loan, (viii) the number of jobs that were actually created after the loan was issued, (ix) the number of jobs that were committed to be maintained because of the loan, (x) the number of jobs that were actually maintained; and (b) for companies that failed to meet their job numbers, what action has the government taken to address the missed target?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 10--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to spending on stock photographs or images by the government since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, and other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent; and (b) what are the details of each contract or expenditure, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) details and duration of contract, (iv) date, (v) number of photos or images purchased, (vi) where the photos or images were used (Internet, billboards, etc.), (vii) description of advertising campaign, (viii) file number of contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 11--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to government advertising, since June 1, 2018: (a) how much has been spent on billboards; and (b) for each expenditure in (a), what was the (i) start and end date, (ii) cost, (iii) topic, (iv) number of billboards, (v) locations of billboards, (vi) vendor, (vii) type of billboards, such as electronic or traditional?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 12--
Mr. Martin Shields:
With regard to government expenditures on membership fees, broken down by department, agency and Crown corporation, since June 1, 2018: (a) how much money has been spent; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure including the name of the organization or vendor, date of purchase, and amount spent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 13--
Mr. Mike Lake:
With regard to the government’s international development funding, since April 1, 2019: what are the details of all funding provided to civil society organizations, including the (i) name of the organization, (ii) amount received, (iii) amount requested, (iv) purpose of the funding and the description of related projects, (v) date of the funding announcement, (vi) start and end dates of the project receiving funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 15--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what is the total yearly operations budget of the bank; and (b) what is the breakdown of the yearly operations budget by line item?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 16--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to the Building Canada Fund: (a) what is the list of all projects currently being funded by the fund; (b) for each project in (a) what are the details including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) current status of the project, (v) projected completion date, (vi) whether or not federal payment for project has actually been delivered to date, and if so, what is the amount?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 17--
Mr. Luc Berthold:
With regard to government-funded infrastructure projects: (a) what is the complete list of projects the government expects to be completed in the 2020 calendar year; and (b) what are the details of all projects in (a), including (i) expected dates of completion, (ii) locations, (iii) federal ridings, (iv) projects’ title or summary, (v) total federal contributions, (vi) dates when projects began?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 21--
Mr. James Bezan:
With regard to Canada’s military presence in the Middle East and its participation in Operation ARTEMIS, Canada’s mission to help stop terrorism and make Middle Eastern waters more secure: (a) how many Canadian Armed Forces members are currently deployed as part of Operation ARTEMIS; (b) does the Royal Canadian Navy currently have any naval assets deployed as part of Operation ARTEMIS; (c) what contributions is Canada making to regional maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea; and (d) does the government consider the Islamic Republic of Iran to be in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and, if so, what action has the government taken to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for these violations?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 22--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank: (a) what is the complete list of infrastructure projects financed by the bank since June 1, 2018; and (b) for each project in (a), what are the details including (i) amount of federal financing, (ii) location of project, (iii) scheduled completion date of project, (iv) project description?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 23--
Mr. Matt Jeneroux:
With regard to the September 2019 Globe and Mail story entitled “Minister intervened in decision regarding performance pay for Canada Infrastructure Bank CEO”: (a) on what date or dates did the Minister of Infrastructure intervene regarding bonuses or performance pay for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canada Infrastructure Bank; (b) what was the eligibility range of bonuses or performance pay; (c) what was the range of bonuses or performance pay (i) prior to and (ii) after each ministerial intervention, broken down by date of intervention; and (d) what is the current range for the CEO’s (i) salary, (ii) bonus and performance pay, (iii) other compensation, (iv) total compensation?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 25--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
With regard to government spending announcements made between June 1, 2019, and September 11, 2019: (a) broken down by each announcement, which ones were (i) announcements of new money, (ii) re-announcements of funding already committed, (iii) announcements of a renewal of existing ongoing funding; and (b) of the announcements in (a) has any of the announcement funding actually been delivered and, if so, and broken down by announcement, (i) which announcements have had the funding actually delivered, (ii) how much was actually delivered, (iii) on what date was the funding actually transferred from the government to the recipient?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 26--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017, to the Bluesky Strategy Group: (a) who authorized the contract; (b) what are the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 27--
Mrs. Stephanie Kusie:
With regard to appointments to federal boards, agencies, and associations since January 1, 2019, broken down by appointment: what are the details of each appointee, including (i) name, (ii) province, (iii) position, (iv) start and end date of term, (v) was the appointment a reappointment or a new appointment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 28--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
With regard to the additional goods and services tax (GST), or harmonized sales tax where applicable, revenue received as a result of the GST being charged on the carbon tax: how much revenue did the government receive from the GST being charged on the carbon tax in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 29--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
With regard to government spending for photographers or photography service contracts since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: (a) how much was spent; (b) what were the dates and duration of each contract; (c) what was the initial and final value of each contract; (d) what were the details of all events or occasions for each contract including (i) date, (ii) event description; and (e) what were the locations where the services were performed for each contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 30--
Mr. Corey Tochor:
With regard to materials prepared for ministers from January 1, 2019, to present: for every briefing document prepared, what is the (i) date on the document, (ii) title or subject matter of the document, (iii) departmental internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 33--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to expenditures on social media influencers, including any contracts which would use social media influencers as part of a public relations campaign, since June 1, 2018: (a) what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) campaign description, (iv) date of contract, (v) name or handle of influencer; and (b) for each campaign that paid an influencer, was there a requirement to make public as part of a disclaimer the fact that the influencer was being paid by the government and, if not, why not?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 34--
Mr. Warren Steinley:
With regard to management consulting contracts signed by the government since January 1, 2019, broken down by department, agency, and Crown corporation: (a) what was the total amount of money spent; (b) for each contract, what was the (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) file number; (c) each time a management consultant was brought in, what was the desired outcome or goals; (d) how does the government measure whether or not the goals in (c) were met; (e) does the government have any recourse if the goals in (c) were not met; (f) for which contracts were the goals met; and (g) for which contracts were the goals not met?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 36--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to the number of RCMP officers, broken down by province: (a) what is the total number of active Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present; (b) what are the names and locations of each RCMP detachment open as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present; and (c) how many RCMP officers were assigned to each detachment referred to in (b) as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 37--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to warrants issued pursuant to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act: (a) from 2010 to 2019, broken down by year, how many warrants have been issued: and (b) from 2010 to 2019, broken down by year, what is the average time from request to implementation of a warrant?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 38--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to inmates in facilities operated by Correctional Service Canada who have escaped custody or have been unlawfully at large: (a) how many individuals escaped or were unlawfully at large in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019 to date; (b) how many individuals are currently at large, as of the date of this question; and (c) what is the breakdown of (a) by correctional facility and by security classification?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 39--
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus:
With regard to correctional institutions, sorted by institution and by year since 2015: (a) how many offenders died while in custody; and (b) what was the cause of death?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 41--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to government expenditures related to the Canada 2020 sponsored speech of Barack Obama on May 31, 2019, including tickets, sponsorship and other expenses, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) what are the details of all expenses, including the (i) amount, (ii) description of goods or services; and (b) for all tickets or conference fees purchased, (i) who attended the event, (ii) what was the number of tickets, (iii) what was the amount per ticket?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 42--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the government’s CC-150 (Airbus), since January 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 43--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to government procurement and contracts for the provision of research or speech writing services to ministers, since April 1, 2019: (a) what are the details of contracts, including (i) the start and end dates, (ii) contracting parties, (iii) file number, (iv) nature or description of the work, (v) value of contract; and (b) in the case of a contract for speech writing, what is the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) audience or event at which the speech was, or was intended to be delivered, (iv) number of speeches to be written, (v) cost charged per speech?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 44--
Mr. Robert Kitchen:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s claim that the government will not be legalizing or decriminalizing hard drugs: (a) does that include heroin; and (b) will the government exclude heroin from any so-called “safe supply” programs?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 45--
Mr. Colin Carrie:
With regard to the merger of the Hamilton Port Authority and the Oshawa Port Authority: (a) what is the proposed timeline for the merger; (b) how many jobs are projected to be transferred as a result of the merger, and where will those jobs be transferred to; (c) how many jobs are projected to be redundant or eliminated as a result of the merger; and (d) did the government do an economic impact assessment on the merger and if so, what were the results for (i) Oshawa, (ii) Hamilton?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 47--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to Section 2.33 of the Fall 2017 Report of the Auditor General of Canada which states in reference to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that “They gave us wrong information almost 30 per cent of the time”: (a) what specific action has CRA taken since the publication of the report to stop the dissemination or wrong information; and (b) what are the latest available statistics regarding how often CRA disseminates wrong information?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 48--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund: (a) what are the details of all funding recipients from the Fund since January 1, 2019, including (i) name of recipient, (ii) amount of federal contribution, (iii) date, (iv) description of project, (v) location; (b) what specific standards, for (i) accessibility, (ii) energy efficiency, are required of the recipients in (a); (c) did any of the recipients in (a) fail to meet the accessibility or energy efficiency standards and, if so, what are the details, including (i) name of recipient, (ii) which standards they failed to meet, (iii) what specific measures, if any, are in place to ensure that recipients meet the standards, (iv) whether a waiver issued to the recipient and, if so, by whom?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 49--
Mrs. Karen Vecchio:
With regard to expenditures made by the government since January 1, 2019, under government-wide object code 3259 (Miscellaneous expenditures not Elsewhere Classified), or a similar code if department uses another system: what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) vendor name, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) description of goods or services provided, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 50--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017, to the Pembina Institute: (a) who authorized the contract; (b) what are the contracts' references and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 51--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) dates of funding, (ii) recipients, (iii) locations, (iv) project descriptions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 52--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity since January 1, 2017, to Feschuk-Reid: (a) who authorized the contracts; (b) what are the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 53--
Mr. Earl Dreeshen:
With regard to usage of the government's fleet of Challenger aircraft, since May 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 54--
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
With regard to the Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ scandal and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s comment that “Reform is urgently needed to maintain public trust in political parties and our democratic system”: what specific reforms will the government commit to in response to the Privacy Commissioner’s concerns?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 55--
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
With regard to the Office of the Prime Minister and ministers' offices, from January 1, 2019, to present: (a) how much was spent on contracts for (i) consultants, (ii) advisors, (iii) other temporary personnel; (b) what are the names of the individuals and companies that correspond to these amounts; and (c) for each person and company in (b), what were their billing periods and what type of work did they provide?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 56--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to projects funded since December 1, 2018, under the Atlantic Fisheries Fund: what are the details of all such projects, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) recipient, (v) amount of federal contribution, (vi) date of announcement?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 57--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 59--
Mr. Chris d'Entremont:
With regard to government funding for the proposed central Inverness County airport to service golf courses in Cabot, Nova Scotia: will the government be providing funding to the airport and, if so, what are the details of any such funding including amount?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 60--
Mr. Blaine Calkins:
With regard to the funding announced in budget 2018 in relation to the opioid crisis: (a) how much of the funding announced in budget 2018 has been delivered to date; and (b) what are the details of the funding delivered to date, including (i) recipient (ii) date funding was received, (iii) amount, (iv) purpose of funding, (v) duration and intended location of funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 62--
Mr. Kerry Diotte:
With regard to government spending on online advertising since January 1, 2018: what is the total amount spent in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, broken down by outlet or online platform?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 64--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS), broken down by fiscal year for 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19: (a) what was the budget for the FTCS; (b) how much of that budget was spent within the fiscal year; (c) how much was spent on each component of the FTCS, specifically, (i) mass media, (ii) policy and regulatory development, (iii) research, (iv) surveillance, (v) enforcement, (vi) grants and contributions, (vii) programs for Indigenous Canadians; (d) were any other activities not listed in (c) funded by the FTCS and, if so, how much was spent on each of these activities; and (e) was part of the budget reallocated for purposes other than tobacco control and, if so, how much was reallocated?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 68--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard to the government’s decision not to fully cooperate with the RCMP in relation to the SNC-Lavalin affair, including the decision not to grant the RCMP access to all relevant documents: was the decision not to cooperate made by (i) the cabinet, (ii) the Prime Minister, (iii) the Clerk of the Privy Council without approval by the cabinet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 69--
Mr. Dan Albas:
With regard the one-for-one rule with respect to regulations and red tape: for each new regulation which was put in place since January 1, 2019, what regulation was removed?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 71--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to the government’s policy in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran: (a) when will the government comply with the will of the House as expressed in Vote No. 754 on June 12, 2018; (b) what is the cause of the delay in listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada; (c) has the government compiled a list of Iran’s human rights offenders in preparation of imposing sanctions in accordance with the Justice for the Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law); and (d) if the answer in (c) is yes, what individuals are on this list?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 72--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to the ongoing internment and persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China: (a) what specific actions has the government taken to protect and promote the basic human rights of Uyghur Muslims in China; (b) has the government conducted any investigations or examinations into whether the People’s Republic of China is committing ethnic cleansing or genocide of Uyghur Muslims; (c) has the Office of Freedom, Human Rights, and Inclusion undertaken any projects or activities to address the internment and persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China; and (d) if the answer in (c) is yes, (i) what is the total amount spent on said activities, (ii) how many full time employees have been dedicated to said activities, (iii) what is the description of the projects or activities?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 73--
Mr. Garnett Genuis:
With regard to the Contracting Policy Notice 2019-01 from the Treasury Board Secretariat: (a) what is required on the part of the bidder to indicate that they meet the accessibility requirement; (b) how will the responsible departments ensure that suppliers are incorporating accessibility criteria into their bids; and (c) is accessibility being added to the value proposition evaluation criteria under the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 74--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to expense claims by a minister or ministerial exempt staff which were paid out, since June 1, 2018, but then later paid-back to the Receiver General: what are the details of each such payment or reimbursement, including (i) date of expense claim, (ii) date money was reimbursed to the Receiver General, (iii) amount of initial expense claim and payment, (iv) amount reimbursed to the Receiver General, (v) description of products or services for each claim, (vi) reason for reimbursement to the Receiver General?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 75--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2019, to The Gandalf Group or any of its partners: (a) for each contract, what are the (i) vendors' names, (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts; (iv) descriptions of the services provided, (v) the delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values; and (b) what are the details of any research, polling or advice provided to the government as a result of the contracts in (a)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 76--
Mr. Kevin Waugh:
With regard to the purchase of promotional products for handouts or giveaways at trade shows, conferences, and other events, since June 1, 2018 and broken down by department, agency, or Crown corporation: (a) what products were purchased; (b) what quantity of each product was purchased; (c) what was the amount spent; (d) what was the price per unit; (e) at what events, or type of events, were the products distributed at; (f) what country was each product manufactured in; and (g) what is the relevant file number for each purchase?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 78--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to the proposed Department of Defence Procurement: (a) what are the anticipated or preliminary costs associated with creating the proposed department; (b) has a fiscal analysis been conducted on the creation of the proposed department; and (c) have any third parties been contracted to develop or evaluate the creation of the proposed department and, if so, who?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 79--
Mr. Tim Uppal:
With regard to the Treasury Board’s "Policies for Ministers’ Offices": (a) when was section 3.6 of the policies amended to increase, from one to three, the departmental staff assigned to ministers’ offices whose salaries and other personnel costs are not borne by ministers’ offices’ budgets; (b) are salaries and other personnel costs of departmental staff assigned to ministers’ offices included in the information presented in the Expenditure of Ministers’ Offices tables in Section 10 of Volume III of the Public Accounts of Canada; and (c) if the answer to (b) is no, what are the amounts, for the 2016-17, and subsequent fiscal years, of salaries and other personnel costs of departmental staff assigned to ministers’ offices, broken down in the same manner as information is presented in those Expenditure of Ministers’ Offices tables (i.e., by year, portfolio, individual minister, and standard object)?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 81--
Mr. Eric Duncan:
With regard to government advertising: what percentage of government advertising was spent on media outlets that focus on primarily serving rural areas as defined by Statistics Canada, broken down by year since 2016?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 82--
Mr. Eric Duncan:
With regard to contracts issued by ministers' offices for the purpose of media training, since January 1, 2018: what are the details of all such contracts, including (i) vendors, (ii) dates of contract, (iii) dates of training, (iv) individuals whom training was for, (v) amounts?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 83--
Mr. Eric Duncan:
With regard to materials prepared for deputy ministers or department heads from January 1, 2019, to present: for every briefing document prepared, what is (i) the date on the document, (ii) the title or subject matter of the document, (iii) the department’s internal tracking number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 84--
Mr. Eric Duncan:
With regard to government expenditures on conference fees, since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation and other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent on conference fees; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) amount, (ii) host and title of the conference, (iii) date of the conference, (iv) location, (v) number of attendees paid for by the government?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 85--
Mr. Chris Lewis:
With regard to federal taxes, including tariffs, service charges and fees, since 2015: (a) in which instance was there an increase, a new imposition or the elimination of a credit or benefit, broken down by (i) the particular tax, tariff, charge, fee or credit, (ii) the rate or amount, (iii) the date it took effect, (iv) the revenue any increase has generated, (v) the department that made the change; and (b) what is the annual total of revenue generated by each of the changes in (a), broken down by year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 86--
Mr. Chris Lewis:
With regard to renovation, redesign and refurnishing of ministers’ or deputy ministers’ offices since January 1, 2019: (a) what is the total cost of any spending on renovating, redesigning, and refurnishing for each ministerial office, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) moving services, (iii) renovating services, (iv) painting, (v) flooring, (vi) furniture, (vii) appliances, (viii) art installation, (ix) all other expenditures; and (b) what is the total cost of any spending on renovating, redesigning, and refurnishing for each deputy minister’s office, broken down by (i) total cost, (ii) moving services, (iii) renovating services, (iv) painting, (v) flooring, (vi) furniture, (vii) appliances, (viii) art installation, (ix) all other expenditures?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 92--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to reports of bed bugs and other insect infestation in government buildings in the National Capital Region: what are the details of all such infestation reports since January 1, 2017, including (i) name of building, (ii) address, (iii) type of infestation (bed bugs, wasps, etc.), (iv) was corrective action taken in response to the report, and, if so what action was taken, (v) date of infestation report, (vi) date of corrective action, (vii) total amount spent on each of corrective action, (viii) number of employees sent home as a result of the infestation, (ix) dates on which employees were sent home?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 93--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to the 37,000 buildings owned by the government: (a) how many buildings are above the occupancy capacity; (b) how many buildings are at 100% capacity; (c) how many buildings are between 90% and 100% capacity; (d) how many buildings are between 80% and 90% capacity; (e) how many buildings are between 70% and 80% capacity; (f) how many buildings are between 60% and 70% capacity: (g) how many buildings are between 50% and 60% capacity; (h) how many buildings are under 50% capacity; and (i) for buildings referred to in (h), what are the costs related to (i) upkeep and maintenance, (ii) utilities, (iii) cleaning?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 94--
Mrs. Kelly Block:
With regard to the acquisition of buildings by government departments or agencies, since June 1, 2018, for each transaction: (i) what is the location of the building, (ii) what is the amount paid, (iii) what is the type of building, (iv) what is the file number, (v) what is the date of transaction, (vi) what is the reason for acquisition, (vii) who was the owner of building prior to government acquisition, (viii) what is the government-wide object code?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 95--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regard to cyberattacks on government departments and agencies since January 1, 2016, broken down by year: (a) how many attempted cyberattacks on government websites or servers were successfully blocked; (b) how many cyberattacks on government websites or servers were not successfully blocked; and (c) for each cyberattack in (b), what are the details, including (i) date, (ii) departments or agencies targeted, (iii) summary of incident, (iv) whether or not police were informed or charges were laid?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 96--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regards to government computers and cyberattacks: (a) what is the government’s policy when a ransomware attack occurs; and (b) has any department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity made any payments to any individuals or organizations as a result of a ransomware attack since November 4, 2015, and if so what are the details including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) form of payment, (iv) recipient of payment, if known?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 97--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to contracts under $10,000 granted by the Privy Council Office, since January 1, 2019: what are the (i) vendors' names and locations, (ii) contracts' references and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 98--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to government expenditures on gala, concert or sporting event tickets since May 1, 2019: what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) total cost, (iv) cost per ticket, (v) number of tickets, (vi) title of persons using the tickets, (vii) name or title of event for tickets purchased by, or billed to, any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 99--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to government expenditures on the rental of aircraft since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation and other government entity: (a) what is the total amount spent on the rental of aircraft; and (b) what are the details of each expenditure, including (i) amount, (ii) vendor, (iii) dates of rental, (iv) type of aircraft, (v) purpose of trip, (vi) origin and destination of flights, (vii) titles of passengers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 100--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to costs associated with the Prime Minister’s transition team following the 2019 federal election: (a) what were the total costs associated with the transition team; (b) what is the breakdown of all expenditures by type; (c) what are the details of all contracts entered into by the government for the transition team, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services; (d) why did the government rent office space at 222 Queen Street in Ottawa for the transition team as opposed to using existing government office space; and (e) how much did the government pay for the office space at 222 Queen Street and what was the rental or lease start date and end date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 101--
Mr. Ben Lobb:
With regard to materials prepared for ministerial exempt staff from January 1, 2019, to present: for every briefing document prepared, what is (i) the date on the document, (ii) the title or subject matter of the document, (iii) the department’s internal tracking number, (iv) the author, (v) the recipient?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 102--
Mr. Bob Saroya:
With regard to meetings of cabinet and its committees, since November 4, 2015: how many times, broken down by year, did cabinet and each of its committees meet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 104--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
With regard to polling by the government since January 1, 2018: (a) what is the list of all poll questions and subjects that have been commissioned since January 1, 2018; (b) what was the (i) date and duration, (ii) sample size of each poll in (a); and (c) what are the details of all polling contracts signed in January 1, 2018 including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) date and duration, (v) summary of contract including number of polls conducted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 105--
Mr. Jasraj Singh Hallan:
With regard to the federal executive vehicle fleet for ministers, as of December 5, 2019: (a) what is the total number of vehicles in the fleet; (b) what has been the total cost of (i) procuring vehicles for the fleet, (ii) the fleet as a whole; (c) what is the estimated total annual cost of salaries for drivers, including ministerial exempt staff and federal public servants whose primary responsibility consists of driving vehicles in the fleet; (d) what are the models, years and manufacturers of each vehicle in the fleet; and (e) what are the names and positions of each authorized user of a vehicle in the fleet?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 108--
Mr. Gérard Deltell:
With regard to annual budgets allocated to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and to the Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs: (a) is there a separate annual budget for each office and, if not, is there one consolidated budget; (b) for the offices in (a), what is the allocated budget amount; and (c) how many Privy Council Office officials have been assigned to assist the minister in her role as (i) Deputy Prime Minister, (ii) Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 109--
Mr. Philip Lawrence:
With regard to government support for residents and property owners impacted by the high water levels on Lake Ontario: (a) what actions, if any, will the government take, either directly, or through the International Joint Commission/the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, in order to minimize the amount of flooding on Lake Ontario in 2020; (b) what is the government’s (i) short-term, (ii) medium-term, (iii) long-term plans to address the water levels on Lake Ontario; c) what specific financial assistance, if any, is the government providing to (i) residents or property owners, (ii) municipalities, impacted by the outflow levels in 2020; (d) what specific financial assistance, if any, did the government provide to (i) residents or property owners, (ii) municipalities, impacted by the outflow levels in (i) 2017, (ii) 2019; (e) since 2016, how many times has the (i) high trigger or (ii) low trigger of the H14 criterion been met; (f) for each instance in (e), (i) what was the date, (ii) water level, (iii) specific actions taken as a result of the trigger; and (g) for each instance in (e) where a trigger level was met, but action was not taken, what was the rationale for not taking action?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 110--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the total amount of late-payment charges for telephone services, since June 1, 2018, and broken down by late charges incurred by government department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what is the total amount late-payment charges and interest charges incurred in each month for services provided by (i) Rogers, (ii) Bell, (iii) Telus, (iv) other cellular or cable provider?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 111--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to government purchases of tickets or passes for Canada 2020 events during 2019: what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) date of event, (ii) event description, (iii) amount, (iv) number of tickets or passes, (v) price per ticket or pass, (vi) titles of individuals for whom the tickets or passes were intended?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 112--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the government’s participation in the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, in December 2019: (a) how many individuals were in the Canadian delegation; (b) what were the titles of all individuals in (a); and (c) what are the titles of all other individuals who attended COP 25 for whom the government paid expenses?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 113--
Mr. Arnold Viersen:
With regard to the new “For Glowing Hearts” logo unveiled by Destination Canada: (a) which firm or individual designed the logo; (b) what were the total expenditures in relation to designing the logo; and (c) what are the details of any other expenditures in relation to the logo, including (i) amount, (ii) description of goods or services?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 115--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to the disposition of government assets, since January 1, 2018: (a) on how many occasions has the government repurchased or reacquired a lot which had been disposed of in accordance with the Treasury Board’s "Directive on Disposal of Surplus Materiel"; and (b) for each occasion in (a), what was the (i) description or nature of the item or items which constituted the lot, (ii) sale account number or other reference number, (iii) date on which the sale closed, (iv) price at which the item was disposed of to the buyer, (v) price at which the item was repurchased from the buyer, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 116--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to the government operating booths or displays at trade shows or similar type events, since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: what are the details of each event, including (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) title of event, (iv) amount paid by the government for space at the event, (v) amount spent by the government in relation to the displays and a breakdown of such expenses, if known?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 117--
Mr. Scot Davidson:
With regard to the consumption of alcohol and food on flights taken on government-owned Airbus and Challenger aircraft since January 1, 2019: (a) on which flights was alcohol consumed; and (b) for each flight where alcohol was consumed, (i) what is the value of the alcohol consumed, (ii) what was the origin and destination of the flight, (iii) what was the flight date, (iv) what is the breakdown of alcoholic beverages consumed by specific beverage and quantity, (v) what is the cost of food consumed on each flight?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 118--
Mr. Todd Doherty:
With regard to Transport Canada’s testing of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft: (a) will Transport Canada be conducting its own testing of the aircraft prior to recertification and, if so, which specific tests will Transport Canada be conducting itself; (b) will Transport Canada be relying on the testing of foreign nations or their relevant agency to recertify the aircraft and, if so, which specific tests will Transport Canada be relying on from foreign nations; (c) will Transport Canada be relying on the testing of Boeing to recertify the aircraft and, if so, which specific tests will Transport Canada be relying on from Boeing; and (d) will Transport Canada be relying on any other forms of testing to recertify the aircraft and, if so, which forms?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 121--
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
With regard to foreign interference in the 2019 federal election: (a) is the government aware of any organized efforts from foreign nations to interfere in the 2019 election, and, if so (i) what nations were responsible for the effort, (ii) what efforts did each nation make; and (b) did any member of the government request that any foreign head of state or former foreign head of state endorse any particular party during the last election, and, if so, does the government considered that action to be foreign interference?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 122--
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
With regard to social media “influencers” who have been selected to be paid by Elections Canada in relation to the 2019 election: (a) who are all of the “influencers”; (b) what are the details of each “influencer”, including platforms and “handles”; (c) why was each “influencer” chosen by Elections Canada; and (d) how much remuneration has Elections Canada agreed to pay each “influencer”, broken down by “influencer”?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 123--
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
With regard to the True North Centre for Public Policy v Canada (Leaders’ Debates Commission) litigation: (a) what costs have been incurred to date on behalf of the Leaders’ Debates Commission; (b) what costs have been incurred to date on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada; (c) was the Minister of Democratic Institutions or the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada briefed, and, if so, what are the details of each briefing; (d) were instructions provided by the minister or the president; (e) were instructions sought from the minister or the president; and (f) if the instructions were not sought from the minister or the president, who is the most senior official who instructed counsel for the Attorney General of Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 124--
Mr. Mel Arnold:
With regard to the Small Craft Harbours program, since January 1, 2019: (a) what are the details of all grants and contributions made from the program, including for each the (i) recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) project description, (iv) start date and duration of project, (v) type of contribution (e.g. repayable grant, loan, etc.), (vi) location of recipient, including municipality and province; and (b) what is the total amount paid out from the program, broken down by province?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 126--
Mr. Mel Arnold:
With regard to the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP): (a) what is the total amount of OPP funds disbursed to since June 1, 2018; and (b) what are the details of each project or organization funded by the OPP, including (i) recipient, (ii) location, (iii) date of announcement, (iv) amount received to date, (v) project description or purpose of funding, (vi) duration of project?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 130--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the federal Crown Borrowing Program (CBP), which seeks to increase the liquidity and efficiency of Crown corporation borrowings, from January 1, 2017, to date: (a) how many requests for loans were received by the CBP lending facility’s lending desk; (b) of the applications for loans, how many were approved; (c) for each of the approved CBP loans, what was (i) the purpose of the loan, (ii) the total loan amount, (iii) the terms of the loan, (iv) the issuance date, (v) the maturity date; (d) what is the total aggregate amount of loans provided to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; (e) what is the total aggregate amount of loans provided to the Business Development Bank of Canada; (f) what is the total aggregate amount of loans provided to Farm Credit Canada; (g) of the CBP loans issued, how many have defaulted or been deemed to be non-repayable; and (h) what is the total outstanding issuance of CBP loans?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 131--
Mr. Tom Kmiec:
With regard to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) announced by the government in 2019, from September 1, 2019, to date: (a) how many applicants have applied for a mortgage through the FTHBI, broken down by province and municipality; (b) of the applicants in (a), how many applicants have been approved and accepted mortgages through the FTHBI, broken down by province and municipality; (c) of the applicants in (b), what is that average value of the mortgage loan; (d) of the applicants in (b), what is that median value of the mortgage loan; (e) what is the total aggregate amount of money lent to homebuyers; (f) what is the breakdown of the percentage of loans originated with each lender comprising more than 5% of total loans issued; and (g) what is the breakdown of the value of outstanding loans insured by each Canadian mortgage insurance company as a percentage of total loans in force?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 134--
Mr. Erin O'Toole:
With regard to the government's campaign for a United Nations Security Council seat in 2021: (a) what are the total expenses to date directly related to the campaign, broken down by type of expense; and (b) what are the details of all contracts related to the campaign, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 136--
Mr. Erin O'Toole:
With regard to the government’s position in response to the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong: (a) has there been any communication between the Government of Canada or its officials and the Government of China or its officials related to the demonstrations and, if so, what are the details, including (i) date, (ii) form of communications, (iii) who was involved in the communication, (iv) content of the messages sent or received; (b) what is the government’s official response to the demonstrations; and (c) what is the government’s position regarding offering asylum to pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 137--
Mr. John Williamson:
With regard to the impact of the Muskrat Falls project on electricity rates in Newfoundland and Labrador: (a) what estimates or projections does the government have regarding electricity rates in Newfoundland and Labrador in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021, (iv) 2022; and (b) what specific measures will the government take to reduce electricity rates?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 141--
Ms. Rachael Harder:
With regard to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) inspections at the Port of Vancouver: (a) what is the average wait time for inspection of a shipment; (b) how does the current wait time relate to (i) the previous five years, (ii) other major ports in Canada; (c) what is the current number of employees working on container inspection and how does it relate to employee numbers in the previous five years; (d) what is the average cost (i) to the importer when a container is selected for examination, (ii) to the CBSA to perform each inspection; and (e) what resources are being allocated by the CBSA to (i) address findings of the Audit of the Commercial Program in the Marine Mode, dated December 4, 2018, (ii) decrease current wait times associated with inspection?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 142--
Mr. Ziad Aboultaif:
With regard to cybersecurity penetration testing, since January 1, 2016, and broken down by department or agency: (a) has cybersecurity penetration testing occurred; (b) was the penetration testing conducted internally or by an external contractor; (c) if an external contractor was hired, what are the details of the contract, including the (i) date and duration of contract, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount; and (d) what was the nature of the penetration testing?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 144--
Mr. Michael D. Chong:
With regard to the $6-million budget for the Leader’s Debates Commission: (a) how much has been spent to date; and (b) what is the breakdown of how the budget was spent, broken down by line item?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 145--
Mr. John Williamson:
With regard to Canada Post domestic mail being opened by United States customs officials: (a) does the government or Canada Post allow foreign officials to open domestic mail under any circumstances and, if so, what are those circumstances; (b) what specific measures, if any, will the government take to ensure that Canada Post domestic mail sent to or from Campobello, New Brunswick, is not opened by a foreign government's officials; and (c) has the government raised this matter with U.S. government officials and, if so, what are the details, including (i) who raised the issue, (ii) with whom was it raised, (iii) date, (iv) form, (v) what was the U.S. response?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 147--
Mr. Glen Motz:
With regard to Correctional Service Canada, broken down by year since 2008: (a) what was the average number of individuals in a maximum security penitentiary; (b) what was the average number of individuals in a medium security penitentiary; (c) what was the average number of individuals in a minimum security penitentiary; (d) what was the average number of individuals serving their sentence in the community; and (e) for each number in (a) through (d), what capacity percentage does that number represent?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 148--
Mr. Peter Kent:
With regard to the government’s proposed Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts: (a) why does the government require panel members to sign a confidentiality agreement; (b) why will the panel’s deliberations not be held in public; and (c) why will the government not list media applicants which are denied funding?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 152--
Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay:
With regard to all government spending announcements between June 1, 2019, and September 11, 2019: (a) what is the total amount of all commitments; (b) for each announcement, what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) amount, (iv) description or summary, (v) duration of proposed spending, (vi) name of the member of Parliament or the minister who made announcement, (vii) program from which funding was allocated?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 153--
Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay:
With regard to all contracts awarded by the government since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: (a) how many contracts have been awarded to a foreign firm, individual, business, or other entity with a mailing address outside of Canada; (b) for each contract in (a), what is the (i) name of vendor, (ii) date of contract, (iii) summary or description of goods or services provided, (iv) file or tracking number, (v) country of mailing address; and (c) for each contract in (a), was the contract awarded competitively or sole sourced?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 154--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to government revenue from taxes or duties related to cannabis sales: (a) what was the original projected revenue from these taxes or duties in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (b) what was the actual revenue generated from these taxes or duties in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; and (c) what is the projected revenue from these taxes or duties in each of the next five years?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 155--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to RCMP requests for cooperation directed at the Privy Council Office (PCO) or the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO) since January 1, 2016: (a) how many requests for cooperation have been denied by PCO or PMO; and (b) what are the details of each denied request, including (i) date of request, (ii) date of response, (iii) highest official in PCO or PMO who authorized the denial, (iv) summary and topic of request, (v) reason for denial?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 156--
Ms. Candice Bergen:
With regard to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity: what is the minister's definition of the middle-class?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 161--
Mr. Glen Motz:
With regard to the number of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers: broken down by province and job category, what is the total number of active CBSA officers as of (i) January 1, 2014, (ii) January 1, 2015, (iii) January 1, 2016, (iv) January 1, 2017, (v) January 1, 2018, (vi) January 1, 2019, (vii) present?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 162--
Mr. Glen Motz:
With regard to contraband seized in correctional institutions, broken down by year and institution from 2015 to present: (a) what quantity of tobacco was seized; (b) what quantity of cannabis was seized; (c) what quantity of crack cocaine was seized; (d) what quantity of crystal methamphetamine was seized; (e) what quantity of opioids was seized; (f) how many cellular telephones were seized; (g) how many weapons were seized; and (h) what is the total institutional value of all seized contraband?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 164--
Mr. Charlie Angus:
With regard to the First Nations Child and Family Services program: (a) how much funding has been allocated in each fiscal year since 2009-10, broken down by province or territory, fiscal year, and category of expenditure (i.e. operations, maintenance, prevention, and community well-being and jurisdiction initiative); (b) how much has been spent in each fiscal year since 2009-10, broken down by province or territory, fiscal year, and category of expenditure; and (c) how many apprehensions of children have been undertaken in each fiscal year since 2009-10, broken down by fiscal year, province or territory and by on- and off-reserve apprehensions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 165--
Mr. Terry Dowdall:
With regard to contracts under $25,000 for communications research services or professional communications services signed since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each contract, including (i) vendor, (ii) date and duration of contract, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 166--
Mr. Terry Dowdall:
With regard to contracts under $10,000 granted by the Department of Finance since January 1, 2019: what are the (i) vendors' names and location, (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 167--
Mr. Terry Dowdall:
With regard to diplomatic appointments made by the government since January 1, 2019: what are the details of all diplomatic appointments made of individuals who were not diplomats or employees of Global Affairs Canada prior to their appointment, including (i) name, (ii) position, including the country and title, (iii) date of the appointment, (iv) salary range?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 168--
Ms. Rachael Harder:
With regard to the Ministries and Ministers of State Act: (a) on November 20, 2019, were ministers of state appointed pursuant to that Act, and, if so, (i) who are the ministers of state, (ii) who are the ministers to whom those ministers of state have been appointed to assist, (iii) what is the gender of the individuals listed in (i) and (ii); (b) is the answer to (a)(iii) consistent with the Prime Minister’s commitment to a gender-balanced cabinet; and (c) which provisions of the Salaries Act, as enacted by Bill C-24 during the previous Parliament, prevented these ministerial appointments?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 169--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to relocation costs for exempt staff moving to the National Capital Region since January 1, 2019: (a) what is the total cost paid by the government for relocation services and hotel stays related to moving these staff to the National Capital Region; and (b) for each individual reimbursement, what is the (i) total amount authorized to be paid out, (ii) cost for moving services, (iii) cost for hotel stays?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 170--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to contracts granted by any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity, since January 1, 2017, to Data Sciences Incorporated: (a) who authorized the contracts; (b) what are the contracts' reference and file numbers; (c) what are the dates of the contracts; (d) what are the descriptions of the services provided; (e) what are the delivery dates; (f) what are the original contracts' values; and (g) what are the final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 171--
Mr. Tony Baldinelli:
With regard to projects funded under the government’s Supercluster Initiative: what are the details of all funding delivered to date, including (i) project title and description, (ii) location, (iii) funding promised to date, (iv) funding actually delivered to date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 172--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to the purchase of carbon offset credits by the government, broken down by department, agency, and Crown corporation: (a) what is the total amount purchased in carbon offsets since January 1, 2018; and (b) what are the details of each individual purchase, including, for each, the (i) price of purchase, (ii) date of purchase, (iii) dates of travel, (iv) titles of individuals on trip, (v) origin and destination of trip, (vi) amount of emissions the purchase was meant to offset, (vii) name of vendor who received the carbon offset payment?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 174--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to immigration to Canada since January 1, 2016, and broken down by year: (a) how many economic class immigrants have been admitted to Canada; (b) how many family class immigrants have been admitted to Canada; (c) how many refugees have been admitted to Canada; (d) how many (i) temporary student visas were issued, (ii) individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary student visa; (e) how many (i) temporary worker permits were issued, (ii) individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary worker permit; (f) how many (i) temporary visitor records were issued, (ii) individuals were admitted to Canada on a temporary visitor record; (g) how many temporary resident permits were issued; (h) how many temporary resident permits were approved by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; (i) for (a) to (h), what is the breakdown by source country for each class of migrant; and (j) for applications for the categories enumerated in (a) to (h), how many individuals were found inadmissible, broken down by (i) each subsection of section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, (ii) each subsection of section 35 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, (iii) each subsection of section 36 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, (iv) each subsection of section 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, (v) each subsection of section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 176--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to the government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative: what are the details of all funding provided from the program, including (i) recipients, (ii) dates, (iii) location of recipients, (iv) descriptions or summaries of business or programs receiving funding, (v) amounts of funding, (vi) whether the funding was in the form of a (vii) repayable loan, (viii) non-repayable grant?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 177--
Mrs. Rosemarie Falk:
With regard to individuals who have illegally or “irregularly” crossed the border into Canada since January 1, 2016: (a) how many such individuals have been subject to deportation or a removal order; and (b) of the individuals in (a), how many (i) remain in Canada, (ii) have been deported or removed from Canada?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 180--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to correspondence, both on paper and electronic formats, received by the Office of the Prime Minister from the general public since January 1, 2019: (a) what were the top 10 topics or subjects matters, in terms of volume of correspondence; and (b) for each of the top 10 topics in (a), how many pieces of correspondence were received?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 181--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the caretaker convention: (a) is the government, as of the date of the notice of this question, observing the caretaker convention; (b) if the answer to (a) is negative, (i) when did the government cease observing the caretaker convention, (ii) what prompted this change, (iii) is this consistent with section 1 of the Privy Council Office’s “Guidelines on the conduct of Ministers, Ministers of State, exempt staff and public servants during an election“ publication which provides that the caretaker period “ends when a new government is sworn-in, or when an election result returning an incumbent government is clear”; and (c) what is the government’s definition of “when an election result returning an incumbent government is clear” in cases where the government party represents fewer than a majority of seats in the House of Commons?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 182--
Ms. Leona Alleslev:
With regard to the export of military goods: (a) what was the average, median, shortest and longest approval time for an export permit in (i) 2014, (ii) 2015, (iii) 2016, (iv) 2017, (v) 2018, (vi) (2019); (b) what is the precise process through which each permit application goes prior to final approval, including the titles of those required to sign off at each stage of the process; (c) has the process in (b) changed since November 4, 2015, and, if so, (i) what precise changes were made to the process, (ii) when was each change made; and (d) what specific measures, if any, is the government implementing to speed up the approval process?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 184--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
With regard to defence procurements that have been delayed, since January 1, 2016: (a) what is the complete list of procurements that have been delayed and what are the details of each procurement, including (i) original procurement date, (ii) revised procurement date, (iii) description of goods or services being procured, (iv) reason for the delay?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 185--
Mr. Damien C. Kurek:
With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 186--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
With regard to foreign takeovers and acquisitions of Canadian companies by foreign state-owned enterprises covered by the Investment Canada Regulations and the Investment Canada Act: (a) from January 1, 2016, to present, how many foreign state-owned enterprises have taken over or acquired Canadian companies; (b) what are the details of each takeover or acquisition in (a), including the (i) name and country of the foreign enterprise, (ii) name of the Canadian company subject to the takeover or acquisition; and (c) for each transaction referred to in (b), (i) was a review conducted pursuant to the Investment Canada Act, (ii) was a national security review conducted?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 187--
Mr. Gary Vidal:
With regard to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members serving abroad: (a) how many CAF members were serving abroad as of January 1, 2019; (b) what is the breakdown of these deployments by country; (c) how many CAF members are currently serving abroad; and (d) what is the breakdown of current deployments by country?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 188--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to the Veterans Affairs Canada service standard of 16 weeks for decisions in relation to disability benefit applications, for the 2018-19 fiscal year or in the last year for which statistics are available: how many and what percentage of applications received a decision within (i) the 16-week standard, (ii) between 16 and 26 weeks, (iii) greater than 26 weeks (six months), (iv) greater than a year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 189--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to ministerial travel between June 21, 2019, and September 11, 2019: (a) how much money was spent by each minister and their accompanying staff, per trip, on (i) accommodation, (ii) flights, including number of flights, (iii) car rentals, including number of cars, (iv) fuel claims, (v) meals, (vi) incidentals; (b) how many staff members were on each trip, broken down by ministerial staff and departmental staff; and (c) what was the destination and purpose of each trip?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 190--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to ministerial travel between June 21, 2018, and September 11, 2018: (a) how much money was spent by each minister and their accompanying staff, per trip, on (i) accommodation, (ii) flights, including number of flights, (iii) car rentals, including number of cars, (iv) fuel claims, (v) meals, (vi) incidentals; (b) how many staff members were on each trip, broken down by ministerial staff and departmental staff; and (c) what was the destination and purpose of each trip?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 191--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to performance incentives or bonuses paid out in the last fiscal year: what amount was paid out, broken down by department and position level?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 192--
Mr. Kelly McCauley:
With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), for the last fiscal year: (a) how much money was spent by the CIB; (b) how many projects have been proposed for the CIB; (c) how many projects have been evaluated for the CIB; and (d) how many projects have been approved for the CIB?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 193--
Mr. Jamie Schmale:
With regard to classified or protected documents, since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: (a) how many instances have occurred where it was discovered that classified or protected documents were left or stored in a manner which did not meet the requirements of the security level of the documents; (b) how many of these instances occurred in the offices of ministerial exempt staff, including those of the staff of the Prime Minister, broken down by ministerial office; and (c) how many employees have lost their security clearance as a result of such infractions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 195--
Mr. Bob Zimmer:
With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 196--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to any focus groups administered by the government since January 1, 2019, and broken down by each instance where a focus group took place: (a) what were the specific topics being assessed or analyzed by the focus groups; (b) what are all costs associated with putting on these focus groups, including venue rental, incentives for attendees, food and beverage, travel expenses; (c) which government officials or ministerial staff were in attendance at each focus group; (d) for each of the focus groups conducted, what were the results or findings; and (e) what was the date of each focus group?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 197--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to privacy breaches since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity: (a) how many privacy breaches have occurred; and (b) for each privacy breach, (i) was it reported to the Privacy Commissioner, (ii) how many individuals were affected, (iii) what were the dates of the privacy breach, (iv) were the individuals affected notified that their information may have been compromised and, if so, on what date and by what manner?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 198--
Mr. Dean Allison:
With regard to government expenditures on media monitoring, since January 1, 2018, and broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) duration of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 199--
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
With regard to errors made and corrected on proactive disclosure, since January 1, 2019, and broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entity covered by proactive disclosure: (a) what was the total number of errors discovered; (b) for each error, what were the details of the original posting, including what information was originally published on the proactive disclosure website; (c) for each correction, what are the details of the corrected information, including the contents of both the (i) original information, (ii) corrected information; and (d) for each error, on what date was the (i) erroneous information published, (ii) corrected information published?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 201--
Mr. Brad Redekopp:
With regard to contracts under $10,000 granted by Global Affairs Canada since January 1, 2019: what are the (i) vendors' names and locations (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 202--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to government statistics regarding foreign investment in Canadian real estate: (a) how much foreign money does the government estimate is currently invested in unoccupied or unutilized Canadian residential real estate, broken down by (i) value, (ii) number of dwellings, (iii) municipality, (iv) province; and (b) how much foreign money does the government estimate is currently invested in unoccupied or unutilized Canadian commercial real estate, broken down by (i) value, (ii) number of dwellings, (iii) amount of commercial space, (iv) municipality, (v) province ?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 203--
Mr. Greg McLean:
With regard to government scrutiny of foreign funding of Canadian real estate investments: (a) has the government conducted any specific studies in relation to examining the sources of foreign capital in Canadian real estate, and what were the findings of the studies; (b) what percentage of foreign capital in Canadian real estate does the government estimate to be from illegitimate or illegal sources; (c) what specific measures does the government take to ensure that foreign investment is from legitimate sources; (d) how many foreign-funded real estate transactions have been investigated for possible money laundering since January 1, 2018; (e) what is the status of each of the investigations in (d); and (f) what specific actions is the government taking to ensure that Canadian real estate transactions are not used for money laundering?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 205--
Mr. Doug Shipley:
With regard to spending by departments, agencies and Crown corporations, since January 1, 2018: what were the total costs of rentals and purchases of individual staging, lighting and audio equipment, and production and assorted technical costs for all government announcements and public events, broken down by (i) date of event, (ii) location, (iii) event description, (iv) vendor name, (v) goods or services provided by each vendor, (vi) contract value, including cost of each good or service, if known?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 207--
Mrs. Alice Wong:
With regard to the impact of the carbon tax on fixed-income seniors: (a) did the government do any studies, prior to implementing a federal carbon tax, on the impact of the carbon tax on fixed-income seniors, and what were the findings of the studies; (b) what relief, if any, will the government provide to seniors who are unable to afford the higher prices of fruits and vegetables as a result of the carbon tax; and (c) what seniors organizations, if any, were consulted prior to the implementation of the carbon tax, and what are the details of each of their submissions?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 209--
Mr. Tom Lukiwski:
With regard to the national security exception for federal procurements, since January 1, 2016: how many times has this exception been invoked, broken down by (i) date of contract, (ii) department, (iii) contract amount?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 210--
Mr. Brad Vis:
With regard to requests from the District of Mission, British Columbia, for government assistance in relation to the Mission sanitary sewer crossing project: (a) what funding will the government provide to Mission in order to replace the sewage pipe system, and when will it be provided; (b) has the government conducted any studies on the potential impact of a sewage pipe breach into the Fraser River and, if so, what are the details, including (i) date, (ii) who conducted the study, (iii) findings, (iv) website where the study can be found online; (c) has the government performed a cost or risk assessment in relation to the cost of replacing the sewage pipe compared to the environmental and financial costs associated with a sewage breach along the Fraser River, and, if so, what were the findings of the assessment; and (d) if the answer to (c) is negative, why has an assessment not been done?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 211--
Mr. Marty Morantz:
With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): (a) what are all of the current 1-800 telephone numbers that Canadians can use to call the CRA; (b) for each 1-800 telephone number, which taxpayers are intended to use each telephone number and which specific services are available; (c) broken down by month, since January 1, 2018, how many telephone calls have been received by each telephone number; and (d) broken down by month, since January 2018, what was the average wait time or time on hold for callers to each telephone number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 213--
Mr. Randy Hoback:
With regard to the updatedCanada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) signed on December 10, 2019: what are the specific details of all changes between this agreement and the previous CUSMA signed on November 30, 2018?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 214--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the report entitled “An Examination of Governance, Existing Data, Potential Indicators and Values in the Ottawa River Watershed”, tabled in the House on June 19, 2019: (a) how many public servants were involved in the creation of this report; (b) how many organizations were invited to provide input, direction or consultation during the preparation of the report; (c) how many organizations responded to the invitation to provide input, direction or consultation during the preparation of the report; (d) of the input provided by the organizations that responded in (c), how many were directly used in the creation of the report; (e) for each of the organizations identified in (b), (c), and (d), what is the (i) name of the organization, (ii) contact information of the organization, broken down by question; (f) for each of the organizations invited in (b), since November 4, 2015, have any received funding from the government, broken down by (i) name of the organization, (ii) contact information of the organization, (iii) amount of money received, (iv) department and program that the funding came from, and (v) date on which the funding was received; (g) what is the total of all expenditures for the creation this report, broken down by category; (h) for any expenditure on advertising for the creation of this report, what are the (i) dates the advertising appeared, (ii) the medium used for the advertising, (iii) locations that the advertising could be seen, (iv) amount of money spent on advertising, (v) who approved the advertising expense; (i) for any expenditure on hospitality during the creation of the report, what is the (i) amount spent, (ii) date that the hospitality took place, (iii) location of the event, (iv) what kind of food and beverages were served, (v) who approved the hospitality expense; (j) for any expenditure on transportation and the rental of vehicles during the creation of this report, what is the (i) amount spent, (ii) date that the transportation or rental took place, (iii) location of travel, (iv) what method of transportation was used, (v) in the case of rentals, what is the make and model of the vehicle that was rented, (vi) who approved the transportation or rental expense; and (k) for any expenditure on venue rentals or leases during the creation of this report, what is the (i) amount spent, (ii) location of the rental or lease, (iii) purpose of the rental or lease, (iv) who approved the venue rental or lease expense?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 215--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the International Joint Commission’s Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River Plan 2014, since November 15, 2015: (a) have any briefing notes been prepared on Plan 2014; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what are the details of each briefing note, broken down by (i) title, (ii) subject, (iii) author, (iv) department, (v) date written, and (vi) department internal tracking number; and (c) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, have any ministers or ministerial exempt staff issued a written response to a briefing note on Plan 2014, broken down by (i) author, (ii) department), (iii) method of response, (iv) date written, (v) summary of responses?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 217--
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant:
With regard to the Statutes of Canada 2019, Chapter 14 (An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence): what is the anticipated total cost of implementing the 2007 Brisbane Declaration on Environmental Flows, broken down by (i) department, (ii) program, (iii) fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 218--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare: (a) what are the total expenditures of the Council to date, broken down by line item; and (b) what is the total of all costs associated with producing the report “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All”, broken down by line item?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 219--
Mr. Pierre Poilievre:
With regard to government-owned buildings and properties on Sparks Street in Ottawa, between Elgin Street and Bank Street, from 2014 until present: (a) how many retail units are available for commercial lease; (b) what are the details of each unit, including (i) street address, (ii) cost to lease, (iii) whether is it vacant or occupied; and (c) for the units in (a), what is the total number of vacant and occupied units?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 220--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to expenditures on single-use bottled water by the government in fiscal years 2017-18, 2018-19 and to date in 2019-20: (a) what are the total expenditures, broken down by department or agency; (b) what are the details of all such expenditures, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) description of goods, including quantity, (v) reason the bottled water was purchased; and (c) of the expenditures in (b), which expenditures were incurred for consumption in facilities where access to safe drinking water was readily available?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 221--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to grants and contributions under $25,000 provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the 17 federal departments and agencies that make up the innovation, science and economic development portfolio, since January 1, 2018: what are the details of each, including (i) date of funding, (ii) recipient, (iii) location, (iv) project description?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 222--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to contracts under $10,000 granted by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the 17 federal departments and agencies that make up the innovation, science and economic development portfolio, since January 1, 2018: what are the (i) vendors' names and locations, (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the goods or services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values, if different from the original contracts' values?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 223--
Ms. Michelle Rempel Garner:
With regard to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the 17 federal departments and agencies that make up the innovation, science and economic development portfolio, and broken down by year since the 2016-17 fiscal year: (a) what was the total amount spent on (i) travel for government employees, (ii) travel for stakeholders; (iii) travel for individuals who are neither government employees nor stakeholders, (iv) hospitality; and (b) what are the details of all travel for stakeholders, including (i) date of travel, (ii) cost of trip, broken down by flight cost, accommodation costs and other costs, (iii) name of stakeholder, (iv) organization represented, if applicable?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 224--
Ms. Marilyn Gladu:
With regard to government enforcement of measures aimed at preventing vaping among youth: (a) how much has been spent since January 1, 2019, on enforcing anti-vaping regulations, broken down by type of enforcement and regulation being enforced; (b) what was the vaping rate among youth in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018, (iii) 2019; (c) what specific measures will the government take to lower the youth vaping rate; and (d) what is the government’s target for lowering the vaping rate in (i) 2020, (ii) 2021, (iii) 2022?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 226--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
With regard to Canada’s submarine fleet: (a) what were the total number of days at sea for each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (b) how much money was spent to repair each submarine in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019; (c) what is the total cost of the current submarine maintenance plan to maintain the submarines in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021; (d) what are the projected future costs of maintenance of the submarine fleet until end-of-life; and (e) what are the details of all briefing notes prepared by the National Shipbuilding Strategy secretariat related to submarines in 2018 and 2019, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 227--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
With regard to the replacement of Canada’s polar class icebreakers: (a) what is the expected date of their replacement; (b) what are the planned roles for these new vessels; (c) what is the budget or cost for their replacement; (d) what are the details, including findings of any reports or analysis related to operating older icebreakers (Louis St. Laurent and Terry Fox), including (i) expected years they will have to continue to operate before replacements are built, (ii) total sea days for each vessel in 2017, 2018 and 2019, (iii) total cost of maintenance in 2017, 2018 and 2019 for each polar class vessel; (e) what is the planned maintenance cost of the vessels for each of the next five years; (f) what are the details, including findings, of any review of the vessel meeting environmental standards or risk of not including the polar code for emissions; and (g) what are the details of any reports or briefing notes prepared for or circulated by the National Shipbuilding Strategy Secretariat related to these vessels in 2017, 2018 and 2019, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 228--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
With regard to the government’s plans to build 16 multipurpose vessels of the Canadian Coast Guard: (a) what is the expected budget and schedule for the design and construction for each vessel; (b) what are details of all contracts related to (a), including (i) vendor, (ii) start date, (iii) end date, (iv) amount, (v) description of goods or services, including completion date, where applicable; (c) what is the total number of crew expected for each vessel; (d) what is the expected delivery date for each vessel; (e) what is the risk to cost or budget identified in the planning for these ships; and (f) what are the details of any reports or briefing notes prepared for or circulated by the National Shipbuilding Strategy secretariat related to these vessels in 2018 and 2019, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 229--
Mr. Michael Cooper:
With regard to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN): (a) which surface platform in the Royal Canadian Navy is deemed a warship and why has it been designated as such; (b) will the Joint Support Ship (JSS) be a warship; (c) what specific characteristics will enable to JSS to be a warship; (d) what is the RCN’s definition of interim operational capability (IOC) and full operational capability (FOC); (e) when will the first JSS achieve IOC and FOC; (f) when will the second JSS achieve FOC; (g) what is the most recent cost identified to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Material) for (i) JSS 1, (ii) JSS 2; and (h) what are the details of the design contracts for JSS 1 and JSS 2, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number, (vi) start and end date of contract?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 230--
Ms. Lianne Rood:
With regard to arctic off-shore patrol ships (AOPS): (a) will the two AOPS for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) require redesign or changes and, if so, what specific changes are required and what is the anticipated cost of each change; (b) what are the details of any contracts signed with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI) in relation to the AOPS, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number, (vi) start and end date of contract; (c) when and in which reports did the CCG first identify the need for AOPS; (d) has the CCG identified any risks or challenges in operating the two AOPS and what are those risks; (e) what will be the total estimated costs of the two AOPS to CCG; and (f) what are the details of all briefing documents prepared on this matter, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 232--
Ms. Lianne Rood:
With regard to the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) fleet: (a) how many ships were committed in the first phase of the contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI); (b) what are the details of all contracts related to the CSC design, including (i) date, (ii) amount, (iii) vendor, (iv) summary of goods or services provided, (v) file number, (vi) start date and end date of contract; (c) what is the most recent cost estimate for the first three ships as provided to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence (Materiel) and the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; (d) what are the specific design changes that are (i) being considered, (ii) being implemented, (iii) expected to increase the size, capacity, speed, and weight of the Type T26 from the original United Kingdom design; (e) who proposed each change and approved the changes in (d)(ii); (f) what was the rationale for each design change; (g) what, if any, are the specific concerns or issues related to costs, speed, size, weight and crewing of the T26 frigate design that have been identified by the Department of National Defence, third party advisors and any technical experts to the (i) Minister of National Defence, (ii) Minister of Finance, (iii) President of the Treasury Board, (iv) Privy Council Office, (v) Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; (h) what were the technical requirements for the CSC; (i) what are the details of any reports from the independent third party advisors related to this project prepared in draft or final form in the past 12 months, including (i) date, (ii) third party advisor name, (iii) summary and findings of report; (j) what is the cost for spares for each of the CSC; (k) what is the cost of infrastructure upgrades for the CSC fleet; (l) what are the details of each contract signed between the government and ISI related to the CSC, including (i) date, (ii) vendor, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number, (vi) start and end date of contract; and (n) what are the details of all briefing documents prepared on this matter, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) title or subject matter, (v) summary of contents, (vi) file number?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 233--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the electoral district of Courtenay—Alberni, between the fiscal year 2005-06 and the current year: what are all the federal infrastructure investments (including direct transfers to municipalities, regional district associations or First Nations, national parks, highways, etc.), broken down by fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 234--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) announced by the government in 2016: (a) how much money has been allocated to Transport Canada under the OPP since 2016, broken down by year; (b) how much money has been spent under the OPP by Transport Canada since 2016, broken down by year and program; (c) how much money has been allocated to Fisheries and Oceans Canada under the OPP since 2016, broken down by year; (d) how much money has been spent under the OPP by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (e) how much money has been allocated to Environment and Climate Change Canada under the OPP since 2016, broken down by year; (f) how much money has been spent under the OPP by Environment and Climate Change Canada since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (g) how much money has been spent under the OPP on efforts to mitigate the potential impacts of oil spills since 2016, broken down by year and by program; (h) how much money from the OPP has been allocated to the Whales Initiative since 2016, broken down by year; (i) how much money has been spent under the OPP on the Whales Initiative since 2016; and (j) what policies does the government have in place to ensure that the funding allocated under the OPP is spent on its stated goals in a timely manner?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 235--
Mr. Gord Johns:
With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada: what was the amount of lapsed spending in the department, broken down by year, from 2005-06 to the current fiscal year?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 236--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the government's negotiations with the United States on softwood lumber: (a) when did formal negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement commence; (b) how many negotiating sessions have been held to date; (c) who participated in those negotiations in Canada, the United States or elsewhere; and (d) when was the latest negotiating session?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 237--
Mrs. Cathy McLeod:
With regard to the government’s Softwood Lumber Action Plan, announced June 1, 2017: (a) how was the funding allocated, broken down by (i) department, (ii) organization, (iii) location, (iv) date of allocation, (v) amount of funding; and (b) how much of this funding been delivered to date?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 239--
Mr. Randy Hoback:
With regard to the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) signed in December 2019: (a) what analysis was done by the government on the impact of the concessions made in the latest version of the agreement to the supply management sector and what were the conclusions; and (b) what is the projected impact of the new agreement on the incomes of (i) dairy, (ii) egg, (iii) chicken, (iv) turkey, (v) hatching egg producers and farmers?
Response
(Return tabled)

Question No. 240--
Mr. Randy Hoback:
With regard to the Prime Minister’s comments in the House on December 11, 2019, that “I have had direct discussions with my Australian counterparts on the issue of protection of the Canadian wine industry”: (a) what are the details of these discussions, including (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) Australian counterpart with whom the discussion took place; and (b) what specific commitments, if any, did the Prime Minister offer or receive during these discussions?
Response
(Return tabled)
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View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2020-01-27 16:54 [p.514]
Madam Speaker, I want to let you know that I am splitting my time with the hon. member for Milton.
It is an honour to rise in this chamber on behalf of the people of Whitby to speak to the government's Speech from the Throne.
In the throne speech, it was mentioned how young our country is. While in the context of world history this may be true, our predecessors have left very big shoes to fill indeed. It was on these grounds that nation-shaping events took place and decisions were made in the past: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005, the implementation of universal health care in 1966, declarations of war in some of the world's greatest conflicts, the Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960 and the original NAFTA in 1994.
We, as Canadians, have accomplished so much throughout our history. These decisions should guide us along the way as we make the most of our time here in this 43rd Parliament. As Pierre Trudeau once said, “The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not worshipped; it is our future in which we will find our greatness.” Building a better future, and a sustainable future I might add, for our country is not only our job, but it is our obligation as the temporary agents of change in the seats of this chamber.
Today, the world is facing new challenges, not unlike the past, but staying focused and grounded on the people who sent us here will be key to success. Collaboration, no doubt, will be critical. The throne speech was clear. We are working hard to build a better future for our children and generations to come. We need to look far past the “short term-ism” that government is often criticized for and look to the long-term change process that will advance our collective vision for a sustainable future.
Over the last four years, our government has achieved bold progress on an ambitious agenda they were elected on in 2015. We worked hard to strengthen the middle class, grow the economy and protect our environment. That is not to mention the many other things that we have championed as a government, including reducing poverty and homelessness, and advancing women's equality. The last four years are a testament that environmental action does not come at the cost of economic growth. In fact, we have seen substantive progress on both fronts at the same time.
In the last Parliament, the Liberal government developed and delivered on one of Canada's most ambitious environmental and climate action plans in our history. Canadians spoke loud and clear about the need for climate action when we went to the polls in October. As the member for Whitby, I hear regularly from constituents about how concerned they are about climate change. Climate change is no longer an idea spoken about by scientists as some far-off event. It is a reality people face in their everyday lives. We have seen wetter, wilder and unpredictable weather become the norm. Extreme climatic events are regularly in the news, and action can no longer wait. Our historical apathy and inaction under previous governments on this issue has been our greatest challenge. I am proud to be part of a team that is serious about climate action.
Over the last few years, people in Whitby and along the shores of Lake Ontario and many of the Great Lakes have experienced unprecedented flooding. This has caused property damage and shoreline erosion. The cost of inaction is simply too great. I am happy to see that the Minister of Infrastructure will be working with other levels of government to help fund the building of climate-resilient infrastructure. The government is also committed to working toward the completion of all flood maps in Canada and introducing a new low-cost national flood insurance program. This will allow for better planning policies at the local level to help avoid significant damage from climate change-related disasters.
There are many progressive measures for addressing climate change from our platform and the Speech from the Throne that I know many Canadians will support. One such promise I am particularly excited about is the commitment to help Canadians make their homes more energy efficient through $40,000 interest-free loans. This will enable many deep retrofits to homes that could achieve significant reduction in energy consumption. This will reduce costs for Canadians, putting more money in their pockets, and alleviate stress on electricity grids, which will prevent power outages in peak season.
The throne speech also mentioned that the government will work with businesses to make Canada the best place to start a clean-tech company. A 50% reduction in taxes for businesses that create net-zero products is no mediocre incentive. The riding of Whitby, and Durham region more broadly, is a hub of innovation. I look forward to working with the world-class entrepreneurs, business owners and education facilities like Durham College in the region to promote sustainable innovation and green jobs.
Our government is also committed to preserving 25% of our land and 25% of our oceans by 2025, and then working toward 30% by 2030. This is an ambitious and necessary goal. The numbers on declining biodiversity in our country are disheartening, to say the least. Six hundred species are at risk. Fifty per cent of the species monitored by the World Wildlife Fund are in decline. Humans have altered over 40% of the natural environment to the detriment of many species. Studies show that biodiversity is in more of a decline now than at any other time in human history.
Protecting natural areas is not only needed but is necessary for the sustainability of the environment. I am proud to be part of a government that, in the last Parliament, delivered the biggest investment in nature conservation and preservation in Canadian history. Thanks to the work of the former minister of environment and climate change, we invested $1.3 billion in nature conservation in the budget of 2018. Protecting 25% of our land and oceans by 2025 will build on the work completed over the last four years. We have significantly increased the size of protected ocean and land areas in our country.
Building on this, I am thrilled that the government will partner with municipalities to help them expand and diversify urban forests as well as plant two billion trees. Canada accounts for around 30% of the world's forest coverage and this is an important part of the fight against climate change.
We will also work to ban single-use plastics.
Climate change is the challenge of our generation and it is a global challenge. Canada must continue to do its part and be an international leader.
Now I want to talk about the economy. People in Whitby are concerned about building a strong, vibrant local economy. This is not unlike many of the other ridings across the country. A strong local economy is the work of all levels of government and all stakeholders working in collaboration. I look forward to working with all members, the government and other levels of government to help support the growth of our local economy in Whitby and across Durham region as a whole.
In 2019, we were elected on an ambitious agenda of continued investments in Canadians to grow our economy. Canadians created over one million jobs in four years. We continue to have one of the fastest-growing economies in the G7. This strong record of economic growth under our government has allowed Canada to have the best balance sheet among G7 countries.
As the Speech from the Throne outlined, we will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest of Canadians. We will reduce the cost of cellphone bills by 25%. We will make before and after school care more affordable and accessible for Canadian families. We will strengthen pensions for seniors and increase the federal minimum wage.
We believe that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Housing affordability has become a major concern for families in Whitby and across the country. Housing costs continue to rise and an affordable place to call home is out of reach for many. The government made housing affordability a priority from the beginning of the last Parliament. The government brought in the first-ever national housing strategy, a 10-year plan and $55-billion investment to boost housing supply and give more Canadians a place to call home. This will set the direction of housing policy in this country for years to come, help reduce chronic homelessness by 50% and remove 530,000 families from housing need. It is clear that we are serious about ensuring that every Canadian has a place to call home.
I am proud to be part of a government that takes investing in Canadians seriously. From trade to poverty reduction, housing affordability to national pharmacare, economic growth and real climate action, this government under this Prime Minister has stepped up to the plate. This throne speech is a blueprint for where we will go in the new Parliament. I am honoured to stand in this House and I look forward to working with all members to continue the path forward.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2020-01-27 18:36 [p.530]
Mr. Speaker, l want to congratulate my colleague on his inaugural speech in the House.
The member for Winnipeg North has just indicated that is the Liberal form of transparency. The document was tabled this morning and the government wants us to debate it, vote on it this week and then pass it without even seeing it. My colleague has said that we are not going to rubber-stamp these kinds of things until we get more determination on it, and that is similar to a lot of things that are in the throne speech. We have talked about infrastructure and other areas that are in great need as well, such as connection with the Internet. I assume my colleague's rural riding is the same as mine. There are deficits in those as well.
In spite of the government's best efforts to talk about these things, I wonder if the member could talk about what the government is really doing and how little it is improving our infrastructure.
View Scott Aitchison Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, there are certainly a lot of examples. One of the issues we have faced a great deal in Parry Sound—Muskoka is housing. The government has committed billions of dollars. However, we would like to see it go back to a program from the Chrétien era which was a capital subsidy to help get more affordable units built. That is not part of the Liberals' plan. They would rather have big government and big spending.
We would rather incentivize the private sector to get more units built faster. It is done more efficiently. It is cheaper for the taxpayer. At the end of the day, these private sector units pay property taxes to the poor old municipalities that do not have the revenue they need to provide the services the citizens living in those units demand.
View John McKay Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to take part in the reply to the Speech from the Throne. Before I do so, I want to congratulate you on your election. You will make a very honourable Speaker.
I want to express my appreciation to the people of Scarborough—Guildwood who have returned me to this chamber for the eighth time. When I started in 1997, I did not anticipate that I would be here for eight successive elections, but it has been an interesting journey for the last 22 years. The other very encouraging thing is that the percentage of the vote went up to the highest level that I have achieved in eight years.
As we know, elections are strange enterprises at times, with a lot of non-substantive things and occasionally some substantive things. I do not want to dwell on the non-substantive things. Today I want to take the opportunity to reflect on what I consider to be the most substantive issue that affected Scarborough—Guildwood during this election, and that is the Canada child benefit. The Canada child benefit is, in my judgment, the signature initiative of this Prime Minister. Once he leaves and history is written about these parliaments, that will be one of the things that historians comment on, namely, the significance of the Canada child benefit and its significance to all people in Canada, but particularly low-income people.
The Canada child benefit is a very large initiative. If we go to table A2.6 in the 2019 budget, at page 289, in the top lines we will see the amount of money that is returned to Canadians, that is sent to Canadians as a benefit. There are revenues from taxes that come in and then the first set of lines indicate the benefit amounts that go back to Canadians. The first line in that set of lines shows that $56 billion will go to elderly benefits, the second line shows that about $20 billion will be returned to Canadians in the form of employment insurance and the third line shows that $24 billion will go to the Canada child benefit. That is the second most significant benefit that goes directly to Canadians from their federal government.
It is reasonable to ask ourselves whether we are, in effect, getting value for money. This is of particular interest to me as the member of Parliament for the riding of Scarborough—Guildwood. When we break that $24 billion down, what does that mean to the riding of Scarborough—Guildwood? What that means is that, each and every year, $100 million goes into my riding of Scarborough—Guildwood. That is a significant sum of money for a riding that has about 115,000 to 120,000 people in it. Centennial College would contribute to the riding with a somewhat similar amount of money, I should imagine, or more. The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus would contribute a similar and significant amount of money. The Scarborough hospitals have huge budgets. Toyota contributes a huge amount of money to the riding. I am sure there are other industries that contribute significant amounts of money to the riding.
This is the order of magnitude of the amount of money that comes into Scarborough—Guildwood, and it is even more significant for its people because Scarborough—Guildwood in the last four years had the greatest reduction in child poverty in the country. There was a 25% reduction in child poverty in Scarborough—Guildwood in the last four years, the number one riding in all of the country.
Why would that be? I can think of at least two reasons. One is improved employment opportunities. At the beginning of 2015 the unemployment rate nationally was around 7.1%. Generally speaking, Scarborough—Guildwood is at a higher rate than the national rate. By the election in 2019, the rate was about 5.7%, again with Scarborough—Guildwood slightly above that. Increased benefits and increased employment opportunities would account for some significant elements of that 25% reduction in child poverty.
The second thing has to be the Canada child benefit, because it acts as a guaranteed minimum income for families. I think it will turn out to be a historic initiative, but it will also turn out to be a test case as to whether this is the best way to alleviate poverty and reduce the growing inequality between people who do very well in our society and those who struggle.
Those are the two reasons that I think Scarborough—Guildwood had such a significant reduction in child poverty. We have to ask why that would have such an economic impact on the people of Scarborough—Guildwood, and the most obvious and intuitive reason is that people in the lower-income quintiles actually spend their money on necessities. It is intuitive and it does seem to make sense, but I am very grateful to the people at the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis who put together a paper called “Economic Contribution of the Canada Child Benefit: A Basic Income Guarantee for Canadian Families with Children”. They started to put data, flesh to that intuition, the intuition being that poorer people will spend money on food, shelter and core necessities. Indeed, that is exactly what the data does show.
The number one expenditure of the people who receive the Canada child benefit is increases to their shelter. The second, and this is counterintuitive, is on tax and I will come back to that shortly. The third is transportation, the fourth is food and the fifth is household operations. Four out of the five elements fall within one's sense of intuition, which is that lower-income folks will spend their money on things that they actually need. That seems to be borne out by the data.
The other interesting component of the data is that the benefit decreases as income increases. In the upper echelons of the quintiles that have a higher income, the money starts to get diverted to other things such as savings, investments and various other things, all of which we argue are good things.
However, there is an argument to be made that it is somewhat dead money. The lower-income quintiles spend the money on food and shelter, which goes directly and immediately into the economy, while the upper quintiles spend some on things like investments, etc., which is money that is set aside properly, but nevertheless is money not spent immediately and therefore has no significant immediate economic impact.
The interesting argument is this: if the federal government is a steward of taxpayer dollars, then what is the highest and best use of taxpayer dollars in order to stimulate the economy? What the data starts to show on the Canada child benefit is that it is benefit money going directly into the hands of Canadians. Whether it is through elderly benefits, employment benefits or child benefits, that is the money that gives the greatest stimulus, as opposed to tax cuts.
The data really starts to jump out at us. However, I want to deal with one thing before we get into further discussions about the benefits of the stimulative effect of a benefit as opposed to the stimulative benefit of a tax cut, which is that $24 billion is a lot of money. It is actually greater than our National Defence budget; $24 billion is actually greater than almost all other departments.
It is reasonable to ask what $24 billion actually costs. As it turns out, $24 billion does not cost $24 billion, because $13 billion comes back in taxes. For the federal government's $24 billion, $13 billion comes back in taxes to both the provinces and the federal government. Of that $13 billion, $7 billion comes back to the federal government and $6 billion comes back to the provinces. The federal government has a $24-billion investment that really only costs the federal government $17 billion. The provinces have no investment in the Canada child benefit and yet reap a $6-billion benefit. It works rather well for the provinces.
What does $24 billion get us in terms of economic stimulus? It gets us roughly the GDP of the province of Nova Scotia in terms of economic stimulus, or around $46 billion in direct and indirect economic stimulus that is inputted through this investment of $24 billion. That $24 billion provides stimulus that is roughly equal to 0.5% of the nation's GDP annually. Since the inception of the program, it has contributed $139 billion to the nation's GDP.
All sectors of the economy benefit. It is intuitive, but makes a lot of sense that the number one beneficiary is housing. People who receive the Canada child benefit spend their money on housing.
The second is manufacturing. People with kids who receive the money spend it on clothing, shoes, bicycles and other things that need to be manufactured.
The third economic sector that benefits the most is construction.
Every year, this $24 billion in direct and indirect stimulus creates 418,000 full-time jobs and about 70,000 part-time jobs. That is a lot of jobs: 1.4 million jobs since its inception. Those are merely the benefits and the stimuli that can be measured.
There are, of course, a great number of benefits to the Canada child benefit that cannot be measured, that do not fit nicely within the economists' metric. It is intuitive. If a child goes to school properly clothed and with a full stomach, the greater likelihood is that the child will learn a lot better. Similarly, children who are properly clothed and well fed will not have as many negative health issues.
Therefore, the indirect benefits that are not measurable, which I am perfectly prepared to concede, but intuitively make a great deal of sense are huge to families and people with children.
The benefits of the Canada child benefit on the health system are not measurable, but make a great deal of sense. The benefit reduces financial stress. The multiplier is enormous. A healthier child is a more productive child. A better-educated child is ultimately a more productive citizen.
Admittedly, this initiative costs a great deal of money, but it makes economic sense, which I hope I have made some case for from an economic standpoint, health sense and education sense. There is an argument to be made that this is the highest and best use of taxpayer dollars.
Let me finish with a comment from one of my favourite Conservatives, and I do not have many favourite Conservatives. I know they are a little upset, but I would recommend they talk to former Canadian senator Hugh Segal, who said, “we don't want 3.5 million...Canadians to be left behind. That's not who we are... It is in our interest to have an economy where liquidity and financial capacity is available to all.”
I submit that my Conservative colleagues should review Mr. Segal's views on this matter. He and his other colleague, former Senator Eggleton, conducted a massive study into Canadian poverty when they were both senators. One of their most significant recommendations was that there be a Canada child benefit and that it act as a minimum income guarantee for all families in Canada.
View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Redekopp Profile
2019-12-13 13:01 [p.412]
Mr. Speaker, I want to inform you that I am splitting my time with the member for Calgary Centre.
It is my honour to rise in the House today for my maiden speech. I first want to thank the voters of Saskatoon West for putting their faith and trust in me as their representative in this House of Commons for this, the 43rd Parliament. I am humbled and honoured and grateful that they would trust me with this privilege. My pledge to them is that I will do my very best to represent them here in Ottawa and bring their views to Ottawa.
I want to thank my election team of Sunny, Braden, Alex, Kaitlyn, Donna-Lyn, Josh and Jared. I offer a special shout-out to the University of Saskatchewan Campus Conservatives club, which helped with a lot of door knocking. I offer big thank you to my friend the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek and her husband, Milton Block, for all of their encouragement, and to so many volunteers and donors who made this all possible.
As everybody in here knows, family support is critical to our success, and so I want to thank my parents, Alvin and Irene Redekopp; my sister, Gaylene Molnar, and her family; my two wonderful sons, Kyle and Eric Redekopp; and of course my beautiful wife, Cheryl Redekopp. I could not have done this without them.
It is for these people and for the 75,000 other people who live in Saskatoon West that I am replying to the Speech from the Throne today.
Unfortunately, I cannot and I will not support it.
This throne speech calls for “unity in the pursuit of common goals and aspirations.” The Prime Minister talks about listening and about parliamentarians working together, but the throne speech says almost nothing about the aspirations of people from Saskatoon. Not only that, the Prime Minister brings in policy after policy that targets the people of Saskatoon and our economy.
Let me explain the economy in Saskatchewan. If we think of a three-legged stool, the first leg is agriculture: wheat, canola, barley, oats and things like that. The second leg is mining: potash, uranium, gold and diamonds. The third leg is oil and gas. Last year, in 2018, these three sectors accounted for 36% of our GDP in Saskatchewan. The seat of the stool is manufacturing and construction. We manufacture machinery, industrial equipment and food products, while construction is the infrastructure that supports all of that work and all of the people. In 2018, those two sectors were 14% of our Saskatchewan GDP. Taken together, the legs and the seat of the stool account for 50% of Saskatchewan's GDP.
The other half of our GDP is the services that support our residents: things like stores, restaurants, education, health care and everything else. These things all sit on the stool, but the legs of our stool, the foundation of our GDP, are mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.
We all know that these three sectors are suffering in Saskatchewan.
In terms of the oil and gas leg, the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, has restricted capacity to ship our oil to markets. The selling price of oil is down, investment is down, and therefore there are fewer jobs.
The mining leg is also affected by Bill C-69. It politicizes the impact assessment process and adds significant time and uncertainty to the approval process. Companies no longer see Saskatchewan as the safe, stable place it once was to invest. Therefore, investments are going elsewhere and jobs are disappearing.
On the agricultural leg, the Liberals' continuing relationship failures with China have hurt our canola producers.
What does all this mean to the people of Saskatoon? When the legs of the stool are crippled, everyone suffers. Unemployment is up and people are struggling to pay their bills. During the election, I talked to many households and many families who were struggling to make their monthly payments, and on the campaign I spoke to many of the people we talk about who are short $200 every month.
I want to provide some vignettes of some real people and how this affects them.
I think of a young man who used to work on an oil drilling rig. He drove seven hours from Saskatoon to work in Drayton Valley, Alberta. He worked a two-week shift of 12-hour days, made really good money and spent that money in Saskatoon on vehicles, restaurants, stereo equipment, etc. I know this because this young man is my son. In 2015, the Liberals came to power. They introduced the no-more-pipelines bill and the no-more-tankers bill, and this drove down the price of our Canadian oil and reduced our investment. As a result, my son lost his job, and there was no more spending in Saskatoon.
Another example is a manufacturer who supplied components to the mining and the oil and gas industries. The manufacturer employed 140 people in Saskatoon. Those were well-paying jobs supporting 140 families in Saskatoon. I know this because my brother-in-law works at that company. Because of Bill C-69, investment in resource projects decreased, and the result was that people were laid off as the company adjusted to decreased business.
Fortunately, Saskatonians are resilient and creative problem-solvers, so they looked elsewhere and found business to keep the company going, but the business is smaller than it would have been had the oil and gas market kept going strong.
Let us think of an entrepreneur who build new homes for families, directly employed four people, indirectly hired 40 different contractors to complete all the work required and created several million dollars of economic spinoffs in Saskatoon. I know this because this was my business. Because of the Liberals' mortgage stress test, new homebuyers are forced out of the market. Because of changes in building codes, the cost to build a home significantly increased, and as a result, construction activity in Saskatoon has significantly slowed down. In fact, housing starts are at the lowest level in 14 years. Many good people in the construction industry are suffering or have lost their jobs.
What did I expect from the Liberal government throne speech in the spirit of working together? I certainly expected support for western Canadian jobs. After all, two days after the Liberals were reduced to a minority in October, the Prime Minister said he clearly has more to do to earn the trust of people in Saskatchewan. I expected support for oil and gas, mining and farmers.
What did I actually hear?
I heard a vague reference to natural resources and farmers, no mention of the Trans Mountain pipeline, no mention of a national energy corridor, nothing about repealing or even making changes to Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and certainly no concern for our rapidly growing and dangerous debt. I think Rex Murphy said it best when he said the Speech from the Throne “is a semantic graveyard, where dullness and pretentiousness conspire, successfully, against the life and lift of our two wonderful official languages.”
Housing was mentioned in the throne speech, and I hope the government will follow through on that issue. There are many people in my riding for whom good, stable housing is out of reach. As a former home builder, I call upon the government to relax the mortgage stress test, as this has had a significant negative impact on construction in Saskatoon.
One thing barely mentioned in the throne speech was the word “job”. The Liberals are quick to offer money to Canadians for this or that and to offer handouts to make up for their lack of action on the economy, but let me tell members something about people from Saskatoon: We are proud, hard-working folks, and we do not want handouts; we want good-paying jobs.
Saskatoon is also filled with entrepreneurs, people willing to take great risks in order to employ others and build our economy. Entrepreneurs do not want handouts; they want a stable playing field with reasonable regulations and the freedom to work hard, succeed and then enjoy the benefits when success does happen.
There were two other words conspicuously absent from the throne speech: “balanced budget”. I am gravely concerned that the Liberal government has chosen to spend seemingly unlimited amounts of money on every kind of program, with no concern for the underlying economy that pays for all of this. We are burdening our future generations with debt that will have to be paid back at some point. I call upon the government to at least plan to return to balanced budgets.
Finally, Saskatchewan people care deeply about our environment. All three of the stool legs I spoke of earlier are rooted in our land. No one is a better steward of our land than people from Saskatchewan. We all understand that healthy land, water and air are critical to our long-term success, but we cannot adopt a zealot-like approach, assuming that the only way to have a healthy planet is to stop human development and to stifle innovation and economic growth. We cannot sacrifice the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas industries of Saskatchewan and Alberta in exchange for a photo op with Greta. We cannot stifle economic growth and continue to increase taxes on our people.
This throne speech made it clear that the government intends to continue to raise the carbon tax. Taxes will rise, with no meaningful impact on carbon. This will hurt ordinary Canadians and business owners.
In conclusion, Canada's Conservatives are focused on the aspirations of everyday Canadians, like the good people of Saskatoon West. We are the party of the middle class, and we will continue to present real and tangible ideas that will allow people to get ahead and get the government off their backs.
As I close, I want to congratulate and thank the leader of my party for his tireless dedication and work over the past 15 years. I also want to wish everyone in this chamber a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, in my riding of North Island—Powell River, we have a huge and growing population of people who are really challenged to find housing. During the campaign, I had multiple people come to my office and talk to me about their realities. Some of them were living in tents, some in summer trailers, and the winter was fast approaching.
What I heard again and again is that there is just not enough housing. Several people made significant wages and had enough to pay rent, but there was simply nothing there, and then the range went all the way to desperately homeless, low-income people.
When I look at the housing crisis that is happening not only in my riding but across Canada, I wonder if the member could tell the House what strategy is actually going to happen. How long are Canadians going to have to continue to wait for resources in their communities to actually make the difference?
View Emmanuella Lambropoulos Profile
Lib. (QC)
Madam Speaker, we have already committed to investing $40 billion for the national housing strategy. That money will begin to be available as of January 2020. We are extremely excited that money will finally be going into this program in order to start building affordable housing.
In the last mandate, we came out with the first-time home buyer incentive for young families that wish to start a family and start living in their first home, giving a tax break for people who are buying their first home. If it is a new home that is being built, it is an even bigger incentive.
Therefore, we do have some incentives in place and we do hope to reduce the homeless population by at least 50% with the Canada housing strategy.
View Salma Zahid Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Salma Zahid Profile
2019-12-12 11:11 [p.317]
Madam Speaker, congratulations on your appointment.
It is a pleasure to rise for the first time in this 43rd Parliament. Before I turn to the Speech from the Throne, I would like to take a moment to thank the people of Scarborough Centre for returning me to this place. They have put their trust in me to continue to be their strong voice in Ottawa. I am so grateful for their confidence and support. None of us would be here without our dedicated supporters and volunteers. I have an amazing team and I would like to thank team Salma for its countless hours of hard work over these past months and years. I also want to thank my family, my husband Salman, and my boys Umaid and Usman, for their love and support.
I am proud to have received a strong mandate from the people of Scarborough Centre to fight for their values, hopes and dreams in this place. They have shared with me their struggles, their hopes for the future and the challenges their families are facing. It is their priorities I bring to this Parliament.
I also recognize that in a minority parliament it is ever more important that we all work together. No one has a monopoly on good ideas. I am ready to work with those who share the values, hopes and dreams of the people of Scarborough Centre. We are a riding of Canadians by birth and Canadians by choice. Many of us come from somewhere else and have chosen to make Scarborough our home. We are a community of senior citizens and young families. We are a community of Canadians working hard to join the middle class. They are concerned about being able to stretch each paycheque to the end of the month. They worry about the ever-rising cost of housing. They lay awake worrying if they can provide a better future for their children. They work hard and are looking for a little help to get ahead.
That is what I was looking for as I listened to the Speech from the Throne. I was pleased to hear some of the priorities of my constituents addressed in the speech. That a tax cut that will deliver a real benefit to those families working hard to join the middle class will be the first order of business for this government was welcome news for the families of Scarborough Centre. Rather than handouts to millionaires, we know that putting more money into the pockets of families working hard to join the middle class is money that will be invested back into the economy. It means new clothes for going back to school. It means healthier groceries going into kids' lunch bags. It is an investment that will support not only families but also local jobs and economies.
The throne speech mentioned the historic reductions in poverty achieved by the government in its last mandate. Nearly 900,000 Canadians were lifted out of poverty, many of them children, thanks to programs like the Canada child benefit. That is a program we are committed to strengthening even more.
One of the many families in Scarborough benefiting from the Canada child benefit is the Tareen family. Thanks to the CCB, Lenna and Najib are able to provide healthy food for their children, Abdullah, Ahmed Yasin and Habibullah. They can take them on educational outings and allow them to participate in more activities in school. We are proud of that record, but I know this government will be the first to admit there is still more work to be done.
Probably the biggest expense that families in Scarborough face is housing. There is a serious lack of supply. What housing is available is often old, overpriced and inadequate to meet the needs of the average Scarborough family. Therefore, I am pleased to hear that the government reaffirmed its commitment to the national housing strategy and to making continued investments in affordable housing.
Programs like the first-time home buyer incentive are already making a difference. The money already being invested in Toronto community housing is funding long-overdue renovations in community housing facilities in Scarborough and across Toronto. Moving forward with the Canada housing benefit in the coming year will help many families who are struggling with the rising rents they have to pay.
In this Parliament, I will be a voice for continued investment in affordable housing. As well, we must ramp up our investment as fast as our provincial and municipal partners can build the capacity to make new projects shovel-ready.
Another key priority for my constituents is community safety. Too often the sound of gunshots echo through our neighbourhoods. Too many of my constituents have lost loved ones or know a family who has lost loved ones to senseless violence.
I recently attended a community safety meeting in an apartment complex where a family had lost a son in a shooting. Nothing can compare to the grief of a mother who has lost her child. The community came together to grieve and to discuss meaningful action to end these acts of violence. In Scarborough, in Canada, no one should feel unsafe walking the streets of their community. The time has come for serious action to combat gun violence and the gang activity that fuels it.
While I supported the common sense gun crime legislation passed in the last Parliament, it is long past time to go further. This is why I fully support the commitment in this throne speech to ban military-style assault rifles and introduce a buyback program. Too many of these weapons have been involved in mass shootings in Canada and around the world. Outside the military, they serve no legitimate purpose. These weapons are not designed to hunt deer. They are designed to kill people, as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
I understand the need for a rifle on a farm for protection, and I respect the hunting culture practised in many communities, but military-style assault rifles do not belong in our communities. The safety of our children must come first. It is time to get these guns off the streets.
I also welcome the commitment to work with municipalities and communities that want to ban handguns. This is something that I have heard loud and clear from my constituents, and something that the mayor of Toronto and Toronto council have asked for. While these measures alone will not eliminate gun crime, the evidence from jurisdictions around the world shows that it will make a big difference. We owe it to our children to do everything we can.
We must also continue to invest in measures to stop the flow of illegal guns at our borders. As important as getting guns off the streets is, the most important thing we can do to ensure safer communities is to show our youth that better is possible for them. We need to show them that they have opportunities to grow and prosper and succeed.
During its last mandate, our government made significant investments in programs to tackle youth gang violence. I hear from my constituents, especially the mothers, how important this is. As the mother of two sons myself, in this Parliament I will be a voice for further investments in our next generations.
Those are some of the highlights for my constituents, but other priorities of Scarborough Centre are also reflected in this Speech from the Throne. My constituents know that climate change is a real and serious threat, and they want us to do more to achieve our emissions reduction targets, ban plastics and get to net-zero emissions by 2050.
My constituents know we have a moral obligation to Canada's indigenous people to walk the road of reconciliation together. That means eliminating all remaining boil water advisories, enshrining the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in legislation and so much more. They believe that every Canadian should be able to get a family doctor much more easily, and that universal pharmacare is the next natural evolution of the public health care system of which all Canadians are justifiably proud. As well, they want Canada to continue to be a voice for human rights and the freedom of all people, both at home and around the world.
Historically, minority parliaments have been some of the most productive in Canadian history, but that is only possible if we park our egos at the door and work to find common ground. I look forward—
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, my colleague across the aisle mentioned the national housing strategy. We heard a lot about that in the last Parliament and now we are hearing it again. Unfortunately, in the last Parliament the government spent less money on housing than the previous Harper Conservative government spent. We are getting concerned about these fine words and promises.
During the election campaign I attended the opening of three new important housing centres in my riding. One is a centre in Penticton to house the homeless. Another one is for low-cost housing. Another one in Okanagan Falls is for seniors housing. Not one penny involved in those housing projects came from the federal government, not even indirectly.
Could the member comment on that? Can we really rely on the government to do the right thing on housing?
View Salma Zahid Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Salma Zahid Profile
2019-12-12 11:23 [p.319]
Madam Speaker, we are committed to a 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy. In our last mandate we introduced the first-time home buyer incentive and we are committed to expanding it for cities like Toronto and Vancouver. We have already invested in more affordable housing units. Construction has started at many sites. We have committed money toward renovating the existing units.
We also committed in our last mandate $1.3 billion for renovations of Toronto community housing units. The repairs have started in many units, including those in my riding of Scarborough Centre.
We will continue working together so that we can make sure that housing remains one of the top priorities in this mandate.
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2019-12-12 12:57 [p.330]
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Hamilton Centre.
I wanted to once again thank the constituents of London—Fanshawe for electing me to the House. I have worked here for more than a decade, actually in a different capacity, as a parliamentary staffer for many amazing NDP members of Parliament: Chris Charlton from Hamilton—Mountain, Wayne Marston from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, Jean Crowder from Nanaimo—Cowichan and most recently, the former MP for Essex, Tracey Ramsey. I was also raised by another incredible and powerful woman, who represented London—Fanshawe for the past 13 years: my mother, Irene Mathyssen.
I come to this House with many mentors and supporters, and I stand here because of them. It is when I consider important votes, like on this throne speech, that I will always think of the people who elected me here.
I hear every day from people in my riding who need help now. If this is all that the Liberals are willing to offer to help Canadians, it is not good enough. I represent a riding where many people are struggling. The average household income in my constituency is well below the national and Ontario averages.
I see it every day. People are working harder than ever to keep a roof over their head and to put food on the table. I also see a community that is consistently coming together to support one another, to answer calls for help and to push for more. They deserve better than this throne speech.
For more than a decade when someone needed help in London—Fanshawe they knew that they could turn to their member of Parliament. Irene's office was a place that would consistently go above and beyond to advocate and push for anyone who walked through the doors. I will proudly continue that tradition.
While my constituency office will work hard to help, I know that more and more people are seeking that help. The policies of past Liberal and Conservative governments are failing them. In the House, in this 43rd Parliament, we have an opportunity to change the direction of the country, one that should put less focus and attention on how well the rich and powerful of this country are doing and more on how everyday Canadians are doing.
One disturbing trend we have seen is that people are continuing to come to the office in search of affordable housing. Housing prices continue to skyrocket in London as many people are being pushed out by other markets around the GTA. What once was a starter home found throughout London—Fanshawe has become out of reach for too many families. Instead of more empty words, the Liberals could have worked with us to invest in affordable housing so that everybody in Canada could have a place to call home.
Canada is in the midst of a national housing crisis impacting every area of the country. Average rents rose in every single province last year, and today 1.7 million Canadian households spend more than 30% of their income on housing. A major part of the long-term solution to the problem is to ensure that more affordable rental units are built across the country.
One in three Canadians is a renter. In many cities, the few affordable apartments available get snapped up quickly, and people end up either living in inadequate housing or forced to spend a huge chunk of their income on rent. If the Liberals are willing to work with us to address the housing crisis in our country, we are ready to deliver for Canadians.
Another trend I have heard too many stories about is how people cannot afford their medications. One gentleman came into my office during the campaign who had suffered from a workplace accident. He told my team and me how he had been injured at work. He was going to physiotherapy and attempting to heal and get better.
Although he is not well enough to return to work, he knows his benefits are running out. He needs his medication. He cannot live without it, but he also knows he cannot afford it on his own. He told us that he is being forced back to work, even though he is not ready, knowing he is putting his own life in danger.
Imagine if we had a system that rather than worrying about how this person is going to survive, to pay for the medicine that he needs to live, he could focus on getting better and returning to work when he is able.
In the days before medicare, New Democrats saw their neighbours suffer because they could not afford the health care they needed. We saw people lose their homes, their farms and their businesses as they struggled to pay their medical bills. We saw illness destroy entire families.
In response to that reality, New Democrats led the fight to establish universal public health care for all Canadians. Medicare changed the lives of millions of people and it is one of our party's proudest achievements.
Millions of families cannot afford to take the medications they need because they have no employer-provided drug coverage. The number of uninsured people forced to skip their medications is growing as more people work on contract, are self-employed or have jobs that just do not come with health benefits. Too many seniors are putting their health at risk because they do not have drug coverage and cannot afford out-of-pocket payments.
The stress and worry that people feel is not an accident. It is the direct result of deliberate choices that have been made by Liberal and Conservative governments. They choose to let drug companies gouge patients and they choose to leave millions of people uninsured or under-insured, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket for the medicine that they need.
Today, Canada is the only wealthy country in the world with a universal health care system that lacks universal prescription-insurance coverage. We pay the third-highest prices for prescription drugs in the world and must deal with a patchwork of programs and coverage, if we are lucky enough to have coverage at all.
When I look at this throne speech, I see there is no language about any pharmacare being universal, comprehensive or public. There is no funding amount and no timeline. Since the Liberals have been promising pharmacare since 1997, we can see why New Democrats are a bit skeptical. We need to see a real commitment to deliver universal, public, single-payer pharmacare.
We are ready to work with the Liberals and deliver for Canadians, but it takes concrete measures to help improve lives.
There is a growing urgency to also address the climate crisis. I was proud to join hundreds of people from across London at the climate strike in September. I joined them because we need action now and we need bold targets.
The real plan to address climate change is needed now. That is why this throne speech is so disappointing. There is nothing on stronger emissions targets for 2030 and nothing to confront the urgency of the problem. In the last four years, the Liberals gave billions of dollars in subsidies to fossil-fuel companies instead of investing in renewable energy and job creation. After being lobbied more than 1,500 times by the fossil-fuel industry, the Liberals are putting big oil first.
We also need action to protect our fresh water. With growing algae blooms and invasive species decreasing lake levels, as well as flood damage, we are in need of a national freshwater strategy. A strategy that would set national drinking-water standards would solve the problems presented by piecemeal provincial strategies and years-long boil-water advisories on first nations reserves.
I have been meeting with members from Oneida Nation of the Thames, just outside of London. There, the drinking water has failed to meet provincial standards dating back to 2006. Upstream, London dumps millions of litres of raw sewage into the Thames River that serves as the community's water source. This is unacceptable. Our municipal government recognizes the problem. It wants to help, but there is no action from the government to help address the water situation at Oneida.
After claiming its most important relationship is with indigenous people, the Liberal government continues to break its promise. It refuses to commit to dropping the appeal against fairness for indigenous kids, while also refusing to fix the problem with the child welfare system. It is simply unacceptable.
The throne speech offers nothing for our seniors, either. Everyone deserves to be able to age with dignity as a valued member of the community. The Liberal government refused to protect workers' pensions, while dragging its feet on the creation of a real plan to deal with the health challenges faced by seniors.
As more Canadians enter their senior years, we need to make better choices and we need to be ready to meet their needs to ensure everyone can age with dignity. With the right leadership, we can make sure our institutions and public services are strong and prepared, and that all seniors have access to the health and social supports they need to make life easier.
One group my mother, in her capacity as a member of Parliament, was so proud of and honoured to work with was our veterans. It is time for the government to do right by our veterans. They should not have to wait weeks or even months to receive the services they need.
Unfortunately, for too long veterans have had to fight for the benefits they have earned. Veterans need investments into their services and increased access to caseworkers. There is also much more that we can do to ease the transition from their life in active service to becoming a veteran.
While I have so much more that I could talk about, I want to finish with this. As it stands, there is not enough in the throne speech for Canadians. People need help now. We urge the Liberals to offer more than just pretty words and to put forward concrete solutions that start to deal with the systemic poverty and inequality that too many face.
The Liberals have been putting the demands of the wealthiest and the rich corporations ahead of the needs of Canadians for too long. We are ready to work with them and deliver for Canadians, but it takes courage to make the necessary choices that will truly help improve their lives.
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2019-12-12 13:11 [p.333]
Madam Speaker, I congratulate you as well.
I thank the hon. member for joining us in this House.
In the throne speech, there is an entire section on strengthening the middle class in which we address poverty and the progress we have made. We are two years ahead of the mandate already in reducing chronic homelessness in Guelph by 23% just last year.
Could the hon. member at least acknowledge that there has been some solid work going on and that, together with the NDP, we will be able to do some solid work in the year ahead?
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2019-12-12 13:12 [p.333]
Madam Speaker, I look forward to working with the government for some substantial housing initiatives. Unfortunately, we have not really seen that much.
In my own riding, it was actually community groups that led the charge, and they had to do all the work. The federal government came in with a small amount afterwards, when all of that work had already been done by the municipality and some of the provincial government advocates.
I think there is an expanded role. It is a shame that the government cancelled the national housing strategy in 1993. It was something that New Democrats certainly had been fighting to get back. However, if we could get back to a place where the federal government is actually building those affordable units, the 500,000 units that New Democrats have called for, I would be happy to work with it.
View Adam Vaughan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam Vaughan Profile
2019-12-12 13:24 [p.334]
Madam Speaker, I would like to welcome the member. It is always good to see former city councillors on the floor of the House speaking to the issues that matter to municipalities. Housing was one of the issues that was referenced in the subamendment that was just tabled.
I have read the paragraph in the NDP platform on housing. As a former councillor, I was curious that it required a one-third, one-third matching funding, and that 500,000 homes were going to be built with no mention of how they would be financed. At an average cost of $360,000, that is a $180-billion program. If one-third has to come from municipalities, which is the NDP platform, where are the cities that have that $60 billion financial capacity and how those cities would come up with $60 billion? To put it in context, one-third of federal programs come to Ontario, so that means $60 billion alone for Ontario. For Toronto, that is a $30-billion program he is proposing. That would require the City of Toronto to come up with $10 billion, an extra $1 billion a year on top of the tax base in order to fulfill the NDP's pledge as mandated by its platform.
Does the member opposite think the City of Toronto has an extra billion dollars lying about? If it does, why is it not building housing now with it?
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2019-12-12 13:25 [p.334]
Madam Speaker, the former city councillor will know that under this current national housing strategy, the money does not really flow until 2024. Therefore, if Toronto had the capacity to build now, it would be building now.
However, the member is quite right. In our platform, it actually does not specify one-third, one-third, one-third. That is under the national housing strategy right now, which quite frankly is only giving a paltry $2.5 billion to social housing, because municipalities cannot afford to continue to download onto the tax levy what is a national responsibility. To have the member rise on the national platform that is in fact spending 19% less than the Conservatives at their peak is a very interesting proposition to make.
We are looking to take action now. This can no longer be a dream deferred for the millions of people across the country who are in serious core housing need. In Hamilton, we can have record numbers of building permits and cranes dotting the sky while simultaneously having record numbers of people living in the streets. We have heard the government talk about lifting people out of poverty. My question is, where? Who are those people? They certainly do not live in Hamilton Centre.
View Adam van Koeverden Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam van Koeverden Profile
2019-12-12 16:23 [p.361]
Madam Speaker, while I had the occasion to stand up in the House yesterday, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my neighbours in Milton for the opportunity to serve here, congratulate you on your nomination as Deputy Speaker, and congratulate every member in this House for their election to the 43rd Canadian Parliament. I would like to reiterate the sense of honour and privilege that I feel in having the opportunity to serve my neighbours in Milton.
My neighbours and I ran a really long campaign, over a year. We knocked on doors for about 400 days. We spoke to a lot of our neighbours, and those are the first people I want to thank, the people who sent me here to represent them.
I would also like to thank my campaign manager, Geoff Carpenter, a team of volunteers, my mother Beata, my dad Joe, my brother Luke and my dog Cairo. He is an Egyptian street dog and he is a bit temperamental. A lot of the volunteers will recognize that. Sometimes when they came into the office, he was a bit “barky”. I also thank the neighbours who put up with some of the barking, because it was a bit trying at times.
I would also like to thank the former member who represented Milton, Lisa Raitt. She did a great job of representing Milton for nine years, and I know that I have big shoes to fill.
I made a promise to my neighbours to bring their voice to Ottawa and not just amplify my own or Ottawa's voice in Milton. I am going to go through a couple of the things that I heard at my neighbours' doors or during appointments with people at my office since I have been elected. I would like to talk about a couple of those issues, because I think they are really important.
Whether it was at the door, at a town hall with Fridays for Future in Milton or with GASP, a lot of people in Milton want to talk about the environment, because it is a global crisis, as many of the questions earlier today raised.
I would like to read a quote from a climate scientist named Professor Katharine Hayhoe:
Does a thermometer give us different answers depending on if we're Liberal or Conservative?
Of course, the answer is no. If a thermometer is telling us that the planet is warming up, then we need to do our job in order to make a switch to clean energy and find cleaner sources of energy with more efficient ways of using it. We need to lower our emissions.
We have a responsibility to youth, particularly youth like Greta Thunberg and the thousands of young people she has inspired to be young activists, to do a better job as legislators and users of that energy.
As somebody who studied science in university, I want to take an evidence-based, scientific approach to some of these solutions. Carbon pricing has won a Nobel Prize in economics because it is a very, very effective solution. I am glad that our government has stepped in to make sure that everybody follows a carbon pricing scheme. Investments in green energy and green infrastructure across the country will continue to bring our goal of being at zero by 2050 all the closer.
There are some local resource extraction projects, aggregate mines, and a proposed intermodal infrastructure project, which my neighbours are vociferously opposed to. I will ensure that their perspectives are heard in this House.
Second, the topic of immigration came up a lot. When I was 26 years old, I had the honour of carrying our flag into the opening ceremonies of the Bird’s Nest stadium at the Olympic Games. When I was the flag-bearer for Team Canada at the Olympics and one of my teammates started singing “O Canada”, quickly about 300 of my teammates and sporting heroes joined in. As I turned around and raised the flag, my eyes swept across the parade of athletes from different countries around the world, and I noticed something: Team Italy looked like Italians and Team Norway looked like Norwegians. When I faced Team Canada, much like this House, we looked like the world. That diversity is something that I do not think we can take for granted. It is something for which we have got to be consistent champions.
My profile as an athlete and my platform as an athlete allowed me to do a lot of great work with organizations like Right to Play and WaterAid as an athlete ambassador and somebody who could bring light to really important projects around the world.
I was a little bit disheartened to hear in other platforms a commitment to lower the amount of foreign aid that we give to other countries and the work that we do there. I think foreign aid is a really important investment in global security. It is an investment in our own security here in Canada and it is an acknowledgement that we have it really good in Canada. We live in one of the greatest countries in the world and we are very fortunate. Part of recognizing that is recognizing the obligation that we have globally to do a little bit of work around the world.
The best part of campaigning was learning so much about other cultures. I travelled a lot as an athlete, but my year at people's doors was a totally new look into what diversity and multiculturalism looks like in Milton. I want to thank all the different communities that welcomed me in whether they were Pakistani, Cameroonian or Nigerian. Whether I was welcomed into their kitchens, churches, temples, gurdwaras, mosques or hockey rinks, it was a really cool experience. I got to know a lot of people from different cultures whom I probably would not have known otherwise. I am more prepared than I ever have been to express their needs, concerns and issues here in the House of Commons.
Individuals and families are coming from all over Canada, and they would like to start a life in Milton. Not only is that great for the diversity of our country, but it is also great for our economy. It is one of the reasons we have grown so quickly in the last four years.
I am happy that our government is renewing our commitments to NATO, foreign aid and the United Nations peacekeeping efforts. We are focused on decreasing gender inequality around the world.
A lot of the work that I did with WaterAid and with Right To Play seized upon ensuring that girls and young women have access to education, to sport and, most notably, to hygiene and sanitation. WaterAid is doing incredible work, and I am happy to be able to highlight that today.
Diversity is the strength of this nation, and whether it is through my role as MP for a diverse community like Milton, or as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage for Sport, I will continue to be a champion for all of these values.
I grew up in community housing in north Oakville. Co-ops are not a place where poverty exists at all. Co-ops are a solution to poverty, and the Chautauqua Co-op where I grew up is evidence of that. Just in June of this year, my co-op, my home, Chautauqua Co-op, paid off a 35-year mortgage. That means that, for the last 35 years, the Chautauqua Co-op has been providing a safe and secure place for over 80 families to live, every single year.
We need to create more affordable housing in this country. As I said, I am a co-op kid. My mom has been building co-ops and managing co-ops for over 30 years. I sat on the board of directors at a co-op when I was 13 or 14 years old, and I realized that one of the ways that we can relieve poverty is to ensure that there is less profit and that when people pay the rent, they do not need to ensure that somebody else is making a buck. It is a really great solution, and I am always going to be a vocal advocate for co-op housing.
Parents should not have to pick between paying the rent, putting food on the table and sending their kids to sports. I can honestly say that I would not have competed at the Olympic Games if it were not for co-op housing, and I hope kids in the future will continue to have those opportunities and parents will not have to make tough decisions about putting food on the table or sending their kids to sports. There should not be any financial barriers between a healthy and active lifestyle and the goals and aspirations of Canada's youth. I believe that developing physical literacy is just as important as reading, writing and math.
I am glad that we have a $40-billion housing strategy in the Liberal Party platform, and I am really excited to be working on it.
I would like to touch on some issues around national universal pharmacare.
Just last week would have been my friend Simon Ibell's 43rd birthday. Simon Ibell was a man who committed his life to fighting for opportunities, but he also talked a lot about rare disease advocacy and the orphan drug program. Canada needs a rare disease platform, and it should live within our national universal pharmacare.
In addition to Simon's story, I touch upon my dad's story. My dad, Joe, has Parkinson's disease. As a retired guy, he has difficulty in accessing some of the affordable medication that he needs to carry on with his life.
I would like to talk about some of the parents in my riding, who have talked about some of these issues as well.
Brandon and Chrissy's son has spinal muscular atrophy, and there is a heavy price tag on the treatment for this rare disease. We need pharmacare for Wyatt and other children too, like Chloe, Lennon and Eva, as well as retired adults like my dad. A young girl I met at the door named Chloe has type 1 diabetes. There has to be a solution for young girls like Chloe. A young boy named Liam in my riding has cystic fibrosis, and the medicine costs upwards of $100,000 to treat his disease.
While it is not directly related to pharma, I heard from parents of autistic kids like Max, Dante and many others, who desperately want to see the federal government take on a national autism strategy. I was heartened to hear the Prime Minister mention that recently in a speech.
The highlight of my campaign this summer was actually on the water. I went up to Camp Oochigeas and I sat down for breakfast. Oochigeas provides a camping experience to young kids whose lives have been affected by cancer. I was really excited to see that I was sitting next to a young boy named Matteo, whose mom I met at the doors. Matteo is recovering from cancer. I was thrilled to take him on the water in a canoe. We had a really good day.
As an athlete, I worked with my colleagues and teams from other countries for our mutual benefit. Whether people live in Pond Inlet, Nunavut; Prince George, British Columbia; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Trois-Rivières, Quebec; or Milton, Ontario, they deserve a government that is fighting for them and Canada harder than it works for election or re-election. Members will notice that I fit in a riding from each of the parties.
The election is over. It is time that we stop fighting about team red, team orange, team green and team blue, and start fighting for team Canada. We as parliamentarians have an obligation to perform our duties with respect and integrity, and I believe it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. We ought to conduct ourselves in this distinguished House with conduct becoming of the office that we are all privileged to hold. Sportsmanship is just as important to me in the House as it was on the water.
With that, I wish every member of the House and everybody watching a merry Christmas, a happy holiday and a prosperous new year.
View Vance Badawey Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Vance Badawey Profile
2019-12-12 16:39 [p.364]
Madam Speaker, I will take this opportunity to wish all a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a happy new year. I hope that members spend much quality time with their families, friends and neighbours in their communities.
I am honoured to rise today in response to the Speech from the Throne. It is my first time rising in the House in the 43rd Parliament. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents for putting their faith in me to represent them once again in the House. I truly believe that by working together, we can make all our communities that much better. I thank my team that worked tirelessly day in and day out. I thank all of the volunteers who supported me, knocked on doors, installed signs, made phone calls and everything in between. I truly would not be here if not for many individuals who helped me over the past few months.
I thank my family. I thank Leanna, my rock in life, for coming along on this journey with me. I thank Logan, Jordan, Tyler and Jake and my grandson Hudson for supporting me. I thank my mom Claudette and my father George Wayne for not only being there for me and helping me, but also continuing to be there for me on a daily basis. I would not be in this House representing Niagara Centre if it were not for all of the people close to me, especially those throughout my community and the nation. From the bottom of my heart, I say to each and every one of these individuals those two words that we, quite frankly, do not say enough: “thank you”. I would be remiss if I did not extend congratulations to all members who have been elected to represent Canadians in this House and all who ran for those positions in the past year.
The Speech from the Throne is a blueprint for the government to show Canadians where we are and where we want to be. It is an opportunity for all of us in the House to discuss with vigour and passion the role and direction of this government, but equally as important, the role of all 338 members of the House of Commons.
I look forward to having discussions here today and well into the future with respect to everyone's interests. First is the action on skilled trades. We have made remarkable strides in this area since being elected almost five years ago. However, as we celebrate this achievement, we know there is much more to do. Once again, to progress is by working together.
Some provinces and regions across this great nation are struggling to find workers to fill the important positions in our economy that our industries are attempting to fill. My region of Niagara is no exception. Niagara, not unlike other jurisdictions, is beginning to experience a skilled trades shortage. There is a need for welders, pipefitters, boilermakers, seafarers, tile setters, plumbers, technicians, cooks, chefs and other hands-on, hard-working skilled tradespeople.
Thanks to the efforts of the former minister of employment, workforce development and labour, our government has significantly boosted federal support to the provinces, as well as the territories, by $2.7 billion over six years. This is to help more unemployed, underemployed and those wanting to be retrained to get into the workforce, to strengthen our workforce and, therefore, to strengthen our overall national economy. We have invested $225 million over four years to identify and fill skill gaps in the economy to help Canadians be best prepared for that new economy. Additional investments in collaboration with our partners will see us collectively work to eliminate the skilled trades shortage.
We have cut taxes. We have made it more affordable for Canadians. Canadians and this government created the environment for more than one million new jobs in just four years.
With an economy that is strong and with steadily declining debt relative to the size of our economy, Canada now has the best performance and the best balance sheet in the G7. This is thanks to the efforts of all of us, once again working together toward those common goals. Together we have helped 900,000 people out of poverty. At the same time, we know that we need to be prepared for whatever challenges are to come our way in the future.
Our plan will see tax cuts for all but the wealthiest Canadians. This week our government has taken steps to amend the Income Tax Act to lower taxes for the middle class and people working extremely hard to join it. Nearly 20 million Canadians will benefit. This will save a single person close to $300 a year. For families, including families led by a single parent, the savings will be closer to $600 a year.
I have seen first-hand in my riding and throughout the Niagara region the positive impact the Canada child benefit has had on many individuals and many families. Young families are able to afford items like school supplies and sports equipment, and join different organizations. This adds to the quality of life that they well deserve as Canadians. For the very first time, the benefit gives more money every month to nine out of 10 families. It has lifted 300,000 children out of poverty. We will give up to $1,000 more to families to help when the costs of raising kids are the highest by boosting the Canada child benefit by 15% for children under the age of one. We will make sure families get more money right away by making maternity and parental benefits tax-free.
We have heard today about the new NAFTA supporting trade and strengthening our economy. Thanks must be extended to all the Canadians from every corner of this country, from all walks of life and from all political points of view, who joined this government in this effort. This includes the Prime Minister. It includes the Deputy Prime Minister. It includes the NAFTA Council and the premiers. Regardless of what party's flag is being flown, kudos to each and every one of us working together to come to this achievement. The new NAFTA represents Canadian jobs, in particular in Niagara and certainly for Canada, this great nation. This new agreement will reinforce the strong economic ties between three countries, and support well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians.
Transportation and infrastructure are things that are key to the nation, particularly in my riding of Niagara, being a border region. Canada's national transportation infrastructure comprises 26 airports, 18 port authorities, 45,000 kilometres of track and 38,000 kilometres of roadway, as well as our Great Lakes, our St. Lawrence and, once again in our region of Niagara, the Welland Canal.
Let us dig a bit deeper into what we have in Niagara that contributes to strengthening the overall Canadian national interests and economy. In Niagara we have the Welland Canal, the Queen Elizabeth Highway, Highway 406, local airports, all located within a one-day's drive of over 44% of North America's annual income. Niagara is a perfect example of how different modes of transport integrating distributional logistics will strengthen our nation's international trade performance. The gateways for trade in goods between Canada and its trade partners are vital. Without them, our strengthened supply chains cannot flow with fluidity.
This is why I was honoured to work on the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities throughout the last Parliament, to work together with all parties in the establishment of a Canadian transportation and logistics strategy.
I am looking forward to building on the progress that the committee made and will continue to make, such as the alignment of our transportation assets to strengthen, for example, the Great Lakes binational region. This will include the economies, the social and the environmental responsibilities that we have that are attached to the Great Lakes.
We put forward new abandoned vessel legislation to ensure that polluters will pay for their mess, not middle-class Canadians. We will stand up for Canadian travellers and ensure they are treated with fairness and respect by amending the Transportation Modernization Act.
We will address key bottlenecks with the national trade corridors fund. Through working together with colleagues on all sides of the House and with Canadians with respect to transport and infrastructure issues in Ottawa, I was also pleased to run on a platform that included creating a national infrastructure fund, funding public transit and ensuring that all municipalities continue to have stable and direct funding for strategies and priorities established by them. This will fund local projects based on the work done by the wonderful teams at the municipal level, the local level, the community level. We will continue to work with members of the House to improve transportation infrastructure for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
With respect to housing, we will work hard to address affordability, taking action to invest in affordable housing and make it easier for more people to buy their first home. We have invested millions, for example, in the city of Welland in my riding to build more affordable housing and continue to work with Niagara Regional Housing to ensure we strengthen affordable housing throughout the Niagara region.
Fighting climate change is the defining challenge of our time and a defining moment of this Parliament. It is a sentiment shared by Canadians. Canadians overwhelmingly voted in favour of immediate and ambitious action to combat climate change. Our environment is important to all Canadians because without a protected environment, we have no future to live in and even our health could be at risk.
Clean air and clean water are musts in this day and age. New technologies are paramount and need to be created to help us deal with the issue of climate change. We are committed to protecting the environment by setting a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, putting a price on pollution, protecting and conserving nature and reducing plastic pollution within our environment.
We are committed to developing new technologies. We are committed to improving the environment we live in and protecting Canadians from harmful substances. Our government cares about attaining a cleaner and safer environment for all Canadians.
With respect to seniors, Canadians are living longer than ever before. Today's seniors are also facing rising health care costs. The number of seniors who rely on monthly benefits to make ends meet rises as Canadians, our neighbours, our family members and our friends age. We lowered the age of eligibility for old age security from 67 to 65. We moved forward with this change because we know it boosts seniors' retirement savings by thousands of dollars and lets them retire at an earlier age.
To make life more affordable for people as they age, we will move forward with an increase in the old age security benefit by 10% for seniors when they turn 75 and will continue to raise it along with inflation. This will help to lift more than 20,000 seniors out of poverty, two-thirds of whom are women, and will give greater financial security to more than three million seniors every year. For most seniors, it will mean up to $729 in additional financial help every year once they reach the age of 75.
We will move forward with more help for seniors who have lost their partners. We will work with the provinces and territories to give even more support to survivors by increasing the Canada pension plan. This increase, worth up to $2,080 in additional benefits every year, will give more than 1.2 million seniors more money and greater peace of mind at a time when they need it most.
I see this in Niagara every day. Whether at Portal Village in the city of Port Colborne, at Villa de Rose in the city of Welland or Cobble Stone Gardens Retirement Residence in the city of Thorold, seniors need investment so they can retire in comfort, as they deserve. Our seniors built this country, they built our communities and they are the foundation, our guides, our place where we learn who we are and where we come from, therefore navigating where we go from here.
The Speech from the Throne is a road map for where we want to go in this new Parliament. It is our guide, working for Canadians. Yes, we have work to do. We will keep fighting for families, for our children, for climate action, for seniors, for indigenous communities, for Canada on the world stage.
With this in mind, I am looking forward to getting down to work with all 338 members of the House, Canadians with the same interests, finding mechanisms, finding action plans to then satisfy the needs of all 338 ridings throughout this great nation. We can only do this by working together toward the common goals of all Canadians.
We must never underestimate the impact we have on others, our families, friends and neighbours, all of us throughout this great nation. Whether it be from the House of Commons, or within our communities, or representing an organization, or as a member of provincial parliaments or territories, or as mayors, councillors or volunteers, we must never underestimate the impact we have on others. It could be one word, one sentence or one action in a mall, on a sidewalk or in the halls of the House of Commons that can change someone's life forever. The responsibility we have as Canadians is to affect others in a positive way, and we have that opportunity.
Within the House, we as parliamentarians must adhere to a mindset of equality for all 338 ridings throughout our great nation. Regardless of who represents those individual ridings or what party they may belong to, we need to meet the expectations of Canadians.
We are Canada. As President Obama said in the House, “The world needs more Canada.” With that, it is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure we are nationally together strengthening the Canadian values, leading by example in this great nation, but, equally important, internationally, standing shoulder to shoulder as Canadians. However, it starts with vision, followed by working closer together as a stronger nation. Only we as leaders within our communities, beginning in the House of Commons, and working with our partners can we achieve and therefore become a better nation because of what we achieve here together.
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Élisabeth Brière Profile
2019-12-11 16:18 [p.285]
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Scarborough—Rouge Park.
This throne speech addresses my priorities.
Canada is an attractive destination for investors. Sure, there are some challenges, such as a labour shortage. During the election campaign, a number of my constituents told me that they have a hard time finding skilled labour. The people of Sherbrooke are welcoming people and they are open to immigration to address the labour shortage and enrich our communities.
When it comes to social challenges, there is no group as large, as diverse and as important in economic and everyday life as women. As we recalled earlier this month the 30th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre, the status of women in Canada and around the world continues to evolve and continues to be challenged.
It is certainly true that women excel in any and every field that they enter, be it engineering, academia, athletics or politics, to name only a few. However, women continue to face barriers to their entry and advancement in their careers. They have fewer opportunities and wage gaps relative to their male counterparts, and experience verbal and physical bullying and harassment and violence in all forms.
If we really want to tackle the social challenges in Canada and around the world, we must promote gender equality.
With respect to the environment, our government wants to achieve carbon neutrality. To do this, our government made the ambitious decision to put a price on pollution. Furthermore, our government has a clear plan to protect nature and eliminate single-use plastics. Climate change is not specific to Canada. Our government has worked with local and international colleagues on fighting climate change, and it continues to do so.
Our country wants to work with its allies on countering the forces that want to disrupt or destroy the rule-based international order. That is why our government wants to renew its commitments to the international community, in particular its NATO allies.
Given that Canada is a large country with diverse realities, national unity will always be an important issue. We cannot unite the country if we do not work on reconciliation between the Crown and indigenous peoples.
Our government will be taking measures to co-develop and introduce a bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We will also continue our work to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories on reserve and we will introduce a bill to ensure that indigenous people have access to high-quality, culturally adapted health care.
As far as economic development is concerned, we are working with our partners and businesses to ensure that Canada is a world leader in creating green technology companies. In the meantime, it is important that we be able to bring our natural resources to international markets and that we support workers in the natural resources sector as we make the transition to clean energy.
Lastly, our government wants to help the middle class and people working hard to join it. We will do so by investing in affordable housing, increasing the Canada child benefit, assisting first-time homebuyers, making child care more accessible and more affordable, and increasing benefits to and investments in our seniors.
Our government's throne speech is unifying, which is important to note in view of the current political climate. The throne speech also addresses priorities that are important not only to me but also to the people of Sherbrooke.
View Brad Vis Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, National Bank financial analyst Peter Rutledge said in 2016 that Chinese homebuyers occupied 33% of the total housing volume in Vancouver's real estate market and 14% of purchases in Toronto in 2015.
Would the Bloc Québécois welcome that type of Chinese involvement in the domestic Montreal housing market? Would the Bloc Québécois welcome a study of the role of Chinese homebuyers in the Canadian housing market at large?
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, our party is generally very much in favour of economic nationalism.
We will defend our markets, our farmers and our entrepreneurs to the utmost of our abilities. That is a very interesting issue, and one we would be glad to study. I thank the member for suggesting the idea. My colleagues and I find it very intriguing, and we will gladly discuss it. In fact, we have a caucus meeting tomorrow morning.
View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Arif Virani Profile
2019-12-09 12:17 [p.79]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be back in this chamber and I want to start by thanking my constituents in Parkdale—High Park for returning me for the second time to this chamber. It is an honour and a privilege to serve them, one I do not take lightly.
I also thank the most important people in my life in terms of getting me to where I am today, the people who gave me guidance as a young child and then as a young man: my parents, Lou and Sul Virani. My dad just celebrated his 78th birthday this past Saturday. I thank my sister Shakufe. My immediate family has been a rock of support through all of this.
I will confess that it has been a little more troubling and difficult for my youngest son this go-round. In 2015, he was one year old and did not have much conscious memory of what transpired then. This go-round, he was five and missed his dad a great deal during the election, as did my eight-year-old son. However, it is for them that I do this work and for children around the country that we all do this work. It is important to keep them in mind. I love Zakir and Nitin very much. I am not wearing a shirt with cufflinks today, but I have the cufflinks with their initials on them in my pocket, as I always do on important occasions.
The most important person is obviously my significant other, my wife Suchita, who has been a rock of support. We do not come from a political family, but she has, nevertheless, been steadfast and by my side constantly throughout this entire endeavour, even to the point of pulling the vote on election day this past year, which was a first for her. I thank my wife Suchita. I love her dearly. I thank her for allowing me to do what I do, serving this country and my riding.
We have just had the Speech from the Throne, which contains a series of initiatives the government is pursuing. I want to highlight six of them. Members will recollect from the previous Parliament that I remain a litigator who likes to stay organized in his prepared comments.
My first point is climate action. We know that climate action is urgent. The country heard about it during the course of the campaign and prior to it. We know we need to take bold action, and we have taken the steps toward that bold action. However, I am going to highlight one important thing because it dovetails with the message sent to us by constituents right around the country: what they are looking for in returning a minority Parliament is more co-operation, and there is no monopoly on a good idea. We need to take best practices from across the aisle, across the country and around the world and implement them as best practices here in Canada.
I will point to one. We have taken some very bold action with our carbon price in our plan to phase out coal and our initiatives in the just transition. One thing we need to do was not contained in our platform but the platform of a party opposite, the NDP. It talked about a climate accountability mechanism that government would report to. That is exactly the kind of mechanism that is worth studying. I was at COP24 last year in Katowice, and that is the model that is used in Britain that was championed at COP24. I brought that idea back to Parliament and immediately started talking about it. I am glad to see it in the platforms of other parties. It is the kind of idea that we need to take up, because there is nothing more pressing than addressing climate change as an initiative.
My second point from the throne speech is that affordability rang true throughout the country. This is not only germane to my riding, or the city of Toronto or urban centres; this rings true regardless of where one is, from region to region, rural to urban. I would point to a very important commitment in the throne speech that was reiterated when the throne speech was read, which is that the very first act we will be taking as a government is to reduce the taxation burden on low- and middle-income Canadians. How are we doing that? We are increasing the basic personal exemption.
Again, it is not a partisan issue, but I will point out a subtle difference that lays bare the difference between the two major parties in this chamber. Conservatives presented the same idea and would have had it universally applicable. Liberals said it is a great idea, but we are going to make it applicable to everyone, except for the top 1%. Why? It is because we fundamentally believe in targeting our measures toward those who need it the most.
We were criticized in the past, perhaps fairly, for having a middle-class tax cut that applied to people earning between $42,000 and $85,000 roughly, if I remember correctly from the last Parliament. People said, rightfully, that low-income people need taxation relief as much as anyone else. We are delivering that in this campaign platform and with this first initiative. That subtle difference, by ensuring that the benefit goes to those who need it the most and not those who do not need it, is what definitely identifies us as a centrist Liberal Party attempting to address the needs of the most vulnerable.
The third point I want to touch on is housing. Housing is critical. The issue I heard time and time again when I knocked on doors during the last campaign was housing. Whether it was support for housing, affordable rental housing or the ability for people to buy their first homes, people are feeling the pinch. They are feeling squeezed out of the housing market.
It is incumbent upon all of us to address that pinch clearly and vigorously. We are doing just that with a $55-billion plan that is 12 years deep to address housing.
The campaign is over. It is time to implement those policies, starting with the Canada housing benefit, which will be a portable benefit so that a person is not attached to a particular apartment or unit. People take that benefit with them wherever they move in a riding, in a city or around the country.
The fourth important theme is critical. It is gun control. I want to talk about this a little bit, because when we speak about gun control, we are speaking about the needs of all Canadians. This need not be a rural/urban issue.
I was so excited to get going on the throne speech that I neglected to mention that I would be splitting my time with the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge. I congratulate him on his return to the House.
With respect to gun control, this past Friday was a noted anniversary. It was the 30th anniversary of the Montreal massacre.
I remember that time 30 years ago very clearly, because my sister was a young student at McGill University. Since she was in Montreal at the time, many people called to make sure Shakufe was okay, that she was safe. We knew she was okay, because she had let us know. We were lucky; our family was lucky.
There are 14 families who were changed forever that evening. What troubles me is that sometimes people think that while Jacinda Ardern has done really well on gun control, hot on the heels of a brutal massacre in New Zealand, we do not need to wait for another massacre to act. We have had our share of troubles. We continue to have our share of troubles, such as 30 years ago in Montreal and on January 29, 2017, in Quebec City.
We have had incidents of people being slaughtered through guns that are used only for the purposes of mass killing. Those are not hunting rifles; those are not legitimately pursued weapons; those are weapons that have no place in Canadian society. We made a bold commitment to get rid of military-style assault weapons. That was reiterated in the throne speech and I am determined to ensure that we see that through its course, and see it through quickly.
However, it does not just stop there. As a Toronto member of Parliament, I believe firmly in the need for gun control. Yes, there are many facets that contribute to the gun problem and to violence in cities like mine. There are gang problems and there are border control problems, but part of the problem is also the availability of readily accessible handguns that serve no place in a city like Toronto, or in many of our urban centres and centres otherwise.
This issue impacts our communities, including our racialized communities. It affects mental health and those who pass on by suicide. It dovetails with domestic violence, particularly violence perpetrated against women. We will address all of those issues by addressing the nub of the issue, which is gun control.
The fifth theme that I want to touch on is indigenous reconciliation. I was very proud to see that reiterated again in the speech, as it needs to be. This will take seven generations to resolve. We made gigantic progress in the last Parliament, in terms of addressing monetary needs, boil water advisories, child welfare legislation and the Indigenous Languages Act, which I was very privileged to work on as the parliamentary secretary to the then minister of heritage. What I learned on that file is that, notwithstanding my own background on equity issues and on fighting discrimination, we will get nowhere in this country in rectifying all sorts of other issues that deal with inequality unless we address the core and foundational issue, which is 400 years of colonialism and racism fomented against indigenous people.
The sixth theme I wanted to talk about is pharmacare. In an effort to reach across the aisle, we have heard about this from many different parties in this House. The time is now to address the lacuna in our current situation of policy. In the entire OECD, we stand alone as the only country that supports medical care and not medicine with publicly financed support. That is a minority of one that I personally do not want to be in and I know the colleagues opposite share that view.
Exploring dental care is another fine suggestion that was brought forward in the NDP campaign platform. It was mentioned in the throne speech and I believe it is worth exploring.
Mr. Speaker, you know that I came to this chamber as a human rights and constitutional lawyer. You know, because we served together, that I came here as a refugee from Uganda and that I have taken advantage of the opportunities that were provided to me in this fine country and I have worked to make it better. We have made great strides over the last four years, but there is so much more work to be done.
I just want to finish on this note and say four things that I thought about after getting re-elected, which I would commit to myself, my constituents and this chamber.
The first is to continue to speak out about what I have always believed in: fighting discrimination, promoting equality and making Canada more inclusive for all.
The second is to continue to champion human rights, both here and abroad, at every opportunity that presents itself.
The third is to ensure that housing is not a fanciful ideal, but is something that manifests for people in my community.
Finally, the fourth is to ensure that we will always work harder, faster and more ambitiously on climate change because climate change is the most pressing issue of our time.
In a spirit of co-operation and collegiality, I offer congratulations to all the new members and returning members to this House. I hope to work with all members collaboratively to better this nation and this Parliament.
View Tim Uppal Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tim Uppal Profile
2019-12-09 18:23 [p.135]
Mr. Chair, that is not usual practice. Contingency funds are for emergencies.
The government emphasizes making energy-efficient homes more affordable for the average Canadian, yet the government has $200 million for wealthy electric-vehicle owners and $300 million to fight climate change in foreign countries. Where are the benefits for the average Canadian homeowner?
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean-Yves Duclos Profile
2019-12-09 18:24 [p.135]
Mr. Chair, this is another example of the importance of investing in workers and middle-class families and helping more Canadians join the middle class. It is the best way in the 21st century to grow the economy. Unlike other philosophical foundations in economics, we have learned in the last years that this is the best way not only from an economic efficiency perspective but also from a fairness perspective.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, I will go as fast as I can, but since I am standing for the first time speaking in the House, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of North Island—Powell River for allowing me to be here representing them. I want to take a moment to recognize the many forestry workers who are on strike right now in my riding, and struggling every day. My heart is with them and their families as they go through this very difficult time.
My questions are largely for the Minister of National Defence. I am so grateful that he is here today. I am so proud to represent 19 Wing Comox. Recently, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North did a key ceremony and gave keys to several houses that were built in the Comox Valley. There are many volunteers from 19 Wing who have been donating a significant amount of time to support building these houses and I appreciate their hard work. Their commitment is the 19 Wing building our community.
However, the other reality is that in Comox Valley, the rental vacancy rate is below 1%, and the housing costs are increasing, skyrocketing in fact. Many people from the wing are struggling to find appropriate housing. I know some of our members are having to drive over an hour one way to get to work every day, which is definitely a challenge for them and their families. We also know that many of the barracks were built in the 1950s and need a significant upgrade to become more appropriate for the men and women in uniform.
The other reality is we have the addition of the search and rescue training facility. I am very proud of the work that we were able to do collaboratively with the community and with the minister to make that a reality. That resulted in a small increase of housing for the folks who are coming to get the training. It is not meeting that core housing need for so many of our members who need permanent housing on the base.
Could the minister update this place on any resources that might be coming to 19 Wing to address this important core housing need?
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
Madam Chair, I want to thank the member for her tireless advocacy, giving her service for the women and men in the Canadian Armed Forces and specifically in Comox. I thank them for the tremendous work that they do and the connection that they have with the community. I know that the members are extremely proud of that.
We have unique challenges across the country. We are looking at how we support our members. We have made significant investments on bases when it comes to the new capabilities that we are bringing in. Housing is a challenge in the area because there is a very low vacancy rate. Therefore, we are prioritizing this work. When I visited, I looked at this issue directly. I do not want to get ahead of myself to say that this is exactly what we are going to do, but one thing I can assure you is that I am personally looking into this, to make sure that housing is looked after.
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-12-06 10:43 [p.33]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today to respond to the speech from the Leader of the Opposition.
One of the things we have listened to and heard from Canadians over the past number of months of the election campaign and subsequently is the need for us to collaborate in the House, a need for us to work together. One element of that will involve actually listening to each other in the House.
My team gave me an excellent speech to read in response to the Leader of the Opposition's speech, but this morning, I am choosing not to read it because it was written yesterday. I want to take the time to really listen to the Leader of the Opposition, who shared his thoughts on the work this Parliament will be doing and his vision for the best way to help Canadians across the country.
This is indicative of the new approach we need to take. Instead of merely reading a speech that itemizes everything we have done and everything we want to do, a speech that brings together all the elements in the excellent throne speech delivered yesterday, I would rather respond to the Leader of the Opposition's speech by addressing each of his points individually.
Unfortunately, as I go through the elements that the hon. Leader of the Opposition laid out in his speech, I will have to stray a bit from them. There are some really important issues that matter to this country and to Canadians that he did not develop, dwell on or share his perspective on. First and foremost is the issue of indigenous reconciliation.
We are gathered here today, and every day, on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people. As we move forward as a country, we have to include every Canadian and ensure they have a real and fair chance to succeed. For far too long in these houses of Parliament, we have not properly walked the road of reconciliation, which is a difficult road to be sure. It is one that will have setbacks and challenges as we walk it, but one on which we can make real progress, not just for indigenous Canadians but for all Canadians, as all Canadians have asked us repeatedly in recent elections to do. To continue to step up on indigenous reconciliation is something that we on this side of the House will do. I am sure it was a simple oversight on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition. I know that many people on the other side very much want us to work in partnership and in respect with indigenous peoples in the country.
He also did not touch on the health challenges and health opportunities we have as a country, to move forward on the big things that will make a real difference for Canadians, whether they be national universal pharmacare, ensuring that every Canadian can access a family doctor or ensuring that there are clear outcomes and expectations on mental health care right across the country. These are the things, along with home and palliative care, on which we intend to work.
We understand they are elements we will need to work on with the provinces, in respect and in partnership, because of provincial jurisdiction. That is why I am pleased to have begun some of those conversations already. I am very pleased to have an outstanding health minister and team, along with our deputy prime minister, who will engage directly with the premiers of provinces and territories across the country to move forward on keeping Canadians healthy.
Now the challenge for me is to respond to the Leader of the Opposition's speech, so I will go over his list of priorities for Canadians.
I do not think any Canadian anywhere in this country will be surprised to hear me say that, aside from those omissions, we agree with what he identified as Canadians' top concerns: the cost of living, affordability, the safety of Canadians abroad, ensuring the availability of good jobs for Canadians, fighting climate change and, lastly, national unity.
I think it is worth taking a look at each of those issues as well as some of the points he made and how he thinks we can address those issues. I want to show not only that we know how to listen, but also that we want to work with all parties in the House of Commons.
I will first address the question of affordability.
The Leader of the Opposition recognized that many Canadians are feeling anxious about their personal finances, about the path forward for themselves to retirement and about the path forward for their children to getting good jobs in the future. There are concerns about the rising costs of living. Questions of day-to-day expenses, the costs of housing and everyday purchases keep Canadians anxious. We agree entirely. That is why the Liberal Party set out four years ago to focus on the middle class and the people working hard to join it. What we proposed in this Speech from the Throne, and in this mandate as we move forward, is to respond to that in concrete and tangible ways.
A number of the initiatives we put forward in our first mandate have started to have significant positive effects on Canadians, but we know there is much more to do. The very first thing we did in the last Parliament was put forward a tax cut for the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthiest 1%. We knew that lowering taxes for Canadians was something that would make a difference in their lives and would demonstrate that we understand the anxiety people are feeling. That is the very first thing we moved forward with. We propose, in this 43rd Parliament, that the very first thing we do once again is lower taxes for Canadians.
We are planning on putting forward very shortly a proposal to raise the basic minimum exemption that people pay on their taxes to $15,000. That means that thousands of Canadians will no longer have to pay taxes at all, because they make less than $15,000. Many more will see their tax burdens decrease significantly. If we are looking for common ground in this House of Commons, as we are, this proposal significantly resembles the proposal put forward by the leader of the official opposition to help at the lowest levels of our tax system.
The Leader of the Opposition put forward a proposal that would help Canadians. We only have one small issue with it, which our proposal actually fixes, and I do not think it is a proposal that the Leader of the Opposition or his team will be preoccupied with. I think they can support it, because the change we made is to make sure that as we lower taxes for low-income Canadians and the middle class, we do not actually give any extra advantages to the wealthiest Canadians. The small hiccup in the proposal that the Leader of the Opposition put forward was that it would benefit someone making $400,000 a year, rather than someone making $40,000 a year. We are ensuring that the help we are giving to Canadians by lowering taxes really goes to those who need it most. That will help with affordability.
The second big thing we did as a government four years ago was introduce the Canada child benefit. We stopped sending cheques to millionaire families like mine and that of my colleague, and we started giving more money to those who need it most: low-income and middle-class families. This measure has helped lift over 300,000 Canadian children out of poverty.
However, we recognize that more work needs to be done, and I do not want to use my time talking about what we have done over the past four years. I would rather talk about what we plan to do moving forward. We want to increase the Canada child benefit for families with children under the age of one. I think everyone here can get behind such a measure. As we know, it costs more to care for newborns than it does to raise children who are three or 13 years of age. This measure will truly help families, and we know it will help boost people's confidence in their future and in their children's future. This will also help reduce the anxieties that we know many Canadians experience.
We also acknowledge that housing is a concern for so many Canadians. That is why we recently developed a national housing strategy that will improve affordability and access to housing for Canadians. However we, of course recognize that we still have a lot of work to do.
We have worked with municipalities and provinces to respond to the very real need for housing. We recognize there is more to do and that is why we are continuing to invest in infrastructure. We look forward to bringing in the Canada housing benefit, which will be a portable benefit based on going to families rather than to a specific apartment or location. This will give families a broader range of choices in affording the housing they need in order to build a future for themselves and their families.
We also recognize that far too many young Canadians, far too many first-time homebuyers are seeing greater barriers to buying their first home as housing prices rise across the country. Even with economic growth and more jobs, we know that people are facing anxiety, and that any delays in millennials or others buying their first home ends up accumulating in missed opportunities to build the equity throughout their lives that would afford them a good retirement. That is why we put in place the first-time home buyer initiative a number of years ago, which provides money to first-time homebuyers that lowers their mortgage costs and makes buying their first home more affordable. However, that is something we have done already.
What we are proposing to do as a next step around housing affordability is to make sure that people in high-cost markets, like Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Victoria or the GTA, have a larger benefit. That would allow more people to buy their first home, even in places where the cost of housing is significantly higher than other places. Our focus on affordability and supporting the middle class, as well as the people working hard to join it, runs through everything we do.
What was interesting about the Leader of the Opposition's comments on this is that he talked about the carbon tax as being a significant cost for Canadians. If he is serious about reducing people's anxiety about the future and reassuring Canadians about their ability to tackle new challenges and support their families, it would be good if we were able to lay out the actual facts of what our plan of putting a price on pollution means for Canadians across the country.
First of all, to prevent pollution from being free anywhere in the country, we wanted to work with the provinces to ensure that they could create a price on pollution in a way that suited each province and its realities. That was the starting point. We would rather not have to bring in a federal backstop anywhere across the country, because we know that provinces have varied needs and perspectives and should be able to determine their own way of fighting climate change and putting a price on pollution to make sure it is not free anywhere in the country. However, we also need to make sure that everyone across the country is doing their part to prevent pollution from being free anywhere in the country, and that we have a level playing field. That is why, rightly, in our pan-Canadian framework to fight climate change, we expect a similar level of equivalency and stringency right across the country.
There are a number of provinces that do not believe it is important to fight climate change or to put a price on pollution. Therefore, we have to move forward in bringing in a backstop.
However, every single dollar collected from a particular province for the price on pollution will be returned to that province. Most important, average costs for an average family in that province will be less on the price on pollution we added than the climate action incentive we return to them at tax time before the full year is up. Therefore, very simply and clearly put, in the provinces in which there is a federal backstop, that is, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and soon Alberta and Manitoba, the average citizens of those provinces will be better off with this price on pollution than they would be had there been no price on pollution. Indeed, in a province like Saskatchewan, where the Leader of the Opposition is from, I can point out that families will be hundreds of dollars better off every year with this price on pollution. If one wanted to truly bring down the temperature and the anxiety in the west, pointing out that fact might actually help.
We recognize as well that fighting for better affordability for Canadians means fighting the challenges of poverty that far too many Canadians continue to face. That is why initiatives like the Canada child benefit and our fight against poverty have helped in lifting over 900,000 Canadians out of poverty over the past years. That is something on which we know there is much more work to be done. For every family we have seen lifted out of poverty, there are more families we need to help. That is what we are going to focus on in the coming years.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-12-06 13:17 [p.58]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Liberal government touched on a number of important areas in the throne speech, but they just touched on them. They touched on the climate crisis, but they did not include any new targets. They did not include any new commitments to boldly tackle the crisis that we are in.
They said it is a crisis, but they did not come up with any bold measures to tackle it.
The Liberals did not mention in the throne speech something that in the past they promised to do, which is to fully end all fossil fuel subsidies. There is no path to achieving something that they committed to. The Liberals touched on the climate crisis, but they did not deliver on any sort of vision to achieving meaningful action to tackle it.
We want to fight the climate crisis like we want to win it. For the kids we met who were fighting in the streets in the climate actions that took place across Canada, where thousands and thousands of people said they need and they demand more action, the government has not delivered.
The Liberals touched on health. They touched on pharmacare, a very important issue, but they just touched on it. In fact, the way the throne speech rolled out, the government mentioned national pharmacare, a step back from what it proposed during the campaign, which was universal pharmacare. To be clear, I do not expect a 15-point plan in the throne speech, but I do expect that the government would, at a minimum, accept its own report commissioned by the government and written by Dr. Hoskins, which states that the way to move forward that will help out all Canadians is a universal, single-payer pharmacare for all. This means that no matter where they live in this country, there should be no barrier for those who need medication.
People in this country need medication. We need a system that enables everyone to access medication.
What we are proposing is this. If people need medicine, no matter where they live in this country, they should use their health card, not their credit card. This is something we can achieve. We are the only country in the world that has a universal health care system that does not include access to medications.
We know that by doing this we can address some of the concerns raised by premiers. By having access to a universal medication program, everyone could get the medication they need and we would save money for the federal government and for the provinces. It would also save money for businesses. It would make Canada more competitive and it would help out millions of Canadians, some of whom have coverage but, because the deductibles are so high, they effectively do not have coverage. For the millions of Canadians who do not have coverage at all, this would mean such a difference in their lives.
While campaigning, I met many people who talked about those stories. They told me they spend thousands of dollars on medication each month, which means tens of thousands of dollars a year. I met people who said they cannot afford medication. Therefore, they gamble with their lives every day because they cannot afford the heart medication that they need. We know what happens when people cannot treat an illness. They get more and more sick and end up in the hospital, putting further strain on our health care system. We could avoid all this with a universal health care system that includes medication coverage.
The Liberal government touched on student debt. This is a very important issue, but the Liberals just touched on it. The government is profiting from student debt. There is a question of choices. The Liberal government chose, last year, to waive billions of dollars, as much as $7 billion, in corporate debt. It waived that entirely. However, on the backs of students, over four years, the Liberals made $3 billion in interest. While the Liberals talked about student debt, a simple step they could have taken is to say that they would do what is right and waive the interest on student debt.
The time for talk is past. Now it is time to take concrete action.
I agree that the government is addressing important issues, but it is not doing enough. We need concrete action now to help people tackle the climate crisis and to help students pay back their loans.
The Liberal government touched on cellphone and Internet services and said that it would take steps to make them more affordable, something I support and is encouraging. Its attempt to do that is basically to have a conversation with the cellphone companies. However, having a conversation is not going to lower the cost of cellphone services.
Just to put a point on this, in Canada we pay some of the highest cellphone and Internet fees in the world, and it is not a coincidence. Governments have allowed the telecommunication companies to do so. The New Democrats proposed a solution that did not make its way into the throne speech, a very clear solution, fully within the federal government's mandate. We have the power to do this. In fact, other jurisdictions around the world have done the very same thing, with great success, by putting a price gap in place. If our price is so high, let us put a price gap in place like the United States and Australia have done. The result is that it drives down the cost of cellphone services.
To highlight how important this is, we know in this modern age, access to Internet and cellphone services is not a luxury; it is a necessity. People need it for work. People need it for their education. People need the Internet to access services for their families. The cost of cellphone and Internet services is impeding people in their day-to-day lives. It is hurting families that need it for work, for education and for accessing services and the government has the opportunity and the power to do something about it.
However, in the throne speech, I was not expecting a 20-point plan, but I was expecting the government to say that it understood something needed to be done. Canada is paying the highest rates in the world and there is no excuse that makes sense. We are a large country; so is Australia. We have remote communities; so does Finland. Both places have far cheaper prices for cellphone and Internet services because the government did what we expect government to do. When an industry takes advantage of people, then government has to stand up and defend them.
Canadians are seeing the Liberals defend the profits of the powerful industries instead of helping people and families that actually need their assistance. That is why their priorities are wrong.
There are some things that the government went beyond just touching on. It did include some more details on justice for indigenous people. I acknowledge the government touched on truth and reconciliation, which is incredibly important, and we have to implement the recommendations. The New Democrats are committed to doing that and we are going to ensure the government actually does it.
We have seen for far too long that the Liberal government is great at announcing things and making promises, but not so good at following through on those. We know we need to go beyond that.
It was also very encouraging to hear the government mention not only the calls to action, but also the recommendations put forward by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which is incredibility important and would save lives. It is vital that we do not just mention it but follow through by implementing those important recommendations.
Where I fail to follow the logic is when the government talks about the importance of following through on these vital recommendations and calls to action, but at the same time continues to take indigenous kids to court. It continues to delay the funding the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has pointed out is not just discriminatory, but wilful and reckless.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal stated that the current government wilfully and recklessly discriminated against indigenous children. Therefore, it must immediately stop taking indigenous children to court.
I cannot wrap my head around how a government can, on one side, talk about the importance of reconciliation, of justice and of fairness, while on the other side, ignore a Human Rights Tribunal ruling, delay funding to end discrimination and continue to take indigenous kids to court. Those two things do not coincide. They do not make sense. That is why I will continue to call on the Liberal government to stop taking these kids to court, to pay the fee that is required to ensure that justice is served and to make sure that this injustice ends, that the kids who have been discriminated against have fairness in their lives, and that no other kids face this unfairness in the future.
The impact of this discrimination is not an academic discussion. It is not just the fact that there was discriminatory funding. Indigenous children have died because of the lack of funding and they will continue to die unless the government does something about it.
The government did put one encouraging addition in the throne speech. It accepted what we have been pushing for, which is national dental care, and that is vitally important.
When we were in communities across this country, we spoke with people who were deeply concerned about health care and the cost of medication. Many people could not imagine a future where they could get dental services. There are so many people right now who do not consider it an option to take care of their teeth. Dental care is one of the major gaps in our health care system. People can go into the hospital if emergency surgery is required for their hearts. They could have complex surgery that would put them back together involving their entire body, their lungs, issues with the joints, but if they have a problem with their teeth they have nowhere to go. Millions of Canadians do not get the dental care they need, yet we know that unhealthy teeth can impact the rest of their health.
During the campaign we called on the Liberal government and all Canadians to imagine a future that included a national dental care program. It can be achieved. We can do it and it would not cost us too much money. The plan the NDP has laid out and that we are asking the government to consider would be less than $1 billion a year and could cover 4.3 million Canadians immediately. It would be a federal program that would cover Canadians across this country and give them access to dental care. It would mean a massive change in people's lives.
I remember a woman on the streets of Vancouver who ran up to me and said she had heard my announcement on dental care, and her hand was covering her mouth. She said that she was so embarrassed of her teeth and she had not been able to afford dental care. She was stuck in a job and was too afraid to apply for a new job because she did not think anyone would hire her with the way she looked. She was afraid to go out in public. She said she was even afraid to talk to me because of her teeth. She should not have to feel that way. She should not have to worry about the way her teeth look. However, this is the reality for far too many Canadians who cannot afford dental care and whose teeth are not in a healthy state. We know this impacts overall well-being. We know this impacts overall health. We have to do something about it.
While it is encouraging that the government mentioned it, if you read between the fine lines it says that national dental care is something that Parliament should explore. I call on the government to take a step toward ensuring we have national dental care. That is what we need.
There is a path forward. While we New Democrats are not satisfied with what we heard in the speech, we do not lack confidence in the government simply because we do not think it is good enough. We have met with people and spoken to people across this country, and they have told us that this is not good enough. This is not going to make sure people's lives get better.
One of the most pressing crises people are faced with in their lives is housing. The government said in the throne speech that it is going to continue to do what it is doing on housing. What does that mean? That means the Liberals will continue to spend 19%, as a portion of GDP, less than the Conservatives before them.
How can they claim that they are doing something to tackle the crisis when they are spending less than the previous Conservative government? They continually said in their campaign that Canadians should be afraid of the Conservatives because they would make things worse, but the Liberals are doing worse than they did.
The crisis people are faced with in this country is such that people cannot find places to live. In large cities across the country, young professionals and families and people who earn good salaries cannot find places to rent, let alone buy. In rural communities, people cannot find anything, rental or housing.
It is not even a question of affordability in some communities. It is a question of availability. There is just nothing there. People are living on the streets. There is homelessness and people who need supported living, and the government thinks that it is okay to continue to do what it is doing. It is not okay. It is not going to make people's lives better, and it is because it is not going to make people's lives better that New Democrats are saying it is not good enough.
However, here is the thing. I am calling on the Prime Minister and the government to sit down and have a chat with us. If Liberals want to make life better for Canadians, we are ready to work with them. If the Liberals want to stay in power, it is clear they have some options.
If they want to make things better for Canadians, if they want to lift up people who cannot find housing, if they want to lift up people who cannot afford their medications, if they want to make a real difference in people's lives and implement national dental care then, yes, they can count on New Democrats.
However, if they think this throne speech is good enough, it simply is not. I know you can do better, but you are not going to do it on your own. That is why New Democrats are here. We are going to push you. We are going to make sure you do it right.
View Lyne Bessette Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Lyne Bessette Profile
2019-12-05 16:43 [p.16]
Mr. Speaker, I must admit that I am a little bit nervous.
I would like to begin my speech by taking a moment to congratulate the Speaker on his election. It is very clear that he will be a fair and impartial Speaker who will be respected by parliamentarians and Canadians.
I am honoured to be here in the House of Commons today to represent the people of Brome—Missisquoi. I would like to thank them for putting their trust in me and electing me as their MP. I am really grateful to them and I will work hard to properly represent all Canadians while I am in office.
When I made the decision to go into politics, I had three objectives: to help others, to listen to people and to try to make a difference. I want to bring everything I learned in sports to the public sector so that I can be even closer to the people. I believe that the government has the same approach in that it wants to build on its achievements and on what it has learned in order to become closer to Canadians and better meet their needs.
Over the past four years, the Liberal government has made real progress by taking action to invest in the middle class, grow an economy that works for everyone and protect the environment. However, there is still much to do. In October, Canadians made the choice to move forward and focus on the progress that has been made, while reminding parliamentarians of the importance of working together, putting the community first and finding common ground.
As Her Excellency the Governor General said, Canadians have given us a mandate to govern the country, but we cannot fulfill that mandate unless we work together. Our government is committed to working with the other parties in the House, as well as with provincial and municipal governments, to deliver the best possible results for Canadians.
Canadians want a government that focuses on the issues that matter to them, like strengthening the middle class and helping those most in need, fighting against climate change and protecting the health and safety of Canadians.
In this throne speech, our government committed to taking meaningful action on the defining challenge of the time: climate change. The government will set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. I realize that this is an ambitious target, but it is necessary if we want to protect our environment and maintain Canada's economic growth.
Speaking of the environment, the government will take action to preserve Canada's natural legacy. My constituents in Brome—Missisquoi will surely be happy to hear this, since the two transboundary lakes in our beautiful riding, Lake Memphremagog and Lake Champlain, supply drinking water to our communities. Thanks to our government's commitment to making our communities greener, cleaning the air and using nature-based solutions to fight climate change, we can proudly look forward to a greener future for our communities.
Speaking of communities, we cannot forget that our constituents face different social and economic challenges. Our government is committing to quickly cut taxes for Canadians, which will give more money to middle-class families and those who need it most.
The solutions to the problems and challenges of the future will have to be found by the future leaders of Canada. Therefore, our government will give more support to students, be they new graduates struggling with loan repayment, or be they heading back to school to learn new skills. That is why our government is committed to being there for Canadian students.
However, before they become students, they are children who need services and their parents' presence. That is why our government has pledged to give families more time and money to help raise the Canadians of tomorrow. To that end, our government is committed to making child care services more accessible and affordable.
The government cares about our seniors and Canadian workers. The government will foster their well-being in two ways: by increasing pensions and the federal minimum wage.
The government has also announced that it will continue to invest in affordable housing and will make it easier for people to buy a first home, which will help Canadians have a roof over their heads.
Finally, our government will lighten the financial burden on households by cutting the cost of cell and wireless services by 25%.
The well-being of Canadians is not just about income, work-life balance or access to housing. It is also about access to the care they need when they need it. That is why our government is going to work together with the provinces and territories to improve health care for Canadians by making it easier to get a family doctor and by bringing in workplace mental health standards.
As stated in the Speech from the Throne, often Canadians who fall sick suffer twice: once from becoming ill, and again from financial hardship caused by the cost of their medications. That is why our government is committed to taking steps to introduce and implement a national pharmacare program.
Since the beginning of my speech I have been talking about members of the Canadian community, but who are they exactly?
They are young people, seniors, workers, students and parents. They are also innovators, farmers, artists and entrepreneurs. They are our families and neighbours. In order for everyone to thrive and for Canada to thrive with them, our government needs an economic agenda aimed at building a modern economy for Canada.
How do we build a modern economy? It is by maintaining a flourishing, integrated North American economy; by reviewing the rules around the new digital environment to ensure fairness for all; by eliminating domestic and international trade barriers, investing in infrastructure and facilitating the creation and growth of start-ups and small businesses; and by implementing a financial plan for keeping our economy strong and growing. That is exactly what our government pledged to do in this throne speech.
The Canadian community also includes indigenous peoples, who all too often face challenges that are more specific than I have covered in my speech. However, as Her Excellency the Governor General noted, it is indigenous genius that allowed our country to thrive and grow. The knowledge held by indigenous peoples, along with their sense of community, should continue to guide our actions.
If we are to continue relying on the knowledge of indigenous peoples, we must continue and step up the reconciliation efforts undertaken in the previous Parliament. This is why our government has made reconciliation with indigenous peoples one of its core priorities and will continue work to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls' calls for justice.
I am particularly proud of our commitment to develop and introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the first year of the new mandate.
Indigenous peoples have been living in poor conditions for too long.
That is why our government is committed to continuing the work of eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve by 2021 and ensuring safe drinking water in first nations communities. That is also why the government will work with indigenous communities to close the infrastructure gap by 2030 and will introduce legislation to ensure that indigenous peoples have access to high-quality, culturally relevant health care and mental health services.
Our government will continue to work with indigenous peoples to develop and adopt these measures, as well as measures to ensure that the government is living up to the spirit and intent of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements made with indigenous peoples.
As I mentioned earlier, Canadians want a government that will keep them safe. Accordingly, the government is committed to taking greater steps to address gender-based violence in Canada, whether it is by working with partners to implement a national action plan or building on the gender-based violence strategy.
Gun crime is a terrible reality in Canada. That is why the government will ban military-style assault rifles and enable municipalities and communities to ban handguns if they wish.
Right from the beginning of my speech, I have been talking about “community” in both the local and the national sense. We must remember that we live in an increasingly interconnected world. That means Canada has a role to play in the global community. Canadians are generous and deeply compassionate. They believe it is important to share, and they care about the environment.
As the Governor General said, Canadians expect their leaders to stand up for their values and interests here at home and around the world. That is why I applaud our government's announcement about building partnerships with countries that share our values and our vision so the whole world can benefit from Canada's expertise in areas like environmental protection, fighting climate change, and promoting human rights and democracy.
I personally believe that the government's interest in marginalized populations, those most in need, can also apply internationally. I think the government shares my point of view, since it just committed to contributing resources to international development, including investments in education and gender equality, while helping the poorest and most vulnerable people live better lives.
On a more personal note, I have faith in our regions, our youth, our creators and our entrepreneurs. The people around us must remain our top priority and serve as our inspiration in our day-to-day work. I have worked hard in recent years to get where I am today. I have been determined and have pushed my limits my entire life, but always with the support of those around me. As a member of Parliament, I intend to make rapid progress, with the same strength and determination I have shown in the past. That is why I have faith in our government. I believe it is the best way for me to move my constituency and my country forward.
If there is one thing I learned from my experience as an athlete, it is that it is much easier to make progress as a team than to go it alone. More often than not, the accomplishments are that much sweeter. I am very excited to work with members from both sides of the House to improve life for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
I move, seconded by the hon. member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country that the following address be presented to Her Excellency, the Governor General of Canada:
To Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.
May it please Your Excellency:
We, Her Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the House of Commons of Canada in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Excellency for the gracious Speech which Your Excellency has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.
View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2019-12-05 17:05 [p.19]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your preferment and congratulate my friend, the hon. member, on her speech.
I can appreciate the member's exuberance, although I do not share it. Canadians need action and they need it right now. We have heard these words before.
I have some questions. Will the government act now on reconciliation and stop dragging indigenous kids to court? Will the government act now on climate change and not wait until 2050? Will the government act now on affordable housing, including social housing? Will the government act on a pharmacare system that is truly national, public and comprehensive?
View Patrick Weiler Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to offer you my congratulations on being elected today. You play a central role in the work that we all do here, and I wish you well.
[Member spoke in Salish and provided the following text:]
Tanúyap. Áma s7ats?xentumúlhana! Ch’ich’iyit tula te shishalh.
[Member provided the following translation:]
Everyone, it’s good seeing all of you. Greetings from the Shishalh.
[English]
It is an honour to rise in this chamber today and to second the motion of my esteemed colleague, the member for Brome—Missisquoi, regarding the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.
Canadians have delivered to the government an ambitious mandate to improve their lives, strengthen this country and bolster Canada's place in the world. Today's Speech from the Throne provides our government with a road map on how to get there. Over the next few minutes, I will speak with pride to this House about some of the details of how we plan to navigate through this road map.
First, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country. They have given me the privilege to serve them in the House of Commons as their member of Parliament. I want to thank my constituents for placing their trust in me. I am grateful to my constituents from all corners of our large and diverse riding. I would like to recognize the thriving communities in Pemberton, up the Sunshine Coast and on Bowen Island. Every day I take my seat in this chamber, I will never forget why I am here: to serve the people in my constituency and to help build a better Canada.
Before going further, I would also like to give special thanks to my family, especially my partner Nicole, who have supported me in this endeavour, often doing the hard work behind the scenes, which is often a thankless job.
Indeed, I believe the Speech from the Throne has provided us all with a reminder of the responsibilities that have been entrusted to us. Millions of Canadians cast their votes in the election this October, and they have sent us all a very clear message. Canadians want their politicians to put the public interest first. They want us to work together on the things that matter to them, to their families and to their communities. They have elected a minority government with an important agenda: to fight climate change; to strengthen the middle class and help create good, well-paying jobs; to make life more affordable for Canadians; to continue firmly on the path of reconciliation with indigenous peoples; to keep our citizens safe on our streets with less gun violence; to strengthen our health care system and modernize it for the 21st century; to provide more affordable housing; to provide investments in infrastructure, public transit, science and innovation; and to secure Canada's place in the world. These are just some of the important challenges that lie ahead of us. They are challenges not just for the government, but for all parliamentarians. It is that simple. We all have a mandate to find common ground in this Parliament.
The government is ready to work hard to make historic progress in all these areas. I am confident that, with goodwill, my colleagues from all sides of the House can work together to make the changes that Canadians want. Indeed, I know we can come together as parliamentarians. I have seen it in my work before being elected to this House. As an environmental and natural resource management lawyer, I have seen first-hand what can happen when people collaborate. I have supported governments around the world to improve the management of aquatic ecosystems, as well as the governance of natural resource sectors, on behalf of the United Nations and other international development agencies. I have represented first nations, municipalities, small businesses and non-profits on environmental and corporate legal matters.
It is not unusual for people to come to the table with very different interests, but it is also not unrealistic for them to walk away with a shared agenda and common goals. It happens in communities throughout the country. It can happen here in the House of Commons. That spirit of co-operation can also happen as leaders throughout our country work together to find solutions to our shared challenges.
As someone who was born and raised in West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, I am proud that the Speech from the Throne has spoken clearly about the importance of all of our country's regions and their local needs. This government knows that the economic concerns being felt by Canadians in our regions are real. It is listening to Canadians in those regions.
On this, Canadians can be sure that the government will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous groups, stakeholders, industries and Canadians to find solutions.
There is no greater challenge facing this country, and indeed this world, than fighting climate change. The science on this growing threat to our planet is clear. It is undeniable. Already we are seeing the effects: devastating floods and forest fires, coastal erosion and pollution of our oceans.
The changes to the world we know now will only grow worse, spiralling faster and faster in the coming years and decades. We are leaving a world to our children and our grandchildren that could be much different from the world in which we have grown up. We recognize this threat. We must act. We must do our best to fight this threat.
I believe strongly in this government's pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. I am committed to building upon this groundbreaking plan to ensure that Canadian businesses will seize upon the immense economic opportunities that are involved in the transition to the clean economy of the 21st century.
Over the past four years, our government has provided national leadership to take action on climate change. In October's election, a clear majority of Canadians voted in favour of ambitious climate action.
The Speech from the Throne has made it clear that this government will deliver. We will set a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Our goal will be ambitious but necessary as we protect the environment while we grow the economy. We have already taken the lead in ensuring that there is a price on pollution throughout the country. We will continue working with our partners to reduce emissions in the years ahead.
There are many other important measures that this government will take. We will help make energy-efficient homes more affordable. We will make it easier for Canadians to buy zero-emission vehicles. Whistler is already leading the way in this in changing our transportation habits. Last month, I attended the electric vehicle sustainability summit in Whistler, B.C., to talk about how governments and companies could work together to achieve our zero-emission targets.
We will work toward making clean and affordable power available in all our communities. We will work with companies in the transition to the clean technology future. An example of this is Huron Clean Energy in Squamish, which is facing the climate crisis head on. It is just one example of the companies providing the technology and the solutions we need in our transition to the low-carbon economy. Their leadership in the field of carbon capture is turning our home riding into a hub for clean technology.
Over the last four years, our country has experienced strong growth, but too many Canadians have difficulty keeping up with the rising cost of living. Our government is determined to take action to make life more affordable for Canadians. The Speech from the Throne has identified some of the areas where we will be taking action on behalf of our citizens.
We will cut taxes for all Canadians except the wealthiest. This will provide more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians who need it the most.
We will continue to take action with significant investments in affordable housing. Too many Canadians are unable to buy their first home. We will also introduce measures to make it easier for more people to purchase their homes.
This government will take action to ease the concerns faced by workers, families and seniors. We will assist parents with the time and money they need to raise their children. We will support students as they bear the costs of higher education and skills training. We will increase the federal minimum wage. We will reduce cellphone bills by 25%. We will strengthen pensions for our seniors.
As we take these measures, we will press ahead with an economic agenda that benefits all Canadians in the years ahead.
Our government is committed to moving ahead with the new NAFTA with the United States and Mexico. We will continue to make significant investments in infrastructure throughout the country. We will work to tear down the trade barriers now faced by businesses and farmers when they look to achieve success both internationally and domestically.
As we are doing all this, our government will stay focused on growing the economy with a fiscal plan that is responsible.
The Speech from the Throne has placed a great emphasis on another key pillar of this government's agenda. Four years ago we promised to put Canada on a path toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples. For far too long our country neglected to take the actions necessary to give indigenous peoples a real shot at success. We said that must change, and we took the first steps on that road to reconciliation.
It is a long road, but we have seen real progress in just four years. Eighty-seven long-term drinking water advisories have been eliminated. There is greater equity in funding for first nations education. Parliament has passed legislation to protect indigenous languages and affirm indigenous jurisdiction over child and family services. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held important hearings and delivered its report. However, this is just a beginning. The work toward reconciliation has not ended.
This government is committed to doing more, and I will mention some examples. We will work toward eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve by 2021. We will codevelop and introduce legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the first year of our mandate. We will codevelop legislation so that indigenous peoples have access to culturally relevant and high-quality mental health care and quality health care services. We will ensure that indigenous peoples who grew up and were harmed under a child welfare system that has been discriminatory will be compensated in a fair and timely manner. As well, we will live up to the spirit and intent of treaties, agreements and other arrangements with indigenous peoples.
One of any government's top responsibilities is to provide a place for its citizens where they can feel safe and where their quality of life is good. In recent years, Canadians have increasingly seen stories in the media about deaths in their communities as a result of gun violence. Each of these violent episodes has been a tragedy. Too many Canadians have been killed. Too many relatives have grieved the loss of a loved one. Our government has pledged to act.
We will crack down on the gun crime that is haunting too many of our communities. We will ban military-style assault rifles and take steps to introduce a buyback program for the weapons. We will work toward giving municipalities that want to ban handguns the ability to do so.
In each of our communities and, indeed, within our own families, there is often no issue more important as the ability to access high-quality health care. For many decades now, Canadians have recognized that a publicly funded universal health care system, medicare, is what makes us strong as a country.
As we head into 2020, more than half a century after the birth of medicare, it is important that we all work together as Canadians to strengthen and to modernize it. The Speech from the Throne has laid out an ambitious but achievable agenda to make that happen. Our government will be working with the provinces and territories to strengthen the health care system so that Canadians get the service they deserve.
Too many Canadians cannot get access to primary care family doctors and to mental health care. We will work with provinces, territories and health professionals to change that.
The scourge of opioid and substance abuse has also cost too many lives and shattered too many families. We need to do more to help people struggling with their addictions.
Finally, it is time to bring medicare into the 21st century. Modern-day medicine means physicians are increasingly able to treat their patients through medication, and yet too many patients who fall ill are unable to afford the costly prescriptions they are prescribed and they become even more sick. This is just not fair.
As the Speech from the Throne says, pharmacare has become the key missing piece of universal health care in this country. Our government will take steps to introduce and implement a national pharmacare program so that Canadians have the drug coverage they need. I look forward to all members of this House working together to achieve this historic objective.
As we look toward improving the lives of Canadians, we must never forget that we have a responsibility to also promote our core values on the international stage. Those values include the promotion of democracy, protection of human rights and respect for international law. Our government will work in the tradition of being a coalition builder globally in these areas. We will stand up for rules-based international order and we will renew our commitment to NATO and to United Nations peacekeeping missions. Canada's voice will be heard at the United Nations, particularly in the Security Council.
We will not forget that Canadians are a compassionate people. We will provide targeted funds for international development, including for education and gender equality.
I would like to conclude by returning to where I began my remarks. Canadians have sent us here to work constructively on their behalf. As the Speech from the Throne reminds us, our role in this democratic process is a privilege and a responsibility. Indeed, we have been reminded that we are here to serve everyone, regardless of gender, faith, language, custom or skin colour. We are here to make a better Canada. I believe the Speech from the Throne has provided us all with a road map of how to travel that route, and I would encourage members to join together and work in collaboration as we move forward.
View Nelly Shin Profile
CPC (BC)
View Nelly Shin Profile
2019-12-05 17:35 [p.23]
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by congratulating my fellow MPs in this room for their hard-earned election wins, as well as the Speaker for his election today.
I am proud to stand here today to speak on behalf of the great people of Port Moody—Coquitlam. I want to take this opportunity to thank them with all my heart for putting their trust in me to represent them here in the House of Commons.
My desire as a member of Parliament is to improve the quality of the lives of my constituents and to help them prosper. Home ownership is a basic aspect of individual security and flourishing. The residents in my riding are worried about the cost of living, and buying a home is often out of reach for young people and families, even those with substantial savings.
The throne speech did not address the concerns raised by many in my riding about the mortgage stress test. The housing plan the government put forward will do nothing to help the hard-working Canadians in my community who dream of buying a home.
Will the member opposite tell the House when the government will put forward a real plan that will address and resolve the reality that people are living through in my riding?
View Patrick Weiler Profile
Lib. (BC)
Mr. Speaker, housing affordability is a top concern throughout the country, but particularly in the Lower Mainland, and for this reason we have committed to increasing the first-time home buyer incentive. This will make life more affordable for people buying their first homes.
Going forward, Liberals are also going to be looking at developing more affordable housing through the national housing strategy. It is a 10-year, $40-billion plan for real action in investments so everybody has a safe place to live and a roof over their head.
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