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Results: 1 - 60 of 565
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2020-07-21 13:59 [p.2686]
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Madam Speaker, the Montreal Sikh community, inspired by the tenets of the religious tradition established by Guru Nanak, places the highest priority on the values of sharing and helping others. These values are lived out every Sunday in gurdwaras through langar community kitchens. They have also been clearly evident during the pandemic.
The Sikh community of Montreal has provided over 63,000 individually packaged snacks to health care workers at the Montreal General Hospital, the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal and the Jewish General Hospital and to staff in seniors homes. It has also provided 450 hot meals to staff in the Jewish General's ICU and emergency department.
The community has donated over $13,000 to both l'Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur-de-Montréal and the Lakeshore General Hospital for essential equipment.
We thank members of Montreal's Sikh community for their generosity and inspiring example.
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View Bob Zimmer Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, two weeks ago I was honoured to speak to a group of recreational fishermen and women at the Public Fishery Alliance rally in Vancouver. I give special thanks to organizers Peter Krahn, Dave Brown, Fred Helmer, Chris Bos and many others.
According to Phil Morlock of the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, more than eight million of us fish recreationally every year and spend $10 billion annually, yet we have a federal government bent on shutting us down.
The Prime Minister and the fisheries and oceans minister must stop punishing British Columbians for their failures. The government's June 19, 2020, decision to further restrict fishing opportunity is another blow to British Columbians and their communities. Its 2020 Fraser chinook plan ignored viable, balanced proposals and ignored input from experts with years of experience that would have upheld conservation values while providing public fishing opportunity.
Instead of acting on measures that can make a real difference to restore fish stocks, the Liberals are scapegoating B.C. anglers who are just trying to put food on their tables. The Prime Minister and the minister need to remember that we fish, we hunt and we vote.
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View Fayçal El-Khoury Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Fayçal El-Khoury Profile
2020-07-21 14:01 [p.2686]
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Madam Speaker, I rise today to vigorously condemn the unsanctioned aggression of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia, which degenerated into serious tensions last week along the border between the two countries. The horror of these tensions is felt even here, in my riding and in Canada's Armenian community.
Azerbaijan ignored UN calls for a ceasefire during the pandemic, backed by Turkey; threatened to bomb a nuclear power plant in Armenia; destroyed a PPE factory that was producing essential equipment for the Armenian fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; and intentionally targeted innocent civilians.
I join the foreign affairs minister in his call for an immediate ceasefire.
We must always remain vigilant and condemn all forms of aggression towards the international community, especially in these difficult times.
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View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-07-21 14:02 [p.2686]
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Madam Speaker, people in the regions of Quebec are once again being held hostage by Air Canada and a government measure.
On June 30, we learned that Air Canada, which is heavily subsidized by the federal government using taxpayer money, was suspending 30 regional routes indefinitely and closing a number of service counters in eastern Quebec for good, including those in Gaspé, Mont-Joli, and Baie-Comeau, in my riding.
Since the announcement, the government has shown zero leadership to support Quebec, which is itself looking for solutions. Even the Minister of National Revenue, the member for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, whose constituents have been hit hard by Air Canada's pressure tactics, has said nothing about this. Her silence speaks volumes and is typical of the government's absolute failure to take action on this issue.
The consensus among people who live in the regions, mayors, reeves and the Government of Quebec is clear, and the Bloc Québécois has supported that consensus since the announcement. It is time for the federal government to support sustainable solutions so that the regions are never again cut off from major centres as they are now. The economic vitality of Quebec's regions is at stake.
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View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2020-07-21 14:04 [p.2687]
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Mr. Speaker, the Chaudière-Appalaches Desjardins Tourism Awards recently announced their winners.
I want to congratulate the winners from my riding, the Marland blueberry farm in Sainte-Marie, which took the categories “Innovation in tourism development” and “Food services — Farm to table”, and the Saint-Paul-de-Cumberland Church/Harbottle Garden in Saint-Simon-les-Mines, which won in the category “Tourist attractions — History, arts and culture”.
I would also like to take this opportunity to invite my colleagues to travel the Beauce Route along the magnificent Chaudière River this summer. They will quickly be captivated by the region's boundless beauty. There is a reason the word “Beauce” contains the word “beau”.
I also want to tip my hat to the team at Destination Beauce for all their efforts to showcase what we are all about and making Beauce the most beautiful region in Canada—no offence to my colleagues. I am not biased, of course.
I look forward to seeing you there. Welcome to our home.
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View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Anju Dhillon Profile
2020-07-21 14:05 [p.2687]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this moment to reflect on a vulnerable segment of our population that has seen its situation getting worse during the pandemic: victims of violence.
Extreme isolation has caused an increase in domestic violence and child abuse. In the past months, we have seen news of the worst outbreaks of atrocities against children across Canada.
During the lockdown, women who are victims of domestic violence had to go into isolation with their abusers because they could not go to shelters. I want them to know that they are not alone. Resources have been made available to them, and a lot of that information is posted on government websites.
We must not forget the collateral victims of COVID-19 and we have to continue our efforts to prevent other family tragedies. As members of Canadian society, we must continue to be proactive and make sure that no one falls through the cracks.
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View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
2020-07-21 14:06 [p.2687]
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Mr. Speaker, the National Capital Commission has released the long awaited update to the studies exploring locations for a sixth interprovincial link between Gatineau and Ottawa.
This update confirms what we already found. We are therefore one step closer to project construction, and we are sure that the project will meet current needs and address future challenges. Some of those challenges include the significant population growth in our region combined with the end of the Alexandra Bridge's useful life and the traffic in our capital's downtown core. As the member for Gatineau, I know that a sixth crossing also provides important potential for our development, including sustainable mobility for active transportation such as bike lanes, and for bringing together the communities along the Ottawa River.
The people of Gatineau have been waiting for the first interprovincial link east of the Gatineau River for decades. It is more important that ever to take action.
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View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2020-07-21 14:07 [p.2687]
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Mr. Speaker, we are blessed to live in a country that is governed by democracy. Although we often disagree, Canadians can trust that the will of the people continues to drive decision-making in our country. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the people of Hong Kong, including the approximate 300,000 Canadians who are currently living there.
As new so-called national security laws sound the death knell for freedom and democracy there, police forces are raiding the offices of pro-democracy groups and censoring anyone who dissents.
We cannot stand idly by as the Chinese Communist Party wages war against freedom and democracy. Canada must stand beside those brave women and men who are fighting back against dictatorship in Hong Kong.
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View Marie-France Lalonde Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marie-France Lalonde Profile
2020-07-21 14:08 [p.2687]
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Mr. Speaker, we all agree how amazing our graduates did this year. Today I want to highlight two of the 2020 graduates in Orléans who have earned awards for their outstanding dedication in academic excellence.
Please join me in congratulating Kinsley Jura from St. Peter Catholic High School, who won the Loran Scholars Foundation award worth about $100,000.
Angéline Lafleur, a recent graduate of École secondaire catholique Garneau received two scholarships worth a total of $105,000.
Also, as we are now well into our warmest time of year, one of my favourite summer traditions is to visit our local farms and markets to pick up my own fruits or to bring baskets of local goods home.
I am privileged to have five local markets in my riding.
I want to thank the Proulx Farm, the Orléans Fruit Farm, the Navan Little Market, Just Food and the Orléans Market for their incredible work.
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View Martin Shields Profile
CPC (AB)
View Martin Shields Profile
2020-07-21 14:09 [p.2688]
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Mr. Speaker, the government's fiscal snapshot revealed the Liberals are running a deficit of $343 billion this year, and for the first time the net debt will reach more than $1 trillion.
I have spoken to constituents across my riding and they are wondering where all that money has gone. Many people fell through the cracks, and could not qualify for benefits that might have saved their livelihood and businesses. Many of these gaps could have been addressed without substantial cost if the government had bothered to listen to the Conservatives instead of shutting down Parliament.
Spending enormous amounts of money and keeping our economy on life support is not a recovery plan. It will not fix record unemployment. I have spoken with business owners across my riding. They are ready to create jobs and have prosperity again. They tell me they need to give Canadians incentives to work, not punish and disincentivize productivity.
Get our energy sector firing. Support our agriculture producers and supply chain. Lower taxes. That is a recovery plan, not spiralling debt and deficits.
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View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2020-07-21 14:10 [p.2688]
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Mr. Speaker, a member of this place once said, “It's hard not to feel disappointment in one's government when every day there is a new scandal.” These are the words of the current Prime Minister, a sentiment that is shared now by many across the country.
We are standing at a precipice, a day of choosing. Will the Prime Minister choose to recommit to his 2014 goal of restoring trust in Canada's democracy, or will he continue to evade accountability, keep Parliament shut down and only answer questions if and when he deems them important?
Will the Prime Minister appear before the committee? Will he answer opposition questions, or will he choose to take personal days when it is inconvenient to face the music?
The Prime Minister can bury his head in the sand. He can ignore the public demand for transparency, or he can lead the way in openness and accountability by following his own advice to let the sun shine in. After all, we have been told that sunlight is in fact the best disinfectant.
What will he choose?
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View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
2020-07-21 14:11 [p.2688]
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Mr. Speaker, in June, millions of workers were on edge with the projected end of the CERB. Thanks to pressure from the NDP, that direct assistance was extended for the summer, but the month of August is fast approaching and many sectors of our economy are not ready to reopen.
That is especially true in the arts and culture sector, where the creators are deeply concerned. They might not be able to work again. A few days ago, 75,000 people from the cultural sector signed a letter calling for a guaranteed minimum income for artists, artisans and technicians. We are calling on the Liberals to listen and quickly come up with solutions. Their inaction could cause irreparable damage.
We want the men and women of the theatre, the living arts, the performing arts, publishing, entertainment, and the audiovisual sector to be able to continue their career and live from their art. In addition to the jobs this represents, their works also define who we are and help make the world a better place.
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View Andréanne Larouche Profile
BQ (QC)
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2020-07-21 14:12 [p.2688]
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Mr. Speaker, many seniors are living in precarious financial situations, which is why the Bloc Québécois has been calling for an increase in the old age pension and the guaranteed income supplement for quite some time. The pandemic has compounded this economic insecurity, since seniors have been hit hard by the effects of the lockdown and higher prices on so many things, including medication, rent, groceries and transportation.
Just last week, seniors finally received some support for the pandemic. Seniors who receive just the old age pension got $300, while those who get the guaranteed income supplement will receive an additional $200. The only problem is that it is a one-time payment. That support should absolutely be made permanent. The government should take this as an opportunity to keep its own election promise and increase both the old age pension and the GIS.
The Bloc Québécois will stand by the government if it decides to go ahead with this. It is time the government understood that our seniors should not have to choose between groceries and medication.
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View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2020-07-21 14:14 [p.2689]
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Mr. Speaker,The outlook wasn't brilliant for Canadians that day;The debt stood at a trillion, too, and we lost our AAA;And when democracy died at first and ethics did the same;A sickly silence fell upon the voters of the game.The PM took a holiday with a carefree wink and smile;And treated family, friends and donors to billionaire isle;And when the dust had settled and we saw the very worst;The Ethics Commissioner said “Strike one, you may not go to first.”With a smile of great charity, the PM's eyes did gleam;He pressured the AG, he bade her to intervene;And when she wouldn't do it, he said “That simply will not do”;Lavalin means many votes and the commissioner said “Strike two.”A few straggling Libs got up to go in deep despair;The rest clung to hope in the Prime Minister's great hair;Then the PM saw $900 mill, a way to help connected friends;And we all knew the PM would not let opportunity pass by again.Oh somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright;The taxes are much lower and the government does what's right;And somewhere there are pipelines and jobs are all about;But for you and me and the greater we, our Prime Minister just struck out.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2020-07-21 14:15 [p.2689]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my voice to the numerous tributes to the extraordinary life of American congressional representative John Lewis. Mr. Lewis died last Friday at the age of 80.
He first entered the public scene in the early 1960s as the founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the tender age of 21. A lifelong practitioner of the Gandhian doctrine of non-violence, John Lewis and his colleagues put the brutality of racism in high relief by placing themselves at risk through non-violent actions.
Mr. Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders in 1961. He took part in activities which he knew beforehand would lead to his being clubbed, beaten, gassed, arrested and run a much higher risk of being killed.
Mr. Lewis was one of the speakers at the March on Washington in 1963. He was on the front lines of Bloody Sunday, the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.
Author, activist, politician, conscience of the U.S. Congress, John Lewis inspired generations of people around the world, including me. I thank Mr. Lewis for living the life worth living. May he rest in peace.
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View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dzerowicz Profile
2020-07-21 14:16 [p.2689]
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Mr. Speaker, my riding of Davenport will be home to one of the new modular housing initiatives being built across Toronto through a partnership between the City of Toronto and the federal government, with the goal of providing stable, affordable, high-quality housing and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Toronto.
The modular housing initiative will quickly create 100 modular homes by September 2020 and an additional 150 by spring 2021. At a total cost of almost $50 million, 40% will be supported by CMHC's affordable housing innovation fund. This project is a truly rapid, innovative and cost-effective way of tackling housing issues in our cities. Not only is it a dignified response to supporting people experiencing homelessness, but the cost of modular housing with social service supports is half the cost of providing a simple shelter bed.
Restarting the economy after COVID will take innovation and creative ideas, and modular housing should be a key addition to our infrastructure proposals as a model that could be multiplied across the city and country to house more of our vulnerable populations and supply affordable housing.
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2020-07-20 13:59 [p.2598]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to highlight an issue that many Canadians, including all Palestinian Canadians, are concerned with. Israel has said it is preparing to annex significant Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
This will be a devastating blow to Palestinian human rights. This unilateral annexation would be damaging to peace negotiations and international law. We are also concerned that this could lead to further insecurity for Israelis and Palestinians at a difficult time for peace and stability in the region. We have long maintained that peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.
I call upon our government to take concrete, visible and decisive action on our firm commitment to the goal of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace both for Israel and Palestine.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-07-20 14:00 [p.2598]
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Madam Speaker, “Three strikes and you're out.” That is what my constituents are saying about the most corrupt Prime Minister in the history of Canada and the latest Liberal ethical lapse: the WE Charity-Trudeau family scandal.
The decision by the government to provide millions of taxpayer dollars to WE Charity—
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-07-20 14:01 [p.2598]
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Madam Speaker, the decision by the government to provide millions of taxpayer dollars to WE Charity, an organization that has been lining the pockets of members of the Liberal Party to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, is beyond disgusting. Using a national crisis like a health pandemic to line Liberal family members' pockets is morally reprehensible.
The unfortunate reality is this abuse of charity means that the people most affected are some of the poorest on the planet. Unlike dressing up in blackface or groping a female reporter, this time the Prime Minister is not going to get away with hiding on some fantasy island vacation or avoiding democracy by shutting down—
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View Soraya Martinez Ferrada Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Soraya Martinez Ferrada Profile
2020-07-20 14:02 [p.2598]
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Madam Speaker, on June 2, Quebec lost a visionary well known to Montrealers. Yvon Lamarre was elected in 1966 and served as the president of the City of Montreal's executive committee under mayor Jean Drapeau.
Among his accomplishments are the Lachine Canal park, an initiative to build 20,000 housing units, universal accessibility for people with reduced mobility and Canada's first paratransit system. As one of Quebec's great philanthropists, he launched the Fondation Yvon Lamarre in 1986. Today, over 30 adapted residences provide essential respite services to people with intellectual disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum and with physical disabilities.
Mr. Lamarre's foundation improves peoples' lives and has improved my own family's life. Like him, our government cares about the millions of Canadians living with disabilities and plans to put forward a measure that will expand access to additional financial support to help them get through these tough times.
On behalf of my family and many Canadian families, I thank Mr. Lamarre from the bottom of my heart.
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View Kristina Michaud Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, on July 1, Air Canada announced its decision to drop 30 regional routes and close eight stations at regional airports, including many in eastern Quebec. This was a devastating blow for my entire region, and especially for the Mont-Joli airport, which will lose over 30% of its revenues without the Air Canada counter.
Local players quickly joined forces to try to come up with a new model for reliable, sustainable regional air service. Various project proponents saw this news as an opportunity to transform the regional transportation model by proposing an alternative to private companies, since we are talking about providing a service, not a product. Air transportation is a service that should help revitalize a region.
The federal government must commit to supporting the Quebec initiatives rather than continue to stubbornly subsidize private airlines that abandon Quebec's regions overnight. The government needs to wake up and recognize that an air transportation model should serve the interests of the people, not the shareholders of private corporations.
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View Brenda Shanahan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Brenda Shanahan Profile
2020-07-20 14:04 [p.2599]
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Mr. Speaker, since the tragic death of George Floyd May 25 in Minneapolis, the words “black lives matter” have mobilized not only Americans but millions seeking justice around the world and here in Canada. My own hometown of Châteauguay held its first-ever Black Lives Matter protest, attended by hundreds of people of all ages and from all racial and linguistic backgrounds, including our next-door neighbours in Kahnawake.
The protests have to translate into measures. It is not enough to march and protest. We must work to change things.
That is why I brought together, virtually, of course, 20 or so people from the black community and young leaders to discuss the issue of systemic racism and to see how together we might change things back home in Châteauguay—Lacolle. An oversight committee came out of that initiative, and I am certain that concrete measures will follow shortly.
I want to thank the member for Hull—Aylmer, who also chairs the Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians, for attending our inaugural meeting and for his long-time leadership in fighting for black Canadians.
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View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two communities in northwest Saskatchewan. On April 15, the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the town of La Loche. This quickly escalated into 220 cases, with another 62 cases in the neighbouring Clearwater River Dene Nation. La Loche and Clearwater were considered the hot spots of indigenous communities in all of Canada at the time. Of the 15 deaths in Saskatchewan from COVID, five were residents of La Loche, bringing further pain to an already difficult situation.
I am happy to say that as of Wednesday, La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation had zero active cases. Mayor Robert St. Pierre and Chief Teddy Clark have shown incredible leadership in guiding the people through this very real crisis. The Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority initiated an unprecedented door-to-door testing and contact-tracing campaign that contributed to managing this outbreak. This situation is a great example of people in northern Saskatchewan working together for the common good.
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View Stéphane Lauzon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Stéphane Lauzon Profile
2020-07-20 14:07 [p.2599]
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Mr. Speaker, as you know, opportunities to travel outside Canada are limited during this pandemic.
For many people, the months of July and August are synonymous with vacation. I would like to take this opportunity to invite our constituents to visit our Quebec, our regions and small towns.
In my riding, Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation, over 41 municipalities are brimming with magnificent countryside views, navigable waterways where people can swim, and warm and welcoming communities. Whether we are talking about visiting Plaisance Falls, boating on one of the 85 lakes in Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard, or taking in our historic sites and tourist attractions, now, more than ever, the tourism industry is depending on us.
Let us be tourists in our towns, our regions, our riding. Let us encourage our local economy.
I wish everyone a good and safe summer.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2020-07-20 14:08 [p.2599]
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Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise to mark the passing of the former mayor of Hull, Marcel D'Amour, at the venerable age of 97.
We often use words such as "builder" or "tireless", but I can assure you that they describe Mr. D'Amour perfectly.
Thanks to his indomitable spirit, the Outaouais is part of the National Capital Region's economic success story. Mr. D'Amour served three consecutive terms as mayor and unsuccessfully tried to make federal departments move to Quebec. However, he never gave up. After Pierre Trudeau was elected, Mr. D'Amour convinced the new prime minister of the merit of his idea. Fifty years later, at least 25% of the region's public service positions are in the Outaouais.
I had the privilege of visiting Mr. D'Amour at his home on three occasions. We discussed past and present issues. Once a builder, always a builder. He supported the recent proposal to build a tramway in Gatineau connecting both sides of the Ottawa river.
On behalf of all the residents of Hull—Aylmer, I extend our condolences to his family and thank them for lending us this great man and politician.
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View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2020-07-20 14:09 [p.2600]
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Mr. Speaker, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian small and medium-sized business owners have stepped up to the plate to give back to their communities. Many had to close shop with no warning for an uncertain period. Uncertainty is one factor that can take a business down. Small and medium-sized businesses have long been the economic engine of this country. Now they need their country more than ever. What they need right now is clarity on various government programs, such as the wage subsidy and rent assistance.
How long will they run? Is there anything else coming to help them? Those questions are there. Diverse small businesses I have been visiting and talking to in my riding have reached out and want answers from the government. Every time a small business closes down, it is a piece of the community we may never see again. Let us help them out. They need us.
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View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2020-07-20 14:10 [p.2600]
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Mr. Speaker, 2020 has been a very difficult year right around the globe and here at home as well. So many of our fellow citizens are already dealing with loss and sorrow, and then this past weekend an accident in Jasper National Park claimed more lives, causing more pain and grief.
I count my blessings, being Canadian, as I feel that most Canadians react to sorrow and grief with compassion, empathy and a heartfelt wish to console. We know that it is togetherness that will help us make it through the suffering that might come our way. As long as we are looking after each other, as long as we are willing to share that burden of pain and sorrow, we can face whatever comes our way.
We stand with you.
They are in our hearts. I thank all who have reached out to help, friends and strangers alike. They are an inspiration.
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View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-07-20 14:11 [p.2600]
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Mr. Speaker, there are over 4,000 individuals who have cystic fibrosis in Canada. I have met with some of them and heard their stories.
CF is a genetic disease that impacts the lungs of these Canadians causing shortness of breath, increased risk of infection and destruction of the lung leading to loss of lung function. It will lead to death for the majority, but we can do something about it. For example, Health Canada could create a special access program for Trikafta, a new drug that would treat CF and improve the quality of life for 90% of these Canadians. It is imperative that treatments for rare disorders be allowed in Canada before it is too late for those whose lives these medications could save.
I urge the government to reconsider the regulatory changes being made, now delayed until January, that would make the Canadian market unappealing for drug companies to introduce new products, especially treatments for rare disorders such as CF.
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View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2020-07-20 14:12 [p.2600]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this moment to pay tribute to two young girls, Norah and Romy Carpentier, whom we lost too soon. This tragedy has left our hearts bruised, and there are no words powerful enough to express our shared sadness.
I also want to acknowledge their mother, Amélie Lemieux, for her unwavering courage. She is a model of resilience and strength in the face of life's unexpected challenges.
As member of Parliament for Lévis—Lotbinière, and as a father and a grandfather, I hope from the bottom of my heart, Ms. Lemieux, that your wish comes true and that your two stars, your two princesses, Norah and Romy, guide you in the days ahead.
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View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Lindsay Mathyssen Profile
2020-07-20 14:13 [p.2600]
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Mr. Speaker, the ramifications of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time, and Canada's youth are most definitely being hit hard. The disruption in their education and employment opportunities will have lasting effects on their lives and on Canada for years.
Instead of using existing programs to help students, the Liberals have asked them to rely on the now stalled Canada student service grant. The Prime Minister and his Liberal government are under investigation, and this program is not working. Students now find themselves stuck in the middle of yet another Liberal scandal. Students should not have to keep waiting for the government to find its moral compass. They need work and financial support now.
The government needs to cancel this complicated program and transfer the funds to the Canada summer jobs program or give grants directly to the volunteer sector. This would ensure that jobs would be accessible for students who need help right now. It is time that the Liberal government stop putting corporations and their well-connected friends first and start helping students in Canada.
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View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2020-07-20 14:14 [p.2601]
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Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has been criticizing the delays in processing immigration applications for a long time now. What was already an issue is now taking a major human toll, especially in the context of the current crisis.
Right now, doctors and nurses are unable to work or help out because their work permit applications, which they submitted on paper, cannot be dug out of the pile to be processed. Many families are still living apart because their sponsorship applications still have not been processed three years, five years, sometimes eight years on. People who should have been allowed in a long time ago are being deprived of the support of their loved ones, all because of the legendary incompetence of the Department of Immigration. Despite the fine promises that have been made, the guardian angels' applications are still going nowhere.
However, the government does not need anyone's permission to move these applications up the queue. What is it waiting for?
The government needs to get into high gear. It is a matter of humanity. It is high time that the Department of Immigration did two things: number one, muster some compassion and willpower, and number two, get some 21st-century technology.
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View Diane Finley Profile
CPC (ON)
View Diane Finley Profile
2020-07-20 14:15 [p.2601]
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Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 has taken a tremendous toll on the health, safety and prosperity of Canadians. In my riding of Haldimand—Norfolk, too many people have been negatively impacted by this pandemic, but do you know what, Mr. Speaker? Through it all, the strength and kindness of the people in my community have been deeply heartening.
To our many front-line health care and emergency personnel who are putting their own lives at risk every day to protect us, to our farmers and farm workers who are working so hard to ensure that our food supply is both secure and sufficient, to those who keep our grocery and pharmacy shelves stocked, to the business owners who shifted their products and services to help fight COVID-19, and to all those who have done their part during these difficult times, we give our utmost thanks and we are beyond grateful to them for their efforts.
We thank them, and we wish them to be well.
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View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
2020-07-20 14:16 [p.2601]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of Congressman John Robert Lewis, a civil rights icon who served the American people with honour and distinction. He was a courageous warrior who fought against racism and for equality in all of its forms.
He was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent struggle for racial equality and was part of the seminal moments of the civil rights movement. He was one of the original Freedom Riders. He marched on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama in 1965, where he was beaten by state troopers. He helped organize the March on Washington.
The work he started nearly sixty years ago remains unfinished. One of his last public appearances was to protest the George Floyd killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
We grieve together with our American brothers and sisters on the passing of the conscience of their nation. As he passes the torch to another generation of civil rights leaders, let us honour him by doubling our efforts to combat racism and achieving true equality.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-07-20 15:03 [p.2610]
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Mr. Speaker, during statements by members, although the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader knows points of order do not apply, he objected to my referencing the Trudeau family's receipt of WE payments. If he insists I made reference to the Prime Minister's receiving funds intended for charity, a more expansive investigation is needed so that Canadians can learn how much the Prime Minister received himself.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-05-26 14:03 [p.2433]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this time and opportunity to say a special thanks to those individuals who have had an impact on the lives of all Canadians.
We often thank our first responders, our health care workers, but there are so many other people, from the farmer who produces the food to the truck driver who delivers it to the supermarkets or food centres to the individuals who provide cashier services and stocking of the shelves, not to mention those services that are so critically important.
The other day I had the opportunity to speak to taxi and bus drivers. Imagine driving a bus or a taxi and not knowing who is coming in the doors or entering the car. Many people are contributing to ensure that we as a society are much better off in getting through this pandemic.
On behalf of the constituents of Winnipeg North, and I believe all members of Parliament from all sides of the House, I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude.
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View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2020-05-26 14:05 [p.2434]
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Mr. Speaker, for months Canadians have adapted to painful new realities. They are making sacrifices every day and expect their elected representatives to be their present voice in Ottawa. However, the government has stripped Parliament of its work and continues to deny Canadians that voice.
Preventing discussion on private members' bills means that my privilege and responsibility as a member of Parliament has been held captive. In February, I had the honour of tabling Bill C-233, the sex-selective abortion act. The bill would prohibit a medical practitioner from performing an abortion if the reason is the sex of the preborn child.
My constituents, and indeed 84% of Canadians, have been clear that sex-selective abortion is not permissible in Canada, yet we know it happens in our country because we have no law against it.
It is time for Canada and the Prime Minister to stand up for human rights and end inequality between the sexes from the earliest stages of life. It is time to restore Parliament and continue this vital conversation.
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View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anita Vandenbeld Profile
2020-05-26 14:06 [p.2434]
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Mr. Speaker, at a time when our country is facing one of its greatest challenges, I am very encouraged every day to see how Canadians are pulling together to help one another and to bring kindness and hope to others.
Whether it is the medical staff alongside paramedics from the Queensway Carleton Hospital doing extra shifts in long-term care homes, young people bringing groceries to seniors, those who are sewing homemade masks or local musicians doing free virtual concerts, we see the best in people during this time of crisis.
Even children understand this, like four-year-old Marcus who knew that his neighbours were a little gloomy. He also was not happy that all the rocks were grey. He decided to colour the rocks with bright colours and deliver them to his neighbour's doorstep. This is the kind of joy and community spirit that we need at this time.
During this pandemic, Canadians across the country are sharing their joy with others.
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View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
2020-05-26 14:07 [p.2434]
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Mr. Speaker, last weekend, Air Canada announced that it was cancelling its flights to and from Abitibi-Témiscamingue until at least September 8. This is a blatant lack of respect. Our regional leaders are angry, especially when the economic recovery is urgent.
I remind the House that Air Canada, to which the government loaned $780 million to help it get through the crisis, is claiming the status of a carrier that includes a regional component. We, too, want to get through this crisis. Knowing that the Rouyn-Noranda airport is the third busiest in Quebec, it is inconceivable that our region would get hit by these kinds of cuts. Air Canada must assume its obligations, shoulder its responsibilities and show consideration for the people of our region.
I thank the Minister of Transport for his empathy, but what can we do now with this most delicate, if not most frustrating, situation?
Now more than ever, it is time we considered concrete and sustainable support for small carriers serving the regions of Quebec and Canada. They want to offer us their services. They are sincerely reaching out so we can all find a lasting solution.
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View Ken Hardie Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Ken Hardie Profile
2020-05-26 14:08 [p.2434]
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Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had a unique story about the selfless people in Fleetwood—Port Kells who were helping our vulnerable neighbours stay safe from COVID-19. However, there is another virus present: the social virus of racism directed at our asian community. News of verbal and physical attacks, although small in number, have amplified their level of worry and fear caused by the coronavirus itself.
I know that questions about China's actions or lack of them, its attack on democracy in Hong Kong and its increasingly belligerent and bellicose posturing in the world concern the Chinese community as much as anyone. However, people live in fear of speaking out if they have family still in China.
I know this because I reach out and talk to them as their MP and as their neighbour. Today, I invite all my other neighbours to do the same. Send the signal that in our community we all stand for that most Canadian value of working together for the common good. That is the very foundation for the way out of our current challenges and our way forward.
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View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2020-05-26 14:09 [p.2434]
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Mr. Speaker, two great artists have passed away recently in my home province of Saskatchewan, Bob Pitzel of Humboldt in March and Hugo Alvarado of Saskatoon just a couple of days ago.
Bob Pitzel was a masterful watercolour artist who spent many hours in his studio just south of Humboldt. Bob loved painting rural Saskatchewan scenes. His worked often displayed the old farm homes, the fences and trucks. He also enjoyed painting trains and won many awards for his work. Bob is lovingly remembered by his spouse Maureen Doetzel.
Hugo Alvarado came to Saskatoon from Chile, with a mere $5 in his pocket. What a gift to our city. Hugo was heavily involved in Artists Against Hunger, raising funds for those in need. His paintings featured landscapes, cityscapes and still life. A former Saskatoon citizen of the year, Hugo always encouraged others to paint and express their feelings.
We will miss these artists as both Bob and Hugo gave back so much to our arts society.
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View Angelo Iacono Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Angelo Iacono Profile
2020-05-26 14:10 [p.2435]
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Mr. Speaker, more that ever, people in my riding of Alfred-Pellan and across Canada appreciate the excellent work our farmers are doing to feed our community. From vegetable farms to plant farms, to dairy farms, to livestock farms, the people of Laval have access to fresh products right in their backyard.
This summer make it a point to encourage the families behind our milk and cheese, our meat and fruits, our vegetables and produce. Make sure the kids know that tomatoes and strawberries do not come from shelves. They should visit the farms and buy local.
Now that the season has begun, visit one of our farms and buy local, instead of lining up at the grocery store. This is one way to thank our hardworking farmers and stimulate the economy.
Let us do our part and support the businesses in Alfred-Pellan that are reinventing themselves. We need each other. Let us stay close.
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View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2020-05-26 14:11 [p.2435]
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Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House today to thank the people of Kanata—Carleton. Each day I am inspired by the way people in my riding have come together in the face of COVID-19.
I am so proud of everyone: volunteers, social services agencies, health care and essential workers, the farmers in West Carleton who are working to feed our families and the world-class high-tech companies in Kanata that are providing the very tools and networks we have come to rely on to do our jobs and to stay connected to our family and friends.
During times like this, more than ever, we appreciate how lucky we are to be Canadians. The contributions of individuals in my riding of Kanata—Carleton provide a great example of what Canadians are capable of. I am so proud the innovations developed in Kanata are being used right across the country as we navigate this crisis together.
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View David Sweet Profile
CPC (ON)
View David Sweet Profile
2020-05-26 14:13 [p.2435]
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Mr. Speaker, this coming Monday marks the beginning of Scleroderma Awareness Month in Canada.
Scleroderma is a progressive and chronic connective tissue disorder that can attack one's internal organs, literally shutting them down one by one. It can also cause weeping ulcers, skin deterioration and Raynaud's disease, among other symptoms. While these past few years have seen advancement in treatments that can ease pain and slow the progression of the disease, researchers have yet to find a cause for scleroderma and are still looking for a cure.
As many in the House know, I had to watch my mother suffer the awful effects scleroderma inflicts on individuals. In the end, scleroderma took her life. Unfortunately, my mother was just one of many women to be afflicted with scleroderma, as almost 80% of sufferers are women and most are diagnosed before the age of 50.
Due to COVID-19, Scleroderma Canada has moved its annual walk to a virtual format this year. I encourage everyone to participate and be very generous.
Research on new therapeutic measures have been promising, but we cannot rest until researchers find a cure for this horrid disease.
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View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2020-05-26 14:14 [p.2435]
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Mr. Speaker, from day one, science has been at the centre of our government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are relying on the scientific advice of Canada's chief public health officer, our chief scientific adviser and many others to inform our decision-making and our public health response.
In April, we announced $1.1 billion to stimulate the science sector through Canada's plan to mobilize science to fight COVID-19.
This funding will support Canadian scientists in the international race to develop a vaccine and treatments, and it will increase our capacity to manufacture them once they are available.
These massive investments in science are already paying off. Yesterday, the University of Saskatchewan's VIDO-InterVac, an early federal funding recipient, announced that its vaccine was successful in animal models, meaning that it will soon be moving to clinical trials in humans.
Canada is home to some of the best scientists in the world and Canadians trust them, so our government is committed to supporting them as they work around the clock to solve the COVID riddle.
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View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2020-05-26 14:15 [p.2436]
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Mr. Speaker, for over two months, the people of Louis-Saint-Laurent and all Canadians have shown determination and resilience in the face of the pandemic crisis.
Throughout my riding, I see and salute front-line health care workers: orderlies, nurses, doctors, those who put their own life at risk to save lives.
Throughout my riding, I see and salute essential service workers: those who work in grocery stores, pharmacies and corner stores. What is more, I am pleased to see an increasing number of young people aged 16, 18 or 20 working for these businesses with honour and dignity.
Throughout my riding, I see and salute charitable organizations, food banks, those that are helping the most vulnerable.
Finally, throughout my riding, I see and salute the people who, little by little, are getting back to their everyday lives while following the public health guidelines.
Needless to say, I very much look forward to Monday at 9 a.m. when the Coiffure au Masculin salon, located on Valcartier Boulevard in Loretteville, will reopen its doors. I cannot wait to go back there.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed and will forever change our way of life, but it will definitely not change the determination and spirit of resilience of the people of Louis-Saint-Laurent and of all Canadians.
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View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the stories of residents and businesses across my riding rising to the challenges of COVID-19 are inspiring.
The Rotary Club of Haliburton donated 300 food bags to those in need. Kawartha Lakes firefighters raised $5,000 for the Kawartha Lakes Food Source. Whitney Plastics in Lindsay donated two boxes of face shields to the Kawartha Lakes Police Service. Gail Holness is raising money for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services through online yoga classes.
Philippa Skjaveland, owner of Kawartha Quilting and Sewing in Millbrook, is using her network to sew scrub caps for paramedics. Fleming College donated PPE to local health organizations and service providers. Local lake associations across the riding have donated thousands of dollars to food banks and local charities. Volunteers Mike Bassett of Cannington, Jonathan Koot of Beaverton, and Hunter Lovering of Sunderland are using 3D printers to make ear guards for front-line workers. Children and staff at Archie Stouffer Elementary School in Minden initiated the rainbow project to thank front-line workers.
The people in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, like many communities right across Canada, are banding together in their response to these challenging times.
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View Matthew Green Profile
NDP (ON)
View Matthew Green Profile
2020-05-26 14:17 [p.2436]
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Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour all the health care workers who have lost their lives serving this country on the front lines of the COVID pandemic. According to journalist Nora Loreto, of the 6,000 Canadians who have died from COVID-19, over 5,000 are linked to residential care facilities, close to 86%. We know from the unions representing these workers that a significant portion of these workers are racialized.
I rise to honour Leonard Rodriques, a personal support worker and member of Unifor, whose family says his death was due to a lack of PPE at his workplace. He was buying masks from the dollar store because his workplace was not providing him with PPE. After he was denied the personal protection from his workplace, he was sent home. He tested positive, and when symptoms worsened he went to the hospital. A few hours later, he was discharged from the hospital, and he died two days later. The story of Mr. Rodriques cannot be forgotten. We must begin to collect race-based data related to COVID-19.
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View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-05-26 14:18 [p.2436]
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Mr. Speaker, Quebec has entered phase two of the pandemic, which is the reopening phase.
Sadly, for some industries, it will be a lengthy process. I am thinking in particular of tourism industry workers in eastern Quebec, who still do not know whether there will even be a summer. For those workers, getting back to normal will not happen overnight. To make matters worse, their 16 weeks of CERB payments are almost up.
The government has no choice. It must extend the CERB, because too many families and communities are depending on it, but not in the same format. The government promised the Bloc Québécois that it would amend the CERB and the CESB so that working would always pay better than not working. However, it broke its promise.
Quebeckers have guts. They want to work. They want to contribute to their region's well-being and be part of the recovery. When they finally get to go back to work, they certainly should not be penalized for their efforts. Quite the contrary.
That is why I want to remind the government that it must keep its promise. Before extending the CERB, the government must amend it so that it genuinely supports the economic recovery instead of slowing it down.
This is not just about respect for workers, it is also about the continued survival of our businesses and communities.
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View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2020-05-26 14:20 [p.2437]
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Mr. Speaker, this week is the first time that I have returned to the House of Commons since March, and I am pleased to see that we are all healthy and slowly returning to a new normal.
For the past several weeks, the entire Canadian population has been going through a difficult time due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, many people have lost their lives.
In addition to the health crisis hitting the world, at home in Nova Scotia we have faced other terrible tragedies. On April 22, 22 innocent victims lost their lives in the worst slaughter that Canada has ever known. On April 30, we lost six soldiers attached to HMCS Fredericton during a crash of their helicopter off the coast of Greece. Two of them were Nova Scotians. On Sunday, May 17, we lost Captain Jennifer Casey in the Snowbird crash in B.C.
Since the current crisis prevents us from coming together, it is very difficult for all the families of the victims to overcome these tragic moments on their own. I want to thank all my colleagues, my constituents of West Nova and all Canadians for reaching out to friends and family in Nova Scotia with their messages of support during this difficult time.
My family, my staff and I want to offer our deepest condolences to all the families, loved ones and friends of those who have been lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Nova Scotia will remain strong.
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View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Francis Drouin Profile
2020-05-26 14:21 [p.2437]
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Mr. Speaker, while our doctors, nurses and personal support workers are playing an essential role in fighting COVID-19 and doing a fantastic job, today I want to highlight the work of our paramedic services.
This week is Paramedic Services Week, and our paramedics play an important role in fighting COVID-19. I know there are many examples across Canada of paramedics stepping up to help neighbours and their community.
In Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, when the residents of our long-term care homes had to be tested, our paramedic services answered the call. I want to thank them. These men and women always answer the call and save lives each and every day. We are fortunate to have unparalleled paramedic services in Canada. This week, I encourage Canadians to take two minutes to thank them, from a distance of two metres, of course.
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View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-05-25 11:05 [p.2319]
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moved:
That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House:
(a) following the adoption of this order, the House shall adjourn until Wednesday, June 17, 2020, provided that, for the purposes of any standing order, it shall be deemed adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28;
(b) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order, a minister of the Crown may transmit to the Speaker a message from Her Excellency the Governor General recommending Supplementary Estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, provided that
(i) the said message may be transmitted electronically,
(ii) the Speaker shall inform the House of the receipt of such message and the tabling of the estimates based thereon by causing them to be published in the Journals, and the said estimates shall be for all purposes deemed tabled before the House,
(iii) the votes therein shall be referred to a committee of the whole;
(c) on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the House shall meet at the conclusion of the proceedings of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic for the sole purpose of considering the business of supply, provided that
(i) notices may be filed with the clerk no later than 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020, and shall be printed in the Order Paper and Notice Paper to be published for that sitting,
(ii) the application of Standing Orders 15, 17, 36(8)(b), 39(5)(b) and 56.1 be suspended for the sitting,
(iii) the sitting shall not be considered as a sitting day for the purposes of Standing Orders 34(1), 37(3), 51(1) and 110 and subsection 28(12) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons,
(iv) consideration of all votes in the Supplementary Estimates (A) shall be taken up by a committee of the whole at the opening of the sitting for a period not exceeding four hours, during which time no quorum calls or dilatory motions shall be received by the Chair, no member shall be recognized for more than 15 minutes at a time and the member shall not speak in debate for more than 10 minutes during that period, the 15 minutes may be used both for debate and for posing questions to a minister of the Crown or a parliamentary secretary acting on behalf of a minister, when the member is recognized, he or she shall indicate how the 15 minutes is to be apportioned and, at the conclusion of the time provided for the consideration of the business pursuant to this subparagraph, the committee shall rise and report the votes in the estimates to the House,
(v) when the committee of the whole rises, all questions necessary to dispose of the business of supply shall be put forthwith and successively, without debate or amendment, and, if a recorded division is requested, it shall not be deferred;
(d) at the conclusion of the consideration of the business of supply on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the House shall adjourn until Wednesday, July 8, 2020, provided that
(i) on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the House shall meet at noon and the House shall resolve itself into a committee of the whole to allow members to question ministers for a period not exceeding 95 minutes on matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters provided that the rotation used for questions pursuant to this subparagraph be the one used by the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesdays and Thursdays prior to the adoption of this order and, during the proceedings of the committee,
(A) the Speaker may preside,
(B) the Chair may preside from the Speaker’s chair,
(C) the Chair shall call members from all recognized parties and one member who does not belong to a recognized party in a fashion consistent with the proportions observed during Oral Questions,
(D) no member shall be recognized for more than five minutes at a time which may be used for posing questions to a minister of the Crown,
(E) members may be permitted to split their time with one or more members by so indicating to the Chair,
(F) members may participate in the proceedings either in person or by videoconference,
(ii) following the questioning of ministers, the committee shall consider a motion “That the House take note of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the government to respond to it” which shall be conducted pursuant to the terms of Standing Order 53.1 except that proceedings pursuant to this subparagraph shall last not longer than 2 hours and 20 minutes and members may participate in the proceedings either in person or by videoconference, when the committee rises, the motion shall be deemed withdrawn and the House shall adjourn until the next sitting day provided for in subparagraph (iii),
(iii) on Wednesday, July 22, August 12 and August 26, 2020, the House shall meet in the manner described in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), provided that, when the House adjourns on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, it shall stand adjourned until Monday, September 21, 2020,
(iv) notices may be filed with the clerk no later than 6:00 p.m. on the Monday preceding the sittings provided for in subparagraphs (i) and (iii), and shall be printed in the Order Paper and Notice Paper to be published for that sitting,
(v) the application of Standing Orders 15, 17, 36(8)(b), 39(5)(b) and 56.1 be suspended for the sittings provided for in subparagraphs (i) and (iii)
(vi) the days on which the House sits pursuant to this paragraph shall not be counted as sittings for the purposes of Standing Orders 34(1), 37(3), 51(1) and 110 and subsection 28(12) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons,
(vii) during any period the House stands adjourned between Wednesday, June 17, 2020, and Monday, September 21, 2020, if the Speaker receives a notice from the House leaders of all four recognized parties indicating that it is in the public interest that the House remain adjourned until a future date or until future notice is given to the Speaker, the House will remain adjourned accordingly,
(viii) during any period the House stands adjourned between Wednesday, June 17, 2020, and Monday, September 21, 2020, for the purposes of any standing order, it shall be deemed adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28;
(e) until Monday, September 21, 2020, the Standing Committee on Health, the Standing Committee on Finance, the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans may hold meetings related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters, provided that,
(i) committee members shall attend and witnesses shall participate in meetings via either videoconference or teleconference,
(ii) committee members attending by videoconference or teleconference shall be counted for the purposes of quorum,
(iii) all motions shall be decided by a recorded vote,
(iv) notwithstanding any deadlines established by a committee, any request or any order for the production of documents be responded to when possible, given the constraints that exist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
(v) public proceedings shall be made available to the public via the House of Commons website,
(vi) in camera proceedings may be conducted, for the purpose of considering draft reports or the selection of witnesses, in a manner that takes into account the potential risks to confidentiality inherent in meetings with remote participants,
(vii) notices of membership substitutions pursuant to Standing Order 114(2) may be filed with the clerk of each committee by email,
(viii) in relation to their study of matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, these committees may each receive evidence which may otherwise exceed the committee’s mandate under Standing Order 108,
(ix) these committees shall meet within 48 hours of the receipt by email, by the clerk of the committee, of a request signed by any four members of the committee;
(f) the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs be instructed to review and make recommendations on how to modify the Standing Orders for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of an incremental approach beginning with hybrid sittings of the House as outlined by the report provided to the committee by the Speaker on Monday, May 11, 2020, including how to enact remote voting, provided that (i) the provisions applying to committees enumerated in paragraph (e) shall also apply to the committee, (ii) the committee be instructed to present a report no later than Tuesday, June 23, 2020, (iii) any report which is adopted pursuant to this paragraph may be submitted electronically at any time with the Clerk of the House, and shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House on that date, (iv) following the presentation of any report pursuant to this paragraph, the House leaders of all four recognized parties may indicate to the Speaker that there is an agreement among the parties to implement one or several of the recommendations of the committee and the Speaker shall give effect to that agreement;
(g) the following provisions remain in effect until Friday, June 19, 2020:
(i) paragraphs (m) to (o) of the order adopted on Friday, March 13, 2020,
(ii) paragraphs (i), (j) and (m) of the order adopted on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, provided that in paragraph (i), the words “until April 20, 2020, or any date to which the adjournment period is extended pursuant to paragraph (f)” shall be deemed to refer to June 19, 2020,
(iii) paragraph (k) of the order adopted on Saturday, April 11, 2020,
(iv) paragraphs (g), (i) and (j) of the order adopted on Monday, April 20, 2020, provided that, in paragraph (j), the reference to paragraph (l) of the order adopted on Saturday, April 11, 2020 be deemed to refer to paragraph (e) of this order,
(h) the Special Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic, composed of all members of the House, be continued provided that the committee meet for the purposes of
(i) considering ministerial announcements,
(ii) allowing members to present petitions,
(iii) allowing members to make statements,
(iv) questioning ministers of the Crown, including the Prime Minister, in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters, and provided that
(v) during the period the House stands adjourned pursuant to this order at noon every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, provided that the committee shall not meet on a day referred to in Standing Order 28(1),
(vi) the committee shall meet in the chamber and members may participate either in person or by videoconference,
(vii) the Speaker shall continue to be the chair of the committee,
(viii) seven members shall constitute a quorum,
(ix) ministerial announcements shall be considered at the opening of the meeting and the proceedings shall be conducted in the same manner as Statements by Ministers under Standing Order 33(1), provided that a member of the Green Party also be permitted to reply to the statement,
(x) after any ministerial announcements, any member desiring to present a petition may do so during a period not exceeding 15 minutes, provided that the provisions of Standing Order 36 shall apply, except for Standing Order 36(5), and any petition presented shall be deemed for all purposes to have been presented to the House,
(xi) after the presentation of petitions, members may make statements in a manner similar to those made pursuant to Standing Order 31 for a period not exceeding 15 minutes,
(xii) after members’ statements, proceedings on questioning ministers shall be conducted, for not more than 95 minutes, in the same manner as provided for in paragraph (d) of the order adopted on Monday, April 20, 2020, provided that the rotation used for questions pursuant to this subparagraph be the one used by the committee on Tuesdays and Thursdays prior to the adoption of this order and that questions shall be answered by ministers,
(xiii) upon the conclusion of proceedings on questioning ministers the committee shall adjourn to the next day provided for in subparagraph (v),
(xiv) if the Speaker receives a notice from the House leaders of all four recognized parties indicating that it is in the public interest that the committee remain adjourned until a future date or until future notice is given to the Speaker, the committee will remain adjourned accordingly,
(xv) meetings of the committee shall continue to be televised, following the usual practices observed for sittings of the House,
(xvi) any document may be presented by a minister of the Crown, or a parliamentary secretary acting on behalf of a minister, at any time during a meeting of the committee and shall be deemed for all purposes to have been presented to or laid before the House,
(xvii) the committee shall have the power to sit while the House stands adjourned and to print, from day to day, such papers and evidence as may be ordered by them,
(xviii) the committee shall cease to exist upon its adjournment on Thursday, June 18, 2020;
(i) until Monday, September 21, 2020, documents deposited pursuant to Standing Order 32(1) shall be deposited with the Clerk of the House electronically.
He said: Mr. Speaker, we are gathered here today at a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. We live in a world that is gripped by the greatest public health care crisis of our lifetime. Canadians are worried about their own health and the health of the people they love. They are anxious about the economic fallout from this crisis, whether they will keep their jobs and what will happen to them if they should lose their jobs. Quite simply, Canadians are worried about how they will pay the bills and feed their families in the months ahead.
It is a spring that we will never forget, a season in which COVID-19 completely changed our lives. Canadians acted responsibly. They listened to the advice of our public health experts. They stayed home as much as possible. They learned the importance of physical distancing to protect themselves, as well as their families, relatives, friends and community. In other words, Canadians did what they needed to do and continue to do so. As they grapple with the unknown aspects of this pandemic and all of its effects, they are asking us, as parliamentarians, to also do what we need to do.
As parliamentarians, this spring, we had to adapt our practices. Both the government and the opposition parties had to adapt to everything that is happening. We have a role to play, and I think that we played that role together. Despite all of the challenges associated with these unprecedented times, I believe that we proved to our voters that we can find ways to adapt, to give voice to their concerns, worries, questions and needs and to take action.
Our government has been transparent about everything we have done. We have taken responsibility for our decisions. It might not have been perfect, but the government and the opposition parties have done some good work together. As a member of the House of Commons, I can say that we have done and are continuing to do our job. We can and we must keep doing our job on behalf of all Canadians.
Our government firmly believes in this institution's central and fundamental role and in the fundamental role of democracy in our society. That is why the motion we are moving today is reasonable, ensures accountability and transparency, and follows public health guidelines. This motion strikes a good balance. Finding that balance is essential, especially at a time when Canadians are turning toward us with the expectation that their government and their elected representatives provide non-partisan, constructive, accountable leadership. That is exactly what our government is committed to doing.
For many weeks, we have been working day and night to respond to the concerns of Canadians who have been impacted by this pandemic. We have worked closely with our public health officials to develop and put into action the many responses needed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We have worked hand in hand with provinces, territories and municipalities as they battle the virus on the front lines of their communities. We have worked with the opposition parties and our colleagues from everywhere in this country, and we have come forward with economic and financial assistance measures that are unprecedented in this country's history. Simply put, we recognized that Canadian employees and businesses were in jeopardy. They needed the government to provide help quickly, and that is exactly what we have done. That is exactly what we have delivered.
We chose to stand by Canadians in their time of need. That meant support for Canadians who are not working because of COVID-19, for students who cannot find jobs and for seniors who are concerned about the impact of the crisis on their fixed incomes. It also meant support for employers who want to retain their employees, as the economic shutdown has created great uncertainty. It meant support for businesses to help them through the unsteady waters of this storm so they can emerge into a brighter economy.
These are the actions of a government that cares deeply about its citizens. The Prime Minister has shown strong leadership throughout this crisis. He has never forgotten our top priority, which is to look after the people of this country, in every region and every province.
It was crucial, and it remains crucial, that we be there for every Canadian. My government colleagues and I have been working very hard to come up with the answers Canadians need as this pandemic changes their lives. We have often reached out to the opposition parties and have been working closely with them. Often, they have even improved upon the solutions proposed by the government, and I thank them for that.
In hundreds of ridings across the country, members from all parties and political stripes continue to do their jobs, despite the limitations of physical distancing. One only has to look at all the questions members have to answer regarding the various programs. There are many programs, because our main priority was to help Canadians and businesses and not leave anyone behind. It has presented a challenge for all members, but they have risen to it brilliantly. Fundamentally, regardless of their political stripes, members from across the country work here, but they also work in their constituencies.
I want to take a second to express my sincere gratitude to the public servants who have done amazing work day and night, seven days a week, so the government can provide these programs and services to the people. I thank them for their dedication and their hard work. None of this would have been possible without them.
Ever since March 13, the House of Commons has, for the most part, not held the normal sittings we were used to pre-crisis. We were not here for the usual five days a week. The 338 men and women from across the country who are usually here were not. Unfortunately, because of that, some people said Parliament was shut down. That is completely false. It could not be further from the truth. The truth is that parliamentarians have been doing their work this whole time. Members on both sides of the House have been doing their work, and they are doing it well.
In these extraordinary times of physical distancing, the House has now met six days since the middle of March to discuss the priorities of the country, and that has included time to debate and pass important legislation to quickly provide financial assistance to Canadians who need it. Also during this period, dozens of members on eight standing committees have been holding public hearings virtually. They have called cabinet ministers to testify at their hearings to explain and justify their decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The numbers tell the story. Since mid-March, those committees have held 74 meetings and heard from 580 witnesses. There have been 23 appearances by ministers to answer questions. Clearly our committees are working hard, and I thank them. I thank all MPs on those committees for the work they are doing for Parliament and all Canadians.
Of course, we have seen the unprecedented work of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has met 11 times. All MPs are members of this committee, whatever region they come from. It has been a success. It is not perfect, but it has been a success.
The committee has made history by holding virtual meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays that have seen participation by hundreds of members through video conferences. In seven of those meetings, ministers had to answer many questions. There have also been four in-person meetings of the committee on the floor of this chamber, on Wednesdays, and many questions were asked and answered.
Again, the numbers tell the story. In a typical week, when the House sits five days, members ask 190 questions in 45 minutes. Recently, when the special committee met Tuesday through Thursday, there were, on average, more than 300 questions asked over three days. We can see that the committee has been a very good place for accountability, with hundreds of questions. The motion we have put forward proposes to continue the work of this committee and strengthen the work of the House.
I will go over a few elements of this motion.
The Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic would meet more often. We would be here four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in a hybrid format. It is a genius solution that would allow several MPs who are unable to be here to participate in the democratic process and be a part of it. They could participate via video conference and ask the government all questions they want.
This guarantees that all MPs can participate regardless of where they live and without the restrictions associated with travelling and having to quarantine. During these meetings, MPs will have a host of opportunities to ask their questions. In fact, out of the four days that we are proposing, there will be the equivalent of eight question periods. I do not know why anyone would be against that.
We are talking about eight question periods instead of five, which means more time to ask questions. This motion would provide more hours for that than if the House were having normal sittings, to allow MPs to ask all the questions they want. It adds up to more than six hours of questions, when in a regular week we would have just about 3.75 hours of questions.
This hybrid model, therefore, allows much more time for question period, for those who want to participate here in the House and also for our Conservative colleagues from the west and our Bloc and NDP colleagues from across Canada. This is a tremendous expression of democracy that will enable parliamentarians from all corners of the country to ask questions because they were elected, not just because they live near Ottawa. That is fundamental.
Furthermore, this motion would have the House hold summer sittings so that members could question ministers about all issues, as well as the possibility of debating the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, when we come back here this summer, we will obviously be open to answering any and all questions about the pandemic, but we will also debate other issues and answer other questions that are important to the opposition parties.
We are going to continue the virtual committee meetings with committees that will be free to study any topic in accordance with their normal powers. The committees will get to conduct their business as they see fit, to do their job of examining important policy matters and any other matters that the committee members consider to be important and necessary to debate. The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs would study potential changes that could be made to the rules of the House to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as hybrid House sittings and electronic voting. This study would build on the critical work that the committee accomplished this spring on the subject of a virtual Parliament.
We believe that this motion strikes the right balance between ensuring that MPs can hold the government to account and protecting the health and safety of everyone during this pandemic. I would ask my colleagues, all members, to consider the many merits of this motion and support it.
Canadians are watching us and want us to work for them. I pledge to work in collaboration with all my colleagues in the House. Once again, I am reaching out to them.
We will all face this challenge together, and we will all get through this together.
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View Jenica Atwin Profile
GP (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2020-05-25 14:01 [p.2346]
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Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the essential workers who have kept us safe and who are continuing to do so: the nurses, the long-term care home workers, the paramedics, doctors, social workers, the people who work in grocery stores, the people who clean, the waste collectors and so many others.
Too often their work is in the shadows and some of them are not receiving the financial compensation they deserve. By working to keep us safe, they are making tremendous sacrifices, and for that we are grateful. If this pandemic is teaching us one thing, it is the true meaning of what is essential: our families, our health, our friends and the well-being of our planet.
We are getting through this by taking care of each other, and essential workers embody the hope and confidence we need to build a better tomorrow for all. We thank them for their courage, tenacity and persistence. I invite all members to join me in expressing our sincere gratitude.
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View Ken Hardie Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Ken Hardie Profile
2020-05-25 14:02 [p.2346]
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Madam Speaker, we are reading stories about people in Fleetwood—Port Kells who are stepping up to help in these challenging times. One is Mr. Baldev Bath, the owner of Basant Motors in our Fleetwood neighbourhood. Baldev has kept all of the staff on the payroll, but instead of keeping them in the showroom, he has them packaging food and delivering it to vulnerable people around the neighbourhood.
A lady in her eighties was incredibly grateful. One day not long ago she mentioned that she had no family close by and that all her friends were shut-ins like her. It had been a long time since she had been able to celebrate her birthday, which was coming up. Instead of a hamper, she asked for a birthday cake. Her wish was Baldev's command. He picked up a nice birthday cake, took it over over and celebrated with her, of course, at a distance.
Since the moment he arrived in Canada, Baldev has been so grateful for what our country stands for. In these times, he and so many others have become what Canada stands for.
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View James Cumming Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Cumming Profile
2020-05-25 14:03 [p.2347]
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Mr. Speaker, today, the Liberals' rent relief program is open for applications, but thousands of commercial landlords across the country still refuse to consider applying for it.
There is Tami's landlord, a foreign property owner who does not care about the wellness clinic in my riding and other neighbouring businesses around it. There are Laura's landlords who do not want to see two consignment stores stay open in Edmonton and are not applying for CECRA. There is Andrea who is running We Help in my riding and who personally invested her own money to keep that not-for-profit afloat and has been having trouble getting her landlord to apply for CECRA. There is also Jane in Ottawa who billionaire landlord just cannot be bothered about the physical therapy clinic Jane is running.
These female entrepreneurs and many other businesses across the country are suffering. I hope the Liberals revamp CECRA fast so that tenants will finally get the relief they have long been awaiting.
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View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Francis Drouin Profile
2020-05-25 14:04 [p.2347]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for their excellent work and generosity during this pandemic. Many businesses have pivoted to producing personal protective equipment.
I want to thank Tulmar Safety Systems and Innovation Tools, whose employees have produced thousands of face shields. Many people have started making non-medical masks to help their neighbours and even patients in our hospitals.
Through the generosity of sponsors, Canada Sews and its volunteers have delivered over 100,000 face coverings. Here I give a special shout-out to Canada Sews Ontario East, many of whose volunteer sewers reside in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell. Together they have sewed thousands of face coverings. They have all been a helping hand for our community through this pandemic.
On behalf of the residents of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, I thank everyone who is making a difference in these challenging times.
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View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
2020-05-25 14:05 [p.2347]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment today to acknowledge Nicholas Johnson, the first black valedictorian in the 274-year history of prestigious Princeton University. The 22-year-old Montrealer, who was born in Gaspé, has had tremendous success studying applied mathematics in the area of health care.
Mr. Johnson distinguished himself at an institution that is the alma mater of three American presidents and First Lady Michelle Obama, where Nobel laureates such as Toni Morrison have gone to teach. He distinguished himself at an institution whose past has not necessarily been very distinguished, given that its first nine presidents were slave owners.
As he prepares to give his valedictory address to the class of 2020 this Sunday, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Nicholas Johnson.
Mr. Johnson, you are a role model for young Quebeckers and young black people. We wish you every success as you continue your studies and all the best for the remarkable journey that lies ahead.
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View Anju Dhillon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Anju Dhillon Profile
2020-05-25 14:06 [p.2347]
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Mr. Speaker, humanity is currently facing an enormous challenge. COVID-19 has affected each and every one of us, one way or another. In nearly every country around the world, seniors are the ones most affected by the pandemic. I would be remiss if I failed to mention this tragedy and how they have suffered.
During this pandemic we have also seen a rise in anti-Asian racism. It is shameful when someone shoves a 92-year-old man with dementia to the ground. When I saw this image captured on CCTV and presented on the news, it brought tears to my eyes. It is up to each of us to denounce racism and racist attacks.
We also cannot forget for one moment the sacrifices that our health care and front-line workers are making in putting themselves in danger every single day. The least we can do to honour them is behave responsibly, continue social distancing and not gather in crowds. We will overcome this pandemic if we all work together in reducing the spread.
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View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2020-05-25 14:08 [p.2347]
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Mr. Speaker, it is almost two-and-a-half months since the pandemic was declared that changed all of our lives. It became an immediate crisis. On Friday, March 13, just after Parliament agreed to recess, flying home through four airports was unnerving and people were visibly panicked.
I have received an unprecedented amount of correspondence from residents. We estimate that our little office received over 6,000 emails and phone calls just in the first few weeks: parents fearful, trying to get their adult children home from other countries; genuine health concerns; Service Canada's closing of its local offices; businesses and schools closing; and from many people trying to stockpile to plan for the worst and to look out for their families. I am so proud of how my incredible team came together to serve our constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country.
People tragically lost their lives and we learned how fragile our agriculture industry, supply chains and care for seniors are. We are now in the recovery phase with new challenges ahead, but I know that we can tackle them together.
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View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2020-05-25 14:09 [p.2348]
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Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to represent Pontiac in the House and to say how pleased and proud we are of our constituents, who are resilient and supportive of people and businesses affected by COVID-19 throughout the Outaouais and Canada.
Suddenly Canada and the world have changed forever. The COVID-19 era is one of extremes and it is one for the ages. There is the loneliness of loved ones in long-term care, the selflessness of our front-line care providers and the optimism of our cure-hunting medical and scientific researchers. The unity of our governments is what I most appreciate right now, with all parties working together, because we know that Canadians count on us.
I applaud all members for their hard work for their constituents, because together we are going to get past this. Together we are going to be in solidarity with one another.
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