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Results: 1 - 15 of 1295
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
BQ (QC)
View Stéphane Bergeron Profile
2020-08-12 12:20 [p.2747]
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Mr. Speaker, it has been one week since the explosion of roughly 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was stored for God knows why in the Port of Beirut for several years, a disaster that cost the lives of some 170 people and injured more than 6,000. We are talking about one of the largest explosions in history. It was one disaster too many for a country that has been going through an economic, financial and social crisis for several years, not to mention the current health crisis that, unsurprisingly, has thrown every country and their population into a state of uncertainty.
The Bloc Québécois wants to express its condolences to the families of the unfortunate victims of this explosion, its best wishes for a rapid recovery to the injured, and its solidarity with all the Lebanese people. The courage and resilience they have shown in overcoming this new ordeal, as well as the many challenges they have met throughout their history, is something to behold.
I commend the government's decision, in response to the call by the Bloc Québécois, to commit to matching Canadians' and Quebeckers' donations and to launch the Lebanon Matching Fund. Quebec was deeply moved by this disaster, which is reminiscent of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy that the Leader of the Bloc Québécois and I witnessed first-hand, since at the time we were Quebec's ministers of the environment and public safety respectively. Quebec has a large Lebanese community, so it is only natural that we ask the Canadian government to show a bit of the same generosity as Quebeckers and Canadians.
Initially we identified the Red Cross, whose expertise and effectiveness in this type of situation are world-renowned. The government instead chose to transfer a portion of its aid through a coalition of humanitarian organizations with contacts on the ground. No matter, the important thing is that the aid gets to the people who need it.
That said, why did the government cap the amount that could be paid out by that group at $2 million, and why did it restrict the time for accepting donations to between the 4th and 24th of August? Why did it take the government over 24 hours to announce any assistance, which was initially rather modest? Why limit access to just 12 Canadian-based international aid agencies and not include local NGOs, which, facing the inertia of public authorities, are already on the ground and mobilized as we speak, ready to provide the medical assistance and the food needed by the people? Why was the Canadian Red Cross not included on that list?
The solidarity shown by everyone, people of all political stripes, over the past week has been remarkable. However, solidarity is not enough. Adequate, responsible, direct assistance is needed to help the Lebanese people, who will certainly figure out how to overcome this new hardship, as they have always done, supported by the steadfast friendship and support of Quebec, Canada and all caring nations.
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View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
2020-08-12 12:41 [p.2750]
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Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and the government that I completely agree with a number of points made by the Leader of the Opposition. When the Conservatives and the Bloc are in agreement, members on the other side should take a long, hard look at things. Of course, then there are the ones in the back.
Just yesterday, I was on vacation and I had chosen my return date to be sure that I could be here, today, for the planned sitting. I took the helm of a lobster boat on the Magdalen Islands. The second captain told me I was good at staying on course and told me to keep captaining the ship. That is what we are going to do.
We have reason to be skeptical. As the Leader of the Opposition said, when someone picks the dates, they should be able to organize one day over a period of five weeks. When someone picks the dates, they should be able to organize four sittings over the entire summer. Meanwhile, the government says it wants to be accountable, sincere and open.
There is the matter of the WE Charity scandal. Again, I agree with the opposition leader, who said that the word “UNIS” was tacked on at the end to hide the fact that there were no francophones involved. Now there is a new $84-million scandal apparently involving the Prime Minister's chief of staff, and, of course, there is the wage subsidy. I understand that one of the two main Conservative leadership candidates said that the Conservatives would return the money. However, the Liberals are coming up on $2 million in wage subsidies to fund the next campaign, which could indeed be coming soon. I would have expected to see certain faces. I know I am not allowed to talk about people being absent, but I am troubled that certain individuals are “non-present”.
All I will say is, I was asked this morning whether we are really going to topple the government. In response, I asked whether this government still deserves our confidence. The Liberals have just given us the answer to that question.
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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-08-12 13:22 [p.2758]
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Mr. Speaker, the government told us that WE Charity was the only organization capable of administering the student service grant, because it had a Canada-wide network.
Now we have learned that it did not have a network in Quebec or in francophone communities and had to subcontract that part of the program.
Why this betrayal of trust?
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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-08-12 13:23 [p.2758]
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Mr. Speaker, at the same time it was creating the program to help WE Charity and the Trudeau and Morneau families, this government also created a so-called wage subsidy program, this time to support the Liberal family, which has scooped up $800,000 so far. This program has now been extended to next December.
Why?
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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-08-12 13:24 [p.2758]
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Mr. Speaker, not content with sticking its hand in the cookie jar, this government also seized the opportunity to award an $83-million contract to a company whose vice-president is the husband of the Prime Minister's chief of staff.
Why? I ask again, why?
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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-08-12 13:24 [p.2758]
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Mr. Speaker, after the scandals and apologies for his vacation to the Aga Khan's island, the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the WE scandal and the new scandal over wage subsidy money being diverted to the Liberal family, the assistance for the Trudeau and Morneau families is now being extended to the family of the Prime Minister's chief of staff.
Why?
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View Rhéal Fortin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Rhéal Fortin Profile
2020-08-12 13:25 [p.2758]
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Mr. Speaker, as we try to unravel and get to the bottom of these scandals and figure out what happened—after all, we are talking about hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, not Monopoly money—why is the Prime Minister not here in Parliament this week? Why the contempt?
Quebeckers and taxpayers are being taken for fools.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-08-12 14:16 [p.2767]
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Mr. Chair, I will be sharing my time with my loyal colleague, the member for Lac-Saint-Jean.
In negotiating CUSMA, the government unfortunately forgot to protect aluminum, the aluminum produced in my region, the greenest aluminum in the world. The Bloc Québécois had to lobby hard for a solution that would shut out China's black aluminum.
Today, we are in a new crisis, which is partly the government's fault. It announced that there would be countermeasures, but oddly, they will only apply to aluminum products. In 2018, the countermeasures applied to any U.S. export, whether it was a Harley-Davidson, bourbon or a boat. The countermeasures could be slapped on any exported good.
Why can that not be done now?
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View Mario Simard Profile
BQ (QC)
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-08-12 14:17 [p.2767]
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Mr. Chair, unfortunately, I did not get an answer.
Why are there no retaliatory tariffs on products other than aluminum? It is because, in 2019, they negotiated an agreement on the cheap. They went from a bazooka, with tariffs on all American exports, to a slingshot. They are defending Quebec's second-largest export sector with a slingshot.
I will repeat my question: Why is it impossible to impose retaliatory tariffs on products other than aluminum right now?
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2020-08-12 14:18 [p.2767]
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Mr. Chair, in 2018, when we imposed retaliatory counter-tariffs on the United States, did all of the revenue from these counter-tariffs that was supposed to go to the aluminum industry actually reach the industry?
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2020-08-12 14:19 [p.2767]
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Mr. Chair, that is not what I asked. The answer was not forthcoming either, from what I could hear.
Did all of the money that was supposed to go to aluminum in 2018, the money from the counter-tariffs, actually get to the aluminum industry, yes or no?
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2020-08-12 14:20 [p.2767]
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Mr. Chair, I will answer for them: The Parliamentary Budget Officer told us that over $200 million was not used.
Is the Deputy Prime Minister aware of that $200 million?
What does she intend to do with it?
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