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Results: 1 - 15 of 56
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-03-09 14:08 [p.4748]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the important contributions that truck drivers across Canada have made to our pandemic recovery efforts.
Over the past year, truckers have ensured that our nation’s supply chain continues to deliver the essentials we all rely on. Last week I met virtually with the United Truckers Association, an organization that represents over 1,100 independent operators in B.C. Hearing about the precautions their members are taking to maintain safe working conditions and the various pandemic challenges they have had to face was truly inspiring.
I encourage all members to join me in showing appreciation for truck drivers from coast to coast to coast.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-03-09 15:37 [p.4764]
Madam Speaker, I speak today to oppose this motion, which is yet another display of political grandstanding on the part of opposition members across the way. It is another example of the Conservative Party being completely out of touch with the realities that Canadian citizens and businesses are encountering during the pandemic.
I would like to begin my remarks by saying that I understand the importance of opposition days in the House of Commons. I recognize that, at the end of the day, every member of the House works on behalf of their constituents to the best of their capabilities. Regardless of what party represents a particular riding, it is important that all constituents have the ability to have their voices, concerns, issues and ideas discussed and debated in the House.
While I find myself in disagreement with many opposition motions that come forward, I still have great respect for their importance within our democratic system. I recognize the urgency with which this motion was written, and it demonstrate the importance of offering workers, families and business sectors the supports they need during this pandemic. However, I am a little confused because it is such a rare occasion when the opposition endorses the measures the government is undertaking.
In the case of this motion, the call for such supports looks like little more than an opportunity to remind my colleagues across the way that their call is already being answered by our government. In fact, it has been progressively addressed by the Prime Minister every single day for almost a year now, making me wonder if the opposition has any idea what is going on right now with regard to our country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an example, the highly affected sectors credit availability program is open to all sectors mentioned in this motion and offers 100% government-granted financing and low-interest loans of up to $1 million over 10 years. Some of the business owners I have spoken to since the program was introduced are very happy to have this level of financing available in times such as these, when cash flow and available capital are stalled. This comes from the conversations I had consulting with my constituents, a practice I have always considered a fundamental aspect of being a member of Parliament. I can assure my opposition colleagues that if they did something similar with businesses in their own ridings, they would find entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of this program and, in many cases, have credited it with allowing their businesses to continue during the difficult economic climate of the pandemic.
The same thing applies to a program like the Canada emergency rent subsidy. For reference, as of February 28, over 134,000 organizations have received support totalling $1.81 billion. There is also the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which to date has helped protect more than 5.1 million Canadian jobs.
The opposition is also undoubtedly aware, or should be if it reads the news, that our government is currently negotiating with Canadian airlines to see what additional supports can be offered to a sector that has been particularly hard hit by this pandemic. This is of course in addition to the over $1.8 billion the airline sector has received through the wage subsidy program, which has directly gone to workers, and the $1 billion that airports and smaller airlines received through last year's fall economic statement.
Finally, with regard to the opposition's ill-informed concern for bankruptcies and layoffs, there is the Canada emergency business account. It has provided over 832,000 businesses across Canada with over $34 billion in support, reducing the expenses and freeing up liquidity for small and medium-sized businesses.
As I mentioned, at best, this is an innocent mistake from an opposition party that did not do its homework before presenting such a motion. However, at worst, which I fear is really the situation here, we have an opposition that is more concerned with playing political games and grandstanding than working collectively to support Canadians and Canadian businesses during the pandemic. This is the crux of why I must vote against the motion.
Misinformation is always harmful in a functioning democracy like Canada, but this is particularly the case during a global pandemic that we continue to battle our way through. The motion is nothing more than an attempt to deflect from what this government is already doing and, as a result, leads to confusion about what Canadians and businesses can access right now. Instead of doing their jobs and giving accurate information to their constituents to address whatever situations are arising, opposition members are more focused on electoral politics. That is the real story of today's motion, and it is one more reason why the Conservative Party should really do a deep dive into what it is trying to accomplish.
Every week, we read articles about the disarray in the Conservative Party. We hear about the factions that are still fighting about issues like abortion, which was settled decades ago. We hear about a leader who is confused about which MP he wants to trot out to the media on a particular day. We hear about opposition members who are dissatisfied with the direction of their party and are avowing to take it back. Today's confused and baffling motion is just a by-product of this chaos.
In closing, I encourage all members of the House to vote against this frivolous, ridiculous stunt and to move forward on more pressing actions that will continue to assist Canadians and Canadian businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the beginning of my speech, I forgot to thank my hon. friend from Winnipeg North. I thank him for sharing his time with me and for his great work not only for the constituents of Winnipeg North but for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-03-09 15:48 [p.4765]
Madam Speaker, I did not say that we are trying to ignore members of the airline industry. In fact, for every Canadian, including the people who work in the airline industry, this government has tried to help those affected. We are not perfect.
Every day, the Prime Minister has received input from members and organizations on the ground. He has come out every day with different efforts to help workers and businesses from coast to coast to coast.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-03-09 15:50 [p.4765]
Madam Speaker, nowhere in my speech did I say we were perfect and have done everything perfectly.
Every step of the way, when I walk through my riding, I meet people who say that the Canada emergency response benefit has helped them or the Canada emergency business account has helped them. Other people will say that the business account benefited them, or the Canada emergency wage subsidy has helped them, or the Canada emergency rent subsidy has helped them, or the expanded business benefits have helped them.
The Prime Minister and this government have done everything they can to work with the grassroots, the opposition parties and organizations across Canada to help workers and Canadian companies to make sure that we are able to get through this pandemic.
That is what I have said. That is what we will continue to do.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-03-09 15:51 [p.4765]
Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for all the great work he does for his constituents. The issue that he raised is a genuine one. However, now during the pandemic, when it comes to businesses, whether it is the wage subsidy, the emergency rent subsidy or the Canada business account, all of these have tried to help business owners to make sure—
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-02-25 13:02 [p.4539]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member touched on Conservatives raising the age from 65 to 67. During the 2015 election, I received hundreds of calls, and many people who opposed that came to see me. They told me that Conservatives were trying to push seniors into poverty for two more years.
Did the member see the same response in his riding, and in Quebec generally?
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-02-25 14:51 [p.4556]
Mr. Speaker, in order to target gun and gang violence, we need better data to trace firearms used in the commission of an offence. In 2014-15, the Harper Conservatives closed half of the RCMP laboratories that analyzed and traced these types of firearms. It is clear that we need to rebuild and further that capacity.
Can the minister provide an update as to what our government is doing to help British Columbia enhance our data?
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-02-04 11:22 [p.3980]
Madam Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the hon. minister on his new role as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I am sure he will face many bullies around the globe, but being a fellow engineer, astronaut and a strong member of the Prime Minister's team, he will be able to stand up to those bullies. However, we are very lucky to have the new administration to our south, which will be very cordial.
In the previous 42nd Parliament, we were able to work together as a team with Conservative members, including the member for Prince Albert, and a former NDP member, Tracey Ramsey. We worked as a team for Canadians. As my riding is in a border town, how would this committee help Canadians?
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-02-02 14:48 [p.3908]
Mr. Speaker, the new highly affected sectors credit availability program was introduced yesterday. The program is being directed toward companies that have already qualified for and received the Canada emergency wage subsidy or the Canada emergency rent subsidy.
My question for the minister is on behalf of businesses throughout Canada that have not received either of the subsidies. Will their applications be at a disadvantage compared to the companies that have it?
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-01-28 16:45 [p.3734]
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hard-working hon. member for Sudbury.
Today I speak in support of Bill C-18, an act to implement the Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This—
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-01-28 16:46 [p.3734]
Madam Speaker, this piece of legislation demonstrates how the Government of Canada continues to pursue trade opportunities for Canadian businesses and exporters while maintaining certainty and stability in the face of global geopolitical developments that are entirely out of Canada's control. The United Kingdom is Canada's fifth largest trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and the United Kingdom averaging $27.1 billion between 2017 and 2019.
However, I am not here to throw around these numbers that have been widely discussed in this House. Instead, I want to speak about the real-world consequences on Canadian businesses that rely on international market access if this bill is not passed.
Brexit was not something that Canada could control. As international allies of the European Union and the United Kingdom, we are bystanders who have always respected the democratic will of the nation's populace. That being said, this government had to immediately consider the short-, medium- and long-term impacts of such an exit.
Since September 2017, when the former U.K. prime minister landed in Canada to discuss the future trading relationship between our two countries, that is exactly what we worked on. In those initial meetings between the two prime ministers, it was agreed upon that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, otherwise known as CETA, would serve as a model for a new bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom.
As a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade for several terms, I was privy to the negotiations that went into CETA, and I saw that it was a perfect template to provide a seamless transition in post-Brexit trade with the United Kingdom. This House spent years studying and debating CETA before it received royal assent in May of 2017, so to suggest that Bill C-18 is anything but transparent in terms of its details is nonsense.
Further, it has been suggested by members from across the way that Canada somehow dragged its feet on this agreement. However, once again, this is political posturing that does not reflect the reality of the past few years. The opposition is well aware that under European Union membership rules, the United Kingdom was prohibited from implementing a free trade agreement until it officially left the European Union.
As we all know, Brexit only became official on January 31, 2020. Of course, soon after that date, the world was hit with the global pandemic, which we are still battling in every corner of the globe.
To affirm the reality of what has happened over the past four years, our government has been in a working group with the United Kingdom in a transparent manner to negotiate our post-Brexit trading relationship as per the European Union's membership rules. Further, our government's timeline is completely in line with the significant dates associated with Brexit, as the transition period for the U.K.'s departure just came to an end on December 31, 2020. In spite of what has been said across the way in attempts to score political points, this bill and the continuity agreement are perfect examples of how nimble Canada has been in our trade negotiations across the world, despite circumstances, rules and regulations outside of our purview.
The bill is a necessity to ensure that tariffs are not applied on 98% of products we export to the U.K. This bill is needed to protect the supply management that the Canadian dairy, poultry and egg sectors rely upon. This bill is also significant for the access it provides to the United Kingdom government's massive procurement market, which is estimated to be worth approximately $118 billion.
These kinds of opportunities, particularly with the United Kingdom government's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are vital for Canadian manufacturers and service providers.
Most importantly, this bill completely acknowledges that this is a stop-gap measure by ensuring that, within 12 months of this continuity agreement being implemented, our two countries will hammer out a new comprehensive bilateral agreement that will be in place within three years.
Earlier in my remarks I mentioned the real-world consequences that would impact Canadian businesses and exporters if this bill was not passed. Extensive in-house modelling and analysis from Global Affairs Canada describes those impacts in stark detail.
Without this agreement, Canada would be subject to the U.K. global tariffs. These would be applied without any special treatment to all Canadian imports, and for service sector providers, all certainty that was achieved through CETA would be completely lost.
The preferential treatment that Canada has enjoyed with the U.K. represents billions of dollars that provide a direct infusion to the Canadian economy and labour market. In fact, Global Affairs Canada puts potential trade losses without this agreement in place at $2 billion, impacting the food, chemical, apparel, machinery and equipment industries dramatically.
This is a bill that recognizes the scale of trade between Canada and the U.K., and takes into account the looming January 31, 2021, deadline while still committing to a robust process for a future bilateral relationship with entirely new terms.
To conclude, this bill and support for it comes down to whether we support opportunities for Canadian businesses and exporters. This is particularly the case with the fact that we will spend the year after its hopeful passage negotiating new terms in close consultation with provinces and the Canadian business and export communities.
This bill is about how we, as a nation, can provide hope in the face of great global economic uncertainty, and reach into the future to continue to grow to the benefit of our country and our workers.
I encourage all members of the House to stand in favour of Bill C-18, which will only continue to blossom if we move forward as a nation that is unified in our pursuit of opportunity.
I want to thank the Speaker and all members for the opportunity to speak to this bill in the House of Commons.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-01-28 16:56 [p.3736]
Madam Speaker, as the hon. member mentioned, I had the opportunity to work with him on the international trade committee for many years, and in fact we travelled together to different places to advocate for Canadian businesses and workers. The passion and the teamwork that he showed were enormously appreciated.
The member asked me about the consultations. When CETA was brought into effect, at that time all those consultations happened. In fact, this is based on CETA, so all the consultations that we are talking about were at that time. Moving forward, as I mentioned, once this comes to that stage we, as a committee, will be going out and consulting with different businesses and organizations, and the minister and the government will be making those consultations as necessary as we have done already.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-01-28 16:58 [p.3736]
Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier in my answer to the hon. member for Prince Albert, many consultations were in place when we passed CETA, and this is totally based on that agreement. I will tell members that time was of the essence to make sure that industries and businesses, particularly in Quebec, were able to take advantage of those 98% of goods that would not be taxed. That is why we had to pass it. Moving forward the government, the minister and the committee will be doing the work to have proper, long conversations with the stakeholders.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-01-28 17:00 [p.3736]
Madam Speaker, Canada and the U.K. have a long-time relationship when it comes to trade. I am certain that, moving forward, even though we do not have a sunset clause, we will come up with a bilateral trade agreement that will benefit Canadians as well as businesses in the U.K.
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2020-11-23 13:19 [p.2229]
Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Markham—Unionville came to Canada in 1974. I came here in 1984. I went through the same process as he did and was proud to take the citizenship oath. I still remember that particular day.
The hon. member mentioned that former prime minister Stephen Harper made an apology, but I remind him this was the same Prime Minister who ditched the Kelowna accord, which was going to improve life.
Coming back to the bill, does the hon. member agree the bill is very important for allowing new immigrants to become familiar with the heritage and history of indigenous people in Canada?
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