Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-13 10:47 [p.450]
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, who criticized the dearth of measures to support regional development in the throne speech.
The Bloc Québécois proposed an amendment in the House that was primarily aimed at defending supply management tooth and nail and increasing the health transfers. I think all regions in Quebec want health services to be better funded.
Why did my colleague choose to vote against that amendment? Instead of pulling out all the rhetorical stops and saying that the Bloc Québécois supports centralizing federalism, he could have stood up in the House and defended the regions by voting for the Bloc's amendment.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-13 11:55 [p.462]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Prime Minister of something before he meets with François Legault later.
During the election campaign, Mr. Legault asked that the federal government respect Quebec's jurisdiction. He wants the unconditional right to opt out with full financial compensation if, by some misfortune, the federal government interferes in Quebec's jurisdiction.
The throne speech is full of interferences. If you remove those from the speech, the rest of the text would fit on a Christmas card.
How will the Prime Minister justify to Mr. Legault that he wants to have full say when he does not have the necessary expertise?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 11:03 [p.183]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is about Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who, as of today, have been detained in China for a year. What an awful situation for these two men. What has the government done in the past year to free them? There are certainly things it has not done. For most of the year, Canada had no ambassador in China. The government finally appointed one in September.
Can the minister tell us why the government waited so long? Two men were detained for a year, and the Liberal government was unable to appoint an ambassador for the better part of that year. I find that unacceptable.
What does the minister have to say for her government?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 11:36 [p.187]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Montarville for his excellent speech. It was very interesting.
My colleague reiterated the importance of human rights. He also mentioned that it has been one year today since Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China. It is a sad anniversary. He also mentioned that the Liberal government waited eight months to appoint an ambassador to China, a key diplomatic post to facilitate the release of these two Canadians.
As my colleague has good knowledge of foreign affairs, I would like to ask his opinion and whether he recalls there ever being a time when a government waited that long during a diplomatic crisis to appoint an ambassador to a country as important as China.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 11:57 [p.190]
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for St. John's East on his speech and his re-election.
At this time, China looms large in foreign policy around the world. China is asserting itself as an economic power.
Does my colleague not think that the diplomatic solution to China should rely more on a multilateral solution rather than the current bilateral one? In the last Parliament, we saw that Canada is retreating from multilateralism and seems to be taking the U.S. approach of relying on bilateralism.
Should the solution not involve more multilateralism?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 12:29 [p.195]
Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague about item (k) in the motion.
My colleague from Montarville said in his speech that this Conservative motion was the first test of the parties' willingness to work together. He went through the motion clause by clause, pointing out that it all made sense. He did note that item (k) could ruffle some Liberal feathers. He also said that the committee essentially has the power to summon anyone it wants, as set out in item (k).
I will repeat my colleague opposite's question. Would the Conservative Party consider removing item (k) from the motion to eliminate any potential sticking points?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 12:44 [p.197]
Madam Speaker, I will begin with a comment for my colleague.
His argument about potentially having standing committees study this type of problem is hardly convincing, since the diplomatic crisis with China is nothing new. It has been a problem for some time. The member himself pointed out that two Canadians have been arbitrarily held in detention in China for one year. When the Liberal Party had a majority in the House, why did it not use standing committees to study this issue?
In my mind, the official opposition's motion is the first test of whether all members and parties can work together. I humbly suggest that my colleague try this committee so that we can work together.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-10 13:11 [p.201]
Madam Speaker, I have a few comments for my colleague.
First, I would like to remind him that the Liberal Party and the Bloc Québécois are not really the same. From his outside perspective, there may appear to be similarities, but that is simply not the case.
Earlier, my colleague from Montarville reminded the House that the motion proposes a first test of the ability of the parties in the House to co-operate. He also mentioned that the Liberals might not like item (k). He suggested removing it to see whether the Liberals would support the motion and whether it could be adopted unanimously. That is what we were talking about.
In closing, I would like to remind members that it is a serious mistake to confuse the Liberal Party with the Bloc Québécois.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 13:49 [p.92]
Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague about the fight against tax havens.
The throne speech references this and mentions their illegal use. In my opinion, the main problem is the legal use of tax havens, especially by the banks on Bay Street.
Is it not time to make illegal that which is immoral?
The government said it is open to co-operating. Is that an avenue for collaboration?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 14:42 [p.102]
Mr. Speaker, we will not get an answer on the 5.2%.
Quebeckers are demanding an increase in health transfers. This is why the Bloc Québécois moved an amendment to the amendment to the throne speech to include an increase. We also added a clause about imposing royalties on web giants. We specified that trade agreements must not breach the supply management system anymore. In addition, our amendment to the amendment states that the government must respect Quebec's environmental protection and land use planning laws. These are all priorities for Quebec.
Will the government vote in favour of our amendment to the amendment to include these priorities in the throne speech, yes or no?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 18:51 [p.139]
Mr. Chair, I will be using my 15 minutes to pose a series of questions to the ministerial team.
First, I would like to recognize the presence of public servants for what I would describe as an unusual exercise. To my knowledge, this is the first time that all of the votes are being debated before a single House committee.
I will begin with the Office of Infrastructure of Canada. As we see in the document, there is no supplementary funding to vote on.
Why is that? It is because the money that we voted in previous budgets is not going out. It is not being spent.
In that regard, I would like to ask the government to make a commitment. One way to accelerate infrastructure spending would be send an unconditional, automatic transfer to Quebec, similar to the model used for the gas tax transfer before new conditions came into effect on January 1, 2019.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 18:53 [p.140]
Mr. Chair, on the contrary, I believe the money could be transferred as a lump sum. It would be up to Quebec to work with the municipalities to decide which infrastructure projects to launch and when, just like with the gas tax, which works well. Actually, during the 2015 campaign, the Liberal Party promised to transfer those amounts as a lump sum.
Now I would like to turn to infrastructure for first nations. Funds are not flowing there either. How can the government expedite the process and show greater respect for first nations governance?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 18:55 [p.140]
Mr. Chair, I thank the minister for her answer, and I commend her for giving her answer in French.
Let us hope that the funds voted are indeed spent on first nations and that their governance is properly respected.
I will now move on to a question about the Canada Revenue Agency's budget. The document shows that its budget has not increased over the past two years. However, during the last parliamentary session, the Minister of Revenue kept telling us over and over again in the House that the CRA had invested $1 billion to combat tax evasion and that the net was tightening.
Where is the $1 billion that we kept hearing about?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 18:56 [p.140]
Mr. Chair, the importance of this work is not in dispute, but when it comes to the $1 billion, to use the words of the Minister of Revenue, the net is still open.
The issue of tax havens, the fight against tax evasion and the illegal use of tax havens is very important. We see that some progress has been made on this issue.
The other problem tied to the use of tax havens is legal use. For example, the big Bay Street banks save billions every year through this loophole.
Is the government open to making this immoral practice illegal?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2019-12-09 18:57 [p.140]
Mr. Chair, the billion dollars would then be an expenditure, but I cannot find it in the votes.
With respect to tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax havens, there are the web giants, which are often referred to as the GAFAM. The government is committed to collecting taxes. Today, during question period, the Minister of Canadian Heritage spoke about next year. I would like the government to confirm that it will move forward and that these monies will be reserved for culture and the media, including 40% for French-language media and culture.
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