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View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-02-18 18:38 [p.4283]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-234.
This bill amends the Income Tax Act to create a home security tax credit.
First, I wish to inform you that the Bloc Québécois will be voting against this bill. Our party and I recognize the challenge of home security, especially in rural areas. I come from a rural village called Saint-Jean-de-Matha. I commend the great passion that the hon. member for Prince Albert, for whom I have a great deal of respect, put into his speech.
This issue is very important, but we believe that the solution proposed in this bill is not effective enough.
We believe that the bill would only push people to spend more on security systems that would not adequately protect them. I am talking about keeping people safe, not property. As far as property is concerned, I do not know if the same thing happens in Saskatchewan, but in Quebec when we install security alarm systems, our insurance costs go down. There is also compensation for this. I will therefore focus on personal security.
Instead, we think that the money that would go towards subsidizing the purchase of these kinds of systems would be better spent by giving it to provincial police, indigenous police and the RCMP, as members have pointed out in discussions on this bill so far. I remind members that first nations police services are in serious need of resources and that the government needs to start funding them properly to help remote communities.
This bill would amend the Income Tax Act to establish a non-refundable personal tax credit for purchasing a home security system. The credit is for a maximum of $5,000 a year and includes the total of all amounts spent on home security. We have heard a number of arguments in support of this bill. One such argument is that crime in rural areas has risen higher than in urban areas. The member shared some compelling stories about people with addictions who resort to crime after losing their jobs. Since these areas are sometimes poorly served by law enforcement, residents may choose to install security systems, such as cameras or alarms.
The argument I want to advance here is that, as we see it, if the police are already having a hard time responding, investing in a security system that alerts the police would be an ineffective way to protect people, as I said, because police intervention is too slow to prevent the crime and keep people safe anyway. Let me reiterate that we appreciate the significance of this issue, but we think it would be better to invest more in supporting the RCMP, police services in Quebec and the provinces, and first nations police services. We think that introducing this tax credit will encourage people to spend money on systems that will probably not do much to prevent crime. From our perspective, it will actually give people a false sense of security.
I also want to reiterate that indigenous communities are sorely lacking in resources and are often poorly served by police forces. We think the money tied to this bill would be better spent on community security and safety, especially in first nations communities.
More fundamentally, the Bloc Québécois believes that the best way to fight crime is to fight inequality too. For example, although Quebec's social safety net is not perfect, it acts as a good foundation to ensure Quebeckers are protected. We have social programs to support families and the those most in need, including support to help women access the job market through family policy, such as subsidized child care and parental leave, which help combat poverty, since the two are linked. There is also the public school system, which has been mismanaged in recent years, not to say decades, but which is very important and has a wealth of knowledge and competence.
On that topic, this week is Hooked on School Days, so I salute all the young people and encourage them to continue their studies. I also commend the commitment of teachers in this mission.
Quebec's social safety net is part of a strong state that redistributes wealth. As we know, the Quebec model lies somewhere between those of northern Europe and western Europe. I actually have two books to recommend to any of my colleagues who would like to understand more about the importance of the state in the fight against inequality and in crime reduction.
The first one, which I do not believe has been translated into French yet, is called Combating Poverty: Quebec's Pursuit of a Distinctive Welfare State. Published by the University of Toronto, this comparative analysis explains how Quebec moved away from Canada in its approach to its social safety net in response to the federal government's budget cuts of the Chrétien and Martin years. Despite those cuts, Quebec managed to create important and bold new programs in health and social services. Elsewhere in Canada, services to the public were declining because of federal disengagement, but Quebec expanded its offerings.
The Bloc Québécois is obviously watching very closely to ensure that the current deficit is not reduced through the same Liberal practices as those used in the second half of the 1990s.
The second book I will refer to that could be of interest to my colleagues was written in 1990 by the Danish economist and sociologist Gosta Esping-Andersen. In The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, he explains the various reasons behind Quebec's choices regarding the best ways to establish public policies to fight social inequality, which, I should mention, the Bloc Québécois believes is directly linked to the crime rate.
I believe that rather than covering the cost of security systems, the money that would be allocated under the bill could be put to better use by increasing transfers to the provinces and to Quebec for police services, especially those in indigenous communities. In that regard, the Speech from the Throne took a first step by recognizing the latter as essential services. They were the only ones not deemed essential up to that point. The First Nations Chiefs of Police Association, supported by the Assembly of First Nations, called for this recognition, as well as for funding provided in a more stable manner than through agreements, which only last two to five years and must be constantly renewed. We expect that recognizing these police services as essential services will be accompanied by the funding required to ensure they can continue their operations and work on crime prevention.
Again, from our point of view, this bill does not really help reduce harm. Instead it offers a tax credit to those who install these devices, which could lower their property insurance premiums, as I was saying at the beginning of my speech. In Quebec, having an anti-theft system may lower our insurance bill by tens or hundreds of dollars a year and reduce the risk of theft when we are away.
However, what is even more dangerous than having someone break in while the homeowner is away, to steal valuables or commit the crimes my colleague from Prince Albert was mentioning, is to be home when it happens. Even with the best system, the danger is not reduced if the police fail to show up.
In closing, I want to reiterate that we are of course very sensitive to this issue. I have a great deal of respect for all the remarkable work that my colleague from Prince Albert does, including in the area of agriculture. It was clear from his speech that he is listening to his constituents. However, we do not believe that a tax credit is the best solution. Again, we are more in favour of additional support for law enforcement, starting with indigenous police services, and we strongly encourage ramping up efforts to reduce social inequality, which would reduce crime.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-02-01 11:05 [p.3797]
Mr. Speaker, for those who may not know, the city of Joliette, for which my riding is named, was established after Barthélemy Joliette built a mill on the bank of the L'Assomption River. At that time, the city was named L'industrie, which cleary shows the importance of entrepreneurship for our regional county municipality and for the northern Lanaudière region.
I already knew that before I was elected in 2015, when my riding was booming both socially and economically. However, I have heard from many entrepreneurs about how difficult it is to transfer their business to their children, since it is less profitable than selling it to a stranger. That is unbelievable. The Bloc Québécois and I are obviously in favour of Bill C-208. We have been working on this issue for many years. In fact, my colleague from Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères introduced a similar bill in the previous Parliament.
If this bill were to pass, it would have a very significant impact on Quebec. Nearly one-third of Quebec's SMEs were buy-outs, whereas that number is one-quarter for Canadian businesses. According to Marc Duhamel, a professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the rate of business buy-outs in rural areas is around 45%. Helping the next generation of business owners would be good for Quebec, and when something is good for Quebec, the Bloc Québécois votes in favour of it.
I also know that these changes will be good for my region. My riding has numerous farms in practically every one of its municipalities, including places like Saint-Thomas, Rawdon and Saint-Ambroise. We all know a farmer, and we are proud to support our local producers in our farmers' markets, grocery stores and even the little stands we see on pretty much every major roadway.
Right now, the crux of the issue is that a business transferred to a family member is treated as a dividend, not a capital gain, unlike a business sold to someone at arm's length. People who want to sell their small or medium-sized business or their farm or fishing operation to their children are not entitled to the lifetime capital gains exemption, but if they sell to a third party, they are.
I get that the government wants to prevent potential fraud and tax avoidance, but this situation complicates the lives of everyone who genuinely wants to take over the family business. This is like asking people to slow down to 80 kilometres per hour because some people are speeding along at over 130 kilometres per hour. The government should fix this situation by allowing transfers to family members. If a transaction is fraudulent, the government can investigate it, kind of like how a police officer would ticket someone speeding on Highway 50, but would let everyone who obeys the speed limit carry on.
Speaking of tax avoidance, there are other much more concerning cases. Here are three examples the government should tackle. First, the government should immediately start taxing web giants doing business in Quebec and Canada. Second, web giants' digital services should be subject to GST. Quebec already collects QST from them. These two measures have been announced, but they should be implemented right away. Third, the government should shut down the tax haven loophole. That was my goal in 2016 with Motion No. 42.
This is a serious problem, and many people in my riding are suffering as a result. Year after year, I meet entrepreneurs who are looking for someone, the next generation, a young person, to take over the family business. Rather than taking examples from my own family, among my uncles, aunts and cousins, let me give an example that illustrates how ridiculous this situation is. I will tell you about Charles, who went to high school with my assistant.
I have met Charles a number of times since my first election campaign in 2015. Ever since he was old enough to work, Charles has been toiling in his family business, a great sound, multimedia and lighting services company, the kind you often see at festivals, fundraisers and community events in the Lanaudière region and beyond. Not too long ago, Charles and his business partner bought the company. However, the family member who owned the business would have been better off selling it only to the partner, who was already working for the business, rather than including his own son in the transaction. How is that right?
Another incongruity has to do with selling to a competitor, which would actually be more profitable than selling to the next generation, the ones who know the distributors, the customers, the activities and the local reality. This would reduce competition in the sector, possibly increase the price of services and cause the loss of local expertise.
Unlike many other businesses that have no choice but to close up shop because of tax regulations, that SME was able to keep running back home in Joliette. If I open my curtains, I can see it from my window. I could talk at length about the problems facing this industry and even more so now because of the wide-scale cancellation of activities. However, that is not what this bill is about.
I would point out that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the CFIB, would like to see this bill pass, which is only natural.
There are many reasons we need to keep these SMEs in the hands of the next generation. First, this would allow several regions to develop their industry. We need to fix this problem for all SMEs, but even more so for businesses in the fisheries and agricultural sectors. In Quebec and in the regions, fisheries and agriculture are among our biggest industries.
Things are looking rather bleak when it comes to the next generation taking the reins of SMEs in the future. Statistics show that in 2016, fewer than 25% of farms had secured a successor and that rate has remained the same since 2011.
Between 500 and 800 young farmers are taking over a farm each year, when in fact 1,000 are required to maintain the number of farms in Quebec. Roughly one farm a day is disappearing back home.
In the fisheries sector, there are three major obstacles to the acquisition of a business. Léa Richard, of the Comité sectoriel de main-d'œuvre des pêches maritimes, said the following:
...what is truly difficult for this next generation is access to financing, the transfer of licences and the administrative complexity. These are the three elements that make it difficult for the next generation to acquire a fishing business.
We know that it is already difficult to take over a business. It is that much more difficult in sectors that require a sizeable capital investment. For these people who have poured their heart and soul into their business, which most of the time represents their retirement nest egg, it seems unfair that it costs them an arm and a leg to sell their business to their children.
It is difficult for people to go into business and later to let go of what they have spent most of their life building. If we could at least make it easier for them to sell their business to a family member, that would be a good thing.
The government will probably remind us that we need to make choices and that this measure comes at a significant cost. In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reviewed a similar bill in 2017 and estimated the cost at about $376 million. To put that in terms the Liberals will understand, that is equivalent to a little more than one-third of a contribution agreement with WE Charity, or about 40% more than the sole-source contract awarded to Frank Baylis.
This measure may be costly, but it is nothing considering how much the next generation could help business owners. Losing a business is hard on the owners, but the impact of that loss ripples beyond the owner and their loved ones. Suppliers, creditors, employees and customers lose an important partner. We often think about how the closure of a large company can have repercussions on a region, as was the case with Electrolux a few years ago in Assomption, near my riding. However, we rarely consider that the loss of multiple small businesses can have a less immediate but equally serious impact on the socio-economic fabric.
Ensuring the succession and continuity of SMEs is not only good for our economy and governments' fiscal capacity, but it is necessary for efficient land occupancy. From the North Shore to Abitibi, from Gaspé to Nunavik, Quebec has chosen to have vibrant regions, each with its own strengths, growth sectors and educational institutions, such as CEGEPs. According to Maripier Tremblay, an associate professor in the department of management in Université Laval's faculty of business administration, “Quebec's economy depends on its SMEs, but also on its regions. It is very important for businesses in the regions to retain their pools of workers.”
I will close by saying that to have strong regions, we need to have people living there. For the period from 2014 to 2023, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal estimates that between 79,000 and 140,000 jobs in our SMEs could be lost due to the entrepreneurial deficit. That is a gigantic number.
That is like one or two whole ridings of workers disappearing in 10 years. When many families leave a region, it has significant consequences for the entire ecosystem.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 16:46 [p.3563]
Madam Speaker, as we said, we will support this bill. However, we are still disappointed. We need to do more than what is in the bill, much more.
First I will reiterate our requests, and I hope that the Minister of Finance will include them in her first budget, which we are eagerly awaiting. The betting is that it could come as early as late February, or else in March or April.
The federal government needs to contribute its fair share to health care. I heard the hon. member for Saint-Laurent say in her speech that long-term care facilities need funding, but she did not say anything about the standards the government wants to impose. Our long-term care facilities do not need standards, they need better funding. Barely 20¢ of every dollar spent on health care comes from the federal government. The rest is paid by Quebec and the provinces. This is unfair, and it needs to change. Health care costs have exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, and the federal government needs to increase funding on a permanent basis.
We are also asking for a permanent increase to the old age pension, since seniors were hit hard during the health crisis and deserve support.
I would also like to mention the need to immediately create a special committee to study COVID-19 spending, because it is an urgent matter. Yes, businesses and workers and their families needed and still need help to get through the pandemic.
We have made several proposals that were accepted. All this costs money, which is normal, but we cannot forget the size of the deficit, as the Liberals are doing. It is a costly legacy to leave to future generations, and given the government's reckless spending, the WE scandal and the awarding of dubious contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, it is urgent that we create the special committee that the government promised us to make sure that taxpayer money is being used for the right reasons, namely to help Canadians, not cronies.
We would have liked this bill and the economic statement to focus more on environmental issues. We have my colleague from Repentigny here who is proudly taking on this fight against climate change to protect the environment. The government is failing to implement a green recovery like we are proposing. The section on the environment is one of the smallest in the entire economic statement. The federal government is missing yet another opportunity to join the 21st century, create jobs and restart the economy with clean energy, research and regional economic development. Instead the government is merely announcing yet again that it may plant some trees some day. I sincerely hope that the upcoming budget will focus on a recovery that emphasizes the environment and a real green economy.
I want to come back to November's economic statement, which this bill is based on. A credit program for highly affected sectors was announced. We did not have any details until today, when we finally got a little bit of information about it. I am sure that my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue will ask me about that. The pandemic has been going on for more than 10 months, but the federal government says that it is still not ready to provide help to the tourism, hospitality, arts and culture, or major events sectors. We also see that Ottawa still has not announced any support for the aerospace sector. Clearly, a lot of work remains to be done for the industries hardest hit by COVID‑19.
There were good intentions in the statement, but there is nothing in the bill. Today I got a little message saying that we will discuss it when I am questioned about it. Before the pandemic hit, Canada was the only country with a major aerospace industry but no aerospace policy. That is unacceptable. The pandemic had a direct impact on the industry, one it will not soon recover from. Some say it will take a decade. The government must urgently set up a targeted support program for the industry. France, Europe and the United States have done so, but Canada has not. The industry plays too important a role in our economy, especially Quebec's economy, to be abandoned. The government must take urgent action.
In addition to creating a targeted support program and an industry-specific strategy, the government should make better use of its civilian and military procurement budgets to buy Canadian-made aircraft. It should also set up a program to finance purchases of aircraft made in Canada to make it easier to sell them under the present conditions. The strategy also needs to include strong support for research and development. That is crucial in high-tech sectors like aerospace.
Our industry needs to stay on the leading edge, especially when it comes to the environment. Let me remind the House that the plane manufactured in Mirabel is the most fuel‑efficient plane in the world. It is therefore ideally placed to fight climate change. In addition, it is the only plane capable of circulating fresh air while in flight, which is a significant advantage in a pandemic. The airlines that have these planes are leaving their other models on the ground in order to fly them because of the advantages I just mentioned. If there were a sales program, it would help them significantly.
One of the good things about the economic update is, of course, that the GST will apply to web giants as of July 1, 2021, but also that their revenue in Canada will be taxed by 2022. At last, some good news.
However, there is no reason to wait. This government has the power to act now, and it must act now. Quebec's culture and economy are suffering from the pandemic while the web giants are raking in record profits. These giants must take part in the recovery by paying what other companies are paying, sooner than next summer. They are currently exempt, which is unacceptable and must change. We welcome these announcements, but all of this can be done sooner than has been announced.
As I mentioned earlier, we will have to wait until we see the budget to learn more about the Liberals' recovery plan. Most of the measures in both the economic statement and Bill C‑14 are measures that had already been announced rather than plans for the future. We are disappointed that the government is making highly targeted expenditures but not addressing the actual problem. We are in the midst of a public health crisis and we need to prioritize health and vulnerable Quebeckers and Canadians.
I want to touch on one last point, about the Canada emergency wage subsidy. We have heard from all kinds of workers on this issue. Some large employers are apparently requesting this subsidy solely for the employees who are still working at the company and not for the workers that the company chose to lay off.
Since the implementation of the emergency wage subsidy, the government has gone on and on about how this subsidy is meant to help and provide an income for workers, including those who were laid off. This is in line with the spirit of the measures intended to help us through the pandemic, and it also helps maintain that employer-employee relationship. This is meant to help stabilize the economy and get it back up and running more quickly.
Why are some large employers refusing to pay this subsidy to the workers they laid off? We need to look into this issue, understand what is happening and do something about it. The government is implementing programs with the support of the House. In this case, some large employers appear to be misusing the program. That does not work and we need to change it. We will come back to this.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 16:56 [p.3564]
Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for his intervention, his comments and his question.
Clearly, he and I are not talking to the same people. I invite him to come to Quebec—virtually, of course, because of the pandemic—and visit the Quebec National Assembly to speak with any elected official there. Every one of them will tell him that health is a Quebec and provincial jurisdiction, and that all roles and standards are for Quebec to decide. It is not up to Ottawa to decide these matters.
In closing, I would remind the House that for every dollar spent on health care, just over 20¢ comes from Ottawa, while Quebeckers pay half of their taxes to the federal government. We can do better.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 16:58 [p.3565]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her intervention.
The aerospace sector is not in my riding, but it obviously plays a vital role in Quebec's overall economy. There is, of course, a clear link between aerospace and aviation. In light of the pandemic and the COVID‑19 variants, extra caution is required. That is what the Quebec premier has been telling the Prime Minister over and over again. We need to pay attention and we need to take action.
Early on, in the first wave, this government did not do its job. This caused more infections than we should have had. The Quebec government is saying that we need to pay attention. It is important to have a long-term vision, for when this crisis is behind us.
The aerospace industry is extremely important and must be supported so it can make a full recovery.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 17:00 [p.3565]
Madam Speaker, in short, yes. The Manawan Atikamekw live in my riding. They are in desperate need of health care. We stand with them. The government must do more for health care, especially during a pandemic.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 18:26 [p.3576]
Mr. Speaker, I would first like to wish you a happy new year and hope that we will turn the page on this pandemic.
I listened carefully and with interest to my colleagues' interventions on establishing a single tax return administered by Quebec. I will start by thanking my colleague from Montarville for his eloquent speech, and also my colleague from La Prairie. I also acknowledge the speeches made by my Conservative colleagues, who seem to be receptive to this bill. I thank them.
The same goes for my NDP colleagues. I listened carefully to the interventions of the members for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and New Westminster—Burnaby. I see that the NDP is open to the principle, but has concerns about protecting jobs. That is my concern as well, and I know that we will be able to improve this bill in committee to address this very legitimate concern. The bill was actually drafted with this issue in mind.
I was very disappointed to hear the Liberal Party members voicing their opposition to this bill, mostly because their arguments are not at all valid. For example, their contention that they plan to vote against the bill in order to save money because it would cost more to administer a single tax return than it would to administer two does not make any sense.
What I understand from their spurious arguments is that the government and the Liberal Party are against the bill but for reasons that they do not want to discuss. That much is clear.
If we were not in the midst of a pandemic, I would try to have an informal discussion with the Minister of Finance to find out the real reasons why the Liberals are opposing this bill. I would like to remind members that this bill on a single tax return administered by Quebec is widely supported.
What is more, this is not a major undertaking but rather a simple improvement to our way of doing things intended to make life easier for individuals and businesses in Quebec. Under this bill, they would have to file only one tax return instead of two and answer to only one agency instead of two. The bill would also eliminate the duplication of effort. That is all.
I would like to point out once again that there is consensus in Quebec on this legislation. The National Assembly has expressed its unanimous support for it. Premier Legault has formally requested it from the Prime Minister of this federal government. An overwhelming majority of Quebeckers support this bill. All of corporate Quebec supports this idea, including chambers of commerce, the Conseil du patronat du Québec, independent business owners, the Quebec CPA Order and many unions.
The bill is good for Quebeckers. According to the IRAI, it will save $425 million a year. Individuals will save $39 million, businesses will save $99 million, and $287 million would be saved by eliminating bureaucratic duplication. This bill will allow Quebec to crack down on tax havens more effectively on its own, rather than relying on Ottawa, which is asleep at the wheel.
This is a pretty simple bill. There is nothing revolutionary about it. It respects the Quebec nation and saves everyone time and money.
I would also remind the House that, 20 years ago, after years of negotiations, Quebec City managed to come to an agreement with Ottawa on the collection of sales tax from businesses. Rather than Ottawa collecting the GST and Quebec collecting the QST, Revenu Québec collects both the GST and the QST at the same time. This means far less paperwork for businesses and generates significant savings. Revenu Québec is present in every region of Quebec, and this system works well. It has been successful, and no one complains about it.
I would therefore ask my colleagues to support this bill for a single tax return administered by Quebec, to finish what was started 20 years ago.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-01-26 18:31 [p.3577]
Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded vote.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-11 12:36 [p.3347]
The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes is rising on a point of order.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-11 12:37 [p.3347]
The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on the same point of order.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-11 12:38 [p.3347]
The arguments raised are matters of debate.
I invite the hon. parliamentary secretary to continue his speech. He has seven minutes and 26 seconds remaining.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-09 16:10 [p.3226]
Madam Speaker, I have a question for the minister.
He knew that the Conservative Party would delay this debate. The House Leader of the Official Opposition said that members have the right to speak and have a duty to do so. We obviously know that they are filibustering to prevent this bill from passing before December 18.
The minister knew all of this, though. The bill was first introduced back in February. Why did he not take all of this into consideration to ensure that we could meet the Superior Court's deadline and that the bill would be ready to go before December 18? Why did he not act sooner? Why did the government prorogue the House?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-08 14:36 [p.3151]
Mr. Speaker, all the premiers will be meeting on Thursday to talk about health transfers, but we are seeing the real consequences of federal underfunding to our hospitals.
The Leader of the Opposition is always heckling.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-08 14:37 [p.3151]
Mr. Speaker, while all the first ministers are meeting on Thursday to talk about health transfers, we are seeing the very real consequences of federal underfunding in our hospitals.
Because Ottawa is not paying its fair share, Quebec has to make tough choices. It has had to choose who it can provide care to because there is not enough staff to care for everyone. It has had to reduce operating room activities by 50%, and that may quickly drop to 30%.
On Thursday, will the government finally announce a sustainable increase in health transfers?
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2020-12-08 14:38 [p.3151]
Mr. Speaker, only 15¢, not $15, of every $100 the government spent during the pandemic was used to fund health care.
Every day, we see the number of people who are falling victim to COVID-19. What we do not see is the number of people who do not have access to care, or who are not getting the surgery they need or their cancer treatments. We do not see the number of people whose quality of life is deteriorating while they are left on waiting lists because there is a shortage of health care workers.
That is what happens when there is not enough funding for health care. One-time funding will not make it possible to hire health care workers. When will the Liberals wake up to what is happening and sustainably increase transfers?
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