An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2021.

Sponsor

Status

In committee (Senate), as of June 29, 2021
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Broadcasting Act to, among other things,

(a) add online undertakings — undertakings for the transmission or retransmission of programs over the Internet — as a distinct class of broadcasting undertakings;

(b) update the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in section 3 of that Act by, among other things, providing that the Canadian broadcasting system should serve the needs and interests of all Canadians — including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds — and should provide opportunities for Indigenous persons, programming that reflects Indigenous cultures and that is in Indigenous languages, and programming that is accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities;

(c) specify that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission”) must regulate and supervise the Canadian broadcasting system in a manner that

(i) takes into account the different characteristics of Indigenous language broadcasting and the different conditions under which broadcasting undertakings that provide Indigenous language programming operate,

(ii) is fair and equitable as between broadcasting undertakings providing similar services,

(iii) facilitates the provision of programs that are accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities, and

(iv) takes into account the variety of broadcasting undertakings to which that Act applies and avoids imposing obligations on a class of broadcasting undertakings if doing so will not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy;

(d) amend the procedure relating to the issuance by the Governor in Council of policy directions to the Commission;

(e) replace the Commission’s power to impose conditions on a licence with a power to make orders imposing conditions on the carrying on of broadcasting undertakings;

(f) provide the Commission with the power to require that persons carrying on broadcasting undertakings make expenditures to support the Canadian broadcasting system;

(g) authorize the Commission to provide information to the Minister responsible for that Act, the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, and set out in that Act a process by which a person who submits certain types of information to the Commission may designate the information as confidential;

(h) amend the procedure by which the Governor in Council may, under section 28 of that Act, set aside a decision of the Commission to issue, amend or renew a licence or refer such a decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing;

(i) specify that a person shall not carry on a broadcasting undertaking, other than an online undertaking, unless they do so in accordance with a licence or they are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence;

(j) harmonize the punishments for offences under Part II of that Act and clarify that a due diligence defence applies to the existing offences set out in that Act; and

(k) allow for the imposition of administrative monetary penalties for violations of certain provisions of that Act or of the Accessible Canada Act.

The enactment also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 22, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.22; Group 1; Clause 46.1)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.18; Group 1; Clause 23)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.13; Group 1; Clause 10)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.8; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.5; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.4; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.10; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.2; Group 1; Clause 7)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.1; Group 1; Clause 3)
June 7, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

December 13th, 2021 / 11:15 a.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Yes. I was probably in elementary school when it was last reviewed.

To that end, and again, recognizing that when it was originally created and when the Broadcasting Act was last reviewed, YouTube and TikTok and none of these entities existed, there is a reality that times are changing. For the user-generated content side of things, obviously in the first iteration of Bill C-10, prior to committee, there was a clear exclusion for user-generated content. It was excluded. Within the committee process, proposed section 4.1 was amended. It was taken out so that protection for user-generated content was excluded. That obviously created a lot of concern within the community.

Would you commit to ensuring that, in the new Bill C-10, user-generated content from those people who are uploading their videos directly to a platform—I don't want to mention any particular platforms, but we all know the main platforms—would be excluded?

December 13th, 2021 / 11:15 a.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Okay. Thank you, Minister. I do have to say that I probably still have late fees with Blockbuster that I haven't paid since high school, so I may singlehandedly be responsible for their downfall.

As you mention, and rightfully so, this hasn't been updated in some time. One of the challenges and concerns we've heard from digital first creators is that they weren't properly consulted on the first Bill C-10. We've heard that those primarily online, those primarily digital, were not consulted and were not brought into the process early enough—or at all—during the first process.

Would you commit to ensuring that digital first creators are part of that consultation, part of that development process, so that the new Bill C-10 doesn't leave out those people, those creators who are primarily online and digital?

December 13th, 2021 / 11:10 a.m.
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Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Okay. We'll follow up on that off-line.

There certainly has been a lot of talk within the cultural and arts industry about the former Bill C-10 and your government's plan to reintroduce this at some point in the future. Originally, it was stated that it would be within the first 100 days. I'm curious to know if that is still the timeline and whether your government plans to table this legislation within the first 100 days of this Parliament.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2021 / 12:20 p.m.
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Bloc

Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for his question.

My colleague knows that the Bloc Québécois has a tradition of supporting workers' rights and that it is also a steadfast ally of unions.

It is hard to explain why the government took so long to propose this bill. We can see that it wanted to put on a dog-and-pony show by making this election promise. Now it is bringing forward this bill, but we still do not understand why.

I am thinking of other bills that the government introduced in the last Parliament that are also very important, in particular the infamous Bill C-10 and the bill on the modernization of official languages. It is difficult to explain or justify the inexplicable.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

November 30th, 2021 / 6:05 p.m.
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Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to let you know that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Repentigny.

If I had a title for my speech, it would be “autopsy of a failure”. Before we talk about the throne speech, let us go back in time, to last spring. I would remind my colleagues that we were in a pandemic last spring. There was only one MP on the other side. I say this often, because I cannot believe it. There was just the member for Kingston and the Islands. All the other Liberal Party members were in their basements or some such place. They were afraid of the pandemic. They were shaking under their desks. Once in a while, the Prime Minister would come and visit. I remember that we would give a start of surprise when we saw him coming. We were shocked to see that there were other Liberals in that party. He would arrive from time to time and answer questions.

Then, things improved. Quebec began opening up. We thought the Liberals would eventually see common sense. We talked about it with their leader and their whip. They said that they could not come to the House, that the situation was still terrible and that there was still a pandemic. They continued to hide under their desks in the basement. They said that they could not do it, that they could not handle the light of day and that they needed to adapt.

It made no sense. That was the Liberal approach. They were afraid of the pandemic.

People say a lot of things, but the Prime Minister can be very persuasive. He convinced those folks over there that it was time to call an election. Even though we were in a fourth wave of the pandemic, he convinced them that the time was right. Even though it was only two years after the previous election, it was the right time to meet the public. An election had to be called, the situation was critical, there was an emergency on the home front.

At the end of the day, one by one, Liberal Party members took the bait. They thought they were going to walk around, meet with people and shake their hands. Soon they were making human pyramids. They were happy; they were finally out.

They told people that they were calling an election and that everybody would have to line up to vote. We were in the fourth wave of the pandemic, but no big deal. They said they could not make Parliament work because of their minority situation, that it was not going well and that the opposition was behaving outrageously. They all said that.

I have been the House leader of the Bloc Québécois since 2019, and I remember that everything was going well. The opposition was making its contribution. There were discussions happening, and that was great. Bills were being improved because we were all working together. I would say that the main problem during that time was more the Liberal government's lack of organization in developing its parliamentary strategy and legislative agenda than the opposition from the opposition parties.

There were bills on the table, and the work was getting done. Bill C‑10 got all the way to the Senate. In Quebec, we had been waiting for years for the web giants to contribute to the culture sector. The bill died in the Senate because of the election. Bill C‑216 was meant to ensure that supply management would be protected in future trade agreements. It was on track. Everything was going well. Bill C‑6 on conversion therapy was almost wrapped up. The Liberals are coming back to that now with another bill.

The bill that made pensioners first in line to get paid when a company goes bankrupt was also coming along nicely. The one that made sure that someone with a serious illness was entitled to 50 weeks of EI benefits was moving forward. That is something to be expected, it makes sense, but they decided to throw it all away and call an election, because time was of the essence.

The Prime Minister looked people straight in the eye and told them that it was urgent, that the government needed their opinion because otherwise horrible things lay ahead. The public voted, and almost all members are back, except for a few changes.

The public said to stop fooling around, stop with the elections and get back to work. They said to get back to work because we are in a pandemic. That is what the public said. The public told the government to get its act together and return to Parliament.

Now the Liberals are returning to Parliament. They wanted a majority government, but that turned out to be a flop. Now they are saying that we need to take the bull by the horns, that it is extremely important, that it is urgent.

We sat around for two months. We waited for Parliament to be recalled for two months. Our clothes were out of style by the time we came back here.

They came back, claiming that the throne speech would be as amazing as a kangaroo on a trampoline and that we would have to wait and see. People were saying that the speech would be amazing, that it would be the highlight of the decade.

When we heard the speech, however, there was nothing there. The government should be ashamed of having given birth to a mouse. It is not even a mouse; it is a flea and you would need a microscope just to see what is there. No matter how many times you read it, there is nothing there.

In the end, we did find one thing. We learned that the government does not like its jurisdictions and prefers to interfere in provincial ones. The government asked itself how it could interfere in Quebec's and the provinces' jurisdictions. Someone a little smarter said that the provinces and Quebec would be stunned if the government were to interfere in health care.

The government talks about health but fails to mention that provincial health care systems are underfunded because the federal government has been starving them for more than 20 years. The federal government is saying that it is going to stop giving the provinces the money they deserve and is going starve them little by little. At some point, however, all hell is going to break loose. That is when the federal government will step in and say that the provinces do not know how to manage health care and that there are all kinds of problems in the sector.

However, the federal government has been starving the provinces' and Quebec's health care systems for 20 years. It is quite simple. The government must be told to increase payments as it should be doing and to increase transfers to 35% of the cost of health care for everyone in Canada and Quebec. Everyone agrees on this amount except for the federal government, which does not understand. The federal government is telling itself that it will say that the provinces are not doing a good job, so that it can go ahead and interfere in their jurisdictions.

The federal government is steadfast, and it does not like its jurisdictions. The rail crisis fell under federal jurisdiction, but it let the provinces deal with it. It says it will let the City of Montreal and Quebec deal with the firearms issue. When an issue falls under its jurisdiction, it does not want to deal with it, but it will meddle in the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. If the Prime Minister wanted to run a provincial government, all he had to do was stand for election in British Columbia. However, he is the Prime Minister of Canada.

The federal government thought it came up with a good idea by announcing that it needs a minister responsible for mental health, an area that falls under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces. However, the federal government said that it would be all right and that it would be fun. It went ahead with it.

This morning, despite being comfortably seated, I fell right off my chair when the leader of the official opposition said a minister responsible for mental health was a good idea. The Conservatives have been saying for years that they do not want to interfere in areas under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces. Then, this morning, the leader of the official opposition said he was disappointed and ready to fight. The thing is, one cannot respect the provinces' jurisdiction by leaving them alone and support the idea of a minister responsible for mental health at the same time. That does not work, but that is what the Conservatives did, and they thought it was pretty great. Then they said it was because the government was no good. I think the root of the problem is not that the government is not good; it is that it did not do its basic job.

Quebeckers send half their taxes to Ottawa because they want to be taken care of during a pandemic that makes the problem even worse. What Quebec and Quebeckers want is to see the money they send to Ottawa flowing back to where it is needed: health care. The federal government does not have the authority to handle health care. It has never done so. It has never paid a doctor or a nurse, and it has almost never run a hospital, so it must send that money to the people with expertise in this area: my government, the Government of Quebec. That is what the Bloc Québécois wants.

We are also thinking about seniors, who suffered in isolation, who were the most affected by the pandemic in terms of health, who are on a fixed income and who are now being financially strangled by inflation. The only thing the federal government did was divide them into two classes. It said that it would help seniors 75 and up, but seniors 65 to 75 would have to wait.

In the House, three ministers said that if seniors 65 to 75 did not have the means to live comfortably, they would have to go back to work. Seriously? The federal Liberal government wants to send people 65 to 75 back to work? This government is already worn out only two months in. Good thing it spent two months resting, or it would be dead.

With a throne speech like that, I think the opposition will have its work cut out for it.

An Act to Provide Further Support in Response to COVID-19Government Orders

November 29th, 2021 / 1:30 p.m.
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Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform you that I will share my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Thérèse-De Blainville.

Before I begin my speech, I would like to come back to the answer the colleague from Outremont gave me a few minutes ago. I realize that theatres and cultural enterprises will be able to continue to benefit from these programs, but artists and workers are not included in Bill C‑2. What is in the works is not a bill, but an assistance program, which is much more complicated to put in place and could be done much more quickly with Bill C‑2. I will stop there for the time being, because we hope to have the chance to come back to it.

Since this is my first time rising in the House in this 44th Parliament, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the constituents of Drummond, who have put their trust in me a second time. It makes me feel honoured and proud, and I will prove worthy of that trust.

I also want to thank the volunteers who gave it their all, their time, energy and passion, and spent long hours working on the campaign. I am thinking of two wonderful volunteers in particular: my parents, my mother and father who are 81 years old. They gave of their time and travelled around the riding, and they were very happy to do it. I want to be young like them when I am old.

I want to thank the team in my riding office, who are so essential. I want to sincerely thank them for their support and for the excellent service they provide to the people of Drummond. I am thinking of Andrée-Anne, Marie-Christine, Marika and Jacinte. I am also thinking of my assistant Mélissa, here on the Hill, and of Alexandre, who works with us. They are invaluable, and I care about them a lot.

I will close by thanking my family and friends. I mentioned my parents earlier. My colleagues in the House are all too familiar with the effect that political life can have on a family. My children, Lily-Rose, Tom, Christophe and Alexandrine, are wonderful. I want to thank my wife, Caroline, for being in my life. A wife is completely essential in the life of a politician.

I would like to take a moment to talk about the white ribbon I am wearing this week to express my support for women as part of the campaign to eliminate violence against women and girls, which runs until December 6. This problem concerns us all, and I wear the ribbon with pride. I hope there will come a day when we no longer need to wear this kind of symbol, because such violence is unacceptable.

I also want to say a special hello to Yvette Mathieu Lafond, whom I have already talked about in the House. Last year I celebrated her 100th birthday with her. When I saw her for her 100th birthday, Ms. Mathieu Lafond and I agreed to meet up again for her 101st. We have plans to get together this Friday, and I hope to celebrate her birthday with her for many years to come.

I mentioned my family and my children earlier. My nine-year-old son Tom is very funny. When he was little and something scared him or worried him, he would close his eyes and say that it would magically disappear that way. It was quite cute. Kids do that kind of thing. However, kids are not the only ones; the Liberals are doing the same thing.

Members will recall that is what they did with WE Charity last year. They prorogued Parliament to put an end to debate about the scandal so that it would disappear. They also did it this summer when they called the election. They thought they could get re-elected without anyone ever again talking about their missteps. By trying to win a majority, they were hoping that the opposition parties could no longer put the government's feet to the fire. The Liberals closed their eyes and hoped that it would magically disappear.

Here is the difference between the Liberals and my nine-and-a-half-year-old son. He plays soccer and is sometimes the goalkeeper. He knows that if he closes his eyes when faced with three opponents who have the ball, it might be kicked in his face, so he keeps them open, waits for his opponents and, in an effort to prevent them from scoring a goal, he faces them and stands his ground. We expect the same courage from those in charge of a G7 country.

I have to admit that I let myself be taken in somewhat this summer. When the Liberals called the election, I really believed they were doing it in the hope of wiping the slate clean, coming back quickly and taking charge of the situation. I believed they were going to deal with the urgent matters caused by the pandemic, such as the labour shortage and the recovery of affected sectors such as tourism, aerospace and culture, as quickly as possible.

I thought that we were going into an election campaign and that, when we came back from the election, we would sort it out without any nonsense, but that was not the case. We had been hammering away at these issues throughout the election period.

The election took place on September 20, and we waited until November 22 to return to Parliament. Five months have elapsed since our last sitting day in June. During this time when we looked the other way, did the pandemic and all its problems disappear? The answer is no.

When the election was called, a fourth wave was on its way, and here we are now again with a new variant to worry about. If Parliament had been allowed to work, we would not need to discuss Bill C‑2 today, because instead we could have developed assistance programs according to need and put in place the expected assistance for artists and self‑employed workers in the cultural sector. We could even have resumed work on Bill C‑10 after the Senate had finished hacking it to bits.

Everyone here knows how long it takes to pass legislation and get programs up and running. We have to debate in the House and in committee, meet witnesses, conduct studies and so on.

If we had truly put the public interest ahead of political interests, we would have had a normal return to Parliament, we could have done our work as usual and brought programs up to date. We could have also brought in new programs and adapted. Unfortunately, that is not what happened, and we ended up wasting time.

In the meantime, self-employed workers and artists in the cultural sector are saying that they are no longer getting any assistance or money, and they do not know what to do. Based on the Minister of Finance's promises, we would have expected some form of assistance for workers in the cultural sector this fall. That is not what is happening with Bill C‑2.

We know that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is currently working on a program to help artists and workers in the cultural sector, who are the hardest hit. That is good, and I promised, along with the Bloc Québécois, to co-operate to ensure this happens quickly. In fact, artists and artisans in the cultural sector have not received any income or assistance for a few weeks now, and they are getting worried.

Without this pointless election and reckless belief that if they close their eyes the problems will disappear, we could have moved forward and there would have been support for everyone.

It really makes me mad. I know that while everyone here continues to receive their paycheque, skilled and essential workers in the cultural sector are looking to reinvent themselves in other industries because they no longer see any way for them to manage. Some of my friends, people with whom I worked and spoke to recently, think they will not even be able to buy a little Christmas gift for their children. Previously, these people were not working small contracts here and there; they had a good, steady income.

I have friends in the world of performing arts who are technicians. They have taken different jobs since the pandemic began and they will never return to the cultural sector. It is a tragedy, because this type of expertise is difficult to replace. It is truly sad to see that we are abandoning a category of workers and especially people who are passionate about their work.

I have a group of friends, including actors and audiovisual technicians, who decided to do something productive during the pandemic, since there was no work. They decided to get together and go shoot a documentary abroad. This was before the fourth wave. They all travelled together to Bangladesh, India and Nepal, hoping to meet ordinary people. They just wanted to chat with them, to learn more about their culture and their reality during the pandemic. They did it at their own expense and did not ask anyone for money or grants. The idea was to put their talent to good use during the crisis. Hopefully, we will get to see the results of their work at some point. The government is failing passionate individuals like these by postponing the help that could be given to them now, through programs that are not yet defined.

I support Bill C-2, because it does include some important assistance and good measures. However, workers in the cultural sector have been overlooked once again, which is really sad.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

June 23rd, 2021 / 3 p.m.
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Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister appealed to opposition parties to be progressive and pass his bills. The opposition has enabled the passage of nine bills since June 1, including Bill C‑10, which would have died without the Bloc Québécois. Now it is the government's turn.

Sick people often need up to 50 weeks of special EI benefits. That is what our Bill C‑265 provides for. In order for it to pass, the Prime Minister has to give it a royal recommendation. Now I am appealing to his progressive nature as well as to his sense of compassion.

Will the Prime Minister grant a royal recommendation?

Motions in amendmentCanadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 8:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege and pleasure to speak tonight to this important bill. I am going to take a bit of a different slant on this.

As members know, I was first elected in 2019, so I am a relatively new member of this House. This period of time just before the session ends for the summer is a very busy time, as I understand. This is my first experience with it. It is the first time I have gotten to see the government trying to complete its agenda, which is kind of lagging. What I have been expecting is the very best the government has to offer to get its agenda through before the House rises for the summer.

My background, really briefly, is that I come from the accounting world, and specifically the management accounting area. Efficiency was one of the things I really focused on. I worked in a manufacturing plant and I helped people figure out the easiest way to do their job so that it required the least amount of labour and we could produce the best product, most efficiently, at the best price. Essentially, it is where I learned one of my mottoes, which is “Work smarter, not harder.”

As I have watched what has gone on here in the last couple of weeks from my lens, a relatively new lens, I have witnessed the exact opposite of efficiency. It has been quite fascinating. In fact, I imagine that when our Prime Minister was on his way back from his vacation trip to Europe a couple of weeks ago, he had to stop in a quarantine hotel like all other Canadians, except that he of course stayed in a special hotel that was close to his house and was only there for a few hours—but I digress. He probably would have called his government House leader to ask how things were going and how the legislation was coming along. Unfortunately, the government House leader would have had to give him the sad news that nothing had happened, that in fact everything had stalled out because of the many mistakes made by the government. In fact, everything was in chaos, as he could see if he looked at Bill C-30 or Bill C-10 or anything else.

As we look at this bill, the government House leader has denied many times that the Liberals are going to call an election shortly, saying it is the event that just is not going to happen. However, in April, on this bill, the Liberals seemed to suddenly realize that they needed to pass something, and that is where Bill C-12 came into the picture. They needed to pass something just in case the event that is not going to happen happens.

After months of inaction on this bill, suddenly there was a big panic. Why is the government willing to ram through a flawed bill just before the summer? It is just in case that event that is not going to happen happens. Of course, the Liberals could wait until September, but here we are instead. It is the last panic time before the event that is not going to happen happens. This is hypocritical, and it is very disrespectful to our democracy.

I want to look at Bill C-12 through my new eyes. I had a front-row seat to this bill because I am on the environment committee. I have been able to see this first-hand. One of the questions I was asking myself was, “How do we have success when creating a new law?” Of course, the first step is to write a good bill. When the minister came to our committee, the first thing he said was that he was open to amendments. I am assuming he said that because he knew that the bill was not well written and that it had many flaws.

He just opened the floodgates, because there were 114 amendments that came to committee, and 17 of those came from the government itself. The bill was only 10 pages long at that point. That is over 11 amendments per page, or four per clause. That is a lot of amendments. Those numbers alone should prove that this bill was flawed.

Every morning we are led in a prayer by the Speaker, and one of the lines in that prayer is “Grant us wisdom....to make good laws....” I cannot sit back and watch this law come into force. It is a bad law. The number of amendments also showed that this was true.

The second way that we could have success when creating a new law is to get feedback. There was a lot of feedback. There were 75 briefs received by the environment committee, which is great. A lot of Canadians put in a lot of hard work to write reports and provide information to the committee. The bad news is that only eight of those briefs were received before we started our study. That was because the study was jammed in. It was rushed into committee with a very short deadline.

That means that 67 briefs were received after we did our study. It means that the work of many Canadians was ignored, and the government was happy to ignore it. It was not particularly interested in listening to the views of people who submitted the briefs. It had a plan, an idea of what it wanted to accomplish, and that is what it was going to do.

The third way we could make sure to have success in creating a new bill is to let the committee do its work. The first thing the government did was make a deal with the NDP. It did not want the committee to get bogged down in any details of actually providing useful information. It wanted to be able to ram things through.

The Liberal-NDP coalition did exactly that. It rammed this bill through the committee. Almost every single vote at the committee was marked by the Liberal-NDP coalition. The Liberals and the NDP made no bones about their coalition.

The NDP member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley posted to his Twitter before the clause by clause started, “[T]he NDP will be proposing amendments that the government has agreed to support.... We have also jointly agreed to a number of other amendments.”

What was the practical result of this? The New Democrats and the Liberals fell silent. They did not ask questions. I am not even sure they read many of the amendments or even understood what they were. They had a plan. They just knew to vote for this and not vote for that. Therefore, it fell to the Conservatives and the Bloc MPs to scrutinize these amendments. As for me, I asked reasoned and thoughtful questions of the departmental experts as to the consequences of certain amendments, but the problem was that there were 114 amendments, as I said.

As I also mentioned, the government put forward 17 of its own amendments. That means that on 17 separate occasions, the minister messed up drafting the bill and he needed his MPs to fix it. That is like us buying a new car, driving it off the lot and just as we are leaving, the salesman says he has scheduled 17 appointments for us to come back for maintenance because the dealer messed up and there are a bunch of problems with the car. Therefore, we drive it off the lot, go back tomorrow and the dealer starts fixing it. It makes no sense.

The Liberals and the New Democrats on the committee were only interested in their amendments. They refused to engage with us on our amendments. To prove my point, there was kind of a funny example.

Subsection 7(4) of the original bill required that the minister would set national targets five years in advance. The government and NDP wanted to change that to 10 years in advance. The problem was the Greens put forward an identical amendment and because they got there first, we dealt with their amendment first.

As was the practice of the government and the NDP members, they did not want to support anyone else's amendments and certainly not the Greens'. Therefore, the Green amendment was voted on and was rejected. Next up was the government amendment that was literally identical. The chair, rightly so, ruled that it was inadmissible because we had just dealt with this at committee and we had decided not to proceed with it. That was a big problem. Everybody wanted to vote for that second one because the members actually wanted the amendment. However, I do not think they read the first one from the Greens, which was the same, and they did not realize they had just voted down, essentially, their own amendment.

In the end, after a very long discussion and a lot of time wasted, the government members finally realized that instead of saying 10 years, they could say “9 years 366 days”, which was different enough to get it passed. I found that quite humorous, that the government members were not able to accomplish this.

I have an amendment that was read tonight, and it is in a section of the bill referring to the work of the advisory body, specifically the annual report that it has to submit. My amendment would require that the minister make the annual report public and, further, that the minister publicly respond to this report. It would require the government to actually take action, which is something we all know the Liberals are quite allergic to. The Liberals tried to make an amendment on this section at committee, but theirs was sloppy and it left the legislation in very bad shape.

Essentially, the Liberal-NDP amendment added words but it did not remove redundant words, so the bill as it is written right now makes no sense in that section. It still includes a long sentence that should not be there and it starts with a partial word. It just does not make a whole lot of sense. My amendment allows that wording to make sense again.

The Green Party put forward some really good amendments. The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands was quite frustrated at committee. I want to quote her because it is quite telling. She said:

I have to say that this is the most dispiriting process of clause-by-clause that I've experienced in many years. Usually amendments are actually considered, people actually debate them and there is a good-faith process....

I condemn this government for what it has done: for telling people like me, who believed in good faith that there would be an actual appetite for change to improve the bill and who accepted it and prepared amendments, only to show up here and watch Liberals stay mute, the NDP stay mute and march through their amendments, passing them in force, and not listening and not caring about the possibility that other amendments might work.

What happens when there is a flawed committee process? Flawed legislation results. Bill C-12 is flawed legislation.

Government Business No. 9—Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 7:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, we live in a democracy, so it is up to citizens to decide who will champion their cause. If we look at Bill C-10, for example, the Liberals have sided with the Bloc, the NDP and the Greens to jam a bill through that quite honestly most Canadians do not understand. When they find out that their right to freedom of expression, as laid out under subsection 2(b) of the charter, is at risk, they will not like it.

It is up to the NDP to decide: Are they here to carry water for the government, or are they here to stand up for their constituents? Unfortunately, in this case, they do not seem to be doing much of anything. If I were a constituent of the NDP and I asked what they got, they would say they got an interim objective assessment in 2026 that the official from the Department of Environment and Climate Change said does not amount to a lot.

The government does not stand up to scrutiny. When will the NDP?

Government Business No. 9—Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability ActGovernment Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 7:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. There seems to be a bit of a sense of electoral urgency in the air, so let me just say that I have always appreciated the honour to be their representative, and I will always keep fighting for their interests. I am thankful also to my family, who allow me to continue that work.

If we hearken back just to the Government Business No. 9 debate when it originally opened up, we had the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and me. I was interrupted part way through for the proceedings of this place. It happens all the time, so I do ask those watching at home to know I am continuing my speech. In essence, I was giving a litany of concerns raised by the committee process, which was hastened by the Liberals literally steamrolling through along with the NDP. It was a process where people who wrote in to the committee were not heard. There were no indigenous witnesses. In fact, even the Assembly of First Nations' brief along with over 70 other briefs were not translated and sent to the committee until after the period of amendment. This is something that has been raised by a number of people as being a concern, telling people they did not matter.

Returning back to my comments, I was speaking specifically about the need for different aspects to be included in the bill. I will just start where I left off.

What we wanted to do was to include in the assessment report a summary of the measures undertaken by the provincial governments to achieve the national emissions targets. Once again, that seems obvious. However, once again without any debate, the Liberals and the NDP rejected it. There were no reasons given. They just voted against it. Their changes would be to include only the key measures that the federal government was implementing together with the provinces. However, since the provinces will be doing many great things on their own, should there not at least be a record of them?

The Liberals truly believe that the provinces are subordinate to the federal government and that, unless something is done by Ottawa, it is not important. That is not what we believe. A Conservative government would work with the provinces to reach our climate objectives. We believe that the provinces are partners, not punching bags.

There is another problem that I am hearing a lot about, and that is how the big push towards transportation electrification is affecting our electric grid.

Now, I support electric vehicles. Our party included an electric vehicle mandate in our secure the environment plan. We are not against electric vehicles, but Canadians are questioning whether the grid can handle this change. That is why we proposed that the assessment report in the bill include an assessment of the grid's ability to deal with increased demand.

We cannot move forward if we do not have the full picture. This was another reasonable proposal that was rejected by the Liberals and the NDP. We persevered nevertheless.

A lot of concern about the bill, including from me earlier on, has been about the formation of the advisory group. A significant number of briefs, witness testimony and amendments from other parties were about this very topic. We came up with what we believed was a reasonable approach: Instead of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change appointing all 15 members, he would simply appoint six, then the Minister of Finance would appoint three, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry would appoint three and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations would appoint three.

This would allow a more whole-of-government approach and for different ministers to put forward the priorities from their ministries into the advisory body. Conservatives believed this was the best way to ensure a wide variety of voices, not a body that includes people devoted to destroying a way of life for many Canadians, yet, sadly, the Liberals and NDP rejected it. Why did I list all these changes and talk about why the Liberals and the NDP rejected them without even debating them? It is because I wanted to show how much of a farce this process was.

Everything I mentioned was thoughtful and reasonable. We did not come in with a “Liberals admit they are terrible and should resign” amendment designed to be defeated, no. We came in with good ideas that the Liberals and NDP refused to even debate or consider, all of this after the minister said he was willing to work with all parties. Yes, sure. It was not just the Conservatives affected by this bad-faith deal between the Liberals and the NDP. I have already mentioned how an identical Green Party amendment was defeated. By the end of the process, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands had started to withdraw her own amendments because it was clear the Liberal and NDP members were not even interested in listening.

The Bloc Québécois put forward many great amendments, not ones that Conservatives generally supported, but thoughtful and productive. The Liberals and the NDP opposed them all without debate, except for one at the very end and the NDP decided to support adding a five-year parliamentary review. No one could have watched that process in committee and not be sickened by what they saw. The Liberals and the NDP not only rejected any suggestion that was not their own, but a great deal of witness testimony to boot.

Indeed, the few amendments the Liberals proposed and supported did not do anything. Many were just spelling out that the minister must do things that the minister could already do. The biggest joke of them all was an amendment that the target of net zero by 2050 did not mean net zero could not be achieved earlier, which zero people thought was the case, yet before we were called just as bitter as the Liberals, we voted for a couple of government amendments we thought were good. We came in willing to work in good faith. Unfortunately, the government and the NDP did not.

What did the NDP get for seemingly selling out to the government and agreeing to be its coalition partner in all of this? It was not much, as it happens. Basically, every environmental witness and brief stated there needed to be a 2025 target in the bill, a milestone target. In fact New Democrats themselves said that over and over in debate on the bill, but did they get that by making a deal with the government? No. Instead, they got a 2026 interim objective, which is not actually a thing in the bill and only exists in the NDP amendments as a topic that must be reported on.

In the bill, targets have teeth. They must have plans and reports. The interim objective does nothing. That is what New Democrats got for their undying allegiance in this. They also say that they got the advisory group to be more independent. What that really means is they simply added the word “independent” to the name. Seriously, that is all they did, just added a word. The minister still appoints all of them and decides what they will do unilaterally, but the word is in the title, so it must be true. It would be funny seeing what little the NDP members gave up in exchange for their loyalty if it was not so sad.

I am sure the NDP member will rise after me and proclaim New Democrats made the bill better, that they got the Liberals to make these nothing changes and that means they are doing really good work. The reality is that the Liberal government pulled one over on the New Democrats, gave them almost nothing and got their dignity in return. They will have to answer to their friends in the environmental movement for this sellout. I expect some of those meetings will not be pleasant.

That is how we got to where we are. The Liberals and NDP rushed the process, refused to listen to witnesses or briefs, refused to debate anything and refused to consider any ideas not their own, and that is just disgraceful. While we, the Bloc and the Greens were trying to debate, trying to do the thing we have all been elected to do, the minister accused us of filibustering the bill.

There were over 150 amendments and they were moving through at less than 10 minutes each. We were not filibustering, we were asking questions and debating, the kind of thing one would expect to do at committee scrutiny. To the Liberals, I guess daring to ask questions is tantamount to heresy.

We saw what they did to Bill C-10, stopping debate and passing laws in secret. That is how they want this place to run: a rubber-stamp for their Liberal ideas. I reject that. My constituents sent me here to represent them and to try to make the country better, and yes, to debate.

Therefore, I did ask questions during debate, and it is not my fault the Liberals and NDP refused to. In the Liberal world, even asking questions is apparently now a filibuster, because how dare we question the member for Papineau, whose ideas are perfect as they are and should never be challenged no matter who someone is. Well, I will because that is what I was sent here to do. I will ask those questions.

Since I wrote my speech, we had a closure motion pass today. As I said, the process the government chose was to put forward a bill and let it drag along and drag along. I would have constituents ask about Bill C-12 and I would tell them the government just really has not decided to move it forward.

Suddenly Liberals get to the end of the session and they start remembering there is a bill they have to do. They rush it through committee, a process I have explained, as well as how difficult it was on the witnesses, and even for members. I am sure there are lots of things Liberals would have wanted to ask more questions on so they could do their job as backbenchers holding the government to account, but they could not. They agreed to a strategy and they stuck with the NDP faithfully.

Since then, this very night, the minister tried to say Liberals supported the Bloc Québécois in their parliamentary review. That was fundamentally out of synch with any sort of reality. It contradicts exactly the testimony we heard earlier. The closure motion did not just cut off debate for myself but for all members, including those backbench Liberal MPs who maybe thought their constituents deserved to see their members of Parliament in action, asking questions, showing up to debate and putting forward their own ideas.

Let us be mindful, the House leader actually called the Conservatives out for filibustering a bill. We were asking questions, and he had the gall to say that we were holding things up. In fact, the Minister of the Environment a week ago Wednesday, wrote to different parties and asked us to finish the bill, which we were almost finished anyway.

We finished it Wednesday night, waited to see what happened Thursday and nothing. Eventually, our chair for the environment tabled it Friday and then Liberals said that they wanted to debate it as early as Monday, so we expected it. Then we found out that Government Business No. 9 suddenly springs out of nowhere. It sounded like they did not even want to debate Bill C-12, they just wanted to have something on the Order Paper, maybe because they knew it would not be ready in time.

What I am saying is the Liberals are in control of the agenda. One of the few things the government largely still has control of is the agenda on this place. Despite all their talk about us filibustering, they did not bring the bill forward. In fact, we did not even debate debating the bill, as in this motion, Government Business No. 9, until yesterday, a full week and a half after the bill was tabled.

I hope I have impressed upon members tonight that the government has slowly tabled a bill that many witnesses did not support, and then decided to let it languish on the Order Paper. When the Liberals finally realized they had to get the engines hopping, they jammed it through with only six hours of debate. Then they jammed it through again at committee. Now they are jamming it through today, so that even Liberal members do not get the ability to hold their own government to account, let alone all other members in this place.

I am deeply dissatisfied with the government. Canadians should see that the Liberals, by their own actions, have used a process whereby Canadians do not feel heard and their representatives do not feel needed. This is a minority Parliament. No political party was given an absolute majority in deciding the views of all Canadians.

This is where we are supposed to debate ideas and to force compromise. Instead, the Liberals and the NDP have linked up and said that they do not need to hear from anyone else. During a minority, that is a shame. Shame on the government House leader and the Minister of Environment for doing so.

On this side of the House, we will call out what we see. On this side of the House, we will fight for ideas that help our environment and help us meet our targets on climate change, not simply talk about them and talk a good game. After an election, a Conservative government will do what is right on the environment and do right by Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 1:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, I get to speak to you while you are in the Chair. To anyone who is tuning in right now, I wish all the best to the Speaker in the Chair right now. I know that the next chapter of your life will be very fulsome. It has been wonderful working with you. Hopefully, we will be able to work together again in September.

I will continue with some of my thanks. I know so many people are involved in making sure that this chamber can run. I am thinking of all the House staff, the interpreters about whom we have heard so much, making sure we are not popping in the mike, the technical support folks for the hybrid virtual Parliament who have been very busy, and the table staff, especially one of my favourites, André Gagnon. I have always said that he is going to be stuck in my living room forever, because one of my favourite photos is of him and me at my second swearing in. Thanks to all of the great people working in our House and making sure the democracy of Canada continues.

It truly has been a great pleasure serving in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd session, as the deputy House leader for the Conservative Party. There has been a lot of learning to do and a lot of procedural things, as well. All of us are working together to get that done.

I thank my colleague who spoke before me, because when we talk about results, that is something we really focus on. I would like to see results. When I first got here in 2015, we would talk about the government. We would talk about what we had done in government for nine and a half years, and some of the positive changes that we saw here in Canada. Some very good legislation was put forward. Every single time I was on a panel, I recall that the words used against me were, “Ms. Vecchio, that's rich.” Those were the words of our Liberal government members, all of the time: “That is rich,” any time we asked for something to be justified or asked for verification on things.

The government just does not want to answer. When we see an omnibus bill like this budget implementation bill, we should not be surprised. When we try to have debates, we should not be surprised when we do not get answers. I know that shortly we will be going into Question Period where that will continue.

In this Parliament specifically, we have seen things, such as the WE scandal, prorogation and Bill C-19 being done wrong. I want to focus on that. As of yesterday, Bill C-19 was reported back and tabled in the House of Commons. The fear that I have, and the fear that I think so many other Canadians should have, is that we are putting forward bills that have no witnesses coming to talk about these things. When we wanted to discuss Bill C-19, there was a motion to have important organizations representing everyone from seniors to people with disabilities look at this legislation and ask what it means. We were looking to speak to chief electoral officers who were on the ground and could talk about some of the things we needed to do.

What would a pandemic election look like in London North Centre or London West? I am looking at the member of Parliament for London West right now. What would it look like for London West? What would it look like for Elgin—Middlesex—London? I am seeing that special member look at me right now. I would like to thank her for all of the work that she has done. It has been great having a person beside me in London West who is part of the government and who has always ensured that when I give her a call, she knows what is happening in Elgin—Middlesex—London.

On behalf of all the constituents of Elgin—Middlesex—London, on behalf of my municipalities, I know I can call that member and say that we need an announcement, and the member for London West will ensure that announcement is made. If it is sitting on a minister's table, she is one person I know who can get it done. I really appreciate all of her hard work.

Moving on, when I am talking about some important things, I see that we are truly not doing what we should always be doing. We talk about due diligence. Last night, I got to listen to the member for Winnipeg North talk about the Conservatives and how awful they are. Although the word “corrupt” was not being used, he loved to use the word “obstruction.”

I will tell Canadians what obstruction looks like. Obstruction looks like 101 days in a filibuster when we are talking about prorogation of the government. That is what obstruction looks like. I love looking at the member, because he is laughing. I think it is because he knows exactly what I am getting at. He knows. He has been in politics for over 30 years. He knows how to wing this. He knows when we are playing these games, and we know that when the member for Winnipeg North is coming to a committee, the plan is to filibuster. When some of the greatest speakers who can speak 700 or 800 times in Parliament are brought in, we know the government is bringing in the big guns to filibuster. I would like to commend my colleague for Winnipeg North because that is exactly the type of work that they are able to do.

We have seen committee reports delayed. As the former chair of the status of women and as the former shadow minister of the status of women, I am really concerned that the defence committee could not table a report. Why it could not table a report, I think, has to do with the obstruction in committee. There has not just been obstruction in the Procedure and House Affairs committee. There has been obstruction in the committees for defence, ethics and any other committee in which the reports and information going forward are not to the liking of the government. That is just the type of thing that I have been seeing.

I do a lot of outreach as well in my riding. When reflecting on this budget, what do we see and what is important? I like to go out and speak to my constituents. We do a lot of householders. We do a lot of mailers and get a lot of information back. I would say that we probably got the most information back ever from replies to our last householder. We looked at that data. Do not worry. We were not using Liberalist. We actually looked at this data in our own office to see what my constituents were saying. I did not send it off to somebody to ask them to please look at it analytically and then let us know, while targeting my voters. I actually wanted to hear what they have to say. It is not just about how I am going to get their vote the next time. I want to be sure that I am serving them with a purpose.

However, 66% of our respondents believe there should be an increase in health care funding to the provinces. The government can talk about the funding put forward through this pandemic when it comes to health care. It did have to put some forward, but why? It was not prepared for a pandemic. It had taken some of the money and it had taken some of the programs. We know that the system to alert us of a coming pandemic and its impacts was not there. The information we should have been able to receive was not there because of some cuts and things they were doing while thinking that it was not important.

Sixty-six percent of our respondents believe there needs to be more money put into this health care system, but in this budget we do not see an increase in health care. We can see some things when it comes to pandemic spending, but as the former speaker talked about, we need to look at long-term plans as well. They cannot just be short-term. They cannot just be about how we get people voting for us today. It is about how we can provide good lives and better opportunities for them.

Coming from a farming community, one thing I always talk about is sowing the field. How do we prepare the field so that people can be the best crop possible? How do we encourage great growth? I look at all of these programs coming forward from the government and I am very concerned. What do we see for these people moving forward? I look at my son, who is 27 years old, and know that if he were to try to purchase a house in Elgin—Middlesex—London and put down the $20,000 he has been able to save, it would get him nothing. Why? It is because we have seen a 46% increase in housing prices in my area alone.

Those are some of the things that I think the government needs to tackle, along with the fact that we see inflation going higher and higher. That inflation is going to impact us greatly, especially if the interest rates go up.

I look at my own children who want to buy houses. The rates for getting a mortgage are awesome, but how can they buy houses when the prices start at almost half a million dollars? How are they ever going to get into the housing market and out of renting? I think that 55% of renters have been paying more in the last six months than they were before. How are people able to move forward and go up the housing ladder? How will they be able to go from being renters to being home owners and into those next homes for retirement? How will they be able to do that? I just do not see the path, unfortunately. I am very concerned with that.

We have 73% of respondents who were concerned about Bill C-10, which we voted on last night. At about 1:30 a.m. we saw that some amendments went through. We also saw the bill pass, unfortunately. I can tell colleagues that in my riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London this was an issue about which I heard from tons of my constituents. They said they did not want Bill C-10, and that they believed it needed to be amended. The amendments we put forward did not, unfortunately, go through.

Finally, 86% of respondents were concerned about the level of debt in this budget. These are the types of things I talk about.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-30.

I want to thank the member for Edmonton Centre for his incredibly compelling speech, and he did a fabulous job. As well, to follow up on his comments, all the best to you, Mr. Speaker, in the future.

As I was walking up to the House today, I was given to thought. I thought about my family, my staff, my friends and the people of Essex, and the impact that Bill C-30 would have on each and every one of them. Each of us will be affected by the bill. I want to give many thanks to my family, my staff and my constituents of Essex for the opportunity to be in this place to speak to Bill C-30.

Fifteen months ago, after the government's failure to heed the early warning signs of the pandemic ravaging Asia, Parliament was shut down for three weeks to flatten the curve. These many months later, the government's record is characterized by bad ethics, poor decision-making, undemocratic measures and huge deficits.

The government, propped up by the NDP, Bloc and Green Party, has repeatedly failed Canadians, from its early and repeated power grabs, its failure to shut down international flights in the early stages of the pandemic, its failure to secure PPE and its disastrous back-scene procurement and rollout. On top of that, we had the ill-conceived Canada student support program and the resulting WE scandal that led to the prorogation of Parliament to avoid scrutiny. For 15 months, we have seen the Liberals reward their Liberal buddies with contracts and now judicial appointments.

Only the Conservatives, as the official opposition, have stood against the Liberal excesses. The NDP has voted with the Liberals basically at every turn, even joining with them to shut down committees to help the Liberals avoid scrutiny. At a time when Canadians needed true leadership, ideology partisan interests have trumped principle.

Why am I mentioning this record in a speech on the budget? Because post-COVID, Canada needs an economic recovery plan and, yet again, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc-Green Party alliance has failed to offer anything but shiny baubles. The record speaks for itself. The NDP-Liberal budget is a massive letdown for workers in my riding of Essex. This is not a growth budget, and it fails to put forward a plan to encourage Canada's long-term prosperity.

I have three children just entering adulthood, and my first grandchild was born just a few weeks ago. I think of families in my riding, generations that have made their home in Essex County, and I wonder if my children and their children will be able to have the things that previous generations took for granted: a well-paying job, affordable housing and saving for their children's education. I am receiving hundreds of emails from constituents who remember the Canada of my youth. They tell me that they have no heart to celebrate Canada this year. They see the writing on the wall.

Rampant corruption, unchecked, has tarnished our hallowed halls. Bill C-10 threatens our Charter of Rights, and deficit spending and high debt always leads to tax increases and program cuts down the road. It is an open question if we will be able to protect our social safety net and our senior's pensions, who should be able to enjoy their retirement worry-free.

As the government continues to print money against Canada's GDP, as Conservatives predicted, inflation has risen to 3.6%. The cost of housing has soared and, as I said previously, putting it out of reach for many young families. As the cost of living rises, so does the cost for basics, like food, which hurts the lowest-income Canadians and seniors on fixed incomes the most. The government spending today borrows against our children's future. It is not a cliché; it is a simple reality that everyone who has a personal or household budget to manage understands.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has noted that a significant amount of the Liberal spending in the budget will not stimulate jobs or create economic growth. The Conservatives support getting help to those who have been hit the hardest by the failure of the Liberals to create jobs. In fact, the Liberal government has spent more and delivered less than any other G7 country. Canada's Conservatives were very clear that we wanted to see a plan to return to normal, that would safely reopen the economy and get Canadians back to work.

It is very clear that the Liberal-NDP budget was more about partisan politics than creating jobs or growing our economy. With their uncontrolled spending, the Liberals made it clear that they had no plan to return to a balanced budget. Throughout the pandemic, the Conservatives have made emergency support programs better for Canadians.

Alas, unemployed Canadians are hoping to see a plan to create new jobs and economic opportunities for their families. Workers who have had their wages cut and hours slashed are hoping to see a plan to reopen the economy. They were let down.

Layoffs at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Windsor mean that expectant mothers will see their maternity benefits cut, with all the money going out the door in income support. What has the government done for them?

Small business owners have been devastated by repeat lockdowns. Many have closed their doors permanently. Many are hanging on by the slimmest of margins.

Gyms like Xanadu in my riding have petitioned the government for ongoing aid. I have stood in the House for them. It will take months for them to recover, if they do at all.

Many hair salons and barbershops, many of them owned and operated by women supporting their families, do not qualify for business support.

Travel advisers went 15 months without any revenue. What does this budget do for them? Absolutely nothing.

Manufacturers in my riding whose entire business model is based on cross-border transactions have experienced losses of major contracts because the government did not see fit to deem them essential despite repeated appeals to their government. It is a tone-deaf government that cannot not grasp the concept that we cannot export goods without the free movement of the people who make and sell them. The effects of this will be felt for years. It will take many years for manufacturers to get back to where they were.

While they brag about the numbers, the Liberals fail to understand that the stuff manufacturers are working on now was negotiated two years ago, before the pandemic. Manufacturing is 13% of Canada's GDP. This sector is the largest contributor of taxable income. In Essex and Windsor, 54,000 jobs are represented in this industry. Eighty-five per cent of those goods produced go to the United States of America.

Manufacturers have done a good job. They were mandated to keep open and they did everything required, yet the government did not see fit to recognize their good work. When I first raised this issue with the minister in the House, and other government officials appearing before the special committee on Canada-U.S. economic relations, the government's response revealed its total ignorance and outright indifference.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the loved ones who have been separated by the Canada-U.S. border closure. Even when changes were made to broaden the definitions, many were left out or could not afford to quarantine for 14 days. To make matters worse, the government then added quarantine hotels and exorbitant costs with unsafe substandard care. The human toll has been deep. Here are but a couple of examples: grandparents unable to meet their grandchildren for the first time; parents looking to be with their son, graduating after 10 years.

The simple fact is that this budget does nothing to secure the long-term prosperity for Canadians. It does nothing to help my excellent riding of Essex. Canada's Conservatives got us out of the last recession. Canadians who are worried about their future know that we can and will do it again.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 10:40 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, what a pleasure it is to address the House on such an important piece of legislation. To be very clear, in budget 2021 the government has outlined a plan to allow us to finish the fight against COVID-19, heal the wounds left by the COVID-19 recession as much as we can, and ultimately create more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days and decades to come.

This is critically important legislation, and we would encourage all members of all political stripes to support it. Within it is a continuation of the government's focus on the pandemic. In the last federal election, Canadians wanted Parliament to work well together. They wanted us to come together to do the things that were necessary to facilitate a more positive environment for all Canadians, and being thrown into a pandemic made the priority fighting COVID-19: the coronavirus.

From the very beginning, our Prime Minister and this government have made it very clear that fighting the pandemic was our number one priority. We put into place a team Canada approach and brought together all kinds of stakeholders including different levels of government, indigenous leaders, individuals, non-profit organizations and private companies. We brought them all in to hopefully minimize the negative impact of the coronavirus.

It is because of those consultations and working with Canadians that Canada is in an excellent position today to maximize a recovery. The statistics will clearly demonstrate that. We have a government that has worked day in and day out, seven days a week, and is led by a Prime Minister who is truly committed to making Canada a better community.

I have, over the last number of months, witnessed a great deal of frustration from the opposition, in particular the Conservative opposition. The Conservatives continuously attempt to frustrate the process on the floor of the House of Commons. There was a time when all parties inside the chamber worked together to pass necessary legislation, and worked together to come up with ideas and ways to modify things so we could better support individuals and businesses in Canada. However, that time has long passed. The degree to which we see political partisanship on the floor of the House of Commons today is really quite sad.

Yesterday was embarrassing. I know many, if not all, of my colleagues found it embarrassing and humiliating to see one of Canada's most noble civil servants at the bar on the floor of the House of Commons. The New Democrats and the Bloc joined with the Conservatives to humiliate a civil servant who should be applauded for his efforts over the last 12 months. He was publicly humiliated by being addressed in the manner he was, on the floor of the House of Commons, and it was distasteful. I say shame to the NDP, the Bloc and the Conservatives.

There were alternatives. If they did not want to take shots at the civil service, they could have dealt with it in other ways. For example, the Minister of Health provided the unredacted information to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which was made up of parliamentarians from all political parties. Instead of passing the motion they did, they could have passed a motion for that committee to table the documents they wanted from the civil service. After all, the civil service provided the unredacted copies to that committee, not to mention that documents that had been redacted for national interest and security reasons were sent to another standing committee.

The political partisanship we are seeing today is making the chamber, for all intents and purposes, dysfunctional. We have seen the official opposition, less than a week ago, come to the floor of the House of Commons and within an hour of debate attempt to shut down Parliament for the day. It actually moved a motion to adjourn the House. The opposition is oozing with hypocrisy. On the one hand, it criticizes the government for not allowing enough time for debate, and on the other hand it tries to shut down the chamber in order to prevent debate.

If we were to look up the definitions of the words “hypocrisy” and “irony” in Webster's, which I have not, I wonder if they would describe what we are seeing from the opposition party, which moves concurrence debate, not once or twice but on many occasions, so that the government is not able to move forward on legislation, including Bill C-30, which we are debating today. That legislation is there to support Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Members of the Liberal caucus have fought day in and day out to ensure those voices are heard, brought to Ottawa and ultimately formulating policy that will take Canada to the next level. However, we have an official opposition that I would suggest has gone too far with respect to its resistance and destructive force on the floor of the House of Commons.

I have stated before that I have been a parliamentarian for approximately 30 years, the vast majority of which were in opposition. I am very much aware of how important it is that we protect the interests of opposition members and their rights. I am very much aware of the tactics opposition parties will use, but at a time when Canadians need us to work together, we have an official opposition that is acting as an obstructive force. When we talk about how Bill C-30 will be there to support small businesses and put money in the pockets of Canadians so they have the disposable income necessary to pay the bills that are absolutely essential, the Conservative Party continues to play that destructive role. It continues to focus on character assassination and on ways to make something out of something that is often not real. The Conservatives are more concerned about political partisanship than getting down to work, which was clearly demonstrated last Thursday. They are more concerned about character assassination, as we saw the official opposition, with the unholy opposition alliance, take personal shots at a national hero, someone we all know as the Minister of National Defence. This is unacceptable behaviour we are witnessing.

We have critically important legislation before the House. We can think about the types of things Bill C-30 would do for Canadians. If we want to prevent bankruptcies from taking place, we need to support this legislation, as it supports small businesses through the extension of the wage subsidy program, a program that has helped millions of Canadians, supporting tens of thousands of businesses from coast to coast to coast.

This is the type of legislation that we are actually debating today. It is not the only progressive, good, solid legislation that we have brought forward. Yesterday, through a closure motion, we were able to push through Bill C-10. We can imagine that legislation not being updated for 30 years. It is a major overhaul. We can think about what the Internet looked like 30 years ago, compared to today.

The Liberal government understands, especially during this pandemic, and we see it in the budget, the importance of our arts community, whether it was with Bill C-10 yesterday, where the government had to push hard to get it through, or the budget implementation bill today, where we are again having to use time allocation. It is not because we want to, but because we have to.

If we do not take measures of this nature, the legislation would not pass. The opposition parties, combined, often demonstrate that if the government is not prepared to take the actions it is taking, we would not get legislation through this House. The opposition parties want to focus on electioneering. We have been very clear, as the Prime Minister has stated, that our priority is the pandemic and taking the actions necessary in order to serve Canadians on the issue. It is the opposition parties that continuously talk about elections.

In my many years as a parliamentarian, in the month of June we have often seen legislation passing. It happens. It is a part of governance. One would expect to see a higher sense of co-operation from opposition parties, in particular from the official opposition party, not the obstruction that members have witnessed, not the humiliation that we have seen on the floor of the House of Commons at times.

Liberal members of the House are prepared to continue to work toward serving Canadians by passing the legislation that is necessary before the summer break. We still have time to address other pieces of legislation. Minutes prior to going into this debate, I was on a conference call in regard to Bill C-19. Again, it is an important piece of legislation. I challenge my colleagues on the opposition benches to come forward and say that we should get that legislation passed so that it could go to the Senate.

I mentioned important progressive pieces of legislation, and the one that comes to my mind, first and foremost, is this legislation, Bill C-30. Next to that, we talk a lot about Bill C-6, on conversion therapy. We talk a lot about Bill C-10, dealing with the modernization of broadcasting and the Internet, and going after some of these large Internet companies.

We talk about Bill C-12 and net zero, about our environment. We can check with Canadians and see what they have to say about our environment and look at the actions taken by opposition parties in preventing the types of progressive legislation we are attempting to move forward with.

We understand that not all legislation is going to be passed. We are not saying the opposition has to pass everything. We realize that in a normal situation not all government legislation is going to pass in the time frame we have set forth, given the very nature of the pandemic, but it is not unrealistic for any government, minority or majority, to anticipate that there would be a higher sense of co-operation in dealing with the passing of specific pieces of legislation. Bill C-30 is definitely one of those pieces of legislation.

Unfortunately, some opposition members will have the tenacity to say they are being limited and are unable to speak to and address this particular important piece of legislation. Chances are we are going to hear them say that. To those members, I would suggest they look at the behaviour of the Conservative official opposition and remind them of the Conservative opposition's attempts to delay, whether it is through adjourning debates, calling for votes on those kinds of proceedings, concurrence motions or using questions of privilege and points of order as a way to filibuster, which all happen to be during government business.

Bill C-3 was a bill that initially came forward a number of years ago from Rona Ambrose, the then leader of the Conservative Party, about judges. We can look at the amount of debate that occurred on that piece of legislation. It is legislation that could have and should have passed the House with minimal debate. It was hours and hours, days, of debate. Even though the Conservatives supported the legislation, even back then they did not want to have the government passing legislation.

Their purpose is to frustrate the government, prevent the government from being able to pass legislation, and then criticize us for not being able to pass legislation. What hypocrisy this is. Sadly, over the last week or so, we have seen the other opposition parties buy into what the Conservative opposition is doing, which has made it even more difficult.

As much as the unholy alliance of opposition parties continues to do these things and frustrate the floor of the House, I can assure Canadians that, whether it is this Prime Minister or my fellow members of Parliament within the caucus, we will continue day in, day out to focus our attention on the pandemic and minimizing its negative impacts.

We are seeing results. Over 32 million vaccine doses have been administered to Canadians. We are number one in first doses in the world. We have close to 35 million doses already in Canada, and we will have 50 million before the end of the month. Canada is positioning itself well, even with the frustration coming from opposition parties. We will continue to remain focused on serving Canadians, and Bill C-30 is an excellent example of the way in which we are going to ensure that Canadians get out of this in a better position. We are building back better for all Canadians.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 a.m.
See context

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to rise again tonight to speak to Bill C-10. It is always an honour to speak from the unceded traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and to serve the community of Nanaimo—Ladysmith within the traditional territory of the Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, Stz'uminus and Lyackson First Nations. Hych'ka Siem. It is National Aboriginal Peoples Day today, a day to celebrate the rich cultural heritage, the languages, the governance structure and the traditions of the indigenous people of Canada.

I spoke to many organizations about this bill. As an independent party called the Greens, we do not have the same ability to question witnesses in committee, so I held my own meetings and asked my own questions. One of the meetings I had was with APTN and indigenous producers. I want to talk tonight about the importance of indigenous voices in our broadcasting system. If we left this content up to the United States, our views of indigenous people would continue to be the Disneyfied view seen in Pocahontas and spaghetti westerns. It is really important that indigenous voices are heard.

In the early 1990s, my father found a letter written by a woman in 1898 named Elizabeth Shaw. She wrote a scathing 18-page letter about the residential school system and the abuses that were happening at the Port Simpson school. We made a documentary film about her and a number of indigenous people were involved with it.

Afterward, indigenous people told me about some of the other experiences they had and they wanted to make films as well. I said that it was not really for me to tell their story. That is what they should be doing and I helped facilitate it. I worked with a lot of indigenous producers, young people and older people. These people were interested in getting into media production, and I facilitated training and mentorship so they could tell their stories.

What came out of that? I worked with a young guy, Don Claxton. I worked with his sister Dana Claxton as well, who is an indigenous artist, and played music with their sister, Kim Soo Goodtrack. They had an idea for a show. That was in the late 1990s and, lo and behold, APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, was born. We produced a pilot for the first preschool show on APTN. I worked with them, a whole bunch of first nations and an indigenous technical crew, who we trained, to create 64 episodes of a show called Wakanheja.

The idea behind CanCon is to hear these important indigenous voices. We need to make sure that the independent producers creating Canadian content have access to the Canada Media Fund when they are producing for social media streamers like Netflix and others, rather than just for the Canadian broadcasters, because that is where a lot of this production is going.

I heard a lot of discussion about freedom of expression and that some YouTubers have to go down because Canadian content goes up, that somebody has to go down because somebody is going up. I do not know how many times I heard that at committee during filibusters. A Conservative member gave a great example of somebody they know who does coupon clipping and gives how-tos, and that is great. I looked at the top 100 Canadian YouTube producers and there were people doing nails, gaming commentators and spoof videos. There was lots of content that could be produced anywhere. People knew it was Canadian because they would drop an “eh”, say “get 'er done” or say “about” wrong, but that is not what the idea behind CanCon is all about.

This commercial content drives advertising dollars, and that is what the commercial Internet giants are all about: selling advertising. That is what the algorithms are designed to do. What is important in CanCon is indigenous voices, stories from Canada's north, Canadian documentaries, stories of new Canadians and emerging Canadian musicians. These are the programs that need to be discoverable, and that is what discoverability is about. It is about learning about each other and about Canadian stories, not being inundated by American culture or the dominant culture.

I missed my late show tonight. I want to talk about a Canadian story that needs to be shared and understood. In recent decades, Canadians have learned more and more about our former government's attempt to commit cultural genocide, to commit genocide, to wipe out indigenous cultures through the residential school system. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has reported extensively and provided a path forward with 94 calls to action.

What most Canadians are unaware of is a parallel set of institutions, the racially segregated Indian hospital system operated by the federal government between the 1940s and 1970s, and those hospitals have their own horror stories. I first heard about the Nanaimo Indian Hospital about 15 years ago, and many people in my community have no idea it ever existed.

In 2013, I was commissioned to produce a film for the Hul'qumi'num Health Hub about cultural safety in the health care system within the Hul'qumi'num speaking areas. Part of that film was to give health professionals an understanding of the history of institutional racism in health care and why indigenous people did not seek help when they needed medical attention.

I interviewed elders who spoke about the trauma they experienced in the Nanaimo Indian Hospital. I heard about painful treatments and I heard about people going into the hospital who were never heard from again. As part of the research for the film, I spoke with researcher Laurie Meijer Drees, who is the co-chair of the First Nations Studies Department at Vancouver Island University. She has documented the oral stories of people who have been in these hospitals, and wrote a book entitled Healing Histories: Stories from Canada's Indian Hospitals.

Of course, not all these stories were bad. Some people went to the hospital sick, were given antibiotics and returned home feeling better, but the horrific legacy of the Indian hospitals was based on treating all indigenous people as wards of the state. Consent for medical treatment only came into being for the general public in the 1960s. However, as wards of the state, indigenous people were not asked to consent for their hospitalization or treatment. The system patronizingly viewed them as lacking the capacity to give consent.

An indigenous person could be arrested by the RCMP for not going to the hospital if instructed to do so by a doctor. That twisted, racist mentality facilitated and led to women being sterilized without giving consent and patients being subject to experiments with medication without their prior knowledge.

These hospitals were underfunded and understaffed. Family members and communities were not updated on loved ones in the hospital. People died, children were shipped off to residential school or adopted out and family members were never informed. Some children were taken to hospital and years later no longer knew who they were, what their real names were or where they came from.

Most of what is known about this dark history comes from oral accounts told to researchers and shared through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but the medical files are locked and researchers have not been granted permission to access them. Apparently the reason given is that those records contain personal information. It is important to protect personal information, however, we do not need to expose personal information to get to the bottom of what happened.

To heal from those past traumas, we need to know the truth. The truth is sealed in those medical records, and it is incumbent upon the government to give researchers and independent adjudicators appropriate clearance, access and analysis of this data to conduct a full independent inquiry. I am looking forward to a first nations producer, an indigenous producer, creating a documentary about this and having members of this place finding this through discoverability on YouTube. These are stories we need to hear. These are the truths we need to hear. We also need to hear about the rich cultural heritage of indigenous people.

Let us talk about censorship. We are worried about censorship. The real concern about censorship is these large corporations. On May 5, red dress day, the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, family, friends and loved ones were posting about their missing loved ones. Thousands of those posts disappeared.

Right here in my community, I know Lisa Marie Young went missing years ago. What happened to all these posts? They were all pulled by Instagram. This is happening with other things like Black Lives Matter, Israel and Palestine, Sheikh Jarrah and SOS Colombia. I heard one of the Conservatives say that their posts were missing, right-wing posts, but this is clearly not Conservative posts.

Freedom of speech is important to me and we need to uphold it, and this bill would do that.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 a.m.
See context

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have watched my colleague in meetings with stakeholders. I have watched him in the House. I have watched him in the media, and he really is a friend who is fighting hard for the cultural sector in Canada. The work that he has done to stand up for our artists and our writers and folks who are in the creative sector is outstanding. While I am disappointed by the Conservatives' attempts to derail this legislation, I am not surprised. We know that they have never been friends of the cultural sector. That has been very clear all the way along. I am surprised by how badly the Liberals have managed this.

Could the member speak a little more about what he would have done to make sure this legislation was treated with the urgency and the importance that I know he thinks Bill C-10 has?