Status

Unknown

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-2.

Votes

Dec. 2, 2021 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2021 / 1:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, what a joy it is to be back in the House and be here for the rare occurrence of hearing the member for Winnipeg North speak. It happens about as often as a full eclipse of the sun. It is amazing. I am going to tell my grandkids that I was here to hear the member speak. It is actually disappointing that the Liberals have so many new members, yet time and again it is the same chap who stands up, as much as I do understand.

I will be sharing my time today with the member for Cumberland—Colchester, who is one of the new members we are allowing to speak.

We are talking about Bill C-3 today. I am glad to get a chance to get a word in edgewise, with the member across the way, but also to speak before the Liberals perhaps prorogue Parliament, call another snap election or use any other of their usual ploys to avoid accountability.

Bill C-3 is probably a needed bill, but it is an odd bill. Half is related to justice and the other half to the Canada Labour Code. I am not sure why the Liberals have put the two of them together instead of presenting them to the House separately. I hate to think doing it this way is a typical Liberal ploy, or that they are hoping someone will object to part of it, so they can scream and yell and say we are anti-health care workers. I know I am being cynical because there is no way in the world they would ever consider doing that. They would never try to wedge folks.

We have heard repeatedly from the government, and our colleagues from the NDP and the Bloc, about how much this bill is needed. Why now? Why not a year ago? Why not six years ago with the Canada Labour Code? Why have the Liberals waited? They have had the backing and support of all the parties during the COVID crisis to put through almost everything with unanimous consent. Why would they wait so long?

The labour changes the bill mentions easily could have been brought in before. Their delay reminds me of a great Seinfeld episode in which Newman, the postal worker and Seinfeld's nemesis, helps to kidnap Elaine's neighbour's dog and eventually gets caught. When a policeman comes to arrest him, he, à la son of Sam, asks what took him so long. I have to ask the same of the government. If it was such a priority, why would it wait?

We could have had this before the House, debated it and sent it to committee long ago. The election took place on September 21 and we waited two full months to sit in the House again. In the U.K., Boris Johnson was able to re-form the House and get its Parliament back to work in six days. It took the government two months just to get us here.

We could have easily dealt with Bill C-2. In the House today during question period, we heard the Liberals tell the Conservatives to get on side and pass Bill C-2. We heard them say in debate that we should help small businesses and pass Bill C-2. Why did they not convene Parliament to get us back to work immediately so we could pass Bill C-2? It is the same with Bill C-3.

With respect to Bill C-4 on conversion therapy, people thought it was Bill C-6 or Bill C-8, because it was brought to the House several times. It was killed when the government prorogued Parliament. It was killed again when it called an early election, which no one really wanted and was not needed, as we ended up the same. If it were that important, why did the Liberals not try to pass the conversion therapy bill earlier? They had six years to bring it in.

One bill I remember they brought through in 2017 as a higher priority than the conversion therapy was Bill C-24. At the time, and I was using another Seinfeld quote, I called it “a bill about nothing”. Basically, the bill changed the bank account the old ministers of state were paid from in the estimates process. I think it also changed the official name on the cheques from Public Works to PSPC.

This was a bill we debated in the House and tied up the committee with. Somehow the government decided that was more important than a conversion therapy bill. They had been paid that way since Confederation. The ministers of state were paid out of one small bank account, and the other ministers, technically the government, were paid out of another. We could have continued doing that and brought the conversion therapy bill then.

The reality is this: The government is not serious about how it puts forward its legislation. It delays, obfuscates, throws it out and then demands that opposition parties get on board and hurry up to pass it, when it could have done that a long time ago.

Generally, everyone supports the first part of the bill, on criminalizing threats toward health care workers. We have all seen, during the election, the blocking of ambulances from getting to hospitals and the harassing of health care workers. We have heard the horrible stories from my colleague for Timmins—James Bay, where a small-town doctor, vitally needed, was chased out of his community by these threats. We just heard from him about the single mother who was horrifyingly harassed just for getting a vaccine.

Therefore, perhaps we need this legislation, but I would like to hear more details. Apparently, a lot of this is covered already under provincial or other laws. I would like to see how the bill would strengthen the protection for our doctors and nurses and, as my colleague mentioned, for people who are just going for a vaccine. There are the doctors and nurses we have to protect, but we also have to protect Canadians who are trying to access health care facilities.

During the election, we Conservatives had, as part of our election plan, the critical infrastructure protection act. This would provide additional security from those protesting vital infrastructure, such as our hospitals and our rail and pipelines. We saw what just happened in B.C., with its supply chain devastated because of the cuts to the CN and CP rails. That was obviously an act of nature as opposed to protests, but protests can be just as devastating, and we have seen it be just as devastating to our health care when we do not have consequences. I hope my colleagues in the House will eventually adopt a law that would protect other vital infrastructure besides our hospitals, and also our supply lines.

Unfortunately, from day one, we have had mixed messaging from this government regarding vaccines and the COVID crisis, and it has led to confusion, fear and anger. None of this, nothing this government or anyone else has done, excuses the violence and harassment of our health care workers, doctors and people trying to access health care. However, what the government has done has not helped. When Canadians needed certainty, leadership and consistency, we got false information from the government, like we saw with the Deputy Prime Minister being admonished for fake news on Twitter.

It is funny. We heard earlier that my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, when he was out door-knocking, was surprised by the anger from the vax versus the anti-vax people. I felt the same thing. We had people threatening us with a shotgun if we dared come with that. We have all felt it, but he was surprised. I want to read something from the National Post for the member. It said that in January, the Prime Minister had argued against mandatory vaccines as “divisive” in our “community and country”. It said that in March, he mused about the inequality and inequity of vaccine passports. In July, he said there would be no mandatory vaccines. However, two weeks later, apparently led by internal polling that showed he could divide the country for political gain, he announced a mandatory vaccine, cynically just in time.

The article goes on to say that the Prime Minister's “flip flop on vaccine mandates” exemplifies “a governing philosophy based on political calculus”.

This is not governing based on bringing us together, or on trying to get the unvaccinated vaxxed by convincing them of how good vaccines are and how they will lead us out of the troubles we are in. There is nothing about that. It is using it based on polling to create divisiveness in Canada for political gain.

The Prime Minister, when speaking out against protesters, used the term “you people” when describing the protesters. Now, I might perhaps, against some of the people who are blocking hospitals, have used harsher language, but he used the term “you people”. Now, I note for our feminist Prime Minister that the website everydayfeminism.com says “you people” is a racially coded phrase. Again, nothing the Prime Minister has done excuses the protesters and their actions, but nothing the Prime Minister has done has gone to alleviate the divisions in Canada. He has used this to divide the country.

Apparently I am out of time, so I will let it go and perhaps leave it open to questions and comments to address the second part of the bill.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2021 / 1:05 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I will just continue with one of the most recent questions, as I thought it was of interest. The member just made reference to five days and 10 days. The idea of paid sick leave for workers is something that is important to all of us, and we recognize that. In fact, the member might make reference to the number of asks by the leader of the New Democrats, but he should remember that in 2019, the government actually instituted the three-day paid sick leave for workers. As it was pointed out, B.C. has seen to bring it up to five days.

One of the things the Prime Minister has consistently talked about over the last number of months, and probably from the beginning, is that we can try to learn things through the pandemic. That is why we are seeing before us the legislation that we have today. I will get into that in more detail shortly.

I wanted to start off by underlining what I think is a very important point. Everyone, whether they are a health care provider or a health care client, should feel safe when going into a health care facility. That is one of the two motivators for all of us to get behind this legislation and pass it through.

I am quite encouraged. To say it up front, in the last few days we have seen a great deal of optimism on the floor of the House of Commons. The other day, we passed the conversion therapy bill unanimously through second reading, committee stage and third reading. That could not have been done without the support of every member inside the House of Commons.

Yesterday, Bill C-2 got to the committee stage. Members recognized that it was important, because it continues to provide the supports Canadians need. This includes for small businesses, individuals and the communities we all serve. It was great to see the debate collapse and Bill C-2 go through.

This morning we have another wonderful debate taking place. From what I have heard thus far, we have had Conservatives, the Bloc and New Democrats talk positively about the legislation, believing this is the type of legislation that it would appear everyone can get behind. I can appreciate there are members who have some ideas in terms of amendments, and we will wait and see what kinds of amendments surface. I suspect there might even be some amendments today. Members are waiting for the bill to get to committee, where they will propose the amendments.

Having been a parliamentarian for a number of years, I have always thought that one of the best ways to get amendments dealt with is to share them as much in advance as one can, or do that consultation with parties on all sides of the House, making sure the department is aware of it. This is, as are the other two initiatives, a very important piece of legislation.

I reflect on the last election, and having gone through a number of elections as a candidate, I can tell members that it is not that often that we get real anger at the door. On the issue of vaccinations, what surprised me was the degree to which so many people were very upset. We could see the divisions even within a household.

I can recall at least two or three occasions when I was talking to a person at the door and the individual would be getting visibly upset. Someone else from the household would come and ultimately save the day, if I can put it that way, and lower the temperature. We have to try to get a better understanding of why that is taking place.

During the election we really started to see the protests. When I was at the doors, I would often to say to people that, whether it is members of the Green Party, the Liberals, the Conservatives or the New Democrats, we are all saying that people need to get vaccinated. All political parties, with the exception of the People's Party, were encouraging that.

People would ask about their individual freedoms, the Charter of Rights, and so forth. I suspect that, if the federal or provincial governments were denying people those basic human rights, opposition parties of at least one of the two levels would have stood on their feet to say we had gone too far. However, I am not familiar with any political party or individual member of Parliament sitting today who is saying that people should not be getting vaccinated. Yes, there are some concerns that some are not, but at the end of the day, to the best of my knowledge, I like to think that positive message is getting out.

One has to ask why the anger is out there. We need to expand upon that. What brought us to the point we are at today where that aspect of this legislation is necessary?

We can go back to March 2020, when very few people had an in-depth understanding of what the coronavirus was and its long-term impact, let alone its short-term impact. It was not that long ago when we were just told to wash our hands” Health care and science experts, at the beginning, were not saying that we had to wear masks. There was a learning curve, and it was very steep.

As we proceeded through the pandemic, we learned a great deal. Today, as a result, we find that people will continue to wear masks. I envision it will continue even after a year. Someone was saying to me that, if they were to have a cold, they would be inclined to wear a mask, as a consideration. I believe that masks will continue to be worn well into the future for different circumstances. It is not just something that will be gone two years from now.

I believe that people have a far greater understanding of why it is important to wash their hands. The 95% alcohol sanitizers are going to be selling well into the future because people will continue to use them. In the long term, this will actually save health care costs.

I used to be a health care critic in Manitoba, as well as a critic for a number of other portfolios. I would take tours of facilities, and I do not recall seeing people using the type of PPE that we have today. I suspect some of the things we are seeing now will linger into the years ahead, as it should. We have learned many measures through this pandemic.

If we look back to March of 2020, we were trying to get a better sense of the science. Health experts came together to make sure the advice they were giving to Canadians was right on the mark. That is why I consistently told people, virtually from day one, that I am not a health care expert, so the best thing they could do was follow what our health care experts were saying.

What we provided, as a government and as members of the House of Commons, was a first-class, second-to-none website presence through Health Canada, which was constantly being updated to provide the necessary information, so people could have a sense of comfort in knowing that the professionals were out there and there is a science to this. By clicking in, or by phoning their member of Parliament, Canadians could get an understanding of what was taking place and be brought right up to date. Provincial and territorial entities across the country, in all regions, also did likewise.

The problem was false news and people intentionally spreading misinformation. This is what fed into the whole anti-vax mentality. It somehow gave additional strength to anti-vaxxers. I was concerned when we started seeing rallies with people being bold enough not to wear masks in situations where there was a high concentration of people. People were coming together without masks to say that vaccinations were not the way to go. I would suggest that to think that did not have an impact would be wrong.

That is why each and every one of us has a role to play. The outcome of that misinformation, which provided an empowerment of sorts to those anti-vaxxers, was that it enabled them to espouse garbage, which is the best word that comes to my mind. We started to see protests. Let us imagine, if we can, some of the most vulnerable in society, the sick in a hospital facility, or those wanting to visit them, as there were limitations, and there were people protesting, making it more difficult for them.

Health care workers have really stepped up, working long hours and overtime, some of which was never ever claimed. Many health care workers got into that profession not because of the money, but because they truly care about the health and well-being of people. They want to contribute.

Those health care workers, and I am using that in the broadest terms, as I am talking about the cooks in our hospitals and the workers who kept our hospitals and long-term care facilities open, as well as the registered nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses aides and lab technicians, saved thousands of lives. All those wonderful people ensured Canada's population was, as much as possible, being provided the services that were absolutely critical to getting through this crisis situation. They prevented thousands more from ever having to go into ICUs. They were there, providing advice so people could ensure they could minimize the chances of people getting the coronavirus in the first place, whether it was testing, bed care in an ICU or the care provided in a long-term care facility. These are the heroes who took us through the pandemic.

I find it appalling that there are some in society who would actually protest people's entry into facilities, and the screaming and the yelling that was taking place. Whether they were protesting health care providers and workers, patients or visitors, they need to really reflect on that behaviour. We have to think about the roles we all play. During the election, there was no hesitation in my mind. When people would bring up the issue, I was right there, recognizing that people should not be protesting in the manner in which they were protesting. It was not right. Canadians recognized that, and this legislation deals with an important election promise.

I see I only have two minutes to go, and I have not even talked about the 10 days' paid leave. I am going to hop right over to that and maybe address more on it during questions and comments.

The federal government, a couple of years back, brought in three days of paid leave. In the last 18 months, the Prime Minister said to Canadians, and to Liberal members in Parliament on so many occasions, that we need to build back better, and this is a good example. Let us take a look at what Bill C-3 is doing. This is giving more social benefits to workers in Canada. This is something that is very strong and positive, and all of us should get behind it.

People who are sick should not have to go to work. This extends what we previously did in 2019. It was nice to hear that B.C. is following suit. If Ottawa were to pass this legislation, I do believe it would send the positive message to our provinces and territories that we could have better labour laws. If the provinces and territories get onside and support this type of legislation, then all workers in Canada, not the minority but all workers, would be able to benefit.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

December 3rd, 2021 / 1 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite‑Patrie talked about the importance of supporting certain workers during the ongoing pandemic. My thoughts are with the workers in the cultural sector, who will continue to struggle for a long time to come because we are not out of this crisis yet.

The Liberals are good at dragging their feet and throwing the ball in someone else's court, like the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Finance are doing when it comes to Bill C‑2. Will someone consider helping our cultural sector workers?

Is my colleague prepared to work with the Bloc Québécois in committee to advance the file of workers in the cultural sector by proposing measures in Bill C‑2 specifically adapted to their needs?

Small BusinessOral Questions

December 3rd, 2021 / 11:30 a.m.
See context

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Innovation

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for the question because it gives me a chance to explain something to the House and to Canadians who are watching at home this morning. One thing that Canadians and small businesses across this nation will remember is that we have been with them every step of the way through this pandemic, both at the start and during the pandemic, and we will continue.

I have one piece of free advice for the Conservatives. If they are genuine in wanting to help small businesses in Canada, why do they not support Bill C-2 instead of voting against it like they did yesterday?

The EconomyOral Questions

December 3rd, 2021 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Innovation

Madam Speaker, I understand because earlier this year, I myself helped distribute food hampers to families in need.

If there is one thing that Canadians will remember about our government, it is that when Canada went through a pandemic, we were there to support them. We were there for families, we were there for workers and we were there for businesses.

The best thing to do, and this is the advice I am giving the member opposite, is to support Bill C‑2, which will continue to help Canadian families and workers.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, let me start off by echoing the statement the member just made. Let us shop local and encourage our constituents to recognize the difficult times that our businesses have had to endure over the last 18 months. One of the ways we can support them is to shop local.

There is another thing we can do collectively here in the House. We understand now that Bill C-2 will be going to committee, and I am hopeful and optimistic that we will see it come out of committee and ultimately get the support that is necessary to see it pass, because it too would support small businesses.

My question is more related to the issue of housing. We have seen over the years the amounts of money being invested in social housing, and they have been historic. There has been a housing strategy too, something that has never happened before in the history of Canada, at least for the last number of generations.

I am wondering what specific initiative the member believes would make a difference, from his perspective, because there are a number of initiatives already in place that are having an impact.

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

December 2nd, 2021 / 3:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 3:15 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the second reading stage of Bill C-2.

Call in the members.

The House resumed from November 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / 1:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, depending on the Conservative member of Parliament who is standing, we often get a different approach on the CERB benefits. Sometimes Conservatives will be critical of the government because of the benefits. Then other Conservatives will talk about how important those CERB benefits were.

What is the policy of the Conservative caucus with respect to Bill C-2, which continues to support workers and businesses in different situations? Does the member support the principle of Bill C-2? On that matter, would he also provide his thoughts on whether Revenue Canada should be collecting where mistakes are made?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / noon
See context

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member hit has it right on the head. Our government was there throughout the pandemic and continues to be there with the introduction of Bill C-2, which would support the hardest-hit businesses across the country.

We did put the program in place to end on December 31, 2022. The fact of the matter is, that is something we could look at. Our fiscal framework will be challenged because we have just gone through the pandemic. We do have to focus on supporting small businesses, but I will leave that for the Minister of Finance to ultimately make her decision.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Clifford Small Conservative Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the kind comments of the member opposite. When it comes to Bill C-2, we have a lot of discussion that needs to take place in this House. We need to know if that bill fits what is needed in my industry and in all of the hospitality and tourism industry in Canada. I have many friends from coast to coast who call me, email me and text me on a daily basis and say, “Cliff, we need help. Speak up for us.”

I am here to advocate within my caucus and to work with members opposite. I will do my very best to make sure that the right thing is done with Bill C-2.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Madam Speaker, my question arises from the first minute and a half of the member's speech when he was talking about his personal experience running a restaurant business and how much he appreciated the ability to carry on.

Can we work together and will he support Bill C-2?

Travel AdvisersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 2nd, 2021 / 10 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Marc Dalton Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table e-petition 3643 on behalf of over 2,500 signatures and 12,000 independent travel advisers across Canada. These advisers in Canada have been working without income for 19 months due to COVID‑19 travel restrictions. The Liberal Party promised financial aid for these advisers, but sadly there was zero mention of it in the throne speech and they are not included in the provisions of Bill C-2.

The petitioners call upon the government to provide sector-specific funding for independent travel advisers in the form of bridge financing until May 2022 at the very minimum until they are able to see a recovery in their business, and ensure that independent travel advisers are included in the class of eligible applicants for the tourism and hospitality recovery program announced by the government on October 21.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 1st, 2021 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, the recent bill we were discussing, Bill C-2, specifically addresses the issue of the hardest-hit sectors in the pandemic. If businesses have been hard hit and have still not been able to recover, they should look into the legislation, and the programs that will come through that legislation, which is before the House.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

November 30th, 2021 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, our government has a very strong plan. I was not here for the last Parliament when we saw a number of COVID reliefs come in to help Canadians, including businesses, get through a very difficult period. We are now working through the Speech from the Throne and legislation coming out of it, such as Bill C-2 that was introduced earlier this week, to help Canadians continue to thrive and survive, to deal with issues such as labour shortages and get people into the workforce. That is why I am so proud to be part of this government moving forward through COVID relief and doing the work that needs to be done in Canada.