Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2 (Targeted Support for Households)

An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing


Jean-Yves Duclos  Liberal


This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.


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

Part 1 enacts the Dental Benefit Act , which provides for the establishment of an application-based interim dental benefit. The benefit provides interim direct financial support for parents for dental care services received by their children under 12 years of age in the period starting in October 2022 and ending in June 2024.
Part 2 enacts the Rental Housing Benefit Act , which provides for the establishment of a one-time rental housing benefit for eligible persons who have paid rent in 2022 for their principal residence and who apply for the benefit.
Finally, Part 3 makes related amendments to the Income Tax Act , the Excise Tax Act and the Excise Act, 2001 .


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


Oct. 27, 2022 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing
Oct. 27, 2022 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing
Oct. 27, 2022 Passed Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing (report stage amendment)
Oct. 27, 2022 Passed Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing (report stage amendment)
Oct. 19, 2022 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing
Oct. 19, 2022 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing (reasoned amendment)

Sitting ResumedBudget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

June 5th, 2023 / 8:50 p.m.
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Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak this evening—although I must say the hour is late, almost 9 p.m.—to join the debate on Bill C‑47.

Before I start, I would like to take a few minutes to voice my heartfelt support for residents of the north shore and Abitibi who have been fighting severe forest fires for several days now. This is a disastrous situation.

I know that the member for Manicouagan and the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou are on site. They are there for their constituents and represent them well. They have been visiting emergency shelters and showing their solidarity by being actively involved with their constituents and the authorities. The teamwork has been outstanding. Our hearts go out to the people of the north shore and Abitibi.

Tonight, my colleague from Abitibi-Témiscamingue will rise to speak during the emergency debate on forest fires. He will then travel back home to be with his constituents as well, so he can offer them his full support and be there for them in these difficult times.

Of course, I also offer my condolences to the family grieving the loss of loved ones who drowned during a fishing accident in Portneuf‑sur‑Mer. This is yet another tragedy for north shore residents. My heart goes out to the family, the children's parents and those who perished.

Before talking specifically about Bill C-47, I would like to say how impressive the House's work record is. A small headline in the newspapers caught my eye last week. It said that the opposition was toxic and that nothing was getting done in the House. I found that amusing, because I was thinking that we have been working very hard and many government bills have been passed. I think it is worth listing them very quickly to demonstrate that, when it comes right down to it, if parliamentarians work together and respect all the legislative stages, they succeed in getting important bills passed.

I am only going to mention the government's bills. Since the 44th Parliament began, the two Houses have passed bills C‑2, C‑3, C‑4, C‑5, C‑6, C‑8 and C‑10, as well as Bill C‑11, the online streaming bill. My colleague from Drummond's work on this bill earned the government's praise. We worked hard to pass this bill, which is so important to Quebec and to our broadcasting artists and technicians.

We also passed bills C‑12, C‑14, C‑15, C‑16, C‑19, C‑24, C‑25, C‑28, C‑30, C‑31, C‑32, C‑36 and C‑39, which is the important act on medical assistance in dying, and bills C‑43, C‑44 and C‑46.

We are currently awaiting royal assent for Bill C‑9. Bill C‑22 will soon return to the House as well. This is an important bill on the disability benefit.

We are also examining Bill C‑13, currently in the Senate and soon expected to return to the House. Bill C‑18, on which my colleague from Drummond worked exceedingly hard, is also in the Senate. Lastly, I would mention bills C‑21, C‑29 and C‑45.

I do not know whether my colleagues agree with me, but I think that Parliament has been busy and that the government has gotten many of its bills passed by the House of Commons. Before the Liberals say that the opposition is toxic, they should remember that many of those bills were passed by the majority of members in the House.

I wanted to point that out because I was rather insulted to be told that my behaviour, as a member of the opposition, was toxic and was preventing the work of the House from moving forward. In my opinion, that is completely false. We have the government's record when it comes to getting its bills passed. The government is doing quite well in that regard.

We have now come to Bill C-47. We began this huge debate on the budget implementation bill this morning and will continue to debate it until Wednesday. It is a very large, very long bill that sets out a lot of budgetary measures that will be implemented after the bill is passed.

I have no doubt that, by the end of the sitting on June 23, the House will pass Bill C‑47 in time for the summer break.

What could this bill have included that is not in there? For three years, the Bloc Québécois and several other members in the House have been saying that there is nothing for seniors. I was saying earlier to my assistant that, in my riding of Salaberry—Suroît, we speak at every meeting about the decline in seniors' purchasing power. I am constantly being approached by seniors who tell me—

Opposition Motion—Home Ownership and Renting AffordabilityBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

May 2nd, 2023 / 12:05 p.m.
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Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I somewhat disagree with what my colleague just said about the NDP always being prepared to support housing measures.

Before Christmas, we voted on Bill C-31, which sought to send a $500 cheque to everyone who earns less than $20,000 a year and puts more than 30% of their income toward housing. Most tenant advocacy organizations in Quebec criticized this measure, saying that it was the kind of thing a right-wing government would do. The government was just sending out cheques so that it could say that it was helping people.

That does not build housing. The government spent a lot of money sending out those one-time cheques. Obviously, they were good for people who need housing and who do not have a lot of money. However, the government could have taken that money and built housing units so that, in a few years' time, more disadvantaged people could have a roof over their heads and a place to call home.

Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements ActPrivate Members' Business

April 18th, 2023 / 6:25 p.m.
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Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak on this issue.

I would like to begin by congratulating the sponsor of this bill, the hon. member for La Prairie, who led the fight for the single tax return in the Quebec National Assembly a few years ago and is now leading it here. It is an important fight.

It is a bit surreal to think that we are at this point today, wondering whether people should file one tax return or two. This is not rocket science; it makes absolutely no sense. Besides, as the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot mentioned, people in Quebec are the only ones who file two tax returns. It is too much paperwork, just a lot of paperwork. It is a problem.

People across Canada have no idea what this is like. They do not know what it is like to have to file two tax returns and fill out lines 287 and 544 two or three times when the issues and restrictions are not the same. It is complicated, and not everyone can afford accountants.

We saw what happened with a very important issue recently. Under Bill C-31, those who earn less than $20,000 a year and pay more than 30% of their income for housing are supposed to get $500, but many people could not find the form and did not know they were entitled to this $500. It is odd that we are talking about this, but there are plenty of people in Quebec who have run into these problems.

There is a problem here. There is already too much red tape, too much paperwork. We cannot understand why our Liberal friends and their NDP lackeys insist on saying no to such a measure. Perhaps it is because it comes from Quebec, because it would give Quebec more power and because it might make Quebeckers realize that, basically, they no longer need Ottawa. We already know that. We can say so, because that is why we are here. We are here because we believe that we no longer need Ottawa on many fronts. Ottawa always enjoys attacking Quebec. Yes, there are fine words, always lots of fine words.

Let us talk about language, for example. I always want to talk about it because what we hear from the other side is always somewhat hypocritical. I have listened to the Liberals talk ever since I became an MP. They keep saying that they will pass legislation on the issue of language, that French is in decline and that they will address this by introducing a bill with teeth that will halt the decline of French. It is fascinating to hear.

Today, I am going to make a solemn declaration: The only way to halt the decline of French in Quebec is for Quebec to become independent. There is no other way to do it. We could quibble about Bill C‑13. Even Quebec's Bill 96, which is a good law and will result in some progress, will not resolve the problem in a tangible way. That is what I want to talk about. The Liberals are hypocrites when they say that they want to work on this issue. Behind the scenes, in committee, the government directs its members, its West Island bullies, to sabotage its own amendments and its own bill because the Liberals are allergic to anything that comes from Quebec and to anything that could give more power to Quebec. That is what is at stake, and that is what we are talking about. It is fascinating.

I saw them, the West Island ministers, when they went to Montreal to protest against Bill 96. It is not enough for them to play the hypocrites in the House and not introduce the measures we need. Now they are working to sabotage legislation that might offer a slight improvement in the decline of French. It is fascinating. We keep seeing this double standard where things that are allowed across Canada and not allowed in Quebec.

We also see what is happening in immigration, where there is another problem. Quebec needs more control over our immigration levels in order to ensure that we can integrate newcomers. What are we seeing instead? The government dreams of a Canada with a population of 100 million, where 500,000 people are welcomed every year. Quebec is letting in 50,000 people right now, and we cannot integrate them. For whatever reason, good or bad, we cannot integrate the people arriving in Quebec. It is a major problem. In fact, it is the major problem, and we cannot cope.

We need to create an ecosystem in Quebec to ensure that we are able to integrate the people who are arriving from all over. We want to welcome these people. We need them to help us out with the labour shortage, for example. We need people who come from all over and bring their amazing knowledge and culture with them. They will make a positive contribution to our Quebec, the nation we love. We said that we needed more power. Mr. Legault got elected by saying that he would get that power from Ottawa. What was the answer he was given?

The answer was no. It seems that any request that comes from Quebec is seen as dangerous. The federal government decides that there must be something behind it and that Quebeckers are bound to take advantage to do bad things. The federal government is scared of us.

We are talking about a savings of $425 million. How can the federal government say no to that? How can it say no to $425 million when needs are growing? According to the study my colleague mentioned earlier, we are missing out on $425 million in savings.

There is a housing crisis. We talked about it earlier, but it is worth mentioning time and again. In the 250-page budget, how many pages are dedicated to housing? One and a half pages. Canada needs 3.5 million housing units over the next 10 years. The housing crisis is the greatest challenge of our time, alongside the language crisis and the climate crisis. The budget contains 250 pages of numbers, statistics and measures, but only one and a half pages on the housing crisis. Unbelievable.

This budget is basically a slap in the face to every person who does not have adequate housing in Canada. It is basically a slap in the face to the 250,000 people in Quebec alone who are in dire need of housing.

Then there is climate change. The government is sending billions of dollars to billionaires. It is appalling. It is utterly outrageous. That is what these geniuses came up with when they sat down to talk about taxes and dream up measures.

I am currently touring Quebec to talk about the housing crisis. In Trois‑Rivières, a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence is sleeping in a car with her two children. The budget does nothing for her. There is no mention of her in the budget. In Longueuil, 17 people are living in a three-bedroom apartment. There is no mention of those 17 people in the budget. The government is not addressing this problem.

Here is what we are talking about. This measure would not only eliminate paperwork and red tape, but it would also save money. It would help the less fortunate.

Health is another file with urgent needs. Quebec asked for $6 billion. How much did it get? I am tired of talking about health transfers, but I do not know how else to communicate. Maybe we could sing about it. My colleague from Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix could sing about it. I could get up on the desk and do a little dance to convey how inadequate the health transfers are. People are dying in Quebec's emergency rooms.

Quebec asked for $6 billion. How much did it get? Did it get $4.5 billion, $3.2 billion or $2.8 billion? No. It did not even get $1 billion. The government is not doing anything to help fix the problem. There is no support.

There are all kinds of good reasons to tackle this problem. Things are dire. It is a surreal issue. We must fix this. This is an issue that is unique to Quebec. I will state right away that it is true that Quebec wants more powers. We do not want just a single tax return, we want all the powers. We want Quebec's independence.

December 13th, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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The Chair Liberal Sean Casey

I call the meeting back to order.

We are now going to move to clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Just for members' information, we have a couple of people here to support us.

You will see Tim Singer online. He's the director general of environmental and radiation health sciences at Health Canada. If there are technical questions about the bill or the proposed amendments from a departmental perspective, Mr. Singer will be able to help us.

We also have with us, as legislative counsel, Marie-Hélène Sauvé. She will be able to help with any of the procedural, technical and legal elements of the amendments.

Before we start, I'd like to provide members of the committee with some instructions and a few comments on how the committee will proceed with clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-224. I know you heard this script before when we went through the process on Bill C-31.

Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear in the bill and in the package each member has received from the clerk. Members should note that amendments must be submitted in writing to the clerk of the committee. Amendments have been given an alphanumeric number in the top right corner to indicate which party submitted them. There's no need for a seconder to move an amendment. Once moved, you'll need unanimous consent to withdraw it.

During debate on an amendment, members are permitted to move subamendments. These subamendments must be submitted in writing. Once every clause has been voted on, the committee will vote on the short title, the preamble and the title of the bill itself. An order to reprint the bill may be required—if amendments are adopted—so that the House has a proper copy for use at report stage.

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of clause 1, the short title, and of the preamble are postponed.

The chair, therefore, calls clause 2.

(Clause 2 agreed to)

(On clause 3)

Is there any discussion?

Go ahead, Mr. van Koeverden.

Opposition Motion—Carbon TaxBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

December 8th, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is great to recommence speaking to such an important topic, but also on our government's record of assisting Canadians at this period of time.

Our government is well aware that many Canadians are struggling to put food on the table during this period of high inflation. We go to the grocery store and cannot help but feel discouraged to see the price of the food we eat every day continue to rise. Milk, meat, bread, fruit and vegetables all cost more now. Many families across the country are struggling to make ends meet these days because of inflation.

However, it is important to remember that inflation is a global phenomenon, and food inflation is no exception. It is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been exacerbated by Vladimir Putin's illegal and barbaric war in Ukraine. To make things worse, snarled supply chains are affecting people and businesses around the world.

However, there is some room for hope in Canada. While inflation was 8.1% in June, it is now down to 6.9%, lower than what we see in many peer economies. For example, in the United States, it is at 7.7%. The EU is in double digits at 10%, and in the United Kingdom is 11.1 %. Still, inflation at 6.9% in Canada is too high.

I do personally, as an economist, forecast inflation going down in the quarters ahead, which will bring much needed relief to Canadian families.

On the bright side of things, as we are all bracing for a global economic slowdown, I believe there is no country better placed than Canada to weather the coming global economic slowdown and thrive in the years ahead. Indeed, Canada has an unemployment rate near its record low, as more than 500,000 more Canadians are working today than at the beginning the pandemic. We also have the strongest economic growth in the G7 so far this year and the lowest net debt and deficit-to-GDP ratios in the G7. On top of that, our country maintains its AAA credit rating from all three rating agencies.

However, we understand that a large number of Canadians will continue to struggle. The next few months will be difficult for our friends, families and neighbours because of inflation.

Many Canadians need help to get through the crisis, and our government is there for them. For example, with our affordability plan, we are putting forward a suite of measures totalling $12.1 billion to help Canadians make ends meet and provide for their families.

It is important to note that the measures we are putting forward are not pouring unnecessary fuel on the inflation fire. They only provide targeted, fiscally responsible help to those who need it most.

I would like to remind my colleagues what our affordability plan has to offer. It would enhance the Canada workers benefit and put up to $2,400 more in the pockets of modest-income families. That would assist nearly three million Canadian workers on a yearly basis.

We will cut regulated child care fees by an average of 50% by the end of this year. As I noted in the first two minutes of my speech prior to question period, my family received news that, for little Leia, who is in day care now, the fees have been reduced by 25% and a further 25% will occur by the end of the year. That is great news for not only my family, and we are quite blessed, but also for families who need that assistance and help.

There is a 10% increase in old age security, which we had put in prior to the increase in global inflation. This will be $800 more for over three million seniors aged 75 and up who need it the most.

Regarding dental care, over 35,000 Canadians have signed up for their children under 12. These Canadians have incomes under $90,000 a year and do not have private insurance.

We will make a $500 payment to 1.8 million low-income renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.

There is the doubling of the GST credit for six months, which is providing additional relief to 11 million individuals and families.

Everything is indexed to inflation. As I mentioned earlier this week, when speaking to Bill C-32, then finance minister Paul Martin introduced the indexation of all benefits of all marginal income tax rates to avoid what is called “tax creep” due to inflation. It was very important. It was one of the largest tax cuts ever introduced in Canadian history and provided a boost to incomes. It is great to see that continue.

When we think about the increase in the cost of living, it is due to the cost of groceries, of course, but it is also due to the cost of housing. Our government believes that everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home. That goal was taken as a given for previous generations, but it is increasingly out of reach for far too many Canadians. Rents continue to climb across the country, pushing people further and further away from where they work.

With Bill C-31, we move forward with a one-time top-up to the Canada housing program. This will provide a tax-free payment of $500 to low-income renters, and 1.8 million Canadians will receive this. This payment will provide direct assistance to those who are most vulnerable to inflation and those experiencing housing difficulties.

These 1.8 million low-income renters include students who are struggling to pay for housing, and they will be eligible for this new assistance. This one-time top-up is part of a broader set of initiatives introduced in budget 2022. It will invest more than $9 billion to help make housing more affordable, including by alleviating the supply shortage, which is one of the main causes of the high cost of housing, particularly in the GTA.

In addition, with Bill C‑32, our government is moving forward with its ambitious package of measures to build more homes and make housing more affordable across the country.

In order to help Canadians afford a down payment faster, Bill C-32 proposes to move forward with a new tax-free home savings account. This account would allow prospective first-time homebuyers to save up to $40,000 tax-free toward buying their first home.

As with the registered retirement savings plan, or RRSP, contributions would be tax deductible and, as with the tax-free savings account, or TFSA, withdrawals would be non-taxable. The tax-free first home savings account is a new tool that will help prospective first-time homebuyers save for a down payment.

We will also enhance the first-time homebuyers' tax credit. The professional fees associated with real estate transactions are another hurdle. That is why we are proposing to double the first-time homebuyers' tax credit. The enhanced credit would provide up to $1,500.

I know my time is winding up, so I will stop there. I look forward to questions and comments from my hon. colleagues from all sides of this hon. place.

Opposition Motion—Carbon TaxBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

December 8th, 2022 / 11 a.m.
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Hull—Aylmer Québec


Greg Fergus LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Winnipeg South for his excellent speech today and for his answers to the questions, because he really hit the nail on the head.

This opposition motion makes a brief reference to pollution pricing. Pollution pricing is a good thing, because pollution has a price. It is not free to pollute. My hon. colleague from Winnipeg South mentioned that in his province, floods that should only happen once every 100 years have occurred twice. It has happened twice.

In my own riding, the Ottawa River burst its banks and caused flooding in 2017 and 2019. Statistically speaking, such floods should happen once a century, but they happened twice in three years. The climate crisis is here, and we need to get rid of practices that are not working anymore. The days when individuals, businesses, organizations and governments could pollute with impunity have passed. That is why I am very proud to say that we are going to be putting a price on pollution.

I am a firm believer in capitalism. I think it is good for people to earn money. We applaud all those who want to make money by producing a good or providing a service. If they pollute while doing so, however, they must pay. I have confidence in the wisdom and ingenuity of Canadians, and certainly in our entrepreneurs, who will find ways to produce goods while reducing their carbon emissions. That means they will pay less, their product will be more efficient and cheaper, and people will buy it because it works. That is the idea behind pollution pricing.

However, the motion before us today attempts to link the inflation we are experiencing today, the increase in prices, with pollution pricing. There is no link. When my colleague from Whitby was asking a question, he referred to a witness who appeared before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, on which my colleague sits. This witness is famous in Quebec and knows agriculture like the back of his hand. He was asked if the carbon tax was contributing to inflation and driving grocery prices up, and he said that it was not.

What is causing inflation is the global context. There are several factors. First of all, there was the pandemic. All the companies suddenly had to shut down to make sure that people were safe and that the COVID-19 virus did not spread. Eventually, thanks to the innovations that led to the development of vaccines, the economy started to reopen, following the advice of public health authorities.

All of a sudden, there were a lot of people all wanting to buy things at the same time. They wanted their freedom back. One or two people would have been okay, but when the whole world wants to buy things, it creates significant demand. Problems arose with supply chains around the world, especially in China because of its zero-COVID policy. That policy led to plant closures and disrupted supply chains worldwide. As if that were not enough, there is also Vladimir Putin's abhorrent war on Ukraine. It has hampered the flow of goods, creating product shortages and doubling price increases.

These are global trends that are happening, so what do we do? Canadians are facing price increases, but, unlike the official opposition, our government has an answer. Our answer is to help the most vulnerable Canadians. We are doing that in several different ways. Let me explain.

The first thing we want to do is make life more affordable for Canadians. With Bill C-30, we doubled the goods and services tax credit for a period of six months. The GST credit, which is in place to help the most vulnerable Canadians, is a tax-free payment to low- and modest-income individuals and families. Regardless of the circumstances, these people need a hand, especially these days. Our measure will put $2.5 billion in the pockets of around 11 million Canadians, and these individuals and families will be very happy to have this money for the next six months.

With Bill C-31, we created the Canada dental benefit. Once again, this benefit will put about $1,300 in Canadians' pockets to ensure that kids 12 and under have access to dental care. There is something else, too. We also paid $500 to 1.8 million low-income Canadian renters who are struggling to pay the rent. This is another targeted, non-inflationary support measure that will make a big difference for those in need.

Earlier this year, we increased old age security by 10% for people aged 75 and over. I can also talk about the Canada workers benefit, which is another way we are providing targeted assistance to support Canadians in need. This benefit is a refundable tax credit offered to Canadians and families who are working but earning a low or modest income.

All of these targeted and reasonable measures will help Canadians get through this global crisis. We can do all this while also fighting the climate crisis. That is what we have done in Canada. This will create a more sustainable economy, a healthier environment, and social cohesion. As parliamentarians, what are we good for if not bringing everyone together?

Bill C-32—Time Allocation MotionFall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

December 6th, 2022 / 10:50 a.m.
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Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, when I was a child, there were stories on TV. They all used to end with “they got married and had many children”. The NDP and the Liberals got married and had many closure motions. They impose closure on themselves. They impose closure on the House of Commons. We have never seen an opposition party so eager to keep quiet. Sometimes, when we hear them talk, we can understand them.

Seriously, the government has negotiated 20 closure motions with the NDP. There was a motion that said the government could extend sittings until midnight up to June 23, if it so desired.

Let us look at the legislative agenda: Today we are studying Bill C-32; tomorrow, Bill C-32; Thursday, Bill C-32; Friday, Bill C-32. That is what is on the agenda.

They can extend the sittings until midnight, but that is not enough for them. They are in a hurry. Their bill is urgent. What do they do? They decide. My colleague, the Minister of Tourism, said that they are fed up. I would like to remind them that they are in Parliament. This is a democracy. I know that the Prime Minister once said he admired China and China’s dictatorship, but at some point he will have to learn to listen to the opposition, because the opposition parties often have important and relevant things to say. It might inspire them not to introduce bills like Bill C-31. That is why the NDP is on its knees licking the Liberals’ shoes; it is all for Bill C-31.

I have been a member of the House for 10 years, and I have never seen such a rotten bill. It is not me saying that, it is Mario Dumont, when he wrote about dental insurance and Bill C-31 in his column. The bill was so badly put together that they must have been hanging their heads in shame as they drafted it. That is why the NDP supported 20 gag orders. It is a little embarrassing.

My question is for the NDP. Are members of the NDP not ashamed of having supported 20 gag orders and not saying anything?

November 28th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Chair, the minister talks about global problems, and it seems like everything is anything but the Liberals' problem. However, it's completely the opposite, and I will assure the minister that most Canadians don't care about a rating from Bay Street. Most Canadians don't know what that rating even is. What they know is that the inflationary spending her government has done is putting more of them into food banks and leaving them to pay more for their mortgages and to worry about insolvency. The Governor of the Bank of Canada told this committee that the nearly 7% inflation rate that her government caused is going to cost each Canadian $3,500 next year. Again, blaming all other factors is completely avoiding the situation they've created.

The governor also said at this committee last week that, had their government not spent as much as it did, inflation wouldn't be this bad. He noted that with inflation at nearly 7%, every Canadian will be paying $3,500 more. As 50% of variable-rate mortgages are now hitting the trigger rate, one in five Canadians are skipping meals or reducing how much they eat, and the majority of Canadians who answered a poll said that they couldn't survive a recession if it lasted longer than a few months. Your government put Canadians in this position, and your future Liberal leadership opponent, Mark Carney, even admitted to a Senate committee that inflation is a domestic problem not a global problem.

We know that the relief measures proposed in Bill C-30, Bill C-31 and the FES will be evaporated by inflation, so why is the government not trying to tackle the actual root cause of the mess that it created?

TaxationAdjournment Proceedings

November 24th, 2022 / 5:45 p.m.
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Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.


Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I take a lot of time writing my notes, but to get off that for a second, at the request of my colleague, there was in fact a carbon price seven years ago, just not in his home province of Alberta. In my home province of B.C., there absolutely was a price on carbon, and guess what. During that period, British Columbia had the fastest-growing economy in the country at the same time as we had a carbon price. That is just some food for thought before I get into my extensive notes.

Our government understands that many Canadians are worried about our country's economy and that we are facing a global slowdown due to global challenges of high inflation and higher interest rates. However, it is important to remember that inflation is in fact a global phenomenon. Indeed, it is a lingering result of the COVID pandemic, Putin's illegal war on Ukraine and the snarled supply chains that are affecting so many people and businesses right around the world. The good news, though, is that no country is better placed than Canada to weather the coming global economic slowdown and thrive in the years ahead.

Canada's inflation rate is less severe, at 6.9%, than those of our peers, like the United States, at 7.7%, the United Kingdom, at 11.1% and Germany, at 10.4%. We rely on Stats Canada to do those calculations. Also, our country has a AAA credit rating and has had the strongest economic growth in the G7 so far this year. That is alongside the lowest deficit- and net debt-to-GDP ratios in the G7. In fact, we have strengthened that advantage over the course of the pandemic. Our unemployment rate is also near its record low, and 500,000 more Canadians are working today than before the pandemic.

We do appreciate, though, that this is a difficult time for families, friends and of course our neighbours. That is why we are now moving forward with targeted measures, including new ones introduced in the fall economic statement. For example, Bill C-32 would make the federal portion of all Canada student loans and Canada apprentice loans permanently interest-free, including those currently being repaid.

We are also continuing to implement our government's affordability plan, which includes targeted measures worth $12.1 billion. For example, with Bill C-31 having recently received royal assent, we are moving forward with the creation of the Canada dental benefit for children under 12 in families with annual incomes of less than $90,000 who do not have access to a private dental plan. Also, individuals and families receiving the GST credit started receiving an additional $2.5 billion in support earlier this month, and I thank my friend opposite for supporting that measure.

These are targeted measures that help make life more affordable for Canadians who need it the most, while being careful not to add fuel to the inflationary fire.

When it comes to pollution pricing, we know that a national price on pollution is the most effective and least costly way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while putting more money back into the pockets of most Canadians. Climate action is no longer a theoretical political debate; it is an economic necessity.

Earlier this month, the Parliamentary Budget Officer published an analysis showing climate change has negatively impacted and will continue to negatively impact the Canadian economy. The Conservatives regularly conflate the increased cost in global commodity prices with a price on pollution, but this is a fundamental error in practice. In B.C., for example, the carbon price has increased by only two cents per litre over the last three years while the price of gas has increased by over a dollar. That means the Conservatives are regularly ignoring 98% of the real problem. They also ignore the fact that the federal carbon price is revenue-neutral and that it actually makes life more affordable for eight out of 10 Canadian families through the climate action rebate.

FinanceOral Questions

November 23rd, 2022 / 2:55 p.m.
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Papineau Québec


Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise a viable alternative to fighting inflation. Two specific responsible measures will be implemented, thanks to the recent passage of Bill C-31: help for Canadians to pay their rents and support for their children to be able to receive proper dental care.

While the Conservatives think Bitcoin and buzzwords will solve inflation, we on this side will always stand on the side of supporting the middle class.

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

November 22nd, 2022 / 11:30 a.m.
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Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, it is always fascinating to hear my colleague boast about the government's actions.

He said earlier that they gave time to the House, that they voted to extend sitting hours until midnight with the NDP's agreement, that they are so democratic, and that they have so much to say. I forget how many gag orders they have forced on the House since I have been here. In fact, we spend half our time in the House debating adjournment motions in order not to debate. It is outrageous. Two weeks ago, they cut off debate on Bill C‑31, a very important bill for housing. In committee, they cut off debate on Bill C‑13 on reforming the Official Languages Act and they no longer want witnesses to be heard. The act has not been reformed in 50 years. There is a major language crisis in Canada and the Liberals do not want to debate it.

I cannot believe that they think this is a great democracy that spends its time debating the big issues.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

November 21st, 2022 / 4:55 p.m.
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Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise to join the debate today on Bill C-32 as the government tries to push through some of its fall economic update. Not only are we talking about yet another bad bill, but again, it is trying to rush through the process of us reviewing it.

We saw this morning the government wants to cut short our debate by limiting it until the end of the day. To be clear, when I say “government” in this case, it applies to something more than what the Minister of Finance and the government House leader, as cabinet members, are supposed to represent when they introduce their bills or motions. It is something more than the wider Liberal caucus in this place that has stood by and supported the government's decision no matter the cost it brings to Canadians.

What is happening right now actually goes back to the agreement made earlier this year with the NDP. Yes, we are starting to see the NDP-Liberal coalition back in action.

It reminds me of when, not too long ago, Canadians first learned about a deal between the Liberals and the NDP. Everybody knew it was a convenient arrangement for these two parties to help each other stay in business, but they have been downplaying it from the time they announced it. They tried to pass it off as a working agreement on a small number of points where they had some mutual understanding. However, over here in the opposition, we have already seen what is going on, and Canadians outside this place can see it too.

The NDP and the Liberals will not dare to call themselves a coalition, but the whole time they have behaved like they are a majority government in Parliament. Back in the spring, it did not take long for them to bring forward a motion to push through government bills. The most shocking part of it might have been that it allowed a minister to move, without notice, a motion to adjourn the House until we would resume months later in September. Such a motion would be decided immediately without debate or amendment.

From early in May, the opposition was left waiting to see if the government would suddenly shut down Parliament for months. It was a strange thing to give the government such power if there was never actually a chance or need for it to be used.

At the same time, the motion also allowed the government to change the parliamentary schedule and give next to no notice. A minister could rise a minute before adjournment and declare we are sitting until midnight on a government bill. This introduced a lot of uncertainty into the whole process, not just for members but for parliamentary staff like our interpreters, who have had to work throughout these proceedings.

The Liberals and the NDP would have to explain to me the practicality of a lot of this happening without them working so closely together to coordinate the agenda and prepare for any last-minute changes. It would be exactly like if they were all part of a government trying to keep the opposition on its toes and undermine our important work. As we have heard from the government so often, it made it seem like this was only temporary and that it expired before the summer break. Then we all came back and it seems to be happening all over again.

First, the Liberals and the NDP used a special motion to rush Bill C-31 through the House with late-night debates and committee meetings. The result is more inflationary spending, which might fulfill part of their political agreement but is not the right solution for what Canadians are going through and asking for at this moment in time. However, that was not enough for the coalition. Last week, it passed another motion similar to the one it used before the summer, so now it can play games with the opposition again until the end of June.

It is a clear pattern. It is even more troubling to see it come from a party that is supposed to be in opposition and still officially pretends it is. Instead, it is enabling the Liberals to avoid accountability as a minority Parliament. That is what they are doing again with Bill C-32 today. However, none of this will stop us Conservatives from doing our jobs and doing our best to stand up against the desperate decisions of a government in decline.

Right now there is a cost of living crisis caused by inflation and interest rates, and they are failing to address it. The cost of groceries went up at the fastest pace in 40 years, and people have had to pay the highest gas prices ever. While Canadians are forced to cut back on spending, we are not seeing the government show fiscal restraint or provide tax relief. Instead, it continues to waste taxpayer dollars and weaken the foundation of our economy, especially by attacking our energy sector.

With that in mind, it is ironic to read this part of the economic update:

There is no country better placed than Canada to weather the coming global economic slowdown and thrive in the years ahead. We have the most talented and resilient workforce in the world, and we are a country that skilled workers want to move to. We have the key resources the global economy needs, and as we enter an era of friendshoring and our closest partners shift their strategic reliance from dictatorships to democracies, they are looking to Canada to provide them with those resources.

It is the last part of that statement that I find the most interesting. The government, from day one, has spent the last seven years attacking the development and growth of our natural resources sector here in Canada. During that entire time, the Conservatives have defended Canada's great potential to supply the world's needs, while our industry follows higher standards for respecting human rights and the environment. We keep saying it and the government ignores it time and time again. Even now, I doubt it really even cares to get it.

The sad reality is that the government is hurting the same sector that would strengthen our economy and support our allies all over the world. We have already seen that the federal government's past decisions have limited Canada's ability to help Europe as much as we otherwise could have during an energy crisis, but what is worse is that the government still does not have the willingness to rise to the occasion with Canadian energy. We saw that when the German Chancellor personally came here on a special trip and the Prime Minister gave him a disappointing response. The Chancellor came here looking for Canadian LNG to help wean Germany off its dependency on Russia, and he was told “no”.

The Liberals are not going to reverse their anti-energy policies, which they will continue to expand. One of the new and subtle ways they are doing this is through a shares tax. They are not saying it openly, of course, but the industry has raised it as a concern. What is even more telling, though, is that opponents of the energy sector have also pointed to this tax as something that specifically targets Canadian oil and gas.

The likely result is that there will be damage done to Canadian jobs and industry more than anything else. It is also going to help drive carbon leakage into other areas run by dictators, like some of these overseas places we are importing oil from and other countries are dependent on when they should instead be focused on Canadian oil and gas. As usual, the Liberals pretend to go after big business, while their policies make life more expensive for all Canadians, including the most vulnerable. It is exactly the opposite of what is needed while facing economic hardship.

This is the same government that weakened our economy before it had to go through stressful events, and then decided to make it worse with wasteful spending. The Liberals' economic update proves that they have not learned much from their mistakes. As a case in point, the Liberals are going to raise the carbon tax, even though it has been a big part of the problem in terms of the cost of food and fuel. They say it is an environmental plan, but it is really nothing but a tax plan.

Along with that, the Liberals are failing to support workers and communities affected by their mandated coal transition. I represent some of these communities, alongside the member for Souris—Moose Mountain. Rockglen and Willow Bunch are such communities that are in my riding, and this year the environment commissioner's audit has shown that so far, the transition program is shaping up to leave these communities and their workforce behind. In fact, it goes so far as to say there is a complete lack of a plan, and that over the pandemic the Liberals have taken the last two years completely off, while not even allowing an extra two years in lieu for these communities to get their orders in line to be able to meet this transition from the government, but without the government's help.

There are a lot of talented people who are doing the best they can to prepare for this coming change, but again, as I just alluded to, there is still no planning and no attention from the government. These places still are not getting the answers they need for the future. When I look at the economic update, it still seems like this not a real priority for the Liberals, and that they will continue to break their promise to these coal communities.

These are the things we need to talk about while the government tries to shut down debate. These are things that should have been brought up in the fall economic update and have not been brought up, which is why we need this time to be debating this here today.

The Liberals are once again missing an opportunity, and they will continue to use the same kinds of decisions that brought us here, to where we are, where they limit debate along with the help of the NDP, and Canadians cannot afford it anymore.

Bill C-32—Time Allocation MotionFall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

November 21st, 2022 / 12:10 p.m.
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Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. colleague for her support of Bill C-32. I was not on the opposition benches at time to which she is referring. As a member and as a minister, I can say that I talked to Brad in my riding this week, who thanked us for making sure we got Bill C-30 and Bill C-31 done so quickly, because he wanted and needs the $500 housing support in that legislation. On the weekend, I talked to Mike and Laurie, who thanked us for our child care supports. They said to me at the All is Bright festival, “It's making a real difference, and we're able to make it through this inflationary cycle.”

There are millions of other Canadians waiting for us to get to work, to get to committee and to get Bill C-32 passed so that the people who need the help the most can get those supports when they need them the most.

Dental CareOral Questions

November 18th, 2022 / 12:05 p.m.
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Milton Ontario


Adam van Koeverden LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport

Madam Speaker, it is a real honour and privilege to stand on behalf of the Minister of Health today and thank and congratulate the member for Pontiac for her hard work and advocacy, particularly for Canadians living in rural communities across the country.

Indeed, with the royal assent to Bill C-31, over half a million kids will visit the dentist this and next year, kids who do not have dental insurance and otherwise would not have been able to visit the dentist. This is an affordability measure. This is a health care measure. This is how we take care of families on this side of the House. This will have positive impacts across this country, including for families right across the river in Pontiac.

Dental CareOral Questions

November 18th, 2022 / noon
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Sophie Chatel Liberal Pontiac, QC

Madam Speaker, I also want to highlight the great news we received yesterday that Bill C-31 received royal assent. While the Conservatives opposed the bill, to prevent kids from receiving affordable dental care this year, the government stood up for Canadian families and put forward real solutions to make life more affordable. These are solutions, not slogans.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health highlight how the government is delivering on dental care for Canadian families and also for families in my riding?