Evidence of meeting #13 for COVID-19 Pandemic in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was chair.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

I call this meeting to order.

Welcome to the 13th meeting of the House of Commons Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This will be a hybrid meeting. Some members will be participating via video conference and some will be participating in person.

In order to ensure that those joining the meeting via video conference can be seen and heard by those in the chamber, two screens have been set up on either side of the Chair’s chair, and members in the chamber can listen to the floor audio or to interpretation using the earpieces at their desks.

Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name, and please direct your remarks through the chair.

For those joining via video conference, I would like to remind you to leave your mike on mute—

May 28th, 2020 / 12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

I have a point of order.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Can the member wait for the point of order until we finish the introduction?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

There is so much noise in the background over there, Mr. Chair.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

That is a very good point of order.

I want to remind everyone that when we speak, it is picked up. We have amazing speakers—and an amazing Speaker, but that's a whole other story—and amazing microphones in the chamber, and they do pick up everything. I know there was some chatter going on in the background. I want to make sure everyone is aware of that.

Mr. Aboultaif, that was a very good point of order. I appreciate that.

For those joining us via video conference, I would like to remind you to leave your mikes on mute when you're not speaking. Also, please note that if you want to speak in English, you should be on the English channel, and if you want to speak in French, you should be on the French channel. Should you wish to alternate between the two languages, you should change the channel to the language that you are speaking each time you switch languages.

Should members participating by video conference wish to request the floor outside their designated speaking times, they should activate their mic and state that they have a point of order. Those in the Chamber can rise in the usual way.

Please note that today's proceedings will be televised.

I understand that there are no ministerial announcements for today, so we'll continue to the presentation of petitions, for a period not exceeding 15 minutes.

I would like to remind members that any petition presented during a meeting of the special committee must have already been certified by the clerk of petitions. For members participating in person, we ask that they please come and drop the signed certificate off at the table once the petition is presented.

The first petition goes to Mr. Manly, who is joining us via video conference.

12:05 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This is a petition that calls on the government to deal with helping our honey bees. They are crucial to our food system. They provide hundreds of billions of dollars worth of services to commercial agricultural crops and other ecological services every year, and the European Union has put heavy restrictions on the chemicals that are affecting them, the neonicotinoids.

This petition calls on the Government of Canada, for the sake of bees and our food security, to follow Europe's lead and adhere to the precautionary principle by banning the use of neonicotinoids in Canada.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The next presenter of petitions will be Mr. Genuis, who is very parliamentary and dressed from the waist up, I understand.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and that is all you need to see for the moment.

Canadians are horrified by the military report on the conditions of long-term care in Ontario. It raises big questions about the choices facing seniors in certain situations, which is what makes this first petition particularly timely.

I am tabling a petition related to Bill C-7, the government's euthanasia bill, which seeks to dramatically remove safeguards that the government said were vital only a short time ago. When some people are living in deplorable conditions, we cannot truly speak of them as having a choice of when they ought to die. Especially in light of that new information, I commend this petition for the consideration of members of the House.

The second petition is in support of Bill S-204 on organ harvesting and trafficking, put forward in the Senate. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the donor's consent. This bill seeks to combat the horrific practice of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The next petition presenter will be Ms. May.

12:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and greetings from Saanich—Gulf Islands.

The petition I'm presenting today is petition e-2509, which has been duly certified. It relates to what I think many of us will regard as the real heroes of the last few months.

In this pandemic, there have often been very underpaid and overworked front-line workers who receive minimum wage and nothing more, and who are of course deemed essential services. The petitioners have asked the government to implement a wage supplement as a temporary measure to bring the wages for those who are in contact with the general public and working in what has been deemed an essential service to no less than $20 an hour, in light of their service and the risks they're taking for all of us.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We have a point of order from Ms. Harder.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Chair, the honourable member who just spoke brought up a great point yesterday. She said that when we present petitions, we are simply supposed to give one or two sentences before putting them on the table. I believe that was more than one or two sentences.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to remind honourable members that when they are presenting petitions, they should be very concise with the précis that they give up front, as opposed to going on for a long time.

Now we will proceed to statements by members for a period not exceeding 15 minutes, and each statement will be for one minute.

We will start with Mr. Fonseca.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Today I am honoured to recognize the youth in my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville who are part of the 52nd Mississauga Scouts.

For over a decade, I've had the great opportunity to join the Scouts every year during the month of May for the door-to-door food drives. This year has been a lot different, owing to the COVID situation, but our Scouts are not used to saying the word “impossible”.

David Chant, head leader for their cub pack, reached out to share that the youth have found innovative ways to engage our community through a virtual food bank. I say a big thank you to Scout leaders like David, who are strong role models for our youth, teaching them the importance of leadership, kindness and giving back.

I've always been amazed with the support within our community for the Scouts' food drive. David and his group of Scouts raised over $46,000 worth of food last year for the Mississauga Food Bank and The Compass.

Again, I give a huge virtual high-five to all of our young Scouts, who have taken the lead with lots of compassion and care.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go on to Mr. Richards.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

May 24 to May 31 is Tourism Week in Canada. This annual celebration is a time for us to recognize the contributions and experiences of Canada's tourism industry.

This is a very important industry, and this year's Tourism Week is a little different from what it normally is.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has closed provincial and international borders to recreational travel, and tourism operators from coast to coast have been among the first and hardest hit due to the government-mandated lockdowns. Clear criteria regarding border reopenings and health and safety requirements will allow hospitality and tourism businesses to sufficiently prepare to reopen. This includes rehiring employees, ordering supplies and putting together tour packages and marketing plans. Operators do not need to be set back any further because of a lack of clarity around reopening.

While this Tourism Week is not a celebration like the one we had expected, I anticipate next year's celebration to be a celebration of an even stronger and more successful tourism industry in Canada.

The 1.8 million Canadians whose jobs depend on a thriving tourism sector are counting on it.

Bonne semaine to tourism.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll go on to Mr. Rogers.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Churence Rogers Liberal Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, NL

Mr. Chair, Monday was a sad day in my riding of Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, and indeed our entire province. Please join me as I offer sincere condolences to the families of the men who lost their lives at sea in a tragic accident off the coast of St. Lawrence in Placentia Bay.

Ed Norman, his son Scott Norman and his nephew Jody Norman all tragically lost their lives while fishing for crab this past Monday. A fourth man, family friend Isaac Kettle, was also with them. After a courageous search mission by Canadian Coast Guard auxiliary members and the Department of National Defence and Provincial Airlines, he is unfortunately still missing. We grieve with the entire town of St. Lawrence as they mourn this tragic loss of life.

Mr. Chair, I am sure the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador, this parliamentary family and Canadians from coast to coast to coast join me in thinking of these men, along with their friends and families, during this difficult time.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now continue with Mr. Simard.

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I would like to speak to you today about a solid man who unfortunately passed away on May 25. We were greatly saddened to learn about the death of Francis Dufour. This builder of Quebec's political history drew his last breath at the age of 91, late Sunday night.

Mr. Dufour was the archetypal proud representative of my region who spent his entire life in Jonquière. He first became involved in the Alcan employee's union in Arvida, then continued his civic involvement at the municipal level as mayor, then in the Quebec National Assembly as the member for Jonquière.

He will be remembered as a man with deep ties to his community, a man of integrity, a people person, who dedicated himself to serving citizens and advancing the independence movement in Quebec.

On behalf of the people of the riding of Jonquière and all the people of Quebec, I offer my most sincere condolences to Francis Dufour's family and loved ones.

Thank you.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We are continuing with Martinez Ferrada.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The pandemic has greatly affected Montreal East, particularly the riding of Hochelaga, which I represent.

Today, I'd like to recognize the exceptional work of all the volunteers and organizations in Hochelaga that are helping the more vulnerable populations, including Anonyme, CAP St-Barnabé, CARE Montréal, the Cuisine collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Bouffe Action, the Centre Communautaire Hochelaga, Chic Resto Pop, Jojo Dépannage, Groupe d'Entraide de Mercier-Ouest and many others.

I'd like to acknowledge the commitment of the merchants who have rolled up their sleeves, including the Coop Couturières Pop, to make masks. I'd especially like to recognize essential workers, especially attendants.

Allow me to offer our condolences to the loved ones of the attendants who have lost their lives to protect ours.

The citizens of Hochelaga are resilient and unified. I am proud to rise in the House to salute them.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The next presentation will be by Mr. Cumming.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Chair, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Albertan and former parliamentarian, Louise Feltham, who passed away this Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Louise was an entrepreneur, a public servant and a force of nature. She inspired the family motto “How hard can it be?” by creating communities and building several homes in her lifetime. In all that she did, Louise broke glass ceilings. Her many firsts included being the first woman to serve as a councillor in rural Alberta, the first female reeve in rural Alberta and the first woman born in Newfoundland to serve in this chamber. She was the MP for Wild Rose from 1988 to 1993.

Her son Glenn served as the president of NAIT when I chaired the board. My thoughts and sympathies are with him, his wife Tammi and the rest of their family for this great loss. Her parliamentary family mourns with you today.

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!