Evidence of meeting #15 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 indigenous.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Anand Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Chair, we are in touch with indigenous suppliers and will continue to ensure that Canada has a diverse supply chain in terms of manufacturers, in terms of products and in terms of countries. That is our commitment to Canadian health care workers—

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Now we go back to Mr. Viersen.

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Has the government signed a contract with a single indigenous supplier?

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Anand Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Chair, I would like to say that we are continuing to make sure that our supplier list is confidential, because we are in a crisis and we do not want to jeopardize—

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We go back to Mr. Viersen.

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Chair, on Friday the association for indigenous business could not name a single indigenous company that had been contracted.

Have any of the contracts signed with the federal government between Deloitte Canada and PPE suppliers been filled?

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Anand Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Chair, the member is mistaken. Deloitte is not signing contracts on behalf of the Government of Canada. Deloitte is assisting with and sourcing manufacturers, and all contracts are signed by the government with manufacturers.

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We will now proceed with Mr. Paul-Hus.

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Chair, we have difficulty understanding the government's management of the border. The order between Canada and the United States has an exception allowing refugee claimants to submit their claims in Canada if they have family here and we accept them.

However, hundreds of Canadian-American couples cannot be reunited, which is a problem. I find it hard to believe that the minister cannot quickly instruct border services officers to allow spouses to enter the country right now.

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Chair, I appreciate very much the member's intervention and the long list of people he sent to me. I'm also working with a number of different families. We remain committed to keeping families together.

As I advised this House earlier, Mr. Chair, we're working diligently with our provincial and territorial partners to take the steps necessary to enable people to stay united as they cross the borders and enter into Canada, but to do so safely and not put other Canadians at risk.

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Chair, letting a spouse come home will not put Canadians at risk.

A survey conducted in Canada reveals that a large majority of Canadians do not trust the Chinese communist regime at all and do not want Huawei in Canada. The good news today is that BCE and Telus have decided not to do business with Huawei.

Now that the government no longer has to worry about BCE and Telus, can they say today that no other company is going to use Huawei and that Huawei will be banned from Canada for 5G?

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Chair, I thank my colleague for his question.

Our government will always protect our networks and ensure that Canadians have access to the latest innovations in telecommunications. A review of 5G technologies and their economic and security considerations is currently under way.

We will ensure that Canadians' security and personal information will never be compromised.

June 2nd, 2020 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Let me remind the minister that we have been working on this for years and that CSIS has confirmed that Huawei is unreliable as far as Canada's security is concerned.

Right now, two Canadians are being unjustly detained by the Chinese communist regime. The same regime continues to lie to the world about COVID-19, block our exports, and terrorize the citizens of Hong Kong.

When will the Prime Minister confirm that he is going to ban Huawei from developing 5G in Canada? It is a simple question.

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Chair, let's be very clear. Canadians deserve to have access to the most beneficial 5G technology. At the same time, the safety and security of Canada's digital environment will be of paramount consideration. We're doing the work required and we're not basing that agenda on some media report, but instead ensuring that all scientific and security factors are taken into account. We are engaged in robust discussions with our Five Eyes partners, including the United States, and all our security agencies.

Mr. Chair, we'll do the work necessary to—

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Paul-Hus has the floor.

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

The minister does not need a sheet of paper, this matter has been clear for a long time. Everyone is saying that we need to ban Huawei from Canada.

I have a quick question for the Minister of Finance.

Bell and Telus had each estimated that removing Huawei from their development would cost $1 billion. Today we have learned that these companies have decided not to use Huawei. Did the government decide to pay for this under wraps to get out of it?

Having said that, my next question is more about the theft on May 27. About 90,000 surgical masks bound for the Quebec City UHC were stolen from the Toronto airport. As we all know, these masks are critical in the fight against COVID-19.

Has the minister called for an investigation? When are we going to find out what happened to those stolen masks that were bound for Quebec?

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Anand Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Chair, I will gladly look into this issue and get back to my colleague. Our procurements have reached 101 million surgical masks at this time, and they're being distributed to provinces, including Quebec.

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Paul-Hus, you have time to ask a 15-second question.

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

It is a little strange. The masks were stolen in Toronto on May 27. So they have been gone a long time. I just want to know if there is an investigation and if they will ever be found.

I want to address another complex and important issue.

A police officer from the Montreal area called me and told me about a current fraud. Some social assistance recipients learned about the CERB and applied for it. Building managers have received a lot of cheques addressed to social assistance recipients. They know it is not legal and it constitutes fraud.

The police officer is asking me what to do with the cheques and to whom they should be sent. Should he give them to the fraudsters? How does that work?

2:15 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Chair, I can assure the member that we have robust mechanisms in place to address CERB fraud. We understand that in delivering this benefit to a million Canadians to date, we had to put more of our integrity measures at the back, but make no mistake: Canadians who behave fraudulently will be held to account, and we will ensure that the money is either repaid or the cheques not cashed.

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go to Mr. Moore.

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Chair, there remains a concern across Canada that delays in the criminal courts could result in criminals walking free. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court recently said in an interview that amendments to the Criminal Code could allow this backlog to be addressed. Can the minister outline what work has been done to address the backlog, and when we can expect to see it addressed?

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Chair, I thank the honourable member for his question.

I can assure him that we are working closely with our provincial and territorial counterparts, who have the primary responsible for the superior courts of justice and therefore the criminal law in their various jurisdictions for the administration of justice in criminal law.

I can also say that we have formed an action committee co-chaired by me and the Chief Justice of Canada, again with a variety of different kinds of representation on that committee, to look at the restart of the justice system—

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll go back to Mr. Moore.

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Chair, weeks ago I raised these concerns with the minister over backlogs in the criminal courts and the risk they present to our justice system. The provinces have significant insight into how this can be addressed, and many provinces have been proactive with their court backlogs. Can the minister outline what work has been done with the provinces on this important issue?