Evidence of meeting #18 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

Noon

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

I call this meeting to order.

Welcome to the 18th meeting of the House of Commons Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As a reminder to all members, to avoid issues with sound, members participating in person should also not be connected to the video conference.

For those joining us via videoconference, I would like to remind you that, when speaking, you should be on the same channel as the language you are speaking.

In addition, please direct your remarks through the Chair.

Also, a reminder that today's proceedings will be televised.

Finally, on this note, I would like to remind members participating in video conference or in person that they should follow the usual dress code in place in the House.

We will now proceed to Ministerial Announcements.

I understand there are no ministerial announcements, so we'll move on to presenting petitions.

I would like to remind members that any petition presented during a meeting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic must have already been certified by the clerk of petitions.

For members participating in person, we ask that you please drop off the signed certificates at the table once the petition is presented.

The first petition being presented goes to Ms. May.

Noon

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In our special session of the COVID committee it's an honour to rise to present a petition from many people across Canada. It is e-petition number 535. While it deals in general with the urgent situation of the climate emergency, it focuses on the specific issue of climate finance. Canada's climate finance commitments fall due again this year. For Canada at the moment less than 35% of international climate finance investments support projects that help developing countries adapt to those levels of climate crisis that we can no longer avoid. The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to commit at least 50% of Canada's public climate financing for developing countries to the category of actions generally described as adaptation, and at least 15% to projects that target gender equality as the primary objective.

Noon

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Kwan.

Noon

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I'd like to present a petition calling for the government to set more stringent targets and implement the policies needed to reduce emissions to levels that will address the climate emergency. The petitioners are noting that greater action is required to address the climate emergency caused by human production of greenhouse gases. They further note that Canada's current emissions reduction targets are insufficient to prevent warming of 1.5°C, which the international community has agreed upon as a safe upper limit. To that end, the petitioners are calling for the House of Commons to take action.

Noon

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Reid.

Noon

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Chair, I apologize; it's a new format for me. I have a petition presented in the old-fashioned way as a paper petition by a number of constituents who presented it before the outbreak began while it was still safe to do so, and processing has taken some time for it to come through.

The petitioners ask the House of Commons to take into account the importance of saving seeds, and they ask that the House make sure that right is not taken away from farmers and others who have an interest in preserving the broad diversity of the seed stock in our society.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Jansen.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tamara Jansen Conservative Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Many Canadians are concerned about the government's proposal regarding euthanasia to remove or loosen certain safeguards currently in place, which protect vulnerable Canadians. They recognize that the government already has a challenge in enforcing the current safeguards and that loosening them further would endanger too many at-risk Canadians. That's why I'm pleased to rise here today to table this petition urging the government to discontinue the removal of safeguards for people requesting euthanasia.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now proceed to statements by members.

Ms. May.

12:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

When I reserved this spot for a member's statement some time ago, I wanted to acknowledge that today is World Oceans Day and speak to the threats to our oceans. Instead, I will note that one week ago today, we lost one of our champions of oceans. We lost a giant in the world of literature who campaigned for a better world, someone who was loved by many.

Silver Donald Cameron, one of Canada's leading journalists and author of 20 books, died a week ago today after a very sudden, fierce diagnosis of lung cancer that killed him within the week. He was a member of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Nova Scotia. Born in Toronto, raised in British Columbia, he chose Cape Breton Island for his home in 1971 and lived in the little fishing village of D'Escousse. His last book, Blood in the Water, will come out in August.

His death has left an enormous hole in our hearts, in the work of the environmental movement and in the world of Canadian literature. Rest in peace, dear sailor Don Cameron.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Easter.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Today I'd like to pay tribute to Mr. Gerald McCarville, the long-serving mayor of Kensington, P.E.I., who passed away in January at age 88.

Gerald was a pillar of the Kensington community, serving as mayor for over 25 years. His loyalty and devotion to his community were an inspiration to all. In fact, Gerald made a point of refusing to buy his groceries anywhere but Kensington. Now that's a true commitment to buying local.

As mayor, Gerald improved the governance of Kensington. He oversaw the modernization of the town's water system and the development of the first industrial park. To quote his daughter Catherine, Gerald was fiercely proud of his island and Irish heritage, and was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Gerald's life's contributions to his community, often with wife Jennie by his side, were immense. We salute you, Gerald.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Van Popta.

June 8th, 2020 / 12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Chair, like everyone else in British Columbia, the people in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove are welcoming a new and better phase in the fight against COVID-19. We are starting to enjoy some of the small things in life, such as planting a tree.

The other day, I was able to distribute almost 1,000 tree seedlings as part of Canadian Environment Week. I want to thank the fine folks at Home Depot for allowing us to use their outside area again and NATS Nursery for supplying the seedlings. I'll give a special shout-out to Nichole Marples and her team of dedicated volunteers at Langley Environmental Partners Society for helping with the distribution and the set-up.

What is a better and clearer expression of hope than to plant a tree? I want to thank all the dedicated gardeners in my riding for taking a tree and planting it, making Langley greener and even more beautiful.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Jones.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As we enter the fourth month of COVID-19, Canadians are looking to inspiring stories about communities coming together in a time of crisis to support each other. There are so many great stories out there, and today I will share one with you from Labrador.

Each day, more and more people are wearing non-medical masks across the country to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. A group of amazing Labradorians stepped up to help provide their friends, neighbours and strangers with non-medical masks designed and sewn right at their kitchen tables. From Wabush to L'Anse-au-Clair, Sheshatshiu to Nain and all communities in between, hundreds of volunteers worked hard to provide every Labradorian with a homemade mask to keep communities and residents safe.

I want to thank all of those who took part in this initiative, including the sponsors. I especially acknowledge the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Nunatukavut. I am so proud to represent the people of Labrador, and I highlight the kind and caring ways they support each other through difficult and challenging times.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Trudel, you have the floor.

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Chair, for the past three months, the main message from all governments of the world has been “stay home”, but to do that, you must have a home.

Whereas the UN has criticized Canada three times for the poor housing situation; whereas more than 300,000 Quebec households are living in inadequate housing; whereas, before the pandemic, 82,000 Quebec households spent more than 80% of their income on housing; whereas the government has committed to spending $250 billion to manage the pandemic, but is unable to spend $1.5 billion to provide homes for Quebec's most vulnerable; and whereas more than a dozen housing associations, chambers of commerce in Quebec, mayors representing more than 85% of Quebecers and the Quebec National Assembly are unanimously calling for investments in social housing; the Bloc Québécois therefore demands the immediate and unconditional signing of the housing agreement with Quebec.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Lattanzio.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Patricia Lattanzio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

With great pride, as a daughter of Italian immigrants, I invite you during the month of Italian heritage to recognize the exceptional and valuable past and ongoing contributions made by Canadians of Italian origin to the culture, history and economic development of this great country, Canada. It is also an opportunity for us to remember their journeys, humble beginnings, hard work and dedication to family, and to celebrate their stellar accomplishments spanning numerous industries and professions.

I invite all Canadians to experience this month and throughout the year la dolce vita, and to learn more about rich Italian heritage and traditions. Treat yourselves to a gelato, cappuccino or cannoli, or enjoy playing a game of bocce. Better yet, come and visit Centre Leonardo de Vinci in Saint Léonard, my riding. It is an iconic community centre that encompasses all that is Italian and signals that you have arrived at a proud, strong and Italian community.

Auguri e lunga vita agli Italo canadesi.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Mazier.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Mazier Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

It is a pleasure for me to honour and recognize two promising young adults in my constituency today. Cole Stainer of Birtle and Sydney Strocen of Langruth are the only Manitoba recipients of the prestigious Loran scholarship award, worth $100,000 each.

Cole is the captain of BCI's hockey and basketball teams, and coaches in youth sports programs. He is co-president of the student council. He hopes to combine his business acumen and passion for engineering to create a better world.

Sydney has served as treasurer in student government for the last two years. She is a member of WMC's environmental and social justice groups. She also volunteers at the Manitoba Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Mr. Chair, on behalf of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, I would like to extend my congratulations to Cole and Sydney on being selected for the largest undergraduate scholarship in Canada.

Good luck, and best wishes to both of you in future studies.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Dhillon.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Chair, black lives matter. We are hearing these chants echo throughout the world. No one should ever have to assert their right to life, nor have to justify why they must be treated as equals. It is an inherent right within us all. No one should ever have to say again, “I can't breathe”, or be the subject of gratuitous violence by those who have sworn to protect us.

The weaponization of laws and abuse of power have become all too common. For racialized people, the racial profiling, the terror of being followed for no reason, the fear for yourself and your loved ones, knowing that things can get bad within minutes, even seconds, leave us traumatized. These experiences remain imprinted upon us. We never forget or heal from these traumas. We are left with scars that we carry for the rest of our lives.

To those who deny the existence of systemic racism and institutional discrimination, it is not up to you to deny the existence of the inequalities and contempt that some communities experience on a daily basis.

Until all forms of systemic oppression are obliterated, there is little hope for equality or humanity.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Dong.