Evidence of meeting #19 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

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Anand Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Chair, the Challenger 650 aircraft is the current production version of the model that the Canadian Forces currently operates. It was determined that this commonality would result in efficiency and interoperability and—

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We now go back to Mr. Lawrence.

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Thank you very much for that education and those great talking points. In April of 2018, however, the Royal Canadian Air Force recommended that the government purchase used private jets for between $12 million to $18 million, which is considerably less than $100 million. Why would the government choose a more expensive option?

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The honourable minister.... We seem to have a technical issue.

Could the honourable minister please proceed?

1:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Can you repeat the question? I was having a technical issue.

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll stop the time. The question was about 20 seconds long. Go ahead.

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

In 2018, it was reported that the Royal Canadian Air Force recommended the government replace its fleet of private jets with used private jets that cost between $12 million to $18 million. That's far less than the $100 million that was spent through the sole-source contract.

Could you please explain why the government chose the more expensive option?

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Once again, I want to remind the hon. members to place their questions through the Chair. That's just a reminder.

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Chair, when it comes to supporting our women and men, we committed to making sure that they would have the appropriate equipment they deserve. These aircraft are required for very important things, such as evacuation of Canadian Armed Forces personnel, repatriation of Canadians, such as people like Pastor Lim from North Korea, and it—

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Thank you very much for the great correction, Mr. Chair. I appreciate it.

I would also like to inquire why the military was given 40 year old F-18 planes while the Prime Minister's going to be flying around in brand new, sole-sourced private jets?

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Chair, we committed to making sure that our Canadian Armed Forces would be funded, and that's exactly what we're doing. The Challenger fleet has been transporting parliamentarians of all stripes since April. The fleet transported the leader of the opposition and his entire family to attend the emergency session in the House of Commons. These planes play a very important role and we're—

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

The hypocrisy of this Liberal government knows no end. The Prime Minister said to our brave soldiers, who are out on the front line helping us through COVID and throughout the world, that they were asking for more than he was prepared to give. He won't replace 40-year-old jets that he got from the Australian government, but is perfectly happy to be flying around in these brand new private jets.

Once again, why was this contract sole-sourced and why does the Canadian military means so little to a Liberal government?

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Chair, we're not going to take any lessons from the opposition in this regard. They're the government that actually cut $2 billion per year when it comes to the deficit reduction action plan, the strategic review. Our defence policy makes sure that it's fully funded and we're going to be replacing not only all of our jets with brand new aircraft, but also all of the other aircraft, whether they're for search and rescue or the Challenger fleet, because our women and men deserve the right and new equipment.

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Once again, more words from this Liberal government but no action.

Today we still have our brave airmen flying more than 40-year-old F-18s bought from the Australian government. Once again, when will the government realize that spending money on our military is a great thing to do, and not on brand new private jets when used ones would work perfectly well?

June 9th, 2020 / 1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan Liberal Vancouver South, BC

We are committed to making sure that our air force personnel have all the right tools, Mr. Chair. We are making sure that we make the appropriate investments for our people. If the Conservatives were serious about this, they would have replaced these jets a long time ago, but they didn't. We will.

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

I would just like to ask the minister if he's aware that the Liberal government has actually been in power for the last five years, and move on from there to ask the government about the role it certainly has....

Recently, Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen re-awoke a conversation that the national heritage minister had brought up, that we should be licensing or controlling the media. Will the government commit to not regulating the Internet and all media?

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The honourable minister.

1:50 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Chair, we've made it clear in the House numerous times that we have no intention of regulating the Internet.

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go to Mr. Manly.

1:50 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Chair, the charitable and non-profit sectors contribute 8.5% of GDP and support 2.4 million jobs in Canada. Many of these organizations are struggling financially during this pandemic. Almost 75% have seen a decrease in revenue, while almost 40% have seen an increase in demands for services. These organizations serve the most vulnerable members of our society efficiently and effectively. We need them to survive the pandemic.

Will the government create a sector-specific grant program to help guarantee the survival of the charitable and non-profit organizations?

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

The honourable minister.

1:50 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Families

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the honourable member for the really important question.

We recognize the strong services, the essential services, that non-profits and charities provide to vulnerable Canadians. That is why we moved quickly to provide the emergency community support fund, to allow non-profits and charitable organizations to continue to serve our most vulnerable populations. In fact, the $350-million fund is allowing them to increase their capacity to deliver even more services to the most vulnerable in our communities.

1:55 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

One of the key recommendations of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is to create “a guaranteed annual livable income for all Canadians,” taking “into account diverse needs, realities, and geographic locations.”

It is an idea whose time has come. We need a stronger safety net, one that ensures that no one falls through the cracks. A guaranteed livable income is a fair system that alleviates poverty and rewards work. It would eliminate the need for sick leave. It would help people who provide unpaid caregiving. It would help people going back to school to improve their education and skills.

Will the government implement this key recommendation and create a guaranteed livable income for all Canadians?

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Chair, once again I thank the honourable member for bringing forward a really important debate about universal basic income.

Philosophically we believe, of course, that we have to help the most vulnerable in our communities. We have to make sure that Canadians from coast to coast to coast have a good standard of living.

Instead of sending a modest amount of money to everyone, including those who don't need it, we chose the alternative approach of sending more supports to those who need it. We'll continue to support Canadians through this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, and make sure we recover better and more inclusively.

1:55 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

The three first nations communities in my riding are all unsatisfied by the level and quality of policing in their communities. There have not been staffing increases in 20 years despite a growing population both on reserve and in the surrounding community. RCMP officer rotations don't promote good relationships with the communities that they're assigned to. At the same time, we are witnessing repeated incidents of police abuse of power with indigenous people in Canada.

Will the government expand the successful Kwanlin Dun First Nation pilot project and establish a community safety officer model of policing in other first nations across the country?