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

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

I received an email from Kirsten from Hamilton. She is an EA. She works as an educational assistant with special needs students. Her school is closed, understandably, and that school will not open until maybe September. That school also doesn't qualify for the wage subsidy. For her, the CERB is going to end in July, and without the CERB, she will have no way to get any funds for her family.

What does the Prime Minister have to say to Kirsten? How will she get help?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Chair, to Kirsten and to the millions of Canadians who receive the Canada emergency wage response, we know that it needed to be there, and it needs to continue to be there. We will continue to work to ensure that we're supporting Canadians. As we look at reopening the economy, we recognize that millions of Canadians will continue to need extra supports, and we will be there for her. We will be there for Canadians.

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

What will the Prime Minister say today to Kirsten, who's saying that she needs the CERB to be extended beyond the 16 weeks? Will he say, yes, we will extend the CERB so that families such as hers will still get help while they can't go back to work?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Chair, every step of the way we have been there for Canadians, with the Canada emergency response benefit, with support for our seniors, with support for students, and soon, hopefully with the support of the other parties, with support for people living with disabilities.

We know there is more to do. We will continue to be there for Canadians to get through this pandemic all together.

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

I want the Prime Minister to understand that Kirsten is just making a simple request. There are a whole bunch of programs out there; we understand that. Kirsten is saying that the CERB is going to run out in July. She is the only income earner, and she does not qualify for the wage subsidy.

Will the Prime Minister extend the CERB for families such as Kirsten's, who need help?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Chair, throughout this pandemic, we have been working to respond to the needs of Canadians on the ground. Obviously, the situation is changing. We are continually updating our measures, extending our measures and looking at how to change our measures so that we can give Canadians the support they need.

I can tell Kirsten directly that we will be there for her and her family, as we are for millions of Canadians, as best we can in the coming months, because we know that supporting each other is what Canadians need to do and will do.

June 9th, 2020 / 12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Madam Chair, we know that a lot of Canadians were in desperate need and applied for the CERB. People who were just on the cusp were encouraged by the government itself to apply for the CERB: people who were earning $4,900 instead of the $5,000 cut-off and people who didn't lose their job, but the job they were supposed to work at was no longer there. They applied for the CERB. They're not criminals. They're people who were desperate and in need of help.

While the Prime Minister took a knee one day, on the same day his government was putting in place a law that would criminalize people who were desperate. How does the Prime Minister think that makes any sense at all to do?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Chair, this government has been there for Canadians from the very beginning, and we made the CERB so that it could flow immediately to everyone who needed it, with minimal upfront paperwork or verification.

Of course, if people made mistakes in good faith, there are not going to be punitive consequences for them, but we need to make sure that we have the responsible measures in place to go after fraudsters and criminals.

Our focus has been on helping Canadians, and that is what we have done throughout. We will continue to be there for Canadians and to support all Canadians who need the help.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Mr. Paul-Hus, you have the floor.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

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

Thank you, Madam Chair.

For months now, the Prime Minister has been demanding that Canadians stay home. He has followed the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada. He even set an example by staying at Rideau Cottage and going out only to speak to the media.

However, given that the Prime Minister joined a crowd of 7,000 people, is there any chance of resuming celebrations and festivals in Canada?

12:40 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Thank you very much for the question, Madam Chair.

I would remind the member opposite that it is important for people to follow the advice of public health. As the member opposite knows, different jurisdictions have different rules and advice in place to make sure that we have the best protections possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

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

Yesterday, the minister answered my question by saying that if people wore masks, there was no problem. That's why the Prime Minister joined a crowd of 7,000 people.

How can we justify the cancellation of the Fêtes de la Famille in Saint-Émile, for instance, or the Huron-Wendat nation pow wow, namely, the Wendake International Pow Wow? People could very well wear a mask during these events.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, we will always stand up for the right of people to—

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

There are translation problems.

Would you like to try in English? Is it working, Madame Larouche?

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

The minister's last two responses weren't translated.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

She's only responded once so far.

We'll try again.

The honourable minister.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I will just reiterate that we will always stand up for the right of people to—

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Chair, there's no interpretation.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

There is still no interpretation. Can we try to see if there is interpretation?

Is it working now?

Do you get interpretation now?

Are you on the French channel?

Was it the minister who was not on the right channel?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

I'm on the English channel, Madam Chair.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Okay.

Is interpretation working now? Madame Larouche, can you see if the interpretation is working now, please?

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

There's no interpretation.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Acting Chair (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Do we know what the problem is?

We're going to take a few minutes to make sure everything is working correctly with the technology.

Interpretation is not working here either. Is it working from English to French?

Is the interpretation from French to English working?

Okay, that's working. Is it working now for French? Okay.

We will resume.

Mr. Paul-Hus, could you please repeat your question?

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Yesterday, the minister told me that people could take part in the events if they wore masks.

Is there any reason why the Fêtes de la famille in Saint-Émile or the Wendake International Pow Wow couldn't be held?

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, I thank the member for his important question.

Listen, millions of global citizens gathered to protest the second pandemic of racism. We know, of course, that it's better if people don't gather in large groups during the time of a pandemic, but we also stand up for people's right to have democratic freedom of speech in times that are so distressing.

As such, we provided advice at the federal level—I know it was provided at many other levels—on how people could gather in a way that would better protect their safety and reduce their risk of contracting COVID, including the need to wear masks and the need to remain physically distant from one another.