Evidence of meeting #21 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

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

I speak on behalf of Quebeckers.

Nurses and attendants need the military's help.

I'd like confirmation on that, Mr. Chair.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, what I am pleased to confirm is that when Quebec needed help to save the lives of seniors, Canada—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We are now continuing with Mr. Singh.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Canadians living with disabilities need help, but the Liberal government has completely dropped the ball.

Is the Liberal government prepared to implement a program to help all Canadians living with disabilities?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

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

I fully agree with the leader of the NDP that Canadians living with disabilities need help. That's why the government yesterday proposed $600 in assistance for each Canadian—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Singh, you now have the floor.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

The problem with the Liberal plan is that it completely misses 60% of Canadians who live with a disability.

Now, any help will do, but will the Liberal government consider a plan that helps those who are most vulnerable as well? Those who are being missed by the Liberal plan are those who are amongst the poorest. Will the Liberals propose a plan that helps all Canadians living with a disability?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank the member opposite for his really important question, because it highlights what, when you set aside the sound and fury of politics and of parliamentary debate, is the most important issue at stake this week: Will we, together, support Canadians with disabilities or not?

Our government wants to do that. We put forward a plan to do it, up to $600—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll go back to Mr. Singh now.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

I have a direct question for the government. Many people are contacting me because they are afraid that the CERB is going to run out and they are not going to have any way to put food on the table. Will the Liberal government extend the CERB for families in need?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, I would like to commit clearly to Canadians, just as we said at the beginning of the coronavirus health and economic crisis, that our government will be there to support Canadians. We have the fiscal—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We're back to Mr. Singh.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

We need a more clear answer.

Taylor from Windsor is a recent grad. He had a job but lost that job because of COVID-19. He is on the CERB, but the CERB is going to run out soon, and he is literally afraid. He is worried that he won't be able to put food on the table. He applies for a job every single day and finds nothing.

Will Taylor have the certainty of knowing that the CERB will be continued, yes or no?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, I'd like to say to Taylor, and to all Canadians who quite rightly, as the member opposite says, are anxious about their situation, that our government will do whatever it takes to support them. And do you know what? Actions do speak louder than words. We have spent $152 billion supporting Canadians. That is nearly 11% of GDP. We have put our money where our mouth is—

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go back to Mr. Singh.

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Chair, Taylor just wants a “yes”. Taylor wants to know that, yes, the CERB will be extended.

Will it be extended, yes or no?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, our government's record in supporting Canadians economically through this crisis speaks for itself. Nearly eight million Canadians supported through the CERB—

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Back to Mr. Singh.

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

I didn't ask about the government's record. I'm saying that Taylor is worried. He doesn't know if the CERB is going to continue or not.

Will you continue the CERB, yes or no?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

As I said, Mr. Chair, our record speaks for itself. Canadians can have confidence that we intend to continue to support them. We know that this is a profound—

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Singh.

June 11th, 2020 / 12:35 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

I want to give another really concrete example.

I got another message, this one from Derek, who lives in Alberta. Derek is a welder. There is no work for Derek. His family lost their home, so they're no longer able to live at their home. They've had to move in with his parents. He had to leave them to go and find work. He hasn't seen them in months. He is searching for work but can't find it. This is a family that would benefit from the CERB if it were extended.

Will you extend the CERB so that families like Derek's can apply for it?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Chair, it is a really important question, and I am glad to be asked it. It gives me an opportunity to assure Canadians that just as our government, from the start of the crisis, has been prepared to put the vast fiscal firepower of the federal government behind supporting Canadians, we are going to continue to do that.

I've given you a few examples. Let me talk about the wage subsidy, which has been particularly valuable to Albertans. More than—

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now suspend for about 45 seconds so that our staff up in the crow's nest and down in the operating rooms can change over safely.

Thank you.

We'll now continue with Mr. Uppal.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton Mill Woods, AB

Mr. Chair, over the last 10 years, the size of the government has doubled, but the number of audits conducted by the Auditor General has gone down by half. Massive Liberal spending programs lack basic accountability and transparency. For their $180-billion infrastructure program, they can't even provide a full list of the number of projects.

What is the government trying to hide by starving the Auditor General's office by not properly funding it?