Evidence of meeting #23 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

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen Liberal York South—Weston, ON

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

We recognize that Canadian workers will face various different situations, including those who are ineligible for the Canada emergency support benefit. We'll continue to work with workers to make sure they're able to be supported throughout this pandemic.

The fact of the matter is that every province has workplace health and safety regulations that must be supported. We understand that workers have the right not to work in unsafe situations. We also understand that many Canadians do want to go back to work; and in fact many have. We will make sure that we support Canadians throughout this recovery process.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

The honourable member has 47 seconds left, and that includes the answer.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Chair, that answer is really not good enough, because the problem here is that Krystal needs to know whether she can continue receiving CERB or not. That's a federal government decision, and she needs to know whether the federal government is going to accuse her of fraud and put her in jail or assess fines against her if she refuses to go back to work because she wants to take care of her child and her father.

What is the minister's answer to that?

1:25 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

The honourable minister has 20 seconds to respond.

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Madam Chair, I can assure the honourable member that if a Canadian has to take care of a loved one due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, they are indeed eligible to receive the CERB and remain receiving that benefit.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

As we deal with the global pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the ongoing climate emergency. Canada has missed every single climate target it set, and we need to break the cycle of empty promises.

Canadians want their government to be accountable, and environmental groups such as Ecojustice, CAN-Rac, Environmental Defence and West Coast Environmental Law, as well as the government's own climate institute, are all calling for legally binding climate targets.

When will the government put its climate targets into law with legally binding milestones so we never miss another target again?

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Madam Chair, I thank my honourable colleague for her question. I totally agree with her when it comes to the environment. It is a priority not only for us as a government, but it should be a priority for all Canadians. That is why we have put measures in place to put a price on pollution through carbon pricing. That is why we have a comprehensive plan that also includes significant investments in clean technology, which will help reduce our carbon footprint.

I am confident that these measures will enable us to not only meet but exceed our 2030 target and also allow us to achieve our net-zero 2050 target.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

That didn't answer my question. I asked “when”. Empty promises won't get us any closer to meeting our climate targets.

Can the minister tell us when his government will introduce climate accountability laws?

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Madam Chair, I think the fundamental issue here is having a plan when it comes to the environment. I'm confident that the measures that we have taken—putting a price on pollution, investing in clean technology, and other key measures to reduce our carbon footprint, including the investment in infrastructure—underpin a plan—

1:25 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

We will go back to the honourable member for Victoria.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

This government is not meeting its targets, but it is meeting with oil and gas lobbyists. The pandemic has made us reflect on our priorities. Are we going to choose a just recovery with good, sustainable jobs for Canadian workers, or are we going to keep subsidizing oil and gas companies to the tune of billions, subsidies that we know are ending up in the pockets of CEOs and shareholders?

1:25 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

We will have a brief answer from the minister.

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Malton, ON

Again, Madam Chair, this is the fundamental difference between us and the NDP. We fundamentally believe that the entire economy needs to work together, including the energy sector, to enable us to achieve those 2030 and 2050 targets. We are going to work together to support our workers, including in the energy sector, to reduce our carbon footprint.

1:25 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

Now we will go to the honourable member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, Mr. Waugh.

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Thank you, Madam Chair.

When I was last here in May, I was on my way back to Saskatoon from Toronto, and there was actually someone on my flight who tested positive for COVID-19. I was never informed of it by the airline. I found out two weeks later. The report was in the news media.

Why hasn't the government put rules in place requiring airlines to reach out to individuals like me who may have been exposed to COVID on their flights?

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Patty Hajdu Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Madam Chair, it's hard to speculate on what happened from such a vague description of his experience, but I will say that we have every confidence in local public health, which is doing the hard and heavy lifting of contact tracing and working very closely with all kinds of different sectors, including airline sectors, to make sure that close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are found, are traced and are isolated. I assume that the member took appropriate precautions on the flight and I hope that he continues to do so.

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Chair, it was reported that the individual on my plane who had COVID was actually connecting in Toronto from an international flight. The Prime Minister announced last week that they would begin mandating temperature checks for those bound for Canada in July. Will international travellers be tested when they land in Canada, or will they be relying on the tests that take place in other countries?

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Chair, this is a very important question, because the protection and safety of all Canadians—in particular, Canadian travellers—is a high priority for our government.

We've been working very closely with the airlines. At the current time, we are putting temperature screening in place. That will initially be done primarily by the airlines that are in the best position to do it at this point in time. We are also now going to be including CATSA, the people who do the security screening, so that when people enter the airport, they will also be screened. We believe that is going to be the most effective measure to keep all travellers safe.

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Chair, last week five of the largest professional sports leagues in North America put out a statement of support for my private member's bill, the safe and regulated sports betting act. Given the struggles that clubs and leagues are facing due to COVID-19, including having no fans at all in the stands for the foreseeable future, the legalization of sports betting would be a welcome opportunity not only to engage fans but to generate much-needed revenue.

Will the government commit now to supporting the sports and gaming industries by supporting my private member's bill, Bill C-218?

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Chair, I've had the opportunity on many occasions to speak to members of Parliament and also to mayors and councillors and people living in border communities where there are casinos. They've raised this issue a number of times.

We've listened very carefully to the concerns that have been expressed by them. I would like to advise the member that I look forward to the opportunity for a careful examination of his bill. We are at all times concerned about maintaining the integrity of the gaming industry within our community. That's the best way to protect Canadians. At the same time, we will examine his bill with all of the necessary attention to make sure it's given full consideration.

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Chair, it's the first time in history that we've had the five professional leagues in this country joining together for this bill.

Newspapers rely, as we all know, on advertising for a significant portion of their revenue. This includes the usual flyers as well as in-paper ads. I've heard major concerns from a number of newspapers in this country about competition they're receiving today from Canada Post, which is offering massive free postage services. In fact, I have one of their ads here, which says that the first 6,000 pieces of postage are 100% free.

If the government is genuine about wanting to ensure that newspapers and journals can succeed in this country, why are you allowing Canada Post to use its monopoly power to actually threaten local newspapers in this country?

1:30 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Thank you, Madame Chair, and I thank the member opposite for his question.

As you well know, a healthy news and media sector in Canada is a priority for our government, which is why we have put in place a number of measures before COVID-19 and during COVID-19, and we will continue to be there for them after this crisis has gone by.

1:35 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

Before we go on, we will be taking a break to do a bit of a changeover. I also want to remind members to address their questions and comments to the chair.

We will go now to the honourable member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, Mr. Ruff.

June 16th, 2020 / 1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Thank you, Chair.

Mr. Blair stated yesterday here in the House that the AR-15 has been used in mass killings in Canada on many occasions.

Mr. Blair, please provide just one specific instance in which an AR-15 was used in a mass killing in Canada.

1:35 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Chair NDP Carol Hughes

I remind the member to address questions and comments to the chair.

The honourable minister may respond.