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

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, the safety of Canadians is the responsibility of all levels of government. That's why we have proposed a $14 billion agreement to ensure that all Canadians across the country experience a safe re-opening of the economy.

This is a proposal that we are working on with the provinces because we know that there are needs across the country, including early childhood centres, screening and support for municipalities. The federal government wants to be there to help the provinces.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go to Mr. Singh.

June 16th, 2020 / 12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Indigenous leaders have expressed a lack of confidence in the RCMP commissioner's ability to tackle full-scale systemic racism, but the Prime Minister has expressed his confidence in the commissioner. What's that based on?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, over the past two years, Commissioner Lucki has made significant strides forward on an issue where there is still much more to do. We know that systemic racism exists in all of our institutions across this country—

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We'll now go back to Mr. Singh.

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

This is the same RCMP commissioner who just recently said that they couldn't explain what systemic racism was. Now the Prime Minister says that he has confidence, when indigenous leaders express their lack of confidence.

Why does the Prime Minister believe that the RCMP commissioner can tackle systemic racism in the RCMP?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, systemic racism is something that touches every corner of our country, every corner of our institutions. It requires people to understand and move forward in coordinated ways with partners. The commissioner is committed to doing that, alongside members of our government. We will do that together and work with indigenous communities and black—

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mr. Singh.

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Chair, recent events have made it abundantly clear that to tackle the systemic racism at the level of the RCMP, we need a full-scale overhaul of the RCMP.

Is the Prime Minister committed to a full-scale overhaul of the RCMP to root out systemic racism?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

As I've said many times, Mr. Chair, I am committed to addressing systemic racism in this country and taking significant, bold actions to reduce the amount of discrimination that indigenous peoples, that racialized Canadians face on a daily basis. We have much work to do, but we will do it together.

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Chair, Black Lives Matter has been calling for governments to defund the police. What it's saying is that we need to be better at where we spend our money, investing in communities and not policing.

Will the Prime Minister commit to a review of the RCMP budget to allocate resources to community services and not to policing?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, over the past years we have been investing more directly and more money in community organizations, in the black community, and working with indigenous partners on the path to reconciliation. We have been investing in the kinds of community-based programs and solutions that are part of the solution. We know there is much more to do, and we will continue to look at all of our expenditures to make sure we're doing the right things.

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Chair, over the past few years, while the Prime Minister has been in office, the RCMP budget has increased by 31%. More money is going towards policing. In recent events we've seen people who needed a health care response to a health care crisis been killed by the RCMP.

Does the Prime Minister believe that we need to be investing in a health care response instead of a police response for people who are faced with a crisis?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, the member opposite well knows that it's not an either-or. We need to make sure that our systems across the board, from our police systems to our judicial systems, to our health care systems, to our community systems, are actually addressing the systemic discrimination issues that are embedded within them That is exactly what we are going to continue to do in the coming years.

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Chair, with regard to the CERB extension, can the Prime Minister guarantee that everyone who is receiving CERB payments now will continue to do so without any gaps throughout the summer?

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, I am happy to highlight that many Canadians who were on the CERB are now returning to work. Many more who are on the CERB now will be returning to work in the coming weeks. We know that as the economy gets back to work, people will want to—

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We will go back to Mr. Singh.

12:45 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Can the Prime Minister assure people who need it that they will continue to receive the CERB over the summer, yes or no?

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

We are very pleased to point out that we are going to extend the Canada emergency response benefit for at least another eight weeks, because a lot of people are going to need it. Even if they want to work, there aren't enough jobs for everyone.

So we'll be there for them, as we have been from the beginning.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We're going to pause and suspend proceedings just for a few moments to allow our support staff to substitute for one another in a healthy and safe way.

We'll now proceed with Ms. McLeod.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Chair, it was really a surprise in the middle of a pandemic to see the Prime Minister at his first campaign stop last week in Ottawa. Certainly the game plan has become very transparent. He has a daily report show and he wants to sideline Parliament, dominate the news cycle and keep everyone in the dark about the state of the economy.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, there is no reason that he cannot provide the fiscal update during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the PBO has published a number of reports himself.

Why won't the Prime Minister provide a fiscal update so we can all understand the state of our economy, or is that just not part of his campaign playbook?

12:45 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Canada's economy is in a period of extraordinary uncertainty due to COVID-19. We've been clear about that.

We will continue to be open and transparent about the actions that we are taking to support families, businesses, workers, our health care system and our economy. This includes biweekly reports to Parliament on the full cost and status of our economic measures. Once it is possible to provide a clear economic projection, we will provide an update.

We are in this together, and we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to support Canadians.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Chair, Canada's economy was in trouble prior to the COVID, with some of the worst numbers since 2009. Government revenues in March dropped by 7.2%, and it's shameful and, quite frankly, it's outrageous that they refuse to provide Parliament and Canadians with an economic update.

Households during this challenging time know how much money is coming in and they know how much money is going out. The picture is not pretty, but they know what the picture is.

Can the finance minister at least reveal the projected revenue decline in quarters one and two?

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

The Canadian economy is going through a period of extraordinary uncertainty due to COVID-19. We've known this for three months. We've continued to be open and transparent about the measures we've put in place for Canadians, workers and businesses. In fact, we have reported biweekly to Parliament on the total cost and status of our plan's measures.

As soon as it's possible to provide clear economic projections, we will provide a comprehensive update to Canadians—

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We go back to Ms. McLeod.