Evidence of meeting #24 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

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq NDP Nunavut, NU

Matna, Mr. Chair.

Before I really launch in, I want to say how difficult it is sometimes to stand here as an indigenous woman, not only in a system that wasn't built for me but in a system that was meant to eliminate us as indigenous peoples.

In Nunavut, we know the rate of suicide is nine times that of the rest of Canada. Seven out of 10 children go to school hungry. One person in three lives in an overcrowded or mouldy home. Women in the north are three times more likely to experience a violent crime. Systemic and systematic racism is real.

Mr. Chair, National Indigenous Peoples Day is on June 21, as has been mentioned repeatedly today. Even though indigenous peoples in Canada have faced and continue to face incredible inequality, we have strong and beautiful contributions to make, whether in the arts, in music, in education, in medicine, in politics or in any aspect of life.

Mr. Chair, we're done with empty words and sympathy. Systemic and systematic racism is real. We need the federal government to put their money where their mouth is and provide action.

Inuuvunga. I am Inuk. I am part of a resilient people and proud to be.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Mrs. DeBellefeuille, you have the floor.

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Chair, I have boundless admiration for people who are extraordinarily talented.

Guided by a passion for peonies, Martinus Mooijekind, horticulturist and former mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, has put all his love, creativity and know-how of the last 10 years into creating a brand new peony in an extraordinary pink. This majestic peony, entirely developed in my riding, will officially bear the name “Pauline Marois”.

Jocelyne Hudon describes this horticultural masterpiece. She says that, inspired by the strength and conviction of her muse, the Pauline proclaims her independence loud and clear by opening her petals wide. She adds that, straight on her stem, the Pauline resists the wind and scatters her stamens that have become peonies to cover the fields like the militant taking possession of her country.

What beautiful words, which express so well the importance of Ms. Marois for Quebec!

What a nice way, Mr. Mooijekind, to dedicate your life's work. I offer you my sincerest thanks and congratulations.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We will go to Mr. McCauley.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Chair, there are many people in Edmonton West who have stepped up in support of our community during this crisis. While there are too many to list, I would like to highlight our faith leaders, who continue to serve their congregants virtually and Edmontonians as a whole.

I want to thank Pastor Brett at the West Edmonton Christian Assembly for collecting food for those in need. I thank Issam, Yasin, Hika, Imam Bassam and Imam Nasser from Rhama Mosque for partnering with Capital Region Housing to deliver hundreds of backpacks, and Rabbis Ari and Zolly for hosting Zoom gatherings and helping seniors. I thank Reverend Francis at Annunciation Catholic Church for making face masks for visitors to the Misericordia Community Hospital. I thank Father Leo at Good Shepherd Catholic Church for making food hampers for the needy.

Thank you to all of our faith leaders for continuing to serve not only their flocks but all Edmontonians of all faiths during this crisis.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

Ms. Zann is next.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lenore Zann Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Chair, on the morning of Sunday, April 19, my constituents and I awoke to a devastating tragedy that was playing out in our normally peaceful little corner of the world here in Cumberland—Colchester, Nova Scotia. It was a 13-hour rampage through the countryside, the largest mass shooting in the history of Canada, an act of violence by an angry, abusive man with a history of domestic violence and with access to guns—a lethal combination. It proves that private violence can become public violence and must be taken seriously as a danger to public safety.

I thank the Canadians who reached out to Nova Scotians from coast to coast in our time of grief. We now reach out as allies to denounce misogyny, systemic racism, casual cruelty and calculated brutality, because the fight for social justice never sleeps.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We will now proceed to the questioning of ministers.

Please note that we will suspend the proceedings twice to allow employees who provide support for the meeting to substitute for each other safely.

First up is the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Scheer.

12:30 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Chair, the Prime Minister seems more prepared to put on the charm to win a seat on the UN Security Council than to deal with the pandemic here at home.

Instead of coming to Parliament and correcting errors in his programs for the benefit of Canadians, the Prime Minister has too often stayed home, calling the leaders of other countries.

Why is the Prime Minister spending so much time pursuing his personal ambitions and failing Canadians, when we're in the worst crisis in a century?

June 17th, 2020 / 12:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Chair, it's only the Conservatives who don't seem to understand that we're in a global pandemic. We can't solve it alone, and we need to work on it as an international community.

In the calls I've been making over the past several months and in my conversations with leaders, we've been talking about COVID-19, our response and investments in health and safety.

We will continue to work with the rest of the world to meet this challenge, to help Canadians and to create a better world.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Chair, the Prime Minister claims he has been making these phone calls to talk about a coordinated response to COVID-19, and on June 11 the Prime Minister had a call with the Sultan of Oman. Will the Prime Minister today condemn Oman's repeated arrests of anti-government protesters?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, we have continued to be engaged around the world on issues that matter to Canadians, whether it's defeating COVID-19, making investments or working with partners around the world to advance common causes. We're going to continue to engage in the world, because that's what Canadians expect.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

But you won't condemn that human rights abuse.

I'll give you another chance. On May 6, the Prime Minister had a phone call with the Emir of Qatar. Will he condemn Qatar's use of slave labour to build a soccer stadium?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, Canada has long been engaged in the world, including with people we don't always agree with, but it is important to work together on issues where we do agree and make sure that we're continuing to speak loudly and strongly for human rights, which Canada always does.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

When it comes to a personal vanity projects, he won't condemn human rights abuses. He just calls them “disagreements”.

Well, on June 11, the Prime Minister spoke with the President of Rwanda. Will the Prime Minister condemn the murder, frequent arrest, torture and imprisonment of opposition politicians and investigative journalists, yes or no?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, over the past months and indeed years, Canada has re-engaged with Africa. We've worked with a number of strong African leaders on issues that matter to people, while at the same time highlighting how our support and our working together can improve the situation around human rights right across the continent. We will continue to work with leaders across Africa.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

That was a yes-or-no question. The Prime Minister can't bring himself to criticize dictators and despots around the world who abuse human rights, and we know that he likes to fund UNRWA to curry favour with nations that are ideologically opposed to Israel's right to exist.

Not only has UNRWA helped the terrorist organization Hamas and provided educational materials that attack Jews, but just last year its leaders were found to have been involved with “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives”.

Why is the Prime Minister funding UNRWA?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, we made the decision to restore funding to UNRWA because we know that working towards peace and prosperity in the Middle East go hand in hand. We have brought in greater safeguards and greater accountability for UNRWA through our involvement in it, but we also know that creating better opportunities and better support for people in the region is part of the path towards peace.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Chair, the Prime Minister's record on foreign affairs has been a complete disaster. He surrendered to Donald Trump, offering up concession after concession. He went to China to get a free trade deal, and all he came home with was a nickname from the Communist Party that is so offensive the Speaker has ruled I can't repeat it in this chamber. His erratic behaviour during the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks angered our allies in Australia and Japan. Of course, who can forget his disastrous trip to India?

Mr. Chair, which one of the Prime Minister's foreign policy blunders is he most embarrassed by?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, after 10 years of neglect and embarrassment on the world stage, Canada re-engaged five years ago, and in that time we've become the only G7 country to sign a free trade deal with every other G7 country. We've led the way on multilateralism. We've secured our most important trade partnership.

At a time of protectionism, of challenges with the United States, we've moved forward on protecting millions of Canadian jobs, and we did that in a team Canada approach, with premiers across the country, including Conservative premiers, stepping up. It is only the Conservatives in Ottawa that continue to put politics—

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Anthony Rota

We will now go on.

I will give the floor to Mr. Blanchet.

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The prime minister's made a friend. It seems that, as it should be, the supply will be a formality that the Liberals themselves won't give much importance to. There is a virtue in that. We're going to look together at what the message is being sent by the way this government has been working for some time. Here are a few questions from the recent past.

For example, the Prime Minister claims that every Thursday he talks to the premiers of Quebec and the provinces and that everything is fine. However, the premiers say that things aren't going well at all in terms of health transfers and that the Prime Minister refuses to adjust and increase these transfers.

What message does his current attitude send to Quebec with respect to health care transfers?

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Chair, I want to thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for working with us on many initiatives here, in the House, to help Quebeckers and all Canadians.

In the last three months, four bills have been passed to address the needs of our seniors, our families and our young people, and they have been supported by different parties in the House, including the Bloc Québécois.

We're going to keep working together. That doesn't mean we'll always agree on everything, of course. This is Parliament, after all. However, we will continue to work, and I want to sincerely thank the leader of the Bloc Québécois for all his co-operation.

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

The Prime Minister makes some good jokes. There wasn't a hint of a beginning of a word that had anything to do with my question. They all must have known it on the other side, because they were all smiling at me, as if they thought it was funny that I wasn't given an answer.

At the beginning of the crisis, the Prime Minister transferred $500 million to the provinces for health care because he thought it wouldn't last long, waiting until the fall, when the premiers would talk to each other and he too would have to talk to them about health transfers. We're asking him to make another $500 million transfer to all the Canadian provinces, but we're in the dark.

What's the Prime Minister's message to Quebec?

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Indeed, Mr. Chair, as my hon. colleague across the way suggests, we are talking with the provinces about an additional health transfer, because we recognize that a secure economic recovery is a priority for all of us in this country. That is why our proposal of $14 billion includes transfers that will help the provinces with respect to the health care system.

We've been working together from the beginning, and we're going to continue to work hand in hand with the premiers.