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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ceta.

Topics

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know about you, but does the government realize that its approach to electoral reform is completely ridiculous? Does it not realize that? Because Canadians certainly do.

The minister set aside the parliamentary report that called for a referendum, the only right thing to do. Now the Liberals have come up with a postcard approach to democracy and launched a survey that is all over the map. People can provide just about any answer they want. It is ridiculous.

Why is the government refusing to do what Canadians want and hold a referendum?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, I urge all members of the House to read the committee's report, and remind everyone that the government will be responding to the committee's report in due course.

The committee agreed, as do we, that we needed to hear from many more voices about the values that Canadians would like to see at the heart of their electoral reform. That is what we are doing. We encourage all Canadians to take part in MyDemocracy.ca. We thank the tens of thousands who have seen the merit in our approach and are engaging. We look forward to hearing from many more voices before introducing legislation in the House.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, I was informed by some rural mail deliverers that they were instructed to deliver the infamous democratic reform postcards only to houses and apartment buildings, not to farms. This weekend, Susan from Stokes Bay asked me why she had not received her postcard, and wondered if the Liberals were deliberately not asking rural Canadians their opinion.

Where is the democracy in excluding rural Canadians? Does the minister actually think rural Canadians do not have an opinion on electoral reform, or is it because the Liberals are scared of what farm families might tell them?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, as an MP from a rural riding, I can assure the hon. member that the voice of rural Canada is incredibly important to me. One of the reasons we decided to send out a postcard via mail was that we recognized that access to the Internet was not equal among all Canadians living in rural areas. Individuals in my rural riding and others have received the postcard.

I thank the hon. member for bringing this to my attention. We will work to resolve it.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nicola Di Iorio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian travellers and businesses are anxious to know if they can count on a better preclearance system to expedite travel between Canada and the U.S.

In March, the Prime Minister signed an agreement in principle to expand preclearance to new sites, including Montreal's Central Station, as well as Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver.

Could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please update the House about the status of the binational legislation necessary to implement the agreement?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, border preclearance between Canada and the United States has existed for 60 years. It makes our border more secure and more efficient both ways. Last spring, the Prime Minister and the President of the United States agreed upon a major preclearance business expansion into the locations mentioned by the hard-working member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

In Canada, we introduced the necessary legislation last June. I am pleased to note that both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate enacted their preclearance law this past week. The ball is now in our court to pass Bill C-23. Let us do it this afternoon by unanimous consent.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the minister admitted that only half of the Syrian refugees who had come to Canada had found jobs. This means that this month thousands of refugees will require ongoing social assistance payments.

The Liberals have committed to bringing in tens of thousands of new Syrian refugees in 2017. On that note, I am wondering if the minister could provide the House and Canadians with some clarity as to how much this refugee commitment will actually cost the provinces as well as Canadian taxpayers.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the provinces have been on side from day one. As has been the case with past waves of refugees, it is in the early days an act of kindness by Canadians but over the long run it is a hugely positively investment. These refugees integrate into the labour force. Their children do exceptionally well. I have no doubt the Syrian refugees will do just as well or better than the Vietnamese boat people and many others who came before.

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals boast about working on behalf of the middle class and being progressive.

However, requests for food aid in Valleyfield have skyrocketed and organizations cannot afford to provide Christmas hampers this years. The use of food banks has increased 300%.

In an effort to reduce the number of requests for food aid, Food Banks Canada and Les Banques alimentaires du Québec are recommending a poverty reduction strategy.

How can the Liberals justify voting against the national strategy to combat poverty brought forward by my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot?

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for allowing me to acknowledge the NDP's support for the work we have been doing in recent months with the provinces, territories, indigenous peoples, and municipalities in order to develop, for the first time in history, a national poverty reduction strategy and to ensure that this strategy supports the efforts of other governments and continues to lift hundreds of thousands of families out of poverty.

HealthOral Questions

December 12th, 2016 / 2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 3,500 Canadians die every year from the flu. Jude was a 2-year-old boy living in my riding who passed away this year on Mother's Day weekend because of the flu. His mother Jill has since then begun a campaign, encouraging Canadians to get the flu shot to decrease the spread of the flu so that kids like her son do not lose their lives: #forjudeforeveryone.

Could the Minister of Health please update the House on what our government and Canadians can do to prevent deaths due to the flu.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the situation that the member raises is a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family and anyone who has lost a loved on due to the flu.

An important defence against influenza is a flu shot, which is why I got mine already this year. We will work with all provinces and territories to promote vaccination.

I encourage Canadians to talk to their health care providers about getting their flu shots, or visit healthycanadians.gc.ca to find out where they can get theirs.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, even Liberals are now being forced to admit that their policies are costing Canadian families dearly. Reports show that even before the Liberals impose their disastrous carbon tax, the cost of food will significantly increase in the new year. All Canadians will be affected, but low-income families will be particularly hard hit.

When will the Liberal government stop its attack on struggling families and stop making a bad situation even worse?

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, with due respect, I would encourage my colleague to encourage her colleagues to pay a bit more attention to the importance of reducing poverty in Canada, perhaps signalling the importance to their constituents of the Canada child benefit, which is going to reduce the rate of child poverty from 11.2% to 6.7%, the lowest ever level of child poverty seen in our country.

As we work together, there is ample ground to do even better in the future.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the true face of the Liberals in power is one that talks out of both sides of its mouth. On the fight against climate change, protecting Quebec consumers, health transfers, funding for Muskrat Falls, the lumber industry, promoting institutional bilingualism, financing Bombardier, head offices in Quebec, compensation for cheese producers, electoral reform, political party financing, and so much more, the Liberals do not walk the talk, to put it mildly.

Is there anyone in the House who knows what the 40 Liberal members from Quebec are good for?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the House that we are 40 Quebec members and we are here to defend Quebec. For starters, there is the Prime Minister, six cabinet ministers and 33 members working very hard in Quebec’s interests. We are here to defend the interests of Quebec, and we will continue to do so.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Simon Marcil Bloc Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is offering to delay implementation of measures that will allow banks to circumvent Quebec consumer protection legislation. Basically, banks will not be able to start gouging consumers right away. Unfortunately for them, they will have to wait until spring. After trying to put one over on consumers in its mammoth bill, the bank-friendly government wants Quebeckers to give it a blank cheque.

Is this the best plan the Quebec Liberals could come up with in order to save face with voters?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleague to read the bill. He might want to know what he is talking about before asking a question. I can tell him very clearly that, in Marcotte, the Supreme Court asked us to clarify consumer protection provisions. That is exactly what we did. Our sole purpose in modernizing those provisions was to protect consumers in Quebec and across Canada. I encourage my colleague to read those provisions and see for himself that we are taking a step forward for consumer protection.

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-29 limits consumer rights in Quebec and restricts Quebec's societal choices.

No need to rehash the debate when Quebec is unanimous: the National Assembly is against this bill, consumer protection groups are against it, the Chambre des notaires du Québec is against it, the Barreau du Québec is against it, and law professors are against it.

That says it all. Only the banks and the Liberals are in favour of the bill.

Why are the 40 Liberal members from Quebec serving the interests of the banks and not the interests of Quebeckers?

Consumer ProtectionOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

That is a lot of rhetoric, Mr. Speaker. The reality is quite simple. In the Marcotte ruling, the Supreme Court asked us to clarify the framework.

I am sure that my constituency colleague would agree that basic banking services should be available to all Canadians.

Disclosure should allow clients of an institution and members of the general public to make informed decisions. I am sure my colleague agrees.

Clients of an institution and members of the general public should be treated fairly. I am sure my colleague agrees.

The complaints process should be impartial and transparent. I have no doubt my colleague agrees.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Jacques Chagnon, the Speaker of the Quebec National Assembly.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

That concludes question period for today.

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of Order

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I am rising today in accordance with Standing Order 39 and Question No. 575 on the Order Paper regarding the government's new carbon tax.

According to O'Brien and Bosc, Order Paper questions are a way for Parliament to obtain “detailed, lengthy or technical information” about the government's plans.

Since Confederation, members have had the right to submit these questions to the government or to a specific ministry for a response within 45 days. It is a way of obtaining specific information from the government. It is also one of the ways the House keeps the government accountable. It is a basic right of members of Parliament to ask these questions on behalf of Canadians.

The environment minister did not attempt to answer my Question No. 575 and the questions I have raised therein, even in the slightest. I have in my possession the purported response received from that department. I also posed questions to the Departments of Finance and ESDC, and they did not respond.

Let me just highlight the questions that were asked in writing and submitted in proper format: How would the carbon tax impact family budgets? How many people would a carbon tax push below the low income cut-off line? By how much would it increase the market basket measure of goods, a measure used by Statistics Canada to determine the affordability of common household goods? How would it impact people in each province? How would it impact grocery bills? How would it impact electricity bills?

The environment minister provided nothing more than vague talking points in her response. What little substance the minister did provide is concerning. She said:

Any impacts on business and consumers will be modest....

A carbon tax is a big deal. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says that the costs will be approximately $1,028 per person, or $4,112 for a family of four. Does that sound modest to the House? Does the government expect Canadians who live on fixed incomes to find an extra $1,000 per person to pay for this costly new government scheme?

Professor Nicholas Rivers has said that the carbon tax would add 11 cents a litre to the price of gasoline, 10% to electricity, and 15% to natural gas.

I could go on with—

Questions on the Order PaperPoints of Order

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I think the member is going on and it is getting into debate. I would like him to stick to the point of order, if he would, please.