House of Commons Hansard #239 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Christmas is coming, and for many Quebeckers, that means the return of Ciné-cadeau. We are all very excited to see Asterix and Obelix again.

However, for the families of Davie shipyard workers, the holidays are unlikely to be happy. Those workers delivered Asterix and were waiting for the green light to start building a second ship, the Obelix. According to the union, 113 people have already lost their jobs, and another 800 could be on the chopping block. Only a twisted bureaucracy would deny that this shipyard is entitled to its fair share.

Are the Liberals ignoring Quebec on purpose, or can they simply not help themselves?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, our government is always concerned about the impact of job losses on workers and their families. We know that the people at Davie do excellent work.

Our government has been in touch with Davie shipyard executives and the unions in recent weeks. The national shipbuilding strategy will certainly create opportunities for Davie.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, Canadians want the Minister of Finance to set the record straight, and he has a golden opportunity to do just that.

On December 7, 2015, he introduced a tax measure that had a direct impact on Morneau Shepell, whose share price went down 5%. One week earlier, someone had sold $10 million in shares. That person saved half a million dollars the day after the tax measure was introduced.

Can the minister tell Canadians the truth? Did he or did he not sell those Morneau Shepell shares on November 30, 2015?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, like all members of the House, I worked with the Ethics Commissioner to ensure that I am free from conflicts of interest. I will continue to work for Canadians to improve our economic situation and to make things better for the middle class and for families across Canada.

Fortunately, our policies are working. We have the highest rate of economic growth and the lowest rate of unemployment in a decade. That is good news for Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the clock is ticking. Sooner or later, the Minister of Finance will have to admit whether he did or did not sell his shares in Morneau Shepell one week before introducing tax measures that led to a 5% drop in Morneau Shepell's share price.

I am reaching out to the Minister of Finance. Will he finally tell Canadians the truth?

Did he or someone else sell shares on November 30, just before he introduced a tax provision that led to a 5% drop and a $500,000 profit for the person who sold these shares?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know that opposition members want to focus on me because they do not want to focus on Canadians.

We are far better off than we were before. We have the highest rate of economic growth and the lowest rate of unemployment in a decade. This is a very good news for Canadian families. We will continue to work for them in order to improve our situation in the future.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, prominent financial advisers told investors, in publications across the country, to sell their shares and realize their gains before the end of the calendar year of 2015, after the minister introduced his tax measures on the floor of the House of Commons, but a week before he did that, somebody sold $10 million of shares in Morneau Shepell, saving half a million dollars by avoiding the consequent drop in the stock market. If the minister has nothing to hide, could he confirm if that person was him?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely nothing to hide, and that is why I disclosed all of my assets to the Ethics Commissioner. I will continue to work with her the way all members in this House are expected to work with her. That is important. That allows us to get on with the work we are doing on behalf of Canadians, the kind of work that led us to make investments in housing that are going to make an enormous difference over the next decade. That is the kind of work that we know will make a difference. Continuing this work will make a huge difference for the future of our country, for the future of Canadians.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, indigenous peoples are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian workforce. In my riding of Sault Ste. Marie and across the country, our economic growth depends on their success. The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour recently went on a tour of northern Ontario. She stopped in places such Sault Ste. Marie and other ridings.

Could the minister update this House on the work our government is doing to support indigenous peoples in northern Ontario and across this great country?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Sault Ste. Marie for his question. I was pleased to visit his community recently, along with Sudbury, Mishkeegogamang, Nibinamik, and Whitefish Lake First Nation. We know that to grow the middle class, indigenous people must have equal opportunities for skill development and good-quality jobs. That is why after our government took office, we increased funding for indigenous job skills training for the first time in 20 years. We will continue to work in partnership with indigenous communities and people across the country to ensure that they have the skills and opportunities they need.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Once again, Mr. Speaker, financial advisers told investors to sell their shares after the minister introduced his tax increase on the floor of the House of Commons. His department has now confirmed that this is exactly what happened. That is why revenues in the subsequent year from the wealthiest Canadians actually went down, and the stock market data itself demonstrates a drop after he introduced his measures. Morneau Shepell was down 5%, but once again, someone was able to sell their shares a week before that. Was the minister that somebody?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I will continue to work with the Ethics Commissioner, because that is the appropriate way members in this House disclose all of their assets, as I did, to make sure that we can do the work that is appropriate. We will continue with the policies the opposition does not like, the policies that are helping the middle class, the policies that they are not voting against, like the increase in taxes on the 1%.

We are going to continue to do that, because we know that not only are they helping middle-class families, they are actually helping our economy to grow. That is why we are so proud of what has been done over the last couple of years.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Sunday afternoon, a barge carrying three and a half million litres of diesel and a half-million litres of gasoline lost power on B.C.'s central coast. A little over a year ago, the Heiltsuk people faced almost the exact same threat, and the federal government promised to make things better. The transport minister met with Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett today. She personally gave him a copy of the Heiltsuk's indigenous marine response centre proposal. A true nation-to-nation relationship means backing up one's words with real actions.

Will the Liberals support the first ever indigenous-led coastal protection strategy?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as you know, we are determined to improve marine safety. That is why we have put in place the oceans protection plan. I want to say that it includes strong involvement from our coastal first nations. We need them to help us to monitor and respond to marine incidents.

I want to thank the Heiltsuk Tribal Council for its report, which it sent me about 10 days ago, which is a proposal on how to help. We will look at that very carefully. As my colleague said, I met with Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett about an hour ago, and she brought me up to date on her concerns with respect to the current incident with the Jake Shearer barge.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Shaun Chen Liberal Scarborough North, ON

Mr. Speaker, growing our markets in Asia is key for many Canadian businesses. These markets provide a significant opportunity for growth, and we know that consumer demand for Canada's world-class agricultural products continues to grow. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining our Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. This was just before his mission to China.

Now that he is back, can the minister update us on our government's plan to create opportunities for Canadian farmers, growers, and producers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for Scarborough North for his question and hard work.

This month I led a very successful trade mission, which is a vital market for Canadian farmers. During the mission, our agricultural industry signed deals for new business, worth nearly $300 million, for blueberries, barley, swine genetics, and ice wine.

I was proud to help put more Canadian products on Chinese store shelves and e-commerce platforms, which will help create good, well-paying jobs in Canada and help put more money in the pockets of Canadian farmers.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not clear that the minister understands the seriousness of the situation. Somebody unloaded $10 million of Morneau Shepell shares one week before the minister introduced measures that would cause the share value to go down by 5%, a significant drop. That individual was able to save $500,000.

Now, I am going to give the minister one last chance. Will he answer the question? Was he the one who sold those shares at that time?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what is clear is that the member opposite might not understand how it works in this House. The way it works is that we work with the Ethics Commissioner to disclose all of our assets, which is exactly what I have done in order to make sure that I can get on with the work that is going to make a difference for Canadians.

Back in 2015, what that work entailed was thinking about how we could lower taxes on middle-class Canadians and raise them on the top 1%. What it entailed was thinking about how we could means test the Canada child benefit, providing much more for middle-class families. Those policies ushered in a rate of growth that the previous government could only have hoped for in its wildest dreams. We have seen a positive situation for families across our country.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, 800 people are about to lose their jobs at the Davie shipyard. Out of $100 million in contracts, 80% is going to Halifax, 17% is going to Vancouver, and less than 1% is going to Quebec. However, the people in Lévis are ready. All they want is to work, but no, Ottawa prefers to enrich the Irvings. Will the Prime Minister go and see the 800 workers and tell them why he decided to send their jobs to Halifax?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, our government is always concerned about the impact of job losses on workers and their families. We recognize the excellent work of Davie employees. Over the past few weeks, our government has been working with Davie shipyard management and the unions. We will continue those discussions and come up with a solution.

National DefenceOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Boudrias Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is just the same old empty rhetoric. The opposition asks questions but always gets the same talking points in response. I want to come at this from a different angle. My question is for the defence minister. How does he expect to be able to defend three oceans with only a single supply ship for two fleets, and why is he jeopardizing 800 jobs in Quebec when Quebec produced the jewel of the Canadian fleet at low prices and on time? I would like him to explain that to me.

National DefenceOral Questions

November 27th, 2017 / 3:05 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the navy is in the midst of one of the most comprehensive fleet modernizations in its peacetime history. As part of the national capabilities strategy under our new defence policy, our government is acquiring fleet support ships to permanently replace the Protecteur-class auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels. The project will deliver two ships that will provide core replenishment, sealift capabilities, and support to our operations.

We are committed to building new ships for the navy and to maintaining Canada's naval capabilities for the long term.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

The current funding formula for Nunavut falls short, making it difficult for the territorial government to adequately provide basic services. I have raised this concern on numerous occasions, and for good reason. Just look at the stats: only 35% of students graduate high school, the suicide rate is ten times the national average, and the core housing need is three times the national rate, and there are many more.

Will the minister commit to working with the territorial government to adjust the formula to more of a needs-based approach?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Nunavut for his question and for the important work he is doing for his communities.

We are always engaging with provinces and territories to better understand their challenges and needs and are committed to important issues, like the ones the member just listed.

We know that higher costs associated with housing in the north leave many families with core housing needs. This is why last week, building on funding committed in budget 2017 for housing, we announced $300 million over 10 years to meet the specific needs for housing in the north. Of the $300 million we just committed for more stable housing funding in the territories, $240 million will be allocated—

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Terrebonne on a point of order.