House of Commons Hansard #249 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we know that trustworthy journalistic content is essential to a healthy democracy. Our thoughts are with the employees and their families who have been affected by these cuts. Canadians value local media, and we will continue to support this industry. We have already announced that we are going to modernize our programs to better support the newspaper industry, both in print and online. We take this issue very seriously.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, we learned that more than 30 local and community newspapers throughout Ontario will shut down. These newspapers employ 291 people, who will all lose their jobs. Some of these local papers have been publishing since the 1800s.

The people of Essex are lucky to still have their community news, but if the attitude of the Heritage Minister, who says the Liberals will not bail out local media, does not change, local newspapers will shut down in the communities of all members.

How can the minister continue to sit back and do nothing when Canadians are losing jobs and their news sources?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers and their families affected by the cuts in the print media industry. Canadians value local news, and our government will continue to support it. We know that reliable journalistic content is critical to a healthy democracy.

We have already announced that we will be modernizing our programs to better support local media in both paper and digital formats. Our approach will be to support innovation, adaptation, and transition to the digital era. This is something our government takes very seriously.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The government has put a lot of emphasis on protecting and promoting human rights in Canada and abroad. The first-ever national housing strategy is a perfect example. The government has announced the progressive implementation of every Canadian's right to adequate housing.

Could the minister responsible for housing tell us what that means for Canadians?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking and commending my colleague from Brossard—Saint-Lambert for the remarkable work she does for her constituents and to support the right to housing. The right to housing is a fundamental right that must be guaranteed to all Canadians. The right to housing is also the cornerstone of the Government of Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a strategy that will reduce homelessness in Canada by 50% and help 500,000 Canadians out of unaffordable or substandard housing conditions. Canadians are all very pleased that the Government of Canada is back as a strong, reliable, long-term housing partner.

EthicsOral Questions

December 11th, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the clock continues to tick on three important investigations by the Ethics Commissioner: two of the Prime Minister's conflict of interest holiday violations and, of course, the most recent of several involving the finance minister. However, as Canadians wait patiently for the commissioner to report, her spokesperson says that if these reports are not completed before she leaves office in the coming weeks, it will be up to her unnamed successor to continue, restart, or abandon those investigations.

Will the Prime Minister commit to appointing someone who will continue these important investigations?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, our government values the work of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. We have put in place a new appointment process that supports an open, transparent, and merit-based selection that is open to all Canadians to apply to.

We have confidence in this process, and it is from this process that a nominee will be named. The selection process requires a comprehensive approach. We will not undermine the process.

The government has a responsibility to put forward a nominee, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We are committed to identifying the most qualified candidate through this process as quickly as possible.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, delay is the deadliest form of denial. Canadians can clearly see, by the Liberals' unacceptable delay in appointing a new Ethics Commissioner and the PM's flippant disregard of the ethics laws and regulations fundamental to the House, that ethical practices are discretionary for Liberals.

Canadians deserve rulings on the ethical lapses of the Prime Minister and his finance minister. Will he commit to appointing a new Ethics Commissioner who will continue these important investigations?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, as I have just responded, we have put in place a new process, an open, transparent, and merit-based appointment process, in which Canadians are eligible to apply, as all positions are appointed online.

We look forward to the outcomes of this process and putting forward a name. We look forward to working with opposition parties to ensure that the new nominee can start to work as soon as possible.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering the Liberal government's numerous ethical problems, the appointment of a new Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is a priority for Canadians. Canadians need assurances that the appointment will not be partisan.

Can the Liberals assure us that the next Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner will continue the ongoing investigations into the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, our government values the work of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

We have put in place a new appointment process based on an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process. All interested Canadians may apply. We have confidence in this process, and it is from this process that the next person will be appointed. We are committed to identifying the most qualified candidates through this process as quickly as possible.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner's term expires on January 8, but she has not finished her investigation into the Prime Minister's holiday to billionaire island. She has not finished her investigations into the finance minister's multiple conflicts of interest either. We have no commitment from the government that she will complete these investigations by January 8. We have no guarantee that the new ethics commissioner will pick up these investigations where she left off.

What assurances can the government give that these ethics investigations into the Prime Minister and the finance minister will not simply be swept under the rug?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, our government values the work of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. That is something we will always continue to do.

I encourage members opposite to have regard for those officers and the important work they do. We have an open, transparent, merit-based selection process. We have confidence in that process. We know we will be putting forward a name that will work hard for all Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, I wrote to the finance minister, asking him to use his meeting with the country's finance ministers to fix his flawed CPP enhancement legislation and restore the drop out provisions for child rearing and those living with disabilities. Despite promising to bring it up as a priority with his counterparts, we have not heard of any results to date. Is this another item on the list of hollow promises from the government?

Will the finance minister use today's meeting to do the right thing and finally fix the problem that will affect 14 million Canadians?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that makes the well-being of our seniors a priority not just for today, but for generations to come.

In June 2016, the Minister of Finance partnered with the provinces and territories once again to implement a historic agreement to enhance the Canada pension plan, which should free 25% of Canadians from the burden of financial insecurity over the next few years.

We are going to keep working very hard with the provinces and territories to ensure that these substantial improvements benefit as many Canadians as possible.

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the drop out provisions were not included in the changes to the Canada pension plan, and this omission will affect 14 million Canadians, especially women and people with disabilities.

The NDP has been raising this issue for over a year, but the Liberals have yet to do anything about it. However, they still have time to fix this major omission.

Will the minister roll up his sleeves for women and people with disabilities and bring up the subject of the Canada pension plan at the finance ministers' meeting, in order to fix the flaws in this bill?

PensionsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled to be part of a government that has lifted 13,000 seniors out of poverty over the past few years by increasing the guaranteed income supplement. In addition, thanks to our decision to bring the age of eligibility for old age security from 67 back down to 65, 100,000 seniors have been able to escape destitution.

I am proud to be part of a government that is working with the provinces and territories right now to make the Canada pension plan even more flexible and generous for future generations.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was Human Rights Day. Female genital mutilation is a human rights violation.

Even though FGM is a crime in many countries, the practice continues because it is allowed to be shrouded in silence and victims can face stigma or much worse if they come forward. This is why Plan International charges us with raising awareness of the problem.

With reports of FGM practitioners entering Canada, will the minister reverse his decision to remove listing FGM as an intolerable practice from Canada's citizenship guide?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the assertion by the member opposite is completely inaccurate. To be clear, the content of the new guide has not been finalized.

Unlike the previous government, we are engaging with a range of stakeholders and subject matter experts to make sure the new guide better captures the contributions of women, the role of indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ2 and francophone communities.

I will remind the member opposite that it was her party that removed any references to the LGBTQ2 community rights, including anti-discrimination laws, from the citizenship guide.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Actually, Mr. Speaker, it was the former Conservative government that first included LGBTQ rights in Canada's citizenship guide.

A leaked copy of Canada's new citizenship guide removed references to female genital mutilation. I do not understand why the minister cannot just condemn this process. It is ridiculous.

Will the minister finally commit to reversing his decision to remove listing FGM as an intolerable practice from Canada's citizenship guide? This is a no-brainer.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the assertion by the member opposite that we have removed anything from a final citizenship guide is completely inaccurate.

Just to be clear, the content for the new guide has not been finalized. Unlike the party opposite, we actually listened to stakeholders, we listened to experts. I want to remind the member opposite that it was her party that removed any references to LBGTQ2 rights, including anti-discrimination laws, from the citizenship guide. We will ensure that the new citizenship guide reflects all Canadians, not just a few.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It is getting much too noisy. Members have to remember that each side has its turn. We can have confidence in the public to assess the questions and the answers.

The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, six months ago, the health committee reported to the minister that Canada's thalidomide program needed to be revamped to include the forgotten survivors, beyond the 25 that the government continues to reference. It is almost Christmas again and these survivors are still suffering pain, discrimination, and humiliation.

When will the minister show some compassion, do the right thing, and include the forgotten survivors in the compensation program?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to thalidomide survivors and we remain deeply committed to offering the support they need to live the rest of their lives with dignity and with respect.

The thalidomide survivors contribution program is helping to support 122 Canadian thalidomide survivors, 25 of whom were identified using the objective review process that was put in place to access the eligibility of unconfirmed individuals.

We wish to acknowledge and thank the health committee for its important work on this matter. We are reviewing its important report and we will be responding in due course.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that the benefits of free trade should result in opportunities for all Canadians.

Could the Minister of Finance update the House on what our government is doing to deliver on its commitment to allow for participation of unions in Canadian trade remedy proceedings?