House of Commons Hansard #245 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-58.

Topics

PrivacyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, our worst fears about Bill C-23 have been realized. A Canadian citizen has been subjected to profiling at the Ottawa airport. She faced intense questioning and had her smart phone searched without reasonable grounds by American border guards. Bill C-23 has not even passed yet, and already Canadians are being discriminated against on Canadian soil.

With President Trump's disregard for rights and privacy, how can the Liberals go ahead with giving more powers to American agents on Canadian soil?

PrivacyOral Questions

December 5th, 2017 / 2:40 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, when people cross the border from Canada into the United States, they need to comply with the customs and immigration procedures of the United States. They can do that in the conventional manner in the United States after they have crossed the border—get in line and take their chances—or they can do it in a pre-clearance environment, before they cross the border, where they have the overall umbrella and protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, volunteers play a crucial role in Canadian society. In my riding of Kingston and the Islands, organizations like Martha's Table and St. Vincent de Paul volunteer to help build healthy and socially inclusive communities, not just by their actions but by the spirit of generosity that motivates them to create, support, and sustain non-profit and charitable organizations.

Since today is International Volunteer Day, can the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us how the government is recognizing the work of volunteers?

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking our colleague from Kingston and the Islands for his remarkable efforts to support the work volunteers do to make our society a better place.

Tonight I will be pleased and privileged to take part in Canada's awards ceremony, where we will celebrate the contributions made by volunteers across Canada. This year is a special year, because we are introducing Canada's volunteer awards for past and present winners who have given and will be giving their valuable time to support our communities.

I am sure everyone in this House will be with me to celebrate, thank, and congratulate our volunteers for their remarkable work.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, for months the government insisted that there was no change to the disability tax credit for people with diabetes. Yesterday, Diabetes Canada and JDRF released emails proving that CRA changed the way it handled DTC claims for people with diabetes.

Yesterday, the minister released a statement in which she said the emails were just an update of communications and that there was no change to how the claims were handled, except that literally, the second sentence of CRA's memo said, “the purpose is to better determine eligibility”.

How can the minister continue to mislead Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure all Canadians receiving the disability tax credit that the eligibility criteria have not changed. If any changes need to be made to the agency's processes, we will consult with the experts on the disability advisory committee that we are creating. We will do so based on the principle of fairness for everyone who receives the disability tax credit, regardless of their disability.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister keeps telling us that no changes have been made to the eligibility criteria for people with type 1 diabetes. We have now learned that senior officials in her own department confirmed that the tax credit should be denied to most people with type 1 diabetes.

My question for the minister is quite simple: who is telling the truth, the minister or her senior officials?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I will say it once more: I want to reassure all Canadians who receive the disability tax credit that the eligibility criteria have not changed.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, this minister continues to repeat old, tired talking points. We know that she is misleading the House, and type 1 diabetics deserve an answer.

Did the minister approve this memo, yes or no?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as a former social worker, I am very familiar with the impact of a disability or chronic illness on an individual and family members living with him or her. On November 23, we reinstated the disability advisory committee. If changes must be made to the agency's process, we will make them with the experts seated around the table. We will work together and listen to them. All Canadians must receive the tax credits they are entitled to.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, I asked a direct question in this place.

There is only one of two choices here. The minister is either incompetent and unable to manage her own department, or she is complicit in this tax hike and she owes type 1 diabetics right across this country an apology. Which is it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government pledged that the Canada Revenue Agency would administer measures for persons with disabilities in a fair, transparent, and accessible way. People are entitled to the disability tax credit, regardless of their disability. Ensuring that these people receive the tax credit they are entitled to is a priority for me.

I want to point out to my colleague that it was the Conservatives who disbanded the disability advisory committee, and we are reinstating it.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is three weeks until Christmas, but federal public servants are in no mood to celebrate.

Many public servants affected by the Phoenix pay problems are worried about the holidays and are struggling to make ends meet.

However, in 2015, the Liberals promised to find a solution to fix Phoenix. What have they done in the past two years, other than blame the Conservatives? Not much.

When will this government do its job and ensure that Phoenix works for all public servants?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, let me assure you that resolving this situation is my top priority.

People deserve to be paid properly and on time. When the previous government irresponsibly treated this project as a cost-cutting measure instead of the complex, enterprise-wide business transformation that it was, it set the project up to fail and exposed it to enormous risk.

We are currently taking steps that the previous government did not take.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Erin Weir NDP Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, that kind of scripted answer is not good enough. It is not good enough for the workers who held a rally this weekend, saying they were not excited for Christmas because they could not afford presents. It is not good enough for the woman in Edmonton who has been told to repay $43,000 to Phoenix when she only makes $35,000. The minister's talking points are unacceptable.

Will the minister commit to fixing Phoenix by next Christmas so that workers can at least enjoy that holiday?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, let me assure everyone that resolving this is our top priority. We understand that it is completely unacceptable that workers are not being paid. What we are asking of them is really unacceptable. We are leaving no stone unturned. We are working on governance. We are working on technology. We are working with our partners, including unions, who are helping us to find solutions. We are working to improve communication with workers.

I can assure the House that we are leaving no stone unturned.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, $10.5 million. That is what the Prime Minister paid to Omar Khadr, the same Prime Minister who used veterans and members of his own caucus as election props, promising that no veterans would have to fight their government in court. Nine months after the election, the Prime Minister restarted a lawsuit that resulted in yesterday's Equitas decision. Our veterans lost. Sadly, Canada's veterans now understand just how little value they have to the Liberals, except at election time, compared to a terrorist.

How can the Prime Minister justify handing over millions to Omar Khadr while fighting our veterans in court?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, many of the issues raised by the Equitas lawsuit are part of our mandate, part of my mandate specifically, and our government takes them seriously, so seriously that we took immediate action when we were elected. We increased the disability award substantially. We increased the earnings loss benefits substantially. We invested in education, career transition, greater recognition for caregivers, more and better support for families, and mental health support.

We have done more substantially on this file in two years than those members did in 10.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, they have indeed done substantially more. They continue to drag veterans into court.

During the 2015 election, in a bid to win over veterans, the Liberals promised to restore lifetime pensions for injured veterans. The Liberals repeated that promise in March of this year.

However, the Liberal government continued to fight them in court in order to get out of keeping its promise. The Liberal government does not care about veterans, but it honours a traitorous terrorist with financial compensation.

Why is the Prime Minister not keeping his promise?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again I stand before this House, and I will say on the promise we have made to Canadians and our veterans that we will have an option on a monthly pension for life by the time that this House rises. This side of the House will keep its promise.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, as much as the minister would like to paper over it, the Prime Minister took our veterans to court. The Liberals also promised to reverse the Martin Liberals' cancelling of lifelong pensions for injured veterans. After getting elected, “pension” became “pension option”, and after beating veterans in court yesterday, it was reduced to “benefit option”. Will veterans get a lifetime pension as promised, or will the Liberals just keep playing a shell game with the existing benefits?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, one would almost think that the other side was not aware of the fact that it was the government for the past 10 years. Let me be very clear. It was that previous government that took Equitas to court. It was that government that offered lump sum payments. All sides of this House did agree, though, to a new Veterans Charter, and the idea behind it was that it would be a living tree, that we would address veterans' needs as they arise. Guess what. It withered on the vine for 10 years. We have done more for veterans in two years, substantially more—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Malpeque.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, those of us on the government side ran on a platform of investing in Canadians, creating jobs, and growing the economy. In fact, last week the reports coming out showed that the economy is doing very well, meaning more Canadians are working in productive work and adding to the economy. But there are others who are not participating in the economy and are still looking for work. Can the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour tell me what she is going to do to build on—

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.