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House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Madam Speaker, we always stand up for hard-working Canadians. That is why we reduced taxes for middle-class Canadians and raised them on the 1%. That is why we introduced the Canada child benefit, where nine out of 10 families will get more for their children.

We will also take action on the environment because it actually makes economic sense. We are moving forward for a cleaner future for our kids. We will support the middle class. We will create good jobs, because that is what Canadians expect us to do.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, the Minister of Finance is fine tuning his upcoming budget, and the Minister of Transport is endlessly studying studies, but the train may have left the station. In Trois-Rivières, like anywhere else in the Québec City-Windsor corridor, the return of passenger rail service is vital to stimulating the regional economy.

Can the minister confirm that he will finish his homework on time for budget 2017 to include the necessary funds for VIA Rail's high-frequency rail?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Madam Speaker, the concept of high-frequency rail is one that we are looking into and have already invested $3.3 million in. That speaks to how much we value this study on the Québec City-Windsor corridor. Studying the viability of such a project is complex work. We are in the process of doing so. We are doing our homework and when we are finished, we will make an announcement.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, it would be nice if the government stopped talking about sustainable development and actually did something about it. As the NDP critic for the electrification of transportation, I can say that I look forward to the next budget. I look forward to it because I was deeply disappointed to see that this Liberal government's great contribution to the electrification of transportation in the previous budget was to give Quebec a grand total of four charging stations. Wow. In the meantime, the Quebec government was contributing to installing 800 stations all around Quebec.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell us how many charging stations Quebec will get in the next budget? One, five, or six more?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Madam Speaker, the government was very pleased, in the budget of 2016, to announce a program of establishing electric vehicle charging stations, $62.5 million over two years.

We are also very pleased that it was the Province of Quebec that was the most enthusiastic of all the provinces.

I know it is absolutely consistent with the government's commitment to move to a lower carbon economy while creating good, clean jobs for Canadians, and I am glad the member is on side.

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, last fall, Travis Vader's conviction of two counts of second degree murder of Lyle and Marie McCann was vacated after the trial judge based his conviction on a zombie section of the Criminal Code.

Zombie laws are booby traps for the unwitting, with the potential for costs, delays, mistrials, appeals, and like what happened to the McCann family, miscarriages of justice.

The Minister of Justice can easily introduce legislation to repeal these sections. When will she?

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by reiterating that our government extends deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased.

The reference to a zombie provision, as my colleague puts it, is a stark reminder about the importance of conducting a broad, comprehensive review of the criminal justice system.

Our government is undertaking that process. We look forward to working with my hon. colleague across the way to ensure that we have a fair, relevant, and accessible criminal justice system.

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, the Justice Department has launched an initiative called “Transparency for the 21st Century”.

Canadians are interested to see how that goes, since there has been a total lack of transparency from the Minister of Justice.

She will not tell Canadians which mandatory minimum sentences she will get rid of . She will not tell Canadians why over half of the judicial positions she was supposed to fill are still empty, leading to murderers and sex offenders going free.

When will she tell Canadians which mandatory sentences will be eliminated and why she has not filled the judicial vacancies?

JusticeOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by saying that we all acknowledge that child sexual assault crimes are wrong, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent them from occurring again.

Our government firmly believes that mandatory minimum sentences are appropriate for the most serious offences. It is also clear that the last government introduced a number of mandatory minimums which have been systematically struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada, and that is why we must take a careful look at mandatory minimums going forward.

Our government is committed to doing that so that we have an efficient, fair, accessible criminal justice system.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

Madam Speaker, my friend, Neil Bantleman, faces 11 years behind bars in Indonesia. Indonesia's justice system has accused him of a crime that is unfounded and unwarranted. A year ago, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed that he was “deeply concerned and dismayed” by the court's decision. Since then nothing, and Neil continues to languish in prison.

Why will the minister not give Neil, his family and friends, hope, and outline what action she is taking to bring Neil home?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 17th, 2017 / 11:50 a.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Omar Alghabra LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his question and his ongoing work on behalf of Neil Bantleman. It is our government's priority to see Neil Bantleman back home in Canada as a free man. Our government has reiterated that concern with the Indonesian government at the highest level.

Our officials and myself have been engaged with this family. We have been working with his legal team and his family throughout this judicial review process. I want to take a moment to recognize the strength of his family and his friends, and particularly his wife Tracy, for her courage and her strength.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, recently I held a round table in my riding of Oakville North—Burlington about the challenges faced by people living with disabilities.

I commend them for their courage and determination.

The challenges related to accessibility and inclusion in workplaces and in our community are many. We have to change our perceptions and make Canada more inclusive.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities tell us about our government's efforts to ensure better inclusion?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Lauzon LiberalParliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Oakville North—Burlington for her question.

Our government is committed to ensuring better accessibility for Canadians with disabilities and better opportunities in their communities and their workplaces from coast to coast to coast. Many Canadians have already participated in one of the 19 public consultation sessions, in addition to the consultations held by their MPs. The public portion of the consultation is now complete.

I encourage all those who have not yet participated to do so online at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada by February 28.

Better is always possible.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, the Liberal government remains out of touch with the realities of the forestry industry and the regions of Quebec.

It is urgent that the government negotiate a softwood lumber agreement and put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the woodland caribou. Unfortunately, the government does not have enough information to make informed decisions on this issue.

The Minister of Environment likes to claim that her decisions are based on science. Will she make sure that her department learns more about the woodland caribou so that an informed decision can be made without giving in to the blackmail of activists?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to inform my colleague that I will be meeting with my provincial counterparts, including my Quebec counterpart, on Tuesday. We are going to talk about the woodland caribou, science, and how we can protect this species. We are also aware of the employment issue.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Madam Speaker, my constituents often tell me how important it is to have access to arts facilities in our communities. This allows families to take part in the arts and better understand our stories as Canadians.

Will the government please share with us how it plans on supporting these important staples of our communities?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Madam Speaker, our government firmly believes in investing in our cultural sector, as it drives innovation and growth and allows for unique Canadian stories to be shared with the world.

In budget 2016, we invested nearly $170 million over two years in cultural infrastructure. That is a historic amount for arts and culture.

In fact, just this morning, we announced over $6.5 million in funding for Arts Court and the Ottawa Art Gallery right here in Ottawa. This will help to provide a home for 26 not-for-profit organizations to allow them to continue to support our Canadian creators.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Madam Speaker, Canadians expect all taxpayers to pay what they owe. They do not want anyone to give them preferential treatment.

Could the Minister of National Revenue explain why, after allocating $444 million to combat offshore tax evasion, we are told that her department is failing to collect $50 billion each year. Wow, $50 billion would be enough for the Liberal budget to balance itself.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, Canada's middle class and those working hard to join it pay their taxes and fund programs for all Canadians, but they have had enough of those taxpayers who do not pay their fair share.

We have invested $444 million in order to prevent tax evasion and tax avoidance. We are working very hard. Before long, I will have the great pleasure to give my colleague opposite some good news.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Madam Speaker, when Ottawa insists on approving infrastructure projects one at a time, everything grinds to a halt and we never get a single penny.

The parliamentary budget officer has confirmed that, of the $13.6 billion announced in the budget, only one-third has been spent. In Quebec, things are twice as bad.

Will the government keep its election promise to transfer all uncommitted funds to the gas tax fund to make sure, according to its platform, that “our communities are not shortchanged”?

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, as my colleague knows very well, we have a historic plan to invest $180 billion in infrastructure. With regard to the reallocation of funds, these funds are allocated to specific projects. I assume that he does not want to take money away from specific projects, which are not yet paid for.

With respect to Quebec, monies are paid once projects are finished. Funds are assigned to projects and it would not be appropriate to reallocate them to the gas tax fund.

Funds that were to be redistributed were allocated to the gas tax fund.

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Madam Speaker, that is not what the Liberal Party election platform said.

Only 2% of public infrastructure is federal. The rest, the government does not have a stake in, which is why it takes so long to release the money.

By interfering in other people's business, Ottawa is holding up projects, paralyzing cities, and preventing Quebec from moving forward. Only the Canada 150 propaganda infrastructure seems to be getting money. The government knows all about propaganda.

In the next budget, will the government commit to paying a lump sum for infrastructure, money that remains frozen in Ottawa, and will it stop dilly-dallying?

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, my colleague will be delighted to know that we have announced 61 projects in Quebec. The total eligible cost is $1.6 billion. These are projects that were chosen with the approval of Quebec. We are working very closely with our provincial partner and the municipalities. They are pleased with this collaboration. These are projects that take time to develop. We are going to move them forward for the good of Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Madam Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador has taken Hydro-Québec to court 17 times since 1976 over the Churchill Falls accord, and Newfoundland and Labrador has failed 17 times.

This vexatious behaviour, and it is vexatious behaviour, has cost Quebeckers $50 million in lawyers' fees. Now we are being asked to fork over our tax dollars for a Muskrat Falls loan guarantee.

Can the government understand Quebeckers' anger? How can anyone expect them to sit back while the government uses their tax dollars to fund Newfoundland and Labrador's unfair competition against Hydro-Québec?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

Noon

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Madam Speaker, the government is interested in promoting electricity ties throughout the country. We realize that there will be a reduced reliance on fossil fuels in the future. We are in a transition period, and as part of that transition, we think it is very important to encourage the development of hydroelectric power, wherever it occurs in Canada. That is of fundamental value. We believe it is the best possible example of the environment and the economy working hand in hand throughout every region of Canada.