This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ceta.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, not only is the cost per plane excessive at between $277 million and $388 million, but the minister indicated in the House in a written response that the outdated Super Hornets would be in operation for only 12 years. That makes the annual cost quite high, specifically between $23 million and $32 million a year per plane. Clearly, there are no savings to be had here.

Why is the government insisting on sticking with this plan instead of launching an open process to replace the CF-18s? We know that this agreement benefits Boeing, but how will it benefit Canadians?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Jean Québec

Liberal

Jean Rioux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Armed Forces does exceptional work managing the risk related to concurrently respecting our commitments to both NORAD and NATO.

The government thinks it is unacceptable to manage such a high level of risk. The current fleet of CF-18s was acquired in the 1980s and honestly should have been replaced long ago. The government no longer wishes to rely exclusively on a fighter fleet that is over 30 years old. That is why we have to act now.

YouthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, Katimavik is an organization fighting for its survival. The program has trained close to 35,000 young people with the goal of promoting reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

If the Liberals continue to do nothing, the organization could close its doors in a few weeks. The Liberals promised to create a volunteer youth service program during the campaign and in the last budget. However, there has been no mention of it in the past 18 months.

Will the Prime Minister, who is also the minister of youth and former chair of Katimavik, finally release emergency funds to save the organization?

YouthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, helping young Canadians gain valuable work and life experience is central to the focus of our government. It is absolutely a priority. Our Prime Minister and the government are proud of reversing 10 years of cuts to youth programming by the past Conservative government.

We continue to engage with Katimavik. If I could take the opportunity, I want to recognize the member for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, who has done excellent work on this file. We will continue to engage with Katimavik. Stay tuned. Hopefully, we will have a great resolution forthcoming.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Erin Weir NDP Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, it has been over three months since the government's own deadline to fix Phoenix, and 7,000 cases from the original backlog still have not been fixed, leaving Canadians waiting to get paid. In addition, there have been 185,000 Phoenix complaints in the last six months.

The government refused to delay implementing Phoenix until it was corrected. When will the government end this boondoggle and pay our federal employees properly and on time?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Burin—Trinity Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Judy Foote LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my colleague's question. Resolving the ongoing service pay problems remains a priority for our government. That is why we have taken so many additional measures to respond in a quick manner. The reality is, we do have a number of outstanding issues. We are working very hard. We are working with our employees and we are working with the unions to try to find a speedy resolution, but we have encountered some complex cases. We are now going to shift to focusing on those priority cases to get them resolved as quickly as possible.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberals told the House that Canadians would not be affected by the U.S. executive order on immigration. However, we found out that NEXUS memberships have in fact been revoked from all Canadian permanent residents with citizenship in any one of the seven countries affected by the U.S. travel ban. I think that would be the definition of “affected”.

When did the minister become aware of this new issue? Was it after the assurance or before? More importantly, what steps is he taking to stand up for Canadian interests?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, all Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport should be treated at the border in the same way as before the executive order. It is our passport, not our NEXUS card, that establishes our status. NEXUS is a discretionary program to expedite processing. Each country has the right to withdraw the privilege. There are about 1.5 million people with NEXUS privileges. About 200 have been affected by the U.S. revocation. To the best of CBSA's information, none of them are Canadian citizens. We are working with our American counterparts to make sure that all Canadians are treated fairly.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not what CBSA told CBC on the weekend. More importantly, when I asked the minister this question on Friday, he said “If people feel that they have... been unfairly treated by the process... there is an appeal process and there is an ombudsman.”

Canadians do not want an ombudsman. They want their government to stand up for their interests. When will the Liberals stand up for Canadians and get these revocations reversed?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member does not seem to acknowledge is that NEXUS, on both sides of the border, is a discretionary program, entirely under the control of one government or the other, depending on which country they are in.

We are in the process of making sure, to the very best of our ability and capacity, that Canadians are treated fairly in all circumstances. Canadians themselves do have the benefit of the appeal procedure. They should avail themselves of that. However, they can be sure that their government is fighting for them too.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident, who is a computer programmer, was arrested on a visit to Iran in 2008 on trumped-up charges.

After conviction on a confession obtained through torture, Mr. Malekpour was sentenced to death. That sentence, after protests by our Conservative government and human rights organizations, was reduced to life in prison.

The Liberals promised that their muted criticism of Iran and reduced commercial sanctions would get results. Can the minister update the House on efforts to gain Mr. Malekpour's release and his return to Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

February 6th, 2017 / 2:55 p.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we are clearly concerned about the well-being of Mr. Malekpour.

I had the opportunity to meet with his sister. I committed to her that our government was following his case with great concern. Obviously, members of the opposition know that the lack of diplomatic presence in Iran has posed challenges for us. That is why our government is committed to re-engaging with Iran, making sure that we defend the interest of Canadians, and building on people-to-people relationships with Iran.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Breton Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, in early 2017, the government announced drinking water and wastewater treatment projects under the bilateral agreement with Quebec. Two weeks ago, five projects with $6.4 million in funding were announced for the Eastern Townships, 16 projects worth $82.9 million were announced for the Mauricie region, and 19 projects worth $61.3 million were announced in the Montérégie region, including four in my riding of Shefford.

Could the government provide an update on this program?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, we have approved 57 projects for a combined investment of more than $1.5 billion.

Just today, we announced an additional three projects for the region of Abitibi. These projects will provide safe, clean drinking water for the region.

We continue to work with our partners to approve even more projects to grow our economy and create opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join the middle class.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, we learned after Christmas that since gutting the Financial Transparency Act, the compliance measures, of course, the reporting rate has gone down. The minister had to know that was going to happen. It is no surprise.

The National Post wrote that about 90 bands had not been fully compliant with the act, and, of course, for the community members, that is 90 too many. It has been over a year. First nations communities, 90 of them across this country, do not have access to basic information.

When will the minister listen to the grassroots band members and respect them, and enforce the act?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in this House many times, first nations governments, and everyone, want increased transparency and accountability.

We will achieve this through working in full partnership with first nations leaderships and organizations. We are currently engaging first nations leadership, communities, and organizations to identify a way forward that is based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Cheryl Hardcastle NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind must lobby each year for funding in the form of government grants.

Given the crucial services provided by the CNIB, like making sure literature is available in accessible formats, stable, predictable, and ongoing funding is required. Funding would allow the CNIB to provide Canadians with visual impairments the programs and services to which they are entitled.

Will the government commit to ensuring that funding for the CNIB will be in the next federal budget?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Speaker, I know the member shares the passion for inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities that our government does.

I have experienced first-hand the great work that CNIB does for the visually impaired community in Canada. I was proud to work with them over the last year to celebrate Canada's accession to the Marrakesh Treaty. I am proud of our government commitment of $3 million to ensure we can meet the demands for alternative format materials.

Our government's disability program has been undergoing a transformation aimed at providing greater certainty and efficiency to organizations. We are indeed exploring whether or not we can provide multi-year funding.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, like many ridings in Canada, Oakville North—Burlington is made stronger because of its diversity. Our post-secondary institutions, like Sheridan College in Oakville and DeGroote School of Business in Burlington, rank among the very best in the world, attracting students from around the world. However, our immigration system has made it difficult for those who wish to stay in Canada.

Can the minister please update this House on what the government has done to make it easier for international students to live and work in Canada?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Oakville North—Burlington for the question and for her hard work.

Our government strongly supports the attraction and retention of international students to Canada. This is why we made changes to our express entry program, which has made it easier for international students to stay in Canada. It has led to them creating economic growth, jobs, and spurring innovation in our country.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank my officials for processing 367,000 international student visas last year, which is a 22% increase over the previous government.

FinanceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, if there is anything that Liberals are good at, it is breaking promises and wasting hard-earned tax dollars. They promised a deficit to pay for infrastructure, and while the deficit just keeps growing, there are still no shovels in the ground. They promised to balance the budget by 2019, but now it will not be until 2055. We have heard the Liberals make promises of electoral reform, but then all Canadians got was a $4 million bill for a muddled personality survey.

While Canadians are struggling to make ends meet, what other broken promises can taxpayers be expected to foot the bill for?

FinanceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear that Canadians can expect this year in our budget, as they saw last year, and as they will see in years to come, that we will have a focus on helping those most vulnerable. We have demonstrated that so far, and we will continue to do that, with a focus on improving the lives of middle-class Canadians through lower taxes, through more opportunities for themselves and their children in future because of the investments we are going to make.

That is what Canadians can expect, and we are pleased to be able to deliver for them.

QuebecOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, while all of Quebec was mourning the victims of the Quebec City shooting, the Washington Post published an article written by J.J. McCullough that constituted an unprecedented attack on Quebec's international reputation. An excerpt from the article reads: “And now, [Canadians] have good reason to observe that the province [of Quebec] seems to produce an awful lot of lunatics prone to public massacres”.

Will the Prime Minister rise now, with all the dignity of his office, and unequivocally condemn this attack on the Quebec nation?

QuebecOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the comments made in the Washington Post op-ed are unacceptable and we denounce them. Quebeckers, like all Canadians, are open and welcoming. The surge of solidarity following the terrorist attack in Quebec City made that very clear. It is up to all of us to speak out against discrimination and injustice.

QuebecOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is refusing to rise as a statesman, and his silence, like that of the Conservative Party on Friday, encourages derogatory Quebec bashing. While all of Quebec is mourning its dead in the wake of the terrible attack at the Quebec City mosque, people are insulting Quebec and attacking and besmirching its reputation. Meanwhile, neither the official opposition nor the Prime Minister want to condemn this disgraceful rag.

How can the Prime Minister, the self-proclaimed Quebec lieutenant, justify remaining seated and remaining silent?