House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was als.

Topics

TaxationStatements By Members

March 23rd, 2017 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the government is interested in super catalystic venture capitalistic innovation projects, it might look no further than SunTech Tomato Greenhouses in my riding, which has actually learned how to produce tomatoes in Canada in the winter. In fact, it just installed LED lights over an acre of its greenhouses, costing a million dollars.

Unfortunately, after the $40,000 one-month hydro bill, it had to turn the lights out for the rest of the winter. The carbon tax in that month cost $6,200. That is a lot of innovation that will go dark as a result of high taxes and high Liberal hydro fees that are being used to subsidize innovative Liberal friends.

If the government wants more innovation, it should stop taxing innovators, or else it risks this whole thing turning into a gigantic cluster something.

Religious DiscriminationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read some lines from a poem written by a young Muslim woman from Oakville, Amal Ahmed Albaz. It is about fighting discrimination. It is called Unmet Friends.

Fear happens when people fail to see,
That you're actually just like me.
We have to see each other for who we are,
We eat the same food, drive the same car.
We both have kids who drive us crazy,
We all have weekends when we're lazy.
We follow the same shows on our TV,
We like reading a book beneath a tree.
We dread shovelling when the snow hits hard,
We have barbecues in the backyard.
You see, you and I, we're a lot alike.
I may be Mohammed, you may be Mike.
Our lives are more similar than you think,
Our humanity is our common link.
We have the same pleasures and the same fears,
The same things make us happy, the same things bring us tears.
So no, I am not a security threat,
We're just friends we haven't met, at least not yet.

I thank Amal.

Purple DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, every year on March 26, people around the world recognize Purple Day to raise awareness about epilepsy, a condition affecting 300,000 Canadians and 50 million people worldwide.

I have watched people close to me struggle with epilepsy and recognize the immense importance that awareness and knowledge play in dispelling the myths and in supporting those with this condition.

This purple day, let us send a message to all those affected by epilepsy that they are not alone. I invite all my colleagues to wear purple on March 26 and to continue the conversation to increase awareness and to support those struggling with epilepsy.

For more information, I encourage everyone to go to www.epilepsy.ca to find out how they can help.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, simply put, the Prime Minister is waging war on democracy. He is using the budget as cover to force changes to the rules of the House. He wants to cancel Friday sittings, cut off debate in committees, eliminate discussions on committee reports, and severely limit debates in the House.

The custom of this House is that before any major changes are made to the rules, they are agreed upon by all parties. This tradition must be honoured. Liberal MPs need to look at each other and ask themselves if this is the reason they came to Ottawa. I hope that during their caucus retreat they will stand up to the Prime Minister and tell him that what he is doing is wrong and is harmful to our democracy.

Over the past 150 years, millions of Canadians have fought hard, and too many have died for our freedoms to be silenced. Today we fight for them.

William RompkeyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is with deep sadness that I rise in the House today to honour a dear friend, a former member of Parliament and a senator for Labrador, for nearly four decades, Mr. William Rompkey, who died on Tuesday.

Mr. Rompkey served tirelessly as the member of Parliament for Labrador for 23 years and as the first and only Labradorian in the Senate of Canada for 16 years. He was an educator, an author, and an elder statesman. Mr. Rompkey served with tremendous integrity, loyalty, and care for the people who sent him to this House.

Mr. Rompkey's footprints remains forever in the lands of Labrador. He secured the first-ever investment for the first links of the Labrador highway. He secured investment for the first airports in remote north and south communities. He also invested in the changing times in the fishing industry and the mining industry.

He was a close friend and mentor throughout my life, since my first travels with him as a young teenager.

Today I would like to ask all colleagues in the House, as I know all Labradorians and Canadians would, to share with me in offering our condolences to his wife Carolyn, his children Hilary and Peter, and all of his friends.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night I met with a number of veterans who are angry and frustrated. Sadly, not a single MP from the government side bothered to attend, and it was a message from our veterans the government needed to hear.

Key issues included pensions for medically releasing veterans; the need for a transition that ensures that no CF member is released from the military until all benefits, pensions, and supports are in place; more support for families of veterans; and that Veterans Affairs use evidence of successes in allied countries to approve beneficial treatments here in Canada. We also heard that those with military sexual trauma are still fighting for access to benefits that other veterans receive.

Enough is enough. We need the political will to make changes. What veterans are calling for is not expensive. It is common sense, and they have been asking for years. Tragically, the budget does not ensure that any of these simple requests will honoured.

Jim HillyerStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, this House was shaken, and overcome with sadness, by the sudden and untimely passing of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner MP Jim Hillyer.

Being a member of Parliament is what Jim dreamed of all his life. He proudly represented his riding and held fast to his convictions, relentlessly advocating on behalf of his constituents. People mattered to Jim. Having experienced highs and lows throughout his life, Jim understood the issues faced by regular, hard-working Canadians. He was a neighbour to all, open, honest, and humble. A man devoted to his faith and family, Jim drew his strength from God, his wife Livi, and their four children.

I would encourage all members of this House to take some time today to reflect on the memory of our former colleague, Jim Hillyer.

Well done, Jim. He served his family, southern Alberta, and this nation well.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell Liberal Pickering—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, budget 2017 is a budget of opportunities for women in Canada. For the first time ever, it includes a comprehensive gender statement showing how this budget impacts women differently than men. In fact, over 60 measures in our budget have a differential impact on women and men. This information allows us to make better decisions that will help advance gender equality for all Canadians.

Our government has taken more action than any other previous government to ensure that gender-based analysis is central to our decision-making. Building on our first budget, budget 2017 continues to invest in concrete actions to reduce gender inequality, including in housing, child care, and addressing gender-based violence.

I am proud to be part of a government with an unshakable commitment to gender equality that follows its words with real action for Canadian women.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about what this budget means for a hard-working taxpayer. Let us call him Joe.

Joe takes the bus to work every day, and at the end of the day, he likes to go to the pub with his buddies for a beer. He is a responsible guy, so he always uses Uber to get home. What does this budget do for Joe? First of all, it taxes his bus pass. It takes away his tax credit for his bus pass. It taxes the beer he has at the pub. It even slaps a tax on his Uber ride.

What exactly does the Prime Minister have against people like Joe?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we built our agenda, our plan, based on Joe. What we have done for Joe is we have reduced his taxes. If Joe is a single guy, we have reduced his taxes by $330. If Joe has a family, he has more money for his family because of our Canada child benefit. Most importantly for Joe, our investments in transit mean he is going to get to and from home more rapidly. What Joe knows is that he is going to have, over the long term, the ability to have a great job, an exciting job, because we are going to invest in Canada.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's budget raises taxes on people like Joe, whether it is for beer, wine, or spirits, but that is really ironic, because that same budget contains the tab for $1,700 worth of drinks and snacks during the Prime Minister's three hour flight to a private island getaway over the holidays.

What message does the Prime Minister think he is sending to a taxpayer like Joe when he raises Joe's taxes while helping himself to free drinks on the house?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 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 the Minister of Finance has shared so well, it was this government that lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians by increasing taxes for the 1% of wealthiest Canadians. It was this government that introduced the Canada child benefit to give more money to his family and the children who need it the most to ensure that they get the most.

When it comes to the travel that the member opposite is referring to, one of the first things we did after taking office was to ask the Clerk of the Privy Council to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and their guests as well.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, nobody is questioning the Prime Minister's need for security and no one has questioned his right to take a vacation. Everyone knows when the Prime Minister does things, it costs a lot of money.

What taxpayers are questioning is why, when he knows that everything he does costs taxpayers money, did he choose a vacation to a remote exclusive island. He knew that this would be very expensive for taxpayers. Why did he do it?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 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, one of the first things we did after taking office was to ask the Clerk of the Privy Council to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our taking office, no such policy existed.

This government is working hard for middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join them. This government has had unprecedented levels of public consultations to ensure that we can respond to the very real challenges that Canadians are facing. This government will continue to work hard for all Canadians.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the Prime Minister's arrogant attitude with how he spends tax dollars, but now this behaviour is starting to creep into the House of Commons. He has proposed a plan to limit his attendance in question period to once a week, which in fact, is actually only one hour a week, and give all of his colleagues Fridays off.

I just want to remind the Prime Minister that while he was campaigning he said, “Sunlight is the world's best disinfectant”. My question is: What dirt is he trying to hide?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 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, allow me to set the record straight. The discussion paper talks about the better use of our time as members of Parliament. On Friday our schedule here is only half a day, so let us talk about moving those hours to other days of the week. We talk about working hard just like Canadians do. Hard-working Canadians in most offices in Canada start their day at 9 a.m. or even earlier. Why can the House of Commons not consider that?

Let us talk about doing that so that we can be back in our ridings to not only serve Canadians but to be able to engage with them and listen to their concerns, listen to their constructive feedback, so we can better serve them in this place.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Sturgeon River—Parkland Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is trying to rush through permanent changes to the rules of the House of Commons. These changes will undermine the opposition's ability to hold the Prime Minister to account and will allow him to be here only once a week.

In the House, we represent the views of our constituents and all Canadians. It is an honour and a privilege to be here, not an inconvenience.

Will the Prime Minister stop avoiding accountability and immediately abandon his plan to change the rules?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 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, let me set the record straight for Canadians.

We have proposed a number of ideas in a discussion paper in order to modernize Parliament. Some of these ideas have been misinterpreted. Let us be clear: the Liberals are not recommending that the Prime Minister come to question period only once a week. We are trying to encourage a debate on how to improve accountability in the House. Let there be no mistake: our Prime Minister will be more accountable, not less accountable.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, sunny ways are indeed gone. They have been replaced by an attempt to unilaterally and quietly ram through changes to the rules that govern our democracy. This is nothing less than a massive government power grab, which is only meant to help the Prime Minister avoid accountability.

Is there anyone on the Liberal benches with the courage to stand up and tell the Prime Minister that this is not why they came to Ottawa?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:20 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, the discussion paper that I shared with members of Parliament as well as Canadians was to encourage us to have a conversation, a discussion. What I have recognized is that there are many misconceptions in regard to the discussion paper.

I will share information in regard to Friday sittings. We know that on Fridays the House of Commons sits for only half a day. We are saying why not reallocate that time to other days. The House of Commons starts at 10 a.m. on some days. Most Canadians start their day at 9 a.m. or earlier. Why can the House of Commons not do that? Let us have that important conversation.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same Liberals who regularly attacked Stephen Harper for his use of the gag are now flat out resorting to the guillotine to shut down debate.

Amending the rules that govern how our democracy works should never be done by just one party, no matter the party.

Thus, will the Liberal government commit, here and now, to not changing the rules unilaterally, yes or no?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:25 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, that is not the case. Our government recognizes that the work members do here in the House and in their ridings is important.

During the election campaign, we vowed to modernize Parliament and turn it into a 21st-century workplace.

Our objective has always been to ensure that Parliament is relevant to Canadians and that the House is accountable, predictable, efficient, and transparent.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget has clearly laid bare the Liberal government’s choices.

While, exactly two weeks ago, the Liberals voted to close the tax loophole for CEOs, they did not do so in their budget. No, instead they scrapped the public transit tax credit and cut $1.25 billion from the fund to combat climate change.

Here is a simple question: why have the Liberals chosen to protect wealthy CEOs instead of the environment?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our plan is clear. We strengthened the middle class by reducing their taxes while asking the wealthiest Canadians to pay a little more. That continues to be our focus, because we know it is very important to have a fair tax system. We will continue with our plan.

We found expenditures that must be reviewed so we can ensure that our system continues to be fair. There will be consultations in the coming weeks and months to explain our programs.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, closing the CEO stock option tax loophole would have generated $725 million every year, and as a bonus it would have helped the Liberals keep one of their promises. What a concept that is. Instead, what the Liberals are doing is they are refusing to give $155 million to finally end discrimination against first nations children.

The question is simple, and please can the Liberals deliver the response for once without their pre-written talking points. Why protect rich CEOs instead of protecting first nations children?