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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-23.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Matt Jeneroux Conservative Edmonton Riverbend, AB

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but Alberta cannot wait. The infrastructure minister is taking his friendship with Rachel Notley to a new level. The minister is now looking the other way while Notley funnels $300 million from the building Canada fund to pay down her debt, but none is going to job-creating infrastructure projects. Alberta is in a jobs crisis. This minister has chosen loyalty to Premier Notley over struggling Albertans. Why has this minister betrayed Albertans in crisis?

InfrastructureOral Questions

March 6th, 2017 / 2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, let me say what the president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association had to say:

We are pleased to have a federal colleague who is willing to work collaboratively with us. Our members value the ongoing infrastructure investment that is on the federal agenda, which will support significant and shovel-worthy municipal projects across Alberta.

There are 127 projects, 126 in municipal sectors, with a combined investment of $4.2 billion going into Alberta's economy.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, we learned last week that defence plans on how to deter a 9/11 cell terrorist attack were inadvertently leaked to the CBC. On one hand, the minister puts a lifelong gag order on bureaucrats who are directly involved in executing his political orders, while on the other hand, the minister's department is openly sharing national security documents.

When will the minister stop playing politics with the defence department and take seriously the responsibility for Canadian security?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces take the security of sensitive information extremely seriously. We are constantly working to balance the requirement for openness and transparency while safeguarding information related to the security and defence of Canada.

In the last fiscal year, the department received over 2,000 access to information requests and released over 200,000 pages of documents to the public.

The classified documents were inadvertently released as a result of a human error. To avoid this in the future, we are reviewing this process to ensure that such a situation does not reoccur, and we continue to meet our legal obligations.

ScienceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Darshan Singh Kang Liberal Calgary Skyview, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government was elected on a promise to make historic investments in infrastructure, because we understand that infrastructure plays an important role in driving growth while delivering the housing, bridges, and roads Canadians need.

My question for the Minister of Science is: What investment is our government making in research infrastructure so that scientists have the tools to make Canada a world leader in research and innovation?

ScienceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan LiberalMinister of Science

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to investing in the labs and tools researchers need to enhance their scientific research. Last week I announced more than $50 million, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, for research infrastructure so that researchers can continue to discover and innovate. Their discoveries improve our economy, environment, and communities while also growing a strong, vibrant middle class.

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have a habit of saying one thing and then doing another. First, there was a promise of a small deficit. Now it is out of control. Then they promised a balanced budget by 2019. Now it will not be until 2055. Now the Liberals are saying that principal residence reporting is about foreign investor compliance. It turns out that it may just be a new way to tax small businesses.

I want to ask: Will the new rules requiring Canadians to report the sale of their principal residences on their tax returns eliminate any portion of the capital gains exemption if they run a small business from their home, yes or no?

FinanceOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the capital gains exemption on principal residences continues. We have asked that people report on their tax returns when they sell a home so we can ensure that we understand when people are selling homes if they are in fact their principal residences.

There is an administrative approach to make sure that people who are running a small business from their homes can continue to be eligible for that principal residence exemption.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, citizens met with representatives from the RCMP, the United Nations, and an NGO in Hemmingford yesterday. I thank them all for participating. The people were very open, empathetic, and welcoming to refugees crossing the border on foot.

Trump's new executive order will soon be in force. Will the Liberal government suspend the safe third country agreement and give our border services and border communities more resources?

What will the government do to manage the ongoing influx of irregular migrants? Where is its plan?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, our government has been recognized throughout the world for having a compassionate refugee system. We maintain that tradition.

The safe third country agreement is an agreement between the United States and Canada on the orderly handling of asylum claims in both countries. The head of the UNHCR in Canada is on record as stating that the domestic asylum system in the United States is intact, and therefore it would be irresponsible to withdraw from the safe third country agreement.

If the New Democratic Party wants to get into an argument with the UNHCR, which has expertise on this issue, it is more than welcome to do so.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 7, Meghan, from my riding of Brampton North, will be joining me in Ottawa to experience a day in the life of an MP as part of Equal Voice's Daughters of the Vote initiative.

Can the Minister of Status of Women please highlight what our government has done to encourage women to get involved in politics and government?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her effective advocacy on behalf of the people of Brampton North.

Our government is committed to removing barriers for women in politics. That is why we are providing over $13 million for Canada-wide projects to empower women in political and community action, and it is why we are proud to support the work of Equal Voice and to be hosting the Daughters of the Vote here in Ottawa this week.

I hope all my colleagues will join me in wishing the Daughters of the Vote a memorable and inspiring week here in Parliament.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the previous Conservative government understood the severe threat that invasive species, such as the Asian carp, pose for Canadian waterways. We learned last week that under the Liberals' watch, Asian carp had made their way into the St. Lawrence River and nearby waterways. This will have a detrimental effect on the commercial and recreational fishing industry and could cost the Quebec economy millions.

When will the Liberals start taking these developments seriously and take aggressive action to mitigate the growth of such invasive species?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, we share my colleague's view and the view of the provinces and many states about the threat posed by invasive species, specifically the Asian carp. That is why we have invested considerably in science to properly monitor what is happening with invasive species, not only the Asian carp, in other waterways across the country. More importantly, we are making investments in infrastructure that will help prevent invasive species from reaching our waterways.

We will work with partners like the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and others to ensure that those investments reach the intended target of reducing these invasive species.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, KPMG allowed Canadian multimillionaires to violate the Income Tax Act with impunity thanks to an agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency, or CRA. This is no joke; as far as CRA is concerned, KPMG and its clients are above the law. It is not surprising that the Liberals voted against our motion to combat tax havens.

The Prime Minister said last spring that if the agreement was flawed, it would be reassessed.

My question is simple and is for the Prime Minister. Does he think that the agreement is flawed or that tax evasion is fine for the Liberals?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the tax rules are the same for everyone. I would like to point out that the offshore tax avoidance scheme set up by KPMG was discovered thanks to the efforts of the CRA.

Let me be clear: tax evaders can no longer hide. We take this issue very seriously, and those who choose to participate in tax schemes will face consequences for their actions. Canadians expect no less.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Prime Minister for his excellent response.

KPMG has received more than $92 million in federal government contracts since 2006. That is what we call a good client, a very good client, a partner. This partner, KPMG, encouraged its private clients to evade taxes and avoid paying taxes like everyone else.

Until we get to the bottom of these schemes, will this government commit to cancelling its contracts with KPMG or are we to understand that there is nothing wrong with a company encouraging tax evasion?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out, and my colleague knows full well, that the KPMG case is currently before the courts. We are continuing to take action against KPMG. The case is before the courts and we are going to see our measures through, as Canadians have asked us to. That is what we promised during the election campaign and that is exactly what we are going to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Simon Marcil Bloc Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's inaction and grovelling before the U.S. government has cost Quebeckers dearly, as we have seen with softwood lumber, diafiltered milk, and spent fowl. We have seen it over and over again.

Now, the harmful cuts proposed by the U.S. president are threatening the quality of the water consumed by the vast majority of Quebeckers. A tweet from the Prime Minister is not going to solve the problem.

What real action will the Liberal government take to prevent Quebec's main source of drinking water from being compromised?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has a long history of working collaboratively with the United States and invests significant resources in restoring and protecting the Great Lakes. Canada remains committed to implementing our obligations under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and to the delivery on the Great Lakes commitments.

We continue to work alongside the United States and our domestic partners, and we will continue to promote strong action by all levels of government.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of a Canadian parliamentary delegation concerning its visit to Norway on January 9 and 10, 2017.

Foreign AffairsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the treaty entitled “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Swiss Confederation under the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as amended by the 2010 Protocol”, done at Ottawa on December 22, 2016, and at Berne on December 9, 2016.

I also have the honour to table an agreement on air transportation between the Government of Canada and the Government of Jamaica, done at Kingston on December 20, 2016.

An explanatory memorandum is included in each treaty.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “An Interim Report in Response to the Chief Electoral Officer’s Recommendations for Legislative Reforms Following the 42nd General Election”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

At this time, I would also like to thank the officials from Elections Canada who were with us for many meetings while we debated these recommendations at committee, as well as the parties for working so co-operatively to come up with this lengthy report.

TelecommunicationsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by over 60 of my constituents, which emphasizes the importance of regional, local, and community broadcast programming, and asks the government to enable a network of community-operated media centres not served by public or private media. Furthermore, the petitioners request that all Canadian residents have access to multi-platform media skills training and content distribution in the digital economy.

Trans-Pacific PartnershipPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present three petitions today. Therefore, I hope you will bear with me.

The first petition is from a group of constituents who have raised concerns about the trans-Pacific partnership, and who recognize that it will raise the cost of medications, ease the path for foreign takeovers, and empower corporations to sue local levels of government. Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon the Government of Canada to not ratify the trans-Pacific partnership.