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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:40 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 I said a number of times, I want all members to share their ideas and for us to have a discussion. I know that we can modernize the way we work in the House. I encourage all members to participate in the conversation.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government House leader needs to check her definition of conversation and discussion. She states that this is just a conversation, but the last time I checked, this conversation involved the Liberals trying to ram through substantive changes in an arbitrary time frame that would simply remove Liberal accountability to Canadians by limiting debate and giving the Liberals unprecedented control over the House of Commons and its committees.

Will the Liberals stop spinning this as a conversation and call it what it really is: an affront to Canadian democracy?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:40 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 I have said, let us talk about some of the ideas that are in the discussion paper. There was a substantial debate in this place in which all members of Parliament were able to participate. This work was sent to PROC. The discussion paper asks members to broaden the scope of that committee.

Let us look at some of these ideas. Some of the ideas that we shared with Canadians during the campaign were a direct result of the Harper government's approach. We know that approach did not work. We know we need to modernize this place. Let us have a substantial conversation. Let us have some constructive feedback.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government House leader said that she wanted all members of Parliament to be able to come together and provide some constructive feedback. Well, on this side of the House, all the opposition parties already have come together to stand firmly against this Liberal power grab. These are substantial changes to the House of Commons in the way it functions, which will see the Liberals be less accountable to the very people they are supposed to be accountable to, Canadians.

If this is just a discussion as the minister tries to spin it as, why are the Liberals trying to ram this through without the consent of all political parties?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:45 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, under the Harper government, there was an abuse of omnibus legislation. The previous government decided to prorogue Parliament rather than face a confidence vote.

Let us have a conversation to ensure every member of Parliament is able to serve Canadians, be the voice he or she was elected to be. We committed to Canadians that their voices would be heard in this place, something we did not see under 10 years of Stephen Harper and his government.

Let us represent the voices of Canadians. Let us have the tough conversation we need to have.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, for decades, some Canadians have found themselves to be stateless due to a number of arcane laws. People could lose their citizenships just because they turned 28. Veterans who fought at Vimy Ridge are deemed not to be Canadians after all. A brother and sister in Syria, with a Canadian father, applied for Canadian citizenship under the same act and received opposite decisions. Why? Simply because the brother was born before 1977. That is absurd and illogical.

When will the minister bring in legislation to fix the lost Canadians problems once and for all?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we value all of the ways in which newcomers enrich our society.

We are committed to making sure, with Bill C-6, that we further remove obstacles that were put in place by the previous government for permanent residents to obtain their citizenship. We are moving forward to make sure that we enhance the ability of permanent residents to access citizenship.

We are also aware, under Bill C-6, of measures to further strengthen the integrity of the citizenship program. We want to maintain the value of Canadian citizenship and prevent fraud and misrepresentation.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of active cellphone data tracker devices were recently discovered in downtown Ottawa, and in the wake of these revelations, the minister admitted that the RCMP and CSIS use this type of equipment.

He suggested that the future national security committee consider the issue, but that is not enough.

Will the minister acknowledge how urgent it is to take action, modernize our laws, and implement the appropriate and necessary legislative measures to govern the use of this type of equipment?

Public SafetyOral Questions

April 10th, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the law is there with respect to the use of these devices. The agencies that purport to use them need to fall within the four corners of the law, including the appropriate judicial oversight and authorization.

At the same time, what I was saying in the quote referred to by the hon. gentleman was that parliamentarians would soon have a new opportunity to provide oversight and review with the imminent passage of Bill C-22.

Interprovincial TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, numerous studies have shown that internal trade represents about a fifth of Canada's GDP and close to 40% of the provinces' and territories' exports.

The agreement on internal trade, which was recently scrapped, was a useless barrier to free trade between members of our federation.

On Friday, we learned that our government and the provinces and territories had struck a new deal to facilitate trade.

Can the minister tell us more about this new agreement?

Interprovincial TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Montarville for his question.

The Canadian free trade agreement is the most comprehensive and ambitious agreement that we have signed with the provinces and territories, because it covers the entire economy. It includes all the provinces and territories as well. This agreement will come into force on July 1, as we celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.

Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my provincial and territorial counterparts from the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP side who put the economy first.

This is good news for our economy. It is good news for the middle class.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals initially made no mention of Russian complicity in Syria's war crimes, not even of Russia breaking its guarantee to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

Today, the Prime Minister said that he was open to possible new sanctions against Russia. Last week, the foreign affairs committee unanimously recommended expansion of Canada's sanctions regimes to apply to gross violators of human rights.

How long will the Liberals delay in finally imposing meaningful new sanctions on Russia?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague will know that the report was tabled at the end of last week. We will take our time to review the report, including the extra sanctions and measures that were included in it.

The Prime Minister has also stated clearly that Russia and Iran must be held morally responsible for what happened last week, the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which were war crimes.

Our position against Russia remains firm and clear. We were the party that increased sanctions against Russia, including supporting the sanctions of the previous government.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been dragging their feet on the Magnitsky sanctions for a year and a half.

The Prime Minister's ever-shifting position on the Syrian conflict goes back for years. In 2015, he said that the Conservative government's desire to expand Canada's presence into Syria was a worrying trend. That was when Canada's CF-18s were flying targeted missions against Daesh in Syria.

Now the Prime Minister seems to be calling for a full-scale regime change in Syria. What exactly is he proposing? What will he think tomorrow?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again, I reiterate that the chemical weapons attack last week was a war crime.

Canada has been, and remains, a significant player in the region, both militarily, diplomatically, and on the humanitarian front. We have committed $1.6 billion to the region, to be there to help the must vulnerable who are in that part of the world. We continue to work closely with international partners.

Last week the minister participated in the Brussels conference on the future of Syria. Today she has gathered in Italy with other G7 foreign ministers. We have welcomed over 40,000 Syrian refugees and continue to stand up for their brothers and sisters in that war-torn part of the world.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, since Phoenix was introduced in February 2016, public servants from across the country and their families have been going through some very difficult times.

Last week the Minister of Public Services and Procurement shockingly stated that she cannot reverse the decisions made by her deputy minister, specifically the decision regarding the $5 million in bonuses granted to department officials.

Considering statements like that, we might as well not have ministers.

When will this government finally start governing, show some leadership, and reverse the decision to grant bonuses to officials involved with Phoenix?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, resolving these problems, which we inherited from the previous government, is our top priority.

He also knows that no bonuses were paid to the senior executives directly involved in the Phoenix pay system. We continue to put the necessary resources towards resolving the problem. We have been given assurances that the deputy minister has checked each performance evaluation, and people are getting the bonuses they deserve.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is new to this file, so I will fill him in on something. Your government was responsible for starting Phoenix. Your government is—

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Edmonton West knows he has to address his comments through the Chair. I would ask him to do so.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

It was their government, Mr. Speaker. Then the minister paid out $5 million in bonuses to the officials who implemented the disastrous Phoenix pay program.

Add that to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Prime Minister's trip to a billionaire's island and tens of millions paid to the executives of Bombardier. It is clear the Liberals are out of touch with the real middle class in Canada.

With so many outstanding pay issues, bungled T4s, and endless phone queues, why did the minister pay $5 million in performance bonuses to her accomplices in the Liberal Phoenix pay fiasco?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, let me be the first to applaud our non-partisan, competent, highly motivated public service in this country.

Let me also say that resolving the pay problems with Phoenix is an ongoing priority. No bonuses were paid to the senior executives involved in the Phoenix pay system.

The Auditor General is now investigating the very origin, something which the member across may wish to be concerned about, of the Phoenix pay system. We have been assured that each public servant has been evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week I attended the Council of Forest Industries' convention in Vancouver and I heard concerns about the softwood lumber negotiations. Canada's chief negotiator said that this issue does knot appear to be front of mind for the new U.S. administration. We also heard that Canada needs to engage American businesses that would be hurt by higher lumber prices to press their government for fair treatment of the Canadian forest industry.

What is the minister doing to ensure that the Canadian forest industry is more front of mind for the Americans?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. colleague across the way knows that this government is vigorously defending the interests of our industry, and that just last month the minister had a call with her provincial and territorial counterparts on that file. The government remains very much engaged in that matter.

We continue to raise this important issue with our U.S. counterparts, as the Prime Minister did in Washington and with the President over the phone, and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has done with both Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Ross.

We are looking for a good deal, not just any deal.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, a new report by the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives studying poverty and inequity among British Columbia's seniors offers us a daunting portrait of the situation on the ground. The report shows that 42% of B.C. seniors are currently experiencing core housing needs.

With no housing funding until after the next election, and report after report demonstrating a crying need for support now, how can the Minister of Finance tell Canadian seniors that housing is just not available?