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House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

11:20 a.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 Prime Minister is listening and is engaged. That is why our government has undertaken unprecedented levels of public consultations. Our government is listening to Canadians and responding to the very real challenges they are facing, and that is exactly what we will continue to do.

Our government is committed to giving more independence to the parliamentary budget officer. Canadians expect their government to be open, transparent, and accountable, and that is exactly what our government is doing.

We look forward to the debate on the bill and we are open to amendments on how to further improve the proposed legislation so that it accomplishes the goal of an independent PBO.

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, young and racialized Canadians continue to receive charges and criminal records by the thousands for simple possession of marijuana, and yet the Liberal government refuses to do anything to stop these harmful arrests for at least another 15 months.

Criminal records have serious consequences. It makes it harder to get a job and it makes it almost impossible to travel. What does the Liberal government plan to do to support Canadians who have been convicted of a crime that the Prime Minister himself has admitted to?

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to introducing a strict framework that would regulate and restrict access to cannabis in order to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals. Decriminalization will not achieve these objectives.

Creating a comprehensive and responsible system will take time, but that is necessary to get this right. We look forward to bringing forward comprehensive legislation later today.

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, that was more of the evasiveness and dodging. Canadians expected immediate action on updating Canada's marijuana laws, yet 18 months later we continue to see cases of Canadians charged and convicted for simple possession. That means that approximately 60,000 could have criminal records during this government's mandate. That is a shameful statistic.

Will the minister acknowledge this harm, and will she commit to pardoning Canadians who have been convicted of possession of marijuana?

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the member that he will not have to wait longer for legislation because we are introducing comprehensive legislation later today.

Our government has committed to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis in a careful way in order to keep it out of the hands of children and youth and to stop criminals from profiting. Canada's current system of controlling cannabis through the criminal justice system does not adequately protect the health and safety of Canadians, especially youth. We look forward to introducing comprehensive legislation today.

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Liberals fail to understand is that the NDP would like decriminalization and prevention to be part of their transition plan.

There were almost 50,000 arrests for possession in Canada in 2015. This disproportionately affects young people, cultural communities, and people in Canada's north. Many organizations such as the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse are in favour of decriminalization or an amnesty. Even Jean Chrétien and Joe Clark agree on that.

Until legalization comes into effect, will the Liberals stop arresting people for simple possession?

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis and limiting access to it in a prudent fashion in order to keep it out of the hands of young people and to keep any associated profits out of the hands of criminals.

Currently in Canada, cannabis is controlled through our criminal justice system, and the health and safety of Canadians, young people in particular, are not being adequately protected. We really look forward to introducing this bill later today.

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Liberals are avoiding the questions. They just said that they want to protect people from marijuana trafficking, but they have completely forgotten about prevention, and they are continuing to give young people criminal records.

Quebec is asking the federal government to pull up its socks. Spending two million dollars a year on prevention for the biggest legislative change in the past 20 years? That is ridiculous. The prevention budget for youth in Colorado, which has a population of five million, was $45 million for 2015 alone.

Will the Prime Minister and Minister of Youth present a real transition plan that includes the funding needed for prevention?

JusticeOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government has committed to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis in a careful way in order to keep it out of the hands of children and youth, and to stop criminals from profiting.

Decriminalization will not achieve these objectives. Creating a comprehensive and responsible system will take time, but it is necessary to get this right. We are very happy to be introducing comprehensive legislation later today.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the day that the Liberals roll out their marijuana legislation, we learn that the person they handpicked to chair the pot legalization committee has deep ties to the industry.

Anne McLellan's firm promotes itself as the go-to advisers to the industry, and at least 12 of its employees stand to make millions from their ownership stake in one of the pot companies. She herself is criss-crossing the country promoting the Liberal policy and handing out her own business cards.

How deep in the grass does all this Liberal cronyism go?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman wants to attack the integrity of Anne McLellan, good luck.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will attack the integrity of Anne McLellan when she and her law firm partners stand to make millions of dollars because they are connected—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Anne McLellan is a former Liberal cabinet minister, and now we know she has close connections to the pot industry. While she was designing the framework for this new system, her legal colleagues were waiting in the wings to make big pot profits.

Is this new legislation merely a smokescreen for Liberal cronies to fill their pockets?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the clear answer is no. If the hon. gentleman would like to make those suggestions outside the House, I am sure Ms. McLellan will meet him in court.

EthicsOral Questions

April 13th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told the House on several occasions yesterday that he will answer questions from the Ethics Commissioner about his trip to billionaire island.

Every time the Prime Minister stands up and plays a game of political dodgeball in the House of Commons, he undermines his credibility and undermines the legitimacy of this place. I have news for the Prime Minister: he also has a responsibility to answer to Canadians, who are represented by every single member in this place.

Can the Prime Minister stop dodging, dipping, ducking, and diving, and answer this question: who told him to break the law?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.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 Prime Minister has answered to Canadians every single day, and that is exactly why this government has taken unprecedented levels of public consultation.

We will continue to engage with Canadians. We will continue to respond to the very real challenges that they are facing. Canadians know that wherever the Prime Minister travels, whether for personal or business, he must always be in a position to carry out his official duties. The resources that were provided to him are exactly the same as has been the case for previous prime ministers.

This Prime Minister takes his role very seriously. We take the work Canadians need us to do very seriously. We will continue to deliver for them.

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, 18 months ago, this Prime Minister asked Canadian voters to place their trust in him, but he continues to stretch the truth and say just about anything. I hope that on this Holy Thursday he does not believe that he can obtain absolution without going to confession. With regard to his false statement about the use of the Aga Khan's private helicopter, will the Prime Minister give us the facts and tell the truth? How can this Prime Minister look honest Canadians in the eyes and say to them that he is telling the truth when that has been proven not to be the case?

EthicsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Our Prime Minister will continue to respond to the real challenges that Canadians are facing. Wherever the Prime Minister travels, he must always be in a position to carry out his official duties. Like his predecessors, the Prime Minister must always be in contact with his office, and is always provided with support during his travels in Canada and abroad, whether for personal or official business.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, transparency, accountability, and sunny ways: this was the Liberal platform. Now the same government is trying to force through measures that would significantly reduce Canadians' ability to hold the Liberals to account.

Is the Prime Minister going to continue standing in this chamber while he orders ministers to do his dirty work?

When will the Liberals come clean to Canadians about their shady attempt to dodge accountability?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, we are delivering on exactly what we committed to deliver to Canadians. We had said a more open and more transparent government. That is exactly why we have taken unprecedented levels of public consultation.

We will continue to work hard for Canadians, because we know that is exactly what will allow us to implement the budget and the investments we have made, strategic investments, to create the conditions of growth that Canadians expect, to create jobs, to have a stronger economy. Exactly what middle-class Canadians are asking for, we will continue to deliver on.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me have a discussion with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. What does the term “election promise” mean to her? What did the Liberals promise? They promised to run a small deficit of $10 billion, to balance the budget by 2019, to completely overhaul the election system, and to cut taxes for SMEs.

Obviously, the government House leader has shown us that a Liberal promise is an alternative fact.

For once, will the government keep its promise to be open and transparent and commit to not changing our Standing Orders without the unanimous consent of members?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign we promised to modernize Parliament and to turn it into a 21st century workplace. We are willing to work with all of the parties to deliver on the promises that we made to Canadians, but we will not give the Conservatives a veto over our campaign commitments to Canadians.

We know that we can all work together. I encourage all members to participate in this conversation.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the last Parliament, Bill C-15, the strengthening military justice act, was adopted as a first step in reforming Canada's outdated military criminal justice system. The bill received royal assent four years ago, yet 44 sections of the act are not yet in force. That represents nearly one-third of the act and some of the most important reforms to the system.

Since justice delayed is often justice denied, could the Minister of National Defence explain to the House what possible excuse there can be for this long delay in reforming Canada's military justice system?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Jean Québec

Liberal

Jean Rioux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the military justice system is extremely important, and National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are looking closely at this matter to improve the conditions of all men and women in uniform.