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House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was place.

Topics

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. While I would like members to listen, I would like members to let me ask people to listen. It is better for order in this place that I do that rather than others do it.

The hon. member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, AB

Mr. Speaker, when I go to visit my friends, I have never left with an invoice. However, that seems to be exactly what happened when the Prime Minister left billionaire island, but instead of paying the bill himself, he stuck it to the taxpayer.

In what world does the Prime Minister live when he believes that it is acceptable to use taxpayers' money to repay hospitality expenses charged to him by his billionaire friends?

EthicsOral 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 answered in this House many times before, irrespective of where the Prime Minister travels, whether it is personal or business travel, he is given the necessary resources, just as has been the case for all previous prime ministers. This is the case. This is what it has been, and that is exactly what the answer is.

I look forward to working with the member on doing the important work that Canadians elected us to do.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder the Prime Minister wants to shut this place down on Fridays, cut off debate, and reduce the number of questions he faces. With all of his ethical scandals and bad government policy, the Prime Minister wants to avoid accountability at all costs.

Canadians elect us as MPs to make their lives better; they don't send us here to make the Prime Minister's life easier.

When will the Prime Minister stop his attack on accountability and transparency in this place and end his unilateral pursuit of making this House into his personal safe space?

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, this government was elected on a campaign and a promise to Canadians to actually do better work in this place, for all members of Parliament to work better together.

The discussion paper was exactly that: an opportunity for all members of Parliament to have a discussion, to have a conversation, to really be able to contribute to how we can work better in this place to do the important work that Canadians elected us to do.

Yesterday was another example of a Prime Minister's question period when the opposition leaders, as well as private members, had an opportunity to ask the Prime Minister a question and receive an answer. That was in addition to other days that the Prime Minister is present.

We believe we can do better in this place.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can answer as many questions as he wants without ramming rule changes down the throats of members of Parliament.

The changes being rammed down our throats by the Prime Minister diminish the voices of all Canadians in this place.

The Prime Minister's new rules will reduce opportunities to debate, to ask questions, and to hold this government accountable to Canadians. Turning off the lights on Fridays does not serve the interests of Canadians; it serves the interests of the Prime Minister.

When will he stop his arrogant push to make his life easier and abandon his attempts to reduce his own accountability and transparency in this House of Commons?

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 many times before, I actually look forward to having conversations with members on both sides of the aisle on this important topic.

It is in regard to our Standing Orders. It is in regard to modernizing the way the House of Commons works and bringing it into the 21st century.

I believe that we should be able to have these important conversations. I believe we should be able to listen to different opinions that might not match our own so that we can have constructive conversations to improve the way this place works.

Temporary Foreign Worker ProgramOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget includes measures for improving the temporary foreign worker program, but according to the Union des producteurs agricoles and FERME, those measures will not be implemented on time for this season. However, the parliamentary committee made its recommendations to the government indicating that it needed to have measures in place before January 19.

We knew that this program was not working. Even the press secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour said so in an interview in La Terre de chez nous.

Will the Liberals apologize to the farmers back home, who are going to lose thousands of dollars because of the government's inaction?

Temporary Foreign Worker ProgramOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we have taken concrete steps to improve the temporary foreign worker program to ensure two things: first of all that Canadians have the first chance of getting available jobs, and then that the rights of temporary foreign workers are respected in Canada and are upheld.

Last December we strengthened the labour market impact assessment that each employer must complete. Employers must demonstrate concrete actions in their efforts to hire Canadians, including Canadians from under-represented groups.

We are continuing to work on this program and we are confident that we are getting it right.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we already know that this government is not even going to meet Stephen Harper's weak climate change targets.

The Liberals promised the moon during the election campaign. However, the recent budget indicates that there will be nothing for electric cars and charging stations for at least another year despite the urgent need to address climate change.

In the United States, Volkswagen was required to pay for a network of charging stations as penitence for its diesel scandal.

Did the government at least consider that approach? Unlike charging stations, there is no shortage of Volkswagens on our roads.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, climate change is an incredibly important issue for Canada, and it is an incredibly important issue for the government.

When we came to power, we launched development of a pan-Canadian framework with the provinces and territories that resulted in a historic agreement in December that focused on how we can have steps that will allow us to get to the greenhouse gas reduction targets while at the same time accelerating clean growth going forward.

The budget followed on, providing funding for the pan-Canadian framework, providing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure funding and $2.2 billion for clean tech in Canada. We are on the right track, and we will meet our targets.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes that strategic investments in public infrastructure play a key role in supporting dynamic communities while creating good jobs that help grow the middle class.

Budget 2017 commits new funding for investment in public transit, water and waste water, culture and recreation, and rural infrastructure. These are all much-needed projects in Alberta.

Can the minister tell the House how our government is supporting infrastructure investments across Alberta?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Edmonton Centre for his advocacy.

Working in partnership with the Government of Alberta and Alberta municipalities, we have approved 128 projects with a combined investment of $4.2 billion. These projects include a waste water line in Lacombe, a project that should have been funded in 2012, and transit projects for St. Albert, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, and Red Deer. Some of these municipalities are receiving funding for the first time in a decade.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government never misses an opportunity to rip money out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians.

For decades Canadian farmers have been able to defer cash grain income from one year to the next. Now the Liberals want to take that away without proper consultation, and apparently without even knowing what they are doing. This bad decision will affect farmers from across the country.

Why is it that the only new agricultural initiative in budget 2017 is a Liberal rip-off of hard-working Canadian farmers?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am always honoured to stand in this House and talk about the good work that our government is doing.

Our government strongly supports the Canadian grain industry, which is a key driver of exports, jobs, and economic growth. With changes in recent years in grain marketing, the delivery of listed grains is now the responsibility of the private sector instead of the federal government.

Budget 2017 launches consultations with farmers and stakeholders on this tax deferral, and we want to hear from farmers before moving forward.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are waging war on small businesses. Family-run operations like campgrounds and self-storage facilities are being targeted for being too small to be a small business and are receiving huge new tax bills.

The Minister of National Revenue keeps claiming that she knows the critical role that small businesses play, even while the government ended the review of active versus passive business income rules that would have ensured small businesses had access to the small business tax rate, as they should.

Will these Liberals stop talking out of both sides of their mouth and actually stand up for small businesses instead of trying to tax them out of existence?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, small businesses play a vital role in Canada. We work with all small businesses. The rules have not changed and they apply to all small businesses.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, when she says the rules have not changed, she might want to try telling that to the campgrounds who are currently taking this government to court to fight this.

If nothing has changed, the minister should explain why they are all of a sudden faced with huge new tax bills. I will give her a hint: they ended the review of these rules that Conservatives put in place in the last Conservative budget, and then changed the interpretation of what is considered an active business so they could go after family-run campgrounds.

If the Liberals are successful in taxing campgrounds out of existence, what other small businesses will they send the taxman after next?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat that small businesses play a vital role in Canada. I will repeat that the tax rules have not changed. These rules were brought in by the Conservatives. If the Conservatives thought that the rules were that bad, they had 10 years to change them.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dianne Lynn Watts Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, municipalities across Canada are desperate for infrastructure funding. The Liberals have a new hallmark infrastructure fund of a quarter of a billion dollars slated for essential infrastructure. Unfortunately, it is in Asia, going to the Asian infrastructure bank, a bank that the Conservative government and the Obama administration declined to join because it was not in the best interests of taxpayers.

Why are the Liberals wasting taxpayer dollars in China instead of funding essential infrastructure in Canadian communities?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of International Development and La Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, for two years we looked at how the new Asian infrastructure bank operates. We concluded that it was a good way to fund development projects in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. For example, it has funded a drinking water supply project in Indonesia and an electrification project in Bangladesh.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again today, the unions, the municipalities, and the industry were in Quebec City to demand that the government show leadership on the softwood lumber file. Less than a month from now, the Americans are expected to start taxing Canadian imports. The cries for help are growing, but they are falling on deaf ears, and the federal government still has no plan to offer loan guarantees.

The government is constantly bragging about all the consulting it is doing with Canadians, but will it listen for once and do something to protect our jobs?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian forest industry is very important to our communities. A stable and predictable market promotes economic development and helps create good jobs. We will continue to work closely with the provinces through the federal-provincial task force on softwood lumber to come up with a coordinated approach and meet the needs of the businesses and workers who may be affected.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, border services officers in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia and across Canada are some of our hardest-working law enforcement officers. Every day they protect our borders from illegal arms, drugs, and other smuggled goods. Despite their importance, the Liberal government, like the Conservative government before it, refuses to fairly negotiate a collective agreement with these officers. The government is demanding concessions from our border staff, and now talks have broken off.

When will the Liberals get back to the bargaining table and treat our borders services officers fairly?

Public SafetyOral Questions

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

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board is the bargaining agent on behalf of the Government of Canada. Those responsibilities are taken very seriously by the government to ensure that everyone who works for the Government of Canada is treated in a proper and appropriate way. Obviously the border guards who work for CBSA do a very important job, keeping this country safe and making sure that our borders are sound, secure, and efficient.