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House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was standing.

Topics

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, Clément Massé, president of the Barreau du Bas-Saint-Laurent-Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine expressed his concern about the lack of Quebec Superior Court judges. This situation will likely only get worse in the coming weeks because Justice Landry from Gaspé is retiring.

Given the already unacceptable delays in the court system, will the Minister of Justice get out of her bubble in Ottawa and Vancouver and quickly review the selection process to fill the empty positions in our regions, or would she rather see dangerous criminals released because of her failure to act, as we saw yesterday in Quebec?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Vancouver Granville B.C.

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, again, I am very pleased to stand to speak about the appointments process that we have instituted. We are taking a careful, considered, and thoughtful approach in terms of looking at the appointments of superior court justices across the country. It is open. It is transparent. We have invited applications from across the country. I am very pleased about the superior court appointments that I have made and the additional appointments that I will continue to make to ensure that we fill the vacancies right across the country.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to remind hon. members that procedure dictates that when someone is speaking, most of us try to be respectful of that person. If someone is speaking, I would appreciate it if members would not shout across the floor.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government can no longer hide behind its senior officials when it comes to the Phoenix pay system fiasco. The Prime Minister himself repeated on several occasions that he wanted to solve the problems with the system as quickly as possible.

On behalf of all the families who have been adversely affected by the problems with the system, I am asking the Prime Minister to immediately cancel the bonuses for the officials involved with Phoenix.

When will the Liberals finally take responsibility for implementing a pay system that was not ready? When will they apologize to taxpayers and the families affected by this decision made in February 2016?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I ask my hon. colleague's indulgence for a moment before I answer his question.

Let me first say that our thoughts are with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement. She has done incredible work on this file and on moving this government's agenda forward. I join with my colleagues in wishing her the best and we all cannot wait to have her back in her seat right here where she belongs.

With regard to the hon. member's question, he knows that our top priority is making sure that we have a pay system that lives up to our expectations, despite what we inherited from the party opposite. We have ensured that the senior officials responsible for the system did not receive performance bonuses.

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the crab fishing season began over a week ago in many areas of the St. Lawrence, the Lower St. Lawrence, and the Gaspé. This year, crab quotas have increased significantly, which should give our crab fishers a welcome boost in revenues.

Can the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard inform the House of the action our government has taken to support fishers?

Fishing IndustryOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

We announced a 25% increase in the total allowable catch for snow crab in zone 17 this year, as the member knows, in accordance with the most recent scientific advice that has confirmed the health of that stock. This will contribute to an income boost for fisheries and first nations, since the fishery is so important to the Quebec and Gaspé economy.

I look forward to working with my colleagues from the Gaspé to support the fishing industry and ensure it is set to increase its revenues in the future, as it should be.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced that the Liberals would no longer be enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. She also promised that she would work in full partnership with first nations leaders and organizations to increase accountability and transparency. Now we have learned that the Liberals have done nothing for six months, except to consider a plan for consultation and that consultation has never taken place.

Will the minister stop betraying first nations band members like Charmaine Stick and empower these men and women in their fight for transparency?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, everyone, including first nations governments, supports transparency and accountability. Since last summer, we have been working with indigenous organizations, including the AFN special committee and the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, on ways to enhance mutual accountability.

The government is also reaching out to community members and leadership through comprehensive online engagement and is planning in-person sessions across the country over the coming months.

We will continue to work in full partnership with first nations to improve mutual accountability and transparency.

SportOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was proud to be present last week for the announcement that the 2021 Canada Summer Games will be held in Niagara. In four short years, our nation's next generation of elite athletes, currently in development programs throughout Canada, will converge for the largest multi-sport event held in our country.

Could the Minister of Sport please inform the House on the importance of these games and what hosting them will mean for Niagara?

SportOral Questions

Noon

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from St. Catharines for his work on this file.

The Canada Games leave valuable legacies in host communities and lasting memories for young Canadian athletes from across the country. The Canada Games increase the volunteer capacity of communities, improve local infrastructure, and have a significant economic impact.

For many athletes, this will be the pinnacle of their athletic careers, and for others, this will be an important step along their journeys, but they will all look back at their Canada Games experiences with pride and fondness.

Congratulations to all the candidate cities for 2021. I am confident that the Canada Games in Niagara will be fantastic.

TaxationOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Mr. Speaker, in budget 2017, the Liberals plan to end tax deferral for grain farmers. Eighty-two per cent of grain farmers depend on this tax deferral to help them mitigate uncertainties in grain farming, which can change greatly from year to year. This tax deferral is an important tool that farmers use to help them manage their operations, including many in Bow River.

Why is the out-of-touch finance minister scrapping this important tool for all grain farmers?

TaxationOral Questions

Noon

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government strongly supports the Canadian grain industry, which is a key driver of exports, jobs, and economic growth. With changes in recent years to 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 tax deferral. We want to hear from farmers before moving forward.

Marine AtlanticOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Marine Atlantic, a crown corporation, would rather have its vessels repaired in South Carolina than in the Gaspé municipality of Méchins just because it costs less.

Quebec has the necessary expertise. It takes 10 days to get to that shipyard and back. Are they going to send them to China for repairs next time?

Will the government make crown corporations have their vessels repaired here so that this kind of ridiculous situation does not crop up again?

Marine AtlanticOral Questions

April 7th, 2017 / noon

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, ferries, and other marine transport, are absolutely key to our future economic health. There is no doubt about it.

We have had encouraging news. We want to make more investments in trade corridors and in our transportation to make it more effective, to make it safer and more secure. That is all part of our plan. We are moving forward, and we are going to make good progress.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its report, the expert panel on environmental assessment noted something the Bloc Québécois has been saying for some time. There is a perceived lack of independence and neutrality because of the close relationship the National Energy Board, the NEB, has with the industries it regulates. The NEB works for oil companies, not for the environment.

When will the Liberals listen to reason and relieve the NEB of its responsibility for environmental assessment for projects like energy east? It is up to Quebec to decide.

For that matter, why not recognize the skills and expertise at the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement du Québec?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

Noon

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government committed to implementing an open, fair, inclusive, and transparent process to guide its decisions regarding large energy projects.

To respect this commitment made during the election campaign, we set up an expert panel tasked with reviewing the structure, role, and mandate of the National Energy Board.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will go back to The Story of Us. The “us” clearly does not include Quebeckers, Acadians, or first nations.

Two of the three founding nations are ignored. They are minor actors in this ridiculous and insulting documentary that is directed at English Canada, which is the only hero in a biased and revisionist account.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for being associated with a series that ignores the deportation of Acadians and treats the French and first nations like minor actors in the story that anglophones like to tell one another?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, for us, the 150th anniversary of Canada is an opportunity to reflect on our past and to tell the different stories that shaped our identity.

Everyone knows that the CBC is an independent crown corporation. Out of respect for its independence, we should refrain from commenting on the content of this series.

Our government is particularly sensitive to and recognizes the important contribution of Acadians, francophones and aboriginal peoples to our history. Canadians are encouraged to keep this important conversation going.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Revenue.

To help offset the high cost of living in the north, the government increased the northern residence tax deduction, helping many in the middle class. However, many of my constituents are frustrated, because year after year they are randomly selected to prove their residency status. It is my understanding that Nunavummiut experience more than four times the national average of audits. Recently I spoke with an individual who has had to prove his residency seven years in a row. Will the minister look into this practice to ensure that the same people are not being harassed year after year?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, that is an important question.

Our government increased the basic amount and the additional residency amount used in the calculation of the northern residence tax deduction. That means that eligible taxpayers who live in a prescribed zone, such as Nunavut, are entitled to $22 a day, depending on their deduction calculation.

The agency has to audit a certain number of returns every year to ensure that the taxpayers are entitled to the claims they made. I can assure the House that no one category of taxpayer is targeted during the audit selection process. We make sure that every taxpayer is treated fairly by using fair and non-discriminatory criteria.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am requesting the unanimous consent of the House to table documents regarding the question I asked the Minister of Transport today. From the Minister of Transport I received one answer regarding jurisdiction, and both today and in question period, with the member for Trois-Rivières, a very contradictory answer.

I would like to table this so that we can get clarification on jurisdiction.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.