House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Physician-Assisted DyingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year the health and justice ministers commissioned the Council of Canadian Academies to conduct independent studies on the eligibility criteria under the new law on medical assistance in dying.

Dr. Harvey Schipper is a vocal opponent of that law, yet he has now been made chair of a committee under it. This raises serious doubts about the impartiality of the entire process. How can Canadians have any confidence that the working group will examine the issue fairly, when its chair opposes medical assistance in dying?

Physician-Assisted DyingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Council of Canadian Academies uses a totally independent process when naming individuals to this panel.

I found out at the same time as the public found out the names of the individuals. Individuals are named to the panel to debate the evidence before them and not to debate their personal views. While each panellist may approach the topic from a particular standpoint, the entire panel comes together to assess the evidence.

The panel has 43 people on it, who undoubtedly have varying personal views. We expect them to work with diligence and to examine the evidence appropriately.

Physician-Assisted DyingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, while Quebec is creating a committee of experts and hopes to broaden eligibility for medical assistance in dying, we have just learned that the minister has accepted the appointment to the position of chair of the working group on advance requests of Dr. Harvey Schipper, who opposes medical assistance in dying and advance requests. Several stakeholders have criticized this appointment, and rightly so.

How can Canadians have confidence in this committee and believe that this working group will truly be objective and impartial when they know that its chair is one of the most strident opponents of medical assistance in dying and advance requests?

Physician-Assisted DyingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this group was asked to find individuals to do this work.

They have chosen 43 individuals. These are esteemed academics. They were chosen by an independent process by the Council of Canadian Academies. They did so in order to examine these issues, and we expect them to do so with the utmost integrity.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians working in the world of finance and mortgages are worried.

Alternative mortgage lender Home Capital Group saw its shares plummet over the past few days because of an investigation into its operations. This is causing concern in Canada's finance sector, which is losing confidence in the company.

In these types of situations, it is the duty and responsibility of the Minister of Finance to reassure Canadians and set the record straight.

Therefore, could the Minister of Finance tell the House when he found out about this situation, what he knows about how this financial tragedy started, and what he intends to do to ensure that this situation does not—

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The Minister of Finance.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to update the House in this situation. We have been very closely monitoring the situation as soon as we understood that there was a challenge with the company in question. We were pleased that there was a market-based solution that was found in order to resolve the situation of the company in question. We believe that our financial system is strong and resilient, and this is evidence that we are able to find market-based solutions to challenges. That is a strength of our economy.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, as much as these Liberals claim to be consulting and listening, over at the finance committee, witness after witness, including the Liberals' own witnesses, told us they were not consulted before the Liberals forced their mortgage changes onto Canadians. Had the Liberals bothered to listen to the industry, they would know that the issues facing companies such as Home Capital are very serious.

When will the finance minister start listening to the experts from the Canadian mortgage industry?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, I am happy to address this issue. It is true that we are facing some pockets of risk in our housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto. Certainly, it is true that there was a challenge with this particular company. We do not see those two things as linked.

Importantly, what happened in this situation was that there was a flight of depositors from the company in question. We listened, we heard, we stayed very engaged. The market also was engaged. We were pleased to see that there was a market-based solution to dealing with this challenge in our financial markets. That is exactly the way the system should work.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, when most people get insurance, they pay a premium. If they have a claim, they pay a deductible. However, CMHC offers banks full insurance against losses. While homebuyers pay the premium and taxpayers pay the deductible, the banks pay neither. Hundreds of billions of dollars are at risk as a result.

Has the government calculated how much taxpayers could lose if a market correction causes home prices to go down, or higher interest rates cause mortgage defaults to go up?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, I am very pleased to answer this question. In fact, yes, we have a housing system in this country that works very effectively. We have an insurance system that helps to ensure that people's housing is safe, and it is working. We will continue to remain vigilant around this system to make sure we are considering how risk is best shared between those insurers and the federal government, through the CMHC and to participants in the market.

We have said that we will look at that risk sharing in order to make sure it continues to appropriately deal with market challenges, and that is what we are engaged in doing.

TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government has made it clear that it takes an evidence-based approach in its decision-making. This is important to maximize efficiency and potential across Canada. Our transportation network is no exception. We need to be able to evaluate performance and make targeted investments.

Would the parliamentary secretary inform Canadians on how they intend to make our transportation network even more efficient with the new innovative elements contained within budget 2017?

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal House leader claims she is having discussions with all MPs about substantive changes to our democracy. What she is actually doing is ramming through a motion to make the Liberals less accountable to Canadians.

The Liberal member for Malpeque thinks there should be all-party consensus. Even the Liberal platform itself says so:

We will look at...ways to make Question Period more relevant...and will work with all parties to recommend and bring about these changes.

Did she actually read their platform, or is she taking communications lessons from the defence minister?

Standing Orders of the House of CommonsOral Questions

2:55 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, I have shared information with regard to the government's approach to respond and to really be able to deliver on the commitments we made to Canadians. In the campaign, we made commitments to modernize the way this place works. In the letter that I provided to opposition House leaders, I actually shared direct quotes from the platform so that they could see where those ideas were coming from. I was actually hoping to have an even larger conversation with new ideas. Unfortunately, there was an unwillingness from the opposition side to have that conversation. I welcome the continuation of sharing ideas and really bringing this place into the 21st century.

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this second opportunity.

This government has made it clear that it takes an evidence-based approach in its decision-making process. This is important to maximize efficiency and potential across this great nation of Canada. Our transportation network is no exception, and we need to be able to evaluate performance and make targeted investments.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport inform all Canadians on how the government intends to make our transportation network more efficient, with new innovative ideas and elements contained within budget 2017?

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, high-quality accessible data and high-quality analysis are key in order to make smart decisions as a government. I am proud to say that our government has committed $50 million in budget 2017 to launch a new and innovative trade and transportation information system. This will help us make the targeted investments in transportation corridors that will foster growth and create good, well-paying jobs for Canada's middle class.

ShippingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, major flooding is having a huge impact on many municipalities in Berthier—Maskinongé and across Quebec, including Yamachiche. I have two questions today.

First, what does the federal government plan to do to help these people and municipalities?

Second, can the Minister of Transport confirm today that the investigation in Yamachiche has begun and can he tell us when that information will be made public?

ShippingOral Questions

May 2nd, 2017 / 2:55 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

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

We know that many communities in Quebec and across Canada are having a hard time this flood season. My colleague, the Minister of International Trade, talked to me again today about the specific situation in Yamachiche. We recognize the importance of safe and environmentally sound navigation.

When the incident was reported, the Coast Guard, at the behest of Transport Canada, issued a notice to shipping requesting a reduction in speed. We are investigating the situation, and we are going to take the necessary steps to address this problem.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nicola Di Iorio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 2017 budget includes funding to implement energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, to retrofit federal buildings, and to reduce or eliminate emissions from vehicle fleets.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell the House how the government is supporting electric vehicles and alternative fuel infrastructure as tools for the transition to low-carbon transportation options?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for his excellent question.

The transportation sector accounts for nearly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Our budget continues to support green infrastructure with a $120-million investment to deploy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and refuelling stations for alternative fuels, such as natural gas.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals spend a lot of time and effort championing what many have argued to be one of the planet's organizations that spends the most time on anti-Israel motions, and that, of course, is the United Nations. Today, while Israel is celebrating its 69th anniversary of becoming a modern state, the UN passed yet another anti-Israel motion.

Will the Prime Minister today stand up in this House and condemn the United Nations for its continuous attacks on Israel?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a steadfast friend and ally of Israel, as I was honoured to say at the World Jewish Congress in New York last week. I will be delighted to repeat that tomorrow at the Israeli embassy, where I will be the guest of honour at the Independence Day celebration.

I believe the member opposite was speaking about the UNESCO action. I want to be clear that we object to any attempt to unfairly single out Israel for criticism, including in multilateral forums like UNESCO.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Assembly unanimously adopted Martine Ouellet's motion to remind the federal government that supporting agriculture, including Quebec's dairy industry and our family farm system, means maintaining supply management. The National Assembly's motion also calls on the Government of Canada to maintain supply management, which must be non-negotiable should NAFTA be reopened.

Will the government make a solemn promise to maintain supply management as it currently stands before and during negotiations with the Americans?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the United States is our neighbour and our most important trading partner. Agricultural trade between Canada and the United States is worth $47 billion a year, and we are well aware of how important this relationship is to Canadian agriculture. The minister is looking forward to speaking with the new agriculture secretary once he is confirmed about the mutual benefits of our agricultural trade relationship. Our government will continue to protect and defend farmers and supply management.