House of Commons Hansard #184 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cannabis.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Victoria.

[Members sang the national anthem]

TaxationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Journal de Montréal reported that the government signed a tax information exchange agreement with Cook Islands, a tax haven in the Pacific. We all want to prevent fraud, so exchanging information seems innocent enough, but this is a scam.

There is more to this information exchange agreement than meets the eye. It gives businesses carte blanche to use the Cook Islands so they do not have to pay taxes here. Basically, the “Crook” Islands is now the 24th member of a select group of tax havens with a free pass from the government.

The government goes on and on about how it is combatting tax fraud. How? By using agreements to legalize fraud? The government is stealthily giving fat cats a free pass with these tax treaties masquerading as information exchange agreements. Then the rest of us have to pay twice as much because the bankers made off with the cash.

Enough sneaking around. It is time this government was exposed as the handmaid of Bay Street multimillionaires.

Winnipeg PrideStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Ryan Richard and the other organizers for the very first Canadian two-spirit powwow, celebrated in Winnipeg last Friday. It is incredible to see how indigenous peoples are returning to traditions and teachings that demonstrate the strength of our heritage.

The organizers and the hundreds who participated showed honesty, humility, courage, respect, love, effort, and knowledge. I am a proud supporter of Winnipeg Pride.

I was asked by the women and families at the powwow to talk about the murder and missing indigenous women and girls inquiry and to mention that we must be inclusive of all peoples, including two-spirit people, for they are a part of us.

The two-spirit people were traditionally seen to be a connection between men and women and had a greater connection to the spirit world. They were and are a mirror into our souls.

Tapwe akwa khitwam hi hi

Tourism WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week is Tourism Week. Canada's tourism industry is an important economic driver. It helps create jobs and grow the economy.

This week is a chance to celebrate Canada's natural beauty, events, and vibrant cultures. From coast to coast to coast, Canada has so much to showcase. Today, I would like to highlight Edmonton.

For one thing, Edmonton is truly a festival city. In fact, we have so many festivals, they are hard to keep track of, dozens of them. There is the Fringe Festival, the Folk Festival, the Street Performers Festival, the Heritage Festival, and let us not forget the granddaddy of Edmonton festivals, K-Days. It is centred in my north-side riding of Edmonton Griesbach.

I would like to invite everyone to Edmonton this summer for our festivals, our attractions, and our warm hospitality. Come for the fun, leave with great memories.

Italian Heritage MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 1 marks the beginning of Italian Heritage Month. On this special occasion, I want to recognize the Italian Canadian community in Alfred-Pellan and across the country.

Our parents came to this land with nothing but their strong will and rich values, and they managed to build a respectable place for the community. They understood that the power of a community was much greater than that of an individual.

It is our duty to preserve their efforts and come together to rejuvenate the associations they put in place, to look back at the path of hope and prosperity they traced, and to make it flourish with a spirit of togetherness, honour to the roots, and respect to this land of opportunities.

That is the duty we must live up to in order to preserve the extraordinary heritage of our roots.

[Member spoke Italian]

Nicole LeblancStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, a great dame of Quebec televison passed away last week. Rose-Anna Saint-Cyr is no more.

Actress Nicole Leblanc left an indelible mark on the history of Quebec television.

In the lead role in Le Temps d'une paix, which boasted ratings of over 3 million viewers, she played a strong woman who took control of her family's destiny at a time when women's roles were still generally passive or submissive.

In the theatre, in 1968, Nicole Leblanc had the distinct honour of acting in the original production of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-soeurs, a revolutionary play that marked a turning point in Quebec modern theatre.

In the late 1990s she began working in Trois-Pistoles, first acting in Abla Farhoud's Maudite machine, and later becoming the director of the Caveau-Théâtre, the theatre founded by Victor-Lévy Beaulieu in 1992.

For the past several years, she had been living in Sainte-Françoise, having made her home in the Basques area during her well-deserved retirement.

I want to express my deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. The entire province of Quebec is grateful to her family for sharing this exceptional woman with us.

Tourism WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is Tourism Week and Canada 150 is right around the corner. Supernatural British Columbia is the best place to start our celebrations.

Cypress Provincial Park in West Vancouver is home of the first downhill skiing in Vancouver and was host to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visit the historic Hollyburn Lodge and explore the trails that wind all over the slopes that hover above the city of Vancouver.

Head north for half an hour on the famous Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish, the outdoor recreation capital of the world, and the Stawamus Chief, the second-largest granite monolith in the world. The rock climbing is second to none. This place of great spiritual significance for the Squamish Nation is truly humbling.

Howe Sound lies at the foot of these mountains, a spectacular marine environment for sports, tourism, and abundant and resurgent biodiversity.

These wild spaces are for us to respect, protect, and share. Please experience Canada's west coast wilderness.

Lyme DiseaseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Len Webber Conservative Calgary Confederation, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have waited for over a year for the federal government's framework on Lyme disease. Thousands of sick Canadians are awaiting the necessary funding for testing and treatment, waiting for the medical system to be able to diagnose and treat their illness, wondering if they are passing Lyme disease on to their partners, millions wondering if they can safely give and receive blood in Canada.

The framework and its many lines of platitudes provide no clear targets for measurable success. There are no new ideas, no deadlines for achieving anything. The $4 million in funding is wholly inadequate to make any real difference, given the size of this problem. It fails to even mention major concerns, like human-to-human transmission and blood supply risks.

In short, the government has wasted a full year and spent untold sums of money to produce a report that is embarrassingly scant, unfocused, and, frankly, disappointing.

Canadians expect much better.

Italian National DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate Italian National Day, Festa della Repubblica.

After the Second World War and the fall of fascism, on June 2, 1946, Italians held a referendum to determine their desired form of government, either a republic or a monarchy.

The Italian people voted for a republic and ever since Italians around the world have celebrated Republic Day.

This year Italian Canadians have another reason to celebrate.

I am proud to say that my motion, Motion No. 64, declaring June as national Italian Heritage Month, recently passed unanimously in the House. This motion acknowledges the government's recognition of the contributions that Italian Canadians have made to our society.

Please join with me on June 2 in wishing all those of Italian descent Buona Festa della Repubblica.

Tourism WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Serré Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, tourism is critical for job creation and is an important economic driver for Canada. To recognize Tourism Week, I want to invite all Canadians to come to Greater Sudbury/Nickel Belt to experience all the wonders.

Northern Ontario's best attraction is the great outdoors. I am proud to say it has been recognized by the United Nations for its massive re-greening efforts, following decades of natural resource activity.

Since 1978, over 18 million trees have been planted throughout the region, restoring the land to its original beauty.

As the head of tourism marketing for the beautiful riding of Nickel Belt, and not Nickelback, I invite Canadians to join me in celebrating Tourism Week. We can enjoy great fishing and hunting and, together, we can explore the trails, camping, and camp fires in the beautiful region that I call home.

ALS Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year Canadians recognize June as ALS Awareness Month. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive fatal motor neuron disease that leaves those affected in a state of progressive paralysis, but with full possession of their mental faculties.

In 2005, my father succumbed to ALS after a four-year fight, so it has affected me personally. Of course all members witnessed the courage of our late colleague Mauril Bélanger during his battle with this terrible disease.

Each year at this time, friends, family, and supporters dedicate their time and energy to raise awareness for treatment and a cure. In dozens of communities across the country, WALK for ALS is taking place to help raise funds for critical research and support.

I encourage every member to wear a cornflower to demonstrate our support in the fight against ALS so, together, we can support victims and families, and promote research to find a cure.

Miramichi Folksong FestivalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, this summer marks the 60th anniversary of the Miramichi Folksong Festival, the longest-running festival in Canada. This event features authentic, traditional, and contemporary music for the whole family to enjoy.

This legendary festival was founded by Dr. Louise Manny to give folk singers and storytellers an opportunity to share their stories about everyday life.

This year that tradition will be honoured by performers who will share their talents at the festival. From Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy, and family to the Miramichi Fiddlers, there is truly something for everyone.

I want to congratulate festival director Susan Butler and all of those involved who work tirelessly to ensure the ongoing success of this important festival. I wish to invite all members to the beautiful riding of Miramichi—Grand Lake this August for the 60th Miramichi Folksong Festival. It is sure to be a highlight of Canada's 150th birthday.

World No Tobacco DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker, today the World Health Organization marks World No Tobacco Day.

In Canada, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing over 37,000 Canadians every year. Although the average smoking rate in Canada is 13%, our communities in the north experience rates of over 50%, and in some it is as high as 73%. This health inequity places an enormous burden on families, communities, and the economy.

With the renewal of Canada's federal tobacco control strategy, we must seize the opportunity to strengthen it to have a greater impact in preventing and reducing tobacco use. We need proven measures that will discourage our youth from starting to smoke, such as plain packaging regulations, a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes, and support for northern communities in the development and implementation of tobacco control projects.

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day, I say, butt out, everyone.

Play Commemorating ConfederationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to pay tribute to Josée Nappert and to invite everyone in Lévis—Lotbinière to go and see her play Comme dans le temps.

Josée Nappert is the director of and driving force behind the Dans le temps theatre troupe, and has worked very hard to put on this wonderful play, which, I hope, will continue to find success beyond the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Ms. Nappert accepted the challenge I gave her and I am truly grateful.

The musical comedy Comme dans le temps is a historical piece about a small town in the region, in 1867. The play depicts the life of two typical families in those days, one French and one Irish, and their relationships with neighbours and the village priest, whom I look forward to portraying in period costume. This summer, you will not want to miss this play.

ALS Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize June as ALS Awareness Month, as my previous colleague has mentioned.

Over 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS, and until recently, this included my dear friend and our colleague Mauril Bélanger. Many members in this chamber remember how he bravely struggled against this brutal and unforgivable disease that ultimately took his life too quickly.

In honour of Mauril, and the thousands of Canadian who fought or are still fighting this faceless demon, I introduced my own private member's motion that increases our commitment to a comprehensive strategy for ALS research funding and awareness. I thank the members in this chamber for their support. We have and we must continue making ALS a treatable and non-terminal disease.

Agnes MacPhail AwardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am recognizing Gina Barber, the 2017 recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award.

Since 1972, Gina has led the charge to advance the fight for social and economic justice in London. She has always been dedicated to improving the working conditions for women in education through her involvement in her union and women's advocacy groups and has worked on every municipal, federal, and provincial campaign since 1979, usually as campaign manager and sometimes as a candidate.

She is a devoted advocate for a country in which no one is left behind. Gina continues to be active in London politics, acting as a mentor for young women and an advocate for seniors, and she conducts a choir that has produced such festive political hits as Donald the Trump Man, to the tune of Frosty the Snowman.

Gina Barber is a dedicated citizen and a true New Democrat. It is my honour to recognize her tireless work and her devotion to her community.

RamadanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. From now until June 24, most of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims will be observing Ramadan and will fast every day from dawn until sunset.

For people of the Islamic faith, Ramadan is a time of deep spiritual awakening, prayer, increased charity, and generosity. The Canadian Muslim community represents the tremendous diversity that exists within Islam, incorporating Sunni, Shia, Ismaili, Ahmadi, and many others drawn from every corner of the globe. Canadian Muslims are making valuable contributions to every aspect of our society. Canada is a more vibrant, prosperous, and energetic country thanks to the contributions of Muslim Canadians.

On this 6th day of the Muslim holy month, on behalf of all my Conservative colleagues, I say to our Muslim friends, Ramadan Mubarak.

Attack in KabulStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I join all members of this House in extending my thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the cowardly attack near the diplomatic quarter in Kabul last night. This heinous act, which claimed the lives of at least 80 people and injured hundreds of others, ripped our hearts. Our thoughts today are with the front-line workers and families of the victims. That this attack occurred during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of reflection, empathy, and compassion, shows the true depravity of this craven action. Targeting civilians and foreign service workers, people who today and every day show the utmost resolve and courage in their work, demonstrates a vile and most contemptible evil.

Canada, with our international partners, will never cease in our efforts to prevent violent extremism, bring perpetrators of such violence to justice, and support peace in Afghanistan. Our hearts go out to those impacted by this tragedy, and to them we extend our unyielding resolve.

InfrastructureOral Questions

May 31st, 2017 / 2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will not fight for pipelines that create good jobs for Canadians, but he sees nothing wrong with imposing a $35-billion infrastructure bank on Parliament to line the pockets of his Liberal pals.

Why is the Prime Minister so focused on helping his pals instead of working for all Canadians? When will he finally get his priorities straight?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I met with two ministers from Premier Brad Wall's government willing to partner with us under the infrastructure bank to build the transmission infrastructure their province requires. They understand that by mobilizing private capital through the infrastructure bank, they can free up their own resources to build more affordable housing, to build more transit systems, to provide clean water for their communities, and to build more recreational and cultural infrastructure their communities need. That is exactly what we want to do.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, either the Prime Minister does not understand how his own bank works, or he is afraid to come clean with Canadian taxpayers. The Liberals' own documents show that the bank works on the assumption that taxpayers will cover losses for private investors.

I want to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question. If the builder or the investor cannot pay that loan back, as often happens, who gets stuck with the bill?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member and this House that the bank would only undertake projects that were in the public interest and would not invest in risky projects. Rigorous due diligence will be done by the bank, by the investors, by the municipalities, by the provinces, and by the federal government. Experts who will run this bank will make sure that taxpayer dollars are always protected and that the public interest is at the forefront of decision-making.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if they are only going to pick projects that will never lose money, then why will those private investors not back them themselves?

The Liberal logic is actually quite simple. Liberals will hand-pick projects, and they will hand-pick the investors. They admit that the bank is all about de-risking projects for private investors. That means that investors get all the profit, and taxpayers get all the risk. Can the Prime Minister explain to hard-working Canadians why he is asking them to co-sign loans for the richest 1%?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, OMERS, teachers, Caisse de dépôt, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation all invest in foreign infrastructure, in international infrastructure. What is wrong if the same organizations work with our government to build the infrastructure our Canadian communities need? For a decade, the previous government underfunded infrastructure for our municipalities. Now we are catching up. We are making historic investments. We want to mobilize private capital to build more—

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.