House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was preclearance.

Topics

2:05 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 Cariboo—Prince George.

[Members sang the national anthem]

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this National Aboriginal Day, the Bloc Québécois and I want to pay homage to the Métis, first nations, and Inuit peoples. This is also a day when my thoughts turn to my own Abenaki roots.

The indigenous peoples did not need Quebec, but Quebec certainly needed them. Our debt to them is immeasurable. From Notakwanon to Waswanipi, their presence defined and enabled our own. Our infinite gratitude for everything our indigenous brothers and sisters have done for us was humbly embodied in the peace of the braves.

Can the same be said of Ottawa when indigenous languages are not even respected here in the House? When communities are struggling with catastrophic rates of violence and suicide, when children still do not have access to safe drinking water or equitable education, and when women are still discriminated against, we certainly have to wonder.

Today is also an opportunity to remember everything we owe to indigenous peoples and to demand that the government follow through on everything that still needs to be done now.

Thank you. Tshinashkumitin. Meegwetch.

Alfred-PellanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the parliamentary session winds down, I would like to thank everyone I have met since January at the hundreds of meetings and events I have attended in my riding.

I have spoken with some amazing individuals who are very dedicated to their respective causes. Since January, I have risen to speak in the House on behalf of my constituents 21 times, whether on debate, during members' statements, or to ask questions, and I have voted 150 times. I also attended 27 committee meetings and made more than 180 interventions as part of seven different studies. I contributed to the drafting of three reports on topics that affect people right across the country.

I am grateful to have done this work on behalf of the people of Laval and the riding of Alfred-Pellan, and I look forward to meeting many more people this summer as we proudly celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

Happy national holiday and happy Canada Day.

Victory FoundationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Victory Foundation, an organization in my riding that works with Calgary's homeless. Its Ogden location offers housing, food, support programs, and a social environment that allows people to overcome life's obstacles and integrate into the community.

The foundation has reached incredible milestones. In 2015 alone it provided 82,000 meals and housed more than 100 people without a place to call home. As of this year, it has raised over $700,000 towards a new women's affordable housing unit.

To mark its anniversary, next week the foundation is holding an art show with artist Lloyd Hall, one of its residents, who serves as a symbol of what people can achieve when support is available.

I want to recognize Victory Foundation's CEO, Pastor Don Delaney, for his continued commitment to helping Calgary's less fortunate. I thank him for his leadership and encourage fellow Calgarians to support the Victory Foundation's ongoing efforts in Ogden. Its goal should be our goal: put up a fence to keep people from falling into the ditch of homelessness.

Canadian Coast GuardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Peschisolido Liberal Steveston—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard work hard every day to ensure the safety of Canadians, mariners, and the marine environment. Our government knows how much British Columbians value the Sea Island dive team, and I am extremely pleased that it will remain in Richmond at the Sea Island base.

With last summer's reopening of the Kitsilano coast guard station and the announcement of the historic oceans protection plan, the waters in and around Metro Vancouver are safer than ever. With new investments of nearly $3 billion in its core operations, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard will continue delivering critical services to Canadians, services that save lives, protect the marine environment, create jobs, and drive sustainable economic growth.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of North Island—Powell River, National Aboriginal Day celebrations are happening everywhere across the region. For example, there are multiple activities at the Comox Bighouse to share cultural practices and art. In Port Hardy, the municipality and Kwakiutl, Gwa'sala-Nakwaxda'xw, and Quatisino first nations will be unveiling murals addressing 150 years of Canada. There will be the opening of the day in the Big House in Campbell River, followed by multiple activities at Spirit Square, and in Powell River, the Métis Society will have events at Willingdon Beach, with a barbeque to honour Auntie Elsie Paul, a Tla'amin elder.

Most importantly, today I hope all members in the House remember that today we celebrate, but reconciliation does not truly start until the harm ends. It does not start until the story of aboriginal people becomes a story all Canadians know.

As Lee Maracle wrote so wisely, “The stories that really need to be told are those that shake the very soul of you.”

St. Andrew's Presbyterian ChurchStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in my riding of Scarborough Centre, which recently celebrated its 199th anniversary. This is a big year, as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. It is quite something to think that this church predates Confederation by 49 years.

In the 1800s, the area that today is Scarborough had only recently had its first European settlers and was largely a collection of small rural villages and farms. From village to borough, from horse and buggy to steam train to subway, St. Andrew's has been there. Through it all, it has been tending to the spiritual needs of the community through weddings and funerals, baptisms and Sunday school, feeding the hungry and comforting the grieving. It is a remarkable history of service.

I congratulate St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on 199 years of worship, service, and fellowship.

House of Commons PagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of 40 incredible young individuals, the House of Commons pages. They have been hard at work all year making our time in this place run smoothly. They have supported all members in the House in carrying out the important tasks that allow us as members of Parliament to represent our constituents as best as possible. The pages' hard work, devotion, and enthusiasm during busy question periods or late night debates is especially impressive, considering that the pages have had to balance a full academic schedule along with their duties here.

Being a page is an extraordinary and special experience. To be able to spend a year in this distinguished institution at this time in their young lives is indeed a rare and special opportunity. As their time as pages comes to an end, I know they will have fond memories and new friends for life.

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank the pages for their dedication, loyalty, and hard work, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Indigenous LanguagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

William Amos Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, on National Aboriginal Day, it is essential that we focus on the beauty and preservation of those indigenous languages that are critically endangered.

The Algonquin people of the Pontiac are working hard to preserve their language and its dialects. I want them to know that all Canadians are behind them.

[Member spoke in aboriginal language]

[Translation]

Celebrations in Thérèse-De BlainvilleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada is a good reason to celebrate with friends and family, but it also offers a prime opportunity to discover Canada's heritage and traditions.

That is what we in Thérèse-De Blainville will be fortunate enough to experience at the Blainville Equestrian Park on July 6, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride passes through. The musical ride both expresses the heritage and tradition of the RCMP and raises money for local charities.

I very much look forward to watching these highly skilled horsemen. I invite everyone in Thérèse-De Blainville and the surrounding area to take in this show that celebrates the history of the mounted police. I am sure will it leave us inspired and impressed. Let us get together on July 6 in Blainville.

Summer RodeosStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is the first day of summer, and I am pleased to announce that my second favourite season is once again upon us. That is rodeo season. Whether it is roping, saddle bronc, bull riding, or the wild horse races, rodeo is in my blood and gets us all excited at this time every year.

It just so happens that we have some world-class events taking place right in my riding: the 91st annual world famous Williams Lake Stampede, the 44th annual Billy Barker Days and 52nd annual Quesnel Rodeo, and the Anahim Lake Stampede. The Cariboo puts on some of the finest rodeo events in North America.

Visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the fast-paced, exciting action, witness the true can-do, never-say-no, pioneering spirit, and experience the good old-fashioned but world-class hospitality of the Cariboo.

From our crystal clear lakes, rivers, and streams to incredible mountain and outdoor adventures and fast-paced rodeo activities, my riding has it all. I am so proud to live in and represent the good old riding of Cariboo—Prince George.

Let us saddle up and ride into the summer. Yeehaw!

Quebec's National HolidayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sherry Romanado Liberal Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 24, Quebeckers celebrate Quebec's national holiday. This annual holiday has been celebrated for 183 years and symbolizes the great pride of a people whose language and culture continue to enrich Canada's social fabric.

It also symbolizes the great openness and inclusiveness of the Quebec society that we know today. Indeed, 40 years ago, this day, which was once earmarked to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste, was declared the national holiday of all Quebeckers regardless of their origins or beliefs.

Whether we were born into it or chose to be part of it, Quebec's culture enriches us all. Let us celebrate it. Happy national holiday.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker,

[member spoke in Gwich'in]

[English]

It is also true that we are stronger and more successful when we work together as partners. Our commitment to building a new relationship, and supporting and improving outcomes for indigenous peoples and promoting reconciliation in Canada, is something we should all be proud of and be dedicated to seeing succeed.

National indigenous peoples day is an opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of aboriginal people, and the wealth of traditions, lifestyles, and languages they bring to our country.

The Northwest Territories, NWT, has recognized National Aboriginal Day as a statutory holiday since 2001. This year Yukon will be joining us to celebrate national indigenous peoples day.

Happy national indigenous peoples Day to everyone.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is the 21st annual National Aboriginal Day, which next year will be called “National Indigenous Peoples Day”. It is an opportunity to honour the rich traditions, heritage, and diverse cultures of the Inuit, Métis, and first nations peoples in Canada.

Growing every year, celebrations will be held across Canada. For many, including in Ottawa, it started with a sunrise ceremony on this summer solstice. As the sun came up, there was a smudging ceremony, prayers, and then an opportunity to enjoy the dancing, drumming, and singing. It was a very special start to the day.

I encourage all Canadians to participate in the celebrations today and to learn more about the immense contributions of indigenous peoples to Canada.

In 1910, the chiefs from the B.C. Interior wrote then Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. In their words, they stated, “What is ours will be theirs, and what is theirs will be ours. We will help each other to be great and good.“

May we all inspire to reach their vision for Canada as we move forward together.

House of Commons StaffStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Parliament Hill. It is more than just brick and mortar, wood and nails.

I rise in recognition of the admirable work and the services that the House of Commons staff provide to parliamentarians and to Canadians.

To the researchers, cooks, servers, Parliamentary Protective Service employees, tour guides, landscapers, technicians, and all the employees who make sure that this institution functions despite the occasional madness, a big thank you.

To our office staff here and in the ridings, thank you for your service to your community, your neighbours, and democracy.

Lastly, I wish to thank the pages, who come from across Canada to be here and to participate in their democracy like few other Canadians have had the opportunity and the privilege to do so.

On behalf of my colleagues, I thank them for their time, energy, professionalism, and service. Thank you, and I wish everyone a wonderful Canada Day.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Cheryl Hardcastle NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on this national indigenous peoples day to honour the impact of indigenous women as nurturers, protectors of the great turtle that lets us live on her back, nurturers who relentlessly seek reconciliation through social justice.

This fiery spirit was captured in the life and achievements of Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation. I celebrate her today and those who continue her fight.

At 13 years of age, Shannen confronted the shabby conditions of her school: the mould, the rodents, the poisoned drinking water. She said enough, and lead what became a national campaign on social and print media and in front of Parliament to pressure the federal government into building a new school in her community, and it did.

Shannen's life ended two years later in an automobile accident. She was 15, and by then she was renowned across North America as a passionate fighter for the rights of native children.

On this day, may her spirit sing in this chamber, even as it rebukes the false promises of the past. Let it instill a new resolve.

Member for Cariboo—Prince GeorgeStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an individual and friend from Prince George. This individual and former hockey coach was on his way home to Prince George when he noticed a fellow passenger was in distress and fell unconscious. The former hockey coach sprung into action and performed live-saving chest compressions, saving the person's life. The passenger, once back in Vancouver, had to be defibrillated twice more.

Due to his quick thinking and this Prince George resident's actions, a person is alive today.

We cannot thank individuals like him enough. As he said, “I don't think we did anything different than anyone else would have done.” The individual I am recognizing today is our friend and life-saving colleague, the member for Cariboo—Prince George.

Parliament Hill StaffStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Parliament Hill. More than a collection of stone, mortar, wood, and nails, I rise on behalf of all Canadians to give thanks to those who do far too much on our behalf.

To the researchers, chefs, servers, our security, maintenance, the tour guides, the groundskeepers, operational staff, and tech support, to all the staff who ensure this institution functions despite the occasional insanity, I thank them.

To our staff here and back home in our constituencies, working tirelessly on behalf of all Canadians, I thank them.

Last, to the pages, individuals from across Canada, here to participate in our democracy in a way few Canadians have the opportunity or the privilege to do, I thank them.

On behalf of my colleagues, I thank them for their time, their energy, their professionalism, and their service. I thank them for all they do.

Parliament Hill StaffStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Colleagues, please allow me to add my thanks to the pages, to the procedural clerks, to all the staff of the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, and the Parliamentary Protective Service. I wish everyone a good summer, whenever it comes.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, national security experts are concerned about the Prime Minister's efforts to weaken our national security legislation and to put obstacles in the way of our law enforcement agencies.

The former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS, Ward Elcock, said that this legislation will make it more difficult for the agency to analyze potential threats of terrorism.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to listen to expert advice and to improve his bill?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are very open to suggestions, amendments, and improvements to national security. We appreciate just how delicate and important it is to strike a balance, and how this balance is essential for Canadians. We have a duty to protect the security of individuals, communities, and families while also protecting the rights and freedoms of Canadians. This is what we will always be sure to do. I encourage the members opposite to participate fully in the process for reviewing this bill.

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the Prime Minister's indication that he is open to amendments.

Many of the national security experts are raising the alarm over a specific attempt to water down some of these national security laws. Several of our European allies are now dealing with the threat of terrorism literally on a weekly basis. The fact is that Canada is not, and will not, be immune to this threat.

Will the Prime Minister specifically be open to restoring the proactive ability for our national security agencies to disrupt terrorist threats, when mere minutes matter?

National SecurityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no one in the House takes lightly the responsibility we all share, particularly on the government side, to keep Canadians safe in their homes, in their communities, and when they travel. We are very much focused on that, while at the same time understanding that Canadians expect and deserve to be reassured that their rights and freedoms will also be respected. Getting that balance right is extraordinarily important.

I look forward to robust discussions with all parties in the House, all members in the House, hearing from experts, as we move forward on getting that balance right, which is keeping Canadians safe and protecting their rights.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, everyone is asking the Prime Minister to stop raising Canadians' taxes.

Yesterday, the Senate, which has a Liberal majority, made it clear that it does not support the government's new escalator tax on beer and wine, and rightly so. The tax will continue to increase every year for an indefinite period.

Will the Prime Minister listen to his Liberal senators and cancel the tax hikes that are hurting the people he claims to be helping?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing that we did when we were elected was to lower taxes for the middle class and increase them for the wealthiest 1%. We promised to do that during the election campaign, and it was one of the first measures that we implemented. Unfortunately, the members opposite voted against the tax hike for the wealthiest 1% and against lowering taxes for the middle class.

We are always trying to lower taxes for the middle class because that is how we will build a strong country.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if he is looking for ways to cut taxes for the middle class, he could abandon his new tax hikes. He keeps saying things that are not true. He should read his own budget: taxes on beer and wine, taxes on bus passes and carpooling, new user fees for essential government services, a carbon tax. These are not taxes on the 1%; these are taxes on hard-working middle-class families.

When will the Prime Minister stop attacking the very people he claims to be helping?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in our very first week in this Parliament, we lowered taxes for the middle class and raised them on the wealthiest 1%. It was a campaign commitment. It was something we promised to do, and we delivered in our first week. Unfortunately, the party opposite chose to vote against lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest 1%.

For 10 years, the Conservatives gave boutique tax cuts and advantages to the wealthiest alone. We are focused on lowering taxes for the middle class, and we will stay focused on that.

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there have been unprecedented multiple investigations into his unethical behaviour, selling off of strategic Canadian assets to Communist China, dangerous criminals going free because of judicial delays, out of control spending, new tax hikes on the middle class, lavish vacations, moving expenses paid for by the taxpayer, and a litany of partisan appointments to non-partisan, independent offices.

The Liberals campaigned on a lot of things, but could the Prime Minister tell me on what page of his platform I can find a list of all the things I just mentioned?

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we campaigned on a platform of growth for the middle class and support for those working hard to join it.

On that, as the member will see as he looks through those pages, we delivered. We lowered taxes on the middle class and raised them on the wealthiest 1%. We delivered a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out 10 Canadian families and will lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. We have made massive investments in infrastructure so Canadians can get to and from work on time, investments in social housing, investments in child care, and investments in our seniors. That is what we—

Government PoliciesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I do not usually call out members for heckling unless they have been persistently doing it. There are a few candidates already, so I hope that they will restrain themselves.

The hon. member for Outremont.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister used to attack Stephen Harper for taking indigenous people to court, but he is contemptuously picking up exactly where Harper left off, fighting first nations' kids in court.

The Prime Minister used to say that with a Liberal government, boil water advisories would be a thing of the past, but that has not happened either.

He once said that we must implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law, but then he betrayed that commitment as well.

How can he be proud of that record?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this occasion to wish everyone in this House a happy National Indigenous Peoples Day, the day we celebrate today.

We recognize that the partnership with indigenous peoples, the spirit of true reconciliation, and the hard work we have to do together continues. We have ended 20 long-term boil water advisories, but we know full well there is much more to do. We are committed to ending all boil water advisories by 2021.

We are opening new schools and refurbishing older schools so that first nation communities' children can get a good education.

However, there is much more to do. We recognize there is more—

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Outremont.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister claimed to be a champion of democratic reform, but that was before he won a majority government with only 39% of the votes. The Prime Minister also claimed to be an access-to-information advocate—even I believed him—but that was before his government discovered all the benefits of hiding information from the public and the media.

How can we believe this Prime Minister when he talks about principles and values?

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a government and as a political party, we have played a leadership role in openness and transparency. We introduced the proactive disclosure of parliamentarians' expenses in 2013 when we were a third party. I must admit that the Conservatives quickly followed suit. The NDP was never interested in proactive disclosure. It did not want to demonstrate the leadership and openness that Canadians expect from all parties.

We continue to demonstrate the openness, transparency, and accountability that Canadians expect from our government.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says over and over again that he is helping the middle class, but his infrastructure bank will impose tolls and fees on the middle class. Why? This will be so private companies can make money from public infrastructure. The government’s priority should be to add bridges and roads, not add profits for wealthy investors.

Where did the Prime Minister get the mandate to pass these costs on to the middle class, after hiding it all during the election campaign?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite the opposite, it was very clearly written in our election platform that we were going to create an infrastructure bank that is indeed adding value and innovation to our efforts to deliver the necessary infrastructure for the middle class.

The middle class needs reliable public transit. The middle class needs affordable housing. The middle class needs help and investment in roads and historic bridges, which we are currently working on, representing $180 billion in infrastructure over 10 years, something the other party could not offer because they had to balance the budget.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister seems to believe that because the Liberals got 40% of the vote, it is okay if they only keep 40% of their promises. It is not okay.

The Prime Minister has been illegally lobbied during his cash-for-access events, and instead of ending this scheme, he tries to attack the opposition.

My question for the Prime Minister is, does he understand the problem with exchanging access to government—that is right, government—with payments to the government's political party? Please spare us the strongest-laws-in-Canada talking point for once.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect any government and any political party to follow the strong rules we have in place, and that is exactly what we are doing. More than that, we decided, as we often do on this side of the House, to raise the bar on transparency and openness, which is why we are opening up our fundraisers, making sure that they happen in public places and that the media get to come and see what we are doing. The fact is we encourage and exhort the members opposite to have the same level of transparency with Canadians in regard to their donors and their fundraising events as we have.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, a vote in the Senate last night gave the Prime Minister a golden opportunity to sideline one of his many bad decisions.

We know that this government's specialty is taxes and more taxes, but the Prime Minister got really creative with this one: an escalator tax on alcohol. This is a bad idea because the tax will go up automatically every year without a vote.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and axe this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent for acknowledging our expertise when it comes to taxes. We lowered taxes on the middle class and raised them on the wealthiest 1%.

We strongly believe that it is important to help middle-class Canadians by putting a little more money back in their pockets. It is good for the whole economy. It is just a shame that the member and his party voted against lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest 1%.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, raising taxes on alcohol, raising taxes on tobacco, creating new taxes for Canadians, eliminating tax credits that our government had created, and cancelling the public transit tax credit, that is the legacy of this Liberal government, so yes, we are standing up for the middle class and workers.

Why is the government maintaining this escalator tax, which will increase year over year, with Parliament having absolutely no say in the matter?

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and forget about the escalator tax? That is what Canadians want.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, during the 10 years that the members opposite were in government, they had every opportunity to demonstrate that they were standing up for the middle class and workers, but they did not do so. Instead, they gave plenty of opportunities and tax cuts to the wealthy, rather than invest in the middle class and those working hard to join it.

After 10 years of such an abysmal performance in terms of economic growth, we know that we need to invest in the middle class and in the infrastructure that Canadians need. That is exactly what we have done and what we will continue to do.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, he will just say anything.

The Liberals keep slapping more tax on hard-working Canadians. That is the fact. Their recent escalator tax on beer, wine, and spirits is setting a scary precedent. It means this specific tax would continue to rise every year forever. The Senate finance committee said yesterday that this type of tax hike is a bad idea. Will the Prime Minister finally agree that raising taxes on middle-class Canadians is the wrong thing to do, and cork this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what is disappointing is that the members opposite had an opportunity to vote in favour of lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest one per cent, and they chose not to. They voted against our plan to put more money in the pockets of nine million Canadians by asking the wealthiest one per cent to pay a bit more. They skipped that opportunity, but we campaigned on it, we have delivered on it, and we are going to stay focused on lowering taxes for the middle class.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are hiking taxes on everything. Since 2015, they have added a carbon tax, which will make everything more expensive for everyone; they have added a payroll tax, harming small businesses; and they are even planning to tax the Internet. Now they want to add a never-ending tax on beer, wine, and spirits. What is next? Will the Prime Minister finally agree that raising taxes on middle-class Canadians is the wrong thing to do, and cork this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite mentioned the price on carbon, and that is an extremely important part of our vision for how to strengthen the future in meaningful ways. Canadians know that we have to have a strong economy and a protected environment at the same time, while creating the kinds of jobs and innovation that Canadians need right across the country.

I respect the members opposite for having finally accepted that climate change is real and that we need to reach our Paris targets. I just look forward to seeing how they propose to do that, because 10 years of complete inaction on the environment needed to be turned—

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Foothills.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, when we put in a carbon tax, who pays for that carbon tax?

Yesterday I was pleased to see the Senate finance committee agree to repeal the Liberals' dangerous, unfair, and never-ending tax hike on beer, wine, and spirits.

Unlike the Prime Minister, who refuses to listen to Canadians or learn from the mistakes of his father, the Senate committee made the right decision for Canada.

Will the Prime Minister agree that raising taxes on middle-class Canadians is a bad idea? Will he cork this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to answer the first question from the hon. member, which was about who pays for the carbon price. The fact is that people who continue to pollute, who do not realize that being more efficient is better for our economy, will end up paying a little bit more, and we will be able to encourage positive behaviours and reduction.

However, I can reassure the member opposite, and indeed all Canadians, that any revenue that comes in from pricing on carbon will remain in the jurisdiction in which it is collected, because that means it is there for everyone right across the country.

That is the kind of leadership on the environment and the economy that Canadians expect after 10 years of inaction by the other guys.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada Day is just around the corner, and many middle-class Canadians will be celebrating with a great craft beer or a nice glass of wine.

However, the Liberal plan is to crash Canada's party with a never-ending, always-escalating tax increase on beer, wine, and spirits.

What it comes down to is middle-class Canadians cannot afford another Liberal tax hike. Will the Prime Minister agree that Canadians already pay their fair share and that increasing taxes on middle-class Canadians is a bad idea? Will he cork this tax?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the highlighting of Canada Day coming up. I know that I and my family, like many Canadians, will spend much of the summer visiting our national parks, which are completely free for everyone during Canada's 150th birthday.

Furthermore, families will be able to do that with a little more money in their pockets, because we have lowered taxes on the middle class, raised them on the wealthiest one per cent, and delivered a Canada child benefit that puts more money, tax free, every month in the pockets of middle-class Canadians by stopping funding for the previous government's child benefit cheques to millionaires.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

[Member spoke in aboriginal language]

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his words and wish I had the capacity to understand the strong culture and language that he shared with us today.

This National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to reflect on reconciliation, on the work we have begun, and on the amount of work that remains to be done on the path forward, which we need to recognize and build on.

I thank the member for his question and look forward to working with him on the path to true reconciliation.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish this House could translate Canada's original languages.

As this government blocks removing gender discrimination from Canada's Indian Act, we see examples of violence against women everywhere. Despite a national inquiry into the tragedy of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls, the reality on the ground for women has not changed.

The government will build just five new on-reserve violence shelters in five years. That is deeply inadequate. When will the Prime Minister put real money into his most important relationship and end violence against indigenous women?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we invested in our very first budget $8.4 billion toward indigenous peoples, but we know there is much more to do, which we followed up with in budget 2017.

In terms of violence against indigenous women, we launched a national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, which continues its work. We always look at better ways to respect and protect women, particularly indigenous women, from the violence they unfortunately continue to face all too often.

We will work together in partnership, in respect, with indigenous people.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the 2015 election campaign, the Prime Minister made a number of promises just so he could get elected. He promised electoral reform. That promise has been broken. He promised a revenue neutral middle-class tax cut, and we all know what happened. That promise has been broken. He promised small $10-billion deficits. That promise has been broken.

I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. When is he going to balance the budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in our election campaign, we campaigned on real change and growth for the middle class, and that is exactly what we are delivering. We actually delivered that middle-class tax cut by raising taxes on the wealthiest one per cent. Unfortunately, that member and his entire party voted against it.

We continue to understand that what Canadians need is growth and investment in our future. We are beginning to see the real results of our investments in the record number of jobs being created, in opportunities for young people, and in infrastructure projects that are historic in their scope and nature. This is—

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a media interview, the Prime Minister admitted that he had no idea when Canada’s astronomical deficit would be eliminated. This is completely unacceptable to all of us and to future generations.

It is very clear: like father, like son. We are entitled to know in which year Canada will return to a balanced budget.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are taking a reasonable approach, rooted in the knowledge that we need to create economic growth for the middle class, something the party opposite was unable to do for 10 years.

Our infrastructure investments will help families get to work and come home more efficiently. We have made investments in social housing. There will be more money in the pockets of the middle class. We have cut taxes and have implemented the Canada child benefit, which helps 9 out of ten families and lifts hundreds of thousands of young people out of poverty.

We are implementing this ambitious plan to help the middle class and those working hard to join it.

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Well, Mr. Speaker, that was another non-answer.

I am extremely worried for Canada's young people. The Liberals should be focused on creating an environment of economic prosperity and making sure the next generation is set up for success. However, instead, the government is racking up debt with no plan whatsoever to balance the budget. In fact, the Liberals are about to set a record as the most expensive government in history outside of a war or recession. This is a huge bill being piled up for the next generation to pay off.

My question is simple, and they say that the third time is the charm. In what year will the Prime Minister balance the budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the belated focus that the members opposite finally have on Canadian young people.

The fact is, we know that what young people want in this country are investments in our future that both build the economy and protect us from climate change, investments in innovation that are going to create good jobs for the next generation, help for young people to not have to pay back their student loans until they are making $25,000 in income, and more help in up-front grants for our students. These are the kinds of things we are doing for young people, which will build on a strong future for us all—

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

FinanceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Foothills and others are consistently heckling. I would ask them not to.

Order.

The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is no wonder the Liberal government is having such a difficult time in getting its budget bill passed. Everyone can see the Liberals' wasteful spending, their sneaky tax increases on those in the middle class and those too poor to join them, and their out-of-touch priorities. The Liberals spend billions for Chinese investors and Liberal friends, but only $20 million a year to reduce violence against women in Canada, and not even $4 million a year for the Canadian Autism Partnership.

With all of this out-of-control spending, in what year will the Prime Minister balance the budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am kind of disappointed that the member opposite thinks our approach on taxes is secret, so I will repeat it. We lowered taxes on the middle class and raised them on the wealthiest one per cent. Has she not heard?

Unfortunately, the members opposite voted against our proposal that lowers taxes on the middle class, because for 10 years they focused on giving tax breaks and advantages to the wealthiest Canadians. That is not what Canadians want. That is not what Canadians voted for. This is why we are moving forward in the ways that Canadians expect us to.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have so mismanaged the process of selecting a new Commissioner of Official Languages that the office currently lacks the ability to do anything. Without a commissioner, the office falls into a legal state known as “functus”, which sounds appropriate. The office cannot sign papers, deliver reports, or begin investigations.

When they could have easily extended the interim commissioner's term, why have the Liberals chosen to leave the office completely functus?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our two official languages are at the heart of this party's identity and of the identity of Canadians. Our government promised Canadians a rigorous, open, transparent, merit-based process for public appointments. This will result in the recommendations of high-quality candidates, while also achieving gender parity and truly reflecting Canada's diversity.

We remain committed to finding the best candidate for the official languages position. Work at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is ongoing. An announcement will be made shortly.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we thought that the debacle with Ms. Meilleur’s appointment had been a lesson to the minister of heritage, but no, she continues to outdo herself. Today makes four days without a commissioner.

Even former commissioner Graham Fraser is furious. This is what he said:

I think that this is an example of a bungled appointment process. I can only think that it reflects a lack of attention, lack of concern for the issue...for the question of official languages.

What are the Liberals going to do to apologize for this whole mess?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we take very seriously our responsibility to defend our two official languages in this country, we are the party of official bilingualism, and we will continue to look for the best possible candidates for all our appointed positions, particularly the Commissioner of Official Languages.

I can assure the member across the way that work is proceeding as it should at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and that we will be making an announcement shortly.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear that no relationship is more important to him and to this government than the relationship with first nations, with the Métis Nation, and with the Inuit people.

Today, on what will now be known as National Indigenous Peoples Day, could the Prime Minister give the House an update on the government's plan for the former U.S. embassy across from Parliament Hill, as well as Langevin Block?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital for his strong advocacy on this issue.

The residential school era is a dark chapter in our history. The association between Langevin and the Prime Minister's office is inconsistent with a strong partnership with indigenous peoples. Therefore, we will be removing that name.

Moreover, the former U.S. embassy will be converted to a space dedicated to and for first nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples for them to decide how best to use it. This is a powerful symbol of reconciliation right here on the Hill, where we all pass by it every single day.

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, the number one job of a government is to protect the safety and security of the people. Let us look at the facts. Norsat creates advanced technology that is used by our military to protect the security of Canadians, while Hytera Communications is a Chinese company with a bad track record. To buy Norsat is a risky decision. This deal, by definition, is a security risk.

When will the Prime Minister wake up, smell the coffee, and cancel this deal?

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, every single transaction that falls under the Investment Canada Act is carefully assessed by all national security agencies. In this particular case, our agencies also consulted with key allies, including the United States. Our national security experts assessed the deal and the technology, and concluded there were no national security concerns.

I can reassure all members in the House and all Canadians that we take defending our national security extremely seriously.

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the thing that innovative companies in our regions fear the most is having their product copied and reproduced without their consent. We all know that the Chinese government has been condoning this practice for decades. This practice is quite costly to our businesses. Under this Liberal government, there is no longer any reason to hide. The Chinese government no longer copies, it buys high-tech companies like Norsat. To heck with secrets. They are being given access to source code.

When will the Prime Minister cancel this transaction and order a full security review?

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we take our national security and our agencies' recommendations quite seriously.

Unlike the previous government, we are deeply committed to promoting openness and transparency. That is why, for the first time, our government has published the number of national security reviews that cabinet has considered under the law.

We have also published the national security review guidelines so that Canadians can see how robust the review process is for these transactions. We will take no lessons from—

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope.

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was only too happy to rubber-stamp the sell-off of B.C.'s largest chain of retirement homes to Anbang Insurance to appease his friends in Beijing. With Anbang now under criminal investigation and its politically well-connected chairman Mr. Wu having disappeared, the Prime Minister continues to endorse this Chinese takeover.

I ask the Prime Minister, when the Anbang house of cards finally collapses, who will gain control of these seniors care facilities in B.C.? Are seniors about to find out that their landlord is actually the People's Republic of China?

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government is open to investment that offers middle-class jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

Cedar Tree has confirmed its strong commitment to the ongoing quality of operations in Canada and to its health care workers. It will remain subject to provincial oversight on seniors care facilities, ensuring the rules for the care of seniors continue to be followed, and will keep the current number of full-time and part-time jobs. B.C.'s regulatory regime is robust and imposes rigorous standards of care on operators of residential care and assisted living facilities.

We will continue to stand up for Canada's seniors.

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister assured the House that his government had done its due diligence regarding the billion-dollar takeover of B.C. care homes by murky Chinese ownership. Now the company chairperson is in prison and investigators are looking into allegations of corruption and economic crimes.

If the company dissolves, who will gain control of our seniors care facilities? Are seniors in my riding going to find out that their landlord is the People's Republic of China?

Foreign Investment in CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we continue to be open to investments from around the world because we know that creating good middle-class jobs and creating services and opportunities to protect Canadians is extremely important.

We recognize that B.C. and all provinces have a strong regulatory regime that oversees and ensures that the care our seniors receive is of top quality. That is why we continue to work with British Columbia and with all of our partners to make sure that Canadian seniors do receive the quality care and support they need across this country.

JusticeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Prime Minister received a dozen letters from jurors across Canada suffering mental health challenges after experiencing trauma from graphic evidence and disturbing trials. Members of all parties have supported Mark Farrant's tireless advocacy on behalf of Canadian jurors.

First, will the Prime Minister stand now and thank every Canadian who has served on a jury? Second, will the Prime Minister do everything in his power to work with the provinces to better support Canadians who have suffered from doing their jury duty?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to be able to stand and thank all Canadians who have served on juries, all Canadians who have served their country in so many different ways.

As we have seen in the cases of first responders, military personnel and their families, and jurors, sometimes the effects of the work they do on behalf of Canadians can have lasting consequences. That is why in our most recent budget we invested $5 billion in mental health care for the provinces to be able to support Canadians who are struggling with mental health issues. This is a matter of extreme importance to us and to all Canadians.

Steel IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the trade committee submitted a report on the Canadian steel industry and next week the all-party steel caucus will meet officials in Washington.

In the report the NDP recommends that the Liberals implement measures to encourage the use of Canadian steel in infrastructure projects and government contracts. We also recommend that the government defend our ability to promote the use of Canadian steel when negotiating trade agreements like NAFTA.

I have a simple question. Will the Liberals implement our recommendations to protect our Canadian steel industry before they renegotiate NAFTA?

Steel IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we take very seriously the responsibility of standing up and defending Canada's interests. We repeatedly do so every time we engage with the American administration, including in my recent conversation with President Trump.

We need to ensure that Initiative 232 excludes Canada. National security investigations have no business looking at Canadian steel when we know the North American steel market is specialized, integrated, and extremely well-functioning.

We will continue to stand with our American partners against illegal practices from around the world, while at the same time defending Canadian steelworkers and their industry.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, Dwight Duncan has now admitted to intentionally ignoring the Prime Minister's own guidelines concerning partisan activities for his appointees. Once again, the rules do not apply if one is a Liberal donor. This is no surprise, as he takes his ethical cues from the Prime Minister himself.

The Gordie Howe bridge is too important to Canada to be left in the hands of someone who has damaged his credibility beyond repair on both sides of the border.

Will the Prime Minister fire that partisan political hack, yes or no?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government is firmly committed to the Gordie Howe international bridge. The President and I have both reiterated our strong support for the construction of this project. The new bridge is vital to accommodate a future traffic route, because nearly 30% of surface trade between Canada and the U.S. goes through Windsor.

Mr. Duncan has apologized. We have accepted his apology. We are working to build this important bridge for Canada and America.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, is it any surprise that the Prime Minister would endorse that type of behaviour?

It is bad enough that Dwight Duncan effectively bankrupted Ontario while he was the finance minister of the province. However, as a non-partisan appointee of the Prime Minister, he has been engaged in reckless behaviour on social media, gushing over his Liberal pals, attacking anyone who is not, and disparaging U.S. officials. Yesterday Duncan said, “A number of my postings clearly violated the letter and spirit of Parliament’s direction.... ”

Will the Prime Minister fire that partisan political hack, yes or no?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we understand how important the Gordie Howe international bridge is to the Windsor area and indeed to all of Canada. Of the surface trade between Canada and the Unites States, 30% goes through Windsor. We continue to be committed. We were pleased to ensure that both the President and I reiterate our support for this project.

With respect to Mr. Duncan, he has apologized. We look forward to continuing to watch his strong leadership as we move this project toward completion.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister visited my riding to star in two partisan pep rallies with his Liberal candidates in the days leading up to the October by-election. We have since learned that two employees of the Privy Council travelled with the Prime Minister and provided “comprehensive audio and visual technical support”. We also know the Liberal Party refuses to reimburse the full cost of this trip.

Could the Prime Minister explain to taxpayers exactly what government business he conducted on these campaign stops?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as has always been the practice, whenever the Prime Minister travels anywhere, he needs to be connected to the work the government is doing and be accessible to respond to different challenges. That has always been the case and will continue to be the case.

Being a prime minister is not a part-time job or even a nine-to-five job; it is a responsibility, which I will accept, with great honour, every single minute of the day. We always need to have the tools in order to serve Canadians. That is exactly what has always been done.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton was heckling throughout the answer. I would ask him to restrain himself.

The hon. member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador know how important reliable infrastructure is to ensuring a high quality of life. In my riding, cities and towns also know they have a federal partner working alongside them to deliver better infrastructure for their residents.

Could the Prime Minister update the House on the work the government is doing to build stronger communities in Newfoundland and Labrador?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, allow me first to thank the hon. member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl for his hard work. While I am at it, let me thank all citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador for the incredibly warm welcome they give me every time I have the good fortune of visiting.

Our government has now approved 213 projects, with a combined investment of more than $665 million, across Newfoundland and Labrador. This means good middle-class jobs for the people in Newfoundland and Labrador, safer jobs, and cleaner drinking water.

Our government is proud to deliver results for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, more and more Canadians are realizing that the Prime Minister's decisions hurt the very people who he claims to help. Nothing underscores this more than his rejection of the Canadian autism partnership.

Many Canadian families are forced to mortgage their homes to pay for early intervention programs and more than 80% of adults with autism struggle to find meaningful work. They are just looking for a little compassion from the Liberal government.

When will the Prime Minister finally listen to these Canadians and reverse his cold-hearted decision to reject the Canadian autism partnership?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant lifelong impact on individuals and families. Federal investments in research—

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. That side still has one more question. I hope it wants to keep it. We will listen to the answers.

The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, federal investments in research, data improvement, surveillance, and training skills are supporting those with autism and their families. There is an extraordinary network of stakeholders across the country, raising awareness and providing services to families.

Our government will continue to support those efforts through our programs. We have indeed invested over $39 million in autism research over the past five years to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised that, unlike Stephen Harper, he would work with all parties to get good things done. However, when a member of this place moved a non-partisan initiative to create a Canadian autism partnership, the Prime Minister and his party voted against it.

This is about removing the challenges facing individuals with autism and facing their families. It is about unlocking the tremendous potential of these Canadians.

Why can the Prime Minister not move beyond partisan politics and support this important autism initiative?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant and lifelong impact on individuals and families. There is an extraordinary network of stakeholders across the country, raising awareness and providing services to families.

Our government will continue to support their efforts through our programs. We have invested more than $39 million in autism research over the past five years. In addition, we have made many initiatives that help families, whether it is the Canada child benefit, which is increasing support for nine out of 10 Canadian families, including strengthening the child disability benefit alongside—

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a serious food crisis in South Sudan that is affecting nearly half of its population. The Minister of International Development and La Francophonie was there for a first-hand look at what our partners on the ground are doing and to talk about how to help those who need it most.

Can the Prime Minister update the House on what Canada is doing to help the most vulnerable of those affected by this terrible crisis?

International DevelopmentOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for her question.

Our government is extremely concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan. That is why we recently announced $86 million for development projects that will meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in that country.

We also created the famine relief fund. From now until June 30, 2017, we will match every eligible donation made to Canadian charities that are raising money to bring crucial relief to famine-stricken countries.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the whole House can see from the questions from the leader of the official opposition, the leader of the New Democrats, and now from me that there is an extraordinary broad consensus on this side of the House that Canadian families and individuals living with autism really do need more than what they have so far.

I would ask the Prime Minister if his next answer could contain some hope for those families that help is on the way and that the Canadian autism partnership will find support from the current government.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the extraordinary work that Canadians across the country do to support their loved ones, particularly those living with autism spectrum disorder. We recognize the stories and compassion that have been shown by people as they share their desire to do more to fight the impact autism has on people who live with it.

My staff has also met repeatedly with the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin to talk about how we can move forward in concrete ways that will make a difference in the lives of so many Canadians.

Message from the SenateOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill C-44, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017 and other measures, with amendments to which the concurrence of this House is desired.

Copies of the amendments are available at the table.

The House resumed from June 15 consideration of the motion that Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day), be read the third time and passed.

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:14 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 30, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-311.

Call in the members.

Before the Clerk announced the result of the vote:

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I apologize, I forgot to do my job. I forgot to tell the members in the first row that it was their turn to vote and therefore to rise. I seek permission so that the first row of the New Democratic Party can vote in favour of this bill.

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I am going to ask the member for Simcoe—Grey to clarify which way she is intending to vote.

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Contrary.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #342

Holidays ActPrivate Members' Business

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed from June 20 consideration of Bill S-3, an act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration), as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the motions at report stage of Bill S-3.

The question is on Motion No.2. A negative vote on Motion No. 2 necessitates the question being put on Motion No. 3.

(The House divided on Motion No. 2. which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #343

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare Motion No. 2 defeated

The next question is on Motion No. 3.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those opposed will please say nay.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

(The House divided on Motion No. 3, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #344

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare Motion No. 3 lost.

The question is on Motion No. 4.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #345

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare Motion No. 4 defeated.

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those opposed will please say nay.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #346

Indian ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from June 20 consideration of Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-25.

The question is on Motion No. 1.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #347

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare Motion No. 1 defeated.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those opposed will please say nay.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find agreement to apply the results of the previous vote to this vote, with the Liberal members voting in favour.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives agree to apply and will be voting yes.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that the NDP agrees to apply the vote and will vote no.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the vote and votes in favour of the motion.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the vote and I vote yes.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply, and I will be voting yes.

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #348

Canada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

Public AccountsRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

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

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the comprehensive response to the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled “Report 2—Income Tax Objections—Canada Revenue Agency”, one of the 2016 fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada.

Export Development CanadaRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Canada Account Annual Report, 2015-16, prepared by Export Development Canada.

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of CrimeRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Vancouver Granville B.C.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2015-16 annual report of the office of the federal ombudsman for victims of crime.

Bill C-56 Charter StatementRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Vancouver Granville B.C.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table, in both official languages, the charter statement with respect to Bill C-56, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Abolition of Early Parole Act.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to 18 petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Leona Alleslev Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the joint visit of the 92nd Rose-Roth Seminar, the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council, the Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships and the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Economic Relations in Kiev, Ukraine, June 14 to 16, 2016

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 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 am seeking unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House:

(a) if Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States, is concurred in at report stage later this day, when debate on the said Bill collapses at third reading, all questions necessary for the disposal of the Bill at that stage be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment, provided that, if a recorded division is requested, the bells to call in the members shall ring for not more than 30 minutes;

(b) Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration), be deemed read a third time and passed on division;

(c) Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act, be deemed read a third time and passed on division;

(d) a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint Their Honours that the House disagrees with the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017, and other measures, because these amendments infringe upon the rights and privileges of the House;

(e) when the House adjourns today, it shall stand adjourned until Monday, September 18, 2017, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed to have been adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28 and be deemed to have sat on Thursday, June 22, and Friday, June 23, 2017; and

(f) when, at any time the House stands adjourned until and including Friday, June 23, 2017, a standing committee has ready a report, that report shall be deemed to have been duly presented to the House upon being deposited with the Clerk.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

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

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

(Motion agreed to)

(Bill S-3. On the Order: Government Orders:)

June 20, 2017--Third Reading of Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration)--the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

(Bill C-25. On the Order: Government Orders:)

June 20, 2017--Third Reading of Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act--the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Carbon TaxPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first petition is signed by almost 11,000 Canadians who oppose the Liberals' plan to impose a federal carbon tax on all of Canada, because this tax would harm the most vulnerable: the working poor, low-income Canadians, seniors, people on fixed incomes, and Canadians in rural, remote, energy- and agriculture-based communities. It would make everything more expensive for everyone. The petitioners are asking the Liberals to stop this reckless tax grab.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the second petition asks the Liberals to reconsider their decision to close the Vegreville case processing centre. That decision was done in secret without any consultation with town officials, workers, businesses, or local representatives. Furthermore, we now know that this decision will cost taxpayers more both in the short term and in the long term. The petitioners hope that the Liberals will listen to their request and reverse the closure of the Vegreville case processing centre.

Algoma Passenger Rail ServicePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to table three petitions.

As members know, I have risen in the House on a number of occasions to table petitions with regard to the passenger train along the Algoma Central Railway. The petitioners are from Garden River and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Burnaby, B.C. They would certainly like the government to put that train back on track.

FirearmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is with respect to the UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. A variety of people from northern Ontario have signed this petition.

The petitioners ask that the House of Commons and Parliament assembled request that the Government of Canada revise the firearms marking regulations to recognize that a simple requirement for a serial number on all new firearms imported into Canada will satisfy the United Nations.

Eating DisordersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is on a pan-Canadian strategy for eating disorders. The petitioners call upon the government to support Motion No. 117 and initiate discussions with the provincial and territorial ministers.

This is a very important petition. It impacts on people's lives and survival.

Veterans AffairsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to table six petitions signed by constituents in my riding of South Shore—St. Margarets as well as constituents in the riding of West Nova. This petition is on behalf of Paul Nicholas Nedimovich and is asking for the government's response on the issue of awarding the aforementioned veteran's medals and recognition of honorary rank with respect to his years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Bee PopulationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to present a petition on behalf of the hard-working bees in Canada.

The petitioners are concerned that the mortality rate for bees has been increasing in the past number of years. They recognize the important role that bees play for flowering plants and the huge contributions they make for our agricultural sector. Therefore, the petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to develop an effective strategy to address the multiple factors related to bee colony deaths, such as the destruction and disturbance of habitat, pesticide use, and the side effects of pathogens and parasites.

As a proud farmer myself who has seen first-hand the incredible work that bees do, and the yields of fruit trees on my farm, I am very honoured to present this petition. I hope the government will take some concrete steps.

Nuclear DisarmamentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present three petitions.

The first petition relates to the ongoing negotiations at the United Nations towards a global disarmament treaty to rid the world of the threat of nuclear war.

The petitioners are from my riding of Saanich—Gulf Islands, and they ask that the Government of Canada cease to boycott these proceedings and become engaged in these negotiations.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is also from residents throughout Saanich—Gulf Islands with some from southern Vancouver Island beyond my riding.

The petitioners are calling for a permanent ban on crude-oil tankers not just along the north coast, but along the west coast of Canada to protect British Columbia fisheries, tourism, coastal communities, and natural ecosystems.

Mr. Speaker, the third petition, again from residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands, calls on the government to re-examine a very successful program killed under the previous administration. Petitioners wonder why the current government has not reinstated and extended the eco-energy retrofit program. They point out that energy efficiency is cost-effective and delivers immediate reductions in greenhouse gases.

MarijuanaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present petitions on behalf of many people in Nanaimo, B.C. The petitioners argue that the prohibition of cannabis has criminalized millions of Canadians, and that cannabis has the potential to provide medicine, food, and fibre.

The petitioners ask that Parliament remove marijuana possession from the Criminal Code, end police raids against dispensaries, for those with criminal records for personal possession grant full pardon and amnesty, and release prisoners now serving time. I urge the government to so act.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first petition is from 60 Yukoners who say that whereas Falun Gong is a spiritual practice, it consists of the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. They outline that for 18 years, practitioners have been victims of violence and illegal persecution, which has been condemned by, among others, the United Nations and Amnesty International.

They go on to say that a Canadian citizen, Ms. Qian Sun, was illegally kidnapped and is being illegally detained in Beijing for practising Falun Gong. They want the immediate and unconditional release of Canadian citizen, Ms. Qian Sun.

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by more than 40 Yukoners who say, whereas millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily detained, including family members of Canadians, there is mass extrajudicial imprisonment, forced labour, torture, rape and killing, along with hate propaganda. The petition states that some of the killing was to produce 60,000 to 100,000 organ transplants, and that the U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament passed resolutions in June 2016 and December 2013, respectively, condemning and calling for an immediate end to this systemic organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

The petitioners therefore request that the Canadian government, among other things, take every opportunity to call for an end to the persecution of the Falun Gong, and urge the Chinese government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition arising from the arrest of Qian Sun by the Chinese Communist authorities for no other reason than she is a practitioner of Falun Gong. She is a Canadian citizen, and the petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to condemn the illegal arrest of a Canadian citizen and to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Qian Sun. I must say the silence from the government in standing up for her has been deafening.

Commemorative MedalsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal war on history continues to prompt a flood of petitions to my office. In particular, some of them are on the issue of commemorative medals, which governments have traditionally issued on anniversary years such as this to worthy citizens who have contributed to their communities to recognize those contributions.

A medal was issued in 1867 in the year of Confederation, including to the Fathers of Confederation like Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, among other worthy Canadians. In the Diamond Jubilee in 1927, there was a similar medal to honour Canadians of distinction in their communities. In 1967, of course, the centennial, there was such a medal, as there was on the 125th anniversary in 1992. However, as part of the Liberal war on history, the government has decided that there will be no medal honouring the country-building contributions of Canadians on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In fact, the Liberals cancelled plans that were very well advanced for such a medal. Tradition is being ignored and community-leading Canadians are being forgotten.

The petitioners come from many communities: Sheho, Saskatchewan; Bezanson, Alberta; Winfield, Alberta; Theodore, Saskatchewan; Foam Lake, Saskatchewan; Snow Lake, Manitoba; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Huxley, Alberta; Red Deer, Alberta; Sorel-Tracy, Quebec; Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec; and Saint-Roch-De-Richelieu, Quebec. The petitioners ask that the government reverse its unfortunate decision to cancel the medal honouring deserving Canadians on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if a revised response to Question No. 972, originally tabled on May 29, 2017, and the government's response to Questions Nos. 1039 and 1040 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 972Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

With regard to counterfeit goods discovered by the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or other relevant government entity, since December, 2015: (a) what is the value of the goods discovered, broken down by month; and (b) what is the breakdown of goods by (i) type, (ii) brand, (iii) country of origin, (iv) location or port of entry where the goods were discovered?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1039Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

With regard to agreements for buildings or offices leased by the government: (a) how many buildings or offices are currently leased by the government; and (b) what are the names of the companies or individuals who own the buildings or offices leased by the government, broken down by department?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1040Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

With regard to the government's transfer of land to the Ottawa Hospital for the future site of the Civic Campus, known as the Sir John Carling Site or site No. 11: (a) what is the current status of the transfer of land to the Ottawa Hospital; (b) on what date does the government anticipate the land transfer will be complete; (c) did the Ottawa Hospital incur any costs as a result of delaying the construction by a year; (d) if the answer to (c) is affirmative, what are the costs, and will the government reimburse the Ottawa Hospital; (e) how many trees are there at site No. 11; (f) what buildings are currently located at site No. 11, broken down by (i) name and address, (ii) purpose and current use, (iii) whether the building will be demolished or moved to another location; (g) what will be the total cost of preparing the site for the Civic Campus to be built; (h) what will be the additional costs specific to building the Civic Campus at site No. 11, including (i) the cost of building on a sloped surface, (ii) the cost of being located near a fault line, (iii) the cost of removing or transplanting the trees referred to in (e), (iv) any other costs due to site No. 11’s unique features; (i) which organization or level of government will pay for the land preparation and additional costs noted in (g) and (h); (j) does the government have any estimates on the cost of preparing site No. 11 for a large institutional occupant and, if so, what are the details; (k) what is the market value of the land at site No. 11; (l) what will be the rental rate or sale price of site No. 11 to the Ottawa Hospital; (m) which organization or level of government will pay for the at least $11.1 million in contamination remediation, as estimated by Public Services and Procurement Canada; (n) is there any other contamination that needs to be remediated that is not captured in the $11.1 million figure; (o) if the answer to (n) is affirmative, what is the contamination and what is its expected remediation cost; (p) what design, cultural, esthetic, or architectural elements will the National Capital Commission require the Ottawa Hospital to incorporate into the hospital, and what will be the costs of these elements; (q) will the federal government cover the costs of the elements referred to in (p); (r) has the government estimated the additional costs of constructing any building or structure on site No. 11, due to the nearby fault line and, if so, what are the costs; (s) what would have been the total cost of preparing the Central Experimental Farm site directly across the street from the current Civic Campus, known as either site No. 9 or No. 10; (t) are there any known challenges associated with building on site No. 11 and, if so, what are they; and (u) does the government foresee any other factors specific to the Sir John Carling Site that would increase costs or delay construction of the new hospital and, if so, what are they?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is that agreed?

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

4:20 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 want to join my colleagues in offering you and your family my best wishes for the summer adjournment period.

We have been able to achieve quite a bit in this spring sitting of Parliament, and have managed to pass important legislation and meaningful changes to our Standing Orders. I want to thank my counterpart House leaders and their respective teams for the good faith discussions that have occurred on many files. I very much look forward to that continued collaboration as we enter what I believe will be a busy fall sitting of this House. I would also like to thank the whips and other members of the House leadership from all sides and their teams for their hard work, as well as all members of this House for their continued work. I hope everyone enjoys the time with their families, loved ones, and with their constituents, and that everyone comes back to this House in September rested and reinvigorated.

I would be remiss if I did not thank and recognize the tremendous staff that help us get work done in this place.

I would like to take a moment to thank Marc Bosc for his service to the House as Acting Clerk since the departure of Audrey O'Brien. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

I also wish to thank all the other table officers who, under your direction, Mr. Speaker, ensure that the House operates effectively.

My thanks go as well to all the branches and services of the House administration. Without their contributions, we would not be able to do the good work that we do.

Finally, I would like to thank our pages. They have had a front-row seat over their year in this place to see how the House works, to help members, and to experience something that only 40 students per year have the privilege of living. I wish them well in their studies and in their future endeavours, and I look forward to welcoming the next class of pages.

Again, Mr. Speaker, to you and all my colleagues, please take the time to enjoy being in the constituencies with constituents, with friends, and with family. I very much look forward to seeing everyone back in the fall.

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative team here, I would also like to offer my thanks to a number of people today.

I want to begin by thanking the government House leader for the work that she has put into many of the negotiations that we have had over the last little while. Together with the member for Victoria, the House Leader of the New Democratic Party, she and I have worked very hard.

I want to make special mention of some of our staff: Rheal and Hugo among the House leader's staff, Jeremy in the NDP House leader's staff, and a number of mine, including John and David. We have all worked very hard to do things. Sometimes we did not always agree, but I know everyone has worked really hard, and so I want to pay special tribute to those individuals.

I also want to thank all of the MPs, my fellow MPs, MPs from every side, who have been here until midnight working very hard on behalf of their constituents. I know that their staff have been working hard as well. The people who support them have been diligent. I want to thank them and wish them a very good summer.

I want to thank our clerks, our procedural experts, who sit here day after day and so faithfully serve us. We so much respect the work that they do. We admire them and are grateful to them.

I also want to echo the sentiments of the House leader and what has already been said and thank Marc Bosc for the tremendous work he has done. He will very much be missed.

I want to mention it is not just those of us here and those of us who are visible who support the House; there are so many other people, whether it is the bus drivers who faithfully get us here to the House of Commons, the protective services people who so faithfully and diligently serve us, those in the cafeterias, the staff around this place, or IT people. There are just so many people, probably 1,400 people, who support us day after day. Many of them go unseen, but I think today we want to thank them and wish them a good summer and a good holiday when this place quiets down.

I want to thank the pages who are so diligent and so generous and so gracious as they serve us. These are young people who are also going to school every day. They are working very hard on their studies. We know there are many pages who have gone on and had very impressive careers, some of them right here in this place. Even though sometimes we are busy when we ask them for a glass of water or to get us a specific document, I think we all want to express our deep gratitude for the way that they serve us and look after us here in the House of Commons.

Finally, to you, Mr. Speaker, I know that sometimes the waters here can be a little turbulent and you are navigating turbulent waters. I thank you for the service that you provide, as well as your deputy speakers and the other individuals who occupy that chair. I express my gratitude to you and to your colleagues. I wish you a very good summer.

I wish all of my colleagues a good summer, not only with their constituents but even more importantly with their families and friends. When we leave this place, the people who will remain and will be there for us are our families and our friends. I believe that we need to continue to invest in those relationships, and summertime is a really good time to do that.

Thank you again. I wish everyone a good summer.

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, without wanting to take up too much time, I would like to add my voice to those of the two leaders who just spoke.

First, I would like to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for overseeing the proceedings in this place that can sometimes be quite noisy. Similarly, I thank the table officers who, as well, must work and concentrate in a sometimes chaotic work environment. I would also like to add my voice to those of my colleagues in thanking Mr. Bosc, who will be leaving us, for all the work that he has done.

I want to thank the government House leader. We certainly do not always agree on everything, but the important thing is that we have managed to come together at the end, and at least as we go off into the sunset in the summer, we are perhaps a bit more serene than we were at the beginning of the sitting.

I echo the same sentiment to the opposition House leader. I know that my colleague from Victoria certainly wanted to pass along his thanks as well for the discussions that, while not always easy, at least have ended on a positive note as we move back to our constituencies for the coming summer months.

I would also like to thank the security officers, hoping that over the next few months, the much-awaited respect that has been requested can be restored. As my colleagues have done, I would also like to thank the support staff who ensure that the House of Commons runs smoothly. While they may not appear on television, the staff make it possible for us to be here, day after day, in a healthy work environment. This of course includes the bus drivers, among others.

We certainly thank the cafeteria staff and those who take care of maintenance all around these beautiful buildings in the precinct, those who provide the mail services, and those involved in all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that this place is always running on time, as well as the people who make us look good.

Lastly, like my colleagues, I wish to thank the pages, who will be enjoying the summer and moving on to new adventures. As our collective experience has shown, some of them will return to the House of Commons, perhaps as MPs, or in other capacities, working for members or for the House of Commons. In any case, we would like to give them a huge thanks as they embark on their new adventures. On behalf of New Democrats, I wish them all, as well as all of our House of Commons colleagues, a wonderful summer.

I hope they will take that time, as the opposition House leader said, to be with their families. That time is precious. The things in here do not matter in comparison to health, family, and all of those things that we cannot take for granted. I hope they will enjoy that time. Most importantly, I hope they will work hard in their constituency, which is of course why Canadians elected us.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I wish everyone a happy summer.

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. I will join my colleagues in the other parties to wish you and my colleagues a wonderful summer. I thank all the Hill staff, particularly those who work in the House. I thank the clerks for all the work that they do. Like everyone else, I would like to congratulate all the pages. I wish them all the best for the future.

Have a great summer, everyone!

House of CommonsRoutine Proceedings

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I wish to echo the comments of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the House Leader of the Official Opposition, the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly, and the hon. member for Joliette.

To reiterate what I said before question period, I want to thank all my colleagues for their great work.

I also want to thank all of the staff who work on Parliament Hill and provide the many services, from the cleaners to those who move furniture to the procedural staff to the interpreters, and the many people in so many areas who provide such great assistance to us. I know colleagues will have other suggestions of who I should add to that. I know I have not listed all of them, and I am sure I will forget some. However, I thank all of them, because we are grateful for the wonderful work that they do.

Of course I particularly want to thank the pages, to whom we are saying “so long”. I hope they will all come back and visit us regularly. We have enjoyed having these wonderful pages with us. They have done such great work for us.

I want to wish all members a healthy and very relaxing summer. I can say that I am looking forward to some tranquility over the course of the summer at some point. I know members will come back refreshed in the fall and get back to work.

However, I particularly want to urge members, all those who work on the Hill, and all Canadians to be careful this summer when on vacation or travelling. It is particularly important. I know members spend a lot of time on the road, and over the years we have lost a couple of members because of accidents, so I urge members to be extra careful. Obviously, if they become tired, they should not drive but should get some rest, please.

I wish all the best to everyone.

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, Taxation; the hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope, Standing Orders of the House of Commons.

The House resumed from June 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States, be read the third time and passed.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise again to speak to Bill C-23. I had an opportunity to illuminate many of the great benefits the bill would bring to Canadians in my speech at second reading.

I want to begin my comments by thanking all the members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security for their work. It is evidenced by the fact that our government adopted all of the committee's amendments, including the NDP amendment for a five year review. There is an excellent relationship between the committee and our ministry in making sure we have the most effective bill possible. It has been a pleasure to work with the committee members, and I want to take the opportunity now at third reading stage to thank them.

It is appropriate that we are speaking to Bill C-23 on the eve of summer. Many Canadians are getting ready for their travel plans, visiting family, or taking a vacation. One of the things they do not want to deal with on vacation is long lines, hassles, and problems getting to where they want to go.

Pre-clearance would help us facilitate the movement of goods, services, and people, making sure people are avoiding long lines, and that they can expand the number of destinations they can go to. In fact, some 12 million passengers each and every year in the airline sector alone already use pre-clearance. Some people may use pre-clearance, and not even realize they do. People flying out of Pearson have the opportunity to go through customs before landing on U.S. soil, which not only accelerates the opportunity for them to get to work, see family, or start their vacation, it also means they get to have that process happen on Canadian soil. I will get back to that in just a moment.

On the range of airports, it means there are a vast number of airports that suddenly open up to airline passengers as if they are domestic travellers. If people want to go to Nashville, for example, in the absence of pre-clearance, they will be in for a lot of transfers. With pre-clearance, they get to go there directly, roughly doubling the number of cities they can travel to as Canadian citizens. That is certainly a big benefit as a traveller.

The other point, which is incredibly important, is that often in this debate, we have a discussion in abstraction about whether or not there will be issues with moving pre-clearance on this side. Aside from the fact that it has already been happening for six decades, there is the point that someone who is already travelling to the United States gets to have that process happen on Canadian soil. The great benefit of that is that individuals have the opportunity to have the full protection of the Canadian charter, the Canadian Bill of Rights, and Canadian law, generally, so that if something were to happen that they did not agree with, there is the opportunity in the process to have that protection on Canadian soil.

It is important to look at this in conjunction with the work we are doing on oversight, more generally, to ensure as we look at our oversight mechanisms more broadly, when someone does have problems, CBSA has independent oversight. Members can see what is proposed with oversight more generally with Bill C-59, which was tabled just yesterday. It was the largest update of our security intelligence framework since the creation of CSIS. It would put in place rigorous and effective oversight, both in the form of a security and intelligence review body, but also in the form of a committee of parliamentarians. I was very pleased to see the Senate adopt BillC-22 without amendment yesterday. It will allow us to bring forward that committee of Parliament.

Therefore, it can be seen that we are looking at oversight, and making sure that the laws and powers that are extended have rigorous oversight. Of course, one of the great advantages of having pre-clearance happen on Canadian soil is the leverage. If something were to go wrong, there is the opportunity to have discussions bilaterally with our U.S. neighbours to ameliorate that.

There have been some questions about different elements of the bill. For example, if people walk into a detention area, they have to explain why they are there. Some people have taken issue with that, saying there should not be unnecessary delays. Of course, that is exactly the language of the bill. One should only be detained for a limited period of time, and it should only be to ascertain necessary information. Some people have asked, why? Very importantly, we could imagine that if somebody walked into a detention area, was just looking around, casing out a pre-clearance zone, and then made a decision to leave, we want to know why they were there, why they showed up. Asking questions in that regard is extremely important.

I spoke to many of these matters when we were at second reading. I want to come to the testimony we heard at committee. The committee had an excellent opportunity to hear from a very wide array of witnesses as to the economic and other benefits that would come as a result of Bill C-23.

We are all aware of the aspirations of the Jean Lesage and Billy Bishop airports. It is important to enumerate and talk about some of the other witnesses we heard from in terms of the benefits of this bill. In conjunction with that, technical briefings were provided to parliamentarians by Public Safety Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency that expanded upon some of the concerns, and I hope answered them.

I would like to go to the individuals from a variety of sectors such as tourism, Canada-U.S. trade, airports, and others. They told the public safety committee how pre-clearance would benefit their businesses. On that basis, I am going to begin with the tourism industry.

Rocky Mountaineer, one of the sites included in pre-clearance expansion, spoke to committee about how the current customs process works at their station in Vancouver, B.C. With routes that run between Vancouver and Seattle, Rocky Mountaineer currently uses post-clearance customs and immigration processes.

For example, on a southbound journey, U.S. customs and border protection officers conduct customs proceedings on arrival in Seattle. It can take 30 to 45 minutes to clear an entire train upon arrival. With pre-clearance, passengers would be cleared as they arrive to the train station, similar to the experience they go through at one of the eight Canadian airports with pre-clearance operations, some of which I was referring to earlier. Instead of a large group of people arriving simultaneously to be cleared, passengers could be managed as they arrive, and check in for their trip. It would be a more comfortable and manageable experience for passengers, and much more efficient for customs and immigration officers. That is the primary goal of Bill C-23 more broadly, to make the traveller experience more efficient, while maintaining security standards at the border.

As the Business Council of Canada pointed out during its testimony to committee, travellers seek out the path of greatest convenience and least resistance in air travel. It is not just the convenience factor, but there is a major economic benefit to the changes being talked about today. As Canadians or others are contemplating what kind of travelling they may want to do this summer, or any point in the year, they are going to choose the options where they are least inhibited, and are going to be dealing with the least number of headaches. Helping facilitate that is only in our best interest, particularly when we are thinking of foreign visitors who may be attempting to travel in and around North America.

Pre-clearance would give Canada a competitive advantage. It would increase the number of destinations Canadians could travel to directly. I gave examples earlier, and Reagan airport in Washington is another great example. Without pre-clearance facilities, a traveller from Ottawa would not be able to fly directly to Reagan because it does not have customs and immigration facilities. I gave the other example earlier of Nashville.

Once travellers would be pre-cleared in a Canadian airport, they would arrive in the United States just like any other domestic travellers in the U.S. It would let them step off the plane immediately, make a connection, head to a meeting, or begin their vacation, all because they were able to pre-clear at the start of their travels in Canada.

The Business Council of Canada further stated that our country has a great desire for increased trade investment in tourism, and expanding pre-clearance would give a tremendous competitive advantage. It is worth noting that, in an age when there is so much competition for trade and commerce, anything we can do to eliminate obstacles and red tape, and move people, goods, and services in a better fashion is only to our advantage. Where we do not put it in place, we have a competitive disadvantage that is incredibly inhibiting. What we heard in testimony is how important it is to have pre-clearance go through to make sure we continue to have a strong competitive advantage.

Billy Bishop Airport also spoke specifically to this advantage. It has worked extensively to bring pre-clearance to the Toronto Island Airport over the last several years, and would work to implement pre-clearance facilities at its airport with the passage of Bill C-23.

I have had the opportunity to meet with the folks who are responsible for Billy Bishop, and they are ready to go. They foresee enormous economic benefits, not only for that airport, but for the entire greater Toronto region, and of course for the Canadian economy.

Billy Bishop welcomed 2.7 million passengers in 2016 alone, generating $2.1 billion as an economic impact per year. It is a huge amount, and that is before it has pre-clearance. It is the sixth-largest departing airport for U.S.-bound passengers, and the ninth-largest airport in Canada. Expanding pre-clearance to Billy Bishop will promote speed, access to increased destinations, and efficiencies, all without compromising security or safety of the border. In fact, from my earlier comment earlier, it would enhance them. It would make sure that Canadians are getting their pre-clearance done on Canadian soil under the full protection of Canadian law.

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the original example of the benefits of pre-clearance, as the original airport to be granted pre-clearance. As the Greater Toronto Airport Authority testified before committee, each new link or flight route is an opportunity for trade and jobs, something I do not think anybody in this House wants to stand between.

Toronto Pearson has become the fourth-largest air entry point into the United States. It pre-cleared six million passengers last year alone. It has had a 30% increase in pre-clearance traveller growth in the past five years. Quite simply, these numbers demonstrate the undeniable need for expansion and pre-clearance. If we see the benefit and impact of pre-clearance at Pearson, and we imagine Billy Bishop and all the other locations that are contemplating pre-clearance, and we magnify that increase in travel and that increase in commerce, it is not hard to get to a very significant number and the billions of dollars in increased activity for our economy.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada spoke to these benefits as well. It noticed last year that $91.6 billion was generated from tourism revenues in Canada alone. Over 627,000 Canadians are employed in the tourism industry. It is a massive number of people who are counting on us to have a regime that works for them, and facilitates movement of people, goods, and services.

As Canada's tourism industry grows, we must ensure that we are doing all we can to modernize, and expedite the flow of people and products across our border with the United States. Not only does pre-clearance attract tourists, but it can attract the air service, and allow airports to offer enhanced connectivity in an incredibly competitive global industry. It is a huge boon for both travellers and airports.

Canadian airports connect and manage over 133 million passengers each and every year. Of those, 9.8 million are tourists to Canada. In 2015, 12 million travellers were pre-cleared in Canadian airports to travel to the United States. The expansion of pre-clearance to additional airports, and other modes of travel, such as rail, will build on the success of pre-clearance operations. The economic and traveller benefits cannot be overstated. As we heard from many in the tourism, airport, rail, and Canada-U.S. trade industries, these changes are absolutely vital. Bill C-23 would ensure that more Canadians have access to pre-clearance, while making border travel and trade easier, more profitable, and more secure.

Perhaps in the closing time that I have, I can go over some of the concerns that have been raised, and how we think those concerns can be fully addressed. One of the concerns that was raised, both during the committee proceedings and outside of them, was the ability for officers to conduct strip searches of travellers in Canada.

The rules governing searches by U.S. pre-clearance officers will be almost the same under Bill C-23 as they are right now. A U.S. officer will still have to ask a Canadian officer to conduct a search involving the removal of clothing. The only difference is that in a rare circumstance that a Canadian officer is unavailable, the U.S. officer would be able to conduct the search. Any search by an officer of either country would be subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is important to note just how rare a circumstance that would be, that a Canadian officer would not be present, but also how important, that if there were not a Canadian officer, that search could still take place.

Sometimes individuals have something on their person that could represent an immediate risk and danger to officers, and if officers are unable to conduct that search, it could put them at great risk, so it is something that cannot be deferred or simply held back.

Some people have asked what protections would exist for a transgender traveller being strip-searched by a U.S. officer. I can say that CBSA has policies in place allowing exceptions to the rule that strip searches must be conducted by an officer of the same sex as the traveller. For instance, in the case of a transgender person, searches of this nature by U.S. preclearance officers in Canada would be conducted in accordance with CBSA procedures and Canadian human rights jurisprudence. U.S. officers would be provided training to ensure that their conduct met these standards. This is yet another benefit of undergoing U.S. border procedures on Canadian soil.

I think I have explained why people have to identify their purpose when they arrive in a preclearance zone, so I will not talk about that any further.

Some people have questioned the term “unreasonable delay”. They have suggested that “unreasonable delay” of someone in a preclearance area is overly vague. Liberals would disagree. The concept of reasonableness is used widely in legislation and case law and usually means that other people in the same situation would reach the same conclusion or behave in the same way.

With respect to officer authorities, it has been used to refer to generally accepted standards. In fact, when the existing preclearance law was being debated in 1999, the NDP at that point argued in favour of adding the word “reasonable” to the section on the use of force as a way of limiting officer authorities. Certainly the NDP, in 1999, agreed that the term was specific enough to provide the protection and coverage required.

Others have questioned whether Bill C-23 would entitle U.S. officers to carry guns in Canadian airport terminals. The answer is no. Let me be very clear on this point. American officers would carry the same weapons as Canadian border officers in the same environment, without exception. Canadian border officers carry firearms at land, rail, and marine ports of entry, so U.S. preclearance officers would do the same. However, Canadian border officers do not carry firearms in airport terminals, so neither would Americans.

The same principle of reciprocity would apply to Canadian officers conducting preclearance in the U.S. One of the important tenets of the agreement reached with the Americans is the element of reciprocity. We would never see U.S.border officers with guns or comporting themselves in ways that would not be applied in the U.S. under similar circumstances.

It is worth mentioning that our hope and aspiration in passing this bill is that not only would preclearance be vastly expanded to include more locations across Canada but that we would see the same economic benefits and the benefits of the rapidity of travel we saw at YYZ . However, we hope, and have every reasonable expectation to believe, that the Americans will themselves also engage in preclearance in the opposite direction, which would have tremendous economic benefits and is something we would open by adopting Bill C-23.

The last question put to us was the question of permanent residents of Canada being denied entry by Canadian preclearance officers in the U.S. That is not a concern. In almost all cases, permanent residents would be treated exactly the same way in preclearance areas as they would be at any other entry point in Canada. The rare exception would be where there was a major issue of inadmissibility, such as serious criminality. Such individuals would still come to Canada, subject to the usual admissibility rules, at an ordinary point of entry. They just would not have the benefit of preclearance.

I hope I was able to outline for the House the tremendous benefits we have before us with Bill C-23. We need to get moving on this so we can help our tourism industry, trade, and Canada more generally.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, for some people, the gut reaction is that we are going to let Americans do that on our soil. Could they do it on Canadian soil and at Canadian airports, or would they have to be on American soil? When people think about it, they will realize that when they are on Canadian soil, they would have the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian law. If we did not have preclearance and people chose to go to American ports of entry, they would have a lot less protection, and the Americans would have more power. I think people would see the benefits of preclearance.

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4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague is absolutely right. Sometimes when we say preclearance, it sounds like an abstract concept. People get confused and do not realize that 12 million people a day are already using preclearance in air travel. Anyone who has travelled to the United States from Toronto Pearson, as an example, has already benefited from this. It has been around for six decades, and the only thing we have seen in that period of time is increased trade, greater ease of movement, and greater access to the United States.

The member makes an excellent point that this is for someone who wants to enter the United States or is attempting to leave the country. At some point, people are going to have to be searched, and the question we should ask ourselves is where that should best occur. Is it best to have that happen on U.S. soil, where there is not the protection of Canadian law and the Canadian charter and where we have very little or minor recourse bilaterally in terms of leverage, or is it best to have it on Canadian soil, with Canadian law and Canadian protection, with a reciprocal agreement that very clearly spells out the expectations with regard to how travellers are handled? It would not just be more efficient. It would not just expand benefits to the economy. There is a very strong argument that this would increase Canadians' protection and rights.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Madam Speaker, it is important to understand that the preclearance agreement is not limited to just airports and train stations.

I believe that the agreement is much broader and could even potentially be extended to include other types of transportation.

I invite my colleague to explain in greater detail the scope of the agreement covering all types of transportation for expanding trade with our neighbour to the south.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I absolutely agree with my colleague’s comments.

The change brought about by the agreement will benefit more than just airports. In my speech, I talked about how it would benefit passenger rail service, particularly in the Rockies, but it would certainly benefit marine transportation, as well. In fact, there are a lot of benefits for cruise ship passengers.

We certainly heard from the cruise ship industry. If we can imagine people who are going to multiple ports of entry in Canada and the U.S., getting those preclearance operations out of the way means they can get to the business of enjoying their cruise. They are not having to go through a whole rigamarole every time they get to a different port.

There are huge advantages to this that extend beyond the airports, and I spoke to some of them in my speech. The hon. member is absolutely correct in highlighting that it is much broader than that.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I can recall a number of years ago when my wife and I were travelling between Seattle and Vancouver, and as we came into the train station, from Seattle into Vancouver, we were caged off in an area with other travellers as we were properly taken through the process of entry.

Can the member comment on the impact if the reciprocal agreements are made? How would this change the experience of people, and how would it further enhance the economic benefits in travel and tourism generally?

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands for sharing his experience. It is important to look at preclearance as one piece in a suite of measures being taken by the government to improve the experience of travelling back and forth across the border. For individuals who do not represent a risk, we want that to be an effortless experience. Obviously, the NEXUS program, the trusted traveller program, is an important component in helping to accelerate it. There are the automated kiosks folks see when they come off a plane. People will notice how fast the experience is as we move in those automated kiosks to accelerate the process.

Preclearance is a component of a broader strategy to help eliminate the kind of experience the member and his wife encountered. Frankly, it is happening every day and is very frustrating for Canadians. At the beginning or end of their trip it is not what they want to be facing. They either want to get to where they are going or they want to get home. We want to make sure we facilitate that.

By enabling it to be allowed on the American side, and by opening it up to more locations on this side, there will be more carefree, worry-free travel. As an example, imagine it from the American side. It could make a difference in someone deciding to visit us or not. If people are looking at their vacation plans, and they have a choice between going to Vancouver or going to Portland, we do not want a negative experience at the border to prohibit them from making a choice to visit Canada and spend their dollars in Canada and help our economy. The suite of things we are working on, not just preclearance, is to get exactly what the hon. member was talking about.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Speaker, it seems that every time a program like trusted traveller or NEXUS is set up, the timelines do not actually shrink, they expand--

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order, please. The hon. member does not have a tie on and therefore is not able to continue with his speech, unless he can magically produce a tie.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Madam Speaker, luckily I am already wearing a tie.

One of the major federal issues in my riding concerns the Mont-Tremblant international airport, in La Macaza. This airport is a port of entry with no customs service on site.

In 2008, a motion to concur in a committee report on the matter was unanimously agreed to by the House; it concerned the airport in the community of La Macaza. The motion, moved by my predecessor, Johanne Deschamps, on June 17, 2008, sought to waive the customs charges at the airport. These charges, which do not apply to the largest international airport, can run over $1,000 per airplane, because officers have to come in from Mirabel for each flight.

Bill C-23 finally provides a solution that will allow more international flights to land in our region, which is supported just as much by tourism as by the forestry industry. By eventually having Canadian preclearance services throughout the United States, we will have the opportunity to have a port of entry that we will really be able to use.

I would like my colleague, the member for Ajax, to give us an idea of the process and the timeframes involved in reaching agreements that will allow tourists to visit the Upper Laurentians by having international flights service the Mont-Tremblant international airport in La Macaza directly. This would also be a boon for the Aéro Loisirs flight school and aviation as a whole.

This is also a great help to a region such as ours that relies so heavily on the airline industry, like other similar airports and communities across the country.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, we will be working on that soon, I hope. That is a good point. It is absolutely true that there are many opportunities to improve the tax impact in Canada with this bill. That is why I hope that all members will vote in favour of this motion.

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5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, I know it is the end of the sitting and I am happy to rise to debate Bill C-23. The ability for me to speak on it is a privilege.

My friend, the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, seemed to end the sitting a little early. He was already changing into Hawaiian shirts for the summer. He did not have his tie on. I have a lot of time for the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, particularly his concern for our men and women in uniform. I know he has been advocating on some mental health reforms, which have had him at odds with the Minister of Veterans Affairs sometimes. I respect him for doing that. I will chide him, but I will also compliment him. He also attended the Highway of Heroes Durham Light Armoured Vehicle launch in Durham last year, and that was an honourable thing to do. When he is appropriately attired, he is a very good member in this place.

Today, I want to take the time I am privileged to have to talk, for a moment, about the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship. It has been commented on throughout the history of Canada. In many ways, we can look to Canada as a country of evolution as opposed to revolution, as one historian said. We certainly both had our roots in the British influence, although of course Canada had two founding nations in France as well. We have the parliamentary democracy in our system of government that we owe to that time. Then Canada evolved with Confederation, which we will be celebrating on July 1, recognizing 150 years of the Dominion of Canada.

Then the statute of Westminster, which kind of cut the cord with the mother country, so to speak, allowed us to emerge following the Great War. Our independent actions were celebrated, quite rightly, in France in April, with the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. Canada very much earned its place on the world state through the blood, sweat, and efforts of our forebearers.

No relationship is more important to us than the U.S. relationship.

Each prime minister has brought their own approach to it, but I do not think any of them would say it is not the most fundamental relationship of which the Prime Minister needs to think.

In fact, the father of the current Prime Minister is quite famous for his quote, which he delivered in Washington. with respect to the U.S. relationship. He said that Canada “is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant...where we feel every twitch and grunt.” That is true. When the American economy stalled in the years of the great recession, it really took the leadership of Stephen Harper and the Conservative government to ensure we were not pulled into the depths of the global recession and the great recession the Americans saw in the United States. I am very proud we did not see that disruption, with hundreds of thousands of people permanently displaced from the workforce. In Canada, we saw a net job gain in excess of a million jobs at the end of the recession.

At times, our policies are similar. At times, we collaborate. Many times in our great history of two countries, we fought alongside one another.

I had the honour as an MP on the veterans affairs committee, to visit the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice in Arlington National Cemetery, some of the most hallowed ground in the United States. Mackenzie King erected a Cross of Sacrifice to the hundreds of Americans who died in the Great War, fighting with Canadian units. We recognize that in both the First World War and the Second World War, Canada was in the war faster than the United States, despite attempts by the government to suggest we had 150 years of peacekeeping in our past. We were in those conflicts alongside our allies and alongside our values before our friends in the United States and their own sons and, in some cases, daughters came to Canada to help the war effort.

We have a proud history as friends, as trading partners, as collaborators, as people who fought and bled together.

In all of those things, along with familial ties, and I am sure a lot of us in this chamber have relatives living and working in the United States, create a bond that is precious. Therefore, the relationship between Canada and the United States of America is critical.

Conservative governments throughout our history, particularly the Harper government and the Mulroney government, took that relationship very seriously, a relationship of equals, fighting for deals, fighting for agreements that were in our national interest. We can get along with a friend, an ally, a neighbour, but we can also fight for our own interests.

The reason I have this long prologue to my speech is because Bill C-23 represents probably the most one-sided ineffective deal I have seen in my four years in politics. I bring to that experience from my time in the military and the private sector.

The relationship between Canada and the United States, under the current Prime Minister, has been a one-sided relationship with two U.S. presidents now. This has been the history of the Liberals. We saw the antagonism under the Chrétien government, with officials from the Prime Minister's Office having to resign for publicly criticizing a U.S. president. One of the Liberal members from Mississauga made inappropriate comments about a head of state. We have seen that relationship frayed and abused under the Liberal governments, and this is a perfect example.

I will use Bill C-23 as the example of that erosion because it comes out of the Prime Minister's trip to Washington last March. On that day, as he is apt to do, the Prime Minister issued a tweet from Washington, which stated, “There is no relationship in the world quite like the Canada-US relationship.” I would agree.

Months later, the Prime Minister introduced President Obama in this chamber, the then president of the United States, before he left office. He embarrassed many of us in the House when he then referred to the two of them as a “bromance” and that these speeches would be an example of “dudeplomacy”. I hope Hansard can get that right. It is an anagram using the words “dude” and “diplomacy”. It is unbefitting for the Prime Minister of Canada to introduce the then president of the United States in our House of Commons that way. It was the same podium where Winston Churchill spoke and gave the “Some chicken! Some neck!” speech in the midst of the Second World War. To now have a Prime Minister who uses such laughable and immature terms shows why our relationship with the United States is fraying.

With that bromance in mind, how did Canada fare under the current Liberal government and President Obama? Within months of the Liberals assuming office, the president cancelled Keystone XL, a pipeline that would have ensured that Canadians got the fair world price, or a more, for our resources. It was a project championed by Canadian industry, by people who get their hands dirty in the oil sands in Alberta. Corporate Canada wanted to fund and finance it so our resource could be refined and we could have multiple options to get a better world price. He cancelled that deal because he knew the new Liberal Prime Minister would simply accept that.

Ironically, the change in politics in the United States has led to a president who is re-evaluating that deal, because Keystone has virtually zero impact on climate change. That assessment is from the U.S. State Department.

Therefore, Obama knew that he would receive silence from the Prime Minister with respect to a decision that hurt our economy and particularly hurt the province of Alberta, which we know is suffering terribly at the moment. Therefore, we lost Keystone under the bromance.

What else did Canada get? President Obama praised the Prime Minister's carbon tax scheme and carbon pricing across the country. However, we certainly did not see President Obama introducing a carbon tax regime in the United States. Therefore, by praising the ill-informed move of the Canadian Prime Minister, President Obama allowed the Prime Minister to put Canada and our North American integrated economy at a disadvantage. The manufacturing facilities in the auto sector and other industries in southern Ontario compete against U.S. plants for business.

The Bakken shale deposit in Saskatchewan does not end at the Canada-U.S. border. Therefore, if there is going to be an input cost for carbon at a plant in Windsor, because of the Prime Minister and Kathleen Wynne plan, and there is not in Michigan mere kilometres away, where do members think the new vehicle will go?

I had the honour of being legal counsel for Procter & Gamble in Brockville. I was very proud that. For many years, every Swiffer pad members used in their homes was made there, in Canada, by people in Ontario. However, these plants are integrated. Of course, consolidation of manufacturing is now happening at an American plant and it has announced the closure of the largest employer in Brockville.

The U.S. president at the time, Mr. Obama, watched as the Liberal Prime Minister put Canada's economy at a competitive disadvantage.

The third issue is defence. Mr. Obama mentioned that in the chamber as well, asking Canada to step up more to meet our NATO requirement, which is 2% of GDP. In the last two weeks, the government released, with great fanfare, a defence policy, but it is fantasy. The Liberals' first two budgets cut $12 billion from defence. However, if we trust them, sometime before 2026, they will put more money back in.

I judge people not by their words but by their actions. I had quoted Mark Twain for the Liberal government. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” The government has platitudes aplenty, but very little action when it comes to supporting our Canadian Armed Forces and supporting our manufacturing and resource sectors.

That brings me to Bill C-23. I am glad my friends on that side are still listening at this point. Hopefully they will see I am right.

Why do I call this the worst deal in Canadian-U.S.?

Some members agree with it and some do not, but the Prime Minister's signature promise was to legalize marijuana. Therefore, this preclearance bill should have anticipated that move. However, I will tell people why this is the most comprehensive change to customs agreements between Canada in the United States.

We are giving the Americans the ability to have American officials search Canadians on Canadian soil, and I wish I were kidding. In clause 5, definitions, of Bill C-23 are frisk search and strip search. I am sad to say this late in the sitting, but in clause 23 is a monitored bowel movement. Therefore, it is an unprecedented, literally, level of access and powers, five enumerated grounds of powers for U.S. officials on our soil, including the gathering of biometric data.

What did we get in return?

The United States and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, ICE, did not even agree to remove one simple question on preclearance: “Have you ever smoked marijuana?” The Prime Minister could not even get that one question removed from the U.S. preclearance. Why is that important? Because, despite Colorado and some of the U.S. states, if a Canadian answers “yes” to that question, he or she can be banned from the United States. Therefore, people will be losing jobs, and we are already hearing of that, at a time when the government is legalizing marijuana.

The Liberal government seems to forget its evidence-based decision-making, which the Liberals talked a lot about in opposition, including my friend for Winnipeg North. It is bad for the public's health. The Canadian Medical Association has criticized this decision. It is also bad on public safety and customs.

Canadians may think it is all fine because the Liberals are legalizing marijuana, but the Americans can still ask them that question, and they can then be banned from travel to the United States.

I was intrigued when the member for Yukon rose in debate here, because the other disaster of the March 10 agreement in Washington was what the Prime Minister did to our Arctic. With zero consultation with the Inuit and first nations of our north, the Prime Minister unilaterally agreed with President Obama to restrict 10% of our waterways and 17% of our land mass in the Arctic from development. Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day. I guess he missed the duty to consult there. President Obama asked him to do it, and he gave a cursory phone call to territorial and aboriginal leaders mere hours before he pledged to give away their right to determine their destiny.

I heard about it when I was in Yukon. I know my former colleague, Leona Aglukkaq, was outraged by the Prime Minister's acting in that fashion. Right now the Prime Minister has not even been to Yukon. He has been to private islands and all over the world, but he has not been to Yukon, and we have no cabinet representation from our Arctic. That was another disaster from the March 10 agreement in Washington.

The Prime Minister and President Obama also talked about the Paris accord, but as I said before, although President Obama praised the Liberal carbon tax, he certainly did not emulate it, and we are now falling further and further behind when it comes to competitiveness on a North American basis.

Bill C-23 is the culmination of a one-way relationship: the Americans get what they want, and under this Prime Minister, Canada accepts. With Bill C-23, the Liberals could not even get the Americans to take one preclearance question out of the ICE questions they can ask Canadians. They could not even get one question removed, but they are prepared to allow American officials to search our people on Canadian soil and they think that is fine.

The relationship between our two countries is critical, but it is also critical to look at it as a relationship of equals. So far, all that I have seen the current government achieve in Washington is a state dinner, tickets for family and friends, and lots of photos. In fact, if we look at the tweets, the public safety minister was more impressed with tours of the Oval Office in Washington in March than he was in securing a deal in Canada's interests. At a time when we are seeing our auto and resources industries falling farther and farther behind, with marijuana becoming legal, people feel they can just voluntarily tell an American official that they have smoked marijuana. They probably do not know that they could lose their ability to travel for work because the Liberals could not get that one question removed.

Finally, the most egregious element of that day in Washington that led to Bill C-23 was the mistreatment of our Arctic and the lack of respect for our Inuit and first nations. The Prime Minister, who talks about healing the relationship as being central to the current government, gave a courtesy phone call to territorial leaders minutes before announcing that he was restricting their ability to be the masters of their destiny over their traditional lands and their traditional waterways.

I am glad my friends on the government side have listened intently. I hope they can reflect on these elements and how critical it is for Canada to have a mature foreign policy with our friends in the United States. I hope they can come back in the fall and rein in the Prime Minister and tell him that we want deals that are not just good for Canada, for our workers, for our first nations, and for our aboriginal people, but we want to make sure that our friends in the United States take us seriously. It is more than just tweets, photos, and state dinners; it is about getting a result that is good for Canada.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Before we go to questions and comments, I want to take the opportunity to thank my colleagues in the House and in the parliamentary precinct and wish them and my constituents and everybody across this great country a great summer. I wish everyone a safe summer. I know all members will work hard in their constituencies, but I hope they enjoy their time with family and friends.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Beaches—East York.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Madam Speaker, I was going to ask the member opposite if he is worried about the cannabis question because he is afraid of saying yes.

On a more serious note, the access to information, privacy and ethics committee has recently undertaken a study of the protection of Canadians' privacy at the border and in the United States. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the BC Civil Liberties Association, and the ACLU testified at committee recently. We walked through the guidance from the government to the CBSA. There was an argument over the extent of the privacy protections, and although there are substantive protections in place for searches, particularly of electronic devices at the border, we heard from the ACLU that there are zero protections for Canadians crossing United States borders and that Canadians who refuse a full search of their electronic devices would be sent back to Canada.

When we talk about preclearance and the protection of Canadians' privacy rights, is it not important to have the searches and questioning of Canadians take place on Canadian soil, with Canadian laws and Canadian protections?

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, I like the member for Beaches—East York for two reasons. I used to live in Beaches, and I like him and the neighbourhood a lot. I also like how he gives people in what used to be called the Langevin Block some headaches. I hope he continues to do that in the run-up to announcing his bid for the NDP leadership. Was I not supposed to say that?

I will answer for the benefit of my friend in Winnipeg North, who has been a good friend the last few weeks. I have quoted him at length, not from this Parliament but the last one. I know he does not like that, so I will answer the question. The answer is no, because I wanted to join the Canadian Armed Forces.

However, I did think in the last Parliament that we should have modernized our approach to cannabis, and I was on the record about that. I and the former Toronto police chief, now a member of this place, had some good debates on that question.

The member has raised a good point. The only way that Canadians can assure themselves of their privacy protections and protections against search and other things granted in Bill C-23 is to withdraw from preclearance, which means not to go to the United States. It is in the bill.

As I said, this was an example of three things that were rushed that day in Washington, and we should take more time to get it right.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, the speech of my hon. friend from Durham was riveting. There is just one really big problem with the thesis, which is that this terrible bill—and I agree with him on that—is not the product of bad negotiations by the current government, but bad negotiations under Stephen Harper, because the preclearance bill was negotiated and concretized in 2015 between the previous government and the Obama administration.

The U.S. Congress passed its version of the bill back in early December. This version, we were told in committee, is take it or leave it, because it is already in an agreement that was negotiated under Stephen Harper. I believe it is better to leave it than to take it, but I did want to correct that aspect of my friend from Durham's narrative, as riveting as it was.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to respond to my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands. I enjoyed my time in her lovely riding during my travels in the last eight months.

She is partially correct. The last government was very close to a deal, but this was one of areas that led to its not being confirmed. In fact, Prime Minister Harper at the time was very well known for his strong advocacy for Keystone, even in the U.S., where he said it was a no-brainer. The member is only partially right. This was a central negotiation point because Harper fought for deals in Canada's interest. I have yet to see this from the current Prime Minister.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Unfortunately, given the time, we have to move on. The hon. member will have about five minutes and 40 seconds left for questions and comments when this item is before the House again.

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.

The House resumed from May 16 consideration of the motion that Bill C-309, An Act to establish Gender Equality Week, be read the third time and passed.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, 50 years ago this year, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women exposed widespread discrimination against women in Canada. Fifty years later, that promise of equality is still not realized.

Liberal and Conservative governments have ignored the commission's recommendations, and successive Liberal and Conservative governments have cut social spending. That has had a direct impact on women's equality. Since 1995, Canada has dropped from first on the UN gender equality list to 25. How long will the Liberal government fail to rectify 50 years of women's inequality?

I will not argue with gender equality week, which is the subject of the debate here, Bill C-309. The government has set a good tone. It has put a lot of women MPs on its front bench. I laud it for that. The Prime Minister talks a good talk on feminism. The tone change is welcome. What we are pushing for is action to match the feminist rhetoric.

Despite the Prime Minister's good words about gender equality, he has failed to act in the year and a half the government has been in power, and the United Nations is calling him on it. The United Nations committee to end discrimination against women told Canada in November to get to work on legal aid, abortion access, pay equity, child care, and indigenous women's safety. The list went on and on. This is a big list and it is a big deal. The UN only digs into countries' commitments around their pledge to end discrimination against women every five years, and this is an important road map for the government to follow.

The government says it cares about the United Nations, says it cares about women, yet the United Nations says that the Liberal government is failing to act.

In February, we saw hundreds of women's groups and human rights and labour organizations calling on the Prime Minister to heed the United Nations' demand and step up for women's equality. The month before, in January, thousands of Canadians marched for women's rights. New Democrats stood with them, but there were no Liberal cabinet ministers I am aware of, although they might have been there. All of us were urging the government to get to work, use the tools it has at hand, use the majority it has, uphold its election commitments, uphold human rights, and make gender equality a reality for all women.

New Democrats have very specific actions in mind, and many of them have been long in the making, but the Liberal government has failed to translate these words into action. We would have wanted to see the government voting for my colleague from Burnaby South's private member's bill, the gender equity act. It had a very specific mechanism that could have moved this Parliament beyond having just roughly 25% women as members.

Canada ranks very low on the world index around the proportion of women. The increments are suggested by Equal Voice, an NGO committed to increasing women's representation in elected positions. They say that at this rate, it is going to take 89 years to reach gender equality in the House. A specific tool would have been helpful, but the government voted against it. In fact, the sponsor of this private member's bill, which purports to represent gender equality, also voted against that bill. The government did not propose its own alternative solution, which was discouraging.

Second, along with the United Nations committee to end discrimination against women, we have been urging the government to adopt a national strategy to end violence against women. That is the commitment Canada made to the United Nations. The government says that it is going to do a much narrower federal strategy instead, which will focus on data collection and internal government operations. That is not the commitment that it made internationally, which was to a national strategy that would exercise federal leadership to coordinate provincial, territorial, and municipal responses around social services and policing so that women in different corners in the country would have equivalent access to justice and equivalent expectation of safety.

Again, that is something that the government still has not done.

A third action that would make a big difference to women on the ground would be to legislate pay equity. I was very glad to have the government support a motion the New Democrats and I brought to the House in February 2016. It agreed to add pay equity to its commitments to Canada. The all-party committee recommended a year ago that by June 2017 legislation be tabled in the House. The government is now saying maybe late 2018. There is no rationale for that. Not a single witness recommended anything later than June 2017. Women have been asked to wait more than long enough, and there is no rationale for ragging the puck on pay equity. It is, honestly, an international embarrassment. We are way behind the mark on this.

A fourth action that would make a real difference to women on the ground would be ensuring no woman or child is every turned away from a domestic violence shelter when they need it. About 500 women and children are turned away every night from domestic violence shelters in Canada. Imagine the danger they would have to feel themselves to be in for them to gather their children, leave their family home, and ask for help. It would be embarrassing, and scary to conger up that courage, and then to be turned away, being told there is no room at the inn. That is heartbreaking.

For indigenous women, we keep hearing again and again that domestic violence shelters on reserve are 100% a federal responsibility. Its commitment is to build five shelters over the next five years. That is just a single digit, while the organization Pauktuutit tells us 70% of Inuit women have no access to any domestic violence shelter anywhere. That is something that would make a difference to people's lives on the ground right now.

We could also support the proposal submitted by my colleague from London—Fanshawe regarding free prescription birth control. It could be included in a pharmacare program. It is very expensive for women, young women especially. Birth control access is a vital part of women's economy, and ability to control their family planning, so they can fully participate in the workforce. The costs of family planning fall disproportionately to women, and real action on this would make a difference.

However, the private member's bill we have before us is simply to celebrate gender equality week. We had urged at committee to tie the enactment of the bill to such a time as pay equity is implemented, then maybe we would have something to celebrate. When I made that proposal, the sponsor said the bill is more intended to give citizens an opportunity to protest for gender equality, to put pressure on the government, to which I said, “This government says it is a feminist government and the Prime Minister is a feminist prime minister, and therefore we do not need to protest. For goodness' sake, women have had decades of practising their protesting, and I really do not think they need to be given any more opportunities.”

Therefore, because no one should ever vote against something as motherhood as this, I am going to support it, and so are my fellow New Democrats. We voted for it at every stage, but let us put those good intentions into action. Let us move beyond these celebratory, emblematic gestures by the government and its members, and let us do the hard work of legislating, so that when this enlightened, feminist government is no longer in power, there will be a legislative framework that the women of Canada can count on to make sure whoever is in power and whatever their intentions, gender equality is guaranteed for women now and in generations to come.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-309, an act to establish gender equality week. I wish to thank and commend the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for presenting this bill to the House. This is an important matter that requires attention. This is one way, among many, to bring this matter the attention it deserves.

I would like to begin by thanking all those who have fought for the rights of women in particular. We have come a long way. However, we know that more work needs to be done. This bill recognizes that, and this government recognizes that.

I recall my own experience when I was at the University of Western Ontario Western Law School. I would walk up and down the hallways, and I noticed on the walls there were pictures of each graduating year. There was something about the picture from 1962 that got my attention. I remember the year clearly because it was the year I was born. What was different about that picture from 1962? It was the first picture of a graduating class that contained a woman.

I looked at the woman in that picture, and I had great appreciation and admiration for her. I thought to myself, what would it be like to be the only woman in a class with a completely male faculty, with only male student colleagues beside me, and what would it be like to get ready to embark upon a profession that was completely male-dominated? I knew at that time that I was in that place because that woman helped pave the way to get me there. I had great gratitude and appreciation for what that woman had done for me.

I am happy to say that my graduating class was almost 50% women. Has there been improvement? Absolutely. Was that a positive step? It sure was. However, in practice, the imbalance was still felt. There was more than one occasion when I was on the phone on files with lawyers, when they asked me to put the lawyer on the phone. I had to tell them that I was the lawyer.

Let us be clear, this is not about forcing women to occupy certain positions, professions, or occupations. This is not about quotas or ideological thinking. This is about ensuring that every woman sees every opportunity, occupation, and profession as something that is available to her, so that she can pursue her dreams. This is about ensuring that every woman sees every position as something that is within reach. This clearly involves a commitment to education and change.

Having served in education for the past 20 years, I have witnessed first-hand its benefits. I have seen the amazing power that our youth possess. Our youth can clearly change the world. It is important to inform, educate, and encourage our youth to support all people, regardless of gender, in pursuing their dreams and goals. This is about ensuring that each person, no matter their gender identity, is able to recognize, and celebrate their gifts and pursue that which enables them to share their gifts with the world.

This bill would encourage schools to have open, full, and robust conversations about gender in the classroom. It would be in and through these conversations that students would more fully support the advancement and inclusion of all people. It would enable youth to consider trades and professions that they may not have believed available to them. It would encourage our young people to strive for justice. I know first-hand how important justice is to our young people. They make great sacrifices in order to ensure that justice is done. Once the educational piece is provided, it would encourage and facilitate active involvement of our youth.

Throughout my experience working as a chaplain in high schools, I have noticed there has been slow change over the last 20 years. For example, I saw more women signing up for the auto class during those past 20 years, and I know that the women have done fantastic in those classes. I have seen some now go on and occupy the position of a mechanic, and the most important thing is, they absolutely love the job.

Is there more that needs to be done? Absolutely, but I am proud of the work that this government has done thus far in terms of knowing what needs to be done and recognizing that. I want to provide an example from my beloved city, Hamilton. Both of our amazing post-secondary institutions, Mohawk College and McMaster University, teach engineering and engineering technology. I know that both of these great schools are working hard to encourage women to apply, but women are still significantly a minority in faculties and as students. We only have to look at the health sciences to see that a male dominated profession can successfully change its culture to open its doors to women.

I think that women start losing interest in science, technology, engineering and math in elementary school and in high school. In my experience, both as a chaplain and as a mother, there can be subtle and even subconscious bias in favour of young men. Perhaps it is as simple as subtly changing the way math is taught or presented in schools, or perhaps making sure that girls and women have also received positive reinforcement that is traditionally provided to young men versus young women in STEM classrooms.

All I know is that we can do much better at welcoming, and including women into the STEM disciplines to access the widest and deepest talent pool as we train data scientists, artificial intelligence experts, and system engineers of the future. I wish to acknowledge and commend the efforts of our Minister of Science who I know is working hard on this.

I know there are many on board on this issue. I know, for example, the Canadian building trades are doing what they need to do in order to encourage women to participate. I have seen presentations given at their meetings. I remember one particular slide that showed up at a presentation they had at their meeting, and the slide was of two people, a woman and a man. It showed the path to get to the successful end, and to succeed in the trade. The man's path was very straight, and there were no obstacles. The woman's path, on the other hand, curved, with obstacles on the way. There was a puddle, a hurdle, and a snake pit. It clearly demonstrated the difference that we need to do more in this area, but that they were working on that in order to make that a reality. There was a plea to be more open and more accepting.

I have met women who are working in the trades, and they are delighted to be bricklayers, pipefitters, or any other worthy trade. Rosie the riveter is alive and well in the Canadian building trades. Women in the trades are thrilled to participate, and are very conscious of their pioneering role. It is always very inspiring for me to speak with them, and hear the stories of them overcoming their challenges to achieve success.

Much work does remain to be done before we achieve gender equality in the workforce. Again, let me stress that gender equality week is not about putting women above men or excluding men from opportunity. Not at all, it is quite the opposite. Gender equality week is about creating an equal playing field, so people of different genders can feel free to participate in any aspect of Canadian society.

Gender equality week is about the fundamental Liberal belief that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and that each one of us deserves to be able to define our goals, and achieve them through hard work with no artificial bias or prejudice creating blocks and obstacles. Gender equality week is more about the freedom of all Canadians, because a society in which each person feels free to choose their future and participate is a confident society, a confident society that generates optimism, hard work, success and prosperity, because every citizen feels like their hard work may be rewarded.

This is the type of society I want to live in, and that is what the bill helps us achieve.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

5:50 p.m.

Liberal

Eva Nassif Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to participate in the debate on the private member's bill introduced by the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore, Bill C-309, an act to establish gender equality week.

Before I begin, I would like to commend the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for the incredible work that he has done. He made a concerted effort to work with all members in a spirit of collegiality to reach a broad consensus on the need to pass Bill C-309, which is an important symbolic gesture for Canada and which will result in an extensive public awareness campaign.

Every year, we will spend a week marking the importance of achieving gender equality in Canada and throughout the world in order to put an end to the systemic discrimination that threatens women on many fronts.

Gender equality week will be a time to shed some light on the obstacles women constantly face in their daily lives and to let Canadians know what they can do to advance this cause.

I mentioned systemic discrimination, and I think everyone here is familiar with the obstacles and the various forms of discrimination that women face in their personal and professional lives. These obstacles are outlined in some detail in the bill's preamble, which describes the various types of challenges women face. It reads:

...in Canada, women are more likely than men to be victims of gender-based violence, including sexual assault and intimate partner violence;

Whereas Indigenous women, be they First Nation, Métis or Inuit, are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence and sexual exploitation;

...Whereas Canadian women face barriers in pursuing and completing post-secondary education and pursuing careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics;

...Whereas Canadian women face challenges in being promoted to executive or board management positions, and those who do reach such positions are often paid less than men in similar positions;

Those are just some of the things that women in Canada and abroad experience. I thank the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for including them in this bill.

We know we have to raise people's awareness of these problems and tackle them by adopting pragmatic policies that position us to support women throughout their lives, to provide them with services that are flexible enough to adapt to the new professional and day-to-day realities facing Canadian women, to enable women to achieve their professional goals, whatever they might be, and to end violence against women. This bill was introduced by a male member of the Liberal caucus, which I see as a good sign. More men need to stand up for women's equality in Canada.

Awareness is key. We need to promote a cultural and ideological ideal. We need to build a society that fights for gender equality and does not perpetuate stereotypes and their preconceived notions of inferiority and natural tendency.

This is another step toward dismantling social concepts of masculinity and femininity that use poorly defined behavioural standards to restrict how people interact and participate in public and private spaces.

We know that every aspect of society benefits when different points of view are expressed. The Standing Committee on the Status of Women, of which I have the honour of being a member, heard many accounts describing the benefits of having women on boards of directors, in politics, and in every aspect of management in our businesses and public institutions.

Businesses are more successful and generally project a more positive image when they have many women on staff as well as in management positions. This is not a statistic, it is a fact, and yet women are often left out of positions where they might contribute to decision-making, which is unfortunate for society as a whole.

The time has come to do away with the prejudices and concerns around hiring women that stem from preconceived notions. Bill C-309 can serve as a catalyst toward helping fulfill Canada's commitment to gender equality education and awareness.

Everyone knows that to achieve true gender equality and to lift countless women out of the cycle of poverty, discrimination, and marginalization, there needs to be a major cultural shift in how we recognize women's contribution to society, both in their public and private lives.

It is important that we recognize the work that goes into supporting the family unit. This work, often undervalued, continues to fall on women because traditional gender roles still result in women often being the ones to provide care. This prevents women from entering the workforce and permanently delays or degrades their economic potential and, by extension, the economic potential of the entire country, through loss of talent. We need to reverse this trend so that women can work in the same areas and have the same responsibilities as men, both at home and in the workplace, so they can be empowered, become independent and fully achieve their social and economic potential.

The federal government, with its many initiatives, is working to improve gender equality in Canada and around the world, including through the following investments: $7 billion over 10 years to create and maintain high-quality child care spaces; over $11.2 billion over 11 years for an inclusive national housing strategy; the new tax-free Canada child benefit, especially helpful for families headed by single mothers; a new $40-million fund from the Business Development Bank of Canada for technology companies headed by women, made up of venture capital and growth capital; and an additional $10 million for regional initiatives to help women start businesses.

This bill will support the commendable efforts already underway by officially institutionalizing gender equality. It will create an annual week recognizing women’s equality in Canada, so that gender equality will finally be recognized as a cultural norm. As well, by promoting women’s empowerment, the bill will ensure that we can finally see more women on corporate boards, more women in politics, and more women in science and technology. This will be the ideological centrepiece for a series of pragmatic, feminist policies.

In closing, I wish to point out that Bill C-309 is a very important step toward launching a comprehensive and extended awareness-raising campaign on gender equality. The only way to drive real change is to educate and raise awareness on this issue. I hope that my colleagues will vote in favour of this bill, with amendments, in order to support our ongoing efforts to achieve gender equality in Canada. The more we fight for this cause, the more Canadian women will benefit.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6 p.m.

Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to Bill C-309, an act to establish a gender equality week in Canada.

One might ask why the bill so important. We are in 2017. There should be a standard notion that men, women, gender non-conforming individuals, and transgender people are all equal. We all know that is not the case. Although our government has taken quite a few steps to ensure we have risen the profile of women in our gender-paired cabinet, the number of women in caucus, and the number of women in the House, plenty of work still needs to be done.

I will give the House some examples from my life. In case members have not noticed, I am a black woman in the House of Commons. It is quite rare still have black women in this place. I am one of two black women in the House.

In my role, I stand on the shoulders of many who came before me. However, when we look at women in business and politics, statistics show that only 20% to 30% of them are in senior level positions, sit on boards, or in positions of power. Less than 10% of women with disabilities, indigenous women, racialized women, women of the LBTQ2, transgender, non-conforming, religious minorities are in these positions. Maybe 3% to 4% of individuals of these particular minority groups are on boards or are in positions of power. That needs to change.

The barriers these individuals face need to be removed. How do we start to do that? By first acknowledging the situation, which is women, especially minority women and vulnerable women, are not afforded the same opportunities as men.

I have two daughters and a son. It is interesting in my household. My son is a math and science guy but he is also a dancer. He does ballet, acro, and has just taken up jazz. My daughters are very focused. My eldest daughter is going off to law school. My middle daughter is very much into the arts but also very much math and science oriented. They have parents who really push education, who push the fact that they have the ability to do anything they want to do.

This bill would allow others who might not be afforded the same opportunities as my children to see those examples throughout a very targeted, very specific demonstration of the capability of women and girls. When they grow up, they will be able to choose what they want to do.

I want to speak specifically now to my role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development. In that role, we have made it very clear that we will put women and girls at the centre of everything we do. We know from various studies that if women are allowed to rise to their full potential, if we invest in women and girls with respect to sustainable development goals, education, health care, and reduce poverty, there can be a $12 trillion to $28 trillion injection into our global GDP.

What does this mean? It means that at the current pace, we are not tapping into the great potential women and girls bring to our economy.

It is not only about dollars and cents, but sometimes it is best to speak about dollars and cents. I am a business major, so I like to think of the return on the investments that we make in everything. When we make those investments in women and girls, it is important to know that most often it is the women who return that investment to their communities, sometimes in the fold of 80% to 90%.

They return that investment by making sure their children are okay, that their families are okay, and making sure that their communities are okay. In fact, oftentimes when lower-developed countries would make this investment in women, the women would take what little resources they had, and they would save it and then share it with other women to make sure that those other women had opportunities.

A gender equality week would allow us to profile the stories of these women. It would allow us to say that these are the things that women are doing around the world; women who have the means and the capabilities to make change, and women who are taking what little they have and making change. It is very important we highlight these opportunities that women can use to make their communities and countries better.

What have we done? I have explained that as a Black woman in this House, there is still a lot further that we need to go. This government has been very deliberate in taking a whole-of-government approach to looking at the issues around gender equality. We have made investments in child care and affordable housing. We have made investments in social infrastructure and transit, making sure that people, women in particular, can get to and from work. We have made investments in shelters to ensure that there is adequate space for women who are fleeing violence and particularly damaging situations. We have made investments in a gender-based violence strategy and the Minister of Status of Women had the opportunity to present that earlier this week. We have made investments in seniors in well.

All of these investments allow us to look at, through various lenses, the barriers that women face when they want to embark on a career, start a family, and make choices about what they want to do with their lives. This allows them to get some of those barriers out of the way. Again, a week focused on gender equality would give us an opportunity to highlight, and amplify some of the necessities to ensure that barriers that face women, barriers that face minority women, and barriers that are in front of various vulnerable groups of women are not only removed, but also that the time is taken to address and study them.

What this bill really encourages Canadians to do is to recognize there are issues in terms of gender equality in this country, and also to take the opportunity to recognize that rights of women are fundamental human rights. There is capacity for our government and for society to integrate women's issues into everything they do, and it is something that we take seriously as a government. We do it here domestically, and we are also putting it into our international development policy to ensure that women and girls stay front and centre, and that gender equality is a human rights issue as well.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand in support of this bill because it reinforces what we are doing at home, as has been very well articulated by my colleague, but also what we are doing globally. As Canada pursues its progressive free trade agenda, it very much puts the well-being of women at the centre, as well as other marginalized groups, particularly those in the LGBTQ community or with disabilities. We are doing that because we know that women's welfare is at the heart of the strength of families and communities.

As I travel as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Trade around the world, I make it a point in every country I go to, to host a roundtable of women in international trade because I want them to understand that they are helping Canada to achieve its goals of equality for women. What I find is that whether I am in a strict Muslim country, or a communist country, or a country very similar to ours, our progressive trade agenda is being celebrated, and women are attaching to it, because they know the difference it makes when women are empowered and when women are thriving in business.

I believe that our government's progressive agenda is actually suggesting to the world that women will be one of the greatest drivers of progress the world has ever seen, and the bill allows us to say that to Canadians, and as Canadians to take responsibility for that because who are we to travel around the world and suggest that what we think our progressive trade agenda is all about includes women everywhere else.

The current reality facing women globally is that we continue to be less represented in the workplaces of the world. We make less money than men. We do more menial jobs. We face discrimination at work, and we face discrimination when we access services. We are subject to violence because of our gender. We face barriers to education. We carry the lion's share of raising children. Frequently, we are denied the right to determine the fate of our own bodies.

Those statements sound quite bold, and maybe they sound like exaggerations, but they are not. From my perspective, the point of the bill is to allow us to say those things out loud, and to allow people to reflect on their experience as women or men, and ask themselves, have I stretched in order to ensure that women have the same opportunity as men do?

Increasing the participation of women in society improves the lives of women, families, and communities. With regard, for example, to the well-known micro-financing lender, the Grameen Bank, it came to the conclusion after several years that the best investment was to make micro-loans to women. About 97% of the world's largest micro-financing bank lends to women, and there are several concrete reasons and several concrete outcomes. One is, women pay it back. They are less of a risk. Second, when they have money, they invest first of all in their children; second, in their home; third, in their community; and fourth, in themselves. I forgot to mention that they also tend to bring other women with them, and share with them the opportunity.

We know that this has been very successful as it is highly documented. It is also well documented that when a corporate board is equally made up of women and men, the bottom line is that much stronger. I would suggest there are reasons related to the reasons I just gave for that, so what we are doing by not establishing this week, as one tool that we have, is that we are essentially saying we do not want to realize our full potential as a society. We do not want to extend to each and every Canadian equal opportunity. We cannot stand proudly on our progressive free trade agenda unless we are doing this equally at home.

In the times we face right now, the world looks at our progressive trade agenda as a beacon of hope that is very much needed. That is going to be powered by the women in Canada, and the women around the world who relate to the policies of our government. They are the ones who will be celebrated in the bill, and in this week that I certainly hope we will be celebrating this fall.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to gender equality.

The Government of Canada is committed to making gender equality a priority. Gender equality is about more than just equality between women and men. Indeed, every individual should enjoy the same rights and opportunities, regardless of their gender.

We are proud to support the creation of gender equality week, and we invite all Canadians to join us in this celebration.

Despite increased prosperity, women continue to face key barriers linked to gender inequality. Women with disabilities, indigenous women, senior women, and women who are members of visible minority groups are also particularly vulnerable to inequality. Furthermore, transgender and non-conforming individuals face further marginalization due to prevailing gender norms and attitudes within Canadian society.

The intention of gender equality week is to recognize aspects of Canadian society where women have not achieved equality and to promote awareness of these inequalities. The week would also serve to educate Canadians on opportunities to promote gender equality and actively address issues that may contribute to inequality.

Gender equality week would also serve to educate Canadians on the non-binary nature of gender and provide information on issues facing gender-diverse individuals.

From a public policy perspective, gender equality week would provide additional opportunity for the Government of Canada to underscore the importance of gender equality and the ongoing need for gender-based analysis in the development of government programs and services.

October is currently celebrated as Women’s History Month in Canada and includes International Day of the Girl on October 11 and Persons Day on October 18.

Recognizing gender equality week in September could be an opportunity to generate and sustain awareness on gender equality issues more broadly. There are no anticipated legal, financial or federal-provincial-territorial implications associated with this bill.

By the first week of October, educators and students will have settled into their fall routines. This presents an opportunity for thoughtful and robust engagement on the subject of gender equality in Canada. Bill C-309 also complements Women's History Month, in that it highlights the important work that remains ahead of us.

Canadians will have an opportunity to address these challenges, since the federal government cannot solve all of them alone. Bill C-309 encourages all levels of government, indigenous communities and organizations, academia, the private sector, not-for-profits, the media, and civil society at large to participate in a national conversation to raise collective awareness of these challenges and to identify constructive solutions.

In addition to national engagement on these issues, it is hoped that engagement in gender equality week will take on a local character through community-based activities ranging from town halls and research proposals to fundraising initiatives.

It will thereby serve as an effective vehicle for members of Parliament to build and strengthen relationships within their communities. This bill creates an annual platform that encourages all Canadians to recognize gender equality as a fundamental human rights issue linked to other policy areas, such as health care, crime, poverty, discrimination, and inequality.

We intend for Bill C-309 to complement and work in tandem with our government's plan to address these challenges by building momentum around achieving true gender equality in Canadian society.

My party and I will certainly support such a worthwhile bill.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to talk about my hon. colleague's bill and the importance of recognizing that gender equality means so much. It is not just about men and women; it is about transgendered people, indigenous persons, persons with disability, and a recognition that education is one of the ways to spread this message.

I am a mother of two daughters: one is a lawyer and one is a teacher. I like to think that they have equality of opportunity. Part of the reason they have had more equality of opportunity than generations before us is, as my mother and grandmother, who both worked in trade unions said to me, “There were many women in generations before us who helped get us to where we are today.” It is part of my responsibility as a member of Parliament, as a woman, and as a concerned and engaged Canadian, when we talk about education, that we take the opportunity to educate the general public, and also employers, organizations, and those who would be in a position to provide that opportunity.

This is Pride Month. What a wonderful way to celebrate Pride Month, by acknowledging that gender equality and equality of opportunity are key to recognizing citizens in our country who do not always have the easiest path forward.

I look forward to working not just with the member opposite but with all members in this House to make sure that we are doing our part, not just to educate, but to celebrate the diversity that is our country, the opportunities that will allow my daughters and my granddaughter to be able to find ways to contribute in a way that recognizes that diversity, that we do not have a set of expectations that people should conform, that they should fit into a mould, but that there are opportunities that will allow us all to be the individuals we are.

This bill to support a gender equality week is something that I think all of us as MPs should and can get behind.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we conclude third reading of Bill C-309, I would like to take the opportunity to once again express my sincere thanks to my colleagues in this House, and to all those who have been involved in shaping and championing this bill, an act to establish gender equality week.

I would like to spend the final minutes of this debate acknowledging the work of three men in particular among all those who inspired my work on Bill C-309.

Our Prime Minister, who proudly and regularly describes himself as a feminist, has challenged men to do more to support women and Canadians of minority gender identity and expression in an effort to achieve gender equality. He leads by example, having appointed the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canada's history, and he empowers his ministers to systematically apply gender equality and equity considerations to both their domestic and international work.

Day by day, much of the credit also goes to our amazing parliamentary staffers right here on Parliament Hill. My own executive and legislative assistant, Adrian Zita-Bennett, proudly hails from Mississauga—Lakeshore, and he has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the stakeholder consultations and in the drafting of the preambular paragraphs of Bill C-309. As a young professional, Adrian is passionate about social justice, and he has pledged himself to doing what he can to help bring full gender equality to our country.

The third man is Glen Canning. Members of this chamber will remember the Rehtaeh Parsons tragedy. Rehtaeh was a Nova Scotia teenager who was sexually assaulted by four males at a home near Halifax in November 2011. She took her own life on April 4, 2013, following months of bullying, cyber-abuse, and victim-blaming. Glen Canning is Rehtaeh's father. I had the honour of meeting him a short while ago at a fundraiser for Interim Place, which is a local women's shelter in Mississauga, where he told Rehtaeh's heartbreaking story. Today, four years after Rehtaeh's death, Mr. Canning is an activist and writer, courageous and tireless, who is doing what he can to stop sexual violence in Canada.

I spoke with him by telephone yesterday, and I asked him if there was a message that he would like to relay to this House and to Canadians. He told me that one of the most important goals is to equip young men with the right tools and knowledge to be able to stop acts of sexual violence or harassment against women and girls when they witness them. If Bill C-309 will help to ensure that every man and every boy in Canada knows about Rehtaeh Parsons' story, and other stories like hers, for that reason alone it will have done a great deal of good.

I wanted to highlight these three examples of men who have stepped up and are taking action because, in my view, it is very important that men in increasing numbers become champions of all aspects of gender equality: sexual and intimate partner violence; the gender wage gap; the continuing disparity of opportunities for women in the STEM careers and male-dominated fields such as law enforcement, aviation, or the armed forces; the plight of Canada's indigenous women; and numerous other areas, as outlined in Bill C-309's preambular paragraphs.

Women and Canadians of minority gender identity and expression simply cannot and should not do this work alone. Many men are already actively involved through the HeForShe campaign and through important community-based efforts across our country. These men, in turn, will inspire more men and boys to join them, as there is much more work to be done and more help needed.

It is my aspiration that Bill C-309, an act to establish Gender Equality Week, will serve as a platform to support this work through a focused national discussion each year, not only to raise awareness among Canadians and to take stock of the remaining challenges but also, through stories like Rehtaeh's, to emphasize that the status quo is simply untenable. We must continue to take action on gender equality.

I have had the great privilege of working on this bill with colleagues from all parties in this chamber over the past several months. I look forward to engaging with our colleagues in the other place in the months ahead.

Once again, I express my sincere thanks to all supporters of Bill C-309. I am grateful for everything they are doing to champion this very important cause.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Gender Equality Week ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States, be read the third time and passed.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-23 today. Since the last time this came up in the House, we have gone through the committee review process, and I would now like to share some of my thoughts.

I would like to begin, though, by reiterating why we, New Democrats, are opposed to Bill C-23. First, it grants egregious powers to American officers on Canadian soil. I want to make it clear that we recognize the benefits of preclearance, which is already happening. That is why we have to wonder why expanding a system that is already working very well means giving American officers all of these additional powers. We never did get an answer to that question from the minister or other experts who testified in favour of the bill.

The government's main argument, which we heard earlier in the parliamentary secretary's speech, is about the economic benefit of expanding the preclearance process, which would happen in more airports, train stations, and eventually, border crossings.

If that is the only argument in favour of doing this, we need to ask ourselves what justifies these additional powers.

Let us go through some of the powers to be given to American agents, on Canadian soil, through the bill and through the deal that was been signed by the Government of Canada and the U.S. administration.

First, there is the excessive powers of American agents in a situation where a traveller chooses to leave a preclearance zone. The minister assures us this is okay, that it simply has to do with the safety and integrity of these preclearance zones. We have police, CBSA officers, and other forms of security in airports already. Therefore, it is difficult to understand why an American agent would be given the power, on Canadian soil, to question a Canadian who chooses to leave the preclearance zone and, even in some cases, detain that individual under the vague language in the bill.

A Canadian would rightfully say that this seems reasonable, that if someone leaves the preclearance zone, it must be suspicious. That is not the case. We have seen some of the treatment Canadian citizens receive at the border. They are victims of American agents based on their religious beliefs, or the colour of their skin or their country of origin. This was testimony at committee. Who is to say that Canadians of certain origins might decide that an abusive line of questioning is not something they are willing to accept, so they decide to take their bags and go home. That would be sufficient reason to leave the preclearance zone. Unfortunately, under the bill, and under the agreement, that would allow the American officer, on Canadian soil, to potentially go all the way to detain them and interrogate them. We find that unacceptable.

The other very important matter has to do with strip searches, another issue raised by the parliamentary secretary. We can all agree that we give up some of our rights when we go through customs. For instance, we allow our luggage to be searched. Still, I have difficulty understanding why we should allow American agents to search Canadian citizens on Canadian soil.

The bill states that if no Canadian agents are available or willing to do the search, perhaps because they do not consider it necessary, an American agent may do it. The minister justified this by saying that it is nothing to worry about because in the 60 years that preclearance has existed, no Canadian agent has ever been unavailable or unwilling to do a search.

Just because the exception happens to prove the rule in this case does not mean that this legislation safeguards the rights and freedoms of Canadians.

Legislation cannot be drafted on the premise that the exceptions prove the rule. Our legislation must be robust and comprehensive in order to ensure that there are no potential loopholes that would allow the rights of Canadians to be violated on Canadian soil.

The other issue is with regard to the carrying of firearms. The bill, based on reciprocity found in the agreement, would exempt American agents from elements of the Criminal Code that would normally prevent an American agent officer from carrying firearms on Canadian soil.

The minister has assured us that there are memoranda of understanding that it is reciprocity, and that this would only happen in places where Canadian border officers are already carrying firearms. The example the minister gave was at Pearson airport where the Peel Regional Police ensures security. The American agents would not be carrying firearms because Canadian agents do not. It is the local police that ensure the security of the airport.

I asked the minister in committee if he could tell me, given the fact that the bill would specifically create these Criminal Code exemptions, if there was any other legal provision or protection beyond memoranda of understanding, which have no legal authority, and the agreement, that would prevent an American border officer from carrying a firearm. The response received was no response at all. There are no guarantees to say there is any legal remedy for an American officer that might be in said airport, for example, at Pearson, on Canadian soil carrying a firearm. That is not acceptable.

In committee, we identified a number of problems with the process. I asked officials from the Department of Public Safety a question in order to find out what regulatory changes would be made. The government is making regulatory changes to address the cases of people who are exempt from certain procedures. Take, for example, employees who work in a port and who would need access to a preclearance area to do their job every day. They would not be subject to American authority while at work, which is the least we could expect. These are the kinds of exemptions that the regulations would change.

In committee, we debated a bill that makes fundamental changes, yet no one was able to tell us what regulations would be changed. Everyone knows that regulations are not subject to debate in the House because parliamentarians do not vote on them. One fundamental problem with the changes made by the agreement and by Bill C-23 has to do with the minister's discretionary power.

I will give the department credit because it did provide a written answer to my questions. However, in the written answer, the department indicated that it was uncertain which regulations would be affected. We think it is unacceptable that we are not being given a definitive answer on this.

The government's main argument around all these issues around Canadians' rights potentially being violated by American border officers on Canadian soil is not to worry because Canadian law and charter rights apply. That is what the bill says, but what would the bill actually do?

In committee, witness after witness reminded us that, because of the State Immunity Act and how the bill is drafted, there really is no legal remedy. Even the Conservative public safety critic sitting on the committee, the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, agreed that there is no legal recourse.

Why is that important? The protections accorded to us as Canadians by law and charter, if those rights are violated, what do we need to do? We need to go to court to uphold those rights. If we cannot bring the American officer to court, based on how this bill is drafted, then there is no remedy. Those charter protections are just words on paper and not given force of law and force of our constitutional rights. That is totally unacceptable to us.

A specific argument was raised both in committee and here in the House. The Liberals claimed they were bound by the agreement to enact certain provisions, and that they were sorry if some members did not like it. They added that the agreement was negotiated and signed under the previous Conservative government and under the Obama administration, and not under the current president, and we have to live with it.

It takes courage to say that this is a bad agreement. After the study in committee, where we heard from groups like the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, various associations representing Canadians from countries targeted by President Trump's executive orders, and the Canadian Bar Association, we concluded that it was a bad agreement. It takes courage to tell the Americans that we will not allow the rights of Canadians to be jeopardized because of the presence of American agents on Canadian soil. I think that is the minimum we can do.

The Prime Minister himself actually said that if Canadians are subject to racial profiling or their rights are violated at customs, at least it will happen in Canada where they are protected by Canadian laws and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

What this really tells me is that we currently have a serious problem regarding how American agents are treating Canadian citizens at the border. The situation is completely unacceptable.

The previous government signed the agreement. The former public safety minister, now the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, signed the agreement with his American counterpart, but the Conservatives did not get the bill through the House to set up the legislative measures needed to implement the agreement. I gather from what they said in committee that the Conservatives felt there were problems with the agreement. They may not be as disappointed as us about the loopholes this will create, but even the Conservatives on the committee recognized that it would not be appropriate for an American officer to strip search someone on Canadian soil.

It is about time, when it comes to dealing with the Americans, that we have a government that understands that when we negotiate, we do not just give. We have to get something in return, and in this agreement, beyond the expansion of where pre-clearance takes place, all we have seen here is the government being really willing to roll over, and give all these new powers to American agents on Canadian soil.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order. It is nice to see everyone getting along, but I want to remind hon. members there is a speech taking place, and I would like everyone to pay the attention I am paying to it. It is actually quite interesting. If hon. members are having discussions on the side, I ask them to take it to the lobby, or maybe just whisper rather than talking across the aisle.

The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I were a member of the government, and saw how things were going in the Senate and the position the Liberals have put themselves in, I suppose I would be stirring around in the House in the same way.

We realize that the Liberals have said they are disappointed in withdrawing from Paris, and they remain completely silent on the matter of Trump's travel ban, which was outright discrimination, and flew in the face of everything we should stand for as Canadians. This is exactly what we have here with this agreement.

Once again, we see Liberal MPs in committee saying, “It is too bad. That is what the agreement is, and we have to live with it.” No, we as New Democrats refuse to just live with it. We will not accept creating loopholes in legislation just for economic gain, which we acknowledge pre-clearance can bring, just to give all these extra powers that just simply are not necessary.

If pre-clearance, as it happens today, right now, before the adoption of this legislation, is so great, as the government tells us, I keep asking the same question that I asked at the outset of my speech. Why do the Americans need all these new powers? I guess the answer would be simply because they asked for them. That is not justification enough for creating a situation where American officers can limit Canadians' rights on Canadian soil. We will not accept that.

I want to wrap up by saying that we proposed a number of amendments in committee that would have added the necessary legal protection. We even wanted to change the word “sex” to “gender” to protect transgender people.

I remember that, on the day of the photo with the pride flag and the Prime Minister in front of Parliament, everyone was running up for a picture, as usual. The government was too chicken to agree to that change so the language of the bill would be in sync with the times, open, and inclusive. They are happy to do photo ops, but they refuse to protect transgender Canadians in the legislation, and yet they go on about walking the talk.

We proposed amendments that would have guaranteed protections for Canadians. A strip search would be conducted only by a Canadian agent on Canadian soil. The government rejected that. We also proposed amendments to ensure clearer language, for instance regarding something the bill calls “lawful authority”. This is important considering how the bill is currently drafted. In fact, “lawful authority” could be an executive order. It could be the kind of executive order that states that all travellers, whether they are Canadian from Canada or from anywhere else in the world, who enter the United States must unlock their cellphone and social networks. This could be unconstitutional and yet this bill leaves the door wide open to that.

Once again, that is completely unacceptable.

We see the uncertainly with regard to the cavalier way in which the current U.S. administration treats cellphones at the border, for example. A Canadian from Vancouver was turned away at the Washington state border because American agents went through his cellphone. When they realized his sexual orientation, they were afraid he was going to the U.S. to be a sex worker.

Who is to say we will not see that kind of thing happen on Canadian soil? It is very possible with the way the bill is drafted.

In closing, I want to reiterate that when it comes to free trade agreements or any other agreement to be negotiated with the United States, Europe, or any other country we might deal with, we in the NDP will never agree to sacrificing the rights and freedoms of Canadians, especially on Canadian soil, let alone for an administration like the current American administration. That is non-negotiable.

We recognize the economic benefits of preclearance and the convenience of it under the current regime. However, there is nothing to justify negotiating an agreement that gives the big end of the stick, in fact the only stick, to American agents, on Canadian soil, to breach the rights of Canadians. We will never will stand for that.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on the work he has done on the bill. I also thank him for his expression of support of the notion of preclearance but highlighting the fact that the bill goes above and beyond simply preclearing people in Canada. It actually presents significant threats to the rights of Canadians on Canadian soil. He raised the example of American border agents being able to compel Canadians to provide their passwords to their phones and then being able to look through them.

Under the bill, Canadians will not be allowed, if they feel they have been treated unfairly, to simply walk away. Once they are in the hands of American border agents, despite being on Canadian soil, they will be unable to leave.

Could the member expand a bit more on what that means for Canadians? We are told by the government that Canadians ought not to worry because this will happen on Canadian soil and they will enjoy the full protection of Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My understanding is that this is simply not true.

Could he better explain the mechanics of how the bill would deprive Canadians of the usual protection of law they would expect on their home soil?

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the issue of cellphones. I had the opportunity to sit in on the ethics committee just last week when it was doing a study of privacy at the border. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and even their American counterpart, the ACLU, were talking about how critical this issue is. The two Canadian associations represented on that panel both raised the issue of the language in Bill C-23 with regard to pre-clearance and the consequences that can have, given a future presidential executive order that might come down relating to the search of cellphones.

The fact is, the parliamentary secretary, on a media panel we did when the bill was first debated in the House, said that we need not worry because there is an internal departmental directive. I am sorry, but I am not going to protect Canadians' rights with an internal departmental directive. I want it to happen in the legislation that is tabled in the House of Commons. This leads us to another debate, which is the fact that we need to update our laws based on how we treat cellphones at the border, but that is a whole other discussion in and of itself.

Regarding the specific question as to the actual remedies that exist, charter rights and Canadian law are mentioned in the bill as applying, but if we cannot take the person committing the offence to court because of other parts of the bill, then we have no legal remedy. What good are those protections if we cannot actually have them upheld in court and have any sort of consequence on the American officer, in this case, committing the offence? It is not just me who is saying that, but it is what, among others, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, told us in committee with regard to how the State Immunity Act plays out in this legislation.

Members do not have look to New Democrats, but they need to look to committee testimony from the independent witnesses and experts who specifically told us that this would be an issue. As I said, even my Conservative counterpart agreed with me. The Conservative public safety critic said that there would be no remedy, and he is a lawyer, so we can take his word for it, too.

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6:50 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am also a lawyer, but the member does not have to take my word for it either.

I was very pleased to be at the table at committee, although, again, I would have rather had my rights restored to present amendments at report stage. However, I did present about 12 amendments on Bill C-23 at clause-by-clause in committee.

To zero in on what is wrong with the bill, it is the nitty-gritty areas, and I completely agree with my colleague's speech. If we look at what is called “traveller’s obligations” in the bill , when a traveller is in this pre-clearance zone, which is still Canadian territory, it is interesting that if the traveller chooses to withdraw, the traveller does not just have to answer questions from the pre-clearance officer for purposes of identification, but the traveller must also provide reasons to assist the agent in determining the person's reason for withdrawing. The person should not have to offer a reason for deciding, on Canadian soil, to leave a place where he or she is being made to feel uncomfortable for any reason.

Again, as the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said:

We are aware of no sufficiently compelling justification to eliminate the right to withdraw in situations where there is no reasonable suspicion of an unlawful purpose on the part of the traveller.

I think we in this place agree generally that pre-clearance is a good and convenient thing for travellers, but is it worth taking the risk of reducing the charter-protected rights of Canadians? It is fine to say that the U.S. officers operating on Canadian soil will be trained on how to apply the charter, but it seems to me that U.S. agents on U.S. soil seem to be only dimly aware of their own Bill of Rights, and therefore, I do not think they are going to become experts on our charter.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, given that my colleague is also a lawyer, I will take her word for it as well, with pleasure. I was pleased to support many of her amendments. Many NDP amendments, if not quite identical, sought to accomplish the same goals. I want to thank her, in particular, for some of the amendments she proposed to change the language to protect permanent residents from some of these egregious powers. They could be particularly victimized in the event that they chose to withdraw from the preclearance zone. As MPs working with many permanent residents on the path to citizenship, we would not want these overarching powers for Americans to threaten their ability to get citizenship.

More specifically, to the notion of how things are perceived by an American officer versus a Canadian one, an issue with this bill is what would be considered reasonable suspicion. With some of the horror stories we have heard in the news lately, when even groups like the Girl Guides of Canada do not want to travel to the U.S. anymore because of how they might be treated at the border, we know that the threshold for reasonable suspicion is very different for an American officer than for a Canadian one. That is the problem when it comes to these kinds of situations. That is why my colleague and I proposed the amendments we did.

People may choose to withdraw from the preclearance zone because, for example, they refuse to answer a question like, “Why do you go to that mosque?” That is obviously a question that is purely racist in intent. When a question like that is posed, and a person says he or she will go home and not be treated that way, as the bill stands right now, that could be considered reasonable suspicion, which would lead to the detention measures, and so forth, in the bill. That is not something New Democrats are going to accept.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to congratulate my colleague on his very informative speech. His expertise never ceases to amaze. I am very proud to work with him.

I have a question for him. He provided a lot of information on the reasons for his opposition to and dissatisfaction with the bill. I have a rather simple question about the botched nature of the bill and the many gaps in it.

A few months ago, we might have thought that the Liberals had an idea, a tactic, or a reason for acting the way they are, but does it not just boil down to incompetence? They are being lazy and introducing flawed bills. I see it in so many other areas. I would like my colleague's opinion on that.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his kind words. He is praising me while the government is criticizing me.

This is very important. As I said, it is not as though we were debating a bill on a free trade agreement. This bill is on an agreement that was negotiated by the previous government. The Liberals tried to get out of it by saying that it was not their fault and that they had to make do. As I said in my speech, they could have simply renegotiated the agreement. There is no hope of renegotiating it with the current president because we know how that will go. Nonetheless, they had a year to work with another president with whom they had a positive relationship. They could have considered this possibility at the time.

That being said, it is also important to remember that, in March 2016, when the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was in Washington with the Prime Minister, they reiterated their support for this agreement. Let us stop blaming the previous government. The Liberals have to take responsibility for the fact that they are party to a bad agreement that violates Canadians' rights and freedoms, particularly with regard to American officers on Canadian soil. They need to take responsibility for that.

They support the bill. If they were not so lazy, as my colleague said, and if they really wanted to protect Canadians' right and freedoms, they would go back to the Americans and tell them that they will not go along with this measure. That is certainly what we would have done.

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6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Resuming debate.

Is the House ready for the question?

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed will please say nay.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #349

Preclearance Act, 2016Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill, to which the concurrence of the House is desired: Bill S-236, An Act to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

7:35 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Madam Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House, you would find unanimous consent to see the clock as midnight.

On that note, I wish all of my colleagues an excellent summer.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

7:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Do we have unanimous consent to see the clock at midnight?

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

7:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

7:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. members for Courtenay—Alberni and Chilliwack—Hope have indicated to the Chair that they do not wish to proceed with the questions for which adjournment notice was given. As a result, their notice is deemed to have been withdrawn.

It being 7:40 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 18, 2017, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:40 p.m.)