House of Commons Hansard #201 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vehicles.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have met with countless small business owners to discuss the Liberals' plans to raise their taxes. Most of the people I have met have a small family-owned business; some have mortgaged their family home and taken huge risks that they share with their spouses. They contribute everything they have to the success of their dreams. They want to know how the minister intends to have bureaucrats determine the reasonableness of how they share income from the family business.

When did it become the minister's job to tell families which spouse should receive what benefit for the risks that a family-owned business shares?

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the challenge we have is that our system currently favours the wealthy. It allows them to incorporate so that they can actually pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. What we need to do is continue to make sure that our system is fair. We are going to listen to small business owners. We are going to listen to people across the country to make sure we hear their comments. These measures are intended to make sure the system is fair, intended to make sure everyone has opportunities, and as we listen to people, we will make sure we take their issues and ideas into account, but be clear that we want to move forward to make sure our system is fair for the middle class and for all Canadians for the future.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Catalans have given a separatist government a majority mandate, and those elected representatives can now legitimately consult the people about their future.

Canada must now decide whether it respects voting rights or supports the Spanish government's aggressive repression tactics. Over 70% of Catalans on both sides want to vote, and it is up to them to decide whether they stay in Spain.

Will the Prime Minister ask the UN to ensure respect for voting rights and democracy in Catalonia?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said yesterday, Canada enjoys friendly relations with a democratic and united Spain. The future of Catalonia is a Spanish domestic matter. We hope that the parties will find a harmonious and respectful solution to this domestic matter within Spain's constitutional framework.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

September 19th, 2017 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage to make Netflix and Spotify pay GST like everyone else. Here is what she said, “we do not believe that a new tax...is the best way to support our creators”.

Since this GST exemption is a privilege that other cultural creators do not enjoy, will the minister remove the GST from all cultural products in the interest of fairness?

Either she is giving the American giants a free pass or she is against charging GST on cultural products.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we invested $1.9 billion in arts and culture, the largest investment in the past 30 years. We are still the only country in the G7 to have made such a significant investment in this area.

Knowing that there is some concern in the production sector, we have decided to have a major discussion on the importance of supporting Canadian content in a digital era.

I invite my colleague to attend the presentation of our vision, which will take place on September 28. I will be providing more information on the government's vision for this sector at that time.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have to wonder if the earpieces on the other side of the aisle are working, because the answers have nothing to do with the questions.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent for the following motion: that the House of Commons acknowledge that the government of Catalonia has decided to hold a referendum on Catalan independence on October 1, 2017, and therefore that the House of Commons call for the right to vote and the democratic process in Catalonia to be respected.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

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

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Yellowhead has two and a half minutes remaining in debate, followed by questions and comments.

The hon. member for Yellowhead.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, part of my speech dealt with some of the early history and safety of motor vehicle regulations. I want to go back to Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader did a lot for North America, and for a lot of Americans and Canadians, in forcing the government of the United States to strengthen the way it set rules and regulations in the manufacturing of vehicles in North America. Because of that and because of our bilateral trade agreements, we buy the same vehicles that the United States build. We build a lot of the components that are used in the vehicles that are sold in the United States and vice versa.

Ralph Nader and the Nader's Raiders forced government back in the sixties to do what we are doing today, strengthening the motor vehicle safety acts across North America and across our country to make the vehicles we purchase as consumers in Canada, whether they are made here or in the United States, or made in European countries, much safer and that they protect Canadians. That is very important. I have to thank Ralph Nader and the Nader's Raiders. They led the way. The government and the people of Canada must lead the way as well and ensure Bill S-2 is good and it protects Canadians when they purchase motor vehicles.

Toward the end of my speech, and you were not here, Mr. Speaker, I talked about the motorcycle industry and how the dealers of motorcycles would modify motorcycles that were built to Canadian safety standards before they sold them. The bill needs to look at this and enforce it. I hope that as the bill goes through, Parliament follows Bill S-2 and we continually change it to meet the changing times and needs of new technology in the industry.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member is an experienced member, but perhaps he did not quite realize that the rule against noting the presence or absence of a member does include the Speaker, who is often meetings, as he knows.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend from Yellowhead's speech mostly preceded question period. I am really pleased that in the debate today on Bill S-2 he is the first member to reference the Volkswagen fraud case. If there was another, I apologize. As I look at the legislation, it certainly should apply not just to human safety issues but to fraud that involves allowing polluting vehicles to pollute while their online reporting system tells the owners of the cars that they are not polluting.

In the spirit of my friend's hero, Ralph Nader, and Nader's Raiders, whom he mentioned a few times, does he think Bill S-2 will go far enough to protect us if a vehicle manufacturer defaults on environmental safety as opposed to vehicular safety as it is commonly understood?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-2 will definitely strengthen the ability of the Canadian government to deal with corporations, such as the 2015 fiasco with Volkswagen.

Now, is it strong enough? No, we could have been stronger in some of the legislation. That is why I said, in the last couple of moments of my speech, that we needed to continually upgrade Bill S-2, and whatever we were going to call it after that, so we would stay up to date with the current change in technologies. People who defraud the public in their vehicles should be dealt with severely, quickly, and it should hurt them in their pockets.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the member's speech. He talked about the importance of our manufacturers and companies. It does need to be acknowledged. Those big manufacturers and the thousands of jobs and opportunities they have provided Canada's middle class over the years has been overwhelming, feeding our manufacturing industry, second to no other industry, for many years, as well as the way they are getting in technology and so forth.

The legislation we are talking about today is all about making our streets and roads safer by looking at the obligations that manufacturers and companies have to ensure that the products they are selling are safe for our roads.

The member across the way seems to agree with the legislation. We look forward to the Conservatives supporting it going to committee.

My question for the member would be more of an affirmation than anything else. We recognize that our manufacturing companies play such an important role. However, it is also important for us to recognize that the Government of Canada does need to step up, ensure that we are harmonizing with the laws of the U.S.A., and that we move forward, one step at a time, to ensure our roads and streets across our country are better because of legislation of this nature. Would the member agree?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question, and one I can say yes to right off the bat. However, I want to add to that.

Bill S-2 is a modernizing of our safety act. It is very important, as I said a number of times, that we keep it up to date. We need to give credit where credit is due. We have to look at the statistical data on what our motor vehicle manufacturers in Canada and in North America have done to ensure they have made their vehicles as safe as possible. Going back 20, 30 years, that was not the case.

Today, it is the case and that is because we have strong legislation and we are proposing stronger legislation. We always need strong legislation to ensure they comply and comply willingly, and they will. If there are financial losses because they do not comply, they will keep their eye on what they do.

We have to look further. Bill S-2 is the start. We are going through an era now where people across the United States are manufacturing vehicles that are driverless, from small recreational vehicles to large transport trucks. One of these day they are going to tear all over the country. We will probably all see vehicles driving across Canada with no one behind the wheel. God for sake, I hope that does not happen.

However, it is coming. They tell us it is coming. Mercedes-Benz has a large class commercial truck that can drive itself. We all know that electric cars in the United States can drive themselves very well. What are we going to do? They are taking over. We have to be careful.

The federal government also needs to work and encourage the manufacturers to keep us informed of their new technical achievements, and it needs to start today. We need to work with the provinces and the legislators, the people who look after our roads and streets. We have to get prepared for those driverless vehicles. The only way they are going to drive is by electronics. We need to get our act together. We need to start today to get those rules into place.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, autonomous vehicles are already being tested in Canada.

My question for the member is quite simple. With regard to the Toyota recall scandal that took place, not only in Canada but also in the United States, at the end of that process, the United States received investment and services from the recall, while Canada did not get anything under his government.

What were the reasons for that? Why did the United States receive millions of dollars for new auto development; consumer protections, including pick up, delivery, and return of a vehicle; and investment in communities? Why did his government get zero?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure how the member was phrasing this. However, I would believe that the United States probably received financial reward from Toyota because its motor vehicle safety act probably had a section in it very similar to what the current government is trying to do with Bill S-2, where the Minister of Transport could levy fines against major corporations for such things. It was not in our act before. I do not believe we had the ability to go after it as the United States did.

This is one thing that makes Bill S-2 very good, and it is one reason I support it.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the wisdom of my learned friend and colleague on being able to see into the future of what the Canadian automotive sector might be facing.

Does the member believe this legislation strikes the appropriate balance between protecting Canadian drivers and the consumer?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians ActGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-2 could go further. As I said it earlier, we need to really look at what is coming down the road. It is coming so fast that we need to get the legislation in place. Bill S-2 has the right ingredients. It strengthens some of our authorities, which is very necessary. However, it does not go far enough. To go far enough, we need to look at the future. We need to get those regulations in place now. We need to protect the drivers and the public. We need to protect the public and the drivers from the driverless vehicles. We have to ensure everything is safe so this all works together in harmony.

Arnold ChanGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, 22 years ago, I walked into the basement of a campaign office and met Arnold Chan. I hate it that I can say his name here; I do not want to be able to do that in this place.

Arnold instantly became one of my best friends. Anybody who knew him, knew of his evident care and passion in all that he did for everyone around him. I met him at a time that was particularly challenging in my life, just because I was so scared. I was young, 20 years old, and just found out that I was going to have a son. My son happens to be here today, and he actually worked for Arnold.

Arnold was that steady, calm voice in my life. For every dark moment in my life, he evened me out and made things okay. He was somebody I could pick up the phone to talk to. He gave me advice. He was a mentor and somebody I looked up to. In the years that we knew each other, we dreamed about this place and coming here. When we were both elected at the same time, unfortunately, he already had the cloud of illness, but we did get that opportunity to serve together.

When we talked, of course, we dreamt of all the things that we wanted to do together, and we were supposed to walk out those doors together having done them. Although we are not going to get that chance, I did get a chance to talk to Arnold in those last days and with his remarkable wife, Jean, and his phenomenal kids, Nathaniel, Ethan, and Theo. They were his life and who he talked about every moment, every day I saw him here. When he came here, it was a way for him to make the world a better place for them.

At first, when he knew he was going to go, he wanted to give the speech I am about to read, but it became apparent that he was not going to be able to do it. I wish it was he giving it. I can picture him sitting over my left shoulder right now, and I hate to look back and know he is not there. I just want to let people know how much he loved them, how much everything that he did was to try to make the world a better place for them. In his final moments, he talked about the issues that he cared and worried about. Yes, he cared about the House, but he cared mostly about it for the better world it could make for them.

These are Arnold's last words to the House:

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning of my parliamentary career, I have been preoccupied with issues of the exercise of democracy. This has been a passion of mine since my youth, and is a touchstone for all of my work as a Member of the Parliament of Canada. It is fitting that I address these issues once more today to my colleagues.

My inaugural speech in Parliament focused on the theme of democracy, since I rose in the House that day to discuss the Private Member’s Bill introduced by the Member for Wellington-Halton Hills to reform the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act. I had the opportunity in that speech to address what I felt were important elements of change that were needed in Parliament, which would hopefully help to reverse a trend of dysfunction that had been growing during the tenure of the previous government.

On June 12th of this year, I had the opportunity again to direct my comments to issues of democracy, and of the conduct of our business in Parliament. I wish that my children could have been present, but of course June is a time for examinations in school. Nevertheless, I had them and their generation very much in mind that day, and I do so again now as I consider the critical challenges of the future, and the role of democracy and democratic institutions in meeting those challenges.

I believe that we as a society and a government are just beginning to grapple with the three existential threats that will face my children’s generation: climate change, accelerating technological change, and the parochialism and social unrest that arise in reaction to these first two forces.

Climate change is undeniably the focus of attention today, as it should be.

The recent flooding in Texas, hurricane in the Caribbean and Florida, violent monsoon rains in Bangladesh and northern India, and closer to home, the BC wildfires all point to an increasingly unpredictable and potentially destructive pattern of changes to which everyone must adapt.

This is in part why I continue to appreciate the presence and advocacy of the Leader of the Green Party, the Member for Saanich-Gulf Islands, along with the leadership of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Their tireless work is to be commended and supported.

Climate change is not just about storms, flooding and heat. It is also about crop failure, food shortage, water scarcity, mass displacement of people, and the violent conflicts that can arise out of those situations. It is imperative that we stop treating climate change as solely an environmental issue, but recognize it as an all-encompassing priority that we as a society and a government must confront with the utmost urgency.

One potential response to climate change is to focus on technological solutions, but technology itself represents a second challenge. In particular, the confluence of artificial intelligence, robotics and genomics, which represents the potential for profound changes to the relationship between people, machines and their environment.

There has been much discussion recently of the impact on human employment of self-driving cars and the increased use of robots for everything from manufacturing to personal services. This has led to speculation about the future of work itself, and the possible dislocation of social relationships that have existed since the founding of cities ten thousand years ago. These are issues that we are just beginning to grapple with, but which will be profoundly important for my children and their generation.

In the face of relentless technological change and economic competition, how resilient will our social institutions be? How will our communities manage the potential for mass unemployment, or even just the fear of those kinds of changes?

Therein lies the third challenge: reactionism. In the face of climate change, accelerating technological advancements and the disruptions that they are causing, the tendency of people and communities is to “circle the wagons” and, even worse to “fear the other”. We have already seen evidence of this around the world: increasing nationalism, religious fundamentalism, and isolationism. Rising sectarian violence in many countries. Distrust of elites, and strife based on economic class.

So what do we do?

We are Members of Parliament, a body which is ultimately about civilized discussion and debate. The word “Parliament” itself derives from the French word “parler”: to speak. Our task is to exercise democracy through communication, deliberation, and ultimately decision-making. Not in our own interest, but in the interest of the people. We are representatives of and we are responsible to the people of our country, and it is our responsibility and our duty to try and meet the challenges of the day through our best collective effort.

In facing the challenges of climate change, accelerating technological change, and the forces of reactionism, we must remember that our greatest strengths lie within our civility to each other, our humanity in the face of our own limitations, and our own willingness to serve. We can adapt to change, we can respond to challenges, but we adapt and respond best when we do so after reasoned debate with an open mind and through listening carefully to the needs of those we are so fortunate to serve.

But there is one more step to take in thinking about managing the problems of the future, and that is to consider who the “we” of Parliament should be?

Historically, our great Parliament has been predominantly composed of men, and largely of European descent. It was only in 2014, just short three years ago that there was a Chinese Liberal MP in the GTA – me, an Asian male. On the issue of gender balance, despite it being nearly 100 years since the first woman was elected to Parliament, we are still far from balanced. Our government has taken some good steps to address this, but we can and should do more. We owe it to ourselves, our community and our children to continue to strive for improvement in our democratic institutions, so that we can better serve our communities, and better meet those challenges of the future.

Diversity is healthy, and increases the chances of survival and success, a truth known at least since Charles Darwin. The greater the range of ideas and opinions that are brought to bear on the problems of our day, the more likely that we as an institution will be able to come up with workable solutions that serve our communities. And a greater diversity of members will in turn bring those broader ideas forward.

Mr. Speaker, my call to action to my colleagues is to constantly be open to new ideas, to be willing to adjust the assumptions that ground one’s viewpoint, if the facts of the world and the challenges of the day require it. I would also call upon greater empowerment of diverse voices as a foundation of addressing the challenges that face us.

But my call is not only to my colleagues in Parliament. It is also to other Canadians of visible minority descent: we should not be satisfied with the status quo; we should expect more for ourselves and our children. But at the same time it is up to us to be braver, to go beyond our comfort zones and engage with people of other backgrounds, to diversify and broaden our relationships, and to seek the betterment of all. We have to take a chance, to engage and to participate. That will help to strengthen the institutions that serve us all.

The triple challenges of climate change, accelerating technological change, and social reactionism are extraordinary and radical, and our ultimate responses may have to be as well. However, if we maintain our commitment to our democratic traditions, and broaden and diversify our institutions to reflect the range of voices present in our society, I’m confident that we can take the steps necessary to meet these challenges and to flourish, one step at a time.

While I wish I could be there for you and with you to contribute more to the great work of our Parliament, and to better the world for my children and yours, I will have to leave this to you, my colleagues.

I wish you all well.

Arnold ChanGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to acknowledge the words from the member for Ajax and his heartfelt tribute in putting the last words of Mr. Chan on record in Hansard. It is most appreciated. I am confident in saying that I know that all members of the House, as well as family members of Mr. Chan, will join with me in thanking the member for sharing his words in this place.

Arnold ChanGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would just say thanks. Arnold had such a profound respect for this place and for the members who serve here. I know, through the member, that those words will be very warmly received by Arnold's family who are with us here today.