House of Commons Hansard #332 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.


JusticeGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.

Arif Virani

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to interrupt the member for Beauport—Limoilou in the middle of his speech, but I have to say that it is one thing to discuss Bill C-78, which is now before us, and quite another to give a long speech on NAFTA and the new agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico and bring supply management into it. I do not believe that is relevant.

lt is not relevant at all. I would ask, Mr. Speaker, that you make a ruling as to whether that is in order and ask the member opposite if he could direct his comments to this legislation.

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1:30 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

In many of the speeches I have heard in the House, I have seen members get so off topic it was hard to know where they were headed. Sometimes the discussion seems to veer off in a totally different direction, on a tangent that makes no sense, but members are entitled to do that. However, I am sure that the member in question will get things under control and bring the discussion back to today's topic. I am going to trust the member, and I am sure that the discussion will be relevant to today's topic.

I will give the floor back to the member for Beauport—Limoilou.

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1:30 p.m.


Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I can understand my colleague's concern. I did have a point I was getting at. I want to talk about clauses 54 and 101 of Bill C-78 and how they contradict Bill C-75.

However, I was talking about something that is very important to me. I will use a different analogy. Let us leave NAFTA behind for a different analogy.

We have a Prime Minister who introduced Bill C-78, telling Canadians that after 20 years, he is proposing important amendments, some fundamental and others more technical, that will strengthen the legislation and the institution of marriage in Canada.

Notwithstanding the fact that we Conservative members plan to support this bill, following the committee studies, we feel it is hard to trust the Prime Minister when he says he wants to strengthen marriage, considering his behaviour as the head of government.

For example, when Mr. Trudeau was elected in 2015, we might say that it was a marriage between him and the people of Canada. However, after everything that the Prime Minister has done in the past three years, a marriage would not have lasted a year since he broke three major promises. I would even say that these are promises that break up the very core of his marriage with Canada. I will get to the clauses in this bill that have me concerned, but I want to draw a parallel. How can we trust the Prime Minister when it comes to this divorce bill, when he himself does not keep his promises to Canadians?

He made three fundamental promises. The first was to run deficits of only $10 billion for the first three years and then cut back on that. He broke that promise. The deficits have been $30 billion every year.

The second fundamental broken promise of his marriage with the people of Canada was to achieve a balanced budget by 2020-21. Now we are talking about 2045, my goodness. Is there anything more important than finances in a marriage? Yes, there is love. I get it.

However, budgets are essential in a home. Finances are essential for a couple to remain together. I can attest to that. Love has its limits in a home. Bills have to get paid and children have to eat. Budgets need to be balanced, something that Canadian families do all the time. Our Prime Minister is unable to keep that promise.

The other promise has to do with our voting system, how we are going to run our home, our political system. Just before they got married, the Prime Minister promised Canadians that he would reform the voting system. That was a key promise and he broke it. In fact it was one of the first promises he broke and it is a serious broken promise in his marriage with Canadians in my opinion. It is a broken promise to every young person who trusted him.

Personally, I completely disagree with reforming the voting system because I believe that the first past the post system is the best guarantee for a parliamentary democracy. That said, it was a key promise that he made to youth and the leftists of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, who view proportional representation as being better for them, their future and their concerns. However, he broke his promise. The marriage has been on the verge of breaking up for a long time now. I predict that it will only last one more year.

I have one last point to make in my analogy and then I will discuss the bill. I want to talk about his infrastructure promise. The Prime Minister said that he would invest $183 billion in infrastructure over the next 14 years. It was the largest program in the history of Canada because, according to the Liberals, their programs are always the largest in the history of Canada. I would remind members that ours was incredible as well, with $80 billion invested between 2008 and 2015.

I will ask my colleagues a question they are sure to know the answer to. How many billions of the $183 billion have been spent after four years? The answer is $7 billion, if I am not mistaken. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer mentioned it in one of his reports.

Therefore, how can we have confidence in the Prime Minister, the member for Papineau, who is introducing a bill to strengthen the institution of marriage and the protection of children in extremely contentious divorces when he himself, in his solemn marriage with the Canadian people, has broken the major promises of his 2015 election platform?

The bond of trust has been broken and divorce between the Liberals and the people of Canada is imminent. It is set to happen on October 19, 2019.

Bill C-78 seeks to address some rather astonishing statistics. According to the 2016 census, more than two million children were living in a separated or divorced family. Five million Canadians separated or divorced between 1991 and 2011. Of that number, 38% had a child at the time of their separation or divorce. I imagine that is why the focus of Bill C-78 is protection of the child.

However, we have some concerns. Clause 101 introduces the idea that Her Majesty ranks in priority over the party that instituted the garnishment proceedings if the debtor is indebted or has any moneys to pay. That has us concerned. We will certainly call witnesses to our parliamentary committee to find out what they think and to see if we can amend this.

We also believe that clause 54 is flawed. It extends Her Majesty's binding period from five to 12 years. That is another aspect of the bill that could be problematic in our view.

I do not like to end on a negative note, but I absolutely have to mention a major contradiction pertaining to Bill C-78. Today, the Liberals enthusiastically shared with us, through this bill, their desire to make the protection of children, rather than parents, a priority in cases of divorce. However, when we look closely at Bill C-75, which, with its 300 pages, is a mammoth bill if ever there was one, we see that it seeks to rescind all of the great measures to strengthen crime legislation that our dear prime minister, Mr. Harper, implemented during his 10 years in office, a fantastic decade in Canada.

We are distressed to see that this bill lessens sentences for crimes committed against children. The Liberals are not content with just saying that they are good and the Conservatives are bad. They, who profess to believe in universal love, want to lessen the sentences for criminals who committed terrible, deplorable crimes against children. Then they tell us that the purpose of their bill is to help children.

We see these contradictions and we are concerned. I do not think that my constituents would let their spouses break promises as important as the ones the Prime Minister has broken since 2015. They would not want to stay in a relationship like that.

Canadians need to realize that their divorce from the Liberal government is imminent.

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1:40 p.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's comments. I also appreciate the fact that towards the end of his speech, he finally decided to talk about the bill before us, instead of talking about various other topics or concerns.

I myself will continue to talk about this bill. Maybe we could find an aspect of this bill that both our parties agree on. I am sure that the revenue gap is one of the Conservative Party's concerns.

That is what we sometimes call a “revenue gap” in English. I would point out to the member that revenue gaps in terms of income support payments, parental support and child support payments have been identified, to the tune of over $1 billion in arrears in Canada right now. That has a disproportionate impact on women, who are largely the people to whom the payments are made by debtors, who are largely men.

Given that context, would the member opposite agree to discuss this bill and the impact it would have in alleviating women and child poverty that has been identified right across the country, including in Beauport—Limoilou by his constituents?

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1:40 p.m.


Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the member opposite. He is perfectly right that this is one of the excellent amendments to be brought about by Bill C-78. It would enhance the power of the Canada Revenue Agency to verify the financial information of either spouse in order to ensure equity, not for the spouses but for the children. We all agree with that. Of course, it would be a good thing for my constituents of Beauport—Limoilou. There is no doubt about that.

However, I have two concerns, one regarding this and the other regarding the bill. The bill does not anticipate or propose enhancing the budget of the CRA to do what he is talking about, which would allow it to have more power in verifying the information. The CRA does not operate with free-paying jobs or written words on a blank piece of paper. It has paid employees with pensions, so one would need to inject more money into it to increase its power. I hope that actions will follow the words of the government in the budget.

Unfortunately, the member will not be able to answer my question, unless no one else stands. I do not understand why the government wants to obligate both spouses to meet and consult with a lawyer. In many instances, people go through a divorce in an amicable way. I know friends who went through a divorce for the well-being and good of their children, and it was done in an amicable and appropriate way. Why does the government want to impose the obligation to consult with a lawyer, which would necessitate spending? I would like the Liberals to address this concern.

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1:45 p.m.


Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, who spoke about the child's best interests. He made children's needs the focus of his speech.

I think this bill actually has the same intention, although there are some amendments we could make to improve certain aspects. For example, children should be entitled to be represented by a third party at all times, and they should have access to more psychological resources, for example, to help them navigate difficult experiences like a separation or divorce. There is also the whole issue of child support, and so on.

Since we are talking about putting the child's best interests first in this bill, does the member think that the bill should at least be sent to committee so that we can consult experts and make amendments to strengthen it, as long as our discussions focus on the child's best interests?

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1:45 p.m.


Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, of course. I would like to salute my colleague, as I have not yet had a chance to say hello to her since we returned from the summer break. I think my colleague is doing a great job.

I can certainly imagine that, much like the Conservatives, New Democrats recognize the fact that the Liberals are putting child protection at the centre of their bill, along with the needs of the child and the repercussions children can suffer during a nasty divorce. The Liberals want to put the protection and well-being of children at the centre of their bill. That is great, and all members of the House of Commons agree on that.

We also look forward to seeing how this all unfolds at committee. As they say, the devil is in the details. I never thought I would say that here. This is a lengthy bill, which we will study in committee. I look forward to hearing what our expert witnesses have to say. This is a very important bill that amends the Civil Marriage Act, which has not been amended for 20 years.

We have some concerns regarding clauses 54 and 101. As I said, I am a little apprehensive. As I emphasized a few times during my speech, with all due respect, the Prime Minister has not honoured his commitment, his marriage to the people of Canada. He has broken most of the promises he made to Canadians when he married them, so to speak, in 2015, at the time of his election. There is a parallel here; it is a parable.

I agree with my colleague that the child must absolutely be front and centre. That is not what we see in Liberal Bill C-75, which seeks to reduce sentences for offences committed against children. We think that is unfortunate.

JusticeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's comments in respect of the debate we are having.

I would like to emphasize that, under the bill, no one is obligated to consult a lawyer.

In fact, through two very specific measures, the bill seeks to do just the opposite. It seeks to ensure that no one is obligated to consult a lawyer. First of all, it states that child support can be calculated as part of the administrative process—in other words, outside the courts and without having to consult any lawyers. Second, if child support needs to be recalculated because some adjustments are needed, that can also be done without consulting a lawyer.

Our ultimate goal is to make the family justice system less contentious than it is now.

That is why we have already listened to stakeholders from across the country. They see this bill as a good reform of the family justice system, which has not been updated in 20 years.

I am wondering if the member across the aisle could be more specific regarding his concerns. I do not believe that the bill will have quite that effect.

JusticeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's straightforward answer to my question.

My understanding was that a divorce had to involve a meeting with lawyers. Apparently that is not the case. However, what he said touched on other things I was wondering about.

He said that the Liberals wanted to simplify the process and keep matters out of the courts. He also said they wanted a way to review each parent's financial information.

Of course, in many cases, it is the father who handles the finances and the mother who looks after the children. My understanding is that the bill will enable the Canada Revenue Agency to systematically update or review both the father's and the mother's files if necessary.

This bill does not provide additional funding for the Canada Revenue Agency. If there is going to be more work, more paperwork, more investigations and more data, the Canada Revenue Agency should have a bigger budget.

If the Liberals are serious about this bill and if they want issues related to divorce to be resolved outside of the courts, then they are going to have to allocate more money to the Canada Revenue Agency in their 2019 budget.

However, I have my doubts. This summer I heard an incredible number of horror stories from my constituents about the CRA. It is incredible to see everything that goes on at that institution. The minister absolutely must go see what is going on in the CRA buildings.

This summer, all my constituents told me their stories and I am happy to share those. They told me that when they call the CRA, no one answers or the lines are always busy. They told me that when they email the CRA, they never get a response. That is unacceptable.

When a member of the public tries to contact a member of the public service, at the very least they should get a response.

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1:50 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London. I want to inform the hon. member that she will have approximately six minutes, and then we will break. Upon resuming debate, she will have four minutes coming to her to resume, and then have the questions asked.

The hon. member.

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1:50 p.m.


Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise to speak to Bill C-78. I am not approaching this as a lawyer, as many of the others have done today. I am approaching this as a woman who has been divorced as well as a woman who has worked in a constituency office, dealing with people who have come from divorce and with different government departments.

I am going to begin with some of my experiences as a constituency assistant and how the Canada child benefit divvies out the money. The Canada Revenue Agency, under the leadership of the Conservative government, did an excellent job when it came to shared custody and shared parenting. That has become a nuance for many new families. If I was asked 20 years ago, when I look at that, shared parenting was not really an option. Now many families are looking at this. When the Canada Revenue Agency gave people the opportunity to divide their benefits, it became very beneficial for many of those families.

The only question I will have for the government with respect to this, what does 40% mean? A lot of times when we look at those numbers, it can be very difficult. We have to recognize that when someone has custody of his or her child, is that child in school? Is that parent picking the child up from school? Is the child sleeping in that parent's home? So many factors have to be looked at. I want to ensure that when we talk about the 40% for parenting, that it is looked at with a microscope.

As a person who has had a divorce, I understands what it is like to raise children who have come from that situation. It has been very difficult. If we talk about child support, I am pleased to see in the bill that child support does not have to go in front of a judge or to a court and that it can be done at an administrative level. For many families, this is a huge barrier, whether it is having to pay the legal fees or having to go through the entire process. Making it easier for families is very important.

We have to understand that there are barriers to that as well. My colleagues have raised question on how we addressed some of those, such as when people are being paid under the table. Many parents, both fathers and mothers, across the country do not pay their child support. They and are trying to rip off their children. At the end of the day, the children are the ones who are most affected. Anything we can do to ensure we always put the best interests of our children forward is very important.

Let us talk about the psychology and the emotional issues that occur around a divorce. I fully support what is in the bill on child welfare. Children have to come first during a divorce. When I look at myself, I think of divorce as 20-20 hindsight. If I could have done things differently, I would have. However, at that time, the emotions, the anger, wanting revenge, all of those horrible things people feel during separation and divorce occur. We have to recognize that it is such an emotional issue. I apologize to all of the lawyers in the room, but sometimes it gets worse when people go to lawyers and they put themselves $20,000 behind the eight ball because of it.

Brian Galbraith, a lawyer in Barrie, wrote this on his website:

Depression can often follow separation and divorce. According to the National Population Health Survey, the two-year period after a divorce has high rate of serious psychological problems for the couple. This is not a surprising effect given the anxieties about children and the drastic life and income changes people experience during this time.

In an issue of Psychology Today, it states:

Divorce introduces a massive change into the life of a boy or girl no matter what the age. Witnessing loss of love between parents, having parents break their marriage commitment, adjusting to going back and forth between two different households, and the daily absence of one parent while living with the other, all create a challenging new family circumstance in which to live. In the personal history of the boy or girl, parental divorce is a watershed event. Life that follows is significantly changed from how life was before....The dependent child's short term reaction to divorce can be an anxious one.

The government talks about child welfare, mediation and about the opportunities to have a lawyer assist children. If we to look at this, we have to ensure we have those resources for them.

When I went through my divorce 18 years ago, the opportunities for low-income women, as I was at that time, were not available. An appointment for my son to sit down and talk about it was not available to him. It took eight months.

JusticeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London will have 15 minutes coming to her when we resume debate plus 10 minutes of questions and comments.

Interests of QuebecStatements By Members

October 4th, 2018 / 1:55 p.m.


Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the existence of the notwithstanding clause is news to the Prime Minister. Not only does it exist, but it is legitimate and useful.

The notwithstanding clause enables Quebec to opt out of certain provisions of the Constitution Act of 1982, which denies the identity of the Quebec people, and which the Government of Quebec never even signed. Decision-making powers rest with Quebec, not Supreme Court justices.

René Lévesque employed the notwithstanding clause in all of Quebec's laws. Since then, the notwithstanding clause has been used in 41 of Quebec's laws to protect our social measures and our unique national identity.

Let me make this crystal clear: if Canada wants to once again wage war over Quebec's societal choices, it will have to contend with the Bloc Québécois.

PaddlingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate Dartmouth—Cole Harbour's beautiful Lake Banook and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia's paddling culture.

In Dartmouth, folks do not ask if people paddle, they ask where they paddle.

Last month, Lake Banook successfully hosted the 2018 Pan-American Canoe Sprint Championships. Over 350 elite paddlers from more than 16 countries competed on our world-recognized natural race course.

I want to thank and commend the folks in Atlantic Division CanoeKayak Canada, Banook Canoe Club, Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club, Abenaki Aquatic Club, Senobe Aquatic Club and all the incredible volunteers who worked so hard to make this event a success.

Paddling has always been a huge part of Dartmouth's identity and its culture, and Lake Banook is our world stage to showcase our pride in our community.

In 2020, Lake Banook will host the world championships for the third time.

I invite all members to come to beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 2020 to experience all that Lake Banook has to offer.

Mary GillardStatements By Members

2 p.m.


John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, she was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, but, most important, Mary Gillard was a beloved educator.

Mary passed away earlier this summer on her 95th birthday, but the impact she had on her community will be her long-lasting legacy.

Over the course of an outstanding 65-year teaching career, which lasted until she was 82, she inspired generations of Albertans. Mary believed that every one of her students had a unique gift. She taught them work ethics and the importance of community, but, most important, that respect must be earned. She was right.

A mentor and an educator, Mary was honoured multiple times for her teaching and her community support. She was given the Silver Falcon Award for outstanding service to the community and youth, the Integrity Award, presented by the Okotoks Rotary, and the school division gave her the outstanding teaching award when she was 87.

Mary shaped the hearts and minds of so many in our community, grandparents, parents, sons and daughters, including my own. For generations of Okotokians, Mary was a guiding light in the classroom and the community.

Together, we honour the life and legacy of this outstanding, inspiring woman.

PoliticsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Gordie Hogg Liberal South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, how do we know what we know? Politician philosopher Daniel Patrick Moynihan once wisely said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

However, often we deal with people who seem to enjoy using their own facts. It seems that anyone can find his or her own set of facts and then use those facts to reinforce his or her own opinions.

The great Stephen Colbert once termed the phrase “truthiness”, which is meant to denote how smart, sophisticated people, like all of us in the House, can go awry on questions of fact, ideas that just seem right without reference to logic or intellectual rigour, as hard as that may be to believe.

However, this is true in all walks of life, but especially true in politics. It seems that with increased politicization of debate, there comes increased public cynicism, which is probably why polling has recently shown that four out of five Canadians believe that when politicians make public statements, they tell the truth less than half the time. I trust that all of us in the House are exempt from that admonishment.

Whether it is facts, logic or some form of “truthiness”, it seems important that we consider the trust that Canadians place in each of us as their representatives when we choose which of our set of facts to embrace.

PensionsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, after three years the government has done little to help Canadian seniors and retirees.

The Prime Minister promised during the election campaign to use every tool in the toolbox to fix Canada's flawed bankruptcy and insolvency law to protect workers' pensions, but so far has done nothing.

After news that 18,000 Sears retirees would lose 30% of their pensions, we still heard nothing from the government.

The government made a promise to consult in its last budget, but clearly Liberal promises are not worth the paper they are written on.

Changing the laws to protect workers' pensions is not hard. My Bill C-384 and Liberal Senator Art Eggleton's Bill S-253 lay out straightforward measures to fix the problems. Still, the government refuses to act.

For three years I have been asking the government to change the laws and protect Canadian pensioners. Every time I get back the same non-answers. This lack of respect is insulting to Canadian workers and retirees.

Let us stop the pension theft.

ThanksgivingStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is what people need to know about Thanksgiving other than the fact that it is a statutory holiday.

Thanksgiving has its roots in indigenous peoples' fall harvest celebrations dating back over 2,000 years. After the arrival of European settlers, an explorer by the name of Martin Frobisher celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1578 in Newfoundland.

I have just one piece of advice for turkeys: Run away! Run away! This weekend, three million turkeys will be eaten in Canada along with cranberries, which were traditionally harvested by Algonquins and used at celebrations as a sign of peace.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of life, family and peace. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

CambodiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the loss of democracy in any country should concern us. Cambodia is falling back into the darkness it experienced in the past. Prime Minister Hun Sen has destroyed democratic institutions and practices, he has outlawed the opposition and jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha. The July election was fixed and illegitimate.

Cambodia's history as a one-party state has had long-lasting consequences that the Cambodian people have worked hard to overcome. Democracy is foundational for the establishment of human rights. Exiled Cambodian leaders like Mu Sochua have addressed members of this House, calling on Canada to speak out.

Today, I call on the Liberal government to press for the restoration of democracy in Cambodia and call for Kem Sokha's immediate release. We call for the restoration of the rights of the opposition and the new election. Until then, we ask that the government not recognize the representatives of this illegitimate regime.

Sex Education CurriculumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the incredible young people in Parkdale—High Park, students who had the courage to stand up and be heard on something that is vital: their education.

In 2015, Ontario revised its sexual education curriculum to bring it into the 21st century, to address things like same-sex families, gender identity, online bullying and consent, but the new Ontario government has seen fit to reverse that curriculum, to take it back to 1998 when things like the Internet and online sexual predatory activity were in their infancy. This reversion is not only unwelcome, it is unhelpful. It prevents our children from learning how to protect themselves.

However, it is not just me who disagrees with the reversion. It is also hundreds of my young constituents from Parkdale Collegiate, Western Tech, Ursula Franklin Academy, TheStudentSchool and Humberside Collegiate who walked out of class on September 21 to say, “We do not consent to taking education backward”.

Today, I lend my voice to theirs. Sex education must be modern and inclusive, and empower our young people about how to stay safe.

Turner Drug StoreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, small businesses make up 98% of Canadian businesses and employ over 10 million hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

One such small business is Turner Drug Store, an independent pharmacy located in my riding of London West, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. Jeffrey Robb, a pharmacist and the current owner, has worked at Turner Drug Store since 1974, when he was just 14 years old. This small business holds a special place in the hearts of many Londoners as it has provided pharmaceutical, vitamin and herbal remedies to the community for eight decades. Our government knows the fundamental role that small businesses play in our economy and we will continue to support their growth and success.

I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Turner Drug Store for reaching this astounding milestone.

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week LNG Canada approved a groundbreaking $40-billion investment in developing Canada's liquefied natural gas industry. The Liberals would like to claim that their carbon tax plan is working, but megaprojects like LNG Canada cannot move forward under the spectre of the Liberal carbon tax on everything.

Provincial governments across Canada get it. We cannot grow the economy by adding new taxes. The Manitoba government is the latest to pull out of this Liberal carbon tax scam, and others are soon to follow. That is why the B.C. government gave LNG a pass on new carbon taxes. The project would not have gone forward otherwise.

It is time for the Liberals to recognize that their carbon tax-and-spend agenda is failing Canadian businesses and Canadian families.

Royal Canadian LegionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the privilege of attending a parade recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 617, in my riding of Scarborough Centre.

Branch 617 is proudly known as the “Dambusters” commemorating the iconic air raid of the Second World War. Colleagues may have seen the movie.

Since its founding, Branch 617 has served our veterans, providing a place for them to socialize with their peers. Their poppy campaign supports services for veterans who need help and the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at their cenotaph ensures that we will remember them. They also support Squadron 166 of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the NLCC Prince of Wales of the Navy League, helping to instill a spirit of responsibility, discipline and leadership in the next generation.

I would like to congratulate Branch 617 on its 50th anniversary and thank all of our legion branches across Canada.

LaSalle—Émard—VerdunStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and my honour to welcome some of my constituents to Ottawa, for the third annual day on the Hill. I have been hosting this event since I was elected in 2015 as member for LaSalle—Émard—Verdun. We are elected to represent the interests of our constituents in the House to the best of our abilities. It is a real privilege for me to be able to welcome the people I am so proud to represent here in the House every day.

I want to thank the people of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun for their confidence and for taking time to travel to the Hill today. I thank them for their interest, their passion and their hard work. It is what drives me to accomplish my duties as an MP.

Canada Winter Games Torch RelayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, less than an hour ago, many of my colleagues including my good friend for Red Deer—Mountain View and myself, had the privilege of taking part in a torch-lighting ceremony at the Centennial Flame. This ceremony was the official start of the Canada Games Torch Relay in advance of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

The torch relay is an important part of the Canada Games and it will unite communities across our nation. This is the first time ever the torch relay will travel Canada-wide to mark the games with 48 communities from coast to coast participating.

A huge thanks to MNP for sponsoring the torch relay, to the games committee, to staff and volunteers who are working tirelessly to organize this incredible event, and to all of the torchbearers who have been nominated to carry the torch on behalf of their communities.

In 134 days the games will begin, and we are ready to welcome Canada to central Alberta to join the festivities and watch our amazing athletes perform. Red Deer is ready and everyone is invited.