House of Commons Hansard #356 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Beedie School of BusinessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Richmond Hill.

Richmond HillStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the privilege of visiting businesses across Richmond Hill, organizations like the Accolade Group, Laipac Technology, Link-Pipe Incorporated and Opus One Solutions. These are international players that are excited about the new opportunities to expand, thanks to our government's ratification of trade agreements with European and Pacific countries, and the USMCA.

Small businesses make up 40% of Canadian exports. On average, firms that export pay higher wages and create more jobs. They also play a critical role in our economy.

Following the fall economic statement, I will be focusing on connecting small businesses in my riding of Richmond Hill with the new opportunities our government has enacted and working with small business representatives, the board of trade and all levels of government to ensure it is well understood and well rolled out.

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, a poem:

It's my favourite time of year, when Stamps fans get to loudly cheer.
Because we always pass the test, Calgary is the best team in the west.
Jerome will rush. Marquay will score. Marken will have us screaming more.
Down the QE2 we'll soar, to go to victory once more.
I'll be wearing my red and black. Not that team, give our cup back, and get that horse out on the track.
'Cuz Ottawa you're going down. Stamps are the best team all around.
We do whatever it takes. Sorry, Redblacks, thems the breaks.
We've got the heart, we've got the drive, and Ralph the Dog is on our side.
Dave Dickenson is good to go. The persons of Calgary will steal the show.
A question after victory: Bo Levi, will you marry me?

Lebanese IndependenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eva Nassif Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am both pleased and proud to draw the attention of the House to the fact that today is the 75th anniversary of Lebanese independence, which marks the day when Lebanon threw off the colonial yoke.

Together with people from other countries, on this day the people of Lebanon and the Lebanese diaspora all over the world pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the sovereignty and independence of their nation.

We celebrate a future that we are free to imagine. This day symbolizes resilience and reminds us that we can make this world a better place.

As a proud Lebanese Canadian myself, I invite my colleagues in the House to join me in wishing everyone of Lebanese origin in Canada and around the world a happy Lebanese Independence Day.

[Member spoke in Arabic]

National Housing DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is National Housing Day and I want to give a big shout-out to the Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service and Alberta, the only province with a plan to end homelessness. Housing first, community-based leadership and ongoing provincial government support for local expertise and efforts means Alberta cities are leading the way in this country toward ending homelessness.

In my city, the Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service is the home of the housing first program “journey home”. Journey home provides housing and support to Saskatoon residents, the majority of whom have been homeless for two to five years. Housing first works. In just one year, journey home participants had a reduction in the use of emergency services, like police, by 58%, a savings of over half a million dollars.

We can end homelessness. The solutions are already taking place on the ground. The government needs to step up sooner rather than later and treat the homelessness crisis with the urgency it deserves.

Darrell James MorrisonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, volunteer fire departments are the cornerstone of emergency and first responder services in many small communities across Canada. Every time they answer a call for help, the men and women who volunteer their time selflessly put themselves on the line.

Yesterday in my riding, volunteer firefighter Darrell James Morrison with the Rosetown Fire Department was killed after being struck by a semi-truck while responding to another vehicle collision. I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Mr. Morrison's family, his colleagues at the Rosetown Fire Department and the entire community. We are heartbroken by this terrible tragedy.

May we never forget the selfless service of Mr. Morrison and all the first responders to whom our communities owe so much.

Viola DesmondStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Bank of Canada rolled out the new $10 banknote featuring Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond. Ms. Desmond was arrested and jailed in 1946 for refusing to move to a black-only area of a racially segregated theatre in Nova Scotia.

This act of defiance predates Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, by nine years. Despite community support and a tough legal challenge, Ms. Desmond was ultimately found guilty of tax evasion for one cent and ordered to pay a fine of $26.

The new $10 note will serve as a constant reminder of the work we need to do to advance gender and racial equality in this country. While we have travelled far to achieve equality in all its forms in Canada, we have a collective responsibility to do more.

I look forward to celebrating the first Canadian woman, the first black woman, to be on any currency note in Canada at the TAIBU Community Health Centre in Scarborough this Saturday. This will be an opportunity for us to recommit to achieving equality in Canada and around the world.

FinanceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a first. It was the first time we saw a Prime Minister so proud to put Canadians in debt and a Liberal government that keeps posting record deficits year after year on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

The fact of the matter is that we have an $80-billion deficit and there is still a year left in the current term.

My question is simple. When will the Prime Minister present a plan to return to a balanced budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have a plan. Our plan is to invest in our country and our plan is working.

Yesterday was a very important day for our country. We explained our current economic situation, which is excellent. The economy is growing, unemployment is at its lowest level in 40 years and salaries are going up. Things are looking good for the middle class and Canadian families. We will stay the course.

FinanceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, we did not make any of this up. The Liberal government kept saying throughout the entire election campaign and on page 12 of its platform that by the end of its term in 2019 we would return to a balanced budget.

The problem is that the Prime Minister seems to think that deficits magically disappear. That is not how things work in real life.

We keep asking the Prime Minister the same question: can he simply give us a date? When will we have—

FinanceOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. Minister of Finance.

FinanceOral Questions

November 22nd, 2018 / 2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Finance, I can say that our plan is working. It is a well-thought-out plan, and it is clearly the right plan to improve our economy over the long term.

What is more, our debt-to-GDP ratio is very good. It is better than that of any of the other G7 countries. That is good for the future. We will also have the opportunity to continue with our plan to improve the lives of Canadians.

FinanceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the finance minister told a journalist that running the $20-billion deficit this year was “consistent with what we said we would do”. Now the Liberals have gone from breaking their promise to denying that they ever made it.

This year the deficit will be three times the size the Liberal platform promised. Next year it will be even bigger, and that was the year when the budget was supposed to balance itself.

Is it not true that we have gone from the budget will balance itself to the budget will never balance itself at all?

FinanceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what I continue to hear from the member for Carleton are buzzwords from first-year economic textbooks. What I do know, the important thing, is think about how we are going to listen to actual Canadians and what really matters to them.

We know what matters to Canadians. They want to make sure that there are jobs for their families for today and for their children for tomorrow. They want to see their incomes go up, wages growing. They want to see an economy that continues to produce opportunities for the future. The good news is that our approach is delivering on all those messages for Canadians. That is important.

News and Media IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Well, now we know that the next time the Liberals put forward a platform and they make commitments in it, those actually will be buzzwords and not commitments, Mr. Speaker.

On November 14, the head of Unifor, one of the largest media unions in the country, said that it would pull out all the stops to help re-elect the Liberal government. One week later, the government decided to create a $600-million slush fund in order to entice journalists to favour the government in the next election.

What guarantee do we have that the Liberals will not use this slush fund as a gigantic propaganda machine for the Liberal Party?

News and Media IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we believe in a strong and independent free press. We know that our democracy relies on getting information to Canadians.

We have been very clear. We want to continue to ensure a strong and free press and we will do it in a way that is completely and totally independent from government. That is critically important. That Canadians need the information they need to make decisions in our democracy is critically important.

News and Media IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, what the Liberals are actually proposing is that there will be a government sanctioned panel that will decide which journalists get how much and that panel will decide standards and eligibility for this big half billion dollar slush fund for the media.

Is it not true that the government just believes the job of the media is to shower praise on the Prime Minister and the job of taxpayers is to pay for it all?

News and Media IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is insulting to think that journalists can be bought off. What is clearly the case is that we are going to make sure that we have an independent free press in the country, because we understand how critical that is to our democracy. We are going to continue down this path, the path to which we have clearly committed. It is important for our country.

FinanceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, this week the Liberals outdid themselves in sucking up to big business. First there is this back to work legislation, which was drafted as a big gift to Canada Post executives and to please the eBays and Amazons of this world, while throwing workers under the bus.

Then we have an economic update, with $14 billion for the private sector and crumbs for Canadians. No wonder former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, said that the Liberal fiscal update was “deficit-financing the corporate sector”.

What is the next step for the Liberals? Coming to the rescue of poor little Walmart?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that members of the NDP should start talking to each other. What I heard from the NDP was that it was critically important that we invest in order to create jobs for the future and that we think about investing in a way that we could get clean technology outcomes. What we did yesterday was exactly those two things.

We have made it so that businesses can invest in the future and create jobs for Canadians. We have made it so that we can have clean technology firms invest in a way that will allow us to accelerate our approach toward a cleaner environment over the long term. These are important initiatives, and I am glad to think that at least some members of the NDP will come along and support us, when they get elected.

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, special legislation that forces Canada Post employees back to work is a great gift for Canada Post, which never felt the need to negotiate in good faith.

It is also a great gift for eBay and Amazon, which never stopped lobbying the government to put an end to the strike. The government slavishly listened.

Now, we have a mini budget of $14 billion in gifts for the private sector and nothing but crumbs for Canadians. The former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, said that this economic update is ratcheting up the deficit to fund the private sector.

What will the government do now? Is it going to help Bell, Telus and Rogers?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's fall economic update was very important for the middle class and for people who need a job. We decided that it was very important to invest in job creation. That is why we decided to do important things for the future. Job creation is very important. We will continue with our approach, which seeks to improve our economy and help Canadians across the country succeed.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, by passing special legislation to force postal workers back to work, the Liberals are proving that they are just like the Conservatives. A government that claims to stand up for the middle class should also stand up for middle-class working conditions.

Canada Post invested a false crisis, and the government is prepared to respond with special legislation. Canada Post is just sitting and waiting and will never change its position.

Will the government allow free negotiation and choose not to introduce this bill?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact what we have been doing in supporting free and fair bargaining for well over a year. We have been encouraging the parties to reach a deal. We have given them federal conciliation officers, mediators, a special mediator, whom we reappointed twice to get that deal. Canadians are suffering. Canadian businesses are suffering. Community members in rural and remote communities are suffering. Workers are suffering.

If required, the legislation would set out a process where employers would return to work while continuing their negotiations with an independent mediator arbitrator. We still believe a deal is possible, and I continue to encourage the parties to get that deal.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the Prime Minister intends to continue the charade of supporting the collective bargaining process guaranteed under the charter, while trampling on CUPW's rights by forcing the workers back to work. I believe that is called sucking and blowing at the same time, and Canadians are not buying it.

The Prime Minister has no interest in resolving CUPW's concerns around workload, pay equity, health and safety and harassment. Could the minister tell us, please, how exactly is the current Prime Minister an improvement over Stephen Harper?