House of Commons Hansard #357 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

FinanceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals took office, they inherited a budget surplus, as the Parliamentary Budget Officer mentioned, and the best situation in the G7. That is the record the Liberals inherited.

Three years later, the debt is $60 billion, three times higher than what had been announced. The government has no idea when it will address the issue of balancing the budget. The question is still open.

Can anyone in the government reassure Canadians and tell them when they can expect the budget to be balanced?

FinanceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Jennifer O'Connell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.

Mr. Speaker, well, we know that the Conservatives do not let facts get in the way of the message they are trying to send. While Conservatives are focused on trying to rewrite history, we know they could not balance the budget. They could not grow the economy.

However, over here, we have created over half a million new jobs. Next year, a typical Canadian family will be $2,000 better off than it was under the Conservatives. We know the investments are working and that we are focused on Canadians, while they are focused on selling their failed plan to Canadians.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims to be a progressive. The labour minister claims to be a progressive. However, one cannot claim to be a progressive when one's actions do not match one's words. Back-to-work legislation is not progressive, especially when it gives Canada Post, one of the worst employers in this country, licence to bargain in bad faith.

On this side of the House, we see time and time again that when push comes to shove, Bay Street Liberals always seem to trump progressive Liberals. When will the real progressives on the Liberal benches stand up to this attack on workers?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, obviously with the work action, when we talk about what is going on with Canada Post today, this is something we do not take lightly as a government. Negotiations have been going on for over a year. We have had a mediator. We have been trying to help with a mediator for over a year. We have appointed special conciliators. What we would hope is that both sides are able to get down and get a deal done that is in everybody's best interest. That is what we would all like to see, but until then, we still hold out hope that they can find that way forward.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the member said the exact opposite in 2011 when Conservatives introduced back-to-work legislation.

Mediation is futile if one of the parties is negotiating in bad faith. That party is Canada Post, and the Liberals are giving management even more power with this legislation.

This legislation restores the old working conditions, which were problematic in terms of health, safety and fairness. It is estimated that between now and Christmas, 315 workers will be seriously injured, rural mail carriers will work about 250,000 hours without pay and urban workers will do thousands of hours of forced overtime.

Will the progressive thinkers on the Liberal benches stand up and oppose this attack on workers?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, the NDP House leader would know that it is a mediator-arbitrator who is clearly identified in this legislation. As the workers go back to work, the mediator will continue to be engaged in trying to find resolution on those outstanding issues. Health and safety is obviously one issue of great concern, and it should be of great concern to all Canadians.

Rather than an imposed arbitration and a final offer arbitration, we will look to—

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals claim to stand up for the middle class, but with this special legislation, they are preventing middle-class workers from negotiating with their employer. They are acting just like the Conservatives.

When the Conservatives pulled the same stunt on postal workers in 2011, my colleague from Cape Breton—Canso said, and I quote, “...this legislation is not only heavy-handed, but wrong-minded.”

Could he explain why the very thing that was heavy-handed and wrong-minded under the Conservatives is now completely acceptable?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, certainly, as I said, the legislation we are putting forward would have a mediator-arbitrator who would sit down with both sides to try to find a way forward.

Earlier, the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford had a very eloquent piece on how the NDP is supporting farmers. He may want to talk to Veseys Seeds and see how this strike has had an impact on its ability to get those seeds out to farmers. This tie-up is hurting farmers. This tie-up is hurting small businesses in this country, and we are taking action to fix that.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are bringing new meaning to the term Black Friday.

The New Democrats remember 2011, when Jack Layton led a filibuster against the Harper Conservatives for forcing CUPW members back to work without a contract. Since then, workplace conditions at Canada Post have only deteriorated. If the trend continues, workers will experience 315 disabling injuries in the four and a half weeks between now and Christmas, and it is on the Prime Minister's head.

Why is the Prime Minister forcing workers back to an unsafe workplace? Is he totally without conscience?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, obviously we recognize there are some outstanding issues. We hope the mediator will be able to get both parties together and find a way forward. We have heard from rank-and-file members that they want to be back to work, that they want to be doing their jobs. This is a busy time for them.

I would hope there is still time at the table; they are still at the table. Let us see if they can find a resolution. If not, we are going to take the action that is necessary to help small business operators in the country.

FinanceOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has his priorities all wrong in his economic update. The border crisis has been going on for two years now, and Quebec and Ontario are paying the price.

Instead of paying Quebec and Ontario the $400 million and $200 million they are owed respectively, the government is giving Unifor $600 million to attack the Conservative Party and its leader.

Do Quebec and Ontario have to beg to get their money back?

FinanceOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Bill Blair Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, we have been working closely with our provincial and municipal partners in managing, very effectively, the issue of those who have come to our country seeking the protection of Canada. Those processes are being well managed. We are working with municipalities.

I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge and thank the City of Toronto, under Mayor Tory's leadership, for its excellent collaboration. I have also recently worked with Mayor Plante. The municipal partnership has been exceptional and needs to be acknowledged.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fall economic update has done nothing for workers who rely on the energy sector to care for their families. The Prime Minister stands idly by and does nothing to address the deep discounts in Canadian oil.

Yesterday, actual Canadians, not paid foreign protestors, took to the streets of Calgary to demand action. Why did the Prime Minister even bother to show up in Calgary, when it is clear he does not care about hard-working energy workers in the sector we promote here?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Amarjeet Sohi Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, we deeply care about the energy sector and the people who work in the energy sector. We understand the frustration they are facing, but the source of their frustration was the inability of the previous government to build a single pipeline to expand our non-U.S. global market.

We are moving forward on Enbridge Line 3, which will come into operation next year. We are working closely with the Province of Alberta to find solutions to the challenges the energy sector is facing.

We have stood with energy sector workers and we will continue to stand with them.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has confirmed that the Liberals have failed to take action to improve Internet services in rural and remote communities.

Rural businesses across Canada are disadvantaged and families are continually frustrated by slow, unreliable Internet service. There was nothing in the Liberal fall economic statement to address this problem.

Why is the Prime Minister failing rural communities?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, we have taken significant action to connect Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The connect to innovate program, $500 million, has resulted in 900 communities in rural and remote Canada being connected. That is 600 more than we had targeted with our initial group.

We take connectivity seriously. We know Canadians need to be connected for economic and social reasons. The minister sat down with his provincial and territorial counterparts in October. We will have a national strategy moving forward.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fall economic update came on the heels of sweeping notices of work curtailment and mill closures in British Columbia and indeed in my riding.

West Fraser, Conifex Timber, Tolko Industries, Canfor and Interfo forestry companies have all announced sweeping forms of labour force reductions. With Christmas just 32 days away, families are now facing tough choices.

Why is the Prime Minister and the minister neglecting hard-working forestry families?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Amarjeet Sohi Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, as the member would know, $100 million have been allocated for innovative practices in the forestry sector. We know that the forestry sector is a source of well-paying middle-class jobs and will remain a source of well-paying middle-class jobs. We will continue to support it. We have provided $867 million to support workers and communities, diversify our markets and help producers access services and new markets.

HealthOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the health minister about serious drug shortages in Canada and her answer was that the government had a web page where it listed them all. A web page does not get medications to the Canadians who need them. What is next, an app?

Clearly, addressing the shortages was not a priority in the fall economic update. Why will the Liberals not take action to solve these chronic drug shortages?

HealthOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, one of my responsibilities as Minister of Health is to ensure that Canadians are properly informed about the drugs they are taking.

We are bringing in important measures to address the complex problems of drug shortages. We have launched our website, for example, and we continue to work on this issue. The global drug shortage is a complex problem, and our government is taking significant action to address it.

Status of WomenOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, this spring the Liberals tabled a so-called gender-based budget, but in the fall economic update we see very little follow through.

The Prime Minister actually spent 20 times more on swanky new vehicles, which he drove for two days at the G7 summit, than he did on improving access to employment skills for women who are vulnerable, coming out of violence and needing a restart in life.

Why did the Prime Minister spend $23 million on his swanky new vehicles that lasted for two days and not even a drop in the bucket for women who need a restart?

Status of WomenOral Questions

November 23rd, 2018 / 11:35 a.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I reject the several premises brought forward in my hon. member's questions.

First, there is proactive pay equity legislation in the fall economic statement. Second, the G7 was the first time ever that gender was mainstreamed throughout every single item of the agenda. Third, we have been committed to advancing gender equality because we know it will grow the economy, and our plan is working.

If my hon. colleagues are concerned about vulnerable women, why do they vote against every single measure we introduce to address it?

Canada PostOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals care, then why are they ramming through back-to-work legislation?

Today, the Liberal government is violating the constitutional rights of workers. This is wrong. Postal workers are not getting paid equally. They are not working in safe environments. They are working so much overtime that they cannot get home to see their families.

Today the Liberals are betraying working people. When they come for one worker in Canada, they come for all of us. Just like the Conservatives, they are siding with rich corporations and Black Friday profits by violating workers' rights.

Why are the Liberals so hellbent about forcing postal workers to return to an unfair and dangerous workplace?

Canada PostOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, it gives me an opportunity to contrast the way the Conservatives took this approach and the approach we have taken. We have been engaged for over a year with these negotiations. We have appointed conciliators and special mediators. Over the last four weeks, we have seen that the situation at Canada Post has had an impact.

However, with the legislation we tabled yesterday, it is a mediator-arbitrator. The mediator will continue to work with the groups to try to find a resolution. We know that the arbitrator who was appointed by the Conservatives was a—