House of Commons Hansard #359 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jurors.

Topics

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to answer that question. Providing a safe and affordable home for all Canadians is a key objective of our government. That is why we have helped a million families since 2016 to have access to a safe and affordable place to call home. It is why only a week ago we celebrated the first anniversary of our historic first-ever national housing strategy, a 10-year plan to invest $40 billion in the housing needs of Canadians. That is why a right to housing will be a key pillar of that long-term plan.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Colin Fraser Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, having energy-efficient buildings is critically important to our government's efforts to reduce GHGs and to make our communities more sustainable. In my riding of West Nova, residents know that ensuring that our buildings are in a good state of repair now and for years to come is essential to our well-being.

Can the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities explain what steps our government is taking to ensure this is the case?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for West Nova for his great work on behalf of his constituents. Our government was proud to recently invest $3.4 million to improve green infrastructure in the municipality of Argyle. This investment in Argyle is to build a new, fully accessible and net-zero energy municipal administrative building to better serve the region. We are proud to improve the people's quality of life in Argyle and across Canada.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, major ethical lapses are a hallmark of the Liberal government. Today, we learned that Raj Grewal, the former member for Brampton East, has been under RCMP investigation for months in connection with millions of dollars in gambling activity using suspect funds, this at the same time the Ethics Commissioner has been investigating the MP's extra-parliamentary employment and for greasing the way for that employer to attend a prime ministerial event in India.

Again, I will ask a question that has been asked so many times in the last three years: When did the Prime Minister become aware of this RCMP investigation?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I remind members that we cannot use the personal name of a member.

The hon. government House leader.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I stated yesterday, it was last week that the member told us he is addressing certain challenges and receiving treatment from a health professional. Based on these circumstances, it was agreed that his decision to resign as member was the right one. We hope that he receives the support he needs.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister himself misled the House when he said that the member for Brampton East had resigned. The member is still in the House and is still active.

The RCMP is currently conducting an investigation. At the same time, the Ethics Commissioner is investigating because the member for Brampton East accompanied his boss, the Prime Minister, on his trip to India.

Last week, we were told that he resigned, but he is still working.

When did the Prime Minister learn that the RCMP was conducting an investigation?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week, the member told us that he had certain challenges and that he is receiving treatment from a health professional. We hope that he receives the support that he needs.

VeteransOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Richard Martel Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, CPC

Mr. Speaker, three years into the Liberal mandate, veterans are still waiting for them to keep their promise. Over 3,000 veterans have been waiting for answers for over a year. That is discouraging. Veterans would like to know why they have to go through another medical exam when they have already been examined by National Defence doctors.

Will the government help our valiant veterans by fixing this situation and respecting diagnoses made by National Defence doctors?

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Seamus O'Regan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to delivering timely services to veterans and we know that on this, we need to do a lot better.

The members opposite should also remember that the Auditor General said that it was the Harper government that was not doing enough to facilitate veterans' timely access to mental health services and benefits. We have invested $10 billion. We have hired 470 new front-line staff. We are getting it done.

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts: dysfunction, mismanagement and incompetence. Twenty-nine thousand veterans are in a backlog waiting for a decision. Of those, 3,000 have waited for over a year. There has been $42 billion spent by the minister and nothing has improved.

When is the minister going to stop wasting time and money and help veterans directly?

VeteransOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Seamus O'Regan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, since the member was part of the Harper government, I will take him at his word that he knows something about dysfunction.

What did he think would happen when they closed nine offices? What did he think would happen when they cut the budget of the department? What did he think would happen when they cut 1,000 members of the staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs? In what world do they live to think that doing that would cut wait times?

We will continue to clean up the mess they made.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, communities across northern Saskatchewan have become inaccessible because of broken and unfinished roads, lack of rail access and no safe public transportation. The conditions are worse now that winter has settled in. The Liberals keep neglecting the calls from the local leadership, like Mayor Bruce Fidler in Creighton, to invest in safe and reliable infrastructure. Northerners deserve better.

Why does the Liberal government not care about infrastructure in northern communities?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, we are acting. We have a historic investment of $180 billion over the next 10 years in infrastructure that will see communities across Canada, northern communities, rural communities, urban communities, see better infrastructure, because we know that what Canadians want is infrastructure of the 21st century that is modern, resilient and great. That is what we are going to deliver to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have no strategy to bridge the digital divide, none. Those are not my words; they are the Auditor General's. He says that the Liberals' failure to plan for rural and remote regions is depriving people in those regions of the high-speed Internet access they so desperately need. In my riding, 16 of the 25 municipalities have connectivity problems. We need a strategy that will help young people, families and small businesses.

When will the government invest to get everyone connected?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I understand the importance of high-speed Internet. That is why we announced the connect to innovate program, which will make things better for many rural communities across Canada.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity, along with my provincial and territorial counterparts, to put forward a framework on the first national broadband high-speed strategy for rural and remote communities. We will continue to work on this very important issue.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, November 23, we learned that the President of the Treasury Board provided contradictory information. He told the House that he had been involved in the ship procurement contracts, but he told the RCMP that it was not Treasury Board's role to interfere in that file. Canadians have a right to know what role the Treasury Board president played in this unclear process.

To whom did he tell the truth?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. gentleman has a specific accusation to make, he should draw that accusation to the attention of the appropriate police authorities or perhaps he would care to say that outside.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has told two different stories with respect to the political interference with the naval supply ship contract. In October, he told this House that it was his job to examine the details. In 2016, he told the RCMP that it was not his job. He cannot have it both ways.

Will the President of the Treasury Board stand in the House today and tell us which version of the truth is accurate?

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, when legal matters are to be investigated, they are investigated independently by the RCMP and any decision with respect to charges is made independently by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The creation of that office, in the first place, was done back in 2005 by the previous government.

Indeed, the prime minister of the day, Mr. Harper said that they would ensure that decisions about criminal prosecutions are independent of politicians and independent of politics. That is our system.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this is not about a court case. This is about the integrity and honesty of the President of the Treasury Board. He has told two different stories that contradict each other. This is a serious issue with respect to political interference in a major contract. Where is the transparency and accountability? Why will the President of the Treasury Board not come clean and tell us which version of his story is true?

EthicsOral Questions

November 27th, 2018 / 2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the details of any legal case are to be determined independently by our court system. That is how the process works. The distinguished defence counsel, acting now for Admiral Norman, proclaimed that our legal system should never be denigrated for political gain. She said, “we have one of the greatest legal systems in the world”. Let it do its work.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a long history of resettling the world's most vulnerable refugees through the private sponsorship program, thanks to Canadians coming together to help resettle the most vulnerable.

The residents of Brampton South have raised the plight of Sikh and Hindu refugees from Afghanistan who have faced violence and persecution. The Bhullar foundation has answered the call to help resettle this religious minority population through the private sponsorship program.

Can the Minister please update the House on the progress to resettle these privately sponsored refugees?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Brampton South for her strong advocacy on this issue.

As members know, we have quadrupled the number of spaces available in the private sponsorship of refugees program as compared to the Conservatives. This has allowed us to reduce processing times, to reduce backlogs and to work closely with community sponsors, like the Bhullar foundation, to resettle even more religious minorities.

That is why I am so happy to update this House that on the third-year anniversary of the passing of the late hon. Manmeet Bhullar, the approved families for resettlement will be arriving in Canada early in the new year.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Tides Canada has led the coordinated campaign against the construction of new pipelines and the Alberta energy sector.

We know foreign money flows into Tides to help fund that campaign. However, this morning we found out that the Liberal government has decided to flow money to Tides to support the campaign as well. No one believes the Prime Minister supports Alberta's struggling energy sector while he funds the greatest opponents to it.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources explain why the government is funding the Tides campaign against Alberta jobs in the energy sector?