House of Commons Hansard #350 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Motion Regarding Commemorative Plaque for Sam SharpePoints of OrderGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, which relates to a unanimous consent motion passed in the House of Commons on May 24, and it relates to the unanimous consent given on the installation of a plaque commemorating a former MP from the Great War, Sam Sharpe. The unanimous consent motion was seconded by my colleague on the other side, the MP for Pickering—Uxbridge, and there was much help from the member for Scarborough—Guildwood as well.

The installation is to be held before the 100th year anniversary of the armistice that ended the war. We have been informed in recent days that it is the intention of the Minister of Veterans Affairs not to install the plaque, as per the unanimous consent of the House, but to display the maquette. The maquette, the model for the commemorative plaque, was displayed in 2015. The intention of the House on May 24 was to install the plaque here in Centre Block.

I would quote from the unanimous consent motion passed on May 24 in this place:

one day before the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of MP Sam Sharpe, [this House] call for the commemorative bronze plaque of Samuel Simpson Sharp, sculpted by Canadian artist Tyler Briley, to be installed in the Centre Block ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War

It went on to give discretion to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, during the period of closure of Centre Block for renovations, to allow the plaque to be removed from its installation and loaned to the Operational Stress Injury Clinic at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

All sides agreed to a very detailed and very much discussed unanimous consent motion, and it is my sincere hope, in the spirit of bipartisanship in relation to reducing the stigma associated with mental injuries from service, that before 100 years passes from the end of the Great War, we can rectify an omission by the House of Commons almost a century ago, when the iconic statue of George Baker was provided in the lobby here and no mention was made of sitting member of Parliament Sam Sharpe.

That unanimous consent motion was passed on the eve of the 100th anniversary of his death by suicide in the year the Legion has decided to make the Silver Cross Mother the mother of Private Welch, who was a casualty, through a similar means, after the Afghanistan war.

Let us show a spirit of bipartisan co-operation to meet the goal and the clear, express intention of the House and install the plaque tomorrow or before November 11. That is really our duty. That was the will of the House. The fact that the intention of the minister is now to deviate from that express will brings my point of order for your clarification.

Motion Regarding Commemorative Plaque for Sam SharpePoints of OrderGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Durham for raising his point of order. I will look into the matter and come back to the House.

Time Alloted for Consideration of Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2—Speaker's RulingPrivilegeGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege as well as the point of order raised on October 31, 2018, by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby regarding Bill C-86, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures.

I would like to thank the member for having raised the matter as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House for his observations.

In regard to his question of privilege, the member for New Westminster—Burnaby contended that the government's intent to allow a few days of debate on Bill C-86 would not allow for sufficient scrutiny of its clauses, given the length of the bill, at 850 pages. As parliamentarians have a fundamental right and responsibility to examine legislation, he concluded that a bill of this size is more than an omnibus bill and constitutes an obstruction to his ability to perform his parliamentary duties.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader assured the House that time will be available for the bill to be considered at each stage of the legislative process and, thus, the member’s privileges are not being breached.

Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the member for New Westminster—Burnaby’s concern with his ability to scrutinize a bill of this magnitude thoroughly and, in turn, debate with confidence. This is a massive bill, the largest budget implementation bill to date.

That said, the rules and practices of the House have yet to address the issue of limits on length of legislation. Even with the addition of Standing Order 69.1, which grants the Speaker some authority with respect to omnibus legislation, there is no mechanism for the Chair to deal with legislation based solely on its size. This is no less true when there is a supposition being made about the limited amount of time that will be allowed for debate on any given bill. Whether or not a reasonable amount of time has been allowed for debate is not a question that the Chair can answer, even now when members are being asked to digest a “gargantuan bill”, as the member for New Westminster—Burnaby called it.

As my predecessor said on June 12, 2014, at page 6717 of the Debates, “it is the House that retains that authority and therefore must continue to make that determination as to when and if a bill has received adequate consideration.” For these reasons, I cannot conclude that the objection raised constitutes a prima facie contempt of the House.

Bill C-86—Proposal to Apply Standing Order 69.1Point of OrderGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Turning now to the point of order, the hon. member asked me to divide the question on the bill pursuant to Standing Order 69.1 on omnibus bills. He argued that specific measures in the bill, namely clauses 461 and 462 dealing with protections for workers, and clauses 535 to 625, dealing with the head of compliance and enforcement, did not appear to arise out of measures announced in the budget. Therefore, in his view, these sections should be separated out for a distinct vote. He felt that there were likely other matters contained in the bill that were unrelated to the budget, but the short timeline had not permitted him the opportunity to make a thorough review.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader responded by saying that there was, indeed, a link between these measures and what was promised in the budget. In the case of the provisions relating to the head of compliance and enforcement, he indicated that the government had signalled its intention to amend and modernize the Canada Labour Code in last year’s budget and that these provisions were in response to that commitment.

Standing Order 69.1 allows the Speaker to divide the questions on the motions for second and third reading of a bill when there is no common element connecting the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked. Paragraph (2) of that Standing Order provides an exemption for budget implementation bills, by which the question cannot be divided if the bill contains only provisions announced in the budget or referenced in the budget documents.

On November 8, 2017, in a ruling regarding Bill C-63 found at pages 15165 to 15167 of the Debates, I explained that:

I believe the purpose of the standing order is to allow such a division in relation to those matters which are unrelated to the budget, accepting that the purpose of the remainder of the bill is to implement the budget.

Therefore, the only question at issue is whether the provisions identified by the hon. member have any link to the budget presented in this place on February 27. If they do, then I would not separate them out for a distinct vote.

As I mentioned in the ruling last year, establishing such a link is not always obvious. The budget document is over 360 pages, accompanied by nearly 80 pages of supplemental tax information. Sometimes commitments are very specific and targeted, while other times the language may be vaguer. A generally stated policy intention may translate into a series of detailed and technical legislative amendments. Accordingly, a provision announced in a few sentences may require pages of legislative changes to implement. It is with this in mind that I have reviewed the provisions identified by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

Clause 461 of the bill creates a new division VI.1 in the Canada Labour Code relating to temporary help agencies. The provisions seem to deal largely with matters relating to pay equity. Page 43 of the budget indicates that pay equity legislation will “include job types such as seasonal, temporary, part-time and full-time positions”. While this measure falls outside the pay equity act enacted by clause 416 and related measures in clauses 417 to 440, it seems reasonable to conclude that it is part of a series of provisions dealing with equal pay for equal work and fair treatment in the workplace, in line with the objective announced in the budget.

Clause 462 changes a heading in the Canada Labour Code relating to maternity leave and other types of leave. For many years, it was our practice that headings were not subject to amendment, as they were not considered to be part of a bill. However, in recent years, it has become more common to see clauses or amendments that change headings. In fact, this particular heading had previously been changed by Bill C-63.

The substance of the present change seems to be to group a list of different types of leave into a more concise heading. The parliamentary secretary noted that page 46 of the budget indicated that:

…the Government proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that workers in federally regulated industries have the job protection they need while they are receiving EI parental benefits.

I am prepared to accept that the heading change flows, at least partially, out of this commitment.

Clauses 535 to 637 amend the Canada Labour Code to allow a minister to designate a head of compliance and enforcement and spell out this person’s powers and responsibilities. Some of these relate to harassment and violence in the workplace. Page 236 of the budget makes reference to “…protecting federally regulated employees from harassment and violence in the workplace” and at least some of these measures clearly align with that objective. However, the parliamentary secretary’s main argument for not separating out these provisions is that they fulfill a commitment made in budget 2017 to strengthen compliance and enforcement mechanisms in the Labour Code.

The parliamentary secretary’s contention is that the exemption in the Standing Order applies to a bill whose purpose is the implementation of “a budget”, inferring it need not be this year’s budget. I think this is a bit of a stretch.

The title of Bill C-86 references the “budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018”. Clearly, the main purpose of the bill is to implement this year’s budget, not last year’s. I do not believe the intention of the Standing Order was to also exempt provisions from previous budgets.

Had the commitments been repeated in this year’s budget, I may have been inclined to accept his arguments, but that does not appear to be the case. For that reason, I am prepared to allow a separate vote on the provisions contained in subdivision B of division 15 of part 4.

Accordingly, given that a reasoned amendment has been moved, there will be three votes at second reading for this bill. The first will deal with the reasoned amendment. If it is defeated, the second vote will deal with all provisions relating to the head of compliance and enforcement in the Canada Labour Code, which includes clauses 535 to 625 of the bill, while the third will deal with all remaining provisions of the bill.

I thank hon. members for their attention.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking for the NDP, I rise to speak about Bill C-86, the budget implementation bill. I will run through some of the things we do not like, some of the things we wish were there and some of the measures that we have some qualified support for, particularly around oil spill response. I will then speak a little more in depth about pay equity, which is a long-awaited provision. We have been eagerly looking forward to it being brought into the House for three years, actually 42 years if we count the total sweep of time since it was first committed to by Liberals, and a lot of questions have come up about the mechanics of it.

However, first, there is one big missing piece. Although the bankruptcy laws would be amended through this proposed budget implementation act, they would only protect commercial licence-holders and corporations but fail completely to protect workers' pensions with those same bankruptcy laws. Our NDP colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain, has been working for three years on this. When there is a bankruptcy, workers' pensions, which they have paid for, should be at the front of the line. How could the government, when it is for the middle class and all that jargon, have opened up that section of the bankruptcy laws but not introduced this amendment? It is so important, whether one is a Sears worker or Stelco worker. It is a major miss and a great disappointment. In fact, some have said it is a “moral failure”.

What is missing? If this were a New Democrat budget, we would have web taxation for the giant web companies. We would end pension theft. We would have universal child care. We would have closed tax loopholes. We would have much stronger measures against tax havens. A major way to fund our social programs in this great country is to close the offshore super-rich tax loopholes. We would have sick leave in EI. We would have universal, affordable pharmacare. We would have closed the funding gap for indigenous education and access to drinking water on reserves. There would have been more help for rural communities.

Here is one proposed provision that there is a mix on. We are glad to see an increased number of weeks for parental leave when divided between working parents, but, again, and we have made this argument every budget, it would only be effective for people who can afford to live on just 33% of their salary. It is not within reach or affordable for families who are not super well off. Also, as my colleague pointed out, six in 10 workers do not have access to EI. The program is still designed in a way that does not accommodate part-time and precarious workers, the people who most need the social safety net of EI. Therefore, it is a provision that although on paper looks good, and it is a good step I guess, it would not actually get to the people who need it. Of course, it does not get at the heart of the matter, which every gender-focused government and progressive government in the world has done, and that is invest in universal affordable child care. This proposed budget would not do that.

An issue I have been working on for at least 10 years in my role as Islands Trust Council chair and during the whole three years that I have been representing here concerns oil spill response. I represent a coastal community by the ocean. It has a lot of shipping traffic, a very sensitive ecology, fast-moving currents and big tidal fluctuations. A lot of jobs are dependent on the region; people are very concerned about oil spill response. Therefore, we were glad to see in the proposed budget a mechanism for the Coast Guard to receive upfront funding from the ship-source oil pollution fund.

Members might remember this fund from when I worked with the former fisheries minister, the member for Nunavut, to have the Viki Lyne II removed from Ladysmith Harbour. After four and a half years of trying, it cost $1.2 million, which was funded through the ship-source oil pollution fund. That abandoned vessel had been towed into Ladysmith Harbour by Transport Canada. The government brought it into our riding, and it took us that long to get it out, but that fund was used to remove the Viki Lyne II on the basis that removing that abandoned vessel would prevent an oil spill.

Therefore, it is good there is some conversation in this budget about how this fund might be used in a new and modern way. However, a provision in the budget implementation act that worries me is that it creates a mechanism for the government to put taxpayer money into the fund in the event it is depleted.

We have heard a lot of speeches in the chamber about polluter pays and making corporations pay for pollution. I agree with that, but this is the exact opposite of the intention of the ship-source oil spill pollution fund.

The following is part of a letter that I wrote when I was the Islands Trust Council chair in 2013 for the Tanker Safety Panel Secretariat under Transport Canada:

...this fund cannot be viewed as a “polluter-pay” arrangement, when industry has only contributed $34.86 million between 1972-1976 and none since then. On the other hand, I am told the taxpayer has contributed more than $424 million and the fund has paid out more than $51 million for industry's annual premiums to the international compensation funds. It makes sense to us

—that is, the Islands Trust Council—

that cargo owners and pipeline owners with marine terminals who profit by risking our marine environment and the health of our communities, should contribute to this fund to avoid the burden falling on the Canadian taxpayer.

That is how it should be. Industry should be paying for this fund. We really do not want to see the government opening up a mechanism to put taxpayer funds into this, even if it is only in an emergency situation. Rather, right now we should be asking the polluters to make contributions so that in the calamitous event there is an oil spill, we are able to have the funds right there that industry has already paid for.

Most importantly, I want to talk about the pay equity provisions. Going back in history, members will remember that it was 42 years ago that Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government committed to pay equity. In 2004, again under a Liberal government, there was a task force that had tremendous buy-in from all sectors and made very strong recommendations on pay equity that were never implemented. The NDP's very first opposition day motion in this Parliament was to have the government strike a special committee to find a way to implement those 2004 recommendations.

Here we are, three years later, and we wish it had not taken this long. However, we are glad to see the pay equity legislation finally tabled here. That it is buried in an 800-page omnibus bill is very discouraging. It means we cannot dig into the details, and there are a lot of them.

I have some questions about where this does not seem to align with the 2004 pay equity task force recommendations, which this Parliament's special committee unanimously said should be implemented. Pay equity is a fundamental human right, but this act's purpose clause defines it in terms of the employer's need. This is unheard of in a human rights statute in this country and completely contrary to the 2004 task force recommendations.

There will be no legal support centre for non-union women, as recommended in the 2004 task force. There will be no standalone enforcement entity as a specialized pay equity commission and tribunal. Again, that recommendation was ignored. The definition of “employer” is left out.

We had some testimony just this morning indicating that the finance committee ran through some of these mechanisms. We are getting good advice, but, again, we wish we had more time to debate and implement it.

A question was asked about why the new federal pay equity legislation would reduce the entitlements that women employed in precarious jobs currently have with that protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act. How could it possibly be that precarious workers would have less protection in this new bill than they do right now?

The timeline is a significant problem as well. Again, we have been waiting 42 years. It took the government three years to get to this point. The new pay equity act says that women could wait more than 10 years to receive a pay equity remedy: one year to develop the regulations, three years for pay equity plan development, and eight years for compensation and remedies to paid out in the case of workplaces with fewer than 99 employees.

This is not a situation where more consultation and more research is needed. Other countries have gone way ahead of us. Women have waited far too long. We really want to accelerate the implementation of equal pay for work of equal value.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I will make two important points before I ask a question.

One point is that the NDP continually wants us to do things faster, but then to slow down once we start doing them. I am trying to reconcile that contradiction.

The second point is that in 2004, when pay equity legislation was on the table in the House and ready to be passed, as were the Kelowna accord and the proposed national day care program and an actual $2.7 billion for housing, the NDP chose to move to support a confidence motion rather than wait. The opposition controlled the timing of that. It supported the confidence motion first, rather waiting for those pieces to pass and then moving the confidence motion. The NDP have never explained to Canadians for why they gambled all of those things away. However, those things were gambled away.

My question is this. I think the member opposite raised an important issue around EI. She agreed that remodelling EI to reach more Canadians is necessary. If that happens, would she agree with what the Conservatives often say that it is a payroll tax rather than an insurance process? Would she support it even if it did have an impact on premiums?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, of the seven questions asked, I will say that having waited 42 years, we want to get pay equity right. As for the closure that has been invoked on debate and the very limited committee time that it looks like we are going to have, I promise that we are not trying to slow down pay equity. We want it to be implemented more quickly and to have the time in committee and in the House to be able to get the details right. This has an enormous impact on women in all sectors.

Another piece that was not accommodated in the legislation was the question of intersectionality. Indigenous and racialized and immigrant people, not just women, should be accommodated within this pay equity act, and it looks that is missing.

These are all detailed questions that we want to work on with the government to get this right. I really wish the government had not waited until the third year of its mandate to bring the legislation forward. I wish it would give us more time to have this conversation right now.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, as all of us in the opposition have discussed, this bill is is over 800 pages long. For those who objected to Conservative budget legislation, this is double the length of what we saw under the previous government. It is a comparison that should put those on the government side who railed against omnibus legislation utterly to shame.

I want to ask the member for her perspective on the indigenous consultation issue in the context of a budget bill that has implications for the lives of indigenous people in a number of its particularly important provisions. We have not had much time in the House to discuss those provisions, given the vastness of the bill and the limited time we have.

In this member's view, does the process conform to the requirements in UNDRIP for consultation of indigenous people on things that affect their lives?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would love to be able to answer that question. I am so proud of the work my colleague, the member of Parliament for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, did to bring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into legislation and have it bind future governments. Honestly, I have not even looked at that section. I have not been home since this omnibus bill was tabled. I have not heard from the Snuneymuxw, Stz'uminus, and Snaw-naw-as councils in my region.

Again, the current government is one that says that the nation-to-nation relationship is the most important. We have the ability to lock this into law. If there are good provisions, I would love to be able to support them. However, this is such a rush.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my colleague's speech, she mentioned the bankruptcy laws, which in its budget, the government had promised it was going to have consultations on. It even campaigned that it was going to use every tool in the tool box. My colleague mentioned that the government is using this now to open up the bankruptcy laws for companies, but not for the workers' pensions. Can she tell us what her constituents told us at the town hall meeting where they expressed this concern?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, when I co-hosted a town hall in Ladysmith with my colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain, we had a lot of people come out. There were former Sears employees, who really liked the mechanism that had been proposed by my colleague to put workers first in the queue in the event of bankruptcies. They recognized that these are earned pensions that they have paid into all their lives. I am sure they will be dismayed to learn that the government chose to open up the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, but not to protect workers' pensions.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

November 6th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to acknowledge our presence on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples, who have taken care of this place for generations upon generations.

I am standing in the House to speak to, and urge my colleagues to support, Bill C-86, the budget implementation act, part 2, more affectionately known in this House as BIA 2, and to speak to the measures that help grow Canada's middle class and support those working hard to join it. I firmly believe that, when passed, these measures will help support Canadians across the country and help to grow our economy.

I also need to acknowledge the work of the feminists who have come before us, those who have worked so hard, those effective trailblazers and courageous silence-breakers who have brought us to this moment in time when we recognize that equality is a driver of economic growth. In fact, this past October, we launched Women's History Month, with the first online gallery that captures the stories of Canada's women of impact. This particular website tells the stories of women like Elsie Knott, the first woman to be chief of a first nation in Canada; Louise Fish; and young women like Faith Dickinson, along with the more well-known trailblazers, like the Right Hon. Kim Campbell. I encourage my colleagues and Canadians to google "Canada's women of impact" and read their stories. There is a teacher's guide so that we may share those stories in an effective way. Of course, Canadians are welcome to provide their nominations for other women whose stories ought to be on that website.

I mention those women, because our government is committed to continuing their legacies. Advancing gender equality is the right thing to do, and it is indeed the smart thing to do. We would benefit to the tune of $150 billion in Canada's economy over the next decade if Canada's women participated equally in our economy. We would increase our GDP by 4%, we would fill critical labour shortages, and would ensure that Canada's middle class grows, and that we stay competitive.

There are several measures in Bill C-86 to close the gender wage gap and to build on our government's existing efforts. I would like to speak broadly to five of those.

The first is the introduction of an act that would ensure there is a new and full department with a broader mandate to help Status of Women Canada evolve. It would evolve into the department for women and gender equality, WAGE in short. There is proactive pay equity legislation. We are legislating the application of a gender and diversity lens to all federal budgets moving forward. There are provisions for shared parental leave, and there is also a new benefit of five days of paid leave for survivors of family violence.

I would like to speak to the enabling legislation that would ensure that the department for women and gender equality would be able to build on the good work of the small but mighty agency that is Status of Women Canada. I will take this opportunity to thank my predecessors, as well as the team at Status of Women, who, regardless of the whims and values of the sitting governments of the day, kept the work of gender equality alive, kept tools like GBA+ sharp and applicable in Canadian contexts, and worked tirelessly, with limited resources, to help transform an agency into a full department and help meet the additional demands on their expertise with a feminist government.

The department, to be called WAGE, the department for women and gender equality, will have a wide mandate for the advancement of equality, including social, economic, and political equality with respect to sex, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, rurality, indigeneity, immigration and immigrant status, as well as to ensure that we take into account the wide range of varieties that Canadians find themselves in.

The proactive pay equity legislation included in this bill, Bill C-86, is historic. It is a historic step that will ensure that women in federally regulated industries, whether in the public service or others, are paid equally for work of equal value.

In doing so, we consulted with employees and employers and advocacy organizations and worked to strike a balance between the recommendations that came from the Bilson report, as well as the hard work and the report presented to the House from the committee that worked on pay equity. Proactive pay equity legislation is part of our government's efforts to get our house in order, and to continue to lead by example, hopefully compelling other employers to do the same.

The third item I would like to speak to is gender budgeting. BIA2 includes legislation that enshrines gender budgeting in law. This will ensure that future governments apply a gender and diversity lens to their budgetary decisions. This is an important example of how our government is working to ensure that an intersectional gendered lens is applied to our decision-making, including the federal budget.

The fourth item I would like to speak to is a new benefit to advance gender equality. Our government's five-week EI “use it or lose it” parental sharing benefit which is available to two-parent families, including adoptive and same sex couples, proposes to provide greater flexibility, particularly for mothers to return to work sooner, if they so choose. It encourages the second parent to take part in the work that is caring for a newborn.

We know that it will help shape and change some of the gender norms around who provides the care. We also know that for mothers who experience postpartum depression, having that additional support in those early days will provide some relief.

The fifth item that I would like to speak to is a budget measure that is tabled by our government that will ensure that survivors of family violence receive five days of paid leave. Advocates, women's organizations and unions have told us that these five days will ensure that those who experience that violence will have some time to figure out next steps, to come up with a plan, to take a time out, whatever that may be. This is something that we heard from advocates across Canada and we listened.

Regardless of our political persuasions, we all agree that nobody should have to live in fear, in economic uncertainty, of not having access to a decent job, or being paid less for work of equal value. Everyone should have the opportunity to succeed in this great country, no matter their gender, gender identity, age, language, origin, race, abilities, rurality or other identity factors.

I encourage my hon. colleagues in this House to support this bill. The measures introduced, combined with our government's efforts, like support for women's organizations, like child care, like a national housing strategy that has a carve-out for women who are escaping violence, like the work we are doing to support women entrepreneurs and women leaders, like Daughters of the Vote, all of these measures combined will ensure greater equality in Canada, will grow Canada's middle class and will support those working hard to join it.

I hope that colleagues support Bill C-86. I am happy to answer any questions they may have.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member, in her speech, said that we need to tackle the problem of violence against women and girls. I agree. Then she went on to say that we need to tackle this problem, because it will mean that our economy will be advanced, that it will be good for our economy. What she is saying, in essence, is that in Canada we face a problem where women and girls are mistreated, and we need to make sure that we take care of that problem so that these women and girls can go back into the workforce, so that they can contribute to our economic well-being as a country, and so that they can pay taxes to the government.

My question is very simple. As women, do we not have inherent dignity, inherent value and inherent worth? Are we not worth fighting for, just because we are women, because we are human beings, because we belong to a country called Canada?

In this country, we believe in the security and the freedom of a human being. We believe in making sure that is preserved and protected. We believe that every single Canadian from coast to coast should be able to walk in this country freely, that they should be able to walk in this country knowing that their security is intact, that they should not be attacked or mistreated by others, including the Prime Minister, I might add.

My question is very simple. Why is the hon. member devaluing women by saying that they simply need to be looked after so that they can better contribute to the economy?

Violence against women and girls is worth going after just because it is the right thing to do.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

Maryam Monsef Liberal Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my hon. colleague. Advancing equality and preventing gender-based violence is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.

I am sure my hon. colleague knows that domestic violence is costing us $12 billion a year. I am sure my hon. colleague knows that, if given the choice, many would prefer to be out and reaching their full potential and contributing to society and the economy.

This is why we have invested over $200 million in a strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence. This is why we are investing tens of millions of dollars in women's organizations that are doing this work. This is why our government was the first to introduce a strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence. I also would like to remind colleagues that our party is the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we too, like my colleague opposite, believe in protecting these rights, protected and fought for by others who have come before us.

I would like to add that the Conservatives had 10 years to address the challenges around gender-based violence. I would like to add that they closed down regional offices across the country. They shut down and stopped funding women's organizations that were advocating for a better life and for the dignity that is now being mentioned. The Conservatives worked every step of the way to undermine, undervalue and underestimate Status of Women Canada and women in this country. It is good to see them come on board and see the merit in our plan. I look forward to any future collaborations.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my many years in Parliament, I have seen governments squander a lot of things, and one thing majority governments are dangerous about squandering is the word of the prime minister, through sheer arrogance.

We remember how the Prime Minister won, saying this was going to be the last election under first past the post. He said there were going to be new relations with first nations. On prorogation and the use of omnibus bills, we remember how he said that Stephen Harper used omnibus bills, but the Liberals would change the Standing Orders and they would not do that. Now we are looking at this ridiculously large omnibus bill that comes from a Prime Minister who figures that the words he said to get himself elected actually do not count for all that much.

What really concerns me in this is the Liberals have shoved into this massive budget implementation bill fundamental questions about first nations issues. They do not even believe they have to bother consulting first nations. It is the same old attitude of the same old government that goes all the way back.

How, in God's name, does the government have the gall to shove issues about first nations rights and land into an omnibus budget bill without consultation?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

Maryam Monsef Liberal Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that we are open to engaging with all peoples of this land, especially the first peoples of this land, to ensure that we move together effectively in an era of reconciliation.

I can speak to pay equity. We are absolutely in consultation with indigenous communities across the country. I would be happy to provide my hon. colleague with an update on that.

I would also say that our government supported UNDRIP, the proposal that was placed in this House, and my hon. colleagues from the Conservative Party did not.

We will continue to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of race, ability, disability and gender identity, have the opportunity to reach their full potential in this great country. I urge my hon. colleagues to support this bill so we can continue to do that work.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise. As usual, I would like to say hello to the many people of Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us live on CPAC or on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter later.

I would like to comment on the speech by the Minister of Status of Women. I found it somewhat hypocritical when she said that she hopes her opposition colleagues will support the bill and the budget's feminist measures, which she presented, when the Liberals actually and strategically included all these measures in an omnibus bill, the 2018 budget implementation bill. Clearly, we, the Conservatives, will not vote in favour of Bill C-86 because it once again presents a deficit budget that is devastating for Canada's economy and for Canadian taxpayers. It is somewhat hypocritical for the minister to tell us that she hopes we will support the measures to give women more power when she herself was involved in hiding these measures in an omnibus bill.

I would like say, as I often say, that it is a privilege for me to speak today, but not for the same reason this time. I might have been denied the opportunity to speak to Bill C-86 because this morning, the Liberal government imposed closure on the House. It imposed time allocation on the speeches on the budget. This is the first time in three years that I am seeing this in the House. Since 2015, we have had three budget presentations. This is the sixth time we are debating a budget since 2015 during this 42nd Parliament. This is the first time I have seen the majority of my Conservative colleagues and the majority of my NDP colleagues being denied speaking time to discuss something as important as Bill C-86 to implement budgetary measures. The budget implementation legislation is what formalizes the budget the government brought down in February. Implementation is done in two phases. This is the second phase and it implements the Liberal government's budget.

By chance, I have the opportunity to speak about the budget today and I want to do so because I would like to remind those listening about some key elements of this budget which, in our view, are going in the wrong direction. First, the Liberals are continuing with their habit, which has become ingrained in their psyches. They are continuing with their deficit approach. It appears that they are in a financial bind. That is why they are creating new taxes like the carbon tax. They also lack the personal ability to govern. You might say that it is not in their genes to balance a budget. The Liberals' budget measures are bad and their economic plan is bad. They are so incapable of balancing the budget that they cannot even give us a timeline. They cannot even tell us when they think they will balance the budget.

This is the first time that we have seen this in the history of our great Canadian parliamentary democracy, established in 1867, and probably before that, in the parliaments of the United Canadas. This is the first time since 1867 that a government has not been able to say when they will balance the budget. I am not one for political rhetoric, but this is not rhetoric, this is a fact.

The Liberals made big promises to us in that regard during the 2015 election. Unfortunately, the Liberals put off keeping those promises. They promised to balance the budget by 2019. Now, they have put that off indefinitely, or until 2045, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a position that, let us not forget, was created by Mr. Harper. That great democrat wanted to ensure that there was budgetary accountability in Parliament. The Liberals also promised that they would run small deficits of $10 billion for the first three years and then balance the budget. The first year, they ran a deficit of $30 billion. The second year, they ran a deficit of $20 billion. The third year, they ran a deficit of $19 billion. Just a week or two ago, we found out from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that the Liberals miscalculated and another $4 billion in debt has been added to that amount. The Liberals have racked up a deficit of $22 billion. That is 6.5 times more than what they set out in their plan to balance the budget.

The other key budget promise the Liberals made was that the small deficits of $10 billion would be used to build new infrastructure as part of a $187-billion program.

To date, only $9 billion has flowed from the coffers to pay for infrastructure projects. Where is the other $170 billion? The Prime Minister is so acutely aware of the problem that he shuffled his cabinet this summer. He appointed the former international trade minister to the infrastructure portfolio, and the new infrastructure minister's mandate letter says he absolutely has to get on this troublesome issue of money not being used to fund infrastructure projects.

There is a reason the Liberals do not want to give us more than two or three days to discuss the budget. They do not want the Conservatives and the NDP to say quite as much about the budget as they would like to say because we have a lot of bad things to tell them and Canadians.

Fortunately, we live in a democracy, and we can express ourselves in the media, so all Canadians can hear what I have to say. However, it is important for us to express our ideas in the House too because listening to what we say here is how Canadians learn what happened in history.

Things are not as rosy as the Liberals claim when it comes to the economy and their plan. For instance, in terms of exports, they have not been able to export Canadian oil as they should. We have one of the largest reserves in the world, but the Liberals tightened rules surrounding the National Energy Board in recent years. As a result, several projects have died, such as the northern gateway project and energy east, and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project, which the Liberals managed to save in the end using $4.5 billion of taxpayers money. In short, our exports are not doing very well.

As for investments, from 2015 to 2017, Canadian investments in the U.S. increased by 65%, while American investments in Canada dropped by 52%.

On top of that, one thing that affects the daily lives of Canadians even more is the massive debt, which could jeopardize all our future projects for our glorious federation. In 2018, the total accumulated debt is $670 billion. That comes out to $47,000 per family. Not counting any student debt, car payments or mortgage, every family already has a debt of $47,000, and a good percentage of that has increased over the past three years because of the Liberals' fiscal mismanagement.

That is not to mention the interest on the debt. I am sure that Canadians watching at home are outraged by this. In 2020, the interest on the debt will be $39 billion a year. That is $3 billion more than we invest every year in health.

The government boasts about how it came up with a wonderful plan for federal health transfers with the provinces, but that plan does not respect provincial jurisdictions. What is more, it imposes conditions on the provinces that they must meet in order to be able to access those transfers. We did not do that in the Harper era. We are investing $36 billion per year in health care and spending $39 billion servicing debt. Imagine what we could have done with that money.

I will close by talking about the labour shortage. I would have liked to have 20 minutes so I could say more, but we cannot take the time we want because of the gag order. It is sad that I cannot keep going.

Quebec needs approximately 150,000 more workers. I am appalled that the minister would make a mockery of my questions on three occasions. Meanwhile, the member for Louis-Hébert had the nerve to say that the Conservatives oppose immigration. That has nothing to do with it. We support immigration, but that represents only 25% of the solution to the labour shortage. This is a serious crisis in Quebec.

There are many things under federal jurisdiction that the government could do and that, in combination with immigration, would help fill labour shortages. However, all the Liberals can do is make fun of me, simply because I am a member of the opposition. I hosted economic round tables in Quebec City with my colleagues, and all business owners were telling us that this is a serious crisis. The Liberals should act like a good government and stop making fun of us every time we speak. Actually, it is even worse; they want to prevent us from speaking.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his very interesting comments. I have visited regions all across Quebec on behalf of the Minister of Innovation, and I have also heard the heartfelt appeals regarding the labour shortage.

Is the hon. member prepared to encourage his colleagues to promote innovation across Quebec and Canada?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is such a dishonourable question. He is doing exactly what I just criticized his colleague from Louis-Hébert for doing. That is fearmongering. The Liberals are doing exactly what they are accusing us of doing. They are making a mockery of what we are saying and the work we are doing as Her Majesty's opposition.

When we were in power, over 300,000 immigrants entered Canada every year, and there were no crises at our borders because we made sure that the our immigration system was orderly, fair and peaceful.

At an economic round table, the executive director of the Association des économistes du Québec told us that immigration was only 25% of the solution to the labour shortage. Even if we welcomed 500,000 immigrants a year, that would still not completely solve the labour shortage.

We need to help seniors who want to return to the workforce. We need to allow foreign students in our universities to stay longer. We need to make sure that fewer young men in Quebec drop out of high school. All kinds of action could be taken, but all the Liberals are capable of doing is launching completely false insinuations and hyper-partisan attacks on us.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou, who is also a young father. He talked a lot about the colossal debt that the Liberals are accumulating with their mismanagement. They talk a lot about the environment, but they are bringing in a tax that will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As a young father, does my colleague believe that the government racking up all this debt during a period of relative economic prosperity will put the country in a vulnerable position in the coming years?

What would he say is the right path for ensuring that we leave a sustainable tax environment and a lasting ecosystem for future generations?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government needs to be serious and show some leadership. That means being capable of making decisions for the future well being of Canadian society.

Why are the Liberals coming up with a carbon tax and bogus plans to fight climate change when they know a recession is coming? Everyone is talking about it. There will be a recession by 2020. What are they going to do in a recession with a $30-billion deficit? They have run up deficits or more than $100 billion in three and a half years. When the next recession hits, what are they going to do to get the economy moving again without any money?

We know what to do. From 2006 to 2015, the Conservative government managed to get through the worst economic crisis in history since the recession of the 1930s. We had the best result in the G7 and the OECD.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is brief and it relates to the member's comments on the deficit. If he is so concerned about debt, how does he explain the fact that in 150 years since Confederation, the Liberals have been in power for 60% of the time and the Conservatives have been in power for—

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

One moment please. I believe we have a problem with the sound system. Can everyone hear my voice? Let us give it another shot then.

The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands. A 30-second question will get a 30-second answer.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2Government Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

I will start again, Mr. Speaker. When the member talks about debt, I am curious as to how he can rationalize the fact that in 150 years since Confederation, the Liberals have been in power for 60% of the time, the Conservatives for 40% of the time, yet the Conservatives have racked up 75% of the national debt.

How do the Conservatives square that away? Where do they get off lecturing this side of the House on not racking up debt?