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

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, women waited 42 years for Liberals to legislate pay equity, but we heard this morning that pay equity provisions in the government's 800-page bill might be unconstitutional. They weaken protection for part-time and temporary workers. The Equal Pay Coalition said that it means women will have to go to court all over again. Liberals cannot call this pay equity if it does not protect precarious workers.

Will the self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister fix the bill?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we are incredibly proud to be the first government to take pay equity seriously and to introduce proactive pay equity legislation for all federally regulated workers and employers. This is historic legislation. It is going to right the wrong of decades, if not a century, of work.

We are really looking forward to working with employers and stakeholders to ensure that the regulations are set well so that we can move forward with this legislation.

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

There was no answer, Mr. Speaker, so we will try again.

Bill C-86 is a massive omnibus bill, a direct contradiction to the Liberal promise not to do this anymore.

The Equal Pay Coalition told the finance committee that pay equity provisions in the bill are unconstitutional and will force women back to court to fight for rights. That is appalling. The Liberal bill would provide even less protection for part-time and temporary workers. That is worrisome.

Bill C-86 is badly botched on pay equity. Rather than ramming it through the House, will the government pull back and work with civil society, pay equity advocates and the NDP to fix the bill?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that pay equity is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for our economy. If we were able to close the gender wage gap and pay equity as part of that, we could see the addition of $150 billion to our economy by 2026.

We are committed to ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of proactive pay equity in federally regulated workplaces. Employees' right to equal pay of equal value will be protected and any proposed exemptions will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.

SportOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing quite like the Olympics. There is no denying that it brings the country together, unifying it around the power of sport. I remember the 1996 Olympic Games like they were yesterday. Now, we have seen that Calgary and the Province of Alberta are putting together a bid to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2026. I know that our government has been very involved in the negotiating process of these games.

Would the Minister of Science and Sport please provide this House with an update on this bid?

SportOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kirsty Duncan Minister of Science and Sport, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, in response to the member for Mississauga East—Cooksville, a former Olympian, our government worked with the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta to reach an agreement for a Calgary 2026 Winter Olympic Games bid.

Calgarians will now vote in a plebiscite and if they decide to support the games, they will have a strong partner in our government. The Olympics are good for the economy, our athletes and for all of us who would witness history in our own backyard.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked a question about instituting a needle exchange program in prisons, and the minister replied that the program was about EpiPens and insulin syringes.

The reality is that the minister no longer plans to prohibit narcotics use in prison and is putting criminals ahead of correctional officers' safety.

Jeff Wilkins, the president of the union's Atlantic region, said that allowing for the use of needles in cells will considerably increase risks for union members.

Is the minister dismissing Mr. Wilkins' comments?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, these types of programs are in use in correctional facilities in various locations around the world. They are based on scientific research and the best advice of health care professionals. The total point here is to prevent the spread of disease and to keep our institutions safer. We are determined to do that in a safe and secure way.

I would point out that those facilities already include EpiPens for allergic reactions. They already include syringes for insulin. That demonstrates the correctional service can manage this situation.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, perhaps Mr. Wilkins' comments do not carry enough weight.

Jason Godin, the national president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, called for the program to be suspended immediately. This has nothing to do with EpiPens and insulin for diabetics. These needles will be given to prisoners to allow them to inject drugs that enter the prison illegally. This makes no sense. Corrections officers say that they were not consulted on this and are calling for it to be stopped immediately.

Will the minister listen to the union?

Public SafetyOral Questions

November 6th, 2018 / 2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the views and the opinions of the correctional service officers who perform such excellent work in our facilities under very difficult considerations are very important to us. We also would take into account the best scientific evidence and the experience from around the world, which demonstrates that this program can be done effectively and safely.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, of the total number of people who illegally entered Canada via the U.S.-Canada land border and subsequently claimed asylum in Canada between January 2017 and today, how many are employed in Canada? How many are drawing social assistance payments? How many are housed in homeless shelters, hotels or other government-subsidized housing? What is the total cost for other government programs that they have accessed, for example, for education, health care or day care?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise this House that we have actually made very substantial progress in reducing the number of people who are entering the country irregularly over the last few months.

In addition, I have very good news to share with this House. Of the 464 individuals who were temporarily housed in the city of Toronto at the beginning of June, only 35 of those people remain in a temporary shelter and the rest, through the excellent work of the City of Toronto and COSTI, have found more permanent housing.

The system is working.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, actually, Canadians have no way of knowing if the system is working because the government is not tracking the information I just asked for. It is not tracking how many are employed or the total cost of social assistance programs. It is not tracking the cost of subsidized housing. It is not tracking the impact on Canadians who are in need.

Why does the government not understand that the only way to gain acceptance for immigration in Canada is to fix the broken system rather than spending tax dollars on propaganda programs?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

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

Mr. Speaker, I would simply point out to the member that, first of all, on the issue of asylum seekers, it is a totally separate system determined by an independent tribunal from the larger immigration system.

I do not think I need to explain to the member opposite the enormous contributions that immigrants have made to this country. Our country has been built on the hard labour of immigrants and their contributions. For those who first come who may require some support and assistance, we are a welcoming country.

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' poverty-reducing bill does not include any investments or new programs. Did those who are living in poverty really need to wait three years for that?

In 2016, the Liberals voted against my bill, saying that they would do better, but they have shown a blatant lack of ambition in that regard. FRAPRU is criticizing the government for recycling existing measures. The Liberals' bill is smoke and mirrors, and the minister knows it.

Why are the Liberals once again content with rhetoric when they should be taking action?

PovertyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, our government was elected with a mandate to grow the middle class, to help more Canadians join the middle class, because that will grow the economy. We began doing so in 2016 with the introduction of the Canada child benefit, a historic measure that alone is lifting nearly half a million people out of poverty, including 300,000 children.

We have implemented measures that, by spring 2019, will have lifted nearly 650,000 Canadians out of poverty. We will continue to work hard on this because we know it is important, and we are counting on the NDP's support so that this bill can be quickly passed.

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post workers on disability and mothers depending on their top-up are being wrongfully targeted. It has been a week since I first raised this in the House and it has been longer since they have been cut off. Whatever the government says, this is not a normal part of the collective bargaining process. We know the minister responsible for Canada Post can call off the dogs at any time.

What is she waiting for? Is she waiting for someone to miss a mortgage payment or skip their medication? What exactly is it going to take for her to call Canada Post and tell it to stop bargaining on the backs of sick and vulnerable workers?

Canada Post CorporationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Carla Qualtrough Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely understand the impact that work disruption is having on employees and their families. That is why our government has been encouraging both parties to reach a fair deal for everyone. Unfortunately, when a strike occurs, the expiry of the collective agreement affects some of the supplemental benefits available to employees. It does not, for example, affect prescription or long-term disability. Rest assured, employees also continue to receive their EI benefits and parental and maternity benefits. Canada Post is also accepting requests, on compassionate grounds, for exceptions. I encouraged the union last night to tell their members of this possibility.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on top of her generous pension, we now learn that former governor general Adrienne Clarkson claims as much as $200,000 a year in expenses, a decade after leaving office.

That is a lot of money, and we are not getting any answers on this issue. Even the British royal family is more accountable for its spending.

What do the Liberals have to hide?

Do they know that hiding these expenses sullies our institutions?

Will the Liberals tell Canadians how their money is being spent?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pablo Rodriguez Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, with a commitment to public life, governors general provide a great service to Canada.

It is clear that Canadians expect transparency and accountability when public money is spent. This applies to all organizations, all institutions, including the Governor General.

We will look very closely at how the support we provide them with is structured to ensure that we are following best practices and meeting Canadians' expectations.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, he is correct. Canadians do expect the government to be transparent, which then begs the question yet again.

Adrienne Clarkson, a former governor general, has spent $200,000 per year since 2005 when she left office. That is over and above the amount that she takes home for her pension. Former governor general David Johnston has come forward and pre-emptively offered that his accounts could go on public record.

My question is simple. Will the Liberals release a detailed account with regard to the expenses incurred by Adrienne Clarkson?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Pablo Rodriguez Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, with a commitment to public life, governors general provide a great service to Canada. Canadians expect accountability and transparency when public money is spent. This applies to all organizations, all institutions, including the Governor General.

Therefore, we will look very closely at how the support we provide them with is structured to ensure we are following best practices and meeting Canadians' expectations.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, the G7 summit was held in my riding. I have written to the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs twice seeking answers about the compensation program for businesses that suffered serious financial losses. My colleagues can guess what came next: radio silence.

It emerged today that the government spent $23 million on 631 cars that are no longer in use, while local businesses struggle to get compensation.

When is the government going to uphold its commitments and compensate—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Andrew Leslie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, we saw how proud the residents of Charlevoix were to welcome people from around the world and show them how beautiful their region is.

In the months leading up to the summit, we actively collaborated with all local partners, and I can assure my colleague that the compensation policies for affected local businesses are exactly the same as they were under the Harper Conservatives in 2010.