House of Commons Hansard #371 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, thousands of families have suffered greatly as a result of this crisis, and cruel comments like those only make things worse, and they cannot undo the damage done.

The question for the House leader is this. How could she say that, what did she mean by those comments, and is this the way the Liberal cabinet talks about this crisis when the doors are closed and it thinks nobody is listening?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it was a really serious debate we had on Monday. We had members from both sides ask for an emergency debate. It was denied. All parties worked together to ensure that members could put themselves on the record. This is a very serious issue. I was part of that debate, and I too shared a story. It impacts my community, as it impacts every community across this country. It is a national crisis. We do need to do more. I can assure members that is what we are doing.

As I have said to the member, and I will say to all members in this place and anyone who took my comments to be intended as something they were not, I apologize.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday evening, after a moving speech about the opioid crisis, the member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte told us that 38 people had died in Barrie, leaving their families and loved ones mourning their futile deaths due to the opioid crisis.

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons then said, oh, is that all? That is not so bad, is it?

That is outrageous. I would go so far as to say that remark was totally unacceptable.

Could the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons explain to us why she said that?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are facing a public health crisis, with the opioid crisis. Our government is working hard with all of its provincial and territorial partners, as well as with all the municipalities.

In budget 2018, we made an investment of over $230 million. We want to make sure we have the resources on the ground to help people seeking counselling services, and we are going to do everything in our power to ensure that these services are set up.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, even one death is one too many.

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is completely lacking in compassion. The opioid crisis is serious, but does she realize just how serious it is? Does she have an inkling of the devastating effects of those 38 deaths on the families of the deceased?

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons repeat what she said and explain why she thinks 38 deaths are not so bad?

HealthOral Questions

December 13th, 2018 / 2:25 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are deeply concerned about the opioid crisis. It is ultimately a public health crisis.

Our government is treating it like a public health crisis and not like a criminal problem. We continue to work with the provinces and territories to make sure that we can get resources on the ground where they are needed.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely. We continue to work with all our partners. The numbers released this week are not just numbers; these are human beings—mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We are all concerned about this tragedy.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister tries to make us believe that the contract given by VIA Rail for a German company to build trains in the U.S. is the best thing that can happen, we can feel a collective facepalm from Canadians. They know it makes no sense. They know the Liberals lie down when it comes to the time to protect Canadian jobs.

The U.S. demands that at least 65% of the work of a public transportation tender has to be local and that final assembly has to be done on its territory. China has similar provisions.

The Liberals could have given Bombardier the possibility of a final offer and they refused to do it. Why do they not care about protecting Canadian jobs?

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question many times, so I will approach it differently.

People taking new trains within the Quebec City–Windsor corridor will benefit from improved comfort, enhanced accessibility, better safety and cleaner travel. On top of this, with today's deal, Siemens aims to provide Canadian content of more than 20% in supplies and services.

The NDP says one thing in the House, but behind closed doors it admits that our trade deals work for Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I dare the Minister of Transport to go to La Pocatière and say that to Bombardier workers.

The United States requires guarantees of local content in bids for public transportation. China requires guarantees of local content in bids for public transportation. Here, the government says that we can do nothing and our hands are tied because of trade agreements. What a crock. The members of the Liberal caucus are worthless.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pierre Nantel

They are cowards.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

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

They have no clout. The United States requires a minimum of 65% local content and requires that the final assembly be carried out in the U.S.

Why do the Liberals cave when the time comes to stand up for Canadian interests?

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the NDP clearly has no idea how a trade agreement works.

Speaking of Bombardier, we should talk about the $500-million AZUR contract awarded to La Pocatière.

Why does the NDP not point out that we have spent $154 million for VIA Rail in La Pocatière and that we have awarded contracts to CAD, in Montreal and Gaspé? These contracts were awarded in Quebec. The NDP has never mentioned those.

International TradeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I would ask the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert not to shout when someone else has the floor and, also, not to shout at all in the House.

The Hon. member for Sherbrooke.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years after the Panama papers scandal, the Liberals have yet to do anything to tackle international tax evasion.

If someone earns $35,000 a year and owes $200 to the government, the CRA is super efficient. However, if someone hides millions of dollars in tax havens, the agency is unable to do anything at all and drags its feet.

The minister may say that her plan is working, but in the past three years she has had nothing to show Canadians. There have been no convictions, no charges and no recoveries related to international tax evasion.

Why do the Liberals always let the rich off the hook so easily?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the report by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada confirms that the ill-considered cuts to the agency by the Harper government had devastating consequences.

Thanks to investments of more than $1 billion in the fight against tax evasion, our government has given the agency the resources it needed. Under our leadership, it hired 1,300 new auditors. We have done twice as many audits in three years as the Harper government did in 10 years.

Our plan is working and we are starting to see the results.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

What rubbish, Mr. Speaker. No charges have been laid. When regular people claim something on their taxes, they are given only 90 days to prove that it is a legal claim. It has been two years since the Panama papers revealed that many of the richest people in Canada had been stashing billions of dollars in illegal offshore tax havens, and still not a single charge has been laid. That is like playing Monopoly where the richest always get a get-out-of-jail-free card.

This Christmas, instead of going after everyday people all the time, why does the Prime Minister not tell his minister to go after illegal offshore tax havens for a change?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in our last three budgets, we invested over $1 billion to give the Canada Revenue Agency the tools it needs to go after tax cheats.

With respect to the Panama papers, the CRA identified over 3,000 offshore entities associated with over 2,600 beneficial owners that have some link to Canada. The CRA has risk assessed over 80% of them. We also chose to tighten the rules for the voluntary disclosures program. The net is tightening.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh!

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I would remind the member for New Westminster—Burnaby that he had his chance to speak, and now it is time to listen.

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the net is tightening, but the deficit is certainly getting bigger.

Two days ago, the Parliamentary Budget Officer sounded the alarm once again: the next deficit could be as high as $30 billion.

Let us review the facts. Three years ago, these people were elected on a promise that there would be no deficit in 2019. A year ago, a $10-billion deficit was forecast. Six weeks ago, it was $20 billion. Now we are up to $30 billion.

The Liberals have completely lost control of the public purse.

My question is very simple. When will we return to a balanced budget?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for Louis-Saint-Laurent for giving me the opportunity to answer a question in this august chamber one last time before the holidays and the closing of Centre Block.

My colleague for Louis-Saint-Laurent is a history buff. He knows that in 2006, the Conservative government inherited the best fiscal position of any incoming government. The Conservatives were given impressive surpluses, but it took them only two years to squander those surpluses that the Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien Liberal governments had left them.

The Conservatives are all about rhetoric and posturing. In 10 years, they gave Canadians the worst growth since the Second World War. We will take no lessons from that side of the House.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Louis-Hébert.

One does not need a history degree to know that three years ago Canada was the first country in the G7 to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That is the Conservative record, and we are proud of it.

As for the members opposite, they have been spending non-stop. They have completely lost control of the public purse. To make matters worse, they simply laugh it off when we tell them that they are going to rack up a $30-billion deficit.

I am giving the member for Louis-Hébert another chance to give Canadians a real answer, since this might be the last time he rises in the House this year. When will the Liberals balance the budget?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of history, the reason why Canada weathered the 2008 financial crisis relatively well is mainly that Paul Martin said no to Stephen Harper when he asked him to deregulate Canada's financial industry.

Despite all that, the Conservatives racked up $150 billion in debt and led us into a technical recession in 2015. Once again, Canadians had to bring in a Liberal government to clean up the Conservative government's mess. We created 800,00 jobs and lifted 300,000 people out of poverty. We have the strongest growth in the G7 and our debt-to-GDP ratio is on a downward track.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would also ask the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier not to shout when someone else has the floor.

The hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.