House of Commons Hansard #266 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was employees.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order. It is very difficult to hear the member's answer when people are yelling. I ask members to keep it down. I suggest that they whisper to each other instead of yelling.

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the NDP has drafted a motion to blame the government, the same government that is mobilizing technological, human, and financial resources to defuse the time bomb we inherited from the Conservative Party. Our NDP friends have drafted a motion on the Phoenix pay system that the Conservatives can support by trying to pin the blame on us.

We have heard some stories. I myself represent the riding with the biggest proportion of federal public servants in Canada. I am therefore well aware of the problems associated with the Phoenix pay system. The issue strengthens my motivation every day. I am constantly asking the NDP members if they can provide a single shred of proof showing that the government has failed to follow its officials' recommendations on Phoenix to the letter. They cannot do it. This is the fourth time I have asked them for proof. They cannot provide any.

Can the member provide any proof?

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a pathetic comment from my Liberal colleague opposite. He is trying to play partisan politics by linking the former government with the NDP, but his responsibility is to ensure that public service employees get paid. That is what we are asking for.

Who is going to pay the interest charges on the credit card bills run up by the men and women who serve this government, which is not lifting a finger to fix the situation? He is trying to blame the opposition parties, but the Liberals are the ones in power.

When are they going to stand up and pay public servants properly?

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Gatineau keeps asking where the proof is. He should maybe look at the thousands and thousands of pages of ATIPs that are available on kellymccauley.ca, or perhaps he should google the Gartner reports.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his constructive suggestions. I would be happy to verify the various sources and the information that will add to the debate and show that the Liberal government is partly responsible for this situation and that it has failed to take action. The Liberal government has still not fixed the problem, which is not only the result of past issues, but is also related to the ongoing collective bargaining process.

I recently spoke with members of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees. They are government analysts, economists, and professionals whose new work contract will not take effect for 220 days, even though the legal timeframe is 90 days. Why can the government not respect the agreement that it signed? The reason is that it is unable to get rid of a completely obsolete pay system.

Thirty per cent of these government professionals have not yet received the back pay they are owed under the collective agreement that they signed. One-third of these professionals did not receive a penny of the back pay they are owed. As for the 70% who did receive a payment, they have no idea whether they received the right amount. That is gross incompetence on the part of the government.

If the Liberal government and Liberal members take this disaster seriously, I invite them to support the NDP motion, to stand in solidarity with government employees, and to promise a compensation fund for people who have been suffering for far too long.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly on a point of order.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Gatineau has been asking for evidence all day. I therefore seek the unanimous consent of the House to table some evidence. It is a memo written by the Office of the Comptroller General, addressed to the Treasury Board, and dated January 13, 2016, or one month before the Liberals implemented this system.

It is a readiness assessment of Phoenix that says things such as “Unknown if collective agreements are well coded into Phoenix”, “Testing results...unknown”, “less than 50% success” rate, “30% errors”.

Mr. Speaker, I think you get the picture. This is proof enough for the parliamentary secretary to show that Liberals knew full well this system did not work, and I would ask for unanimous consent to finally give the parliamentary secretary the information he ignores.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table a document dated February 18, 2016 from the Department of Public Services and Procurement, which states, “Are we ready on technology? Ready to go. Are we ready on process? Ready to go. Are we ready on people? Ready to go.”

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the unanimous consent of the House to table the document?

Opposition Motion—Phoenix Pay SystemBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Parks CanadaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, in my riding there is a monument in Resolute Bay of an Inuk man looking out across icy Arctic waters. Many do not know, but this man faces another monument over 300 kilometres away. It is a monument of a woman and child in Grise Fiord. Both stand as a tribute to those Inuit families who were split up and forcibly relocated by the federal government in the 1950s.

I know I do not need to explain to this House that Canada's history with Inuit has not always been pretty. Although recognizing the mistakes in our past is difficult for many, I believe that these tragic acts must serve as a lesson for the future and should never be forgotten or repeated.

Canada's national historic sites are areas that tell a unique story about our history. I believe that the locations in Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord, where people were left on the beach, tell a unique story and should both be national historic sites. I, and the residents, feel that this designation is the least that we can do.

Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational InstituteStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Don Rusnak Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Thunder Bay, which will be closing in June of this year after 52 exceptional years.

Since 1966, Churchill has been providing high school students in northwestern Ontario with top-quality education and a huge range of extracurricular activities. Earlier this year, the boys football team, the Trojans, brought home the OFSAA Northern Bowl championship, while the boys volleyball team won the NWOSSA tournament and went on to play the best teams in all of Ontario. These are huge accomplishments, but they are just two on a list of many.

I was at Churchill Collegiate last week, and I was honoured to be there in person to thank the teachers, administrators, volunteers, support staff, and students for all they have given to our community. They have made Thunder Bay and indeed all of northwestern Ontario proud, and I thank them.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the Canada-Azerbaijan Friendship Group, I rise today so that we may collectively pay our respects to the civilians who lost their lives during the Khojaly tragedy and in the broader Nagorno-Karabakh War. It has been 26 years since this tragic loss of life occurred, and I invite the House to reflect on the consequences when nations abandon reason and diplomacy and resort to violence and war to resolve disagreements.

The history of innocent civilians caught up in armed conflict is heartbreakingly a long one. The distinction between combatant and civilian can be complicated. However, this does not discharge governments from their duty to protect the innocent.

As a nation of peace, Canada has a vital role in helping nations like Azerbaijan and Armenia resolve their disputes. The Nagorno-Karabakh region remains a fractured one, where people still live under the daily threat of renewed conflict. I therefore invite my colleagues, in the name of humanity and in memory of the innocent lives lost, to help promote peaceful relations between the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia .

Port Saint JohnStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Mr. Speaker, as the home of Canada's third-busiest port, and eastern Canada's largest port by volume, Saint John is the beating industrial heart of the New Brunswick economy.

The port of Saint John has a diverse cargo base, handling an average of 28-million tonnes annually. With global connections to 500 ports worldwide, the port of Saint John has easy access to central Canadian inland markets by rail and road. I am proud to say that our government recognizes this, which is why it has invested over $68 million in infrastructure improvement for the port that will ensure its long-term viability and competitiveness.

I would like to commend port president and CEO, Jim Quinn, for his tremendous leadership and advocation for this project. This investment will create thousands of well-paying jobs in my riding in the near and long term. This project will be truly transformative for Saint John—Rothesay.

Investments like this are key to strong economic development, helping to eradicate poverty in my riding. This is what real change looks like.

Interests of QuebecStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the representative of Longueuil and Saint-Hubert in Ottawa, I cannot help but notice the contempt that this government seems to show for Quebec. Last week, official sources stated in a press release that, when he was playing dress-up in India, the Prime Minister of Canada spewed a bunch of nonsense about Quebec. What a disgrace.

That is the same Prime Minister who, with the complicit silence of the Liberal and Conservative members who are supposed to represent Quebec, has spent the past two years ignoring the consensus in Quebec on tax unfairness, on Netflix deals, and on our culture. I guess he too takes us for a bunch of hot dog eaters.

I am very proud to say that it is the NDP members from Quebec who have stood up to this contempt. While the quiet nationalism of Quebeckers reaches a level of consensus at the National Assembly, members representing Quebec here in Ottawa have a duty to defend the Quebec nation regardless of their personal or partisan convictions.

Quebeckers are calling for nothing less than Quebec's voice to be heard, listened to, and respected in Ottawa.

World Junior Curling ChampionshipsStatements By Members

February 26th, 2018 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Mr. Speaker, B.C.'s Team Tardi will represent Canada for its second time at the World Junior Curling Championships happening in Aberdeen, Scotland, from March 3 to 10. This honour comes after winning the Canadian Junior Men's Curling Championship in Shawinigan, Quebec in January.

Team Tardi consists of skip Tyler Tardi, third Sterling Middleton, second Jordan Tardi, lead Zachary Curtis, and coach Paul Tardi.

During Canadian's, Team Tardi was one loss away from elimination but scored a victory over Northern Ontario in its final round robin game. The team then beat Alberta and Manitoba to secure a spot in the finals.

In the championship match, our boys stole single points in the first two ends and took a deuce in the fourth. Three points in the eighth proved to be the decisive blow to Northern Ontario, ending 8 to 4.

I invite my colleagues to, and as all good curlers say “Hurry, hurry hard”, to join me in wishing Team Tardi all the best at the World Juniors.

2018 Paralymic Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Olympic Winter Games have come to a close, but the Olympic journey continues for many athletes competing in the Paralympic Winter Games commencing March 8.

Wallacetown, Ontario will be represented at the games in South Korea. Seventeen-year-old James Dunn will be leaving this week to compete in sledge hockey, representing Canada.

This story has a happy ending, but hard work and determination is truly what this story is about. In 2011, James was diagnosed with cancer and had part of his leg amputated. In 2012, cancer had spread to his chest, but now, five years later, he is cancer free. His determination and inner strength is what took a young man who started playing ice hockey at age six to jumping on a sledge while he was still having treatment after someone in the hospital mentioned it to him.

James is the youngest member of the 2018 Canadian paralympic sledge hockey team. Last week, at West Elgin Secondary School, the community had an official send off for this amazing young man.

From all the residents of Elgin—Middlesex—London, and his friends and family from Dutton/Dunwich, we wish James all the best. Go for the gold.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and to kick it off, the Reena Community Residence team, the Intentional Community Consortium and Community Living Toronto, are holding a reception tonight to share with us their plans to increase housing and supports for those with developmental disabilities.

Last November, our government announced a national housing strategy, with a priority of helping the most vulnerable Canadians access safe and affordable housing. As a result of this new strategy, communities will be able to access funding to build units across the country for people with developmental disabilities.

I have had several opportunities to visit the Reena Community Residence in my riding. It provides housing, employment services, and a vibrant community for adults and seniors with a range of special needs, such as developmental, physical, and/or mental health.

I invite everyone to join me tonight in the Speaker's lounge, from 5 to 7 p.m., to meet with the representatives doing transformative work in our communities supporting those with developmental disabilities.

Kay LivingstoneStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marco Mendicino Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to pay homage to Black History Month and to black Canadian leaders across the country who have contributed so much to a proud and essential part of our heritage.

One such Canadian is Kay Livingstone. Always with her heart focused on others, Kay was a renowned actress, journalist, and community activist who helped found the Congress of Black Women of Canada.

In her work with the congress, her career in journalism, her work in the public service and with the many other organizations she was involved in, Kay was a pioneer.

With her legacy in mind, I was proud, along with the member for Whitby, to unveil a Canada Post stamp, as well as a historic plaque, in Kay's honour. That plaque now rests in my neighbourhood.

In every aspect of life, Kay broke down barriers, treated people with respect, and promoted equality for all.

As Black History Month comes to a conclusion, her contribution as a woman, as a member of the black community is truly something to celebrate.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to share the story of local hockey player and mental health advocate, Kendra Fisher.

Kendra grew up in Kincardine, played minor hockey there, and made it all the way to Team Canada's Olympic program. Issues with mental health ended her dreams of Olympic gold, but with strong family support and true Bruce County grit, Kendra made a comeback to win numerous medals playing in the women's inline world championship.

In her own words, Kendra best describes life since being diagnosed with mental illness, “It has been 12 years since I chose life....I didn't cure it. My mental illness is not gone. It's as much a part of me as is being a goalie, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother, a professional speaker.”

Kendra now shares her story to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness with her organization, Mentally Fit.

I thank Kendra for sharing her story. She chose life, and others can too. God bless.

Live Well ChallengeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about the inspiring fishers in my riding of South Shore—St. Margarets, and the “Live Well Challenge”.

The Live Well Challenge was created by Captain Todd Newell of Cape Sable Island, as an effort to raise money to help the families of the tragic fire in Pubnico Head, where four children lost their lives.

Todd challenged other captains to follow his lead by jumping into the icy cold waters of the wells in their boats and donating $1,000 to local charities of their choice. The challenge has raised almost $900,000 and counting, with participants jumping into their live lobster holding tanks or even doing backflips off the stern of their boats into the harbour.

I thank all of those involved. For Captain Newell, I accept the challenge and I look forward to my jump in the freezing water.

Canadian Federation of Medical StudentsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 12, over 75 medical students from across Canada were on the Hill to talk to a number of parliamentarians about mental health support for indigenous populations. Vast disparities in mental health, including alarming suicide rates, persist. The medical students are calling for greater self-determination for indigenous communities with respect to funding allocation.

I congratulate the Canadian Federation of Medical Students for its work and its support of this important issue in collaboration with indigenous communities. This situation deserves our attention. The students' commitment to this cause will certainly help advance it.