House of Commons Hansard #268 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Quebec's InterestsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

Rhéal Fortin GPQ (ex-Bloc) Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers deserve members of Parliament who are wholly dedicated to Quebec's interests, and it is obvious they cannot count on the Liberal Party of Canada.

Never has Quebec taken such a backseat as under this government. The latest budget makes that clearer than ever. Quebec wants Ottawa to take action against people who use tax havens, but there is nothing about that in the budget. Quebec wants its fair share of shipbuilding contracts, but there is nothing about that in the budget. Quebec wants the government to stop giving Netflix special treatment, but Ottawa says nothing will change for five years. Quebec wants to dedicate significant resources to transportation electrification, but Ottawa is not doing a thing about that. This government is all for mind-boggling deficits but has no plans to boost health transfers.

This budget is not good for Quebeckers. Nevertheless, our constituents deserve representatives who will always stand up for them. They may not be able to count on this government, but they can count on us.

Science and TechnologyStatements By Members

February 28th, 2018 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week students at Regency Acres Public School attended a fabulous conference focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. From learning how to code with JavaScript, to using microscopes to explore DNA structures, to designing inventive prototypes and programming robots, grades 4-8 students participated in a full-day workshop to imagine and discover the wondrous possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Students also heard from Natalie Panek, from MDA's robotics and automation division, who is working on Canadian space robotics programs and the current Mars rover. She is a strong example of a Canadian woman who is leading in engineering and inspiring the next generation of female game changers.

Many thanks to Ms. Morrison-Claus, who organized the STEAM conference, and thanks to all who participated for supporting our youth as they engage in innovation and discovery to position Canada for success in the future.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was budget day and the finance minister could call his new budget the Britney Spears budget: oops!... I did it again.

Once again, he tabled a huge deficit, and once again, he broke the Liberals' key election promise on deficits. In the budget, the minister is flip-flopping haplessly as he tries to fumble his way out of the mess he created last summer with his attack on small businesses. There is nothing in the budget to get energy resources to market, nothing to stem the flight of capital from Canada, nothing that will bring back lost energy jobs in Calgary, and nothing that will restore investor confidence in Canada, just $18 billion more stolen from our children's futures.

Between the broken promises, his attack on small business, his continuing ethical scandals, and his refusal to answer the basic question of when the budget will be balanced, which is the material question about a key election promise, it is time for a new finance minister before this one can hit us one more time.

Alfred LaffertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Black History Month comes to a close, I rise in this place to speak about the memory of Alfred M. Lafferty. In 1856, Mr. Lafferty was accepted at Trinity College, University of Toronto. In 1872, he was appointed Head Master of the Guelph High School, now the GCVI, becoming the first public school headmaster of black descent in Ontario.

A decade before, Guelph was the final stop for blacks fleeing slavery in the south using the Underground Railroad. Mr. Lafferty's appointment in 1872 was at a time when the United States was looking at military reconstruction in the American south to attempt to force reconciliation, but peaceful progress proved far more effective and enduring, thanks to trailblazers like Alfred Lafferty.

We must embrace our diversity to complete the unfinished work left behind by Mr. Lafferty and other leaders in the movement to achieve true equality.

Front-line OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, front-line organizations do so much to support our communities that it is hard to imagine how we could manage without them.

Maplegate House for Women, a women's shelter in Elliot Lake, is a vital resource for the most vulnerable people in the region, and it has ambitious plans to do even more.

In addition to running an emergency shelter for abused women and their children, Maplegate is adding a transitional house for women and a new men's shelter for the community. On top of that, it actively engages people in the area so that everyone has the opportunity to help their neighbours in need. That was the case last weekend, when volunteers, sponsors, and organizers hosted a Coldest Night of the Year walk for homelessness. Billed as family-oriented and fun, the Elliot Lake event raised $24,000 to help Maplegate serve the most vulnerable in our society.

I encourage all members to join me in thanking organizations like Maplegate, which make our communities more compassionate and caring places to live.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise today to speak about how this government, as in the previous two budgets, is continuing to help northerners thrive. Budget 2018 will provide $20 million per year and ongoing to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, better known as CanNor, to continue its important economic development programming.

Making CanNor permanent is a huge step forward, as for years the program has been temporary, with no indication, until the tabling of the budget, that it would be renewed. As well, of $511 millions allocated across the regional development agencies, $3 millions over five years is being allocated to CanNor to support the innovation and skills plan, $1 million of which is earmarked specifically to support women entrepreneurs in the north.

We are also excited that the mineral exploration tax credit has been extended for another year. This is instrumental to the north's mining industry.

I thank the Minister of Finance for another great budget for the north.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's Liberal budget was not good news for Saskatchewan families, farmers, and business owners.

Where was the support for our grain farmers, who right now are unable to get their grain to market because of issues with the railways? Where was the support for small businesses, which are facing uncertain tax changes while losing competitiveness in the North American market? Where was the support for our families, whose children will be forced to pay down an additional $18 billion the Liberals are adding to the deficit, with no plan to return to balanced budgets?

Yesterday's Liberal budget left Saskatchewan behind, while today my province is facing losing $62 million in federal funding for refusing to be bullied into joining the Liberals' carbon tax scheme. Saskatchewan deserves better. Canadians deserve better than the Liberal government.

Rare Disease DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, February 28 marks Rare Disease Day. While individually these diseases may be rare, collectively they represent over 7,000 different diseases. That sobering statistic is complicated by the fact that they have common issues: medical professionals lack familiarity; diagnostic times are much longer, if diagnosed at all; and many have no treatments or cures.

Fortunately, there is hope. Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada has invested $142 million over the past five years to support research projects across the country and abroad in order to improve understanding and develop treatments.

Today I would like to acknowledge the courage of all persons affected and their caregivers, especially like my constituent, Ms. Joanne Paquette, who suffers from Ollier disease, which affects one in 100,000 people.

I invite parliamentarians to applaud the courage and determination of people with rare diseases.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, budget 2018 demonstrates that our government remains committed to helping seniors live happy, healthy, and independent lives. Budget 2018 proposes to provide $75 million in 2018-19 through the Public Health Agency of Canada to support the healthy seniors project in New Brunswick.

Our government's commitment to engaging with communities throughout the Atlantic to develop policies and proposals that serve the interests of Atlantic Canadians remains a key focus. The healthy seniors project will support a range of research initiatives to examine how governments can better support seniors in their homes, communities, and care facilities.

Projects such as this will help our government better understand how care for seniors is delivered across Canada. This innovative approach demonstrates the importance of collaboration with our various partners and the incredible value of continuing to share learning and best practices for the benefit of all Canadian seniors.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December, the Prime Minister decided to force a values test for organizations applying for Canada summer jobs funding. There are thousands organizations that will not be receiving funding this year because of their faith, but the loss to Canadians is not about these organizations. It is about the students who serve in soup kitchens, work at street centres, are camp councillors in government projects, like the one I grew up in, and provide health services to seniors the government does not provide. It is about the thousands of at-risk Canadians they serve. It is about feeding the homeless through places like the Toronto City Mission, supporting mental health in shelters, ensuring that underprivileged children have access to summer camps, and ensuring that seniors below the poverty line are receiving necessary health services.

When the Liberal values test wins, marginalized Canadians lose.

Canadian Forces Legal BranchStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Canadian Armed Forces legal branch celebrates its 100th anniversary and a century of loyal service to Canada.

Today, the Office of the Judge Advocate General has roughly 250 legal officers in the regular forces and the reserve who are deployed to many locations throughout Canada and the world. These legal services have directly contributed to the success of Canadian military operations both at home and abroad, while helping maintain a disciplined and highly professional Canadian Armed Forces, acting in accordance with the rule of law.

The motto of the legal branch is fiat justitia, or “let justice prevail”. Over the course of 100 years, the women and men of the legal branch have proudly embraced this motto with the dedication, perseverance, and professionalism that define the Canadian Forces. I wish them the very best as we celebrate this important milestone with them. I ask all members of the House to join me in thanking them for their outstanding efforts in the service of Canada.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the last official day of Black History Month in 2018, and what a month it has been. From the member of Parliament for Whitby's passionate #ISeeYou movement to the Prime Minister's historic recognition of the existence of anti-black racism, from Canada's adoption of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent to the hundreds of Black History Month events held in communities across our great country, this has been an outstanding Black History Month.

However, yesterday was the cherry on top, with a $23-million allocation for supporting a new approach to multiculturalism and combatting all forms of racism, and $19 million for issues affecting black communities in Canada, such as mental health, administration of justice, and the disaggregation of data.

There is more to be done. The road to full equality may be long, but in 2018 it just got shorter.

Indigenous People and Resource DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals and the left paint Canada's indigenous people with a broad brush, implying they all oppose responsible natural resource development. That is wrong and it limits their futures and all of Canada. The Liberals' exclusion of first nations who disagree with them robs them of billions in opportunities, social benefits, and jobs.

The Liberals' veto of the 31 indigenous equity partnerships for northern gateway and their unilateral drilling and tanker bans hurt indigenous communities. The Liberals ignore pro-natural resource indigenous voices. The Nunavut and Northwest Territories premiers said the drilling ban is a step backward, takes away hope, and forces northern indigenous people to just live on handouts.

The Liberals' delay of the Pacific NorthWest LNG blocked 13 indigenous equity partners from becoming among the wealthiest in Canada. The tanker ban will kill the indigenous-owned Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline, with 35 indigenous equity partners and approval of all the chiefs on the route from Bruderheim to Grassy Point. I urge the Liberals to withdraw the tanker ban and actually listen to the majority of Canada's indigenous people.

Squamish Men's ShedStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new horizons for seniors program works with local organizations to support seniors to volunteer, to participate, and to raise our awareness of seniors' issues. The Squamish Men's Shed is one of these organizations. It has created a communal space to help with isolation for men by bringing them together in a safe workshop with high-quality tools. What could be better than that?

Last week, I met Ernie, David, Dennis, and Mike over coffee. Everything they make is for the community, from cut-outs of birds and fish for children and a bat condo for the watershed society to a library book box, and for the hospice society, a blackboard for a “before I die” bucket list. These men are having fun. They love getting together seven days a week.

Yes, people have to be 55 and male to join, and yes, everyone is welcome to wear the T-shirt and support the men of the Squamish Men's Shed in service to one another and the community.

Reproductive HealthStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was disappointed yesterday with a budget that failed to promise action, with just studies on pharmacare. The NDP has long called for a national pharmacare strategy and I have been calling for much-needed coverage of prescription contraceptives. I was pleased that at our NDP convention, delegates voted for a policy of action that the NDP recommend the immediate creation of a health subsidy to the provinces for free access to menstrual products and contraception for all citizens.

Sadly, the Liberals have missed an opportunity here. Next week, Canada will recognize International Women's Day, and instead of paying lip service to policies like pay equity and pharmacare, would it not be great to see real action? Let us start with access to free prescription contraceptives and menstrual products, remove barriers, and improve reproductive health options for all Canadians. The time to do this is now. All we need is political will.

Pink Shirt DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud and honoured to rise in the House today to support Pink Shirt Day and take a stand against bullying.

Bullying is a very real struggle in the lives of so many of our children. It is more than getting pushed around and called names on the playground. Cyber-bullying is also a growing problem for today's Canadian children. It can expose them to unrelenting abusive behaviour online. By wearing a pink shirt, parents, friends, and parliamentarians can show that we will support those who are bullied to know that they are not alone.

As the shadow minister for families, children and social development, I urge members to post on their social media feeds #PinkItForward or #PinkShirtPromise to support Pink Shirt Day. Help end bullying and vow to help spread kindness.

Pink Shirt DayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Gordie Hogg Liberal South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, my friends and many members have commented that I have really bad taste in clothing. Today of all days, Pink Shirt Day, here I am without a pink shirt. Many members also assume that I am colour-blind. In fact, that is true, I am colour-blind. However, most people, fortunately, are not.

In 2007, two teenagers in Cambridge, Nova Scotia, David Shepherd and Travis Price, talked 850 fellow students into wearing pink shirts to school. It was a wonderful, compassionate response to ninth-grader Charles McNeill, a new student at school, who had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They started a movement that is now celebrated around the world, a movement to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships. It is a movement about creating a community where all people feel safe, valued, and respected, and helping people feel good about who they are. How wonderfully Canadian.

From Nova Scotia, Canada, to the world, they are modelling compassion and caring, and in full support, I am wearing this wonderful blue or pink or grey-coloured suit.

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1986, I was one of the first officers on the scene of the shooting of Indian minister Sidhu. I helped him and his wife into the ambulance. It is a day I will never forget.

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of attempted murder in that shooting. The victims of terrorism have names, they have faces, and they have families. Why would the Prime Minister ever meet with Jaspal Atwal?

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his question and I thank him for his service, as I do all men and women who serve in uniform to keep our communities and our country safe.

As I have said a number of times, the invitation never should have been extended to this individual. As soon as we found out about it, we rescinded the invitation. The MP responsible for it has apologized, and we will continue to work to stand against violent extremism and terrorism wherever it rears its head around the world.

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister told the House that the conspiracy theory that security officials spun for the media about convicted terrorist Jaspal Atwal was true. Now the Indian government is contradicting him. Either he is lying, or this government is not telling the whole truth.

Which is it?

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am sure no one will be surprised to hear that I will continue to defend and believe in our professional, non-partisan public service.

We will always defend the integrity of our public servants, who are doing an exceptional job. Unlike the previous government, we respect the non-partisan nature of the public service, especially those who serve in our national security agencies. In particular, we respect their ability to provide impartial advice to the government, and we know that the actions they take are always in Canada's best interests.

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, “baseless and unacceptable” is how the Indian government described the Prime Minister's bizarre theory that a convicted terrorist's presence on the trip was somehow the fault of agents working on behalf of the Indian government. Now the Prime Minister's incompetence has severely damaged Canada's relations with the world's largest democracy and an emerging power in Asia.

Will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing and produce some kind of proof of his conspiracy theory?

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it seems these Harper Conservatives never learn. For 10 years they spent their time disrespecting public servants, using them for partisan gains, and making sure their political partisan aims were always front and centre in everything they did.

We respect the independence, the professionalism, and the non-partisan nature of our professional public servants. We will always listen to them, follow their advice, and defend the integrity of our Canadian public service.

Prime Minister's Trip to IndiaOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there has never been a government, Liberal or Conservative, that has used a national security official to clean up an embarrassing mess that was self-inflicted by the Prime Minister.

I have a quote I would like to read for the Prime Minister. It is by a senior correspondent who has followed these issues for years. It says, “In 10 years of Harper, never saw a bureaucrat sent out to clean up a mess made by a politician. But it just happened with [the Prime Minister].”

Why is the Prime Minister using independent officials to clean up his mess?