House of Commons Hansard #257 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-50.

Topics

National Suicide Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the start of the 28th National Suicide Prevention Week, which goes from February 4 to 10, 2018. “Talking about suicide saves lives” is the theme of this essential awareness campaign.

Today I want to acknowledge the work of Lynda Poirier, Director General of the Quebec City Suicide Prevention Centre, and her entire team. They are an invaluable resource for our community. Founded in 1978, the Quebec City Suicide Prevention Centre is marking its 40th anniversary. It is the first centre of its kind in Canada. I want to commend all the volunteers and employees who have worked all these years on combatting the taboos around suicide and mental health problems.

People commit suicide not because they want to die but because they want to stop suffering. However, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It should never be the solution.

During this important week let us appreciate the importance of talking about suicide and talking to each other. Let us all realize that suffering is part of being human and that being vulnerable is a sign of strength not of weakness.

To all those who are suffering, know that there is help out there: 1-866-277-3553.

Canadian Swimmer's AchievementStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to honour my friend and Oakville resident Madhu Nagaraja, who recently became the first Canadian to successfully swim across the Strait of Magellan. Madhu completed the swim on November 29, becoming only the 23rd person in the world to complete the 3.9-kilometre swim through the strait famed for its strong winds, high waves, and frigid waters.

Madhu attempted the same swim in 2015 but was unsuccessful. Rather than feel defeated, Madhu gathered his team around him and tried again. He often says that it is not about the swimming; it is about building a strong team. An experienced open-water swimmer who has crossed the English Channel and Lake Ontario, Madhu said that he wanted to attempt the swim across the strait again in honour of Canada's 150th birthday.

I want to say, congratulations to Madhu. We are all so very proud.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

February 5th, 2018 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are imposing an ideological values test on the Canada summer jobs program that would result in many faith-based charities being denied funding. In short, what we see is an alarming attack on religious freedoms in this country.

Hundreds of summer camps run by religious organizations across Canada will be denied funding, putting an end to unique opportunities for many children and summer jobs for thousands of young people. Many food banks and services to those who are poor or housing-insecure will also lose their funding. Several faith-based charities in my riding of Lethbridge that have done a remarkable job caring for the needs of refugees will also be denied.

Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a long list of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, and freedom of belief. To compel organizations to agree to a government-dictated value statement not only infringes on their charter rights but also stands in direct opposition to democracy.

Today, on behalf of people of all faiths across this country, I am calling on the Liberal government to back down from its changes and respect our charter rights.

International DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is International Development Week.

The year 2017 was a milestone for Canadian international development. After a year of consultations attended by more than 15,000 people in 65 countries, we launched our new feminist international assistance policy, which forms a substantial shift for Canada's international assistance.

We did it because focusing our assistance on the full empowerment of women and girls is the most effective way to make a difference in the world. It is the most effective way to reduce poverty and create a world that is more inclusive, more peaceful, and more prosperous. The primary objective of this policy is to contribute to international efforts to eradicate extreme poverty around the world.

This week is the perfect time to celebrate Canada's contribution to this positive change. Please follow #IDW2018.

I hope everyone has a great International Development Week.

National Suicide Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant Liberal La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, no one is immune.

The mental health statistics for those working in agriculture are alarming. Calls for help and suicides are twice as high among farmers.

I would like to talk about my own experience. In 40 years, I have had to face many crises. In 1981, hail destroyed my crops. My herds have been affected by embryonic death , poisoning due to a feed supplier's mistake, and many other problems.

However, I have to admit that the most difficult situation I had to endure was my separation from my wife, which devastated me. I needed help. I could not cope on my own. I called Au coeur des familles agricoles, which got me back on my feet. I was convinced that the agricultural community needed this service, and later I even became its president.

I am just one example of the thousands of farmers who, to this day, need help. That is why, during National Suicide Prevention Week, I want to highlight the specific needs of farmers.

National Suicide Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, February 4 to 10, 2018 is the 28th National Suicide Prevention Week in Quebec. This year's theme is “talking about suicide saves lives”. It is crucial that we talk about suicide for the good of our family and friends, vulnerable people, and all those who remain silent in the face of distress, particularly when we know that the risk of suicide is three times higher among men in Quebec.

It is important for people to be aware of the resources available, including the 1-800-277-3553 help line. Let us all visit the website of the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide at commentparlerdusuicide.com.

In closing, I would like to commend the Chaudière-Appalaches Integrated Health and Social Services Centre, or CISSS, for its excellent initiative. In co-operation with the Fédération de l'Union des producteurs agricoles de Chaudière-Appalaches, it has posted two videos on its Facebook page that show how to detect psychological distress among farmers. Together, let us talk about suicide and save lives.

YukonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to acknowledge Yukon Days, an annual opportunity for Yukon's premier and ministers, as well as Yukon chiefs, to come to Ottawa and meet with their federal counterparts, build relationships, and advance important issues for our territory.

I also want to note that February 14 will mark an important anniversary. In 1973, a delegation of Yukon first nations chiefs presented Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau with the historic document “Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow”. This was one of the first land claims accepted for negotiation in Canada, and it became the basis for negotiating the modern treaty, the umbrella final agreement, signed in 1993, followed by the 11 Yukon first nations land claim and self-government agreements in place today.

I invite all my fellow members of Parliament to come to the Château Laurier tonight at 5 p.m. for a great Yukon bash, and welcome the Yukon delegation.

Dave BarrettStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the late Dave Barrett, the first NDP premier of British Columbia, a former member of Parliament, and an impassioned advocate for social justice. Dave brought truly enduring change to our province. No future right-wing government in B.C. dared to undo his legacy: public automobile insurance, the agricultural land reserve, higher minimum wage, and enhanced pensions for the elderly.

When I first met Dave, I was amazed at his energy and his wicked sense of humour. He truly made politics fun. Dave was a happy warrior. He riveted crowds with his eloquence and crusaded for social justice with a mixture of passion and charm. I bet that of all former B.C. premiers, Dave is the one British Columbians would most like to have joined for a beer.

On behalf of the federal NDP, I offer our condolences to Shirley and their three children. I thank Dave for his memorable wit, inspirational oratory, and passion for public life, and for reminding us to have fun while working hard for lasting change.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in this House as the new member for Battlefords—Lloydminster. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, my friends, and the many volunteers whose dedicated support and encouragement brought me here today.

I would also like to thank the constituents of Battlefords—Lloydminster for putting their trust in me to be an effective voice for our communities. I am proud to represent a riding that cherishes and promotes Canadian values, including freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and freedom of belief, all of which are fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights.

The government has a responsibility to protect these rights for all Canadians, yet the Liberal government is holding taxpayer funds hostage from those Canadians who do not share its beliefs. Asking applicants to the Canada summer jobs program to disavow their personal beliefs is completely unacceptable. I call on the government to put aside party politics and to remove the Liberal values test from the Canada summer jobs application.

World Cancer DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was World Cancer Day.

Like all Canadians, every member of the House knows at least one person who was diagnosed with cancer. This year's theme, “We can. I can”, encourages us to take action in the fight against cancer in Canada and throughout the world.

Unfortunately, we all know the devastation that a cancer diagnosis can have on family and friends. This is why I am proud that our government supports organizations like the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer with close to $50 million annually and more than $1.6 billion invested over the last decade. I firmly believe that we can reduce cancer rates, improve treatments, and create better outcomes for communities across the country by supporting research, working with all of our partners, and living a healthier lifestyle.

As with all great challenges, by working together and through dedication, we can and will beat cancer.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner's report was released over a month ago. We have been asking the Prime Minister questions in the House for a week, and he still refuses to do the right thing and repay Canadians for his illegal trip.

Will the Prime Minister put an end to this farce and repay the $200,000 he illegally took from taxpayers?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, after the commissioner released her report, I immediately and publicly took responsibility. In the future, I will follow all of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's advice regarding the Aga Khan and regarding my personal travels. I am glad to take full responsibility with regard to the findings in the commissioner's report.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is still refusing to face the consequences. When the Ethics Commissioner's report came out, the Prime Minister acted the part of a man who regretted what had happened. He even apologized. Now he is acting the part of a man who is shirking his responsibilities. Despite taxpayers' demands, he is stubbornly refusing to do the sensible thing and pay back the $200,000.

Will he finally act the part of a responsible person and pay back the cost of his illegal travel?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner's report included a number of recommendations, such as putting a screen in place with respect to my interactions with the Aga Khan and working with the commissioner's office to officially clear all my personal and family trips with the commissioner ahead of time. I am following all of the recommendations made by the Office of the Ethics Commissioner.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, someone with good judgment does not need to be found guilty by the Ethics Commissioner to understand that accepting gifts from someone who does business with the government is wrong. For over a year he tried to dodge and hide the cost of his illegal travel. He promised a higher standard of accountability but he has failed to reach even his own minimum.

When will he repay taxpayers for the extra costs associated with his illegal trip?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, folks watching question period, both here and in the gallery for question period, know there is an awful lot of back and forth that happens on a partisan basis. It happens on the basis of personal attacks. However, what Canadians at home and watching can know and be confident about is that there is a place that goes beyond partisanship and looks objectively at the behaviour of people in the House, makes determinations, and gives paths forward. That is exactly what happened with the Ethics Commissioner. We were happy to follow all her recommendations.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner came to the objective conclusion that the Prime Minister broke the law. The Ethics Commissioner came to the conclusion that he should have known better, and Canadians have come to the conclusion that he should repay the money he charged for his illegal trips.

If he accepts the findings of the report, will he accept responsibility, do the right thing, make amends, and pay the money back?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, it is one thing for the opposition to fall into mudslinging and personal attacks. It is another thing for Canadians to be able to have confidence in the work that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner does. She made findings that we fully accept, and she made recommendations that we are fully following. That is what Canadians expect in an issue like this, and that takes us above the kinds of partisan attacks that we see all too often in this place.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only a Liberal would think that an opposition party pointing to an objective finding by an Ethics Commissioner that the Prime Minister broke the law is mudslinging. Only a Liberal would think that would be some kind of unfair, partisan attack.

What Canadians understand is that when the Prime Minister breaks the law and imposes extra costs on taxpayers, he should do the right thing and pay the money back. Will he?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, I fully accepted the responsibility of the behaviour and of what the commissioner proposed. We followed her advice.

However, as I pointed out a number of times, as has been the case with previous prime ministers, there are significant costs assumed by the Prime Minister's travel in any circumstance, wherever he goes across the country or around the world.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I remind members that even if they do not like what is said on one side, their side will get its chance. Even if it is the last question of the day, they will get their chance tomorrow. Let us be a little patient, and that includes all members.

The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, what should we do when a Canadian mining company uses tax schemes to avoid paying almost $700 million in taxes here in Canada? Common sense would dictate that we at least investigate this company. Instead, the government will be lending it more than $1 billion for its foreign activities. A company that uses an address in a tax haven to avoid paying taxes here should at least be ineligible for grants and loans.

Does the Prime Minister agree with this principle and, if he does, will he cancel this loan?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, EDC is a crown corporation that operates at arm's length from the government. EDC supports Canadian exporters in order to create quality jobs, support the middle class, and grow the economy. The confidentiality provisions of the Income Tax Act prevent us from commenting on this particular situation. However, we support the base erosion and profit shifting project that addresses aggressive international tax avoidance strategies used by some multinational companies.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, they should take responsibility for this action. This economy simply is not working for everyday Canadians. Reports now indicate that a mining company received a loan from the government for $1 billion, and that is after this company apparently avoided paying nearly $700 million in Canadian taxes.

That is just not fair. Canadians are tired of one set of rules for them and another set of rules for the wealthy and well-connected. When will the Prime Minister stop this game of letting the wealthy get away without paying their fair share?