House of Commons Hansard #258 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Afro GalaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Ruimy Liberal Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Mr. Speaker, every February Canadians participate in Black History Month, reflecting on the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of black Canadians.

This year, we give focus to all the strong black women who are the backbone of our communities. “LoLo” Linda Dozie, from my riding of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, is one of these women. LoLo holds the personal conviction that if she wants to do something, she puts her mind to it and she does it. It is this motto that drove LoLo to follow her dream and host a forum called Afro Gala to recognize the different individuals who volunteer in our various communities and elevate the lives of people in need.

On February 10, LoLo and her husband, Onyeka, are hosting the seventh annual grassroots event Afro Gala. The vision is to connect across racial and cultural divisions in order to develop friendships and community cohesion. It is a night of food, culture, and entertainment.

In LoLo's own words, real change comes from people. We can certainly agree with her.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, February marks Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, a unified effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness, champion the rights, and foster the inclusion of people with disabilities. This initiative, which began in 2009, highlights the importance of accommodation and inclusion of people with disabilities within Jewish communal life, and provides a focal point for Jewish Canadians to demonstrate leadership.

I am proud to welcome a delegation to Ottawa led by the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, representing Jewish federations, service agencies, activists, and parents from across Canada. This group is here to promote the breaking down of barriers and the advancement of inclusion and accommodation for individuals with disabilities and their families. This is an incredible initiative that is being coordinated both here and in Washington, D.C.

As deputy shadow minister for persons with disabilities, I thank them for their important work in representing disabled Canadians across the country.

International DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raj Saini Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is an opportunity to bring together people of all ages from across Canada to celebrate and discuss our development achievements.

This week is International Development Week.

One of the pillars in our government's efforts to tackle poverty and inequality is education.

Access to high-quality basic education improves children's lives and gives them a real and fair chance to succeed and achieve their potential.

Last week, Canada announced a pledge of $180 million to the Global Partnership for Education, which would strengthen education systems in developing countries and provide support for girls' education.

All week we will be acknowledging Canada's work through the hashtag #SDI2018.

I wish everyone a happy International Development Week.

Father Emmett JohnsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to pay tribute to Father Emmett Johns, better known as “Pops”, who passed away on January 13 at the age of 89.

Born in 1928 to Irish parents, he grew up in Plateau-Mont-Royal in what is now Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

He was a priest for 40 years before deciding at age 60 to reach out to homeless youth and founding Bon Dieu dans la rue. He borrowed money to buy a motorhome and he took to the streets of downtown every night to help homeless youth by offering them food and a place to warm up. He never judged them.

Today, the Dans la rue organization has more than 65 employees and 135 volunteers and still embodies the dedication, empathy, and respect that defined its founder.

An extremely supportive and compassionate man has left us. He was an admirable man, and we can honour him by carrying on his work.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the mark of a free society is the ability of its members to hold and express opinions with which the government disagrees.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was drafted and adopted with this in mind. Pierre Trudeau marked the importance of freedom of conscience and freedom of belief by listing these freedoms at the very beginning of the charter, under the heading “Fundamental Freedoms”. In so doing, he sought to affirm for future generations the absolute importance of those freedoms.

It seems that the son has forgotten the lessons of the father. This Prime Minister has introduced a values test for Canadians applying for the Canada summer jobs program. The values test is not about the activities or services an organization provides, but rather about targeting the personal beliefs of the individuals who run those organizations.

The attestation is an insidious breach of the charter and must be removed.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Black History Month and the achievements of black Canadians, we must reflect on the enormous work that lies ahead.

Our Prime Minister acknowledged the need to address anti-black racism and discrimination, an issue that has systematically limited generations of black Canadians in reaching their fullest potential. This is, in part, why our government signed on to the International Decade for People of African Descent.

In Scarborough—Rouge Park, we will mark the occasion by honouring Bev Salmon, a trailblazer and a fierce advocate for the educational and social equity of racialized people. Ms. Salmon became the first black woman to serve as city councillor in North York, and then as metro councillor. She advocated for black history to be included in our curriculum, and served as the first black woman at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. For her exemplary service in our community, Ms. Salmon will receive the Order of Canada. She has fought against racism, inspired a generation of leaders, and made our country a better place.

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 more than a month ago, and the Prime Minister refuses to face reality.

However, it is simple; when someone does something illegal, that person must accept the consequences. In this case, the Prime Minister took taxpayers' money for illegal vacations. The consequence is simply that he must reimburse Canadian taxpayers. Everyone understands this except the Prime Minister.

When will he do this?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as soon as the Ethics Commissioner released her report, I accepted it, took full responsibility, and accepted all the commissioner's advice and recommendations. We are following all the recommendations and advice from the commissioner. That is what Canadians expect.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Accepting responsibility means accepting consequences, Mr. Speaker. We all know the Prime Minister loves taking luxury vacations in the Caribbean and does not mind sticking the cost to taxpayers. He constantly tells Canadians that they have to pick up the tab for his luxurious travel. When that travel is deemed to be illegal, he should pay Canadians back. When will he?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that whenever and wherever the Prime Minister travels, there are operational security costs that go with it. What I can repeat is that when the commissioner put forward her report, we fully assumed responsibility. I took personal responsibility and pledged to follow all the advice and all the recommendations laid out by the Ethics Commissioner. That is exactly what we were doing.

Going forward, we will ensure that any personal vacation or family travel is worked through beforehand with the Ethics Commissioner. We will continue to follow all her advice and recommendations in these and all matters.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the fact that it would take an ethics commissioner's report pointing out to the Prime Minister that it is inappropriate to take a gift from someone who conducts business with the government, that it is inappropriate to take a free flight from someone who is doing business with the government, and the fact that it took him a year to disclose these facts, shows that he is also guilty of a tremendous lapse in judgment.

Our motion simply states that when members of Parliament or ministers are found to have imburdened the taxpayer with costs associated with illegal activities, they should reimburse the taxpayer. What part of that motion does he disagree with?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in this place, in our system, it is the role of the opposition to ask tough questions to challenge the government in place. That is what leads to a strong democracy. However, above the partisan attacks and the personal mudslinging, we have a system where an ethics commissioner objectively looks at behaviour, makes recommendations, and delivers consequences. In this case, above the partisan role that the opposition is importantly playing, we need to make sure we are following the Ethics Commissioner's advice. That is exactly what I am doing.

EthicsOral Questions

February 6th, 2018 / 2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I understand the Prime Minister thinks that by breaking the fourth wall and trying to escape the tough questions that we are asking he will in some way be able to skate through this. However, Canadians see right through that. Yes, it is our job to ask the tough questions, and it is his habit to evade those questions and ask other ministers to defend his illegal activity.

Here is a simple question. When other ministers were found to have broken the rules, they had to pay the money back. Why does he think he does not have to?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, above the partisan attacks and the mudslinging, we have an Ethics Commissioner whose work we, on this side of the House, respect. The Ethics Commissioner made findings that we immediately accepted and I took responsibility for. She made recommendations and gave advice that we are following entirely and completely. The members opposite are trying to play personal attacks on top of that. However, Canadians can be assured that the Ethics Commissioner is the one who objectively looks at this above the partisan fray.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, demanding that a public official repay taxpayers for an illegal cost is not a partisan issue. It is a fundamental principle of accountability. Anyone else, in the real world, who was found breaking the rules would have to accept the consequences. Why does he think that he is different from everybody else?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone in this House is accountable to Canadians. Also, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner ensures that every member of this House, up to and including the Prime Minister, is aligned with the rules. When that is not the case, the Ethics Commissioner makes findings.

In this case, we fully accepted responsibility. I took personal responsibility on the Ethics Commissioner's report, and will follow all of her recommendations and all of the advice she gave going forward.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, when we ask him why web giants like Netflix and Facebook do not have to charge sales tax even though their Canadian competitors do, the Prime Minister says that he promised not to raise taxes for the middle class. We are talking about a tax that already exists, sales tax. We want fairness in the industry. It is unacceptable that the Prime Minister does not have the courage to ask web giants to pay their fair share.

When will the Prime Minister understand that and insist on fair treatment for the entire industry?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, as the NDP has said, web giants must pay their fair share. It is not web giants that the NDP wants to charge, it is taxpayers. The New Democrats want to make taxpayers pay more taxes. They want Canadians, Quebec and Canadian taxpayers, to pay more taxes for their online services. We, on this side of the House, promised not to raise taxes for taxpayers, and we are going to stand by that promise. If the New Democrats want to raise taxes for Canadians, they should say so instead of hiding behind talk of big corporations.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, he does not get it. We are not talking about a new tax; we are talking about a tax that already exists and must be collected by Canadian competitors. He needs to follow the example of France, Australia, and many American states that have decided to make these web giants pay. Even here at home, the whole province of Quebec wants to do the same. Imposing on Bombardier a sales tax that is not required of Boeing would be unthinkable, so why do it in the online sector? Not only is the Prime Minister trying to justify these tax breaks, but he is going even further by making deals with those companies.

When will the Liberals stop getting into bed with these web giants?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the New Democrats are misleading Canadians. They are talking about making web giants pay their fair share. It is not the web giants they want to pay more in taxes; it is taxpayers. We made a commitment to taxpayers that they would not have to pay more for their online services. We on this side of the House plan to keep that promise.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about tax fairness.

Under the Liberal government, the CRA has come down hard on single moms, suspending their child tax benefits and forcing them to jump through hoops, but when KPMG was found to be running an international tax fraud scheme, whoa, the uber-rich got immediate amnesty. The Prime Minister went further. He appointed the top KPMG rep as the treasurer of the Liberal Party.

Does the Prime Minister not understand the basic principle of conflict of interest? Why is he putting the interests of the big Liberal money machine ahead of ordinary Canadians who play by the rules, pay their fair share, listen, and work hard?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have put more than $1 billion toward the CRA to go after tax avoidance and tax evasion, because we know it is important for everyone to pay their fair share. That is exactly what we are committed to, but more than that, we are actually committed to making our tax system fairer. That is why one of the first things we did was lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the wealthiest 1%. Further, we continue to look at ways to help single mothers, to help low-income families with the Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families and is reducing child poverty by 40%.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, really? Is he serious? Okay, so when the Liberals' top fundraiser, Stephen Bronfman, gets named in the paradise papers, the Prime Minister jumps in immediately and says, “Hey, no investigation needed here.” Why? Is it because he raised $250,000 for the party in two hours? Is it because it is a case of who you know in the PMO?

Ordinary Canadians do not get the royal treatment. Just look at how the Prime Minister treated veteran Brock Blaszczyk who lost his leg in Afghanistan and is fighting for a pension. If only the Prime Minister treated veterans with the same level of deference that he does his billionaire crony pals, would it not be a better country?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to the well-being of veterans and their families. We are delivering on a lifetime pension commitment which includes benefits and generous programs designed to help veterans live a full and productive life. This is in stark contrast to the previous Conservative government that for 10 years cut veterans offices, cut front-line services, and nickelled and dimed veterans while the Conservatives wrapped themselves in the flag. Even the member for Barrie—Innisfil said that the previous Conservative government had become disconnected with veterans and had lost a lot of trust. It is a very fair criticism.

We are not just going to criticize that government; we are going to do better than it did.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister is doing is looking them in the eye and saying no after having said yes to just about everybody else: yes, to Omar Khadr; yes, to somebody running a minister's Twitter account, $100,000; yes, to his pals when they want to take a vacation in the Caribbean.

The Liberals are saying yes to everybody, but they are telling those who gave their country all they have that they are asking for too much. That is shameful. The Conservatives will hold them to account for that every time.