House of Commons Hansard #271 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, a round of negotiations for a possible agreement with Mercosur will take place here in Ottawa tomorrow, March 20. This is a free trade agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia. Canada hopes to enter into a free trade agreement with this economic community, Mercosur. The primary objective is to diversity our international trade markets with countries that have similar goals and growing economies.

I wonder if the Minister of International Trade could give us an update.

International TradeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for her excellent work.

Two weeks ago, I was in Asunción, Paraguay, to launch the Mercosur negotiations. Through our ambitious trade diversification program, Canada is positioning itself for success for decades to come.

With Mercosur, our government is pursuing the most progressive trade negotiations our country has ever undertaken. For the first time ever, the negotiations will include a gender-based analysis and comprehensive assessments of the impact on labour, human rights, and indigenous peoples. I look forward to welcoming stakeholders this evening to get started.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, we began our parliamentary day by acknowledging the freedom that we enjoy in Canada. The Prime Minister and the Liberals are attacking that freedom: freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Through their ideological and dogmatic approach, the Liberals are attacking the least fortunate and depriving our young people of good jobs.

Will the Prime Minister and the Liberals use today's vote to support our motion to ensure that the Canada summer jobs program remains a program for creating jobs and not an attack on the freedoms that our soldiers fight for?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, the Canada summer jobs program has always provided young people with good-quality job experiences, where they can gain valuable experience, and helped prepare them for school.

Unlike the Conservatives, who have funded groups that promote anti-abortion, distribute graphic images, or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, we are going to ensure that we do not support groups that actively undermine Canadian rights.

We predict a successful year ahead. We know the number of applications is on par with last year, and we look forward to doubling the Canada summer jobs opportunities for young people in the country again this year.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the approval list for Canada summer jobs came out to the MPs. Compared to last year, 36 fewer organizations in my riding even applied. At least 15 of these organizations told me they did not because of the Liberals' values test.

Instead of funding groups that provide housing and child care, the Liberals have dumped money into for-profit organizations and retailers. Will the Liberals admit this is wrong, vote in favour of our motion, and support Canadians who are trying to help their communities?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, Canada's prosperity relies on ensuring that young people get the experience they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. That is why the Canada summer jobs program has been so critical in ensuring that young people get that oftentimes first well-paying job that will help them identify their career path and gain the skills they need.

We predict a very successful year ahead. The number of applications received, and currently under review, is on par with 2017. We know that we are going to continue to help young people get that experience and thrive going into the future.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister referred earlier to an organization that I know received tens of thousands of dollars from the Liberal member for Mississauga—Erin Mills. However, that choice by the member does not have anything to do with our motion today, which speaks to non-political, non-activist groups that for reasons of conscience, and their conscience rights in section 2 of the charter, do not want to check this box.

Will the minister support our motion, which would allow these charitable organizations to continue to provide this vital work? Will she look at the motion and support it on the basis of its support for non-political, non-activist organizations?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, the Canada summer jobs program serves a critical purpose in the country, and that is to make sure that young people get quality job experiences, oftentimes for the first time in their young careers. That is why we are going to make sure that funds do not go, in any way, to groups that actively work to undermine Canadians' rights.

Young people are counting on us to stand up for their rights, to deliver this program in a way that is fair and equitable and respects all Canadians, and that is exactly what we will do.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the minister, she is just not answering a very direct question. We have a motion before the House today that says that non-political, non-activist groups should be able to access the Canada summer jobs program regardless of their private convictions.

We believe that it is a violation of fundamental charter rights to force an organization to disclose its private convictions if that has absolutely nothing to do with the activities it is involved in. If the government is sincere about not targeting faith-based charities, it could take one very simple step to reassure those organizations and support our motion today. Will it?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, the process this year asked organizations to commit to the fact that their core activities, their core mandate, and the job description for which they are applying would not in any way actively undermine the rights of young Canadians. In fact, we have had resounding applications, the same as last year. We anticipate that over 70,000 young people will have excellent job experiences across the country in a variety of different sectors that will help them gain the skills they need, determine their career paths, and earn a little extra money.

We are incredibly proud of the fact that the government puts youth success at the forefront and knows that it is critically connected to our economic success.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, many main roads in rural regions are not even covered by a cellular network. Although investing in 5G may be a good thing, in the meantime, nothing is happening in rural areas. The Liberals are so out of touch that the word “cellular” is not even in their last budget. If the minister is ready to pull his head out of the sand, I would invite him to go on a little road trip with me. He would realize that there is a cellular dead zone just two hours from here.

How much longer before people living in rural areas are not treated like second-class citizens by this minister?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, in this day and age, mobile communications and high-speed Internet are no longer luxuries, they are necessities. Our government recognizes that innovation is occurring everywhere in the regions, just as it is in major cities. That is why we want to ensure that all Canadians have access to the same technologies, no matter their postal code. It comes down to equal opportunity. Our connect to innovate program is addressing the digital divide and will enable our communities and businesses to seize opportunities provided by the global digital economy.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his most recent report, the parliamentary budget officer called on the Liberals to deliver a detailed plan for how they intend to dole out billions in infrastructure dollars to prevent further delays. He said that some funding would likely not be allocated or spent on time. He went so far as to say that the Liberals do not have a plan for spending the billions of dollars earmarked for infrastructure over the next 12 years. Municipalities have been waiting for too long and cannot wait any longer.

On their behalf, I am asking the government, where is the plan to prevent delays?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, we worked very closely with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and with provinces and territories to develop a historic plan that is investing more than $180 billion to build the necessary infrastructure that has been neglected by the Harper government for a decade. We have approved 4,100 projects, with a combined investment of $35 billion. Last week, we signed three bilateral agreements with the Province of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Northwest Territories to deliver historic investments so communities get the infrastructure they need and deserve.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, serious concerns are being raised about China-owned telecom company Huawei having access to 5G technology. Recently, a U.S. Senate committee heard compelling testimony from four U.S. agencies, including the FBI and the CIA, which says that Huawei poses a serious cybersecurity threat.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that there may be a threat to Canadian cybersecurity? What is he doing to stop China-owned Huawei from spying on Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, cybersecurity is an extraordinarily important priority for the country and for the government. As the hon. member will have noticed in the last budget, the Minister of Finance has set aside something in excess of $700 million for investments over the next number of years, including the creation of a new cybersecurity centre, one that will pay particular attention to the critical infrastructure of this country, which we must indeed protect and defend by every means possible.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not just our allies sounding the alarm but national security experts in Canada as well. Ward Elcock, a former CSIS director, told The Globe and Mail, “I would not want to see Huawei equipment being incorporated into a 5G network in Canada”. Dick Fadden, former national security adviser, is saying that we do not want Canadian infrastructure to be available to Huawei.

With what these Canadian experts are saying, will the public safety minister commit to a re-evaluation of Canada's ties with China-owned Huawei?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we have just completed a national security review of our cybersecurity systems. That has included every dimension of those systems, including how best to protect critical infrastructure. We will take every step necessary to make sure that this critical infrastructure, which is vital to Canada and to our relations with countries around the world, is properly protected and defended. There is nothing more important than that.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, amid a busy schedule of family vacations, the Prime Minister squeezed in some visits to Canadian steel plants. In Saskatchewan he visited Evraz where they manufacture pipelines. The Liberals' abdication of federal leadership on the Trans Mountain pipeline is hurting Evraz, the prairie oil and gas sector, as well as the Canadian steel industry.

Can the Prime Minister reassure Canadian steelworkers that construction on Trans Mountain will start this spring?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

March 19th, 2018 / 2:55 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as we continue to say, the environment and the economy go hand in hand. We continue to support the energy sector in a variety of ways, including the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline. I would like to add a number of other pipelines as well: the expanded export capacity for the Alberta Clipper, the Nova Gas pipeline, the Line 3 replacement project, and our support of the Keystone XL pipeline. I could go on and on.

Our government has approved the Trans Mountain expansion and we stand by that approval.

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development released the results of our government's poverty reduction strategy consultations in a “What We Heard” report. I hosted one of those consultations in my riding where I heard from Canadians living in poverty and front-line workers about what it is like to live in poverty in our country.

Can the minister please tell the House how budget 2018 will help low-income Canadians get the support that they need?

PovertyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate the member for Toronto—Danforth for her strong commitment to reducing poverty.

Budget 2018 introduces the new Canada workers benefit, which is going to lift tens of thousands of lower-wage Canadians out of poverty and also benefit more than two million vulnerable Canadians. Budget 2018 also introduced automatic enrolment, which will ensure that eligible Canadians actually receive the benefit. Starting in 2019, the new Canada workers benefit will help more vulnerable Canadians who work hard succeed in joining the middle class.

Agriculture and AgrifoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister believes that the budget will balance itself. As a result, Canada has a deficit of billions of dollars.

Western grain farmers are facing a second crisis. They are unable to deliver their products. Like his Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture thinks that the crisis will resolve itself and is refusing to take action.

The Liberals' record is one of deficits for everyone and millions of dollars in losses for all farmers. The farmers are here in town.

Will the minister personally commit to taking action, rather than believing in fairy tales like his Prime Minister and waiting for the crisis to resolve itself?

Agriculture and AgrifoodOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we all want our western farmers to be able to get their grain to the global marketplace as quickly as possible. That is why the Minister of Agriculture and I spoke with CN and CP. We told them clearly that they were not doing an acceptable job right now, and we asked them to show us how they planned to address the current problems. Over the past two weeks, the situation has improved considerably, and we will continue to monitor their progress in the coming weeks.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, Marielle Franco, a city councillor in Rio de Janeiro, was brutally murdered.

Marielle was 38 years old. She was a black woman, a lesbian, a socialist, and a human rights advocate. For years, she had been speaking out against police brutality in the favelas. It is for all of these reasons that she was murdered by multiple gunshots to the head. We cannot stay silent in the face of this attempt to kill hope.

Will Canada show leadership and demand that Brazil order an independent investigation into this politically motivated killing?