House of Commons Hansard #270 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-69.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is ludicrous to make the assertion the member is making.

Clearly, we have been working for farmers in Canada, and we are always working for farmers. I was in Regina last week, talking with the people in Pulse Canada, making sure that we work with the Indian government. This is the best we can do to ensure that our farmers will have stability and predictability in the Indian market, and we will continue to do so. I have raised that on every single occasion I have had communications with an Indian official.

That is what the Prime Minister did and that is what this whole government is doing, defending our farmers across Canada.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week we all saw what could be the fastest-ever Liberal broken promise. The government has clarified it will now just study, not implement, pharmacare, and any future program will not be universal, public, or free. Now the finance minister is facing conflict-of-interest allegations on his fake pharmacare proposal because of his link with Morneau Shepell, Canada's largest benefits consultancy provider.

Will the finance minister recuse himself from any pharmacare discussions because of this serious apparent conflict of interest?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of their publicly funded universal medicare system, one that is based on the individual's needs and not on the ability to pay. However, we recognize there is certainly room for improvement. We have created an advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program with a mandate to study, evaluate, and ultimately make recommendations to government on the path forward to implement pharmacare that puts Canadians first. This initiative builds on the good work that has already been undertaken by our government to improve access to necessary prescription medications for all Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not the only ones calling for this. Three major organizations, including the Canadian Labour Congress, have asked that the minister recuse himself from discussions on the pharmacare program in order to avoid another conflict of interest, and also to prevent him from working against the public interest. Canadians want and need a pan-Canadian pharmacare program.

Will the Prime Minister remove the Minister of Finance from the discussions and ensure that the consultation is not just a tactic to break another promise?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are proud of our universal medicare system. This system is publicly funded and based on people's needs and not on their ability to pay. However, this system can be improved.

We have created an advisory council on the implementation of a national pharmacare program, with a mandate to study, evaluate, and recommend options for implementing a national pharmacare program that benefits all Canadians.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I had a good laugh today when I heard the minister say how much the Liberals care about agriculture.

Yesterday, when I asked him a question about the budget, the Minister of Agriculture had so little to say that he had to get out his cue card from 2017 to answer the question. There is so little in the budget that he did not even bother to write up a new cue card to answer opposition questions.

Today we learned that the Prime Minister's trip to India has made things worse for chickpea farmers. That is the reality.

Why are the Liberals being so ungenerous to Canadian producers and farmers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, this budget builds on budget 2017. We have recognized agriculture as a key economic sector for Canada.

We are investing over $150 million in protein industries superclusters, $100 million in agricultural science and innovation, $75 million in initiatives to promote Canada's trade with China and other Asian markets, $350 million in the dairy sector, and $19.9 million in apprenticeship programs for women in designated trades.

We are going to continue creating growth and opportunities for farmers and their families.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, if they are working on improving the Asian market, why do we have a 50% increase on chickpeas?

For two of the past four weeks in Manitoba, the one railroad has only met 6% of the railcar orders placed by shippers. That means tens of thousands of tonnes of contracted grain is not moving, which has virtually stalled cash flow for farmers on the Prairies.

Will the Liberal government stop delaying? We warned the Liberals about Bill C-49 last fall. It is too late. Farmers cannot wait. Action is needed. Reinstate our previous Conservative government's effective measures and get grain moving now.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance of efficient and reliable rail service, especially in moving Canadian grain and other commodities to market. However, after enduring 10 years of band-aid actions on behalf of the other government, we introduced Bill C-49. It will provide a strong, reliable, and efficient freight rail system for the future.

The Minister of Transport and the Minister of Agriculture have been in contact with the railways, urging them to do better. We will closely monitor the situation.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, our track record is clear. We have always stood up for Canadian farming families from coast to coast and we will continue to do so.

Here is the deal. Western grain producers have faced a disastrous shipping season due to this government. In order to provide for their families, they rely on getting their grain to market to bring in money in order to put food on their tables. Their ask is very simple. Grain farmers simply want the Liberals to start listening to them and then take action.

When will this government resolve the backlog and get the grain moving?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, we have proven time and time again that we are strongly committed to Canadian farmers and our agricultural industry. Unlike the band-aid solutions of the past with an expiry date, our government put forward Bill C-49, which would meet the long-term sustainable needs of users for years to come.

To quote the Western Grain Elevator Association, “this bill [Bill C-49] is a significant improvement over the existing legislation and is a positive step forward for the grain industry.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the only thing they have proven is that they can increase tariffs.

Liberals think they are good with numbers, so let us try these on for size: 38%, which is the percentage of hopper cars provided by CN and CP combined; 3,965, which is the number of outstanding orders for hopper cars, which is 300 more than last week; millions, which is the amount of dollars in demurrage charges that are being passed on to our farmers. Farmers across Canada have bins full of grain, contracts to fill, and they need the cash flow to start preparing for seeding.

Will the Liberals look at these numbers, do the right thing, and get this grain moving?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, both ministers have been in contact with the railway companies.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

An hon. member

Who cares?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Well, we should care. We should care about talking to the railway companies, because we need to find a permanent solution.

The contact with the railway companies has indicated that the temporary situation of early February is improving. That is what we need, an improvement on this performance.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, all the stakeholders in my region are disappointed by the lack of vision in the Liberal budget. Everyone was hoping for funding for the high-frequency rail project, but instead the government wants to do another series of studies. It seems as though having a regional minister at the cabinet table is more about giving Ottawa a voice in the regions than giving the regions a voice in Ottawa. The time for action is now, because the people of Trois-Rivières have been waiting too long. The Liberals have announced billions of dollars in infrastructure that they refuse to spend.

When will Trois-Rivières get its share of the infrastructure money that was promised?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government is developing the best approach to delivering an efficient and reliable passenger rail system for Canada. That is why we allocated funding in two budgets in order to study VIA Rail's high-frequency rail proposal, which is proof that we are seriously considering this project. We are working actively with VIA Rail and doing our homework on the number of potential passengers.

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what my colleague just said. It is very easy to throw numbers around in the House. As the mayor of Trois-Rivières put it, it might be easier to go to the moon than to get a train running on the north shore. He really believed that the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain would be able to make it happen.

Our people are facing some major problems. There are families in pyrrhotite limbo, disaster victims in Yamachiche, and I will not even mention our supply management system. Add to that a labour shortage for our small businesses, and that is just the beginning.

What good is having a Liberal minister from Saint-Maurice—Champlain if he has forgotten all about the Mauricie region?

Regional DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer my hon. colleague's question.

What good is having a minister in a region? For one thing, it means an investment of over $100 million in the region. I can tell my colleague from Trois-Rivières that he must have misread the budget. Not only are we investing $3 million in VIA Rail for studies, but we are also investing in rolling stock because new locomotives and trains are needed.

The whole region should be glad that we are making concrete investments in the high-frequency train from Quebec to Windsor. We will keep working together to make that major project a reality.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

March 2nd, 2018 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Eva Nassif Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, 2017 was marked by many disasters and ongoing crises, including violence and famine in Africa, the crisis in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, hurricanes in the Caribbean, and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. In 2018, humanitarian needs throughout the world will be unprecedented, with 136 million people in 26 countries expected to need aid.

Could the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie tell the House how the government is helping to meet these challenges?

International DevelopmentOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of International Development and La Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Vimy for her question and her commitment to improving the status of women. Canada will provide an additional $2 billion over five years for international aid. That is the largest increase in 10 years. This funding will enhance the impact of our feminist policy on the most vulnerable women and girls in the world. These women will not just be beneficiaries of this funding. It will also help them to become agents of change, development, and peace. We will help them to develop their economic, social, and political power.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government inherited a short-term windfall from a housing bubble in Toronto and Vancouver, a booming U.S. economy and world economy, and a doubling of oil prices. What did the Liberals do with it all? They blew it. Now the results are coming in. Today we have disappointing economic growth numbers. Yesterday the former chief economic analyst at Stats Canada revealed that investment in Canada is in a free fall.

Why did the Liberals blow Canada's good fortune instead of setting it aside and preparing for the risks ahead?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we can look at the last two years and where Canada was two years ago when we were debating whether we were in a recession or heading into a recession.

After 10 years of anemic growth under the previous government, which had the lowest employment growth since World War II and the lowest growth of GDP since Mackenzie King, all of this while adding $150 billion to the national debt, Canadians decided to take a different approach, one where we invest in our communities, invest in infrastructure, invest in science, something which the Conservatives should have done a long time ago.

Over the last two years, the Canadian economy has had the fastest growth in the G7. Some 600,000 jobs have been created. I think we can be proud of that record.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Liberals inherited that from the previous government. The previous government took Canada through the great global recession with the best job results, the lowest taxes, and the biggest middle-class income growth of any government since records have been kept—

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!