House of Commons Hansard #272 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was women.

Topics

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, this decision is in keeping with all of the promises this government made in 2015 to get elected. One such promise was to run small deficits of $10 billion, $10 billion, and $6 billion, and to then balance the budget. Furthermore, this money was supposed to be invested in infrastructure to stimulate our economy. Instead, the Liberals put it back into the government machine to serve the government and its own interests.

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Madam Speaker, before I begin my discussion on budget 2018, I want to share with the House a little more about my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, which is in Nova Scotia and surrounds the major cities of Halifax and Dartmouth. We have about 95,000 people in my riding, some are fishermen and some are farmers. We also have many young families and seniors. As I will show throughout my speech today, this budget will support not only Canada and Nova Scotia, it will directly support my community of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. I will focus on families, veterans, women support, as well as youth.

It is important to look at the history of what our government has accomplished over the last two and a half years, which is extremely impressive thus far. We have created over 700,000 jobs in just over two years, most of which are full-time jobs. The party opposite would have liked to have been able to share with the House in its 10 years of governing, but that was not possible.

The second thing I would like to share with the House is that the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7 per cent. That is the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. This includes the 10 years the Conservative Party was in power.

Let us talk about the Canada child benefit. This program has been extremely important for Canadians and young families. Everyone in the House should be thanking our government for that investment in young families. Not one member in the House is not seeing major investment for kids in their riding. I will give the example of my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. Over 10,000 families are receiving extra support, tax free, from the child care benefit. What does that mean to the citizens and families in my riding? It means an investment in Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook of $5.6 million per month tax free, or $60 million per year. Everyone in the House is seeing that investment in young families across the country, which is extremely important.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Avalon, Madam Speaker.

Let us look at some of the investments touching Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia, and my riding. The investment in the prevention of the spruce budworm is extremely important to our riding, as well as to the province and Atlantic Canada. Forestry is extremely important to Nova Scotia. Also, there is a major investment in the area of small craft and harbour. As I said, we not only have fishermen in my community, but right across the province of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as well.

There is also major investment in multiculturalism. The investment for black Canadians in black Canadian communities is extremely important for Canadians and for the people in Preston in my riding. People may not know this, but we have the largest black cultural centre in Canada. Only a couple of weeks ago, I was able to celebrate with the African Nova Scotian community. Earlier in the day, the minister had launched the new $10 bill, which has the first Canadian black women on it, Viola Desmond. She was a leader not only for her community, but a leader for civil rights for Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada. This celebration was really touching. As one gentleman described to me that evening, “Today we launch the $10 bill. Tonight we celebrated the $10 bill, and we celebrate Viola Desmond and our community.” That was very special and important.

I have a quote on that from the Federation of Black Canadians which said, “A historic first, 'Equality Growth: A Strong Middle Class' constitutes the first time a federal budget explicitly acknowledges the unique and specific challenges faced by Black Canadians and commits substantial amounts to addressing them.” That is something really impressive that we should be celebrating as well.

I also want to talk about the investment in families. There are three main areas I want to touch on.

The first one is the EI parental sharing benefit, where we have added five weeks. This will create much more flexibility for families, which is extremely important. Adoptive parents and same-sex couples who are parents will also be able to benefit from this investment.

The second area I want to talk about is pharmacare. This is something Canadians value. It is something we have been talking about for many years. We have already done quite a bit of work in this area. We have already worked with the provinces to encourage bulk buying. In that way, we have been able to lower prices and make drugs much more accessible for Canadians, which is extremely important as well.

We added the new Canada workers benefit, which will support low-income Canadians. Three hundred thousand more Canadians will benefit from this. This will move the number to over two million people who will benefit directly from this investment. This is extremely important.

Another area I want to talk about is veterans. Our government continues to work closely with veterans. We have already invested almost $10 billion to support veterans across Canada. I have spoken with many veterans over the last six months while doing several town halls. They have indicated there is a large number of benefits and more communication about those benefits is needed. We need to ensure they are made aware of them and support them in achieving that goal. One area mentioned was the backlog. They said it was taking too much time. Our government listened very carefully and came forward with an investment of over $40 million to help with the backlog and to get the information out. This is crucial.

Here is a quote:

The Royal Canadian Legion is encouraged by the commitments in this year's federal budget in areas of importance to Veterans and their families.

“The investments outlined are a step in the right direction,” says Dominion President, David Flannigan.

How much time do I have, Madam Speaker?

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. The member will have one minute and thirty seconds to conclude his speech after question period.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

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

Madam Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues in the Groupe parlementaire québécois, I want to wish everyone a happy International Day of La Francophonie. French is the language that defines us, but it also serves as a gateway to the world and, in particular, the francophone world. We are proud of building relationships with our partners, especially since, as we remember, this has not always been possible. In international relations, countries deal with other countries. In 1970, the Canadian government objected to giving Quebec a voice among the member states in the early days of the International Organisation of La Francophonie. It was only after francophones from across the world pressured Canada that Quebec was allowed to join the organization as a full member. We must not forget this solidarity and we must nurture these precious relationships that connect us to francophone nations around the world.

Canada-Ireland RelationsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate all things Irish. More than 4.4 million Canadians, including myself, claim some Irish ancestry, making Irish the fourth-largest ethnic group in Canada. The relationship between our countries is historic, emotional, genetic, and economic.

While every year we Canadians celebrate this heritage on St. Patrick's Day, I look to the future with great excitement as the ties between Ireland and Canada grow stronger. Having been part of the parliamentary delegation that recently visited Ireland, I had the privilege to meet Canadian and Irish business leaders and see first-hand how these economic leaders are working together creating new partnerships that will bolster the economies of both countries.

I would like to thank our ambassador, Kevin Vickers, and his team for all the work they do, as well as Ireland's Ambassador to Canada, Jim Kelly. I am also honoured that so many Irish political leaders are coming to Canada. Sometimes I feel I spend more time with Irish ministers than I do with Canadian ones.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

King's Kids PromotionsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Yurdiga Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour to participate in a fundraising event for King's Kids Promotions in Fort McMurray.

King's Kids Promotions is a ministry committed to sharing hope and love to the world through theatrical and musical presentations, as well as practical service projects, community and family events, and humanitarian aid. I would like to thank Rick Kirschner and King's Kids Promotions for their community-building initiatives.

As we see the many challenges in the world today, it has become even more imperative that we continue to invest in community efforts to provide positive programming that strengthens families and the next generation.

An initiative of King's Kids Promotions is 91.1 The Bridge, a faith-based radio station with a unique approach to radio. Their mission is to expose hope through relevant music, talk, and action. More than just a radio station, 91.1 The Bridge is the heartbeat of the community .

Sugar Shacks in Vaudreuil—SoulangesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, spring is in the air. There is nothing more exciting or tasty this time of year than a visit to one of our sugar shacks in Vaudreuil—Soulanges. From Auberge des Gallant to the Sucrerie Lavigne in Rigaud, to the Sucrerie d'antan in Saint-Lazare and the Cabane à sucre des pins verts in Les Cèdres, Vaudreuil—Soulanges has some of the best maple syrup in the world.

Sugar shacks are part of our heritage and the heritage of many families, like Pierre Faucher and his son Stéphane, owners of the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud. Their sugar shack has served many generations in our community and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. I encourage families in Vaudreuil—Soulanges to get out and enjoy one of our sugar shacks this spring. That is how we support our heritage. That is how we ensure its preservation for generations to come.

Indigenous AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Grassy Narrows have suffered decades of lethal injustice from Canada.

Since the 1970s, Ontario and Canada have ignored their legal obligation to clean up the English-Wabigoon river system that was poisoned by corporate negligence and criminality. People are suffering today an ongoing nightmare of mercury contamination.

One of the more insidious aspects is the refusal of the federal government to properly compensate and treat the victims of ongoing mercury contamination. The government is hiding behind the Mercury Disability Board, which is rubber-stamping denials at a staggering rate of over 70%. It gets away with this by using unfair, narrow criteria that limit the access of people to get treatment.

Mercury poisoning is a horrific way to die. I am calling on the government to end the obstruction, and ensure that every person in the Grassy Narrows region gets the compensation and treatment that they deserve for this horrific corporate crime that has been committed against their people and their territory.

Avigon—La Mitis—Matane—MatapédiaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity today in the House to thank three outstanding women from my riding who have demonstrated incredible leadership.

First, I would like to thank Marie-Josée Lapointe, head of the Fondation de l'hôpital de Matane since 2011. This dynamic and dedicated woman is also the founder of Bon goût frais de la Gaspésie and has been involved in the Association du cancer de l'Est du Québec for over a decade.

I would also like to thank Doris Ross, who is a very generous woman. She is the owner of Jardins de Doris, which attracts tourists from all over the country every year. Through her company, Ms. Ross has helped rehabilitate over 825 young people from La Matanie. Her dedication to helping our young people is extraordinary. I tip my hat to her.

Finally, I would like to thank Denise Gentil, a woman dedicated to the welfare of her community. She served as Matane's first woman mayor from 1993 to 1997 and established the Fondation Paul-Pineault and the Maison J. Arthur Desjardins, which help people with Alzheimer's.

I thank these three women. I am very proud of the work they do.

Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce recently hosted the 12th annual Business and Community Achievement Awards Gala. The chamber received a record 130 nominations in 12 award categories, which speaks volumes to the achievement and hard work being done right across Haliburton County.

I would like to congratulate all award nominees and recipients, including: Andy Campbell, Highlander of the Year; Morgan Burke, Young Professional of the Year; Chris Carl and Terri Matthews-Carl, Entrepreneurs of the Year; Point in Time, Not for Profit of the Year; Cathy Mack, Customer First - Employee Award; Master’s Bookstore, Customer First - Business Award; McKeck's Tap & Grill, Business Achievement; Abbey Gardens for Innovation & Creativity; Clothes Encounters of the Thrift Kind, New Business; ArborView Tree Care, Skilled Trades & Industry; Yours Outdoors, Tourism & Hospitality; and Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, for the Warden's Award.

Finally, I extend a special thanks to the sponsors, staff, board of directors, and general manager Autumn Wilson for organizing the spectacular event.

Jane Finch Concerned Citizens OrganizationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Jane Finch Concerned Citizens Organization.

Its director, Winston LaRose, and the JFCCO represent just how vibrant the Jane Finch community truly is. With a mission that provides assistance to community members as well as opportunities for youth in recreational programs and post-secondary placements, the JFCCO has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged for many years.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all those, past and present, who have dedicated their time to this important grassroots movement at the Jane Finch Concerned Citizens Organization. I thank all of them for their dedication in ensuring that the residents of Humber River—Black Creek have a great place to continue to live in.

Marielle FrancoStatements By Members

March 20th, 2018 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the citizens of Rio de Janeiro and people around the world are in mourning this week following the murder of Marielle Franco, a black lesbian Rio city councillor who served as a champion for the inherent worth and human dignity of all people, of queer people of colour, and of women of colour.

Today, it is with great sadness that we join the hundreds of thousands of people across Brazil and throughout the world in mourning the loss of this brave and eloquent woman who sought to give a voice to the disadvantaged and the persecuted and to defend their rights.

Those of us who believe in the inclusion of all people in society will redouble our efforts to ensure that Marielle's work lives on. Her spirit and the hope that she gave her community are being expressed in marches and tributes and in the fitting hashtag that we now see being invoked around the world, #MarielleFrancoPresente.

[Member spoke in Portuguese]

Birthday WishesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to send happy 70th birthday wishes to Mr. Bobby Orr. In my riding of Parry Sound—Muskoka, there is no debate that he is the greatest hockey player to ever lace them up.

From an early age, it was evident that Bobby was a phenom. In rinks across Ontario, young Bobby would glide with ease from one end of the rink to the other, scoring goals for the Parry Sound Shamrocks at will, a scene that would be replayed many more times throughout his Hall of Fame career.

While his hockey career is known to many Canadians, they may not know that his hockey prowess is also matched by his great generosity and humanity. He has given so much back to Canada and his hometown of Parry Sound, including his annual youth awards, which I have had the honour of attending many times.

I call on hockey fans in the House today and across Canada to join me in wishing number four, Bobby Orr, a happy 70th birthday.

Birthday WishesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Considering that I have a print of Bobby Orr on the wall of my office in Nova Scotia, I have to say I have never heard a better statement than that one.

The hon. member for Northwest Territories.

South Slave Arctic Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies of the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games.

This week, the towns of Hay River and Fort Smith will welcome nearly 2,000 athletes to compete in 19 sports, from hockey and gymnastics to dog mushing and arctic sports. The games will also put significant focus on culture and will include Dene drumming, indigenous dancing, and Métis fiddling. With teams from Alaska, Europe, Russia, and five provinces and territories, this is the largest sports and cultural event held in the Arctic.

I would like to recognize the hard work of the organizing committee, the dedication of the volunteers, and the contribution of over $1.1 million from the Government of Canada for ensuring that these games are a success.

I welcome the circumpolar world to the Northwest Territories and wish them the best of luck. Go, Team NWT.

NowruzStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, celebrations seek to capture the essence of civilization. Nowruz, celebrated by Iranians and people of Kurdish, Turkish, Azeri, Baluch, Afghan, and Pakistani descent, is a moment of renewal and a marker of the passage of time.

In Richmond Hill and across the GTA, we do our part to honour over 3,000 years of tradition with annual bazaars, banquets, acts of charity, and festivities. Throughout the month of March, I have had the opportunity to attend traditional fire festivals, symbolizing the shedding of sins past and moving into a better future, as well as the privilege of bringing the greetings of the Prime Minister to many festivities and events.

Today, at 12:45 p.m. our time, nearly 300 million people started celebrating Nowruz 1397 across the world. To all of them, I say this.

[Member spoke in Farsi ]

Military Posting AllowanceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, whose riding includes garrison Petawawa, I am familiar with the financial stress on military families when a soldier is posted. Military families are the strength behind the uniform.

Therefore, it is with disbelief and shared outrage with members of the Canadian Armed Forces that I found out about the new Liberal policy to tax posting allowances. Effective December 1, 2017, posting allowances are now taxable.

The Auditor General has clearly outlined the growing gap between the total number of regular force members who are needed, including the under-representation of women, and the inability of the government to recruit, train, and keep Canadians in uniform to fill that gap.

Why is the Prime Minister so insensitive to military families? Why has the Prime Minister refused to consider this anti-family policy as a barrier to recruitment, retention, and gender equality?

I invite all Canadians to go to cherylgallant.com/posting-tax and express opposition to this new tax on military families.

MulticulturalismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

On March 21, let us remember the 69 black South Africans who were killed in Sharpeville because they opposed apartheid. The theme this year is promoting tolerance, inclusion, unity, and respect for diversity in the context of combatting racial discrimination.

As Canadians, we know that our diversity is our strength, but as a government, we know that combatting racial discrimination takes more than words. It requires action and the funding to support programming.

That is why budget 2018 commits nearly $50 million to multiculturalism, to supports for the black community, and to the collection of disaggregated race-based data.

I am proud that these commitments will allow us to develop a new, national anti-racism approach and work toward the goal of reducing discrimination to build a stronger and more united Canada.

Canadian RangersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Georgina Jolibois NDP Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank and to recognize the courage of the Canadian rangers from the Fond-du-Lac patrol for their actions last December 13. At around 6:12 that night, a plane travelling from Fond-du-Lac to Stony Rapids crashed shortly after takeoff, seriously injuring six passengers and one crew member. Sadly, one of those passengers, Arson Fern Jr., passed away.

The Canadian rangers arrived on site quickly, and wisely put out a call to the community to bring blankets and to assist in the transportation of survivors. The rangers worked through the night to bring people to safety, providing rescue and first aid in the dark and frigid cold of a northern Saskatchewan winter.

I invite all members of the House to join me in thanking the Canadian rangers from the Fond-du-Lac patrol.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today for the Foothills groups that have had their application for the Canada summer jobs program rejected because they could not, in good conscience, sign the Liberal attestation. These are dedicated organizations. In fact, one children's camp is now at risk of closing because the organization would not comply with the Liberal values test.

One church group even rewrote the attestation to affirm that it supports all charter rights and that, too, was denied. Our faith-based groups are the foundation of many critical components of our social infrastructure, but instead of supporting these efforts, the Liberals are denying them funding unless they violate their deeply held convictions. Yesterday, the Liberals had an opportunity to do the right thing and they did not.

I urge the Liberals to reverse their ideological decision to impose a values test on Canada's summer jobs. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed by the charter. They must be protected. The government should stop this values test.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes Liberal Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, 220 million francophones are celebrating the International Day of La Francophonie today. I want to recognize and highlight the work being done from coast to coast to coast by its Canadian members, namely Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. They are all dedicated to helping the French language flourish.

This year, the Francophonie summit will be held in Armenia. Canada is working to achieve progress on the Francophonie's gender equality strategy. It is an important step in the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie's examination of its fundamental values. The Francophonie knows neither borders nor colours, and it is at the service of a better world.

Canada-India relationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on February 27, the Prime Minister told the House that he believed that Jaspal Atwal's presence during his trip to India was related to factions in the Indian government. However, on February 28, the Indian government contradicted the Prime Minister's story. Somebody is not telling the truth.

Is it the Prime Minister or the Indian government?

Canada-India relationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, if we have a choice between believing the professional and non-partisan members of our public service, particularly on security matters, or believing someone who says the opposite, we will always believe our highly qualified professional public servants.

Canada-India relationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on February 27, the Prime Minister told the House that he believed that Jaspal Atwal's presence during his India trip was linked to factions in the Indian government. However, on March 3, the Liberal member for Surrey Centre stated that he alone had forwarded the name of Mr. Atwal to the Prime Minister's Office. Someone is not telling the truth.

Is it the Prime Minister or the Liberal member for Surrey Centre?

Canada-India relationsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the member in question assumed responsibility for the role he played, namely extending the invitation. However, at the same time, we know that our professional, non-partisan security officials came to certain conclusions. On this side of the House, we respect the work of our public service and we believe what our senior officials tell us.