House of Commons Hansard #273 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Windsor West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

Simon Marcil GPQ (ex-Bloc) Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past few weeks, workers across Quebec have not been collecting employment insurance because their benefits have run out. They are in the spring gap, that time of the year when thousands of families without employment income are forced to turn to welfare because they have the misfortune of working in seasonal industries.

Quebec has at least 200,000 workers in seasonal industries such as fishing, agriculture, tourism, construction, and forestry. Seasonal work is a cornerstone of our regional economies. By refusing to eliminate the spring gap, the government is hurting our people, our economy, and our regions. By refusing to eliminate the spring gap, the government is doing harm not only to our seasonal workers, but to Quebec as a whole, and that is something we cannot accept.

The government needs to fix this problem once and for all as soon as possible.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, I am honoured to see the Canadian War Museum open a new exhibit on Canada's tragic past.

The St. Louis: Ship of Fate tells the story of Canada turning away nearly a thousand Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi regime. Our country's immigration policies at that time targeted these people, families and children who were fleeing unimaginable horrors.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us all that we, as parliamentarians, leaders, and Canadians, must be vigilant and must do more. We must build more inclusive communities with real solutions to real problems: jobs, access to justice, and human rights.

I am proud to belong to a government that is taking action by consulting Canadians about a national anti-racism strategy. Together, we will build a more positive and inclusive future for our fellow citizens.

Elmira Maple Syrup FestivalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is officially spring in Canada, and that means it is time for the annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, the world's largest one-day maple syrup festival, held this year on April 7.

Members of the House have already received my invitation, but let me repeat it here and now. I invite them to please join me in enjoying some of the thousands of pancakes served with the world's best maple syrup. Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to serve you personally.

The festival is filled with great food, golden maple syrup, sugar bush tours, pancake flipping contests, and many other activities for all ages. Last year, over $55,000 was raised in support of 32 local charitable and not-for-profit organizations.

Springtime, maple syrup, flowers pushing through the snow are all signs of new life. As we celebrate spring and approach Easter, let us remember the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, his perfect example of sacrificial love and his offer of new life.

I wish my constituents in Kitchener—Conestoga and all my colleagues in the House a happy and hope-filled Easter.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on March 8, 2018, the mayor of Boisbriand and I hosted a meeting of female elected officials from the three RCMs that make up the Lower Laurentians to celebrate International Women's Day. We invited the female elected officials from Mirabel, Deux-Montagnes, and Thérèse-de-Blainville.

Over 25 women attended from nine municipalities, specifically Bois-des-Filion, Blainville, Mirabel, Oka, Sainte-Thérèse, Boisbriand, Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, and Rosemère. They represented all levels of government, from school boards to municipal, provincial, and federal governments. We took the opportunity to discuss specific challenges facing women in politics. I was very pleased that the four municipalities in my riding are very well represented. The event was so successful that the women from Saint-Eustache decided on the spot to take up the torch and host the event next year, in 2019, in their municipality. I am told that the 2020 event will be held in Deux-Montagnes.

I am delighted to represent the Lower Laurentians region in Ottawa. My region is incredibly dynamic and well represented by some talented women.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, March 21 is the day for the elimination of racial discrimination.

The fight against racism and discrimination is re-emerging as one of the defining struggles of our generation. From systemic racism experienced by the first peoples, to hate incidents like the horrific attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, to the series of bomb threats at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, we have all felt the rising tide. Last March, as a Canadian of Chinese heritage, I was told by racists to go back to my country.

From 2014 to 2016, hate crimes in Canada have been on the rise, increasing from 1,295 reported hate crimes to 1,409. We must work hard to send a strong and clear message that we stand firm and united against racism. We must find the courage to speak up and speak out against hate, even if it is coming from the U.S. President.

Together, let us make racism wrong again.

BasketballStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, while we were back in our ridings last week, I was able to catch up with the B.C. provincial basketball finals. Not only did Surrey Centre's small but mighty Khalsa School's Lions make the single A roster, but my former high school's Burnaby South Rebels won the quad-four championship.

What was most exciting for me was to watch my nephew, Nick Sarai of the South Kamloops Titans, win the AAA championship. Nick was named the tournament MVP, with 28 points, nine rebounds, and 12 out of 12 free throws in the final game.

I congratulate coaches Tim Unaegbu and Bryce McMillan, team all star Reid Jansen, player of the game Ripley Martin, and the entire Titans team for an outstanding performance.

World TB DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World TB Day, which will occur this Saturday, March 24. I along with fellow members of the House are standing in solidarity today with the communities and individuals affected by this devastating but curable disease as we wear the End TB pin.

In 2016 alone, tuberculosis claimed 1.7 million lives, more lives than to AIDS, malaria and Ebola combined. We must do better.

Around the world, funding for treatment and care is declining in many countries, and funding for research and development is stagnating. This year's theme focuses on building a political commitment to end TB.

I encourage all members of the House to wear their End TB pins and to join with Canadians on March 24 to shed light on this disease and end TB around the world once and for all.

Markham—ThornhillStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mary Ng Liberal Markham—Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is great to be back in Parliament after a couple of weeks of connecting with constituents and businesses at home in Markham—Thornhill.

It was a joy to visit the Coppard Glen elementary school to talk about being an MP to those energetic and smart fourth and fifth graders.

I toured businesses and saw first-hand some of the great employers like Autoliv and Estée Lauder, which are world leaders and have some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities that are providing great jobs in Markham—Thornhill.

Finally, attending the vision youth leadership program awards was truly inspiring, a program that through the Canada summer jobs program provides opportunities for young people to gain leadership skills.

I talked about the investments in budget 2018 and how our government was committed to working hard for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Arie Van WindenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Châteauguay—Lacolle community recently lost one of its farming pioneers, Arie Van Winden.

Mr. Van Winden left his native Holland and arrived in Saint-Patrice-de-Sherrington in 1954 for a better life and to provide for his loved ones. Through his experience with drainage and with help from his brothers, he converted swampland that no one wanted into one of the most beautiful farmlands in Quebec, fertile black soil.

From there the Van Winden family grew lettuce, carrots, and onions and eventually laid the foundation for a company known today as VegPro International, the largest fresh vegetable producer in Canada.

Mr. Van Winden was a trailblazer of the economy in our rural region, now called Jardins-de-Napierville, which has become the largest produce supplier in the province.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend the Apple Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church gave me a petition, which I have sent to the clerk of petitions at the House of Commons. The petition asks that the government vote with the opposition and remove the values test from the Canada summer jobs program.

Even though the Liberal government has since voted down the opposition motion, I will continue to stand up for the freedoms guaranteed in the charter and the students affected by this Liberal values test. This values test has no place in a tolerant multicultural society such as Canada and organizations should be able to receive funding for summer jobs regardless of their private convictions and regardless of whether they choose to sign the application attestation.

Sikh CanadiansStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raj Grewal Liberal Brampton East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am a proud Canadian. I am a proud Sikh, but I am most proud that I live in a country that does not make me choose between my devotion to my faith and my devotion to my country.

Last week in my riding I met with university students who are now being asked if they are extremists simply for practising their Sikh identity proudly. I, too, have been asked these questions. My response has always been to deal with it in a positive manner and educate Canadians on how beautiful the Sikh religion and its people are. The principles of my faith have guided me in public service, especially the values of equality for all and performing seva, selfless service.

Sikh history in Canada is 128 years old, and Sikhs proudly serve as leaders in all fields. Today, I ask all Canadians that if they have a question about Sikhs to come and speak to me or any other Sikh Canadian. We will be happy to share why our unique identity is so important to us and why advocating for human rights is a shared Sikh and Canadian value, protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

World Down Syndrome DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, World Down Syndrome Day happens annually on the 21st day of the third month of every year. This date was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome. Today is a day to raise awareness of the vital role that people with Down syndrome play in enriching our lives and communities.

It gives me great pleasure on such a special day to welcome to Parliament Hill some very amazing people from the Down Syndrome Association of Kingston. I would like to give a special welcome to my nephew, Aidan, who just celebrated his 17th birthday recently, as well as a big shout-out to Pip, an awesome little girl who, with the help of her mother, began the Happy Soul Project in Kingston, which attempts to have an open, honest, and sometimes funny take on the challenges, triumphs, and sweet moments of raising two little hooligans, one who just happens to have Down syndrome.

I am incredibly proud of our Down syndrome community in Kingston and I ask you to join me in welcoming them to Parliament Hill today.

B.C. Speculation TaxStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, many in this place will know that I have long advocated for breaking down barriers with more trade and investment flowing between interprovincial trade boundaries, and more so as we face increased uncertainty with NAFTA.

Recently, the B.C. NDP government enacted a punitive property tax selectively in some parts of my riding against those Canadians who made the decision to purchase a recreational property in British Columbia. Imagine being penalized for investing after-tax dollars on a recreational property in British Columbia instead of the U.S.A. However, that is precisely what the B.C. NDP is doing.

I submit that this speculation tax is anti-Canadian. I stand with the community of West Kelowna and all those in the Okanagan who are rejecting this unfair tax that penalizes our area and will do nothing to create more affordable housing.

World Down Syndrome DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World Down Syndrome Day. I was proud to join in a flag-raising at the City of Brampton to recognize this day.

The theme this year is “What I Bring to My Community”. I can tell members that Canadians with Down syndrome bring a lot.

In Brampton South, we have a vibrant community of residents with Down syndrome who gather and find togetherness in a business made just for them. Cristina's Tortina Shop was created by a mother for her daughter to create work opportunities and engage other community members with exceptionalities.

I want to thank all who work to support individuals with Down syndrome in Brampton South, including 321 Peel. I also want to acknowledge the superheroes who will star in the play day fundraiser for this great organization. Each brings their own gift to our community, making Canada stronger, more compassionate, and more diverse.

Marielle FrancoStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, being a black woman is to resist and survive all the time. Those were the words of Marielle Franco, a Brazilian city councillor, human rights advocate, and passionate LGBTQ activist who was murdered in Rio de Janeiro on March 14.

Marielle Franco was a symbol of hope, a voice for the voiceless. She fought against poverty, police brutality, and corruption. Too many women like Marielle Franco, Miriam Rodriguez Martinez, and Berta Caceres are being killed for defending human rights.

In the face of these unjust deaths, we need to make sure we protect the women who are speaking out for our collective rights. Canada needs to support the front-line activists standing up for justice, indigenous rights, and the environment.

Let us remember Marielle Franco and continue her work. May she rest in peace.

Canadian National Institute for the BlindStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, a century ago, World War I and the Halifax explosion left thousands of Canadians blind. However, they were determined to work and thrive, so they locked arms and created the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It created job placements and even opened manufacturing centres where Canadians with vision impairment worked doing industrial sewing, broom making, and other important tasks. They proved that people without sight or with other disabilities could work and contribute.

Today, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind translates thousands of books into Braille, large print, and audio. It places young people in rewarding jobs and continues to give hope and empowerment to people right across the country.

I join with all Parliamentarians in congratulating the CNIB for their important work and for a century of service to Canada.

Canadian National Institute for the BlindStatements By Members

March 21st, 2018 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member just said, today marks the 100th anniversary of the CNIB. For100 years, the CNIB has provided innovative programs and vital services for the blind and visually impaired, and advocated on behalf of those with vision loss. Technologies and attitudes have evolved since 1918, but the CNIB has never strayed from its original mission to change what it means to be blind.

The CNIB is marking this historic milestone with a year of celebrations. Throughout 2018, events will be held to celebrate the success, generosity, and innovation of its volunteers, staff, and supporters.

I salute the hundreds of employees and volunteers who work at the CNIB headquarters in Don Valley West. They make this iconic Canadian institution what it is today.

We look forward to the next 100 years and the lasting impact the CNIB will continue to have on the lives of blind and partially sighted Canadians.

PrivacyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the person at the centre of the Facebook data leak scandal is a Liberal Party operative.

Not only did Christopher Wylie work for two different Liberal Party leaders in opposition, but according to media reports this morning, he also worked on a project for this Prime Minister in the taxpayer-funded Liberal caucus research office.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that he hired Christopher Wylie, and explain exactly what role he had in the Liberal government?

PrivacyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we all have a responsibility to protect the personal information of Canadians.

The Liberal research bureau has actually already addressed this issue with a statement earlier today. All major political parties engage in data-driven activities. In fact, the Conservatives did when engaging in a $100,000 contract with Agility PR Solutions.

I would draw members' attention to the statement issued earlier today that in fact preliminary work done by Eunoia Technologies was offered to the Liberal caucus research bureau but—

PrivacyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

PrivacyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand why the Prime Minister cannot answer these questions.

Protecting the personal and privacy information of Canadians should be a top priority for government, yet the Prime Minister has failed to be honest with Canadians about the Liberal Party's relationship with an individual who has exploited the private information of millions of people around the world.

We know that he has had a long history of working with the Liberal Party, and worked for this Prime Minister.

Can the Prime Minister confirm whether or not he has disclosed this information to the Privacy Commissioner?

PrivacyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, again, I would draw hon. members' attention to the statement issued by the LRB earlier today that said quite clearly that preliminary work was done by Eunoia Technologies, but after seeing what was offered, the Liberal caucus research bureau decided not to move forward. At no point did Eunoia Technologies have access to any data from the Liberal caucus research bureau.

PrivacyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker—I apologize, I should not have used the word “Mr.” so I will start again.

Speaker, the whistleblower in the Facebook data scandal worked for the Liberal Party and for Donald Trump. In 2016, the Liberals reached out to their former employee to work on a pilot project to collect private data for political purposes. These revelations are troubling.

Can the Prime Minister confirm whether this individual was hired to work in the Liberal research office? If he was, taxpayers would have paid for it.

PrivacyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, again, for the hon. member, the Liberal research bureau has actually issued a statement in which they provide a statement of work for the company. Again, the preliminary work was done by Eunoia Technologies as a pilot, but the Liberal caucus research bureau decided not to move forward with it.

Maybe the Conservatives would like to answer about the statement of work they had with Agility PR Solutions when they paid them $100,000, using public funds.