House of Commons Hansard #284 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

EmploymentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government has doubled the number of jobs for young Canadians through the Canada summer jobs program, making it our priority to ensure young people have the skills they need to succeed.

In my riding, I have heard first-hand the positive impact of this program for youth and employers, like the Oakville Soccer Club, Old World Stone, and St. Luke's Anglican Church. It helps youth save money for school, gain valuable skills, and contribute to their communities.

Could the minister update the House on Canada's summer jobs 2018?

EmploymentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for Oakville North—Burlington for her advocacy for young people across Canada.

A strong middle class and a growing economy depend on young Canadians getting the skills and experience they need to succeed. That is why our government has doubled the Canada summer jobs program, something the previous government would not do.

In fact, we have created meaningful paid work experience for almost 70,000 students this year. Today we launched the hiring season for Canada summer jobs employers, meaning employers across the country are now ready to hire young people.

Therefore, I encourage young people to apply. We are looking forward to—

EmploymentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EmploymentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville has been heckling both the question and the answer. I would ask her not to do that and not to interrupt. We wait our turn to speak.

The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. It is his turn.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, small businesses across Canada, including Innov8 from Kelowna, have joined together to launch a campaign, called “Let Me Compete”, to fight the Liberals' latest attack on small businesses. Under new printer procurement rules, the Liberals are shutting out small and medium-sized bidders in favour of the largest suppliers.

These businesses employ thousands of Canadians and now those jobs are at risk. Less competition also means higher prices for the taxpayer.

Why are the Liberals always attacking Canadian small businesses? Why not let them compete?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous government, we are committed to a modern, sophisticated procurement program, one that delivers results and lower costs for taxpayers. We are delivering a modern, secure, and reliable platform for the digital delivery of programs and services to Canadians.

The scale, scope, and complexity of the modernization that Shared Services Canada is implementing in unprecedented. After extensive industry engagement, we are undertaking a fair, open, transparent, and competitive procurement for office equipment.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in a scathing report, the environment commissioner confirmed what we have been saying for years. The aquaculture industry is exposing wild salmon to disease and harmful pesticides.

In fairness, how would the Liberals know? They are not even monitoring the health of wild salmon. The minister claims to be licensing salmon farms based on “scientific evidence”, but clearly he is not. Further, the report confirms the Liberals place farmed over wild salmon every time.

When will the minister commit to a just transition to safe land-based, closed containment?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, we want to thank the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development for her report. I had a chance to meet her yesterday and discuss the recommendations. The government has accepted all of her recommendations. In fact, a number of the things she has suggested are already under way because of our government's historic investments in science and marine protection and ocean protection.

For example, we are completing key disease risk assessments for these fish. We are clarifying the roles and responsibilities for managing emerging diseases. We are communicating more effective the precautionary approach. We will continue to do a lot more on this important issue.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Thérèse-De Blainville, many people work directly or indirectly for the aerospace industry. A significant number of businesses and families have close ties with this sector. There are also many institutions and organizations that do research and development work for the aerospace industry.

My question is for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Can you explain what measures the government is taking to ensure the continued growth of our aerospace sector?

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would remind the hon. member to direct his comments to the Chair.

Aerospace IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question. He is right, the aerospace industry is very important for Canada. That is why we have invested roughly $50 million.

This investment is for the aerospace consortium led by Bell Helicopter. This will help create 300 good-quality middle-class jobs. It will add an additional $178 million to our GDP. It reaffirms our commitment to the aerospace sector.

Once again, I would like to thank the member for his advocacy and hard work on this very important issue.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister claims that he stands with the people of Grand Bank. Now that is a whale of a tale if I have ever heard one. The minister is the one killing jobs in Grand Bank, taking away their Arctic surf clam quota and giving it to his Liberal buddies.

The people of Grand Bank have launched grandbankplan.ca to fight for their jobs, because MPs in Newfoundland and Labrador will not.

Will the minister finally put the good people of Grand Bank ahead of his Liberal insiders and support their plan to save Grand Bank jobs?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

April 24th, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, our government is committed to working to support the hard-working people of Grand Bank. That is why they are so ably represented in the House of Commons by a member of Parliament who has met me a number of times about initiatives that will increase the work potential not only for that plan, but for other economic opportunities in Grand Bank.

Forgive me for being somewhat surprised by the feigned indignation from the Conservative Party, which had a process three years to bring a new entrant into this important fishery. At that time, the Conservatives did not worry about the people of Grand Bank. We worry about the people of Grand Bank and we will support them.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

Luc Thériault GPQ (ex-Bloc) Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, as of April 17, fully 15,000 asylum seekers are waiting for their claim to be processed by Ottawa. No one knows if they will be accepted or not, but in the meantime we know that they need housing, health care, work, and schooling for their children. What has the Minister of Immigration done since last Wednesday evening to speed up the application processing?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, last summer we set up a task force to answer that important question and I am proud to say that the federal and provincial governments, including those of Quebec and Ontario, are working very well together. We met last Wednesday and we made several announcements to respond to the issues and challenges we are currently facing. It is a team effort by the province and the federal government and a fine example of how a country should work.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

Luc Thériault GPQ (ex-Bloc) Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, all the Liberals do is talk, talk, talk. They have meetings and blah, blah, blah, but never take any concrete action. The migrant crisis is a humanitarian crisis. There are 200 asylum seekers a day, and there will be 400 a day this summer. What do the Liberals do? They talk.

When will the minister finally hire extra staff to process the backlog of claims? It is a simple question.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the response is very simple: we invested $173 million in budget 2018, including $74 million that will go directly to the Immigration and Refugee Board to speed up the process. I hope that response satisfies my colleague.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in our gallery of His Excellency Alassane Bala Sakandé, Speaker of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent has four minutes to finish his speech.

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, please excuse my haste. It usually takes half an hour to resume debate, so you have caught me a little off guard. However, when we are well versed in our file and especially when the issue is so important, the words flow freely.

We were talking about illegal immigrants who cross the border on a small path while hundreds of thousands of people around the world obey the laws and rules, go to our embassies, work with officials, and wait years to have the privilege and pleasure of coming to Canada to enrich our country. For more than a year, because of the Liberal government's inaction and complacency, tens of thousands of people have been illegally crossing our border. We condemn that.

Even Quebec's Liberal government recently hit the roof. It is not often that we see four ministers hold a press conference where they slam the federal government for leaving the Quebec government to fend for itself. The federal government was refusing to pick up a $146-million tab, even though everyone recognizes that the illegal migrant crisis was caused entirely by the Liberal government's poor decisions and by the tweet the Prime Minister sent out one Saturday afternoon on Twitter.

Liberal ministers had some harsh words to say. David Heurtel, Quebec's minister of immigration, diversity, and inclusion, said, “The new reality with respect to migrants calls for a new approach.... The status quo is unacceptable.”

Jean-Marc Fournier, the minister responsible for Canadian relations and the Canadian Francophonie, said, “Today is the first time a claim submitted 20 months ago is being heard, never mind being decided on.” Wait times are far too long.

The Liberal premier, Philippe Couillard, added, “This is a serious warning, not just a negotiating tactic.”

The federal Liberal government, for its part, reacted with an arrogant response from the Minister of Immigration, who said we should “avoid causing undue suffering to families who are seeking protection” and “creating delays at the border and triggering an unacceptable humanitarian situation”.

The Prime Minister created this unacceptable humanitarian situation and the suffering of these migrants with the tweet he posted and his total lack of responsibility in this regard. That is why we are now faced with a situation that requires immediate action.

It is ridiculous that 21,000 people illegally crossed the border last year, 91% of them in Quebec. It is ridiculous that, since the beginning of 2018, over 6,373 people have crossed the border illegally. Unless something changes, it is expected that approximately 400 people will illegally cross the Canadian border every day.

It is time the government took action and came up with a plan. We are all proud to be Canadian, and we are all descended from immigrants or first nations people. Most Canadians are descended from immigrants. I am the son of immigrants. My parents came here on August 22, 1958, almost 60 years ago.

If we want our country to continue to move in the right direction, people need to follow the rules set out by the government. We need to send a clear message to the world that we welcome people from around the world but that they cannot gain privileged access to our big, beautiful country through a little path in the woods.

That is why we are calling on the government to come up with a clear, specific plan to facilitate immigration and help immigrants in Canada.

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening all day to Conservative members talk about this motion. One would think there had never been irregular crossings by Americans during the Harper era. Every year individuals cross the Canada-U.S. border irregularly. That has been going on for many years.

My concern is that we continue to see the Conservative Party going further to the right. Today we are seeing the Conservatives promoting something that I do not like in politics. We should be very welcoming in terms of the value of refugees who contribute to our country. The use of the word “illegal” as opposed to “irregular” is being done intentionally by the Conservative Party. It causes a great deal of concern.

Would my friend across the way, at the very least, acknowledge that even when Stephen Harper was prime minister, we had thousands of people cross the border irregularly? Maybe the member could tell us specifically what the Conservative government of Stephen Harper did that was different from what we are doing.

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my Liberal colleague from Winnipeg North that when we were in office, we were not talking about tens of thousands of illegal people. We were talking about 200.

This is quite normal. We have a border of 9,000 kilometres. It is quite normal to see people trying to dodge their responsibilities and dodge the laws. That is part of life. However, it was not the meaning of the government. The meaning of our government was clear. If people wanted to come to Canada, they had to follow the rules, and we would welcome them as soon as possible. The meaning of the Liberal government is, “Welcome to Canada, whenever you want, and wherever you come from.” That is exactly the signal that was sent from the Prime Minister in a tweet.

I am not the only one to say that, as we learned three weeks ago, thanks to the National Post.

A few days after the Prime Minister posted his tweet, the first secretary at the embassy in Mexico said, and I quote, “We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from the public about requesting refugee status in Canada, and a number clearly having links with our Prime Minister’s tweet this weekend”. Public servants who work at the Canadian embassy in Mexico were complaining about what the Prime Minister had done that caused this whole problem.

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Conservative critic for immigration said on the record that there is no category within the Liberals' plan to accommodate and process asylum claimants. That, of course, is not true. Under the Liberal plan, there is the protected persons category. The number is not as high as it should be to address this issue, but that being said, will the Conservatives stop spreading misinformation? We want to have a rational discussion about how to address the issue. Will they stop spreading misinformation?

Opposition Motion—Illegal Border CrossingsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to tell the truth.

The truth is that nearly 29,000 people crossed the line, not at the official border but elsewhere, and 91% of those people came into Quebec. I know what I am talking about. I had to deal with that all summer. I listened to people in my constituency, in my riding, talking to me about that.

Speaking for myself, my parents arrived here 60 years ago by boat, on August 22, 1958. They were going to Quebec City. They were very pleased, very proud. It took them five years to get their citizenship. They followed the rules.

We are asking the government to please follow the rules.