House of Commons Hansard #296 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was policy.

Topics

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, next week marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Once again, the government issued statements of concern, but we see little or no action to back up these concerns. The Liberals promised in the last election to remove the five-year ban on donating blood by men who have sex with men, but instead reduced it to one year.

With no evidence to support the ban, and a severe shortage of blood and organs in our health system, will the government now end the gay blood ban and eliminate this form of homophobia?

HealthOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canada's blood system is recognized internationally as one of the safest in the world, and it is committed to protecting the safety and security of that supply.

Health Canada is responsible for assessing the safety and quality of the blood and plasma products and, at the same time, the standards that apply regardless of who collects the plasma or whether the donors are paid.

The decision as to whether Canadian plasma donors can be paid rests with the provinces and territories. Our government will continue to work with Canadian Blood Services, Héma-Québec, and other groups to ensure that we can address this blood ban issue.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Journal de Montréal reports that Susan McArthur, a former employee of UBS bank, was a member of the Canada Revenue Agency's board of management at the very moment that the financial scandal at UBS was erupting. By her own admission, her appointment was political patronage, pure and simple. Canada laid no charges against either UBS or its clients, unlike other countries such as the United States and France, which came down hard on them.

In light of today's new information, will the minister agree to conduct a full review of the file to ensure that there was no undue interference?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleague that all of these events happened under the Harper government. Currently, there is no problem with the CRA's board of management. The rules are being followed, and everything is in order.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals looked at approving the sale of the largest seniors care home company in British Columbia, we warned them about the murky ownership of Anbang, but they ignored these concerns and rubber-stamped the deal anyway. Since then, the communist Chinese government has taken control of the company, and its CEO has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.

Having failed every single step of this process, will the Liberals show one iota of humility, apologize to B.C. seniors, and get that company back under Canadian control today?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, our government is open to investment that will grow our economy and create middle-class jobs.

The Investment Canada Act provides for a process to screen these kinds of investments to ensure that they are of an overall net economic benefit to Canada. That was done in this case.

After that review, Cedar Tree made specific commitments to Retirement Concepts and the people of British Columbia. Those commitments are being met and maintained. We are monitoring the situation to ensure that this will happen.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, the innovation minister promised Canadians that he had done his research before selling B.C.-based senior care facilities to China's Anbang Insurance.

Now we have learned that the company has been seized by the communist Chinese government, and that the founder has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. The Liberals never should have approved this sale, which allows these Canadian properties to be controlled by Beijing.

Why did the minister refuse to listen to our warnings? What is he going to do to get these properties back into Canadian hands?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, Cedar Tree committed in the investment review process to maintaining levels of full- and part-time employment; to have a Canadian operator, Retirement Concepts, continue to manage the business; not to close or repurpose any of its existing residences; and to maintain a significant level of equity here in Canada. These commitments are being met and are legally binding. The retirement residences remain subject to full provincial regulation, which the Canadian operator must continue to meet or exceed.

All of these conditions are continuing to be met, and we continue to monitor the situation.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year we warned the Liberals against allowing Anbang to buy B.C.'s biggest seniors care provider. We know how that played out: the chairman is now in jail for 18 years.

It gets worse. Now Communist China has proposed a takeover of Aecon, an iconic Canadian company. This has raised serious concerns from security experts and the construction industry. This is a terrible deal for Canada and a threat to our sovereignty and security. How can Canadians trust this Prime Minister to make the right decision on Aecon when he failed so miserably with Anbang?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, as I have just stated, our government welcomes international investment that will benefit the Canadian economy, but not at the expense of national security. The Investment Canada Act includes a multistep national security review process, which we follow. That rigorous consultation process has been undertaken by our government's national security agencies, and we can confirm that a cabinet order has been issued in that case.

We will continue to do our due diligence to make sure that these investments will benefit Canada and we will never compromise on national security.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, immense gaps remain in health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. This is particularly true in urban areas like Winnipeg. We also know that one of the stark needs in indigenous communities is the area of mental health, especially when it comes to our youth.

With significant recent investments in health care, can the hon. Minister of Indigenous Services please update Canadians and the House of Commons on the work under way to make mental health support more accessible for those who need it most?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

May 10th, 2018 / 3 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Winnipeg Centre points out, the challenges that indigenous peoples face in terms of mental wellness are complex and deep-rooted.

We have made significant investments in this area. Many people already know about the Hope for Wellness Help Line, which is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in five languages. The good news this week is that the Hope for Wellness Help Line is now also available for online chat at hopeforwellness.ca. We hope many indigenous people, particularly youth, will take advantage of this new opportunity to seek support.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night, without provocation, the Iranian regime launched a vicious missile attack on Israeli forces in the Golan Heights. It was a gross act of aggression against a steadfast Canadian ally, the only stable democracy in the Middle East. While the Liberals continue to restore relations and lift economic sanctions, the Khamenei regime in Iran continues to spread its human rights violations and to thrust its tentacles of terror across the Middle East.

Will the Liberals stand up for one of our closest allies, Israel, and condemn the unprovoked attacks by the terror-sponsoring regime in Iran?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as a steadfast friend and ally of Israel's, we certainly condemn Iran's attack on Israeli military forces and fully support Israel's right to defend itself against Iranian aggression. We call on Iran to stop any further provocations.

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, whether it is comments in this House or messages we hear outside, it is clear that the fight for women's equality is far from over. It is not enough to hear the Liberals say they believe in choice; the reality is that many Canadian women, because of where they live, do not have access to abortion services.

It is 2018. We have to stop playing politics on the backs of women in this country. When will the Liberal government step up, enact the Canada Health Act, and ensure that women, no matter where they live, can have access to their reproductive rights?

HealthOral Questions

3 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that every woman has the right to choose, regardless of where she lives. We believe that a woman should have access to reproductive health options no matter where she lives in Canada, in rural or in urban settings.

I recognize that access to these services varies across the country. Our government has eased restrictions on Mifegymiso and made it more available to Canadians in provinces and territories, and we are truly hoping that the provinces and territories will be reimbursing for it. We continue to examine ways to improve access to reproductive health services by women in Canada.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, tourism is a huge economic driver in my province of Nova Scotia and especially in my riding of South Shore—St. Margarets. Next week, the Rendez-vous Canada conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We will be welcoming members of the tourism industry from not only our country but from around the world.

Can the Minister of Small Business and Tourism update the House on how our government is helping to market Canada tourism to the world?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, the member for South Shore—St. Margarets is absolutely correct. Destination Canada is hosting Rendez-vous Canada, which will highlight Nova Scotia and Canada's tourism industry. Budget 2017 made available $37.5 million for five years, stabilizing Destination Canada's budget at $95.5 million.

Destination Canada markets our unique tourism experiences to the world, and we are seeing results. Last year, Canada welcomed 20.8 million visitors, and the tourism industry, which supports 1.8 million Canadian jobs, generated a record of $97.4 billion in revenue.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, every time we ask a question about Taiwan, the government completely ignores the question and tells us how much it loves China, but the Taiwan-Canada relationship is an important one economically, politically, and strategically, so I want to re-ask a question that was asked yesterday. Hopefully, the parliamentary secretary will answer this time.

Taiwan is being blocked from participating in the World Health Assembly, which is meant to bring the world together for global health. Will the government take a public position to support Taiwan's participation in this vital World Health Assembly?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we certainly continue to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international multilateral fora, where its presence provides important contributions to the global public good. Taiwan's role as an observer in the annual World Health Assembly meetings is in the interest of the international health community and it is important to the fight against pandemic and disease.

Canada is disappointed that Taiwan did not receive an invitation this year. We welcome participation from the entire international community to promote global health.

MarijuanaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

GPQ (ex-Bloc)

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government to recognize and respect Quebec's independence when it comes to regulating cannabis in its jurisdiction.

I have a simple question. Will the government respect Quebec's independence when it comes to regulating cannabis in its jurisdiction?

MarijuanaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the current approach to cannabis is not working. It allows criminals to profit and it has not managed to keep cannabis out of the hands of our children.

We deeply respect the work that the Senate is doing and we look forward to getting their report. Our government is confident that Bill C-45 will pass later this year. Our government will continue to work with its partners to ensure a responsible transition to a legal cannabis market.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, that was not an answer.

Today we learned that the Research Institute on Self-Determination of Peoples and National Independence, known as the IRAI in French, has been denied charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency because it is too political.

Never mind that the agency has granted that status to The Federal Idea, which exists to enlighten us on the superiority of federalism. Imagine our surprise when we learned that an overwhelming majority of its board members are Liberal Party donors.

Can the Minister of National Revenue assure us that the decision to deny the IRAI that status was not a political directive?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for giving me this opportunity to acknowledge all the hard work being done by the 41 Liberal members from Quebec on the issues that matter to Quebeckers.

These 41 Liberal members can speak with authority on our concrete action and investment for the middle class in areas like infrastructure, housing, research and development, remote regions, small craft harbours, and broadband networks. Quebec is proud of its 41 MPs.

Media IndustryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of Liberal partisanship, in the latest budget, the government announced that print media could obtain charitable status. Did it come as a surprise to anyone when, yesterday, La Presse announced a move to a non-profit charitable model?

I should point out that La Presse's board of directors, like The Federal Idea's, is heavily populated with Liberal Party of Canada donors.

Can the minister tell us if La Presse would be eligible for charitable status despite its decidedly political editorial policy?