House of Commons Hansard #297 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.


Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.


Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his well-thought-out and wise speech. I know he comes from an area where the energy sector is really important, and he knows I come from an area where manufacturing and exporting are really important.

We heard the Prime Minister repeat over and over again that he wants to phase out the oil and gas sector. He did that most recently a few weeks ago in Europe. He also said during the election that he wants to transition away from manufacturing. I wonder if my colleague could comment on the rail sector and its importance to our competitiveness. We all know our transportation system is extremely integrated, but by not passing this bill when they had opportunity again today to just pass it, but did not, it seems like the Liberals are slowing things down. I wonder if my colleague could say what kind of domino effect this is going to have on our transportation system and our ability to compete internationally, especially at a time like this.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.


Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned manufacturing and resources, oil and gas. My particular riding has the four largest irrigation districts in Canada. It produces many of the niche crops that we export. Grains are important, but we produce many niche crops as well. We are also putting a lot of oil in rail cars in my riding, and then there is manufacturing. People would be surprised to learn there is a lot of manufacturing in my riding. The suitcase someone picks up from a luggage rack at an airport was probably made in my constituency. Clearly, the number of different things that need to be moved by rail is extensive.

That is why we need a fair market in the rail system. We need to understand what the costs of rail are, to have interswitching in the Maritimes so people can see what their costs are and to have final arbitration that actually works and does not allow the railways to just opt out of it if they do not like it. That does not make any sense to me.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member will have 10 minutes to begin his speech before statements by members and another 10 minutes after question period.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.


Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for that information.

I would like to begin by saying that I am not a big fan of the Winnipeg Jets, unlike my colleague who spoke before me. I must admit, however, that after their win last night, knowing they are the only Canadian team still left in the running for the Stanley Cup, I was actually happy for them. It would be great to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada, hockey being our national sport and all. That is the end of my comments on hockey. Let us get back to Bill C-49.

Mr. Speaker, you said I will not have my entire speaking time before question period. I want you to know right away that I have deliberately chosen not to use all of my time, if only for the sake of consistency when we are talking about the urgent need for action, while the Liberals insist on just talking.

This is about consistency, and I hope there is also some symbolic value here, since one cannot speak from both sides of one's mouth at the same time. One cannot suggest, as I did with my motion here this morning, to return Bill C-49 for royal assent as soon as possible by accepting the two minor amendments that remained out of the ones proposed by the Senate and, at the same time, launch into these endless, long-winded speeches on a bill that will have a real impact on the ground for those who are waiting for this to be resolved, one way or another.

I would like the Hansard to reflect the reasons why senators are insisting on these two amendments to which the Liberal government has unfortunately closed the door.

The message is that the House respectfully refuses the amendments, but I fail to see any respect in all this, except perhaps for the wording of the message. What did the senators send us as justification for insisting on these two small amendments?

I will read their reasoning, not only because I agree with it, but also because I believe that it is important to put it on the record. Why was the Senate so emphatic about its amendment? Let me quote the Senate:

That the reasons for the Senate’s insistence on its amendment 7(c) be:

“because all regions of Canada should be treated equally, with fairness and respect. ...because shippers in the Maritimes will continue to have access to other shipper remedies in the Act. As the proposer of the Senate amendment pointed out in committee, this is unfair for the maritime region, since there are roads and therefore other modes of transportation in areas like Prince Rupert and northern Quebec where an exemption is provided.”

The House no doubt knows that NDP members are not huge fans of the Senate, and especially an unelected Senate, but since this is the way things are for now, I must recognize a job well done.

It is not true that the only job of an opposition party or member is to oppose everything, all the time. I remind members that an opposition member's job is not to oppose everything, but to point out things that could be improved in a bill, to make it as close to perfect as possible. Every bill can be improved upon, and the government that sets the legislative agenda should be open to amendments that make sense. These amendments did not pop up out of nowhere. They are the result of discussions with experts in House committees and parliamentary committees.

I want to talk about another reason why the Senate asked and insisted that its amendment no. 8 be recognized, and I say “asked” because we now know that this request has been denied. I want to share the following quote from the Senate:

That the reasons for the Senate’s insistence on its amendment 8 be:

“because this amendment entitles a shipper to obtain a determination of the railway’s cost of transporting its goods to assist an arbitrator in final offer arbitration to determine whether to select the offer of the carrier or the shipper. By declaring that final offer arbitration is a commercially based process and not cost-based, the House of Commons has removed that entitlement from the shipper;”.

That explanation is as clear as can be, and it is indisputable. Anyone who has negotiated a contract or a collective agreement under arbitration knows that the parties are more likely to reach a fair agreement when there is a balance of power. If Bill C-49 makes that impossible, it is obvious which party stands to benefit the most. The purpose of the amendment was to restore a level playing field and ensure that the arbitrator making the final decision will have the tools to make an informed decision in the event that the process does come to fruition. Even that idea was rejected by the Liberal government.

In light of this morning's decision to reject the amendments, it is once again very clear that the Liberal government is always trying to cozy up to big business, which I imagine can be very generous when it is time to fill the campaign coffers. I suppose I could be wrong, but I will leave it up to everyone to observe the political game-playing. Later today, we will be debating Bill C-76, which is about new election rules. There again we will see how the Liberals want voters to make decisions based on money instead of the various parties' development philosophies. I will have more to say about Bill C-76 later. I will leave it at that for now.

I quoted the Senate's explanations so that they appear in the Hansard, but since I have a few minutes left, I would like to point out everything that this bill does not do. The matter of contracts is urgent, but so is the development of a passengers' bill of rights, which air travellers have been waiting for for years. In the previous Parliament, the NDP tabled a document—it was not even a bill—that sought to examine the possibility of putting regulations in place before the next election as the minister saw fit, but I would be willing to bet that the Liberals will wait until just a few months before the 2019 election is called to introduce the passengers' bill of rights.

It is clear that this government is not here to serve its constituents but to further its election strategy. Meanwhile, all this time, Canadians have been waiting for a real passengers' bill of rights that would ensure that they are compensated in situations like the one we saw here in Ottawa with Air Transat only a year ago. The passengers' bill of rights is also long overdue. When Bill C-49 finally receives royal assent, we will still not have a passengers' bill of rights. All we will have is the first step in a process to develop a bill of rights in the future.

Bill C-49 is absolutely unbelievable. If the Liberals wanted to take quick action on grain transportation, they could have done so. Let us remember that, at the beginning of the process, we proposed dividing Bill C-49 to quickly examine the aspects that addressed grain transportation, but this government refused to do that. We also proposed to extend the measures taken by the previous Conservative government so that farmers would not be left in limbo when the temporary measures ended and before Bill C-49 came into effect.

There are many causes for concern with this bill, and we cannot understand why the Liberal government is not more open to the amendments that are being proposed.

Transportation Modernization ActGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Trois-Rivières will have 10 minutes remaining when we resume debate following question period.

Denis GrenierStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.


Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today it is with pride and emotion that I have the pleasure of welcoming to Ottawa a great man from the North Shore, Denis Grenier. He is the president and founder of Cancer Fermont and I wish to pay tribute to him.

For more than a decade now, this man, an undeniable leader, a creative and vibrant visionary whose tenacity and generosity are legendary, has been working tirelessly day and night without expecting anything in return other than the well-being of our community.

In the remote northern community of Fermont, Mr. Grenier collects donations every year to make life a little bit easier for the people of Fermont struggling with cancer. These donations pay for the patients' immediate needs, such as making treatment accessible, reuniting families, and making dreams come true.

I hope that more great men and women in other communities will be inspired by the shining example set by Cancer Fermont.

On behalf of everyone in Manicouagan, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Grenier.

McHappy DayStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate McDonald's Canada on its 25th celebration of McHappy Day.

Headquartered in my riding of Don Valley East, McDonald's Canada has been committed to giving back to the community in which it operates. Each year more than 1,400 McDonald's restaurants across the country celebrate McHappy Day. Since its inception, the event has raised over $66 million for Ronald McDonald House charities and other local children's charities across Canada.

The 15 Ronald McDonald Houses provide out-of-town families with a home to stay in while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital.

I thank all who have participated in a McHappy Day. Their support will help families and will further heighten public awareness of the critical role of family-centred care.

Calgary ZooStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Bob Benzen Conservative Calgary Heritage, AB

Mr. Speaker, one need not travel to Madagascar to watch lemurs leap, nor go to Antarctica to see penguins plunge. These creatures and many more thrive at the Calgary Zoo, where lasting contributions to species conservation are made every day.

The zoo is renowned for its work in protecting endangered species. Its biologists specialize in the science of species reintroduction and have restored black-footed ferrets to Canada, reintroduced nationally extinct swift foxes, bolstered the greater sage grouse population, and won awards for protecting endangered whooping cranes.

Just this week, the Calgary Zoo also became the place to watch pandas play. The pandas Er Shun and Da Mao and their cuddly cubs have taken up residence in a special habitat designed to meet their every need.

Canada is fortunate to have the experts at the Calgary Zoo contributing to species recovery teams and working toward wildlife conservation at home and around the world.

NeurofibromatosisStatements By Members

May 11th, 2018 / 11 a.m.


Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, May 17 is World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day. Although neurofibromatosis is the most common neuro-genetic condition, many people are still not familiar with it. More than 10,000 Canadians live with this disease, which affects the skin and the nervous and skeletal systems.

I commend the hard work of organizations such as the Association de la neurofibromatose du Québec, which brings together people diagnosed with this disease, including those in my riding, Hull—Aylmer.

On Thursday, all around the world, communities will light up their major buildings in blue and green to raise awareness of neurofibromatosis. Many cities in Canada will do the same.

On May 17, and all year long, let us support those living with neurofibromatosis.

Réal LaflammeStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House to pay tribute to Réal Laflamme, a recognized leader in the agricultural community and throughout Quebec.

Farming in the Laflamme family is a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Mr. Laflamme has made a tremendous contribution to the development of the Société d'agriculture de Saint-Hyacinthe, an undeniable asset for our region, as well as on the provincial, national, and international scenes in both sports and agriculture.

Mr. Laflamme, a well-known agricultural entrepreneur, has been a long-time advocate for and ardent defender of supply management. His efforts have earned him induction into the Quebec Agriculture Hall of Fame as well as the Ordre national du mérite agricole.

Mr. Laflamme has been active in the co-operative movement in Quebec, with Comax, the Coop fédérée, and the SOCODEVI. He has also served as an administrator with the Société de financement agricole du Québec, the Saint-Hyacinthe Agricultural and Food Exhibition, and the Salon de l'agriculture. He is still very active in a number of strategic projects for our region.

On behalf of everyone in Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale, I thank Réal Laflamme for his dedication.

Laurentides—LabelleStatements By Members

11 a.m.


David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, spring is finally here, but its late arrival has caused many riverside residents a lot of stress.

In my riding of Laurentides—Labelle, rivers like the Rouge, Lièvre and Nord rivers have burst their banks, causing considerable damage.

My thoughts are with everyone across the country who is dealing with flooding. It is important to be ready to react in any emergency. On April 14, I got to observe an exercise involving a simulated medical emergency in Amherst. The members of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve 51 Field Ambulance, first responders from Arundel and Amherst, firefighters from the northwest Laurentians fire department, air cadets from 716 Laurentien squadron, and municipal and regional authorities all worked together efficiently and compassionately. It was a privilege for me to see them at work.

No one ever wishes for disasters to happen, but if one does, Laurentides—Labelle is ready.

Sandy MitchellStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the Durham region is mourning the loss of one of our most inspiring citizens. Sandy Mitchell was born with cerebral palsy, yet spent a lifetime defying the label of disabled with incredible accomplishments.

He was a three-time equestrian Paralympian, who competed into his sixties, and founded the Windreach Farm in Ashburn almost 30 years ago. Sandy dedicated his life and earnings to helping other Canadians achieve great things in the face of adversity.

Sandy and the amazing team at Windreach have helped thousands of families heal, learn, and grow their confidence. Windreach is a welcome place to all. It helps people with autism and a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. In partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada and Can Praxis, I was proud to join Sandy and the Windreach team as they launched the equine therapy program for veterans and their families.

A member of the Order of the British Empire, even the Queen recognized how remarkable Sandy Mitchell was. However, what is most special to our community is that Sandy always saw the potential in everyone. What an incredible legacy.

Mother's DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, today, I stand to recognize all mothers whom we will be celebrating on Sunday. It will be my first Mother's Day without my mom. She worked side by side with my father for years, building a successful farming operation while sharing the raising of the 10 of us.

From the moment we are born, our mothers help us through the difficult times and help us achieve our accomplishments. I would like to recognize my wife Pam, who not only did a wonderful job to help raise our four children, but also worked beside me on the farm and in politics. She now continues to help raise our six beautiful grandchildren.

When I look at my daughters, Mieka and Bethany, and my daughter-in-law Natalie, I see the new challenges young moms face and the strength they have to overcome these challenges. They work tirelessly for long hours in their jobs and at home to raise their children.

I would like to especially recognize the moms in Cape Breton for their hard work, compassion, and grit they give children to succeed.

I ask my colleagues to please join me in celebrating mothers across Canada: the ones who are with us now, the ones who have gone before us, and the mothers of tomorrow.

Allan LingStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to honour a lifelong friend and pre-eminent farm leader, Allan Ling, who passed away recently.

Allan, a farmer, was a tireless advocate for the farming industry. Beginning with 4H, he then organized and served with the National Farmers Union, became chair of PEI Grain Elevators Corporation, worked with the PEI Agri-Alliance, and was the long-serving president of the Atlantic Grains Council. Added to this work was his work with the horse racing industry. He was one of the founding organizers of the Grain Growers of Canada, the umbrella organization that brought together industry players from across the country.

There was not a federal minister since Eugene Whelan's time or a provincial premier since the seventies whose ear Allan had not bent on everything from research to marketing.

He served his community in many ways, but first as a first responder. For Allan, there were no strangers, only friends he had yet to meet.

His greatest joy, though, was family: his wife Jan, children, and grandchildren. Our condolences to all.

Rabbi of Beth Israel SynagogueStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is fitting that during Jewish Heritage Month I rise to recognize the incredible impact my friend Rabbi Daniel Friedman has had on the community of Edmonton and Canada. Rabbi and Rabbanit Friedman will be taking their family to London, England, after many years of service at Beth Israel Synagogue in my riding of Edmonton West.

Rabbi Friedman has led a remarkable life dedicated to serving his community and his faith since he was 21. At just eight years old, when he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said that he wanted to be the first rabbi on the moon. While he certainly is a star, he has yet to be among them, but we love him anyway.

He is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal and an active member of countless Jewish youth groups across the continent. He was also a driving force behind getting the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa built.

I thank Rabbi Daniel and Rabbanit Batya for all the work they have done for Beth Israel Synagogue, for Edmonton and Canada, and for their friendship. I have no doubt they will make a lasting impact across the pond in England.

Laflèche Optimist ClubStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Sherry Romanado Liberal Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 28, I joined the members and friends of the Laflèche Optimist Club to celebrate its 50 years of involvement and engagement in the Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne community.

The Optimist Club runs programs and activities to fulfill its mission to support the youth of Laflèche, and I would say mission accomplished. Thanks to the generosity and commitment of its volunteer members, the club has made generations of young people feel valued.

That is why I was tremendously proud to award certificates of recognition to Yvon Nadeau, Jean-Guy Plante, Albert Robillard, and Jacques Roy, four founding members who are still involved in the cause after all these years. On behalf of the youth of Laflèche, I want to offer them my congratulations and thanks, and I hope the next 50 years are just as full of hope and optimism.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Marco Mendicino Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mental Health Week is an ongoing reminder that there are many in our communities, young and old, who suffer in silence every day.

This year, my youth council chose to make mental health a priority in our work. We are determined to encourage members of our community to speak openly about their experiences and to listen to others, so that they do not suffer in silence.

In conjunction, our government has invested over $450,000 in mental health-related programs right in my riding of Eglinton—Lawrence, such as Routes, run by the CMHA, which serves at-risk individuals and youth through expressions of art, culture, and other programs. Our government and our community are committed to continuing to raise our voices.

Together we can fight stigma and help everyone live better and healthier lives. Let us keep talking.

George MarslandStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, George Marsland was one of the most infectious, energetic, and enthusiastic people anyone could ever meet. Born in New Hamburg, Ontario, George would go on to study law at Western. Soon afterward, he caught the attention of Brian Mulroney's leadership campaign team and was eventually tapped as a staff member in the Prime Minister's Office.

“George was an individual of good counsel and goodwill, whose strong contribution to the growth and success of the PC Party should be underlined and remembered”, said Prime Minister Mulroney this week.

George also held senior roles at Magna International, where I met him. George loved people, and they loved him back. That is why so many were so saddened to learn of his passing just recently. I among those who were saddened to learn this news. He was my friend.

We will remember his boundless energy, his unforgettable sense of humour, and his love of life. Rest in peace, George.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Kyle Peterson Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is fortunate to have two official languages: French and English.

Every day, young people and adults from all across the country are learning a second official language. I am happy to be learning French. I am also proud to represent the many francophones in the Newmarket and Aurora regions here, in Ottawa.

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy McKeraghan, founder of the York region immersion association. She is the national chair of Canadian Parents for French, a fantastic organization that promotes bilingualism. I want to thank Nancy for her excellent work and encourage all Canadians to learn their second official language.

Expression of GratitudeStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Mother's Day fast approaching, allow me to take this opportunity to pay tribute to mine and especially thank her.

There are many words that come to mind whenever I think about her, which is every day: generosity, strength, courage, wisdom, loving, dear, incredible, and resilient.

Those who know her will agree. I mean, she had some 17 children, 54 grandchildren, 141 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren, with three more on the way.

I could never imagine the joy of having us being shattered with pain as she watched helplessly the majority of her children taken away to a residential school.

I know a simple meegwetch will never, never be enough. I also want to say to her something she already knows,

[Member spoke in Cree]


I love you from the bottom of my heart, mommy.

Criminal CodeStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's Bill C-75 seeks to dramatically change the Criminal Code.

We support some of the measures in the bill, namely the one on domestic violence because it provides better protections for victims and is harsher on criminals. It makes perfect sense.

Here ends the praise, however. The Liberal government is seeking reduced sentences for those who commit heinous crimes, including participating in the activities of a terrorist group, municipal corruption, human trafficking, forced marriage, advocating genocide, as well as helping a prisoner of war to escape and causing bodily harm.

Canadians want justice to be served when a crime is committed. The Liberal government is acting recklessly in seeking reduced sentences for these crimes.

That is no surprise, however, coming from a government that is poised to welcome 60 former ISIS fighters and have them take poetry classes.

Winnipeg JetsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote hundreds of thousands of Canadians all across our great land: “Go, Jets, go.” Did we ever come through last night with a fantastic victory. After a hard-fought best-of-seven-games series, Winnipeg beat the Nashville Predators.

Seven years ago, NHL hockey came back to Winnipeg, and how good we felt then. For the first time in franchise history, our beloved Jets are going to the Western Conference final, and oh, what a feeling that is.

The arena will be packed and the street party will see tens of thousands of people outside that beautiful facility. It will be a Winnipeg Whiteout like never seen before. I appreciate the players and the outstanding hockey they are playing, but I love the fans.

From coast to coast to coast, the Winnipeg Jets are Canada's hockey team in 2018. We all say, “Go, Jets, go.”

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, we just cannot make this ship up.

While Canadian boats are tied up at dock, the Five Nations application, unbelievably, included using a foreign vessel it had not even secured. Yesterday the Massachusetts-based owner of the vessel confirmed that he declined the offer before the application was even submitted.

With everything we know about this issue—the family connections, the Liberal Party members benefiting, the falsified Five Nations proposal—will the minister restart the process and recuse himself?

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.


Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, the fact that there is a new participant in the surf clam fishery should be no surprise to the Conservatives across the way. They started a process three years ago to accomplish the exact same thing, the big difference being that unlike the previous government, we had a robust process that included indigenous people.

We are proud that we picked the best proposal, the proposal that would benefit the greatest number of Atlantic Canadians, including indigenous partners from four Atlantic provinces and Quebec.

EthicsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Holy ship, Mr. Speaker.

The decision to award the lucrative surf clam quota to Five Nations is just another example of these Liberals rewarding their friends and family.

Which Liberal MP from the Rock will call my friend Edgar and explain why his son is losing his job? Which Liberal MP from the Rock will call Grand Bank and explain why they will not fight for Newfoundland jobs?