House of Commons Hansard #316 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-59.

Topics

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

moved that Bill S-210, an act to amend An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other acts, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill S-210, an act to amend an Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other acts. The legislation seeks to modernize Canada's statutes and remove the short title “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act” from the legislation.

Bill S-210 was introduced by Senator Mobina Jaffer in the Senate and has reached third reading here in the House of Commons. I am proud that the legislation passed unanimously, without amendment, at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Language matters, and the fact that the bill has reached its final stage of the legislative process is a proud reflection of that.

The language we use in the laws we pass matters. It reflects the intentions and desired outcomes of our statutes, as well as the type of society we want to build. When phraseology like “barbaric cultural practices” is used in law-making, it becomes apparent that the intention is to divide and fearmonger. Let me be clear. The politics of fear and division have no place in Canada, and no place in Canada's statutes. That is why Bill S-210 is before us today.

Bill S-210 amends Bill S-7 from the previous Parliament by removing its short title. It does not in any way affect the measures put in place by the bill. While Bill S-7 was aimed at strengthening protections for women and girls, the reference to “barbaric cultural practices” in the title creates divisions, promotes harmful stereotypes, and fuels intolerance by targeting specific communities. It is being perceived as offensive by certain communities and stakeholder groups that serve immigrants, as it targets a cultural group as whole, rather than the individuals who commit specific acts.

As Senator Jaffer put it at the justice committee:

I have objected to pairing the words “barbaric” and “cultural”. That's not a Canadian value. When we put the two ideas together, we take responsibility for horrific actions away from the person who committed them. It's not a community that commits those acts; it's a person. Instead, we associate the crime with a culture and a community, and we imply that such horrible practices are part of a culture or a community.

Hate crimes against certain minority populations are on the rise in Canada. When we falsely equate barbaric practices with cultures, we open the door to racist and intolerant attitudes that often drown out constructive dialogue on promoting diversity and inclusion. By recognizing the impacts that our words have on the tone and tenor of public discourse, policy-making, and law-making, we can be more deliberate and thoughtful in the words we choose. We abandon the dog whistle politics of barbaric cultural practices and commit ourselves to advancing values beyond mere tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion.

The Prime Minister captured the importance of these values and those of diversity in his address to New York University. He said:

Whether it's race, gender, language, sexual orientation, or religious or ethnic origin, or our beliefs and values themselves, diversity doesn't have to be a weakness. It can be our greatest strength.

Now often people talk about striving for tolerance. Now don't get me wrong. There are places in this world where a little more tolerance would go a long way. But if we're being honest, right here, right now, I think we can aim a little higher than mere tolerance. Think about it. Saying, “I tolerate you” actually means something like, “okay, I grudgingly admit that you have a right to exist, just don't get in my face about it....

There is not a religion in the world that asks you to “tolerate thy neighbour”. So let's try for something a little more like acceptance, respect, friendship, and yes, even love.

And why does this matter? Because in our aspiration to relevance, in our love for our families, in our desire to contribute to make this world a better place, despite our differences, we are all the same.

Words are important, and so are the values we put forward. Equally important, if not more so, are the actions we take in defence of those values. That is why our government has taken meaningful action to further embrace multiculturalism and promote diversity.

We have a Prime Minister who proudly represents Canada on the world stage as an open and welcoming nation. Indeed, Canada is a nation built in no small part through the contributions of immigrants.

Our government understands this. That is why we promote safe and accessible immigration. We have prioritized family reunification by bringing families together more quickly. We doubled the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications accepted per year, from 5,000 to 10,000. We know that when families are reunited and offered the opportunity to succeed, all of Canada succeeds.

Our government is committed to an immigration system that strengthens Canada's middle class, helps grow our economy, supports diversity, brings families together, and helps build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive communities.

The story of Canadian immigration is inseparable from the story of Canada itself, as we are committed to aiding and accepting people from all cultural backgrounds. Success stories abound when newcomers are offered the opportunity to succeed.

Let us take Peace by Chocolate as an example. The company, based in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, was founded by the Hadhad family. The Hadhads ran a successful chocolate factory in Syria, but they were forced to flee the civil war violence. After three years in a Lebanese refugee camp, they were offered the chance to immigrate to Canada. They started Peace by Chocolate, working to rebuild the business they had lost in war-torn Syria. Their story of success is a proud example of the opportunity that Canada offers to those who immigrate here, regardless of nationality.

The policies we are putting in place will allow more immigrants to find a home in Canada, contributing to our growing economy. These newcomers will drive innovation and help employers meet labour market needs. Supporting companies that bring high-skilled workers improves business opportunities for all Canadians. These are just a few examples of measures that our government has taken to further promote multiculturalism and ensure that our immigration system is efficient and accessible.

Our actions to promote diversity do not stop there. The Minister of Canadian Heritage recently unveiled the new federal action plan for official languages. This plan will invest nearly $500 million over five years and focus on strengthening our communities, strengthening access to service, and promoting a bilingual Canada.

Through targets that aim to restore and maintain the proportion of francophones living in linguistic minority communities at 4% of the general population by 2036, provinces such as British Columbia will receive the support they need to continue promoting our linguistic diversity and bilingualism.

In support of multiculturalism, we are investing $23 million over two years through budget 2018 in the federal multiculturalism program. Budget 2018 states:

This funding would support cross-country consultations on a new national anti-racism approach, would bring together experts, community organizations, citizens and interfaith leaders to find new ways to collaborate and combat discrimination, and would dedicate increased funds to address racism and discrimination targeted against Indigenous Peoples and women and girls.

In our pursuit of a more caring and inclusive country, we must also commit to doing better in the journey of reconciliation. As a multicultural country, Canada grapples not only with the intersections of a broad range of newcomer cultures, but with multiple generations of Canadians and indigenous peoples. Reconciliation must be part of the conversation as we discuss diversity and inclusion in a 21st century Canada. Recognizing and making reparations for the historical abuse and mistreatment of indigenous peoples is a fundamental part of building a more inclusive society and promoting the diversity of Canada.

As members in this place, we have the privilege of introducing bills or motions that will affect and hopefully benefit our constituents, and all Canadians. I have had the privilege of sponsoring two private member's bills: Bill S-210, which is before us here today, and Bill C-374, which is now before the Senate.

If passed by the Senate, Bill C-374 would seek to advance reconciliation by adding much-needed indigenous representation to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, implementing call to action 79(i) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. The legislation would provide first nations, Métis, and Inuit representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Without indigenous representation, the board conducts its affairs without a fulsome understanding of Canadian heritage and history. The inclusion of indigenous perspectives on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada would allow us to more fully commemorate Canada's historical peoples, places, and events, and offer a more authentic perspective on our heritage.

Canada is a pluralistic society, and our approach to fostering a more inclusive society is multi-faceted. It requires diligence and thoughtfulness on the part of legislators. By advancing legislation such as Bill S-210, we commit to recognizing the implications of the words we use, with the understanding that action is equally important. Abandoning terms such as “barbaric cultural practices” is an important step in modernizing our statutes and reflecting back on the type of society we want to build as Canadians.

I would like to thank my colleagues for their participation in this debate today. I am hopeful that members will join me today in supporting Bill S-210.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:10 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I was a member of the opposition when we had this debate about the short title and just how important it is. My colleague and friend made reference to Canada's diversity. It is often referred to by our Prime Minister as one of Canada's greatest strengths, as is the importance of multiculturalism to us as a society. I wonder if my friend could provide his personal thoughts with respect to Canada being a multicultural country and how we have benefited from that both economically and socially. Ultimately, I would suggest that we are envied by countries around the world because of our great diversity. I wonder if my colleague might want to add some thoughts to that, and why he felt so compelled with respect to this legislation.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, last weekend, when I was in my riding, Cloverdale—Langley City, I had the honour, in one single day, of having a taste of the diversity represented in our community. I was able to go to a South Asian wedding at one of the gurdwaras in my riding, and from there I went to Ramadan prayers with the Muslim community. That afternoon, I joined the Buddhist community for a graduation ceremony and handed out certificates at the ceremony. To me that represents, in one single day, the diversity that we have in Canada, and how that is the strength of our community and our country.

As the Prime Minister has said, it is important to celebrate the diversity in our society, because it really is Canada's strength. It helps us with world trade, and it is a way of showing that faiths and communities from around the world can live together in one country, the one we proudly call Canada. That is why Bill S-210 is so important. We need to show that anyone is welcome in Canada and that we can make a proud and strong country.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, I want to applaud the member for adding indigenous representation to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and I would ask him to talk more about the importance of that to Canada's history. There is only one group of people who have been here for millennia, so I think it is a tremendous initiative.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, the member is referring to Bill C-374, which is before the Senate right now. It is a very important bill, again going along with the theme of diversity being our strength. That particular bill references the need to have indigenous representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The Senate is currently debating the bill.

Today, we are having a debate on Bill S-210, which is another step we can take to show that Canada actually values diversity. It is an important opportunity for us to weigh in on the discussion about what kind of culture and community we want to build.

As my colleague from the New Democrats pointed out, words are so important, and Bill S-210 really challenges us as legislators to get the wording right to build an inclusive and supportive Canada. That is why I am very proud to be sponsoring Bill S-210 in the House of Commons today.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, after a nice quiet weekend in my riding, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the pages and all of the parliamentary precinct security folks who looked after us during our all-night voting on Thursday night.

I also want to say a special thanks to my riding staff, because I miss them, Lauren Semple, Hilary Eastmure, and Michael Snoddon, and all the people at home who have been holding down the fort while we have been here since the end of January.

I am really grateful to everybody who is keeping the community work going, NGOs, local governments, everybody who is working hard to support the work we are doing here in Parliament.

We really hope that this is our last week, and I cannot wait to be home. Because we are close to the end, I have to say I am a little impatient about giving this speech. Bill S-210 proposes to amend the title of a Harper-era piece of legislation, the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.

It seems like a long time ago when that piece of legislation was passed. It was passed in what I would call a dark decade of parliamentary rule. The unveiling of that quite racist legislation was one of the low points in the Harper era. It was dog-whistle politics at its worst. It was racist and inflammatory. Ministers stood and said we need to eradicate barbaric cultural practices, when all they needed to say was that we are going to rule against female genital mutilation. We are all for that, but it does not need to be put in the frame of alienating anybody who is not white and born and raised in Canada. Canada is a diverse country. We all practice our culture in different ways. There are acts that should be criminalized, especially acts that are damaging to young girls.

The Conservatives campaigned on that Harper-framed legislation, and I like to think that was part of their downfall, because the citizens of this country said no to it.

I also want to give special thanks to This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which acted like a second official opposition alongside New Democrats in the previous Parliament. I still chuckle about the show's parody on the barbaric cultural practices act. It named things like wearing socks with sandals as a cultural barbaric practice, and kissing the cod in the wrong way. They had fun with it, but it was not funny.

Given all the damage that was done in 10 years of Conservative rule, the Liberal government received a strong mandate from the Canadian public.

However, here we are today with legislation before us which would simply amend the title of the legislation. It would do nothing else. I am going to vote in favour of Bill S-210, because who would not vote in favour of it? Language matters, but actions also matters. There is so much work to do. Here we are, two and a half years into this term, and we still are not getting it done.

Some time this week, we will be tabling a report on what the Liberal government could do to end the atrocious rate of incarceration of indigenous women in Canadian jails and how badly they are treated. The report also talks about the barriers they face in the justice system that results in them being imprisoned at a higher rate.

Another Conservative law repealed the mandatory minium sentencing. It removed judicial discretion. The Liberal Party campaigned in 2015 that it would repeal mandatory minimum sentencing, but it has not done it.

Of all the things that would make a difference in people's lives, I wish that this legislation had more oomph behind it. Of course, language matters, but attendant action is so important. Voting yes to the bill, which I will be doing, will not change anyone's life. There is still a lot of legislative damage that has yet to be undone, and I do not believe that Bill S-210 would have been at the top of anybody's list.

I also have a bit of a bad attitude about this because of my private member's bill on abandoned vessels, Bill C-352. I worked on my bill with local government partners for about eight years before coming to this place. I tabled it in February 2016, and I updated it in April 2017.

Three days after it went on the Order Paper in October of this year, the government introduced its own bill, which I had wanted to see. I had hoped the government would have plagiarized and incorporated my private member's bill into it. However, then it used a couple of almost never used parliamentary manoeuvres to prevent my bill from being heard or voted on at all.

Obviously, it was a great disappointment. It was a piece of legislation, whether one agreed with it or not, that had some substance and some heft. It would have made a difference on the ground. It would have changed legislation that would have prevented oil spills and marine plastics and pollution on our beaches in the form of fibreglass boats. That is a long-standing problem that local governments have been calling the alarm on. However, that was killed, and here we are taking the time to debate legislation that is only going to amend a legislative title.

I urge all my colleagues to hunker down and get the real work done that would actually change lives on the ground. We have tremendous privilege being in this place. We have tremendous power. We have a huge mandate, and we have a lot of work to do. Let us do the hard work that really matters and get on with the work that Canadians sent us to do here in this place.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, it has truly been a privilege to bring forward Bill S-210, An Act to amend An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

I would like to first thank my colleagues for their support in this legislation, and contributions in debate. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Senator Mobina Jaffer for introducing this legislation in the Senate, and for her work in advancing this bill.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, I have had the unique opportunity to bring forward two pieces of legislation. I took great care in considering what issues I wanted to advance, and I am proud to have supported Bill S-210.

I would also like to take a moment to provide comments to my colleague from the New Democratic Party for the thoughts she just offered. First of all, I would like to thank her for the pledge to support this legislation today. However, I also believe that this bill actually does have the impacts we are seeking in society. She said it does nothing for Canadians, yet I believe that reflecting inclusive language in legislation is the most important thing we as legislators can do.

As was noted, we have a remnant of the Harper Conservatives on the books that was very inflammatory, very divisive, and it used the lowest grade of politics in trying to divide Canadians. This would remove that. I think that is a great use of legislative time. I am proud to have dedicated my efforts in sponsoring Bill S-210 in the House of Commons to further this discussion.

Bill S-210 is a reflection on the importance of the language we use in crafting and drafting our legislation, and the ways in which we wish to shape our society. As our Prime Minister likes to say, “Canada is strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.”

Through this legislation, we have the opportunity to reject phraseology, and the unnecessary and inappropriate conflation of culture with barbaric practices. Through this legislation, we have the opportunity to reject the politics of fear and division in favour of diversity and inclusion. I am hopeful that all members will join me in supporting Bill S-210 and advancing these important efforts.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

Suspension of SittingImmigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The House is now suspended until 12:00 p.m.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 11:27 a.m.)

(The House resumed at 12 p.m.)

The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, I should mention that I will be sharing my time with the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.

I rise once again to speak to Bill C-45 on the legalization of marijuana, on behalf of the millions of Canadians who would like to be standing beside me or in my place.

Let us not forget that the Prime Minister promised that legalizing marijuana would take street drugs out of the hands of children and take the production and sale of drugs away from organized crime. That is the line the government adopted to support this bill, but we can clearly see that it is completely false.

Last fall, we voted under the guillotine of time allocation, and naturally, given the Liberal majority, the bill was passed and sent to the Senate.

I am pleased to see that the senators felt free to propose the 46 amendments we are studying today. Interestingly enough, 29 of these 46 amendments are from the government. We have said all along that Bill C-45 is a botch job, that it would not work, and that we could not support it. Today we have proof, because the government itself had to make 29 amendments to a bill it rushed to ram down the throats of the members of the House of Commons.

Now the Senate, comprised mostly of government-appointed independent Liberals, agrees with the opposition and made a total of 46 amendments. Clearly, Bill C-45 was botched from the beginning, and we still do not understand the logic.

The Prime Minister appears to be living in a fantasy world. We often hear people taking about a magical land of unicorns and Care Bears. I think those people have a point, considering what is going on and how the Prime Minister sees and does things. It really is a fantasy land, and nothing we are being told makes any sense.

The government's official position was that Bill C45 was supposed to resolve the problem of marijuana trafficking controlled by organized crime and keep marijuana out of the hands of children, but it is really having the opposite effect. It is also going to cause other problems.

No, legalizing marijuana will not reduce access to it. Yes, organized crime will find ways around our laws. No, police officers cannot use magical Care Bear powers to fight drug-related violence and crime.

All that because the Prime Minister decided to make this an issue, to make it an electoral promise. He decided that this was urgent and that he had to legalize cannabis as quickly as possible without any respect for the concerns of scientists, doctors, or law enforcement officers.

What is more, the Prime Minister, who is supposedly a great friend to the first nations, did not even take into consideration their extremely serious concerns.

On top of all that, Canadian employers will have to deal with this situation. How will employers be able to monitor employees who work in manufacturing, in industries that require the use of dangerous equipment? We still do not have any answers on that. The government is rushing to legalize cannabis, but there are still unanswered questions.

The basic premise had to do with children. I will talk later about plants in homes, about how organized crime will get around the law, and about how children will be allowed to be in possession of marijuana. They will not be allowed to buy any, but they will be allowed to have it on them. It really does not make any sense.

Let's also talk about police officers. Over the weekend, a police officer gave me an example. He said that, under the existing legislation, when a police officer stops a vehicle and can smell marijuana, he or she has the right to search the vehicle. Most of the time, or quite often at least, when police officers conduct such a search, they find other drugs, such as amphetamines or cocaine, hidden in the vehicle. Having the authority to intervene because of the smell of marijuana often enables the police to discover hard drugs in such vehicles.

Three years ago, in Quebec City, where I live, the police stopped a tractor-trailer. They smelled drugs, searched the vehicle, and found a million dollars from the sale of drugs by organized crime hidden in it.

Now, police officers who smell marijuana will have to do some kind of yet-to-be-determined test to find out if a person is intoxicated, but they do not have the right to conduct other searches. These are real-life situations, not imaginary hypotheticals. Instead of helping police officers, the government is creating problems for them. Bill C-45 defies logic.

There is also the issue of market adjustment. Organized crime is not going away. Independent Liberal Senator Serge Joyal mentioned that, according to police, organized crime has already infiltrated Canada's medical marijuana market. He also said that 35 of Canada's 86 legal cannabis producers are financed in part by investors who use tax havens to hide their identity and that Cayman Islands investors have already pumped $250 million into the Canadian cannabis industry.

Despite the Liberals' attempt to get this bill passed as quickly as possible, senators made a number of amendments, including an amendment that would require cannabis companies to publicly disclose the identity of their shareholders. That is a reasonable solution that the opposition can get behind. This amendment would make it impossible for organized crime to use tax havens to infiltrate the Canadian cannabis market. That should have been in there from the get-go. I hope our friends on the other side of the House will accept this amendment.

As far as possession of marijuana is concerned, that will be legal. Retailers will be allowed to sell marijuana and people will have to be at least 18 to buy it, but children like mine, who are 13 and 14, will be allowed to have marijuana in their possession. At the risk of sounding unparliamentary, that seems stupid. They will not be allowed to buy it, but they will be allowed to have between 10 and 15 joints on their person. My son could have between 10 and 15 joints on him and that would not be an offence or a crime, but he would not be allowed to buy those joints. There are so many things like that that we do not understand and that do not work. We think that there are still too many inconsistencies in Bill C-45.

Then there are the property owners. In Quebec, the Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec, or CORPIQ, cannot fathom why we would pass a law that would let people grow cannabis plants in apartments in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. These plants need humidity to grow. People will grow them in closets and are going to do all sorts of things that will damage the apartments and cause problems for the owners, not to mention the issue of the odours. There still remain unanswered questions.

In that regard, I would like to sincerely thank the governments of Quebec and Manitoba, which resolutely refused to let people grow cannabis at home. However, the Prime Minister of Canada told the provinces that they could not prevent people from doing it. Now that the bill has passed and Quebec is saying no, while the federal government says yes, there could be a constitutional challenge over pot plants. Society has far more important problems. We do not need a constitutional battle over pot plants grown at home. I hope Quebec will continue its fight, and I will be supporting it 100%.

This issue is even creating problems at the Canada-U.S. border. The bill does not address those Americans who may travel to Canada with marijuana on them, thinking that it is legal. According to the legislation, when a Canadian border services officer stops an American who is in possession of marijuana, the traveller must be turned back to the United States, where he or she will be charged. Similarly, Canadians who are not careful and who are in possession of cannabis when they are stopped at the U.S. border will also be charged. This problem has not been fixed.

According to a report from US. Homeland Security, there is a significant problem with drugs being trafficked from Canada to the U.S. Nothing has been fixed.

I could have used much more time, but I can say that I am very happy with the Senate's work. I hope that the government will at least listen to reason here.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I want to clarify something for the member. He mentioned his concern that under our legislation a young person under the age of 18 would be able to legally possess cannabis in the province of Quebec. I want to inform him that the Province of Quebec recently enacted legislation which makes it an offence under provincial regulation to purchase, possess, or consume cannabis for any person under the age of 18.

It is legislation that is enforceable. It is an absolute prohibition that the police will be able to enforce, but it does not result in a criminal record for the child. It is exactly what the police have asked for. It is a ticketing regime that results in real consequences. Police can seize the drug, issue a ticket, and there is a fine. There are other restorative measures that can be instituted, but it is a complete prohibition.

I would also advise that virtually every province and territory has introduced legislation that has made it a provincial offence to purchase, possess, or consume cannabis for all young people under the age of majority. With that information, I wonder if the member might be reassured about his concern.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments. However, I wonder why Bill C-45 includes a provision that would make cannabis possession by minors permissible. Youth under 18 would not be allowed to buy cannabis, of course, but they would be allowed to have the drug in their possession. The provinces are going to have to deal with that measure.

The federal government could have defined all the prohibitions. Instead, the government is allowing cannabis possession by minors and leaving the burden of regulation to the provinces, which will each handle it differently. Quebec has set out its rules, but if someone goes to New Brunswick there will be other rules. At some point, it is the federal government's responsibility to ensure that we have regulations that help the provinces instead of making things more complicated for them.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles for his excellent remarks.

It is a bit odd to hear our Liberal colleague boast about a provincial government decision. Need I remind the House that just last week the federal government disregarded the will of the provincial Liberal government to prohibit home grow? We know that under the current Prime Minister's government, there can be four pot plants in each of the millions of homes in Canada.

I have a question for my colleague. Will this measure, which would unfortunately allow home grow, help keep children away from marijuana or would the opposite happen? How will we be able to review and evaluate the quality of the marijuana? After all, people keep saying that legalization will bring with it higher-quality pot.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent asked an excellent question, which gets to the heart and to the reality of this whole issue.

Earlier I said that we do not live in a magical land of Care Bears. There are legal industries that are producing massive amounts of cannabis in greenhouses, funded by money coming from tax havens. Some people are having a grand old time. They are making money. Then, there is a huge number of apartments and houses, millions of possibilities and places where people can grow pot plants. In the Montreal area, there is even a Mafia organization, which I will not name, that is already using apartments belonging to different people. These people create a network, control people who grow pot plans in the apartments and houses, and then sell this pot.

As soon as home growing becomes legal, organized crime groups will start planning, as I said in my speech. Since it is legal, organized crime groups will take over 40 or 50 houses or apartments. People will grow the plants, harvest them, and sell the product, ultimately getting a percentage from the organized crime group. This is why, as soon as the government allows home grow, two networks will develop, namely the industrial manufacturing network and the underground network.

We cannot forget about children in all of this. When there are four pot plants in a home, young people can pick the plants and start selling them to their friends on the streets. This is why we do not understand the government's logic, and there are many people who feel the same way I do.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-45, the cannabis act, a bill that would have a profound impact on our Canadian society.

The Liberal government's plan to legalize recreational marijuana has created a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions. It is pushing this legislation forward without giving it the due diligence it requires. That is why it comes as no surprise this legislation has been sent back to us with so many amendments.

The priority of the government should be the health and safety of Canadians, but through legislative process, it has been clear that the Liberals are rushing to fulfill a political promise. At the outset, the Liberals set an arbitrary deadline to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and the rush to legalize this harmful drug continues. This is despite concerns that have been raised from scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials.

In this legislation, the Liberals have included a section outlining its purpose. The stated purpose of the cannabis act is to protect public health and safety, particularly that of young people, and that its purpose is to restrict access to cannabis for young people and to discourage its use. It also states that it sets out to reduce illicit activities and the burden on the criminal justice system. It states the goal of providing access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis. Lastly, it wants to enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis.

Unfortunately, the legislation before us does not and will not achieve these goals. It is important to consider why this legislation does not achieve its stated purpose. We often hear from those in favour of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana that it is just a harmless drug. That is a myth. There is scientific evidence that marijuana is not a harmless drug, especially for young people. To quote the Canadian Medical Association:

Children and youth are especially at risk for marijuana-related harms, given their brain is undergoing rapid, extensive development.

Our understanding of the health effects of marijuana continues to evolve. Marijuana use is linked to several adverse health outcomes, including addiction, cardiovascular and pulmonary effects..., mental illness, and other problems, including cognitive impairment and reduced educational attainment. There seems to be an increased risk of chronic psychosis disorders, including schizophrenia, in persons with a predisposition to such disorders. The use of high potency products, higher frequency of use and early initiation are predictors of worse health outcomes.

The health effects I just described are very serious. They come at a high cost to Canadian taxpayers, and an even higher individual cost to the person experiencing any of these health problems. Knowing this, the recreational use of marijuana should never be encouraged. This is particularly critical when it comes to young Canadians. A young person's brain continues to develop until the age of 25. Although provinces are able to set a higher age, the cannabis act recommends the age of 18 as a federal minimum. That means the Liberals are recommending legalizing marijuana for individuals seven years before their brain finishes developing.

Medical professionals have testified that increased use before the age of 25 increases the risk of developing mental disorders by up to 30% compared to those who have not used marijuana before the age of 25. I would argue that what one permits, one promotes, and knowing what one allows, one encourages. Knowing the medical facts we know, it is irresponsible to allow an 18-year-old to legally smoke recreational marijuana. The Liberals are normalizing drug use and knowingly putting Canada's young people at a disadvantage.

A concern was raised during the study of this bill at the House's health committee that by setting the age at 18 for legal recreational use, there was a greater chance it would land in the hands of even younger children.

The point was raised that children 16 or 17 years old are more likely to be around 18-year-olds than, say, a 21-year-old. This means that the legislation as it is could increase the likelihood of a minor using marijuana. Let us not forget that this legislation actually allows children aged 12 to 17 to possess up to five grams of marijuana. That is the equivalent to 10 to 15 joints. If the message the Liberals are trying to send to the youth is that they should not use marijuana, they have missed the mark. The legal quantity of marijuana possession for children aged 12 to 17 should be zero. Zero sends the right message.

A public education and awareness campaign would also help send the right message. A campaign of this regard should be implemented before the legalization of marijuana and not after. While Health Canada is putting together a program, there has been no indication that it will be rolled out before the legalization of marijuana, and there is no requirement of sorts. There are no provisions in the cannabis act for public education. If not rejected, this legislation should at least be put on pause until a public education plan is rolled out. It also should not be rushed ahead when provinces, municipalities, police forces, and employers are not ready to implement it.

The belief that legalizing recreational marijuana use will eliminate the black market is also flawed. That outcome is dependent on a wide variety of factors, many of which are being left up to the provinces. The fact that this act legalizes home grow plants is actually more likely to result in an increase in the size of the black market. This bill allows individuals to grow four plants per dwelling, with no height restrictions on the plants. Four plants could yield up to 600 grams of marijuana. That is a large quantity and it could easily be trafficked. A network of home grows could easily contribute to organized crime. There is also the question of how the four plant policy will be enforced.

In addition to the impact on the black market, the home grow provision in this legislation also raises other concerns. When marijuana plants are grown in homes, marijuana becomes even more accessible to young Canadians. There is also no ability to control the quality of the marijuana that is grown in someone's home. This directly counteracts a stated purpose of this legislation.

The impact of marijuana plants on a home could be very significant. It is a known fact that the moisture from marijuana plants can create mould and spores in the structure of a home. This can impact the structural security of a home. It can also result in air quality that is harmful to a person's health.

There is also the concern that there is a 24 times greater incident of fire in residences growing marijuana. This creates even more danger for individuals living in apartments and multi-unit dwellings. This legislation also creates a unique concern for landlords.

I have raised many concerns with the legislation before us. I did not even get to the very valid concerns of many Canadians who are concerned with the odour of recreational marijuana use, or the issues of second-hand smoke and drug-impaired driving. Employers are also concerned with marijuana use in the workplace and its impact on workplace safety.

The cannabis act is irresponsible legislation. It fails to meet its intended purpose. It does not keep marijuana out of the hands of children. It does not keep profits out of the hands of criminals. It does not address the many concerns that have been raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement.

The cannabis act is being rushed through to fulfill a political promise, and doing so sacrifices public health and safety.

Conservatives will not support the Prime Minister's ill-conceived plan to legalize this harmful drug. Canadians deserve better.

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12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I disagree very strongly with the member's remarks.

She spent a lot of time canvassing many of the negative health impacts of cannabis, which I fully accept. In fact, she suggested that some advocates for the legalization of cannabis suggest that marijuana is some sort of a harmless drug. I have not heard that from any member in any party in the House, and I resent the fact that such a straw man argument was presented during the course of her remarks.

We have a system today that criminally prohibits possession and use, and it has proven to be incredibly ineffective. Canada is among the very worst of any country in the world when it comes to the consequences that impact our youth today from the over-consumption of cannabis.

Why is the hon. member committing to a system that has proven to be ineffective, rather than trying something new, something that is based on the advice of experts, and something that will reduce consumption by young people and divert profits away from organized crime?

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12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, in my previous line of work I worked a lot with children and youth, and I have worked in situations where psychiatrists cannot differentiate what is the marijuana consumption side effect and what is the psychosis, whether it is from depression, anxiety, or whatever it is. It makes it difficult to treat patients.

What is most alarming about all this is we have not even seen a public health campaign about this, and how we are going to make children aware that this is unsafe for them. The fear I have is that we are going to normalize this and hurt young Canadian children who will be our leaders for tomorrow.

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12:25 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, the argument presented by the other side seems to be that this drug is so dangerous, has such extraordinarily harmful effects, is so volatile, and in particular has such a drastic impact on young children that we need to leave it in the hands of criminals. If this drug is as dangerous as the members say, it needs to be made illegal in terms of the current system, but the current system has not prevented it from getting into the hands of youth. In fact, the member opposite just said that people she sees are getting access to the drug, which means the former government's approach to this placed it in the hands of kids. If it is that dangerous, that system is unacceptable.

Clearly, a regulated system that restricts it and focuses on keeping it away from young people is a better way to go than simply the status quo, which the member has already said is so dangerous and so ill thought-out that people could not tell the difference between the psychotic episodes and consumption. Regulating it and keeping it out of the hands of young people is a responsible, smart thing to do. However, if it is this dangerous, why would the party opposite want to leave it in the hands of criminals to finance criminal behaviour in their communities?

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12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I am not sure if the member opposite listened to what I had to say.

The way this legislation is written, children aged 12 to 17 can be in possession of it. This is alarming. We do not have a public health campaign out there right now teaching children or talking about it with children, that this is potentially harmful and dangerous for them. I do not see how the government would protect children when the legislation is written as it is and the Liberals have refused amendments from the other place that would address this.

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12:25 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I want to advise the member opposite that one of the harms we are trying to protect children from is getting criminal records, and so we worked with all the provinces and territories. The Province of Saskatchewan has actually enacted legislation that creates an offence for the purchase, possession, and consumption of cannabis for anyone under the age of majority. Therefore, the member's concern that young people would have legal access to this is simply not correct. It will be dealt with in provincial legislation, which is the proportional and appropriate legislative regulatory response.

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12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Madam Speaker, I find that statement to be a little rich. It seems we have a government right now that decides when it wants to respect provincial jurisdiction and when it does not.

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12:25 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-45, the cannabis act.

I would like to begin my remarks by acknowledging the very comprehensive and important work of the Senate. The depth and breadth of its review was unprecedented for any proposed federal legislation that has come before it. It included extensive studies by five committees, which together conducted 47 meetings over 195 hours and heard testimony from over 200 experts and witnesses.

We have followed this process very closely. We have listened very carefully to the thoughtful questions and observations put forth by the members of the other place. The country has been well served by their careful attention to this important issue, and we are deeply and sincerely appreciative of their hard work and wise counsel.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of the aboriginal peoples committee. The government's response benefited tremendously and was made better by its advice and advocacy. I am sincerely grateful for its advice and counsel, which I believe has significantly improved the government's response to indigenous community concerns.

The Senate's comprehensive study has also provided parliamentarians and Canadians alike with an opportunity to learn more about the government's policy to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis, including understanding the main objectives and features of the proposed framework. One of the things I have been struck by throughout this process is the overwhelming consensus among nearly all parties that the government must do more to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens—our kids—from the health and social harms that the current failing system of cannabis prohibition has led to.

Prohibition has not stopped our young people from accessing and using this drug. In fact, Canada's record of youth consumption of cannabis is among the worst in the world. Prohibition has enriched organized crime in the billions of dollars each year while exposing Canadians to an unregulated, untested, and unsafe drug. Finally, the failed system of criminal prohibition has resulted in the criminalization of hundreds of thousands of Canadians and contributed to an unjust disparity and impact on vulnerable communities.

Prohibition has failed. We cannot regulate and control a prohibited substance. It is only by ending the prohibition, which is what legalization is, that we are able to implement a comprehensive and far more effective system of strict regulatory control. It means replacing a dangerous system of illicit production and grow ops with a strictly regulated, licensed regime that provides for adherence to rigorous health and security standards, oversight, testing, and accountability. For the provinces and territories, it means displacing drug dealers and illicit dispensaries with a strictly regulated distribution system, which will do an infinitely better job of keeping cannabis out of the hands of kids and redirect revenues from criminal enterprises to the public good.

Bill C-45 acknowledges and respects the jurisdictions of the provinces and territories to strictly regulate all aspects of distribution and consumption to reduce the social and health harms related to the current failed system of cannabis control. I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank each of the provinces and territories for their excellent collaborative work in bringing forward their respective legislative framework and, in particular, for providing a proportionate and enforceable prohibition for the possession, purchase, and consumption of cannabis for young people under the age of majority that will allow law enforcement to do their job of protecting youth but which will not expose our kids to the harm of a criminal record.

Although the government commends the valuable work done in the other place in conducting a thorough study of Bill C-45, it is our government's view that some of the amendments adopted would not fully support the bill's policy objectives and could have unintended consequences. For example, the other place adopted an amendment that would prohibit prosecution by indictment when an 18-year-old or 19-year-old distributed five grams or less of dried cannabis to a youth that is less than two years younger. The amendment would also allow for tickets to be issued in such circumstances. Finally, this amendment would also allow for a parent or guardian to share cannabis with their 16-year-old or 17-year-old children at home.

Our government has consistently indicated that the proposed cannabis act would not provide a mechanism whereby young persons could legally access cannabis. In fact, we strengthened penalties for adults who provide cannabis to minors or to use it to commit cannabis-related offences. However, the parental exception created by this amendment would essentially serve to create a legal supply channel in the cannabis act for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to access cannabis and would allow a parent or guardian to distribute up to 30 grams of dried cannabis to their 16-year-old or 17-year-old children or wards at home. A youth could in turn distribute up to five grams of dried cannabis received from their parent or guardian in the home with other youth outside the home.

Both the parental exception and the elimination of the ability to prosecute by indictment for close-in-age sharing of small amounts would serve to encourage and normalize cannabis use by our youth and is therefore not accepted by our government.

Ultimately, the crown should retain discretion on how to proceed, based on the circumstances before it. By not accepting this amendment, such discretion would be preserved, and where appropriate, the crown could elect to proceed summarily. This amendment goes against the fundamental objective of the bill, and that is why we are unable to support it.

Next, the Senate has recommended an amendment that would require that the minister collect and publicly disclose the names of every holder of a licence or permit, including persons who have control of or shares in corporations holding a licence. In addition to raising significant concerns from a privacy perspective, this amendment would likely engender a number of significant operational challenges.

For example, the inherent volatility of shareholding in publicly traded corporations could make the proposed reporting requirements practically impossible to meet, and could cause extreme delays in licensing. Moreover, it could also impose unprecedented requirements on businesses operating in the legal cannabis industry, making their treatment inconsistent with the treatment of businesses operating in other sectors of the Canadian economy.

The proposed act was carefully designed to ensure that its current provisions comply with privacy and other obligations and that it respects our charter. Our government has robust physical and personal security screening processes in place for the existing cannabis for medical purposes industry, which is designed to guard against infiltration by organized crime. For example, all officers and directors of a company must undergo thorough law enforcement record checks prior to licensing.

As part of a new regulatory framework, Health Canada has proposed to expand the list of individuals who would require a security clearance to include the directors and officers of any controlling company, in addition to those of the licensed company. An amendment to Bill C-45, adopted by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, would also give the minister expanded powers in this regard.

We have designed and implemented a rigorous and robust security framework that we believe will prevent organized crime and illegal money from infiltrating the legal cannabis market. For those reasons, we do not support this amendment.

Finally, I turn to the amendment proposed by the Senate with respect to allowing provinces to prohibit personal cultivation. The determination of four plants as an appropriate and reasonable limit to allow Canadians to engage in personal cultivation only for their use was arrived at after very careful consideration through examination of other jurisdictions and consultation across the country by both our task force and our senior officials. It was intended to allow those who may not otherwise have access to this drug, as a result of being from remote communities or perhaps being underprivileged, to have reasonable access. The limitation of four plants was also determined to be a safe limit, whereby the commercialization of that would be highly unlikely, and prevented by other sections in the act, and that any effort to sell that would be criminalized.

At the same time, our government has created an offence for producing more than four plants. However, we also have been very clear that we have acknowledged the provincial jurisdiction to impose strict regulation in relation to personal cultivation. For example, we have acknowledged that any province can place limits on the number of plants up to four and can place restrictions and regulations determining limits on location, safety, security, health concerns, and the size of fences. They can impose a requirement for permits, for example, and fees to be paid.

What we have also recognized is that prohibition does not work, and the effort to continue to enforce a prohibition takes away a province's and a municipality's opportunity to regulate this behaviour. We have seen the failure of prohibition. We have seen it has resulted in an unsafe situation in all of our communities. It has put our kids at risk and enriched organized crime. We believe that by imposing a strict regulatory framework, federally, provincially, and municipally, we will be able to do a much better job of controlling this behaviour to ensure we reduce the social and health harms to our kids, protect our communities, and protect the health of our citizens.

Despite the disagreements we may have on specific amendments, I want to reiterate that based on our extensive study over the last two years, the government is confident that Bill C-45 represents a balanced approach that will help meet our objectives. This is why we believe the amendments proposed in the other place need to be carefully considered, with a view to maintaining that balance and avoid unintended consequences, through the implementation of a new regime.

Where a disagreement exists with respect to a provincial authority, our government is not telling the provinces and territories that they cannot strictly regulate. However, we have also acknowledged that there may be limits to their ability to do that. The government is not saying that the Province of Quebec cannot prohibit personal cultivation. Nor are we prepared to authorize that in our legislation. We recognize that the failure of prohibition should not be perpetuated and continued in the country when we have an opportunity to regulate this substance properly.

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12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's background as a police officer. He is right. No one in the House wants to see children or Canadians affected by this.

He talks a lot about prohibition. Yes, we know prohibition has not worked. However, there is a big difference between prohibition and normalization.

In Colorado, a report entitled, “Colorado's Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact on Public Safety”, showed that before legalization in Colorado, it was 14th in the United States with respect to use. Upon legalization and normalization, it shot up to number one.

In Washington, according to the “Washington State Marijuana Impact Report, Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area”, use among youth grew 43% under normalization and legalization.

Therefore, I would like to ask my colleague this. Why the rush toward the normalization of marijuana? We recognize prohibition does not work. However, the statistics in the U.S. have show that normalizing and legalizing it is catastrophic for youth. In Spokane, the DWIs for pot grew 1700% after legalization. Therefore, why the rush toward legalization when the police services have stated that they are not ready for it, and we have not seen education across the country about the effects of marijuana for students?

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12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, I have conducted a very thorough review of the data that comes from those jurisdictions, and I am not familiar with the data the member quotes.

Let me be very clear on something. It is not the government's intention to normalize the use of this drug. In fact, we are taking a prohibited substance and lifting that prohibition so we can implement a strict system of regulatory control. We are also making significant investments of $108.5 million into a public education campaign to inform Canadian youth, parents, teachers, and health care providers of the real social and health risks and harms that can affect children with respect to the early onset of use, and the higher frequency and higher potency of use.

Our experience with tobacco might be illustrative for the member opposite. Tobacco rates of use among Canadians used to be quite high in the country. For example, approximately 22% of Canadian adults were using tobacco, with similar numbers with respect to our kids. However, through the imposition of strict regulations, which controlled packaging, advertising, and the access that children had to it, and a public education campaign about the risks of this drug, we have seen very significant reductions in use, and a de-normalization of the use of tobacco. We believe that experience can be replicated with cannabis if we make the appropriate investments, and we have already made those investments.

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12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I listened to the speech by my colleague across the way. One of the comments he made was that the Senate had an opportunity to move the bill to five different committees for a very robust study. Unfortunately, the government did not listen to all of the advice that came out of the Senate.

Could the parliamentary secretary tell the House why he and his government did not allow this House to have the same kind of robust study?

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12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, quite frankly, I am rather perplexed by the member's comments. The member may recall that Bill C-45 passed second reading and went to committee. That committee heard from over 100 witnesses, over the course of a very long and concentrated session of testimony, before reporting back to the House. It made a number of amendments and recommendations to the House, which were adopted. We moved forward to third reading, and then it went to the Senate.

This is an issue that has been examined extensively for over 50 years. When we became government, we formed a task force with expertise from the areas of justice, public safety, public health, and problematic substance use. We sent it across the country. It received over 30,000 submissions from Canadians on this issue. There were over 700 written submissions. It conducted dozens of round tables and town halls across the country, gathering information before it made recommendations to the government. Therefore, this has been perhaps one of the most consulted and collaborative processes ever undertaken by a government.

We are grateful for the important work done by the Senate. It has contributed enormously to this discussion. However, we believe we have a well-informed evidence-based policy framework for the strict regulation of cannabis, and we are prepared to move forward on it.

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Madam Speaker, in the past, the city I represent has had problems with gangs, whether it is street gangs or motorcycle gangs, and a lot of that is around the control of drugs generally and cannabis specifically. That has been an issue in the community I and the city I represent.

Could the member speak from his experience as a police chief of Toronto about similar situations in Toronto?

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his observation, and I have exactly the same observation in my town. We saw many instances.

Cannabis, the drug itself, has never killed anybody, but I have been to far too many crime scenes where people, usually young men, have been shot to death in a dispute over the territory in which this drug is being sold. Cannabis trafficking, particularly among street gangs, is a trap for those kids, and it is a dangerous trap.

We have seen far too much violence in our communities directly related to this illicit activity. Displacing that from our communities, giving Canadian consumers a legitimate choice, instead of going into those underprivileged areas, could have the affect of reducing the violence in those activities. Just as important, we will not have enforcement in those communities for simple possession of cannabis because we are changing that system. The very first criminal charge that most of those young kids get is for possession of cannabis. This starts them on a lifelong path where they are labelled as criminals. It limits their opportunities and really restricts their future.

There is an opportunity to do it better on behalf of those kids, to make it safer for them, but also to create better futures.

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12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the chief of police of Edmonton have stated very recently that they do not have a reliable way to measure pot impairment for driving.

Again, why are we rushing ahead with this, when the Chiefs of Police Association and various other chiefs of police say that there is no reliable way to measure pot impairment for drivers.

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to advise the member that president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as the chair of the law amendments committee and the traffic committee, appeared before the justice committee on Bill C-46, the impaired driving bill. They commended the government for the comprehensive legislation that was brought forward. It responded to their concerns.

In 2008, they asked for money to train drug addiction experts; they were ignored. In 2009, they asked for mandatory breathe screening; they were ignored. In 2013, they asked for access to oral fluid test kits; they were ignored.

We said that we would provide them with access to those resources and that training and give them the legislative authority to use them. The very last comment from the president of the CACP was that this government was listening.

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12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Madam Speaker, one of the things we hear coming out of Colorado, and I read the news media and we can take it for what it is, is that about 50% of production, marketing and selling is still done by the criminal side.

Colorado is finding the same thing around pricing of contraband cigarettes, and in Canada we have a huge share of the market in contraband cigarettes. The government talks about taking it out of the hands of criminals, but then I read that Colorado says that 50% is still handled by the criminal element in the market, that they can cut prices and sell it as they choose, all outside of government control.

Taking it out of the hands of the criminal element does not seem to be working in Colorado. How is it going to be different here?

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, quite frankly, if organized crime in this country is making $8 billion a year, and if in the first year we are successfully taking 50% away from them, $4 billion out of the hands of organized crime, that is a darn good start in my opinion.

Once we give Canadian adult consumers a legitimate choice, a safer, healthier choice, coupled with the fact that we are keeping all of the criminal authorities, penalties, and offences in place so the police can deal effectively with organized crime, we are going to put pressure on it in the enforcement while outflanking it with a new competition in the marketplace.

Ultimately, our goal is to completely displace the criminal element. I have fought organized crime most of my life and if I had the opportunity to take $4 billion out of its pockets in a single year, I would take it.

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12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, today I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Provencher.

I am here today to speak against Bill C-45 and its legalization of cannabis. This bill is supposedly intended to protect youth, regulate the industry, and eliminate the black market. Not only would it not do any of those things, it would also prevent Canada from upholding several of our international treaties, something very dear to me as a former diplomat, and would likely cause additional tension with provincial governments.

Doctors and other medical professionals have found that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25 and that marijuana use before that age will actually increase an individual's risk of developing mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, by up to 30%. For this reason, one of the principal intentions of this bill was to keep marijuana out of the hands of children. This legislation would be unsuccessful in that regard for two reasons.

The first reason is that the legislation would allow possession for minors, children aged 12 to 17. I have a son who is seven years old, and the thought that he would be able to possess cannabis five years from now is terrifying to me. They would be allowed to possess up to five grams of marijuana, which is approximately 10 to 15 joints. There is also no provision to prevent them from selling or distributing cannabis to other 12- to 17-year-olds. The amount minors are allowed to possess should be zero so that we can send the right message on the dangers for youth. Youth should not be using it and therefore should not be allowed to carry it. Again, the thought of this being anywhere near my young son frightens me.

The second reason is that this bill would also set the age of 18 as the federal minimum. The Canadian Medical Association and other medical professionals recommend increasing the age at which a person can legally consume marijuana to at least 21. Although under the age of 21 there is potential for mental disorders, as previously mentioned, they also recognize that if the age is set too high, people will continue illegal consumption.

If we want to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, 18 is too young an age. Typically, 16- and 17-year-olds hang out with 18-year-olds. The majority of us in the House have certainly been to secondary school.

Another goal of this legislation was to help eliminate the black market for marijuana. Having worked in Central America and Latin America, the black market for narcotics is very well known to me and concerns me very much.

This is extremely unlikely to happen, because it is dependent on many factors. Factors such as pricing, distribution, production, and packaging are not included in this bill. They are, rather, left to the provinces to legislate. Additionally, allowing people to grow marijuana at home would only increase the size of the black market, as Canadians would be permitted to grow yields of up to 600 grams in their homes. Such a large amount of marijuana can easily lead to trafficking and make it extensively harder to enforce.

We heard this from Joanne Crampton, the assistant commissioner for federal policing criminal operations in the RCMP, who stated:

organized crime is a high priority for federal policing, in particular, for the RCMP. We target the highest echelon within the organized crime world. We're very cognizant...and realize that the chances of organized crime being eliminated in the cannabis market would be.... It's probably naive to think that could happen.

She said it is “probably naive”. This is yet another goal of this legislation that would not be achieved.

This legislation is also being rushed through Parliament without necessary debate or consultation. We have heard repeatedly from municipal and provincial governments that they will not have the necessary time or resources to adequately respond to the impact Bill C-45 would have on both Canadians and our communities.

There are numerous organizations and associations that have asked to push back the arbitrary deadline. For example, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police asked the government to extend the deadline. I think “asking” is a subtle word. I would say that “begging” would be more appropriate.

Over 68,000 police officers in Canada will need specific training in the wake of this monumental legislative change, and a few months is not a realistic time frame within which we can do this. If police are not prepared to deal with the legalization of marijuana due to inadequate training, this may lead to poor decisions and result in bad case law for any new legislation. This is important, because law is based upon precedent, and we are going into a time when these precedents will be set for the future.

We need our law enforcement in Canada to have the proper ability and resources to uphold the law. Police will require final legislation from all levels of government before being able to begin their planning and training. The government should have provided police forces with clearer direction in this regard. Provinces, municipalities, police forces, and our indigenous communities have made it clear that they are not ready to implement this legislation and that more time would have allowed for adequate consultation to develop a successful framework.

There will also be major international implications from implementing this legislation. The legalization of marijuana does not comply with three United Nations treaties: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Might I add, as a former diplomat, that I cannot see how this could not possibly affect the Vienna Convention as well in regard to consular matters.

We also know that this could cause additional tension with our southern neighbours, the United States. Officials at United States' border crossings have been asking individuals whether they have consumed marijuana, and if the response is yes, these individuals have been denied entry by our next-door neighbour. This will be problematic when individuals' legal marijuana use in Canada results in their consistently being denied entry into the United States.

At the health committee, we heard that the former mayor of Grand Forks, Brian Taylor, was barred from going back to the United States due to a “relationship with marijuana”. A relationship: those are pretty strong words.

By the way, Grand Forks is a beautiful place. I went there as part of my honeymoon. I loved it there. It sits near a river. There is a presidential museum there, which we had the opportunity to visit.

Getting back to the bill, not having a solution to this problem may cause additional tension in the context of already hostile NAFTA negotiations. This is a serious issue that is still unresolved.

This legislation is also likely to cause jurisdictional problems here at home. Quebec and Manitoba have taken a strong stance against home grown marijuana, but the government will force all provinces to allow home growth, contrary to a unanimous amendment from the Senate.

Provincial governments will bear much of the burden of this legislation when it comes to regulations on distribution, production, and enforcement, so it is only fair that they have discretion in this area. This is yet another case of the federal government forcing its policies on provincial governments, much like it is trying to do with the carbon tax. It is very similar indeed.

The bill is extremely worrisome, as it contains some major issues. The Standing Committee on Health heard from many witnesses on Bill C-45, and the government keeps failing to implement their recommendations. These concerns are from respectable establishments, such as the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Some significant and well-known organizations in the nation are saying that they are not ready, that this legislation is not ready, and that they require more time.

I always say that we will be the official opposition that holds this legislation to account through enforcement, through distribution, and through education.

If my Liberal colleagues across the floor truly cared about the well-being of Canadians, they would not be putting this legislation forward in its current form. We need to stand up for the safety of all Canadians and vote against Bill C-45.

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1 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I worked on organized crime investigations for many years. I also chaired the national Organized Crime Committee and served on the national executive committee of the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada. I have been called many things, but never naive.

The member expressed her concern about the safety of Canadians, and I share that concern. In the bill we brought forward to deal with impaired driving, there is a thing called mandatory alcohol screening. At one point, the Conservatives voted unanimously in support of it when it was contained in a private member's bill, and then they voted unanimously against it when it was in a government bill. It will likely come back before the House. The evidence with respect to that measure is overwhelming. Mandatory screening could prevent between 25% and 35% of lives lost to impaired driving.

I wonder if the member might comment on her position with respect to that in as much as she has expressed her concern about the safety of Canadians.

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1 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, I really like apples, and I really like oranges. However, I do not think one can compare apples to oranges. I think that is what my colleague across the way is trying to do, compare apples to oranges.

The reality is that there is no mechanism right now by which enforcement can effectively determine impairment. This is determined. We want to ensure that all organizations and all aspects of society are prepared for this. Right now, this is simply not the case.

This is what we are asking for. We are asking for more time to not only better evaluate this bill but for the municipalities and provinces that have responsibility for enforcement organizations to be prepared for this.

How do they like them apples?

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1 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Madam Speaker, there is one other issue I want to address.

The member indicated that she believes that the police services have said that they are not ready. I want to share with her that the leadership of the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Sûreté du Québec, and the Toronto Police Service, which represent about 65% of all police officers in this country, have said that they are ready.

I have read the newspapers as well. There are individual chiefs who, on the cusp of retirement, have said that they do not think they can be ready. However, when the largest police services in the country, which are dealing with the most complex national issues anywhere, have said that they are ready to go and have that level of readiness, I think we should respect that leadership and their indications.

If the member has spoken to a couple of individuals who do not think they are ready, then perhaps we could just refer them to the leadership of the RCMP, the OPP, the Toronto police, and others.

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1 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, what would happen if we let 35% of criminals out of the prisons? What would happen if we let 35% of people drive drunk? Thirty-five per cent is too much.

We need 100% readiness, 100% confidence from our forces across the nation that they are ready to deal with the implementation of this legislation. Sixty-five per cent is not enough, and I point to the examples I just gave. It is not enough. This legislation would have such a monumental impact on the safety and well-being of Canadians that 65% is not enough. Canadians and our forces must be 100% ready.

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1 p.m.

Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Madam Speaker, as a former principal, students having alcohol in a high school was something we really did not allow. However, under this legislation, those youth in high school would have it.

The member has very large concerns about youth and possession. Would she like to make a statement about youth and possession?

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1 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned, I have a young son. He is seven years old, and the thought that he could possess any amount of marijuana, never mind the amount outlined in this bill, within five years is terrifying to me. I like to think that I am a good parent in the sense that we would have conversations about the things that exist out there in the school and in the friend environment. However, the reality is that there could be other children his age who have possession of this substance and are distributing it at school.

This is something that very much concerns me as a parent, and as my hon. colleague pointed out, is something that is and should be of concern for educators as well.

It just shows again how—

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1:05 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I did allow the member some additional time.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Provencher.

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1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak this afternoon on Bill C-45, an Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts. Bill C-45 was first introduced in this place on April 13, 2017, just over a year ago. It is remarkable that the Liberal government, in just a little over a year, is desperately trying to force this proposal through. Although there has been a great deal of work done around the bill, it is abundantly clear that this has happened far too quickly. The Liberals are rushing through this legislation to meet their political deadline, not a well-thought-through plan, but a deadline that is self-imposed. This is despite very serious concerns that were raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials.

I want to note from the outset that I do not support the legalization of marijuana. The Conservative Party has adopted a much more measured and responsible approach to keeping minor marijuana possession illegal, but to make it a ticketable offence. This is the position that has long been adopted by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Unfortunately, Liberal backbenchers appear willing to support the Prime Minister's dangerous proposal. I believe we have a moral responsibility to soberly consider the consequences of legalizing marijuana in so many areas of Canadian life.

The fact that the Liberals are continuing down this reckless road without having a fully fleshed-out legal framework in place for the significant supplementary conditions is irresponsible. The only appropriate way to move forward with a bill of this scope, if that is truly what the Liberals wish to do, is to move cautiously and carefully. Anything less represents a profound failure to ensuring that these changes do not increase risks to Canadian children and families.

It is the primary duty of any government to keep its citizens safe. The specific goals of Bill C-45 are outlined in clause 7, and they include protecting youth, regulating the industry, and eliminating the black market. The problem is that Bill C-45 will accomplish none of these goals. I will focus for the most part on my concerns around protecting our youth.

Mr. Marco Vasquez, a former police chief in the town of Erie, Colorado, had this to say to the Standing Committee on Health:

When you increase availability, decrease perception of risk, and increase the public acceptance of any commodity, you will see increased use. Once we see that increased use, it's very difficult to keep marijuana out of the hands of our youth. We know from validated studies that marijuana use for youth under 30 years old, especially chronic use, can have an adverse effect on brain development. We also know that one in six youth become addicted to marijuana.

We've certainly seen an increased use of marijuana in Colorado, and I believe that the increased use will ultimately increase disorder and risk factors for our youth. We're already seeing signs of increased disorder within our communities.

Dr. Laurent Marcoux, president of the Canadian Medical Association also noted:

Children and youth are especially at risk of harm, given their brain's development. And they are among the highest users of cannabis in Canada.

To better protect this part of the population, we are recommending that the age of legalization be set at 21 years. The quantities and the potency of cannabis should also be more restricted to those under age 25.

Despite these increased risks, however, evidence shows that youth today do not believe cannabis has serious health effects. A comprehensive public health strategy for cannabis must therefore include education, similar to what has been done with tobacco.

Educational strategies should be implemented before, and no later than the enactment of any legislation in order to increase awareness of the harms and to conduct further research on its impact.

These are just a couple of the comments on the matter of youth consumption of cannabis. Currently, Bill C-45 recommends the age of 18 as a federal minimum, but medical professionals have testified that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. Increased use before the age of 25 increases one's risk of developing mental disorders like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety by up to 30%, compared to those who have not used marijuana under the age of 25. This is why the CMA and the other medical professionals recommended raising the age at which a person can consume marijuana to at least age 21.

Another challenge with the bill is that children ages 12 to 17 are able to possess up to five grams of marijuana. As the points I have just raised will underscore, this is ridiculous in light of the medical evidence of the harm it can cause to youth. Bill C-45 offers no provision to prevent them from selling or distributing cannabis to other 12- to 17-year-olds.

I turn now to the home grow provisions included in this bill. Bill C-45 would allow four plants per dwelling, with no height restriction on the plants. If grown in optimal conditions, this could yield as much as 600 grams of marijuana. What we heard from plenty of testimony at the health committee is that there is a great deal of apprehension around home grow. These concerns were raised by most medical groups and police forces who appeared.

For one thing, this proposal absolutely would not keep marijuana out of the hands of youth. If it is in the home, youth will have access to it. Furthermore, there is no requirement to lock up the marijuana if the home has people under the age of 18 living in it, or even just frequenting it. What we have seen in other jurisdictions is that by legalizing homegrown marijuana, that area has been hugely penetrated by organized crime. This is why the State of Washington, for example, does not allow home grow, except for medically fragile persons who cannot get to a dispensary. It has been able to reduce organized crime to less than 20% of the market.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told the health committee:

We are deluding ourselves if we think that major drug trafficking organizations will not exploit every chance they get to have a way to be legitimized through the legal market. We're seeing this in other states. We're also deluding ourselves to think that they will go away and not try to undercut the government price of cannabis. The economies rule the day here in terms of price. The lower the drug price, the more likely someone is to use, and the illegal market can easily undercut the legal market.

I want to speak for a moment about my province of Manitoba as well. The Government of Manitoba made a responsible decision to prohibit home grow in the province. This decision will cut out more of the black market and better protect children. Unfortunately, the Liberals appear poised to reject an amendment that would confirm the ability of provinces to make these sorts of localized decisions within their own territories. Quebec and Nunavut have also expressed a desire to take similar steps in their respective legislatures.

The Liberal government has thrown a lot at the provinces and territories with Bill C-45, and to reject an amendment that would help provinces better manage this transition to legal marijuana would indicate a significant lack of judgment. I hope that the Liberals will make the right choice and help provinces make the best decisions possible for their residents.

My wife is a very good cook and baker, and when she bakes a batch of cookies or cakes or brownies, not cannabis brownies, but real brownies made with cocoa, she does not put them on the counter thinking that they are not available to children. With the legislation before us, we are going to see home grow marijuana readily available to youth in kitchens, living rooms, family rooms, and dens. The ill-conceived and poorly thought-out plan of legalizing home grow operations makes one of the Liberals' priorities, which is protecting youth, completely unattainable, because it is going to be easily accessible.

When I get a prescription for pain medication after surgery, I do not take that prescription and leave it lying on the counter where it is easily accessible to children, for example, in the sunlight where it can grow. I put that prescription in the cabinet where it is inaccessible to children.

We tell children not to play with matches. We do not keep matches within the reach of children, yet we are going to have homegrown marijuana within the reach of our youth and children. We are absolutely going to be inviting them to play with this dangerous chemical.

It is irresponsible for the government to think it is reaching this objective of protecting our youth by allowing home grow operations to be legitimate and forcing the provinces to agree. It talks about provinces having the ability to set their own regulations, and indeed some of them have. I compliment my Manitoba government for establishing stricter regulations as far as the age by which possession and use will be accepted. However, not allowing the provinces to establish restrictions on home grow is irresponsible.

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1:15 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his remarks and for his hard work on committee. We always appreciate his contributions.

I was going to begin by sharing with him the provisions in Manitoba's Bill 11 regarding the prohibition on cannabis, which actually makes it an offence for the possession, consumption, and purchase of cannabis for persons under the age of majority in that province. The member is obviously aware of it, notwithstanding he expressed concern that it was somehow going to be made legal.

I would point out to the member opposite that we have acknowledged the provincial and territorial jurisdiction to place restrictions on personal cultivation and its location, to impose such things as restrictions on and requirements for fencing, security, safety, sanitation, smell abatement, and not having it in proximity to schools or other public places frequented by children. We have acknowledged the authority of provincial jurisdiction to place whatever restriction they believe are appropriate in order to regulate this substance, and the personal cultivation of this substance, only for personal use, in a safe and responsible way.

We have also acknowledged that prohibition takes away the opportunity to regulate it. Therefore, we have not said to the Province of Manitoba that it cannot regulate it in this way, but we are not changing our legislation to allow for prohibition when the evidence is overwhelming that prohibition has failings.

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, as for the age of majority, the member is slightly off there. I think Manitoba has opted to go with 19 as the age, and not 18, which is a responsible decision.

I disagree with the member very strongly that children would not have easier access to marijuana under the bill. The government should recognize the concerns the provinces have already established with the homegrown aspect of their legislation. If the provinces are identifying some serious concerns, and the Senate has identified them, why do we not go along?

Obviously, there are some experts outside of this House. I know it is hard to believe, because we think we are all experts here, but there are experts outside of this place who have very valid opinions. I think it would be wise to acknowledge some of those other opinions and to give them some of the things they need.

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, one of the issues we raised earlier was the amount of officers across the country who need training on impairment. Our police chief in Edmonton stated that it is very expensive and a huge burden on municipalities. The public safety minister has stated that the government would provide funding for this, and said, “a long way to go before the summer so we're all working on all fronts to get this adopted.... We're also working on the accreditation...testing machines”, etc., and we are going to be funding it.

However, in the main estimates, which is the spending authority for the government, there is not one single penny listed under Public Safety for funding to help municipalities or the RCMP. In the vote 40, the slush fund that the Liberals have set up, which is supposedly to get money out the door faster, there is not one penny under Public Safety to help out municipalities. In the departmental plan, which is supposed to be setting out priorities for the year, it does not mention a single result or goal for assisting municipalities in the training of officers.

I would ask my colleague, does this sound like the government, as the Minister of Public Safety says, is stepping up to help municipalities and, if so, where is all the money hidden?

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, with regard to where the money is going to come from to train all of the law enforcement officials to deal with this new epidemic we are creating, which is the excessive use of marijuana, there is no money.

We have heard at committee that it is going to cost an average of $20,000 per law enforcement individual to be trained to detect impairment by cannabis. There has been no money set aside for the RCMP or other law enforcement agencies to train their officers to properly detect and determine it.

The other thing is that there has been no legislation yet adopted, nor will it soon be adopted, that would establish limits for impairment and medically approved devices that need to be purchased by all of these police forces. That is another cost that I do not think the government has at all anticipated nor provided for.

It is reckless on the government's part to push its political agenda in trying to get the bill approved quickly. I think it needs more time. We need to make sure that the regulations are in place.

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1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to the amendments to Bill C-45, respecting the legalization of cannabis. I will be sharing my time with the member for Markham—Unionville.

There is no question that the current Liberal government is intent on pushing this bill through, despite numerous concerns voiced by experts, by law enforcement, and by Canadians across this country, including school boards, from coast to coast to coast. This is not a bill that should be forced through Parliament on a whim. As Parliament has spent many months studying the implications of this bill, many concerns and problems with the bill have been brought forward, as we have heard continuously in the last hour or so in the House. It is critically important for all Canadians that the current Liberal government work to resolve these problems, and that it listen to these concerns rather than try to push this bill through at all costs.

The Senate, as we know, has returned Bill C-45 to the House with 45 amendments, but the government has agreed to only 29 of them. The government has no plans to resolve any of the problems, which are still left unaddressed given its rejection of other crucial amendments. However, notably, the Liberals are refusing to allow provinces to determine on their own whether to ban cultivation of marijuana in individual homes. This is a big issue. Provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec have already signalled their deep concern with the negative social impacts that would occur as a result of allowing households to grow up to four marijuana plants. These provinces have concerns and they want to have the power to ban homegrown marijuana cultivation, but the current Liberal government has blatantly ignored these concerns and has said, “absolutely not”.

Most of the medical groups and the police services that have appeared before the House committees studying this bill have said they are against the provision in Bill C-45 to allow homegrown marijuana. Even if these households contain small children, even if this provision would allow organized crime to exploit homegrown marijuana production, and even if the police have said they will have serious difficulty monitoring whether people are growing no more than four plants in their homes, the government has said no to those provisions. The Liberals have shown that they care more about pushing through this bill as soon as possible than they care about public safety or about fixing the significant flaws in the bill. This action is totally unacceptable, and it also demonstrates clearly that the Liberals have their priorities backwards.

I spoke to many real estate people in my province of Saskatchewan, and actually on lobby day many of them came through our offices here, representing the Canadian real estate boards. They are also concerned. There are no landlord-tenant regulations for growing four plants in a home that maybe somebody is renting. This is something that needs to be discussed with the Canadian real estate board, and it has yet to do so.

In March of this year, I spent eight days touring various communities in Nunavut. I visited eight or nine schools on our trip, and that was really enjoyable. While I was meeting with the people of these communities, I heard many serious concerns with this bill, and how it would negatively impact the well-being of these northern communities. We should say right off the bat that there are no health centres in Nunavut for people struggling with addictions. I heard time and again there is not one facility in Nunavut that handles addictions, so when people have a problem they will be flown either to Winnipeg or all the way to Montreal. These people want to stay in their communities, yet they have no addiction facilities. Perhaps we should start there with at least one addiction facility in Nunavut and work out from there, but no, this bill will pass and we will see the horrific incidents that will happen time and again in Nunavut because of this. While the Liberals are taking no steps to mitigate the negative consequences that this bill would have in these communities in Nunavut, many of the elders are really concerned with this cannabis bill and they have not been consulted.

I found that first-hand when I toured each village up in Nunavut. Many of the elders are really concerned with this cannabis bill, and they have not been consulted. The government claims it consults indigenous peoples, and yet seven or eight of the Inuit communities I saw had not been consulted on this bill as of March.

The government wants to make sure at all costs that provincial and territorial governments will not be able to ban the homegrown marijuana plants within their own jurisdictions. This is not at all helpful, and it does nothing to address the many concerns I heard during my visits to these communities in late February and March. These people are being ignored by this Liberal government, because the Liberals' priority is to push this bill through at any cost.

The role of Parliament, of course, is to ensure that bills passed are for the betterment of all Canadians and do not cause harm to people across the country. Actually, the way in which Bill C-45 is being handled by the current government suggests in no way, shape, or form that the best interests of Canadians are being attended to.

We have talked to many people in this country about the bill. The number one consideration is the education aspect of it. In December, the government began its advertising about cannabis legislation. Where should it have started? I would think it should have contacted the Canadian school boards for a start. Does the government not think we should be in every classroom in this country talking about the good and the bad about cannabis? The government has not done anything at the school board level in this country.

I know this because I have a daughter in the city of Saskatoon who is a teacher. She is teaching grades 7 and 8. They have not even discussed this bill, and it is coming forth right away. I also have a son in Alberta who teaches at a junior college in Lethbridge. They have not even talked about this. These are kids in grade 9, 10, and 11, yet these schools have not talked about this bill and how it will be worked out in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

When the minister brought this bill forward, we were told that a vast education program would come with it. We have seen one or two ads on television, but let us get to the grassroots and to the kids who are in grade 6, 7, 8, and beyond. Why would we not talk about this bill in schools? Why would we not give each school in this country some literature so they can talk about the harmful effects of cannabis? The government has done none of it.

I was a school board trustee for nine and a half years. I asked the government questions time and time again about the education of this bill. Representatives told me it had hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on education. It has done next to nothing.

Schools are petrified that come September, they are the ones that will have to deal with this. They will have to deal with seven-year-olds coming to school with cannabis in their pocket, and yet none of the education has been done.

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1:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, come on.

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1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

What does the member mean by “Come on”, Madam Speaker? In our schools in Saskatoon that has happened already. That is how much members know about this. They have no idea what goes on in our communities, that we are trying to give our students in elementary school and secondary school better lives. Instead, the government is just pushing Bill C-45 ahead without any consultation with the people who it affects most of all, which is our young people.

Shame on the government. It has not done the consultation it said it was going to do. It has not reached out to the Canadian School Boards Association. I know this because I have talked to the Saskatchewan school boards. The government has done nothing. Shame on it for pushing Bill C-45 without talking to the people who it affects the most, which is our kids. They are our future.

I cannot support this bill without the consultation that the government said it was starting months ago. The government has done nothing and it should be ashamed. There is no way those on this side are going to support Bill C-45.

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1:30 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart LiberalParliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism

Madam Speaker, one thing you mentioned in your speech is that you do not feel that this—

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1:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I do want to remind the Parliamentary Secretary that she is to address her questions and comments to the Chair.

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1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Madam Speaker, one thing the member opposite mentioned in his speech was that he did not feel outreach had been done, and that we are not talking to students about cannabis. I have heard this before. I have a 15-year-old daughter in high school now, and I said to her, “Listen, I have heard from some colleagues that they are not hearing about this educational piece we are doing on cannabis. Have you heard anything about it?” She said to me that it was in her news feed all the time on all the social media forums.

I would just like to comment that we are not the audience at which this education plan is directed, so it is quite possible that my colleagues are not seeing the impact of this education in their own news feeds. However, it is happening.

How does my colleague across the way think we should best educate the students about the concerns we have with cannabis, about its proper use, and about the legislation that is coming through?

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1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, not everybody follows Facebook; not everyone follows Twitter. What does the member think this government should have done back in December, as it was proposing this bill to come forward this year?

Does the member not think it should have reached out to the Canadian School Boards Association? Does the member not think it should have reached out to all school divisions in this country, with some literature, with some pamphlets, with some education on it, or maybe even a video or two?

That would seem to be the wise thing to do. We just heard from the hon. member that the government has done none of this. It is relying on Facebook and Twitter. Is that not disgusting, that the government has never once gone into the schools in this country to tell people about the effects of this cannabis bill, Bill C-45?

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1:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, it would be highly irresponsible for anyone to actually believe that, today, there is not cannabis in our classrooms. That is the reality of the situation in North America, in the U.S., in Canada, and in the western world, nowhere do we have a higher usage by young people of cannabis, in one way or another.

Today we have gangs that are selling cannabis to those 12- and 13-year-olds. By legalizing and regulating cannabis, we will help young people and will take hundreds of millions of dollars away from criminal elements in our society. We will be able to use that money better, whether it is in health care or whatever else it might be.

Would my friend across the way not at the very least acknowledge what the rest of Canadian society already knows, that there is already a general awareness and usage of cannabis among young people, virtually higher usage than in any other country in the western world?

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1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, I would acknowledge that there is marijuana in every school in this country. There is no question about that. Does that make it right? Of course it does not make it right.

What are we going to do to talk about the health of the cannabis bill that is coming forward? I question it. I still think we will have an underground economy in marijuana in our country, and I do not think this bill talks about that at all. We have some issues here with this bill. It has been fast-tracked. We all know that. I just do not think the government has done its due diligence.

One of the questions I would like to ask the hon. member is about reserves in this country that control their own police forces. They have not been consulted at all. These are police forces within indigenous communities. They do not have the money to do training on cannabis, and yet the government is going through with this. First nations, on reserves, have said loudly that they wanted in on this. They want training, and yet there is nothing from the public services minister. There is nothing that will give police on reserves, that are run by indigenous people, the right to do this.

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1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to once again speak on an issue that I and many Canadians are deeply concerned about. I rise to speak against Bill C-45. This bill would legalize marijuana in Canada, a dangerous drug that is nothing less than damaging and addictive. I have been very clear that I am against this piece of legislation. I have taken the time to listen to experts from all backgrounds, and the findings continue to be the same: Marijuana is dangerous and Canada needs to think twice before going through with this bill. The Liberals really do not seem to get it.

Let me remind us all of the facts. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 severely impacts brain development. This means that this drug should not be made available to young people. In Colorado, where marijuana is legal, there have been cases of elementary school students consuming brownies containing marijuana and showing up high at school, as a result of how accessible the drug is in their homes. We are now beginning to see that happen in Canada. People have a misconception that marijuana is already legal.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. In Oshawa last month, on two different occasions, marijuana snacks were brought into schools in the form of gummy bears and cookies. The government refuses to think of our children. This is wrong. Unfortunately, the Liberals continue to put their political agenda above the safety of Canadians and are failing to consider the consequences. Worst of all, our police force is underfunded, unequipped, and not properly trained to react to an influx of drugs into our communities.

When it comes to health and safety, Canadians deserve the best. If we look at the example of Colorado again, Colorado is already regretting its decision to legalize marijuana. Just last month, we heard the Colorado governor say that he would not rule out banning marijuana once again. We should not make the same mistake as Colorado.

Many Canadians are deeply worried. The constituents in Markham—Unionville have told me countless times how concerned they are about the consequences of allowing marijuana to flow freely into our communities.

I will remain on the right side of this issue. The legalization of marijuana is a serious matter. I do not understand why the government refuses to look at all the facts. It has an arbitrary deadline in mind and is continuing full steam ahead. The Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana would make Canada the first developed country in the world to do so. That fact alone should make us pause.

Why are we signing up to be the largest social experiment of the 21st century, when all the experts are telling us to slow down? I would have hoped that instead of politicizing the issue, the Prime Minister would take into consideration the many concerns presented by health experts, first responders, community leaders, and residents. Instead, the Prime Minister has opted to use everything at his disposal to rush Bill C-45 into law.

The evidence is clear. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals. Many of these are the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke and cause serious harm to youth brain development. There is no doubt about it: Marijuana is not safe. The misguided idea pushed by the Liberals that recreational use of this drug is harmless and should be legalized reinforces a misconception that marijuana is harmless. It would result in the normalization of marijuana use, for which our young people will pay dearly.

Countless medical professionals have testified that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 increases one's risk of developing mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety by up to 30%, compared to those who have not used marijuana under the age of 25.

The government cannot go through with this bill.

I have heard loud and clear from my riding that people are concerned about the negative consequences that legalizing marijuana would have on our community and our youth. They are worried about what it would do to the value of their homes. However, the Liberals just keep going.

This is a piece of legislation that pertains to an issue very close to me. Marijuana is a dangerous drug. With all the pro-marijuana publicity lately, it can be hard for many Canadians to remember that marijuana is indeed damaging and addictive.

Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children. Elected representatives can and should provide guidance on this drug to reflect the views of all Canadians. Let us all remember that we are talking about the health and safety of Canadians, and they deserve better. Let us not rush through the legislation. We need to do what is right for all Canadians. The provinces, municipalities, and police forces are not ready to implement this legislation.

I have said many times before that I oppose the legislation entirely. I choose to listen to the concerns raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials. I want to advocate for the voices that are not heard in the legislation and for those who say that the government's plan is being rushed through without proper planning or consideration of the negative consequences of such complicated legislation. The passing of Bill C-45 would lead to negative repercussions at the global level.

The government claims that the legislation will control the drug, but in reality it would allow the drug to get out of control, especially when we look at the issue of home grow. I really just cannot believe it. If marijuana is in the home, youth will have access to it. We have already seen this happen. Why will the government not look at the bill for what it really is, a big mistake? We cannot normalize this drug. We should not legalize it. Our children will pay the price.

I was speaking to the police chief of York region. He is definitely against this. He asked me to ask the member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest what side he was on for the 40 years he was in law enforcement, compared to now.

There is no money. For York region alone, it will cost $54 million over three years. The previous Liberal provincial government had promised up to 60%, and 40% will be taken by the local residents of York region. Is that fair?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to the question put to me by my friend from Markham—Unionville. I was on the side of protecting our kids. I was on the side of public safety. I was on the side of fighting organized crime for 40 years, and I still am.

I would like to correct a couple of things. Perhaps the member opposite is simply not aware. He said that the police are underfunded for this. That is simply, patently false and incorrect. I am sure the member would be reassured by the knowledge that our government has committed $274 million to fund the police. For the first time, that includes receiving training and access to technology.

He made reference to the York Regional Police. In recognition of municipal police services, we made $81 million available for the training and equipping of municipal police services. That will be done through the provinces, so perhaps he could direct his concerns to the new provincial government in Ontario.

Finally, we also gave up one half of the federal excise tax, in a 75-25 split, so the provinces would have more money to supply municipalities to address their costs. Therefore, the member's remarks are perhaps not adequately informed about the facts of the funding that is available to law enforcement. I take it as well—

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Unfortunately, I have to allow for other questions.

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, from what I understand, the total share of this $80 million or $90 million is only $300,000 over three years. If we divide it, 80% of the money goes toward federal forces, for training of the RCMP and other agencies, and only 20% goes toward this, as I am told. Therefore, the total share is $300,000 over three years. However, the cost to implement this federal bill is $54 million. There is a $21.6-million shortfall, which will be taken up by local residents, such as those of York region. In many cases, their taxes are up in the 54% tax bracket.

There are many other issues, such as enforcement in relation to homegrown plants. Police officers can hardly do the work they have been hired for at this moment. Will they be expected to go door to door to check the number of plants?

I also learned from the police chief that the conviction rate is only 40% because judges are throwing the cases out. The residents say that these four, six, or 10 plants are ready, and the others will be available in one week. There are seeds and plants, and 10 different crops coming up in their homes.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for his thoughtful deliberation on this file. However, I patently disagree with him on a number of issues he raised.

He suggested that this bill would lead to the situation getting out of control and that it would hurt our youth. Those things are happening right now. They are not happening just in Canada; they are happening as much in Canada as anywhere else in the world where countries are tracking statistics on the rate of cannabis consumption by young people.

Why is the member opposite so committed to the status quo, when it has failed our youth and has diverted profits to criminal organizations? Why would we defend a system that has proven to be a failure?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, why legalize it? Why not decriminalize it? I agree that this is a big issue, and now the government will make it worse by making marijuana available at every street corner. Only 150 stores are proposed nationwide for the first, second, and third year. People think that it has already been legalized. This bill would make the situation worse. There would be more crimes committed. The police do not have the equipment, the training, or the money to enforce it. How are the police going to enforce this?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, a good way to start off is to comment on a question from across the floor, which was something like why legalize instead of just decriminalizing it.

With respect to decriminalization of cannabis, there are two entities I am aware of that support it. One would be the Conservative Party of Canada. The other would be the many different criminal elements in society, because it is the criminal element that would benefit the most if all we did was decriminalize cannabis. Let us think about it. As opposed to having a criminal charge, one would get a fine. That is what the Conservative Party would like to happen. I know that the gangs in the north end of Winnipeg would love to have a policy of that nature.

Through legalization, we are saying that we want to have a real, tangible impact on two things in particular which, for me, are the highest priorities. One is the use of cannabis by young people in our society today. This legislation would go much farther than anything we have ever seen in this House in the last 20-plus years in terms of taking a more responsible approach. I suggest that we would actually have fewer young people engaged in cannabis as a direct result of this legislation. I will give a specific example.

The other thing we are going to see is a lot of disappointed individuals who use cannabis as an illegal way to acquire great sums of money. We are talking about criminal activities that generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year through selling cannabis to youth in every region of our country. People should put themselves in the position of a young 14-year-old or 15-year-old attending a school anywhere in our country who is told that he or she can make money by taking a bag of marijuana and selling it to their friends or siblings.

There is a lot of peer pressure for young people, and the motivation is often to go out and generate pocket money. Ultimately this goes back to the gang activities we often see in our communities. That is what is actually happening today in our high schools and elementary schools. There are individuals who, through criminal activities, are being motivated to get young people more engaged. As a per capita percentage, we have more young people engaged in cannabis than any other country in the western world. There is so much we could be doing to have a real positive impact.

I am very pleased with the amount of consultation that has taken place. One member of the Conservative Party said that very few people know about it and the member is concerned about the school boards and so forth. I would suggest there are very few issues which have generated the type of attention this one has. In fact, it was a major platform issue for the Liberal Party of Canada going into the last federal election. It has been covered by many different media outlets. People make reference to social media. It has been included in householders across the country.

I would find it very difficult to believe that there is any elected official let alone members of the general public in Canada who are not aware of it. People are very much attune to and aware of what is taking place in anticipation of cannabis being legalized. I do not share the concerns the Conservatives have that people are not aware or that there is just not enough attention being given to the issue.

Whether it is the bureaucrats at the health or public safety departments, or the ministers in particular, I must point out that in my many years of being a parliamentarian, never have I seen an individual lead the process on legislation, and be as open and transparent as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health. The parliamentary secretary has done an outstanding job.

I want to commend members in both the House and the Senate, as well as all the other stakeholders for the outreach and information flow to ensure that this legislation is being done in the right way.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is the House ready for the question?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The question is on the motion.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those opposed will please say nay.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, the recorded division stands deferred until later this day at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

Youth Action NowStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Madam Speaker, we were saddened last week to learn that Paul Dewar, the former MP for Ottawa Centre, has terminal cancer.

I met Paul in 2005, shortly after coming to Ottawa to work in the public service. He was a first-time NDP candidate fighting to hold Ottawa Centre after Ed Broadbent retired. I volunteered on the campaign and saw Paul's kindness, generosity, and effectiveness. We were proud to have helped elect him and even prouder of his work as an MP. Paul was a champion for the local community he represented, but also took a much broader view, including a global perspective as foreign affairs critic.

Paul gave real meaning to the expression “think globally, act locally” and is doing so again by organizing Youth Action Now to promote grassroots change driven by young people. Please support this initiative by attending the launch at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow at the National Arts Centre.

Workplace SafetyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the collapse of the lronworkers Memorial Bridge connecting the north shore of Vancouver with the city of Vancouver.

On June 17, 1958, a temporary arm holding the fifth span of the bridge collapsed, sending 79 bridge workers into the Burrard Inlet. Nineteen lost their lives in the accident and 20 more were hospitalized with injuries. This was, and remains, one of the worst industrial accidents in British Columbia's history.

Yesterday, lronworkers Local 97 hosted a memorial at the bridge. In remembering this tragedy, we must also remember all other Canadians across the country who have been injured or killed on the job. We must honour their memory by rededicating ourselves to ensuring that we learn from these tragedies and work to ensure the safety of all work sites going forward.

Summer ActivitiesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this summer Simcoe—Grey promises to be full of activities.

Graduation ceremonies start this week at the high schools in my riding. I am proud to provide one student at each school a scholarship in my name for civic involvement.

On June 23, I will be hosting round tables to reintroduce the children's fitness tax credit, which was shamefully cut by the Liberals in their last budget, as well as revisions to the Canada Health Act that will make the government more accountable to patients and take the politics out of health care.

On July 1, I look forward to celebrating Canada Day with local leaders like Pam Irwin, Charlie Tatham, deputy warden Terry Dowdall, and Jim Wilson, our MPP.

The July Elvis festival in Collingwood draws people from all over the world, and our 45th Annual Alliston Potato Festival is one that I will share with great volunteers like Ken Burns.

Add farmers markets, beach days, and cottage life to all of the above and I can tell members that life in Simcoe—Grey over the summer is going to be outstanding.

I hope that everyone here will enjoy a fabulous summer season.

Father's DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud and honoured to stand today and recognize my Italian heritage and my father. Both have contributed enormously to the woman who I am today.

Growing up in an Italian household taught me the true sense of the words “love” and “hospitality”. Family is integral to the Italian culture, where love for children, grandchildren, and all family members is second to none. I am immensely proud of our Italian Canadian community and its incredible contributions to Canada.

It is in this spirit and following this Father's Day weekend that I also recognize my amazing father. Words cannot describe the effect his life, his love, and his support have had on me.

I wish to take this opportunity to wish all dads a happy Father's Day. The impact fathers have on their children and grandchildren lasts for generations.

Search and RescueStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, today my heart is with the Tla-o-qui-aht people and especially the families of three young men lost at sea off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Friday. Two other lives were saved, thanks to local citizens.

Dozens of private boats, marine tour operators, crews from across Vancouver Island, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Arrowsmith, Comox Valley, and Port Alberni, assisted local search and rescue, and so many others joined the search. As coastal people, we respond in times like this with compassion and sacrifice. Gas money is raised, food is carried to the dock, local leaders give comfort to the community, and we pull together.

I ask members to please join me in thanking the first responders and residents of Tofino, Ahousaht, and Hesquiaht for standing with the Tla-o-qui-aht people in this time of need. I also ask members to send their prayers and love to the families of the missing and to the many still on the water searching for loved ones.

Scarborough NorthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shaun Chen Liberal Scarborough North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year, the people of Scarborough North celebrated not only Canada's 150th anniversary, but also the 40th anniversary of Woodside Square.

Opened in 1977, the mall has grown to over 90 retailers and service providers offering outstanding products and customer service. More than just a mall, Woodside is a community hub. For local seniors gathered in the morning, the shopping centre provides community tai chi classes that benefit the mind, body, and spirit. For children and youth, various shows and activities are organized throughout the year to help keep young minds engaged in positive ways. For non-profits like the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services, mall patrons have generously donated thousands of dollars for a worthy cause.

This June 30, I invite constituents to join me at Woodside Square for my annual Canada Day weekend barbecue. Today, however, I congratulate Woodside Square on an amazing 40 years and wish it many more years of success.

2013 Calgary FloodStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the largest natural disaster in the city of Calgary's history. It was the great flood of 2013. Contrary to what the Minister of Environment and Climate Change continues to try to tell us, this flood was not caused by climate change. It was caused by a heavy late-spring rainfall that melted a large snow pack in the mountains.

This flood caused billions of dollars of damage, but it also resulted in thousands of Calgarians helping neighbours in the clean-up. As a result, Calgary, on the second weekend of June, always celebrates neighbour day. That happened this past Saturday, where communities held barbecues and neighbours held block parties.

I would ask Canadians to consider, in cities and communities across the country, emulating what Calgary has done because we never know when we will need our neighbours' help.

Supply ManagementStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Casey Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, dairy farming and supply management are important to the economy in my riding of Cumberland—Colchester in Nova Scotia. I have seen the benefits of supply management first-hand, not just for rural Canadians but for all Canadians. Consumers across the country enjoy top-quality dairy because of the very high standards placed on our producers.

Lately, dairy families have raised concerns regarding the future of Canada's supply management system in a renegotiated NAFTA treaty. It is important that supply management is protected in order to preserve the livelihoods of rural Nova Scotians and in fact all rural Canadians.

I want to assure the farmers of Cumberland—Colchester that I stand behind supply management 100%, and I am proud to be part of a government that is fighting every day to support our dairy farmers and our supply management system. I want to thank the very distinguished Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for his tireless commitment to supply management.

Sickle Cell DiseaseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Sickle Cell Day. Also known as sickle cell anemia, this is the most common genetic blood disorder in the world.

Every year around the world, over 300,000 children are born with this disease. It causes severe intermittent pain crises throughout the sufferer's life. Sickle cell disease is incurable, but adequate medical care can prevent the symptoms.

I commend the medical community, sickle cell associations, and individuals, such as Wilson Sanon, who help parents and children like Megan St-Cloud of Quebec City for their worthy contributions to fighting this disease.

I invite all members of the House to support the fight against sickle cell disease.

Blood DonationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am always honoured to talk about extraordinary people from my riding, Mégantic—L'Érable, but today I want to acknowledge the municipality of Plessisville.

Not only do we boast the biggest Relay for Life, but Plessisville has also set the record for the most successful blood drive, thanks to the students of Polyvalente La Samare.

On April 30, 1,091 people answered the call and donated blood. The response was so awesome that Héma-Québec could not even accommodate all the donors. The blood drive was applauded internationally at a special ceremony in Dallas, Texas, on May 11.

Hats off to the 56 students on the committee who were inspired by the story of the event's honorary chair, Serge-André Tardif.

Hats off to François Gagnon and Nathalie Fillion, the main organizers and champions of the blood drive.

Hats off to all the volunteers. Thank you for being with us in Ottawa today. Thank you to all the donors.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House of Commons and all Canadians for whom giving blood means giving life, I want to congratulate and extend heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the Polyvalente La Samare blood drive.

All Community GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mary Ng Liberal Markham—Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour of attending the opening ceremonies of the All Community Games.

Led by Alan Cui, a 13-year-old boy, I sang This Land is Your Land among a course of young voices at the Bill Crothers Secondary School to mark the opening of the All Community Games.

What an incredible personification of Canada. Regardless of the languages we speak, the cultures we are part of, or the faiths that we practice, in that song and throughout the games, everyone was unified in calling this land home. That is why our government has invested in levelling the playing field so women and girls, children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities and people in indigenous communities can participate fully in sport.

The All Community Games, a multicultural celebration of athletics and sport, have been led by the passion of chairman Joseph Fong for the last 14 years.

I was honoured to be a part of that day.

Edson MosqueStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Albertans and all Canadians are standing in solidarity today with members of the Muslim community following a cowardly and appalling act of arson against the Edson mosque. An attack on any place of worship is an attack on the entire faith community. For this attack to come so quickly after the end of the holy month of Ramadan makes it all the more heinous.

I know I speak for the House when I express my gratitude to first responders whose swift actions extinguished the fire quickly.

Our country is stronger because of its diversity, and members of all communities and all faiths must feel safe and be safe in Canada.

The Muslim community, and everyone who may be shaken or frightened in light of this attack, should know that the government stands with them, their neighbours stand with them, and all Canadians who believe in the strength of our diversity stand with them today and every day.

Shukran.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, every morning, families across Canada wake up not knowing where the remains of their loved ones are hidden. Convicted killers who conceal the remains of their victims so the families cannot have closure are committing a despicable crime.

One such family, the McCann family, has been waiting nearly eight years for answers, and it is not alone. The family wants to know where convicted killer Travis Vader hid the bodies of it parents. Mr. Vader will be eligible for parole in just a few years, without ever having to give a clue as to where he hid the remains of his victims.

Families deserve better, and that is why I am working on legislation to ensure that those who refuse to reveal the location of their victims' remains pay the penalty. I hope all parliamentarians will support the legislation to ensure that the families of victims of homicide receive the justice and closure they rightly deserve.

Areo-FireStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sherry Romanado Liberal Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to visit the premises of Areo-Fire, a company in Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne that specializes in fire protection equipment and services.

During my visit, I saw a demonstration of the T-Rex 115-foot aerial articulating platform, which was just delivered to Canadian Forces Base Bagotville.

It is one of 11 aerial fire trucks that the Department of National Defence has ordered from the Longueuil company. Five vehicles have already been delivered to bases and units across Canada, from Greenwood in Nova Scotia to Comox in British Columbia.

I would like to congratulate Areo-Fire for winning this $21 million dollar contract, and I thank them for keeping our soldiers safe.

United Ways of Saskatoon and Area and ReginaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week, the United Ways of Saskatoon and Area and Regina launched the province-wide 211 phone, chat, and text line, connecting everyone in Saskatchewan to over 5,000 helping services. With a truly province-wide connection, everyone in the province can pick up the phone to connect with the help they are searching for when dealing with life's challenges. The 211 service connects people with professionals ready to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 100 languages, including 17 indigenous languages.

Despite best intentions of governments and community, finding the service that helps is a daunting task. When individuals and families find services quickly and easily, they are better equipped to meet life's challenges, families and individuals feel connected, and our entire community prospers.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating the United Ways of Saskatoon and Area and Regina on launching the 211 phone line, helping citizens of Saskatchewan access help when they need it.

Edson MosqueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked to hear that someone had tried to start a fire outside of the mosque in my hometown of Edson. The mosque is a centre in our community for a large number of Muslim residents and is utilized by those travelling through the area. I have been there and have attended prayer sessions at the facility. We have had a mosque in Edson since 2003.

Edson is an inclusive community and we have many different religious and cultural organizations and have always intermingled and respected each other. Religious beliefs and freedoms must be respected, and as Canadians we will not tolerate any group or individual who attacks the rights of religious groups in our communities.

The Muslim community in Edson is a strong part of the cultural and economic fabric of our town. This action is not acceptable no matter where in our nation.

Gun and Gang ViolenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, gun and gang violence has plagued the streets of Surrey and Lower Mainland. Most recently, it hit the community hard with the deaths of two teenagers, Jason Jhutty and Jesse Bhangal, who were killed in a brutal targeted hit.

This tragic incident brought thousands of parents, youth, and community leaders together and erupted into a “Wake Up Surrey” rally against gang violence. This community has called for help, called for action, and wants this menace that has plagued its streets for far too long to end.

We live in a country with some of the best minds, lawmakers, and law enforcement personnel available than probably anywhere in the world, and the constituents of Surrey demand they work together to end gun violence on our streets.

It is time for all levels of government, community stakeholders, parents, and police forces to work together to ensure lives are not lost to meaningless violence.

We must do more.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister made his MPs vote all night to avoid answering one simple question. He made them vote all night because he did not want to be transparent and give Canadians an answer he already had in his possession.

Since the Prime Minister knows how much his carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families, why does he refuse to tell them?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been very open and transparent with Canadians about our plan, how it would work, and how it would protect the environment and create economic growth at the same time. The details are available on our websites. Our experts have done the math, and we are being completely open with our plan showing how we are going to fight climate change. What Canadians do not know is that the Conservatives have no plan on climate change. They refuse to release their action plan for fighting climate change. That is what Canadians do not know.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the black ink he used to redact his own officials' documents certainly was not transparent. We learned last week, the lengths that this Prime Minister will go to to keep the true costs of the carbon tax from Canadians.

We do know that home heating and gasoline prices will go way up under his scheme. Millionaire Liberals like the Prime Minister might not mind paying higher gas prices, but hard-working Canadian families do. Will the Prime Minister finally come clean and tell Canadians how much his carbon tax will cost them?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite likes to talk about those votes last week, but he does not want to talk about the fact that the Conservatives voted against funding for clean technology and green infrastructure, and they opposed funding for western economic diversification. That is on top of not understanding that the economy and the environment need to go hand in hand.

We have been clear and transparent, and the details are on our websites, in our approach to creating a pan-Canadian approach to fighting climate change. What is unclear is what the Conservatives will do. They have no plan to fight climate change. That is the climate change cover-up.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a new episode of The New York Times podcast “Caliphate” tells of horrific crimes committed by a Canadian named Abu Huzaifa. He admits to committing murder on behalf of ISIS. He said that he is becoming more adamant in his ideology, and yet he is still allowed to roam free in Toronto. Meanwhile, the Liberals are taking away the tools our security agencies need to deal with terrorists who return to Canada.

How is that supposed to keep Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Naturally, Mr. Speaker, I have a bit of a hard time hearing that from the Conservatives, who made nearly $400 million in cuts to the agency that protects our borders, the CFSA, when they had a majority. What is more, on this side of the House, we respect the work of our security agencies; they defend our laws and principles and do whatever it takes to keep Canadians safe. We will not use the work of our police officers to play the politics of fear.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's legislation that is cutting back on the tools that law enforcement agencies have to protect Canadians precisely from people like this terrorist.

This terrorist described a meeting he had with CSIS. He said that they had a picture of him shooting a gun in Syria, and that his face was fully visible. His admissions should meet the threshold to lay a terrorism charge under the Criminal Code.

Why is the Prime Minister failing to take action to make Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our security agencies take all potential threats very seriously and use the full tool kit of measures, including surveillance, the no-fly list, revoking passports, and laying criminal charges, when sufficient evidence exists.

The expertise of Canadian security and law enforcement professionals is highly respected and sought out around the world. They actively engage in identifying, monitoring, and responding to potential threats. Canadians can have confidence in their work.

Our security services are doing their work, in spite of over $1 billion in cuts suffered under the Harper government.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's own legislation that is taking the tools out of the hands of CSIS and the RCMP.

We are talking about an individual who said, “I am becoming more adamant in my ideology.” He said that it is “my own business to deal and overcome the war crimes.” This counsellor for Abu Huzaifa has given up. He cites that he has become ever more radical in his ideology.

All the while, he is walking free in Canada. Why is the Prime Minister taking away the tools from our law enforcement agencies that keep Canadians safe?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are doing exactly the opposite. We are investing in our security agencies and our security professionals. We are enabling our police officers and national security agents to do their work in a way that Canadians would expect. Unlike the Conservatives, who for years politicized, divided Canadians, and then quietly withdrew funding from the agencies that needed support, we are actually investing in them. We are giving them the tools they need, and we are assuring Canadians that we will not play politics with their safety, that we will instead focus on keeping them safe.

PovertyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the most recent report of Campaign 2000, 17.4% of children, or nearly one in five, live in poverty in Canada. That is completely unacceptable, and all the more so, since more children are living in poverty now than when this Parliament voted to eliminate child poverty in 1989.

That is because 29 years ago, led by Ed Broadbent, Parliament unanimously pledged to end child poverty. However, the facts are the facts: child poverty is getting worse. Ending child poverty is possible. When will the government demonstrate leadership and take this problem seriously?

PovertyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I share the passion of the member opposite for this issue and will highlight that those Campaign 2000 numbers, which are so alarming, indicate that action needs to be taken. Those Campaign 2000 numbers were from 2015, and that is why we brought in a Canada child benefit immediately after we were elected that is lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty, a Canada child benefit, by the way, that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families, and that the Conservatives and the NDP voted against. We are going to continue to fight child poverty.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past six weeks, 2,000 children have been forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Trump administration's practice is inhumane and forces children to pay the price for internal political conflict. Today, the United Nations condemned the situation and urged Washington to stop this cruel and inhumane practice immediately.

I have one simple question for the Prime Minister. Does he still believe that the United States is a safe third country for asylum seekers?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we will not play politics with this issue. This is an extremely difficult situation, and we know just how important it is not to get things confused. The United Nations has determined that the United States is a safe third country for asylum seekers, but at the same time, we need to do more to protect vulnerable migrants around the world. Canada is always ready to contribute, and we will continue to do so.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the United States is forcibly separating migrant children from their parents when they enter the U.S. to claim asylum. This cruel and unusual practice is Trump's way of stopping migrants from crossing. The U.S. also announced that it would no longer provide asylum in cases involving domestic and gang violence. These practices are blatant violations of every international law.

Does the Prime Minister still really believe that the United States is a safe country—?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning, I have been very clear on the role that Canadians expect of me: to stand up firmly and unequivocally for our values, for our interests, to protect Canadians, and make sure we are doing well, as well as having a constructive relationship with the United States. That is what we are going to remain focused on. You may have noticed, Mr. Speaker, that over the past years, we have been very strong in our advocacy, and not just within Canada, to be welcoming as a country for refugees and asylum seekers, but also to promote that around the world, to encourage other countries to understand that people arriving on our shores are a potential benefit to our communities and our economy.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a news flash for the Prime Minister. The human rights commissioner condemned this policy and calls it unconscionable. This is destroying lives. If Canada does not step up, then we are complicit. Nearly 2,000 children have been sent to mass detention centres, and over 100 of them are under four years old.

Will the Prime Minister stand up for migrant children and suspend the safe third country agreement?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians always stand up for human rights everywhere around the world, and we will continue to. What we will not do is to play politics with this. We understand how important it is to be firm and unequivocal as we protect and support human rights around the world, and we will continue to do that, both by example and by engagement with the world. That is what Canadians expect of this government, and that is what we will continue to do.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal carbon tax is really not a good idea, but what is worse is the cover-up around it. The Liberal Party is hiding sensitive, important information from Canadians. The Liberals have a document in their possession that says:

...the potential impact of a carbon price on households' consumption expenditures across the income distribution. Key findings are:

It starts well but ends badly, because the findings are all redacted. Not one word can be read. The Liberal government knows the truth, but it is hiding it.

Why is the government not being straight with Canadians about the Liberal carbon tax?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, climate change and its effects on Canadians should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, whenever climate change comes up, the Conservatives continue to show that they are all talk and no action.

Last week, they voted against more than $1 million in investment to support our parks and protected areas. Partisanship cannot hide the truth: the Conservatives have never had a serious plan.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is always funny to hear someone read out French expressions he does not understand, like calling the Conservatives all talk and no action. Let me tell you something—

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I would advise the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent to choose his words carefully. I hope he did not mean to denigrate anyone's proficiency in either language.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I misspoke. Everyone knows full well that I am very respectful of people who speak both languages, but they still need to know what they are talking about.

The parliamentary secretary made reference to the fact that the Conservatives were all talk and no action. However, as a government we achieved results and managed to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2%, without the Liberal carbon tax. The government also knows how much the Liberal carbon tax is going to cost.

Why is the government hiding information from Canadians in English and in French?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In English or in French, the hon. member has to direct his comments to the Chair.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we understand very well that climate change is a major issue. We are working very hard to address and combat climate change.

We have developed, with the provinces and territories, a comprehensive plan to address climate change that includes a range of regulatory measures, a price on carbon pollution, and investments in infrastructure. We are addressing climate change in a way that will strengthen the Canadian economy and ensure an appropriate and thoughtful future for our Canadian children.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is about the carbon tax cover-up. The Prime Minister said the carbon tax would buy a mythical social licence to build new pipelines. However, not one inch of new pipeline has been built under the Liberals. They have killed three viable privately funded pipelines and forced taxpayers to pay for their failures. Other major oil and gas countries and competitors are not self-imposing harmful carbon taxes. The Liberals will not even say how much their carbon tax will cost Canadians and their families. When will the Prime Minister finally come clean and end the carbon tax cover-up?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that climate change is real. They expect us to take strong action, and that is exactly what we are doing. The Conservatives would rather keep the House up all night playing politics instead of working for Canadians. They voted against millions of dollars in funding to protect the environment and invest in our future, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, showing national leadership on climate change, and transitioning to a low-carbon innovative economy. Canadians know that the environment and the economy go together in the modern world. Canadians deserve better than what the Conservatives are offering, and better is exactly what we plan to give them.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

What is even worse, Mr. Speaker, is that the carbon tax will hurt middle-class Canadians. It will disproportionately harm people on low incomes and the working poor and Canadians on fixed incomes. It unfairly targets provinces that most directly rely on agriculture and on energy. The Liberals actually do know how much it will cost Canadians and the disastrous impacts that will cascade through the whole economy, but they are doing everything in their power to cover it all up.

When will the Liberals come clean, end the carbon tax cover-up, and tell Canadians how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost them?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, climate change and its impact upon Canadians should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, the Conservatives continue to demonstrate that when it comes to the environment, they are happy to put politics ahead of the interests of Canadians.

Last week they opposed critical funding for the low carbon economy fund, the pan-Canadian framework, the freshwater action plan, and the federal contaminated sites action plan. Making climate change a partisan issue cannot hide the fact that the Conservatives have no plan to address this critical, fundamental issue.

Our government is taking strong action to address climate change and grow the economy in a thoughtful way.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is also on the carbon tax cover-up.

The day after the Liberals were elected, Finance Canada produced this document, saying, about the carbon tax cost, “These...costs would then cascade through the economy in the form of higher prices, thus leading all firms and consumers to pay more for goods and services”. The memo focuses on the potential impact of the carbon price on households' consumption expenditures across the income distribution. Key findings are blacked out.

Will the government end the carbon tax cover-up and tell us what is in this document?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government is investing in opportunities for middle-class Canadians. We have a climate plan that will grow the economy and address the issues around greenhouse gas emissions. That is what Canadians elected us to do, and our plan is working. Carbon pollution is dropping, and our economy is growing. Since forming government, we have created 60% more jobs than the Conservatives did in the same time in office.

The Conservatives are stuck in the past. Last Friday, they voted against providing money for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency delivering high-quality environmental assessments for major projects.

Unlike the Conservatives, who are quick to criticize, as they have no solutions of their own, we are working on green solutions that will enhance the Canadian economy.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, one solution would be to end the carbon tax cover-up and tell Canadians what this tax would cost.

The Liberals can support the carbon tax all they want, but they should also tell Canadians what it will cost to pay that tax. If it is worth it, then what are they so afraid of? The reality is that they are trying to cover up the cost, and eventually they will produce some phoney estimate in order to try to deceive Canadians into believing that the costs are not as high as they, in fact, are. We know that. They stood on their feet for 12 hours trying to protect this cover-up.

Why do they not end it today and tell Canadians what this tax will cost them?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Canadians understand that climate change is real and that the government and all Canadians need to take strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in concert with our international partners.

We have developed a plan with the provinces and territories called the pan-Canadian framework. I invite my hon. colleague to read it. It is a plan that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable us to meet our international commitments but will allow us to grow the economy in ways that will ensure that going forward, we will have a great low-carbon economy in the future.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of workers across the country are living in uncertainty, and things are not improving. After aluminum and steel, now the United States is threatening to impose up to 25% tariffs on the automotive sector.

A Bank of Nova Scotia analysis warns how harmful this would be to our overall economy. The government must act now. Those employees and businesses deserve to be supported through concrete action.

When will the government introduce its plan to protect our workers?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, our government understands the importance of the auto sector. That is why we have a plan, which is working well.

That is why in our plan, we have made significant investments in key automotive plants and in automotive parts companies right across the country, particularly in Ontario.

We will continue to defend auto workers. We will continue to defend and support the auto industry. This is a priority for our government. We will continue to make sure we create growth and jobs in this very important sector.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, going from crisis to crisis is not a plan. It is not a strategy. It needs to be tabled right here in the House of Commons.

The auto industry is concerned about what is happening right now, but the boating industry is bracing itself, because it is next. It is stuck in the crosshairs of escalating retaliation tactics being considered. Small businesses across Canada in the boating industry are feeling the heat, with rising prices and cancelled orders, not to mention the crippling impacts on jobs and tourism.

Now the minister has decided to make the boating industry a trade pawn and expendable. What specifically is the government going to do for the boating industry, tourism, and the jobs those people--

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, and in a measure that was supported by unanimous consent by the House, our government has announced strong measures and reciprocal actions from Canada to defend Canadian steel and aluminum workers. We have announced a consultation period so that all Canadian industries, very much including the boating sector, very much including small business, can share with us their views on the retaliation list.

Let me just say to all Canadians, our government is prepared to respond.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of sexual slavery, said:

I dream about one day bringing all the militants to justice, not just the leaders...but all the guards and slave owners, every man who pulled a trigger and pushed my brothers' bodies into their mass grave, every fighter who tried to brainwash young boys into hating their mothers for being Yazidi

Nadia is currently trying to have her case heard at the International Criminal Court but cannot do so without the approval of the UN Security Council. Will the Prime Minister petition the Security Council to ensure that Nadia and her people get justice?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I, like all members of the House, am absolutely outraged by the horrendous crimes and atrocities perpetrated against minorities in Iraq and Syria. We have been clear. The persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria is genocide. We condemn the atrocities perpetrated by Daesh, and we have co-sponsored a UN Security Council resolution to establish a mechanism to investigate violations of international law by Daesh, including genocide, to ensure accountability.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

That is no.

Mr. Speaker, Abu Huzaifa is one of the ISIS terrorists Nadia spoke of to bring justice to. The world owes it to her to bring every ISIS terrorist to justice for their crimes.

The International Criminal Court can prosecute citizens of parties to the Rome statute. Canada is a party, and Abu Huzaifa is Canadian. Will the Prime Minister hand Canadian ISIS terrorists over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate. Canada is there, and Canada is acting. We are leading to protect action in Iraq and Syria. We have co-sponsored a UN Security Council resolution to establish an investigation mechanism. Accountability is absolutely essential, and that is something Canada is pursuing, and we are resettling the victims of Daesh in Canada.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will take that as a no.

Terrorist Abu Huzaifa is doing quite well. He quite likes his home in Toronto, because it allows him to stay in touch with his ISIS buddies. In Ontario, he does not think he will have to answer for the murders he committed, and here in Canada, he can lie to the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service and blame the west for the murders he committed. However, the New York Times managed to get evidence of his crimes straight from his own mouth.

Why does the Prime Minister not have the courage to bring this murderer to justice?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, Canada's police and security services use all the tools at their disposal to investigate all sorts of terrorist activity to keep Canadians safe and to make sure that justice is served. Obviously, there is a challenge in collecting intelligence and having that converted into usable evidence in court, but our police agencies are assiduous in following every lead to make sure that they can charge and prosecute in every possible case.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is the problem. Abu Huzaifa has admitted that he committed atrocities, but he is currently walking free on the streets of Toronto as though he were a respectable citizen.

The Prime Minister is telling us that Canadians should not worry, but that is misleading because the Liberals' Bill C-59 will make it much more difficult for law enforcement to arrest these criminals. The Prime Minister also believes that these murderers can be a powerful voice for our country.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether this murderer will soon be arrested or whether he intends to give him a contract to be a powerful voice for Canadians?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, when the appropriate evidence is collected, it is obviously the police and the department of public prosecutions that makes the decision about laying charges and pursuing a case in court. The hon. gentleman would know that prosecutors and police face challenges in being able to do this, because under the previous Conservative government, there were no charges laid against returning terrorists.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, genetically modified wheat plants were discovered along the side of an Alberta road, even though the cultivation of genetically modified wheat for commercial purposes is not authorized in Canada. The government and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency need to take this situation very seriously. This is a very serious matter.

Japan and South Korea have already announced that they are suspending the sale of Canadian wheat.

As per the NPD's request, will the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food immediately begin holding hearings so that we can get to the bottom of this?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

We support Canadian farmers and we are ensuring that Canada remains a reliable supplier of quality products on international markets.

The government is actively working on this issue and is already collaborating with the industry and our trade partners throughout the world. The discovery of this genetically modified wheat is an isolated incident and does not pose a risk to Canadians or to our trading partners. I will continue to work with our counterparts to keep them informed about the situation.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was revealed last week that genetically modified wheat, which is unauthorized in Canada, was discovered in Alberta in mid-2017. Japan and South Korea have now suspended imports of Canadian wheat, which represents hundreds of millions of dollars for Canadian farmers.

Concerns have been raised for years about the dangers of GMO contamination, but precautions were never taken. We need answers. Will the Liberals support my call at committee for urgent hearings to ensure that Canadian farmers do not lose further market share?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that we support our world-class wheat farmers. We will work with our farmers and be ready to help them with any financial impact it might have. While we remain focused on the Canadian wheat farmers, the Conservatives have voted to take funding away from the Canadian Grain Commission, which is involved in testing processing and is essential in ensuring that our grain continues to be exported. That is shameful.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, our dairy industry supports 221,000 Canadian jobs and contributes up to $20 billion to our GDP. Our government remains strongly committed to supporting our producers and their families.

The Canadian Dairy Commission is vital to to the operation of our supply management system. However, the Conservatives shamefully voted against its funding, jeopardizing supply management yet again.

Can the Minister of Agriculture talk about our support for the system?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to thank my hon. colleague from Montarville for all his support for the dairy farmers right across the country. It is truly sad that last week, the Conservatives voted to take funding away from the Canadian Dairy Commission, which is essential for the functioning of our dairy supply management system. The Conservative member for Beauce has again renewed his call for the elimination of supply management, calling our dairy farmers nefarious paper millionaires. We have and will continue to support our dairy farmers across this country.

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my way or the highway.

That is the Liberals' approach. They are violating the jurisdictions of Quebec, Manitoba, and all the provinces. The Liberals could not care less about public safety and our young peoples' health.

Ottawa knows best.

It is simple. Will the Liberals respect Quebec and Manitoba and allow them to prohibit the cultivation of cannabis in homes, or will they serve up platitudes, as usual, and do what they want?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, protecting the health and safety of Canadians and keeping the profits out of criminals' hands is an absolute priority for our government.

Home cultivation will help displace the illegal market. We are convinced that Canadians will safeguard their cannabis plants and products in the same way they keep their prescription drugs and alcohol safe and secure.

We are also following the advice of the task force and the approach implemented by most American states that have legalized cannabis.

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is what I was saying. Not only are the Liberals trampling all over Quebec and Manitoba, but they are also telling the Senate and even their own independent senators to take a hike.

However, the provinces are worried that Ottawa will not allow for an approach tailored to provincial priorities. It is not complicated. The Liberals are in a rush to get Canadians smoking.

Why are they making such a mess instead of working with the provinces, putting health and safety before the Liberal ideology?

MarijuanaOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, protecting Canadians' health and safety is a top priority for our government. The Harper Conservatives' approach did not work. It allowed criminals to benefit and did not manage to keep cannabis out of the hands of our children. We thank the Senate for its work, and we agree with the majority of the amendments they proposed. We believe that Bill C-45 will give us the opportunity to achieve our respective objectives and to transition towards a legal market.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries has abandoned lobster fishermen with no evidence that the fishery has contributed to any right whale deaths. The minister has shut it down. He gave them no notice and now the minister is refusing to listen to the fishermen who spend their lives on the water and who have been at the forefront of implementing strategies to protect right whales since 2006.

These fishermen have done everything that has been asked of them and now they stand to lose 25% of their income. When will the minister understand that his “Ottawa knows best” policy is hurting the livelihoods of Atlantic fishermen?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, our government takes the protection, conservation, and recovery of the North Atlantic right whale extremely seriously. While conservation measures will have the greatest immediate impacts on fisher harvesters and processors, the long-term economic risks of not adequately protecting these whales is even greater.

The Conservatives know this. They would rather play politics on this issue and focus their energy on other priorities like making sure every single member of the Conservative caucus votes against funding the Atlantic fisheries fund, which is exactly what they did last Thursday.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, Japan and South Korea have now suspended importing of Canadian wheat due to concerns about the GMO wheat that was found by the CFIA. Those two countries combined represent more than $650 million in market access for our Canadian wheat growers. Has the agriculture minister met with his counterparts in Japan and South Korea and what is his plan to try and regain this vital market access for our Canadian wheat farmers?

I would like to mention, before he politicizes this, that in the new budget the Liberals are cutting $100 million from food safety at CFIA. How can he ensure that our food is safe for our market access?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to cutting, Canadians saw last week who voted against everything we were presenting to defend Canadians. They know who voted against this. It was the Conservatives.

When it comes to that very serious issue, we obviously stand with Canadian farmers. We understand it is an isolated case. We are talking with our partners and allies around the world. I did call the European Union colleagues, like the minister of agriculture did call our colleagues in Japan and South Korea. We are doing everything we can and we are going to continue to work with our farmers. Farmers know they can trust this side of the House.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, the year-long failure by the federal government and Omnitrax to get Churchill's railway and port back on track has cost Churchill and our north deeply. Now the Canadian Transportation Agency says the Hudson Bay Railway has the responsibility to fix the line. The federal government recently expressed support for a regional partnership.

Instead of prioritizing an old pipeline, will the Liberals work to hold Omnitrax to account and invest in a strategic resource in our north and get Churchill's port and rail line back on track as soon as possible?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government remains totally committed to the people of Churchill and northern Manitoba, and we recognize the importance of the rail line for the community. The agency's ruling is consistent with our government's long-held view that the private owner had the obligation to repair the line when it was damaged. Months ago, the private company did not inform us of the start of any necessary repairs to its line and we moved forward with legal action.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, the transport minister has the mandate to improve marine safety, but BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union says a new ruling of Transport Canada has left engine rooms unattended. This risks passenger safety on the new Salish class ferries. With engineers five decks above critical machinery and steering equipment, this risks collision. Millions ride these ferries. Can this really be true? Do the Liberals actually have weaker staffing rules for passenger ferries than for bulk cargo ships?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as you have heard me say so many times before, security and safety is my number one priority and it applies not only to rail, it also applies to all modes of transport conveyance and that includes ferries. When we make a decision about a regulation, it is after very careful thought and an analysis of the risk management involved and we do not take these things lightly.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, United States intelligence officials are warning the government that the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei Technologies, is a security threat to the Five Eyes network of Canada's allies. The U.S. is cautioning that Huawei is a grave security risk, and adds that its equipment and devices should not be used by Canada or other western allies. Are the Liberals reviewing Huawei's operations in Canada in light of U.S. intelligence warnings?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows full well, we have enormous confidence in our security intelligence agencies. They do a thorough job and they make sure they protect our national interests. When it comes to Huawei, the members also have some people who work for them whom they can probably get a better answer from as well. When it comes to national security, intellectual property, and our telecommunications sector, make no mistake: we will always defend Canadians and our sector.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, security experts are warning that Chinese companies like Huawei are a threat to our Canadian economic prosperity. The U.S. is moving to ban Huawei. Australia has banned it already from the next generation of 5G networks and also from federal broadband there. The United Kingdom has set up a special facility to inspect all Huawei equipment coming into that country. In contrast, our public safety minister has said that Huawei is not a threat. When will the Liberals put Canada's cybersecurity ahead of their political agendas?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I have made it clear on many occasions that while I do not discuss specific cases in the House or with the media, the security and police authorities of this country are charged with the responsibility of taking the steps that are necessary, within the law and the Constitution, to keep Canadians safe and to safeguard the national interests of Canada, and they do that job.

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the trans-Pacific partnership is vitally important to creating jobs and growth in Canada. Hundreds of millions more customers would be able to purchase our high-quality Canadian goods and services tariff-free. It just needs to be ratified by the government and we stand ready to support it. Canada cannot afford to be left behind. We need to be among the first to ratify this agreement. Will the Liberals make this agreement a priority, and work to pass it before the House rises for summer?

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows, it is my priority. That is why we introduced legislation last week to ratify the CPTPP. I appreciate the question because Canadians understand there has never been a better time to diversify. We are going to do just that to open markets and to open opportunities for SMEs across our nation, for communities, and for workers. People understand that we will continue to work hard. They know they can trust us when it comes to international trade.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, in my home province of Nova Scotia, nearly 20% of people identify as living with a disability. That is why programs such as Easter Seals Nova Scotia are crucial. In delivering vocational and life skills programs, it plays an important role in ensuring all members of the community have an equal chance at success. Recently, it had applied for funding to expand its new leaf enterprises program through ACOA. The Conservatives seem to think programs like this, and ACOA overall, should not receive government funding, so they stood to vote against funding the agency last week. Would the minister please share with us what we could have lost due to the actions of the Conservatives?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for his advocacy. He clearly highlighted the importance of this investment, which is crucial for good quality services. That is why I am glad to highlight that our government invested $350,000 in Easter Seals Nova Scotia, funding that was provided through ACOA. Unfortunately, as the member mentioned, the members opposite, particularly the Conservatives, voted against additional funding for ACOA. On this side of the House, we will always defend ACOA, including the 32 MPs, and we will always stand up for Atlantic Canada.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Harrington Lake official summer residence of Canada's prime ministers is in need of repair, but a few recent improvements might raise eyebrows among the middle class and those, burdened with new taxes, struggling to join it.

The Prime Minister bought a new personal sauna, but taxpayers paid $4,000 to plug it in. Taxpayers paid an extra $17,000 to groom cross-country ski trails. A new swing set cost $7,500. There are new canoes and kayaks. How does the PM justify these particularly personal benefits to taxpayers?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the National Capital Commission to do the maintenance of all the official residences. That is why the NCC is conducting much needed work at Harrington Lake, in order to conserve this heritage building.

The Prime Minister has paid for a recent improvement with personal funds. Also, we know that the building and the HVAC system have reached the end of their life cycle. The RCMP is also conducting work to enhance security and the NCC is working with all agencies to improve the maintenance of all official residences.

Child CareOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced an increase in the Canada child benefit. This is all well and good, but the government cannot fix poverty by mailing out some cheques. In the finance minister's riding, four out of 10 children live in poverty. A generous benefit helps, yes, but all families also need access to affordable day care.

When will we see affordable day care?

Child CareOral Questions

3 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the Canada child benefit in the minister's riding, $45 million is being sent to families who need that support. The NDP voted against that.

In terms of child care, this government has invested $7.5 billion over the next 10 years to partner with the provinces, territories, and indigenous governments to deliver that child care.

In terms of housing, the Canada housing benefit, a $40-billion, 10-year investment to build housing, repair housing, and subsidize housing is all part of our attack against poverty. We just want the NDP to help us get there faster.

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the previous Conservative government ignored some of Canada's most vulnerable. Last week, we saw the current Conservatives are no different than the Harper Conservatives when they opposed measures like more money for the Canada child benefit, more money for parents of missing and murdered children, more money for fighting homelessness, and more money for Canada's seniors.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell this House how our government continues to invest in Canadians, despite the Conservative Party's continued opposition?

Social DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore for highlighting exactly why Canadians say that the leader of the opposition is simply Stephen Harper with a smile. He has not just a smile. He has a bit of a smirk when he votes against the Canada child benefit. When he votes against a boost to the GIS and helping seniors, and when he votes against making sure we have child care and housing, he does it with a smile. It worries us.

This government will continue to fight for Canadians and fight to make sure they get the support they need from this government. We will not do it with a smile, the way they do it with a smirk.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week Canada refused to vote against a UN resolution that singled out Israel. The resolution had no mention of the inciting role Hamas played in the Gaza riots.

Could the Prime Minister please inform this House of the reasons why he told our UN ambassador to abstain from this vote?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a loyal friend to Israel and we believe that resolutions at the UN should accurately reflect the situation on the ground. That is why Canada voted for a U.S. amendment to last week's resolution that would have explicitly referred to the role played by Hamas in the recent violence in Gaza.

Hamas is a terrorist organization and Canada calls on the international community to stand up to Hamas, which must cease its violent activity and provocative actions against Israel.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec debout

Luc Thériault Québec debout Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, from January to May, over 12,000 asylum seekers entered Quebec. If this keeps up, that number will exceed 25,000 by the end of the year. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and his assistant, the Minister of Transport, made all kinds of promises to the Government of Quebec, but they have been all talk and no action so far.

When will the ministers do something to take the pressure off Quebec on the immigration file once and for all?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as you know, we are working very closely with the Province of Quebec and the Province of Ontario to manage a difficult situation. We are collaborating very well, and we have in fact approved funds for Quebec because of the extra load it is dealing with. Unfortunately, last week the members opposite opposed funding for integration services in Quebec. As hard as that is to believe, it is true.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec debout

Luc Thériault Québec debout Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, excuses and promises, promises and excuses.

The government promised that a triage plan would be in place by April. At the end of May, they said it would happen after the Ontario election. That was two weeks ago, and there is still no plan. Summer and the end of the parliamentary session are approaching, as is the Quebec election, but I do not expect the government to come up with anything other than excuses.

When exactly will the government implement a working triage plan?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the government is determined to ensure orderly migration.

We have invested over $173 million for further processing at the border, as well as for faster processing of refugee claims. In addition to that, we have given an initial installment of assistance to Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba to recognize the pressures they face with respect to temporary housing.

We will continue to work with the provinces, including with the Province of Quebec, in the intergovernmental task force on irregular migration. Our outreach efforts are ongoing. We are proud of our record, and we will continue that collaboration.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The Minister of Agriculture indicated recently that farmers had received carbon pricing exemptions for on-farm use of diesel fuel and gasoline, no doubt because the government recognized the undue hardship this would cause.

The minister is aware of Nunavut's negligible carbon footprint and unique circumstances, and has seen first-hand the hardship Nunavummiut face. The Government of Nunavut has requested carbon pricing exemptions for transportation, power generation, and home heating fuel. Will the minister grant these exemptions?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we know very well that northerners are on the front lines of climate change. Canada's Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the global average, with real consequences for people's lives.

The pan-Canadian framework, which was developed in partnership with the provinces and territories, recognizes that climate action will look different in the north. We are committed to working with our partners in the territories to understand and address the unique impacts in the north. This very much includes the incoming premier from Nunavut, a former conservation officer, and minister responsible for the environment.

Our government is also supporting clean growth in the north through investments to move communities away from relying on diesel.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Khemaies Jhinaoui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, we referred to a government report on the carbon tax eight times throughout question period. I seek the consent of the House to table that report.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table this document?

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

The House resumed consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:08 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to Senate amendments to Bill C-45.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #868

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 20 petitions.

Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility CounsellorRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2017 annual report to Parliament on the activities of the Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor covering the period from June 2016 to May 2017. The report was prepared by the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation respecting its participation at the mission to the Republic of Austria, the country that will next hold the rotating presidency of the Council of European Union, and its participation at the second part of the 2018 session of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe. Both delegations went to Vienna, Austria, and Strasbourg, France, from April 16 to 27, 2018.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas respecting its participation at the third gathering of the Open Parliament Network, the 45th Board of Directors Meeting of ParlAmericas, and the 8th Summit of the Americas held in Lima, Peru, from April 11 to 13, 2018.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, two reports from the Canadian delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The first is respecting the meeting of the Expert Committee Meeting on Status (EXCO), held in London, United Kingdom, from March 9 to 12, 2017. The second is respecting the Post-election Seminar (Kenya), held in Mombasa, Kenya, from March 4 to 8, 2018.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Leona Alleslev Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the following five reports.

The first is the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the 95th Rose-Roth Seminar in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 3 to 5, 2017.

I also present the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the 63rd annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in Bucharest, Romania, from October 6 to 9, 2017.

Next is the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the joint visit of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council and the Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships, in Kyiv and Hostomel, Ukraine, April 4 to 7, 2017.

I also present the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the NATO Interparliamentary Council, the Sub-Committee on Transition and Development, and the Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships, held in Odessa, Ukraine, March 5 and 6, 2018.

The last is the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the Parliamentary Transatlantic Forum in Washington, United States of America, December 11 to 13, 2017.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the co-chairs’ annual visit held in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, March 14 to 16, 2018.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, three reports of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group.

The first concerns the 72nd annual meeting of the Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa, from July 9 to 12 July 2017.

The second concerns the annual legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures, NCSL, held in Boston, Massachusetts, from August 6 to 9, 2017.

The third concerns the 57th annual meeting and regional policy forum of the Council of State Governments' Eastern Regional Conference held in Uncasville, Connecticut, from August 13 to 16, 2017.

Official LanguagesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled, “Media in the Digital Age: Reconciling Federal Responsibilities to Official Language Minority Communities with New Trends”. This report is very important for people living in official language minority communities in Canada. I thank the committee members. I also want to thank the clerk, Christine Holke, and analyst, Lucie Lecomte. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, titled “Better Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future”.

I wish to thank all the members of the committee and all the witnesses for the hard work in putting this together.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

National DefenceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Stephen Fuhr Liberal Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Canada and NATO: An Alliance Forged in Strength and Reliability”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report. This is a unanimous report.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 22nd report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, entitled “Indigenous People in the Federal Correctional System”. This was a unanimous report.

There was a lot of hard work, but it reflects the upset of members with respect to indigenous incarceration. The members wish me to convey that they will be calling the ministers and the officials to the committee in the fall to respond to their recommendations.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

I also have the honour to present two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to the recently tabled, as amended, Bill C-71, an act to amend certain acts and regulations in relation to firearms.

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament, entitled “Certificate of Nomination of Heather P. Lank to the Position of Parliamentary Librarian”.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-409, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (threat to publish intimate images).

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to introduce my bill to make the threat to publish intimate images without consent a criminal offence. Our Conservative government made the publication of intimate images without consent a criminal offence in December of 2014.

Lives have been ruined through this reprehensible behaviour. We know that some Canadians have taken their own lives as a result. What is missing from this, in my opinion, is the problem with threatening to publish intimate images without consent. Using the threat to publish intimate images of another person as a means of control or coercion over that person is very nearly as heinous as the actual publication. A victim could live in fear of what might happen, again with potentially damaging life consequences.

Australia, the United Kingdom, and many U.S. states have such a statute on the books of their respective jurisdictions, and it is my contention that Canada should as well. Equipping our law enforcement and justice officials with the appropriate tools to handle the digital age in which we live is the responsibility of all members. My hope is that this measure gets the support from all members in the House when it comes up for debate.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Bankruptcy and Insolvency ActRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-410, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (property of bankrupt — exclusion).

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of tabling a bill that I believe will provide necessary clarity and reassurance for the hard-earned savings of Canadians. I would also like to take the time to thank the member for Edmonton Riverbend for seconding the bill and note the tireless work he does on behalf of his constituents.

This bill would enact a simple change. Currently, when a Canadian files for bankruptcy or insolvency, their RRSPs are protected from creditors. However, there are no such protections for registered education savings plans and registered disability savings plans. The bill would amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to exclude the property in RESPs and RDSPs from a bankruptcy. It seeks to give clarity to those. Savings are not vulnerable accounts. The money Canadians put into these accounts to save for their children's education or for the highs costs of caring for a family member with a disability is off limits to creditors.

This bill is in large part a way of remembering the legacy of the late Hon. Jim Flaherty and his efforts to create the RDSP and RESP.

I would also like to thank the MPP-elect for Ottawa West—Nepean, Jeremy Roberts, for his work on preparing the bill.

I hope the bill will be supported by all members of this place. The amount of support and feedback from all colleagues and stakeholders has certainly been a motivation to me to see this become law.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Algoma Passenger Rail ServicePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table petitions from the good riding of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, more specifically, people from Wharncliffe and Elliot Lake, as well as people from Sault Ste. Marie, Garden River, Prince Township, and Sudbury, who want to have their voices heard in the House of Commons.

The petitioners remain extremely concerned that the Algoma passenger train has yet to be put back into service. They add that continued hardship is being felt by residents, businesses, communities, and other passengers. Their wishes include having the Minister of Transport and his department work with the Missanabie Cree First Nation-led mask-wa Oo-ta-ban, which means bear train, to ensure the passenger service can be put back into service. By putting this service back on track, it would also contribute to the reconciliation process, and would help create employment and economic opportunities.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour of presenting a petition signed by Canadians from across the country.

The petitioners express great concern about the harvesting and trafficking of human organs and body parts without consent and for profit, as documented by the independent Matas-Kilgour investigations.

In an effort to put a stop to the industry of harvesting and trafficking of human organs and body parts, the petitioners urge Parliament to adopt House Bill C-350 and Senate Bill S-240. These bills continue the work of Bill C-500 and Bill C-381, introduced by myself in 2008 and 2009, and Bill C-561, introduced by Irwin Cotler in 2013.

The petitioners urge Parliament to move quickly on this legislation and end this horrific multi-million dollar industry.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my friend from Etobicoke Centre, and other colleagues, in also tabling a petition in support of Bill C-350 and Bill S-240.

I tabled Bill C-350, and it was seconded by the member for Etobicoke Centre, who had a similar bill in a previous Parliament. These bills deal with the scourge of forced organ harvesting, organs taken from people, often political prisoners, without their consent. These bills would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad to get an organ for which there was no consent.

We cannot completely stop this practice, but we can stop Canadians from being complicit in it. The signatories urge Parliament to pass these bills quickly.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I also rise to present a petition on behalf of Canadians with respect to Bill C-350 to stop the trade in organ harvesting and to stop Canadians travelling abroad to receive organs that have been harvested without consent.

I am very proud to present this petition on behalf of Canadians who are against this horrific practice.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, it may surprise Canadians who travel abroad to acquire human organs that might have been removed from victims without their consent that they face no sanctions in Canada.

I am pleased to rise today to table a petition from dozens of people from western Canada who draw attention to the fact that a private member's bill is now before the House, and another bill is before the Senate, to address this problem.

The petitioners urge Parliament to pass this legislation and to amend two other statutes to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs removed without consent.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I also rise today to present a very important petition from Canadians from coast to coast to coast concerned about the issue of organ harvesting, organs taken from victims without their consent.

Two bills are currently before Parliament, one put forward by the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan and one that emanates from the Senate, Bill C-350 and Bill S-240.

The petitioners call on Parliament to pass this legislation quickly so we can protect people in foreign countries from the risks of this extremely devastating thing. It is hard to even imagine organ harvesting without consent.

Natural ResourcesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition. This was put together by citizens of Canada. Some people do not recognize that our petition process can accept signatures from those under 18 years of age. This petition comes from Salt Spring Elementary School.

The petitioners ask the government to reconsider spending $7.4 billion on an expanded pipeline. They specifically advocate that the Government of Canada instead build 2,600 wind turbines, thus creating 268,600 jobs; construct 15,600 acres of solar panels; and fund alternative uses for a transition to a renewable energy economy.

Small BusinessPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of presenting a petition that nearly 45,000 Canadians have signed, calling upon the government to abandon its detrimental changes to the small business tax rate.

A lot of people talk about whether petitions make a difference. This one clearly did. I want to thank the tens of thousands of Canadians who oppose this terrible decision on behalf of the government, and thank them for raising their voices.

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from Canadians who are support in postal banking.

Nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders, those predators who take advantage of the poor, marginalized, rural, and indigenous communities in the country. We have 3,800 Canada Post outlets already in existence across rural Canada that are perfectly able to provide financial assistance with respect to postal banking.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to enact my motion, Motion No. 166, to create a committee to study and propose a plan for postal banking under the corporation of Canada Post.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this petition is signed by hundreds of petitioners who call on the Prime Minister to defend the rights of freedom of conscience, through thought and belief, and to withdraw the attestation requirement for applications to the Canada summer jobs program.

International DevelopmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to present a petition created through the hard work of Amy Stocking and students at St. Cecilia Catholic Elementary School in my riding of Parkdale—High Park.

The petitioners urge us to further support important work surrounding international development and women working for peace. It is a true pleasure to present this duly certified petition by the aspiring young minds at St. Cecilia, who are clearly acting locally and thinking globally.

Trans Mountain PipelinePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is my last week in the House of Commons, and this will be my last petition that I present on stopping the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Citizens of Burnaby have signed this petition, immediately calling on the government to prevent this new pipeline from proceeding through British Columbia. They are especially upset about the risks to the environment and our local economy. The signatures really started to pick up after the natural resources minister threatened to use the army on British Columbians to force it through.

I urge the government to pay attention to this and all the other petitions I have presented on this.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, every day impaired driving causes extreme grief and sadness for many Canadians. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs all too often ends in a tragic result. We need to stand alongside the victims and ensure they are supported.

On behalf of thousands of Canadians, I table this petition today, calling on the government to make changes to the Criminal Code and to implement mandatory minimum sentencing for those convicted of impaired driving causing death.

PharmacarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition from Albertans, calling on the government to immediately take action to implement universal pharmacare.

More than one in five people are unable to fill their prescriptions and many struggle just to pay for the prescription drugs they need. Canada is the only country in the world with a universal medicare system that does not include prescription drugs.

The petitioners call on the government to stop just studying and actually implement a universal pharmacare program.

Lake Simcoe Cleanup FundPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table a petition that the House will find to be of compelling interest. It is an e-petition signed by thousands of Canadians asking the Liberal government to reverse its cancellation of the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund.

This fund, which operated for 10 years, brought together community groups and environmental groups from across the Lake Simcoe watershed and funded them to the tune of almost $60 million to undertake physical remediation projects within the Lake Simcoe watershed. It resulted in tremendous improvements and progress, but much work remains to be done.

The petitioners call on the government to restore the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund and restore the lake's environment for future generations.

International DevelopmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions in the House today.

One hundred and thirty-two million girls do not have access to primary or secondary education. The petitioners, many from my riding, including Barbara Clay and Phyllis Slinger, call on the Government of Canada to invest in girls and women in the world's poorest countries to unlock their full potential by committing to a bold initiative at the G7 summit that enables at least 100 million women to learn, work, and increase their independence.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on falun gong, which is a spiritual practice.

The petitioners request the Canadian government to condemn the illegal arrest of Canadian citizens for practising falun gong and call on the immediate and unconditional release of Canadian citizen Ms. Qian Sun.

FirearmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a few petitions signed by people across my riding. These constituents are licensed firearms owners and they point out that they are some of Canada's most law-abiding citizens.

The petitioners recognize that Bill C-47 will nothing to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals or terrorists. As such, they call on the House of Commons to oppose Bill C-47.

Rights of the UnbornPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition is signed by hundreds of Canadians from Alberta, BC, and Yukon.

These Canadians are concerned that Canada is the only nation in the world without laws that protect preborn children. They note that Canada's Supreme Court has said it is Parliament's responsibility to enact legislation and protect fetal interests.

The petitioners call on Parliament to speedily enact legislation that would bring Canada's abortion regulations into line with those of other developed nations.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the final petition I wish to present is signed by hundreds of Canadians across Canada and many of my own constituents.

The petitioners are concerned about the access ability of violent and degrading sexually explicit material online and the impact on public health, especially the well-being of women and girls. As such, they call on the House of Commons to require meaningful age verification on all adult websites.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present a petition today on cleaning up and dealing with abandoned vessels. As an MP who represents coastal communities, this concern is raised frequently. There are signatures from several communities on this petition and I want to recognize the many from the Sointula community, an area I am proud to represent.

The petitioners acknowledge that abandoned vessels pose an environmental and navigational hazard. I think of the Zeballos community that has been dealing with this for a long time. They point out that no regulations or programs have established effective measures for the removal and recycling of abandoned vessels and that coastal communities in Canada have called for the government to act on abandoned vessels for decades.

The petitioners call on the government to finally take some action in this area.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by 11,678 petitioners who point out that the current eligibility requirements of employers seeking to apply for Government of Canada funding through the Canada summer jobs program, requiring organizations to sign an attestation, would force many organizations to choose between their beliefs, often rooted in their religion, and being able to receive funding. They say that by its nature, this requirement discriminates against organizations based on their beliefs.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to remove this discriminatory requirement and allow Canadians to continue to express their freedom of religion and belief of expression without facing institutionalized discrimination by the Government of Canada.

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table a petition that was crafted by John and Jennifer Hedican of Courtenay and nurse Shanyn Simcoe. They have drafted this petition on behalf of John and Jennifer's 26-year-old son, Ryan Hedican, who, like thousands of other Canadians, lost his life as a result of the fentanyl crisis.

They are calling on the Government of Canada to declare the current opioid overdose and fentanyl poisoning crisis a national public health emergency under the Emergencies Act in order to manage and resource it, with the aim to reduce and eliminate preventable deaths. They are also asking that the government reform the current drug policy to decriminalize personal possession. They are asking the government to create with urgency and immediacy a system to provide safe unadulterated access to substances so that people who use substances experimentally, recreationally, or chronically are not at imminent risk of overdose due to a contaminated source.

Finally, they call on the government for real action, because these deaths are occurring in all provinces and to people in all walks of life. It is time the fentanyl crisis be declared a national emergency.

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The time has just about expired for petitions, and I see approximately six or seven members standing. I wonder if a member might ask for unanimous consent of the House to extend the period allowed for petitions for upwards of four minutes.

I see the hon. member for York—Simcoe is on his feet.

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent of the House to extend the period of time for petitions sufficient to allow the members the Speaker has identified to present their petitions.

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is it agreed?

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Drug AddictionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Presenting petitions, the hon. member for Simcoe—Grey.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition to the House and to the Prime Minister of Canada from a number of individuals across the country. They believe that the current Liberal government's proposed attestation requiring the Canada summer jobs program applicants to hold the same views as the government would contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They are asking the Prime Minister to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief, and to withdraw the attestation requirement in the Canada summer jobs programs.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

Petitioners from B.C.'s coast call on the government to take urgent action on the abandoned vessel problem. This could prevent oil spills and marine pollution, and could save marine jobs and tourism from the blight of abandoned vessels on our coast. Specifically, they call on the government to legislate to improve the vessel registration system, to create a fee to help with the cost of vessel disposal to get the cost off the backs off taxpayers, and to pilot a vessel turn-in program to deal with the backlog, which government Bill C-64 does not do.

These petitioners are from Parksville, West Vancouver, Ladysmith, Edmonton, Nanaimo, and Sydney, and they all call on the government to take action.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition from coastal people who urge the cancellation of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Petitioners from Ucluelet, Qualicum, Parksville, Nanaimo, and Vancouver ask the government to cancel the purchase of the old Kinder Morgan pipeline, instead of paying $4.5 billion to a Texas oil company. They request that the government invest in a renewable economy, recognize that the pipeline is opposed by a significant number of coastal communities, and that the problem of oil tanker risks and dilbit pollution have not yet been addressed.

ImmigrationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by constituents of Dufferin—Caledon. They call upon Parliament to encourage the Canadian government to work with the Government of Israel to facilitate the completion of sponsorship applications of asylum seekers from Africa so that they can immigrate to Canada as soon as possible.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Eglinski Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, It is an honour to rise today to present a petition from my constituents. The petitioners believe the current Liberal government's proposed attestation requiring the applicants for the summer jobs program to hold the same views as the government would contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights. They are calling upon the Prime Minister to defend their freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief, and to withdraw the attestation requirement for applicants in the Canada summer jobs program.

Free Prescription Birth ControlPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first petition I am presenting today has to do with free prescription birth control. As set out in the petition, the costs of birth control fall disproportionately to women, and this birth control is being prescribed by doctors based on women's needs. Canadians are calling on the Government of Canada to work with the provinces to ensure that the cost of all prescription birth control is covered.

Tax HavensPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am presenting today has to do with tax havens. Given that the use of tax havens results in massive revenue losses for the public treasury, the petitioners want the government to take action against tax havens. The petitioners are asking the Government of Canada to take the necessary legislative measures to combat tax havens in order to reduce social inequality in this country.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present petitions from Canadians concerned about the Liberal government's requirement that applicants for the Canada summer jobs program sign an attestation indicating that their views are in line with those of the Prime Minister. The petitioners call on the Prime Minister to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought, and belief for all Canadians, and to withdraw this unfair attestation requirement.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from Canadians from coast to coast.

The petitioners wish to draw to the attention of this House that 13 Canadians, including Canadian citizen Sun Qian and Canadian citizen applicant Aiyun He, are illegally incarcerated by the Chinese regime due to their spiritual beliefs in Falun Gong. In light of the fact that the United Nations, Amnesty International, and others have condemned the Chinese regime for egregious human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners, the petitioners request that the Canadian Parliament and government call on Chinese officials to immediately end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and to release all prisoners of conscience, including Canadian citizens and their family members, and take every opportunity to establish measures to investigate the Chinese regime's alleged harvesting of organs of innocent people.

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have three more petitions I would like to table today.

The first petition notes that the three deadliest words in the world are “It's a girl”. The CBC has exposed how parents in Canada are using fetal —

Falun GongPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but in fact, because he had the opportunity to present a petition earlier in the proceedings in the time allotted for this, the additional petitions will have to wait for the next installment of presenting petitions, which will be tomorrow during routine proceedings.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition that supports Bill C-350 in the House of Commons, and Bill S-240 in the Senate, which deal with the trafficking of human organs obtained without consent or as a result of a financial transaction. These bills would make it illegal to acquire and would prohibit Canadians who are travelling abroad from acquiring human organs removed without consent or as a result of a financial transaction, and would render inadmissible to Canada any and all permanent residents or foreign nationals who have participated in this abhorrent trade in human organs.

I would like to recognize the work of my neighbour, the MP for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan on this issue.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 1729, 1731, 1734, 1735, 1740, 1743, 1745, 1747, and 1749.

Question No. 1729Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

With regard to town hall meetings attended by the Prime Minister so far in 2018: (a) what are the dates and locations of each town hall; and (b) what were the total expenditures related to each town hall, broken down by item and type of expense?

Question No. 1729Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth)

Mr. Speaker, the financial system used by the Privy Council Office does not organize information in the manner requested in this question. Therefore, the Privy Council Office has no information with regard to total expenditures related to each town hall attended by the Prime Minister.

Question No. 1731Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

With regard to upstream and downstream emissions regulations and standards placed on Canadian oil producers: why is oil imported into Canada from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States of America not subject to the same regulations and standards?

Question No. 1731Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Canada does not have the authority to enforce regulatory or environmental standards in other countries.

Question No. 1734Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, AB

With regard to Correctional Service of Canada institutions: (a) what is the current policy relating to inmates purchasing “take-out” food from outside the institution; (b) what is the current policy relating to inmates purchasing outside food not available from Food Services or the canteens; (c) what is the current policy for inmate committees purchasing outside food; and (d) since November 4, 2015, how many times have prisoners ordered “take out” food, broken down by institution?

Question No. 1734Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), there are no provisions for the availability of restaurant takeout food in CSC policy. However, the ordering of takeout food from restaurants for any inmate event is prohibited.

With regard to (b), inmates may purchase a limited number of food items, which are not available in canteens, through CSC’s national supply catalogue for inmate purchasing.

With regard to (c), inmate committees may purchase a limited number of food items through canteens and the CSC’s national supply catalogue for inmate purchasing.

With regard to (d), the question is not applicable.

Question No. 1735Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

With regard to government funding of the Fundy Trail Parkway: (a) when is the project expected to be completed; (b) has the project encountered any unexpected delays or expenditures and, if so, what are the details of all such delays and expenditures; and (c) will additional funding be required to complete the project and, if so, what is the expected additional federal contribution required to complete the project?

Question No. 1735Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, Infrastructure Canada, INFC, has not provided funding for the Fundy Trail Parkway. INFC has approved funding for the Fundy Trail connector road project in New Brunswick under the new building Canada fund provincial-territorial infrastructure component--national and regional projects program. PTIC-NRP. This project involves the upgrading of three existing provincial roadways, Little Salmon River Road, Creek Road, and Shepody Road, located between the Fundy Trail Parkway and Route 114 in Fundy National Park. INFC is providing a contribution of up to 33% of eligible costs to a maximum of $13,244,000.

In response to (a), the Fundy Trail connector road project is currently in the design stage with pre-engineering work having been completed in 2016-17. The project is expected to be completed on November 30, 2021.

In response to (b), the Fundy Trail connector road project is progressing on schedule.

In response to (c), it is not expected that additional federal funding will be required. Any cost savings on this project would be reallocated to projects that have been prioritized by the province under PTIC-NRP.

Question No. 1740Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

With regard to the decision by the National Gallery of Canada not to sell the “Eiffel Tower” painting by Marc Chagall: (a) what is the cancellation fee or other similar cost which must be paid to (i) Christie’s or (ii) other vendors as a result of the cancellation; and (b) what input did (i) the Minister of Canadian Heritage, (ii) the Minister of Canadian Heritage's office, or (iii) the Department of Canadian Heritage have on the decision?

Question No. 1740Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Charlottetown P.E.I.

Liberal

Sean Casey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, in response to (b), the National Gallery of Canada operates as an autonomous crown corporation, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. The Museums Act provides the gallery with the legal authority to manage its collections and make decisions on acquisitions and deaccessions.

In response to (a)(i), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the Privacy Act and the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. The requested information has been withheld on the grounds that it is considered third party business sensitive.

In response to (a)(ii), there may be costs associated with shipping the painting back to Canada, but such details are unknown at this time.

Question No. 1743Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

With regard to the impact of grey seals on the Atlantic fishery: what specific measures is the government (i) implementing, (ii) considering in order to address the impact of grey seals on the Atlantic Salmon, capelin, and Northern cod populations?

Question No. 1743Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary for Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, in response to (i), the Government of Canada is committed to supporting a sustainable, humane, and well-regulated seal harvest in Atlantic Canada. It is important that the harvesting of seals be supported by market demand, where full utilization of seal products such as meat, oil, and pelts is encouraged. Despite a significant allocation of grey seals available for harvest, and continued issuance of commercial and personal use licences, very few grey seals have been taken in recent years. Grey seal harvest levels remain much lower than that which could be taken while still maintaining a healthy and stable seal population.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with indigenous and commercial seal product stakeholders to invest in projects that improve market access for seal products. Through the certification and market access program for seals, or CMAPS, established in 2015, Canada will contribute $5.7 million over five years toward innovative projects aimed at developing new products or accessing new markets for seal products. Approximately one third of this contribution is for the commercial sealing industry.

A grey seal working group was established in 2017 upon recommendation from stakeholders at the Atlantic seal advisory committee meeting in March 2017. The purpose of this working group is to promote and advance the grey seal fishery by exploring regulatory, policy, and management changes that would facilitate future grey seal harvests and subsequent product development. Members include representatives from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, from the science, resource management, and trade and international market access branches; external experts; provincial governments; aboriginal groups; and industry stakeholders from Atlantic Canada and Quebec. The most recent meeting of the grey seal working group took place in December 2017, with a fall meeting planned for 2018.

In response to (ii), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, or DFO, continues to study the interactions between grey seals and their prey, in collaboration with independent scientific experts and the fishing industry, to improve our understanding of the complex relationships between grey seals and other components of the Atlantic coastal ecosystem.

DFO’s analysis has shown that while there is evidence that some individual seals in estuaries of the maritime provinces eat some Atlantic salmon, past and current research has not identified salmon as a staple of their diets, nor is predation deemed a significant factor influencing the Atlantic salmon population trends. There is no scientific evidence to support a dietary preference for salmon by seals.

While capelin can comprise up to about 30% of grey seal diets in some areas in the spring, roughly May to July, there is no evidence that grey seals have a significant impact on capelin populations and distribution. Various oceanographic factors such as ice conditions and the timing of the production of phytoplankton and zooplankton, capelin food, are expected to be among the main drivers of capelin populations.

The most recent science advice, from 2010, states that predation by grey seals is considered to be a significant component of cod natural mortality in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence area only. Under natural mortality rates observed at that time, growth of the cod stock was not likely unless productivity was to increase well above levels observed over the previous decade. There is no new and definitive science advice available that specifically links grey seal predation to impacts on cod in areas beyond the southern gulf, including northern cod populations.

The department will continue to monitor and review the impacts of grey seals on important fish stocks. In considering any management actions involving grey seals in the future, the department will consult with scientific experts and affected stakeholders to ensure that any measures put forward are achievable, humane, and responsible, and that they will have a tangible, long-term impact on the recovery of important fish stocks, without compromising the sustainability of the grey seal population.

Question No. 1745Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

With regard to government measures taken to address the overfishing of wild Atlantic salmon by vessels from Greenland: (a) what specific measures has the government taken since January 1, 2017, to address the issue; and (b) what is the contents of any data the government has on the impact of each measure referred to in (a), on the level of wild Atlantic salmon stocks?

Question No. 1745Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary for Minister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Canada engages with Greenland through the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, or NASCO, bilaterally, and works with key stakeholders to consistently press Greenland to reduce its removals to levels that support conservation. In 2015, Greenland agreed to institute a three-year plan and to limit its catch to 45 tonnes per year. At the June 2017 NASCO annual meeting, Canada encouraged Greenland to continue to not permit factory landings as it had done in 2016. Greenland retained this ban in 2017, and catches for each year were reported at 27 tonnes and 26.8 tonnes respectively, a significant reduction compared to the 58 tonnes, 13 tonnes over-age, in 2015.

In August 2017, the Minister of Fisheries met bilaterally with Minister Kruse of Greenland and advanced Canada’s interests, including to strengthen monitoring control and surveillance measures, as well as lower annual catch levels of Atlantic salmon.

Canada continued to work with Greenland and other members at the NASCO West Greenland Commission meeting in February 2018, and negotiations of a new three-year regulatory measure will conclude in June 2018 at the annual meeting of NASCO.

In response to (b), no specific data is presently available regarding the impacts of Greenland’s measures.

Question No. 1747Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

With regard to the gender based analysis of the federal carbon tax or a federally mandated price on carbon: (a) which departments conducted gender based analysis of the impacts of the carbon tax or a federally mandated price on carbon; (b) for each department that conducted a gender based analysis (i) was the gender based analysis in support of a policy item that did not go to a cabinet committee, (ii) was the department’s gender based analysis completed prior to the Minister’s consideration of the policy item for which the analysis was conducted, (iii) if the gender based analysis was not complete prior to the Minister’s consideration of each policy item, why was it not completed in time, (iv) was the department’s analysis completed prior to the Minister presenting the item to cabinet, (v) was the gender based analysis updated after a matter had been signed off by a Minister, (vi) was the gender based analysis updated after cabinet consideration on the policy item; and (c) which departments did not conduct gender based analysis of the impacts of the carbon tax or a federally mandated price on carbon?

Question No. 1747Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Environment and Climate Change Canada and Finance Canada conducted a gender-based analysis plus, GBA+, to assess the impacts of climate change and the proposed carbon pollution pricing backstop approach on diverse groups in society. This work included a literature review of gender and diversity implications of climate change and carbon pollution pricing policies.

In response to (b)(i), no, the GBA+ was for a policy item that did go to cabinet.

In response to (b)(ii), yes, the GBA+ was completed prior to the minister’s consideration of the policy item.

In response to (b)(iii), this is not applicable.

In response to (b)(iv), yes, the GBA+ was completed prior to the minister’s presentation of the policy item to cabinet.

In response to (b)(v), the GBA+ was subsequently updated to include additional analysis related to new policy developments and details that were not available when the initial GBA+ was completed.

In response to (b)(vi), the GBA+ was updated to include additional analysis related to new policy developments and details that were not available when the initial GBA+ was completed.

In response to (c), Environment and Climate Change Canada conducted the GBA+ undertaken with respect to carbon pricing.

Question No. 1749Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

With regard to Gender Based Analysis on the impact of a federal carbon tax or a federally mandated price on carbon, for each department that has conducted such an analysis: (a) what is the list of initiatives for which Gender Based Analysis was prepared; and (b) for each of the initiatives mentioned in (a), (i) did the Gender Based Analysis consider the impact of a carbon tax on female single parent families, (ii) how did the Gender Based Analysis address female single parent families (as a specific group/as part of women generically), (iii) what was the anticipated impact on female single parent families according to the Gender Based Analysis, (iv) did the Gender Based Analysis consider the impact of a carbon tax on single elderly females, (v) how did the Gender Based Analysis address single elderly females (as a specific group/as part of women generically), (vi) what was the anticipated impact on single elderly females according to the Gender Based Analysis, (vii) did the Gender Based Analysis consider the impact of a carbon tax on females with a disability, (viii) how did the Gender Based Analysis address females with a disability (as a specific group/as part of women generically), (ix) what was the anticipated impact on females with a disability according to the Gender Based Analysis?

Question No. 1749Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), a preliminary gender-based analysis plus was conducted to assess the impacts of climate change and the proposed carbon pollution pricing backstop approach on diverse groups in society.

In response to (b), the design of the pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution sets a national standard for provincial and territorial carbon pricing systems to meet, but allows jurisdictions to choose both the type of pricing system to implement, as well as how the revenues are used. The net effect of pricing pollution on households in general, and on specific demographic groups, depends on a number of factors, particularly the choice of system in a given jurisdiction, whether it is a direct price, a cap-and-trade system, or a hybrid approach, and the ways that governments reinvest the revenues generated from pricing pollution. Different pricing systems will have different impacts, and revenues could be used to completely offset these impacts. As governments are still determining their approaches to these policy design questions, it is not yet possible to assess specific impacts until the details of the various pricing systems are known. Provinces and territories have been asked to provide details of how their systems meet the federal standard by September 1, 2018.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, furthermore, if a supplementary response to Question No. 1685, originally tabled on June 8, 2018, and the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1730, 1732, 1733, 1736 to 1739, 1741, 1742, 1744, 1746, 1748, 1750, and 1751 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 1685Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

With regard to reports that Facebook has not been registered as lobbyist and thus its meetings with the government have not been reported on the Lobbying Commissioner’s website: (a) what are the details of all meetings between Facebook and the government, since November 4, 2015, including (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) list of attendees, (iv) purpose of meeting, (v) subject matter; and (b) what are the details of all briefing notes associated with the meetings in (a), including (i) date, (ii) title, (iii) summary, (iv) sender, (v) recipient, (vi) file number?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1730Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

With regard to the trip to India taken by the Prime Minister and other Ministers in February 2018, and excluding any invoices yet to be received: what are the details of all expenditures over $1,000 related to the trip, including (i) vendor, (ii) date, (iii) amount, (iv) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if known, (v) file number?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1732Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Leamington, ON

With regard to financial coding systems used by the government and broken down by department, agency, or other government entity: (a) what is the complete list of specific line object codes, ledger numbers, or similar financial tracking codes utilized by the government; (b) for each code in (a), what is the description of the item tracked by each code; and (c) for each code in (a), what is the total amount of revenue or expenditures associated with the code in the 2017-18 fiscal year?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1733Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

With regard to counterfeit goods discovered and seized by the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or other relevant government entity, during the 2017-18 fiscal year: (a) what is the total value of the goods discovered, broken down by month; (b) broken down by seizure what is the breakdown of goods by (i) type, (ii) brand, (iii) quantity, (iii) estimated value, (iv) location or port of entry where the goods were discovered; (c) what percentage of the estimated total value of counterfeit imported goods are intercepted by the government; and (d) what is the government’s estimate for the value of counterfeit goods which enter Canada annually and avoid seizure by the government?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1736Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

With regard to unescorted temporary absences for inmates in Correctional Service of Canada institutions, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many individuals serving an indeterminate sentence have been granted unescorted temporary absences; (b) for those individuals referred to in (a), what are the index offences for each individual who was granted an unescorted temporary absence; (c) for those individuals referred to in (a), what was the purpose and duration of each unescorted temporary absence; (d) for those individuals referred to in (a), how many individuals became unlawfully at large during the period of their unescorted temporary absence; (e) how many individuals serving life sentences have been granted unescorted temporary absences; (f) for those individuals referred to in (e), what are the index offences for each individual who was granted an unescorted temporary absence; (g) for those individuals referred to in (e), what was the purpose and duration of each unescorted temporary absence; (h) for those individuals referred to in (e), how many individuals became unlawfully at large during the period of their unescorted temporary absence; (i) how many individuals serving a sentence of 25 years or more have been granted unescorted temporary absences; (j) for those individuals referred to in (i), what are the index offences for each individual who was granted an unescorted temporary absence; (k) for those individuals referred to in (i), what was the purpose and duration of each unescorted temporary absence; (l) for those individuals referred to in (i), how many individuals became unlawfully at large during the period of their unescorted temporary absence; (m) how many individuals serving a sentence of ten years or more have been granted unescorted temporary absences; (n) for those individuals referred to in (m), what are the index offences for each individual who was granted an unescorted temporary absence; (o) for those individuals referred to in (m), what was the purpose and duration of each unescorted temporary absence; and (p) for those individuals referred to in (m), how many individuals became unlawfully at large during the period of their unescorted temporary absence?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1737Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

With regard to illegal border crossings by individuals: (a) does the government believe it is illegal to cross the border at any place other than a port of entry; (b) does the matter of illegal border crossings fall under the jurisdiction of the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency; and (c) which agency or police force is responsible for apprehending individuals who have illegally crossed the border, broken down by geographic area?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1738Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

With regard to individuals who have illegally crossed the border, since December 1, 2016, and are now seeking asylum: (a) what is the current wait time for receiving an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearing; (b) how many such individuals have failed to appear at their scheduled IRB hearing; (c) how many such individuals have been deported; (d) what is the number of such individuals who have crossed the border, broken down by country of origin; (e) how many such individuals were deported for (i) national security reasons, (ii) terrorism charges, (iii) public safety reasons; (f) what is the breakdown of (e) by (i) individuals deported upon initial screening, (ii) individuals deported at a later date; (g) how many such individuals have been detained or incarcerated; and (h) how many such individuals are currently under a deportation order?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1739Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

With regard to expenditures at hotels by the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO): (a) what is the total of all such expenditures in (i) November 2017, (ii) December 2017, (iii) January 2018; (b) what are the details of all expenditures in (a), including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of contract or invoice, (iv) description of goods or services, (v) file number, (vi) indication if expense was incurred by PCO or PMO, (vii) location; and (c) for any blocks or groups of hotel rooms purchased in regards to (a), what are the details of each such purchase, including (i) name of hotel, (ii) number of room nights purchased, (iii) nightly room rate, including any applicable taxes, (iv) total amount?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1741Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

With regard to Veterans Affairs Canada offices and the government’s response to Question on the Order Paper number Q-1550: (a) what was the capital cost incurred in relation to the re-opening of the offices mentioned in Q-1550, broken down by office; and (b) what is the net rent cost being paid for each of the office properties?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1742Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

With regard to recent tax changes by the United States of America that impose retroactive taxes on Canadian dual-citizens who own Canadian corporations with retained earnings: (a) will the amount withdrawn by such individuals for the purpose of paying the new tax imposed by the US be also subject to Canadian income tax; and (b) what specific measures, if any, is the government implementing to ensure that such Canadians are not subject to double-taxation?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1744Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

With regard to projects funded to date under the Atlantic Fisheries Fund: what are the details of all such projects, including (i) project name, (ii) description, (iii) location, (iv) recipient, (v) amount of federal contribution, (vi) riding, (vii) date of announcement?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1746Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

With regard to information sharing between the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Canada Council for the Arts: is being designated a professional artist by the Canada Council for the Arts sufficient proof in order to prevent the CRA from declaring an individual to be a “hobby artist”?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1748Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

With regard to funding from the Department of Justice through the Victims Fund - Child Advocacy Centres: what are the details of all (a) announced grant funding, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality and address of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was awarded, (iv) date on which the funding was received, (v) amount received; (b) unannounced grant funding, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was awarded, (iv) date on which the funding was received, (v) amount received; and (c) the amounts of the remaining unallocated funding?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1750Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

With regard to the economic empowerment and equality of females, for the years 2000 to 2018, broken down by calendar year, what are the : (a) hourly wages for full-time employment for females (18+); (b) hourly wages for full-time employment for males (18+); (c) comparison between the hourly wages for full-time employment between females and males (18+) expressed as a percentage; (d) hourly wages for part-time employment for females (18+); (e) hourly wages for part-time employment for males (18+); (f) comparison between the hourly wages for part-time employment between females and males (18+) expressed as a percentage; (g) percentage of females in full-time work; (h) percentage of males in full-time work; (i) percentage of females in part-time work; (j) percentage of males in part-time work; (k) percentage of females in self-employed work; (l) percentage of males in self-employed work; (m) percentage of females not participating in the formal workforce; (n) percentage of males not participating in the formal workforce; (o) total average pre-tax income for females with full-time work; (p) total average pre-tax income for males with full-time work; (q) total average after-tax income for females with full-time work; (r) total average after-tax income for males with full-time work; (s) average transfers from the Federal Government to females (18+); (t) average transfers from the government to males (18+); (u) average transfers from other levels of government to females (18+); (v) average transfers from other levels of government to males (18+); (w) percentage of females in poverty (LICO), (i) percentage of all females in poverty, (ii) percentage of females under the age of 18, (iii) percentage of females between 18 and 64, (iv) percentage of females 65+, (v) percentage of single females with no dependants, (vi) percentage of single females with dependants, (vii) percentage of married females, (viii) percentage of divorced/widowed females, (ix) percentage of females who are a visible minority, (x) percentage of females with a disability; (x) percentage of females in poverty (market-basket-measure), (i) percentage of all females in poverty, (ii) percentage of females under the age of 18, (iii) percentage of females between 18 and 64, (iv) percentage of females 65+, (v) percentage of single females with no dependants, (vi) percentage of single females with dependants, (vii) percentage of married females, (viii) percentage of divorced/widowed females, (ix) percentage of females who are a visible minority, (x) percentage of females with a disability; (y) percentage of females in poverty (LIM), (i) percentage of all female in poverty, (ii) percentage of female under the age of 18, (iii) percentage of female between 18 and 64, (iv) percentage of female 65+, (v) percentage of single females with no dependants, (vi) percentage of single females with dependants, (vii) percentage of married females, (viii) percentage of divorced/widowed females, (ix) percentage of females who are a visible minority, (x) percentage of females with a disability; (z) percentage of businesses owned by females, (i) total number of businesses owned by females, (ii) total number of small businesses owned by females, (iii) total number of medium sized businesses owned by females, (iv) total number of large businesses owned by females; (aa) percentage of females on the corporate boards of private businesses (federally and provincially regulated businesses; (bb) percentage of females on boards appointed by the Governor in Council; (cc) representation of females, as a percentage, in the civil service (employed in the civil service), (i) percentage at the Deputy Minister level, (ii) percentage at the executive level, (iii) percentage at the management level, (iv) percentage at the employee level; (dd) percentage of females in the diplomatic core, (i) percentage of ambassadors/high-commissioners, (ii) percentage of diplomatic postings, (iii) percentage of employees in Canadian embassies/high-commissions abroad?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 1751Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

With regard to the costs in legal fees, mediation and compensation for appeals and out of court settlements involving veterans, paid by the government, since 2008: (a) how many legal cases involving veterans were brought to court since 2008, broken down by (i) year, (ii) costs associated with expenses and other fees paid by the government, (iii) number of cases before the courts involving veterans, (iv) types of cases before the courts, (v) length of legal proceedings, in days, months or years; (b) how many legal cases involving veterans were settled out of court since 2008, broken down by (i) year, (ii) number of out of court settlements, (iii) amounts of out of court settlements and agreements, (iv) types of proceedings, (v) other expenses or fees associated with these settlements, (vi) length of talks between parties to reach an agreement in days, months or years; (c) since 2008, how many cases were ruled in favour of the government against veterans, broken down by (i) year, (ii) types of cases won by the government, (iii) total of expenses and legal fees paid, (iv) length of legal proceedings in days, months or year; (d) since 2008, how many cases, ruled in favour of the government against veterans, were appealed, broken down by (i) year, (ii) type of cases, (iii) court decision, (iv) all expenses and fees paid by the government; (e) since 2008, how many cases were ruled in favour of veterans against the government, broken down by (i) year, (ii) types of cases won by veterans, (iii) amounts won and reimbursed to veterans; (f) since 2008, how many cases ruled in favour of veterans against the government were appealed by the government, broken down by (i) year, (ii) types of cases, (iii) court decision, (iv) all expenses and fees paid by the government, (v) length of legal proceedings in days, months or years; (g) what amounts have veterans received in legal aid, since 2008, in legal proceedings involving veterans and the government, broken down by (i) year, (ii) legal aid amounts, (iii) types of cases heard; (h) what fees and expenses were paid by the government, since 2008, for mediation involving veterans or groups of veterans, broken down by (i) year, (ii) number of cases heard by a mediator, (iii) amount of mediation expenses paid by the government, (iv) types of cases heard by a mediator, (v) types of agreements reached between parties, namely the government and the veterans; and (i) since 2008, which law or mediation firms were hired by the government, broken down by (i) year, (ii) name of firms, (iii) amounts paid to each firm?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Order 69.1—Bill C-59—Speaker's RulingPoint of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The Chair is now prepared to rule on the point of order raised June 11, 2018 by the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly concerning the applicability of Standing Order 69.1 to Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters.

The Chair would like to thank the hon. member for having raised this question, as well as the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for his intervention.

The hon. member argued that Bill C-59 is an omnibus bill as he feels it contains several different initiatives which should be voted on separately. On a point of order raised on November 20, 2017, he initially asked the Chair to divide the question on the motion to refer the bill to committee before second reading. As the Speaker ruled on the same day, Standing Order 69.1 clearly indicates that the Chair only has such a power in relation to the motions for second reading and for third reading of a bill. The Speaker invited members to raise their arguments once again in relation to the motion for third reading.

The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly pointed out that each of the three parts of the bill enacts a new statute. Part 1 enacts the national security and intelligence review agency act, part 2 enacts the intelligence commissioner act, while part 3 enacts the Communications Security Establishment act. He argued that since each of the first two parts establishes a new entity, with details of each entity's mandate and powers, and since the third significantly expands the mandate of the CSE, he felt they should each be voted upon separately. He also argued that each part amends a variety of other acts, though the chair notes that in most cases, these are consequential amendments to change or add the name of the entities in question in other acts.

The hon. member argued that parts 4 and 5 of the bill should be voted on together. They deal with new powers being given to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, relating to metadata collection and threat disruption, as well as with the disclosure of information relating to security matters between government departments.

As part 6 deals with the Secure Air Travel Act and what is commonly referred to as the “no-fly list”, he felt that this was a distinct matter and that it should be voted upon separately.

Finally, the hon. member proposed grouping together parts 7, 8, 9, and 10 for a single vote. Part 7 deals with changes to the Criminal Code relating to terrorism, while part 8 deals with similar concepts in relation to young offenders. Part 9 provides for a statutory review of the entire bill after six years, while part 10 contains the coming into force provisions.

In his intervention on the matter, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader indicated that the provisions of the bill are linked by a common thread that represents the enhancement of Canada’s national security, as well as the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians. In order to achieve these objectives, he mentioned that it is necessary for Bill C-59 to touch on a number of acts, and that the bill should be seen as a whole, with several parts that would not be able to achieve the overall objective of the bill on their own. He concluded that Standing Order 69.1 should not apply in this case.

Standing Order 69.1 gives the Speaker the power to divide the question on a bill where there is not a common element connecting all the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked.

Bill C-59 does clearly contain several different initiatives. It establishes new agencies and mechanisms for oversight of national security agencies and deals with information collection and sharing as well as criminal offences relating to terrorism. That said, one could argue, as the parliamentary secretary did, that since these are all matters related to national security, there is, indeed, a common thread between them. However, the question the Chair must ask itself is whether these specific measures should be subjected to separate votes.

On March 1, 2018, the Speaker delivered a ruling regarding Bill C-69 where he indicated that he believed Standing Order 69.1 could be applied to a bill with multiple initiatives, even if they all related to the same policy field. In this particular case, while the Chair has no trouble agreeing that all of the measures contained in Bill C-59 relate to national security, it is the Chair's view that there are distinct initiatives that are sufficiently unrelated as to warrant dividing the question. Therefore, the Chair is prepared to divide the question on the motion for third reading of the bill.

The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly has asked for six separate votes, one on each of the first three parts, one on parts 4 and 5, one on part 6, and one on parts 7 to 10. While the Chair understands his reasoning, it does not entirely agree with his conclusions as to how the question should be divided.

As each of the first three parts of the bill does, indeed, enact a new act, the Chair can see why he would like to see each one voted upon separately. However, the Chair's reading of the bill is that these three parts establish an overall framework for oversight and national security activities. For example, the national security and intelligence review agency, which would be created by part 1, has some oversight responsibilities for the Communications Security Establishment provided for in part 3, as does the intelligence commissioner, established in part 2. Furthermore, the intelligence commissioner also has responsibilities related to datasets, provided for in part 4, as does the review agency. Given the multiple references in each of these parts to the entities established by other parts, these four parts will be voted upon together.

Part 5 deals with the disclosure of information between various government institutions in relation to security matters. While the relationship between it and the first four parts is not quite as strong, as the member indicated that he believed that parts 4 and 5 could be grouped together, the Chair is prepared to include part 5 in the vote on parts 1 to 4.

The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly has not addressed the question of the new part 1.1 added to Bill C-59 by the adoption of an amendment to that effect during clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Part 1.1 enacts the avoiding complicity in mistreatment by foreign entities act, which deals with information sharing in situations where there is a risk of mistreatment of individuals by foreign entities. Since the national security and intelligence review agency, created by part 1 of the bill, must review all directions prescribed in this new part, it is logical that this part be included in the vote on parts 1 to 5.

The Chair agrees with the hon. member that part 6 dealing with the “no-fly list” is a distinct matter and that it should be voted upon separately. The Chair also agree that parts 7 and 8 can be grouped together for a vote. Both largely deal with criminal matters, one in the Criminal Code and the other in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Chair has wrestled with where to place parts 9 and 10. They are, in the words of the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly, largely procedural elements, but they apply to the entire act. Part 9 provides for a legislative review of the act, while part 10 contains the coming into force provisions for the entire act. The Chair also must ensure that the title and preamble of the bill are included in one of the groups.

There is an obvious solution for coming into force provisions in part 10. Since clauses 169 to 172 relate to the coming into force of parts 1 to 5 of the bill, they will be voted on with those parts. As clause 173 deals with the coming into force of part 6, it will be included in the vote on that part.

This leaves the title and the preamble as well as the legislative review provided for in part 9, which is clause 168. Though these apply to the entire bill, the Chair has decided to include them in the largest grouping, which contains parts 1 to 5 of the bill.

Therefore, to summarize, there will be three votes in relation to the third reading of Bill C-59. The first vote will deal with parts 1 to 5 of the bill, as well as the title, the preamble, part 9 regarding the legislative review, and clauses 169 to 172 dealing with coming into force provisions. The second vote relates to part 6 of the bill and the coming into force provisions contained in clause 173. The third vote relates to parts 7 and 8 of the bill. The Chair will remind hon. members of these divisions before the voting begins.

I thank all hon. members for their attention.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.

The proposed legislation before us is very concerning for me, and I will tell members why.

I am a member of Parliament who is very fortunate to have grown up in my riding of Calgary Midnapore and to represent the place where I grew up. Calgary Midnapore is a beautiful riding in the south-central part of Calgary. It is home to five beautiful lakes. I was very fortunate to have grown up in one of these lake communities, called Lake Bonavista. In addition to Lake Bonavista, there is Lake Midnapore, Lake Chaparral, and Lake Sundance. We are so very fortunate to have come from these communities, which are lovely family environments. People grow up in the summer swimming in these lakes and in the winter skating on them. These communities really are the backbone of the riding.

These communities were built on the back of the energy sector, the oil and gas sector. It is something everyone in the community recognizes. Everyone is very proud that these lovely communities were built with the oil and gas sector. When we went to school in Calgary Midnapore, it was with the hope that one day, we would go on to high school and perhaps the University of Calgary, where we have prestigious business and engineering programs. I am a very proud graduate of the University of Calgary.

When I went to my niece Samantha's grade 4 graduation six years ago, all the students who were moving on to middle school went to the microphone and said what they hoped to do. Outside of many young people there wanting to be hockey players, so many said that they wanted to be accountants or engineers like their moms and go on to work in the oil and gas sector.

This was just part of who we were and our upbringing. We would grow up in these lovely communities and get an education with not only the hope but the confidence that we would have good jobs in the oil and gas sector when we were finished our education. We would get married, raise families, and have confidence that we would be able to provide for our families as a result of the oil and gas sector, which was so relied upon by this community for so long. It was such a backbone of not only Calgary Midnapore but of Calgary itself, Alberta, and beyond. It is similar, perhaps, to how people in our capital might reference the public sector.

In addition to that, there was an appreciation of the National Energy Board. It was seen as an institution in Calgary. It was well understood that the decisions that came out of the National Energy Board had gone through a rigorous process, with proper consideration of all the factors necessary to support a thriving oil and gas sector and a prudent oil and gas sector, one that took into account the many needs and considerations of project approval.

These are two sacred cows in the riding I represent and grew up in: the oil and gas sector, and the confidence within that sector; and the National Energy Board. Unfortunately, with Bill C-69, we are seeing these concepts, these things Calgarians count on, thrown out the window entirely. These things will not exist any longer as we knew them before.

It is because of these considerations that provide so much more uncertainty in this sector, not only for the citizens of Calgary Midnapore, but in Calgary and beyond. Of course, the considerations I am referring to are numerous, but they include health, social issues, gender issues, and indigenous rights.

Therefore, going forward, everything has changed as we know it in the oil and gas sector for my constituents of Calgary Midnapore. We are seeing this take place in a number of ways, and one is in the uncertainty of project approval. I have a quote from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.

CEPA is very concerned with the scope of the proposed new Impact Assessment process. From the outset, CEPA has stated that individual project reviews are not the appropriate place to resolve broad policy issues, such as climate change, which should be part of a Pan-Canadian Framework. Including these policy issues adds a new element of subjectivity that could continue to politicize the assessment process.

That is what I said when the NEB review came out last year. I said that the right hon. Prime Minister wrote the report he wanted, and he got the outcomes he wanted in regard to what I believe is essentially destroying the NEB. Everything certainly has changed.

We are hearing a lot of other things in regard to project approvals from industry members themselves, who are very concerned. Here is a quote from a land manager at Cona Resources, a foreign investment company that has left Canada. I will talk a little more about this later, but it is not alone in its exodus. It said, “To a certain extent, Canada will remain a higher cost country because of the social infrastructure that we have in place and our social licence to operate. While there is some opportunity to reduce some of those, the costs are not a net benefit to the country. I don't think that is what is deterring foreign investment. I think if we had greater consistency in both the royalties and taxation structure, people would be more comfortable. The uncertainty is what drives away project approval and foreign investment, and you have to sort of rely on your desire. If the project is a net benefit to Canada as a whole, you have to trust that the federal government will be able to enforce the decisions that were made, and trust that they are making the right decisions.”

Therefore, Bill C-69 is very concerning to industry members as well.

With regard to uncertainty to market access, we have seen that in a number of projects recently. Petronas LNG, a $36-billion project, has left Canada as a result of the uncertainty of project approval, and therefore market access. Keystone, with 830,000 barrels of oil a day, an $8-billion project, is at this time not going forward. Energy east, a $15.7-billion project, was abandoned, squarely on the NEB decision to consider direct and indirect greenhouse emissions. Northern gateway would have provided close to 4,000 jobs.

What else are we seeing? We are seeing foreign investment fleeing, as I mentioned previously. The corporations are too numerous to mention, but I will name a few of them. There is Royal Dutch Shell. It has gone. Growing up in Calgary Midnapore, I remember during the 1988 winter Olympics, people wearing their Shell jackets with pride. There is Statoil, a Norwegian company. We have heard a lot about Norway in our conversations here. Marathon Oil is out the door, as is ConocoPhillips. Investment is simply not attractive in Canada at this time, and we continue to see these investments leaving Canada.

I mentioned previously an event I went to called SelectUSA, where the U.S. consulates network is working very hard to attract even Canadian investment outside of Canada to the States. That is because that environment is providing a more competitive environment and better place for corporations to do business at this time.

In conclusion, I will say for Calgary Midnapore and Canadians that things will never be the same after Bill C-69.

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4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, when I saw this bill, I happened to be sitting in on committee one night when the committee members were voting on over 300 amendments that were put forward, and half of the amendments came from the Liberals on their own bill. I could not believe it.

Does the member feel that the foreign investment and the investment fleeing from Canada is because of the extra regulation that this bill would put in place? Is investment fleeing because of the extra taxation that the Liberal government is putting in place? Is it because of the uncertainty that the Liberal government is putting in place? Is it all of the above? I give you a multiple-choice question; I am sure you will have multiple answers.

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4:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before we go to the hon. member, I want to remind everyone to place their questions through the Speaker and not directly, even if the person is right behind them. It just makes it that much easier if one goes through the Speaker.

The hon. member for Calgary Midnapore.

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4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Sadly, Mr. Speaker, my colleague from North Okanagan—Shuswap knows that the response is “all of the above”. It is for a multitude of reasons that we are in fear of this piece of legislation, and for all of those reasons, the project approval, the uncertainty in regard to market access, the foreign investment that is in large exodus from Canada. The sad thing is that there are so many other reasons beyond those three, and as they relate specifically to Bill C-69, they are the carbon tax, red tape, taxation structures in general. It is a very unfortunate time for not only the oil and gas sector, but for Canadian industry in general. I am very worried for the future of not only my son, but for all the young inhabitants of Calgary Midnapore.

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4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues have asked my colleague from Calgary Midnapore questions on a number of the packages that are contained in this bill. It also is relevant to Bill C-68 and the Fisheries Act. We noted that in our speeches last week as well. My colleague has talked about the number of businesses that have left Canada because of some of these regulations that are too onerous for them to be here and continue to work in the oil industry. One number we have heard is that $88 billion has left, and 110,000 jobs out of Alberta. I wonder if the member could expand on that.

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4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly an incredible amount of investment that has fled, but the member reminds me of the irony of this situation. I believe that the Liberal government and the environment minister are doing this in an attempt to improve the environment. The irony is that in fact what will happen is carbon leakage. Canadians would be fortunate if these corporations decided to take their business to the U.S., compared to other jurisdictions where the environmental standards are far worse. However, that is what is going to happen if we do not create a better business environment for the natural resources sector to operate within. Not only is there fleeing investment, but the whole purpose of this piece of legislation is defeated. Corporations will move to the jurisdictions where it is the least expensive to do business, and frequently that will be nations that do not have the same high standards that the oil and gas sector in Canada has had for decades.

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4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our colleague from Calgary Midnapore for a very heartfelt intervention. I think I have just scrapped my entire speech because of what our colleague has mentioned.

It brought me back to growing up in the Cariboo and what our thoughts and dreams were as kids. I was one of the those kids who wanted to be a hockey player and to move on. However, the reality was, we were probably going to become a logger or a farmer, because that is what we did, and that is what we do very well in the Cariboo.

Bill C-69 bring us back to yet another failed election promise of the Liberals and to some of what we have mentioned throughout this House over recent days, weeks, and months. When the member for Papineau was campaigning in 2015, he talked about letting debate reign, yet here we sit.

This is the 44th time allocation that has been imposed on this House, meaning that the members of Parliament on the opposition side, and the Canadians who elected them, have not had the full opportunity to present their feelings about what the government is doing, whether it is on Bill C-69, Bill C-59, Bill C-71, or Bill C-68.

Thank goodness that the Standing Orders dictate that private members' bills cannot be time allocated, and our late colleague, Senator Enverga's private member's bill, Bill S-218, has had the full breadth of comments and support.

Bill C-69 seeks to reverse the 2012 changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. I will bring us back again to the promise from the member for Papineau, or one of the Liberals, who said that the government would undertake a full review of laws, policies, and operational practices when it comes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

There are a number of people, groups, and organizations that have serious concerns over what Bill C-69 proposes. Our hon. colleague has mentioned, and it has been mentioned before, that most notably the legislation says it intends to decrease the timelines for both major and minor projects. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of ministerial and Governor in Council exemptions that can be exercised to slow down approvals.

What Bill C-69 represents is not a further clarification of the rules and regulations so that project proponents and those who are trying to enforce the act know where they stand, but rather it muddies the waters. What we have heard time and again, what the committee heard time and again, was that it was a wait and see. There was a lot of concern, and indeed those very groups, the environmental groups, that the Liberals campaigned to and got their vote are now saying that it does not meet the standards.

We have seen this over and over again with the government. It likes to say it has consulted with Canadians, and its Liberal members stand with their hand on their heart and talk about how important consultation is. Yet we know, time and again, as it is with the cannabis legislation, the Liberals are rushing legislation through without fully looking at some of the concerns that have been brought forward by the groups, the organizations, and the stakeholders who are going to be most impacted.

Let us talk about the Arctic surf clam in my file. I cannot stand up and do a speech nowadays without bringing up this injustice. The minister was given the authority and the discretion to go in and implement policy, without anybody checking how this would impact the stakeholders, and without the minister consulting about how that policy would impact those on the ground, the stakeholders, whose livelihoods truly depend on the Arctic surf clam fishery. These are some of the concerns that we have.

When the member for Papineau was campaigning, he said that omnibus bills were done for, and yet here we are again debating another 400-page piece of legislation.

He also talked about maybe having a small deficit of $10 billion. We now know that it will not be our children but our grandchildren who will see a balanced budget, because of the Liberal government's spending.

Bill C-69 represents more broken promises, and it does nothing to give confidence to industry. We know at this time that foreign investment is fleeing our nation at record levels. The CEO from Suncor recently spoke to Bill C-69 and said that it had absolutely put a nail in the coffin of Canadian investment in industry.

The government would like everyone to believe that it knows best and that the Ottawa-developed policies have the best intentions for Canadians, yet the Liberals are not listening when Canadians are speaking. They are not allowing members of Parliament to stand and bring the voices of Canadians to Parliament.

It would not be one of my speeches if I did not remind the House and Canadians that the House does not belong to me, and it sure as heck does not belong to those on the government side. It belongs to Canadians. All 338 members of Parliament and the Canadians who elected them deserve to have a say and to have their voices heard. When the government is forcing time allocation on pieces of legislation that fundamentally are going to have an impact on Canadians' lives, Canadians deserve to have a say.

Industry is shaken at the government's lack of consultation and lack of understanding on how we are moving forward. A good friend of mine, the hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap, asked our colleague from Calgary Midnapore about the industry's lack of confidence. Is it the carbon tax and the fact that the government refuses to tell Canadians how much it is going to be? Is it Bill C-69, the regulatory environment, that is shaking the confidence of the industry? Is it other legislation that is shaking the confidence of industry, or is it all of the above?

I would offer one more. The Prime Minister, in one of his earliest speeches to the world, spoke about how Canada was going to be known more for its resourcefulness than for its natural resources. The Liberals have waged war against our energy sector from day one. He said he wished the government could phase out the energy sector sooner and apologized for it.

Canadians and the energy sector, our natural resource industry, deserve a champion. The Minister of Natural Resources has said that it is about time our forestry producers and our energy producers got in line with what the world is doing in terms of technology and sustainable harvesting.

Whether it is our softwood lumber producers, our oil and gas producers, our fishermen on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, or our farmers, Canada has some of the best, if not the best, in terms of technology and harvesting. They are leading the way. They just need a champion. Guess what? They will have that in 2019, when the Conservatives regain the right side of the House.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are a few things the member and I have discussed that he did not bring up in his speech, and I would like him to elaborate on those if he could. He said that the Liberal government is not listening to Canadians. However, it is listening to foreign influence, which is being driven into our coastal communities and our resource sector. We have seen it time and again. It is having an incredibly negative effect on our economy and our resource sector.

Canada was built on our resource sector. We now have a cleaner resource sector than anywhere else in the world, yet the Liberal government is shutting it down due to influence from foreign operations that do not want to see Canada succeed as a resource country. I would like to ask the member if he could elaborate more on that foreign influence.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from North Okanagan—Shuswap brings up a great point. I meant to bring it up, but I got so excited about all the other topics.

Bill C-69 and Bill C-68 are fluff pieces that kind of weighed into the 2015 campaign promises to the environmental groups. Fishermen groups have come to my office to tell me that when the Conservatives were in power, they could get in to see a minister, and now they need to go through an environmental group to see a minister. I have also heard that sitting around the table to develop this policy are more environmental groups than the actual stakeholders whom this is going to affect the most. We also know who is calling the shots at the highest level of government. It is Gerald Butts, who was the president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund prior to coming to his current office and calling the shots.

Bill C-69 represents another fluff piece of legislation that both sides have said does not go far enough. I have said it before: Canadians and industry deserve a champion, and they are going to get one in 2019.

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4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a great amount of respect for my hon. colleague. However, there are a couple of minor things, minor to some and major to others, that I would like to bring up.

First, this is not particularly germane to the debate, but he talked about the surf clam issue. I was equally disappointed about the issue, to be quite honest. There was consultation beforehand. There was some interest in my riding, and people brought their issues forward. They were consulted with, and had contact.

I would like to touch on a second point, which is the fact that there were promises made and promises kept from a prior administration. The Conservatives promised custodial management of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks. The changes they made allowed foreigners to not only manage the outside, where they are now, but manage inside the 200-mile limit as well, an egregious mistake that some day we will pay for and try to make up for.

The member mentioned that in the past, under the Conservative regime, fishery stakeholders did meet with the minister. I would ask him to name one.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the record. I have so much respect for my hon. colleague across the way. Perhaps he is now trying to ingratiate himself back into the good graces of the Prime Minister as he needs his papers signed, and that is why he has asked this question. Nobody else has asked that question or a question on this point.

I will answer his question on the surf clam issue. If he checks the record, he will find that I was not talking about consultation on the surf clam. I was talking about the minister's authority to arbitrarily take 25% of the quota and, I might add, award it to the brother of a sitting Liberal MP, the member of Parliament for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, an egregious error and decision, all under the guise of reconciliation. We now know that the group he awarded it to had the lowest number of first nations people. How shameful is it that the Liberals are using the term “reconciliation”, which is supposed to bring first nations and non-first nations together rather than pit them against one another, as a reason for their ill will?

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 4:40 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Wednesday, June 6, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on the motion that this question be now put. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed will please say nay.

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4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the division stands deferred until Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is the following: the hon. member for Saskatoon West, Housing.

[For continuation of proceedings, see part B]

[Continuation of proceedings from part A]

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

moved that Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, as I open this final third reading debate on Bill C-59, Canada's new framework governing our national security policies and practices, I want to thank everyone who has helped to get us to this point today.

Historically, there were many previous studies and reports that laid the intellectual groundwork for Bill C-59. Justices Frank Iacobucci, John Major, and Dennis O'Connor led prominent and very important inquiries. There were also significant contributions over the years from both current and previous members of Parliament and senators. The academic community was vigorously engaged. Professors Forcese, Roach, Carvin, and Wark have been among the most constant and prolific of watchdogs, commentators, critics, and advisers. A broad collection of organizations that advocate for civil, human, and privacy rights have also been active participants in the process, including the Privacy Commissioner. We have heard from those who now lead or have led in the past our key national security agencies, such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment, the Canada Border Services Agency, Global Affairs Canada, the Privy Council Office, and many others. While not consulted directly, through their judgments and reports we have also had the benefit of guidance from the Federal Court of Canada, other members of the judiciary, and independent review bodies like the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and the commissioner for the Communications Security Establishment.

National security issues and concerns gained particular prominence in the fall of 2014, with the attacks in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and here in Ottawa, which spawned the previous government's Bill C-51, and a very intense public debate.

During the election campaign that followed, we undertook to give Canadians the full opportunity to be consulted on national security, actually for the first time in Canadian history. We also promised to correct a specific enumerated list of errors in the old Bill C-51. Both of those undertakings have been fulfilled through the new bill, Bill C-59, and through the process that got us to where we are today.

Through five public town hall meetings across the country, a digital town hall, two national Twitter chats, 17 engagement events organized locally by members of Parliament in different places across the country, 14 in-person consultations with a broad variety of specific subject matter experts, a large national round table with civil society groups, hearings by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, and extensive online engagement, tens of thousands of Canadians had their say about national security like never before, and all of their contributions were compiled and made public for everyone else to see.

Based upon this largest and most extensive public consultation ever, Bill C-59 was introduced in Parliament in June of last year. It remained in the public domain throughout the summer for all Canadians to consider and digest.

Last fall, to ensure wide-ranging committee flexibility, we referred the legislation to the standing committee before second reading. Under the rules of the House, that provides the members on that committee with a broader scope of debate and possible amendment. The committee members did extensive work. They heard from three dozen witnesses, received 95 briefs, debated at length, and in the end made 40 different amendments.

The committee took what all the leading experts had said was a very good bill to start with, and made it better. I want to thank all members of the committee for their conscientious attention to the subject matter and their extensive hard work.

The legislation has three primary goals.

First, we sought to provide Canada with a modern, up-to-date framework for its essential national security activity, bearing in mind that the CSIS Act, for example, dates back to 1984, before hardly anyone had even heard of the information highway or of what would become the World Wide Web. Technology has moved on dramatically since 1984; so have world affairs and so has the nature of the threats that we are facing in terms of national security. Therefore, it was important to modify the law, to bring it up to date, and to put it into a modern context.

Second, we needed to correct the defects in the old Bill C-51, again, which we specifically enumerated in our 2015 election platform. Indeed, as members go through this legislation, they will see that each one of those defects has in fact been addressed, with one exception and that is the establishment of the committee of parliamentarians, which is not included in Bill C-59. It was included, and enacted by Parliament already, in Bill C-22.

Third, we have launched the whole new era of transparency and accountability for national security through review and oversight measures that are unprecedented, all intended to provide Canadians with the assurance that their police, security, and intelligence agencies are indeed doing the proper things to keep them safe while at the same time safeguarding their rights and their freedoms, not one at the expense of the other, but both of those important things together.

What is here in Bill C-59 today, after all of that extensive consultation, that elaborate work in Parliament and in the committees of Parliament, and the final process to get us to third reading stage? Let me take the legislation part by part. I noticed that in a ruling earlier today, the Chair indicated the manner in which the different parts would be voted upon and I would like to take this opportunity to show how all of them come together.

Part 1 would create the new national security and intelligence review agency. Some have dubbed this new agency a “super SIRC”. Indeed it is a great innovation in Canada's security architecture. Instead of having a limited number of siloed review bodies, where each focused exclusively on one agency alone to the exclusion of all others, the new national security and intelligence review agency would have a government-wide mandate. It would be able to follow the issues and the evidence, wherever that may lead, into any and every federal department or agency that has a national security or intelligence function. The mandate is very broad. We are moving from a vertical model where they have to stay within their silo to a horizontal model where the new agency would be able to examine every department of government, whatever its function may be, with respect to national security. This is a major, positive innovation and it is coupled, of course, with that other innovation that I mentioned a moment ago: the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians created under Bill C-22. With the two of them together, the experts who would be working on the national security and intelligence review agency, and the parliamentarians who are already working on the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, Canadians can have great confidence that the work of the security, intelligence, and police agencies is being properly scrutinized and in a manner that befits the complexity of the 21st century.

This scrutiny would be for two key purposes: to safeguard rights and freedoms, yes absolutely, but also to ensure our agencies are functioning successfully in keeping Canadians safe and their country secure. As I said before, it is not one at the expense of the other, it is both of those things together, effectiveness coupled with the safeguarding of rights.

Then there is a new part in the legislation. After part 1, the committee inserted part 1.1 in Bill C-59, by adding the concept of a new piece of legislation. In effect, this addition by the committee would elevate to the level of legislation the practice of ministers issuing directives to their agencies, instructing them to function in such a manner as to avoid Canadian complicity in torture or mistreatment by other countries. In future, these instructions would be mandatory, not optional, would exist in the form of full cabinet orders in council, and would be made public. That is an important element of transparency and accountability that the committee built into the new legislation, and it is an important and desirable change. The ministerial directives have existed in the past. In fact, we have made them more vigorous and public than ever before, but part 1.1 would elevate this to a higher level. It would make it part of legislation itself, and that is the right way to go.

Part 2 of the new law would create the new role and function of the intelligence commissioner. For the first time ever, this would be an element of real time oversight, not just a review function after the fact. The national security and intelligence review agency would review events after they have happened. The intelligence commissioner would actually have a function to perform before activities are undertaken. For certain specified activities listed in the legislation, both the Canadian security intelligence agency and the Communications Security Establishment would be required to get the approval of the intelligence commissioner in advance. This would be brand new innovation in the law and an important element of accountability.

Part 3 of Bill C-59 would create stand-alone legislative authority for the Communications Security Establishment. The CSE has existed for a very long time, and its legislation has been attached to other legislation this Parliament has previously passed. For the first time now, the CSE would have its own stand-alone legal authorization in new legislation. As Canada's foreign signals intelligence agency, CSE is also our centre for cybersecurity expertise. The new legislation lays out the procedures and the protection around both defensive and active cyber-operations to safeguard Canadians. That is another reason it is important the CSE should have its own legal authorization and legislative form in a stand-alone act.

Part 4 would revamp the CSIS Act. As I mentioned earlier, CSIS was enacted in 1984, and that is a long time ago. In fact, this is the largest overall renovation of the CSIS legislation since 1984. For example, it would ensure that any threat reduction activities would be consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It would create a modern regime for dealing with datasets, the collection of those datasets, the proper use of those datasets, and how they are disposed of after the fact. It would clarify the legal authorities of CSIS employees under the Criminal Code and other federal legislation. It would bring clarity, precision, and a modern mandate to CSIS for the first time since the legislation was enacted in 1984.

Part 5 of the bill would change the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act to the security of Canada information disclosure act. The reason for the wording change is to make it clear that this law would not create any new collection powers. It deals only with the sharing of existing information among government agencies and it lays out the procedure and the rules by which that sharing is to be done.

The new act will clarify thresholds and definitions. It will raise the standards. It will sharpen the procedures around information sharing within the government. It will bolster record keeping, both on the part of those who give the information and those who receive the information. It will clearly exempt, and this is important, advocacy and dissent and protest from the definition of activities that undermine national security. Canadians have wanted to be sure that their democratic right to protest is protected and this legislation would do so.

Part 6 would amend the Secure Air Travel Act. This act is the legislation by which Canada establishes a no-fly list. We all know the controversy in the last couple of years about false positives coming up on the no-fly list and some people, particularly young children, being prevented from taking flights because their name was being confused with the name of someone else. No child is on the Canadian no-fly list. Unfortunately, there are other people with very similar names who do present security issues, whose names are on the list, and there is confusion between the two names. We have undertaken to try to fix that problem. This legislation would establish the legal authority for the Government of Canada to collect the information that would allow us to fix the problem.

The other element that is required is a substantial amount of funding. It is an expensive process to establish a whole new database. That funding, I am happy to say, was provided by the Minister of Finance in the last budget. We are on our way toward fixing the no-fly list.

Part 7 would amend the Criminal Code in a variety of ways, including withdrawing certain provisions which have never been used in the pursuit of national security in Canada, while at the same time creating a new offence in language that would more likely be utilized and therefore more useful to police authorities in pursuing criminals and laying charges.

Part 8 would amend the Youth Justice Act for the simple purpose of trying to ensure that offences with respect to terrorism where young people are involved would be handled under the terms of the Youth Justice Act.

Part 9 of the bill would establish a statutory review. That is another of the commitments we made during the election campaign, that while we were going to have this elaborate consultation, we were going to bring forward new legislation, we were going to do our very best to fix the defects in Bill C-51, and move Canada forward with a new architecture in national security appropriate to the 21st century.

We would also build into the law the opportunity for parliamentarians to take another look at this a few years down the road, assess how it has worked, where the issues or the problems might be, and address any of those issues in a timely way. In other words, it keeps the whole issue green and alive so future members of Parliament will have the chance to reconsider or to move in a different direction if they think that is appropriate. The statutory review is built into Part 9.

That is a summary of the legislation. It has taken a great deal of work and effort on the part of a lot of people to get us to this point today.

I want to finish my remarks with where I began a few moments ago, and that is to thank everyone who has participated so generously with their hard work and their advice to try to get this framework right for the circumstances that Canada has to confront in the 21st century, ensuring we are doing those two things and doing them well, keeping Canadians safe and safeguarding their rights and freedoms.

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5 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister said that 36 witnesses appeared before the committee during its months-long study. One of them was Richard Fadden, the former national security advisor to the former and current prime ministers.

Mr. Fadden said that Bill C-59 was problematic because it was harder to understand and manage than the Income Tax Act. He said that the transfer of information seemed especially complicated.

Can the minister comment on Mr. Fadden's remarks? Does he agree with him? Is there still time to change things?

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5 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to discuss this legislation with Mr. Fadden, as well as the previous bill, Bill C-22, the committee of parliamentarians. In putting together this legislation, as with Bill C-22, I have had the opportunity also to benefit from his input and his good advice.

The issues we are dealing with here are complex and that does require a degree of complexity and sophistication in the legislation. However, I have every confidence with the talent that exists in our security, police, and intelligence agencies and with the resources that will be provided to those agencies that they will be able to do the jobs that we expect them to do, keeping Canadians safe, safeguarding rights and freedoms, and do that all, while they also account publicly to Canadians for their conduct and behaviour. There is no reason why the two have to be mutually exclusive.

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5:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, certainly after hearing the minister go through the bill part by part, we just do not have time for in questions and comments, which I will do in my speech. However, there are three specific issues I want to raise with him.

The first is this talk of this big open and transparent process, notwithstanding the criticism that came from civil society about the government's green paper being too focused on giving law enforcement more flexibility and powers and not protecting rights and freedoms. The fact is that at committee nearly all those amendments were Liberal. Two NDP amendments were adopted, one because of a symbolic preamble. The other after agreeing to Liberal wording. Zero Conservatives and zero Green amendments were adopted. Therefore, when we talk about 55 amendments, it is important to put that into context.

Speaking of amendments, a lot of hay is being made of this great amendment the Liberals have adopted that codifies in law ministerial directives related to the information obtained under the use of torture. If the Liberals truly believe that this is not the right way to go, I want the minister to explain to me why his Liberal colleagues voted against my amendment that read as follows. The establishment in this case is CSE, and I presented similar amendments for other agencies, and it is prohibited from:

(a) disclosing information obtained in the performance of its duties and functions under this Act, or requesting information, if the disclosure or the request would subject an individual to a danger, believed on substantial grounds to exist, of mistreatment; or

(b) using information that is believed on reasonable grounds to have been obtained as a result of mistreatment of an individual.

(2) For the purposes of this section, mistreatment means torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within the meaning of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed at New York on December 10, 1984.

If the Liberals truly think that we, as Canadians, believe it is fundamentally unacceptable to obtain information or to use information obtained in the use of torture, why did the Liberals vote on the record, in recorded votes, against every amendment I had that would read exactly like that, explicitly prohibiting the use of torture? Why do they settle for ministerial directives?

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5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, as the legislation now says, they are no longer ministerial directives. In fact, after the passage of Bill C-59, and the inclusion of part 1.1, they become orders in council of the government in total, which has the full force and effect of the law.

The language was adopted the way it was to ensure that our police and security agencies would have the capacity to take action when they believed the lives of Canadians were at risk. If information becomes available to CSIS or the RCMP, which they believe is credible, and indicates that the lives of Canadians are imminently in danger, Canadians would expect their government to authorize their security services to act on that information to save Canadian lives. That is why it is written the way it is.

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5:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud the minister for his efforts in trying to pull everything together. When we sat on the opposition benches during the debate on Bill C-51, a great divide was being created. Canadians had serious concerns about their rights and freedoms. At the same time, there was the issue of wanting to feel safe in changing times.

Could the minister provide his thoughts on how important it was to strike the right balance? In particular, could he give some attention to a previous legislation he brought forward regarding the parliamentary standing committee that was there to protect the rights of Canadians?

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5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, so much of this discussion sometimes tends to get polarized, where the focus is either exclusively on one side of the equation or the other. Unfortunately, that happened in spades in the course of the last election campaign. There were some political voices arguing exclusively that the legislation needed to get tougher and other political voices arguing it needed to get weaker. Quite frankly, when we asked Canadians on the street, they said that they did not want either of those two options.

Canadians actually wanted both of those values together. They wanted to know that the legislation on national security and intelligence was good, strong legislation that gave our security agencies the tools they needed to keep Canadians safe. At the same time, they wanted transparency and accountability, and they wanted their rights and freedoms to be safeguarded. That was what we were looking for through the whole process of putting this legislation together, to get that mix right.

It was not so much a balance, because a balance implies a tradeoff, one against the other, and Canadians were saying that they wanted both together. They wanted us to give them legislation that would protect their rights and freedoms and at the same time keep them safe. On the basis of the vast majority of the input we received, I think we have the mix right and we achieve those two objectives simultaneously.

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5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his explanation of Bill C-59. My hon. colleague from the NDP indicated the number of amendments that were presented by various parties, very few of which were adopted by the Liberal majority at committee. However, the witnesses at committee expressed some concerns that with the current wording of the bill, there would be a tendency for the various security organizations inside the big umbrella of national security to be very protective of the information they had and to remain in silos and by remaining in those silos for fear of releasing information to another agency inside that big umbrella, they might run afoul of their political masters with a breach of privacy.

I am interested to have the minister's comments on whether he believes Bill C-59 strikes the right balance whereby agencies that receive information of threats to our country have full freedom to share that within the public service to other agencies without fear of releasing private information.

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5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, we have addressed that issue in two ways. First is by clarifying the rules within the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act to give more direction and more instruction to the agencies about how they properly share information, to try to get rid of the vagueness, to establish what the thresholds are, and to ensure it is being recorded and reported on both ends of the equation, those who are giving the information and those who are receiving it, to make the process more understandable by the people who are involved in it, and in fact producing a set of guidelines for how to share information properly.

The second step that is important is in the review process, under the umbrella of the national security and intelligence review agency. That review process has jurisdiction over all the agencies. It is not limited to one particular agency. It has the authority to examine the activities of every department and agency of the Government of Canada that has anything to do with national security or intelligence. That review process will be able to track very carefully whether and how information is being shared properly.

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5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his speech.

On June 20, 2017, almost a year ago to the day, the minister introduced Bill C-59 in the House. Shortly after that, he said that, instead of bringing it back for second reading, it would be sent straight to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security so the committee could strengthen and improve it. Opposition members thought that was fantastic. We thought there would be no need for political games for once. Since this bill is about national security, we thought we could work together to ensure that Bill C-59 works for Canadians. When it comes to security, there is no room for partisanship.

Unfortunately, the opposition soon realized that it was indeed a political game. The work we were asked to do was essentially pointless. I will have more to say about that later.

The government introduced Bill C-71, the firearms bill, in much the same way. It said it would sever the gun-crime connection, but this bill does not even go there. The government is targeting hunters and sport shooters, but that is another story.

Getting back to Bill C-59, we were invited to propose amendments. We worked very hard. We got a lot of work done in just under nine months. We really took the time to go through this 250-page omnibus bill. We Conservatives proposed 45 specific amendments that we thought were important to improve Bill C-59, as the minister had asked us to do. In the end, none of our amendments were accepted by the committee or the government. Once again, we were asked to do a certain job, but then our work was dismissed, even though everything we proposed made a lot of sense.

The problem with Bill C-59, as far as we are concerned, is that it limits the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's ability to reduce terrorist threats. It also limits the ability of government departments to share data among themselves to protect national security. It removes the offence of advocating and promoting terrorist offences in general. Finally, it raises the threshold for obtaining a terrorism peace bond and recognizance with conditions. One thing has been clear to us from the beginning. Changing just two words in a 250-page document can sometimes make all the difference. What we found is that it will be harder for everyone to step in and address a threat.

The minister does indeed have a lot of experience. I think he has good intentions and truly wants this to work, but there is a prime minister above him who has a completely different vision and approach. Here we are, caught in a bind, with changes to our National Security Act that ultimately do nothing to enhance our security.

Our allies around the world, especially those in Europe, have suffered attacks. Bill C-51 was introduced in 2014, in response to the attacks carried out here, in Canada. Right now, we do not see any measures that would prevent someone from returning to the Islamic State. This is a problem. Our act is still in force, and we are having a hard time dealing with Abu Huzaifa, in Toronto. The government is looking for ways to arrest him—if that is what it truly wants to do—and now it is going to pass a law that will make things even harder for our security services. We are having a hard time with this.

Then there is the whole issue of radicalization. Instead of cracking down on it, the government is trying to put up barriers to preventing it. The funny thing is that at the time, when they were in the opposition, the current Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Prime Minister both voted with the government in favour of Bill C-51. There was a lot of political manoeuvring, and during the campaign, the Liberals said that they would address Bill C-51, a bill they had supported. At the time, it was good, effective counter-terrorism legislation. However, the Liberals listened to lobby groups and said during the campaign that they would amend it.

I understand the world of politics, being a part of it. However, there are certain issues on which we should set politics aside in the interest of national security. Our allies, the Five Eyes countries are working to enhance their security and to be more effective.

The message we want to get across is that adding more red tape to our structures makes them less operationally effective. I have a really hard time with that.

Let me share some examples of amendments we proposed to Bill C-59. We proposed an amendment requiring the minister to table in Parliament a clear description of the way the various organizations would work together, namely, the NSIC, CSE, CSIS, the new committee of parliamentarians, as well as the powers and duties of the minister.

In our meetings with experts, we noticed that people had a hard time understanding who does what and who speaks to whom. We therefore drafted an amendment that called on the minister to provide a breakdown of the duties that would be clear to everyone. The answer was no. The 45 amendments we are talking about were not all ideological in nature, but rather down to earth. The amendments were rejected.

It was the Conservative government that introduced Bill C-51 when it was in office. Before the bill was passed, the mandate of CSIS prevented it from engaging in any disruption activities. For example, CSIS could not approach the parents of a radicalized youth and encourage them to dissuade their child from travelling to a war zone or conducting attacks here in Canada. After Bill C-51 was passed, CSIS was able to engage in some threat disruption activities without a warrant and in others with a warrant. Threat disruption refers to efforts to stop terrorist attacks while they are still in the planning stages.

Threat disruption activities not requiring a warrant are understood to be any activities that are not contrary to Canadian laws. Threat disruption activities requiring a warrant currently include any activity that would infringe on an individual's privacy or other rights and any activity that contravenes Canada's laws. Any threat disruption activities that would cause bodily harm, violate sexual integrity, or obstruct justice are specifically prohibited.

Under Bill C-51, warrants were not required for activities that were not against Canadian law. Bill C-51 was balanced. No one could ask to intervene if it was against the law to do so. When there was justification, that worked, but if a warrant was required, one was applied for.

At present, Bill C-59 limits the threat reduction activities of CSIS to the specific measures listed in the bill. CSIS cannot employ these measures without a warrant. At present CSIS requires a warrant for these actions, which I will describe. First, a warrant is required to amend, remove, replace, destroy, disrupt, or degrade a communication or means of communication. Second, a warrant is also required to modify, remove, replace, destroy, degrade, or provide or interfere with the use or delivery of all or part of something, including files, documents, goods, components, and equipment.

The work was therefore complicated by the privacy objectives of Canadians. Bill C-51 created a privacy problem. Through careful analysis and comparison, it eventually became clear that the work CSIS was requesting was not in fact a privacy intrusion, as was believed. Even the privacy commissioners and witnesses did not analyze the situation the same way we are seeing now.

Bill C-51 made it easier to secure peace bonds in terrorism cases. Before Bill C-51, the legal threshold for police to secure a peace bond was that a person had to fear that another person will commit a terrorism offence.

Under Bill C-51, a peace bond could be issued if there were reasonable grounds to fear that a person might commit a terrorism offence. It is important to note that Bill C-59 maintains the lower of the two thresholds by using “may”. However, Bill C-59 raises the threshold from “is likely” to “is necessary”.

Earlier when I mentioned the two words that changed out of the 250 pages, I was referring to changing “is likely” to “is necessary”. These two words make all the difference for preventing a terrorist activity, in order to secure a peace bond.

It would be very difficult to prove that a peace bond, with certain conditions, is what is needed to prevent an act of terrorism. This would be almost as complex as laying charges under the Criminal Code. What we want, however, is to get information to be able to act quickly to prevent terrorist acts.

We therefore proposed an amendment to the bill calling for a recognizance order to be issued if a peace officer believes that such an order is likely to prevent terrorist activities. The Liberals are proposing replacing the word “likely” with the words “is necessary”. We proposed an amendment to eliminate that part of the bill, but it was refused. That is the main component of Bill C-59 with respect to managing national security.

Bill C-59 has nine parts. My NDP colleague wanted to split the bill, and I thought that was a very good idea, since things often get mixed up in the end. We are debating Bill C-59 here, but some parts are more administrative in nature, while others have to do with young people. Certain aspects need not be considered together. We believe that the administrative parts could have been included in other bills, while the more sensitive parts that really concern national security could have been dealt with publicly and separately.

Finally, the public and the media are listening to us, and Bill C-59 is an omnibus bill with so many elements that we cannot oppose it without also opposing some aspects that we support. For example, we are not against reorganizing the Communications Security Establishment. Some things could be changed, but we are not opposed to that.

We supported many of the bill's elements. On balance, however, it contains some legislation that is too sensitive and that we cannot support because it touches on fundamental issues. In our view, by tinkering with this, security operations will become very bureaucratic and communications will become difficult, despite the fact the the main goal was to simplify things and streamline operations.

The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security heard from 36 witnesses, and several of them raised this concern. The people who work in the field every day said that it complicated their lives and that this bill would not simplify things. A huge structure that looks good on paper was put in place, but from an operational point of view, things have not been simplified.

Ultimately, national security is what matters to the government and to the opposition. I would have liked the amendments that we considered important to be accepted. Even some administrative amendments were rejected. We believe that there is a lack of good faith on the part of the government on this file. One year ago, we were asked to work hard and that is what we did. The government did not listen to us and that is very disappointing.

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5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of working with my colleague on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. However, is he not getting a police state confused with the rule of law?

The limits he alluded to, such as requiring a warrant, are already enforced in criminal investigations. Since my colleague talked about limits, would he rather call into question the rights and freedoms that we fight so hard to protect, in favour of a witch hunt to seek out any information?

Instead, the proposed measures will help the CSE legally carry out offensive and defensive operations with integrity, and with access to better tools.

Is my colleague questioning the professionalism of the agents using these tools?

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5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would never, ever, question the work being done by our CSIS and RCMP security officers. They are qualified professionals. There should not be any question about that. I will not allow it. What we are asking for is for these agencies to have the freedom to work effectively, since at the end of the day, it is the safety of Canadians that is at stake.

Yes, individual freedoms are important. I agree with everyone on that. We are playing around with words here, and words are important in a bill. I do not want a changed word to increase the risk of an attack because our officers were not able to intervene in time, all because the government wanted to play politics with the words. As the minister mentioned earlier, we need to find a balance between rights and security. We thought there was a balance, but the government thinks a change is needed. We simply have different ideas of what a balance means, but we are all focused on keeping Canadians safe.

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5:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. The problem that I have with the Conservatives' approach is that it minimizes the potential impact of the fight against radicalization and it minimizes the fact that ISIS is taking advantage of vulnerable young people. Rather than offering assistance, the Conservatives tried to minimize the importance of those efforts. They did away with the police recruitment fund, they took away all the public safety resources, and then they tried to use incidents that occurred around the world to justify expanding the legislative powers of our national security agencies. However, CSIS exists because a distinction needs to be made between the work of the police and that of intelligence agencies.

Bill C-51 gave CSIS threat disruption powers. That issue remains despite the bill's attempts at making some small improvements, all of which sadly amount to nothing at all given the potential for the human rights of Canadians being violated. On professors Carvin and Forcese's podcast entitled “Intrepid”, Bob Paulson, who as my colleague knows is a former RCMP commissioner, said that he was concerned about CSIS being given that type of power because that type of power belongs to the police.

Does my colleague agree with that? Why not focus on giving the police the tools they need to do their job rather than legislating to give CSIS powers that defeat the very purpose for which it was created?

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5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. I will come back to the very current example of Abu Huzaifa. We learned about him and what he did from an interview he gave to the New York Times. People from CSIS quickly descended on Toronto to question him and he laughed in their faces. How is it that an individual like him, who engaged in jihad, who admitted to killing people, who has committed known atrocities, came back to Toronto and gave an interview to the New York Times?

When we talk about opportunities for obtaining intelligence, it is for that type of individual. We do not want to harm the average, hard-working Canadian who minds their own business. It is because of people like Abu Huzaifa that we want to be sure to have the tools we need to be able to intervene on time. CSIS does intelligence work and has the means. I understand that it is not the same as police work. The police has its own job, but CSIS has to act on this type of situation quickly with the means that we gave them at the time.

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5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know whether my colleague agrees that some of their recommendations, which were certainly the fruit of some very hard work, would be more useful in regulations than in the act itself.

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5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. That is part of what I was saying about the omnibus Bill C-59. It has nine separate parts. Some parts are more administrative, and others are more related to the operational side of things. That is what makes this whole business more complicated. A year ago, we were asked to study this bill and work on it. It was a struggle for us to figure out how to make our work relevant. Our recommendations did include some amendments that were more operational and some that were more administrative, but that was because the bill itself was crafted that way.

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5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague presented some good information on the flaws of this bill.

One of the issues we have had with the government is it seems to equate announcements with actions. We have seen it again and again, and we are seeing it again with the Minister of Public Safety's departmental plan, which is supposed to lay out his priorities for the year. It states that the government is going to implement renewed cybersecurity with significant new funding in the budget. I repeat, significant new funding. However, when we look at the main estimates for the year, which, of course, are now fully aligned with the budget, there is only $1.7 million of new funding.

Does $1.7 million seem like significant new funding for something as important as fighting cybersecurity?

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5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question about cybersecurity. Just recently, a week or two ago, the Minister of Defence, accompanied by the Minister of Public Safety, made a public announcement about some new strategies. The strategy is a rehash of a Conservative strategy from 2013. It also misunderstands Canada's needs, which are significant, given everything that is currently going on with China and Russia. I hope the government will take the necessary steps to ensure that it is very effective with regard to cybersecurity. Right now, there are 200,000 Chinese hackers working ceaselessly to exploit flaws in security systems around the world. That is a lot of people.

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5:35 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for their speeches. Here we are again, debating Bill C-59 at third reading, and I would like to start by talking about the process of debate surrounding a bill, which started not with this government, but rather during the last Parliament with the former Bill C-51.

Contrary to what we have been hearing from the other side today and at other times as well, the NDP and the Green Party were the only ones that opposed Bill C-51 in the previous Parliament. I have heard many people talk about how they were aware that Canadians had concerns about their security, about how a balanced approach was vital, and about how they understood the bill was flawed. They took it for granted that they would come to power and then fix the many, many, many flaws in the bill. Some of those flaws are so dangerous that they threaten the rights, freedoms, and privacy of Canadians. Of course, I am talking about the Liberal Party, which supported Bill C-51 even as it criticized it. I remember that when it was before committee, the member for Malpeque, who is still an MP, spend his time criticizing it and talking about its flaws. Then the Liberal Party supported it anyway.

That is problematic because now the government is trying to use the bill to position itself as the champion of nuanced perspectives. The government keeps trying to say that there are two objectives, namely to protect Canadians and to protect Canadians' rights. I myself remember a rather different situation, which developed in the wake of the 2014 attack on Parliament. The Conservative government tried to leverage people's fear following that terrible event to make unnecessary legislative changes. I will comment further on what was really necessary to protect Canadians.

A legislative change was therefore proposed to increase the powers given to national security agencies, but nothing was done to enhance the oversight system, which already falls short of where it needs to be to ensure that their work is done in full compliance with our laws and in line with Canadians' expectations regarding their rights and freedoms. Surveys showed that Canadians obviously welcomed those measures because, after all, we were in a situation where ISIS was on the rise, and we had the attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which is not far from my region. We also had the attack right here in Parliament. They took advantage of people's fear, so there was some support for the measures presented in the bill.

To the NDP, our reflection in caucus made it very clear that we needed to stand up. We are elected to this place not only to represent our constituents, but also to be leaders on extremely difficult issues and to make the right decision, the decision that will ensure that we protect the rights of Canadians, even when that does not appear to be a popular decision.

Despite the fact that it seemed to be an unpopular decision, and despite the fact that the Liberals, seeing the polls, came out saying “We are just going to go with the wind and try and denounce the measures in the bill so that we can simultaneously protect ourselves from Conservative attacks and also try and outflank the NDP on the progressive principled stand of protecting Canadians' rights and freedoms,” what happened? The polls changed. As the official opposition, we fought that fight here in Parliament. Unlike the Liberals, we stood up to Stephen Harper's draconian Bill C-51. We saw Canadians overwhelmingly oppose the measures that were in Bill C-51.

What happened after the election? We saw the Liberals try to square the circle they had created for themselves by denouncing and supporting legislation all at the same time. They said not to worry, because they were going to do what they do best, which is to consult. They consulted on election promises and things that were already debated in the previous Parliament.

The minister brought forward his green paper. The green paper was criticized, correctly and rightfully so, for going too far in one direction, for posing the question of how we could give more flexibility to law enforcement, how we could give them more tools to do their jobs, which is a complete misunderstanding of the concerns that Canadians had with Bill C-51 to begin with. It goes back to the earlier point I made. Instead of actually giving law enforcement the resources to create their tools, having a robust anti-radicalization strategy, and making sure that we do not see vulnerable young people falling through the cracks and being recruited by terrorist organizations like ISIS or the alt right that we see in these white supremacist groups, what happened?

We embarked on this consultation that was already going in one direction, and nearly two years after the Liberals coming into power, we finally see legislation tabled. The minister, in his speech earlier today, defended tabling that legislation in the dying days of a spring sitting of Parliament before the House rises for the summer by saying that we would have time to consider and contemplate the legislation over the summer. He neglected to mention that the very same powers that stood on shaky constitutional ground that were accorded to agencies like CSIS by the Conservatives' Bill C-51 remain on the books, and as Michel Coulombe, the then director of CSIS, now retired, said repeatedly in committee, they are powers that were being used at that time.

It is all well and good to consult. Certainly, no one is opposed to the principles behind consultation, but when the consultation is about promises that were made to the Canadian people to fix legislation that undermined their rights while the very powers that undermined their rights are still on the books and being used, then one has to recognize the urgency to act.

The story continues because after this consultation the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security conducted a consultation. We made recommendations and the NDP prepared an excellent supplementary report, which supports the committee's unanimous recommendations, but also includes our own, in support of the bill introduced by my colleague from Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, which is on the Order Paper. He was the public safety critic before me and he led the charge, along with the member for Outremont, who was then the leader of the official opposition, against Bill C-51. The bill introduced by my colleague from Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke entirely repeals all of the legislation in Bill C-51.

Interestingly, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness defended the fact that he did not repeal it all by stating that several MPs, including the member for Spadina—Fort York, said that the reason not to do so was that it would be a highly complex legislative endeavour. My colleague introduced a bill that is on the Order Paper and that does exactly that. With due respect to my colleague, it cannot be all that complex if we were able to draft a bill that achieved those exact objectives.

Bill C-59 was sent to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security before second reading, on the pretext that this would make it possible to adopt a wider range of amendments, give the opposition more opportunities to be heard, and allow for a robust study. What was the end result? A total of 55 amendments were adopted, and we are proud of that. However, of those 55 amendments, two come from the NDP, and one of those relates to the preamble to one part of the bill. While I have no desire to impugn the Liberals' motives, the second amendment was adopted only once the wording met their approval. None of the Conservatives' amendments were adopted. Ultimately, it is not the end of the world, because we disagree on several points, but I hear all this talk about collaboration, yet none of the Green Party's amendments were adopted. This goes to show that the process was rigged and that the government had already decided on its approach.

The government is going to brag about the new part 1.1 of the legislation that has been adopted. Contrary to what the minister said when answering my question earlier today in debate, that would not create any new legal obligation in terms of how the system currently works. The ministerial directives that are adopted to prohibit—despite loopholes, it is important to note—the use of information obtained under torture will remain just that, ministerial directives. The legal obligation that the minister or the Governor in Council “may” recommend the issuing of directives to deputy heads of departments is just not good enough. If it were, the Liberals would have had no problem voting for amendments that I read into record at committee. Time does not permit me to reread the amendments into the record, but I read them into the record in my question for the minister. The amendments would have explicitly and categorically prohibited acquiring, using, or, in way, shape, or form, interacting with information, from a public safety perspective, that may have been obtained under the use of torture. That is in keeping with our obligations under international law conventions that Canada has signed on to.

On a recorded vote, on every single one of those amendments, every member of the committee, Liberal and Conservative alike, voted against them. I invite Canadians to look at that record, and I invite Canadians to listen to what the minister said in response to me. When public safety may be at risk, there is no bigger admission that they are open to using information obtained under the use of torture than saying that they want to keep the flexibility when Canadians are at risk. Let Canadians be assured that it has been proven time and again that information obtained under the use of torture is of the most unreliable sort. It not only does nothing to protect Canadians and ensure public safety, but most of the time it does the opposite, by leading law enforcement on wild goose chases with erroneous information that could put their lives at risk, and Canadian lives at risk, not to mention the abhorrent and flagrant breach of human rights here and elsewhere through having those types of provisions. Therefore, I will let the Liberals explain why they voted against those amendments to explicitly prohibit torture, and why they feel that standing on ministerial directives and words like “may”, that are anything but binding, is good enough.

The Minister of Public Safety loves to boast that he has the support of various experts, and I have the utmost respect for those experts. I took the process in committee very seriously. I tried to unpack the extremely complex elements of the bill.

My Conservative colleague mentioned the Chair's decision to apply Standing Order 69.1. In my opinion, separating the votes on the different elements of the bill amounts to an acknowledgement that it is indeed an omnibus bill. A former director of CSIS, who served as a national security advisor to Prime Minister Harper and the current Prime Minister, said that the bill was beginning to rival the Income Tax Act in terms of complexity. Furthermore, several witnesses were forced to limit their testimony to just one part of the bill. In addition, elements were added concerning the Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, and those elements fall within the scope of national defence, yet they were never mentioned during the consultations held by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security or by the Minister of Public Safety.

Before anyone jumps on me, I want to say that we realize the CSE's statutory mandate needs to be updated. We recognize that cybersecurity threats exist. However, when a government rams something through, as the government is doing with Bill C-59, we end up with flawed definitions, in particular with respect to the information available to the public, and with vague allocation of powers. Furthermore, the government is already announcing the position of a director of a new centre that is being created, under which everything will be consolidated, even though the act that is set out in the budget and, according to the minister, should be introduced this fall, has not yet been introduced.

This bill has many parts. The committee heard from some impressive experts, including professors Carvin, Forcese, and Wark, authors of some very important and interesting briefs, all of which are well thought out and attempt to break down all of the complicated aspects of the bill, including the ones I just mentioned. In their columns in The Globe and Mail, they say that some parts of the bill are positive and others require a more in-depth study. One of these parts has to do with information sharing.

Information sharing was one of the most problematic aspects of Bill C-51.

Information sharing is recognized by the experts whom the minister touts as those supporting his legislation, by civil liberties associations and others, as one of the most egregious elements of what was Bill C-51, and that is changed only in a cosmetic way in this legislation.

We changed “sharing” to “disclosure”, and what does that mean? When there are consequential amendments to changing “disclosure” everywhere else in all of these acts, it does not change anything. All experts recognize that. The problematic information-sharing regime that was brought in, which is a threat to Canadians' rights and freedoms, still exists.

If we want to talk about what happened to Maher Arar, the Liberals voted down one of my amendments to include Global Affairs as one of the governmental departments that Canadians could make a complaint about to the new review agency. Yet, when it comes to consular services, when it comes to human rights breaches happening to Canadians abroad, Global Affairs and consular services have a role to play, especially when we see stories in the news of CSIS undermining efforts of consular affairs to get Canadians out of countries with horrible human rights records and back here.

This has all fallen on deaf ears. The information-sharing regime remains in place. The new powers given to CSE, in clause 24, talk about how CSE has the ability to collect. Notwithstanding the prohibition on it being able to collect information on Canadians, it can, for the sake of research and other things, and all kinds of ill-defined terms, collect information on the information infrastructure related to Canadians.

Incidentally, as a matter of fact, it voted down my amendments to have a catch-and-release provision in place for information acquired incidentally on Canadians. What does that do? When we read clause 24 of part 3 of the bill related to CSE, it says that it is for the purposes of “disclosing”. Not only are they now exempt from the explicit prohibition that they normally have in their mandate, they can also disclose.

What have the Liberals done to the information-sharing regime brought in by the Conservatives under Bill C-51? It is called “disclosure” now. Members can do the math. We are perpetuating this regime that exists.

I know my time is very limited, so I want to address the issue of threat disruption by CSIS. As I said in my questions to my Conservative colleague, the very reason CSIS exists is that disruption is a police duty. As a result, leaving the power to disrupt threats granted in former Bill C-51 in the hands of CSIS still goes against the mandate of CSIS and its very purpose, even if the current government is making small improvements to the constitutionality of those powers. That is unacceptable.

I am not alone in saying this. As I said in my questions to my Conservative colleagues, I am talking about the excellent interview with former RCMP commissioner Paulson. He was interviewed by Professors Carvin and Forcese on their podcast. That interview raised concerns about that power.

In closing, I would like to talk about solutions. After all, I did begin my remarks by saying that we do not want to increase the legislative powers, which we believe are already sufficient. I am talking here about Bill C-51, which was introduced in the previous Parliament. We need to look at resources for police officers, which were cut by the previous government. The Conservatives eliminated the police recruitment fund, which allowed municipalities and provinces to recruit police officers and improve police services in their jurisdictions. I am thinking in particular of the Montreal police, or SPVM, and the Eclipse squad, which dealt with street gangs. It was a good thing the Government of Quebec was there to fill the gap left by the elimination of the funding that made it possible for the squad to exist. The current government is making some efforts in the fight against radicalization, but it needs to do more. The Conservatives are dumping on and ridiculing those efforts. The radicalization that we are seeing on social media and elsewhere targets vulnerable young people. Ridiculing and minimizing the government's efforts undermines the public safety objectives that we need to achieve.

We cannot support a bill that so deeply undermines the protection of Canadians' rights and privacy. Despite what they claim across the way, this bill does nothing to protect the safety of Canadians, which, let us be clear, is an objective all parliamentarians want to achieve. However, achieving that objective must not be done to the detriment of rights and freedoms, as was the case under the previous government and as is currently still the case with this bill.

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5:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when the member was in the official opposition a number of years ago, and we were the third party at the time, there was a fairly significant debate that took place with respect to Bill C-51. Our Prime Minister made it very clear to Canadians, unlike the New Democrats, that we saw merit in Bill C-51. However, the commitment was that if we were elected, we would fix Bill C-51. There has been a great deal of consultation in every region of our country. There are two pieces of legislation, this one being the second part of it, that deals with and brings an end to Bill C-51. It fulfills an election platform commitment by this Prime Minister.

My question to my friend and colleague across the way is this. Does he recognize, and I am sure he does, that the NDP amendments went absolutely nowhere when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister? He might not like it, but it is quite possible that there were some problems with the amendments that the NDP were proposing. The point is this. Does he not agree that this is a commitment that the Liberal Party made in the last election, and that this legislation, in good part, is fulfilling that commitment?

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5:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the member has a problem with the validity or the quality of the NDP amendments, he can take it up with the folks who offered us the exact wording we used, like the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Citizen Lab at Munk School at the University of Toronto, or Jean-Pierre Plouffe, who is the current commissioner of the CSE, and who will likely fill the role of the intelligence commissioner created by this legislation, or the RCMP Civilian Review and Complaints Commission. These are the organizations from which we took the wording that we used in our amendments. Therefore, on that front, I am very comfortable with the quality of the amendments, because they come from esteemed experts and folks who are fighting the good fight in civil society.

That being said, if I were to give the Liberals a report card on this issue, they would get two failures. The first failure is with respect to leadership in the previous Parliament. They were spineless with respect to Bill C-51 when the previous government brought in that draconian legislation. They can have all the revisionist history they want, but the reality is that real leadership is standing up for Canadian rights and freedoms. That is not what they did in the last Parliament. In conclusion, the second failure is with respect to what they have done with this legislation, which does nothing to fix any of the problems. Therefore, there was a failure to show leadership and to fix the problems that they allowed to happen in the first place.

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5:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, because he saw what the Liberals just attempted to do. The parliamentary secretary said the fact that the Liberals did not accept any of the substantive amendments from the NDP must mean that the amendments were wrong. That is, until the NDP was able to source where those amendments came from, which are the leading security and human rights experts, people from both the security establishments, and those who are looking to defend the rights of Canadians.

We all watched the fiasco of the Liberals in the last Parliament under Bill C-51 and the leadership of the current Prime Minister. They thought they could get away with just voting for the thing. The backlash that came their way caused the Liberals to introduce this mea culpa. They said that if they were elected, they would undo Bill C-51, which was a transgression, on multiple levels, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Liberal Party wraps itself in the charter as often as it can—it is like a comforting blanket for it—except when it comes time to defending the charter.

My question for my friend is this. Of the significant damage done under Bill C-51 by the Harper government, supported by the Liberals at the time, what are the main things that will continue to exist if this bill were to pass and become law? What are the main contentions and concerns around privacy and human rights under Canadian law that will remain on the books under this Liberal leadership?

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6 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more arrogant than justifying a position by saying, “Don't worry, elect us, and we'll fix it”, because at the end of the day, taking a principled stand is not about what one will be able to do after one hopes to be elected. It is about standing up in the face of the very problems that are before us. That is what the then leader of the official opposition, the member for Outremont, did.

The fact is this. The Liberals have constantly, over the last number of years that I have been a parliamentarian, used the word “balance”, despite all the experts saying that it is not about balance, because balance means we are taking away from one side or the other: public safety and protecting rights and freedoms. I stood in the House and said that balance means that we are taking away from one or the other. What did I hear the minister say? He said those exact words today. The Liberals certainly like the NDP approach. I wish we would see it more in this legislation.

Let me get to the substance of my colleague's question. What is still on the books from Bill C-51 in this legislation? There is rampant information sharing between agencies that threatens Canadians' rights and freedoms, threat-reduction powers for CSIS that go against the very reason CSIS was created in the first place, and separating intelligence gathering and law enforcement.

Not only that, the Liberals have added new breaches of Canadians' privacy and rights and freedoms by expanding CSE's powers without sufficient accountability, despite our being happy with new accountability. There are poor definitions of “publicly available information” and offensive cyber-operations. What do these things mean? There are a lot of unanswered questions. They were unanswered at committee. They remain unanswered.

Unfortunately, the government is plowing ahead, despite the fact that these serious concerns have been raised by numerous people, such as the folks I mentioned who helped us craft the amendments we proposed that seemingly were not good enough for the Liberals.

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6 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in my colleague across the way. No matter what, they have their narrative, and that is the narrative they are going to stick to. They do not let the truth confuse them.

Let me give the House a specific example of exactly what the member just said. He said that the Minister of Public Safety said that it was all about balance. The member does not quite understand why the minister said it is about balance. From an NDP perspective, it is not about balance, because there is give and take. I listened to what the Minister of Public Safety said. He said it was not strictly about balance; it is about getting the right mix. That is what the minister actually said. That member accused the Minister of Public Safety of being all about balance.

The NDP members do not have an open mind. They have a closed mind with respect to this issue. They are still sore from the last federal election, quite frankly.

Canadians understand that there needs to be the right mix in dealing with their safety and their privacy rights. We are the party of the charter. I will wrap myself around the Charter of Rights. I am proud of the fact that it was a Liberal government that brought in the charter.

I wonder if my colleague across the way would withdraw his comments about the mix, because the Minister of Public Safety made it clear that it was about getting the right mix, contrary to what the member just finished saying.

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6 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague perhaps misheard me, because I specifically said that the minister always talks about balance, and funnily enough, after I made a speech the last time we debated this legislation, I am suddenly hearing exactly what our position has always been being restated.

Here is the thing. I do not want Canadians to let the Liberals' Goldilocks approach fool them. The member said that we have a closed mind. Let me tell him one thing. When it comes to legislation that attacks Canadians' rights and freedoms and their privacy, and when it comes to the voting done on amendments to specifically prohibit the use of information obtained under the use of torture, the member is darn right that I will always have a closed mind, and so will all New Democrats.

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6:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us continue this alleged debate with my friend from Winnipeg about this specific question. Let me get this straight. Did the NDP move an amendment that said that the Canadian government must not take and use information either directly through torture or that has been provided through torture, and the Liberals voted against it?

We just heard a rambling speech from the Liberal member saying how much they love the charter. The charter strictly prohibits the use of information from torture. We tried to put that into the bill that specifically looks at this issue. My colleague sat on the committee. He heard from witnesses. I would like him to remind us what the Liberals did when they had the option to actually defend the charter rather than just talk about it. What was it the Liberals did on the committee, and now in the House of Commons, with respect to human rights and the use of torture and information garnered from torture?

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6:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

That is precisely the problem. We adopted a Liberal amendment that says that the minister can issue directives. It is an amendment that I supported because of course we are very pleased to see these principles listed in the legislation. That said, the fact remains that the NDP amendments that specifically and explicitly sought to prohibit the use of information that may have been obtained through torture were defeated by the Liberals and the Conservatives. I invite Canadians to go look at the committee minutes. It is all there.

The other thing we have to acknowledge is that when we talk about protecting Canadians' rights and freedoms and when we talk about the charter, we are all on the same page and we invite our colleagues to support amendments to do just that. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Ultimately, we have to acknowledge yet again that there is still no room for that kind of openness. It was the minister who said that we need to remain flexible for some information that might protect public safety. To the NDP, when the information is obtained through torture, there should be no flexibility at all.