House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Mazier Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, farmers across western Canada are being forced to pay a carbon tax to dry their crops after a wet and difficult harvest. Many of these farmers are drying canola and still have no timeline as to when they will be able to sell their product to China, our largest export market for canola.

Could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell Canadian farmers what plan they have, if any, to restore market access to China, and tell the House if the government will immediately remove the carbon tax from the cost of drying their grain?

Agriculture and Agri-foodOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are working with canola producers and their representatives to make sure that we make the right moves. We are working in collaboration with the provinces as well.

We are working hard to diversify the markets. We are having technical discussions between CFIA and Chinese officials. Ambassador Barton is in the field working hard as well.

The member can be assured that we are taking this very seriously.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal record on the economy is one of higher taxes, massive deficit spending and rising job losses. Recent numbers from Stats Canada show that, since the imposition of the federal carbon tax, in my province of Saskatchewan job losses have increased.

Why do the Liberals claim they want to listen to Saskatchewan while they are taking active steps to hurt us with a carbon tax meant to destroy our economy?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Canadians voted for climate action. We have a credible and affordable plan with over 50 measures to cut pollution, support clean growth and make life more affordable for Canadians. We put a price on carbon pollution because it is a cost-effective way to cut emissions and create good jobs while leaving the majority of families better off.

Fighting climate change should not be a partisan issue. We look forward to working with all members of the House to advance our carbon reduction targets.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, our energy sector has a long history of creating prosperity and opportunity for Canadians, however, this sector has been going through the most difficult time, which has caused stress and hardship for workers, families and communities. Our government has made market access, especially access to new markets, a priority, so we can support hard-working Canadians in the energy sector.

Could the Minister of Natural Resources please update the House on projects under way in Canada that will increase market access?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Paul Lefebvre LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister was in Acheson, Alberta to mark an important milestone, the beginning of construction on spread 1 of the Trans Mountain expansion project. On top of this, the Canadian portion of the Line 3 replacement project, which our government approved, came online at the beginning of December. This is very good news for workers in our energy sector and for all Canadians.

These projects are proof of what happens when we do the hard work necessary to move forward in the right way every step of the way.

National DefenceOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Terry Dowdall Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, tragically, on Canadian Forces Base Borden in my riding, there were recently two suicides. The Minister of National Defence once said, “one suicide is too many”. I agree.

There are 3,000 plus families rotating through Borden. Families struggle to find access to primary care and psychiatric services. The CEO of my local hospital has offered to bring psychiatric services to the base with support from the federal government.

Is the minister open to listening to creative local solutions to help soldiers who need psychiatric services?

National DefenceOral Questions

December 13th, 2019 / noon

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one suicide is too many when it comes to our Canadian Armed Forces members. We are investing in our mental health services, with a joint suicide prevention strategy with the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Yes, I am open not only to the member opposite, but to all members of the House for any ideas they might have to make sure we provide the right support to our veterans.

AgricultureOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently met with the Dufferin Federation of Agriculture, all hard-working farmers in my riding. They are suffering from a lack of market access for soybean and canola as a result of unresolved trade disputes.

In the U.S., the government is stepping up with a $28 billion market facilitation program. Other than words like “we stand with” or “we always support”, what is the government actually doing to support soybean and canola farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

Noon

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we stand with our partners and farmers because this is very important. It is a priority for us. I spend a lot of time talking to stakeholders and farmers themselves. We have a strategy that we have developed with them to reopen the market in China and diversify our markets.

Next week, I will be meeting with the ministers of agriculture from the provinces and the territories. We are committed to improving our business risk management programs as well. We know the risks have changed through recent years in terms of climate, in terms of trade and we are committed to improve the business risk management suite.

Public SafetyOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Derek Sloan Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, across Canada, concerns are rising about the Liberals' focus on legal firearm owners versus efforts to stop gangs and guns. The Liberals are proposing a gun buyback program that could cost billions of dollars, much more than they spend actually combatting gang crime.

The members of clubs like the Napanee Rod & Gun Club and the Bancroft Fish & Game Club worry that the Liberals will target them instead of actual criminals.

Could the government explain how its approach will be effective, when we know that existing laws are not even being followed by criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

Noon

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to thank the member opposite for the question and give him the opportunity to understand some of the significant investments our government has actually made in combatting guns and gang violence.

We have allocated and dispersed to the provinces right across Canada $347 million to invest in policing and in our courts to ensure that people who are engaged in violent criminal activity with guns are held to proper account.

We have made significant investment in policing. However, we also know that if we are going to keep our communities safe, we have to ensure that our gun control laws keep guns out of the hands of criminals. We are prepared to act to keep communities safe.

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government committed to investing in Canadians and their communities. For four years, we have done just that. Canadians across the country, including the people of Mississauga—Lakeshore, have benefited from those investments, for example those made in public transit and safe drinking water.

Now that we are back in the House, can the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities tell us what the government's infrastructure plan is?

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for his question and his hard work.

I am proud to be now in charge of the government's infrastructure plan, which has led to the approval of over 48,000 projects that improve Canadians' quality of life, including public transit, affordable housing and safe drinking water projects. We are just getting started.

In the coming years, we will build on those accomplishments and invest in sustainable projects that are essential to the future of our country, while making Canada more resilient to climate change.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the constructive dismissal of senior anti-racism expert Manjot Bains for her work on, and wait for it, anti-racism, the minister said that employees worked under a specific code of conduct. Ms. Bains said that she would have had been required to take loyalty training in order to keep her job.

She was reportedly constructively dismissed for sharing disappointment in the Prime Minister for his multiple displays of brown and blackface.

How can the government dismantle white supremacy when its own anti-racism experts cannot even talk about it publicly?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Milton Ontario

Liberal

Adam van Koeverden LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, as a white, straight, cisgender male, I acknowledge my own privilege. I have never and will never experience racism, bigotry or homophobia. Darkening one's face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of this racist history and the practice.

We in the House have a mutually held obligation, every member, to continue to work hard toward a racism-free society in Canada.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

That is all the questions for today.

While I have your attention, I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

I would like to thank you for the gift you have given me, the honour of representing you as the Speaker of the House.

I am your humble servant.

First Nations Child WelfarePrivilegeOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise a question of privilege, and I will do it as quickly as possible.

It is about something that happened yesterday in question period. I will come back to that in a moment. This is the first time we have had routine proceedings since yesterday's question period.

I appreciate the opportunity to present this question of privilege today.

As I know members are very well aware, the House has the power to punish contempt, which explicitly includes disobeying an order of the House.

I will cite House of Commons Procedure and Practice, pages 80 and 81, which reads:

Any disregard of or attack on the rights, powers and immunities of the House and its Members, either by an outside person or body, or by a Member of the House, is referred to as a “breach of privilege” and is punishable by the House. There are, however, other affronts against the dignity and authority of Parliament which may not fall within one of the specifically defined privileges. Thus, the House also claims the right to punish, as a contempt, any action which, though not a breach of a specific privilege, tends to obstruct or impede the House in the performance of its functions; obstructs or impedes any Member or Officer of the House in the discharge of their duties; or is an offence against the authority or dignity of the House, such as disobedience of its legitimate commands...

As you are well aware, Mr. Speaker, even in other parliaments worldwide, including the United Kingdom, decisions have been made by Speakers in regard to this. The United Kingdom Joint Committee on Joint Parliamentary Privilege also attempted to provide a list of some types of contempt in its 1999 report. One of them that I will cite is “without reasonable excuse, disobeying a lawful order of the House or a committee.”

Wednesday, December 11, the member for Timmins—James Bay rose to present a motion that passed and provided clear direction. The motion reads as follows:

That the House call on the government to comply with the historic ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering the end of discrimination against First Nations children, including by:

(a) fully complying with all orders made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal as well as ensuring that children and their families don't have to testify their trauma in court; and

(b) establishing a legislated funding plan for future years that will end the systemic shortfalls in First Nations child welfare.

It was adopted unanimously by the House.

Quickly referencing the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, “call on” can also be defined as a demand, which constitutes clear direction, and the definition of “comply”, again in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, is to act in accordance with a command, regulation, etc.

Parliament called on the government to comply with the rulings of the tribunal, which wrote:

...that Canada’s systemic racial discrimination...resulted in harming First Nations children living on reserve and in the Yukon Territory who, as a result of poverty, lack of housing or deemed appropriate housing, neglect and substance abuse were unnecessarily apprehended and placed in care outside of their homes, families and communities and especially in regards to substance abuse, did not benefit from prevention services in the form of least disruptive measures or other prevention services permitting them to remain safely in their homes, families and communities. Those children experienced pain and suffering of the worst kind warranting the maximum award of remedy of $20,000...Canada is ordered to pay $20,000 to each First Nation child removed from its home, family and Community between January 1, 2006...

The direction is very clear.

In question period yesterday, the government response showed a willful disregard of the direction that was given by the House, both outside and inside Parliament.

First, CBC News online quoted the Minister of Indigenous Services saying that the government had no plans to drop the court challenge. Then yesterday in question period in the House, the Minister of Indigenous Services said “our commitment to implementing other orders from the CHRT or reforming child and family services has not changed in any way.” Nothing changes. In effect, in reply to a question from the member for Timmins—James Bay, he said the government was simply not changing its fashion of proceeding.

This is unprecedented, I would submit, and is a procedural grey area. There is no jurisprudence or Speaker's ruling that specifically covers such a situation, and we certainly went many decades back late into the evening last night. The closest equivalent was from Speaker Milliken on March 8, 2005, in relation to Bill C-31 and Bill C-32, bills that proposed creating a department of international trade separate from the Department of Foreign Affairs. In that instance, despite seeing legislation enabling departmental reorganizations defeated in the House, the government continued with its plan to split the departments.

In that ruling, Speaker Milliken ruled that no breach of privilege had occurred, in large part because Parliament had, in terms of order in council, provided direction to the government. He also cited the main estimates. In other words, there was ambiguity about the direction that was received from the House. Also, the Speaker mentioned that the comments were outside the House, so he questioned the validity of those comments and the accuracy of the quotation. In this case, we rely on Hansard and the quotes are very direct and present in this House.

However, Speaker Milliken expressed serious concern. He stated, “That is not to say that the comments, if reported accurately, do not concern me. I can fully appreciate the frustration of the House and the confusion of hon. Members, let alone those who follow parliamentary affairs from outside this Chamber.” Speaker Milliken then asked, “How can the decisions of this House...be without practical consequence?” That is from page 53 of Selected Decisions of Speaker Milliken, on a decision rendered on March 23, 2005.

There is ambiguity that needs to be carefully regarded and decided upon by you, Mr. Speaker. Of course, the House of Commons is supreme and has issued direction to the government. The government has stated in the House that nothing has changed, and I submit that this is in breach of the privileges of the House. However, as you know, ultimately it is up to the House to decide if its privileges have been infringed upon and if the government is in contempt.

As you well know, the role of the Speaker is to determine whether this matter warrants further discussion in this chamber. I would ask that you find a prima facie case of privilege, and allow space for members of this House to determine whether this warrants being reviewed by the procedure and House affairs committee. Particularly in a minority Parliament, this is of fundamental importance.

You will be studying my submission and perhaps other members would want to weigh in, but the reality is that the government has the ability over the break to fix what was, to my mind, a clear contradiction between the direction set by the House and the government's response. I certainly hope it does so. If that is the case, I would be more than pleased to withdraw this question of privilege.

The fact remains, and Canadians understand, that in democracy the voters make a decision. They choose who fills the House, and then we make decisions. The government then, when there is a clear direction, should have the understanding that the clear direction should be followed. There is no doubt that on Wednesday the House directed the government and on Thursday, less than 24 hours later, the minister indicated in the House that nothing had changed.

I submit that the House should be charged in this matter and if, after careful study, you agree, I am prepared to move the necessary motion, Mr. Speaker.

First Nations Child WelfarePrivilegeOral Questions

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I thank the hon. member for bringing this question of privilege forward and I will take it under advisement.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be presenting a petition in support of two bills that were in the 42nd Parliament: Bill C-350 and Bill S-240. These bills sought to deal with the scourge of forced organ harvesting and trafficking by making it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad and receive an organ for which there had not been consent.

The petitioners no doubt hope that this important legislative initiative will be taken up in this, the 43rd Parliament.

Post-Secondary EducationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition that calls upon the government to eliminate the practice of charging interest on all outstanding and future Canada student loans.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to stand today and present a petition from Canadians from across the country in support of Bill C-350 and Bill S-240, regarding forced organ harvesting that happens around the world.

Human trafficking is a horrific human rights violation that happens right here in this country, as well. I hope that we can pass similar bills in this Parliament forthwith.

Public SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lenore Zann Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition that is very important to my riding of Cumberland—Colchester. The petitioners call upon the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to honour their commitment to have an independent study to thoroughly review the potential risks of moving Nova Scotia's RCMP OCC from Truro, Nova Scotia, to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They also call upon the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to immediately halt the move of the Truro OCC to Dartmouth and to immediately halt all work related to the move pending the outcome of a thorough independent review and risk assessment.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Is that agreed?