House of Commons Hansard #377 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was families.

Topics

Opposition Motion—TaxesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way made a comment about the sports tax credit, which had been referenced earlier.

When there is a tax credit or incentive, there is the hope to prompt some kind of a positive response. That is why that measure would be brought forward. However, if we look at the participation rates from 2000 on, participation rates, year over year, in sport were pretty steady. After the Conservatives introduced the tax credit in 2007, there was no discernible increase in 2008, 2009 or 2010. The one year we had an increase was in 2003, and that was because the women's hockey team won the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City. That happened because the previous government had believed in investing in facilities, leadership and coaching.

Does the member not see that targeted investments make far greater sense and pay far greater rewards than boutique tax credits?

Opposition Motion—TaxesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was talking about boutique tax credits and direct investments. However, for all the big noise we have been hearing about direct investment, we have not seen any of it. It has left no impact whatsoever.

It looks like the opposite side is against blanket benefits for many Canadians. To them, it is pick and choose: those people deserve to benefit and those people do not deserve to benefit.

We had tax policies that benefited all Canadians and that we were able to get across the country to help more Canadians than under the Liberal programs. When it comes to that, the comparison is not there. I think the hon. member is trying to find excuses for their failing policies and failing strategies.

Opposition Motion—TaxesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 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 says there is nothing that is really tangible or that it is hard to see, what he fails to recognize is that the middle-class tax cut literally put hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of Canada's middle class.

By doing that, we are allowing for a higher disposable income. By doing that, we have a healthier Canadian economy. We realize that when we see 800,000 jobs, which came from working with industries and the people of Canada. That is what this government has been able to create. That is tangible. That is real progress.

Opposition Motion—TaxesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Mr. Speaker, the only one who believes this story is the government itself. Nobody else believes the Liberals' stories. They believe what they are saying, and it has become a disaster for Canada and for our economy. The records are telling us that most Canadian families are less advantaged under the government by $1,151 a year for some families and $860 a year for other families.

These are the records. It is not what the other member is saying or what the government is suggesting.

Opposition Motion—TaxesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

There will be a minute and a half remaining in questions and comments, following the speech of the hon. member for Edmonton Manning, following question period.

Jacob SchwartzStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Levitt Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Jacob Schwartz, who died last week in Toronto. Jakey was born in 1997 and diagnosed with Canavan disease, which left him unable to walk, eat, see or speak.

With the cards stacked against them, the Schwartz family decided to make every moment count, which they did for 21 years. While providing round-the-clock care, his mom Ellen formed the charity Jacob's Ladder, raising over $3 million for research into Canavan disease. Dad Jeff and siblings Beverly and Ben were all part of the indomitable team that always made sure Jakey came first.

I want to close with lines from I Rise Above, a song written for Jake to celebrate his 20th birthday:

No need to fix me, I am my own perfect soul
There's a reason, I am here, I am love
I rise above

The Schwartz family has shown us the true meaning of love and touched our lives. May Jacob's memory forever be a blessing.

William WinegardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, former member of Parliament for Guelph—Wellington, Dr. William Winegard, passed away at the age of 94. He was part of what many call the “greatest generation”.

He grew up during the Great Depression. He was a Second World War veteran and served as the youngest officer in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy. He came back from the war, became an engineering professor and eventually the president of the University of Guelph. He was then elected to this very House of Commons and served as minister for science in the government of Brian Mulroney. Bill was an officer of the Order of Canada, a recognition of his contributions to the city of Guelph, the county of Wellington and to Canada. He was a teacher and a leader to many and a mentor to me, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I ask all members of the House to join me in paying tribute to this great Canadian.

Rural ImmigrationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Serré Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, rural matters. I am a proud northerner. Our government has listened, took action and announced the launch of a rural immigration pilot project to meet the labour market gaps vocalized by small business owners.

This pilot project gives hope to construction companies and associations, who have spoken about their inability to attract employees. I would like to thank the Minister of Immigration and the Prime Minister for listening to our concerns. The pilot project will have a significant and positive impact by meeting the needs of the labour market.

I say thanks to northern Ontario mayors, thanks to the local chambers of commerce and thanks to the building trades that have pushed so hard for this project. This employer- and community-driven initiative will improve the economic, social and democratic vitality of Nickel Belt and northern Ontario.

Rural matters.

Claude BouchardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in January, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with about 100 constituents of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert to listen to their concerns. The environment, poverty, culture, electoral reform and defending Quebec's interests were the main topics of discussion. However, at this year's Saturday morning gathering, there was one distinctive voice missing, that of Claude Bouchard.

Claude died of cancer on January 16. It was a great loss for Longueuil. A karate teacher and black belt, an activist and advocate, Claude Bouchard was a key member of our community, an ambassador for a nurturing society, something far too often overlooked in our productivity-driven system. Claude was the president of the Longueuil—Saint-Hubert NDP riding association and deeply involved in politics. He gave a lot to politics, but he also expected a lot from politicians.

Claude made municipal, provincial and federal politicians truly aware of the reality of people living in Longueuil, which is struggling but is such a supportive community.

On behalf of the people of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, I extend my most sincere condolences to his wife, France, his sons, Mathieu and Simon, and to his family and friends.

Thank you, Claude.

Lunar New YearStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on the eve of the lunar new year in the House of Commons to welcome the Year of the Pig, an animal that symbolizes the prosperity and good fortune that can be built with hard work and a little luck. Across the community in Richmond Hill, Canadians of Asian-Pacific heritage will ring in the new year tonight, and I will join them in their celebrations at Times Square for the official countdown.

I am pleased to have been able to partner with Times Square for this celebration and look forward to spending time with the Chinese-Canadian community in Richmond Hill tomorrow at the Liaoning Chamber of Commerce, where I can share my first-hand experience visiting China this January, where I had the opportunity to learn about the strong trade and economic, education and cultural linkages between both countries.

As families bring generations to the table for their celebratory dinners, I wish each one of them, xin nian kuai le, gong hey fat choy and gong xi fa cai.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Liepert Conservative Calgary Signal Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will soon be presented with a new budget, and for the fourth consecutive year, the government will be running a substantial deficit.

Since coming to office in 2015, the government has added almost $60 billion to the debt. The debt now stands at two-thirds of a trillion dollars. Our annual interest payments are $26 billion annually, and that exceeds all of our military spending. Worse yet, these interest payments do not reduce the overall debt and continue to increase our debt each year. Huge new spending, additional taxes and larger deficits, none of this was promised in the last election.

The current government will be seeking a new mandate soon, and I urge all Canadians to think about those broken promises and elect a strong Conservative government.

Canadian School Counselling WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

[Member spoke in Cree and provided the following translation:]

Mr. Speaker, to all my relations, I say hello. I am very proud to be here.

[English]

Today we launch Canadian School Counselling Week, highlighting the tremendous impact of school counsellors on the academic achievement and career development of students.

Across the country, Canadians recognize the unique contribution school counsellors make in supporting student success. School counsellors are mental health professionals who support the personal, social, educational and career development of students and make positive contributions to the mental health and well-being of all Canadians. On a daily basis, school counsellors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents. School counsellors support families and work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can appreciate their potential and set realistic and healthy aspirations for their future.

During Canadian School Counselling Week, let us take this opportunity to thank school counsellors for the important role they play in schools in Winnipeg-Centre, Manitoba and across Canada.

Sien Lok Society of CalgaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kent Hehr Liberal Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, gong hey fat choy.

The year 2019 is not only the Year of the Pig, but it is also the 50th anniversary of the Sien Lok Society of Calgary. It is my honour to congratulate it on 50 years of making real change in our community. Its initiatives include Sien Lok Park, establishing a scout troop, hosting events and more.

True to its translated name, “Happiness through good works”, Sien Lok is committed to promoting and preserving Chinese Canadian heritage. As long as there has been a Calgary, there has been a Chinese community. Together we continue to create a better place for everyone to live, work and play.

Special recognition to Raymond Lee, Sien Lok's first president. As a kid, I delivered the Calgary Herald to Mr. Lee. He is a very kind man, and the same can be said of John Dong, who was named president last fall.

Here is to another 50 years of the Sien Lok Society of Calgary.

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the carbon tax cover-up continues.

For most Canadians, life is becoming more expensive. They just cannot get ahead, yet for the Prime Minister, life has always been lived on easy street. He has never had to worry about making ends meet, because he inherited a multi-million dollar trust fund. While he gets to vacation on billionaire island, ordinary Canadian families are being forced to pay for his carbon tax that will make it much more difficult for them to take their own vacations.

Now we find out from the government's own documents that, after the next election, the carbon tax will be 15 times higher than it is today. That is $5,000 more in taxes for every Canadian family, each year.

Yes, the carbon tax cover-up continues, and who is going to pay the price? It will be families across Canada who are already struggling to make ends meet. Shame on the Prime Minister and shame on this Liberal government.

The New House of CommonsStatements By Members

February 4th, 2019 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes Liberal Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House, in our magnificent West Block, in this Black History Month. Skilled people have been working on renovating this building for years, and it is obvious that they have done a great job. We are grateful for their years of dedication.

Looking upward at the soaring glass roof supported by steel columns like giant trees, I am reminded that, while we remain rooted in both a proud and painful history, we as parliamentarians are boundless in our capacity to create positive change for Canadians. It takes a team of world-class artists to create an environment that invokes in each of us a tremendous sense of responsibility and duty, while at the same time inspiring us to push boundaries, redefine the status quo and amplify the voices of those most marginalized in our communities.

I thank all who were involved in this project. It is truly an honour to continue to serve the people of Whitby in this majestic place.

World Cancer DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year, on February 4, Canadians come together to recognize World Cancer Day, an international day of awareness. Take a moment to look around this chamber. Imagine half of us hearing the words, “You have cancer.” On any given day, 565 Canadians will hear those words. One in two Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The magnitude of this is staggering for individuals and their families.

We need to help those facing cancer live their lives more fully and see life beyond the diagnosis. To do this, we must expand access to credible cancer information and ensure that support services like those offered by the Canadian Cancer Society are available from coast to coast to coast so that nobody faces cancer alone.

I would like to thank Lynne Hudson and all her colleagues at the Canadian Cancer Society for everything they do to support Canadians in the fight to eradicate cancer and to enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

FinanceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, time after time my colleague and I have stood in this place and asked the Prime Minister how on earth he expects the financial situation of Canadians to improve when Liberal actions are causing the cost of everything to go up. The government likes to brag about its record, but for my constituents in Edmonton West, and across Alberta, the only record we see is record high unemployment and record fleeing of investment.

It is no surprise that the government has trouble understanding basic economics. When asked about the management of his own finances, the Prime Minister said, "I no longer have dealings with the way our family...is managed".

It is time for the Ottawa Liberals to recognize that their plan is leaving Canadians struggling to make ends meet. It is time for them to realize that today's deficits are tomorrow's tax hikes. Where will four years of broken promises, sky-high deficits and Liberal incompetence leave us? It will be with the Prime Minister raising taxes and making life even more expensive for Canadians.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude Poissant Liberal La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this being Black History Month, I would like to tell you about Jean de Dieu Cyhubahiro Rwihaniza, a resident of the riding of La Prairie.

Jean de Dieu left the Republic of the Congo for Rwanda in 2004 because his community was persecuted during the civil war. In 2014, he came to Canada because he and his family were no longer safe. His wife and two children went to Belgium.

He quickly integrated into Canadian society, first working in communications and then in banking. He sponsored his wife and children, who came to Canada in 2016. I would like to salute this exceptional man's courage and perseverance. He chose to live in a society governed by the rule of law, a society where all people have a chance to reach their full potential. He says that he lost two countries but gained Canada. Jean de Dieu is a caring and hard-working man, and I thank him for choosing us and for contributing to our society. I wish him all the best in becoming a citizen.

Michael FergusonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am deeply honoured to rise to pay tribute to a great Canadian who passed away suddenly over the weekend, Michael Ferguson. Our thoughts are with his family.

Today, we remember this great man who was a dedicated public servant right up until his death. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in business administration, and then spent three full decades as an auditor and comptroller in New Brunswick. He was known for his excellent work, which enhanced the transparency and integrity of the Government of New Brunswick.

He then came to Ottawa to become the Auditor General of Canada. He was known for his credibility, candour and impartiality in all of his work. The best interests of Canadians were always his top priority.

I hope that my colleagues will join me in extending our sincere condolences to his family, friends and many colleagues. They can rest assured that he was an example to all Canadians and that he leaves behind a great legacy for all future auditors general.

FinanceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister thinks Canadians do not care about how the government manages the country's finances, but that is simply not true. Canadians have said the number one priority should be to manage Canada's finances and balance the budget.

The Prime Minister promised Canadians in the last election that he would balance the budget this year, but he had no intention of keeping his word. The Canadian deficit keeps getting bigger and is forecast to hit $31 billion this year. Higher deficits today mean program and job cuts, higher taxes and pension risk tomorrow. The Liberals do not understand the hardship this causes for families. For the first time, Canadians are just getting by and not getting ahead.

On how he runs his own finances, the Prime Minister said, “I no longer have dealings with the way our family fortune is managed”. He is out of touch and does not care. We are all paying for his mistakes.

Michael FergusonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I heard about the passing of Auditor General Michael Ferguson on Saturday, I felt like I had lost a close friend. After three years of working alongside him as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, I came to know him as a quiet man who was incredibly passionate about public service. Working with Michael Ferguson in his role as Auditor General taught me a powerful lesson about what our most important role should be, namely to ensure that Canadians have a government that meets their expectations and nurtures their dignity and aspirations.

I am sure that all the colleagues who, like me, have served on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts since 2011 share my profound admiration for Michael Ferguson's dogged determination to master the French language and his outstanding efforts to examine government actions from the perspective of citizens, not programs. I will always remember him as a paragon of integrity and humility.

I offer my deepest condolences to his family and all his colleagues.

Member for Spadina—Fort YorkOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tweeted that the Premier of Ontario should be “whacked”, a mobster term for killing someone, which clearly the parliamentary secretary would have known.

Why has the Prime Minister not called for his resignation?

Member for Spadina—Fort YorkOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will address the member's question shortly.

Michael Ferguson devoted his life to public service, both in his home province of New Brunswick and across the country. We will remember him for his tireless dedication to promote a transparent, open government that is accountable to Canadians.

His work as Auditor General over the past seven years helped strengthen our democracy and maintain the integrity of our public institutions. We are all greatly saddened by his passing.

I offer my deepest condolences to Mr. Ferguson's family, friends and colleagues.

Member for Spadina—Fort YorkOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, while we all very much appreciate the Prime Minister's words, there is an opportunity for ministerial statements later today, and I look forward to hearing the statement at that time.

This is an issue the Prime Minister needs to take very seriously. The parliamentary secretary has shown this kind of behaviour before, when he had to apologize for trying to bully and intimidate a female Conservative MP, the member for Richmond Centre. The Prime Minister says he has no tolerance for this kind of behaviour. Again, why will the Prime Minister not ask for this parliamentary secretary's resignation?

Member for Spadina—Fort YorkOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is well aware the member in question has apologized for his tweet. It is important that we have civil debates in the House and elsewhere when we engage in disagreements over public policy.