House of Commons Hansard #390 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-83.

Topics

Start Me Up NiagaraStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, February 23, in communities across the country, Canadians came together, raised funds and walked on the coldest night of the year. In St. Catharines, hundreds of neighbours, friends and community members filled our downtown streets with hope, warmth and compassion, and did so while raising $107,000 for Start Me Up Niagara.

In 1999, Susan and Tony Venditti started Start Me Up Niagara to help those most vulnerable in our community. It is open 365 days a year and coordinates our “Out of the Cold” winter shelter program with help from several churches across the city of St. Catharines.

Start Me Up Niagara offers a variety of opportunities that improve health, increase the level of community integration and support housing and employment opportunities, including the Work Action Centre that opened in 2017.

Start Me Up Niagara is an essential organization in St. Catharines, and one that ensures all residents in our community have a place to go, a place to be somebody and a place to do something.

La Rubrique TheatreStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of a well-known cultural organization in my riding, Théâtre La Rubrique.

This theatre, which was founded in Jonquière in 1979, has an impressive history: it has put on 1,360 shows for the public involving 450 artists. By showcasing many actors from the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area, La Rubrique has contributed to the region's artistic development over the past few decades. What is more, its mission to promote and present local productions has helped introduce thousands of young people and adults to the theatre.

Because of its expertise, which has been long recognized by the cultural community, La Rubrique has even been able to take on Saguenay's internationally acclaimed Festival international des arts de la marionnette.

I would like to close by recognizing the dedication of the members of the board of directors and employees who are working hard to ensure that La Rubrique is able to continue its activities for at least another 40 wonderful years.

Ernest TuckerStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Black History Month draws to a close, I want to honour the memory of Ernest Tucker, the first black reporter hired at the CBC. After a brilliant career as a journalist, professor and author, he passed away in January in Châteauguay. However, his career was not without its challenges.

Initially unable to get hired full time, he took jobs in Bermuda and the Toronto Telegram before joining CBC Radio in Toronto. It was then, alone in the newsroom at lunchtime on November 22, 1963, that he broke the tragic story of John F. Kennedy's assassination. For this, he was first reprimanded and then promoted, as the CBC was praised for his quick reporting.

Eventually, he moved to Chateauguay and taught at John Abbott College in Montreal. There, he mentored black students while publishing Lost Boundaries, a novel about police harassment of black Montrealers.

His courage and inspiring advocacy are appreciated by all of us.

Prince George Spruce KingsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, tonight our Prince George Spruce Kings start the BCHL playoffs against the Coquitlam Express at the Rolling Mix castle.

To the players, I say, I am a King. I am only one, but I am one of many.

There are four core values of being a King: commitment, strength, dedication and courage. To get to today, these four values have to be embedded in one's fibre and this is what we play for: this moment right here. Great moments come from great opportunities and this opportunity is theirs to leave a legacy.

Tonight, they start their chapter in Spruce Kings' history. They have earned this opportunity. They should not let anyone take this from them. Skate faster, play harder, be relentless. Play for one another and trust one another. Do not fear failure, but never ever accept it.

This is their moment. I ask them if they are ready. Go, Kings, go!

Filipino Student Leadership ConferenceStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, kamusta.

Over 100 Filipino Canadian youth gathered in Ottawa this past weekend for their first national leadership conference. Hosted by the Filipino Students Association of the University of Ottawa, they launched this phenomenal event to affirm their beliefs that our democratic principles are vital to our common future, and to underscore their vision that political participation is not limited to running for political office but extends to knowing how people's concerns are heard and how positive change happens.

Their panel discussions and workshops heard from the community's trailblazers in politics and civil service and from academic scholars and leaders in the media and business. They heard from their keynote speaker, the hon. Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, who is from Winnipeg and served in the House with great distinction, on the theme of “Politics: A truly noble calling”. Canada's multiculturalism policy is proud to support this type of civic engagement, which fosters citizenship values, nurtures the nobility of politics and enriches our collective heritage.

Salamat.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, in February we recognize and celebrate the rich history of black Canadians, and in my riding of King—Vaughan, we have much to celebrate.

I want to express my gratitude to VACA and TACCA, for supporting and strengthening our communities and showcasing our black leaders. This past weekend, we had our Black History Month celebration at Vaughan City Hall and again I am inspired by the artists and speeches. The women showcased at the event were exceptional.

This leads me to another important day, March 8, International Women's Day, to recognize the important contributions women have made and are making to our country and around the world. Let me combine the two by highlighting an artist featured at our Black History Month celebration, Nadine Williams, who is here today. She is a poet, author and educator. At the event, she read one of her powerful poems, Rooted, which ends with “We belong. We are strong. We are rooted. We are free to grow. We are home.”

This is a vision all Canadians can share.

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am well known for going door to door in my riding, and, honestly, I meet very few constituents who are satisfied with this Liberal government. Fewer still feel they are in a better financial position than they were before the Liberals were elected in 2015.

There is no arguing with that kind of general consensus. Here are just some of the public policies that have made people feel that way.

People have experienced three years of taxes going up, three years of our Canadian Armed Forces being underfunded, three years of deficit and mismanagement of public funds, three years of what might politely be called ethical breaches, three years of an infrastructure program that fails to deliver the goods, three years of multiple failed natural resources and border security policies, and three years of countless other broken promises.

Canadians and the people of Beauport—Limoilou simply cannot afford another four years of Liberal government.

As of October 2019, they will be able to count on the Conservative team and our great leader to change the way this country is run and renew people's hope for the future.

Neonatal Intensive Care UnitsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share my gratitude for the neonatal intensive care unit nurses and doctors at Royal Columbian Hospital. My wife Ravi and I welcomed our daughter Nova into the world on December 4, 2018. At birth, she was diagnosed with meconium aspiration syndrome, which meant she had to spend three weeks in the NICU. Having our newborn daughter spend her first weeks struggling to survive was heartbreaking, but it made me realize just how intensive intensive care really is. It is 24 hours a day, minute by minute.

Thanks to their tireless care and positivity, Nova was able to come home just in time for Christmas. She is now happy, healthy and ready to take on the world.

We are endlessly grateful for the angels at Royal Columbian Hospital, Dr. Moodley, Dr. Kesavan, Dr. Cieslak, Dr. Stavel, Dr. Glass, and the dozens of nurses and staff who played a part in Nova's recovery, especially Danielle, Hannah and Vicky.

If colleagues know people who work at their local NICU, give them a hug. They are the best people in the world.

Canada Winter GamesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kate Young Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, every two years, young athletes from coast to coast to coast come together in the spirit of sport to compete in the Canada Winter Games. This year, the games are being hosted in Red Deer, Alberta, and 3,600 athletes and coaches are competing in 20 different sports.

I am pleased to be heading to Red Deer tonight to attend the games and the closing ceremonies tomorrow on behalf of the Government of Canada.

When our young athletes attend the Canada Games, it is about more than just competing, it is an opportunity for youth to see our country, make friendships that will last a lifetime and hopefully win a medal or two.

With the games concluding tomorrow, I hope all members will join me in saying congratulations to all of our athletes.

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

March 1st, 2019 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's carbon tax begins to take effect this year in Saskatchewan, meaning that those who are already struggling to get ahead will soon have to pay another tax. Farmers, truckers, loggers, energy producers, miners and other small businesses are upset that the Prime Minister has brought on another tax that Canada's international competitors do not have. While he claims that farmers will be exempt, farm representatives told me this week they cannot afford a carbon tax on crop inputs.

Internal government documents confirm the Prime Minister would have to raise the carbon tax to $300 a tonne in order to meet Canada's commitments. At that rate, the average family would pay $1,000 more to heat their homes and the price of gasoline would jump by 60¢ a litre. Canadians cannot afford this. It will make groceries, gasoline, home heating and everything else we have to buy more expensive.

Saskatchewan residents reject this tax grab and will act on this rejection at the ballot box. Their voices will be united and strong against this carbon tax.

World Compliment DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World Compliment Day, a day to create more positivity in the world.

I would like to compliment you, Mr. Speaker, on the important work you do to keep decorum in the house.

I compliment the Parliamentary Protective Service for its hard work to keep everyone on Parliament Hill safe.

I compliment the pages, who keep their cool in a demanding environment and ensure that parliamentarians have what we need for our work in the House.

I compliment all MPs in the House for the hard work they do to represent the interests of all Canadians.

I compliment my staff, who have an incredible desire to serve our constituents and who bring such enormous empathy to the individuals who come to us, often as a last resort, when they are frustrated, desperate and in need. My staff go the extra mile each and every single day and I so admire them for it.

Most of all, I compliment my wife Irene. I admire the great patience she has to put up with me in this very challenging and time-consuming job.

Wood Buffalo National ParkStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the World Heritage Committee, after an investigation requested by the Mikisew Cree, found the government failing to address significant threats to Wood Buffalo National Park, a world heritage site. In response, the government allocated a pathetic $27.5 million over five years, a sum its own officials deemed inadequate. Put in perspective, the government paid 200% more just to pave a road in the park.

For decades, federal governments have failed to provide leadership in preventing or addressing mounting damage caused by dams and oil sands projects to the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the life source of this treasured heritage site. The iconic woodland caribou, bison and whooping cranes are at risk.

The government announced, and wait for this, a fund so communities can bring people together to protect species at risk.

How many more court cases will it take to get the government to comply with the law? Do the Liberals really want this world heritage site de-listed under its watch? So much for honouring the treaties. So much for a commitment to preserving natural heritage.

The EconomyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government reduced taxes, balanced the budget and increased trade, saving the average Canadian family thousands of dollars per year. In comparison, under the Liberal Prime Minister, 92% of Canadian families are facing higher taxes. The average income tax increase for middle-income families is $840, and that is only the beginning.

The Liberals squandered the surplus we left them, and the Prime Minister's promises to run small deficits and balance the budget by this year were broken almost as soon as he made them. In fact, last year's deficit is more than triple what the Prime Minister said it would be.

Now the Liberals appear set to table their fourth straight deficit budget. Meanwhile, Alberta continues to lose jobs, and those who are working cannot afford to keep paying for the Liberals' mistakes.

Canada's Conservatives are fighting for better.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 8 is International Women's Day. For Canada, it is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women and girls and to reaffirm our commitment to advancing gender equality. This year's theme, #InnovateForChange, celebrates the achievements of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math as well as business and the skilled trades.

It is also a call to action to remove the barriers preventing women from thriving in these fields, from unequal pay and fewer promotions to harassment and discrimination. By removing barriers, we pave the way for more women and girls to find their passion, achieve their goals, and follow their dreams.

I look forward to welcoming the Minister of Science and Sport to Scarborough Centre next week to share her experience breaking through barriers at our International Women's Day event. This year, let us celebrate the women and girls who #InnovateForChange, role models across Canada inspiring the next generation of innovators, change-makers and visionaries.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this morning's cabinet shuffle will not make the Prime Minister's problems go away. What the former attorney general said at the justice committee was shocking, showing political interference at the highest level of government, including by the Prime Minister himself.

While next week Gerald Butts and Michael Wernick will testify, they cannot take the fall for his actions. The Prime Minister needs to be held responsible. Rather than running scared, will the Prime Minister show even a fraction of the courage of his former attorney general and testify under oath at the justice committee?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is the Prime Minister who also agreed that it is important for Canadians to be able to hear from witnesses. Members of the justice committee have worked together to have witnesses appear.

It was not that long ago that the Conservatives said that the justice committee would not meet. They are meeting. It was the Conservatives who said that the former attorney general would not have a chance to appear. She appeared, and she was able to share what she needed to share. Within her comments that she shared, she once again confirmed that at every time, the Prime Minister did tell the former attorney general that it was her decision to take.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The former attorney general was not allowed to fully share her story, and what she did share, the Prime Minister says he does not believe, because this so-called feminist Prime Minister does not like it when women tell the truth about him.

The Prime Minister is trying to discredit her. From not accepting her testimony at face value, to blaming her, to calling her difficult to work with, he is running a despicable smear campaign against the former attorney general and is still not allowing her to tell her full story, nor is he coming forward to tell the truth.

Will he stop attacking her and admit that she spoke the truth and own up to what he has done?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is a clear difference between the government under the leadership of this Prime Minister, because we support the work of committees. We have confidence in the work of committees. We have confidence in the independence of the judicial system. We have confidence in officers of Parliament.

The contrast is the Conservatives, the party of Stephen Harper, with a new leader now but still the party of Stephen Harper, which likes to divide, which likes to mischaracterize. Rather than listening to witness testimony and actually bringing credibility to this place and to Canadian institutions, they are misleading and misrepresenting. The former attorney general is more than capable of representing herself, and that is why she could share what she needed to share and the Prime Minister shared that she had the avenue and the privilege--

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. opposition House leader.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, how about this? Yesterday, five former attorneys general wrote to the RCMP asking it to investigate the Prime Minister for obstruction of justice under section 139(2) of the Criminal Code. In their words, “ordinary Canadians, who do not benefit from political connections, have been charged under these sections with much less evidence.”

Try as he might, the Prime Minister cannot just sweep this under the carpet and hope that it goes away. He needs to be honest with Canadians. Will he start by testifying under oath at the justice committee the House leader says she respects so much?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the RCMP, the opposition House leader should know that the force is entirely independent. It makes its own decisions and judgments about how, when and where to commence investigations. It never consults with the Minister of Public Safety; neither should it.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the former attorney general told us that she received a call from the Prime Minister on January 7 to inform her that she would be shuffled to a new department. She was sure it was because of the SNC-Lavalin situation.

What is more, the clerk told the deputy minister that one of the first discussions with the new minister would be about SNC-Lavalin. Later, the new Minister of Justice said that he did indeed discuss the file with representatives of the Prime Minister's Office.

Can he at least name these mysterious people from the Prime Minister's Office?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, upon his appointment, the minister was briefed on numerous files that relate to his portfolio. This is standard practice for all new ministers or ministers who change their portfolios.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we know that one of the first discussions the new Minister of Justice had at the Prime Minister's Office focused on a special agreement for SNC-Lavalin to avoid a criminal trial.

Who did he talk to? Was it Gerald Butts, Katie Telford, Mathieu Bouchard or someone else?

Why will he not answer the question?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Arif Virani Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, let us contemplate the reverse scenario. The reverse scenario would be if ministers, upon taking new appointments or changing portfolios, were not briefed. That would impede ministers in the execution of their functions and impede them in serving the public interest.

As I indicated, the minister received briefings on files that relate to his portfolio, as is the standard practice.