House of Commons Hansard #424 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased that the garbage is coming back from the Philippines. We agree that it is unacceptable. In 2015, under the Harper government, a private company brought over waste to the Philippines. We have changed our rules so that it will not happen again.

The bigger piece is that we need to take action to tackle plastic pollution. We are going to be announcing our plan shortly. We know we have too much plastic pollution, and we need to keep that value in the economy. That is exactly what we are going to be doing.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Beauharnois company Terrassements MRD Inc. has been waiting for the results of the labour market impact assessment it requested since December 2018. The usual turnaround time is 102 days according to Service Canada, but it has taken 160 days in the case of Terrassements MRD Inc.

The company has lost $150,000 in contracts so far, and it is barely staying afloat. Temporary foreign workers should already be on site, but they are still waiting for customs clearance.

To ensure Terrassements MRD Inc. can remain in business, could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness speak to the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure that workers are allowed through the border by tomorrow, Saturday?

Public SafetyOral Questions

May 31st, 2019 / 11:50 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the increase in the number of jobs created in this country, the million new jobs, has put additional pressures on the work force. We have seen an almost 50% increase in the demand for temporary foreign workers in the province of Quebec. We have put additional resources on the ground, as far as agents who are dealing with these cases are concerned. We hope to resolve the backlog shortly.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, our allies have all moved forward in caring for their veterans injured by mefloquine, but our Prime Minister has ignored their research, their recognition of the damage done and their support for their injured soldiers.

This week, the Royal Canadian Legion announced a grant for Dr. Remington Nevin and the Quinism Foundation to study mefloquine toxicity within Canada's veteran population.

Why, then, are the Liberals on committee showing such disrespect for our legion and our veterans by trying to defame Dr. Nevin's expertise and research?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Lauzon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her interest in this file.

The well-being of veterans and Canadians is our top priority. Ninety-six percent of applications of post-traumatic stress disorder are approved, and we are working to provide veterans with the mental health support they need as quickly as possible.

The opposition had 10 years to provide that support and work on the mefloquine and mental health files, as veterans wanted.

Instead, they spent their time in office slashing services and balancing the budget while veterans suffered.

PrivacyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, not two weeks ago, at the committee of the whole, the Minister of National Defence stated that journalists' questions to the government would never again be farmed out to private corporations like Irving, which promptly and repeatedly threaten to sue the journalist.

The Minister of Public Services and Procurement admitted that it never should have happened in the first place, but it has happened again, this time to The Globe and Mail.

Could the Minister of National Defence tell us why he misled the House, or should I just skip the middle man and direct the question right to Irving?

PrivacyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia Québec

Liberal

Rémi Massé LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, we strive to be open and transparent so that Canadians know we are making responsible investments.

Information on individual transactions that are eligible, as with IRBs, is commercially sensitive. We must receive consent from the contractor. In order to provide the reporter with the most fulsome answer to the question, we spoke with the company. The departmental officials followed all appropriate steps respecting the privacy of all individuals.

Threatening the source or the reporter is not the way we do media relations.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, every day, across rural Canada, people live in fear that their lives and their property are in danger.

That is why Conservatives passed a motion to combat the scourge of rural crime, but the Liberals chose to ignore it and offered nothing in response. Home invasions are rising, property theft is common, people are scared, and yet the Liberals cannot be bothered to take any meaningful action.

When will the Liberals start taking rural communities and victims seriously?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned any time part of the Canadian public feels unsafe.

We have committed to ensuring that the RCMP members have the resources and support they need. There is a new RCMP crime reduction strategy in Alberta that has led to a 25% reduction in reported property crimes between July 2017 and July 2018. We have increased, across the board, $700 million in funding to the RCMP, and the Conservatives cut $500 million.

LabourOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, businesses and constituents in our riding have been very concerned about the status of collective bargaining at the Port of Vancouver. Just yesterday, I received an email from the owner of a small business in Fleetwood—Port Kells who has two containers on the way into port full of products that his customers need to get very quickly. Everyone on the coast knows how important this port is for our economy, our business, our farmers and all the workers right across Canada.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour please update this House on the status of those negotiations?

LabourOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Fleetwood—Port Kells, who has been a strong advocate and has quite often mentioned his concern around this issue of the negotiations. We believe, as a government, that a resolution is best found when labour and business sit, and when times need it, government assists.

I am really happy that our minister made the trip to Vancouver to encourage both groups to come to a resolution. We are really happy that a tentative agreement is now in place. I want to thank those who have given so much. From our labour department, Peter Simpson, who we call—

LabourOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network proposal will help increase eastern Ontario's access to cellphone service and capable Internet. It will give residents and businesses in rural Ontario access to the digital market and help them remain competitive.

These Liberals refuse to announce funding for this project, while the Ontario government has already announced $71 million in funding. This project has received support from both sides of the aisle, with six Liberal members of Parliament already signing on.

When will the Prime Minister finally support rural Ontarians and fund this project?

InfrastructureOral Questions

Noon

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, our government has made tremendous progress in delivering infrastructure across the country and has approved 4,800 projects to date. That is four times more than under the last Conservative government. Indeed, we have been patiently waiting for the Ford government in Ontario to get its act together to prioritize projects, which it failed to do in a timely and collaborative way, even after we extended deadlines. We welcome its long overdue interest in Ontario and infrastructure, and in particular, in rural infrastructure, when it comes to ensuring digital access, because we know that every Canadian, including rural Canadians in his riding, are entitled to it. Under this government, we will deliver.

SeniorsOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know that when governments try to use austerity measures, they target the vulnerable. As we have seen in Ontario, the austerity measures have been particularly harsh for families and seniors. The previous Conservative government tried the same on seniors. They pushed thousands of seniors into poverty by raising the age of eligibility for old age security from 65 to 67.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors advise on our government's approach to seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

Noon

Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne Québec

Liberal

Sherry Romanado LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to improving the lives of seniors, and that is why we have reduced the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS from 67 to 65, keeping 100,000 seniors out of poverty. We increased the GIS for Canada's most vulnerable seniors by almost $1,000 per year. We are investing in housing for seniors. We are investing in home care and palliative care. We are investing in income security for seniors.

We believe that seniors deserve respect after a lifetime of hard work, and we will never stop working to provide Canadian seniors with the benefits they deserve.

FinanceOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Scot Davidson Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the important work of the Auditor General's office is being jeopardized by the Prime Minister, who has refused to provide the funding needed to hold the federal government accountable for its activities and its handling of taxpayer money. The Liberal government does not want its incompetence brought to light by the Auditor General. This has resulted in the cancellation of critical audits, including on Arctic sovereignty and cybersecurity.

Will the Liberal government show that it actually cares about being accountable to Canadians and fully fund the Auditor General?

FinanceOral Questions

Noon

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Joyce Murray LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe that the member opposite has just asked that question, when his government cut the Auditor General's budget by 10% and never built it back. Our government built that budget back, because we are committed to supporting the important and ongoing work of the Auditor General.

EmploymentOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the same thing happens every year. Summer comes and farmers do not get the temporary foreign workers they need because Ottawa is unable to process the applications in time. The answer is always the same. We are told that there is a very high volume of applications and that our call is very important.

Are they not aware that there is a labour shortage? The number of applications will continue to rise, and crops will not wait until the workers arrive to start growing.

The parliamentary secretary told us that there are more resources, but we are not seeing a difference. A permanent solution is needed.

What will the government do today to make sure that these workers arrive in Canada on time this summer and next?

EmploymentOral Questions

Noon

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to remind the hon. member that, yes, the Conservatives did cut temporary foreign workers, those who were working in the processing sector, and changed the rules to make it more difficult. The sector told us at the time that the Tories pushed the whole House back just to tighten the clothesline.

We are putting in additional resources. We have more bodies on the ground, and we will see a change. We will see an improvement in that service.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Boudrias Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, we already knew that the Irvings were controlling the Maritimes, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that their company is also exerting more and more control over the federal government.

First of all, the Irvings took pretty much all of the money that was available to help combat the spruce budworm. Then, they got their hands on most of the shipbuilding strategy's $100 billion. Meanwhile, Davie, the Quebec shipbuilding industry, is being passed over for Coast Guard contracts in favour of the Irvings.

Why is the government working on behalf of the Irvings instead of Canadians?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Harper Conservatives, we opened up the shipbuilding process. We gave Davie some very lucrative contracts, including an icebreaker refit and several vessel repairs.

Now, we are looking to involve a third shipyard and give it the opportunity to participate in this historic shipbuilding strategy. It is thanks to the Liberal Party of Canada and this government that Davie has been benefiting from other shipbuilding opportunities.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Boudrias Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was just getting started.

Having had 600 lobbying meetings since the Liberals came to power in 2015, the Irvings are clearly part of the family, which has paid off. They were given a golden ticket, which lets them pass off their Alberta french fry factories as technological benefits for the shipbuilding industry. When journalists have pointed questions about their business, the government warns the Irvings so they can then threaten them.

As usual, the government is manoeuvring to kill Davie and Quebec's shipbuilding industry, Irving's main rival.

My question is simple: when will there be an inquiry? When will a special parliamentary committee—

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia Québec

Liberal

Rémi Massé LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, our policy on industrial and regional benefits is our main tool for capitalizing on defence procurement to benefit Canadians. When we examine eligible transactions under this policy, we ensure that the technological level is equal to or greater than that of the project and that there are applications in Canadian industries.

As the firm stated, it did not get credit for its entire investment of $425 million in the facilities at Cavendish Farms. It said that it received approximately $40 million as a credit for meeting its obligations with respect to industrial and regional benefits under the contract for its Atlantic ships. Questions concerning this investment could—