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

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. member for Nunavut.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services. I have been proud to fight for the funding announced last fall for an addictions and trauma treatment centre for Nunavut. However, there are no youth-specific facilities in Nunavut. Our youth face long delays and often have to leave the territory for mental health treatment, if they are lucky.

“Our Minds Matter”, a report issued by Nunavut's children and youth representative, states that our youth have rightly judged the current system to be inadequate and failing to meet their needs.

Will the minister listen to the voices of our youth and give them access to the mental health services and supports they need and have a right to in their own territory?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

May 31st, 2019 / 12:05 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that we work in partnership with the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to respond to the mental health needs of Inuit in the territory. We know that the national Inuit suicide prevention strategy is crucial to addressing that issue. That is why, in budget 2019, we will invest $50 million over 10 years to support it.

We will continue to work with partners, including the hon. member, to respond to the mental health needs of Inuit in the territory.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising from question period. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change had commented on the growth in foreign direct investment. I would like to table a report from the OECD, which shows that under the government, it has been negative $166 billion in direct investment since the Liberals came to power.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on many occasions throughout the past couple of months, many people have commented on the level of decorum in question period. I do not want to add to that, but I want to talk about the level of decorum during Statements by Members, which precedes the most popular spot of the day in the House of Commons.

First, I will show a level of decorum and apologize to the opposition whip if my intervention is interfering with his random yelling.

During Statements by Members, we have one minute to discuss issues that we feel are important to our riding or certain individuals within our riding. Lately, I have noticed that some members are openly talking back and forth with each other in conversations, yelling and laughing. It may not be important to other members in the House, but it is important for the member who is giving the statement and for those who are either in the gallery or at home. Even if this is not important to other members, it certainly is important to someone.

Statements by MembersPoints of OrderOral Questions

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame. It is certainly a good reminder.

Members will know that from time to time the Chair does need to intervene when members are talking in the House when another member is recognized. Members will know that is against the Standing Orders, and we will do our best to police that. At the same time, it does require the participation of all hon. members to ensure that when members are recognized, they have the floor and other members should hold their comments until such time as they have the floor.

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of CrimeRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2016-17 annual report of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

Hate PropagandaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Prime Minister gave a speech in the House in which he said that “the days of spewing hatred and inciting violence...are over...We owe it to our kids, and we owe it to ourselves.”

Last July, I met with Ben Manion who wanted to talk to me about hate crimes and, in particular, white nationalist groups. Ben wanted a better Canada. I talked to Ben about presenting a petition, which I was very happy to sponsor, and would like to present that today. Ben is here with us to watch. It talks about the rise of white nationalist groups to meet, recruit and share hate propaganda.

The petitioners call for a number of provisions, including in the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to empower law enforcement, to allow the government to take action in dealing with these horrible white nationalist and hate groups.

FirearmsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by Canadians from the ridings of Kootenay—Columbia, South Okanagan—West Kootenay, London—Fanshawe, Waterloo, London West, Regina—Wascana, Regina—Qu'Appelle and Regina—Lewvan.

The petitioners call on the House of Commons to respect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners and reject the Prime Minister's plan to waste taxpayer money studying a ban on guns that are already banned.

Surf Guard ServicesPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table a petition today, e-petition 2134, that was signed by 829 constituents from coastal British Columbia.

The petitioners call on the government to reinstate the surf guard tower and surf guard services and extend the duration of the surf guard program to accommodate the growing number of emergencies as well as visitors at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. They cite the amount of emergencies taking place at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park, including two fatalities: Nijin John died and Ann Wittenberg died in an incident on May 20, 2018. A rescue took place on March 26.

Never mind that there are over a million visitors to Pacific Rim National Park, there have been no surf guard services and tower at Long Beach since the Conservative cuts in 2012.

Physical FitnessPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present an e-petition that I received from many Canadians.

The petitioners call on the government to recognize physical fitness as a form of treatment for physical injury and mental health issues. They request that the government provide funding for gym memberships, personal training and physiotherapy to individuals suffering from mental illness or chronic life-altering disease or illness.

Sex SelectionPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a huge number of petitions today from right across Canada.

The petitioners indicate that a CBC documentary revealed that ultrasounds were being used in Canada to tell the sex of an unborn child so expectant parents could choose to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child was a girl.

An Environics poll found that 92% of Canadians believed sex-selected pregnancy terminations should be illegal. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists strongly oppose the non-medical use of fetal ultrasounds. Over 200 million girls are missing worldwide and this “gendercide” has created a global gender imbalance crisis, resulting in violence and human trafficking of girls. The three deadliest words in the world are, “It's a girl”.

The petitioners therefore call upon Canada's Parliament to support legislation that would make sex selection illegal.

Line WorkersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to table a petition, calling on a day to recognize the hard work of line workers across the country. They are often the first to respond to disasters, when they strike, whether they are floods or ice storms. They work long hours and in unsafe conditions to ensure people can get power restored to their homes and get their lives back on track. It takes a lot of good training and a high measure of dedication to the work they do, putting themselves in harm's way to help Canadians in difficult circumstances.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

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

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege to rise on traditional territory that the Algonquin people have called home for generations upon generations to speak on Bill C-97, the budget implementation act, 2019, No. 1, and specifically about the amendments our government is putting forward for the national housing strategy act. We are enshrining into law the right to housing as a human right and requiring every future federal government to develop and maintain a national housing strategy and to be accountable to Canadians.

Since we formed government in 2015, we have stayed focused on a plan to grow the middle class and support those working hard to join it. That plan is working.

One million jobs have been created over the past three and a half years. Middle-class Canadians are paying lower taxes. The Canada child benefit has cut the child poverty rate in the country by 40%, and 825,000 Canadians are no longer living in poverty. More than one million families have a safe and affordable roof over their heads because of the investments our government has made in housing. That is 1,432 more families in my riding of Peterborough—Kawartha with that safe and affordable roof over their heads, we are just getting started.

In November 2017, we announced Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a 10-year plan, with $40 billion invested, to give more Canadians a place to call home.

The national housing strategy is built around the fact that housing is a human right. The strategy is grounded in the principles of inclusion, accountability, participation and non-discrimination. It will contribute to helping Canada meet its sustainable development goals by 2030, and affirms the commitment we made 40 years ago when we ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In budget 2019, we took our commitment to housing even further. We are investing an additional $10 billion in the rental construction financing initiative, which will help people who rely on rental and social housing to find more housing opportunities. We have introduced the first-time homebuyer incentive, which will help more Canadians achieve the dream of owning a home.

Thanks to these and other investments, the national housing strategy is now a 10-year, $55-billion plan, and we are seeing the fruits of our commitment in new and renewed housing units across the country.

Next year, the Canada housing benefit will come into effect. This is an additional $2,500 a year for low-income Canadians. It is a portable fund that will follow them wherever they choose to live to ensure they have greater access to affordable housing.

Our government's investments in housing are already at unprecedented levels. However, that is not the only reason the national housing strategy act represents such a historic step in giving more Canadians a place to call home. What makes the national housing strategy act truly transformational for Canadians is that it recognizes the human rights-based approach to housing that underlies the national housing strategy and enshrines it into law.

During the committee stage of Bill C-97, our government put forward significant amendments to recognize that the right to adequate housing was a fundamental human right, affirmed in international law. We recognize that housing is critical not just to the well-being of all Canadians, but to building sustainable, inclusive communities. We have ensured that Canada's first-ever national housing strategy is not also the last, by requiring that every future federal government develop and maintain a national housing strategy that takes into account the key principle of housing as a human right.

Today is a historic day for housing in Canada because we are introducing amendments to the national housing strategy act that will further entrench and protect the commitments we have already made. These amendments would ensure greater accountability and they would give vulnerable Canadians a greater voice in housing decisions that affect them.

The national housing strategy act also calls for the creation of a federal housing advocate, supported by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Thanks to today's amendments, we are enhancing the advocate's role in identifying and researching systemic housing challenges. The advocate will report to the minister responsible for housing on these issues. Its recommendations will be tabled in Parliament, and the minister and the government will be required to respond.

The federal housing advocate will be able to consult with vulnerable Canadians, people with lived experience and experts to better understand the impact of housing need and homelessness.

The national housing strategy act would create a national housing council supported by CMHC, which will act as a focal point for housing policy discussions on the national housing strategy and will advise the minister on how to improve housing outcomes. With today's amendments, we are empowering the national housing council with even more freedom to support the federal housing advocate and to report on the findings to the minister responsible.

Today's amendments detail how the minister and the government will be required to report back to the House and to Canadians on the recommendations they receive. Simply stating that housing is a human right means nothing unless there are robust accountability and reporting mechanisms in place. With these amendments, we are doing precisely that.

These changes, to say nothing of the national housing strategy itself, came about as a result of cross-Canada consultations with thousands of people from all walks of life. Their stories, their experiences and their challenges, along with their expertise, provided us with a fuller understanding of the state of housing in Canada today.

While I am proud to say that our investments have made a significant impact on giving more Canadians a place to call home, we recognize there is much more work to do. It is thanks to the community of stakeholders, of people with lived experience, those in housing need and experts, that we are able to take the historic steps we are taking today.

I have to take this opportunity to thank my constituents in Peterborough—Kawartha for their contributions to the housing strategy development process, the minister responsible for this file and, of course, the member for Spadina—Fort York, who is forever a champion for safe, affordable housing in Canada.

Today's amendments fulfill one of Canada's key international commitments. We are a signatory to the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As such, we have a responsibility to meet one of the covenant's core commitments: to progressively realize the right to adequate housing as part of an adequate standard of living for our citizens.

Today's amendments also take us further in fulfilling our promise to Canadians. When we were elected in 2015, we pledged to give more Canadians a place to call home. We promised to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable people and communities. With the national housing strategy, and now with the national housing strategy act, we are fulfilling those promises.

No other federal government has taken such a comprehensive, long-term approach to housing policy. Never before has a rights-based approach to housing been part of housing policy in this country. These are major milestones that will improve the lives of Canadians, now and for generations to come.

Personally speaking, when my family first moved to Peterborough, we did not have a place to call home. We lived in a shelter provided by the YWCA. We benefited from social housing soon after. It was having that access to safe, secure housing that allowed my family and me to put our lives back together and to feel like we have a place we can call home, and a community in which we belong.

On behalf of my family and so many millions of Canadians who have been transformed by access to housing services and by housing workers in this country, I would like to thank those who have come before us, those who have contributed to the national housing strategy and the national housing strategy act, the team that has developed this really smart approach to lifting Canadians out of poverty and creating a stronger middle class and, of course, every single member of the House who will rise in support of this transformational bill.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, obviously everyone in the House and all Canadians want all Canadians to be living in safe and secure housing. I have some questions on some of the finance issues.

The minister commented that the Liberals have invested $10 billion in housing so far, and $55 billion over 10 years. I asked the Parliamentary Budget Officer if he is able to locate this money, either spent or in the budget. His answer is no. Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer, is now with the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, which wrote a report called “How Stable is the Foundation of the National Housing Strategy?” It stated that they have been able to find only $1.5 billion spent, not $10 billion, and over the next 10 years they can locate only $5.1 billion in the fiscal framework. The report goes on to say that the NHS looks simply like a “glossy document” that is accompanied by announcements and that “unfortunately, for now, the NHS is virtually nowhere to be seen in the federal fiscal framework.”

I ask, where is the money? Where is the $55 billion over 10 years that Kevin Page and the current Parliamentary Budget Officer say is nowhere to be found?

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maryam Monsef Liberal Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his commitment to adequate housing in Canada. I would like to correct some of the numbers he shared.

Since taking office, we have invested more than $7 billion in housing from coast to coast to coast. It is thanks to those investments that we have helped build more than 25,000 new housing units. We have repaired, renewed and renovated more than 165,000 additional housing units. That means that, in total, our investments have led to more than one million Canadians having a place to call home. This is much more than what my colleague suggested.

In my home town in Peterborough—Kawartha, where the vacancy rate for rental housing is 1.1%, over the past three and a half years 1,432 families have been able to find a safe and affordable roof over their heads. As Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, an indigenous leader and a great woman in my community, said, housing is “more than just having a roof over your head”; it is a place to keep a family together. Our housing strategy is beginning to do just that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear the question my colleague asked earlier, even though she refrained from calling the figures rhetorical, unlike her colleague from the Toronto area, who characterized all of the government's figures as rhetorical without really being able to indicate which of the figures were real.

That said, I am interested in the half-baked manner in which this bill was presented and moved through the parliamentary process. The initial version made absolutely no sense and had absolutely no purpose because it did not even recognize housing as a fundamental human right. This was fixed during the study in committee, which recognized this right. There were other mistakes, including the fact that the housing advocate has no mandate or power. This was just fixed at report stage. The government is proposing amendments.

My question is about where the process went so wrong that they twice had to make a series of amendments to fix such a terrible first version of the bill. What happened during the consultations? Did they not listen to experts' recommendations? Did they just realize what people have been saying for months?

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Maryam Monsef Liberal Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my colleague can appreciate that having a government that listens to Canadians, that listens to evidence, experts and people with lived experience, is a refreshing change from what we had during Mr. Harper's era of governance in this country.

I am sure my colleague can appreciate that having a government that is willing to listen to colleagues in the House, across both sides, to help ensure we do the best we can by the people who sent us here is a good thing. I am sure he can appreciate that when we work together on making important policy decisions and significant investments be the best they can possibly be, the people who sent us here and their children and grandchildren will be better off.

I would like to thank those who contributed to this process. I would like to assure my hon. colleague that the $55-billion investment that we are putting forward is now enshrined in law with the right accountability measures and with a focus on human rights, to ensure that every future federal government is held to account and hears directly from Canadians what the needs and opportunities are to secure housing for everyone.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise again to speak on the budget.

I am not going to talk about the government's betrayal of Canadians with its promise to balance the budget this year. In March alone, we saw a $15-billion deficit. I am not going to talk about how there is next to nothing to support the people in Alberta in this budget, or how this transparent government is actually hiding stuff.

In fact, in the budget, the government is hiding billions of dollars of tax increases in an opaque line called “[net] impact of non-announced measures”. It is $5.7 billion. Perhaps the government is saying that it is not tax increases but program cuts. However, seeing how the government has a definite love affair with spending, I can only assume it is tax increases.

We have actually asked the finance department what is in the $5.7 billion, in the net impact of non-announced measures. The department says it cannot answer; it is a secret. I have to ask the government why it is hiding this information from us.

I also want to respond to the comments of one of the government members earlier, bragging about the great increase in foreign investment in Canada. I just happened to be looking at an OECD report that actually shows that the net outflow of the country, since the Liberal government came to power, is $166 billion. At the same time, the net inflow into Trump's America is actually around the $500-billion mark. We can see the actions of the Liberal government.

Instead of talking about these items, I am going to read into the record some comments from my constituents in Edmonton West. These are real voices of real Canadians. These are not the voices of special interest groups that the Liberals are in such thrall of, such as Unifor, which the government is putting on the media bailout advisory board, or Leadnow or the Tides Foundation.

I am going to talk about real Canadians, not the special interest groups that control the government, such as SNC-Lavalin or Bombardier. Of course, we all remember the millions of taxpayers' dollars given to Bombardier in a handout in order for it to give bonuses to its executives. I am not going to read into the record comments on the budget from other Liberal puppet masters, such as Irving.

I want to talk about the voices of real Canadians. Their voices should be heard. I was out door-knocking recently and ran into a gentleman holding his brand new granddaughter, who was about three weeks old. He was a pipefitter. He had been employed his entire life working on pipelines. He had been laid off a while ago, and his EI had run out. He was left with nothing.

We have a government that cannot seem to make a simple decision on TMX. This is a government that killed the energy east pipeline by putting rules and regulations on Canadian and Alberta oil that we do not put on Venezuela oil or Saudi Arabia oil. The government stopped energy east because it wants to start measuring downstream and upstream emissions, and at the same time it is subsidizing jet-makers and carmakers.

This is the same government that recently gave $14 million to the wealthy owners of Loblaws. To put it in perspective, the government gave a $14-million grant to the second-wealthiest person in Canada. It was not the 1% of 1% of 1% of 1%. It gave a $14-million grant to someone who is wealthier than 37,599,098 other Canadians. The government prioritized this over helping out people in Alberta.

I met recently with someone in my constituency office, a lady named Catherine. She and her husband, and their family, used to have a thriving trucking business. Due to Liberal actions and what has been going on with trying to phase out our oil sands and our energy industry, as the Prime Minister said, their company has been driven out of business. They have lost their house. Their family has broken down. The husband has left.

These are real people and real issues that we need to hear about, not just wealthy people like Weston or the other people who are very cuddly with the Liberal Party.

I want to read into the record some of the comments I have received. Pat says, “As a senior I am worse than I was a year ago. Prices have gone up due to the carbon tax…nothing has been done for our oil situation and jobs in the West.”

Margaret says, “Worse off. Higher food prices, higher cost of utilities, carbon tax, too much tax taken off senior’s income.”

Someone by the name of J. says, “Much worse off than compared to 2017. Carbon tax is killing the Alberta economy and many businesses are closed. No pipeline being approved by the Liberals is devastating.”

It is not just energy east that the Liberals killed off. They also killed off the northern gateway. That was actually killed off by a cabinet order, a cabinet at the time that included two members from the Liberal Party of Alberta at the table, as well as the member for Calgary Centre, who is famous for saying he was going to bang on his desk for pipelines. However, tumbleweeds and crickets could be heard when they killed it off, rather than that member in the House. Edmonton's own member for Edmonton Mill Woods, supposedly the senior Liberal minister representing Alberta, was nowhere to be seen on the energy file while pipelines were killed off and Albertans have continued to suffer.

There are people who, with all of the added taxes, are worse off than a year ago. Elected officials need to lead us in a fiscally better direction and not get into bed with business to benefit themselves or only one section of the country. I have to ask why is the government constantly subsidizing carbon-producing companies while at the same time trying to drive out energy business?

Louise says, “All we have done is paid more and more taxes, losing money bit by bit.... Get the pipeline going to create jobs.” Amy says, “Worse, no question. The cost of everything has gone up and salaries have stayed the same. We are financially struggling to make ends meet. I am now a stay at home mom that works part time evenings and weekends because childcare is not affordable. This means we get no time together as a family. The government thinks we make too much money so we do not qualify for anything beyond $80/month CTB. Something has to give.”

These are the people who the government says are too well off, so that it had to take away the bus credit, too well off so that it had to take away the child tax credit, too wealthy so that it had to take away the arts credit and so well off that the mum has to work part time to keep things going. Under the Liberal government they are too well off.

At the same time, the government is giving $475 million in taxpayers' money to subsidize wealthy people to buy electric cars. For $45,000, if someone were to take a four-year loan at typical 5% to 6% interest rates, with tax, they would pay about $1,000 a month for that brand new Nissan Leaf or other electric vehicles. That is fine. If someone is wealthy enough to afford $1,000 a month for an electric car, the government will give them $5,000 cash.

However, with Elaine, who has to go back to work part time to help out her family, the government says she is making too much money. It wants her to go back to work, and it will take away the benefits she had, such as having her kids in a sports program or perhaps taking piano lessons. That is the priority of the government.

The Liberals spent a million dollars to send out politically motivated postcards to advise people about a carbon tax rebate they would get in Ontario; a million dollars. We asked if it was on recycled paper. No, it was not, although it was a postcard with environmental information. Is it recycled? No, it does not use recycled paper. Were carbon offsets used for the production or for the delivery? No, they were not, yet the Liberal government will spend a million dollars to send these out.

I want to talk about a charity that is dear to my heart in West Edmonton called the Elves Special Needs Society, which looks after the most severely disabled adults, young people and children in Edmonton. They are dear to my heart. I spend a lot of time with them. It is a wonderful organization. They have to pay the carbon tax on their facility. They look after about 200 adults. They have to pay the carbon tax. They do not get a rebate or any help from the government. A year ago, they had to go to the food bank to beg for adult diapers for their clients there, and yet somehow the government has a million dollars to spend on postcards for a rebate.

The government somehow $14 million it could give to Galen Weston, the second-wealthiest of 37 million Canadians. We have money for him, but for the most disadvantaged Canadians, the government is saying they should go to the food bank to get adult diapers to help out. It is disgraceful.

I am going to go on.

Loretta says, “Personally I am worse off and my husband is yet to see the impact of changes that the Liberal government has made for income, small business issues, and generally the stability of Canada.”

“Things are worse off than a year ago”, says Mark, because “Wages are not only staying the same but in some instances, depending on the industry, some people are taking a cut in wages anywhere from 10-40%. Have our leaders pay full taxes on their earnings and then take a pay cut like the rest of us.”

The parliamentary budget office stated last year that fully 40% of the average wage increase in Canada was solely from Ontario and Alberta raising their minimum wages. If we take away those, actual wages have dropped below the rate of inflation, and yet the Liberal government is so busy patting itself on the bank it is throwing its arms out.

Al says, “I feel we are worse off, as the old age pension has not increased for years. Utilities go up, gas goes up, food goes up, pensions don’t go up.” That seems to be the goal of the government, push everything up.

Albertans, and in fact all Canadians, are not getting ahead. They are not even staying even. They are falling behind and the government does not seem to care one whit about it.