House of Commons Hansard #410 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pardon.

Topics

Criminal Records ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we can forgive Canadians trying to follow this debate who might not know the distinction between an expungement and a pardon. Pardons exist right now within the legislation. We also know that pardons can simply be revoked at some future date. A future parliament can decide that it was a mistake and bring those convictions back onto people's records.

Liberal colleagues, time after time, have said that they think expungement was probably a better idea but that they just could not get around to it. We have about four or five weeks left in the parliamentary sitting. For a piece of legislation this important, this significant and this complicated to come this late expresses the government's lack of priority for the issue.

There are 400,000 Canadians wondering what is going to happen to their criminal charges for possession, which is not trafficking or anything else. We know indigenous communities and people of colour are overrepresented in this group. They are wondering where they sit in the Liberal priorities for justice. They know any pardon they get can be reversed and that the legislation has been introduced so late that it may not actually pass into law prior to the election in October of this year.

Criminal Records ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with the member that this proposed legislation has come so late that it does call into question the sincerity of the government in wanting to get it passed. However, I hope he was listening when I talked about why expunging a record is not going to work.

For example, for people who live in my community who may want to go to the U.S., the U.S. already has the information about who has a criminal record for possession in Canada. If they do not get a U.S. entry waiver, then they cannot get into the U.S. However, they cannot get a U.S. entry waiver unless they have a copy of their Canadian pardon, which they would not have if their record was expunged. I think this is a very important point, and I look forward to discussing this aspect further at committee.

Criminal Records ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in listening to the debate thus far, I am a little confused in terms of what the Conservative Party's position actually is. Could the member be clear on whether they are in favour of a pardon over expungement?

Criminal Records ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we look forward to a full discussion at committee. I am not sure that we can see from the comments today that we have jelled on where our position is. We will have to have more discussion on it.

However, I am personally very much in favour of a pardon over an expungement for the reasons I have stated. People would not be able to go from my riding across to the U.S., which is a daily event, if their records were expunged. I think that the pardon process that exists is tried and true and is the correct path. We should see if we can streamline that path and make it more accessible.

Criminal Records ActGovernment 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, it is always a pleasure to rise and address the House. Once again, today, we have in Bill C-93 another progressive piece of legislation that is going to have a very positive outcome at the end of the day, from coast to coast to coast.

I have heard a number of members across the way ask why we are bringing forward this legislation at this time. I can tell people who may be following the debate that, in the last three or three and a half years, we have had a government that has taken very seriously issues such as cannabis, tax breaks, or a wide selection of different areas of concern. We have been introducing legislation from virtually day one, all the way. I would suggest that we could see even more legislation.

Canadians have an expectation that the government, and in fact hopefully the opposition too, will recognize that every day is a good day to be sitting, and when we are sitting, we should be doing work on behalf of all Canadians. This is just another good day. We are debating legislation that ultimately will have a very positive impact on Canadians.

The question I just posed to the member opposite, the Conservative shadow minister, is something that I think Canadians are very much interested in. The New Democrats very clearly want expungement. Let us make this so that it really makes sense to our constituents.

Imagine, Mr. Speaker, any one of our constituents living in Canada who want to go down to the States today. If they were to go to the States and the government said they could have an expungement, as opposed to a pardon, what we would be telling our constituents is that it is as if the act never took place. They can go across the border and if the issue is ever posed to them, they could say it never took place. They do not have to say anything about it.

That would be a huge mistake, I would suggest, because they could find themselves in a position where an immigration or customs officer in the U.S. could make accusations of misrepresentation or possibly even accusations of lying. If they attempt to do that, they could be in a great deal of trouble, especially if they want to enter the States that day or in the future.

That is just one example that I think has to be talked about of why an expungement is not necessarily what the NDP is trying to portray. A pardon does the job that is being requested. It allows our constituents to cross the border in a legitimate fashion.

There have been consultations between border controls in both nations. Most importantly, we know that we can actually implement this policy for those individuals. We are talking about providing a pardon for an estimated 250,000 Canadians. That is a quarter of a million Canadians in all regions of our country who would now be eligible to receive this pardon. Some members asked why we expect only 10,000 Canadians to actually go through the process. We have confidence in our civil servants and believe these are the numbers that we have been told. If in fact they are too high or too low, the government can adjust, much like I can adjust to my time having expired.

I will continue my speech at the end of question period.

Criminal Records ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member will have 15 minutes and 45 seconds remaining in his speech when the House next deals with this subject.

Mental Health WeekStatements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Independent

Celina Caesar-Chavannes Independent Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, early in my term here in the 42nd Parliament, I disclosed my struggles with depression and anxiety. It is never easy to talk about issues that have tremendous stigma, so during this Mental Health Week, I encourage all Canadians to get loud and support those living with mental illness, but to also get quiet. We need to get quiet enough to listen to the whispers of those who need our help, and quiet enough to empathize with those who are suffering in silence.

Let us get loud enough to break the stigma associated with mental illness, but quiet enough to understand that everyone's journey with mental illness is unique. We all have a role to play in ensuring that each and every Canadian lives with optimal mental health.

I want to thank Durham Mental Services, Ontario Shores, the Durham Regional Police Service, Lakeridge Health, Canadian Mental Health Association Durham and the COPE mental health program for their service to our community.

I invite all my colleagues and all Canadians to get loud this week and break the stigma of mental illness.

Napanee RaidersStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, hard work and persistence have paid off to the tune of an all-Ontario hockey championship. Last Tuesday, the Napanee Raiders clinched the Clarence Schmalz Cup for the second time in their 30-year history, defeating the Grimsby Peach Kings 3-1 in game five. They did it in our hometown of Napanee.

The Peach Kings came out strong in a must-win game and dominated the attack early on in the game, forcing the Napanee Raiders to work hard for the win. The Peach Kings came close to tying it late in the third, but Napanee's goalie, Nicholas Nabuurs, reacted quickly and was able to catch a bouncing puck.

As forward Ryan Casselman said, “Our dressing room is the reason we won. Every practice, every meeting and every game, we were there for each other. We just loved being together and that really makes for a good hockey team. Capturing the Schmaltz is something we'll never forget.”

We will never forget either. I congratulate the Napanee Raiders.

Carbon PricingStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, my province, Saskatchewan, is innovative, resilient and committed to safeguarding the environment.

It is truly disappointing that the Prime Minister is so focused on his ineffective and costly carbon tax that he cannot see past it. What is even more disappointing is that he is not being upfront with Canadians. If his carbon tax was really a plan to lower emissions, he would not have given a pass to major emitters. Instead, his carbon tax scheme dives deeper into the pockets of hard-working Canadians who are already overtaxed.

Saskatchewan is forced to continue its fight in court, but now it is being joined by Canadians across this country, and more and more provinces are picking up the fight in court.

The good news is that this fall Canadians can choose a leader who will scrap the carbon tax and lower global emissions without making Canadians pay more.

Community VolunteerStatements by Members

May 6th, 2019 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to rise in the House today to recognize a remarkable woman in my riding, Humber River—Black Creek. Ameris Cristofoli, a senior, leads a group of over 75 seniors through an extensive community-based exercise program. Ms. Cristofoli has been volunteering for a remarkable 18 years and leads the program, with participants ranging from the young age of 70 to 90 years of age, three times a week.

We all know that as we grow older it is important to increase our exercise to ensure a longer life. It is individuals like Ameris who are helping to keep our Canadian seniors healthy and strong, like this great country that we call home.

Youth for ClimateStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of North Island—Powell River, youth are telling us that climate change is a priority. My first town hall on climate change, held in Port McNeill at North Island Secondary School, had three presenters who spoke to issues relevant in the region.

Adrian Van Gorkom, a student, was the first to present. He spoke of his survey of fellow students on their concerns about the environment and climate change. The results were powerful, as we heard that this issue is seen as incredibly urgent. He, along with two other presenters, Megan Hanacek and “The Marine Detective”, Jackie Hildering, focused on battling fear, creating solutions and youth engagement.

Whether it is the students of Campbell River who have protested multiple times at city hall asking leadership and community members to act now, or the Comox Valley students who met with several elected representatives to discuss issues of climate action in their region, or the students of Powell River who left their classrooms and walked out to protest the lack of climate change action, young people are stepping up to the plate. I hope that the government is willing to act with them.

NordresaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently visited Nordresa, a company located in Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

This jewel of Laval's economy develops, manufactures and commercializes electric drivetrains for commercial trucks. If I had to name one company that epitomizes the alliance between the environment and the economy, it would have to be Nordresa. With a highly skilled workforce drawn from Quebec, leading-edge expertise and economic prospects that extend well beyond our borders, this beacon of the Canadian ecological transition is a company we can be proud of.

I want to thank Nordresa's president Sylvain Castonguay and deputy managing director Caroline Lachance for the warm welcome they gave me and for all their hard work. By supporting their efforts, we will build a sustainable, innovation-driven economy—

NordresaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

Government PrioritiesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach the election, I have been reflecting back on all the broken promises over the past four years.

The Prime Minister said he would run small deficits of less than $10 million that would go toward building roads and bridges here in Canada. Instead, we have huge deficits, and our taxpayer dollars are going to build infrastructure in China.

He said it was going to be the last election under first past the post. The budget was going to be balanced. The government was going to be open, honest and ethical. We saw how that went with the SNC scandal, the Aga Khan fiasco, the clam scam, the cash-for-access fundraisers and the many ethics violations of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The Prime Minister said he would not do omnibus bills. He said he would restore home mail delivery.

In fact, the Prime Minister has not fulfilled three-quarters of his promises, so basically we cannot believe anything he says. The Prime Minister is definitely not as advertised.

Norwood Legion Ladies AuxiliaryStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Vandal Liberal Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, MB

Mr. Speaker, on February 11, 1929, the Norwood Legion Ladies Auxiliary was constituted by the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League.

For 90 years, the volunteer auxiliary has worked tirelessly to support the Norwood Legion and Saint Boniface. It was a pleasure to be able to join them last Sunday to mark this very important milestone.

Saint-Boniface—Saint-Vital has a phenomenal number of dedicated volunteers working hard for the well-being of our community. Today I am paying tribute to the Norwood Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Saint-Boniface.

We thank the auxiliary president, Marilyn Kenny, and all members for their valued service to our community.

Happy anniversary.

Here is to another 90 years.

Canadian Children's Book WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Children's Book Week is an annual event that celebrates Canadian children's literature.

Literacy is one of the greatest gifts parents and grandparents can give a child, something my wife, Barb, and I have always believed in. Reading lays the foundation for a love of learning, and the bond created while reading with a child, at any age, is priceless.

We are so fortunate to have many talented writers and illustrators across Canada, especially in my riding, like Robert Munsch, Eric Walters, Jean Little, Werner Zimmermann, and many more. The newest addition to the authors list is grade 12 student Lindsay Tarrington.

Guelph public libraries and bookstores are more than just storage spaces for books. They are community hubs, bringing families together as centres for learning, education and professional development.

I would like to join the member for Toronto—Danforth and encourage all Canadians to help ignite a culture of reading right across our great country.

RamadanStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, today begins Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

Canadians of all faiths stand with our Muslim friends and neighbours, during this special month and always. We strongly affirm our love and goodwill for Muslim Canadians. I am grateful for the significant contributions they make every day in Canadian life. They are well represented in every profession, every field of community action, and every political party.

We join Muslim Canadians in standing against all threats to religious liberty, both here and around the world. During Ramadan, we remember those who participate in the free practice of fasting but are impeded by violence or by state edict.

Finally, Ramadan provides a great opportunity for non-Muslims to connect with their Muslim neighbours. Mosques hold Iftar events, where people gather at sundown at the end of each day to break their fast.

I will be joining lftar events in my riding this month, and I would encourage all members of Parliament and all Canadians to do the same. To all Muslims, Ramadan Mubarak.

Lviv, Ukraine Folklore FestivalStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Lviv, Ukraine Folklore Festival in Kingston, making it the second-longest-running Ukrainian festival in Canada. This accomplishment shows the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers and members of the Ukrainian community. Our city is proud to witness and be part of this significant milestone.

The folklore festival gathers community members to celebrate Ukrainian traditions and culture through live performances, traditional dance and music, artistic displays and excellent homemade cuisine. In celebrating Ukrainian culture, we help strengthen our diversity.

I am excited to see the continued growth in the Kingston Ukrainian community and indeed to celebrate its rich Ukrainian culture together.

Young VolunteersStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kent Hehr Liberal Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today's young Canadians are the most educated, connected and diverse generation this country has ever seen. They have the curiosity needed to learn skills and the ambition required to work hard and succeed. That is why I am thrilled to welcome to Parliament today a group of young advocates from Engineers Without Borders at the University of Calgary and especially my good friend Marigold Mioc, a recipient of the 2019 Diana Award for community service. These great Canadians are here to talk to us about the 2030 sustainable development goals and how we as parliamentarians and policy-makers can continue to work to achieve them.

For too many years, politicians and parties neglected young voices. I encourage today's leaders to listen to our future leaders. We can learn a great deal.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, from interfering in justice files and numerous ethics breaches to false promises, backtracking and a deficit with no end in sight, this Liberal government has gone way off course.

One after another, party members are jumping ship, and when they do, the Liberals bash them. We are now seeing the Liberals' true colours as they squabble endlessly with the provinces and the rest of the world turns its back on us. They said Canada was back. They forgot to say the strife was back too.

Quebeckers deserve better. They deserve a government that respects provincial jurisdiction. They deserve responsible government. They deserve a government that listens to them, a government that will put an end to scandals of all kinds.

Quebeckers deserve proper representation. They deserve a blue wave.

Canada Summer JobsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, summer is upon us, and in my riding of Avalon, things are looking brighter than ever for young people, who, thanks to our Canada summer jobs program, will have over 480 well-paying summer positions available to them across the riding. Students in my province relish the opportunity to find jobs that not only interest them but that allow them to make a fair wage, all while learning important skills for their future.

The previous Conservative government, in true Conservative fashion, preferred balancing its books on the backs of our young people. It considered investing in students and our youth one of its lowest priorities.

This government knows that investing in our young people today means a stronger country tomorrow. This government knows that when we give students the chance to earn money for themselves, it means that mom and dad keep more money in their own pockets and that our young people find their independence. This government has been committed since day one to making positive changes to the lives of every Canadian. I know that the young people in Avalon are feeling these changes, and the future has never looked better.

Environmental Protection in Saint-Hyacinthe—BagotStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are fortunate to have organizations doing amazing work in our riding. The Comité des citoyens et citoyennes pour la protection de l'environnement maskoutain is a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the environment around Saint-Hyacinthe. Our sub-watershed committees, OBV Yamaska and Le Boisé des douze, also work hard to protect our environment.

The people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton care deeply about the environment.

Last month, hundreds of our young people took part in a climate rally to alert the government to the climate emergency. Young people know we need to act now. My youth committee made this a priority file. That is why we are organizing a gathering to discuss environmental protection and single-use plastics on June 8.

I invite all my constituents to join us, because protecting the environment is everyone's business.

Government PrioritiesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister misled Canadians by promising that he would run three small deficits and then balance the budget, or rather, it would balance itself. Instead, the Prime Minister has borrowed massively, spent out of control and will not return the budget to balance until 2040.

He also promised that he would look after the well-being of the middle class, that he would advocate for their best interests, but nearly half of all Canadians are reporting that they live paycheque to paycheque. They are finding it difficult to cover basic necessities like food and shelter. Life is more expensive than ever, is what we are hearing.

Millennials would like to buy a home, but they cannot. The Prime Minister put new mortgage rules in place to keep young people out of the market.

Canadians are paying over and over again for the Prime Minister's mistakes, but the Prime Minister does not care. He has a family fortune, so why should he?

He tried to convince Canadians that he was one of them, but time has revealed the truth. He is not as advertised.

National Nursing WeekStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House today to recognize the vital contributions nurses make to the health and well-being of all Canadians. With more than 425,000 regulated nurses across Canada, it is by far our largest group of health care providers.

This week is National Nursing Week 2019. It is a week in which we recognize nurses' commitment to delivering safe, effective and quality health care. The week draws attention to nurses to increase awareness of the many contributions of nurses to the well-being of Canadians.

I am pleased to celebrate this special week with the Canadian Nurses Association, the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing over 140,000 nurses in all 13 jurisdictions across Canada.

I thank Canada's nurses for their leadership in delivering better health care for our nation, with a special thanks to the nurses of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is a man of integrity who has served our country with distinction in the Royal Canadian Navy, but the Liberals seem to have a personal vendetta against the vice-admiral and are going out of their way to block evidence and deny him a fair trial. Thankfully, there is a Liberal who has had enough of the Prime Minister's lack of integrity. The Liberal member for Orléans is going to testify on Norman's behalf.

Will the Prime Minister stop this obstruction and release all the relevant documents immediately?