House of Commons Hansard #433 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, only a Liberal would get up and say that spending more money was a good excuse for getting worse results. That is exactly what that guy is doing. He is standing and saying that the Liberals spent more money.

However, we found out today, through TVA, that the number of people illegally crossing the border had doubled. That is ridiculous. It is unfair, it is uncompassionate, and spending money is not a metric. This has to stop.

When will the government close the loophole in the safe third country agreement?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

We should probably refer to each other as members, but some of us are guys, I suppose.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) and to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Mr. Speaker, first, here is what is not compassionate: cutting health care for children who come into this country seeking our protection, which is exactly what the Conservatives did.

Once again, this gives me an opportunity to repeat some very important facts. There has been a 45% reduction in the number of asylum seekers coming across our border irregularly, something the Conservatives do not want to share with Canadians. They want to continue to try to scare Canadians.

Second, a huge portion of them are children.

Third, let me remind the House and all Canadians that the Conservative government cut $1.2 billion from the RCMP and the CBSA and expected them to be able to do their jobs. We know different. We invested.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that when we are spending that much money, we should be prioritizing the world's most vulnerable. People who are illegally crossing the border from the U.S. to claim asylum do not have the same level of need as someone languishing in a refugee camp in northern Iraq.

Also, when we are talking about spending money, the Liberals have spent billions of dollars on people who likely do not have a valid asylum claim, on health care, on education and on affordable housing. Then they look at veterans and tell them they have nothing more to give.

There is a choice to make. When will the government close the loophole in the safe third country agreement?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, one of the very first things the government did when it came to office was work with Canadians to help resettle now over 60,000 Syrian refugees in our country, something all of Canada is proud about.

Something else the government did was help resettle over 1,400 Yazidi women and girls, something the previous government could only do for three such people.

What else has the government done? It has committed to resettling over 1,000 vulnerable women and girls from some of the most conflict and persecuted areas across this world.

The Conservatives cannot even stand and say if they will maintain Canada's humanitarian leadership in the world through refugee resettlement.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government betrayed the Dene in northern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan. For years, they have been negotiating to pursue their right to land and resources north of 60.

They were so close to reaching an agreement. A few weeks ago, they were told one thing about consultations and initialling and then at the last minute, the minister reversed her position.

This is an egregious act of bad faith. It sets the Dene communities back years. It is the opposite of reconciliation.

What will the minister do to fix this major problem?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, the relationship with first nations, Inuit and Métis in this country is the most important relationship. It is therefore extraordinarily important that in any agreement we make, the section 35 rights holders are consulted. There have been discussions and concerns raised by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Territories.

Until I feel those consultations are met to my satisfaction, we will have to delay the initialling of that agreement.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister likes to denounce the Ford government's anti-refugee sentiments, yet, shockingly, when it comes to changes to the asylum system, as we saw in the omnibus budget bill, the Liberals took a page out of the Conservative playbook for political gain.

Now the Prime Minister is in a spat with Doug Ford over legal aid funding. The collateral damage is women fleeing gender-based violence and LGBTQ2-plus members faced with persecution. That means no representation at refugee hearings, detention reviews and deportation orders. This will put lives at risk.

Will the Prime Minister stop the deportations until the legal aid crisis is resolved?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

June 13th, 2019 / 2:55 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I assure my colleague and every Canadian that our government is working hard to end gender-based violence at home and all over the world. Why? Because it is unthinkable that this is a reality in Canada. It is costing our economy over $12 billion a year.

We have invested in Canada's first gender-based violence strategy to support the most vulnerable women and LGBTQ2 individuals in the country. We have increased investments to women's organizations.

My hon. colleagues in the NDP and the Conservative Party voted against this.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister to commit to meeting with the Chinese president at the G20 meeting. I now understand why I did not get a response.

The Chinese premier has been ignoring him since January, and the Prime Minister was hiding this embarrassing failure from the Canadian public. That is pathetic. The Canadians being detained in China and our canola, soy and pork producers need action. If the Liberal leader cannot even phone the Chinese premier, how does he plan to meet with the Chinese president at the G20?

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that his foreign policy is a total failure?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the House that China has heard our position very clearly, very loudly and at every level.

We have discussions with our diplomats in Canada, our diplomats in China. We have had discussions with them in China. A parliamentary delegation discussed our positions in May during a visit to China. I was on that delegation. It is shame that neither the Conservatives nor the NDP decided to join us on that mission.

These are serious issues. Canadians need to unite to keep Canadians safe and Canadian businesses well.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain illegally detained by the Chinese government for entirely political reasons. Canadian shipments of canola and meat to China are being arbitrarily blocked, putting farmers in a dire situation. News reports state that China's premier has even rejected phone calls from the Prime Minister. Tensions between our two countries continue to escalate due to the failures of the Prime Minister.

With Destination Canada sponsoring a Canada Day gala in China, could the Minister of Tourism please explain how this gala will concretely address the ongoing issues that we have with China?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Tourism

Mr. Speaker, we have said it quite clearly. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I have stated, in this room, that the security of the Canadian detainees in China is a priority. As my colleague just mentioned, we engage with Chinese officials regularly and as often as possible.

Destination Canada, as my colleague knows, is an arm's-length corporation from the government. I must remind him that tourism is a big business in Canada: 700,000 visitors from China come to Canada every year, which accounts for 13,000 people working in the sector.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I remind the hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola that other members will hear him better if he waits until he has the floor to give his views on things, and we all look forward to that.

The hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, what about the safety of Canadians? Human rights and the rule of law are under attack in Hong Kong. Proposed changes to the extradition law would allow China to extradite anyone in Hong Kong to the mainland, including Canadians. Peaceful protestors against these changes are met with tear gas and rubber bullets. There are 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, and another half million Canadians with relatives there.

In the midst of this chaos, can the government inform us if it is issuing any advisories to Canadians currently in Hong Kong?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure all members of this House that we have raised serious concerns about the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's extradition laws. Yesterday, we issued a public statement expressing these concerns and concerns about the impact they will have.

The recent protests demonstrate the deep, deep concern that the people of Hong Kong have about their future. I hope every member of this House stands in solidarity with them. We have discussed these amendments directly with the Government of Hong Kong. I have discussed them myself with members of the legislature on both sides of that House.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marwan Tabbara Liberal Kitchener South—Hespeler, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month, the OECD ranked Canada number one in the world in attracting entrepreneurs, thanks to policies such as the Atlantic immigration pilot, the global skills strategy and the rural and northern immigration pilot. We know that we have historic low unemployment rates and have added over a million new jobs to the Canadian economy in less than four years.

Can the parliamentary secretary update this House on how Canada can maintain its competitive edge?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Matt DeCourcey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, our competitive edge is dependent on smart increases to immigration, something that this government has done and will continue to do.

However, someone is telling the Leader of the Opposition that we need fewer immigrants in Canada. Who is it? It is not families who were separated for seven years under Stephen Harper. It is not universities that see the $15 billion in our economy from international students. It is not businesses that want more immigrants to create another million jobs across the country. Who is telling the Leader of the Opposition to cut immigration? Who is whispering in his ear?

JusticeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been two and a half years since Mark Norman was suspended from his position as vice chief of the defence staff. It has been two years since the Prime Minister put his thumb on the scale of justice, saying that Mark Norman would end up in court. It has been five weeks since the Crown stayed the charges after receiving evidence that the government was trying to block. All this time, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman has still not been reinstated.

When will the Prime Minister do the right thing and reinstate him as second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces?

JusticeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the member of the quote by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada:

No other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any contact or influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence in either the initial decision to prosecute Mr. Norman or in the decision to stay the charge.

The chief of the defence staff, General Vance, is having those discussions, and more will be said once they have had the opportunity to have further discussions.

TransportOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the extension of the interim protocol for southern B.C. anchorages has been an abject failure. Not only were the anchorages established on first nations' traditional territory without consent or consultation, but light and noise pollution persists at all hours of the day and infractions are not being enforced by Transport Canada.

Will the Minister of Transport commit to investigating the infractions with anchorages around the Southern Gulf Islands and make the findings public before any further extension of the interim protocol is entertained?

TransportOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we recognize that there are many ships coming to the Port of Vancouver. It is a very active and very economically and financially viable port. For that reason, many ships are coming.

We do recognize that we need to find a long-term solution to anchorages, and we are working on that. We are working with the Port of Vancouver. We are working with ship owners. We are trying to find a solution that will be long-term. As soon as we are in that position, we will announce it.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mona Fortier Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, francophones and Acadians from across the country, including the Franco-Ontarian community in Ottawa—Vanier, have fought hard to promote bilingualism improve access to French-language services in the nation's capital.

The national capital has been officially bilingual since December 2018, which contributes to promoting and celebrating our two official languages in Canada's education, culture and economic spheres.

Could the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie update us on this worthwhile initiative?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Tourism

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her hard work on official languages.

In a bilingual country like ours, it goes without saying that the federal government works very hard to make sure that our nation's capital is bilingual. That is exactly what we are doing. I am pleased to announce today that the Association des communautés francophones d'Ottawa will receive more than $1 million to ensure access to services in French in the nation's capital. We owe it to the 150,000 Franco-Ontarians living in Ottawa and to the eight million francophones in our country.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, a Toronto-area organization lost its charitable status and was fined $550,000 for funding militants in Pakistan, but it was given a Liberal Canada summer job grant worth more than $25,000. Meanwhile, 1,500 groups were denied summer jobs funding, and summer camps in Ontario and Nova Scotia are in court fighting the Prime Minister over the Liberals' values test.

Will the Prime Minister commit to revoking this grant to assure Canadians that their tax dollars are not being used to fund terrorist organizations?