House of Commons Hansard #426 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 44 petitions.

While I am on my feet, I move:

That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those opposed will please say nay.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #1331

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That in relation to Bill C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill; and

That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.

At this point, I would invite all hon. members who wish to participate in the 30-minute question time to please rise so that I can gauge participation. Accordingly, I would ask hon. members to keep their interventions to approximately one minute, that being for the member posing the question and also for the minister or a member who may be responding to that.

I remind hon. members that in this 30-minute question period, questions by members of the opposition are given preference, in that the government will be responding, but that is not at all to limit a few questions coming from the government side as well.

Questions, the hon. member for Carleton.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we rise to ask questions about the government's decision to shut down debate on its budget implementation act, at a time of great economic difficulty in Canada. Economic growth has ground to a halt. In fact, growth for the last half-year has been 0.4% on an annualized basis. Meanwhile, south of the border it has been 3%. It is almost 10 times higher south of the border than north of the border.

Then we have the personal financial situation of everyday ordinary Canadians. According to MNP, one of the largest accounting firms in Canada, almost half of Canadians are less than $200 away from falling short of paying their bills at the end of every month. Just today, this excerpt appeared in The Globe and Mail:

More Canadians can't make ends meet.

The number of consumer insolvencies climbed 9.3 per cent in April from a year earlier, to 11,785, according to the latest numbers from Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

The government has raised taxes by $800 on the average middle-class family, and further tax increases will be required to fund its out-of-control spending. Will the government admit how much taxes will have to rise if the Liberals are re-elected in October?

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Tourism

Mr. Speaker, since my colleague mentioned the time allocation motion, I would like to remind him about everything our government has done in the context of this bill.

Over a period of five days, we had 13 hours of debate in the House at second reading and report stage. Over 46 MPs participated in the debates. In consideration of the bill at committee, we attended 11 meetings and heard from over 138 witnesses. That resulted in 23 amendments being made to the bill, amendments that really strengthen it.

It goes without saying that, as a government, we are committed to collaborating with all parties in Parliament so that we can work for our constituents more efficiently. It is important that we all do our utmost to achieve a consensus on the time remaining to all the parties to debate a bill in the House of Commons.

Since my colleague talked about the time allocation motion, I wanted the record—

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is a very sad day. This is the 69th time the Liberals have moved time allocation and closure, basically shutting down debate in this Parliament.

Comparatively, we remember the dismal Harper years, but proportionally, the Harper government actually used closure less often per bill passed than the Liberals have. The Liberals have now gone even lower than the former Harper government did.

That is quite contrary to what the Prime Minister promised back in 2015. He promised Canadians he would respect Parliament, not to shut down debate, as is happening. He also promised not to introduce these massive, omnibus “everything but the kitchen sink” pieces of legislation, which Bill C-97 is. It is a massive budget omnibus bill. It is worse than anything the Harper government produced, and within it are very toxic provisions, including provisions that cut off the ability of refugees to come to Canada.

It has been decried by immigration and refugee groups right across the country. The only group that seems to support the Liberals in this are the white supremacists who have offered real support for the despicable aspects of the bill. Is the real reason the government is trying to ram through this omnibus legislation because it does not want the public to know about the despicable aspects it has hidden in this omnibus bill?

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

June 4th, 2019 / 10:45 a.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think my colleague's mouth was moving faster than his brain, and I would like him to apologize. He said that only white supremacists would support our bill, and that was totally inappropriate.

We have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination against any Canadian. We have zero tolerance for white supremacist speech. I think it is totally inappropriate for him to bring up that issue in the context of a budget bill. I demand that my colleague apologize.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I as well am very saddened the government is using closure again. As everyone in the House knows, my community has faced some devastating news with the closure of the General Motors plant. We will have a few jobs remaining.

I have been doing round tables for the manufacturing sector and there seems to be a message out there about lack of competitiveness. The government is moving forward on an agenda without actually dealing with our productivity issues and the competitiveness issues. Sadly, one of the things the government could do is to remove some of the uncertainty it is putting out there. If you look at our trade situation, about 76% of our trade is with the United States and basically the Americans are winning at every attempt they move forward with.

I know the Liberals know this, but they put in a carbon tax and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it could be as high as $5,500 per tonne by 2030. It would get rid of a lot of the uncertainty if the Liberals would let Canadian companies know what their carbon tax will be by 2030. I wonder if the minister would tell us here today.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that our hearts and thoughts go out to the families of GM workers. We are working very hard with the union to protect jobs. The automotive sector is extremely important to Canada, of course, which is why we have not only invested heavily in the sector, but also worked with it to lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum.

I want to set the record straight, because my colleagues have been peddling falsehoods. We have been able to create a million jobs since we were elected. We now have the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. Let us take a closer look at how Canadian families have benefited. A middle-class family of four has an average of $2,000 more in their pockets every year thanks to the Canada child benefit. Poverty has also fallen. The poverty rate has decreased by 20% in Canada. Our strategy has lifted 825,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, the poverty rate is high in Winnipeg Centre. I was just reading about the drop in the poverty rate, which is currently the lowest it has ever been in recorded Canadian history. I even learned today that the median after-tax income was $59,800 in 2017, the highest in Canadian history. Obviously, we need to do more because there are still people living in poverty in Canada, particularly in Winnipeg Centre.

I would like to know what the minister and the government intend to do to further reduce poverty among children, seniors and the population in general.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the excellent work he does in his riding, in Winnipeg, and more generally in Manitoba and across the country.

Poverty is certainly an area of concern for our government. As I just mentioned, 825,000 people have been lifted out of poverty since we took office and the poverty rate has dropped by 20%. However, the important thing is that, in this bill, the government is recognizing for the first time the importance of establishing an official poverty line in Canada.

It is important to have data so that we can monitor the issue and develop good public policies to counter the effects of poverty. We are going to set up the national advisory council on poverty so we can monitor the situation and continue to take effective action in this regard.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, we do care about seniors. Just in the last couple of weeks I was in Richmond Hill, and in my own riding of Richmond Centre, listening to seniors who were crying out for help because of the carbon tax. Everything including groceries, heating their homes and even driving, as many seniors still drive, and a lot of other things are no longer there for them.

How can the government look at those seniors, who have built our great nation, and waste money on things that mean nothing. The Liberals just want to get votes. Let us look at our seniors. What are the Liberals going to do about their living? I heard from seniors, loud and clear, that the current government is not doing anything at all for our great seniors.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague should avoid going overboard on the partisanship. Our government has done a lot for seniors. We hear all across the country that seniors are happy after being ignored for years during the Harper government. They are happy to have a government that listens and puts more money in their pockets. That is exactly what we have done. We also helped make things better for low-income seniors.

The bill proposes improvements for the earnings exemption, which is going up to $5,000 from $3,500. We are making sure that this exemption will also apply to self-employed workers. When seniors decide to work a little longer, they will have more money in their pockets. My colleague should share this good news with the seniors in his riding.

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have grown somewhat accustomed to the Liberals breaking the promises they put hand on heart and solemnly swore to in the last campaign. However, in this one instance, the Liberals are breaking three commitments all at the same time. First, they committed not to use omnibus legislation to sneak in major changes that have nothing to do with the budget. That is exactly what we see here with respect to refugees. Second, they said they would not use closure to shut down debate in Parliament, yet here they are, at a record pace, beating even the Harper government's pace, shutting it down 69 times.

When asked about these refugee claimants, the border security minister said these changes were necessary because there was too much “asylum shopping” going on, which refugee advocates across this country properly condemned. He also said the reason for these changes was that a fearmongering campaign had been initiated by the Conservatives, with support from groups like the yellow vest movement. He actually laid the claim that this fearmongering was going on with respect to refugee claimants. Then what did he do? Rather than fight against that fearmongering, he capitulated to it in the changes we see here today.

We see the hypocrisy. It is exactly right. I believe Amnesty International and the refugee advocates in this country when they say the Liberals have broken that promise to Canadians in three different ways. Why are they so surprised that Canadians are failing to support them now when they failed to keep their promises sacred?

Bill C-97—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to set the record straight. My colleague said that our government promised it would not introduce omnibus bills like the ones introduced by the Harper government.

The truth is that we kept this promise. This bill only contains measures associated with the budget. Since these measures are associated with the budget, I will answer the member's question directly. His question relates to the urgency of refugee cases. I want to assure him and all my colleagues in the NDP that no one will be turned away if they are deemed at risk, and no one will be sent back without the opportunity to be heard. Under the circumstances, it goes without saying that our government is committed to implementing a fair and compassionate refugee protection system that protects the people who need it most while keeping Canadians and our borders safe and secure. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said that our approach fits in with the refugee approach.