House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iii.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to defending the aluminum sector and its workers. We fought to have the U.S. tariffs on aluminum fully lifted. When the new NAFTA is ratified, we will have a guarantee that 70% of the aluminum in cars manufactured in the area covered by NAFTA will be sourced in North America. Currently, 0% of the aluminum in cars manufactured under NAFTA must be sourced in North America, so 70% is definitely better than 0%.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are well aware that the aluminum that is subject to dumping in the Mexican market will be considered North American. That is the catch.

We have read and heard in several places that the Bloc jumped the gun when it refused to lend its support. Today, however, it is the Prime Minister and the government who seem to want to jump the gun by skipping over as many steps as possible in the legislative review process involving this agreement.

I have a clear and simple question for the Prime Minister. If solutions are put forward to resolve the Quebec aluminum issue, will he be open to them?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, allow me to quote the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Legault, with whom I spoke this morning. He knows how important this agreement is to Canadians. In December, he said, "I believe the Bloc Québécois has to defend the interests of Quebeckers, and it is in the interest of Quebeckers for this agreement be ratified and adopted."

It is a good deal for Quebec workers and businesses. I agree with Premier Legault.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, 70% of manufactured parts are protected, not aluminum itself. Five expansion projects and a modernization of Quebec aluminum plants had been planned before the CUSMA was signed, but now they are in limbo.

Is the Prime Minister aware that by failing to give aluminum the same protections as steel, he is compromising the production of carbon-neutral Canadian aluminum and putting Canadian jobs in jeopardy? He is also encouraging the production of the dirtiest aluminum in the world and promoting jobs in China.

Does the Prime Minister fully understand the implications of the agreement he signed?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we do indeed understand the implications of this agreement, which is a good agreement for Quebec and for Canada.

The new NAFTA is excellent for jobs in Canada and Quebec and for providing economic certainty. Jean Simard, president of the Aluminium Association of Canada, even said that the new NAFTA is the right way to go.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals carelessly rushed through changes to Canada's criminal justice system in Bill C-75. Conservatives raised concerns over the impacts of the bill and how it would impact and harm victims of crime. Legal experts warned the Prime Minister that his poorly drafted legislation would result in guilty verdicts being nullified. Now in Ontario we see that is indeed the case.

What is the Prime Minister planning to do now that criminals are being set free and victims will have to go through painful retrials due to the government's incompetence?

JusticeOral Questions

January 27th, 2020 / 2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to welcome back the hon. member for Beauséjour. I will go so far as to say that I missed his sense of humour.

We introduced a number of important changes in Bill C-75 to make our criminal justice system more efficient, more fair and more just. Among these were the ways in which juries were selected, to increase transparency and to address long-standing concerns of Canadians as regards this process.

We are aware of the Ontario Court of Appeal's ruling and we will continue to monitor the situation.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough.

The Liberal government's poorly drafted Bill C-75 means criminals are now facing retrial and victims of crime will have to relive the horrific situations yet again in court. This is a significant failure of the Liberal government to protect victims. We already know that the sloppy implementation of the bill will lead to retrials in Ontario.

When will the Prime Minister act before more criminals go free?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, it was the federal government's view that the Interpretation Act and the case law provide that amendments to the jury selection process should have been applied as of the date Bill C-75 came into force. Federal prosecutors adopted this approach and we are happy that the Ontario Court of Appeal has agreed.

Given that there is litigation in issue, I have tasked my department and legislative drafters to ensure that temporal provisions are always considered as we move forward.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2004, the man who murdered Marylène Lévesque was convicted of killing his partner with a hammer and knives.

Twelve years later, he was granted parole with some very questionable conditions. The government, as represented by the Parole Board of Canada, gave him permission to obtain sexual services, even though it knew full well that this murderer had a problem with women.

Could the minister tell the family why the board gave that permission to a man who was known to be violent?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I join the member opposite in expressing our deepest condolences to the Lévesque family in this tragedy.

Public safety is and must be the main consideration in all parole decisions. The Parole Board of Canada makes these decisions independently based on a long-standing criteria established to promote safe and effective reintegration of offenders into society. In this case, the commissioner of Correctional Services and the chair of the Parole Board have agreed to jointly conduct a full investigation into all of the circumstances that led to this tragic case to ensure that all established protocols are followed and that lessons are learned.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

In recent years, Volkswagen has been caught lying about its vehicles' polluting emissions.

We know this because the company pleaded guilty in the United States in 2017. Canada waited three years before laying charges. Three years. The Liberals did not report anything to the RCMP. The company was offered a backroom deal to avoid trial.

Does this complacency have to do with the fact that Volkswagen lobbyists were invited into the offices of the environment, transport, global affairs and innovation ministers, as well as that of the Prime Minister?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, this investigation, the resulting legal action and the judge's approval of the penalty imposed on Volkswagen are independent of the minister's office.

As a result of the investigation, the company had to pay a record-setting fine in Canada. That fine is 26 times higher than any environmental fine ever imposed at the federal level, and the money will go toward environmental protection projects.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal tax changes give the most benefit to those who need it the least. Our plan caps the tax changes and saves enough to pay for dental care for Canadians making $90,000 or less a year.

The Liberals delayed the vote on their scheme. Does that mean they will work with us to deliver dental care to millions of Canadians who need it, or will they just keep focusing on the wealthy and well connected?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are prepared to work to make sure that our tax system ensures that people pay the appropriate amount of taxes.

We have reduced taxes on middle-class Canadians. Our most recent approach is to make sure that not only middle-class Canadians but also those at the lowest end of the income scale have the opportunity to have reduced taxes. Through our tax changes, nine million Canadians will see reduced taxes. We believe this is important in helping them to be able to afford the things they want for themselves and their families.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Jaime Battiste Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, being the first-ever Mi'kmaq member of Parliament who is also a member of the Eskasoni First Nation, I want to acknowledge the significant role indigenous people have played in Canada's history. Our government is committed to working together to advocate for indigenous languages and for the well-being of indigenous peoples across Canada.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage update the House on what this government is doing to protect and promote indigenous languages?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Sydney—Victoria for his excellent question.

This government is committed to reconciliation with indigenous peoples. That is why our government is investing to strengthen and revitalize indigenous languages.

Our government created the first Indigenous Languages Act in the history of Canada. That is one more step toward reconciliation.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, when British Columbians read about the scourge of money laundering, the stories of women being prostituted and billions being whitewashed through casinos and real estate, they expect a country dedicated to the rule of law to not sit idly by. However, that is exactly what the Liberal government has done. Last year it promised only $10 million to help provinces prosecute money launderers, but that money has not been spent. How can the Liberals find $12 million for Loblaws but cannot find any money to prosecute money launderers?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to hear the member opposite's new interest in dealing with money laundering, keeping in mind that the previous Conservative government closed all of the integrated proceeds of crime units.

In fact, we have budgeted $172 million for the RCMP, FINTRAC and CRA to establish new enforcement teams. We have been working very closely with the provinces to rebuild the capacity that law enforcement needs to deal with this scourge.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, 40,000 veterans are trapped in a benefits backlog boondoggle of the current government's own making. Unable to access the medical benefits they have earned, many of these veterans have been waiting over two years for a decision. There was no backlog in 2015 and 2016.

I have a simple question. How many veterans are currently waiting longer than 16 weeks, which is the standard, for a decision on their benefits?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's concern, but I wish he would have had the same amount of concern when he and his government fired a thousand Veterans Affairs workers. That is what happened.

The fact is that the application process has practically doubled. About twice as many people have applied for veterans benefits. We have hired 700 people. I can assure my hon. colleague that this situation will be rectified by hiring people and taking care of veterans.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

We really started off well and it was going well. I just want to remind everybody that I was really proud for the first three-quarters. Let us not ruin the last quarter. I am talking to both sides. I am not pointing out one side or another. I just want to remind everyone that when someone is asking a question, we have to listen, and when someone is answering a question, we owe that person the same courtesy.

The hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, if one asks any small business owner, they will say that dealing with government contracting is a disaster. Only a government lawyer could dream up these contracts.

In its 2019-20 departmental plan, Public Services and Procurement Canada promised to advance the contract simplification initiative and produce a highly simplified contract model. If PSPC is successful, it would make life easier for the hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses that contract with the government.

Will this contract model be ready in the new fiscal year?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I am rising in the House, I would like to thank the residents of Oakville, Ontario, for electing me to be their member of Parliament.

We are looking at our regime relating to procurement and government contracting. I have taken over from my colleague and I am examining our processes in this area. We will move forward with a regime with integrity.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Liberals were elected because they promised to run small deficits in order to invest in infrastructure.

It is now 2020. The deficits are enormous. Promises to invest $180 billion in infrastructure have not been kept. Those are not my words. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that overall growth in public infrastructure spending has not changed. The government announced that it would spend billions of taxpayer dollars on infrastructure, but that money has gone missing.

Can Canada's biggest-spending Prime Minister ever tell us how he lost track of those billions of dollars?