House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberals.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Special committee on anti-corruptionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Madam Speaker, I fully appreciate that every member in this House represents the constituencies that brought him or her here, which is why I call upon all members to work in a collaborative way. That is what Canadians expect of us now and what the provinces, territories, municipalities and organizations from every sector have done.

I would throw this question over to the member. I would like to know if the members and their parties have confidence in this government and if not, why they do not want to go into an election.

Opposition Motion—Special committee on anti-corruptionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Vaughan—Woodbridge Ontario

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, it is great to see so many of my colleagues this afternoon, just before question period.

I would like to start my remarks before we stop for question period by saying that across this country, Canadians and their families continue to be impacted by COVID-19. We continue to see people unfortunately pass away due to COVID-19. The efforts by our government and the efforts by all our colleagues to provide feedback on how we can help Canadians in this very serious period of time, the most unique and extraordinary period of time that the world has gone through in many decades, should be the focus of efforts of our government, and they are. Those should be the focus of efforts of all colleagues across the House that we sit in, whether we are virtually, in our ridings, or back in Ottawa in the House of Commons.

Today, it is great to rise to speak to today's debate. I would like to acknowledge that I am speaking on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

While the Conservatives focus on playing political games, our government continues to focus on the well-being of all Canadians, including those in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge. Rather than focusing on how the government and Parliament can work together to best support Canadians, the Leader of the Opposition put forward a blatantly partisan proposal, one, to me, that is not constructive in how we help small businesses, how we help workers who continue to be impacted by COVID-19; and how we continue to restart and regain momentum in our economy. We know, prior to COVID-19, we had seen the lowest unemployment rates in 40 years with over a million new jobs created and hundreds of thousands of individuals, including tens of thousands of children, lifted out of poverty.

The main objective of this motion is to paralyze the government at a time when the entire Government of Canada is focused on keeping Canadians safe and healthy. Simply—

Opposition Motion—Special committee on anti-corruptionBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

I am going to interrupt the member. He will have eight minutes to finish his speech after question period.

We will now proceed to statements by members. The hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

Black AdvocacyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Madam Speaker, Canadians have heard us say it before: Diversity is our strength. Last week in my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, we celebrated Black history and the Black community. We were joined by the descendants of brave men and women who fled slavery through the underground railroad.

I am proud to represent passionate and tireless advocates who have worked to preserve these stories and valuable parts of our history: people like Dr. Bryan Walls and Anna Davis Walls, curators of the Underground Railroad Museum; Abby Watkins-Lewis, a lawyer and professor, Dave Watkins, a youth counsellor, teacher and artist, and their good friend and fellow educator, John Solarski, who together founded and co-ordinated the African Diaspora Youth Conference; Peel Region's police chief, Nishan Duraiappah, and his constable Korissa Williams; City of Mississauga community development co-ordinator Orville Edwards and councillor Chris Fonseca. They are all leaders and positive change agents.

Our government has taken measures to eliminate systemic discrimination in Canada, because we know better is always possible.

Grant MoffattStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Madam Speaker, this summer Westman's residents lost one of our finest with the passing of Grant Moffatt. I knew Grant almost my entire life. We attended the University of Manitoba together as young farmers. He was a mentor to many and a friend to all. Grant loved his family and his community, and there is so much I could say about the man, but the one thing that stands out was his passion for his beloved Southwest Cougars hockey team, based in Souris.

For nearly 30 years he had been involved with the club and was the team's president and general manager. For many, they have only known the Cougars with Grant at the helm, and countless young hockey players and their families have benefited from his leadership. I want to thank his wife Connie and their two children, Todd and Pam, for sharing him with the rest of us.

May he rest in peace.

World Mental Health DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière Liberal Sherbrooke, QC

Madam Speaker, October 10 marked World Mental Health Day, although the struggle for mental health is not limited to a single day.

This is especially true this year. In these times of pandemic, confinement and uncertainty, more people are at risk of suffering from a mental health problem.

To those who are struggling, know that you are not alone. Talk to your loved ones and make use of community supports. For example, the government has created the wellness together Canada portal, which has already helped 463,000 Canadians.

Back home in Sherbrooke, we have some excellent organizations, like La Cordée, which are there for anyone who needs someone to listen. There is also the Association des proches de personnes atteintes de maladie mentale, a vital organization I have been very involved with that supports the loved ones of people with mental illness every single day.

Help is within reach. Speak up and do not wait until it is too late.

Government CommitmentsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, for the umpteenth time, dairy farmers called on the government to grant a simple request: that it keep its word.

We ask farmers to keep us fed, so the least we can do is support them.

The government needs to show them a modicum of respect, since they have been sacrificed in recent trade agreements. Mr. Speaker, a modicum of respect would be for the government to keep the promise it made in the throne speech.

Dairy farmers were not the only ones hung out to dry. Poultry and egg producers are still waiting for programs to be announced, more than a year after the amounts were set. Processors have been living in uncertainty and do not seem to be on the government's radar.

I am simply asking that the minister follow through on the commitments made. These people deserve our respect.

When will the government do something?

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to acknowledge Small Business Week and recognize the incredible small business owners in my riding of Richmond Hill.

The pandemic has hurt our small businesses the hardest, and owners have shown incredible resilience by continuing to serve their communities. I want to highlight the effort of Aneal Swaratsingh, owner of Aneal's Taste of the Islands: a Caribbean restaurant in the heart of Richmond Hill. Aneal's restaurant has faced its challenges during the pandemic. Still, he has donated meals to the local peer support centre and is consistently serving the most vulnerable in our city.

Through programs such as the Canada emergency wage subsidy, the Canada emergency business account and the new Black entrepreneurship fund, we will continue to support our local small business owners, who are doing great work for their communities.

I want to encourage the residents of Richmond Hill, and all Canadians, to support their local small businesses this week and especially during the holiday season. Small business owners like Aneal make our nation strong. I thank them for their resilience, strength and services.

Care WorkersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, most long-term care and seniors’ homes in my riding of South Surrey—White Rock and across the country have done a great job keeping our seniors healthy and safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but many others have been overwhelmed and severely understaffed. Shortages that existed long before the pandemic have been worsened by fatigue, infections and child care obligations.

Under the post-graduation work permit program, trained care workers can qualify for a path to permanent residency, but this program is not available to those educated at accredited private institutions with programs shorter than 900 hours, who learn the exact same curriculum in less time. We need these qualified workers, and they go to other countries.

I am calling on the Liberal government to show more compassion and practicality. Make the simple policy change: Allow all Canadian-certified care workers to apply for this program and get the trained staff we need. Thousands want to apply. We must do better by our seniors.

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While more people are surviving a breast cancer diagnosis than ever before, it is still the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death among Canadian women.

It is also a time to celebrate survivors. Strong women, like my friends Sue Slimmon and Val Rowaldron, kicked cancer's butt, and my sister Jill, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, has successfully gone through her treatment with grace, humour and the love of her family and friends. She is the strongest, most incredible person that I know.

My sister found a lump through a breast self-exam, so I encourage all women to do regular self-exams. Research is critically important for prevention and treatment and also the impact that the treatment has on our bodies and minds.

Jilly did it. I love her, and I am so proud of her.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence GroupStatements By Members

October 20th, 2020 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Great Lakes are a binational treasure and annually pump billions of dollars into our economy, create thousands of jobs, provide clean water to millions and support an ecosystem that is vital for thousands of unique plants, animals and aquatic species. They are a resource that Canada has not always fully supported; that is, until now.

Aside from the throne speech commitments to bolster the blue economy, our government's promise to establish the Canada water agency will turn the tide in favour of the Great Lakes' health and sustainability.

I am also pleased to share that the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group recently established the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Group with a mandate to focus on a triple bottom line: economic, environmental and social issues attached to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.

Canada is at the table, and as co-chair of this group, I can confirm that we are eager to work with all colleagues here, in the Senate and with our U.S. counterparts. I look forward to working to help keep the Great Lakes great, and I thank this government and the IPG for helping to lead the charge in this positive direction.

FirearmsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, autumn is a favourite time of year in the Upper Ottawa Valley. It is hunting season. It is a time with friends and family that we look forward to. Sadly, the traditional fall hunt for many Canadians may be drawing to an end. We are under attack by our own government.

The latest plan to seize firearms is just another example of the federal government targeting the wrong people. Now we learn that the Liberal Party's gun ban will target the best-selling semi-automatic rifles in Canada. This will be done to federally licenced, daily RCMP-vetted firearms owners.

Millions of responsible, law-abiding firearms owners do not understand why the Liberal Party hates rural people in general and anyone who owns a firearm in particular. We have done nothing wrong, unlike the scandal-ridden Liberals.

To all the hunters out there, enjoy this year's hunt and may it not be the last.

Brayan Yambo and Dilan YamboStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to draw attention to the impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable in our society. Every day I see people in Hochelaga overcome challenges and be resilient, innovative and determined, especially twin brothers Brayan and Dilan Yambo.

The Yambo brothers braved the cold to use the Internet connection outside the municipal library, which is closed because of the second wave, so they could take their courses at Collège de Maisonneuve. They are an example of the resiliency and perseverance shown by students. I am proud to represent them.

That is why our government will ensure that it maintains the social and economic safety net of all Quebeckers and Canadians in these difficult times and invests in the infrastructure required to connect families and small businesses to high-speed Internet.

To everyone who lives in Hochelaga, I know that we are now in the second wave. Let us continue to follow public health guidance and, above all, do not hesitate to contact me because I am here to help.

Fraserway RVStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today and highlight Fraserway RV, particularly the Lacombe location in my riding. I, like many Canadians, enjoy nothing more than getting in my RV and going camping next to a lake or in the woods to enjoy all the natural beauty our country has to offer. However, I rise today to highlight the good corporate citizenship of Fraserway RV. Recognizing that many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet this year and, with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Fraserway RV decided to donate $270,000 to food banks across Canada. This included a $20,000 donation to the Lacombe Food Bank.

Over the past several months, we have seen businesses, community groups and individuals step up, stand out and really embody the saying that we are all in this together, and this is another great example. I want to thank Fraserway RV in Lacombe and all the locations across Canada for this generous contribution to their local food banks. This charitable action ensured many Canadians had a much better Thanksgiving than they otherwise may have had. Well done, Fraserway.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, business leaders often talk about environmental, social and corporate governance goals and about corporate social responsibility. It is now time for them to show leadership.

Last week, leaders of the Canada China Business Council loudly applauded when a Chinese official demanded the release of Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, and when he blamed Canada for problems in Canada-China relations, but they remained silent when our government asked for the same treatment for Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and clemency for Robert Schellenberg, who is on death row.

Business leaders should know that nothing is inevitable about China's rise. They should also know that Canadians are increasingly fed up with Beijing's belligerence, and so too are our allies. We are a nation slow to anger, but once pushed beyond our limit, history demonstrates that we, with our democratic allies, will push back and win.

EthicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there was the helicopter tour, billionaire island, and the finance minister's villa in Provence. Then there was the SNC-Lavalin scandal and circumvention of the Elections Act, and let's not forget that the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner twice found the Prime Minister guilty, which is a historical first. The Liberals cannot help themselves. The latest Liberal scandal: a contract for their WE Charity friends.

Today the Liberals are asking us to sweep the whole thing under the rug without looking too closely or they will call an election in the middle of a health crisis. That amounts to holding Canadians hostage by abusing democratic institutions. We need to strengthen our health care system, save our SMEs, support our workers, help students and get to the bottom of Liberal scandals. The people deserve answers. What are the Liberals afraid of?

Warrant Officer Patrice VincentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 20 is a sombre anniversary. Six years ago, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent died at the hands of a terrorist who committed an act of unspeakable cowardice.

For Warrant Officer Vincent, the army was not just a job, it was a calling. The army was his entire life. He discharged his duty to defend freedom and democracy with strength and conviction for 28 years before finally facing the ultimate enemy in a place where he never should have had to face it: here at home.

As Remembrance Day approaches, of course I wish to honour Patrice Vincent's memory. More than that, I want to humbly thank him. My heart also goes out to his three sisters, his brother and his mother, all of whom are left with a void that no words can fill.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent is one of those heros we can never forget. That is why I simply want to say: We will remember.

Nova Scotia ShootingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, six months ago, the worst mass shooting in Canada's history tragically ended the lives of 22 Canadians in Nova Scotia. Victims' families rightly had questions and asked for a public inquiry. It was shocking when the public safety minister, backed by Liberal MPs from Nova Scotia, told them their losses were only worth an internal review. During immense grief that most of us can never imagine, families had to plead, protest and beg for months before the Liberals finally relented and agreed to a public inquiry.

In the rampage, Nick Beaton lost his pregnant wife, Kristen. About the Liberals' delays, he wrote:

Can [they] show a little bit of humility and just say, “We were wrong,” instead of trying to take credit for doing something someone else did? ...I’m overwhelmed with the love this country has shown me and the other families, but I’ll never understand why Liberals in positions of power have continued to add to our pain.

Today, the fight for a public inquiry continues.

Nothing can bring their loved ones back, but finally getting answers can help the families, their friends and their communities on their lifetime road to healing. It is long past due to respect the victims and their families, to show some compassion and to get on with a public inquiry.

FirearmsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Patricia Lattanzio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I speak today in recognition of the countless lives that have been lost to gun violence.

In my own province of Quebec, no one will ever forget the horrors of the École Polytechnique massacre, in which victims were targeted solely because they were women. We were tragically reminded of these horrors again when, at the Quebec City mosque, the lives of six innocent people were taken solely because they were Muslim.

I am proud to be part of a government that has taken action by prohibiting assault-style firearms, but we need to do more. We need to introduce red-flag laws to empower communities, police, medical professionals and survivors of domestic violence to enable the signalling of an individual or identifiable group posing a threat. We need to keep investing in our border agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by stopping the illegal smuggling of firearms into Canada.

Let us recognize and thank the participants of today's Day of Action to Prevent Gun Violence, and particularly Nathalie Provost, who continues her campaign to advocate for enhanced gun control.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has a pay-to-play problem. It is because the Prime Minister has expensive taste and powerful friends.

First it was a vacation on billionaire island. Then it was the special legal deal for SNC-Lavalin. Then it was speaking fees and taxpayer dollars for WE. Now it is Liberal donations for judicial appointments. We now know that the Prime Minister's top Liberal Alberta adviser has more say on who becomes a judge than the Attorney General.

How many more well-connected Liberals is the Prime Minister going to make taxpayers pay for?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we reformed the judicial appointments process, making it merit-based and creating independent committees to make recommendations on judicial appointments.

We will continue to look for the absolute best jurists across the country to step up and will continue to appoint people who reflect the great diversity of this country so that we have a bench that looks much more like Canada. We will continue to appoint the highest-qualified jurists, with a merit-based approach that we reformed after the Conservatives made it political.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our justice system must be impartial, but this government selects judges based on partisan, ideological criteria. It has one way of doing things for Liberal candidates and another way for everyone else. One of the justice minister's political staffers wanted to sound the alarm, but he was dismissed.

How many other Liberal staffers are afraid to tell the truth?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, after all the Conservative partisanship, in 2016, we reformed our judicial appointments system, making it merit-based. We are working with independent committees to make decisions and recommendations. We will always choose the best people to work in our justice system. We will continue to strive to have a justice system that truly reflects our entire country.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, almost 20% of the judicial appointments in Newfoundland and Labrador are vacant. Now we know it is probably because the Liberals are having trouble finding donors in that province. The last appointment was made in March 2019. There is no shortage of great lawyers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Leaving this many seats open is creating real access to justice problems for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Is the Prime Minister holding up justice in Newfoundland and Labrador because he is still looking for his favourite Liberal donors?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, after years of neglecting Newfoundland and Labrador, after years of a Conservative government that could not quite get nominations to the Supreme Court right, we were proud to nominate the very first Newfoundlander and Labradorian to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Our appointments to the bench are made with a merit-based process, and we draw from a broad panel of experts in order to get the right people to the bench across the country. We will continue to do so, and we will take no lessons from the Conservatives, with the way they did partisan appointments.