House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was training.

Topics

October 7th, 2020 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being Wednesday, we will now have the signing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Alfred-PellanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, many guardian angels in Alfred-Pellan made a big difference during the first wave. They faced our new reality with courage, determination and resilience in order to support the most vulnerable among us.

Today I wish to recognize the many hours of food preparation involved in delivering our meals on wheels programs in organizations like the Service bénévole d'entraide de Vimont-Auteuil, Bonjour Aujourd'hui et Après and the Popote roulante de Saint-Noël-Chabanel. The Centre d'entraide du Marigot Affordable has been offering affordable catering services to support our seniors, and the Relais du quartier Saint-Vincent-de-Paul and the Maison de la Famille de Saint-François have set up emergency food banks. Laval has begun a challenge known as “28 days to flatten the curve”.

Finally, I want to thank all the organizations in Alfred-Pellan that are staying the course and continue to support our community. They are doing tremendous work and I cannot thank them enough. Congratulations.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to deliver this statement from Williams Lake, British Columbia, my hometown and the home of the Williams Lake Stampede, the greatest show on dirt.

Over the last five years, the Liberals have shown through their disastrous policies that they do not respect or understand rural or western Canadians. The Speech from the Throne did not address increasing rural crime or the opioid crisis and did nothing to address the growing unity crisis grappling western Canada.

Small businesses are the backbone of our country and have been all but forgotten by the government. Communities in my riding depend on the economic benefits of major events, like the Williams Lake Stampede, Billy Barker Days, the Vanderhoof International Airshow and the BC Northern Exhibition. Due to COVID, all were shut down in 2020.

Because of this, businesses and great community supporters like C+ Rodeos, Central Display, Judy Russell's Enchainement Dance Centre, Blake Productions and thousands more have all suffered incredible losses this year. Sadly, they were all left behind by the government. They deserve better.

We may be down, but in true Cariboo spirit, we will get back up, dust ourselves off, saddle up and ride again. Yee-haw.

COVID-19 PandemicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Etobicoke North is a caring, strong community and we are here for one another. I thank the tireless front-line health care workers of our own William Osler Health System for their life-saving work and Rexdale Community Health Centre for its important community health care during COVID-19.

I thank our tremendous community organizations like Albion Neighbourhood Services that provided youth services; the Sikh Spiritual Centre Toronto that provided packed meals to families; the International Muslim Organization and the Lions Club that provided food and essential supplies; and Trust 15 that continued inspiring and mentoring our amazing youth. I thank our churches, mandirs, volunteers and our wonderful families. I am grateful for the care, love and the way they lift us up.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over and it will take all of us working together to keep our very special community safe.

Minta Saint-BrunoStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago, an organization in the parish of Saint-Bruno funded a development project in the village of Minta in Cameroon. For half a century, this organization, which named itself after the village, has invested in humanitarian aid projects designed to improve the living conditions in disadvantaged communities around the world.

Since 1970, Minta has carried out over 233 projects in 43 countries on four different continents. However, the 50th anniversary celebrations, including the big solidarity walk scheduled for May, had to be cancelled. Not to worry, though. We intend to hold an even bigger celebration. What is more, despite the restrictions related to the current health crisis, a beautiful globe-shaped sculpture was unveiled in front of the Saint-Bruno church on September 14.

International solidarity is always very important and that is particularly true during a pandemic. We must therefore not hesitate to support remarkable organizations like Minta Saint-Bruno, which has made Quebec and our region known throughout the world, helps build lasting ties and makes a difference in the lives of people throughout the world.

Happy 50th anniversary to Minta Saint-Bruno.

Éduc'alcoolStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the eve of its 30th anniversary to recognize Éduc'alcool's great work. Taking action against excessive drinking, it started small, helping other organizations repair the damage caused by alcohol abuse.

Over time, as it grew, it took on the challenge of prevention. Its slogan “La modération a bien meilleur goût” and clever marketing approach has been incredibly successful and it is renowned for its educational programs and common-sense approach. Éduc'alcool is a beloved and respected voice on the harms of excessive drinking and alcohol policy.

This October, Éduc'alcool is launching a Quebec-wide contest called “En octobre, on compte ses verres”. I encourage everyone across Quebec to take part and count their drinks in October. Moderation is always in good taste.

Éduc'alcool deserves our recognition for making Quebeckers more accountable and aware of the harm posed by excessive drinking. I thank it for all it does.

Bob ClarkStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1960, a young farm boy who had just started teaching was recruited to run for politics.

At age 23, Bob Clark became the youngest elected official in the commonwealth. He went on to serve as minister of youth, minister of education and eventually leader of Alberta's official opposition.

After politics, he served as Alberta's ethics commissioner and, more recently, as chair of Olds College Board of Governors. As a lifelong sports builder, particularly with the Olds Grizzlys hockey team, Bob was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. These are but a few highlights of his storied career.

In the early 1970s, Bob encouraged me to become engaged in politics. As I travelled alongside Bob, I was able to observe what a politician should be: a compassionate listener and a problem-solver dedicated to public service. I cherished him as a mentor and as a friend.

Bob passed away on July 10 with his loving wife Norma and children, Dean and Donna, by his side. We will all miss him dearly.

Northern OntarioStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Lefebvre Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, small and medium-sized businesses in northern Ontario remain hard hit by COVID-19. FedNor's regional relief and recovery fund, RRRF, has been a lifeline, protecting more than 3,300 jobs in northern Ontario alone.

On October 2, an extra $22.3 million was announced for FedNor, including $6 million for Community Futures development corporations. This is in addition to the $43.8 million that were already announced this spring.

I want to thank the minister for all her help in supporting local jobs in northern Ontario. Our message to local businesses is clear: We are here for them and we will get through this together. We are working with them to support good, local jobs and to help our economy come back stronger.

These businesses are the backbone of our economy and an important source of local jobs. We are providing small and medium-sized businesses with the means and the tools they need to recover and prosper.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell Liberal Pickering—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month is Women's History Month and I rise to remind the House of how much work is still needed for women's equality and that our rights still remain under threat.

For example, the Leader of the Opposition says that he got into politics to defend the rights of Canadians, yet he pleaded for the votes of social Conservatives who worked to remove a women's right to chose. He supports the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington who compared the arguments for a woman's right to chose to the argument in support of slavery.

We can compare that to our Prime Minister who appointed Canada's first gender-balanced cabinet. He also stated, “It is not for a room full of predominantly male legislators to take away those rights from women.”

I know the Leader of the Opposition says that he is Canada's next handyman, but he clearly does not understand how to build a more equitable Canada. On this side of the House, our Prime Minister, our Liberal members are leaders. We stand up and speak out against those who seek to roll back women's rights.

Marietta Lola Doreen RobertsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, to many, Marietta Lola Doreen Roberts was a politician, a lawyer and a judge in Ontario. She was the first woman elected as a member of the provincial parliament in my riding.

To me, Marietta was the next-door neighbour to my family farm in Sparta, Ontario. The relationship between the Roberts and the Martyn families have extended through multiple generations. To my Aunt Marjory, Marietta was a childhood friend and loyal confident. Marjorie would reflect upon Marietta as being one who was devoted to her family. Marietta had cultivated numerous friends and treated individuals with fairness in her personal and professional life.

For over 65 years, Marietta was an aunt to my family, an aunt who remembered birthdays and celebrated with us every Christmas Eve. To me, Marietta was proof that if one was from Sparta, one could do anything. Steve Peters, former speaker of the Ontario legislature, once said to me that there must be something in the water.

I send my heartfelt condolences to the Roberts family. Marietta has left a great legacy to her community and to all Canadians.

PharmacareStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 has demonstrated to Canadians that the provincial and Canadian governments have worked exceptionally well together in protecting our health care system and providing the health cares services Canadians expect.

Over the last couple of years, I have tabled many petitions signed by the residents of Winnipeg North, calling upon the federal government to introduce and bring forward a national pharmacare program. We have seen in the throne speech a plan for a truly national pharmacare program, from coast to coast to coast, for the provinces that are willing to work with the government to make a difference and deliver what Canadians in all regions of our country want. They want a truly national pharmacare program.

SukkotStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, beginning last Friday, Jewish Canadians across the country have been celebrating Sukkot.

During this time, we celebrate the gathering of the harvest and commemorate the 40 years the ancient Israelites wandered the desert after leaving Egypt. For eight days, Jews will gather in a sukkah, which is a hut that represents the temporary shelters used on the way out of Egypt. It is here where meals and prayers are shared throughout Sukkot to celebrate this joyous and festive occasion.

During this celebration, a bundle of different plants, known as the four kinds, is waved in different directions. They symbolize Jewish unity, demonstrating how the differing levels of knowledge and observance within the Jewish faith are united.

Today, I wish the Jewish community across Canada celebrating Sukkot a Chag Sameach.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Alberta announced that it will establish the centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030 as part of its plan to get Albertans back to work. The plan could lead to a possible $1.4 billion in economic opportunity, and contribute to the creation of over 13,000 jobs while decreasing the impact of plastic waste.

With all the Liberals' talk about the economy and environment going hand in hand, we would have thought that this would have been a welcome plan. However, less than 24 hours later, they have made it clear they intend to get in Alberta's way yet again by declaring plastics as toxic and banning single-use items under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Plastic will now be considered just as toxic as other substances such as mercury and asbestos. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, workers in the plastic manufacturing industry might also find themselves out of a job.

It is clear the Liberals do not have a single use for Albertans. Why do Liberals not understand that it is their policies that are actually toxic?

International Day of the Girl ChildStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, October 11 marks the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a day to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

According to the United Nations, there are more than 1.1 billion girls under the age of 18. They are are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers the world has ever seen. However, there is a problem. COVID-19 has not just exposed inequalities girls were already facing. This pandemic has made them worse. Decades of progress in gender equality will disappear before our eyes if we do not act now.

To start, Canada must invest 1% of its COVID-19 response to global solutions that protect the rights of girls around the world. We must fight for gender equality abroad by promoting human rights, security, access to education and protection of health while ensuring that women and girls have a seat at all the decision-making tables.

Alexis LafrenièreStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a lifelong fan of the Rimouski Océanic, I am very proud to point out to my colleagues that a star player from our club, Alexis Lafrenière, was drafted first overall in the NHL draft yesterday.

Alexis was drafted by the New York Rangers, and after dominating the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, I know that he will thrill the crowds in Madison Square Garden just as he did in the Colisée de Rimouski. Alexis is the eighth Quebecker in 50 years to earn this honour, joining greats like Mario Lemieux and Guy Lafleur.

The Rimouski Océanic has a long tradition of excellence, boasting two other first-round picks, Sidney Crosby and Vincent Lecavalier. The Rimouski Océanic is the pride of a region, and Alexis is the pride of a nation.

Alexis Lafrenière will undoubtedly prove himself to be a true hockey legend.

Congratulations, Alexis!

EthicsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, the list of laws broken by these Liberals and Liberal insiders gets longer by the day. News continues to break about more Liberals involved with organized crime, fraud, assault and, in this place, ethics laws. For years now they have broken ethics laws, been caught and then tried to cover it up.

The WE scandal is no different. When multiple committees were dialing in on the corruption around the cabinet table, the Prime Minister shut down Parliament and locked the doors on those committees. In the middle of a pandemic, the Prime Minister put his cover-up before the needs of Canadians.

Now that Parliament has resumed, it is clear their vote to block the WE documents at committee demonstrates that they are intent on covering up their corruption. Canadian confidence in public institutions continues to be degraded by the Liberal government. Canadians want the truth and they deserve answers.

It is time for Liberal members to make a choice. Will they bring the truth to light, or will they be complicit in corruption and cover-ups that damage our democracy?

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, now more than ever, we have a role to play on the world stage. China has been arbitrarily detaining members of the Muslim Uighur community for years now, and the reports of internment, forced labour, sterilization and other human rights violations are very troublesome. That is not all.

Even as the repression of the Muslim Uighur community continues, Chinese authorities are ramping up their assault on the freedoms of those living in Hong Kong. The new national security legislation is resulting in the arrest and detention of democracy rights activists. That is why Canada was the first country in the world to suspend its extradiction treaty with Hong Kong.

We are taking a leadership role with our allies. We remain firmly committed to the immediate release of the two arbitrarily detained Canadians, but that does not mean we have not stood up to China, because Canada will always stand up for what is right.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for two decades, the government has counted on the Global Public Health Intelligence Network to predict pandemics. In 2018, the Liberal government changed its mission. It decided to put more faith in official information from countries like China. As a result, Canada was not prepared for COVID-19.

Why did the Prime Minister shut down our country's first line of defence?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, over the years, Canada has continued to play an important role not only here at home but also around the world in fighting infectious diseases and working with our global partners. We have continued to do that.

We learned so much from the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto. We put those lessons into practice when this pandemic emerged in Canada.

Back in early January, Dr. Tam had already set up meetings with her provincial counterparts. We have continued to work with the experts to fight the pandemic here in Canada.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The Prime Minister shut down our pandemic warning system. He placed a higher priority on official information from the Chinese government than on information from Canadian analysts. Canada used to have a state-of-the-art pandemic warning system, but now it does not.

Why does the Prime Minister think communiqués from Beijing are better than information from our own professionals?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not so. We have extraordinary experts across Canada who are constantly making recommendations to us. We are also working within a multilateral system that recognizes the work done by our allies in the world and by the World Health Organization.

We will continue to rely on the best possible data to do everything we can to protect Canadians. That is what we have been doing since the beginning of this pandemic and that is what we will continue to do for the duration of the pandemic. Unlike the other parties, we will be there to support Canadians every step of the way, always based on science.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he prioritized information from Beijing over information from Canadian intelligence officials. Experts had been warning since 2018 that the government was keeping them from reporting international health situations, leaving Canadians at risk. The last warning that went out without government interference was in May 2019. Seven months later, doctors in Wuhan began raising alarms about a pandemic.

Why did the Prime Minister shut down the country's first line of defence against COVID-19?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we see the Conservatives playing up alarmist political points to score cheap political points. That is simply not the way it worked. We worked from the beginning of January, when Dr. Tam engaged with her counterparts across the country to highlight the concerns and the threat of this potential virus. We had intelligence briefings through the month of January on this issue, and we continued to work based on the best advice of our top scientists and medical officials in Canada, but also top scientists and officials from around the world, including at the WHO.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what is alarming is the story in the newspaper today that said senior Health Canada officials said information about health outbreaks was being dumbed down by the government.

Scientists have said that the government placed a higher priority on open-source information from China than on information gathered by Canadian intelligence officials. Before the pandemic warning system was shut down by the Prime Minister, it was leading the world in identifying outbreaks.

Why did the Prime Minister put the health of Canadians at risk when he shut down the pandemic warning system?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think all Canadians, and especially scientists, across the country will know that we will not take lessons from Conservatives when it comes to supporting science and scientists in this country.

For 10 years under Stephen Harper, the Conservatives slashed science budgets, and they slashed and limited the abilities of scientists to do their work. On the contrary, we invested historic amounts in supporting scientists across the country, ensuring that science is at the forefront of decisions we take. We will continue to put forward the responsible and powerful decisions made by our scientists as the things that we move forward on as a country.