House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dialogue.

Topics

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join my colleague in thanking the front-line workers at CBSA for the important work they do.

The NDP has been calling for these changes with respect to the cuts to CBSA for a long time, certainly under the previous Harper government. We wanted to see more resources brought to the CBSA and have this gap filled.

I am quite appreciative and quite delighted to hear the member speak in favour of the legislation. I want to commend him for the work he has done with the local indigenous community and for bringing that insight to the House of Commons.

My colleague represents a border community, which includes an indigenous community that does not have borders. That same nation is located on both sides of the border.

Maybe he could talk about some improvements that could be made to the legislation that would help ensure those rights would be protected.

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12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Duncan Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am new to this place, so I will start with the Public Accounts.

The Public Accounts will clarify that spending was not cut when it came to the CBSA. We have seen that from the government on a technical point, but I will not go there today in my comments.

My riding is a unique situation. It has a port of entry and is a border riding. The border goes through a first nations community. I mentioned some statistics, including that 70% of the daily traffic coming and going through the port of entry in Cornwall was from the first nations community.

I am interested in working with the CBSA. It is a unique situation where people have to check in with CBSA before going into Cornwall. That will create a lot more challenges with respect to some of the complaints that may come up. I want to ensure that any complaints are addressed in a unique format that identifies the port of entry.

I will make further comments in the House in this upcoming term about the location of the port of entry, which is a sensitive subject. This is a real opportunity to help the people of Akwesasne and the city of Cornwall. Frankly, it is part of our reconciliation process to ensure first nations communities are included in our country.

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12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desilets Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is one part of my colleague's speech that I am very much interested in. He alluded to human trafficking a few times.

Could he elaborate on that a bit?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Duncan Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to get two questions from the Bloc. I also appreciate the opportunity to talk about the serious subject of human trafficking.

Akwesasne is part of my riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry. There is a geographic challenge there in the sense that Akwesasne is divided between Ontario and Quebec. Also portions of Akwesasne are in the United States. This presents a challenge when it comes to jurisdiction, and it is very technical.

When it comes to resources to combat human smuggling, we are dealing with multiple governments, provincial and federal, and different police jurisdictions. We have the 401. We have a lot of commercial and residential traffic going through. We need to get all the players together to share those resources and not have silos, a microcosm of my community. However, we need to address and combat this.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand today to speak to Bill C-3.

The bill before us was introduced in the dying days of the last Parliament as Bill C-98, and the Conservatives supported it at through all steps.

Bill C-3, while it is an important bill, undoubtedly will be seen as another Liberal failure with respect to consultation. We saw this time and again in the last Parliament. Promise after promise was broken or unfilled. I think we will see the exact same thing with Bill C-3.

I want to bring to the floor again, and I do not think we can say it enough, the voices of the Wet'suwet'en. I would never say that we are speaking on behalf of or for the Wet'suwet'en, but it is important we bring their voices to the floor.

I would remind the House and my colleagues that the House is not ours. It does not belong to us or the Prime Minister. The House belongs to the electors who voted in the 338 members of Parliament. Those are the voices that really matter here.

Today we are debating Bill C-3 when our country is seized with a crisis. What we have seen over the last three weeks is no leadership whatsoever from the Prime Minister.

Yesterday, we had a motion before the House, on which we will vote on Monday. Speaker after speaker, at least on the Conservative side, brought the voices of the Wet'suwet'en to the floor of the House. A lot of people have stood in the House, with their firsts in the air, saying they are standing with the Wet'suwet'en. The reality is that they are not standing for the real voices of the Wet'suwet'en.

Yesterday I heard from two chiefs from my riding. One was the former chief of the Haisla Nation. He thought I should ask the Prime Minister about aboriginal titles and rights and to whom he thought they belonged. They belong to the first nations communities.

The Wet'suwet'en and 21 nations voted in favour of the Coastal GasLink. They voted for bands, chiefs and councils to represent them. Those chiefs and leaders within their communities voted in favour of lifting their communities out of poverty. They chose economic prosperity, not economic despair.

Ellis Ross wanted me to ask the Prime Minister why so many leaders outside of first nations were standing against lifting their first nations up? They voted in favour of something that could bring so much hope to and opportunities for these communities. In northern B.C., these types of game-changing opportunities are few and far between.

Yesterday, the Liberals said that they would not support our motion, because we used the term “radical activists”. They believed that we were talking about our first nations, that they were radical activists.

The other chief asked me why it was okay to have the Rockefellers and the Tides Foundations limit opportunity for first nations. This is the truth. He said that if the Prime Minister was standing in front of him, he would give him a piece of his mind. I am paraphrasing, because it would be unparliamentary to say the exact words.

It is disappointing that the voices of the Wet'suwet'en, who voted in favour of lifting their communities out of economic despair and who chose hope, are being silenced. They are not being heard; they are being discounted. We are here today because of that.

While Bill C-3, an act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts, is important, we should be continuing to bring the voices of the Wet'suwet'en to this floor, ensuring they are heard. That is what is important.

Therefore, I move:

That the House do now adjourn.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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12:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

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12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

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12:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

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12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

February 21st, 2020 / 12:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

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12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

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

Vote #15

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1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I declare the motion defeated.

We will now go to questions and comments with the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

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1:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are here to work, unlike the official opposition. It is really important to recognize that.

We are debating Bill C-3, a bill the Conservatives previously supported. I am a bit surprised that when they debate, they talk about anything but Bill C-3 and at the first opportunity, they want to adjourn the House and take the afternoon off. My Conservative friends can feel free to take the afternoon off. There are other opposition members here who will ensure there is a presence in the opposition benches.

Given that the member opposite was addressing Bill C-3, would he agree with the government in recognizing the valuable contributions of our border control officers and how important it is for us to have the level of accountability that the legislation would provide?

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1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague across the way started with the statement that his party is here to work. Well, that is new. It did not work for him before. Honestly, that is the best he has?

We always stand with our front-line workers, those who are tasked with protecting our borders and our communities. They do whatever they can to uphold peace and the rule of law, so we will always stand with them.

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1:10 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want thank my hon. colleague for his message. He knows that the NDP is always here to work.

The member talked a bit about Bill C-3. He focused his speech primarily on what is happening in the north, and I felt it was one-sided.

I have a question for the member from Dr. Judith Sayers, the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. She asks, “Why is it you think that those that say yes to the project have the right to say yes, but those that say no have not the same respect?”

This is really important because it reflects back to the member's speech and what he focused his discussion on.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my speech today, my speech yesterday and the comments I have made, I said the voices that matter are the voices of the Wet'suwet'en. That is really the crux of my motion. The only voice that matters is that of the Wet'suwet'en. This is a Wet'suwet'en issue.

I said it yesterday and I will say it again: The Wet'suwet'en need to have dialogue among themselves, whether among the hereditary chiefs or the elected band chiefs and councils. The communities elected the chiefs and council to represent them, and it is the communities and the chiefs, including hereditary chiefs, who voted in favour of prosperity.

I am not saying that the “no” side is not important, but there has to be dialogue with the Wet'suwet'en, not with the radical activists like Tides and Rockefeller, those influencing the protests.

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his efforts today in working on behalf of Canadians.

We want action taken. Like Canadians, we want to see a government that is going to address the matters of the day. We have heard that the Liberals are seized with the issues. There are a number of crises the government should be dealing with, but we think the government has in fact seized up.

Instead of dealing with Bill C-3, legislation that the Liberals let die last session when they controlled the agenda as the majority power, what does my colleague think the government should be seized with and doing today?

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government should be seized with our economy, which has been seized for the last 14 days. It is not going to take days and weeks; it is going to take months to recover.

We already are seeing job losses that impact Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Our producers are being impacted. Our economy is predicated not only on the ability to produce great food or products, but also on getting those products to market. Our economy has been seized because of the weak and zero leadership we have seen from the Prime Minister over the last 14 days.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an interesting day to be discussing Bill C-3 when we see what is going on in Canada and what we could be talking about.

There are so many things that are happening that this House should be discussing and debating today other than Bill C-3. I have nothing against Bill C-3. However, if we look at what is going on in Canada and happening across our great country, we see our country being ripped apart and torn to shreds.

I will give members a couple of examples of some of the things we could be talking about that have a day-to-day impact on Canadians.

We could have spent some time this week talking about the coronavirus. We have Canadians who are still trying to get out of China. We have situations around the world where passengers cannot leave cruise ships. We could have been debating that and what we should be doing about it. We could have been making sure that we have the proper safety protocols in place and that we are immensely prepared for this type of virus. However, we did not.

We have started NAFTA hearings at committee. This would have been a great week to show all the problems with NAFTA. This party is here to support and pass it, because we are being told to and we would never play silly bugger with it. We have expressed that right from day one, but there are things in NAFTA that need to be talked about.

This week at committee we heard from witnesses who will be negatively impacted by this agreement. They are not saying we should not sign it or that we should not move it forward. They understand how important it is to the Canadian economy and that it has to happen. However, they are asking the Liberal government for a plan to help them mitigate the downside of the agreement.

Aluminum producers in Chicoutimi are asking for some support in taking their product to the next level to add value to their aluminum products. That would be a plan, but there is no plan from the government. We could have had great debates on that and what we could do to help the different sectors.

The dairy sector is being kneecapped in this agreement. Not only is it facing importations of 3.5%, it is also facing restrictions. It is being told what it can sell, when it can sell it and who it can sell it to. That has never happened in a trade agreement. That would have been a good debate here to look at ways to mitigate that type of scenario.

We could have been talking about the China-Senegal situation, which is the PM's cost for a UN Security Council seat. He has his Mastercard out, paying $50 million here and $50 million there. We should have had a debate this week in the House on just how expensive this seat is going to be and if he will actually have success in getting it. However, we did not talk about it.

The Lima Group was here in Ottawa talking about Venezuela. I do not think anybody realized that. That is ironic, because that is where our country is heading to right now. If we do not have trains running, there will be no toilet paper in the stores in a couple of weeks. That is the reality.

The Liberals can deny it all they want, but their inaction on this file has been so terrible it is unreal. Canadians are going to pay.

The other thing we should have been talking about in light of all these things is the impact it is having on the economy, jobs and growth. There is going to be a huge cost. Nobody is even talking about that cost.

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1:15 p.m.

Ed Fast

It's billions.

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1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Billions is right.

The Liberals can say they are doing what they can and are seized with it at the moment, but the reality is they have done nothing. They have let it go on and now we have the result. Somebody is probably going to get hurt. It is really disappointing.

Canadians can expect more than a debate on a piece of administrative legislation when thousands are facing job losses because of radical activists who are exploiting divisions within the Wet'suwet'en community and holding the Canadian economy hostage.

Therefore, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.