House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was peoples.

Topics

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to advise the member opposite and other members of this House how closely we are working with our provincial counterparts in every province and territory, including in the province of Quebec.

There have been ongoing discussions between us about how best to resolve this situation, but we all remain committed to upholding the rule of law. We are not instructing our police services, but we are working closely together to respond to this crisis.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims that reconciliation is a priority, yet his inaction has invalidated the work Wet'suwet'en leaders have done to breathe life into reconciliation. The Liberals' failure to champion indigenous-supported projects like Coastal GasLink and Teck Frontier mine has killed over 7,000 jobs.

B.C. MLA Ellis Ross has said that the blockades will set back reconciliation 20 years.

When will the Prime Minister stop emboldening radical activists and start working for indigenous Canadians?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite needs to understand that indigenous nations have to determine these decisions themselves.

This is about understanding that, going forward, the hereditary leadership plus the elected chief and council need to come forward to form their governments, to write their constitution and to write their laws. We, as the government, are working on that every day.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government told Teck that it needed to achieve certain things to get approval.

One, it needed to get the regulator to sign off: check. The Liberals told the company that it would need the local first nations to sign off, and all 14 of them did: check. They told the company that it would have to tackle emissions and the company said that was no problem and that it will go to zero net emissions by 2050: check.

If, after meeting all the government's demands, this project still could not go ahead, what project will ever get approved in this country?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate this was Teck Resources' decision. We respect its decision. I know that it was certainly not an easy one. The decision that was made by Teck Resources in the letter that was sent to me by the chief executive officer underlines the importance of both taking climate action and looking at responsible resource development.

Certainly, Teck Resources did an extremely good job in engaging with local first nations communities. We have representatives of the Mikisew Cree who are here with us today. It is a model for how those kinds of consultations can be done, going forward.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government claims that the company invested 10 years and a billion dollars and then abandoned the project simply because Canada does not do a good enough job on climate policy.

The Liberals have been in power for almost five years. Why are they not doing a better job on climate policy? This caused this project to disappear. Seven thousand jobs, 14 aboriginal communities losing opportunity, $20 billion of upfront investment and $70 billion of tax revenue: Does the government realize the enormous cost of its anti-energy obstructionism?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I will reiterate once again that this was a decision made by Teck Resources. I am sure it was a difficult one for Teck Resources.

One of the things that was highlighted in the letter that the Teck CEO sent was the fact that it is partisan bickering over addressing climate change that is the problem. We have an opposition that has no climate plan, and we have provinces that have not yet put into place a robust climate plan.

It is so important that we work together to ensure that we are growing a clean economy in the context of addressing climate change in a serious way. That is something the other side of the House has not yet learned.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lenore Zann Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, Kejimkujik National Park is dear to the hearts of Nova Scotians.

It is a beautiful place where many Canadians go to see ancient petroglyphs.

However, it is under threat from a strange invasive species, and no, not the Conservatives. Can the Minister of Environment please tell us what he is doing to protect Kejimkujik's trees against the hemlock woolly adelgid?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to remind hon. members that when asking questions on either side to try to be respectful, regardless of what one is saying. Inflammatory can mean different things to different people.

There is French saying in northern Ontario that is similar to the expression “cruising for a bruising”.

I do not know how that will be translated.

The expression is about those actions that can have unintended consequences.

I will leave that with members to reflect on for a while and ask the hon. Minister of the Environment to continue.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to preserving and protecting our national parks so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Last December we announced the federal investment of $1.4 million to enhance existing efforts to protect the threatened eastern hemlock forest in Kejimkujik National Park.

Parks Canada will continue to work with its partners, such as indigenous communities, to protect this important natural habitat.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Lehoux Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the agricultural economy has reached the point of no return. The raid blockades are having a disastrous impact on the market, so disastrous that farmers are telling me they may run out of food for their animals this week. Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was all smiles in Washington, where she had her picture taken with officials from Mexico and Argentina.

Can the minister tell us why she was not in the country during a time of major crisis?

What does she have to say to farmers who are extremely concerned about this government's lack of leadership?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I know that this is a very serious situation for producers, processors and exporters in the agri-food sector across the country. I am monitoring this issue very closely with my colleagues on the ground.

I also believe it is important to spend 24 hours in Washington with our American, Mexican and Argentinian counterparts to talk about the importance of international trade based on rules and science.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

February 24th, 2020 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Lianne Rood Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the illegal rail blockades are still up and are crippling Canada's economy.

Canadian farmers rely on the rail system, and every day these blockades are up it causes five days of backlog to get the rail back to normal. There is a backlog of 20,000 grain cars costing farmers more than $300 million so far. Propane levels are also critically low.

On Friday, the Minister of Agriculture decided to skip the cabinet meeting dealing with the blockades to dine with diplomats in Washington. Why was the minister not in Ottawa dealing with the crisis facing our farmers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I know how hard the situation has been for our farmers this year and 2019 was also very difficult. The rail blockages are making it even more difficult. I work on that on a constant basis with my colleagues, because it is really important.

However, it was also important to spend 24 hours in Washington with my colleagues from the United States, Mexico and Argentina to talk about and to make sure that we have international trade based on science and based on rules.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister talks about rule and trade, but we cannot trade if we cannot move our product. The government is not even standing up for the laws right here in Canada.

This is a crisis, and every day it goes on it hurts our farmers even more. The propane shortage right now is critical. We have more than 100 ships off the B.C. coast waiting to be loaded, and a backlog of 20,000 grain cars. This is costing Canadian farmers more than $300 million, and they cannot afford this weak Liberal leadership.

Why, during this crisis, did the minister feel it was more important not to be here, at home in Canada, fighting for Canadian farmers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I can do two things at the same time. I can be supporting my farmers here in Canada, and I can also be supporting and defending international trade based on rules and science.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Revenue has launched the 2020 tax season. This is a good opportunity to remind Canadians that we have lowered taxes for the middle class, improved the Canada child benefit and introduced the Canada workers benefit, all in an effort to ensure that Canadians have more money in their pockets.

Can the minister provide us an update on the improvements made at the Canada Revenue Agency to make it easier for Canadians to access the money they are entitled to?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

Our government is constantly looking for ways to improve CRA's services. This year, there are several new features on tap for Canadians, including Charlie the Chatbot to handle questions and answers online. Canadians can now create a PIN to identify themselves when calling the CRA. Filing a tax return has never been easier, faster or more secure. I cannot encourage Canadians enough to file their tax return because without a tax return, there are no benefits.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Albertans are paying the price for a failure of leadership by both Jason Kenney and Justin Trudeau. Teck's decision—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I just want to remind the hon. members that when they are referring to members in the chamber, we refer to them by their riding or by their position but not by their name.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Teck's decision last night is a direct result of their failure on climate change and our energy sector.

In Alberta, families and businesses that create jobs need certainty from the government, not more failure. The path to a strong economic future requires federal leadership and investment in economic diversification.

What is the Prime Minister doing to help Albertans diversify our economy, and to protect and create jobs?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, this was a decision taken by Teck Resources. I know that it was probably a difficult decision.

The Government of Canada has thought very carefully about the letter that Don Lindsay, the CEO of Teck Resources, sent to me. In it he talks about the need for us to be aggressively fighting climate change and doing so in a manner that promotes clean economic growth.

That is exactly what we have been doing through the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which was negotiated with the provinces and territories. It is something that we certainly intend to accelerate as we go forward to 2050 and the target of net zero.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Jody Wilson-Raybould Independent Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, reconciliation requires long overdue and urgent work: fundamental legislative and policy changes, new ways of making decisions, meeting the standards of UNDRIP and supporting indigenous nations as they rebuild.

After the immediate crisis is addressed, the need for transformative change will still remain. How will the Prime Minister regain the trust, respect and moral authority to do the true reconciliation work that is so desperately required? Does the Prime Minister have the resolve to do what is right and not what partisan advisers tell him is politically expedient?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I was honoured to receive, in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister, the task of implementing legislation that will implement UNDRIP into Canadian law. That is a priority for our government. We have promised to do it by the end of the year 2020, and we will go ahead with this, engaging with indigenous Canadians and other Canadians, in order to fulfill that mandate promise.