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

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, this was a decision taken by Teck Resources. We respect that decision. I am sure it was a difficult one.

I would also point out—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

That is bullshit.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I heard a term that really is not parliamentary. Does the hon. member want to withdraw it?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

No. Okay, I will keep that in mind for when we proceed.

I will let the hon. minister continue.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, in his letter, the Teck CEO said that Canada should be “a global provider of sustainable, climate-smart resources to support the world’s transition to a low carbon future”. We agree.

We need to be taking strong action on climate change in order to promote clean economic growth. That is something that those on the other side of this House do not understand, but it is something that we need to be working on very actively in partnership with the provinces and territories, with indigenous communities, with municipalities and all Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, Teck was forced to make this decision because the Prime Minister refused to show any real leadership. This is a loss of $70 billion to Canada's economy, money which would have gone to schools, hospitals and infrastructure, not to mention the 7,000 badly needed jobs it would have created in Alberta.

The Prime Minister has broken faith with Albertans. What is he going to do to fix this national unity crisis that he has created?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the greatest threat for the economy going forward is having an official opposition that has no plan to address climate change.

At the end of the day, we need to ensure that we are moving forward in a manner that addresses the climate issue and is promoting clean growth. Canada needs to ensure that its brand of developing low-carbon products to the world and selling those throughout the world is something that fits within the context of where this is going in the context of fighting climate change.

That is something we are committed to doing. That is something we are working on now and we will continue to do so.

PharmacareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, no one should have to go without the medicine they need because they cannot afford it, but that is the reality for millions of Canadians. Worse, each year thousands of people die from preventable causes simply because they lack proper drug coverage.

Today, New Democrats will introduce historic legislation to establish universal, comprehensive, public pharmacare, a plan that will save billions of dollars every year. Will the Liberals support our Canada pharmacare act and finally ensure every Canadian gets the medicine they need?

PharmacareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague that no Canadian should have to choose between paying for a prescription or putting food on the table. We have already done more than any government in a generation to lower drug prices and now we are working with provinces and territories to implement pharmacare, as guided by the Hoskins report. This will build on the steps that we have already taken, including new rules on patented drugs that will save Canadians over $13 billion.

I look forward to working with the NDP to ensure that all Canadians get access to the medication that they need.

PharmacareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been promising pharmacare for 23 years. People end up in the ER or hospitalized because they cannot afford their medication and hundreds die prematurely every year.

Instead of helping Canadians, the Liberals have chosen to help deliver bigger and bigger profits to big pharma and insurance companies. In the minority government will the Liberals stop breaking their promise and support the NDP bill to deliver universal, comprehensive, single-payer pharmacare to Canadians?

PharmacareOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am very confident that if this Liberal government had been here 24 years ago, we would have been there already.

I am very excited to be part of a government that is committed to making sure that people do not have to choose between medication and food. As I said, we have taken important steps toward that goal. We will continue to work with all Canadians and provinces and territories to ensure that people have access to the medications they need.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, while our economy has seen incredible growth in recent years, we know that this prosperity is not always equally shared. As a government we have created over one million jobs in the past four years, but we must make sure that all Canadians benefit.

Can the Minister of Economic Development update the House on what we are doing to create opportunities for people in my region of southwestern Ontario?

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from London North Centre for his great work. Obviously, Canadians need to have access to good-paying jobs in their region and need to be able to stay in their hometowns. That is why we are creating opportunities all across the country for them.

Recently, we announced 1,000 new jobs in southwestern Ontario, 40 new jobs in Windsor in the auto sector, 170 new jobs in Leamington, the tomato capital of Canada at Highbury Canco, 700 new jobs in clean tech in Sarnia and also in the energy sector.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the governments of Ontario and Quebec have started clearing the blockades in their provinces. They have asked the Prime Minister for coordinated action, but, as usual, his lack of leadership is hampering their efforts.

There is no doubt that the Canadian economy is suffering as a result, but the safety of Canadians is also at stake. The Prime Minister refuses to act, and his hollow pronouncements only make the situation worse.

When will the Prime Minister take control of the situation?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, to be very clear, the Prime Minister has been unequivocal in his acknowledgement and recognition of the impact these barricades are having on Canadians across the country, and last week he urged the people who were on those barricades to take them down and restore service.

To be equally clear, our government does not direct the police. Perhaps we can rely on the words of the previous public safety minister under the Conservative government. He said, “I have full confidence in the judgment of the RCMP. While respecting the operational independence of the RCMP....” That principle still applies.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP commissioner was present at the emergency meeting with the Prime Minister last Monday.

Canadians waited patiently for the Prime Minister to take concrete action to end a crisis that could have been easily avoided. For over two weeks, police refused to do anything about the blockades. It was clear that they had been instructed not to intervene.

Why did the Prime Minister order police not to step in before?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, respectfully, the member opposite is wrong.

In fact, no direction and no instruction was given to the RCMP or any other police service. In Canada, the rule of law is underpinned by the independence of the police. On this side of the House, we respect that principle, and we have confidence in our police agencies to exercise their responsibilities to uphold the law and to maintain the peace.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are only a week away from widespread heating propane shortages. Hundreds of thousands of people could be without heat. People could freeze. Pipes will burst and homes will be damaged.

Now, the blockade at Tyendinaga appears to be coming down, but the unrest continues. Will the Minister of Public Safety commit to working with his provincial counterparts to see new general directives issued to law enforcement, by him at the federal level and by his provincial counterparts at the provincial level, to ensure that any future blockades of critical infrastructure are taken down in a more timely manner?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we have acknowledged and recognized the impact that these blockades are having on Canadians across the country. It is why we have been unequivocal in the need for the barricades to come down. We have worked very closely with all of our provincial counterparts on this matter, but let me also be clear: The provincial ministers of community and public safety and I recognize that we do not give instructions to the police. They receive their instructions from the law, from the courts and from their own policies and procedures.

We have confidence in law enforcement to do its job, and we will continue to support its efforts to maintain the peace.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Baldinelli Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, for two weeks the Canadian economy has been brought to its knees by a handful of activists. VIA Rail service has been stopped across the country, disrupting tens of thousands of Canadians who are trying to visit family or get to business meetings. Nearly 1,000 VIA employees have been laid off, unable to work while the blockades remain.

Can the Prime Minister tell Canadians on what date will full, and I repeat full, VIA Rail service resume?

Public SafetyOral Questions

February 24th, 2020 / 2:50 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very aware of the inconvenience that this has had for a lot of passengers who depend on VIA Rail. I, myself, am a regular VIA Rail traveller. I know the impact that this has had on a large number of Canadians.

That is why the good news is that VIA Rail has begun to bring back some of its trains, namely between Montreal and Quebec since the Saint-Lambert blockade has been removed, and also between Toronto and Windsor. We are hoping very soon to fully re-establish the service between Montreal and Toronto.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the rail crisis will not be resolved without dialogue with the Wet'suwet'en.

Fortunately, despite the government's inaction, the RCMP understood that it was part of the problem and agreed to withdraw from the territory. So much the better, but the bond of trust with the RCMP is broken, and it will not be repaired overnight.

What does the government plan to do to rebuild trust between the Wet'suwet'en and law enforcement?

Is it open to a solution involving creating an indigenous police force?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question.

We are still available to meet any time with the hereditary chiefs in British Columbia. Now more than ever, we can agree that dialogue should remain open.

To tackle possible solutions, as the member proposed, we need to have that dialogue. The hereditary chiefs have not yet opened the dialogue.

We are here, and we are willing to talk, but both sides need to work together.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister unloaded the problem of the rail blockades onto Quebec and the provinces on Friday, François Legault asked the bare minimum of him, specifically, to coordinate the removal of the blockades with the provinces. Obviously, once again, Quebec's request fell on deaf ears in Ottawa. The blockade was lifted in Ontario, but the crisis has intensified in Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his lack of leadership is adding fuel to the fire in Kahnawake? What is he going to do to finally resolve this crisis?