House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was project.


Opposition Motion — Proposed tax changesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Hochelaga Québec


Soraya Martinez Ferrada LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.

I am very pleased to rise to speak to the motion moved by the member for New Westminster—Burnaby. I am glad to see that he took note of the new tax cut that the government gave middle-class Canadians. This tax cut will put more money in the pockets of nearly 20 million Canadians. It is a commitment we made during the last election campaign, when we promised to make life more affordable for Canadians. We made that promise and kept it, because we know that this tax cut will help middle-class families and those working hard to join it.

First of all, I believe it is worth pointing out that Canada's economy is strong and growing. I would like to cite some statistics. More than 1.1 million jobs have been created since the fall of 2015. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than 40 years. Wages are rising faster than inflation. The poverty rate in Canada is at an all-time low. The results of the 2018 Canadian income survey show that between 2015 and 2018, more than one million Canadians were lifted out of poverty, including 334,000 children and 73,000 seniors. This is the largest three-year reduction in Canadian history. Canadian businesses are turning a profit. In fact, their profits are making them more competitive. This means that employers can continue to create more well-paying jobs. In the end, middle-class Canadians are the winners.

Nevertheless, there is more work to be done. The cost of living is increasing, and too many families still have a hard time making ends meet. That is why we want to help Canadians keep more of what they earn.

It is also why, in 2015, we gave Canadians the tax relief they deserved. We put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of middle-class Canadians. We also asked the richest 1% to pay a little more. In 2020, our government is more committed than ever to providing more support for the middle class and for the most vulnerable Canadians, achieving tax fairness and investing in people. That is the best way to grow the economy.

That is why we have taken steps to help families buy their first home. It is why we have enhanced support for Canadian families. As I mentioned yesterday, 9,000 families in Hochelaga have received monthly tax-free payments.

Opposition Motion — Proposed tax changesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


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

Order. The hon. member will have six minutes and 52 seconds to complete her speech when we resume debate after question period.

Translation BureauStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Jenica Atwin Green Fredericton, NB

Madam Speaker, in light of the recent tensions in this House, I wish to call attention to a bright patch in the Canadian record, something we can all be proud of. Today, I want to honour and congratulate the Translation Bureau.

The Translation Bureau's staff support the Government of Canada in its efforts to serve Canadians by communicating in both official languages, but their efforts go far above and beyond that mandate. I was touched to learn how incredibly inclusive, respectful and committed their work is.

A fine example of their efforts is the new gender and sexual diversity glossary, a free glossary that lists the English and French equivalents of 193 concepts on gender and sexual diversity.

The Bureau also offers translation for international languages, sign language and five indigenous languages and counting, including recent work to include Wolastoqey latuwewakon, a language with only a few hundred speakers in my home riding.

[Member spoke in Wolastoqey and provided the following text:]

Wolasuweltomuwakon, Nuhkomossok naka nmuhsumsok, Woliwon ciw latuwewakon, Kisi monuwehkiyeq ‘ciw nilun, nilun oc tokec nuleyutomonen, ciw weckuwapasihtit. Nit leyic.

[Member provided the following translation:]

Maliseet language honour code, grandmothers and grandfathers, thank you for our language that you have saved for us. It is now our turn to save it for the ones who are not born yet, may that be the truth.

Winter in Long Range MountainsStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Gudie Hutchings Liberal Long Range Mountains, NL

Madam Speaker, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow has certainly been the theme song in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador this winter.

Indeed, all this snow has given us a magnificent white blanket for the winter carnivals.

I would like to think all the volunteers and groups in my riding, Long Range Mountains, who organized winter festivities in their communities.

This is also a huge boost to many not-for-profits as well as small businesses, especially those in the tourism industry.

Let us embrace winter and lace up our skates, go ice fishing, try downhill or cross-country skiing, or jump on a snowmobile and experience the hundreds of miles of groomed trails. The more adventurous can try zip lining, take a thermos of hot chocolate and go sliding with the family or, my favourite, snowshoeing with dogs.

There is nothing like a nice, hot cup of broth in the forest to make any winter outing a success.

Whatever their fancy, people can get out and enjoy, and we can continue to let it snow.

Master Breeder ShieldStatements by Members

February 25th, 2020 / 2 p.m.


Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the accomplishments of three dairy farmers in my riding. Oxford is a unique riding that has a strong presence in both the manufacturing and automotive industries, but Oxford is also known as the dairy capital of Canada.

Today I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of Larenwood Farms, Darcroft Farms and Wilmarlea Farm, which were recently awarded Master Breeder shields. This prestigious award is presented to dairy farmers who have achieved excellent health, productivity and longevity for their herd of cattle. A Master Breeder shield is a lifelong dream of many dairy farmers and serves as a testament to years of hard work and dedication.

Again, I would like to congratulate these three Oxford farms, as only 19 farms across Canada received this award in 2019. Oxford is truly the dairy capital of Canada.

Multicultural Community Radio StationStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate one of the wonderful institutions in my riding of Outremont, Radio Centre-Ville.

Radio Centre-Ville celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Radio Centre-Ville is a multicultural radio station that encourages an exchange of ideas and gives a voice to those who are often forgotten by other media outlets. That is the case for programs like Radio Centre-Ville's Fraîchement jeudi, which recently celebrated its first year on the air. Fraîchement jeudi is an inclusive program that lets Montreal's LGBTQ community exchange ideas and enhance their media representation.

Our local media outlets play a key role in the everyday lives of our communities and I am always delighted to recognize how they enrich our lives.

Gaétan BoivinStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Louise Charbonneau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to a forward-thinking man from my riding, Gaétan Boivin, president and CEO of the Port of Trois-Rivières.

He won the male personality of the year award at the Radisson gala presented by the Mauricie chamber of commerce last Friday.

Mr. Boivin has successfully modernized the Port of Trois-Rivières by working with his team to implement the On Course for 2030 plan. Thanks to his efforts, the port now has integrated modern, productive infrastructure. With its deep water capacity, the Port of Trois-Rivières is one of the largest ports in Quebec and eastern Canada. It employs thousands of people and contributes $270 milion to the economy of Trois-Rivières.

I want to congratulate Mr. Boivin, a visionary pioneer who has made the Port of Trois-Rivières a remarkable place.

Loran ScholarStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise today to congratulate Govind Deol from L.A. Matheson Secondary School on receiving the prestigious Loran scholarship award. Govind was selected from more than 5,000 students from across Canada as one of 36 Loran scholars awarded a $100,000 scholarship that will go toward post-secondary education.

Govind started a basketball program for elementary students, volunteered at Camp Next, did patrols for the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, helped the Kinsmen Lodge and raised funds to build schools for an NGO called the Sikhi Awareness Foundation. He is a Matheson Mustang and an exemplary Canadian.

To Govind I say, congratulations.

Addictions AdvocateStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, approximately eight million Canadians suffer from addiction. Most suffer alone and in silence, but my friend Natalie Harris is trying to change this.

Throughout my time in Ottawa, I have had the honour of meeting countless mental health champions. Few have touched my life the way that Natalie Harris has.

Natalie's struggle with PTSD and addiction has been well documented, but what people do not know is how truly amazing she is. Natalie is a kind and compassionate individual whose journey from the abyss to her work today is a testament to her driving will to survive and help others.

Natalie's new project, writing get-well cards for those suffering from addiction, is a direct effort to help those in need and at the same time raise awareness of this important issue.

Tomorrow, after caucus from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., please join colleagues from across all party lines as we host Natalie in the Speaker's lounge in West Block, Room 233-S.

We are working together to bring awareness to the terrible disease that is addiction. It is my hope that the words of encouragement we offer may help to build confidence, break the cycle of addiction and maybe, just maybe, we will save a life.

Coldest Night of the YearStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, every Canadian deserves a safe, affordable and accessible place to call home. To raise awareness about poverty and homelessness in Brampton South, I took part in the Coldest Night of the Year walkathon hosted by Regeneration Outreach Community.

I want to thank Ted Brown and all of the organizations and volunteers that made this event a success and that make a difference in our community every day.

On Saturday, 425 walkers raised more than $100,000 for those in need.

I want to recognize Pastor Jamie Holtom, the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club, Peel police and first responders, and teams from Grace United Church, St. Paul's United Church, Christ Church and many others.

I am also proud that our government is doing its part by investing in real change that has lifted over one million Canadians out of poverty since 2015. There is more to be done to ensure that every Canadian has a fair chance to succeed.

Rural Health CareStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker, I attended the funeral of my niece Cheryl two weeks ago and, six months before that, the funeral of her father.

Cancer impacts all families. It does not care about age, income, job, dreams for the future or where one lives.

In rural Canada, it is often difficult to access health care in a timely manner. Add in the additional challenges of Canada's more remote places, where air travel to see a doctor is often a requirement and complicates access even more. Our health centres and staff can do amazing work, but they have their limitations.

I really want to make sure we proceed with our platform promise, to “make sure that every Canadian has access to a family doctor or primary health care team,” and to improve “the quality of care for the nearly five million Canadians who today lack access”, because our lives depend on it.

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister told environmentalists he would plant two billion trees by 2050, that was a simplistic solution. He tried to fool Canadians in order to get elected. He has never been able to tell the truth, and the truth is that his Liberal government will not meet its Paris targets. It is weak to talk nonsense, but that is how it goes with this Liberal Prime Minister.

I would like to remind him that he has already planted thousands of trees, and that is not enough to protect our environment. If there are trees left over that need planting in Canada, we could use some around Lake Saint-Augustin in Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. The town of Saint-Augustin wants to protect the environment and has a tree planting project to protect its lake.

Where can tree planting projects be found? We in Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier really want to take meaningful action to improve our environmental footprint.

Special OlympicsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Marcus Powlowski Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a happy occasion.

This is the first day of the Special Olympics in Thunder Bay, which are going to run for the next four days.

I want to thank the very many volunteers who have made this happen. I want to thank the coaches and the parents of all the athletes for their considerable contributions. Most of all, I want to congratulate the athletes.

I would tell the athletes to try hard and do their best, but most of all to enjoy it.

I ask the whole House to join me in giving a big round of applause to all the Special Olympic athletes this week.

Tomlinson Lake Hike to FreedomStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the immense contribution of black Canadians as part of our month-long celebration of Black History Month.

The great riding of Tobique—Mactaquac is home to the northernmost route of the underground railway. Brave men and women fleeing slavery found their way to Fort Fairfield, Maine, where they were given refuge in places such as Friends Church.

Once they were able to make their final journey to freedom, they would set out through the woods until they reached Tomlinson Lake in Carlingford, New Brunswick. Once there, they knew they were safe and began their new lives in Canada as free people. They overcame many challenges and contributed immensely to a better Canada.

Passionate and tireless volunteers have worked to preserve these stories and valuable parts of our history. They hold an annual hike in the fall where families can walk the trails and learn the stories. I would encourage all members to learn more about this part of Canadian history at

Although freedom was reached at Tomlinson Lake, the journey to true equality and recognition continues.

Cattle IndustryStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, Saturday night, I was delighted to attend Beef Bash 2020. This was an opportunity for ranchers and those related to the cattle industry to come together before calving season. We enjoyed prime rib, filet mignon and beef ribs, followed by a night of cowboy dancing.

Our hard-working ranching industry participants create a high-quality and delicious product. What many people are not aware of is their role as environmental stewards. Ranching has a significant positive impact on grasslands and carbon sequestration. I invite members to watch the video Guardians of the Grasslands.

This week, the cattlemen are here in Ottawa. It is important to do a special shout-out to my constituent David Haywood-Farmer, who is finishing his two-year term as president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association and has done so much important work promoting the industry here and abroad.

I thank David for his leadership, and Bonnie and family for allowing him to dedicate himself to this important role.

PensionsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, today almost 400 delegates from the Canadian Labour Congress are on Parliament Hill talking about issues facing workers.

Workers need this government to finally make good on its promise of a universal pharmacare program. They need a $15-an-hour minimum wage and they need laws to protect their pensions and benefits.

On this government's watch, when Sears failed, the lives of thousands of workers and retirees across the country were devastated. What did this government do in response? It did nothing. Workers and retirees are still at risk.

Workers still get ripped off when companies go bankrupt. Just last month, Barrymore Furniture in Toronto claimed bankruptcy and abruptly closed its doors. Because the Liberals failed to fix the laws, close to 50 workers not only lost their jobs, but they lost out on the severance and benefit payments they were owed. For some of them, that was close to $50,000.

When will the Liberals take action and keep their promises to workers?

On behalf of Jenny SalgadoStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of rapper, composer and performer Jenny Salgado.

A moment of your time? We deserve to be heard.
A moment to reflect. We are listening.
Our words may not reflect your views,
You may not see yourself in our words like you see your reflection in the mirror.
That’s because the “us” here, that hangs suspended from our lips,
Will be but muffled noise to the world.
Millions of words, people and tomorrows that can't get along.
The struggle to be understood.
Why the suffering when we claim togetherness?
As a country, as a people!
Just a moment to unite us,
To talk about the “us” that is dying to tell you
About the division that pulls us from our history.
Nothing good can come of it.
Thank you for listening.
The mike is now yours.
But never forget,
We always have a voice.

Carbon PricingStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in a four-to-one decision that the legislation that brought in the federal carbon tax erodes the authority of the provinces, calling it “a constitutional Trojan horse.”

Our country is based on the rule of law and the division of powers. The Liberal government knew from the start that its carbon tax encroaches on the rights of the provinces, yet it passed it anyway. Not only is the carbon tax a cash grab scam that does nothing for the environment, charges a tax on a tax and cuts into the bottom line of Canadian businesses and households, but it is a power grab by the federal government.

The truth is Canadians are struggling to make ends meet under a government that opposes resource development, allows radical activists to ignore the law and charges a carbon tax on everything.

If the Liberals really cared about the Constitution and Canadians, they would scrap the carbon tax right now.

Manyok Akol FundraiserStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I had the pleasure of joining a remarkable group of young people in my riding who represent the best in our community.

When tragedy strikes a community, as it did on January 8, when 18-year-old Manyok Akol, or Manny to his friends, a popular football player and rapper, was killed, it can either divide a community or bring people together.

On Sunday, over 200 youth came together at the Boys and Girls Club for a basketball game to raise funds for Manny's family. In the face of unspeakable loss, these young people brought together sponsors from 10 different community organizations, including Ottawa Community Housing and the Britannia Woods Community House, to raise thousands of dollars and help heal a community that has been through so much pain.

These youth already know something we should all remember: that we are stronger together. We thank all the volunteers who showed us how a community can persevere, and find comfort and strength in the face of tragedy.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan


Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was a teacher before he got elected, and he has taught protesters a valuable lesson. They can hold illegal blockades—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota


This session is not really starting off well. I wanted to point that out, ask everybody to take a deep breath and we will go back to the Leader of the Opposition.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, we know he is a teacher, because we have all seen his picture in the yearbook.

We know that he has taught protesters a valuable lesson. They can bring our economy to its knees and they can hold illegal blockades, holding up our rail traffic leading to layoffs, and he will do absolutely nothing.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his weakness has caused the situation to spiral out of control?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario


Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not weakness to demonstrate a strong commitment to dialogue and reconciliation.

Last Friday, the Prime Minister could not have been clearer. He acknowledged and recognized the impact that these blockades are having and he said unequivocally that the barricades must come down and the law must be obeyed.

As members know, we do not instruct our police officers in their operations, but we trust the police to do the job that they are currently doing for us. We urge all Canadians to obey the law, to allow the trains to start moving again and to come back to the table to resume that important dialogue.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan


Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's weakness has emboldened these protesters. It took him days before he would even call them illegal. In the first two weeks, he was telling police not to do their job and not to move in and remove them.

It is not just his weakness that is affecting the blockades, it is also affecting important investments in our energy sector. The Teck mine had its application approved by an independent regulator. It was sitting on the cabinet table for months, since July.

Why did the Prime Minister wait so long before making a decision on Teck Frontier?