House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Madam Speaker, it is very difficult to hear what the member is saying and contrast that to what my constituents are saying. For context, in my riding of Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, we had 63,000 votes in the last election. Looking at the election results, if we combine the member's results with those of the four Liberal members from P.E.I., it does not amount to as many votes as we had in Edmonton—Wetaskiwin. We have 47 Conservative members out of the 48 members of Parliament for Alberta and Saskatchewan. Nothing that the government does reflects anything that matters to the lives of the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan and other parts of this country.

They are not being heard. The member talks about political stunts. His deputy House leader and one of the ministers went to my riding last week. They did not call me. They did not let me know they were going. They met with mayors from outside my riding, including Naheed Nenshi. They are not listening to the concerns that matter to the people on the ground. People in my community are committing suicide because the economic measures the government is taking are absolutely destroying the lives of Albertans.

When will the member come to my riding, call me and meet with my constituents about the things that really matter to them?

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, I find it interesting that it requires the invitation of members of Parliament to meet with the mayor of another community. That is shocking in and of itself. We can throw around statistics all day. In my riding—

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, they clearly do not want to debate the issues of the day.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I want to remind the member that he had an opportunity to ask his question without being interrupted and I would hope that he would want to hear the response in its entirety, as do other members I am sure.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, we can talk about the riding of St. Catharines, where the Conservative vote went down. Residents of my riding look at the harmful cuts that a Conservative Ford government has made. They have looked at the terrible actions of austerity and what that has done to the people of this country. We can talk about the 70% of St. Catharines residents who want action on climate change.

Why are we not debating that? Why are we debating this political stunt?

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Madam Speaker, I got a little worried listening to my hon. colleague's speech about opposition days. I did not really hear him talk about those allotted days.

That makes me feel like when I rise in the House to defend a motion, as the Bloc Québécois did with regard to the proposed extension of the EI sickness benefit period, I am not standing up for Quebeckers or Canadians, doing constructive work or seeking common ground, as someone said. That makes me feel like I am just the opposition.

I would like to hear what my hon. colleague has to say about the objective and purpose of opposition days in a democratic Parliament.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, I remember sitting in the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs at three in the morning one day in the previous Parliament because of a filibuster from the opposition. There was a suggestion that we enter into a debate to consider changes to the Standing Order. That was so out of bounds from the opposition, that we would even engage in a discussion to proceed that way. The opposition has an opportunity, as I have stated, every day in the House to call the government to account. It will have that in five minutes. Every day that happens.

The opposition has said repeatedly it will not change the Standing Order, and should not change Standing Orders unless there is the consent of all parties. That seems to have disappeared today.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I think if people were neutral on the issue of the motion brought forward by the Conservatives today, after hearing the member's speech, they would be inclined to support that motion because they would recognize the importance of having the opposition bring forward issues that the government denies.

Clearly, the sense that I get from Liberal members is that their definition of democracy is what the government puts forward and the government agenda only. This then reinforces the argument that what we need is more opposition days to counter the government's rhetoric.

The member talked about the government's environmental initiatives, but in my riding we are trying to force through a major pipeline that will cost at least $20 billion. This is the most massive fossil fuel subsidy in Canadian history, yet the government has a line that is completely contrary to that.

Is the member not actually reinforcing the importance of having opposition days, to get those diverse points of view on the floor of the House of Commons and to have Parliament make decisions that may be counter to the government line?

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, it is interesting that the hon. member talks about a pipeline that is subsidized and is being overseen by an NDP-Green coalition government.

That aside, I sat on the PROC committee with the hon. member David Christopherson for years. He talked about the need for consensus in any change to the Standing Orders. Having heard that from the NDP for the two years that I sat on that committee, it is shocking now to hear from the NDP that “Well, this benefits us, so it is okay. We should just go ahead with this. Do not worry about what we said in the last Parliament or the Parliament before. In this one instance, it benefits us. Do not read Hansard. We would rather you not do that.”

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, there is a lot to unpack there from the parliamentary secretary.

I thought it was interesting that the member for Spadina—Fort York was nodding along while the parliamentary secretary was upset about heckling in the chamber and while he is next to an arch-heckler in this place. They talk about collaboration as they continue to heckle.

In talking about collaboration, I had a FedDev announcement in my riding this week and, lo and behold, the parliamentary secretary and the minister did not even let the member know that they were going to be there. There was no collaboration.

Then in meetings with leaders of all parties recognized in the House, the Prime Minister does not invite the leader of the official opposition. When we talk about collaboration, it is pretty rich coming from that side, and if they are not going to hear from opposition parties, we are going to make sure that we are heard with more supply days.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, I cannot speak to the one announcement in the hon. member's riding, but I will speak to the last announcement in Niagara. It was at Brock University, and it was great to see the hon. member for Niagara Falls come and cut the ribbon on a new green energy facility there. This facility will cut greenhouse gas emissions, and it was funded under Kathleen Wynne's cap and trade program.

It was great to see the member in attendance after having been invited, smiling to see the benefits of cap and trade in helping the environment, helping Brock University, and bettering the community and all of Niagara.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Madam Speaker, I have listened intently and I wonder if my colleague could explain to Canadians what is really going on here.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Madam Speaker, if we take a step back, this is gamesmanship, pure and simple. When the Conservatives get an opposition day on a Friday, which is a perfectly legitimate thing for the government to do, they decide to team up with opposition parties to change the rules for their benefit.

What the opposition parties are clearly aligned on today is a blatant attempt to give them more opposition days, which means less time for government bills. Not only would this provide less time for government bills, but it would also slow the progress of the parliamentary process.

Opposition Motion—Additional allotted days in the supply periodBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member will have about one minute for questions and comments right after question period.

2010 Olympic and Paralympic GamesStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Patrick Weiler Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Madam Speaker, this month we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Canadians welcomed the world to Vancouver with glowing hearts to showcase and celebrate Canadian athleticism, talent and culture.

West Vancouver and Whistler hosted a number of Olympic events. In one of them, Alex Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal on home soil at Cypress Mountain.

The games provided a unique opportunity for the four host first nations to work together and to work with our communities to reconcile with them. The games showcased their language, culture and history on a global scale, providing a model for our country and for future Olympic games.

The games were also a catalyst for critical improvements to our communities, including the Sea to Sky Highway, the Canada Line, affordable housing and a green building industry. The games united our country to celebrate a record number of medals, capped off by the storybook ending of Sidney Crosby's golden goal 10 years ago today.

These games provided memories we will never forget, and I look forward to again hosting the world in Vancouver in 2030 and beyond.

Palliative CareStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Tamara Jansen Conservative Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, there is one thing I have learned since being elected, and that is that what the left says never means what people might think it means.

When Liberals talk about unity, what they really mean is “My way or the highway”. When they talk about diversity, they never mean diversity of opinion. When they talk about truth and reconciliation, they have no intention of respecting elected band councils unless it is convenient. When they talk about consultation, what they really mean is, “Let me tell you what I think.” When they say “dying with dignity”, they only mean euthanasia.

Canadians look to this House for compassion, truth and leadership. In light of this week's debate on Bill C-7, let us ensure that when we say we are committed to quality palliative care, we truly mean what we say we mean.

Pure Art FoundationStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this House to recognize the good work of the Hudson-based Pure Art Foundation. Founded by Robert and Brigitte McKinnon and their incredible boys, the foundation is committed to empowering people and building stronger communities. With initiatives in Peru, Tanzania and Nepal, the impact of the foundation cannot be overstated.

On March 5, their work continues with 68 dedicated and generous people departing for Peru, including 13-year-old Laurelie, 88-year-old Donna Munroe and our community's very own Father Demers. They will pursue the wonderful work of the foundation by building four additional homes, starting two new medical campaigns with the help of local nurses, enhancing the sewing initiative with the addition of financial literacy programs and enrolling 300 kids in the school program during their trip.

Today, on behalf of all members of my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, I would like to wish them all a safe and productive journey and thank them for the work they are doing in bettering the lives of not only those in our community but also all around the world.

I wish them all the best and and I wish them safe travels.

Homelessness in VictoriaStatements By Members

February 28th, 2020 / 11 a.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, my riding of Victoria is facing a serious housing and homelessness crisis. Too many people are living in precarious housing, or worse, finding themselves sleeping on the street. We need to take urgent action to invest in affordable, social and co-operative housing.

We should be taking the lead from community organizations like the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness and the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness in adopting a Housing First approach. The role of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness is particularly critical, because we know that indigenous peoples are eight times more likely to end up homeless. Their work is centred on the lived experience and perspectives of indigenous peoples.

We need a housing strategy by indigenous people for indigenous people. Housing is a human right. In a country as wealthy as Canada, no one should have to go without a safe place to call home.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Madam Speaker, I was first elected as the member for Outremont one year ago this week. It is a tremendous honour to be here in the House to speak on behalf of the 100,000 residents of my riding.

Protecting the environment is the number one concern for residents of Outremont and Mile-End. I recently met with several mothers who are members of For Our Kids, an organization that urges us all to do more to fight climate change.

Our government has made protecting the environment a top priority. We have committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and we know that the best way to get there is through a price on pollution.

As a mother of a two-year-old, I share the fears of the parents in my riding, for whom the number one concern is the planet we will be leaving our children. We know we need to do more, and I will join them in that fight against climate change.

OCHL VolunteerStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Madam Speaker, given Oshawa's long hockey history, it is not surprising that many families in my riding spend their winter nights and early mornings at the arena, but as much fun as our kids have playing the game they love, no minor hockey team, game or league exists without the hard-working volunteers who make them possible.

Since he was 17 years old, Dave Glazier has spent much of this life giving back to the OCHL, one of the local house league associations in my riding. Like many others in Oshawa, Dave spent his days on the General Motors assembly line during his working career, but his nights and weekends have been spent at the rink. As a coach, a board member and a tournament convener at the annual Heritage Classic, Dave's love for hockey has shown no bounds, and his volunteer work has been his way of sharing that with young players.

Dave will be retiring from his volunteer work with the OCHL come the end of this season, and hockey in Oshawa will not be the same without him. I thank him for the tremendous work he has done for the past 50 years and wish him a happy retirement.

Shipbuilding Program for African Nova ScotiansStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Madam Speaker, as we celebrate Black History Month, I want to recognize the 19 students currently enrolled in Irving Shipbuilding's Pathways to Shipbuilding for African Nova Scotians.

In June of this year, these students will graduate and start their careers as welders at Halifax Shipyard, where they will build the next fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. This program is a collaboration between Irving Shipbuilding, the Nova Scotia Community College, the government and community groups such as the East Preston Empowerment Academy. This program also creates opportunities for African Nova Scotians to learn a trade and establish long-term careers in shipbuilding, an industry in which these groups have been under-represented.

I invite all members of this House to join me in congratulating the 19 students, as well as the people who are involved in this special program.

Ontario By-electionsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise in this House today to speak about the provincial by-elections held yesterday in Ottawa—Vanier and Orléans.

Voters in both ridings sent a resounding message to Doug Ford and elected two strong Liberal community champions in Stephen Blais and Lucille Collard.

Stephen and Lucille ran outstanding campaigns focused on education, health care and the Conservatives' failure in Ontario. I know that they will proudly represent their community and the city of Ottawa. I am eager to start working with them to move forward on issues affecting the region.

Congratulations to Stephen and Lucille, and to their outstanding team of volunteers in a hard-fought campaign and an impressive victory.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, National Volunteer Week is still a few weeks away, but it is never too early to appreciate the work and impact volunteers have in our communities.

During National Volunteer Week, I will once again be hosting the 2020 Barrie-Innisfil Volunteer Awards on Friday, April 24, at 12:30 in the afternoon. This is the fifth year that Barrie—Innisfil residents and organizations will be recognized for their kindness, generosity and compassion to youth, families and seniors.

Very soon, if they haven't already, residents in Barrie—Innisfil will be receiving in their mailboxes a form that they can complete to tell me how volunteerism has impacted their lives. They can also nominate someone they know or an organization doing amazing things to help others in our communities. Nomination forms are also available on my website at johnbrassard.com or in my Barrie—Innisfil office. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 3, at 5:00 p.m..

I thank every volunteer in Barrie—Innisfil and across Canada for all that they do to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Coldest Night of the Year WalkStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Adam van Koeverden Liberal Milton, ON

Madam Speaker, I proudly grew up in community housing, with my brother Luke and my mother Beata, at Chautauqua Co-op. My mom is the community coordinator at Briarview Co-op, and I join her in championing co-op housing as a solution for poverty and housing insecurity in Canada.

This past weekend in Milton I joined my neighbours for the Coldest Night of the Year walk. Miltonians walked two, five and 10 kilometres in support of Milton Transitional Housing, raising almost $60,000. I want to make special mention of Bob and Mary Walker, the original organizers of this event in Milton. They are both in their nineties now, and they have walked every single year, true champions of this cause.

Our government introduced Canada's first-ever poverty reduction strategy, and the recent Canadian income survey indicates that over one million Canadians have been lifted out of poverty since 2015. Collectively, we have achieved Canada's lowest rate of poverty ever.

Our plan is working, but better is always possible. I am thrilled to support that work on behalf of my neighbours in Milton and across Canada.