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

Visually Impaired CanadiansStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Madam Speaker, like many of my colleagues, one of my favourite aspects of this career is connecting with people across my riding by door knocking.

During the last campaign, I met a family at the door in Kenora. They have an amazing five-year-old daughter named Jo-Hannah. She is intelligent. She is full of character. I have no doubt in my mind that she will find a way to accomplish her greatest dreams.

Jo-Hannah was rendered completely blind from birth. Diagnosed at the age of four months, she has been learning throughout her life how to deal with the challenges that presents.

A simple task such as distinguishing between a harmful cleaning product or a bottle of juice can prove to be a barrier to Jo-Hannah's independence.

That is why I want to take this opportunity to remind all members of the House that we must do more to ensure that people like Jo-Hannah, the other 1.5 million visually impaired Canadians, have a safer and more accessible life. After all, it is up to all of us to work toward building a more inclusive society.

CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Madam Speaker, I have found myself reflective on the promise of Canada, a country few want to leave and many want to call home.

I have walked past “shut down Canada” signs, and been sworn at in the street by people holding those signs.

It is my daughter Donna's birthday today. She is a compassionate law student who fiercely defends the rights of women. What is this Canada she is inheriting?

I think on sacrifices of our ancestors, including first nations. I think of their deprivations and their fierce belief that this was a home worth fighting and dying for. I also think of how, in modern times, our freedoms in Canada are precious and too easily lost, freedoms such as peaceful protest, the dignity and self-worth that comes from work well done, the ability to provide for one's family, and the hopeful joy of a new parent.

However, I confess that I am worried for my country right now. We are having trouble finding our balance and finding our rhythm.

Helping others is a tried and true way to put our own egos aside and do good works from the heart out. Let us all embrace that challenge.

Believe in Canada.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Madam Speaker, the theme for Black History Month is “Canadians of African Descent: Going Forward, Guided by the Past”.

I believe all of us, regardless of ethnicity, can find inspiration and guidance in the stories of trail-blazing African Canadians, people like Windsor resident James L. Dunn, a 19th century black businessman who sued the Windsor Board of Education for its segregationist practices in 1883.

He lost the case, but continued the fight by being elected as a school board trustee and desegregating all of the city's schools. He went on to be elected as a town councillor and continued changing policies from the inside. It is fitting that Windsor's newest school be named after him.

However, one does not have to look into the past to find inspiration. In my riding of Windsor West we lost four outstanding individuals of African descent in 2019: Daphne Clarke, one of the founders of Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women; Brian Kersey, a longtime labour and human rights activist; Freida Steele, one of Windsor's first black nurses who co-founded the Windsor and District Black Coalition; and Shelley Harding-Smith, Canada's first black female master electrician, a long-time school board trustee and a personal mentor of mine.

Let us all learn from their examples.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, on March 8, we will celebrate International Women's Day.

Current events regularly remind us that the battle has not yet been won and that we need to continue to promote feminism for as long as it takes.

March 8 is not only a day to show how proud we are to be women, but also a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the feminist struggle here and around the world.

There are still far too many cases of femicide. In 2020, far too many women are still being killed simply because they are women, and the number of cases of discrimination and violence against women is growing. What is more, some rights that we took for granted are under attack now more than ever. That is not to mention the still significant inequality between men and women. We are still not treated the same way because of our gender.

Let us make our voices heard on social, political, economic and cultural issues. We must stand together in solidarity. Let us stand up for women' rights—

International Women's DayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Lethbridge.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Madam Speaker, on March 8 we celebrate International Women's Day. We celebrate women from all countries, all ethnicities and all faiths. We celebrate that all women are valuable and have incredible contributions to make to society.

Every woman is full of potential and able to positively impact the world. Every woman deserves an equal opportunity to do so. Many women, unfortunately, get up each day and face discrimination, harassment and perhaps even violence. This is unacceptable in a country as great as ours.

Today, we renew our commitment to creating a world where women and men exist as equals, people of equal value, equal worth and equal dignity.

Today, we celebrate the greatness in each and every woman across this country and around the globe. Today, we commit to being her champion. She is strong. She is capable. She is intelligent. She is talented. She is inspiring. She is a grandmother, mother, spouse, daughter, sister, niece, friend and coworker,

Today, we commit to empowering women everywhere.

Real Acts of CaringStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam has been a little extra kind lately. From February 9 to 15, students and teachers in my riding spread the word of committing kind and caring acts.

Real Acts of Caring began at Central Community School in Port Coquitlam in 2005. Students from across the riding have since supported this idea in their own schools and around our community. This year, Real Acts of Caring Week again had our community members doing something kind for one another and not expecting anything in return.

I would like to thank all those who participated and encourage everyone to continue caring about being kind.

The EconomyOral Questions

February 28th, 2020 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, we learned today that in the last three months of 2019 our economy ground to a halt with a pathetic 0.3% growth rate and big declines, again, in business investment in machinery. Last year the U.S. economy grew almost 50% faster than here in Canada. By the way, this is all before the impacts of the coronavirus and the illegal blockades. Who knew that when they shut down major projects, raise taxes and wrap business in red tape, the economy stops moving?

When will the government realize that a week later equals a weak economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, with respect, the hon. member seems to be ignoring the enormous success the Canadian economy has experienced over the past number of years.

I will remind him we are at record low levels of unemployment. We have added more than one million new jobs to the Canadian economy. We have more women working in the Canadian economy than at any point in our history to date.

If the hon. member would take a break from running down the Canadian economy, he might actually realize that foreign direct investment is up, more people are working and we are experiencing an economic growth record that the Conservatives would blush at.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Before it gets any worse, I just want to remind members to hold their comments and questions. There are opportunities to ask questions during question period, but there is also an opportunity to hear the answer. I would ask that the heckling stop.

The hon. member for Carleton.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, the member is absolutely right, Conservatives would blush if we were presiding over these terrible numbers.

Here we have the economy grinding down to a rate of 0.3%, and a third consecutive quarter in which business investment in machinery has collapsed. The economy is grinding to a halt, and that is even before the blockades started to take effect.

When will the government realize that “don't worry, be happy” is not an economic plan?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, the hon. member has completely misconstrued the plan that has actually led to over one million jobs being created in the Canadian economy.

I will remind him of some of the measures we put in place to help this development become a reality. We have invested by reducing the small business tax from 11% to 9%. We have created a new and more effective regulatory regime that will help projects move forward more effectively. We have engaged in international trade negotiations, and we are now the only G7 economy that has a free trade agreement with every other G7 economy.

We have a million new jobs, more people working and growth that would make the Conservatives jealous.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, I reiterate that these terrible numbers are from before the new illegal blockades took effect.

This quarter we are going to experience the repercussions of illegal protestors blocking the full functioning of our economy, something that the Prime Minister encouraged when he stood in the House of Commons and celebrated them as great defenders of human rights.

The reality is that this illegal blockade of our economy represents a war on working people. When will the government stand up and fight back?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Madam Speaker, our government is working on a peaceful resolution to the conflict. There has been progress in the past week. There is now one blockade remaining on a Canadian railway near Montreal. We are working very hard. The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations is currently in British Columbia, where she met with the hereditary chiefs to discuss a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Trains are once again running in the Belleville area on a line that is crucial to the Canadian economy. We have made progress.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, the truth is that we are in the fourth week of a major crisis for the Canadian economy. This crisis is entirely a product of this government's inertia and lack of leadership. That is the truth. Yesterday, Quebec's natural resources minister sounded the alarm. Quebec is—

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. There seems to be a problem hearing the interpretation.

I would ask the hon. member to start over, now that everything is working again.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, this is week four of the rail crisis in Canada, a crisis that was entirely created by the inaction of this government, which has shown mediocre leadership these past few months. Unfortunately, this is harming the economy in Canada and Quebec. Yesterday, Quebec's natural resources minister said that we are days away from a major propane crisis. Propane is very important to the economy. We know that Quebec already went through a propane crisis in November.

What does the government plan to do to respond to this very worrisome problem for Quebec's economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Madam Speaker, I share the public's concern and impatience for finding a peaceful resolution to this conflict. That has been our goal from the start. Our priority is dialogue, which is what the provincial premiers also asked for when they met the Prime Minister last week.

There is now just one remaining rail blockade in Canada. Two days ago, rail traffic resumed on the Belleville rail line, which is critical to Canada's economy and the shipping of propane to Quebec and eastern Canada.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, during all this time, containers piled up, ports were blocked and the trains that were not running were lined up one after the other.

Perhaps the Minister of Transport meant to reassure Canadians yesterday, but he did exactly the opposite. He said it was going to take months for the Canadian economy to get back to normal for the movement of goods in Canada.

Is there anyone in this government who can set the record straight for Canadians and tell them when the economy might finally get back to normal after three weeks of government inaction?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, the government fully understands the impacts that these blockades are having across the country. I would like to remind the hon. member that the Minister of Transport and his department helped facilitate an agreement between CN and CP to get rail traffic going and that up to 70% of CN's goods were flowing down the tracks.

Exaggerating the shortages does not benefit Canadians. There is some backup. We hope to get everything back moving and we are moving in the right direction.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has been saying from day one that the Prime Minister needs to do something about the rail crisis. For over two weeks now, since February 13 to be exact, the Bloc has been proposing mediation. For 10 days now, we have been saying that the RCMP must withdraw from the Wet'suwet'en territory and the work must be halted. The government finally woke up in the past 48 hours. The government has completely mismanaged this crisis, despite our proposals.

Now will someone at least manage the aftermath of the crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Scarborough—Rouge Park Ontario

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

Our government has been working around the clock to resolve this issue in a peaceful and lasting way. Our Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations is currently in British Columbia along with her B.C. counterpart in Smithers, to have continued discussions with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. We are encouraged that all parties have worked together to create the necessary conditions to meet.

I want to quote the hereditary chiefs who made it clear to their supporters yesterday that they now “need time to have discussions...in an atmosphere of” respect. We look forward to those discussions.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Madam Speaker, that was not what I was asking. I was talking about the aftermath of the crisis, even if it is not quite over. It is difficult to assess the cost of the rail crisis because it has not been resolved yet. Even the Minister of Transport believes that it could take months for rail transportation to return to normal.

At this point, we may well be talking about billions of dollars in losses for our businesses, not to mention what the families of laid-off workers have lost. Quebec even made a commitment to provide emergency assistance to businesses.

Will the government provide financial support to the businesses and workers affected?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, as I have said, the government understands the significant impacts that these blockades have had across the country. I know we are working hard to resolve the issues that are outstanding and focusing on negotiation as the best way to solve this in a lasting and meaningful way. We will continue to do that. We hope to hear progress from the meetings with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and look forward to hearing from her from British Columbia.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister's failure of leadership has forced another 1,500 auto workers in Windsor Essex out of their jobs. The Liberals have given up on the auto sector. They cancelled the automotive investment fund, they ignored the “auto czar”, and, like the Conservatives, have refused to bring in a national auto strategy to support the assembly and supply chain.

What will it take? How many jobs have to be lost? How many communities have to be devastated before the Liberals realize that this industry and the Canadians who work for it are worth fighting for?