House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Teck Frontier oil sands projects is good for Canadians from coast to coast. It will create nearly 10,000 jobs and inject $20 billion into the Canadian economy. Everything has been done by the book. Everything that was supposed to be done was done properly. All the steps were followed. The 14 first nations directly affected by the project have endorsed it. All the provincial and federal regulatory requirements have been fulfilled. Everything is in place. There is just one thing missing: the federal government's approval.

Why is the Liberal Party once again standing in the way of appropriate development of all of Canada's natural resources?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the government will take a number of factors into account in making a decision about this project, such as our promises to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, work toward reconciliation and create good jobs. This is a major project that our government is examining very closely. As required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, a decision will be made by the end of February.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, this House unanimously passed an NDP motion to help veterans by automatically carrying forward unspent funds to the following year. This did not happen.

Last year alone, the Liberal government shortchanged veterans by $381 million. While the department is facing staggering backlogs of disability claims and failing on more than half of its service standards, veterans are struggling to get their basic needs met.

Why is the government breaking promises to our veterans?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I know my hon. colleague cares.

The fact is that our benefits are demand-driven. This means that the money is always there for veterans. We are not leaving any money unspent. We are making sure that the money is always available.

In Veterans Affairs, our job is to improve our benefits and care for our veterans. I can assure my hon. colleague that is what we are doing, and that is what we will continue to do.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, over $100 million this year alone was left on the table. When we know veterans are struggling every day to get some of their key supports met, we know that we have to see the government do better.

I want to repeat that there was a unanimous motion where we all agreed, across every party in the House, to take care of veterans who we know are on wait-lists, waiting for the immediate services that they need now. We know that the service standards are not even close to meeting their targets, and we know that workers are getting burnt out every single day.

Why does this money continue to be left on the table?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again, my hon. colleague truly cares, but in fact we have hired quite a number of case workers. In fact, the previous government had fired most of them. We now have over 500 case workers.

As I indicated, our programs would be demand-driven, and the money—

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am having a hard time hearing the answer, and I am about 20 feet away from the hon. member.

I am sure the folks down at the other end are having a harder time, so I am just going to ask the hon. members to maybe keep it down and whisper to each other. I am sure, as we get older, we have a hard time hearing and they are shouting so that the person next to them can hear.

Believe me, it is not that bad.

The hon. minister.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we had a lot of work to do when we formed government. Along with that we invested $10 billion in veterans' benefits.

As I said before, we have and will continue to make sure that our veterans in this country are cared for.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, plastic pollution is a growing problem in our communities. Plastic waste ends up in our landfills, litters our parks and beaches, and pollutes our rivers, lakes and oceans. Canadians across the country, including the residents of Mississauga—Lakeshore, have made it clear that they want action.

Could the Minister of Environment and Climate Change please update the House on what the government is doing to tackle plastic pollution?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 3rd, 2020 / 2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for his advocacy on this issue.

Last week, our government released a robust science assessment of plastic pollution, which confirms that plastic pollution is harming our environment. In the coming weeks, we will announce next steps under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This will include steps toward a ban on harmful single-use plastics in 2021, and broader strategies to manage the life cycle of plastics. By tackling plastic pollution, we can seize on the economic opportunity of the circular economy and protect our environment.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers are trying to recover from last year's devastating harvest, but the carbon tax is only making it harder. Today, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan released some stunning numbers. They predict that our farmers will lose, on average, 12% of their total net income because of the carbon tax. For an average Saskatchewan grain farm, that means losing up to $15,000 in revenue. The Liberals' farm-killing carbon tax threatens the livelihood of Canadian farm families.

Why are the Liberals so intent on bankrupting farmers with their carbon tax?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the agricultural producers of Saskatchewan for providing me with additional information.

We recognize that 2019 was a very difficult year for them and all the farmers across Canada. It was challenging because of trade disruption and climate, as well. I am always open to listen to more information. I am working hard with my provincial colleagues, as well as with the industry, to find optimal practical solutions to support our farmers.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been trying because the Liberal policies are crushing Canadian agriculture.

The previous Liberal agriculture minister said that farmers were fully supportive of the carbon tax. The current Liberal agriculture minister does not seem to really care. She has admitted she is not even collecting data on the carbon tax and how it impacts Canadian farmers. The Liberal carbon tax is costing Canadian farmers tens of thousands of dollars. The APAS president, Todd Lewis, says that it is comparable to having 12% of one's paycheque just disappear.

Why is the Liberal agriculture minister standing idly by while the carbon tax bankrupts Canadian farm families?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, once again I want to thank the agricultural producers of Saskatchewan for sharing this information with me, which I received today. We stand by our farmers. We know that 2019 was a difficult year. We have done important work on improving our business risk management tools, and we are working as well with our provincial colleagues and with the industry.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Marylène Levesque was murdered by a man who was known for his violence against women. Not only was he convicted for murdering his wife, but he also had been banned from visiting Ms. Levesque's place of work due to his history of violence. What is truly shocking is that the Parole Board of Canada endorsed a society reintegration strategy that allowed him to meet women in order to address his “sexual needs”.

Will the minister fire the parole officer who put this man's “sexual needs” over the safety of women in his community?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as we have said, the tragic murder of Ms. Levesque should never have occurred, and that is exactly why we have ordered a thorough investigation with external advisers to take place and to determine all of the circumstances that gave rise to this tragedy. The investigation will be transparent, the findings will be shared with the public and our first priority will always be to keep Canadians safe. We will work tirelessly to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring again.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, there is not that much to investigate. It is right there in black and white: Parole Board members gave this killer permission to see escorts. Government-appointed board members gave him that permission. We asked the Prime Minister to fire them. What is he waiting for?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, in fact, last September, the Parole Board of Canada explicitly opposed letting this particular accused visit massage parlours while on day parole. That is why it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation to examine whether Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board of Canada followed the proper protocol, and what changes may be appropriate to prevent this from occurring again. We will get the facts and then we will hold individuals and organizations to account.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has spoken a great deal about its concerns with respect to the failure to protect Quebec's aluminum in CUSMA.

Naturally, jobs and economic impacts were mentioned, but we are also concerned because, in light of climate change, the whole world should be using Quebec aluminum. It is the greenest aluminum in the world and there is a risk that it will be replaced on the North American market by the dirtiest aluminum in the world.

How could the government agree to jeopardize our aluminum for the benefit of China's?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we did not agree to that.

I must point out that the new NAFTA is a good agreement for Canada, Quebec and our aluminum sector. Today, we have no guarantee for the aluminum used in North American auto manufacturing. Under the new NAFTA we will have a guarantee that 70% of the aluminum used is sourced in North America. I believe that 70% is better than nothing.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the lack of protection for Quebec aluminum in CUSMA is putting the brakes on six investment projects in Quebec at a time when the industry is on the verge of producing the first carbon neutral aluminum in the world. It is a complete revolution.

This lack of protection is benefiting China, which uses coal to produce 90% of its aluminum and produces eight times more greenhouse gas emissions than Quebec's aluminum industry. The government is penalizing the head of the class and favouring the worst student.

Why is the government depriving Quebec of a golden business opportunity in an era of climate change?

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to Quebec and the new NAFTA, I want to quote the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Legault, who said, “I think that the Bloc must defend the interests of Quebeckers, and it is in the interests of Quebeckers that this agreement be adopted and ratified”.

I think it is the duty of all members from Quebec to stand up for the interests of Quebec. In order to do that, they must ratify the new NAFTA, which is in the interests of Quebec and all of Canada.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2019 the Liberals left $105 million meant for veterans unspent. This, despite the Prime Minister promising he would not do so if elected, and after telling Canadian veterans that they were asking for more than the government could give.

How much of this $105 million would have been given to veterans if they were not trapped in the benefits backlog boondoggle of the Liberal government's making?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question, but I wish the member for Brantford—Brant had that feeling when the Conservative government was in power. In fact, when the Conservatives were in power, they fired 1,000 employees, which really cut and hurt the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Our government invested $10 billion in the Department of Veterans Affairs and also in benefits that are demand-driven. We always make sure that the funding is there for every veteran who is qualified to receive benefits.