House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aluminum.

Topics

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, this morning a terrifying accident shook the people of Guernsey, Saskatchewan. This comes just a year after the derailment of a CP train in B.C. that killed Dylan Paradis, Andrew Dockrell and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer.

What have we learned from Lac-Mégantic?

The Transportation Safety Board is limited. The rail companies continue to put profits over the lives of workers and the safety of communities. Deregulation has proven deadly.

What is the government doing to ensure justice for the three men killed, and safety for communities like Guernsey and so many others across Canada?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are indeed very concerned about the derailment that occurred just outside of Guernsey, Saskatchewan this morning.

That is why I put in place a ministerial order that is going to reduce the speed of trains carrying dangerous goods for the next 30 days, as we examine why these derailments are happening. As members know, this is the second derailment in the area in the last two months.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year Canada is hosting its first world circular economy forum in Toronto, where industry leaders will have important discussions on building a circular economy that benefits people, the economy and the environment.

I know Guelph and Wellington County will be there promoting our smart cities initiative that is focused on creating Canada's first circular food economy.

Would the Minister of Environment and Climate Change please speak to the significance of this year's international forum?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Guelph for his advocacy on strong climate action.

This year's world circular economy forum will be the first in North America, and it is an opportunity for Canada to showcase its talent on the world stage. Canadian companies are at the forefront of clean technology, and many of our homegrown innovations involve zero waste.

By bringing together business and thought leaders from around the world, and sharing innovative ideas that help us reuse, remanufacture and create new economic opportunities, Canada can be a leader in clean jobs of the future.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, following the closure of the smelter in Belledune, New Brunswick, the province is hoping that a $1-billion iron ore processing facility will fill the void. It is expected to create 1,300 short-term jobs and more than 200 permanent jobs.

The Liberals claim that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, but they constantly throw up roadblocks that hurt Atlantic provinces. It is continuously “no” with the government, and New Brunswick deserves a “yes”.

Will the Liberals work with the Province of New Brunswick and support the Maritime Iron project, and the hundreds of jobs it will create?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the economy and the environment certainly need to go together as we move forward. The hon. member should know that with the project in question, the issue is the emissions of greenhouse gases, which is entirely a provincial issue.

Premier Higgs has a climate plan and a target, and it is up to him to determine how he is going to meet those emissions targets.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said one of his most important roles was to protect jobs. Did he mean only certain jobs were worthy of his protection?

He has failed to acknowledge the softwood lumber crisis in British Columbia. He did not put it in the mandate letter for the minister. The so-called softwood lumber action plan expired a while ago, and a lot of the money got doled out to provinces that were not even suffering from softwood tariffs.

Would the minister stand up today and commit to helping rural Canadians impacted by this forestry crisis?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo is from B.C., I would like to thank Premier Horgan, with whom I spoke with at length yesterday about a trip I am making to Washington tomorrow to work on softwood lumber, NAFTA, aluminum and other issues.

Premier Horgan worked closely with our federal government. Softwood lumber is a priority, and I want to congratulate B.C. producers on the important recent Department of Commerce ruling, which has confirmed, as we have long said, the fairness of our softwood lumber industry.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is all well and good, but the problem is that the lumber industry is not concentrated exclusively out west. It operates across Canada. In Quebec, it represents 60,000 jobs and an $18-billion economy. That is a lot of money. The new NAFTA or NAFTA 0.5 negotiations yielded nothing for lumber workers.

I would like the minister to explain why nothing was done. Tomorrow, can she guarantee Canadian workers that the discussions will bear fruit for once?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of respect for our hon. colleague, but I must say that he is wrong. The new NAFTA gives a lot to the softwood industry. It is vital for the softwood lumber industry because it gave us chapter 19, which is crucial for the softwood lumber industry. The new NAFTA also guarantees a free market for softwood lumber. For that reason, I urge the Conservatives not to bicker, and to support the ratification of the agreement.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Teck Frontier project represents an investment of $20.6 billion in northern Alberta's economy. Ten thousand jobs depend on this decision. If reconciliation with first nations means something, surely it means saying yes to economic development for indigenous peoples. Premier Jason Kenney said that if the Liberal government does not say yes to this project, it means the end of the oil sands and thousands of jobs in Alberta.

Is the Liberal government afraid to say yes to Premier Jason Kenney when it comes to the Teck Frontier project?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

February 6th, 2020 / 2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected this government to protect the environment, to take climate action, to grow the economy and to advance reconciliation. They also expect this government to oversee fair and thorough environmental assessments.

This is a major project that is under active consideration by our government. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the decision on this project must be made before the end of February. The government will consider a range of factors, including economic and environmental impacts, in making a decision.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been asking the government to be transparent since the spring, but it is no use. The government is dilly-dallying, hedging and avoiding the issue. It is incapable of being clear.

The Minister of Justice keeps expressing his opposition to Bill 21, and this week, he even invited Quebeckers to challenge it in court.

Will the Minister of Justice be clear and commit to not using Quebeckers' money to challenge a Quebec law that is broadly supported by Quebeckers?

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have been extremely clear in that regard. Bill 21 was introduced and debated in the Quebec National Assembly. It was passed by the Quebec National Assembly, and so it is now a Quebec law. It is currently being challenged by other Quebeckers, and we are following the situation with considerable interest. Period.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it feels like we are facing one of those committees where no one has seen or heard anything. They may be in the government, but they do not know anything that is going on.

The Minister of Justice issued an invitation to challenge Bill 21. He said, and I quote, “that is the right forum”.

One group did so. Ottawa gave them some money, but the government is telling us it had nothing to do with it.

The Liberals must think we are pretty stupid.

Can the minister perhaps tell us whether his government intends to give more money to other groups, in any way, through any program, so they can challenge a law that was passed legitimately by Quebec's elected representatives?

My question is for the Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, tearing one's shirt in anger only helps the shirt industry. There are some shirtmakers in my riding, actually. Before getting worked up, my colleague should get the facts straight. No money has gone to the school board. That is a fact. The committee is independent. That is another fact. Bill 21 was debated and passed in the National Assembly, and it has since been challenged by others. That is a fact too. We are simply monitoring the situation.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, from October 11 to 14, 2019, the public servants who work at 70 Crémazie Street in Gatineau were gobsmacked to learn they would have to work from home while the entire building was treated for bedbugs. This operation cost Canadian taxpayers more than $300,000.

Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement assure the House that protocols have been followed to prevent further infestations, for the sake of our public servants and Canadian taxpayers?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, the government takes the well-being of its employees very seriously.

Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to work closely with the building owners and federal departments to prevent any future pest-related incidents.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Liberal government does not understand basic economics. When a company raises its prices, consumers look to other suppliers. This is the case for Canada Post, which just raised the price of stamps.

With volumes declining and costs to Canadians and Canada's small and medium-sized businesses increasing, what is the minister's plan for Canada Post to attain financial sustainability?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr, Speaker, our government has introduced a new vision for Canada Post that puts service front and centre and fulfills our platform commitment.

Part of that vision includes reinvesting in Canada Post's services and innovations. A renewed Canada Post will provide high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians, no matter where they live. We look forward to working with the members opposite to resolve any further issues.

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the minister that her mandate letter calls on her to keep Canada Post services “at a reasonable price.” Raising postage rates is clearly not a way to do that.

The most recent Canada Post annual report shows an increase of 12% in the deferred revenue related to stamps and other postage. Can the minister explain this change?

Canada PostOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, we have taken immediate actions to support our new service first vision, including terminating the community mailbox conversion program, enhancing the accessible delivery program, reinvesting profits in Canada Post services and innovations instead of paying them as a dividend to the federal government, promoting Canada Post remittance services and renewing Canada Post's leadership.

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Speaker, housing in my riding is at a crisis level. Forty-three per cent of all homes in Northwest Territories either have affordability, suitability or adequacy issues. Although our government has invested significantly in housing, we know more needs to be done. There is immediate need to invest directly in housing in order to improve the lives of indigenous people in the Northwest Territories.

Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development update us on what is being done to address this issue?

HousingOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his leadership and strong advocacy on this important issue.

Our government is committed to supporting the housing needs of northern communities and indigenous peoples living in the north. That is why we have signed bilateral housing agreements with all three territorial governments and are investing $639 million in affordable housing through the national housing strategy. In addition to that, we are committed to investing $1.5 billion in affordable housing projects in Métis, first nations and Inuit communities.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, sometimes the government gets a taste of its own medicine when dealing with government red tape. From papers tabled by the current government, we have learned that completion of a simple project to build needed jetties at CFB Esquimalt has been delayed for four years because of new government regulations.

Can the Minister of Public Services and Procurement tell this House what measures are being taken to deal with these regulations imposed by Fisheries and Oceans that are delaying yet another government project?