House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was deal.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives neglected to invest in our veterans by shuttering nine veterans service centres. They neglected to invest in health care for our most vulnerable by shutting down refugee health care.

We made the decision to invest in Canadians and we have reduced poverty more than any other government, lifting a million Canadians out of poverty over these past years. We did it because we know that investing in Canadians and investing for our future by supporting the middle class and people working hard to join it is exactly what Canadians need from a government.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, some troubling circumstances that extend well beyond the economy could have significant consequences for Quebec's and Canada's economy.

The Minister of Finance said that, under the circumstances, he might renege on some of his election promises in order to save some money.

We need to do the complete opposite, in my opinion. We need to bolster the purchasing power of Quebeckers and Canadians, in particular that of seniors, who are, in every respect, more vulnerable in this crisis.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to commit to bolstering the purchasing power of seniors as they reach age 65?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we first formed government five years ago, we chose to invest in our seniors by increasing the guaranteed income supplement for the most vulnerable, invest in our students by increasing student grants, and invest in our families by creating the Canada child benefit.

We recognize that the coronavirus will present challenges for our workers, our families, our seniors and our business owners. We will be there to help them in difficult times.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the time to reel off a list of achievements is during an election campaign. Today we want to talk about the future, or even the very near future, because budget day is just a few days or weeks away.

To avoid saying something alarming, the Government of Canada is not saying anything at all. It seems to be doing far less than Quebec, which has taken clear action to reassure the public.

Could the Government of Canada at least send a clear message to seniors, who are the most vulnerable group in this situation, by promising to support their purchasing power as soon as they turn 65?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have always been here to take action for our seniors. That is why we increased the guaranteed income supplement for the most vulnerable seniors. We have invested in housing and home care. We are taking care of our seniors now, and we will take care of our seniors through the challenging times we are facing due to the coronavirus.

We will be here to support our seniors, just as we are here to support vulnerable Canadians across the country.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, health experts are telling people to stay home if they are sick. However, for those who do not have sick leave, that could mean losing their pay or even their job. We have been hearing about this COVID-19 crisis for weeks.

Last week all that the finance minister announced was that he would be making an announcement. Empty words from the Liberals do not help these workers to pay their bills. There is no firepower there.

These workers are trying to make the right choices for public health. When will the Prime Minister actually deliver?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware that many workers and families across the country are worried about the impacts of the coronavirus as it impacts the global economy and indeed the Canadian economy. That is why we will be announcing measures to help our workers and help Canadians right across the country as things evolve with the coronavirus.

We are following the best recommendations of experts, both in the health and medical sector and in the financial sector, to ensure that Canadians have the capacity to get through this with confidence.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour said the government is not hearing from workers who cannot afford to stay home. I say to get out of the boardrooms and talk to the workers on the streets in our communities.

B.C. has its first case of community transmission, and yesterday we had our first death due to COVID-19. To protect the health and safety of Canadians, B.C.'s medical health officer has asked Canada to delay our cruise season.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that that he will accept this advice? Exactly what support will he be providing for the workers and businesses?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning we have been coordinating very closely with provincial governments, like the Government of B.C., to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep our citizens safe and protect businesses.

We recognize there is going to be an impact on tourism industries because of the coronavirus. That is why we are working with provinces and various sectors to ensure that we are supporting Canadians through difficult times.

We need to keep Canadians and their families safe. We need to ensure that people can put food on their table and pay their rent. That is what this government is focused on, and it is what we will be able to do for Canadians.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, before COVID-19 hit and oil prices tanked and markets tumbled, the Prime Minister was setting the stage for Canada to fail. As soon as he was selected, he set out to do two things: one, kill our our energy sector, and two, spend as much as possible. Well, congratulations, Prime Minister, mission accomplished. Today, over $150 billion in energy capital has left, over 200,000 jobs are gone and another $100 billion has been added to the debt.

When will the Prime Minister finally stop inflicting such damage on this country?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.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

Mr. Speaker, the selective use of memory is simply astounding. If I look back to the Harper government's record, I will note that it added $150 billion to the national debt and had the slowest rate of economic growth since the Great Depression.

Over the past four and a half years—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to continue.

When we took office four and a half years ago, we started making the kinds of investments that would trigger economic growth.

What have the results been? About 1.2 million jobs were added to the Canadian economy, including more than 30,000 just in the past month. We have also made sure that the benefits of the growth that we are seeing actually land on the kitchen tables of families. More than one million Canadians are not living in poverty today who were four and a half years ago.

This is the kind of growth that we should trigger, growth that works for everyone.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has one of the worst unemployment rates in the G7, investment has dried up in this country, our dollar is down and we do not even know the impact of COVID-19 on the world economy, much less the Canadian economy. News flash, things are not going well. If the Prime Minister wants to blame somebody, he had better stop blaming Stephen Harper and look in the mirror, because he is to blame for the situation we are in right now.

When is the Prime Minister going to finally admit that he has done massive damage to our economy, things are not well and things need to change?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.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

Mr. Speaker, the feigned sanctimony coming from the Conservatives on these issues is simply difficult to accept. The facts that they rely upon are not facts at all.

Canada does not have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the G7. In fact, the unemployment rate in Canada today is lower not only than at any point during the Conservatives' term in office, but at any point in the past 40 years, since we started keeping track of those statistics.

If the Conservatives were operating in an echo chamber and actually looked to the facts, science and evidence, they would realize that the economy has been growing at a rate that would make the Conservatives jealous.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

March 10th, 2020 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Martel Conservative Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the demand for liquefied natural gas is steadily increasing around the world. In fact, it is expected to double by 2040. Our allies in Europe are looking to move away from coal and want to be independent from Russia. The GNL Québec project is the perfect way to meet their goals. It is a visionary, green project that brings investment, jobs, taxes and economic diversification.

What does the government plan to do to create favourable conditions for the project to be completed in Quebec and across Canada?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to working with the resource sector to ensure that the best projects are carried out to create jobs and long-term sustainable growth. We understand that GNL Québec intends to continue the assessment process as the company seeks new investment for its proposed project.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only is this government acting like the grasshopper and has set nothing aside for a rainy day, but its policies and inaction have driven investors out of the country. If people like Warren Buffett, with their billions of dollars, decided to turn their backs on Canada when everything was going well, what will happen now that the entire world is facing a real crisis?

Can the Liberal government tell us what it is going to do to get us out of this crisis that it has thrown us into with its out-of-control spending?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:30 p.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

Mr. Speaker, with respect, the fiscal health of Canada remains very strong today. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is, in fact, the strongest of any G7 economy. This is the case because we are making the kinds of investments that allow us to experience economic growth. Our debt is shrinking as a function of our economy. We are one of only two countries in the G7 that has a AAA credit rating from all the major credit agencies.

We have been able to make the kinds of investments that allow us to experience economic growth, add more than 1.2 million jobs to the economy and protect our fiscal position to make sure that we have the room to respond to the kinds of challenges that are now emerging as a result of global circumstances.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that Cenovus is cutting spending by 32% and waiting to decide on whether it should invest further in our country. This is another devastating blow to the province of Alberta. Add to this the cancelled investment from Teck and add to that cancelled investment from Warren Buffett, and it is clear that Canada's energy sector is in a huge crisis. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister stands idly by doing absolutely nothing and not taking it seriously. Energy companies are forced to make drastic changes just to survive.

What will the Prime Minister do in order to get Alberta back on track?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, our government remains fully committed to working with the resource sector in Canada to ensure that we move forward with the best projects and that they are carried out to create jobs and economic opportunity for all Canadians.

We know that in Canada and around the world global investors and consumers are increasingly looking for the cleanest products available in sustainable resource development. We fully intend to be working actively with the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and other provinces around the country to ensure that we continue to move forward in the right way.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that every Canadian is now vulnerable because of the Prime Minister. Even before the coronavirus, he spent the cupboards bare, adding billions in new debt and billions in deficits. Our economy had stalled to near zero growth and $150 billion in nation-building projects and the revenues that go with them had left Canada, including Warren Buffett pulling $4 billion out of a Quebec energy project.

Instead of blaming others or a virus, why will the Prime Minister not admit to Canadians that his weak leadership and his poor decisions have put Canada on the perilous fiscal cliff we are on right now?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.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

Mr. Speaker, this narrative coming from the Conservatives has absolutely no basis in reality. I will read a quote from The Economist. Kevin Milligan from the University of British Columbia said, “Any notion that the ‘fiscal cupboard is bare’ is irrefutably, absolutely, 100%, 180 degrees wrong.”

If we want to talk about cupboards being bare, let us talk about the cupboards of one million Canadians who were living in poverty with bare cupboards a few years ago. Let us talk about the cupboards that were bare of 300,000 Canadian children who were living in poverty a few years ago. Let us talk about the cupboards that were bare of 1.2 million Canadians who did not have jobs a few years ago and are working today.

The measures we are putting in place are growing the economy, creating jobs and making sure that Canadians who need help are receiving the help they need.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, two days ago, customs officers at Lacolle suspected an individual arriving by train from New York had coronavirus, so what did they do? They called Lacolle's first responders but did not tell them they thought the person had coronavirus. There was no protocol in place for customs officials. They even contacted Health Canada but have not received a response. Customs officers do not have access to adequate protective equipment.

My question is simple: Is there a protocol? If there is one, how come nobody at customs knew about it?