House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was universal.

Topics

Opposition Motion—PharmacareGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I will go back to the question I asked earlier. Why does the motion not include an option for Quebec and any other province to opt out of the program with full compensation? That would have enabled us to work together instead of forcing us to vote against the motion. We agree with our colleagues' emotional pleas. We would have liked to see it in writing. We no longer have faith in promises.

Why did they not put it in writing?

Opposition Motion—PharmacareGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, it goes without saying. Of course we are talking to Quebeckers about this. I spent more than 10 years of my life in Quebec. I lived in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, in the Eastern Townships, in Montreal and in the Outaouais. The current pharmacare program is good, but it should be improved. That is what Quebeckers say when we talk to them about this. Too many pharmaceuticals are not covered.

If the federal government contributed its share, then of course Quebec could decide how to spend it. That might compensate, but it would also help improve the program. This is in Quebeckers' best interest. It is in everyone's interest to have a pharmacare program so that nobody has to beg or borrow money or go without the medications they need.

Opposition Motion—PharmacareGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, the government has an infrastructure bank that does not really fund much infrastructure. We have a centralized payroll system that was supposed to save us millions of dollars but, when it was finally put in place by the government and the button was pushed to start it up, we ended up with many public servants not being paid.

How is the member so confident that a national program could be implemented when there are 10 provincial systems that do a fairly good job? There could be improvements. This is an area where there are so many complexities, including drug choices and millions of Canadians. Does the member think that a national program with such complexity could be put in operation? Will we end up with another situation like the Phoenix pay issue, with so many lives on the line?

Opposition Motion—PharmacareGovernment Orders

March 12th, 2020 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, my brief answer is Tommy Douglas. He pushed the dream of national, universal, publicly administered medicare. The Conservatives at the time were raising the same concerns. There is not a single Conservative in this House today who would stand up and say they want to get rid of universal, publicly administered medicare, because even they understand the importance of having a program in place that benefits everybody.

Even the Conservatives will be convinced. If we pass the motion over the next few days, Conservatives 10 years from now will stand up and say yes to universal pharmacare, because they will see the benefits for their constituents and all Canadians.

Opposition Motion—PharmacareGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Before I recognize the first statement, I want to remind members that there is quite a bit of chatter going on right now and it is very difficult to hear.

Out of respect for the members who will be making their statements, and then during questions and comments, I would ask people to keep their chatter down. It is not just here on the floor of the House of Commons, but also up in the galleries.

The hon. member for Sydney—Victoria.

MusiCounts Teacher of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jaime Battiste Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise today to commend and congratulate a Cape Breton teacher and musician. Mr. Carter Chiasson, a teacher at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, was awarded the 2020 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. This award recognizes inspirational and passionate Canadian music educators' impact on students.

We all remember that teacher who went above and beyond the call, who did more than instruct but inspired. Carter's dedication and talent has helped students reach their amazing musical potential over many years. Recently, Carter's rendition of The Beatles' Blackbird sung in the Mi'kmaq language by Emma Stevens has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and was nominated for a Nova Scotia music award for best music video. When Sir Paul McCartney himself praises someone's video publicly, the person knows he or she has reached greatness.

I congratulate Carter on this well-deserved honour.

Shop Local: AirdrieStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Madam Speaker, in the face of challenging times for local businesses in Alberta, the small business community in Airdrie has banded together.

Lindsey Cybulskie and other local business owners in the community joined forces and created a Shop Local Facebook group. The reaction to the group has been incredibly positive. New members joined from across Airdrie and the Facebook group dramatically expanded in size. It provides a platform through which to share positive reviews, spread the word about exciting events and allows residents of Airdrie to explore local business options.

The community came together and the Facebook group has transformed into a movement that supports and empowers local businesses in Airdrie. Shop Local: Airdrie has led events, such as a flash mob lunch date; a selfie challenge that encouraged community members to take a selfie with a business and its owner; and a midnight madness event, where local businesses were open late for Christmas shopping. The Facebook group now has over 11,000 members.

The Shop Local: Airdrie movement has become a unifying force, supporting small businesses and reminding us all of the great strength in our community.

Women's Entrepreneurship StrategyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, as parliamentary secretary, I meet so many women in business, whether in Montreal or across the country. I want to share with the House what we are doing to help women entrepreneurs. Our government launched the very first women's entrepreneurship strategy, and we have already put $2 billion on the table.

Export Development Canada just doubled the amount available to women-owned exporters. The Business Development Bank of Canada already has a fund devoted to women.

Whether it is through our trade commissioner service that helps hundreds of thousands of women export, or providing access to capital through the BDC, or our women entrepreneurship fund, we are committed to doubling the number of women-led businesses in this country, because a women's place is at the head of the table.

Green Cafeteria ProjectStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Rhéal Fortin Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an era of climate change, and given the importance of taking measures for the health of our planet, I want to highlight a remarkable initiative launched by students at the École polyvalente Saint-Jérôme in my riding.

A dozen students took it upon themselves to create a mini sorting centre in their cafeteria in order to reduce waste and its impact on the environment. This project, called “Cafétéria verte”, is supported by the Fondation Monique Fitz-Back and backed by many stakeholders in my community, including the Rivière-du-Nord RCM, the Carrefour Jeunesse-emploi Rivière-du-Nord and the Tricentris sorting centre.

I want to commend this initiative and the students behind this environmentally responsible project.

Way to go, Rosalie, Manuel, Victorianne and Émylie.

On behalf of myself and my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I can assure them of our unwavering support in the fight against climate change.

IslamophobiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 15, 2019, a terrorist stepped into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayers. He gunned downed 51 people and injured 49 others, women, men and children. On his weapon, he had the name of the terrorist who shot worshippers right here in Canada at the Quebec City mosque on January 29, 2017.

There is no mistaking that this attack was a result of Islamophobia. The consequence of this hate is families who are mourning their loved ones today and every day.

It should never feel normal to see news about attacks like this, but violent hate crimes seem to be more and more commonplace around the world. In the face of this, we as elected officials need to speak out against hate and work toward a more inclusive Canada. It falls on every one of us not to just send our thoughts and prayers, but to lead with action.

Beyond Borders Circle of ChangeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to highlight the Kindness Wins initiative in my community of Lloydminster. Beyond Borders Circle of Change awards Kindness Wins grants to schools that pick a project that intentionally embodies that message.

Last week, I had the opportunity to join Madame Michaud's grade 2 class at École St. Thomas, who looked beyond our community to spread kindness. These creative and thoughtful students crafted crosses and cards with messages of gratitude for our Canadian Forces men and women in uniform. These students had previously made Christmas cards for our serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and wanted to demonstrate their continued appreciation.

Our Canadian Armed Forces selflessly safeguard the freedoms and values that we enjoy every day here in Canada. It is truly encouraging to see these young students understand and appreciate their sacrifices. I would like to congratulate École St. Thomas' students for a job well done. I invite all members of this House to help spread their message that kindness wins.

Cain's QuestStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the organizers, sponsors, racers and volunteers of Cain's Quest 2020. Labrador is the home for Cain's Quest snowmobile race.

Through some of the most rugged and challenging lands in Canada's north, this race is one of tremendous endurance. Through 3,100 kilometres of land, over 19 checkpoints with 100 snowmobilers, it is one of the most enduring races on the planet today. This year, we also had two women's teams, one from Canada and the U.S. and one from Finland, and I want to give a big shout-out to them. Cain's Quest really pushes both the individual and the machine to the limits. It takes skill, stamina and determination.

I want to congratulate all those who took part and the winners of the cup, Rod Pye of Lodge Bay and Darryl Burdett of Cartwright, the Mighty Haulers, on their championship win in Cain's Quest.

GA InternationalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the great pleasure of visiting a business located in my riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. GA International is a world leader in cryogenic labels. GA International's clients have very specific, unusual needs. For example, a laboratory may need labels to identify cryogenic storage flasks subject to extreme temperatures as low as -196°C and as high as 121°C.

On behalf of the hon. Minister of Economic Development, I was pleased to announce that this outstanding Quebec business would be receiving a contribution of $162,000 from a Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions program to adopt an enterprise resource planning system. This contribution will create 36 new jobs, on top of the 40 jobs that already exist. GA International expects to double its production by the end of 2020.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was raised on a farm where I learned the value of money and the importance of financial planning.

With every budget the Liberals put out, they continue to add billions of dollars to our national debt. This is not budgeting, this is reckless spending. There are now so many uncertainties in the Canadian economy, with companies like Teck and investors like Warren Buffett unwilling to invest in Canada. Now, combined with the coronavirus, the future of the Canadian economy is looking pretty bleak.

I am sure the Liberals will paint a pretty picture that navigating our turbulent economy will be like gently floating down a stream in an inner tube, and it might even be enjoyable. I wonder what theatrical words the Prime Minister will use to describe why we are heading straight over Niagara Falls.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 8 was International Women's Day.

I would like to highlight a community not-for-profit organization from Mississauga, Indus Community Services. It has served my community for over 33 years, providing newcomer services, housing information, health services and senior care. I was happy to hear about their women-oriented programs. Through the advocacy, counselling, empowerment and safety program for women, they provide culturally responsive counselling to victims of domestic or family violence and abuse. Each one of us has a role to play in creating a more positive and equal world.

I would like to thank organizations like Indus that have made such dreams possible for women to participate freely, fully and equally in our economies and in society, free to realize their full potential. Every woman deserves to live a life free from fear of abuse or violence. Let us continue to celebrate women's contributions, stand up for women's rights and listen to women's voices, not only on International Women's Day, but every day of the year.

Women's Huskies BasketballStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the University of Saskatchewan's women's basketball team defeated Brock 82-64 to claim the U Sports Women's Basketball Championships. For the Huskies, it was their second bronze baby in the last five years.

Seventeen years ago I was at the news conference when they decided to hire head coach Lisa Thomaidis. The program then was dead last in the country. Now with coach Thomaidis, they have built the number one team in the country. I should add Lisa will be the head coach of the national team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Sunday was a total team effort. Player of the game Summer Masikewich had 20 points, nine rebounds. The championship MVP Sabine Dukate had eight three-pointers and had a total of 24 points. Katriana Philipenko added 11 points. Libby Epoch, along with Carly Ahlstrom, both put up nine.

Congratulations to the Huskie program. It has done us proud.

COVID-19Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was prepared to rise today to give a statement regarding what I believe to be the Liberal government's failure to stand up for our energy industry, specifically by not supporting Teck Resources' frontier oil sands mine, but today another partisan speech is the last thing that my constituents or Canadians need to hear. There will be plenty of time for holding the Liberal government to account.

Today as we face the pandemic of COVID-19 we learn that the Prime Minister and his wife have entered self-isolation. We learn of new cases every day. I urge Canadians not to give in to fear. We are going to carry on. We are going to survive, and we are going to be stronger than ever.

I want to extend my heartfelt prayers to the Prime Minister and his family and to all Canadians who are suffering. God bless them all.

Perla de PeraltaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of the finest Vancouver Kingsway citizens I have had the privilege of knowing and serving, my dear friend Mrs. Perla de Peralta. I am deeply saddened to report of Perla's untimely passing on March 8.

Perla was one of those rare persons who was universally loved, respected and cherished. She was kind, gracious and generous. She was wise, patient and considerate. She carried herself with extraordinary dignity and decency.

Perla was a pillar of our community at large and an icon of the Canadian Filipino community in particular. Her leadership of many Filipino groups, most recently the Filcanes New Era Society, spanned decades. Throughout, she demonstrated outstanding competence, integrity and energy.

“Go to your Delfin, your family, your Lord and the angels, my dear Perla.”

Perla will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

Jani BarréStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a woman from Saint-Hyacinthe who is a true hometown hero. Jani Barré has brittle bone disease, which means she runs the risk of breaking a bone every time she moves.

Nevertheless, last month, she completed her fifth marathon in four hours and 47 minutes in Miami. This is a feat that most people with this disease will never accomplish. This month, Jani is on the front page of Pace magazine.

Her father, Bernard Barré, ran against me in the last election, and I still have the utmost respect for him. When we spoke at the one-hour and two-hour relay race event in Saint-Hyacinthe, he told me that Jani is totally fearless. He was right.

March 8 was International Women's Day, and this week, I would like to honour the first Quebec woman to complete marathons in a wheelchair.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, in June 2017 the Royal Canadian Legion first sounded the alarm on the veteran disability application backlog crisis, two years after the current government took office. By December, the Canadian Press was reporting that the backlog had grown to 29,000 cases, a 50% increase since March of that year. Here we are, three years later having spent $42 million, and the backlog has become worse, having now grown to more than 44,000 applications.

Today at committee, we received testimony that on February 24 of this year the minister said to union leadership in a closed-door meeting, “I don't really control the department.” The union left the meeting not feeling positive, and disappointed. Its leadership expressed concerns that nothing was going to change.

Sadly, this came as no surprise, since the minister told the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs two days ago that the department runs the department. We must ensure veterans are getting the care and support they need. It is time to end the backlog crisis. Veterans deserve better. They have earned it.

Acadia UniversityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have said it before in the House and it bears repeating: Acadia University is a key institution in my riding of Kings—Hants, and of course the entire Annapolis Valley.

Acadia is not only an excellent institution for higher learning and education, creating important relationships around the globe for Nova Scotia, the university also has a rich sporting tradition. Acadia's sporting tradition will add another chapter this weekend as Acadia plays host to the University Cup, a hockey tournament that brings together the top varsity programs from across the country, which is fitting given that Windsor, in Kings—Hants, is the birthplace of hockey.

This weekend, eight teams will vie for the title of national champion at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Acadia begins the tournament with a quarter-final matchup tomorrow evening against the University of Ottawa. As I stand proudly in the House wearing the Acadia Axemen jersey, I would like to wish all teams and players an enjoyable experience in Nova Scotia. Particularly, to the members of the host team, I say we are in their corner and go, Acadia, go.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I speak for all members when I convey our best wishes to the Prime Minister and his wife, and any other parliamentarians who may be affected by symptoms. We wish them a speedy recovery.

The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus to be a pandemic, and while the government says that the risk to Canadians is low, countries around the world are taking decisive action. Italy is one of the hardest-hit countries and it has initiated many measures to lock parts of that country down. However, when the final flight out of Italy landed here, passengers were not screened. No temperatures were taken and no one was quarantined. They were given a pamphlet and sent on their way.

Is the government convinced that a departmental pamphlet is enough to reduce the spread of this disease?

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by addressing all Canadians at this anxious time. As Canadians, we are fortunate to have an outstanding health care system and fantastic medical professionals. We need to continue to listen to our medical experts. They are telling us that the situation will get worse before it gets better. They also say that Canada is well prepared.

Our government will do whatever it takes to keep Canadians healthy and safe, and I know that is the commitment of all members of this House.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, communities across Canada are already reporting concerns about potential shortages of critical equipment like ventilators. This is a vital piece of medical equipment for managing symptoms of the disease. In countries like Italy, when cases spiked, local resources were overwhelmed and doctors were forced to make heartbreaking decisions. If what happened in Italy happens here, the results could be catastrophic.

Has the government secured a supplier to provide additional ventilators?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our absolute priority is the health and safety of Canadians. The federal government is providing, and will continue to provide, leadership in partnership with the provinces, territories and all Canadians. We are already leading a bulk national procurement effort to ensure Canadians have the necessary medical equipment. I want to be clear: This is not a time for us to quibble about federal and provincial responsibilities. This is a time for Canadians to work together, and that is what we are doing.