House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was impact.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Morrison Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, indecision becomes a decision with time. The Prime Minister has failed to decide if he wants to protect the cybersecurity of Canadians by abandoning Huawei. Many Five Eyes partners have warned us that Huawei poses a serious risk to Canadians. Just today, the U.S. sent a top official to plead with the Liberals to ban Huawei. However, instead of working together with our most important ally, senior Liberals called them bullies.

Will the Prime Minister stop name-calling, act to protect to Canadians and ban Huawei?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I really do feel compelled to straighten out the mischaracterization just presented. In fact, there is a very robust and important discussion going on between ourselves and our allies to ensure that the decision we make in Canada's best interests takes into full account all the scientific and security factors that must be considered to ensure that we do what is right to maintain a safe and secure environment for Canadians and that we keep them safe.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces put their lives on the line to protect us every day. In the event of a pandemic, they may be on the front line as a response. They will be at a heightened risk of getting sick. They need to know we have their backs with the proper resources, resources like a functioning hospital. Construction on the hospital in Garrison Petawawa has been behind for two years. It is two years late in construction.

China built two hospitals in 10 days. How many more years will it take the Liberal government to build just one?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we take the health and safety of our members of the Canadian Armed Forces very seriously. In fact, I was in Petawawa last year to look at infrastructure needs, and it was not only health services. We are also looking at the MFRC in Petawawa.

Infrastructure is something we need to continually invest in. That is exactly what our defence policy is doing. If the previous government had started investing in infrastructure, we would not be in this situation. That is why we are now making sure that our Canadian Armed Forces have all the tools necessary.

National DefenceOral Questions

March 9th, 2020 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am going to have to correct the minister, because the Liberals have cut infrastructure funding to the Canadian Armed Forces by $247 million. A recent internal audit warned that electrical outages and sewer backups on bases are threatening operations and putting the health and safety of our troops at risk.

It appears that the Liberals cannot even manage an outhouse, but they expect us to trust them to buy new ships and fighter jets.

Will the minister admit and agree with me that he is literally up to his knees in it this time?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member opposite brought this up, because in the case of the infrastructure spending that he is talking about, he was the parliamentary secretary of national defence when the Conservatives actually did not invest in infrastructure.

This is why we are investing in our MFRCs and our health services, and when it comes to operational needs, we are making the right investments when the money is there to take care of our Canadian Armed Forces.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the coronavirus epidemic has hit Europe hard. There are 7,000 cases in Italy, and 1,000 in France and Germany. The government can no longer simply use targeted security measures for people arriving from a handful of countries. The crisis is now global, and Quebeckers feel as though the government is managing the crisis on a case-by-case basis.

What is the government's full contingency plan now that travellers and nationals from around the world could be carriers of the virus?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question and his observation that we now find the coronavirus in 102 countries globally.

Canada is no different. We have just over 70 cases here in Canada. That is why it was so great to sit down with Minister McCann last week in Montreal to talk about Montreal's preparedness plan and Quebec's preparedness plan.

I am very confident in the work that the provinces and territories are doing and I would like to thank Minister McCann particularly for a very good discussion.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, travellers at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport complained that passengers arriving from at-risk areas were not being tested. Some travellers even likened the airport to a sieve. We need to protect the public against the spread of this virus. The government must issue clear directives to ensure that no cases of the virus are allowed in.

Will the government set up detection measures for the coronavirus at all border crossings, starting with airports?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hard-working men and women of both the CBSA and the Public Health Agency of Canada who have been working together so diligently for several months to ensure that we can support the health of Canadians as they come back home and also support the health of international travellers.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will make sure that the people who are doing this hard work for us are recognized for that work and are supported in that work. They are an integral part in making sure that we protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to office space modernization, the table has been set for Liberal ministers, while humble civil servants get the scraps.

In the last four and a half years, Liberals have spent over $1.6 million improving their own offices. Recently we learned that Public Services and Procurement Canada missed its office space modernization goal for public servants by 50%.

Will the minister inform her cabinet colleagues that they are cut off from further office renovations?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, as part of its routine management of federal real property, Public Services and Procurement Canada led an initiative to identify ministerial offices across government in need of refurbishment.

This initiative addressed spaces that required modest, cost-effective repairs during the 2019 recess period and general election. These routine projects are done following Treasury Board policies and enable employees to work in functional, up-to-date workspaces.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to setting goals, the Liberals are all talk. They set a goal for office space modernization, but in the department's own explanation as to why they fell short, they admitted they were not funding their own goals.

While Liberals are redecorating their offices, our hard-working public servants go without basic improvements to theirs. Will the minister cancel all vanity office projects for her colleagues and redirect those resources to where they are most needed?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Oakville Ontario

Liberal

Anita Anand LiberalMinister of Public Services and Procurement

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate that these are routine projects. They are done following Treasury Board policies that were followed closely and they are enabling employees to continue their important work for the people of Canada in functional office space.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Chinese ambassador to Canada continues to absurdly label Uighur persecution as fake news, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has now officially labelled the Chinese government's persecution of Uighurs as crimes against humanity. This designation opens the door for an international legal response.

Aside from talking about it and expressing concern, is the government contemplating a concrete legal response to this atrocity, supporting international legal action, recognizing these as crimes against humanity or imposing Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned by the human rights situation faced by the Uighur and other minorities in China.

Let me be very clear. Our government has raised this issue directly with the Chinese. Canada has also repeatedly voiced its concern at the United Nations Human Rights Council. We continue to call on the Chinese government to ensure that the human rights of its people, including freedom of religion, are fully respected.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, violence erupted on the fringes of demonstrations in the Indian capital of Delhi. At least 50 people lost their lives, and hundreds more were injured. One of the elements that caused dissension was the citizenship amendment act that was recently adopted by the Indian government. This law has many in my community and many Canadians across the country concerned.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs update the House on Canada's engagement with India on this issue?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore for his work and his important question.

First of all, I want to express our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.

Last week, I did speak with the Indian foreign minister to directly raise our concern over the violence that has been taking place. In that conversation, I highlighted the importance of a path toward peaceful and productive dialogue. We will continue to follow this situation closely and continue to stress the importance of upholding the rights of all.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Baldinelli Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, a new green-light law in New York state will now prevent those residents from enrolling in trusted traveller programs like Global Entry, FAST, NEXUS or SENTRI. This is very troubling for Niagara Falls and for the region of Niagara. We benefit tremendously from these programs, which support the flow of people and goods crossing our borders.

With the busy summer tourism season quickly approaching, this is an issue we need resolved, and resolved soon. Has the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoken to his American counterparts to express Canadian concerns about these changes that are now impacting their trusted traveller programs?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the member opposite that we work very closely with our American counterparts, including those in the customs and border patrol and in their new rules. We are absolutely committed to maintaining the integrity and security of our borders, and at the same time facilitating the movement of people across our border.

This issue has not, at this point in time, been raised with them, but I will be happy to enter into that discussion on the member's behalf.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the date is quickly approaching for the World Trade Organization's decision on Australia's request to review Canada's excise tax exemption for 100% Canadian wines. If $39 million per year in new taxes for our wineries was not bad enough, I am now hearing from local wineries that this will set the industry back 15 years, and banks are starting to call, enquiring how they are going to deal with this potential new expense.

When will the government stand up for our farm wineries, come to a solution and give them more certainty for the future?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for her advocacy. As the member may know, the minister did meet very recently with leaders of the wine industry. We did that because we very much believe that this industry brings to Canada an incredible contribution to our reputation as a world-class agricultural producer.

We have been working very hard in order to resolve the dispute with Australia. I would like to assure the member opposite that our government will continue to stand up for the Canadian workers and defend the interests of the wine industry in Canada.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, a needle exchange program is to begin at the Bowden Institution. This program gives needles to prisoners so they can consume illicit drugs in their cells, all with the promise that they will not misuse the needles.

Prison guards are very concerned. In fact, the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers was not even consulted. When will the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness act to protect the safety of those on the front lines?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, allow me to reassure the member that prevention and treatment of infectious diseases within correctional institutions protects not only the federal offender population but also corrections personnel and the Canadian public. Job number one is the safety and security of all concerned.

The Correctional Service of Canada conducts a thorough risk assessment before any inmate is approved to participate in this program, and in every case appropriate safeguards are put in place to ensure that needles are safely stored and are accounted for at all times. We are looking after the security and safety of our inmates and our corrections workers.

Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Serré Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, our government announced a $3.6-million investment from FedNor in two projects proposed by the North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation. For more than 30 years, this not-for-profit organization has been helping local entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses and helping communities strengthen their economy.

Could the Minister of Economic Development tell us more about this project, which is extremely important to the community?