House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was questions.

Topics

TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, despite what my colleague said, the situation in Europe and the United States is not as clear-cut as he is claiming today.

This situation is very difficult for all airlines. The Canadian Transportation Agency is a quasi-judicial agency that is responsible for consumers. It made that very difficult decision, which is not mandatory. It is recommending vouchers that would be valid for two years.

Office of the Auditor General of CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chris d'Entremont Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the role of the Auditor General is very important to Canadians. An auditor general provides information based on facts and expert advice on government programs and activities. Never before has an auditor general said that his or her budget was insufficient because of the increased workload caused by the additional audits required to review the Liberal government's out-of-control spending.

When will the minister fully fund the Auditor General's budget?

Office of the Auditor General of CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

First, his question gives me the opportunity to congratulate the new Auditor General. Second, it gives me an opportunity to assure her of our full co-operation. Third, it gives me the opportunity to remind all members of the House of the importance of the Auditor General, access to information, follow-up measures and analyses, particularly in a context as difficult as that of COVID-19. In closing, I want to assure the member that we will take note of all the information and recommendations that the Auditor General would like to share with us.

Office of the Auditor General of CanadaOral Questions

May 25th, 2020 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Chris d'Entremont Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, quite honestly, the answer says, “We are going to look at it, but we are not necessarily going to do it.”

No auditor general has ever had to cut audits under any prime minister until now. The government should be ashamed of that. We know that Liberals are not fans of auditors general. Who could forget when Sheila Fraser blew the whistle on the Liberal sponsorship scandal?

It is clear that the work of the Auditor General is critical to the functioning of our democracy. When will the government give the Office of the Auditor General the money it needs to audit Liberal spending?

Office of the Auditor General of CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, that allows me to say in English what I said briefly in French, which is that we are congratulating a new Auditor General. We are fully supportive of her important role.

However, there is something that the member unfortunately said incorrectly. The member may remember that what happened in terms of cuts was previous to 2015, when indeed the former government cut the budget of the Auditor General. We increased it in 2018.

Access to InformationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are well aware that the Prime Minister and his government have a troubled relationship with transparency. Now Canada's Information Commissioner is calling the limitations departments face to fill access to information requests “ridiculous”.

Information requests have ground to a halt. A pandemic is not really an excuse to hide information from Canadians. If anything, it is a reason to be more transparent. When will the Liberals restart the processing of access to information requests?

Access to InformationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I want to tell him that I had the opportunity to speak with the Information Commissioner of Canada several times. We agreed on the importance of information in general and particularly during this time of crisis.

In the current context, Canadians sometimes need to be informed, guided and reassured. We are aware of the professional and personal challenges that public servants are facing. We are working extremely hard with the public service to ensure that all Canadians have access to the information that they need.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that indigenous people who live off reserve in urban centres often face very different and unique challenges. I would like to ask the Minister of Indigenous Services what the government is doing to help indigenous people who live off reserve during this time of pandemic.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, indigenous people living in urban centres do indeed face a unique set of needs and challenges. We heard loud and clear that more support would be needed for indigenous organizations working and operating in urban centres. That is why last week's announcement by the Prime Minister of an additional $75 million for organizations supporting first nations, Inuit and Métis living and working in urban areas off reserve marks a fivefold increase in that initial funding.

This new funding will support indigenous community-based solutions that address critical needs during this crisis to fight COVID-19 and to serve indigenous populations living off reserve, principally in urban areas.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Prime Minister has set his sights on law-abiding firearms owners. With the stroke of a pen, the Liberal ban takes firearms out of the hands of law-abiding hunters, sport shooters and farmers while doing nothing to tackle crime. The buyback program is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. That is money that would be better spent on fighting gangs and stopping gun smuggling operations.

When will the government stop punishing law-abiding firearms owners and crack down on criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by repeating that the weapons we have prohibited are not weapons for hunting and sport shooting, but rather weapons that were designed for soldiers to kill other soldiers in combat.

I am interested in the member opposite's comments about support for the police and their gun and gang investigations. When we brought forward a program with $347 million to support those investigations, the member opposite's party voted against it. When we brought forward measures to strengthen our border response with additional officers, technologies and resources, once again that party voted against it.

We will be bringing forward strong new gun control legislation, and I look forward to the support from the member who now seems concerned about gun violence in our communities.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada already has one of the most restrictive gun registration and control systems in the world. However, in the midst of a pandemic, the Liberals are going after law-abiding gun owners, including hunters and sport shooters, instead of tackling the source of the problem, namely criminal street gangs and illegal arms trafficking, as the friends of the former public safety minister say.

Why does the minister not tackle the real problem head-on instead of harassing law-abiding Canadians and a recreation and tourism sector that needs support, not a kick in the pants from the government?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, again, to be very clear, I have nothing but respect for law-abiding hunters and farmers in this country and for people engaged in sport shooting. We know that many of the firearms that end up on our streets are smuggled across the border, but a very significant number of the people using these guns for crimes are also getting their guns in Canada. Those guns are often stolen from lawful gun owners, and tragically some are also diverted by people who buy them legally and then sell them illegally.

We are going to bring in stronger gun control legislation after many Conservative efforts to weaken gun control legislation. We are also going to invest in law enforcement and bring in new authorities with respect to the border, with respect to theft and with respect to the diversion of guns into the hands of criminals.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' secret deal with a handful of hereditary chiefs has split the Wet'suwet'en community. The situation has become so dire, indigenous leaders are now calling for the resignation of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.

Knowing full well that the Wet'suwet'en had not been properly consulted, knowing there were governance challenges within the community, and hearing the call of elected chiefs to delay, not cancel, the announcement, why did the minister circumvent the Wet'suwet'en people and abandon her duty to consult?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, the memorandum of understanding establishes a path forward for subsequent discussions toward final agreements describing future governance and implementation of the Wet'suwet'en rights and titles. This is not an agreement on the implementation and crystallization of those rights, but a shared commitment to begin that work.

Once reached, any such agreement would be taken back to all Wet'suwet'en people for approval through a process that must clearly demonstrate the consent of the members of that nation.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question regards the plan the government has in place to support families struggling because of COVID-19. Across the country families, and especially parents with children, have had to deal with the challenges that arise from uncertainty about the future. I have heard from many parents in my riding who are in need of additional support.

My question is for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Could he inform us of any specific action the government has taken to directly support parents with children during this difficult time?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, that is a really important question.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed immense pressure on Canadian families. That is why we made the decision as a government to increase the May payment under the Canada child benefit.

I am happy to announce to the House that last week millions of Canadian parents received an additional $300 per child under the Canada child benefit. In addition to that, in July, we will be increasing the Canada child benefit once again to take into consideration the increase in the cost of living.

As long as parents are facing these pressures, our government will be there for them and will take care of them.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of organizations across the country, including Climate Action Network Canada, have sent a clear message: Things cannot go back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NDP has consistently advocated for major investments, including investments in public transit. We need a just recovery, one that confronts the climate emergency and inequality in this country. There is no question of going backwards. We need a green new deal.

Will this government commit to building a greener, more just society for all?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, at a time when we are contending with the greatest global challenge in modern history, the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing everything we can to help the vast majority of Canadians.

That being said, we know that there is another global challenge, namely the environment. We are not losing sight of the importance of continuing to defend the environment, because we are committed to doing our part in a responsible way.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Green

Jenica Atwin Green Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, municipalities are the decision-making level that is closest to the people that we serve. They are key to maintaining safe communities and ensuring essential services for one's quality of life. However, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities sounded the alarm more than a month ago. The pandemic is pushing municipalities to the brink of financial crisis. Critical services are at risk.

Could the minister confirm if and when municipalities across this country will receive emergency federal support to face the impact of this pandemic? When will they be given the means to recover and rebuild?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for mentioning the important role of municipalities not only in the current crisis but, of course, when we exit from it. Municipalities have the responsibilities, and they need the tools to reinvest in our communities. We will be there to help them, of course always in collaboration and with the full support of provinces and territories.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you will find unanimous consent of the House to adopt the following motion: that this House recognize the contribution of hundreds of essential workers, particularly in the health care sector, in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, who are asylum seekers, and call on the government to work with the Government of Quebec in order to quickly regularize their immigration status as well as that of their family in recognition of the work done during the current health crisis.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Saint-Jean on a point of order.