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

Community ServiceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Madam Speaker, we are reading stories about people in Fleetwood—Port Kells who are stepping up to help in these challenging times. One is Mr. Baldev Bath, the owner of Basant Motors in our Fleetwood neighbourhood. Baldev has kept all of the staff on the payroll, but instead of keeping them in the showroom, he has them packaging food and delivering it to vulnerable people around the neighbourhood.

A lady in her eighties was incredibly grateful. One day not long ago she mentioned that she had no family close by and that all her friends were shut-ins like her. It had been a long time since she had been able to celebrate her birthday, which was coming up. Instead of a hamper, she asked for a birthday cake. Her wish was Baldev's command. He picked up a nice birthday cake, took it over over and celebrated with her, of course, at a distance.

Since the moment he arrived in Canada, Baldev has been so grateful for what our country stands for. In these times, he and so many others have become what Canada stands for.

Rent AssistanceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today, the Liberals' rent relief program is open for applications, but thousands of commercial landlords across the country still refuse to consider applying for it.

There is Tami's landlord, a foreign property owner who does not care about the wellness clinic in my riding and other neighbouring businesses around it. There are Laura's landlords who do not want to see two consignment stores stay open in Edmonton and are not applying for CECRA. There is Andrea who is running We Help in my riding and who personally invested her own money to keep that not-for-profit afloat and has been having trouble getting her landlord to apply for CECRA. There is also Jane in Ottawa who billionaire landlord just cannot be bothered about the physical therapy clinic Jane is running.

These female entrepreneurs and many other businesses across the country are suffering. I hope the Liberals revamp CECRA fast so that tenants will finally get the relief they have long been awaiting.

Glengarry—Prescott—RussellStatements By Members

May 25th, 2020 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for their excellent work and generosity during this pandemic. Many businesses have pivoted to producing personal protective equipment.

I want to thank Tulmar Safety Systems and Innovation Tools, whose employees have produced thousands of face shields. Many people have started making non-medical masks to help their neighbours and even patients in our hospitals.

Through the generosity of sponsors, Canada Sews and its volunteers have delivered over 100,000 face coverings. Here I give a special shout-out to Canada Sews Ontario East, many of whose volunteer sewers reside in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell. Together they have sewed thousands of face coverings. They have all been a helping hand for our community through this pandemic.

On behalf of the residents of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, I thank everyone who is making a difference in these challenging times.

Nicholas JohnsonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment today to acknowledge Nicholas Johnson, the first black valedictorian in the 274-year history of prestigious Princeton University. The 22-year-old Montrealer, who was born in Gaspé, has had tremendous success studying applied mathematics in the area of health care.

Mr. Johnson distinguished himself at an institution that is the alma mater of three American presidents and First Lady Michelle Obama, where Nobel laureates such as Toni Morrison have gone to teach. He distinguished himself at an institution whose past has not necessarily been very distinguished, given that its first nine presidents were slave owners.

As he prepares to give his valedictory address to the class of 2020 this Sunday, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Nicholas Johnson.

Mr. Johnson, you are a role model for young Quebeckers and young black people. We wish you every success as you continue your studies and all the best for the remarkable journey that lies ahead.

COVID-19 PandemicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, humanity is currently facing an enormous challenge. COVID-19 has affected each and every one of us, one way or another. In nearly every country around the world, seniors are the ones most affected by the pandemic. I would be remiss if I failed to mention this tragedy and how they have suffered.

During this pandemic we have also seen a rise in anti-Asian racism. It is shameful when someone shoves a 92-year-old man with dementia to the ground. When I saw this image captured on CCTV and presented on the news, it brought tears to my eyes. It is up to each of us to denounce racism and racist attacks.

We also cannot forget for one moment the sacrifices that our health care and front-line workers are making in putting themselves in danger every single day. The least we can do to honour them is behave responsibly, continue social distancing and not gather in crowds. We will overcome this pandemic if we all work together in reducing the spread.

Kelowna—Lake CountryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is almost two-and-a-half months since the pandemic was declared that changed all of our lives. It became an immediate crisis. On Friday, March 13, just after Parliament agreed to recess, flying home through four airports was unnerving and people were visibly panicked.

I have received an unprecedented amount of correspondence from residents. We estimate that our little office received over 6,000 emails and phone calls just in the first few weeks: parents fearful, trying to get their adult children home from other countries; genuine health concerns; Service Canada's closing of its local offices; businesses and schools closing; and from many people trying to stockpile to plan for the worst and to look out for their families. I am so proud of how my incredible team came together to serve our constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country.

People tragically lost their lives and we learned how fragile our agriculture industry, supply chains and care for seniors are. We are now in the recovery phase with new challenges ahead, but I know that we can tackle them together.

COVID-19 PandemicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

William Amos Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to represent Pontiac in the House and to say how pleased and proud we are of our constituents, who are resilient and supportive of people and businesses affected by COVID-19 throughout the Outaouais and Canada.

Suddenly Canada and the world have changed forever. The COVID-19 era is one of extremes and it is one for the ages. There is the loneliness of loved ones in long-term care, the selflessness of our front-line care providers and the optimism of our cure-hunting medical and scientific researchers. The unity of our governments is what I most appreciate right now, with all parties working together, because we know that Canadians count on us.

I applaud all members for their hard work for their constituents, because together we are going to get past this. Together we are going to be in solidarity with one another.

Together, ApartStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we know, during this pandemic many residents are facing challenges and hardship.

On May 21, I had an extraordinary time co-hosting the virtual concert “Together, Apart” through Facebook with my elected colleagues, MPP Stephen Blais and councillors Laura Dudas and Matthew Luloff. I especially wanted to give my thanks to our very own incredibly talented musicians and councillor Matt Luloff and his team for organizing the show and for bringing these talented artists together to take part in our virtual concert.

I hope that all those who attended enjoyed the show. The funds raised during this event went to the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre and the Ottawa-East Community Resource Centre. I would like to thank those two centres for their extraordinary work.

We were able to raise more than $1,500. I very much want to thank the artists and our community in Orléans for their generosity.

Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—LévisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the courage and resilience of all Canadians, especially those from Lévis, Bellechasse and Les Etchemins working in our shops, our businesses, our residences and our hospitals.

I especially want to acknowledge our seniors and those who take care of them, like Frédérick Aubert from Royal St-Henri, his family and his team who are doing remarkable work to combat the virus.

Of course I want to thank the members of my team for the tremendous work they do to help people. I want to thank Richard, Marie-Christine, Julie, Jade, François and Renée.

Finally, I have a message for young people. People call me to tell me that they are looking for young people to fill full-time positions. Young people need to take the chance to have an exceptional experience that they will be able to draw on their entire lives. They have to seize the opportunity to work full time. We will get through this together.

Summer is around the corner. Things are reopening, but everything will get better if we remain vigilant.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, back home in Outremont and across the country, small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. After closing temporarily, they are now preparing to reopen responsibly and safely. When I speak to business owners, what I hear is tenacity and resilience. They are making their contribution.

Our government stood up for our SMEs and will continue to support them.

The relaunch of our economy will depend on our ingenuity, on our Canadian innovation. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will partner with the private sector and our small businesses in order to build back better, build back stronger. It is the resilience and determination of Canadians that is allowing us to weather this storm carefully and it is that same resilience that will allow us to build a better, more dynamic, more modern, more environmentally conscious, more progressive and stronger economy of the future.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, during this pandemic, community groups, including shelters, food banks, small businesses and others, are facing shortages of resources.

These groups have confirmed what statistics have already suggested: women are facing unique challenges in this pandemic. Rates of domestic violence and abuse have increased; sectors of the economy with an overrepresentation of women, including the tourism and travel sectors and part-time work, have been shut down and laid off.

All parties recognize these challenges. However, many issues remain unaddressed: a critical lack of funding to support front-line agencies to combat sexual exploitation, human trafficking and domestic violence; the absence of a plan to address the impact that this pandemic has had on women in the economy; the failure to apply the GBA+ on all the COVID-19 programs; and, finally, the urgent need for a plan to ensure women can return to the labour force quickly.

The government needs to take immediate steps to resolve these issues to get Canada back on track. and I urge it to come back to Parliament.

COVID-19 PandemicStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rosemarie Falk Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shock waves around the globe.

The health, economic and social fallout is great, but in times of crisis, there is always reason for hope and optimism. It is often when our humanity shines through the most.

Across the country, Canadians have stepped up to do their part and stories of kindness and generosity abound. I want to thank all of Canada's front-line health care workers for their commitment to our health, all essential workers for helping to keep our country running and all Canadians who are following public health guidelines.

Just as Canadians have stepped up and come together, we as parliamentarians cannot back down. In this time of crisis, we cannot abandon the bedrock of our democracy. Parliament is essential and it is essential that Parliament's power be restored, that we have the ability to debate, scrutinize and pass legislation. We must uphold our parliamentary duties and focus on getting the best results for all Canadians.

Occupied Palestinian TerritoriesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Israel has a new coalition government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and it wants nothing less than to annex the Palestinian territories currently occupied by the military. This is a clear violation of international law.

We have a responsibility to the Palestinian people under a military occupation that was condemned in UN Security Council resolution 2334. We are disappointed in the Liberal government's silence on this issue. It cannot simply say that Canada will not recognize the annexation of these territories and that such an action would be damaging to the peace process or security in the region. Canada has a responsibility to condemn this. A number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway, have already done so.

We cannot stand by while a country steals someone else's territory by force. We took action when Russia invaded Crimea. What is the government waiting for in this case? A violation of international law must have consequences, and Canada needs to set an example. Canada cannot remain silent on this violation of human rights.

Staff at Quebec long-term care facilitiesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all staff working in Quebec's health care system. I want to thank all of the women and men who are dealing with the worst health crisis in a century.

I would also like to give a special shout-out to the nearly 800 personal support workers on the front lines caring for our seniors in Quebec's long-term care facilities. They put their lives on the line to take care of our seniors, even though some are not even citizens of Quebec or Canada. Our guardian angels are often asylum seekers and often from Haiti. Their contribution to our society has proven that they deserve their place in Quebec. That is why the Bloc Québécois is calling on the government to prioritize and fast-track their applications through the assessment process in light of the essential work these people are doing for Quebec day after day. We need them and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for taking care of our parents and grandparents.

Jennifer CaseyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds have thrilled and united Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We have watched them fly over our cities, towns and villages as they fulfill Operation Inspiration.

Like many in Kamloops, I watched from my deck as the Snowbirds flew into town. Seeing the best of the best in flight brought on a smile and a sense of pride.

Tragically, last Sunday, our joy and thrill turned to horror as the news of the crash quickly spread through the community and the country. I would be remiss not to mention the extraordinary efforts of the community of Brocklehurst whose residents sprang into action in spite of the horrors of what they had just witnessed. This included front-line workers from Kamloops Fire Rescue to the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, YKA crash track, airport authorities and military representatives.

We all share our grief over the tragic death of Captain Jennifer Casey, and watched with heavy hearts as she arrived home in Halifax yesterday. In reading stories and tributes to honour Captain Casey, people cannot help but be inspired by what she accomplished in such a short life. Our nation mourns her loss.

When we needed it most, Operation Inspiration brought hope to a country weary of the impact of COVID-19, and for that we will remain forever grateful.

EidStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in these extraordinary times to share the experience of Muslim Canadians this Eid.

Muslim Canadians just observed Ramadan and what a Ramadan it was. At a time where families and friends usually gather for food or prayer, unprecedented adjustments had to be made. What was heartwarming was that even when many adopted new ways to uphold their religious and social customs, people did not forget their obligations to each other.

Muslim organizations stepped up to help fellow neighbours. Mosques and groups like the Canadian Muslim Response Network, Islamic Relief Canada, IDRF, Muslim Welfare Centre, Naseeha, Penny Appeal, Smile, Nisa Homes and countless others mobilized volunteers and donors to offer support to vulnerable Canadians.

Today, Muslim Canadians are celebrating Eid with pride and optimism.

Whether we celebrated Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, Eid or any other special occasion, Canadians displayed a strong sense of unity, regardless of our background. We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. We will get through this pandemic together.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are letting down Canadian farm families. Not only are they imposing higher carbon taxes and failing to defend them against actions by the government in China, but now the agriculture minister is claiming that farmers who are upset about being let down during this crisis just do not understand the programs her government is putting forward. She claims that the $252 million of reannouced money for farmers is good enough.

When will the Prime Minister put forward programs that actually work for farmers instead of telling them to be happy with what they got?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, farmers across the country support us every day in the way they are putting food on our table with reliable quality, and we need to continue to support them.

We announced more than $77 million to support food processors during this crisis. To help cattle and hog producers, we launched a $125-million national AgriRecovery initiative to help them adapt as they process less meat. We are also launching a surplus food purchase program, starting with a $50-million fund to ensure that farmers are being compensated for their hard work. For dairy producers, we will work to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission's line of credit by $200 million.

We will continue to be there for our farmers.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada used to have a history of principled leadership on the world stage. The Government of China has launched an unprecedented attack on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Now the government should go beyond statements and act in concert with our allies to show the Government of China that it must abide by its commitments.

Will the Prime Minister unequivocally condemn the actions of the PRC, and will he propose a real plan for supporting the people of Hong Kong and our allies around the world who have already started to be targeted by Chinese retribution?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada has always been very clear in standing up for human rights around the world, including in regard to the Chinese government. We support the over 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong and support all people of Hong Kong, to continue the one country, two systems rule, which has been in place in Hong Kong and China for a couple of decades now.

We will continue to stand up strongly for human rights on the world stage, working with our allies and holding others to account. We call for a de-escalation of tensions and for the Chinese government to listen to citizens in Hong Kong who have important things to say.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a concrete way that the Prime Minister can actually support the people of Hong Kong is to unequivocally condemn the actions of the communist regime in Beijing. It is the one violating the one country, two systems principle, and the Prime Minister is refusing to condemn those actions and refusing to propose any kind of plan to support our allies across the world.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Canada, under a Conservative government, led the world in promoting a series of coordinated economic and political measures that punished and isolated the Putin regime and sent a clear message that violations of international law would not be tolerated.

Will the Prime Minister condemn the actions of the PRC and propose a meaningful plan to support the people of Hong Kong?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have expressed in no uncertain terms our deep concern over the measures proposed by the People's Republic of China in regard to Hong Kong. We stand with the people in Hong Kong who believe that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly continue to be an essential part of their way of life.

We will continue to work with our allies all around the world to stand up for human rights, including in Hong Kong.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, why is it so hard for the Prime Minister to condemn the actions of the communist government in China? The Prime Minister has let Canada get bullied and pushed around on the world stage. Two Canadians are being held illegally. The government of China put blocks on Canadian exports. All the while, the Prime Minister has done nothing.

Now the PRC is violating the one country, two systems policy and violating the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. What is he so afraid of? Why is it so hard to stand up to the PRC? Why does he continue with the policy of appeasement?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my job as Prime Minister is to stand up for Canadians. It is to be there to defend the rights of Canadians and to protect Canadians, both at home and abroad. That is why we have been unequivocal in our defence of the two Michaels arbitrarily detained in China; we have continued to work to resolve that situation.

We will continue to stand up for Canadians' rights, for Canadian interests, including those of agricultural producers and exporters. We will continue to defend Canadian interests everywhere around the world, including with China.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Prime Minister has actually done nothing to stand up for Canadians.

What did he do after two Canadians were held illegally by the PRC? He still wrote that cheque to the Asian infrastructure bank and still gave that institution Canadian taxpayers' money to help further the advancements of the foreign policy of China.

Here we are today, and he refuses to condemn these actions. These are actions that have been condemned by governments around the world, by public policy institutions. Why is it so hard for him to just call this out for what it is, an abuse of the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong?