House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was program.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, of course it goes without saying that the agricultural sector is extremely important.

We believe in agricultural production and in our farmers. That is why we said that we would be there to help them with compensation. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is having good conversations with the agricultural sector in my colleague's riding and across the country.

Since we have signed a trade agreement with Europe, we will always be there to defend their reality, especially during this pandemic and this economic crisis.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on June 15, I asked the Minister of Veterans Affairs if he was aware of the practice of red-flagging veterans' files. His response was, “I'm not aware”, yet on June 2, he signed a letter thanking veteran Shane Jones for his emails that had been forwarded to the minister from the Prime Minister's Office. Those emails included ATIP information that confirmed issues with which Shane was dealing with VAC because there was a flag on his file.

Again, was the Minister of Veterans Affairs aware of the practice of red-flagging veterans' files?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we know, we are still looking into it, and I will come back to her with a specific answer as soon as I can.

EthicsOral Questions

July 20th, 2020 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there was the case of the Aga Khan, Wealth One, Liberal marijuana companies and now WE Charity. A friend is a friend.

The Prime Minister is certainly not socially distanced from this ethics scandal. He could hardly be any closer.

We are in the midst of a pandemic, the House is not sitting and the government is not accountable to anyone. Everyone must be able to trust it. The Prime Minister has clearly and repeatedly shown that we can no longer trust him.

Will he step aside in favour of the Deputy Prime Minister?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that this type of partisanship is appropriate today.

With all due respect to my colleague, I would remind him, since he just said that the House is not sitting, that we are in fact sitting. Last time I checked the calendar, it was July. The House usually does not sit this month, but we are here today and will be here tomorrow and the day after that.

We are happy to answer his questions.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there was no partisanship, would those people be laughing, would they find this funny and would they still support the Prime Minister?

It is quite clear that there is partisanship going on on their side of the House.

The Prime Minister should get a direct line to the Office of the Ethics Commissioner. This is the third time that he has had to deal with them. The first time was for the Aga Khan controversy. That was strike one. The second time was for the SNC-Lavalin scandal. That was strike two. Now, he swung again but the ball landed in the catcher's mitt.

What are the Liberals waiting for to replace the Prime Minister with the Deputy Prime Minister?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government is focusing on programs that are fundamental to Canadians, like the CERB or the wage subsidy, for example.

The reason why we are here today is to help people with disabilities. We are focusing on that and on all the real priorities of all Quebeckers and all Canadians. It is our responsibility to do that. It is the responsibility of the government.

The Bloc Québécois can put on a dog and pony show, but the reality is that this government is focusing on what it needs to do and that is to help all Quebeckers and Canadians. This partisanship will not change a thing.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government seems to have blinders on when it comes to China. Canada has remained silent while China's communist regime is systematically attacking the Uighur people. Canada is the only member of the Five Eyes alliance that has not banned Huawei. Now Canada is awarding a Chinese government-owed firm a $6.8 million contract to supply security equipment to our embassies.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. When will the Prime Minister stop pandering and stand up to China?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear for Canadians: No contract has been awarded to Nuctech at this time. I have been very specific with the department, and I have been asking for the facts and figures surrounding that contract. I have asked that we review our purchasing practices when it comes to security equipment. I have asked the department to continue our review of security in all our missions around the world.

Let me very clear with Canadians: No purchase has been made under this contract.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are gravely concerned by the government's unwillingness to keep them safe from foreign threats. The government had made clear its plans to use technology from a Chinese state-owned company to secure our embassies. That would be like asking Gerry Butts to be the ethics commissioner.

Nuctech works with entities under American sanctions, providing security equipment currently being used in the Uighur genocide.

Another review is simply not enough. Will the government clearly commit today to say no to Nuctech because it is involved in Xinjiang and because of the threat it poses to Canadian security?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thought I was very clear for Canadians, but let me be clear for the member. There has been no purchase made under this contract. That is the reality. Let us not be misleading Canadians who are watching.

The member asked if we are leading. We were the first ones to suspend the extradition treaty between Canada and Hong Kong. I was the first one to say that we would stop the export of sensitive items to Hong Kong. We were the first, with the United States, to update the travel advisory.

We are front and centre when it comes to standing up for Canada and human rights around the world.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal ministers have said, as they must, that all Canadian citizens resident in Hong Kong, some 300,000, are welcome home now that the communist Chinese government has imposed repressive new security laws. However, the government is mute, unlike many of our democratic allies, on broader issues of extended visas or refuge for the many more Hong Kongers who may seek sanctuary in Canada.

What is the plan for the expected surge of asylum seekers?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to be unequivocally clear. Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Hong Kong and shares the grave concerns of the international community over mainland China's national security legislation.

As the Prime Minister said, we will continue to support the many connections between Canada and Hong Kong, while also standing up for its people. Canada is exploring measures beyond those announced, including exploring immigration options, and we will have more to say in due course.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks, our government has been working very hard to give young entrepreneurs in Laval the tools they need.

Can the minister tell us more about her department's investment in excess of $3.1 million to strengthen the economy by creating more entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs for young people across Quebec?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Laval, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, for his excellent question.

It goes without saying that our economy depends on our talented young people. That is why we marked World Youth Skills Day by investing $3.1 million in 14 projects that support youth entrepreneurship.

I congratulate Laval's youth. We believe in their talent and in the talent of all our young people to create good jobs and new businesses.

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, with an annual economic effect of over $5.5 billion and over 37,000 jobs supported nationally, the guide outfitters sector is vital to Canada's rural and remote communities. In Canada, it typically welcomes over 300,000 fishing and hunting clients from outside of Canada, with the vast majority from the United States.

With the border now closed at least until August 21, an entire season has been lost and many outfitters are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. The outfitters I have spoken with are saying that wage subsidies alone are not helping. What is the government doing to ensure our fishing and hunting guide outfitters survive?

Tourism IndustryOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, obviously I agree with my colleague. Many outfitters and tourism operators are deeply impacted by the pandemic and the economic crisis. That is why we decided to come up with a new fund, the regional recovery fund, which is there to help them. We have been supporting many outfitters across northern Ontario, Atlantic Canada and the west.

If my colleague has a specific case in mind, I would ask him to please come to see me and we can definitely look at it. We will continue to help them through these difficult times.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector was devastated by the Liberal government long before COVID-19.

Since 2015, the Alberta economy has been battered by the Liberal's job-killing anti-energy policies. That is why it is disappointing and shameful, but not surprising, that the energy sector has been waiting for 118 days to get the help it needs, despite the Minister of Finance claiming that help was just hours or days away.

Without the revenue from a strong energy sector, how does the Prime Minister plan to come up with the tax dollars to illegally funnel to his friends?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the energy sector and its workers continue to be affected by COVID-19 and the global surge in oil supply. We have taken action to create jobs through the remediation of inactive and abandoned wells, a program that has seen tens of thousands of applications in Alberta and Saskatchewan. We are also supporting the sector with a 75% wage subsidy to keep Canadians working.

Since day one, our government has been steadfast in our support for the hard-working men and women in our energy sector.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is hard not to feel disappointed in the Liberal government, because every day there is a new scandal. The Prime Minister has already broken our ethics laws not once but twice, and now he is under a conflict of interest investigation yet again.

Remember 2017? It was the Liberal government that paid over $1 million to WE for an event right here on Parliament Hill featuring the Prime Minister's own mother. Could the Prime Minister tell the House whether his mother was paid for this appearance?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, WE Charity was one of several organizations to have submitted a Canada 150 proposal to the Department of Canadian Heritage, and it was subsequently selected. The two Canada 150 contribution agreements between WE Charity and the Department of Canadian Heritage were approved by the minister responsible at the time, at the recommendation of department officials. Cabinet was not involved in the process of approval for these contribution agreements.

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Annie Koutrakis Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, the investing in Canada plan is an unprecedented $180-billion program to upgrade our infrastructure across the country. This plan represents the largest such investment in our national economy and environment, more than doubling existing funding. Now more than ever this investment can deliver the economic stimulus required during Canada's post-COVID recovery.

Could the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities comment on the progress that has been made in putting this plan into action?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, our government's investing in Canada plan has allocated $7.5 billion to help build up Quebec projects. These investments include public transit, clean water, clean energy, and healthy and active transportation.

We are going to continue to work with the Government of Quebec and municipalities across Quebec to get good projects built that build a cleaner, stronger and more prosperous future.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is unprecedented in Canadian history.

For a third time, the Prime Minister is under investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

Yes, this is the third time. It has to be done.

He bypassed the public service and granted an untendered contract worth nearly $1 billion to an organization with which he has so many links that it looks like a huge spiderweb. The Liberals have such a sense of entitlement that they ignore the rules when it comes to awarding contracts to their cronies.

Why is it that young people and students have to pay the price for the Liberals' irresistible desire to give their buddies presents?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalMinister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Mr. Speaker, we have been clear when it comes to the ongoing investigation by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner: We will comply with his office.

When it comes to supports for students, the Canada student service grant was an additional measure for students.

We have already come forward with the Canada emergency response benefit. We have already added 10,000 jobs to the Canada summer jobs program. We have put a moratorium on interest for Canada student loan payments, and this program will go ahead. We are working around the clock to ensure that it does, because we want to ensure that students and not-for-profits have the support they need at this necessary time. That remains our focus.