House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, how many meetings has the Prime Minister attended and approximately how many hours a week in total has he spent on managing the WE scandal, which clearly involves his family and maybe even himself?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not have the answer to that right at my fingertips. We will have a look and I will try to provide my hon. colleague with a better response that will show that my time is spent on delivering to Canadians.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are all waiting for the time when Parliament and the machinery of government can again properly focus on managing the real crisis, the health crisis, which is the most important thing to Canadians and Quebeckers.

Until then, no matter what anybody says, the Prime Minister will have to devote a lot of time and attention to the scandal and will be preoccupied with anticipating and managing this crisis. Accordingly, not speculating on his personal involvement and because Parliament will be asking questions, should the Prime Minister not step aside temporarily and allow someone else with the necessary focus to run the country in his place?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would not want the hon. member opposite to judge my mental focus. I can assure him that the work I do is focused on the well being of Canadians. However, the opposition parties are spending far more time on this issue than on anything else.

I can assure the hon. member that I am focusing on Canadians, on the programs we are delivering to them and on the historical assistance that we are providing to Canadians during this unprecedented crisis.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the stories told by Rideau Hall employees are troubling. The Prime Minister has a role to play. Will he show leadership and launch an independent investigation?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians, especially members of the public service, have the right to a safe and secure workplace. That is extremely important.

That is why, on June 22, we established a program to increase protections—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Burnaby South.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the stories shared by the workers at Rideau Hall are so troubling that the Prime Minister has a role to play. The Prime Minister can show leadership.

Will the Prime Minister show leadership and launch an independent investigation?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, obviously every Canadian has the right to a safe, secure workspace that is free from harassment. That is extremely important. That is why we moved forward on June 22 with announcements on strengthening the oversight in federally regulated agencies and environments, including the public service.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to switch gears on the next question.

What is the government's plan for the CERB at the end of August?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, given this unprecedented pandemic, we had to bring in a program to help millions of Canadians who lost their revenue. We will continue to support Canadians in different ways moving forward.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a plan.

I met a couple who works in music production. They support concerts by helping to set up the stage. They lost their jobs and have no hope of returning to jobs. What is the plan for that couple?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has been there for Canadians through this pandemic, and we will continue to be there for Canadians and support families like theirs through this difficult time.

We know that the relaunch is beginning to happen in some sectors, but not everyone has a job. We will—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Burnaby South.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

July 22nd, 2020 / 12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, that was pretty vague, so let me ask this more directly. Will the Prime Minister extend the CERB, or will he end it at the end of August?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout this pandemic, we have responded to the needs of Canadians by adjusting programs and extending programs. We will continue to support Canadians through this pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, there was no answer there, but I will ask another more specific question. Will the Prime Minister commit to fixing EI so that it applies to all Canadians and they can use it when they need it?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout this pandemic, this government has been there for Canadians. Eight million Canadians are receiving the CERB and millions more are on the wage subsidy. We will continue to support Canadians as the recovery happens and the economy gets going again.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Here is the thing, Mr. Speaker. People are seeing a Prime Minister who seems more interested in helping close friends by giving millions of dollars to WE Charity. They are still worried about their futures, and they do not know if the Prime Minister is focused on helping them or just helping his close friends.

Will the Prime Minister commit to improving EI and extending the CERB to ensure that people are not left in the lurch come the end of August?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we have done since the beginning of this pandemic has been there for Canadians. We have been investing and supporting Canadians who lost their jobs, who lost their paycheques, who are facing uncertainty. Eight million Canadians are receiving the CERB, and there are millions more on the wage subsidy.

We will continue to be there to support Canadians through this pandemic. That is what this government is focused on, regardless of what the opposition seems to be focused on.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, those millions of Canadians need to know that there is a plan at the end of August. I am simply asking a direct question: What is that plan?

Will the government improve EI to help all Canadians? Will the government extend the CERB? People need to know. Will the Prime Minister answer the question?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning, we have welcomed the questions and proposals from opposition parties on improving the various programs we have put forward, and we have incorporated many of them.

I can assure Canadians that we will continue to support them in this recovery. We will be there as we have in the past. We will be there for Canadians.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister aware that the volunteer program agreement was signed with a WE Charity shell corporation that has no assets, no history and no record of charitable work?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalMinister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our goal remains to help Canadians during the pandemic.

The public service negotiated this contribution agreement and made a recommendation that I accepted.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other MattersGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, was the Prime Minister aware that the sole purpose of this shell corporation was to hold real estate?