House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pandemic.

Topics

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, the first and foremost priority for us is the safety and health of the staff at Service Canada. However, we have been safely reopening a number of centres right across the country. We have redeployed over 3,000 additional staff to make sure that people have access to the benefits that they rely on. In addition to that, we have introduced online options, as well as options through the telephone. A 1,500-agent call centre has been set up to help people with the Canada emergency response benefit, which will now move to the employment insurance system.

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Lehoux Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, many businesses rely heavily on skilled foreign workers who have already been recruited to keep them afloat.

My riding is on the U.S. border. The small businesses in my riding have said that, if they do not go out of business, they are going to transfer their operations to the United States.

When will this government realize that these workers are essential to the survival of these businesses? When does the minister plan to again accept these skilled workers into the country to help with our economic recovery?

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we understand how important our foreign workers are and their contribution to our efforts to combat COVID-19.

Our businesses just cannot operate without our foreign workers. We have invested $60 million to keep them safe. We cannot maintain Canada's food security without them.

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, cities have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. In my riding, the City of Guelph's budget has been hit with unexpected extra costs and transit revenue losses. I am proud of our government's Safe Restart Agreement, which has provided $11 million in additional support to Guelph through this emergency funding.

Could the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs please share with this House the importance of the federal government directly supporting municipalities and our communities across Canada when they need it the most?

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalPresident of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think all members thank the member for Guelph for his very important question.

Municipalities, as we know, are facing increased costs due to COVID-19. Through the $19-billion Safe Restart Agreement, we are providing $4.4 billion to support municipalities in the delivery of key services, which are so important to Canadians. This means, for example, $2 billion for municipal COVID-19 response and $2.3 billion dedicated to support public transit.

Canadians expect us to work as all governments to protect them from COVID-19, and that is exactly what we are doing.

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Province of Ontario has announced $20 million to support northern Ontario businesses impacted by COVID-19, but FedNor is nowhere to be found. I have joined the calls of business owners in my riding, in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and across the north, who have been pleading for support for months.

With all of the programs created, all of the money spent and all of the Liberal MPs across the region, how has the government completely forgotten about northern Ontario?

EmploymentOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I would agree to disagree with my colleague, because we have been there for people in northern Ontario throughout the pandemic. That is why we nearly doubled the budget of FedNor, and that is why we have been there for tourism operators and for many small business owners. We will continue to be there. Northern Ontario is important to us and it always will be. That is why we will be moving ahead with new investments shortly.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Aitchison Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, for five years the Liberals have promised to accelerate Internet access for rural Canadians and last week in the throne speech we heard the same accelerated promises. Rural Canadians from Inverness to Ignace, Fort Nelson to Gaspé, and Magnetawan to Havelock know now more than ever that Internet access is not a luxury.

If an accelerated Liberal promise is worth more than a regular Liberal promise, for the thousands of Canadians still waiting, does an accelerated promise actually include action?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Mr. Speaker, these are definitely difficult times for every Canadian, but for rural communities without broadband, COVID has been particularly hard. We knew this before the pandemic. Over a million households are well under way to getting that access, and our work will continue. I want to take this opportunity to thank the essential workers who have been working and digging to put wires into the ground, even during COVID, to make sure this essential service continues to be provided to every Canadian.

There is more work to be done and I look forward to support from all my colleagues in the House to make that happen.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the owners, workers and customers of small businesses are our friends and neighbours. They are the backbone of the Canadian economy and the government has left many of them behind. The government has not fixed the problems with its existing programs, problems like accessing loans, rent relief and being denied the CEBA benefit because the applicant has the wrong kind of bank account.

For months Conservatives have been asking the government to fix these problems. When is it going to do it?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of Small Business

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on being my new critic. I look forward to working with him.

I would disagree. Over 760,000 businesses have benefited from the small business loan. Businesses have benefited from getting fixed support to deal with their fixed costs, such as rent. We are listening to business owners and we will continue to listen to them. It is why we committed in our throne speech to ensure that the hardest-hit businesses will get support to deal with their fixed costs. We are going to continue to do whatever it takes to help businesses across this country weather this difficult time.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Randeep Sarai Liberal Surrey Centre, BC

Madam Speaker, in my urban community of Surrey Centre, we have seen the impacts of COVID-19 that have reached some of the most vulnerable Canadians, those living without a place to call home. Our government took quick action at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that cities and non-profits had the resources they needed to keep homeless Canadians safe during this challenging time. I have heard that more support is needed.

Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development please update the House on measures being taken to protect those living in homelessness from a potential second wave of COVID-19?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Families

Madam Speaker, l think the hon. member for Surrey Centre for his tireless advocacy on housing and homelessness issues. We recently announced an additional investment of $236.7 million going directly to front-line organizations that are serving Canadians experiencing homelessness. This is in addition to the $157.5 million that we announced early on in the pandemic. Canadians have told us that this funding has been critical to keeping the most vulnerable members of our communities safe.

Simply put, we will do everything we can to have the backs of Canadians who are vulnerable at this difficult time.

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, since this pandemic began, I have been hearing from people across Northwest B.C. who cannot go to school, cannot go to work remotely and cannot access services because they lack reliable Internet. People like Keiran, a veteran who cannot access the support services he needs because they are online, or Autumn, who could not complete her college exam because her Internet cut out. On Haida Gwaii, rural residents are about to lose their Internet altogether.

The government has promised high speed Internet for all people in Canada, but with so little progress to date, how can rural residents trust that it is serious?

TelecommunicationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Madam Speaker, the stories such as those shared by my colleague just now are top of mind for us as we work to connect every Canadian household to high speed Internet.

I will tell him though that one million households on their way to getting connected or already connected is progress. I look forward to his support and his party's support to make sure that we get that connection to every household across this great country.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Green

Jenica Atwin Green Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, in Atlantic Canada, October 1 is Treaty Day. Celebrations this year will be centred around the Saulnierville wharf, where livelihood fishers have gathered as they exercise their collective inherent rights. The conflict that has ensued is a direct result of the failure of DFO and successive governments to articulate treaty rights to Canadians, rights that are enshrined in our Constitution and by the rulings of our highest court. The conflicts will continue as long as the government ignores its responsibilities.

Does the Minister of Fisheries agree that the path forward was unquestionably established 21 years ago by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Marshall decision?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margarets Nova Scotia

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, since day one, our government has been focused on the safety of people in that area who are right now facing extremely challenging times. We have been working collaboratively and respectfully with both the first nations community as well as industry. We know that the path forward is to make sure that we do everything we can to implement the rights that were granted to the Mi'kmaq under the Marshall decision.

Standing Order 69.1—Bill C-4Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am rising to respond to a point of order raised yesterday respecting the splitting of Bill C-4, an act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19. My colleague has suggested that this is an omnibus bill with unrelated parts.

I suggest that my hon. colleague is unclear about what constitutes an omnibus bill. It is, in short, a bill with many constituent and unrelated parts. Nothing could be further from the truth with respect to Bill C-4.

Bill C-4, an act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19, contains related measures to address the health and economic consequences of the pandemic. It includes the three new recovery benefits that replace the Canadian emergency response benefit, as well as extending the funding for existing supports for businesses and Canadians that will expire tomorrow, September 30.

The scope and principle of the bill are measures to address the pandemic. There is nothing in the bill that is unrelated to supporting Canadians through the pandemic. It would be quite another situation if the bill included some COVID-related measures and measures to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act. It does not.

I therefore submit that these measures all fall within the common element or theme of supporting Canadians through this pandemic and should not be divided for the purposes of voting.

Standing Order 69.1—Bill C-4Points of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I thank the hon. member for his submission and I will take it under advisement.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Peschisolido ReportRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 3:12, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the report of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner entitled “Peschisolido Report”.

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Peschisolido ReportRoutine Proceedings

September 29th, 2020 / 3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The list of members voting by video conference has now been established for use by the table.

During the taking of the vote:

Peschisolido ReportRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Nelly Shin Conservative Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I lost my connection toward the end of QP and, unfortunately, I logged-in a little too late when the vote started happening. If it is all right for me to cast my vote, I would vote in favour, but if not, I will abstain.

Peschisolido ReportRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Did you hear the question, Ms. Shin?