House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-2.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laila Goodridge Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are already stretched to the limit and struggling to make ends meet.

Despite the fact that inflation is at 4.7%, the highest level since 1991, the Prime Minister does not consider monetary policy to be a priority.

When will the Prime Minister finally put some thought into monetary policy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we all agree that the cost of living is a challenge, but I do not hear many concrete solutions coming from the Conservatives.

I would therefore like to propose one. Let us support all Canadians who work in tourism, restaurants and other hard-hit businesses across the country by supporting Bill C-2.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Shelby Kramp-Neuman Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, while working Canadians struggle to make ends meet, the finance minister continues to mislead Canadians by arguing that our economy is strong. That may be the case for some, but the conversations around the kitchen tables in rural Canada tell a very different story. Bills are piling up and credit cards are maxed. “Just inflation” has Canadians at their breaking points financially and emotionally.

When will the government take bold actions to strengthen the economy and combat inflation, instead of repeating tired old talking points?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that to pay the bills, the single most important thing is to have a job or to keep a business afloat. That is why, when COVID hit, we took immediate action. We have recovered every single one of the three million lost jobs and more. Fewer businesses have gone bankrupt over the past year than in the year before COVID.

Conservative austerity would have devastated the lives of millions of Canadians. We are proud to have acted decisively to save jobs and businesses. That is how to make life affordable.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Ferreri Conservative Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how that member is talking about making life affordable. Regardless, a job does not keep people from being hungry. One in eight people who visit food banks are employees. The growing cost of housing, rent and grocery prices are affecting those struggling the most to make ends meet, particularly single parents. Over 30% of visitors at food banks in Canada are children. This is wrong. This is heartbreaking, and it needs to change now.

When will the Liberals stop the “just inflation” crisis, which is hurting our most precious commodity, our children?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult to take the Conservatives seriously that they care about single parents and children when they voted against the Canada child benefit, which helped lift 400,000 Canadian children out of poverty. It is hard to take them seriously when they campaigned on getting rid of the Canada early learning and child care system.

Let me tell members that we are making difference. Families right across this country are going to see a 50% reduction in fees as of January right through to the end of this year. That is going to help them with the cost of living and it is going to make sure that our kids have the very best, positive start in life.

JusticeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we gave this government an opportunity to do the right thing by Saskatchewan to remove a long-standing tax exemption in our Constitution. Rather than do the right thing and ensure that large, profitable corporations pay their share of taxes, the Liberals decided to block our attempts to stand up for Saskatchewan.

I ask the Minister of Justice this: Can we work together to ensure that the people of Saskatchewan are not left paying the bill for a sweetheart deal that was made over 150 years ago, or will the Liberals continue to ignore my province?

JusticeOral Questions

December 16th, 2021 / 2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's concern on the issue.

We have agreed, as a government, to a take note debate on this in February. Our objection yesterday was to the fact that one does not make a constitutional amendment with a unanimous consent motion without ever having discussed it or debated it in any forum in the House. We respect Saskatchewan. We will do that take note debate, and we will act accordingly.

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers depend on effective rail service. They cannot get paid for their hard work if they cannot ship their crops to market. Now, a foreign hedge fund has started a campaign to take over the board of CN Rail with a plan to make service cuts to maximize profits for shareholders. Farmers know what happens when services are cut back in the interests of shareholders. Terminals cannot get cars to load, and ships sit empty, waiting.

When will the government take action to protect farmers and ensure healthy competition and reliable rail service?

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Omar Alghabra LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our government will continue to advocate for efficient and safe rail service. The fluidity and reliability of our supply chain is critical to our economy.

I have been hearing about this ongoing situation with CN in the media and also in popular podcasts. CN is responsible for its own leadership decisions, but let me assure my hon. colleague that our government will take action to continue to protect the interests of Canadians and the safety and reliability of our rail network to ensure fluid supply chains.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economic update will not go down in history, but it speaks volumes about federal priorities.

The crux of this document is a promise to pick a fight with Quebec and the provinces over health care. Five days after all the premiers called for a meeting to negotiate an increase in health care funding, Ottawa told them they will not get another dime until 2027.

Why is the government trying to pick a fight when, really, everyone should be coming together to support health care workers?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising the issue.

The last thing we want to do is pick a fight. On the contrary, we have been working together very closely for 21 months. I had another meeting yesterday evening with all my provincial counterparts, the ministers of health. We know how important it is right now to work to get through the upcoming omicron variant crisis.

We all agree that it is important to speed up the administration of vaccine boosters, to make sure that rapid testing is available for people who need it, and to continue to tell people to follow public health guidelines. In Canada, we have the strongest system in the world to overcome the wave that is coming in the next few weeks.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, recent developments are a stark reminder that we are still in the midst of a health crisis and that our health care system remains overburdened.

Nevertheless, this week, despite Quebec announcing new restrictions because of concerns about the variant, despite Ottawa recommending no travel, despite the Liberal Party recommending that people work from home, despite all of that, the government tabled an economic update in which it indicated that there will be no funding until 2027.

Can any of the geniuses across the way explain that to me?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question gives me the opportunity to reiterate two extremely important things.

The first is the strength of mutual support, especially in our federalist country these past few months. Without the co-operation of all levels of government, we would have had thousands more deaths, we would have suffered major economic losses, and we would have put the health of millions of Canadians at risk.

Next, I commend all of my provincial and territorial colleagues for their extraordinary co-operation and for proving that, in Canada, when we work together, we are stronger and we go further.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am impressed.

No one is questioning the fact that Ottawa spent money during the pandemic. The problem is that the government made cuts to health care funding before the pandemic.

The government is now saying that it will not make any investments until 2027. The federal government was not making investments before the pandemic and will not be making any after it. The Liberals confirmed this week that they did not learn anything from COVID‑19 and the fact that health care workers are exhausted. It is frustrating.

How can the government be so oblivious to what is happening in our health care facilities?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think the Bloc could take a minute and reflect on just how much Canada has done for Quebec. However, getting them to acknowledge that Canada, Quebec and the provinces are able to work together is a bit like pulling teeth.

Canada covered $8 out of every $10 of pandemic spending. Our government has always been there when it comes to vaccines, rapid tests and the necessary equipment.

We worked with Quebec and will continue to work with Quebec. The Bloc has such a hard time acknowledging that because what they really want is to pick a fight.

HousingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we learned that housing inflation hit a record 25%. Bloomberg says we have the second-biggest housing bubble in the world. However, where is the money coming from? After all, the wages with which Canadians buy housing are down in real terms. The number of immigrants is also down.

For the Minister of Finance, if the number of people and the amount of wages needed to buy homes are down, yet house prices are up, where is the money coming from?

HousingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that has brought federal leadership back into the housing sector. Since coming into office, we have invested over $27 billion; brought in the national housing strategy; and brought in measures to help Canadians with housing supply, access to affordable housing, rent supports and so on.

When the Conservatives had the opportunity to do the right thing last night by voting in a tax against foreign home buyers they voted against it, so they have no credibility on this issue.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has gone into hiding on this housing-inflation question. Her officials tell The Globe and Mail that she has been skipping her briefings, so perhaps she did not have the answer, but I will ask it again.

Housing price inflation is hitting a record 25%, even though the wages with which Canadians buy housing is down and the GDP is still down from 2019 levels. Given that we have less wealth with which to buy housing, where is the money coming from?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we respect Canadians, and we respect that Canadians need help with the high cost of living. Unfortunately, the member for Carleton refers to support for child care as a slush fund for families.

That is offensive to families. It is offensive to children, and it is offensive to dealing with the very real high costs of living that Canadians are facing. On this side of the House we will be there to support Canadians, support families and make sure they have the tools and resources they need for success.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I refer to the $100 billion of new and unnecessary spending as a slush fund. That is $6,600 in new costs for every single family in Canada. We know those families cannot afford to pay it, even if the finance minister is in hiding from this question. The reality is that house prices are up 25%, the worst housing inflation on record and the second-worst housing bubble in the world.

With wages actually down, meaning the money with which people buy houses has dropped, where is the money coming from?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would appreciate it if the member for Carleton would apologize to hard-working families for saying that support for child care is akin to a slush fund. On this side of the House—

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am sorry, but I am trying to hear the answer and there is just too much noise in here. Order, please. The hon. member for Carleton wants to hear the response.

The hon. minister.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Karina Gould Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, on this side of the House, we understand there is a high cost of living. That is specifically why we are helping hard-working families with the high cost of child care. It is specifically why we are helping hard-working families to access more affordable housing and housing affordability.

Unfortunately the members opposite just do not get it and are not proposing anything that would actually help Canadian families.