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

Office of the Taxpayers' OmbudspersonRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2020-21 annual report of the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson, entitled “Adapting and Delivering in Unprecedented Times”.

Judges ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Judges Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “The Road Ahead: Encouraging the production and purchase of zero-emission vehicles in Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

National Freshwater Strategy ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-217, An Act respecting the development of a national strategy in relation to fresh water.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to reintroduce this bill from the 43rd Parliament and from an incredible member who first introduced it in the 42nd Parliament. I am also grateful to the member for Edmonton Strathcona for seconding this bill.

I have worked and consulted over the years with local environmentalists, conservation authorities and members from the Oneida Nation of the Thames on this bill. It calls on the government to commit to a national freshwater strategy.

The Thames River runs through my riding of London—Fanshawe, and we are also fortunate to have several wetlands and environmentally significant areas in my riding. These areas are home to an incredible number of birds, wildlife and vegetation. Of course, we are also influenced by the beauty of the Great Lakes which provide all of our communities with environmental benefits that deserve targeted protections and sustainable planning.

It has been well over 20 years since the government established a policy on fresh water, and environmental conditions certainly have changed over that time. While Canada has seemingly abundant fresh water, very little of it is actually renewable. We need a modernized national freshwater strategy. Protection of our fresh water is vital.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Excise Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (psychotherapy services).

Mr. Speaker, today I also have the honour to introduce a private member's bill that would amend the Excise Tax Act to exempt psychotherapeutic services delivered by psychotherapists from the goods and services tax.

I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Courtenay—Alberni who is the NDP critic for mental health, for seconding this bill today. I would also like to thank Stephanie Woo Dearden, a registered psychotherapist from the city of London, who asked me to take action on this issue.

This bill works to ensure that psychotherapists are treated the same as their fellow practitioners in other health care fields are, who do the same kind of work and who are exempt from the excise tax. I urge the government to get behind this very simple but very necessary bill to rectify this blatant tax inequality. The government says that Canadians' mental health is a priority, and this is an opportunity to do something good for Canadians' mental health and for tax fairness in Canada as well.

We all know the impact COVID-19 has had on people's mental health. It was a crisis before the pandemic, and we are certainly seeing the consequences on people now. This is a small but good first step to help people. I am grateful to the people who are working on this issue and who have been calling for tax fairness for psychotherapists for a very long time.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian Environmental Bill of RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-219, An Act to enact the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights and to make related amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to table this bill today. I would especially like to thank Linda Duncan, the former member for Edmonton Strathcona, for championing the bill over 11 years in four Parliaments. I thank the present member for Edmonton Strathcona for seconding the bill today.

The bill would amend the Canadian Bill of Rights to add the right to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. It enshrines that right in a new Canadian environmental bill of rights that would also provide, among other things, the right to access information about the environment and the right to public participation and decision-making regarding the environment. It brings Canada into line with more than 100 countries around the world that have rights to a healthy environment enshrined in their legal systems.

A healthy environment is an integral part of what makes Canadians proud of our country, and this bill would ensure that all of us have the right to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-220, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assault against a health care worker).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to introduce an important bill to Parliament with thanks to the hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for seconding it. This legislation would amend the Criminal Code to require a court to consider the fact that the victim of an assault is a health care worker as an aggravating circumstance for the purposes of sentencing. Violence against health care workers has become a pervasive and growing problem within the Canadian health care system.

Over the last decade, violence-related lost time claims for front-line health care workers have increased by 66%: That is three times the rate for police and correctional officers combined. This is absolutely unacceptable. Health care workers take care of us when we are at our most vulnerable, and we have a responsibility to protect them in return. This legislation would send a strong message that those who provide such critical services must be treated with respect and security. I call on all parliamentarians to support this vital and overdue initiative.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Survivor Pension Benefits ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to survivor pension benefits.

Mr. Speaker, today in Canada we still have the “gold-digger” clause that means spouses of veterans who marry after the age of 60 are not entitled to the automatic survivor pension under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act. This clause is archaic, it is sexist and it must be eliminated. It was created in the early 1900s. It was sexist then, and it is ridiculous that it is in place today. That is why I am tabling the bill today, an act to amend certain acts in relation to survivor pension benefits. This bill would eliminate the marriage after 60 clause so that veterans, RCMP veterans and federal public servants who are punished for finding love later in life no longer have that happen to them. The reality is that this is still happening today.

My office worked with a constituent who is a veteran and was planning to get married. The pandemic came and he could not get married until months later. The problem was he was trying to get married when he was 59, but now he has to get married when he is 60. That means his spouse will be unable to access any support. Canada should not be punishing veterans for finding love later in life by pushing them into poverty before they die.

I want to thank the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for seconding the bill and for his advocacy for the health and well-being of the members of the Canadian military. I hope that the government will consider adopting the bill quickly, and finally eliminate this clause as the Prime Minister himself mandated the minister to do six years ago.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-222, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (travel expenses deduction for tradespersons).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to carry forward the work of the always honourable Scott Duvall and table a bill entitled, “an act to amend the Income Tax Act for travel expenses deduction for tradespersons”.

I would like to thank the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for seconding the motion. This bill would allow for qualified tradespersons and indentured apprentices to deduct travel expenses when they travel to job sites more than 80 kilometres away from their ordinary places of residence.

I would like to extend sincere thanks and congratulations to Pat Dillon, the recently retired business manager and secretary treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, who has been a lifelong leader and advocate for the building trades. I would also like to extend my thanks to my dear friend Mark Ellerker of the Hamilton–Brantford Building and Construction Trades Council who continues to push this issue forward. Last, I want to give a special thanks to Stuart McLellan of IBEW local 105, who has already made it very clear to me that while these types of tax deductions already exist for white collar workers, it is well past time to ensure that similar financial supports are extended to the hard-working people in the building trades.

During the last election, both the Liberals and the Conservatives committed to support for tradespersons, so I believe this bill is one that we can find support on.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, you specifically asked that members be as succinct as possible. When members are full-on introducing how various political parties have taken positions on issues, I am pretty sure they have gone beyond the scope of succinctly introducing the bill. Perhaps you could encourage it to move along a little quicker.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I just want to point out that I encouraged members to be succinct at the beginning and that is what the rules say. I will rely on the judgment of the members to be succinct, and I am sure they will do an excellent job of describing the bills that they are putting forward in as short a time as possible, unlike the explanation I just gave.

National Framework for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-223, An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to introduce the national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income act.

I would like to start by thanking the member of Parliament for Elmwood—Transcona for seconding my bill, my riding of Winnipeg Centre, the Basic Income Canada Network, Basic Income Manitoba, Coalition Canada, the Basic Income Canada Youth Network, Senator Kim Pate, former Senator Hugh Segal and so many other anti-poverty activists across the country who contributed to the development of this bill.

As we continue to find ways to make it through the pandemic, we know that those who were already left behind are even further behind. This bill is in response to calls to implement a guaranteed livable basic income from indigenous, territorial, provincial and municipal jurisdictions that clearly recognize the need to modernize our social safety net. A GLBI is not a panacea, but a way forward to modernize our social safety net in addition to current and future government programs and supports. It would ensure that all people have the necessary supports and resources to live with dignity, security, respect and human rights as affirmed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I once again would like to thank my constituents and the basic income movement for their support. This is a people's movement.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Introduction of Private Members' BillsPoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

I thought my colleague from Kingston and the Islands had an interesting point, although I did not agree with him entirely. He said that we ought to be succinct when introducing private members' bills, and he then cited something he thought was inappropriate in a succinct comment. I do think it is reasonable for members to give an explanation of the content of the bill. I noticed with the last bill, and I have no objection to the bill itself, the member did start by giving a long list of thanks. That would seem to fall outside of succinct.

However, I want to request from you, if you are willing to do it, to perhaps get back to us at some point with a more fulsome description of what you think succinct ought to be. The most precious commodity in the House is time. We do not want to deprive those who are introducing private members' bills of the ability to explain their bills, but I do worry we may see a sort of great inflation and expansion of the time going to each bill, which would ultimately result in less time for other business.

Introduction of Private Members' BillsPoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I will take that under advisement and return to the House with an explanation.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

moved that Bill S-223, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (trafficking in human organs), be read the first time.

Mr. Speaker, this is a piece of legislation that has now passed the Senate unanimously three times. It is a bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent. It also would create a mechanism by which a person could be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they are involved in forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

This is a common-sense piece of legislation that I know has wide support across the House. I want to thank the member for Lac-Saint-Louis for working with me on this, as well as the member for Edmonton Strathcona, the member for Ottawa West—Nepean, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard and many members of my own caucus.

I know many people are hopeful, after multiple attempts over 15 years to get this legislation passed, that the present Parliament will finally be the Parliament that gets this bill done. I hope in particular the government will be supportive of allowing debate to collapse on this bill after the first hour, so we can move it forward to committee as quickly as possible.

(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to succinctly present a petition in support of Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting. This is something that has been worked on in Parliament for well over 13 years, and petitioners hope the current Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was great to hear Bill S-223 introduced, regarding organ harvesting. Bill S-223 seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ. Bill S-223 has passed the Senate unanimously three times, and MPs from multiple parties have been putting forward a form of this bill for over 13 years. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 and is in exactly that same form.

Petitioners hope the current Parliament is the one that finally gets it done.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am incredibly proud to be here to present a petition that was delivered to my office in the riding. This is an important one that talks about the climate emergency we are all facing. The petitioners ask that we see a government that will actually commit to reducing emissions by at least 60% below the 2005 levels, that winds down the fossil fuel industry and ends fossil fuel subsidies, creates good green jobs, and drives for an inclusive workforce that is led by the affected workers and the communities.

This really talks about expanding the social safety net and paying for the transition by increasing the taxes on the wealthiest corporations and through financing from the public national bank.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

December 16th, 2021 / 10:20 a.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my great honour today to table a petition that is asking the Government of Canada to enact legislation to provide just transition.

Recognizing that we are in a climate emergency and a a climate crisis, the petitioners ask that we address the crisis to reduce emissions in Canada and in the global south, that we commit to a jobs plan to help people transition to new jobs in a new economy, that we expand the social safety net and that we tax the ultrawealthy and corporations to help pay for that just transition.

AfghanistanPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, on August 15, Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban. The Government of Canada was completely unprepared to evacuate its own citizens as well as the thousands of Afghan allies and their families who supported our nation's military and humanitarian efforts, leaving them in country and at risk of Taliban retribution. The Veterans Transition Network, non-profit organizations and private supporters have stepped in where the federal government has failed.

The petitioners of my riding of Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon call upon the government to partner with the Veterans Transition Network and others to launch an immediate evacuation effort of our remaining Afghan allies, relocate them to Canada and safeguard them from Taliban retribution.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Melissa Lantsman Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present this petition in support of Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ. This bill has passed the Senate unanimously three times and was brought forward by multiple parties over 13 years. I hope this is the Parliament that gets it done.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and present a petition on behalf of Canadians in support of Bill S-223. The bill would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ.

As we all know, this bill has been presented multiple times in the House of Commons, and we are hoping that this is the Parliament where it finally gets across the finish line.

Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon ProgramsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table this petition on behalf citizens in my riding of Courtenay—Alberni.

The petitioners cite that farmers' markets are an important tool for COVID-19 recovery and, specifically, how important the farmers market nutrition coupon programs are in helping create food security and resiliency by giving vulnerable people access to healthy, locally grown foods and dietary education, as well as positively impacting the physical and mental health of participants by increasing the diversity of fruits and vegetables they consume. A national matching program by the government would assist in meeting those demands, would encourage provinces without a provincial program to create one, and would support those provinces with a provincial program to expand and meet the demand.

The petitioners are calling on the government to create a national matching program for all provincial farmers market nutrition coupon programs across Canada that would match the provinces that already have one and, for those that do not, help them create one.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have to follow my own rule about being succinct, and so I will just say that I am presenting the same petition that was presented by the members for North Island—Powell River and Edmonton Strathcona earlier, which were dealing with the climate emergency.

The petitioners are requesting that the government engage in seven actions, which were listed in the petition. I think the most important point is reducing emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels by the year 2030 and making contributions to emissions reduction in countries in the global south.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

I have 56 petitions to table in the House today.

The first petition is with respect to Bill S-223. Petitioners are calling on the government to support the rapid passage of this bill that would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ without the consent of the person taking it.

Petitioners are hopeful that this Parliament will be the one that finally gets it done. I promise hon. members that petitions on this subject will no longer be tabled as soon as this bill is passed.