House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Madam Speaker, it is wonderful to see you back in the chair. It is also wonderful to ask a question of my colleague, who I have worked very closely with when it comes to women's issues.

Throughout this pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of deaths and in domestic violence cases, which have gone up rampantly. We have seen huge changes in these numbers.

I wonder if the member could share with me some of her solutions to this. As we know, there has been nothing and we continue to see a rise in this. What are some of the things the government can do to ensure the safety of women?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, what we saw most often during the pandemic was women trapped 24 hours a day with their abuser, women who had trouble breaking out of that cycle of violence. As I mentioned in my speech, 10-year action plans take too long, because the time to act is now. We have had 18 femicides in Quebec this year, and that is far too many.

The money could go through Quebec, which already has an all-party committee in place and an action plan to fight violence against women, but implementing it will obviously depend on the transfers Quebec receives. Ottawa therefore needs to transfer funds to Quebec.

The same thing goes for housing, because the other problem is that we have to find somewhere for these women to stay. Right now, there is a freeze on funding transfers for women's shelters, so these women are having trouble finding a place to live. That is why I mentioned in my speech how important it is that we take action and transfer money for more housing so that Quebec can implement its action plan to fight violence against women.

Ottawa will soon be introducing legislation related to the Department of Justice that will require careful consideration by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. I know that my colleague and I will meet again on that committee, and I look forward to working with her.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my dear colleague from Shefford. I want to ask her a question because she talked about the Trans Mountain pipeline. I am all for getting rid of that pipeline. We cannot meet the Paris targets if we increase oil sands production. However, many members seem to be misunderstanding something.

I will say this in English because I want it to be really clear. There are two pipelines. There is the old one, which is leaky and was bought in the 1960s. It was, until the floods, bringing crude oil from Alberta to a refinery in Burnaby. That one I do not think anyone had any trouble with. It had been running for a long time, it was just old, and we spent way too much money for it.

The one everyone wants stopped is the expansion that would carry a different product for purposes of export in tankers. It is diluted bitumen, which is a product that is inherently of low value, does not have markets, is impossible to clean up should it spill and massively—

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

I really apologize, but I have to give the member the opportunity for a very short answer.

The hon. member for Shefford has 10 seconds remaining.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, in my lifetime, I have fought against the idea of transporting more oil in pipelines. When it comes to pipelines leaking, it is not a matter of “if”, but “when”. That sums up the entire problem with respect to the environment. That is why we need to stop investing in any new pipelines and embark on an energy transition.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Order. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, Health; the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, Housing; the hon. member for North Island—Powell River, Seniors.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

December 2nd, 2021 / 4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to speak this afternoon from the unceded lands of the Algonquin people. I want to acknowledge that I represent Scarborough—Rouge Park, the lands of many indigenous nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit.

I want to first thank the people of Scarborough—Rouge Park for their incredible support. I was able to secure over 63% of votes in the last election, and it is my third time representing the great people of Scarborough—Rouge Park.

Of course, I could not have done this without the incredible volunteers. I had over 600 volunteers who worked day and night. We knocked on over 115,000 doors. They inspired me greatly, the young men and women who came out day and night. I had to set a very high bar for the type of campaign I ran. It was a very positive campaign. It was not about taking down the opposition; it was about presenting a very positive vision of Canada. I was very proud to do that throughout the campaign.

I want to take the time to acknowledge those who were part of my core team, including Shauna, David, Waleed, Gavin, Piyush, Ella, Anojini and Asma who worked diligently to get the results we got; my election day chair Gowthaman; and campaign managers Joshua and Dorine. They were incredible in their efforts. I also want to thank the donors, those who cooked, those who put up signs, those who scrutineered, those who did everything possible to make this election a success, including the very responsible staff at Elections Canada.

Endeavours such as politics involve the entire family and I would be remiss if I do not acknowledge the steadfast support of my loving wife Harini and my children Sahanah and Bairavi, who, as every election comes and goes, seem to be getting older and wiser, I might add, but who continue to guide me in all the things I do, including my mother, who has always been my rock and my strength.

I want to congratulate all my colleagues who been elected for the first time and re-elected, and their families for their sacrifices.

I will now reply to the Speech from the Throne and I will be splitting my time with my dear friend from Oakville North—Burlington.

The primary focus of our government over the past two years has been to end the fight on COVID. This is a very important fight that has taken many Canadian lives, but we know we are at the forefront in leading this fight, including the procurement of vaccines and ensuring that those in Canada are vaccinated. Of those eligible, 82.3% have had their first dose and 79.6% have their second, which is an incredible feat for any country. We are also on the cusp of administering the third dose to Canadians.

This fight has always been taken by front-line and essential workers, many from very marginalized communities. I want to thank them and acknowledge their incredible efforts over the past two years. In my community, the Scarborough Health Network, the TAIBU Community Health Centre, the City of Toronto, led by Dr. Eileen de Villa, and others have been instrumental in this fight. I would be remiss if I did not thank and acknowledge them and their families for their service.

Some of the things that have been highlighted over the last two years include mental health. We have lost many people due to mental health over the past few years, but particularly during COVID. I had a very dear friend who took his life, and I know many others are struggling. The Speech from the Throne directly responds to the issues of mental health and addiction.

Long-term care homes have been a significant challenge. In my riding, in one particular institution, over 53 people died, including one personal support worker. The Speech from the Throne responds to that.

Just last week, I had the privilege of visiting the Tony Stacey Centre. It was initially built as a veterans home for seniors. I was able meet with the chair and some of the staff. There are long-term care homes across the country that are in a similar state of disrepair, but because of the hard work of their management, staff and universal care, they have been able to pull through with minimal loss of life. It is really a sad reflection of the state of our long-term care homes. This is an area where the federal government has a very important role to play, one that is outlined in the Speech from the Throne.

I want to talk about the resilience of our economy. There are a number of things we need to do, but, first and foremost, it is heartening to see that we have been able to recover 100% of the jobs we lost during the pandemic. Our GDP is close to pre-pandemic levels. By all accounts, our economy is starting to throttle in full force.

However, there are very important lessons we need to learn from the pandemic, including the need for child care. In our case, we proposed $10-a-day child care. I believe eight provinces have now signed on, with the exception of Ontario and New Brunswick. It is a very important initiative and so fundamental for families.

When our kids were young, we had such difficult choices to make, balancing work and other things in life, including, and most important at that time, child care. This will transform families. It will transform the ability of women to be in the workforce in full form. I am very excited about this. I hope the Province of Ontario will soon sign onto $10-a-day child care.

We have heard about housing affordability and the cost of living. With the measures we are introducing here, including child care and incentives for first-time homebuyers as well as rent-to-own programs, we know they will support families in Scarborough—Rouge Park and everyone in Canada.

The need for bold climate action is so prevalent, as we see floods on both our east and west coasts, as well as very erratic temperatures across the world. We know that some countries may not even exist in a decade or two. As a result, the need to accelerate the fight on climate change is so important.

Locally, I want to highlight a couple of things that are happening in my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park. Earlier this year, the federal government committed to investing $2.26 billion toward the Scarborough subway extension. It is the single-largest investment by any federal government in Scarborough and is a very important tool in the fight against climate change. As well, there is a need for the extension of the Scarborough LRT East to Malvern. The City of Toronto has put in $1.3 billion and I am hopeful that the federal government, through permanent public transit funding, will be able to put its share into this.

The second part of our action on climate change is the Rouge National Urban Park, which is the model for the rest of Canada. I know we will build on that as we build national parks in other urban centres, including Windsor, Saskatoon and places like Halifax.

I would like to acknowledge and reflect on the recent findings in Kamloops and the other children's graves found around the country. It is heartbreaking and it requires a collective effort on the part of all of us, not only to double down on the 94 calls to action but to also ensure that we have truth, accountability and justice. We need to move forward on this to ensure that the survivors who need closure will be able to get it through interlocutory and any other supports that can be provided by the federal government.

There is a lot more in the Speech from the Throne, but I commit to continue to collaborate with my colleagues across the aisle. I want to ensure that, like the historical vote we had yesterday, we are able to work together to better the lives of Canadians, to ensure that justice exists for the survivors of residential schools and to ensure we move toward a path of reconciliation.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the words of the member opposite, as well as his work in the previous Parliament on the indigenous and northern affairs committee.

My friend across the way talked about child care in his speech, and I am going to ask him the same question I asked his colleague a few moments ago. The government was running substantial deficits prior to the pandemic, and it ramped up the spending after the pandemic hit. It was, in fact, printing money, and inflation is on the rise. The solution from the Prime Minister seems to be to solve inflation by coming up with yet another government program.

We know that nothing is really working on that side of the House. Indigenous communities are still waiting for boil water advisories to clear. Veterans are still waiting in line, and we have a housing crisis. I do not think it is smart to put yet another program in place when we cannot even figure out the ones we have.

Does the member think it is fair to have the kids of today actually paying for their own child care, even if they do not know it yet?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Madam Speaker, I always enjoy working with my colleague. He was a very constructive member of the committee.

However, I have to disagree with him. Child care is so fundamental to families in Canada. When I was knocking on doors, I spoke with many families about the need for affordable child care. Ontario is a rare exception in that it has not signed on. I am very hopeful that it will sign on. It will be transformational, and it will ensure that more people are in the workforce, particularly women.

This is an important step. We have learned an important lesson through the pandemic, and it is high time we implement this. We are long overdue for a national child care program. The $10-a-day program would serve that purpose. I look forward to working with my friend opposite on other initiatives that the government brings forward.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague’s speech. I have a question for him about immigration.

Quebec is experiencing a serious labour shortage, and immigration seems to be one of the solutions. However, we know that the Department of Immigration is one of the most dysfunctional departments in the federal government. I do not think that it is right to have staffers in our members' offices spending half of their day dealing with immigration cases that are gathering dust on someone's desk. I get the impression that the Department of Immigration does not have enough resources or people working to deal with the growing backlog.

What solutions does my colleague have in mind? Should we immediately inject more resources into the Department of Immigration? Should we transfer some of these responsibilities to Quebec so that at least everything will be in the same place and there will be less buck-passing between the two levels of government? What does he believe are the solutions?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Madam Speaker, immigration is so important. I know we are committed to bringing in 40,000 Afghan refugees. We will ensure that immigration is fair.

Going forward, we have so many great programs, including a program we introduced recently, which has 250 spaces per year for human rights defenders. It is a very unique program, and Canada has signed on to it. I am hopeful that with the immigration challenges we have, we will be able to get through the pandemic and be able to ensure that processing is fair, adequate and speedy.

I am absolutely certain we will get to that point very shortly.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon. member for rising. In the past session, he was a bulwark of the party's truth and reconciliation process, through which the government is engaging in the atrocities that have been uncovered in our residential schools across the country.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has denounced the doctrine of discovery. Four of the commission's calls to action, calls to action 45, 46, 47 and 49, urge the government to publicly disavow the racist and white supremacist notion of the doctrine of discovery. The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly stated that the heart of reconciliation is to reconcile the pre-existing rights of indigenous peoples with the assertion of Crown sovereignty. The phrase “assertion of Crown sovereignty” is a Canadian euphemism for the doctrine of discovery.

The Mohawk Institute Residential School, which is near my riding, is beginning its painful process of recovering bodies. As we know, close to 7,000 children have been recovered across the country so far. Given its correlation with the deaths of over 7,000 indigenous children, would the hon. member repudiate the doctrine of discovery?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge Park has five seconds to respond.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Madam Speaker, yes.

Access by Members to the House of Commons Precinct—Speaker's RulingPrivilegeSpeech from the Throne

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Earlier today, the Speaker found a prima facie question of privilege in relation to the decision of the Board of Internal Economy to require vaccination against COVID-19 for members accessing the House of Commons precinct. However, the Speaker signalled that he would reserve his final ruling until such time as the member for Banff—Airdrie could move an appropriate motion. Since the member for Banff—Airdrie has since indicated that he is satisfied with the Speaker's finding and no motion was subsequently moved, the Chair considers the matter to be closed.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Oakville North—Burlington.

The House resumed consideration of the motion for an address to Her Excellency the Governor General in reply to her speech at the opening of the session, and of the amendment.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that I am speaking today from the unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

I will begin by thanking the people of Oakville North—Burlington for the confidence they have placed in me by electing me for the third time to this place. Our riding was created in 2015, and it has been my greatest honour to be its first and only member of Parliament.

I also want to thank my incredible team of volunteers and donors, without whom I would not be here, and my staff, who I would argue, are the best on the Hill. I thank them very much.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my family, who have been beside me every step of the way. My son, Fraser, knocked on doors when he was nine years old when we were trying to save a local pool from being closed, and now in this past election, more than 20 years later, he brought his son, my grandson, Cameron, out to campaign with his nanny.

I was motivated to enter politics to make my community better. I continue to be motivated by the desire to leave the world better than I found it. Our government's throne speech lays out a number of priorities that will do just that.

Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. As a climate leader, Canada has put in place measures to reduce pollution and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. To create a more resilient economy, create jobs and grow the middle class, Canada must take strong and bold climate action. That is why we are moving forward to cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions, invest in public transit and mandate the sale of zero-emission vehicles.

The federal government has already worked in partnership with Oakville Transit and Burlington Transit to deliver over $60 million in federal funding over the past five years to modernize and electrify our public transit fleets. It has also worked with the Ford Motor Company of Canada by investing $295 million to make its Oakville plant the hub for electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada.

Since elected, I have advocated for a strategy to get more people active, encouraging them to use their feet and their bikes to get around. I am thrilled that our first-ever active transportation strategy was announced this summer, with $400 million in funding over five years. I look forward to working with Oakville and Burlington to help them access this funding to better connect our communities and expand our already beautiful trails system.

Together, we need to go further and move faster on climate action, not just to protect our environment, but to grow our economy in a way that leaves no worker behind.

Building a better future starts with getting the pandemic under control and finishing the job on vaccines. It is because of the efforts of all Canadians that more than 86% of us over 12 years old are fully vaccinated, and children between the age of five and 11, like Roisin and Tiernan O'Meara, are getting the vaccine.

Halton Region has done outstanding work distributing vaccines in our community. The leadership of our medical officer of health, Dr. Meghani, has been exceptional, and I want to thank her and her colleagues for their work to keep our community safe.

To build a healthy future, however, we must do more than get needles in arms. We must strengthen our health care system and public health support for all Canadians, especially for seniors, veterans, persons living with disabilities, vulnerable members of our communities and those who have faced discrimination by the very system that is meant to heal. There is much work to be done on mental health and addictions treatment, on improving long-term care and accessibility, and integrated data collection to inform future decisions and get the best public health results possible.

Over the last year and a half, I have heard from businesses and individuals who have told me that they do not know how they would have survived without supports from our government. I have heard repeatedly about the labour shortage in Canada. Each of us in this place can be leaders in our communities by talking to business and our chambers of commerce about the untapped potential of people living with disabilities. Twenty-five percent of Canadians are living with a disability, and about 70% of those are unemployed or underemployed. What an opportunity for employers to bring on someone in a wheelchair to their law firm or an individual with an intellectual disability to their assembly line or child care centre.

We are moving forward on safe, affordable, inclusive child care for all, with nine provinces and territories already signed on. When my son was born, I had four months maternity leave, which was the law at the time. When it came time to return to work, the cost of infant care was more than we could afford. I almost did not return, but thanks to an incredible boss who doubled my salary, gave me an extra month at home and promised that I could take whatever time I needed for my son, I did return.

My life would be very different if it were not for Ken Field, and I know my experience was the exception not the rule. Women should never have to decide between having a child and their career. Our plan for $10-a-day child care, which we still need Ontario to sign on to, will not only be good for children and families, but will grow the economy by billions of dollars when women are able to fully participate.

Canadians were horrified by the discovery of unmarked graves and burial sites located near former residential schools. As a country and a government, we must continue to tell the truths of these tragedies so we can right past wrongs and move forward in the spirit of reconciliation for everyone.

I have heard about home ownership for young people repeatedly, and that is why we are going to be putting home ownership within reach for first-time homebuyers with a first-time homebuyer incentive, a new rent-to-own program, and by reducing closing costs.

Indigenous women are the fastest-growing prison population in Canada, and have been for some time. Most of these women are in prison because of poverty, trauma, mental illness, addiction or gender-based violence. Recently I visited Grand Valley Institution for Women and spoke to some of the women there. Sadly, because so many indigenous women are entering the criminal justice system, we have run out of room for them at institutions near their communities, and they have been transferred out of their home communities. Sixty-five indigenous women are now held at Grand Valley, while a few years ago it was just 13.

We must implement changes to mandatory minimum sentences and other reforms to the criminal justice system, including restorative justice, to stem the tide that is disproportionately sentencing indigenous women to federal prison. It has been said that when they sentence a woman to prison, they also sentence the child. While the mother-child initiative at Grand Valley is outstanding, too many of the children of these moms are in foster care. We must do better.

During the election campaign, I was once again targeted by the gun lobby. I have been a vocal advocate for enhancing public safety through gun control, from extended background checks in Bill C-71 to banning military-style assault rifles. Over 80% of Canadians support these measures, but the Conservative Party and Canada's gun lobby do not. From depicting me in demeaning and misogynistic cartoons, to distributing flyers door to door in my riding, the gun lobby and the Conservative Party are becoming more and more intertwined and more and more out of touch with the concerns of Canadians. I know my constituents overwhelmingly support our efforts on gun control, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with our government on the issue.

I heard repeatedly at the doors that Canadians want us to work together in Parliament. They appreciated the early pandemic response when we all worked together. It is my sincerest hope that we can set aside partisanship when we are in this place, as we did yesterday in passing Bill C-4 to end conversion therapy. When we disagree, which we will, let us disagree agreeably. Canadians expect no less.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, I note that the member mentioned the first-time homebuyers incentive, and I have been a long-time critic of the program. It has only helped 9,100 Canadians actually purchase a home because the government has changed the criteria. As of this throne speech, this will be the third set of criteria since September 2019. If we just look at the number of homes sold last year in 2020, which was a pandemic year, over 550,000 homes changed hands, from a willing buyer to a willing purchaser, which is 1.6% of people.

Will the government just admit, and will the member agree with me, that the program is a failure, and that it is time to abandon it to do something else like adopt the Conservative plan for housing?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, while I appreciate the hon. member's question, I disagree with him wholeheartedly.

We are increasing the first-time homebuyers' incentive. As someone who has a son who was just very recently a first-time homebuyer, and he has many friends who have been first-time homebuyers, I know that they appreciate the support we have given, but we need to do more.

There is not only one solution to the housing crisis for young people, and that is why we have put forward a suite of programs that will help people, as opposed to the Conservative program, which, in my opinion, would not have supported young people to get into a new home.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. I really enjoyed working with her on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. I hope she will serve on it again in this Parliament.

She talked about gun control. In the previous Parliament, we did not have the time to study Bill C‑21, which nobody liked anyway, not firearms owners and not those who want to see assault weapons and all other firearms banned, because it did not make the buyback of military-style assault weapons mandatory.

The Liberals have promised to make the buyback mandatory, which is a very good thing. However, the problem with the May 2020 list of banned firearms is that similar firearms or variations on them, like the SKS, are still available on the market.

Why not try to include a definition of a military-style assault weapon in the Criminal Code? That way, we would know what type of firearms to ban, instead of making a list of banned firearms and leaving similar firearms on the market.

What does my colleague think of that?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to work with the hon. member, and I know we share many of the same values and same desire when it comes to gun control and keeping the public safe.

We have not introduced new legislation. In whatever capacity I end up with in committees, I would be happy to work with her and open to listening to suggestions she may have in terms of ensuring we are being most effective when it comes to banning military-style assault rifles.

I look forward to working with her, and it is quite important that we move forward on the mandatory buyback. There is someone in my own riding who has said he has two AR-15s that we will have to rip from his cold, dead hands. I would sleep much better at night knowing those weapons were not in his hands.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her advocacy for child care and prison reform. I share those passions.

However, in her speech, the member used the words “as a climate leader” when referring to Canada and to the government. While the government continues to talk about how its plan gets an A, its record gets an F. Its own environment commissioner described Canada's action as going from failure to failure. We have missed every single climate target we have set.

These are not the acts of a government that is serious about the climate crisis. I am curious how this member can stand behind her government when it continues to fail to tackle the climate crisis.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the utmost respect for the member across the way. I watched her speech last week and was so impressed with her advocacy.

I am very proud of our government's actions on climate change. We put a price on pollution. We had to fight my home province of Ontario all the way to the Supreme Court on that. We have ensured we are taking action on climate change because we know how important it is for Canadians, for our health and for our economy.

It is the biggest crisis we are facing right now, and I am proud of the actions we have taken.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Madam Speaker, I understand some of the concerns raised when talking about firearms, but there are also concerns about the fact that many of the crimes we are seeing in the downtown Toronto area, not far from the member's constituency, are using firearms coming from the United States. They are coming through CBSA. There is an absolutely horrific thing happening there.

We can talk about what we see, but we know the majority of these crimes are being done with illegal firearms. Can the member tell me how the government is going to deal with that? In the last Parliament, the government was going to reduce minimum mandatory sentences for these people and firearms.

What is the government going to do when it comes to criminals and firearms?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Madam Speaker, 75% of people who die by a firearm die by suicide, so dealing with firearms is not a one-approach system. We reinvested $500 million into border services, which were cut by the previous Conservative government. We are taking a multipronged approach to firearms, which is what we need to do.