House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The member will have five minutes remaining for questions and comments after the next proceedings.

Community ServiceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Vuong Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Spadina—Fort York has been fortunate for many years to have the dedicated service of Carolyn Johnson.

Carolyn recently stepped down as co-chair of the York Quay Neighbourhood Association, after volunteering countless hours to ensure that our community was informed and engaged on the many issues facing our vibrant and diverse urban centre. From helping to build a waterfront that is accessible to all to enhancing community safety and so much more, we owe Carolyn a debt of gratitude for her leadership and unwavering commitment.

On behalf of the people of Spadina—Fort York, I express my appreciation to Carolyn for her work as YQNA co-chair and wish her and her husband good health and continued success. I also look forward to continuing to work with YQNA, with Angelo, Ulla and Mary, whose tireless work keeps residents of our community fully aware of issues that matter the most in our neighbourhood.

TaiwanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Simon Sung for his hard work and contribution to his home country of Taiwan and its relationship with Canada.

After starting out in journalism as a young man, Mr. Sung, or just Simon, as most of us know him, decided to pursue his master's in peace studies. He went on to join the foreign services of Taiwan serving in Taipei, Singapore, the U.S. and for the past seven and half years, here in Ottawa at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

Simon has a great love for his home country of Taiwan and for Canada. He has worked diligently to educate people on the history and culture of this beautiful place, making sure that Canadian MPs are aware of what Taiwan has to offer our country and the world. Most importantly, Simon has made sure that the political situation of Taiwan stays top of mind for all of us.

I thank Simon for the great work he has done here in the Ottawa region, and wish him all the best as he returns home. I bid Simon farewell.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the House, I have worked extensively on international human rights issues, but nowadays, I see many stories from Canada suggesting that we are a country in need of intervention.

One recent story that got my attention was from Timothy Que, a 16-year-old who attends Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver. Timothy tried to start a Catholic club, a voluntary association of students who get together to discuss Catholic ideas, but administrators forbade him from sharing Catholic teaching at the club, even with students who chose to attend the meetings. This is a shameful violation of freedom of association, but it is one small drop in a growing sea.

Religious services have faced pandemic-related restrictions that have not been applied to casinos. Government is proposing criminal charges for people who express certain personal or religious views in private conversations. The Liberal platform promised another ideological values test imposed on charities. Dozens of churches were destroyed or vandalized this summer with virtually no comment from political leaders. If these events were happening in another country, I know that Canada would not be silent. I hope more members of Parliament resist the populist pressure to clamp down on minority opinions and instead defend freedom of speech, association and religion as they are protected in our charter.

Pramukh Swami MaharajStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to make this statement today, on the 100th anniversary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

His holiness was a Hindu swami of the Swaminarayan denomination. He gifted the people of Canada the magnificent BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, the first traditionally hand-carved Hindu place of worship in Canada. The Mandir stands as a symbol of Canada's diversity, cultural mosaic and spiritual popularity.

Today, BAPS carries out spiritual and humanitarian activities in 154 towns and cities across our country. Living by the motto “In the joy of others lies our own", his holiness inspired spiritual, humanitarian, environmental, education, health promotion, youth and children's initiatives that touch the people of Canada and the world.

Cartier‑Brébeuf ParkStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Julie Vignola Bloc Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, Cartier‑Brébeuf Park is in my riding. This park is where Jacques Cartier docked his caravel for his first winter and where he had contact with Donnacona and his community. Therefore, it is a national historic site symbolizing the dialogue between francophones and first nations. It could be an ideal place to introduce schoolchildren to the history of Quebec, but this is not possible since the park is closed during the school year.

In the summer, anyone who wants to learn about our history has little in the way of resources. The signs are partly illegible; the reproduction of the caravel has rotted and burned without being rebuilt; the cross that was a reproduction of Cartier's has been so neglected that Parks Canada removed it, with no intention of replacing it. The history between francophones and first nations needs to be highlighted and celebrated through better funding for Cartier‑Brébeuf Park and year-round public access, because Cartier‑Brébeuf Park needs to be more than just a nice, well‑mowed park.

Holiday Fundraising in VimyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Annie Koutrakis Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, the holiday season is fast approaching, and many families will have to rely on food banks to help them celebrate the holidays this year.

I encourage all Canadians to open their hearts and give generously. I encourage the people of Vimy to make a donation to our community organizations. Whether through the food drive organized by the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, the toy drive organized by the Centre communautaire Val-Martin or the fundraising drive organized by the Centre de pédiatrie sociale, there are many ways to help those in need.

Whether it is food, a gift for a child or money for a local charity, even the smallest donations go a long way in brightening the holidays of those who are struggling. In the words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Queen's Platinum JubileeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, February 6, 2022, marks the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen's platinum jubilee is a unique, momentous, historic occasion never seen before and likely will never be seen again.

In keeping with tradition, Canada should use this anniversary to honour outstanding Canadians with a platinum jubilee medal in recognition of public service, volunteerism and other significant civic contributions. Whether it is for rescuing people threatened during the recent catastrophic flooding or appreciating frontline service providers during the current pandemic, rewarding community service with a recognition medal is a Canadian tradition.

I encourage all Canadians to sign electronic petition 3651, initiated by Deep River resident Lucas Bibby, on the House of Commons website before December 21. We can thank our outstanding citizens and honour Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 70th anniversary, and say “Long may she reign.”

John MeaneyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, no one elected has served the City of Kirkland longer than John Meaney, who sadly left us last month. First elected to city council in 1975, John served as mayor from 1994 to 2013. All told, he led Kirkland from a town of about 7,500 into a populous and prosperous Montreal suburb of 21,000, doing so with an efficient decision-making style and practical common-sense approach.

John Meaney was a proud Irish Montrealer born in the iconic downtown neighbourhood of Griffintown. In 2008, in a fitting honour, he was named Grand Marshall of Montreal's legendary St. Patrick's Day parade; and, in 2012, Montreal's Irishman of the Year.

I ask members to join me in offering our sincerest condolences to John's wife Evelyn and daughters Sharon, Colleen and Laurie.

Women's Participation in Public LifeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lena Metlege Diab Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, as the first woman to represent my community in the House, I recently reflected on the importance of women's participation in public life.

We began this week by reflecting on the tragedy of the École Polytechnique massacre. Each year, this moment of mourning and reflection brings back hard memories and the pit I felt in my stomach when I first heard the news that day as a law student surrounded by my female peers.

That cowardly act of misogynistic violence did not stop the progress made by women in our professions or in academia. We would not let it.

Of course, we also marked, yesterday, the 100th anniversary of Agnes Macphail's election as the first female MP in this country. Today, we have a record number of female MPs and I expect to join many of them this evening, as Equal Voice Canada celebrates 100 years of women parliamentarians at a gala dinner. Let us use our time here to model to our daughters and granddaughters that this is a place where they belong.

Their voices and their contributions matter.

Pramukh Swami MaharajStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton Mill Woods, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to recognize the 100th birth anniversary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His holiness was a Hindu swami of Swaminarayan denomination and he gifted the people of Canada the magnificent BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, which is the first traditionally hand-carved Hindu place of worship in all of Canada. The Mandir stands as a symbol of Canada's abundant diversity, cultural mosaic and freedom of religion.

His holiness lived by the saying “In the joy of others lies our own”. This was evident in his work, which promoted health and inspired spiritual, humanitarian, environmental and educational initiatives. BAPS charities have supported communities right across Canada, including in my riding of Edmonton Mill Woods, and provided thousands of COVID vaccines to Canadians.

Since his passing in 2016, his successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, continues his legacy of inspiring people around the world. Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life work is one that needs to be preserved and celebrated for the present and future generations.

Pramukh Swami MaharajStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before continuing, I want to call order. Members are making statements and we would like to hear everything they say. It is nice that everyone is talking among themselves, but the murmur is getting to a point where it is more than that and it is making it difficult for us to hear.

While I am up, I want to remind all members that S.O. 31s are 60 seconds long. Some of them have gone a little longer than that. I do not want to have to cut anybody off.

The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

Local BroadcastingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to register deep concern over the performance of some local radio outlets during the storms and flooding in British Columbia.

On one forum, a former broadcaster commented, “After watching Abbotsford Mayor Braun's 9pm press conference on the city's YouTube channel last night, warning residents of Sumas Prairie to evacuate NOW...I thought I'd dial up the city's radio station to hear what they were doing. After painfully struggling through a 5-minute commercial cluster, they played their station ID and went back to another 10 [songs] in a row!”

A disaster can wipe out land lines, cellphones, cable and the Internet, but traditionally news and alerts have always been as close as that car or truck radio. I plan to ask the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to review broadcasters’ performance in B.C., including disaster plans, staff resources and technical resiliency. With station ownership now so much in the hands of large corporations, there is no excuse for Canadians to be underserved.

Food BanksStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, Christmas is the time to open our hearts and give generously to those in need. Food banks support people of all ages in my riding through different services. Over the past year, there has been an unprecedented demand for those services. Many food banks in the region have seen an over 50% increase in demand and in the number of people using their services, and they have also had to deal with supply problems.

During this holiday season, I encourage members of our community to join me in making food or monetary donations to support families. Many local and regional food drives, associations, family support centres and grocery stores are working together for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière‑du‑Loup.

Each of our RCMs can count on the following volunteer organizations: Moisson Kamouraska in La Pocatière, the Carrefour d'Initiatives Populaires in Rivière‑du‑Loup, Soupe au bouton in Saint‑Jean‑Port‑Joli, and Maison de secours La Frontière in Montmagny.

I invite everyone to be very generous to ensure that everyone can enjoy the holidays.

Women and Gender EqualityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight, with Equal Voice, we are celebrating 100 years of women in the House and the 374 female members of Parliament elected since then.

Over this century, there have been many firsts, beginning with Agnes Macphail breaking the glass ceiling when she was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, along with the first female cabinet minister, Ellen Fairclough, and our first female prime minister, Kim Campbell. I have the honour of being the first female engineer in the House of Commons.

I want to thank these trail-blazing women for their hard work and dedication in paving the way for us now, and I want to honour their legacy by having more diverse voices from women, marginalized communities and minorities here in the House. This will better reflect the diversity of Canada and create a strong political foundation for the representation of all Canadians.

Let us celebrate 100 years of women in this House and look forward to a future of even more.

Pandemic Preparedness ResearchStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Adam van Koeverden Liberal Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House today to highlight some of the remarkable work being done at McMaster University.

I am a proud Mac grad and Marauder, so the opportunity to speak to their work to develop Canada's global nexus for pandemics and biological threats is especially significant.

McMaster University worked with world experts on infectious diseases to fight COVID‑19.

They established Canada’s first global nexus, a network of experts from academia, industry and government, working to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic. Researchers at Canada’s global nexus have developed a second-generation inhalable vaccine, which is expected to be highly effective against emerging variants. I read this morning that researchers at Mac are starting the phase-one trials of the inhaled COVID vaccine now.

Canadian research excellence is leading Canada's contribution to the global recovery from this pandemic, so that every country can emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

I want to thank all the staff at McMaster University for their hard work and innovation that has saved lives.

AlbertaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing the impacts of climate change in Canada, from the recent floods and mudslides in British Columbia to the storms that have threatened Atlantic Canada and the wildfires, floods and droughts that have wrought havoc in Alberta.

However, Albertans are actually facing two crises. One is the climate crisis and the other is the economic crisis. Albertans are caught between the need to reduce emissions and our reliance on the oil and gas sector. A total of 140,000 Albertans work directly in the sector, and hundreds of thousands more jobs rely on it. If we do not support workers in Alberta, Canada will not be able to meet its climate obligations.

After decades of Alberta's contributing to building Canada's economy, it is time for federal leadership to help Alberta secure a lower-carbon future. We need targeted investment to reduce emissions within the sector and targeted investments to create jobs outside the sector. Alberta has the knowledge base, and we just need the federal government to invest in Albertans. This cannot wait. The government must invest in a federal jobs plan now.

Charlevoix Maritime MuseumStatements By Members

December 7th, 2021 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline Desbiens Bloc Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a long time, the St. Lawrence schooners, those beautiful, traditional wooden boats, were the only means of transportation available. They delivered supplies to the towns and villages along the St. Lawrence River and enabled them to flourish long before the railways and roads were built.

As the daughter and granddaughter of schooner captains, I know how courageous and knowledgeable the men who sailed these small but noble hand-built vessels were, and how much they loved the river. I want to highlight the importance of preserving these schooners, which are full of memories, history and pride.

The well-known Musée maritime de Charlevoix has been working hard to implement a major schooner conservation project. The Government of Quebec has just confirmed its contribution of $5 million for that project.

As a daughter of the river, I would be remiss if I did not reach out to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and ask him to follow suit and confirm the $700,000 requested by the Musée maritime de Charlevoix. This would round out the funding we need to preserve our remaining schooners, the jewels of the St. Lawrence.

Chilliwack—HopeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to the people in my riding of Chilliwack—Hope for their selfless and heroic actions during the B.C. storm last month. Farmers rushed into rising flood waters with their trucks and trailers to help their fellow farmers rescue thousands of animals in the Sumas Prairie. Hundreds of people sandbagged in the middle of the night to prevent a catastrophic failure of the Barrowtown pump station.

The people of Hope cared for 1,200 stranded travellers who were cut off for days due to landslides and road closures. Faith communities, service clubs and neighbours sprang into action to help however they could. Angling guides used their own boats to deliver food, take people to medical appointments and help with the recovery effort. First responders and road crews worked around the clock to rebuild supply lines and keep us safe.

I have never been more proud of my community. We came together in a spirit of unity to do whatever needed to be done. We were there for one another during the crisis, and I know we will continue to be there for one another as we rebuild together.

Bob KilgerStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell Liberal Pickering—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to honour a friend and former Liberal MP, Bob Kilger, whose battle with cancer came to an end last week. I never got the chance to serve with Bob, but I got to know him through my dear friend, his wife, Courtney.

Bob was so generous with his time, not only giving me advice but also being a mentor to my staff. Bob told me early on to never be on the bad side of the whip, and that the people working in the whip’s office are extraordinary. They have seen it all, he said, so I should take their advice and guidance. He said they would not steer me wrong.

My favourite story about Bob is the time Wayne Easter and another Liberal MP were not in agreement on an issue, and there was a contentious committee meeting coming up with the two of them. Bob, as whip and a former NHL referee, went to the committee meeting, sat right between the two and made sure nothing happened and that they all stayed in line. As someone who served with Wayne a lot on committee, I know how difficult it is to keep him in line.

I will miss my chats with Bob, but I will not forget his lessons. I want to thank Bob’s wife, Courtney, and his entire family, for sharing Bob with us. This place is better because Bob served here.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, two years is how much time the government had to prepare for the evacuation of Canadian citizens, interpreters and contractors in Afghanistan. A 2019 CSIS report said there would be a quick collapse in Afghanistan if the U.S. withdrew.

With over two years to prepare, how did the Prime Minister oversee the biggest foreign policy disaster in decades?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have continued to be there for the people of Afghanistan, even after withdrawing our troops over 10 years ago. That is why we continued to work with our partner and allies on the evacuation of people from Afghanistan through the summer. Indeed, we continue to stand by our commitment to repatriate 40,000 Afghans to their new home in Canada over the coming times.

This is the work we are continuing to do because Canadians expect it. We continue to work alongside our allies around the world to do just that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at the end of August, when evacuation operations ended in Afghanistan, 1,250 Canadians remained in that country: 1,250 Canadians were stranded on the ground as a terrorist group seized control of the country. What was the Prime Minister doing at the time? He was campaigning.

The longest war in Canadian history ended with Canadians, Afghan interpreters and contractors being completely abandoned by the Prime Minister. Canadians want to know why.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, throughout the month of August, officials, ministers, extraordinary members of the Canadian Armed Forces and diplomats were engaged in a historic effort to get as many Afghans out of the country, and as many Canadians home, as possible.

We worked alongside our partners around the world. We were there to support as many as possible, and we continue to stand strongly with our allies on pressuring the Taliban to allow people to leave the country so we can welcome them here in Canada to start their new lives.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he says historic efforts. Do members know what the Prime Minister was doing as Afghanistan fell? He was preparing for an election. He was calling an election as Kabul fell. He was planning an election instead of an evacuation.

My simple question for the Prime Minister is this. On August 15, when he was briefed that Kabul was about to fall, why did he put his own political survival ahead of the real survival of people on the ground in Afghanistan?