House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was languages.

Topics

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, Air Canada says there will be no passenger refunds without a bailout. The government says there will be no bailout without refunds. We are a year into this pandemic, and somehow the government has allowed billions of dollars of air passengers' own money to become a bargaining chip in negotiations. The U.S., the U.K. and the EU all found ways to mandate refunds; why are other countries so much better at protecting passenger rights than Canada's government is?

Air TransportationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Omar Alghabra LiberalMinister of Transport

Madam Speaker, this is an issue that we also talked about yesterday at committee. I want to assure the member, as we are right now in the midst of discussions with the major airlines, that the issue of refunds for Canadians who had to cancel their trips through no fault of their own is on the table, so I can assure him and all Canadians that this is an important aspect of our discussion.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Lyne Bessette Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to refer to something that was said recently by Jan Reimer, former mayor and current executive director of a provincial council of women's shelters.

According to her, the proposed legislation is a step in the right direction. She said that we see women being threatened with a gun and that is one of the major, if not the major, causes of death for women in domestic violence relationships. She believes that better control does not take anybody’s rights away, but it does protect women’s rights to safety.

Here in Quebec, people have seen brutal acts of violence against women—

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Public SafetyOral Questions

February 19th, 2021 / 11:45 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Brome—Missisquoi for her question.

I know that this issue is especially important to her. I think it is safe to say that no other government has done as much to improve gun control in Canada. For example, our Bill C-71 enabled background checks. On May 1 of last year, our government banned 1,500 military-style assault weapons. This week, we are reinforcing that ban with Bill C-21, which also introduces “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws that make it possible to remove firearms and limit individuals' access to firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or to their family and friends. The goal is to fight violence against women and intimate partner violence. This measure was welcomed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, by the coalition of doctors for—

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, a small business right here in Ottawa is being told by Parks Canada that it is not eligible for the 75% rent support because its six-month lease is considered an annual lease. As the minister is no doubt aware, six months and a year are two very different things. The government loves to pat itself on the back, but then it actually ignores helping the people who need it.

Why is Parks Canada taking the absurd step of counting a six-month lease as an annual one?

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I am so glad the hon. member shares my concern for helping Canadian small businesses. While we continue to fight COVID, they do desperately need our support, and that is why I would like to ask the hon. member, and all of his Conservative colleagues, to join us in getting Bill C-14 passed.

In fact, Dan Kelly, the head of the CFIB, has called on all of us to get this done. He said that the CFIB urges all parties to ensure this support—

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, numerous veterans in my riding have come to me expressing concern over extensive delays with Veterans Affairs Canada. One veteran's disability benefit application went in four years ago, and it still has not been processed. Another veteran's application has been undergoing a departmental review, and this has now been since 2019. These are unreasonable and unacceptable delays.

Why is the minister leaving veterans waiting up to four years for their disability benefits to be processed?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darrell Samson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, our recent investment of nearly $200 million will allow us to hire hundreds of new staff and speed up the process, ensuring that veterans receive faster decisions.

Veterans should receive the benefits and services they are entitled to in a timely manner. As I have said, the backlog is unacceptable. This is my number one priority, and we are going to do everything we can to ensure that we tackle and clean up this backlog.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, the government has smashed records when it comes to deficits and debt, but when it comes to jobs the government gets an F. Canada lost nearly 300,000 jobs in December and January. We have the highest unemployment rate in the G7, at 50% above the G7 average.

For all of the spending and all of the debt, where are the jobs?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, Canada has in fact recovered 71% of the jobs lost in the wake of the pandemic, and that is compared with just 56% recovered in the United States. At 64.3%, Canada today has a higher labour force participation rate than Germany, the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

In January, in the midst of lockdowns, total hours worked in Canada actually increased. Canadians are resilient. They are doing their jobs and getting Canada back to work.

HousingOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Madam Speaker, the Liberals' newest housing program gave half a billion dollars to big cities but left the little guys to compete for the rest. They say this initial allocation went to cities with severe housing needs, which I do not doubt, and that it was data driven, which I do doubt. Why? We learned in the HUMA committee that CMHC literally has no way of measuring homelessness in rural and remote communities.

Why has the Liberal government turned its back on rural Canada and ignored their housing needs?

HousingOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, the opposite is in fact true. The rapid housing initiative is a remarkable $1-billion investment directly into the communities that need support to support vulnerable Canadians as they look for housing in this COVID pandemic, as well as through the housing crisis.

I will remind the Conservative member opposite that the policy his party put in place required federal dollars not to be spent on homeless people unless they had been on the street for six months. It was six months before they could receive a penny of support through reaching home in rural, urban and northern communities. That would put a teenager on the street for six months in the middle of winter without any support.

I will take no lessons on fighting homelessness from the Conservatives. They had no fight—

HousingOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, everyone across Quebec wants the federal government to subject federally regulated companies to Bill 101.

That is not at all what is being announced today. The minister's solution is to make companies comply with her Official Languages Act, not Bill 101. In other words, the feds want to extend the Air Canada model to other companies. Air Canada leads the way in every category of complaints, and yet that is the model the feds want to use.

Why does the government refuse to subject federally regulated businesses to Bill 101?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Sherbrooke Québec

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.

All Quebeckers have the right to work and to be served in French, and that is exactly what we are proposing. Since we respect our jurisdictional responsibilities, we are acting within those limits. The Government of Canada has a role to play in the protection of official language minority communities, and it will do so in partnership with the provinces and territories.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, the federal government is overstepping its bounds and invading Quebec's jurisdiction.

Bill 101 needs to apply to federally regulated businesses. That is what Quebec is asking for. Quebec wants Quebec businesses to be subject to Quebec legislation within Quebec's territory. What the Liberals are proposing is to make them subject to an official languages commissioner who does not even have the authority to give violators a slap on the wrist.

When will the government heed Quebec's demands and apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Sherbrooke Québec

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Madam Speaker, I wonder why my colleague is using that tone, because if there is one thing we share, it is a love of the French language.

Today we are proud to be tabling an ambitious reform with excellent measures that will help us make progress. This is a big part of our plan to better protect French in this country, give French a boost and increase the rate of bilingualism in Canada.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Patzer Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, there is one thing Canadians can count on. When dealing with an embarrassing scandal, such as their failed vaccine procurement, the Liberals will use law-abiding gun owners as their punching bag to create a distraction. They wasted billions on their failed gun registry and now they are focused on buying back something the government never owned in the first place: firearms from people who are following the law.

When will the government stop harassing farmers, small business owners and law-abiding gun owners and instead focus on real criminals?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Madam Speaker, I want to reassure all hunters, farmers and sport shooters they are not being targeted in any way and that we have the greatest respect for them.

Our bill actually targets criminals who are smuggling and trafficking firearms. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says it wholeheartedly endorses all efforts to strengthen border controls and impose stronger penalties to combat firearms smuggling and trafficking. That is exactly what we are doing with Bill C-21 and several other measures that will make Canadians safer.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, there was a bill that would have tackled gun violence in the GTA. It was my bill, Bill C-238, which the Liberals shamefully voted against. After five years of sitting on their hands, the Liberals have introduced a gun bill that will not make the GTA any safer.

How is the minister not ashamed of Bill C-21?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Madam Speaker, Bill C-21 is an important step towards better gun control in our municipalities and elsewhere.

It fulfills a commitment we made during the last election campaign to give municipalities more power so they could, for example, ban the storage of handguns within their boundaries. This is a solution we put forward that is being applauded not only by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, but also by Doctors for Protection from Guns, which stated that it is a comprehensive bill that will save lives, and that is our objective.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Martin Shields Conservative Bow River, AB

Madam Speaker, last week, the Liberals did everything in their power to avoid releasing the details of the vaccine contracts they signed. The Liberals filibustered the Conservative motion at the health committee. They then wanted to shut down the committee.

Other countries have made vaccine contracts public. The premiers and federal minister disagree about the contents of the contracts. What were in those contract? What are the Liberals hiding from the Canadian taxpayers?