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

COVID-19 VaccinesStatements by Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister seems to be very smug these days, patting himself on the back for new vaccine deliveries. Without any sense of irony, he congratulates himself. Does he know that Canadians have been waiting for months to get vaccinated because of the government's failure to get vaccines delivered to Canada?

Now with a limited supply entering the country, the Prime Minister claims victory. Does he realize most of our health care and front-line workers are still not vaccinated? Neither are our seniors. In fact, we are now 54th in the world and dropping quickly, yet the Prime Minister beams with pride while Canada languishes with the worst unemployment rate in the G7. Does he realize there are still 850,000 people looking for work compared with a year ago?

All this points to a Liberal government that has failed the ultimate test: to protect our citizens in an emergency. We need to get the vaccine rollout right in order to secure jobs and secure our economic future.

Black History MonthStatements by Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Emmanuella Lambropoulos Liberal Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, February is Black History Month.

This month is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate and honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities. It is a time to reflect on how far we have come as a society and what more we can do to improve.

Instead of focusing on the shortcomings of our society and what we have not yet achieved, I choose to focus on my vision for the world that I want to continue to help build, a world where we can all feel safe, a country where we are all treated equally and with respect and dignity.

I want to continue to help build a world where not only are we all considered equal in the eyes of the law, but we are treated fairly in the application of the law, in the workforce, in the school yard and in our neighbourhoods. I invite all Canadians to help build this world.

I urge teachers and parents to talk to their kids about racism and discrimination. Instill in them the desire to fight racism and all forms of injustice. Teach them empathy and love, that what affects one of us affects us all and that our fates as Canadians, whether we are Black or white, are all interconnected.

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, as the new U.K. variant starts to spread, Canadians were looking for some reassurance today from the chief public health officer, but this is what she said: “For the next months we’re not going to have a lot of people vaccinated, that’s a fact.” She is right. We are now ranked 52nd, and 51 countries in the world are vaccinating quicker than us, many countries at six, seven and even 20 times our rate.

What is the Prime Minister's plan now? Is he just going to lock us down forever?

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darren Fisher LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, we are taking a multi-layered approach to keep Canadians safe. As we have said many times in the House, we are working with the provinces and territories to protect our communities from outbreaks of new COVID-19 variants. As part of that work, we have announced $53 million to create a variants of concern strategy, which will increase our monitoring and surveillance of new COVID-19 variants in Canada. By partnering with experts in research and public health, this will increase our ability to detect, track and address outbreaks of COVID-19 variants in Canada.

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, the purchase of vaccines is the most important procurement since the government bought arms in the Second World War. Thousands of lives and tens of thousands of jobs depend on it. When the Prime Minister thought about who he should buy them from, he looked around the world and said, “I know: the country that is holding our people hostage.” Members can imagine the PRC politburo filled with bureaucrats rolling around on the ground in gut-splitting laughter at the Prime Minister's naivety.

I have a simple question. When he wasted 100 days in the PRC, what the hell was he thinking?

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madam Speaker, we have distributed almost 1.6 million doses of the vaccine to Canadians and this week we received the outstanding news that 14.5 million Canadians will be vaccinated by the end of June, leading to every Canadian who wishes to receive a vaccine being vaccinated by the end of September. We have one of the most comprehensive vaccine supply portfolios in the world, and we will continue working with the provinces and territories to—

HealthOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, vaccines are essential to the economic recovery. We cannot get our economy back to normal until people are vaccinated. It is crucial. We are going to hit a wall if we do not do something.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has said that one in six businesses is at risk of closing down this year if nothing changes. This would put more than 2.4 million jobs at risk.

How does the government plan to protect businesses and jobs?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Since day one of the pandemic, we have been taking action to support our SMEs. As the member is well aware, over 850,000 businesses received assistance from the Canada emergency business account. We are paying the wages of Canadian workers across the country.

We are there for our small businesses. We have been there from the beginning, and we will be there until the end of this pandemic.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, Canada has spent more than any other G7 country.

However, the reality is that Canada has the highest rate of unemployment in the G7. If the government's plan were working, our unemployment rate would not be so high. Clearly the plan is not working.

To make matters worse, although this government claims to be feminist, women are the ones who have been hit the hardest. Unemployment among women has risen by 40%.

What is the government's plan for getting Canadians back to work?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I welcome that question because it gives me an opportunity to share something concrete that we can all do to help small businesses and workers, and that is pass Bill C-14. I would like to quote Dan Kelly, who said that this bill has some important measures for small business and urged all parties to ensure this support is passed quickly.

That is one thing we can all do to help Canada's workers and small businesses.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, I would actually encourage the Minister of Finance to go see the 213,000 Canadians who lost their jobs last month and tell them that the guy she quoted just now says everything will be fine. That is not the reality of the situation.

Since the minister wants to talk about Bill C-14, is the government ready to accept our proposal to split Bill C-14 so we can resolve things for businesses and workers once and for all right away?

That is our proposal. Why did they say no the first time?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague just quoted the CFIB.

I will stress once again that the concrete action we can all take to help small businesses in Canada and workers in Canada is to vote in favour of Bill C-14.

This is not a time for partisan disputes. This is a time to unite and help Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, plans to develop a vaccine in partnership with China and CanSino failed.

On February 2, the Bloc Québécois asked the Minister of Health why the government had chosen China over Canada's own production capacity. She replied that “the decision about which candidates we should place our bets on was guided by the advice of the experts on the vaccine task force.” Yesterday, however, the task force confirmed that, on the contrary, it had recommended against moving forward with CanSino.

Why did the government go against the recommendations of the experts and, more importantly, why did it cover that up?

HealthOral Questions

February 19th, 2021 / 11:25 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madam Speaker, as the member well knows, and as all Canadians know, we entered into negotiations with many vaccine manufacturers to ensure that we would have the most diversified vaccine portfolio in the world.

Some 14.5 million Canadians could be vaccinated by the end of June, and all Canadians could be vaccinated by the end of September. That is excellent news.

HealthOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, my question is on the recommendations and the fact that the government says it is relying on science, but scientists are publicly saying that this was not the case with CanSino. That is a big transparency problem.

The government says it was guided by science when it refused to give $2 million to a very advanced Quebec vaccine project at Université Laval. It also says it relied on science to invest $54 million in CanSino, but we now know from scientists themselves that that is not true.

Will the government release the expert recommendations that led it to stopping the Quebec vaccine or are we to presume that it was a purely political decision?

HealthOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madam Speaker, obviously we are guided at all times, especially during the entirety of this pandemic, by experts, scientists and our groups of immunization and vaccine scientists.

That is precisely how we ended up with a very diverse vaccine portfolio, including a Quebec vaccine candidate from Medicago. Obviously we are pleased about that.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, two weeks ago, I told the House about my constituent, Robert Major, who applied for the CERB in good faith because he was unable to work due to health issues. Robert was asked by the CRA to repay that money.

Last week, the government finally relented and recognized its mistake in clawing back CERB for self-employed Canadians, but it still refuses to recognize its mistake in forcing people like Robert to pay back the CERB.

We are in the middle of the second wave. People are terrified for their future. Why will the government not remove the entire unfair clawback?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Windsor—Tecumseh Ontario

Liberal

Irek Kusmierczyk LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Madam Speaker, when the pandemic hit, we quickly introduced the CERB, helping more than eight million Canadians put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

We know this continues to be a difficult time for many, and we will continue to be there for Canadians who need help. That is why we are allowing self-employed workers who applied for the CERB based on their gross income to keep their payments, as long as they met all other eligibility requirements. For people who may still need to make a repayment, no one is required to do so at this time.

As the Prime Minister said, we will work with Canadians who need to make repayments in a way that is flexible and understanding of their circumstances. There will not be penalties or interest for anyone who erred in good faith.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Madam Speaker, Canadians are tired of waiting for the government, tired of watching it miss every single climate target it sets. When the Liberals finally introduced climate accountability legislation, not only was it full of gaps, putting off accountability for a decade, but now the government seems to be putting off debate on the bill indefinitely.

We have said that we are willing to work constructively to improve this bill, to make sure there is accountability built in before 2030, but now it has been months and there is no sign of this urgent climate legislation coming back to the House.

Why is the Prime Minister once again putting off climate action?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Madam Speaker, we are proud to be the first government in history to put forward a bill that legislates carbon neutrality between now and 2050.

We are diligently working, not only with Canadians but community groups as well as opposition parties, including the hon. member, to look at all possible ways that the bill could be improved upon. We look forward to moving through that process in the House as well in the committee in order to deliver to Canadians the best possible legislation we can. We know we are doing it for our kids and our grandkids, and we want to get it right.

HealthOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Madam Speaker, this morning the government released new modelling with regard to the spread of variants in Canada. The government has suggested that more lockdowns are needed, but there is something that could fix this problem, and it is a vaccine.

The CBC's John Paul Tasker just tweeted that Dr. Theresa Tam said this morning, “For the next few months we're not going to have a lot of people vaccinated. That's a fact....”

With today's modelling, are the Liberals admitting that their failure to vaccinate Canadians has made Canada vulnerable to variants and will create more lockdowns?

HealthOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darren Fisher LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, Canadians are proud that we have secured one of the strongest vaccine profiles in the world; more doses per capita than any other country. Health Canada regulators have been working around the clock to complete a thorough and independent review of vaccine candidates.

It is with a bit of pride that I can tell the House that we have now sent 1.56 million vaccines to provinces and territories. We are on track to ensure that every Canadian who wants a vaccine can get one by September. We will continue to have the backs of Canadians.

HealthOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Madam Speaker, I think the member has just said that he is proud of the fact that modelling shows that our country is going to have an extreme spread of the variants, that we are going to have to be facing more lockdowns and that the head of the Public Health Agency has just said, ”For the next few months we're not going to have a lot of people vaccinated. That's a fact....”

A portfolio does not mean that vaccines are here right now. The government has left us in a tinderbox situation where these variants and the modelling they are showing might lead to more lockdowns, more lives lost and more jobs lost. This is crazy.

Will the government admit its failure and tell us what it is doing to fix this problem?

HealthOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darren Fisher LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, as I said earlier, we are taking a multi-layered approach to keep Canadians safe. We are working, as we have from the start, with provinces and territories to protect our communities from outbreaks of these new COVID-19 variants.

As part of that work, we did announce $53 million to create a variants of concern strategy, which does increase our monitoring and surveillance of new COVID-19 variants in Canada. We will partner with experts and research in public health. This will increase our ability to detect, track and address outbreaks of COVID-19 variants in Canada.