House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was continue.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Kanata—Carleton.

[Members sang the national anthem]

House of Commons

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I invite the House to take note that today we are using the wooden mace.

It serves as a reminder of the fire that took the lives of seven people and destroyed the original Parliament buildings the night of February 3, 1916.

Among the items destroyed in that fire was the old mace. The wooden copy that members see today was subsequently made and used temporarily until the current one was given to us by the United Kingdom in 1917.

DiabetesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Green

Jenica Atwin Green Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the most celebrated medical discovery of the 20th century was made by Canadian researchers. Sadly, as we approach the centennial for the discovery of insulin, diabetes is an epidemic in Canada. It directly affects 11 million Canadians and costs our health care system $30 billion each year. Every day, 620 Canadians are diagnosed with this devastating disease, and more than 20 Canadians die from diabetes complications every 24 hours.

Indigenous people living in Canada are among the highest-risk populations for contracting diabetes. In many ways, colonialism has ushered in this reality. If Canada commits to adopting a national strategy, we are also responding to a critical call to action under the TRC.

COVID-19 has only heightened the urgency to act. Adults living with diabetes are more likely to have a severe infection and about three times more likely to succumb to it. Eighty-seven percent of Canadians support the Diabetes 360° national strategy. It must be in the budget. We cannot wait another 100 years to end diabetes.

Lunar New YearStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shaun Chen Liberal Scarborough North, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week, Canadians of Asian descent will leave this difficult year behind and begin celebrations for the lunar new year. For Chinese communities, it marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox, an animal that represents strength, hard work and unwavering determination. In the coming weeks and months, I hope these important virtues will remain with all Canadians from coast to coast to coast as we charge forward like an ox to tackle any challenges ahead. May the Year of the Ox bring good health, protection and security, especially for our seniors and most vulnerable.

Although festivities are different this year, I know that families will find new virtual ways to be together while staying safe and physically distanced.

[Member spoke in Mandarin and Cantonese].

Debbie Bath-HaddenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the mayor of Brock township, Debbie Bath-Hadden, who, on January 24, lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 61.

Debbie was a champion for the community she served with such devotion. Her political career began in 1997, with her election as the ward 4 councillor. In 2018, she made history as the first woman elected as mayor for the township. During her years on council, Debbie was successful in bringing Brock its first Zamboni, a summer day camp program and an annual charity golf tournament. One of her biggest achievements was securing funding from the federal government for a community centre in Brock.

Debbie was a strong community advocate, volunteer and friend, working alongside community organizations, ball and hockey associations, agricultural groups and the Girl Guides of Canada, and serving as the chair of the North Durham Relay for Life.

I wish to send my deepest condolences to her family, her colleagues and the residents of Brock township.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is Black History Month and we have so much to celebrate in Etobicoke North, leaders like Safia Ahmed, Amikley Fontaine, Farhia Warsame, Heba Jibril, Hodan Mohamud, Julie Lutete, Marcia Brown, Mohammed Gilao, Richardo Harvey, Charmaine Roye and Osman Ali.

I wish I could recognize all our leaders, many of whom are on the front lines of the pandemic. Organizations like the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke, the Sylvenie Lindor Foundation, the Somali Women's and Children's Support Network and Trust 15 make a real difference every day. Heba runs my Ottawa office, Hodan works in my constituency office and both have been on the virtual front lines helping our community daily through COVID-19.

This month and always, we recognize Black Canadians who make tremendous contributions, we combat anti-Black racism and systemic inequalities and dedicate ourselves to inclusion, equality and justice for all.

Regions WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw members' attention to Regions Week, an initiative of Place aux jeunes en région.

Regions week is an opportunity to showcase our regions, all of the good things about them and the quality of life there, including my region of Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Now more than ever, we need skilled workers, business succession and young people to contribute to the development and survival of our regions. For over 30 years, the Place aux jeunes en région teams have been working hard to ensure that people build ties to the regions. These teams create mutually supporting communities to facilitate the settlement of newcomers and the professional integration of young people in the regions so they can take full advantage of their experience and stay in the region for a long time. Through its exploratory visits program, the organization helps people discover the riches the regions have to offer, including nature, the great outdoors and the warmth of their residents. Place aux jeunes en région helps people to fall in love with the regions.

I therefore invite everyone to explore the many activities organized throughout Quebec as part of Regions Week.

I want to congratulate the organizers for the work they have done all year to promote the vitality of the most beautiful regions of our country, including my region of Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Canada Post EmployeesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Patricia Lattanzio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the pandemic has certainly helped drive consumers toward online shopping, which means more parcels are being shipped.

I would therefore like to take a moment to talk about the difficult and important work that Canada Post employees all across our country have been doing. They deliver the goods as well as letters and cards, playing an essential role every day as they help our communities [Technical difficulty—Editor] feel connected during this new stay-at-home normal.

I give a shout-out to Alban Malaisé and Richard Marques, two remarkable and hard-working postal workers in my riding of Saint-Léonard.

A thousand [Technical difficulty—Editor].

Air TransportationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nelly Shin Conservative Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the travel industry continues to suffer as a result of COVID-19. With few new bookings and mass cancellations, independent travel advisers are struggling. They are also facing the added challenge of recalled commissions.

Most independent travel advisers are women. Julia is an agent in Port Moody. She has had no income for 10 months, but owes an airline $7,000, which is money she does not have. Sandra is an adviser in Coquitlam. If clawbacks continue, she will have to find $20,000 to pay back the airlines. This is income already declared in her taxes. Most travel agents, like my constituent Monica, continue to spend hours on the phone with insurance, credit card and airline companies to complete cancellations for clients. Many go into debt paying back commissions for hard-earned bookings they continue to service. This is not a legitimate bailout plan for the aviation sector.

Will the government help these women by simply prohibiting the airlines from clawing back on their commissions?

The Great LakesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month, as the incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs assumed his new responsibilities, he declared that no bilateral relationship is more important than that of Canada and the U.S.

As a Great Lakes-St. Lawrence MP with the Welland Canal in my riding, I agree with and applaud the minister’s statement. In fact, it is exactly the kind of approach most Great Lakes advocates are seeking.

The Great Lakes are a binational economic and ecological treasure that need to be given greater attention and prominence by Canada’s local, provincial and federal legislators. Canada must be a willing and engaged partner if our shoreline communities are to reap the advantages of the Great Lakes. These cross-lake relationships are critical in dealing with climate change, lakes-based job creation, environmental solutions and additional binational issues.

I thank the minister for suggesting this priority approach. I look forward to the Great Lakes emerging as a priority issue for the minister and I stand ready to assist in strengthening our binational relationship.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, across the country we are all feeling the impact of the pandemic on our mental health. Staying home and experiencing the disruption of daily routines has not been easy for many Canadians, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness and to increased stress on families.

Small actions, from recognizing stressors to simple acts of kindness and being there for a loved one, can help support mental health for us and for them and can strengthen our communities and families during this very difficult time.

I encourage Vaughan—Woodbridge residents and all Canadians to access the support they need through platforms such as Wellness Together, Kids Help Phone and Good2Talk.

It is okay to talk about how one is feeling with family, friends and colleagues and to use support to help strike a balance in all aspects of life socially, physically, economically and mentally. Reaching a balance for each one of us is a learning process. Mental health is a journey, not a destination. Let us continue to end the stigma around mental health once and for all.

Farmers' Protests in IndiaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jag Sahota Conservative Calgary Skyview, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the past several months farmers in India have been protesting their government. There are reports of allegations of increased violence and suppression tactics, including electricity, Internet and water supplies being cut off and various human rights violations.

Farmers are the backbone of the country; without them our cities do not have food. I and constituents of Calgary Skyview are deeply troubled and concerned about these reports of violence and suppression of law-abiding protesters.

As Canadians, we believe a fundamental right in a democracy is the right to protest one's government. When I rose on November 30, the government said it was deeply concerned and had raised the issue to the Indian government.

As the tensions have risen, Canadians in my riding are calling on their government to stand up for the farmers' basic right to protest without fear of persecution based on race, religion or ethnicity.

Productique QuébecStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière Liberal Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, entrepreneurial innovation is in full swing in Quebec. As an MP, I do whatever I can to help innovative Sherbrooke businesses and make sure they have what they need to grow.

In my riding last week, I had an opportunity to announce $920,000 in funding for Productique Québec, a college centre for technology transfer affiliated with the Sherbrooke CEGEP. Productique Québec specializes in transitioning businesses to Industry 4.0. This funding will help Productique Québec acquire digital manufacturing facilities, state-of-the-art measuring equipment and an automated additive manufacturing machine, which will enable it to keep stimulating innovation as well as offer several Sherbrooke CEGEP students high-quality practical internships directly related to their studies.

I am extremely proud of this technology transfer centre in my riding, and I wish it every success going forward.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tamara Jansen Conservative Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year, Crime Stoppers in Metro Vancouver received over 500 calls related to gangs and illegal weapons. Of the 510 calls, 401 were tips regarding illegal guns. Since the end of December, six shootings associated with gang activity have occurred here, five of which were fatal and two of which happened within the past week in my riding of Cloverdale—Langley City.

Despite the clear evidence of illegal guns fuelling gang violence, last week's Conservative private member's bill designed to curb violence through tougher sentences on possession of smuggled firearms was voted down by the Liberal government. That is unbelievable. Liberals are failing with their misguided approach to gun violence, and it is costing people their lives.

Rather than punishing law-abiding gun owners, Conservatives have a plan to tackle smuggled and illegal firearms and to focus on criminals whose gun violence is a threat to the safety and security of our communities.

DemocracyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on the Liberal Party's website it says, “Parliament works best when its members are free to do what they have been elected to do: be the voice for their communities, and hold the government to account.”

That is interesting. Last week during question period, the Prime Minister accused opposition members of trying to “score cheap political points” when they asked questions. This is an affront to democracy. These members were fulfilling their constitutional obligation to hold the Prime Minister to account and defend Canadians. To disagree, to seek clarity, to ask questions or to point out misconduct is not wrong. These things are at the very heart of democracy: this place.

The Prime Minister has replaced Parliament with a committee. He has prorogued it to cover up his unethical behaviour. He has refused to answer questions that he does not like. However, Canadians are watching, and they are catching on.

Despite all the rhetoric of openness and transparency, the Liberal administration is proving to be one of the most undemocratic and dictatorial this country has ever seen. Canadians deserve a leader who will fight for true diversity, including diversity of thought.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sharing the exciting news that I am expecting my first child, and it gave me the opportunity to connect with many new and expecting parents. While welcoming a new baby is an exciting time, many parents are facing serious financial challenges.

I have heard from parents who work in the gig economy who are not eligible for EI and who are therefore also not eligible for any paid parental leave. I have spoken to countless women who shared their stories of wanting to return to work but being unable to find or afford child care. These stresses have been exacerbated by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Over the course of the pandemic, women's participation has dropped to its lowest in 30 years, reversing decades of progress. We must continue to call for a future in which women are not the assumed sole caregivers, forced to chose between having a family and having a career. We need to do better for new parents and we need a universal national child care program now.

Teacher Appreciation WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Charbonneau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are in the middle of Teacher Appreciation Week. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, and as a former teacher myself, I want to thank them more than ever.

This year's theme is “Thank you for shaping the future of Québec!”. I would add, thank you for shaping the future of Quebec in the unprecedented, complex circumstances of a pandemic. Thank you for being there for our young people with learning disabilities. Thank you for being there for our young people whose mental health is more fragile. Thank you for finding new ways to continue your work in an unfamiliar context. Thank you for being there despite the risks to your health, because our children and grandchildren need you.

We will never forget.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have expressed a desire to reimagine themselves with catchy slogans like “build back better”. Given their track record over the past five years, we need to be extremely skeptical about what this would mean for our country. Even before the pandemic, we had a failed infrastructure bank, capital fleeing the country and a unity crisis, all led by a scandal-ridden Prime Minister who continues to swamp the Ethics Commissioner with new cases and files.

From day one, a Conservative government will work tirelessly to support every sector of our economy. We know that every job added to our country is another family fed. We recognize that to pay off our debt, we need to get our whole country back to work. We will secure jobs, secure our economy and secure our future.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Black history is Canada's history.

For more than 417 years, Black people have lived in this land that we now call Canada.

For nearly 187 years, Black people have been free from slavery on this same land.

For 66 years, Black immigrants have not been discouraged from settling in Canada.

For 38 years there have been no racially segregated schools in Canada, and for 25 years we have been celebrating Black History Month.

Now there are 1.2 million Black Canadians. Now there are eight Black Canadians in our Houses of Parliament. Now there are Black elected representatives in almost every provincial legislature. Now there are Black mayors, councillors, professors, doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, nurses, faith leaders and community organizers. The future is now.

I wish everyone a Happy Black History Month.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in honour of Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol police officer killed in the line of duty on January 6, 2021.

I invite hon. members to rise and observe a moment of silence.

[A moment of silence observed]

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Parliamentary Protective Service for keeping us safe.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we got news that Imperial Oil is making plans for how to move product if Line 5 is shut down. That will mean more oil moved by train and more oil moved by tankers on the Great Lakes.

Line 5 is the safest option for meeting the energy needs on both sides of the border. Why does the Prime Minister not have a plan to make sure Line 5 keeps operating?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from the beginning, we have worked closely with our American counterparts on important issues facing Canadians and people on both sides of the border.

That is why we continue to advocate for Line 5. We recognize how important it is to ensure energy security to both Canadians and Americans. Our ambassador in Washington, along with officials on both sides of the border, remain engaged on this important issue. We are very hopeful we are going to be able to solve this issue.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, leadership means that the Prime Minister should be engaged. He has had three calls with American officials, and he has not mentioned Line 5 once.

Thirty thousands jobs will be affected if Line 5 is shut down. According to the pipefitters union, up to 6,500 good, trade union jobs could be affected. These are good jobs for families across Ontario.

Why will the Prime Minister not stand up for these families?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Line 5 is a vital source of fuel for homes and businesses on both sides of the border. That is something we have argued strongly, and will continue to argue strongly, with members of the U.S. administration.

Our ongoing engagement with the Biden administration and with partners in the United States on this and many issues continues to be on the front burner.