House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was homes.

Topics

World Water DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, today is World Water Day. All living things need water to survive, but for many this basic need is not being met. Hundreds of millions of people around the world lack access to clean drinking water, including 41 first nations communities here in Canada.

Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, but increasingly water is being treated as a commodity and profit centre. Corporations are buying up water rights around the planet. They control fresh water supplies, aquifers, rivers, streams and sometimes even the rain falling from the sky. They bottle water, privatize public water utilities and extract maximum profit from a basic human necessity.

We cannot stand by and accept this as normal. We must push back against the commodification of basic human needs. We must defend the human right to water.

First Nova Scotian NBA PlayerStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate Nova Scotia's Nate Darling on achieving a professional basketball first for our province.

Mr. Darling is originally from Bedford in the riding of Halifax West. On March 13, 2021, he became the first Nova Scotian ever to play in a regular season NBA game. A shooting guard for the Charlotte Hornets, Nate's debut rebounds with hope and excitement for his future as a professional basketball player. His entry into pro basketball is inspiring for many young Nova Scotian athletes with dreams of their own. In a recent statement, Basketball Nova Scotia referred to him as a role model for young basketball players in the province and said, “Nate is paving the pathway for basketball in Nova Scotia”.

Best wishes to Nate Darling. We are hoping his career is a slam dunk.

Colonel Robert DouglasStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Madam Speaker, late last month we lost a man who served his country and community with honour and distinction.

Colonel Robert Douglas grew up in Toronto. The son of a father who served in both world wars, he took up a military calling of his own, enlisting with the Royal Regiment of Canada and serving with the SAS of the British army in Malaysia in the 1950s. After returning to Canada, he made his way to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and became commanding officer of the Royal Regiment.

His career outside of the military took him from Toronto to Montreal with NCR and Merrill Lynch. It was a career generous in community service, from the World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to St. John Ambulance, and as honorary colonel with several Canadian army regiments including the Grey and Simcoe Foresters and the Toronto Scottish Regiment.

Two years ago, he lost Anne, the love of his life of 61 years. To their children, Cameron, Katherine and Robert Gray, I send our deepest sympathies and our most profound thanks for the life of Colonel Robert Douglas.

Laval—Les ÎlesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Fayçal El-Khoury Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the efforts that our government makes every day to improve the lives of Canadians and ensure their well-being.

Despite this unprecedented difficult time, our government continues to tirelessly serve Canadians and protect their lives.

I would like to thank the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities for announcing a $6.6-million investment to help build the Sainte-Dorothée pumping station in Laval—Les Îles.

This station will provide optimal waste water management and a better response to significant increases in flow during rain or snow melt episodes. Thanks to this investment, floods will be avoided and Laval—Les Îles residents will be more secure.

KaytranadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to recognize the musical success of Louis Kevin Celestin, who is more commonly known by his stage name of Kaytranada. This young man who grew up in Saint-Hubert recently won two prestigious Grammy awards alongside artists such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

His song 10%, for which he won best dance recording, has over 40 million plays on Spotify. His album Bubba, which was voted best dance/electronic album of the year, is his second studio album. He has only two albums and he has already won a Grammy for best album in its category. That is absolutely phenomenal.

As an actor myself, I am always pleased to celebrate the cultural achievements of Quebeckers, particularly when they are from my riding. Kaytranada has already taken his place among the Quebec artists who have made their mark on the international stage, such as Xavier Dolan, Céline Dion, Denis Villeneuve, Robert Lepage and Arcade Fire. They are all amazing examples of the reach of Quebec culture throughout the world.

Kaytranada, Louis, Quebec congratulates you.

Stansje PlantengaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lyne Bessette Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Madam Speaker, yesterday was International Day of Forests. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of Stansje Plantenga, a citizen of Potton Township who has spent decades fighting to protect our natural environment.

It is a deep love of nature that pushed her and her husband to create a land trust in 1987. It was one of the first organizations of its kind in Quebec and it is modelled after the American Land Trust.

Today, more than 80 similar organizations protect our Quebec forests. Stansje's forest is a wonder to behold. Those who visit it describe it as heaven on earth.

This woman's story is a prime example of the power of the people when it comes to protecting the land. The entire Brome—Missisquoi region is benefiting from her hard work of the past 35 years. We are all extremely grateful to her.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

March 22nd, 2021 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, today I am proud to recognize the great work of volunteers in my riding of Yellowhead.

I want to give special recognition to the brand-new food pantry at the Edson United Church, which has already been supplying free nutritious hot meals to the community. I recently had the opportunity to visit the church and it was fantastic to see the shelves stocked and volunteers in action. It is working in co-operation with the Edson food bank so it is not duplicating services and the community gets the best of both organizations.

Another fantastic initiative I would like to recognize is Edson's new shelter pods for the town's homeless population. Once completed, this project will help some of Edson's homeless find a safe and warm place to stay. These shelter pods are a commendable initiative that should be considered in all corners of the country.

I am proud to represent a riding with such great organizations that have a strong sense of community and support people who are in need. Keep up the great work.

Reid's DistilleryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask members if they have a favourite cocktail. If their answer is gin and tonic, then I would like to tell them about a gin distillery in my community that not only makes great-tasting gin, but deserves a shout-out for the amazing work it does for our community.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Reid's Distillery converted its operations to make hand sanitizer, which it distributed to community members for free. The sweet smell of juniper berries was flowing throughout our community. It is a wonderful example of how local businesses are a cornerstone for our community.

As I give a shout-out to Reid's Distillery, I also need to point out how it has stepped up to provide opportunities for Black and indigenous people who are interested in the distilling industry. Recognizing that Black and indigenous talent is under-represented in the industry, it has created a targeted scholarship.

I thank Reid's Distillery so much for the work it does. I am greatly happy to be able to say something about it today in the House.

NowruzStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to wish an exceptionally healthy and happy new year to the many Canadians celebrating Nowruz.

Over the weekend, many in our country joined 300 million people around the world with cultural roots in western and central Asia to welcome in a new year.

A 3,000 year old tradition, Nowruz is a festive holiday celebrated, among others, by Persians, Afghans, Turks, Kurds, Zoroastrians, Baha'is and Ismailis. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure to virtually join many around their haft-seen tables to mark the spring equinox and to embrace the promise of new beginnings.

Celebrated for several millennia, Nowruz is meant to bring together people of different cultures and languages to celebrate renewal, optimism and light, all essential qualities that can guide us as we emerge with all the necessary vim and vigour to put the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic behind us.

[Member spoke in Farsi]

B.C. Public FisheryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, looking ahead to the upcoming fishing season, our B.C. public fishery is facing an uncertain future.

I have met with countless members of the B.C. fishing community who are gravely concerned that if the Minister of Fisheries continues to ignore sound science, their futures are at risk. The science tell us there are over 110 million hatchery chinook annually entering our Pacific waters, along with many rivers, showing strong and even record returns.

Closing the fishery simply is not required. There are other solutions, including increasing opportunities for a mark selective fishery.

I was honoured to be one of 25 B.C. members of Parliament to sign the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap's letter, calling on the minister to support this promising initiative. Mark selective fishing can help conservation efforts, while also supporting economic and social activities.

It is time for the minister to start listening to the science and the voices of British Columbians and to support our B.C. public fishery.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 20, francophones and francophiles around the world celebrated International Day of La Francophonie.

More than 300 million people speak French around the world. French is the fifth most spoken language in the world. In Canada, nearly eight million people speak French at home.

This year we did not get to meet in person, but I want to thank all our artists who entertained us on Saturday.

Pandemic or not, our artists continue to enrich our francophone culture. Our artists show us that it is possible to create digital cultural content in French. Back home, whether it is Véronic DiCaire, Katherine Levac, Mélissa Ouimet or Les Rats de Swompe, to name a few, these artists have all chosen to create in French. That choice inspires the next generation to create in French.

I wish all francophones and francophiles in Canada who celebrated on Saturday a happy International Day of La Francophonie.

COVID-19 PandemicStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian case of the novel coronavirus was reported by Health Canada on January 25, 2020. That was 422 days ago, 422 days of temporary measures with no long-term plan; 422 days of business shutdowns and sector collapses; and 422 days of widespread unemployment and mass job loss. We are all united in the worst way possible.

Millions of Canadians from every sector, every province and every background have been left behind. The light at the end of the tunnel that we have been hearing about burned out long ago. People do not want to rely on government support. They would rather just get back to work.

The path to the Prime Minister's reimagined economy veers off into the unknown, leaving nothing but shutdowns, uncertain futures and untested changes that will leave millions of Canadians behind.

Canada's Conservatives are offering another path: a plan, one of security and certainty. The Conservatives will secure jobs and secure Canada's future, delivering us a Canada where those who have been struggling the most to get through this pandemic can get back to work. We got Canada through the last recession and with Canada's recovery plan, we will ensure Canadians get through this one too.

Economic RecoveryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's future is at stake.

The Liberal Prime Minister was slow to roll out the vaccines and will be even slower to restart the economy. Now is not the time to reimagine the economy. The Prime Minister wants to be the centre of attention and wants to lead us into the unknown with economic experiments that will leave millions of Canadians behind. Every Canadian worker deserves to get their job back. Every Canadian worker in every sector of the economy deserves to be part of the economic recovery.

The Prime Minister has decided to choose which Canadians will have a future. That is not the right solution for the millions of workers who built Canada.

What the Conservative leader is proposing is a more secure future, a Canada with fewer slogans and more money in workers' and families' pockets. After months of hardship, Canadians want to rediscover hope for a better life. Abandoning thousands of workers in traditional sectors is not going to help us succeed.

As the leader of the official opposition stated in his excellent speech on Friday, we must rebuild Main Street. After COVID-19, only the Conservatives' economic recovery plan will provide Canadians with a stable economic future.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial DiscriminationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and I believe the government has failed to address the spread of misinformation and hate through social media and the growing divide in wealth and prosperity. I believe that the more disparity we see and the more people suffer and fight just to survive the greater all divides among us will grow.

In my community of London, Ontario, people from so many diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds have fought back against this divide. They come together when events happen here at home or abroad. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused even greater disparity.

I want to highlight a few organizations that have worked to counter it. I want to thank the Caring Canadians Society, Al Hyatt Mosque's soup kitchen, Canadian Cedars of Hope, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at group and the United Sikhs. There are so many more to which I want to give my gratitude. They all make us stronger. They are fighting for the change in progress we must achieve.

Amir AttaranStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is one minority about whom hate speech always goes unpunished. I am, of course, talking about Quebeckers.

The most recent example comes from a University of Ottawa professor who thinks that Quebec is racist. He called the Premier of Quebec a white supremacist, no less, and called Quebec “the Alabama of the North”. Why not? He flat out called “pure laine” Quebeckers white supremacists.

This man is named Amir Attaran. He will not face any consequences, because Quebec-bashing is A-okay in Canada and can even be quite lucrative. I want to at least say his name because, on behalf of the people of Quebec, I at least want it on the historical record of the Parliament of Canada that Amir Attaran is an ignorant francophobe.

Anti-Asian RacismStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, COVID-19 has unleashed a surge of anti-Asian racism across North America. From Atlanta to Vancouver and even Markham, the Asian community, especially the Chinese community, have been victimized.

It began as hurtful comments at the beginning of the pandemic and grew into physical violence. The numbers are staggering. Major cities have seen the number of hate crimes grow as much as 700% and most of the targets are women. I encourage everyone to confront racism when he or she sees it. Racists are only encouraged by silence.

Unfortunately, the federal government has not done much. A Liberal member of Parliament has admitted that the federal government has, to some extent, overlooked Asian communities in its recent anti-racism strategies. ThePrime Minister needs to acknowledge the growing anti-Asian racism and do more to tackle it.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, pretending a problem does not exist is not a solution and risks disaster, be it in relation to the pandemic or climate change. We are better in a competition of ideas, but we need to start from a reality that is based on science. Climate change is real, and all Canadians need to act.

That is why our government has put a price on pollution, the rebate from which puts more money in people's pockets; why we have made investments in things like public transit; and why we are growing the zero-emissions vehicle sector.

Canadians know that pollution has a cost and that when it is free to pollute, there will be more pollution. All of us would lose if the Conservative Party were allowed to move Canada in reverse as it continues to deny the very existence of climate change. I ask the Conservatives who know that climate change is real and that action is required to join us and the millions of Canadians who know it too, and are taking real action together.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are a year into COVID. Lockdowns were set initially across the world to give governments time to get the tools in place that they needed to protect their people. Those tools are now available to us, like rapid testing, vaccines and treatments, but our federal government has not delivered them as quickly as other countries. While the U.S., the U.K. and others are planning a final end to the restrictions and freedom once again, here in Canada there is no hope and no end in sight, only the threat of more lockdowns.

Where is the data-driven, detailed federal plan to end the lockdowns? Is there a plan?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, before we respond to this important issue, I must underscore a matter of deep concern in this House.

This past weekend, the deputy leader opposite's party once again rejected science and reaffirmed its disbelief in the reality of climate change. I know it is discouraging to many Canadians that a major political party in this country will not acknowledge this basic scientific fact and the threat it poses to future generations, but let me assure Canadians that our government knows that climate change is real, and we will continue to implement our plan to address it.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians also know that what is real is that the government has no plan to end the lockdowns for them. That is what they know is real.

On another very serious matter that I hope we can get an answer to, for over two years the two Michaels have been held in prison in China. Now, while these Canadians are having their so-called day in court, Canada's ambassador in China is missing in action. Twenty-three other countries are there to show their support, but our ambassador did not show up. Why is that?

Maybe it is because he is hand-delivering that $40-million cheque from Canada to China for the Asian infrastructure bank.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, of course I reject the premise of that unusual question. I want all Canadians to know that the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig is our number one priority. Our thoughts go out to both of them and their families at this very difficult time.

We, of course, have said for the longest time that arbitrary detention is totally unacceptable, and we are very preoccupied by the lack of transparency in their court proceedings.

We thank other countries for joining us in front of the courthouse for today's trial.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words. The Liberals have used the imprisonment of these Canadians as an implied reason not to deal with Huawei or to deal with genocide and the multitude of China's other abuses. Now, while the two are appearing in this kangaroo court, we have learned the Prime Minister has just sent $40 million to China for the Asian infrastructure bank.

How can we have any confidence that the Prime Minister is actually acting in the best interests of the two Michaels when he is sending $40 million to the Communist regime that took them captive?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been focused on the release of the two Michaels from the very beginning. We have said very, very clearly that arbitrary detention of innocent Canadian civilians on trumped-up charges is totally unacceptable. Now we are joined by many other countries that are also very concerned about arbitrary detention.

My message to China is that if it is doing business with other countries, it is not acceptable to detain their citizens when it is has a difference of opinion with that country. That is not how the international rules of law are applied.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, when someone is accused of misconduct, there is usually an investigation. At the very least, caution is advised in dealing with that person during the investigation. I am obviously talking about General Vance.

When the Prime Minister's Office learned that there was an investigation, what did cabinet and the Prime Minister do? They gave him a $50,000 raise.

How does this self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister explain that?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first, I need to be very clear that our government and I have no tolerance for any type of misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Let me be clear. I do not determine pay increases. That is done independently and is based on the advice and recommendation of the public service.