House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Sri Lanka Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell Liberal Pickering—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of the troubling reports of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Tamils in Canada and around the world have been fighting for justice and accountability for the gross past and ongoing human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

I have also met recently with Muslim members in my community who were horrified and deeply concerned with the recent government policy in Sri Lanka of forced cremations, which denied Muslims and other religious minority groups their basic burial rites. I am pleased to see Human Rights Council resolution 46-1 passed today, calling for increased international accountability and monitoring of human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Canada must continue to stand strongly against these human rights violations and always support measures that promote peace, progress and reconciliation. Today's resolution is an important step toward furthering accountability. We must speak up, stand for justice and accountability and call for an end to further gross human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Our government will always stand up for human rights, both here at home and abroad.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday was the International Day of La Francophonie.

I want to take this opportunity to underscore the collaboration and friendship between Quebec and the other francophone states around the world. Every March 20, 300 million francophones celebrate the common bond shared by the French-speaking member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. This is one of the only international organizations that treats Quebec as a separate state. I am proud of that fact. This day is an opportunity to connect Quebec's political aspirations with its ability to take on the international role these aspirations entail.

Every single day in North America, people speak French as an act of resistance and self-determination. To paraphrase Pierre Bourgault, when we speak French in Parliament, sometimes stubbornly and often on principle, we are protecting our language, sure, but we are also protecting all the languages of the world from the hegemony of one.

National Impaired Driving Prevention WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day, on average, four Canadians are killed by an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver. Every year, impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada.

During the third week of March, we focus on preventing alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. This year, National Impaired Driving Prevention Week takes place from March 21 to 27. This is an opportunity for everyone to learn more and spread the word about how important it is for drivers to never get behind the wheel when drinking or smoking pot and to always pull over if they are tired or have to text.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Week is a reminder to everyone that, when they get behind the wheel, they must be sober and focused, in fair weather or foul, all year long. It is that simple.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since governments in Canada and around the world locked down their citizens in order to fight the COVID-19 virus. While they were accepted as being necessary at first, Canadians want to know the plan to bring these lockdowns to an end.

One million Canadians have lost their jobs and the dignity that comes with them. Seniors are locked away from the people they love. Extended families remain separated. Overdoses and mental illnesses are skyrocketing. The impact of these lockdowns on our children will take decades to address.

Delays in diagnostics and treatments for serious illnesses continue to have deadly impacts and while we can watch hockey at the bar and shop in the hundreds in big box stores, faith communities are prevented from meeting together, their buildings empty.

Our physical, mental, spiritual and economic health have suffered long enough. It is time for the government to deliver a real plan to get us out of these lockdowns because we just are not meant to live this way.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March16, I had the pleasure of hosting a virtual meeting with the Orléans Youth Council, alongside my provincial counterpart, MPP Stephen Blais, to discuss our youth environmental priorities with our special guest, Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. As climate change has long been among the most important issues raised by our youth council, their questions on pollution, emissions and carbon neutrality contributed to an exciting conversation.

I want to thank the outstanding members of the Orléans Youth Council for their advocacy on the environment and Minister Wilkinson for taking the time to join us.

As Francophonie Month comes to a close, I also want to mention that we celebrated International Day of La Francophonie on March 20. I am grateful to all these francophones and francophiles for cherishing, protecting and speaking French.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I would like to remind all members that they must refer to other members of the House by their title or riding only, not by their name. I am reminding everyone because people make that mistake from time to time.

The hon. member for Newmarket—Aurora.

Coldest Night of the Year WalkStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Van Bynen Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was proud to support my community in Newmarket—Aurora on the Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk. This year they doubled their goal and raised over $86,000 to help Inn from the Cold, a local charity that assists homelessness and at-risk individuals by providing shelter, training and transition to more permanent solutions.

I would like to congratulate these walkers, volunteers, sponsors and charities in Newmarket—Aurora for making this year's Coldest Night of the Year walk such a great success and thank them for their continuous commitment to helping vulnerable members of our community.

I would also like to recognize that Canadians across 145 communities participated in this annual walk and that a total of $6 million was raised. I congratulate my colleagues in the House who participated in the walk in their own communities.

Sexual Exploitation of MinorsStatements By Members

March 23rd, 2021 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, at the opening of the sitting of the House, I did something important in Parliament. I acted as a legislator, but also as the father of two children.

I introduced Bill C-277, which seeks to combat the sexual exploitation of minors. This bill implements the recommendations set out in the report of the Select Committee on the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, which was unanimously adopted by the Quebec National Assembly.

I hope that my private member's bill will protect our children against sexual exploitation. Now, I also hope that the Liberal government will make this a priority. Our children must not become statistics. The select committee's report must not be forgotten or shelved.

I therefore urge all members, regardless of their political affiliation, to support this bill across party lines and help me give proper effect to its provisions. There is nothing more precious than our children. Let us protect them.

Two Businesses in Don Valley WestStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 6,500 businesses responded to the government's call to action to combat COVID-19, including two companies in Don Valley West.

SecureKey Technologies Inc. created a secure digital ID software. This software is used primarily for online banking transactions, but it is also used by online government services, such as MyCRA, to ensure that Canadians have secure access to online services.

Our fine local brewery, Amsterdam, is also a COVID-19 hero. During the pandemic, it converted surplus beer-making capacity to make hand sanitizer and donated it to hospitals, including our own Sunnybrook.

I send a big thanks to these two companies and all the companies that have stepped up over the last year to protect Canadians. We are made in Canada and in this together.

Child Sexual AbuseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, child sexual abuse devastates individuals, families and communities. Survivors deserve accessible, safe and comprehensive physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support. Offenders must face real consequences for the severity of their harm. That is why Conservatives prioritize compassion for victims and take action against dangerous criminals.

Conservatives brought in tougher penalties for child predators and strengthened the national sex offender registry and national DNA data bank. Conservatives fight against human trafficking, online child sexual exploitation and join more than 100 victims who want an investigation into MindGeek for child sexual abuse material.

Little Warriors is a national charity founded by Glori Meldrum for awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, and is funded mainly by private donors and grants. The Be Brave Ranch is a one-of-a kind, specialized, trauma-informed, evidenced-based and groundbreaking treatment centre.

I want to recognize the crucial work of the Little Warriors team and the contributions of all the volunteers and donors. Every victim and every child matters.

EthicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, after three decades, investigations into the Prime Minister's behaviour, a half-billion dollar, sole-sourced deal with his friends at WE Charity, replacing Parliament with a committee where only specific questions are allowed to be asked, and a record number of cover-ups, filibusters and tactics to delay this place, the trust that Canadians have put in the government is beginning to wane.

The Liberals may think highly of themselves, but ultimately they are accountable to Canadians. The Prime Minister likes to talk a lot about his values of openness and transparency; remember the phrase “sunny ways”. Unfortunately, his actions have not reflected his words.

We, on the other hand on this side of the House, are committed to taking real action. Canada's Conservatives will put the country first by enacting the toughest accountability and transparency laws that Canada has ever seen. We will toughen the Conflict of Interest Act and impose higher penalties. We will toughen the Lobbying Act to end abuse by Liberal insiders. We will increase transparency to end the cover-ups.

It is time for action. It is time to restore trust. It is time to serve Canadians.

Mary River MineStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq NDP Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, the Baffinland mining corporation is looking to double the size of the Mary River Mine. Last month, Land Guardians braved temperatures as low as -36°C for days to have their voices heard to defend Nunavut from environmental and cultural harm.

Since the mine’s construction, we have heard an overwhelming amount of community concern. One hunter reminded us of something really important. He said, “This is our land—our home—being destroyed and we have to think about our future—our children.” I want to make my position clear. This expansion is a threat to my people, to indigenous sovereignty and to our environment. The government has been largely silent on this dangerous project. Because of this, I will be hosting a telephone town hall tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST.

When the people of Nunavummiut get phone calls to invite them to the town hall, please join me to raise your concerns and let us fight for our rights.

Matna.

Carole LavalléeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, political engagement is a calling and sometimes even one's life work. It is the will to change things or, I should say, to make life better for one's constituents. In Quebec, this also translates into the fight for our country, and an extraordinary example of political engagement is Carole Lavallée.

Political staffer, director of communications—that is when I met her—chief of staff, member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert for three terms, chair of the Marie-Victorin school board and always a dedicated advocate, Carole has experienced all aspects of political engagement. With a sharp mind, piercing wit and extraordinary flair, Carole is an exceptional politician. As the Bloc's heritage critic, she brought the cultural community together in the fight for respect of copyright. She won a good many battles.

Today Carole is in palliative care, perhaps even in her final days, with her loving partner by her side. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, along with thousands of Quebeckers, no doubt, I want to say the following:

Thank you for all your work and thank you for enriching our lives. Our thoughts are with you.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, this last year has only worsened Canada’s pre-existing mental health crisis. Sadly, as this crisis worsens by the day, the Liberal government shamefully continues to ignore it.

Canadians who have hit their breaking point have been put on hold when they reach out for help, because the Liberal government has failed to prioritize a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline. Canadians struggling with mental illness, mental injury, anxiety or depression do not need another “free” government website. Through their MAID legislation, the Liberals have all but given up on struggling Canadians. What a disgrace. We should be helping our most vulnerable live, not only to survive but to thrive.

Mental health is health and mental health must be treated and funded properly. An elected Conservative government would boost funding to the provinces for health care, we will incentivize employers to provide mental health coverage to employees and we will get the 988 hotline implemented. The Liberals have no plan, but Conservatives do, and we will act to secure Canadians' mental health care.

Roland BarbierStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to acknowledge the contribution of an extraordinary man, Roland Barbier.

For more than 20 years, Roland worked for the Hochelaga community centre. Every day he fought against the stigmatization of poverty. He fought for those who were marginalized and gave them back their dignity. He brought people from all walks of life together for Opération sous zéro, a winter clothing drive that provides snowsuits to more than 4,700 children in Hochelaga and across Quebec every year. A few days before his retirement, Mr. Barbier helped a family find housing, furnish their apartment and stock up on food. It is proof that his love of people is contagious and inspires unity and support all around him.

I thank Roland for his patience, his dedication, his boundless generosity and everything he has done for the community.

On behalf of Hochelaga, happy retirement.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for a year, Canadians across the country have been in various stages of lockdown. Opioid overdoses are up. Canadians are feeling an increasing strain on their mental health. They deserve a serious data-driven, safe plan for reopening.

How long will the Prime Minister keep those Canadians waiting?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every step of the way during this pandemic, this government has been there for Canadians. We were there for families. We were there for workers. We were there for small businesses. We were there for provinces right across the country, and we will continue to be, with tens of billions of dollars transferred to the provinces, support directly for Canadians, all the while grounding ourselves in the best recommendations of science and experts. That is what we will continue to do.

We are all looking forward to a better summer, but to get there we have to work together to make sure we are pushing back on those variants, getting everyone vaccines and keeping healthy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, tens of thousands of Canadian small businesses are hanging on by a thread. Lockdowns are hurting main streets across the country, and family-owned businesses are in crisis.

This has had an impact on the country's physical and mental health. The Prime Minister needs to commit to a data-drive, safe plan for reopening to give millions of Canadians hope.

Where is the plan? When is it coming?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every step of the way we have been there to support Canadians, and every step of the way we will continue to put both the protection and safety of Canadians and the benefits of our economy at the front line.

That is why we are deeply informed by experts and scientists in how we move forward. We will continue to ground our decisions based in science and evidence, unlike the Conservative Party that continues to doubt the use of masks from time to time. We will continue to stand up for Canadians.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's chief scientist does not agree with the Prime Minister's political decision to delay second doses, so he does not follow his own edicts in the House.

Taiwan has a plan for rapid tests and has been open. The United States and the United Kingdom both have fully published their plans for a safe and effective reopening. Why not in Canada?

The Prime Minister has been slow on the border, slow on rapid tests, behind the entire developed world on vaccines. Why are we also going to fail on the economic reopening?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from the very beginning, we knew that the best way to ensure that our economy would coming roaring back was to be there sufficiently to support Canadians, small businesses, workers, families, seniors and youth through this crisis. That is exactly what we have done. Every step of the way, we have deferred to scientists and experts. We also respect the provinces that make their own determinations around spacing of intervals of doses. We will be there to support them every step of the way.

Canadians have a government that is there for them. We will continue to be there for them.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our country has been on lockdown for a year. Canadians are suffering, their mental health is under increasing pressure and domestic violence is on the rise. There is no plan for rapid testing. There is no plan for mass vaccination. There is no hope.

When will the Liberal government decide to come up with a safe plan to reopen Canada?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives in the House like to complain that we have not moved forward with rapid testing.

On the contrary, for months now, we have been sending millions and tens of millions of rapid tests to the provinces, territories, the private sector, and even individuals. We will continue to give provinces, municipalities and workplaces the means to protect their employees and residents as spring arrives.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, many countries have plans for their economies. Taiwan has rapid testing. The United States and the United Kingdom both have a public plan to reopen their economy.

Canadians are waiting. We are always lagging behind. We are tired of always waiting. Does the Liberal government intend to present a plan to Canadians for the safe reopening of the economy and, if so, when?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every step of the way, we have not only had a plan, but we have also carried it out to protect Canadians and restore our economy.

We are working hand in hand with the provinces and territories, but the Leader of the Opposition wants to talk about a plan for the economy. Unfortunately, this weekend, we saw that he has not yet understood that we cannot have a plan for the economy if we do not have a plan to fight climate change.