House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was laurentian.

Topics

2:05 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 Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Birthday CongratulationsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, Anne was born on April 14, 1921, in Portland, Ontario, on a farm that remains in her family today. As a student in a one-room school house, she proudly earned good grades and school prizes. She places an importance on education, clearly, as her three daughters and one of her granddaughters are education professionals.

A dedicated pre-war and post-war DND employee, Anne married François Gagnon of the RCAF. She is a proud mother of three daughters, “Nanny” to her grandchildren and “Gigi” to her great grandchildren.

A woman of many hobbies, Anne sewed fashionable outfits for her daughters, granddaughters and their Barbie dolls. She enjoys painting; watching political news; she favours the colour red; and watching golf, and Tiger Woods is her favourite, more enjoyable while sipping a manhattan. Anne lives by the motto, “It's only a number. You're as old as you feel.”

I wish Anne a happy 100th birthday. May she have many more to come.

Donald SobeyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Fillmore Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last month, Canada lost a businessman, philanthropist, arts patron, family man and Nova Scotian, the likes of which we may not see again.

Today, I invite members in the House to join me in paying tribute to the life of Donald Creighton Rae Sobey.

Starting in the basement of his family's grocery store in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Donald went on to become president, and later chairman, of Sobeys' parent company, Empire. Donald will also be remembered for his commitment to post-secondary education, delivering a variety of significant scholarships, as well as his passion for the arts, best expressed through his creation of the Sobey Art Award, which is today the pre-eminent prize for contemporary Canadian art.

Donald was a fiercely proud Nova Scotian who believed in the promise of our province and its people. In 2014, he was appointed to the Order of Canada, and yet he taught us all that we are never too important to be nice to people. Donald Sobey lived a full life of purpose and charity.

I invite all members and all Canadians to join me in offering our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Western Hockey LeagueStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Kram Conservative Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to highlight the co-operation between the Western Hockey League and the Government of Saskatchewan in designating Regina the hub city for the east division of the league.

Sports at all levels have suffered during the pandemic, but the use of the hub city model has proven to be an effective approach to keeping athletes on the ice, while maintaining strict health and safety protocols.

On February 20, teams from Saskatchewan and Manitoba arrived in Regina to begin their quarantine period. A 24-game season began on March 12. Players, coaches and staff are required to undergo weekly PCR tests, daily symptom checks and masks are required at all times, except when on the ice. These measures have allowed hockey fans in western Canada to enjoy the season, while maintaining the health and safety of the players and the community.

I welcome the teams of the WHL east division to Regina.

Multi-Service Centre in BlainvilleStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Maison de la persévérance will be opening its doors in Blainville, and that is great news for young people in the ridings of Thérèse-De Blainville and Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

Three organizations in the RCM of Thérèse-De Blainville, the Centre Oméga, the École de l'être and the Association PANDA, have spent the last three years working on this project.

They decided to pool their resources to better meet the needs of young people and create an innovative and inclusive multi-service hub. The Maison de la persévérance will enable families to access complementary services that support whole child development and help kids stay in school and engage in their community.

Congratulations to the organizations and stakeholders, the City of Blainville, and everyone who worked together to bring this major project to fruition.

Ontario YouthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the pleasure to speak to two virtual classes that are part of the virtual school learning program or P.A.V.É., a civics and citizenship class and an exploring career options class.

I would like to thank Ms. Fraser, a teacher from the public school board of eastern Ontario, for inviting me to talk to over 50 15-year-old students. We talked about things like the work that MPs do, community involvement and the challenges related to the health crisis. I also had the privilege of answering questions from the students, who were very attentive and professional. Our youth are very dedicated.

I am proud of these young people and thank them for welcoming me. I wish them great success and hope that they find careers they are passionate about. They are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the leaders of today.

The EconomyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituents are sick of COVID-19. They want to hear a plan from the government to get us out of this pandemic and to move us toward recovery.

Getting out of the pandemic means making vaccines available to Canadians and ramping up testing. Restrictive lockdown measures that Canadians now face result in the failure of the government to deliver in these vital areas.

I believe that a brighter future is just around the corner. Canadians want an end to the pandemic and they want a recovery plan, a plan that recognizes the value and dignity of all work in all sectors of the economy and in all regions of the country. The Conservatives have presented an ambitious optimistic recovery plan to secure jobs by recovering one million jobs lost during the pandemic, create a strategic stockpile of essential products, secure accountability, secure mental health and secure Canada's economy by balancing the budget over the next decade.

Canadians are ready for a government that is focused on hope for recovery instead on justifying failure, a government that believes our best days are ahead, a government that once again believes that better is possible.

April CelebrationsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is a month when many faiths and cultural communities are celebrating important holidays.

The Grace United Church and other churches celebrated Easter. Gauri Shankar Mandir and other Mandirs celebrated Navratri. Tamil communities celebrate Puthandu today. Nepali celebrated the new year. Guru Nanak Langar and Sewa food bank delivered food to those in need as a way to celebrate Vaisakhi and demonstrate their selfless service. Taha Musalla, Masjid Mubarak and other mosques are safely observing Ramadan.

Throughout Brampton, culture and faith organizations are continuing to serve Bramptonians and find new ways, virtual ways, to connect with the community. Many Canadians are getting support from culture and faith organizations. I want to thank them and all front-line workers for the support they are providing in Brampton South and across Canada.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, we are fully reminded that diversity is our strength.

International Day of PinkStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is International Day of Pink when we renew our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Today and always, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ2+ community in Canada and everywhere.

Fourteen years ago, students at a high school in Nova Scotia saw their classmate bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The next day, students wore pink shirts to support their classmate, an act that resonated around the world. All of us can learn from their example by coming together and standing up so that everyone can be their authentic self.

For all those who feel alone, anxious or hurt, they are not alone. They are loved and supported. Today, we say yes to compassion, empathy and standing up for one another. We say no to bullying and hurtful words that leave long-lasting and emotional scars.

Today and always, let us lift each other up and ensure everyone belongs.

First RespondersStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently, I met with the witness of a tragic hit-and-run accident. For a passing-by motorist to find a young woman severely injured lying in the gutter next to a wintry highway, it was a deeply traumatic experience. However, as this witness reminded me, this is the reality of our first responders every single day.

This pandemic has been hard on everyone, but even more so for those on our front lines who face new risks on top of horrible tragedies and accidents. In British Columbia, where we have a significant increase in opioid deaths, it is also our first responders who are the first on the scene.

As parliamentarians will know, often in the spring in this place, we visit, in person, with representatives of many of our first responders. This year, we will not have that opportunity.

I would ask all members of this place to join me in sincerely thanking our first responders for the critically important work they do every day on our behalf.

Micheline LemieuxStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, 2021 has been a tough year for my community so far. We have lost several tremendous citizens.

Today, I want to express my great sorrow at the loss of Micheline Lemieux, who died in her sleep on March 21 at the age of 70.

Everyone knew her. She was always travelling around Old Aylmer on her bike. Her community involvement was legendary. She was involved in the Aylmer Heritage Association, Option Femmes Emploi, as a founding member, the Association des professionnels, Industriels et commerçants du secteur Aylmer, or APICA, the Symmes Inn Museum, L’Imagier Art Centre and the Boucher Forest Foundation, just to name a few. My community is stronger thanks to her efforts.

We extend our deepest condolences to her family. I am very grateful to them for lending us Micheline. She leaves behind a very real, solid and enduring legacy. We will miss her very much.

Rest in peace, dear Micheline.

Laborers' International Union of North AmericaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to recognize the 118th anniversary of the Laborers' International Union of North America. From its start in 1903 as a construction union, its members can now be found working in all sectors of the economy. In its proud history, LiUNA has played an important role in building strong communities. They help ensure working men and women enjoy the benefits of a growing economy and give workers the security of knowing that no matter what challenges they face, they are never alone.

Recently, LiUNA stood up for the thousands of union workers whose jobs were lost with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. It is working tirelessly to defend the thousands of family-supporting union jobs now at risk with the possible shut down of Line 5.

I send my congratulations to LiUNA and the over 100,000 workers and retirees they represent in Canada for 118 years of standing up for working Canadians and wish them a happy anniversary.

Blood DonationStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Duncan Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been five months since I confronted the health minister in the House of Commons about the government's broken promise to end the blood ban.

For far too long, gay, bisexual and trans men in this country have had to live with stigma because of the policies of Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. The Prime Minister, the health minister and everybody on the government side committed six years ago to eliminate this. The commitment was not to study it, not to review it, not to talk about it more, but to actually act.

Yesterday, I launched a video of my personal story of how, about 17 years ago, I went to donate blood and could not, simply because I was gay. I encourage Canadians across the country to visit endthebloodban.ca. The time for talk, word salads and virtue signalling is over. It is time to end the discriminatory blood ban in this country once and for all.

Laurentian UniversityStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of the CCAA proceedings, Laurentian University is cancelling the only midwifery education program that trains students in French and serves northern Ontario.

In a region that has trouble finding doctors, midwives help fill that void, ensuring that pregnant women get better primary care for childbirth and so much more.

These courses also benefit indigenous students, many of whom return to provide midwife services in their home communities.

As we work through the pandemic to protect health care workers and hospital resources, cancelling programs that help women safely give birth at home makes little sense. This decision will cost the public more when fewer midwives will be available for the north, and across Ontario, and more doctors will be needed to deliver babies.

The CCAA was never intended for public institutions. These cuts to health care courses limit opportunities in the north for indigenous, francophone and racialized students, and reduce access to services women rely on. We must act now.

Ishtai FamilyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, 10 years of war in Syria have resulted in 400,000 dead, more than six million refugees, tens of thousands of detained or missing prisoners and 12 million people facing starvation.

This humanitarian disaster has given rise to a groundswell of solidarity in Quebec. In my riding, the people of the municipality of L'Assomption came together to help a Syrian family. They welcomed the Ishtai family and provided them with concrete support throughout their integration process.

It is hard for me to describe how I felt when, on February 29, 2020, Basel, Alafif, Ziaa, Bizan and Suzie opened the door at the home where they now live. There they all were, in front of me, smiling, when in 2017, these Syrian refugees were crammed into a tiny apartment in Lebanon, where they had papered the walls with phrases in French, dreaming of the day they would come and settle in Quebec.

I want to thank them for enriching Quebec with their presence. I thank them for choosing to live in French and for wanting to help us build our country.

COVID-19 Emergency ResponseStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the last 13 months, Canadians have significantly overhauled their lives in order to accommodate government-imposed restrictions. The Liberal government dangled hope in front of them, telling Canadians that if they followed the rules, stayed at home, closed their businesses and remained socially distanced, then things would go back to normal very soon. Thirteen months later, and there is still no plan. Hope is starting to wane. Lockdowns have resulted in businesses permanently closing. Loved ones have been lost. Hope is waning.

We need a prime minister who seeks a solution for what is at stake here. We need a prime minister who sees people, not government, as the answer because it is Canadians who are ultimately the problem solvers, the solution makers and the wealth generators, the ones who will get us out of this current state.

As a part of the Conservative recovery plan, we are committed to unleashing the power of the workforce and recovering the one million jobs that have been lost during this pandemic. As Conservatives, we will implement a strategy to restore this country to the powerhouse nation that it was always meant to be and can be. We will secure the future for Canadians.

Organ and Tissue DonationStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this April I am raising awareness for Be a Donor Month. When one becomes a tissue and organ donor, one can change somebody's life forever by giving them an opportunity for a better and healthier life. One organ donor has the potential to save eight lives, and since 2003, over 20,000 Ontarians have received a life-saving transplant. Unfortunately, while great progress has been made, there are still 1,600 Ontarians waiting for a transplant, including 24 patients in my riding of Brampton North.

I am proud to be a registered organ donor. I want to thank organizations such as Amar Karma, which raises awareness on organ donation in the South Asian community, and the Trillium Gift of Life Network, which delivers and coordinates organ donations. Every single one of us, aged 16 and older, regardless of medical conditions, can sign up to be an organ donor at beadonor.ca.

I encourage each and every person to take two minutes to register today and help save someone's life tomorrow.

Organ and Tissue DonationStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before we go to Oral Questions, I would like to remind hon. members that S.O. 31s are to be 60 seconds. I did not cut anybody off, and I really do not want to do so because I know how important these messages are. I remind members to keep them to 60 seconds.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, CNN, Forbes magazine and The Atlantic have all covered the government's disastrous vaccine rollout just in the last week. The severe third wave Canadians are experiencing right now is the direct result of the months it has taken for Canada to secure vaccines.

Is the Prime Minister satisfied that his vaccine rollout has now become an international embarrassment?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we make it through this third wave, we are going to have to continue to hold on even longer, even as vaccines are arriving in record numbers into Canada.

We have delivered 11.7 million vaccines to provinces and territories, and 20% of Canadians have received at least their first dose. We are now actually third in the G20 in terms of the percentage of Canadians who have received the vaccine.

This is promising, but we know there is much more to do. That is why we are working day and night to ensure the delivery of more doses even quicker.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, over 300,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that were supposed to be delivered to Ontario last week have still not arrived. Maybe they still just have to hold on, as the Prime Minister told them.

Mass vaccination clinics are now closing as a result of his failure to deliver. Schools are closing across the country. How much worse is the third wave going to have to get before the Prime Minister realizes he has failed Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every single week we receive a million doses of Pfizer, which will rise to two million doses a week in the month of June, and more doses hopefully coming even sooner than that.

Moderna continues to deliver millions of doses as well. There have been challenges with the Moderna procurement system, which have caused a few days of delay here and there, but we are keeping provinces apprised every single step of the way of the delivery timelines, the expectations and any challenges with it. The co-operation with the provinces has been significant throughout.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has a point of order.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, those of us in virtual Parliament were unable to hear the Prime Minister's response because one of the hon. members was accidentally off mute.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

We will start right from the beginning and let the hon. Leader of the Opposition ask his question again and let the Prime Minister answer again.