House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-21.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Madam Speaker, when our government took office five years ago, Canada's emissions were going the wrong way: emissions were on track to be 12% higher by 2030 than in 2005. We flattened the curve on pollution. We have negotiated Canada's first climate plan; a plan that is delivering the biggest projected cut ever to Canada's emissions. We are seeing the results.

The target we have set is both ambitious and realistic, beyond our current grasp but not our of reach, and it keeps us on a credible path to net zero by 2050.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Leona Alleslev Conservative Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, COVID-19 has left our frontline workers stretched to the limit. Retired nurses from across Canada have come out of retirement to lend a hand, but because they are currently receiving pensions, portions of their old age security benefits will be clawed back as they breach the threshold. Their skills and knowledge are invaluable during this pandemic, but they are being forced to choose between receiving benefits and providing care.

Could the minister ensure that retired nurses are not punished financially as they serve in Canada's hour of need?

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, we are eternally grateful for our health care workers in this country during this difficult time, and we have committed to supporting health care workers as they help fight the third wave.

We will do everything it takes to support them during this time, and we are eternally grateful. We are committed to making sure that these health care workers get the support they need.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Madam Speaker, the finance minister recently suggested that interest rates are so low that we cannot afford not to borrow, but we all know that interest rates change. New homebuyers are stress-tested to ensure that they are able to afford a 2% or more interest rate increase. The Liberals have said that this is for their own good.

Can the minister explain what our national debt-servicing costs will cost Canadians when interest rates rise?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. member of the threat that was raised by the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, when he appeared before the finance committee. He indicated that the risk of deflation and the downward pressure on the economy is far greater, and that the right thing to do in the moment is to ensure that the federal government provides the kind of support that is necessary to keep Canadian households and businesses afloat through this pandemic.

By making investments to help families keep food on the table and businesses keep workers on the payroll, we have preserved the economy and protected it against economic scarring so that the economy can come roaring back when it is safe to do so.

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Marc Dalton Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Madam Speaker, the tax-filing deadline is right around the corner, and many Canadians and their accountants are stressed.

The Liberals' delays in securing the vaccines allowed for this third wave to strike hard. So many Canadians have seen their jobs disappear or businesses close. Covering the basics like rent, paying the mortgage or groceries is difficult. They need relief from the extra stress of a looming tax bill.

Last year, the minister did the right thing. Will she please do the right thing again this year?

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, our government understands that tax season is stressful for Canadians. We will continue to be there for them every step of the way.

In February, we announced that recipients of the emergency and recovery benefits would be eligible for interest relief if they filed their 2020 tax returns.

The Canada Revenue Agency has also put in place robust taxpayer relief provisions that grant them relief from penalties or interest incurred for reasons beyond their control.

These measures ensure that Canadians who need help during tax season will get it.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Madam Speaker, Monday's budget included a remarkable admission that veterans are unable to access programs because disability benefits are not being confirmed.

An Afghan veteran in my riding has undergone multiple surgeries after being injured in an IED blast. For the past six years, he has been denied the critical injury benefit. Two years ago, the veterans minister visited my riding and met his family. Instead of deciding, the minister suggested that they appeal, again.

However, the minister sets policy, and so we ask again: Are multiple, invasive surgeries complex treatments?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darrell Samson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, this budget that we brought forward is a budget that supports veterans and their families. We have invested $140 million to immediately cover mental health treatment costs while applications are being processed; and an additional $15 million for the well-being fund, for organizations that are supporting veterans. We have also invested $45 million to reduce veterans homelessness. Our government has invested and will continue to invest to improve the lives of veterans and their families.

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Madam Speaker, my home province of Ontario is deep into a devastating third wave. In Windsor-Essex, many people work as essential workers. They need to cross over into the United States and there have been calls to get them vaccinated urgently in the United States. As we have seen, a deal has been arranged between Manitoba and North Dakota. We need to ensure our essential workers are protected so they can perform their vital roles for all of us.

Will the Prime Minister use the strength of the Canadian consul general offices and trade offices to help set up vaccines for essential travellers and workers going into the United States?

HealthOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, we are grateful, and implore more community partnerships to help ensure even more Canadians are vaccinated. We are absolutely committed to working with provinces and territories to ensure that essential workers are vaccinated and prioritized. We will continue to advocate for that.

We also are open and willing to work with additional partners who can help us because we know vaccines are an important part of stopping the spread and we thank our essential workers for their hard work.

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, later today, the government's Infrastructure Bank is holding its annual public meeting; only it is not a meeting at all. It is, wait for it, a series of pre-recorded promotional videos. This bank has $35 billion of public money, and yet cannot deliver even the most basic level of accountability. No local government in Canada could get away with calling a pre-recorded video a public meeting. Is the minister worried that an actual meeting might raise questions about why the bank has not completed a single project in four years?

InfrastructureOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Halifax Nova Scotia

Liberal

Andy Fillmore LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, smart investments that create good jobs require thoughtful planning and, when done right, they can be nation building. We need to ensure that every public dollar spent on infrastructure is creating jobs, attracting investment, fighting climate change, promoting social equity and building the economy of the future.

Efficiency Canada and other national organizations welcome the CIB's work and its recent growth plan, retrofitting our entire economy and creating more than 100,000 jobs every single year.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Madam Speaker, ever since the start of the pandemic, our government has been listening to small businesses and providing the support they need.

Would the parliamentary secretary tell us how budget 2021, which focuses on a strong, inclusive post-pandemic economic recovery, will help Canada's small businesses not only survive, but thrive?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Miramichi—Grand Lake for his question and his hard work on behalf of small businesses.

Our government will continue to support small businesses by extending the Canada emergency wage subsidy and the Canada emergency rent subsidy.

We also introduced the new Canada recovery hiring program.

In addition, we are investing in tomorrow's SMEs in fields such as aerospace, clean tech and AI.

We are investing in the SMEs of today and tomorrow.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, rural Canadians are being put at a greater risk of getting COVID because of the government's inability to get vaccines in a timely manner. Recently, the drive-through vaccination centre in Weyburn, Saskatchewan had to close because there were simply not enough injections available to keep it running. In many cases, rural Canadians are now having to drive 200-plus kilometres into locked-down communities to get a vaccine, risking higher exposure.

Does the minister realize her failure to get vaccines to the provinces is disproportionately affecting the health of rural Canadians?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, we, of course, want to thank all of the provinces for their collaboration and for their mobilization. My home province of Quebec is now over 30% vaccinated, and I know Saskatchewan is approaching that number for at least one dose into the arms of our citizens. We have lots of vaccines coming in: two million Pfizer doses per week throughout the month of May and two and a half million a week coming in during the month of June. We will have up to 50 million vaccine doses circulating in Canada by the end of June. I know the member joins with me in hoping that everyone signs up for a vaccine, does it soon, and that we can get this over with quickly.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Scot Davidson Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Madam Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister has told Canadians they will need a booster shot every year to counter the new and deadly variants of COVID-19, but right now the vast majority of Canadians have yet to receive any vaccine at all and those who have are waiting months for their second dose. The Liberal government has failed to procure vaccines and has failed to increase our domestic production capacity.

Can we expect the Liberals to fail in rolling out these booster shots, too?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, look for some news on booster shots coming later today.

I will say to the hon. member that, again, close to 30% of all Canadians have received a vaccine. Over 13 million vaccine doses have already been distributed in Canada. We will have up to 50 million doses by the end of June. We will have more than enough vaccines to cover all Canadians and I join with the hon. member in encouraging Canadians to sign up as soon as their turn comes to get a vaccine.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, vaccine supplies in Kelowna—Lake Country are drying up. Lakeside Medicine Centre, a local pharmacy in Kelowna, told local media that it could only guess when the next supply of vaccines would arrive and it has heard nothing as to whether any more are on the way soon. In B.C., we are facing a third wave of COVID-19 and stronger lockdown measures due to the Prime Minister's failure to get vaccines to Canada faster and earlier.

How can the Liberals be so out of touch with my constituents, who are once again getting laid off, are closing their businesses and cannot see their families?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, as the member knows, all of the provinces are devising innovative distribution and all kinds of channels to get vaccines to citizens more rapidly. One thing is for sure: the vaccine supply continues and is, indeed, going to increase over the coming weeks, with over two million a week of the Pfizer vaccine alone during May and two and a half million a week during June. That will bring us up to 50 million doses of vaccines available for British Columbians and all Canadians through the end of June. I know we are all eager for Canadians to get vaccinated.

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, as other countries are coming out of this pandemic, small communities in my riding, such as Breton, are just beginning to receive their first doses because of the Liberals' failure on procurement. Many of these communities have expressed concerns with delay and uncertainty of the timeline getting their first and second doses. In March, witnesses at the health committee confirmed the off-label interval was a decision exclusively based on procurement schedules.

When will we get enough vaccines so we can stop rationing and use the manufacturers' recommended interval?

Public Services and ProcurementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I know that the member will join me in hoping that the citizens of his riding in Yellowhead and, indeed, all Canadians have access very soon to their first dose and the evidence is their first dose will be coming very quickly. The 50 million vaccine doses that we are expecting by the end of June are, of course, more than enough to cover the first dose and, indeed, will make a significant dent in the second dose for all Canadians. We know that Canada is third in the G20 in getting that first dose to its citizens.

We all look forward to the end of this pandemic and I know the hon. member joins me in encouraging his citizens to get vaccinated when it is their turn.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

April 23rd, 2021 / 11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is proud to support sugar shacks.

Through the Ma cabane à la maison initiative, maple products were sent to about 40 embassies to promote Quebec's businesses. It never occurred to us that we should also have promoted sugar shacks to the Government of Canada. The budget did not allocate a single cent for sugar shacks. No one in Ottawa seems to realize that sugar shacks have lost out on two entire seasons because of the pandemic.

When will sugar shacks get targeted assistance?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Economic Development and Official Languages

[Technical difficulty—Editor]