House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was misconduct.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marie-Hélène Gaudreau Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing the same question for several hours now. I will approach the issue from a different angle. I was just elected in 2019, so I have to learn on the job, but I also have to look at what happened in the past, when I was not in the House of Commons.

However, something has become clear to me. Earlier, I asked what the level of urgency or importance was for such a specific topic, with such serious repercussions for our image of the armed forces. All of a sudden, the government decides it may act, and act better. After an election, there are things that we would like to see happen.

Why must we always wait until the government's back is up against a wall? Unless it is the eleventh hour, there is no action on their part. This is serious. The government should have acted long ago.

It is never too late, but what will the government actually do?

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my comments earlier, I talked a lot about what we had been able to do, but certainly there is a need to do a lot more, because the system did fail. That is why, along with the work we were able to do last week, we announced that Madame Arbour would conduct an independent review into the Canadian Armed Forces, including the creation of an external reporting system that would be independent from the chain of command and would meet the needs of all those impacted by sexual misconduct and violence.

It is also important for me to recognize that in budget 2021, our government committed $236 million to eliminate sexual misconduct and gender-based violence in the Canadian Armed Forces, including expanding the reach of the sexual misconduct response centre and providing online and in-person peer-to-peer support.

We have been able to do a lot of work, but we also know a lot more work needs to done. That is why we have taken the steps I mentioned in my speech to address them.

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Deschamps report came out in 2015 under the Conservative government, which did not implement it. The Liberals have been sitting on those recommendations for six years. Now they are up against the wall and they say they will take action. However, they are not going to implement the Deschamps report; they are going to have another review. They are going to make another framework.

Why did the Liberals not implement the reforms of the Deschamps report when they took power in 2015?

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, and as the Minister of National Defence has always said, first and foremost, there is absolutely no tolerance for misconduct.

I agree with the member that institutional cultural change is complex and takes a lot of time, and the time for patience is over. That is why we announced that we were creating a new internal organization, led by Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan as the chief of professional conduct and culture. She will be tasked with unifying, integrating and coordinating all policies, programs and activities that currently address systemic misconduct and support cultural change across National Defence. We need to ensure that everyone who wants to come forward feels comfortable in doing so.

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here listening to this. Nothing demonstrates that the Conservatives are more tone deaf on this issue than the fact that they cannot even get the Bloc and the NDP to agree that this is a good motion.

I do not see how this motion is going to help the cause. We have serious work to do in our armed forces. Why the Conservatives did not bring forward another motion to actually help address the issue is beyond me.

Could the member comment as to whether she agrees with that?

Opposition Motion—Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in the MilitaryBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kamal Khera Liberal Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right. The motion does not address any of the things the Conservatives say they care about.

On the work we have been doing, we announced that Madame Arbour would conduct an independent review into the Canadian Armed Forces, including the creation of an external reporting system that would independent from the chain of command. Those are tangible things we are doing within the Canadian Armed Forces and they are important things, as the member would agree.

I would like to thank everyone for contributing to this debate to ensure everyone feels safe to come forward, especially when it comes to any misconduct.

Status of WomenStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, women in Canada are often forced to choose between staying in a violent home or leaving and experiencing poverty and homelessness. Women who are low-income seniors living alone are often forced to choose between paying rent or paying for food and medication. Single mothers are struggling to secure adequate housing to avoid having their children taken away from them.

Women have experienced the worst impacts of the housing affordability crisis for far too long. Poor women, racialized women and women with disabilities face the greatest risks.

Last week, a 17-year-old indigenous woman who was homeless died in Nanaimo. Her name was Jada. The people who knew and loved Jada, and were trying to help her are devastated by her death.

The right to housing means every person has a right to a safe, secure home where they can live with dignity. Too many women in Canada are denied that right.

Canada Summer Jobs InitiativeStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that young Canadians have seen a tremendous amount of job losses due to COVID-19. One of the many ways our federal government is stepping up to support our youth is with a record-breaking 150,000 job opportunities being offered through the Canada summer jobs program. This program will not only help students gain work experience and earn money, but will also help organizations and businesses bring in fresh energy and ideas at a time when we need them as we are trying to support our local economies.

In my riding of Davenport, $1.9 million was allocated to 113 recipient organizations and small businesses to create just under 400 jobs. This is a sixfold increase from when I was first elected five years ago.

I want to thank the organizations and businesses in Davenport for stepping up to offer excellent jobs, with a special shout-out to Roseneath Theatre, Blueberry X, Dawah Centre, West Toronto Community Legal Services, First Portuguese, Sistering, Pollinator Partnership and so many more.

I encourage all students in Davenport and across the country to visit jobbank.gc.ca to apply.

Firearms RegistryStatements by Members

May 4th, 2021 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Benzen Conservative Calgary Heritage, AB

Mr. Speaker, media revelations that the RCMP kept information from the Liberals' long-gun registry that Parliament ordered destroyed is blowing new holes in Canadians' already shaky trust in government. Now we know why the RCMP targeted certain homes for firearms collections during the High River flooding in Alberta. It is because it had a copy of the registry information. It was not supposed to have it, but it knew exactly where to look.

It is disgraceful that the government and its national institutions cannot be trusted to honour the same rules it, in turn, expects all citizens to follow. What a betrayal this is of Canadians' assumptions of equality under the law.

In light of these reports, the Prime Minister and his Minister of Public Safety need to ensure that the RCMP destroys its secret list and comes clean on just what other private information it has compiled that the law does not permit it to have.

COVID-19 VaccinesStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a rebel alliance of scientists and researchers, including a few Jedi, I am sure, worked together to eradicate smallpox and polio. Because of their courage and that all the Padawans who did their part by getting vaccinated, a new hope emerged and these diseases are something we mostly only hear about.

Unfortunately, last year, we all learned that a new virus decided to strike back and we truly saw the dark side of a global pandemic. However, as was the case before, the alliance worked hard, brought us the return of the vaccines and helped awaken us all to the fact that vaccines are safe and effective.

I would encourage everyone in my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges to join me and make an appointment to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

In the meantime, let us all continue to follow the public health guidelines and, of course, the teachings of a great Jedi master, who would say, “Wear masks, we do; wash our hands, we must; get through, we will”.

May the 4th be with you, Mr. Speaker.

St. Lawrence SeawayStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, the St. Lawrence Seaway is an asset that runs through my riding, Salaberry—Suroît.

When boating season begins, traffic disruptions at the Larocque Bridge and Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague Bridge are part of daily life for local residents and business owners.

Motorists, cyclists and recreational boaters deserve a modernized St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation website that presents an accurate schedule of bridge lifts to help them plan their travel.

That is why I sponsored petition e-3252, which is available online until May 11, 2021. It was initiated by Daniel Pinsonneault from Coteau-du-Lac. I invite everyone to support him and the 12 municipalities that are also asking for these changes. The relationship between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and our community is important. Through this petition, we aim to strengthen a culture of communication.

I salute the seaway managers who recently made improvements to their web platform. This is a step in the right direction, but more can be done. I urge them to do so.

Mental Health WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to draw attention to Mental Health Week and this year's theme, #GetReal. In Quebec, almost 20% of the population says that they suffer from mental illness, and half of these illnesses start by 14 years of age.

In Hochelaga, several initiatives to combat isolation have been launched by community organizations and schools, and even by individuals. For example, the Centre d'entraide Le Pivot, a citizen-led initiative, helps residents of Mercier West conquer isolation every day while fostering social reintegration.

Throughout the pandemic, Hochelaga MON Quartier, a private Facebook group with more than 26,000 members, gave people a way to stay connected and help one another every day despite the lockdown.

I would like the people of Hochelaga to know that if you are aware of someone going through tough times, call them or send them a message. We must take care of one another because together, we will combat isolation and depression.

Habitat for HumanityStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Mr. Speaker, I speak today to recognize the inspiring work of Habitat for Humanity and to congratulate Haldimand-Norfolk’s newest habitat homeowners, Russ, Sharon and Krysten. Habitat for Humanity mobilizes volunteers, businesses and communities to help families in need build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable home ownership. In our area alone, more than 25 families have new homes thanks to them.

Habitat also operates home improvement stores called Habitat ReStore, where donated surplus furnishings and building materials are sold at bargain prices. It is the ultimate in recycling. Where else could someone buy an $850 toilet for $52 or a wingback chair for just $15?

My heartiest thanks go to the volunteers, donors, businesses and staff who work so hard to make the dream of affordable home ownership come true, even during a pandemic.

Mental Health WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is Mental Health Week. This year's theme is centred on getting real about how someone feels, building our own capacities and giving voice and understanding to our own mental health. The mental health of Canadians has been challenged this past year. For the many families, essential workers and health teams from coast to coast to coast, this is an important time to reflect on how we are doing and supporting our mental health and well-being.

During Mental Health Week and every week we should be able, without stigma, to name and deal with our emotions. Being able to talk about our ups and downs, as awkward as it might sometimes feel, is essential. Conversations about our mental health with friends, family and neighbours, especially during these challenging times, is something we should and must talk about.

Mental Health Week reminds us to take care of ourselves and to show up for one another, to take action and use the resource networks available to us, like wellnesstogether.ca and Kids Help Phone. Why? It is because we know that a healthy society is one that supports the mental health of all Canadians.

Bill C-10Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, our artists have been hit hard by the pandemic and, yet, right now we need them more than ever. It is their stories and songs that are helping us get through COVID-19. Helping artists and creators is at the heart of what Bill C-10 is about. Making sure that web giants contribute to our great creative industries for the stories, for the music and for the Canadian jobs in this important industry from coast to coast to coast. I hope that the Conservatives will end their filibuster and allow all of us to complete Bill C-10 and the urgent work required for our artists.

I was pleased to see the Canadian Independent Music Association, SOCAN, IATSE, Unifor and others show their support for us to continue through clause by clause, and to make it easier to discover Canadian shows and music, and make sure that web giants are making financial contributions to the Canadian sector. Let us get this done for our artists.

RCAF HeroStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Morrison Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, local farm kid, Clarence (C.B.) Lang took his first job at the Huscroft sawmill in Creston B.C. It was a chance flight with an RCAF WWII flight instructor Ken Huscroft, who owned the sawmill, where Lang discovered his passion for flight, joining the Royal Canadian Air Force the following year.

Clarence was chosen to fly in the difficult slot position with the famed Golden Hawks. In 1966, he was named squadron leader of the Golden Centennaires, formed to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday. They flew over 100 shows, were the only air force acrobatic unit to land and take off in formation and were considered the best in the world. In fact, the commander of the American Thunderbirds said it was the finest exhibition of precision flying ever seen.

Colonel Clarence Lang retired to Creston. Huscroft‘s son Johnny purchased a Golden Centennaire Tutor and is now working to pedestal the iconic plane near Creston this summer, hoping to one day to see the Snowbirds fly over.

Today I would like to acknowledge Johnny Huscroft, his team and the important work to secure the legacy of this hero, Clarence (C.B.) Lang.

Polish and Lithuanian CanadiansStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the wonderful virtual opportunity to join our Polish and Lithuanian residents in Canada to commemorate the 230th anniversary of one of the oldest constitutions in the world. For our one million plus people of Polish and Lithuanian descent living in Canada, this was an important occasion. Poland also celebrated its national day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of May 3, 1791.

Our Polish and Lithuanian Canadians continue to help make Canada the strong and vibrant country it is today. They have made a remarkable contribution to local businesses, services and the cultural fabric of our country. I am also truly honoured to represent one of the largest Polish communities in our nation.

This past year has been a very challenging year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Polish and Lithuanian frontline essential workers. It is indeed a commendable brave fight against COVID-19. I am proud to convey my heartfelt, huge thanks.

International Firefighters DayStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is International Firefighters Day.

After the tragic deaths of five firefighters in Australia in 1998, the day is observed to remember those have who died in the line of duty, while at the same time to show our support and appreciation to firefighters who work in unimaginable situations to protect our communities.

As a former firefighter, I can speak to the commitment and professionalism that every firefighter has for the communities they serve. It is a proud tradition, a calling, that is often generational, as it was in my case with my uncle, Peter Hayes, who worked 35 years with York and then Toronto fire services. This calling, however, comes with great sacrifices, occupational illness and disease, mental health issues, broken families and death related to service, to name a few, but if I ask any firefighter if they would choose another career, many would say “no”.

To my former my former IAFF colleagues in Markham, to the Barry and Innisfil firefighters and all firefighters across Canada, happy International Firefighters Day. Stay safe and stay healthy.

John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public ServiceStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Halifax International Security Forum has announced the winner of the 2020 John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service: Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan.

Despite being pressured by the government to withhold the prize, the Halifax International Security Forum decided to stand up and speak out for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. President Tsai Ing-wen has been a strong leader in standing up to the belligerence coming from the Chinese communist leadership in Beijing and speaking up about its violations of human rights and international law. She has been a tireless champion for the rules-based international order.

Once again, I congratulate President Tsai Ing-wen on receiving the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service.

Big Brother CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, cultural events lie at the heart of life in northwest B.C., whether it’s the All-Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert, or Hobiyee in the Nass Valley. Having these events cancelled by the pandemic has been hard on folks, but now, people have found a reason to come together virtually, because Kiefer Collison, the voice of CFNR and the All-Native Basketball Tournament, has made it to the final week of the reality show, Big Brother Canada.

He is a proud Haida, born and raised in Old Masset. Kiefer’s huge smile, signature mullet and generosity of spirit reflect the best of the northwest. His time on Big Brother Canada is teaching Canada who indigenous people truly are, erasing stereotypes and bringing people together. Here at home, store windows are decorated and people of all ages are wearing “Kief It Real” T-shirts to cheer him on.

The pandemic has been overwhelming and stressful for many, so when there are small things that bring joy, it is worth embracing them. Best of luck to Kiefer, and, as Kiefer says, “Love, peace and oolichan grease”.

Café ParenthèseStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Desilets Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, during this National Mental Health Week it is important to remember that the vulnerable are being hit hard by the pandemic.

We were therefore very pleased to welcome a new project in Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, the Parenthèse café. The project seeks to provide an open, welcoming and safe community where people coping with with social disorganization or emotional stress can benefit from counselling services and feel less isolated.

The project provides an accessible place to take a break free from judgment, where isolated individuals can move at their own pace. We need initiatives like Parenthèse café more than ever to help marginalized people regain their quality of life.

I want to send out a special thanks to the two organizations behind this project, Atelier ensemble on se tient and Écluse des Laurentides. I would also like to acknowledge Priscillia Laplante in particular.

Bill C-10Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, in a democracy, it is the government's job to defend people's right to speak freely, yet the Liberal government is doing the exact opposite. The Liberals changed their own legislation in Bill C-10 by removing the one section that protected the content Canadians post on their social media pages. The question I ask is, why?

For Bill C-10 to become law, it first has to pass a sniff test to make sure that it abides by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In November, the justice minister gave Bill C-10 the green light, citing clause 3, which protected individuals' online content from censorship. Interestingly enough, however, that is the very section that was removed.

Last week at committee, I put forward a motion that would seek to ensure Canadians' rights are protected. The Liberals shut down debate. Indeed, freedom is messy, but the alternative is soul-crushing and altogether destructive. Respect for the charter should not be a partisan issue, however, it is increasingly so. Conservatives will always defend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I would invite the Liberal members to do the same.

Jean-Claude ChartrandStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

William Amos Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, chef Jean-Claude Chartrand, owner of the L'Orée du Bois restaurant in Chelsea and ambassador for the Outaouais, passed away recently.

I want to express my condolences to his wife, Josée, and their children, whom I spoke to this morning. We will never forget chef Jean-Claude, as we knew him, or the true sense of hospitality and joy he put into his creative dishes.

The general public got to experience his sense of humour and love of local Outaouais products for themselves, after he appeared on a Radio-Canada TV show called Le Combat des villes in 2016 and made it to the finals.

Chef Jean-Claude gave many Quebeckers, including me, a taste for cooking. From him, I learned how important it is to support small, local farmers.

I had the privilege and great honour of serving as his sous-chef at the Outaouais' Gourmet Festival.

On behalf of the people of Pontiac and myself, I offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of chef Jean-Claude Chartrand.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, vaccination, rapid testing and accurate information are three tools to fight this pandemic. For months, we have been telling Canadians to get vaccinated.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association is worried that the government's inaccurate messaging will stoke vaccine hesitancy. Why are we getting a different message every week from the government?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we always rely on the science, which is of course evolving all the time. We will always stress that people should get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Health Canada has approved all the vaccines we use in Canada and has deemed them to be safe and effective.

I continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated because it is only by vaccinating the entire population, or as much of it as possible, that we can leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind us.