House of Commons Hansard #108 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was research.

Topics

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian airline industry was hard hit by the pandemic, and we are determined to support the thousands of Canadians who work in that industry.

The support for Air Canada comes with clear limits on executive compensation. This is an appropriate and necessary measure.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe the minister thinks that is okay.

The government is offering Air Canada $5.9 billion on the condition that its senior executives cap their compensation at $1 million a year, which is already quite a lot when the company depends on public funds to survive and when it just put 22,000 families in poverty by dismissing half of its workers.

Nevertheless, the bosses at Air Canada are giving themselves $20 million in bonuses. They are basically once again thumbing their noses at Canadians.

Will the government withhold the money from Air Canada until the bonuses are paid back so that Quebeckers do not have to fund one cent of those bonuses?

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

I want to note that in negotiating our support for Air Canada, we established clear caps on executive compensation. That is an important and necessary measure.

I also want to note that Air Canada agreed to a measure to ensure that every worker remains at Air Canada.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, when the current government was elected, it committed to all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sections 71 to 76 are very specific about “Missing Children and Burial Information”. Given the horrific discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, will the minister commit to full financial support and other necessary supports for a thorough investigation, not only there but at all former residential schools in Canada?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

June 1st, 2021 / 2:35 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for all her heartfelt agency on this.

Our thoughts are with the survivors, families and indigenous communities across Canada. The discovery is a reminder of the harms done to residential school attendees and the trauma that survivors and families continue to face every day. We have supported the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to develop the national residential school student death register and create an online registry of residential school cemeteries.

In budget 2019, we allocated $33.8 million to engage with indigenous communities on how to implement calls to action 74 to 76 and—

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, with the tragic news out of Kamloops, it is clear that many indigenous Canadians and residential school survivors are being forced to relive their trauma. As Chief Casimir said, “We see you, we love you and we believe you.” We need to ensure that supports are available as they come to terms with these latest findings, as well as their own truth and trauma.

In addition to the support hotline, will the minister commit to requested mental health support?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that exceedingly important question. The answer is yes.

I will take this opportunity, because there is not a single indigenous community that has not been affected by this, to remind people that there is a crisis referral service hotline they can access by dialing 1-866-925-4419.

I have reached out directly to Chief Casimir and the surrounding communities to ensure that they have the full support of the Government of Canada and Indigenous Services Canada as they go through this difficult, emotional time. We will be there for them. We will be working with the First Nations Health Authority to be there for them, now and for the foreseeable future.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, in December I specifically asked that the airline assistance plan not include executive compensation. Today we find out that Air Canada paid its executives more than $20 million in bonuses after receiving nearly $6 billion from the government.

Why was the government unable to negotiate an agreement that left out executive compensation and instead focused on Canadian workers?

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian airline industry was hard hit by the pandemic, and we are determined to support the thousands of Canadians who work in that industry.

The member is mistaken because the reality is that support for Air Canada comes with clear limits on executive compensation. This is an appropriate and necessary measure.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am certain I am not mistaken.

The top five executives alone received close to $2 million each, while tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs or went on government programs. I was clear in my demands in December that it was workers who were desperate for help and not executives. Why was the government incapable of negotiating an agreement that excluded executive compensation instead of focusing on Canadian workers?

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. The government absolutely believed that limits on executive compensation were a priority in our negotiations with Air Canada. That is why the agreement that we reached with Air Canada includes clear and strict limits on executive compensation. These restrictions will be in place for 12 months after the loans have been repaid. Let me also emphasize that Air Canada has committed to maintain employment at or above April 1 levels.

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It appears there was a problem with the translation.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister repeat her answer so that everyone can hear it?

Airline IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that our government absolutely agrees that it was necessary and it was a priority to include strict limits on executive compensation, including stock options, in our loan agreement with Air Canada. Those restrictions are there, and they will be in place until 12 months after the loans are repaid.

I want to emphasize also, since I know everyone in the House cares about workers, that Air Canada has agreed that employment levels will remain at or above April 1 levels.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the bodies of 215 precious children were found at a residential school, and indigenous people are asking for justice, not words. However, the government will not stop taking first nations kids to court.

A human rights tribunal found that the government discriminated against first nations kids. It is now a choice. It is time to make it right. The government cannot have it both ways, offering sympathies for a mass grave while continuing to persecute children in court.

When will the government make the right choice and stop fighting first nations children?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs Québec

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, now is in fact the time to stand with the communities that are most deeply affected and support them in their time of grieving.

On the member's question, we have said time and time again that we will compensate first nations children for the discrimination they suffered at the hands of child and family services. We continue on those paths. We continue to work with the three competing court cases to ensure fair compensation to those who have suffered harm.

We will continue on the long path toward transformative change to ensure that no child is apprehended again.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mi'kmaq fishers from the Sipekne'katik First Nation have been abandoned by the government. DFO has decided that they cannot fish now even though this is a clear violation of their treaty rights to earn a moderate livelihood, which is what indigenous fishers are trying to do: earn a living, feed their families and, in some cases, work their way out of poverty.

They are also afraid of violence from non-indigenous fishers, with good reason. Their property has been burned, they have been threatened and assaulted, and the government has offered no plan to ensure their safety. This is not reconciliation.

What is the government doing to protect the rights and safety of indigenous fishers?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margarets Nova Scotia

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan LiberalMinister of Fisheries

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear that first nations have an absolute right to fish for a moderate livelihood. We have put in place a plan this year that allows them to fish for that moderate livelihood as we work toward long-term agreements. The plan we put in place for this year is flexible, it allows first nations to sell their catch and it ensures they are the ones who develop their fishing plans.

We will continue to negotiate for longer-term agreements, because we know how important this is to first nations.

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Palestinian civilians are suffering profound hardship, as a result of the recent violence, displacement and loss of life and have endured unimaginable pain. All human beings are born with equal, unalienable rights. We must all work to uphold them.

Canadians, including residents of my community, are expressing deep concern over these rights, the urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank, and unfettered access to provide this assistance.

Could the Minister of International Development tell the House how Canada will support Palestinians in coping with the effects of this devastating violence and work to build a foundation for lasting peace?

International DevelopmentOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for Mississauga—Lakeshore for his hard work on this issue.

The $25 million in funding announced last week is being provided through trusted partners and will ensure that emergency relief quickly reaches Palestinian civilians whose humanitarian needs have only been worsened by this conflict. It will go beyond these urgent and immediate needs to also support recovery and rebuilding efforts. It will support critical peacebuilding and people-to-people initiatives to advance the goal of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Digital ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has among the highest rates in the world for cellular services. The Liberals promised in their campaign to reduce prices by 25% by increasing competition, but two CRTC rulings are at odds with these promises. New telecommunications companies have already decided not to reduce the price of the services they offer.

Are the Liberals still committed to reducing prices by 25% for all Canadians, yes or no?

Digital ServicesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, for whom I have a lot of respect.

As he knows, we are still working toward offering affordable prices to every Canadian in the country. We are ensuring that there is greater competition in the telecommunications sector and that there is innovation. That is why we always promote competition in order to lower prices, while striving to improve quality and increase coverage of telecommunications services in Canada.

That is exactly what we have been doing since the beginning of our term and that is what we will continue to do every day.

Digital ServicesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, among the new competitors that were planning to enter the market and offer lower prices, some are now announcing that their plans are cancelled.

Two CRTC rulings have favoured the large telecommunications giants, limited competition and prevented a flourishing free market in the sector. That is not a recipe for lower prices. The Liberals promised a 25% reduction in prices by this coming October. They are not even close to meeting that promise.

My last question was clear. Again, will every Canadian get a 25% cut in cellphone prices?

Digital ServicesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, the recipe for success is to be relentless in focusing on affordability, competition, innovation and connectivity across Canada. That is why our government, since day one, has been relentless in promoting competition to lower prices, while working to improve quality and increase the coverage of telecom services in Canada.

What I do every time I talk to executives in the telecom industry or Internet service providers is ensure they provide affordable services to Canadians. I will continue to do that every step of the way.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is Pride Month and still, after many years, we have seen the Liberal government fail to make a permanent refugee program for the LGBTQ+ community. Many members of the community are stoned, hung, assaulted and have many other horrifying acts committed against them just for being who they are.

When will the government stop the lip service and commit to a permanent program to help LGBTQ refugees?