House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was content.

Topics

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the minister. To be very clear, what we have seen from the Conservative opposition is an attempt to prevent legislation from passing. We have seen that in the form of the Conservatives trying to adjourn the debate in the chamber for the day or by moving concurrence motions. They will do anything but allow bills to pass.

Could the minister continue her thoughts on why this legislation is so very important to Canadians, given that the measures in it are a continuation of what has been our priority, which is the pandemic?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his very hard work. As my colleague points out, this is getting really serious. The time for parliamentary theatrics, the time for parliamentary games and the time for the delaying tactics of the Conservatives is long past.

Today is June 14. The essential business and income support measures in the budget that are holding up Canada right now expire in June. The budget proposes to extend them to September 25. Canadians need that. People have sacrificed so much in the fight against COVID. We need to come together in the House, finish the fight against COVID and support the recovery. That is why we need to pass this budget legislation.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I am very sympathetic with the position that we need to get Bill C-30 through. There are many provisions there that are helpful. However, on principle, I have always stood against time allocation motions. The House exists to examine legislation and to take the time it takes to review it.

One of the things I am concerned about is that we seem to be under the false time pressure on many bills that an election is looming. We have a fixed election date law. In order to have an election looming, somebody in government must be prepared to break that law because the next election is in October 2023. This bill is important to get through, for sure, because there are immediate provisions that help Canadians, but other legislation continues to need to be studied.

Would the Deputy Prime Minister agree with me that there is no prospect of an election any time soon, unless her government is prepared to break the law?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her hard work.

Let me say a few things. First of all, on the question of an election, let me be very clear: Our government has absolutely no desire for an election. We think the job right now is to work hard to support Canadians, to finish the fight against COVID and to support our national effort to punch our way out of the COVID recession. That is our sole and unrelenting focus.

However, we do not have the luxury of time when it comes to the budget legislation. These income and business support measures run out in June. That is why we need to pass this budget legislation now and that is why the government is doing something we do not relish, which is bringing forward time allocation.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, why is it that the minister does not want the opposition to do its job? Our job is to hold the government accountable and to exercise scrutiny and oversight. This is the biggest budget in Canadian history. It is the biggest debt, at well over a trillion dollars and heading toward $1.8 trillion. Canadians have never seen this.

As Kevin Lynch, the former deputy minister of finance said, this is the largest intergenerational transfer of risk and debt in Canadian history, and this minister wants to give us just two meetings at the finance committee to review this legislation. We are doing our job.

With this huge debt and interminable deficits facing Canadians, does the minister have a plan to return to balanced budgets, yes or no?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, let me just say this to Canadians: Canada continues to have the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7. Following the tabling of our budget, the credit ratings agencies Moody's and S&P both reaffirmed Canada's AAA credit rating. That is the highest there is. That is clear, objective evidence of the reality, which is that this budget presents a prudent and responsible fiscal path. That is the verdict of the judges who really matter.

Let me also say, through you, Madam Speaker, to the Conservatives: It is time to stop delaying tactics. It is time to stop playing games with Canadian jobs and Canadian businesses, and to extend the supports Canadians need.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a very simple question for the Minister of Finance.

Many people in the cultural sector, including those who work in theatre, music, live shows and festivals, are very worried that this budget means the end of direct assistance for workers. That may be all right for the majority of people, but workers and businesses in the cultural sector will need targeted assistance.

Why is the Liberal government trying to impose a gag order, when we could be working together to make direct assistance more flexible and to extend CERB for certain sectors, such as the cultural, tourism and hospitality sectors? I would like to hear my colleague’s thoughts on that.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to answer the questions, because it gives me the opportunity to point out that our concern for creators, cultural workers and tourism companies is exactly why it is so urgent to support Bill C‑30. These people, these Quebeckers, are the ones who need the support this budget will give them.

However, the only way we can help them is with the support of progressive parties in the House. That is what Canadians want, and that is our job.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, it is important to remember that we went without a budget for two years before the government tabled one.

This budget was tabled late in the spring and was preceded by an economic statement in November. We are now being asked to urgently pass the budget implementation bill and, obviously, it would be good if we passed it. However, the government is trying to once again impose closure on us, pushing us and saying that it is urgent we take action for various reasons, when the government is the one that dragged its feet and took two years to table a budget.

It seems to me that the reasons that are being given to justify closure do not take into consideration the work of Parliament or parliamentarians. What does the finance minister think about that?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

I would like to once again point out that we have already had a great deal of discussion on this bill. We had 22 hours of debate and 160 speeches in the House as well as 40 hours of debate and 132 speeches in committee.

I would again remind all members of the House that what Canadians and Quebeckers want is to get the help they need. We are in the midst of a crisis, a global pandemic, and they need the federal government's support to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a strong economic recovery. We need to take action and do our job.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Cumming Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, it has been two years since there was a budget, and this is a budget that is spending like there is no tomorrow. Parliament was prorogued and the natural resource sector is missing from the budget.

Why is it that the government cannot manage its time and is going to restrict debate on this very important piece of legislation?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, we can manage our time. The problem, which is threatening to become Canada's problem, is that the Conservatives appear to prefer partisan theatrics and partisan games to doing the work of the country: doing the important work we were all elected to do.

This is a national crisis. COVID has plunged Canada into the deepest depression since the Great Depression. It is time for all of us to set aside juvenile games, roll up our sleeves and pass this essential budget legislation that will continue the wage subsidy, continue the rent subsidy and continue the CRB. These support measures expire in June. We have no time to waste. Let us set aside the juvenile gamesmanship and let us do our jobs.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 12:25 p.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, I find it very interesting when the hon. minister talks about gamesmanship and so on. When New Democrats came to the table, we came to work to make this bill better and ensure that instead of giving billions to corporations and banks with absolutely no question we actually gave it to the people: to the taxpayers, people in my riding of London—Fanshawe who are struggling and desperately trying to pay their bills, pay their rent and pay for food.

Why is it that when the government talks about a team Canada approach it does not actually mean it unless it is to do what it wants, when it wants, instead of working for people in Canada?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I have to say that this budget is not about any political party. It is about precisely the people the member for London—Fanshawe has just spoken about so passionately. This budget is about giving Canadians the support they so urgently need to finish the fight against COVID and have a robust recovery. It extends the income supports to the end of September. It increases the OAS for Canadians over age 75. It will build a universal early learning and child care system across the country. That is what my constituents and the people of London—Fanshawe need.

Let us pass this budget, and let Canada get back to work.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to follow up on one comment the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands brought up about not having the government break the fixed election law. Why is it that we have speeches tomorrow for MPs who are not intending to run again if there is not going to be an election until the fixed election date, and if there is no need for an election at this point?

The other point I would make is this. We are here to try to fix this legislation. We have just seen the largest transfer of wealth from governments and taxpayers to the ultrawealthy. The ultrawealthy have made out like bandits during this pandemic. There are flaws in this legislation that would cause people to have their CERB cut when they are not ready. The needs of the small business community, in particular tourism, have been flagged in this piece of legislation, and there are a lot of things to fix. It is our job, as members of Parliament and legislators, to fix this legislation. That takes time and democratic debate.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, let me emphasize that we have already debated this legislation for 22 hours in the House. There have been 160 speakers. We debated it for 40 hours at committee. There were 132 witnesses there.

The member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith asked about an election. Our government does not want an election. We know that Canadians want and expect all of us to get to work to finish the fight against COVID and support a robust recovery. To have that, they urgently need the supports in this budget. I want to remind members of the House that the support measures run out this month. We have no time left. We need to act.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, we hear the Conservatives say they need more time to debate this. The reality is that not a single Conservative has talked about how they would like to change the bill; rather, they have said how much they dislike the bill. It is quite clear the Conservatives are going to be voting against this very important piece of legislation for Canadians, so for them to suggest that this side of the House is playing political games is completely false. The reality is that we have a budget here to support Canadians through to the end of this pandemic.

Would the minister like to comment on the actual impact this will have on Canadians, and on Canadian small businesses in particular?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Kingston and the Islands for his hard work and excellent question.

The reality is that every budget is important, but this budget is urgently needed. It is going to be the budget that finishes the fight against COVID and supports Canadians in the reopening they have sacrificed so much to achieve. It extends the wage subsidy, rent subsidy and lockdown supports until September 25. It extends the CRB. This budget creates a Canada hiring credit that will help businesses recover and will support them as they bring on new workers. It will establish a federal minimum wage of $15. It will send $5 billion to the provinces to support the vaccine rollout and our health care systems. How can anyone fail to see the urgency and not support this budget that will get Canadians the supports they need?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, what we see is a government that dragged its feet and took its sweet time deciding whether to table a budget or not. Now it is pushing everyone around to get time allocation, even though it knows nobody will go for it. We will not allow ourselves to be pushed around like that.

Is this not just the Liberals' way of creating an excuse to trigger an election on the grounds that the government is not able to function?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the Bloc Québécois member, but I have to say he is totally wrong about that.

The fact is, our government does not want an election. Our government wants to work for Canadians because we know we are going through a crisis right now. We need to remember that we have spent the past year in a global pandemic and an economic crisis caused by that pandemic.

What our government wants to do now is finish the fight against COVID‑19 and support Canadians as we recover. I hope opposition members will understand that this is the practical, pragmatic work Quebeckers want and need.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, once again we are faced with time allocation. The Liberal government has played games all along, proroguing Parliament and not releasing a bill. Now we are in the eleventh hour and once again the minister is trying to limit debate.

Nobody on this side of the House is trying to play games. We have been fighting hard to help Canadians. I am wondering when this party will stop playing games and stop ending debate so that we can truly represent the people of our ridings.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, members on the opposition benches have in fact been playing games. That is what we have watched over the past days being done by the Conservatives. They are partisan delaying tactics at a time when Canadians need us to get to work.

I sincerely believe that the member opposite wants to work for her constituents. I do as well. The way to do that is to pass this budget, which, by the way, includes $18 billion to support indigenous people in Canada. They need that support. Let us pass the budget and get it to them.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Chair, I am really shocked by the words of the Minister of Finance, who spoke earlier of “juvenile games”, when it is the Liberals themselves who have been the most obstructionist over the last session of Parliament.

The minister is asking why we want to talk about the budget. It is because the Liberals decided to wait until next year to extend EI sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 26 weeks, because the Liberals created two classes of seniors and abandoned those between 65 and 75 years old, because this is the biggest budget and the biggest debt we have ever seen, and because the rich are getting richer while everyone else is getting poorer, since everything costs more.

We should make a list of all the members who are being deprived their right to speak to all the measures I just mentioned. Why is the government preventing members from speaking?

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Madam Speaker, what is shocking is the partisan bickering by the Conservatives. They need to realize that the country is watching what they are doing, and it does not have patience for such childish games.

Canada is going through a real crisis today, a global pandemic, and the country needs us to be pragmatic and practical. The country needs support from the federal government, and that is what the budget will provide. I want to reiterate that if this budget does not pass, that support will end in June. That is why we must all set this bickering aside and support the budget.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.