House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, the short answer is yes. In fact, if the member looks at the pre-budget consultation report that the finance committee came up with, he will see that the dissenting report from the Conservatives contains the recommendation that the government finally engage in comprehensive tax reform. It should find a way to simplify our tax system to make it fairer, making sure that everybody pays their fair share, and should simplify it so that it is easier to collect taxes and it is easier for Canadians to fill out their tax forms every year

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:20 a.m.

Green

Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives continue to bring up China and the Liberal Party. I would like to remind the member that it was the Harper Conservative government that signed an agreement with Communist China, the 2012 Canada-China FIPA, which gave Chinese state-owned corporations a great deal of power over our democratic authority. It was Rob Nicholson, the defence minister at the time, who signed an agreement with the Chinese for military co-operation in 2013.

I would like to step back into taxes. We know that trickle-down economics has not worked. Cutting taxes for the ultrawealthy has meant that they have lined their pockets, and the burden of taxation has gone to the working class and the middle class. That is not working. It is not good for our economy and it is not good for working people. I agree with the member for Kingston and the Islands that we need serious tax reform and need to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share.

Would the member not agree that the burden falls too much on working people in the middle class?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, the member knows that I just responded to the question. I am in favour of comprehensive tax reform to bring our tax system back to fairness and balance to make sure those who should be paying taxes are paying taxes.

With respect to the FIPA, I would say the member obviously has not read it. I have, and it does not in any way create additional market access. This agreement is called a post-establishment investment protection treaty. In other words, it only protects investments once they have been made in Canada. The decision the federal government makes is whether it is going to allow a foreign investment to be made in Canada if it is above a certain threshold value.

The suggestion that somehow this agreement opens up the market for Chinese investment is patently false. In fact, this agreement protects Canadian investors when they make investments in China and are then discriminated against by Chinese governments. This—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I have to allow for another question.

The hon. member for Langley—Aldergrove.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Abbotsford for his comments on this year's budget. He mentioned that inflationary pressures are already embedded in the economy. We know that the best way to tackle inflation is to grow the economy to make sure that it is producing all the goods and services that people need.

Does the member have comments about what this budget does to grow the economy?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, inflation does represent a significant threat to our economy and to Canadians right across the country because as inflation grows, interest rates typically follow. That is something every family who has a large mortgage needs to be concerned about.

My colleague is also right in that the best way to address a recessionary economy, a large budgetary deficit and a massive, growing debt is to grow the economy. What we can do is cut spending, which I do not believe any of the parties in the House of Commons are talking about; increase taxes on Canadians, which is what the NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals always propose; or grow the economy, thereby finding a way to manage the debt and start to return to balanced budgets, at least in the long term.

Given the massive debt we have now incurred, growing the economy is the best way forward. One thing the Conservatives will not do is increase taxes on Canadians at such a difficult time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I know the member for Abbotsford has constituents who rely on the CRB. Particularly in the tourism industry and a number of other industries, people will rely on it to put food on their tables over the course of the summer.

I would like the member to comment on the government's slashing of the CRB from $500 a week to $300 a week, which is below poverty levels. Does he feel it is in the best interests of his constituents to see the marked slashing of those benefits at such a critical time?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's work at the finance committee. I think we work together quite well on that committee.

We have repeatedly said that Canadians need to be financially supported by government until such time as all of us have made it through the pandemic. We are not advocating for slashing and burning. We are advocating that once Canadians make it through to the end of the pandemic, they are weaned off of these supports. We do not believe in slashing and burning these programs, because they are absolutely critical for sustaining Canadians through this very difficult time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, before I start my speech, I seek unanimous consent to split my time with the hon. member for Shefford.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Does the hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé have the unanimous consent of the House?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank all my colleagues for giving me their consent; it was very nice of them.

This morning, it seems to me that I will be repeating things we have been saying for a while now. Evidently, it takes a lot of repetition for the message to sink in.

I will start by talking about health transfers.

Of course, it is important to pass Bill C-30 swiftly, that is to say, before the session ends, because, among other things, the support measures need to be extended. We all agree on that point. However, there are significant flaws.

The main idea in my speech is that the federal government wants to hold all the power and be omnipotent. It wants to exert its dominance over the other levels of government and over Canadians. The health care transfers are a darned good example.

Why is the current government, the Prime Minister, refusing to give 28 billion dollars annually to the provinces and Quebec, who are all asking for the same thing? If it did so, after three to five years the health care problems in the provinces, territories and Quebec would mostly be resolved, which would allow us to better manage the health system. As a result, the provinces, territories and Quebec would no longer need to ask the federal government to kindly come to the rescue by giving them a few billion dollars.

Politically speaking, it is much better and more relevant and advantageous to hold a big press conference, with a big smile and a sunny disposition, and look like the great saviour. We are offered only a billion dollars, and told to come back on our knees and beg for more again next year, because Ottawa wants to hold on to that power. The unreasonable spending power is the evil side of the Canadian federation, and so is the unreasonable sharing of taxation powers: 50% of Quebeckers' tax dollars go to Ottawa, but Ottawa does not take on 50% of the responsibilities. That is the problem.

That is one of the themes I wanted to address in my speech, but I will now move on to something else.

Old age security comes to mind. Why are the Liberals increasing old age security? They probably want to hold on to that as a nice election promise. Government members are always waiting for the next election campaign. FADOQ members and seniors' groups are paying attention to the government's promises. The benevolent government tells them not to worry and promises to take care of seniors if it is re-elected. What a crock.

The government has an opportunity to do this now. All the opposition parties are on board. We were calling for this before the pandemic began, not now because of the pandemic. Things were not going great before the pandemic, and the situation is much worse now.

Every day, or nearly every day, people tell me that they received an adjustment of $1.59. It is a slap in the face. People ask me what we are doing and whether we are still delivering the message. That is why, with every darned speech I make on the budget, I bring these things up. I do this work for my constituents.

I do not want to blame anyone, but I would like to offer members of the House some food for thought. Sometimes I get the impression that members may have forgotten the initial commitment we make. I invite each and every one of us to remember our first election campaign, even though some members have been here for 25 or 30 years. That is a nod to Mr. Plamondon, who has never forgotten why he is here. There are others who have been here for a long time. Let us not forget—

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. I would remind the member that he is not to name members of the House and he must always address his speech to the Chair.

The hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, it is because this man's name is etched on my heart. The name of his riding is Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel.

I was saying that members need to remind themselves of their commitment. I invite them to think of the people who call their riding office to tell them how they are struggling to put food on the table. I have been helping some of those people this year.

Let us remember the older people who supported the Quiet Revolution in Quebec and the establishment of the society we live in today, which has allowed us to thrive because it is so generous and prosperous. I would not be here today if not for the Quiet Revolution. I am a son of the proletariat, of the working class. If these people had not created the good public education system that we have in Quebec, I would not be here. Could we remember that from time to time?

I will talk about the renewal of an agriculture-related measure because, as members know, I cannot make a speech without talking about agriculture. Another good example of the arm's length relationship that the federal government wishes to maintain was the extension of the tax deferral on patronage dividends of agricultural co-operatives for another five years. This measure has been in place for more than 10 years, actually 15 years. It works well, but, every time it is about to expire, the sector panics. They have to ramp up their lobbying system and contact all of us. All elected members of the House with farmers in their riding have been contacted this past year because of concerns about the lack of an official commitment to renew this measure.

People in the agricultural sector are happy the measure has been renewed for five years, of course. They would not say they are unhappy, but it is not exactly what they wanted. They wanted the measure to be permanent.

Why would the government make a measure permanent and make people's lives easier when it can score political points and come off looking so good and generous by making a wonderful announcement every three or four years about renewing the measure?

Make that measure permanent and move on to other things. Elected representatives should be working to improve people's lives and their constituents' lives for the long term, regardless of their political interests. We have all noticed the announcements happening all over the place, little mini-announcements about $25 million for this or $100 million for that. That is fine, and I am not saying I do not want those announcements, but let us do some really structural, long-term things for our people.

Take, for example, the emergency processing fund, which was implemented during the pandemic. I forwarded some cases to the minister's office but nothing came of it. These cases involved people who had started modernizing their regional processing plants—plants we so desperately need—in good faith, but ended up being told that the program had run out of money. They were told that it was unfortunate, but that they would have to try again another time. When the government is feeling generous and people have begged enough, it will see whether it can inject another $1 million or $10 million. When I raise the issue, they tell me that $10 million more were invested, but that is not enough. Sure, $10 million is great, but what businesses need is effective, long-term assistance.

My time is running out and I would be remiss if I did not bring up the point I raised the other day about support for temporary foreign workers. As of June 16, the $1,500 amount has been reduced to $750, even though bringing in temporary foreign workers is no less expensive than it was before. Quarantines are still mandatory and necessary. The farmers who are bringing in foreign workers right now are just as important as those who brought in foreign workers two months ago. Why are businesses being treated differently and unfairly? It still costs money.

In my last speech, I cited a letter from the agricultural community addressed directly to the government and the minister asking them not to cut this money. What is more, these people lost a tremendous amount of money in the Switch Health mess. Not only should these amounts not be reduced, but more money needs to be given to these people to compensate for the problems they encountered with Switch Health.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Madam Speaker, I am curious. From the member's tone, body language and speech, he seemed to be pouring it on pretty thick on the government for all of its failures and its wrongness in its approach, yet the member and his party are supporting it. I would ask him to reconcile the two.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, we can certainly reconcile the two. I thank my colleague, who I dare not name, for his good question.

Sometimes what the opposition parties and often the government seem to fail to grasp is that we are a party of propositions. There are two ways to be the opposition in life. We can stand up and say that the government is rotten or we can stand up and say that it did not get it quite right and here is what we propose. We have been doing that consistently since October 2019 and we will continue to do that. The member's impression may come from the fact that we collaborate, we make improvements and we vote in favour of the budget because it is important to extend certain measures, but that does not mean that it is perfect, which is why we criticize it at the same time. We are doing our job as parliamentarians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, when I hear my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé discuss topics that affect so many colleagues in the House, particularly on the issue of agriculture and the urgent need to treat our farmers and dairy producers with the respect they deserve, I must admit that I am surprised not to see more of a reaction to his speeches.

As he just said, dairy farmers in Quebec and farmers in general face a huge number of challenges, and they need to feel that the government and their MPs are behind them.

I would like to ask my colleague whether he feels that this work is going well on the ground, in the various ridings, based on the relationships and discussions he has with the community.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague from Drummond for his question.

My answer will be mixed. There have indeed been actions taken to support farmers, but often they are inadequate one-offs, involving meagre amounts that, I just said earlier, are used to make “mini-announcements” rather than bring in anything permanent.

There are requests, and I will give three examples. If the House feels strongly about the question asked by my colleague from Drummond and wants to do something for the farming community, Bill C‑216 protects supply management once and for all. All parties voted overwhelmingly in favour of this bill, which was referred to committee and must now come back to the House. I wish it had come back before we leave.

Bill C‑208 is currently before the Senate. I find it very fishy that it is taking so long. I hope the Senate passes it before Parliament rises.

There are several measures like that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question about cuts to the emergency benefit.

So far, people who are out of a job and need an emergency benefit to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head have been getting $500 per week. Now the government is about to cut that back to $300 per week, which is below the poverty line.

How have my colleague's constituents reacted to this massive cut to the emergency benefit?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent question.

It is all in how these things are handled. The important thing is making sure support measures incentivize people to work. We have hammered that point home constantly over the past year. Let us help people. Rather than reducing benefit amounts, let us create an incentive for people to get jobs. At the same time, it makes sense to start reducing the amounts to get people back to work. This is about balance.

Unfortunately, I would need much more time than I have to answer the question properly.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, my esteemed colleague and seatmate, the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, is a tough act to follow. Since he was a teacher, he knows that repetition is the key to success, and that is what we need to do. My husband, who works in advertising, would say the same thing, so that is what I am going to do today.

It is with excitement for the end of the year that I rise today to speak to Bill C-30 at report stage. Many of my colleagues and I have said it before, so the House already knows that the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this bill to implement certain measures in the 2021 budget.

However, as the Bloc Québécois critic for seniors, I want to remind the House that we first voted against budget 2021 because the federal government was not responding to our two main requests, which remain essential.

Before the House adjourns for what might be an indeterminate period of time, I want to reiterate those requests. First, the Government of Quebec and the Canadian provinces are formally requesting adequate, recurrent health funding. Second, seniors are calling for an increase in old age security for those aged 65 and up, a request brought forward by the Bloc Québécois.

The government continues to ignore Quebec's request. I know because I recently met with many elected members and employees at the National Assembly of Quebec, who speak to me about this regularly. This is a unanimous request from the provinces, Quebec, the National Assembly, and even the House of Commons, which adopted a Bloc Québécois motion last December that called on the government to significantly and sustainably increase Canada health transfers.

The government refuses to increase the current level of health transfers from 22% to 35%. Instead, Bill C‑30 offers only a one-time increase in health transfers, as announced last March. At the time, I showed that the amounts were clearly insufficient.

In this speech, which will quite probably be my last before the summer break, I will address our key requests for health and for seniors, as well as our requests for businesses and business owners. I will finish with a few wishes for the future of this Parliament.

The Bloc Québécois has made sensible choices in the best interest of Quebeckers. The deficit announced in budget 2021 is lower than expected: $354 billion instead of $382 billion. The difference happens to be $28 billion, the exact amount that Quebec and the provinces are asking for. With the government clearly gearing up for a massive spending spree, by refusing to increase transfers, Ottawa is making a political choice, not a budgetary choice, to the detriment of everyone's health.

The saddest part, however, is that Bill C‑30 is strictly an election budget. It merely repeats the Liberals' 2019 campaign promise to seniors to increase old age security, but only for those aged 75 and over and by only $766 per year, or $63.80 per month. This increase, which will not take effect until 2022, is not enough for seniors or for the Bloc Québécois. More importantly, it leaves those aged 65 to 74 out in the cold, which is practically half of the current beneficiaries of old age security. Let us also not forget the one-time $500 payment to made in August 2021, also only to those 75 and older.

That is why I continue to keep talking about our support for seniors. The Bloc Québécois will continue to demand a substantial increase, namely $110 more a month, for all seniors aged 65 and over. We do not accept the Liberals' argument that financial insecurity begins at age 75 and that younger seniors can just go to work.

For that reason, I am currently sponsoring petition e-3421, which was put online by Samuel Lévesque on behalf of his grandparents. Several seniors' groups have also sent letters in support of this request that comes from the entire House, except the Liberals, who continue to be isolated.

Ottawa is not doing as we asked and is creating two classes of seniors. Seniors' groups and seniors want to know why only seniors 75 and older are getting this increase and why it only starts in 2022. There are testimonials posted on FADOQ's web site showing that the lives of seniors 65 to 74 can also be difficult, and that they have needs that cannot wait until they turn 75.

For the Liberals, vulnerable people 65 and over do not deserve their attention. For the Liberals, insecurity only begins at 75. Naturally, we are not against the idea of a good number of seniors, about 50%, receiving the help they need, which is what Bill C‑30 would do.

In terms of the economy, I am elated to know that Bill C‑30 has finally rejected the foundation for creating a pan-Canadian securities regulatory regime, which the Bloc Québécois and Quebeckers strongly opposed. I would like to congratulate my colleague from Joliette for this important win and his hard work on this file. Ottawa could not be allowed to centralize securities regulation in Toronto. This is a big win for Quebec.

The Quebec National Assembly adopted four unanimous motions calling on the federal government to abandon this idea. Seldom had we seen Quebec's business community come together as one to oppose a government initiative. A strong financial hub is vital to the functioning of our head offices and the preservation of our businesses.

As we have seen with the pandemic, globalized supply chains are fragile and make us entirely dependent on other countries. We must develop our own chains and restore economic nationalism. Some measures in the budget are good, and we support them and support implementing them. For example, the budget will extend some essential, albeit imperfect, assistance programs, such as the wage subsidy and rent relief, until September 25, 2021. This is a positive because businesses, especially the ones back home that made good use of these programs, need some predictability in the programs they will have access to in the coming months. I should point out that this extension comes with a gradual decline in the amounts provided, which is a concern.

The Bloc Québécois will ensure that our businesses have access to programs that meet their needs for as long as they need them, particularly in the sectors that will take more time to get back to normal, such as tourism and small- and large-scale live events. These sectors are very important to Shefford, which relies on Tourisme Montérégie and Tourism Eastern Townships, and, of course, on many cultural events, such as the Festival international de la chanson de Granby. I could go on.

The bill also introduces some measures to combat tax evasion, but it does not go far enough. The government is presenting these measures as a massive campaign against corporate tax evasion, but in reality, these are just some highly specific, minor changes connected to ongoing litigation. The fight against tax havens will have to wait, even though it is a very important aspect of building tax fairness to enhance social justice.

Another thing to highlight is the creation of a new hiring subsidy program for businesses that are reopening. It could be useful. Bill C-30 would create this new program to encourage businesses to rehire their staff. We know that the hiring subsidy will come into effect in November 2021. Businesses will then have the choice of applying for either the hiring subsidy or the existing wage subsidy, whichever works out better for them. These are measures that could be very useful.

Since my time is running out, I will try to cover everything quickly. I have a wish list. I would have liked to see more investments in social and affordable housing in this budget. This problem continues to affect my riding in particular, especially the city of Granby, which is otherwise considered a great place to settle down. Businesses in my region are experiencing a labour shortage and need housing to attract workers with families so they can try to recruit them, but they have nowhere to house them.

There are also some bills that will not receive royal assent. That really saddens me. I would have like to see the Émilie Sansfaçon bill passed to allow people who are suffering from a critical illness to have 50 weeks of leave instead of 15 weeks. It is a matter of recovering with dignity.

I would have also liked to see the House pass my colleague from Manicouagan's Bill C-253 regarding pension protection and for it to receive royal assent. People who worked hard their whole lives have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labour. This bill would help them age with dignity.

I would have liked a budget with more support for our farmers. That is so important in my riding, which is part of Quebec's pantry. I would have liked to see a greater willingness to help the next generation of farmers. I want to point out that, right now, farmers are suffering because of frost and a lack of precipitation. They need better risk management programs and more precise traceability programs. Farmers are also feeling the effects of climate change.

I would have also liked to see tougher environmental measures for a greener recovery. For example, the government should invest just as much in forestry as it does in the oil industry. My Bloc Québécois colleagues and our political party established a comprehensive plan to focus more on renewable natural resources to get out of the crisis and to drive our regions' economies.

In closing, I would like to add one last thing. It goes beyond the budget, but as the status of women critic, I cannot give my last speech before the summer break without mentioning the crises that have been affecting women in particular since I arrived in the House. We commemorated the 30th anniversary of the École Polytechnique attack, but the issue of better gun control has still not been resolved because too many people are not satisfied with Bill C‑22. Femicides are on the rise. There have been 13 just since the beginning of the year. Quebec is calling for transfers with no conditions and fewer delays to provide better funding for women's shelters. Quebec knows what to do. There are also the cases of assault in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Deschamps report needs to be implemented.

In short, there is still a lot of work to be done. Let us reach out to one another and work together. The federal government's paternalism and interference needs to stop. We need to take action. There is still so much to be done.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:55 a.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, the member mentioned that the Bloc would like $110, I believe, for every senior over 65, and there are about three million seniors who would benefit by the increase from the government for those 75 and over. I wonder if the member could provide a cost to that particular commitment. Is that a Bloc Québécois commitment?

Also, it is encouraging to hear a Bloc member talk about the national housing strategy, for which we are literally spending billions of dollars. It is not too often that we get a member from the Bloc actually encouraging the federal government to have that footprint in housing, so I would like to compliment her on that. I think most Canadians see the value in having a national government, and as the government, we are providing historic amounts of money to invest in non-profit housing.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, I will try to give a brief answer.

If I understood correctly, my colleague had a two-part question.

First, he talked about seniors aged 75 and older who will get something. However, there are just as many seniors who will get nothing, because they are under 75. This means the government is completely turning its back on 50% of seniors.

Do my colleagues know how much this would cost? The Bloc Québécois has done the math, and it would cost $4 billion. That is roughly what it would cost to include people between the ages of 65 and 74. I cannot believe Ottawa cannot find $4 billion to help all seniors.

In response to the other question from my colleague, I would say that this is clearly an area of jurisdiction that must be transferred to Quebec. I realize that agreements need to be signed when it comes to social housing.

I recently spoke with quite a few elected representatives in Quebec, specifically on the issue of seniors. Some seniors want to remain in their homes, and they need safe and affordable housing. Quebec is asking for increased funding to deal with social housing so that seniors who want to stay in their homes longer do not have to spend all their money on rent.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 22nd, 2021 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Shefford for her speech.

I want to tell her that I have the same concerns as she does about seniors aged 65 to 74. These seniors know that they too can count on the support and solidarity of the NDP. The NDP is standing up for them.

Why does she think that the Liberal government wants to cut support for people who need it right now? She talked about the culture and tourism sectors in her riding, and I must admit that I share her concerns. The Canada recovery benefit is going to be cut. It will be reduced from $500 to $300 per week. That is a 40% cut. The Liberals offer no rational explanation as to why this has to happen now, in July, when the economic recovery is not fully under way yet.

I would like to ask my colleague what she thinks about the Liberals cutting direct support to workers.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois firmly believes that a number of measures will have to remain in place until certain sectors have fully recovered from the crisis. The culture and tourism sectors, for example, will suffer the effects of the crisis for longer.

I invite my colleagues to think about what my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé said; he said that we need to strike a balance. Many entrepreneurs and businesses in my region are aware that there was already a labour shortage before the crisis. Therefore, there needs to be a delicate balance to ensure that these measures make work more attractive. I realize that there is a balance to be struck. As long as we are still in this crisis, we will have to look at this. We have to help people in the sectors most affected, while allowing companies to have incentives for people to return to work.