House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pandemic.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as everyone in the House knows, MPs have important work to do on behalf of their constituents. They need to keep track of concerns, as well as of issues that need to be addressed. As we have stated clearly, the system used by our MPs is for constituency casework management only, with a complete separation between political and parliamentary work. We have always ensured that all rules are followed.

While this is an inconvenient fact for the Conservative Party members, that will not prevent them from making unfounded attacks.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he says unfounded attacks, but I have two additional contracts from the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Indigenous Services, who are close friends with Tom Pitfield themselves. All were in the Prime Minister's wedding party. There is only one rule with the Prime Minister: advancing the interests of lobbyists and friends connected to the Prime Minister and having another lineup for everyone else.

The Conservatives are proposing transparency and anti-corruption laws, which are needed after countless scandals by the government.

My question to the Prime Minister is simple. Will he commit to Canadians that he and his cabinet will never break another law?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, while Conservative politicians are focused on baseless personal attacks, our steadfast focus has been on delivering for Canadians by getting progressive bills passed. We have been focused on getting supports out in the budget to Canadians, reaching net-zero by 2050, banning conversion therapy, making web giants pay their fair share for our artists and more. These are the things we are focused on. We are focused on Canadians while Conservatives are focused on me.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this last day of the session, I would like to wish all my colleagues in the House, and you in particular, a wonderful summer.

Summer is an opportunity to meet with constituents and listen to their concerns. Summer is also a time to rest, step back and reflect. I am therefore asking the Prime Minister to take the next few days, weeks and months to reflect on this.

Does he think that creating two classes of seniors is a good idea? Instead, why not increase old age security for all seniors 65 and up?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since we took office in 2015, we have always put seniors' concerns at the forefront of our agenda. We increased the guaranteed income supplement by 10% the moment we formed government, made concrete investments in the health and dignity of seniors, and increased old age security by 10% for seniors 75 and up. We we will continue to support our seniors and be there for them.

We know that this past year has been difficult for everyone, especially our seniors. This summer, and every day, I will be there for seniors, and I look forward to engaging with them directly.

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thanks to him, concerns have increased, Mr. Speaker, but the cheques have not.

Here is something else for the Prime Minister to think about. As members can see, we are trying to work constructively. We are trying to help the Prime Minister. After a terrible pandemic that had a direct impact on thousands of Quebeckers and Canadians, as well as on the health care system and health care professionals to whom we owe a great debt, will the Prime Minister take the summer to seriously consider increasing health care transfers to 35% as Quebec and all the provinces are asking?

HealthOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I want to point out that he and I, along with all other members of the House, did indeed work together so that we could send billions of dollars to the provinces for their health care systems.

We were there, and $8 out of every $10 spent to help Canadians during the pandemic came directly from the federal government. That was done with the collaboration of all parties in the House. We were there in the short term during the crisis to help health care systems across the country and we will continue to be there in the long term.

As I said, we will enter into discussions to increase health transfers in the coming years.

COVID‑19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, in a couple of weeks, the Prime Minister is going to cut the help that families need by $800 while we are still going through this pandemic. On the other hand, the Prime Minister has not prosecuted a single case of fiscal evasion of the ultrarich. It is clear who the Prime Minister is defending.

The Prime Minister has often said he has got the backs of Canadians. It is not having their backs to cut the help they need while we are still in this pandemic.

Will the Prime Minister reverse this callous cut to the help people need while we are still in the pandemic?

COVID‑19 Emergency ResponseOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, despite the rhetoric of the NDP, we had a very simple and straightforward focus for Canadians from the beginning of this pandemic that we would have their backs. That is exactly what we have done, with billions upon billions of dollars of supports for workers, for families, for seniors and for young people.

To help Canadians get through this pandemic, budget 2021 proposes to extend the Canada recovery benefit to up to 50 weeks and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit to up to 42 weeks. That is why we thank the parties in the House that are working with us to pass budget 2021 so we can continue to support Canadians, as long as is necessary, into the fall and beyond.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is not just people who rely on the CRB that the Prime Minister is failing. The Prime Minister has failed indigenous people time and time again, and one of the most glaring examples is clean drinking water for indigenous people. The promise was first made in 2015, and six years later that promise was broken. Now the Prime Minister promises another five years. Does it take 11 years to get indigenous people clean drinking water in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in the 21st century? It is outrageous and it is wrong.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the only reason indigenous people do not have access to clean drinking water is that it is not a priority for him and his government?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately we see a perfect example of the kind of rhetoric that the NDP engages in. The reality is that we all recognize, as this government recognizes, that there is much more to do. However, the member asks a question about clean drinking water without recognizing that when we came into office, there were about 100 long-term boil water advisories in this country and we have since lifted 108 long-term boil water advisories. Some had been in place for years and years.

Yes, there is more to do, but to pretend nothing has been done is simply disingenuous and cynical politics at its worst.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Martel Conservative Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is supposed to be a prosperous country.

However, according to the Macdonald-Laurier Institute's recently updated COVID misery index, Canada is suffering far more than comparable countries from self-inflicted and disproportionate economic damage due to the pandemic. Retail sales plunged by 5.7% from March to April, which is the sharpest month-over-month drop.

When will the government admit that it caused these economic woes?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives do not understand a thing about how Canada got through the pandemic.

We said from the start that we would be there to support Canadians. We were there for more than eight million workers with the Canada emergency response benefit. We were there for small business with the Canada emergency wage subsidy. We were there for seniors and youth. Our actions brought jobs and prosperity back faster than in other similar countries.

When the pandemic hit, we were in a better financial place than other countries, and we are emerging in a better financial place too. We got through the pandemic by being there for Canadians.

The EconomyOral Questions

June 23rd, 2021 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Martel Conservative Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is neglecting the heart and soul of our economy.

Small businesses have been suffering for months. They have racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in dept, and thousands of them have been forced to close up shop.

Canadians can no longer wait on Liberal promises of an economic recovery that is not coming. They need help now.

Why is the government refusing to act?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear this question coming from a Conservative.

For months, the Conservative Party has been complaining about how we invest too much in Canadians and spend too much to help small businesses.

If, like us, the Conservative member takes the time this summer to meet with the small business owners in his riding, he will see that, thanks to the direct support of the federal government, the situation has been much better than it could have been. Many businesses even managed to make it through the pandemic in decent shape.

Yes, there have been a lot of losses and too many problems, but, at the same time, we have been there for one another. That is how Canadians get through the pandemic.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Martel Conservative Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the inflation rate is 3.6%, the highest level in the past decade.

The Liberals also promised to create one million jobs, but the only thing going up is the size of the debt.

The Liberals' 2019 slogan was “choose forward”. Today, it might be more apt to say “choose backward”, because we are currently heading back to the inflation rates and recession of the 1970s.

When will the Liberals realize that something must be done?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the Conservatives recognize that something must be done. What they can do this afternoon is vote in favour of the budget we presented.

Canadians need the extension of the Canada emergency wage subsidy, the Canada emergency rent subsidy and income support until the end of September, but the Conservatives could not care less. They continue to play their partisan games rather than choosing to help Canadians.

I really hope that they will change their minds and support the budget bill. They would be supporting Canadians, for once, at the end of the pandemic.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the inflation rate in Canada is at a 10-year high, which means the cost of everything is going up, like food, groceries, gas and services. However, Canadian paycheques are stagnant and, worse yet, unemployment is still climbing, despite the government's massive deficit spending. Over three million Canadians are collecting unemployment benefits from the government, with young people, women and new Canadians facing the worst of it.

This is the Prime Minister's economic record, and he has presented no real plan to get Canadians back to work. Why is there no real plan?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the plan has been very simple from the beginning: to have Canadians' backs, as much as it takes and as long as it takes, to get through this pandemic. That is exactly what we have done, despite the non-support from the Conservatives, which we will unfortunately see yet again this afternoon when they vote against extending the supports to Canadians through this summer and into the fall. They completely misunderstand that it is through supporting Canadians and small businesses with government investments that we actually come back stronger and faster. It has always been our approach to support Canadians and raise taxes on the wealthy and lower them for the middle class, which the Conservatives have voted against every day.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's budget promised to create one million jobs by the end of this month. How is that going? Has he followed through on that commitment? No. In fact, we are losing jobs, and all employment gains made by women in my lifetime have been completely wiped out. That really is the Prime Minister's record on women and employment in this country.

It is clear the government cannot be trusted to fix this economy no matter how much money it spends, so I will ask him this again. Where is the plan to secure the future for Canadians?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the plan is in budget 2021, which is a plan to create jobs, grow the middle class and ensure long-term growth, including by extending supports to Canadians through the summer and into the fall. Unfortunately, the Conservatives will be voting against extending those benefits. That is their vision of a strong recovery.

In terms of job numbers, let us look at the stats. As of May, 81% of COVID‑19 job losses were recovered, compared with 66% in the U.S. As of May, 2.4 million jobs of the three million jobs lost at the peak of the pandemic have now been recouped.

We have more to do and more people to help, and we will do just that, despite the Conservatives' blockage.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has still failed on his commitment to create a million jobs by this month, and it is important that he remember that. Really, after a year of absolute devastation in our economy, our personal freedoms and of course in the health of Canadians, Canadians are falling further and further behind. However, again, we have seen no real plan to get our country back to work in all sectors of our economy and all demographics. Rather, the Prime Minister seems busy with scandals, corruption and picking winners and losers. He has no real plan to secure the future of Canadians, and they deserve to know this.

Why is the Prime Minister bungling our economy and its recovery so badly and leaving so many Canadians behind?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Conservatives continue to resort to personal and partisan attacks, we are going to stay focused on helping Canadians. The plan we laid out to build back a stronger Canada is budget 2021, which includes investments in child care and investments in supporting workers. Right now, the budget implementation act that we will vote on this afternoon extends the supports for small businesses, workers and Canadians through the months of the summer and into the fall.

The Conservatives say they want to help Canadians, but they will be voting against extending those benefits to Canadians. They are busy attacking on a personal level and not busy taking care of Canadians. Fortunately, this government—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, throughout the session, Quebec has mobilized to demand that the Charter of the French Language apply to federally regulated businesses.

The Quebec government has introduced its Bill 96. As a reflection of the majority of Quebeckers, the National Assembly unanimously supported Bill 101 in federal workplaces. Even the House of Commons joined the consensus. This is unprecedented. The only one not on board is the Prime Minister.

Tomorrow is our national holiday. Will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to support our bill, which makes French the only language of work in Quebec?