House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Corey Tochor Conservative Saskatoon—University, SK

Mr. Speaker, that answer is just false. Since 2018, the Liberals have been trying to cut funding for Canadians with disabilities.

Last winter, at the height of the pandemic, the Liberals tried to slip past a $4-million cut, but the disability community fought back. Libraries across Canada, including in Saskatoon and the city of Delta, in the minister's own riding, fought and shamed the Liberals into reversing their cruel cuts.

This is National AccessAbility Week, and so it would be a perfect time for the government to reverse course. When will this minister do the right thing and finally commit to a long-term funding solution?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where to begin.

We have championed the fact that everyone should be able to access information and reading materials. That is why we developed the first-ever and have been implementing a long-term strategy for the production of alternate format materials that includes support to the publishing sector, advancements in technology and investment in non-profits.

In recognizing that the pandemic has affected the timeline of this transition and the ongoing need for alternate format materials, we are actually funding CELA and NNELS with an additional $1 million in addition to the money we committed in the fall economic statement. This is keeping us on the path to accessible publishing and ensuring that persons with disabilities continue to have access, particularly during this unprecedented time.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week is National AccessAbility Week to raise awareness to promote a more accessible Canada.

My private member's bill, Bill C-256, would waive the capital gains tax on the arm's-length sale of private shares or real estate when the proceeds of the sale are donated to a charity. This will generate up to $200 million per year for charities, including those promoting accessibility and supporting Canadians living with disabilities.

Will the government commit to supporting Canadians living with disabilities by voting yes on Bill C-256?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we have done more to support Canadians with disabilities than any other government in the history of our country.

We are working now on a very exciting disability inclusion action plan, which we laid out the parameters of in the fall economic statement. We are going to create a Canada disability benefit and an employment strategy. We are going to reform and modernize our eligibility processes for federal government disability supports and create a dignified approach to disability across this government.

When we put in place the Accessible Canada Act two years ago, we made the most historic advancement in disability rights since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, and we are just getting started.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, we knew the Liberals tried to give dead people the vote, but this week we found out they were perfectly willing to send cheques to dead people. That really takes the cake.

How can the Prime Minister justify sending $9.2 million in COVID-19 support to dead people? This is unbelievable.

This being National AccessAbility Week, I would like to know if the money that was sent in error will be recovered properly so that it can be used to help people who actually need help.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, we delivered a $600 one-time payment during the pandemic to over 1.7 million Canadians who were eligible for federal disability support programs. This was an automatic payment. No one had to apply for this. They got it if they were eligible for the disability tax credit, Veterans Affairs disability support programs or the CPP disability. There was a time lapse between the establishment of the lists and when Canadians received their cheques. Of course, unfortunately, in that period, some Canadians had passed away and we had not been informed yet of their passing and we are working to remedy this.

However, let us be very clear. There were 1.7 million Canadians who got $600 in their desperate time of need.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat Finnigan Liberal Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, we know how crucial rail transportation is for communities across the country, including in my riding, with VIA Rail's Ocean passenger train, which links Halifax to Montreal and the rest of the country. With the pandemic, many passenger rail routes, including this one, have been suspended.

Can the minister update this House on future plans to bring back this important and indispensable public transit system for our region?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mississauga Centre Ontario

Liberal

Omar Alghabra LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend, the member for Miramichi—Grand Lake, for his advocacy.

He and I, along with New Brunswick Liberal MPs, have had discussions on the current situation with transportation in their region. The pandemic has dramatically impacted the transport industry and I want to assure the member and his constituents that I will continue to work with him and our colleagues to have reliable transport options.

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, last October, this House passed a motion requiring the government to provide the health committee with important documents concerning the COVID crisis no later than December 7. Liberals bitterly fought against this move for accountability and transparency and admitted there were at least a million documents in their possession. As of today, eight months later, they have disclosed fewer than 9,000.

Will the Liberals admit that they are deliberately withholding documents and showing contempt for Parliament and explain to Canadians what they are hiding?

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, every step of the way we have been transparent with Canadians. In fact, I have appeared before the health committee multiple times, as have my officials. We are always available to speak to Canadians. We have supplied the documents in due course, as requested by the House of Commons. We will continue to work to get those documents to the health committee and to be there to answer the questions of the committee.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Jody Wilson-Raybould Independent Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is dangerously misleading for the government to suggest significant progress is being made on 80% of the TRC calls to action. Endless meetings and process is no substitute for substance. Leadership is required to change colonial laws, policies and practices that perpetuate systemic racism and injustice. The Prime Minister knows that adjusting the ongoing colonial legacy requires a comprehensive indigenous rights recognition framework. How do I know this? The Prime Minister said it in this House on February 14, 2018—

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am going to have to interrupt. We have a problem with translation. There is an issue with the mike. It is very distorted and loud. We want to make sure we hear the question.

Let us try again, from the top.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Jody Wilson-Raybould Independent Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is dangerously misleading for the government to suggest significant progress is being made on 80% of the TRC calls to—

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am afraid we are still having trouble. I am not sure what it is, but I am sure we will get it figured out. You are going to have to work with IT.

I will ask the minister if he heard enough of the question to answer.

The hon. minister.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

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

Liberal

Marc Miller LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this moment, in front of the House, to thank the former attorney general and minister of justice for the work she did to move these important issues forward, in answering the TRC's calls to action and the MMIW's calls for justice, in making sure that indigenous languages affirmed their inherent right to have a rightful place in this country, and that child and family services, which betrayed indigenous children and is broken in this country, was reformed through Bill C-92.

Obviously, this time of mourning is a time to reflect on the speed at which reconciliation is going, but as we continue to search for the truth, I think it is also a time to recognize the progress and the tens of billions of dollars this government has invested in reconciliation. I want to thank the former attorney general and minister of justice for the work she has done in contributing to this.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Given the technical difficulties the hon. member for Vancouver Granville just experienced, I return to the point that we should have more time within question period for members with a status such as hers, whose voice is so important in this country. Perhaps we could add one slot to next Wednesday so she could ask her question again.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Adding another slot somewhere for the repeat of that question is definitely something worth discussing. We will discuss it and get back to the chamber.

The hon. member for Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères on a point of order.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That the House denounce the decision of the Air Canada's executive officers to award themselves bonuses of $20 million while the company received nearly $6 billion dollars in public aid.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.

I hear none. The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

Hearing no dissenting voice, I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to)

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot on a point of order.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That the House recognize that U.S. economic policy, specifically with respect to the trade embargo against the Republic of Cuba, must in no way restrict the right of Canadian and Quebec companies operating in accordance with Canadian law to do business with their international partners.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.

Air CanadaOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before continuing, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, since I became Speaker in December 2019, I have had the remarkable good fortune to have by my side the Deputy Speaker, the member for Simcoe North.

I am in fact the third Speaker to be able to count on his wise counsel, steady hand and tireless commitment to Parliament. For the past 10 years, he has served this House by tapping into his experience as a member, his courtesy and his many talents as a chair occupant.

As someone who has worked closely with him for many years, I know he has always done so with a desire to uphold the finest traditions of this House. I, as well as my predecessors, the member for Halifax West and the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, and in fact, the entire House, owe him an important debt of gratitude, not only for his support but also for his important contributions in serving this House.

On June 6, the member for Simcoe North will mark his 10th anniversary as Chair occupant, and in a few short weeks, he will become the longest-serving Deputy Speaker in the history of the House of Commons.

To show just how wonderful this gentleman is, I told him I was going to need him to come in a bit early to cover for me and he did not hesitate. He is right here waiting to come up, not knowing what he is in for in the next couple of minutes, but he will be up here taking care of things.

I know all members join me in congratulating him on these upcoming milestones.

The hon. member for Simcoe North.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

First of all, thank you, Mr. Speaker. This truly was a surprise. I had no indication of this. Earlier today we heard that there would be an opportunity to properly bring thanks for the amazing years that I have had in this House with all of you, and with many members who I have served with since 2006 who are no longer here. It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to serve as a servant of the members of this House.

It has been a great honour for my family and me to have the privilege of serving the House of Commons.

I see several members standing.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

June 3rd, 2021 / 3:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that was the first time, in my time in this Parliament, that I have seen you a little uncertain when you first rose from the chair.

I want to thank the Speaker and you, Mr. Speaker, for your tremendous contributions as the hon. member for Simcoe North, who, in a few short weeks, will become the longest-serving Deputy Speaker in the history of this Parliament. However, most important, every time you sat in that chair, you brought the level of decorum and debate in this House to a higher level. You have presided with unmatched dignity and professionalism.

He has presided over the House with dignity and remained impartial. I am proud of my colleague and friend, an extraordinary Speaker.

We often, as a courtesy, Mr. Speaker, refer to other members as honourable, but few deserve that title as much as you. The only regret with your retirement will be that you served as the longest-serving Deputy Speaker and that we did not get the chance to see you as the full Speaker.

As one quick note, when I was elected in a by-election and gave my first speech in the House, I received a note from the chair occupant, a note congratulating me on my speech and commenting on the delivery. It was from you, Mr. Speaker. I was a new rookie MP getting a note of encouragement from the chair occupant. I keep that note to this day because it embodies the professionalism and the high ethical standard to which you hold yourself in this House.

I want to wish you and Heather an incredible retirement. You have left Canada's Parliament in a wonderful place due to your honourable contribution, so on behalf of the opposition, the Conservative Party, your party, I would like to say thank you.