House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was documents.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am going to interrupt the hon. member. We are having some troubles.

I would like to remind all members to mute their microphones.

The hon. member for Abbotsford can take it from the top.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend we learned the finance minister surrendered Canada's ability to set its own tax rates. We strongly support efforts to make multinationals pay their fair share, but that should never mean giving up sovereignty over our own tax system. The global minimum tax might be great policy for large economies, but it is bad for an economy like ours that is struggling to compete with countries like the U.S.

Does the minister not realize that her global minimum tax has worsened our ability to compete on the world stage?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are focused on protecting Canadian businesses and Canadian workers who lose out to multinational businesses that do not pay tax. If the Conservatives believe that big multinational companies should continue to be exempt from tax, they should say so and be honest with Canadians. In 2019 we campaigned on taxing large digital companies, and that is precisely what we will deliver on, as we detailed it in the budget. The developments at the G7 finance ministers meeting last week will make sure that Canadians are no longer disadvantaged by big corporations shifting profits offshore so they can escape taxation.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians alone, not the G7, should determine our domestic tax policy.

The global minimum tax is long on promises and short on detail. With the current Liberal government, the devil is always in the details, so how will the government support start-ups and other small businesses with lower tax rates? How will the government fulfill its promise to reduce taxes on green and clean tech companies?

Will the government seek Parliament's approval before imposing a global minimum tax on Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government has always stood up for and will always stand up for Canadian businesses and workers from all sectors. Let us be clear what this agreement means for Canadians. It will make sure that Canadians are no longer disadvantaged by big corporations shifting profits offshore so they can escape taxation. We are focused on protecting Canadian businesses and workers who lose out to multinational businesses that do not pay tax. Again, if the Conservatives believe that big multinational companies should continue to be exempt from tax, they should say so and be honest with Canadians.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's answer shows us that she knows absolutely nothing about the economy.

Under this Liberal government, Canada has lost all credibility on the international stage. We have learned that the Prime Minister agreed to let the other G7 countries dictate Canadian tax policy. Not only did Canada cave in to China, now it is going down on its knees before the rest of the world.

Why is this Prime Minister accepting deals that will only put Canada at a disadvantage and benefit the major world powers?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalMinister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are focused on protecting Canadian businesses and Canadian workers who are losing out to multinational corporations that do not pay taxes.

If the Conservatives believe that large multinationals should continue to be exempt from taxes, they should say so and be honest with Canadians.

In 2019, we campaigned on the promise to tax large digital companies, and that is precisely what we are going to do, as we outlined in the budget. The developments at last week's G7 finance ministers' meetings will ensure that Canadians are no longer put at a disadvantage by large corporations that hide their profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this government's credibility has simply evaporated. It is incapable of defending Canada's economic interests.

A clear and specific example of this incompetence is the Canadian softwood lumber file. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced its intention to double the tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. That is 76,000 workers in Quebec who could lose even more.

More than 2,000 days have gone by since the Prime Minister promised to negotiate a new agreement. Six years later and there is still nothing. When will the Prime Minister finally take his role seriously and stand up for Canada's forestry workers?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of Small Business

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the hon. member and Canadians in the forestry sector that we will always stand up for them and the hundreds of thousands of workers that they employ across communities in the country.

Let me begin by saying, unequivocally, that the duties against Canadian softwood lumber by the U.S. are unjustified and they hurt workers on both sides of the border. I have raised this issue at every opportunity with the President, the USTR, as well as with the commerce secretary. Our government will continue to work on this issue. We will vigorously defend our softwood lumber industry and our workers.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it intends to double Canadian softwood lumber duties. This will be devastating to our forestry sector and further increase costs for Canadians due to our integrated market. The last negotiated agreement by the Conservatives expired in 2015.

The Prime Minister promised then to have a new softwood agreement within 100 days of taking office. It has been over 2,000 days and three U.S. presidents. When will the government get serious on this issue, or is it another Liberal broken promise?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of Small Business

Mr. Speaker, let me state, again, unequivocally that the duties imposed by the U.S. on Canadian softwood lumber are unwarranted and unfair.

We will always vigorously defend our softwood lumber industry and workers. We will do this through litigation, whether it is chapter 19 in NAFTA or chapter 10 of CUSMA, as well as at the WTO, and I raise this issue at every opportunity. We will continue to work with the United States on this. We have consistently said, and reiterated, that it is in the best interests of both countries to reach a negotiated settlement.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would say the Liberals are all talk and no action, but there is not even talk.

On Friday, I questioned the trade minister, and she was unable to say she had taken any action whatsoever to raise this issue with her U.S. counterparts. She could not point to a single meeting or call that had taken place since the May 21 tariff increase announcement, despite claiming it was her “top priority”.

When will the trade minister stand up for Canadians and start doing her job?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of Small Business

Mr. Speaker, this is a top priority for the government. I have raised this issue with the President, with the USTR, as well with the commerce secretary.

We have working with Canadian industry, Canadian labour and Canadian communities that this issue impacts. I can assure members that I continue to vigorously defend the Canadian softwood lumber industry and the forestry sector, and we will continue to do this important work.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

June 7th, 2021 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 22, Ottawa announced new greenhouse gas reduction targets of at least 40% by 2030. That same day, the Bloc Québécois asked the government if it would insert that target in its Bill C-12.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage promised this would happen and said, “yes, we will include Canada's 2030 climate change target in Bill C-12.” His government not only failed to do that, or to tell the truth, but it has also prevented the Bloc Québécois from inserting it in its place. Why is that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the best available science tells us that we must achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and we are committed to meeting this target. With this legislation, we are enshrining into law the commitment. We will be strengthening the law to include a review in 2025 for our 2030 target and interim emissions reduction for 2026, and enshrining the principle of progression of future targets.

This legislation is a win for Canadians who expect their parliamentarians to have a real plan to fight climate change and to build their economy. We look forward to the Bloc supporting this legislation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the minister is so sure of his plan, why did he not put the targets in the act? The government is categorically refusing to commit to meeting its own climate action targets.

As a result, these targets are still only about as binding as a New Year's resolution, and the federal government never follows through on its resolutions. It failed to meet its 2012 Kyoto targets, it failed to meet its 2015 Copenhagen targets, and it failed to meet its 2020 Paris targets.

How can we trust the government's word if it refuses to put these targets in the act?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we flattened the curve on pollution. The Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act provides strong accountability and transparency mechanisms. The bill includes measures similar to the Bloc's Bill C-215, and several amendments already adopted by the committee address many of the Bloc's concerns.

We await the outcome of the committee's work with great interest as we continue to move this important bill for Canadians and for future generations.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, at this stage in the study, there are no actual figures in the act. The Minister of Canadian Heritage promised on April 22 that, “yes, we will include Canada's 2030 climate change target in Bill C-12”.

He made a promise in the House on behalf of the government, directly contradicting the government's refusal to put that target in Bill C-12. The minister made a promise to our constituents, and his government is breaking that promise. Will the Minister of Heritage apologize to the House and to Quebeckers?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability act has robust accountability and transparency, just to name a few aspects. It has a legally binding process for the federal government to set climate targets and bring forward plans to meet those targets, rigorous ongoing process reports, yearly reports by the independent advisory body and ongoing audits by the Office of the Auditor General.

As we have previously stated, we are open to amendments. We are pleased to see members from the Bloc and NDP help move Bill C-12 to committee.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations was asked why it took two years to release $27 million in previously announced funding to uncover what were believed to be thousands of indigenous children buried in unmarked graves at residential schools across the country, the minister said that the communities were not ready. Truth and reconciliation chair, Murray Sinclair, pointed out that even with limited research, they found several burial sites, yet “nothing has been done by the government to follow that up.”

Why has the money not been made available until now?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, in memory of the children who went missing and in support of their grieving families and communities, we have provided $33.8 million in budget 2019 for the calls to action 72 to 76. The calls to action 72 to 73 were through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to develop registries on deaths and burials in cemeteries and implementing calls to action 74 to 76, we are engaging with the communities on how to best support them in finding their lost children and how to access the $27 million.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, in committee, we heard from Ms. Wesley-Esquimaux of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, who called out the minister’s comments that indigenous peoples were not ready for that money. She stated that the minister's comments were simply untrue, that they had been working for many years and that the government had been told time and time again that the need for action was urgent.

In echoing TRC commissioner Marie Wilson's comments last week, could the minister explain why it took the discovery of 215 children to elicit urgent action from the government?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the opportunity to explain the process since the $10 million went to the National Centre on Truth and Reconciliation in 2016. We then had to move forward with the NCTR to figure out what the appropriate amount for the 2019 budget would be and then it was made clear to us that we had to engage with communities as to what the program design would be. That meant that they wanted indigenous-led, community-based, culturally sensitive as well as survivor-centric, and they wanted flexibility in the program. That is exactly what we are able to deliver now and they will have access to it.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, within hours of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report being released in December of 2015, the Prime Minister pledged to implement the calls to action. Six years later, the government’s own website, not updated since September of 2019, acknowledges a failure to get this done. Only a dozen of the 90-plus calls to action have been completed. When asked when they would be fulfilled, the minister would not offer a specific timeline.

Will the minister promise right here to deliver a comprehensive plan to address calls to action 71 through 76 by July 1?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to remind the member that over 80% of the 76 calls to action under the sole or shared responsibility of the federal government are completed or well under way; the recent passage of Bill C-5, as an example, Bill C-8, Bill C-15. This will result in sustained and consistent action to advance Canada's shared journey of healing and reconciliation.