House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prices.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in 20 years, I am getting calls from people who do not have a place to live, and they have well-paying jobs. The same people who ran Ontario into the ground with the green energy act and engineered the no places to grow law now surround the Prime Minister. In Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, we have many buildings that could be repurposed for residential housing. The Patrick brothers are repurposing a church and making it into apartments in Pembroke.

Would the Conservative Party of Canada consider reducing the capital gains tax so there would be more incentive for the private sector to do this repurposing of older buildings?

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Kenny Chiu Conservative Steveston—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my previous answer, I did mention multi-party co-operation to tackle the housing crisis that we are facing. That would also include the private sector helping by contributing their efforts. I believe we have to think out of the box in order to deliver solutions that will satisfy our next generation. It is our responsibility to do that. I thank the hon. member for her contribution.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to be following my colleague from British Columbia on this debate. As many members will know, this is my second Parliament and I have been talking about housing for two Parliaments now.

I was a big critic of the first-time home buyer incentive. The member for Spadina—Fort York and I traded barbs over it on the floor of the House. We disagreed over the initial program goals that were set out. I said from the very beginning that the program was going to fail, and it failed. It failed first-time home buyers and it failed Canadians, regardless of the housing market they were in. There is no such thing as a Canadian real estate market: There are housing markets all across Canada. It failed people in Toronto, it failed people in Vancouver and it failed people in my home community of Calgary. It was going to fail from the beginning. It was an election gimmick to try to get re-elected. It was rolled out two months before an election, and it was not going to succeed.

There is a lot in this opposition day motion I could speak about, but I want to focus on housing specifically and the simple law of supply and demand. There is not enough supply and there is a heck of a lot of demand. I am one of those homeowners who recently sold his house and now I am renting. I got out of the housing market because it is so red hot right now with everybody trying to get in, not just in the city of Calgary but all across Canada.

The first-time home buyer incentive was originally supposed to help 100,000 Canadians. I have been doing Order Paper questions and I have been doing access to information requests and releasing them to the public so people could see this. I have been criticizing the government on podcasts, in interviews and in op-eds I have written for the Postmedia Network.

I think 10,000 applications have been approved. “Applications approved” does not mean that the person who applied actually went through with seeking the loan. The two are fundamentally different. It is less than 10% of what the Liberals were supposed to achieve with the first-time home buyer incentive and the shared-equity mortgages they were trying to sell. I have read the operational manual that CMHC put out for brokers to use. It is an abject failure in delivery, and it is failing two years afterward.

The reason I bring it up is because I hear the same thing from constituents. The Liberals have had years to try to address the housing shortages across Canada. They have been wasting time, playing at the edges and coming up with these gimmicky programs to try to deal with issues that are very local in many situations. People look at postal codes in major cities when trying to buy a home because they want to be in a specific school district for their children. People look at how close homes are to transit in order to get to where they need to go.

During this pandemic, we have also seen that a big premium is now being placed on being able to work from home and having solid home Internet and Wi-Fi connections. I have caucus colleagues in major urban areas, some of whom are on the Zoom call right now, who have difficulty joining our calls while having their video on because their connections are poor in major urban areas.

That is how people shop for real estate. They look at price and they look at location. It is hyper localized. They cannot compare real estate from two extreme edges of the suburbs of Toronto. It is the same thing for Calgary. In the southeast corner of the city, where I live, and the northwest corner of the city, two very different housing markets exist. In northwest Calgary, people have to take into account that they are going to get damaging hail. In the southeast part of Calgary, that is going to happen way less often.

The reason I like so much of what is in this opposition day motion is because we are addressing some of the fundamental concerns Canadians have. We are calling for the government to really look at things like doing away with the first-time home buyer incentive. It is a failed program. It has already failed. The Liberals keep trying to change it. It is never going to work, so they should just abandon it.

The motion is calling for things like anti-money laundering efforts. Especially in markets like the Lower Mainland and parts of British Columbia, but in other parts of the country too, money laundering is having a local impact on certain types of housing.

We need a more defined debate. There are different market segments. For single-family detached homes, the prices are going up a ridiculous amount. I want to talk about asset price inflation in a broader way in a moment. With respect to condos and townhouses, condo prices have been going down all over Calgary because the City of Calgary approved a whole bunch of building permits over the past two years. A lot of supply is coming onto the market and there is way less demand.

There is an immense amount of demand now for single-family detached homes and even duplexes and townhouses. People are moving up into the market real estate space because they want to be able to work from home. They have children.

I am one of those parents who is doing virtual home-schooling this week, so I have my kids at home. They are being very quiet and very good right now so I can address the House and speak about my constituents who are being impacted by the gimmicky plays of the Liberal government in addressing fundamental market issues. There is not enough supply coming on and there is too much demand.

Let us talk about asset price inflation. The super low interest rates are driving not only a lot of speculative buying, but just plain buying by people who see an opportunity and are looking after their self-interest better than the government can. They see an opportunity to buy into a market they could not buy into before. I have seen chartered banks offering less than 1% interest rates for a five-year mortgage, which is a standard mortgage in Canada. Who can compete with that? Prior generations could only dream of it. My uncle, who has a home in Markham, used to talk about paying 18.5% interest in the 1980s. I have a hard time convincing young Canadians this is going to happen and I am a millennial, one of these old millennials who is turning 40 this year.

The unbelievably low interest rates today are also driving people to compete for a limited amount of supply in many markets across Canada. The government has created gimmicky programs, like rental programs. One of its programs proposes to allocate billions of dollars to support the construction and repair of 35,000 affordable housing units, but a Canada housing survey in 2018 said that 9% of Canadian households, which is 1.3 million, had purchased a home in the five previous years. The Liberals are talking about tens of thousands of units, but that is not enough. They should go big: way bigger than they are talking about here. I have heard Liberal MPs say that they will go bigger and they have, with over $600 billion worth of spending. This is still not enough, because the fundamental issue is market supply and demand with extremely low interest rates driving people into the market.

That brings us to the next problem, which is that incomes have not kept up with asset price inflation. A young family may try to put money aside to save for a 5% down payment. The asset price on the single-family detached home or townhouse it is looking at exceeds its ability to save every single month and year. As the family tries to put a nest egg aside for a down payment, the asset price of the home goes up faster than it can save. That is the problem for young people and young families today. The member who spoke previously, my colleague from British Columbia, has two daughters who are in exactly this type of situation. They cannot save fast enough to make up the difference in the price of housing today, which is being driven up by super-low interest rates and these gimmicky plays from the Liberal government. and their ability to save due to their incomes.

The Liberals are raising income taxes. They have increased carbon taxes. They are nickel-and-diming Canadians all across the country. I live in a province that did not want a carbon tax and was stuck with it, because that is what the federal Liberals decided was the wisest course of action. It has an impact on the ability of people to save for down payments.

I have been a big critic of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which wasted millions of dollars trying to rebrand itself as “housing Canada” instead of focusing on its core business, which should be providing a mortgage insurance product. Its rates are too high. It is in the Public Accounts of Canada that it has been paying the federal government every single year while charging premiums on first-time home buyers in order to make up the difference.

I have a Yiddish proverb for the consideration of members who are paying attention to this debate: “You can make the dream bigger than the night.” The Liberals have dreamt big, really big, with all of these gimmicky programs. They have tried to solve a market problem with even more government, so that every time a program does not turn out there is even more government and another government program, or it is fiddling at the edges of a government program that exists to try and fix it.

The fundamental reality is this. Young people cannot save fast enough to get into the hottest markets such as Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton. The asset prices are out of control and people cannot save fast enough. Much of what we propose in this opposition day motion will address that. I am so glad we have put if forward. I have been speaking about housing for years and trying to get the attention of the federal government away from its gimmicks and onto real solutions.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, that speech was riddled with so many contradictions. I almost hope the Conservatives do not get into power ever again, because their housing policy would move in every direction except forward.

One of the big complaints from the member opposite is that the stress test creates a barrier to entry for first-time buyers, but he also complains that low interest rates are a problem. The stress test increases interest rates to take risk out of the market and make sure that home purchasers have a secure mortgage in order to move forward. His response is to get rid of that and drop interest rates, even though he thinks interest rates are too low.

Then he goes on to say that the first-time home buyer incentive has not helped people. However, it has helped 10,000 people acquire housing. We can add that to all the other programs. Yes, we can say 10,000 is small and shake our heads, but there is also 12,000 in the rental construction financing initiative, and the co-investment fund has almost 15,000 units of housing. When we total it all up, close to a million different investments have been made by this government to help Canadians secure housing, whether it is for renting or ownership.

I have a question for the member opposite. He talks about what his government would not do. One thing he just said he disagrees with was the imposition of a price on carbon. Is this yet another contradiction that he is willing to address—

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We will have to get to the other questions that are waiting.

The hon. member for Calgary Shepard.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am so glad that the member for Spadina—Fort York caught your eye and you recognized him first. Now I can dispel some of this misinformation.

The FTHBI program promised 100,000 Canadians would be helped. It has reached 10% of that, but only those who were approved. Getting approved does not mean they actually went through with the loan. The member knows this. It is an election gimmick. It was an election gimmick in 2019; it remains an election gimmick today. Nothing has changed.

Second of all is the stress test. I did not say the words "stress test", but I have been a huge critic of stress tests, for both 20%-plus and under. With the stress test percentage, the contract rate is not what the person is actually charged. They are just tested against it, regardless of how their income will grow in the future, regardless of their personal situation and regardless of the fact that they are refinancing their mortgage. It has nothing to do with reality. Why is it 2%? Why is it not 3%, 4% or 5%? Why is it not a flat 3%? The government has never been able—

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for La Pointe-de-l'Île.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, housing is an exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces.

As we know, the provincial and municipal governments are closest to the issue, so they are the ones best equipped to handle issues related to housing. Earlier, my colleague talked about how the federal government froze funding to Quebec for three years to try to impose conditions.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks of the fact that the Bloc Québécois is asking the federal government to transfer the housing funds to Quebec, with no strings attached.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his question and comment.

Housing is indeed a provincial jurisdiction. If the Government of Quebec can negotiate an agreement with the federal government, I do not see a problem, as long as it is similar to the one the federal government signed with the Government of Alberta.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Independent

Derek Sloan Independent Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the member that housing affordability is a crisis in Canada and that we should put a pause on non-resident foreign buyers. However, this problem is multi-faceted. One factor I have noted that impacts demand is high immigration levels. I read a poll in the Toronto Sun noting that the majority of Canadians want a pause on immigration levels until we get our economy back on track from the pandemic.

Does the member agree that high immigration levels impact housing prices and that we should consider a pause on them until we get our economy and housing market sorted out?

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is good to see the member in good health, and hopefully his family is doing well.

I disagree with him and I disagree with his characterization. I am one of those immigrants who was fortunate enough to come to Canada. Canada took my family in after we were kicked out of communist Poland, so I disagree with him and his characterization of the issue at hand.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member has worked on these issues for a long time and has done a lot for Canadians, particularly his constituents.

One thing mentioned in the motion is a freeze on non-resident purchases. That would do much more than the 1% tax the Liberals have put in place. What does the member think? Does he think this is a much more substantive policy that can actually cool the market from these activities, or does he think that foreign buyers are simply going to pay the 1% tax as the price of doing business, and this just gives the government a gimmick?

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely correct: The 1% foreign buyer's tax will do nothing. Every time the Liberals have a public policy problem, they find a new tax, new fee or new levy. That is the way they do things.

The underlying issue is bid competitions in large markets, such as the greater Vancouver area. There are other regions too, because this is spreading outward. People are competing against foreign buyers, for whom this is an investment.

A pause is a much wiser choice. We have to look at it and study it some more to see the broader impacts it would have on the market, but a 1% foreign buyer's tax is the price of doing business for many of these people.

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 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

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning I will highlight the devastating news coming out of London, Ontario, with respect to terrorist action, and express condolences and offer prayers to the family and their friends. I will let my brothers and sisters within the Islamic and Muslim faith know that we do love and care for them. Our prayers are with the community.

I have had the opportunity to listen throughout the day to the discussion we are having, and there are a number of things I want to highlight. One thing a member made reference to is the idea of jurisdiction. Maybe I can deal with that, at least in part.

Ottawa does have a role to play, and we have demonstrated that very clearly. However, it is also important to recognize that this is about more than just the Government of Canada or the respective provincial or territorial governments. We will find that many municipalities are involved in housing. We will find that indigenous communities are heavily involved in housing. It is going to take a team effort to try to resolve this major issue, which exists in virtually all regions of our country.

Since the Prime Minister took office, the government has made housing a priority, going back to 2015. In fact, members might recall that in 2017, we launched the national housing strategy, the first of its kind. I remember standing in the chamber talking about this massive, multi-billion dollar program. I think it was 70 billion dollars' worth of commitments. Never before had we witnessed that kind of a commitment to housing in Canada. We want to leave a mega footprint, recognizing that Ottawa does have a critical role to play.

Many programs have been part of this strategy. The most recent ones that come to my mind are the programs for the rapid housing initiative. It is so nice to see that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, who has been to my home province of Manitoba on several occasions, is talking about housing and announcing things related to housing. We have a minister for housing who is truly committed, not only in good part through the initiative but in all aspects of the department, to making sure that we are there in a very real and tangible way. That is one thing I love about the rapid housing initiative: It is a program that will make a real difference. It was great to participate with the Municipality of Winnipeg on it. The minister, the mayor of Winnipeg and I, along with others, participated in an announcement in regard to it.

I say all that because I believe it is important that we recognize, as the government has, that while Ottawa plays a role, there are many partners out there that need to equally step up to the table. I know that over the years some partners have been the table more than others. However, let there be no doubt that this government has been at the table from day one.

I made reference to the rapid housing initiative. We could talk about the national co-investment fund and what an opportunity that is, or the rental construction financing initiative. The parliamentary secretary referenced the first-time home buyer initiative, which is helping thousands of Canadians buy their very first home.

There are a number of ways we, as a government, are demonstrating leadership and working with stakeholders, in particular provinces, municipalities and indigenous leaders, to make a tangible difference. As the parliamentary secretary responsible indicates, there is always room for us to do even better, to strive to do better, and we will continue to focus more attention on the issue.

Housing is a passion for a lot of members in the chamber. When I left the Canadian Forces back in 1985, I bought a little house on Logan Avenue in the west end of Winnipeg North and it cost me $23,000. It was a beautiful home that met my needs at the time. One of the first things I did was join the Weston Residents' Association. Weston is a beautiful little community, an older, more established community in Winnipeg. Through my experience of being involved there, I started to get a good understanding of the importance of housing revitalization, housing stock and housing affordability. Through that association, I ultimately became a board member of the Weston Residents Housing Co-op, which is still there today, providing housing to many people who likely would not have had the opportunity.

I am a big fan of co-ops, as is this government and as I know the minister and the parliamentary secretary are. There is a huge difference between a housing co-op and someone renting in an apartment block. Those who live in an apartment block or a rented facility are tenants. Whether people rent a single detached home or an apartment in a high-rise apartment block, they are tenants. In a co-op, people are residents, and there is a significant difference. People in co-ops have something at stake. Not everyone is in a position, and some do not want, to take ownership of a home, but many do. In fact, the majority do. For most Canadians, it will be the single greatest expenditure they will have in their lifetime.

I have heard about the dollar values, the prices of homes and the impact they are having. In the days after I left the military, I went into the Manitoba legislature in 1988, where my first responsibility was deputy whip and housing critic. I met with housing organizations, and there was a demand for non-profit housing units. Even back in 1988, there was a huge demand at the time for everything from revitalization to suburban growth, shelter allowances, just name it. A friend of mine, Doug Martindale, who was the president of one of the housing associations, later went on to become an NDP MLA.

The need for housing has existed for a long time, and I would challenge any member of the House to tell me when there was a prime minister in the last 50 or 60 years who was more committed than we have been in the last five years on the housing file. Members will be challenged by that, because they will not find another prime minister or government in Canada that has been as committed to housing as the current government is.

I always like to attribute my friend, the parliamentary secretary and member for Spadina—Fort York, as one of the most knowledgeable, able-minded individuals when it comes to non-profit housing and its importance in society. I have heard him speak many times. I know that within the industry here in Manitoba there is a great deal of respect for him because he wears his heart on his shoulder when it comes to advocating for social housing. As much as I might like to think, at times, that I can be pretty passionate about the importance of that particular issue, I may not be quite as knowledgeable as my colleague. However, I can tell members that there are many like me within the government caucus who continue to push the importance of housing. It is not just the Prime Minister or the cabinet, but the caucus, as a whole, wants to see those tangible programs, and we are seeing them.

Before I comment on the most recent budget, I should provide some context. When we think of social housing and affordability, what are the types of things we are really talking about? We are talking about making sure that people have the ability to purchase homes and that people have the ability to stay in their homes. We know that the higher the rate of home ownership in a community, the greater the likelihood of that community being a better place to live. I do not have enough time to expand on that aspect, so I will ask people to take me at face value.

When we take a look at the mix, we have the first-time home buyer program to assist first-time homebuyers. We have housing co-ops, and we are recognizing and looking at ways we can expand those. We have non-profit groups that are out there and co-investments that are prepared to contribute, not only financially, but also their time, energy and other resources in order to make sure we have better housing.

In Manitoba, I believe we have over 20,000 non-profit housing units. It has been a long time since I looked at this number, so please do not quote me on the exact number. I believe it is over 20,000 non-profit housing units now that are subsidized.

We have infill housing programs and ways we can encourage infill housing, such as supporting Habitat for Humanity, which has done more in Winnipeg North than any other government agency has in terms of infill housing. No other government agency has done more for housing than Habitat for Humanity, and my hat is off to that organization for the fabulous work it does in all regions in our country, but especially in Winnipeg North. I have a lot of time for that organization. Without that organization, many people would not have the opportunity to have the new homes they are working toward.

It really matters having a progressive approach on the housing file. I have not seen that from the Conservatives. We are hearing that from many members during the debate who are not Conservative. How is it that this is a Conservative motion, as if the Conservatives really care about the issue of housing? There has really been no indication of that. The Conservative record with Stephen Harper, if we average it out, is about $250 million per year through investments in affordable housing programs.

Meanwhile, we have invested well over $27 billion since coming into office and have committed, as I said, $70 billion.

It is interesting listening to my Bloc friends. One member made reference to it being like health care. One has to understand and appreciate where the Bloc is coming from. Bloc members do not want Ottawa to administer, to assist with or to provide programs. All they want is for Ottawa to provide the cash. They do not recognize the important and vital role Ottawa can play, whether on a national housing strategy or a potential national pharmacare program.

There is so much potential with what Ottawa can do. It can work with municipalities. It does not have to work just with provinces, as we have demonstrated.

With the New Democratic Party, I thought it was interesting when the parliamentary secretary asked a very basic question of one of the speakers about the talk of having 500,000 homes and what the cost would be. NDP members have no idea. The amount of money they committed in an election platform was relatively small, and I am being generous here in my comments, compared to what we committed and spent, yet they still believe that somehow one just waves a wand and, poof, 500,000 homes are going to appear out of nowhere.

We understand the importance of this issue to Canadians. We have a very progressive and active minister and parliamentary secretary on the file, and we will continue to support Canadians in a very real and tangible way on such an important file—

Opposition Motion—Housing PolicyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We will end it there. That leaves exactly three full minutes for the hon. parliamentary secretary for his remarks when we get back to this motion at a later time today, and of course he will have the usual 10 minutes for questions and comments.

June 1941 AnniversaryStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, June of 1941 marked the commencement of a reign of terror and forced deportations in the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In August 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a friendship treaty that carved up Europe and facilitated the commencement of World War II. Thousands of Balts, mostly women and children, were deported at gunpoint by the KGB to the Siberian gulags. Most would never return.

The friendship between Stalin and Hitler would not last, but the terror for the Baltic peoples did. The twin evils of Nazism and Communism forced thousands to flee and many came to Canada to rebuild their shattered lives.

Ultimately, many have made outstanding contributions to the fabric of our nation. Canada's commitment to Operation Reassurance is a real and visible contribution to the memory of these victims and a recognition that vigilance against terror never ends.

Residential SchoolsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I met with Marilyn Gabriel, chief of the Kwantlen First Nation community in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove, together with elders and other community members. It was a very difficult meeting, as we listened to heartbreaking stories from residential school survivors who are grieving anew with news coming out of Kamloops recently.

The pain is real. The memories are fresh and the anger is just below the surface, yet this news is not new at all because indigenous communities right across this country have known for years about undocumented burial sites at residential schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought this to the nation's attention, yet despite many promises, progress has been frustratingly slow.

As a member of Parliament for a riding that has a first nations community in it, they are asking me to do what I can to hold the government to account. The time for talk is over. The time for action is now. It is time to get the job done.

DIPG Day of AwarenessStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to thank the Borkowskis for their advocacy. They started a petition to name May 17 DIPG day of awareness across Canada. Last December, they lost their daughter, Isabelle, to diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, DIPG. It is an incurable form of brain cancer. It is extremely aggressive, taking away vital functions like sight, movement and breathing, while cognitive functions remain intact. It is believed that 80% of brain tumour death in children are due to it.

Currently, there is little funding in research, and prognosis and treatments have not improved in over 40 years. Isabelle loved the CN Tower and last year, the tower's staff arranged for a visit. On May 17, it was lit gold and grey in her honour and in honour of those who had passed from DIPG.

Declaring a DIPG day of awareness will help to educate, encourage funding and honour the victims of this terrible disease.

Broadcasting ActStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the House voted on a truly extraordinary measure, one to impose time allocation on a committee.

The Conservative Party has been obstructing the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for weeks on Bill C-10. The Conservative Party is no longer alone, as the NDP has joined in on that obstruction. The NDP is working with the Conservatives to hold up a bill on the cultural sector that representatives of this sector across the country have been calling for. As unbelievable as this is, it is, sadly, true.

If the NDP refuses to allow the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to reconvene sooner, it will be nearly impossible for Bill C-10 to be passed before the summer recess. The cultural sector has been calling for this bill, as have all members of the Quebec National Assembly.

With an election looming, we cannot run the risk of letting this bill die. The future of our culture is not a game, nor is the future of our artists and creators. Quebec knows this, the Bloc Québécois knows this, and it is time for the NDP to realize it too.

Residential SchoolsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Shanahan Liberal Châteauguay—Lacolle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the tragic discovery of the remains of 215 indigenous children buried at the site of the Kamloops residential school shocked us all.

The people of Châteauguay—Lacolle reacted immediately, placing hundreds of children's shoes in front of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church in a spontaneous gesture and holding a vigil in memory of those children and their families.

As a Canadian Catholic, I am ashamed that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has not complied with the TRC call to action 58 in requesting a formal apology from our Pope.

My dear friend, Christine Zachary-Deom, former chief of Kahnawake, wrote me, and said, “Canada is now coming to grips with the reality of truth. It is difficult to bear when we know there's more bad stuff to come. Yet our forgiveness is always ready. Better not to hide behind lies.”

The road to reconciliation is hard, but we must all undertake the journey together.

Bill C-10Statements By Members

June 8th, 2021 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Corey Tochor Conservative Saskatoon—University, SK

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Saskatoon—University, in fact, all of Saskatchewan not to mention the rest of Canada, are deeply concerned about what we are hearing regarding this government's new censorship bill.

We live in an increasingly digital world, and one at risk of the influence of bad actors, such as this power-hungry, unaccountable government. I have heard from many people telling me that they do not trust this regime with these powers over what they can see and hear, and do not believe that Ottawa should have the power to decide which posts will be seen and which ones will be buried. Personally, I cannot blame them.

Now, we have the Liberals censoring their censorship bill. We have seen the script in other countries that this Prime Minister has expressed his love for. We do not want to see it here. The Conservatives are the only party that will keep Canada free and scrap Bill C-10.

Health Care HeroesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maninder Sidhu Liberal Brampton East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to address the House today as we mark over one million doses being administered in the Region of Peel. I am incredibly proud of how far we have come, and this would not have been possible without so many on the front lines.

I want to take a moment to appreciate the health care heroes who have cared for our loved ones in their most vulnerable moments. They courageously stepped up in our time of need and have sacrificed so much in order to care for our community.

There are countless health care heroes who have contributed to team Canada's pandemic efforts. Among them, Dr. Grewal, Dr. Anand and the entire team who have been working non-stop with testing and vaccinations at the Embassy Grand in Brampton East; the courageous team at the Brampton Civic Hospital, and some of the heroes among so many include Priya Herne, Andrea and Alex Hall, Bindu Patel, Nicole Speed, Jennifer Shiels, Mary Woodwark, Candace Barone, Darsh Takhar, and all the way from Newfoundland, Michelle Murphy.

As we look to brighter days ahead, please continue to remind family and friends to get vaccinated. Let us do our part to crush COVID-19.

EthiopiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Anandasangaree Liberal Scarborough—Rouge Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the United Nations reported that since the start of the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, over two million people have been internally displaced. Rape and sexual violence have become widespread and systematic. Civilians, human rights defenders, journalists and aid workers have been arbitrarily detained, beaten and killed.

Starvation-related deaths have begun and will accelerate exponentially without immediate intervention. Canada's $37-million commitment to the region is critical, but if the Eritrean and non-regional military forces continue impeding aid to Tigray, this assistance helps no one. The international community must work together to demand an immediate withdrawal of the Eritrean and non-regional forces from Tigray and seek unfettered humanitarian access to the region, including support for survivors of sexual violence.

I reiterate my call for an independent, international investigation into gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law by all parties as a critical starting point to ensuring accountability, peace and security in the region.

TelusStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I met with a local child care worker named Cristian who shared with me how devastating COVID has been on the children he cares for, how he struggles to provide important daily necessities for these children, and how that has negatively impacted the children's mental health, well-being and self-esteem. Christian did not know who to turn to.

That night, Kelly and I were trying to figure out a solution to his problem. So the next day, I made a number of calls, and one included a call to Telus.

Telus has a motto, “Give where they live”. Since 2006, Telus has distributed more than 165,000 kits for kids across Canada. This year, it is handing out 14,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies for young people in need. Telus volunteers donate over one million plus hours every year. Over $1.3 billion has been donated by Telus members and retirees since 2000. Their social purpose truly is at the heart of everything they do.

Last week, when I made the urgent call for help, Telus answered. Local Telus volunteers stepped in and collected emergency supplies for 60 at-risk youth in my riding.

I want to personally thank Telus for answering the call. It is truly building a better future for all Canadians.

World Oceans DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Patrick Weiler Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development from 2021 to 2030. World-class ocean science research is being conducted in many countries to further our understanding of the marine environment and the biodiversity within. Ocean science is laying the foundation for our blue economy strategy, and we invite Canadians to take part in the dialogue.

On World Oceans Day, I would like to recognize the incredible work of the streamkeepers, the Squamish River Watershed Society, the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre, the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre, and everyone else who contributed to the Howe Sound marine reference guide. Above all, we thank the the Salish peoples, especially the Squamish Nation, for their stewardship of the Átl'ka7tsem since time immemorial.