House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gba.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

With the summer recess approaching, I would like to thank the Pages for their extraordinary work this year.

Normally, on a Wednesday in June, the House of Commons pages sing the national anthem at the beginning of the sitting. However, this year has been exceptional for everyone, including this year's group of pages.

Although they were not able to sing in person this year, they have collaborated virtually to maintain this tradition.

[Pages sang the national anthem]

Aphasia Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is Aphasia awareness month and that is important because 95% of Canadians do not know what aphasia is. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate. It is most often caused by strokes that occur in areas of the brain that control speech and language. Aphasia does not affect intelligence, but it makes speech jumbled, fragmented or hard to understand, which can be frustrating.

This June, I would like to thank Carly Woods, a speech-language pathologist who for the past five years worked at the Halton-Peel Community Aphasia Programs where she helped so many Halton residents regain their voice.

Carly welcomed me into their group therapy room, taught me about aphasia and introduced me to some of the kindest friends I know. I thank her for her positivity, patience and kind heart. I wish her the best of luck in her new adventure.

Tribute to MothersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more beautiful in all the world than a new mother with her new baby. Yesterday, my friend gave birth to two brand new baby boys. The miracle of carrying a new person created with unlimited potential makes mothers tremendous.

Being a mom can feel overwhelming and impossible, but today I want to recognize all the mothers who bring new life into this world and care for their children. It can make them feel unseen and underappreciated, but their impact is infinite in the lives of their children. Moms shape the next generation.

I thank moms for their sleepless nights, for bandaids on skinned knees, for their first-day school tears, for late night heart-to-hearts and for their unconditional love.

To all the moms to whom we owe our existence, I thank them.

George MurphyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kenneth McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life of George Murphy, who passed away suddenly at the young age of 58 this past weekend. Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian knew George Murphy. He had a unique personality with a contagious smile and always a story to tell.

George was known in our province as the gas guru. With his expert knowledge, he would give us the inside scoop on the weekly price of gas, even in the middle of an election campaign or in the middle of a pandemic.

George was a well-known taxi driver and business manager for Jiffy Cabs. His personality and passion for our province brought him to the House of Assembly as the MHA for St. John's East from 2011 to 2015. In the recent provincial election he ran in his home district of Harbour Main for the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

George will be remembered as the loving husband to his wife, Joy, a wonderful father and grandfather. He was generous, a passionate man and above all else a gentle soul. George was taken from us way too soon. His legacy will live on.

“Rest easy, my friend.”

Solidarity in SheffordStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are some stories of solidarity that truly warm the heart.

At the height of vine-pruning season at the new Girouard vineyard, Yoan, who is 14, had a serious skateboarding accident that left him lying on the side of the road with severe head trauma, as well as other injuries. His friend Kayla, who was on her way to meet him, found him and took it upon herself to run one kilometre to go get help. Yoan was then transported to the Fleurimont Hospital, where it was feared he might not make it. His parents, Josée and Martin, owners of the vineyard, have been by his side ever since.

When he heard of this tragedy, Michel Robert, from the Coteau Rougemont vineyard, asked the winemakers of the region for emergency help. They answered the call. They took care of the parents' vineyard so they could stay by their son's bedside, and he is now recovering at home.

By pulling together, the winemakers saved the season for the young vineyard, which plans to bottle its first batch of wine in August. They probably ensured the survival of the business for this couple of entrepreneurs, but, most importantly, Yoan's friend Kayla, in going to meet up with him, saved his life.

London TragedyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, I was shocked, outraged and horrified by the attack in London, Ontario.

A few days ago, three generations of one family paid the price for someone else's ignorance and hate. This is one tragedy too many, one that affects not only Canada's Muslim community, but all of us. We need to send a clear message. What happened in London, Ontario was nothing short of a terrorist act, motivated by nothing but ignorance and hate.

Islamophobia and racism have no place in our society. It is important to reiterate it and to remind everyone. We have a duty to act and to intervene when we witness Islamophobia in our society, because to do nothing is tantamount to supporting that kind of behaviour.

On behalf of everyone in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family.

Meadow Lake ArenaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Vidal Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, it was at 2:37 a.m. on Sunday that I received a message that the Meadow Lake arena was on fire.

I still remember when the arena was first built. I was 12 years old, and when I skated out onto that ice it felt like I was in the middle of Maple Leaf Gardens. The arena was not just about hockey, though; it has been home to many other community events throughout the years, like trade shows, fairs, indoor rodeos, figure-skating carnivals, curling playdowns and the Lions Club fundraising bingos, but there was nothing that brought that place to life like playoff hockey.

The heartbeat of our community, the arena is home to memories for thousands of people across Canada, including NHL players and Stanley Cup champions. While those memories will remain, jerseys representing the pinnacle of careers, which hung from the rafters, and all the championship banners on the east wall are now gone.

I know that our community and the region will come together and one day soon we will be back in that arena cheering for our Broncos.

Frederick BickfordStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcus Powlowski Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to note the passing of a well-known, well-respected labour lawyer, Frederick Bickford, a resident in my riding, who represented major industrial and institutional clients for 42 years.

A true gentleman, Fred lived his life with faith and gratitude, generously working in the service of others to make the world a better place. A lifelong member of the Liberal Party, he loyally served the party in various roles over the years.

As a young man, Fred served his country as a signal officer in the military and, more recently, as honorary colonel and senate member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment.

Fred's keen sense of justice governed his practice of law as well as his work at the Ontario Bar Association and Law Society of Upper Ontario. Fred used his voice as a bencher with the law society to advance the goals of indigenous reconciliation, equality, diversity and inclusion, all principles he regarded as imperative for the vitality of our society. Fred's legacy of integrity, honour, kindness and compassion remain, to inspire others.

Our thoughts are with his beloved wife Cheryl; his loving sister Joan; and his three cherished children Sean, Leanne and Robert, and their families.

Mining Centre of ExcellenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the economy reopens, our focus must be on securing the future and supporting the families who have been impacted by the pandemic. It is vital that we have a strong recovery in all sectors and all regions of the country. That means targeted stimulus to the hardest-hit sectors and supporting the development of natural resources across northern Ontario.

Recently, the first nations of Cat Lake, KI, Slate Falls and Lac Seul have created a historic mining partnership with the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord and nine regional companies to create a centre of excellence. The centre will provide training and jobs, and increase the first nations' participation in mining projects.

This partnership shows the importance of the mining sector to our economy and to the well-being of families across the Kenora riding. I say congratulations to all involved for reaching this milestone, and rest assured that Canada's Conservatives will continue to support our innovative and world-leading mining sector.

Toronto West Seventh-day Adventist ChurchStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and say “thank you” for a very special morning that I spent with the children and teachers of the Toronto West Seventh-day Adventist Church, a touchstone in our Etobicoke North community.

Teachers Miss Stacey and Miss Susan had carefully taught the children about community service and government, and Keenan, Naomi, Kevin and Quincey beautifully presented their questions. They wanted to know how to become a member of Parliament, what they would need to study, how to run in an election, and what was rewarding and hard about community service.

The children are smart, caring and empathetic, and they have big dreams. Naomi wants to be a scientist. They are brave and wanted their voices heard in Parliament.

Today, I thank the wonderful children and tremendous service of the Toronto West Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has provided healing, hope and peace throughout the pandemic.

Executive CompensationStatements By Members

June 9th, 2021 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, we found out this week that Nav Canada distributed $7 million in executive compensation with taxpayer funds. This was after 700 workers lost their jobs and airline fees were hiked 30%. I received numerous messages over the last year from Nav Canada employees who told me of the fear of losing their jobs. The current government is not capable of understanding what it is like for middle-class Canadians to earn a decent living without relying on a huge payout on the backs of taxpayers.

Last week, we found out that Air Canada doled out more than $10 million to executives, with Canadians' money, as a result of the government's incompetence to negotiate an agreement that excluded the distribution of executive bonuses. Citizens are exhausted by the government's being tone deaf to the average Canadian. The government spins and distracts in an effort to cover up and deflect its deception and inability.

The Liberals side with big wigs while Conservatives try to secure the future for working people who only want paycheques. Only a Conservative government can secure the future for Canadians.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, taking a page from the Chinese Communist regime and its lack of transparency, the government, in defiance of Parliament, is refusing to turn over all documents relating to the shocking transfer of deadly pathogens from the Winnipeg lab to the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology and the termination of two scientists linked to the Wuhan institute.

This is a major national security breach. The safety of Canadians has been compromised. Canadians deserve answers, which are being impeded by the government. For a Prime Minister who once famously said, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant”, it is time to let the sun shine in, stop the cover-up and turn over the documents.

Attack in London, OntarioStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I never thought I would see such a horrific act of terror in my hometown, but in London, Ontario, on a warm, peaceful Sunday evening at 8:40 p.m., a beautiful family went for a walk. There were Salman Afzaal; his mother, Talat; his wife Madiha Salman; and their daughter, Yumna. They will never come home home, and little nine-year-old Fayez is still in hospital, recovering from his injuries.

Last night, I attended a vigil at the London Muslim Mosque with more than 15,000 people, all there to mourn and grieve. They were looking for solace, hope and answers. The outpouring of love and support makes me so incredibly proud of my community, but last night everyone was there, desperately calling for action against Islamophobia, racism and too many other violent hateful acts. We must act now. When we say that this can never happen again, we have to mean it. Muslim lives are at stake.

Project MKUltraStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, about 60 families are taking the Government of Canada to court over Project MKUltra, which, as members will recall, was a CIA program to develop mind-control techniques.

Some of these experiments took place in Montreal between 1957 and 1964. It is difficult to believe, but some Montrealers were unknowingly subjected to brainwashing experiments funded by Ottawa and the CIA. The methods used included electroshock therapy at 30 to 40 times the normal strength, many psychotropic drugs and various other paralytic substances, in an attempt to put subjects into a deep coma to reprogram them.

On May 25, 2018, I rose in the House to ask the government to publicly apologize and compensate the victims of MKUltra. I also wrote to my colleague, the member for Papineau, but, three years later, I still have not heard back from him. I agree that there is nothing glorious about admitting that we allowed people to be tortured, but it did happen. The Government of Canada must admit its guilt and compensate the victims of MKUltra.

Attack in London, OntarioStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night I stood among 10,000 Canadians who came together to grieve, commemorate and address the issues of Islamophobia. Following the horrific attack on a London family this past Sunday, leaders from all levels of government, representing all political parties, came together to honour the Afzaal family: Salman, Madiha, Yumna and Talat. Nine-year-old Fayez remains in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Together we listened to leaders of the Muslim community. Together we witnessed the number of people impacted by this.

We must end racism. We must end hate. There needs to be hope, and that begins with all of us working together. As a parliamentarian, and after working in federal politics for many years, I have seen an increase of intolerance, and I have seen an increase in the fear. I pledge to work with leaders in our community and in this country to build a stronger, more inclusive society. We should feel proud to be Canadians, but that will come with patience and commitment. It takes more than words.

Attack in London, OntarioStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am horrified by the terrorist attack in London, Ontario, in which a Muslim family was targeted and killed by an act of hate. Islamophobia continues to increase the death count in Canada, and it is not acceptable. I stand in solidarity with my Muslim brothers and sisters.

Hate crimes are on the rise in Canada. Jewish Canadians have been targeted by an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents. Asian Canadians have been victims of a shocking rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. To combat hate crimes, we need a team Canada approach, including a strong educational component. We need all hands on deck to combat Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-Asian hate crimes. Failure to act now leaves the door wide open for vicious hate to find a permanent home in Canada.

Cornelia OberlanderStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, I honour the memory of Cornelia Oberlander, a renowned British Columbian landscape architect who passed away last month.

At the age of 18, Cornelia and her family fled the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. She was one of the first women to study at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and continued to be a role model for women in a male-dominated field.

Cornelia described her move to Canada in the 1950s as pivotal to her career. “The freedom to create, the freedom to think differently, was unlimited...[in this] younger country”, she said. In Vancouver, she designed the log seating on Vancouver's beaches, accessible public spaces in Robson Square, the Vancouver Public Library Central Library rooftop garden and VanDusen Botanical Garden. Central to her work was the idea that everyone could have access to green and environmentally friendly designs.

Cornelia was awarded Companion of the Order of Canada, but her legacy was the enrichment of urban spaces in Vancouver and other Canadian cities.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for months, Conservatives have been trying to get to the bottom of why two scientists were marched out of our top secret lab in Winnipeg. The Liberals first claimed that it was a personnel issue. Now they are saying it was a national security issue. They are hiding that under a mountain of black ink.

Why is the Prime Minister so determined, once again, to hide the truth from Canadians?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not the truth. We are committed to sharing information in a way that will not compromise national security. The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is the best forum for that.

This is why the Minister of Health has written to NSICOP to request that they examine the issue, and the unredacted documents have already been shared with parliamentarians through that committee. This process allows officials to share information with parliamentarians while, of course, protecting national security.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already violated our national security. In 2018, the U.S. embassy sent experts to the biosecurity lab in Wuhan. They found the lab to be insufficient in terms of security protocols. This was the same lab the government was approving to transfer dangerous Ebola samples to.

Again, I will ask the Prime Minister this: Why are they covering up information about scientists and about policies between our top secret Winnipeg lab and the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we have made sure that unredacted documents are available to parliamentarians through the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, where they have the appropriate clearances so parliamentarians can look into all matters of national security. We created that committee exactly for this purpose.

Furthermore, espionage and foreign interference pose real threats to Canadian research security, which is why in March we announced further steps to integrate national security considerations into the evaluation of federally funded research partnerships.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, media reports have confirmed that a database of 22,000 virus strains at the Wuhan lab was taken offline in September 2019. That database likely included the Winnipeg virus samples sent to Wuhan.

Senior Canadian scientists warned against that transfer. Media reports also show that the Privy Council was involved immediately, as soon as there were questions about the scientists who were fired. There are so many questions in Canada and globally. Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that there was a security breach at our top secret Winnipeg laboratory?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have always taken threats to national security extremely seriously, and we taken the appropriate measures in partnership with our national security agencies and intelligence officials.

One of the things that we did, as of 2015, which the previous Conservative government refused to do, was to bring in a mechanism so that parliamentarians could look at and examine top secret documents in a way that aligns with what our allies always did.

The Conservatives consistently voted against the oversight of national security. We made it more transparent. As I said, we have shared unredacted documents with parliamentarians through the NSICOP committee.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Erin O'Toole ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister saying he was aligned with his allies in 2015? After the 2015 election, the Prime Minister reversed a decision on the O-Net Communications sale, which was blocked to a Chinese enterprise on security grounds. The Prime Minister reversed it at the same time he was doing cash-for-access fundraisers with people connected to Beijing leadership.

At the time, he was advancing a free trade agreement. He is the only Five Eyes ally that is still considering Huawei as a part of our 5G infrastructure. When will the Prime Minister start to realize that Beijing is not a dictatorship he should admire?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives continue to play political games, we are focused on standing up for Canadian interests; defending Canadian businesses; defending Canadian national security; working with our Five Eyes partners, and partners around the world, to ensure that our research institutions, our political institutions and our democracy are strong against all foreign interference and threats.