House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.


Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Madam Speaker, I deeply appreciate the speech that my colleague gave today, especially the part about committees and her concern for veterans affairs. I share that concern given the fact that we have had two meetings cancelled at a time when we want the minister and the deputy minister to return to give a clearer understanding of their testimony versus what came forward from our veterans. It is very disconcerting that this is happening.

I would like the member to speak momentarily about the fact that, as I am hearing, the Liberals are upset that we on this side of the House want to speak. They are now giving us more time to speak, but they are removing themselves from that equation with the opportunity to not have to meet quorum. How does she feel about that?

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

I am not sure if it is a coincidence, but we know that the NPD whip is also a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. This morning she was also at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

The idea is to determine whether committees are being cancelled out of expediency. The Standing committee on Veterans Affairs is an important committee. My colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles said that there is a major problem adversely affecting the integrity of francophone veterans who are not getting the services they are entitled to. It annoys me to hear the minister and his officials justify this situation and demand that they correct it.

Slowing the work of committees stops the opposition, witnesses and experts from documenting a problem and finding solutions. Every day, as soon as we start sitting later, one or two committees will be cancelled. How can we justify this?

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the Bloc Québécois whip.

However, I sense a contradiction between what she said about work-life balance and the fact that the Bloc Québécois has not made any suggestions for improving work-life balance. I am thinking especially of our hybrid Parliament, which has made a huge difference, especially for members from the Pacific coast and the Far North. The Bloc Québécois opposed the hybrid Parliament, which is hard to understand given the importance of work-life balance.

What the Bloc Québécois whip said about interpreters is complete misinformation. This is a serious issue that must be addressed, and my colleague knows very well that the NDP has raised it as much as the Bloc Québécois. This situation, in terms of occupational health and safety, must be improved. We all have a responsibility to improve the situation.

I have a lot of respect for my colleague, but I disagree with her on this. Is she prepared to work with the other parties so that we can come up with solutions to ensure that our interpreters are working in conditions that meet occupational health and safety standards at all times?

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, we are not debating the hybrid Parliament today. However, since the question was asked, I will provide a quick answer.

The hybrid Parliament was created for use during the pandemic, but now it is being changed with a view to perhaps making it permanent in order to foster work-life balance, among other things.

The Bloc Québécois does a lot to promote work-life balance and, as whip, I approve many requests on that subject. The hybrid Parliament is not the only solution. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. My colleague, the NDP House leader, and I both sit on the Board of Internal Economy. He knows very well that I have proposed concrete solutions. I proposed that we all agree to require witnesses and MPs to wear a headset that meets the safety standards and to require chairs to attend in person. I proposed concrete solutions on behalf of the Bloc Québécois.

I condemned the fact that no one seemed to be in much of a hurry to turn the suggestions I had made on multiple occasions into a motion that we could adopt unanimously to guarantee occupational health and safety for interpreters.

Today we are debating a motion to extend sitting hours, which will have an impact on the health and safety of our interpreters and cause burnout among mothers and young fathers in every party. Although I respect my colleague, I do not think I have anything to learn from him on this subject.

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the whip, for her excellent speech. I was listening to her in the House, and I could not help but rise to ask her a question.

To respond to my colleague from New Westminster—Burnaby, I am sorry he did not hear my testimony before the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs. I clearly demonstrated that the hybrid Parliament is not always the solution for all mothers.

However, as a young mother, I am concerned to learn that the hours will be extended. I have just returned a meeting from Kigali. Other countries' parliaments realize that they may need to set schedules that are more conducive to work-life balance. It is not because women are lazy and do not want to work.

When we work to the point where we are debating until midnight, what message does that send to young women interested in a career in politics? They will see this and realize that the schedules are crazy and detrimental to work-life balance. We ought to try to work harder during regular hours so we do not have to extend our sittings until midnight indefinitely.

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, I think that my colleague's testimony says it all.

Today, the government is trying to do indirectly what it cannot do directly: dictate to the opposition how work is to proceed.

I think that, given all his personal and professional qualities, the government House leader could have made more of an effort to try to secure the co-operation of all House leaders. If he had accepted to negotiate one-on-one, he would have been able to better demonstrate the importance he places on democracy, discussion, negotiation and parliamentary politics.

Extension of Sitting Hours and Conduct of Extended ProceedingsGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that the NDP supports this motion, as we have always supported the idea of working harder for our fellow citizens across the country. This is a tradition for the NDP. People often say that we are like worker bees in the House, and that is true. We are prepared to work until midnight. We are prepared to do this because we think it is important.

In recent months, we have seen the results of initiatives introduced in Parliament by our leader, the hon. member for Burnaby South, and by our caucus: dental benefits, benefits for renters across the country and the doubling of the GST credit to put hundreds of dollars more into Canadians' pockets. These are all initiatives that the NDP, in a Parliament where no party has the majority, has been able to introduce to help Canadians. Up to 12 million Canadians benefit from the NDP's initiatives.

Of course, we want to work even harder to make sure that families having a hard time right now can benefit. There is no other way to say it: People are having a hard time. They are having a hard time putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head. Canadian families are having a really hard time with all these challenges they are currently facing. In our opinion, the solution is clear and simple: We need to work harder to help people more during these difficult times.

That is why we are supporting this motion. We believe that at a time when so many Canadians, such as seniors, people with disabilities, students and families, are struggling to put food on the table and struggling to keep a roof over their heads, we have a responsibility as parliamentarians to step up and work harder than ever before. The reality is that Canadians need supports from the federal government and need supports from federal Parliament. We need to make sure that we get those supports to people.

The NDP and the member for Burnaby South have already proven our worth in this minority Parliament by the things we have fought for and obtained, such as dental care, supports for renters and ensuring that the GST credit is doubled so people can get immediate support, with hundreds of dollars in many cases. Up to 12 million Canadians get those supports because the NDP has fought for them.

In a minority Parliament, it is the responsibility of all members to fight hard and make sure that Canadians are benefiting from supports at this difficult time. However, sometimes the only way to do that and ensure that people are able to speak on behalf of their constituents is to work longer hours. That is something we have always supported in the House. The NDP has always believed that we have a responsibility to work harder and longer on behalf of our constituents, particularly in troubling and difficult times. It is important for parliamentarians to step up.

Our bosses are our constituents in our ridings across the country. I have great bosses in New Westminster—Burnaby, bosses who are struggling to make ends meet. We have this responsibility to our bosses to work harder than ever before at times like these that are troubled, when people are looking for supports and when people need those supports.

For us, it is not a question. There is no doubt at all that we have to step up and have extended hours. Some members of Parliament have raised questions about committees, and we certainly believe that is an important consideration. It is an important consideration for the government and all parties in the House of Commons.

I think my colleagues will be particularly interested in the statistics I am going to give after the shift to the COVID committee of the House of Commons. I will give those shortly before 2 p.m. I am sure my colleagues on both sides of the House will be interested in hearing those figures in a couple of minutes' time.

The reality is that the responsibility to work hard on behalf of our constituents is something we take seriously. That is why we in the NDP caucus and the member for Burnaby South have pushed for all these improvements, to make sure people are taken care of at this difficult time. Those things I mentioned earlier, such as dental care, rental supplements and supports, and the doubling of the GST credit for 12 million Canadians, are all important initiatives, but there is so much left to do. That is why having these extended hours gives us the opportunity to speak to and on behalf of our constituents with respect to this important legislation and at the same time get things out the door and to the finish line. We have the opportunity to speak on this legislation. We then take a vote and Parliament makes a decision about where that legislation goes, whether it stops or whether it moves forward to committee or the Senate, which is that careful balance that is so important.

The issue of the interpreters and how that has had an impact at committee is something we all need to work on. It is not an issue of whether or not we are having evening sessions, but whether we are providing the supports and the resources to have the number of interpreters necessary to ensure we can continue with committee work at the same time as we continue with the important work in the House of Commons and move things along. Canadians expect no less.

I mentioned earlier the issue of attendance at sittings. I think it is important to note this. I am going to quote from a news article in The Globe and Mail by Marieke Walsh, published on June 23, 2020. As the House knows, there was a key decision point a couple of years ago around having a continuing Parliament and committee hearings. This article referenced the following:

The Conservatives have the worst attendance record of all five political parties at the House of Commons COVID-19 committee meetings.

Of the 21 special sessions in which all MPs could participate, records show the Tories averaged a 47-percent attendance rate, placing them well behind the other parties.

The article went on to say that the low turnout was “prompting charges of hypocrisy from the NDP, whom the Conservatives criticized for [have those] sittings”.

Before the Speaker shuts down the first half of my speech, the following figures are important. The Conservatives had a 47% attendance rate. The Bloc was better, at 73%. The Liberals were at 76%. The highest attendance among the recognized parties was the NDP, no doubt the worker bees, at 85% attendance.

That is important to note. We do not just talk the game; we do not just talk about extending sessions; we do not just talk about working until midnight. We actually get the work done. Therefore, when Canadians elect NDP MPs, they are going to work harder and longer than MPs from other parties. We believe that our responsibility in the House of Commons is to show up, to speak out on behalf of our constituents and to get things done. I will have more opportunity in the second half of my speech to speak more to those issues and the history of all the recognized parties in the House of Commons.

My final point is this. At times when Canadians are struggling so much to make ends meet, all members of Parliament have a responsibility to get together to work harder, to work longer and to work better on behalf of our constituents. I hope this motion will pass unanimously, because Canadians deserve no less than parliamentarians who are willing to work until midnight every night on their behalf.

FIFA World Cup 2022Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Lena Metlege Diab Liberal Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise today to do something we have not been able to do for quite some time. That is to wish Team Canada the greatest success as they compete in the FIFA World Cup. For the first time since 1986, Canada will be sending a team to compete in the most prestigious association football tournament in the world.

It is an historic year as Qatar becomes the first Middle Eastern country to host the tournament. It will welcome an expected 1.7 million fans and transform Doha into an outdoor exhibition to demonstration its artwork, shows and vibrant Arab culture.

As a soccer mom, I see this as an exciting moment. Sport is so much more than competition. It is an opportunity to connect with the global community over our shared love of our game.

Congratulations to all the players, and to head coach John Herdman for leading the team to this moment. We truly are a football country. On the 23rd, let us all cheer extra loud for Canada.

Small Business in SaskatchewanStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, this past week I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from the Prairie Sky, Rosetown and Humboldt chambers of commerce. While our conversations covered a wide range of topics, a common theme was how difficult the past two and a half years have been for local businesses, especially independent retailers. Lockdowns drove customers to larger retailers and online shopping sites like Amazon.

The impact of inflation was top of mind for most, whether they were business owners or municipal representatives. With rising prices, not only is inflation cutting into the bottom line of their customers; it is also increasing costs for businesses and making it difficult for them to survive, let alone thrive. Additionally, one mayor told me that inflation is causing municipal projects to run 25% to 40% over budget, forcing municipalities to make cuts and raise taxes.

Small and medium-sized business owners need a Conservative government that will put an end to the Prime Minister's—

Small Business in SaskatchewanStatements By Members

2 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Alfred-Pellan.

Charging Stations for Electric VehiclesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Angelo Iacono Liberal Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the price of gas takes up a lot of room in most Canadians' budgets, but gasoline also generates significant greenhouse gas emissions. That is why we are making the purchase and charging of electric vehicles simpler and less costly, namely by contributing to the extension of the Canada-wide network of charging stations where Canadians live, work and play.

This brings me to the opening last week of new charging stations in my riding of Alfred-Pellan. Thanks to federal funding for EcoCharge, in collaboration with Earth Day Canada and IGA, the installation of charging stations at Marché de la Concorde will allow Laval residents to charge their vehicle while they do their groceries, thereby putting more Canadians on the path to carbon neutrality.

That is what it means to build a healthier, greener economy.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac RecognizedStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Julie Vignola Bloc Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec City has won international renown not once, not twice, but three times.

The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac still does us proud, winning the 2022 global hotel of the year award at the 16th annual World Luxury Hotel Awards. The Château is also the global winner in the luxury castle hotel category, and its restaurant Le Champlain is the regional winner in North and Central America in the fine dining cuisine category.

We are lucky to have this treasure at the heart of our city, which has welcomed many celebrities, from Alfred Hitchcock to Céline Dion, Maurice Duplessis and Grace Kelly.

This symbol of Quebec, the most photographed hotel in the world, is part of our history and will be for a long time to come. These awards are the result of the quality of the work and professionalism of all of the hotel's staff members and managers. They are the pride of our city, unique in North America. Bravo.

Davenport Platinum Jubilee Leadership AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II, who served her nation and the Commonwealth for 70 extraordinary years, I hosted the Davenport Platinum Jubilee Leadership Awards last week in my riding. In the spirit of Her late Majesty's commitment to service, I wanted to honour the incredible leaders and organizations that are having a profound impact in Davenport communities. At a ceremony held last week at the MOCA Toronto, 22 awards were given to leaders or organizations that serve and inspire, and that rise up to the moment to address and reflect the issues of today.

Congratulations to Tracy Jenkins, Clay and Paper Theatre, Roseneath Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Teixeira Accounting, Henderson Brewing, Theatre Direct, Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, LA Centre for Active Living, West Queen West BIA, Oasis Dufferin Community Centre, Abrigo Centre, BIG on Bloor, Do West Fest, Compost Council of Canada, John Keating, Erella Ganon, Carlos De Sousa, Our Place Community of Hope, Inuit Art Foundation, Community Food Centres Canada, Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club and Mario Calla.

I thank all the winners for their service to our community. They are an inspiration to all of us.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Scot Davidson Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is report card time for the Liberals. Let us have a look.

Lowering taxes and controlling inflation: fail.

Ensuring housing affordability and jobs: fail.

Stopping foreign interference and being tough on crime: fail.

Fixing our airports and borders: fail.

Safeguarding access to children's Tylenol: fail.

Providing basic government services: fail.

Right across the board, everything feels broken; everyone is worse off, and no one gets ahead. Instead of providing solutions, the Liberals' fall economic statement confirmed that they are out of ideas and out of money.

The Liberal government has been in power for seven years. Ask anybody on the street and they will say they were a lot better off seven years ago than they are today. Most Canadians look around and see what our country has become. The only real change is that there is no change left in Canadians' pockets.

Anti-SemitismStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I attended Rise Up Ottawa, where we heard from students as young as 12 years old about unacceptable acts of hatred they experience just because they are Jewish. Many of them said they are hiding their Jewish identity to avoid being targeted. A brave teacher, Lisa Levitan, coordinated the event to give these youth a voice.

Nobody should feel scared to go to school because of their religion. No child should hide who they are in fear of Nazi symbols and rhetoric that should be so anathema to our society that they would be shunned instantaneously, yet they are not.

We need to teach all young people about the Holocaust, so they learn the danger of indifference to oppression.

The member for Ottawa Centre and I were among the only non-Jewish participants. We all have an obligation to speak out. To be silent is to cause harm. I ask the House to join me in calling for an end to Jew hatred.

World Diabetes DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, November 14 marks World Diabetes Day. Throughout 2021 to 2023, the theme of World Diabetes Day is “Access to Diabetes Care”.

More than 95% of the time, people living with diabetes are looking after themselves.

To ensure that people with diabetes have access to the medical resources they need on a daily basis, there must be better access to quality education about diabetes for health care professionals and decision-makers.

I would like to recognize this year’s Kids for a Cure delegation from JDRF, which is here meeting with parliamentarians today. Tonight, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Sir John A. MacDonald Building, I invite all members to attend and hear from our youth delegates about their struggles and their journeys living with type 1 diabetes.

Education is key to understanding the issues facing people with diabetes.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

November 14th, 2022 / 2:05 p.m.


Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, when it comes to the environment, the Liberal government talks a lot, taxes a lot, but does not do much. I am not the one saying this, it is in the report released at COP27 today, which concludes that, of 63 countries, Canada ranks 58th.

Rather than tax Canadians, we want to reduce our carbon footprint where emissions are being generated. It is not the government's role to tell companies what to do; it must help them reduce their emissions through research and development. It must make green energies more affordable by reducing the amount of paperwork and red tape to allow more hydroelectric dams and the development of lithium and other mines for electric vehicles.

We need to promote and export Canadian know-how. We are the best in the world when it comes to carbon capture, hydroelectricity, wind power and nuclear energy. We must support our green energies here in Canada rather than exporting billions of dollars offshore, and in so doing, allow first nations to share in Canada's prosperity.

The world needs Canadian know-how now more than ever. Let us be proud of Canada.

Veterans' WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Speaker, as always, both across the country and in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Canadians turned out in large numbers at a variety of commemoration events to recognize our veterans during Veterans' Week.

I myself had the opportunity to attend a number of events, both here at home and across the country. These included joining the veterans at the Camp Hill veterans hospital for a moving candlelight tribute to remember their fallen comrades and the unveiling of a statue at the Highway of Heroes that marked the planting of 2.5 million trees as part of the Trees for Life campaign, as well as several visits to different memorials, legions and classrooms.

It was quite moving to see how many Canadians of all ages and all walks of life took the time to show our veterans how grateful they are for keeping us safe and free. Let us continue taking the opportunity to value and recognize the amazing contributions and sacrifices of our veterans all year around.

Lest we forget.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Rick Perkins Conservative South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, I just met with Melody and Jack Horton and their two boys Lucas and Jesse. They had the same hope as all young families to own a home. This was out of reach for them in Ontario, so they left and bought their dream home on a lake in Nova Scotia. They quickly found jobs. The family loves swimming in the lake in the summer and skating on it in the winter.

Life was everything they hoped it would be, until this year. The rapid cost increases for gas to heat their home and for food for the family was too much. Melody and Jack sold their dream house in September. They moved into a house half the size, and they are still struggling to pay the bills. The Hortons do not understand why the Liberals do not know how tough it is for families.

The new Conservative leader will always put people first. He will always work every single day to make paycheques bigger and government smaller for families like the Hortons.

BeijingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, recent reports that Beijing interfered in our democracy are deeply troubling. It is clear Beijing spread disinformation through proxies in the last 2021 election campaign. It is also clear in recently unsealed indictments in U.S. court that Beijing's agents are operating freely here on Canadian soil, coercing members of the Chinese community.

Recent reports have also revealed the presence of three illegal People's Republic of China police stations operating in the Toronto region. Now we find out Beijing illegally funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars to at least 11 election candidates in the 2019 general election.

Despite the government knowing about this for at least 10 months, no one has been expelled, no one has been criminally charged and no action has been taken. The biggest victims of this interference is the Chinese community itself.

When is the government going to take action to protect Canadians and protect Canadian democracy?

Cancer CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Lisa Hepfner Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, cancer care deserves priority health care funding. Hamilton has a world-class network of health care providers, including the Juravinski Cancer Centre in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, where nearly 5,000 health care workers live. I hear regularly from constituents who provide care and from many who receive cancer care.

Recently I met Mélodie. During the pandemic, she waited far too long for a biopsy on a lump on her thyroid. She travelled from Sudbury to Hamilton and had to return home again when her procedure was cancelled due to backlogs. Mélodie says she is grateful our government’s targeted investments will help provinces and territories remedy these problems.

Cancer is still the leading cause of death for Canadians and last week, a report from the Canadian Cancer Society has showed us cancer cases are on the rise. We need more investment and to make cancer care a priority at every level of government.

I want to thank the Canadian Cancer Society for encouraging us to make cancer care even better.

Climate ChangeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to the UN, to limit warming to 1.5°C, global emissions have to drop 7.6% every year. To save our planet, Canada must reduce its emissions by 60% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Addressing oil and gas emissions is critical if Canada is to reach its share of that target.

Instead of subsidizing the oil and gas industry, which, by the way, made $147 billion in profits this year alone, Canada should be reinvesting in the green tech sector and supporting communities in building climate resilience.

Canada also needs just transition legislation, a clean jobs secretariat and a training centre for workers. The adoption of a clean jobs industrial strategy that echos the calls from CAN-Rac, Ecojustice, CLC, Unifor and Blue Green Canada is a must. Interprovincial electricity grid connection, massive transit expansion and the acceleration of retrofits with a big focus on energy poverty and low and medium-income households must be prioritized.

We have no time to waste.

350th Anniversary of LavaltrieStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to mark the 350th anniversary of Lavaltrie, a magnificent municipality in Berthier—Maskinongé. The municipality owes its name to Séraphin Margane de Lavaltrie, a lieutenant in the Carignan-Salières regiment to whom Intendant Talon granted a seigneury in 1672.

Its magnificent church was designed by Victor Bourgeau, a Lavaltrie native, and a sculpture of the architect created by artist Claude Des Rosiers was recently unveiled on the church grounds.

Author Honoré Beaugrand also set his story of the Chasse-galerie legend in Lavaltrie.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the historical society and all the volunteers, and I invite everyone to follow the historic trail of the traditional rally held by Lavaltrie for many years in which I had the great honour of participating.

I would like to wish all Lavaltrie residents a happy anniversary.

Government AccountabilityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP and Liberal Party have launched an attack on parliamentary committees. Today they brought a motion to strip committees of their already scarce resources. This means cancelled meetings and interruptions of important investigations.

The government operations committee is digging into the $54-million ArriveCAN app, including the false reports that contractors were paid millions but did not receive a dime. Where is the money and who got rich?

The heritage committee is investigating the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion from providing funding to known racist and anti-Semite Laith Marouf.

The procedure and House affairs committee has an investigation into foreign interference in our elections. The Prime Minister knew since January and has failed to act.

This important work of all House committees will be restricted by today's motion. The Conservatives continue to fight against “just inflation” and higher taxes. The government needs more accountability, not less. This motion shields the Liberals from criticism, and the Conservatives will not stand for it.

Ugandan AsiansStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr Speaker, in August of 1972, President Idi Amin ordered everyone of south Asian descent out of Uganda. Given 90 days to leave or face military internment, thousands suddenly became stateless, turning into an international call to accept these refugees. Canada answered that call. This was a huge step. Until that point, this country had never attempted to resettle a group of non-white, non-Christian people from outside of Europe.

Among the 8,000 people who would settle here that fall were me, my sister, and my parents, a family like so many others that came here seeking one thing, safety. However, what we found was so much more. A cold climate, yes, but a warm and welcoming people who helped us settle and helped us integrate.

Ugandan Asian refugees have emerged as leaders in business, the professions, even as parliamentarians, but all have made a point of giving back.

On this 50th anniversary, I can only thank my mother and father for having the courage to cross the planet to start over, and this country, Canada, for giving my family and all Ugandan Asians not just safety but opportunity.