House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.


Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.


Marco Mendicino Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Madam Speaker, of course, I would begin by extending my sympathies and condolences to the families who lost loved ones while they were in custody or in any interaction with law enforcement. This is one of the reasons it is so important that we put this legislation forward, because, as a result, any individual who has a concern about the conduct of the RCMP or again, for the first time, the CBSA, would have a tangible, practical vehicle through which we can ensure that there would be accountability.

The mechanisms built into this bill would also require that incidents that are of a significant nature are, first of all, being carried out through internal investigations where the public complaints and review commission could have some oversight, but in addition to that, the separate processes that would be carried out by the PCRC itself. Therefore, taken together, this is about raising the bar when it comes to transparency and accountability as a means of strengthening public confidence in our institutions, which is a hallmark of our democracy.

When we consider all the challenges we face with regards to public safety, it is important, now more than ever, that we spare no effort and are exhausting all of our efforts to ensure that we have all the mechanisms in place to maintain those pillars when it comes to our democracy.

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to put some words on the record concerning Bill C-20, an act establishing the public complaints and review commission and amending certain acts and statutory instruments.

This is certainly something that the Liberals have talked about, I believe since the 2015 election. There has been about seven years where this has been in the making. It has been a very long time that they have been talking about doing this, and finally we are there. There are aspects of the bill that the Conservatives are interested in, particularly given that this bill reviews the public complaints and review commission, which of course is renaming itself from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.

What exactly does that do? It would ensure that there is a complaints review process for everyday Canadians should they have an issue with the RCMP, and in this case, because of this bill, with the CBSA. It is very important that we are able to hold any sort of law enforcement accountable in our democracy when we provide very large powers—

I am sorry, Madam Speaker, but perhaps the Liberal members would like to have their conversations in the lobby?

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. I would like to remind members that, if they want to have conversations, they should take them into the lobbies because they do disturb the proceedings of the House.

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, as I was saying, it is very important that we have strong mechanisms to hold those in law enforcement roles accountable. I think that everyone would agree on that. These are the individuals who we empower to enforce law and order, so we need to have an equally powerful oversight body to ensure that there are no abuses of that power.

Before I go into the rest of this, I do want to very sincerely thank all of the men and women in the country who wear a uniform to keep Canadians safe.

It is very important that, as parliamentarians, when we talk about oversight, we also talk about the incredible sacrifices that RCMP and CBSA officers make. RCMP officers, with their families, are carted around the country to various small towns, often in rural and northern Canada. We need those officers to keep those communities safe, and they make a lot of sacrifices for their families. We know that CBSA officers, as well, are often in border towns or border communities that are far away from where a CBSA officer would normally live. There is a lot of movement around and a lot of weeks away from home.

As we know, CBSA officers and our RCMP officers are consistently putting themselves in danger, again, to keep us safe, so I thank all of the officers out there who don a uniform and do that for our country.

Certainly, as I was saying, the oversight body is very important. Particularly, we have been talking a lot about CBSA in recent years and their role in preventing things such as gun violence, for example.

It has been discussed with many policing bodies the great threat of having, frankly, the largest undefended border in the world with a country that owns more firearms than they have people, which is just part of their culture and their history, and that is not up for debate in the House, but what is up for debate is how it impacts Canada and the important role that CBSA has in ensuring that none of those firearms make their way into Canada illegally.

Unfortunately, in cities such as Toronto and Montreal, we are seeing significant issues, and deaths and murders, from evil criminal elements and gangs that take advantage of our porous border and smuggle into the country firearms that are not just restricted, but prohibited. They are using them illegally, possessing them illegally and really damaging, particularly, our vulnerable communities in Montreal, Toronto and other cities across the country.

It is not just those neighbourhoods that are particularly vulnerable. We are seeing gun violence across the country in rural Canada. We are seeing it leak into suburbs, which normally feel very secure and safe from these types of elements. That is what is happening with the criminal elements in our cities, and they are being fuelled by what seems to be the ability to quite easily smuggle or drone in guns, either at our border and at our ports of entry.

We also know that this is deeply tied to drug smuggling and drug trafficking across our border as well. CBSA has a huge role to prevent that as well. We are depending on our CBSA officers to prevent significant criminal activity that can contribute to death and mayhem in our cities. We are empowering them to do that. We need to make sure that they have the resources, equipment and training to fulfill those important duties for Canadians.

Unfortunately, we do not hear nearly enough about it from the government. It is far too focused on going after law-abiding, trained, tested and vetted Canadian firearms owners than it is on the issue of our border. Perhaps that is a debate for another time. Given that we are talking about oversight of the CBSA today, I think it is worthwhile to bring in the important work that it does and how much we need to prioritize resources to the border to ensure that we are keeping Canadians safe from the impacts of gun smuggling and drug smuggling.

We have also been talking a lot in recent weeks and, frankly, months about the RCMP. We know that the RCMP is facing a significant recruitment and retention issue. I have a lot of RCMP and Winnipeg police officers in my riding. They are incredible men and women, but they are saying morale is quite low. Where is the oversight and the responsibility from the government, and other levels of government, to ensure that RCMP and civic police officers are feeling valued in their role?

That is something that deeply concerns me. We are facing a deficit of police officers when, frankly, there has been a 32% rise in violent crimes since the Liberals formed government seven years ago, since the Prime Minister became the Prime Minister of Canada. Another stat I would like to share is that there were 124,000 more violent crimes last year than there were in 2015 when the Liberals came into power. The need for police to keep our communities safe is greater than ever, yet we are facing serious retention issues.

We are talking about oversight of our RCMP, but we also need to be talking about policies that ensure our RCMP members are adequately supported. What happens when we have overworked police officers and when there are not enough of them, so they are being spread thinner and thinner and their workload is going up higher and higher? We get fatigue. We get depression. We get accelerated impacts of PTSD from the things they see. If we do not have officers who can rest and take care of their mental health, then we have serious impacts on their ability to adequately do their jobs and keep themselves safe, keep their fellow officers safe and ensure they are doing their duty to keep communities safe.

Any time we are talking about RCMP, CBSA or armed forces members, there needs to be an equal conversation about ensuring we are adequately supporting those officers and those members so that they are feeling valued and being supported enough so that they can adequately do their jobs to the best of their mental and physical abilities. Mistakes get made when they are tired. Mistakes get made when they are demoralized, frustrated, irritated and overworked. That is when the biggest mistakes happen. I think if we are going to talk about oversight, we have to talk about better support for our police officers and our officers at the border.

Certainly, when we are talking about the RCMP as well, there have been a lot of discussions of how we can better serve the vulnerable communities that are seeing the most impacts from violent crime. We could talk about the revolving door that also exhausts police officers. About five years ago, the Liberal government brought forward a bill, Bill C-75, that instituted bail reform. This is something I have been looking into in recent weeks and months, and I have been discussing with police officers the impacts they have seen with these bail reform changes.

It would seem that, quite significantly, Bill C-75 has contributed to the revolving door of crime. Those who are looking to break the law and perhaps harm others are in and out of jail over and over again. Police are encountering the same people, week after week, committing the same types of crimes. It is often just petty theft and petty crime, but often it could also be more significant crimes, like stabbings, shootings, rapes or other types of assault.

Can members imagine being police officers and risking their lives to arrest the same person over and over? What does that do to those police officers? What does it do to their morale and their ability to consistently keep their spirits up and do their jobs, when it is the same people over and over again? If we want to talk about oversight, we have to talk about adequately equipping our police officers with the resources they need, and that goes back to our criminal justice system and how it ensures the people they arrest in the first place stay in jail if they are a threat to society.

Then we have things like Bill C-5, which our party has really talked about a lot in terms of our belief in the threat it is going to pose, particularly to vulnerable communities. To refresh the memories of those watching, Bill C-5 would eliminate mandatory prison time for serious firearm offences, like assaulting a police officer with a weapon or drive-by shootings, so firing a gun with the intent to injure someone with a bullet would no longer mean mandatory prison time under the current Liberal government.

It would also allow that, for serious offences, rather than having a mandatory minimum sentence, there would be the option to serve house arrest. Therefore, in a vulnerable community, for example, if there are people who are criminals or part of a gang doing very bad things to those in that community, rather than going to prison, they could be serving house arrest in the community they have terrorized. I do not think that is fair to those communities. I do not think they want those criminal elements in their communities. It also would not provide any opportunity for rehabilitation, which is provided in our penitentiary system. In my opinion we should have far more rehabilitation opportunities in our penitentiaries, but that is a conversation for another time.

We also have a lot of concerns with leadership in the RCMP. I asked the minister today if this bill would provide any oversight to the RCMP commissioner, given the recent scandal and accusations, with corroborating evidence, that the RCMP commissioner politically interfered with the worst mass killing in Canadian history, notably the Nova Scotia 2020 mass killing. This is a very serious matter the Conservatives, together with the Bloc and the NDP, have been investigating for five months. Although the bill would improve the oversight of the RCMP, I do not think that would translate to the top leadership of the RCMP, unfortunately, though it is desperately needed.

In committee just the other day we were talking to the commissioner of the RCMP, and this was the second time she came to committee about the same interference scandal. She also went to the Mass Casualty Commission to discuss this as well, and it was quite a challenging experience. I was hoping for some sentiment that she was remorseful she had handled the situation the way she had or any sort of legitimate explanation that we could understand that would provide us some relief that she did not do this. Unfortunately, we did not get any of that.

Our only ability to hold her accountable is through the public safety committee, at least as the opposition. The government could fire the commissioner, but it has not taken those steps. We believe it should. Bill C-20 is talking about oversight; however, there is no oversight mechanism in it, that I am aware, for the RCMP commissioner in this circumstance.

Just to recap, a few years ago during the heat of the fallout, about 10 days into the tragedy that took 22 lives, including the life of a pregnant woman, we found out through the evidence we built through the MCC, that the RCMP commissioner, first and foremost, warned the government that sharing the weapons information about the evil killer in that situation, who, again, killed 22 people plus a pregnant women, would jeopardize the criminal investigation. She made it very clear that it should not be shared beyond the minister and the Prime Minister.

Unfortunately, a few days later she turned around. We now had an audio recording where she was reprimanding her Nova Scotia deputies on the ground for not sharing the information that she warned her bosses not to share. We asked her and the MCC asked her what changed her mind. She has not provided a single coherent answer about what changed her mind. We have theories, but she has not provided a single coherent response.

What we found out from the audio recording, and what was certainly corroborated before we got that audio recording by the Nova Scotia deputies and their meticulous notes, was that the commissioner was connecting the Liberals' forthcoming gun control policies. She did this because she wanted to help usher along the Liberal government's gun control policies.

When we have the commissioner of the RCMP, with 22 murdered Canadians and the largest criminal investigation in Canadian history in that regard, looking at this as an opportunity to further her political boss's gun control policy, we obviously have a lot of questions and concerns about that. We believe that is political interference. What really tied it back to the Liberal government were her own words saying that they requested that she do this.

The Liberal government has repeatedly denied this. We have her words in an audio recording. We have that corroborated with the Nova Scotia deputies who were in that meeting where she stated those things. They have written notes. They have testified at committee without a doubt in their minds, and given the audio we can see where they are coming from, that the commissioner of the RCMP sought to take advantage of the deaths of 22 people to further the Liberal political agenda. She also said that it was requested by the then-minister of public safety's office.

We have gone through this for five months. The evidence has trickled out and built the case. To us, it seems irrefutable that this happened, yet she still has her position. We find that disgusting and appalling. We do not understand how someone, the head of our law enforcement, could come to committee and worm her way around the facts on the ground, the audio recording that we have, that she directly connects these things. However, she said things like that was just a conversation, that was taken out of context, this is all a misunderstanding or it was just a miscommunication. That is what we were hearing. However, we have the audio recording and we have the testimony from the people who were in the room.

It is quite frustrating that we were not able to fully hold the most powerful RCMP officer in the country accountable. Perhaps that is a shortcoming of my own. Perhaps I could have done a better job. However, if we are going to talk about Bill C-20, the government also needs to talk about holding the RCMP commissioner accountable, which it has so far failed to do.

It would be one thing if it was just in this scenario that she was using that kind of slippery language to make excuses for her behaviour, which was, as we believe, on the order of the Liberal government and its ministers. She also mentioned the PMO in the audio, so perhaps it goes as far as the Prime Minister's Office. However, we were unable to get any further evidence to convince media and others that it is the case. Should any more evidence come up, rest assured, we will be revisiting that issue.

What I would say is that I think the reporters are finally experiencing a bit of what we experienced with the commissioner over the past five months.

Again talking about the oversight of the RCMP, recently a Globe and Mail story came out, which I think was yesterday or the day before, and now it seems that the commissioner is pulling the same sort of behaviour with the Emergencies Act. She apparently was texting with her counterpart at the OPP, the OPP commissioner, back in the height of the convoy when the government invoked the Emergencies Act. As a refresher, the Emergencies Act allows the government to supersede charter rights, which is a very big deal. That is why there is a built-in inquiry to hold the government accountable for doing it, to ensure the very high threshold of the Emergencies Act was met. We are going through that process right now and it is quite riveting.

The commissioner is sort of pulling the same stuff with the media. There are text messages between her and the OPP. The title of the article is, “Top Mountie can’t explain text messages in which she suggested federal government wanted retroactive support for Emergencies Act”. Where is the oversight on this?

She said the following to the OPP commissioner, which is unbelievable, “Has Minister Blair hit you up for a letter to support the EA?” My understanding from the article is that this is after the Emergencies Act was invoked by the Liberals. We have the commissioner of the RCMP asking for a retroactive support letter for the invocation of the Emergencies Act from the OPP commissioner. Two very powerful people are talking about backdating a letter retroactively to show that they are supporting this. That is pretty peculiar. Their integrity is pretty suspect and perhaps shows how desperate, which is speculation, the political bosses in that scenario were to build their case. We know that the Minister of Public Safety said mistruths in this House when he said that the police asked for the emergency powers, when in fact they did not. This is just building on that narrative a little more.

Further, she told reporters she never requested such a letter, yet we have texts that say that she did. How can there be texts that say she requested this letter, when she tells reporters that she did not? This is what we have been going through for five months with the commissioner. We say she said something and she says that is not what that meant, over and over again. We are talking about RCMP oversight. Where is the oversight for the RCMP commissioner?

I will conclude with this, because this is the part that shocked me the most. The head of the RCMP, the commissioner, texted the head of the OPP. Commissioner Lucki's texts show that she twice asked Commissioner Carrique about using a different messaging app that does not store deleted messages. In the context of talking about the emergency powers, is it not peculiar to anyone that the head of the RCMP is texting the head of the OPP saying they need use to an app where their messages can be permanently deleted? Is no one concerned about that?

The heads of law and order are talking about using an app to permanently delete records. That is insane to me and it is unbelievable that the commissioner is still the head of law and order in this country. It is appalling. She should absolutely resign or, better yet, be fired by the public safety minister.

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario


Marco Mendicino LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I have spent the better part of the last 20 minutes listening to my colleague's intervention, hoping that we would hear more about the substance of the bill itself. I will come back to my question for my colleague across the aisle.

I will be the first person to stand up in this House and defend the incredible work that is done by law enforcement every day when it comes to keeping the public safe across the community. The investments that we have put into place, the technology, the resources and, frankly, the work of the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment, which is a group we met with just a couple of days ago, is proof of all of the supports that we will invest in our law enforcement so that they can carry out their work.

The purpose of today's debate is Bill C-20 and I think my colleague, if she were to be candid with this chamber, would acknowledge that there were very few comments with regard to the substance of the propositions around reporting, discipline, recommendations and all of the things that will enhance civilian review so that there can be public confidence in our institutions, including the RCMP and the CBSA. Where does the member stand on the specific merits of this bill?

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, the minister will have to take my apology. His government is keeping us so busy talking about oversight. I could talk for days and days about all the oversight the Liberals need.

I would say that, overall, the bill does look promising and Conservatives are open to supporting it.

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's speech. She talked about police officer morale. She has probably heard about Janet Merlo, who spent 20 years in the RCMP, reported persistent bullying and is still hearing from RCMP members about persistent sexual harassment in the force. I am just wondering if she has any comments on how Bill C-20 will address those concerns and maybe even act as a morale booster.

Second, I take well my colleague's comments about the commissioner and the episodes we have had at the public safety committee. Does she have any comments on my private member's bill, Bill C-303, which seeks to add some clarity and specificity on the relationship the Minister of Public Safety has with the commissioner of the RCMP?

Public Complaints and Review Commission ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Raquel Dancho Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I admire that my hon. colleague looked at the past five months and went to a lot of effort and endeavoured to find a piece of legislation that could possibly fix the issue and the scandalous behaviour we have seen between the Liberal government and the RCMP commissioner. His bill looks very promising. I did a quick read. I am not convinced that it would have solved the ethical and behavioural problem that the Liberal government repeatedly faces, but we are open to supporting his bill.

As to my colleague's first question, with my remaining few seconds, I am deeply concerned about any sexual harassment in the RCMP, as well as in our armed forces. I have talked at length in this House about the resignation request we had in the last Parliament regarding the then minister of defence and his lack of action for six years to address sexual harassment and assault in our military. I do not have any confidence that the Liberal government is going to take care of this. I will work seven days a week with the NDP member to solve that issue in the RCMP.

GurpurabStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

[Member spoke in Punjabi as follows:]

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.


Mr. Speaker, on November 8, Sikhs in Canada and across the world will be celebrating the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru and the founder of Sikhism.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji emphasized the importance of hard work, kirt karni, sharing with those in need, vand ke chakna, meditating, naam japna, and selfless service, seva. He was a strong advocate for gender equality, believing that no one is high or low, and only rightness is supreme. These are the principles of Sikh values.

This week I met with Amardeep Singh and Vininder Kaur, who are showcasing a 24-episode documentary series called Allegory, guided by Guru Nanak Dev Ji's travel and his spiritual life, so that more people can learn about his philosophies and teachings.

Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh communities in the world. I want to thank all the organizations in Brampton and across Canada that are selflessly serving our communities. Happy Gurpurab to everyone.

Government ContractsStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' ArriveCAN app is a scandal of epic proportions. It was supposed to cost $80,000. It turns out it cost a whopping $54 million.

The government spent $54 million on an app that did nothing to keep anyone safe. It was full of glitches, causing thousands of healthy Canadians to needlessly quarantine, and it trampled on the rights and freedoms of Canadians.

The Liberals refuse to say who was grossly overpaid for this worse than useless app, and, in a transparent cover-up attempt, they voted against our Conservative motion to audit this scam.

Canadians deserve answers. They deserve to know which Liberal friends and insiders got rich at their expense. It is time to follow the money. It is time to call in the auditors.

Blood Donation by Sikh NationStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Surrey—Newton, BC

Mr. Speaker, 23 years ago a group of dedicated volunteers held their first blood donation event in Surrey to commemorate the lives of Sikhs brutally killed in India in 1984.

Since then, the Blood Donation by Sikh Nation annual campaign has expanded to include donation events across Canada and countries worldwide, which has helped save over 165,000 Canadian lives.

The Sikh Nation is the largest contributor to the Canadian Blood Services' pledge-based partners for life program. On November 5 and 6, I urge Canadians to visit Princess Margaret Secondary School to donate blood and plasma in support of patients in need across Canada.

I ask all members to join me in thanking Blood Donation by Sikh Nation and its volunteers and donors, as they represent the very best Canada has to offer.

Lisette Leblanc LandryStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, Lisette Leblanc Landry has dedicated her life to serving others. A member of the Filles d'Isabelle for over 60 years and of the Avellin-Dalcourt residents' committee, she regularly visits the sick and accompanies people who need support during medical appointments.

Mrs. Leblanc Landry considers herself fortunate to be in good health and to have free time, so she has dedicated herself to helping others through various organizations all her life. She was L'Écho's person of the year in 1985, won the Gaétan-Blais prize in 2014, and was profiled in Le Nouvelliste in 2018. At the age of 85, she was awarded the highest honour yet.

In today's world, being available to others and taking the time to listen is a true gift. Mrs. Leblanc Landry shows us how. She deserves our utmost respect and I want to honour her contribution and thank her on behalf of everyone whose life she has enriched.

1984 Anti-Sikh RiotsStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 38 years later we still remember the dark days of November 1984, when government-organized mobs took to the streets of Delhi, India, with voter lists, school registration forms and ration lists in hand so they could identify Sikh homes and businesses.

Court evidence has made it clear that these mobs were paid with money and alcohol, provided weapons and instructed to loot and burn Sikh properties. They were demanded by politicians to make sure not a single Sikh survived. Thousands of men, women and children were murdered, burned alive and raped.

This is not a Sikh versus Hindu issue, as so many who seek to divide make it seem. In fact, many Hindu families risked their lives to protect their Sikh neighbours during this time, and for that they will always be grateful. This is an issue of human rights.

To quote the Delhi High Court, “[T]he mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984 were in fact 'crimes against humanity'. They will continue to shock the collective conscience of society for a long time to come.”

The EconomyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Scot Davidson Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, there used to be a formula that worked here in Canada. It was simple: Job plus hard work equals paycheque, minus mortgage or rent, bills, and taxes equals money to save and put towards the future.

Under the Liberals, that formula has become fundamentally broken. Now, most people are barely getting by with the wages they earn. The prospect of owning a home, being able to raise a family or retire are all impossible dreams, out of reach for most people. Every time a small business closes, a senior gets their heating bill, a young couple looks to buy a house or a parent waits in an emergency room with their child, we are reminded of just how broken that formula has become.

The Liberals are ignoring the ever-growing gap between the few who are comfortable and profit from this broken formula and the majority who are struggling without hope for the future. Conservatives will keep fighting to turn hurt into hope, make paycheques meaningful once more and re-establish a successful formula that will work for all Canadians.

Women's Centre of York RegionStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Leah Taylor Roy Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, for 45 years the Women's Centre of York Region has served women and children who are victims of gender-based violence.

I thank Jennifer Gibbs, chair of the board of directors, and Liora Sobel, executive director, who are at the helm of this organization, as well as Jully Black, songwriter and philanthropist, whose son spoke so passionately at the 45th anniversary celebration, which I attended with them last week.

The government is clear that gender-based violence will not be tolerated. That is why we are working with provinces, territories and indigenous partners to implement a national action plan to end gender-based violence. We propose to invest $540 million over five years. The priority is increased support for the most vulnerable: indigenous women and girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ individuals.

With other levels of government, we can provide leadership, policies and funding, but change happens through the work of these dedicated community organizations.

I thank Jennifer, Liora and all the staff, board members and volunteers at the Women's Centre of York Region for helping women overcome obstacles, heal from trauma and begin new chapters in their lives. We will continue to work together to protect all those who suffer due to gender-based violence, and ultimately to eradicate it completely.

WorldSkills Competition 2022 Medal WinnersStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Irek Kusmierczyk Liberal Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Skilled Trade and Technology Week, an important initiative led by Skills/Compétences Canada to help young Canadians discover careers in skilled trades and technology.

With over 700,000 skilled trades workers expected to retire in Canada by 2028, it is critical we do everything we can to help inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in these fields, from carpentry to mechanics, construction, cooking, welding, hairdressing and more. There are countless rewarding and well-paying career opportunities ready to be filled.

I am pleased to recognize two amazing young women in skilled trades with us in Canada today: Korae Nottveit and Emma Kilgannon. Korae and Emma are recent WorldSkills Competition 2022 medal winners in the cooking and baking categories, and they are joined by Skills/Compétences Canada national board president, Dr. Patrick Rouble.

I welcome them to Ottawa and congratulate them on their great accomplishments.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are tough times coming this winter for all Canadians. This is especially true for the hard-working people of Saskatchewan, who will see the triple increase of gas, groceries and home heating bills. However, the leader of the NDP has the nerve to go on Twitter and complain. His hollow “demand” to remove taxes from home heating would be more believable if he and his NDP comrades had voted in favour of our leader’s motion last week, calling to axe the carbon tax on home heating.

The current NDP Leader looks more irrelevant every day. It is no wonder the Saskatchewan NDP rescinded its invitation to have him appear in person at its latest convention; even it knows how much brand damage this leader can do.

I wonder how many more failed elections the NDP will have to go through before it realizes its policies, its party and its leader are all out of touch with the real struggles Canadians are facing today.

Poppy Campaign LaunchStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, every year, from the last Friday of October to November 11, Canadians wear a poppy to honour veterans and to remember those who sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.

Like every year, the K-W Poppy Fund hosted the poppy campaign launch at branch 530 of the Legion in Waterloo. I joined veterans, cadets, executive members and volunteers from the K-W Naval Association, the Royal Canadian Air Force Association K-W Wing 404, the 31 Combat Engineer Regiment, known as the Elgin's, and the Royal Canadian Legion, among others.

This year, for the first time, the Legion is distributing biodegradable poppies to reduce the environmental footprint. I encourage every Canadian to engage in Veterans Week to honour and learn of the sacrifices and efforts of veterans.

I thank all in uniform for their service and commend the Royal Canadian Legion for this now biodegradable symbol of remembrance.

We will remember them.

InflationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's inflationary policies are forcing Canadians to tighten their belts like never before.

We have learned that 1.5 million Canadians had to turn to food banks last month alone. That represents a dramatic 35% increase since 2019. Rising interest rates on a $400,000 mortgage are increasing interest costs by over $15,000 a year for a Canadian family.

We call on the Liberal government to reform our tax system in order to incentivize work, eliminate taxes and tariffs on fuel and fertilizer for farmers, cap spending with legislation requiring ministers to find a dollar of savings for every new dollar spent, cut wasteful spending like ArriveCAN, and work with all levels of government to increase production efficiency and produce more of the things Canadians buy.

Those are all part of the next Conservative government's strategy.

The EconomyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the burden on Canadians has never been heavier. The Prime Minister's tax-and-spend policies have driven a record number of Canadians to the food banks. Recently, 1.5 million Canadians used a food bank in one month. Nearly a third, or 500,000 of them, were children. This is unacceptable, and it is an increase of 35% from 2019.

The government is raising taxes on gas, groceries and home heating, which has increased the cost of essentials that Canadians rely on. Its continued reckless spending has led to record inflation, causing it to get rich off the backs of Canadians. As a result of rising interest rates, Canadians who were already on the edge are being pushed over that edge. The Liberal government needs to stop working for itself and its friends and start working for Canadians.

Fundraising for UkraineStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Taleeb Noormohamed Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to highlight Matheson Phan, an exceptional grade 5 student in my riding of Vancouver Granville.

Inspired by the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people, Matheson decided to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine humanitarian crisis appeal by making blue and yellow ribbons adorned with a Canadian flag pin. Since February, Matheson has worked with family and friends, and his younger brother Lincoln, to cut, sew and assemble these symbols of solidarity to be worn by members of our community.

Matheson has sent me a pin for each member of the House, which I know we will all wear with pride. In his own words, Matheson said, “I hope for a future where everyone helps those in need.” I know every member of the House would agree. I thank Matheson for his leadership and his belief in a better world.

Slava Ukraini.

Public TransitStatements by Members

November 3rd, 2022 / 2:10 p.m.


Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, economists say that increased demand will result in increased supply. However, the opposite is true for public transit. We need to increase the supply for there to be a demand. In short, we need effective and attractive public transit for people to get on board.

Public transit is essential for improving urban mobility and reducing our carbon footprint, but it is also vital for intercity travel between our regions. Our transportation companies are struggling after two years of pandemic, so it is urgent that we reinvest to get our public transit back on track.

We also need to electrify our transit systems. That will help to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. Moving in that direction will help us to create good jobs here at home with the local expertise we already have.

Frequent and reliable public transit service requires permanent and reliable federal funding. The NDP is focusing on good transit systems for everyone. We are asking the Liberal government to do the same.

Public TransitStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota


I would ask members to listen and show respect for the person who is speaking. There is a lot of noise right now and it is hard to hear what is being said.

The hon. member for Saint‑Hyacinthe—Bagot.

Aerospace Industries Association of CanadaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 60th anniversary of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, or AIAC. We should be glad to have such a vibrant association dedicated to ensuring that this strategic sector receives the support it deserves.

The late Jean Lapierre said that the aerospace industry is to Quebec what the auto industry is to Ontario. Greater Montreal is one of the world's three leading aerospace hubs, alongside Seattle and Toulouse, and is one of the only regions where it is possible to find all the parts needed to assemble an entire aircraft.

The aerospace industry comprises a research cluster and a network of thriving small and medium-sized businesses. This ecosystem deserves a robust policy. We cannot allow ourselves to neglect this strategic industry. The AIAC constantly gives us this much-needed reminder.

Long live the AIAC. I wish it a happy anniversary.

Anti-SemitismStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Melissa Lantsman Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the diversity minister was confronted with his department's funding of a notorious anti-Semite Laith Marouf, he swore that it was a mistake and that it would never happen again, even though he covered it up for a month.

Now we know the minister's sincerest promise was nothing more than lip service to the House, his caucus and to Canadians. Yesterday we found out there is more funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Nearly $30,000 was given to two news outlets that call for the elimination of Israel and perpetuate the dangerous hate against Jews. This is freely available on the Internet. Either nobody bothered to check, or more likely, nobody cared.

These are not unfortunate mistakes. They are not even incompetence. They are repeated actions by a government that is coming dangerously close to complicity with the worst anti-Semitism by spending Canadian tax dollars to proliferate it. We have a problem in this country. Canadians deserve to know about it. Conservatives are here to stop it. More members of the Liberal caucus need to stand up to it.