House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, empty rhetoric and good wishes are not enough to stop the Russian invasion. The Prime Minister knows he is offside with our NATO allies. Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the United States and the United Kingdom have all provided lethal defensive weapons. Ukraine needs our support now, before Russia invades, not after.

When will the Prime Minister send defensive lethal weapons, restore the supply of RADARSAT images and apply Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible for this escalation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, we see the Conservatives trying to mislead Canadians on what we are actually doing. We are delivering the support that Ukraine asked for, both economic support and, most importantly, the immediate expansion of Operation Unifier, which is an extraordinarily successful operation that has trained over 33,000 members of the Ukrainian military forces to be able to stand strongly against any further Russian incursion.

We are working closely with the Government of Ukraine and all of our NATO allies to demonstrate that we are strong with Ukraine and united against any further Russian incursions.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows that an invasion is imminent and he knows that sending soft aid is not going to fix the situation. Buying pillows is not going to work. This is not a pillow fight. He knows that the non-essential diplomatic staff at our embassy in Kyiv have been evacuated. He knows that our soldiers in Operation Unifier have all been moved west.

Instead of standing by and watching Russia invade, will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing and give Ukraine the lethal weapons it desperately needs now—not later, now?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada, alongside its allies, stands with the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian territorial integrity. That is what we have always done. Every different country looks for the best ways it can help, and what Canada is continuing to do is something that is extraordinarily valuable to the Ukrainian people, which is Operation Unifier, which is direct training of tens of thousands of Ukraine military personnel to be able to defend their country. It has been the number one ask of President Zelensky and others, along with financial supports that we delivered in days.

We will continue to do what is needed to de-escalate the situation and to stand with Ukraine.

HealthOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shafqat Ali Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we know, one of the ways we can prevent transmission of COVID-19 and protect our families and communities is through the use of rapid tests. At the beginning of January, our government committed to obtaining 140 million rapid tests by the end of the month.

Can the Prime Minister tell us how many rapid tests Canada has received since the beginning of 2022?

HealthOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Brampton Centre for his question and for his hard work.

We are working around the clock to keep Canadians safe and ensure provinces and territories have the tools they need to fight COVID-19, first and foremost with enough vaccines for everyone. However, that also includes procuring more rapid tests. We committed to procuring 140 million new rapid tests in January 2022, and that is exactly what we have done, with millions more arriving every day.

We hope all parties will support the legislation we introduced this week, a $2.5-billion investment to continue purchasing all the necessary supports for Canadians.

PensionsOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have long been raising the concern that clawbacks to the GIS are impacting vulnerable seniors who cannot pay their bills or pay their rent. We know that the Prime Minister talked about fixing this problem in May, but seniors cannot afford to wait until May.

We just learned of a senior who passed away yesterday. They had their GIS clawed back. They could not afford the nutritious meals they needed, nor could they afford the type II diabetes medication that they needed. I am haunted by the thought that this senior might still be with us today if their GIS had not been clawed back.

Will the Prime Minister commit to fixing this problem now, rather than waiting until May?

PensionsOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our priority has always been to be there for the most vulnerable, especially our seniors. That is why we worked hard to strengthen income security for seniors, including through increases to the GIS. We are making major investments through a one-time payment for seniors whose benefit has been affected by pandemic supports, but we know that we have more work to do. We are still going to be there to support seniors and we look forward to working with all parliamentarians to do exactly that.

HealthOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Independent

Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

Colleagues representing urban centres, along with just about everywhere else, are fully aware of the opioid crisis in Canada. The number of deaths and related destruction in our communities is staggering. I have seen this first-hand on my safety walks with Toronto police. In 2020, my riding of Spadina—Fort York saw 57 deaths. It is the second-highest fatality zone in Toronto.

Opioids claim the lives of 19 Canadians per day, and over 24,000 have died. Could the minister inform the House what the government is doing to end the carnage?

HealthOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the opioid epidemic has worsened during this pandemic. We have to continue treating this as a health issue, not a criminal one. The first-ever federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions will be advancing a comprehensive strategy supporting the provinces and territories and working with indigenous communities to provide access to a full range of evidence-based treatment and harm reduction, to improve public education and reduce stigma and to create standards for substance use treatment programs. We will use every tool at our disposal to end this national public health crisis.

HealthOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

That is all the time we have for question period.

I want to take this opportunity to say that it has been brought to my attention that a couple of terms were used during question period today that were trying to accomplish indirectly what we cannot do directly in the chamber. I want to remind everyone in the chamber that this is something we have to respect. It will increase the respect we have for each other in the chamber, allowing us to better operate and get through our business.

Role of JournalistsOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That the House reaffirm the primordial and essential role of journalists in a democracy and deplore the attempts to intimidate them in recent days as part of their coverage of the events in Ottawa.

Role of JournalistsOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.

Okay. The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

(Motion agreed to)

Export Development CanadaRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, the annual report of the 2019-20 Canada account, as prepared by Export Development Canada.

Broadcasting ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Access to Information, Privacy and EthicsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the first report from the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in relation to the motion adopted Monday, January 31, 2022, regarding the collection and use of mobility data by the Government of Canada.

It calls upon the government to suspend the Public Health Agency of Canada's cellular data tender upon adoption of this motion, which was supported unanimously by the members of the committee.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to the motion adopted on Thursday, December 16, 2021, regarding the request for government response to the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food entitled “Room to Grow: Strengthening Food Processing Capacity in Canada for Food Security and Exports”, which was presented to the House of Commons on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, during the second session of the 43rd Parliament.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would like to thank all those involved, Mr. Speaker, and I thank you for the opportunity today.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (pension plans and group insurance plans).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a bill that would correct a long-standing deficiency in Canada's bankruptcy laws, which have had the perverse impact of expecting Canadian workers who have paid in good faith into pension plans throughout their entire career to take a back seat to professional risk-takers, whether those be banks, creditors, investors or others, who invest in companies with surplus capital in order to make money when workers do not have the opportunity to have a whole other 25-year career on the cusp of their retirement.

It is really important that the pension promise be honoured in Canada, as it is in other jurisdictions that have far better protection for the pensions of their workers.

I would be remiss if I did not say a big thank you to the former MP for Hamilton Mountain, Scott Duvall, who did excellent work in developing this piece of legislation, not only as a parliamentarian but also out of his personal experience as a worker and a union officer at Stelco, where workers for many years had the future of their pension called into question because of these inadequacies in our bankruptcy laws.

I look forward to working with members of all parties to find a way forward to get this change finally done.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice ActRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, An Act respecting the development of a national strategy to assess, prevent and address environmental racism and to advance environmental justice.

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise today to introduce this private member's bill. It deals with a critical issue and it is very important to act against environmental racism.

I am very honoured to present this bill, and I want to take a moment to thank the member of Parliament who initially put it forward.

It is appropriate today to bring this bill forward as we begin February and Black History Month. This is a way to confront racism. Part of me thinks it is also appropriate to present it on Groundhog Day, because here we go again.

This bill was initially presented by the wonderful former member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester, Lenore Zann. Lenore did me the enormous honour of asking me, a member of Parliament from a different party, to second the bill when it first came forward in this place. The bill enjoyed widespread support, as members will remember. It cleared second reading and went to committee.

A lot of work has been done, and I want to keep this non-partisan. This is a bill that has enjoyed widespread support, and many members of Parliament are very keen to see it pass. I urge all colleagues to reflect on the fact that the United States and the Environmental Protection Agency, for more than three decades, have had active programs to confront environmental racism, while the term is hardly well understood in our country. I look forward to working with colleagues across party lines.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Trans Mountain PipelinePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to present a petition that deals with an issue that touches on so many other concerns of Canadians, including reconciliation, climate action and specifically, of course, the urgent necessity to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure.

The petitioners note that the Trans Mountain pipeline violates indigenous rights and it will be banking on the ongoing production of bitumen and the production of fossil fuels well past the point that we need to act to live up to our commitments under the Paris Agreement. The petitioners ask this House assembled to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I present a petition signed by residents of my riding.

These citizens are concerned about businesses based in Canada that contribute to human rights violations and environmental damage around the world.

The people who protest against these violations and stand up for their rights are often harassed, attacked or killed. Indigenous peoples, women and marginalized groups in particular are threatened.

Canada encourages but does not require businesses to prevent such harm in their operations and global supply chains.

The petitioners are calling on the government to ensure due diligence by these businesses when it comes to human rights and the environment, by evaluating and reporting on their actions that lead to significant consequences for those affected.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition in support of Bill S-223, which seeks to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking. It would make it a criminal offence for a person to go abroad and receive an organ taken without the consent of the person giving the organ. This bill passed unanimously in the House of Commons in 2019 in exactly the same form, and the petitioners are hoping that this Parliament is the one that finally gets this done.

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, if you will indulge me, I want to begin by thanking the member for Durham for his excellent and ongoing service to this place.

I have a number of petitions to present on international human rights issues.

The first petition is particularly important to reflect on this week in light of the opening of the Beijing Olympics. The petitioners are highlighting the ongoing genocide facing Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China. The petition notes a campaign of coordinated violence against Uighurs and calls on the government to act, to recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subject to genocide and to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Magnitsky act, to sanction those who are responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against the Uighur people.

Human Organ TraffickingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition also deals with a human rights issue in the People's Republic of China. It is in support of Bill S-223, a bill I tabled in this place that would make it a criminal offence for a Canadian to go abroad and receive an organ taken without consent.

This bill has now passed three times unanimously in the Senate. It has passed this House unanimously in the same form in a previous Parliament. I know this bill is supported by many members on all sides, and I think it is supported by all members. We need to make sure that we actually get it passed into law to protect people who continue to be victims of forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

EthiopiaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling highlights ongoing human rights concerns in Ethiopia, particularly in the Tigray region. Some of the asks in the petition are a bit dated now. For instance, it references election monitoring in the elections that have already taken place. However, I think many of the asks are still relevant in terms of seeking peace and reconciliation, and independent investigations of crimes with respect to human rights.

The petition is calling on the Government of Canada to be engaged in an ongoing way with the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments with respect to the situation in Tigray.