House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was languages.

Topics

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Ruff Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, during testimony at the Afghanistan committee, both Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed that lessons learned reviews were conducted by their respective departments in regard to the evacuation of Afghans from Kabul. Further testimony confirmed there was an interdepartmental review, led by PCO, conducted.

In this case, in the interests of transparency, will the Liberal government release these completed crucial reviews immediately to the Afghanistan committee for inclusion in the committee's mandated report back to Parliament before June 8?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and for the many conversations we have shared seeking to only improve the government's efforts to welcome more Afghan refugees. I take his efforts as being sincere.

I will point out that we continue to work with different departments to ensure that we can put a plan in place to succeed in the effort to bring 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada. There are certain pieces of information, obviously, in the middle of the operation that could put at risk the security of some of the individuals who are seeking to come to Canada. To the extent that we can offer increased transparency, including through my own two-hour appearance before the committee, we will do whatever we can to ensure we enhance that transparency without compromise on the security interests of those involved.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada recently announced many contributions to support Quebec businesses, including $1.2 million in financial assistance for Chocolat Lamontagne, in Sherbrooke.

Could the minister tell us how this sort of contribution will help this and other Quebec businesses that have received or will receive financial assistance from the federal government?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Pascale St-Onge LiberalMinister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question and for the outstanding work she does for her constituents.

Unlike some colleagues in the House, we believe that the issues that really matter to Quebeckers are having a strong economy and good jobs. That is why we are proud to help SMEs in every region of Quebec, like Chocolat Lamontagne in Sherbrooke, in order to give local entrepreneurs the means to achieve their goals.

That is just the start. Canadians should stay tuned to find out what comes next.

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laila Goodridge Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, Jonathan applied for his daughter Victoria's passport at the Service Canada centre in Fort McMurray in March. The passport still has not been processed, and he does not have the luxury to drive five hours each way to the passport office in Edmonton and camp out overnight to hopefully get a walk-in appointment. They want to travel to see Victoria's dying great-grandmother.

This is hurting rural Canadians. When will the minister admit this is a crisis and help little Victoria get her passport?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her question. Our public servants have been working night and day, overtime and weekends, to catch up with the overwhelming demand of Canadians for their passports. We understand that there are unique circumstances for some individuals in travel, and our current priority is to ensure that Canadians with planned travel are able to do so.

Those who have emergency needs can have those needs met through special measures at Service Canada offices and through the additional phone lines that have been opened. Every single wicket across this country, all 564 of them, has been opened to serve Canadians.

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, in normal times, it used to take 20 days to get a passport. Now it takes more than 40 days.

People are unable to get through on the phone, and Service Canada is even billing people for the cost of transferring their file when it is sent to Quebec, even if they are not responsible for the delays.

This was all foreseeable. We knew that after the pandemic, people would start to travel again for pleasure and for business. We have also reached the anniversary for renewing 10‑year passports.

Can this Liberal government show a shred of leadership and ensure that people like Josée, Roger, Pierre, Isabelle and everyone waiting for their passport can get it as soon as possible, in the regular amount of time?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, since December of last year, we have hired 500 additional passport workers and opened three new processing centres, with now 303 Service Canada centres. In addition, those who followed the process and have submitted the correct required documents according to the guidelines have no additional fees to pay for expedited passports.

We will continue to serve Canadians.

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituency office is inundated with calls from constituents unable to access passport services, and I am not alone. I am sure that every Liberal member of the House, including the minister herself, is experiencing exactly the same thing.

The backlog caused by the government's lack of preparedness affects Canadians' ability to travel abroad for work, for school or to be reunited with family members. Will the minister tell us on what date the backlog will be cleared?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, 100% of the Service Canada passport wickets are open from coast to coast to coast, serving Canadians. In addition to the 500 additional employees and the additional three processing centres that we have opened, each Service Canada centre is available to reach Canadians when they need it most.

SeniorsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Van Bynen Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Liberal government restored the age of eligibility for old age security back to 65 from 67. Our government knows that the older seniors get, the more financial difficulties they have. Could the Minister of Seniors please update the House on the work that the government will do to enhance the financial security for older seniors in my riding of Newmarket—Aurora and in Canada?

SeniorsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalMinister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Newmarket—Aurora for his advocacy for seniors, not just in his riding but indeed from coast to coast to coast.

We know that as seniors age, their health care and home care costs rise, all while they are more likely to be unable to work, have disabilities or be widowed. Older seniors face increased care expenses and are at greater risk of running out of savings. That is why, this summer, we will be delivering on our promise to increase old age security by 10% for seniors 75 and older.

Since 2015, seniors know that we have had their back, and we will continue to deliver for them.

Innovation, Science and IndustryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, today an open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by nearly 300 top scientists and scientific organizations, highlighted that Canada's best and brightest graduate, post-graduate and post-doctoral students are living in poverty due to the inadequate funding they receive. The scientists point out that the dollar value of federal scholarships has not changed since 2003.

We need to increase the scholarship amounts and index them to inflation. How can we expect to keep these brilliant young scientists in Canada when we force them to work for less than minimum wage?

Innovation, Science and IndustryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Halifax Nova Scotia

Liberal

Andy Fillmore LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, over the last seven years, we have helped to rebuild Canada's world-class science and research sectors. Our government has been steadfast in its support of all scientists and researchers. That is why, in budget 2022, we proposed $38.3 million over four years for the federal granting councils to add new, internationally recruited Canada excellence research chairs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Budget 2022 also provides $40.9 million to Canada's federal granting councils to support targeted scholarships and fellowships for promising Black student researchers.

We will continue to support a robust science research ecosystem that reflects Canada's strengths and advances Canadians' interests.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in response to questions from the Bloc and the NDP on a new $10-billion loan guarantee for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Deputy Prime Minister cited a “net zero by 2050” condition. Well, net zero by 2050 does not matter if we blow through our carbon budget decades before. She calls it “responsible”, while the PBO has said that the project does not even make economic sense. She cites a cap on emissions, when she plans on increasing production and exporting the emissions.

When will the government invest as much in the prosperous transition for workers as it has in this economic and ecological failure?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government absolutely understands the urgency of climate action. That is why we have invested more than $100 billion in climate action. That is why we have introduced a price on pollution, the most powerful market-based mechanism for changing the way we run our economy.

When it comes to TMX, I think all Canadians understand how important it is for our country to get the value for our natural resources.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

That is all the time we have for question period today. I am sure we have a couple of points of order.

The hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

May 12th, 2022 / 3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of question period. In response to my questions about what appears to be contradictory testimony from the RCMP commissioner and the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Public Safety accused me of being reckless and misleading the House. It gets hot in here, and I know I am guilty of that, but I would ask that the minister apologize for the unparliamentary language.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I thank the member for his intervention. I would give the opportunity, but I would say that we all have to be careful about what we say. Our words are important in the House of Commons for all Canadians.

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion: Whereas there is a significant amount of evidence and testimony indicating that the government of the People's Republic of China is committing large-scale, systematic atrocities against the Uighur people and Turkic minorities of East Turkestan—

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I am already hearing some members say no.

I still want to ensure that there were discussions among the parties.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, misleading the House is a serious matter and I am aware that it requires demonstration that a member or a minister knew they were misleading the House. The Minister of Immigration today made some comments with respect to what allegedly the Conservatives' targets would have been for Afghan immigration. This was the subject of discussion at a March 3 hearing of the immigration committee, in which the minister acknowledged—

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

An hon. member

This is debate.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is not a point of debate. It is a point of misleading the House.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I will let the hon. member continue.